Vries, Abraham de (1773-1862)
Abraham de Vries, born 20 April 1773 at Amsterdam, died 3 November 1862 at Haarlem, a Dutch Mennonite minister. He was a son of Gerrit de Vries and Catharina de Bosch. In 1814 he married Hillegonda van Geuns, d. 1866, the widow of Jacob Veen. Abraham de Vries, who was in his youth greatly interested in politics (like most Mennonites he was a Patriot), and who in his student years at the Amsterdam seminary was even a captain of the Landstorm (army reserves), was appointed ministerial candidate in 1799. Thereupon he served the congregations of Nijmegen 1799-1801, Leiden 1801-1803, and Haarlem 1803-1838, in which year he retired. He was a man of great authority both in his own congregations and in the Algemeene Doopsgezinde Sociëteit, of which he was a co-founder in 1811, a member of its board 1811-1839, and an honorary member 1839-1857, when he resigned; he also was a curator of its seminary.
De Vries did not leave any theological writings. More than a theologian he was a literary man, well versed in several languages. In 1820 he refused a professorship in Greek and Latin at the University of Leiden. This university granted him an honorary Dr. Lit. Hum. degree in 1822. For more than 40 years he was also the city librarian and archivist of Haarlem. One of his sons was the well-known professor of Dutch literature Matthias de Vries (1820-1892); another son was Gerrit de Vries (1818-1900), a lawyer and in 1872-74 Dutch Prime Minister.
Abraham de Vries was a member of several literary societies, including the Association for Dutch Literature; in the Levensberichten of this Association Chr. Sepp published an appreciative biography of de Vries (Leiden, 1863).
Doopsgezind Jaarboekje (1850): 143.
Molhuysen, P. C. and P. J. Blok. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, 10 vols. Leiden, 1911-1937: v. V, 1078-80.
Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden. Amsterdam. (1800): 58.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 863. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Vries, Abraham de (1773-1862)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/vries_abraham_de_1773_1862.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1959). Vries, Abraham de (1773-1862). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/vries_abraham_de_1773_1862.