December 7, 2011

"Go west young man" -Horace Greeley

I came across this historical marker while I was out and about this morning...

Horace Greeley (February 3, 1811 – November 29, 1872) born in Amherst, New Hampshire; was an american newspaper editor, a founder of the Liberal Republican Party, a reformer, a politician, and an outspoken opponent of slavery. He is currently the only presidential candidate to have died prior to the counting of electoral votes.

The son of poor farmers, he left school at age 14 after declining a scholarship to the Phillips Exeter Academy. After serving as a printer's apprentice to the editor of the Northern Spectator, a newspaper in East Poultney, Vermont, and working as a printer on the Erie Gazette in Pennsylvania, he went to New York City to seek his fortune as an editor. Three years later, having worked as a printer for the Evening Post and several other newspapers, he had accumulated enough capital to launch the New York Tribune.

Horace Greeley was a champion of the working man. In a July 13, 1865 editorial, he famously advised "Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country." He attacked monopolies of all sorts, supported vegetarianism, opposed liquor, and opposed slavery.  He was an excellent judge of newsworthiness and quality of reporting.

Opposing Grant's re-election bid, he joined the Liberal Republican Party and the new party nominated Greeley as their presidential candidate. He was then officially endorsed by the Democrats, although he had denounced the party for decades. Unfortunately Greeley was a weak campaigner. Not long after the election, Greeley's wife died. He is said to have descended into madness and then died before the electoral votes could be cast. He is buried in New York's Green-Wood Cemetary. The Greeley House in New York, now houses a Historical Society.


TexWisGirl said...

interesting piece of history! what a risk-taker (to give up a scholarship to pursue a newspaper dream!)

Genie said...

Ruta....What an interesting post. I love the green marker sign. It was fascinating reading about his life. He was quite a gentleman for his time. Sad about his death. Such a great post. genie