"Editorial Rooms. Ring the Bell"
Greeley LEAVES FOR Europe until September," wrote Dana to Washington correspondent James S. Pike, under date of March 26, 1851, "and I shall have the paper on my shoulders. I hope you will send us a rocket occasionally to flash up to our sky. You will thus save the country, not to speak of saving me from making a stupid paper. It must be better than when the 'Old Man' is at home, or they'll say that Dana's a failure, which God forbid!"
Yes -- strange news it certainly was! For at least four consecutive months the Tribune is to be published without its founder at the helm or within guiding distance. That surely will be a new experience for the staff! They are to miss that familiar figure bent over his desk, his nearsighted eyes almost buried in the page on which he is writing -- lost to the world -- his shrill, sharp complaints of poor work, his gracious compliments for good. Vacationing had come none too soon. In the twenty-five years since the morning on which he timidly asked editor Amos Bliss in East Poultney, "Don't you want a boy to learn the trade?" Greeley had known no rest from work, no freedom from anxieties. He labored with a might that resented every hour snatched for food or rest; such interruptions of duty were tolerated only as regrettable necessities. Too frequently of late he had been found asleep at his desk -- quill pen in hand, an uncompleted sentence on his page of copy plainly marking where resistance to weariness had at last ceased -- just fagged out.