Horace Greeley: Printer, Editor, Crusader

By Henry Luther Stoddard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXV
"The Mighty Dollar"

PEOPLE PROMPTLY TURNED to other things than politics. "Andy" Johnson could remain in the White House unchallenged until the expiration of his term, March 4, 1869, and Grant would be elected his successor -- it made little difference to men and women living in a dream of wealth and great achievement. Not yet the giant corporation -- the Man still counted in the life of the nation, but the restlessness for conquest in new fields made him a receding figure. Thousands of miles of new railroad tracks linking the two oceans and gridironing the whole country, busy cotton and woolen mills in New England, rich oil, coal and iron in Pennsylvania, steel plows in the West, the venturesome greenback dollars of New York City financiers -- all meant new activities and riches. "There's millions in it!" was the incentive and temptation for ambitions dammed up by four years of war. Even Greeley dreamed of an ideal city to be called "Greeley," in Boulder County, Colorado, and planned its development with no fences between neighbors and no rum sold within its borders. It was one of the "isms" for which he was assailed. After many initial hardships the community prospered under the leadership of its editor-founder, Nathan Cook Meeker.

In Cleveland, in 1867, twenty-six-year-old John D. Rockefeller was making his first venture in oil; in Pittsburgh, Andrew Carnegie at twenty-eight was investing his savings of eight thousand dollars in a little steel mill as his first cautious approach to fortune, and employing young Henry Clay Frick as his office boy; Connecticut

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