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April 25th (search for this): chapter 10
the reformers was not this, but some sinful game on the part of the politicians which would defeat Adams and deprive the movement of all weight and significance. To Adams objection was made that he had not been identified with the Liberal movement; that he was cold-blooded, and would arouse no enthusiasm in the West, and that his relations with Sumner would drive the latter back to Grant if Adams was nominated. That Adams was not a practical politician was shown by the publication, on April 25, of a letter addressed by him to David A. Wells, in which he said: I do not want the nomination, and could only be induced to consider it by the circumstances under which it might possibly be made. If the call upon me were an unequivocal one, based upon confidence in my character, earned in public life, and a belief that I would carry out in practise the principles that I professed, then indeed would come a test of my courage in an emergency; but if I am to be negotiated for, and hav
April 17th (search for this): chapter 8
carrying out the scheme. The year 1844 was a presidential year, and the most probable candidates for the heads of the two tickets were Clay and Van Buren. Both of these leaders looked on the Texas question as a dangerous one, and two years earlier, when Van Buren visited Clay at Ashland, it was said that they had agreed to place themselves in opposition to annexation. Clay found himself forced to define his position before the Whig convention met, and he did so in his Raleigh letter of April 17. In this he stated his belief that any title to Texas which our Government had received under the Louisiana purchase had been ceded to Spain by subsequent treaty; that the United States should not go to war with Mexico to secure Texas, and that he was not in favor of acquiring new territory simply to maintain a balance of power between the North and South. Van Buren also wrote a letter, in which he did not admit the constitutionality of acquiring Texas by treaty, and pointed out that ann
April 12th (search for this): chapter 8
ation treaty. The administration made a direct proposal of such a treaty to Texas, and, after the Texas Government had received from the United States' diplomatic agent an assurance that no power would be permitted by the United States to invade Texas territory because of such a treaty, an envoy from Texas was sent to Washington to complete the negotiations. Before his arrival Upshur had been killed by the explosion on the frigate Princeton; in March, 1844, Calhoun took his place; and on April 12 the treaty was signed and ten days later sent to the Senate, where, on June 8, it was defeated by a vote of sixteen yeas to thirty-five nays. Tyler at once, in a special message, urged the House to secure annexation by some other form of proceeding, but Congress adjourned without carrying out the scheme. The year 1844 was a presidential year, and the most probable candidates for the heads of the two tickets were Clay and Van Buren. Both of these leaders looked on the Texas question as
April 10th (search for this): chapter 5
n six years old, and the Sun, eight years old, while independent in name, were anti-Whig in sentiment, and not in good moral repute, and Greeley found encouragement in the advice of Whigs who thought the field for a cheap Whig daily a good one. Having decided on his venture, he obtained a loan of $1,000 from his friend James Coggeshall, to add to his own little capital, and promises of more, which he did not get. Then he printed in the Log Cabin of April 3, 1841, an announcement that on April 10 he would publish the first number of a new morning journal of politics, literature, and general intelligence, adding: The Tribune, as its name imports, will labor to advance the interests of the people, and to promote their moral, social, and political well-being. The immoral and degrading police reports, advertisements, and other matter which have been allowed to disgrace the columns of our leading penny papers, will be carefully excluded from this, and no exertion spared to render it wor
April 4th (search for this): chapter 5
her matter which have been allowed to disgrace the columns of our leading penny papers, will be carefully excluded from this, and no exertion spared to render it worthy of the hearty approval of the virtuous and refined, and a welcome visitant at the family fireside. Greeley's hopes for the success of his journal rested largely on expectations of future Whig ascendency, raised by the election of General Harrison to the presidency. How nearly the death of the President, which occurred on April 4, came to checking the Tribune enterprise Greeley explained in a brief autobiography, dated April 14, 1845, which was published after his death: In 1841 I issued the first number of the Daily Tribune, which I should not have done had I not issued a prospectus before General Harrison's death. The birthday of the Tribune fell on the date of the funeral parade held in New York city as a mark of mourning for the President. It was a day of sleet and snow, and every Whig heart was bowed down.
hould be so adjusted as to make the burden upon the industries of the country as light as possible, hoping that the movement begun there would spread through all the States, and inviting all Republicans of New York who agreed with them to cooperate. Greeley was the second signer of this letter. The Tribune had said, on March 16, Of course, we shall ask to be counted out [of the Liberal movement] if the majority shall decide to make free trade a plank in their platform, and it explained on April 4, In signing the letter to Colonel Grosvenor, we simply indicated our approval of the Cincinnati movement, not of every phase embodied in that letter. The Liberal movement received encouragement in all the States, and on May 1 six hundred and fourteen delegates assembled in convention in Cincinnati. Meeting as they did without previous organization, they were largely at sea both as regards the form of the platform and the candidate. Charles Francis Adams was the preference of the radic
March 29th (search for this): chapter 6
rival journal had had the news on the street for two hours before him. When Henry Clay delivered an important speech on the Mexican War, in Lexington, Ky., on November 13, 1847, the Tribune's report of it was carried to Cincinnati by horse express, and thence transmitted by wire, appearing in the edition of November 15. During the Mexican War a pony express carried the news from New Orleans to Petersburg, Va., the nearest telegraph station, in this way delivering the New Orleans papers of March 29 at the telegraph office on February 4. The exploits of these expresses were described by the press all over the country, and all this gave the competing journals a big advertisement. I am inclined to think that what did as much as anything to widen Greeley's reputation, and to advertise his journal in its early days, was his devotion to isms. One of his laudators had insisted that he had only two of these, but that assumption did him an injustice. No other public teacher, to quote his
March 16th (search for this): chapter 10
in the principles set forth by the Jefferson City convention, which, as regards the tariff, they interpreted to mean that Federal taxes should be imposed for revenue, and should be so adjusted as to make the burden upon the industries of the country as light as possible, hoping that the movement begun there would spread through all the States, and inviting all Republicans of New York who agreed with them to cooperate. Greeley was the second signer of this letter. The Tribune had said, on March 16, Of course, we shall ask to be counted out [of the Liberal movement] if the majority shall decide to make free trade a plank in their platform, and it explained on April 4, In signing the letter to Colonel Grosvenor, we simply indicated our approval of the Cincinnati movement, not of every phase embodied in that letter. The Liberal movement received encouragement in all the States, and on May 1 six hundred and fourteen delegates assembled in convention in Cincinnati. Meeting as they di
March 9th (search for this): chapter 8
hat his views are temperate and far-seeing. But their adoption by the North as its own, in the present state of the case, is quite another affair. On February 1 it added to this protest, To countermarch in the face of a determined and formidable foe is peril if not ruin. Our tower of strength and of safety is the Wilmot proviso. Let the Union be a thousand times shivered, it said two weeks later, rather than we should aid you to plant slavery on free soil. Greeley devoted a column on March 9 to the notable speech of Daniel Webster made two days previous. The following citations will show his spirit: At such a crisis as the present there is no safe light but that of principle. He who tries to be guided by any other will err in the fruitless vague, or land his followers in the ditch. Expediency may debate the steps to be taken, but it must be principle that determines the end. ... It takes courage to face an enemy in battle; it takes more courage to confront a great enem
March 7th (search for this): chapter 8
ntion of the country was over the famous Clay Compromise of 1850. In his autobiography Greeley says, Mr. Clay's proffer seemed to me candid and fair to the North, so far as it related to the newly acquired territories. But even this guarded statement does not give a fair presentation of Greeley's part in this struggle. He did not accept any part of the compromise at the start. He announced open rebellion against his old leader's position. He repudiated the argument of Webster in the 7th of March speech. He did ally himself, later in the contest, with the compromisers, but only to find that the so-called compromise was an apple of discord, which did as much as anything else preceding the war to arouse Northern opinion, make clear the aim of the slave power, and elect an antislavery President. Clay's compromise and Webster's famous speech had their origin in the fear that the South would attempt to destroy the Union, and Henry Wilson almost excuses Webster in view of the pictur
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