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Greeley, Horace

Horace Greeley, Brady image, detail

Horace Greeley did far more than advice adolescent men to go west: he was the leader of the New York Tribune; an early founder of the Republican Party; an abolitionist, farmer, and presidential hopeful. Born on February 3, 1811 to struggling New Hampshire farmers, Horace was formally educated until age 14, and, in 1826, began his life-long career in journalism as an apprentice to printer Amos Bliss. With the founding of the New-Yorker in the early 1830s, Greeley came on the scene in both the literary and political fields, as he became involved with powerful New York Whig leaders. A decade later, in 1841, Greeley burst onto the national scene with the start of the Whig newspaper the New York Tribune. In line with many Northern Whigs of the time, he used his First Amendment freedom of the press to fight many “social ills” of the time, such as gender inequality, alcoholism, and, most importantly, the sin of slavery. Using these ethical mores as a base, coupled with such political convictions as the opposition to the Mexican War and condemnation of the Dred Scott Case, Greeley became deeply involved with the founding of the Republican Party in the early 1850s. With such influences in the Republican Party, Greeley advised President Lincoln during the Civil War, and tried to push his agenda concerning abolition upon the president. During Reconstruction and later years, Greeley tried his hand at farming, made a run for the presidency, and died after “a busy life,” in 1872. (By David Gillespie)

Life span: 
02/03/1811 to 11/29/1872


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