Download Full Text (7.3 MB)


A letter of the Rev. Albertus C. Van Raalte to the Rev. John H. Karsten, pastor of the Alto Reformed Church, Waupun, Wisconsin, a prominent minister in the Reformed Church in America, graduate of the Holland Academy, Rutgers College, and the Theological Seminary at New Brunswick, New Jersey, in which Van Raalte discusses several issues with Karsten. One is concerning a check from the Alto Church which was made payable to the General Synod rather than the Treasurer of Hope College. There is also an issue in the Classis of Wisconsin concerning the education of older men who wish to enter the ministry. Should their course of study be shortened? [Check the minutes of the Classis of Wisconsin of that year to determine the exact nature of that discussion.] Another issue is the apparent desire of the Classis of Wisconsin to train ministers in the Dutch language because they will be serving the Dutch immigrant congregations. V.R. responds: "The administrators should realize that the transition to English will soon happen among our young people, and if we are unable to train ministers who can preach sound sermons in English—especially the American towns—the young will quickly lose their respect for our ministers." V.R. who knew Karsten well, signs his letter as Brother A. C. Van Raalte and adds the postscript, "My wife's health has not improved. It is a lengthy and wasting suffering..."




Holland, Michigan


In Dutch: transcription and translation by Simone Kennedy.

Description of the document and reference to The Joint Archives of Holland 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 Joint Archives of Holland.


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 Joint Archives of Holland.

A Letter of the Rev. Albertus C. Van Raalte to the Rev. John H. Karsten