From Jedidiah Morse
Charlestown [Mass.] June 25th 1793.
I do myself the honour herewith to present for your acceptance, a sett of “The American Universal Geography.”1 Compiled under the auspices of your Presidency over the United States, & describing, in a more particular manner, that distinguished country, whh is so deeply indebted to you, sir, for her present tranquillity & happiness—it is a tribute I owe you—& I most cheerfully pay it. I have only to regret that it is not more worthy of your acceptance, & that it bears so small a proportion to that gratitude & respect whh I bear for your character. With the sincerest respect, & the most earnest prayers for your health, long life, & happiness here & hereafter, I am, sir, your most obdt & humble servt2
1. Jedidiah Morse (1761–1826) was pastor of the First Congregational Church in Charlestown, Mass., 1789–1819, and a staunch defender of orthodoxy within the Congregational church. He also gained national attention for his writings on American geography, including the two volumes of the new edition of his 1789 American Geography, which was now titled the American Universal Geography (Boston, 1793). For this and other works by Morse in GW’s library, see Griffin, Catalogue of the Washington Collection description begins Appleton P.C. Griffin, comp. A Catalogue of the Washington Collection in the Boston Athenæum. Cambridge, Mass., 1897. description ends , 144–47. In 1801 Morse assisted in the establishment of the Mercury and New-England Palladium (Boston), a Federalist newspaper.
2. In his reply to Morse of 17 July 1793, GW wrote: “I should, at an earlier moment, have acknowledged the receipt of your polite letter of the 25th of June, and returned my best thanks for the acceptable work which accompanied it, had I not been at Mount Vernon when they reached this place. You will therefore be pleased now, Sir, to accept the thanks and acknowledgements which are due for your polite attention in sending me a sett of The American Un[i]versal Geography. And, at the same time, be assured you have my best wishes that you may be amply rewarded for the time and labour spent in preparing so useful a work” (LS, PWacD; Df, in Tobias Lear’s writing, RG 59, Miscellaneous Documents; LB, DLC:GW; copy, NN: Jedediah Morse Papers).