“I was immediately surrounded by my friends in the House, congratulating me and telling me that the crisis is passed, and that the bill will pass the House by a large majority. Mr. Kennedy, chairman of the Committee on Commerce, has put the bill on the Speaker’s calendar for Thursday morning, when the final vote in the House will be taken. It then has to go to the Senate, where I have reason to believe it will meet with a favorable reception. Then to the President, and, if signed by him, I shall return with renovated spirits, for I assure you I have for some time been at the lowest ebb, and can now scarcely realize that a turn has occurred in my favor. I don’t know when I have been so much tried as in the tedious delays of the last two months, but I see a reason for it in the Providence of God. He has been pleased to try my patience, and not until my impatience had yielded unreservedly to submission has He relieved me by granting light upon my path. Praised be His name, for to Him alone belongs all the glory.
“I write with a dreadful headache caused by over excitement in the House, but hope to be better after a night’s rest, I have written in haste just to inform you of the first symptoms of success.”
On the same date as that of the preceding letter, February 21, the following appeared in the “Congressional Globe,” and its very curtness and flippancy is indicative of the indifference of the public in general to this great invention, and the proceedings which are summarized cast discredit on the intelligence of our national lawmakers:—
On motion of Mr. Kennedy of Maryland, the committee took up the bill to authorize a series of experiments to be made in order to test the merits of Morse’s electro-magnetic telegraph. The bill appropriates $30,000, to be expended under the direction of the Postmaster-General.
On motion of Mr. Kennedy, the words “Postmaster-General” were stricken out and “Secretary of the Treasury” inserted.
Mr. Cave Johnson wished to have a word to say upon the bill. As the present Congress had done much to encourage science, he did not wish to see the science of mesmerism neglected and overlooked. He therefore proposed that one half of the appropriation be given to Mr. Fisk, to enable him to carry on experiments, as well as Professor Morse.
Mr. Houston thought that Millerism should also be included in the benefits of the appropriation.
Mr. Stanly said he should have no objection to the appropriation for mesmeric experiments, provided the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Cave Johnson] was the subject. [A laugh.]
Mr. Cave Johnson said he should have no objection provided the gentleman from North Carolina [Mr. Stanly] was the operator. [Great laughter.]
Several gentlemen called for the reading of the amendment, and it was read by the Clerk, as follows:—