On the biography of D.H. Kolff (1761-1835)

Biografie DH Kolff
This maritime self portrait of Dirk Hendrik Kolff (1761-1835) covers his 38 active years in the service of the marine powers respectively of The (Dutch) Republic under Stadtholder Willem V, the Batavian Republic, the new souvereign (Netherlands) state of 1813 and the Kingdom (of the Netherlands) of 1815. In a lively way Kolff wrote down his most interesting memories: as young leuitenant on his journey to the Dutch East Indies in the escadre of Van Braam, the battles in Malaysia, Riau (Riouw), and Ceylon. And his encounters, later, on the quays of Ottoman Smyrna. He tells about his own role in the dramatic events in the years 1794-1795, when the old Republic collapses. He describes the battle at Kamperduijn in 1797, which he experienced as an officer, and reports on the surrender to the English of the escadre in 1799 at the Vlieter. Hardly any personal reports are known for this crucial period in the Netherlands' history. Fascinating is the relay of Kolff's escape from imprisonment because of the supposed high treason and 'Orange' mindedness during the Vlieter incident. However there are also lighter moments: his friendship with the elephants Hans and Parkie on board of his ship to be transported from Ceylon to the menagerie of Prince William of Orange. And his amazement of the speedy rise to higher ranks in the political top of his protegees of lower ranks.

Note that the biography is available in Dutch language only.

Vincent A.J. Klooster and Dirk H.A. Kolff (ed.), "Driftig van spraak, levendig van gang: herinneringen van marineofficier D.H. Kolff (1761-1835)".
Walburg Pers, 2011, 240 p.

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Interview Kolff/Klooster Amsterdam FM Radio 'Graven aan de Amstel', 4 Dec. 2011, 12h00, Amsterdam FM Radio (in Dutch) Listen to this interview > (new screen)