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Series I. Correspondence: May 13, 1844 - November 9, 1845 (Box 2)

May 13, 1844 - August 9, 1844 (Box 2/Folder 1) : [50 digital images]

TOPICS:

Family correspondence; telegraph business correspondence: completion of line between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, conflicts between partners, removal of pipe from trench; hoop machine.

HIGHLIGHTS:

n.d. Morse's telegraphic alphabet and phrases written by Samuel F.B. Morse for use of Ezra Cornell on test line between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.

July 28, 1844. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell and children describing in detail his journey by coach to Syracuse and train to Albany, his impressions of the State Geological collection, and discussing family businesses, finance, and poles for Benjamin Wood.

July 29, 1844. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell and children describing his trip by steamer "Portsmouth" down the Hudson as far as town of Hudson.

July 29, 1844. Samuel F.B. Morse to Ezra Cornell from New York:
"Things in relation to the Telegraph look well, and if our plans succeed here, you will not want for ample employment."

August 9, 1844. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell and children concerning interest in the telegraph from companies in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York; potential employment with telegraph for family members; continued description of trip down the Hudson, including discussion of the raising of a sunken ship rumored to be that of Capt. Kidd.

PLACES:

Ithaca; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Albany, N.Y.

PEOPLE:

Morse, Samuel F.B.; Wood, Benjamin; Burbank, David; Vail, Alfred; Smith, F.O.J.; Cornell, Mary Ann.

August 10, 1844 - September 25, 1844 (Box 2/Folder 2) : [37 digital images]

TOPICS:

Family correspondence; Ithaca politics; Whigs; Loco Focos; plows; telegraph business correspondence; telegraph exhibition.

HIGHLIGHTS:

August 18, 1844. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell and children reflecting on slavery and national politics:
"My dear, I am convinced that our 'humble cot' is the dwelling place of more happiness in one day than falls to the lot of many a human being in this portion of our boasted 'land of Liberty' during a long life.
"Slavery as it is garenteed in the states by the Constitution is bad enough and must be indured until it is removed by the fource of enlightened publick opinion acting upon the slaveholder, but for the sake of humanity let it not be extended."

September 2, 1844. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell and children discussing the bustle (women's fashion) and giving detailed directions to Mary Ann concerning her trip to Washington, D.C.

PLACES:

Baltimore; Ithaca; Washington, D.C.; Boston.

PEOPLE:

Burbank, David; Cornell, E.B.; Cornell, Mary Ann; Lincoln, A.B.; Slater, Justus; Wood, O.S.; Morse, Samuel F.B.; Smith, F.O.J.

October 7, 1844 - November 22, 1844 (Box 2/Folder 3) : [43 digital images]

TOPICS:

Family correspondence; business correspondence; telegraph exhibition in Boston; telegraph; elections; "lightning."

HIGHLIGHTS:

November 24, 1844. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell quoting "A World of Love at Home," a poem by J.J. Reynolds and giving instructions to his children on how to maintain this at home.

PLACES:

Boston; Ithaca.

PEOPLE:

Smith, F.O.J.; Cornell, Mary Ann; Wood, O.S.; Morse, Samuel F.B.; Vail, Alfred.

December 1, 1844 - December 29, 1844 (Box 2/Folder 4) : [43 digital images]

TOPICS:

Business correspondence; Family correspondence; telegraph; telegraph exhibition in Boston; electric conductors; alarm machine; chess games over the telegraph.

HIGHLIGHTS:

December 3, 1844. Samuel F.B. Morse to Ezra Cornell discussing the claims of Dr. Charles T. Jackson that Jackson was the inventor of the telegraph.

December 5, 1844. Orrin S. Wood to Ezra Cornell discussing use of telegraph to report proceedings of Congress.

December 15, 1844. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell and children:
"I had heard while at Providence last Thursday that Mary had recd. proposals from Robert Macy but had decided not to accept them, I was glad to hear of that determination as I detest the practice of cousins marrying or any marriage between persons in which there can be traced the most distant relationship. I go for the improvement instead of the deterioration of our race..."

Alarm machine, telegraph for the Postmaster.

December 22, 1844. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell and children sending New Years wishes and messages to Mary Ann, Alonzo, Frank, Elizabeth, and Oliver Perry to accompany books for each of them.

PLACES:

Boston; New York City.

PEOPLE:

Cornell, Mary Ann; Speed, J.J.; Morse, Samuel F.B.; Smith, F.O.J.; Wood, O.S.

January 2, 1845 - January 31, 1845 (Box 2/Folder 5) : [50 digital images]

TOPICS:

Telegraph business correspondence: line from New York to Boston, materials and supplies, line damaged in storm, New York telegraph exhibition; discussion of possible duel between Congressmen Clingman and Yancey; conflict with Beebe.

HIGHLIGHTS:

January 15, 1845. E.B. Cornell to Ezra Cornell regarding E.B.'s financial difficulties and hopes for assistance from Ezra Cornell.

January 29, 1845. Jeremiah S. Beebe to Ezra Cornell:
"I think it was 1829 or 30 that I applied to Otis Eddy for a man to mend my plaster mill, and he recommended you. At that time I was worth $40.000 and you perhaps 40/, soon after I employed you to take charge of my affair at Fall Creek. From that time forward for at least 8 or 9 years you was in my employment at a good salary. You had my means to live on and my [...] to try your crazy experiments upon, and what is the result. I am now obliged to wear the old clothes about that I had 7 years ago and you are moving upon lightening. You have been brought forward to the world's notice..."

PLACES:

New York City; Washington, D.C.

PEOPLE:

Wood, O.S.; Smith, F.O.J.; Nash, John; Burbank, David; Beebe, Jeremiah S.; Cornell, Mary Ann.

February 1, 1845 - March 23, 1845 (Box 2/Folder 6) : [52 digital images]

TOPICS:

Wool factory; alarm machine; telegraph business correspondence: New York telegraph exhibition, Congressional appropriation, plans for telegraphic enterprise; hoop machine; conflict with Beebe; fire at National Theater in Washington; Ithaca fire; E.B. proposes fresh water business in Chicago.

PLACES:

New York City; Ithaca; Washington, D.C.

PEOPLE:

Burbank, David; Avery, Thomas; Speed, J.J.; Wood, O.S.; Smith, F.O.J.; Morse, Samuel F.B.; Beebe, Jeremiah S.; Cornell, E.B.

April 10, 1845 - May 29, 1845 (Box 2/Folder 7) : [34 digital images]

TOPICS:

Telegraph business correspondence: line maintenance, materials and supplies; plow business.

HIGHLIGHTS:

April 19, 1845. Ezra Cornell to Samuel F.B. Morse:
"...my object was to aid in carrying through, what I regarded as a magnificent experiment, and laying a foundation for future profitable employment."

Telegraph conflicts, alarm machine.

May 29, 1845. Amos Kendall to Ezra Cornell:
"...we are willing to arrange for your employment and services in behalf of the Magnetic Telegraph Company of which you are already a member with this understanding..."

PLACES:

New York City; Washington, D.C.

PEOPLE:

Morse, Samuel F.B.; Smith, F.O.J.; Burbank, David; Speed, J.J.; Cornell, Alonzo B.; Kendall, Amos; Lincoln, A.B.

June 15, 1845 - June 28, 1845 (Box 2/Folder 8) : [28 digital images]

TOPICS:

Telegraph business correspondence: rights of way, construction, materials and supplies.

HIGHLIGHTS:

June 22, 1845. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell and children describing stage coach journey:
"The night got rather cool and a great coat would have been comfortable but I did not suffer at all for the want of one and I'm inclined to the opinion that the absence of the warmth from an overcoat was all that saved me from stage sickness if so the circumstance may be given as another evidence that 'poverty is a blessing.'
"The children must not be idle, they must study some, work some, and play some, they must be at something all the time."

Health, possible routes out of the city for the telegraph, visit to old neighborhood (Bergen county), Staten Island.

June 30, 1845. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell and children concerning the approaching Fourth of July:
"...the only guarantee the present generation has that our free and hapy form of government will be handed down unimpaired as it came from the hands of our Patriot Fathers, to our children and our children's children is in universal education...Then let Universal Education be the Patriot's watchword..."

PLACES:

New York City.

PEOPLE:

Kendall, Amos; Cornell, Mary Ann; Smith, F.O.J.; Burbank, David.

July 6, 1845 - July 31, 1845 (Box 2/Folder 9) : [59 digital images]

TOPICS:

Telegraph business correspondence: routes in New York City and New Jersey, and New York to Philadelphia, materials and supplies, stock subscriptions.

HIGHLIGHTS:

July 11, 1845. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell and children:
"I think Elizabeth is quite romantic to call her Father's letters novels'...but she will find this difference between the two, novels are the coinage of missguided brains, making no instructions to truth or reality, but dealing largely in 'the fancies' while her Father's letters contain truth, plain unvarnished truth, and I hope that is the quality that induces E. to admire them."

On visiting the Old Stone School House where he had gone to school 27 years ago:
"Not being satisfied that I got the worth of the money that my good Father paid for my larning there, I sought to indemnify myself by obtaining some relic of the house itself so I knocked some pieces out of it's 'time honoured walls' which I shall deposit properly labilled in my museum of curiosities."

July 27, 1845. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell and children written to
"appear like a Novel to my little Rosebud."

PLACES:

New York City; Ithaca.

PEOPLE:

Cornell, Mary Ann; Cornell, Alonzo B.; Smith, F.O.J.; Kendall, Amos; Cornell, E.B.; O'Reilly, Henry.

August 2, 1845 - September 30, 1845 (Box 2/Folder 10) : [84 digital images]

TOPICS:

Telegraph business correspondence: Utica line, instruments, materials and supplies, river crossing, insulation for wires, magnets; Steamship Great Britain; Family correspondence.

HIGHLIGHTS:

August 10, 1845. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell and children:
"...I must pay you the compliment of being quite a financier...you must keep a keen eye on your tenants and make them 'Pony up' -- does not Potter trade in something that you want if so try to get something out of him, take candy if you can get nothing else, Perry would soon learn to eat candy if he dont already know how..."

August 17, 1845. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell and children discussing health and fruit, and improvements to telegraph instruments:
"I am making other improvements that I have full confidence will be successful by business superintending my work getting materials, planning and draughting for new improvements writing my letters and accts. keeps me fully employed I don't get half the time to read that I should like to devote to it, things look well and will come out right in the end."

September 19, 1845. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann and children describing telegraph exhibit at State Fair in Utica:
"I had about 2000 visiters a room 30 by 40 crowded from morning till night. The wonder with all was how I stood it, to talk so much and so long as I did in explaining the telegraph to such a multitude."

PLACES:

New York City; Utica, N.Y.

PEOPLE:

Smith, F.O.J.; Cornell, Mary Ann; Butterfield, John; Messenger, S.; Kendall, Amos; Cornell, E.B.; Vail, Alfred; Rogers, H.J.; Cornell, Alonzo B.

October 1, 1845 - October 16, 1845 (Box 2/Folder 11) : [40 digital images]

TOPICS:

Telegraph business correspondence: technical issues, instruments, materials and supplies, routes; Family correspondence.

HIGHLIGHTS:

October 5, 1845. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell and children:
"...my old hat crown was most out, and a hole in my pants and some buttons off and my shoes riped down the side, but that is nothing my heart is sound and my head clear..."

October 15, 1845. Ezra Cornell to C.G. Page, discussing improvements in instrumentand magnet designs:
"I am unconcious of having done anything wrong in the matter, and am very sorry if you have the impression that I would wrong you in the slightest degree, even were it in my power, I have done nothing and would do nothing that I should not be willing that you should do by me, I act from principle founded upon justice to all men."

PLACES:

Utica; New York City.

PEOPLE:

Faxton, Theodore; Smith, F.O.J.; Cornell, Mary Ann; Wood, O.S.; Kendall, Amos; Butterfield, John; Page, C.G.

October 18, 1845 - October 31, 1845 (Box 2/Folder 12) : [42 digital images]

TOPICS:

Telegraph business correspondence: patent rights, instruments, New York, Albany & Buffalo line, materials and supplies, construction of lines, finances; Ithaca schools.

HIGHLIGHTS:

October 30, 1845. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell and children:
"Your going to church I approve as I do your doings in general, I think however the churches are not as usefull as they would be if they would teach their disciples...to practice upon the precepts laid down by Christ. Do unto others, as you would that should do unto you, Love your neighbour as your self, Let him who is free from sin cast the first stone, &c &c &c."

Bible quotations (proverbs) concerning husbands and wives.

PLACES:

New York City; Ithaca.

PEOPLE:

Page, C.G.; Wells, Henry; Wood, O.S.; Cornell, Alonzo B.; Cornell, Mary Ann; Kendall, Amos.

November 1, 1845 - November 9, 1845 (Box 2/Folder 13) : [44 digital images]

TOPICS:

Telegraph business correspondence: instruments, materials and supplies, technical issues, patent rights, Buffalo to Lockport line in operation; Family correspondence; Fall Creek tunnel.

HIGHLIGHTS:

November 6, 1845. Ezra Cornell to Alonzo B. Cornell:
"If you go to Dryden, you and Otis and Norman and perhaps one or two other young philosophers might get up a Philosophical Club, and spend your winter evenings profitably..."
"...the serenade at Unkle Js must have been interesting. Dryden is a great place for musick, but such musicians make poor phylosiphers. I had rather you would study phylosiphy than musick in that school."

November 5, 1845. Ezra Cornell to E.B. Cornell:
"I can't at the present time tell when I shall be at home, nor where I shall spend the winter. The Phil. Co. wants me to stay and keep the charge of working their line. The New York, Albany & Buffalo Co. want me, and offer $2000 for me to take charge of their line and the N.Y. and Boston Co. want me to take theirs, and will do as well by me as either, and I don't know yet which will get me. I want to go where I can be of the most service to the general enterprise."

November 12, 1845. Ezra Cornell to Mary Ann Cornell:
"...I am not shure but I shall contrive some way by which I could kiss you by telegraph. How would you like to be bussed by lightning? It would seem odd no doubt, but there is no telling what will be done yet, these are the times of strange and marvelous things..."

PLACES:

New York City; Ithaca.

PEOPLE:

Wood, O.S.; Faxton, Theodore; Cornell, Mary Ann; Cornell, Alonzo B.; Monroe, C.