Anniversary Post: Telegraph

Samuel MorseOn this day back in 1840, Samuel Morse was given the patent for the telegraph. Yeah, yeah, yeah: very important invention. And he was an exceptional painter. But it just goes to show that being brilliant and talented doesn’t make you a good person. Samuel Morse was a total jerk — a truly vile person. Let me count the ways. First, he was radically anti-Catholic, because, you know, he was a protestant and knew the one true way. Second, he was anti-immigrant, because, you know, he was already here. Third, he was pro-slavery, because, you know, being born in Massachusetts he had no reason to be for it except that the Bible told him so. Just listen to the great man on the subject:

My creed on the subject of slavery is short. Slavery per se is not sin. It is a social condition ordained from the beginning of the world for the wisest purposes, benevolent and disciplinary, by Divine Wisdom. The mere holding of slaves, therefore, is a condition having per se nothing of moral character in it, any more than the being a parent, or employer, or ruler.

That’s the problem with getting your morality from a book — especially one from thousands of years earlier that is filed with the vilest of social conventions cloaked in the idea that it was God’s will. Anyway, like most evil men, he had a long and happy life. He certainly didn’t make as much money off his patents as he could have, but he lived and died quite rich. So if you hear anyone complain that he didn’t get his due, remember: he lived like Mitt Romney but might have lived like Warren Buffett if his patents had been better controlled. Excuse me if I don’t care.

Anyway, happy anniversary for the bigot’s invention!

Text edited from . . . – – – . . . for Samuel Morse.

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