Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Daniel Webster

Memorial to statesman and orator Daniel Webster

On the west side of Scott Circle is a larger-than-life statue of New England statesman and orator Daniel Webster. Born in 1782, Webster led a distinguished political career as a representative from New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives, as a senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate, and as Secretary of State under Presidents William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, and Millard Fillmore.

Close-up of a bas relief showing Daniel Webster debating the illegality of secession in the Old Senate Chamber of the U.S. Capitol

This statue was sculpted by Gaetano Trentanove, an Italian-American immigrant from Florence who settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The memorial to Webster was commissioned by his friend and fellow New Hampshirite Stilton Hutchins, founder of the Washington Post. Daniel Webster was best known for his oratory skills and his anti-secessionist politics (though not necessarily for his leadership skills or financial management.) The side panel on this memorial is a bas relief frieze showing Webster debating in the Old Senate Chamber in the U.S. Capitol. The topic: Why it is (was) illegal to secede from the Union.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 2/08


the donG said...

a good debater. is a hero too?

D.C. Confidential said...

Don: It's a good question. I couldn't find anything that indicates he was heroic, per se, but maybe I'm missing something.