This study analyzes American images of the Dutch since the second half of the nineteenth century. Works by John Lothrop Motley (1814 - 77), Douglas Campbell (1840 - 93) and William Elliot Griffis (1843 - 1928) are explored to assess the transformation in American thinking about the Dutch of the Netherlands and Dutch-Americans. These writers celebrate the Dutch as proto-Americans while using the characteristically American typological approach to history to make sense of themselves and their country.
G.H. Joost Baarssen is researcher at the RuhrCenter of American Studies, TU Dortmund University.