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Dutch Immigration of 1847-52

The story of Dutch immigration to the U. S. in the 19th century is unique. I won't recount the entire tale here, because you can read the complete history of this immigration and migration online in the 1912 book "The Hollanders of Iowa" by Jacob Vander Zee.

But certain aspects of it are very important to understanding the "what, why, how, and where" of the Kallemeyn immigration and settlement.

For the most part, the Hollanders came to the U. S. as members of "Emigrant Associations", organized in the old country for the sole purpose of facilitating the movement of groups of disaffected citizens to locations in the New World. Another factor that set them apart from the main stream of landless peasants and impoverished laborers heading to America from Europe at the time, was that the exodus was organized by well-to-do Hollanders, and included large numbers of the Dutch middle class.

Of particular interest to us is the migration that took place in 1847-52 and resulted in the settlement of Pella, Marion County, Iowa, and the surrounding vicinity. The first KALLEMEYN immigrant was a member of this group of 700+ families.

In October of 1846 a small group representing an emigrant association formed by H. P. Scholte in the Dutch province of South Holland set out to explore settlement opportunities in Iowa. Their trip resulted in a group of approximately 800 immigrants leaving the Netherlands in April of 1847, bound for Marion County, Iowa. More followed the next summer. Another large group, consisting of about 250 individuals, came in 1849. Others continued to arrive during the 1850's and then slowed to a trickle during the early 1860's.

With the end of the American Civil War in 1865, Dutch immigration to the Iowa colony took another jump. Faced with a shortage of available land in the area of the Pella settlements, the Hollanders mounted an expedition to find suitable area to handle the overflow. They decided upon an area in Sioux County in far northwestern Iowa, where good land could still be had at reasonable prices. The result was a second Dutch colony where some of the original settlers from Marion county and many new arrivals subsequently located.

As we will see, the movements, and probably the motivations, of the Kallemeyn family paralleled these general Hollander trends.


Ka.Web.04 Rev 28 Dec 2003