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Quote of the Week - Horace Greeley

Updated on August 21, 2014

Abstaining is favorable both to the head and the pocket. - Horace Greeley

Who was he?

In every generation there is one who has done more and achieved greatness just by speaking his mind. In the field of journalism (one is which I have studied and been fortunate enough to have a degree in) Horace Greeley is such a one.

Born - February 3, 1811

Died - November 29, 1872

Horace Greeley was an avid reader and writer all of his life. He was one of the most influential Journalists of his time. At the young age of 15 he was apprenticed to a printing shop in Vermont where he learned his craft. He was most prominent in the editorial pages of the New York Tribune, a paper in which he founded in 1841. Since his editorial debut in his early years, he had been involved, and contributed many opinions about such things as the Abolitionists movement and expansionism in the United States. He was said to have coined the phrase: Go West young man; although this isn't true.

Until the day of his death, he wrote and edited the Tribune, his only true love.

Horace Greeley was one of the most eccentric people in American history. No matter the weather or the time of year he always wore a full length coat and carried an umbrella rain or shine. At one time or another he was involved in political and social issues of his era, ranging from election reform to spiritualism. He looked like everyone's favorite Uncle, and acted like everyone's favorite man to hate. But his political views in the editorial pages of the Tribune is what kept his opinions always in the forefront of the American people. Like him or hate him, he was a force to be leery of. To support his own views of the American west and the state of the frontier, he took his own advice and traveled west. While there he had the opportunity to interview Brigham Young and meet and greet with Mormons of all sects. And the somewhat scathing accounts of the Mormon philosophy he came back with never endeared him with the religion.

To this day, he is considered one of the most influential and prestigious Journalists to ever have put pen to paper. There are libraries named after him and statues have been erected in his honor. All from writing opinion pieces and voicing his concerns to the American people of the time.

His way of life

Although he attempted to expand his views in political endeavors, he was not very successful. He was elected in 1848 for a seat in Congress, which only lasted three months. He was an opponent of slavery, but made political enemies by not voicing those views in the right manner to suit his political opponents. He was an early member of the Republican party and helped secure the nomination and eventual election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency in 1860. He wasn't successful in most of his bids for political office in either the state or national levels, a mere month after running for the highest office of the land himself, in which he was soundly defeated by Ulysses S. Grant, he died.

Throughout his life, he was a patriot to the people, and a hero to many journalists of the time. He will always be known for his outspoken editorials and rambunctious passions in the field of journalism. He was never afraid to speak his mind, or make an enemy among his peers. His thoughts and views of the political times, namely: slavery, abolitionists, expansionism, and liberal views of spirituality: made him a force to be reckoned with.

Take a page out of his book, and be a force!

Happy writing!


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