Morse, Jedediah, Dd
Morse, Jedediah, D.D.
a Congregational minister of note, was born August 23, 1761, in Woodstock, Conn. He graduated at Yale College in 1783, entered the ministry in 1785, and was chosen tutor in Yale in 1786. In October he changed places with the Reverend Abiel Holmes, pastor in Midway, Georgia, where he preached about six months, when he returned North, and, after preaching in several places, was ordained pastor of the First Congregational Church in Charlestown, Massachusetts, April 30, 1789, and held this charge till 1820, when, having received a commission from J.C. Calhoun, secretary of war, to visit several Indian tribes, he spent two winters in his observations, the report of which was published in 1822. He died in New Haven, June 9, 1826. Dr. Morse published the first American work on geography, in 1784 (passing through many editions in this country and abroad, and after his death it was enlarged and improved by his son). He also wrote A Compendious History of New England, in company with E. Parish; D.D. (1804): — a pamphlet, The true Reasons on which the Election of a Hollis Professor of Divinity in Harvard College was opposed at the Board of Overseers (1804): — An Appeal to the Public on the Controversy respecting the Revolution in Harvard College (1814); and a number of occasional sermons and addresses. From 1790 to 1821 he published twenty-five of his sermons and addresses. Dr. Morse was also much occupied in religious controversy; in upholding the orthodox faith of the New England churches against the assaults of Unitarianism, and was so earnest in these labors as to seriously impair his health. In 1804 he was active in enlarging the Massachusetts General Association of Congregational Ministers. He was also a prominent actor in the establishment of the theological seminary at Andover, especially by his successful efforts to prevent the threatened establishment of a rival institution at Newbury, projected by the Hopkinsians, and to effect a union between them and other Calvinists on their common symbol, the Assembly's Catechism. The articles of this union, which still constitute substantially the basis of the Andover Seminary, were signed in his own study in Charlestown, in the night of November 30, 1807, by himself, Dr. Samuel Spring, and Dr. Eliphalet Pearson. Morse participated in the organization of the Park Street Church in Boston in 1808, when all the Congregational churches in the city, except the Old South Church, had abandoned the primitive faith of the fathers of New England. In 1805 he started a religious magazine, The Panoplist, of which he was the sole editor for five years. Dr. Morse was universally esteemed for his piety and learning, and is acknowledged to have been one of the most,eminent ministers of his day in New England. He was distinguished alike for the versatility of his powers and the wide extent of his influence, and was almost equally well known on both sides of the Atlantic. See. Spragtte Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, ii, 247; — Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.