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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 10


This foot note contained in document ADMS-06-10-02-0136-0002
6. In 1780, Joan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol was the most prominent Dutchman openly in favor the American Revolution. A nobleman and a major figure in the Patriot or anti-Stadholder movement, van der Capellen had corresponded with prominent Americans from the onset of the Revolution and copies of letters from him to Benjamin Franklin and Gov. Jonathan Trumbull of Connecticut were among the papers seized with Henry Laurens (Davies, ed., Docs. of the Amer. Rev., 1770–1783 , 16:424). He advised the Americans on appointing a minister to the Netherlands, raising a loan, and the general conduct of Dutch-American relations. Although his reputation as a radical severely limited his influence with the Dutch government, van der Capellen's connections within the Patriot movement and his enthusiasm for the American cause made him a valuable friend and advisor to JA . For assessments of van der Capellen's activities and influence, particularly as to the breadth and depth of his radicalism, see Schulte Nordholt, Dutch Republic and Amer. Independence , p. 21–30; and Simon Schama, Patriots and Liberators, N.Y., 1977, p. 64–67.