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The True Story Of The First Telegram

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The bul met with neitner sneers nor ippcmitiun In the Senato, but UiO busiaess of that House went on with discouriging slowness. At twilight of the last svening of the session (March 3, 1843) thcre were 119 billa before it. As it seemed irnpossible for it to be reached in regular course bofore thehourof abjourn:nent sbould arrive, the Professor, who bad anxiously watched the tardy movements of business all day trom the gallery dï the Senato chamber, went with a sad beart to his hotel and prepared to leave forNewYorkat an eaily hour the next naorning While at breakfast, a servant informed him that a young lady desired to see him in the parlor. Tbere he met Miss Annie Ellsworth, then a young school girl - -the daughter of his intímate friend, Hon. Henry L. Ellsworth, the first Coramissioner of Patents- whu said, as she extended her hand to him : ■' I have come to congratúlate you." "Upon what?" inquired the Professor. " Upon the passage of your bill," she replied. " Itnpossible ! lts fate was sealed at dusk last evening. You must be mistaken," " Not at all," she responded. " Father sent me to teil you that your bill had passed. He remained until the session rlosed, and yours was thè last bill but one acted upon, and it was passed just fivo uiiuutes before the adjournment ; and I aiu so glad to be the first one to teil you. Mother says, too, that you must come home with me to breakfast." The invitation was readily accepted, ud the joy of the household wus unjounded. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ellaworth lad fully believed in the project, and the ormer, in his confidenoe in it and in his varm friendship for Prof. Morse, had pent all the closing hours of the session n tbe Senate chaniber, doing what he ould to help the bill aloug, and giving t all the inüuence of his high personal and official position. lírasping tne nana ot tus young mena, ;he Professor thanked her again and "igain for bearing him such pleasant tidngs, and assured her that she should end over the wires the first message, as ïer reward, The matter was talked over n the faniily, and Mrs. Ellsworth sugjested n message which Prof. Morse re'erred to the daughter for her approval ; and this was the one which was subse[uently sent. A little more than a year after that ime, the line between Washington and ialtimore was completed. Prof. Morse was in the foriner city, and Mr. Alfred Vail, his assistant, in the latter ; the first n the chamber of the Supreme Court, ;he last in the Mount Clare depot, when he circuit beingpeifeot, Prof. Morse sent o Miss Ellsworth for her message, and it come. " What hath God wrotjght ' " It was sent in triplícate, in the dotand-line language of the instrument, to Jaltimore, and was the Arst message ever ranxmitted by a retording telegraph. A 'acsimile of that first message, with Professor Morse's indorsement, is here given. The story of this first message has often een told with many exaggerations. It ïas roamed about Europe with various romatic material attached to it, originaing mainly in the French imagination, and has started up anew from timo to ime in our own country under fresh OTins, but the abore story is siuiply and iterally true. An inventor in despair receives the news of his uncpected success from his friend's daughter, and he makes her a promise which he keeps, and hus links her name with his own, und with an invention which becomes one of he controlline instrumenta of tion for all time. -


Old News
Michigan Argus