Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Francis Adrian Van der Kemp to Thomas Jefferson, 1 November 1816

From Francis Adrian Van der Kemp

Oldenbarneveld 1 Nov. 1816.

Dear Sir!

Reperusing your interesting Syllabus I have recalled in my mind a train of thoughts—which I brought in writing about twenty years past and Send then—for his criticisms—to my old friend Joshua Toulmin of Taunton—father of the judge in the Missisippi Territory—which treatise has been irrecoverably lost on its passage to England.

Having hurted my right leg—in my garden—by carelessness—which through neglect of it has compelled me, to leave off1 working for a few days—I employ’d this leisure time in digesting a plan, upon which—en gros—with any desirable modifications—an interesting work might be executed—I Shall Send a copy to Mss-bay—it might be—that one of its worthies was willing to undertake the task.—It would require—a thorough acquaintance with ancient history—an unbiassed mind—and willingness to pay homage to truth—whatever it might be discovered—a vast deal of time—and a well provided Librarÿ: from these requisites, to which you might join others—you perceive I can not be the man.

I did not hesitate to use your own expressions—as the Syllabus was in manÿ respect the ground-work—and Shall be gratified, if You can find it proper—to remove the defects—and Supply the weak parts with props—By this—another may be enabled—to raise an elegant Superstructure

Dr. W. Willoughbÿ, member of Congress—eminent as a Physician and respected bÿ all parties, and beloved by all who knew—desired to be introduced to Monticello. Perhaps I Shall be So free—in Sending him a Letter Of introduction, when he returns to Washington.

Permit me to assure you—that I remain with high respect And consideration
Dear Sir! Your obed—and obliged St

Fr. Adr. vanderkemp

P.S. May I Sollicit, if you published any thing else besides your Valuable Notes—to gratifÿ me with a copÿ?

RC (DLC); dateline adjacent to signature; endorsed by TJ as received 21 Nov. 1816 and so recorded in SJL; notation by TJ beneath endorsement: “Syllabus Dr Willoughby any thing except Notes?” RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to John Patterson, 27 Nov. 1816, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson LLD. Monticello Virginia”; franked; postmarked Trenton, N.Y., 2 Nov.

en gros: “roughly; in general.” Van der Kemp corresponded regularly with John Adams, of Massachusetts Bay (mss-bay). TJ’s valuable notes were 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 ).

1Manuscript: “of.”

Index Entries

  • Adams, John; friendship with F. A. Van der Kemp search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Jesus search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Notes on the State of Virginia search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; syllabus of Jesus’s doctrines search
  • Jesus; F. A. Van der Kemp on study of search
  • Jesus; TJ on search
  • Notes on the State of Virginia (Thomas Jefferson); mentioned search
  • religion; works on search
  • Toulmin, Harry; as judge search
  • Toulmin, Joshua; and 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; and TJ’s writings search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; friendship with J. Adams search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; health of search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; letters from search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; proposed work on Jesus search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; Synopsis of a Proposed Book search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; writings of on religion search
  • Willoughby, Westel; as U.S. representative from N.Y. search