Ohio History Journal

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Whitelaw Reid's first experience as a correspondent for a

newspaper was in Columbus. It began late in April or in May,

1861. Before that time he had been for a few years the pro-

prietor and editor of the Xenia Torchlight, a paper published

weekly at Xenia, Ohio. In the fall or early winter of 1860 his

health not being good he disposed of that paper and went to

Minnesota, where he spent the winter for his health. It is my

recollection that during his stay in Minnesota he occasionally

sent communications to the Cincinnati Gazette, but of this I

cannot now be certain.

It was about the first of May, 1861, when on High Street

in the City of Columbus, my attention was attracted to a

gentleman standing just in front of the west entrance to the

State House yard, apparently taking observations on the sur-

roundings. I at once recognized him as Whitelaw Reid and

immediately went across the street to speak to him. I had not

known Mr. Reid in college, as he had graduated in the class of

1856 and I did not enter the university until the next year. It

is usual, and perhaps natural, that the under graduates form an

estimate of the members of the graduating classes, and in a

manner predict something of their future, and I soon found it

to be the consensus of opinion that Mr. Reid was one of those

of his class confidently expected to make a future for himself.

I did not meet him personally until June 1858 or '59, when

he came to Oxford to deliver an address on the invitation of

one of the literary societies connected with the university. I

heard his address and was impressed with its merits, and then

thought, and still think, that it was on a higher plane and better

in thought and substance than was usual with addresses on

such occasions. At that time I met him and within the next

few years saw him frequently, and on one winter night, being

Vol. XVIII- 33.         513