Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Morse, Samuel Finley Breese (1791-1872) to John Spencer

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04235 Author/Creator: Morse, Samuel Finley Breese (1791-1872) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 13 June 1843 Pagination: 1 p. : docket ; 25.5 x 20.2 cm.

Summary of Content: Writes to the Secretary of the Treasury about saving $920 in making telegraph wires with colored varnish instead of colored thread. Asks permission to sell the unnecessary colored thread.

Background Information: Morse is credited with inventing the telegraph and Morse code. In 1844, he sent the first telegraphic message, from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., "What hath God wrought!" He was also ...an accomplished artist and politician. See More

People: Morse, Samuel Finley Breese, 1791-1872
Spencer, John C. (John Canfield)., 1788-1855

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: Government and CivicsTelegraphFinanceScience and TechnologyInventor

Sub Era:

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