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ceding 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 spinning, and Horace, when five years old, gave such assistance as riding the horse to plow
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, newcomers were likely to settle there before the city could count on a larger growth. We get an idea of the rural condition of the city in the announcement that the post-office (in Exchange Place) was open only from 9 A. M. to sunset; that the elegant [dry goods] emporium of Peabody & Co. occupied a frontage of two windows under the American Hotel, at the northwest corner of Broadway and Barclay Street, the residences of Phillip Hone and another prominent citizen being situated in the same block, and that Greenwich Village had not yet 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 passabl
te 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 partizan type, and on election day Poultney gave Adams 334 votes and Jackson only 4. Greeley was also greatly interested in the Antimasonry political movement, sympathizing with the opponents of the secret order, and maintaining his opposition to such organizations throughout his life. Diligent student as he was, Horace was not averse to amusements in those days. In his school and farming life, fishing was his favorite recreation, and in picturing an ideal rest, in his Busy Life, he suggested a party of congenial friends, camped on some coast islet or Adirondac
Henry Clay (search for this): chapter 2
politician when he was not half old enough to vote. His newspaper apprenticeship gave him his first opportunity to share in political discussion, and aid in the work of a campaign. John Quincy Adams 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 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 partizan type, and on election day Poultney gave Adams 334 votes and Jackson only 4. Greeley was also greatly interested in the Antimasonry political movement, sympathizing with the opponents of the secret order, and maintaining his opposition to such organizations throughout his life. Diligent s
Henry J. Raymond (search for this): chapter 2
t of his slender means, as afterward in New York, he always found some surplus to send to the struggling family in the Pennsylvania wilderness. It is interesting here to note that from the town of Poultney, Vt., came George Jones, who gave Henry J. Raymond his chief financial assistance in founding the New York Times, and long survived both Greeley and Raymond as controlling owner of the Times. Horace's experience in East Poultney was of the greatest educational value to him. There he firstRaymond as controlling owner of the Times. Horace's experience in East Poultney was of the greatest educational value to him. There he first had access to a public library. He soon joined a debating club, of which the leading citizens of the town were members, and, without changing his working clothes or attempting oratory, he won a reputation as a cogent reasoner, and a speaker who was always sure of his facts. As there were only two or three workmen employed in the office, he had experience, not only in setting type, but in blistering his hands and laming his back assisting in running off the edition on an old-fashioned hand-pr
Zaccheus Greeley (search for this): chapter 2
amily. 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 energetic man. In 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 f
Shakespeare (search for this): chapter 2
rded escaped him, and they recalled also his interest in the weekly newspaper for which his father subscribed. The first book that Greeley owned was The Columbian Orator, given to him by an uncle when, five years old, he lay sick with the measles. At Westhaven, Vt., the Greeleys lived near the house of the landowner who gave them employment, and he allowed Horace access to his library; and thus, by the time the boy was fourteen years old, he had read the Arabian Nights, Robinson Crusoe, Shakespeare, and some history. During the family's last year's residence in New Hampshire Horace's repute as a student induced a man of means to offer to send the lad, at his own expense, to Phillips Academy at Exeter, and afterward to college. Some men, after going through such struggles as Greeley encountered, would have regretted in later years the loss of this opportunity. Greeley did not. On the contrary, he expressed his thanks that his parents did not let him be indebted to any one of who
George Jones (search for this): chapter 2
a handkerchief, and entered into a verbal agreement to work for the concern until he was twenty-one years old, receiving only his board for the first six months, and after that $40 a year in addition. This compensation was somewhat increased before he left Poultney, and out of his slender means, as afterward in New York, he always found some surplus to send to the struggling family in the Pennsylvania wilderness. It is interesting here to note that from the town of Poultney, Vt., came George Jones, who gave Henry J. Raymond his chief financial assistance in founding the New York Times, and long survived both Greeley and Raymond as controlling owner of the Times. Horace's experience in East Poultney was of the greatest educational value to him. There he first had access to a public library. He soon joined a debating club, of which the leading citizens of the town were members, and, without changing his working clothes or attempting oratory, he won a reputation as a cogent reason
Daniel Webster (search for this): chapter 2
whether the book was held sideways or even upside down. Before he was quite three years old he was sent to the district school from the house of his grandfather, which was nearer it than his home, and this school he attended most of the winter, and some of the summer, months during the next three years. He also attended the district school while they lived in Vermont, as circumstances permitted. The text-books in those days were as primitive as the teaching and the discipline, embracing Webster's Spelling-Book (just introduced), The American Preceptor as a reader, and Bingam's Ladies' Accidence as a grammar. Reviewing his school days, in his Recollections of a Busy Life, Greeley said: I deeply regret that such homely sciences as chemistry, geology, and botany were never taught. Yet I am thankful that algebra had not yet been thrust into our rural common schools, to knot the brains and squander the time of those who should have been learning something of positive and practical ut
John Quincy Adams (search for this): chapter 2
apprenticeship gave him his first opportunity to share in political discussion, and aid in the work of a campaign. John Quincy Adams 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 Adams and Rush headed the National Republican ticket. We Vermonters were all protectionists, wrote Greeley; the Northern Spectator was an Adams paper of the partizan type, and on election day Poultney gave Adams 334 votes and Jackson only 4. Greeley was also greatly interAdams 334 votes and Jackson only 4. Greeley was also greatly interested in the Antimasonry political movement, sympathizing with the opponents of the secret order, and maintaining his opposition to such organizations throughout his life. Diligent student as he was, Horace was not averse to amusements in those d
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