Daniel Webster

(1782–1852)

Daniel Webster

Anecdote 1...

Webster’s father left him and his brother Ezekiel alone one day and gave them specific instructions as to the work they were to accomplish. On his return, he found the task still undone, and severely questioned his sons about their idleness. “What have you been doing, Ezekiel?” he asked.

“Nothing, sir.”

“Well, Daniel, what have you been doing?”

“Helping Zeke, sir.”

Last Words...

I have struggled with many difficulties. Some I have been able to overcome and by some I have been overcome. I have made many mistakes but I love my country and have labored for the youth of my country, and I trust no precept of mine has taught any dear youth to sin.

~Daniel Webster

Anecdote 2...

A friend advised Webster not to attempt to enter the legal profession, which was already overcrowded and posed formidable obstacles to a man without either money or family connections to help him. “There’s always room at the top,” said Webster calmly.

Biographical Note: 

Daniel Webster was a U.S. lawyer and statesman. Born into a poor New Hampshire farming family, Daniel Webster showed signs of great intellectual powers from an early age. He first became a lawyer, his remarkable skill as a orator quickly winning him a distinguished position. He then entered politics and became known for his staunch defense of the Constitution. He ran unsuccessfully for president, but achieved lasting fame with some of his speeches. His later years were darkened by political disappointments, family sorrows, and financial setbacks.