John B. L. Soule

John Babsone Lane Soule (1815–1891) was an American publisher, minister, poet and professor.[1]

Originally from Maine, he went to Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and graduated in 1840 from Bowdoin College in Maine. [1]

Soule is credited with using the phrase "Go West, young man, go West" in an 1851 Terre Haute Express editorial, 14 years before a similar phrase was famously used by Horace Greeley in reference to western expansion in North America. The phrase is often attributed to Greeley.[2] Greeley even reportedly tried to give Soule credit, but some journalists insisted Greeley had expressed those sentiments even earlier and Greeley had been the one to popularize the expression.[3] A research project from the History Department at Indiana University in 2004 concluded the Soule attribution on came out in 1890 and was based on a satirical account.[4]

Soule taught at Vigo Collegiate Institute[5] and Blackburn University in Illinois.[1] Soule published a paper in Charleston, Illinois before returning to Terre Haute and buying the Terre Haute Exress from David S. Donaldson.[5]

His son moved to Las Vegas and then New Mexico. His father communicated his support of his western journey.[6]

He received honorary degrees of Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Divinity from various schools.[1] Baird died May 28, 1887.


  1. The Poets of Maine 183 George Bancroft Griffith (ed.), Portland, Maine: Elwell, Pickard & Co., 1888
  2. Greeley only wished he had said it February 13, 1994 New York Times
  3. Hendrickson, Robert (1 July 2013). "God Bless America: The Origins of Over 1,500 Patriotic Words and Phrases". Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. via Google Books.
  4. Volume 100, Issue 3, September 2004 by Thomas Fuller Indiana Magazine of History, Indiana University History Department
  5. McCormick, Mike (6 February 2018). "Terre Haute: Queen City of the Wabash". Arcadia Publishing via Google Books.
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