Robert Schoone-Jongen

Robert Schoone-Jongen


  • B.A., History, Calvin College
  • M.A., European History, University of Kentucky
  • M.A., U.S. History, University of Delaware
  • Ph.D., major field: 19th century U.S. social history, minor field: 19th century Western European social history, University of Delaware


Though retired, I still research and write about Dutch immigration to the United States, especially the streams of people who settled in Northern New Jersey and Minnesota. I follow the Minnesota Twins faithfully and occasionally work on both my stamp collection (Central Europe and the British Empire) and my model railroad.

Academic interests

Bob Schoone-Jongen, who taught high school history for 27 years before coming to Calvin, was the advisor for secondary education in history and social studies. He co-directed the 2012 NEH Summer Institute for Teachers, “American Frontiers in Global Perspective.” 

There are three historical themes that Professor Schoone-Jongen finds fascinating: human migration patterns, the definitions people give themselves and place upon others, and the manner in which events are interpreted both at the moment and after the fact. The specific historical contexts upon which he concentrates are immigration to the United States through 1920, the American presidency, and the impact of religion on everyday lives.

Dr. Schoone-Jongen continues study, write, and teach.  He is scheduled to teach a CALL class at Calvin, “Big Business, Big Money, Big Power: Industrialization and the United States (1850-1930)” and an OLLI class at Aquinas College, “The 1619 Project and the Search for Historical Truth”.  He has been lecturing on the topic, “First Class, Second Class, Steerage: Three Voyages from Rotterdam to Hoboken and Beyond” to gatherings of the Netherland American Foundation in Washington DC and the Edgerton, Minnesota Public Library.  He is scheduled to give the lecture in Pella, Iowa in October 2022.  His article “Abraham Vermeulen: Over the River’s Undertaker” about the early years of Paterson, New Jersey’s Dutch immigrant community appeared in Origins during 2021.

Read Bob Schoone-Jongen's posts on Historical Horizons, the history department blog.



"Windmills Across America: The Dutch in America since 1624." Webinar for the Netherland-America Foundation, Washington, DC, Chapter on December 1, 2020. Recording available on Vimeo.


"Flames in the Night: World War I Flares Up in Iowa."  Origins XXXVI (2018): 4-12.

"Religion in Riverside: Two Churches and Two Dutch Identities in One Neighborhood (1880-1920)." The Castle Genie. Newsletter of the Passaic County New Jersey Historical Society Geneology Club (Summer, 2011): 1-6.

“Dateline Orange City, Iowa: De Volksvriend and the Creation of Dutch American Community in the Midwest, 1874-1951.”  The Annals of Iowa 69 (2010): 308-331.

“There Was Work in the Valley: Dutch Immigration to New Jersey, 1850-1920.” Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis 10 (2010): 56-81.

"St. Thomas's Episcopal Church, Newark, Delaware: The Building and the Symbol, 1842-1957." Delaware History 33 (2010): 1-22.

Book Chapters and Essays

"Fighting at the Borders: Dutch Americans and the Patterson Silk Strike of 1913." In Across Borders: Dutch Migration to North America and Australia, edited by Jacob N. Nyenhuis, Suzanne M. Sinke, and Robert P. Swierenga. Holland, MI: VanRaalte Press, 2010: 199-209.

“De Volksvriend and Dutch American Connections.” In Dutch-American Arts and Letters in Historical Perspectives, edited by Robert P. Swierenga, Jacob E. Nyenhuis, Nella Kennedy. Holland, MI: Van Raalte Press, 2008: 183-191.

“Churches Bigger Than Windmills: Religion and Dutchness in Minnesota (1885-1928)." In Going Dutch: Holland in America, 1609-2009, edited by Joyce D. Goodfellow. Amsterdam: Brill, 2008: 157-78.

“Classis Minnkota,” written for the Christian Reformed Church’s 150th anniversary celebration held in Edgerton, Minnesota on June 3, 2007.

Book Reviews

Janet Sjaarda Sheeres, Son of Secession: Douwe J. Vander Werp. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2006 for Michigan Historical Review.

George Harinck and Hans Krabbendam, eds., Morsels in the Melting Pot: The Persistence of Dutch Immigrant Communities in North America. Amsterdam: VU University Press, 2006 for Fides et Historia (Spring 2007).


“Current Events: The News as Lesson Planner,” “Simulations: Games That Teach,” “Geography.” B. J. Haan Education Conference, Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, March 15-16, 2007.

“So What’s Happening in Platte?: How De Volksvriend Maintained Dutch-American Connections” presented at the meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Dutch American Studies at Hope College on June 1-2, 2007.


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