I. Jedidiah

Jedidiah, an American geographer, born in Woodstock, Conn., Aug. 23, 1761, died in New Haven, June 9, 1826. He graduated at Yale college in 1783, was licensed to preach in 1785, in 1786 was tutor in Yale college, and in 1789 was installed as pastor of the first Congregational church in Charles-town, Mass. In 1794 he received the honorary degree of D. D. from the university of Edinburgh. He prepared in 1784, at New Haven, a small 18mo geography, which was the first work of the kind published in America. This was followed by larger geographies and gazetteers of the United States from materials obtained by travelling and correspondence. Jeremy Belknap, the historian of New Hampshire, Thomas Hutchins, geographer general of the United States, Ebenezer Hazard, and others, who had undertaken a similar task, contributed to his use the materials they had gathered; and for 30 years he remained without an important competitor in this department. Reprints of the early editions of his larger geographical works were published in Great Britain, and French and German translations in Paris and Hamburg. Much of Dr. Morse's life was spent in religious controversy, in maintaining the orthodox faith in the New England churches against Unitarianism. He engaged actively in 1804 in the enlargement of the Massachusetts general association of Congregational ministers; in 1805 he established the " Panoplist," a monthly religious periodical, of which he was sole editor for five years; he was prominent in founding the Andover theological seminary, and in effecting the union between the Hopkinsians and other Calvinists on their common symbol, the assembly's catechism, the articles of which union were signed in his own study in Charles-town, in the night of Nov. 30, 1807, by himself, Dr. Samuel Spring, and Dr. Eliphalet Pearson; and he participated in the organization of the Park street church in Boston in 1808. His persevering opposition to the so-called "liberal" views of religion brought on him a persecution which deeply affected his naturally delicate health; and in 1820 he resigned his pastoral charge.

In that year he was commissioned by the government to visit the Indian tribes on our N. W. borders; and the record of Ins labors was published in 1822 under the title of "Indian Report," etc. Dr. Morse also published "A Compendious History of New England," in conjunction with Elijah Parish, D. D. (Cambridge, 1804; 3d ed. enlarged, 1820); "Annals of the American Revolution" (Hartford, 1824); and 25 sermons and addresses on special occasions. His life has been written by the Rev. William B. Sprague, D. D. (New York, 1874). II, Samuel Finley Breese, an American artist and inventor, eldest son of the preceding, born in Charlestown, Mass., April 27, 1791, died in New York, April 2, 1872. He graduated at Yale college in 1810, and went to England with Washington Allston in 1811 to study painting under his tuition and that of Benjamin West. In 1813 he received the gold medal of the Adelphi society of arts for an original model of a "Dying Hercules," his first attempt at sculpture. He returned to the United States in 1815, practised his profession in Boston and in Charleston, S. C, and removed to New York in 1822. In 1824-'5, in connection with other artists, he organized a drawing association, which resulted in the establishment in 1826 of the "National Academy of Design." Morse was chosen its first president, and was continued in that office for 16 years.

In 1829 he visited Europe a second time to complete his studies in art, residing for more than three years in the principal cities of the continent. During his absence abroad he was elected professor of the literature of the arts of design in the university of the city of New York; and in 1835 he delivered a course of lectures before that institution on the affinity of those arts. While in college Mr. Morse had paid special attention to chemistry and natural philosophy; and these sciences at length became a dominant pursuit with him. In 1826-7 Prof. J. Freeman Dana had been a colleague lecturer in the city of New York with Mr. Morse at the Athenaeum, the former lecturing upon electro-magnetism and the latter upon the fine arts. They were intimate friends, and in their conversations the subject of electro-magnetism was made familiar to the mind of Morse. The electro-magnet on Sturgeon's principle (the first ever shown in the United States) was exhibited and explained in Dana's lectures, and at a later date, by gift of Prof. Torrey, came into Morse's possession. Dana even then suggested by his spiral volute coil the electro-magnet of the present day; this was the magnet in use when Morse returned from Europe, and it is now used in every Morse telegraph throughout both hemispheres.

He embarked in the autumn of 1832 at Havre on board the packet ship Sully; and in a casual conversation with some of the passengers on the then recent discovery in France of the means of obtaining the electric spark from the magnet, showing the identity or relation of electricity and magnetism, Morse's mind conceived not merely the idea of an electric telegraph, but of an electro-magnetic and chemical recording telegraph, substantially and essentially as it now exists. The testimony to the paternity of the idea in Morse's mind and to his acts and drawings on board the ship is ample. His own testimony is corroborated by all the passengers (with a single exception) who testified with him before the courts, and was considered conclusive by the judges; and the year 1832 is therefore fixed as the date of Morse's conception, and realization also, so far as drawings could embody the conception, of the telegraph system which now bears his name. (See Jackson, Charles Tnomas.) A part of the apparatus was constructed in New York before the close of 1832, but circumstances prevented its completion before 1835, when he put up a half mile of wire in coils around a room and exhibited a telegraph in operation.

In September, 1837, he exhibited the operation of his system in the university of New York. From the greater publicity of this exhibition, the date of Morse's invention has erroneously been fixed in the autumn of 1837, whereas he operated successfully with the first single instrument in November, 1835. In 1837 he filed his caveat in the patent office in Washington, and asked congress for aid to build an experimental line from that city to Baltimore. The house committee on commerce gave a favorable report, but the session closed without action, and Morse went to Europe in hope of interesting foreign governments in his invention. The result was a refusal to grant him letters patent in England, and the obtaining of a useless brevet d?invention in France, and no exclusive privilege in any other country. He returned home to struggle again with scanty means for four years, during which he continued his appeals at Washington. His hope had expired on the last evening of the session of 1842-'3; but in the morning, March 4, he was startled with the announcement that the desired aid of congress had been obtained in the midnight hour of the expiring session, and $30,000 placed at his disposal for his experimental essay between Washington and Baltimore. In 1844 the work was completed, and demonstrated to the world the practicability and the utility of the Morse system of electro-magnetic telegraphs. (See Telegraph.) Violations of his patents and the assumption of his rights by rival companies involved him in a long series of lawsuits; but these were eventually decided in his favor, and he reaped the benefits to which his invention entitled him.

It is doubtful if any American ever before received so many marks of distinction. In 1846 Yale college conferred on him the degree of LL. D.; and in 1848 he received the decoration of the Nishan Iftikar in diamonds from the sultan of Turkey. Gold medals of scientific merit were awarded him by the king of Prussia, the king of Wi'irtemberg, and the emperor of Austria. In 1856 he received from the emperor of the French the cross of chevalier of the legion of honor; in 1857 from the king of Denmark the cross of knight commander of the first class of the Danebrog; in 1858 from the queen of Spain the cross of knight commander of the order of Isabella the Catholic; from the king of Italy the cross of the order of SS. Maurice and Lazarus, and from the king of Portugal the cross of the order of the tower and sword. In 1856 the telegraph companies of Great Britain gave him a banquet in London; and in Paris, in 1858, another banquet was given him by Americans, numbering more than 100, and representing almost every state in the Union. In the latter year, at the instance of Napoleon III., representatives of France, Russia, Sweden, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Sardinia, Tuscany, the Holy See and Turkey met in Paris to decide upon a collective testimonial to him, and the result was a vote of 400,000 francs as a personal reward for his labors.

On Dec. 29, 1868, the citizen-; of New York gave him a public dinner. In June. 1871, a bronze statue of him, erected by the voluntary contributions of telegraph employees, was formally unveiled in the Central park, New York, by William Cullen Bryant; and in the evening a reception was held in the academy of music, at which Prof. Morse telegraphed, by means of one of the instruments used on the original line between New York and Washington, a message of greeting to all the cities of the continent. The last public Bervice which he performed was the unveiling of the statue of Franklin in Printing House square, New York, on Jan. 17, 1872. Submarine telegraphy also originated with Prof. Morse, who laid the first submarine lines in New York harbor in the autumn of 1842, and received at the time from the American institute a gold medal for that achievement. In a letter from Mr. Morse to the secretary of the United States treasury, dated Aug. 10, 1843, it is believed occurs the first suggestion of the project of the Atlantic telegraph.

While in Paris in 1839 he made the acquaintance of Daguerre, and from drawings furnished him by the latter he constructed on his return the first daguerreotype apparatus and took the first sun pictures ever taken in America, He was the author of various scientific and literary papers. In 1829 he published a collection of the poems of Lucretia Maria Davidson, with a memoir; and in 1835 a volume entitled "Foreign Conspiracy against the Liberties of the United States." A series of papers of reminiscences of his early struggles in behalf of the telegraph appeared in 1868. His life has been written by the Rev. S. Irenams Prime, D. D. (New York, 1875).

III. Sidney Edwards

Sidney Edwards, an American journalist and geographer, brother of the preceding, born in Charlestown, Mas.., Feb. 7, 1794, died in New York, Dec. 23, 1871. He graduated at Yale college in 1811. In 1812-13 he wrote a series of articles for the Boston," Columbian Centi-nel. illustrating the danger to the American Union from an undue multiplication of new states in the south, and showing that it would give to a sectional minority the control of the government. In 1815, while studving at the law school in Litchfield, Conn., he was invited to establish a weekly newspaper in Boston, Which resulted in the issue of the "Boston Recorder," the prototype of that class of journals now so widely known as " religious newspapers." He was the sole editor and proprietor during the 15 months in which he was connected with it. In 1817 Mr. Morse, in connection with his elder brother, invented and patented the flexible piston pump. In 1820 he published a 12mo school geography, and in 1822 an 8vo geography, which was used as a text book in several American colleges.

In May, 1823, in connection with his younger brother Richard C. Morse, he established the "New York Observer,"now the oldest weekly newspaper in that city, and the oldest religious newspaper in the state of New York. In 1834 he conceived the idea of a new mode of engraving, applicable especially to the production of plates for printing maps in connection with type under the common printing press; and after five years of experiment he succeeded in June, 1839, with the aid of his assistant, Henry A. Munson, in producing by the new art, which he named cerography, superior map prints. One of the first applications of cerography was to the illustration of a school geography written by the inventor, of which more than 100,000 copies were printed and disposed of during the first year. The art of cerography has never been patented, nor has the process been revealed to the public. Mr. Morse continued as senior editor and proprietor of the "Observer" till 1858, when he disposed of his interest to the Rev. Dr. S. I. Prime, his associate since 1840. The last years of his life were devoted to the invention of the bathometer for rapid exploration of the depths of the sea, and he was engaged in an essay on the subject at the time of his death.