The online presentation of The Samuel F. B. Morse Papers at the Library of Congress comprises about 6,500 items, or approximately 50,000 images, that document Morse's invention of the electromagnetic telegraph, his participation in the development of telegraph systems in the United States and abroad, his career as a painter, his family life, his travels, and his interest in early photography, religion, and the nativist movement. Included in the collection are correspondence, letterbooks, diaries, scrapbooks, printed matter, maps, drawings, and other miscellaneous materials. The papers included date from 1793 to 1919, but most are from 1807 to 1872. The collection includes the original paper tape containing the first telegraph message, "What hath God wrought?," sent on May 24, 1844. The digitization of the Morse Papers is made possible through the generous support of the AT&T Foundation.
The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record of the past. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which may contain materials offensive to some readers.
Morse Family Tree
Understanding the Collection
|Working with the Collection|
|The Library of Congress||Contact Us||