Chicago Historical Society


WEBSTER, Daniel, a Representative from New Hampshire and a Representative and a Senator from Massachusetts; born in Salisbury, N.H., January 18, 1782; attended district schools and Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, N.H.; graduated from Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., in 1801; principal of an academy at Fryeburg, Maine, in 1802; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1805 and commenced practice in Boscawen, near Salisbury, N.H.; moved to Portsmouth, N.H., in 1807 and continued the practice of law; elected as a Federalist from New Hampshire to the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Congresses (March 4, 1813-March 3, 1817); was not a candidate for reelection in 1816 to the Fifteenth Congress; moved to Boston, Mass., in 1816; achieved national fame as counsel representing Dartmouth College before the United States Supreme Court in the Dartmouth College case 1816-1819; delegate to the Massachusetts State constitutional convention in 1820; elected from Massachusetts to the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Congresses and served from March 4, 1823, to May 30, 1827; did not serve in the Twentieth Congress; chairman, Committee on the Judiciary (Eighteenth and Nineteenth Congresses); elected as Adams (later Anti-Jacksonian) on June 8, 1827, to the United States Senate for the term beginning March 4, 1827, credentials presented on December 3, 1827, and took oath of office on December 17, 1827; reelected as a Whig in 1833 and 1839 and served from June 8, 1827, until his resignation, effective February 22, 1841; chairman, Committee on Finance (Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Congresses); unsuccessful Whig candidate for president in 1836; appointed Secretary of State by President William Henry Harrison and again by President John Tyler and served from 1841 to 1843; again elected as a Whig to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1845, to July 22, 1850, when he resigned; appointed Secretary of State by President Millard Fillmore and served from July 22, 1850, until his death in Marshfield, Massachusetts., October 24, 1852; interment in the Winslow Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

American Antiquarian Society

Worcester, MA
Papers: 1812-1852. 14 items. Fragments of correspondence bearing his signature, brief notes, copy of a speech, and comments on political events.

American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1 letter to Webster in Eli K. Price papers, 1820-1853; correspondence in Henry Augustus Philip Muhlenberg papers, 1805-1847; Duane family papers, 1770-1933; John Vaughan papers, 1768-1922; Ely Samuel Parker papers, 1794-1946, available on microfilm; and John Kintzing Kane papers, [ca. 1800]-1892.

Boston Public Library

Boston, MA
Papers: 92 items.

Boston University

Boston, MA
Papers: 1838-1852. 3 letters and 1 document.

Brandeis University Library

Waltham, MA
Papers: Correspondence (1840-1843) with Moses Atwood, Rufus Choate, Isaac P. Davis, Henry Fuller, Willard Phillips, Elihu Smith, Jared Sparks, Ray Thomas, and others in Elsie O. and Philip D. Sang collection, 1718-1892. 5 feet.

Brooklyn Historical Society

Brooklyn, NY
Papers: 1832-1851. 7 items. Personal and official correspondence. Finding aid.

Brown University

Providence, RI
Papers: 1843-1851. 4 letters. Also poem (no date) by John Reuben Thompson on Death of Webster.

Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society

Buffalo, NY
Papers: 345 letters as secretary of state in Millard Fillmore papers, 1809-1919. Available on microfilm. Finding aid.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1828-1837. 29 letters. Business correspondence. Finding aid.

Connecticut Historical Society

Hartford, CT
Papers: 10 items (1816-1852) in various collections. Finding aid.

Cornell University
Rare Books and Manuscript Collections

Ithaca, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Moses Coit Tyler collection, 1779-1899 (bulk 1850-1899); and Marquis de Lafayette collection, 1520-1849.

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH
Papers: 1800-1852. 1,800 items. Available on 41 microfilm reels, with published guide and index. Also photographs, portraits, and memorabilia.

Filson Club Historical Society

Louisville, KY
Papers: 1837, 1842. 2 letters. Also several references in various collections.

Harvard University
Houghton Library

Cambridge, MA
Papers: 1801-1852. Ca. 200 items. 26 letters (1831-1852) from Webster to Harriette Story White Paige; 11 letters (1817-1852) to James William Paige; other correspondence of Webster to the Paiges; rough notes for Webster's Faneuil Hall speech (1841); dedications to volumes 2, 5, 6 of his collected works; and other papers. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: 119 letters and invitations chiefly relating to 1839 European trip and Mrs. Webster's journal of the trip in Daniel and Caroline Webster papers, 1822-1839; 258 letters to Franklin Haven, president of Merchant's National Bank of Boston, in Franklin Haven papers, 1837-1858; and transcripts of official dispatches in Abbott Lawrence papers, 1837-1852 (bulk 1849-1852).

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: Correspondence in John William Wallace collection, 1725-1854; John Sergeant papers, 1783-1897; Daniel William Coxe papers, 1793-1868; Hopkinson family papers, 1735-1863; and Roswell L. Colt papers, 1808-1854.

Knox College
Seymour Library

Galesburg, IL
Papers: 3 letters (January 21, 1825; December 18, 1848; June 25, 1847) in Bookfellow foundation autograph collection, 1705-1940.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1800-1900 (bulk 1824-1852). 5 feet. In part, transcripts of ca. 400 original letters at the New Hampshire Historical Society. Correspondence, scrapbook, speeches, clippings, and other papers. Topics include the Bank of the United States, diplomacy, Latin American relations, politics, his early life, public opinion of the administrations of John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, development of the anti-Masonic movement, and Webster's role in Tyler's cabinet. Available on 8 microfilm reels. Finding aid. Also 41 reels of microfilm of originals (1800-1852) at Dartmouth College, with published guide and index. Finding aid.

Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore, MD
Papers: 1814-1891. 60 items. Correspondence, drafts of speeches, and family papers. Miscellaneous papers in other collections.

Massachusetts Historical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: Ca. 1,200 items (1800-1865) in various collections. Includes letters, speeches, invitations, receipts, notebooks, photographs and portraits.

New Hampshire Historical Society

Concord, NH
Papers: 1798-1852. Ca. 6 feet. Political, social, business, personal, and family correspondence, especially correspondence with his first wife, Grace Fletcher Webster, and his second wife, Caroline Leroy Webster; addresses; memoranda; articles; and portraits. Includes correspondence relating to the Austrian Revolution and to the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, and notes on Webster's "Reply to Hayne", and "Seventh of March" speeches. Available on 10 microfilm reels. Finding aid.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: 1816-1842. 145 items.

New York Public Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1 letter (May 24, 1830) in the James Barbour papers; in Gilbert Holland Montague collection, [ca. 1600-1900]; clippings in Luther R. Marsh scrapbook, 1888-1894; correspondence in George William Gordon papers, 1825-1852 (bulk 1840-1852); Alfred Williams Anthony collection, 1679-1944; and William Edgar papers, 1750-1870.

New York State Library
Manuscripts and Special Collections

Albany, NY
Papers: 1 letter (February 18, 1837) to O.K. Barrell; correspondence in John Ellis Wool papers, 1765-1899; in Autographs of American Statesmen collection, ca. 1770-1865; and Harmanus Bleeker papers, 1801-1885.

Peabody Essex Museum

Salem, MA
Papers: 11 letters. Also items in the Gilbert Streeter correspondence; Watters family papers, 1760-1931; and John Greenleaf Whittier papers, 1781-1922.

Phillips Exeter Academy Library

Exeter, NH
Papers: 1823-1852. Ca. 100 items. Correspondence relating to politics, business, and personal affairs. Finding aid.

Pierpont Morgan Library

New York, NY
Papers: 23 items (1808-1852); and 76 items (1820-1850) on various political topics in the Gilder Lehrman collection. Finding aid.

Princeton University
Seeley G. Mudd Library

Princeton, NJ
Papers: In the Andre deCoppet collection, 1566-1942.

Rutgers University Libraries
Special Collections and University Archives

New Brunswick, NJ
Papers: 1824-1852. 3 letters.

State University of New York
College at Oswego Penfield Library

Oswego, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Millard Fillmore papers, 1817-1889 (bulk 1840-1876).

Temple University Libraries
Rare Book and Manuscript Collections

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: Correspondence in Dallas family papers, 1794-1865.

University of Michigan
William L. Clements Library

Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: 39 items (1821-1851) in several collections including the Hughes, Cass, and Story collections. Business and congressional papers and correspondence. Finding aid.

University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library

Rochester, NY
Papers: 57 letters by and 61 to Webster (1828-1852) in various collections. Finding aid.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library

Charlottesville, VA
Papers: 1800-1852. Ca. 130 items. Additional papers in various collections.

Virginia Historical Society

Richmond, VA
Papers: 5 letters; correspondence in Wise family papers; and numerous items in various collections. Finding aid.

Winterthur Museum

Winterthur, DE
Papers: Appraisal (December 14, 1852) of the estate of Daniel Webster. On 1 microfilm reel.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives

New Haven, CT
Papers: 41 microfilm reels of originals (1800-1852) in Dartmouth College Library; 8 microfilm reels of originals (1800-1900 (bulk 1824-1852)) in Library of Congress; in John McLean papers, 1817-1861, on 18 microfilm reels of originals in Library of Congress; James Watson Webb papers, 1819-1967; Irving Goodwin Vann collection, 1778-1887 (bulk 1822-1887); Harry H. Ensign collection, 1818-1880; Benajah Ticknor papers, 1818-1852; Mary Ann Phelps Montgomery collection, 1746-1939; Johnson family papers, 1769-1886; and George Jacob Abbot papers, 1811-1901.

Dartmouth College Department of History
The Papers of Daniel Webster

Hanover, NH
Research Libraries Information Network In addition to the institutions listed above, items are also cataloged in collections at: Abigail Adams Smith Museum, New York, NY; Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, AL; Broome County Historical Society, Binghamton, NY; Colgate University Library, Hamilton, NY; College of Physicians, Historical Collections, Philadelphia, PA; Emory University, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta, GA; Friars of the Atonement, Special Collections, Garrison, NY; General Theological Seminary, New York, NY; Hagley Museum and Library, Greenville, DE; Harvard Business School, Baker Library, Boston, MA; Johns Hopkins University, Milton S. Eisenhower Library, Baltimore, MD; New York State Historical Association Library, Cooperstown, NY; New York Society Library, New York, NY; Northwestern Univerisity Library, Evanston, IL; Peabody Museum of Salem, MA; Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, NY; Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia, PA; Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Art, Washington, DC; Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, CA; State University of New York, Buffalo, NY; University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, IA; University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library, Ann Arbor, MI; and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Adams, Samuel Hopkins. The Godlike Daniel. New York: Sears Publishing Co., 1930.

Alexander, Holmes Moss. The Famous Five. New York: Bookmailer, 1958.

Arntson, Paul, and Craig R. Smith. "The Seventh of March Address: A Mediating Influence." Southern Speech Communication Journal 40 (Spring 1975): 288-301.

Banvard, Joseph. The American Statesman. Boston: Gould Lincoln, 1853. See also, Banvard, Daniel Webster: His Life and Public Services (1875 and 1895 eds).

Bartlett, Irving H. Daniel Webster. New York: W.W. Norton Co., 1978.

___. "Daniel Webster as a Symbolic Hero." New England Quarterly 45 (December 1972): 484-507.

___. "The Double Character of Daniel Webster." New England Journal of Public Policy 3 (Winter/Spring 1987): 39-50.

Baxter, Maurice G. One and Inseparable: Daniel Webster and the Union. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, Belknap Press, 1984.

Belz, Herman. The Webster-Hayne Debate on the Nature of the Union: Selected Documents. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2000.

Benson, Allan Louis. Daniel Webster. New York: Cosmopolitan Book Corp., 1929.

Birkner, Michael. "Daniel Webster and the Crisis of Union, 1850." Historical New Hampshire 37 (Summer/Fall 1982): 151-73.

Boutwell, George Sewall. The Lawyer, the Statesman and the Soldier. New York: D. Appleton Co., 1887.

Brauer, Kinley J. "The Webster-Lawrence Feud: A Study in Politics and Ambitions." Historian 29 (November 1966): 34-59.

Brent, Robert A. "Between Calhoun and Webster: Clay in 1850." Southern Quarterly 8 (April 1970): 293-308.

___. "Tarnished Brass: A New Perspective on Daniel Webster." Southern Quarterly 4 (October 1965): 41-52.

Brown, James Donnell. "Rhetorical Fantasy in the Webster-Calhoun Debate on the Revenue Collection Bill of 1833." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1977.

Brown, Norman D. Daniel Webster and the Politics of Availability. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969.

___. "Webster-Jackson Movement for a Constitution and Union Party in 1833." Mid-America 46 (July 1964): 147-71.

Brown, Thomas. "Daniel Webster: Conservative Whig." In Politics and Statesmanship: Essays on the American Whig Party, pp. 49-92. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985.

Carey, Robert Lincoln. Daniel Webster as an Economist. New York: AMS Press, 1966.

Current, Richard Nelson. Daniel Webster and the Rise of National Conservatism. Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1955.

Curtis, George Ticknor. The Last Years of Daniel Webster: A Monograph. New York: D. Appleton Co., 1878.

___. Life of Daniel Webster. 2 vols. New York: D. Appleton Co., 1870.

Dalzell, Robert F., Jr. Daniel Webster and the Trial of American Nationalism, 1843-1852. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1973.

Dubofsky, Melvyn. "Daniel Webster and the Whig Theory of Economic Growth: 1828-1848." New England Quarterly 42 (December 1969): 551-72.

Duniway, Clyde A. "Daniel Webster and the West." Minnesota History 9 (1928): 3-15.

Eichert, Magdalen. "A Consideration of the Interests Which Lay Behind the Attitudes of Benton, Clay, Webster, and Calhoun in the Development of Public Land Policy, 1830-1841." Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1950.

Eisenstadt, Arthur A. "Daniel Webster and the Seventh of March." Southern Speech Journal 20 (Winter 1954): 136-47.

Erickson, Paul D. "A Note on Daniel Webster's 'The Character of Washington': The Messiah of Federalism." Historical New Hampshire 37 (Summer/Fall 1982): 193-98.

___. The Poetry of Events: Daniel Webster's Rhetoric of the Constitution and Union. New York: New York University Press, 1986.

Ericson, David F. "Daniel Webster's Patriotic Community." In The Shaping of American Liberalism: The Debates Over Ratification and Slavery, pp.. 90-113. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Fields, Wayne. "The Reply to Hayne: Daniel Webster and the Rhetoric of Stewardship." Political Theory 11 (February 1983): 5-28.

Fisher, Sydney George. The True Daniel Webster. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1911.

Foster, Herbert D. "Webster's Seventh of March Speech and the Secession Movement, 1850." American Historical Review 27 (January 1922): 245-70.

Foster, Thomas, comp. Eulogies Delivered in the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States on the Life and Character of Hon. John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, Hon. Henry Clay, of Kentucky, and Hon. Daniel Webster, of Massachusetts. Washington: Foster Cochran, 1853.

Frost, John. Life of Daniel Webster, the Statesman and the Patriot. Philadelphia: Lindsay Blakiston, 1853.

Fuess, Claude M. Daniel Webster. 2 vols. 1930. Reprint. New York: Da Capo Press, 1968.

Gustafson, Sandra M. "Daniel Webster and the Invention of Modern Liberty in the Atlantic World." Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 116 (2007): 395-412.

Harvey, Peter. Reminiscences and Anecdotes of Daniel Webster. Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1877.

Johnson, Gerald W. America's Silver Age: The Statecraft of Clay-Webster-Calhoun. New York: Harper Brothers, 1939.

Jones, Howard. "The Attempt to Impeach Daniel Webster." Capitol Studies 3 (Fall 1975) 31-44.

Kennedy, Elijah Robinson. The Real Daniel Webster. New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1924.

King, James C. "Daniel Webster and Westward Expansion." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Utah, 1952.

Knapp, Samuel Lorenzo. A Memoir of the Life of Daniel Webster. 1831. 2d ed. New York: J.S. Redfield, 1835.

Lanman, Charles. The Private Life of Daniel Webster. New York: Harper Brothers, 1852.

Lewis, H.H. Walker, ed. Speak for Yourself, Daniel: A Life of Webster in His Own Words. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1969.

Lodge, Henry Cabot. Daniel Webster. 1883. Reprint of 1899 ed. New York: AMS Press, 1972.

Lyman, Samuel P. Life and Memorials of Daniel Webster. 2 vols. in 1. New York: D. Appleton Co., 1858.

March, Charles W. Daniel Webster and His Contemporaries. 1850. 4th ed. New York: C. Scribner, 1859. Originally published as Reminiscences of Congress.

McCall, Samuel Walker. Daniel Webster. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin Co., 1902.

McIntyre, J.W., ed. The Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster. 18 vols. Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1903. Vol. 1 includes a reprint of Edward Everett's Biographical Memoir of the Public Life of Daniel Webster (1851); vols. 17 and 18 reprint, with minor corrections, The Private Correspondence of Daniel Webster, edited by Fletcher Webster (1857).

McMaster, John Bach. Daniel Webster. New York: Century Co., 1902.

Nathans, Sydney. Daniel Webster and Jacksonian Democracy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973.

___. "Daniel Webster, Massachusetts Man." New England Quarterly 39 (June 1966): 161-81.

Ogg, Frederic Austin. Daniel Webster. Philadelphia: G.W. Jacobs Co., 1914.

Parish, Peter J. "Daniel Webster, New England, and the West."Journal of American History 54 (December 1967): 524-49.

Patterson, Lance. "The Battle of the Giants: Webster and Hayne: Orators at Odds." American History Illustrated 17 (February 1983): 18-22.

Peterson, Merrill D. The Great Triumvirate: Webster, Clay, and Calhoun. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

___. "Webster and Slavery." In Massachusetts and the New Nation, edited by Conrad Edick Wright, pp. 226-47. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1992.

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.

Reed, Elizabeth Armstrong. Daniel Webster. Chicago: University Associations, 1899.

Remini, Robert V. Daniel Webster: The Man and His Times. New York: W.W. Norton Co., 1997.

Sheidley, Harlow W. "The Webster-Hayne Debate: Recasting New England's Sectionalism." New England Quarterly 67 (March 1994): 5-29.

Shewmaker, Kenneth E. " '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.

___. "Daniel Webster and the Politics of Foreign Policy, 1850-1852." Journal of American History 63 (September 1976): 303-315.

___. "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.

___. "'This Unblessed War': Daniel Webster's Opposition to the War of 1812." Historical New Hampshire 53 (Spring/Summer 1998): 21-45.

___, ed. Daniel Webster: "The Completest Man." Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1990.

Simpson, Brooks D. "Daniel Webster and the Cult of the Constitution." Journal of American Culture 15 (Spring 1992): 15-23.

Smith, Craig R. Daniel Webster and the Oratory of Civil Religion. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2005.

___. "Daniel Webster's July 17th Address: A Mediating Influence in the 1850 Compromise." Quarterly Journal of Speech 71 (August 1985): 349-61.

___. Defender of the Union: The Oratory of Daniel Webster. New York: Greenwood Press, 1989.

Smith, Thomas Joseph. "Daniel Webster, A Study in Nationalism." Ph.D. dissertation, Fordham University, 1933.

Smyth, Clifford. Daniel Webster, Spokesman for the Union. New York: Funk Wagnalls Co., 1931.

Stevens, Kenneth R. "The Webster-Ingersoll Feud: Politics and Personality in the New Nation." Historical New Hampshire 37 (Summer/Fall 1982): 174-92.

Szasz, Ferenc M. "Daniel Webster--Architect of America's 'Civil Religion'." Historical New Hampshire 34 (Fall/Winter 1979): 223-43.

Teague, William J. "An Appeal to Reason: Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, and Whig Presidential Politics, 1836-1848." Ph.D. dissertation, University of North Texas, 1977.

U.S. Congress. Obituary Addresses on the Occasion of the Death of the Hon. Daniel Webster, of Massachusetts, Secretary of State for the United States. 32d Cong., 2d sess., 1852-1853. Washington: R. Armstrong, 1853.

Van Tyne, Claude H., ed. The Letters of Daniel Webster, from Documents Owned Principally by the New Hampshire Historical Society. 1902. Reprint. St. Clair Shores, MI: Scholarly Press, 1970.

Webster, Caroline Le Roy. "Mr. W. I": Being the Authentic Diary of Caroline Le Roy Webster, During a Famous Journey with the Honorable Daniel Webster to Great Britain and Continent in the Year 1839. New York: I. Washburn, 1942.

Webster, Fletcher, ed. The Private Correspondence of Daniel Webster. 2 vols. Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1857.

Wheeler, Everett Pepperell. Daniel Webster, the Expounder of the Constitution. 1905. Reprint. Littleton, CO: F.B. Rothman, 1986.

Whipple, Edwin P., ed. The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster with an Essay on Daniel Webster as a Master of English Style. 1879. Reprint. Littleton CO: F.B. Rothman, 1993.

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.

Wiltse, Charles M., ed. Microfilm Edition of the Papers of Daniel Webster. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, 1971. 41 reels and guide.

Wiltse, Charles M., Harold D. Moser, et al., eds. The Papers of Daniel Webster. 15 vols. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1974-1989.

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