of magnitude which it conveyed. The vision of
future empire, the dream of the destiny of an unbroken
union touched and kindled his imagination. He
could hardly speak in public without an allusion to
the grandeur of American nationality, and a fervent
appeal to keep it sacred and intact. For fifty
years, with reiteration ever more frequent, sometimes
with rich elaboration, sometimes with brief and simple
allusion, he poured this message into the ears of
a listening people. His words passed into text-books,
and became the first declamations of school-boys.
They were in every one’s mouth. They sank
into the hearts of the people, and became unconsciously
a part of their life and daily thoughts. When
the hour came, it was love for the Union and the sentiment
of nationality which nerved the arm of the North,
and sustained her courage. That love had been
fostered, and that sentiment had been strengthened
and vivified by the life and words of Webster.
No one had done so much, or had so large a share in
this momentous task. Here lies the debt which
the American people owe to Webster, and here is his
meaning and importance in his own time and to us to-day.
His career, his intellect, and his achievements are
inseparably connected with the maintenance of a great
empire, and the fortunes of a great people. So
long as English oratory is read or studied, so long
will his speeches stand high in literature. So
long as the Union of these States endures, or holds
a place in history, will the name of Daniel Webster
be honored and remembered, and his stately eloquence
find an echo in the hearts of his countrymen.
Aberdeen, Lord, succeeds Lord Palmerston as Secretary
for Foreign Affairs,
offers forty-ninth parallel, in accordance
with Mr. Webster’s suggestion,
Adams, John, in Massachusetts Convention, 111;
letter to Webster on Plymouth oration,
eulogy on, 125;
supposed speech of, 126.
Adams, John Quincy, most conspicuous man in New England,
opposed to Greek mission, 135;
opinion of Webster’s speech against
tariff of 1824, 136;
elected President, 137, 149;
anxious for success of Panama mission,
message on Georgia and Creek Indians,
Webster’s opposition to, 145;
bitter tone toward Webster in Edwards’s
interview with Webster, 148, 149;
conciliates Webster, 149;
real hostility to Webster, 150;
defeated for presidency, 151;
comment on eulogy on Adams and Jefferson,
compared with Webster as an orator, 201;
opinion of reply to Hayne, 206;
opinion of Mr. Webster’s attitude
toward the South in 1838, 285.
Ames, Fisher, compared with Webster as an orator,
Appleton, Julia Webster, daughter of Mr. Webster,
death of, 271.
Ashburton, Lord, appointed special commissioner, 251;
arrives in Washington, 253;
negotiation with Mr. Webster, 255 ff.;
attacked by Lord Palmerston, 259.