Daniel Webster


Daniel Webster on the Expansion of Slavery

Daniel Webster was one of the most notable Northern statesmen of his day. He was an American lawyer who represented New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the U.S. Congress.  His list of accomplishments is impressive:  Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts's 1st district; Chair of the House Judiciary Committee; United States Senator from Massachusetts; Chair of the Senate Finance Committee.…
Rod O'Barr
July 29, 2021

Calhoun, Not Webster, Was Right

Writing about the “Great Triumvirate” of Webster, Clay, and Calhoun during the third Nullification controversy in America of 1828-1832, and in particular about the Webster-Hayne debate of 1830, the late Prof. Merrill D. Peterson made this telling point:  “In the course of answering Hayne point by point, Webster unfolded a  conception of the Union and the Constitution that stood in stark…
W. Kirk Wood
September 26, 2018

Rhetoric, Reality, and the Late Unpleasantness

The 1850s is viewed by most scholars as the crucial decade of the sectional crisis that resulted in the War Between the States. The Great Triumvirate of John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster had passed from the scene.  These giants were replaced by lesser lights, and “the war came” as Mr. Lincoln claimed.  As historical explanations go, there…
John Devanny
September 24, 2018
Review Posts

Who Won the Webster-Hayne Debate of 1830?

The dominant historical opinion of the famous debate between Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and Robert Young Hayne of South Carolina which took place in the United States Senate in 1830 has long been that Webster defeated Hayne both as an orator and a statesman. According to the legend, Webster managed in the course of the debate to isolate the South,…
H. A. Scott Trask
August 30, 2016

The South Carolina Doctrine

Sir, South Carolina has not gone one step further than Mr. Jefferson himself was disposed to go in relation to the present subject of our present complaints; not a step further than the statesmen from New England were disposed to go under similar circumstances; no further than the senator from Massachusetts himself once considered as within "the limits of a…
Robert Y. Hayne
June 7, 2016

Andrew Jackson: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

‘If only I can restore to our institutions their primitive simplicity and purity, can only succeed in banishing those extraneous corrupting influences which tend to fasten monopoly and aristocracy on the Constitution and to make the government an engine of oppression to the people instead of the agent of their will, I may then look back on the honors conferred…
James Rutledge Roesch
November 3, 2015

They Lived in the Age of Calhoun

If "history is the essence of innumerable biographies," as Thomas Carlyle wrote, then the historian has the advantage of witnessing past life from beginning to end.  This is a solemn task.  We see the spring and vigor of youth transform into the resolution and candor of manhood.  The winter of life comes quickly, often suddenly.  For some, the impending doom…
Brion McClanahan
March 20, 2015