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Webster, Daniel

Born: 1782 AD
Died: 1852 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Lawyers, Politician

1782 – Daniel Webster was born in Salisbury (now Franklin), New Hampshire, on the 18th of January. An American statesman, lawyer, and orator, was his era’s foremost advocate of American nationalism.

1801 – He graduated from Dartmouth College.

1807 – After a legal apprenticeship, Webster opened a legal practice in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

1808 – Webster married Grace, daughter of Rev. Elijah Fletcher, a New Hampshire clergyman.

1812-1816 – Rising quickly as a lawyer and Federalist party leader, Webster was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives because of his opposition to the War of 1812, which had crippled New England’s shipping trade. After two more terms in the House, Webster left Congress and moved to Boston.

1823 – Webster was returned to Congress from Boston.

1827 – He was elected senator from Massachusetts.

1828 – Grace died, leaving two sons, Daniel Fletcher, killed in the second battle of Bull Run, and Edward, a major in the United States army, who died while serving in the Mexican War, and a daughter Julia, who married Samuel Appleton.

1829 – Webster’s second wife was Caroline Le Roy, daughter of Jacob Le Roy, a New York merchant. He was married to her and she survived him.

         – The dominant economic interests of Massachusetts having shifted from shipping to manufacturing, Webster backed the high-tariff bill of that year.

1830 – Replying to South Carolina’s Robert HAYNE in a Senate debate, Webster triumphantly defended the Union. His words "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!" won wide acclaim.

1833 – Webster and President Andrew Jackson joined forces in to suppress South Carolina’s attempt to nullify the tariff.

1836 – Webster ran for the presidency as one of three Whig party candidates but carried only Massachusetts. For the remainder of his career he aspired vainly to the presidency.

1841 – President William Henry Harrison named Webster secretary of state.

         – In September, all the Whigs but Webster resigned from the cabinet.

1842-1843 – Webster remained to settle a dispute with Great Britain involving the Maine-Canada boundary and successfully concluded the WEBSTER-ASHBURTON TREATY. Whig pressure finally induced Webster to leave the cabinet in May.

1845 – The annexation of Texas and the resulting war with Mexico, both opposed by Webster, forced the country to face the issue of the expansion of slavery.

1850 – In a powerful speech before the Senate on March 7th, he supported the COMPROMISE OF 1850, denouncing Southern threats of secession but urging Northern support for a stronger law for the recovery of fugitive slaves.

         – Webster was named secretary of state in July by President Millard Fillmore and supervised the strict enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act. Webster’s stand alienated antislavery forces and divided the Whig party, but it helped to preserve the Union.

1852 – He died at his home in Marshfield, Massachusetts, on the 24th of October from an accident.

         – His remains were buried in Winslow Cemetery, Marshfield.