Henry Jarvis Raymond was born in Lima, New York to a farm family that had migrated from Connecticut. Raymond distinguished himself at the University of Vermont where he was graduated with high honors in 1840. During his college career he developed strict work habits and began submitting pieces to Horace Greeley’s New Yorker. He moved to New York City after college and pursued freelance writing until he earned a job with Greeley. Thus began a lifelong enmity between the two men whose views of the role and utility of journalism differed greatly. When Greeley founded the New York Tribune in 1841, his problems with Raymond did not stop him from offering the younger man a job as his chief assistant, a testament to how the older man valued Raymond’s skills and abilities (Darby 353-4; Wilson 373).
Raymond soon formed a close friendship with Pfaff’s visitor George Jones who worked in Greeley’s business office. Though lacking in start-up funds, the two were inspired with the dream of starting a paper of their own. It is speculated that Raymond knew others of the Pfaff’s crowd, such as Fitz-James O’Brien (Wolle 48, 53, 67). He may have belonged, along with Walt Whitman, to the “Fred Gray Association,” a group of young men who “drank and caroused together at Pfaff’s and elsewhere” (E. Miller, “Introduction” 11). The evidence to suppport his connection to this group of male friends, though, is somewhat tenuous because Walt Whitman only recorded the individual as "Raymond" without any further information about his identity (Blalock 50). No other concrete connection to Pfaff's can be established besides his possible membership in the Fred Gray Association.
During this time, Raymond took work at the Morning Courier and the New-York Enquirer. He eventually became managing editor of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, a position he held until 1856. Raymond followed through on his partnership with George Jones in 1851 with the formation of the New York Daily Times (later renamed the New York Times). He edited the paper while Jones ran the business office. In contrast to Greeley’s Tribune, Raymond’s paper advocated impartial, measured judgment, a move which may have been responsible for its immediate success. It gained twice the Tribune’s circulation even though Greeley engaged in aggressive competition (Darby 353-4).
In addition, Raymond actively pursued his political interests. Thanks in part to his reputation as a newspaperman, an orator, and a political strategist, he was elected in 1849 to the State Assembly. He aligned himself with the Free Soil contingent led by William Seward and won re-election in 1859. The competition between Raymond and Greeley continued in the political arena when Raymond beat Greeley for the nomination for Lieutenant Governor. Raymond’s accession to that office and his enthusiastic support of Abraham Lincoln at the 1860 Republican Convention contributed to Lincoln’s victory (Darby 354-9).
In his latter part of his career, Raymond remained active in the journalistic world. He became a foreign correspondent during the Franco-Austrian War in 1859 and then returned home to write a series of open letters opposing secession. Raymond’s support of Lincoln’s policies made the Times the President’s strongest supporter in New York. Delving further into politics, Raymond served as Speaker of the Assembly, made an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the Senate, helped place Andrew Johnson on the ticket as Vice President, and was elected to the House of Representatives. His knowledge of the political sphere inspired some of his longer works: Association Discussed; or, the Socialism of the Tribune Examined (1847), Disunion and Slavery (1860), History of the Administration of President Lincoln (1864), The Life and Public Services of Abraham Lincoln (1865). After retiring from Congress, Raymond kept abreast of politics. He attacked the corrupt “Tweed ring” of New York City and advocated tariff reduction and civil service reform. Exhausted by overwork and emotional crisis, he succumbed to a cerebral hemorrhage in 1867. He was survived by his wife and four children (Darby 361-2).
Raymond wrote in the New York Times that the rioters of July 13 and 14, 1863 were "not the people" as was reported in the World and the Tribune but "for the most part...the vilest elements of the city," which was to become the view of later historians (302).
On Decemeber 2, 1866, Raymond gave O'Connor four columns on the Sunday editorial page of the Times to review the new Leaves of Grass and discuss Whitman and included his own half-column endorsement of O'Connor's article, "though he still felt that the book was too indecent to be circulated freely." O'Connor's article was so persuasive and well-written that Raymond considered him for an editorial position at the Times (376).[pages:302,376,381]
Clapp chastises "Mr. Raymond" for his attacks on Horace Greeley's political campaign.
This biographical sketch details Raymond's political and literary career with reference to Abe Lincoln and Horace Greeley.
According to Derby, "The names of William Cullen Bryant, Thurlow Weed, Horace Greeley, and Henry Jarvis Raymond are recorded in the permanent political and literary history of our country." By Derby's estimation, these men were "the four great editors who names and whose fame became national through the journals, of which they were the controlling spirits as well as through authorship, all of them having been writers of books" (352-353).
Raymond began his newspaper career as an assitant editor to Horace Greeley at the Tribune. Ten years after the publication of the first issue of the Tribune The New York Daily Times appeared (September 18, 1851), "a new daily paper representing the views so clearly set forth in the prospectus issued by Raymond, Jones & Co." It was a morning and evening paper that sold for one cent; "it quickly became a favorite among the better class of readers and was successful from the start." Derby notes that shares of the paper have increased in value and continue to do so (353). The Times doubled its size in 1852, due to its success, hiring a "brilliant corps of assistant editors," including Charles F. Briggs, William Henry Hurlburt, Fitz James O'Brien, E.L. Godkin, R.J. De Cordova, and Edward Seymour (354).
Raymond was elected Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1853, and declined the nomination for Governor in 1854 to return to the Times as editor-in-chief. Raymond was also very active in the Republican party and the elections of 1856 and 1860 (354-355). Raymond was elected a member of Congress for the City of New York in 1861, "where his great ability as a debater and leader was very soon recognized" (357). Raymond decided "to devote himself entirely to journalism, which was more to his taste" after his Congressional term expired (359).
In 1864, Raymond began discussing plans for a book that dealt with the life and Presidential administration of Abraham Lincoln. The book was written and published in the ninety days following the President's assisination. About 65,000 copies sold in the first six months (357-358).
Raymond also gave a speech at a farewell dinner at Delmonico's for Charles Dickens on April 18, 1865 (359). A farewell dinner was given for Raymond in the summer of 1867 at the Athanaeum Club before his own trip to Europe. It was on this evening that Halpine's "To Raymond on His Travels" was sung to the group by Mr. Robert B. Roosevelt (359-360). According to Derby, Halpine was a "great favorite" of the prominent newspaper editors of the time, including Raymond (427).
Before Raymond could depart, however, he died on June 18, 1867, at his home of apoplexy. According to Derby, "The next morning, June 19, the Times appeared in full mourning. Suddenly it had lost its founder. His unexpected death caused, as well it might, a profound sensation. The public were not prepared for such a startling event which was dwelt upon by the press throughout the United States, as a national loss to journalism" (361-362). After Raymond's death, George Jones carried out his wishes for the Times, including voluntary raises for several "faithful co-workers of the Times should be made for the excellent work they were doing, that they might thus share in the general prosperity of the paper" (364).[pages:72,352-363,364,366,392,427,492]
Henry J. Raymond is mentioned in an article Gunn clipped about Bull Run.[pages:244]
Discusses H.J. Raymond, who may or may not be the "Raymond" who was a part of the Fred Gray Society at Pfaff's.[pages:FP(.ill)]
Miller mentions Henry J. Raymond, founder of the New York Times, but it is not clear if this is the same Raymond who was part of the Fred Gray Association.[pages:129]
Quelqu'un cites Raymond's editorial about the "people of doubtful morality" who have been populating the audiences of the operatic Matinees. The "virtuous editor" also claims that the "very atmosphere of the place is tainted with Bohemianism" (3).[pages:3]
Henry J. Raymond is listed with Horace Greeley, Bryant, Samuel Bowles, and R.B. Rhett who became famous as a result of the press' emphasis on opinion and editorial commentary than news and facts (6).
Starr refers to Greeley, Raymond and Bennett as "those titans of newspaperdom" and notes that their offices were all located in a small area of New York near City Hall Park. Theirs were the "only eight-page dailies in the United States" and were vital news sources for the country (11).
Raymond was among the large party of reporters that witnessed the first Battle of Bull Run; of the reporters caught in the battle, Raymond was one of two who had ever seen combat before, in the Austro-Italian war in 1859. (43-44). At 3:30, Raymond went to Centerville to find a courier and sent a "cautious" report to the Times, stating that the "result is not certain" (46). Shortly after Raymond sent his report, the tide of the battle turned, and in Centerville, Raymond rode to Washington after hearing of the retreat and managed to run into a "fresh stampede" from "an enormous Pennsylvania army wagon" (47).
Starr writes that in 1862, the "alert, immaculate, little Henry J. Raymond" joined the "Times crew" in Virginia to follow General McClellan's army (110).
During the riots of July 13-14,1863, Raymond defended the offices of the Times himself, armed with a Gatling gun at the front entrance, "commanding Park Row to the north" (224).
During Lincoln's re-election, Raymond was chairman of the Republican National Committee (323).[pages:6,11,43-44,46,47,49,59,72,110,112,194,224,292,323]
The H.J. Raymond mentioned here is possibly this Raymond.
Whitman mentions that he misses his dear friend Raymond[pages:142]
Raymond was Greeley's first "chief lieutenant" when he began the Tribune. At this time he was "a young man of twenty-one, with a capacity for hard work and for straightforward narrative which soon made him a man of mark in his calling" (373). Raymond left the Tribune after two years to work at the Courier and Enquirer and founed the New York Times in September 1851. He remained editor and "directing spirit" of the paper until his death (373).
During the riots of July 13-15, 1863, Raymond's home was attacked. The Times strongly supported the draft that the protests that began the riot opposed (382).[pages:373,382]
The Vault at Pfaff's
27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, PA 18015