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Samuel F. B. Morse papers, 1826-2009, bulk 1826-1871

Biographical Note

Portrait painter and inventor Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791-1872), was a founding member of the National Academy of Design who was subsequently known for his invention of the Morse code.
Morse was born in Massachusetts and educated at Yale College. In 1811 he traveled to England and was admitted to the Royal Academy. He returned to the United States in 1815 and began a career as a painter, primarily of portraits.
From 1826-1845 he served as president of the newly founded National Academy of Design in New York City. In the 1830s Morse developed the concept of a single-wire telegraph and the Morse code, and was involved in the growth of the commercial use of telegraphy throughout the world. Morse was also known for his portraits of the Marquis de Lafayette, and presidents John Adams and James Monroe.