In a post below I talked about how the simplicity of telegrams could hide the complexity of the issues that they were referring to.

penang picture

Today I found a telegram that the American consul general in Singapore, E. Spencer Pratt, sent to the US secretary of state in 1899.

The telegraph consisted of just two words, but in many ways those two words conveyed all that needed to be said.

penang telegram

“Plague [in] Penang.”