On May 24, 1844, before members of Congress, Samuel Morse officially opened the first telegraph line and sent the first ever telegraph message. Morse, an accomplished painter, had learned of the idea for the telegraph in 1832, and for years all that crossed his mind was coming up with a working telegraphy instrument. In addition, he also set about coming up with a set of signals that could represent words in a telegraph device; an idea that would eventually evolve into the famed Morse code. Intrigued by the positive possibilities that would result from being able to communicate very quickly using the telegraph, Congress ordered the first machine to be set up inside the capital with a direct line going to the city of Baltimore. With many members of congress watching, Morse sent the first telegraph message using his Morse code. The message was inspired by a bible verse and was suggested to him by his daughter. It read, “What hath God Wrought?” It was a very fitting first message for a device which was about to take the United States by storm and have a profound effect on American life. Within ten years, 20,000 miles of telegraph wire stretched across the nation, boosting business conducted across the great expanse of American territory, and allowing for a much more coordinated military strategy during the coming Civil War.