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astrous, and the end came in the summer of 1820, when the home farm was seized by the sheriff at the instance of several creditors, the father took his departure to escape arrest for debt, and the farm and crops, when sold, left nothing for the wife and children. When night fell, wrote the son in later years, we were as bankrupt a family as well could be. Horace then had a brother, eight years old, and two sisters of six and four years; another sister was born in 1822. In the following January the Greeleys, with their effects packed in a two-horse sleigh, joined the father in Westhaven, Vt., where he had hired a house at a rental of $16 a year. There for two years the elder Greeley worked by the day at such jobs as he could secure, the largest of these being the clearing of a fifty-acre tract of land. The two boys attended school in the winter months, but assisted their father in his laborious tasks the rest of the time. Cutting down trees was not the work for which boys of e
t lost its character as a summer resort; and, five years later, the New Yorker, in an article setting forth the growth of the city, said, Her streets, lacking more direct appliances, have been sun-dried and rain-washed till they are passably, if hardly, respectable. This was the city on one of whose wharves an Albany boat landed Horace Greeley one summer morning. His equipment for a struggle for a living among entire strangers he has thus described: I was twenty years old the preceding February; tall, slender, pale, and plain; with ten dollars in my pocket, summer clothing worth perhaps as much more, nearly all on my back, and a decent knowledge of so much of the art of printing as a boy will usually learn in the office of a country newspaper. The Greeleys, for generations back, had not known affluence. Of Scotch-Irish stock, some of them had emigrated to America as early as 1640, and had fought the fight for a living as farmers or as blacksmiths. Horace's father Zaccheus was
for a living among entire strangers he has thus described: I was twenty years old the preceding February; tall, slender, pale, and plain; with ten dollars in my pocket, summer clothing worth perhaps as much more, nearly all on my back, and a decent knowledge of so much of the art of printing as a boy will usually learn in the office of a country newspaper. The Greeleys, for generations back, had not known affluence. Of Scotch-Irish stock, some of them had emigrated to America as early as 1640, and had fought the fight for a living as farmers or as blacksmiths. Horace's father Zaccheus was a farmer, and the future journalist was born on his farm of fifty acres five miles from Amherst, N. H., on February 3, 1811. With the best of management it would have been difficult to obtain from such a farm more than a living for the owner's family. The Greeleys did work hard, the mother sharing with her husband such labor as raking and loading hay, besides doing housework and carding and sp
February 3rd, 1811 AD (search for this): chapter 2
rly all on my back, and a decent knowledge of so much of the art of printing as a boy will usually learn in the office of a country newspaper. The Greeleys, for generations back, had not known affluence. Of Scotch-Irish stock, some of them had emigrated to America as early as 1640, and had fought the fight for a living as farmers or as blacksmiths. Horace's father Zaccheus was a farmer, and the future journalist was born on his farm of fifty acres five miles from Amherst, N. H., on February 3, 1811. With the best of management it would have been difficult to obtain from such a farm more than a living for the owner's family. The Greeleys did work hard, the mother sharing with her husband such labor as raking and loading hay, besides doing housework and carding and spinning, and Horace, when five years old, gave such assistance as riding the horse to plow before going to school for the day, and killing wireworms in the corn. But the father was an easy-going rather than an energet
those days whisky, rum, and cider were served even at the ordination of clergymen in parts of New England, and Zaccheus Greeley was never behind his neighbors in acts of hospitality. He was, his son has testified, a bad manager, and always in debt, and his farm did not enable him to gain on his indebtedness. In the hope of improving matters, he let his own farm to a younger brother and rented a larger one near by. But the brother could not meet his engagements, and the family moved back in 1819. Sickness ensued, a speculation in lumber proved disastrous, and the end came in the summer of 1820, when the home farm was seized by the sheriff at the instance of several creditors, the father took his departure to escape arrest for debt, and the farm and crops, when sold, left nothing for the wife and children. When night fell, wrote the son in later years, we were as bankrupt a family as well could be. Horace then had a brother, eight years old, and two sisters of six and four years; a
gland, and Zaccheus Greeley was never behind his neighbors in acts of hospitality. He was, his son has testified, a bad manager, and always in debt, and his farm did not enable him to gain on his indebtedness. In the hope of improving matters, he let his own farm to a younger brother and rented a larger one near by. But the brother could not meet his engagements, and the family moved back in 1819. Sickness ensued, a speculation in lumber proved disastrous, and the end came in the summer of 1820, when the home farm was seized by the sheriff at the instance of several creditors, the father took his departure to escape arrest for debt, and the farm and crops, when sold, left nothing for the wife and children. When night fell, wrote the son in later years, we were as bankrupt a family as well could be. Horace then had a brother, eight years old, and two sisters of six and four years; another sister was born in 1822. In the following January the Greeleys, with their effects packed i
ulation in lumber proved disastrous, and the end came in the summer of 1820, when the home farm was seized by the sheriff at the instance of several creditors, the father took his departure to escape arrest for debt, and the farm and crops, when sold, left nothing for the wife and children. When night fell, wrote the son in later years, we were as bankrupt a family as well could be. Horace then had a brother, eight years old, and two sisters of six and four years; another sister was born in 1822. In the following January the Greeleys, with their effects packed in a two-horse sleigh, joined the father in Westhaven, Vt., where he had hired a house at a rental of $16 a year. There for two years the elder Greeley worked by the day at such jobs as he could secure, the largest of these being the clearing of a fifty-acre tract of land. The two boys attended school in the winter months, but assisted their father in his laborious tasks the rest of the time. Cutting down trees was not t
January 1st, 1824 AD (search for this): chapter 2
New York-he was a non-user of intoxicants and tobacco. Neither of his parents, he says, was a total abstainer from the use of liquor, and both loved their pipe. But the son was made sick by smoking a half-burned cigar in his grandfather's house when not more than five years old, and from that time he looked on the use of tobacco in any form as if not the most pernicious, certainly the vilest, most detestable abuse of his corrupt sensual appetites whereof depraved man is capable. On January 1, 1824, young Greeley deliberately resolved to drink no more distilled liquors, and he kept this pledge thus made to himself when only thirteen years old, in a community where strong drink was as free as water, and nine years before the American Temperance Society declared for total abstinence. Soon after he went to Poultney he assisted in organizing a temperance society, and, to make sure that his own years would not bar him from membership, he had a resolution adopted that members be recei
ght remuneration of farming and land-clearing, and with a decided literary taste, naturally looked, in those days, to the printer's trade as a congenial occupation. Newspapers Greeley had loved and devoured from the time when he had learned to read, and when he was eleven years old he induced his father to accompany him to a newspaper office in Whitehall, N. Y., where he had heard that there was an opening for an apprentice. But he was rejected as too young for the place. By the spring of 1826 his father had given up the fight for a living in New England, and decided to carry out a project he had long had in mind — a move to Western Pennsylvania. He bought a tract of four acres in Erie County, about three miles from Clymer, N. Y., on which was a log cabin with a leaky roof, in a wilderness, where the woods abounded with wild animals, and the forest growth was so heavy that he and his younger son were a month in clearing an acre. By additional purchases he in time increased his ho
ilroad then landed passengers or freight in the city, no ocean steamers departed from the docks, and there was no telegraphic communication. Thirteenth Street marked the northern boundary of the settled part of Manhattan Island, and although, in 1828, lots from two to six miles distant from the City Hall were valued at from only $60 to $700 each, more than one writer of the day was ready to concede that, owing to advantages of cheaper land on the opposite shores of Long Island and New Jersey, was President, Calhoun Vice-President, and Henry Clay Secretary of State when Greeley went to East Poultney, and public feeling was seething over the charge that there had been a corrupt bargain between Adams and Clay. In the national election of 1828 Calhoun was the candidate for Vice-President on the Jackson (Democratic) ticket, and Adams and Rush headed the National Republican ticket. We Vermonters were all protectionists, wrote Greeley; the Northern Spectator was an Adams paper of the part
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