Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White - Vol. 1

By Andrew Dickson White | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
THE GREELEY CAMPAIGN--1872

H AVING finished my duties on the Santo Domingo Commission, I returned to the University in May of 1871, devoted myself again to my duties as president and professor, and, in the mass of arrears which had accumulated, found ample occupation. I also delivered various addresses at universities, colleges, and elsewhere, keeping as remote from politics as possible.

In June, visiting New York in order to take part in a dinner given by various journalists and others to my classmate and old friend, George Washburne Smalley, at that time the London correspondent of the "New York Tribune," I met, for the first time, Colonel John Hay, who was in the full tide of his brilliant literary career and who is, as I write this, Secretary of State of the United States. His clear, thoughtful talk strongly impressed me, but the most curious circumstance connected with the affair was that several of us on the way to Delmonico's stopped for a time to observe the public reception given to Mr. Horace Greeley on his return from a tour through the Southern States. Mr. Greeley, undoubtedly from the purest personal and patriotic motives, had, with other men of high standing, including Gerrit Smith, attached his name to the bail bond of Jefferson Davis, which released the ex-president of the Confederacy from prison, and, in fact, freed him entirely from anything like punishment for treason. I have always admired Mr. Greeley's honesty and courage in doing this. Doubtless, too, an

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