Horace Greeley

Personal Info
First Name: 
Horace W.
Last Name: 
Greeley
Birthplace: 
Amherst, New Hampshire
Birthdate: 
Sunday, February 3, 1811
Biographical Info
Education & Training: 
I declined a scholarship to Phillips Exeter Academy and left school at the age of 14; I apprenticed as a printer in Poultney, Vermont, at The Northern Star, and moved to New York City in 1831. In 1834 I founded the weekly the New Yorker, which consisted mostly of clippings from other magazines.
Occupation: 
Journalist and Editor, New York Tribune
Family: 
Son of poor farmers Zaccheus and Mary Greeley.
Residence in 1850: 
New York City
Political Info
Political Party: 
Whig
Government Positions: 
Congressman
Basic Position: 
Abolitionist
Opinion on Slavery: 
When the new Republican Party was founded in 1854, I made the Tribune its unofficial national organ, and fought slavery extension and the slave power on many pages. I made the Tribune the leading newspaper opposing the Slave Power, that is, what I considered the conspiracy by slave owners to seize control of the federal government and block the progress of liberty.
Personal Reason for Position: 
My wife was a suffragette, Mary Cheney Greeley, so my preference for emancipatory positions was close to home. I prided myself in taking radical positions on all sorts of social issues, so my position on slavery would need to be radical as well. I supported liberal policies towards settlers, a further reinforcement of a value on freedom. I was also against corporate power (monopolies) but pro-industry, so I am against rich slave-owners who lived off the labor of others and I took a conservative, if not reactionary, view of progress.
What Should Be Done About Slavery: 
In the secession crisis of 1861 I took a hard line against the Confederacy. Theoretically, I agreed, the South could declare independence; but in reality I said there was "a violent, unscrupulous, desperate minority, who have conspired to clutch power"—secession was an illegitimate conspiracy that had to be crushed by federal power. I took a Radical Republican position during the war, in opposition to Lincoln’s moderation. In the summer of 1862, I wrote a famous editorial entitled "The Prayer of Twenty Millions" demanding a more aggressive attack on the Confederacy and faster emancipation of the slaves. One month later I hailed Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
Quote About Slavery: 
“It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom.”