New-York Tribune

The New-York Tribune was an American newspaper founded in 1841 by editor Horace Greeley. It bore the moniker New-York Daily Tribune from 1842 to 1866 before returning to its original name.[1] From the 1840s through the 1860s it was the dominant newspaper first of the American Whig Party, then of the Republican Party. The paper achieved a circulation of approximately 200,000 in the 1850s, making it the largest daily paper in New York City at the time. The Tribune's editorials were widely read, shared, and copied in other city newspapers, helping to shape national opinion. It was one of the first papers in the north to send reporters, correspondents, and illustrators to cover the campaigns of the American Civil War. It continued as an independent daily newspaper until 1924 when it merged with the New York Herald. The resulting New York Herald Tribune remained in publication until 1966.

New-York Tribune
The New York Tribune.svg
Front page of the New-York Tribune no. 7,368
November 16, 1864
TypeDaily newspaper
Political alignmentLiberal, left-of-center
Ceased publication1924; 98 years ago (1924); merged with New York Herald to form the New York Herald Tribune
HeadquartersManhattan, New York, New York, U.S.

Among those who served on the paper's editorial board were Bayard Taylor, George Ripley, and Isidor Lewi.[2][3]

Edgar Allan Poe's poem "Annabel Lee" was first published in the newspaper as part of his October 9, 1849 obituary, "Death of Edgar A. Poe", by Rufus Griswold.[4] In addition, Poe's "The Bells" was published in the October 17, 1849 issue as "Poe's Last Poem".[5]


Daguerreotype of the Tribune editorial staff by famed later Civil War photographer Mathew Brady (1822–1896), taken circa 1850s. Horace Greeley (1811–1872), is seated, second from the right. Editor Charles Anderson Dana (1819–1897), is standing, center.
The New York Tribune building, today the site of One Pace Plaza in lower Manhattan.

The Tribune was created by Horace Greeley in 1841 with the goal of providing a straightforward, trustworthy media source. Greeley had previously published a weekly newspaper, The New Yorker (unrelated to the later modern magazine, of the same name), in 1833, and was also publisher of the Whig Party's political organ, Log Cabin. In 1841, he merged operations of these two publications into a new newspaper that he named, the New-York Tribune.[6]

Greeley sponsored a host of reforms, including pacifism and feminism and especially the ideal of the hard-working free laborer. Greeley demanded reforms to make all citizens free and equal. He envisioned virtuous citizens who would eradicate corruption. He talked endlessly about progress, improvement, and freedom, while calling for harmony between labor and capital.[7] Greeley's editorials promoted social democratic reforms, and were widely reprinted. They influenced the free-labor ideology of the Whigs and the radical wing of the Republican Party, especially in promoting the free-labor ideology. Before 1848 he sponsored an American version of Fourierist socialist reform, but backed away after the failed revolutions of 1848 in Europe.[8] To promote multiple reforms Greeley hired a roster of writers who later became famous in their own right, including Margaret Fuller,[9] Charles Anderson Dana, George William Curtis, William Henry Fry, Bayard Taylor, George Ripley, Julius Chambers and Henry Jarvis Raymond, who later co-founded The New York Times.[10] In 1852-62, the paper retained Karl Marx as its London-based European correspondent. Friedrich Engels also submitted articles under Marx's by-line.[11] Marx resented much of his time working for the Tribune, particularly the many edits and deadlines they imposed upon him, and bemoaned the "excessive fragmentation of [his] studies", noting that since much of his work was reporting on current economic events, “I was compelled to become conversant with practical detail which, strictly speaking, lie outside the sphere of political economy”.[12] Engels wrote “It doesn’t matter if they are never read again.”. In the same correspondence Marx disparagingly referred to the publication as a “blotting paper vendor”. Nevertheless, Engels still cited this career as a positive achievement of Marx’s during a eulogy given at his funeral.[13][14]

Political influenceEdit

Founded in a time of civil unrest, the paper joined the newly formed Republican Party in 1854, named it after the party of Thomas Jefferson, and emphasized its opposition to slavery. The paper generated a large readership, with a circulation of approximately 200,000 during the decade of the 1850s. This made the paper the largest circulation daily in New York City — gaining commensurate influence among voters and political decision-makers in the process.[15] During the Civil War Greeley crusaded against slavery, lambasting Democrats while calling for a mandatory draft of soldiers for the first time in the U.S. This led to an Irish mob attempting to burn down the Tribune building in lower Manhattanan during the Draft Riots.[16]

Greeley ran for president as the nominee of the Liberal Republican Party (and subsequently the Democratic Party) in the 1872 election, against incumbent Ulysses S. Grant, in his bid for a second term. Greeley was unsuccessful, and soon after the defeat, checked into Dr. George C.S. Choate's Sanitarium where he died only a few weeks later. Tribune editor Whitelaw Reid purchased the paper following Greeley's death.

In 1886, with Reid's support, the Tribune became the first publication in the world to be printed on a linotype machine, which was invented by a German immigrant, inventor Ottmar Mergenthaler. This technique allowed them to exceed the standard newspaper size of only eight pages while still speeding up printing time per copy, thereby increasing the overall number of copies that could be printed.

New York Herald TribuneEdit

Under Reid's son, Ogden Mills Reid, the paper acquired and merged with the New York Herald in 1924 to form the New York Herald Tribune. The New York Herald Tribune continued to be run by Ogden M. Reid until his death in 1947.

New paper, same nameEdit

A "new" New York Tribune debuted in 1976 in New York City. The paper, which was originally named The News World and later changed to The New York City Tribune, was published by News World Communications, Inc., owned by the Unification Church. It was published in the former Tiffany and Company Building at 401 Fifth Avenue until it printed its last edition on January 3, 1991.[17] Its sister paper, The Washington Times, is circulated primarily in the nation's capital. The Tribune carried an expansive "Commentary" section of opinions and editorials. Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch was one of the columnists.

Former Tribune buildings todayEdit


Copies of the New-York Tribune are available on microfilm at many large libraries and online at the Library of Congress.[18] Also, indices from selected years in the late nineteenth century are available on the Library of Congress' website. The original paper articles from the newspaper's morgue are kept at The Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "About New-York daily tribune".
  2. ^ Studio, Times (1939-01-03). "ISIDOR LEWI DEAD; LONG A JOURNALIST; Member of Herald Tribune Staff Was 88 and Had Been News Writer Since 1870 COVERED THE CHICAGO FIRE Also Wrots of Historic River Packet Races--Saw Lincoln on Way to Inaugural". The New York Times (in American English). ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-10-01.
  3. ^ "Editorial staff of the New York Tribune.," Library of Congress.
  4. ^ The New-York Daily Tribune, Tuesday, October 9, 1849, "Death of Edgar A. Poe", page 2.
  5. ^ The New-York Daily Tribune, Wednesday, October 17, 1849, "Poe's Last Poem", From the Union Magazine for November, front page.
  6. ^ Glyndon G. van Deusen, Horace Greeley: 19th Century Crusader (1953) pp 51-58.
  7. ^ Mitchell Snay, Horace Greeley and the Politics of Reform in Nineteenth-Century America (2011).
  8. ^ Adam-Max Tuchinsky, "'The Bourgeoisie Will Fall and Fall Forever': The New-York Tribune, the 1848 French Revolution, and American Social Democratic Discourse." Journal of American History 92.2 (2005): 470-497.
  9. ^ Paula Kopacz, "Feminist at the 'Tribune': Margaret Fuller as Professional Writer." Studies in the American Renaissance (1991): 119-139. online
  10. ^ Sandburg, Carl (1942). Storm Over the Land. Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  11. ^ Saul K. Padover, Karl Marx: An Intimate Biography. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1978; pp. 301, 605.
  12. ^ "Economic Manuscripts: Preface to a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy".
  13. ^ "Engels' burial speech".
  14. ^ "1883: The death of Karl Marx".
  15. ^ Frank Luther Mott, American Journalism: A History, 1690-1960 (1962) pp 271-78.
  16. ^ Van Deusen, Horace Greeley: 19th Century Crusader (1953) pp 283-85, 289, 298-300.
  17. ^ "New York Tribune Suspends Publication". The New York Times. No. Late Edition (East Coast). January 5, 1991.
  18. ^ "About New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866–1924," Library of Congress.

Further readingEdit

  • Anon. "The New York Tribune: A Sketch of Its History" (1883) short pamphlet
  • "About New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866–1924". Chronicling America. Library of Congress. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  • Baehr, Harry W. The New York Tribune since the Civil War (1936).
  • Borchard, Gregory A. (2008). "New York Tribune". In Vaughn, Stephen L. (ed.). Encyclopedia of American Journalism (1st ed.). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. pp. 343–345. ISBN 978-0-415-96950-5.
  • Fahrney, Ralph Ray, Horace Greeley and the Tribune in the Civil War (1936) online
  • Guarneri, Carl J. Lincoln's Informer: Charles A. Dana and the Inside Story of the Union War (University Press of Kansas, 2019).
  • Holzer, Harold. Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion (Simon & Schuster, 2014).
  • Isely, Jeter A. Horace Greeley and the Republican Party, 1853–1861: A Study of the New York Tribune (Princeton University Press, 1947).
  • Kluger, Richard, with the assistance of Phyllis Kluger. The Paper: The Life and Death of the New York Herald Tribune (Knopf, 1986).
  • Lundberg, James M. Horace Greeley: Print, Politics, and the Failure of American Nationhood (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019).
  • Maihafer, Harry J. The General and the Journalists: Ulysses S. Grant, Horace Greeley, and Charles Dana (Brassey's, Inc., 1998).
  • Seitz, Don C. Horace Greeley: Founder of the New York Tribune (1926) online edition
  • Tuchinsky, Adam. Horace Greeley's 'New-York Tribune': Civil War-Era Socialism and the Crisis of Free Labor (Cornell University Press, 2009).
  • Van Deusen, Glyndon G. Horace Greeley, Nineteenth-Century Crusader (1953), standard biography online edition

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit