"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

17 September 2020

Happy Birthday, Von Steuben

Peale, Major General Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus, Baron von Steuben, 1780

Friedrich von Steuben was born on this day in 1730.

A letter to George Washington ...

From Steuben
Portsmouth, N.H., 6 December 1777
Honorable Sir,

The inclosed Copy of a Letter whose Original I Shall have the honor to present to your Excellency, will instruct you of the motives that brought me over to this Land. I shall add only to it that the Object of my greatest Ambition is to render your Country all the Services in my Power, and to deserve the title of a Citizen of America by fighting for the Cause of your Liberty.1

If the distinguished Ranks I have Served in in Europe Should be an Obstacle, I had rather Serve under Your Excellency as a Volunteer, than to be a Subject of Discontent to Such deserving Officers as have already distinguished themselves amongst you.

Such being the Sentiments I always profest, I dare hope that the respectable Congress of the United States of America, will accept my Services. I could Say moreover (Were it not for the fear of offending your Modesty) that your Excellency is the only Person under whom (after having Served under the King of Prussia) I could wish to pursue an Art to which I have Wholly given up my Self.

I intend to go to Boston in a few Days where I shall present my Letters to the Honble John Hancock Esqr. Member of Congress, and there I shall wait for your Excellency’s Orders, according to which I shall take convenient Measures. I have the honor to be with respect Honorable Sir Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble servant


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