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Envisioning Hope College Envisioning Hope College

Letters written by Albertus C. Van Raalte to Phillip Phelps, Jr. 1857 to 1875

by Bruins, Elton J.

The correspondence between the Reformed Dutch immigrant colony's leader and the first president of Hope College in Holland, Michigan, is sequentially placed in its historical context. Richly footnoted, it offers an intimate view of Van Raalte as he seeks funding for his college from the Dutch Reformed Church in the east, as well as insights into his pioneer community in the midst of conflagration and war. “The correspondence "opens a window on the ethnic island that was Holland in the 1860s and 1870s, the impact of the Civil War, congregational life, social and economic challenges, and the devastating 1871 fire that destroyed two-thirds of the town." – Robert P. Swierenga, A. C. Van Raalte Research Professor and Adjunct Professor of History "These letters are about life and blood, hardship and perseverance, but also about inspiration and love. Amazing how this man in such poor health and engaging so much opposition, stuck to his ideal of Christian higher education for Holland. He belongs to the rare historical figures who not only envisioned a better future, but also realized it with their own hands." - George Harinck, Directeur Historisch Documentatiecentrum , VU University Amsterdam "These ninety-four letters document a unique and deep friendship between a recent Dutch immigrant in Michigan and a member of the Eastern establishment. . . . This accessible manuscript shows how a well educated European immigrant quickly learned the American way of fundraising and kept up morale in this stressful pioneer phase. These letters, moreover, enter the inner feelings of a vulnerable immigrant leader whose lamentation----'What a mingling of sweet bitter is life'----bears witness to the burden of his grand visions on his life." - Hans Krabbendam, Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg, the Netherlands

Hardcover, 556 pages, illustrated, bibliography, appendices, index, extensive footnotes

USD 48.95 / CAD 59.95

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