Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Trumbull, 12 December 1778

From Jonathan Trumbull

ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy:7 Connecticut State Library

Lebanon 12th: Decemr: 1778.


I Beg leave to Introduce to your particular Notice, The Gentleman who will present you this.—Colo: Dircks from Holland.—In his favour I need say no more to you, than that He has serv’d with reputation & Honor, in the Defence of our Country;—And has now leave of Absence to settle his Affairs, and return.—8

My Letter by him to Mr: Vn: D: Capellan is left open, for your Inspection.9 I am, Sir. With the sincerest Esteem & Respect. Your most Hble: Servant.

Jonth: Trumbull

His Excelly B: Franklin Esqr:

Addressed: His Excellency / Benja—Franklin Esqr: / American Minister, at the Court of / Versailles.

Notations: Jon Trumbull Lebanon 12 Xbre 1778. / Boston

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7In Trumbull’s hand and with his signature.

8Jacob Gerhard Dircks (Diriks, Derick, Derck) had been captain of the 4th Continental Artillery and had recently been breveted Lt.-Col.: Heitman, Register of Officers, p. 152. See also Schulte Nordholt, Dutch Republic, p. 33.

9Van der Capellen, the noted Dutch patriot, aristocrat, and author (XXVI, 349n), had been sent a letter by Governor Trumbull to publicize: XXVII, 366. Dircks carried other letters to van der Capellen and opened his own correspondence with him: W. H. de Beaufort, ed., Brieven van en aan Joan Derck van der Capellen van de Poll (Utrecht, 1879), and J. A. Sillem, ed., Brieven van en aan Joan Derck van der Capellen tot den Pol (Utrecht, 1883). (The banker Henri Fizeaux was also connected with the Dutch aristocrat and served as his intermediary with the commissioners: see Beaufort, Brieven; Capellen to Fizeaux, Dec. 7, 1778, and Jan. 21, 1779. APS.) Dircks was widely believed to be a relative of van der Capellen but was not: Beaufort, Brieven, p. 390. Trumbull enclosed with the present letter one of introduction for Dircks, mentioning that he had served “with reputation and honor in the American Army.” Connecticut State Library.

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