New York Tribune

City: New York

State: New York

The New York Tribune was one of the most influential newspapers in nineteenth-century America. Horace Greeley published the first issue of the daily New York Tribune, the first daily Whig newspaper in New York City, on April 10, 1841. In September 1841, Greeley followed with a weekly edition, and in May 1845, a semi-weekly edition. Greeley used the newspaper as his mouthpiece, employing the editorial page to rail against slavery, capital punishment, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and inequality while supporting women's rights, protective tariffs, free labor, agriculture, and white emigration to the West. Between the 1840s and 1860s, the New York Tribune became one of the most prominent first Whig and later Republican newspapers in the country. By 1860, it boasted a circulation of nearly 300,000 and was renowned for its reporting of local, state, national, and international news. Greeley employed a number of gifted journalists, including Solon Robinson, Bayard Taylor, and James Pike. Karl Marx reported on global affairs in the 1850s. Greeley helped found the Republican Party, and, after some initial reluctance, endorsed Abraham Lincoln for president in 1860. The Tribune condemned the ordinances of secession, and after the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, pushed for a Union victory. During the Civil War, Greeley and his paper maintained a contentious relationship with President Lincoln and famously featured the August 19, 1862, piece, "The Prayer of the Twenty Millions," encouraging Lincoln to adopt an emancipationist war policy. Greeley supported Union plans for conscription, and he refused to close the Tribune's offices during the draft riots in July 1863. The Tribune again endorsed Lincoln for president in 1864 and rejoiced at the Union's victory in 1865.

Erik S. Lunde, "Greeley, Horace," American National Biography, ed. by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 9:467-69; The New York Tribune. A Sketch of its History (New York: n.p., 1883), 3-11; Gregory A. Borchard, Abraham Lincoln and Horace Greeley (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2011); Horace Greeley to Abraham Lincoln.