Daniel Webster

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Daniel Webster
Daguerreotype of Senator Webster circa 1847
14th United States Secretary of State
In office
March 6, 1841 – May 8, 1843
PresidentWilliam Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Preceded byJohn Forsyth
Succeeded byAbel P. Upshur
19th United States Secretary of State
In office
July 23, 1850 – October 24, 1852
PresidentMillard Fillmore
Preceded byJohn M. Clayton
Succeeded byEdward Everett
United States Senator from Massachusetts
In office
June 8, 1827 – February 22, 1841
Preceded byElijah H. Mills
Succeeded byRufus Choate
In office
March 4, 1845 – July 22, 1850
Preceded byRufus Choate
Succeeded byRobert C. Winthrop
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1823 – May 30, 1827
Preceded byBenjamin Gorham
Succeeded byBenjamin Gorham
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's At-large district
In office
March 4, 1813 – March 3, 1817
Preceded byGeorge Sullivan
Succeeded byArthur Livermore
Personal details
Born(1782-01-18)January 18, 1782
Salisbury, New Hampshire
DiedOctober 24, 1852(1852-10-24) (aged 70)
Marshfield, Massachusetts
Political partyFederalist
National Republican
Spouse(s)Grace Fletcher Webster
Caroline LeRoy Webster
Alma materDartmouth College
ProfessionPolitician, Lawyer

Daniel Webster (January 18, 1782 – October 24, 1852) was an important American statesman. He first became famous because of his defense of New England shipping interests. In his life, he became more and more nationalistic, and convinced many people to become nationalists too. This made Webster one of the most famous orators and powerful Whig leaders of the Second Party System. Webster did not like slavery, but he thought it was more important for the Union (the United States) to stay together than anything else.

Webster became the northern member of a group known as the "Great Triumvirate". They included his colleagues Henry Clay from the west and John C. Calhoun from the south. His "Reply to Hayne" in 1830 was generally seen as "the most eloquent (powerful, fluent, well-spoken) speech ever delivered in Congress."[1] Webster tried to keep the nation from civil war, and make them have a firm peace. His efforts did not succeed, but he was still respected for them. He was officially named by the U.S. Senate in 1957 as one of its five best members.[2]

Early life[change | change source]

Daniel was born on January 18, 1782. His parents were Ebenezer and Abigail Webster (née Eastman) in Salisbury, New Hampshire, now part of the city of Franklin. He and his nine siblings grew up on his parents' farm. Daniel Webster's great-great-grandfather was Thomas Webster[3] (1631–1715). Thomas Webster was born in Ormesby St. Margaret, Norfolk, England and settled in New Hampshire. As Daniel was a "sickly (unhealthy) child", his family often let him have whatever he wanted and he didn't have to work on the farm.[4]

Career[change | change source]

Daniel Webster became a lawyer and politician. He was elected to Congress as a Federalist. He supported free trade, opposed both Abolitionism and the expansion of slavery, and opposed the War of 1812 and other policies of the Democrats. When the Federalist Party declined, he joined with other former Federalists and National Democrats to form the Whig Party (United States). Always Webster supported the unity and harmony of the nation against various divisive schemes.

References[change | change source]

  1. Allan Nevins, Ordeal of the Union" (1947) 1:288
  2. "U.S. Senate: Art & History Home > People > Senators > The "Famous Five" Now the "Famous Nine"". senate.gov. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  3. "Family History and Genealogy Records". FamilySearch.org. Archived from the original on 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
  4. "Daniel Webster." American Eras, Volume 5: The Reform Era and Eastern U.S. Development, 1815–1850. Gale Research, 1998. Student Resource Center. Thomson Gale. June 16, 2006.

Other websites[change | change source]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
George Sullivan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Arthur Livermore
Preceded by
Benjamin Gorham
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Benjamin Gorham
United States Senate
Preceded by
Elijah Mills
United States Senator (Class 1) from Massachusetts
Served alongside: Nathaniel Silsbee, John Davis
Succeeded by
Rufus Choate
Preceded by
Rufus Choate
United States Senator (Class 1) from Massachusetts
Served alongside: John Davis
Succeeded by
Robert Winthrop
Political offices
Preceded by
Samuel Smith
Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance
Succeeded by
Silas Wright
Preceded by
John Forsyth
U.S. Secretary of State
Served under: William Henry Harrison, John Tyler

Succeeded by
Abel Upshur
Preceded by
John Clayton
U.S. Secretary of State
Served under: Millard Fillmore

Succeeded by
Edward Everett