, on his return from Europe
, renewed the agitation of his subject.
The Tribune of August 19th, 1846, contained a letter by him, addressed to the editors of the Courier and Enquirer, proposing several questions, to which answers were requested, respecting Social Reform.
The Courier replied.
The Tribune rejoined editorially, and was answered in turn by the Courier
addressed a second letter to the Courier
, and sent it direct to the editor of that paper in manuscript.
The Courier agreed to publish it, if the Tribune would give place to its reply.
The Tribune declined doing so, but challenged the editor of the Courier
to a public discussion of the whole subject.
‘Though we cannot now,’ wrote Mr. Greeley
, ‘open our columns to a set discussion by others of social questions (which may or may not refer mainly to points deemed relevant by us), we readily close with the spirit
of the Courier
's proposition. * * As soon as the State
election is fairly over—say Nov. 10th—we will publish an entire article, filling a column of the Tribune, very nearly, in favor of Association as we understand it; and, upon the Courier
copying this and replying, we will give place to its reply, and respond; and so on, till each party shall have published twelve articles on its own side, and twelve on the other, which shall fulfil the terms of this agreement.
All the twelve articles of each party shall be published without abridgment or variation in the Daily, Weekly, and Semi-weekly editions of both papers.
Afterward each party will, of course, be at liberty to comment at pleasure in his own columns.
In order that neither paper shall be crowded with this discussion, one article per week, only, on either side, shall be published, unless the Courier
shall prefer greater dispatch.
Is not this a fair proposition?
What says the Courier
It has, of course, the advantage of the defensive position and of the last word.’
The Courier said, after much toying and dallying, and a preliminary skirmish of paragraphs, come on!
and, on the 20th of November, the Tribune came on. The debate lasted six months. It was conducted on both sides with spirit and ability, and it attracted much attention.
The twenty-four articles, of which it consisted, were afterwards published by the Harpers in a pamphlet of eighty-three closely-printed, double-columned pages, which had a considerable sale, and has long been out of print.
On one side