How the Telegraph Changed the World

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About the Book

Invented in the 1830’s, the telegraph soon became indispensable. By 1851 there were more than 50 companies providing telegraphic service in the United States alone. The telegraph played a pivotal role in warfare beginning with the American Civil War, featured prominently in the creation of the first large American corporation, Western Union, and made possible long distance communication with the laying of the transatlantic cable. This book describes the global impact of the telegraph from its advent to its eventual eclipse by the telephone four decades later.

About the Author(s)

William J. Phalen holds a Ph.D. in American history from Rutgers University. He lives in Staten Island, New York.

Bibliographic Details

William J. Phalen
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9445-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1867-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

Introduction 5

1. Samuel Morse’s Invention Through the Eyes of the Newspapers 13

2. Diplomacy 29

3. The Telegraph and the American Civil War 50

4. The Telegraph and Abraham Lincoln 74

5. The Atlantic Cable 89

6. The Telegraph and the Railroads 110

7. The Telegraph and Business 120

8. The Telegraph and the Press 128

9. Western Union 149

10. The Telegraph Workers and Unionism 171

Conclusion 185

Chapter Notes 189

Bibliography 203

Index 211

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended”—Choice; “a welcome addition to the sparse literature available on this subject…recommended”—Civil War News.