Bound volume---2 July 1793-2 December 1807
"I now write you again to inform you that Mama had a baby, but it was born dead & has just been buried, now you have three brothers & three sisters in heaven and I hope you & I will meet them there at our death . . . ." The opening sentence of thirteen-year-old Morse's letter to his brothers reveals not only the fact of a high infant mortality rate in early America but also the religious upbringing of the Morse children. Their mother gave birth to eleven children, though only three--Samuel, Sidney, and Richard--survived past infancy. Jedidiah, Morse's father, was a Congregational minister and known as a proponent of Calvinism. His sons consequently grew to adulthood with a strong religious faith. Their acute awareness of death and their firm belief in the constant need to be prepared for it is evident here even at a young age.