Rinse Posthumus syn plak yn it opkommende liberalisme te Dokkum en Westdongeradiel


  • Ph.H. Breuker


Between 1831 and his death in 1859 the Frisian poet and clergyman Rinse
Posthumus (born 1790) wrote some dozens of books, pamphlets and articles
about current social, political and religious questions. Posthumus made a
strong case for freedom and for a voice for more people in government. His
greatest merit has been that he voiced his concerns publicly. As one of the
first in Friesland he supported the liberal politician Donker Curtius’ view
on the necessity of direct elections. In the forties of the 19th century the
public notary Harmanus Klaasesz (1810-1876) sought contact with Posthumus.
Klaasesz was one of the leaders of the upcoming liberal movement in
Posthumus’ own region, the municipality of West-Dongeradeel and the town
of Dokkum. Their contact was an incitement for Posthumus to take up a role
in that movement. Posthumus saw the French Revolution as the beginning of
a new era. In that sense his ideas coincided with those of the liberals.
However, his personality was not that of a party man; he lived out of a
further-reaching concept of his life and his times. After 1848 Posthumus
was rather seen as a conservative. More influential among liberals in
Dokkum and thereabouts than Posthumus must have been Daam Fockema
(1771-1855), who as a Member of Parliament had belonged to the so called
‘financial opposition’.