Henry Jarvis Raymond - Encyclopedia

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HENRY JARVIS RAYMOND (1820-1869), American journalist, was born near the village of Lima, Livingston county, New York, on the 24th of January 1820. He graduated from the university of Vermont in 1840. After assisting Horace Greeley in the conduct of more than one newspaper, Raymond in 1851 formed the firm of Raymond, Jones & Co., and the first issue of the New York Times appeared on the 18th of September 1851; of this journal Raymond was editor and chief proprietor until his death. Raymond was a member of the New York Assembly in 1850 and 1851, and in the latter year was speaker. He supported the views of the radical anti-slavery wing of the Whig party in the North. His nomination over Greeley on the Whig ticket for lieutenant-governor in 1854 led to the dissolution of the famous political "firm" of Seward, Weed and Greeley. Raymond was elected, and served in 1854-56. He took a prominent part in the formation of the Republican party, and drafted the famous "Address to the People" adopted by the Republican convention which met in Pittsburg on the 22nd of February 1856. In 1862 he was again a member, and speaker, of the New York Assembly. During the Civil War he supported Lincoln's policy in general, though deprecating his delays, and he was among the first to urge the adoption of a broad and liberal attitude in dealing with the people of the South. In 1865 he was a delegate to the National Republican Convention, and was made a member, and chairman, of the Republican National Committee. He was a member of the National House of Representatives in 1865-67, and on the 22nd of December 1865 he ably attacked Thaddeus Stevens's theory of the "dead" states, and, agreeing with the President, argued that the states were never out of the Union, inasmuch as the ordinances of secession were null. In consequence of this, of his prominence in the Loyalist (or National Union) Convention at Philadelphia in August 1866, and of his authorship of the "Address and Declaration of Principles," issued by the convention, he lost favour with his 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 on the 18th of June 1869. Raymond was an able and polished public speaker; one of his best known speeches was a greeting to Kossuth, whose cause he warmly defended. But his great work was in elevating the style and general tone of American journalism. He published several books, including a biography of President Lincoln - The Life and Public Services of Abraham Lincoln (1865), which in substance originally appeared as A History of the Administration of President Lincoln (1864).

See Augustus Maverick, Henry J. Raymond and the New York Press for Thirty Years (Hartford, Conn., 1870); and "Extracts from the Journal of Henry J. Raymond," edited by his son, Henry H. Raymond, in Scribners' Monthly, vols. xix. and xx. (New York, 1879-80).

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