Fulfilling God’s Mission

The Two Worlds of Dominie Everardus Bogardus, 1607-1647


This biography recalls the fascinating life of the second Reformed minister of New Amsterdam (present-day New York), Everardus Bogardus, a poor but gifted youth who worked himself upward into the ministry. The first part of the book provides an in-depth analysis of his mystical experience as a 15-year old orphan in his hometown Woerden (Holland) and its significance in the Dutch context. The second part explores Bogardus’s agency in the colonial context and his appropriation of his new fatherland - as a minister among the Europeans, the Native Americans, and the blacks, as a spokesman of the opposition during Kieft’s War, and as a colonist married to the famous Anneke Jans. This biography is conceived as a mentality history of an early modern male individual.

Fulfilling God’s Mission: The Two Worlds of Dominie Everardus Bogardus, 1607-1647 has been granted the 2008 Hendrick's Award.
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Biographical Note

Willem Frijhoff (*1942), Ph.D. in History (1981), was Research Assistant in Religious Anthropology at the EHESS in Paris (France), and Professor of Cultural History at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam. He is now Professor Emeritus of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. He has published extensively on French and Dutch cultural and religious history, including Embodied Belief: Ten Essays on Religious Culture in Dutch History (2002), and 1650: Hard-Won Unity (2004).

Review Quotes

This study is austere in its avoidance of general conclusions, but exceptionally rich in detail.
James D. Tracy, H-Atlantic (August, 2011)

"I have no hesitation in calling this book brilliant. [...} It is a must-read (and re-read) book."
Jaap Jacobs, de Halve Maen: Journal of The Holland Society of New York, Summer 2008, 37 p.

"Frijhoff is erin geslaagd een inhoudelijk sterk levensverhaal over Bogaert tes schrijven, dat op de boekenplank thuishoort van eenieder die zich serieus bezighoudt met de vroegste geschiedenis van de Nederlands-Amerikaanse betrekkingen."
Enne Koops, Transparant, Jaargang 20, nr. 1-09, p. 53.

Table of contents

List of Illustrations

- A Little Spiritual Song
- The Mystical Experience

1. A Child without Parents
2. Evert’s World
3. An Orphan in Woerden
4. Words, Sounds, Images
5. Election
6. Body Language
7. Deliverance
8. Recognition

Intermezzo: Reaching Maturity
9. Comforter of the Sick in Mouri

10. A Minister in Manhattan
11. A New Netherland Family
12. Confrontations
13. War
14. Responsibilities
15. Mission Work
16. Taking Stock

Epilogue: The Anneke Jans Story

Appendix. Relatives by Blood and Marriage of Evert Willemsz Bogaert



Those interested in early modern biography, history of spirituality, history of education, colonial history, Atlantic history, New York history, ethnic history, and the descendants of Anneke Jans and Everardus Bogardus .


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