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Erik Visits an American Grave, Part 39

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This is the grave of Jedidiah Morse.

2016-05-07 11.38.44

Morse, born in 1761 in Connecticut, was an early American geographer. He was trained as a minister at Yale and held a parish in Massachusetts for over thirty years. He was a deeply conservative religious thinker, railing against the evils of Unitarianism. But he’s most known for his geographical work. Widely called “the father of American geography,” Morse authored the first geography textbook in the United States, Geography Made Easy, in 1784. This was a fairly quickly thrown together book but it sold well, allowing Morse to produce more authoritative texts such as his 1789 book The American Geography, as well as children’s book explaining geography at an age-appropriate level.

He is also the father of the more famous Samuel F.B. Morse, developer of the telegraph and Morse Code and one of the most virulent anti-Catholic and anti-Irish figures to ever live in the United States, as well as a defender of southern slavery on moral grounds.

Jedidiah Morse is buried at Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven, Connecticut

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