Press "Enter" to skip to content

Profile of the Day: Samuel F.B. Morse

“What hath God wrought?” This was the message Samuel F.B. Morse sent from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the United States Capital to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland, to inaugurate the first telegraph line on May 24, 1844.

Profile of the Day: Samuel F.B. Morse

Library of Congress

Morse was born on April 27, 1791 in Charlestown, Massachusetts to Jedediah Morse, a pastor and geographer, and Elizabeth Ann Finley Breese. Morse had established a career as a painter when a tragic event would pull his focus to exploring better methods of long distance communication. In 1825, Morse was commissioned to paint a portrait of Lafayette in Washington, D.C. While he was painting, he received a letter from his father that read, “Your dear wife is convalescent.” The next day, he received a letter from his father announcing his wife’s sudden death. By the time he arrived home, his wife had been buried. Disturbed that he had been unaware of his wife’s failing health and death for many days, he turned his attention to inventing a means of rapid communication across long distances.

Morse developed the concept of a single-wire telegraph and in time, developed a code using pulses and pauses, known today as Morse code, to deliver messages quickly over vast distances. His invention revolutionized long distance communication as telegraph lines were quickly built across the country.

How are you related to Samuel F.B. Morse? Explore his family tree and discover how you’re related!

View Samuel F.B. Morse’s Geni Profile


iframe{ border: 1px solid #999; }


Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *