A Very Fierce War

The Electric Telegraph Lines
Between New York and Halifax


It is certain that if there had not been a confident reliance upon
the patronage of the Press, by those who invested their money,
the Telegraph Lines between Nova Scotia and Boston
would not have been built...

[Daniel H. Craig]

Mr. F.O.J. Smith controls the wires from Boston to Portland,
and he is now attempting to control them all the way to Halifax,
and to place creatures of his own in the news department at
the latter place, in order to have a monopoly of the trade,
and an opportunity to speculate on the news by means
of cyphers in advance of the regular despatch.

[The Boston Daily Mail, 26 January 1850]

Also see:   Daniel Craig's letter, May 1851
The Associated Press: New Policy
for Handling Telegraphed News

Daniel Craig's Pamphlet

In 1852, Alexander Jones wrote:
"The war was a very fierce one; many pamphlets appeared on both sides, including one by Mr. Craig in his defence against Smith's charges."

The publication Jones referred to, "including one by Mr. Craig in his defence," was a 29-page printed pamphlet, which is reproduced whole below.  Craig's pamphlet is of great value to communications historians, because it contains many details, hard to find elsewhere, of the early days of the electric telegraph in North America.

The context of Jones' remark follows:

Associated Press has to use special trains
to cross the telegraph gap between
Portland  and  Boston

        The vexations endured by the Associated Press management in the early days were aggravated by dissentions which grew up between the managers of some of the Morse telegraph lines and the press.  There were also contentions between the members of the press in Boston and other places, fanned if not engendered by the jealousies of some of the Morse lines, and especially by those under the control of F.O.J. Smith.

        This gentleman refused to allow steamers' news from Halifax (news brought to Halifax from Europe on steamships) to go over his telegraph line between Portland and Boston, for the Associated Press, unless they dismissed Mr. Craig, then acting as their Halifax agent.  The telegraph route between Halifax and Boston passed through Portland, Maine.  At that time there was only one telegraph line between Portland and Boston; F.O.J. Smith owned it and he was able to refuse the use of his line by anyone he chose.

        This led to a rupture, by which the press of Boston became divided.  The Associated Press retained Mr. Craig, each time a steamship brought news to Halifax from Europe, to charter a special locomotive express – a special train consisting only of one engine, running on the railway with top priority, meaning that all opposing trains (trains running in the opposite direction) had to clear the track by switching to a siding – at an enormous expense with each steamer's news, from Portland to Boston, there being no telegraph between these two points except that owned by Smith.

        From Boston it went to New York by the Bain telegraph line.  The Association also, by its encouragement, caused a company to extend the Bain line from Boston to Portland, where it connected with the lines extending thence to Halifax, and which were beyond the control of Smith.

        The war was a very fierce one; many pamphlets appeared on both sides, including one by Mr. Craig in his defence against Smith's charges.  The latter left no stone unturned.  Among other efforts to thwart the Association, it is said that he endeavored to get control of one of the links on the Halifax line east of Portland.  He also appealed to the Provincial Legislature of New Brunswick, and protested against the management of the Halifax line by its superintendent; but all without avail.

        His success in putting the newspaper press by the ears was not only less difficult, but more complete.  At one time Smith refused to receive and transmit private messages handed in by merchants and others for Halifax, or to let anything come over his line from Halifax...

Adapted from page 140, Historical Sketch of the Electric Telegraph, by Alexander Jones, published by George E. Putnam, New York, 1852.

•   #   The Cast
•   #   Title Page
•   #   Mar. 16th 1848: Letter from D.H. Craig to the N.S.E.T. Commissioners
•   #   Dec. 11th 1849: Letter from F.O.J. Smith to L.R. Darrow
•   #   Dec. 31st 1849: Letter from F.O.J. Smith to Hudson & Raymond
•   #   Jan. 24th 1850: New York Associated Press, statement To The Public:
        That the public may not be misled in this matter, the Associated Press
        deem it proper to make the following statement of facts...
              (Signed by a formidable array of powerful men)
              Gerard Hallock
              James Gordon Bennett
              Horace Greeley
              Thomas McElrath
              Erastus Brooks, and others.
•   #   Dec. 21st 1849: Telegram from F.O.J. Smith to Hudson & Raymond
•   #   Jan. 4th 1850: Letter from L.R. Darrow to Hudson & Raymond
•   #   Jan. 26th 1850: Clipping from the Boston Daily Mail
•   #   Jan. 29th 1850: Clipping from the Boston Daily Mail
•   #   Mar. 12th 1850: Telegram from D.H. Craig to James Eddy
•   #   Mar. 12th 1850: Telegram from James Eddy to D.H. Craig
•   #   Mar. 12th 1850: Certificate signed by John A. Raymond
•   #   Dec 6th, 1849: Certificate issued by F.O.J. Smith
•   #   Dec. 14th, 1849: Letter from D.H. Craig to John T. Smith
•   #   May 13th, 1848: Excerpts from letter from F.O.J. Smith to H.J. Raymond
•   #   Dec. 29th, 1849: Letter from Raymond & Hudson
      to Superintendents of Telegraph Lines between Halifax and New York
•   #   Jan. 3rd 1850: Letter from Hudson & Andrews to E.B. Forster
•   #   Feb. 9th, 1849: Excerpts from L.R. Darrow's contract with Associated Press
•   #   Feb. 15th, 1849: Excerpts from F.O.J. Smith's letter to New York Associated Press
•   #   Feb. 18th, 1849: Excerpt from New York Associated Press letter to F.O.J. Smith

•   #   Epilogue
•   #   Notes
•   #   Dec 22nd, 1849: John Smith's advertisement, N.B. Courier

Note: Craig's pamphlet was printed in one colour (black on white).
To assist the reader in sorting out the numerous letters, telegrams,
and other documents quoted by Craig, I have used colours below
to clearly identify the transitions from one document to another.
ICS (29 August 2001)

Daniel Craig's Pamphlet

his letter to the
Nova Scotia Electric Telegraph Commissioners

Begins  here

Nova Scotia Electric Telegraph, 1850: D.H. Craig's Letter Addressed to the Government Commissioners of the Nova Scotia Telegraph
1850: A Letter by Daniel H. Craig, addressed to the
Government Commissioners of the Nova Scotia Telegraph
Joseph Howe, George R. Young, and William Murdoch

of “an
“E X P O S I T I O N
“of the
“Differences Existing Between Different Presses and
Different Lines of Telegraph, Respecting the

addressed to the
Government Commissioners of the Nova Scotia Telegraph
Danl. H. Craig,


The Public Press and Merchants are respectfully invited to investigate this subject
without “fear, favor, or partiality.”

Halifax, N. S.

  Office of the North American and European
Telegraphic Commercial Agency

Halifax, N.S., March 16th, 1848

To the Honorable Joseph Howe,
the Honorable George R. Young, and
William Murdoch, Esquire,
Government Commissioners of the Nova Scotia Electric Telegraph.

          GENTLEMEN: — I am well aware that, as a private individual, I can have but small claim upon the notice of your honorable Body or upon that of the Public, in any controversy that may have arisen between myself and other parties here or elsewhere, in relation to the Telegraph and Foreign News.  Should, therefore any apology be required for the steps I am about to take in calling your attention to the existing difficulty, as set forth and be-Fog'd in the recent pamphlet of F.O.J. Smith, relative to the use of the Nova Scotia Line of Telegraph for the transmission of my Despatch of Foreign News to the Associated Press of New York and Boston, I trust it will be found, in a significant degree, in the circumstance of my position which has recently brought my name and unpretending movements into great prominence.  Having the honor to represent here the New York Associated Press, and through them, all (with a very few insignificant exceptions) the commercial journals between Boston and New Orleans and between New York and Quebec, Mr. Smith's purposes, in regard to those journals could not well be consummated without first sacrificing me upon the altar of his vengeance — and hence it is that I am indebted for the doubtful honor of his particular notice.

        It is well known to you that Mr. Smith has resorted to various expedients — some of a very exceptional and arbitrary character — to coerce every Line of Telegraph between Halifax and New York into the adoption of such rules and regulations, in regard to the preparation and transmission of the Foreign News public despatch, as he saw fit to dictate.  In the furtherance of this idea, and for no proper cause shewn, as I respectfully submit, he assumed to dictate, in a very offensive manner, to the Associated Press, as to whom they should employ at Halifax as their correspondent — his wish being to place a convenient tool of his own here, in the person of one John Smith , in order, as has been publicly charged, and as is generally believed by those who know F.O.J. Smith's unscrupulous character, that he might thus secure the entire direction of the Foreign News Despatch, and convert the five or ten thousand miles of Telegraph leading from Halifax, into one stupendous engine of speculation and commercial "piracy." Whether true or false, this appears to be the most reasonable construction to place upon his motives:- else, why should he insist upon the displacement of an agent who has, for over a year, given entire satisfaction to the Associated Press of New York and to all other Associations south and west of that city, and to all parties east also, except three out of ten Boston journals, — three evening papers, two of which, it is well known in that city, are being led by the nose by one Charles O. Rogers, who, by the potency of gin-cocktails "freely" administered, has become the willing tool of the Smiths to work out their nefarious plans.  That this man Rogers is a "fast" witness, will, I trust, be shown to your satisfaction in the course of this communication.

        I shall, Gentlemen, in the course of this communication, attempt to satisfy you, that notwithstanding the many issues now presented in Mr. Smith's pamphlet, originally a single one — and that raised by an arbitrary and unjustifiable exercise of power on his part — presented itself in the way of a satisfactory arrangement between the Associated Press and the Telegraph Lines under Mr. Smith's control; and in the outset it is necessary; in order that you should appreciate the full force of my position, that I should briefly advert to the movements of one John Smith, who arrived in Halifax from Boston, about the middle of November last, representing himself to you as the authorised agent of the Associated Press.  You will recollect that, by his bold and unscrupulous falsehoods upon this point, he so far succeeded in his dishonorable purpose of forcing his services upon the Associated Press, as to obtain your assent to his transmission of one Steamer's despatch over the wires to them, which, as will appear by their statement annexed, was forced upon them against their wishes by F.O.J. Smith — who, in all respects, so far as this controversy is concerned, should be regarded as the master of John Smith.  Immediately on the arrival of the news despatch at New York, the Committee of the Press, as you are aware, gave the Superintendent of your line express orders to send no more communications to them without my sanction — and also stated, that they would have nothing whatever to do with John Smith.  Repudiated by the Associated Press this John then hoisted an opposition flag, and claimed to be the agent of three evening papers in Boston, whose publishers, at the instigation of the man Rogers, (who had been brought over to the views of the two Smiths) withdrew, at about this time, from the Boston Associated Press, and set up business upon their own hook.  This took place, as appears by Mr. Smith's pamphlet, on the 27th November.

        During the succeeding half month, no complaint was made by either of the discontented plotters, probably from a confident belief in the omnipotency of the Smiths, and the consequent ability to give the news first to the three evening papers, which, it was conjectured, would force all the other Associations to come to terms with them; and thereby the grand object of securing the agency here to John Smith would be happily consummated.

        To satisfy you that even up to the 11th of December, Mr. F.O.J. Smith had no intention of questioning the propriety of the arrangements actually entered into between the different Lines and the Associated Press, I beg your particular attention to Mr. Smith's own exposition of the true relation subsisting between the parties to the present controversy:—

Boston, December 11, 1849

To L.R. Darrow, Esq.,
Superintendent New Brunswick Telegraph, St. John:

        By the contract which I have with the New York Associated Press,
extending from New York to Portland, and concurred in by the Maine
Telegraph Line to Calais, it is provided, that all despatches for the press,
or any portion of the press, or for private persons, that reach the office
prior to the despatch of the Associated Press, shall be promptly
forwarded, each in its turn, up to the moment of the coming in of the
Associated despatch, and then, and then only, does the Line give

        We have never deemed it the legitimate business of the Telegraph
to suspend the working of the line, for any price or person, to enable a
despatch not in, to have precedence, or to gain advantage, whether for
the press or private persons.

        When the lines were extended east of Portland, it was understood,
that the same rules and principles of governing the business of the Telegraph,
should be adopted by the terminal as well as intermediate offices.

        Without this, there is an end to all legitimate and all harmonious
business between different lines.

        I think there is but one rule for your line to adopt, and that is, to send
whose ever and whatever despatch over your line, that first reached it from
the Halifax Line, up to the time when the latter line notifies you of the
reception of the Associated Press despatch.

(Signed) F.O.J. Smith

        You will observe that Mr. Smith wrote the above under the mistaken impression that other parties were not to be allowed to use the wires in advance of the transmission of the despatch to the Associated Press, however much they might reach the Telegraph Office in advance of the agent for the Press — but you will bear me witness that the Associated Press have never expressed a wish through myself or any other person authorised to speak for them, that other parties should be debarred the use of the wires for the transmission of public or private despatches, provided the same could be got off from your office in advance of the presentation of the despatch for the Associated Press.  Mr. Gisborne, as well as you and myself, have always understood the matter exactly as Mr. Smith in the foregoing extracts from his letter to the New Brunswick Line, desired that it should be understood, to wit:— "that all despatches for the Press, or any portion of the press, or for private persons, that reach the office prior to the despatch of the Associated Press, shall be promptly forwarded, each in its turn, up to the moment of the coming in of the Associated despatch, and then, and then only, does the line give precedence."

        Such, then Gentlemen, was Mr. Smith's understanding of the obligations under which he and his line were bound, and by which he desired that all other lines should be bound to the Associated Press on the 11th of December, which was half a month after the three evening papers of Boston has withdrawn from the Association, and before he ascertained the important fact that his agent could not outstrip me in placing the foreign news in the Telegraph Office, and of course thus failing in ability to give it first to the evening papers.

        After John Smith was repudiated by the Associated Press, his formidable arrangements here for procuring the news from the steamers was, as you are aware, a matter of public notoriety, — large drafts were made by him upon the pockets of his backers — boats and boatmen — fishermen and practised bullies and blackguards by scores were employed, and large rewards were offered to excite his men to "brave deeds" — horse-flesh-suffered immensely — and indeed no efforts were left untried that could be any possibility contribute to his success.  But his greatest efforts were utter failures, and after satisfying himself of the impossibility of even reaching the Telegraph Office with the news in advance of me, he suddenly left town and returned, like a whining puppy to his master at Boston — turning over, however, before he left, his Telegraphic Agency business to Mr. E. S. Dyer; towards whom, personally, I entertain no feelings of unkindness, and only regret that he should be found co-operating with parties whose most holy aspirations never yet ascended above the pot-house and brothel.

        At or about the time John Smith returned to Boston — and after having exhausted every false, mean, and unprincipled artifice to supplant me in the foreign news agency — then it was that this immaculate F.O.J. Smith, seeing that my prescence here must inevitably crush his darling scheme of villainy, made the astounding discovery that I was the possessor of a few carrier pigeons, and therefore, must be instantly discharged from the employ of the Associated Press, and from all connection with the Telegraph! With the speed of lightning a "Bull" of excommunication against me and my innocent doves was sent forth over ten thousand miles of telegraph wires, and as it is a curiosity in the "Bull" line, I beg to transcribe it:—

December 31st, 1849

To Messrs. HUDSON & RAYMOND, New York:

        I have waited without any new information from you on the subject
of my last letter.  I have now all the evidence I can ask, of Craig's reckless
system of business over the telegraph.  Until he totally abandons the use
of carrier pigeons, I shall refuse transmitting any despatches from him,
over either the Portland, or the Boston and New York Line of Telegraph.
It is a decision, of both self-defence and public policy, from which I shall
not recede.  If the Associated Press will employ an agent of his — in utter
disregard of the interests and responsibilities of our telegraph lines, they
mustexpect counter measures of defence will be adopted.
They will be by me, at least.

F.O.J. Smith

        You will, Gentlemen, I apprehend, be puzzled to find any expression in the above that can be tortured into any dissent from the principle upon which your line and other lines were governed in the matter of preference in the transmission of the despatch to the Associated Press — but Mr. Smith poured out all the vials of his wrath upon my devoted head — and why?  was it really because I chanced to own a few carrier pigeons, or was it because he at last discovered that my superior activity in procuring the foreign news for my employers, was calculated to crush his scheme of villainy, which, it is fair to presume, he wished to carry on through his subservient tool, John Smith?

        Besides, at the time Smith issued his "Bull" against me, it was well known to you and to every individual in Halifax who took any interest in the matter, that I had never used nor attempted to use one of my pigeons in this place for any purpose whatever — nor have I to this day made any use of them — and whether I shall ever use them here or not will depend upon the necessity that may arise for protecting the interests of the Associated Press, and through them, the public, from the "piratical" demonstrations of the Smiths and their confederates.

        To Smith's impertinent demand for my dismissal, the Associated Press replied as follows:-

New York, January 24th, 1850


      Mr. F.O.J. Smith, the President of the New York and Boston Telegraph line, and owner of the Boston and Portland line, has caused to be published two letters, written by him, one to the Committee of the New York Associated Press, and the other to the Commissioners of the Nova Scotia Telegraph line.  The first demands of the Associated Press, the immediate dismissal of their agent at Halifax, because he owned a few carrier pigeons, or the alternate of having all their Telegraphic messages from that point stopped at Portland, although three different Telegraph lines intervene between his line and Mr. Craig's operations.  The letter to the Nova Scotia Commissioners — Government officers — demands the instant discharge of the Chief Operator in their employ; but the penalty, in this case, of a refusal to comply with the demand, is not stated.

      That the public may not be misled in this matter, the Associated Press deem it proper to make the following statement of facts, not with a view to parade their arrangements before their readers, but in order that they may understand the power of the magnetic or electric telegraph in the hands of one man, or a set of men, upon the commercial transactions of the country.

      About a year ago, the Journal of Commerce, Courier and Enquirer, Herald, Sun, Tribune, and Express, through their Committee, in an interview with Mr. L.R. Darrow, the Superintendent of the Saint John Line, then nearly finished, arranged to run an express, on the arrival of each steamer at Halifax, from that point to Saint John, New Brunswick, the eastern terminus of the Telegraph at that time, on condition of having the privilege of transmitting a despatch of three thousand words to Boston and New York, leaving copies if wanted, at the intermediate towns and cities.  The press were granted the exclusive use of the wires from the moment their despatch was offered until it was finished.  This was deemed necessary to warrant the vast outlay anticipated, and as a protection to the public.  Other parties, however, were not shut out from the use of the wires.  If they could anticipate our agent at the telegraph office, their messages were sent through to their destination.

      The arrangement thus made with Mr. Darrow extended from New York to Saint John, and to Halifax when the line reached that city, and was based, in regard to price, &c, upon a previous contract of a year's standing with Mr. F.O.J. Smith, for the transmission of the steamers' news from Boston to New York.  After the papers were signed, Mr. Smith, for certain reasons, refused to be a party to it, and a separate agreement was, therefore, made with him for the use of the lines under his control.  In all these arrangements, however, the names and character of the agents to be employed by the press, were not mentioned.  There were two competitors for the agency; and the "superior activity" of the man, and the recommendation of two or three editors in Boston, in the Association, induced us to employ Mr. Craig, the present agent.

      The Associated Press, previous to the new enterprise, had employed the express steamer Buena Vista to run from Halifax to Boston; and at the time of effecting the arrangement with Mr. Darrow, five of the associated newspapers had the steamer Newsboy employed in cruising off Sandy Hook, for the European steamers.  The news brought by the Buena Vista cost nearly $1,000 each time it was transmitted to New York, and the expenses of the Newsboy were at the rate of over $20,000 per annum, which were cheerfully paid by the Courier and Enquirer, Herald, Journal of Commerce, Sun, and Express, the owners of the steamer at that time.  After the overland express from Halifax to Saint John was established, the Newsboy was withdrawn, but the cost of getting the European news increased.  An examination of the bills of the last year exhibited the enormous expenditure, in that short space of time of $29,700, most of which went into the pockets of the telegraph companies.

      These few facts are merely stated en passant.  They have, perhaps, very little to do with the principles at issue with Mr. F.O.J. Smith, who seeks to dictate to the merchants and others what agents in New Orleans, Liverpool, or Halifax, they shall employ to do their business.  These facts, however, will serve to illustrate the position in which we are placed.

      There was no difficulty with Mr. F.O.J. Smith during the time the Buena Vista brought the news to Boston hours and hours in advance of the English steamer.  He interposed no objection then to the transmission of her news over his wires to New York.  There was no difficulty with Mr. F.O.J. Smith when the Newsboy brought the foreign news ahead of the steamer to this port.  He interposed no objection then to the despatch of the news, by telegraph, to Boston.  There was no difficulty with Mr. F.O.J. Smith when our overland express reached Saint John one and two days advance of the arrival of the European steamer at this port.  He interposed no objection then to the transmission of the news to New York, although, as he well knows, it was the easiest thing in the world to fly a flock of carrier-pigeons across the Bay of Fundy, hours ahead of the express.  It was not until the wires were carried to Halifax, that our agent became so very obnoxious to Mr.  F.O.J. Smith.  It was then that the press were given to understand that another agent must be employed.

      We were informed that our agent would use the facilities of the Associated Press to prey upon the mercantile community, and that the wires would be cut in the rear of each American market to which the pigeon would be dispatched.  We were advised to employ another agent, who had been kindly selected for us in Boston.  This new agent was indeed sent to Halifax, endorsed in the advertising columns of two Boston newspapers, by Mr. F.O.J. Smith, as possessing superior facilities over his lines; and one of the messages of this agent was actually forced upon us, to the exclusion of our own, by F.O.J. Smith; and it was the arrival of this agent at Halifax, with his "superior facilities," that caused the appearance of the carrier pigeons.  The Committee of the Associated Press, to all the charges against our own agent, and to the suggestion to employ another, informed Mr. F.O.J. Smith that the Press could not injure a man's character by discharging him on the mere suspicion of another; but that if the charges against the obnoxious agent could be proved, he would not for another moment remain in our employ.  The charges continued to be made; but no proof was furnished.

      About the middle of last month Mr. F.O.J. Smith wrote to the Associated Press, that as the evening papers of Boston were not connected with us in the reception of the news, he would consider our arrangements at an end.  In reply, a circular was addressed by the Committee, on the 29th ultimo to the superintendents of the several telegraph lines between New York and Halifax, that a new contract was necessary, and that any paper securing its share of the cost of getting the steamers' news, could have a copy of the same.  This was sent to Mr. F.O.J. Smith, as the Superintendent of the line reaching from New York to Portland.  Before, however, it could reach him, he sent the following telegraphic dispatch to the Committee:

Portland, Dec. 21, 1849

To HUDSON & RAYMOND: I have waited without any new information from
you on the subject of my last letter.  I have now all the evidence I can ask,
of Craig's reckless system of business over the telegraph.  Until he totally
abandons the use of carrier pigeons, I shall refuse transmitting any
dispatches from him over either the Portland or the Boston and New York
line of telegraph.  It is a decision of both self-defence and public policy,
from which I shall not recede.  If the Associated Press will employ an agent
of his utterly disregardless of the interests and responsibilities of our
telegraph lines, they must expect counter-measures of defence will be
adopted.  — They will be by me at least.

F.O.J. Smith

      After the reception of our circular, he reiterated his demand for the immediate dismissal of our agent.  And yet, not a carrier pigeon has been used; the beautiful and innocent doves remaining billing and cooing in their cote, and have not, to our knowledge or belief, flapped a wing for the Associated Press or any other party, since Mr. Craig has been acting as our agent.  Such an answer was wholly unexpected.  We could not believe that any man having control of such a powerful element of communication from distant points would presume to dictate to the public the agents to be employed in sending messages over the wires.  Although denying the right of Mr. F.O.J. Smith in thus dictating to us, we made inquiries into "Craig's reckless system of business;" and all that we could ascertain, was, that a man named Anderson, once in his employ, was detected in Saint John in the act of cutting the wires.  How far Mr. Craig was connected with this Anderson, in this affair, is to be seen in the following letter from Mr. L.R. Darrow, the Superintendent of the Saint John [New Brunswick] and Calais [Maine] telegraph line:

Saint John, January 4, 1850

To Messrs. HUDSON & RAYMOND, New York:

        A charge has been made against Mr. D. H. Craig, your agent
at Halifax, as having been engaged with Mr. Anderson, in cutting
the wire.  The Directors and myself have carefully examined all the
, which went to produce the charges, and the only foundation
we can find to hinge even a doubt upon against Mr. Craig, is that he had
employed this man Anderson, in connection with Mr. Till, of the New
, the one to print, the other to carry his daily dispatches of
the New York and Boston markets, to his patrons in Saint John; and this,
we think, should not have the least possible effect against him.  I would
advise the continuance of Mr. Craig as your agent until some proof shall
be brought against him, or at least some strong probabilities.
I am gentlemen,

With respect and esteem,
yours truly,
L.R. Darrow

      Such is our statement.  But, after all, it has very little to do with the principle in dispute between Mr. F.O.J. Smith (the owner of the line from Portland to Boston, the President of the line from Boston to New York, and the reputed owner of one-forth of Morse's patent) and the Associated Press of Boston and New York.  That is a matter of some importance to the community, who are daily sending important and confidential messages over the wires, with the expectation of their safely reaching their destination.  It is, therefore, fortunate that the outrageous demand of Mr. F.O.J. Smith is made at this early day, and before the telegraphic system becomes a monopoly.  It will be the means of opening the eyes of the commercial community, from one end of the Union to the other.  It may prevent such a powerful element of communication from falling into the hands of grasping, corrupt and tyrannical men; and, if so, we shall be happy to have been the cause of thus saving the public.

      Meanwhile, however, the merchants, and, indeed, the whole community, should be on their guard.  Our efforts to obtain the news will continue.  We have expended upwards of $50,000 in the last two years to give the earliest and the latest intelligence from Europe, and we shall not hesitate to expend an equal amount in the next two years for the same purpose.  But between us and the news there are three hundred and fifty miles of telegraph wire, over which the press are not permitted to send a message, unless we consent to employ the agents selected for us by the manager of that line.  The commercial community are, therefore, for the present, at the mercy of the speculators.

      We now leave this matter.  Those who are acquainted with the newspaper press of this city, or country, cannot fail to see that the separate and distinct interests embraced in our Association are quite sufficient for the protection of the public.

                Gerard Hallock, Journal of Commerce
                Greeley & McElrath, Tribune
                Geo H. Andrews, Courier & Enquirer
                Beach Brothers, New York Sun
                J. & E. Brooks, New York Express
                James Gordon Bennett, New York Herald
      New York, January 24, 1850

Nova Scotia Electric Telegraph, 1850: Members of the New York Associated Press
The name "Beach & Brothers" in the above image is an 1850 typesetting error.
This should read "Beach Brothers", referring to the brothers Alfred Ely Beach and
Moses Sperry Beach, who were co-publishers of the New York Sun newspaper.

        You will, perhaps, Gentlemen, regard it a work of supererogation to add other than the foregoing high testimony bearing upon the point under consideration; but that there may be no possible mistake in your minds as to public sentiment outside of the New York Association, I beg your attention to the annexed articles from one of the most popular daily journals published in the city of Boston:—

[From the Boston Daily Mail, Jan. 26, 1850.]


      Mr. Francis Ormand Jonathan Smith, (we like to give a man the full
benefit of his good name) the Manager of the Old Telegraph Monopoly,
having got through with his first lesson in sprouts, feels as bad as a
whipped schoolboy.  He has caused to be published two letters, in
which he attempts to justify himself for refusing to permit the despatch
for the Associated Press of New York and Boston to come over the
Portland line of telegraph — thus subjecting the Associated Press to
the trouble and expense of running a (special train) Express with the
Steamer's news from Portland to Boston.  His first justification is, that
he will not permit despatches to be sent over his line by any one who
employs carrier pigeons!  Wonderful Mr. Smith!  Has not any man as
good a right to send news by carrier pigeons as you have to sent it by
lightning? — Most certainly; and a better right too; for there is no
monopoly in pigeons; — any man may purchase pigeons and train
them, whereas you claim a monopoly of lightning, by reason of letters
patent to Professor Morse.  You might as well declare that no man
shall use your lightning who runs an engine or draws a handcart.
Your objection to Mr. Craig, the Agent of the Associated Press, is not
that he has used carrier pigeons.  That is merely a pretext.  He has
upset some of your schemes of monopoly; he knows your tricks
"like a book;" you know that he is able and faithful to his trust; and
you are determined to get him off the track, by fair means or foul.
By a perverted use of a private letter, you attempted to injure him with
his employers; and failing in that your declare that no message from
him or to him shall go over your wires!  Imperious Mr. Smith!

      A great time we shall have when Mr. Smith succeeds in a
monopoly of lightning, and in compelling every one to submit to
his dictation in regard to the Agent employed to transmit news.
Mr. Craig is acknowledged on all hands to be the most competent
man to make up a synopsis of the foreign news ever employed in
that department
; and he is to be turned adrift because he once
used carrier pigeons, and declared in a private letter that he would
sell the news thus obtained to any one who would pay him the
highest price — just as he would a "string of onions." And where,
we ask, is the wrong in this?  Has not Mr. Craig, when obtaining
news by means of his own pigeons, as good a right to go into the
market with his wares as Mr. Smith has to demand pay for his
lightning?  Mr. Craig did not set himself up as a common carrier;
he ran his "pigeon expresses" on his own hook, and had as good
a right so to do as any man would have to run a Steamer to
England for the purpose of expressing the news.  It is a perfectly
legal and legitimate business
; and Mr. Smith, who sets himself up
as a common carrier of news, under rules of his own making, has
no more right to exclude the despatches of Mr. Craig than he has
to exclude those of a man who follows the example of Gov. Briggs,
and so far sets fashion at defiance as to appear in the streets
minus a dickey.

      We repeat, the appeal and complaint of Mr. Smith is mere
pretext for covering his designs in regard to the foreign news
east of Boston.
— Between Boston and New York there is now
a very healthy competition, and Mr. Smith can no longer play his
antics upon the business community here.  But he controls the
wires from Boston to Portland, and he is now attempting to
control them all the way to Halifax, and to place creatures of
his own in the news department at the latter place, in order to
have a monopoly of the trade, and an opportunity to speculate
on the news by means of cyphers in advance of the regular
Those who recollect the exposures we made of the
dishonorable practices of the Telegraph Monopoly of Mr. Smith,
in its incipient business as a "common carrier of news," will smile
at the "high and honorable ground" attributed to him by the
Evening Transcript.  We are aware that the Transcript feels
rather sore about these days, — but we did not suppose it was
so far diseased as to attribute anything "high and honorable"
to F.O.J. Smith.  It has sung a very different tune in regard to
that redoubtable personage; and it may have occasion to do
so again before a year expires.

[From the Boston Daily Mail, Jan. 29, 1850.]

      The fact is, Mr. Smith, instead of exposing any delinquency
on the part of Mr. Craig, only exposes his own desire to have all
the appliances connected with the Telegraph in his own hands.
He wishes to get rid of the "outsiders," and have everything in
his own hands; and a beautiful monopoly it will be, when a
personage so notoriously tricky as Mr. Smith can control the
telegraph wires, and have the benefit of all the commercial news
which arrives at Halifax at least thirty-six hours in advance of the
regular merchants of Boston and New York!

        In contesting your remark that "the managers of all other lines, being a majority of the whole," concurred with you in giving the Associated Press the rights conceded to them, Smith says, (referring to the Maine Line):—

      "One of these lines, to which you refer, receives your messages, not because it elects to do so; but because its charter compels it to receive such messages, regardless of their origin, their character, or their consequences."

        In reference to the New Brunswick Line, Smith continues:

      "It is so far from acting under any sense of independent judgment, in suffering the Craig agency to monopolize the wires of that line, it acts from an almost discreditable surveillance to an agency which it fears more than it respects or has reason to confide in."

        In answer to the slander upon the New Brunswick line, contained in the above extract, happily you are too well aware of the materials of which the Superintendency of that Line is composed, to believe that anything human or divine could inspire any such humiliating feelings as Smith describes.

        In regard to the Maine Line, I have the best reason to know that Smith's allusion to the views of its managers is without any adequate foundation.  In order that you may form an opinion as to the probabilities in the case, it is proper that you should be advised that F.O.J. Smith is a Director in that Line, and that the office of the Line at Portland is in Smith's building, and in the same room with the office of Smith's own Line between Portland and Boston.  The position of the Maine Line is such therefore that its only safe policy lies in maintaining neutral ground.  This, Mr. Eddy, the gentlemanly Superintendent, fully appreciates, and as the following correspondence will show, intends to adhere to.  That Mr. Eddy, however, is perfectly satisfied with your present arrangements with the Associated Press I have the best reason to know, because he has frequently and unqualifiedly expressed to me his satisfaction with the arrangements that existed before the Line was extended East of Saint John, and therefore, in the absence of any testimony to the contrary, it is fair to assume that he is satisfied now, as it will be shewn, I trust to your entire satisfaction, that the present arrangement between the Associated Press and the several Lines of Telegraph is substantially the same as always existed — all the difference being against the Press and in favor of the Telegraph Line and the Public:-

Halifax, March 12, 1850

To James Eddy, Esq.,
Superintendent Maine Telegraph, Bangor

      If you were untrammelled by your charter, would
you refuse to allow the Associated Press the advantages
they now possess in the use of your line?

D.H. Craig

Bangor, March 12, 1850

To: D.H. Craig, Esq.

      Under the circumstances, allow me to decline
answering your interrogatory.

J. Eddy

        I shall not detain you with lengthy comments upon the false and scandalous charges and insinuations made by Smith on the fifth page of his pamphlet, concerning the manner in which I discharged my duties to the Press and the Public during the time I superintended the Express between Halifax and Saint John; but I cannot forbear laying before you the annexed certificate, which is from a party, wholly disinterested, and who had better means of judging of my fidelity than any other person or set of persons connected with the Telegraph.  It will be found to contain a complete refutation of Smith's charges and also pointedly contradicts every material statement contained in Rogers's letter to Smith, upon the subjects to which it refers:-

Office of New BrunswickTelegraph
Sackville, March 12, 1850

      This is to certify, that I officiated as Operator in the
transmission of the foreign news despatches to the
Associated Press during nearly all the time the news
was received by Mr. D.H. Craig's express at Saint John
and Sackville, and I have no hesitation in saying that,
to the best of my knowledge and belief the despatch
was never delayed one moment from any inattention
on his part, — so far from it, he always evenced the
utmost desire to have it go through the instant the
Express arrived.
  From my recollection of the Express,
I should say that the news was in the Telegraph office
in a majority of cases so that it reached Boston between
twelve o'clock at night and twelve o'clock in the day.
I should say, also, that the news was much more
frequently detained between Bangor and Boston
than it was between Saint John and Bangor.

John A. Raymond

        Having, as I trust, Gentlemen, satisfied your that F.O.J. Smith was perfectly content to give precedence to the despatch for the Associated Press, from the moment it was placed in the office, (which is all that the Associated Press have ever asked for and all that you have ever conceded to them) and as he offers you no evidence of his own dissatisfaction, nor even hints at any on the part of the three evening papers for some two or three weeks after they voluntarily withdrew from the Boston Association; and as I have shewn, I respectfully submit, sufficient evidence that neither Smith not his proteges thought of finding fault with existing arrangements until they become satisfied that they could neither command the ingenuity, activity nor enterprise necessary to accomplish their purpose in opposition to the Associated Press, I beg to pass to the next scene in the drama, which, though it is wholly personal to myself, has, nevertheless, an important bearing upon the whole subject under consideration.

        It is known to you that during the time John Smith was here in Halifax, he took an office under that occupied by the Telegraph and advertised himself as a general Telegraph agent — that he was guaranteed, by the "Hon. F.O.J. Smith, President of the New York and Portland Telegraph Lines" exclusive privileges in the transmission of private communications over the Boston and Halifax Lines — and this Honorable, conscientious, public-protecting F.O.J. Smith took pains to publish to the world the extraordinary qualifications possessed by the precocious John — and lest the Public and Press should not discover the great truth, he kindly informed them of their wants through all the Boston papers, as follows:-

Extract from Certificate from F.O.J. Smith,
attached to John Smith's Circular,
issued at Boston, Dec. 6, 1849

      "To All Persons Interested — The establishment of a reliable
commercial agency at Halifax, N.S., to act conjointly with the
Telegraph as the joint conduits of private and newspaper corres-
pondence between merchants on opposite sides of the Atlantic, is
indispensable to the safety of merchants, and most needed for the
reputation of the Telegraph."

        Then, after certifying to the fact that he "had encouraged" his namesake to establish himself at Halifax "to act conjointly with the Telegraph," he proceeds to say, that "every advantage which the Telegraph Lines under my direction can afford, will be at all times most freely awarded to him." And in conclusion, F.O.J. Smith says, "I do this knowing the necessity of it, and entertaining full faith in Mr. Smith's rendering the undertaking, which is by no means an easy one, worthy of both public and private confidence."

        Circumstances have since fully verified Mr. Smith's prediction, i.e. that the task allotted to John "was by no means an easy one;" for, after the most strenuous and unprincipled efforts to gain a footing for him in Halifax — after having accorded to him "every advantage" that could be commanded by fair or foul means over the Telegraph Lines, John Smith's agency here has, as you are aware, fallen through — at least, it has so, practically — and this, too, though he had the brazen faced impudence to make use of your honorable names without authority, as parties to whom he was privileged to refer to.  It is true that he still retains his office here (and probably will continue to do so as long as he finds an accommodating landlord) — but no person has been known to enter the office within the last two months, and I much doubt if any merchant here or elsewhere has yet been found sufficiently verdant to confide business to the agency to the amount of one penny.

        John Smith and his friends went much beyond the assurances given him in the foregoing extracts from F.O.J. Smith's certificate, and in conversation boasted of his ability, through the omnipotency of his master, to render it impossible for me to compete with him in the Transatlantic Telegraph Agency business.  It was whilst smarting under the unjust taunts and gross falsehoods of Smith and his friends that I addressed the following letter to him, which, as soon as received, true to his instinctive meanness and dishonor, he immediately passed over to his co-laborers, the man Rogers and F.O.J. Smith, and through their instrumentality mutilated portions of it were given to the public, and a vain effort was made to manufacture much virtuous indignation against me:-

Halifax, Dec. 14, 1849

To: John T. Smith, Esq.:

      DEAR SIR,— Certain of your friends in Boston, as I have reason
to know, are not only exerting themselves to benefit you, but they are
doing so under the apprehension, apparently, that it is absolutely
necessary that I should be sacrificed, and fairly hooted from the field
to make room for you.  And, to effect their purposes, they have
resorted, among other expedients, to a system of the most outrageous,
mean, and contemptible falsehoods — falsehoods so base that a
common highwayman or the midnight assassin would blush to be the
author of, — to parties here, who are presumes to occupy positions
that enable them to exert a controlling influence to my disadvantage.
I am very reluctant to believe that these things are being done at the
instigation of yourself, but the degree of intimacy that is known to exist
between you and the base scoundrels of whom I complain, forces upon
me very unpleasant suspicions, of which I would gladly be relieved.

      Fair, legitimate opposition I expect from you, and am perfectly
willing to encounter.  Indeed, I should feel little disposed to find fault
if you wished to carry opposition a trifle beyond this point, — but I
submit, if it is not a little too bad, that you should seek to bolster up
your position and credit for fidelity and faithfulness, by certificates
from parties who are so notorious in every species of rascality, as is
at least one of the persons who seems willing to evince his friendly
feelings towards you, by publishing to the world that he is not less a
big ass, than he is known to be, a big Roman, unmitigated scoundrel.

      Now, sir, you and your friends may say, do, or attempt to do
whatever you or they please; but there is one fixed fact that will
always remain, and that is, that you will find me here — and neither
F.O.J. Smith, any portion of the public press, yourself for friends,
nor the devil himself, shall ever drive me from any position that I may
see fit to assume.  I am now here as the agent of the New York
associated Press, — a position which I have labored with my whole
heart to fill in an acceptable manner, and in the faithful discharge of
which, since last February, is found the only real cause that certain
telegraph gentry now have for their contemptible flings at me.  Whilst
the committee of the New York Press see fit to confide their business
to me, I shall not willingly nor knowingly disappoint their reasonable
expectations, — among the very first of which, is strict fidelity and
superior activity.  Of the first of these requisites, I am sole master, and
am sure that I never have been or shall be deficient of the second.
I have only to say, that I will cheerfully resign the field to you when
you prove your ability to serve them with more general success
than I have done, or may hereafter do.

      I observe, that you and your friends are laboring to make much
capital out of the fact, that I was formerly engaged in expressing the
news into Boston for speculative purposes, and also, out of the further
fact, that I have now placed my carriers over the telegraph office in
this city.  My good fellow, you and your willing tools, are wasting your
powder upon this subject, and, to show you the insincerity of at least
two of your friends, who are making fools of themselves by trying to
frighten grown-up children by the terrible sound of carrier pigeon
expresses, it may be well to say to you, that one of them only
declined to join me in this "defrauding the public" operation, a year
or two ago, "because" as he said to me, "of my (his) position," but
wished me "entire success in your (my) legitimate and spirited
enterprise." Your other friend, who now affects such a holy horror of
all speculations, (except, I suppose, when, as formerly, he has a
chance to swindle a few hard-earned dollars from some poor,
ignorant, John Bull skipper,) was a direct applicant, on two different
occasions, for the use of the foreign news, for speculative purposes,
when I was in a position, at Boston, to gratify his wishes.

      That I have my pigeons here is very true.  I have never sought,
nor desired any secrecy about the matter, nor do I wish to disguise
the fact, that I intend to make my birds available, for procuring
foreign news from every steamer that passes within one hundred
miles of the coast of Nova Scotia.
  But this is a personal and private
enterprise, and in the results of which, the press and the public will
fully and fairly participate, if they choose to pay me a quid pro quo;
if not, I shall assume it as a right to sell my news, as I would a string
of onions, i.e., to the highest bidder.  Neither do I wish to disguise
the fact, that I intend to make my pigeons a means, whereby I may
successfully compete with you, and finally drive you into retirement
from the transatlantic general telegraphic business — a business
that I consider you to have unfairly entered upon — and I tell you,
candidly, that I intend, and further, I will not fail, to beat you in
placing the despatch for the press first in the telegraph office; and
by the same process, I will also place on file, in the office, copies of
all the commercial despatches that may be confided to my agents
in England, for transmission to the United States, so that they will be
first in order, after the despatch for the press shall have gone forward.

      Now, if you wish to renew your exertions, by letters and otherwise,
to and with the officers of the steamers, in order to defeat, if possible,
my intentions, I have not the least disposition to find fault.  You shall
be quite welcome to throw all the stumbling blocks of that kind in my
way that you please, and I shall regard them now, as formerly, only as
being thrown in to create for me a little pleasurable excitement, in
planning and executive the dull details of my operations.

      Neither do I care a straw what amount of "exclusiveness" you
secure, on paper or otherwise, from F.O.J. Smith, or other
superintendents; but if my communications, placed on file here in
advance of yours, do not also go into the hands of the parties to
whom they may be addressed; in advance of yours, I now give you
and all your friends, in or out of telegraph offices, distinct assurance
that no communications shall pass over the telegraph to Boston, after
the news to the Associated Press shall have gone forward, until after
the arrival there of the steamers; nor shall any despatches of mine,
placed first in the office at Boston, be set aside, or passed over with
impunity to make room for yours.  I ask no monopoly, except what I
can legitimately command by my own hands and my own activity,
and I never again will submit to any.  If you and F.O.J. Smith do not
comprehend the full force of these words, you may both of you live
long enough to get examples that will divest your minds of all doubt.

      In conclusion, I beg to assure you that I entertain not the least
unkind feelings towards you personally, and shall really be glad to
have you return here.  We shall all die without your presence.

Yours very truly,
D.H. Craig

        This letter has formed a fruitful subject of comment, from Halifax to New Orleans — it has been hashed up and cut up in all manner of ways and shapes — turned inside out and outside in — misquoted, misjudged and vilified, — but I confess that after mature reflection, I see very little in the spirit of the letter that I would wish to amend.  I have yet to find the first disinterested person who dissents from the broad ground assumed in the letter, that early news, legitimately obtained, is as much a marketable commodity as "a string of onions" — and I am prepared to maintain at all times and under all circumstances, that the business of transmitting early intelligence between distant points by the agency of carrier pigeons, is as honorable, as proper, and under some circumstances, a far superior mode to that of the electric telegraph.  The threat, if threat there is, in the letter, I am perfectly content should go for what it is worth — I cannot, however, withhold my deliberate conviction that should Smith or any other man, having the control of a line of telegraph, which was amendable to no law (as is the case the the line owned by F.O.J. Smith, between Portland and Boston) attempt to enforce the exclusiveness in private despatches to which alone my "threats" had reference, it would be the bounden duty of the public to raze every such telegraph post to the ground.

        The second material position assumed by Mr. Smith in this pamphlet, is —

        That the existing arrangement between the Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine Lines and the Associated Press is contrary to all precedent.

        In the outset of this branch of the investigation, it is important to ascertain what were the rules and usages by which F.O.J. Smith was governed before the "march of mind," as evinced in the efficient telegraph systems of Messrs. Bain and House, knocked the stilts from under him, and he ceased to reign as the "Autocrat of all the" Telegraphs, — the supreme director of all lightning intelligence on the North American continent.  We may approximate the truth upon this point, by reference to the evidence which is supplied by Smith in his communication to you.

        On page 27 of his pamphlet he gives you, under date, New York, May 13, 1848, a copy of a letter addressed to him by H.J. Raymond, Esq., then and now one of the Committee of the Associated Press.  In that letter, Mr. Raymond says: —

New York, May 13, 1848

To: F.O.J. Smith,

      ... "The Journal of Commerce, Express, Courier and Enquirer,
Herald, Sun, and Tribune of this city, have agreed to procure foreign
news by telegraph from Boston in common, and have appointed a
committee to make arrangements with you for its transmission.

      "Acting in behalf of that Committee of the Association, I beg to
propose that you give us, from the moment our despatch shall be
received at the telegraph office in Boston, the use of all the wires
that may be in working order, for the uninterrupted transmission
of all the news we may wish to receive.

      "Upon what terms will you secure to us, for one year from the
present date, the use of the telegraph as specified above?" ...

Yours very truly,
H.J. Raymond

        Two days after, to wit, May 16, (as also appears by Smith's pamphlet, pages 28 and 29) F.O.J. Smith replied to Mr. Raymond's letter, and the following are the material portions of it, to which I beg your particular attention:—

New York, May 16, 1848

To: H.J. Raymond,

      ... "I will contract the service of the Telegraph in respect
to foreign news on this line, to the proprietors of the papers
you name, for one year from this date, on the following terms.

      "To give their despatch, on each arrival of a foreign steamer,
priority on any one wire which may be in order for work through
to New York, and on all other wires that shall be worked through
to New York, from the time the Despatch shall be delivered at the
Boston office, until its transmission shall have been completed.

      "You shall have the exclusive right to admit and to dismiss
other parties to, and from the benefits of the arrangement, on
giving the President of the Association, for the time being, written
notice of the admission and discontinuance of each, as it shall occur.

      "If you give other parties, private individuals, reporters, or
presses, the use of news before put into public circulation in
good faith, payment shall be made, as for a copy of the excess
over 3000 words, be the same more or less, by each party so
furnished, at the usual newspaper rates of transmission.

      "I will accord to you the desired authority to prevent any
part of the news from leaving the office at New York until you
choose to send it out." ...

F.O.J. Smith

        Such, then, Gentlemen, was the arrangement between F.O. J. Smith and the Associated Press, deliberately entered into by said Smith at a time when he had sole control of all telegraphic facilities north of New York.  That the arrangement was regarded at the time as an odious monopoly by papers which were excluded from obtaining the news in New York, I well remember — but no one, to my knowledge ever found fault with the Association — they dictated no terms of monopoly — but Smith, unasked, conceded the monopoly, and they would have been recreant to their own interest if they had not accepted it.  By the terms of the contract, some half dozen New York papers were utterly excluded from the right to enter the Association or to receive the news upon any terms.  At that time my interests were in conflict with those of the Associated Press, and the outside papers in New York, knowing my ability to get on the news in advance of the arrival of the steamers at Boston, applied to me repeatedly to aid them in their extremities.  I did attempt to serve them, but, though I placed the foreign news in Smith's office hours in advance of all others, and hours in advance, even, of the arrival of the English steamers, yet, by the cunning knavery of Smith and a subservient slave or understrapper of his of the name of Sadler, he was always equal to the emergency, and I could never get a word of news off to New York unless it was addressed to the Associated Press.

        I respectfully ask your especial attention, Gentlemen, to the 3rd, 4th and 5th extracts above quoted, and I also ask you to bear constantly in mind that those conditions were voluntarily conceded, to a select Association of six out of the then existing twelve or fifteen Daily Papers in New York.  — "You shall have the exclusive right to admit and to dismiss other parties." You will be astonished to observe that by the 4th paragraph those six papers were unrestrained in the use to which they should apply the news — indeed, they were almost enjoined to use it for speculative purposes; — all Smith asked was, that if, at any time, they saw fit to give the news to "other parties" or "private individuals," he claimed a portion of the plunder, as therein set forth; — and, lest a doubt should arise as to the length of time the Association were to be allowed to prey upon the merchants, this man Smith, who now affects such a holy horror of all speculations, was particular to attach the following significant condition: — "I will accord to you the desired authority to prevent any part of the news from leaving the office at New York until you choose to send it out."

        I beg you will not misunderstand me — I never had reason to believe and I do not believe, that the Association, or any member of it, ever converted the news to any speculative purpose — the character and position of the gentlemen composing the Association forbids the base thought — but that F.O.J. Smith freely conceded to them the right to do so, so far as he was concerned, cannot be doubted nor gainsayed.

        Now, Gentlemen, how does this contract, entered into between the Associated Press and this immaculate F.O.J. Smith, contrast with that which at present exists between you and the Associated Press?  The Committee's proposition, to which you have in all essential particulars assented, is as follows:—

New York, Dec.  29, 1849

To the Superintendents of the Telegraph Lines between
Halifax and New York,

      GENTLEMEN, — Acting as a Committee of the New York
Associated Press in connection with the morning papers of
Boston and the Press of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and other
Southern and Western cities, we are desirous of making
arrangements for the receipt of foreign news from the steamers
touching at Halifax, that may prove satisfactory to the public
and to the parties directly concerned.  We beg leave, therefore,
to submit to you the following propositions: —

      1.   We will agree to have a despatch of at least 3000 words
for each steamer delivered at the Halifax station, for transmission
to us — and to pay for its transmission the following sums.  For the
line from Halifax to Sackville (New Brunswick), $75; from Sackville
to Calais (Maine), $125; from Calais to Portland (Maine), $125;
from Portland to Boston, $50; from Boston to New York, $100, —
making in all $475.  Provided the despatch shall be forwarded
without interruption from the time of its receipt, by day or night,
until its transmission is completed.

      2.   If no despatch is delivered at the Halifax station by our
agent, the stipulated sum shall be paid nevertheless, — except
when the telegraph shall not be in working order, at any point
between Halifax and Boston.  And in that case, he shall have
the option to send the desptach over part of the line or not; and
the tranmission of the despatch shall not be paid for on any line
over which it is not sent.

      3.   If only part of the despatch is sent over any line in
consequence of the inability of the line to send the whole,
payments shall be made pro rata for the part sent, and
for no more.

      4.   Any excess over 3000 words in the despatch,
shall be paid for at the same rate.

      5.   The quotations of cotton, corn, flour, consols, and
American stocks, shall be published by the papers interested
in the arrangement, immediately on their receipt, — if it be at
any time in the day before 3 o'clock P.M.

      6.   The time of the delivery of the Despatch at the Halifax
station, shall be announced to the papers at once.

      7.   Any failure to transmit the news within a reasonable
time after its reception, shall constitute ground for a reduction
of the sum to be paid, — the amount of such reduction to be at
the rate of ten per cent for every hour of such unreasonable delay.

      8.   Payments shall be made by drafts on the Committee at
three days sight.

      9.   Any newspaper shall be admitted to this arrangement,
on paying, or securing payment of its proper proportion of the
expenses involved, and on agreeing to abide by such regulations
as the Association may find it necessary to make for the protection
of the parties to the arrangement.

      You will oblige by stating, before the 15th day of January, 1850,
whether you are willing, on behalf of the lines under your charge, to
assent to this arrangement.  If we do not receive your assent before
that date, our agent at Halifax has instructions to send very brief
summaries of the foreign news, on the usual terms of your private

We are very truly,
Your obedient servants,
H.J. Raymond
Frederic Hudson

        The existing arrangements between the Boston and New York Associations, will be sufficiently understood by reference to the following Letter, from the Committee at New York to the Committee at Boston:

New York, 3d January, 1850

To: E.B. Forster, Esq.
Committee of the Boston Associated Press

Dear Sir:

      We duly received your Letter of the 31st ult. [Dec. 31st, 1849],
and delayed an answer, in order to ascertain as fully as possible,
the wants of the Boston Press.  We think we now understand them.

      We have no desire to exclude any Paper from whatever
arrangements we have made, or may make, to receive their foreign
news over the wires from Halifax, and in our Letters to the
Superintendents of the several Telegraph Lines between New York
and Halifax, we have stated that any paper paying its share of the
expenses, such as tolls, boats, horses, &c., can join the Association,
and if the Evening Papers of your city wish to partake of the
advantages we are supposed to enjoy, they can do so.
All we desire of them is to conform to our Rules and Regulations,
which are very few and very fair.

      It is our intention to announce on our Bulletin, the arrival of the
Steamers at Halifax, the moment it is known to us, and to announce
as publicly, the prices of Cotton, Corn, Flour, Consols, American
Stocks, &c.; to publish in our afternoon editions, the commercial
news and the leading political points of the intelligence, and to
publish the remainder of the news, if there happens to be any,
in our Morning Editions.

      These are all the Rules and Regulations we have respecting
the foreign news, and we think they are fair and just.

      The cost of getting the foreign news from Halifax, is, as you
are aware, very great.  It is a regular outlay, to be borne by the
New York Papers, if no others join them in the enterprise.  We
feel sure, however, that the Boston Journals will continue to be a
party to the arrangements.  They now pay us $100 per Steamer,
and we propose to adhere to that price — they taking as many
Papers in Boston as they please into the Association.  We believe
that the Evening Papers will see that this is fair to them, and much
better than any arrangement they can make.  It is however, for
them to decide — we make the offer.

      To show you that we have no wish to exclude Papers, we will
here mention, that within the last two weeks we have added two
New York City Journals to our Association, and our arrangement
with the Press of Philadelphia is, that the news shall be offered
to all alike.

      With the hope that this will be satisfactory to you and
your Association,

We are, very truly,
Your obedient servants,
Frederic Hudson
Geo. H. Andrews
Committee of the New York Associated Press

To: E.B. Forster, Esq.
Committee of the Boston Associated Press

        Pursuing our enquiries relative to the past usages of the western lines of telegraph, we find, by the evidence furnished in Smith's pamphlet, that in February, 1849, the line was opened between Boston and Saint John, and that, by general consent, the contract then existing between Mr. Smith and the New York Association (the leading features of which I have given you in foregoing extracts) was abrogated, and L.R. Darrow, Esq, who was then as he is now the Superintendent of the New Brunswick line, was empowered by all the lines to enter into a new arrangement with the Associated Press; for which purpose he visited New York, and on the 9th day of February, 1849, entered into a contract with the same Committee and with the same Papers as Smith had contracted with on the 15th of May, 1848.  The material conditions of Mr. Darrow's contract are contained in the following extracts: —

New York, 9th February 1849

      "That it is fully understood and agreed, by and
between the parties hereto, that the foreign despatch
for the Public Press, furnished by the said Raymond
and Hudson, or other agents of the Papers above
named, presented at the office of the telegraph at
Saint John shall have priority over all other
despatches, (except that of the Government) from
the time it is delivered at said office, until the whole
message shall have been transmitted to Boston.

      "The said Raymond and Hudson, or their agents,
shall have permission to exclude from the telegraph
offices, all persons not necessarily engaged in the
transmission of the messages, during the time their
despatch is being transmitted.  But it is expressly
understood that the news so transmitted, shall be
placed before the public by such newspapers as
shall have arranged to receive such despatch, as
soon as is practicable, and that such news shall
not be made known, sold, or in any way used by
them, so as to be made the basis of speculation
by private individuals or otherwise, to the public
injury, while the news is withheld by them from
public circulation."

        This contract did not meet Mr. Smith's views and he refused to ratify it, as far as his lines were concerned; which he made known to the committee of the New York Association in a letter, under date, Boston, February 15, 1849; in which, after stating at some length his objections to Mr. Darrow's arrangement, he made the following proposition — (see his pamphlet, page 33): —

Boston, 15th February 1849

      "This I am ready to do, — to consider your existing contract
for the press between Boston and New York, elongated to Portland,
in terms and duration, varied only so as to allow Boston papers to
come in by paying their share of expenses, and adding fifty dollars
for the first three thousand words to the price of the contract, the
distance being from Boston to Portland, very precisely one-half as
much as the distance over our line, as now constructed, from
Boston to New York — reserving the right to a copy, or synopsis
of the news at Portland station.  For all over three thousand words,
there shall be added a pro rata price of one-half of charges on such
excess, between Boston and New York.  These are the terms
I authorized Mr. Darrow to make, and carry through the entire lines,
— and these I am confident will prove most satisfactory in practice
to all parties concerned."

F.O.J. Smith

        Under date, New York, February 18, 1849, the Committee of the Associated Press accepted Mr. Smith's proposition in the following terms: —

New York, February 18th, 1849

To: F.O.J. Smith

      DEAR SIR, — I received your Letter of the 15h inst., and
have consulted with Mr. Hudson in regard to its contents,
— we acting on behalf of the Associated Press of New York.
We understand you to offer to transmit, from Portland to
New York, without interruption, from the time of its receipt
at the telegraph office in Portland, until it shall be finished,
whatever summary of the foreign news may be prepared for
us, — for the sum of $150 for 3000 words or less; — the
Boston Papers to have the use of the Despatch on paying to
us their share of the expenses of procuring it, and we receive
nothing for the use of the news at Portland.  The same
regulations which have hitherto prevailed between Boston
and New York, under our Contract with you, are to be
adopted between Portland and New York.

Committee of the New York Associated Press

        Here, then, Gentlemen, you have the exact understanding of the agreement entered into between Mr. Smith and the Associated Press a little over one year ago, which was continued with mutual satisfaction till about the lst of January 1850, at which time, and since, Mr. Smith, in the most unjust, arbitrary and offensive manner, has peremptorily refused to allow any communication, to or from myself, to or from the Association, to pass over his line — thereby subjecting me, personally, to great loss and inconvenience, and compelling the Associated Press to maintain at an enormous expense, a locomotive express from Portland to Boston — also subjecting the whole commercial community of the United States and Canada, who rely upon the different Presses concerned in the enterprise for the foreign news, to great inconvenience, loss of time, hazard and vexation.

        There is no pretence on the part of Smith or others, that the New York Association have ever violated their obligations in the slightest degree in that city or elsewhere, except in Boston.  The question at issue, therefore, is brought down to a narrow compass, and may be stated thus: — what were the obligations assumed by the New York Association in regard to the publication of the news in Boston?  This important question can be answered in no better way than in the language of Smith himself, and here it is: "This I am ready to do — to consider your existing contract" [i.e. that of 15th May, 1848, before quoted, in which no allusion whatever was made to the Boston Press] "for the Press between Boston and New York, elongated to Portland, in terms and duration, varied only so as to allow Boston papers to come in by paying their share of expenses." — I beg, Gentlemen, that you will note Mr. Smith's conditions.

        Another question here arises, and that is, what was understood by the term "Boston Papers"?  There can, I apprehend, be no difference of opinion, that it was the understanding between Mr. Smith and the Committee, that there should be one Association (not several) of Boston Papers, to which all should be admitted to share in the publication of the news upon paying "their share of expenses." A Boston Association was, accordingly, formed, and nine of the then twelve daily papers in that city immediately joined it, and through their Committee, (as you are informed by Mr. Smith, at page 12 of his pamphlet) effected a satisfactory arrangement with the New York Association, and ever after, to the present time, have been content to receive the news through the agency of the latter Association.

        The nine original members of the Boston Association are still members, except the Evening Journal and Evening Traveller — the Evening Transcript not having been in the Association for some months after it was first formed.  The New York Association have never had any dealings with individual presses in Boston, and it must, I think be apparent to your minds that it never was contemplated that they should have anything to do with the private or local differences that might arise between different members of the Boston Association — which Association; as I have before remarked, is now composed of the same members (with the exception of two never-to-be-satisfied spirits) as it was when first formed.  The seven remaining members compose a large majority in numbers, and in character, influence and respectability, are infinitely superior to their traducers.  Both the Boston and New York Association have always recognized, to the fullest extent, the Democratic principle — the majority must rule — and the officers are willing disciples of "Responsible Government." Other officers besides the Committee of the Associated Press have experienced a difficulty in prescribing a universal panacea, whereby every discontented spirit might be put to rest — but either the New York or Boston Association may safely challenge Mr. Smith to name a single instance wherein the majority have not treated with considerate respect the feelings and wants of the minority.

        The Letter of the Committee of the New York Association to the Committee of the Boston Association (before quoted), is the best commentary that I can offer to Smith and Rogers's charge of unfairness.  It is certainly amusing to see how these two worthies account for the acts of the majority, and I beg to quote for you a single example, out of many, from Smith's pamphlet.  At page 9, after spreading himself for a knock-down argument upon the "confederated injustice" of the Association towards the evening papers at Boston, Smith says: —

      "So in Boston; the only papers that now yield to this
dictation of terms by the New York Associated Press, are
morning papers, exclusively, and publish no evening edition."
— See F.O.J. Smith's Pamphlet, Page 9.

        Then Mr. Smith's "fast" witness and bosom friend Rogers comes before you and says: —

      "Two of the morning papers, which send terms to us,
publish evening editions at the same time we do."
— See F.O.J. Smith's Pamphlet, Page 26.

        You will observe a material difference in the statements of these gentlemen, but, singular as it may appear, they are both false — there being, as every Bostonian will readily inform you, who has no sinister ends to meet, three morning papers, connected with the Association, that issue evening editions, either one of which, probably circulate as many thousands of copies every day as the exclusively evening papers circulate in two, three, or half a dozen days.

        The statement made by Mr. Rogers is of some importance in another aspect.  He, with the address of a common trickster, evidently designs to have you understand much more than he has expressed.  The impression is conveyed that whilst the exclusively Evening Papers are required to pay $40 for news received up to 2 o'clock, yet they do not have it exclusively, because a portion of the morning papers also issue evening editions.  But I most positively deny the specious falsehood which Rogers attempts to smuggle before you.  The true meaning and intent of the proposition on the part of the Association is that the exclusively Evening Papers hall have the exclusive right to the first publication of the news, up to 2 o'clock, in the same sense, exactly, as the exclusively Morning Papers have the right to the first publication of the news, when it is received during the evening or night.

        I have had, before, as I do now, Gentlemen, to regret that my situation here, forces me to forego the wish I feel to lay before you documentary evidence to substantiate all my positions.  The urgency of an immediate reply to Smith's pamphlet leaves me no alternative but to employ such weapons of defence, and such only, as he has placed within my reach.  I ask you to receive no statements from me that have not a reasonable foundation in fact — and I entreat that you will suspend your judgment, if you have doubt upon any important contested statement, until I can have time to produce unequivocal evidence, which I pledge myself to do upon any and every required point.

        Mr. Smith has seen fit to attack the statements contained in my letter to you, of January 24, and by resorting to the trick of misquoting my language, he certainly makes out a plausible story.  As to the honesty of this species of warfare, that, of course, never entered into his calculations.  For the purpose of convenient reference, I here annex a copy of my note to you.

Halifax, January 22, 1850

To: the Honourable J. Howe, G.R. Young & W. Murdoch:

      GENTLEMEN: — Your note is received, and in reply to your enquiry
would say, the Boston Associated Press have, by consent of New York
Associated Press, exactly the same right to control the news in Boston,
that the New York Press have in New York.  And both Associations are
pledged to give all the material points of the news to the whole public,
immediately on their receipt of their copy from the telegraph office.
And this they do, invariably, when the news reaches them in business
hours.  The evening papers of Boston have been invited to join the
Boston Association, repeatedly, with the privilege of publishing,
exclusively, the entire despatch, when received previous to the close
of business hours, (which is the hour that they go to press), and all this
for the paltry sum of $40, which is not one fourteenth part of the ordinary
expense of every despatch to the Associated Press.

Very truly, &c.,
D.H. Craig

        Mr. Smith's comments on this letter, on pages 6 and 7 of his pamphlet, are as follows: —

"By turning to that letter again, you will see, that it proves so much, the wonder is, you had not deemed the truth of it questionable, on the face of it.

"It asserts, that the Boston evening papers have been offered, not only the privilege of participating in the news of the New York Associated Press, provided they would pay "a ratable proportion of the cost," — but, provided, they would pay a sum "which is not one fourteenth part of the average expense of every despatch."

"It is not true, what Mr. Craig says in his letter to you of the 14th ult., that the Associated Press in Boston have "the same right to control the news in Boston, that the New York Press have in New York."

"It is not true, that the Boston Press have a right to publish the news, at any hour of the day or evening, without the consent of the New York Press; and, it is true, that the New York Press can publish it any hour of the day or evening, without the consent of the Boston Press.

        I think it would puzzle any less ingenious individual than Mr. Smith to extract from my letter to you any such incongruity of expression as is set forth in the second paragraph above — Had the bare truth served Mr. Smith's purpose, he might have sated it in my own words in half the space that it required to twist it into a position that would afford him an opportunity to attract it to advantage.  You observe that I said the evening papers had been invited to join the Association, and had been offered the entire despatch of 3000 words, or "so much of it as should arrive up to the close of business hours," (i.e. 2 o'clock, at about which hour the Evening papers go to press, Banks and Insurance offices close, and merchants retire to their homes), "for forty dollars, which is not one fourteenth part of the ordinary expense of every despatch to the Associated Press" — the New York association being, of course, understood.  Smith seemingly takes issue upon this statement and wonders you should not have regarded it as "questionable on the face of it.,"  I am quite willing to leave the matter to your enlightened judgment, with such evidence as is before you — from which it would appear that the tolls for 3000 words to New York amount to $475, to which should be added about $100 for other incidental expenses, making the total sum near $600.  The Boston association pay the New York Association $100, and probably the Southern and Northern Presses may pay them some $250 more towards this sum of $600, which still leaves a heavy sum to be met by the New York journals.  Besides, the New York Association are the contracting parties with the different Lines of Telegraph, and should all other Associations break their connection and contribute nothing, the parties to the contract in New York are bound to pay the whole sum — and would do it, too, with less grumbling than either of the Boston Evening Papers would make a paying the paltry sum of $14 each.

        For myself, I can see no impropriety in presses out of New York conceding something to the wishes of the Association in that city — but I utterly and unequivocally deny the statements of Smith and Rogers that any inequality exists, practically, between the Boston and New York Associations, in the management of the news despatch.  (I have again to regret that I have not at hand proper documents to substantiate my assertion — but it is a question that you can easily have put at rest by applying to any one of the Boston Association.)  I also assert, as a fact within my personal knowledge, that the rules adopted by the New York association, (as embodied in the Committee's letter to E.B. Forster, Esq., herein before quoted,) were written at the suggestion of the Boston Association — or, at least, by a majority of its members.  This I know, because I was myself the bearer of those suggestions from members of the Boston to the New York association.  Every wish that was made known to me in a full interchange of sentiment with the Boston, I faithfully made known to the New York, Committee in a personal interview with them, on the day those rules were written out — and every wish, so expressed, was by them promptly and cheerfully conceded.

        Hence it was that there appears a discrepancy as to the hour of publishing the news in the afternoon, between the circular proposition of the committee to the different Telegraph Lines, and the same committee's letter (embodying the rules by which the Association were to be governed) to Mr. Forster — the one stating 3 o'clock (that hour having been proposed by the New York Association) and the other, 2 o'clock (which was the hour named by the Boston Association.) Two o'clock was, therefore, the hour fixed upon for publishing the news.  In this connection it should not be forgotten that both Associations place upon their Bulletin Boards instantly upon its receipt, every leading feature of the news — the markets especially.  Speculation, therefore, is out of the question — it is impossible.

        I also reiterate my asseretion, and I do so as a fact within my own knowledge — having been the medium of communication between the two Associations — that the Boston Associated Press have "the same right to control the news in Boston, that the New York Association have to control the news in New York." The latter Association could not, without violating their pledged word — conveyed through me to the Boston Press — publish the news at any different hours than those named or make any other material alteration in existing arrangements, without the concurrence of the Boston Association.  If, upon your making the necessary enquiries of the parties interested, the foregoing statements are not fully corroborated, I pledge myself to withdraw the existing rights of the New York Associated Press to any use of the Telegraph, and leave the coveted honor and glory of publishing foreign news exclusively to the Boston Evening papers.

        It is no part of my business to defend the different Telegraph Lines from the impertinent interference of Smith — they, through their officers, are abundantly able to defend themselves; and I hazard little in the belief that they will spurn his impudent attempts to control the free exercise of their own sense of what is right and proper.  I think I know them too well not to feel sure they will manage their own business in their own way — regardless of Smith's impotent threats, as of the senseless howlings of those...

Note by ICS:
Several lines are missing here,
(page 28 of the original).

...It is admitted upon all hands, that, without the patronage of the United States Press, the Telegraph Lines between Halifax and Portland could not be sustained.  Mr. Darrow the Superintendent of the New Brunswick Line, in his letter to Mr. Smith remonstrating against Smith's threat of breaking off the arrangement with the Associated Press, says: —

        "We are dependant, almost wholly, on your decision; and if you determine to adopt the rules you speak of, we shall be obliged to bow to your decision, and to do so, we are satisfied, will be death to this line.  There is no alternative that we can see.  And for myself, I beg my friend, that you will take into consideration, that I have expended a very large sum from my own purse on this line, and if the measures you object to in your letter, are not sustained, I shall lose the whole sum, together with my services for two years, as the stock will not be worth one penny, under the circumstances you seem disposed to place it in." —
(See Smith's Pamphlet, page 21)

        Again, in another letter to Smith, page 23, Mr. Darrow says: —

"Of one thing, sir, we feel certain.  That whether you cut us off at Portland as you propose, or we accede to your demands, as a company we are equally ruined.  Our stocks would not be worth one fraction either way, and we shall have the satisfaction of knowing that the dicta of a single individual has done this for us."

        The above facts, it is believed, apply with far greater force to the Maine Line than to the New Brunswick Line, and though I am well aware that the Nova Scotia Line, being the property of the Government, can afford to discard all considerations of profit, yet, who will say that because your Line is placed above the want to dividends, that you should not have some respect for the necessities of those Lines with which yours is connected, and which are less favored by fortune that yours is?  Certain it is, that if there had not been a confident reliance upon the patronage of the Press, by those who invested their money, the Lines between Nova Scotia and Boston would not have been built, and of course your Line, even if it had been constructed, would have been, practically, of no avail.

        If, then, the patronage of the Press is indispensable to sustain the Lines with which yours is connected, what more equitable arrangement can be devised than the present one with the Associated Press?  The idea that more than one public despatch will be sent over the wires is a perfect fallacy — and not less so, in my judgment, is the idea that expediency or propriety requires that you should break off your connection with all the leading commercial journals of the United States, because two or three insignificant Evening Papers in Boston have seen fit to withdraw from the Association, without any sufficient reason, unless it is to be found in the fact that Charles O. Rogers, one of the proprietors of the Evening Journal, is not permitted to ride, roughshod; over the seven morning papers, and dictate to the Association in the same imperious style that his friend Smith has attempted in regard to the management of your line of Telegraph.

        In conclusion, Gentlemen, I cannot doubt but that you will spurn the senseless remarks of Mr. Smith relative to the speculative objects of myself and of the Associated Press.  He offers you no proof, nor can he offer you any, that every existing obligation of the Associated Press is not cheerfully, fairly, and promptly complied with; and no person, save a knave or a fool, would presume to urge objections against the arrangements between the Telegraph and the Press, on the score of the news being used for speculative purposes — when the fact is not denied by their most bitter enemies that they comply in strict good faith with their obligations to publish, in a conspicuous form, the European prices of cotton, flour, corn, English consols, American stocks, &c., &c., the moment the news reaches them.

        Gentlemen, it is easier to throw a brick than to mend the glass that may be broken — so, too, it is easier to make charges than to refute them, however false they may be.  I have felt the force of these truisms more than once since I set down to reply to Smith's pamphlet.  I have intended to take up only such portions of his remarks to you as were most important, or as appeared most likely to mislead your judgment and the feelings of Honorable Members of the Assembly [the Nova Scotia Legislature], who, it is understood, have been appealed to in various ways, by Smith and his friends, and who, I understand, will soon be called upon to indicate their views upon your official conduct — in the favorable opinion of which, so far, especially, as the interest of the Associated Press is concerned, I cannot but feel, and trust that I may, without appearing impertinent, rightfully express, some solicitude.

        With an apology for the length of this communication, which has been prepared in great haste, and consequently without an opportunity to condense and arrange my ideas as I could have wished,

I have the honor to remain,
Your obedient servant,
D.H. Craig
Agent New York and Boston Associated Press

Daniel Craig's Pamphlet

his letter to the
Nova Scotia Electric Telegraph Commissioners

Ends  here

Source: Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions
CIHM microfiche #33361

The Cast

The people mentioned in Craig's letter
to the Nova Scotia Electric Telegraph Commissioners:

•   George H. Andrews (1821-1885), New York
      New York Courier & Enquirer newspaper
      Management Committee, New York Associated Press
      Member of the New York State Senate
•   Alexander Bain (1811-1877)
      Telegraph Equipment inventor
•   Beach Brothers, New York Sun, newspaper
      In 1848, Moses Sperry Beach and Alfred Ely Beach
      took over the New York Sun from their father, Moses Y. Beach
•   Alfred Ely Beach (1826-1896), New York
      Owner, Scientific American
      In 1870 built the first New York subway line
•   Moses Sperry Beach (1822-1892), New York
      Part Owner, New York Sun newspaper
•   Moses Yale Beach (1800-1868), New York
      Owner, New York Sun newspaper
•   James Gordon Bennett (1795-1872) New York
      Owner, New York Herald newspaper
•   George Nixon Briggs (1796-1861)
      U.S. Congress 1831-1843
      Governor of Massachusetts 1844-1851
•   Erastus Brooks (1815-1886), New York
      Member of the New York State Senate, 1854-57
•   James Brooks (1810-1873), New York
      Editor of the Portland, Maine, Advertiser newspaper
      Editor of the New York Daily Express newspaper
      Member, Board of Directors, Union Pacific Railroad
•   Daniel H. Craig, Halifax, Nova Scotia
      Agent, New York and Boston Associated Presses
•   L.R. Darrow, Saint John, New Brunswick
      Superintendent, New Brunswick Electric Telegraph Company
•   E.S. Dyer, Halifax
•   James Eddy, Bangor, Maine
      Superintendent, Maine Telegraph
•   E.B. Forster, Boston
      Management Committee, Boston Associated Press
•   Frederick Newton Gisborne (1824-1892) Halifax, Nova Scotia
      Nova Scotia Electric Telegraph Superintendent, 1849-51
•   Horace Greeley (1811-1872) New York
      Half-owner of the New York Tribune newspaper
•   Gerard Hallock, New York
      Co-owner, and for 33 years editor, the New York Journal of Commerce newspaper
      First President of the New York Associated Press
•   Royal Earl House (1814-1895)
      Telegraph Equipment inventor
      1846: For his teletype printer, House developed the first inked ribbon
•   Joseph Howe (1804-1873) Halifax
      Commissioner, Nova Scotia Electric Telegraph
      Premier of Nova Scotia, 1860-1863
•   Frederic Hudson, New York
      Assistant to James Gordon Bennett
      Managing Editor, New York Herald newspaper
      Management Committee, New York Associated Press
      Author, History of Journalism in the United States
•   Alexander Jones, New York
      First General Manager, New York Associated Press
      Author, Historical Sketch of the Electric Telegraph, April 1852
•   Thomas McElrath, New York
      Half-owner of the New York Tribune newspaper
•   Samuel Finley Breese Morse,
      Co-founder (1827) of the New York Journal of Commerce newspaper
      Telegraph Equipment inventor
•   William Murdoch (1800-1866) Nova Scotia
      Commissioner, Nova Scotia Electric Telegraph Company
•   Henry Jarvis Raymond (1820-1869), New York
      Managing Editor, New York Courier & Enquirer newspaper
      Management Committee, New York Associated Press
      Co-founder and the first editor of the New York Times (first issue 18 Sep. 1851)
•   John A. Raymond, Sackville, New Brunswick
      Telegraph Operator, Sackville Office of the New Brunswick Electric Telegraph
•   Colonel Charles O. Rogers ( ? -1869) Boston
      Proprietor of the Boston Journal newspaper
•   Francis Ormand Jonathan Smith (1806-1876) Portland and Boston
      Member of the Maine house of representatives, 1831
      Member of the Maine State senate in 1833 and served as its president
      Elected to the 23rd, 24th, and 25th Congresses (1833-39)
      Chairman, Committee on Commerce (25th Congress)
      President, New York and Boston Telegraph Company
      Owner, Boston and Portland Telegraph Company
•   John T. Smith, Boston
      Hudson & Smith, Commercial Agents, Boston
•   James Watson Webb (1802-1884) New York
      owner/editor, New York Courier and Enquirer, 1829-61
      U.S. ambassador to Brazil (appointed by A. Lincoln), 1861-69
        (J.W.Webb is the man who, famously, assulted J.G. Bennett on a New York street on 19 Jan. 1837.)

•   George Renny Young (1802-1853) Pictou, Nova Scotia
      Commissioner, Nova Scotia Electric Telegraph Company
      MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) for Pictou County, 1843-51
      Member of the Executive Council (Nova Scotia cabinet), 1848-51


Twenty Years and Nine Days

18 July 1846 - 27 July 1866

        Horace Greeley, Erastus Brooks, and Fred Hudson were pallbearers
at the funeral of James Gordon Bennett in New York, in June 1872.  Bennett,
Brooks, Greeley, and Hudson, and most of those named in Craig's 1850 letter to
the Nova Scotia Electric Telegraph Commissioners, were at the center of this
communications revolution — which was for them, given the world they grew
up in, much more wrenching and challenging than any that has occurred since.

        They were there, in the thick of the New York newspaper turmoil, and
at the center of a rapidly-developing communications technology, during the
most far-reaching and shattering communications revolution the world has
ever seen.

        This astonishing era began on 18 July 1846, when the first electric
telegraph line between New York and Boston was completed and carried
the first messages ever to travel between these cities at a speed faster
than a horse could gallop.

        Before this date, the fastest possible methods of transmtting news
(and any information) took at least thirteen days, nearly two weeks, to bring
news from London to New York.

        The era ended on 27 July 1866, when the transatlantic telegraph cable
was completed between Ireland and Newfoundland, forever closing the last
gap in the new telecommunications system working at the speed of electricity
all the way between London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Prague, and Moscow,
and New York, Boston, Montreal, Philadelphia, Washington, New Orleans,
and San Francisco.

        Nova Scotia was a crucial piece of the geographic jigsaw.  All plans,
made with a view to build telegraph lines to carry news and important
government and commercial messages between Europe and North America,
had to include Nova Scotia.  This electric telegraph, for 28 years (1866 to
1894, when a cable was laid direct to New York, bypassing Nova Scotia)
the only telecommunications link between Europe and North America,
was carried across Nova Scotia by a single iron wire suspended at the top
of a line of wooden poles – through Amherst, New Glasgow and Antigonish
(east of Antigonish the original 1855 telegraph line went through
Port Hastings and Ingonish to Aspy Bay, while a later branch went
to Hazel Hill and Canso).

ICS, 13 July 1999,  rev. 17 April 2011


Note 1: In 1848, Dr. Alexander Jones, a graduate in medicine whose early interest in communications had lured him into journalism, became the first general manager of the newly-formed New York Associated Press.  Jones opened a simple office at the top of a long, dim flight of stairs at the northwest corner of Broadway and Liberty Street, in New York.  This served as the headquarters of The Associated Press for more than two decades.  At first the entire New York staff consisted of Jones and one assistant.  Jones gave The Associated Press all his energy and ability, but was seriously overworked and submitted his resignation on May 19, 1851.  Jones' replacement as general manager was Daniel H. Craig.
[Excerpted from The Associated Press: The Story of News, by Oliver Gramling, 1940]

History of the Associated Press

On an early morning in May 1848, ten men representing six New York City newspapers sat around an office table of the New York Sun.  They had been in session for more than an hour and all that time they had been in stubborn argument.  At issue was the costly collection of news by telegraphy.  The newly invented electric telegraph made transmission of news possible by wire but at costs so high that the resources of any single paper would be strained.  David Hale of the Journal of Commerce argued that only a joint effort between New York's papers could make telegraphy affordable and effectively prevent telegraph companies from interfering in the newsgathering process... In 1849, Daniel Craig established the AP's first foreign bureau in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the first North American port of call for Cunard's liners.  The latest news arrived from Europe with each incoming vessel and was telegraphed to New York until establishment of the trans-Atlantic cable in 1856 (sic, the correct date is 1865)...

This source is surprisingly and disappointingly brief.  As just one example of this unfortunate brevity, it mentions the names of only three of the New York publishers or their newspapers who were involved in the formation of the NYAP in 1848, a remarkable oversight.  However, I can find nothing better now (November 2006) online.

Note 2: Alexander Bain, now almost completely forgotten, was a telegraph rival of Samuel Morse.  Bain's electric telegraph worked very well, by the standards of the late 1840s, and was a serious competitor against Morse in the early days.  Some telegraph lines were built under the Morse patent using Morse's equipment, and others were built under the Bain patent using Bain's equipment.

When practical telegraphic communication was solved by Henry, Morse, and others, further advances in various directions were made.  Efforts to increase the rapidity in sending messages soon grew into practical success, and in 1848 Bain's Chemical Telegraph was brought out.  (U. S. Patents No. 5,957, Dec 5, 1848, and No. 6,328, April 17, 1849.) This employed perforated strips of paper to effect automatic transmission by contact made through the perforations in place of the key, while a chemically prepared paper at the opposite end of the line was discolored by the electrical impulses to form the record.  This was the pioneer of the automatic system which by later improvements is able to send over a thousand words a minute...
Source: The Progress of Invention in the 19th Century by Edward W. Byrn, Munn and Co., Publishers, Scientific American Office, New York, 1900
Found on the Internet at http://www.islandnet.com/~ianc/dm/20/204.html

Bain's system was sometimes called Bain's Chemical Telegraph, and other times Bain's Electric Telegraph.  Both names refer to the same system for transmitting messages quickly over long distances.  The term "chemical telegraph" referred only to the method of recording the message at the destination, which in Bain's system was done by using the received electric impulses to change the colour of a line drawn by an electrically-controlled stylus on a strip of specially-treated paper.  The term "electric telegraph" referred to the method of transmitting the message from origin to destination, which in Bain's system (as in Morse's system) was done by passing an electric current through an iron wire suspended high overhead on insulators at the top of wooden poles.  The term "chemical telegraph" was essentially a facade to disguise the basic similarity between the two systems.  The Bain company chose to use the name "Bain's Chemical Telegraph Company" to make it sound fundamentally different from "Morse's Electric Telegraph Company"; this made it much easier for the courts to rule that Bain's lines did not infringe on Morse's patents.

In 1842, Alexander Bain proposed a facsimile telegraph.  Historians normally associate Bain's ideas with the modern day facsimile (fax) machine.  However, it is his concept of scanning an image — breaking it up into small parts for transmission — that is at the heart of today's television transmission. 
Source: SMPTE: Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, Toronto Section
Found on the Internet at http://www.smpte.org/sections/yyz/pastmeet/cifs.htm

Image of a Bain telegram
Telegram, Bain Chemical Telegraph Company, Boston, Jan. 1851
Bain Chemical Telegraph Company
Telegram, Boston, Jan. 1851
Source: http://members.aol.com/cd102/teleg13.jpg

The name "M. Lefferts, President" appears
prominently in the Bain telegram form (above).
See: The Electric Telegraph; its Influence and Geographical Distribution (1856)
by Marshall Lefferts (1821-1876)

Note 3: ...used your honorable names without authority...
This refers to an advertisement, published in newspapers in Halifax and Saint John, in December 1849 and January 1850, by Hudson & Smith, Commercial Agents, of Boston.  The following is the text of the ad which appeared in the New Brunswick Courier, Saint John, on Saturday, 22 December 1849.  Craig's comment refers to the part, near the bottom of the ad, which states: Refer in Halifax to Hon. Joseph Howe, Wm. Young, Esq, Hon. Geo. R. Young, William Murdock... Howe, Murdock, and Young were Commissioners of the Nova Scotia Electric Telegraph, and they, especially Howe, were highly-respected names in Nova Scotia.  [This is an early example of the tactic — not unheard-of in the twenty-first century — of using celebrity names to lend respectability to a shady enterprise.]


MAGNETIC TELEGRAPH Transatlantic Express!

        The undersigned have leased the office on the lower floor of Somerset
House, corner of Granville and Prince Street, Halifax (same building with
We respectfully offer our services to the Commercial community.

        Our connections are already made in England, France, United States and
British Provinces.  Reference given to the best Commercial Houses in Liverpool,
London, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston, Savannah, Mobile,
and New Orleans, for the prompt and faithful execution of all business entrusted to
our care.

        H. & S. have arranged with the Hon. Francis O.J. Smith, President of the
New York, Boston and Portland Telegraph Line, that all communications addressed
through Hudson & Smith to meet the Steamers at Halifax, shall have the preference.

        Refer in Halifax to Hon. Joseph Howe, Wm. Young, Esq, Hon. Geo. R. Young,
William Murdock, Esq. [Menta?] B. Wier & Co., and to all the Officers of the
Royal Mail Steamers.

        Hudson & Smith, Merchants Exchange, Boston, Mass.

        Halifax, Dec 8, 1849

New Brunswick Courier, Saint John
This  advertisement  appeared  in  every  issue
from 22 December 1849 to 25 January 1850.

3000 words — The universal measure of the length of a telegram (telegraph message) was (and still is) the "word", and a "word" was carefully defined in the rules as five letters.  For telegraph purposes, the five-word phrase "see that it is done" was counted as three words, because it contains fifteen letters.  The two-word phrase "existing arrangements" was counted as four words, because it contains twenty letters.

understrapper subordinate, underling

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