Chapter 6. Telegraphs and Relays

Samuel Finley Breese Morse was born in 1791 in Charleston, Massachusetts, the town where the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought and which is now the northeast part of Boston. In the year of Morse's birth, the United States Constitution had been ratified just two years before and George Washington was serving his first term as president. Catherine the Great ruled Russia. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette would lose their heads two years later in the French Revolution. And in 1791, Mozart completed The Magic Flute, his last opera, and died later that year at the age of 35.

Morse was educated at Yale and studied art in London. He became a successful portrait artist. His painting General Lafayette (1825) hangs in New York's ...

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