Horace Greeley: Founder of the New York Tribune

By Don C. Seitz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
THE AMERICAN CONFLICT

IT IS needless to detail the steps by which the Confederacy established itself, after the election of Abraham Lincoln caused the South to separate from the North. The movement began as soon as the results were made known, and resisted all efforts at assuagement.

Greeley, in the Tribune of November 9, 1860, treated the threatenings rather lightly:

"We sympathize with the afflicted; but we can not recommend them to do anything desperate. What is the use? They are beaten now; they may triumph next time; in fact, they have generally had their own way; had they been subjected to the discipline of adversity so often as we have, they would probably bear it with more philosophy, and deport themselves more befittingly. We live to learn; and one of the most difficult acquirements is that of meeting reverses with graceful fortitude.

"The telegraph informs us that most of the cotton states are meditating a withdrawal from the Union, because of Lincoln's election. Very well; they have a right to meditate, and meditation is a profitable employment of leisure. We have a chronic, invincible disbelief in disunion as a remedy for either northern or southern grievances. We can not see any necessary connection between the alleged disease and this ultra

-190-

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