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A letter of C. M. van Malsen to her parents in the Netherlands reporting on the trip to America made by her brother, Cornelis, and herself. Their ship left port on May 4. She does not say on what date they arrived in New York but it took 20 days to get from New York to Holland, Michigan. "We are now at our destination, a colony which numbers about a thousand people. You can imagine that we endure many hardships in a wild forest. Many are living in log houses but many still find themselves in huts made of foliage. Forty of us, large and small, are living together." p. 46. "Rev. Van Raalte and his wife prefer to have me live with my brother here, for the minister would like to have Cornelis remain here; we are on very good terms with the pastor and his wife. A structure is to be erected here which is to serve, at first as a church and school." p. 47.




Holland, Ottawa County, Michigan


Translated and edited by John Yzenbaard, and published in MICHIGAN HISTORY, volume 32, March, 1948, number 1.

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 C. M. van Malsen to Her Parents