Beginning in 1845 and continuing for a decade, groups of Dutch began emigrating to America. Entire neighborhoods and religious groups numbering upwards of twenty-thousand people emigrated en masse. Much like the Irish potato famine of the in the same era, the Nederlanders were spurred on towards America because of an agricultural crisis. Families were seeking economic betterment but also many were in revolt against the state sponsored Dutch Reformed Church. Most publicized were the uprootings of entire congregations of Seceders led by their dominies (pastors). Some one-thousand followers of Dominie Albert Van Raalte located in southwestern Michigan on the wooded shores of Lake Michigan, in a settlement called Holland. Dominie Hendrik Peter Scholte took his congregation of nine-hundred to the rolling prairies of central Iowa and founded the community of Pella. And Dominie Peter Zonne arrived in Milwaukee, where he preached to the Hollanders there, who had no minister.
To be continued…