Money problemsOf course, not all immigrants were happy in Michigan. Sometimes they wanted to go back to the Netherlands. However, that wasn't possible for most. They spent their last money on the journey to Michigan, or had borrowed it, so they were very poor when they arrived here.
AcceptIn proportion, only a few immigrants went back to the Netherlands. Those who stayed, however, often created their own version of the Netherlands on Michigan soil, never truly accepting American ways.
Van RaalteEven Van Raalte experienced nostalgia. As the unavoidable disappointments of life increased, he started to desire returning to the Netherlands. He wished to see farmiliar places and friends. Early problems in the foundation of his colony tested his determination. America was so big and it was very different from where he had lived most of his life.
No Real American
Writings about the NetherlandsThe Dutch immigrants remarked that they would never be real Americans. They would always be considered strange by the other Americans. They still wanted to have news of their family, villages of birth, harvests, and even the weather in the Netherlands.
Jacobus Petersen complained that his family wrote so little:
"I understand from your letters that the Netherlands is exactly the same as when I left it, because you don't write me about something. The time certainly changed, because it had to be winter there, and you do not write about coldness or from ice or something else so I think that the Netherlands are still the same as when I left it, otherwise you should write something or Brother Willem does not want to write because he only sent a half part of a paper, on the other side he could report something. But I was glad that he did not write any complaints about the winter..."
Known...Some Dutch settlers asked people to bring some Dutch products with them, like tobacco or pipes, before they left the Netherlands. They also asked if everything was still as they remembered in their homes:
"Mother, is it still the habit at your's, coocking and cook baking, and on New Year's Eve you still eat meat?"