The Press Gang: Newspapers and Politics, 1865-1878

By Mark Wahlgren Summers | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
Mr. Striker Goes to Washington

Slouched, and surly, and sallow-faced, With a look as if something were sore misplaced,
The young man Striker was seen to stride
Up the Capitol stairs at high noontide. And as though at the head of a viewless mob--
Who could look in his eye and distrust it?
He quoth: "They must let me into that job Or I'll bust it! "Gath," Cincinnati Enquirer, April 27, 1877
1

Striker's real name was Uriah Hunt Painter. Colleagues who knew him well enough to dislike him called him "Uriah Heep," "this singed rat," or "that persistent falsifier." 2 As reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and New York Sun, his undeniable abilities were applied in the lobby, not just the press gallery, and it was in the former that he was known as the fugleman for the Western Union telegraph, the Pacific railroads, and the patent lobby "and as a general agent for all sorts of jobs. Painter does this busi

-109-

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