|Did Steuben really live at the Steuben House in River Edge, NJ? |
The State Legislature gave Steuben the house on the condition that he occupy it and not rent it to a tenant. This was interpreted (in a letter to Steuben from NJ Militia General Philemon Dickerson, dated 1783) that General Steuben would have to keep a bed & a servant there and make regular visits. He installed his aide-de-camp, Captain Benjamin Walker, in the house as a full time resident. By 1786, he leased one half of the house back to the Zabriskies, who then operated the mill and river landing under the partnership of Walker & Zabriskie. At least one visit by General Steuben to the Steuben House, on July 4th, 1786, is well documented: Mr. Zabriskie invited the the townsfolk to a Fourth of July celebration in the Baron's honor and apparently charged the refreshments, which he obtained from the New Bridge Inn, to the Baron's account. General Steuben did not realize that he had paid for hosting the neighborhood until he returned to New York city some weeks later.