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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
in New York city The country lad who went to New York city in the summer of 1831 to seek his fortune, arrived in what would now be called a good-sized town. The population of Manhattan Island (below the Harlem River) was only 202,589 in 1830, as compared with the 1,850,093 shown by the census of 1900; the total population of the district now embraced in Greater New York was then only 242,278, while in 1900 it was 3,437,202. The total assessed valuation of the city, real and personal, in 1833, was only $166,491,542; in 1900 it was, for the Borough of Manhattan, $2,853,363,382. No railroad 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 th
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
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
Chapter 1: his early years and first employment as a compositor New York city in 1831 Parentage and farm life his schooling opinions of a college education apprenticeship in Vermont appearance and dress views of country journalism amusements a nonuser of tobacco and liquor arrival in New York city The country lad who went to New York city in the summer of 1831 to seek his fortune, arrived in what would now be called a good-sized town. The population of Manhattan Island (below the Harlem River) was only 202,589 in 1830, as compared with the 1,850,093 shown by the census of 1900; the total population of the district now embraced in Greater New York was then only 242,278, while in 1900 it was 3,437,202. The total assessed valuation of the city, real and personal, in 1833, was only $166,491,542; in 1900 it was, for the Borough of Manhattan, $2,853,363,382. No railroad then landed passengers or freight in the city, no ocean steamers departed from the docks, and ther
ceedings and other matters demonstrated his skill as a reporter, and his close supervision of all the columns of the Tribune was made plain in the correspondence with his managing editor, Charles A. Dana, published after his death. He always felt a responsibility for the kind of journal that he gave to his subscribers. I think that newspaper reading is worth all the schools in the country, he told a committee of the House of Commons, of which Cobden was a member, when invited, in London in 1851, to give his views on taxes on knowledge, and he was too honest to offer his readers anything less than the best that he could supply. Some advice to a country editor, written by him in 1860, could hardly be improved upon. His first principle laid down was that the subject of deepest interest to an average human being is himself; next to that, he is most concerned about his neighbor. He therefore told his correspondent that, if he would make up at least half his paper of local news, secure
ad, 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 whom he had not a right to expect such a favor, and he was ever hostile to the education furnished by the colleges of the day. To a young man who wrote to him in 1852 for his advice about going to college, Greeley replied, I think you might better be learning to fiddle, and in his Busy Life (1868) he said he would reply to the question, How shall I obtain an education, by saying, Learn a trade of a good master. I hold firmly that most boys may better acquire the knowledge they need than by spending four years in college. In an address at the laying of the corner-stone of the People's College at Havana, N. Y., in 1858, he explained, however, that he did n
August 18th, 1831 AD (search for this): chapter 2
at his trade. He found employment at Jamestown and Gowanda, N. Y., and later began an engagement that lasted for seven months in the office of the Erie (Penn.) Gazette. Wherever he applied his personal appearance was still against him. The proprietor of the Gazette used to relate that when he entered the office and saw Greeley (who was waiting for him) reading some of the exchange newspapers, his first feeling was one of astonishment that a fellow so singularly green in his appearance should be reading anything. When the Gazette office no longer offered him employment, he tried to secure work in some of the neighboring towns, and, when this effort failed, made up his mind to look for a position in New York city. Accordingly, he again visited his parents, divided with them his cash, retaining only $25 for his own use, and with $10 of this sum, and his scanty wardrobe, he stepped from an Albany boat to a pier near Whitehall Street early on the morning of Friday, August 18, 1831.
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
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