Sculpture in and Around Connecticut Avenue
Lafayette Park is located on the north side of the White House and a little beyond the southernmost tip of Connecticut Avenue. It is between H and 16th Streets. There are five statues in the Park, one in each corner and one in the middle.
In the north-west corner is a statue of Admiral Frederick von Steuben.
According to britannica.com, Von Steuben's name originally was Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin Von Steuben. It later became Frederick William Augustus Henry Ferdinand, Baron von Steuben and this name is inscribed on the base of the statue. The baron was born on September 17, 1730, in Magdeburg, Prussia (later Germany), and died on November 28, 1794, in New York State.
The inscription continues, "In grateful recognition of his services to the American people in their struggle for liberty."
The Von Steuben Wikipedia entry states, "Baron Von Steuben served with George Washington in the Revolutionary War and is credited with teaching American troops the essentials of military drill and discipline. He is considered one of the founding spirits of the United States Army." For more information about the baron, try the ushistory.org site.
Lafayette Park, north-east corner.
In the north-east corner of the park is a statue of Thaddeus Kosciuszko.
Thaddeus Kosciuszko was born in Poland on February 4, 1746. An engineer, he came to America in 1776 to offer his services to the American colonies in their struggle for independence.
"Kosciuszko was one of the first European volunteers to aid the American revolutionary cause in 1776. A brilliant Polish military engineer, Kosciuszko designed and constructed fortifications to help defeat the British, most notably at Saratoga and West Point in New York."
National Park Service
More information can be found at the Polish American, ushistory.org, and About.com sites.
Lafayette Park, south-east corner.
In the south-east corner of the park is a statue of General Lafayette "and his Compatriots".
Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette was born on September 6, 1757 at Chateau Chavaniac in southern France.
"Humanity has won its battle.
Liberty now has a country."
See the friendsoflafayette.org site for a timeline and Wikipedia for a narrative look at his life. Try lucidcafe.com for more coverage.
Lafayette Park, south-west corner.
In the south-west corner of the park is a statue of Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, 1725 - 1807.
Rochambeau brought 6000 men to Rhose Island to assist the American colonists in their fight against the British in 1780. They marched across Connecticut in 1781 joining up with General Washington at the Hudson. Together, the two forces marched to Yorktown to meet the troops of Lafayette. The British general, Cornwallis surrendered to this body of men at Yorktown in 1781 ending the war.
For more information on Rochambeau, see:
The Xenophon Group;
The Library of Congress;
Lafayette Park, center.
In the center of the park is a statue of Andrew Jackson.
Born in the Carolinas in 1767, Jackson was the seventh President of the United States from 1829 to 1837.
Jackson became a major general and a national hero when he defeated the British at New Orleans in the War of 1812.
For more information on Andrew Jackson, see:
The White House;
The State Library of North Carolina;
From Revolution to Reconstruction;
and for facts and trivia, go to American Presidents and choose Jackson from the Pick-A-President drop-down list.
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