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Horace Greeley in Kansas

Photograph of Horace Greeley, 1850s

At the Republican Convention of the Freemen of Kansas, 1859

In April 1859 New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley announced to readers that he was traveling to Kansas.

“ I shall try to look in on the first distinctively Republican Convention of the Freemen of Kansas, which meets at Osawatomie on the 18th of May...”

Greeley’s antislavery paper was widely read by Kansas freestaters. Many of them were already excited about the formation of the Kansas Republican Party at the Convention and news that Greeley would be in attendance only fueled the anticipation.

Not everyone attending the convention shared Greeley’s liberal views, and they opposed his being allowed to speak there. There was tension among delegates over the party’s platform and leaders feared a speech from Greeley would only deepen the conflict.

Convention president O.E. Learnard later reflected on not allowing Greeley to address the convention:

“ We treated him with the courtesy due the great editor that he was, but we merely pushed him aside and held the convention in our own way.”

After the new Kansas Republican Party had completed its business on May 18, the convention adjourned. Outside, nearly 1,000 people gathered around an improvised platform and for the next hour and a half, they heard Horace Greeley speak.

Entry: Greeley, Horace

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2010

Date Modified: January 2011

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.