Place: Nebraska, VS

te Selle, Harmen Jan (1844-1919)


Harmen Jan te Selle (1844-1919) werd geboren op boerderij “De Selle”, in de Winterswijkse buurtschap het Woold in Nederland. Hij en zijn broer Jan Hendrik te Selle (1838-1921) emigreerden in 1865 samen naar Wisconsin. Eerst woonden ze een korte tijd bij hun tante Janna en oom Gerrit Bloemers in de buurt van Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Binnen een paar jaar verhuisden de broers vanuit Wisconsin naar Lancaster County in de staat Nebraska, waar ze landbouwgrond verwierven krachtens de Homestead Act. Ze stichtten daar hun gezinnen en bleven er voor de rest van hun leven.

Redenen om te emigreren


Waarom naar Amerika? Het antwoord op deze vraag kan niet beter gegeven worden dan door Harmen Jan te Selle die in 1865, daags na het trouwen van zijn broer Jan Hendrik, met deze broer en zijn nieuwe schoonzus naar Oom Bloemers in Wisconsin vertrekt. Op 12 april 1869 schrijft hij naar Winterswijk: [quote]”Nog een klijn… Read more »

Brieven uit Amerika, 1865-1911


(Ga naar de Brievenlijst) De 35 brieven die van Amerika naar Nederland gestuurd werden verschaffen ons een boeiende kijk op de levens van de drie gebroeders Te Selle die vanuit Winterswijk in Nederland naar de Verenigde Staten emigreerden. Zij vestigden zich eerst in Wisconsin en wat later in Nebraska. De brieven waren in de eerste… Read more »

ten Damme, Dela (1802-1883)


Dela te Selle-ten Damme was van geboorte geen Te Selle, maar werd dat door haar huwelijk met Jan Albert te Selle (1800-1845) Dela’s echtgenoot overleed 45 jaar oud en liet Dela achter met de zorg voor en de opvoeding van zeven jonge knapen in de leeftijd van 1 tot 18 jaar. Toen de jongens opgroeiden werd Dela tenslotte ook nog eens gedwongen haar gezin te verplaatsen van boerderij “De Selle” naar boerderij “Fökkink”. Banen waren schaars in de omgeving van Winterswijk en daarom besloten haar drie jongste zonen naar Amerika te emigreren, waar zij als boer betere toekomstmogelijkheden vonden en gelukkige, voorspoedige gezinnen in Nebraska stichtten. Dela te Selle-ten Damme had een stevige invloed op haar zeven Te Selle-zonen en – als wij dit ruimer willen zien een diepgaand effect op honderden van haar Te Selle-nakomelingen, zowel in Nederland als in de Verenigde Staten.

Brief 14


Enter Dutch translations of Excerpt here……..

Brief 11


Enter Dutch Translation of Excerpt here (copy Summary)……..
Jan Hendrik writes to his mother and brothers in some detail about the livestock, crop yields, and prices. He also itemizes some of his clever transactions to acquire livestock and machinery. He clearly seems proud of his accomplishments. He mentions his three young children, and a fourth child born that year who survived only a few months. Jan Hendrik asks about the health of his mother, whom he says is “al zoo Ver Op hare Dagen.”

Brief 10


Enter Dutch Translation of Summary here (copy from Summary)……..

More than a year has passed since the last letter we have from Harmen Jan te Selle. (He may have written others, but none are preserved in our collection.) During that year, Harmen Jan has moved his family from Wisconsin to Lancaster County, Nebraska, near his brother Jan Hendrik. He doesn’t mention any details of the move, which suggests that he may have described it in an earlier missing letter. In addition to moving to Nebraska, Harmen Jan and Berendina Aleida have a new young son, William, born 23 September, 1871.

Apparently the crops were good, except for wheat. However, Harmen Jan’s crops did not yield as much as other farmers, since he planted late. This suggests that he may have moved to Nebraska too late to prepare the ground and get his crops in as early as he should have. As always, when the crops do very well, the prices fall. As Harmen Jan says, “We have here an overabundance of life supplies, but making money is not the best.”

Harmen Jan alludes to the precarious conditions in the new Nebraska territory, where good health and prosperity can never be taken for granted. He tells the story of his neighbor, Niklaas Vandervelde, who lost his house, crops, livestock, and worst of all his oldest daughter to a sudden prairie fire!

Brief 8-a


Enter Dutch translation of Excerpt here (copy from Summary)….
Harmen Jan is replying to a letter he received from his mother and brothers on July 3, happily noting that all his family in Winterswijk is well. He says that he forwarded the letter immediately to his brother, Jan Hendrik, who had moved to Nebraska in March 1870.
Harmen Jan reports that the weather and the crop yields have been wonderful this year, but that has caused the prices to drop. Day laborers are well paid for their work, better than in Holland. However, Harmen Jan seems to discourage farmers in Holland who are thinking about coming to Wisconsin to buy a farm. Land is scarce and expensive, so the farmer may be better off staying at home.

Brief 9


Need Dutch translation of Excerpt here (same as Summary)….
Jan Hendrik te Selle wants to assure his family back in the Netherlands that the new territory of Nebraska is safe and prosperous. He describes the rich soil and extensive grassland. He explains the good profit he made by selling his Wisconsin land, and then moving to Nebraska, where he could get 80 acres of land for free, just by occupying and farming it for 5 years. He sounds very pleased with his decision to leave Wisconsin, and to venture southwest to Nebraska.