71 Facts About Daniel Webster

1.

Daniel Webster was an American lawyer and statesman who represented New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the U S Congress and served as the U S Secretary of State under Presidents William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, and Millard Fillmore.

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2.

Daniel Webster emerged as a prominent opponent of the War of 1812 and won election to the United States House of Representatives, where he served as a leader of the Federalist Party.

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3.

Daniel Webster left office after two terms and relocated to Boston, Massachusetts.

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4.

Daniel Webster became a leading attorney before the U S Supreme Court, winning cases such as Dartmouth College v Woodward, McCulloch v Maryland, and Gibbons v Ogden.

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5.

Daniel Webster returned to the House in 1823 and became a key supporter of President John Quincy Adams.

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6.

Daniel Webster strongly objected to the theory of nullification espoused by John C Calhoun, and his Second Reply to Hayne speech is widely regarded as one of the greatest speeches ever delivered in Congress.

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7.

Daniel Webster supported Jackson's defiant response to the Nullification Crisis but broke with the president due to disagreements over the Second Bank of the United States.

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8.

Daniel Webster supported Harrison in the 1840 U S presidential election and was appointed secretary of state after Harrison took office.

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9.

In 1837, Daniel Webster was elected as a member to the American Philosophical Society.

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10.

Daniel Webster returned to the Senate in 1845 and resumed his status as a leading congressional Whig.

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11.

Daniel Webster is widely regarded as an important and talented attorney, orator, and politician, but historians and observers have offered mixed opinions on his moral qualities and ability as a national leader.

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12.

Daniel Webster was the son of Abigail and Ebenezer Webster, a farmer and local official who served in the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War.

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13.

Daniel Webster was particularly close to his older brother, Ezekiel, who was born in 1780.

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14.

Daniel Webster was chosen Fourth of July orator in Hanover, the college town, in 1800, and in his speech appears the substance of the political principles for the development of which he became famous.

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15.

Daniel Webster graduated from Dartmouth in 1801 and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

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16.

Daniel Webster grew to love Boston, and, in 1805, was admitted to the bar.

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17.

Daniel Webster became increasingly involved in politics and began to speak locally in support of Federalist causes and candidates.

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18.

Daniel Webster campaigned for various Federalist candidates, including presidential candidate Charles C Pinckney and gubernatorial candidate Jeremiah Smith.

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19.

The Rockingham Memorial, which was largely written by Daniel Webster, challenged Madison's reasons for going to war, argued that France had been just as culpable for attacks against American shipping as the British had been, and raised the specter of secession.

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20.

Daniel Webster continued to criticize the war and attacked effort to impose conscription, wartime taxes, and a new trade embargo.

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21.

Daniel Webster was appointed to a steering committee that coordinated Federalist actions in the House of Representatives and, by the end of the Thirteenth Congress, he had emerged as a respected speaker on the House floor.

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22.

Daniel Webster favored a national bank in principle, but he voted against the bill that established the national bank because he believed that the bank should be required to remove paper banknotes issued by various state-charted banks from circulation.

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23.

Daniel Webster continued to practice law while serving in the House of Representatives, and he argued his first case before the Supreme Court of the United States in early 1814.

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24.

Daniel Webster had been highly regarded in New Hampshire since his days in Boscawen and was respected for his service in the House of Representatives, but he came to national prominence as counsel in a number of important Supreme Court cases.

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25.

Daniel Webster represented numerous clients outside of Supreme Court cases, including prominent individuals such as George Crowninshield, Francis Cabot Lowell, and John Jacob Astor.

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26.

Daniel Webster quickly became skilled at articulating arguments designed to appeal to Marshall and another influential Supreme Court justice, Joseph Story.

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27.

Daniel Webster played an important role in eight of the most celebrated constitutional cases decided by the Court between 1814 and 1824.

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28.

In Dartmouth College v Woodward, Webster was retained by the Federalist trustees of his alma mater, Dartmouth College, in their case against the newly elected New Hampshire Democratic-Republican state legislature.

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29.

Daniel Webster argued that the Constitution's Contract Clause prohibited the legislature from altering the college's board of trustees.

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30.

Daniel Webster remained politically active during his time out of Congress, serving as a presidential elector, meeting with officials like Secretary of War John C Calhoun, and delivering a well-received speech that attacked high tariffs.

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31.

Daniel Webster was then elected as a delegate to the 1820 Massachusetts Constitutional Convention.

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32.

Daniel Webster supported the districting of the state senate so that each seat represented an equal amount of property.

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33.

Daniel Webster was before known as a lawyer; but he has now secured the title of an eminent and enlightened statesman.

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34.

At the behest of Federalist leaders and the business elite in Boston, Daniel Webster agreed to run for the United States House of Representatives in 1822.

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35.

Daniel Webster won the election and returned to Congress in December 1823.

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36.

Daniel Webster continued his legal work, though his government service required him to rely more on his law partners.

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37.

Daniel Webster had remained neutral prior to the election, but he supported Adams in the contingent election, in large part because he viewed Jackson as completely unqualified to be president and Crawford had suffered a major stroke.

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38.

Daniel Webster was initially reluctant to leave the House of Representatives, where he had established seniority and a strong base of power, but ultimately accepted election to the Senate.

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39.

Daniel Webster objected to the sectional attack on the North, but even more strongly objected to Hayne's pro-states' rights position.

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40.

Daniel Webster held that the people, and not the states, held ultimate power, and the people had established the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.

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41.

Daniel Webster further argued that the doctrine of nullification "approach[ed] absurdity, " and, by denying power to the federal government, would effectively restore the balance of power established under the Articles of Confederation.

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42.

Daniel Webster argued that nullification constituted treason against the United States, and would ultimately lead to civil war as state officials would call out the militia to resist federal laws and actions.

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43.

Daniel Webster helped ensure that Congress approved a renewal of the charter without making any major modifications, such as a provision that would allow states to prevent the national bank from establishing branches within their borders.

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44.

Daniel Webster strongly approved of the Proclamation, telling an audience at Faneuil Hall that Jackson had articulated "the true principles of the Constitution, " and that he would give the president "my entire and cordial support" in the crisis.

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45.

Daniel Webster strongly supported Jackson's proposed Force Bill, which would authorize the president to use force against states that attempted to obstruct federal law.

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46.

Daniel Webster was nominated for president by the Massachusetts legislature, but Harrison won the backing of most Whigs outside of the South.

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47.

Daniel Webster and his Whig allies blamed Jackson's policies, including the Specie Circular, for the panic, but a worldwide economic downturn was a major contributing factor.

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48.

Daniel Webster's debt was exacerbated by his propensity for 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.

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49.

Daniel Webster entertained hopes of winning the Whig nomination in the 1840 U S presidential election but ultimately declined to challenge Clay or Harrison, both of whom commanded broader support within the party.

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50.

Daniel Webster remained neutral between Clay and Harrison, instead departing for a trip to Europe, where he attended his daughter's wedding and befriended Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton.

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51.

Harrison initially hoped that Daniel Webster would serve as secretary of the treasury in order to spearhead his economic program, but Daniel Webster instead became secretary of state, giving him oversight of foreign affairs.

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52.

Daniel Webster considered retiring from public office after the 1844 election, but he accepted election to the United States Senate in early 1845.

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53.

Daniel Webster sought to block the adoption of Polk's domestic policies, but Congress, controlled by Democrats, reduced tariff rates through the Walker tariff and re-established the Independent Treasury system.

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54.

Nonetheless, because Daniel Webster opposed the acquisition of Mexican territory, he voted against the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which the United States acquired the Mexican Cession.

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55.

Clay had won Daniel Webster's backing for his proposal before presenting it to Congress, and Daniel Webster provided strong support for Clay's bill in the Senate.

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56.

Daniel Webster admonished Northerners for obstructing the return of fugitive slaves but attacked Southern leaders for openly contemplating secession.

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57.

Mr Daniel Webster had in his own lifetime seen the thirteen colonies grow into thirty powerful States.

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58.

Daniel Webster had seen three millions of people, enfeebled and impoverished by a long struggle, increased eightfold in number, surrounded by all the comforts, charms, and securities of life.

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59.

Daniel Webster now heard its advantages discussed, its perpetuity doubted, its existence threatened.

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60.

On behalf of the president, Daniel Webster drafted a special message to Congress calling for an end to the crisis over the territories, and he used the power of patronage to woo potential supporters.

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61.

In Massachusetts, anti-slavery Whigs allied with Democrats and, in a major rebuke to Daniel Webster, elected Free Soil leader Charles Sumner to the Senate.

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62.

Daniel Webster was personally devastated by the defeat, and he refused to endorse Scott's candidacy.

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63.

Daniel Webster allowed various third party groups to nominate him for president, although he did not openly condone these efforts.

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64.

In 1808, Daniel Webster married Grace Fletcher, a schoolteacher and the daughter of a New Hampshire clergyman.

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65.

In December 1829, Daniel Webster married Caroline LeRoy, the 32-year-old daughter of a New York merchant.

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66.

In 1831, Daniel Webster purchased a 150-acre estate in Marshfield, Massachusetts.

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67.

Remini writes that, though Daniel Webster occasionally attended other churches, he remained closely affiliated with the Congregational church throughout his life.

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68.

In September 1852, Daniel Webster returned to his Marshfield estate, where his health continued to decline due to cirrhosis and a subdural hematoma.

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69.

Several historians suggest Daniel Webster failed to exercise leadership for any political issue or vision.

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70.

Daniel Webster's statue stands in the National Statuary Hall Collection, while another statue stands in Central Park.

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71.

Daniel Webster is briefly discussed in Chapter XIX of MacKinlay Kantor's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Andersonville" .

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