One and Inseparable: Daniel Webster and the Union

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Harvard University Press, 1984 - Biography & Autobiography - 646 pages

From the ratification of the Constitution to the outbreak of the Civil War, few persons played a greater role in American history than Daniel Webster. He was a spokesman of New England commercial interests in the War of 1812, approving the threat of state interposition by the Hartford Convention; later an apostle of the industrial system and advocate of protective tariffs; a brilliant expositor of the Constitution as an instrument for national economic growth and strong central government; the architect of a foreign policy that brought permanent peace between the United States and England; the Great Compromiser who, as much as any other public man, tried to reconcile the clashing interests of North and South.

Despite his importance Webster has never been the subject of a full-scale, scholarly biography. Maurice G. Baxter's One and Inseparable traces the interrelated evolution of the public career and the private life of this imposing and controversial Yankee. He portrays Webster as an unswerving patriot, an advocate of nationality, and a champion of peace and the Union--but also reveals him as a self-promoting politician who varied his positions to suit the interests of his constituents and was sometimes insensitive to the great moral issues of his day. This devoted family man, enterprising if not altogether successful farmer, and genial companion could he egotistical, immoderate in his drinking habits, and careless about personal finances. Reading Baxter's lucid, moving biography it is possible to understand why Ralph Waldo Emerson so detested Daniel Webster but also called him "the completest man" produced by America, adding: "Nature had not in our days, or not since Napoleon, cut out such a masterpiece."

 

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Contents

Preparation
1
Portsmouth
22
Antiwar Congressman 4 Peace
52
Boston
68
Massachusetts Politician
87
Sectionalism
98
Friend of the Administration
119
Senator
140
AngloAmerican Issues
318
Ashburton
338
Diplomacy and Politics
353
Whig Problems
367
Expansion
378
Slavery in the West
394
Compromise
407
Character
428

Lawyer
155
Liberty and Union
179
Killing the Monster
194
Nullification
209
Bank War
224
Jacksons Vindication
240
Depression
258
Middle Age
279
Veto
299
Judicial Adjustments
443
Diplomatic Frustrations
461
Compromise on Trial
475
Advocate of Nationality
501
Bibliographical Note
513
Notes
515
Index
629
Copyright

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About the author (1984)

Maurice G. Baxter was Emeritus Professor of History at Indiana University.

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