The leading spirit in this undertaking was Cyrus W. Field and in the library of his house which stood where No. 1 Lexington Avenue now stands was born the project of connecting Europe and America by telegraph, a project which at the time was generally regarded as utterly impracticable. Mr. Field and Mr. Cooper and a small group, including Moses Taylor, Marshall O. Roberts and Wilson G. Hunt, however, had the imagination, the courage and the perseverance which such an enterprise demanded, and after overcoming innumerable difficulties and meeting repeated failures ; once, when the cable was lost in mid-Atlantic, once when it parted after having conveyed the first messages; after eight years of effort, they finally achieved success. The story of the laying of the cable is a thrilling record of foresight, resourcefulness and determination, and as the birthplace of the Atlantic cable Gramercy Park enjoys a unique distinction.
Mr. Cooper was a staunch supporter of all of Mr. Field’s efforts and aided him largely by financial support when a loss seemed more than probable, but with success came profits, and Mr. Cooper is quoted as saying that all the. profits which he derived from the Atlantic Cable were devoted to the foundation of Cooper Instistute. This institution, so named in spite of Mr. Cooper’s modest protest, must be regarded as a great educational achievement, not only on account of its direct results in affording a technical education otherwise unobtainable to thousands of students, but as establishing a type of institution which has led to the foundation of countless others to the inestimable benefit of this country and others; and no man ever left a nobler monument or one which has proved more useful to his fellow men.