Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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VAN NIEUWENHUYSEN, Wilhelmus, clergyman, born in Holland about 1645; died in New York city, 17 February, 1681. He came to this country in 1671 as an assistant to Samuel Drisius, and ministered with great success till after 1674. He was subsequently involved in a struggle between the English governors and the non-conformist churches, and successfully resisted an attempt to install Nicholas Van Rensselaer, an Episcopal clergyman, over the Dutch church in Albany. Four years later, by permission of Governor Edmund Andros, Van Nieuwenhuysen convened the four Dutch clergyman that were then in New York, and with their elders organized a classis. This was the first formal ecclesiastical body among the Dutch in this country, and the last for about seventy years. Their ordination of a clergyman was subsequently ratified by the classis of Amsterdam. There was a steady growth in the membership of his church during his ministry in New York. He also supplied the churches on Long Island during their vacancy, Henricus Selyns, his relative and successor, wrote a poem on his life and work, which concludes with the lines " Now is New Netherland, by Nieuwenhuysen's mission, And Nieuwenhuysen, by New Netherland's contrition, Led to the New Jerusalem for new delights; What church more safety finds than in renewed rites ? "
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