Daguerreian Society

On this day (March 19) in the year 1840, the following notice appeared 
in "The Evening Star" (New York) Vol. 7, No. 149 (19 March 1840) not 
paginated, but the notice appears on the front page.
   This is the last letter to be found in "The Evening Star," at least 
in the issues I examined (April 14th, 1840 being the last date 
examined.)  I do have one more related article from a Boston newspaper 
of June 26, 1840, and I will give that shortly rather than wait until 
the date of publication.
- - - - - - -

                THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH!!

                 Tantoene animis caeleatibus viae?
                                         (Virgil, Aen. lib. 1, v. 11.)
                 Tant de fiel entre-t-il dans l'ame  d'un bigot?
                                             (Bolieau, Luirin, ch. IV)

   MR. EDITOR:  Still bending under the enthusiastic reception which I 
have met with in the midst of a community no less kind than 
enlightened, this is the first moment which I have had at my disposal 
to answer, in a few words, the libel launched forth against me by Mr. 
S. F. B. Morse, (don't mistake,) in your paper of the 3d inst.
   Having run my eyes over this diatribe, I had at first some 
difficulty in believing that it was the production of a man who seems 
to pass among a certain portion of the public for a person of such 
excellent temper and such unbounded generosity and christian 
benevolence;  but after one moment's meditation upon that line of 
Virgil so cleverly translated by Boileau, I made up my mind at once, 
and made my bow to this new kick of the lion.  The deep hue of hatred 
and anger with which this letter is coloured, this mass of injurious 
reproaches, the bitter black venom which he has poured out upon me, 
with an outbreak so coolly calculated, (for S. F. B. Morse (don't 
mistake) was five long days in preparing his libel,) all this, I say, 
would hardly have attracted my notice, if the libellist, in seeking to 
blacken my character, had addressed himself only to me;  in this case I 
should most positively have answered him in the only manner worthy of 
such an effusion, not to say, indeed, of such an author, by the most 
complete and contemptuous silence, as I had already promised.  But, 
since the name of Mr. Daguerre, of the respectable Mr. Daguerre, has 
been the shield from behind which my loyal adversary has invariably 
dealt his blows in the air, which, like a new Don Quixotte, he 
generously puts himself out of breath to bestow upon me in my absence, 
it is for the honor of this already great name, which he seeks to 
compromise by this unworthy attack, that I find myself forced to take 
up my pen, in order to do Mr. S. F. B. Morse (don't mistake) the too 
great honor of giving him another answer.  My answer must necessarily 
be short, for if I condescend again to waste a time, extremely precious 
to me, in answering the attacks of one who quarrels with every body, 
who cannot exist without quarrelling, &c., &c., it is only to say to 
Mr. S. F. B. Morse (don't mistake) that hereafter I will positively 
answer his outcries only by the most absolute silence of contempt, if 
he again should think proper to insult me during my absence from New 
York, and only by the public tribunals which punish calumniators, if he 
should again outrage me by seeking to disparage my character in the 
eyes of the public.
   Indeed, to answer word for word the attacks of Mr. S. F. B. Morse 
(don't mistake) upon me, I should be forced to indulge in a train of 
feelings and adopt a line of conduct which are not, and never will be, 
habitual with me.  Since Mr. S. F. B. Morse (don't mistake) volunteered 
to descend, headlong, from the height on which I supposed him placed, 
to the mire of invective, &c., let him paddle about there at his own 
pleasure.  Neither the vocabulary which he employs with regard to me, 
nor the reflection of those feelings and thoughts which must have 
produced his last letter, could ever become my arms in any conflict.  I 
thought I had addressed him in a tone of pleasantry, as a gentleman 
should address another, hoping for an answer in a tone at least 
somewhat similar, but, since I find myself mistaken, I never will 
consent to redeem my error in making use, against any one, of Don 
Basilio's panacea.  Let Mr. S. F. B. Morse (don't mistake) continue, 
then, prodigally to pour out upon me, during my absence, all the balm 
of his kind disposition and christian charity;  it matters little to me 
now, for is it not evident to any man of good feeling and sound 
judgment, who may have had the patience to read the last long Jeremiad 
of Mr. S. F. B. Morse, (don't mistake,) that in his pretended exposure 
of me, he has, in fact, only succeeded in exposing himself, and no one 
else?  Is it not evident that in writing specially the last paragraph 
of his diatribe, he has let fall, at length, at his feet, the miserable 
corner of the mask which still remained, covering a part of his face?  
Who would ever recognize, in the writer of that letter, that man of 
honied aspect, of such affectionate grasping of the hand, of such open 
and heavenly smiles, of such sweet and mysterious voice, etc., etc.,?  
Let Mr. S. F. B. Morse (don't mistake) go on, say I, while he 
calumniates me, to try to persuade the public that he is a great friend 
to the heart of a great man on whom the world has its eyes now fixed.  
This matters not to me;  this will only be, after all, one more in his 
long list of self-illusions.--Indeed, after having invented the 
Electric Telegraph, after having originated the brilliant conception of 
the picture representing the Hall of the House of Representatives, and 
the design, even more brilliant still, of the landing of the Puritan 
Fathers in New England, so well known at West Point and elsewhere--
after having, I say, originated all these, and a thousand other things 
not yet given to the world, what does Mr. S. F. B. Morse (don't 
mistake) do, but claim to have improved upon the Daguerreotype?  And 
why?  Why!  because he has made an essay with a meniscus!  Does he not 
recollect that I have shown to 3000 persons, at New York, two essays 
made in the same manner, five months since, in Paris?  But what will 
not Mr. S. F. B. Morse (don't mistake) discover?  What will he not 
improve?  Here he comes, after having invented, among other things, 
even the Daguerreotype itself, (see some papers of August or September 
last,) having just discovered that he is an intimate friend of the 
greatest artist upon earth, after himself, be it understood!  and that 
I am only an ASSOCIATE in business of M. Daguerre!!  In what planet has 
Mr. Morse discovered this?  Is it in that which contains the vials of 
Astolpho, (vide l'Orlando Furioso,) when, in a dream, he went there to 
seek for his demijun?  Who ever heard me say that I was a partner of M. 
Daguerre?  I pronounce him a shameless impostor who dares to report 
against me so revolting a calumny.  No!  I have never said to any one 
alive that I was an associate in business with M. Daguerre.  M. 
Daguerre has never been engaged in any trade, least of all with the 
regard to the Daguerreotype;  still less has he ever attempted, by 
tricks of legerdemain to appropriate to himself the fruits of the 
genius of his fellow citizens;  never has he covered his face with the 
mask of hypocrisy;  never has vanity, wrapped in the cloak of 
ignorance, become his idol;  never has he abased himself to calumniate 
an honest man, with the low feeling of revenge.  Yes, I have said and 
published that I was the duly accredited agent of Messrs. Giroux & Co. 
for all that related to the Daguerreotype in the New World;  and Mr. S. 
F. B. Morse (don't mistake) himself has read over and over again, my 
official appointment, in all the papers of Paris of the 10th of 
November last, and where every one may see it again, himself, if he 
wishes.--I have said and published that, by a regular agreement between 
them, not a single apparatus came from the house of Messrs. Giroux & 
Co., the perfection of which was not guaranteed by the signature of M. 
Daguerre;--and this is a fact well known throughout France, which does 
not in any degree compromise Mr. Daguerre's character of artist--this 
is then the whole amount of the pretended partnership of which the 
chivalrous Mr. S. F. B. Morse (don't mistake) mounts his war-horse, 
with which to charge me?  At all events, to what would have amounted 
the profits of this partnership, so invented by the fertile genius of 
this celebrated inventor?  would it have been the NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS 
of my own money that I have LOST in introducing the Daguerreotype at 
New York?  or to something better than the injurious abuses and 
scurrilities of Mr. S. F. B. Morse (don't mistake)?--yes, finally, I 
have said and published that I was the pupil of M. Daguerre!  I am 
proud to repeat it now, and still prouder to sign myself so;  and it 
will never be the calumnious insinuations of Mr. S. F. B. Morse (don't 
mistake) that it will be able to blacken my reputation in the eyes of 
any man of intelligence and proper feeling who shall have appreciated 
the infernal spirit that dictated the last paragraph of his letter;  
yes, infernal, this is the only proper word!  for, would you know, you 
who have read these lines, with what design Mr. S. F. B. Morse (don't 
mistake)  distilled them so against me?--With the design--ONLY 
(observe, I pray, the christian generosity of this worthy, gentlemanly, 
pious, charitable feeling) with the design of exciting against me the 
exquisite susceptibility, and the well known delicacy of Mr. Daguerre, 
who can say if, long ago, some generously circulated private 
communication of this kind has not been made already to Mr. Daguerre, 
in order to get some reply to be treacherously given to publicity, as 
an arm against me?--time only will answer that question.  In the 
meantime let Mr. S. F. B. Morse (don't mistake) continue to sing forth 
against me the beautiful couplets of his charitable vein.  If ever the 
poetry of his language and sentiments should reach the ear of the 
modest inventor of the Daguerreotype, "the consequence of whose 
discovery has been a meed of admiration that seldom falls to the lot of 
a living DISCOVERER, (don't mistake), his conscience and his 
gentlemanly taste, will know how to do justice to those sentiments, 
which have excited against me so Tartuffe-like an anger, and hatred on 
the part of the great Discoverer of the electric Telegraph, &c. &c. 
&c.!!!  Let Mr. S. F. B. Morse (don't mistake,) continue to shower upon 
me the gros abuse of his gentlemanly Dictionary;  let him continue to 
distill against me, privately or publicly, the gall of his bitterness, 
the bile of his wrath--the public will perhaps know, one of these days, 
should it become necessary, the whole history of the causes which have 
excited against me in so implacable manner, the jealousy, hatred and 
anger of Mr. S. F. B. Morse (don't mistake,) in the meantime I will 
fulfill my mission, without fear that posterity or my contemporaries, 
shall stamp on my forehead the title of scientific pirate, literary 
wrangler, or visionery artist;  and if the kind reception which I have 
met from a people as generous as enlightened, among whom I have the 
happiness of now finding myself, should not prove sufficient to make me 
forget the annoyances, the ingratitude and the outrages, with which I 
have been overwhelmed at New York by some miserable charlatans, at 
least it will be ample recompense to me of which the recollection, 
always dear to my heart, will never be effaced.
                               I remain, gentlemen,
                                    your most obedient servant,
                                         FRANCIS GOURAUD,
                                              Pupil of Daguerre.

* * * * *

All previous notices of both Morse and Gouraud appeared on the second 
page of the paper.  Just to make sure that readers didn't miss 
anything, the following notice was inserted in the second page:

   Mr. Gouraud's reply to Professor Morse is on the first page.

(I cannot guarantee the spelling accuracy of the Latin quote at the 
beginning of Gouraud's letter.  The microfilm copy from which I worked 
wasn't very clear!  --G. W. E.)
Posted for your enjoyment.     Gary W. Ewer

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