“It was not until the slave-holders (the job-creators of their day) withdrew from the U.S. Congress that our country was able to move forward economically with widespread development of the technologies developed before the Civil War. The telegraph had been invented and demonstrated in 1844, but it was not until the ultra-conservative southerners were absent from Congress that legislation was able to be passed that enabled money to be spent on the American infrastructure. Tax dollars were finally freed up for the trans-continental telegraph system, a trans-continental railroad...”

This is incorrect information.

From the library of Congress:

By 1853, only one state east of the Mississippi, Florida, was not connected by telegraph. By 1860, telegraph lines crossed the American continent;

Memorandum from Samuel Morse to his assistant, Alfred Vail, 11 October 1844:

With remarkable foresight, Morse, already keenly aware of the potential for misuse of the new communication medium, writes to his assistant in Washington. Only months after the telegraph has begun operation, Morse warns Vail to “be especially careful not to give a partisan character to any information you may transmit.” Morse’s instructions display his insights into the importance of objectivity and accuracy for both the messenger and the message.

Mr Barker should have been as vigilant in his research as not to give a partisan character to any information he may transmit. The South most definitely did not hold back this technology. Please set that record straight.

(1) comment

James Gray

I am not following how what Mr Jaquith wrote, discounts what Mr Barker wrote. Barker wrote about 1844, Jaquith about 1853-1860. Not to mention it’s an opinion piece.

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