Civil War-dated ALS seeking to repay a debt of $30
Autograph Letter signed: "Horace Greeley", 1 page, 5x8. New
York, N.Y., 1864 January 3. On N. Y. Tribune letterhead to Abner Bentford
[?], in full: "I believe you paid $30 for the dinner to Prof. Eldwin
Smith which should have been paid by me. I was called on with regard to it, but
did not pay it, not understanding the matter. If you paid it, please allow me to
make up my deficiency; if anyone else did, be good enough to send over to him
and accept the thanks of yours". Horace Greeley (1811-1872, born in
Amherst, New Hampshire) founded the New York Tribune in 1841 and
edited it until his death. His newspaper, competitive in price with the
"penny press" but less sensational, was the first to give its writers individual
by-lines and the first with a literary and book review department. The
Tribune had wide readership and influence, and many of his editorial
quips - like "Go West, young man" - became famous. He was steadfast in
support of many causes, such as antislavery, temperance, and the rights of
labor, but he could be mercurial at times. (His swift reversal of opinion on the
secession of the southern states is reflected in two 1861 Tribune
editorials: Go in Peace, Errant Sisters, followed shortly by On to
Richmond.) He served as a Whig in Congress for three months
(1848-1849) to fill a vacancy and did not seek reelection. As the
Democratic and Liberal Republican parties' presidential nominee in 1872, he was
defeated by President Ulysses S. Grant, who was seeking reelection. On Nov.
28, 1872, just 23 days after the election, Greeley, worn out by the grueling
campaign, died at the age of 61. Horizontal mailing folds. Left edge lightly
chipped. Paperclip crease and stain at left edge. Top right corner creased.
Otherwise, fine condition.
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