Book/Printed Material First telegraphic message---24 May 1844
About this Item
- First telegraphic message---24 May 1844
- Morse, Samuel Finley Breese, 1791-1872.
Created / Published
- 24 May 1844
- - Ephemera
- - When decoded, this paper tape recording of the historic message transmitted by Samuel F. B. Morse reads, "What hath God wrought?" Morse sent it from the Supreme Court room in the U.S. Capitol in Washington to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore. Morse's early system produced a paper copy with raised dots and dashes, which were translated later by an operator. Across the top of this artifact of his historic achievement Morse has given credit to Annie Ellsworth, the young daughter of a good friend, for suggesting the message he sent. She found it in the Bible, Numbers 23:23.
Call Number/Physical Location
- Microfilm reel: 34
- Series: Miscellany
- MSS33670: box 71, folder 009
- Samuel Finley Breese Morse papers, 1793-1944
- Manuscript Division
IIIF Presentation Manifest
- Invention of the Telegraph | Collection Highlights | Articles and Essays | Samuel F. B. Morse Papers at the Library of Congress, 1793 to 1919 | Digital Collections
- 1840 to 1872 | Timeline | Articles and Essays | Samuel F. B. Morse Papers at the Library of Congress, 1793 to 1919 | Digital Collections
- Invention of the Telegraph | Articles and Essays | Samuel F. B. Morse Papers at the Library of Congress, 1793 to 1919 | Digital Collections
- Today in History - April 2
- The Industrial Revolution in the United States
Rights & Access
The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for educational and research purposes and makes no warranty with regard to their use for other purposes. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or holders of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions.
With a few exceptions, which are noted below, the Library is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the materials included in this online presentation. There may be content that is protected as "works for hire" (copyright may be held by the party that commissioned the original work) and/or under the copyright or neighboring-rights laws of other nations.
Note that the Samuel F. B. Morse Papers in the Library of Congress's Manuscript Division consists of personal papers and other manuscript materials. The Library of Congress received the collection as a series of gifts from descendants of Samuel F. B. Morse and through purchases. Works created by Morse, his family, and other individuals may in some cases be subject to copyright. In many of these cases, we were unable to identify a possible rightsholder and have elected to place these items online as an exercise of fair use for strictly non-commercial educational uses. Users are reminded that in all cases responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item.
Cite This Item
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Morse, Samuel Finley Breese. First telegraphic message---24 May. 24 May, 1844. Image. https://www.loc.gov/item/mmorse000107/.
APA citation style:
Morse, S. F. B. (1844) First telegraphic message---24 May. 24 May. [Image] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/mmorse000107/.
MLA citation style:
Morse, Samuel Finley Breese. First telegraphic message---24 May. 24 May, 1844. Image. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/mmorse000107/>.