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Title: Cyrus W. Field; his Life and Work
Author: Judson, Isabella Field
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cyrus W. Field; his Life and Work" ***

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[Illustration: Portrait signed of Cyrus W. Field.]

                             CYRUS W. FIELD

                           HIS LIFE AND WORK


                               EDITED BY

                         ISABELLA FIELD JUDSON


                        [Illustration: colophon]

                                NEW YORK

                      HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS


               Copyright, 1896, by ISABELLA FIELD JUDSON.

                         _All rights reserved._



                     MY FATHER'S FAMILY AND FRIENDS

                              THESE PAGES

                             Are Dedicated


CHAPTER                                            PAGE

   I. PARENTAGE AND EARLY HOME LIFE (1819-1835)       1

  II. EARLY LIFE IN NEW YORK (1835-1840)             14

 III. MARRIAGE AND BUSINESS LIFE (1840-1853)         27

          (1853)                                     42

   V. THE FIRST CABLE (1853-1857)                    59

  VI. THE FIRST CABLE (CONTINUED) (1857)             74

 VII. A FLEETING TRIUMPH (1858)                      86

VIII. FAILURE ON ALL SIDES (1858-1861)              122

  IX. THE CIVIL WAR (1861-1862)                     131

          SECURED (1863-1864)                       154

  XI. THE FAILURE OF 1865                           182

          (1866)                                    199

XIII. THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD (1867-1870)         232

          (1870-1880)                               267

          (1880-1891)                               303



CYRUS W. FIELD                     _Frontispiece_

SUBMIT DICKINSON FIELD         _Facing page_   2

DAVID DUDLEY FIELD                     "       6


  THE CABLE, 1857                      "      94

CYRUS W. FIELD, 1860                   "     124

  GLADSTONE, DATED NOVEMBER 17, 1862   "     148


THE NIGHT-WATCH                        "     194

ARDSLEY, IRVINGTON-ON-HUDSON           "     264

  MARINE SERVICE                       "     296







CYRUS WEST FIELD, the eighth child and seventh son of David Dudley
Field, was born in Stockbridge, Mass., November 30, 1819. He took his
double name from Cyrus Williams, President of the Housatonic Bank (in
Stockbridge), and from Dr. West, for sixty years his father's
predecessor in the pastorate of the old Church of Stockbridge. He was
the sixth in descent from Zachariah Field, the founder of the family in
this country, who was the grandson of John Field the astronomer.
Zachariah was born in the old home in Ardsley, Yorkshire, England. He
came over in 1630 or 1632, seemingly from Hadley, Suffolk, and settled
first in Dorchester, Mass., afterwards making his way through the
wilderness to Hartford, Conn. Then followed in the direct line his
oldest son Zachariah Junior, Ebenezer, David, and Captain Timothy, who
was born in the north part of Madison, Conn., in 1744. He served in the
Continental Army under Washington, and was in the battle of White

David Dudley Field, Captain Timothy's youngest son, was born May 20,
1781. In 1802 he graduated from Yale, the next year was ordained a
minister of the Congregational Church, and a month later, October 31,
1803, was married to Submit Dickinson, daughter of Captain Noah
Dickinson, of Somers, Conn., who first served under Putnam in the French
War and afterwards in the War of the Revolution. Submit Dickinson was
called "The Somers Beauty."


Born October 1, 1782

(From a Crayon by Lawrence)]

David Dudley Field was first settled in Haddam, Conn., and remained as
pastor of the Congregational Church for fourteen years. Seven of his
children were born while he lived there: David Dudley was the eldest;
then followed Emilia Ann, Timothy Beals, Matthew Dickinson, Jonathan
Edwards, Stephen Johnson 1st (who died when he was six months old), and
Stephen Johnson 2d. Cyrus West, Henry Martyn, and Mary Elizabeth were
the three children born in Stockbridge, Mass. Among the reminiscences of
his sojourn in Haddam is that it fell to him to preach the execution
sermon of Peter Long. The grim Puritanical custom still survived,
according to which a prisoner convicted of a capital crime, on the day
on which he was to be hanged was taken by a body-guard of soldiers to
church to be publicly prepared for his ending. He was placed in a
conspicuous pew, where he was obliged not only to listen to a long and
harrowing sermon, but when addressed by name to stand up facing the
preacher and receive the exhortation as he had received the sentence.
Dr. Field addressed the victim directly for some minutes, and closed
with these words: "Before yonder sun shall set in the west your
probationary state will be closed forever. This day you will either lift
up your eyes in hell, being in torment, or, through the rich,
overflowing, and sovereign grace of God, be carried by the angels to
Abraham's bosom. If in any doubt about your preparation, you may yet
find mercy. He who pardoned the penitent thief on the cross may pardon
you in the place of execution. Pray God, then, if perhaps your sins may
be forgiven you. Cry to Him, 'God be merciful to me, a sinner!' and
continue those cries till death shall remove you hence. May the Lord
Almighty support you in the trying scene before you, and through
infinite grace have mercy on your soul."

From the church the prisoner was led, clothed in a long, white robe, to
the scaffold. It is said that on this occasion the rope was cut by the
militiamen in attendance as a guard.

In May, 1819, Dr. Field accepted the call to the church in Stockbridge,
and on August 25th he was settled there as a pastor. In those days the
moving of a household from Haddam to Stockbridge was a formidable
undertaking. Teams were sent to Connecticut, a journey of several days,
to bring on the household furniture, and, most important of all, heavy
boxes piled with the volumes that comprised the pastor's library. The
clearest statement of the impression made upon the youth of his flock by
the ministry of Dr. Field is furnished in these words, written nearly
fifty years after his settlement in Stockbridge, and a fortnight after
his death, by the venerated president of Williams College:

"WILLIAMS COLLEGE, _April 30, 1867_.


     "_My dear Sir_,--On my return I comply at once with your request to
     write out the remarks I made at your father's funeral. In writing
     to me, Mr. Eggleston simply said he should like to have me take
     some part in the services, but he did not say what, and under the
     circumstances I did not think it best to attempt anything but a few
     remarks bearing on my personal relation to him. I give them below
     as well as I can.

     "'On coming here I was not aware what the order of exercises was to
     be, or what part I was expected to take in them; but as I am drawn
     here by a deep personal regard to the departed, the few words that
     I shall say will have reference to him chiefly in that relation
     through which this regard was awakened.

     "'It was under the ministry of Dr. Field that I first united with
     the Christian Church. By him I was baptized in this place.

     "'For a long period my mind was in a state of solicitude and
     careful inquiry on the subject of religion, and during much of that
     time I sat under his ministry. Well do I remember his sermons and
     his prayers; we worshipped in the old church then, and the whole
     town came together. His sermons were lucid, logical, effective, and
     his prayers remarkably appropriate and comprehensive. One of his
     texts I remember particularly. It was this: "Lord, to whom shall we
     go? Thou hast the words of eternal life, and we believe and are
     sure that Thou art that Christ, the son of the living God." From
     these words he preached several discourses of great power showing
     that Jesus was the Christ, and that there was no one else to whom
     we could go. I regarded them then, and still do, as among the
     ablest discourses I ever heard. They had a powerful effect upon my

     "'In respect to feeling he was not demonstrative, and some thought
     him cold. No mistake could have been greater. On sitting near him I
     remember to have been struck by noticing the big tears rolling down
     his cheeks when he came to the more touching parts of his
     discourse, while there was scarcely a sign of emotion in his voice
     or in the lines of his face. Perhaps intellect predominated.
     Probably it did; but he was a man of deep feeling, and under the
     impulse of it, as well as of principle, he was a faithful, earnest,
     laborious pastor. It was in that relation that I feel that his
     character and life and preaching and prayers were an important
     formative influence with me for good, and I have never ceased to
     regard him with affectionate veneration, and never shall.

     "'And what he did for me he doubtless did for multitudes of others.
     There is no higher educating power than that of a pastor thoroughly
     educated and balanced, earnest by proclaiming God's truths from
     Sabbath to Sabbath and dealing fairly with the minds of men. This
     he did, and in doing it was eminent among a body of men who have
     done more to make New England what it is than any other. In clear
     thinking, in able sermons, and in earnest labors, he was altogether
     a worthy successor of the eminent men who had preceded him.

     "'I see some here who will remember those earlier times. I am sure,
     my friends, you will verify all I have said, and that with me you
     do now and will continue to cherish with respect and with love the
     memory of our former pastor. It only remains to us now to emulate
     all in him that was good, and in deep sympathy with these mourning
     friends to aid in placing his dust where it will rest with so much
     other precious dust that makes this a hallowed valley, and where it
     will await the resurrection of the just.'

     "In reading over what I have written I can only say that it seems
     to me altogether inadequate as an expression of the sense I have of
     your father's worth and of the benefit he was to me, but having
     promised to do so I send it.

"With great regard, yours,



Born May 20, 1781

(From a Crayon by Lawrence)]

The recollection that his grandchildren have of him is of a quiet,
dignified old gentleman, who seemed quite lost when his call for "Mis'
Field" was not answered at once by his energetic wife, upon whom he was
very dependent. Occasionally he would gather his children's children
about him, and seemed to enjoy showing them how "the lady's horse goes,"
and the tumble that followed "and by-and-by comes old hobble-de-gee,"
was looked upon as great fun. He would also delight his youthful
audience by repeating a few of Mother Goose's Melodies, and they never
tired of hearing him.

Life in New England in those days, and especially the life of a pastor's
family, was earnest, with an earnestness that to the young, with the
eagerness of youth for enjoyment, may well have seemed repulsive. The
Puritanic rigor that has been so much relaxed during the past
half-century was then much what it had been in the earliest colonial

  |              IN MEMORY OF                |
  |          David Dudley Field,             |
  |        Pastor of this Church.            |
  |                                          |
  |   Born in Madison, Conn., May 20, 1781.  |
  |      Settled in Haddam, 1804-1818.       |
  |       In Stockbridge, 1819-1837.         |
  |                                          |
  |    Recalled to his Charge, he Preached   |
  |       again in Haddam till 1851,         |
  |         When he returned here            |
  |        To spend his last days.           |
  |                                          |
  |         Died April 15, 1867,             |
  |        Aged nearly 86 years.             |
  |                                          |
  |    The Hoary Head is a Crown of Glory    |
  |      when found in the way of            |
  |          Righteousness.                  |

Morning and evening the entire family gathered in the sitting-room for
prayers, each one with a Bible, and all were required to join in the
reading. A chapter was never divided, and in turn the verses were read;
often comments were made. Afterwards came the long prayer, when all,
except Dr. Field, knelt; he stood, with his hands on the back of his
chair, and one of his favorite expressions, and one which greatly
impressed the younger members of his family, the more because they did
not understand it, was that the Lord would "overturn, overturn, overturn
... until he come, whose right it is."

That the Puritanic atmosphere was no harsh and unmirthful thing in this
parsonage is shown by the story told by one who was a boy in Stockbridge
at the time. A hen was sitting in a box in the woodshed; each morning
Cyrus looked for the little chickens. One day in an adjoining box he
found the family cat with a number of kittens. These he placed with the
hen, and then with a very straight face asked his father to come and see
the chickens.

The controversy as to the scriptural limitation of the Sabbath, whether
it began at sunset on Saturday or at midnight, was then very active.
When Dr. Field was questioned as to which evening was the one to be
observed, he always advised those in doubt to keep both.

Once in speaking of the curious texts that he had known clergymen of his
generation to choose, he instanced: "Parbar westward, four at the
causeway and two at Parbar"; but he failed to give the lesson that was
drawn from the words.

In those old days in western Massachusetts cooking-stoves were unknown.
The pots were hung above the fire, the meats were broiled over the
coals or before them, and the baking was done in a brick oven. Neither
were there ice-closets nor travelling butchers. The winter's stock of
meat was laid in with the first cold weather; the chickens were killed
and packed in snow in the cellar, to be brought out as they were needed;
and pies were made in large quantities, and frozen and put away for
future use; and the foot-stove was taken down from the shelf. This was a
small iron box with holes in the top, and into it were put live coals.
The box was carried in the hand, and used in place of a footstool in
"meeting"; but even with this mitigation the cold was felt intensely.

The conflict in a conscientious pastor's mind between his sense of duty
and his kindness of heart was often severe and painful. Mrs. Field used
to say that the most difficult act her husband was ever called upon to
perform was to refuse church membership to those who had accepted Dr.
Channing's views. She was naturally more pitiful than he. A revivalist
who had come to the village in the course of his mission took occasion
at a service publicly to arraign one of the prominent men of the town
for drunkenness. Mrs. Field strongly disapproved of the time and place
chosen for the rebuke, and on her way home from the meeting expressed
her disapproval, and when she reached her gate said, "Wait, Cyrus, and
when Mr. ---- passes bring him to me and I will pick his bones for him"
(Micah iii. 2). She would not have approved of the method adopted,
according to a story current in her son Cyrus's family, by a pious man
in Connecticut who, when he thought himself imposed upon by his
neighbors, would say, with a long drawl, "Leave them to the Lord, leave
them to the Lord--he'll smite them hip and thigh."

Her son always remembered, as one of the strongest impressions of his
childhood, the deep and lasting grief of his mother at parting with her
eldest daughter, who married and went to Smyrna, Asia Minor, as a
missionary, when he was but ten years old.

An old lady in Stockbridge tells to his niece this story of him at about
the same age. "Your grandmother had been very ill. I watched with her;
many of us watched. I thought to keep her from talking by coming up
behind her to give her medicine, but she found out who I was and talked
a great deal. After she was better she still needed some one to sleep in
her room, keep up the fire and give her medicine. Your uncle Cyrus did
this one whole winter when he was a little boy, I should think not ten.
It was lovely of him." And it was just like him. He always remembered
that during this same illness his mother called him to her and said,
"Cyrus, the doctor says I am very ill, but I shall be up to-morrow." And
he would add, "She was."

By all Stockbridge tradition he was the hero of another tale, although
he himself always gave the credit of it to one of his brothers. A
certain rat-trap (perhaps of new and efficient style) had been lost.
After much search and questioning the minister gave orders that whenever
found it should be brought at once to him. So one day at a service, when
the sermon was in full progress, there came a clanging noise up the
aisle, and the missing article was set down in front of the pulpit with
the words, "Father, here is your rat-trap!"

Another laughable reminiscence occurred at the burning of the parsonage,
which took place about 1830. In 1822 or 1823 Dr. Field had bought a
small house in the village and had moved there. The fire was first seen
as the children were coming from school, and very soon after it was
discovered all hope of subduing it was given up, and the first thought
was to save the study furniture and books, and the study table was
thrown from the window. Imagine the surprise of the crowd and the
consternation of their pastor as the drawers of this, his private
repository, came open, and a shower of playing-cards fluttered forth and
whitened the grass. They had been found in the possession of his
children and confiscated.

It is remembered of Cyrus Field as a child that his dealings with his
playmates were most exact. He paid punctually all that he owed, and
required the same punctuality in return. He was the chosen leader in all
the games, and he was the victor in a race around the village green, one
of the stipulations being that a certain amount of crackers should be
eaten on the way.

His half-holidays were passed in roaming over the country-side, and he
has often said that the meal he enjoyed the most in his life was one
gotten on a Saturday afternoon when he had stopped, tired and hungry, at
a farm-house, and was given a plate of cold pork and potatoes. He was
obliged to be at home before sunset on Saturday, as every member of the
family was required to be in the house by that time, and all work to
cease; and as the children entered their father greeted them with the
words, "We are on the borders of holy time." Sunset on Sunday was
watched for most anxiously, for they were then again quite free to come
and go.


(As rebuilt after the fire)]

The simple life of the Massachusetts village was not without its
pleasures. There lies before me a yellow programme, printed sixty years
ago, which commemorates what was very likely at once the first
appearance of Cyrus W. Field on any stage and his last appearance in his
native village, and forms a fitting conclusion to the story of his


MARCH 26-27, 1835.




2. Prologue.--United States Speaker.      JOHN HENRY ADAMS

3. Burr and Blennerhasset.--Wirt.      ESSEX WATTS

4. Bernardo Del Carpio.--Mrs. Hemans.      RALPH K. JONES

5. Death of the Princess Charlotte.--Campbell.      HENRY W. DWIGHT, JR.


 7. "Hail to the Land."--Author unknown.      PHINEHAS LINCOLN

 8. Extract from Robert Treat Paine
    on French Aggressions.      DAVID L. PERRY

 9. Parody of "The Young Orator."--Anonymous.      GEORGE W. KINGSLEY

10. A Dandy's----What?--Independent Balance.      WILLIAM STUART

11. MUSIC.

12. Patriotic Stanzas.--Campbell.      THOMAS WELLS

13. Injustice of Slavery.      JAMES SEDGWICK

14. Question Answered.--Ladies' Magazine.      GEORGE LESTER

15. Fall of Missolonghi.--E. Canning.      THEODORE S. POMEROY, Jr.

16. MUSIC.

17. The Rich Man and the Poor Man.--Khemnitzen.      LEWIS BURRALL

18. Man, the Artificer of His Own Fortune.      EDWARD SELKIRK

19. Pleasures of Knowledge.      MARSHALL WILLIAMS

20. Extract from an Oration by Wm. R. Smith.      EDWIN WILLIAMS

21. Running Dover, a Boaster.--Anonymous.      GEORGE W. KINGSLEY

22. MUSIC.

23. Influence of Intemperance
    on our Government.--Sprague.      BRADFORD DRESSER

24. Bunker Hill Monument.--Webster.      GEORGE W. PARSONS

25. Extract from Webster on the Slave Trade.      JOHN ELY

26. Parody of "Lochiel's Warning."--Edward Selkirk.
               Advocate of Temperance,        {EDWARD SELKIRK
               Vender of Ardent Spirits,      {THEODORE WILLIAMS

27. A Wife Wanted.--A Bachelor      EDWARD CARTER

28. MUSIC.

29. The Instability of Human Government.--Rutledge.      JOHN VALLET

30. Parody of "Brutus's Address to the
    Roman Populace."--Anonymous.      GEORGE W. BURRALL

31. Peter's Ride to the Wedding.--New Speaker.      GEORGE LESTER

32. Tragical Dialogue.--Columbian Orator.

      Indian Chief,           CHARLES POMEROY
      American Officer,       LEWIS FENN
      Son of the Chief,       CYRUS FIELD
      Soldiers,              {CHARLES DEMING
                             {JOHN VALLET

33. Petition of Young Ladies.--United States Speaker      JOHN HENRY ADAMS

34. MUSIC.




2. _"SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER."--Goldsmith._



  Sir Charles Marlow,      S. G. JONES
  Hardcastle,              H. C. FAY
  Young Marlow,            H. TREMAIN
  Hastings,                E. ROCKWELL
  Tony Lumpkin,            H. GARDNER
  Diggory,                 C. POMEROY
  Jeremy,                  T. WILLIAMS
  Stings,                  L. FENN
  Mrs. Hardcastle,         C. W. FIELD
  Miss Hardcastle,         F. FOWLER
  Miss Neville,            J. STEPHENS
  Maid,                    J. ELY
  Fellows of the Ale-house, Servants, etc.


Scene 1.--A Chamber in an Old-fashioned House.


Scene 2.--An Ale-house Room.



Scene 1.--A Room in Hardcastle's House, supposed by Marlow and
Hastings to be a Room in an Inn.



Scene 1.--A Room in Hardcastle's House.



Scene 1.--The same Room.



Scene 1.--The same Room.


Scene 2.--The back of the Garden.


Scene 3.--A Room in Hardcastle's House.


3. Epilogue.--United States Speaker. THEODORE S. POMEROY, Jr.





It was on Wednesday, April 29, 1835, and only a few weeks after "She
Stoops to Conquer" had been performed in the village academy at
Stockbridge, that Cyrus Field, having persuaded his parents that he was
old enough to go out into the world and seek his fortune, left his home.
For three years before he had kept the family accounts, and had most
carefully entered every item of expense in a small paper book, and he
was well aware that it was only with strict economy that the eight
dollars given to him by his father at parting could be spared from the
family purse. Stockbridge in April lies bare and brown in the valley of
the Housatonic, and the tops of the mountains that are near are at that
season often still white with snow, and his heart was in harmony with
the scene as he looked back for the last sight of his beloved mother's
face. His first letter is dated

"NEW YORK, _May 12, 1835_.

     "_Dear Father_,--I received yours, Henry's, and Mary's kind letters
     of the 7th on the 9th by Jonathan, and I assure you that it did me
     good to hear from sweet home.

     "I stopped at Mr. Moore's, in Hudson, and they had not seen
     mother's handkerchief.

     "Your account of the Field family I was glad to receive, but I
     wish to know also from whom we are descended on my mother's side.

     "Tell Stephen, Henry, and Mary that I intended to write them all a
     long letter, but as I have not been very well for the last two
     days, and have a good deal to do to-day, it is impossible.

     "The purse which Mary mentioned in her letter Jonathan says that he
     did not bring.

     "I have seen R. Maclaughlin, and he sends his love to Henry. Tell
     George Whitney that the store boy sends his love to him. I do the
     same, and also to Edwin Williams, Mr. Fay, S. and A. Hawkings, and
     all the good people of old Stockbridge.

     "Uncle Beales and his daughter arrived here last night.

     "Mr. Mark Hopkins came from Stockbridge this morning. No letters.

     "Take good care of mother, and tell her she must not get overdone.

     "All send their love. Love to all.

"From your affectionate son,

He does not speak of his loneliness, although we know that it was great,
for his mother's last words to another son, who was going to New York a
few weeks later, were, "Bring Cyrus home if he is still so homesick."

It was on one of his first Sundays in New York that, after he had been
to church, and gone to his brother David's for dinner, his unhappiness
was apparent to the family and also to Dr. Mark Hopkins, their guest,
whose sympathy was never forgotten, nor his words, "I would not give
much for a boy if he were not homesick on leaving home." He has said
that many of the evenings during the long summer that followed his
coming to New York were passed on the banks of the Hudson watching the
boats as they sailed northward, and as he lay by the riverside he
pictured himself as on board of one of the vessels, and the welcome
that he would receive on reaching Stockbridge.

Towards the end of his life Mr. Field began the preparation of his
autobiography. From so much of this as serves the purpose of this
narrative, extracts will be made from time to time without express

In 1835 it took twenty-four hours to go from Stockbridge to New York,
and first there was a drive of fifty miles to Hudson on the river, and
then a long sail by boat.

Almost immediately on reaching the city he entered as an errand-boy the
store of A. T. Stewart, which had already a more commanding reputation
than any mercantile establishment possesses or perhaps can attain at

His home was in a boarding-house in Murray Street near Greenwich, where
he had board and lodging for two dollars a week, a fact which is in
itself eloquent of the difference between life now in New York and life
sixty years ago. Stewart's was then at 257 Broadway, between Murray and
Warren streets. There the young clerk received for his services the
first year $50, and the second the sum was doubled. Even so, and with
what would now be the incredible frugality of his living, it is plain
that he could not have supported himself by his earnings. Of his life at
that time he said in after-years, "My oldest brother lent me money,
which, just as soon as I was able, and before I was twenty-one, I
returned to him with interest." The letter that follows tells how his
first money was spent:

"NEW YORK, _June 12, 1835_.

     "_Dear Father_,--I received by Mr. Baldwin five nightcaps, a
     pin-cushion, and some wedding-cake, for which I am very much
     obliged to mother and Mary.

     "Mary wrote to me to know of what color I would have my frock-coat;
     tell mother instead of having a linen frock-coat that I would
     prefer another linen roundabout, as they are much better in a
     store; I am not particular about the color.

     "When you write to me, direct your letters to Cyrus W. Field, at A.
     T. Stewart & Co., No. 257 Broadway, New York; if you do so, they
     will come to me quicker than in any other way. There is in the
     store besides the firm twenty-four clerks, including two
     book-keepers, one of whom is Mr. Smith, of Haddam; he says that he
     remembers you, mother, David, Timothy, and Matthew very well. Give
     my love to mother, brothers, sister, Mr. Fay, George Whitney, and
     other friends.

"From your affectionate son,

     "P.S.--On the other side you will find a list of my expenses.

     From the 29th of April to the 12th of June.--Cyrus W. Field,

  From Stockbridge to New York                  $2 00

  Paid to David for Penny Magazines              2 00
  (I am not agoing to take them any longer.)

  To hair cutting                                  12½

  To one vial of spirits of turpentine (used to
  get some spots out of coat)                       6¼

  To get shoes mended                              18¾

  To one pair of shoe-brushes                      25

  To one box of blacking                           12½

  To get trunks carried from David's to my
  boarding-house                                   25

  To two papers of tobacco to put in trunks to
  prevent moths getting in                         12½

  To one straw hat (the one that I brought from
  home got burned and was so dirty that David
  thought I had better get me a new one.)        1 00

  To one steel pen                                 12½

  To small expenses, from time to time, such as
  riding in an omnibus, going to Brooklyn,
  etc., etc., etc.                               1 25
                                    Total,      $7 50

     "When I left home I had $8, $7 50 of which is expended, leaving in
     my hands 50 cents. I do not know of anything that I want, but I
     think you had better send to me $4 more."

In all his letters of this period he calls his eldest brother by his
first name, David, and it was not until many years later that his second
name, Dudley, is added.

At first Mr. Field was obliged to be at his work between six and seven
in the morning, and after he was promoted from errand-boy to clerk the
hours for attendance at the store were from a quarter-past eight in the
morning until into the evening. "I always made it a point to be there
before the partners came and never to leave before the partners left.
Mr. Stewart was the leading dry-goods merchant at that time. My ambition
was to make myself a thoroughly good merchant. I tried to learn in every
department all I possibly could, knowing I had to depend entirely on

In his simple country home a theatre had always been thought of and
spoken of as an entrance to hell, but being of an inquiring mind he
determined, as so many country lads have done before and since, upon
giving one of his first evenings in the city to finding out for himself
what hell was like. The kindred desire to see a large fire was also soon
gratified, and the ardor of his curiosity on this subject was at once
cooled, for, as he stood watching the blaze, the hose was turned for a
moment in the wrong direction, and he was drenched.

The subject of the next letter is the "great fire of 1835," which took
place on December 16th, and destroyed 600 warehouses and $20,000,000 of

"NEW YORK, _December 25, 1835_.

     "_Dear Father_,--Last week, on Wednesday night, a fire broke out in
     a store in Merchant Street which proved to be the largest that was
     ever known in this country. It burned about 674 buildings, most of
     which were wholesale stores, and laid waste all of thirty acres of
     the richest part of this city.

     "I was up all night to the fire, and last Sunday was on duty with
     David as a guard to prevent people from going to the ruins to steal
     property that was saved from the fire and laying in heaps in the

     "The awful state that the city was in can be better imagined than

     "Mr. Brewer has arrived, and will take to Stockbridge some parcels,
     one of which is for Mrs. Ashburner.

"In haste, from your affectionate son,

     "P.S.--I wish mother would make for me a black frock-coat (she
     knows the kind that I want) and a plain black stock.

     "Perhaps you had better send me the $6 that you were to let me

"C. W. FIELD."

On July 25, 1836, he writes to his father:

     "I shall leave New York on Thursday evening the 11th of August, in
     the steamboat _Westchester_, which goes no further up the river
     than Hudson, and be at that place on Friday morning, the 12th,
     where I shall want to have some one to meet me and Mr. Goodrich
     with a good horse and wagon to take us immediately to
     Stockbridge.... I want to have some one be at Hudson rain or shine,
     and I would like to have you write to me and let me know who is
     coming, and where I shall find him if he is not at the wharf....
     Mr. G. and myself will pay the expense of coming to Hudson."

And in another letter:

     "The fare in the steamboat to Hudson is only 50 cents."

A month later, in a letter to his mother, dated New York, August 29th,
he says:

     "I arrived here on Thursday morning with Goodrich, in good health
     and fine spirits. I have sent to you by Mr. Platner, of Lee,

  10 yds. of fine long cloth, at 25 cents per yd.       $2 50
  15 yds. not fine long cloth, at 12½ cents per yd.      1 87½
  1 muslin collar                                       -----
  1 remnant of merino, 4½ yds., for                      4 00
                                                 Total, $8 37½

     "If Mary should like the merino for a cloak I will obtain another
     remnant for a dress.

     "Father has let me have $25 00 since I have been in New York, and
     if he wishes me I will pay the above amount, and then I shall be
     indebted to him $16 62½. I will send the balance in money or obtain
     that amount worth of goods for him here at any time....

     "I wish you would all write to me by every opportunity, and tell me
     of anything and all things that happen at home and in good old

     "Give my love to all friends. In haste.

"From your affectionate son,

     "_To my dear mother._"

He wrote to his mother again on October 31, 1836, and in the postscript

     "Tell father that I have read through the _Pilgrim's Progress_
     which he gave me when at home, and that I like it very much; and
     also that Goodrich and myself take turns in reading a chapter in
     the Bible every night before we go to bed, and that we have got as
     far as the 25th chapter of Genesis."

His indebtedness to his father seems to have weighed heavily upon him,
for on November 25th he again alludes to it:

     "I am now in debt to you $4 75, which I will pay to you at any time
     you wish, or will obtain things for you here."

The thought that his home in Stockbridge is to be given up causes him
pain. On January 24, 1837, in a letter to his mother, he says:

     "I am sorry that father is going to leave that beautiful place
     Stockbridge, but when you do move to Haddam I hope that you will
     take everything, even the old and good dog Rover."

In a letter written to his father on April 15, 1837, he mentions various
articles he has sent to him, and then adds:

     "And also a silk handkerchief, which I wish you to accept for the
     interest on the $25 you lent me."

Towards the end of the letter is this sentence:

     "The election has closed and the Whigs have elected Aaron Clark
     their candidate for Mayor by a majority of nearly 5000 votes.

His clothes were all of home manufacture. On May 1, 1837, in a letter to
his mother, he writes:

     "I wish you would make for me, as soon as convenient, a black
     broadcloth _coat with skirts_, and covered buttons, and as I wish
     it for a dress-coat the cloth must be _very fine and made extremely
     nice_. You cannot be too particular about it."

In his letter written from New York on July 15, 1837, he says:

     "David arrived on Monday, July 10th, in the packet ship _Oxford_,
     from Liverpool. He had a passage of thirty-seven days. He is in
     very good health. The Ladies' Greek Association of Stockbridge held
     their fair the 4th of July on Little Hill, and raised one hundred
     and twenty-seven dollars ($127). Well done for old Stockbridge."

The Mercantile Library in Clinton Hall, at the southwest corner of
Nassau and Beekman streets, proved an attractive place to him, and
whenever it was possible he went there in the evening to read; and he
also joined an "Eclectic Fraternity," to which Mr. Jackson S. Schultz
belonged. The Fraternity met for debate every Saturday evening in a
fourth-story room over a leather store in the Swamp.

Mr. Stewart's rules were strict. One of them was that every clerk must
enter in a book the minute that he came in the morning, left for dinner,
returned from dinner, went to supper and came back; and if he was late
in the morning, at dinner over an hour, or required more than
three-quarters of an hour for supper, he must pay twenty-five cents for
each offence. The fines thus collected, Mr. Stewart told his clerks,
would be kept and given to any charity that they should select. This
went on until September 30, 1837, and then this paper was drawn up:

"NEW YORK, _September 30, 1837_.

     "We, the undersigned, hereby nominate and appoint Cyrus W. Field
     treasurer to receive the fines of the young men _paid_ during the
     month of September to Messrs. A. T. Stewart & Co.:

  J. B. SMITH,
  D. R. PARK,
  R. WHYTE."

The clerks were paid at the beginning of each month, and on the 1st of
October the paper was presented, and the cashier was asked for the
money, which he declined to give. An appeal was taken to Mr. Stewart,
who ordered it to be given to the young men.

"I took the funds, and all of the clerks left the store that night in a
body and proceeded up Broadway to the corner of Chambers Street. We then
agreed to go into a large, well-known oyster-saloon in the basement. The
clerks at once voted unanimously that we should have an oyster supper,
and that the treasurer should pay from this fund the expense of the
supper, which was done. Then there was a long debate as to what charity
the balance should be given to. At last it was unanimously resolved that
there was no such charity in the city or State of New York as the clerks
of A. T. Stewart & Co., and that Mr. Field, the treasurer, should return
to each clerk the exact amount of his fines, less his proportion of the
supper. This occupied until nearly or quite daylight.

"Some one of the clerks or waiters told Mr. Stewart of what had
occurred, and we were all requested to remain at the store the next
evening after business hours, when Mr. Stewart called me up and asked me
to give him an account of what had been done with the funds paid to me
the previous evening. I told him the exact truth in regard to the
matter, when he dismissed us, saying that in the future he should be
very careful that the firm selected the object of charity that this fund
was given to."

At a dinner at the Union League Club on October 26, 1881, Jackson S.
Schultz, the beginning of whose acquaintance with Mr. Field has just
been referred to, related this incident: "Perhaps I cannot do better
than tell you an anecdote that was told me by Mr. Stewart at the great
celebration which we had at the Metropolitan Hotel after the laying of
the Atlantic cable. He said to me, 'Perhaps you don't know that I have
taught Mr. Field all the art of telegraphing he knows.' 'No, I am not
aware of that, Mr. Stewart.' He said, 'It is quite notorious in our
house.' Mr. Field was for a long time a clerk in that establishment, and
Mr. Stewart said Mr. Field was in the habit of watching the old
gentleman, and by a sort of tick, tick, giving notice to his
fellow-clerks of the fact that he was coming, so that every man was in
his place, and from that simple idea Mr. Field got the idea of
telegraphing, which had made his fortune."

The first intimation we find of his having decided to leave Mr. Stewart
is in a letter to his father, written on January 8, 1838:

     "I expect to go to Lee to live with Matthew on the 1st of March. He
     will give me two hundred and fifty dollars ($250) the first year,
     and my board and washing."

And again, on February 25th, he refers to the proposed change that he
intends making:

     "I have been very busy for the last five or six weeks in the
     evening attending Mr. Wheeler's school to obtain a thorough
     knowledge of book-keeping by double entry, so as to be able to keep
     Matthew's books when I go to Lee.... I have made arrangements with
     Matthew so that I shall not commence my year with him until the 1st
     of April."

He arrived in Lee, Mass., on Friday evening, March 30th.

It was early in this year that Mr. Stewart, having heard that Mr. Field
intended giving up his place as clerk after his three years'
apprenticeship to business, sent for him and urged him to agree to
remain with him for several years, and made him a very liberal offer if
he would do so. On the 2d of March Mr. Bunours, one of Mr. Stewart's
partners, sent him this note:

     "_Dear Field_,--You will accept the accompanying trifle as a token
     of esteem and sincere friendship, and whatever be your future
     pursuits, to know that they are successful will be a source of much
     gratification to


_March 2, '38._"

"The trifle" was a small diamond pin that the recipient of it wore for
over twenty-five years. Upon the same occasion this invitation was

     "The undersigned, anxious to show their respect and esteem for
     their fellow-clerk, Cyrus W. Field, do hereby agree to give him a
     complimentary supper on Friday evening, March 2, 1838.


A letter written on March 6, 1838, by his brother David to his parents
ends with these words:

     "Cyrus has, as you will see from his letters, etc., left Stewart's,
     with the best testimonials of esteem from all his employers and
     associates. He is a noble young man--and I am proud of him."

His father had said on parting from him in 1835: "Cyrus, I feel sure you
will succeed, for your playmates could never get you off to play until
all the work for which you were responsible was done."

These few words tell us briefly how the following eighteen months were

"On leaving New York I went as far west as Michigan on business for my
brother Dudley. I went up the Hudson in a boat to Albany, from thence
to, I think, Syracuse in the cars, thence by stage to Buffalo, from
Buffalo by steamer to Detroit, and from there to Ann Arbor. On my return
East I went to Lee, Mass., as an assistant to my brother, Matthew D.
Field. He was a large paper manufacturer; he often sent me on business
to Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, and New York."

From this account of Mr. Field's beginnings in New York it is evident
that his subsequent success was not a matter of chance; the foundations
of it were laid in the character which commanded the confidence of his
employer and of his associates. This will be shown even more strikingly
in the pages that are to follow. His own narration of his early
experiences has an additional interest in the incidental and almost
unconscious disclosure of the vast difference between the conditions of
beginning a business career in New York now and sixty years ago. It
seems worth while to secure an authentic memorial of a life that already
seems so remote and is wellnigh forgotten.




"In the spring of 1840 I went into business for myself in Westfield,
Mass., as a manufacturer of paper, and on October 1st of that year I was
invited to become a partner in the firm of E. Root & Co., of No. 85
Maiden Lane, New York. I was not yet of age when I entered as a junior
partner in this house; the business of the firm was managed chiefly by
my senior partner. My part was to attend to the sales and manage the
business, principally away from New York, in Philadelphia, Baltimore,
Boston, Washington, and other places, making contracts and attending to
the business generally. On November 30, 1840, I was twenty-one, and two
days afterwards I was married to Mary Bryan Stone, of Guilford, Conn."

Mrs. Field's father, Joseph Stone, died of yellow-fever at Savannah,
Ga., July 9, 1822. He left a widow and three little children. Mrs. Stone
returned to her home and lived with her parents, and it was from their
home that her daughter was married. Mr. and Mrs. Fowler had been married
in 1776, and their house was built in 1784, and it was on account of
their age and to avoid all excitement for them that Mr. and Mrs.
Field's wedding was very quiet. The invitations were informal.

"NEW YORK, _November_ 25, 1840.

"_My dear Parents_,--I have only time to write a few lines, and will
come to the point at once.

"The writer of this intends to be joined in the bands of matrimony to
Miss Mary B. Stone one week from this day, that is, on next Wednesday
morning, December 2, 1840, at 10 o'clock A.M., and requests the pleasure
of meeting you both, with sister Mary, at the house of Mr. A. S. Fowler
in Guilford, at the above-mentioned time. David and Stephen will be
there. We expect father will perform the ceremony. I shall leave here
Tuesday in the New Haven steamboat, and you will find me Wednesday
morning at Bradley's Hotel in Guilford, where you had better all stop.

"There will be _only a very_ few friends at the wedding. Shall leave
immediately after the ceremony is over for New Haven, and from there
come to this city.

"If Henry is at home bring him with you, and send to Middletown for

"With much love to all at home,
"I remain your affectionate son,

A cousin writes: "It is a long time to remember what passed fifty years
ago. It was a lovely morning, the 2d of December, 1840. Your dear father
came to our old home in Guilford. My memory says ten o'clock was the
hour for the ceremony, and it took place in the north room, now the
parlor. Your grandfather, Dr. Field, was the clergyman. I was
bridesmaid. Your dear mother and I wore dresses made alike of gray
cashmere. Lunches were an unheard of arrangement in those days; the
refreshment was three kinds of cake and wine. Then we drove to New
Haven; your uncle, Joseph Stone, lived there. I went to visit some
cousins; your parents went to a hotel, and came and spent the evening
with us."

Mr. Justice Field of the United States Supreme Court was groomsman for
his brother. Fifty years after this same group stood once more together
at the Golden Wedding on December 2, 1890. The married life thus begun
was singularly happy. It is impossible for the children of this marriage
to recall a word of unkindness as having been spoken by either father or
mother. Their little son's death in 1854 drew them closer to one
another. He writes that during his business troubles his wife was
perfectly calm, and that she looked upon the loss of money as but slight
in comparison to the happiness that had been left to her.

On December 3d Mr. and Mrs. Field left New Haven and came to New York by
boat; immediately on their arrival they drove to the house of Mrs. Mason
in Bond Street, and it was there that they boarded for the next two

"In six months" (that is, on April 2, 1841) "E. Root & Co. failed, with
large liabilities, and though I was not the principal of the firm, yet
on me fell the loss and the burden of paying its debts. Such was the
condition in which I started in life, without capital or credit or
business, and with a heavy load of debt upon me. We were for many months
afterwards getting the affairs settled. I dissolved the firm immediately
and started on my own account. Some of the creditors came to see me, and
those that did not come I went to see, and on the best terms I could
settled and compromised and got released.

"My office at this time was in Burling Slip, and it was in 1842 or 1843
that the partnership of Cyrus W. Field & Co. was formed, the company
being my brother-in-law, Joseph F. Stone."

With characteristic regularity the home life as well as the business
life went on. I have on the table before me two account-books, which
show both how methodical were the young merchant's habits and how simple
was his life at the outset of his career.

  "No. 1, Cyrus W. Field, 1840, '41 and '42," and
  "No. 2, Cyrus W. Field, 1843."

The following are extracts from No. 1:


  1840                                           Dr.
  Dec. 2, to carriage to New Haven             $ 7 00
   "   2, to 50 newspapers                       1 00
   "   2, to gate fee                              25
   "   3, to expenses at the Pavillion           9 50
   "   4, to porter                                25
   "   4, to New Haven to New York               4 00
   "   4, to newspapers                            12
   "   4, to hack                                1 00
   "   4, to cartage                               44

  Jan. 15, to bill for board for 2 months      120 00
   "   29, to bill for vaccination               1 00
   "   31, to figs and crackers                    17
   "   31, to oysters and laudanum                 22
  Feb.  7, to doctor's bill--one visit           1 00
   "   18, to one box of pencil-leads               5
  May  25, to one umbrella                       1 00
   "   28, to repairing silk hat                   88
  Sept. 8, to letter from Mrs. Field               13
  Oct. 20, to paid Dr. Catlin in Haddam          5 00
  Nov. 13, to Mrs. Nolan's bill                 27 50
   "   15, to one willow cradle                  2 00
  Dec. 1                                    $1,467 12

     "The above are our expenses for one year, from December 2, 1840, to
     December 2, 1841.


From this time until 1842 the accounts were kept with the same
exactness; some of the items for this latter year are:

   June 13, to cutting coat, vest, 2 pair pants                  $ 1 75
    "   15, to soap, 8 cents; pepper, 5 cents; tobacco and linen     32
   July 4, to Niblo's Garden, M. E. F., M. S., and C. W. F.        1 50
    "   6, to Dr. Paine, $1; pill, 6 cents                         1 06
   Aug. 7, to letter to and one from Mrs. Field                      25
   Oct. 1, to W. H. Popham, 7 tons coal                           37 75
   Nov. 18, to shoestrings, 5 cents; tacks, 19 cents                 24
    "   22, to _Tribune_, 2 weeks                                    18
   Dec. 1                                                     $1,482 79

     "The above were our expenses for one year, December 2, 1841, to
     December 2, 1842.


And on December 1, 1843, at the end of the book we read:

  "1843                                      $1,654 91

   Dec. 1, boarding ---- from October 8,
             1842, to date, 59-6/7 weeks @
             $3                    $179 57
    "   1, cash over to date[A]       6 30      185 87
                                             $1,469 04

     [A] This amount is for sundries sold, and entered the past year in our
expenses, and for which I refund back the money.

     "The above are our expenses for one year, from December 2, 1842, to
     December 2, 1843.

     "CYRUS W. FIELD."

In 1842 he rented a house in East Seventeenth Street, No. 87, and his
brother Dudley questioned the wisdom of his living so far up-town, and
said that he must not look for frequent visits from him, that he could
only go to him on Sunday. He lived in this house for ten years, and in
the interval his brother Dudley moved to one immediately in the rear,
and Mrs. Robert Sedgwick and Mrs. Caroline Kirkland were near neighbors
and dear friends.

For many years Mr. Field took his breakfast by lamplight, and his dinner
and supper down-town. His children saw him only on Sunday. At this time,
he wrote long afterwards, "I was an ardent admirer of Henry Clay, and in
politics a Whig," and accordingly he took a warm interest in the
election of 1844.

"In 1844 I was not worth a dollar. What money I had made had all gone to
pay the debts of the old firm. My business was conducted on long credit;
we did a general business all over the country. I built up a first-rate
credit everywhere. All business intrusted to me was done promptly and
quickly. I attended to every detail of the business, and made a point of
answering every letter on the day it was received."

Mr. Schultz said of him at the dinner already referred to:

     "But, sir, I do recall the early days of Mr. Field. I remember him
     when he was first a clerk and then a merchant.... He had
     peculiarities then as he has always had. One I recollect was, he
     had over his desk 'Are you insured?' For no one that was not
     insured could get credit of him. He could not afford, he said, to
     insure himself and others too. Thus in all his transactions he had
     ideas and principles to carry out, but always good principles and
     ideas. I well remember when he came into the Mercantile Library
     Association; he had his own ideas, which did a great deal to add
     to the dignity and usefulness of that institution. In all his early
     life he was what he has been since--useful, practical."

It seems odd now to be reminded by the sight of old letters that at this
time envelopes were not in use. The sheets of paper were large, of
letter size; three sides were closely written on, and then it was folded
into nine, and it was not permitted to enclose even a slip of paper in
this sheet; the postage was usually thirteen cents. The currency was
puzzling; there was the short or "York" shilling of eight to the dollar
(that is, twelve and a half cents), and the New England or long shilling
of six to the dollar (sixteen and two-thirds cents). So rooted was each
kind of currency in its own section as often to cause travellers
annoyance and confusion.

The first and part of the second page of the New York _Tribune_ for
August 26, 1844, is most interesting. There is given an account of "The
Berkshire Jubilee," held at Pittsfield, Mass., on August 22d and 23d.
The paper mentions among those present, Dr. Orville Dewey, of New York,
William Cullen Bryant, Miss Catherine Sedgwick, Dr. Mark Hopkins, Mr.
Macready, the actor, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Mrs. Fanny Kemble, Dr.
D. D. Field, and David Dudley Field. This "Jubilee" lasted for two days.
There were forty-four vice-presidents appointed, and forty-four tables
were laid to accommodate the three thousand people who dined together.
On the first day, at two o'clock in the afternoon, Dr. Hopkins preached
a sermon on Jubilee Hill, west of the village, and Dr. D. D. Field
"offered up an eloquent prayer."

After dinner on the 23d there were speeches and singing.

"A young lady, as amiable as she is beautiful, and as intelligent as she
is both amiable and beautiful, gave the following sentiment by proxy:

    "'You scarce can go through the world below
        But you'll find the Berkshire men,
      And when you rove the world above
        You'll meet them there again.'

"At the close of Dr. Holmes's speech he read the poem that appears in
his works under the title of 'Lines recited at the Berkshire Festival,'

    "'Come back to your mother, ye children, for shame,
      Who have wandered like truants for riches or fame;
      With a smile on her face and a sprig on her cap
      She calls you to feast from her bountiful lap."

And it appears from the report that "the recitation of this poem was the
most popular exercise of the day."

We have a book of French exercises with page after page written by Mr.
Field. They begin with "Avez vous le pain?" and the last sentence is,
"Votre ami a-t-il le miroir que vous avez ou celui que j'ai? Il n'a ni
celui que vous avez ni celui que j'ai, mais il a le sien." He never
spoke French, but one can fancy that these exercises were written before
he went to Europe, in April, 1849, and in preparation for the exigencies
of intercourse with the natives that might arise.

Mr. and Mrs. Field sailed for England in a packet-ship commanded by
Captain Hovey. They were eighteen days in crossing, and landed at
Plymouth, and posted through Cornwall. This journey was taken by the
advice of his physician. The excitement and work of the past fourteen
years had told very decidedly upon him, and perfect rest was imperative.
Their four little girls were left under the care of an aunt in New
Haven, Conn., and on arriving in England the parents' first thought was
of their children; and great was the joy with which these hailed the
advent of a box of toys, and in it was a blue-and-white tea-set which
gave unusual happiness. Here is one of the messages that came back
across the sea:

     "_Precious Little Isabella_,--What are you about just now? Can
     mother guess?

     "Well, Belle is singing her German song.

     "No. Does Belle say no? She is rocking her doll to sleep, and she
     is making a nice dress for dolly.

     "I have put up a little bundle of pieces for Grace, Alice, and
     Isabelle, and now you can make a great many dresses. Mother wishes
     much to see her little Belle and Fanny, and to give them a good
     number of kisses. Mother always wished to kiss all her little girls
     before she went to bed, but now she cannot reach them.

     "Will Belle kiss her sister for her mother and will she kiss her
     cousins, too?

     "Mamma hopes Belle will always mind her aunt, Miss Oppenheim, her
     cousins, and Anne.

     "Anne loves Belle and is very kind to her and does all for little
     Belle that she can.

     "Now, dear little Belle, good-bye, and do not forget


     "Mother sends Belle her bird in the cage."

Some of the reminiscences of this journey come back quite distinctly.
One of them was the indignation of an Irishman at being asked the name
of the river they were passing, which, unluckily for the questioner,
happened to be the Boyne. Another was of a service at a kirk in
Scotland, during which an old lady said to Mrs. Field, "Remember that
you are in the house of God." Her offence was that she had offered to
share her book of psalms with her husband. Indeed it must have seemed
impossible for those who did not know to believe that they were husband
and wife and that they had been married nine years, for both looked very
young at this time.

They travelled rapidly during the following five months. They visited
Manchester, York, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, and London,
Paris, Geneva, and from there to Milan over the Simplon, to Leghorn,
Florence, Rome, Naples, Venice, Vienna, Dresden, Berlin, from Frankfort
down the Rhine to Cologne, to Brussels, back to England and Liverpool,
and from there by the steamship _Europa_ to Boston, and to their home in
New York in September.

They had been interested spectators of the events succeeding the great
uprising of the people in France, Germany, and Italy, and of their
failure to free themselves and obtain self-government.

Mr. George Bancroft was a fellow-passenger on the voyage home. He had
made an engagement to dine in Boston on a certain day, and while at sea
was troubled lest he should not arrive in time; but as Mr. and Mrs.
Field drove to the train they passed Mr. Bancroft on his way to dinner,
and he waved his hand to them. On his return to New York, Mr. Field
amused his friends by stating the characteristic fact that the first
word he learned of each new language, as he crossed from one country to
another, was "faster."

Mr. and Mrs. Field lived simply. The summer outings were short,
sometimes for only a few weeks were they and their children away from
the city, but their children look back with pleasure to the drives that
they took, during the long summer days, to Hoboken (the Elysian Fields),
to Astoria, to Coney Island, all very different places from those of the
present time. And the family cow was driven each morning to pasture on
land that is now known as Madison Square.

January 24, 1850, a son was born. Dr. Field, supposing that he was to be
named Cyrus, addressed the following letter, superscribed:

"Master Cyrus W. Field, Jr.,
"Of the Firm of Cyrus W. Field & Co.,
"No. 11 Cliff Street,
"New York."
"HIGGANUM, _January 28, 1850_.


     "_Dear Grandson_,--We were happy in hearing of your safe arrival
     last Thursday morning, and hope you will be a great honor and
     blessing to your parents and to your delighted sisters. Your
     grandmother sends you much love, and says she hopes you will make
     as good a man as your father.

     "Give our love to your parents, to Grace, etc., etc., and by-and-by
     come up and see whether Higganum pleases you as well as New York.
     The Lord bless you and all your friends. Tell them that we are well
     and happy.

"Your affectionate grandfather,

And Mrs. Kirkland sent a note beginning:

    "A boy! a boy!
     I wish you joy!"

She also wrote: "The pleasantest thing I have to tell you is that Miss
Bremer promises me a visit, and will probably be here in two or three
weeks." The visit was paid and gave great pleasure. Mrs. Field told of
one evening passed at Mrs. Kirkland's, when the Swedish novelist was
quite unconscious that from her cap hung a paper on which was written

The autumn of 1850 was long remembered by parents and children. Early in
September the two-seated covered wagon and buggy were filled by the
entire family, who left New York for a drive of four weeks; first to
Guilford, Conn., then to Stockbridge, returning from Hudson to New York
by the night boat.

It was Mr. Field's custom to give an annual supper to his clerks. That
which took place in December, 1850, was signalized by the proceedings
thus officially recited:

     A meeting of the salesmen in the employ of Messrs. Cyrus W. Field &
     Co. was held December 20, 1850. S. Ahern was appointed to preside.
     After the objects of the meeting were made known by the chairman in
     a few brief and appropriate remarks, the following resolutions were
     unanimously adopted:

     _Resolved_, That in consideration of the innumerable acts of
     kindness manifested towards us by Cyrus W. Field, Esq., we deem it
     expedient to acknowledge them, not alone in expressions of
     gratitude, but by tangible proof of our appreciation of them.

     _Resolved_, That a committee of three be appointed to decide upon
     an appropriate testimonial of our esteem, to be presented to Cyrus
     W. Field; and that Augustus Waterman, John Seaman, and James Barry
     be appointed said committee.

     _Resolved_, That Augustus Waterman, in view of his long services to
     Cyrus W. Field, be deputed in behalf of himself and fellow-salesmen
     to make such presentation as the committee shall decide on.

     _Resolved_, That a copy of the foregoing resolutions accompany the
     presentation, and that said presentation and resolutions be
     presented on the occasion of the annual supper given by Cyrus W.
     Field to his employés, and that they be accepted by him as a faint
     token of our esteem.

JOHN SEAMAN (per A. W.).

The testimonial took the form of a silver pitcher suitably inscribed.

Early in June, 1851, Mr. and Mrs. Field left New York, and made quite an
extended journey over the then Southern, Western, and Northern States.
First to Virginia, where they had the pleasure of staying with Mr. and
Mrs. Hill Carter at their plantation, Shirley, on the James River; then
to the Natural Bridge, and it was while there that Mr. Field asked Mr.
Church to make a sketch for a picture, and suggested that it would be
wise to take a small piece of the rock back to New York. This Mr. Church
did not think necessary, but Mr. Field was so intent upon having the
color exactly reproduced that he put a bit in his pocket. When the
oil-painting was sent to his house he found the piece, and there had
been no mistake made in the color. From Virginia the party went to the
Mammoth Cave of Kentucky. It was in the course of the trip either up or
down the Mississippi, on one of the famous high-pressure boats of those
days, that the stewardess coolly remarked, when some of the passengers
expressed alarm at the racing, that it made no difference whether or not
the boat they were on happened to blow up, since it was in any case her
last trip. In the ardor of the race the fires were fed with any fuel
available: even the hams that formed part of the cargo were sacrificed.
At St. Paul they heard that a treaty was to be made with the Indians,
and Mr. Field immediately hired a boat for $400 to take him to the
scene. As many others were anxious to go he allowed the captain to sell
tickets at $10 to as many people as the boat would accommodate, and the
captain made a handsome profit, as he was required merely to reimburse
Mr. Field for his outlay. The Indians were frightened at the advent of
the party and at the noise of the whistle, and the treaty had to come to
a standstill until the boat could be sent out of sight.

Mr. Field was again at St. Paul in 1884, when the changes he found
seemed to him marvellous. Mr. F. E. Church, the artist, who had
originally been of the party, but had left it before the arrival at St.
Paul, wrote early in August:

     "I am delighted that you were able to be at the Indian treaty,
     which, from the description in your letter and the numerous letters
     published in the daily prints, convinces me that the occasion must
     have been one of extraordinary interest....

     "I am telling marvellous stories here of our adventures to gaping
     audiences, and exhibiting my blind fishes with tremendous

     "All accounts from the children in Stockbridge bring alarming
     intelligence; it is said that they are getting fat, and nothing
     which has been tried has succeeded in stopping the spread of the
     complaint. I recommend a month on a Western steamboat in hot

One of the party, a lady, was not at all times a pleasant travelling
companion. The stage drive, one morning in Kentucky, began at four, and
by six o'clock the sun poured down against the side of the coach in
which the lady was seated. As the heat increased, in the same degree her
irritability was manifested. At last she asked a Southern gentlemen who
was by her to let down the curtain. His answer was: "With pleasure,
madam, if you won't look so damned sight cross." This proved to be the
remedy required; from that time she was good-natured.

From a letter written to a New York paper this is copied:

"NIAGARA FALLS, _August 11, 1851_.

     "Among the recent arrivals at the Clifton House are Mlle. Jenny
     Lind and Cyrus W. Field and family....

     "Jenny Lind arrived yesterday from New York by way of Oswego. She
     keeps strictly private, and has her meals served in her own room.
     Last evening she was amusing herself by singing, accompanied by Mr.
     Scharfenberg, in her own rooms, with closed doors. Soon a crowd of
     a hundred had gathered round her door, without a whisper being
     heard. She sang for about half an hour, when, suddenly opening her
     door, she stepped in the hall for a candle, and then you would have
     laughed outright to see the people scamper, she looking so

When Mr. Field built the house on Gramercy Park, which was at first
numbered 84 East Twenty-first Street, that and the one next to it were
the only ones between Lexington and Third avenues, and the east side of
Gramercy Park was a large vacant lot. This house was afterwards known as
123 East Twenty-first Street, and there forty happy years were passed.




Although upon the failure for which he was not responsible of the firm
of which he was a member Mr. Field had effected a compromise with the
creditors of the firm which had procured his release from all legal
obligations, and which satisfied them as the best that they could hope
for, it did not satisfy him. He felt that in reality he was still their
debtor, and one of the chief incentives to his intense devotion to
business in the years following his fresh start was the hope of clearing
off the debt, so that no man should have lost by trusting him. In this
he succeeded. He himself says in the incomplete autobiography already

"There was no luck about my success, which was remarkable. It was not
due to the control or use of large capital, to the help of friends, to
speculations or to fortunate turns of events, it was by constant labor
and with the ambition to be a successful merchant; and I was rewarded by
seeing a steady, even growth of business. I had prospered so that on the
1st of January, 1853, I was worth over $250,000. I then turned to my
books for a list of the old claims which I had settled by compromising
ten years before, found the amount which my generous creditors had
deducted from their claims, added to each one interest for that time,
and sent to every man a check for the whole amount principal and with
seven per cent. interest, a sum amounting in all to many thousands of

The letters that follow tell their own story and how the money was
received. Two of them indicate that he made use of his prosperity to
release his own debtors at the same time that he was paying in full his

"HARTFORD, CONN., _2d March, 1853_.

"CYRUS W. FIELD, Esq., New York:

     "_Dear Sir_,--Your favor of yesterday's date was duly received, and
     we would now acknowledge the same, and with no ordinary feeling of
     satisfaction, for in these degenerate days it is in truth a rare
     occurrence to find men who like yourself--as is evidenced by this
     act--are honest from principle, and who never consider themselves
     morally quit of a just debt, even though legally released, until
     the debt is paid in full. We would now express to you our thanks
     for the sum enclosed, not so much for the value thereof in currency
     as for the proof it affords that 'honesty still dwells among men.'
     With our best wishes for your continued prosperity and an assurance
     of our high regard,

"We are truly your friends,
"By Sam. Woodruff."

"LOWELL, _March 3, 1853_.

"C. W. FIELD, Esq.:

     "_Dear Sir_,--Yours of the 1st inst. was duly received, with check
     enclosed for $114 41, for which please accept my grateful

     "I congratulate you upon the success of your business pursuits,
     which has enabled you thus honorably to liquidate your by-gone
     pecuniary obligations, and I hope your life and health may be long
     continued in the enjoyment of the well-earned fruits of your
     persevering enterprise.

     "It will always give me great pleasure to see you at my house in
     Lowell, and I hope to find opportunity during the coming season to
     visit the Empire City and the World's Fair and to avail myself of
     that occasion to call upon you.

"With much regard, I remain
"Yours truly,

"PITTSFIELD, _March 3, 1853_.

     "_My dear Friend_,--The many and various exhibitions of kindness
     and good-feeling from you heretofore have placed me under very
     great obligations.

     "Language fails me to express my feelings on the receipt of your
     letter of the 1st, and this morning with your check for $317 20 for
     a claim amicably and satisfactorily adjusted about ten years since,
     and for which I have no legal or moral claim on you, nor, indeed,
     had it entered my mind for several years.

     "This act, entirely voluntary on your part, exhibits moral honesty,
     that all fair men approve, but few make known by their acts. I
     value it the more because it exhibits in my friend a conscience
     alive to right. You have made this present (for I have no claim)
     not because you considered I needed it, but because the ability
     that did not exist in 1843 does exist in 1853, and the act itself
     would be carrying out the principles of the Golden Rule. Please
     accept my warmest thanks for this token of love and friendship. May
     peace, prosperity, and happiness attend you all your days.

"I am truly your friend,

     "To CYRUS W. FIELD, Esq., New York."

"SPRINGFIELD, MASS., _March 5, 1853_.

"CYRUS W. FIELD, Esq., New York City:

     "_Dear Sir_,--Allow me hereby to acknowledge the receipt of yours
     of March 1st with its contents.

     "We are perfectly conscious that in a legal point of view we had no
     claim upon you for this very unexpected document, but to your
     personal high sense of honor we are indebted for it, and for this
     act of honesty and fairness you have our very grateful

     "With the best wishes for your future prosperity and good health,
     we remain,

"Dear sir, very respectfully,
"Your obedient servants,
"Per O. O. Parker."

     "P. S.--I shall be in your city soon and will be pleased to call
     upon you.

"Per O. O. Parker."

"HOUSATONIC BANK, _March 7, 1853_.


     "_Dear Sir_,--At the request of the Board of Directors of the
     Housatonic Bank I enclose resolutions passed by them this day.

     "Allow me to add, individually, my sincere thanks; and I am
     requested to ask if you will allow us to make mention of it, to
     show that such high moral principles in business have much to do
     with a man's prosperity.

"With great respect I remain,
"Your obedient servant,
"J. D. ADAMS, Cashier."

     "At a meeting of the directors of the Housatonic Bank, held at
     their banking-house on the 7th day of March, 1853, the cashier laid
     before the board a letter from Cyrus W. Field, Esq., dated 1st of
     March instant, enclosing a check on the Union Bank, New York, for
     seven hundred 62-100 dollars, being an unpaid balance and the
     interest in full on a note against the late firm of E. Root & Co.,
     due in 1841, which note had long since been given up to Mr. Field,
     the firm having become insolvent. Whereupon it was unanimously

     "_Resolved_, That the conduct of Mr. Field in voluntarily paying a
     debt for which the bank had no claim evinces a high degree of moral
     integrity, alike honorable to him as a merchant and gentleman.

     "_Resolved_, That such an instance of high-minded magnanimity
     should be held up as an example worthy of the more commendation
     because of rare occurrence.

     "_Resolved_, That we tender to Mr. Field our congratulations in
     view of his present prosperity, and our best wishes for its

     "_Voted_, That the foregoing resolutions be entered on the records
     of the board, and a copy signed by the president and cashier
     transmitted to Mr. Field.

"C. M. OWEN, President.
"J. D. ADAMS, Cashier."

"LEE BANK, _March 7th, 1853_.


     "_Dear Sir_,--Your favor of 1st inst. was duly received, with draft
     on Union Bank, $1142 49.

     "I have been delaying acknowledging receipt of same, hoping to get
     our directors together and lay the matter before them, that I might
     communicate to you their feelings, but have not as yet been able to
     do so; shall have an opportunity soon.

     "Our stockholders will appreciate your generosity, and permit me to
     thank you in their behalf, as well as my own, for your magnanimity
     exercised towards us.

"I remain
"Truly yours,
"L. A. BLISS."

"LEE BANK, _March 8th, 1853_.

     "At a meeting of the directors of the Lee Bank held at their
     banking-house this day the following resolutions were unanimously

     "_Whereas_, During the last week, a draft was received by the
     cashier of this bank from Cyrus W. Field, Esq., of New York,
     amounting to eleven hundred forty two 49-100 dollars, it being the
     balance with principal and interest due upon a draft given by E.
     Root & Co. in 1841 of fifteen hundred dollars; and

     "_Whereas_, The Lee Bank had given Mr. Field a full discharge of
     the above debt by his paying the sum of nine hundred forty-two
     7-100 dollars in the year 1845; therefore

     "_Resolved_, That the full payment of a debt by the junior partner,
     having been contracted in the commencement of his business life and
     by misfortunes which rendered him unable to pay the same, is a
     mark of strict honesty and integrity, and is worthy of all

     "_Resolved_, That the foregoing resolutions be entered upon the
     records of this board, and a copy sent to Mr. Field.

"LEONARD CHURCH, President."

"HUDSON, _March 8th, 1853_.


     "_Sir_,--Yours of 7th February conveying your check on the Union
     Bank for three hundred eleven 68-100 is received. The receipt of
     the above is especially gratifying to me as an evidence that there
     are some honorable exceptions to the rule that legal obligations
     are the only ones binding on the community. If in the course of any
     of your business transactions I can be of any service to you, it
     will be a sincere gratification to me to render to you any personal
     favors in my power.

"Truly your friend,

"WESTFIELD, MASS., _April 4th, 1853_.

     "_My dear Sir_,--Yours of the 1st inst. was received this morning.
     The time is so short before you leave the country that I shall not
     probably have time to see all the persons to whom your letters with
     the checks were enclosed. There is to be a town meeting this
     afternoon, when perhaps I may see them all. I understand, however,
     on inquiry at the post-office, that all the letters have been
     received and duly distributed, and that all of the persons
     interested have felt very grateful to you for your kindness and
     generosity, and the reason why they have not answered your letters
     and acknowledged the receipt of the money was probably that they
     have been consulting as to the best _mode_ of acknowledgment, and,
     I believe, have been preparing a public acknowledgment to be
     published in our Westfield papers, but which has not as yet been
     quite matured.

     "I think you may, however, leave the city with a full assurance
     that your good intentions in regard to these persons have been
     fully accomplished and gratefully received, so that in various ways
     much good will thereby have been done. Captain S. S. Amory has been
     dead about two years, and his only son is now in California, but
     his widow, a very worthy woman, is still living, and, I am very
     sure, feels deeply grateful for this act of kindness, which will
     aid her very much in her lonely state.

     "With my own and Mrs. Fowler's best regards to yourself and wife,
     and many wishes for your safe and happy return to your family,

"Truly your friend,

"MILL RIVER, _April 17, 1853_.


     "_Dear Sir_,--Your kind favor of March 1st was duly received, also
     yours of the 1st inst. within sixteen days from date, and my
     apology for not answering and acknowledging your first, with the
     enclosed check which it contained, is that I supposed Mr. Brett
     would do so, or had done so. I need not tell you that it was
     thankfully received, and that we feel truly grateful to you for the
     favor, and also feel happy that prosperity has smiled upon you.

     "Accept, dear sir, my best wishes for your prosperity and welfare,
     and believe me ever

"Truly yours with respect,
"One of the firm of E. C. Brett."

"SO. HADLEY FALLS, _March 7th, 1853_.


     "_My dear Sir_,--I have received your very kind favor of 1st inst.
     Your offer to cancel the judgment which you hold against me is
     conferring a favor which it is out of my power in any form to
     reciprocate. Please accept my sincere thanks. Your untiring energy
     and perseverance have been crowned with great success. You have an
     ample estate, and no one deserves it more.

     "In reply to some taunts of John Randolph, Henry Clay said his only
     patrimony was a widowed mother with nine children.

     "Your only inheritance was a load of debt, cast upon you at the
     commencement of your business life, which was not caused by lack of
     foresight or fault on your part. You bore up under this heavy
     burden and paid it as not one in thousands could or would have
     done, and by this very act you laid broad the basis of your
     subsequent success. Should I ever again visit your city nothing
     there will afford me so much pleasure as to meet your cordial
     greeting and to accept your kind invitation.

     "May your efforts be crowned with all the good-fortune you may
     desire, even if it be to place you side by side with the biggest of
     the big merchant princes of the Empire City, is the sincere prayer

"Your friend,

"SPRINGFIELD, MASS., _March 8, '53_.

     "_My Dear Sir_,--Your very kind favor of the 7th is just received.

     "I enclose a satisfaction or discharge of the judgment you hold
     _vs._ H. & L., which, when you have dated and signed in presence of
     a witness, will become perfect.

     "If the pleasure of giving is greater than receiving then you are
     far more happy than President Pierce or any of his Cabinet.

"Most sincerely, your friend,

     "C. W. FIELD, Esq., New York."

"SPRINGFIELD, _March_ 10, '53.

     "_My dear Sir_,--Your letter of the 9th with its highly prized
     contents is received. I have no words to express my feelings for
     your unsolicited gift and your kind offer to serve me in any way in
     your power. This world is a wheel, and I rejoice that the spoke you
     are on is so nearly at the highest point, though mine is nearly the
     reverse. I hope that I shall never again be the direct or indirect,
     innocent or guilty cause of loss to you; but most earnestly hope
     that I may yet have it in my power to make some small return.

     "There is no _legal_ claim against me of that enormous amount of
     debt in which, seven years since, I most unexpectedly found myself
     involved. Nevertheless, it is all as justly due as it was before
     the Commissioner discharged me, and it would be the greatest
     happiness I could enjoy in this world to pay every farthing. But
     of this I have no hope. I have a small income from property
     belonging to my wife, which, with great prudence and economy, will
     just about pay for our bread and salt, and I can hardly expect to
     ever earn another dollar.

            *       *       *       *       *

     "Pray pardon this long yarn of myself and accept the enclosed one
     thousand dollars, being the same amount which I requested our
     friend, Mr. Ashburner, to offer you three years ago, though he did
     not, I believe, only _half_ do it. Accept also my most hearty good
     wishes for your continued health and prosperity, a long life and a
     glorious reward hereafter, and believe me,

"Most sincerely your friend,

"CYRUS W. FIELD, Esq., Merchant, New York."

"I now wished," the autobiography goes on, "to retire from business
altogether, but at length I yielded to the solicitations of my junior
partner so far as to agree to leave my name at the head of the firm and
to leave in the business a capital of $100,000. But this was done with
the express understanding that I was not to be required to devote any
time to it."

His lot now seemed altogether enviable. He had retrieved the losses
incurred at the outset of his career; he could

    "Look the whole world in the face,
     For he owed not any man."

Not only this, but he was a rich man, as riches were counted forty years
ago. At all events, those who were dear to him seemed to be put beyond
the reach of want. His home life was, as it always had been and always
was to be, serene and untroubled. At the age of thirty-four, with his
energy and his faculties of enjoyment unimpaired, he found himself able
to retire from business, and to lead, if his nature had permitted him to
lead, a life of leisure. The first use he made of his release from the
cares of business was to project a long journey with his friend,
Frederick Church, the distinguished landscape-painter. He left New York
in April, 1853, for Central and South America. They took passage early
in the month in a sailing-vessel.

On the morning of the sailing he had said good-bye to his family, and
they were imagining him as already far down the bay, when a sudden ring
at the door was so like the one he was accustomed to give that one of
his children exclaimed, "There is papa!" and to the surprise of all he
walked into the room. The vessel had been detained in the harbor, and he
could not remain contentedly on board almost in sight of his home, and
so he came back to pass a few hours.

They sailed as far as Savanilla, New Granada (now Colombia), at the
mouth of the Magdalena, and from there up that river for six hundred
miles. Disembarking at the head of navigation, they passed four months
in mountain travel on mule-back, traversing the table-lands south to
Bogota, following the Andes to Quito, and crossing the equator and
Chimborazo, at last reaching the Pacific at Guayaquil. From Guayaquil
they were able to take steamers to Panama, but the railroad across the
isthmus was but partly built; for the rest of the crossing they had
again to resort to mules. This would be a difficult and toilsome journey
even now, and it was far more so forty years ago. But it had memorable
results, for it was at this time that Mr. Church made the sketches for
some of his most famous tropical landscapes. Before Mr. Field left New
York he had drawn the accompanying map and this paper, from which it
will be seen that he made most careful calculations of his expenses:


  Outfit                                        $150 00
  New York to Savanilla, per vessel               60 00
  Savanilla to Barranquilla, per horse            10 00
  Barranquilla to Honda, per steamer              90 00
  Honda to Bogota, per mule                       20 00
  Bogota to Popayan,            }
  Popayan to Pasto,             }
  Pasto to Quito,               } mule           200 00
  Quito to Mount Chimborazo,    }
  M. C. to Volcano of Cotopaxi, }
  Cotopaxi to Guayaquil,        }
  Guayaquil to Lima, per steamer                  75 00
  Lima to Valparaiso, per steamer                110 00
  Valparaiso to Santiago, per carriage            20 00
  Santiago to Valparaiso, per carriage            20 00
  Valparaiso to Panama, per steamer              190 00
  Panama to Aspinwall, per mule, railroad,
    and steamer                                   30 00
  Aspinwall to New York, per steamer              65 00
  Sundries, say for 180 days @ $2 00             360 00
  Extra premium on life-insurance                100 00
  Sundries                                       100 00
                                              $1,600 00

On another paper was written:


  Emerald mines of Muzo.
  Bogota                                    8,700 feet.
  Falls of Tequendama                         574   "
  Bridges of Icononzo                         320   "
  Lake of Buga.
  Gold mine.
  Quito                                     9,500 feet.
  Mount Chimborazo (Kun)                   21,400   "
  Volcano of Cotopaxi                      18,900   "
  Potosi silver mines.
  Gold mines.

This page of directions was given to his family:

     All letters to Cyrus W. Field by first steamer _via_ Aspinwall,
     care of

  1. Messrs. Hamburger Battis,
  New Granada, S. A.
  April 6th to 13th.

  2. Hon. Yelvert P. King,
  Chargé d'Affaires of the United States,
  New Granada, S. A.
  April 13th to 28th.

  3. Chargé d'Affaires of the United States,
  Ecuador, S. A.
  April 28th to May 20th.

  4. United States Consul,
  Ecuador, S. A.
  May 20th to 28th.

  5. Messrs. Alsop & Co.,
  Peru, S. A.
  May 28th to June 20th.

  6. Messrs. Alsop & Co.,
  Chili, S. A.
  June 20th to July 5th.

  7. Messrs. Garrison & Fritz,
  New Granada, S. A.
  July 5th to August 13th.

  8. A. M. Hunkley, Esq.,
  Agent Messrs. Adams & Co.,
  Aspinwall, Navy Bay,
  New Granada, S. A.
  August 13th to September 5th.

     These two sketches were made by Mr. Church and sent to Mrs. Field;
     across the back of the larger one is written, "Mr. Field and Mr.
     Church in the procession."

There is a Spanish proverb, "Never leave a river before you or your
baggage behind." One evening Mr. Field and Mr. Church forgot this, and
crossed, leaving the mules with their packs to follow in the morning.
During the night the river rose, and three weeks passed before it was
possible to bring over the baggage train, the weary travellers meanwhile
ruefully contemplating from day to day, from the opposite bank, their
inaccessible possessions.

In an Aspinwall paper of October, 1853, this was printed:

     "Among the passengers arrived yesterday in the steamship _Bogota_
     from Guayaquil are Messrs. Cyrus W. Field and F. E. Church, of New
     York, who have been travelling for the last six months in South

     "They say that the scenery in some parts of the Andes is grand and
     beautiful beyond description; and that words cannot express the
     kindness and hospitality with which they have been treated; that
     gold in large quantities can be obtained in Antioquia, and from the
     beds of many of the small streams that run down the Andes into the
     Pacific or the Amazon; and that the soil on the plains of Bogota
     and in the valley of the Cauca is very rich; and that they have
     been so much pleased with their journey that they intend soon to
     return to the land of beautiful flowers and birds, and to the
     continent for which the Almighty has done so much and man so

     "The following are some of the places of interest that they have
     visited: Falls of Tequendama, Natural Bridge of Icononzo at Pandi;
     silver mines of Santa Aña; emerald mines of Muzo; volcanoes of
     Puracé, Pichincha, and Cotopaxi; cities of Mompox, Bogota, Ibaque,
     Cartago, Buga, Cali, Popagan, Pasto, and Quito.

     "They left Quito on the 9th of September. Stopped two days at
     Cotopaxi, four at Chimborazo, and eight at Guayaquil, and will
     leave in the next steamer for the United States."

Of the sail from Aspinwall to New York it was written:

     "The voyage was pleasant, but every day's run was studied with
     nervous anxiety by Mr. Field. He had hurried home in order to be in
     Stockbridge on October 31st, the day on which his father and mother
     were to celebrate their golden wedding; the steamer was delayed by
     stormy weather, and he did not arrive in New York until late in the
     afternoon of the 29th."

His family had watched almost as eagerly for his coming. Not only were
they anxious to see him, but their going to Stockbridge depended upon
it, and that could not be delayed beyond the morning of the 30th.

Mr. Field brought back a very miscellaneous assortment of the spoils of
travel; among them were some of the grass cloaks worn in South America.
He often amused his children by putting on these cloaks, and one day
they suggested that their father should show himself in this novel
costume to his sister, then living in the old home in Seventeenth
Street. Without thinking of the effect this might produce on the way, he
at once left his house, and had gone but a short distance when he found
that he was followed by a number of persons that soon swelled into a
crowd and gave chase, until at last he was obliged to take refuge in the
home of a friend.

He brought back also a live jaguar, specimen of a South American tiger,
and twenty-four living parroquets. The most interesting of all, however,
was an Indian boy of fourteen, whom he intended to have taught in the
United States, with the view of ultimately sending him back to his
native land as a missionary. The idea was good, but to carry it out was
quite impossible. Marcus was an imp. It was with almost magical rapidity
that he could plan and execute mischief. He succeeded in breaking the
collar-bone of the cook living in the family of Mr. David Dudley Field,
and his delight was to lay snares in dark halls and passages, and if he
was opposed he did not hesitate to seize a carving-knife and flourish it
frantically about. A civilized life was not attractive to him; and while
Mr. Field was in England in 1856, his relations, who had tried in vain
to Christianize the boy, decided to return him to his father, a
bull-fighter in South America.

But Mr. Field's special desire for returning home by an appointed day
was gratified. On October 31, 1853, all the descendants of Dr. and Mrs.
Field excepting their son Stephen and one grandson met in Stockbridge.
Thirty-nine of the family dined together in the old home, and that
afternoon all the friends and neighbors came to congratulate the former
minister and his wife. The house had, the year before, been bought by
their sons David Dudley and Cyrus, and had been put in perfect order,
and the younger son had had it completely furnished for his parents.

In writing to his mother on October 31, 1835, Mr. Field said: "Brother
Timothy sailed the day that I got back from Southwick; I received a
letter from him a few days ago. He sent his love to you, father, and all
friends, but had time to write only a few words as they passed a vessel.
He says the captain is a pious man, and that they have prayers morning
and evening." Later in the year came the news that Timothy had sailed
from New Orleans in the ship _Two Brothers_, and that vessel was never
heard from. For many years the family entertained the hope that he would
return, and his brother Cyrus spent "hundreds of dollars" advertising in
newspapers and offering a reward for tidings of him. About 1847 or 1848
a captain reported that he had had a shipmate named Field, whose father
was a clergyman, and who had many brothers who were not sailors. He also
said that his shipmate had married in South America, and was living
there a very wealthy planter. He gave these particulars to relieve the
anxiety felt by the family, and refused to take any reward. The news
caused great excitement among the brothers, and had a steamer sailed
that day one of them would probably have gone in her. But, failing that,
they consulted together and agreed to write. They not only sent letters
to their brother, but to the officials of the place. The letters were
returned, and the officials made answer that no such person lived there.
It was, however, with the same end in view that when rest was ordered
for Mr. Field, South America was chosen to be the country visited. The
search was a fruitless one, and no tidings were obtained. His mother did
not give up all hope of hearing from her son Timothy until she was told
that her son Cyrus had come home and had brought no news of him.

After Mr. Field's return to New York in November, 1853, he tried to
interest himself in work outside of his old business, and for one week
succeeded in staying away from his office in Cliff Street.

It was of this time that one of his brother's wrote, "I never saw Cyrus
so uneasy as when he was trying to keep still."




The last sentence of the last chapter is a true indication of character.
Mr. Field had doubtless expected, when he retired from business, to
retire permanently, and to spend in ease not only the evening and the
afternoon but the meridian of his life. But it was not to be, and one
may well imagine that his previous experiences had been a providential
preparation for the great work of his life, the great work of his time.
It matters little who first conceived as a dream the notion of electric
communication across the Atlantic. To realize that dream there was
needed precisely the qualities and the circumstances of Cyrus W. Field.
Here was a man whose restless energy had not yet begun to be impaired by
time, but who was already a successful man. In virtue of his success he
was able not only to devote himself to a work which he was convinced was
as practical as it was beneficent--he was able also to enlist the
co-operation of wealthy men, whom the project of an Atlantic cable would
have left quite cold if it had been propounded to them by a mere
electrician. They could not have helped regarding the scheme as
chimerical and fantastic if a purely scientific man had approached them
with it, even with the most plausible figures to prove its
practicability and profitableness. To give it a chance of success with
them, it must be presented and believed in by one whose previous life
and whose personal success forbade them to regard him as a visionary,
and who by force of his position as well as of his qualities was able to
infect them with some part of his own confidence and enthusiasm. Mr.
Field was that unique man, and hence it is that he must be regarded as
the one indispensable factor in the execution of a transatlantic system
of telegraphic communication, inevitably soon to become a world-wide
system, and far to outrun in actual fact the poet's daring dream of
putting "a girdle round about the earth in forty minutes."

It was on Mr. Field's return from Washington late in the month of
January, 1854, that his brother Matthew asked him to have a talk with
Mr. Frederick N. Gisborne, who was stopping at the Astor House. Mr.
Gisborne was an engineer and telegraph operator, and his desire had been
to connect St. John's, Newfoundland, with the telegraphic system of the
United States.

In the spring of 1852 the Legislature of Newfoundland had passed an act
incorporating the Newfoundland Electric Telegraph Company, and had given
to Mr. Gisborne the exclusive right to erect telegraphs in Newfoundland
for thirty years, with certain concessions of land by way of
encouragement to be granted upon the completion of the telegraph from
St. John's to Cape Ray, and on his return to New York he formed a
company, and in the spring of 1853 set vigorously to work to build the
line. He had successfully completed some thirty or forty miles when his
work was suddenly brought to a standstill by the failure of the company
to furnish the means to carry it on.

"He returned to New York from his difficult and unaccomplished task
utterly disappointed and beggared, and at this time was waiting for
something to turn up." Mr. Field saw Mr. Gisborne, heard what he had
done and what he had failed to do, and became at once interested in the
work. This meeting was followed by many others, and after they had
parted late one evening, as Mr. Field stood studying intently the large
globe that was in his library, it flashed across his mind that, if it
were possible to connect Newfoundland with the United States, why not
Ireland with Newfoundland?

The idea once conceived, he lost no time in putting it into execution,
and the next morning's mail took letters to Professor Maury at
Washington and Professor Morse at Poughkeepsie. He also consulted his
brother, Mr. David Dudley Field, and his neighbor, Mr. Peter Cooper.

More than twenty-five years after Mr. Cooper told of the meeting:

     "It fell to my lot to be one of the first, if not the first, to
     whom Mr. Field applied to join him in the enterprise which has so
     much interested us this evening. It was an enterprise which struck
     me very forcibly the moment he mentioned it. I thought I saw in it,
     if it was possible, a means by which we could communicate between
     the two continents, and send knowledge broadcast over all parts of
     the world. It seemed to strike me as though it were the
     consummation of that great prophecy, that "knowledge shall cover
     the earth, as waters cover the deep," and with that feeling I
     joined him and my esteemed friends, Wilson G. Hunt, Moses Taylor,
     and Marshall O. Roberts, in what then appeared to most men a wild
     and visionary scheme; a scheme that many people thought fitted
     those who engaged in it for an asylum where they might be taken
     care of as little short of lunatics. But believing, as I did, that
     it offered the possibility of a mighty power for the good of the
     world, I embarked in it."

As soon as he obtained the co-operation of the men mentioned by Mr.
Cooper, Mr. Field asked them to meet in the dining-room of his house,
and for four nights they sat around the table examining the records of
the old company, studying maps, and making estimates. On the 10th of
March, 1854, the Electric Telegraph Company formally surrendered its
charter, and it was decided that if the government of Newfoundland would
give the new company a liberal charter they would carry forward the
work, and, if possible, extend it. On the 14th of March Mr. Cyrus Field
and Mr. Chandler White, and Mr. David Dudley Field as legal adviser,
left for Newfoundland; they took the steamer at Boston for Halifax, and
on the 18th left Halifax in the steamer _Merlin_ for St. John's. In his
speech at the Cable Celebration in the Crystal Palace on September 1,
1858, Mr. David Dudley Field said:

     "Three more disagreeable days voyagers scarcely ever passed than we
     spent in that smallest of steamers. It seemed as if all the storms
     of winter had been reserved for the first month of spring. A
     frost-bound coast, an icy sea, rain, hail, snow, and tempest were
     the greetings of the telegraph adventurers in their first movement
     towards Europe. In the darkest night, through which no man could
     see the ship's length, with snow filling the air and flying into
     the eyes of the sailors, with ice in the water, and a heavy sea
     rolling and moaning about us, the captain felt his way around Cape
     Race with his lead, as a blind man feels his way with his staff,
     but as confidently and safely as if the sky had been clear and the
     sea calm. And the light of the morning dawned upon deck and mast
     and spar coated with glittering ice, but floating securely between
     the mountains which formed the gates of the harbor of St. John's."

The little party was welcomed warmly by Mr. Edward M. Archibald, then
attorney-general of the colony, and for many years afterwards British
consul-general in New York, and by the governor, Ker Barley Hamilton;
Bishop Field, of Newfoundland, and the Roman Catholic bishop, John
Mullock, were among their entertainers, and became their warm friends.

On November 8, 1850, Bishop Mullock had written to the editor of the St.
John's _Courier_:

     _"Sir,_--I regret to find that in every plan for transatlantic
     communication Halifax is always mentioned and the natural
     capabilities of Newfoundland entirely overlooked.

     "This has been deeply impressed on my mind by the communication I
     read in your paper of Saturday last, regarding telegraphic
     communication between England and America, in which it is said that
     the nearest telegraphic station on the American side is Halifax,
     2155 miles from the coast of Ireland. Now, would it not be well to
     call the attention of Europe and America to St. John's as the
     nearest telegraphic point?

     "It is an Atlantic port, lying, I may say, in the track of the
     ocean steamers, and by establishing it as the American telegraph
     station, news could be communicated to the whole American continent
     forty-eight hours sooner than by any other route. But how will this
     be accomplished? Just look at the map of Newfoundland and Cape
     Breton. From St. John's to Cape Ray there is no difficulty in
     establishing a line, passing near Holy Rood, along the neck of land
     connecting Trinity and Placentia bays, and thence in a direction
     due west to the cape. You have then about 41 to 45 miles of sea to
     St. Paul's Island, with deep soundings of 100 fathoms, so that the
     electric cable will be perfectly secure from icebergs; thence to
     Cape North in Cape Breton is little more than 12 miles. Thus it is
     not only practicable to bring America two days nearer to Europe by
     this route, but should the telegraphic communication between
     England and Ireland, 62 miles, be realized, it presents not the
     slightest difficulty. Of course we in Newfoundland will have
     nothing to do with the erection, working, and maintenance of the
     telegraph, but I suppose our government will give every facility to
     the company, either English or American, who will undertake it, as
     it will be of incalculable advantage to this country. I hope the
     day is not far distant when St. John's will be the first link in
     the electric chain which will unite the Old World to the New.

"I remain, etc.,
"J. I. M."

_November_ 8, 1850.

Shortly after the arrival of the gentlemen from New York the Legislature
of Newfoundland repealed the charter of the Electric Telegraph Company,
in which it had been expressly stated that the line of this company is
designed to be strictly an "inter-continental telegraph," and a charter
was given to the "New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company."
Not only was the title of the new company suggestive, but the first
sentence expressly stated, "It is deemed advisable to establish a line
of telegraphic communication between New York and London by the way of
Newfoundland." And at the same time there was granted to the company an
exclusive monopoly for fifty years to lay submarine cables across the
Atlantic from the shores of Newfoundland.

When this work was begun the longest submarine cable in the world was
that between England and Holland, and one had never been laid in water
one hundred fathoms deep.

The party of three returned to New York early in May, and on Saturday
evening, the 6th, the charter was accepted, and the New York,
Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company was organized; at six o'clock
in the morning, on May the 8th, the papers were signed and fifteen
hundred thousand dollars subscribed. This meeting lasted just fifteen

Late in the spring of 1854 Mr. Field was obliged to take his old place
at the head of the firm of Cyrus W. Field & Co., his brother-in-law and
partner, Joseph F. Stone, having died on the 17th of May. The following
August his only son died, and it was with a heavy heart that he began
this double work.

On January 25, 1855, he sailed for England to order the cable to connect
Cape Ray and Cape Breton. And while he was away his children received
this letter:

"LONDON, _February 25, 1855_.

     "_My dear, dear Children,_--Many thanks for your affectionate
     letters, which I received last week in Paris.

     "I wish that you would tell your good uncle Henry that I am much
     obliged for his letter of January 30th, and give my warmest love to
     your dear grandfather and Aunt Mary, and thank them for writing to
     me, and tell them that if I do not get time to answer their letters
     I think a great deal about them, and hope that we shall soon all
     meet in health, and that then I shall have much to tell them of
     what I have seen and heard in the few weeks that I have been in

     "I hope at some future day to visit Europe again with your dear
     mother, and then, perhaps, we shall take all of our children with

     "I am sure that you would be very happy to see the many beautiful
     things that can be daily seen in London, Paris, and other parts of

     "When do you think it would be best for us to sail?

     "I am sure that you will be very kind to your mother and
     affectionate to each other, and do all in your power to make each
     person in our house very happy.

     "I hope that you will go very often to see your dear grandfather,
     grandmother, Aunt Mary, and Cousin Emilia; and whenever you see
     dear little Freddy kiss him many times for me.

     "It is one month to-day since I left home, and on the 24th of March
     I hope to leave Liverpool for New York.

     "In Paris I purchased some things for you, and the one that has
     been the best child during my absence shall have the first choice.

     "Good-bye, and may God bless you all, is the constant prayer of

"Your affectionate father,

"The Misses Field, New York."

On the 7th of August, 1855, a party sailed from New York on the steamer
_James Adger_ to assist at the laying of the cable across the Gulf of
St. Lawrence. To quote again from Mr. Cooper's speech:

     "We went along very pleasantly until we came to Port au Basque, and
     there we waited several days for the arrival of the ship that
     contained the cable, and when she came we directed the captain to
     take her in tow. Unfortunately he had taken umbrage at the action
     of Mr. Lowber, who, acting as a master of ceremonies, had placed
     Rev. Dr. Spring at the head of the table instead of the captain. So
     offended was he that he became as stubborn as a mule thereafter.

     "Four several attempts were made to get hold of the ship having the
     cable; and the darkness of night coming on, we had to go into Cape
     Ray. There we got the end of the cable to the telegraph-house after
     much labor; and when we had it fastened to the shore and properly
     connected we gave the captain orders to tow the ship across the
     gulf. In starting he managed to run into the ship, carrying away
     her shrouds and quarter-rail and almost making a wreck, so that we
     had to lay up, for in dragging the cable the connection was
     destroyed. We joined it again, and after some delay departed,
     directing the captain to take the ship in tow. We had taken the
     precaution to bring two very long and thick cables to tow her
     across the gulf. He started, and again had the misfortune to get
     the larger line entangled with the wheel of his vessel. In the
     confusion that followed the ship that had the cable by his orders
     parted her anchor; the line was cut, and she drifted towards a reef
     of rocks. We entreated the captain to get hold of her as quickly as
     possible, but before he did so she was almost on the reef. It was
     then found necessary to go back and have the machinery fixed, which
     took several days before we were ready to start again. At length,
     one beautiful day we got off. Before starting our engineer, who had
     charge of laying the cable, gave the captain instructions to keep
     constantly in view a flag placed upon the telegraph-house and bring
     it in range with a white rock upon the mountain, which would give
     him the exact lines upon which to steer. As soon, however, as we
     got off, I saw the captain was going out of the way, and, as
     president of the board, I told him so. The answer was, 'I know how
     to steer my ship; I steer by my compass.' I said, 'Your
     instructions were to steer for the flag and the rock on the
     mountain.' 'I steer by my compass,' was all I could get out of him.
     He went on steering in that manner until I found he was going so
     far out of the way that I told him I would hold him responsible for
     all loss. This had no effect. I then got a lawyer who was on board
     to draw up a paper warning the captain that if he did not change
     his course we should hold him responsible for the loss of the
     cable. He then turned his course, and went as far out of the way in
     the other direction. We soon after encountered a gale, and had to
     discontinue; and when we came to measure the cable, we found we had
     laid twenty-four miles of cable, and had got only nine miles from
     shore. That is only a sample of the trials we had to encounter in
     this enterprise, and I mention it to say that it was in great
     measure due to the indomitable courage and zeal of Mr. Field
     inspiring us that we went on and on until we got another cable
     across the gulf."

In July, 1856, a cable eighty-five miles in length was successfully laid
across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, connecting Newfoundland with Cape
Breton, and also one of eleven miles from Prince Edward Island to New
Brunswick. The lines, one hundred and forty miles in length, had also
been built across Cape Breton. The telegraph system of the United
States had thus been connected with the most eastern port of

How this work was done was told by Mr. Field on November 15, 1866.

     "It was a very pretty plan on paper. There was New York and there
     was St. John's, only about twelve hundred miles apart. It was easy
     to draw a line from one point to the other, making no account of
     the forests and mountains and swamps and rivers and gulfs that lay
     in our way. Not one of us had ever seen the country or had any idea
     of the obstacles to be overcome. We thought we could build the line
     in a few months. It took two years and a half, yet we never asked
     for help outside our own little circle. Indeed I fear we should not
     have got it if we had, for few had any faith in our scheme. Every
     dollar came out of our own pockets. Yet I am proud to say no man
     drew back. No man proved a deserter; those who came first into the
     work stood by it to the end....

     "It was begun and for two years and a half was carried on solely by
     American capital. Our brethren across the sea did not even know
     what we were doing away in the forests of Newfoundland. Our little
     company raised and expended over a quarter million pounds sterling
     before an Englishman paid a single pound. Our only support outside
     was in the liberal charter and steady friendship of the government
     of Newfoundland."

But it was now thought wise to enlist English co-operation. For this
purpose Mr. Field left New York by the steamship _Baltic_ on Saturday,
July 19, 1856. His work in London was begun at once, and John Brett,
Michael Faraday, George Parker Bidder, Mr. Statham, of the London
Gutta-percha Works; Mr. Brunel; Mr. Glass, of Glass, Elliott & Co.;
Charles T. Bright, and Dr. Edward O. W. Whitehouse were soon among his
friends and strongly impressed with the idea that a cable could be
successfully laid across the Atlantic. It was at this time that in
response to a note from his wife, Mr. Glass wrote, "Mr. Field is in
London," and that showed that no longer was his time his own.

Once when with Faraday, Mr. Field asked him how long a time he thought
would be required for the electric current to pass between London and
New York. His answer was brief and to the point: "Possibly one second."

Brunel was also as clear-sighted; he pointed to the _Great Eastern_ that
he was then building, and said, "Mr. Field, there is the ship to lay the
cable." Eight years later it was used for that purpose.

Before a company was formed he addressed a letter to Lord Clarendon,
then Foreign Secretary, and the answer to it was a request for a
personal interview. Professor Morse was in London, and he went with Mr.
Field to the Foreign Office, where they remained for over an hour.

Lord Clarendon seemed to be at once interested, and among the questions
asked was, "But suppose you do not succeed, that you make the attempt
and fail, your cable lost at the bottom of the ocean, then what will you
do?" "Charge it to profit and loss and go to work to lay another," was
the answer. Lord Clarendon on parting desired that the requests made
should be put in writing, and spoke words of encouragement.

The Atlantic Telegraph Company was organized December 9, 1856. It was
decided that for this work $1,750,000 must be raised. Mr. Field put his
name down for $500,000 (100 shares). He counted upon aid from America,
and did not intend to hold this large amount of stock individually. As
more money was subscribed than had been called for, but eighty-eight
shares were allotted to him. This was fortunate, for on his return to
New York he was able to dispose of but twenty-one shares.

Mr. George Saward wrote to _The Electrician_ on the 28th of March, 1862:
"Mr. Field in starting the Atlantic Telegraph Company took upon his own
account eighty-eight shares of £1000 each. Upon all of these he paid
into the coffers of the company in cash the first deposit of £17,600,
and upon sixty-seven of them he paid the entire amount of calls,
amounting to £67,000. This I am in a position to verify. A great number
of these have been sold at a loss; but Mr. Field is still the largest
holder of shares in the company paid up in cash." Among the original
subscribers in England were Lady Byron and Thackeray, and in America
Archbishop Hughes.

Mr. Field sailed for America on December 10th, and arrived in New York
on Christmas Day.

On December 23d the Senate had requested President Pierce, "if not
incompatible with the public interest, to communicate such information
as he may have concerning the present condition and prospects of a
proposed plan for connecting by submarine wires the magnetic telegraph
lines on this continent and Europe," and on December 29th Mr. Pierce
sent to the Senate the letter that had been addressed to him on December
15th by the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company. The
substance of this letter was that "The contracts have been made for the
manufacture of a submarine telegraphic cable to connect the continents
of Europe and America." ... That "it is the desire of the directors to
secure to the government of the United States equal privileges with
those stipulated for by the British government." ... That "the British
government shall have priority in the conveyance of their messages over
all others, subject to the exception only of the government of the
United States, in the event of their entering into an arrangement with
the telegraph company similar in principle to that of the British
government, in which case the messages of the two governments shall have
priority in the order in which they arrive at the station." ...

"Her Majesty's government engages to furnish the aid of ships to make
what soundings may still be considered needful, or to verify those
already taken, and favorably to consider any request that may be made to
furnish aid by their vessels in laying down the cable." ... "To avoid
failure in laying the cable, it is desirable to use every precaution,
and we therefore have the honor to request that you will make such
recommendation to Congress as will secure authority to detail a
steamship for this purpose, so that the glory of accomplishing what has
been justly styled 'the crowning enterprise of the age' may be divided
between the greatest and freest governments on the face of the globe."

The bill was drawn by Mr. Seward, and was "An act to expedite
telegraphic communication for the uses of the government in its foreign
intercourse." The great contest over its passage was not until early in
the next year, 1857.

The suggestion made to the St. John's _Courier_ in 1850 by Bishop
Mullock, and which Mr. Gisborne had tried to carry out, had not been
lost sight of, as the following letter shows:

"TREASURY CHAMBERS, _19th November, 1856_.

     "_Sir,_--With reference to your letter of the 6th instant
     requesting that directions should be given for permitting British
     mail packets between Liverpool and the United Stales to receive and
     throw overboard off Cape Race and off Queenstown cases containing
     telegraphic dispatches, to be picked up by the telegraph company's
     own vessels, I am commanded by the Lords Commissioners of her
     Majesty's Treasury to acquaint you that their lordships have stated
     to the Lords of the Admiralty that after communicating with Mr.
     Cunard as to the feasibility of the plan, and receiving from him an
     assurance that it might be carried into effect without in any way
     retarding the regular mail service, they are of the opinion that
     the necessary directions may be given for this purpose, subject to
     the following conditions:

     "1. That the mail steamers shall not be delayed.

     "2. That they shall not be required to alter the course they would
     otherwise have taken.

     "3. That no responsibility shall attach to their ship or to the

     "4. That the companies shall make such arrangements in reference to
     the receipt and dispatch of messages as shall be satisfactory to
     the Treasury, in order to secure equal advantages to all persons
     using the telegraph.

"I am, sir,
"Your obedient servant,

In a New York paper of July 12, 1857, is this telegram:

"From the steamship _Persia_,
"_Saturday_, July 11th, P.M.

     "We have thus far had a very pleasant passage and expect to reach
     Liverpool next Friday. All well and all in good spirits.


And below the telegram this was added:

     "This feat would seem to demonstrate the entire practicability of
     obtaining news from the Atlantic steamers as they pass Cape Race,
     and should the Atlantic telegraph cable fail from any cause, we
     understand that the telegraph company will make effective
     arrangements to carry something of this kind into operation."




The following cable message was sent to Mr. Field by Sir James Anderson
on March 10, 1879, the twenty-fifth anniversary of "ocean telegraphy":

     "It cannot fail to gratify you, and should astonish your guests, to
     realize the amazing growth of your ocean child; sixty thousand
     miles of cable, costing about twenty million pounds sterling,
     having been laid since your energy initiated the first long cable.
     Distance has no longer anything to do with commerce. The foreign
     trade of all civilized nations is now becoming only an extended
     home trade; all the old ways of commerce are changed or changing,
     creating amongst all nations a common interest in the welfare of
     each other. To have been the pioneer _par excellence_ in this great
     work should be most gratifying to yourself and your family, and no
     one can take from you this proud position."

It would have seemed a strange prophecy if the above had been predicted
in 1856, when it was declared that the object of the Atlantic Telegraph
Company was "To continue the existing line of the New York,
Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company to Ireland, by making or
causing to be made a submarine telegraph cable for the Atlantic." At the
close of the year the contracts for the manufacture of the cable were
signed. Messrs. Glass, Elliott & Co. agreed to make one-half, and R. S.
Newall & Co., of Liverpool, the other. Both sections were to be finished
and ready to be laid on June 1, 1857, although the time fixed upon for
the sailing of the fleet was to be as nearly as possible at the end of
July, in accordance with the advice contained in a letter written in
March, 1857:

     "Perhaps it would be wise for the steamers not to join cables until
     after the 20th of July. I think between that time and the 10th of
     August the state of both sea and air is usually in the most
     favorable condition possible; and that is the time which my
     investigations indicate as the most favorable for laying down the
     wire. I recommend it and wish you good-luck.


The English government had responded at once to the request of the
Atlantic Telegraph Company, and a ship was promised with which to help
lay the cable, and on Mr. Field's return home he asked the American
government for the same aid.

He landed from the steamship _Baltic_ on the 25th of December; on the
26th he went to Washington; next we hear of him in Newfoundland, and
then back in Washington early in the new year.

Mr. Seward referred to this time in his speech at Auburn in August,

     "It remained to engage the consent and the activity of the
     governments of Great Britain and the United States. That was all
     that remained. Such consent and activity on the part of some one
     great nation of Europe was all that remained needful for Columbus
     when he stood ready to bring a new continent forward as a theatre
     of the world's civilization. But in each case the effort was the
     most difficult of all."

The more liberal men in both Houses at Washington were from the
beginning in favor of the cable bill, and worked untiringly for its
passage. The President and Secretary of State, desiring to remain
friendly to both sides, took no active part in the discussion.

Mr. Field talked with almost every member of Congress, and tried to
persuade those who were opposed to him to drop their petty objections
and think only of the greatness of the work.

Extracts from a Washington newspaper of January 31, 1857, give some idea
of other trials to which he was subjected. On the arrival of the
steamship _Arago_ it was published that "great dissatisfaction exists in
London at the manner in which the Atlantic Telegraph Company has been
gotten up," and that "a new company has been formed to construct a
submarine telegraph direct to the shores of the United States."

He answered:

     "To this I may add that the object of this movement at this time is
     well understood by those who know the parties promoting it. I
     believe no such company can have been really organized in London as
     represented, because none of my letters by the same steamer from
     directors and parties largely interested even allude to such a
     movement, which must of necessity have been made public and well
     known to them if true. It cannot be believed that capitalists in
     London or elsewhere can now be found to take stock in a submarine
     line of telegraph of over three thousand miles in length, passing
     over the banks of Newfoundland or across the deep waters of the
     Gulf Stream, when it was by great exertion that subscriptions were
     obtained to a line of little more than one-half of that length, and
     that, too, upon a route the practicability of which had already
     been fully demonstrated by actual survey to be possible.


On the 19th of February the Atlantic telegraph bill passed the House by
a majority of nineteen; but it was not until the 3d of March that it
passed the Senate, by a majority of but one, and then it was said to be
unconstitutional. Mr. Field sought Caleb Cushing, the Attorney-General,
and begged him to examine the bill and give his opinion. It was

The date affixed to the bill is the 3d of March, but it was not until
the morning of the 4th at ten o'clock that the President put his name to
it as Mr. Field stood by his side. This was, therefore, one of the last
official acts of President Pierce.

The government at Washington had now united with that of Great Britain
in agreeing to give all that was asked. The frigate _Niagara_, the
largest and finest ship of our navy, was ordered to England. The New
York _Herald_ of Saturday, April 25th, says:

     "The performance of the vessel and of her machinery has fully come
     up to the most sanguine expectations. She is now on her way to
     London. By the recent news from England we learn that the British
     authorities have detailed three steamers to assist in laying the
     submarine cable and make soundings along the route. The
     _Agamemnon_, a ninety-gun ship, in connection with the Niagara will
     take the cable on board."

Very little rest was allowed him on his return from Washington--but two
weeks at his home. He sailed for Liverpool on the 18th of March, leaving
his wife with a baby four days old. He remained in England barely a
fortnight; he was at home on the 22d of April, and on the 8th of July he
was a passenger on the steamship _Persia_, once more bound for England.

Early in July the _Niagara_ had received her share of the cable from the
manufactory of Messrs. Newall & Co., and the _Agamemnon_ hers from the
works of Messrs. Glass, Elliott & Co.

Almost immediately on his arrival he was a guest at a _fête champêtre_
given by Sir Culling Eardley, at Belvidere, near Erith. Following is the
card of invitation:

             _Sir Culling Eardley requests the Company of_

                        =Cyrus W. Field, Esq.,=

     _at Belvidere, on Thursday, July the 23d, on the occasion of the
     departure of The Electrical Telegraph Cable for the Atlantic Ocean.

     Messrs. Glass, Elliott & Co., the Contractors for the Cable, also
     request the honor of_ =Cyrus W. Field, Esq.'s= _Company at Dinner
     with the Directors and Friends of the Atlantic Telegraph Company,
     the Officers and Crew of H.M.S._ Agamemnon,_ and the Artisans of
     the Cable_.

     _An early answer is requested to Sir Culling Eardley, Belvidere,

It was at this _fête_ that he read this note:

"WASHINGTON, _3d July, 1857_.

     "_My dear Sir,_--Accidental circumstances which I need not detail
     prevented your kind letter of the 19th ultimo from being brought to
     my notice until this morning. I now hasten to say in reply that I
     shall feel myself much honored should the first message (as you
     propose) sent across the Atlantic by the submarine telegraph be
     from Queen Victoria to the President of the United States, and I
     need not assure you he will endeavor to answer it in a spirit and
     manner becoming the great occasion.

"Yours very respectfully,


The following account is copied from a letter written to the London
_Times_ on August 3, 1857:

     "During the progress of the _Agamemnon_ to the Downs the mechanical
     appliances for regulating the delivery of the cable into the sea
     were kept continually in motion by the small engine on board, which
     is connected with them; the sheaves and gearing worked with great
     facility and precision, and so quietly that at a short distance
     from them their motion could scarcely be heard.

     "The strength of the girders which carry the bearing of the entire
     apparatus, and which to the eye of a person unskilled in the
     practical working of this description of machinery may seem at
     first to be unduly ponderous, was found to contribute greatly to
     the easy motion and satisfactory steadiness of this most important
     agent in the success of the undertaking. So soon as the _Agamemnon_
     had passed the track of the Submarine Company's cable between Dover
     and Calais in order to avoid the possibility of its being injured
     by the laying or hauling up of another line at right angles to it,
     the experiments commenced. A 13-inch shell was attached to the end
     of a spare coil of the Atlantic cable for the purpose of sinking it
     rapidly with a strain upon it to the bottom, and was then cast into
     the sea, drawing after it a sufficient quantity of slack to enable
     it to take hold of the ground, and so set the machinery in motion.

     "The paying out then commenced at the rate of two, three, and four
     knots an hour respectively. The ship was then stopped, and the
     cable was hauled up from the bottom of the sea with great facility
     by connecting the small engine to the driving pinion geared to the
     sheaves. When the end was brought up to the surface it was found
     that the shell had broken away from the loop by which it had been
     fastened for the purpose of lowering it.

     "The exterior coating of tar had been completely rubbed off by
     being drawn through the sandy bottom of the sea, and attached to
     the iron coating of the cable were some weeds and several small
     crabs which came up with it to the surface.

     "On the following day a length of cable was run out and hauled in
     with perfect success opposite the Isle of Wight.

     "The speed was increased in this case to four knots. During the
     afternoon of the same day a length was run out, having fastened to
     the end of it a log of timber, and having been towed with a mile
     and a half of cable, was coiled in again with success.

     "On Wednesday about half-way between the Land's End and the coast
     of Ireland another length was run out at the rate of six and a half
     knots per hour, and subsequently hauled in. The _Agamemnon_ then
     steered for Cork, and reached Queenstown Harbor at four o'clock on
     Thursday morning, all on board being more than ever satisfied at
     the success of the enterprise."

The New York _Herald_ of August 28th published a letter from its
special correspondent on board the _Niagara_, and from it these extracts
are made:

     "From the deck of our ship we can see a small, sandy cove which has
     been selected as the place for the landing of the shore end of the
     cable, and a hundred yards from which a temporary tent has been
     erected for the batteries and other telegraphic instruments. In
     front of it is displayed an attempt at the Stars and Stripes; but
     it is only an attempt, and it would require one of the most
     shrewd-guessing Yankees that ever lived in or came out of
     Connecticut to tell what it was intended for. It will soon be
     replaced by another of a more unmistakable kind, however, and that
     ought to be sufficient to satisfy the most exacting patriot....

     "We arrived and anchored in Valentia Bay on the evening of the 4th,
     but at too late an hour to commence operations other than I have
     described. The work of landing the shore part of the cable was
     deferred, therefore, until the following morning at eight

     "On the shore there were about two thousand persons, the whole
     population of the place and large contributions from miles around,
     waiting there from seven in the morning till seven in the evening
     for the arrival of the fleet of cable boats whose progress they had
     watched with so much anxiety and impatience. It was five o'clock
     when we started, and never before was such a scene presented in
     Valentia Bay, and the poorest spectator there, though he could not
     tell what strange agency it was that lay in the cable, understood
     what it was intended to effect, and his face beamed with joy as he
     heard his comrades say that it brought them nearer to that great
     land that had so generously stretched out the helping hand to their
     starving countrymen.... Among those on shore are the Lord
     Lieutenant of Ireland; Lord Morpeth, of anti-slavery proclivities;
     Lord Hillsborough; the Knight of Kerry; and nearly all the
     gentlemen connected with the enterprise. But here comes the cable
     in the hands of the crew of the _Niagara's_ boat, who rush up the
     beach with it dripping with water, for in their haste to carry it
     ashore they have to wade knee-deep through the water. Mr. Cyrus W.
     Field is there beside Lord Morpeth, or, as he is now called, Lord
     Carlisle, and as Captain Pennock comes up in advance of his men
     with the cable he introduces him. There is no time for the passage
     of formalities, and the introduction and the meeting are therefore
     free from them.

     "'I am most happy to see you, captain,' says Lord Morpeth, and the
     captain most appropriately replies: 'This, sir, is the betrothal of
     England and America, and I hope in twenty days the marriage will be

     "The crowd now press around, all eagerness to help in pulling up
     the cable; and when the work is through those who have been
     fortunate enough to put their hands to it show the marks of the tar
     to those who have failed in the attempt, as a proof of their
     success. By dint of pulling and hauling they get it into the trench
     in which it is to be laid, and take up the end to the top of a
     little hill, where they secure it by running it around a number of
     strong stakes driven fast into the earth and placed in the form of
     a circle. This is the centre of the site marked out for a house in
     which the batteries and instruments are to be put, and which will
     be used as a temporary station till a better and more substantial
     one can be erected. When the cable was placed here and the
     enthusiasm of the people had somewhat subsided, the rector of the
     parish made a prayer....

     "The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland closed his speech with these words:
     'And now, my friends, as there can be no project or undertaking
     which ought not to receive the approbation and applause of all
     people, all join with me in giving three hearty cheers.'

     "Three cheers were given with a will; but it was not enough, and
     they cheered and cheered until they were obliged to give up from
     exhaustion. 'Three cheers,' said Lord Carlisle, 'are not
     enough--they are what they give on common occasions. Now, for the
     success of the Atlantic cable, I must have at least one dozen.' The
     crowd responded with the full number, and cheered the following:
     'The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland'; 'The United States of America';
     'Mr. Cyrus W. Field.' Mr. Field spoke as follows: 'Ladies and
     gentlemen, Words cannot express to you the feelings within this
     heart. It beats with affection towards every man, woman, and child
     that hears me; and if ever, on the other side of the water, one of
     you present yourself at my door and say you had a hand in this, I
     promise you an American welcome. What God hath joined together let
     no man put asunder.'

     "And more cheers were given for the following: For 'the sailor';
     for 'Yankee Doodle'; for 'the officers and sailors on board the
     ships that are intended to lay the cable'; 'the Queen'; 'the
     President of the United States'; 'the American Navy.'"

The sun set on the evening of August 5th with the shore end of the cable
safely landed, but the ships' anchors were not weighed until early the
next morning.

Five miles from shore a slight fault occurred, which was soon remedied.

The Knight of Kerry sent this note to Mr. Field.

"VALENTIA, _6th August, 1857_.

     "_My dear Sir,_--Fearing I may not be able to get on board the
     _Niagara_, I write a line to thank you for the most valuable gift
     you made me of the piece of cable, as I have just learned from my
     friend Crosby.

     "Yet I must say you owed me some compensation for having stolen the
     hearts of my wife and children and of every friend whom I was
     guilty of bringing into contact with you. I believe if you were
     obliged to make similar compensation for all the delinquencies you
     have been guilty of in this way, your whole cable, great as it is,
     would scarcely suffice. I know the inroad you have made into the
     Lord Lieutenant's affections would require a long bit of it. I was
     sincerely sorry to hear from Crosby that you were again suffering,
     but I reflect with satisfaction that probably the voyage, even with
     its accompanying excitement, is the best remedy within your reach.

"Yours most sincerely,
"FITZGERALD, Knight of Kerry."

All went most successfully, and although the excitement was still at
fever heat on board the _Niagara_, the probability of soon meeting the
_Agamemnon_ in mid-ocean and following her to the shores of Newfoundland
was most hopefully discussed, and this message was given to the press:

"VALENTIA, _Monday_, _August 10_, 4 P.M.

     "The work of laying down the Atlantic telegraph cable is going on
     up to the present time as satisfactorily as its best friends can
     desire. Nearly 360 miles have now been successfully laid down into
     the sea.

     "The depth of water into which the cable is now being submerged is
     about 1700 fathoms, or about two miles. The transition from the
     shallow to the greater depth was effected without difficulty. The
     signals are everything an electrician could desire. The ships are
     sailing with a moderate fair breeze, and paying out at the rate of
     five miles per hour. Messages are being instantly interchanged
     between the ships and the shore.

     "All are well on board, in excellent spirits, and hourly becoming
     more and more trustful of success.

"GEORGE SAWARD, Secretary."

At nine o'clock the same evening, without any apparent cause, the cable
ceased working. At twelve o'clock the electric current returned, and it
was with a feeling of intense relief that all went to their berths. This
satisfaction was short lived. At a quarter before four came the cry,
"Stop her! back her!" and then the words, "The cable has parted."

The flags of the ship were put at half-mast, and the fleet returned to

This expedition had cost the Atlantic Telegraph Company $500,000, and on
August 25th Robert Stephenson wrote: "The Atlantic cable question is a
far more difficult matter than those who have undertaken it are disposed
to believe. The subject has occupied much of my thoughts, and as yet I
must confess I do not see my way through it. Before the ships left this
country with the cable I publicly predicted as soon as they got into
deep water a signal failure. It was in fact inevitable." The first
words of greeting were more cheering:

"VALENTIA, _14th August, 1857_.

     "_My dear Sir_,--In all our disappointment at the temporary check
     of the cable, our first thought has been about you. But I was very
     glad to hear yesterday from the officers of the _Cyclops_ that you
     were, as indeed I might have judged from your character, plucky and
     well. It is a great comfort to think that the experience that has
     been obtained in this, the first attempt, must immensely improve
     the chances of success on the next occasion. All here desire to be
     affectionately remembered to you.

"Ever yours, very sincerely,
"FITZGERALD, Knight of Kerry."

It was not proposed to abandon the enterprise, but to postpone work for
a year. The ships discharged their freight of cable, and the _Niagara_
returned to America, and before Mr. Field left England the directors
voted to increase the capital of the company and to order seven hundred
miles of new cable.

The news that met him upon his arrival at New York was most depressing.

The panic of 1857 had just swept over the country, and while he was at
sea his firm suspended, owing over six hundred thousand dollars, and
with debts due to it, from firms which had already suspended, of between
three and four hundred thousand dollars. He settled at once with his
creditors, by giving them goods from his store, or notes for the amount
in full at twelve, eighteen, or twenty-four months, with seven per cent.
interest added. The first notes were paid at maturity and the other two
some months before they were due, the holders discounting the interest.

On the 21st of November, 1857, Professor Francis Lieber wrote:

     "I wish to possess all the materials I can procure regarding the
     history and statistics of the subatlantic telegraph. It will be the
     most striking illustration of the increasing tendency of all
     civilization, that of uniting what was separate, and of the
     pervading principle in the household of humanity, that of mutual
     dependence. May Heaven bless your undertaking, and may the next
     months of June or July bring us the first message from old England,
     outrunning the sun by five hours and a half."

The Secretary of the Navy said to him in parting on the 30th of
December, "There, I have given you all you asked." This was that the
_Niagara_ and the _Susquehanna_ might form part of the cable expedition
of 1858, and that Mr. William E. Everett might again fill the position
of chief engineer.

On the evening of December 31st Professor Lieber wrote: "This may be the
last letter or note I write in the old year, and I cannot conclude it
without wishing from all my heart that


may be called in the future school chronologies the telegraph year."




In the fall of 1857 the directors of the Atlantic Telegraph Company,
realizing that it would be to their advantage to have Mr. Field take
general charge and supervision of all the arrangements and preparations
for the next laying of the cable, sent him an earnest request to come to
England. It was in response to this that he sailed on the 6th of
January, 1858, in the steamship _Persia_, arriving in England on the
16th. On the 27th the company passed resolutions offering him one
thousand pounds besides his travelling expenses. This he declined,
accepting only his expenses.

At a meeting of the board on the 18th of February the following
resolution was passed; it was offered by Mr. Samuel Gurney:

     "That the warm and hearty thanks of this company be tendered to Mr.
     Cyrus W. Field, of New York, for the great services he has rendered
     to the Atlantic Telegraph Company, his untiring zeal, energy, and
     devotion from its first formation, and for the great personal
     talent which he has ever displayed and exerted to the utmost in the
     advancement of its interests."

In seconding this resolution, which was unanimously passed, Mr. Brooking
told from his own knowledge of what "Mr. Field's most determined
perseverance, coupled with an amount of fortitude that has seldom been
equalled," had done for the company in Newfoundland in securing to it
the exclusive right to land on the shores of that island.

The report ends with these words:

     "The directors cannot close their observations to the shareholders
     without bearing their warm and cordial testimony to the untiring
     zeal, talent, and energy that have been displayed on behalf of this
     enterprise by Mr. Cyrus W. Field, of New York, to whom mainly
     belongs the honor of having practically developed the possibility
     and of having brought together the material means for carrying out
     the great idea of connecting Europe and America by a submarine

     "He has crossed the Atlantic Ocean no less than six times since
     December, 1856, for the sole purpose of rendering most valuable aid
     to this undertaking. He has also visited the British North American
     colonies on several occasions, and obtained concessions and
     advantages that are highly appreciated by the directors, and he has
     successfully supported the efforts of the directors in obtaining an
     annual subsidy for twenty-five years from the government of the
     United States of America, the grant of the use of their national
     ships in assisting to lay the cable in 1857, and also to assist in
     the same service this year, and his constant and assiduous
     attention to everything that could contribute to the welfare of the
     company from its first formation has materially contributed to
     promote many of its most necessary and important arrangements. He
     is now again in England, his energy and confidence in the
     undertaking entirely unabated; and, at the earnest request of the
     board, he has consented to remain in this country for the purpose
     of affording to the directors the benefit of his great experience
     and judgment as general manager of the business of the company
     connected with the next expedition.

     "This arrangement will doubtless prove as pleasing to the
     shareholders as it is agreeable and satisfactory to the directors.

"By order of the directors.
"GEORGE SAWARD, Secretary."

His friend and pastor, the Rev. William Adams, D.D., wrote to him on the
10th of March:

     "_My dear Friend_,--I do not know whether your homeward thoughts
     ever include your minister, but mine very frequently traverse the
     sea towards you and your noble enterprise.... We have all watched
     with great interest the noble bearing of your good wife in all the
     sacrifices which she makes for you and the cause you so gallantly
     represent. These are things not so much thought of by the great
     world; but after all they are the chief elements in that great
     price which we are compelled to pay for everything good and

     "The _Niagara_ has sailed, and now all eyes are on you and on her.
     By-the-way, we all made a visit to the noble ship a week ago, and
     filled her full with a cargo of blessings and good wishes....

     "We watch the papers with great interest to find anything which
     bears on the success of your undertaking; and feel a personal and
     national pride at every mention which reflects honor on you and
     your laudable exertions....

     "With every good wish for you personally and for your great
     undertaking, I am,

"Yours very sincerely,

The difficulties encountered by the Newfoundland and the Atlantic Cable
Companies will be best understood by giving part of a letter from Mr.
(later known as Sir) Edward Archibald:

"NEW YORK, _March 30, 1858_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--I am in receipt of yours of the 11th. I did
     not write you by last mail, as I had no further intelligence to

     "Since I last wrote Hyde has been here and returned again to Nova
     Scotia. I conferred with him, and have been in correspondence with
     our friends at Halifax as to what was best to be done to avert the
     threatened loss of our exclusive privileges; for the bill is not
     _finally_ disallowed, and I do think that if a deputation of your
     directors waited on Lord Stanley and brought the matter under the
     reconsideration of Her Majesty's government we might yet succeed
     in inducing them to confirm the act. The ground on which I based
     our claim to the exclusive right in Nova Scotia was that our
     project, being in the nature of an _invention_ (for its
     practicability is not yet fully tested), an invention of a most
     costly nature, in perfecting which an expenditure exceeding perhaps
     twice or thrice the _estimated_ cost might have to be incurred, we
     were justly entitled to such protection in the nature of a patent
     right, for a limited period, as would secure to us the
     reimbursement of the outlay and a fair remuneration for risk
     incurred, and that others who might lie by until we had, after
     repeated failures, achieved success, ought not (availing themselves
     of all our experience and expenditure) to be allowed _for a certain
     period_ to come into competition with us. Such a privilege as this,
     moreover, could not be abused, inasmuch as the public who are to
     use the telegraph (represented by the governments of Great Britain
     and the United States) reserve to themselves the right to regulate
     the tolls.

     "A telegraph under the Atlantic Ocean is vastly different from a
     submarine telegraph between England and the Continent. It is _in
     effect_ an invention (if it succeeds) and entitled to the same
     protection, at least, as would be granted to the invention of a new
     mode of propelling ships, or as is granted every day to the
     fabrication of such trifles as patent boot-jacks or corkscrews.

     "I really think that, as there is a _locus penitentiæ_ and a new
     administration, it may be well to have an interview with the
     colonial secretary on the subject....

     "My wife and family are fairly well. They unite in kind regards to
     you and ardent wishes for your success.

"Most truly yours,

This subject seems to have been often agitated during the years that
follow. On April 25th, 1862, Mr. Field writes to Mr. Saward:

     "Allow me to introduce to you my esteemed friend, E. M. Archibald,
     Esq., H.M. consul for New York. Mr. Archibald was one of the
     earliest, and has proved himself one of the best friends of the
     Atlantic telegraph.... Mr. Archibald can give you much valuable
     information in regard to Newfoundland and all the British North
     American provinces, and be of great service to you in your
     negotiations with the English government.

     "Mr. Jesse Hoyt telegraphs me from Halifax that fifty memorials to
     Lord Palmerston in favor of government giving aid to the Atlantic
     Telegraph Company have already been forwarded from Nova Scotia, and
     that more will go. I have been writing yesterday and to-day to my
     friends in Canada, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova
     Scotia, and Newfoundland, urging them to get up and send petitions
     to the English government in our favor.... We can and we will
     succeed in connecting Ireland and Newfoundland by means of a good
     submarine telegraph cable."

Shortly after the United States frigate _Niagara_ sailed for England a
New York paper published this short notice:

     "She goes not to assist in the assertion of resisted claims, in the
     vindication of outraged rights. Her task is a more peaceful and a
     more glorious one. She leaves our shores on a mission of fraternity
     and good-will--the harbinger of union and brotherhood amongst
     nations, and one of the chief agents in an enterprise which is
     destined to do more towards the realization of a millennium of love
     amongst men than the efforts of all the diplomatists and
     missionaries are ever likely to accomplish."

April and part of May were spent in preparation and putting the cable on
board the two ships. On May 29th the fleet left for a trial trip in the
Bay of Biscay, and on the 10th of June set sail from Plymouth to meet
again in mid-ocean.

On November 1, 1856, Mr. Field had suggested:

     "The two ends of the cable having been carefully joined together,
     the vessels will start in opposite directions, one towards Ireland
     and the other towards Newfoundland, uncoiling the cable and
     exchanging signals through it from ship to ship as they proceed. By
     this means the period ordinarily required for traversing the
     distance between the two coasts will be lessened by one-half, each
     vessel having only to cover eight hundred and twenty nautical
     miles in order to finish the task assigned to it. It is expected
     that the operation of laying the cable will be completed in about
     eight days from the time of its commencement."

On Friday the 25th of June, after encountering gales that at one time
amounted almost to a cyclone, the two ships came together at their
strange trysting place; but the splice was not made nor the parting said
until the afternoon of Saturday, July 26th. In making a splice the ships
were connected by a hawser and lay one hundred fathoms apart; the time
required for the work was usually two hours.

Three miles only were laid when the cable caught in the machinery of the
_Niagara_ and broke; a new splice was made, and again the ships parted.
Then forty miles were laid and the cable became suddenly lifeless and
was reported broken. On Monday, June 28th, the ships met for the third
time in mid-ocean, and without waiting for any useless discussion they
spliced the cable and once more set sail.

One hundred, two hundred miles of cable went safely down into the sea,
when again came a break, this time twenty feet from the stern of the
_Agamemnon_. It had been agreed that if after a hundred miles had been
paid out a new mishap should occur, no further splice should be made,
but that both ships should go back to Ireland; and without loss of time
the _Niagara_ turned her head to the east and arrived at Valentia on
July 5th. This agreement had been made on June 28th, and it was a formal
one, and was on account of the small amount of coal carried by the

The Board of Directors met in London, and word was sent to Ireland that
it was proposed to "abandon the enterprise." A meeting was called for
July 12th; Mr. Brown (afterwards Sir William), of Liverpool, would not
attend, and sent this note:

"TRENTON'S HOTEL, _July 12, 1858_.

     "_Dear Sir_,--We must all deeply regret our misfortune in not being
     able to lay the cable. I think there is nothing to be done but to
     dispose of what is left on the best terms we can.

"Yours very truly,

  "The Committee of the Atlantic Telegraph, Broad Street."

Mr. Brooking, who had so warmly upheld Mr. Field at the meeting in
February, resigned his office as vice-chairman, and left the room rather
than listen to the request that another attempt be made. But the counsel
of the majority prevailed, and on the 17th of July, without a parting
cheer or a word of encouragement from those on shore, the expedition
left Ireland.

On Thursday, July 29th, in latitude 52°9' north, longitude 32°27' west,
with a cloudy sky and a southeast wind, the splice was made at one P.M.,
and perfect signals passed through the whole length of the cable.

Five weeks later Mr. Field described this scene just before the splice
was made:

     "I was standing on the deck of the _Niagara_ in mid-ocean. The day
     was cold and cheerless, the air was misty, and the wind roughened
     the sea; and when I thought of all that we had passed through, of
     the hopes thus far disappointed, of the friends saddened by our
     reverses, of the few that remained to sustain us, I felt a load at
     my heart almost too heavy to bear, though my confidence was firm
     and my determination fixed."

On the evening of the 29th the _Niagara_ was fairly under way, and
already the 5th of August was the day determined upon for her arrival at
Trinity Bay. Signals alone were used; they were constantly passed from
ship to ship, and were understood by the electricians on board. The
expression "the continuity is perfect" relieved the minds of the
officers and those interested in the enterprise, but not the sailors.
The _Herald's_ special correspondent tells of this conversation:

     "'Darn the continuity,' said an old sailor at the end of a
     scientific but rather foggy discussion which a number of his
     messmates had on the subject--'darn the continuity; I wish they
     would get rid of it altogether. It has caused a darned sight more
     trouble than the hull thing is worth. I say they ought to do
     without it and let it go. I believe they'd get the cable down if
     they didn't pay any attention to it. You see,' he went on, 'I was
     on the last exhibition' (expedition, he meant, but it was all the
     same, his messmates did not misapprehend his meaning), 'and I
     thought I'd never hear the end of it. They were always talking
     about it, and one night when we were out last year it was gone for
     two hours, and we thought that was the end of the affair and we
     would never hear of it again. But it came back, and soon after the
     cable busted. Now, I tell you what, men, I'll never forget the
     night, I tell ye! We all felt we had lost our best friend, and I
     never heard the word continuity or contiguity mentioned but I was
     always afraid something was going to happen. And that's a fact.'"

At twenty-one minutes past two on the afternoon of July 30th the
_Agamemnon_ signalled that she had passed her one-hundred-and-fifty-mile
limit, and at twenty-four minutes of three the same was reported on the
_Niagara_. After this there could be no return for another splice; it
must be either Trinity Bay or Valentia for the _Niagara_. A new
complication was reported. The compasses were playing false. So soon as
the _Gorgon_ was told of this she offered to pilot the _Niagara_, and
she did so unfalteringly to the end, Captain Dayman remaining day and
night on deck.

At half-past five o'clock on the afternoon of July 31st the forward coil
of cables on the main deck was exhausted and the coil below was
attached. The quiet was intense while this change was made. Only Mr.
Everett, the chief engineer, was heard to speak.

At other times it was not so: games were played, sales of stocks were
made, and the telegraph stock rose and fell, varying with the reports
received from the electrician's room. At seven A.M. on the morning of
Wednesday, August 4th, came the glad cry, "Land ho!" and at half-past
two in the afternoon the ships entered the "haven where they would be."

That evening at eight Mr. Field left the _Niagara_ to make arrangements
for the landing that was to take place the next day. At half-past two on
the morning of August 5th he waked the sleeping operators waiting in the
telegraph-house, Bay of Bull's Arms, with the words, "The cable is
laid." This at first the men were unwilling to believe, but when they
saw the lights on the vessels in the distance they dressed and came back
with him to the shore, and two walked fifteen miles with the messages
that were to be telegraphed to the unbelieving world.

The paying out of the cable from the two ships had been carried on with
such regularity that the one arrived at Valentia and the other at
Trinity Bay on the same day; by noon on the 5th of August this
country was plunged into the wildest excitement.


(From a Lithograph)]

These messages were sent to his wife and to his father:

         "TRINITY BAY, NEWFOUNDLAND, _August 5, 1858_.

     "Mrs. CYRUS W. FIELD, 84 East Twenty-first Street, New York:

     "Arrived here yesterday. All well. The Atlantic telegraph cable
     successfully laid. Please telegraph me here immediately.


     "Rev. Dr. FIELD, Stockbridge, Mass., _via_ Pittsfield:

     "Cable successfully laid. All well.


It may interest some readers to follow this message to Stockbridge and
see his family at the time of its delivery. His wife and children were
passing the afternoon quietly, when all were startled by the appearance
of his mother. Almost breathless with excitement she exclaimed,

"Mary, the cable is laid. Thomas, believest thou this?"

Not a word was spoken, but a silent prayer was the response.


     "Your family is all at Stockbridge and well. The joyful news
     arrived there Thursday, and almost overwhelmed your wife. Father
     rejoiced like a boy. Mother was wild with delight. Brothers,
     sisters, all were overjoyed. Bells were rung, guns fired; children,
     let out of school, shouted, 'The cable is laid! the cable is laid!'
     The village was in a tumult of joy. My dear brother, I congratulate
     you. God bless you.


The _Evening Post_ announced:


                              TRINITY BAY.

                        1950 STATUTE MILES LONG.

                          NOT A SINGLE BREAK!


And its leading editorial of the same day said:

     "Such is the startling intelligence which reaches us just as we are
     going to press. We find it difficult to believe the report, for
     recent events have prepared us for a very different result, and yet
     the despatch comes to us through our regular agent, who would not
     deceive us. He may have been imposed upon, but that is quite
     unlikely. If the few coming hours shall confirm the inspiring
     tidings and the cable is landed and in working condition, all other
     events that may happen through the world on this day will be

     "To-morrow the hearts of the civilized world will beat to a single
     pulse, and from that time forth forevermore the continental
     divisions of the earth will in a measure lose those conditions of
     time and distance which now mark their relations one to the other.
     But such an event, like a dispensation of Providence, should be
     first contemplated in silence."

The message for the Associated Press was:

"TRINITY BAY, _August 5, 1858_.

     "The Atlantic telegraph fleet sailed from Queenstown on Saturday,
     July 17th.

     "They met in mid-ocean on Wednesday, the 28th, and made the splice
     at 1 P.M. on Thursday, the 29th. They then separated, the
     _Agamemnon_ and _Valorous_ bound to Valentia, Ireland, and the
     _Niagara_ and _Gorgon_ for this place, where they arrived

     "This morning the end of the cable will be landed.

     "It is sixteen hundred and ninety-eight nautical or nineteen
     hundred and fifty statute miles from the telegraph-house at the
     head of Valentia Harbor to the telegraph-house, Bay of Bull's Arms,
     Trinity Bay.

     "For more than two-thirds of the distance the water is over two
     miles in depth.

     "The cable has been paid out from the _Agamemnon_ at about the same
     speed as from the _Niagara_. The electrical signals sent and
     received through the whole cable are perfect. The machinery for
     paying out the cable worked in the most satisfactory manner, and
     was not stopped for a single moment from the time the splice was
     made until we arrived here.

     "Captain Hudson, Messrs. Everett and Woodhouse, the engineers, the
     electricians and officers of the ships, and in fact every man on
     board the telegraph fleet has exerted himself to the utmost to make
     the expedition successful. By the blessing of Divine Providence it
     has succeeded.

     "After the end of the cable is landed and connected with the land
     line of telegraph, and the _Niagara_ has discharged some cargo
     belonging to the telegraph company, she will go to St. John's for
     coals, and then proceed at once to New York.


Next in order were the message to President Buchanan and his reply:


"To the President of the United States, Washington, D.C.:

     "_Dear Sir_,--The Atlantic telegraph cable on board the U.S.S.F.
     _Niagara_ and H.M. steamer _Agamemnon_ was joined in mid-ocean,
     Thursday, July 29th, and has been successfully laid.

     "As soon as the two ends are connected with the land lines Queen
     Victoria will send a message to you, and the cable will be kept
     free until after your reply has been transmitted.

"With great respect, I remain,
"Your obedient servant,

"BEDFORD SPRINGS, PA., _August 6, 1858_.

"To CYRUS W. FIELD, Esq., Trinity Bay:

     "_My dear Sir_,--I congratulate you with all my heart upon the
     success of the great enterprise with which your name is so
     honorably connected.

     "Under the blessing of Divine Providence I trust it may prove
     instrumental in promoting perpetual peace and friendship between
     kings and nations. I have not yet received the Queen's despatch.

"Yours very respectfully,

Captain Hudson's telegram is given as it was written; it shows his
simplicity of character and warm heart:


     "_My dear Eliza_,--God has been with us. The telegraphic cable is
     laid without accident, and to Him be all the glory.

     "We are all well.

"Your ever-affectionate husband,

     "Mrs. Captain WM. L. HUDSON, Mansion House, Brooklyn, New York."

Mr. Saward wrote from England immediately on the receipt of the news:

"22 OLD BROAD STREET, LONDON, _August 6, 1858_.

     "_My dear Sir_,--At last the great work is done. I rejoice at it
     for the sake of humanity at large. I rejoice at it for the sake of
     our common nationalities, and last, but not least, for your
     personal sake I most heartily and sincerely rejoice with you, and
     congratulate you upon this happy termination to the fearful
     anxiety, the continuous and oppressive labor, and the
     never-ceasing, sleepless energy which the successful accomplishment
     of this vast and noble enterprise has entailed on you. Never was
     man more devoted, never did man's energies better deserve success
     than yours have done. May you in the bosom of your family reap
     those rewards of repose and affection which will be doubly sweet
     from the reflection that you return to them after having been
     (under Providence) the main and leading principle in conferring a
     vast and enduring benefit on mankind.

     "If the contemplation of future fame has a charm for you, you may
     well indulge in the reflection, for the name of Cyrus Field will
     now go onward to immortality as long as that of the Atlantic
     telegraph shall be known to mankind.

     "It has been such a shock to us here that we have hardly realized
     it at present.

     "I really think some of the people who come here don't believe it

"In haste, yours truly,

"CYRUS W. FIELD, Esq., Gramercy Park, New York."

Dr. Adams wrote:

"MEDFORD, _August 7, 1858_.

     "_My dear Mrs. Field_,--What shall I say to you? Words can give no
     idea of my enthusiasm. As your pastor I have known somewhat of your
     own private griefs and trials, and the sacrifices which you have
     made for the success of your noble husband. Now the hour of reward
     and coronation has come for him and for you. I wrote to him
     yesterday, directing to New York, to be ready for him when he came.
     I was at Andover when the news came, in company with several
     hundred clergymen. We cheered, and we sang praises to God. I was so
     glad that your husband inserted in his first despatch a recognition
     of Divine Providence in his success.

     "I sprang to my feet; I told the company that I was the pastor of
     Mr. Field, and that the last thing which he had said to me before
     starting was in request that we should _pray for him_; and then I
     had an opportunity to pay a tribute to his perseverance, his
     energy, and his genius, which I did, you may be sure, in no
     measured terms.

     "Many doubted the truth of the news. I hastened to Boston, and saw
     the superintendent of the telegraph wire, who told me the
     despatches had passed from Mr. Field to you and to your father.
     This satisfied me that all was right....

     "We think of nothing else and speak of nothing else. While the
     _public_ are rejoicing over the national aspects of this great
     success, our joyful thoughts are most of all with those private
     delights which are playing through the heart of your husband, his
     wife, and her children.

     "Tell Grace that I wish I had been with the boys when they ran to
     ring the bell. I would have swung it lustily, and thrown up my hat
     with them, as happy a boy as the best of them.

     "Please tell your good father and mother that they are not
     forgotten by me in this general rejoicing. Your husband's name will
     live in universal honor and gratitude. God bless you and yours in
     all times and in all ways; so prays

"Your affectionate friend and pastor,

     "A letter I have just received from Professor Smith, in New York,
     says: 'Genius has again triumphed over Science in the success of
     the Telegraph.'"

These extracts are made from a speech delivered at
Fishkill-on-the-Hudson, New York, on the evening of August 9th, by the
Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. This meeting was said to have been the first
public celebration of the laying of the cable across the Atlantic:

     " ...We are gathered to express our joy at the apparent
     consummation of one of those enterprises which are peculiar, I had
     almost said to our generation--certainly to the century in which we
     live. Do you reflect that there are men among you to-night, men
     here, who lived and were not very young before there was a
     steamboat on our waters? Ever since I can remember steamboats have
     always been at hand. There are men here who lived before they beat
     the waters with their wheels. And since my day railroads have been
     invented. I remember the first one on this land very distinctly. It
     was after I had graduated from college, and I am not a patriarch
     yet. It is within our remembrance that the telegraph itself was
     invented, and by a mere citizen of ours in this vicinity. All these
     pre-eminent methods of civilization and commerce and economy have
     been within the remembrance of young men--all but one within the
     remembrance of quite young men. Now this is not so much an
     invention as an enlarged application....

     "I thought all the way in riding down here to-night how strange it
     will seem to have that silent cord lying in the sea, perfectly
     noiseless, perfectly undisturbed by war or by storm, by the paddles
     of steamers, by the thunders of navies above it, far down beyond
     all anchors' reach, beyond all plumbing interference. There will be
     earthquakes that will shake the other world, and the tidings of
     them will come under the silent sea, and we shall know them upon
     the hither side, but the cord will be undisturbed, though it bears
     earthquakes to us. Markets will go up and fortunes will be made
     down in the depths of the sea. The silent highway will carry it
     without noise to us. Fortunes will go down and bankruptcies spread
     dismay, and the silent road will bear this message without a jar
     and without disturbance. Without voice or speech it will
     communicate thunders and earthquakes and tidings of war and
     revolutions, and all those things that fill the air with clamor.
     They will come quick as thought from the scene of their first fever
     and excitement, flash quick as thought and silent on their passage,
     and then break out on this side with fresh tremor and anxiety. To
     me the functions of that wire seem, in some sense, sublime. Itself
     impassive, quiet, still, moving either hemisphere at its
     extremities by the tidings that are to issue out from it....

     "We are called, and shall be increasingly so, to mark the
     advantages which are to be derived from the connection of these
     continents by this telegraphic wire. To my mind the prominent
     advantage is this: it is bringing mankind close together, it is
     bringing nations nearer together. And I augur the best results to
     humanity from this. The more intercourse nations have with each
     other, other things being equal, the greater the tendency to
     establish between them peace and good-will, and just as they are
     brought together will they contribute to advance the day of
     universal brotherhood.

     " ...That which is spoken at 12 o'clock in London will be known by
     us at 8 o'clock in the morning here, according to our time.... It
     is no longer in her own bosom that France can keep her secrets. It
     is no longer in her own race that Russia can keep her thoughts and
     her plans. It is no longer in the glorious old British Islands that
     their commercial intelligence can be confined. It is wafted round
     and round the globe. In less than an hour, whenever this system
     shall be completed, the world will be enlightened quicker than by
     the sun; quicker than by the meteor's flash. What is known in one
     place will be known in all places; the globe will have but one ear,
     and that ear will be everywhere....

     "I scarcely dare any longer think what shall be. I remember the
     derision with which Whitney's plan for a railroad to the
     Mississippi was hailed. I remember there was scarce a paper in the
     country that did not feel called upon to talk of the advisability
     of sending him to the lunatic asylum. I remember the time when the
     project of a steamer crossing the Atlantic was scientifically
     declared to be impracticable.... I remember when the first steamer
     crossed the Atlantic, and I have been told, though the story may be
     too good to be true, that the first steamer that made the passage
     to New York carried with her the newspaper containing the news of
     the impossibility of making the voyage, by Dr. Lardner....

     "While thus we are enlarging the facilities of action, let us see
     to it that we maintain, at home, domestic virtue, individual
     intelligence--that we spread our common schools, that we multiply
     our newspapers throughout the land, that we make books more plenty
     than the leaves of the forest trees. Let every man among us be a
     reader and thinker and owner, and so he will be an actor. And when
     all men through the globe are readers, when all men through the
     globe are thinkers, when all men through the globe are actors--are
     actors because they think right--when they speak nation to nation,
     when from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same there
     is not alone a free intercourse of thought but one current of
     heart, virtue, religion, love--then the earth will have blossomed
     and consummated its history."

Archbishop Hughes sent this note:

     "LONG BRANCH, _August 26, 1858_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--Under the blessing of Almighty God you have
     accomplished the work. But your merit, if not your human glory,
     would have been the same in my estimation if you had returned to us
     what they would call a disappointed man in whose scales of judgment
     enthusiasm had preponderated over 'common-sense.'

"Yours faithfully,
"JOHN, Archbishop of New York."

The letters which follow do not require explanation; the one from George
Peabody & Co. shows that Mr. Field did not profit largely by the success
of the cable:

"ST. JOHN'S, _August 9, 1858_.

     "_My dear Sir,_--Allow me, among many more worthy, to offer you my
     very sincere congratulations on the successful completion of the
     great enterprise which you have labored with so much and such
     admirable perseverance to carry through, in the midst of so many
     hinderances and discouragements.

     "It would give me very great pleasure if you would, during your
     stay in St. John's, make my house your home or place of abode. I am
     aware that you have many friends and engagements, but as I have no
     family you could have two rooms entirely at your disposal, and I
     would make my hours suit your convenience....

"I am, my dear sir,
"Very truly yours,
"Bishop of Newfoundland."

"ST. JOHN'S, _August 18, 1858_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field,_--Allow me to congratulate you most sincerely
     on the accomplishment of the wonderful work you so nobly carried
     out in the midst of almost insurmountable difficulties.

     "God from time to time sends men like you and Columbus for the good
     of humanity, men with the head to conceive and the heart to execute
     the grand ideas with which He inspires them. Human energies alone
     never could surmount the difficulties and disappointments you
     encountered in the projection and execution of this gigantic
     enterprise. God destined you for the work and made you the
     instrument. You have now completed what Columbus commenced, and
     posterity will link your names together. That God may grant you
     many happy years to witness the benefits you have conferred on the
     great human family is the sincere prayer of your humble servant and


"LONDON, _10th August, 1858_.

     "_My dear Sir,_--I wrote you by last mail, since when all continues
     favorable, and I expect, long ere you receive this, messages will
     be regularly sent through the cable. Many things remain to be done,
     and there is a great want of efficient, practical workingmen, as
     you know, in the board, but Lampson still keeps at it, and all
     will, I hope, come right in the end.

     "I have a letter from Mr. Peabody, who says: 'I sincerely
     congratulate all parties interested in the great project, and very
     particularly our friends Lampson and Field. In the accomplishment
     of his grand object I can only compare the feelings of the latter
     to Columbus in the discovery of the new world.'

     "I hope the reaction from the desponding state in which we parted
     will not be too great for your health, and now I beg of you not to
     forget our conversation when last here.

     "The market for shares is weaker; several have been on the market.
     I sold one for you at £900, but could not go on. To-day they have
     sold at £840 to £850, and later they were firmer at £875; but
     seeing how the market was I withdrew and would not offer at any
     price. If I am able to go on at £900 or more I shall feel it for
     your interest to do so to a moderate extent, for I feel that you
     should embrace the opportunity to reduce your interest, which is
     too large. I still hope to sail on the 21st, but it must depend
     upon Mr. Peabody's health.

"Most truly,


"LONDON, _10th August, 1858_.

"CYRUS W. FIELD, Esq., New York,

     "_Dear Sir,_--We beg to advise by the present the sale of three of
     your Atlantic Telegraph Company shares, _viz._, two at £350 each
     prior to the successful laying of the cable, and one subsequent
     thereto at £900, less brokerage. The first cash 3d August, and the
     remaining two cash 13th inst., which please note.

"Yours truly,

In the life of Longfellow, at page 323, is given this entry from his

     "August 6th. Go to town with the boys. Flags flying and bells
     ringing to celebrate the laying of the telegraph."

And on the 12th, in writing to Mr. Sumner, he says:

     "You have already rejoiced at the success of the Atlantic
     telegraph--the great news of the hour, the year, the century. The
     papers call Field 'Cyrus the Great.'"

These words express the feeling that pervaded the whole country: and in
order to contrast it with the days and months that had just passed, this
article, published in the New York _Herald_ of August 9th, is given:


     "Many terse and witty things have been said and written in all ages
     to show the difference with which the same enterprise is viewed
     when it results in success and when it results in failure. We have
     never had any better illustration of this than we now have in
     connection with the great enterprise of the age. After the first
     and second attempts to lay the Atlantic cable had failed, wiseacres
     shook their heads in sympathetic disapprobation of Mr. Field, and
     said, 'What a fool he was!' It was evident to them all along that
     the thing could never succeed, and they could not understand why a
     sensible, clear-headed man like Field would risk his whole fortune
     in such a railroad-to-the-moon undertaking. If he had ventured a
     third of it or a half, there might be some excuse for him, but to
     have placed it all on the hazard of a die where the chances were a
     hundred to one against him--worse even than the Wall Street lottery
     conducted under the name of the Stock Exchange--was an evidence of
     folly and absurdity which they could not overlook and for which he
     deserved to suffer.

     "Now all that is changed. Midnight has given place to noon. The sun
     shines brightly in the heavens and the shadows of the night have
     passed away and are forgotten. Failures have been only the
     stepping-stones to success the most brilliant. The cable is laid;
     and now the most honored name in the world is that of Cyrus W.
     Field, although but yesterday there were

    "'None so poor to do him reverence.'

     "The wiseacres who shook their heads the other day and pitied while
     they condemned him are now among the foremost in his praise, and
     help to make his name a household word. Bells are rung and guns are
     fired and buildings are illuminated in his honor throughout the
     length and breadth of his land; and prominent among all devices and
     first on every tongue and uppermost in every heart is his name. Had
     he not, like the great Bruce, persevered in the face of repeated
     failures until his efforts were at length crowned with success, he
     would have been held up to the growing generation as an
     illustration of the danger of allowing our minds to be absorbed by
     an impracticable idea, and his history would have been served up in
     play and romance, and used

    "'To point a moral or adorn a tale.'

     "As it is, the nation is proud of him, the world knows him, and all
     mankind is his debtor."

The ship _Niagara_ left Trinity Bay for St. John's, where she was
obliged to stop for coal, on August 8th. Immediately upon her arrival
the Executive Council of Newfoundland and the Chamber of Commerce of St.
John's presented congratulatory addresses to Mr. Field, and the governor
entertained him, together with his friends, at dinner, and a ball was
given at the Colonial Building. On the 11th of August the _Niagara_
sailed for New York.

The country was impatient; twelve days had passed and not a message had
been received. No one seemed to understand that a wilderness had to be
opened and instruments adjusted before it was possible to use the cable
as a means of communication between the two continents.

It had been decided to have a great celebration on the receipt of the
Queen's message; on the 16th that was reported as coming over the
submarine wire, and early on the 17th the firing commenced and the
excitement continued until the 18th, when the City Hall caught fire.

Churches rang their bells, factories blew their whistles, and in the
evening the river front blazed with bonfires and fireworks flashed
across the sky; the buildings were illuminated; one thousand lights were
said to have shone from the windows of the Everett House, and the
transparencies were striking. That on the front of the International
Hotel, on the corner of Broadway and Franklin Street, was eighteen feet
by thirty-one; the centre was white, with fancy letters, and the border
blue, with white letters, and the words were:

  |                                                     |
  |                  VICTORIA.                          |
  |                                                     |
  | All Hail to the Inventive Genius and Indefatigable  |
  |                Enterprise of                        |
  |A             JOHN AND JONATHAN,                     |
  |G That has succeeded in consummating the Mightiest  N|
  |A             Work of the Age;                      I|
  |M May the Cord that binds them in the Bonds of      A|
  |E              INTERNATIONAL                        G|
  |M Friendship never be severed,                      A|
  |N           And the FIELD of its                    R|
  |O Usefulness extend to every part of the Earth.     A|
  |N                                                   .|
  |. Let nations' shouts, 'midst cannons' roar,         |
  |  Proclaim the event from shore to shore.            |
  |                                                     |
  |                  BUCHANAN.                          |

These placards were in the windows of Bowen & McNamee's, corner of
Broadway and Pearl Street:

  |QUEEN VICTORIA:              |
  |                             |
  |"Your despatch received;     |
  |Let us hear from you again." |

  |                    Lightning                       |
  |               caught and tamed by                  |
  |                    FRANKLIN,                       |
  |   taught to read and write and go on errands by    |
  |                      MORSE,                        |
  |          started in foreign trade by               |
  |               FIELD, COOPER & CO.,                 |
  |                      with                          |
  |                  JOHNNY BULL                       |
  |                      and                           |
  |                BROTHER JONATHAN                    |
  |                       as                           |
  |                special partners.                   |

In the window of Anson Randolph, corner of Amity Street, was displayed
the following:

  |                                     |
  |     The Old CYRUS and the New.      |
  |              One                    |
  |   Conquered the World for Himself,  |
  |           The Other                 |
  |   The Ocean for the World.          |

  |    Our Field is     |
  |     THE FIELD       |
  |   of the world.     |

  |        July 4, 1776,       |
  |      August 16, 1858,      |
  | Are the days we celebrate. |

The Manhattan Hotel was splendidly decorated with colored lights and
flags of all nations. On a transparency was the following inscription:

  |       Married, August, 1858,         |
  |                by                    |
  |           CYRUS W. FIELD,            |
  | "May their honeymoon last forever."  |

The _Tribune_ describes this procession:

     "The workmen upon the Central Park and the workmen on the new
     Croton reservoir made a novel parade, and after marching through
     the principal streets were reviewed by Mayor Tiemann in front of
     the City Hall.

     "The procession was headed by a squad of the Central Park police in
     full uniform; then came a full brass band and a standard-bearer
     with a white muslin banner on which was inscribed:

  |                          |
  | The Central Park People. |
  |                          |

     "The workmen, attired in their every-day clothes, with evergreens
     in their hats, next marched in squads of four, each gang carrying a
     banner with the name of their boss-workmen inscribed thereon. In
     the line of the procession were several four-horse teams drawing
     wagons in which were the workmen in the engineer's department. On
     the sides of the vehicles were muslin banners with the words:

  |                   |
  |  Engineer Corps.  |
  |                   |

     "The reservoir workmen were a hardy-looking set of men, and were
     fair specimens of the laborers of New York.

     "The procession filled Broadway from Union Square to the Park, and,
     as it was altogether unexpected, it created no little excitement
     and inquiry. If all the men and teams in this turnout are kept at
     the city's work we shall soon see great improvement in the new

     "The procession was composed of eleven hundred laborers and eight
     hundred carts from the Central Park, under the marshalship of
     Messrs. Olmsted, Miller, Waring, and Grant, and seven hundred
     laborers and carts from the new reservoir under the marshalship of
     Mr. Walker, forming a procession over three miles in length."

These same workmen presented to Mr. Field, the December following, a
pitcher made from wood of the Charter Oak.

Before the _Niagara_ arrived at New York on the morning of August 18th
Mr. Field prepared his report for the Atlantic Telegraph Company, and he
had it at once posted, and with it his resignation as general manager of
the company.

"How Cyrus Laid the Cable" was written by John G. Saxe for _Harper's
Weekly_, and was published on September 11th:

    "Come listen all unto my song,
      It is no silly fable;
    'Tis all about the mighty cord
      They call the Atlantic cable.

    "Bold Cyrus Field he said, says he,
      'I have a pretty notion
    That I can run a telegraph
      Across the Atlantic Ocean.'

    "Then all the people laughed, and said
      They'd like to see him do it;
    He might get half-seas-over, but
      He never could go through it;

    "To carry out his foolish plan
      He never would be able;
    He might as well go hang himself
      With his Atlantic cable.

    "But Cyrus was a valiant man,
      A fellow of decision;
    And heeded not their mocking words,
      Their laughter and derision.

    "Twice did his bravest efforts fail,
      And yet his mind was stable;
    He wa'n't the man to break his heart
      Because he broke his cable.

    "'Once more, my gallant boys!' he cried;
    'Three times!--you know the fable--'
    ('I'll make it thirty,' muttered he,
    'But I will lay the cable!')

    "Once more they tried--hurrah! hurrah!
      What means this great commotion?
    The Lord be praised! the cable's laid
      Across the Atlantic Ocean!

    "Loud ring the bells--for, flashing through
      Six hundred leagues of water,
    Old Mother England's benison
      Salutes her eldest daughter.

    "O'er all the land the tidings speed,
      And soon in every nation
    They'll hear about the cable with
      Profoundest admiration!

    "Now long live James, and long live Vic,
      And long live gallant Cyrus;
    And may his courage, faith, and zeal
      With emulation fire us;

    "And may we honor evermore
      The manly, bold, and stable,
    And tell our sons, to make them brave,
      How Cyrus laid the cable."

On the 20th of August Captain Hudson, Mr. Everett, and the officers of
the _Niagara_, were entertained by Mr. Field, and from the balcony of
his house he read this message to the crowd assembled in the street:

"VALENTIA BAY, _August 19, 1858_.


     "The directors have just met. They heartily congratulate you on
     your success.

     "The _Agamemnon_ arrived at Valentia Bay on Thursday, August 5, at
     6 A.M.

     "We are just on the point of chartering a ship to lay the shore
     end. No time will be lost in sending them out. Please write me more
     fully about tariff and other working arrangements.


He did not forget the sailors, as the following invitation shows:

  |                                                              |
  |                COMPLIMENTARY RECEPTION                       |
  |                                                              |
  |                       OF THE                                 |
  |                                                              |
  |           CREW OF THE U.S. SHIP "NIAGARA."                   |
  |                                                              |
  |_Mr. Cyrus W. Field requests the pleasure of your Company     |
  |    at his Entertainment of the Crew of the_ Niagara, _to     |
  |be given at the Palace Gardens, at 10 o'clock, this Evening._ |
  |                                                              |
  |               W. A. BARTLETT, _for C. W. F._                 |
  |                                                              |
  |                 NEW YORK, August 25, 1858.                   |
  |                                                              |

From one of the newspapers this account is taken of the meeting held
before the reception:

     "Upwards of two hundred of the sailors and marines of the frigate
     _Niagara_ assembled last evening in Franklin Square, formed in
     procession, and, preceded by the band of the _North Carolina_,
     marched to Cooper Institute. They carried with them an accurate
     model of the _Niagara_, made by one of her crew, which was gayly
     decked with flags, exactly as was the noble ship it represents when
     she last entered our harbor. On arriving at the Cooper Institute
     the tars were saluted with a discharge of fireworks and the hearty
     cheers of the multitude....

     "Cyrus W. Field was the next speaker. He was evidently a great
     favorite of the sailors, who, it is said, used to call him on board
     ship 'the Sister of Charity.' They cheered him extravagantly when
     he rose. He made only a short speech, consisting of reminiscences
     of the laying and landing of the cable, and the gallantry and
     faithfulness of the crew on these occasions. More singing and more
     cheers were followed by the entrance of Captain Hudson, who was
     greeted with the warmest enthusiasm, and made some appropriate

On the 26th Mr. Field, with a party, left for Great Barrington, and the
next day they were welcomed at Stockbridge by Mr. Field's old friends.

Between the 10th of August and the 1st of September ninety-seven
messages were sent from Valentia to Newfoundland, and two hundred and
sixty-nine messages from Newfoundland to Valentia.

The English government had, by cable, countermanded the return to
England of the Sixty-second and the Thirty-ninth regiments. The news of
the peace with China had also been sent to this country, and the English
papers of August 18th reported the collision between the Cunard steamers
_Arabia_ and _Europa_. This statement is taken from a letter written in
July, 1862, by order of the Atlantic Telegraph Company and signed by the
secretary of the company, Mr. George Saward.

The 1st and 2d of September were chosen as the days for a "General
Celebration of the Laying of the Atlantic Telegraph Cable."

In deference to the wish expressed by the rector and vestry of Trinity
Church, it was arranged that the first day should begin with a service
and Te Deum at ten o'clock. In the absence of Bishop Horatio Potter,
Bishop George Washington Doane, of New Jersey, took charge of this

Trinity Church had never been so gayly dressed. "The edifice was
decorated from the steeple to the top of the spire with the flags of all
nations. Around the steeple were hung the flags of France, Spain,
Prussia, Austria, Russia, Portugal, and other nations, while the spire
about three-quarters of the way to the cross was decorated with the
Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack." It was this incident that called
forth these verses, written by Bishop Doane:

    "Hang out that glorious old Red Cross;
      Hang out the Stripes and Stars;
    They faced each other fearlessly
      In two historic wars:
    But now the ocean-circlet binds
      The Bridegroom and the Bride;
    Old England, young America,
      Display them side by side.

    "High up, from Trinity's tall spire,
      We'll fling the banners out;
    Hear how the world-wide welkin rings,
      With that exulting shout!
    Forever wave those wedded flags,
      As proudly now they wave,
    God for the lands His love has blessed;
      The beauteous and the brave.

    "But see, the dallying wind the Stars
      About the Cross has blown;
    And see, again, the Cross around
      The Stars its folds has thrown:
    Was ever sign so beautiful
      Flung from the heavens abroad?
    Old England, young America,
      For Freedom and for God."

At one o'clock the procession formed at the Battery and marched from
there to the Crystal Palace, then standing at Forty-second Street
between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

The account which follows is from the New York _Herald_ of September 2d:

                           THE CABLE CARNIVAL.

                    "Achieved is the Glorious Work."


                Over Half a Million of Jubilant People.

                  Broadway a Garden of Female Beauty.

                       A BOUQUET IN EVERY WINDOW.

               Glorious Recognition of the Most Glorious
                            Work of the Age.


                               * * * * *

                           THE CABLE LAYERS.


                The Jack Tars of the _Niagara_ on Hand.

                         THE BIG COIL OF CABLE.

                               * * * * *

                     SCENES AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE.

                           THE CITY AT NIGHT.

                       THE FIREWORKS IN THE PARK.

                          THE CITY HALL SAFE.

                 Torch-light Procession of the Firemen.


                  The Colored Lanterns _a la Chinois_,
                            etc., etc., etc.

     "The scene presented along Broadway altogether transcends
     description. Every available and even unavailable place was secured
     long beforehand, and from the Battery to Union Place one was
     obliged to run a gantlet of eyes more effective and more dangerous
     than any artillery battery. This display of female beauty,
     conjoined to the great array of flags, banners, and mottoes, made
     us think of a Roman carnival. To the pet military regiments, the
     Montreal artillery, and the officers and crews of the _Niagara_ and
     _Gorgon_ there was given a most splendid greeting all along the
     line. Everywhere we heard cheers for Field, Hudson, Everett, and
     their British coadjutors. We have never heard a more cheerful,
     hearty, and cordial shout than that which welcomed the gallant tars
     of the _Niagara_ as they moved up Broadway....

     "The crowd upon Broadway was so great that the military had much
     difficulty in getting through it, and so the procession was
     somewhat retarded....

     "The hour appointed for the interesting ceremonies inside the
     Palace to commence was half-past four o'clock, but the procession
     did not arrive there till within a few minutes of six. By that time
     there were about ten thousand persons in the building anxiously
     awaiting the arrival of the celebrities, whom all were desirous to
     see and hear....

     "The crew of the _Niagara_, with a model of that ship, entered by
     the front door, and, marching up the centre aisle, took their place
     in front of the platform. They were loudly cheered, and they
     responded in true sailor fashion by cheering lustily for Captain
     Hudson, Mr. Field, the mayor, and almost every one they recognized
     on the platform....

     "At night one would suppose the crowd would lessen. Not so. The
     illuminations, the fireworks, the many-colored lanterns, and the
     general gas and spermaceti demonstrations gave to Broadway a
     carnavalesque appearance which it is almost impossible to
     describe. Beginning with the clever design of the New York Club
     down to the Park there was a succession of illuminations and
     transparencies of every possible sort. The great bazaars vied with
     each other in the number and variety of their mottoes and designs,
     both for day and night; but, passing by all of them, we were
     especially struck with the following distich on the side of a car:

    "'With wild huzzas now let the welkin ring,
     Columbia's got Britannia on a string.'

     " ...The firemen's torch-light parade concluded the day's
     festivities. It was exceedingly beautiful, and as the long line
     moved through Broadway surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd on every
     side, and lighted by thousands of torches, candles, and colored
     lanterns, one might easily have imagined himself in a fairy-land.
     It was long after midnight before the great assemblage dispersed,
     and even then the streets did not resume their wonted aspect....
     The fact is, that an avalanche of people descended upon us, and New
     York was crushed for once; but we do not lay Atlantic cables every

On the 2d of September, at seven o'clock, a dinner ended the

     "There were six hundred guests who sat down to as sumptuous a
     dinner as ever was laid on any great occasion in this city. The
     bill of fare was laid beside each plate:

                          =MUNICIPAL DINNER=

                                 BY THE



                            CYRUS W. FIELD,

                            AND OFFICERS OF

     H. B. M. Steamship _Gorgon_ and U. S. Steam Frigate _Niagara_,

                        IN COMMEMORATION OF THE

                    =LAYING OF THE ATLANTIC CABLE.=

                METROPOLITAN HOTEL, SEPTEMBER 2D, 1858.

                       OYSTERS ON THE HALF-SHELL.


                             Green Turtle.
                           Gumbo, with rice.


                  Boiled Fresh Salmon, lobster sauce.
               Broiled Spanish Mackerel, steward's sauce.


                         Turkey, oyster sauce.
                      Leg of Mutton, caper sauce.


                             Young Turkey.
                             Ribs of Beef.
                         Ham, champagne sauce.
                           Lamb, mint sauce.
                        Chickens, English sauce.

                              COLD DISHES.

                       Boned Turkey, with jelly.
                     Chicken Salad, lobster sauce.
                    Patties of Game, with truffles.
                      Ham, sur socle, with jelly.


            Tenderloin of Beef, larded, with mushroom sauce.
                      Lamb Chops, with green peas.
                Chartreuse of Partridges, Madeira sauce.
                 Forms of Rice, with small vegetables.
                 Timbale of Macaroni, Milanaise style.
                        Wild Ducks, with olives.
                   Breast of Chickens, truffle sauce.
                     Soft-shell Crabs, fried plain.
                    Stewed Terrapin, American style.
                  Squabs, braisées, gardener's sauce.
                Sweetbreads, larded, with string-beans.
            Fricandeau of Veal, larded, with small carrots.
                  Flounders, stuffed, with fine herbs.
                      Reed Birds, steward's sauce.
                  Broiled Turtle Steaks, tomato sauce.
              Croquettes of Chickens, with fried parsley.
              Tenderloin of Lamb, larded, poivrade sauce.
                   Pluvier, on toast, Italian sauce.


                             Raw Tomatoes.
                            Spanish Olives.
                            Pickled Oysters.
                             Currant Jelly.


                        Partridges, bread sauce.
                         Broiled English Snipe.


                      Boiled and Mashed Potatoes.
                            Stewed Tomatoes.
                            Sweet Potatoes.
                              Lima Beans.


                              Apple Pies.
                               Plum Pies.
                              Peach Pies.
                             Plum Pudding.
                   Fancy Ornamented Charlotte Russe.
                           Maraschino Jelly.
                           Fancy Fruit Jelly.
                            Pineapple Salad.
                       Gateaux, Neapolitan style.
                            Champagne Jelly.
                            Pineapple Pies.
                             Custard Pies.
                             Pumpkin Pies.
                            Cabinet Pudding.
                            Peach Méringues.
                             Madeira Jelly.
                              Punch Jelly.
                           Fancy Blanc Mange.
                             Spanish Cream.
                            Swiss Méringues.


                 Méringues, à la crême, vanilla flavor
                             Rose Almonds.
                           Fancy Lady's Cake.
                            Quince Soufflée.
                         Vanilla Sugar Almonds.
                         Ornamented Macaroons.
                           Mint Cream Candy.
                      Butterflies of Vienna Cake.
                           Vanilla Ice Cream.
                             Savoy Biscuit.
                          Variety Glacé Fruit.
                          Dominos of Biscuit.
                          Fancy Variety Candy.
                             Roast Almonds.
                            Conserve Kisses.
                           Chocolate Biscuit.
                         Fancy Diamond Kisses.
                        Preserved Almond Kisses.


                   QUEEN VICTORIA, of Great Britain.
            JAMES BUCHANAN, President of the United States.
                    CYRUS W. FIELD, with his Cable.
             Professor MORSE, as Inventor of the Telegraph.
                         Dr. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
           The operative Telegraph of the METROPOLITAN HOTEL.
             The NIAGARA, Man-of-War of the United States.
            The AGAMEMNON and NIAGARA paying out the Cable.
        CYRUS W. FIELD, surrounded by the flags of all nations.
            The Coats of Arms of all nations, on a pyramid.
                 POCAHONTAS, with real American design.

                           Temple of Liberty.
                      Grand Ornamented Fruit Vase.
                            Temple of Music.
                            Frosting Tower.
                 Sugar Tower, with variety decorations.
                            Flower Pyramid.
                         White Sugar Ornament.
                  Fruit Basket, supported by Dolphins.
                      Fancy Decorated Flower Vase.
                            Tribute Temple.
                            Pagodi Pyramid.
                        Scotch Warrior, mounted.
                            Ethiopian Tower.
                        Floral Vase, decorated.
                           Frosting Pyramid.
                            Mounted Church.
                      Pyramid of Cracking Bonbons.
                           Chinese Pavilion.
                           Triumphant Temple.
                  Sugar Harp, with floral decorations.
                            Variety Pyramid.
                          Fancy Sugar Temple.
                        Ornamented Sugar Tower.
                             Temple of Art.
              Lyre, surmounted with Cornucopia of Flowers.


                              Pecan Nuts.
                             Grenoble Nuts.
                           Hot-house Grapes.
                             Citron Melons.
                            Bartlett Pears.

     This was one of the toasts:

     "Cyrus W. Field: To his exertions, energy, courage, and
     perseverance are we indebted for the Ocean Telegraph; we claim, but
     Immortality owns him."

In his reply he said:

     "To no one man is the world indebted for this achievement; one may
     have done more than another, this person may have had a prominent
     and that a secondary part, but there is a host of us who have been
     engaged in the work the completion of which you celebrate to-day."

Mr. George Peabody wrote to him:

     "I read the accounts in the New York papers in celebration of the
     great event of the year and age with great interest, and although I
     think in some respects that they are a little too enthusiastic, yet
     so far as it regards yourself they cannot be so, for if the cable
     should be lost to-morrow you would be fully entitled to the high
     honor you are daily receiving."

As he left the Battery on September 1st a cable message was handed to
him dated that morning:

"CYRUS W. FIELD, New York:

     "The directors are on their way to Valentia to make arrangements
     for opening the wire to the public. They convey through the cable
     to you and your fellow-citizens their hearty congratulations in
     your joyous celebration of the great international work."

It was the last message that passed over the cable of 1858.




From the daily press and from Mr. Field's papers the story of these
years has been drawn.

     "In the midst of all this rejoicing, intelligence came from
     Newfoundland that the cable, which it was fully anticipated would
     be open for public messages in a few days, had ceased working. The
     reaction was painful to witness, after the intense excitement of
     the past three weeks."

That it had become impossible to send a message through the cable was
definitely known in London through the letter given to the _Times_:

"_September 6, 1858._

     "_Sir_,--I am instructed by the directors to inform you that owing
     to some cause not at present ascertained, but believed to arise
     from a fault existing in the cable at a point hitherto
     undiscovered, there have been no intelligible signals from
     Newfoundland since one o'clock on Friday, the 3d inst. The
     directors are now at Valentia, and, aided by various scientific and
     practical electricians, are investigating the cause of the
     stoppage, with a view to remedying the existing difficulty. Under
     these circumstances no time can be named at present for opening the
     wire to the public.


Before the end of the month these telegrams were published in the New
York papers:

"NEW YORK, _September 24, 1858_, 12 M.

"To DE SAUTY, Trinity Bay, N. F.:

     "Despatches from you and Mackay are contradictory. Now please give
     me explicit answers to the following inquiries:

     "First: Are you now, or have you been within three days, receiving
     distinct signals from Valentia?

     "Second: Can you send a message, long or short, to the directors at

     "Third: If you answer 'no' to the above, please tell me if the
     electrical manifestations have varied essentially since the 1st of


"TRINITY BAY, N. F., _September 24, 1858_.

"C. W. FIELD, New York:

     "We have received nothing intelligible from Valentia since the 1st
     of September, excepting feeling a few signals yesterday. I cannot
     send anything to Valentia. There has been very little variation in
     the electrical manifestations.


"TRINITY BAY, N. F., Saturday, _September 25th_.


     "I have not the least wish to withhold particulars as to the
     working of the cable, and until I have communicated with
     headquarters and ascertained the directions of the manager of the
     company, I will send a daily report of proceedings. We were not
     working to-day, but receiving occasionally from Valentia some weak
     reversals of the current, which, when received, are unintelligible.


"TRINITY BAY, N. F., Saturday, _September 25th_.

"C. W. FIELD, New York:

     "Your message received. The day before yesterday commenced
     receiving current from Valentia and was in hopes that I should be
     at work again soon after. So I informed Mr. Mackay. Then the
     current failed. This will explain the discrepancy between his and
     my message.


On the last page of the "Service Message-book" kept at the company's
station, Trinity Bay, this entry was made on the 30th of September:

     "Receiving good currents, but no intelligible signals."

For a short period there was again a feeling of encouragement, and there
seemed to be a possibility that the electrical current was not lost, and
a full month later the following letter was written:


     "_Sir_,--Eleven P. M. I beg to inform you that I have just received
     the annexed message from Valentia, which has been transmitted by
     Mr. Bartholomew, the superintendent of the company at that place.
     It would appear that by the application of extraordinary and
     peculiar battery-power at Newfoundland, in accordance with the
     instructions of Professor Thomson, of Glasgow (one of the directors
     of the company), it has been possible to convey, even through the
     defective cable, the few words recorded by Mr. Bartholomew in his
     message to me this evening.

     "This, however, though encouraging, must not be regarded as a
     permanent state of things, as it is still clear there is a serious
     fault in the cable, while, at the same time, it is not at present
     absolutely clear that any, except the most extraordinary and (to
     the cable) dangerous efforts can be made, more especially on this
     side, to overcome the existing obstacles in the way of perfect

     "The following is Mr. Bartholomew's message:

     "'Bartholomew, Valentia, to Saward, London.--I have just received
     the following words from Newfoundland: "Daniel's now in circuit."
     The signals are very distinct. Give me discretion to use our
     Daniel's battery reply.'"

     "Immediately on receipt of the foregoing I sent the necessary
     authority to use the Daniel's battery at Valencia.

"Yours truly,
"GEORGE SAWARD, Secretary.

"22 Old Broad Street, _October_ 20th."

And so the days passed, hope alternating with despair.

[Illustration: CYRUS W. FIELD

(From a Photograph by Brady, taken in 1860)]

It was in writing of this time that a friend said:

     "To Mr. Field and those who had labored with him for so long a
     period the blow came with redoubled force. The work had to be
     commenced afresh; and Mr. Field felt that an arduous duty devolved
     upon him, that of trying to infuse fresh courage into some of his
     friends, to overcome the doubts of others, and to fight against the
     persistent efforts of the enemies of the enterprise to injure it in
     every possible way. His faith in its ultimate success was still
     unshaken, his confidence unbounded, and his determination to carry
     it to completion as firm as ever."

On December 15, 1858, Archbishop Hughes wrote:

     "Our cable is dumb for the present; but no matter, the glory of
     having laid it in the depths of the ocean is yours, and it is not
     the less whether the stockholders receive interest or not. At
     present you have no rival claimant for the glory of the project."

It was in strange contrast with the rejoicing so soon over that the gold
snuff-box and the freedom of the city were received with this note:

"NEW YORK, _2d August, 1859_.

     "The Mayor of New York has the pleasure to transmit to Cyrus W.
     Field, Esq., of New York, the address and testimonials voted him by
     the City of New York on the 1st day of September last, in
     commemoration of the esteem in which his services were held on the
     occasion of laying the Atlantic telegraph cable connecting Europe
     with America."


In May, 1859, we find him in London, and on June 8th at the meeting of
the Atlantic Telegraph Company, when it was decided to raise £600,000
with which to lay another cable, and, if possible, repair the old one.
He was in New York on the 29th of December, 1859, and it was then that
his office, 57 Beekman Street, was burned. Among his papers this
mention is made: "The fire which made the closing days of 1859 so black
with disaster broke out in a building adjoining Mr. Field's warehouse,
which destroyed that and several others. Mr. Field's store was full of
goods and was entirely consumed, and the loss beyond that covered by
insurance was $40,000." The evening papers of that day gave an account
of the fire, and at the same time published a card from Mr. Field
stating that he had rented another office, and that his business would
go on without interruption.

Up to January, 1860, only £72,000 had been subscribed towards the new
stock of the company, and the directors were discouraged at the lack of
interest shown in the effort they were making to secure funds with which
to lay another cable across the Atlantic. The government had guaranteed
the Red Sea cable and it had failed, and for that reason it refused the
same aid to the Atlantic Telegraph Company, although the two messages
sent on August 31, 1858, had prevented the expenditure of from £40,000
to £50,000, as that was the amount that would have been required to move
the two regiments that had been ordered from Canada to India. The report
to the stockholders on the 29th of February told of the attempt made to
raise the shore end of the cable in Trinity Bay, and added:

     "But then a circumstance occurred which is extremely encouraging.
     Notwithstanding that he (Captain Bell) was in one hundred and
     seventy-five fathoms, he found no difficulty in grappling the cable
     again, and he raised it once more in the course of half an hour."

This is the first time that it has been suggested that a cable might be
grappled for.

A bit of home life is recalled by this letter:

"STOCKBRIDGE, _March 3, 1859_.

     "_Dear Son Cyrus_,--If the weather be fair next Monday morning your
     parents design to start for New York on a visit to all our
     relations, and to as many of our other numerous friends there as we
     can well see.

     "I believe Mrs. Brewer and Master Freddy are expected to be with

     "Love to all inquiring friends. Cold weather is here, but general
     health and prosperity prevails.

     "Love to all inquirers.


Mr. Seward's letter, which follows, is evidently in answer to one
written by Mr. Field in which he had expressed regret that the
nomination at Chicago had not been given to the candidate of the New
York delegation:

"AUBURN, _July 13, 1860_.

     "_My dear Friend_,--Your considerate letter was not necessary, and
     yet was very welcome. A thousand thanks for it. I do not care to
     dwell on personal interests. They are, I think, not paramount with
     me. But if I even were so ambitious, I am not like to be altogether
     successful. If the alternative were presented to a wise man, he
     might well seek rather to have his countrymen regret that he had
     not been, president than to be president.

"Faithfully yours,


Mr. Field's recovery after the suspension of his firm in 1857 was much
more rapid than from his previous failure in business. In 1859 this was
published in one of the New York papers:

     "We are pleased to learn that the house of Cyrus W. Field & Co.,
     which suspended payment in the fall of 1857, during the absence of
     Mr. Field in England (on business connected with the Atlantic
     Telegraph Company) have recently taken up nearly all their extended
     paper, the payment of which is not due until October next, and have
     now notified the holders of the balance that they are prepared to
     cash the whole amount, less the legal interest, on presentation.
     This evidence of prosperity must be gratifying to their numerous

The city of New York during October, 1860, was entirely given up to the
thought of entertaining the Prince of Wales, and it was of his visit
that Mr. Archibald wrote:

"NEW YORK, _October 20, 1860_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field,_--I have really been so pressed with arrears
     of business since my return on Wednesday evening, and still am,
     that I am obliged to say in writing briefly that which I should
     prefer to do personally, how much indebted I feel to you for your
     valuable and kind assistance to me during the prince's visit; and
     especially on Sunday last in reference to the matter of the _Daniel

     "The reception which the prince has received in this country has
     not only immensely gratified himself and all his suite, as it was
     well calculated to do; but it will, I am sure, create in England a
     profound feeling of admiration for and of gratitude towards this
     country, the effect of which I cannot but think will be very
     beneficial to the future of both countries.

     "Although I was sorry to part from the prince on Wednesday, I
     cannot tell you with what a feeling of relief it was from the deep
     anxiety of which I could not divest myself during his stay here,
     lest any untoward event should mar the happiness or interfere with
     the safety of himself in a community composed of such heterogeneous
     elements. The responsibility in such an event would have centred on
     myself, as Lord Lyons never having been in New York, the visit to
     this city was determined on in pursuance of my representations. I
     thank God it is all so well and so happily over, and so vastly more
     successful than I had anticipated, or than any of us indeed had

     "Again thanking you for your many kindnesses, I am,

"My dear sir, yours faithfully,

The rejoicing was followed by days of depression and darkness. A
financial panic again swept over the country, and on December 7th Mr.
Field writes: "Made a hard fight, but was obliged to suspend payment."
On the 27th he addressed a letter to his creditors. After giving a brief
summary of his business experience, he said:

     "Such a series of misfortunes is not often experienced by a single
     firm, at least in such rapid succession, and is quite sufficient to
     explain the present position of my affairs. Against all these
     losses I have struggled, and until within a few weeks hoped
     confidently to be able to weather all difficulties. But you know
     how suddenly the late panic has come upon us. We found it
     impossible to make collections. The suspension of several houses,
     whose paper we held to a large amount, added to our embarrassment.

     "Thus, receiving almost nothing and obliged to pay our own notes
     and those of others, we found it impossible to go on without
     calling in the aid of private friends, and running the risk of
     involving them, a risk which I believe it morally wrong to take.

     "I thought it more manly and more honorable to call this meeting of
     my creditors to lay before them a full statement of my affairs, and
     to ask their advice as to the course which I ought to take.

     "Thus, gentlemen, you have the whole case before you, and I leave
     it to you to decide what I ought to do.

     "My only wish is, so far as I am able, to pay you to the uttermost
     farthing. I shall most cheerfully give up to you every dollar of
     property I have in the world; and I ask only to be released that I
     may feel free from a load of debt, and can go to work again to
     regain what I have lost.

     "It is for you now to decide what course justice and right require
     me to pursue."

His creditors accepted twenty-five cents on the dollar, and preferred to
have him manage his affairs rather than "place all in the hands of a
trustee or trustees;" but in order to make this payment and also the
amount then due upon the stock he had subscribed to in the New York,
Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company and in the Atlantic Telegraph
Company, he placed a mortgage upon everything he owned, including the
portraits of his father and mother.

His assets then were:

     House and furniture, 123 East Twenty-first Street (heavily

     Pew in the Madison Square Presbyterian Church.

     Stock in the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company.

     Stock in the Atlantic Telegraph Company.

And against these a large amount of indebtedness.

On the 20th of December South Carolina seceded, and on the 26th of the
same month Major Anderson abandoned Fort Moultrie, and moved his small
garrison into Fort Sumter, and the first notes of the coming war were
sounded; to quote from Dr. William H. Russell's book on _The Atlantic

     "The great civil war in America stimulated capitalists to renew the
     attempt; the public mind became alive to the importance of the
     project, and to the increased facilities which promised a
     successful issue. Mr. Field, who compassed land and sea
     incessantly, pressed his friends on both sides of the Atlantic for
     aid, and agitated the question in London and New York."




December, 1860, had ended in financial disaster: it was the third time
in less than twenty years that Mr. Field had seen his business swept
from him, and yet he was of so buoyant a disposition that immediately we
find him back at his office and very soon at work for the advancement of
his great enterprise. On June 10th he wrote to Mr. Saward:

     "I never had more confidence in the ultimate success of the
     Atlantic Telegraph Company than I have to-day."

And Mr. Saward wrote to him on July 5th:

     "Vast improvements in everything relating to the structure of
     telegraph cables are constantly being made, and inquiry upon the
     subject is very active. We are becoming much more hopeful of a good
     time for the Atlantic company.

     "Two very favorable events for telegraphy have taken place this
     week. First, Glass, Elliott & Co. have laid without any check or
     hitch, in a very perfect condition, a cable for the French
     government between Toulon and the island of Corsica; and, second,
     the same firm have completed in precisely the same state of
     efficiency two-thirds of a line between Malta and Alexandria for
     the use of the English government; as the remainder is all shallow
     water, the event is certain."

After the civil war began he was often in Washington, and he was
untiring in his devotion to his country, and we find him in
correspondence with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the
Treasury, and with others in official positions.

June 11, 1861, he wrote to Colonel Thomas A. Scott, then Assistant
Secretary of War, at Willard's Hotel, Washington, D. C.:

     "Pardon me for repeating in this letter some of the suggestions
     which I made to the President, yourself, and other members of the
     Cabinet during my late visit to Washington;

     "1. The government to immediately seize all the despatches on file
     in the telegraph offices which have been sent from Washington,
     Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, New York, Hartford, Boston,
     and other cities within the last six months, as I feel confident
     they will on examination prove many persons not now suspected to
     have been acting as spies and traitors.

     "2. The government to establish as soon as possible telegraphic
     communication, by means of submarine cables, between some of our
     principal ports on the sea-board and the nearest telegraph line
     communicating with Washington, so that the department can almost
     instantly communicate with the commanding officer at any particular
     point desired.

     "3. In each department of the government to adopt a cipher with its
     confidential agent at important points of the country, so that they
     can communicate confidentially by telegraph.

     "I consider it very important that the government should have the
     most reliable telegraph communication with its principal forts on
     the Atlantic coast.

     "If there is any information that I possess that would be of
     service to you in carrying out the wishes of the government in
     regard to telegraph matters it will afford me pleasure to give it.

     "I presume you are aware that there are very few persons in this
     country who have had any experience in the manufacture, working, or
     laying of submarine cables of any great importance.

"Very respectfully
"Your obedient servant,

June 16th, while in Washington, he received a pass "beyond the pickets
and to return, good for five days." On July 30th he wrote to Captain G.
V. Fox, of the Navy Department:

     "In a letter I wrote the Secretary of the Treasury on the 11th of
     May last I used these words, viz.: 'For the government to send at
     once a confidential agent to England, with a competent naval
     officer, to obtain from the British government by purchase, or
     otherwise, some of the improved steam gun-boats and other vessels
     to protect our commerce and to assist in blockading Southern

It was at this time that his firm in New York wrote to him that a debt
of $1800 had been paid and that $1000 was in silver. Such a payment
would hardly be appreciated now.

His mother's death, on the evening of Friday, August the 16th, was made
known to those living in the village of Stockbridge, according to the
custom of that time, by the tolling of the church-bell. After that six
strokes were given to show that a woman had died, nine would have been
struck for a man, or three for a child. Her age was then slowly rung,
and as one year after another was recorded, each brought back to her
family the joy or sorrow with which that year had been filled.

Her funeral was on Sunday, the 18th. A number of her friends among the
elderly ladies of the town acted as pall-bearers, and another custom
then observed was for the officiating clergyman, after the grave had
been filled--and every one waited until that was done--to return thanks
in the name of the family to all who had shown them kindness and
sympathy in their bereavement. Of her funeral the Rev. John Todd, of
Pittsfield, Mass., wrote:

     "At the gateway of one of our beautiful rural cemeteries a large
     funeral was just entering.... The bier was resting on the shoulders
     of four tall, noble-looking men in the prime of life.... Very
     slowly and carefully they trod, as if the sleeper should not feel
     the motion. And who was on the bier, so carefully and tenderly
     borne? It was their own mother. Never did I see a grief more
     reverent or respect more profound."

A few days later Mr. Field wrote to a friend, on the death of a child:

     "Having myself experienced such a calamity, I can judge of your
     feelings, and most sincerely sympathize with you and your good wife
     on this melancholy occasion. I hope you will both bear it with
     Christian fortitude, _for it is God's will_, and no doubt for some
     wise purpose."

Referring to his life-work, on October 23d he writes:

     "Who first conceived the idea of a telegraph across the Atlantic I
     know not. It may have been before I was born.

     "I have made twenty-four sea voyages solely for the purpose of
     connecting Europe and America by telegraph, and although the cable
     laid is not now in operation, the experience gained will, I doubt
     not, be the means of causing another cable to be submerged that
     will successfully connect Newfoundland and Ireland."

At 10 P.M. on October 26th this message from San Francisco was received:

"CYRUS W. FIELD, New York:

     "The Pacific telegraph calls the Atlantic cable.

"A. W. BEE."

He replied:

     "Your message received. The Atlantic cable is not dead, but
     sleepeth. In due time it will answer the call of the Pacific

On October 29th, in a letter to a friend in Newfoundland:

     "There is now a very much increased interest being felt here in the
     importance of an early laying of another Atlantic cable from
     Ireland to Newfoundland, thus connecting Europe, Asia, Africa, and

     "I hope in a few days to have arrangements made so that we may on
     some given evening connect the lines between St. John's and San
     Francisco together, and by means of relays speak directly through,
     between these two points, a distance by the telegraph of over 5000

Neither did he neglect his private business. On December 3d, within a
year of his failure, he was able to write:

     "All of our extension notes due on the 30th of September last were
     duly paid, and we have already taken up all that will be due on the
     30th of this month with the exception of $14,992 78, and all that
     are due on the 30th of March next except $326 40. You will see that
     we have reduced our liabilities to a very small amount, and we
     shall meet them all promptly at or before maturity."

He was so very exact in all his work that he could not understand the
lack of like exactitude in others. To one who failed to answer a letter
he sent this note:

     "_My dear Sir_,--If it takes four weeks _not_ to get an answer to a
     letter, how long will it take to get one?

     "I have not received a reply to my letter of November 4th.

     "I remain, very truly your friend,


"_December 2d._"

The news of the seizure of Mason and Slidell by Captain Wilkes, from the
steamer _Trent_, was received in Boston on November 24th, and at once he
saw another reason for urging the immediate laying of a cable across the
Atlantic, and in a letter to Mr. Saward he says:

     "The low rate of interest now ruling in Great Britain, and the
     great desire of the British government to have telegraphic
     communication with her North American colonies, both indicate that
     _now_ is the time to move energetically in the matter of connecting
     Newfoundland and Ireland by a submarine cable."

And on the 17th of December:

     "It does appear to me that now is the time for the directors of the
     Atlantic Telegraph Company to act with energy and decision, and get
     whatever guarantee is necessary from the English government to
     raise the capital to manufacture and lay down without unnecessary
     delay between Newfoundland and Ireland a good cable."

General T. W. Sherman had written to him from Port Royal on December

     "It was but the other day I was discussing the very subject you
     mention. We want very much a telegraphic communication between
     Beaufort, Hilton Head, and the Tybee. How can we get it promptly?"

This was in reply to a letter of Mr. Field's in which he had enclosed a
copy of the following letter and its indorsement:

"WASHINGTON, _December 4, 1861_.

     "_Sir_,--Pardon me for making the following suggestions:

     "1. That government establish at once telegraphic communication
     between Washington and Fortress Monroe by means of a submarine
     cable from Northampton County to Fortress Monroe.

     "2. That Forts Walker and Beauregard be connected by a submarine

     "3. That a submarine cable be laid between Hilton Head and Tybee

     "4. That the Forts at Key West and Tortugas be brought into instant
     communication by means of a telegraph cable.

     "5. That a cable be laid connecting the Fort at Tortugas with Fort

     "If I can be of any service to you or the government in this matter
     it will give me pleasure.

     "I shall remain at this hotel until to-morrow afternoon or Friday
     morning, and have with me samples of different kinds of cable.

"Very respectfully,
"Your obedient servant,

"Major-General G. B. MCCLELLAN, Washington, D. C."

On the 12th of December General McClellan indorsed the plans with these

     "I most fully concur in the importance of the submarine telegraph
     proposed by Mr. Field, and earnestly urge that his plans may be
     adopted and be authorized to have the plans carried into execution.
     More careful consideration may show that a safer route for the
     cable from Fernandina to Key West would be by the eastern shore of
     Florida. This will depend on the strength of our occupation of the
     railroad from Fernandina to Cedar Keys.

"Very respectfully, etc.,

This expression is copied from a letter dated London, December 28, 1861:
"The rebels are waiting with great anxiety for the arrival of the
steamer _Africa_ and her news about the _Trent_ affair."

On January 1, 1862, he wrote to Mr. Seward, the Secretary of State:

     "The importance of the early completion of the Atlantic telegraph
     can hardly be estimated. What would have been its value to the
     English and United States governments if it had been in operation
     on the 30th of November last, on which day Earl Russell was writing
     to Lord Lyons, and you at the same time to Mr. Adams, our minister
     in London?

     "A few short messages between the two governments and all would
     have been satisfactorily explained. I have no doubt that the
     English government has expanded more money during the last thirty
     days in preparation for war with this country than the whole cost
     of manufacturing and laying a good cable between Newfoundland and

     "At this moment you can telegraph from St. John's, Newfoundland, to
     every town of importance in British North America and to all the
     principal cities in the loyal States, even to San Francisco, on the
     Pacific, a distance by the route of the telegraph of over
     fifty-four hundred miles. From Valentia, in Ireland, there is also
     now telegraph communication with all the capitals of Europe, and to
     Algiers, in Africa, about twenty-one hundred miles; to Odessa, on
     the Black Sea, twenty-nine hundred and forty miles; to
     Constantinople, thirty-one hundred and fifty miles, and to Omsk, in
     Siberia, about five thousand miles.

     "All that is now required to connect Omsk, in Siberia, with San
     Francisco, California, on the Pacific, and all intermediate points,
     is a telegraph cable from Valentia Island to Newfoundland, a
     distance of sixteen hundred and forty nautical miles.

     "What could the governments of Great Britain and the United States
     do so effectually to bind the two countries in bonds of amity and
     interest as to complete at the earliest possible moment this
     connecting link between the two countries?...

     "Will you pardon me for suggesting to you the propriety of opening
     a correspondence with the English government upon the subject, and
     proposing that the Atlantic Telegraph Company should be aided or
     encouraged to complete their line, and that the two governments
     should enter into a treaty that in case of any war between them the
     cable should not be molested?"

Mr. Seward answered on January 9th:

     "Your letter of the 1st instant relative to the Atlantic telegraph
     was duly received; it will afford me pleasure to confer with you on
     that subject at any time you may present yourself for that

In a letter written by Mr. Seward on the 14th of January to Mr. Adams in
London he said:

     "In view of the recent disturbances of feeling in Great Britain
     growing out of the _Trent_ affair, we have some apprehensions that
     our motives in opening a correspondence upon the subject of the
     telegraph just now might be misinterpreted....

     "If you think wisely of it you are authorized to call the attention
     of Earl Russell to the matter.... You may say to him that the
     President entertains the most favorable views of the great
     enterprise in question, and would be happy to co-operate with the
     British government in securing its successful execution and such
     arrangements as would guarantee to both nations reciprocal benefits
     from the use of the telegraphs, not only in times of peace, but
     even in times of war, if, contrary to our desire and expectation,
     and to the great detriment of both nations, war should ever arise
     between them."

Mr. Field sailed for England in the steamer _Arabia_ on January 29th,
and on February 27th, at the request of Mr. Adams, sent a long letter to
Earl Russell. To this letter Earl Russell replied, and appointed
Tuesday, March 4th, at half-past three, as the time at which he would
receive him at the Foreign Office.

On March 6th he again wrote to Earl Russell, entering into details, and
at the end of his letter he referred to the two messages that were in
1858 sent for the English government, and said:

     "I enclose for your information a certificate from the War Office
     that this business was properly and promptly executed. The
     experimental cable which effected for them this communication has
     cost the original shareholders £162,000, which sum has been
     unremunerative during six years. They ask no advantage in respect
     of that from either government, being quite content to risk the
     sacrifice of the whole amount if the means be now granted them for
     raising, by new subscriptions, the means of carrying out to a
     successful issue the great work intrusted to them."

March 10th Earl Russell wrote that Her Majesty's government "have come
to the conclusion that it would be more prudent for the present to defer
entering into any fresh agreement on so difficult a subject."

It was at this time that Mr. George Saward published the article in _The
Electrician_ already referred to, and in it he said:

     "Mr. Field has crossed the Atlantic twenty-five times on behalf of
     the great enterprise to which he has vowed himself. He has labored
     more than any other individual in this important cause, and he has
     never asked the Atlantic Telegraph Company for one shilling
     remuneration for his valuable services, which he was in no way
     bound to render them; nay more, whenever an offer of compensation
     was made to him he refused it."

Professor Thomson, now Lord Kelvin, wrote in March of this year these
words of encouragement:

     "If any degree of perseverance can be sufficient to deserve
     success, and any amount of value in any object can make it worth
     striving for, success ought to attend the efforts you and the
     directors are making for a result of world-wide beneficence."

The account that follows has been given to show some of the petty
annoyances to which from time to time Mr. Field was subjected. He
arrived in New York on Friday, April 11, 1862, having come in the
steamship _Asia_. Early in the day the ship was reported, but it was
evening before he came to his home, and then he remained but a short
time with his family. In a letter written to a friend in England on
April 15th he says:

     "I found my family all in good health and spirits, and after
     spending about two hours with them and other friends at my house,
     left for Washington, which place I reached soon after nine o'clock
     on Saturday morning.... During my absence in Europe some parties
     here, acting, as I believe, in concert with enemies in England,
     have been doing all in their power to injure me on both sides of
     the Atlantic, but without success."

And in another letter he says:

     "I have obtained a large amount of information about this wicked
     conspiracy to injure me in Europe and in this country. Mr. Seward
     and other members of the government have acted in the most
     honorable manner, and defeated the plans of wicked men."

To Mr. Chase he wrote:

     "I lose no time in acquainting you with the circumstances and of
     laying the correspondence before you. Pray tell me if they are
     satisfactory to you. I do not know by whom, or where, the goods
     were arrested."

As far as it is possible to ascertain at this late day he had included
in the correspondence forwarded to Washington an article which had been
written in New York on January 18th, and said to have been shown to the
New York press, but never published. It appeared in the London _Herald_
of February 4th, and was signed "Manhattan." There were also letters in
the London _Standard_ and _Herald_ of March 29th dated New York, March
11th, stating that the Grand Jury had met and presented a bill of
indictment against Cyrus W. Field for "treasonable proceedings with the
public enemy."

In a letter written on April 17th are these few words:

     "The editor of the London _Herald_ has made an apology in his
     paper, as I am informed by telegrams from Halifax."

And again:

     "I have not yet been able to ascertain who made the complaint but
     no bill was found, and the Grand Jury have adjourned."

One of the Grand Jury writes:

     "I was a member of the United States Grand Jury in 1862. I remember
     that a complaint was brought to the attention of the jury.... I
     remember that some testimony was submitted to the jury, but upon
     the recommendation of the district attorney the matter was

Mr. Bates wrote to him:

"WASHINGTON, D. C., _April 15, 1862_.

"CYRUS W. FIELD, Esq., New York:

     "_Dear Sir_,--Your note of yesterday is just received, and upon
     reading the enclosures the affair (as far as it concerns you
     personally) looks rather like a stupid, practical joke.

     "Could the scheme have been meant as a blow at your business in

"Very respectfully yours,

When on April 23d he received two more letters in the same handwriting,
one postmarked Springfield, Ill., April 18th, and the other Nashville,
Tenn., April 19th, and evidently designed "to entrap him," he wrote at
once to Mr. Chase:

     "I propose to take no further notice of them than to place copies
     in your possession and in the hands of the Attorney-General, that
     such action may be taken in regard to them as may be deemed

After this there was no further suggestion of trouble.

This very characteristic business note was found among his papers of
this year:

     "As we are all liable to be called away by death at any time, I
     should esteem it a favor if you would indorse the amount paid you
     by C. W. Field & Co. on the 5th instant, on my bond, and send the
     same to my office, as you proposed."

It was on May 1st that he addressed the American Geographical and
Statistical Society, and it is possible to make but a short extract from
his speech:

     "The London _Times_ said truly: 'We nearly went to war with America
     because we had not a telegraph across the Atlantic.' It is at such
     a moment that England feels the need of communicating with her
     colonies on this side of the ocean. And here I may mention a fact
     not generally known--that, during the excitement of the _Trent_
     affair a person connected with the English government applied to
     Messrs. Glass, Elliott & Co., of London, to know for what sum they
     would manufacture a cable and lay it across the Atlantic; to which
     they replied that they would both manufacture and lay it down for
     £675,000, and that it should be in full operation by the 12th day
     of July of this year. Well might England afford to pay the whole
     cost of such a work; for in sixty days' time she expended more
     money in preparation for war with this country than the whole cost
     of manufacturing and laying several good cables between
     Newfoundland and Ireland."

On his return he had found that the feeling against England was very
intense, and on April 29th he wrote to Mr. Thurlow Weed, who was in

     "I regret exceedingly to find a most bitter feeling in this country
     against England. Mr. Seward is almost the only American that I have
     heard speak kindly of England or Englishmen since I arrived."

And to Mr. Seward his next letter is addressed:

"NEW YORK, _May 5, 1862_.

     "_My dear Sir_,--Yesterday I received a letter from our mutual
     friend C. M. Lampson, Esq., from London, April 17th, in which he
     says: 'Our letter has been before Lord Palmerston for more than a
     fortnight, and as yet have had no answer; he is now out of town for
     the Easter holidays, and we cannot have a reply for another
     fortnight. If we are to make sufficient progress to enable us to do
     the work in 1863, it will be only in consequence of the pressure
     you bring to bear on your side. This is our only hope for the
     present. If the Washington government would direct Mr. Adams to
     press the matter here, I think we should succeed.' It has occurred
     to me that, considering the great importance to the whole
     commercial interest of the country of a telegraph across the
     Atlantic, you would be willing to act on the suggestion of Mr.
     Lampson and direct Mr. Adams to press the matter upon the English

"With much respect, I remain
"Very truly your friend,

"Hon. WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State,
"Washington, D. C."

Mr. Lampson, in his letter of April 17th, had referred to a deputation
of the directors of the Atlantic Telegraph Company that on the 20th of
March had waited upon Lord Palmerston, who was then Prime-Minister.

Mr. Field replied:

"NEW YORK, _May 9, 1862_.

     "_My dear Mr. Lampson_,--.... Four weeks ago this evening I arrived
     from England, and almost every moment of my time since I landed has
     been occupied in working for the Atlantic Telegraph, either in
     seeing the President of the United States, or one of his Cabinet,
     or some member of the Senate or House of Representatives, or an
     editor of one of our papers, or writing to the British provinces,
     or doing something which I thought would hasten on the time when we
     should have a good submarine telegraph cable working successfully
     between Ireland and Newfoundland, and if _we do not get it laid in
     1863 it will be our own fault_.

     "_Now, now_ is the golden moment, and I do beg of you and all the
     other friends of the Atlantic telegraph to act without a moment's
     unnecessary delay.

     "I have written you and Mr. Saward so often since my arrival that I
     am afraid you will get tired of reading my letters; but from the
     abundance of the heart the mouth will speak, and I hardly think of
     anything but a telegraph across the Atlantic.

Very truly your friend,

Again on May 29th to Mr. Lampson:

     "I am disappointed at the answer received from Lord Palmerston, but
     not discouraged the least by it, for we can succeed without further
     assistance from either government, as I believe that an appeal to
     the public will _now_ get us all the money that we want, provided
     the business is pressed forward in a proper manner."

It was on the 7th of this month that he wrote to his brother Jonathan:

     "You will be glad to know that we have gotten all of our old
     matters settled."

From the first days of the war he had urged the necessity for accurate
despatches being sent out by each steamer; and one very hot July morning
of this summer he went up from Long Branch solely for the purpose of
seeing that the steamer, sailing the next morning, carried favorable
news of the movements of our armies.

With our purses full of change it is hard to realize that in October,
1862, it was almost impossible to secure even postal currency, and that
one of Mr. Field's clerks, after waiting four hours at the Sub-Treasury,
was able to obtain but $15.

Again he writes to Mr. Saward:

     "I sail per _Scotia_ on Wednesday, the 8th of October, and expect
     to arrive at Liverpool Saturday, the 18th, and get to London the
     same evening.

     "If agreeable to you, I will call at your house Sunday morning, go
     with you to hear the Rev. Mr. Spurgeon preach, and dine with you at
     two o'clock.

     "Monday morning, October 20th, I hope that we will be ready to go
     to work in earnest, and have _all_ of the stock for a new cable
     subscribed within one month, and our other arrangements so
     perfected that I can at an early day return to my family and

He never lost sight of an opportunity for helping his country. On
November 1st Lord Shaftesbury thanks him for the "documents" he had sent
to him. On November 25th his friend the Hon. Stewart Wortley writes:

     "Mr. Gladstone has fixed twelve o'clock to-morrow, in Carlton House
     Terrace. I have promised him that we would not ask him for
     anything, but that I believed you had some confidential
     communication to give him on the views of your government. Till I
     told him this he was very unwilling to listen to anything that was
     not contained in a written proposal."

It was on this day or the next that Mr. Field gave to Mr. Gladstone to
read _Thirteen Months in a Rebel Prison_. Mr. McCarthy, in his _History
of Our Own Times_, says: "It was Mr. Gladstone who said that the
President of the Southern Confederation, Mr. Jefferson Davis, had made
an army, had made a navy, and, more than that, had made a nation."

It was this sentiment that its author developed in the deeply
interesting correspondence which follows. This correspondence is of the
utmost value as elucidating the state of mind of the liberal Englishmen
from whom this country expected the sympathy it in so many cases failed
to receive, and very notably failed to receive from the statesman who
for more than a generation has been their intellectual and Parliamentary

"_November 27, 1862_.

     "My dear Sir,--I thank you very much for giving me the _Thirteen
     Months_. Will you think that I belie the expression I have used if
     I tell you candidly the effect this book has produced upon my mind?
     I think you will not; I do not believe that you or your countrymen
     are among those who desire that any one should purchase your favor
     by speaking what is false, or by forbearing to speak what is true.
     The book, then, impresses me even more deeply than I was before
     impressed with the heavy responsibility you incur in persevering
     with this destructive and hopeless war at the cost of such dangers
     and evils to yourselves, to say nothing of your adversaries, or of
     an amount of misery inflicted upon Europe such as no other civil
     war in the history of man has ever brought upon those beyond its
     immediate range. Your frightful conflict may be regarded from many
     points of view. The competency of the Southern States to secede,
     the rightfulness of their conduct in seceding (two matters wholly
     distinct and a great deal too much confounded), the natural
     reluctance of Northern Americans to acquiesce in the severance of
     the Union, and the apparent loss of strength and glory to their
     country; the bearing of the separation on the real interests and on
     the moral character of the North; again, for an Englishman, its
     bearing with respect to British interests--all these are texts of
     which any one affords ample matter for reflection. But I will only
     state, as regards the last of them, that I, for one, have never
     hesitated to maintain that, in my opinion, the separate and special
     interests of England were all on the side of the maintenance of the
     old Union; and if I were to look at those interests alone, and had
     the power of choosing in what way the war should end, I would
     choose for its ending by the restoration of the old Union this very
     day. Another view of the matter not to be overlooked is its bearing
     on the interests of the black and colored race. I believe the
     separation to be one of the few happy events that have marked their
     mournful history; and although English opinion may be wrong upon
     this subject, yet it is headed by three men perhaps the best
     entitled to represent on this side of the water the old champions
     of the anti-slavery cause--Lord Brougham, the Bishop of Oxford, and
     Mr. Buxton.

     "But there is an aspect of the war which transcends every other:
     the possibility of success. The prospect of success will not
     justify a war in itself unjust, but the impossibility of success in
     a war of conquest of itself suffices to make it unjust; when that
     impossibility is reasonably proved, all the horror, all the
     bloodshed, all the evil passions, all the dangers to liberty and
     order with which such a war abounds, come to lie at the door of the
     party which refuses to hold its hand and let its neighbor be.

     "You know that in the opinion of Europe this impossibility has been
     proved. It is proved by every page of this book, and every copy of
     this book which circulates will carry the proof wider and stamp it
     more clearly. Depend upon it, to place the matter upon a single
     issue, you cannot conquer and keep down a country where the women
     behave like the women of New Orleans, where, as this author says,
     they would be ready to form regiments, if such regiments could be
     of use. And how idle it is to talk, as some of your people do, and
     some of ours, of the slackness with which the war has been carried
     on, and of its accounting for the want of success! You have no
     cause to be ashamed of your military character and efforts. You
     have proved what wanted no proof--your spirit, hardihood, immense
     powers, and rapidity and variety of resources. You have spent as
     much money, and have armed and perhaps have destroyed as many men,
     taking the two sides together, as all Europe spent in the first
     years of the Revolutionary war. Is not this enough? Why have you
     not more faith in the future of a nation which should lead for ages
     to come the American continent, which in five or ten years will
     make up its apparent loss or first loss of strength and numbers,
     and which, with a career unencumbered by the terrible calamity and
     curse of slavery, will even from the first be liberated from a
     position morally and incurably false, and will from the first enjoy
     a permanent gain in credit and character such as will much more
     than compensate for its temporary material losses? I am, in short,
     a follower of General Scott. With him I say, 'Wayward sisters, go
     in peace.' Immortal fame be to him for his wise and courageous
     advice, amounting to a prophecy.

     "Finally, you have done what men could do; you have failed because
     you resolved to do what men could not do.

     "Laws stronger than human will are on the side of earnest
     self-defence; and the aim at the impossible, which in other things
     may be folly only, when the path of search is dark with misery and
     red with blood, is not folly only, but guilt to boot. I should not
     have used so largely in this letter the privileges of free
     utterance had I not been conscious that I vie with yourselves in my
     admiration of the founders of your republic, and that I have no
     lurking sentiment either of hostility or of indifference to
     America; nor, I may add, even then had I not believed that you
     are lovers of sincerity, and that you can bear even the rudeness of
     its tongue.

"I remain, dear sir, very faithfully yours,


NOVEMBER 27, 1862. [See pp. 146-149.]]

"LONDON, _December 2, 1862_.

     "_My dear Sir_,--Your letter of the 27th ultimo was duly received,
     and for it please accept my thanks.

     "I should have answered your letter at once, but I have been trying
     to find in London some documents to send you, for I am sure that if
     you have facts you will draw correct conclusions from them.

     "As I have not been able to obtain the papers that I want, I will
     send them to you on my return to New York.

     "I hope that you will get time to read the small book called _Among
     the Pines_, which I left at your house last Friday.

     "May I send a copy of your letter to Mr. Seward at Washington and
     my brother in New York?

"With much respect I remain
"Very truly your friend,

"Right Hon. W. E. GLADSTONE."

"_December 2, 1862_.

     "_My dear Sir_,--I thank you for the kind reception you have given
     to my officious letter.

     "You are quite at liberty to make any use of it which you think
     proper except publication, which you would not think of, and I
     should deprecate simply on account of the tone of assumption with
     which I might appear to be chargeable.

     "I thank you very much for _Among the Pines_, which I am reading
     with great interest.

     "I am glad to find you are going to Cliveden, and I am sure you
     will enjoy your visit.

"Believe me, my dear sir,
"Most faithfully yours,


And again he wrote:

"_December 9, 1862_.

     "_My dear Sir_,--I have again to thank you for _Among the Pines_, a
     most interesting and, as far as I can judge, a most truthful work.
     It seems to open to view more aspects of society and character in
     the slave States than _Uncle Tom's Cabin_, and to be written
     without any undue and bewildering predominance of imagination.

     "I need not here stop even for a moment on the ground of
     controversy. We all vie with one another in fervently desiring that
     the Almighty may so direct the issue of the present crisis as to
     make it effective for the mitigation and even for the removal of a
     system which ever tends to depress the blacks into the condition of
     the mere animal, and which among the whites at once gives fearful
     scope to the passions of bad men and checks and mars the
     development of character in good ones.

"I remain, dear sir,
"Most faithfully yours,


A very decided trait of Mr. Field was that when any business enterprise
was proposed he planned every detail, drew up statements, and asked for
statistics, and tried to determine the amount of work that it would be
possible to accomplish, and for that reason it does not surprise us that
before the money for the new cable was subscribed or the contracts
signed he wrote to Mr. Reuter, and received this reply:

"LONDON, _November 19, 1862_.

     "_Dear Sir_,--I have received your letter of the 18th inst.,
     wherein you ask whether I consider that a single wire from Ireland
     to Newfoundland would be sufficient, and what amount of business I
     think I should send through an Atlantic cable the first year.

     "In reply to the first inquiry I should say from my own experience
     that a single telegraph wire between Ireland and Newfoundland would
     by no means be sufficient to meet the requirements of the public.

     "With respect to the amount of business I might send through the
     new line I cannot, of course, speak positively, but believe I can
     say that for the first year it would certainly not be less than

"I remain, dear sir,
"Faithfully yours,


At this time no one at all realized the amount of work that the small
wire would be called upon to do. Sixteen months after it was laid, on
the 2d of December, 1867, Mr. Field telegraphed to London that Mr.
Bennett was willing to sign a contract with the cable company for one
year, and that he would pay for political and general news $3750 a
month--that is, £9000 a year--and the agreement was to begin at once or
on the 1st of January, 1868.

The invitation to Cliveden to which Mr. Gladstone referred was given by
the Dowager Duchess of Sutherland, and this visit, early in December,
was followed by many others, and the friendship then formed lasted as
long as she lived.

He sailed for home on December 20th, and before he left England he sent
this letter:

"LONDON, _November 22, 1862_.

     "_My dear Daughters_,--Many, many thanks to you for all the letters
     that you have written to me since we parted at our happy home.

     "I think I hear you say, Why does not papa answer all of our
     letters? The reason is that I am so much occupied that I have
     hardly one single moment of leisure. I am busy all day at the
     Atlantic Telegraph Company's office; or at Messrs. Glass, Elliott
     & Co.'s; or at the Gutta-percha Company's works; or with some
     persons connected with the English government; and almost every
     evening I am engaged until a very late hour.

     "I will give you a list of my engagements for the next few

     1. Saturday, November 22d.--At Mr. Russell Sturgis's, to
     dinner and to spend the night.

     2. Sunday, November 23d.--At Mr. Russell Sturgis's, spend
     the day and night.

     3. Monday, November 24th.--Canning's, to dinner and spend
     the night.

     4. Tuesday, November 25th.--Meet Mr. Maitland and others
     on business, and then to Mr. Lampson to dinner, seven P.M.

     5. Wednesday, November 26th.--I give a dinner-party at
     this hotel.

     6. Thursday, November 27th.--At Mr. Gooch's, to dinner.

     7. Friday, November 28th.--Sir Culling Eardley's, to dinner
     and spend the night.

     8. Saturday, November 29th.--Lady Franklin's, to dinner.

     9. Sunday, November 30th.--Mr. Ashburner's, to dinner
     and spend the night.

     10. Monday, December 1st.--At Mr. Statham's, to dinner and
     spend the night.

     11. Tuesday, December 2d.--At Mr. Reuter's, to dinner and
     to spend the night.

     "Professor Wheatstone, Dr. Wallish, Captains Becher, Galton, and
     Bythesea, Mr. Adams, and Mr. Wortley are among the number that are
     to dine with me. There will be twelve in all.

     "How much I wish that I could have this dinner-party in our own

     "Several times since I arrived I have had three invitations for the
     same evening, and I _decline_ all that I can without injury to the
     object of my visit to England.

     "I have been very anxious to get through and leave here so as to be
     with you on Christmas, or certainly New-year's, but I do not see
     any prospect of being able to do so.

     "I have very often regretted that your mother or some of you were
     not with me.

     "Mr. Holbrooke returns in the _Scotia_ on the 6th of December, and
     will be able to tell you how I am. How much I wish that I could go
     with him!

     "Do, my dear children, be very kind to your blessed mother, and do
     everything in your power to make her happy.

     "I have purchased _all_ the things that you gave me a memorandum
     of, or have written me about.

     "Good-bye, my dear children, and may God bless you all.

     "With much love to your mother, Eddie, and Willie, and kind regards
     to all the servants,

"I remain, as ever,
"Your affectionate father,





On Sunday, January 4th, 1863, the steamer _Asia_ arrived in New York,
and Mr. Field writes that he had had a rough passage of fifteen days. On
January 27th, in a letter to Mr. Saward, he says: "The whole country is
in such a state of excitement in regard to the war that it is almost
impossible to get any one to talk for a single moment about telegraph
matters, but you may be sure that I shall do all that I can to obtain
subscriptions here." And in another letter: "Some days I have worked
from before eight in the morning until after ten at night to obtain
subscriptions to the Atlantic Telegraph Company."

Long afterwards he told how, during these years, he has often seen his
friends cross the street rather than have him stop them and talk on what
engrossed so much of his thoughts as were not given to his country. But
his love for his country was his master-passion, and only five days
after his arrival in New York he went to Washington to deliver a letter
that he had brought with him from Glass, Elliott & Co., in which they
repeat their offer to lay submarine cables connecting certain military
posts or points of strategic importance. He writes to this firm on
January 17th:

     "I went to Washington on January 9th, and the next day delivered
     your letter of December 19th to our government, and urged upon them
     the acceptance of your offer. I returned home on Sunday, and on
     Monday morning I received a telegram from the Navy Department
     requesting me to return immediately to Washington, which I did the
     next day."

The journey to Washington at this time was long and trying, and in
winter a very cold one, for it involved a ride of an hour across
Philadelphia in the street cars.

Mr. Gladstone, in writing from London on February 20th, again thanks Mr.
Field for books sent to him relating to the American war, and adds:

     "I hope I do not offend in expressing the humble desire that it may
     please the Almighty soon to bring your terrific struggle to an end,
     for all who know me know that if I entertain such a wish it is with
     a view to the welfare of all persons of the United States, in which
     I have ever taken the most cordial interest."

This letter of Mr. Bright's was written a week later:

"LONDON, _February 27, 1863_.

     "_My dear Sir_,--I have to thank you for forwarding to me Mr.
     Putnam's four handsome volumes of the _Record of the Rebellion_. I
     value the work highly, and have wished to have it. I shall write to
     Mr. Putnam to thank him for his most friendly and acceptable

     "We are impatient for news from your country. There is great effort
     without great result, and we fear the divisions in the North will
     weaken the government and stimulate the South. Sometimes of late I
     have seemed to fear anarchy in the North as much as rebellion in
     the South.

     "I hope my fears arise more from my deep interest in your conflict
     than from any real danger from the discordant elements among you.
     If there is not virtue enough among you to save the State, then
     has the slavery poison done its fearful work. But I will not
     despair. Opinion here has changed greatly. In almost every town
     great meetings are being held to pass resolutions in favor of the
     North, and the advocates of the South are pretty much put down.

     "This is a short and hasty note....

"Believe me always
"Very truly yours,

On Wednesday, March 4th, he addressed the Chamber of Commerce. Mr. A. A.
Low offered a resolution expressing the confidence of the Chamber that a
cable could be laid across the Atlantic, and ended his speech in support
of it with these words:

     "Any one listening to Mr. Field as frequently and as attentively as
     I have with regard to this subject could not long entertain a doubt
     as to the success of the effort. He has studied it in all its
     bearings, and with the aid of the science and intelligence so
     readily at command on the other side of the ocean, where he has had
     the benefit of an experience far exceeding that of this country
     with regard to ocean telegraphs. I am confident that whatever
     hesitation may for a time retard the work, it will not be of that
     kind to defeat the enterprise. With regard to the argument that
     this telegraph is in the power of the English government, and that
     we would be debarred from its use in time of war, let it be borne
     in mind that it may be built by Great Britain without our
     co-operation. The English government is alive to all the great
     necessities of the day. I wish, indeed, our own were equally alive
     to the urgencies of the age.

     "The English government, as I said, is alive to all the great
     necessities of the times, and it will assuredly lay the telegraph,
     whether we work with it or not. If this government and people
     participate with the government and people of Great Britain in the
     work, it will be done under treaty stipulations which will secure
     to our country effectually great advantages and facilities. I have
     faith in Great Britain, and I believe if Great Britain enters into
     any compact with this country she will be true to her plighted
     faith. I have little fear on that score.... Our people ought not
     to be deterred by unworthy considerations from taking part in an
     enterprise called for by all the intelligence and wisdom of our
     times--such an enterprise as that now suggested. There is a risk
     which may well be incurred, in view of all the advantages the work
     presents. I, therefore, move the adoption of the resolution which I
     have had the honor to present."

The resolution was seconded by Mr. Cooper, and unanimously adopted.

On March 17th he addressed the produce merchants of New York, and on the
18th the Board of Brokers. It is quite impossible to give the names of
the persons, companies, or corporations to whom he wrote, or from whom
he solicited assistance, or the cities to which he went, making
speeches, and urging every one he saw to subscribe to the stock of the
new Atlantic cable, and early in June he was able to say: "The total
subscriptions in America to the Atlantic telegraph stock to date are
£66,615 sterling. Every single person in the United States and British
North American provinces that owns any of the old stock of the Atlantic
telegraph has shown his confidence in the enterprise by subscribing to
the stock."

These extracts are made from three letters written on March 24th, March
27th, and May 8th:

     "For the last three weeks I have devoted nearly my whole time to
     obtaining subscriptions to the Atlantic telegraph stock, and, when
     you consider the rate of exchange on England, I think you will say
     that we have done well. At all events, I have worked very hard,
     going from door to door."

     "I never worked so hard in all my life."

     "We must all work until the necessary capital is subscribed. Within
     the last two weeks I have travelled over fifteen hundred miles,
     visiting Albany, Buffalo, Boston, and Providence on business of
     the Atlantic telegraph, and I have promises of subscriptions from
     all these places."

The remarkable statement that follows is copied from a letter to Mr. C.
F. Varley, dated March 31, 1863:

     "There is a carriage-road all the way to California, and the mail
     is carried daily in wagons, and emigrants are constantly passing
     over the road alongside of which the telegraph line is built. The
     Indians are friendly and do not to injure the line."

The week before he sailed for England, on the 27th of May, he wrote a
letter to his firm and gave these directions:

     "During my absence in Europe you will please not sell any rags or
     paper manufacturers' stock except for cash, as in these times we
     had much better keep our goods than to sell them even on a few
     days' credit. Any manufacturer that is A No. 1 can get all the
     money he wants at interest, and will prefer to buy cheap for
     cash.... I would only purchase such papers as I wanted for
     immediate sales and could sell at a good profit."

Cyrus W. Field & Co. wrote on July 18th and gave their weekly statement,
and from the end of their letter this is copied:

     "Our books have been balanced for the six months by the following

                 PROFIT AND LOSS--CR.
  Merchandise                   $3,293 67
  58 Cliff Street               18,820 83
  Commission                       628 75
                                            $22,743 25

                  PROFIT AND LOSS--DR.
  Store expenses                $4,580 70
  Insurance                        123 99
  Interest                         964 86
  Advertising                       35 45
                                              5,705 00
    Net profits for six months              $17,088 25

On the 1st of the month they had written:

     "Business has been almost entirely suspended for the last week on
     account of the great excitement arising from the rebel invasion of
     Pennsylvania.... Harrisburg, Baltimore, and Philadelphia are
     threatened by Lee."

And on the 15th:

     "Since our last letter a most fearful riot has broken out here in
     the city; it still continues, and business is almost entirely

This was the famous "draft riot" of New York, and it was brought near to
him; his house adjoined that of his brother David Dudley Field, whose
wife wrote:

     "My husband just got back in time to save, by prompt and vigorous
     action, our property. Our poor servants were terribly alarmed; they
     were threatened by incendiaries who warned them to leave the
     premises.... Think of one hundred and eighty soldiers sleeping in
     our stable, the officers being fed in the basement.... As the
     rioters approached our house they were met by a company of soldiers
     that Dudley had just sent for; their glittering bayonets and steady
     march soon sent them back before they had time to effect their
     demoniacal purpose."

In _Abraham Lincoln: a History_ we read that "The riots came to a bloody
close on the night of Thursday, the fourth day. A small detachment of
soldiers met the principal body of rioters at Third Avenue and
Twenty-first Street, killed thirteen, wounding eighteen more, and taking
some prisoners." This occurred within a square of Mr. Field's house, and
those who had been left in charge had not proved themselves very brave;
they fled from the house, leaving pictures, silver, and all valuables,
and took with them only a box of tea and a cat. The tea they thought
they would enjoy, and feared the cat might be lonely. The depression
felt in New York on July 1st, and mentioned in the letter written on
that day, was reported in England on the 16th, on which day the news
brought by the steamer _Bohemian_, was published, and those who
sympathized with the South were exultant, and were quite sure that the
steamer _Canada_, due on the 18th, would bring news of the utter defeat
of the Northern army under General Meade. The steamer did not arrive on
the day she was expected, and on the intervening Sunday he has said that
he was far too excited to think of going to church. Instead he hailed a
cab and drove to the house of Mr. Adams (then American minister in
London). Mr. Adams was at church. Next he stopped at the rooms of a
friend, and persuaded him, although he was in the midst of shaving, to
go with him to the city. They drove to Reuter's; the man in charge of
that office refused to answer any questions, saying that if he were to
do so he would lose his place; he was assured that if that proved to be
so he should immediately be given another place, and with an increase of
pay. These questions were then asked: "Is the steamer in from America?"
and "What is the price of gold in New York?" At last the wearied clerk
opened the door wide enough to say that "the steamer is in and gold is
131." This gave assurance of a victory for the North; and putting his
foot between the door and the jamb, Mr. Field refused to move it until
he was given every particular. "There has been a three days' fight at
Gettysburg; Lee has retreated into Virginia; Vicksburg has fallen."
Three cheers were given, and then three times three; they were hearty
and loud, and after that the one thought was to spread the good news as
rapidly as possible. First he made his way to Upper Portland Place,
where a message was left for Mr. Adams. Then he drove out of London, and
passed the afternoon in going to see his friends. He enjoyed very much
telling of the victory to those who rejoiced with him, but perhaps more
to those who, though Northerners by birth, were Southerners at heart,
and had not failed in the dark days just past to let him know that they
wished for a divided country. At one house in particular he entered
looking very depressed, and with a low voice asked if they had had the
news from Queenstown, and when the answer was "no" he read to them the
paper he carried in his hand. His appearance had deceived them, and they
had answered him smilingly, but their faces fell when they heard the
news, and as he drove from the house he waved the message at them and
called back, "Oh, you rebels! Oh, you rebels!"

Mr. Bright wrote on August 7th:

     "From the tone of the Southern papers and the spasms of the New
     York _Herald_ I gather that the struggle is approaching an end, and
     the conspirators are anxious to save slavery in the arrangements
     that may be made. On this point the great contest will now turn,
     and the statesmanship of your statesmen will be tried. I still have
     faith in the cause of freedom."

It is more probable that Mr. Chase refers in the following letter to Mr.
Bright's letter of February 27th than to the one just given:

"WASHINGTON, _August 21, 1863_.

     "_My dear Sir_,--I thank you for sending me a copy of Mr. Bright's
     letter. It is marked by the comprehensive sagacity which
     distinguishes his statesmanship.

     "Have you read "Callirrhoe," a fanciful story of George Sand's,
     which has appeared in the late numbers of _Revue des Deux Mondes_?
     It is founded upon the idea of transmigration, and especially upon
     the notion that the souls of those who have lived in former times
     reappear with their characteristic traits in the persons of new
     generations. If I adopted this notion I might believe that Hampden
     and Sidney live again in Bright and Cobden.

     "A letter expressing the same general ideas as are contained in
     that addressed to you was lately sent by Mr. Bright to Mr.
     Aspinwall. This letter Mr. Aspinwall kindly enclosed to me, and I
     read it to the President. I had repeatedly said the same things to
     him, and was not sorry to have my representations unconsciously
     echoed by a liberal English statesman. The President said nothing,
     but I am sure he is more and more confirmed in the resolution to
     make the proclamation efficient as well after peace as during

     "My own efforts are constantly directed to this result. Almost
     daily I confer more or less fully with loyalists of the
     insurrectionary States, who almost unanimously concur in judgment
     with me that the only safe basis of permanent peace is
     reconstitution by recognition in the fundamental law of each State,
     through a convention of its loyal people, of the condition of
     universal freedom established by the proclamation. It was only
     yesterday that I had a full conversation with Governor Pierpont, of
     Virginia, and Judge Bowden, one of the United States Senators from
     that State, on this subject. Both these gentlemen agree in thinking
     that the President should revoke the exception of certain counties
     in southeastern Virginia from the operation of the proclamation,
     and that the Governor should call the Legislature together and
     recommend the assembling of a convention for the amendment of the
     existing constitution, and in expecting that the convention will
     propose an amendment prohibiting slavery. I think there is some
     reason to hope that the President may determine to revoke the
     exception, and more reason to hope that the convention will be
     failed and freedom established in Virginia through its agency.

     "I do not know that you are perfectly familiar with the present
     condition of things in Virginia. Soon after the outbreak of the
     rebellion the loyal people of Virginia organized under the old
     constitution, through a Legislature at Wheeling, and subsequently,
     through a convention, consented to a division of the State by
     organizing the northwest portion as the State of West Virginia. If
     you look at the map you will see that the line forming the southern
     and eastern boundaries of this new State commences on the big fork
     of the Big Sandy, in the west line of McDowell County, and thence
     proceeds irregularly so as to include McDowell and Mercer counties,
     along the crest of the Alleghanies to Pendleton County, where it
     diverges to the Shenandoah Mountains and proceeds northeast to the
     Potomac River, at the northeast corner of Berkeley, including
     Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire, Morgan, and Berkeley counties.
     Congress consented to the admission of this State, and it is now in
     the Union, fully organized under a free-labor constitution. Its
     organization, of course, left the government of old Virginia in the
     hands of Governor Pierpont and his associates, by whom the seat of
     government has been established at Alexandria. At present only a
     comparatively narrow belt of counties from the Atlantic to the east
     line of Berkeley is practically controlled by the loyal State
     government, but the loyal men of these counties are recognized by
     the national government as the State, and as county after county is
     rescued from rebel control it will come naturally under this
     organization, until probably at no distant day Governor Pierpont
     will be acknowledged as the Governor of Virginia at Richmond. When
     this takes place, the State will be necessarily a free State, under
     a constitution prohibiting slavery. The loyal people of Florida are
     ready to take the same course which Governor Pierpont proposes to
     take in Virginia; and the same is true of the loyal people of
     Louisiana to a great extent. It will be found, doubtless, as the
     authority of the Union is re-established in other States included
     by the proclamation, that the same sentiments will prevail; so that
     it will be quite easy for the national government, if the President
     feels so disposed, to secure the recognition of the proclamation,
     and the permanent establishment of its policy, through the action
     of the people of the several States affected by it.

     "In this way the great ends to be accomplished can be most
     certainly reached. My own efforts are constantly directed to their
     attainment, and I never admit in conversation or otherwise the
     possibility that the rebel States can _cease_ to be _rebel States_
     and _become loyal_ members of the Union except through the
     recognition of the condition created by the proclamation, by the
     establishment of free institutions under slavery-prohibiting
     constitutions. I not only labor for these ends, but hope quite
     sanguinely that they will be secured.

     "The public sentiment of the country has undergone a great change
     in reference to slavery. Strong emancipation parties exist in every
     slave State not affected by the proclamation, and a general
     conviction prevails that slavery cannot long survive the
     restoration of the republic. The proclamation, and such recognition
     of it as I have mentioned, will have finished it in the
     proclamation States. In the other States the people will finish it
     by their own action. I do not care to sketch the picture of the
     great and powerful nation which will then exhibit its strength in
     America. Your own foresight must have anticipated all I could say.

     "The war moves too slow and costs too much; but it moves steadily,
     and rebellion falls before it. Our financial condition remains
     entirely sound. The new national banks are being organized as
     rapidly as prudence allows, and no doubt can, I think, be longer
     entertained that, whatever else may happen, we shall have gained,
     through the rebellion, an opportunity, not unimproved, of
     establishing a safe and uniform currency for the whole nation--a
     benefit in itself compensating in some degree, and in no small
     degree, for the evils we have endured. I trust you are succeeding
     well in your great scheme of the inter-continental telegraph. It is
     an enterprise worthy of this day of great things. If I had the
     wealth of an Astor you should not lack the means of construction.

Yours very truly,

Mr. Chase's letter was shown to Mr. Gladstone eight months later, and he
returned this reply:

"_April 26, 1864_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--I return, with many thanks, these
     interesting letters: the one full of feeling, the other of
     important political anticipations.

     "It is very good of you to send a letter of Mr. Chase's to me, who,
     I apprehend, must pass in the United States for no better than a
     confirmed heretic, though I have never opened my mouth in public
     about America except for the purposes of sympathy and what I
     thought friendship.

     "I admit I cannot ask or expect you to take the same view on the
     other side of the water. Engaged in a desperate struggle, you may
     fairly regard as adverse all those who have anticipated an
     unfavorable issue, even although, like myself, they have ceased to
     indulge gratuitously in such predictions, when they have become
     aware that you resent, as you are entitled to judge the matter for
     yourselves. I cannot hope to stand well with Americans, much as I
     value their good opinions, unless and until the time shall come
     when they shall take the opposite view, retrospectively, of this
     war from that which they now hold. If that time ever comes, I shall
     then desire their favorable verdict, just as I now respectfully
     submit to their condemnation.

     "What I know is this, that the enemies of America rejoice to see
     the two combatants exhaust themselves and one another in their
     gigantic and sanguinary strife.

     "As respects Mr. Chase, he is, if I may say so, a brother in this
     craft; and I have often sympathized with his difficulties, and
     admired the great ability and ingenuity with which he appears to
     have steered his course.

"I remain, my dear sir,
"Faithfully yours,

The "letter full of feeling" to which Mr. Gladstone refers was an
account sent to Mr. Field by his daughter Alice of a visit to the
headquarters of the Army of the Potomac. On account of this reference,
and also for its interest as a contemporaneous sketch of the war time by
a non-combatant, it is here inserted:

"WASHINGTON, D. C., _February 25, 1864_.

     "_My dear Mother_,--Since I last wrote I have been to the army
     front, passing on the way many of the battle-fields whose names
     bring up sad memories, and finally living for two nights and much
     of three days within view of the enemy's signals, and in the midst
     of our own encampments.... Early on Monday morning we found
     ourselves in the government train on the way to Brandeth Station.
     This is a five hours' journey from Washington, but the time could
     not have dragged with any one interested in the history of our
     country. We saw the battle-ground of Manasses; we crossed the Bull
     Run stream and the fields made memorable by Pope's disastrous
     campaign. Indeed, along the long line of the railway runs a
     battle-field--the "race-course," as an officer told me it was
     called, so often have our troops and the enemy's pursued each other
     there. Everywhere one sees the evidences of war; the whole country
     is desolated, and the earth ploughed by the tread of armies; broken
     earthworks border the brows of the hills, and wherever a camp is
     seen around it is a stockade or abatis to protect it from Mosby's
     guerillas, who infest this region.

     "As we were whirled past these scenes, I listened to the talk of
     the officers about me, and expressions such as these made the story
     doubly real: "It was there the cavalry was attacked"; "The bridge
     we are now crossing was contested all day in the action of the
     other day"; "We held those hills where that body of artillery is
     now moving." So those five hours hurried away, and we did not wake
     up to the present until we reached Brandeth Station. Here stood
     lines of ambulances to receive the army's guests, and soon we were
     placed in an ambulance and jolted over corduroy roads to General
     ---- 's tent. After an hour's jolting we reached our first
     destination. The general's tent was one of a large encampment on a
     hill which commands a view of our fortifications all about the
     country and those of the rebels across the river, only four or five
     miles away.

     "General ----, commander of the Third Brigade, Third Division,
     Second Corps, received us very courteously, and with him and three
     of the officers of his staff we lunched in the tent. This tent is
     charming. At one end blazes in a huge fireplace--open, of course--a
     bright wood fire: in the centre stands a table, over which hangs a
     chandelier holding three candles; on one side is the bed; and all
     about are army chairs.

     "Our lunch, where the officers presided as hosts and waiters,
     consisted of ham sandwiches, pickles, jelly, ale, and tea. The
     three officers were our escorts to our quarters, which we found to
     be in the old Virginia manor Milton, owned and still inhabited by
     the well-known family of ----.

     "They did not smile upon us at first, but we made a great effort
     to propitiate the two sad-looking Virginia ladies who received us.
     They both were in mourning for the son of one of them, who was
     killed during the Peninsula campaign--a rebel. Poor, poor fellow!
     We felt so much for these proud women, obliged to receive Northern
     strangers, and unable to conceal their fallen fortunes, that we did
     our best to heal their wounded self-love. After tea we dressed for
     the ball. I wore the blue tissue, the white lace waist, and a blue
     ribbon only in my hair.... Our three escorts arrived long before we
     were ready, but at last we were put again into our ambulance. Just
     fancy the strangeness of going to a ball in an ambulance, and the
     ball-room itself, indeed, was as odd a mingling of contrasts. It
     was an immense boarded room, with a pointed roof from which hung
     many flags and banners, most ragged and full of bullet-holes, some
     in ribbons; guns were stacked against the building, and these were
     draped with evergreens; on either side of the platform used by the
     band rested cannons pointed towards us; these were almost concealed
     by banners again. From this end of the room came excellent music
     all the evening.

     "I was made quite happy by General Meade's condescension in
     speaking to me twice. We had four hours' sleep that night, or
     rather the next morning. The whole of Tuesday was given to a great
     review--that of the Second Corps. General Meade reviewed the
     troops. There were 7000 infantry and 3000 cavalry; these last were
     Kilpatrick's, and they showed us a cavalry charge; this was very
     exciting, and their shrieks in rushing upon the supposed enemy so
     overcame us that we clung to each other in terror. The day was more
     than May, it was June. Far away rose the Blue Ridge (well named, we
     thought), while all over the country in every direction were
     marching the infantry, or the artillery was rumbling, or the
     cavalry dashing about in the soft Virginia breezes. When General
     Meade reviewed the army, as he rode with his staff past each
     brigade the general and officers joined the cavalcade of the
     commander-in-chief, the band playing and colors flying and bayonets
     glistening, all in the bright sunlight of that perfect day. I
     cannot tell you how touching was the sight of those regiments that
     have been long in the service, and have but two or three hundred
     left. They march so firmly, carrying their torn banners, with the
     names of the battles in which they have fought written upon them.

     "During the review we received an invitation from the general to
     dine with him, which we accepted. I must reserve a detailed account
     of this dinner for another letter.

     "The next morning we bade good-bye to our friends, and returned to
     the restraints of city life."

It was during this year that Mr. Varley made the statement that when the
cable was laid it would be possible to send through it eight words a
minute, and possibly thirteen and a half words. This assertion called
down upon him some criticism. On July 6, 1885, Mr. Field sent
ninety-five words from London to the President of the United States at
Washington in eighteen minutes. Ten minutes were required to send the
message from Buckingham Palace Hotel to Throgmorton Street, and eight
minutes from there to Washington.

When in London he was up by five o'clock, though out at dinner every
night, and the servants at his hotel were known to say, "Mr. Field never
goes to sleep." His work while on either side of the Atlantic was
constant, and for that reason the long sea voyages proved a blessing.
The first days after sailing he would sleep continuously, only getting
up for his meals, and by so doing was rested and ready for any emergency
or pleasure on landing.

Immediately upon his arrival in New York on September 23, 1863, he
prepared to welcome Vice-Admiral Sir Alexander Milne. A reception was
given to Sir Alexander and Lady Milne by Mr. and Mrs. Field early in
October, and the letter from Washington refers to that entertainment:

"TREASURY DEPARTMENT, _October 7, 1863_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--I am glad that you are doing your part
     towards making the stay of the naval officers of the _Good Queen_
     in our metropolitan harbor agreeable to them. My faith is strong
     that the English government will yet see that the interests of
     mankind demand that there should be no alienation of the two great
     branches of the Anglo-Saxon family from each other, and will do its
     part towards removing all causes of alienation by full reparation
     for the injuries inflicted on American commerce by unneutral acts
     of British subjects, known to and not prevented by the responsible

     "That's a long sentence, but I believe it conveys my meaning. I am
     sorry I cannot accept the kind invitation of yourself and Mrs.
     Field (to whom please make my best regards acceptable) to meet
     these gallant officers.

"Yours, very truly,
"S. P. CHASE."

The answer to this letter was written on October the 9th:

     "I fully concur in every word you say in regard to the conduct of
     the British government towards us: and hope, with you, that they
     will see it is for our mutual interest, as well as for that of all
     mankind, that friendly feelings should always exist between 'the
     two great branches of the Anglo-Saxon family.' Vice-Admiral Sir
     Alexander Milne left for Washington this morning....

     "I have been very glad to do everything in my power to make his
     visit to this city agreeable as possible, and I hope he will take
     away with him from our shores very pleasing impressions of them,
     and of the country and people."

The coming of the English fleet to New York had been the subject of
discussion both in England and America; this command had been given to
the admiral:

     "The naval commander-in-chief on the North American and West India
     Station is especially directed by the eighth article of his
     instructions as follows:

     "You are strictly to abstain from entering any port of the United
     States unless absolutely compelled to do so by the necessities of
     the service."

The order was not modified until the fall of 1863, when Admiral Milne
sailed from Halifax in H.M.S. _Nile_, with the _Immortalité_, _Medea_,
and _Nimble_ in company, and arrived off Sandy Hook early in October. To
use his own words:

     "On being visited by Mr. Archibald, Her Majesty's counsel, he
     informed me of the strong and unfriendly feeling which then existed
     against England in consequence of the building of the two ships of
     war in Liverpool for the Southern States, and from various other
     matters connected with the existing civil war, and that my
     reception would probably be unsatisfactory. This, however, was not
     the case; my visit was evidently acceptable, and proved most
     satisfactory, and I received every attention from the authorities,
     as well as private individuals, not only at New York, but also at
     Washington, as will be seen by the following correspondence:

"'WASHINGTON, _November 30, 1863_.

     "'_Sir_,--Vice-Admiral Sir Alexander Milne having reported to the
     Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty the great kindness and
     courtesy with which he was received at Washington by the President
     of the United States and the members of the Cabinet, I have been
     instructed to convey to the government of the United States the
     expression of the gratification which their lordships have felt at
     the courtesy and attention so handsomely shown to the vice-admiral.

"'I have, etc.,

     "'The Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.'

"'WASHINGTON, _December 3, 1863_.

     "_'My dear Lord Lyons_,--I have made known to the President and to
     the heads of departments the agreeable communication you have made
     to me in regard to the reception of Vice-Admiral Milne on the
     occasion of his visit at this capital.

     "'The just, liberal, and courteous conduct of the admiral in the
     performance of his duties while commanding H. M.'s naval forces in
     the vicinity of the United States was known to this government
     before his arrival, and it therefore afforded the President a
     special satisfaction to have an opportunity to extend to him an
     hospitable welcome.

"'I am, etc.,


About this time there came unfavorable reports from England of the
affairs of the telegraph company. The work then was at a standstill, and
on November 20th Mr. Field wrote to Mr. Saward: "If you have new and
formidable difficulties you must make the greater exertions." And on
December 16th Mr. Saward wrote, urging him to come immediately to

On December 1, 1863, accordingly, he retired from business in New York,
in order to devote his whole time to further the efforts then being made
to lay a cable across the Atlantic, and on the 17th he gave up the
building No. 57 Beekman Street, where his office had been for some
years. His arrival in England early in January was reported in the
London _Telegraphic Journal_ of February 6th in these words:

     "The Atlantic telegraph project is again attracting public
     attention. Mr. Cyrus W. Field, one of the leading spirits of the
     undertaking, is again amongst us, full of hope and ready to embark
     once more in the gigantic enterprise."

Mr. John Bright said, in a speech made at a dinner given on the evening
of April 15, 1864:

     "Just before I came here I was speaking to a gentleman, a member of
     Her Majesty's government--one of the present Cabinet--and I told
     him, as I was coming out of the House, that I was going to dine
     with some friends of the Atlantic telegraph. His countenance at
     once brightened up, and he said to me: 'I look upon that as the
     most glorious thing that man ever attempted; there is nothing else
     which so excites my sympathies.' When he said that he spoke only
     the feelings of every intelligent and moral man in the whole

But to carry out "the most glorious thing that man ever attempted" there
was endless work awaiting him, and what he accomplished in three months
is best told by himself, and is made to read continuously, although, in
fact, the words were spoken at different times on the evening just
referred to; he failed to say that he was one of the ten men who each
subscribed £10,000:

     "When I arrived in this country in January last the Atlantic
     Telegraph Company trembled in the balance. We were in want of funds
     and were in negotiations with the government and making great
     exertions to raise the money. At this juncture I was introduced to
     a gentleman of great integrity and enterprise, who is well known,
     not only for his wealth, but for his foresight, and in attempting
     to enlist him in our cause he put me through such a
     cross-examination as I had never before experienced. I thought I
     was in the witness-box. He inquired of me the practicability of the
     scheme, what it would pay, and everything else connected with it,
     but before I left him I had the pleasure of hearing him say that it
     was a great national enterprise that ought to be carried out, and
     he added, 'I will be one of ten to find the money required for it.'
     From that day to this he has never hesitated about it, and when I
     mention his name you will know him as a man whose word is as good
     as his bond, and as for his bond there is no better in England. I
     give you 'The health of Thomas Brassey.' The words spoken by Mr.
     Brassey ... encouraged us all, and made us believe we should
     succeed in raising the necessary capital, and I then went to work
     to find nine other Thomas Brasseys (I did not know whether he was
     an Englishman, a Scotchman, or an Irishman, but I made up my mind
     that he combines all the good qualities of every one of them), and
     after considerable search I met with a rich friend from Manchester,
     and I asked him if he would second Mr. Brassey, and walked with him
     from 28 Pall Mall to the House of Commons, of which he is a member.
     Before we reached the House he expressed his willingness to do so
     to an equal amount. A few days after that it was thought there
     would be a great advantage arising out of the fusion of the
     Gutta-percha Company and Messrs. Glass, Elliott & Co. into a public
     telegraph construction and maintenance company, who would in that
     form be able, with advantages to themselves, to help forward the
     Atlantic telegraph. Mr. Pender then entered into it heart and soul,
     and we have now a list of eminent capitalists in the United Kingdom
     pledged to carry out that enterprise in the very best manner. I
     therefore feel we are deeply indebted to Mr. Brassey and Mr. Pender
     for the energetic way in which this matter has been taken up by
     them, and I am truly glad to see the Telegraph Construction and
     Maintenance Company established with the object and power of
     carrying forward the extension of telegraphic communication in all
     parts of the world.

     "The _Great Eastern_ Ship Company have acted in the most liberal
     manner towards us, inasmuch as at present they are truly engaged in
     a labor of love. From this day to the 31st of December, 1865, we
     are to have the use of that magnificent vessel; and, if the cable
     be not successfully laid, we shall not have to pay a single
     shilling for the use of her. Should it be successful, we are then
     to hand to the directors of the _Great Eastern_ Ship Company
     £50,000 in shares. In all my business experience I have never known
     any offer more honorable. I wish to say that those of you who last
     honored me with your company at dinner in this house will recollect
     that on that occasion I proposed the health of Mr. George Peabody
     and his worthy partner, Mr. Morgan, and the latter replied to the
     sentiment. I had stated in the course of my remarks preliminary to
     the toast that when I called upon him in 1856 he gave the name of
     his house as subscribers for £10,000 of the company's stock. In
     reply to the toast, Mr. Morgan spoke of that £10,000 as lost money,
     but promised a further subscription, nevertheless, towards carrying
     out a new cable, and I am happy to say that yesterday he redeemed
     his promise. That statement that he lost his money is not strictly
     accurate. It is not lost. He knows where the cable is and can go
     and get it. The money has been sown, and the plant is already out
     of the ground, and is now growing up splendidly. It will soon be in
     flower--I mean at a premium--and then there will be in the office
     of Messrs. George Peabody & Co. more rejoicing over that £10,000
     which was lost and is found than over any £99,000 of their profits
     that were never in danger. When I invited Mr. Morgan here this
     evening, he consented to come upon the express condition that he
     should not have to reply to any toast or make a speech. I will
     therefore give you a sentiment, which, remember, he is on no
     account to reply to; but I hope you have all, by this time, drunk
     enough wine to enable you to imagine what he would say in reply to
     it if he were under any obligation to respond. I ask you, then, to
     drink success to the house of Messrs. George Peabody & Co."

Before his friends left him, he said:

     "My stay in England is now drawing to a close, and never before
     when about to embark for America did I feel more satisfied and
     rejoiced at the position of our great undertaking; but with all
     this a feeling of sadness at times steals over me. It seems to me
     in those moments very doubtful whether many of us will ever meet
     again. What little I could do has been done, and the enterprise is
     now in the hands of the contractors, who, I am sure, will carry it
     out to a triumphant success. It will do much to bind together
     England and America, and base, indeed, will be the man, to whatever
     country he may belong, that may dare, with an unhallowed tongue or
     venomous pen, to sow discord among those who speak the same
     language and profess the same religion, and who ought to be on
     terms of the completest friendship. I shall leave in a few days for
     my native land, for I think it wrong on the part of any American to
     be away in the hour of peril to his country, unless it be on a
     mission of peace; his place is otherwise at home at such a moment.
     I will say, however, that if anyone here present should come to see
     us in America, he will receive a hearty welcome from me, at all

The importance attached by his colleagues in the great enterprise to Mr.
Field's presence and personal participation in the task has often been
made evident in these pages, and it is explicitly set forth in the
following letter received by Mr. Field at a time when he considered that
his duty to his family might require his immediate return to America:

"_23d February, 1864._

     "_My dear Sir_,--Before you finally decide on leaving England let
     me beg of you, in behalf of the great work for which you have
     already made so many sacrifices, and also in regard to your large
     pecuniary interest therein, to carefully consider the consequence
     of prematurely going away. You will recollect that on both of the
     two last occasions when you were good enough to cross the Atlantic
     on this business, I strongly urged you to remain until all the
     various matters preliminary to a fair start with the manufacture of
     the cable were concluded and the necessary arrangements finally
     settled; and had not your most natural anxiety to be again among
     your family prevailed, I do think you might have been spared at
     least your last voyage.

     "On the present occasion the undertaking has been benefited very
     greatly by your presence, and the contracts now about to be entered
     into are in their present position mainly on account of your
     exertions. But they are not _completed_. Even if accepted to-day
     there will be a great many points, when they come to be arranged in
     a legal form, which I shall have to battle with the contractors and
     others, and in doing which your aid will be most invaluable to me.
     There are also arrangements to be made for securing the regular and
     proper progress of the work, so as to give security that nothing is
     neglected that will secure the success of the cable in 1865, and I
     feel that if you remain I shall have security for getting them into
     proper position. I therefore on every ground ask you not to leave
     us until you have seen with your own eyes the cable actually
     commenced and everything organized for its due continuance. You can
     then leave with a comfortable assurance that all will go well.

     "I know how hard all this is for Mrs. Field, and you, who know how
     much I love my own home, will, I am sure, believe me when I say how
     much I sympathize with you and her in the sacrifices involved in
     these continual separations; but it must be borne in mind that you
     have been marked out by the Ruler of all things as the apostle of
     this great movement, and this is a high mission and a noble
     distinction, in which I am sure Mrs. Field herself would deeply
     regret that you should come short of success, independently
     altogether of the very large results to herself and family from the
     pecuniary success or failure of the undertaking, all concerned in
     which have hitherto been compelled to make greater or smaller
     sacrifices in its behalf.

     "I leave this for your consideration, having felt it a duty to say
     thus much to you in my private capacity upon what I consider a most
     important subject.

"I am, very dear sir,
"Very truly yours,

"CYRUS W. FIELD, Esquire, Palace Hotel, Buckingham

At the end of the report made to the shareholders of the Atlantic
Telegraph Company on March 16th, the Right Hon. James Stuart Wortley

     "Without saying anything to detract from my deep source of
     gratitude to the other directors, I cannot help especially alluding
     to Mr. Cyrus Field, who is present to-day, and who has crossed the
     Atlantic thirty-one times in the service of this company, having
     celebrated at his table yesterday the anniversary of the tenth year
     of the day when he first left Boston in the service of the company.
     Collected round his table last night was a company of distinguished
     men--members of Parliament, great capitalists, distinguished
     merchants and manufacturers, engineers, and men of science--such as
     is rarely found together, even in the highest home in this great
     metropolis. It was very agreeable to see an American citizen so
     surrounded. To me it was so personally, as it would have been to
     you, and it was still more gratifying inasmuch as we were there to
     celebrate the approaching accomplishment of the Atlantic

And at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Telegraph
Company on May 4th, it was unanimously resolved, on the motion of Mr.

     "That the sincere thanks of this board be given to Mr. Cyrus W.
     Field for his untiring energy in promoting the general interests of
     the Atlantic Telegraph Company, and especially for his valuable and
     successful exertions during his present visit to Great Britain in
     reference to the restoration of its financial position and
     prospects of complete success."

His friend of many years wrote:

"HOUSE OF COMMONS, _27th April, 1864_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field,_--I am obliged, I am sorry to say, by the
     state of my health to deny myself the pleasure of accompanying you
     to-morrow to witness the process in connection with the great
     project for bringing the two worlds into instantaneous
     communication--a project with which your name will be always
     associated. I hope to have the pleasure of again shaking hands with
     you before you leave us. If not, I shall look forward to the
     gratification of welcoming you on the triumph of the Atlantic

     "With my best wishes for your welfare,

"I remain
"Sincerely yours,

March 3d his name appears on the list of those who attended the meeting
at the London Tavern, when an "organization was formed of Americans in
the United Kingdom as an auxiliary to the United States Sanitary
Commission. One of the contributions that he received was one thousand
tons of coal from Mr. (now Sir George) Elliot. He sailed for home on May
7th, and on the 26th of the same month the New York, Newfoundland, and
London Telegraph Company passed this resolution:

     "That this company tender to Mr. Cyrus W. Field their sincere
     thanks for the untiring perseverance, industry, and skill with
     which he has labored gratuitously for over ten years to promote the
     interests of this company, and to secure the successful laying of a
     submarine cable from Newfoundland to Ireland. And we hereby express
     our conviction that to him is due the credit, and to him this
     company and the world will be indebted, for the successful laying
     of the same."

August, 1864, was passed in Newfoundland, and it was at this time that
he chose the landing-place for the new cable. "The little harbor in
Newfoundland that bears the gentle name of Heart's Content is a
sheltered nook where ships may ride at anchor, safe from the storms of
the ocean. It is but an inlet from that great arm of the sea known as
Trinity Bay, which is sixty or seventy miles long and twenty miles
broad. On the beach is a small village of some sixty houses, most of
which are the humble dwellings of those hardy men who vex the northern
seas with their fisheries. The place was never heard of outside of
Newfoundland till 1864, when Mr. Field, sailing up Trinity Bay in the
surveyors steamer _Margaretta Stevenson_, Captain Orlebar, R.N., in
search of a place for the landing of the ocean cable, fixed upon this
secluded spot. The old landing of 1858 was at the Bay of Bull's Arm, at
the head of Trinity Bay, twenty miles above. Heart's Content was chosen
now because its waters are still and deep, so that a cable skirting the
north side of the banks of Newfoundland can be brought in deep water
almost till it touches the shore. All around the land rises to
pine-crested heights."

This is from a letter written to Mr. Saward on October the 10th:

     "Since my return home in May last I have been doing my utmost to
     carry out the wishes of the directors and yourself in regard to the
     control of the lines between Port Hood, New York, and Montreal,
     with separate offices at Port Hood, Halifax, St. John's, N. B.,
     Boston, Quebec, Montreal, and New York, for the Atlantic telegraph,
     and the best place for landing the cable in Newfoundland. To
     accomplish these two objects I have seen almost all of the persons
     who control the principal telegraph lines in America, and have
     visited Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Poughkeepsie, Boston,
     and Portland in the United States; St. John's and Fredericton in
     New Brunswick; Charlottetown in Prince Edward's Island; Truro and
     Halifax in Nova Scotia; Port Hood and Sydney in Cape Breton; St.
     John's and Trinity and Placentia bays in Newfoundland; Quebec and
     Montreal in Canada, and have travelled over sixty-three hundred
     miles, viz.:

  "By railway, over 3280 miles.
  "By steamers, over 2400 miles.
  "By open wagon, over 500 miles.
  "By stage-coach, over 150 miles.
  "By fishing-boats, about 100 miles."

And on October 24th:

     "I can hardly keep the business of the Atlantic Telegraph Company
     out of my mind for a single moment."

The future captain of the _Great Eastern_ wrote:

"R.M.S.S. 'EUROPA,' _October 25, 1864_.


     "_My dear Sir_,--I am in receipt of your favor of the 24th inst.,
     for which I thank you. So far as it has gone you have paid me a
     very high compliment. I have been afraid at times that you may have
     thought me lukewarm upon the subject of commanding the _Great
     Eastern_, and am desirous you should understand that I have
     restrained my enthusiasm because I have not thought it likely I
     should be chosen, and that, after all, it might be only your
     partiality for me.

     "I would not have been surprised if, after consulting with Mr.
     Cunard, your letter to me had alluded to the propriety of my giving
     it no more heed. It is so difficult to know what estimate other
     people may have formed of one's capacity for any considerable
     effort--small things often give a strong bias--and he might have
     suggested some other man to you as more likely than I.

     "I am, besides, still of opinion that the applicants for the honor
     will be so numerous, and apparently so eligible, that the majority
     of the directors will prefer a man over whom they will like to feel
     that they have the greatest possible control. It will probably
     appear objectionable to employ a man who felt himself the servant
     of another company, and who, for anything they could tell, might
     become ridiculously elated with the preference shown to him.

     "I feel these are objections that will be advanced, because were I
     director I should urge them myself until well assured of fair
     reasons for abandoning them.

     "You do, however, want a man who is familiar with the Atlantic--its
     fogs, ice and method of its gales--and, above all, one who will
     devote himself to working with the engineers of the cable, who,
     after all, _must be_ obeyed. Any fellow who shows signs of
     advancing his own whims in opposition to theirs must be thrown
     overboard. No want of harmony should interfere with so great a

     "I would recommend that whoever you may put in command should be
     sent to have a look at the locality and neighboring coast where the
     cable is to be landed. This may prove of vital importance should
     the coast be approached in the summer fogs or haze.

     "I hope you will understand from this that I fairly covet the
     distinction, yet could not wisely leave so fine a service for
     anything so indefinite as the command of the _Great Eastern_ may
     prove to be. Should I be chosen for the temporary command, I would,
     for my own reputation, and in my friendship for you, bend all my
     energies to insure success to so grand an international scheme.

     "I know Professor Bache very well. Admiral Dupont, General Doyle,
     Agassiz, Pierce, and others dine with me to-day. I know Bache so
     much that I think nothing too good for him. The United States coast
     survey is a monument to his fame that can never die or become
     useless, and I think its accuracy is unquestionable.

     "With renewed thanks for your interest in me, and every kind wish
     to you and yours,

"I remain
"Yours very truly,

     "P. S.--I think I resume command of the _China_ again on my return,
     but do not yet know."

For the account of a dinner given by Mr. Field on the evening of
December 12th in this year we are indebted to the _Life of General John
A. Dix_:

     "On the ---- of December, 1864, while in command of the Department
     of the East, I was dining at the house of Mr. Cyrus W. Field with a
     party of ladies and gentlemen. Lord Lyons, the British Minister,
     sat on Mrs. Field's right hand, and my seat was next to his. When
     the dinner had been a short time in progress a telegraphic despatch
     was brought to me at the table informing me that a party of
     secessionists from Canada had taken possession of the village of
     St. Albans, in Vermont, and were plundering it. Informing Mr. and
     Mrs. Field that I had received a communication which demanded my
     personal attention, I left the table, promising to return as soon
     as possible. I immediately went to my headquarters, and telegraphed
     to the commanding officer at Burlington--the nearest military
     station--ordering him to send the forces at his disposal to St.
     Albans with the utmost despatch, and, if the marauders were still
     there, to capture them if possible. I instructed him also that if
     he came in sight of them and they crossed the Canada line while he
     was in pursuit, to follow them.

     "After giving these orders I returned to the dinner-table, and,
     having resumed my seat, told Lord Lyons that I had been called away
     by a very unpleasant summons, and informed him what I had heard
     from St. Albans and what order I had given."

This dinner was referred to by Mr. Field, and he has said that when
General Dix told him of his order he exclaimed, "That means war." He was
persuaded that had it not been that Lord Lyons and General Dix were
together this evening when the news of the invasion was received serious
trouble might have arisen between the two countries. Before the evening
was over the general and the minister had had a long talk, and later
General Dix modified his order, so far as it related to the pursuit of
the invaders into Canadian territory.



On February 25, 1865, Mr. Field writes:

     "I have been absent from New York for some time on a visit to
     Washington and to General Grant's army."

It was on the previous day that he had written to London:

     "I do most sincerely hope that Captain James Anderson, of the
     Cunard steamer _China_, will be appointed to the command of the
     _Great Eastern_ during the laying of the Atlantic telegraph
     cable.... With Captain Anderson in command and Messrs. Canning and
     Clifford superintending the laying of the cable, I should feel the
     greatest confidence that all would go right."

The _China_ was at this time on her way to New York. She sailed again on
her return voyage, March 8th, and Mr. Field was on board as a passenger.
The following letter from Captain Anderson is evidently the sequel of
their conversations on the voyage:

"LIVERPOOL, _March 19, 1865_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--I purpose going up to London sometime
     to-morrow. I did not get the _China_ moored until four P.M., so
     that I have still the necessary custom entries to make.

     "I shall meet you at breakfast Tuesday morning as early as you
     like, and shall look for a note upon my arrival at your hotel. I
     shall telegraph when I start.

     "Mr. David MacIver appears to have laid his plans for the
     possibility of my being required to remain behind at this time, but
     will require an answer at latest on Wednesday morning. It will
     therefore be necessary that I should be in communication as early
     as possible on Tuesday morning with some one who could proceed to
     the ship with me and talk the matter over.

     "I dare say there may be no more work required than could be done
     after my arrival in May, but it would then be too late to undo

     "I have, however, the greatest faith in the engineering skill and
     experience of Messrs. Glass, Elliott & Co., and believe I shall
     find myself unable to suggest much that they are not already quite
     familiar with, but I naturally would like to identify myself with
     some knowledge of the storage and plans for lifting the ship, with
     a view to trim for steering, pitching, or rolling as she becomes

     "I would like to see how the tanks are connected with each other in
     their communication, and to understand the process of paying out,
     the possibility of ever requiring to check it, and to be generally
     familiar with men and material below the deck.

     "You know I think prevention better than cure, and that it is the
     distinct duty of a ship-master to be familiar with what is to be
     apprehended, and, so far as he can, to have some plans in his mind
     to which he can resort when his foresight has proved insufficient.
     I do not apprehend or fear any difficulty to your great enterprise,
     but as little as possible should be left to chance or inspiration.

     "The essentials, as far as I am concerned, would be to _see for
     myself all_ the ground tackling _clear_ and efficient;

     "The steering gear and prevention ditto in good order;

     "The sails necessary to steady the ship in a chance breeze;

     "The _compasses_ and their _adjustment_ and all the means that are
     available for freeing the ship from water.

     "I should like to get around me such a staff of men that I might
     hope to rely at least upon a portion of them.

     "If the crew are all shipped at the last moment, you begin with a
     difficulty at once. I would not, of course, incur the expense of
     employing a large crew at present, but I would select a good
     nucleus, and have the ship's work and discipline well in hand in
     good season.

     "Is the ship to go into Valentia Harbor? If so, I advise you to let
     me go and see it. It is narrow. Should it prove a calm day this
     might be of no moment, but it is not always calm in Ireland; we
     might have to wait for a day or two. But these are first thoughts.
     I will see what I think on Tuesday. Perhaps you might show this
     letter to Mr. Canning, or any one you like. If they think I should
     now join them, immediate application should be made; if not, it
     will be very bad if I cannot work with the tools I get.

"Sincerely yours,

The foresight and circumspection displayed in this note were
characteristic, and were among the qualities which, combined with
Captain Anderson's seamanship and long experience on the Atlantic, made
Mr. Field anxious to secure his services. The application to the Cunard
company for a leave of absence was granted, and there was no fault to be
found with the manner in which the temporary captain of the _Great
Eastern_ performed this part of the work.

     "The _Great Eastern_ had arrived at her berth in the Medway on the
     11th of July, 1864," wrote Mr. Field, "and the work on the three
     tanks was begun at once. They were not completely finished until
     February, 1865, although the coiling began on January 20th. The
     admiralty had detailed two vessels, the _Amethyst_ and _Iris_, to
     take the cable from the works to the _Great Eastern_, and late in
     June all was safely on board."

This work was progressing so successfully that upon Mr. Field's arrival
in England he found it unnecessary for him to remain there, and that it
was possible for him to go to Egypt to attend the preliminary inspection
of the Suez Canal. He was duly accredited as a representative from the
Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York. His letter of appointment
is dated March 7, 1865, and sets forth: "You have been selected to
represent this chamber at the conference of representatives of Chambers
of Commerce invited to meet at Alexandria, Egypt, on the sixth day of
April next, by the Universal Company of the Suez Canal, to survey and
report upon the works undertaken by them to connect the Mediterranean
and the Red seas, and the great advantages to commerce which this new
line of water navigation promises." This journey was a most interesting
one. In his speech at Ismailia, on April 11th, he said:

     "I am sure that all who witness what we have will agree that a ship
     canal can be made across the Isthmus of Suez by the expenditure of
     money under the direction of the best engineers of the nineteenth
     century. You, Mr. President, are engaged in the great work of
     dividing two continents for the benefit of every commercial nation
     in the world.... Within the next three months I hope to have the
     pleasure of seeing two hemispheres connected by a submarine cable,
     and when that is done you will be able to telegraph from this place
     in the Great Desert of Africa, through a part of Asia, across the
     Continent of Europe, under the deep Atlantic, and over America to
     the shores of the Pacific; and your message will arrive there
     several hours in advance of the sun."

And at Cairo, on the 17th, he said to M. de Lesseps and those with him:

     "Thirteen days since I arrived in Egypt an entire stranger, six
     thousand miles away from home, but you received me with such
     kindness that I at once felt that I was surrounded by friends; and
     now, when we have met for the last time that we shall all be
     together in this world, I have mingled feelings of joy and sadness.
     Joy and gratitude that I have been with you on our most interesting
     journey across the Isthmus of Suez, to examine that great work now
     being constructed, of a ship canal from the Mediterranean to the
     Red Sea; sadness that we now bid each other farewell. For all of
     your kindness to me I most sincerely thank you, and if any of you
     should visit America, while my heart beats you will receive a most
     cordial welcome from me."

As it was not thought imperative for Captain Anderson to remain in
England in March, he made another voyage in command of the _China_, and,
on April 14th, while in New York, wrote to Mrs. Field:

     "I am glad you have had such good news from your good husband. I
     shall be astonished if he reports well of the canal, and should be
     well satisfied to be assured of a healthy life until the first ship
     sailed through the great ditch. I am quite curious to know what he
     will say about it."

Mr. Field returned to London on May 1st, and that same day was at a
public meeting of Americans held "in order to give expression to their
feelings respecting the late distressing intelligence from America"--the
assassination of President Lincoln. Mr. Adams, the American minister,
presided, and Mr. Field closed his speech with these words:

     "Just before leaving America I called to see President Lincoln, and
     I know how deeply he desired peace in America and peace in all the
     world. I trust, therefore, that everything calculated to stir up
     ill-feeling between North and South--even the last sad deeds--or
     between England and America, will be allowed to die with the good
     man who has been taken away and will be buried in his grave
     forever. If Mr. Lincoln could speak to-day he would urge upon every
     one to do all he could to allay the passions which have been
     excited in America; and I hope all will comply with what I believe
     would be his wish."

The weeks passed rapidly in active preparation for the summer's attempt
to lay another cable. This account is from the London _Star_ of May

     "At ten minutes past five yesterday afternoon the new telegraphic
     cable, destined once more to connect England with America, was
     completed. The last thread of wire was twisted, the last revolution
     of the engine accomplished, and the mechanism of that subtle and
     silent speech which henceforth is to unite two continents was ready
     to be put in operation.... It was not to be expected that such a
     propitious occasion should be allowed to pass without the
     celebration of a dinner. No true-born Englishman could have lent
     his countenance to a scheme which was not so inaugurated, and
     therefore, towards evening, the gentlemen who had visited the works
     of Messrs. Glass & Elliott proceeded westward to the Ship Tavern,
     where a very princely entertainment had been provided. John Pender,
     Esq., M. P., was in the chair. One of the toasts was: "Cyrus W.
     Field, Esq.--may his energy and perseverance in behalf of the
     Atlantic Telegraph Company be rewarded by the permanent success of
     the cable."

What follows is the beginning of a long article in the London _Times_ of
June 19th:

     "At length all the preparations connected with the final departure
     of this great telegraphic expedition are completed. On Wednesday
     the _Amethyst_ left the telegraph works with the last length of 245
     miles of cable on board, and on Saturday the operation of coiling
     this in was begun. This work will probably last till the 22d inst.,
     when the _Great Eastern_ will have in her as nearly as possible
     7000 tons of cable, or, including the iron tanks which contain it
     and the water in which it is sunk, about 9000 tons in all. In
     addition to this she has already 7000 tons of coal on board, and
     1500 tons more still to take in. This additional weight, however,
     will not be added till she leaves the Medway, which she will do on
     the morning of the 24th for the Nore, when the rest of the coals
     and special stores will be put aboard, and these will bring her
     mean draught down to 32½ feet. Her total weight, including engines,
     will then be rather over 21,000 tons--a stupendous mass for any
     ship to carry, but well within the capacity of the _Great Eastern_,
     of which the measurement tonnage is 24,000. Her way out from the
     Nore will be by Bullock's Channel, which the admiralty are having
     carefully buoyed to avoid all risk in these rather shallow waters.
     Before the following spring tides set in, about the 6th or 7th of
     July, the _Great Eastern_ will start for Valentia. There she is
     expected to arrive about the 9th or 10th, and there she will be met
     by the two ships of war appointed to convoy her--the _Terrible_ and
     the _Sphinx_. Both these vessels are being fitted with the best
     apparatus for deep-sea soundings; with buoys and means for buoying
     the end of the cable, if ever it should become necessary; and with
     Bollen's night-light naval signals, with which the _Great Eastern_
     is likewise to be supplied. To avoid all chance of accident the big
     ship will not approach the Irish coast nearer than twenty or
     twenty-five miles, and her stay off Valentia will be limited to the
     time occupied in making a splice with the massive shore end which
     for a length of twenty-five miles from the coast will be laid
     previous to her arrival. This monstrous shore end, which is the
     heaviest and strongest piece of cable ever made, will be despatched
     in a few days, and be laid from the head of a sheltered inlet near
     Cahirciveen out to the distance we have stated, where the end will
     be buoyed and watched by the ships of war till the _Great Eastern_
     herself comes up. Some idea of the strength and solidity of this
     great end may be guessed by the fact that its weight per mile is
     very little short of one-half the weight of an ordinary railway
     metal. For the shore end at Newfoundland only three miles are
     required, and this short length will be sent in the _Great

The request that American war vessels should accompany the expedition
was made in the early spring, as is shown by this correspondence:

"NEW YORK, _March 1, 1865_.

     "_Sir_,--The undersigned honorary directors of the Atlantic
     Telegraph Company have the honor to transmit to the President of
     the United States the draft of a letter to the Honorable the
     Secretary of the Navy, deeming it a matter of propriety that an
     application of so interesting a character shall be made to the Navy
     Department of the United States through the chief executive of the
     nation, whose interest in behalf of the enterprise thus presented
     is earnestly invoked.

  "We have the honor to be,
  "Very respectfully,
  "Your obedient servants,

  "W. E. DODGE,        PETER COOPER,
  "WILSON G. HUNT,      A. A. LOW,
  "Honorary Directors in America.

     "To his Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United

[Illustration: ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLE · 1865]

"NEW YORK, _March 1, 1865_.

     "_Sir_,--Under an act of Congress approved March 3, 1857, the
     government of the United States detailed the steam frigates
     _Niagara_ and _Susquehanna_ to assist in laying the cable of the
     Atlantic Telegraph Company from Ireland to Newfoundland, and the
     following year sent the _Niagara_, under the command of Captain
     Hudson, to co-operate with the _Agamemnon_, of her Britannic
     Majesty's navy, in the further prosecution of this enterprise.
     These vessels meeting in mid-ocean on the 28th day of July, 1858,
     after connecting the wire, separated, the _Agamemnon_ sailing for
     Valentia, on the coast of Ireland, and the _Niagara_ for Trinity
     Bay, on the coast of Newfoundland. They reached their respective
     destinations on the 5th day of August, and the work of uniting the
     two continents by telegraphic communication was successfully

     "For a brief time messages were transmitted from one continent to
     the other, among the most interesting being the announcement of
     peace between Great Britain and France and China. The success, as
     happily achieved, but only temporary, was still sufficient to
     assure the parties engaged of a final and perfect fulfilment.

     "The capital of the Atlantic Telegraph Company has once more been
     filled up, and a new cable is now in course of shipment, on board
     of the _Great Eastern_, and will be wholly embarked on or before
     the 1st of June next. During that month we have every reason to
     think it will be successfully laid, seven years of experience, with
     the added teaching of science, affording very ample grounds for
     this conclusion.

     "Regarding this as an enterprise of great international importance,
     we invite the attention of the government of the United States to
     this new effort of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, and respectfully
     request the Honorable the Secretary of the Navy once more to detail
     a ship of war to act with such vessel of the British navy as her
     Britannic Majesty may appoint to accompany the _Great Eastern_ on
     her projected mission.

     "The lapse of time since the first attempt was made to unite the
     continents by a system of telegraphic communication has not tended
     to abate the interest which originally centred upon this bold
     undertaking. On the contrary, four years of civil war, prolific of
     events demanding immediate and mutual explanations between Great
     Britain and the United States, have contributed to strengthen and
     deepen the interest with which at first it was so universally
     regarded. May we not reasonably indulge the hope that, as the old
     cable first conveyed to the Western World the news of restored
     peace in China, one of the first messages through the wires about
     to be immersed may convey to the Old World from the New tidings of
     peace re-established in the West, of the States reunited, and
     slavery everywhere abolished, and that henceforward all causes of
     misunderstanding between Great Britain and the United States may be
     instantaneously removed?

  "We have the honor to be,
  "Very respectfully,
  "Your obedient servants,

  "A. A. LOW,         WILSON G. HUNT,

  "Honorary Directors in America.

     "To Hon. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

The only explanation ever vouchsafed of the failure of this application
was the suggestion, published in a New York paper, that it was "because
England had not withdrawn her proclamation excluding our vessels from
her ports under what is termed her 'twenty-four hours' rule.'"

The _Great Eastern_ left Medway on June 24th, and removed to the Nore,
and on July the 15th left that anchorage. The progress of the great ship
is chronicled in the following extracts from the London papers:

"PORTSMOUTH, _July 16th_.

     "The _Great Eastern_ passed Newton at 2 P.M., five miles off land,
     under steam and sail; wind light, southerly."

"VALENTIA, _July 23d_.

     "Yesterday morning the first great step in the important
     undertaking was accomplished by hauling on land the massive shore
     end up the cliffs at the southwestern extremity of this island."

"VALENTIA, _July 24th_.

     "Before this reaches the public the _Great Eastern_, if all goes
     well, will already have laid some 300 miles of the Atlantic cable."

"_Friday morning_.

     "Five hundred nautical miles of cable were paid out at 10.50 A.M.
     to-day. The distance run at 9.50 A.M. was 450 miles.

     "The signals are perfect; weather fine."

"_Wednesday morning, August 2d_.

     "Twelve hundred miles paid out at 7.50 A.M.; 1050 run by _Great
     Eastern_ at 6.50 A.M.

     "All going on well."

"_August 7th._

     "Although the precise cause of the catastrophe is still a mystery,
     there remains but faint hope that the fate of the Atlantic cable is
     not already decided. Four days have elapsed since the signals
     ceased to evoke any return, and those received at Valentia became

"_August 17th._

     "Arrival of the _Great Eastern_, Crookhaven. Failure of the
     Atlantic telegraph expedition."

An illustrated paper published on the _Great Eastern_, and called _The
Atlantic Telegraph_, tells of some of the days that passed so
mysteriously to those on land:

"_Saturday, July 29, 1865._


     "The week just completed has been most exciting, several mishaps
     having occurred, but we are enabled to state that everything at the
     time of our going to press was most satisfactory, both as regards
     the ship's progress and the chief objects of her voyage across the

     "On Monday the hopes of all interested in the success of the
     undertaking were much damped by the intelligence that all was not
     right with the cable. The chief engineer immediately proceeded to
     stop the 'paying out' of the cable, and gave orders for 'paying in'
     the same. This latter operation is very slow and unsatisfactory,
     and answers to the 'paying out' of the pockets of the shareholders,
     whereas the 'paying out' of the cable contributes to the 'paying
     in' as regards the same pockets. This curious feature will be
     better understood by a reference to our money market intelligence.


     "Money scarce. Exchange, 00.


     "There has been great fluctuation in the shares of the Atlantic
     Telegraph and Great Ship companies.


     "The _Great Eastern_ speeds nobly on her mission of towing the
     islands of Great Britain and Ireland to America. In less than ten
     days it is expected that a splice will be effected between the two
     countries, and long, long may it last.


     "12 noon.--Luncheon and _Daily Navigator_.



     "9 to 11 P.M.--Grog, possibly with whist.

     "From daylight till dusk.--Looking out for the _Sphinx_. (Through
     the kindness and liberality of the admiralty, this interesting
     amusement will be open to the public free of charge.)

     "N. B.--The above amusements, with the exception of whist, are


     "_The Atlantic Telegraph_ will be published till further notice.
     The price will be, for the series, five shillings, including the
     cover, and the proceeds will be devoted to such purposes as Captain
     Anderson shall appoint.

     "Communications to be addressed to the editor at No. 14 Lower South
     Avenue, Middle District.



"_Saturday, August 12, 1865._

     "The events of the last ten days have caused so much anxiety to the
     chiefs of this expedition, and, indeed, to all on board, that it
     appeared to us unseemly to allow our funny writer, or any one in
     our employ, to utter any ill-timed joke. That anxiety is now over,
     and though it be not supplanted by the exultation of success, let
     us accept our failure in the healthy spirit shown by the chief
     sufferers, and with an expression of sincere regret let us wipe
     from our brain what of the past is unavailing, and turn to the
     future with that hope and confidence which are justified by the
     experience gained by failure. As in kingdoms they say, 'The king is
     dead; the king liveth,' so let us say, 'The cable is dead; the
     cable liveth.' All honor and glory to our new sovereign!


     "It being ascertained that the sea-serpent was somewhere in
     latitude 51° 30' N., longitude 39° W., Captain Anderson,
     accompanied by Messrs. Canning and Clifford and a party of
     scientific gentlemen, endeavored to capture the monster. It being
     found that the lazy brute lies perfectly still at the bottom of the
     ocean, and being fed by sea animals, a bait was useless. A strong
     wire rope, with a grapnel attached, was lowered to a depth of 2000
     fathoms. After drifting a while, they grappled the monster and
     brought him up 1000 fathoms, when, unfortunately, the swivel gave
     way. Two or three attempts were made, with a like result, and it
     was resolved to postpone all operations to a more favorable time.


     "Captain Anderson will sell by auction in the chief saloon of the
     _Great Eastern_, on Saturday, August 12th, at one o'clock, the
     following articles, the property of various gentlemen leaving their
     present quarters:

     "Lot 1.--_The Great Eastern._ For cards to view apply to Mr. Gooch,
     on board.

     "Lot 2.--The good-will of the Atlantic Telegraph Company. (This
     invisible property is in Mr. Field's possession.)

            *       *       *       *       *

     "Lot 12.--A free pass from Boston or Halifax to Liverpool by any of
     the Cunard boats, the proprietor, Mr. W. Russell, having no use for
     the same."

The accompanying illustration appeared at the end of the papers, with
this verse:

    "No useless sentry within the tank,
       Not in slumber or sleep we found him;
     But he sat like a warrior stiff on his plank,
       With his Inverness cloak around him."

It was while Mr. Field was on watch on August 2d that "a grating noise
was audible as the cable flew over the coil," and "There is a piece of
wire" was called to the lookout man. The fault was discovered, and the
cable was transferred without difficulty to the bows, and the picking up
was going on quietly when the strain became too great and it parted.

To quote from _The Atlantic Telegraph_:

     "Mr. Canning appeared in the saloon, and, in a manner which caused
     all to start, said: 'It is all over--it is gone,' and hastened
     onward to his cabin. Mr. Field, ere the thrill of surprise and pain
     occasioned by those words had passed away, came from the
     companionway into the saloon, and said, with composure admirable
     under the circumstances, though his lip quivered and his cheek was
     blanched, 'The cable has parted and gone overboard.'

     "After this grappling was determined upon. At 11.30 on August 11th
     the _Great Eastern_ signalled to the _Terrible_, 'We are going to
     make a final effort.' The cable was caught and was brought up 765
     fathoms, and was then lost."

At Dundee, Scotland, in 1867, Sir William Thomson said:

     "I shall never forget the day when we last gave up hope of
     finishing the work in 1865. On that day Cyrus Field renewed a
     proposal for the adoption of the plan which has been adopted, and
     which has led to the successful completion of the enterprise. Cyrus
     Field's last prospectus was completed in the grand saloon of the
     _Great Eastern_ on the day when we gave up all hope for 1865."

[Illustration: THE NIGHT-WATCH

(From a lithograph drawn and printed on board the _Great Eastern_.)]

On the morning of the 12th the _Terrible_, one of the vessels detailed
and the one that had acted as pilot, was directed to resume her journey
westward and to carry letters to America. As she steamed away she
signalled "Farewell"; the _Great Eastern_ answered "Good-bye, thank

The following message is without doubt the one sent by this conveyance
to Mr. Field's family:

     "_Great Eastern_ left mouth of the Thames July 15th. Shore end
     landed in Ireland on 22d. Parted on August 2d in latitude 51° 25'
     north, longitude 39° 6' west, 1062.4 miles from Valentia Bay, 606.6
     miles from Heart's Content. Spent nine days in grappling; used up
     all wire, rope; nothing left, so obliged to return to England.
     Three times cable was caught, and hauled up for more than
     three-quarters of a mile from bed of the ocean."

The news of the failure of the cable expedition reached New York after
the middle of August, and in a degree the country was prepared for it.
The _Cuba_ early in August had brought word of the trouble that had
occurred on the 29th of July.

The suspense and anxiety had been so great to Mr. Field's family that
the loss of the cable was as nothing compared to the relief they
experienced at knowing that he was alive. Mr. David Dudley Field has
told of going to Garrison's on the Hudson, where the family were passing
the summer, to express sympathy, and that he found a very happy group,
and was met with the words, "Is not this delightful?"

This letter was one of the first received by Mrs. Field:

"NORTH CONWAY, _19th August, 1865_.

     "_My dear Friend_,--Emerging from the wilderness at Moosehead Lake,
     my first inquiry was for news concerning the cable. I have not had
     a full long breath ever since, such has been my suspense.

     "Day and night our thoughts have been with you and dear Mr. Field.
     Outside of your own family perhaps no one has known more of the
     hopes, the sacrifices, the efforts involved in this great
     undertaking. Certainly no one has felt more of interest in his
     success than I have. His pluck, bravery, and faith have always
     elicited my admiration, and inspired me with absolute confidence in
     his ultimate triumph over all difficulties. He has surely done his
     part well. He deserves the approbation and honor of the civilized

     "To-day for the first time I have heard of the parting of the
     cable. It seems as if a strong cord had snapped in my own heart. I
     feel most keenly for Mr. Field's disappointment. The disaster comes
     home to us all.

     "Mrs. Adams and myself talk much of you. We hope you have good news
     as to the health of your husband. How does he bear up with all this
     excitement and revulsion? I trust he will soon be returned to you
     safe and well; most of all, that he and you and we may yet see the
     complete success of this wonderful enterprise....

     "Very truly and affectionately your friend and pastor,


To copy once more from his papers:

     "This last attempt at ocean-cable laying proved conclusively that
     all the principal difficulties had been overcome in the way of
     carrying the grand enterprise to successful completion. The _Great
     Eastern_ as a cable ship had proved herself admirably fitted for
     the service on which she was employed. The cable itself could
     hardly be improved. The paying-out apparatus was almost perfect,
     and on this occasion it did not require any great amount of
     persuasion to induce the directors of the company to go on with the

     "A meeting was at once called, and the board resolved not only to
     pick up the lost cable, but to construct and lay another, both
     operations to be performed in the following year, and the _Great
     Eastern_ to be employed in the service. The contractors made a
     liberal offer to the company, and the directors decided to raise
     £600,000 of new capital."

All work for the coming year having apparently been most satisfactorily
settled, he returned home in September. A friend on the steamer with him

     "We heard Mr. Field was a passenger. We felt the deepest sympathy
     for him, and to our surprise he was the life of the ship and the
     most cheerful one on board. He said: 'We have learned a great deal,
     and next summer we shall lay the cable without doubt.'"

But again came discouragement. November 3d Captain Anderson wrote:

     "I cannot yet write a cheerful letter.... I cannot see any
     difficulty to our success but the one item of money. We are losing
     time. The board has already lost its margin, and it will end, must
     end now, by being in a hurry at the last.

     "I am sorry you are not here. Somehow no one seems to push when you
     are absent."

On November 27th Mr. Field wrote to Mr. Saward:

     "Unless I have more favorable news from London in regard to the
     Atlantic telegraph, it is my intention to sail for Liverpool on the
     _Scotia_ on the 13th of December."

He did not reach England a day too soon. On December 22d the
Attorney-General had given the opinion that only an act of Parliament
could legalize the issue of the twelve per cent. preference shares.
Parliament was not to meet until February, and then there would be a
delay in passing the bill. For this reason the money subscribed had been
returned, and the work of manufacturing the cable stopped. Mr. Field
accepted the opinion given, but also saw a way out of the difficulty.
It seems as if Mr. O'Neil's words in _Blackwood's Magazine_ referred to
this crisis and not to the failure of the previous summer:

     "Mr. Cyrus Field, the pioneer of Atlantic enterprise, full of hope
     and confidence, and never betraying anxiety or despair even at the
     most serious disaster--a man whose restless energy is best shown in
     his spare yet strong frame, as if his daily food but served for the
     development of schemes for the benefit of mankind in general and
     the profit of individuals in particular, every stoppage in our
     progress being marked by the issue of a fresh prospectus, each
     showing an increase of dividend as the certain result of confiding
     speculation--and, I say, all honor to him for his unswerving
     resolution to complete that great work for the success of which he
     has toiled so long and so earnestly."

It was on December 30th that Captain Anderson wrote:

"SHEERNESS, _Saturday, 30th, '65_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--Thanks for your cheering letter. I have
     great hopes in your energy and talent. I feel as if our watch had
     got the mainspring replaced, and had been trying to go without it
     for the last three months. At all events, I know nothing will be
     left undone that human energy can accomplish.

     "With the compliments of the season, and every kind wish, in which
     my good wife joins me,

"I remain
"Sincerely yours,




Mr. Field said of this crisis:

     "I reached London on the 24th of December, 1865, and the next day
     was not a 'Merry Christmas' to me. But it was an inexpressible
     comfort to have the counsel of such men as Sir Daniel Gooch and Sir
     Richard A. Glass; and Mr. Brassey said, 'Mr. Field, don't be
     discouraged; go down to the company and tell them to go ahead, and
     whatever the cost, I will bear one-tenth of the whole.

     "It was finally concluded that the best course was to organize a
     new company, which should assume the work; and so originated the
     Anglo-American Telegraph Company. It was formed by ten gentlemen
     who met around a table in London and put down £10,000 apiece.

     "The great Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company,
     undaunted by the failure of last year, answered us with a
     subscription of £100,000. Soon after, the books were opened to the
     public through the eminent banking house of J. S. Morgan & Co., and
     in fourteen days we had raised the whole £600,000. Then the work
     began again, and went on with speed. Never was greater energy
     infused into any enterprise. It was only the first day of March
     that the new company was formed, and was registered as a company
     the next day; and yet such were the vigor and despatch that in five
     months from that day the cable had been manufactured, shipped on
     the _Great Eastern_, stretched across the Atlantic, and was sending
     messages, literally swift as lightning, from continent to
     continent. The cable was manufactured at the rate of twenty miles a

Captain Anderson wrote from the _Great Eastern_ at Sheerness on March

     "I hope you are keeping well and not sacrificing your health for
     even the Atlantic cable."

After referring to some slight complications, he adds:

     "But this will all come right, as you so often say, and surely we
     shall live to laugh at it yet. At least you ought to have your day
     of triumph, as you have had your long years of struggle."

March 5th, Captain Moriarty wrote from H.M.S. _Fox_:

     "I am as sanguine as even yourself in the practicability and almost
     certainty of raising the present cable, and feel all the more
     interested in it in consequence of the incredulity of naval men and

Mr. Field gave a dinner at the Buckingham Palace Hotel on April 5th; the
American minister, Mr. Adams, sat on his right, and the Earl of
Caithness on his left. _The Morning Star_, in speaking of the dinner,
said: "Mr. Field, with almost inspired fervor, spoke of the certainty
with which it would soon be possible to speak between England and
America in a minute of time."

"ROCHDALE, _March 26, '66_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--I shall not be in London before the 9th
     April, and therefore shall not be able to dine with you on the 5th,
     which I much regret.

     "If you could come down here on your way to Liverpool, I should be
     very glad to see you. I expect to be at home till the end of the

     "I hope your telegraph labors have been successful, and that before
     the summer is over you will see your noble effort successful.

     "I am anxious about what is doing in Washington, but I have lost
     faith in the President, and think Mr. Seward is allowing himself to
     be dragged into the mud of his Southern propensities. If Grant
     continues firm with the Republican party, he may prevent great
     mischief. The power of the President seems too great in an
     emergency of this nature. His language shows that his temper is not
     calm enough for dangerous times. In this he falls immeasurably
     below Mr. Lincoln.

     "But if I despair of the President, I shall have faith in the

     "I wish you a pleasant voyage and a complete success in your great

"Always sincerely your friend,

"ROCHDALE, _March 28, '66_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--I will try to come to Liverpool to meet you
     on Friday, the 6th April, nothing unforeseen preventing.

     "I shall be glad to spend a quiet evening with you before you sail.
     I shall be glad also to meet Mr. Dudley.

     "You seem, as usual, to be hard at work up to the last day of your
     stay here.

Always truly your friend,

He sailed from Liverpool on April 7th by the steamship _Persia_,
arriving in New York on Thursday, April 19th, and he immediately took
his return passage for England in the steamship _Java_, which was to
sail from New York on May 30th. May 1st he wrote to Captain Anderson:
"Many thanks for your kind letter the 13th ultimo, received yesterday."
Every word of encouragement was always helpful to his eager temperament,
and of course it was especially so at this time, after so many

Mr. Russell, in his book on _The Atlantic Telegraph_, says:

     "It has been said that the greatest boons conferred on mankind have
     been due to men of one idea. If the laying of the Atlantic cable be
     among those benefits, its consummation may certainly be attributed
     to the man who, having many ideas, devoted himself to work out one
     idea, with a gentle force and patient vigor which converted
     opposition and overcame indifference. Mr. Field maybe likened
     either to the core or the external protection of the cable itself.
     At times he has been its active life, again he has been its
     iron-bound guardian. Let who will claim the merit of having first
     said the Atlantic cable was possible, to Mr. Field is due the
     inalienable merit of having made it possible and of giving to an
     abortive conception all the attributes of healthy existence."

"_Friday evening, 29th May._

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--I had hoped to see you to-day, but I have
     been a prisoner.... If I do not see you before you leave to-morrow,
     I pray God to bestow His best favor on you and the noble work in
     which you are so fervently engaged.

     "You will be remembered by very many who will not cease to implore
     success on your undertaking from Him who holds the winds and the
     waves. Please present my best regards to Captain Anderson.

     "Hoping for your safe return, with all the triumph which you have
     so richly deserved,

"I remain, my dear sir,
"Your affectionate friend and pastor,

The great ship was ready to sail on the day that had been named so many
months before, and the London papers had daily messages from her:

"MARGATE, _July 1st_.

     "The _Great Eastern_, with the Atlantic telegraph cable on board,
     passed here at half-past 3 P.M."

"VALENTIA, _July 6th_.

     "Shore end of the Atlantic cable successfully landed at 3 P.M.
     Tests perfect. The _William Corey_ proceeding to sea, paying out
     slowly. Weather fine. Cable of 1865 tested at noon to-day; is
     perfect as when laid."

"VALENTIA, _July 8th_.

     "Vessels _Blackbird_, _Pedler_, _Skylark_, and _William Corey_
     returned to Berehaven at 3.30 A.M. All vessels will complete
     coaling at Berehaven to-morrow night, and will proceed to sea to
     splice main cable to shore end on Wednesday morning, weather
     permitting. All going well.

     "The _Great Eastern_, with the Atlantic cable on board, has arrived
     at Berehaven, a natural haven on the western coast of Ireland, near
     Foilhommerum Bay, from whence the proposed electric communication
     is to start seawards towards America. Another vessel, the _William
     Corey_, has had confided to it the duty of laying the shore end,
     and it was intended when that was completed that the _Great
     Eastern_ should run round at once, make the splice, and begin its

"VALENTIA, _July 12th_.

     "Canning to Glass.--Latitude 51° N., longitude 17° 29' W. Cable
     paid out, 283 miles; distance run, 263. Insulation and continuity
     perfect. Weather fine. All going on well. Seaman fell overboard
     from _Terrible_; was picked up; life saved."

     "Canning to Glass.--

"_Noon (ship's time), July 16th._

     "Latitude 52° N., longitude 20° 36' W. Cable paid out, 420 miles;
     distance run, 378 miles. Weather fine. All on board well.

     "Gooch to Glass.--Nothing can be more satisfactory than everything
     is going on on board. Weather glorious."

"VALENTIA, _July 23d_, 5.30 P.M.

     "The following telegram received from the _Great Eastern_ this day:

"'_Noon(ship's time), July 23d._

     "'Canning to Glass.--Latitude 50° 16' N., longitude 42° 16' W.
     Cable paid out, 1345.24 miles; distance run, 1196.9 miles.
     Insulation and continuity perfect. Insulation improved 30 per cent,
     since starting.'"

"VALENTIA, _July 27th_.

     "_Great Eastern_ steaming up Trinity Bay at 4.25 this morning;
     expect to land shore end at noon, local time."

"VALENTIA, _July 27th_.

     "Shore end landed and splice completed at 8.43. Messages of
     congratulation passing rapidly between Ireland and Newfoundland.
     Insulation and continuity perfect. Speed much increased since
     surplus cable has been cut off."

Mr. Field's own diary is interesting, but it is impossible to give here
more than a few extracts:

"_Saturday, June 30, 1866_.

     "Sailed at noon from her moorings off Sheerness. The _Great
     Eastern_ has on board 2375 nautical miles of cable."

"_Sunday, July 1st_.

     "Started at 12 noon, under easy steam, through the Alexander
     Channel. Pilot left us. Squally weather, with rain at night."

"_Wednesday, July 4th_.

     "Strong wind and heavy head sea. Made Fastnet light at about 8 P.M.
     Celebrated the ninetieth anniversary of the independence of the
     United States by hoisting the American flag and speeches at

"_Wednesday, July 11th_.

     "Completed coaling _Great Eastern_ and taking in provisions.
     Received on board of _Great Eastern_ at Berehaven:

   10 bullocks,
    1 milch cow,
  114 sheep,
   20 pigs,
   29 geese,
   14 turkeys,
  500 fowls.

      28 bullocks,
       4 calves,
      22 sheep,
       4 pigs,
     300 fowls,
  18,000 eggs."

"_Thursday, July 12th_.

     "Religious service held at Valentia at 2.30 P.M."

"_Friday, July 13th_.

     "The _Great Eastern_ and _Raccoon_ joined the _Terrible_, _Medway_,
     and _Albany_ at buoy at the end of shore cable at 6 A.M.

     "Splice between shore cable and main cable completed on board of
     the _Great Eastern_ at 3.10 P.M. 3.50 Greenwich time the telegraph
     fleet started for Newfoundland.

     "The telegraph fleet sail as follows: The _Terrible_ ahead of the
     _Great Eastern_ on the starboard bow, the _Medway_ on the port, and
     the _Albany_ on the starboard quarter.

     "It was foggy nearly all day and rained very hard most of the
     forenoon. Signals through cable perfect."

"_Saturday, July 14th_.

     "Wind W.S.W. Weather fine. Distance from Valentia, 135.5 miles;
     from Heart's Content, 1533.5. Depth of water, 210 to 525 fathoms.
     Cable and signals perfect."

"_Monday, July 16th_.

     "Calm, beautiful day. Signals perfect."

"_Tuesday, July 17th_.

     "Sent Mr. Glass at Valentia the following telegram:

     "'Field to Glass.--Please write Mrs. Field to-day at Newburg, New
     York, and tell her, "All in good health and spirits on board of
     this ship, and confident of success." Machinery works perfectly,
     and the cable pays out splendidly.'"

"_Friday, July 20th_.

     "Total distance run, 830.4 miles. Distance from Heart's Content,
     838.6 miles. Depth of water, 1500 to 2050 fathoms. Wind S.W., with

"_Sunday, July 22d_.

     "_Great Eastern_ has passed the place where the cable was lost last
     year, and all is going on well."

"_Monday, July 23d_.

     "At 8.54 A.M. I sent the following telegram:

     "'Field to Glass.--Please obtain the latest news from Egypt, China,
     India, and distant places for us to forward to the United States on
     our arrival at Heart's Content.'

     "At 7.05 P.M. I sent the following telegram:

     "'Field to Glass.--Please send us Thursday afternoon the price that
     day for cotton in Liverpool and the London quotations for consols,
     United States five-twenty bonds, Illinois Central and Erie Railroad
     shares, and also bank rate of interest. The above we shall send to
     New York on our arrival, and I will obtain the latest news from the
     States and send you in return.'"

"_Tuesday, July 24th_.

     "At 9.05 A.M. I sent the following telegram:

     "'Field to Glass.--We are within four hundred miles of Heart's
     Content, and expect to be there on Friday. When shall the Atlantic
     cable be open for public business?'

     "At 10.25 A.M. I received the following:

     "'Glass to Field.--If you land the cable on Friday, I see no reason
     why it should not be open on Saturday.'"

"_Thursday, July 26th_.

     "Field to Glass.--We expect to land the cable at Heart's Content
     to-morrow; all well."

"_Friday, July 27th_.

     "At 7 A.M. made the land off Heart's Content. At 9 A.M. we sent the
     end of the cable to the _Medway_ to be spliced. I left the _Great
     Eastern_ in a small boat at 8.15 A.M., and landed at Heart's
     Content at 9 o'clock.

     "The shore end was landed at Heart's Content at 5 P.M., and signals
     through the whole cable perfect.

     "At 5.30 P.M., service held at the church at Heart's Content."

Nothing in this diary is so remarkable and characteristic as the tone of
absolute confidence while the issue of the voyage was still in doubt. It
was this confidence that not only sustained the projectors of the
enterprise through all its mutations, but that infected his associates.
Perhaps it was the moral effect of his mere presence, even more than the
labor of which he took so large a share, that made them so often appeal
for his return to England. Difficulties that looked insurmountable in
his absence seemed to vanish when he appeared.

Hope had so often been deferred that his family hardly dared to think
what a day might bring to them; and they went to church on Sunday, July
29th, and after the service it was suggested that before they return to
their home (Plum Point, below Newburg) they should drive to the
telegraph office. On their way there their attention was attracted to
the day boat, then coming to her dock, gayly dressed with flags, and
very quickly followed the news that the cable was laid, and that this
message had been sent to Mrs. Field:

"NEWFOUNDLAND, _Friday, July 27, 1866_.

"Mrs. CYRUS W. FIELD, Newburg, New York:

     "All well. Thank God the cable has been successfully laid and is in
     perfect working order. I am sure that no one will be as thankful to
     God as you and our dear children. Now we shall be a united family.
     We leave in about a week to recover the cable of last year. Please
     telegraph at once and write in full, and I shall receive your
     letters on my return here.

     "On the 15th inst. I received through the cable from Valentia your
     message from Newport and Grace's telegram from Newburg, and on the
     22d inst. your telegraphic despatch of the 10th inst., and this
     moment your letter of the 12th inst.


It was on the 28th of July that these resolutions were passed:

     "_Resolved_, The directors of the Telegraph Construction and
     Maintenance Company and the directors of the Anglo-American
     Telegraph Company wish in some substantial manner to express their
     high appreciation of the good conduct and admirable way in which
     all engaged in the work of laying the Atlantic cable have performed
     their duties.

     "It has given them great pleasure to order that a gratuity of a
     month's pay be presented to each man on his return to England.

     "The directors, while thanking the men for the past, feel confident
     that in the more difficult task yet before them they will display
     the same hearty zeal in the performance of the work."

Mr. Willoughby Smith mentioned this incident at a dinner given in

     "I remember well, in 1866, during the laying of the Atlantic cable,
     as we went on day by day, Mr. Field used to say to me: 'Thank
     goodness, we are over another day; only let us get safely across
     with the cable, and I will retire on the largest farm in America
     and keep the largest cows and fowls, and receive my dividend daily
     in the shape of eggs and milk.'"

The account of these days is contained in this letter:

"HEART'S CONTENT, _August 7, 1866_.

     "_My dear Mrs. Field_,--Thanks for your kind note of July 30th. I
     am, of course, much pleased that the result of all these efforts of
     thought, and concentration of experiences, and long-continued
     indomitable energy, and expenditure of such heaps of gold, has been
     a success. It was very, very near failing. Do what you will, the
     laying of cables (threads!!!) across deep oceans of great breadth
     will always be speculative; although when laid, so far as we can
     conjecture or reason from scientific knowledge or all that is known
     of physical geography, there is no one reason having any sound
     basis in it that can tell us in what direction to apprehend any
     danger, always excepting man's malice or enmity. The very thing we
     proved last voyage, and go to verify in a few days, proves that any
     enemy well equipped can destroy what has cost all these years to

     "I have no fear of completing the cable of 1865, although I never
     quite got rid of the feeling that it is a very odd thing to do, and
     we can fancy bad weather exhausting our stock of coals, materials,
     and perhaps hopes, by frequent breakages; but we have 7700 tons of
     coal, twenty miles of ropes for grappling, three ships fully
     coaled and provisioned and equipped for the purpose. Two ships are
     now on the ground. Given, then, the opportunity, there is no known
     reason to prevent us being here a fortnight hence with the double
     success. Then what next? God knows. But Mr. Field is not one bit
     quieter than he was in London. He wants a third cable laid, and two
     complete lines from here to New York, before he will be satisfied.
     The success of this one will make the others comparatively easy,
     but I am not sure if he will even then take the repose both he and
     you deserve. He is very well; but how he stands the endless
     excitement I do not know. One thing I may give you now as a sound
     opinion: he would not stand many more London campaigns without you
     or one of your daughters with him. He takes absolutely no repose
     when in London, and it is only because he cannot help himself that
     he gets it at sea. I heartily congratulate him and you upon this
     good termination to the real foundation of future oceanic
     telegraphy; he deserves all honor from his countrymen.... To your
     husband especially belong the creation and the perseverance that
     have moved so many into the vortex.... With every kind wish to you
     and yours,

"Sincerely yours,

Bishop Mullock wrote on August 6th:

     "In my answer to a society who addressed me yesterday on the
     occasion of my departure for Europe I alluded to your example as a
     great lesson of perseverance, showing that to a man of good energy
     nothing almost is impossible, and telling them in all difficulties
     to have the example of Mr. Cyrus W. Field before their eyes.

     "May God grant that you may be able to resuscitate the old cable. I
     have myself no doubt but that you will accomplish it, and exhibit
     to future generations the greatest example of energy and
     perseverance ever shown by an individual.

     "You ought to be a proud man, for like the name of Columbus, yours
     will be in Europe and America a household word."

Whittier's "Cable Hymn" responds to the feeling experienced at this

    "O lonely bay of Trinity,
      O dreary shores, give ear!
    Lean down unto the white-lipped sea,
      The voice of God to hear.

    "From world to world His couriers fly,
      Thought-winged and shod with fire;
    The angel of His stormy sky
      Rides down the sunken wire.

    "What saith the herald of the Lord?
      'The world's long strife is done;
    Close wedded by that mystic chord,
      Its continents are one.

    "'And one in heart, as one in blood,
      Shall all her peoples be;
    The hands of human brotherhood
      Are clasped beneath the sea.

    "'Through Orient seas, o'er Afric's plain,
      And Asian mountains borne,
    The vigor of the Northern brain
      Shall nerve the world outworn.

    "'From clime to clime, from shore to shore,
      Shall thrill the magic thread;
    The new Prometheus steals once more
      The fire that wakes the dead.'

    "Throb on, strong pulse of thunder! beat
      From answering beach to beach;
    Fuse nations in thy kindly heat,
      And melt the chains of each!

    "Wild terror of the sky above,
      Glide tamed and dumb below;
    Bear gently, ocean's carrier-dove,
      Thy errands to and fro.

    "Weave on, swift shuttle of the Lord,
      Beneath the deep so far,
    The bridal-robe of earth's accord,
      The funeral shroud of war.

    "For lo! the fall of ocean's wall,
      Space mocked and time outrun;
    And round the world the thought of all
      Is as the thought of one!

    "The poles unite, the zones agree,
      The tongues of striving cease;
    As on the Sea of Galilee
      The Christ is whispering Peace!"

We find in Mr. McCarthy's _History of Our Own Times_ these words:

     "Just before the adjournment of Parliament for the recess a great
     work of peace was accomplished, perhaps the only work of peace then
     possible which could be mentioned after the warlike business of
     Sadowa without producing the effect of an anti-climax. This was the
     completion of the Atlantic cable....

     "Ten years, all but a month, had gone by since Mr. Cyrus W. Field,
     the American promoter of the Atlantic telegraph project, had first
     tried to inspire cool and calculating men in London, Liverpool, and
     Manchester with some faith in his project. He was not a scientific
     man; he was not the inventor of the principle of inter-oceanic
     telegraphy; he was not even the first man to propose that a company
     should be formed for the purpose of laying a cable beneath the

     "But the achievement of the Atlantic cable was none the less as
     distinctly the work of Mr. Cyrus W. Field as the discovery of
     America was that of Columbus. It was not he who first thought of
     doing the thing, but it was he who first made up his mind that it
     could be done, and showed the world how to do it, and did it in the
     end. The history of human invention has not a more inspiriting
     example of patience living down discouragement and perseverance
     triumphing over defeat....

     "At last, in 1866, the feat was accomplished, and the Atlantic
     telegraph was added to the realities of life. It has now become a
     distinct part of our civilized system. We have ceased to wonder at
     it. We accept it and its consequent facts with as much composure as
     we take the existence of the inland telegraph or the penny post."

Before the two weeks were passed the _Great Eastern_ was at sea and on
her way to recover the cable lost the year before, and from his diary we
copy these short extracts:

"_Thursday, August 9th._

     "The _Great Eastern_ and _Medway_ left Heart's Content at noon."

"_Sunday, August 12th_, at 3 P.M.

     "_Great Eastern_ and _Medway_ joined the _Terrible_ and _Albany_."

"_Monday, August 13th._

     "At 1 P.M. commenced to lower grapnel from _Great Eastern_; at 2
     P.M. grapnel down; at 8.30 P.M. commenced to heave up grapnel, as
     _Great Eastern_ would not drift over cable."

"_Wednesday, August 15th._

     "At 2 P.M. commenced lowering grapnel; at 8.30 P.M. grapnel hooked
     cable. Hove up 100 fathoms and paid out again to wait until

"_Friday, August 17th._

     "At 4.30 A.M. commenced heaving up cable; at 10.45 A.M. cable above
     water; at 10.50 A.M. cable parted about ten feet above the water."

"_Monday, August 27th._

     "At 2.30 P.M. got cable from buoy in over the bow and found, by
     tests, it to be only a short length of a few miles which must have
     been cut from the main cable by grapnel."

_"Saturday, September 1st._

     "At 4.50 A.M. cable up to 800 fathoms from the surface.

     "At 5 P.M. commenced heaving up; found the cable to be hooked."

"Sunday, September 2d.

     "12.50 A.M.--Cable above the surface.

     "2.16.--Bight of 1865 cable on board.

     "3.11.--End brought into testing-room.

     "3.50.--Message received. 'Cable of 1866 and Gulf cable both O. K.'

     "3.52.--Cable taken from test-room to make splice.

     "6.50.--Shipped from bow to stern.

     "7.01.--Commenced paying out cable.

     "At 9.28 A.M. I sent the following telegram 720 miles east of

     "'Mrs. CYRUS W. FIELD, Newburg, New York:

     "'The cable of 1865 was recovered early this morning, and we are
     now in perfect telegraphic communication with Valentia, and on our
     way back to Heart's Content, where we expect to arrive next
     Saturday. God be praised. Please telegraph me in full at Heart's
     Content. I am in good health and spirits. Captain Anderson wishes
     to be kindly remembered to you.


"_Saturday, September 8th._

     "Landed cable at Heart's Content.

     "Position of ships entering Trinity Bay:

     _Lily_,        _Great Eastern_,         _Terrible_,
     _Medway_,                          _Margaretta Stevenson_."

Of his own feeling, as he stood waiting on the _Great Eastern_ at dawn
on Sunday morning, September 2d, Mr. Field told in a speech made in
London on March 10, 1868:

     "One of the most interesting scenes that I ever witnessed ... was
     the moment when, after the cable had been recovered on the _Great
     Eastern_, it had been brought into the electrician's room, and the
     test was applied to see whether it was alive or dead. Never shall I
     forget that eventful moment when, in answer to our question to
     Valentia, whether the cable of 1866, which we had a few weeks
     previously laid, was in good working order, and the cable across
     the Gulf of St. Lawrence had been repaired, in an instant came back
     those six memorable letters, 'Both O. K.' I left the room, I went
     to my cabin, I locked the door; I could no longer restrain my
     tears--crying like a child, and full of gratitude to God that I had
     been permitted to live to witness the recovery of the cable we had
     lost from the _Great Eastern_ just thirteen mouths previous."

     (From the London _Times_ of Wednesday, September 5th.)

"The recovery of the cable of 1865 from the very lowest depths of the
Atlantic seems to have taken the world by surprise. It is not, however,
too much to say that no class of the community has felt more
astonishment than those who are best acquainted with the difficulties of
the task--the electricians....

"Night and day for a whole year an electrician has always been on duty
watching the tiny ray of light through which signals are given, and
twice every day the whole length of wire--1240 miles--has been tested
for conductivity and insulation.... Suddenly last Sunday morning at a
quarter to six, while the light was being watched by Mr. May, he
observed a peculiar indication about the light, which showed at once to
his experienced eye that a message was near at hand. In a few minutes
afterwards the unsteady flickering was changed to coherency, if we may
use such a term, and at once the cable began to speak:

"'Canning to Glass.--I have much pleasure in speaking to you through the
1865 cable. Just going to make splice.'"

     (From _Harper's Magazine_, October, 1866.)

"A great historical event has occurred since our last talk, and it has
been received almost as a matter of course. The distance between Europe
and America has been practically annihilated; the Atlantic Ocean has
been abolished; steam as an agent of communication has been antiquated.
We read every morning the previous day's news from London or Paris, and
there is no excitement whatever. Scarcely a bell has rung or a cannon
roared. Not even a dinner has been eaten in honor of the great event,
except by the gentlemen immediately concerned; and the salvo of speeches
which usually resounds upon much inferior occasions from end to end of
the country has been omitted.... The steamers bring the cream no longer.
That is shot electrically under the sea, and the ships suddenly convey
only skim-milk. They are yet young men who remember the arrival of the
_Sirius_ and the _Liverpool_ and the _Great Western_. Their coming was
the occasion of a thousandfold greater excitement than the laying of the
cable. Yet if some visionary enthusiast had said to his friend as they
watched with awe the steaming in or out of those huge ships, 'Before we
are bald or gray we shall look upon these vessels as we now look from
the express train upon the slow old stage-coaches,' he would have been
tolerated only as a harmless maniac.... The name which will be always
associated with this historical event is that of the man who has so
patiently and unweariedly persisted in the project, Cyrus W. Field. With
an undaunted cheerfulness, which often seemed exasperating and
unreasonable and fanatical, he has steadily and zealously persevered, no
more dismayed or baffled by apparent failure than a good ship by a head
wind. We remember meeting him one pleasant day during the last spring in
the street by the Astor House in New York. He said that he was going out
to England by the next steamer.

"'And how many times have you crossed the ocean?'

"'Oh,' he replied, with the fresh enthusiasm of a boy going home for
vacation, 'this will be the twenty-second voyage I have made upon this
business.' And his eyes twinkled as we merrily said good-bye. We heard
of him no more until we saw his name signed to the despatch announcing
the triumph of his blithe faith and long labor."

The number of voyages is understated here. That made on May 30th, he
writes, was his thirty-seventh.

In his lecture on "The Masters of the Situation" Mr. James T. Fields has

     "There is a faith so expansive and a hope so elastic that a man
     having them will keep on believing and hoping till all danger is
     past and victory sure. When I talk across an ocean of three
     thousand miles with my friends on the other side of it, and feel
     that I may know any hour of the day if all goes well with them, I
     think with gratitude of the immense energy and perseverance of that
     one man, Cyrus W. Field, who spent so many years of his life in
     perfecting a communication second only in importance to the
     discovery of this country. The story of his patient striving during
     all that stormy period is one of the noblest records of American
     enterprise, and only his own family know the whole of it. It was a
     long, hard struggle."

After a painful experience was past he never cared to recall it, and for
that reason the world never knew to what straits he and his family were
often pushed. Not a luxury was allowed, and during those twelve years
any wish that might be expressed could only be gratified "when the cable
was laid." All waited for that day, but not always patiently, for one or
another was often heard to explain, "Oh, if that old cable was only at
the bottom of the ocean!" and to this he would invariably answer, "That
is just where I wish it to be."

Neither does the world know what his books tell, that at this very time
his hand was stretched out to both his relations and friends. The
surrogate was so impressed with his management of a trust estate that he
could not believe his statement, and said that he must take the papers
home and verify them, for he had never before known that such an
increase was possible.

It was in London, in March, 1868, that he told of the strange
fluctuations he had seen in the stock of the two telegraph companies in
which he had so long been interested.

     "It is within the last six months only that we have received the
     first return from the money we had put at the bottom of the
     Atlantic. I do not believe that any enterprise has ever been
     undertaken that has had such fortune: that has been so low, and,
     one might almost say, so high. I have known the time when a
     thousand pounds of Atlantic telegraph stock sold in London at a
     high premium. I have known the time when a thousand pounds of the
     same stock was purchased by my worthy friend, the Right Honorable
     Mr. Wortley, for thirty guineas. At one time when I was in London
     trying to raise money to carry forward this great enterprise, a
     certificate for ten thousand dollars (£2000 sterling) in the New
     York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company sold at the
     Merchants' Exchange in New York by public auction for a ten-dollar
     bill (£2). On my return home the gentleman handed the certificate
     to me and asked me if it was worth anything. I said to him, 'My
     dear sir, what did you pay for it?' and to my mortification he
     showed to me the auctioneer's bill for ten dollars. I said to him,
     'I shall be happy to pay you a good profit on your investment.' He
     replied, 'No; what do you advise me to do with it?' I rejoined,
     "Lock it up in your safe. Do not even think about or look at it
     until you receive a notice to collect your dividends.' The holder
     now receives a dividend of eight hundred dollars per annum or
     (£160) in gold for his investment. If any gentleman here has ever
     possessed a more fluctuating investment I should like to hear it."

Later in the evening the Right Honorable Mr. Wortley said:

     "I have been a shareholder from the first, and I am somewhat proud
     of my original £1000 shares, and of those shares to which you have
     alluded, which I truly bought at £30 each. I am anxious, however,
     that those gentlemen who heard that statement should understand
     that I have not yet made a fortune out of the cable. The
     vicissitudes we have gone through have prevented us from doing much
     financially, and, indeed, we have had difficulty at times in
     keeping the enterprise afloat."

The following telegram and letters are among those received at this


     "Envoyez télégramme suivant à FIELD, _Great Eastern_:

     "Félicitations pour persévérance et grand succès.


"_August 28, '66_.

     "_My dear Sir_,--The message which you did me the honor to send me
     from Newfoundland at the commencement of this month, embodying in
     part the contents of a speech delivered by me in the House of
     Commons a few hours before, was a signal illustration of the great
     triumph which energy and intelligence in your person, and in those
     of your coadjutors, have achieved over difficulties that might well
     have been deemed insurmountable by weaker men. I offer you my
     cordial congratulations, and I trust that the electric line may
     powerfully contribute to binding our two countries together in
     perfect harmony.

     "The message reached me among friends interested in America and
     produced a very lively sensation.

     "We live in times of great events. Europe has not often of late
     seen greater than those of the present year, which apparently go
     far to complete the glorious work of the reconstruction of Italy,
     and which seem in substance both to begin and complete another
     hardly less needed work in the reconstruction of Germany. But I
     must say that few political phenomena have ever struck me more than
     the recent conduct of American finance. I admire beyond expression
     the courage which has carried through the threefold operation of
     cutting down in earnest your war establishments, maintaining for
     the time your war taxes, and paying off in your first year of peace
     twenty-five millions sterling of your debt. There are nations that
     could lay an electric telegraph under the Atlantic and yet could
     not do this. I wish my humble congratulations might be conveyed to
     your finance minister. This scale can hardly be kept up, but I do
     not doubt the future will be worthy of the past, and I hope he will
     shame us and the Continent into at least a distant and humble

"I remain very faithfully yours,


Captain Anderson's letter of September 9th is to Mrs. Field, and was
written on board the _Great Eastern_:

     "I cannot tell you how I have felt since our new success. It is
     only seventeen months since I first walked up to the top of the
     paddle-box of this ship at Sheerness upon a dark, rainy night,
     reviewed my past career in my mind, and tried to look into the
     future, to see what I had undertaken, and realize, if possible,
     what the new step in my career would develop. I cannot say I
     believed much in cables; I rather think I did not; but I did
     believe your husband was an earnest man of great force of
     character, and working under a strong conviction that what he was
     attempting was thoroughly practicable; and I knew enough of the
     names with which he had associated himself in the enterprise to
     feel that it was a real, true, honest effort, worthy of all the
     energy and application of one's manhood, and, come what might of
     the future, I resolved to do my very utmost and do nothing else
     until it was over. More completely, however, than my resolve
     foreshadowed, I dropped, inch by inch, or step by step, into the
     work, until I had no mind, no soul, no sleep, that was not tinged
     with cable. I am fortunate that my duties were such that I might
     well ask a blessing upon it, or I had better never have gone to
     church or bent a knee--in a word, I accuse your husband of having
     pulled me into a vortex that I could not get out of, and did not
     wish to try. And only fancy that the sum total of all this is to
     lay a thread across an ocean! Dr. Russell compared it to an
     elephant stretching a cobweb. And there lay its very danger. The
     more you multiply the mechanism the more you increase the risk.
     With all the vigilance and honesty of purpose of chosen men,
     exigencies must arise and may occur. When the nights are dark and
     stormy there comes the torture that may ruin all if not
     successfully met. And so that task has been a series of high hopes
     and blank, dark hours of disappointments, when it seemed as if the
     difficulties were legion and we were beating the air. Mr. Field, at
     least, never gave out. He never ceased to say, 'It would all come
     right,' even when his looks hardly bore out the assertion. But at
     last it did. We came through it all, and I feel as if I had said
     good-bye and God bless you to a wayward child who had cost me great
     thought and was at last happily settled for life just where I
     wished her. I do not think, though, that I could or would have
     nursed the wretch for twelve years, as your husband has done, to
     the destruction of the repose of himself and all the rest of his
     family. I should have discarded her and adopted some other. He has
     persevered, however, and to him belongs all the credit your country
     can bestow."

Professor Wheatstone wrote:

     "According to my promise I enclose a copy of my letter of
     September, 1866, to the Secretary of the Privy Council, in answer
     to his inquiry respecting the persons most deserving of honor in
     connection with the successful completion of the Atlantic

"'PORTLAND PLACE, N.W., _September 22, 1866_.

     "'_My dear Sir_,--The following is my opinion respecting the
     principal co-operators in the establishment of the Atlantic

     "'The person to whose indomitable perseverance we are indebted for
     the commencement, carrying on, and completion of the enterprise is
     undoubtedly Mr. Cyrus Field. Through good and through evil report
     he has pursued his single object undaunted by repeated failures,
     keeping up the flagging interest of the public and the desponding
     hopes of capitalists, and employing his energies to combine all the
     means which might lead towards a successful issue. This gentleman
     is a citizen of the United States, and there would perhaps be a
     difficulty in conferring on him any honorary distinction.

     "'From the staff of officials by whose practical skill and
     unwearied attention the great project has been at last achieved, it
     appears to me there are four gentlemen who might, in addition to
     special merits of their own, be taken as the representatives of all
     those who have labored under or with them in their respective

     "'Public opinion, I think, would ratify the selection.

     "'These are:

     "'Mr. Glass, the manager of the Telegraph Maintenance Company,
     under whose superintendence the great connecting link has been
     manufactured, and to whose former firm is mainly owing the high
     perfection which the construction of submarine cables has now

     "'Mr. Canning, the able engineer of the same company, to whose
     experience and skill we are chiefly indebted for the successful
     laying down of the new cable and the restoration of the old.

     "'Captain Anderson, the commander of the _Great Eastern_ steamship,
     who under new and untried circumstances brought this leviathan of
     the waters to work in subjection to the requirements of the great
     operation. An honorary distinction to this gentleman would no doubt
     be received as a compliment by the mercantile marine.

     "'Dr. W. Thomson, who, distinguished already in the highest fields
     of science, has devoted his talents to improvements in the methods
     of signalizing, and whose contrivances specially appropriated to
     the conditions of submarine lines have resulted in the attainment
     of greater speed than was at first expected.

     "'In naming these gentlemen I have limited myself to those actually
     engaged in the great enterprise which at present occupies so much
     public attention. I have left out of consideration the claims of
     others, however great, who have preceded them in similar
     undertakings of less importance, or who have either in thought or
     deed worked out results which have rendered the present great work
     practicable or even possible.

"'I remain, my dear sir,
"'Yours very truly,


At the banquet given at Liverpool on October 1st, the chairman read this

"BALMORAL, _29th September, 1866_.

     "_Dear Sir Stafford_,--As I understand you are to have the honor of
     taking the chair at the entertainment which is to be given on
     Monday next in Liverpool to celebrate the double success which has
     attended the great undertaking of laying the cable of 1866 and
     recovering that of 1865, by which the two continents of Europe and
     America are happily connected, I am commanded by the Queen to make
     known to you, and through you to those over whom you are to
     preside, the deep interest with which Her Majesty has regarded the
     progress of this noble work, and to tender Her Majesty's cordial
     congratulations to all of those whose energy and perseverance,
     whose skill and science, have triumphed over all difficulties, and
     accomplished a success alike honorable to themselves and to their
     country, and beneficial to the world at large.

     "Her Majesty, desirous of testifying her sense of the various
     merits which have been displayed in this great enterprise, has
     commanded me to submit to her for special marks of her royal favor
     the names of those who, having had assigned to them prominent
     positions, may be considered as representing the different
     departments whose united labors have contributed to the final

     "Her Majesty has accordingly been pleased to direct that the honor
     of knighthood be conferred on Captain Anderson, the able and
     zealous commander of the _Great Eastern_; on Professor Thomson,
     whose distinguished science has been brought to bear with eminent
     success upon the improvement of submarine telegraphy, and on
     Messrs. Glass and Canning, the manager and engineer respectively of
     the Telegraph Maintenance Company, whose skill and experience have
     mainly contributed to the admirable construction and successful
     laying of the cable.

     "Her Majesty is further pleased to mark her approval of the public
     spirit and energy of the two companies who have had successively
     the conduct of the undertaking by offering the dignity of a
     baronetcy of the United Kingdom to Mr. Lampson, the deputy chairman
     of the original company, to whose resolute support of the project,
     in spite of all discouragements, it was in great measure owing that
     it was not at one time abandoned in despair; and to Mr. Gooch,
     M.P., the chairman of the company which has finally accomplished
     the great design.

     "If among the names thus submitted to and approved by Her Majesty
     that of Mr. Cyrus Field does not appear, the omission must not be
     attributed to any disregard of the eminent services which from the
     first he has rendered to the cause of transatlantic telegraphy, and
     the zeal and resolution with which he has adhered to the
     prosecution of his object, but to an apprehension lest it might
     appear to encroach on the province of his own government if Her
     Majesty were advised to offer to a citizen of the United States,
     for a service rendered alike to both countries, British marks of
     honor which, following the example of another highly distinguished
     citizen, he might feel himself unable to accept.

     "I will only add, on my own part, how cordially I concur in the
     object of the meeting over which you are about to preside, and how
     much I should have been gratified had circumstances permitted me to
     have attended in person.

"I am, dear Sir Stafford,
"Very sincerely yours,

The celebration on the western shore of the Atlantic was not less
general and cordial. We quote from the report of a New York newspaper:

     "A dinner was given in this city on the evening of the 16th instant
     by the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company to
     Cyrus W. Field, who has recently returned to this country, after
     assisting in the successful laying of the Atlantic telegraph
     cable, with which movement Mr. Field has been more prominently
     identified from the beginning than any other of its advocates and
     supporters. A considerable number of our first citizens were
     present, including the honorary directors of the Atlantic Telegraph
     Company.... Mr. Peter Cooper told of the formation of the New York,
     Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company, and then said: 'On
     those eventful evenings we became fully magnetized and infatuated
     with a most magnificent idea. We pictured to ourselves that in a
     short time we should plant a line of telegraph across the vast and
     mighty ocean. We as little dreamed of the difficulties at that time
     that we were destined to encounter as did the Jews of old dream of
     the difficulties that they were doomed to meet in their passage to
     the promised land. We, like the Jews of old, saw the hills green
     afar off, and, like them, we had but a faint idea of the bare
     spots, the tangled thickets, and rugged cliffs over and through
     which we have been compelled to pass in order to gain possession of
     our land of promise. We have, however, been more fortunate than the
     Jews of old; we have had a Moses who was able to lead on his
     associates, and when he found them cast down and discouraged, he
     did not call manna from heaven nor smite the rock, but just got us
     to look through his telescope at the pleasant fields that lay so
     temptingly in the distance before us, and in that way he was able
     to inspirit his associates with courage to go on until, with the
     help of the _Great Eastern_, and the means and influence of the
     noble band of men that Mr. Field has been able to enlist in the
     mother country, we have at last accomplished a work that is now the
     wonder of the world.

     "In the accomplishment of this work it is our privilege to regard
     it as a great and glorious means for diffusing useful knowledge
     throughout the world.... I trust our united efforts will hasten the
     glorious time when nations will have war no more; when they will
     beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into
     pruning-hooks. I trust our own country and government will always
     stand as a bright and shining light in the pathway of nations to
     cheer on with hope the suffering millions of mankind who are now
     struggling for life, liberty, and happiness--a happiness that is
     possible to men and nations who will cultivate the arts of peace
     instead of wasting their energies in wars of mutual destruction.

     "Let us hope that the day will soon come that will secure peace and
     good-will among the nations of the earth."

Mr. Cooper concluded with a toast to "The health and happiness of our
Moses, Mr. Cyrus W. Field."

The Common Council of New York passed these resolutions on the 8th of

     "_Whereas_, The recent arrival at his home in this city of Cyrus W.
     Field, Esq., seems peculiarly appropriate for testifying to him the
     gratification felt by the authorities and people of the city of New
     York at the success attending his unexampled perseverance in the
     face of almost insuperable difficulties, and his fortitude and
     faith in the successful termination of the herculean labor to which
     he has devoted his rare business capacity, his indomitable will,
     and his undaunted courage for a series of years--that of uniting
     the two hemispheres by telegraphy;

     "_Resolved_, That the municipal authorities of the city of New
     York, for themselves and speaking in behalf of their constituents,
     the people, do hereby cordially tender their congratulations to
     Cyrus W. Field, Esq., on the successful consummation of the work of
     uniting the two hemispheres by electric telegraph--a work to which
     he has devoted himself for many years, and to whom, under Divine
     Providence, the world is indebted for this great triumph of skill,
     perseverance, and energy over the seemingly insurmountable
     difficulties that were encountered in the progress of the work; and
     we beg to assure him that we hope that the benefits and advantages
     thus secured to the people of the two nations directly united may
     be shared by him to an extent commensurate with the energy and
     ability that have characterized his connection with the

     "_Resolved_, That a copy of the foregoing preamble and resolution
     be properly engrossed, duly authenticated, and presented to Cyrus
     W. Field, Esq., as a slight evidence of the appreciation by the
     people of this city of the service he has rendered in uniting the
     old and new worlds in the electric bands of fraternity and peace."

The invitation to a banquet to be given by the New York Chamber of
Commerce is dated October 15th, and in it "the members request that they
may hear from your lips the story of this great undertaking;" and the
evening of November 15th was the one chosen.

The toast to which he replied was:

     "Cyrus W. Field, the projector and mainspring of the Atlantic
     telegraph: while the British government justly honors those who
     have taken part with him in this great work of the age, his fame
     belongs to us, and will be cherished and guarded by his

"The story of this great undertaking" has been told, and as far as
possible in his own words, in these chapters; but there are two or three
further extracts from his speech that it seems expedient to give, for
they explain the pages just read; they refer to the voyage, grappling,
and manner of working the cable.

     "Yet this was not a 'lucky hit'--a fine run across the ocean in
     calm weather. It was the worst weather I ever knew at that season
     of the year. In the despatch which appeared in the New York papers
     you may have read, 'The weather has been most pleasant.' I wrote it
     'unpleasant.' We had fogs and storms almost the whole way. Our
     success was the result of the highest science combined with
     practical experience. Everything was perfectly organized to the
     minutest detail. We had on board an admirable staff of officers,
     such men as Halpin and Beckwith; and engineers long used to this
     business, such as Canning and Clifford and Temple, the first of
     whom has been knighted for his part in this great achievement; and
     electricians, such as Professor Thomson, of Glasgow, and Willoughby
     Smith, and Laws; while Mr. C. F. Varley, our companion of the year
     before, who stands among the first in knowledge and practical
     skill, remained with Sir Richard Glass at Valentia, to keep watch
     at that end of the line, and Mr. Latimer Clark, who was to test the
     cable when done. We had four ships, and on board of them some of
     the best seamen in England, men who knew the ocean as a hunter
     knows every trail in the forest. Captain Moriarty had, with Captain
     Anderson, taken most exact observations at the spot where the cable
     broke in 1865, and they were so exact that they could go right to
     the spot. After finding it they marked the line of the cable by a
     row of buoys, for fogs would come down and shut out sun and stars,
     so that no man could take an observation. These buoys were anchored
     a few miles apart. They were numbered, and each had a flag-staff on
     it, so that it could be seen by day, and a lantern by night. Thus
     having taken our bearings, we stood off three or four miles, so as
     to come broadside on, and then casting over the grapnel, drifted
     slowly down upon it, dragging the bottom of the ocean as we went.
     At first it was a little awkward to fish in such deep water, but
     our men got used to it, and soon could cast a grapnel almost as
     straight as an old whaler throws a harpoon. Our fishing-line was of
     formidable size. It was made of rope, twisted with wires of steel,
     so as to bear a strain of thirty tons. It took about two hours for
     the grapnel to reach bottom, but we could tell when it struck. I
     often went to the bow and sat on the rope, and could feel by the
     quiver that the grapnel was dragging on the bottom two miles under
     us. But it was a very slow business. We had storms and calms and
     fogs and squalls. Still we worked on day after day. Once, on the
     17th of August, we got the cable up, and had it in full sight for
     five minutes--a long slimy monster, fresh from the ooze of the
     ocean's bed--but our men began to cheer so wildly that it seemed to
     be frightened, and suddenly broke away and went down into the sea.

     "This accident kept us at work two weeks longer; but finally, on
     the last night of August, we caught it. We had cast the grapnel
     thirty times. It was a little before midnight on Friday night that
     we hooked the cable, and it was a little after midnight Sunday
     morning that we got it on board. What was the anxiety of those
     twenty-six hours? The strain on every man's life was like the
     strain on the cable itself. When finally it appeared it was
     midnight; the lights of the ship, and in the boats around our bows,
     as they flashed in the faces of the men, showed them eagerly
     watching for the cable to appear on the water. At length it was
     brought to the surface. All who were allowed to approach crowded
     forward to see it; yet not a word was spoken; only the voices of
     the officers in command were heard giving orders. All felt as if
     life and death hung on the issue. It was only when it was brought
     over the bow and on to the deck that men dared to breathe. Even
     then they hardly believed their eyes. Some crept towards it to feel
     of it--to be sure it was there. Then we carried it along to the
     electrician's room to see if our long-sought treasure was alive or
     dead. A few minutes of suspense and a flash told of the lightning
     current again set free. Then did the feeling, long pent up, burst
     forth. Some turned away their heads and wept. Others broke into
     cheers, and the cry ran from man to man and was heard down in the
     engine-rooms, deck below deck, and from the boats on the water and
     the other ships, while rockets lighted up the darkness of the sea.
     Then with thankful hearts we turned our faces again to the west.
     But soon the wind arose, and for thirty-six hours we were exposed
     to all the dangers of a storm on the Atlantic. Yet in the very
     height and fury of the gale, as I sat in the electrician's room, a
     flash of light came up from the deep which, having crossed to
     Ireland, came back to me in mid-ocean telling that those so dear to
     me were well.

     "When the first cable was laid in 1858 electricians thought that to
     send a current two thousand miles it must be almost like a stroke
     of lightning. But God was not in the earthquake, but in the still,
     small voice. The other day Mr. Latimer Clark telegraphed from
     Ireland across the ocean and back again with a battery formed in a
     lady's thimble! And now Mr. Collett writes me from Heart's Content:
     'I have just sent my compliments to Dr. Gould, of Cambridge, who is
     at Valentia, with a battery composed of a gun cap, with a strip of
     zinc, excited by a drop of water, the simple bulk of a tear!'"

These were among the toasts given on the same evening:

     "Captain Anderson and the officers of the _Great Eastern_ and the
     other ships engaged in the late expedition: they deserve the thanks
     not only of their own country, but of the civilized world."

     "The capitalists of England and America who use their wealth to
     achieve great enterprises, and leave behind them enduring monuments
     of their wise munificence."

And this sentiment was read:

     "While expressing our grateful appreciation of the energy and
     sagacity that practically achieved the spanning of the Atlantic by
     the electric current, let us not fail to do honor to those whose
     genius and patient investigation of the laws of nature furnished
     the scientific knowledge requisite to success."

A reception was given to Mr. Field by the Century Club on Saturday
evening, November 17th.

It was in a speech made at Leeds early in October that Mr. John Bright
had said:

     "To-morrow is the greatest day in the United States, when perhaps
     millions of men will go to the polls, and they will give their
     votes on the great question whether justice shall or shall not be
     done to the liberated African; and in a day or two we shall hear
     the result, and I shall be greatly surprised if that result does
     not add one more proof to those already given of the solidity,
     intelligence, and public spirit of the great body of the people of
     the United States. I have mentioned the North American continent. I
     refer to the colonies which are still part of this empire, as well
     as to those other colonies which now form this great and free
     republic, founded by the old Genoese captain at the end of the
     fifteenth century. A friend of mine, Cyrus Field, of New York, is
     the Columbus of our time, for after no less than forty passages
     across the Atlantic in pursuit of the great aim of his life, he has
     at length by his cable moved the New World close alongside the Old.
     To speak from the United Kingdom to the North American continent,
     and from North America to the United Kingdom, now is but the work
     of a moment of time, and it does not require the utterance even of
     a whisper. The English nations are brought together, and they must
     march on together."

And Mr. Bright also wrote:

"ROCHDALE, _November 23, 1866_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--I sent a short message to Sir James
     Anderson, that he might send it on to the chairman of the banquet.
     I have not heard from him since, but I hope it reached you in
     proper time. The words were as follows: 'It is fitting you should
     honor the man to whom the whole world is debtor. He brought
     capital and science together to do his bidding, and Europe and
     America are forever united. I cannot sit at your table, but I can
     join in doing honor to Cyrus W. Field. My hearty thanks to him may
     mingle with yours.'

     "This is but a faint expression of my estimation of your wonderful
     energy and persistency and faith in the great work to which so many
     years of your life have been devoted.

     "The world as yet does not know how much it owes to you, and this
     generation will never know it. I regard what has been done as the
     most marvellous thing in human history. I think it more marvellous
     than the invention of printing, or, I am almost ready to say, than
     the voyage of the Genoese. But we will not compare these things,
     which are all great. Let us rather rejoice at what has been done,
     and I will rejoice that you mainly have done it.

     "I wish I could have been at the dinner, for my reluctance to make
     a speech would have given way to my desire to say something about
     you and about the cable, and its grand significance to our Old
     World and your New one.

     "I need not tell you how much I am glad to believe that in a sense
     that is very useful in this world you will profit largely by the
     success of the great enterprise, and how fervently I hope your
     prosperity may increase....

     "Your elections have turned out well. I hope you will yet be
     'reconstructed' on sound principles, and not on the unhappy
     doctrines of the President.

     "If I were with you I could talk a good deal, but I cannot write
     more, so farewell.

"With every good wish for you,
"I am always sincerely your friend,

A joint resolution presenting the thanks of Congress to Cyrus W. Field
was introduced in the Senate of the United States on December 12th, and
it was reported by Mr. Sumner without amendment on December 18th.

     "_Resolved._ By the Senate and House of Representatives of the
     United States of America, in Congress assembled,

     "That the thanks of Congress be, and they hereby are, presented to
     Cyrus W. Field, of New York, for his foresight, courage, and
     determination in establishing telegraphic communication by means of
     the Atlantic cable, traversing mid-ocean and connecting the Old
     World with the New; and that the President of the United States be
     requested to cause a gold medal to be struck, with suitable
     emblems, devices, and inscription, to be presented to Mr. Field.
     And be it further

     "_Resolved_, That when the medal shall have been struck, the
     President shall cause a copy of this joint resolution to be
     engrossed on parchment, and shall transmit the same, together with
     the medal, to Mr. Field, to be presented to him in the name of the
     people of the United States of America. And be it further

     "_Resolved_, That a sufficient sum of money to carry this
     resolution into effect is hereby appropriated out of any money in
     the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.

     "Approved March 2, 1867."

Immediately on his return to New York Mr. Field sold enough of his cable
stock to enable him early in November to write to those who had
compromised with him in 1860 and enclose to each the full amount of his
indebtedness, with seven per cent. interest to date. One check was for
$68 60, another was for $16,666 67; in all he paid $170,897 62.

The New York _Evening Post_ wrote of this act:

     "We hope we do not violate confidence in stating a fact to the
     honor of a New York merchant, which, though a private transaction,
     ought to be known. Our fellow-citizen, Mr. Cyrus W. Field, whose
     name will always be connected with the Atlantic telegraph, has
     twice nearly ruined himself by his devotion to that enterprise.
     Though a man of independent fortune when he began, he embarked in
     it so large a portion of his capital as nearly to make shipwreck of
     the whole. While in England engaged in the expedition of 1857 a
     financial storm swept over this country and his house suspended;
     but on his return he asked only for time, and paid all in full with
     interest. But the stoppage was a heavy blow, and being followed by
     a fire, in 1859, which burned his store to the ground, and by the
     panic of December, 1860, just before the breaking out of the war,
     he was finally obliged to compromise with his creditors. Thus
     released, he devoted himself to the work of his life, which he has
     at last carried through. The success of the Atlantic telegraph, we
     are happy to learn, has brought back a portion of his lost wealth,
     and his first care has been to make good all losses to others. He
     has addressed a letter to every creditor who suffered by the
     failure of his house in 1860, requesting him to send a statement of
     the amount compromised, adding the interest for nearly six years,
     and as fast as presented returns a check in full. The whole amount
     will be about $200,000. Such a fact, however he may wish to keep it
     a secret, ought to be known, to his honor and to the honor of the
     merchants of New York."

It was at this time that Mr. George Peabody gave him a service of
silver, and asked that this inscription should be engraved on each

                             GEORGE PEABODY
                            CYRUS W. FIELD,
                     In testimony and commemoration
                         of an act of very high
                    Commercial integrity and honor.
                     New York, 10th November, 1866.




The Governor of the State of Wisconsin, in his annual message to the
Legislature in January, 1867, suggested that the State make to Mr. Field
"a suitable acknowledgment of their appreciation of the priceless value
of the success he had achieved."

The recommendation was acted upon. Resolutions were adopted by both
branches of the Legislature and approved by the Governor on March 29th,
and a gold medal was also ordered to be sent, "properly inscribed."

On the 6th of February Mr. Field sailed for England for the purpose of
making "arrangements between the Anglo-American Telegraph Company and
the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company." The land
lines across Newfoundland were often broken; complaints were made; the
public was naturally inclined to overrate trivial accidents, and it was
necessary to give an explanation.

"22 OLD BROAD STREET, _January 24th_.


     "_Sir_,--A statement having appeared in the paper of this day to
     the effect that the communication with New York was interrupted, I
     have to inform you that in consequence of a heavy fall of snow the
     land line in Cape Breton appears to have broken down. The cables
     of this company are, as they ever have been, in perfect order.

"I am, etc.,
"JOHN C. DEANE, Secretary."

Before Mr. Field sailed for home this was published in the London

     "It appears that a contract was signed yesterday by Mr. Cyrus W.
     Field, acting in behalf of the New York, Newfoundland, and London
     Telegraph Company, with the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance
     Company for a submarine cable between Placentia, Newfoundland, and
     Sydney, Nova Scotia. The line will be laid in the early part of the
     summer. Mr. Field, having effected this very satisfactory
     arrangement in the interests of Atlantic telegraphy, will leave for
     New York in the _Great Eastern_ on the 20th of March."

Soon after his arrival in London the letters that immediately follow had
been received:

"PARIS, _February 28, 1867_.


     "_Dear Sir_,--The undersigned American citizens, at present in
     Europe, hearing of your arrival in England, and desiring to express
     their warm appreciation of your untiring labors and your final
     success in the laying of the Atlantic telegraph, desire to give you
     a public reception in this city at an early day, or at your own

     "Hoping soon to hear from you, we remain, sir,

"Your sincere friends,
"And many others."

"PARIS, _March 1, 1867_.

     "_My dear Sir_,--Singular as it may seem, I was in the midst of
     your speech before the Chamber of Commerce reception to you in New
     York, perusing it with deep interest, when my valet handed me your
     letter of the 27th ult.

     "I regret exceedingly that I shall not have the great pleasure I
     had anticipated with other friends here, who were preparing to
     receive you in Paris with the welcome you so richly deserve. You
     invite me to London. I have the matter under consideration. March
     winds and that _boisterous Channel_ have some weight in my
     decision, but I so long to take you by the hand, and to get posted
     up on telegraph matters at home, that I feel disposed to make the

"With unabated respect and esteem,
"Your friend, as ever,

"CYRUS W. FIELD, Esq., Palace Hotel, London."

The next letter is from the Speaker of the House of Commons:

"HOUSE OF COMMONS, _March 12, 1867_.

     "_Dear Sir_,--The last few hours before your departure will be too
     much occupied for me to intrude upon them. I should have been glad
     to have thanked you (I might have ventured to have done so in the
     name of the House of Commons) for the services you have rendered to
     this country, as well as to your own.

     "I offer you my best wishes for a safe and prosperous voyage.

"Believe me
"Faithfully yours,

     "C. FIELD, Esq., Palace Hotel."

The next is from the Prime-Minister:

"ST. JAMES SQUARE, _March 17, 1867_.

     "_Sir_,--Understanding that you are on the point of returning to
     the United States after a short visit to this country, I am anxious
     to take the opportunity of saying to yourself, what in the Queen's
     name I was authorized to write to the chairman of the banquet in
     the autumn at Liverpool, how much of the success of the great
     undertaking of laying the Atlantic cable was due to the energy and
     perseverance with which, from the very first, in spite of all
     discouragements, you adhered to and supported the project. Your
     signal services in carrying out this great undertaking have been
     already fully recognized by Congress, and it would have been very
     satisfactory to the Queen to have included your name among those on
     whom, in commemoration of this great event, Her Majesty was pleased
     to bestow British honors, if it had not been felt that, as a
     citizen of the United States, it would hardly have been competent
     to you to accept them. As long, however, as the telegraphic
     communication between the two continents lasts your name cannot
     fail to be honorably associated with it.

     "Wishing you a safe and prosperous return to your own country,

"I have the honor to be, sir,
"Your obedient servant,


"LIVERPOOL, _18th February, 1867_.

     "_Dear Sir_,--The American Chamber of Commerce of Liverpool, being
     desirous of commemorating the successful completion of the Atlantic
     cable between England and America, resolved in September last to
     present gold medals to yourself, Sir Samuel Canning, Sir James
     Anderson, and Mr. Willoughby Smith as representatives of the

     "The medals are now ready, and it is proposed to present them at a
     banquet to be given by the Chamber at Liverpool.

     "I understand that the 14th of March next will suit yourself and
     Sir James Anderson....

"I remain
"Yours truly,
"HENRY W. GAIR, President.

     "CYRUS W. FIELD, Esq., Palace Hotel, Buckingham Gate, London."

This invitation was accepted, and the description of the banquet which
follows is taken from the Liverpool _Daily Post_ of March 15th:

     "The members of the American Chamber of Commerce in this town gave
     a splendid banquet last night, in the Law Association Rooms, Cook
     Street, to Sir Samuel Canning, Sir James Anderson, Mr. Cyrus W.
     Field, and Mr. Willoughby Smith, the layers of the Atlantic
     telegraph cable, on which occasion a magnificent solid gold medal
     was presented to each of those gentlemen....

     "The chairman in proposing 'The projector and the associates in the
     laying of the Atlantic cable,' said: Gentlemen, I now come to the
     business, to the pleasure which has brought us together this
     evening, and if what I say on the subject is short, it is not
     because there is not a great deal to be said on it, but because I
     know you are impatient to hear it said by those whose acts give
     them the means and right to speak with knowledge and authority.
     Acts are better than words, and in the acts we are met here to
     perform we but express the gratitude we feel to those who through
     so many difficulties and discouragements have brought this great
     work to a successful termination. This success is one of which we,
     as a nation, are proud, and rightly so. But it is good for our
     humility--a virtue in which we do not naturally excel--to remember
     that the first credit of that success is due, not to an Englishman,
     but to an American, Mr. Cyrus Field. He is the projector of the
     plan, and had it not been for his tenacity of purpose, his
     faith--which, if it did not remove mountains, at least defied
     oceans to shake his purpose--the plan would long ago have been
     abandoned in despair. In this tenacity and utter incapacity to
     understand defeat Mr. Field is a representative man of the
     Anglo-Saxon race wherever found.... I have now the pleasure to
     propose that the health of the projector and his associates in
     laying the Atlantic cable shall be drunk with a hearty three times
     three.' The call was vociferously responded to, and the chairman
     then handed a medal to Mr. Cyrus Field, Sir James Anderson, and Mr.
     Willoughby Smith, each of whom was loudly applauded on rising to
     receive it.

     "Mr. Field said: 'Mr. Chairman, I thank you for the kind manner in
     which you have spoken of me, and you gentlemen for the flattering
     way in which you have responded to the toast.... I think I may
     safely affirm that never before were so many men brought together
     in one enterprise who were so pre-eminently fitted by diversified
     endowments and by special knowledge and experience to solve the
     problem of the Atlantic telegraph. Most fortunate, moreover, were
     we in finding such a ship as the _Great Eastern_, and such a
     commander as Sir James Anderson. The man was made for the ship,
     and both were made for us. I would also give expression to the
     sense of gratitude we must all feel to the press of England and
     America for its support in adversity as well as in good fortune,
     and to the statesmen of all parties on both sides of the Atlantic,
     whose cordial sympathy and encouragement were never once
     withheld.... Nor must I forget that, during the thirteen years to
     which I have referred, prayers for our success perpetually ascended
     to the Almighty from Christian men and women who, although most of
     them had nothing to gain or to lose by the undertaking, were drawn
     towards it by the deep-felt conviction that, if it were realized,
     it could not fail to serve their Divine Master's cause by promoting
     'Peace on earth and good-will among men.'"

The _Great Eastern_, in which steamship he sailed for home, arrived in
New York late in the first week in April, and the spring and early
summer of this year were passed with his family and friends. From one of
the latter he received this note, written on paper which bore the red
cross and the words "American Association for the Relief of Misery of

"NEW YORK, _May 16, 1867_.

     "Many thanks, dear Mr. Field, for your letter. I shall hope to have
     the pleasure of meeting you abroad. But in any event I wish you and
     your family prosperity and increase of your well-earned honors, and
     your rightful self-complacency in your victories over time and
     space, and at last over this world and its last enemy.

"Affectionately yours,

July 1, 1867, he writes:

     "Left last Wednesday for Canada and the provinces; to-day at
     Ottawa. Returned to New York for a few days, and then for six weeks
     was in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland; on August 15th at the
     Government House, St. John's, Newfoundland."

Many minor trials came to the telegraph companies during these first
years of ocean telegraphy, and this letter refers to some of them:

"NEW YORK, _October 1, 1867_.

     "_My dear Mr. Deane_,--In relation to the tariff, and particularly
     that part touching _ciphers_, I must again appeal to you, and I do
     wish my words could carry conviction to your mind of the fatal
     tendency of the course we are carried into by your rules....

     "But let us inquire if we are benefited by this rule of strictness.
     We see that very few acknowledged cipher messages are forwarded.
     There are people who can make messages apparently in plain text but
     which are actually cipher, and in the various attempts to get much
     into little there lies the germ of many disputes between customers
     and receiving clerks. The truth is, we make nothing and lose much.
     Many who were our best customers now use the line only in cases of
     emergency, whereas they would use it daily if our terms were
     liberal. The U. S. government and the representatives at Washington
     of all the foreign governments are determined to use us as little
     as possible. We are reviled on every side. The government, the
     press, and all the people will do all in their power to encourage a
     competing line. Something must be done to arrest this feeling. Why
     not try reduction for three mouths, and see what the effect will

"I remain, my dear Mr. Deane,
"Very truly your friend,

Mistakes made in the transmission of messages by cable were of course
more annoying than other telegraphic errors in proportion to the
costliness and delay of correcting them. One cablegram as received at
the Western Union office, New York, read: "Letter thirteen received; you
better travel." The first change was from "you" into "son"; and it was
delivered in Paris, "Letter thirteen received; son pretty well." By this
time the message had become unintelligible, and therefore useless. A
serious complaint was naturally made when instead of the cable message
reading "Protect our drafts" it was "Protest our drafts."

In a letter to London on February 4th he says:

     "I think there can be no doubt if the several telegraph lines
     between London and New York were under an efficient management the
     business could be done much better and enormously increased, and I
     would work energetically with you, Mr. Morgan, and others to secure
     this object if it can be done in a satisfactory manner. I consider
     it of great importance that this business should be under the
     control of persons that can comprehend what it can be made."

On the eve of sailing for England, on February 18th, he wrote to the
Hon. Hugh McCulloch, Secretary of the Treasury:

     "I have undoubted confidence in the good faith of our government
     that it will pay the principal and interest of every dollar of its
     bonded debt in gold, and shall do all in my power to make my
     friends in Europe think as I do."

The day before this had been sent to him:

"WASHINGTON, _February 17, 1868_.

     "_My dear Sir_,--Accept my thanks and best wishes. I have only to
     say that the wise men whom you will find in the East are not very
     wise in expecting that our troubles will diminish while they insist
     upon concessions which we cannot make.

"Very truly your friend,


"ROCHDALE, _March 8, 1868_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--I have only just received your kind
     invitation. Unluckily Tuesday is fixed for the Irish debate, and I
     cannot be away from the House on that evening.

     "I regret this very much, for it would give me much pleasure to
     spend an evening with you. I must call upon you, and have a talk
     with you on the new crisis which has arisen in your country.

     "Some of your statesmen are in favor of repudiation, and you are
     dethroning your President, and yet your stocks are not sensibly
     shaken by all this in the English market. There is more faith in
     you than there was three or four years ago!

     "But I hope your people will not repudiate.

"Always sincerely yours,

     "I expect to be in town in the course of to-morrow."

Mr. Bright's letter referred to the dinner to be given by Mr. Field, on
March 10th, at the Buckingham Palace Hotel, "on the fourteenth
anniversary of the day on which the first contract with the New York,
Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company had been signed at his house
on Gramercy Square, New York."

On the evening of March 6th there had been a debate in the House of
Commons on the _Alabama_ claims, and many of the speeches at the dinner
bore references to that debate. The key-note of the occasion was struck
when the Right Hon. James Stuart Wortley said:

     "One of its greatest feats" (of the ocean telegraph) "has lately
     been accomplished under the auspices of our worthy chairman by his
     sending the conciliatory debate of the House of Commons on the
     _Alabama_ claims to America. I am very glad this has been done, as
     it is far more likely to create good feeling between the two
     countries than anything else."

In giving one of the toasts Mr. Field said:

     "Gentlemen, on Friday evening I had great pleasure in hearing the
     debate in the House of Commons on the _Alabama_ claims. Before
     that, I confess to you, I felt exceedingly anxious about the
     relations between England and the United States; and on Thursday
     last, in sending a private telegram to Washington, I used these
     words: 'When you see the President, Mr. Seward, and Mr. Sumner,
     please say to them that I am perfectly convinced that the English
     government and people are very desirous of settling all questions
     in dispute between the United States and this country, and that
     with a little conciliation on both sides this desirable object can
     be accomplished.' Gentlemen, we are honored here to-night with the
     presence of several distinguished persons connected with the press
     in England and America, and I am going to give you as a toast 'The
     Press' of those countries; and I shall ask them, who so well know
     public opinion, to tell us frankly whether I was justified in
     sending such a message to Washington."

Mr. Walker, of the _Daily News_, ended his speech with these words:

     "As to this matter of the _Alabama_ claims at present dividing the
     two countries, I think we are approximating to an understanding.
     One after another misapprehensions have been removed, and I cannot
     but think that, with the prevailing good disposition on both sides
     of the Atlantic, the matter will be more easily settled than we in
     England have been inclined to imagine."

Colonel Anderson, of the New York _Herald_, closed his speech in this

     "About the message which Mr. Field sent to America the other day, I
     may say that some months ago I sent a similar one, for I had found
     that among a large class of people in England there was a
     disposition to settle all disputes with the United States. I am
     pleased to see in the press of both countries evidence of a kindly
     disposition, and I hope that nothing will ever occur to disturb the
     friendly relations now existing. I believe that I had the honor of
     sending the first message for the press through the Atlantic cable
     after it was opened for business. That was a message of peace
     announcing the end of the war in Germany. I may have to use the
     telegraph in England for many years, but I sincerely trust that no
     angry word will ever pass through the Atlantic cable."

Mr. Smalley, of the New York _Tribune_, said:

     "Having been away so long from home, I have, perhaps, no right to
     say what they think there, though the perseverance and enterprise
     of our friend Mr. Field have brought England so near to America
     that we ought to be able to know what is going on at home as if we
     were living in New York. Independently of that source, I think one
     is entitled to say that the feeling in America responds to the
     feeling of Great Britain in a degree which it has not for the last
     seven years. I heard with pleasure from Mr. Field that he had sent
     the _Alabama_ debate to New York, an instance of public spirit for
     which the two countries owe him a debt of gratitude; for through it
     there is, I suppose, this morning in every journal in America,
     certainly in every large journal on the Eastern coast, full tidings
     of the debate. It is, perhaps, such a message as was never before
     sent from one country to another. It was my fortune to listen to
     that debate. No newspaper report can give such a notion of the tone
     and temper of the House as hearing it conveyed to me. It was not
     only the sincere purpose, it was not only the enthusiasm and
     earnestness, the good-will to America which every speaker showed,
     but there was a certain electric sympathy which seemed to pervade
     the House. It manifested itself in cheers for every liberal
     sentiment and every kindly expression that fell from the speakers'
     lips. Several members of the House came to me as I sat under the
     gallery, and with what I may be pardoned for calling an almost
     boyish enthusiasm, said, 'Is not that capital?' as some sentence of
     conciliation and of justice fell from the lips of Lord Stanley, of
     Mr. Forster, or of Mr. Mill. Now, sir, I should not be loyal to the
     journal which I represent if I did not say that this authoritative
     declaration of a changed feeling in England is sure to be welcome
     in America. Not one but many journals came to us from the United
     States in advance of this debate breathing a similar spirit. The
     cloud which for years has hung between the two countries seems to
     be passing away, and it would be ungrateful not to believe that a
     spark along this cable has helped to dispel it. At any rate, I
     cannot make a mistake in saying that any disposition to close up
     the old quarrel, any wish for future union which English lips may
     utter, is sure to find a cordial echo from the press on the other
     side of the Atlantic."

On the same evening Mr. Field said:

     "I now propose a toast: 'The memory of Richard Cobden, who proposed
     to the late Prince Consort that the profits of the exhibition of
     1851 should be devoted to the establishment of telegraphic
     communication between England and America, and who, later, desired
     that the English government should supply one-half of the capital
     necessary to establish telegraphic communication across the
     Atlantic.' Mr. Cobden's argument was this: 'I am opposed to the
     government giving an unconditional guarantee, because it is a
     bargain all on one side. If you fail, then government pays the
     loss; if you succeed, you reap all the benefit. But I will
     advocate, with all my power, that the government shall supply
     one-half the money necessary to establish telegraphic communication
     between England and America, and in the event of success that they
     should have half the profit.' If the government had followed his
     advice they would to-day be receiving half the dividends on the
     Anglo-American and Atlantic telegraph stocks. I hope this
     consideration may lead them to pursue a liberal policy in regard to
     the extension of the telegraph to India, China, and Australia."

This toast was drunk in silence, all present rising.

Before dinner this note was handed to the chairman:

"HOUSE OF COMMONS, _March 10, 1868_, 7 P.M.

     "_My dear Sir_,--I have cherished to the last the hope of coming to
     see you, but unhappily it is now arranged that Lord Mayo will not
     speak until after dinner, and I therefore fear that my presence at
     the only time of the evening when it would have been of use will be
     impossible. I should have much enjoyed, and I had greatly coveted,
     the opportunity your kindness offered--speaking a word of good-will
     to your country--but I am detained here by a higher duty; for there
     is in my judgment, no duty for public men in England which at this
     juncture is so high, so sacred, as that of studying the case of
     Ireland, and applying the remedies which I believe it admits.

     "We shall lie here until midnight, but not without thoughts of your
     festival and of the greatness of the country with which it is
     connected. You are called upon to encounter difficulties and to
     sustain struggles which some years ago I should have said were
     beyond human strength. But I have learned to be more cautious in
     taking the measure of American possibilities; and, looking to your
     past, there is nothing which we may not hope of your future.

"I remain, my dear sir, most faithfully yours,


In one of the weekly letters sent to him from New York there is this

     "A circular has been received from the State Department, dated June
     3d, stating that they have received for you from Paris 'A Grand
     Prize and Diploma.'"

He was invited to a banquet to be given at Willis's Rooms on July 1,
1868, "as an acknowledgment," so the invitations read, "of the eminent
services rendered to the New and Old Worlds by his devotion to the
interests of Atlantic telegraphy through circumstances of protracted
difficulty and doubt."

The Duke of Argyll was chairman of the Committee of Invitation, and Sir
James Anderson was at the head of the Executive Committee.

The following letter was received from the American minister to France:

"PARIS, _24th June, 1868_.


     "_Dear Sir_,--No one appreciates more highly than myself the
     valuable service rendered by Mr. Field in establishing a connection
     by telegraph between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, and the
     unfaltering confidence and persevering efforts with which he
     entertained this great international enterprise through the
     circumstances of protracted difficulty and doubt to which you
     allude. It would have given me sincere pleasure, had it been in my
     power, to unite in the tribute of respect proposed to be paid to
     him--a pleasure I relinquish with an equally sincere regret.

"I am, dear sir, very respectfully yours,

"_June 19, 1868._

     "_Sir_,--It would give me great pleasure to show any mark of
     respect in my power to Mr. Cyrus Field and to the great nation to
     which he belongs.

     "I shall be happy to attend the dinner on July 1st, if by so doing
     I can attest my sense of Mr. Field's services.

     "I trust that I shall not give offence, should I be compelled to
     retire before the rest of the company.

"I remain your servant,


"GROSVENOR CRESCENT, _June 7, 1868_.

     "_Sir_,--I am extremely sorry that a prior engagement must prevent
     my attending the banquet that is to be given to Mr. Cyrus W. Field.

     "It would have been a real pleasure to me to take part in any
     proceeding having for its object to do honor to that distinguished
     gentleman, for whose energetic character, as well as for his
     zealous efforts in promoting friendly relations between our
     respective countries, I have long felt the highest admiration.

I am sir,
"Your obedient servant,



     "_My dear Anderson_,--I would like so much to dine with you all in
     honor of Cyrus the Great.

"Yours very truly,

"120 PICCADILLY, _June 18, 1868_.

     "_Dear Sir_,--I fully intend to be present, if possible, at the
     banquet to Mr. Cyrus W. Field, but I have been of late in the
     doctor's hands, and it may happen that I could not be present.

     "I should, therefore, feel much obliged to you if you would give
     the reply to the toast to some one else, and release me altogether
     from making a speech. For various reasons I am anxious not to speak
     on the occasion, especially as I have been compelled to decline
     all invitations to public dinners of late; otherwise anything that
     I could have done to contribute to the success of this
     well-deserved tribute to the great services of Mr. Cyrus Field I
     would have done with the greatest pleasure.

"Yours truly,

"LONDON, _June 30, 1868_.

     "_My dear Field_,--I regret very much not being able to be one of
     those who will meet to-morrow to do you honor for your great
     services in carrying out telegraphic communication between this
     country and America. No one present will feel and appreciate more
     than I do how important a part you took in that great work, and
     with what energy and perseverance you devoted yourself to its

"Wishing you long life and every happiness,
"Believe me,
"Yours very sincerely,

The speeches made at this dinner can be given only in part.

The Duke of Argyll said:

     "My Lords and Gentlemen,--It now becomes my duty to propose that
     which is pre-eminently the toast of the evening, and to ask you to
     return to our distinguished guest our warm and hearty
     acknowledgments of the great service he has rendered to England, to
     America, and to the world by his exertions in promoting the success
     of the Atlantic telegraph, an enterprise which is the culminating
     triumph of a long series of discoveries prosecuted by many
     generations of men. It is not easy to apportion with exactitude the
     merits which may belong to those who have engaged in it; but I much
     mistake the character of our distinguished guest--and I have now
     known him for several years, and have had much communication with
     him--I much mistake his character if he desires to displace for a
     single moment any of those who have preceded him in the history of
     electrical discovery. This great triumph may be looked at from
     various points of view, and in the first place I think I am safe in
     saying that we all feel it to be a triumph of pure science--I say,
     of pure science, of the pure desire and love of knowledge.... I
     have the honor of speaking to many distinguished scientific men,
     and I think they will hear me out when I say that if there is one
     question which they hear with the utmost indignation and contempt
     addressed to them when they are in the course of their
     investigations it is the question, What is the use of their
     discoveries? The answer which the man of science returns to this
     question, as to what is the use of his discovery, is, 'I only tell
     you what is the interest of that discovery, that interest which
     compels and impels me to go on in the path of investigation.' It is
     knowledge, mere knowledge of the facts and laws of nature, that the
     scientific mind seeks to gain. Nevertheless, I think it is a great
     comfort to scientific men to be sure that even those discoveries
     which for years, and even for centuries, remain apparently entirely
     useless may at any time and at any moment become serviceable in the
     highest degree to the human family.... And I believe the success of
     this enterprise would have been delayed for many years--perhaps for
     whole generations of men--had it not been for the single exertions,
     for the confidence and zeal, for the foresight and faith,
     amounting, as I think, to genius, of our distinguished guest, Mr.
     Cyrus Field. None of us in our day, I rejoice to think, are
     disposed to undervalue the influence which the spirit of commercial
     enterprise is having upon the progress and civilization of mankind.
     In nothing perhaps is there so strange a contrast between the
     spirit and the wisdom of modern times and the spirit and wisdom of
     ancient philosophy. It is surely a most wonderful fact that in the
     most brilliant civilizations of the ancient world the wise men of
     those times--and they were men so wise that many of us to this day
     are influenced by their thoughts--many of those men held that
     commercial enterprise was the bane of nations. Now I must say this,
     that of all commercial enterprises which have ever been undertaken,
     this one on the part of Mr. Cyrus Field represents the noblest and
     purest motives by which commercial enterprise can ever be inspired.
     I believe it was the very greatness of the project--the great
     results which were certain to issue--I believe it was this, and
     this alone, which supported him with that confidence and decision
     which through many difficulties and many disappointments has
     carried him at last to the triumphant conclusion of this great
     project. And, gentlemen, I rejoice to say that whilst as a
     commercial enterprise it has come from the other side of the
     Atlantic, it has been well seconded and supported by the
     capitalists not only of America but of England. And surely this is
     another link of friendly intercourse between the people of the two
     countries. Now let me also say this--and this is a point which I
     have ascertained from other sources--I believe so great was the
     confidence of Mr. Field in the triumph of this great undertaking
     that he risked every farthing of his own private fortune in
     promoting its success. On these grounds, ladies and gentlemen, I
     ask you to drink his health. But on one other ground also I ask you
     to drink it, and that is this, that he is personally one of the
     most genial and kindly-hearted of men. At a time when his country
     was in great difficulty, and when many Americans thought at least
     they had something to complain of in the tone of English society, I
     was in the constant habit of meeting Mr. Field, and I never saw his
     temper ruffled for a moment, I never heard any words fall from him
     but words of peace between the two countries; and I often heard him
     express a hope that a time would come when a better understanding
     would arise in the minds of the people of this country and those of
     the United States; and I have reason to believe that his services
     and exertions in the United States have not a little contributed to
     secure the return of that feeling, what I believe is the real and
     permanent feeling of the people of those two great countries. Allow
     me, then, to ask you most heartily to drink this toast with me--the
     health of Mr. Cyrus Field, as the promoter of this great
     enterprise, and as a gentleman whom we all know and honor."

The Right Hon. Sir John Pakington said:

     "There are few men who, more than myself, have in their own
     personal experience been struck by the greatness of the event which
     we are now assembled to celebrate. I am one of the few--and they
     are quickly becoming fewer--who made a tour in the United States
     not only before electric telegraphs were thought of, but before
     even steamboats had crossed the Atlantic. I went to America in the
     quickest way it was then possible to go, in one of the celebrated
     American liners; but it so happened that the wind was in the west,
     as it generally is, and I was exactly six weeks from shore to
     shore. My next personal communication with America was just ten
     years ago. It then became my duty, on account of the office I
     held, to attend the Queen upon the occasion of her visit to the
     Emperor of the French at Cherbourg--one of those interchanges of
     courtesy which have done so much to create and prolong good feeling
     between France and England. One of the festivities during that
     visit was a banquet given by the Emperor to the Queen, on board one
     of his finest line of battle ships. I had the honor of being
     present, and during the dinner a servant came to me and delivered a
     letter which contained a telegram from the United States,
     announcing the completion of telegraphic communication between
     America and England. I can never forget the interest of such a
     communication at such a moment, nor the feeling which it excited
     among the distinguished persons of both nations by whom I was then

     "Another agreeable memory of the same period was the assistance
     which my office enabled me to give by lending the ships of war of
     this country for the accomplishment of that extraordinary event. It
     is true that the communication so established was shortly
     afterwards interrupted, but it is now restored. We may now, without
     exaggeration, say that England and America are no longer separated
     by the breadth of the Atlantic Ocean, for even during this dinner
     we have been corresponding briskly with our American friends; and
     it is impossible, gentlemen, to resist the conclusion that this
     greatest triumph of modern science must have the effect of
     softening prejudice, increasing and cementing good feeling, and in
     every way promoting the welfare and the prosperity of the two great
     peoples so brought together.

     "That communication, which at the time to which I first referred
     occupied six weeks, may now be effected in as many minutes, and I
     rejoice that I am enabled to attend here to-day to join in doing
     honor to the man to whom, more than to any other human agency, we
     are indebted for this wonderful change."

Mr. John Bright spoke as follows:

     "In attempting to respond to the sentiment that has been submitted
     to us, I have a certain anxiety with regard to a mysterious box
     which is said to be on these premises, containing an instrument by
     which every word we utter to-night, be it wise or be it foolish,
     will be transmitted with more than lightning speed to the dwellers
     on that part of the earth's surface which we describe as the
     regions of the setting sun. But we are so entirely agreed that
     there seems no possibility that anything will be said to-night
     which any one who hears it will desire to contradict, and I hope we
     may avoid the charge of saying anything that is foolish or hasty.

     "Sir Stafford Northcote has submitted this sentiment, 'The peace
     and prosperity of Great Britain and the United States,' which
     means, I presume, that we are here in favor of a growing and
     boundless trade with America, and at the same time desire an
     unbroken friendship with the people of that country. With one heart
     and voice I presume to accept that sentiment, and without any fear
     of contradiction we assert that we are on that point truly
     representative of the unanimous feeling of the three kingdoms.
     There are those--I meet them frequently, for there are cavillers
     and critics everywhere--there are those who condemn the United
     States, and sometimes with something like scorn and bitterness,
     because at this moment the people of the United States are bearing
     heavy taxation, and because they have a ruinous tariff; but if
     these critics were to look back to our own position a few years ago
     they would see how much allowance is to be made for others. During
     the years which passed between 1790 and 1815, for nearly
     twenty-five years the government and people of this country were
     waging a war of a terrific character with a neighboring state. The
     result of that war was that which is, I believe, the result of
     every great war--enormous expenditure, great loans, heavy taxation,
     growing debt, and, of course, much suffering among the people, who
     have to bear the load of those burdens. But after that war, during
     twenty-five years, from 1815 to 1841, there was scarcely anything
     done by the government of this country to remedy the gross and
     scandalous inequalities of taxation, and to adopt a better system
     in apportioning the necessary burdens of the state upon the various
     classes of the people. But since 1841, as we all know, we have seen
     a revolution in this country in regard to taxation and finance, and
     I need not remind you that this has been mainly produced by the
     teaching of one who is not with us to-night, but who would have
     rejoiced, as we now rejoice, over the great event which we are here
     to celebrate, whose spirit and whose mind will, I believe, for
     generations yet to come stimulate and elevate the minds of
     multitudes of his countrymen. But this revolution of which I speak
     is not confined to this country, for, notwithstanding what we now
     see in the United States, it may be affirmed positively that it is
     going on there, and that in the course of no remote period it will
     embrace in its world-blessing influence all the civilized nations
     of the globe. The United States have had four years of appalling
     struggle and disaster. It was, nevertheless, in some sort a time of
     unspeakable grandeur, and it has had this great result, that it has
     sustained the life of a great nation and has given universal and
     permanent freedom over the whole continent of North America. But as
     was the case with our war, so with the American war: it has been
     attended with enormous cost, with great loans, with grievous
     taxation, and with a tariff which intelligent men will not long
     submit to; but at this moment and for some time the strife has been
     ended, the wounds inflicted are healing, freedom is secured, and
     the restoration of the Union, surmounting the difficulties that
     have interposed, is being gradually and certainly accomplished. I
     conclude that such a nation as the United States--such a people, so
     free and so instructed--will not be twenty-five years before they
     remedy the evils and the blunders and the unequal burdens of their
     taxation and their tariff. They will discover, in much less time
     than we discovered it, that a great nation is advanced by freedom
     of industry and of commerce, and that without this freedom every
     other kind of freedom is but a partial good. This sentiment speaks,
     also, of unbroken friendship between the two countries. May I say
     now, in a moment of calm and of reason, that with regard to the
     United States both our rulers and our people, and especially the
     most influential classes of our people, have greatly erred? Men
     here forget that, after all, we are but one nation having two
     governments, we are of the same noble and heroic race. Half the
     English family is on this side of the Atlantic in its ancient home,
     and the other half over the ocean (there being no room for them
     here) settled on the American continent. It is so with thousands of
     individual families throughout this country. No member of my family
     has emigrated to America for forty years past, and yet I have far
     more blood relations in the United States than I have within the
     limits of the United Kingdom; and that, I believe, is true of
     thousands in this country. And I assert this, that he is an enemy
     of our English race, and, indeed, an enemy of the human race, who
     creates any difficulty that shall interfere with the permanent
     peace and friendship of all the members of our great
     English-speaking family. One other sentence upon that point. No man
     will dare to say that the people of the United States or the
     people of the United Kingdom are not in favor of peace.... But
     leaving for a moment--in fact, leaving altogether--the sentiment
     and the toast which have been submitted to us, you will permit me
     to turn more immediately to the purposes of this banquet only for a
     sentence or two. I rejoice very much at this banquet, because we
     are met to do honor to a man of rare qualities, who has conferred
     upon us--and, I believe, upon mankind--rare services. I have known
     Mr. Field for a good many years, and although, I dare say, to any
     sailor who may be here it is not much, to me it seems a good deal
     that Mr. Cyrus Field, in the prosecution of this great work (not
     being a sailor, always bear that in mind), has crossed the Atlantic
     more than forty times; and he has, as you know, by an energy almost
     without example, by a courage nothing could daunt, by a faith that
     nothing could make to falter, and by sacrifices beyond
     estimation--for there are sacrifices that he has made I would not
     in his presence relate to this meeting--aided by discovery and by
     science and by capital, he has accomplished the grandest triumph
     which the science and the intellect of man have ever achieved. Soon
     after the successful laying of the cable I had an opportunity of
     referring to it in a speech spoken in the north of England, when I
     took the liberty of describing Mr. Cyrus Field as the Columbus of
     the nineteenth century; and may I not ask, when that cable was
     laid, when the iron hand grasped in the almost fathomless recesses
     of the ocean the lost and broken cable, if it be given to the
     spirits of great men in the eternal world, in their eternal life,
     to behold the great actions of our lives, how must the spirit of
     that grand old Genoese have rejoiced at the triumph of that hour,
     and at the new tie which bound the world he had discovered to the
     world to which but for him it might have been for ages to come
     unknown!... I believe no man--not Cyrus Field himself--has ever
     been able to comprehend the magnitude of the great discovery, of
     the great blessing, to mankind which we have received through the
     instrumentality of him and his friends, the scientific men by whom
     he has been assisted. I say with the greatest sincerity that my
     heart is too full, when I look at this question, to permit me to
     speak of it in the manner in which I feel that I should speak. We
     all know that there are in our lives joys, and there are sometimes
     sorrows, that are too deep for utterance, and there are
     manifestations of the goodness, and the wisdom, and the greatness
     of the Supreme which our modes of speech are utterly unable to
     describe. We can only stand, and look on, and wonder, and adore.
     But of the agency--the human agency--concerned we may more freely
     speak. I honor the great inventors. In their lifetime they seldom
     receive all the consideration to which they are entitled.... I
     honor Professor Wheatstone and Professor Morse and all those men of
     science who have made this great marvel possible; and I honor the
     gallant captain of that great ship, whose precious cargo, not
     landed in any port, but sunk in ocean's solitary depths, has
     brought measureless blessings to mankind; and I honor him, our
     distinguished (may I not say our illustrious?) guest of to-night,
     for, after all that can be said of invention, and of science, and
     of capital, it required the unmatched energy and perseverance and
     faith of Cyrus Field to bring to one grand completion the mightiest
     achievement which the human intellect, in my opinion, has ever

Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, in closing his speech, said:

     "If the share I had in bygone transactions between the two
     countries is indifferent to you, as it may easily be, you will
     feel, nevertheless, with me how naturally the Atlantic cable and
     all its prospective advantages bring to mind that state of things
     which formerly estranged us from America and threatened the
     interruption of those friendly relations which so many motives of
     interest and sympathy concur in urging both parties to maintain and
     improve. Mr. Cyrus Field has called forth our present expressive
     tribute to his character and merits of the signal exertion he made,
     at so much hazard and self-sacrifice, to realize the grand
     conception of the cable. He crossed the Atlantic more than forty
     times in pursuit of that glorious object, and I, who have crossed
     it but twice, have learned thereby to appreciate the results, as
     well as the perils, of so immense an undertaking. Eternal honor to
     him, and also to those of our countrymen who, in concert with him,
     have enabled the two worlds to converse with each other."

M. Ferdinand de Lesseps said:

     "Je viens d'être chargé de vous entretenir des avantages du
     télégraphe électrique entre les diverses parties du monde. Les
     hommes ont toujours cherché à créer et à perfectionner les moyens
     de communiquer entre eux. Réunir les peuples par des voies rapides
     et abrégées est un progrès veritablement chrétien; car il nous
     permet de nous aimer et de nous aider les uns les autres pour nous
     rendre meilleurs et plus heureux. L'élément essentiel de ce progrès
     est la propagation de la pensée par la parole, par l'écriture, par
     l'imprimerie, par la presse périodique et journalière, enfin par la
     télégraphie électrique, merveilleuse invention moderne mettant au
     service de l'homme la force que les anciens donnaient pour emblème
     à la divinité; et qui, au lieu de planer sur nos têtes en signe de
     menace, poursuit une marche bienfaisante jusque dans les
     profondeurs des mers. La télégraphie électrique est encore à son
     debut et déjà elle enveloppe le monde. Son application la plus
     surprenante, celle qui a demandé le plus de courage et d'efforts
     persévérants, a été la communication instantanée entre l'Amérique
     et l'Europe. Honneur à Cyrus Field, qui a été le grand propagateur
     et fondateur de la télégraphie transatlantique! Honneur à ses
     compagnons de travail et de victoire!"

The Duke of Argyll sent the following message to his Excellency Andrew
Johnson, President of the United States, Washington:

     "I am now surrounded by upwards of three hundred gentlemen and many
     ladies who have assembled to do honor to Mr. Cyrus Field for his
     acknowledged exertions in promoting telegraphic communication
     between the New and the Old World. It bids fair for the kindly
     influences of the Atlantic cable that its success should have
     brought together so friendly a gathering; and in asking you to join
     our toast of 'Long life, health, and happiness to your most worthy
     countryman,' let me add a Highlander's wish--that England and
     America may always be found, in peace and in war, 'shoulder to

Mr. Seward's answer from Washington was read during the evening:

     "Your salutations to the President from the banqueting-hall at
     Willis's Rooms have been received. The dinner-hour here has not
     arrived--it is only five o'clock; the sun is yet two hours high.
     When the dinner-hour arrives the President will accept your pledge
     of honor to our distinguished countryman, Cyrus W. Field, and will
     cordially respond to your Highland aspiration for perpetual union
     between the two nations."

And before the company separated the Duke of Argyll said:

     "I hope you will allow me to read to you another thanks which I
     have received by telegraph from Miss Field, New York:

     "'I thank you most sincerely for the kind words you have spoken of
     my father, causing me to feel that we are friends, although our
     acquaintance is thus made across the sea and in a moment of time.'"

This testimonial banquet afforded a congenial text for the newspapers of
both countries, and some extracts follow from the comments of the London

From the London _Times_:

     "Mere knowledge is itself a great possession; but we want things
     done as well as known, and we are impelled by an irresistible
     instinct to honor the men who actually do them, or get them done.
     This is Mr. Cyrus Field's distinction. By general confession it is
     to him we owe it that the science of men like Faraday and
     Wheatstone was utilized, and that philosophers and sailors and
     capitalists and governments were all united to produce one great
     result. It is surprising even now to read his enumeration of the
     agencies which co-operated in the work. Scientific investigations
     above and beneath the sea, the survey of the Atlantic basin, the
     manufacture of the cables, the mechanical appliances for laying
     them, the skilful seamanship, the great ship, the enterprises of
     capitalists, the ability of directors, the resources of
     governments--in a word, the unexampled combination of nautical,
     electrical, engineering, and executive resources--all these were
     necessary to stretch that piece of wire from continent to
     continent. We may imagine what energy, determination, and skill
     were needed to set all these agents at work, and to maintain them
     in working order in spite of disappointments; and it is as having
     been the principal cause of this perseverance and co-operation that
     Mr. Field received so handsome an acknowledgment the other

From _The Daily News_:

     "The name which the general estimate of the public--an estimate
     seldom erroneous in such matters--has associated with the idea of
     transatlantic telegraphy is that of Mr. Cyrus Field, the guest of
     last night's dinner. The credit of the undertaking is far too vast
     to be monopolized by any single name, and common justice, as well
     as regard for national honor, bids us remember that the material
     resources of the enterprise were due in the main to English energy,
     English wealth, and English perseverance. The organized power of an
     old country was required to accomplish an undertaking too immense
     to be successfully grasped by the not less powerful but less
     concentrated resources of a new community. Still, if the glory of
     the ultimate achievement rests with England, the credit of having
     conceived and initiated the enterprise must be ascribed to America.
     And of the American pioneers of the work, there is none who has
     labored so indefatigably as Mr. Cyrus Field. The distinguished
     guest deserves to be numbered among the 'representative men' of his
     own country. If you want to understand how it is that America has
     grown to be what she is, you must seek for an explanation in the
     fact that men of the Field type are not only to be found among her
     citizens, but are able to develop their peculiar powers after a
     fashion impossible in an old-fashioned country like our own."

From the _Morning Star_:

     "Mr. Cyrus W. Field is too earnest and energetic a man, too
     completely devoted to great projects and great success, to have
     much of mere egotism left in him. A life so thoroughly absorbed in
     pursuits which belong to the business and benefit of the whole
     world can have little time for the indulgence of vanity. But one
     might well excuse a little self-gratulation and pride on the part
     of a guest entertained as Mr. Cyrus Field was at Willis's Rooms
     last night. Not often, certainly, is such a banquet given in
     England to a man who is neither a politician nor a soldier.... Mr.
     Field, when he glanced around that splendidly filled banquet-room
     last night, may have felt but little personal pride in the
     well-merited honors he received. But he must have felt gratified at
     the evidence thus practically and brilliantly afforded that the
     public of civilized nations are at last trying to unlearn the fatal
     habit which made them so long ungrateful to some of their best

     "We never remember to have read of a public demonstration to any
     individual in London which had less of a sectarian or sectional
     character. The Duke of Argyll, one of the most advanced of our
     Liberal peers, one of the most enlightened of our scientific
     thinkers, was hardly more prominent in doing honor to Mr. Field
     than was Sir John Pakington, the steady-going Tory of the old, old
     school. Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, the great Elchi of Mr.
     Kinglake's delightful sensation romance, sat side by side with Mr.
     Bright, who denounced in such powerful and unsparing eloquence so
     much of Lord Stratford's policy and conduct during the Crimean war.
     Mr. Layard joined with Sir Stafford Northcote in the compliment to
     the guest. Two common sentiments animated the whole of the
     company--a company representing politics, science, literature,
     arts, and commerce--the sentiment of personal admiration for Mr.
     Field's labors and character, and that of cordial friendship
     towards the great people of whose indomitable energy he is so
     striking an illustration.... Much of the honor, of course, was
     entirely personal. It was tendered to Mr. Field because he
     individually had deserved it. Mr. Bright, in a few words,
     accurately described Mr. Field's position as regards the Atlantic
     telegraph. Other men may have thought of the project; other men
     may, for aught we know, have thought of it even before he did;
     other men may have mentally planned it out, and proposed schemes
     for its realization.... The idea is not exclusively Mr. Field's;
     nor is the success exclusively his. But assuredly his was the
     energy, the prodigious strength of will, the unconquerable
     perseverance, which forced the scheme upon the intellect, the
     activity, and the influence of England and America, and never
     desisted until the dream had become a reality. A slight and
     delicate allusion was made once or twice last night to the
     sacrifices Mr. Field had made, the responsibilities he had
     incurred, the risks he had run, to bring forward his darling scheme
     again and again after each new defeat and disaster. There are more
     men by far who could bear to make the sacrifices than men who could
     raise their heads as Mr. Field did, undismayed after every defeat,
     full of new hope after each disaster. Certainly that glorious
     vitality of hope is one of the rarest as it is one of the grandest
     of human attributes. Mr. Field brought to the great project with
     which his life will be identified more than the genius of a
     discoverer--he brought the courage, the energy, the heart, and hope
     of a very conqueror. Therefore was his share in the work so unique;
     therefore did the company at Willis's Rooms last night do him
     special honor. But in honoring him they honored also his country.
     Better words, holier messages of peace and brotherhood, were never
     sent along a wire than those which thrilled last night through the
     depths of the Atlantic from the Englishmen around Mr. Field to the
     brethren of their race in America."


     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--I am much obliged by your kind note. I
     assure you it gave me great pleasure to preside at your banquet. I
     would rather have my name associated with the Atlantic Telegraph
     than with any other undertaking of ancient or modern times.

"Yours very sincerely,

"MORTIMER READING, _July 2, 1868_.

     "_My dear Friend_,--I was exceedingly sorry that I was prevented
     from taking part, as I had intended, in doing honor to you last
     night. You know that in all that number of admirers there was not
     one whose feelings towards you were warmer than mine. Indeed, few
     of them could feel the personal gratitude which I feel to the
     author and the indomitable promoter of an enterprise the success of
     which will link me, though far away, to my English home.

"Ever yours sincerely,

"_July 20, 1868_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--I saw by the papers that the great banquet
     given to you at Willis's Rooms passed off most successfully, and
     Mr. Bright, who has been staying a week with me, confirms even the
     most favorable accounts. I think you may well be satisfied with
     the honors that have been paid you on both sides of the Atlantic,
     but should more be proffered you may readily receive them as

"Very respectfully and truly yours,

When he sailed for England, in February, Mr. Field had taken to Mr.
Bright an invitation to visit this country, signed by many of his
American friends, and ending with these words: "Your presence at this
time would tend to strengthen the ties between your country and ours,
and we beg leave to suggest a visit during the ensuing spring."

"TORQUAY, DEVON, _October 13, 1868_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--Your letter has been sent on to me, and has
     followed me in my journey in Cornwall.... I rejoice at the
     patriotism of your countrymen, many of whom have gone or are going
     home to take part in the great election; and I hope most earnestly
     that the Republican candidates may be elected by a grand majority.

     "In this country the elections seem likely to go strongly against
     the Tories; they deserve to be well beaten.

     "As to the invitation from New York, I can say nothing except that
     I am deeply indebted to your friends for their kind invitation, and
     that I regret extremely that I have never yet been able to visit
     your country. I need not tell you how many are my engagements here,
     and how uncertain is the prospect of my being able to see the many
     kind friends I have in the States.

     "I must ask you to thank the gentlemen who wrote to me, and to say
     that I am very grateful to them for their kind remembrance of me.

     "I wish you a pleasant voyage and return. I almost envy you the
     ease with which, after your long experience, you cross the

     "I shall wait with confidence, but not without anxiety, what the
     cable will bring us the day after your election. I see four States
     have their elections to-day, from which something may be judged of
     what is to come.

"I am, always very sincerely, your friend,

November 2, 1868, in writing to a friend he says, "I returned home last
Thursday in time to vote for General Grant."

On December 29, 1868, a banquet was given to Professor Morse, who in
closing his speech said:

     "I have claimed for America the origination of the modern telegraph
     system of the world. Impartial history, I think, will support the
     claim. Do not misunderstand me as disparaging or disregarding the
     labors and ingenious modifications of others in various countries
     employed in the same field of invention. Gladly, did time permit,
     would I descant upon their great and varied merits. Yet in tracing
     the birth and pedigree of the modern telegraph, 'American' is not
     the highest term of the series that connects the past with the
     present; there is at least one higher term, the highest of all,
     which cannot and must not be ignored. If not a sparrow falls to the
     ground without a definite purpose in the plans of infinite wisdom,
     can the creation of an instrumentality so vitally affecting the
     interests of the whole human race have an origin less humble than
     the Father of every good and perfect gift? I am sure I have the
     sympathy of such an assembly as is here gathered if, in all
     humility and in the sincerity of a grateful heart, I use the words
     of inspiration in ascribing honor and praise to Him to whom first
     of all and most of all it is pre-eminently due. 'Not unto us, not
     unto us, but to God be all the glory.'

     "Not what hath man, but 'what hath God wrought.'"

"WASHINGTON, _January 7, 1869_.

     "_Sir_,--Pursuant to the resolution of Congress of March 2, 1867,
     the President has caused to be prepared for presentation to you, in
     the name of the people of the United States, a gold medal, with
     suitable devices and inscriptions, in acknowledgment of your
     eminent services in the establishment of telegraphic communication
     by means of the Atlantic cable between the Old World and the New.
     This testimonial, together with an engrossed copy of the resolution
     referred to, is herewith transmitted to you by direction of the

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

Two years had passed since this resolution was adopted and the medal
ordered, and the reason for its not having been given before this time
was a strange one. In 1868 he had received word that the medal would be
presented to him on his going to Washington, but upon his arrival there
he was asked not to name the subject. The medal had been shown at a
meeting of the Cabinet and had disappeared. Another had been ordered,
and would be sent to him as soon as possible. The mystery was not solved
until 1874, when in London he received a cable message from Washington.

     "The missing original Congressional gold medal, a duplicate of
     which was made and presented to you, has been found. Its value is
     about $600. Secretary Treasury wishes informally to know whether
     you wish to possess it. If so, it will be given to you on receipt
     of value."

Soon after his return home he was in Washington, and while there was
told this story: One day a clerk in the Treasury Department asked the
Secretary why Mr. Field had never received the medal ordered for him.
When desired to explain his question, he answered that he had been
directed to put the medal away _carefully_ after the meeting of the
Cabinet, and that he had not heard the subject mentioned since that day;
neither had he known that the medal was sought for. And now when Mr.
Field called for the "original medal" he was told that it had been given
to the Mint in Philadelphia. A telegram was sent to the director, and
only just in time, for already a hole had been drilled in it.

Mr. Varley wrote this letter on his visit to New York, but it was over
a year before the suggestions that he made were acted upon.

"NEW YORK, _October 6, 1868_.

     "_My dear Sir_,--I hope you will pardon me for addressing you upon
     the subject of the Atlantic circuits.

     "I am a small shareholder in the New York, Newfoundland, and London
     Telegraph Company, a larger in the Anglo-American and Atlantic
     Telegraph companies; and it is with deep regret that I see that the
     latter two companies are fighting instead of working.

     "It seems as if they were re-enacting just the same farces that
     were performed when we were endeavoring to raise funds both for the
     1865 and the 1866 cables. I venture unhesitatingly to assert that
     we should not have succeeded but for the indomitable energy and the
     excellent judgment of Mr. Cyrus Field.

     "I do not believe the present attempt at an adjustment will end in
     any useful results unless some one like Mr. Cyrus Field, enjoying
     the confidence and personal regard of those interested on this
     side, as well as such men as Brassey, Hawkshaw, Fairbairne, Fowler,
     Gladstone, Bright, Whitworth, and others in Europe, go to England
     empowered to act on behalf of your company. The jealousies and
     conflicting interests existing between the directors on the other
     side prevent them from acting with that vigor and integrity of
     purpose so necessary to command success, and which qualities are
     possessed to so large an extent by Mr. Cyrus Field, to whom the
     world is mainly indebted for the Atlantic cables. He of all others
     is, in my opinion, the one most capable of effecting the settlement
     we are all so interested in. He succeeded in restoring public
     confidence, in harmonizing the disputants, and in raising the money
     when the enterprise had twice proved a failure, and had as often
     been virtually abandoned by its natural protectors. How much the
     more, then, will he succeed now when he reappears amongst his old
     supporters and his true friends, backed this time not by failure,
     but by triumphant success, and with all his predictions

"Very truly yours,

"PETER COOPER, Esq., New York."

On January 20th Mr. Field sailed from New York in the steamship _Cuba_
and joined his wife and two of his daughters, who were in Pau. He was in
England early in the spring, and among the cable messages sent to him we
find this, dated the 10th of May, which he was asked to forward to
General Dix in Paris:

     "Completion of Pacific Railway celebrated to-day by Te Deum in
     Trinity Church."

He was back in New York early in June, and almost immediately after his
return his country-house at Irvington-on-the-Hudson was opened; this was
the first summer that he passed there.

"IRVINGTON-ON-THE-HUDSON, _June 24, 1869_.

     "_My dear Mr. Sumner_,--Many thanks for your letter of the 13th
     instant; it should have been answered at once, but it was sent to
     my house in Gramercy Park.

     "I thank you for your letter to Secretary Fish. I do most sincerely
     hope that we shall soon have a better feeling between this country
     and England, and I know of no one that can do more to bring about
     this desirable result than yourself.

     "You may be sure that I shall do all I can. I wish you would write
     our mutual friend, Mr. John Bright, frankly.

     "I hope soon to have the pleasure of seeing you again and renewing
     our late conversation.

"With great respect I remain, my dear Mr. Sumner,
"Very truly your friend,

"NEW YORK, _August 9, 1869_.

     "_My dear President Woolsey_,--I have this day read in the _New
     Englander_ for July with great pleasure your very able article on
     the _Alabama_ question, and I cannot help writing to thank you for
     it. I shall mail it Thursday to my friend, Mr. John Bright.

"With great respect,
"I remain, my dear President Woolsey,
"Very truly your friend,

"NEW YORK, _August 9, 1869_.

     "_My dear Mr. Bright_,--Since my return from England I have seen
     many of our ablest men, including the President of the United
     States, the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Senator
     Sumner, several other members of the Senate, and members of the
     House of Representatives, the Governors of several States, leading
     editors in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington, and I
     have found only one that advocated war with England.

     "I am more than ever convinced that if the English government would
     send to Washington yourself, the Duke of Argyll, and Earl Granville
     as special ambassadors to act with the British minister, the whole
     controversy between England and America could be settled in a few
     months. Please give this matter your careful consideration. I send
     you by this mail the _New Englander_ for July, containing an
     article on the _Alabama_ question written by President Woolsey, of
     Yale College.

     "With kind regards to your family and with great respect,

"I remain, my dear Mr. Bright,
"Very truly your friend,

"ROCHDALE, _August 24, 1869_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--I am glad to have your letter, and note its
     contents with much interest. I do not see how your suggestion can
     be adopted at present.

     "Whatever is done now towards a settlement must necessarily come
     from your side. We have done all we can. Your government sent an
     envoy with the unanimous assent of the Senate. He came avowedly
     with the object of arranging an existing difficulty. He made
     certain propositions on the part of his government. These were
     considered by our government, and finally were adopted and
     consented to. A convention was signed, including everything your
     minister had asked for, and this convention was rejected by your
     Senate. Who knows that it will not reject any other convention? If
     you have an envoy who has no power to negotiate, and an executive
     government which cannot ratify a treaty, where is the security for
     further negotiation? We cannot come to Washington and express our
     regret that Reverdy Johnson did not ask for more. We gave him all
     he asked for, all that Mr. Seward asked for, all that the then
     President asked for. What could we have done, what can we now do


     (Home of Cyrus W. Field)]

     "It is clearly for your government to explain why the convention
     failed, and what, in their opinion, is now required from us. The
     civilized world, I am quite sure, will say that we are on a certain
     vantage-ground, having consented to all that was asked from us, the
     convention not having failed through our default.

     "I could easily suggest a mode of settlement which all mankind,
     outside the two countries, would approve of; but how do I know what
     your government can do? If there is passion enough for Mr. Sumner
     to appeal to, or believers in his wild theories of international
     obligation, how can any settlement be looked for? There is abundant
     good feeling here to enable our government to do what is just, but
     no feeling that will permit of any voluntary humiliation of the

     "Until something is known of what will content the powers that will
     meet in Washington in December next, I do not see what any mission
     from this to you would be likely to effect. I have read the article
     in the _New Englander_. It is moderate, and written in a good
     spirit. I do not know that there is anything in it that I could not
     freely indorse. Upon the basis of its argument there could be no
     difficulty in terminating all that is in dispute between the two
     countries. But the article is in answer to Mr. Sumner; and the
     question is, does your government, and will your Congress, go with
     Mr. Sumner or with the review article? And what view will your
     people take?

     "I write all this privately to you. It is not from a Cabinet
     minister, but from an old friend of yours, who is a member of the
     English Parliament, and who has taken some interest in the affairs
     of your country. You will consider what I say, therefore, as in no
     degree expressing any opinion but my own. I have abstained from
     writing or speaking in public on the subject of the dispute. I
     could say something to the purpose probably if I thought men on
     your side were in a mood to listen and to think calmly. But after
     what has happened in connection with the convention I think we can
     only wait for some intimation from your side.

     "There is a good opinion existing here with regard to your
     government, and especially as regards your Secretary of State. I
     hope he may have the honor of assisting with a wise moderation to
     the settlement of the disputes on which so much has been said and
     written and so little done....

     "Believe me always sincerely your friend,


He answered this letter on September 14th:

     "I regret Mr. Sumner's speech and his course about the _Alabama_
     claims more than I can express, and shall do all I can to
     counteract the effect of his actions, and you can help me, I think,
     very much, if you will take the trouble to write your views
     fully.... I am anxious to do all in my power to keep good feeling
     between England and America."

And on November 1st he wrote again to Mr. Bright:

     "I do hope and pray that all matters in dispute between England and
     America will be honorably settled, and I felt encouraged when I
     read the sentence in your letter, 'I feel sure that some more
     successful attempt at settlement cannot be far off.'"

Dean Stanley's words, spoken at the breakfast given to him by the
Century Club on his visit to New York in 1878, describe Mr. Field's life
during these years:

     "The wonderful cable, on which it is popularly believed in England
     that my friend and host Mr. Cyrus W. Field passes his mysterious
     existence, appearing and reappearing at one and the same moment in
     London and New York."




The journey to England in December, 1869, was taken in order, if
possible, to effect the consolidation of the Anglo-American and the
Atlantic Cable companies; this was done, the latter losing its name and
being absorbed in the other. Mr. Field also made a working arrangement
between the Anglo-American Telegraph Company, the French Cable Company,
and the New York, Newfoundland, and London Company, and a division of
revenue was arranged between the three companies.

He returned to his home in February, and he was in Washington in March,
and while there had a talk with Mr. Sumner on the settlement of the
_Alabama_ claims.

The New York _Herald_ of March 22d says:

     "Mr. Field proposes that the United States shall name three eminent
     persons, crowned heads, as arbitrators, from whom Great Britain
     shall select one, and his decision of the case shall be binding on
     both parties. Or that Great Britain shall name the arbitrators, and
     that the United States shall make the selection of the fated
     individuals. Mr. Field had a long conference yesterday with Mr.
     Sumner upon the subject. The latter does not favor the proposition.
     With all his respect for royalty, he does not think the United
     States will get a fair show from any of the crowned heads of
     Europe. He is opposed to all sorts of arbitration in this matter,
     because he considers it beneath the dignity of our government to
     submit to anything of the kind."

Fourteen months later a treaty had been made and was before the Senate
of the United States.

On the evening of May 23, 1871, Mr. Field gave a dinner to Her Britannic
Majesty's High Commissioners. The Marquis of Ripon said in his speech:

     "It is sufficient for me to say that I believe--aye, I think that I
     may say that I know--that it is an honest treaty, that it has been
     the result of an honest endeavor to meet the just claims of both
     countries. I do not doubt that if this treaty had been written
     exclusively in London or exclusively in Washington it would have
     contained different provisions from those now found in it. The
     treaties which are not compromises, which represent only one side,
     can be dictated only under the shadow of a victorious army. These
     are not the treaties, these are not the conventions, that are made
     between free and equal people."

Before the evening closed the Marquis of Ripon said that he wished to
propose the health of the host of the evening, and then added:

     "He trusted that both branches of the late commission had done
     their share ... but far greater credit was due to the little wire
     which tied the two nations so close together."

He had written to Mr. Field two weeks before from Washington:

     "I am delighted to hear that you are inclined to look with favor
     upon our work. I believe the treaty to be equally fair and
     honorable to both countries; and if it is to be confirmed by the
     Senate it will, I trust, lay the foundation of a firm and lasting
     friendship between the two nations."

On May 18th Professor Goldwin Smith wrote:

     "No doubt you rejoice, as I do, in the treaty. I suppose it is

Thirteen years later the Marquis of Ripon wrote, expressing regret that
he would not be able to dine with his host of 1871, and added:

     "Also because I might thus have had an opportunity of bearing my
     testimony to the very important part which the telegraph cable
     played in the negotiations for the treaty of Washington. If it had
     not been for the existence of the cable, those negotiations must
     have been protracted in a manner which might have been very
     injurious to their success."

And at the same time Lord Iddesleigh, who as Sir Stafford Northcote had
served as a member of the commission, wrote of the use of the Atlantic
cable during the Washington negotiations:

     "There can be no doubt that it was a main agent in the matter. We
     usually met our American colleagues at midday, and we were by that
     time in possession of the views of our home government as adopted
     by their Cabinet in the afternoon of the same day."

At a dinner given by Mr. Field in London on Thanksgiving Day, November
28, 1872, Mr. Gladstone said:

     "The union of the two countries means, after all, the union of the
     men by whom they are inhabited; and among the men by whom they are
     inhabited there are some whose happy lot it has been to contribute
     more than others to the accomplishment of what I will venture to
     call that sacred work. And who is there, gentlemen, of them all
     that has been more marked, either by energetic motion or by happy
     success in that great undertaking, than your chairman, who has
     gathered us round his hospitable board to-night? His business has
     been to unite these two countries by a telegraphic wire; but,
     gentlemen, he is almost a telegraphic wire himself. With the
     exception of the telegraphic wire, there is not, I believe, any one
     who has so frequently passed anything between the two countries. I
     am quite certain there is no man who, often as he has crossed the
     ocean, has more weightily been charged upon every voyage with
     sentiments of kindness and good-will, of which he has been the
     messenger between the one and the other people."

It is appropriate here to introduce a note from Mr. Beecher of May 7,

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--On Friday noon, as I sat writing in the
     _Christian Union_ office, about twelve of the clock, it suddenly
     flashed across me that I had engaged to breakfast with you at nine
     of the morning, alas! and have only to say in excuse that I forgot.

     "Ordinarily that would be an aggravation, for it would argue
     indifference; but in a man who forgets, he is grieved to say,
     funerals, weddings, and social engagements; who forgets what he
     reads, what he knows, it ought not to be considered as a specific
     sin so much as a generic infirmity. I pray you forgive me, and
     _invite_ me again! Then see if I forget.

"I am very truly yours,

It was about this time that Mr. Field's thoughts were turned to the
possibility of laying a cable across the Pacific, and in that way
carrying out his favorite project of completing the circuit of the

In writing on April 22, 1870, he says:

     "I enclose a memorial and bill before Congress in regard to a
     submarine cable from California to China and Japan."

On April 23d:

     "If I obtain (as I hope) my telegraph bill, I propose that the
     Pacific Submarine Telegraph Company make an agreement, offensive
     and defensive, with the submarine lines from England to China _via_
     India. Our cable would give an alternate route from China to
     England, and I would suggest that we have a joint office in China,
     and that parties there have the option of sending by either line;
     and in case one line should be down, messages should be immediately
     forwarded by the other."

"_August 20, 1870._

     "At the request of prominent members of the United States
     government we have decided to adopt the following route for the
     Pacific cable:

  San Francisco to Sandwich Islands    2,080 miles.
  Sandwich Islands to Medway Island    1,140   "
  Medway Island to Yokohama            2,260   "
  Yokohama to Shang-Hai                1,035   "
                                       6,515   "

     "Medway Island is the new coaling station of the steamers between
     California and Japan."

He writes to Captain Sherard Osborn in August, 1870:

     "In your letter of 10th June you state the total length required
     for the Pacific cable as 7842 nautical miles, and give the price
     for the whole, complete, as £2,900,000 sterling. This is at the
     rate of over £382 9_s._ per nautical mile."

From a letter written on January 21, 1871:

     "It is uncertain what Congress will do with regard to the Pacific

On the 13th of June, 1871, he sailed from New York as one of the
deputation from the American branch of the Evangelical Alliance,
commissioned to wait on His Majesty the Emperor of Russia in behalf of
religious liberty for all his subjects.

It was upon his return to England that he wrote the following letter to
the Grand Duke Constantine, and the one of September 19th on his return
to New York:

"LONDON, _11th August, 1871_.

"To His Imperial Highness the Grand Duke CONSTANTINE:

     "_Sir_,--With this I have the honor to enclose a memorial addressed
     to His Majesty the Emperor of Russia respecting the establishment
     of a submarine telegraph communication between the west coast of
     America and the eastern shores of Russia, China, etc.

     "I shall esteem it a great favor if your Imperial Highness will be
     so good as to forward the memorial to His Majesty, with any
     observations on the subject which may be thought desirable.

     "With respect to the gentlemen mentioned in the memorial as
     prepared to join me in the enterprise, I may explain that they are
     among the very first merchants and capitalists of the United
     States.... As I am leaving for the United States this evening, my
     address will be Gramercy Park, New York. I would express my sincere
     thanks for the great kindness shown to myself by your Imperial
     Highness, and for the interest you have taken in the subject I have
     so much at heart.

"I beg to subscribe myself,
"With great respect,
"Your most obedient servant,

"'_To His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Russia_:

     "'The memorial of Cyrus West Field, a citizen of the United States
     of America, respect fully thereto,

     "'That having taken an active part in the establishment of electric
     telegraph communication across the Atlantic Ocean between America
     and Europe, and having been also interested in the laying of the
     existing submarine telegraph lines between Europe and the East, he
     is now desirous of submitting to your Majesty a project for
     completing the electric telegraph circle round the globe by uniting
     by submarine cables the western coast of America with the eastern
     shores of your Majesty's dominions, and with China or Japan, or
     both, as may be found most expedient.

     "'Having regard to the complete success, both scientific and
     practical, of the submarine telegraph cables now working, which are
     in the aggregate about 40,000 miles in length, your memorialist
     deems it wholly unnecessary to enlarge on the perfection attained
     in the manufacture of telegraph cables, or the facility and
     certainty with which they are laid in all parts of the world.

     "'Experience has proved that submarine telegraph cables can readily
     be recovered and repaired in case of accident, so that there is
     practically no limit to the length of line which may be employed
     or the depth of the water in which they may with perfect safety be

     "'Memorialist is aware of the strong desire existing in the United
     States of America for the establishment of a telegraph cable across
     the Pacific Ocean in order to the furtherance of commercial
     interests and to the strengthening of the friendly relations which
     have for so many years existed between the United States and your
     Imperial Majesty's government.

     "'From communications which memorialist has had with the government
     of the United States and with many leading members of Congress, he
     is able to say with confidence that both the government and the
     legislature take a deep interest in the subject, and that, as
     memorialist believes, they will readily join with your Majesty in
     making such arrangements as may be found necessary to carry out the

     "'Memorialist has made diligent inquiry from the persons best able
     to advise with respect to the practicability of uniting the two
     great continents by telegraphic cable, and he has received most
     satisfactory assurances on the subject.

     "'The proposed line would be about 6000 miles in length, and would
     be made in at least two lengths, landing at one or more of the
     islands of the Pacific Ocean.

     "'From this point the line would extend on the one hand to Russian
     territory, where it would be connected with the imperial system of
     land lines, and on the other hand it would run to the western coast
     of the United States, joining there the American wires, and thus
     give direct communication between Russia and the whole continent of
     America, and, by means of the cables now laid, with every important
     telegraph line in the world.

     "'Your Majesty will not fail to appreciate the importance and value
     of such a communication to Russia as well as to the United States
     of America.

     "'It would be an act of presumption on the part of memorialist to
     affect to point out to your Majesty the advantages of the line in
     its international and political aspect. The cost of the line cannot
     be ascertained until the route is definitely settled, but it will
     be manifest that for such an undertaking the very best description
     of cable must be used.

     "'From the best information which could be obtained, and from the
     experience of existing lines, memorialist is led to believe that
     for some years such a line would not in itself be remunerative as a
     commercial speculation, although there would doubtless be a large
     amount of business passing through it; and, further, that having
     regard to the risks necessarily incident to so great a work, it is
     and will be impossible to raise the capital required for
     establishing the line without material aid from the governments
     directly interested.

     "'Memorialist is therefore led to look to your Majesty and the
     United States government for assistance in carrying out this great
     undertaking, and, having taken counsel of his associates in former
     telegraphic enterprises as to the best means of effecting the
     desired object in the shortest time, he respectfully submits to
     your Majesty the following project:

     "'1. That the proposed Pacific telegraph line should be established
     by a company formed by responsible persons experienced in
     telegraphic business, under the sanction and supervision of your
     Majesty's government and the government of the United States of

     "'2. That the respective governments should each appoint a
     permanent director of the company.

     "'3. That the course of the line, its termini and stations, and
     other needful arrangements be determined under the joint approval
     of the official directors representing the two governments.

     "'4. That each government should guarantee for twenty-five years
     interest at three per cent. per annum on the cost of the line, the
     net receipts for each year (after providing for maintenance and
     repairs) being applied pro rata in relief of the guarantees.

     "'5. That one-half net profits above six per cent. per annum be set
     apart as a sinking fund for return of capital, and the balance
     divided equally between the stockholders and the government.

     "'6. That at the end of twenty-five years of guarantee the company
     shall retain the cable and other property, but without any
     exclusive right.

     "'Memorialist believes that with such assistance as is indicated
     above the cables could be made and laid within three years.

     "'The following eminent citizens of the United States have
     expressed their willingness to join memorialist in this important

  "'Peter Cooper,
    Moses Taylor,
    Marshall O. Roberts,
    Wilson G. Hunt,
    Prof. S. F. B. Morse,
    Dudley Field,
    Wm. H. Webb,
    Darius Ogden Mills.

     "'Memorialist now humbly seeks your Majesty's approval of the above
     project, believing that if so approved the government of the United
     States will give their concurrence, and that the work will be
     speedily accomplished.

"'of New York.'"

"NEW YORK, _19th September, 1871_.

     "_Sir_,--Referring to my personal interviews with you, and to my
     letter of 11th ultimo, in which I enclosed a memorial to His
     Majesty the Emperor of Russia respecting the establishment of a
     submarine telegraph cable between Russia and the United States of
     America, I now beg respectfully to submit to your Imperial Highness
     the following modifications of the propositions contained in that
     memorial, which I think will commend themselves to your good

     "1. The proposed guarantee of three per cent. _not_ to commence
     until the day the cable is completed and in successful working

     "2. The amount of capital guaranteed _not_ to exceed £3,000,000.

     "3. The company to bind itself not to kill seals, nor to deal in
     furs on any portion of Russian territory.

     "4. The cable not to be landed on the island of Saghalien.

     "5. In the event of any dispute arising between the cable company
     and any subject of His Imperial Majesty, the question to be
     referred to the Russian courts. In disputes between the cable
     company and American citizens, the courts of the United States to
     have sole jurisdiction.

     "May I respectfully solicit your Imperial Highness to take these
     proposed modifications into your consideration, and, should they
     meet with your approval, I would beg the favor of your laying them
     before His Majesty the Emperor, with such suggestions as may seem
     to you advisable.

     "It is important that I should know the views of His Imperial
     Majesty's government at the earliest moment, as the Congress of
     the United States meets on the first Monday in December.

     "I beg again to express my sincere thanks for the great kindness
     shown to myself by your Imperial Highness, and for the interest you
     have taken in the subject I have so much at heart.

"I have the honor to subscribe myself,
"With great respect,
"Your Imperial Highness's most obedient servant,

In January, 1872, he was again in Russia, but after that time there
appears to be no mention made of that government's taking any interest
in a Pacific cable, and it is only possible to give bits of
correspondence in connection with this project, to which he gave so much
of his time and thought.

On the 27th of November, 1876, he wrote:

     "I strongly advise that the Pacific cable be landed a few miles
     south of San Francisco, at a spot which I selected two years ago.
     There is a most excellent sandy beach, and the cable could be
     easily connected with the existing telegraph lines across the

"_July 11, 1878_.

     "When the Hawaiian government fulfil their promise to me in regard
     to landing cables on their shores, the question of a Pacific
     submarine telegraph may be entertained by me. Until then I
     certainly shall do nothing towards the accomplishment of the
     enterprise _via_ the Sandwich Islands."

"HAWAIIAN LEGATION, _March 10, 1879_.

     "_Sir_,--The twenty-fifth anniversary of the formation of the
     company for laying the Atlantic cable seems an appropriate occasion
     for giving an impulse to the great work of extending a cable across
     the Pacific.

     "I am sure that you will not be satisfied with anything less than a
     cable round the world.

     "The Hawaiian Islands have a very central position for the
     navigation of the North Pacific. They are a great resort for the
     naval and mercantile marine of the commercial countries.

     "His Majesty the King has long realized the great importance of a
     submarine cable to his kingdom, as well as to all nations whose
     vessels and citizens visit there, and has authorized me, by advice
     of his Cabinet, to grant you, your associates and assigns, the
     exclusive privilege of landing a submarine cable or cables on any
     of the Hawaiian Islands, and for using the same for connection with
     the United States, or any other country, and crossing any or all of
     the islands, and this for the period of twenty-five years.

     "Any land which you may find necessary to have for any of these
     purposes will be furnished by the government free of expense to
     you, not intended to include land for offices or houses.

     "It is to be understood that if you do not within five years begin
     the construction of the cable necessary to connect the islands with
     the United States, and establish the connection within ten years,
     this grant is to cease.

     "The King and Cabinet, having the greatest confidence in your
     ability and energy, anticipate the completion of the cable to the
     islands at an early day.

"I have the honor to be, sir,
"With great respect,
"Your obedient servant,

     "His Hawaiian Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister

It was on the evening of the 10th of March, 1879, that he said:

     "One thing only remains which I still hope to be spared to see, and
     in which to take a part: the laying of a cable from San Francisco
     to the Sandwich Islands ... and from thence to Japan, by which the
     island groups of the Pacific may be brought into communication with
     the continents on either side--Asia and America--thus completing
     the circuit of the globe."

Two months later this note was sent:

"NEW YORK, _May 17, 1879_.

     "_Dear Judge Allen_,--I sail for Europe on Wednesday next, the 21st
     instant, and shall be absent five weeks from this city. During my
     visit there I shall confer with my friends in regard to the Pacific
     cable, and I am willing to head a subscription list with my own
     subscription of one hundred thousand dollars.

     "I shall be happy to confer with you on my return to this country.

     "I have had a bill introduced into Congress granting permission to
     land and operate cables in the United States, which I hope will
     pass during this session.

"With great respect,
"I remain, dear Judge Allen,
"Very truly your friend,

To follow his steps more closely, it is best to turn back to the fall of
1871. It was on October 10th that he cabled to London:

     "A great fire has been raging in Chicago for the last two days, and
     more than 100,000 persons are homeless and destitute of food,
     shelter, and clothing. Five square miles in heart of Chicago
     utterly destroyed. Loss between two and three hundred millions. All
     principal business houses, banks, and hotels destroyed. Could not
     you, Captain Hamilton, and Mr. Rate call upon the large
     banking-houses connected with America, such as Morgan, Baring, Jay
     Cooke, Morton, Brown, Shipley, and others, and endeavor to organize
     a relief committee for the purpose of rendering the assistance that
     is so much needed? The large cities of the United States are acting
     nobly in this fearful calamity that has befallen Chicago, and the
     citizens subscribe liberally."

The cablegrams that he received and forwarded on this occasion were
numberless. Those that follow were sent by Mr. Mason, the Mayor of

     "We are sorely afflicted, but our spirit is not broken."

     "God bless the noble people of London."

     "Receive our warmest blessing for your most noble response to our
     stricken city. It was received by our committee in tears."

     "Your generosity defies space, as these wonderful gifts have been
     flashed to us from all parts of the earth. We are lifted from our
     desolation. The arm of the civilized world is thrown around us.
     Heaven bless you for this needed help and for the language of
     encouragement and deep love which it speaks to an afflicted

     "Our people, lifted from despair by this regal aid, are to-day in
     the work of restoration, full of hope. We read in these gifts the
     determination of the universal world that we shall go forward."

Mr. Field received an official invitation from the Italian government,
and he was also the representative of the New York, Newfoundland, and
London Telegraph Company, to attend the Triennial Telegraphic Convention
of representatives from the various governments and telegraph companies
of the world appointed to meet in Rome in December, 1871.

On the 4th of that month Professor Morse wrote:

     "I have wished for a few calm moments to put on paper some thoughts
     respecting the doings of the great telegraphic convention to which
     you are a delegate.

     "The telegraph has now assumed such a marvellous position in human
     affairs throughout the world, its influences are so great and
     important in all the varied concerns of nations, that its efficient
     protection from injury has become a necessity. It is a powerful
     advocate for universal peace. Not that, of itself, it can command a
     'Peace, be still' to the angry waves of human passions, but that,
     by its rapid interchange of thought and opinion, it gives the
     opportunity of explanations to acts and to laws which, in their
     ordinary wording, often create doubt and suspicion.

     "Were there no means of quick explanation it is readily seen that
     doubt and suspicion, working on the susceptibilities of the public
     mind, would engender misconception, hatred, and strife. How
     important, then, that in the intercourse of nations there should be
     the ready means at hand for prompt correction and explanation!

     "Could there not be passed in the great international convention
     some resolution to the effect that, in whatever condition, whether
     of peace or war between nations, the telegraph should be deemed a
     sacred thing, to be by common consent effectually protected both on
     the land and beneath the waters?

     "In the interest of human happiness, of the 'Peace on earth' which,
     in announcing the advent of the Saviour, the angels proclaimed with
     'good will to men,' I hope that the convention will not adjourn
     without adopting a resolution asking of the nations their united,
     effective protection to this great agent of civilization."

This telegram was sent from Rome on December 28th:

     "Telegraphic conference to-day, after a long debate, by a unanimous
     vote, adopted Mr. Cyrus Field's proposition to recommend the
     different governments represented at the conference to enter into a
     treaty to protect submarine wires in war as well as peace, and
     recommended that no government should grant any right to connect
     its country with another without the joint consent of the countries
     proposed to be connected."

In speaking of this convention he said:

     "It represented twenty-one countries, six hundred millions of
     people, and twenty six different languages."

The proposal of Professor Morse was so obviously in the interest of
peace and humanity that it may seem that its adoption was a matter of
course. In fact, however, the opposition to it was at first so strong
and general that it would have been defeated but for the personal
exertions of Mr. Field in its behalf, and his own narrative of how the
adoption was brought about is so interesting as to deserve being given
in full. In his report, dated Rome, January 14, 1872, to the directors
of the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company, he said:

     "The International Telegraph Conference adjourned this afternoon
     after a session of six weeks and three days....

     "The conference opened on Friday morning, December 1st, but I did
     not arrive here till the 20th ultimo. On my arrival I was very
     sorry to learn that the representative from Norway had on the 4th
     of December proposed to the conference that they should recommend
     to their different governments to enter into a treaty to protect
     submarine cables in war as well as peace, and that his proposition
     had met with such opposition that he had withdrawn it, as he was
     sure it could not pass. As soon as I got all the facts, I
     determined my course. It was to get personally acquainted with
     every delegate and urge my views upon him before bringing them
     before the conference. Finally, on Thursday, the 28th ultimo, I
     presented my views in a carefully prepared argument to the
     conference. Every single member was in his seat, and finally, after
     a long discussion, in which there were forty-nine separate
     speeches, my propositions were carried without a dissenting voice.
     The representatives of nine governments, although personally in
     favor of it, were not willing to take the responsibility of voting
     without positive instructions from their governments, so they
     simply abstained from voting.

     "The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Visconte Venosta, will
     prepare a circular and send it to the different governments,
     inviting them to enter into an international treaty to protect
     submarine cables in time of war.

     "I shall leave here to-morrow morning for New York _via_ Vienna,
     St. Petersburg, Berlin, Paris, and London. In each of these cities
     I hope to persuade the American minister to help on this treaty,
     which I believe will add much to the security of submarine
     telegraph property."

Soon after he reached London he received this note from Mr. Gladstone;
he refers, doubtless, to the letter already given in this memoir,
setting forth the view he entertained, during the early part of the
civil war, of the hopelessness of endeavoring to restore the Union by
arms. It had not, however, been published in 1872, nor has it appeared
until the publication of this volume.

"_February 10, 1872_.

     "_Dear Mr. Cyrus Field,_--Will you kindly refer me, if you can, to
     a letter of mine, I think addressed to you respecting my
     declaration in 1862 that the leaders of the South had made a
     nation--as to its date, and, if possible, without inconvenience, as
     to any publication in which I might find it, though probably the
     date will suffice?

"Believe me,
"Very faithfully yours,

Mr. Field was in London during the excitement caused by the claims for
indirect damages which were to be put forward by the American agents at
Geneva. These letters refer to that controversy:

"LONDON, _March 1, 1872_.

     "_Dear Mr. Field,_--As I hear, with regret, that you are detained
     here by illness, I take the liberty, as an old acquaintance, of
     asking whether you cannot do something in your compulsory leisure
     to help our countries in this untoward business as to the case.

     "If you, who are so well known here, believe your government to be
     in the right, and that they never did waive, or meant to waive, the
     claim for indirect damages, and if you will make this statement
     publicly here, in any manner you please, it would certainly go far
     to induce me, and I think most of the other public men who were
     strong Unionists during your civil war, to advocate the submission
     of the whole case as it stands to the Geneva board. On the other
     hand, if you cannot do this, I really think we may ask for your
     testimony on the other side.

     "If you do not see your way to taking any action in the matter,
     pray excuse this note, for which my apology must be that this is no
     time for any of us who are likely to get a hearing to keep silence.

"I am always yours very truly,

He thanked Mr. Hughes for his "kind note," and at the same time gave to
him the letter he had written to Mr. Colfax on February 24th, and this
letter Mr. Hughes sent to the _Times_:

"LONDON, _24th February, 1872_.

     "_My dear Mr. Colfax,_--Having read this morning a brief
     telegraphic summary of the speech which you delivered at Brooklyn
     on Washington's Birthday, I feel constrained to address you on the
     subject upon which you have spoken with so much emphasis. I refer
     to the Treaty of Washington. I share your opinion that neither
     nation will dare, in the face of civilization, to destroy the
     treaty; but nevertheless the crisis is a grave one. It therefore
     behooves every one who can assist to bring about a better
     understanding on the points of difference between the two countries
     to make his contribution to that end. This is my apology for
     addressing you.

     "The grave misunderstanding which has arisen between Great Britain
     and the United States is due to the widely different manner in
     which the Treaty of Washington has been from the outset interpreted
     by the two nations. I have not met a single person on this side of
     the Atlantic who expresses any desire "to back out" of the treaty,
     or refuse the fulfilment of any one of the obligations which it is
     believed to impose; nay, more, my conviction is that if the British
     people were satisfied that the principle of referring vague and
     indefinite claims to arbitration had somehow or other crept into
     the treaty, they yet would, while passing emphatic votes of censure
     on their representatives at Washington, at the same time never
     dream of calling back the pledge which Lord Ripon and his
     colleagues had given on their behalf.

     "The excitement which followed the publication of the American case
     was occasioned by the belief--universal among all classes of the
     English people--that their own interpretation of the treaty was the
     right one, and that indeed no other interpretation had ever been
     or would be given to it. It is desirable that Americans should
     remember this fact--that until the publication of the American case
     nobody on this side of the water had the remotest idea that the
     Washington Treaty contemplated more than arbitration with reference
     to the direct losses inflicted by the _Alabama_ and other
     Confederate cruisers which escaped from British ports during our
     civil war. This is not a matter of surmise; it is demonstrable on
     the clearest evidence. I therefore contend that whether the public
     sentiment of England be well founded or not, its existence is so
     natural that even if we Americans are wholly in the right we ought
     to make every allowance for it--in fact, treat it with generous

     "So early as June 12th last, when Lord Russell, in moving a
     resolution for the rejection of the treaty, charged the Americans
     with having made no concessions, Lord Granville retorted by
     pointing to the abandonment of the claim for consequential damages.
     'These were pretensions,' he said, 'which might have been carried
     out under the former arbitration, but they entirely disappear under
     the limited reference.' There could be no mistake as to his
     meaning, because in describing the aforesaid 'pretensions' he
     quoted the strong and explicit language which Mr. Fish had
     employed. We are bound to believe that Lord Granville spoke in
     perfect good faith, especially as the American minister was present
     during the debate, and sent the newspaper verbatim report of it to
     his own government by the ensuing mail. When the debate took place
     the ratification of the treaty had not been exchanged. If Lord
     Granville was in error, why did not General Schenck correct him?

     "On the same occasion the Marquis of Ripon, also replying to Lord
     Russell's taunt, remarked that 'so far from our conduct being a
     constant course of concession, there were, as my noble friend
     behind me [Earl Granville] has said, numerous occasions on which it
     was our duty to say that the proposals made to us were such as it
     was impossible for us to think of entertaining.' This, also, was
     understood to refer to the indirect claims.

     "Turning to the debate which took place in the House of Commons on
     the 4th of August, one searches in vain for any remark in the
     speeches of Mr. Gladstone, Sir Stafford Northcote, or Sir Roundell
     Palmer which indicated any suspicion that the _Alabama_ claims had
     assumed the portentous character which now attaches to them. The
     doubt which Lord Cairns at one time entertained had been set at
     rest by the ministerial explanations made at the time in the House
     of Lords, and not a single argument advanced in the Lower House,
     either in support of or in opposition to the treaty, touched upon
     the question of these claims. Even Mr. Baillie Cochrane, the
     well-known Conservative member, who denounced the treaty on all
     sorts of grounds, and whose avowed object was to pick as many holes
     in it as possible, was unable to allege that England had consented
     to an arbitration which might involve her in indefinite

     "Sir Stafford Northcote, in the course of his humorous speech--a
     speech instinct with good feeling towards the United States--said
     that 'a number of the claims under the convention which was not
     adopted [the Johnson-Clarendon Treaty] were so vague that it would
     have been possible for the Americans to have raised a number of
     questions which the commissioners were unwilling to submit to
     arbitration. They might have raised the question with regard to the
     recognition of belligerency, with regard to constructive damages
     arising out of the recognition of belligerency, and a number of
     other matters which this country could not admit. But if honorable
     gentlemen would look to the terms of the treaty actually contracted
     they would see that the commissioners followed the subjects very
     closely by making a reference only to a list growing out of the
     acts of particular vessels, and in so doing shut out a large number
     of claims which the Americans had previously insisted upon, but
     which the commissioners had prevented from being raised before the
     arbitrators.' All this points unmistakably to the definite and
     limited character of the claims which, in the judgment of the
     English negotiators, were alone to be submitted to arbitration.

     "It seems to me that Judge Williams, in the speech he made at the
     banquet I had the honor to give to the British High Commissioners
     in New York, expressed sentiments which can only be similarly
     construed. 'Many persons,' he said, 'no doubt, will be dissatisfied
     with their [the Joint High Commissioners'] labors; but to deal with
     questions so complicated, involving so many conflicting interests,
     so as to please everybody, is a plain impossibility; but in view of
     the irritation which the course of Great Britain produced in this
     country during our late rebellion, and in view of the one-sided and
     generally exaggerated statements of our case made to the people,
     the American commissioners consider themselves quite fortunate that
     what they have done has met with so much public favor in all parts
     of the country and among men of all political parties.'

     "That true friend of America, the Duke of Argyll, speaking in the
     Upper House, was equally emphatic. 'The great boon we have secured
     by this treaty,' he said, 'is this: that for the future the law of
     nations, as between the two greatest maritime states in the world,
     is settled in regard to this matter, and that for this great boon
     we have literally sacrificed nothing except the admission that we
     are willing to apply to the case of the _Alabama_ and that of other
     vessels those rules, I do not say of international law, but of
     international comity, which we have ourselves over and over again
     admitted.' It is impossible that the duke would have expressed
     himself in language so hopeful and so contented if behind 'the case
     of the _Alabama_ and that of other vessels' he had seen looming up
     the colossal demands which were originally embodied in Senator
     Sumner's memorable oration.

     "The views thus put forward sank deep into the public mind, and the
     treaty was accepted and ratified by popular opinion on this basis.
     General Schenck, several months after the delivery of the above
     speeches, in addressing a Lord Mayor's banquet at the Guildhall,
     bade the English ministry and Lord Ripon 'congratulate themselves
     upon the success with which they have endeavored to bring about
     friendly relations between the United States and Great Britain.'

     "People here ask how he could congratulate the British government
     if he knew all the while that their construction of the treaty,
     which was to cement the friendship of the two countries, fatally
     differed from the construction put upon it by the government at

     "I have not given my own but the English view of the matter. When
     such momentous issues are at stake--when a false move on the
     diplomatic board may endanger the peace of two kindred nations--it
     is absolutely necessary that our people should know what is the
     English side in this controversy. The first duty of a loyal
     American citizen is to ascertain the whole truth, and not by
     ignorance or obstinacy to commit himself to a wrong course.

     "Many hard words have been lately spoken and written about Mr.
     Gladstone. I therefore feel it incumbent upon me to bear my
     testimony to the large and statesmanlike view of American affairs
     which he has taken for several years past, and to the cordial good
     feeling he has shown towards our country since he has been at the
     head of the present government. In spite of temporary
     misunderstanding, I will continue to hope that the Treaty of
     Washington will bear the fruit which he anticipated; that, to quote
     his own eloquent words in the House of Commons on the 4th of
     August, that treaty will do much 'towards the accomplishment of the
     great work of uniting the two countries in the ties of affection
     where they are already bound by the ties of interest, of kindred,
     of race, and of language, thereby promoting that strong and lasting
     union between them which is in itself one of the main guarantees
     for the peace of the civilized world.'

"With great respect I remain,
"My dear Mr. Colfax,
"Very truly your friend,

Mr. Bright wrote to him at this time:

     "This trouble about the treaty is very unfortunate. I think your
     letter admirable, and I hope it will do good in the States, where,
     I presume, it will be published. I confess I am greatly surprised
     at the 'case' to be submitted to the Geneva tribunal. There is too
     much of what we call 'attorneyship' in it, and too little of
     'statesmanship.' It is rather like a passionate speech than a
     thoughtful state document. And what a folly to offer to a tribunal
     claims which cannot be proved. No facts and no figures can show
     that the war was prolonged by the mischief of the pirate ships; and
     surely what cannot be proved by distinct evidence cannot be made
     the subject of an award. This country will not go into a court to
     ask for an award which, if against it, it will never accept. An
     award against it in the matter of the indirect claims will never be
     paid, and therefore the only honest course is to object now before
     going into court. Has the coming Presidential election or
     nomination anything to do with this matter? Or is Mr. Sumner's view
     of the dispute dominant in Washington? I should have thought your
     government might have said: 'We will not press the claims objected
     to before the tribunal, but we shall retain them in our "case" as
     historic evidence of our sense of magnitude of the grievance of
     which we complain.'

     "This, I dare say, would have satisfied our government and people,
     and practically it would have satisfied every reasonable man in the
     States. To such as would not be content with it, friendship and
     peace would, in the nature of things, seem to be denied."

Soon after his return home he received the following letter, and
returned the answer to that of Mr. Bright:

"WASHINGTON, 1512 H Street, _29th March_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field,_--I cannot tell you how grieved I have been at
     the difficulty which has arisen respecting the Washington Treaty.

     "I do not think that anything would have induced me to accept the
     appointment which brought me here but the pride I felt in taking a
     part, however humble, in the execution of a treaty which I thought
     the glory of the age and which seemed to me so full of promise to
     all civilized nations.

     "I cannot think with patience of all our hopes being dashed to the
     ground by what Bright truly describes as a 'passionate speech,'
     followed by a claim utterly extravagant, from which the party
     making it never expected to get a farthing.

     "I confess that I should not have been afraid to go to arbitration
     upon it, but I see the difficulty which any government would have
     in justifying themselves to their people in leaving it to any five
     persons to say whether a fine of two hundred millions should be
     inflicted on them.

     "You have done your part excellently, but why do not others raise
     their voices against this tremendous folly which is not unlikely,
     sooner or later, to lead us into war?

     "I fully believe that both governments are very anxious to
     accommodate matters, but I confess that I do not see how that
     accommodation is to be brought about without a concession, which it
     is very difficult for a government to make on the eve of a
     Presidential election.

"Believe me
"Very sincerely yours,

"NEW YORK, _2d April, 1872_.

     "_My dear Mr. Bright,_--I arrived on 25th March, after a very rough
     passage of sixteen days....

     "Since my return I have devoted much of my time to ascertain the
     real sentiment of the people of this country in regard to the
     Washington Treaty, and as far as I can judge, after seeing many
     persons of different political parties, it appears to be almost
     unanimous that our government has made a great mistake in including
     these indirect claims in the 'case.' I am convinced that the best
     people in England and America desire to have this question settled
     in a fair and honorable manner. In fact, many say to me that they
     have got tired of hearing about the indirect claims....

"With great respect and kind regards to your family,
"I remain, my dear Mr. Bright,
"Very truly your friend,

It was while he was in London, in December, 1872, that Mr. Junius Morgan
said to him that he had just received a letter from Mr. John Taylor
Johnston about the Cesnola collection, then in London, and he asked him,
if he had the time to do so, to examine it and give him his opinion. Mr.
Field went at once to see it, and he was much impressed with its value.
Of this time General Cesnola writes:

     "The officers of the British Museum had already examined the
     collection, and it was perhaps on their report that Mr. Gladstone
     came to see the collection; but whether he came with a view to
     securing it for the British Museum or not I cannot say. Your father
     asked me to drive back with him to Mr. Morgan's office, and
     suggested to Mr. Morgan (as agent for Mr. Johnston) to close the
     purchase of the collection with me _verbally at once_, and a
     payment was made on account without delay, and without waiting for
     the papers to be drawn up.

     "It was through your father that my collection became the property
     of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was he who introduced me to
     Mr. Gladstone, Earl Granville, Mr. Adams, then United States
     minister in London; also to the Dean of Westminster and Lady
     Augusta Stanley, and to many other of his English friends. He
     invited a large party to meet me at dinner, and also brought many
     to see my Cypriote collection. I doubt if, without the great
     personal interest shown by your father, it would ever have become
     the property of the Metropolitan Museum; because it was only after
     this that the London press went wild over securing it for England.

     "I have said, and shall always say, that it is chiefly, if not
     wholly, due to Cyrus W. Field that my discoveries are in this city

The sale of the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company was
made early in this year, and on July 2, 1873, he writes to Mr. Orton,
the president of the Western Union Telegraph Company:

     "The New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company, having
     been consolidated with the Anglo-American Telegraph Company,
     Limited, drafts will hereafter be made upon your company, and
     communications made in the name of the said Anglo-American
     Telegraph Company, Limited."

Among the cable messages sent during the autumn of this year these are
of interest:

     "September 19th.--Great panic here in money market."

     "September 20th.--Confidently believed, reliable quarter,
     government will take measures relieve market before Monday, but
     thus far panic has exceeded anything ever known."

     "Saturday, October 30th.--Most of the firms that have suspended are
     those that have been doing too much business for their capital, but
     confidence is so shaken that many stocks are being sold at whatever
     they will bring. Think perhaps have seen worst, but don't yet see
     signs permanent improvement."

     "Monday, November 1st.--Western Union sold before panic at 90. Has
     sold in last few days less than 44."

We find these entries in his diary:

     "January 13th, 1874.--Arrived in London."

     "February 14th.--Sailed from Liverpool for New York in the _Cuba_;
     fifty-sixth voyage."

This letter followed him to New York:

"_March 31, 1874_.

     _"My dear Mr. Cyrus Field,_--When I was about to thank you for your
     kind letter of the 10th, I received that of the 17th announcing to
     me the funeral of Mr. C. Sumner, and the great manifestation of
     feeling which it called forth.

     "His loss must be heavily felt, and his name will long be
     remembered in connection with the abolition of slavery, which was
     wrought out in the United States by methods so wonderful and so
     remote from the general expectation.

     "As respects events in this country, they have brought about for me
     a great and personally not an unacceptable change. I have always
     desired earnestly that the closing period of my life might be spent
     in freedom from political commotion, and I have plenty of work cut
     out for me in other regions of a more free and open atmosphere.

     "As respects the political position, it has been one perfectly
     honorable for us, inasmuch as we are dismissed for or upon having
     done what we undertook or were charged to do; and as respects the
     new ministry, they show at present a disposition to be quiet.

"Believe me, my dear Mr. Field,
"Yours very faithfully,

The following extract is taken from Mr. Field's private papers:

"The bill for the expansion of the currency, which at this period passed
both houses of Congress, after exhaustive debates, created much alarm
among the leading financial men of New York and the Eastern States.
Meetings were held at various places to protest against it, and to
request the President to exercise his veto."

A number of the leading bankers, capitalists, and merchants of New York
assembled on April 15th at Mr. Field's house on Gramercy Park to
consider what action should be taken in the matter. A petition very
extensively signed was read, and the following resolutions were adopted:

     "_Resolved_, That the following gentlemen be appointed a committee
     to take charge of and present the foregoing petition to the
     President, bearing the signatures of all the 2500 leading bankers
     and business firms of the City of New York, asking him to interpose
     his veto to prevent the enactment of the Senate currency bill,
     which has recently passed both houses of Congress; or any other
     bill having in view the increase of inconvertible currency.

     "_Resolved_, That the Senators from the State of New York, and such
     members of the House of Representatives from this State as
     entertain the views indicated in the foregoing resolution, be added
     to the committee, and their co-operation invited. The members of
     this committee are:

     "J. J. Astor, Rev. Dr. Adams, Ethan Allen, W. H. Aspinwall, W. A.
     Booth, James M. Brown, August Belmont, S. D. Babcock, S. B.
     Chittenden, E. C. Cowdin, George S. Cole, John J. Cisco, W. B.
     Duncan, W. M. Evarts, Cyrus W. Field, Wilson G. Hunt, B. W. Jaynes,
     J. T. Johnston, A. A. Low, W. J. Lane, C. Lanier, C. P. Leverich,
     W. H. Macy, C. H. Marshall, R. B. Minturn, Royal Phelps, Howard
     Potter, M. O. Roberts, A. T. Stewart, J. H. Schultz, Isaac Sherman,
     Jonathan Sturges, Moses Taylor, J. A. Agnew, J. D. Vermilye, G. C.
     Ward, etc."

Mr. Field, with many influential members of this committee, proceeded to
Washington with the petition, and had an interview with the President,
who promised to give the subject his mature consideration. It is thought
that the arguments adduced by the committee on this occasion had great
weight with the President, and, combined with other influences, finally
determined him to veto the bill, which he did shortly afterwards in a
message in which he committed himself strongly against any further
inflation of the currency. Had this bill passed into a law it would have
been the first step towards national repudiation, for the wedge once
inserted, it is impossible to predict how far it would eventually have
been driven, and what effect even a moderate addition to the
inconvertible currency would have had, not only on commerce, but on the
moral conscience of the nation. A return of government bonds held in
foreign countries would have been the inevitable result, and all values
would have been unsettled. Reasoning and thoughtful men foresaw the
crisis that was impending, and the country owes a debt of gratitude to
the Chamber of Commerce for its prompt action, and to President Grant
for listening attentively to the arguments of the committee for saving
the country from threatened disaster.

On May 6th, Mr. and Mrs. Field were members of a large party which left
New York for California, and on the 12th, at Omaha, Canon Kingsley and
Miss Kingsley joined them. The journey was a pleasant one, but
uneventful. Friday, May 22d, he writes:

     "After breakfast I sent a telegraphic message to Dean Stanley,
     informing him that Canon Kingsley was well and would preach for us
     in the Yosemite Valley on Sunday."

In his sermon on the afternoon of Whit Sunday, Dean Stanley alluded to
this message.

Early in June he sailed for England, and of his journey to Iceland,
undertaken during this summer, Mr. Murat Halstead writes:

     "My judgment is that your father had no business reasons for going
     to Iceland. Really the trip was a sentimental adventure. Mr. Field
     had been a profound student of the North Atlantic, and was familiar
     with the fact that Iceland is but nine hundred miles from Scotland
     and Norway and three hundred from Greenland. 'It seemed so near,
     and yet so far.' ... In the spring of 1874 Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus W.
     Field visited Cincinnati, and at a reception given by Mr. Probasco
     Mr. Field said to me: 'Come and go with me to Iceland; it is the
     millennial year of the settlement of the island. It would be very
     interesting. The King of Denmark is to be there, and the whole
     affair will be extraordinary.' I asked how one could get to
     Iceland, and Mr. Field had evidently made the subject a close
     study. He said there were monthly boats from Copenhagen touching at
     Leith, the port of Edinburgh, and we should sail from Scotland, and
     Iceland was about a thousand miles from Scotland.

     "Mr. Field must have gotten his impulse to go to Iceland from his
     familiarity with the North Atlantic during the anxious years he
     spent in studying it with reference to the cable. He was struck by
     the narrowness of the ocean between Greenland and Norway, with
     Iceland between just below the arctic circle. He had, of course,
     contemplated a cable by way of Greenland and Iceland to Scotland if
     it should be found impracticable to cross the Atlantic between
     Newfoundland and Ireland. When it became known that Mr. Field was
     going to Iceland there were conjectures that he thought of a cable
     to the island; but that was a mere fancy. There was not a chance
     for business over the line. There would be no news except of
     volcanoes and the price of codfish. If there should ever be a cable
     connection with Iceland it would be for the weather reports.

     "I was thinking of a trip to Europe in the summer of 1874, when Mr.
     Field spoke to me, and a few weeks later decided to go. Mr. Field
     was going earlier than I could, and just before he sailed I
     telegraphed, asking on what date it would be necessary for me to
     meet him in London in order to go with him to Iceland. His reply
     was, 'July 9th.' On my arrival at Southampton by the Bremen boat I
     remembered the day was the 9th of July, and that night about ten
     o'clock I found Mr. Field at the Buckingham Palace Hotel, and he
     said he had been expecting me, and was waiting to see me before
     going to bed. That, I suppose, was a joke, but it was not all a
     joke. I found in London Bayard Taylor, going to the Icelandic
     millennium for the New York _Tribune_, and Dr. I. I. Hayes, the
     arctic explorer, going for the New York _Herald_; Dr. Kneeland, of
     the Boston Institute of Technology, and Professor Magnussen, of
     Cambridge University, an Icelander by birth. I resolved to go, and
     we chartered the steam yacht _Albion_, Captain Howland, sailing
     from Leith. Mr. Field and I made a tour through the Highlands, and,
     passing Balmoral and the Earl of Fyfe's hunting and fishing lodge,
     found the rest of the party at Aberdeen, where it was necessary for
     us to enlist as British seamen, and we were paid a shilling each
     for our services during the voyage, which was one of great interest
     and considerable hardship. We halted at the Orkney, Shetland, and
     Faroe islands, at the latter place falling in with the king's
     fleet. Our Icelandic experiences are familiar, as Mr. Taylor and
     Dr. Kneeland published books on the subject. Mr. Field's Iceland
     party, for he was our leader, attracted much attention--almost as
     much sometimes as the king's procession. We rode across the lava
     beds to the geysers, saw Mount Hecla--and the Great Geyser would
     not spout for the king."

It will have been observed, in the course of this narrative, that with
Mr. Field, so inexhaustible was his energy, rest was only a "change of

When he sought relaxation from exhausting business cares he found it in
fatiguing journeys, and he preferred that these should be as difficult
and adventurous as possible. This was the case in his journey to the
Andes with Mr. Church in his earlier manhood. It was the case with the
excursion in ripe middle age beyond the "furthest Thule" of the
ancients. He was now again, thanks to his own exertions, and after years
of struggle and of doubt that to others meant despair, independent in
circumstances, and, as it seemed, beyond the power of fortune, and he
was nearing his sixtieth birthday. Most men would have regarded this
condition as an occasion to "rest and be thankful." But it was in this
condition that Mr. Field undertook a new and arduous enterprise, for
which he had had little specific training. It is evident that its very
difficulty, as in the case of the Atlantic cable, was to him an element
of attractiveness. But there was this difference between the Atlantic
cable and the elevated railway system of New York. He was the pioneer,
the projector, of the former. The latter had already been undertaken,
and practically, it may be said, to have failed. Indeed, there was no
"system" of elevated railways. The fragmentary roads that were in
operation or projected were unrelated to each other in ownership,
management, and traffic. Financially and practically they were
languishing. It will be seen from the letter which will presently be
given that the company with which he proposed to ally himself, the New
York, which possessed the franchise for Third Avenue, had been so far
from successful that sixty cents on the dollar was held to be a fair
price for its securities. It may fairly be said that the elevated
"system" is due to Mr. Field. Whoever remembers the conditions of
transit in New York before 1877, and indeed for some years after, must
own that the creation of this system has constituted a public
benefaction. Many millions have been transported, with a loss of life
that has been infinitesimal in comparison with the volume of the
traffic, at a cost no greater than that of the conveyances which the
system has superseded, and at a rate of speed that has built up the new
and large cities, one on the east and one on the west side of Manhattan
Island, which before it went into operation were outlying districts,
practically inaccessible to busy men for purposes of residence. It was
on May 16, 1877, that Mr. Field made this entry in his diary:

     "Bought this day a controlling interest in the New York Elevated
     Railroad Company and was elected president of the company."


Some of the conditions on which he had made this investment and venture
are set forth in the following letter to his friend, Mr. John H. Hall:

"NEW YORK, _14th May, 1877_.

     "_My dear Mr. Hall_,--It is possible that I may purchase a majority
     of the stock of the Elevated Railroad, but _before deciding_ I wish
     to ascertain whether, if I do, you will remain in the board with
     Mr. David Dows, myself, and some other gentlemen of character and
     financial strength, and also whether you will take bonds at sixty
     cents for the debt now due you. If I have anything to do with the
     company I want it free from _all floating debt_, and everything
     purchased at the lowest price for cash.

     "Mr. Dows has told me this morning that he will remain in the board
     and will take bonds for the $25,000 due him, provided I make the
     purchase and accept the presidency of the company.

     "Will you have the kindness to see our mutual friend, Mr. A. S.
     Barnes, and ascertain whether he will take bonds for the debt due
     him and remain as a director. If I go into the concern I shall be
     willing to be president, but _without salary_, for the enterprise,
     to be a success, must be managed in every way with the greatest

"An early answer will oblige.
"Very truly your friend,

His promptitude and energy are shown in the fact that on June 4th, less
than three weeks after he took charge, a public meeting in favor of
rapid transit was held.

"_The Evening Post_,
"NEW YORK, _June 4, 1877_.


     "I cannot be present at the meeting to be held this evening at
     Chickering Hall, but I am heartily with you and your friends in
     the object of the meeting. I hope that a decided expression will be
     given to the conviction that an absolute necessity has arisen of
     instituting some method of conveying passengers between the upper
     and lower parts of the city which shall unite the greatest
     convenience with the utmost possible speed.

"Yours faithfully,

Mr. Charles O'Conor wrote on the same day to the chairman of the

     "I much regret my inability to attend the meeting in favor of rapid
     transit, the state of my health not admitting of my doing so. I
     fully sympathize, however, with the objects sought to be obtained,
     and here repeat the remarks which I made in closing my address
     before the New York Historical Society at the Academy of Music on
     the 8th of last month:

     "'It is said, and doubtless with truth, that the great cities have
     hitherto been destroyers of the human race. A single American
     contrivance promises to correct the mischief. The cheap and rapid
     transportation of passengers on the elevated rail, when its
     capacity shall have been fully developed, will give healthful and
     pleasant homes in rural territory to the toiling millions of our
     commercial and manufacturing centres. It will snatch their wives
     and children from tenement-house horrors, and, by promoting
     domesticity, greatly diminish the habits of intemperance and vice
     so liable to be forced upon the humbler classes or nurtured in them
     by the present concomitants of their city life.'"

On the 26th of September of this year the new president wrote:

     "I believe that the early completion of the New York Elevated
     Railroad from the South Ferry, passing Wall, Fulton and Catharine
     Street ferries up the Bowery and Third Avenue to the Grand Central
     Depot, will be a benefit to the three great railroads the trains of
     which start from the depot."

And on the 1st of November, 1878, he was able to report to the

     "It is not eighteen months since I purchased from some of your then
     directors a majority of the stock of your company at such a price
     that to-day it sells for more than five times as much as it cost
     me; and at the same time I bought from the same parties a very
     large amount of bonds, and to-day they sell for more than double
     what they cost me, including seven per cent. interest to date. The
     above stock and bonds I purchased on the express condition that the
     contracts of the company with certain parties to build this road
     for one million two hundred thousand dollars per mile ($1,200,000),
     payable one-half in stock and the balance in first mortgage bonds
     of this company at par, should be cancelled. The amount that has
     been saved to this company by the cancelling of this contract you
     all well know."

William O. McDowell, in _Harper's Magazine_ for June, 1893, writes:

     "At the time of the strike of the engineers on the elevated road in
     New York I had a part in bringing the representatives of the
     engineers and the late Cyrus W. Field, a director in the elevated
     company, to a meeting that resulted in a quick understanding
     between the conflicting interests and an ending of the strike. Mr.
     Field was so pleased with the fairness of the committee
     representing the engineers with whom he had to deal that he invited
     them at once to dine with him at Delmonico's, an invitation which
     their representatives declined for them, fearing that its
     acceptance might be misunderstood. Mr. Field, however, continued to
     feel that he wished to extend some social courtesy to the employés
     of the elevated road, and at a later date, when he was all-powerful
     in that corporation, he issued a formal invitation to the employés
     to a reception at his house. To a large number the initials 'R. S.
     V. P.' on the lower corner of the invitation were a great mystery,
     and, as the story goes, the invited compared notes and sought an
     explanation of them. At last one bright young man announced that he
     had discovered what they meant, and he explained to the others that
     'R. S. V. P.' stood for 'Reduced salaries very probable.'"

This story is true, but the end is not given. The men accepted the
invitation, enjoyed their supper, and listened with great interest to a
speech made by Mr. Peter Cooper, which lasted over an hour. Mr. Cooper
told the men of New York as it was in 1800, and the story of his life.

Dean Stanley preached in Calvary Church on Sunday evening, October 7,
1878. He came to Mr. Field's home at Irvington the following morning.
Soon after breakfast on Tuesday the family realized that their guest was
more familiar with the history of this part of the country than they
were. It was just above Tarrytown that Major André had been captured; he
was executed across the river. That was enough to excite the curiosity
of the visitors, and at dinner on Tuesday evening it was proposed to the
dean that the next morning he should cross the river to Tappan and find
the spot. This was not easily done; no one knew the exact place. There
was Washington's headquarters, and he had closed his shutters so as not
to see André hanged, so that the scene of the execution must have been
near that house. At last an old man of over ninety came and said that in
1821, when André's body was removed to England, he had stood by and had
seen the grave opened; and that the roots of an apple-tree, which he
pointed out, were twisted about the head of the coffin. The drive had
been so long that it was past three o'clock before the party returned;
and not until dinner did they tell that their search had been
successful. It was then that Mr. Field said: "Mr. Dean, if you will
write an inscription I will buy the land and put up a stone, and then
the place will be known." His idea was simply to mark an event in the
history of the country; but a part of the press insisted that an
American had erected a monument to a British spy, and this was
reiterated far and wide, and flew from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Dean Stanley felt this keenly, and wrote:

     "If you find that there is really a feeling against it, pray do not
     think of it. The game is not worth the candle. Poor Major André,
     engaging as he was, is not worth the rekindling forgotten

The monument was twice injured by explosion of dynamite. After the
second of these, on November 3, 1885, Mr. Field refused to replace the
stone. He said that the spot was now sufficiently marked. On the stone
were these words:

  |Here died, October 2, 1780,                                |
  |Major John André, of the British Army,                     |
  |Who, entering the American Lines                           |
  |On a Secret Mission to Benedict Arnold,                    |
  |For the Surrender of West Point,                           |
  |Was taken Prisoner, tried, and condemned as a Spy.         |
  |His Death,                                                 |
  |Though according to the stern code of war,                 |
  |Moved even his enemies to pity,                            |
  |And both armies mourned the fate                           |
  |Of one so young and so brave.                              |
  |In 1821 his remains were removed to Westminster Abbey.     |
  |A hundred years after the execution                        |
  |This stone was placed above the spot where he lay          |
  |By a citizen of the United States, against which he fought,|
  |Not to perpetuate the record of strife,                    |
  |But in token of those better feelings                      |
  |Which have since united two nations                        |
  |One in race, in language, and one in religion,             |
  |With the hope that this friendly union                     |
  |Will never be broken.                                      |
  |                                                           |
  |      ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY, Dean of Westminster.         |

The twenty-fifth anniversary of the signing of the first cable contract
was remembered on the evening of March 10, 1879. To use the words of the
New York _Evening Post_:

     "It was a notable anniversary which Mr. Cyrus W. Field celebrated
     last night, with the assistance of a multitude of his
     fellow-citizens, many of them eminent in various departments of
     public life. The obvious sentiment of the occasion, and the words
     with which everybody would describe it, are contained in the
     telegraphic message sent from Westminster Abbey by Dean Stanley,
     who calls it the 'silver wedding of England and America,' and says:
     'What God hath joined together let no man put asunder.' The event
     which was commemorated is scarcely more remarkable than the rapid
     advance of all nineteenth century events which the recollection of
     this one suggests. It is only twenty-five years since a determined
     effort was made to realize what had been wildly dreamed of; it is
     considerably less than twenty-five years since the dream became a
     reality; yet already instantaneous communication between the Old
     World and the New has been consigned to the commonplace book of
     history. It has become one of those familiar things which we forget
     all about because they are familiar, but which are also
     indispensable, as we would be sharply reminded if we should lose
     them for a day, or an hour--things which are of the highest value,
     but of which it is hard to speak without talking platitudes. With
     this great event the names of Mr. Field and other men of business
     whose intelligence, liberality, and energy make the work of Morse
     and other men of science a practical triumph will be always and
     honorably associated."

A short extract is given from the speech of Rev. Dr. William Adams:

     "I have no intention of saying a word in laudation of the Atlantic
     cable. The time for that has passed. 'He is of age: ask him: he
     shall speak for himself.' Though the ear catches no articulate
     words passing along its quivering strands, yet this polyglot
     interpreter is speaking now, with tongue of fire, beneath the
     astonished sea, in all the languages of the civilized world."





The winter and early spring of 1880 were passed in the South of France
and in Algiers.

Mr. Field was back in New York in April; and on the 8th in a letter

     "I have already written to London in regard to the estimated cost
     of manufacturing and laying a telegraphic cable across the Pacific.
     The route I have suggested is as follows: One cable from San
     Francisco to the Hawaiian Islands; one cable from the Hawaiian
     Islands to Japan; one cable from the Hawaiian Islands to Australia,
     touching at the Fiji Islands and New Caledonia."

In a letter to England on the 9th, he writes that he had received a
letter from Washington in which the hope was expressed that he would
give some attention to the transpacific cable before he left America. He
answered the question as to the expense of manufacturing a cable
briefly: "A submarine cable, like a watch, can be manufactured at a
great variation in price."

The two letters that follow were sent to Washington, the first on August
19, 1880:

     "Referring to my letters to you dated May 26th and June 10th, in
     relation to a telegraphic cable across the Pacific Ocean, I would

     "1. That the United States government obtain from some eminent
     electrician specifications for the best description of cable
     suitable for the great depths and the great lengths required to
     connect the western with the eastern coasts of the Pacific.

     "2. That the government advertise for tenders to manufacture and
     lay such description of cable, one-fourth the amount to be paid
     when the cables are all manufactured, one-fourth when they are on
     board the steamers and the steamers ready to sail, one-fourth when
     the cables have been successfully laid, and the remaining fourth
     when they have been worked successfully and without interruption
     for thirty days.

     "By adopting this course I think you would obtain a good cable at
     the lowest price.

     "The government could pay for such a cable by selling its four per
     cent, bonds, having a long time to run, at a considerable premium;
     and the revenue from such a cable would, in my opinion, steadily
     increase from year to year, and at no distant day be a source of
     revenue to the country."

            *       *       *       *       *

     "I thank you for your letter of yesterday, and for the interest you
     are taking in the matter of the proposed Pacific cable.

     "Have you ever written to the American ministers in Japan and China
     on the subject? If the United States government desired it, and
     took the proper steps, I think that England, Russia, France, Japan,
     and China would each do something towards encouraging the

The latest mention I find of this project is on the 30th of April, 1884,
and then it is suggested as only possible as far as the Sandwich
Islands, and that it would cost £650,000. There had been no enthusiasm
shown, and as no company had been formed the grant given on March 10,
1879, had become valueless; but as long as his brothers dined with him
the thought of a Pacific cable was recalled by the favorite toast of Mr.
David Dudley Field, who would say, before the family left the table,
"And now, Cyrus, we must not forget to drink to the world encircling."
The recent revival of the subject has evidently been rather political
than commercial. It was during the summer of 1880 that this was written:

     "I decided some weeks ago upon leaving New York, on my trip around
     the world, on October 13th, provided I could find some Democratic
     friend who would pair off with me; and if I cannot accomplish this
     I shall wait and vote on November 2d, and leave on the 3d."

And on September 13th:

     "It appears to me to be all-important that the Republican party
     should carry the election in Indiana in October.... I have now
     decided not to leave for San Francisco until after the Presidential

And two days later, September 15th:

     "After mature reflection, I have determined to remain until after
     the election and do all I possibly can to secure the success of the
     Republican ticket by working until the polls close on the evening
     of November the 2d, and then leave on the morning of the 3d for San
     Francisco, and sail from thence in the _Oceanic_ on the 18th.... By
     remaining and working I hope to induce others to vote for our
     mutual friend, James A. Garfield."

These letters were sent to the New York Historical Society on September
17th and 20th:

     "I am glad to hear that it is proposed to erect a monument to
     Nathan Hale. Many years ago I joined with others in such a memorial
     at Coventry, Conn., where he was born. But one ought to be erected
     in this city, and, if possible, on the very spot where he died.
     That spot you have, I understand, ascertained to be at or very near
     the armory of the Seventh Regiment. What an inspiration would a
     monument there be to our young soldiers! There ought to be
     inscribed on it his own immortal words: 'I only regret that I have
     but one life to give for my country.'

     "If the New York Historical Society will obtain permission to have
     a monument erected there, I will, with pleasure, bear the whole

            *       *       *       *       *

     "I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter 18th

     "Enclosed I send you a printed slip of an inscription which I
     propose to put upon the stone which marks the spot where Major
     André was executed, should the New York Historical Society decide
     to accept the same, as suggested by me in a verbal conversation
     with Mr. George H. Moore."

This letter was received on September 30th:

"CYRUS W. FIELD, Esq, New York:

     "_Dear Sir_,--A few of your neighbors and personal friends are
     desirous of meeting you in a social and informal way before you
     start upon your tour round the world. They will be glad if you will
     give them the pleasure of your company at dinner on some evening in
     the latter part of October. Tuesday, the 26th, is suggested as a
     suitable time; but if any other day will better comport with your
     convenience, you have only to name it. They are not willing you
     should go away without their greeting and God-speed."

In his reply to the toast to his health he said:

     "Some of you began your business and professional life with me, and
     it will be pleasant to take so many of my old friends by the hand
     and to receive their kind wishes for a prosperous journey and safe

Mr. Field thoroughly enjoyed the evening. General Horace Porter closed
his speech with these words:

     "Now let me simply say that beyond the sentiment of friendship we
     all have a profound admiration for one who, at a period of life
     when most men, having surrounded themselves with the rich things of
     earth, in personal comfort, art, and literature, would be content
     to retire to some shady Arcadia and enjoy the rest to which they
     were so fully entitled, is bristling with all the activity of
     youth, seeking new worlds to conquer and projecting new

     "I know I speak the sentiment of all in saying that the hearty
     leave-taking and hand-shaking will be surpassed by the cordial
     welcome extended to him when, after passing over many lands and
     many seas, he will gladden the hearts of his fellow-countrymen by
     once more setting foot upon his native shore."

He left New York, as he proposed, at four o'clock on the morning of the
3d of November, and it will surprise no one who knew him to hear that he
was in the South of France early in March and arrived in New York on May
the 15th.

"WASHINGTON, D. C., _23d May, 1881_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--Welcome, thou wanderer! We intend now to
     anchor you for some time in your native waters.

     "Your arrival is timely. You can be of great service to the country
     and to the administration, which counts you among its chief

"Hastily and truly,

And on June 3d:

     "With reference to your kind invitation to visit you at Irvington
     on the Hudson about the 29th of June, I beg to say for myself that
     it is doubtful as to whether I shall be able to accompany the
     President upon his proposed visit to Williams College. Should I do
     so, however, it would give me the very greatest pleasure to accept
     of your hospitality. I have taken the liberty to transmit your
     letter to the President, and presume that he will write you
     directly with reference to his ability to become your guest."

This entry was made in his diary on June 6th:

     "I have invited President Garfield to come to Irvington for a visit
     and then go to Williamstown for Commencement on July 6th."

To quote again from his private papers:

     "Mr. and Mrs. Garfield, with several members of the Cabinet and
     their wives, were to come to us at Irvington, pass Sunday with us,
     and on Monday leave for Williamstown. It was as Mr. Garfield was
     leaving Washington, that he was shot in the Pennsylvania depot."

In a letter he writes:

     "When the first excitement had in a measure subsided, I wrote to a
     friend in Washington and asked if in case of Mr. Garfield's death
     his family would be left in comfortable circumstances."

It was on July 6th that he sent this message by cable and telegraph to
friends in Europe and America:

     "If President Garfield should die from the wounds received on 2d
     instant he would leave for his wife and five children about
     $20,000. I shall to-morrow, Thursday, morning exert myself to the
     utmost to raise a sum of money to be presented to him at once, as I
     feel confident it would help his recovery if he knew that in the
     event of his death his family would be provided for. I shall
     cheerfully subscribe $5000 towards the sum to be raised. If you or
     any of your friends would like to join, please telegraph to me
     early to-morrow, Thursday, for what amount I may put your name, and

The subscriptions were from $5000 to a ten-cent piece (given by an
office-boy), and there was deposited in the United States Trust Company
$362,238 52.

A silver coin of the value of ten cents was sold, and he sent this note
to the child who made the donation:

"NEW YORK, _15th July, 1881_.

     "_My dear young Friend._--I was very much pleased to read your nice
     letter enclosing the silver coin you had kept so long. I showed
     your letter to a gentleman who came to see me at my office, and he
     kindly said he would give one hundred times the value of the coin,
     and handed me twenty dollars in exchange for it and your letter,
     so that you see your little offering to Mollie Garfield's mamma has
     realized quite a large sum.

     "I thank you very much for your contribution, and am

"Very truly your friend,


     "_Dear Sir,_--I thought it was very funny to see my little letter
     printed in the newspaper, and I think it was so kind of that
     gentleman to give twenty dollars in my name. I wish I knew who it
     was, so I could thank him for it. Will you please thank him for me?
     I am seven years old.


     "I don't know Mollie Garfield very well, for I never saw her, but I
     am so sorry for her, 'cause her poor papa got shot."

With the invitation to attend the Garfield memorial service came this

"WASHINGTON, _February 18, 1882_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field,_--You must come to the address on the 27th,
     Monday. You will go on the floor with me. I should feel that my
     audience was incomplete if you were not present.


As he had received the thanks of Congress, he was entitled for life to
the privilege of going upon the floor.

A message sent from the Yorktown celebration, in October, 1881, to Mr.
Gladstone, called forth this answer:

"_October 21, 1881_.

     "_Dear Mr. Cyrus Field,_--I thank you for your telegram. The
     gratifying intelligence which it contains may probably come through
     another channel. In the meantime, unofficially, I express the hope
     that we may one and all consider it a personal duty to cherish and
     foster the feelings so admirably expressed in the President's
     order, and prevailing, happily, alike on both sides of the

"I remain, very faithfully yours,

In April, 1882, he suffered quite a disagreeable experience. One evening
a police officer and two or three gentlemen came to the house, bringing
the torn and burned remains of a package addressed to him. It had been
in the mail-bag which a postman threw on the platform of the Third
Avenue elevated road as he stepped off the train. As the bag fell there
was an immediate explosion, and, upon examination, the box and wrapper
of the package were found. The wrapper was an old German newspaper with
Mr. Field's name on it, and another like package in the bag bore the
name of Mr. Wm. H. Vanderbilt.

He took the matter very calmly, only afterwards telling the butler that
no package brought to the house must be delivered until it had first
been plunged in a bucket of water. This order spread consternation among
some members of the family, who trembled for their new spring clothes.

On August 25, 1884, he left Tarrytown in the car "Railway Age," with
several members of his family, for a journey that lasted six weeks, and
during that time he travelled 11,000 miles by rail and 300 by boat. On
September 12th he left Portland, Oregon, for Tacoma, and early on the
morning of the 13th, as he was waiting at Utsaladdy for the tide to
carry the _North Pacific,_ the boat he was on, through Deception Pass,
went on shore, and found that it was from this place that the wooden
mast for the _Great Eastern_ had been cut. It was sent to England by
the way of Cape Horn.

September 22d he joined Sir Donald Smith and his party at Silver
Heights, and his car was attached to their special train. Four days were
given to crossing the Rockies and returning to Winnipeg, to the then
western terminus of the Canadian Pacific. On the afternoon of September
24th the cars stopped in front of a large tent; it was the station, and
has since been known as Field.

A few hours earlier, as we all stood looking up at Mount Stephen, and
then off at the mountains, Sir Donald Smith turned to Mr. Field and
said, "That is Mount Field." One of the employés of the road suggested
that it had been already named, but that was of no account; Sir Donald's
word was law, and Mount Field it became.

It was upon one of his Western journeys that he stopped at a telegraph
office, wrote a message, and handed it to the clerk to send. Instead of
turning at once to his instrument, the man studied Mr. Field intently,
and then said, "Are you the original Cyrus?"

On his return home he was much interested in the Presidential election;
but he accepted the result quietly, and wrote to a friend:

     "I thank you for what you say in regard to the election. Whoever
     has received a majority of the votes will be declared elected. I do
     not know of any human being who wishes to defeat the popular will
     when known. In my own opinion, no one can tell who is elected until
     after the official count."

This year was that of the long and painful illness and affecting death
of General Grant. Mr. Field's sympathy with the sufferer was intense,
and it was with regret that he received this letter, and also one from
one of General Grant's sons, to which he refers in his answer:

"NEW YORK CITY, _January 6, 1885_.

     "_My dear Sir_,--Through the press and otherwise I learn that you,
     with a few other friends of mine, are engaged in raising a
     subscription for my benefit. I appreciate both the motive and the
     friendship which have dictated this course on your part, but, on
     mature reflection, I regard it as due to myself and family to
     decline this proffered generosity.

     "I regret that I did not make this known earlier.

"Very truly yours,


"_6th January, 1885_.

     "_My dear General Grant_,--I have this moment received your letter
     of this date, and I shall, as requested in the letter from your
     son, send a copy immediately to Messrs. A. J. Drexel and George W.
     Childs, of Philadelphia; to General W. T. Sherman, St. Louis, and
     Mr. E. F. Beale, of Washington.

     "I have for several days been very anxious to call and see you, but
     have been prevented by press of business and a severe cold.

"With great respect, I remain,
"Dear General Grant,
"Very truly your friend,

He was in London part of the summer of 1885, and the extracts that
follow are made from a letter written to the New York _Tribune_ by Mr.
Smalley on July 5th, in which he gives an account of the Fourth in
London, and of a dinner given on the evening of that day. There were but
thirty present, and only eight Americans.

     "The toast of the evening was proposed by Mr. Field, and responded
     to first by the American minister and then by the Duke of Argyll.
     Mr. Phelps's speech had the one fault of being too brief. All he
     said was to the point, and was said with genuine feeling and in
     good taste. The duke has grown to be a venerable figure.... He
     speaks to-night with a depth of regard for America and Americans
     which goes straight to every American heart. The best friends of
     his life, he tells us, have been Americans--Prescott, Charles
     Sumner, Motley, Longfellow, and his host, Mr. Cyrus Field. He has
     brought back vivid memories of his brief visit to America, and
     paints for us one or two vivid pictures of American scenery and
     American life. He rejoices in our joy; in our independence; in the
     triumph of the Union over the rebellion; in the triumph we have
     since won here in England over English unfriendliness. And he says,
     truly, that it is difficult now to find an Englishman who is not
     convinced he was on our side all the time.

     "Mr. Bright followed. He is seldom heard in these days.... He gave
     us of his best. He went back to the days of the civil war, when, as
     he told us, and as I have heard him say often, he used to spend the
     week in anxious expectation of the news which the Saturday steamer
     was to bring of events in America, I forget whether it was in this
     speech or later in the evening that Mr. Bright described the
     emotion with which he received the tidings of the defeat of Bull
     Run. At the first moment he thought, as so many of us in America
     thought at the first moment, that all was over. 'No calamity ever
     seemed to me greater,' said this English friend of America. The
     ultimate victory of freedom over slavery filled his life with
     happiness.... If anything could make us free-traders it might well
     be Mr. Bright's eloquence, and his unequalled power of seeing the
     one side of the question in which his faith is so fervent. As long
     as I hear his voice I suspend my convictions....

     "This dinner of Mr. Cyrus Field's, though private in one sense, was
     pretty fully reported in the London papers.... Mr. Field's health
     was proposed by the Duke of Argyll, and drunk with all the honors.
     Telegrams were read to and from General Grant and the President of
     the United States."

Just a month later Mr. Phelps, then American minister in London, wrote
to Mr. Field:

     "You will be glad to know that I have a message from the Queen, who
     desires to send a representation to our service. I have also a
     telegram that Mr. Gladstone will attend, and Lord Harrowby, Lord
     Privy Seal, for the government."

The service referred to was the eulogy on General Grant, delivered at
Westminster Abbey, on August 4th, by Archbishop Farrar.

To this service these two letters also refer:

"_August 6, 1885_.

     "_My dear Mr. Field,_--I had a long search for you among the crowds
     at Westminster, after the service, when I found that you were not
     among those bound to the dean's lodging, but failed to find you,
     and I therefore write a line to thank you for having asked me to
     attend the service in memory of our great friend, as I was grateful
     for the opportunity to be again among so many of your countrymen,
     and to do honor to the memory of a most remarkable citizen.

     "I think Farrar's oration was excellent, and the place--the common
     shrine of so much of our past glories, to which both nations can
     equally look with pride--a very fitting one for the expression of
     our common mourning.

"Believe me, dear Mr. Field,
"Yours very truly,

This is from Professor Roswell D. Hitchcock, of the Union Theological
Seminary in New York:

     "I hardly need say how glad I am that such a service has been
     provided for. Your countrymen owe you much gratitude for the lead
     you have taken in the matter."

It was after his return home this year that this telegraphic
correspondence occurred between him and his brothers and Mr. George
Bancroft, then at Newport:

     "Most hearty congratulations on your eighty-fifth
     birthday--congratulations which we hope to renew for many years to


     "_Dear David, Stephen, Cyrus, and Henry Field_,--Thanks for your
     good-will, and when I am gone keep the departed traveller kindly in

"Ever yours,

"_6th October_."

Mr. Field was again in London in 1886, and was at a dinner given on July
16th by the Liberal Club to Mr. Chesson, who, in his speech, said:

     "My personal acquaintance with Mr. Field dates back for more than
     twenty years--from the period when the first Atlantic cable was
     laid; and I had reason then, as I have had greater reason since, to
     admire his indomitable perseverance, his unwearied patience, and
     his great ability. I was for a time on board the _Great Eastern_
     with him in 1866, when the Atlantic cable was successfully laid and
     permanent telegraphic communication established between the two
     continents. I saw him daily, and held constant social intercourse
     with him until the splicing of the shore end of the cable with the
     huge coil which filled the vast tank of the _Great Eastern_ took
     place; and I noticed that there was nothing in his demeanor to
     distinguish him from other persons on board, although when some of
     us cast wistful looks at the big tank we knew that it contained all
     his worldly goods, and, for aught he knew to the contrary, his
     fortune was destined to be buried, with the cable, at the bottom of
     the Atlantic."

The last of August and part of September this year were spent in another
journey to the Pacific coast, in which he was much impressed with the
marvellous beauty of the Canadian road.

From a New York paper of November, 1886, this is taken:

     "Mr. Field has fought almost since the very beginning of the system
     as a public conveyance for a uniform charge of five cents at all
     hours for passengers on all the New York elevated lines, and the
     morning of the 1st of October, 1886, first saw the complete
     victory which attended his effort in this direction."

When, in 1882, he bought a large tract of land in the valley of the Saw
Mill River, adjoining on the east his home at Irvington, he intended
building there a number of small but comfortable houses for working-men.
Around each house he proposed that there should be a plot of ground, and
the rent was to be from ten to twenty dollars a month for house and
land. The building of the new aqueduct made it impossible for him to
carry out at once this project, and before the aqueduct was completed he
suffered, in 1887, heavy financial losses from the sudden decline of the
stock of the New York elevated roads, in which he was so largely

The last message that passed between Mr. Field and Mr. Bright was on the
11th of December, 1888, when he cabled:

     "_The Right Hon. John Bright,_--Your friends in America read with
     interest the news that comes daily from your sick-room. Accept the
     affectionate remembrance of one who has known and loved you for
     more than a quarter of a century.

     "It may comfort you in your long illness to know that your name is
     on the lips and in the hearts of millions on this side of the
     Atlantic, who can never forget how you stood by the cause of their


December 2, 1890, was a day that his family had long looked forward to.
It was on this day that these messages and telegrams were received, and
that many friends came to offer their congratulations. Among the
messages of good-will was this poem from President Henry Morton, of the
Stevens Institute:



    "Golden light the sun is shedding,
     Ushering in this golden wedding,
     As he did on that bright day
     Fifty golden years away.
     Then as now the 'golden flowers,'
     Lingering after summer's hours,
     The chrysanthemums, foretold
     Anniversary of gold.
     Golden love and golden truth
     To gold age from golden youth,
     In the fire of life, thrice tried,
     Pure themselves, yet purified
     By the sorrows borne together,
     By the stress of stormy weather;
     This pure gold, outlasting earth,
     Proves its own celestial birth,
     And shall shine with golden light,
     Star-like, from heaven's dome of night."

"CYRUS W. FIELD, Esq., Gramercy Park, New York:

     "_Dear Sir,_--We, the undersigned, who have known you for many
     years, and some of whom have been long and intimately associated
     with you, desire to express to you and to your amiable and devoted
     wife our earnest and heartfelt congratulations on your
     golden-wedding day, the 2d of December, 1890.

     "We earnestly wish you both many years of health and happiness,
     enjoying the fruits of your useful and well-spent lives, and seeing
     on every side the wide-spreading development of the submarine
     telegraph enterprise in which you, Mr. Field, have labored so long,
     so zealously, and so successfully. This great work, pursued by you
     with unflagging energy and perseverance for many years, through the
     greatest difficulties and hinderances, has now become a first
     necessity of national and commercial life, and you have the
     profound satisfaction of knowing that its object and its results
     are, and ever have been, peaceable and beneficent in their

     "We ask you to accept this message of our good-will and good
     wishes, which will be sent to you both over and under the sea.

  Very faithfully yours,
  Frederic W. Farrar,
  W. E. Gladstone,
  W. H. Russell,
  Douglas Galton,
  Henry C. Forde,
  W. Andrews,
  H. Weaver,
  G. von Chauvin,
  J. H. Carson,
  Samuel Canning,
  Richard C. Mayne,
  C. W. Earle,
  Catherine Gladstone,
  J. S. Forbes,
  Caroline Roberts Van Wart,
  G. W. Smalley,
  Gerald Harper,
  William Barber,
  L. M. Rate,
  John Muirhead,
  George Draper,
  Richard Collett,
  W. Leatham Bright,
  Latimer Clark,
  R. T. Brown,
  F. A. Bevan,
  H. D. Gooch,
  W. Thomson,
  G. Shaw Lefevre,
  J. Russell Reynolds,
  John Pender,
  James Anderson,
  W. Cunard,
  William Ford,
  George Elliot,
  George Henry Richards,
  W. Shuter,
  Henry Clifford,
  Willoughby Smith,
  W. S. Cunard,
  Julius Reuter,
  H. A. C. Saunders,
  G. W. Campbell,
  H. M. Stanley, of Alderley,
  John H. Puleston,
  George Cox Bompas,
  James Stern,
  H. L. Bischoffsheim,
  Louis Floersheim,
  T. H. Wells,
  J. H. Tritton,
  W. H. Preece,
  C. V. DeSauty,
  George Grove,
  Jane Cobden,
  Thomas B. Potter,
  Charles Burt,
  Margaret Anderson,
  Robert C. Halpin,
  Edward Satterthwaite,
  Frank H. Hill,
  J. C. Parkinson,
  William Payton,
  Henry Dever,
  Kenneth L. M. Anderson,
  Charles W. Stronge,
  Oscar Wilde,
  Lewis Wells,
  John G. Griffiths,
  Robert Dudley,
  Emily F. Lloyd,
  Ch. Gerhardi,
  W. T. Ansell,
  Julian Goldsmid,
  John Chatterton,
  Frances Baillie,
  Constance Wilde,
  B. Smith,
  John Temple,
  Montague McMurdo,
  Philip Rawson."

  "LONDON, _December_ 3, 1890.

     "_My dear Mr. Field_,--It came to my knowledge last month that the
     2d of December was the golden-wedding day of Mrs. Field and
     yourself. It happened when we were in Paris at the telegraph
     conference in the month of June that my birthday occurred, aged
     sixty-six. (Is it not terrible that one should be so old?) But it
     was also fifty years since I went to sea as a sailor boy, and it
     was just twenty-five years since we made our first voyage in the
     _Great Eastern_.

     "Mr. Charles Burt, who was in Paris representing the Anglo-American
     Company, was kind enough to get up a dinner in my honor, and I was
     presented with an illuminated memorial or address. It occurred to
     me that it would be a pleasing act on our part to get up a similar
     address upon the occasion of your golden wedding, and no doubt you
     would have the result yesterday.

     "Mr. Charles Burt and the staff of the Anglo have cordially done
     all they could to get as many names as we could recall, but as they
     are a good deal scattered it has taken more time than we
     anticipated. Then, oh, how many have passed away! It is like
     calling the roll after a battle--so few could be found. We are
     to-day trying to get at a few more, who we feel sure would like to
     add their names. I was looking up Sir William Drake, but he was too
     ill, and died this morning....

     "Now, my dear Mr. Field, let me once more wish Mrs. Field and
     yourself every sort of kind good wish. The days and years are
     rolling away, and we may well cling to the memory of exciting and
     active days when we were twenty-five to thirty years younger and
     the future filled with nervous uncertainties.

"Always yours sincerely,

    "In the glow of the morning was the song of rejoicing,
       Ye twain are now one till death shall you part;
     In the calm of the evening is the song of thanksgiving,
       Ye twain are still one in life and in heart.

    "It was faith in the morning, it is knowledge this evening,
       We sang of the future, we sing of the past;
     But this jubilee hour finds the refrain unchanging,
       We twain are still one, only one at the last.

    "We wait in the evening for the dawn of the morrow,
      But the song of our lives will not end with the day;
     'Midst the music celestial hear the anthem of glory--
       We twain are still one, for ever and aye."

                                     D. J. B.




The golden wedding was to be almost the last gleam of brightness and
happiness that came to the home of Mr. Field. It was in March, 1890,
that his children had been told that any sudden excitement might end his
life, and in April, 1891, they realized that their mother's illness must
soon come to a fatal termination. Both father and mother were watched
with eager solicitude throughout the summer of 1891.

The family dined together for the last time on the 28th of August in
that year--Mrs. Field's birthday--and her brother-in-law, Mr. David
Dudley Field, proposed her health and gave this toast:

     "Mary Stone Field, the wife of Cyrus W. Field, the mother of seven
     children and of sixteen grandchildren, a perfect wife, a perfect
     mother, a perfect grandmother. God bless her."

It was on the 23d of November that Mrs. Field died. An old friend writes
of the married life thus ended:

     "Oh, what a family theirs was--so loving, considerate, and true!
     How many hearts must be full of gratitude to them and all their
     benevolence! For theirs was true charity 'that vaunteth not
     itself,' not letting the left hand know what the right hand doeth."

And of her the Rev. Dr. Arthur Brooks wrote in _The Churchman:_

     "Mrs. Cyrus W. Field was one whose death has been felt as a great
     loss in New York City. By those who have shared her gracious,
     kindly, and intelligent hospitality she will never be forgotten.

     "For her large charity, wide information, quick memory, and
     unfailing tact made her the warm friend of all who met her. The
     position in which her life placed her was one which made great
     demands, and she met them all. As the centre of a large family
     circle, involving wide and important interests, and also as the
     intimate friend of men and women of leading position, she never
     failed to manifest the ready wisdom and large sympathy for which
     each occasion called. She was calm under all trouble, reasonable in
     all perplexity, and thankful in all happiness.

     "Mrs. Field's earnest and deep religious spirit was recognized by
     her intimate friends as the foundation of those graces which were
     evident to all. Her Christian faith was eminently strong and
     simple. It grew as the emergencies of life called for its exercise,
     and her intelligence and information were in the closest relation
     with her faith at all times. Her love for nature and her knowledge
     of trees and flowers were remarkable, and, to those who did not
     know her deep and large nature, surprising in one whose life in the
     city was so engrossing. Her interest in missionary undertakings was
     equally marked; it laid hold of her large experiences as a
     traveller in all parts of the world, and made them helpful to a
     large understanding of all movements in foreign lands.

     "One recalls with constant pleasure all the circumstances of so
     large, devoted, and refined a life, which, wherever it moved,
     brought new brightness and larger confidence and deeper faith. Her
     passage from this world to the larger realm of the life which is
     unseen is but the farther expansion under perfect conditions of the
     character which, while it was amongst us, was ever going from
     strength to strength."

It was at this time that disasters in business and calamities that were
calculated to affect him far more keenly fell upon him, and what
remained of his life was full of great anguish, both mental and
physical. On his seventy-second birthday, November 30th, he found that
of the fortunes that he had invested in the Atlantic cables, the
elevated roads, and the Washington Building, but one thousand pounds of
Anglo-American cable stock remained, and had it not been for the
kindness of his friend Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan, he could not in May,
1892, have gone to his country home. It was Mr. Morgan also who advanced
the necessary money to keep in force the premium on Mr. Field's
life-insurance policies. That in the New York Mutual Insurance Company
had been taken out in 1843, and was number 421. It was thought that the
change to the country would benefit him, but in fact it only increased
his distress and his weakness. Early on the morning of July 12th his
family were called, and watched by his side from half-past four until
ten minutes before ten, when the rest he so longed for was given. It was
with a prayer of thanksgiving that they laid his tired head back on his
pillow. During those long hours he had spoken but once, and that was to
ask for air, but his loving eyes followed them almost to the end.

From the New York _Tribune_ of July 15th these sentences are copied:

     "As simple and as unostentatious as he would have wished was the
     funeral of Cyrus W. Field, which was held yesterday. There was no
     eulogy, and there were few floral tributes. The simple Protestant
     Episcopal service was read."

He was buried in Stockbridge.

Some mention of his personal traits may not be unwelcome here.

His disposition was sunny and genial, and he thoroughly enjoyed his
home. All his life he was subject to periods of depression, but they
were quickly over, and, in connection with the trials that come to all,
he would say that this or that had been for the best, and that it had
brought with it good results. When asked how he was his answer
invariably was, "Jolly," and his telegrams ended with the words "All
well," or, "In good health and spirits."

His love for children was great. No matter how forlorn or poor the child
was, he would stop and speak to it, and offer to buy the little one, and
assure it that it was "an angel baby." And he delighted to gather his
family and friends around him. Both summer and winter he was up by six
o'clock, and by seven was in his library. It was there that he planned
his work for the day. Each morning a list was made of those he wished to
see and the order in which he desired to meet each one, and this list
was placed in his hat on his way to breakfast. That meal was served at
the instant; and once when reproached for not having waited until all
were at the table, he answered that he could not afford to lose ten
minutes in the morning, for that meant seventy in a week, or rather
sixty hours, two and a half full days, in the year. Telegrams or letters
received late in the evening were placed on his desk unopened. He would
say, "If they bring me bad news I shall not sleep if I read them, and if
the news is good it will keep until morning."

Letters that if seen would cause others pain or might be misunderstood
were instantly destroyed. Questions put to him that it would be
indiscreet to answer were apparently not heard.

An important paper was never thrust loosely into his pocket, but was
placed in an envelope and his name and address distinctly written upon
it; the same care was given to any package that he carried. His reason
for so doing was that if, after having taken this precaution, he lost
either paper or package, it would be at once returned to him.

His quick and energetic manner often amused his guests, and when a
friend was with him in 1885, he said, "It seemed like living on the top
of a 'bus." On Sunday evening, in reply to the question as to whether or
no he would be obliged to leave the next morning, this guest said: "I
shall go to town with you Mr. Field. At what hour do you breakfast?" The
answer surprised him: "At half-past seven o'clock sharp." The reply was:
"I am ready now." It was then past eleven.

These extracts are taken from two of Mr. Smalley's letters sent from
London to the New York _Tribune_:

     "Those in England who regret the great American's death on the
     grounds of private affection are many, and among them some of the
     best and most prominent Englishmen now living....

     "Mr. Cyrus Field was at one time almost as well known in London as
     in New York. The tributes now paid him show that he was not
     forgotten in the later years of his life, and that such misfortunes
     as befell him did not shake his hold on his English friendships. Of
     these he had a considerable number among the most eminent men in
     England. Mr. Gladstone was one, Mr. Bright and the Duke of Argyll
     were two others. These relations lasted for many years. They lasted
     in Mr. Bright's case till his death, and there was between him and
     Mr. Field something which might be called affection. The great
     orator spoke of the great American in terms which he did not bestow
     lavishly, and never bestowed carelessly. His respect for Mr.
     Field's public work was sufficiently shown in the splendid eulogy
     he passed upon him. To be called by such a man as Mr. Bright the
     Columbus of the nineteenth century is renown enough for any man.
     The epithet is imperishable. It is, as Thackeray said of a similar
     tribute to Fielding in Gibbon, like having your name written on the
     dome of St. Peter's. The world knows it, and the world remembers. I
     heard Mr. Bright use the phrase, and he adorned and emphasized it
     in his noblest tones. He had, indeed, a deep regard for great
     service done to the public, and for the doer of it, and he did not
     stint his acknowledgments. He was great enough to be willing to
     acknowledge greatness in others. Mr. Cyrus Field, for his part,
     returned the good-will shown him with fulness. He took a great
     pleasure in such friendships as these I have named. To secure Mr.
     Bright as a speaker at one of his dinners was a delight to him; and
     Mr. Bright made at least one of his most admirable speeches on such
     an occasion.... Even those who thought Mr. Cyrus Field somewhat
     masterful in business matters could not overcome their liking for
     the man. I have in mind one or two men, famous in telegraphy, who
     resented very strongly Mr. Field's handling of certain matters, and
     said strong things about it. I do not know whether he was right or
     whether they were right, nor does it matter. The point is that
     these very men remained attached to him, and were among his friends
     to the last in England. The secret of his power of winning over men
     might be difficult to define. Whatever it was, he possessed it in
     no ordinary degree. He had an affectionate and persuasive manner.
     No doubt, I think, ever crossed his mind that his aim, whatever it
     might be, was a right one. This conviction, arising in his own
     breast, he was able to impart to others. That is not an explanation
     of the mystery, it is only another way of stating it.

     "He seemed to me never to forget a friend, whether in prosperity or
     adversity. If, as his adversaries sometimes asserted after their
     defeat, he was hard in business matters, that is only what must be
     said of all successful men of business. It is a condition of
     success. He none the less had fine and generous impulses, and,
     unlike some others, acted on them. A good impulse unacted on seldom
     seems to be of any particular use to anybody--least of all to him
     who controls it. There was in Mr. Field none of that cynicism which
     led Talleyrand to say you must suspect your first impulse, because
     it is generally a good one. He was not cynical, whatever else he

     "He made himself liked, or rather he was liked whether he tried to
     be or not. He was genial, serviceable: liked to do a kind thing,
     and to give pleasure. His sterner and more efficient traits of
     character are known to everybody; on them there is no need to
     dwell. Every message that flashes through the Atlantic cables is
     his eulogy. His virtues are written in water in a new sense; and
     the memory of his indomitable courage; of his just sense of the
     right means to the right end; of his enthusiasm, and of his power
     of generating enthusiasm in others; of his fortitude; of his wise
     generalship; of his large views, and of much else, will endure."

The next extract is taken from the report of the Century Club for 1892.
It was written by Judge Howland, the secretary of the Century:

     "The name of Cyrus W. Field is worthy of association with those of
     Fulton, Stephenson, Morse, and Ericsson as benefactors to mankind.
     Inheriting from a vigorous ancestry a capacity, energy, and
     perseverance that would brook no obstacles--characteristic of other
     members of his family as well--he strode from poverty to wealth,
     through various vicissitudes, but with unstained integrity. Engaged
     in gigantic enterprises, he stood on the brink of financial ruin in
     promoting them; endured failure on the verge of success, despair on
     the heels of hope, ridicule swift after praise, long unbroken;
     wearying suspense, varying with exaltation and depression, until
     after thirteen years of doubt and trial and tireless labor his
     triumph came, and with it fame and the honors of two continents.
     The Atlantic cable is a monument to his memory that shall endure
     while time shall last, but as the promoter of the elevated railroad
     in New York, at a time when its feasibility was problematical,
     success uncertain, and capital was timid, he is entitled no less to
     the grateful memory of our people.

     "Despite mistakes (and who has not made them?), what single
     enterprise since the building of the Erie Canal has done more to
     enhance the wealth and prosperity of the metropolis than this last
     monument to his foresight and energy? Deceit and betrayal at
     various times by his associates he bore without a murmur; but at
     the last, when domestic sorrows came upon him--not as single spies,
     but in battalions--he sank beneath them, and our pity follows him
     as did our praise."

At the meeting of the Chamber of Commerce on October 6, 1892, Mr. Orr

     "With sincere regret I announce the death of seven of our members
     during the summer. Two were honorary members, namely:

     "Cyrus W. Field, elected August 21, 1858, and died 12th July, 1892.

     "George William Curtis, elected March 5, 1891, and died 31st
     August, 1892.

     "As resolutions of respect and sympathy are to be presented for
     your consideration, I beg permission to suspend, for a short time,
     the general order of business, and call upon Mr. William E. Dodge
     to present the resolutions relative to the late Mr. Field."

Mr. Dodge thereupon offered the following preamble and resolutions:

     "_Whereas_, The death of Cyrus W. Field has removed from this
     country one of its most distinguished citizens, and from this
     chamber one of its oldest and most honored members, we wish to
     place on record our sincere regard for his memory and our esteem
     for his invaluable services to the cause of civilization and the
     progress of commerce; therefore, be it

     "_Resolved_, That the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York,
     in common with the citizens of all portions of our country,
     sincerely mourns the death of Cyrus W. Field, the first honorary
     member of this chamber, as one who had through a long and useful
     life been closely identified with the commercial interests of this
     city, and by his great ability, tireless activity, and large
     achievements, had greatly honored the name of American merchant.

     "_Resolved_, That by the successful carrying out of the project for
     uniting the Old World with the New by the Atlantic cable he has
     brought all nations into instant touch and given lasting honor to
     his name, as among those who have done the world great service.
     During the long and weary years of discouragement and failure
     before this magnificent work was accomplished he showed an
     undaunted courage, a fertility of resource, an unwearied patience
     and untiring ability for work which won the wonder and admiration
     of two continents. The example of his success was at once followed
     by like communication across all seas, so that as the result of his
     supreme effort the conditions of commercial and friendly
     intercourse throughout the world have been changed, and instant
     communication made between all nations.

     "_Resolved_, That we wish to recall to our membership the words of
     eulogy and sincere appreciation spoken at the brilliant banquet
     given by this chamber to Mr. Field on the final successful laying
     of the cable more than twenty-five years ago, and to indorse and
     emphasize them by our action to-day.

     "_Resolved_, That as a loyal and enthusiastic American, a useful
     and enlightened citizen, and as a warm and faithful friend, Mr.
     Field's memory will always be held sacred by all who knew him here,
     and his invaluable service to mankind will make his name honored in
     all the civilized world.

     "_Resolved_, That the Executive Committee be requested to suggest
     to the chamber some plan by which an appropriate and lasting
     memorial to Mr. Field's great work may be procured for this city.

     "_Resolved_, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the family
     of Mr. Field, with the assurances of our profound sympathy and

     "Mr. President, in presenting these resolutions for your
     consideration may I be allowed to say a few words as to the
     character and life of our honored friend? Mr. Field needs no
     eulogy. His fame and his place in history are secure. The news that
     comes to us every morning from all parts of the world; the daily
     quotations on which we base our business action; the friendly
     messages which assure us of the instant welfare of dear ones in
     far-off countries, are ever-recurring reminders of his great
     genius. Although nothing we can say will add to the lustre of great
     deeds, still it is well for us, from time to time, to refresh our
     memories as to the full meaning of the great achievements which
     mark the progress of the world. In the rush and hurry of modern
     life, what at first startles us soon falls into the commonplace
     and is perhaps undervalued. In the pamphlet published in 1866 at
     the time of the banquet given to Mr. Cyrus W. Field by this
     chamber, the statement was made that 'the success of the Atlantic
     telegraph was one of the great events of the nineteenth century.'
     History will point to it as one of the landmarks of modern
     progress. On the morning after the landing of the cable at Valentia
     the London _Times_ said: 'Since the discovery of Columbus nothing
     has been done in any degree comparable to the enlargement thus
     given to the sphere of human activity.' This was confirmed by
     unanimous statement of distinguished men and leading journals in
     all parts of the world.

     "Our country was filled with enthusiasm and the world with wonder.
     John Bright, in a splendid tribute to 'his friend Cyrus Field,'
     spoke of him as 'the Columbus of modern times, who, by his cable,
     had moored the New World alongside the Old.' Mr. Evarts said:
     'Columbus found one world and left it two. Cyrus W. Field found two
     continents and left them one.'

     "In all the years that have passed, this cord of connection between
     the Old World and the New has grown more practical and useful, and
     the old cities in the far Eastern world can now communicate with
     the new cities of our Pacific shores in a few moments of time. What
     will be the result of these facilities we cannot estimate. Already
     practical schemes for the establishment of communication by
     telephone are under advisement, and it may be but a short time
     before we can converse with friends thousands of miles across the

     "We do not claim for Mr. Field the discovery of the possibilities
     of the cable, but it was owing to his superb and almost superhuman
     exertions that the project was made practicable. It is hard for us
     to estimate the severe trials through which he passed. For nearly
     thirteen years he labored against every obstacle, crossing the
     ocean more than forty times, spending months with the cable ships
     on the stormy Atlantic, exhausting himself in the swamps and inland
     forests of Newfoundland and Cape Breton, with alternations of hope
     and fear, of success and discouragement, that would have exhausted
     almost any other man.

     "This was the great work of his life, but his energy, vigorous
     thought, and executive ability enabled him to carry out many other
     business enterprises, which were of great value to this city and

     "He was born of sturdy and choice New England stock. His father,
     the Rev. Dr. David Dudley Field, was a distinguished clergyman in
     Massachusetts, and his grandfather an officer in the Revolution.

     "His home training, in New England, was of the kind that has
     developed so many able men in the history of our country.

     "He very early entered in business, but a few months afterwards,
     through no fault or action of his, his firm became insolvent, and
     although from his youth and small capital he was to a certain
     extent exempt from the responsibility, he showed his nice sense of
     honor by devoting his first earnings afterwards to the payment of
     principal and interest of all the debts of the firm with which he
     had been connected. Years afterwards, when he had been most
     successful in his chosen line of enterprise, owing to the disturbed
     condition of affairs he again became involved in business
     difficulties, but with the same pluck and courage he resumed his
     work, and paid principal and interest on all his indebtedness.

     "But no details of ordinary business could confine his wide grasp
     of affairs, and he took hold of telegraph and cable with a faith
     and energy which deserved success.

     "Time and distance were as nothing to him on carrying out his
     projects. Although a loyal and enthusiastic American, he was, in
     the best sense, a 'citizen of the world.' I remember meeting him
     many years ago in southern Europe, and asking him to join some
     excursion for the following day. He told me how much pleasure it
     would give him, but that he unfortunately had to attend a meeting
     the next day. I found that he left that night by the fast express,
     and rushed through to London to spend two hours at a meeting of a
     committee, and without rest returned immediately to the place where
     I had met him.

     "His last years were crowded with sorrow and disappointment, under
     circumstances most pathetic and terrible. In all of this he had the
     warm sympathy of loving friends and of all his business associates.

     "I have felt that the terrific strain upon his whole system during
     the thirteen years of trial, when the efforts were being made to
     lay the cable, with their alternations of hope and fear and the
     great exposure, told upon his constitution more than he knew, and
     that when the reaction came he had not, perhaps, the same clearness
     of vision and wise power of judgment as before.

     "All the disappointment and sadness of his later life will be
     forgotten, and history will only remember the great loyal American,
     whose intense power and large faith enabled him to carry through
     one of the greatest and most beneficial enterprises the world has
     ever known."

    "Ah, me! how dark the discipline of pain
     Were not the suffering followed by the sense
     Of infinite rest and infinite release!
     This is our consolation; and again
     A great soul cries to us in our suspense:
     'I came from martyrdom unto this peace!'"


       *       *       *       *       *


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     Y. Mail and Express._

     It is a great book which these addresses make [Volume III.]. All
     young men ought to read it and ponder it. Its insight into
     character, uplifting of lofty ideals, and deep, sturdy patriotism
     would cause it to live quite apart from its in their own way
     equally admirable literary ability and grace.--_Congregationalist_,

     A splendid memorial of that ideal man and patriot, George William
     Curtis. The books are a much-to-be-desired addition to any
     library.--_Interior_, Chicago.

     Mr. Curtis made a contribution of inestimable value in the
     application of morals to politics--an application needing all the
     time to be made, and which those noble discourses will assuredly do
     much to promote.--_Literary World_, Boston.

     The brilliancy, depth, power, and insight characteristic of the
     orations included in the first volume of this series are in the
     second volume displayed in a field Mr. Curtis had made peculiarly
     his own.--_Jewish Messenger_, N. Y.

     The eloquence of many of these addresses is of the highest order of
     public oratory, and merely as examples of the art of expression
     they are of permanent interest.--_Boston Beacon._


_For sale by all booksellers, or will be sent by the publishers,
carriage prepaid, on receipt of the price._

       *       *       *       *       *

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

From you affectionate son=> From your affectionate son {pg 20}

Agamennon=> Agamemnon {pg 77}

arbritration=> arbitration {pg 285}

plus herueux=> plus heureux {pg 254}

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