The times that Morse lived in had some parallels with our modern times, specifically regarding new technology development, religion and politics.
There was an endless line of shysters who were ready to take advantage of his trusting nature, and while he “marketed” his work as his own, he did have lots of input and like all technologies, leveraged others work. Some I feel he did not give enough credit to, like Alfred Vail. However, he did come up with the basic ideas and design for the telegraph – meaning his implementation. There were plenty of competing designs. His was the simplest and arguably most elegant in its simplicity, which meant it was also most robust.
Patent Law was very new in the US, and there were many fights technically and what would have been “Technical Marketing”. Lots of scams and lots of shysters. Morse had to repeatedly prove his ideas and fight off law suits right and left.
Morse was a religious zealot and I did not know that at one time, Catholics in the US were treated the way Muslims are now being treated – as a pariah of sorts.
There was plenty of chicanery and corruption – our republic was new and fragile – there were Nativist’s, and a split in the country leading to turmoil and the Civil War. There was interference from other countries as what we have had with Russia today. There were recessions as well – even depressions. There were fights and issues with immigration. Small wars broke out.
I’ve been surprised to see so many parallels with what we have been going through in 2016 and 2017.