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 went to England for 3 years to study painting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.