A brief biography of Morse
Samuel was born in Charlestown, Boston.
He attended Phillips Andover and Yale where he studied religious philosophy, mathematics and science of horses.

He supported himself by painting.
He graduated in 1810.

He went to England for 3 years to study painting.
He made his living painting from 1815–1825.

In 1826 he helped found the National Academy of Design in New York City.

While painting a portrait of Lafayette in Wash DC he received a letter delivered by horse saying his wife convalescent. The next day he received a letter saying she had suddenly died.

Heartbroken that for days he was unaware of his wife's failing health and her death, he decided to explore a means of rapid long distance communication.

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. 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.
In time the Morse code, which he developed, would become the primary language of telegraphy in the world. It is still the standard for radio transmission in code.

In England, William Cooke became fascinated by electrical telegraphy in 1836, four years after Morse. Cooke and Charles Wheatstone patented the electrical telegraph in May 1837.
Cooke and Wheatstone's multiple-wire signaling method would be overtaken by Morse's cheaper method.
Morse fought to be recognized as the sole inventor of the electromagnetic telegraph and referred to Cooke and Wheatstone as "unprincipled pirates".

Morse continued to work on methods of increasing the distance a telegraph signal could travel. with the help of Professor Leonard Gale, NY University, Morse introduced extra circuits or relays at frequent intervals, and was soon able to send a message through ten miles.
Morse and Gale were soon joined by Alfred Vail, an enthusiastic young man with excellent skills, insights and money.
At the Speedwell Ironworks in Morristown, New Jersey on January 11, 1838, Morse and Vail made the first public demonstration of the electric telegraph. He got federal funding for a telegraph line between Washington DC and Baltimore.

On May 24, 1844, the line was officially opened as Morse sent the now-famous words, "What hath God wrought," from the Supreme Court chamber in the basement of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., to the B&O's Mount Clare Station in Baltimore.

Morse received a patent for the telegraph in 1847.
The Morse telegraphic apparatus was officially adopted as the standard for European telegraphy in 1851

His father was a great preacher of the Calvinist faith and supporter of the American Federalist party.

Although Samuel Morse respected his father's religious opinions, he sympathized with the Unitarians who split off from Calvinism in 1819.

Morse was commissioned to paint President James Monroe in 1820. He embodied Jeffersonian democracy by favoring the common man over the aristocrat.

Morse was a leader in the anti-Catholic and anti-immigration movement of the mid-19th century. In 1836, he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of New York.

In the 1850s, Morse became well known as a defender of slavery, considering it to be sanctioned by God.

Samuel Morse gave large sums to charity. He also became interested in the relationship of science and religion and provided the funds to establish a lectureship on "the relation of the Bible to the Sciences".

There is a statue of Morse in New York City's Central Park.

last updated 16 June 2015