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OCCASIONED BY THE
DEATH OF DANIEL WEBSTER,
PREACHED AT THE MELODEON
ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31, 1852.
MINISTER OF THE TWENTY-EIGHTH CONGREGATIONAL SOCIETY IN BOSTON.
BENJAMIN B. MUSSEY & CO.
No. 29, CORNHILL.
Ner. Theodore Parker.
Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1853, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
It is now four months since the delivery of this Sermon. A phonographic report of it was published the next morning, and quite extensively circulated in all parts of the country. Since then, I have taken pains to examine anew the life and actions of the distinguished man who is the theme of the discourse. I have carefully read all the criticisms on my estimate of him, which came to hand; I have diligently read the most important sermons and other discourses which treat of him, and have conversed with persons who have known Mr. Webster at all the various periods of his life. The result is embodied in the following pages.
My estimate of Mr. Webster differs from that which seems to prevail just now in Church and State; differs widely, differs profoundly. I did not suppose that my judgment upon him would pass unchallenged. I have not been surprised at the swift condemnation which many men have pronounced upon this sermon,
upon the statements therein, and the motives thereto. I should be sorry to find that Americans valued a great man so little as to have nothing to say in defence of one so long and so conspicuously before the public. The violence and rage directed against me is not astonishing; it is not even new. I am not vain enough to fancy that I have never been mistaken in a fact of Mr. Webster's history, or in my judgment pronounced on any of his actions, words, or motives. I can only say I have done what I could.