Professor Morse is also the inventor of submarine telegraphy. In 1842, he laid the first submarine telegraph line ever put down, across the harbor of New York, and for this achievement received the gold medal of the American Institute. On the 10th of August, 1843, he addressed a communication to the Secretary of the Treasury, in which he avowed his belief that a telegraphic cable could and would be laid across the Atlantic ocean, for the purpose of connecting Europe and America. His words upon this occasion clearly prove that the idea of the Atlantic telegraph originated with him. They were as follows: “The practical inference from this law is, that a telegraphic communication on the electro-magnetic plan may with certainty be established across the Atlantic ocean. Startling as this may now seem, I am confident the time will come when this project will be realized.”
In February, 1854, Mr. Cyrus W. Field, of New York, ignorant of Professor Morse’s views upon this subject, wrote to him to ask if he considered the working of a cable across the Atlantic practicable. The Professor at once sought an interview with Mr. Field, and assured him of his entire confidence in the undertaking. He entered heartily into Mr. Field’s scheme, and rendered great aid in the noble enterprise which has been described elsewhere in these pages. He was present at each attempt to lay the cable, and participated in the final triumph by which his prediction, made twenty-three years previous, was verified.
Professor Morse is now in his eightieth year. He resides during the winter in the city of New York, and passes his summers at his beautiful country seat near Poughkeepsie, on the Hudson. He bears his great honors with the same modesty which marked his early struggles, and is the center of a host of friends whom he has attached to himself by the tenderest ties. “Courage and patience have been his watchwords, and although the snows of time have bleached his hair, the same intelligence and enterprising spirit, the same urbane disposition that endeared him to the friends of his youth, still cause all who know him to rejoice in the honorable independence which his great invention has secured to his age.”
Some years ago a gentleman having business with the great house of Harper & Brothers asked one of the employes of that establishment, “Which one is Harper, and which are the brothers?” He was answered, “Either one is Harper, and all the rest are the brothers.” This reply fully sets forth the difficulty which must be experienced by any one attempting to write the story of the life of either member of this house. In such an undertaking it is very difficult to select “Harper,” and impossible to pass by the “Brothers.” The interests of each were so thoroughly in harmony