The papers of journalist Horace Greeley (1811-1872) consist of 2,000 items (4,958 images) in seven containers, and span the years 1812 to 1928, with the bulk dating from 1860 to 1872. The collection includes correspondence, typescripts and transcripts of Greeley’s letters and writings; articles, notes, lectures, and speeches by and about Greeley; scrapbooks of newspaper clippings and other printed matter; and miscellaneous material. Incidents of Greeley’s boyhood, his early struggle in New York to maintain himself in the printing and publishing business, and the growth and success of the New York Tribune, the newspaper that he owned and edited, are related in letters from Greeley to Charles A. Dana, B. F. Ransom, Rufus W. Griswold, and others. Additional subjects include Whig politics and the slavery issue prior to the Civil War. There is little material relating to Greeley’s three-month term in Congress (1848-1849) or his senatorial aspirations in 1861 and 1867. Lecture requests, business and editorial matters concerning the New York Tribune, New York politics, family illnesses, Jefferson Davis’s bail bond, the Liberal Republican Party, and the presidential campaign of 1872 are also documented in the collection.
Prominent correspondents represented in the Horace Greeley Papers include Simon Cameron, William E. Chandler, Schuyler Colfax, William Maxwell Evarts, Hamilton Fish (1808-1893), Jessie Benton Frémont, John G. Nicolay, John Sherman, Gerrit Smith, and B. F. Wade.
The collection can be accessed in several ways:
- Through an online presentation (https://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/collmss.ms000099) that includes not only the collection items themselves, but also a selected bibliography in “Related Resources,” a timeline of Greeley’s life, and featured items displayed in a slide carousel of images that suggest the range of materials available in the collection.
- Through the HTML version of the finding aid (http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/eadmss.ms009284); click on the “digital content available” hyperlinks in the Contents List section of the guide. A new window will open containing the object record for that material. Click on the document image in the center to open the viewer that provides access to the content.
- Through the PDF version of the finding aid (http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/eadmss.ms009284.3); click on the “digital content available” hyperlinks in the Container List section of the guide. Clicking on the hyperlink will forward that page to the object record for the material. Depending on your internet browser, hitting the “back” arrow may return you to the start of the PDF, rather than to your last location in the guide.
If you anticipate needing to toggle back and forth between the finding aid and object records, then the HTML version will be easier to use as object records are opened automatically in a new window. If using the PDF version of the finding aid, right clicking on the “digital content available” link will allow you to manually open a new tab in which to access the material without losing your place in the finding aid on the first tab.
Please note that this collection is not indexed to the level of individual documents, and that the collection is presented at the level of description found in the finding aid (from which the metadata in the online collection is derived). Keyword searching the collection will not return results for individual items; it will only search the level of description available in the container listing of the collection finding aid. The best way to approach searching the Manuscript Division’s online collections is to pretend that you are in the Manuscript Reading Room and are examining the microfilm reels/containers most appropriate to your research. This may only involve searching through a single folder, or it may require you to scan through a microfilm reel’s worth of material.
Feel free to contact us if you need any assistance in navigating the site. To find a list of the Manuscript Division’s other online collections, please visit https://www.loc.gov/rr/mss/ammem.html for links and more information.