Morse, Jedidiah, 1761–1826, American Congregational clergyman, b. Woodstock, Conn., grad. Yale, 1783. Licensed to preach in 1785, he taught and preached in various places before becoming (1789) minister in Charlestown, Mass., where he stayed for 30 years. A staunch conservative, he opposed Unitarianism. He was interested in improving the lot of the Native Americans and was appointed (1820) to visit various tribes; the result was the well-known Report to the Secretary of War (1822, repr. 1972). He produced a series of textbooks in geography that were widely used and caused him to be called the "father of American geography." Sidney Edwards Morse and Samuel F. B. Morse were his sons.
See biography by J. K. Morse (1939, repr. 1967).