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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 85,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World through the end of the twentieth century.

Greeley, Horace (1811-1872) to R. L. Sanderson

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00608 Author/Creator: Greeley, Horace (1811-1872) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 15 November 1871 Pagination: 2 p. ; 19.5 x 12.6 cm. Order a Copy

Serving as editor of the New York Tribune, Greeley offers advice to Sanderson: "...I say to all who are in want of work, Go West!" Written on New York Tribune stationery.

New York, Nov. 15, 1871.
dear Sir:
So many people ask me what they shall do; so few tell me what they can do. Yet this is the pivot wherein all must turn.
I believe that each of us who has his place to make should go where men are wanted and where employment is not bestowed as alms. Of course, I say to all who are in want of work, Go West!
But what can you do? and how can your family help you? Your mother, I infer, is to be counted out as an effective worker. But what of the rest? And you - can you chop? Can you plow? Can you mow? Can you cut up Indian corn? I reckon not. And in the West it is hard to find such work as you have been accustomed to. The conditions of living are very crude there.
On the whole I say, stay where you are; do as well as you can; and devote every spare hour to making yourself familiar with the conditions and dexterity required for the efficient conservation of out-door industry in a new country. Having mastered these, gather up your family and Go West!
Horace Greeley

R.L. Sanderson,
[illegible]bury, MA

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