Morse, Jedidiah

Morse, Jedidiah (1761-1826) Historian, Geographer, Minister: Jedidiah Morse; born in Woodstock, Connecticut, on August 23, 1761; lived in New England for most of his life. He developed a strong interest in geography, and traveling and researching to inform himself about the world. His first work, "Geography Made Easy" (1784) was published while he was still a divinity student at Yale. It went through 25 editions in Morse's lifetime alone. In his book, Morse provided information on the land, people and customs of different parts of the world, to be used in schools or in homes. Part of this effort worked to inform the American public about its own continent. Morse also wrote histories of the Revolutionary War period; including descriptions of the environment and inhabitants of the relevant areas, as well as events of the historical periods. As a minister, Morse preached against Unitarianism, defending New England Congregationalism. When French influence became an issue in the 1790, Morse took a thoroughly Federalist, anti-French position. Morse died in New Haven, Connecticut, on June 9, 1826.