Two weeks before election, Greeley had been called from the field to the bedside of his wife, whose long illness suddenly took an acute form. She was cared for at the home of a family friend, Doctor Alvin J. Johnson, in New York. Here for a fortnight her husband watched and waited in supreme anxiety. He said to an acquaintance: "I am a broken old man [he was but sixty-one] ; I have not slept one hour in twenty-four for a month; if she lasts, poor soul, another week, I shall go before her."
She died on October 30, 1872. Five days later election fell, November fifth. On the sixth the Tribune announced defeat. On the seventh appeared this announcement in the place on the editorial page usually occupied by the leader:
"The undersigned resumes the editorship of the Tribune, which he relinquished on embarking on another line of business six months ago. Henceforth it shall be his endeavor to make this a thoroughly independent journal, treating all parties and political movements with judicial fairness and candor, but counting the favor and deprecating the wrath of no one. If he can hereafter say anything that will tend to heartily unite the whole American people on the