Daniel Webster


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.

Webster, Daniel,

1782–1852, American statesman, lawyer, and orator, b. Salisbury (now in Franklin), N.H.

Early Career

He graduated (1801) from Dartmouth College, studied law, and, after an interval as a schoolmaster, was admitted (1805) to the bar. Webster practiced law at Boscawen and Portsmouth, N.H., and rapidly gravitated toward politics. As a Federalist and a defender of the New England shipping interests, he sat (1813–17) in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he opposed James MadisonMadison, James,
1751–1836, 4th President of the United States (1809–17), b. Port Conway, Va. Early Career

A member of the Virginia planter class, he attended the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), graduating in 1771.
..... Click the link for more information.
's administration, although he did not join forces with members of the Hartford ConventionHartford Convention,
Dec. 15, 1814–Jan. 4, 1815, meeting to consider the problems of New England in the War of 1812; held at Hartford, Conn. Prior to the war, New England Federalists (see Federalist party) had opposed the Embargo Act of 1807 and other government measures;
..... Click the link for more information.
.

In 1816 he transferred his residence to Boston. Before he was returned (1822) to the House, Webster won fame as a lawyer, defending (1819) his alma mater in the Dartmouth College CaseDartmouth College Case,
decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1819. The legislature of New Hampshire, in 1816, without the consent of the college trustees, amended the charter of 1769 to make Dartmouth College public. The trustees brought suit.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and the Bank of the United States in McCulloch v. MarylandMcCulloch v. Maryland,
case decided in 1819 by the U.S. Supreme Court, dealing specifically with the constitutionality of a Congress-chartered corporation, and more generally with the dispersion of power between state and federal governments.
..... Click the link for more information.
. Again in Congress (1823–27), Webster began to gain repute as one of the greatest orators of his time; his brilliant speeches in the House were matched by his eloquent public addresses—notably the Plymouth address (1820), the Bunker Hill oration (1825), and the speech (1826) on the deaths of Thomas JeffersonJefferson, Thomas,
1743–1826, 3d President of the United States (1801–9), author of the Declaration of Independence, and apostle of agrarian democracy. Early Life

Jefferson was born on Apr. 13, 1743, at "Shadwell," in Goochland (now in Albemarle) co.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and John AdamsAdams, John,
1735–1826, 2d President of the United States (1797–1801), b. Quincy (then in Braintree), Mass., grad. Harvard, 1755. John Adams and his wife, Abigail Adams, founded one of the most distinguished families of the United States; their son, John Quincy
..... Click the link for more information.
.

Senator and Secretary of State

As a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts (1827–41), he became a leading political figure of the United States. The dominant interest of his constituency had changed from shipping to industry, so Webster now abandoned his earlier free-trade views and supported the tariff of 1828. In the states' rights controversy that followed he took a strong pro-Union stand, defending the supremacy of the Union in the famous debate with Robert Y. HayneHayne, Robert Young,
1791–1839, American statesman, b. Colleton District, S.C. Having served in the South Carolina legislature (1814–18) and as attorney general of South Carolina (1818–22), Hayne was a U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
 in 1830. Although Webster supported President JacksonJackson, Andrew,
1767–1845, 7th President of the United States (1829–37), b. Waxhaw settlement on the border of South Carolina and North Carolina (both states claim him). Early Career

A child of the backwoods, he was left an orphan at 14.
..... Click the link for more information.
 in the nullification crisis, he vehemently opposed him on most issues, especially those concerning financial policy.

Webster became a leader of the Whig partyWhig party,
one of the two major political parties of the United States in the second quarter of the 19th cent. Origins

As a party it did not exist before 1834, but its nucleus was formed in 1824 when the adherents of John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay joined forces
..... Click the link for more information.
 and in 1836 was put forward as a presidential candidate by the Whig groups in New England. However, he won only the electoral votes of Massachusetts. His prominence brought him into consideration in later presidential elections, but he never attained his ambition. After William Henry HarrisonHarrison, William Henry,
1773–1841, 9th President of the United States (Mar. 4–Apr. 4, 1841), b. "Berkeley," Charles City co., Va.; son of Benjamin Harrison (1726?–1791) and grandfather of Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901).
..... Click the link for more information.
 was elected (1840) President on the Whig ticket, Webster was appointed (1841) U.S. Secretary of State. Although every other cabinet officer resigned (1841) after John TylerTyler, John,
1790–1862, 10th President of the United States, b. Charles City co., Va. Early Career

Educated at the College of William and Mary, he studied law under his father, John Tyler (1747–1813), governor of Virginia from 1808 to 1811, and was
..... Click the link for more information.
 had succeeded to the presidency and had broken with the Whig leaders, Webster remained at his post until he had completed the settlement of the Webster-Ashburton TreatyWebster-Ashburton Treaty,
Aug., 1842, agreement concluded by the United States, represented by Secretary of State Daniel Webster, and Great Britain, represented by Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton.
..... Click the link for more information.
 (1843).

Again (1845–50) in the Senate, Webster opposed the annexation of Texas and war with Mexico and faced the rising tide of sectionalism with his customary stand: slavery was an evil, but disunion was a greater one. He steadily lost his following and was sorely disappointed when the Whig party nominated Zachary TaylorTaylor, Zachary
, 1784–1850, 12th President of the United States (1849–50), b. Orange co., Va. He was raised in Kentucky. Taylor joined the army in 1808, became a captain in 1810, and was promoted to major for his defense of Fort Harrison (1812) in the War of 1812.
..... Click the link for more information.
 for President in 1848. Cherishing the preservation of the Union above his own popularity, Webster, in one of his most eloquent and reasoned speeches, backed the Compromise of 1850Compromise of 1850.
The annexation of Texas to the United States and the gain of new territory by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo at the close of the Mexican War (1848) aggravated the hostility between North and South concerning the question of the extension of slavery into the
..... Click the link for more information.
 and was reviled by antislavery groups in the North and by members of his own party. He served again (1850–52) as Secretary of State under President Millard FillmoreFillmore, Millard,
1800–1874, 13th President of the United States (July, 1850–Mar., 1853), b. Locke (now Summer Hill), N.Y. Because he was compelled to work at odd jobs at an early age to earn a living his education was irregular and incomplete.
..... Click the link for more information.
.

Bibliography

His writings were edited by J. W. McIntyre (18 vol., 1903). See biographies by G. T. Curtis (1869), C. M. Fuess (1930, repr. 1968), J. B. McMaster (1939), and R. N. Current (1955); N. D. Brown, Daniel Webster and the Politics of Availability (1969); R. F. Dalzell, Daniel Webster and the Trial of American Nationalism, 1843–1852 (1972); S. Nathans, Daniel Webster and Jacksonian Democracy (1973); F. M. Bordewich, America's Great Debate (2012). The diary kept by his second wife, C. L. R. Webster, was published as Mr. W. & I (1942).

Webster, Daniel

(1782–1852) noted 19th-century American orator-politician. [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 539]

Webster, Daniel

(1782–1852) U.S. representative/senator, orator; born in Salisbury, N.H. He graduated from Dartmouth College and taught school while studying law. Admitted to the bar in 1805, he gained a local reputation as an orator and came to wider notice as an opponent of the U.S. undertaking the War of 1812. He was then elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (Fed., N.H.; 1813–17) where he became a leader in opposing the policies of the Democratic-Republication administration. He then moved to Boston to pursue his law career, including appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court. Elected again to the U.S. House of Representatives, but now from Massachusetts (Fed., 1823–27), he was a strong supporter of John Quincy Adams. Elected to the U.S. Senate (National Republican, 1827–41), he was a supporter of the National Bank, a protectionist, and a champion of the nascent New England woolen cloth industry, as well as an opponent of the annexation of Texas and the Mexican war. Although opposed to slavery, he was denounced by abolitionists for his support of compromises on sectional issues involving the slavery issue. Devoutly pro-union, he denounced the nullification arguments by states' rights advocates in a famous debate in 1830. As secretary of state (1841–43) he negotiated treaties settling a border dispute with Canada (Webster-Ashburton Treaty, 1842) and establishing relations with Chicago. He was reelected to the U.S. Senate (Whig, Mass.; 1845–50) where he delivered his famous speech (March 7, 1850) supporting the Compromise of 1850. This led to his being attacked by the antislavery forces, but he left the Senate to serve again as secretary of state (1850–52). He died in that office, greatly admired for his oratory, integrity, and commitment to preserving the union, but never having obtained the broad support that would have gained him the presidency he coveted.
References in periodicals archive ?
The proposed clerkships are being named for Daniel Webster, the great American orator, secretary of state, and senator who also helped establish constitutional precedents as a lawyer.
There is a lot of emotion:' Recently published reports have pegged ITT's takeover of Daniel Webster as a major moneymaking move, given DWC's academic accreditation and the access it allows to government-funded financial aid.
As an Executive Producer, Craig Darian has worked on feature films starring some of Hollywood's top talents -- including Academy Award Winners Robert DeNiro, Anthony Hopkins, Mercedes Ruehl, Lee Grant, Cloris Leachman, Martin Landau and Rita Moreno -- in independent films like The Bridge of San Luis Rey, The Devil & Daniel Webster and The Amati Girls.
Both Mill Street an Webster Street were named in the 1850s at the heyday of those mills, though Webster Street was named, not for a mill, but for a famous visitor to the city, Daniel Webster, who came to stump for his party in 1848.
DiGangi will be located at the firm's Meredith office at 97 Daniel Webster Highway, Meredith.
But people inside and outside are smart enough to understand the politics here,'' said Daniel Webster, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University and a researcher in the school's Center for Gun Policy and Research.
General Hospital, Board of Advisors of New Boston Real Estate Fund and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Daniel Webster College.
Jodi Theriault scored three goals, Caroline Plunkett had two goals and two assists, and Christina Boucher had two goals and an assist to lead Becker over Daniel Webster, 9-0, in women's soccer.
which inspires interest, integrity and excellence in journalism and other forms of communication, and the Daniel Webster Council/Boy Scouts of America.
Referring only rarely to notes, he quoted verbatim from the Bible and Aristotle, from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and Paradise Lost, from Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Aaron Burr and Daniel Webster.
In addition, he has served as chairman and a member of the Board of Trustees of Daniel Webster College, he was a member of the Board of Visitors of the Rockefeller Center for the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College, a member of the Dartmouth Medical School Board of Overseers and a member of the Dartmouth College Committee on Trustees.
Becker 5, Daniel Webster 2: Talan Barron's double scored Larissa Paula from first base with the winning run in the third inning of first game for the Hawks (14-18, 10-4 NECC).