Letter 24

Date (sent): 23 May 1882
Writer: Harmen Jan te Selle
Place: Firth, Lancaster County, Nebraska
Addressee: Mrs. Dela ten Damme te Selle and Derk Willem te Selle
Address (sent to): Fökkink, Winterswijk, Netherlands


  • Harmen Jan is pleased with everyone's good health.
  • Mother Dela does not always receive the newspapers that HJ has sent.
  • Once again brother Derk Willem has made a trip to Rotterdam, because he has become an agent of the Rotterdam Steamship Line.
  • Harmen Jan advises him to advertise in Germany and offers to write something for the Winterswijk Newspaper (Winterswijkse Courant)
  • HJ has heard from Uncle Bloemers, and everyone there is healthy, also.
  • HJ asks about Hendrik Jan, his older brother still in the Netherlands

Firth      May 23, 1882

Highly regarded mother and brother with your children: we let you know that we all are well and healthy. We wish you the same. Also, we received your letter of April 8, and note therein that you are still well.  Yes, it is a great treasure to have health and the necessities. These two together is what we need.  Because as far as the human house is concerned, gold and silver would not be enough and would make us poor, and to miss health, what would silver or gold avail.  Let us be thankful that the Lord has given us health, and the daily bread that comes from His hand.

I note from your writing that you do not always receive the newspaper regularly. I have talked to the publisher about the sending. He says that he sends it out regularly. Then the fault must be with the post office that they take note, perhaps they think it is only a paper. And the postmasters are not always too honest, as you also have seen yourself in Rotterdam.

And talking about Rotterdam, I see Brother you have had quite an outing in your old age, so we say.  I do believe that something new was the large cities and the large buildings, the ships with their innumerable masts. We looked up against that when we came to Rotterdam, but later here in America, it was no news to us. In Wisconsin we saw such almost every day.  But now we are so far inland and see them now no more.

I see that you have become an agent for that company. Possibly that can bring in something, mainly from the side of Germany. Now you will have to advertise some times in the German newspapers which are published in Südlohn or Stadtlohn. That would reward your efforts.

And if I find a fitting time, I will write a piece for the Winterswijk newspaper. Either about the whole of America or about this state of Nebraska. That would be of any help and that is something people asked me to do many times, even by our former teacher, because I did so before on request of the newspapers which are published here. But I never did this for the Dutch newspapers. Now I drop this subject.

We have especially cold, bleak and unpleasant weather here this spring. A lot of cold rain. For the corn such is not so good, because that loves warm weather. Wheat stands very nice, so also rye and oats. The corn is extremely expensive, yet never before was so high. And so are hogs and horn cattle. Butter and eggs are a little lower. Yesterday I had a letter from G.W. Bloemers. All are well too. Janna te Brummelstroete is still living, she was I believe already 93 years old. Sincere greetings from us all.

Your loving son and brother, H. J. Te Selle


Let us know someday how things are with Hendrik Jan. I am curious about that. As far as Jan Hendrik and Gerrit Jan is concerned: everybody is still healthy.

Harmen Jan