Horace Greeley: Printer, Editor, Crusader

By Henry Luther Stoddard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIX
"A Lost Cause but Not a Lost People"

IN THE Republican national convention of 1860 a single editor, Horace Greeley, because of the confidence that delegates had in his judgment, turned a majority of them away from Senator William H. Seward, of New York, thus forcing the nomination of Lincoln; but in the National Liberal convention of 1872 four editors -- Carl Schurz of the St. Louis Westliche Post, Samuel Bowles of the Springfield Republican, Horace White of the Chicago Tribune, and Murat Halstead of the Cincinnati Commercial -- were unable to prevent the one result which they firmly insisted should not and must not happen there: the nomination of Horace Greeley as their candidate for President.

"Anybody to beat Grant" was the platform and the sole purpose of the "Quadrilaterals," as those four editors were popularly called by the delegates, but in the privacy of their own conclaves "anybody" was not meant to include their fellow journalist Greeley.

To this day no other convention of any party or of any faction has ever had so many editors on its roster, and certainly no equal number ever vacated their editorial chair unitedly to play the role of convention strategists. Led by Schurz, they had determined to give a cultural and intellectual tone to politics. Those in attendance at Cincinnati represented almost every phase of opposition to Grant, from free-trade theorists David A. Wells and Edward Atkinson to political purifier Schurz. Their attitude toward Greeley also had wide range -- extending from editor White's outspoken

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