Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy 200th Birthday Horace Greeley

Horace Greeley:You were a famous journalist in America and also a interesting candidate to run for president against Ulysses S. Grant in the election of 1872, thanks your powerful words like "Go west, young man! happy 200th birthday!

This is a Statue of Horace Greeley in Manhattan on 34th Street in Midtown

Greeley statue in Manhattan to be rededicated in honor of publisher’s 200th birthday

I guess occasionally Chappaqua has to share Horace Greeley with his other home, New York City.

Tomorrow, Greeley’s 200th birthday will be celebrated in New York with the rededication of his statue in Greeley Square. Two of his great great great grandsons will be there. Chappaqua’s Horace Greeley High School will be represented by the Madrigal Choir and drama students. Read the announcement below:



Event to Celebrate Greeley’s 200th Birthday

WHAT: The statue of Horace Greeley in Greeley Square will sport a giant white top hat on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Greeley’s birth. Greeley descendants, including two triple-grandsons and local officials will be present for the re-dedication of the statue and to celebrate the legacy of the 19th century journalist, politician, and activist.


§ Alexander Horace Greeley, 24 and Matthew Horace Greeley, 22, triple great grandsons of Horace Greeley and their families

§ Commissioner Adrian Benepe, New York City Dept. of Parks & Recreation

§ Daniel Biederman, president, 34th Street Partnership

§ Drama students from Horace Greeley High School (Chappaqua, NY) will present “A Tribute to Horace Greeley”

§ Horace Greeley High School Madrigal Choir will sing “Happy Birthday”


WHERE: Greeley Square

W. 32nd St. at Broadway/Sixth Ave.

WHEN: Thursday, February 3

11:00 a.m.


· There are two statues of Greeley in Manhattan: one in Greeley Square and another in City Hall Park.

· His newspaper, the New York Tribune, was known as the “great moral organ,” and served as a platform for his anti-slavery crusade. Greeley and the Tribune also spoke out in opposition to government support of railroads, the massive accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few, monopolies, and land speculators. He was an avid supporter of women’s and workers’ rights.

· He served as a US representative in the 6th Congressional district for a mere three months, and was the Liberal Republican Party’s presidential candidate in 1872. He lost in a landslide to Ulysses S. Grant. (He also is the only presidential candidate to have died prior to the electoral votes being counted).

· He is depicted in the Martin Scorsese film Gangs of New York.

· Places named after him include: Greeley, Pennsylvania; Greeley, Colorado; Greeley, Texas; Greeley County, Kansas (where there is also a city of Horace, and the county seat is Tribune); and Greeley County, Nebraska. Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, New York where his house was, is also named after him.

· He never spent much time with his wife at their home in Chappaqua and stayed in a boarding house while in New York.

· Greeley was noted for his eccentricities. Besides what has been described as high-pitched, squeaky voice, he always wore a full-length coat (even in hot weather), and was never without an umbrella (even when precipitation seemed unlikely). He was also a fad-dieter.

· In 1869, Harper’s Weekly called Horace Greeley “the most perfect Yankee the country has ever produced.”

· He employed Mark Twain and Karl Marx as foreign correspondents.

· Greeley is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn and there is a bust atop his tombstone.


“The darkest hour of any man’s life is when he sits down

to plan how to get money without earning it.”

“The illusion that times were are better than those that

are has probably pervaded all ages.”

“Common sense is very uncommon.”

“The best use of a journal is to print the largest practical amount of important truth: truth which tends to make mankind wiser, and thus happier.”

“Go west, young man, and grow up with the country.” (Disputed by some historians).

Horace Greeley (February 3, 1811 – November 29, 1872) was an American newspaper editor, a founder of the Liberal Republican Party, a reformer, and a politician. His New York Tribune was America's most influential newspaper from the 1840s to the 1870s and "established Greeley's reputation as the greatest editor of his day."

Greeley used it to promote the Whig and Republican parties, as well as opposition to slavery and a host of reforms ranging from vegetarianism to socialism.

Crusading against the corruption of Ulysses S. Grant's Republican administration, he was the new Liberal Republican Party's candidate in the 1872 U.S. presidential election. Despite having the additional support of the Democratic Party, he lost in a landslide. He is currently the only presidential candidate to have died prior to the counting of electoral votes.

Early life:
Greeley was born on February 3, 1811, in Amherst, New Hampshire, the son of poor farmers Zaccheus and Mary Greeley. He declined a scholarship to Phillips Exeter Academy and left school at the age of 14. After serving as a printer's apprentice to Amos Bliss, editor of the Northern Spectator, a newspaper in East Poultney, Vermont, and working as a printer on the Erie Gazette in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1831 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 a weekly literary and news journal, the New Yorker, and, in 1840, a Whig campaign weekly, the Log Cabin.

United States presidential election, 1872

After supporting Ulysses Grant in the 1868 election, Greeley broke from Grant and the Radicals. Opposing Grant's re-election bid, he joined the Liberal Republican Party in 1872. To everyone’s astonishment, that new party nominated Greeley as their presidential candidate. Even more surprisingly, he was officially endorsed by the Democrats, whose party he had denounced for decades.

As a candidate, Greeley argued that the war was over, the Confederacy was destroyed, and slavery was dead–and that Reconstruction was a success, so it was time to pull Federal troops out of the South and let the people there run their own affairs.

A weak campaigner, he was mercilessly ridiculed by the Republicans as a fool, an extremist, a turncoat, and a crank who could not be trusted. The most vicious attacks came in cartoons by Thomas Nast in Harper's Weekly. Greeley ultimately ran far behind Grant, winning only 43% of the vote.

This crushing defeat was not Greeley's only misfortune in 1872. Greeley was among several high-profile investors who were defrauded by Philip Arnold in a famous diamond and gemstone hoax. Meanwhile, as Greeley had been pursuing his political career, Whitelaw Reid, owner of the New York Herald, had gained control of the Tribune.


Not long after the election, Greeley's wife died. He descended into madness and died before the electoral votes could be cast. In his final illness, allegedly Greeley spotted Reid and cried out, "You son of a bitch, you stole my newspaper."

Greeley died at 6:50 p.m. on Friday, November 29, 1872, in Pleasantville, New York at Dr. George C. S. Choate’s private hospital. Greeley would have received 66 electoral votes; they were scattered among others because of his death. However, three of Georgia's electoral votes were left blank in honor of him. (Other sources report Greeley receiving three electoral votes posthumously, with those votes being disallowed by Congress.)

Although Greeley had requested a simple funeral, his daughters ignored his wishes and arranged a grand affair. He is buried in New York's Green-Wood Cemetery.

The Greeley House in Chappaqua, New York, now houses the New Castle Historical Society. The local high school is named for him. Paying homage to the 19th-century paper owned by Greeley, the high school named its newspaper the Greeley Tribune. The Greeley House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

In 1856, he designed and built Rehoboth, one of the first concrete structure in the United States.

Johnson's New Universal Cyclopaedia is dedicated to Greeley. In the Publisher's Announcement in Volume I, A.J. Johnson stated that Horace Greeley suggested the plan for the work and urged its publication, and was a primary advisor. Greeley is listed as an associate editor.

The New York Tribune building was the first home of Pace University. Today, the site where the building stood is now the One Pace Plaza complex of Pace's New York City campus. Dr. Choate’s residence and private hospital, where Horace Greeley died, today is part of Pace's campus in Pleasantville.

Places named after him include:Greeley, Pennsylvania, Greeley, Colorado, Greeley, Texas, Greeley (City), Kansas, Greeley (County), Kansas (where there is also a city of Horace, and the county seat is Tribune), and Greeley County, Nebraska (which also has a town named Horace). Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, New York where his house is also named after him.

Horace Greeley Square is a small park in the Herald Square area of Manhattan featuring a seated statue of Greeley. The park is next to the site of the former New York Herald building. There is a second seated statue of Greeley in Manhattan, this one in City Hall Park downtown.

Mount Horace Greeley is one of the highest points in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan.

Horace Greeley is depicted in the film Gangs of New York in his capacity as publisher of the Tribune.

Horace Greeley

Horace Greeley (February 3, 1811-November 29, 1872), Universalist journalist, reformer, and politician, is best known as the longtime, innovative publisher and editor of the New York Tribune. In 1872 he campaigned unsuccessfully for the United States presidency as the candidate of the Liberal Republicans and Democrats, running against incumbent Republican Ulysses S. Grant.
Horace was born in Amherst, New Hampshire, the third child of Zaccheus Greeley, a farmer and day-laborer, and Mary Woodburn. His family moved often, and he was erratically home-schooled until the age of 14. A voracious reader, he was largely self-educated. Although he had never heard of Universalism, through reflection and Bible-reading, he early adopted a Restorationist theology. "Upon re-reading that book in the light of my new convictions, I found therein abundant proof of their correctness," he later wrote. He saw the scriptures as "so happily blending inexorable punishment for every offense with unfailing pity and ultimate forgiveness for the chastened transgressor."

After serving as a printer's apprentice to Amos Bliss, editor of the Northern Spectator, a newspaper in East Poultney, Vermont, and working as a printer on the Erie Gazette in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1831 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 a weekly literary and news journal, the New Yorker, and, in 1840, a Whig campaign weekly, the Log Cabin.

Greeley was introduced to Universalism, first by reading periodicals, and then by hearing a sermon preached around 1830 in Buffalo, New York. In 1831, soon after coming to New York City, he visited, and quickly joined, Thomas Jefferson Sawyer's Universalist church on Orchard Street. "Horace Greeley was generally present [at weekly Bible class]," Sawyer recalled, "and entered with great interest into the discussions to which our lessons gave rise. He soon distinguished himself by the quickness of his apprehension, the pertinence of his observations and inquiries, and by the general grasp of his mind upon every topic that came before us."

In 1836 Greeley married school teacher Mary Youngs Cheney, with whom he shared a passion for poetry and the vegetarian dietary reforms of Dr. Sylvester Graham. Horace's home life proved comfortless. The Greeleys had seven children, only two of whom, Gabrielle and Ida, lived to adulthood. Mary did not give him the kind of love he had hoped for, had frequent nervous ailments, and neglected the household. Calling their country home outside New York City, "Castle Doleful," he slept most nights in lodgings close to work.

During their early married life the Greeleys often stayed with the Sawyers. Rev. Sawyer's wife Caroline had been a frequent contributor to Greeley's New Yorker and in 1841 in the New Yorker he had just praised her first book as "the gentle teachings of an earnest and holy spirit." Greeley discussed plans for a new daily newspaper, the New York Tribune, at the Sawyers' dinner table. When he handed Caroline the first issue of the paper, he told her, "It shall be a power in the land!"

In 1841 Greeley founded the New York Tribune, which he edited and operated the rest of his life. The New Yorker and the Log Cabin were soon absorbed into the Tribune to become a weekly edition for out-of-town subscribers. Over the next two decades circulation rose to more than a quarter of a million, and the Tribune became the most influential newspaper in the country. To customary news reports, Greeley added editorials and commentary on social and political issues. He hired some of the best newspaper men and a few literary luminaries like Margaret Fuller, George Ripley, and Richard Hildreth.

Margaret Fuller wrote featured literary reviews and commentary on social issues, lived in Greeley's household, 1844-45, and later acted as a European correspondent for the Tribune. He taught her to write rapidly and tersely; she competed with Mary Greeley for the affection of the Greeleys' infant son, Arthur, and lectured Horace on woman's rights. He was at first skeptical about the practicality of gender equality: "so long as she shall consider it dangerous or unbecoming to walk half a mile alone by night—I cannot see how the 'Woman's Rights' theory is ever to be anything more than a logically defensible abstraction." Eventually, in part because of Fuller's influence, his opinion began to shift. In 1850, shortly after Fuller's death, he gave the First National Woman's Rights Convention a moderate endorsement in the Tribune. Although he thought the women who demanded equality were misguided, "However unwise or mistaken the demand, it is but the assertion of a natural right, and as such must be conceded." In 1858 he praised the preaching of feminist Lydia Ann Jenkins in the Orchard Street Universalist pulpit.

In the course of his journalistic career Greeley espoused a wide variety of liberal causes, including the abolition of slavery and capital punishment, communitarianism, socialism, improvement of working conditions, and free-soil homesteading. He was well known as a writer and in demand as a lecturer. One of his assistants, John Russell Young, later wrote, "Greeley labored with the world to better it, to give men moderate wages and wholesome food, and to teach women to earn their living."

Greeley was famous for promoting western development and emigration. Although he may not have originated the slogan, "Go west, young man, go west," often attributed to him, he frequently gave that advice in person and in print. "If any young man is about to commence in the world," he wrote, "with little in his circumstances to prepossess him in favor of one section above another, we say to him publicly and privately, Go to the West; there your capacities are sure to be appreciated and your industry and energy rewarded."

Greeley had first entered the political arena in 1840, promoting the candidacy of William Henry Harrison. He remained a politician for the rest of his life, promoting first Whig and, later, Republican causes. He helped to organize the Republican Party in 1856 and campaigned for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Having developed a "thirst for public office" while serving three months in Congress in 1848-49, he ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 1863, for the House in 1868 and 1870, and the presidency in 1872. Greeley's political and social views reflected his strongly held religious views. His reforms aimed at creating a society in which men and women would be less inclined toward moral transgressions and more inclined toward actions that "shall ultimately result in universal holiness and consequent happiness."

A pacifist who believed in the right of states to secede from the United States, in 1861 Greeley nevertheless came to believe that the South had to be resisted with force. He applied public pressure on Lincoln to immediately emancipate the slaves. In an 1862 editorial addressed to the president, "The Prayer of Twenty Millions," he wrote that he was "sorely disappointed and deeply pained by the policy you seem to be pursuing with regard to the slaves of rebels." Lincoln answered, "If I could save the Union without freeing any slaves, I would do it—if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it—and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that." When Lincoln in 1862 published the Emancipation Proclamation—at a time of his own choosing and not of Greeley's—Greeley rejoiced: "it is the beginning of the new life of the nation."

During the 1863 New York draft riots, an anti-Greeley mob nearly succeeded in storming the Tribune building. When weapons were brought into the building to stave off attack, Greeley exclaimed, "Take 'em away! I don't want to kill anybody!" Discouraged by the progress of the war and conflicted about the use of deadly force, Greeley made several attempts during 1863-64 to bring about peace. Each effort resulted in personal embarrassment when the parties with whom he had been negotiating became known. Throughout the war Greeley alternately castigated and lauded Lincoln, sometimes supported him and at other times undermined his policies. "I do not suppose I have any right to complain," Lincoln remarked. "Uncle Horace agrees with me pretty often after all; I reckon he is with us at least four days out of seven."

When Sawyer left the Orchard Street church in 1845, Greeley found the new minister too rationalistic and dropped away, returning only when Sawyer himself returned in 1852. After Sawyer's second departure in 1861, Greeley remained an active Universalist for the rest of his life. In 1864 he preached a sermon from Edwin H. Chapin's pulpit at the Church of the Divine Paternity in New York. As a delegate to the 1870 General Convention in Gloucester, celebrating the centennial of John Murray's arrival in America, Greeley attempted unsuccessfully to divert funds raised for other purposes to creating a Universalist publishing house.

There were both Transcendentalist and anti-trinitarian elements in Greeley's Universalism. Among his friends were Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Greeley had a Transcendentalist belief that "an Omniscient Beneficence presides over and directs the entire course of human affairs, leading ever onward and upward to universal purity and bliss, and all evil becomes phenomenal and preparative." Illustrative of Greeley's anti-trinitarianism is his assertion in his later years that, along "with the great body of Universalists of our day (who herein differ from the earlier pioneers of our faith), I believe that 'our God is one Lord' . . . and I find the relation between the Father and the Saviour of mankind most clearly and fully set forth in that majestic first chapter of Hebrews, which I cannot see how any Trinitarian can ever intently read, without perceiving that its whole tenor and burden are directly at war with his conception of 'three persons in one God.'" Having recorded his decided belief, he added tolerantly, "I war not upon others' convictions, but rest satisfied with a simple statement of my own."

In 1872 Greeley's life came to a sad and bitter end. During his campaign for the presidency Republicans had ridiculed him for his clothes, shambling gait, and absent-minded manner and portrayed him as a traitor (for his earlier criticisms of President Lincoln), a fool, an ignoramus, and a crank, weak in judgment and nerve. He was pilloried in merciless cartoons by Thomas Nast and others. Grant won the election in a landslide, with Greeley victorious in only six border and Southern states. He described himself as the "worst beaten man who ever ran for high office." While he was campaigning, his colleague at the Tribune, Whitelaw Reid, stripped him of his editorial powers. Just before the election his wife died. The combined effect of these disasters led to a complete physical and mental breakdown. He died soon afterwards.

Greeley's funeral, led by Chapin at the Church of the Divine Paternity on December 4th, was attended by many notables, including the president, vice president, members of the cabinet, the mayor, and three governors. On that occasion, and since that time, Greeley has been remembered as his country's greatest newspaper editor, an outstanding popular educator, and a notable champion of the downtrodden and dispossessed.

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