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A rare letter written by Mrs. Christina Johanna Van Raalte to her son Dirk who presumably is with his brother Ben in camp at Kalamazoo. She advises Dirk to sew his name in his handkerchiefs and in anything else he may buy. If he doesn't come home, he is to send the key of his desk to her. Daughters Christina and Maria hope to visit him during the summer but it is not clear when Dirk enlisted. Dirk has been assigned hospital duty. She admonishes him to "flee freely with all your sins to the atoning blood...." She closes her letter by writing, "Having embraced you in my thoughts I am your loving mother, C. J. Van Raalte."
The original documents are held in the Albertus C. Van Raalte Collection (M300) or the Dirk B.K. Van Raalte Collection (M301) in Heritage Hall, Hekman Library, Calvin University, Grand Rapids, MI. The Van Raalte material in Heritage Hall has since been reorganized.
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 Heritage Hall at Calvin University. Contact the Curator at Heritage Hall.
Van Raalte, C. J. and Kennedy, Nella, "Letter from C. J. Van Raalte to Dirk Van Raalte" (1862). Van Raalte Papers: 1860-1869. 127.