This statue of Peter Muhlenberg was placed on a pedestal in a small park on Connecticut Avenue and Ellicott Streets, NW, in 1980. It stands on public land in front of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. It is passed daily by thousands, and seen by few.
Muhlenberg was called the “Fighting Pastor”. Born in Pennsylvania, educated in Philadelphia and Germany, he was ordained both as a Lutheran and Anglican minister, and served congregations in Virginia. In 1776, he told his congregation that there was a time to pray and a time to fight, and that this was a time to fight. He left the ministry, and became a Major General in the revolutionary Continental Army, leading a German regiment.
After independence, he became a Pennsylvania representative in the Congress, and in 1801, became a United States Senator. Resigning from the Senate after only a few months, he moved to Philadelphia, where he became the chief customs officer, a position he held until his death.
The sculptor was Caroline Muhlenberg Hufford of Arlington VA. Presumably, she was a relative of the Fighting Parson, but I was not able to verify this. A second statue of Muhlenberg stands in the United States Capitol.