[Thomas Jefferson] was undoubtedly complicated. He mingled the loftiest visions with astute backroom politicking. He spared himself nothing and was a compulsive shopper, yet he extolled the simple yeoman farmer who was free from the lures of the marketplace. He hated obsessive money-making, the proliferating banks, and the liberal capitalistic world that emerged in the Northern states in the early nineteenth century, but no one in American did more to bring that about. Although he kept the most tidy and meticulous accounts of his daily transactions, he never added up his profits and losses. He thought public debts were the curse of a healthy state, yet his private debts kept mounting as he borrowed and borrowed again to meet his rising expenditures. He was a sophisticated man of the world who loved no place better than his remote mountaintop home in Virginia. This slaveholding aristocrat ended up becoming the most important apostle for liberty and democracy in American history.
Steuben, Baron von
Philadelphia, PA — Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin and John Bartram to promote
Useful Knowledge.Philosophical Hall (1789) is now a museum featuring art, scientific instruments, rare books, original manuscripts, natural history specimens, and curiosities.
Washington, DC — Dedicated to Lafayette in 1824; at each corner is a statue of one foreign general who served in the war.
River Edge, NJ — Presented to Baron von Steuben, Inspector General, in 1783 by the state of New Jersey for his services during the war; includes fine collection of period furnishings.
Remsen, NY — Includes a replica cabin, which contains period pieces, five wooded acres, and the monument which marks Baron von Steuben’s burial spot.
Valley Forge, VA — This federal-style mansion, built about 1740 and enlarged in 1798, served as headquarters for the Continental Army during the Battle of Germantown in 1777; includes period furniture and artifacts on 3.5 acres.
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)