Daniel Webster eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 332 pages of information about Daniel Webster.
he did on December 21, 1850.  The note of the Austrian charge was in a hectoring and highly offensive tone, and Mr. Webster felt the necessity of administering a sharp rebuke.  “The Huelsemann letter,” as it was called, was accordingly dispatched.  It set forth strongly the right of the United States and their intention to recognize any de facto revolutionary government, and to seek information in all proper ways in order to guide their action.  The argument on this point was admirably and forcibly stated, and it was accompanied by a bold vindication of the American policy, and by some severe and wholesome reproof.  Mr. Webster had two objects.  One was to awaken the people of Europe to a sense of the greatness of this country, the other to touch the national pride at home.  He did both.  The foreign representatives learned a lesson which they never forgot, and which opened their eyes to the fact that we were no longer colonies, and the national pride was also aroused.  Mr. Webster admitted that the letter was, in some respects, boastful and rough.  This was a fair criticism, and it may be justly said that such a tone was hardly worthy of the author.  But, on the other hand, Huelsemann’s impertinence fully justified such a reply, and a little rough domineering was, perhaps, the very thing needed.  It is certain that the letter fully answered Mr. Webster’s purpose, and excited a great deal of popular enthusiasm.  The affair did not, however, end here.  Mr. Huelsemann became very mild, but he soon lost his temper again.  Kossuth and the refugees in Turkey were brought to this country in a United States frigate.  The Hungarian hero was received with a burst of enthusiasm that induced him to hope for substantial aid, which was, of course, wholly visionary.  The popular excitement made it difficult for Mr. Webster to steer a proper course, but he succeeded, by great tact, in showing his own sympathy, and, so far as possible, that of the government, for the cause of Hungarian independence and for its leader, without going too far or committing any indiscretion which could justify a breach of international relations with Austria.  Mr. Webster’s course, including a speech at a dinner in Boston, in which he made an eloquent allusion to Hungary and Kossuth, although carefully guarded, aroused the ire of Mr. Huelsemann, who left the country, after writing a letter of indignant farewell to the Secretary of State.  Mr. Webster replied, through Mr. Hunter, with extreme coolness, confining himself to an approval of the gentleman selected by Mr. Huelsemann to represent Austria after the latter’s departure.

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