“We’re going to be talking about Horace Greeley,” Vermont Historical Society executive director Steve Perkins said. “And I think many people have probably heard the name Horace Greeley. He’s one of the most historically important journalists — I think, in the history of this country — and he had his roots right here in Poultney, Vermont. We’re going to go talk to Ann Duncan, who’s a member of the Horace Greeley Foundation, to tell us more about his life and times.”

“His parents got into some financial difficulties in (Amherst,) New Hampshire and they had to escape in the middle of the night,” Duncan said. “When he was 11, he realized — having been a voracious reader already — that he wanted to be an editor. He went to Whitehall, New York, a nearby town across the canal, and applied for a job but they didn’t take him.

“He didn’t give up,” she noted. “When he was 15, he walked 12 miles here to East Poultney, and what is now called the Horace Greeley House was the site of the Northern Spectator, the weekly newspaper run by Amos Bliss. While he was here — right across the way, over there at the Lyceum — he actually debated against lawyers and judges and doctors and clergy and all sorts of adults. And he was still a teenager! Then, when the Spectator closed five years later, he ended up going to New York City, where he founded the New York Tribune.”

“Probably the best-known newspaperman in the country,” Perkins added.

“He became embroiled in politics — he wrote a lot about it; his opinions counted — and he ended up helping to create the new Republican Party,” Duncan continued. “He really believed in getting rid of slavery. He actually published a letter (in the Tribune), full-page letter, to (President) Lincoln.”

“Calling him out, yes,” Mike Hoey noted.

“Called him out on it,” Duncan agreed. “It was very exciting to think that somebody like that, with that much influence, got his start right here.”

“Now, kind of to wrap up his career, he ended up running for President at the very end of his life,” Perkins said.

“He got sad and upset with the way the country was running,” Duncan said. “He decided (in 1872) to run himself, against Ulysses S. Grant, and he did fail, but the people still loved him. I believe Horace Greeley had the same basic ideas.”

“Hence Greeley’s famous reply in one of his editorials to someone that had written to him, I believe at the Tribune, ‘go West, young man’,” Hoey added. “Work hard and carve out a life for yourself out of what might be nothing.”

“Exactly,” Duncan said.

Perkins asked, “So, if people want to learn more about Horace Greeley, where are some of the places they can go to learn?”

“Well, they can look for the book he wrote about himself, ‘Recollections of a Busy Life’,” Duncan answered. “They could read James Parton’s ‘The Life of Horace Greeley’. I’ve got one online myself; they’re probably in libraries. I write a column that’s in the local newspaper, the Lakes Region Free Press, about Horace Greeley every now and then.”