Birthplace of Horace Greeley

About five miles north of Amherst is the birthplace of Horace Greeley (1811-1872), founder of the New York Tribune, member of Congress, and candidate for President in 1872.

Located about 9 miles west of Manchester at the intersection of NH 101 and Horace Greeley Road.

nh003_horacegreeley

I think that’s west–maybe a little south. Hard to say, really.

IF THE MARKER text above seems strangely brief, remember that it’s better to say too little than too much.

In 1820, Greeley’s father fled the simple center-chimney Cape up what is now Horace Greeley Road to escape arrest for unpaid debts. Greeley was a member of Congress for only three months, finishing the term of a deceased member from his district. And the Presidential campaign was a tragic punctuation to an otherwise impressive career. Losing the election in a landslide, he realized unhappily that his beloved Tribune was being taken over by his managing editor. Days before the election, his wife died. He collapsed in madness, dying in a sanatorium shortly after the election (in which he earned either zero or three electoral votes, depending on the source you trust).

“Uncle Horace” kept America’s interest with his public eccentricity, both intellectual and personal. He described himself as “long-legged, gaunt, and most cadaverous of visage, ergo, homely….bent like a hoop,…[and] slouching in dress.” Any subject worth contemplating earned his stout approval or condemnation. He advocated the using Sylvester Graham’s “health flour” (we know him for his graham crackers) and avoiding smoking and strong drink, but risked his very life in support of Abolition. During the 1863 New York City draft riots, trapped in the Tribune building by an angry mob demanding his neck, Greeley faced them down. The rioters stormed the building, but only after he left by the front door.

In his day, Horace Greeley was a virtual celebrity; today, we remember him mainly for a quotation he never actually said. “Go West, young man, go West!” was sloganized from one of his wordier editorials about westward expansion.

Marker #3

Amherst

1958

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