Monadnock Moments No. 45: Hinsdale's "Genius of Journalism"

Charles Anderson Dana, the eleventh and youngest child of Anderson and Sarah Dana, was born in Hinsdale, New Hampshire in August of 1819.  Young Dana attended local schools until he was old enough to take a job as a store clerk in Buffalo, New York.  He entered Harvard in 1839, but could not complete his studies because of poor eyesight.
While at Harvard, Dana became interested in socialist ideas.  After leaving the school he joined the Brook Farm utopian socialist community at Roxbury, Massachusetts.  He spent several years there with George Ripley, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and other philosophers.
Dana entered the field of journalism when the Brook Farm community was discontinued.  He joined the staff of the New York Tribune in 1847 and was soon managing editor, working closely with Horace Greeley.  Dana and Greeley fought a diligent battle in the columns of the Tribune against the spread of slavery.
Dana left the Tribune when the Civil War began and was immediately offered a position in the War Department in Washington.  In 1863 he was appointed assistant secretary of war under President Lincoln.  He held this position through the remaining years of the conflict, spending considerable time on the battlefield gathering first-hand information to report to Lincoln and Secretary of War Stanton.
After the war, Dana returned to New York and headed a group that purchased the New York Sun newspaper.  The Sun flourished under his leadership and Charles Anderson Dana, Hinsdale native, became known throughout the country as a “genius of journalism.”