Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Horace Greeley Collection, 1847-[1895]

Duane Norman Diedrich Collection

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, May 2012

Summary Information
Title: Horace Greeley collection
Creator: William L. Clements Library
Inclusive dates: 1847-[1895]
Bulk dates: 1847-1875
Extent: 18 items
This collection contains 18 items related to Horace Greely, including 11 outgoing letters, 2 incoming letters, 1 receipt for a subscription to the Weekly Tribune , 1 telegram, 1 postcard, and a 2-page offprint from Harper's New Monthly Magazine . The material concerns Greeley's lectures, public appearances, interest in politics and charitable efforts, and his legacy.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1946-1994. M-616, M-1898, M-2924, M-2985, M-3094, M-3407, M-4356.4, M-4622.40, M-4681.1.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Horace Greeley Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically, with an undated item placed at the end.


Horace Greeley was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on February 3, 1811, to Zaccheus Greeley and his wife, Mary Woodburn. Because the family moved frequently during Greeley's childhood, Horace's formal education was sporadic. His first introduction to the newspaper business was as an apprentice with Vermont editor Amos Bliss (Northern Spectator), and as a printer for the Erie Gazette in Erie, Pennsylvania. He moved to New York City in 1831, where he worked for the Evening Post, Spirit of the Times ,Morning Post, and Commercial Advertiser. In 1834, he founded the weekly New Yorker, and, later, the campaign weekly Log Cabin. The New-York Tribune (The Tribune), his most successful publication and a highly influential paper in the mid-19th century, began in 1841. Greeley frequently wrote editorials expressing his strong anti-slavery views, and other progressive political positions. He assisted in founding the Republican Party in 1854, and briefly served in the United States House of Representatives (1848-1849). Greeley won the nomination for President in 1872 from both the Liberal Republican and Democratic parties, but was soundly defeated in the November election. He died shortly thereafter, on November 29, 1872. Greeley married Mary Youngs Cheney in 1836, and they had seven children, of whom two survived to adulthood.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 18 items related to Horace Greely, including 11 outgoing letters, 2 incoming letters, 1 letter discussing Greeley, 1 receipt for a subscription to the Weekly Tribune, 1 telegram, 1 postcard, and a 2-page offprint from Harper's New Monthly Magazine. The material concerns Greeley's public appearances, lectures, interest in politics and charitable efforts, and his legacy.

Included are 11 letters Greeley wrote between 1838 and 1872, concerning his travel and speaking engagements, and personal advice. He received 2 letters about Irish affairs (February 23, 1847) and a request for his attendance at a Fourth of July celebration (June 6, 1853). The receipt was for a subscription to the Weekly Tribune (May 1, 1858). Other items include a telegram about Greeley's presidential nomination (October 1872); a letter from George A. Beach to his parents, in which he mentions Greeley's charitable pursuits (December 10, 1875); a 2-page offprint from Harper's New Monthly Magazine entitled "Greeley's Handwriting," an editorial by Hayden Carruth, in which he shares an anecdote about Greeley's notoriously illegible handwriting (Volume XC, December 1894- May 1895); and a postcard illustrating Greeley's birthplace (undated). For more information, please see the inventory in the Detailed Box and Folder Listing.

Subject Terms

    • Elections--United States--1872.
    • Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872.
    • Lecturers.
    • New York--Description and travel.
    • New-York tribune (New York, N.Y. : 1841)
    • Newspapers.
    • Pantheism.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Amherst (Mass.)
    • Beach, George A.
    • Butler, C. C.
    • Carruth, Hayden.
    • Cutlett, J.
    • Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872.
    • Morehead, James T. (James Turner), 1797-1854.
    • Yates, Thomas.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Receipts (financial records)
    • Telegrams.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   18, Small Collections  
    Horace Greeley collection [series]
    Folder   12  
      1838 February 12 . H[orace] Greeley ALS to O[bad]iah A. Bowe; Albany, New York. (3 pages)
    Greeley went for a walk in the morning and read all the newspapers he could "get a hold of, and most select of the steamboat and study house bills." Staying at the Eagle Tavern, as are various members of the legislature: "most of the choice spirits of Whiggery." "There is a great head of political steam on at present, and Currency and the Presidency, Clay and Small Bills, are the ruling topics." Disagreement between the Houses regarding the Small Bill law. "You ought to have heard the smashing debate of Thursday, which I have partially sketched for the Whig. Culver, Hudson and Derick Sibley walked into them like steamboats, and the way Willis Hull travelled over your friend Abijah was sinful. By the way, Bije is a very empty-headed demagogue, though he manages to make a great deal of noise. He is always trying to kick up a quarrel with the majority and the Speaker … " The Jeffersonian will be out Wednesday. Details (editing minutia) respecting the publication.
      1847 January 23 . Horace Greeley ALS to Hamilton Fish; New York. (1 page)
    Greeley just missed Fish at Albany, will be meeting with [Henry] Clay, and discusses candidates for a clerkship on the Canal Board
      1847 February 23 . J[ames] T[urner] Morehead ALS to Horace Greeley; Senate Chamber. (1 page)
    Forwards request for information on people who May be aware of the situation in Ireland
      1853 June 6 . Tho[ma]s Yates ALS to Horace Greeley; Waverly, New York. (1 page)
    Invites Greeley to celebrate Independence Day with Waverly Division & Star of Hope Lodge of the Independent Order of Good Templars
      1854 June 9 . Horace Greeley ALS to V. M. Rice. (3 pages)
    Offers advice on a personal matter
      1855 March 15 . Horace Greeley ALS to [?]; Elgin, Illinois. (1 page)
    Will not be able to visit
      1858 May 1 . J. Cutlett receipt from Horace Greeley & Co.; New York. (1 page)
    Receipt for subscription to the Weekly Tribune
      1861 June 11 . Horace Greeley ALS to (E. Merton?); New York. (3 pages)
    Response to his articles on pantheism and human morality; wishes to establish a Humanity Tract Society
    Folder   13  
      1862 November 2 . Horace Greeley ALS to [D. Berrett?]; New York. (1 page)
    Admits to former membership in the Sons of Temperance
      1866 October 28 . Horace Greeley ALS to C. B. [ ]; New York. (1 page)
    Intends to lecture in Cincinnati during the coming winter and will likely be able to provide a lecture for the recipient at that time. "I am so deeply engrossed in our political canvass that I cannot clearly see my way after the election." On Office of the Tribune stationery.
      1867 June 2 . Horace Greeley ALS to H. W. Seymour, Esq.; New York. (1 page)
    Respecting an upcoming engagement
      1867 December 16 . Horace Greeley ALS to Alex White, Esq.; New York. (1 page)
    Requests a response about Greeley's offer to lecture
      1868 January 11 . Horace Greeley ALS to H. R. Waite; New York. (1 page)
    Agrees to give a lecture on February 3, "my 57th birth-day." Suggests the following topics for the talk: " Great Men , Abraham Lincoln , Self-Made Men , or America Westward of the Mississippi ." On Office of the Tribune stationery
      1871 November 14 . Horace Greeley ALS to Hon. Milo Goodrich; New York. (1 page)
    Congressional committees.
      1872 [October?] . C. C. Butler Telegraph; B. Falls. (1 page)
    "Greeley & Brown Nominated"
      1875 December 10 . George A. Beach ALS to Father and Mother; Springfield, New York. (4 pages)
    About recent reading and lecture attendance; mentions Horace Greeley's "charitable institution in New Jersey."
      [1894 December-1895 May] . Hayden Carruth Article. (2 pages)
    "Editor's Drawer" article in Harper's New Monthly Magazine entitled "Greeley's Handwriting," relates an anecdote about Horace Greeley
      Undated . Postcard. Amherst, Massachusetts. (1 page)
    Picture of Horace Greeley's birthplace
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Alternate Locations

    Housed in Graphics Division

    • Carte-de-visite: Half-length portrait of Horace Greeley, ca. 1870 (M-2985). Call number C.3.6.
    • Carte-de-visite: Half-length portrait of Horace Greeley in a battered hat, ca. 1870 (M-2985). Call number C.3.6.
    • Carte-de-visite: Horace Greeley (M-2985).
    Related Materials

    Additional Horace Greeley manuscripts may be found in several collections at the William L. Clements Library. Some examples include:


    "Greeley, Horace." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

    Lunde, Erik S. "Greeley, Horace." American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press, 2000. DOI: 16-00653