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A letter of Cornelia Maaike van Malsen Vande Luister [she had been married to Jannis Vande Luister on September 11 by Albertus C. Van Raalte] to her parents, brothers, and sister, about many family matters because she had heard from her parents on November 12. She then gave a report on life in the Van Raalte family: I am still in the household of Rev. Van Raalte but am going to my own house this week. The pastor and his wife are my dear friends; we have very much in common. The Lord grant that I may find grace in the in the eyes of the people. All three of us (the minister, his wife, and I) are writing to the Netherlands. It is nine o'clock in the evening. The dear little ones are in bed. The two smallest—Christina, a dear little girl of about two and Dirk, a lad of four, call me "aunt"; they are all fond of me. I will have the youngest for fourteen days as soon as he is weaned. Benjamin is seven; then comes Mina, nine; and Albertus, who is eleven years old. Arie, you should see how neatly those boys can chop wood. They all have little axes, even little Dirk... We have already been with this good family for three months... During the winter months our English teacher comes to instruct both the children and the adults, especially in English. The minister and his wife pray constantly for a God-fearing teacher... (Van Raalte) has so much to do that I often feel sorry for him. She is also urging her parents to come to America and gives them advice about the trip and what they need to take.
Holland, Ottawa County, Michigan
Reprinted from "America" Letters From Holland, edited by John Yzenbaard, which appeared in Michigan History, a publication of the Historical Society of Michigan, Vol. 32 No. 1, March 1948. hsmichigan.org
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van Malsen Vander Luister, Cornelia Maaike, "Letter from Cornelia Maaike van Malsen Vander Luister to Her Parents, Brothers, and Sister" (1847). Van Raalte Papers: 1840-1849. 133.