ALL HIS LIFE, HORACE GREELEY HAD BEEN A CRUsader. His genuine human sympathies, his moral fervor, even the exhibitionism that was a part of his makeup, made it inevitable that he should crusade for a better world. He did so with apostolic zeal. He fought against drink and against the brothel, he fought for honest government, he fought above all for the development of America's national prosperity and unity and power. A fervent believer in the grandeur of the American destiny, he strove to make his country a land of happy people, a nation setting an example to all other nations in its way of life.
Greeley's effectiveness as a crusader was limited by some of his traits and characteristics. Culturally deficient, he was to the end ignorant of his own limitations, and this ignorance was a great handicap. For while he repeatedly displayed powers of discernment and of penetrating analysis, he was also liable to be most dogmatic on subjects that he knew least about—"by turns sagacious and childish," as Samuel Bowles once remarked. He was also easily enraged by criticism, and this rage was apt to express itself in hasty and vituperative comment. His sense of timing was poor, as was shown by his course of action during the Civil War. He was sometimes wrong in his judgment of men. He was often wrong in regard to political policies and procedures.
Partly because of his character and personality limitations, partly because of the associates with whom he cast his political lot, partly because of the nature of the era in which he lived, Greeley's life contained a very large element of tragedy. He had an unhappy home, as much the result of his own faults as of Mary Greeley's. His partnership with Weed and Seward became less and less harmonious and finally broke up into years of feuding and bitterness. He saw his plans for promoting the national welfare thwarted by a