404 MISSOURI HISTORICAL REVIEW
EARLY LIFE IN ST. LOUIS AND HIS FOUNDING AND CONDUCT OF
THE POST-DISPATCH UP TO 1883
BY GEORGE S. JOHNS
PULITZER ENTERS POLITICS
Joseph Pulitzer's progress inside the Westliche Post's office
was no less amazing than his subsequent rapid successes. In
a short time he completely dominated the newspaper. His
vigorous mind, nervous energy and capacity for work were
irresistible. His industry for news was supplemented with
his passion for politics, and he soon grasped all the comprehensive functions of a newspaper—news, politics, and the reflecting and molding of public opinion. The absorption of
Schurz in politics, and the illness of Dr. Preetorius gave his
talents and energies a wide field, which he completely filled.
His acquaintance was greatly enlarged and his influence expanded. He was soon looked upon as a leader. He soon knew
quite thoroughly the leaders in politics, local, State and
national. He knew their records and the records of their
parties. He became a force in Missouri politics, and within
a very short time a force in national politics.
His passion for politics was admitted in a letter to Dr.
G. W. Hosmer, for many years one of his secretaries and most
valued companion. When Dr. Hosmer suggested writing a
sketch of his life, Mr. Pulitzer wrote:
I hate the idea of passing away known only as the proprietor of the
paper. Not property but politics was my passion, and not politics even
in general, selfish sense, but politics in the sense of liberty and freedom and
ideals of justice.
During the sessions of the State Legislature he was the
correspondent of the Westliche Post at the capital, Jefferson
City. Louis Benecke of Brunswick, Missouri, then chairman
of the State Senate Committee on Banks and Banking, ap-