Friday, November 28, 2008

Jedediah Morse (1761-1826) He was a pioneer American educator and geographer. Jedediah Morse was called the “Father of American Geography.” He was the father of Samuel F.B. Morse who invented Morse Code and the telegraph. Jedediah Morse taught for several years in New Haven schools. He compiled his notes and published them in 1784 entitled, Geography Made Easy. He set the standard for American Geography and authored several books. Jedediah Morse published, The American Geography, 1789; Elements of Geography, 1795; The American Gazetter, 1797; A New Gazetter of the Eastern Continent, 1802; A Compendious History of New England, 1804; and Annals of the American Revolution. He was founder of the New England Tract Society, 1814 and The American Bible Society, 1816. Jedediah Morse was also a member of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 1811-1819.

In 1799 Jedediah Morse declared:

“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism.

“All efforts to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness.

“Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.”

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