Henry Jarvis Raymond
2nd Chair of the Republican National Committee
1864 – 1866
Preceded by Edwin D. Morgan Succeeded by Marcus L. Ward
Born January 24, 1820
Livingston County, New York
Died June 18, 1869
New York City, New York
Henry Jarvis Raymond (24 January 1820–1869) was an American journalist and politician born in Livingston County, New York, near the village of Lima. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1840. After assisting Horace Greeley in publishing several newspapers, Raymond formed Raymond, Jones & Co. in 1851, and founded the New York Times. He was the newspaper's editor and chief proprietor until his death in New York City.
New York State politics
Raymond was a member of the New York Assembly in 1850 and 1851, and in the latter year was Speaker. A member of the Whig party's Northern radical anti-slavery wing, his nomination over Greeley on the Whig ticket for New York lieutenant-governor in 1854 led to the dissolution of the political firm of Seward, Weed and Greeley. Raymond was elected lieutenant-governor, and served 1855–56.
Raymond had a prominent part in the formation of the Republican Party and drafted the Address to the People adopted by the Republican organizing convention which met in Pittsburgh on 22 February 1856. In 1862, he was again Speaker of the New York Assembly.
During the Civil War, Raymond supported Lincoln's policies in general, but protested his delays in aggressively prosecuting the war. He was among the first to urge the adoption of a broad and liberal post-war attitude toward the people of the South and opposed the Radical Republicans who wanted harsher measures against the South. In 1865, he was a delegate to the National Republican Convention, and was made Chairman of the Republican National Committee. He was a member of the House of Representatives from 1865–67.
On 22 December 1865, he attacked Thaddeus Stevens' theory of the dead states (in which states that had seceded were not to be restored to their former status in the Union), and, agreeing with the President, argued that the states were never out of the Union, in as much as the ordinances of secession were null. Raymond authored the Address and Declaration of Principles issued by the Loyalist (or National Union) Convention at Philadelphia in August 1866. His attack on Stevens and his prominence at the Loyalist Convention caused him to lose favor with the Republican party. He was removed from the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee in 1866, and in 1867 his nomination as minister to Austria, which he had already refused, was rejected by the Senate.
He retired from public life in 1867 and devoted his time to newspaper work until his death in New York City in 1869.
Raymond began his journalistic career on Greeley's Tribune and gained further experience in editing James Bennett's Courier and Enquirer. Then, with the help of friends, Raymond raised one hundred thousand dollars capital (a hundred times what Greely staked on the Tribune ten years earlier) and founded the New York Times on 18 September 1851.
Editorially, Raymond sought a niche between Greely's open partisanship and Bennett's party-neutrality. In the first issue of the Times Raymond announced his purpose to write in temperate and measured language and to get into a passion as rarely as possible. "There are few things in this world which it is worth while to get angry about; and they are just the things anger will not improve." In controversy he meant to avoid abusive language. His editorials were generally cautious, impersonal, and finished in form.
Raymond was an able public speaker; one of his best known speeches was a greeting to Hungarian leader Lajos Kossuth, whose cause he defended.
In addition to the his work with the New York Times, he wrote books including:
- A Life of Daniel Webster (1853)
- Political Lessons of the Revolution (1854)
- Letters to Mr. Yancey (1860)
- A History of the Administration of President Lincoln (1864)
- The Life and Public Services of Abraham Lincoln (1865)
- Augustus Maverick, Henry J. Raymond and the New York Press for Thirty Years (Hartford, 1870)
- Davis, Elmer. History of the New York Times, 1851-1921 (1921)
- Dicken-Garcia, Hazel. Journalistic Standards in Nineteenth-Century America (1989)
- Douglas, George H. The Golden Age of the Newspaper (1999)
- Sloan, W. David and James D. Startt. The Gilded Age Press, 1865-1900 (2003)
- Summers, Mark Wahlgren.The Press Gang: Newspapers and Politics, 1865-1878 (1994)
- This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
- This article also copies from
- Mr. Lincoln and New York: Henry J. Raymond
Sanford E. Church
Lieutenant Governor of New York
1855 – 1856
Henry R. Selden
Edwin D. Morgan
Chairman of the Republican National Committee
Marcus L. Ward
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