Letter of Lindley Murray to John Elliott of London.
(15 Dec. 1785)
This cover letter about an ailing American Quaker minister—Thomas Ross—seems unremarkable. But in fact it relates to what made Lindley Murray an author in the first place. Ross had fallen ill in York, where he was to spend a night or two with the Murrays. He died at their house nearly four months later. In the interim, Ross and Murray had long philosophical discussions. A year later, Murray published his first book: The Power of Religion on the Mind in Retirement, Affliction, and at the Approach of Death (1787). Without this experience, the father of English grammar might not have published at all.