“Go West, young man” is a popular saying in the United States about Manifest Destiny popularized by American author Horace Greeley.
Greeley favored westward expansion. He saw the fertile farmland of the west as an ideal place for people willing to work hard for the opportunity to succeed. The phrase came to symbolize the idea that agriculture could solve many of the nation’s problems of poverty and unemployment characteristic of the big cities of the East. It is one of the most commonly quoted sayings from the nineteenth century and may have had some influence on the course of American history.
Some sources have claimed the phrase is derived from the following advice in Greeley’s July 13, 1865 editorial in the New York Tribune, but this text does not appear in that issue of the newspaper. The actual editorial instead encourages Civil War veterans to take advantage of the Homestead Act and colonize the public lands.
“ Washington is not a place to live in. The rents are high, the food is bad, the dust is disgusting and the morals are deplorable. Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country.