American writing is predominantly composed of essays. Numerous great American authors and thought-leaders were influenced by historical moments. They helped to shape our nation today. The first American essayists were religious leaders and official representatives, such as judges. The most insightful essays were essay websites frequently included in early sermons. Samuel Sewall and Jonathan Edwards, among others, influenced generations of writers, and also helped in shaping the culture of the United States. Other American essayists also have helped shape American literature's development.