National Geographic : 1896 Mar
THE SUBMARINE CABLES OF THE WORLD as a consequence, the establishment of a number of short sub marine cables in Europe and America followed shortly afterward. In 1854, Mr Cyrus W. Field, whose memory will ever be dear to the hearts of Americans, took up, in company with American and English capitalists, the project to connect Europe and America by a submarine cable, and on August 7, 1857, the lay ing of the first Atlantic cable was begun by the U. S. frigate Niagara, which sailed from Valentia, Ireland, in the direction of Heart's Content, Newfoundland. When about 400 miles had been laid, the cable broke and the steamer returned. In the following year, 1858, the attempt was renewed, H. M. S. Aga memnon, with one portion of the cable, and the U. S. frigate Niagara, with the other portion, meeting in mid-ocean, in about latitude 520 02' north, longitude 330 18' west, to splice the cable there, and then to lay it, one ship sailing eastward and the other westward. In this attempt also the cable broke and the steam ers returned to port, but a sufficient length of cable being left, another attempt was made later in the year and the laying was successfully accomplished over the whole distance. America and Europe were united by telegraphic communication on August 5, and congratulatory messages were exchanged between the two continents. This is what the Queen of England telegraphed to the President of the United States: " The Queen desires to congratulate the President upon the successful completion of this great international work, in which the Queen has taken the deepest interest. The Queen is convinced that the President will join with her in fervently hoping that the electric cable which now connects Great Britian with the United States will prove an additional link between the nations whose friendship is founded upon their common interest and reciprocal esteem. The Queen has much pleasure in com municating with the President, and renewing to him her wishes for the prosperity of the United States." To this President Buchanan replied as follows: " The President cordially reciprocates the congratulations of Her Majesty the Queen on the success of the great international enterprise accom plished by the science, skill, and indomitable energy of the two countries. It is a triumph more glorious, because far more useful to mankind, than was ever won by conqueror on the field of battle. May the Atlantic tele graph, under the blessing of Heaven, prove to be a bond of perpetual peace and friendship between the kindred nations, and an instrument destined by Divine Providence to diffuse religion, civilization, liberty, and law throughout the world. In this view will not all nations of Christendom spontaneously unite in the declaration that it shall be for ever neutral, and that its communications shall be held sacred in passing to their places of destination, even in the midst of hostilities ? "