History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
Cyrus Field Auction Sale - 1906
Cyrus W. Field and his great achievements need no introduction. The Atlantic Cable is a monument to his memory and has made his name worthy of association with those of Fulton, Stephenson, Morse, and Ericsson as benefactors to mankind. His near friend, John Bright, spoke of him as “the Columbus of modern times, who, by his cable, had moored the New World alongside the old,” while William M. Evarts said “Columbus found one world and left it two. Cyrus W. Field found two continents and left them one.”
Born of sturdy New England stock, and inheriting a capacity, energy and perseverance that overcame all obstacles, he rose from poverty to wealth through various vicissitudes, engaging in gigantic enterprises with the risk of financial ruin, until after thirteen years of tireless labor with alternations of hope and fear, of success and discouragement, his triumph came, and with it world-wide fame and honor.
A man of untiring energy, rare executive ability and vigorous thought, he was not content to retire after the successful completion of his great work but devoted the rest of his life to many other business enterprises which were of great value to his city and country. Among them may be mentioned his part as promoter of the elevated railroad in New York city at a time when its feasibility was problematical and success uncertain, a task which by itself would have entitled him to the grateful memory of our people.
Mr. Field's great work brought him into contact with all the prominent men of the day both here and abroad, with many of whom he formed intimate friendships lasting during his lifetime. These included Gladstone, John Bright, Matthew Arnold, Chief Justice Chase, Longfellow, Whittier, Bryant, Holmes, Justin McCarthy, Thomas Hughes, Deans Farrar and Stanley, General Sherman, Horace Greeley, and many others.
The collection described in this catalogue comes direct from his estate and includes letters from many of the famous men noted above. Among them is a series of remarkable letters from Gladstone written during and just after the Civil War, expressing his views on the war and other subjects of national interest, forming one of the most interesting collections of Gladstone letters extant; and many personal letters of John Bright with whom Mr. Field was probably more intimate than any other American, containing his views on our Politics, Free Trade and Protection, as well as personal opinions of prominent contemporary Americans.
This catalogue also includes a small portion of Mr. Field's library with many rare pamphlets and works relating to the Atlantic telegraph; Proceedings, Reports and other data of the various telegraphic companies in which he was interested, Scrapbooks, scarce contemporary accounts, Prints and Views of the cable work collected by Mr. Field himself, Commemorative Poems and Addresses delivered upon the successful laying of the cable, and the Original Cablegram of the first public message ever sent across the ocean.
Aside from its historical value, the collection is unique in that forms a complete history of the Atlantic Cable from its conception to its completion.
60. EVERETT (EDWARD). Statesman and Orator. A.L.S., 2 pp., 8vo, Aug. 21, 1858, congratulations on the successful laying of the Atlantic cable; also, A. L., 3d person, 1 p., 8vo, regretting his inability to meet Mr. Cobden at dinner. (2)
61. FAC-SIMILE LETTERS and Documents, with various papers relating to Mr. Field, including Mr. Field's passports. (As a lot.)
62. FARADAY (MICHAEL), Scientist; Charles Lyell, Geologist and Author. A.L.S., 8vo of each, referring to Atlantic soundings, telegraphic writing, etc. (2)
67. FIELD (CYRUS W.). Early Letters of. Addressed to his parents, written in 1835-36, when seventeen years of age, just after his arrival in New York City. Very interesting accounts of Mr. Field's early life, and containing much valuable family history. Many of these letters are included in “Cyrus W. Field, His Life and Work,” by Isabella Field Judson. (10)
68. Another lot, of early N.Y. letters, addressed to his parents in 1837. (10)
69. Another lot of early N.Y. letters, 1836-1839. (13)
70. A.L.S., 3 pp., 8vo, London, Feb. 25, 1855. Fine letter on personal and family affairs.
71. A.L.S., 1 p., 8vo, London, 1859; A.L.S., I p., 8vo, Edinburgh,' 1871. Interesting. (2)
72. A.L.S., 1 p., 8vo, London, Nov. 1, 1872; also, message on form of the Western Union Telegraph Co., 1881, written and signed by Mr. Field. (2)
73. A.L.S., 1 p., 8vo, London, Nov. 15, 1872; also, message on form of Western Union Tel. Co., 1881, written and signed by Mr. Field. (2)
74. FIELD (DAVID DUDLEY). Eminent Lawyer, brother of C.W. Field. A.L.S., 40 (3); A.L.S., 8vo (2), Stephen J. Field; A.L.S. (Stephen), 2 pp., 8vo. (6)
75. FIELDS (JAMES
T.). Poet. A.L.S., 1 p., 8vo, Boston, Nov. 11, 1864.
76. FIELD (STEPHEN J.). Supreme Court. A.L.S., 4 pp., 4t0, Sacramento, Nov. 16, 1861, relative to the death of Col. E. D. Baker, the political situation in California, etc. David J. Brewer, Supreme Court. A.L.S., 2 pp., 8vo, 1898. (2)
77. FLORENCE (WILLIAM
J.). Popular Actor. A.L.S., 1 p., 8vo, invitation to a performance at
The following collection of Pamphlets, Documents, etc., relate directly to the Atlantic Cable, and are contemporary with its construction. They constitute a mass of information relating to this great event, of the highest interest and importance. They are all directly from Mr. Field's library, many with his autograph and some privately printed. It is impossible to duplicate many of the items here described.
170. ATLANTIC CABLE. Cezanne (E.). Le Cable Transatlantique. 24mo, paper. Paris, 1867 (Presentation copy to Mr. Field in the author's handwriting); Menu, Dinner given to Mr. Field. Rome, 1872; Proceedings at the banquet held in honor of Mr. Field in Willis' Rooms, London, July 1, 1868, and another. 3 pieces.
171. Report of the Proceedings at a banquet given to Mr. Cyrus W. Field, by the Chamber of Commerce of New York, Nov. 15, 1866; Printed matter relative to the Atlantic Cable (in sheets); and other pamphlets. (As a lot.)
172. Alderman Rooney at the Cable Banquet: An improvised epic. By Himself. Edited by D.O'C.T. Illustrations by Magrath. Royal 8vo, paper (torn). N.Y. 1867
173. Recovery of the Lost Cable ; Banquet to Mr. Field at Star and Garter Hotel, Richmond, on 27th anniversary of the First Atlantic Cable. Lond. 1886. On the submergence of the Atlantic Cable. By Capt. M.S. Nolloth, R.N. (Presentation copy from the Author to Mr. Field.) Memorial of the Magnetic Telegraph Co. to the Congress of the U.S., 1858; Ocean Telegraphy, the 25th Anniversary, 1879; and other interesting Field material. 8vo and smaller, paper. 20 pieces.
174. Miscellaneous Report, Speeches, and Papers on the practicability of the proposed North Atlantic Telegraph. Lond. 1861. Journal of the Voyage of the “Great Eastern.” [1865.] (Torn.) Reports of the Meetings of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, 1861-65 (13); Prospects of the Atlantic Telegraph, a paper by C.W. Field, 1862; Reports on Valencia Harbour as a Western Packet Station, 1858; and other scarce items, one with Mr. Field's autograph. 8vo and smaller, paper. 25 pieces.
175. The Atlantic Telegraph, a descriptive History. Chart. Lond. 1857; Bacon's Chart of the Atlantic Telegraph ; Address of Prof. Wm. Thomson on the Cable, 1866; Two Worlds United. A Discourse by Rev. Dr. Scott. San Fran. 1858. Jenkin (Fleeming) on the Construction of Submarine Cables. Plates. Birmingham, 1862; and other scarce and interesting cable pamphlets, some with Mr. Field's Autograph. 8vo and smaller, cloth and paper. 15 pieces.
176. The Atlantic Telegraph, A Descriptive History. Map. 1857. Statistics of Telegraphy, 1872; Authorship of the Practical Electric Telegraph of Great Britain, 1868; Anglo-American Telegraph Co. Agreements. 8vo, cloth and roan, and other pamphlets, 8vo, paper. 13 pieces.
177. Portraits, Views, Circulars, etc., relating to the Atlantic Cable. Statements and contracts of the Atlantic Telegraph Co. Newspaper clippings, etc. (As a lot.)
178. Songs, Poems and Addresses commemorating the laying of the Atlantic Cable, including “The Cable,” a poem by T. Buchanan Read; Commemoration Hymns; Carriers Addresses, and other contemporary printed matter. (As a lot.)
179. Deep-Sea Soundings in the North Atlantic Ocean. Made in H.M.S. “Cyclops,” 1857. 8vo, paper. Lond. 1858. (2 copies.) Original wrappers of sand, brought up from deep-sea soundings, showing fathoms, latitude and longitude, with. 2 Indiaproof engravings of shells, etc. (As a lot.)
18o. Maps showing Telegraph Lines in Operation and contemplated to complete Circuit of the Globe; U.S. Coast Survey of Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Coast of the U.S. to 186o (with Mr. Field's proposed plan of connecting Washington and Southern Points by Telegraph in red ink); China, from Hong Kong to Liau-Tung, 1867, folded on linen; North Pacific Ocean, folded and mounted on linen; The Broadway Underground Railway, Route and Plan of Construction, and Construction Drawings from London Underground Railways. Folio, cloth. 19 pieces.
181. The Atlantic Telegraph. By W. H. Russell. Illustrated by Robert Dudley. Fine Lithos. Royal 8vo, cloth (loose in binding), gilt. Lond. n.d.
182. Catalogue of Pictures by Mr. Robert Dudley, representing the principal incidents connected with the Atlantic Telegraph Expeditions. 4to, wrappers. Report of the Proceedings at the Anniversary Banquet, in commemoration of the establishment of telegraph across the Atlantic. Lond. 1873, etc. 4to, wrappers. (As a lot.)
183. Field (C.W.). What Can be Seen in Thirty Days. (From St. James Magazine, Aug., 1874); Deane (J. C.), Narrative of the Atlantic Telegraph Expedition, 1865 (from Macmillan's Magazine); The Laying of the Atlantic Cable, 1865 (from Blackwoods); Photo Fac-simile of Medal presented to Mr. Field, mounted; Blundell's Manual of Submarine Telegraph Companies,. 1872; Appendix to the History of the Atlantic Telegraph. 8vo and smaller, cloth and paper. 25 pieces.
184. Ocean Telegraphy. The Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the First Company ever formed to lay an Ocean Cable. N.Y. Mar. 10, 1879. Frontis. 8vo, paper. For private circulation only . (2 copies.) Testimonial of Friendship to Cyrus W. Field. N.Y., Oct. 26, 188o. 8vo, paper. (2 copies.) And another. 5 pieces.
185. Circulars, Printed Letters, etc., relating to the Atlantic Cable from its inception to 1863, including list of stockholders of the first Cable Co.; MSS. address of Mayor Tiernan in presenting gold box to Mr. Field; An Account of the inception of the Cable, corrected by Mr. Field; Original Telegrams and Letters of Congratulation, 1858; Letters of Mr. Field to the London Times; Proceedings of the N.Y. Chamber of Commerce, etc.; the whole forming a unique history of this great enterprise. (As a lot.)
186. Two Large Scrapbooks collected by Mr. Field, containing contemporary newspaper clippings and illustrations from English and American papers and magazines, relative to the Atlantic Cable, including personal opinions of the undertaking from the great men of the day, scarce illustrations of the “Great Eastern,” and other vessels engaged in the work of laying the cable, editorials, criticisms, addresses, programmes, etc., the whole forming a complete history of that great event as collected by the inventor himself. The importance of this unique collection can hardly be overestimated. 2 vols. Folio, boards.
187. Original cablegram received and read by Cyrus W. Field at the Crystal Palace, New York, Sept. 1, 1858, the day of the “Cable Carnival,” celebrating the successful laying of the Atlantic Cable. The message reads as follows: “London, Sept. First. The Directors are on their way to Valentia Bay to make arrangements for opening the line to the public, and convey their heartiest congratulations to you and your fellow citizens on your joyous celebration of the great international work.” This was the first public message sent over the cable, and is printed on a telegraphic slip three feet five inches long, exactly as received by the operator. Together with the original manuscript of the address made by Mr. Field at the Crystal Palace meeting, and the (N.Y.) “Family Herald” of Sept. 8, 1858, giving a complete account of the “Cable Carnival” celebration, including programme of events, the roster of parade, reception to British Officers, addresses, exercises at the Crystal Palace, etc. Three very rare historical items. (3)
213. FIELD (CYRUS W.). Field Ancestry. 8vo, paper. [n.d.] The Fields in England. 16mo, paper. [n.d.] Engraved Portraits of Mr. Field, by A. H. Ritchie (11). Woodcut block containing views of Hampton House, Guilford House, Ardsley, etc. (As a lot.)
214. His Life and Work (1819-1892). Edited by Isabella Field Judson. Illustrated. 8vo, cloth, gilt top, uncut. N.Y. 1896
215. A large lot of newspaper cuttings mounted in scrapbooks, relating to various railroads and telegraphs in which Mr. Field was interested. (As a lot.)
216. New York and New England Railroad, Second Mortgage Bond Sale. Hearing on the Petitions of Cyrus W. Field and others. The evidence. (4 copies.) Royal 8vo. 1886. 927 pp. The same. 201 pp. (6 copies.) (As a lot.)
217. Photo Portraits of; Carte de Visites; Busts. (35)
218. Photos of C.W. Field (3 cabinets) and members of family (2), carte de visites; various (4); John Bright, and Cobden and Bright, carte de visites. (11)
219. Proceedings at the Banquet given by Mr. Cyrus W. Field, at Palace Hotel, Buckingham Gate, London, 28th November, 1872. (3 copies.) Royal 8vo, cloth. Lond. 1872
220. The same. (6 copies.) 8vo, paper.
221. Record of the Family of the late Rev. David Dudley Field, of Stockbridge, Mass. Compiled by his youngest son, Henry M. Field. 8vo, paper. (Printed for the use of the family, but not published.) (6 copies.) 1880
222. Scrap-books containing newspaper clippings relative to New York and New England R.R. Bond Sale, giving an interesting and complete account of this event as collected by Mr. Field, who was actively interested in the transaction. Most of the articles are editorials from the leading contemporary newspapers. Folio, half calf and cloth. (Sold as 6 pieces.)
223. Scrap-book of newspaper clippings of poems and verses. Collected by Mr. Field, with his Autograph on fly leaf, dated Sept. 1, 1837. Sketch of C.W. Field. By Lillian C. Buttre. (The American Port. Gallery, Pt. 58.) 8vo, boards and paper. (2 pieces.)
New York Times, 10 November 1906:
Last revised: 12 July, 2010