35th CONGRESS,}                        SENATE                        {Mis. Doc.      

1st Session.}                                                                {No. 263.





An amendment of the act of Congress approved March 3, 1857, entitled "An act to expedite telegraphic communication for the uses of the government in its foreign intercourse," so that the subsidy granted by the said act shall be general in its application to all Atlantic ocean telegraph lines.

MAY 15, 1858. - Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. Motion to print, referred to the Committee on Printing.

MAY 18, 1858. - Report in favor of printing the memorial, without the map, submitted, considered, and agreed to. Committee on the Judiciary discharged, and the memorial referred to the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads.

Memorial of Col. Taliaferro P. Shaffner, of Kentucky, to the Congress of the United States of America, to amend the law approved March 3 1857,"to expedite telegraphic communication for the uses of the government in its foreign intercourse," so that the subsidy granted by Congress shall be general in its application to all Atlantic ocean telegraph lines; the President of the United States to determine, from time to time, the telegraph line most entitled to the patronage of the government, and best calculated to benefit the "United States and the citizens thereof for all time," on equal terms with any other nation. The memorial embraces in its consideration the following, viz:

1. History of Atlantic ocean telegraphing; royal concessions awarded to the said Shaffner by their Majesties the Kings of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, to construct a line from. America to Europe, via Greenland, Iceland, and the Faroe Isles. Speculation of the Newfoundland and the Atlantic Telegraph Companies.

2. The act of Congress for the benefit of the Atlantic company considered, and its interpretation apparently and practically. The deception practiced upon Congress by the speculators in the passage of the telegraph act approved March 3, 1857.

3. The Atlantic company's expansion of stock from £300,000 to £350,000, to £425,000, to £500,000, and the right to further expand it to £1,000,000, contrary to the intentions of Congress on the passage of the aforesaid act.

4. Violation of the act of Congress by the Atlantic Company, by contracting with the British government to exercise authority and an exclusiveness forbidden by the law of Congress.

5. The route of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, via Newfoundland and Ireland.

6. The distances of the Atlantic line from its respective points, and from London to New York.

7. The route of the Transatlantic Telegraph Company, via Greenland, Iceland, and the Faroe Isles.

8. The distances of the transatlantic line from its respective points, viz: from New York to Quebec, Labrador coast, Greenland, across Greenland, and thence to Iceland, to Faroe, to North Scotland, and to London. From Faroe's to Norway, to Copenhagen, and to St. Petersburg.

9. South Atlantic telegraph route, and its distances from Portugal to the Azores, and from Great Britain to the Azores, and from thence to Newfoundland and to Boston or New York, via Nantucket.

10. Comparative distances of the Atlantic and the Transatlantic routes, from the leading cities in America to the leading cities of Europe. The Transatlantic line more than one thousand miles nearer telegraphically, via Greenland and Iceland, than by the Atlantic line, via Newfoundland and Ireland.

11. Currents and circuits of electricity explained; the mode of applying them in telegraphing;the distance electricity can be sent on overground and submarine lines of telegraphs.

12. Celerity of the electric current on submarine telegraphs. Faraday's, Lardner's, and other opinions; the impossibility of sending a current on long circuits.

13. A political view of an Atlantic telegraph; it should be international, and under the shield of every nation, and the people of the whole world should be admitted to use it on equal terms.

14. An appendix, exhibiting the progress of the Atlantic telegraph, and the priority of the memorialist in the organization of the enterprise, both in America and in Europe.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled:

The memorial of Taliaferro P. Shaffner, a native born citizen of the United States, and a resident of the State of Kentucky, praying the Congress of the United States to repeal the act of Congress approved March 3, 1857, by which the Atlantic Telegraph Company of Great Britain is granted the sum of seventy thousand dollars per annum, and that the amount thus specially granted to a foreign company, acting or operating wholly on British soil, be made general, and to be applied in part or in whole, to all or any telegraph connecting America with Europe, from time to time, as the President may determine as best calculated to subserve the welfare of the people of the United States of America.


Your memorialist represents, that since early after the completion of the experimental telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore, in 1844, he has been engaged in that enterprise, and was the first inhabitant of the west to energetically embark in its promotion. The last line built by him in America was the one to the frontiers of Missouri - the verge of civilization and the home of Indian tribes.

Your memorialist has devoted years of labor in the consummation of the grand enterprise of connecting by electric telegraph the western and southern cities and towns with all other parts of the American continent. He has served as projector, builder, manager, president, &c., of lines in the south and west for several years. He accumulated a large interest in the stocks of lines, and his efforts have been aimed to the increase of their value by perfecting the system of telegraphs in America. He has never speculated on his stocks and never sold a share for himself. Many of his stocks have depreciated in value, owing to the management of speculating adventurers. As a telegrapher, your memorialist has been patriotic and self-sacrificing. In 1853 he accepted the position of secretary of the American Telegraph Confederation, an organization composed of a representation from the different telegraph companies in America. This association, in 1853 and 1854, assembled at Washington city. In order to promote the final consummation of an Atlantic telegraph, he was permitted, at the annual meeting in 1854, to reside in the city of New York, where he was then publishing a monthly magazine devoted to the science and art of the electric telegraph - advocating therein the practicability of an Atlantic ocean telegraph - the first number of which was issued in the fall of 1853.

(See Shaffner's Telegraph Companion, vol. 1. No. 1; and also the series thereafter, embracing vols 1 and 2, in Congressional library.)

Your memorialist at that time had had much experience in submarine telegraphing. The lines on which he had served in the west and south had more submarine telegraph than all the other lines in America; and, to attain final triumph, great labor was required, and, besides, enormous expenditure of money and sacrifice in business. The responsibility devolving upon your memorialist in relation to the submarine telegraphs referred to was greater than upon all others engaged in the enterprise. Succeeding in the accomplishment of this grand desideratum, he devoted much study to the Atlantic ocean telegraph. Up to that time your memorialist knew no practical telegrapher who had confidence in its ultimate success. None had faith in its early achievement. Your memorialist was alone in its advocacy as a practical enterprise in science and in art.

While thus engaged, namely, as secretary of the American Telegraph Confederation, publisher and editor of the Telegraph Magazine, of New York, advocating the practicability of an Atlantic ocean telegraph, he was called upon by the original projector of the Newfoundland Electric Telegraph Company, and was engaged by him to act as chief director of the company. Your memorialist visited New York early in 1854, for the purpose of inducing gentlemen in that city to embark with their capital in the Newfoundland enterprise. These gentlemen are now a part of the present American Telegraph Company, the New York, Newfoundland and London Telegraph Company, and the Atlantic Telegraph Company. With these gentlemen your memorialist confided his plans and views in relation to the Newfoundland telegraph, having an aim for a European connexion. He was employed by the acting person of the New York gentlemen to be the chief director and the secretary of the company, and to receive a salary of ten thousand dollars per year. The gentlemen of New York City then embarking in the enterprise were merchants or speculators, who knew nothing of either the science or art of telegraphing, and it became necessary to educate them in the simplest affairs of the enterprise, and, in doing so, your memorialist supposed it was his duty, as an employee and as an equal associate, and that the confidence thus reposed by him in them would never be misplaced.

The gentlemen of New York, agreeing to embark in the Newfoundland company, deemed it best to surrender the original charter and obtain a new one from the Newfoundland government. This was done. Contrary to good faith, your memorialist was left out of the management of the said company, and the contract for his employment as the secretary and chief director of the company summarily repudiated. Early in the history of this new company, your memorialist was a member of it, but subsequently he felt that his education of fairness and justice could not comport with its management, and he withdrew from it forever. By the new charter, the Newfoundland government guarantied, on the bonds of the company, for a sum proximating $250,000 which amount, with what had been expended in building the line by the old company, was amply sufficient for the construction of the whole line, and, therefore, the members of the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company had good reason to believe, as was advocated at the time, that they would make the $1,500,000 capital of the company free of any expense to themselves. It was considered a magnificent speculation! If it has turned out otherwise, the fault lies wholly with incompetent administration of its affairs.

Your memorialist finding himself deceived in the affair of the New York, Newfoundland, and London telegraph, he determined to confine himself to the Atlantic enterprise, and in May, 1854, he embarked for Europe, for the purpose of obtaining a concession from the kingdom of Denmark for the right to run a telegraph from America to Europe, via Greenland, Iceland, and the Faroe Isles.

In England he was granted every desired facility for the examination and study of the telegraphs in that country. In France, his Imperial Majesty, the Emperor Napoleon III, through the minister of foreign affairs at Paris, ordered the telegraphs of the empire to be fully exposed to your memorialist's examination, and to be afforded all necessary aid by the government official thereon engaged. The administrations of the telegraphs of Belgium, Holland, Hanover, Denmark, Prussia Austria, and of nearly all Europe, were particularly attentive in awarding to your memorialist every facility necessary for the examination of their respective systems of telegraph. While awaiting the negotiations in Denmark, his Majesty, the late Emperor Nicholas of Russia, deigned to request your memorialist, through his envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, to visit St. Petersburg, for the purpose of aiding in the organization and fulfilment of a complete system of telegraphs for the military service of the empire. For the services thus rendered by your memorialist, his august Majesty most generously manifested a satisfactory appreciation.

In August, 1854, his Majesty the King. of Denmark, Frederick VII granted to your memorialist the exclusive right for the construction and maintenance of an electric telegraph from America to Europe, via the Royal Danish territories of Greenland, Iceland, and the Faroe Isles for the term of one hundred years, so that "despatches might be transmitted, in so much as the contents thereof might not be regarded as dangerous to the Danish State, or of the common weal, from and to all nations;" the Danish government pledging its faith to the bestowment of all"necessary care and vigilance, as well as the means to insure the free and unhindered use of the said electric telegraph for the benefit alike of all nations."

On the 6th of February, 1855, your memorialist was granted a royal concession from his Majesty the King of Sweden for the continuation of the transatlantic telegraph contemplated in the royal concession of Denmark across the kingdom of Sweden.

On the 21st of February, 1855, your memorialist was granted a concession for the lauding of the cable of the transatlantic telegraph, under the royal Danish concession aforesaid, on the coast of Norway and its connexion over the territory of the kingdom of Norway. In the meantime, his august Majesty, the late Emperor Nicholas of Russia, deigned to confer on your memorialist the right, with his Majesty's co-operation, to continue the said telegraph from the coast of Sweden across the Gulf of Bothnia, along the coast of Finland, to St. Petersburg, having in view the continuation of the said telegraph by your memorialist from thence over Asia and across to the Pacific ocean to San Francisco there connecting with the American lines extending across the continent, by which the world would be girdled by one continuous electric telegraph.

(See Shaffner's Telegraphic Companion vol. II, 0n the "World Girdle Telegraph.")

After fulfilling the object of the mission to Denmark, to Russia, and to other governments on the continent of Europe, your memorialist was returning to America in the fall of 1854, and in Paris he met with a prominent English telegraph engineer, with whom an association was formed for the construction of an Atlantic telegraph This engineer subsequently repudiated his contract, and is now a director in the present Atlantic telegraph, organized in opposition to the scheme of your memorialist, and for the better satisfaction of British feeling in the premises.

Having returned to America, in December, 1854, your memorialist proceeded to negotiate with the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company for a co-operative contract in business. In February, 1855, a contract was signed by your memorialist - with his then English associate, as formed in Paris - upon the one part, and with the President of the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph company, of the other part. By this contract your memorialist was to have had constructed a line of telegraph from America to Europe within three years, and upon the faith of this contract your memorialist confided. The fault of the non - fulfilment of the contract lies wholly with the New York, Newfoundland; and London Telegraph Company. This arrangement required the Transatlantic Telegraph, represented then and now by your memorialist, to reciprocate in business at St. John's, Newfoundland; and in case the said transatlantic line did not land on the coast of Newfoundland, then for and in consideration of the non - use of the monopoly of landing a telegraph cable upon Newfoundland for the chartered term of fifty years, granted to the said company by the legislature of Newfoundland, the said Transatlantic Telegraph was to have paid the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph the sum of 6 per cent. per annum on $1,500,000 the capital stock of the said company, or $90,000 per annum.

After this arrangement was consummated, your memorialist was again requested to visit St. Petersburg by his Majesty, the late Emperor Nicholas of Russia, and then being in very bad health, he proceeded to Europe in the spring of 1855. He remained there until he recovered his health, and then returned to America in the fall of 1855.

On the arrival of your memorialist in America, he soon found that during his absence in Russia, a systematic effort had been made by members of the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company to place obstacles in the way of your memorialist carrying out the contract made with that company in February, 1855. Slanderous and libellous reports were manufactured and clandestinely circulated by the leading members of the company, embracing even those whom the world had presumed to be too noble - hearted to have participated in the promulgation of anything injurious to a fellow member of society. But in this case it was a matter of dollars and cents, and hence it not only became important to repudiate the contract made between your memorialist and the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company - through its president by authority of its board of directors - and also to place obstacles in the way of its fulfilment, but it also became necessary for the leading members of that company to manufacture libellous and slanderous reports, and put the same in circulation, so as to injure and damage your memorialist, both in character and in pecuniary affairs in order that they might succeed in further speculating under their charter for an Atlantic telegraph line, as has been practically carried out by them.

In the winter of 1856 some friends of your memorialist desired to organize, under a charter, for the purpose of carrying out the transatlantic telegraph, regarding in full faith the contract made with the president of the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company of February, 1855, and with this aim they endeavored to obtain an act of incorporation from the legislature of New York. Soon thereafter the representatives of the said New York, Newfoundland, and London telegraph were at Albany, and remonstrating against the granting of the act of incorporation which had been sought for by the friends of your memorialist with the view to carry out the contract of February, 1855, hereinbefore mentioned. The effort to obtain the charter failed through the opposition of the persons before alluded to. Subsequent to this, another effort was made to obtain a charter for the same purposes, namely, the strict fulfilment of the contract of February, 1855, entered into between your memorialist and the president of the said New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company. Application was made to the Canadian Parliament for an act of incorporation. At an early day thereafter the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company sent its representative to prevent the passage of the said act. By that opposition the effort failed. Due and faithful diligence was made by your memorialist to fulfil all his engagements with the said New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company, but never in a single instance did that company maintain its faith with your memorialist. The history of that company is the most remarkable known in the annals of corporations. Every person who failed to worship it became the object of abuse and oppression from its members. No means were ever spared to effect the crushing of any one who dared to interfere with its haughty and self - presuming career. Not only was it fatal to the character of any one to oppose that company, but, if every one did not surrender to it whatever might be demanded by its overbearing managers, the concentrated means and energies of its members were immediately aimed in a most revengeful force against such persons. In the substantiation of these truths ample evidence can be produced; and your memorialist pledges himself to demonstrate every statement herein made, whenever the Senate or House of Representatives, through a committee, may demand the same.

In 1856 your memorialist was compelled to again return to Russia, from whence he came to America in 1857. During his absence sundry persons and members of the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company induced the Congress of the United States to grant certain privileges and immunities to aid in an Atlantic telegraph, organized and prosecuted in opposition and in hostility to your memorialist, and in violation of the faith pledged in the contract of February, 1855, entered into between your memorialist and the said New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company.


The act of Congress passed for the benefit of the Atlantic telegraph, before referred to, was approved March 3, 1857, and will be found under the title of "An act to expedite telegraphic communication for the uses of the government in its foreign intercourse;" and provides for a contract "with any competent person or persons, or association for the aid of the United States, by furnishing not exceeding two ships, in laying down a submarine cable to connect existing telegraphs between the coast of Newfoundland and the coast of Ireland, and for the use of such submarine communication when established by the government of the United States, on such terms and conditions as shall seem to the President just and reasonable, not exceeding seventy thousand dollars per annum, until the net profits of such person or persons or association, shall be equal to a dividend of six per cent. per annum and then not exceeding fifty thousand dollars per annum for twenty-five years."

Congress was, beyond doubt, deceived in the passage of this bill . The presumed meaning of the act is one thing, and its practical and real meaning is another thing. They are widely different To comprehend the secret desideratum aimed to be accomplished by those interested in the Atlantic telegraph, through this act, a knowledge of telegraph affairs is necessary. Your memorialist is satisfied that Congress had not before it the information indispensably necessary for it to understand the force and real object of the act.

The interpretation of that law, as was understood by Congress, evidently was as follows, viz:

1st. That the enterprise of connecting the two continents across the Atlantic ocean, by telegraph, was open to competition and the exclusive right for the said telegraph was not held by any particular "person or persons, or association," and that the grant of $70,000 per annum, therein made, was to be an inducement or an encouragement to any "person or persons, or association" who might construct a telegraph line across the Atlantic ocean. It was to be open for competition, and the President was to exercise the power of selecting the most "competent person or persons, or association," to serve the government, and he was then to contract with the successful "person or persons, or association," on "such terms and conditions as should seem to him just and reasonable."

2d. That the sum of $70,000 per annum was to be paid on the line selected as the most "competent" to serve the government until the net profits of the line thus selected should equal six per cent. on the actual cost of its construction.

From what your memorialist has learned, and verily believes from members of Congress who voted for the passage of that bill the above interpretation of it was the one understood and confided in by Congress, and with that consideration it became a law.

The practical and real meaning of the law, in contradistinction from the presumed meaning, is as follows, viz:

1st. As the only "existing telegraph" connecting with the United States, on Newfoundland, is that of the New York, Newfoundland and London Telegraph Company, an Atlantic line could only be constructed by and through the sanction of that company. Any Atlantic telegraph which did not connect with the New York Newfoundland, and London telegraph, could not be paid the grant of $70,000 per annum from the government of the United States, as the law required the aid to be given to the Atlantic line which connected with the then "existing telegraphs," and which Atlantic line was to be laid "between the coasts of Newfoundland and Ireland." Besides this prohibition of the employment of the $70.000 to any other line than the one created by the authorization of the New York, Newfoundland and London Telegraph Company, under the clause of the law requiring the Atlantic line to "connect existing telegraphs," the said New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company claims monopoly of landing an ocean cable on the coast of Newfoundland, under its act of incorporation from the legislature of Newfoundland, granted in 1854. By this law it is pretended that no Atlantic cable can touch the coast of Newfoundland, except by authority of the said company, for the term of fifty years. But for fear, however, that this law might be declared invalid, for the reason that the legislature of Newfoundland had not the power to grant a monopoly of the right of way over the soil, in violation of the rights of persons, protected by the common law from time immemorial in Great Britain, it was deemed necessary, by those interested, that the act of Congress should require the application of the sum of $70,000 substantially, for the benefit of. and to, the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company, thereby preventing the grant from being open to competition as was designed by the Congress of the United States.

2d. The limitation of the payment of the $70,000 until the net profits of the line should equal six per cent. per annum, can never be made effective. The line of the New York, Newfoundland, and London telegraph was originally estimated to cost $250,000 maximum. At the same time the stock was diluted or expanded to $1,500,000, besides the issuing of near $250,000 of the bonds of the company By this process of expansion, so well understood by the proprietors of the Newfoundland line, and, besides, so consistent with their genius of speculation, it is not difficult to see how the same proprietors can with facility expand the capital of the Atlantic line, from time to time so that the net profits would never make a dividend of six per cent. It will be seen, therefore, that this proviso, in the act of Congress, will never be of any force for the benefit of the United States.

The New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company is principally composed of some half dozen merchants of New York. As the law of Congress now stands, that company, or those few men in New York can control the application of the $70,000 appropriation, and can sell it out to the highest bidder. Instead, therefore, of the sum granted by Congress being for the benefit of a noble enterprise, it was practically for a few speculators of New York, who, perhaps, ere this have made the best of their bargain, and sold their right to the sum appropriated for an Atlantic telegraph by Congress, for "a commuted payment in shares," to the Atlantic Telegraph Company of London.

There are many facts connected with the affairs of these companies, needless to mention here, which would go further to expose the moral of their management. Your memorialist confides in the belief that sufficient facts have been made known to the members of Congress to satisfy their minds that, in the passage of the act hereinbefore recited, the Congress of the United States was deceived, and that it is due to the honor of the nation, the rights of the people in their property, and the enterprise of an ocean telegraph for the weal of the world, that the law should be repealed, and that a general law be passed granting the benefit of the appropriation for an ocean telegraph, in such manner as will be most calculated to benefit the country, properly guarding the application of the money from being the prey of reckless speculators, who care more for present gain than for ultimate honor and the good of their fellow men.


The New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company has a line across the island from Halifax to Nova Scotia. A full and fair value and cost of the said line ought not to exceed $250,000 total, as hereinbefore stated. Bonds were issued, upon which was the guarantee of the Newfoundland government, so that they were regarded as par bonds, and at par were sold. The company aforesaid established an inflated capital of $1,500,000. Members in the New York, Newfoundland, and London telegraph are, to some extent, members of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, organized under act of Parliament of Great Britain. The spirit of expansion has already been at work in that company. Your memorialist does not complain against individual companies increasing their capital, wherein they are alone concerned; but, in this particular case, every citizen of the United States has a right, and it is his duty to raise his voice against the iniquity, as it is contrary to the good faith contemplated by the act of Congress hereinbefore referred to in the premises. Your memorialist wishes to prove the impossibility of ever practically carrying out the limitation, in the application of the $70,000 to be paid by the government of the United States, without further legislation by Congress.

The act of Parliament incorporating the Atlantic Telegraph Company contains the following facts: The first incorporation of that company made the capital stock £300,000. It was soon amended to £350,000. Subsequently it was deemed advisable to stretch it a little more, and it was declared to be £425,000! and then, most likely to make even numbers, the capital stock was made £500,000!!

By the fifteenth section of the act of Parliament, "at any general meeting of the company, convened with notice of such object, from time to time may increase the capital of the company, so as the total amount of capital, including the original capital, shall not exceed the sum of one million pounds sterling," and that such new "shares shall be allotted and issued by the board of directors to such persons, on such terms, and subject to such conditions, as may be prescribed by such resolution, or (if not thereby prescribed) as the directors may in each such case think fit."

The actual cost of the line, with all its feasts and flourishes, may possibly reach £400,000, but surely not more. The capital has already reached near a half million of dollars more than its real cost of construction, and by the law just quoted the company can, with one flourish of its trumpet, increase the capital stock to the enormous sum of £1,000.000, or near $5,000,000!

Your memorialist repeats, that he believes the facts stated ought to be sufficient to satisfy Congress that in the passage of the law granting to the enterprise of an ocean telegraph the appropriation of $70,000 per year, or the sum of $1,750,000 for the term of the grant, it had not before it proper information; and, therefore, having been deceived by those interested in the passage of the bill, it is due to the nation that the said act should be at once repealed, or so amended as to make it general in its application, having in view its use for any and all ocean telegraphs that can serve. the United States government the best, as may be determined by the President from time to time.


The United States government has already greatly aided the Atlantic Telegraph Company, in the fulfilment of the law of Congress. It has expended many thousands of dollars in the sending of its ships to assist in the laying of the cable. It has extended to the company all the aid authorized by the most liberal interpretation of the act of Congress; but the aid and assistance thus rendered, whether by the loan of the ships or otherwise, was, beyond doubt, under the following proviso in the law of Congress, viz:

"That the United States and the citizens thereof shall enjoy the use of said submarine communication for all time, on the same terms and conditions which shall be stipulated in favor of the government of Great Britain."

For the consummation of this grand desideratum the government of the United States has expended large means, fully confiding in the assurance that it was a noble enterprise, in which there could be no monopoly, no exclusiveness of rights, and that it would be open to all mankind alike, thereby benefitting the world - the citizens of every nation - "recognizing equality of rights" among the people of both hemispheres. This is not a mere interpretation of the law, but it is its declaration.

What is the real state of the case? Is the Atlantic Telegraph Company carrying out this law in good faith? Your memorialist is prepared to prove that the company has been violating, not only the spirit and meaning of the law, but the expressed declaration therein made. Even this early the law of Congress has been totally disregarded, the nation dishonored, and the rights of the people most shamefully trampled upon by the Atlantic company. At this very time, while receiving the aid of the United States government, the Atlantic Telegraph Company has the presumption to act under contract with the government of Great Britain, to deprive the United States government and the people of the nation from the equal privileges stipulated as conditional in the law of Congress hereinbefore cited. This extraordinary development has recently reached America, and in order to demonstrate the statement to be true, your memorialist herewith gives some extracts from the act of incorporation under which the Atlantic Telegraph Company is acting, as passed by the Parliament of Great Britain, viz:

Section XXXIII provides that "it shall be lawful for the lords commissioners of her Majesty's treasury to appoint an ex officio director, on behalf of her Majesty's government, for the purpose of seeing to and securing" the due fulfilment of the contract "with the govern - ment for the transmission of messages and signals for her Majesty, or on her Majesty's service."

Section XXXVI says "such ex officio director shall have power, in case he shall be of opinion that any course proposed to be taken, or act proposed to be done by the company will, or may, be prejudicial to or inconsistent with the due fulfilment of their contracts with the government, or the regular, speedy, and impartial transmission of messages and signals for the public, or otherwise disadvantageous to the government or the public, to veto the taking of such course, or the doing of such act," &c.

Section LVI. "All messages and signals sent or forwarded for transmission and delivery for her Majesty, or on her Majesty's service, shall have priority over all other messages whatsoever; and it shall be imperative on the company, their officers, and servants, to transmit and deliver such messages and signals accordingly, and to suspend the - transmission of all or any other messages, until the said messages and signals shall first have been transmitted: Provided always, That the company may, in consideration of a guarantee or subsidy granted or secured by the government of the United States, equal in rate or amount to that granted by or on behalf of her Majesty's government, grant and extend to the government of the United States the like priority for intelligence, on and for their service, over all other messages and signals whatsoever, except those for her Majesty, or on her Majesty's service; and after they shall have so done, and shall have notified their having so done to the lords commissioners of her Majesty's treasury, the messages and signals on the service of the government of the United States shall thenceforward be entitled to, and shall have during the continuance in force of any such guarantee or subsidy, the like priority as messages and signals for her Majesty, or on her Majesty's service, over those of all other persons whatsoever; and thenceforward messages and signals for her Majesty, or on her Majesty's service, and those on the service of the government of the United States, shall, as between themselves, have no right of priority, but be transmitted and delivered respectively in the order of time in which they may be respectively tendered for transmission and delivery."

Will the Congress of the United States submit to an appropriation of the money of the nation for a telegraph line that connects coasts belonging only to Great Britain, when, too, at the very threshold of the enterprise the Parliament thus imposes restrictions and conditions so partial to the British government? Notwithstanding there is much circumlocution in the latter section, yet its objects and meaning for - bids the possibility of "the United States and the citizens thereof" from the enjoyment of "the use of said submarine communication for all time on the same terms and conditions which shall be stipulated in favor of the government of Great Britain." It is not the intention of this memorial to cast any reflections upon the acts of Parliament. in legislating for its exclusive benefit. It is to be supposed that the law was prepared by the company, and presented to Parliament for passage. It was natural for that august assembly to accept of terms so freely offered by the Atlantic company.

Upon an examination of the section of the charter just quoted, it will be seen that the condition precedent to priority is fatal to "the United States, and to the citizens thereof." The Atlantic telegraph terminates on British soil, a thousand miles from the territory of the United States. How is it possible for the government of "the United States, and the citizens thereof," to tender any message to the Atlantic telegraph? The act of Parliament says it must be TENDERED to the company. These flagrant violations of faith by the company, are timely warnings to "the United States, and the citizens thereof." Your memorialist has thus exposed them, because it is not to be supposed that members of Congress can so readily understand the intricacies and technicalities of the science and art of the electric telegraph, and especially when that science and art is so mysteriously enveloped in the mantle of adventurous speculation; the greatest misfortune that has ever befallen "that last and most wondrous birth of this wonder-teeming age."

The Atlantic Telegraph Company has further violated the act of Congress of the United States, by authority of which law it is now, and has been, using the ships of the nation. The loaning of the ships by the government could only be upon the conditions of the law. The acceptance of those vessels by the company was, of course, upon the conditions of the law. That law agreed to loan the ships under a proviso. Its meaning is unmistakable, viz:

"Provided further, That the United States, and the citizens thereof, shall enjoy the use of said submarine communication FOR ALL TIME on the same terms and conditions which shall be stipulated in favor of the government of Great Britain."

"FOR ALL TIME" to come the government of "the United States, and the citizens thereof," are to have the free and equal use of the said telegraph, even with "the government of Great Britain." Your memorialist will now present further proof, which, in connexion with that already given, will be sufficient to demonstrate the fact that the said Atlantic company has been, and is now, most flagrantly and unjustifiably violating the act of Congress aforesaid. The following is taken from its charter, as passed by the Parliament of Great Britain, viz:

SEC. LXII. "At all times, from and after the period of twenty - five years from the opening of the said lines of telegraph communication for the transmission of messages, whenever one of her Majesty's principal secretaries of state for the time being shall be of opinion that circumstances render it expedient to vest in her Majesty's government the control of the operations of the company, it shall be lawful for such secretary of state, by warrant under his hand, to cause possession to be taken of all the telegraphs and telegraphic apparatus of the various stations of the company, their licenses or assigns, for the space of one week from the date of such warrant, FOR THE PURPOSE OF PREVENTING ANY COMMUNICATION BEING MADE, OR SIGNALS GIVEN, SAVE SUCH AS SHALL BE DIRECTED AND AUTHORIZED BY ANY SUCH SECRETARY OF STATE; and also by further successive warrants to cause possession of the said telegraphs and telegraphic apparatus to be retained from week to week, so long as any such secretary of state shall deem such possession expedient for the public service."

The Congress of the United States has now the proof that it was not only deceived in the passage of the bill, but that the government has been most shamefully imposed upon in its execution. After the government has aided the company with its ships and $1,750,000 to maintain its telegraph, then the British government has the right to prevent the United States from using the said telegraph under any circumstances, and, besides, from and after the commencement of the said telegraph a British officer will have the right to VETO any message desired to be sent by the "United States and the citizens thereof." The climax of this speculation is now seen! Wonderful patriotism!!


The line of the Atlantic Telegraph Company is designed to connect Great Britain with the British possessions in America - Ireland with Newfoundland. The company was organized in London under charter from the British Parliament in 1851. It is located in London, and its stock is nearly entirely owned in England. There are a few stockholders in America, confined, however, principally to members in the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company. On the coasts of Newfoundland and Ireland, the Atlantic telegraph will connect with the existing lines. The following data may be regarded as a proximation to the distances on the route of the proposed Atlantic company's line and its connexions with the "existing telegraphs," from the respective coasts to New York and to London. It will serve as a basis for other calculations as to distances between the different cities of Europe and the cities of America:


Submarine. - Air line across the ocean from the American coast to Ireland

as one submarine and electric section or circuit


Estimate of 50 per cent. plus for slack of cable for the ocean


Total miles in submarine section


Land lines. - From New York to the coast of Newfoundland,via Boston, Maine, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and across Newfoundland, estimated as air line on the route of the "existing telegraphs" 1,310
From Irish coast, along the route of the "existing telegraphs," to London, estimated as air lines


Total miles of land telegraph............... 2,250
Total submarine ocean line in one section 2,910
Total miles of land "existing telegraphs" 2,250
Total miles from New York to London ................................. 5,160

In the above estimates, no account is taken of the submarine lines across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, some eighty miles long, nor of the submarine line across the Irish channel. The "existing telegraphs" on the American side are overland lines, and those in Great Britain are mostly underground lines. The entire land route is fair for maintaining a telegraph line, except across Newfoundland. It will be found exceedingly difficult to maintain a telegraph across this island.


The line of the Transatlantic Submarine Telegraph Company is designed to run from Norway and Scotland, respectively, to the Faroe Isles, from thence to Iceland. On and across Iceland, the line will be laid subterranean. Leaving west Iceland, the submarine cable will run to south Greenland, and then subterranean across Greenland, keeping in the mild climate and inhabited country. From south Greenland the line will cross the Davis' Straits to Labrador, south of the Moravian settlement at Nain, and from thence across Labrador to Quebec and Montreal, at which places it will connect with the net work of telegraphs extending throughout America.

On the European side, the respective governments of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Russia, have already engaged with your memorialist to extend "all the material and necessary aid for the sure, certain, and unhindered communication to and from all nations," upon equal terms, having in view the promotion of peace among men; or, in other words, no nation can employ the telegraph as a means of war in any manner whatever.

The transatlantic telegraph route is favorable for the construction and maintenance of a line having in view a subterranean line from Quebec to the coast of Labrador. This country, the most difficult of the route, is not so unfavorable as Newfoundland for the maintenance of a telegraph. In crossing the Davis' Straits there is nothing to interfere. The shore ice is not so bad on any part of the coast south of Nain as the Newfoundland coast near St. John's. Icebergs never approach either the Labrador or Greenland coast, within the route of the proposed telegraph. Your memorialist has carefully examined the records for over a century past, and there never has been any circumstance to justify the belief that the line of the telegraph will ever be disturbed by the icebergs, on account of their grounding or otherwise. Shore ice presents no difficulties insurmountable.

Greenland is a continent usually regarded as composed of "icy mountains," and to many who have never studied that really interesting country, it may be considered as impracticable for the construction and maintenance of a telegraph. This is a mistake, so far as it. pertains to south Greenland. There are snow and icy-capped mountains, it is true; so there are in Switzerland, and also in Mexico. Where there are mountains there are valleys.

In Greenland there are rich and fertile valleys, and susceptible of practicable cultivation. "The climate is moderate in winter and very hot in summer." There are no insurmountable difficulties in the way of putting down a subterranean telegraph. The shore ice on the eastern coast, north of latitude 65, will render it difficult to land a cable for much of the year. South of latitude 63.30 that difficulty does not exist, more than, perhaps, at St. John's Newfoundland. In either case, the ice presents no formidable barrier, except for a short time. In order to keep within mild climate, and to avoid the ice with more certainty, latitude 62.30 is as far north on Greenland as may be adopted. Special explorations can alone determine this question. Were it practicable to run north to latitude 67, the submarine cable, from Greenland to Iceland, would only be in an air line some 260 miles long, instead of 390 miles air line, as from latitude 62.30. Your memorialist, while in Denmark, occupied much time in the examination of the official surveys of Greenland, and he has seen persons who have resided on that continent for years, and those researches and interviews have produced full conviction upon his mind that there exists no insurmountable obstacle in the way of successfully constructing and maintaining an electric telegraph on Greenland.

ICELAND is the farthest point north required to run the line of the transatlantic telegraph. It is hardly necessary to say anything in regard to the practicability of constructing a telegraph on the island. Its population is composed of Danes, and education is general. Iceland has been most thoroughly surveyed, and your memorialist has availed himself of the opportunity afforded him in Denmark for the most careful study of the country, the people, the trade and the climate. Of all the regions traversed by this telegraph, Iceland will present the least obstacles to complete success. Leaving the southeastern coast of Iceland, the line will run to the FAROE ISLES. This group of islands is also owned by Denmark, and they will afford a convenient relay between Iceland with Norway, and Iceland with Scotland. The electric circuits will thus be made short and more serviceable.

From the Faroe Isles it is 190 miles to Scotland, where a connexion can be made direct to London. From the Faroe Isles the line will run to Norway, a distance of 360 miles. Norway, Sweden and Denmark have already been arranging their lines to accommodate the wants of the transatlantic telegraph, by which the whole continent of Europe will be placed in immediate telegraph connexion. Russia has constructed its imperial line on the north coast of the Gulf of Finland, ready to join with the Swedish telegraphs, by a cable across the Gulf of Bothnia, as designed in the arrangements of your memorialist with the late emperor of Russia.

In regard to the depth of the sea on the route of the transatlantic telegraph, your memorialist is not informed. It is reasonable to suppose that it is sufficiently deep to be beyond the reach of the anchors of vessels. After the cable is laid, a deep sea will present no difficulties to the telegraph. It is a theory that the ocean is as quiet. and as calm as a mill pond at its bottom. The depth of the water is important to know, so that proper calculation be made for the paying out of the cable to accommodate the bottom of the ocean. Electrically, the depth of the sea presents no questions of importance requiring consideration. The paying out of the cable is a question of mechanics. In the consideration of an ocean telegraph, there are two points only to be determined, viz:

1st. The cable should be so constructed as to be capable of being subservient to the required mechanical arrangements for paying it out from the vessel.

2d. The cable should not be longer than the capacity of its conducting wire to transmit a current of electricity of the greatest intensity for practical telegraphic purposes.

In the consideration of the respective routes proposed to be occupied by the different projectors of this grand enterprise, one of the most. important questions is that having reference to the length of cable and its tonnage. The cable from Ireland to Newfoundland is near 3,000 miles long, and is scaled for the tonnage of two vessels. The ratio of increased strength that could be applied to a cable of one-fourth the length, with an equal tonnage, ought to be admitted as of paramount importance, To be brief, the following points may be regarded as fixed facts in the science and art of ocean telegraphing:

1st. The strength of the Transatlantic telegraph cable, being about one-fourth the length of the Atlantic telegraph cable can be greatly increased over the cable of the latter without exceeding the tonnage per vessel.

2d. The Atlantic telegraph cable can have but one electric wire or means of communication, owing to its great length and tonnage. The Transatlantic cable can have five electric wires, and then not exceed the tonnage of the cable employed per vessel by the Atlantic company.

3d. The electric circuits of the Transatlantic line being short, there will be but little retardation of electric currents, and in this respect has pre-eminent advantages over any other ocean route.

4th. With five wires, and other things being equal, the Transatlantic line can transmit five times more intelligence than can be sent by or over any other ocean route.

5th. As the submarine sections of the Transatlantic telegraph are short, any one section may fail without destroying the remainder of the line. Any part of the Atlantic line failing, the whole line is for-ever lost - "deep in the bosom of the ocean buried."


Submarine. - Air line across the Davis' Straits to Greenland 460
Greenland to Iceland 390
Iceland to Faroe Isles 272
Faroe Isles to Scotland 190
Total miles of air line, submarine 1,312
Estimate 50 per cent. plus, for slack of cable in ocean 656
Total miles of submarine cables 1,968
Land Lines. - New York to coast of Labrador, via Montreal, Quebec, to ocean coast, air line 1,180
Across Greenland, subterranean 210
Across Iceland ..............do 290
Across Faroe Isles.........do 30
Scotland to London, air line, of telegraph 720
Total miles of land lines 2,430
Total miles of submarine line in the four sections 1,968
Total miles of land lines in five sections 2,430
Total miles, telegraphically, from New York to London 4,398
Distance of Atlantic line from New York to London 5,160
Distance of Transatlantic line, New York to London 4,398
Less distance by Transatlantic telegraph line 762


This new scheme has received considerable attention in Europe within the past year. It has been advocated as a practicable route for a telegraph, if it be found possible to transmit a current of electricity for telegraphic purposes a distance commensurate with its requirements. It is reasoned that if an electric current, for telegraphic service, can be transmitted from Ireland to Newfoundland, it will be possible to transmit a like current on a like distance through other parts of the ocean. It is proposed to run this line from west Portugal to the Azore Isles, which will require a cable of 1,714 miles, to the Flores. From Cape Clear, Ireland, to the Flores, the cable would be 1,860 miles. From the Flores to Nantucket, the cable would be 3,099 miles. From the Flores to Cape Race, 1,983 miles. The land route from Lisbon to London would be about 1,600 miles. The line might run from Land's End, England, to the Flores, which would not much exceed the line from Cape Clear, Ireland. By these figures the distance from London to Boston or New York would exceed 5,000 miles. The Flores is the most western of the Azore group of isles, and it is due to the south Atlantic telegraph route to select its most favorable points for telegraphic purposes. This island is not so projecting, and may be regarded as the best to approach and to depart from with an electric cable. It has been said that there are precipices and lofty peaks in the ocean about the Azores, and therefore a cable would soon be cut, or worn in two by friction, owing to the "movement of the waters." This may be true.

The theory recognized by the Atlantic Telegraph Company as to the tranquillity of the sea, it being as "quiet and calm as a mill pond at the bottom," does not sustain any apprehension of danger to the cable on this route, even if there are great caverns, immense valleys, high towering mountains, and sharp pointed pinnacles at the bottom of the sea. Those caverns and valleys may be wide and gradual in descent, the mountains may be slopes as gentle as the Urals, and it is hardly reasonable to suppose that the pinnacles are so spire-like as to entangle the cable, nor so "sharp as a two-edged sword."

It would be folly to disguise the fact that the world is very ignorant as to the contour of the bottom of the seas, especially as to its applicability for the maintenance of a telegraph cable laying thereon. It is but reasonable to suppose that there are cavities and projections at the bottom of the sea on any route. If the sea be as "quiet as a mill pond," as is advocated by scientific gentlemen, then it is not material how many valleys and mountains exist on the bottom. If it be not quiet, and there exist streams or currents sweeping with the most restless impetuosity over the bottom of the mighty deep on this route, it will be but fair to admit that the same difficulty, the same mighty movement of the waters may be found throughout the universe, wherever the sea ebbs and flows.


The following estimates are based upon air line measurements, taken alike on the routes of the respective telegraphs from the leading cities of America to the leading cities of Europe. They prove that the Transatlantic telegraph line, via Greenland, Iceland, and the Faroe Isle, telegraphically, is less in distance between the cities mentioned than the Atlantic telegraphic line. The average in favor of the Transatlantic telegraph is more than one thousand miles less than the Atlantic telegraph, via Newfoundland to Ireland.

Names of cities Distance
By Atlantic line By Transatlantic line Less by Transatlantic line
London to:
Quebec 5,010 4,068 942
Montreal 5,140 4,198 942
Boston 4,970 4,328 642
New York 5,160 4,398 762
Buffalo 5,390 4.398 992
Cincinnati 5,720 4,758 962
Chicago 5,960 4,828 1,132
St. Louis 6,040 5,086 955
New Orleans 6,440 5,508 932

 From New York to European cities.

Names of cities Distance
By Atlantic line By Transatlantic line Less by Transatlantic line
New York to:
London 5,160 4,398 762
Glasgow 4,600 3,873 727
Paris 5,400 4,638 762
Vienna 6,030 5,041 989
Berlin 5,640 4,701 939
Hamburg 5,600 4,641 959
Copenhagen 5,780 4,461 1,319
Stockholm 6,160 4,411 1,749
St. Petersburg 6,750 4,895 1,855


Your memorialist now proposes to present a few remarks, for the more certain comprehension of the subject-matter under consideration, in substantiation of the statements made by him, that a telegraphic cable, three thousand miles, as one circuit, can never be worked for telegraphic purposes.

Electricity, used for telegraphic purposes generally, is styled galvanic, because it is generated by a battery composed of metals and chemicals. On one line in England magnetic electricity is employed; it is generated through the agency of magnets. The telegraphic service requires a battery that will generate the smallest amount of quantity current, but of the greatest intensity current. It is necessary to fully understand these terms. In reference to their use, Professor Faraday says, viz:

"The character of the phenomena described in this report induces me to refer to the terms intensity and quantity as applied to electricity, terms which I have had such frequent occasion to employ. These terms, or equivalents for them, cannot be dispensed with by those who study both the static and the dynamic relations of electricity. Every current, where there is resistance, has the static element and induction involved in it, whilst every case of insulation has more or less of the dynamic element and conduction; and we have seen that, with the same voltaic source, the same current in the same length of the same wire gives a different result as the intensity is made to vary with variations of the induction around the wire. The idea of intensity, or the power of overcoming resistance, is as necessary to that of electricity, either static or current, as the idea of pressure is to steam in a boiler, or to air passing through apertures or tubes, and we must have language competent to express these conditions and these ideas."

The quantity of electricity developed by any galvanic battery depends practically upon the size of the plates used. The intensity is the force with which the quantity is brought to bear upon anything. to produce a given result; its energy, in overcoming obstacles or impediments to the free passage of the electric current. This intensity is generally acquired by increasing the number of cells, and it is proportioned to that numerical increase. A quantity current can be so great as to be unmanageable for telegraphic service. It becomes as restless as static, or lightning electricity, and will leave the wire if in proximity to another conductor. An intensity current is necessary for overcoming distance. In reference to this subject, that distinguished philosopher, Dr. Lardner, says, viz:

"To produce the effects, whatever these may be, by which the telegraphic messages are expressed, it is necessary that the electric current shall have a certain intensity. Now, the intensity of the current transmitted by a given voltaic battery along a given line of wire will decrease, other things being the same, in the same proportion as the length of the wire increases. Thus, if the wire be continued for ten miles, the current will have twice the intensity which it would have if the wire had been extended to a distance of twenty miles.

"It is evident, therefore, that the wire may be continued to such a length that the current will no longer have sufficient intensity to produce at the station to which the despatch is transmitted those effects by which the language of the despatch is signified.

"The intensity of the current transmitted by a given voltaic battery upon a wire of given length will be increased in the same proportion as the area of the section of the wire is augmented. Thus, if the diameter of the wire be doubled, the area of its section. being increased in a four-fold proportion, the intensity of the current transmitted along the wire will be increased in the same ratio

"In fine, the intensity of the current may also be augmented by increasing the number of pairs of generating plates or cylinders composing the galvanic battery.

"Since it has been found most convenient generally to use iron as the meterial for the conducting wires, is of no practical importance to take into account the influence which the quality of the metal may produce upon the intensity of the current. It may be useful, nevertheless, to state that, other things being the same, the intensity of the current will be in the proportion of the conducting power of the metal of which the wire is formed, and that copper is the best conductor of the metals.

"M. Pouillet found, by well-conducted experiments, that the current supplied by a voltaic battery of ten pairs of plates, transmitted upon a copper wire, having a diameter of four thousandths of an inch, and a length of six-tenths of a mile, was sufficiently intense for all the common telegraphic purposes, Now, if we suppose that the wire, instead of being four-thousandths of an inch in diameter, has a diameter of a quarter of an inch, its diameter being greater in the ratio of 62½ to 1, its section will be greater in the ratio of nearly 4,000 to 1, and it will, consequently, carry a current of equal intensity over a length of wire 4,000 times greater - that is, over 2,400 miles of wire.

"But in practice it is needless to push the powers of transmission to any such extreme limits. To reinforce and maintain the intensity of the current, it is only necessary to establish, at convenient intervals along the line of wires, intermediate batteries, by which fresh supplies of the electric fluid shall be produced, and this may, in all cases, be easily accomplished, the intermediate telegraph stations being at distances, one from another, much less than the limit which would injuriously impair the intensity of the current.

"Having thus explained the means by which an electric current can be conducted from any one place upon the earth's surface to any other, no matter what be the distance between them, and how all the necessary or desired intensity may be imparted to it, we shall now proceed to explain the expedients by which such a current may enable a person at one place to convey., instantaneously, to another place, no matter how distant, signs serving the purpose of written language.

"It may be shortly stated that the production of such signs depends on the power of the agent transmitting the current to transmit, suspend, intermit, divert, and reverse it at pleasure. These changes in the state of the current take place, for all practical purposes, simultaneously upon all parts of the conducting wire to whatever distance that wire may extend; for although, strictly speaking, there is an interval, depending on the time which the current takes to pass from one point to another, that interval cannot, in any case, exceed a small fraction of a second."

The extent of the intensity of the current depends much upon the battery employed. Some batteries generate more quantify current than others, and then there are batteries which give out a current of greater intensity than others. There are different batteries in use on the telegraph. The Grove battery, or a modification of it, is the most general in telegraphic service.

Having now fully explained the nature of electric currents, it becomes necessary to speak of those currents in their application to circuits. An electric circuit is common to an electric current. There cannot be one without the other. The term circuit, means the length, or distance, of the telegraph wire on which is employed the electricity generated by any given battery before it is thrown into the earth. On a line from New York to Washington, the current of electricity passes over the wire, then into the earth, and many suppose, and believe in the theory, that the current of electricity makes its way back to New York, through the earth, there connects with the wire that runs from the battery to the earth, ascending that wire it completes its circuit. Unless the ends of the wire are connected with the earth, there will be no electricity, except there be two wires run from New York to Washington, by which the current will be sent on one, and it will return on the other. In this latter case, the ground is not employed, but the wire will connect both ends of the battery and complete the circuit of the wire over which can flow the current of electricity, which is the completion of a circuit of electricity. In further explanation with reference to the telegraph, suppose a line of telegraph with one wire is run from New York to Washington, about 250 miles. The battery is in New York. A wire from one end of the battery is run to the moist earth; from the other end of the battery is run a wire through the machine in the New York office, thence over the polls to Washington, into the office, through the machine, and then into the earth, where the end is buried as was with the other end in New York. The moment the wire in Washington is connected with the earth, and not until then, the battery in New York commences to generate electricity. If the wire is taken out of the earth the battery ceases to act. The current starting from one end of the battery, passes through the machine in the New York office, thence over the poles to Washington, into the machine there, setting it in motion, passes on to the earth. Practically, there is a battery at Washington on the wire between the machine and the earth. When the current leaves New York it is strong, and when it gets to Washington it is feeble. Intensity forces it to Washington. The machine in Washington being set in motion, puts into action another circuit beyond to Petersburg, Virginia, and from thence a circuit extends to Augusta, Georgia; on which, as well as all the circuits or sections, another battery is employed; beyond this circuit is another to Montgomery, Alabama, and the next to Mobile, Alabama, and the next circuit extends to New Orleans, and thus the whole distance required is overcome. The operator in New York transmits the message, the machines at Washington and other places beyond transfer the message from circuit or section, to the next succeeding, until it reaches its destination at New Orleans. The whole distance may be estimated at 1,800 miles, having five distinct and separate electric circuits, averaging 360 miles for each, with an independent battery on the respective circuits. These machines are called repeaters, because they repeat the message on to the next circuit. The arrangement is called the combining of circuits, and the offices are called relay stations. These circuits may extend to 400 and 500 miles, and on rare occasions to 600 or 700 miles. As a general practice, there is not a line in America that works in one circuit a distance of 700 miles. Iron wire is used as conductors all over America and Europe, on overground lines. Copper wire is used on all underground lines. Ratio of conductibility for copper is 100, and for iron 15.5. If the lines on poles were copper, of equal size as the iron wire now used, it might be practicable to work a circuit of 800 or 1,000 miles, and, as a phenomena for wonderment, at a very cold and frosty time, a current might be transmitted 1,500 or 2,000 miles, but not for any practicable purpose in telegraphing. In reference to overground telegraph lines, so universally used in America and Europe, it is important to state the fact of their peculiar insulation, as compared with underground lines. Air is a better insulator than gutta-percha or any known substance used in telegraphing. Glass, for the present case, may be considered as equal to gutta-percha, now used as the sole insulation of an underground line. On the line of 1,800 miles, from New York to New Orleans, the wire touches the glass for each pole about one inch. On the whole route there are not more than 48,000 inches of contact, or some 4,000 feet, making less than four-fifths of a mile. The remainder of the distance the air insulation is better than gutta-percha could be. It has been shown that this line, with this superior insulation of more than 1,799 miles of better, and 1 mile as equal, requires five independent and separate electric circuits to work it from New York to New Orleans. As it requires five galvanic circuits to transmit a message from New York to New Orleans ,a distance of 1,800 miles, with all the superior insulation before mentioned, how can it be possible to work a submarine line 3,000 miles across the Atlantic ocean with one circuit?

The underground telegraph has difficulties to overcome not common to overground lines. The most prominent hindrance is called the retardation of the electric current, and sometimes styled the return current. When a stream of electricity is thrown on a submarine wire it is retarded in its transmission. It requires time to pass. A power exterior acts against it, and finally stops its further extension, and holds it in the electric wire. In reference to this subject, Professor Faraday has made some valuable experiments on underground lines. In a paper to the Royal Institute, he said, viz:

"In consequence of the perfection of the workmanship, a Leyden arrangement is produced upon a large scale; the copper wire becomes charged statically with that electricity which the pole of the battery connected with it can supply; it acts by induction through the gutta-percha, (without which induction it could not itself become charged, Exp. Res. 1177,) producing the opposite state on the surface of the water touching the gutta-percha, which forms the outer coating of this curious arrangement. The gutta-percha, across which the induction occurs, is only 0.1 of an inch thick, and the extent of the coating is enormous. The surface of the copper wire is nearly 8,300 square feet, and the surface of the outer coating of water is four times that amount, or 33,000 square feet. Hence the striking character of the results. The intensity of the static charge acquired is only equal to the intensity at the pole of the battery whence it is derived; but its quantity is enormous, because of the immense extent of the Leyden arrangement; and hence, when the wire is separated from the battery and the charge employed, it has all the powers of a considerable voltaic current, and gives results which the best ordinary electric machines and Leyden arrangements cannot as yet approach.

*    *    *     *    *    *    *     *

"Mr. Clarke arranged a Bain's printing telegraph, with three pens, so that it gave beautiful illustrations and records of facts like those stated; the pens are iron wires, under which a band of paper, imbued with ferro - prussiate of potassa, passes at a regular rate by clockwork; and thus regular lines of prussian blue are produced whenever a current is transmitted, and the time of the current is recorded. In the case to be described, the three lines were side by side, and about 0.1 of an inch apart, The pen m belonged to a circuit of only a few feet of wire, and a separate battery; it told whenever the contact key was put down by the finger; the pen n was at the earth end of the long air wire, and the pen o at the earth end of the long subterraneous wire; and, by arrangement, the key could be made to throw the electricity of the chief battery into either of these wires simultaneously with the passage of the short circuit current through pen m. When pens m and n were in action, the m record was a regular line of equal thickness, showing by its length the actual time during which the electricity flowed into the wires; and the n record was an equally regular line, parallel to and of equal length with the former, but the least degree behind it; thus indicating that the long air wire conveyed its electric current almost instantaneously to the further end. But when pens m and o were in action, the o line did not begin until some time after the m line, and it continued after the m line had ceased - i.e., after the o battery was cut off. Furthermore, it was faint at first, grew up to a maximum of intensity, continued at that as long as battery contact was continued, and then gradually diminished to nothing. Thus the record o showed that the wave of power took time in the water wire to reach the further extremity; by its first faintness, it showed that power was consumed in the exertion of lateral static induction along the wire; by the attainment of a maximum and the after equality, it showed when this induction had become proportionate to the intensity of the battery current; by its beginning to diminish, it showed when the battery current was cut off; and its prolongation and gradual diminution, showed the time of the outflow of the static electricity laid up in the wire, and the consequent regular falling of the induction which had been as regularly raised."

*    *    *     *    *    *    *     *

"When an air wire of equal extent is experimented with, in like manner, no such effects as these are perceived; or, if guided by principle, the arrangements are such as to be searching, they are perceived only in a very slight degree, and disappear in comparison with the former gross results."

In reference to this subject, Mr. Edward B. Bright, the very able secretary of the English and Irish Telegraph Company, (Shaffner's Telegraph Companion, vol. II, page 169. The engineer of this company and the Atlantic Telegraph Company is the same) in association with the Atlantic telegraph, has written a very clear paper, viz:

"On extending this system (underground lines) throughout the United Kingdom, where circuits of several hundred miles were brought into operation, it was found, upon communicating a current to such wires, that, after the withdrawal of the excitation, (whether galvanic or magnetic electricity was employed,) an electric recoil immediately took place at the end of the wire to which the current had been previously communicated. This recoil was apparently analogous in all respects to the discharge of electricity from a Leyden jar, except that the current flowing from the wire partook of a quantitative rather than an intense nature; thus, however, finishing the remaining link of comparison, and establishing the identity as regards primary characteristics of all species of electricity.

"Although this phenomena, as analyzed by Dr. Faraday, has proved highly gratifying in a philosophical point of view, its existence interfered materially with the working of all the previous existing telegraphic apparatus, not having been at all contemplated or provided for; and, up to this time, I am not aware that, as regards the galvanic system, any adequate remedy has been applied. The nature of the interference will be easily understood, when I mention that, with a letter printing telegraph, the surplus current has the tendency to carry the machinery on further, and to make other letters than those intended. With the chemical and other recording telegraphs, the surplus flow of electricity will continue nearly a minute, entirely confounding the marks representing one letter with the next. And, lastly, with Cooke and Wheatstone's and other needle telegraphs, a beat more is made by the back current than intended with every letter formed.

"Another remarkable feature to be noticed in connexion with the underground system is the small comparative velocity with which the electric impulse is communicated through each conductor in long circuits.

"In experiments conducted by my brother and myself upon a circuit of four hundred and eighty miles (480) of the underground wires, a marked difference between the communication of the electric impulse, and its arrival at the other end, has been observed; the interval required for the passage of the sensation amounting to rather more than a third part of a second.

"The rate of transmission of the galvanic or magnetic fluids, through such conductors, is therefore only about 7,000 (one thousand) miles per second.

"Professor Wheatstone's experiments, showing the passage of frictional electricity through a short length of wire in a room, to take place at a speed approaching 300,000 miles per second, are well known, and incontestible.

"A subsequent experiment, conducted by Professor Walker, on some of the overground wires comprised in the American system, gives the velocity of the galvanic current, through two hundred and fifty (250) mile circuits, at about sixteen thousand miles (16,000) per second.

"The underground wires, however, as just mentioned, give a far lower result; and hence it appears evident that the velocity of frictional electricity far exceeds the voltaic or magnetic current, owing, doubtless, to the far greater intensity and comparatively small quantitative development of the former.

"The retardation experienced in underground wires, as regards the propagation of the electric impulse, is not, however, due to any resistance of the conducting medium; for, as it is found in the instance of the Leyden jar, that the frictional electricity communicated is temporarily absorbed by the metal in the interior of the jar, so the galvanic or magnetic currents, during their passage through the underground wires, are partly absorbed, until the mass of copper constituting the wire is saturated with electricity; and it would also appear that a definite time is occupied in the absorption of the electricity by the successive portions of the wire, such as is found to occur in charging a Leyden jar; and until this process of impregnation has been completed, the sensation cannot be communicated to the other end of the conductor.

"The retardation will, therefore, result not from resistance, but from the first portion of the charge communicated being absorbed for the time by the conductor through which it passes; for, in addition to the foregoing, copper wire conducts far more freely than the iron wire made use of in the overground wires.

"Consequently, the speed with which an electric impulse is communicated varies with the energy or intensity of the current employed, and the nature or conditions of the conductor interposed."

In relation to this subject, the following question, amongst others, was propounded to Mr. Charles T. Bright, the present engineer of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, and his answer to the same is herewith given, viz: (Shaffner's Telegraph Champion, vol. II, p. 202.)

"43. What do you consider return currents; and to what extent do you find the existence of the same on both overground and underground lines? Please state all the points fully."

"Answer 43d. On overground lines they are very trifling, indeed, compared with underground; the conditions on which the wires are suspended and insulated, passing also through a medium, capable, to a certain extent, of absorbing any electricity developed in surplus, prevents the occurrence of any effects appreciable by ordinary needle telegraphic instruments.

"I look upon an underground wire as being exactly similar, on a large scale, to a Leyden jar, and I am borne out in this by the experiments of my brother and myself, and by those instituted by Faraday on the underground wires more recently laid by the Electric Telegraph Company. The magneto-electricity as well as the galvanic (or chemical) electricity, evinces these phenomena, hitherto supposed to belong to properties appertaining peculiarly to frictional electricity.

"The copper may be compared to the inner metallic coatings of a Leyden battery, the gutta-percha to the glass, and the earth and moisture surrounding to the outer covering.

"I was much interested, in one of our experiments, to observe that the larger the size of the wire experimented upon, with the same battery power, the greater the amount of return current: a strong support of our opinion, as, had it arisen from an elastic return, owing to the wire being unable to receive as much electricity as was forced into it, as some supposed, of course a smaller wire (with the same power as that employed with the larger size) should have given out a greater amount of return current,. If you experimentalize on No.18 and No.16, you will see this very clearly."

The foregoing evidences substantiate the difficulties to be encountered by an ocean telegraph. Reference may be made to the experiments made through the Atlantic cable, in 1857, before the sailing of the vessels to lay it in the ocean, to prove the non-existence of these impediments, or that they have been overcome. It was then proclaimed, with more than the "pomp and circumstance of war," that all difficulties had been overcome, because a current of electricity had been put on at one end and it worked a galvanometer at the other. Taking into consideration the theory of the induction of electric currents, as practically demonstrated in telegraphing, the experiment could not prove the transmission of the current throughout the length of the cable, nor of the perfection of its insulation, as was pretended. Had the bottom of the vessel been insulated, and ten thousand miles of uncovered wire been coiled in the ships, the experiment would have been the same. The difficulties in working a submarine cable, as mentioned by Professor Faraday and others, have not been removed by any experiment made known to the public. How can the retardation of the current be overcome? How can the return current be avoided, which arises in submarine cables? The promulgation of the pretension that the experiment proved the feasibility of transmitting a current through a submarine wire of that length, could not have any other effect, with practical telegraphers, than a complete demonstration that the whole affair is one of the most reckless and adventurous speculation.

As further proof that the experiment on the ships did not demonstrate the practicability of transmitting a current across the ocean, the electrical experiments on the laying of the cable in 1857 may be referred to. The cable was laid in the Atlantic some 380 miles, and was broken. After this occurrence, Professor Morse, the co-electrician for the company, and who was on board of the vessel paying out the cable all the time, wrote thus, viz:

"We got an electric current through until the moment of parting, so that electric connexion was perfect; and yet the further we payed out, the feebler was the current."


The official statements, issued by the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, exhibit a singular and most bold deception. Whether this deception be intentional or not, it is not necessary in this memorial to discuss. On reference to an official publication from the Board of Directors, July, 1857, the following will be found, viz:

"Signals were distinctly and satisfactorally telegraphed through the two thousand miles of wire at the rate of 210.241, and upon one occasion 270 per minute.   *     *    *

"There can be no question but that, with a cable containing a single conducting wire, of a size not exceeding that through which we worked, and with equal insulation, it would be easy to telegraph from Ireland to Newfoundland, at a speed of at least from eight to ten words per minute. Take it at ten words in the minute, and allowing ten words for name and address, we can safely calculate upon the transmission of a twenty words' message in three minutes. Twenty such messages in the hour; four hundred and eighty in the twenty - four hours; or fourteen thousand four hundred words per day. Such are the capabilities of a single-wire cable, fairly and moderately computed.    *     *

In one word, the doubts are resolved; the difficulties are overcome; success is within our reach; and the great feat of the century must shortly be accomplished!"

Assurances were thus given to the world, officially by the company, that ten words per minute could be transmitted through a cable from Ireland to Newfoundland. This was in July, 1857. Upon the faith of these assurances people were induced to pay into the company their money. The cable was attempted to be laid. It failed, because, as has been stated, it broke some 380 miles from shore. At the rate the cable was paying out, there would not have been enough to have reached within 400 or 500 miles of the Newfoundland coast. The company, it seems, is now preparing for that additional distance. These facts, independent of scientific reasons, produce a doubt as to the cause of that break, It was laid far enough for the company to ascertain the fact, which was before known, that, the further the cable was payed out, the feebler and FEEBLER became the current. By the last steamer from England, under date of April 23, 1858, the following information is promulgated to the world, viz:

"In a former letter it was stated that the greatest speed attained by Dr. Whitehouse, the chief electrician of the company, in the transmission of messages through twenty-six hundred miles of cable did not exceed sixty-nine words per hour, or a little more than a word per minute. This was the result of several months' experiments, but within the last week a still greater rapidity has been accomplished; and as this is a matter of the greatest importance both in the working and paying value of the line, it is deserving of special consideration. Some doubts were entertained last year that if the cable was successfully laid it could be worked through - that even a signal could be transmitted from one terminus to the other. Under these circumstances, the transmission of a word a minute was regarded as something of a triumph, and the directors were satisfied until better could be done - living in hopes of the good time coming, when, according to the prediction, the rate of speed should be increased two or three fold. Meanwhile Dr. Whitehouse pursued his experiments with unremitting vigor, but, as it appears, with a success not at all commensurate with the amount of labor and time and money devoted to them."

Up to one week before April 23, 1858, it seems only sixty-nine words per hour could have been expected to be transmitted over the cable 2,600 miles! In 1857 the board of directors of the company announced to the world that ten words per minute, or six hundred words per hour, could be sent! There seems to be some inconsistency in these statements. But - most doubtless, in order to encourage the faith of some doubting friends of the company - some progress had to be made, and, therefore, Prof. Thompson, a director in the company, was most formally invited to join in some experiments with the electrician of the company, and the world is notified of the result, thus:

"For three days he gave his undivided attention to the subject, made a large number of experiments, and reported the gratifying intelligence that he had done sufficient to justify him in stating that he could send six words through the whole length of wire in one minute; and that, by still further experiments, he had no doubt whatever he could improve still more on that rate of speed."

It appears, however, that there was some additional evidence needed, and, therefore., Mr. Henley, the telegraph instrument manufacturer for the company, is required to do something, and it is thus announced, viz:

"But I have not yet told the whole story in regard to the electrical department, and the success which has been achieved in working through the cable. Mr. Henley, who is also a prominent electrician here, has been engaged in making experiments, and with no less gratifying success, so that Professor Thompson is fully corroborated and sustained by the best possible evidence - that of a practical test by another. Mr. Henley, after a week's attention to the subject, succeeded in sending through message after message at a speed of six words per minute. He does not stop here, however; he goes still further, and states that a current can be sent through the cable generated by an English shilling, which is about the size of an American quarter - a rather Lilliputian. battery, it must be acknowledged. Let him speak for himself. In a brief statement, to which he signed his name, he says:

"A current can be passed through the cable - two thousand six hundred miles - generated by a shilling and a piece of zinc of the same size, with a piece of paper moistened with the tongue.


The arrangement above given is galvanic, a toy common to most any messenger boy in a telegraph office for years past.

(In Shaffner's Telegraph Companion, vol. I, No. 1, issued in 1853, will be found a notice of a "battery, composed of zinc and copper, and a piece of paper moistened with dilute sulphuric acid. The plates were one - eighth of an inch square, and as thin as a common wafer. The action of the battery was sufficient to work the largest relay magnet." By a combination of circuits this battery could transmit a message around the globe!)

The note of Mr. Henley is deceptive. The company participates in that deception in announcing it to the world. The reader would infer, from the publication, that a battery made of a "shilling and a piece of zinc of the same size" could work the cable when laid from Ireland to Newfoundland. Dr. Whitehouse, the electrician of the company, can only send a current on a submarine wire at the rate of sixty-nine words per hour, but that was not enough. Professor Thompson, a director of the company, goes to work, and, "after three days of hard work," he accomplishes more than Dr. Whitehouse had done with months of labor and at much expense, and says: "That he had done sufficient to justify him in stating that he could send six words through the whole length of the wire in one minute." He does not say, however, what he would do if the wire was submarine, although the reader would infer that he meant the submarine cable from Ireland to Newfoundland. As a climax, Mr. Henley is called upon, and his certificate is given to the world as an extinguisher of all doubts, and to substantiate the utility of the cable to transmit, from hemisphere to hemisphere, a message, with a galvanic current, of low intensity, "generated by a shilling and a piece of zinc of the same size, with a piece of paper moistened with the tongue."

The evidence hereinbefore and hereinafter given demonstrate that the time required for transmitting a current of electricity on a submarine cable a distance of 3,000 miles, if it can be done, lies wholly in doubt. It may be said that a wave of the current can be sent, one after another, in rapid succession. According to Dr. Whitehouse's experiments, only sixty-nine words could be sent per hour. At this rate the waves would not be very rapid. It is very true, that a wave may be sent soon after another, but it amounts to nothing more than a philosophical phenomena. It can be of no practical avail in telegraphing. In order to communicate with electricity, the wire must be charged and uncharged; one is just as indispensable as the other. If any electricity remain on the wire, no letter can be made by any kind of telegraph whatever, whether electro-magnetic, electro-chemical, or the needle systems. Experiments prove that, in transmitting one wave after another, some of the electricity remains in the wire all the time; and, if any does remain, no communication can be made over the line. After carefully examining all the pretended experiments published by the authority of the Atlantic company, it will appear that nothing has been advanced on the science new and unknown before the existence of the company. The experiments made by Mr. Charles T. Bright, the engineer of the Atlantic company, with his brother, are the most reliable that have been given. Those experiments prove the impracticability of working a submarine telegraph 3,800 miles! The Congress of the United States may desire to know with what celerity a current of electricity may be transmitted over a submarine cable 3,000 miles long, admitting it to be possible to send a current that distance, according to the pretensions of the Atlantic company speculation. Your memorialist will, in a very few words, answer the interrogatory from the best of evidence. In answer to a question propounded by your memorialist to Mr. Edward B. Bright, of Liverpool, that gentleman responded as follows, viz:


"Answer 44th. In the course of a long series of experiments carried. on last year by my brother (The brother was Mr. Charles T. Bright. the engineer of the Atlantic Telegraph Company) and myself, inquiries were instituted with reference to the speed with which the galvanic or magnetic sensation is communicated through underground wires.

"The result of the inquiry shows decidedly that the communication of the electric impulse through a length of 500 miles of underground gutta percha-covered copper wire (l-6 gauge) does not exceed 900 to 1,000 miles per second - a speed far below that usually assigned.

"Reasoning upon the issue of these experiments, and those previously tried in America, I have no doubt that the speed of any description of electricity varies greatly with the peculiar conditions and nature of the conductor used, and also with the length of the conductor interposed; and that a wire suspended in the open air, especially if insulated only at points of its support, (such as in a pole line) would offer far less resistance (coeteris paribus) than a wire underground.

"Submarine cables are similar, as regards electrical conditions, to subterranean lines, and the speed with which the electric impulse is communicated would be the same."

In a preceeding answer it is stated that, in transmitting a current 480 miles, the time required was more than the third of a second. It is fair to admit that for 500 miles it requires the third of a second, and for 1,000 miles one second. Upon this a calculation can be made with certainty, if it be possible to transmit the current the 3,000 miles. Upon this scale of measurement, a pulsation of the electric current can be transmitted 3,000 miles in one hour forty - nine minutes and twenty - one seconds. It may be well to extend the calculation further, in order to understand how much business can be transmitted by this line for the "United States government and the citizens thereof." The easiest word that can be sent is one composed of dots, and for this illustration the word Mississippi may be selected, which, in the telegraph language, is written thus:

. -  . -   ..  ...  ...  ..  ...  ...  ..  .....   .....  ..

  M   i   s    s   i    s    s   i    p      p     i

In writing this word, there are 30 dots and two dashes, say 32 impulses of electricity. The spaces between the dots require as much time in writing the word as is employed for making the dots. It is only necessary, in the present case, to estimate the time required to send the dots. The proof given shows that to send one impulse or one dot from Ireland to Newfoundland, the time required will be 1 hour, 49 minutes, and 21 seconds, This time, multiplied by the 32 dots or impulses, make 58 hours, 19 minutes, and 12 seconds. Two days, 10 hours, 19 minutes, and 12 seconds, will be the time required to transmit the word Mississippi from Ireland to Newfoundland! A message of ten words will require, at the same speed, 24 days, 7 hours, and 12 minutes!

The board of directors of the Atlantic company published to the world July, 1857, that TEN words could be sent from Ireland to Newfoundland in ONE MINUTE

One week before April 23, 1858, the electrician says that ONE word and a fraction can be sent over the line in a minute.

About the 23d of April, 1858, a director of the company fells justified in saying that six words can be sent over the cable in a minute.

About the same time the instrument manufacturer, "after a week's attention to the subject, succeeded in sending through message after message at a space of six words per minute".

According to the experiments of Mr. Charles T. Bright, the engineer of the company, only one word can be sent over the cable from Newfoundland to Ireland in 2 days, 10 hours, 19 minutes, and 12 seconds!

Your memorialist re-asserts what. he wrote in 1854 and in 1855, viz: "I will not say that a galvanic or magneto-electric current can never be sent from Newfoundland to Ireland; but I do say that, with the present discoveries in science, I do not believe it practicable for telegraphic service." Since the above was written, no proof has been given that there has been any new developments in science on the question that will tend to encourage confidence in the practicability of the enterprise.

From this data, taken from those interested in the present enterprise of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, the Congress of the United States ought to be able to determine how far it is expedient for the government to give that company an exclusive subsidy of $70,000 per annum. If the line is laid from Ireland to Newfoundland, it will be established even if but one message be transmitted over it per month, and therefore the United States will be bound to pay the same, authorized by law, in conformation with its stipulations. If but one message be transmitted over the line per month, and the subsidies be secured to the company, the speculating projectors will have accomplished their end, for those subsidies will be sufficient to pay a good dividend on the stock. Those who have paid their money for the promotion of this enterprise, as far as your memorialist has been able to learn, are gentlemen of enterprise and noble patriotism. The projectors and managers are speculators. In vain has your memorialist endeavored to discover the name of a single scientific gentleman connected with the enterprise, unless it be those who have some patent, some invention, or something else, for which they are to receive, in consideration therefor, some proportion of the "commuted shares!"


In the construction and maintenance of an electric telegraph, connecting the eastern and western hemispheres, it is due the nations of the earth to have in view political as well as speculative considerations. A means of communication so rapid, so important to progress, and of so much consequence to the general good of man, should be so arranged by the nations most interested, through treaties or otherwise, so that the telegraph would be promotive of the general welfare. Your memorialist has ever advocated this policy, and had he have felt and been willing to act on speculative principles, he has reason to believe that the present Atlantic Telegraph Company would not now have been in existence. In 1854 your memorialist wrote thus, viz:

"I regard this question with an American proclivity, and in the negotiations with the governments of Europe, while I have consulted as well their interest and convenience, I have had in view the welfare of my own before that of any other country. And in the preservation of the rights of the people of America to transmit intelligence over the lines proposed by me, I have also not forgotten that there are other nations of the earth. As an evidence of my sincerity in this respect, and my regard for reciprocity between the people of the whole world, I give an example illustrative of the course which I have marked out for myself in all my treaties with the governments of Europe. The following clause, taken from my letters patent, granted by his Majesty the King of Denmark, I presume will be sufficient to demonstrate the end I have in view, viz:


"I seek for the consideration of those persons who are imbued with a liberal share of patriotism, and a zeal commensurate with a progressive state of the age. They alone can grasp with justness and competency the vastness of this magnificent and stupendous enterprise. That it will be consummated I have no doubt. That it will subserve the wellfare of all nations, and be calculated to bless generations to come, I most earnestly believe. So far as I can devote my energies to a realization of these hopes, I intend to prosecute the cause to the end of life, or until the enterprise is complete, and the WORLD GIRDLED WITH ONE CONTINUOUS STREAM OF THE ELECTRIC FLAME!"

In the fulfillment of the foregoing your memorialist has ever acted. He re-asserts the sentiments and determination of purpose therein expressed. It is but just that the Congress of the United States should repeal the law granting a subsidy of $70,000 per year to a rival company, created for speculation and to oppose the patriotic enterprise of your memorialist, who has, as he believes, expended more time and means in Atlantic ocean telegraphing than all the combined speculators of New York, who have given birth and encouragement to the line from Newfoundland to Ireland, a line gotten up to rival and in opposition to your memorialist.

The act of Congress is not just. It ought to be general in its effect, and to that end your memorialist respectfully prays the Congress of the United States of America to repeal the law approved March 3, 1857 entitled an act "to expedite telegraphic communication for the uses of the government in its foreign intercourse," by which the Atlantic Telegraph Company of Great Britain is granted the sum of $70,000 per annum, and that the amount thus specially granted to a foreign company, acting or operating wholly on British or foreign soil, be made general in its application, in whole or in part, to any telegraph line connecting America with Europe, from time to time, as the President of the United States may determine, as best calculated to subserve the public welfare of the nation, and the most good to the greatest number, by which "the United States, and the citizens thereof, shall enjoy the use of said submarine communication FOR ALL TIME, on the same terms and conditions which shall be stipulated in favor of the government of Great Britain and the subjects thereof, recognising equality of rights among the citizens" of the whole world.

Respectfully submitted,
Of Kentucky
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 14, 1858

Appendix to the memorial of Taliaferro P. Shaffner, of Kentucky, relative to the Transatlantic telegraph and Atlantic ocean telegraphing generally, praying the Congress of the United States of America to pass a general law for the mutual benefit of all lines of telegraph which may be constructed between the eastern and western hemispheres. The following are taken from Shaffner's Telegraph Companion, vol. II, 1855:

Europe and America to be connected by the electric telegraph.


The connection of the eastern and western hemispheres, by electric telegraph, has been a subject of grave discussion for many years. More than a year ago, we announced to the American people that we were engaged in the earnest prosecution of that undertaking, and that we intended to adhere to it until success was triumphant. Of course, we have many times calculated the cost of the enterprise, as regards money, time and life. So far as we command these requirements, the undivided energies of our future life will be directed to this object. That we shall ultimately be successful there can be no doubt. We care not for opposition, as we are confident none can arrest us in the satisfactory prosecution of the enterprise. There may be a few ambitious persons who are ready to grasp a favorable opportunity to make a noise, for a prospective gain, hoping to have their silence bought; but we can assure all such, that any vain boasting of great wealth and power only occupies in our mind that consideration which is generally allotted to the music of "sounding brass and tinkling cymbal."

In order to consummate this vast undertaking, we need no high-sounding names of men who have figured in the affairs of State, in the Bourse, Lombard Street, Wall Street, or in any department of fancy life. A select group of men, from any one section of the world, will not be sufficient to carry out an enterprise of such magnitude. In its management the best and most experienced telegraph skill that can be employed from the whole world will be required in its prosecution. Money will be indispensable in its aid; but money, without the experience and knowledge of the science and art of telegraphing, will be of no avail.

It is often the case that gentlemen embark in telegraphing, and because they are possessed of a few dollars they imagine that in a few hours a thorough knowledge of the art and science of telegraphing can be comprehended. That which requires the devotion of years to obtain by the practical telegrapher, a man of money sometimes conceives he can grasp - with his self - conceited genius - in a few days. Such men are to be dreaded in any enterprise.They are like so many vampires upon the cause, however important Public welfare never receives their solicitude; but it is their own selfish ends that must be gratified before all others, even at the sacrifice of the public weal. All such men we are determined to eschew, and give no concern in the management of this grand undertaking. We would much prefer seeing the whole enterprise fail, than in the hands of speculators, who enter into the company solely for speculative gain, for the present, regardless of the future.

We are not particular in our feelings as to the proper place of running this submarine cable, though we are firm in the conviction that it will be best to adopt the Greenland and Iceland route. Nevertheless, we desire that all shall be thoroughly examined and judged upon before the final adoption of any. We desire to see a cable stretched from continent to continent, that will endure all time; one that will never fail, and be the means of advancing the interests of the people of all nations. We hope to see its management liberal and international. We do not seek any advantages for the American people, and we hope none will be sought for the people of any other country. The communication should be free to all alike and cooperatively under the shield of every nation of the globe. We hope to see it beyond the possibility of interruption through the power of the elements of nature; and also free from that most dreadful destroyer the god of war. It is the uplifted sabre of this monster that gives us more fear than the combined elements of natural creation. With the pledged faith of nations that this intellectual flame shall not be quenched, we can confide in the triumphant creation of a power that can say, "there shall be peace and good will among men." We do not deem it necessary to give a full statement as to the plan of carrying out this enterprise. That will be promulgated in the future. Until all the routes are thoroughly examined, and all questions properly considered, we do not deem it proper to even form a fixed opinion. We have given the different routes much study; yet there are circumstances which may change any opinion we may have formed in the past; consequently future examinations must determine the best route to run the transatlantic submarine telegraph.

We give the following letter, which explains itself, and leave the further discussion of the subject for the future.


New York, February 2, 1855.
To the Editors of the Evening Post:

GENTLEMEN: You did me the honor to notice my proposed world-girdle telegraph, for which I thank you. I am also under obligations to the press throughout the land for copying your editorial upon the subject. A discussion of the scientific questions involved in the project of the telegraph across the ocean I do not deem at the present time opportune for many reasons; nevertheless, it is well for the enterprise to be under public consideration.

I have seen in the Louisville Courier a notice purporting to originate with the Philadelphia American, relative to the telegraph across the Atlantic ocean, in which the route I propose is regarded as a scheme of folly. The editor says:

"If we do not get a telegraph communication with Europe before this line is constructed, we fear that a perpetual separation must exist. The account says that there must be no submarine section of more than five hundred miles; yet the map tells us that the distance between Iceland and Norway is eight hundred and fifty miles. The stupidity of the whole affair is evident; for the map will show any one that Iceland is nearer to Scotland than to Norway; and as for running telegraph lines into Russia, Chinese Tartary, and Kamschatka, instead of to England, that seems particularly absurd. The three submarine sections, from Labrador to Greenland, from thence to Iceland, and from thence to Norway, are either impracticable or useless; for, if practicable, science will teach any one that the same reasons will make the direct line from Newfoundland to Ireland practicable. If Mr. Shaffner went to Europe on any such mission as that above stated, he has spent a great deal of money for nothing."

With your permission, gentlemen, I will briefly consider these points of difference in opinion, with a little more regard, however, for courtesy and respectful language than characterizes the editorial from the American.

It is a settled fact in philosophy that a galvanic current is arrested in its transit through a long submarine or subterranean wire. So great has this new impediment been experienced in Europe, that the most learned savants have been active in new discoveries to find a remedy. The difficulty may be overcome, ultimately. I will not say that a galvanic or magnetic electric current can never be sent from Newfoundland to Ireland; but I do say that, with the present discoveries of science, I do not believe it practicable for telegraphic service.

The distance between these two points is about 1,800 miles; and allowing for a slack of a cable, the length of the electric wires will be at least 2,500 miles! As experience thus far has proved the impracticability of transmitting a current at will on a submarine or subterranean wire of 1,000 miles in length, how is it possible to transmit it 2,500 miles? The most extended submarine wire ever experimented upon is the Mediterranean telegraph cable, on which I witnessed many experiments, with a view to ascertain the necessities of an oceanic line. The length was 110 miles of 6 wires. On that distance success was evident. We have no knowledge of the successful working of a line in length as great as 1,000 miles, embracing submarine and subterranean wires; and if we have not the evidence of the practicability of transmitting telegraphic intelligence over a line of this length, it occurs to me that I should, indeed, be guilty of great "stupidity" were I to talk about a line direct from continent to continent - a distance of at least 2,500 miles! Nevertheless, new discoveries may at an early day overcome this formidable barrier in the science of telegraphing.

As to the Greenland route, I would say that the editor of the Philadelphia American has certainly exhibited great unfairness. On reference to the map, any one can see that the longest section is from America to Greenland, being about 500 miles. From Greenland to Iceland, or from Iceland to the Faroe Isles, or from the Faroe Isles to Norway, that distance is neither exceeded nor equalled. Estimating, however, the sections to be each as much as 660 miles, I am within the bounds of practicability and certainty. These facts must prove one of two points, viz: that the Philadelphia editor was either ignorant of the existence of the Faroe Isles, or wilfully omitted to mention them. They are nearly half way between Iceland and Norway, and are embraced in my grants from Denmark.

Again: this unfair editor urges objections to this route because it does not run direct to England. It is in contemplation to extend the line, if necessary, from the Faroe Isles, not only to Norway, but also to North Scotland, and thence south to England. The great business relations between America and Great Britain cannot be overlooked; but I am not one of those who believe that England is the only place of importance upon the face of the earth. We have a large trade with that great country, but we have also a respectable trade with the nations on the continent.

I regard this question with an American proclivity, and in the negotiations with the governments of Europe, while I have consulted as well their interests and convenience, I have had in view the welfare of my own before that of any other country. And in the preservation of the rights of the people of America to transmit intelligence over the lines proposed by me, I have, also, not forgotten that there are other nations on the earth. As an evidence of my sincerity in this respect, and my regard for reciprocity between the people of the whole world, I give an example illustrative of the course which I have marked out for myself in all my treaties with the governments of Europe. The following clause, taken from my letters patent, granted by his Majesty the King of Denmark, I presume will be sufficient to demonstrate the end I have in view:

"That the government of Denmark will forever defend and preserve the rights of the citizens of the United States, and the people of all nations, to transmit messages over the line herein contemplated, pro - vided the said messages are not calculated to promote war, insurrection, riot, or the violation of peace among nations."

The editor of the Philadelphia American will see from the above that I have not only considered the good of my own country, but also that of England. I could not regard the people of Great Britain with more favor than those of the German States, or France, and other powers of the continent.

Supposing it was practicable to work at will a line of telegraph from Newfoundland to the French islands, or any other part of the American coast, direct to Ireland, I would not consider it worthy of American patronage unless the rights of our people were duly protected by fixed treaties with Great Britain. In case of war between the United States and Great Britain, the American people would have no opportunity of sending or receiving intelligence by telegraph. All communication between the people of this country and the nations of Europe would be cut off. The line would be in the sole service of the British. government in transmitting orders from the war office in London to their forces in the provinces, exclusively in their own interests, and to the ruin of this country.

In the consummation of this important enterprise most formidable difficulties will doubtless arise, and they may possibly be too great ever to be overcome; but a small share of the indomitable energy so characteristic of the country in the successful achievement of bold enterprises may safely be relied upon to accomplish this grand and magnificent project, notwithstanding it has been so sneeringly characterized by the Philadelphia American as a "scheme of folly."

The American says that the Greenland route, as sections, is "either impracticable or useless," and, "if practicable, science will teach any one that the same reason will make the direct line from Newfoundland to Ireland practicable." He gives no reason why the line would be "useless." I suppose he considers his ipse dixit to be sufficient to determine that question, The reason for making what he calls a direct line practicable amounts to this, viz: if it is practicable to work a telegraph cable five hundred miles submarine, it is also practicable to work twenty-five hundred miles! This is not the fact, however, and it is for the editor of the American to prove it. To show how ridiculous this proposition is, I will apply it to our own daily experience, viz: If it is practicable to work a line direct with one circuit from Boston to New York, it will work also from Boston direct to New Orleans. This has never been done, and is yet to be proved practicable! Boston can work to New Orleans by the combining of electric circuits, but we cannot have stations to combine circuits in the ocean. By the Greenland route I believe America can telegraph, by the connexion of the galvanic circuits, with London, Paris, Copenhagen, St. Petersburgh, &c.

I am fully aware of the vastness of this undertaking. For years it has been the object of my desire, and I am now solely devoted to its consummation. Conflicting opinions and jealousy cannot do more than temporarily postpone the girdling of the world with a telegraph. When Professor Morse first said his telegraph could work around the globe, little did he dream of ever witnessing it, or even living to see the plan so favorably considered by the great powers of the earth. He may yet live to send the first despatch, and receive by the electric flash the congratulations of nations for giving birth to the most wonderful achievement of man. Very respectfully, &c.,



[From the New York Post.]

"We announced several months since the departure of Tal. P. Shaffner, esq., the editor of the American Telegraphic Magazine, for Europe, to make arrangements for the construction of a telegraph around the world. He has recently returned from his expedition, the results of which possess more than ordinary interest.

We learn from Mr. Shaffner that his recent tour in Europe was undertaken for the purpose, first, of acquiring a thorough knowledge of the different modes of telegraphing and constructing lines in the Old World; second, to negotiate with the Danish government for the exclusive right to lay a line over Greenland, Iceland, and Faroe Isles, and Denmark, for the term of one hundred years; third, for the acquisition of similar rights over Norway, Sweden, and Russia. With these and other rights, which he proposed to himself to secure, the success of his plan to girdle the world with the electric telegraph no longer appears visionary or impracticable.

The route of his proposed line is as follows:

Starting from the coast of Labrador, the width of the sea to Greenland is about five hundred miles, From the point of landing, the line is to extend under ground around Cape Farewell to a point on the east cost of Greenland, favorable for a submarine connexion to Iceland. A subterranean line across to the eastern coast of that island will connect with a submarine wire running to the Faroe Isles, and thence to Norway, landing at or in the vicinity of Bergen. Mr. Shaffner informs us that the land and climate of Greenland and the Isles are well, and even better adapted to the construction of the telegraph than those of the United States. Greenland abounds with mineral wealth, and he thinks the telegraph will tend to develop the unappreciated resources of that country. By this route there will be no submarine section of more than five hundred miles, and the loss or failure of one section will not destroy the others. In a line direct from Ireland to Newfoundland the failure of any part occasions a loss of the whole.

After landing on the coast of Norway it is intended to run the line to Christiana, the capital of Norway, and from thence branches to Copenhagen and Stockholm. The Danish government has bound itself to furnish proper connexions with the governments on the continent and Great Britain. Treaties with the Emperor of Russia contemplate the extension of the line from Stockholm, in Sweden, to St. Petersburgh, across or along the coast of Finland. By the construction of this section America will be able to transmit intelligence direct to Russia, and thus establish most intimate relations between the subjects of the Czar and the sovereigns of the United States.

Leaving St. Petersburg, Mr. Shaffner proposes to run his line to Moscow, or connect at the latter place with the imperial lines already in operation - from thence to Kazan, across the Ural Mountains, into Asia, passing through Omsk, Kolivan, Kansk, Oudinsk, to Irkoutsk, near Lake Baikal. This is near the great tea country in Chinese Tartary, from whence the Russian tea is brought overland on wagons. The trade in this tea, which is said to be the best in the world, is very large, and the telegraph, it is supposed, will tend to increase it materially.

From Irkoutsk it is intended to run the line to the sea of Ochotsk, either north the Yakoutsk, or south with the Amour river, and thence along the coast of the sea of Ochotsk to Iamsk, and across the Gulf to Cape Utkoloka, Kamschatka, and thence along the Aleutian isles to Aliaska peninsula, or Cooke's inlet, in North America. From this point the line will be run along the Pacific coast to Oregon, and south to San Francisco, California. This range is entirely south of the latitude of St. Petersburgh, and in fact the line can be carried around by Behring's Straits, and be south of the Arctic circle.

From San Francisco Mr. Shaffner proposes to run the line along the best route to the Salt Lake, Santa Fe, and thence to the western boundary of Missouri, where it will intersect the existing section of the California line, built by him a few years ago, Joining the great lines in America, the earth will be girdled with one continuous and unbroken flame of electric light.

The consummation of this great enterprise will be productive of consequences which the human imagination strives in vain to realize. It will enable us to communicate daily with every civilized nation on the face of the globe, and many not so civilized; for, as soon as possible after the completion of the main trunk, branch lines will be extended to Japan, Pekin, Nankin, Canton, and other cities of China. We are informed by Mr. Shaffner that he expects but little trouble in maintaining the line through Russia in Europe, in Asia, or America. The roads are good and well improved; the climate is most favorable for the enterprise - and with the aid of the Emperor he thinks there will be no formidable hindrance. The military system is very perfect throughout the empire, and will constitute an ample guarantee against any troubles which telegraphic science cannot provide against,

In the negotiations of Mr. Shaffner in Europe he has been singularly fortunate, and his efforts have been crowned with flattering success. Depending upon his energy, he has succeeded where the most skillful diplomats have failed. He informs us that he had one great element of strength, that was, he was an American. His Majesty the King of Denmark intimated to him that he would not have considered the proposition had it come from a citizen of any other nation; but he informed Mr. Shaffner that he granted the patents under the belief that there were "no obstacles in nature that could be a barrier against the genius and enterprise of his countrymen."

[From the New Orleans Crescent.]

"It is singular to notice how, in the history of the world, almost every great achievement of science has been at some time, long previous to its discovery, prefigured and prophesied by the pen of genius; has been foretold and partially described in fable, romance, or poetry; for truly great minds live always in advance of their own age, and are chiefly great in that they see as probable and possible those things which to all other men are chimeras. Hardly any of the great inventions of the world but have been more or less fully and accurately pictured centuries before they were made practicable. Thus the winged wonders, which Ariosto and Spencer delighted in creating, now fly through the air as balloons, or thunder over the earth as locomotives, or plough the deep as steamships,

"Steadying with upright keel"

against wind and wave. Things that were the fables of a past age are the facts of the present, and what were once dreams have become realities.

In the Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakspeare makes Puck say:

"I'll put a girdle round about the earth
In forty minutes."

It is in proof of our statement that an American citizen of the present day is engaged in receiving subscriptions and making arrangements to perform actually what Shakespeare faintly foreshadowed, and to accomplish that which, if it had been advocated a century. ago., would have constituted sufficient grounds for a writ de lunatico inquirendo against the enthusiast. Thus the fancies and fables of genius render themselves the facts of after-time.

This world-girdling scheme to which we have referred is not dependent upon any new discovery in science, and is actually but the extension of our present telegraph system. But such an extension! It contemplates bringing us into neighborly converse and propinquity with those inhabitants of the antipodes that are far deeper under our feet than any artesian wells ever sunk or to be sunk; it contemplates daily mails from the great tea countries of Chinese Tartary and regular news from the Faroe Islands and Cooke's Inlet. It is more grand and gigantic in its proportions than any scheme of the present day, and seeks to tie together, in commercial and friendly relations, the whole civilized world. If completed as contemplated, the reader in this city will be able each morning to peruse the records of yesterday's proceedings on the Bourse, the publications of the papers in St. Petersburgh, the successes of the armies in China, the news at Honolulu, and the state of the weather in Greenland. It will girdle the world like a new equator, and make cancer and Capricorn mere figments of a. fool's brain.

The Columbus of this telegraphic feat contemplates starting from the coast of Labrador and laying an unbroken wire, five hundred miles in length, among the walrusses and whales of the North Sea, to Greenland. The wire will cross Greenland and stretch again eastward to the Parve Islands, from whence it will reach the continent in the vicinity of Bergen, in Norway. Thence, sweeping on towards the circumference of the globe, the wire will reach Stockholm, and coast along Finland to St. Petersburgh. Leaving the city of the Czar, it will run to the Ural Mountains, leap across them into Asia, pass through the provinces of Omsk, Oudinska, Kansk, Kolivan, and the great tea country of Chinese Tartary, stretch away to the sea of Ochotsk and across the gulf to Kamschatka, thence, along the Aleutian Islands to Cooke's Inlet, in North America. Then, running down the Pacific coast to Oregon and San Francisco, the line will strike to the east by the Salt Lake or Santa Fe and touch civilization at the western boundary of Missouri.

This gigantic scheme for crossing oceans, and islands, and continents; for bringing savage and civilized nations into daily communication; for outstripping the winds and annihilating time; for girdling the globe with one uninterrupted flame of electric fire, is not a scheme only, but a practical plan, towards the accomplishment of which treaties and agreements have already been made, for the fulfilment of which scientific men are now daily laboring. A few years time is expected to see its accomplishment in full, and the present year is looked forward to as sufficient for a connexion with Europe. The mind refuses to take in at once all the consequences of so grand an enterprise. American, European, and Asiatic interests would be joined, and the great occurrences of one day, in this country, would be known to-morrow in the capitals and remote provinces of the whole world, as would their day's business be published here. The scheme is worthy of our go-ahead countrymen, to whom there is not known any such word as fail.

Shakspeare's strange prophecy grows to its fulfilment, and the telegraph will yet do what Puck promised to accomplish.

[From The Portland Argus.]

The magnetic telegraph is among the most important and wonderful inventions of modern times. Since 1774, when Le Sage, a Frenchman, made the first known attempt to render electricity avail able for the transmission of intelligence, there have been almost constant experiments to effect this desirable result. From 1820 to 1850, no less than sixty-three varieties of telegraph were invented, of which only those of Morse, Bain, and House, are much in use. In 1832, Professor Morse, an American, commenced his experiments for an electro-magnetic telegraph, and was able publicly to announce his invention in 1837. Upon his petition, Congress appropriated $30,000, to test the practical advantages of the invention, and in 1844 the first line, from Washington to Baltimore, (40 miles,) was established and put in operation. During the succeeding year, 1845, this line was extended eastward to Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. The line was constructed by stretching copper wires upon posts from 15 to 20 feet high, and placed at distances from 12 to 15 rods apart. The high cost of copper wire has caused it to be superseded by that of iron, the latter, however, must be six times heavier than the copper, to afford equal constructing power. About 250 pounds of iron wire are required to the mile, which, with posts, labor, &c., make the cost of constructing an ordinary telegraph about $150 per mile.

Later experiments tend to show that wire, or a rod of iron, from three to five eighths of an inch in thickness, and weighing a ton to the mile, possesses very decided advantages over the smaller wire. It is less liable to be broken, and the mass of metal gives free passage to electrical currents, without insulation, and without being interrupted by the hardest rains. It is not sensibly affected by rust, and considering the less amount of repairs required, the rods are but little more costly than small wires. The rods will undoubtedly be found to be vastly superior for lines through a wild country, as from the valley of the Mississippi to California.

The average performance of the Morse instruments is said to be from 8,000 to 9,000 letters per hour, and the usual charge is twenty-five cents for ten words or less, for the distances of one hundred miles.

The amount of business which can be done on one of these lines is immense. As an example, it is stated that 154,514 messages were sent over the line from New York to Washington in six months, for which $68,499 23 were paid. It may he safely stated, that from 500 to 1,000 messages can be sent and received over a single line in a day. Besides the advantages of the telegraph to business men for private correspondence, there is the more important public benefit which it affords for communicating intelligence through the newspaper press. By its aid, the Portland papers are usually enabled to publish all the important foreign and domestic news as early as those of Boston and New York. The proceedings of Congress appear in the morning papers of Portland, just as early as those of Washington, where Congress sits. These advantages, which the public thus derive, can hardly be over estimated, although they seem to be lightly valued.

Newspapers are expected to be furnished at the old prices, notwithstanding the largely increased cost of publishing them, arising from the advanced prices of labor and material, in addition to the heavy expenses of the telegraphic communications.

The cost of despatches to the New York associated press is $64,000. per year. Yet the advantages of the telegraph so overbalance the outlays it requires that it has extended with wonderful rapidity., In 1853, there were in operation in this country and in Europe, 27,168 miles of telegraph. without reckoning the lines then in process of construction in Austria, Russia, Spain, Bavaria, and some other States, and 16,735 miles of this were in the United States. The aggregate length of lines now constructed and in operation can scarcely fall short of 40,000 miles - more than half of which is in this country. A submarine cable across the English channel from Dover to Ostend connects Great Britain with the continent of Europe, and places most of her principal capitals in telegraphic communication with each other. Lines are also progressing toward India and Africa, and the Crimea. In this country, some eighty lines form a net-work of wires connecting nearly all important points upon the Atlantic side of the continent; and it is now seriously contemplated to connect this Atlantic system with the Pacific coast, by means of a direct line across the country. But this is not all. The telegraph is not only thus rapidly creeping over the two continents, bringing their extreme points in hourly communication with each other, but strenuous efforts are being made to connect these two systems of telegraph by a line running from one to the other; and thus to girdle the earth with the lightning messengers. There are two projects for accomplishing this result. One proposes to connect the eastern point of Newfoundland with the western point of Ireland by a submarine cable, running directly across the ocean between them. The distance is 1,800 miles, and, allowing for slack of cable, would require a wire 2,500 miles in length.

Recent soundings have showed that there is not a great depth of water between these points; that the bed of the ocean is not swept by currents, and that it is otherwise favorable to the security of the wires, and to the feasibility of putting them down. The great obstacle to the success of this project is the scientific fact, that the electric current is arrested in its transit through long submarine or subterranean wires. The greatest length of submarine and subterranean wire ever yet experimented upon is the Mediterranean telegraph cable, which is 660 miles in length, and has been successfully operating. Until some remedy is found (and the scientific are now actively in search for it) for the exhaustion of the galvanic current by transmission for long distances, under ground or under water, the project of sending messages under ocean upon a conducting wire 2,500 miles in length, must, so far as we are able to judge, be deemed impracticable. Future discoveries may render it possible.

The other project presents no insuperable obstacle, that we can discover. It proposes to run a line from the northern point of this continent to Greenland, thence to Iceland, thence to the Faroe Isles, thence to Norway; or from the Faroe Isles to the Orkney Isles, and thence to North Scotland. The longest water space by this route is from America to Greenland, estimated at 500 miles. It certainly does not exceed 660 miles, the distance which the magnetic current has already been made to operate.

The projectors of this line have been engaged for some time in experimenting with a view to its construction, and have perfected negotiations for the right of way, in part, at least, and are still actively and confidently prosecuting the work.

Tal. P. Shaffner, esq., has recently, through the press, warmly enlisted the public in favor of this magnificent enterprise, and inspired the hope that it will ere long be accomplished. What a result! The earth encircled by a telegraphic wire, and its remotest inhabitants brought in hourly communication with each other! Stupendous achievement, indeed! Its beneficial results in harmonizing and humanizing the great family of man, and elevating them into one brotherhood, cannot be estimated or appreciated. We can, however, in a measure appreciate the advantage of reading, in our morning papers, an account of all the important events which transpire in the world, during the previous day, as we now read those of the extreme south or west.

[From the Kentucky Rifle.]

On our first page will be found an article from the New York Post in reference to Tal. P. Shaffner's grand project of belting the earth with an electric telegraph.

Mr. Shaffner, as the Post informs us, has demonstrated beyond question that the scheme is practicable; and the fact that Tal. P. Shaffner is at the head of this magnificent enterprise is a sufficient guaranty for its complete success.

What a bold, what a splendid achievement in science! The earth bound up in a net of iron nerves, diffusing intelligence to its remotest corners, and lighting up the world in a blaze of electric glory. Truly this will, if accomplished, be regarded as the proudest victory of genius.

[From the Boston Traveller.]

Tal. P. Shaffner, esq., the editor of the American Telegraphic Magazine, has just returned from his expedition to Europe, where he has been making arrangements for the construction of an electric telegraph around the world. One great object of his visit was to negotiate with the Danish government for the exclusive right to lay a line over Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Isles, and Denmark, for the term of one hundred years, and the acquisition of similar rights over Norway, Sweden, and Russia.

The scheme is a bold one, and is certainly large enough for any capacity. The route the wire is to take is already sketched: Starting from the coast of Labrador, the width of the sea to Greenland is about five hundred miles. From the point of landing the line is to extend underground around Cape Farewell, to a point on the east coast of Greenland, favorable for a submarine connection with Iceland. A subterranean line across the eastern coast of that, island will connect with a submarine wire to the Faroe Isles, and thence to Norway. By this route there will be no submarine section of more than five hundred miles. Treaties with the Emperor of Russia contemplate the extension of the line from Stockholm, in Sweden, to St. Petersburgh. Mr. Shaffner proposes to run his line to Moscow, and thence into Asia, piercing Chinese Tartary, extending to the Sea of Ochotsk, and by the way of Kamschatka, reaching Cooke's Inlet in North America. From this point the line will be run along the Pacific coast to Oregon, and south to San Francisco, California, &c., &c.,

Joining the great lines in America, it is eloquently remarked that "the earth will thus be girdled with one continuous and unbroken flame of electric light."

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