Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus, Baron von Steuben (1730-94)

Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus, Baron von Steuben (1730-94)

Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus, Baron von Steuben, (1730-94)

Prussian soldier who played an important role in improving the quality of the American Continental Army during the American War of Independence. Between 1746 and 1763 he served in the Prussian army under Frederick the Great, eventually reaching the rank of captain and serving for a time on the Prussian general staff during the Seven Years War.

At the end of the war in 1763, Steuben was retired from the Prussian army. He spent the next few years as Court Chamberlain to the Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen, gaining a knighthood and the title of Baron (Freiherr), but in 1777 he was forced to resign for reasons that are no longer clear. Whatever those reasons were, Steuben was unable to gain employment with a series of European powers. In Paris he met Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane, busily recruiting for the American cause, and managed to convince them that he was a lieutenant-general and enthusiastic revolutionary, rather than an unemployed ex-captain. Franklin and Deane gave him a letter of introduction, and he sailed for America.

He arrived in December 1777 to find Washington and his tattered army camped at Valley Forge. Despite his limited English, Steuben impressed Washington who asked him to examine the Continental soldiers. Steuben's report encouraged Washington to appoint him acting Inspector-General, an appointment confirmed by Congress in May 1778 when he was also given the rank of Major-General.

His work at Valley Forge was to turn the ragged Continentals into a far more professional and competent army. First he selected a model company, which he trained personally, although he eventually needed a translator for his orders. The members of this company were then able to spread his methods across the army. Those methods were intelligently modified from the Prussian models to make them better suit American conditions and the character of the American volunteer soldiers. This demonstrated itself in his willingness to explain the drills and manoeuvres he was teaching, something rather less likely to happen in Prussia, and to answer questions. The training he initiated appears to have been popular amongst the men at Valley Forge. He also initiated training in bayonet drill, an area where the British had demonstrated a great superiority and in which they were soon to be surprised. Steuben insisted on a higher standard of conduct amongst the Continental officers, also a theme of Washingtons. Steuben was eventually to succeed in this, apparently partly through his particularly impressive range of oaths, all but one of them in French or German.

Although Steuben was a first class organiser of training, he was less successful in other areas. At the start of 1781 he was in Virginia helping to supply Greene's army in the Carolinas. He was also raising Continental Regiments, whose presence in Virginia probably helped to convince Cornwallis not to pursue Greene out of North Carolina in February. After much persistent nagging Washington was persuaded to give him an independent command in Virginia in the spring of 1781 where Benedict Arnold was causing great damage for the British, but Steuben did not live up to the image he had created of himself and achieved little. He was even forced to flee from a British raid when his men refused to fight. His justified fame was based on his skills of organisation not on any battlefield victories.

His crucial role in moulding the Continental Army over the winter of 1777-78 was recognised after the war. Congress awarded him a large cash grant, the state of New York gave him a large land grant, and in 1790 he was also granted an annual income of $2500. He spent the last years of his life in retirement on his land in New York state.

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The Prussian Nobleman Who Helped Save the American Revolution

The baron wore an eight-pointed silver star on his chest, etched with the word Fidelitas. “Squad, halt!” he shouted—some of the few English words he knew. He walked among the 100 men in formation at Valley Forge, adjusting their muskets. He showed them how to march at 75 steps a minute, then 120. When their discipline broke down, he swore at them in German and French, and with his only English curse: “Goddamn!”

It was March 19, 1778, almost three years into the Revolutionary War. The Continental Army had just endured a punishing winter at Valley Forge. And a stranger—former Prussian army officer Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben—was on the scene to restore morale, introduce discipline and whip the tattered soldiers into fighting shape.

To one awestruck 16-year-old private, the tall, portly baron in the long blue cloak was as intimidating as the Roman god of war. “He seemed to me the perfect personification of Mars,” recalled Ashbel Green years later. “The trappings of his horse, the enormous holsters of his pistols, his large size, and his strikingly martial aspect, all seemed to favor the idea.”

Some of the baron’s aura was artifice. Von Steuben had never been a general, despite the claim of the supporters who recommended him. A decade past his service as a captain in the Prussian army, von Steuben, 47, filled his letters home with tall tales about his glorious reception in America. But the baron’s skills were real. His keen military mind and charismatic leadership led George Washington to name him the Continental Army’s acting inspector general soon after his arrival at its camp in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. In less than two months in spring 1778, von Steuben rallied the battered, ill-clothed, near-starving army.

“They went from a ragtag collection of militias to a professional force,” says Larrie Ferreiro, whose recent book, Brothers at Arms, tells the story of foreign support for the American Revolution. Ferreiro considers von Steuben the most important of all the volunteers from overseas who flocked to America to join the Revolution. “[It was] Steuben’s ability to bring this army the kind of training and understanding of tactics that made them able to stand toe to toe with the British,” he says.

Born into a military family in 1730—at first, his last name was the non-noble Steuben—he was 14 when he watched his father direct Prussian engineers in the 1744 siege of Prague. Enlisting around age 16, von Steuben rose to the rank of lieutenant and learned the discipline that made the Prussian army the best in Europe. “Its greatness came from its professionalism, its hardiness, and the machine-like precision with which it could maneuver on the battlefield,” wrote Paul Lockhart in his 2008 biography of von Steuben, The Drillmaster of Valley Forge.

Von Steuben spent 17 years in the Prussian army, fought in battles against Austria and Russia during the Seven Years’ War, became a captain, and attended Prussian king Frederick the Great’s elite staff school. But a vindictive rival schemed against him, and he was dismissed from the army during a 1763 peacetime downsizing. Forced to reinvent himself, von Steuben spent 11 years as court chamberlain in Hohenzollern-Hechingen, a tiny German principality. In 1769, the prince of nearby Baden named him to the chivalric Order of Fidelity. Membership came with a title: Freiherr, meaning “free lord,” or baron.

In 1775, as the American Revolution broke out, von Steuben’s boss, the Hechingen prince, ran out of money. Von Steuben, his salary slashed, started looking for a new military job. But Europe’s great armies, mostly at peace, didn’t hire him. In 1777, he tried to join the army in Baden, but the opportunity fell through in the worst way possible. An unknown person there lodged a complaint that von Steuben had “taken liberties with young boys” in his previous job, writes Lockhart. The never-proven, anonymously reported rumor destroyed von Steuben’s reputation in Germany. So he turned to his next-best prospect: America.

In September 1777, the disgraced baron sailed from France to volunteer for the Continental Army, bankrolled by a loan from his friend, French playwright Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais. A letter from America’s diplomats in Paris, Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane, vouched for him and reported that France’s minister of war and foreign minister had done so too.

But Deane and Franklin’s letter also falsely claimed that von Steuben was a lieutenant general and exaggerated his closeness to Frederick the Great—“the greatest public deception ever perpetrated in a good cause,” wrote Thomas Fleming in Washington’s Secret War: The Hidden History of Valley Forge. Why? Only the highest recommendation would make an impression back home. Congress, desperate for volunteers earlier in the war, had been overwhelmed by unemployed Europeans eager for military jobs, and the number of officers from overseas had begun to stir resentment among American-born officers. “Congress had sternly warned they wanted no more foreigners arriving in America with contracts for brigadier and major generalships in their trunks,” Fleming wrote. Though von Steuben didn’t exaggerate his accomplishments to Franklin and Deane, he went along with the story once he got to America—and added some flourishes of his own. At one point, he even claimed he’d turned down paid positions with the Holy Roman Empire to serve in the United States.  

Von Steuben landed at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on December 1, 1777, with four French aides to translate for him and a large dog named Azor. His exaggerated reputation spread fast. In Boston, he met John Hancock, who hosted a dinner for him, and chatted up Samuel Adams about politics and military affairs. Next, von Steuben headed to York, Pennsylvania, the temporary American capital while the British occupied Philadelphia. Aware that the Continental Congress had soured on foreign volunteers, von Steuben offered to serve under Washington and asked to be paid only if America won the war. They took the deal and sent von Steuben to Valley Forge.

“Baron Steuben has arrived at camp,” Washington wrote soon after. “He appears to be much of a gentleman, and as far as I have had an opportunity of judging, a man of military knowledge and acquainted with the world.” Washington’s confidence in von Steuben grew quickly. Within two weeks, he made the baron acting inspector general and asked him to examine the Continental Army’s condition.

“What [Steuben] discovered was nothing less than appalling,” wrote Fleming in Washington’s Secret War. “He was confronting a wrecked army. A less courageous (or less bankrupt) man would have quit on the spot.” Unlike the American forces in New York, who had beaten the British at Saratoga in fall 1777, the army in Pennsylvania had suffered a series of defeats. When they lost the Battle of Brandywine in September 1777, the British had seized Philadelphia. Now—following common military practice of the era—they had camped for the winter. But Valley Forge, their winter quarters, was nearly as punishing as battle: hastily built huts, cruel temperatures, scarce food.

The baron found soldiers without uniforms, rusted muskets without bayonets, companies with men missing and unaccounted for. Short enlistments meant constant turnover and little order. Regiment sizes varied wildly. Different officers used different military drill manuals, leading to chaos when their units tried to work together. If the army had to fight on short notice, von Steuben warned Washington, he might find himself commanding one-third of the men he thought he had. The army had to get into better shape before fighting resumed in the spring.

So, von Steuben put the entire army through Prussian-style drills, starting with a model company of 100 men. He taught them how to reload their muskets quickly after firing, charge with a bayonet and march in compact columns instead of miles-long lines. Meanwhile, he wrote detailed lists of officers’ duties, giving them more responsibility than in English systems.

Soldiers gaped at the sight of a German nobleman, in a French-style black beaver hat, drilling poorly clothed troops. Though von Steuben raged and cursed in a garbled mixture of French, English, and German, his instructions and presence began to build morale. “If anything, the curses contributed to Steuben’s reputation as an exotic character who was good for a laugh now and then,” wrote Fleming.

And though the baron was appalled at the condition of the army he was tasked with making over, he soon developed an appreciation for its soldiers. “The genius of this nation is not in the least to be compared with that of the Prussian, Austrians, or French,” von Steuben wrote to a Prussian friend. “You say to your soldier ‘Do this and he doeth it’ but I am obliged to say [to the American soldier]: ‘This is the reason why you ought to do that: and then he does it.’”

Off the drilling field, von Steuben befriended the troops. A lifelong bachelor, he threw dinner parties rather than dine alone. One night, the guests pooled their rations to give von Steuben’s manservant the ingredients for a dinner of beefsteak and potatoes with hickory nuts. They also drank “salamanders”—cheap whiskey set on fire.

As von Steuben’s work progressed, news of the United States’ treaties of alliance with France reached Valley Forge. Washington declared May 6, 1778 a day of celebration. He asked von Steuben to ready the army for a ceremonial review.

At 9 a.m. on May 6, 7,000 soldiers lined up on the parade ground. “Rank by rank, with not a single straying step, the battalions swung past General Washington and deployed into a double line of battle with the ease and swiftness of veterans,” Fleming wrote. Then the soldiers performed the feu de joie, a ceremonial rifle salute in which each soldier in a line fires in sequence—proof of the army’s new discipline. “The plan as formed by Baron von Steuben succeeded in every particular,” wrote John Laurens, an aide to Washington.

The baron’s lessons didn’t just make the American troops look impressive in parades—under his tutelage, they became a formidable battlefield force. Two weeks after the celebration, the Marquis de Lafayette led a reconnaissance force of 2,200 to observe the British evacuation from Philadelphia. When a surprise British attack forced Lafayette to retreat, von Steuben’s compact column formation enabled the entire force to make a swift, narrow escape. At the Battle of Monmouth on June 28, the Revolution’s last major battle in the northern states, American troops showed a new discipline. They stood their ground during ferocious fire and bayonet attacks and forced the British to retreat. “Monmouth vindicated Steuben as an organizer,” wrote Lockhart. The Continental Army’s new strength as a fighting force, combined with the arrival of the French fleet off the coast of New York in July 1778, turned the tide of the war.

Von Steuben served in the Continental Army for the rest of the Revolutionary War. In 1779, he codified his lessons into the Army’s Blue Book. Officially the Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, it remained the Army training manual for decades. The Army still uses some portions of it in training manuals today, including von Steuben’s instructions on drill and ceremonies.

After the war, the governor of New York granted von Steuben a huge wilderness estate in the Mohawk Valley as a reward for his service in the war. Von Steuben died there in November 1794 at age 64. His importance to the Revolution is evident in Washington’s last act as commanding general. In December 1783, just before retiring to Mount Vernon, he wrote von Steuben a letter of thanks for his “great Zeal, Attention and Abilities” and his “faithful and Meritorious Services.” Though his name is little known among Americans today, every U.S. soldier is indebted to von Steuben—he created America’s professional army.

About Erick Trickey

Erick Trickey is a writer in Boston, covering politics, history, cities, arts, and science. He has written for POLITICO Magazine, Next City, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, and Cleveland Magazine


Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus, Baron von Steuben (1730-94) - History

[7] He served as a second lieutenant during the Seven Years' War in 1756, and was wounded at the 1757 Battle of Prague. Click here to access a full PDF version of the Blue Book (warning: 26MB!). With the war over, Steuben resigned from service and first settled with his longtime companion, William North, for whom he created a special room at his retreat he called the Louvre[27] on Manhattan Island, where he became a prominent figure and elder in the German Reformed Church. [4]:61, In 1764 Steuben became Hofmarschall to Fürst Josef Friedrich Wilhelm of Hohenzollern-Hechingen, a post he held until 1777.

After several months of seeking employment, von Steuben received an appointment as hofmarschall (chancellor) to Josef Friedrich Wilhelm of Hohenzollern-Hechingen. ", The current revision of this book is available for download from the US Army directly, "Frederick William Augustus von Steuben, Baron.". On November 6, 1788, Steuben again wrote North (at his new home in Duanesburg, New York), noting "My Jersey Estate is Advertised but not yet Sold, from this Walker Shall immediately pay to you the money, you so generously lend me and all my debts in New-York will be payed.

Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin Baron von Steuben. [6], Baron von Steuben joined the Prussian Army at age 17. [VON STEUBEN] WAS THE RIGHT MAN AT THE RIGHT PLACE AND THE RIGHT TIME. [14], On May 2, 1779, during the second Middlebrook encampment, a review of the army was held to honor the French minister Conrad Alexandre Gérard de Rayneval and the Spanish diplomat Juan de Miralles.

Image: Portrait extracted from “Major General Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus, Baron von Steuben,” by Ralph Earl 1786 (public domain) via the U.S. National Park Service. Initial efforts to obtain a military commission in Austria and Baden failed, and he traveled to Paris to try his luck with the French. [10], Steuben picked 120 men from various regiments to form an honor guard for General Washington, and used them to demonstrate military training to the rest of the troops. One soldier's first impression of the Baron was "of the ancient fabled God of War . he seemed to me a perfect personification of Mars. [61], Von Steuben was one of four European military leaders who assisted the U.S. cause during the Revolution and was honored with a statue in Lafayette Square, just north of the White House, in Washington, D.C. [7] He served as adjutant to the free battalion of General Johann von Mayr and was promoted to first lieutenant in 1759. [22] After the review, about sixty generals and colonels attended a dinner hosted by Steuben in a large tent near his headquarters at the Abraham Staats House. Proving an adept organizer, he received an appointment as battalion adjutant and earned a promotion to first lieutenant two years later. [63] An additional cast is in Steuben's home town of Magdeburg. [14] He enforced the keeping of exact records and strict inspections. Located in the formerly strategic New Bridge Landing, the estate included a gristmill and about 40 acres (16 ha) of land. [53], A warship, a submarine, and an ocean liner (later pressed into military service) were named in von Steuben's honor.

American National Biography - Volume 16 - Page 513. n.b. He served as General George Washington's chief of staff in the final years of the war.

Additionally, Congress had grown wearisome of dealing with foreign officers who often demanded high rank and exorbitant pay.

[62] A copy was dedicated in Potsdam, Germany in 1911, and destroyed during World War II. Arriving at Washington's headquarters on February 23, he quickly impressed Washington though communication proved difficult as a translator was required. Wounded a the defeat at Kunersdorf in 1759, von Steuben again returned to action.

[13], Upon the Count's recommendation, Steuben was introduced to future president George Washington by means of a letter from Franklin as a "Lieutenant General in the King of Prussia's service", an exaggeration of his actual credentials that appears to be based on a mistranslation of his service record.

It is under the jurisdiction of the Historic New Bridge Landing Park Commission. In 1740, Steuben's father returned to Prussia and Friedrich was educated in the garrison towns Neisse and Breslau by Jesuits. His secretary, Du Ponceau, then translated the drills from German into French, and a secretary for Washington translated it to English. In the difficult post-World War I years the Society helped the German-American community to reorganize.


German-American Steuben Parade

The first German-American Steuben Parade, celebrating German-American heritage, was held in 1958. Named for the hero of the American Revolution, Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus von Steuben, it inadvertently honors a gay man of the 18th century.

Starting at East 61st Street, the parade marched up Fifth Avenue and turned onto East 86th Street into Yorkville.

Header Photo

On the Map

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Major General Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus, Baron von Steuben by Ralph Earl, c 1786. Source: Yale University Art Gallery.

Rainbow Baron von Steuben. Source: LGBT Germany.

The German-American Parade in Ridgewood, Queens, 1957. Source unknown.

LGBT Contingent in the German-American Steuben Parade, September 17, 2016. Photo by Jon Nalley. Source: LGBT Germany.

LGBT Contingent in the German-American Steuben Parade, September 17, 2016. Photo by Jon Nalley. Source: LGBT Germany.

Article on the first German-American Steuben Parade, appearing in the New York Times, September 20, 1958.

Article on the first LGBT contingent in the German-American Steuben Parade, appearing in Gay City News, September 14, 2016.

History

By the mid-19th century, New York City had the third largest German-speaking population of any city in the world, which was roughly one quarter of New York’s total population. The German community had a highly significant cultural and economic impact on many aspects of the life of the city. During World War I, however, German-Americans came under severe attack, and their loyalty as Americans was questioned. What vestiges of German-American culture in the city that lingered were virtually eliminated by the realities of World War II.

By the late 1950s, the German-American community in the metropolitan area wanted a holiday to celebrate its heritage, after decades of not being able to openly do so. The first German-American Parade was held in 1957 on Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood, Queens. The decision was made to move the parade the following year to Yorkville, a historically German immigrant neighborhood, in Manhattan. Desiring to name the September event for a prominent German-American, the organizers selected the birthday of Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus von Steuben (1730-1794), a hero of the American Revolution. The German-American Steuben Parade thus inadvertently honors a gay man of the 18th century.

In 1777, as a brigade major in the Prussian military, von Steuben was threatened with prosecution for his homosexual “familiarities” with young men. In Paris, he met Benjamin Franklin, who, though aware of these charges, contacted George Washington, who was desperate for an officer to assist in instilling discipline and training in the rag-tag Continental Army. Von Steuben served crucial roles in the war as inspector general, major general, and Washington’s chief of staff. After the war, von Steuben became an American citizen and first moved to Manhattan, and was later awarded a pension and properties in New York State and New Jersey.

The first German-American Steuben Parade in 1958, starting at East 61st Street, marched up Fifth Avenue and turned onto East 86th Street. New York’s parade, the largest in the United States celebrating German heritage, follows a similar route today. The first LGBT contingent marched in September 2016 under the banners of LGBT Germany and German Pulse.


Baron von Steuben a community organizer with skill

Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus, Baron von Steuben (1730-94)

Prussian soldier who played an important role in improving the quality of the American Continental Army during the American War of Independence. Between 1746 and 1763 he served in the Prussian army under Frederick the Great, eventually reaching the rank of captain and serving for a time on the Prussian general staff during the Seven Years War.

At the end of the war in 1763, Steuben was retired from the Prussian army. He spent the next few years as Court Chamberlain to the Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen, gaining a knighthood and the title of Baron (Freiherr), but in 1777 he was forced to resign for reasons that are no longer clear. Whatever those reasons were, Steuben was unable to gain employment with a series of European powers. In Paris he met Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane, busily recruiting for the American cause, and managed to convince them that he was a lieutenant-general and enthusiastic revolutionary, rather than an unemployed ex-captain. Franklin and Deane gave him a letter of introduction, and he sailed for America.

He arrived in December 1777 to find Washington and his tattered army camped at Valley Forge. Despite his limited English, Steuben impressed Washington who asked him to examine the Continental soldiers. Steuben's report encouraged Washington to appoint him acting Inspector-General, an appointment confirmed by Congress in May 1778 when he was also given the rank of Major-General.

His work at Valley Forge was to turn the ragged Continentals into a far more professional and competent army. First he selected a model company, which he trained personally, although he eventually needed a translator for his orders. The members of this company were then able to spread his methods across the army. Those methods were intelligently modified from the Prussian models to make them better suit American conditions and the character of the American volunteer soldiers. This demonstrated itself in his willingness to explain the drills and manoeuvres he was teaching, something rather less likely to happen in Prussia, and to answer questions. The training he initiated appears to have been popular amongst the men at Valley Forge. He also initiated training in bayonet drill, an area where the British had demonstrated a great superiority and in which they were soon to be surprised. Steuben insisted on a higher standard of conduct amongst the Continental officers, also a theme of Washingtons. Steuben was eventually to succeed in this, apparently partly through his particularly impressive range of oaths, all but one of them in French or German.

Although Steuben was a first class organiser of training, he was less successful in other areas. At the start of 1781 he was in Virginia helping to supply Greene's army in the Carolinas. He was also raising Continental Regiments, whose presence in Virginia probably helped to convince Cornwallis not to pursue Greene out of North Carolina in February. After much persistent nagging Washington was persuaded to give him an independent command in Virginia in the spring of 1781 where Benedict Arnold was causing great damage for the British, but Steuben did not live up to the image he had created of himself and achieved little. He was even forced to flee from a British raid when his men refused to fight. His justified fame was based on his skills of organisation not on any battlefield victories.

His crucial role in moulding the Continental Army over the winter of 1777-78 was recognised after the war. Congress awarded him a large cash grant, the state of New York gave him a large land grant, and in 1790 he was also granted an annual income of $2500. He spent the last years of his life in retirement on his land in New York state.
.

(Baron von Steuben justified fame was based on his skills of organization not on any battlefield victories. It is true the key to any victory is organization.

Steuben was an organiser and trainer. The image he created of himself was built on his past achievements of his organizational skills. In other words he was a very good community organizer but not one who could live up to his and other own hype of himself.

This is similar to obama. Obama was a community organizer/trainer/fraud but is not capable of living up to his and others hype about his capabilities. Steuben was not a total failure but obama is.

Baron von Steuben was responsible for Washington's victories because he had trained the troops well.

Barron obama is responsible for the victories the Liberal democrates have had in congress.

Barron obama trained the liberal left troops well.

The problem is barron obama can't lead the troops he trained to victory because he lacks leadership skills necessary to do anything without being told what to do by people who themselves are inept or destructive.

Steuben was a patriot and obama is a traitor, a big difference in character.

In closing I would like to ask the question again, "where's the birth certificate"?) Story
Reports
.

Actions speak louder than words, and perhaps those actions of George Washington speak
best for von Steuben's character:

"I wish, to make use, of this last Moment of my public Life, to Signify in the strongest terms, my entire Approbation of your Conduct, and to express my Sense of the Obligations the public is under to you for your faithful, and Meritorious Services."
George Washington wrote these words in a letter to his friend Baron Von Steuben on December 23, 1783. It was the last letter he ever wrote as commander of the American forces and it was written on the day he resigned his commission as Commander in Chief to the Congress of the Confederation. The letter is at its home in Hohenzollern Castle in Germany.


Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus, Baron von Steuben (1730-94) - History

General Description

The portrait of Captain John Pratt owes much to the biographies of both the sitter and the artist. The paper Pratt prominently brandishes in his left hand is his commission from George Washington as captain of the First Regiment of the United States Army (1990.146.2). On his Continental Army uniform, he wears a medal indicating membership in the Society of the Cincinnati, a then-elitist group of veterans. The viewer is thus reminded both of Pratt’s past and his continuing service to his newly founded country.

Conversely, the structure in the background—the town-hall of Middletown, Connecticut—is a reminder of Ralph Earl’s own history and artistic loyalties. Although linked with the portraits Earl painted in Connecticut, the motif is borrowed from topographical landscape paintings of British country houses, which Earl discovered while in England from 1778 to 1785 (loyal to the British cause, Earl left America during the Revolutionary War). Furthermore, the somewhat flat effect of the figure of Pratt relates to Earl’s rejection of the painterly effects of British portraiture, even while he adopted its background details and full-length format.


Prussian army officer who trained the American forces during the American Revolution.

From the description of Letter, February 28, 1781. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 436785682

Prussian army officer, volunteered service to United States in Revolution as Inspector General of Continental Army introduced drilling procedures and directed reorganization later assisted in plans for national defense.

From the description of LS : to the president of Congress (John Hanson), [ca. 1782 July]. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122525090

General of the American Revolution.

From the description of Letter signed : Williamsburg, to General Greene, 1781 Nov. 5. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270580954 From the description of Letter signed : Williamsburg, 1781 Sept. 19. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270580950

From the description of Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin, Baron von Steuben, papers, 1782-1786. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70980529

Steuben was German-born, came to the American colonies after meeting Benjamin Franklin in Paris in 1777, and was credited with bringing military discipline and skill to the American Revolutionary Army. At the conclusion of the U.S. Revolutionary War he settled permanently in the U.S., was granted citizenship, and eventually settled in upper New York State. General Benjamin Walker was one of two individuals who inherited Steuben's estate.

From the description of [Letter, 1788] juin 8, Schenectady, [N.Y., to] Walker / Steuben. (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 437427453

From the description of Papers of Baron von Steuben, 1777-1794. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71071561

Continental Army officer reformer of its organization and discipline.

From the description of Correspondence and papers, 1778-1794 (bulk 1779-1781). (New York University, Group Batchload). WorldCat record id: 58779156 From the description of Papers, 1778-1792. (New York University). WorldCat record id: 58778809

Prussian army officer, volunteered service to the United States in the Revolution as Inspector General of the Continental Army he introduced drilling procedures and directed reorganization, and later assisted in plans for national defense. After the Revolution he settled in New York City and in 1786 the state of New York granted him 16,000 acres near Utica.

From the description of Account : New York, N.Y., 1791 Nov. 5. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 145506962

Steuben was a Prussian professional soldier and military expert. During the American Revolution, he served as inspector general of the Continental Army. After the Revolution, he became an American citizen and settled in New York. William North and Benjamin Walker were Steuben's aides-de-camp in the Continental Army and became heirs and executors of his estate.

From the description of Letters : to William North, 1786-1790. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702148318 From the description of Letters : to William North, 1786-1790. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79602419

Steuben served as Major General Inspector General of the Continental Army.

From the description of DS, 1778 August 15. : Account of Money paid for Baron Steuben. (Copley Press, J S Copley Library). WorldCat record id: 14040098

Prussian army officer, volunteered service to the United States during the Revolution. As inspector general of the Continental Army he introduced drilling procedures and directed reorganization, and later assisted in plans for the national defense. Steuben never married, but adopted and made heirs of his American aides-de-camp, William North and Benjamin Walker.


Rabbinic Regulations &ndash Excrement not Impure

In contrast to the sectarians, the rabbinic tradition does not subsume the removal of human waste from the camp under the laws of purity, since rabbinic literature does not deem excrement to be a substance that imparts impurity. [16]

Excrement as a Barrier to Prayer

Instead of using purity laws to explain Deut 23:13-15, the rabbis extended the concept of avoiding excrement in God&rsquos presence to the laws of prayer and Torah study, during which the supplicant is, ostensibly, before God. According to Tosefta Berakhot 2:17 (Lieberman ed.), for example,

Tying this rabbinic halakha to the biblical verse, R. Levi ben Gershom (Deut. ad loc.) comments that excrement must be buried for both quotidian and religious reasons:

Similarly, Ramban comments that the reason for covering excrement is because it ruins the prayer experience: [18]

Ramban&rsquos formulation here makes the rule even more abstract. No longer is he worried about God&rsquos presence per se, but rather about what this revolting substance will do to the person&rsquos prayer when he or she prays to God.


Jeanne’s Legacy

Jeanne had reached the mandatory retirement age in 1992 but immediately returned as a contractor to see the investigation through to its completion.

After it was all over, Time Magazine asked Jeanne for permission to do a photo shoot. Jeanne protested that there were still members of her family who didn’t know where she worked. Nevertheless, she finally agreed.

As a former CIA Executive Director tells it: “You may have seen Jeanne staring out from a full glossy page of Time, billed as ‘the little gray-haired lady who just wouldn’t quit.’ She was holding a spy glass reflecting the image of Aldrich Ames. I can imagine some relative sitting down at the breakfast table, opening Time Magazine, and exclaiming, ‘My word, that’s Aunt Jeanne. I thought she was a file clerk or something.’

Jeanne was a true CIA icon and legend. Serving our Agency for 58 years, working until just prior to her death in 2012, she blazed a trail for women in the Directorate of Operations, beginning at a time when it was an overwhelmingly male enterprise.

Remembered as a driven, focused officer who demanded excellence and was always devoted to the mission, Jeanne’s life and the legacy she entrusted to us have forever impacted the Agency.

This article originally appeared on Central Intelligence Agency. Follow @CIA on Twitter.

MIGHTY HISTORY

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