Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Francis Adrian Van der Kemp to Thomas Jefferson, 16 November 1812

From Francis Adrian Van der Kemp

Olden barneveld 16 Nov. 1812

Sir!

Since I had the honour of sending you mÿ last letter, I reviewed mÿ Sketch and discovered, that I did neglect a rich mine, which he, who intends, to execute this plan, must have previouslÿ explored. After the General Sketch of Europe from the invasion of the Northern Nations ought to be inserted “Value and necessity of Studÿing the Annals, Records, Ballads, Romanzas and other writings of the middle age” This with that important addition, which I owe to your delicate suggestion makes the Sketch more complete. Under the head of Establishment of the Feudal System ought to Stand Louis xi not the xii  art. America after Federal constitution ought to be added “causesmorbid FeaturescurePrognostic.”

I have again taken the revision of mÿ Researches on various point of Bufton’s theorÿ in hand—which you was so polite to approve in their embrÿo state, and must arrive within a few weeks to the famous Mammoth-bones. I should be exceedinglÿ gratified could you condescend, to communicate with me, whatever you might deem proper on this subject.1 I doubt not, or it would facilitate mÿ labours. Anÿ scrap, which related to your valuable and interesting Notes, of which I would make a faithful use, would be an acceptable cadeau, although inserted in a work of inferior note, to your admirers on both Continents.

Permit me to assure you, that I remain with the highest consideration

Sir! Your most obed. and obliged servant

Fr. Adr. van der Kemp

RC (DLC); dateline at foot of text; endorsed by TJ as received 17 Dec. 1812 and so recorded in SJL.

Van der Kemp’s last letter, dated 14 Apr. 1812, included revisions to a sketch for a proposed book that he sent to TJ on 18 Feb. 1812. He inserted both additions noted here in the version he soon published anonymously (Cambridge, Mass., General Repository and Review 4 [1813]: 390, 395). TJ discussed the subject of the mammoth in America in his Notes on the State of Virginia (Notes, ed. Peden description begins Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, ed. William Peden, 1955 description ends , 43–9). cadeau: “gift.”

1Preceding three words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Buffon, Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de; and F. A. Van der Kemp search
  • Constitution, U.S.; in F. A. Van der Kemp’s proposed book search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Notes on the State of Virginia search
  • Louis XI, king of France; in F. A. Van der Kemp’s proposed book search
  • Louis XII, king of France; in F. A. Van der Kemp’s proposed book search
  • mammoth; and F. A. Van der Kemp search
  • mammoth; and Notes on the State of Virginia search
  • Notes on the State of Virginia (Thomas Jefferson); and mammoths search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; and mammoths search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; and proposed book search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; letters from search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; Synopsis of a Proposed Book search