Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO F. A. VANDERKEMP. - The Works of John Adams, vol. 10 (Letters 1811-1825, Indexes)
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TO F. A. VANDERKEMP. - John Adams, The Works of John Adams, vol. 10 (Letters 1811-1825, Indexes) 
The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations, by his Grandson Charles Francis Adams (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1856). 10 volumes. Vol. 10.
Part of: The Works of John Adams, 10 vols.
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TO F. A. VANDERKEMP.
Quincy, 9 March, 1823.
In one of your letters, if I remember right, you expressed a desire to see my letters to Mr. Calkoen. The history of those letters is this. At a dinner with a large company, I met with that learned civilian, who came to me, and seated himself by my side, and expressed an ardent curiosity to converse with me upon the subject of the American war. He asked me many questions in French, in which language he was very imperfect; he had no English, and I had no Dutch. I was about as clumsy in French as he was; however, he asked me many questions, to which I gave him prompt answers. Some of the gentlemen present, who understood the language better, helped us a little to interpret; but at the conclusion of the conversation I said to him I feared I had not fully understood his questions, and not clearly expressed my answers, but if he would do me the honor to commit his questions to writing, I would give him the answers in writing. Accordingly, in a very short time I received from him twenty-six questions in Dutch. Mr. Le Roy (now, I presume, one of the most opulent merchants in New York) was then a young gentleman, very amiable, very intelligent, always very friendly to me, as was his aunt, Madame Chabanelle, and all her family. Mr. Le Roy offered to translate them for me into English, and he did so, in a very correct and literal sense. I immediately commenced writing answers, and I wrote him twenty-six letters, one letter every day. Mr. Calkoen acknowledged that I had comprehended his questions, and given him perfectly intelligible answers. Mr. Calkoen composed out of these letters a dissertation upon the question, whether the Americans would maintain their independence or not. He composed a comparison between the Dutch revolution and the American, and concluded by this observation, “as it was a miracle that the Dutch revolution succeeded, it would be, in his opinion, a greater miracle still if the American did not.” This composition he read to a society of men of letters, who met periodically at Amsterdam, and it consequently became a subject of much conversation in the city. But these letters had much less effect in opening the eyes of the Dutch nation, than two other measures. I had received from London two large pamphlets; one from General Burgoyne, an apology for his conduct and ill success in America; another from General Howe, containing his justification of his conduct in America and his want of success. Both these works represented the British cause in America as more forlorn and desperate than even I had done in my letters to Mr. Calkoen. I employed Cerisier to get these translated into French, and he had it done in so short a time as amazed me. I had a large edition of them printed, and scattered as many as I could, and they were scattered by others, and read by everybody who had given any attention to the war, and produced a general conviction that the game was up with England.
When you have kept this pamphlet as long as you please, and read it as much as you please, return it to me, as I have no other copy.