Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster
Daniel Webster
  • Born: January 18, 1782
  • Died: October 24, 1852
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Statesman

69

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36

Citations

149

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Daniel Webster was an American statesman who represented New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the United States Congress and served as the United States Secretary of State under Presidents William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, and Millard Fillmore. He was also a prominent attorney, especially during the period of the Marshall Court. Throughout his career, he was a member of the Federalist Party, the National Republican Party, and the Whig Party.

Quotes About
Author Quote
John Quincy Adams Such is human nature, in the gigantic intellect, the envious temper, the ravenous ambition, and the rotten heart of Daniel Webster.
Ralph Waldo Emerson The word liberty in the mouth of Mr. [Daniel] Webster sounds like the word love in the mouth of a courtesan.
Paul Jennings A deep desire to be of help to my poor people has determined me to take a decided step in that direction. My only regret is that I shall appear ungrateful.
J. B. Jones ... like Daniel Webster after taking a pint of brandy.
Fanny Kemble On the same ground, and literally sitting among the senators, were a whole regiment of ladies, whispering, talking, laughing, and fidgeting… the whole thing was more irregular, and unbusiness-like than any one could have imagined …
Rutherford B. Hayes If you do get into the Senate, don't get the Presidential mania. It makes mad every man who is at all prominent at Washington either in the House or Senate. Scores of men, usually sound and sensible, fancy they can be President, who has no more right to think so than the autocrat of Russia. I have no knowledge of any tolerably conspicuous politician at Washington whose career is not colored and marred by his ambition to be President. I say this in all seriousness. It makes fools of all sorts from [Daniel] Webster and Lewis Campbell.
Sydney Smith Daniel Webster struck me much like a steam-engine in trousers.
Lysander Spooner I see that [Daniel] Webster has avowed his intention to show fight on the slave clause of the Texan constitution. If he could be brought over to the doctrine of the Unconstitutionality of Slavery, he would kindle a conflagration that would destroy the patriarchal institution, if not the patriarchs themselves. But I do not know that he has courage or principle enough to do anything that he ought to do.
H. L. Mencken The art of leading the vulgar, in itself, does no discredit to its practitioner. Lincoln practiced it unashamed, and so did Webster, Clay, and Henry. What is more, these men practiced it with frank allowance for the naïveté of the people they presumed to lead.
Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
A sense of duty pursues us ever. It is omnipresent, like the Diety. Human Nature
God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Religion & God ;Freedom & Liberty
He smote the rock of the national resources, and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth. He touched the dead corpse of Public Credit, and it sprung upon its feet. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I am nearly broken down with labor and anxiety. I know not how to meet the present emergency, or with what weapons to beat down the Northern and Southern follies, now raging in equal extremes. Legislating & Legislative Process ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
I have paid $120 for the freedom of Paul Jennings; he agrees to work out the same at $8 per month, to be furnished with board, clothes, washing. Miscellaneous ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
I have read their platform, and though I think there are some unsound places in it, I can stand upon it pretty well. But I see nothing in it both new and valuable. "What is valuable is not new, and what is new is not valuable. Political Parties & Machines
I was born an American; I will live an American; I shall die an American! Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
If any gentleman from the South shall propose a scheme to be carried on by this government upon a large scale, for the transportation of the colored people to any colony or any place in the world, I should be quite disposed to incur almost any degree of expense to accomplish that object. Immigration & Emigration ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Inconsistencies of opinion, arising from changes of circumstances, are often justifiable Management & Managing Government
Justice, sir, is the great interest of man on earth. It is the ligament which holds civilized beings and civilized nations together. Justice & Injustice ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Knowledge … is the great sun in the firmament. Life and power are scattered with all its beams Miscellaneous
Knowledge is the only fountain both of love and the principles of human liberty. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Labor in this country is independent and proud. It has not to ask the patronage of capital, but capital solicits the aid of labor. Work, Workers & The Labor Force ;Capitalism
Let our object be, our country, our whole country, and nothing but our country. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Liberty exists in proportion to wholesome restraint. Freedom & Liberty
Mind is the great lever of all things; human thought is the process by which human ends are ultimately answered. Human Nature
Mr. President: When the mariner has been tossed for many days in thick weather, and on an unknown sea, he naturally avails himself of the first pause in the storm, the earliest glance of the sun, to take his latitude, and ascertain how far the elements have driven him from his true course. Let us imitate this prudence, and, before we float farther on the waves of this debate, refer to the point from which we departed, that we may at least be able to conjecture where we now are. I ask for the reading of the resolution.
One country, one constitution, one destiny. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Our Ancestors founded their government on morality and religious sentiment. They were brought hither by their high veneration of the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate it with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influences through all their institutions, civil, political, social, and educational. Religion & God
Our proper business is improvement. Let our age be the age of improvement Miscellaneous
Spain stooped on South America, like a vulture on its prey. Everything was force. Territories were acquired by fire and sword. Cities were destroyed by fire and sword. Hundreds of thousands of human beings fell by fire and sword. Even conversion to Christianity was attempted by fire and sword. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Standing armies are the oppressive instruments for governing the people. Military & Veterans
The dignity of history consists in reciting events with truth and accuracy, and in presenting human agents and their actions in an interesting and instructive form. The first element in history, therefore, is truthfulness; and this truthfulness must be displayed in a concrete form. History
The people's government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people. Government ;Democracies & Republics
The proper function of a government is to make it easy for the people to do good, and difficult for them to do evil. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The taverns were the headquarters of the American Revolution. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
There are persons who constantly clamor. They complain of oppression, speculation, and pernicious influence of wealth. They cry out loudly against all banks and corporations, and a means by which small capitalists become united in order to produce important and beneficial results. They carry on mad hostility against all established institutions. They would choke the fountain of industry and dry all streams. Civil Disorder, Riots, Protests & Demonstrations
There is nothing so powerful as truth — and often nothing so strange. Miscellaneous
They went to war against a preamble. They fought seven years against a declaration. They poured out their treasures and their blood like water, in a contest in opposition to an assertion. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
This is a Senate of equals, of men of individual honor and personal character, and of absolute independence. We know no masters, we acknowledge no dictators. This is a hall for mutual consultation and discussion; not an arena for the exhibition of champions. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
We have been taught to regard a representative of the people as a sentinel on the watch-tower of liberty. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
We must wait for the slow progress of moral causes Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
What is the soul, the informing spirit of our institutions, of our entire system of government but public opinion. Let us direct the force, the vast moral force of this engine, to the aid of others. Freedom & Liberty
Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens. Citizenship & Patriotism
When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.
Where is it written in the Constitution, in what article or section is it contained, that you may take children from their parents and parents from their children, and compel them to fight the battles of any war in which the folly and wickedness of the government may engage itself? …. A free government with an uncontrolled power of military conscription is the most ridiculous and abominable contradiction and nonsense that ever entered into the heads of men. Military & Veterans
A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.
A disordered currency is one of the greatest political evils.
A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.
An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, the power to destroy. Power
Every unpunished murder takes away something from the security of every man's life. Life
Failure is more frequently from want of energy than want of capital. Failure
Falsehoods not only disagree with truths, but usually quarrel among themselves.
He who tampers with the currency robs labor of its bread.
How little do they see what really is, who frame their hasty judgment upon that which seems.
I mistrust the judgment of every man in a case in which his own wishes are concerned.
I was born an American; I will live an American; I shall die an American.
Inconsistencies of opinion, arising from changes of circumstances, are often justifiable.
It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment, independence now and independence forever. Religion & God
Keep cool; anger is not an argument.
Let it be borne on the flag under which we rally in every exigency, that we have one country, one constitution, one destiny.
Let us not forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts will follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization.
Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.
Man is a special being, and if left to himself, in an isolated condition, would be one of the weakest creatures; but associated with his kind, he works wonders.
No man not inspired can make a good speech without preparation.
On the diffusion of education among the people rest the preservation and perpetuation of our free institutions. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power. Power
The law: it has honored us; may we honor it.
The materials of wealth are in the earth, in the seas, and in their natural and unaided productions.
The most important thought that ever occupied my mind is that of my individual responsibility to God. Religion & God
The right of an inventor to his invention is no monopoly - in any other sense than a man's house is a monopoly.
The world is governed more by appearance than realities so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it. Society
There is always room at the top. Motivation
There is no refuge from confession but suicide; and suicide is confession.
There is nothing so powerful as truth, and often nothing so strange. Truth
We are all agents of the same supreme power, the people. Power
What a man does for others, not what they do for him, gives him immortality.
Whatever government is not a government of laws, is a despotism, let it be called what it may. Government
Wisdom begins at the end.