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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?
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.
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Van Raalte, Dirk B.K. and Kennedy, Nella, "Letter from Dirk B. K. Van Raalte to A. C. Van Raalte" (1861). Van Raalte Papers: 1860-1869. 89.