-- Dilemmas of Compromise --


Advice: Horace Greeley

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Horace Greeley

The prominent journalist, Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune and a leading Republican spokesman, expressed the view that the disgruntled cotton states should be permitted to "go in peace" if they wished. "When ever a considerable section of our Union shall deliberately resolve to go out, we shall resist all coercive measures designed to keep it in."

Greeley repudiated the idea of compromising with the South. The Crittenden plan, he argued, would only encourage the South to seek further extensions of slavery and would not save the Union. Instead, he recommended a slow, complicated process of peaceful separation, including for example, the calling of a constitutional convention. During this period, the South would cool off and realize the drawbacks of separation. In the meantime, it was essential for the North to avoid concessions or inflammatory actions. "They will be glad enough to come back very soon," he promised.


Bibliography: Stampp, And the War Came, pp. 21-25; Van Deusen, Greeley, pp. 260-69; Potter, Impending Crisis, p. 524.

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