Morse’s fame was now secure, and fortune was soon to follow. Tried as he had been in the school of adversity, he was now destined to undergo new trials, trials incident to success, to prosperity, and to world-wide eminence. That he foresaw the new dangers which would beset him on every hand is clearly evidenced in the letters to his brother, but, heartened by the success which had at last crowned his efforts, he buckled on his armor ready to do battle to such foes, both within and without, as should in the future assail him. Fatalist as we must regard him, he believed in his star; or rather he went forward with sublime faith in that God who had thus far guarded him from evil, and in his own good time had given him the victory, and such a victory! For twelve years he had fought on through trials and privations, hampered by bodily ailments and the deep discouragements of those who should have aided him. Pitted against the trained minds and the wealth of other nations, he had gone forth a very David to battle, and, like David, the simplicity of his missile had given him the victory. Other telegraphs had been devised by other men; some had actually been put into operation, but it would seem as if all the nations had held their breath until his appeared, and, sweeping all the others from the field, demonstrated and maintained its supremacy.
From this time forward his life became more complex. Honors were showered upon him; fame carried his name to the uttermost parts of the earth; his counsel was sought by eminent scientists and by other inventors, both practical and visionary.
On the other hand, detractors innumerable arose; his rights to the invention were challenged, in all sincerity and in insincerity; infringements of his patent rights necessitated long and acrimonious lawsuits, and, like other men of mark, he was traduced and vilified. In addition to all this he took an active interest in the seething politics of the day and in religious questions which, to his mind and that of many others, affected the very foundations of the nation.
To follow him through all these labyrinthine ways would require volumes, and I shall content myself with selecting only such letters as may give a fair idea of how he bore himself in the face of these new and manifold trials, of how he sometimes erred in judgment and in action, but how through all he was sincere and firm in his faith, and how, at last, he was to find that home and that domestic bliss which he had all his life so earnestly desired, but which had until the evening of his days been denied to him.