manuscripts, correspondence, and collection of valuable books, some manuscripts belonging to friends, of great value to them, are gone.
Our loss, so far as money can replace it, is about $18,000, of which $10,000 was covered by insurance.
The loss of property which insurance would not cover, we feel more keenly.
If our mail-books come out whole from our Salamander safe, now buried among the burning ruins, we shall be gratefully content.
It is usual on such occasions to ask, “Why were you not fully insured?
” It was impossible, from the nature of our business, that we should be so; and no man could have imagined that such an establishment, in which men were constantly at work night and day, could be wholly consumed by fire.
There has not been another night, since the building was put up, when it could have been burned down, even if deliberately fired for that purpose.
But when this fire broke out, under a strong gale and snow-storm of twenty-four hours continuance, which bad rendered the streets impassable, it was well-nigh impossible to drag an engine at all. Some of them could not be got out of their houses; others were dragged a few rods and then given up of necessity; and those which reached the fire found the nearest hydrant frozen up, and only to be opened with an axe. Meantime, the whole building was in a blaze.
The mail books were saved in the “ roasted Herring
The proprietors of the morning papers, even those most inimical, editorially, to the Tribune, placed their superfluous materials at its disposal.
An office was hired temporarily.
Type was borrowed and bought.
All hands worked “with a will.”
The paper appeared the next morning at the usual hour, and the number was one of the best of that volume.
In three months, the office was rebuilt on improved plans, and provided with every facility then known for the issue of a daily paper.
These were Mr. Greeley
's “ Reflections over the Fire,” published a few days after its occurrence:
We have been called, editorially, to scissor out a great many fires, both small and great, and have done so with cool philosophy, not reflecting how much to some one man the little paragraph would most assuredly mean.
The late complete and summary burning up of our office, licked up clean as it was by the red flames, in a few hours, has taught us a lesson on this head.
Aside from all pecuniary loss, how great is the suffering produced by a fire!
A hundred little articles of no use to any one save the owner, things that people would look at day after day, and see nothing in, that we ourselves have contemplated with cool indifference, now that they are irrevocably destroyed, come up in the shape of reminiscences, and seem as if they had been worth their weight in gold.