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Van Der Capellen

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VAN DER CAPELLEN, Joan Derck, Dutch champion of American independence: b. at Tiel, 2 Nov. 1741; d. 6 June 1784. He was of a family famous since the 12th century, and descended from the chaplains or Capellani of France. In the 17th century, under Governor Stuyvesant, two men of this name and line were large owners of land on Staten Island and in the country of the Navesink and Raritan In dians. Joan Derck, educated at the University of Utrecht, was a great reader of the politi cal writings of the British Whigs and became a pronounced Liberal, opposed to the .pro-Brit ish policy of "the Court" and Stadtholder Wil liam V. Being in active sympathy with the American colonists, he struck a decisive blow in their behalf when on 16 Dec. 1775, six months before the Declaration of Independence, as a member of theprovincial legislature of Overijssel, he protested against the of the Scotch Brigade [of three regiments, formed in Queen Elizabeth's time and probably the oldest standing army in Europe] for service in America." For this body of veterans, King George III had in an autograph letter made earnest request. This, Van der Capellen (op posed with all his endeavors," considering the cause of the American colonies was that of all mankind. For this printed speech, he was

thanked by Gov. Jonathan Trumbull and many Americans, with whom Van der Capellen kept up an active correspondence. Besides great activity with pen arid voice, in attacking some surviving features of feudalism such as the "corvees," or the peasants' forced labor with out pay, he worked with John Adams and with van der Kemp, Luzac and others, subscribing liberally also to American bonds. Later he was active in the Patriot agitation. After his death, his tomb was blown up with gunpowder by his enemies. The loan to the United States, in gold, amounting when paid back, in 1808, to $14,000,000, was invested in lands in western New York and Pennsylvania; so that the Americans got double benefit from the money. On 6 June 1908, the Holland Society of New York unveiled a bronze tablet costing $700 to V. d. Capellen's memory at Zwolle. See the abundant bibliography in Dutch, the collection of over 50 Holland pamphlets in the Boston Atheneum; Fairchild, 'Adrian Van der Kemp' (1903); Griffis, 'The Dutch Our Allies in the Revolution' (Oneida Historical Society 1894); Blok, P. J., 'History of the People of the Netherlands' (Vol. V, 1912).