Sparks, Jared (1789-1866), a United States historian, educator, and editor. He pioneered in the use of original documents as source material, setting a precedent for historical research. However, he sometimes deliberately misquoted or ignored documents unfavorable to his views. He edited The Writings of George Washington (1834-37); The Library of American Biography (1834-38); and The Works of Benjamin Franklin (1836-40).
Sparks was born in Willington, Connecticut. After graduating from Harvard in 1815, he attended divinity school and was a Unitarian minister, 1819-23. Sparks became a leading social and literary figure in Boston as editor of the North American Review , 1823-29. He was professor of history at Harvard, 1839-49, and served as president of the college, 1849-53.