University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Morse (Samuel F. B.) Letters, 1839,1860.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Morse, Samuel Finley Breese, 1791-1872.Hunt, Memucan, 1807-1856.
Title: Samuel F. B. Letters
Dates: 1839, 1860.
Abstract: The Samuel F. B. Morse Letters, 1839, 1860, include an 1839 letter offering the Republic of Texas sponsorship of Morse’s wire telegraph and an 1860 letter withdrawing the previous offer.
Accession No.: 65-171
Extent: 2 items
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Born in Charleston, Massachusetts, inventor and painter Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791-1872), graduated from Yale College in 1810. Morse attended the Royal Academy of Arts in London, England and began a successful career in painting in Europe and the United States. In 1832, Morse developed the concept of the single-wire telegraph and Morse code. In 1938, Morse proposed his patent to the U.S. Government and the Republic of Texas, but failed to gain sponsorship. Morse succeeded in securing funding from the U.S. Government after a successful demonstration in 1842.

Born in Vance County, North Carolina, Memucan Hunt (1807-1856) was a planter and businessman in Mississippi before joining the Texan Army during the Texas Revolution. In 1837, Hunt became the first Minister of Texas to the United States. A year later, President Mirabeau B. Lamar appointed Hunt as Texas Secretary of the Navy.

Source: Neu, C. T. “Hunt, Memucan,” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed on February 17, 2011.

Scope and Contents

The first of two, Samuel F. B. Morse Letters, 1839, 1860, written in 1839 by Memucan Hunt to Mirabeau B. Lamar, recounts an earlier letter from Morse to Hunt, offering the Republic of Texas sponsorship of Morse’s wire telegraph. In the second letter (1860) to Sam Houston, then governor of the state of Texas, Morse withdraws his 1839 offer as Texas was now part of the United States.


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Morse, Samuel Finley Breese, 1791-1872 -- Archives
Houston, Sam, 1793-1863.
Hunt, Memucan, 1807-1856 -- Archives
Lamar, Mirabeau Buonaparte, 1798-1859.
Morse code.
Texas -- History -- 19th century.
Texas -- Politics and government -- 1836-1846.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Samuel F. B. Morse Letters, 1839, 1860, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Detailed Description of the Papers



2L141 Transcript of letter from Memucan Hunt to M.B. Lamar, 1839
Copy of letter from Samuel Morse to Sam Houston, 1860