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In a letter to his mother, Mrs. Albertus C. Van Raalte, her son, Ben, wrote that he was happy to learn that his father was getting better. However, he is very hurt that a rumour was going around that he did not shoot at the rebels and accuses Doesburg of the rumour. He witnessed a negro auction. Dirk is fine. He hopes to get more letters. Since he could not finish the letter on the 9th, he finished it on the 10th.




Bowling Green, Kentucky


Reviewed and corrected by Nella Kennedy, November, 2007, who noted that Ben had several misspelled words; Translated by Clarence Jalving.

Description of the document and reference to the National Archives of the Netherlands 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 National Archives of the Netherlands.


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 the National Archives of the Netherlands.

Ben Van Raalte Wrote a Letter to His Mother