SAMUEL B. F. MORSE was born April 27, 1791 at Charleston, MA, the son of Jedidiah Morse, a clergyman, and Elizabeth Breese of New Jersey. Samuel died April 2, 1872 in New York, NY. American artist and inventor, he designed and developed the first successful electromagnetic (magnetism caused by electricity) telegraph system. In the year 1829, Mr. Morse, who was an artist of much celebrity, having a number of years ago exhibited before the Royal Academy of England and his picture of “The Dying Hercules” of colossal size. The two best known canvasses are his portraits of Marquis de Lafayette (1754-1834), a French general who served with General George Washington* (1732-1799) during the American Revolution which he painted in Washington, DC in 1825. Samuel Morse made a second professional visit to Europe where he remained three years, and it was on his return trip in 1832 on board the ship that he made that great discovery that led to the present system of telegraphing. It took Morse a number of years to perfect his invention. It was on line, on May 24, 1844, that Morse tapped out his famous message “what have God wrought (made)”.  *For those who attended a one room school, a copy of George Washington’s picture probably hung on the wall.


American History Moment – From Jauflione Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution