Horace Greeley: Printer, Editor, Crusader

By Henry Luther Stoddard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
"Greeley & Story, Printers"

NO VISION of such a future was in this East Poultney printer's mind that first year in the big city. Life meant nothing to Greeley then but hard work, a cobblers' boardinghouse for a home, and a few dollars saved each week. Even that small saving could not have been made had he not kept to his early determination to spend no money even for clothes. Though he did not realize it, the old garments did not make a helpful impression whenever he sought a job.

"Be off with you!" shouted David Hale, editor of the Journal of Commerce, believing that Greeley was a runaway apprentice. "Return to your master!" Next he tried the Evening Post; he was quietly at work there a few days, when William Leggett, poet, essayist and then managing editor, noticed him. "For Heaven's sake get rid of such a queer-looking fellow," he declared. "Pay him off tonight!" Thus Greeley lost his newspaper job; he resolved to stick to job printing offices. But his second summer in the city brought a longing for the "old country," as he called it. As work slackened early in July he was off on a journey northward, tramping and hitchhiking most of the way to East Poultney and Westhaven. "A few days amidst the scenes of my boyhood are like a blissful dream," he wrote. "In the hours shared with friends from whom I have been severed, and from whom the setting sun will again divide us perhaps forever, we live the essence of years past and to come." In every house there was cordial welcome for the boy who had dared seek a living in the big

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