American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Reason

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A Historic Message

Paper strip
Samuel Finley Breese Morse
Paper strip [Segment 1]
May 24, 1844
Manuscript Division

This paper strip contains the telegraphic characters or Morse code of this historic message sent by Samuel F. B. Morse from the chamber of the Supreme Court, then in the United States Capitol, to his assistant Albert Vail at the Mount Clair depot in Baltimore in 1844. Morse allowed Annie Ellsworth, the young daughter of a friend, to choose the words of the message, and she selected a verse from Numbers XXIII, 23: "What hath God wrought?"

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