Horace Greeley: Printer, Editor, Crusader

By Henry Luther Stoddard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
"Greeley's Isms"

MORE FIXED in Greeley's mind than politics when he founded the Tribune was his eagerness for what he called progress in social welfare. Denouncing Tyler was just partisanship, but a battle for the common man had all the intensity and high purpose of a crusade. It certainly reflected his spirit. He did not wait to speak out until he was safely beyond the danger of unpleasant financial consequences to himself or to his newspaper! At once he was a target for ridicule and coarse abuse by the many do-nothings. "Let them work twenty years as hard as I have done," responded Greeley, "and feel and know the hopelessness of the great mass of laborers, the emptiness of their lives, the dullness of their few leisure hours as I do before they attempt to lecture me. . . . Do not stand there quarrelling with those who have devised or adopted a scheme that you consider absurd," he continued. "Take hold and devise something better, for be assured, friends, that this generation will not longer tolerate conditions scarcely better than slavery. It will not pass without the adoption of some method whereby the right to labor and to receive and enjoy the honest reward of that labor shall be assured to the poorest and least fortunate."

"Every age has its heroes," he stoutly declared. "Ours demands those who will labor in behalf of a social order based on universal justice -- not on the dominion of Power over Need. We could not retard the great forward movement if we would, but each must decide for himself whether to share in the glory of promoting

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