Horace Greeley: Printer, Editor, Crusader

By Henry Luther Stoddard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
"Castle Doleful" at Turtle Bay

DISCOURAGED by the unexpected defeat of Clay in the presidential campaign of 1844, Greeley turned his thoughts hopefully to the one haven he had never had -- a home of his own. That is, a home in the accepted meaning of that word. To him home was now only a cherished recollection of boyhood days when he sat on a stool at the knees of his Ulster-born mother while she turned her spinning wheel, sang her jolly Irish ballads or told him her simple folklore stories. The picture had never faded. He assumed that in sentiment such a scene could be reenacted by a youthful, graceful, schoolteacher wife in that peasant mother's place and in a newly established city home instead of the Amherst log house in which he was born.

During the thirteen years since his first glimpse of New York City, Greeley had resided chiefly in the poorest, dirtiest section close to City Hall; even after his marriage he had not moved far from it and continued to live in boardinghouses. The city had not absorbed him into its typical life; perhaps one reason why he was so conspicuous on its streets was that he never fitted naturally as part of its hurrying, business-minded crowd; he was not of that crowd and never could be. He longed to get away from it. There was another and stronger motive. In March 1844 a son had been born -- Arthur Young Greeley by name but for some reason called "Pickie" -- to take the place of a son and daughter born there three and five years previously who only peeped into this world briefly with their baby eyes and then closed them forever. Greeley

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