Van Driessen, Petrus

Van Driessen, Petrus a Reformed (Dutch) minister, brother of the preceding, was minister of the Reformed Dutch Church in Albany from 1712 to 1738. Until 1727 he also supplied Kinderhook. Mention is made of his services for some time at Kinderhook and Schenectady. During his ministry at Albany a new and handsome stone edifice was built, which stood ninety-one years on State Street. He organized the important churches of Kinderhook in 1712 and Claverack in 1716. Like his predecessors, Megapolensis, Dellius, and Lydius, he acted as a missionary to the Indians. In the documentary history of New York, among several petitions to governor Burnet and his councilors from this pastor, is one dated Sept. 13, 1722, respecting his labors among the Mohawks, asking protection and assistance for himself and his interpreter, in which the petitioner is described as "finding himself in Conscience thronged and moved to continue with them in the doctrine of the true knowledge of God, if yet at some Time the Lord might give them repentance as by means of the same ministracion through the blessing of the Most High has been done to Our forefathers." This is followed by a "Lycence by his Excellency," to Mr. Van Driessen, "to Erect and build a meeting-house for the Indians in the Mohawk's country, in order to ye assembling of themselves together for ye Solemn Worship of God; and that upon any part of the Lands to them belonging as shall be found most Convenient for the purposes mentioned." The venerable pastor and missionary labored with zeal and fidelity among his people at Albany for a period of twenty-six years, until his death, which took place about Feb. 1, 1738. For five years previously he had a colleague, Rev. Cornelius Van Schie, who had labored at Poughkeepsie and Fishkill, 1731-38, when he removed to Albany. He survived his associate only six years, dying Aug. 15, 1744, at the age of forty-one. See Rogers, Hist. Discourse, p. 20-24 Documentary Hist. of, New York; 3, 915, 916; Corwin, Manual of the Ref. Church in America. (W. J. R. T.)

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