Open main menu

Page:Memoirs of Henry Villard, volume 1.djvu/124

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.




CHAPTER VII


The Pike's Peak Gold Fever. 1858-9


THE real aim of my journalistic efforts was a regular connection with the Anglo-American press. I regarded my work for the Staats-Zeitung as only a temporary makeshift, and kept my ulterior object steadily in view. I had given up the idea of securing a position on one of the principal New York papers, and my desires bore upon the Western press. During my sojourn in Ohio, I had daily read the Cincinnati Daily Commercial and noticed the ability and enterprise displayed in its columns. At a venture I went to Cincinnati and offered my services to the publisher of the Commercial, M. D. Potter. He referred me to the news-editor, Murat Halstead, afterwards the principal proprietor and editor-in-chief of the paper. After a few talks with him, we agreed that I should report the important proceedings at the impending sessions of the Illinois and Indiana Legislatures for the Commercial. In the former, I was to look after the reƫlection of Douglas. In Indiana, I was to watch the legislative complications that were expected to arise in connection with the claim of each of the two political parties to the rightful control of the majority of the Legislature, which resulted eventually in the election of two sets of United States Senators, by the Republicans and the Democrats respectively.

I spent only a few days early in January, 1859, at Springfield, Illinois, and then went to Indianapolis, where I expected to remain till spring. But my stay was cut short in an unexpected way. In my reports to the Commercial I had occasion to criticise rather sharply one of