Horace Greeley: Printer, Editor, Crusader

By Henry Luther Stoddard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII
The Junior Partner on His Own

FOURTEEN YEARS of presumed partnership by those. three men were now ended, but Greeley's letter of withdrawal was not wholly due to their refusal to join him in welcoming the new Republican party into New York state. He had long realized that he figured no longer in their planning. Recall that in the early days of the Tribune he had written Weed, "I must be myself." He welcomed now the opportunity to declare it again. Despite his success as an editor, despite his notoriety as a politician, he had always in mind the ambition that was his dream while he struggled with the "Yorker." The old desire for literary reputation rekindled into sputtering flame whenever he wearied of the battles in which he was engaged and of their discouraging outcome, but it died away when events aroused him to the old activities. Always that challenge was too tempting.

A second letter to Seward, two weeks after the one so often quoted, reflects this state of mind. Its frankness, its simplicity -- one might truly say its loneliness of spirit -- reveal dearly this man who three years before had written that he was "on the downward side of life."

New York, NOV. 24, 1854

Gov. Seward:

I have your letter of the 21 St this evening. I write a few words, not to reopen what is past but to make it clear for the future.

My political life is ended. Do not regard me as dissatisfied with what has been done. There was a time when it would have been precious to

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