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Walt Whitman to the Editors of The Daily Crescent, 28 September 1848

Horace Greeley,1 at the whig2 meeting last night, gave in his adhesion to Gen. Taylor,3 declaring that he should vote for him, as the best way to defeat Gen. Cass.4

The brave sailor Jerome,5 who so heroically rescued a number of persons from the burning wreck of the Ocean Monarch, is to be donated the freedom of the city (what is it?) in a gold box, to-morrow night, at the sailor's church in Roosevelt street. Mr. Banvard6 departed yesterday for Europe, with his panoramas of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio rivers. Of course, he will make a good "spec" there, in all probability. His success has given rise to a host of imitators. We have panoramic views, now, of nearly all the principal rivers of the country. We have even on exhibition here pictures of matters and things as they were before the Deluge—doubtless a very correct representation. Nothing of importance was done yesterday, at the Episcopal Convention; it only organized—electing Dr. Creighton7 of Tarrytown, as President, and Rev. Mr. Haight,8 Secretary. One of the disturbing questions to come before these potent, grave and reverend signors, is that of the admission, on equal terms with whites, of congregations of colored churches. That is one branch of the great question. Of course it is very important—to the parties concerned.

I hear in the city this morning of the death of Michael Hoffman,9 Naval officer, for this city; he was aged sixty years, and died last night at his residence in Pacific street, Brooklyn. Mr. Hoffman was a well-known politician of the Radical stamp, and had filled offices in the Legislature and other positions. He was much beloved by the Silas Wright10 democracy, who were in daily expectation of hearing of his removal by the National Executive, at Washington. The removal, however, has been by a more solemn power, and more potent mandate. He is to be taken this afternoon to Herkimer county, his former residence, for burial.


P.S..Sorry are "some folks" here to see a telegraphic announcement from your city that that "Buffalo Hunt"11 has been nipped in the bud. What and how is it? That miserable Mexico must crumble from her present organization, and gradually merge in the United States, there is no doubt. But all in good time.


  • 1. Horace Greeley (1811–1872) was editor of the New York Tribune and a prominent advocate of social and political reform. Greeley generally supported the Whig Party in his early years, though he helped found the Republican Party in 1854. He ran for president as Liberal Republican in the election of 1872. For more information on Greeley, see Robert C. Williams, Horace Greeley: Champion of American Freedom (New York: New York University Press, 2006). [back]
  • 2. The Whigs were a political party in the antebellum United States; the Whig and the Democratic Parties were the two major political parties in the United States as part of the two-party system. The Whigs were critical of the nation's expansion into Texas and of the Mexican-American War and favored a national bank. They preferred that Congress take the lead in lawmaking and opposed strong presidential power. Their supporters were primarily professionals and social reformers; they received much less support from farmers and laborers. The Democratic Party in this period opposed a national bank, and they advocated for strong presidential power, and the interests of slave states. [back]
  • 3. Zachary Taylor (1784–1850), a Southern slaveholder and a well-known American miltary leader in the Mexican-American War, was the Whig Candidate for president in the 1848 United States Presidential Election. Taylor won the election and went on to serve as the twelfth president of the United States, from 1849 until his death in 1850. [back]
  • 4. Lewis Cass (1782–1866) was a statesman, politician, and military officer. He served as a Senator representing the state of Michigan, as the Secretary of War under President Andrew Jackson, and as Secretary of State under James Buchanan. In 1848 he was the Democratic candidate for president. Cass was a proponent of the Doctrine of Popular Sovereignty, which held that each territory should choose whether to permit slavery. Cass was also crucial in the implementation of Andrew Jackson's policy of Indian Removal. For more information on Cass, see The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–2005 (United States Government Printing Office, 2005), 797. [back]
  • 5. Frederick Jerome was a resident of New York and a sailor aboard the New World, when he saw the Ocean Monarch burning. He swam to the ship and helped left passengers into a rescue boat. He later received awards for his bravery from Queen Victoria and the Common Council of New York. [back]
  • 6. John Banvard (1815–1891) was a New York born and educated panoramist and portrait painter. He is considered a pioneer of panoramic painting and is best known for his panoramic paintings of the Mississippi River Valley. He toured the nation, displaying the panoramic views to packed houses, and he even presented a private showing for Queen Victoria. [back]
  • 7. William Creighton (1793–1865) was born in New York City and studied theology at Columbia, graduating in 1812. After his ordination to the priesthood, Creighton became rector of St. Mark's in New York City, where he served from 1816 until 1836. He was elected as provisional bishop of New York during Bishop Onderdonk's suspension, but declined the position. For more information on Creighton, see "Rev. William Creighton, D.D.," Memorial of St. Mark's Church in the Bowery New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1899), 78–84. [back]
  • 8. Benjamin I. Haight (1809–1879) was born in New York and was an Episcopalian priest, author, and seminary professor at the General Theologic Seminary from 1837–1855. [back]
  • 9. Michael Hoffman (1787–1848) was a New York born lawyer and politician. He served as a naval officer, a judge, a canal commissioner for New York, and as a member of the United States House of Representatives from New York. Hoffman's political ideology centered upon imposing strict constitutional limits on the powers of State governments. For more information on Hoffman, see James A. Henretta, "Michael Hoffman and the New York Constitution of 1846," New York History 77.2 (April 1996), 151–176). [back]
  • 10. Silas Wright (1795–1847) of Massachusetts studied law and set up a practice in New York before entering politics. He served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from New York, as a Senator from New York, and as the state's fourteenth governor, from 1845 to 1846. [back]
  • 11. The "Buffalo Hunt" was a name given to a scheme in which men who had served in the Mexican-American War and some military officers would gather on the pretense of a hunting excursion but, through violence, would take possession of Mexican territory west of the Rio Grande. The conquered territory would be called the Republic of Sierra Madre ("Incidental Results of the Mexican-American War," Advocate of Peace 7.22–23 [October and November 1848], 282–285). [back]
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