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Dr. Albertus C. Van Raalte wrote a lengthy letter of an autobiographical nature to his nephew, Simon van Velzen, Jr. in which he speaks very openly about his sorrow for not being admitted to the ministry in the Reformed orHervormde Kerk of the Netherlands in which his father had ministered his entire life. "I myself hate it that I can no longer enter the pulpits of my father, to have become a disgrace to my still-living mother and for my family." The letter gives great insight into Van Raalte's thinking at this time in his life. The letter was published in the 1863 edition of Compleete uitgave van de officieele stukken betreffende den uitgang uit het Nederl. Hen,. Kerkgenootschap van de Leeraren H. P. Scholte, A. Brummelkamp, S. van Velzen, G. F. Gezelle Meerburgen Dr. A. C. van Raalte, Kampen, 1884, pp. 531-545.




Holland, Michigan


In Dutch; translation in the archives of Calvin College. A recent translation was made by Nella Kennedy in December of 2006.

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.

Dr. Albertus C. Van Raalte Wrote a Lengthy Letter of an Autobiographical Nature to His Nephew, Simon van Velzen, Jr.