Magazine December 31, 2019, Issue

Horace Greeley’s Ill-Fated Crusades

From the cover of Horace Greeley: Print, Politics, and the Failure of American Nationhood (Johns Hopkins University Press)
Horace Greeley: Print, Politics, and the Failure of American Nationhood, by James M. Lundberg (Johns Hopkins University Press, 248 pp., $34.95)

In November 1872, Horace Greeley declared himself “the worst beaten man who ever ran for high office.” He’d just exhausted himself to the last molecule running for president against the incumbent, Ulysses S. Grant. At 61, the founding editor of the New-York Tribune was a living legend, known to all Americans as eccentric “Uncle Horace,” but he’d never been elected to public office. Traveling as far as Texas, giving as many as 200 speeches a month, he called for reconciliation between North and South, black and white, urging all Americans to bury the hatchet and join hands “over the bloody

This article appears as “Horace Greeley’s Last Stand” in the December 31, 2019, print edition of National Review.

John Strausbaugh — Mr. Strausbaugh is the author of City of Sedition: The History of New York City During the Civil War and Victory City: A History of New York and New Yorkers During World War II.

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