Thomas Jefferson Papers

Francis Adrian Van der Kemp to Thomas Jefferson, 9 June 1817

From Francis Adrian Van der Kemp

Oldenbarneveld 9 Jun. 1817.

Dear and respected Sir!

I was highly gratified with your favour of the 1 of maÿ—as I am now convinced—that no doubt remains with you, if I could abuse the confidence, with which I was honoured—It is with me a Sacred principle—never to make use—in any manner—of a trust—as upon an explicit permission—under no pretext whatever—not even to oblige the friend of my bosom—not even to hurt a rancourous enemÿ—And now I proceed with the Same unlimited confidence.

I wrote to Germany for the books recommended—with the proviso that the expences were not too high—when it would be improper in one—cui curta Suppellex.

If I receive them—and they contain remarks—deserving your notice I Shall communicate them.

on the Skeleton—in your possession—following additions may be justly added—

Religion of the Jews


      Part. ii

Concise views of &c

   Apparition of AngelsDevelopment of this System


   Examination of the preaching of Jezus and his Disciples

      Part. iii

Perfect morality—&c


      Part. iv

Prejudices &c

   Priest-craft. Examination of its existence—extent.

I lately received a present of German Literature—among which Iselin’s geschichte der menschheit or history of mankind—I was delighted, I was Surprised and the profound investigations of that man—and do not recollect—to have met with in any language—So many luminous observations—encompassed—in two Such Small vols. Mine edition is the fifth published in 1786. He was from Zurick—and employd in his country in State-Employ as well as in Literature.

I requested my friend Mappa, who remembers yet with pleasure, the politeness which he received from you in France—during your Embassy in that countrÿ; to translate it for me—as I wanted time.—

Permit me to renew the assurance that I remain—with Sincere respect—
Dear & respected Sir! Your most obed. & obliged

Fr. Adr. van dr Kemp

RC (DLC); dateline at foot of text; endorsed by TJ as received 18 June 1817 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Alexander Garrett and Valentine W. Southall, 23 Sept. 1817, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson LLD. Monticello Virginia”; franked; postmarked Trenton, N.Y., 10 June.

cui curta suppellex: “who has modest resources.” The skeleton in TJ’s possession to which Van der Kemp adds here is his Synopsis of a Proposed Book, printed above at 1 Nov. 1816.

Index Entries

  • books; TJ recommends to F. A. Van der Kemp search
  • Germany; scholarship in search
  • Iselin, Isaak; Über die Geschichte der Menschheit search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Public Service; as minister to France search
  • Jesus; F. A. Van der Kemp on study of search
  • Judaism; works on search
  • Mappa, Adam Gerard; as translator search
  • Mappa, Adam Gerard; meets TJ in France search
  • religion; works on search
  • Über die Geschichte der Menschheit (I. Iselin) search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; letters from search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; proposed work on Jesus search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; sends works to TJ search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; Synopsis of a Proposed Book search