"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Monday, January 15, 2018

John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg

This 1980 Statue of John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg (1746-1807) by his descendant Caroline Muhlenberg Hufford stands in Muhlenberg park in Washington, DC. Muhlenberg is described as "Serving His Church, His Country, His State."

 Caroline Hufford © 1980

Hidden in the leaves a thicket of Chinese Holly, three bronze plaques describe Peter Muhlenberg's historic career.

John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg/born at Trappe Pennsylvania October 1, 1746
Eldest son of Anna and Henry Melchior Muhlenberg
Attended University of Halle Germany 1763/ordained Lutheran minister 1768
Pastor Lutheran churches New Jersey
Married to Anna Meyer 1770
Ordained Episcopal minister 1772
Pastor Lutheran and Episcopal Churches Woodstock Va. 1772
Preached his “time to pray, time to fight” sermon 1776
and recruited a regiment from Virginia
He was the “fighting parson of the American Revolution”

Folklore has it that Muhlenburg preached a sermon from Ecclesiastes which ended "There is a time to pray and a time to fight." thereupon he is said to have ripped of his clerical robes to reveal a Continental Officer's uniform underneath and proceeded to enlist his flock in the Continental Army. See Gary Casteel's interpretation of this event here.

Commissioned Colonel of Virginia Militia 1775
Commanded Eighth Virginia regiment
which became the “German regiment” of the Continental Army
Fought at Charleston and Philadelphia
Promoted to Brigadier General 1777
Wintered with his troops at Valley Forge 1777-1778
Fought at Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth and Stony Point
Member, Royal Arch Masonic Lodge, Philadelphia 1779
Named Commander of all forces in Virginia 1780
Fought at Portsmouth and Yorktown
Promoted to Major General 1783
Retired November 3, 1783

Detail of  
Die Helden der Revolution
by  Frederick Girsch.

Returned from military service to Woodstock Virginia 1783
Received land grant of 11,662 acres in Ohio River valley
“in consideration of seven years service
as Brigadier General in the Virginia Continental Line”
Founder-member of the society of the Cincinnati
Elected vice president of Pennsylvania 1787
Elected to first House of Representatives 1788
Re-elected third Congress 1791-1795, sixth Congress 1799-1801
Elected to the United States Senate 1801
Served as Collector of Customs, port of Philadelphia 1801-1807
Died October 1, 1807 at age 61

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