Daniel Webster – Facts, Career & Legacy


Daniel Webster (1782-1852) emerged as one of the greatest orators and most influential statesmen in the United States in the early 19th century. As an attorney, he argued several landmark cases before the Supreme Court that expanded the power of the federal government. A dedicated nationalist, Webster was elected to multiple terms in the House of Representatives and the Senate, where he represented Massachusetts, and twice served as U.S. secretary of state.

Early Life and Career in Law and Politics

Webster was born on January 18, 1782 in Salisbury, New Hampshire, on what was then the frontier of English settlement in North America. His father was a farmer and tavern-keeper, and young Webster often gave readings and recitations to entertain tavern guests, an early indication of his oratorical skills.


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