Worthy Partner: The Papers of Martha Washington

By Joseph E. Fields; Martha Washington | Go to book overview
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is the ardent wish of him who remains with the highest considerations of admiration and respect.

Your most obt. and most
obedient Servant
Franc: Adr. van der Kemp1

Recd March 10, 1800 Answd by T. Lear March 13 1800


Francis Adrian van der Kemp ( 1752-1829) was a Dutch soldier and Mennonite clergyman. He was a leader of the Patriot Party in the Netherlands attempting to limit the powers of the House of Orange and the Stadtsholder. Their ultimate goal was the recovery of the "ancient rights" of the Dutch people. Following a military uprising in Utrecht he was taken prisoner and incarcerated for about six months. Upon payment of a £ 7500 levy he was released. To him asylum in American seemed the only recourse. He arrived in America in March, 1788 with a letter of introduction from the Marquis de la Fayette to GW. He had previously made the acquaintance of John Adams in the Netherlands. He visited Mount Vernon on July 29 and 30, 1788. He took up resident in up-state New York, became an American citizen, and pursued agricultural, literary, and scholarly pursuits. 5 Diaries, 369-70; 29 Writings504-6; 30 Writings, 103; The Papers of Thoms Jefferson, 16:285, Princeton, 1961. See also DAB, 19:179.

To Julia Bowen, Mary B. Howell, Abby Chace,
and Sally Halsey

Ladies Mount Vernon, March 12, 1800

In granting the request contained in your sympathetic letter of the 24th of February, I beg you to be assured of the grateful sensibility with which I receive your expressions of condolence and kind wishes for my happiness. If innumerable testimonies of respect and veneration paid to the memory of my dear departed Husband, or if universal sympathy in my afflicting loss could afford consolation, mine would be complete. But while I see and acknowledge these with a grateful heart I find consolation only in the bosom of that Being by whose dispensation I have been afflicted.

That your Virtues may be exemplary - that your passage through life may be marked with the Blessings of Heaven and that happiness hereafter may be your portion prays

Your friend & obedt Servt 1

Misses Julia Bowen Mary B. Howell Abby Chace Sally Halsey


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Worthy Partner: The Papers of Martha Washington
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