elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben & Pierre-Étienne Du Ponceau

Charles Adams (May 29, 1770 – November 30, 1800) was the second son of President John Adams and his wife, Abigail (Smith) Adams. He died of alcoholism on November 30, 1800.

At the age of nine he traveled with his father and older brother John Quincy to Europe, studied briefly in Passy, Amsterdam, and Leiden. He matriculated in Leiden January 29, 1781.

In December 1781, Adams returned to America unaccompanied by family members. After graduating from Harvard University in 1789, he studied law and established his practice in New York.

John W. Mulligan, Jr., was the son of John “Hercules” Mulligan, Alexander Hamilton’s roommate. Young Mulligan had been living with Adams. The future president and his wife, concerned about the intense nature of the relationship, insisted that Adams and Mulligan split up. The anguished boys wrote to Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben of their devastation at being separated. With compassion for the heartbroken couple, Steuben offered to take both young men into his home. Adams lived with Mulligan and Steuben for a little while, but Mulligan stayed on for many years, serving as Steuben’s secretary until the baron’s death. When Steuben died, to Mulligan he bequeathed his library, maps, and $2,500.

On August 29, 1795, Adams married Sally Smith (1769–1828), the sister of his brother-in-law, William Stephens Smith. They had two daughters, Susanna Boylston (1796–1884) and Abigail Louisa Smith (1798–1836).

In 2008, HBO presented the miniseries entitled John Adams based on the book by David McCullough. This biographical presentation represents Charles Adams (played by Irish actor Kevin Trainor) as a drunken, irresponsible man with weak character who brings disgrace to his family and is disowned by his father, President John Adams. However, the series also depicts President Adams' actions as a possible influence on Charles's development; he was a frequently absent father whose political life separated him from his family for extended periods, and he did not approve of Charles' choices as an adult. Historians, however, have pointed out the inaccuracies of the series' representation of their relationship.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Adams_%281770%E2%80%931800%29

A hero of the American Revolution, Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Rudolf Gerhard August von Steuben knew that discipline has its virtues. And that’s just what he instilled in the Continental Army through the bitter winter of 1778 at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. (P: ©Charles Willson Peale (1741–1827)/ Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Baron Friedrich William von Steuben, 1780 (©4))

The former aide to FREDERICK the Great fled his native Prussia for the new world amid allegations of improper relations. An anonymous member of the court of Baden wrote:
It has come to me from different sources that M. de Steuben is accused of having taken familiarities with young boys which the laws forbid and punish severely. I have even been informed that that is the reason why M. de Steuben was obliged to leave Hechingen and that the clergy of your country intend to prosecute him by law as soon as he may establish himself (Picture: Pierre-Étienne DU PONCEAU)anywhere.
Steuben made his way to America, where George Washington was desperate for experienced officers. Washington asked Steuben to help bring some order to the tattered Continental troops fighting the British.

On February 23, 1778, the ragtag soldiers at Valley Forge were astonished by the spectacle of the silk and fur-robed baron arriving in a grandiose twenty-four-belled sleigh drawn by black Percheron draft horses, caressing his sleek miniature greyhound Azor. He was followed by a retinue of African servants, a French cook, his aide-de-camp Louis de Pontiere, and his seventeen-year-old private secretary/lover, Pierre-Étienne DU PONCEAU. Steuben quickly took matters into his own hands and began intensive training of one hundred soldiers as a model company. They in turn schooled others in his military tactics.

In 1779 Steuben wrote, with assistance from Du Ponceau, Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, which became the standard training manual for the army for over thirty years.

Steuben legally adopted two handsome soldiers, William North (who later became a US Senator) and Ben Walker. A third young man, John W. Mulligan, Jr. (b. 1773), also considered himself one of Steuben’s “sons.” His birth father, John “Hercules” Mulligan, had been Alexander HAMILTON’s roommate many years before.

Prior to moving in with Steuben, young Mulligan had been living with Charles Adams (1770-1800), son of then-Vice President John Adams. The future president and his wife, concerned about the intense nature of the relationship, insisted that Adams and Mulligan split up. The anguished boys wrote to Steuben of their devastation at being separated. With compassion for the heartbroken couple, Steuben offered to take both young men into his home, writing to Mulligan on January 11, 1793:
Your letter of the 7th was handed me yesterday by Mr. Hamilton. [Alexander?] In vain, my dear child, should I undertake to explain to you the sensation which the letter created in my heart. Neither have I the courage to attempt to arrest the tears you have so great reason to shed. For a heart so feeling as yours this was the severest of trials, and nothing but time can bring consolation under circumstances so afflicting. . . .
Despite moral philosophy I weep with you, and glory in the human weakness of mingling my tears with those of a friend I so tenderly love.
My dear Charles ought, ere this, to have received my answer to the touching letter he wrote.
I repeat my entreaties, to hasten your journey to Philadelphia as soon as your strength permits. My heart and my arms are open to receive you. In the midst of the attention and fêtes which they have the goodness to give me, I enjoy not a moment’s tranquility until I hold you in my arms. Grant me this favor without delay, but divide your journey, that you may not be fatigued at the expense of your health.
Some historians try to interpret letters and messages like these by claiming people were different then, or by characterizing them as signs of “brotherly love” or of the two parties being “like father and son.” Other historians recognize that some things don’t change, and the idea of a sixty-two-year-old bachelor welcoming a distraught nineteen-year-old and his boyfriend into his home—and his open arms and heart—meant then what it means now.

Adams lived with Mulligan and Steuben for a little while, but Mulligan stayed on for many years, serving as Steuben’s secretary until the baron’s death. As Joseph Alfred Scoville wrote in The Old Merchants of New York City, Mulligan “served him with a fidelity and love which won him the friendship and confidence of his protector. Steuben concentrated all the tenderness of his heart on his friends, as he had no family relations, and there are few examples to be found in which the feeling of kindness and good fellowship were so fully reciprocated as between Steuben and his friend.”

When Steuben died, he left the bulk of his estate to his adopted sons. To Mulligan he bequeathed his library, maps, and $2,500, a large sum, especially considering the baron was not a wealthy man.

Stern, Keith (2009-09-01). Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals (Kindle Locations 11309-11319). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

Peter Stephen Du Ponceau or DuPonceau, born Pierre-Étienne Du Ponceau, (June 3, 1760, Saint-Martin-de-Ré, France – April 1, 1844, Philadelphia) was a French linguist, philosopher, and jurist. After immigrating to the colonies in 1777, he served in the American Revolutionary War. Afterward, he settled in Philadelphia, where he lived the remainder of his years. He contributed significantly to work on indigenous languages of the Americas, as well as advancing understanding of Chinese writing. (
Thomas Sully (1783–1872), American Philosophical Society Museum, Portrait of Peter Stephen Du Ponceau, 1830)

DuPonceau studied at a Benedictine college, where he gained an interest in linguistics. However, he abruptly ended his education after only 18 months over a dissatisfaction with the scholarly philosophy taught at the college. He emigrated to America in 1777, at age 17, with Baron von Steuben, who was 30 years his senior.

DuPonceau served as a secretary for Steuben in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. After the war, he settled in Philadelphia, where he would spend the rest of his life. He was a good friend of Lafayette.

DuPonceau joined the American Philosophical Society in 1791. He served as president of it from 1827 until his death. He became noted in the field of linguistics for his analysis of Indigenous languages of the Americas; as a member of Society's Historical and Literary Committee, he helped build a collection of texts that described and recorded the native languages of the Americas. His book concerning their grammatical systems (Mémoire sur le systeme grammatical des langues de quelques nations Indiennes de l'Amérique du Nord) won the Volney Prize of the French Institute in 1835.

DuPonceau also worked on Asian languages. He was one of the first western linguists to theorize that Chinese characters are logograms representing spoken words, not ideas or ideograms. He used the example at the time of Vietnamese using chữ Nôm, a modified form of Chinese characters, showing that the Vietnamese used the Chinese characters to represent sound and not meaning. It was more than 100 years before this idea was widely accepted in linguistic circles.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre-Etienne_Du_Ponceau

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3364900.html. If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
Tags: days of love, days of love tb, essayist: pierre-étienne du ponceau, leader: friedrich wilhelm von steuben

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for friends only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded