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Klaas Schuiling, Manhattan (Montana)

Sjouke Johannes Hoogland, St. Annaparochie

Engelse vertaling
Naamloos document

Frisian emigrants 27.
Schuiling family to the Hoogland family and
Hoogland to Schuiling.

Manhattan, March 31, 1910.
Dear br[other] and sister,

We have a very nice Spring here and an early one too according to other years.
First of all, thank you very much for your information about the mare.
I am very sorry that I cannot bring it to the stallion any longer, but I don’t want to risk it again.
This year we have 5 others we can, last Winter I bought another 3 mares, because one can make money out of horse breeding here.
On your question if I earned every year 1000 dollars by farming, I have to say no.
But the land is so much higher in price now, that if we should sell everything these days than I think we, generally, would have earned 1000 dollars each year.
The education for the children is very, very poor here.
Next May our children will go to the Christian school which is 5 miles from here.
Even I think about joining myself in the Christian parish here and I’ll ask you, as secretary of the Mennonite parish in Oudebildtzijl, to strike me off the list as a member.
I can, after inquiry of the Holy Scripture, myself no longer unite in the present Mennonites.
However I possess just a few scriptures of Menno Simons, I do not believe that, what is proclaimed these days, is the teaching of Menno.
However he proclaimed: Your yes be yes and your no no, and do not swear. He also proclaimed: Who believed and was baptized will be blessed, but who did not believe will be damned.
What is meant is: who does not believe in Jesus as his Saviour, he will be damned.
And I am not even baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!
Well br[other] and s[ister] I hope that you also will inquire profoundly the Holy Scripture, I think that there is no other way than that you must come to the conviction that the Mennonites went astray.
Because if you can ascertain what the first [people] were willing to give for their faith and you’ll compare it with the present days I think than Oudebildtzijl must be today, where so many rich farmers are members of the parish, not a poor but a rich parish.
Now it is my time to go to bed, the others already are there.
Be hearty greeted from your loving brother Klaas.

April 19, 1910 [striked out]
Dear br[other] and sister,

I am writing you now because Sj[ouke] holds a meeting and because I cannot agree with your letter, namely that we went astray as Klaas wrote.
It may be right but we don’t see it like that yet.
Today I happened to find my theme book in the bookcase, in which the theme’s are written of the year before I was confirmed as a member of the church.
If I read that again I still can agree with that.
The last sentence of that theme is: We then are Mennonites because we acknowledge that Mennonites try to follow and to fulfill the principles of Jesus as much as possible, thus to found a realm of God and we also feel that it is our duty to achieve this object with Him.
But Klaas would it really matter in which kind of parish we join, among all of them there are the good and the bad.
Does Geertje think like you do about this or doesn’t she.
I have never thought that you would leave the Mennonites when you once joined them, but people are living by changes.
Does Geertje agree with you that the children go to another school or do you force that through now you think that will be better.
I don’t want to interfere in that, but would not like it, when because of your will everything has to be changed which is, in my opinion, not a good and a free principle.
But I absolutely don’t want to have a dispute about a religious principle, everyone has to decide this himself, I think we are old enough to do so.
I like to enclose this song, I always liked it and I hope I will keep it, it is written in our commemorative book which we received when we were baptized on our confirmation and I always know it by heart.

I am baptized!

I am baptized! In God’s community
To accept the struggle against the evil;
To shun what is mean and sinful.
With wish and will, by word and deed;
To remember the loving truth;
To do what is honest and pure.
That is the task of Jesus youngsters
The work of who are Christians/in Christ.

I am baptized! A noble vocation
Is entrusted to me from now on;
To be a beam of the world’s light;
A grain of the keeping salt.
Love called me to serve her;
Devotion beckoned, I bowed my head;
And to the banner of the crucified have,
Pledged my hand, promised my true/loyalty.

I am baptized! The water drop
Dries soon, evaporates quickly.
If in the middle of the world
My word so quickly forgotten was?
Oh Lord, please knock on my soul;
Remember me to what I professed,
And teach me to renew in shame
The right choice, I made today.

Now something else, Geertje why didn’t you write a letter with it about your household.
I guess you always can write about that, there is no one else there you can talk to about that.
Please write us about that, we are always happy to get a letter from you too!
This week we’ll start spring-cleaning, wardrobes, clothes etc.
Ytje has a new gray coat and skirt and she also will get a new dress.
Johannes has to become a soldier next month, so he don’t need new clothes.
We will get back our old maid again as a day-maid, this year she lives with Arjen and Jitsche but she’ll leave them.
I guess most because Arjen drinks a lot and she don’t like that.
My paper is full, be all hearty greeted from your sister Klaaske.