Samuel F.B. Morse was the son of educator Jedediah Morse, known as “Father of American Geography.”
Morse was a member of the board of overseers of Harvard College during a fateful controversy.
In 1803, Harvard’s Hollis Professor of Divinity, David Tappan, died, and the following year Harvard’s President, Joseph Willard, died.
After a heated debate, Morse lost, and in 1805, liberals on the board elected Unitarian Christians Henry Ware as head of Harvard’s Divinity School and Samuel Webber as President of Harvard.
This was the pivotal moment beginning Harvard’s drift away from the traditional “revealed religion” of Calvinist Protestant Christianity, which the new leadership of Harvard increasingly saw as an enemy to be purged.
In protest, Jedediah Morse and others founded Andover Theological Seminary in 1807 as the conservative Christian alternative to the liberal Harvard Divinity School.
An educator, Jedediah Morse was friends with Noah Webster –compiler of the Dictionary; Benjamin Silliman –Yale Professor who was the first to distill petroleum; and Jeremy Belknap –who wrote History of New Hampshire.
“SOUTH CAROLINA … The mischievous influence of slavery … in … southern states … the absolute authority which is exercised over their slaves, too much favors a haughty, supercilious behavior.