George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 16 December 1789]

Wednesday 16th. Dined with Mrs. Washington and all the family (except the two Children) at Governor Clintons—where also dined the Vice-President, his Lady Colo. & Mrs. Smith—The Mayor (Colo. Varick) and his Lady and old Mr. Van Berkel and his Daughter.

Richard Varick (1753–1831) was born in Hackensack, N.J., and moved to New York City in 1775 to practice law. During the Revolution he was Philip Schuyler’s aide-de-camp and in 1780 became aide to Benedict Arnold, a post he was occupying at the time of Arnold’s defection to the British. Partly to exhibit confidence in Varick’s loyalty GW made him his recording secretary in 1781 and as such he was responsible for the transcription of a large part of GW’s military correspondence. In 1784 he was appointed recorder of New York City, was a member of the New York Assembly 1787–88, and attorney general of the state 1788–89. Varick succeeded James Duane as mayor of New York City in 1789 and held the position until 1801. His wife, Maria Roosevelt Varick, was the daughter of Isaac Roosevelt.

old mr. van berkel: Pieter Johan Van Berckel (1725–1800), minister to the United States from the Netherlands 1783–88 and father of Franco Petrus Van Berckel, the current minister. His daughter had arrived in the United States in 1785 and had become an active member of New York society. After his son replaced him Van Berckel remained in the United States (biographisch woordenboek, 2:128).

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