Horace Greeley: Founder of the New York Tribune

By Don C. Seitz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
ANTI-SLAVERY

HORACE Greeley approached the great cause of which he was to become the chief evangel by very gradual processes. He had caught his first glimpse of slavery while an apprentice at East Poultney and received a lasting impression. The state of New York had decreed slavery's gradual elimination, but it kept those born in bondage under ownership until they reached the age of twenty-eight. One of the bondmen escaped to Vermont and found work in the village. He was located by his owner, who came to reclaim him. The village rose, and, as the apprentice said, "The result was a speedy disappearance of the chattel, and the return of the master, disconsolate and niggerless, to the place whence he came. Our people hated injustice and oppression, and acted as if they couldn't help it."

The files of the New Yorker fail to disclose any decided stand against the institution of slavery per se, but incidents growing out of it were given full space and sometimes severe comment.

The Reverend E. P. Lovejoy, who had removed, under threats, his anti-slavery plant from St. Louis to Alton, Illinois, was murdered by a mob that disapproved of his teachings, and that was reputed to have followed him from Missouri. This stirred Gree

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