From William Crawford
Worcester July 4th 1763
I hope you enjoy mens sana in Corpore Sano: My Body for more than six months past has been in some degree more than common tending to dissolution. I seem to have gain’d some better Health since the warm weather. I hear that you are like to make yourself happy, by a conjunction with one of the fairest parts of the fair part of the Creation. I picture in my Imagination how you sooth and soften the rigid Philosophic reasonings of your mind, with a rapturous and genial intercourse with the most soft and delicate piece of Natures workmanship.1 Mr. Putnam told me he wrote you, to Send some Books, if you cou’d put mine with his.2 I shall be glad if it is in your Power. I should be glad if you wou’d call at Mr. Bowmans in Dorchester, his son when in the army had a volume of Mahews Sermons and one volume of Byshe’s Art of English Poetry, told me he left them with his father.3 If you can procure them and Send them along you’ll oblige your,
RC (Adams Papers); address leaf torn with this portion of JA’s endorsement remaining: “W. Craw . . . July . . . .”
1. A reference to JA’s courtship of AA; for their correspondence during this period, see Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– . description ends , 1:3–9.
2. JA’s letter from James Putnam (1726–1789), under whom he had studied law in Worcester, has not been found. For numerous references to Putnam, see JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends .
3. Jonathan Bowman (1703–1775), pastor of the First Church of Dorchester, was the father of JA’s Harvard classmate Jonathan Bowman Jr. (1735–1804). Although historians of the Bowman family make no reference to the younger Bowman’s military career, it appears from this letter that he and Crawford became acquainted during Crawford’s service as surgeon and chaplain in various companies during the French and Indian War (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates description begins John Langdon Sibley and Clifford K. Shipton, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge and Boston, 1873– . description ends , 7:312–317, 13:545–550, 561–563), and that Crawford had seen Bowman’s copies of Jonathan Mayhew, Seven Sermons . . . , Boston, 1749, and Edward Bysshe, The Art of English Poetry, London, 1702, during one of these campaigns.