Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Francis Adrian Van der Kemp to Thomas Jefferson, 20 February 1817

From Francis Adrian Van der Kemp

Olden barneveld1 20 Febr. 1817.

Dear Sir!

Mrs A.A had the kindness to Send me inclosed No of the Month Rep—to convey it, after its perusal, to Monticello. I expect, it is the only one on our continent. That excellent Lady received it from her Son at the court of St. James.

Although I regret, that there has not been complied with my injunctions—Still I rejoyce at the publication, and can find reasons to palliate this appearing neglect. My friend the Rev. J. joyce died—Suddenly and unexpected in June last before he could have received my Letter—One of his Executors as I Suppose Rev. Aspland—may not have Seen my Letter or may not have considered—my requests of that moment, to require a punctual compliance, as mr joyce might have found himself obliged to. I had Signed O…d—he puts Olden barneveld—he insinuates Sincerus is the Same with the [. . .] writer on Servetus although I then used the Signature of Candidus—and gives the Syllabus to an American Statesman—I question—if another number Shall reach this country—but if So—it must be among your friends—otherwise a clue was given, to guess at the author—as one man only could be the Father of that production.

Continue to honour me with your remembrance2—and believe me to remain with the highest consideration and respect

Dear Sir! Your most obed. and obliged St

Fr. Adr. van der Kemp

RC (DLC); dateline at foot of text; first ellipsis in original; edge chipped; endorsed by TJ as received 5 Mar. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Monthly Repository of Theology and General Literature 11 (Oct. 1816).

In a letter dated 7 Feb. 1817, Abigail Adams (mrs a.a) explained to Van der Kemp that John Quincy Adams had “inclosed to me the Monthly Repository, saying that, A mr Aspland an Unitarian Clergyman called upon him, and gave him two copies of a late periodical publication, one of which he inclosed, as he thought it would be particularly interesting to his Father, and to me; as containing a Letter from mr Van der Kemp and one to him—as he supposed from mr Jefferson, with a Syllabus for a comparison between the doctrine of Jesus and that of the Grecian phylosophers and that of the Jews before the Time of Jesus—you know I presume by what Authority they appear in public” (PHi: Van der Kemp Collection). In his 24 Feb. 1817 reply, Van der Kemp noted that TJ’s letter was written not to him but to Benjamin Rush and reported that he had “conveyed the Repos. this week to Montecello—and hope it may there be as acceptable as it was to me” (MHi: Adams Papers).

Writing as candidus, Van der Kemp penned eight letters on the life of the sixteenth-century Spanish theologian and physician Miguel Serveto (Servetus) in the Monthly Repository of Theology and General Literature 5 (1810).

1Manuscript: “Olden barneved.”

2Manuscript: “rememenbrance.”

Index Entries

  • Adams, Abigail Smith (John Adams’s wife); and TJ’s syllabus on Jesus’s doctrines search
  • Adams, John; and TJ’s syllabus on Jesus’s doctrines search
  • Adams, John Quincy; as minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain search
  • Aspland, Robert; publishes TJ’s syllabus on Jesus’s doctrines search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; syllabus of Jesus’s doctrines search
  • Jesus; TJ on search
  • Joyce, Jeremiah; and TJ’s syllabus on Jesus’s doctrines search
  • Monthly Repository of Theology and General Literature; publishes F. A. Van der Kemp’s writings search
  • Monthly Repository of Theology and General Literature; publishes TJ’s syllabus of Jesus’s doctrines search
  • Rush, Benjamin; TJ’s confidential letters to search
  • Serveto (Servetus), Miguel; F. A. Van der Kemp’s work on search
  • Sketch of the Life of Servetus (F. A. Van der Kemp) search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; and TJ’s syllabus of Jesus’s doctrines search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; letters from search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; Sketch of the Life of Servetus search