“The proprietors respectfully suggest that it is an engine of power, for good or for evil, which all opinions seem to concur in desiring to have subject to the control of the Government, rather than have it in the hands of private individuals and associations; and to this end the proprietors respectfully submit their willingness to transfer the exclusive use and control of it, from Washington City to the city of New York, to the United States, together with such improvements as shall be made by the proprietors, or either of them, if Congress shall proceed to cause its construction, and upon either of the following terms.”
Here follow the details of the two plans: either outright purchase by the Government of the existing line and construction by the Government of the line from Baltimore to New York, or construction of the latter by the proprietors under contract to the Government; but no specific sum was mentioned in either case.
This offer was not accepted, as will appear further on, but $8000 was appropriated for the support of the line already built, and that was all that Congress would do. It was while this matter was pending that Morse wrote to his brother Sidney, on June 13:—
“I am in the crisis of matters, so far as this session of Congress is concerned, in relation to the Telegraph, which absorbs all my time. Perfect enthusiasm seems to pervade all classes in regard to it, but there is still the thorn in the flesh which is permitted by a wise Father to keep me humble, doubtless. May his strength be sufficient for me and I shall fear nothing, and will bear it till He sees fit to remove it. Pray for me, as I do for you, that, if prosperity is allotted to us, we may have hearts to use it to the glory of God.”
JUNE 28, 1844—OCTOBER 9, 1846
Fame and fortune now assured.—Government declines purchase of telegraph.—Accident to leg gives needed rest.—Reflections on ways of Providence.—Consideration of financial propositions.—F.O.J. Smith’s fulsome praise.—Morse’s reply.—Extension of telegraph proceeds slowly. —Letter to Russian Minister.—Letter to London “Mechanics’ Magazine” claiming priority and first experiments in wireless telegraphy.—Hopes that Government may yet purchase.—Longing for a home.—Dinner at Russian Minister’s.—Congress again fails him.—Amos Kendall chosen as business agent.—First telegraph company.—Fourth voyage to Europe.—London, Broek, Hamburg.—Letter of Charles T. Fleischmann.—Paris.—Nothing definite accomplished.