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A letter of the Rev. Adrian Zwemer to his family in Zeeland Province, the Netherlands, reporting on his family's life in America. It is a very full letter of interesting comments such as comments about his education in the Holland Academy where he studied for two and one half years in preparation for the ministry. Upon the advice of Van Raalte, he got a dispensation from studying at the seminary and was ordained by the Holland Classis. He then gives his view of the secession of 1857. Rev. Klijn realized he made a mistake in joining the secession. There is a small secessionist group in Vriesland who do nothing but quarrel. The Vriesland church called him and he was ordained on April 18, 1858. He gives a description of Vriesland and its people. He also writes about the Classis and its work. When the Classis met in Milwaukee, he met David Lankester who traveled to America on the same ship he did. He met other Zeeland people in Wisconsin. He also gives a brief overview of the Reformed Church in America. Life in Vriesland is interesting. There are still wolves and bears around.




Vriesland, Michigan


Translation by Harry Boonstra.

Description of the document and reference to the Gereformeerde Kerken, Stadsarchief Rotterdam, 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.


Stadsarchief Rotterdam, Archief Gereformeerde Kerken


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 Stadsarchief Rotterdam.

Letter from Adrian Zwemer to His Family in the Netherlands