Biographical Sketches of Mennonite and Collegiant Revolutionaries in the Netherlands, 1780-1815

Biographical Sketches of Mennonite and Collegiant Revolutionaries in the Netherlands, 1780-1815

I’m planning more posts about the following politically significant figures, about whom little is known in the non-Dutch-reading world. For now, the links to Dutch and English sources (Biografisch Portaal van Nederland and the Global Anabaptist-Mennonite Encyclopedia Online, plus a few others when appropriate) will serve as a start.

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Maria Aletta Hulshoff (1781-1846)

Maria Aletta Hulshoff (1781-1846)

Updated: Dec. 2022

Maria Aletta Hulshoff (1781-1846), daughter of the significant Dutch philosopher and Mennonite preacher, Allard Hulshoff, was (like her father) an ardent supporter of democracy. Among her writings was the Peace-republicans’ manual; or, The French constitution of 1793, and the Declaration of the rights of man and of citizens, according to the Moniteur of June 27th, 1793; in the original French, together with a translation in English (New York, 1817).

Title page of Hulshoff’s 1817 book.

Other sources in English include the following:

A biography in Dutch is available in the Vrouwenlexicon online. Go to for more details. In Dutch, also see André Hanou’s notes at

Welcome to the Dutch Dissenters Blog!

Under construction (Oct. 2017)

This is the opening post for a new blog about research on Dutch religious and political nonconformity before 1850. The purpose of the blog is to highlight the research of Prof. Mike Driedger and his colleagues. We are using the online medium because of the visual and interactive options that it offers.

There are three rotating banner images…

The first…

The second…

Another features a Dutch political cartoon from the mid 1780s.

Anon-FAvdKemp-RijksmuseumIn the centre of the cartoon is a caricature of François Adriaan van der Kemp, a preacher in the Mennonite (Doopsgezind) congregation of Leiden. Van der Kemp was a leading member of the Dutch Republic’s “Patriot” movement of the 1780s. The Patriots movement opposed what its members thought was Orange family tyranny. Although van der Kemp led a congregation of Mennonites, who traditionally rejected the use of violence, he himself acted as the captain of a group of citizen-soldiers who were prepared to defended the Patriot revolt against threats from Orangists. The Patriot movement collapsed in 1787 when faced with a foreign invasion in support of the Orange regime.

The image is from the Rijksmuseum collection in Amsterdam. Its title is “Spotprent op de Leidse predikant F.A. van der Kemp, 1786: Der Hedendaagsche Cantzel Huzaaren” (Caricature of the Leiden Preacher F.A. van der Kemp, 1786: Today’s Pulpit Militiaman). It is available online in high-def format as part of the Museum’s Rijksstudio project. The object number is RP-P-OB-85.549.