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Rev. Albertus C. Van Raalte wrote this letter to his son, Dirk, who is serving in the Civil War and working in a hospital. The letter does not indicate where Dirk is stationed. Van Raalte advises his son to observe the patients carefully and to learn as much as he can about illnesses and medicine as Van Raalte himself has done. Van Raalte says, "You know that I am sort of a half-doctor and therefore can give you good counsel."




Holland, Michigan


In Dutch; the first translator is unknown. Nella Kennedy made a transcription of the letter and revised the translation, January, 2007.

Description of the document and reference to the collection at Calvin College Archives 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.


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.

Letter from A. C. Van Raalte to Dirk Van Raalte