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Dirk B. K. Van Raalte wrote to his father, Rev. Albertus C. Van Raalte, who was in Pella, Iowa, at this time. (Strangely enough, Dirk writes the number 28 above the number 19.) There seems to be an indication in the letter that Mrs. Christina Van Raalte went along with the pastor to Pella. Dirk gives his father a report on what he is doing. Frank, the horse, is misbehaving in the stable. Dirk would like to receive a black silk tie for his birthday which falls on 1 March. Dirk has good handwriting but complains his writing is not good due to the poor pens he has to use for writing. Dirk is at the academy evidently because he speaks about doing his school work. At the conclusion of his letter he is asking his father if he got a call from the "Theological Seminary." This is curious because theological education had not yet been established in Holland. Could this be a reference about a possible call from the Theological Seminary at New Brunswick, New Jersey?




Holland, Michigan


In Dutch; retranslation by Nella Kennedy, May 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.

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