Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Michælius, Jonas

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MICHÆLIUS, Jonas, clergyman, b. in 1577; d. in Holland after 1638. He was educated at the University of Leyden, and was settled as a clergyman in Holland in 1612-'16, in San Salvador in 1624-'5, and in Guinea in 1626-'7. He came to New Amsterdam in 1628, and was thus the first minister of the Dutch Reformed church in this country. He organized a consistory, and administered the sacraments, but returned to Holland in a few years, probably before the arrival of his successor, Rev. Everardus Bogardus, in 1633. His wife died in New Amsterdam shortly after his arrival. The classis of Amsterdam wished to send Michælius back to this country in 1637, but he did not return. It was long supposed that Bogardus was the first Reformed church clergyman in this country, but the precedence of Michælius was established by a letter from him to Rev. Adrian Smoutius, dated New Amsterdam, 11 Aug., 1628, which was recently found in the Dutch archives at the Hague. In this letter he describes the degraded state of the natives, and proposes to educate their children without trying to redeem the parents. Michælius's letter is printed in an appendix to Mary L. Booth's “History of the City of New York” (New York, 1859).