The General von Steuben Statue was built by the National German American Alliance in 1915 to honor the Prussian-born general at a moment of rampant anti-German sentiment. More recently visitors have come to identify with Steuben on the basis of his perceived sexuality—as the “gay general” of the Revolution. This event features Dr. Thomas A. Foster (Howard University) and David J. Lawrence (Park Guide at Valley Forge National Historical Park). They will discuss the changing audiences of the General von Steuben Statue, how contemporary communities’ desire for identification should be reflected in interpretation, and LGBTQ+ history in the early Republic.
“The Lives of Monuments” series is organized by National Park Service Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Emma Silverman, and it is made possible by the National Park Foundation with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.