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BIOGRAPHY

maternal grandfather resided. He was early

distinguished for his recitations and for the OF

skill which he displayed in the spelling exerHORACE GRE ELEY, cises. He was a gentle and timorous child, but

it was observed that ghost stories never

frightened him. HORACE GREELEY, the founder of the New In his seventh year even the limited success York TRIBUNE, was born at Amherst, Hills- which had attended his father's farming ceased, borough Co., New Hampshire, on the 3d of and ruin could be no longer postponed by unFebruary, 1811. He was the son of Zaccheus flinching hard work. When the child was ten and Mary (Woodburn) Greeley, and his father the ruin was consummated, and his father was was a plain, hardworking farmer, struggling to an exile and fugitive from his native State. He pay for land which he had bought at a high price, began the hard business of life again in the and Mr. Greeley's earliest years were passed in town of Westhaven, Rutland Co., Vt., where he such farm labor as a mere boy was equal tom was employed by a country gentleman of large in riding horse to plow, in picking stones, and estate. In 1826, young Greeley entered the in watching the charcoal pits. He himself office of The Northern Spectator, at East states in his “ Recollections" that he was "a Poultney, Vt., as an apprentice to the art of feeble, sickly child, often under medical treat- printing. He was now at the college of which he ment, and unable to watch, through a closed was destined to be one of the most distinguished window, the calling of rain, without incurring graduates. It need not be said that he went an instant and violent attack of illness." His on acquiring, for it was nature with him to acmother had lost her two former children just quire. He had a plenty of newspapers to pore before his own birth, which led her to regard over, and a tolerable store of books. He joined him with more than common tenderness and the village Lyceum, which was also a Debating anxiety. From the first he manifested signs of Society, of which he was the real giant.” His extraordinary intelligence. These his mother, parents were away upon a new farm in Pennwho was a woman of uncommon intelligence and sylvania, but twice he visited them, walking a information, marked with affectionate interest. great part of the distance of 600 miles, and acShe was a great reader, and she naturally impart- complishing the rest on a slow canal boat. At ed to her child the same love of books which she this early period he was already a teetotaler, herself entertained. Mr. Greeley says that the and though the apprentice boarded at a tavern stories which she told him awakened in him "a where the drinking was constant, he continued thirst for knowledge and a lively interest in read a rigorous abstinent. His fund of informasion ing and writing.” He could read before he could was such that he came to be regarded as a sort talk--that is before he could pronounce the of walking encyclopedia, and to him the disputes longer words. When he was but two years old of the villagers were referred. As a printer he the Bible was his favorite book. The news was reckoned the best workman in the office. paper, which was given to him as a plaything, But the newspaper made no money, and when be examined with curiosity; inquiring first Horace was in his 20th year its publication was about the pictures, then the capital letters, discontinued. He immediately looked out for then the smaller ones. At three years of age, work elsewhere, after he had written his parents he read correctly any book prepared for in Pennsylvania, and he obtained employment children, and at four any book whatever. He as a journeyman in Jamestown and Lodi in himself draws a pretty picture of his learning New York, and Erie, Pa. to read at his mother's knee. “I can," he says, It was in August, 1881, that he came to the "faintly recollect her sitting at her little wheel city of New York, poor in everything except with her book in her lap whence I was taking good principles and indomitable energy. He my daily lessons; and thus I soon acquired the found employment first as a compositor, facility of reading from a book sidewise or up- after much difficulty. Subsequently in coside down as readily as in the usual fashion-a partnership with a Mr. Story he started the knack which I did not suppose at first peculiar, Morning Post, the first penny daily ever but which, being at length observed, became a printed in the world, and which soon glided subject of ne:ghborhood wonder and fabulous into bankruptcy. The printing office continued, exaggeration.” It has been stated that so soon obtaining some job work, and the concern was as he could form any resolution, he determined becoming comparatively prosperous when Story to be a printer. In his third winter he attended was drowned. Mr. Winchester came in, and the district school of Londonderry, where his | The New Yorker was started. This was a

1

literary newspaper which, though its publica- gave me any trouble, and scarcely required of tion was not long continued, won so excellent a me a thought, during that long era of all but reputation that any particular account of it is unclouded prosperity." here unnecessary. In Mr. Greeley's auto- of the subsequent career of The TRIBUNE biography he gives a touching account of the newspaper, it is hardly necessary that we difficulties which he encountered in this enter- should speak to the readers of THE TRIBUNB ALprise. The newspaper did a fairly good busi- MANAC. Not more in what he wrote for it, than ness, but it was not proîtable to the propri- in what others wrote for it, it bears the impress etors, and the publication was stopped in 1841. of his vigorous intellect and unswerving integAll this iime Mr. Greeley was eking out his rity; of his unceasing observation of public slender inc by other labors. Ile supplied affairs, and of indomitable industry. It was leading articles to The Daily Whig, and had a Wlig newspaper, but it was never blindly and previously, in 1833, edited The Jeffersonian, a indiscriminately the newspaper of any party. political weekly campaign paper, published It was always the advocate of a liberal protecin Albany and New York. Everybody will tion to American industry, but its editor conremember The Log Cabin, the great Whig stantly admonished the American workman campaign newspaper, which Mr. Greeley edited that by assiduity and intelligence he must proin the stormy contests of 1840. The weekly tect himself. It boldly discussed social quesissues of The Log Cabin ran up to 80,000, tions; it followed Fourier in bis ideas of assoand with ample facilities for printing and ciated labor, without indorsing the errors of his mailing might have been increased to 100,000. social doctrine; itexposed the corruptions of New Mr. Greeley afterwards said that, with the York politics, and when the leaders of the party machinery of distribution now existing, the threatened its destruction, it simply defied circulation might have been swelled to a them, and went on with its valiant work; quarter of a million.

it fought for independence of criticism, and for On the 10th day of April, 1841, the first the right to publish the news, in the libel suit number of the New YORK TRIBUNE was issued, which Mr. Cooper brought against it; it introIt was a small sheet, retailed for a cent, Whig duced a better style of literary work than was in its politics, but, to use Mr. Greeley's words, common in newspapers at that time, and em

a journal removed alike from servile partisan- ployed the best writers who were to be obtained. ship on the one hand and from gagged and it was not too busy with home affairs to forget mincing neutrality on the other." The editor the wrongs of Ireland; and it always rebuked went gallantly to his work. Ile mas thirty without mercy tbe spirit of caste which would years old, in full health and vigor and worth reduce persons of African descent to social about $2,000, half of it in printing material. degradation. Always, whatever it discussed, Mr. Greeley was his own editor. Mr. IIenry J. THE TRIBUNE, when Mr. Greeley had hardly Raymond, afterwards so celebrated in journal- anybody to help him in its management and ism, but then a lad fresh from college, was his conduct, was wide-awake, vigorous and enterfirst assistant, a post which he continued to taining. It never forgot those who were strug. hold for nearly eight years. Mr. George M. gling for liberty in other lands, whether they Snow took charge of the Wall st., or financial were Irish, English, or French, Hungarians, or department, and h-ld it for more than twenty- Poles. It was the newspaper of universal one years. Tas TRIBUNE was started with five humanity. hundred names of subscribers, and of the first In 1848, Mr. Greeley was elected a Member number five thousand were either sold or given of the House of Representatives, and he served away. The current expenses of the first week in that body from December 1, of that year, to were $520; the receipts were $92; but soon the March 4, 1849. His career as a national law. income pretty nearly balanced the outgo. About maker was a short one, but he made himself six months after the commencement of Tae felt. Ile did not at all mince matters in writing TRIBUNE, and when it had reached a self-sustain- to THE TRIRUNE his first impressions of the ing basis, Mr. Thomas McElrath, who had some House. In the very beginning, he brought in a capital, took charge of the business, leaving Mr. bill to discourage speculation in public lands, Greeley free to attend tothe editorial department, and establish homesteads upon the same. The and the famous firm of Greeley & McElrath was abuses of mileage he kept no terms with, Memestablished. In Mr. Greeley's autobiography bers did not relish the exposure of their dishe pays a warm tribute to the business abilities honesty, but all their talking did not in the of his partner, "He was,” says Mr. Greeley, least disturb Mr. Greeley's equanimity. He

80 safe and judicious that the business never opposed appropriations for furnishing members

with libraries at the public expense. No mem course which at that dangerous and difficult ber was ever more faithful to his duties, and no moment he thought it the most prudent and one ever received smaller reward.

advisable to pursue.

He took the ground In 1851, Mr. Greeley visited Europe, and in that is it could be shown, upon a fair vote, London acted as one of the jurors of the Great that a majority of the citizens of the seceding Exbibition. He also appeared before the Par States really desired such secession, then the liamentary Committee having under considera- remaining States should acquiesce in the ruption the newspaper taxes, and gave important ture. "We disclaim," he said, "a union of and useful information respecting ihe newspaper force-a union held together by bayonets; let press cf America. His letters written during us be fairly heard; and, if your people decide his absence to que: TRIBUNE are among the most that they choose to break away from us, te wiil interesting productions of his pen. In 1855, interpose no obstacle to their peaceful with. Mr. Greeley again visited Europe for the pur- drawal from the Union." This doctrine, nakedposc mainly of attending the French Exhibition. ly stated, exposed those who propounded it to In 1856, he spent much of the winter in Wash- no little misapprehe: sion, and consequent obington, commenting for Tuc TRIBUNE upon the loquy. Mr. Greeley always thought to the end proceedings of Congress, and it was at this time of his life, that if a fair vote could be taken, it that he was brutally assaulted by Mr. Rust, a would be found that the Souih was not for secesMember of Congress from Arkansas. In 1856, sion, and that all the efforts of the disunionists THE TRIBUNE was indicted in Virginia—at least had alienated but a minority of the Southern a man was indicted for getting up a club to States or people from the Federal Union. He promote its circulation, and Mr. Greeley was in- even insisted that it was because of his cerdicted with him. It was of little use that the tainty that a majority of the Southern people tone in which The TRIBUNE discussed slavery was were not in favor of secession, that he urged moderate; its crime was that it discussed the the popular vote; and that the vote, whersubject at all. The absurdity was in supposing ever fairly taken, fully confirmed that view. He that such a topic could be kept out of the news- believed that the traitorous leaders had precippapers,

itated action because they feared that delay In 1859, Mr. Greeley journeyed across the would be fatal to their schemes. When hostilities plains to California. In Utah, he had bis well- had actually commenced, he thought that the known interview with Brigham Young, by which Government showed irresciution and delay. The he was more decidedly not convinced of the result was "weary months of halting, timid, beauties of polygamy. At Sacramento and San nerveless, yet costly warfare," while the rebelFrancisco he had a cordial public reception. lion might have been stamped out ere the close

The National Convention of the Republican of 1861. In 1864, Mr. Greeley was engaged in party met in Chicago in May, 1860, for the pur- another attempt at accommodation. In consepose of nominating a candidate for the Presi- quence of overtures made by Clement C. Clay, dency. Mr. Greeley attended the convention of Alabama, James P. Ilolcombe, of Virginia, and as a delegate for Oregon, by request of the George N. Sanders, a plan of adjustment was Republicans of that State. The crisis was an submitted by Mr. Greeley to President Lincoln. important one, and the opinions of members in This proposed the restoration and perpetuity of regard to the Presidential nomination were the Union; the abolition of slavery; amnesty various. The choice of Mr. Greeley was Edward for all political offences; the payment of Bates, of St. Louis. “I believed,” says Mr. $400,010,000 five per cent. United States stock Greeley, in his autobiograp!ıy, “that he could to the late slave States, to be apportioned, pro poll votes in every slave State, and if elected, rata, according to their slave population; reprally all that was left of the Whig party, resentation in the House on the basis of their therein to resist secession and rebellion. If not total population; and a national convention to the only Republican whose clection would not ratify the adjustment. Mr. Greeley believed a suffice as a pretext for civil war, he seemed to just peace to be attainable. He thought that me that one most likely to repress the threat even the ofer of these terms, though they should ened insurrection, or, at the most, to crush it." be rejected, would be of immense advantage to The convention having nominated Mr. Lincoln, the national cause, and might even prevent a with Mr. Hamlin for Vice-President, Mr. Northern insurrection. The negotiations, it is Greeley cheerfully a quiesced. The election & matter of history, utterly failed, but it would of Mr. Lincoln, followed by a secession of be difficult to show that they did any injury to several of the slave States, brought on the the cause of the Union. In connection with the rebellion. Mr. Greeley has left on record the Richmond negotiation, which wës simultaneous,

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