Download Full Text (350 KB)


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


Description of the document and reference to Michigan History by Dr. Elton J. Bruins.

About the collection:

Elton J. Bruins, long-time professor in the Department of Religion at Hope College, spent years collecting documents by and about Albertus C. Van Raalte, founder of Holland, Michigan and early patron of Hope College. Documents were gathered from dozens of public and private collections, making a nearly exhaustive collection of Van Raalte's writings and reflections. It is these documents that make up the "Van Raalte Papers."

Digitizing the Van Raalte papers was supported by the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York. The project was done in partnership with Heritage Hall at Calvin University, which also digitized its Van Raalte collections.


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.


This digitized material is intended for personal research/study only. The original documents may not be reproduced for commercial use in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from Michigan History.

Letter from Cornelia Maaike van Malsen Vander Luister to Her Parents, Brothers, and Sister