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No Pamphlet or Ticket
February 10th, 2008
The statue depicts von Steuben in his military dress uniform surveying the troops at Valley Forge. It stands in Lafayette Park, between H and 16th streets and across from the White House. It was erected in 1911 and sculpted by Albert Jaegers. The statue commemorates Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben (1730-1794), a Prussian-German army officer who served as inspector general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and George Washington's Chief of Staff, in the latter years of the war. He trained troops even though he did not speak English - another officer drew pictures for the soldiers, which directed them what to do. He was a mere captain, but was so invaluable to Washington, that he was promoted to Major General. In 1781, he served under the Marquis de Lafayette in Virginia when the British General Charles Cornwallis invaded. He also served at the siege of Yorktown, where he commanded one of the three divisions of Washington's army. He became an American citizen. And the state of New York gave him a 16,000-acre parcel near Utica New York. Congress awarded him an annual pension of $2,500 until Steuben died in Steubenville, N.Y., on Nov. 28, 1794.
At the rear of the pedestal of the statue is a medallion with the images of von Steuben's aides-de-camp, William North and Benjamin Walker. It says: "Colonel William North - Major Benjamin Walker - Aides and Friends of von Steuben". A replica of the statue was presented to the Emperor of Germany as an acknowledgement of his gift to the United States of a statue of Frederick the Great.
This is a free attraction.
Above: Statue of Baron von Steuben