Whitelaw Reid (Whitelaw Reid)

Whitelaw Reid

Whitelaw Reid was the longtime editor of the New York Tribune and a close friend of Horace Greeley. He was a leader of the Liberal Republican movement in 1872. During the war he wrote under the by-line “Agate”. A Republican, he had an illustrious career as a diplomat, serving as United States Ambassador to France from 1889 to 1892, and as U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s from 1905 to 1912. In 1892, Reid became the Republican vice presidential nominee when President Benjamin Harrison chose to drop Vice President Levi P. Morton from the ticket. Harrison and Reid lost to the Democratic ticket of Grover Cleveland and Adlai Stevenson, as Cleveland became the first former president to recapture the office. Whitelaw Reid was given a spot on the peace commission following the Spanish–American War. Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York, is located on his former Westchester County estate. Reid Continue to the role of the Tribune As one of the foremost Republican newspapers in the country. He emphasized the importance of partisan newspapers in a speech in 1879: The true statesman and the really influential editor are those who are able to control and guide parties….There is an old question as to whether a newspaper controls public opinion or public opinion controls the newspaper. This at least is true: that editor best succeeds who best interprets the prevailing and the better tendencies of public opinion, and, who, whatever his personal views concerning it, does not get himself too far out of relations to it. He will understand that a party is not an end, but a means; will use it if it lead to his end, — will use some other if that serve better, but will never commit the folly of attempting to reach the end without the means….Of all the puerile follies that have masqueraded before High Heaven in the guise of Reform, the most childish has been the idea that the editor could vindicate his independence only by sitting on the fence and throwing stones with impartial vigor alike at friend and foe.

Whitelaw Reid received the degree LL.D. honoris causa from the University of Cambridge in June 1902, when he was in the United Kingdom as Special Ambassador to attend the Coronation of King Edward VII. He was a member of Stanford University’s board of trustees from 1902 until 1912. He died while serving as the ambassador to Britain on December 15, 1912. His remains are buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

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  • October, 27, 1837
  • USA
  • Cedarville, Ohio


  • December, 15, 1912
  • United Kingdom
  • London, England


  • Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
  • Sleepy Hollow, New York
  • USA

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