The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961

,,/< Arrival of the elerah i
CHARLES H. DILLON
ONE DAY BACK IN 1936, the year of the Texas Centennial, a
judge on a Federal bench asked one of the telegraph
companies then doing business in Texas to prove, outside
its own meager records, that it was doing business legitimately in
Texas in 1870. (This was about the time when all roads, streets,
and highways where mail was delivered by the United States
Postal Department became so-called "Post Roads" by an act of
the Congress.) This writer's task was to find such proof which,
thanks to the efficient librarians in the State Archives, quickly
ended when they produced an original telegram from Cushing
and Cave in Houston dated August 25, 1868, to the Honorable
G. C. Rives in Austin saying they would ship thirty reams of
paper immediately via Brenham. This message and the one found
later in Christ's Church in Houston dated March 4, 1867, are the
oldest Texas messages the writer has located. Any information on
others would be appreciated.
Satisfying the court, however, did not satisfy the writer's curi-
osity about when and from where the telegraph came to Texas.
It must have come from somewhere. The writer was soon assured
that it did not originate here, because the State Archives also has
the original of a letter from Memucan Hunt, secretary of the
navy of the Republic of Texas, dated April 27, 1839, to President
Mirabeau B. Lamar conveying the offer of the inventor, Samuel
F. B. Morse, "in which that gentleman tendered the perpetual
use of the Electro Magnetic Telegraph to this Republic"--accom-
panied by drawings of the Electro Magnetic Telegraph, "so far as
it was then completed." It will be remembered that the invention
had been announced seven years before (1832) and it had been
only two years since its first public demonstration. Five years were
yet to elapse before a successful test line was built at government

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/. Accessed July 13, 2014.