AutographsLetter by Baron Friedrich Von Steuben to French Admiral "Monsieur Le Comte"
BARON FRIEDRICH VON STEUBEN, American Revolutionary General From Prussia Who Trained the Continental Army.
Autograph Letter Signed, "Steuben" in brown ink on watermarked, fine-laid paper, written entirely in French, May 29, 1790, "Nouvelle York", two pages on integral sheet, folded to 9" x 7.25", Very Choice Extremely Fine.
A lengthy and excellent letter to a Monsieur Le Comte regarding Steuben's financial difficulties, which were remedied in part when Congress, as a token of gratitude for his service during the Revolutionary War, granted him a parcel of land ("ma terra de Steuben") and a stipend of $2,500. Elsewhere he mentions "la nouvelle Constitution en France" and the Marquise de Brehan.
While von Steuben is most commonly encountered in documents (and in many cases, with a "cancelled" signature), letters in his hand are quite elusive.
Von Steuben was a Prussian army officer who came to America in 1777 and was recommended to General George Washington by Benjamin Franklin. In 1778, at Valley Forge, he was designated inspector general of the Continental army, which he reorganized and forged into a formidable fighting force. He was commissioned major general and engaged at Monmouth and Yorktown, and became a trusted adviser to Washington. After the war, he was one of the organizers of the Society of Cincinnati. He became an American citizen in 1783 and from then until his death in 1794, he made his home in New York. Steuben wrote the first American army manual in 1778-79, "Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States."