Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster

Overview
Daniel Webster was a leading American statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

 and senator from Massachusetts during the period leading up to the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. He first rose to regional prominence through his defense of New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 shipping interests. Webster's increasingly nationalistic
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 views, and his effectiveness as a speaker, made him one of the most famous orators and influential Whig
Whig Party (United States)
The Whig Party was a political party of the United States during the era of Jacksonian democracy. Considered integral to the Second Party System and operating from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s, the party was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic...

 leaders of the Second Party System
Second Party System
The Second Party System is a term of periodization used by historians and political scientists to name the political party system existing in the United States from about 1828 to 1854...

. He was one of the nation's most prominent conservatives, leading opposition to Democrat Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

 and the Democratic Party.
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Unanswered Questions
Quotations

Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.

Speech at Plymouth, MA (December 22, 1820)

Labor in this country is independent and proud. It has not to ask the patronage of capital, but capital solicits the aid of labor.

Speech (April 2, 1824)

It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment — Independence now and Independence forever.

Discourse in Commemoration of Adams and Jefferson, Faneuil Hall, Boston (August 2, 1826)

He smote the rock of the national resources, and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth. He touched the dead corpse of Public Credit, and it sprung upon its feet.

Speech on Hamilton (March 10, 1831)

God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.

Speech (June 3, 1834)

One country, one constitution, one destiny.

Speech (March 15, 1837)
Encyclopedia
Daniel Webster was a leading American statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

 and senator from Massachusetts during the period leading up to the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. He first rose to regional prominence through his defense of New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 shipping interests. Webster's increasingly nationalistic
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 views, and his effectiveness as a speaker, made him one of the most famous orators and influential Whig
Whig Party (United States)
The Whig Party was a political party of the United States during the era of Jacksonian democracy. Considered integral to the Second Party System and operating from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s, the party was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic...

 leaders of the Second Party System
Second Party System
The Second Party System is a term of periodization used by historians and political scientists to name the political party system existing in the United States from about 1828 to 1854...

. He was one of the nation's most prominent conservatives, leading opposition to Democrat Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

 and the Democratic Party. He was a spokesman for modernization, banking and industry, but not for the common people who comprised the base of his enemies in Jacksonian Democracy
Jacksonian democracy
Jacksonian democracy is the political movement toward greater democracy for the common man typified by American politician Andrew Jackson and his supporters. Jackson's policies followed the era of Jeffersonian democracy which dominated the previous political era. The Democratic-Republican Party of...

. "He was a thoroughgoing elitist, and he reveled in it," says biographer Remini. During his 40 years in national politics, Webster served in the House of Representatives for 10 years (representing New Hampshire), in the Senate for 19 years (representing Massachusetts), and was appointed the Secretary of State
Secretary of State
Secretary of State or State Secretary is a commonly used title for a senior or mid-level post in governments around the world. The role varies between countries, and in some cases there are multiple Secretaries of State in the Government....

 under three presidents.

Webster took part in several key U.S. Supreme Court cases which established important constitutional precedents that bolstered the authority of the federal government. As Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

, he negotiated the Webster-Ashburton Treaty
Webster-Ashburton Treaty
The Webster–Ashburton Treaty, signed August 9, 1842, was a treaty resolving several border issues between the United States and the British North American colonies...

, which established the definitive eastern border between the United States and Canada. Chiefly recognized for his Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 tenure, Webster was a key figure in the institution's "Golden days". Webster was considered the Northern member of a trio known as the "Great Triumvirate
Great Triumvirate
The Great Triumvirate is a term that refers to the three statesmen who dominated the United States Senate in the 1830s and 1840s: Henry Clay of Kentucky, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina...

", with his colleagues Henry Clay
Henry Clay
Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

 from the West (Kentucky) and John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun
John Caldwell Calhoun was a leading politician and political theorist from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century. Calhoun eloquently spoke out on every issue of his day, but often changed positions. Calhoun began his political career as a nationalist, modernizer, and proponent...

 from the South. His "Reply to Hayne" in 1830 was regarded as "the most eloquent speech ever delivered in Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

."

As with his fellow Whig Henry Clay, Webster wanted to see the Union preserved and civil war averted. They both worked for compromises to stave off the sectionalism that threatened war between the North
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 and the South
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

. Webster tried and failed three times to become President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

. In 1957, a Senate Committee selected Webster as one of the five greatest U.S. Senators with Henry Clay
Henry Clay
Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

, John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun
John Caldwell Calhoun was a leading politician and political theorist from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century. Calhoun eloquently spoke out on every issue of his day, but often changed positions. Calhoun began his political career as a nationalist, modernizer, and proponent...

, Robert La Follette
Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
Robert Marion "Fighting Bob" La Follette, Sr. , was an American Republican politician. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was the Governor of Wisconsin, and was also a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin...

, and Robert Taft
Robert Taft
Robert Alphonso Taft , of the Taft political family of Cincinnati, was a Republican United States Senator and a prominent conservative statesman...

.

Early life



Daniel Webster was born on January 18, 1782, to Ebenezer
Ebenezer Webster
Ebenezer Webster was a United States farmer, innkeeper, militia member, politician and judge...

 and Abigail Webster (née Eastman) in West Salisbury,New Hampshire, the present-day city of Franklin
Franklin, New Hampshire
The median income for a household in the city was $34,613, and the median income for a family was $41,698. Males had a median income of $32,318 versus $25,062 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,155...

. He and his nine siblings grew up on their parents' farm, a small parcel of land granted to his father. His ancestors were among the early settlers of Salisbury.

Webster attended Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy is a private secondary school located in Exeter, New Hampshire, in the United States.Exeter is noted for its application of Harkness education, a system based on a conference format of teacher and student interaction, similar to the Socratic method of learning through asking...

, a preparatory school in Exeter, New Hampshire
Exeter, New Hampshire
Exeter is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The town's population was 14,306 at the 2010 census. Exeter was the county seat until 1997, when county offices were moved to neighboring Brentwood...

, before attending Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. The institution comprises a liberal arts college, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business, as well as 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences...

. After he graduated from Dartmouth (Phi Beta Kappa), Webster was apprenticed to the lawyer Thomas W. Thompson
Thomas W. Thompson
Thomas Weston Thompson was a United States Representative and Senator from New Hampshire. Born in Boston, he attended Dummer Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard University in 1786. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1791, and practiced in Salisbury, New Hampshire...

 in Salisbury. When his older brother Ezekiel's studies required Webster's support, the young man resigned from the law office and worked as a schoolteacher — as young men often did then, when public education consisted largely of subsidies to local schoolmasters. In 1802 Webster began as the headmaster of the Fryeburg Academy
Fryeburg Academy
Fryeburg Academy, founded 1792, is one of the oldest private schools in the United States. It is located in Fryeburg, Maine. One of the first headmasters was Daniel Webster, who taught at the school for a year....

, Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

, where he served for one year. When Ezekiel's education could no longer be sustained, Webster returned to his apprenticeship.

In 1804 he left New Hampshire and got a position in Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 under the prominent attorney Christopher Gore
Christopher Gore
Christopher Gore was a prominent Massachusetts lawyer, Federalist politician, and diplomat.-Biography:Gore was born in Boston in 1758, the tenth of thirteen children of Frances and John Gore, a successful merchant and artisan...

. Clerking for Gore — who was involved in international, national, and state politics — Webster learned about many legal and political subjects and met numerous New England politicians. In 1805 Webster was accepted into the bar
Admission to the bar in the United States
In the United States, admission to the bar is the granting of permission by a particular court system to a lawyer to practice law in that system. Each U.S. state and similar jurisdiction has its own court system and sets its own rules for bar admission , which can lead to different admission...

.

He returned to New Hampshire to set up a practice in Boscawen
Boscawen, New Hampshire
Boscawen is a town in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,965 at the 2010 census.-History:The native Pennacook tribe called the area Contoocook, meaning "place of the river near pines." On June 6, 1733, Governor Jonathan Belcher granted it to John Coffin and 90...

, in part to be near his ailing father. Webster became increasingly interested in politics; raised by an ardently Federalist
Federalist Party (United States)
The Federalist Party was the first American political party, from the early 1790s to 1816, the era of the First Party System, with remnants lasting into the 1820s. The Federalists controlled the federal government until 1801...

 father and taught by a predominantly Federalist-leaning faculty at Dartmouth
Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. The institution comprises a liberal arts college, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business, as well as 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences...

, Webster, like many New Englanders, supported Federalism. He began to speak locally in support of Federalist causes and candidates. After his father's death in 1806, Webster handed over his practice to his older brother Ezekiel, who had by this time been admitted to the bar.

Webster moved to the larger town of Portsmouth
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth is a city in Rockingham County, New Hampshire in the United States. It is the largest city but only the fourth-largest community in the county, with a population of 21,233 at the 2010 census...

 in 1807, and opened a practice. During this time the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 began to affect Americans, as Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 began to impress
Impressment
Impressment, colloquially, "the Press", was the act of taking men into a navy by force and without notice. It was used by the Royal Navy, beginning in 1664 and during the 18th and early 19th centuries, in wartime, as a means of crewing warships, although legal sanction for the practice goes back to...

 American sailors into their Navy. President Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 retaliated with the Embargo Act of 1807
Embargo Act of 1807
The Embargo Act of 1807 and the subsequent Nonintercourse Acts were American laws restricting American ships from engaging in foreign trade between the years of 1807 and 1812. The Acts were diplomatic responses by presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison designed to protect American interests...

, stopping all trade to both Britain and France
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

. As New England relied on commerce with the two nations, the region strongly opposed Jefferson's attempt at "peaceable coercion." Webster wrote an anonymous pamphlet attacking it.
Eventually the trouble with England escalated into the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

. That same year, Daniel Webster gave an address to the Washington Benevolent Society, a speech that proved critical to his career. The speech condemned the war and the violation of New England's shipping rights that preceded it, but it also strongly denounced the extremism of those more radical among the unhappy New Englanders who were beginning to call for the region's secession
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

 from the Union.

The Washington speech was widely circulated and read throughout New Hampshire, and it led to Webster's 1812 selection to the Rockingham Convention, an assembly that sought to declare formally the state's grievances with President James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

 and the federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

. He was a member of the drafting committee and was chosen to compose the Rockingham Memorial to be sent to Madison. The report included much of the same tone and opinions held in the Washington Society address, except that, uncharacteristically for its chief architect, it alluded to the threat of secession saying, "If a separation of the states
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 shall ever take place, it will be, on some occasion, when one portion of the country undertakes to control, to regulate, and to sacrifice the interest of another."

Webster's efforts for New England Federalism, shipping interests, and war opposition resulted in his election to the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 in 1812, where he served two terms ending March 1817. He was an outspoken critic of the Madison administration and its wartime policies, denouncing its efforts at financing the war through paper money and (in "one of [his] most eloquent efforts") opposing Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

 James Monroe
James Monroe
James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States . Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States, and the last president from the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation...

's conscription
Conscription in the United States
Conscription in the United States has been employed several times, usually during war but also during the nominal peace of the Cold War...

 proposal. Notable in his second term was his support of the reestablishment of a stable specie-based national bank
History of central banking in the United States
This article is about the history of central banking in the United States, from the 1790s to the present.-Bank of North America:Some Founding Fathers were strongly opposed to the formation of a central banking system; the fact that England tried to place the colonies under the monetary control of...

; but he opposed the tariff of 1816 (which sought to protect the nation's manufacturing interests) and House Speaker
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives...

 Henry Clay's American System
American System (economic plan)
The American System, originally called "The American Way", was a mercantilist economic plan that played a prominent role in American policy during the first half of the 19th century...

.

This opposition was in accordance with his professed beliefs and those of most of his constituents, including free trade
Free trade
Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...

, that the tariff's "great object was to raise revenue, not to foster manufacture," and that it was against "the true spirit of the Constitution" to give "excessive bounties or encouragements to one [industry] over another."

After his second term, Webster did not seek a third, choosing his law practice instead. In an attempt to secure greater financial success for himself and his family (he had married Grace Fletcher in 1808, with whom he had four children), he moved his practice from Portsmouth to Boston.

Constitutional lawyer


"This, sir, is my case. It is the case not merely of that humble institution, it is the case of every college in our land... Sir, you may destroy this little institution; it is weak; it is in your hands! I know it is one of the lesser lights in the literary horizon of our country. You may put it out. But if you do so you must carry through your work! You must extinguish, one after another, all those greater lights of science which for more than a century have thrown their radiance over our land. It is, sir, as I have said, a small college. And yet there are those who love it!"
Daniel Webster (Dartmouth College v. Woodward)
Webster was hailed as the leading constitutional scholar of his generation and probably had more influence on the powerful Marshall Court
John Marshall
John Marshall was the Chief Justice of the United States whose court opinions helped lay the basis for American constitutional law and made the Supreme Court of the United States a coequal branch of government along with the legislative and executive branches...

 than any other advocate had. Of the 223 cases he argued before the Supreme Court, he won about half of them. But, even more, Webster played an important role in eight of the most celebrated constitutional cases decided by the Court between 1801 and 1824. In many of these—particularly in Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819) and Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)--the Supreme Court handed down decisions based largely on Webster's arguments. Marshall patterned some of his Court decisions after Webster's briefs, and Webster played a crucial role in helping many of the justices interpret matters of constitutional law. As a result many people began calling him the Great Expounder of the Constitution.

Webster had been highly regarded in New Hampshire since his days in Boscawen, and had been respected throughout the House during his service there. He came to national prominence, however, as counsel in a number of important Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 cases. These cases remain major precedent
Precedent
In common law legal systems, a precedent or authority is a principle or rule established in a legal case that a court or other judicial body may apply when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts...

s in the Constitutional jurisprudence
United States constitutional law
United States constitutional law is the body of law governing the interpretation and implementation of the United States Constitution.- Introduction :United States constitutional law defines the scope and application of the terms of the Constitution...

 of the United States.

In 1816, Webster was retained by the Federalist trustees of his alma mater, Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. The institution comprises a liberal arts college, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business, as well as 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences...

, to represent them in their case against the newly elected New Hampshire Democratic-Republican state legislature
New Hampshire General Court
The General Court of New Hampshire is the bicameral state legislature of the U.S. state of New Hampshire. The lower house is the New Hampshire House of Representatives with 400 members. The upper house is the New Hampshire Senate with 24 members...

. The legislature had passed new laws converting Dartmouth into a state institution, by changing the size of the college's trustee body and adding a further board of overseers, which they put into the hands of the state senate. New Hampshire argued that they, as successor in sovereignty to George III
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...

, who had chartered Dartmouth, had the right to revise the charter.

Webster argued Dartmouth College v. Woodward
Dartmouth College v. Woodward
Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 17 U.S. 518 , was a landmark United States Supreme Court case dealing with the application of the Contract Clause of the United States Constitution to private corporations...

 to the Supreme Court (with significant aid from Jeremiah Mason
Jeremiah Mason
Jeremiah Mason was a United States Senator from New Hampshire. Born in Lebanon, Connecticut, son of Jeremiah Mason and wife Elizabeth Fitch , he graduated from Yale College in 1788, studied law, moved to Vermont, and was admitted to the bar in 1791...

 and Jeremiah Smith
Jeremiah Smith
Jeremiah Smith was an American lawyer, jurist and politician from Exeter, New Hampshire.Born in Peterborough, New Hampshire, Smith attended Harvard University before graduating from Queens College, New Brunswick in 1780. He served in the Continental Army, and read law to enter the bar in 1786...

), invoking Article I, section 10 of the Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

 (the Contract Clause
Contract Clause
The Contract Clause appears in the United States Constitution, Article I, section 10, clause 1. It states:The Contract Clause prohibits states from enacting any law that retroactively impairs contract rights...

) against the State. The Marshall court
John Marshall
John Marshall was the Chief Justice of the United States whose court opinions helped lay the basis for American constitutional law and made the Supreme Court of the United States a coequal branch of government along with the legislative and executive branches...

, continuing with its history of limiting states' rights
States' rights
States' rights in U.S. politics refers to political powers reserved for the U.S. state governments rather than the federal government. It is often considered a loaded term because of its use in opposition to federally mandated racial desegregation...

 and reaffirming the supremacy of the Constitutional protection of contract, ruled in favor of Webster and Dartmouth 3–1. This decided that corporations
Corporations law
Companies law is the field of law concerning companies and other business organizations. This includes corporations, partnerships and other associations which usually carry on some form of economic or charitable activity. The most prominent kind of company, usually referred to as a "corporation",...

 did not, as many then held, have to justify their privileges by acting in the public interest, but were independent of the states.

Other notable appearances by Webster before the Supreme Court include his representation of James McCulloch (as cashier at the Baltimore branch of the Second Bank of the United States
Second Bank of the United States
The Second Bank of the United States was chartered in 1816, five years after the First Bank of the United States lost its own charter. The Second Bank of the United States was initially headquartered in Carpenters' Hall, Philadelphia, the same as the First Bank, and had branches throughout the...

) in McCulloch v. Maryland
McCulloch v. Maryland
McCulloch v. Maryland, , was a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. The state of Maryland had attempted to impede operation of a branch of the Second Bank of the United States by imposing a tax on all notes of banks not chartered in Maryland...

 (1819), the Cohens in Cohens v. Virginia
Cohens v. Virginia
Cohens v. Virginia, , was a United States Supreme Court decision most noted for John Marshall and the Court's assertion of its power to review state supreme court decisions in criminal law matters when the plaintiff claims that their Constitutional rights have been violated...

 (1821), and Thomas Gibbons in Gibbons v. Ogden
Gibbons v. Ogden
Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 , was a landmark decision in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the power to regulate interstate commerce was granted to Congress by the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. The case was argued by some of America's most admired and...

 (1824), cases similar to Dartmouth in the court's application of a broad interpretation of the Constitution and strengthening of the federal courts' power to constrain the states, which have since been used to justify wide powers for the federal government. Webster's handling of these cases made him one of the era's leading constitutional lawyers, as well as one of the most highly paid. Webster's growing prominence as a constitutional lawyer led to his election as a delegate to the 1820 Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 Constitutional Convention
Constitutional convention (political meeting)
A constitutional convention is now a gathering for the purpose of writing a new constitution or revising an existing constitution. A general constitutional convention is called to create the first constitution of a political unit or to entirely replace an existing constitution...

. There he spoke in opposition to universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

 (for men), on the Federalist grounds that power naturally follows property
Property
Property is any physical or intangible entity that is owned by a person or jointly by a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation...

, and the vote should be limited accordingly; but the constitution
Massachusetts Constitution
The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the fundamental governing document of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one of the 50 individual state governments that make up the United States of America. It was drafted by John Adams, Samuel Adams, and James Bowdoin during the...

 was amended against his advice. He also supported the (existing) districting of the State Senate
Massachusetts Senate
The Massachusetts Senate is the upper house of the Massachusetts General Court, the bicameral state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Senate comprises 40 elected members from 40 single-member senatorial districts in the state...

 so that each seat represented an equal amount of property.

Webster's performance at the convention furthered his reputation. Joseph Story
Joseph Story
Joseph Story was an American lawyer and jurist who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1811 to 1845. He is most remembered today for his opinions in Martin v. Hunter's Lessee and The Amistad, along with his magisterial Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, first...

 (also a delegate at the convention) wrote to Jeremiah Mason following the convention saying "Our friend Webster has gained a noble reputation. He was before known as a lawyer; but he has now secured the title of an eminent and enlightened statesman." Webster also spoke at Plymouth
Plymouth (town), Massachusetts
Plymouth is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. Plymouth holds a place of great prominence in American history, folklore and culture, and is known as "America's Hometown." Plymouth was the site of the colony founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims, passengers of the famous ship the...

 commemorating the landing
Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rock is the traditional site of disembarkation of William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony in 1620. It is an important symbol in American history...

 of the Pilgrims in 1620; his oration was widely circulated and read throughout New England. He was elected to the Eighteenth Congress
18th United States Congress
The Eighteenth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1823 to March 3, 1825, during the seventh and eighth...

 in 1822, from Boston.

In his second term, Webster found Miles Bearden himself a leader of the fragmented House Federalists who had split following the failure of the secessionist-minded 1814 Hartford Convention
Hartford Convention
The Hartford Convention was an event spanning from December 15, 1814–January 4, 1815 in the United States during the War of 1812 in which New England's opposition to the war reached the point where secession from the United States was discussed...

 that he avoided. Speaker
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives...

 Henry Clay
Henry Clay
Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

 made Webster chairman of the Judiciary Committee
United States House Committee on the Judiciary
The U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, also called the House Judiciary Committee, is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives. It is charged with overseeing the administration of justice within the federal courts, administrative agencies and Federal law enforcement...

 in an attempt to win his and the Federalists' support. His term of service in the House between 1822 and 1828 was marked by his legislative success at reforming the United States criminal code, and his failure at expanding the size of the Supreme Court. He largely supported the National Republican
National Republican Party (United States)
The National Republicans were a political party in the United States. During the administration of John Quincy Adams , the president's supporters were referred to as Adams Men or Anti-Jackson. When Andrew Jackson was elected President of the United States in 1828, this group went into opposition...

 administration of John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States . He served as an American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of former...

, including Adams' candidacy in the highly contested election of 1824
United States presidential election, 1824
In the United States presidential election of 1824, John Quincy Adams was elected President on February 9, 1825, after the election was decided by the House of Representatives. The previous years had seen a one-party government in the United States, as the Federalist Party had dissolved, leaving...

 and the administration's defense of treaty-sanctioned Creek Indian
Creek people
The Muscogee , also known as the Creek or Creeks, are a Native American people traditionally from the southeastern United States. Mvskoke is their name in traditional spelling. The modern Muscogee live primarily in Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida...

 land rights against Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

's expansionist claims.

While a Representative, Webster continued accepting speaking engagements in New England, most notably his oration on the fiftieth anniversary of Bunker Hill
Battle of Bunker Hill
The Battle of Bunker Hill took place on June 17, 1775, mostly on and around Breed's Hill, during the Siege of Boston early in the American Revolutionary War...

 (1825) and his eulogy on Adams
John Adams
John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

 and Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 (1826). With the support of a coalition of both Federalists and Republicans, Webster's record in the House and his celebrity as an orator led to his June 1827 election to the Senate from Massachusetts. His first wife, Grace, died in January 1828, and he married Caroline LeRoy in December 1829.

Senate


When Webster returned to the Senate from his wife's funeral in March 1828, he found the chamber considering a new tariff bill that sought to increase the duties
Duty (economics)
In economics, a duty is a kind of tax, often associated with customs, a payment due to the revenue of a state, levied by force of law. It is a tax on certain items purchased abroad...

 on foreign manufactured goods on top of the increases of 1816 and 1824, both of which Webster had opposed. Now, however, Webster changed his position to support a protective tariff. Explaining the change, Webster stated that after the failure of the rest of the nation to heed New England's objections in 1816 and 1824, "nothing was left to New England but to conform herself to the will of others," and now consequently being heavily invested in manufacturing, he would not now do them injury. It is the more blunt opinion of Justus D. Doenecke that Webster's support of the 1828 tariff was a result of "his new closeness to the rising mill-owning families of the region, the Lawrences
Abbott Lawrence
Abbott Lawrence was a prominent American businessman, politician, and philanthropist...

 and the Lowells
Lowell family
The Lowell family settled on the North Shore at Cape Ann after they arrived in Boston on June 23, 1639. The patriarch, Percival Lowle , described as a "solid citizen of Bristol", determined at the age of 68 that the future was in the New World.Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop needed...

." Webster also gave greater approval to Clay's American System
American System (economic plan)
The American System, originally called "The American Way", was a mercantilist economic plan that played a prominent role in American policy during the first half of the 19th century...

, a change that along with his modified view of the tariff brought him closer to Henry Clay.

The passage of the tariff brought increased sectional tensions to the U.S., tensions that were agitated by then Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun
John Caldwell Calhoun was a leading politician and political theorist from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century. Calhoun eloquently spoke out on every issue of his day, but often changed positions. Calhoun began his political career as a nationalist, modernizer, and proponent...

's promulgation of his South Carolina Exposition and Protest
South Carolina Exposition and Protest
The South Carolina Exposition and Protest, also known as Calhoun's Exposition, was written in December 1828 by John C. Calhoun, then vice president under John Quincy Adams and later under Andrew Jackson. Calhoun did not formally state his authorship at the time, though it was known.The document was...

. The exposition espoused the idea of nullification
Nullification (U.S. Constitution)
Nullification is a legal theory that a State has the right to nullify, or invalidate, any federal law which that state has deemed unconstitutional...

, a doctrine first articulated in the U.S. by Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

 and Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 that held that states were sovereign
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 entities and held ultimate authority over the limits of the power of the federal government, and could thus "nullify" any act of the central government it deemed unconstitutional. While for a time the tensions increased by Calhoun's exposition lay beneath the surface, they burst forth when South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 Senator Robert Young Hayne opened the 1830 Webster–Hayne debate.
By 1830, Federal land policy had long been an issue. The National Republican administration had held land prices high. According to Adams' Secretary of the Treasury
United States Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, which is concerned with financial and monetary matters, and, until 2003, also with some issues of national security and defense. This position in the Federal Government of the United...

 Richard Rush
Richard Rush
Richard Rush was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the second son of Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and Julia Rush. He entered the College of New Jersey at the age of 14, and graduated in 1797 as the youngest member of his class...

, this served to provide the federal government with an additional source of revenue, but also to discourage westward migration
Territorial acquisitions of the United States
This is a simplified list of United States territorial acquisitions, beginning with American independence. Note that this list primarily concerns land acquired from other nation-states; the numerous territorial acquisitions from American Indians are not listed here.-1783-1848:*The 1783 Treaty of...

 that tended to increase wages through the increased scarcity of labor. Senator Hayne, in an effort to sway the west against the north and the tariff, seized upon a minor point in the land debate and accused the north of attempting to limit western expansion for their own benefit. As Vice President Calhoun was presiding officer
President of the Senate
The President of the Senate is a title often given to the presiding officer of a senate, and is the speaker of other assemblies.The senate president often ranks high in a jurisdiction's succession for its top executive office: for example, the President of the Senate of Nigeria is second in line...

 over the Senate but could not address the Senate in business, James Schouler contended that Hayne was doing what Calhoun could not.

The next day, Webster, feeling compelled to respond on New England's behalf, gave his first rebuttal to Hayne, highlighting what he saw as the virtues of the North's policies toward the west and claiming that restrictions on western expansion and growth were primarily the responsibility of southerners
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. Hayne in turn responded the following day, denouncing Webster's inconsistencies with regards to the American system and personally attacking Webster for his role in the so called "corrupt bargain
Corrupt Bargain
The term Corrupt Bargain refers to three separate events that each involved a United States presidential election and a deal that was struck that many viewed to be corrupt from many standpoints, such as in the Election of 1824 controversy over the House of Representative's choice for president with...

" of 1824. The course of the debate strayed even further away from the initial matter of land sales with Hayne openly defending the "Carolina Doctrine" of nullification as being the doctrine of Jefferson and Madison.

On January 27, Webster gave his Second Reply to Hayne, in which Webster openly attacked Nullification, negatively contrasted South Carolina's response to the tariff with that of his native New England's response to the Embargo of 1807, rebutted Hayne's personal attacks against him, and famously concluded in defiance of nullification (which was later embodied in John C. Calhoun's declaration of "The Union; second to our liberty most dear!"), "Liberty and Union, now and for ever, one and inseparable!"

When my eyes shall be turned to behold
for the last time the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the
broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious Union; on States
dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, or
drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood! Let their last feeble and
lingering glance rather behold the gorgeous ensign of the republic... not a stripe
erased or polluted, nor a single star obscured, bearing for its motto,
no such miserable interrogatory as "What is all this worth?" nor those
other words of delusion and folly, "Liberty first and Union afterwards";
but everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing
on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land,
and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to
every true American heart,— Liberty and Union, now and for ever, one
and inseparable!
Daniel Webster (Second Reply to Hayne)


While the debate's philosophical presentation of nullification and Webster's abstract fears of rebellion were brought into reality in 1832 when Calhoun's native South Carolina passed its Ordinance of Nullification
Ordinance of Nullification
The Ordinance of Nullification declared the Tariff of 1828 and 1832 null and void within the state borders of South Carolina. It began the Nullification Crisis...

, Webster supported President Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

's sending of U.S. troops to the borders of South Carolina and the Force Bill
Force Bill
The United States Force Bill, formally titled "An Act further to provide for the collection of duties on imports", 4 Stat. 632 , enacted by the 22nd U.S. Congress, consists of eight sections expanding Presidential power...

, not Henry Clay's 1833 compromise that eventually defused the crisis. Webster thought Clay's concessions were dangerous and would only further embolden the south and legitimize its tactics. Especially unsettling was the resolution affirming that "the people of the several States composing these United States are united as parties to a constitutional compact, to which the people of each State acceded as a separate sovereign community." The usage of the word accede would, in his opinion, lead to the logical end of those states' right to secede.

At the same time however, Webster, like Clay, opposed the economic policies of Andrew Jackson, the most famous of those being Jackson's campaign against the Second Bank of the United States
Second Bank of the United States
The Second Bank of the United States was chartered in 1816, five years after the First Bank of the United States lost its own charter. The Second Bank of the United States was initially headquartered in Carpenters' Hall, Philadelphia, the same as the First Bank, and had branches throughout the...

 (1816–1841) in 1832, an institution that held Webster on retainer as legal counsel and of whose Boston Branch he was the director. Clay, Webster, and a number of other former Federalists and National Republicans united as the Whig Party
Whig Party (United States)
The Whig Party was a political party of the United States during the era of Jacksonian democracy. Considered integral to the Second Party System and operating from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s, the party was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic...

, in defense of the Bank against Jackson's intention to replace it. There was an economic panic in 1837
Panic of 1837
The Panic of 1837 was a financial crisis or market correction in the United States built on a speculative fever. The end of the Second Bank of the United States had produced a period of runaway inflation, but on May 10, 1837 in New York City, every bank began to accept payment only in specie ,...

, which converted Webster's heavy speculation in midwestern
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

 property into a personal debt from which Webster never recovered. His debt was exacerbated by his propensity for living "habitually beyond his means", lavishly furnishing his estate and giving away money with "reckless generosity and heedless profusion", in addition to indulging the smaller-scale "passions and appetites" of gambling and alcohol.

In 1836
United States presidential election, 1836
The United States presidential election of 1836 ushered Martin Van Buren into the White House. It is predominantly remembered for three reasons:...

, Webster was one of three Whig Party candidates to run for the office of President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

, but he only managed to gain the support of Massachusetts. This was the first of three unsuccessful attempts at gaining the presidency. In 1839
1839 Whig National Convention
The 1839 Whig National Convention was a presidential nominating convention held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in December 1839. This was the first national convention of the Whig Party of the United States....

, the Whig Party nominated William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison was the ninth President of the United States , an American military officer and politician, and the first president to die in office. He was 68 years, 23 days old when elected, the oldest president elected until Ronald Reagan in 1980, and last President to be born before the...

 for president. Webster was offered the vice presidency, but he declined.

As Secretary of State


Following his victory in 1840, President Harrison appointed Webster to the post of Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 in 1841, a post he retained under President John Tyler
John Tyler
John Tyler was the tenth President of the United States . A native of Virginia, Tyler served as a state legislator, governor, U.S. representative, and U.S. senator before being elected Vice President . He was the first to succeed to the office of President following the death of a predecessor...

 after the death of Harrison a month after his inauguration. In September 1841, an internal division amongst the Whigs over the question of the National Bank caused all the Whigs (except Webster who was in Europe at the time) to resign from Tyler's cabinet
United States Cabinet
The Cabinet of the United States is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, which are generally the heads of the federal executive departments...

. In 1842, he was the architect of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty
Webster-Ashburton Treaty
The Webster–Ashburton Treaty, signed August 9, 1842, was a treaty resolving several border issues between the United States and the British North American colonies...

, which resolved the Caroline Affair
Caroline affair
The Caroline affair was a series of events beginning in 1837 that strained relations between the United States and Britain....

, established the definitive Eastern border between the United States and Canada (Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

 and New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

), and signaled a definite and lasting peace between the United States and Britain. Webster succumbed to Whig pressure in May 1842 and finally left the cabinet. Webster later served again as Secretary of State in President Millard Fillmore's
Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore was the 13th President of the United States and the last member of the Whig Party to hold the office of president...

 administration from 1850 until 1852.

Later career



In 1845, he was re-elected to the Senate, where he opposed both the Texas Annexation
Texas Annexation
In 1845, United States of America annexed the Republic of Texas and admitted it to the Union as the 28th state. The U.S. thus inherited Texas's border dispute with Mexico; this quickly led to the Mexican-American War, during which the U.S. captured additional territory , extending the nation's...

 and the resulting Mexican-American War for fear of its upsetting the delicate balance of slave and non-slave states
History of slavery in the United States
Slavery in the United States was a form of slave labor which existed as a legal institution in North America for more than a century before the founding of the United States in 1776, and continued mostly in the South until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in...

. In the United States presidential election, 1848
United States presidential election, 1848
The United States presidential election of 1848 was an open race. President James K. Polk, having achieved all of his major objectives in one term and suffering from declining health that would take his life less than four months after leaving office, kept his promise not to seek re-election.The...

, he sought the Whig Party's nomination for the President but was beaten by the military hero Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States and an American military leader. Initially uninterested in politics, Taylor nonetheless ran as a Whig in the 1848 presidential election, defeating Lewis Cass...

. Webster was once again offered the Vice-Presidency, but he declined saying, "I do not propose to be buried until I am really dead and in my coffin." The Whig ticket won the election; Taylor died 16 months after the inauguration. This was the second time a President who offered Webster the chance to be Vice President died.

Compromise of 1850


The Compromise of 1850
Compromise of 1850
The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five bills, passed in September 1850, which defused a four-year confrontation between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North regarding the status of territories acquired during the Mexican-American War...

 was the Congressional effort led by Henry Clay and Stephen Douglas to compromise the sectional disputes that seemed to be headed toward civil war. On March 7, 1850, Webster gave one of his most famous speeches, characterizing himself "not as a Massachusetts man, nor as a Northern man but as an American..." In it he gave his support to the compromise, which included the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
The Fugitive Slave Law or Fugitive Slave Act was passed by the United States Congress on September 18, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850 between Southern slave holding interests and Northern Free-Soilers. This was one of the most controversial acts of the 1850 compromise and heightened...

 that required federal officials to recapture and return runaway slaves.

Webster was bitterly attacked by abolitionists
Abolitionism
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

 in New England who felt betrayed by his compromises. The Rev. Theodore Parker
Theodore Parker
Theodore Parker was an American Transcendentalist and reforming minister of the Unitarian church...

 complained, "No living man has done so much to debauch the conscience of the nation." Horace Mann
Horace Mann
Horace Mann was an American education reformer, and a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1827 to 1833. He served in the Massachusetts Senate from 1834 to 1837. In 1848, after serving as Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education since its creation, he was...

 described him as being "a fallen star! Lucifer descending from Heaven!" James Russell Lowell
James Russell Lowell
James Russell Lowell was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers who were among the first American poets who rivaled the popularity of British poets...

 called Webster "the most meanly and foolishly treacherous man I ever heard of." Webster never recovered the loss of popularity he suffered in the aftermath of the Seventh of March speech.

I shall stand by the Union...with absolute disregard of personal consequences. What are personal consequences...in comparison with the good or evil which may befall a great country in a crisis like this?...Let the consequences be what they will.... No man can suffer too much, and no man can fall too soon, if he suffer or if he fall in defense of the liberties and constitution of his country.
Daniel Webster (July 17, 1850 address to the Senate)

Resigning the Senate under a cloud in 1850, he resumed his former position as Secretary of State in the cabinet of Whig President Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore was the 13th President of the United States and the last member of the Whig Party to hold the office of president...

.

"Jury nullification
Jury nullification
Jury nullification occurs in a trial when a jury reaches a verdict contrary to the judge's instructions as to the law.A jury verdict contrary to the letter of the law pertains only to the particular case before it; however, if a pattern of acquittals develops in response to repeated attempts to...

" took effect as local juries acquitted men accused of violating the Fugitive Slave law. As Secretary of State Webster was a key supporter of the law, which he had endorsed in his famous "Seventh of March" speech, he wanted high profile convictions. The jury nullifications ruined his presidential aspirations and his last-ditch efforts to find a compromise between North and South. Webster led the prosecution when defendants were accused of rescuing Shadrach Minkins in 1851 from Boston officials who intended to return Minkins to his owner; the juries convicted none of the men. Webster tried to enforce a law that was extremely unpopular in the North, and his Whig Party
Whig Party (United States)
The Whig Party was a political party of the United States during the era of Jacksonian democracy. Considered integral to the Second Party System and operating from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s, the party was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic...

 passed over him again when they chose a presidential nominee in 1852.

State Department


Notable in this second tenure was the increasingly strained relationship between the United States and the Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

 in the aftermath of what was seen by Austria as American interference in its rebellious Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 (see Hungarian Revolution of 1848
Hungarian Revolution of 1848
The Hungarian Revolution of 1848 was one of many of the European Revolutions of 1848 and closely linked to other revolutions of 1848 in the Habsburg areas...

). This was especially manifest in the very warm welcome extended to the exiled Hungarian leader Lajos Kossuth
Lajos Kossuth
Lajos Kossuth de Udvard et Kossuthfalva was a Hungarian lawyer, journalist, politician and Regent-President of Hungary in 1849. He was widely honored during his lifetime, including in the United Kingdom and the United States, as a freedom fighter and bellwether of democracy in Europe.-Family:Lajos...

 in the US: his ship was greeted with a hundred-gun salute when it passed Jersey City and hundreds of thousands of people came to see him set foot in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

; heralded as the Hungarian Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

, he was given a congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

ional banquet and received at the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 and the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

. Webster himself wanted Kossuth's help in the upcoming presidential election, and spoke of "seeing the American Republican model develop in Hungary", although President Fillmore apologised to the Austrian chargé d'affaires
Chargé d'affaires
In diplomacy, chargé d’affaires , often shortened to simply chargé, is the title of two classes of diplomatic agents who head a diplomatic mission, either on a temporary basis or when no more senior diplomat has been accredited.-Chargés d’affaires:Chargés d’affaires , who were...

 for what he explained was an individual, unofficial opinion. However, as chief American diplomat, Webster did author the Hülsemann Letter, in which he defended what he believed to be America's right to take an active interest in the internal politics of Hungary, while still maintaining its neutrality.

Webster also advocated the establishment of commercial relations with Japan
Edo period
The , or , is a division of Japanese history which was ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868. The political entity of this period was the Tokugawa shogunate....

, going so far as to draft the letter that was to be presented to the Emperor Kōmei
Emperor Komei
was the 121st emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Kōmei's reign spanned the years from 1846 through 1867.-Genealogy:Before Kōmei's accession to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name was ;, his title was ....

 on President Fillmore's behalf by Commodore Matthew Perry on his 1852 voyage to Asia.

As Secretary of State Webster continued to strongly uphold the Compromise of 1850 and specifically the Fugitive Slave Law. In early 1851, when the anti-slavery
Abolitionism
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

 Liberty Party
Liberty Party (1840s)
The Liberty Party was a minor political party in the United States in the 1840s . The party was an early advocate of the abolitionist cause...

 was due to hold its state convention at Syracuse, New York
Syracuse, New York
Syracuse is a city in and the county seat of Onondaga County, New York, United States, the largest U.S. city with the name "Syracuse", and the fifth most populous city in the state. At the 2010 census, the city population was 145,170, and its metropolitan area had a population of 742,603...

, Webster sternly warned that the law would be enforced even "here in Syracuse in the midst of the next Anti-Slavery Convention.". Actually, during the conference William Henry, an escaped slave from Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 and a resident of Syracuse, was duly arrested and was about to be sent back to his master, to which the abolitionists reacted by storming the jail and setting the fugitive slave free (see Jerry Rescue
Jerry Rescue
The Jerry Rescue, on October 1, 1851, involved the daring, public rescue of a fugitive slave who had been arrested the same day, in Syracuse, New York, during the anti-slavery Liberty Party's state convention...

), motivated in part by the desire to defy Webster.

1852 election


In 1852
United States presidential election, 1852
The United States presidential election of 1852 bore important similarities to the election of 1844. Once again, the incumbent president was a Whig who had succeeded to the presidency upon the death of his war-hero predecessor. In this case, it was Millard Fillmore who followed General Zachary Taylor...

, he made his final campaign for the Presidency, again for the Whig nomination. Before and during the campaign, a number of critics asserted that his support of the compromise was only an attempt to win southern support for his candidacy, "profound selfishness" in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

. Though the Seventh of March speech was indeed warmly received throughout the south, the speech made him too polarizing a figure to receive the nomination and Webster was again defeated by a military hero, this time General Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852....

.

Death


Webster died on October 24, 1852 at his home in Marshfield, Massachusetts
Marshfield, Massachusetts
Marshfield is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States, on Massachusetts's South Shore. The population was 25,132 at the 2010 census.See also: Green Harbor, Marshfield , Rexhame, Marshfield Hills, and Ocean Bluff and Brant Rock....

, after falling from his horse and suffering a crushing blow to the head, complicated by cirrhosis
Cirrhosis
Cirrhosis is a consequence of chronic liver disease characterized by replacement of liver tissue by fibrosis, scar tissue and regenerative nodules , leading to loss of liver function...

 of the liver, which resulted in a cerebral hemorrhage. He is buried in the "Old Winslow Burial Ground" section of the Winslow Cemetery, near Marshfield.
His last words were: "I still live".

His son, Fletcher Webster
Fletcher Webster
Daniel Fletcher Webster, commonly known as Fletcher Webster was the son of renowned politician Daniel Webster and Grace Fletcher Webster...

, went on to serve as a Union Army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 infantry colonel in the Civil War that Webster tried to prevent. Fletcher Webster commanded the 12th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and was killed in action on August 29, 1862, during the Second Battle of Bull Run
Second Battle of Bull Run
The Second Battle of Bull Run or Second Manassas was fought August 28–30, 1862, as part of the American Civil War. It was the culmination of an offensive campaign waged by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia against Union Maj. Gen...

.

"Godlike Dan" and "Black Dan"



Whether people hated Webster or admired him—there was little middle ground—it is hard to deny the majesty of his oratory, the immensity of his intellectual powers, and the primacy of his constitutional knowledge. He was the heroic champion of nationalism and modernization.

Although Webster's diplomatic record was historic, his 29 years in Congress produced not one significant piece of legislation. Henry Clay
Henry Clay
Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

 and Stephen Douglas were the leaders in legislation, and he never tried to rival them. There is also evidence that Webster took bribes while in public office and sold diplomatic appointments for private gain, both taboos even by 19th century standards of probity.

Webster indulged his extravagant tastes (he spent enormous sums on wine, boats, and improvements to his Marshfield estate). A poor money manager, he relied on wealthy friends for indefinite "loans" to sustain his spendthrift lifestyle, a phenomenon that led his enemies to call him "Black Dan." Historians have not found any positions that he adjusted to curry favor with his rich friends, who saw it their duty to see what they considered the greatest man of the era be able to stay in office—they called him "Godlike Dan." "Black Dan" had several mistresses, and drank excessively, but did not dramatically differ from other Senators in these regards.

Webster's "Reply to Hayne" in 1830 was generally regarded as "the most eloquent speech ever delivered in Congress," and was a stock exercise for oratory students for 75 years.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

, who had criticized Webster following the Seventh of March address, remarked in the immediate aftermath of his death that Webster was "the completest man", and that "nature had not in our days or not since Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

, cut out such a masterpiece." Others like Henry Cabot Lodge
Henry Cabot Lodge
Henry Cabot "Slim" Lodge was an American Republican Senator and historian from Massachusetts. He had the role of Senate Majority leader. He is best known for his positions on Meek policy, especially his battle with President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 over the Treaty of Versailles...

 and John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 noted Webster's vices, especially the perpetual debt against which he, as Lodge reports, employed "checks or notes for several thousand dollars in token of admiration" from his friends. "This was, of course, utterly wrong and demoralizing, but Mr. Webster came, after a time, to look upon such transactions as natural and proper. [...] He seems to have regarded the merchants and bankers of State Street
State Street Corp.
State Street Corporation, or simply State Street, is a U.S.-based financial services holding company. State Street was founded in 1792, and is headquartered in the Financial District area of Boston at One Lincoln Street...

 very much as a feudal baron regarded his peasantry. It was their privilege and duty to support him, and he repaid them with an occasional magnificent compliment."

Several historians suggest Webster failed to exercise leadership for any political issue or vision. Lodge describes (with the Rockingham Convention in mind) Webster's "susceptibility to outside influences which formed such an odd trait in the character of a man so imperious by nature. When acting alone, he spoke his own opinions. When in a situation where public opinion was concentrated against him, he submitted to modifications of his views with a curious and indolent indifference." Similarly, Arthur Schlesinger cites Webster's letter requesting retainers for fighting for the Bank, one of his most inveterate causes; he then asks how the American people could "follow [Webster] through hell or high water when he would not lead unless someone made up a purse for him?"

He served the interest of the wealthy Boston merchants who elected and supported him, first for free trade, and later, when they had started manufacturing, for protection; both for the Union and for a compromise with the South in 1850. Schlesinger remarks that the real miracle of The Devil and Daniel Webster
The Devil and Daniel Webster
"The Devil and Daniel Webster" is a short story by Stephen Vincent Benét. This retelling of the classic German Faust tale is based on the short story "The Devil and Tom Walker", written by Washington Irving...

 is not a soul sold to the devil, or the jury of ghostly traitors, but Webster speaking against the "sanctity of the contract".

Secession! Peaceable secession! Sir, your eyes and mine are never destined to see that miracle. The dismemberment of this vast country without convulsion! ... There can be no such thing as a peaceable secession. Peaceable secession is an utter impossibility...We could not separate the states by any such line if we were to draw it...
Daniel Webster (March 7, 1850 A Plea for Harmony and Peace)


Webster has garnered respect and admiration for his Seventh of March speech in defense of the 1850 compromise measures that helped to delay the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. In Profiles in Courage
Profiles in Courage
Profiles in Courage is a 1955 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography describing acts of bravery and integrity by eight United States Senators throughout the Senate's history. The book profiles senators who crossed party lines and/or defied the public opinion of their constituents to do what they felt was...

, Kennedy called Webster's defense of the compromise, despite the risk to his presidential ambitions and the denunciations he faced from the north, one of the "greatest acts of courageous principle" in the history of the Senate. Conversely, Seventh of March has been criticized by Lodge who contrasted the speech's support of the 1850 compromise with his 1833 rejection of similar measures. "While he was brave and true and wise in 1833," said Lodge, "in 1850 he was not only inconsistent, but that he erred deeply in policy and statesmanship" in his advocacy of a policy that "made war inevitable by encouraging slave-holders to believe that they could always obtain anything they wanted by a sufficient show of violence."

More widely agreed upon, notably by both Senator Lodge and President Kennedy, is Webster's skill as an orator, with Kennedy praising Webster's "ability to make alive and supreme the latent sense of oneness, of union, that all Americans felt but few could express." Schlesinger, however, notes that he is also an example of the limitations of formal oratory: Congress heard Webster or Clay with admiration, but they rarely prevailed at the vote. Plainer speech and party solidarity were more effective, and Webster never approached Jackson's popular appeal.

On U.S. Postage


Few famous Americans other than US Presidents are ever honored on US Postage more than once or twice, as Daniel Webster has been. One of the perhaps not so famous things Webster was noted for was to introduce legislation to produce pre-paid adhesive postage stamp
Postage stamp
A postage stamp is a small piece of paper that is purchased and displayed on an item of mail as evidence of payment of postage. Typically, stamps are made from special paper, with a national designation and denomination on the face, and a gum adhesive on the reverse side...

s for the U.S. Post Office, the first of which were issued in 1847. The first Webster postage stamp, bearing only Webster's portrait, was not issued until April 12 of 1870, 18 years after his death. The last issue honoring Webster (to date) was another commemorative stamp, a 37-cent stamp issued in 2002 (image not available yet). In all, Daniel Webster is honored on eleven different US Postage issues, more than most US Presidents.

Legacy


Webster's legacy has been commemorated by numerous means:

Literature and film
  • The popular short story, play and movie The Devil and Daniel Webster
    The Devil and Daniel Webster
    "The Devil and Daniel Webster" is a short story by Stephen Vincent Benét. This retelling of the classic German Faust tale is based on the short story "The Devil and Tom Walker", written by Washington Irving...

     by Stephen Vincent Benét
    Stephen Vincent Benét
    Stephen Vincent Benét was an American author, poet, short story writer, and novelist. Benét is best known for his book-length narrative poem of the American Civil War, John Brown's Body , for which he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1929, and for two short stories, "The Devil and Daniel Webster" and "By...

    .


Schools and Colleges
  • Daniel Webster College
    Daniel Webster College
    Daniel Webster College is a for-profit proprietary college in Nashua, New Hampshire with a professions focus.-History:The college was established in 1965 as the New England Aeronautical Institute and was associated with Boire Field...

     a small four year college located in Nashua
    Nashua, New Hampshire
    -Climate:-Demographics:As of the census of 2010, there were 86,494 people, 35,044 households, and 21,876 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,719.9 people per square mile . There were 37,168 housing units at an average density of 1,202.8 per square mile...

    , New Hampshire
    New Hampshire
    New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

    .
  • A dormitory at Phillips Exeter Academy
    Phillips Exeter Academy
    Phillips Exeter Academy is a private secondary school located in Exeter, New Hampshire, in the United States.Exeter is noted for its application of Harkness education, a system based on a conference format of teacher and student interaction, similar to the Socratic method of learning through asking...

     is named Webster Hall in honor of Daniel Webster, as is the fifth floor of Phillips Hall, which is known as the Daniel Webster Debate Room. It serves as the meeting spot for the Exeter Debate Team.
  • The special collections library at Dartmouth College
    Dartmouth College
    Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. The institution comprises a liberal arts college, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business, as well as 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences...

    , located prominently on the campus Green
    The Green (Dartmouth College)
    The Green is a grass-covered field and common space at the center of Dartmouth College, an Ivy League university located in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. It was among the first parcels of land obtained by the College upon its founding in 1769, and is the only creation of the 18th century...

    , is named Webster Hall.
  • Daniel Webster High School in Tulsa
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 46th-largest city in the United States. With a population of 391,906 as of the 2010 census, it is the principal municipality of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area, a region with 937,478 residents in the MSA and 988,454 in the CSA. Tulsa's...

    , Oklahoma
    Oklahoma
    Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

  • Daniel Webster Middle School (formerly Daniel Webster Junior High School) in West Los Angeles, California
  • Daniel Webster Middle School in Waukegan, Illinois
  • Daniel Webster Elementary School in Daly City, California
  • Daniel Webster Elementary School in Dallas, Texas
  • Daniel Webster Elementary School in Weehawken, New Jersey
  • Daniel Webster Elementary School in New Rochelle, New York
  • Daniel Webster Elementary School in his hometown of Marshfield, Massachusetts is named for him.


Postage stamps
  • Webster appears on a total of eleven US Postage stamps, the first one issued in 1870.

In Washington, D.C.
  • One of the two statues representing New Hampshire in the National Statuary Hall Collection
    National Statuary Hall Collection
    The National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol comprises statues donated by individual states to honor persons notable in their history...

     in the United States Capitol
    United States Capitol
    The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

    .
  • In 1957 a senatorial committee chaired by then-Senator John F. Kennedy
    John F. Kennedy
    John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

     named Webster as one of their five greatest predecessors, selecting Webster's oval portrait (seen at right) to adorn the Senate Reception Room off the Senate floor.
  • Webster Hall houses the dormitory and school for the Senate Page
    United States Senate Page
    A United States Senate Page is a non-partisan federal employee serving the United States Senate in Washington, DC. Despite the non-partisan affiliation, Pages are typically divided to serve the party that appointed them.-Selection:In order to become a US Senate Page, one must first be nominated...

     Program in Washington, DC. He had appointed the first Senate Page in 1839.

In Massachusetts
  • A statue of Webster is in front of the Massachusetts State House
    Massachusetts State House
    The Massachusetts State House, also known as the Massachusetts Statehouse or the "New" State House, is the state capitol and house of government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is located in Boston in the neighborhood Beacon Hill...

     in Boston
    Boston
    Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

    , Massachusetts
    Massachusetts
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

    .
  • Webster, Massachusetts
    Webster, Massachusetts
    -Media:* Worcester Telegram & Gazette * Webster Times, published every Friday* The Patriot, published every Wednesday* WGFP-AM 940, a country music station* Boston Globe* Boston Herald-Library:...

     was named in his honor by Samuel Slater on March 6, 1832.
  • The current Daniel Webster Inn and Spa, in Sandwich
    Sandwich, Massachusetts
    Sandwich is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 20,675 at the 2010 census. The Town Hall is located right next to the Dexter Grist Mill, in the historic district of town....

    , Massachusetts
    Massachusetts
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

    , on Cape Cod
    Cape Cod
    Cape Cod, often referred to locally as simply the Cape, is a cape in the easternmost portion of the state of Massachusetts, in the Northeastern United States...

    , replaced a 300-year-old tavern of the same name which burned in 1971. At the old building, Webster had a room reserved for his frequent visits to Cape Cod from 1815 to 1851 and the inn was later named in his honor.


In New Hampshire
  • A statue of Webster is in front of the New Hampshire State House
    New Hampshire State House
    The New Hampshire State House is the state capitol building of New Hampshire, located in Concord at 107 North Main Street. The capitol houses the New Hampshire General Court, Governor and Executive Council...

     in Concord, New Hampshire
    Concord, New Hampshire
    The city of Concord is the capital of the state of New Hampshire in the United States. It is also the county seat of Merrimack County. As of the 2010 census, its population was 42,695....

    .
  • Mount Webster
    Mount Webster
    Mount Webster is a mountain located on the border between Coos County and Carroll County, New Hampshire. The mountain, formerly called Notch Mountain, is named after Daniel Webster , and is the southwesternmost of the Presidential Range of the White Mountains...

    , a peak in New Hampshire's White Mountains
    White Mountains (New Hampshire)
    The White Mountains are a mountain range covering about a quarter of the state of New Hampshire and a small portion of western Maine in the United States. Part of the Appalachian Mountains, they are considered the most rugged mountains in New England...

  • Daniel Webster Council
    Daniel Webster Council
    Daniel Webster Council is a division of the Boy Scouts of America that serves most of New Hampshire.-History:In 1912, two years after the Boy Scouts of America were founded in the United States, a volunteer-led council was organized in Manchester, New Hampshire. Initially there were only two...

    , a division of the Boy Scouts of America
    Boy Scouts of America
    The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related divisions...

     covering most of New Hampshire
  • The Daniel Webster Family Home
    Daniel Webster Family Home
    Daniel Webster Family Home, also known as The Elms, in West Franklin, New Hampshire, is a property that was owned by the family of Daniel Webster....

     in West Franklin, New Hampshire, declared a National Historic Landmark
    National Historic Landmark
    A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

     in 1974
  • The Daniel Webster Highway
    Daniel Webster Highway
    Daniel Webster Highway is the name for several sections of U.S. Route 3 in New Hampshire. The highway is named after 19th century statesman Daniel Webster, a New Hampshire native.-Extent:...

    , several portions of US Route 3 in New Hampshire
  • Webster, New Hampshire
    Webster, New Hampshire
    Webster is a town in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 1,872 at the 2010 census.- History :A part of Boscawen until 1860, the town takes its name from American statesman Daniel Webster.- Geography :...

  • Webster Lake in Franklin, NH was renamed in his honor in 1851(formerly Clough Pond)
  • The historic Daniel Webster farm, known as The Elms, located near Franklin, New Hampshire, was also the site of the New Hampshire Home for Orphans during 1871-1959. Threatened by development in 2004-05, the property was saved by last-minute efforts by the Webster Farm Preservation Association working with the Trust for Public Land.


In New York
  • A bronze statue of Webster stands at 72nd Street in Central Park
    Central Park
    Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

    , New York City
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

    .

Other place names
  • Webster Parish
    Webster Parish, Louisiana
    Webster Parish is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The seat of the parish is Minden. In 2010, its population was 41,207....

     in northwestern Louisiana
    Louisiana
    Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

     is named for the statesman. Its seat of government is at Minden
    Minden, Louisiana
    Minden is a city in the American state of Louisiana. It serves as the parish seat of Webster Parish and is located twenty-eight miles east of Shreveport, the seat of Caddo Parish. The population, which has been stable since 1960, was 13,027 at the 2000 census...

    .
  • Webster Township
    Webster Township, Michigan
    Webster Township is a civil township of Washtenaw County in the U.S. state of Michigan. Originally settled in the 1820s and 1830s, this small town has a rich history, centered around the picturesque area known locally as "Webster Corners." The population was 5,198 at the 2000...

     and Webster United Church of Christ of Dexter
    Dexter, Michigan
    Dexter is a village in Washtenaw County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The majority of the village is in the northwest corner of Scio Township with a small portion in Webster Township. The population was 4,067 at the 2010 census...

    , Washtenaw County
    Washtenaw County, Michigan
    Washtenaw County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 344,791. Its county seat is Ann Arbor. The United States Office of Management and Budget defines the county as part of the Detroit–Warren–Flint Combined Statistical Area...

    , Michigan
    Michigan
    Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

    , are named for Webster; he is purported to have contributed the sum of one hundred dollars to the church's construction in 1834.
  • Webster
    Webster (town), New York
    Webster is a town in the northeast corner of Monroe County, New York, United States. The town is named after orator and statesman Daniel Webster. The population was 42,641 at the 2010 census....

    , a town in Monroe County
    Monroe County, New York
    Monroe County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 744,344. It is named after James Monroe, fifth President of the United States of America. Its county seat is the city of Rochester....

    , New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

    , was named for him (outside of Rochester, pop. 40,000)
  • Webster Groves, Missouri
    Webster Groves, Missouri
    Webster Groves is an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis, located in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The population was 22,995 at the 2010 census. The city is named after New England politician Daniel Webster....

     was named in his honor


Other
  • The USS Daniel Webster, a U.S. Navy
    United States Navy
    The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

     submarine
    Submarine
    A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...


See also

  • Daniel Webster Law Office
    Daniel Webster Law Office
    The Daniel Webster Law Office and Library, also known as Daniel Webster Law Office, is a National Historic Landmark on Careswell and Webster Streets in Marshfield, Massachusetts....

  • History of the United States (1789–1849)
    History of the United States (1789–1849)
    With the election of George Washington as the first president in 1789, the new government acted quickly to rebuild the nation's financial structure. Enacting the program of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, the government assumed the Revolutionary war debts of the state and the national...

  • Origins of the American Civil War
    Origins of the American Civil War
    The main explanation for the origins of the American Civil War is slavery, especially Southern anger at the attempts by Northern antislavery political forces to block the expansion of slavery into the western territories...


Biographies


  • Bartlett, Irving H. Daniel Webster (1978) online edition
  • Baxter, Maurice G. "Webster, Daniel"; American National Biography Online Feb. 2000. online edition at academic libraries
  • Baxter, Maurice G. One and Inseparable: Daniel Webster and the Union. (1984).
  • Current, Richard Nelson. Daniel Webster and the Rise of National Conservatism (1955), short biography
  • Curtis, George Ticknor. Life of Daniel Webster (1870), useful for quotations online edition vol 1; online edition vol 2
  • Fuess, Claude M. Daniel Webster. (2 vols. 1930). scholarly biography
  • Lodge, Henry C. American Statesmen — Daniel Webster (1883) online edition
  • Ogg, Frederic Austin. Daniel Webster (1914) online edition, brief biography


Specialized scholarly studies


  • Arntson, Paul, and Craig R. Smith. "The Seventh of March Address: A Mediating Influence." Southern Speech Communication Journal 40 (Spring 1975): 288-301.
  • Bartlett, Irving H. "Daniel Webster as a Symbolic Hero. New England Quarterly 45 (December 1972): 484-507. in JSTOR
  • Baxter, Maurice G. Daniel Webster and the Supreme Court (1966)
  • Birkner, Michael. "Daniel Webster and the Crisis of Union, 1850. Historical New Hampshire 37 (Summer/Fall 1982): 151-73.
  • Brauer, Kinley J. "The Webster-Lawrence Feud: A Study in Politics and Ambitions." Historian 29 (November 1966): 34-59.
  • Brown, Thomas. "Daniel Webster: Conservative Whig. In Politics and Statesmanship: Essays on the American Whig Party, (1985) pp. 49–92. online
  • Carey, Robert Lincoln. Daniel Webster as an Economist. (1929). online edition
  • Dalzell, Robert F., Jr. Daniel Webster and the Trial of American Nationalism, 1843-1852. (1973).
  • Dubofsky, Melvyn. "Daniel Webster and the Whig Theory of Economic Growth: 1828-1848. New England Quarterly 42 (December 1969): 551-72. in JSTOR
  • Eisenstadt, Arthur A. "Daniel Webster and the Seventh of March. Southern Speech Journal 20 (Winter 1954): 136-47.
  • Fields, Wayne. "The Reply to Hayne: Daniel Webster and the Rhetoric of Stewardship." Political Theory 11 (February 1983): 5-28. in JSTOR
  • Foster, Herbert D. "Webster's Seventh of March Speech and the Secession Movement, 1850." American Historical Review 27 (January 1922): 245-70. in JSTOR
  • Formisano, Ronald P. The Transformation of Political Culture: Massachusetts Parties, 1790s-1840s (1983)
  • Holt, Michael F. The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War (1999), 1000pp comprehensive scholarly history
  • Howe, Daniel Walker. What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 (2007). 928pp; survey of the political history; Pulitzer Prize
  • Jones, Howard. To the Webster-Ashburton Treaty: A Study in Anglo-American Relations, 1783-1843. (1977). 251 pp.
  • Nathans, Sydney. Daniel Webster and Jacksonian Democracy. (1973).
  • Nathans, Sydney. "Daniel Webster, Massachusetts Man," New England Quarterly 39 (June 1966): 161-81. in JSTOR
  • Nevins, Allan. Ordeal of the Union: Fruits of Manifest Destiny, 1847-1852" (1947), highly detailed narrative of national politics.
  • Parish, Peter J. "Daniel Webster, New England, and the West. Journal of American History 54 (December 1967): 524-49. in JSTOR
  • Peterson, Merrill D. The Great Triumvirate: Webster, Clay, and Calhoun (1983)
  • Prince, Carl E., and Seth Taylor. "Daniel Webster, the Boston Associates, and the U.S. Government's Role in the Industrializing Process, 1815-1830." Journal of the Early Republic 2 (Fall 1982): 283-99. in JSTOR
  • Remini, Robert V. Daniel Webster (1997), 796pp; the standard scholarly biography and the most important place to start excerpt and text search
  • Shade, William G. "The Second Party System" in Paul Kleppner ed., "Evolution of American Electoral Systems (1983)
  • Sheidley, Harlow W. "The Webster-Hayne Debate: Recasting New England's Sectionalism." New England Quarterly 1994 67(1): 5-29. in Jstor
  • Sheidley, Harlow W. "'Congress only can declare war' and `the President is Commander in Chief': Daniel Webster and the War Power." Diplomatic History 12 (Fall 1988): 383-409.
  • Shewmaker, Kenneth E. "Forging the `Great Chain': Daniel Webster and the Origins of American Foreign Policy toward East Asia and the Pacific, 1841-1852." Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 129 (September 1985): 225-59.
  • Shewmaker, Kenneth E. ed. Daniel Webster: "The Completest Man. (1990), specialized studies by scholars
  • Simpson, Brooks D. "Daniel Webster and the Cult of the Constitution," Journal of American Culture' 15 (Spring 1992): 15-23. online in Blackwell Synergy
  • Smith, Craig R. "Daniel Webster's Epideictic Speaking: A Study in Emerging Whig Virtues" online edition
  • Smith, Craig R. Daniel Webster and the Oratory of Civil Religion. (2005) 300pp
  • Smith, Craig R. "Daniel Webster's July 17th Address: A Mediating Influence in the 1850 Compromise," Quarterly Journal of Speech 71 (August 1985): 349-61.
  • Smith, Craig R. Defender of the Union: The Oratory of Daniel Webster. (1989).
  • Szasz, Ferenc M. "Daniel Webster--Architect of America's `Civil Religion'," Historical New Hampshire 34 (Fall/Winter 1979): 223-43.
  • Wilson, Major L. "Of Time and the Union: Webster and His Critics in the Crisis of 1850. Civil War History 14 (December 1968): 293-306. ch 1 of Wilson, Space, Time, and Freedom: The Quest for Nationality and the Irrepressible Conflict, 1815-1861 (1974) online edition


Primary Sources


  • Select Speeches of Daniel Webster 1817-1845 edited by A. J. George, (1903) online at Project Gutenberg. Contains: Defence of the Kennistons; The Dartmouth College Case; First Settlement of New England; The Bunker Hill Monument; The Reply to Hayne; The Murder of Captain Joseph White; The Constitution Not a Compact Between Sovereign States; Speech at Saratoga; and Eulogy on Mr. Justice Story.
  • The works of Daniel Webster edited in 6 vol. by Edward Everett, Boston: Little, Brown and company, 1853. online edition
  • McIntyre, J.W., ed. The Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster. 18 vols. (1903). vol 8 online
  • Van Tyne, Claude H., ed. The Letters of Daniel Webster, from Documents Owned Principally by the New Hampshire Historical Society (1902). online edition
  • Webster, Fletcher, ed. The Private Correspondence of Daniel Webster. 2 vols. 1857. online edition vol 1
  • Wiltse, Charles M., Harold D. Moser, and Kenneth E. Shewmaker (Diplomatic papers), eds., The Papers of Daniel Webster, (1974–1989). Published for Dartmouth College by the University Press of New England. ser. 1. Correspondence: v. 1. 1798-1824. v. 2. 1825-1829. v. 3. 1830-1834. v. 4. 1835-1839. v. 5. 1840-1843. v. 6. 1844-1849. v. 7. 1850-1852—ser. 2. Legal papers: v. 1. The New Hampshire practice. v. 2. The Boston practice. v. 3. The federal practice (2 v.) -- ser. 3. Diplomatic papers: v. 1. 1841-1843. v. 2. 1850-1852—ser. 4. Speeches and formal writings: v. 1. 1800-1833. v. 2. 1834-1852.


External links




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