Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 491 pages of information about Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals.

NOVEMBER 28, 1867—­JUNE 10, 1871

Goes to Dresden.—­Trials financial and personal.—­Humorous letter to E.S.  Sanford.—­Berlin.—­The telegraph in the war of 1866.—­Paris.—­Returns to America.—­Death of his brother Richard.—­Banquet in New York.—­Addresses of Chief Justice Chase, Morse, and Daniel Huntington,—­Report as Commissioner finished.—­Professor W.P.  Blake’s letter urging recognition of Professor Henry.—­Morse complies.—­Henry refuses to be reconciled.—­ Reading by sound.—­Morse breaks his leg.—­Deaths of Amos Kendall and George Wood.—­Statue in Central Park.—­Addresses Of Governor Hoffman and William Cullen Bryant.—­Ceremonies at Academy of Music.—­Morse bids farewell to his children of the telegraph.

It will not be necessary to record in detail the happenings of the remainder of this last visit to Europe.  Three months were spent in Dresden, with his children and his sister-in-law’s family around him.  The same honors were paid to him here as elsewhere on the continent.  He was received in special audience by the King and Queen of Saxony, and men of note in the scientific world eagerly sought his counsel and advice.  But, apart from so much that was gratifying to him, he was just then called upon to bear many trials and afflictions of various kinds and degrees, and it is marvellous, in reading his letters, to note with what great serenity and Christian fortitude, yet withal, with what solicitude, he endeavored to bear his cross and solve his problems.  As he advanced in years an increasing number of those near and dear to him were taken from him by death, and his letters of Christian sympathy fill many pages of the letter books.  There were trials of a domestic nature, too intimate to be revealed, which caused him deep sorrow, but which he bravely and optimistically strove to meet.  Clouds, too, obscured his financial horizon; investments in certain mining ventures, entered into with high hopes, turned out a dead loss; the repayment of loans, cheerfully made to friends and relatives, was either delayed or entirely defaulted; and, to cap the climax, the Western Union Telegraph Company, in which most of his fortune was invested, passed one dividend and threatened to pass another.  He had provided for this contingency by a deposit of surplus funds before his departure for Europe, but he was fearful of the future.

In spite of all this he could not refrain from treating the matter lightly and humorously in a letter to Mr. E.S.  Sanford of November 28, 1867, written from Dresden:  “Your letter gave me both pleasure and pain.  I was glad to hear some particulars of the condition of my ‘basket,’ but was pained to learn that the hens’ eggs instead of swelling to goose eggs, and even to ostrich eggs (as some that laid them so enthusiastically anticipated when they were so closely packed), have shrunk to pigeons’ eggs, if not to the diminutive sparrows’.  To keep up the figure, I am thankful there are any left not addled.”

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Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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