Event Details

On Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 Maria Rose van Epenhuysen will give the interesting historical TNCTALK: Exploring the New American Republic. A lecture based on the unique and largely unknown travel diary of a young Dutch aristocrat, Carel de Vos van Steenwijk, who was part of the first diplomatic mission to the United States. A fascinating eyewitness account of the newly founded American republic.

A young Dutch diplomat as an eyewitness
of the New American Republic

In their War of Independence against England, the American rebels received crucial support from wealthy merchants in the Republic of the Netherlands. When the first Dutch ambassador arrived in 1783, his delegation was welcomed with all due respect. Carel de Vos van Steenwijk, a young Dutch aristocrat who became an active player in Dutch politics, was part of this delegation. His diary chronicles the challenging ocean-crossing, the reception by Congress, and his subsequent travels through the country from Maine to Charleston and west to Syracuse. The travel diary is full of detailed observations of every-day life both in the countryside and cities, and gives us a unique insight into the early years of the new American Republic.

Maria Rose van Epenhuysen is the great-great-great-granddaughter of Carel de Vos van Steenwijk. The family archive houses the original diary and, although a Dutch edition was published in small numbers, American historians have not been aware of this valuable source. Dr. Rose, a music historian and pianist who lives in New York, will place the diary in the context of Dutch-American relations of the time, and will provide excerpts of the diary centered on diverse topics such as traveling conditions, slavery, social life, agriculture, and the encounters with many important personages of the American Revolution, including George Washington.

TNC Members: FREE   |   Non-members: $15

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