Our Bicentennial Rebirth


Letter to
Town of Marblehead
Board of Selectment

October 2, 1974


In 1774 there was a Regiment of Militia in this town that was to become famous for its outstanding contribution to American Independence. A group of citizens have banded together to honor this Regiment. We propose to provide an accurate, living portrayal of the appearance and accomplishments of this Regiment. We hope our town will be proud of us."


The American Bicentennial celebration was barely 15 months away when Marblehead's Board of Selectmen petitioned our present-day Glover's Marblehead Regiment into existence. Our appearance, manual of arms and behavior are all based upon research in primary documents: John Glover's order books, personal letters, and period newspaper articles. Our mandate is to look and act like the men and women we represent. And this is nothing like the stereotypical "Minuteman-farmer".

We re-created the garments of Marblehead fishermen: work clothes that were practical for duties aboard ship, such as "slops", or short, wide bottom pants; work shirts; blue "round jackets"; and tarred, wide brimmed hats. Sailors were conditioned to life aboard ship. They responded to orders without question. And they did not fall back in the face of enemy fire.

We were a group composed exclusively of men with one or two distaff in the background: 30-strong, full of pride, patriotism and the spirit of living history. Because we dressed uniformly and gave a distinctive, jaunty presentation, we attracted attention wherever we went. Bicentennial event planners gave our group prominent roles, just as Washington had seized upon the unique amphibious skills of our predecessors. In February, 1975, we hosted the first official event of the American Bicentennial: a re-enactment of Colonel Leslie's invasion of Marblehead and Salem, followed by his negotiated retreat at the North Bridge in February, 1775. During the next seven years, we marched in the footsteps of the original Glover Regiment, from Main to Virginia.