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HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
JUL 1 1914
CHARLES ELLIOTT PERKINS
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, by
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.
MARDER, LUSE & Co.,
THE LAKESIDE PRESS,
Clark and Adams Sts.
To my Fellow -Privters of the United Glates this account of the Life, Character, and Genices of the most Eminent Printer and one of the most illustnouk uru his times is respect que ymg
Soon after the death of HORACE GREELEY, I was invited to write a biography of him by the manager-Mr. E. S. DeGolyer-of the Union Publishing Company, of Chicago. That gentleman happened to know that I had occupied much time for many years in studies preparatory to the composition of a historical work upon American politics, and kindly judged that I might be already familiar with most of the events of Mr. Greeley's life. He was also good enough to say that he believed, if I should undertake to compose the work, I would write it in a spirit of friendship for Mr. Greeley, and also in that of impartiality and independence. Notwithstanding the generous manner in which I was approached upon the subject, I declined to receive any proposition, stating that a life of HORACE GREELEY Would be best written by a friend whose name I gave, and who now occupies a distinguished position in journalism; and this in consequence of Mr. Greeley's wise appreciation of surpassing talents.
But I finally yielded to the arguments which were urged in behalf of a biography of the Great Editor, by one who was his friend, but not so overpartial an admirer as to love all his admirers and detest all who were his opponents; and who might be able to construct a work which would do justice to the life, character, genius of Mr. Greeley, and be acceptable to many general readers. The result is herewith submitted to the public.
And, I do most candidly confess, with unaffected diffidence. For I have not written so much for scholars and men of letters as for the people, of whom HORACE GREELEY was one. He was never at ease in polite society; or, it might with more exactness, perhaps, be stated, polite society never was at ease with him. He was ever making himself vulnerable to criticisms of etiquette. In delineating his life I shall, perhaps, be guilty of a like offense. I do not say this to deprecate criticism, but only to ask a candid examination of the object with which the volume has been written. My design has been to so construct the work that it would present a connected series of portraits of Mr. Greeley, in his multiform manifestations of character and genius, rather than a strictly chronological account of his life, whereby the unity of time would be preserved in the penalty of a succession of broken pictures. I have also endeavoured to present him as he was; not a single character in a monologue, but surrounded by friends and encompassed by opponents; he and they fulfilling their destinies together and, in friendship or in antagonism, controlling events and making history.
Mr. Greeley, though a man of the people, was a reformer, a politician, a statesman, a leader. He was noted as a philanthropist, a lecturer, a public speaker, a journalist, an author. In one way or another, he impressed his influence upon most of his countrymen, and upon much of his country's wisest legislation. Of a man so remarkably one of themselves, the people will naturally desire to learn as much as they can, as soon as they can. If I have in this work presented them with the true outlines of a life of beautiful simplicity, of real grandeur, of vast influence in behalf of the elevation and happiness of all men; and have also shown how he was helped by those with whom he laboured, and how many of his desired reforms were retarded by those who opposed,-if I have succeeded in truly picturing forth the life of a good, a great, and an honest man, though not a perfect character, and in causing any considerable number of men to do justice to one whom party necessities unjustly overwhelmed in one of the most melancholy disasters of our Republic's history, my labours will not have been in vain.
CHICAGO, May, 1873.