Horace Greeley, Nineteenth-Century Crusader

By Glyndon G. Van Deusen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 17
A Demonstration of
Independence

NEW YORK ON THE EVE OF THE CIVIL WAR EMERGES from the dusty pages of the Tribune a behemoth, protean in form, sometimes ugly and sometimes beautiful, but always endowed with an immense vitality. It was a monster that harbored in its bosom infinite hope and cynical disillusion. Baseness and greatness it knew, and its restless dynamic spewed out both shoddy values and deeply genuine achievements. Superbly wasteful, superbly confident, alike the scorn and wonder of Europeans, the great city stood as a sign and symbol of American civilization.

As New York symbolized the restless striving of the nation's spirit, so Broadway represented the very essence of New York. Charles Dickens had found the street dull. Alexander Mackay had found it fascinating and splendid. Like the city itself, this street, the epitome of magnificence and monstrosity, where vendors offered lace veils and cabbages, diamonds and human flesh, heaven and hell, challenged the admiration and excited the contempt of mankind. Its architecture symbolized its contradictions and incongruities. Here and there a chaste and stately building could be found, but these were far outbalanced by a wild and chaotic elegance of six‐ story marble facades, fantastical gables and cornices, gilded archways and brownstone fronts. Ornate and glittering gambling halls abounded. The merchandising houses of A. T. Stewart, and Lord and Taylor, positively flaunted luxury, and luxury screamed from the marble fronts of the great hotels. Haughwout's crockery establishment with its three hundred cast-iron Corinthian columns was an overpowering, if depressing, sight.

This architecture represented the crass and often brutal spirit of a materialistic civilization. But even so this civilization was not

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Horace Greeley, Nineteenth-Century Crusader
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Horace Greeley - Nineteenth-Century Crusader *
  • Dorace Greeley - Nineteenth-Century Crusader *
  • Acknowledgment *
  • Contents *
  • Illustrations *
  • Dorace Greeley - Nineteenth-Century Crusader *
  • Prologue *
  • Chapter 1 - Youth of a Yankee *
  • Chapter 2 - The Slopes of Parnassus *
  • Chapter 3 - A Budding Politician *
  • Chapter 4 - A Bride and an Alliance *
  • Chapter 5 - Microcosms *
  • Chapter 6 - This Brave New World *
  • Chapter 7 - Not So Brave and Not So New *
  • Chapter 8 - Soundings *
  • Chapter 9 - The Crystallization of a "Liberal" Program *
  • Chapter 10 - A Strong-Minded Adjutant *
  • Chapter 11 - Crisis and Schism *
  • Chapter 12 - The Greeleys at Home *
  • Chapter 13 - Interlude *
  • Chapter 14 - A Disruption of Partnerships *
  • Chapter 15 - A Republican Operator *
  • Chapter 16 - Greeley's Battle *
  • Chapter 17 - A Demonstration of Independence *
  • Chapter 18 - A Nationalist at Bay *
  • Chapter 19 - Windswept *
  • Chapter 20 - Storm-Tossed *
  • Chapter 21 - "For You O Democracy" *
  • Chapter 22 - Pursuit of the Dream *
  • Chapter 23 - Valiant Battle *
  • Chapter 24 - And Still the Quest *
  • Chapter 25 - The End of the Rainbow *
  • Epilogue *
  • Bibliography *
  • Index *
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