De Haas studied in Rotterdam and at The Hague before emigrating to the United States in 1854. He settled in New York City and had a studio at the 10th Street Studio Building.
De Haas is best known for his costal scenes, many of the coast of Maine. He did paint landscapes as well. He exhibited at the National Academy of Design from 1867 to 1880. During the same time period, he exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association.
In 1867, he exhibited On the Saco, New Hampshire at the National Academy.
He was sometimes referred to as William Frederick Haas.