SAMUEL F. B. MORSE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 07/23/1849 - HFSID 36927
Sale Price $2,550.00
SAMUEL F.B. MORSE
The artist and inventor signs this letter recommending that Congress purchase letters of General Henry Knox owned by a lady and wishing the courts would effectively put an end to the pirating of his telegraph invention.
ALS: "Saml. F.B. Morse", 2p, 7¾x10. Po'keepsie, N.Y., 1849 July 23. To C.S. Daveis, Esq., Portland, Me. Daveis (1788-1865) was a prominent Maine attorney. In full: "Yours of the 17th inst I received on Saturday evening & this morning I called on Mrs Beekman and read her your letter. She feels that she has (as she undoubtedly has) a valuable deposit of papers, which ought to belong to the State or the United States Government. She is well disposed towards accommodating you with the sight and use of the letters of Gen. Knox. She says that the papers are contained in several boxes, and the search will be attended with some labor but that she will select out those of Gen. Knox and lay them by themselves. That she should be desirous of reaping pecuniary benefit from papers possessing so much value to the state, is both natural and proper, and she felt gratefully that part of your letter which promised her you did. Why cannot something be done at the next session of Congress for their purpose? Should you be in Washington, please think of it. In this you could aid her substantially, nor have I a doubt she would cheerfully gratify you with an examination of Gen. Knox's letters. I regret both the fact and the cause of the postponement of the Telegraph case at Canandaiga (sic). I long to see some decisive action of the Courts, that shall paralize (sic)effectually (sic) these piratical attempts upon my property, which leaves me but little enjoyment of my life." Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791-1872) was an American painter and inventor. While attending Yale College Morse painted for a living and later studied art in Europe. His first wife died suddenly and Morse, heartbroken, became determined to formulate a faster way to send messages long distances. While returning by ship from Europe in 1832, Morse encountered Charles Thomas Jackson of Boston, a man who was well schooled in electromagnetism. Witnessing various experiments with Jackson's electromagnet, Morse developed the concept of a single-wire telegraph. On May 24, 1844, using a code of dots and dashes that he developed, sent the message, "What hath God wrought!" from the Supreme Court room in the Capitol building to Baltimore, the first successful application of the telegraph. In time the Morse code, which he developed, would become the primary language of telegraphy in the world. It is still the standard for rhythmic transmission of data. The original Morse telegraph, submitted with his patent application, is part of the collections of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution. Folds, not touching signature. Light show through of ink. Address leaf shows hole from opening wax seal, remnant also present. Otherwise, fine condition.
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