The year was 1774.  In his cramped study, surrounded by the constant bustle of a busy household with ten children, a Norwich physician took pen in hand to write to his eldest son, who was just about to turn eighteen.  How to mark such an important milestone?  For his son was not merely away at school or seeking his fortune elsewhere in England he was thousands of miles away in Boston, Massachusetts, apprenticed in business under the watchful eye of his paternal Aunt and Uncle.  If a gift was sent, it had to be significant, and if a letter was to be written, it would have to carry all the weight of a father's advice.  Since Dr. John Murray could not be at his son John's side to tell or show him all that he knew, he earnestly set about writing a letter that would give his almost adult boy everything important that he needed to know about what it was to be a man of the middling professional class of the late eighteenth century.  And conversely, in telling young John what it was to be a man, Dr. Murray also made it clear what it was to be a woman of that same 

​Retyped Copy - Letter of Dr. John Murray to his son, John 

Original Book - Letter of Dr. John Murray to his son, John B. Murray

The link to a book by Anne Murray Powell that talks about the letter of  Dr. John Murray to his son in the Prologue:  Below is the first paragraph.  The link will open to the Prologue page.

Murray Family History