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Horace Greeley

Founder of the New York Tribune,
He was a Powerful Moral Influence

Horace Greeley was perhaps the most influential newspaper editor of his time. Few will agree with all of the reforms he advocated. He was an unrelenting foe of slavery, liquor, tobacco, prostitution, gambling, capital punishment, and women's suffrage. ■ His clarity of thought and the fervor of his convictions combined to produce some of the finest editorials in American journalism. ■ Horace Greeley was born February 3, 1811, near Amherst, New Hampshire. He was the eldest of five children of a poor farmer. His great-grandfather was Zaccheus Greeley, an Ulster Scot who emigrated to New Hampshire in 1640. Horace had strong Calvinistic convictions that showed throughout his life in Puritanism, patriotism, and humanitarianism. ■ He worked as a printer before going to New York. After working there on political papers, he started his own. His New York Herald was dedicated to reform, progress, and the elevation of the masses. He was appalled by the destruction of the Civil War and called for negotiation to end it if necessary. He had little confidence in President Lincoln, and his readers lost confidence in him when he signed the bail bond for Jefferson Davis, Confederate president. ■ Greeley was a strange mixture of liberal and conservative and in the 1840s spent time and money in efforts to establish Utopian Socialist communities, yet he scorned socio-economic reformers like Robert Owen. He broke with the Republican party and ran for President of the U.S. with the support of Democrats and liberal Republicans. Harassed by merciless political attacks, exhausted by the campaign, and worried about financial problems and debts, he sank into deep depression and died in New York on November 29, 1872.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
Scottish-American History Club
2800 Des Plaines Avenue
North Riverside, IL 60546