“To-night you have before you a sublime proof of the grand progress of the Telegraph in its march round the globe. It is but a few days since that our veritable antipodes became telegraphically united to us. We can speak to and receive an answer in a few seconds of time from Hongkong in China, where ten o’clock to-night here is ten o’clock in the day there, and it is, perhaps, a debatable question whether their ten o’clock is ten to-day or ten to-morrow. China and New York are in interlocutory communication. We know the fact, but can imagination realize the fact?
“But I must not further trespass on your patience at this late hour. I cannot close without the expression of my cordial thanks to my long-known, long-tried and honored friend Reid, whose unwearied labors early contributed so effectively to the establishment of telegraph lines, and who, in a special manner as chairman of your Memorial Fund, has so faithfully, and successfully, and admirably carried to completion your flattering design. To the eminent Governors of this state and the state of Massachusetts, who have given to this demonstration their honored presence; to my excellent friend the distinguished orator of the day; to the Mayor and city authorities of New York; to the Park Commissioners; to the officers and managers of the various, and even rival, telegraph companies, who have so cordially united on this occasion; to the numerous citizens, ladies and gentlemen; and, though last not least, to every one of my large and increasing family of telegraph children who have honored me with the proud title of Father, I tender my cordial thanks.”
JUNE 14, 1871—APRIL 16, 1872
Nearing the end.—Estimate of the Reverend F.B. Wheeler.—Early poem.— Leaves “Locust Grove” for last time.—Death of his brother Sidney.— Letter to Cyrus Field on neutrality of telegraph.—Letter of F.O.J. Smith to H.J. Rogers.—Reply by Professor Gale.—Vicious attack by F.O.J. Smith.—Death prevents reply by Morse.—Unveils statue of Franklin in last public appearance.—Last hours.—Death.—Tributes of James D. Reid, New York “Evening Post,” New York “Herald,” and Louisville “Courier-Journal.”—Funeral.—Monument in Greenwood Cemetery.—Memorial services in House of Representatives, Washington.—Address of James G. Blaine.—Other memorial services.—Mr. Prime’s review of Morse’s character.—Epilogue.
The excitement caused by all these enthusiastic demonstrations in his honor told upon the inventor both physically and mentally, as we learn from a letter of June 14, 1871, to his daughter Mrs. Lind and her husband:—
“So fatigued that I can scarcely keep my eyes open, I nevertheless, before retiring to my bed, must drop you a line of enquiry to know what is your condition. We have only heard of your arrival and of your first unfavorable impressions. I hope these latter are removed, and that you are both benefiting by change of air and the waters of the Clifton Springs.