To Jesse Appleton

    Biddeford        14 May 1812


    It gives me much pleasure to hear of the increase of the Library at Bowdoin College; I have always felt an interest in that institution, & nothing that has a tendency to raise its reputation can be indifferent to me. I had heard that Mr. Bowdoin had made left a Legacy of Books to it, but their number I did not know. Presuming Mr. Bowdoin’s Legacy was made of [up] of Books from his late fathers Library as well as his own, I think there must be among them many rare & valuable ones.1 As to those I presented, some of them I considered as long since out of print, & more adapted to the various pursuits & tast[e]s of the Governors & Students of a Literary institution, than the Library of an obscure individual, & I am not a little gratified at hearing they meet your approbation.2

    Ever since you have resided at Brunswick it has been my wish to gain a little time to wait on you at your house, but I have only passed through your neighbourhood when on my journey from one Court to another, between which there seems not a moment to relax in speed to accomplish the object of the Law—

    I think, however, I shall be able during the ensuing Circuit to gratify my wish in this particular—The general stagnation of business for a year or two has so deminished the actions in our Court that I expect more leisure than heretofore.

    Have you seen Dr. Lant Carpenter’s Introduction to the Geography of the New Testament?3 It is a duodecimo of about two hundred pages. It has so cleared my ideas on the subject of Sacred Geography that I want every body should possess it—for I suppose it is with others generally as it has been with myself*—I have known next to nothing of Sacred Geography; sometimes I have lost the benefit of what was called an excellent Sermon, because of my ignorance of the Geography & Chronology necessary as previous knowledge,4 & what the preacher seemed take for granted his hearers knew as much of as he did himself—It consists of two parts[;] the second, which I have not attended to, relates to the Chronology of the New Testament, & the duration of Christ’s Ministry—As to the first part, however, I am a little apprehensive the American printer has done, what our American printers generally do when they reprint History, that is, either leave out the maps altogether, or abridge them so as to render them less usefull than the English editions—I only suspect, however, that the latter fault has been committed in the reprinting Dr. Carpenters book because some places mentioned in the Gospels I do not see on his maps. The maps too are I think on too small a Scale—but still I consider the book very valuable; and the only apology I shall make to you, Sir, is that I want you to examine it, which having done you will determine whether it would not be a valuable book to be possessed by every under Graduate, or at least by the two Senior classes—As Geography can hardly be entered upon too young in life, I see no objection to its being particularly recommended to each student. A daily newspaper cannot be understood without maps; & It seems to me that whoever hears in conversation, a Lecture or a sermon the mention of places & times refered to, would, if he has any curiosity, & possessed a Geography adapted to the subject, embrace the first moment to examine it & see where & when these things took place.

    If the above book has not fallen in your way, & you will be so obliging as to drop me a letter before I go on the eastern circuit, I will bring you one—I happen to have two of them.

    I am, Sir, with great respect your obedient Servant

    *I ought to explain—I refer here to Students at Colleges & the common, unlearned people.

    P.S. Being from home on the Western Circuit is the reason I have not before noticed your favour of the 12 Feby

    * * *

    ALS, Jesse Appleton Collection, MeB. Addressed to “President B. College / Brunswick.”