Horace Greeley: Printer, Editor, Crusader

By Henry Luther Stoddard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIII
Reid as "First Writing Editor"

HOW THE HEATHEN ROAR!" Greeley had exclaimed to Colfax of the Davis agitation. "I am used to it! Bless their souls, it doesn't annoy me, and if it does them any good that is all clear gain."

But it really did annoy him. To Mrs. Whipple, back home, he confessed: "To work as hard and bear up under anxieties as I do, and be cussed for it every day -- feeling that I am losing money and ground, too -- it is discouraging. I cannot stand it always." By that time, out of his own experiences, Greeley had learned how truly he had been prophesying to his lecture audiences on the lyceum circuit when he assured them, "Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident and riches take wings." The sharp antagonism of his party to his reconciliation policy, the sudden sweeping away of income by the Davis storm, made him a discouraged man, though he would never admit it. "At all events," said Greeley when discussing his affairs, "the public has learned that I act upon my own convictions; hence any future paroxysm of popular rage against me is likely to be less virulent in view of the fact that this one proved so plainly ineffective. I don't know how much the second volume of 'The American Conflict' will bring me," he said, "but I am sure of $10,000 from my first volume, for I have had it and have paid it out to settle some of my debts." He had turned to writing Recollections of a Busy Life, in the hope of more royalties to settle another batch of debts. Fortunately, they did.

-238-

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