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Horace Greeley's Handwriting

Tribune publisher Horace Greeley's famously illegible handwriting was intelligible to only one of the newspaper's many compositors. One day, while this man was away, two of his colleagues caught a pair of pigeons, inked their claws, and induced them to dance around on a sheet of paper -- which was duly substituted as the boss's work.

Incredibly, the compositor managed to transcribe all but one particularly indecipherable "paragraph" -- for aid with which he consulted Greeley. "What's the matter with you?" Greeley impatiently remarked. "Do you expect me to print it myself? Here, I'll rewrite the whole page..." And he did.

[In 1867 Greeley signed a famous bail bond -- for Confederate leader Jefferson Davis.]

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