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A letter of Cornelis van Malsen to his family and relatives, telling them about the safe arrival in America. The ocean trip took thirty-three days, a fact which his sister had not related. When they left Vlissingen on May 4, "We estimated that about a thousand emigrants left Vlissingen with us." p. 39. They arrived in New York June 6. They reached Holland June 26. As for finding work, "Yesterday we sent a group of laborers and servant girls to the little city of Kalamazoo and there they were received with open arms." p. 42. He adds, "Rev. Van Raalte has much courage. I am happy that I can be of service to him." p. 44. The letter is full of information about the trip and exudes the fervent piety of the writer.




Holland, Ottawa County, Michigan


Translated and edited by John Yzenbaard and published in MICHIGAN HISTORY, volume 32, March 1948, number 1, pp. 37 ff. under the title of "America" Letters from Holland."

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 Cornelis van Malsen to His Family and Relatives