Grief Transforms to Opportunity

Everyone in amateur radio, those in the military and those who are history buffs may already know this…but I had to do a little research to confirm something I read on Facebook and it was true read on.

Samuel F. B. Morse Artist/Inventor (1791-1872).

Samuel F.B. Morse was an accomplished painter before he invented the telegraph and changed the way the world communicated. After a mediocre showing at Phillips Academy, save for a strong interest in art, his parents sent him to Yale College. Samuel’s record at Yale wasn’t much better, though he found interest in lectures on electricity and focused intensely on his art.

“Morse worked with several British masters and the respected American artist Benjamin West at the Royal Academy. Morse adopted a “romantic” painting style of large, sweeping canvases portraying heroic biographies and epic events in grand poses and brilliant colors.”

In the decade between 1825 and 1835, grief transformed to opportunity for Samuel Morse. In February 1825, after giving birth to their third child, Lucretia died. Morse was away from home working on a painting commission when he heard his wife was gravely ill, and by the time he arrived home, she had already been buried. The next year Morse’s father died, and his mother passed three years later. Deep in grief, in 1829 Morse traveled to Europe to recover. On his voyage home, in 1832, he met the inventor Charles Thomas Jackson, and the two got into a discussion about how an electronic impulse could be carried along a wire for long distances. Morse immediately became intrigued and made some sketches of a mechanical device that he believed would accomplish the task.

Here is some of his work.

Self Portrait Hangs in Adison Gallery of Art
President John Adams Hangs in the Brooklyn Museum
Samuel Finley Breese Morse (American, 1791 – 1872 ), The House of Representatives, 1822, probably reworked 1823, oil on canvas, Corcoran Collection (Museum Purchase, Gallery Fund) 2014.79.27
Eli Whitney Hangs at Yale Univ

 

Miracle of Saint Mark  (after Tintoretto – Jacopo Robusti) Museum of Fine Art Boston
General Lafayette (“Marquis de Lafayette,” oil on canvas.) Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

This was the image that originally sent me to do my research.

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2 thoughts on “Grief Transforms to Opportunity”

  1. Padre Eddie, Excellent! Samuel Morse actually invented the telegraph right here in Morris County, NJ, at Speedwell Village, now an historic village for sightseers & school groups; barn, gristmill with water wheel & lake,workroom, houses, school house, blacksmith, etc. I led a number of school field trips there. It is located as you leave Morristown on Speedwell Avenue into the countryside. The address may really be Morris Plains. He invented the telegraph with Alfred Vail & the Vail Mansion is just across the street from the historic village. There is a lake there, Speedwell Lake, where I fish OFTEN (!)…trout stocked by the State of NJ. Morris studied art in Paris in the 1800’s & is discussed extensively in David McCullough’s book, “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris,” from 2011. I review the book on my website under Book Reviews, D. McCullough, Books #6-9. Excellent historian you are along with all else you are & do!!! Phil

    Liked by 1 person

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