Baron von Steuben?
Q.I heard rumors in college that Von Steuben was not a baron but a enlisted man that deserted and fled to the colonies. There was no Von Steuben baroney.
SGT Thomas j. Preston, Natick, MA
A.There are a couple of things with the name of Baron von Steuben that you could consider different:
- The "von" was added to the family name in 1708 by Steubens grandfather — Augustin Steube (a minister with the German Reformed Church).
- Steuben was baptised with the name "Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben" which he changed to "Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand"
- The title of Baron (Freiherr) was given to him in 1764 after becoming chamberlain (Hofsmarschall) at the petty court of Hohenzollern-Hechingen. [He had been in service in the military but was dismissed in 1763 for unknown reasons with the rank of Captain.]
SAS, Courtesy The Valley Forge Historical Society