Jurgen Willems DeJong Came to Lafayette,
Indiana in 1847 with this wife and small son. This is a letter he
wrote to friends in Friesland shortly after his arrival. He and
his son died around 1850. Sitske, his wife, latter married Pieter
Alderts and had another family. My most estimates, Jurgen and
Sytske have over 1000 descendants today:
Well, friends! I can tell you, that the voyage was not very tasty;
because the last fourteen days we did not have food, after that only
dry bread and white peas in stinking water. The 30th of June we were on
the Hudson-river on our way to New-York and hence to Albany with a
steamboat and on a canal boat to Buffalo. From Buffalo to Toledo we
crossed Lake Erie and saw only water. We arrived the 21st of July at
Lafayette, where we found a lodging, where we paid 1 dollar for one
night. The next morning we looked up W. Beukma which arranged a house
for us for 8 dollars a month. After a month we rented a house and J. de
Bildt and I are working on the brickfactory of Beukma's brother-in-law.
We receive 12 dollars a month. Who is understanding the language, well
he receives much more money.
In November an accident did happen with the cutting down of trees, but
the wound is healing successfully. We don't need to eat only dry bread,
because the people here did slaughter 25066 pigs during the last
winter, and when you go to theslaughters house, you can take all the
meat surplus, because they throw it for the dogs and pigs.
At our arrival at Lafayette, and also some time afterwards I was very
concerned about Sytske and the little boy, because they were weak and
ill and had charge of enormous diarrhea. But now they are healthy again
and are eating much bacon.
S.S. DE BILDT.