George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Pieter Johan van Berckel, 21 April 1789

From Pieter Johan van Berckel

Newark [N.J.] 21 April 1789


I take the liberty to adress these few Lines to your Excellency in order to request that you will do me the honour of disposing of my house in New: Ark on your way to New York—The acceptance of this invitation will be the more agreable as it will furnish me with an opportunity to congratulate and assure your Excellency, that nobody more Sincerely rejoices in the prospect of american gouvernment and prosperity being firmly established by your Excellency’s being chosen President of the united States, Then Sir Your Excellency’s most obedient humble Servant

P.J. Van Berckel


Pieter Johan van Berckel (1725–1800), minister from the Netherlands to the United States from 1783 to 1788, was born in Amsterdam, the son of Englebert van Berckel, a director of the East India Company, and Theodora Petronella van Hogendorp van Berckel. In 1761 Van Berckel was a member of the Amsterdam city council, and in 1781 he became burgomaster of Rotterdam. His son Franco Petrus van Berckel succeeded his father as minister to the United States in August 1788, and the elder Van Berckel moved to Newark, New Jersey. He and his daughter Geertruida Jacoba Van Berckel, who arrived in the United States in 1785, remained active members of New York society. During the early years of GW’s presidency Van Berckel had occasional social contacts with him (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:507, 6:78). In 1792, Geertuida (Gertrude) Jacoba Van Berckel (1761-1835) married John Christian Senf.

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