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Vermont watchman and State journal. (Montpelier, Vt.) 1836-1883, September 05, 1850, Image 1

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VOL. XLIV, NO. 41.---WHOLE NO. 2290.
iDatcljman & State journal.
TERMS 61.50 rub in sdsance : S?.00 If payment ii not
tntda in adsaoee; Interest always charged from tbe eod of
we rear
From the New York Courier hj vetch joornal it in tskeo
from tbe sheets of the unpublished work, now ia press.
Daniel Webster was born on the 18th
day of January, 1782, in the town of Salis
bury, New Hampshire. His earliest ances
tor, of whom the family have any certain
knowledge, was Thomas Webster. He
was settled in Hampton as early as IG36.
The descent from him to Daniel Webster
can be found recorded in the Church and
town Records of Hampton, Kingston,
(now East Kingston) und Salisbury.
The family came originally from Scotland
two centuries ago and more. It is probable
however, from certain circumstances, that
they tarried in England awhile, before emi
grating to the new world. They did not
bring over with them all the distinguish
ing characteristics of their countrymen;
the Scottish accent had become a mere tra
dition at the time'of Mr. Webster's father's
The personal characteristics of the fami
ly are strongly marked: light complexions,
sandy hair in great profusion, bushy eve
brows, and blender rather than broad frames,
attest tbe Teutonic and common origin of
the race. Dr. Noah Webster the compil
er of tbe Dictionary was, in personal ap
pearance, the vera effgies of the whole f.nn-.
The uncles of Daniel Webster had the
same characteristics. They were fair hair
ed and of rather blender form. His father
however, was of a different physical organi
zation. No two persons could look like
each other less than Ezekiel Webster, the
father of Daniel, and either of his brothers.
They resembled their father, who had the
hereditary feature and form ; but Exe
kiel Webster had the black hair and eyes,
and complexion of his mother, whose mai
den name was liatcheldcr. She was a de
pendent of the Iter. Stephen Batcheldcr.
a man famous in his time in the county of!
Itockiugham and the towns adjiccnt.
There are many persons now alive m Kings
ton who will tell you, they have heard their
fathers say, she was a woman of uncommon
strength of character, and sterling sense.
Daniel, and his only brother of the whole
blood, alone of the five sous of Ezekiel
Webster, .had the Batchelder complexion ;
the others ran off into the general charac
teristics of the race.
Many persons in Kingston and Salisbury
still live who reccollect Ebenezer Webster
well. They say his personal appearance
was striking. He was tall and erect; six
feet in height ; of a stalwart form, broad
and full in the chest. His complexion was
swarthy, features large and prominent with
a Roman nose, and eyes of remarkable bril
liancy. He had a military air and carriage
the result, perhaps, of his services iu
the army. He enlisted early in life as a
common soldier, in the Provincial troops,
and during the war of '56, served under
Gen. Amherst, on the Northwestern fron
tier; accompanying that commander iu the
invasion of Canada. lie attracted the at
tention and secured the good will of his su
perior officers, by his faithful and gallant
conduct ; and before the close of the war,
rose from the ranks to a captaincy. Peace
between England and France soon follow
ing the capture of Quebec and conquest of
Canada, the provincial troops were disband
ed, and returned to their homes.
Previous to the year 17C3, the settle
ments iu New Hampshire had made little
or no progress toward the interior of the
Statej foi more than half a century the fit
ful eruptions of the French from Canada,
and the constant if not more cruel assaults'
of their subsidized allies the Indians re
pressed any movement inward, into the
country. To defend what they held, by a
kind of cordon militairc of Lluck houses,
was all the frontier men hoped.
The cession of Canada to England how
ever, by the treaty of Paris, in 17C3, remov
ing the great obstacle to farther progress
into the interior, the royal Governor of
New Hampshire, Benning V entworth, be
gan to make grants of townships iu the cen
tral part of the State.
Col. Stevens, with some other persons
about Kingston, mostly retired soldiers, ob
tained a grant of the town ot Salisbury, men
called, from the princip.il grantee, Steven's
town. This town is situated exactly at the
head waters of the Merrimac river ; which
river is formed by the conflueuce-of the Pe-
migiwasset and Wiunepiseogee. Under this
grant, Ebenezer Webster obtained a lot
situated in tbe north partof the town. More
adventurous than others of the company
who obtained grants, he cut his way deeper
into the wilderness, making the road he
could not find.
In 17C4, he built a log cabin and lighted
his fire. " The smoke of which," his sou
has since said, " ascended nearer the North
star than that of any of his majesty's New
England subjects." His nearest civilized
neighbor in the Nortb, was at Montreal,
hundreds of miles oft
His first wife dying soon after his settle
ment in Salisbury, Ebenezer Webster marr
ied Abigail Eastman, of Salisbury, a lady of I
Welsh extraction. She was the mother of
. Daniel and Ezekiel ; and, like tbe mother
of George Canning, was a woman of far
more than ordinary intellect. She was
proud of, and ambitious of her sons; and
tbe distinction they afterwards both acquir
ed, may have been, in part, at least, tbe re
sult of her promptings.
It was the great desire of Ebenezer Web
ster to give his children an education. A
man of strong powers of mind and much
practical experience himself, he still bad
felt deeply and ofteu the want of early edu
cation, and wished to spare his sons tbe
mortifications he experienced. The school
master was not then abroad, or at least had
not visited Salisbury in bis travels: Small
town schools there were, it is true, and per
sons superintending them called teachers
lucut a non lucendo. But tbese schools
were not open half the year, and the school
masters had no claim to their position but
their incapacity for any thing else. Their
qualification was the want of qualification.
Reading and writing were all they profess
ed, and more than they were able to teach.
The school was migratory. When it
was in the neighborhood of Webster's resi
dence, it was easy to attend ; but when it
was removed into another part of the town
or another town, as was often the case, it
was somewhat difficult. While Mr. Web
ster was yet quite young, he was daily sent
two or three miles to school, and in the
midst of winter, on foot. For carriages or
carriage roads then, " were not ;" and with
the exception of an occasional ride on
horseback, he walked daily to school and
back. If the school moved yet farther oft,
into- a town not contiguous, his father board
ed him out in a neighboring family. He
was better provided with opportunities for
obtaining whatever of instruction these
schools could impart' than hiselder brrthers,
partly because he evinced early au3'irre
pressilJe, thirst for study and information,
and partly because his father thought that
his constitution was slender and somewhat
frail-r-toomuch so for any robust occupation.
But Joe, his elder half brother, and some
what of a wag, used to say that " Dan was
sent to school in order that he might know
as much as the other boys."
Mr. Webster had no sooner learned to
read than he showed great eagerness for
books. He devoured all he could lay hands
upon. When he was unable to obtain new
ones, he read the old ones over and over
again, till he had committed most f their
contents to memory. Books were then, as
Dr. Johnson said on some occasions, " like
bread iu a besciged town; every man might
get a mouthful, but none a full meal."
What were obtained, were husbanded with
Owing chiefly to the exertions of Mr.
Thompson, (the lawyer of the place,) of the
clergyman, and Mr. Webster's father, a very
small circulating library was purchased.
These institutions received an impetus
about this time from the zeal and labors
of Dr. Belknap, the celebrated hhtoriau of
New Hampshire.
Among the few books of the library, I
have heard Mr. Webster say, he found the
Spectator, and that he remembers turning
over the lea.es of Addison's criticism on
Chevy Chase, for the sake of reading con
nectedly, the ballad, the verses of which
Addison quotes from time to time, as sub
jects of remark. "As Dr. Johnson said iu
at.olher case, the poet was read and the
critic neglected. I could not understand
why it was necessary that the author of the
Spectator should take so great pains to
prove that Chevy Chase was a good story."
The simple, but sublime story of Chevy
Chase, would be no indifferent test for the
discovery ol how much or how little of the
poetic faculty there might be in an individual.
None but those who had some poetic fer
vor could appreciate or even understand it ;
while those who felt its pathos, its beauty
and grandeur most, must needs have the
deepest sensibilities. A distinguished lite
rary character has said that he would have
been prouder to be its author than of all
the productions from which he derived his
fame. Sir Philip "Sydney said he never
readit but his heart was stirred within him
as at i.he sound of a trumpet.
Mr. Webster was early fond of poetry.
He was not satisfied with reading it merely,
but committed a great deal to memory.
The whole essay on man he could recite
verbatim, before he was fourteen years. A
habit of attentive exclusive devotion to the
subjec'l before him, aided by a wonderful
memory, fixed everything deep in his mind.
It is this art, or talent, or genius, that works
the miracles we read and behold. He had
a great taste, too, for devotional poetry :
Watt's Psalms and Hymns he committed to
memory, not as a religious task, but as a
pleasure. Nor was he less acquainted, or
less fond of the sublime poetry of the Bible.
Evidence of this is seen everywhere in his
works: for there is scarcely a speech or
production of his that does int contain ideas
or expressions, the types of which may be
found iu that book.
When he attained his fourteenth year,
his father took an important and decisive
step with him. On the 515th of May, 189G,
Ebenzer Webstpr mounted a horse, put his
son on another, and proceeded with him to
Exeter. He there placed him in Philip's
Academy, then under the care of Dr. Benji
min Abbott, its well known and respected
The change was very great for a boy,
who had never been away from home before
and who now found himself among some
ninety other boys a stranger among stran
gers, all of whom had seen more of the
world, and assumed to know much more of
it than himself. But he was not long in
reconciling himself to this new change, and
to his new duties.
He was immediately put to English
grammar, writing and arithmetic. A class
mate of his informed me that he mastered
the principles and philosophy of the first,
between Alay and October of that year
and that in the other studies he made re
spectable progress in the autumn he com
menced the study of the Latin Language
his first exercises in which were recited to
Joseph Stevens Buckminster, who was act
ing, (in some college vacation, I think,) as
assistant to Dr. Abbott.
It may appear somewhat singular that the
greatest orator of modern times should have
evinced in boyhood tbe greatest antipathy to
public declamation. This lact is establish
ed by his own words, which have recently
appeared in print. " 1 believe," says Mr.
Webster, " I made tolerable progress in
most branches which I attended to, while
in this school ; but there was one thing I
could not do. I could not make a declama
tion. I could not speak before the school.
The kind & excellent Buckminister sought
especially to persuade me to perform the
exercise1 of declamation, like other boys,
but I eould not do it. Many a piece I com
mitted to memory, and rehearsed in
my own room, over and over again ; yet
when the day came, when, tbe school was
collected to bear declamations, when my
name was called, and I saw all eye turned
to my seat, I could not raise myself from it.
Sometimes the instructors smiled, sometimes
frowned. Mr. Buckingham always pressed
and intreated me most winoingly that I
would venture, but I never could command
sufficient resolution."
Such diffidence to its own powers may be
natural to genius, nervously fearful of being
unable to reach that ideal which it propos
es as the only full accomplishment of its
wishes. It is fortunate for the age, fortu
nate for all ages, that Mr. Webster, by de
termined will and frequent trial, overcame
this moral incapacity as his great proto
type the Grecian orator, subdued his physi
cal defect.
He remained at the Exeter Academy but
a few months; accomplishing in those few
mouths, however, the work of years to some.
In Feb., 1797, his fatfier placed him under
the tuition of Rev. Samuel Woods, in Bos-
cawen of whom his pupil always speaks in
terms of affection and respect. He boarded
in his family ; and I have heard him say
that Mr. Woods's whole charge for instruc
tion, board, die, was but one dollar per
week. We pay much dearer now for much
; -"It was on their way to the house of Mr.
J Woods that his.,fjtlier first , opened to him
i his design of sending him to college apur-
pose" which seemed to him impossible to be
fulfilled. It was much more extravagant
than his most extravagant hopes. It had
never entered his mind a moment. A colle
giate education iu those days was something
;ol tar greater importance than in these,
when the ability to command it is so gener
al. It made a marked man of thousands.
It gave the fortunate graduate at once post
tion and innuence and it not genius, or
eminent ability, supplied or concealed the
want thereof. The alumnus surveyed life
from an eminence, and could aspire to its
chicfiest honors by a kind of prescriptive
Most grateful to his father for the pros
pect held out through his self sacrificing de
votion. Air. iv ebster applied himscll to his
studies with even increased ardor. All
that Mr. Wood conld leach he learned.
Among other books he read Virgil and Cic
ero, both ol whom he laithlully studied, the
latter he warmly admired. Of tbe Latin'
Classics, I presume there is not one so fa
miliarly known to iIr. Webster as Cicero.
It may seem i. little strange, indeed, that
with all his early, eager, and constant study
of Rome's greatest orator, he should not
have imitated unconsciously his manner of
expression or thought. He much more re
sembles Demosthenes, in vigor and terseness
of style, and in copious vehemence ; whose
works in the meanwhile he never so com
pletely mastered.
At Boscawcn, Mr. Webster was fortunate
enough to find another circulating library,
the volumes of which he fully appreciated.
It was iu this library that he met for the first
time, Don Quixote, iu English. " 1 began
to read it," (1 have heard him say,) " and
it is literally true that I never closed my
eyes until 1 had finished it; nor did I lay
it down any time for five minutes; so great
was the power of this extraordiuaiy book up
on my imagination."
In the summer of this year, Augnsl, 17
97 he entered Dartmouth College as a fresh
man. His college life, as can be easily conceiv
ed, was not an idle one. With such a de
sire for the acquisition of all kinds of knowl
edge, the danger to be feared was, that
he would undertake too much rather than
too little; that his reading would be too
miscellaneous, and that he would acquire
therefrom, habits of mental carelcsness.
From the testimony of his intimates in the
college, it is known that In; read constantly.
Besides a regular attention to the prescrib
ed rules and studies of his class, he devoted
himself to the acquisition of whatever was
useful in English history, or graceful and
becoming iu English literature. He super
intended the publication of a little weekly
uew.-paper, making selections for it from
books and periodicals, and contributing oc
casionally au editorial of his own. These
were, perhaps, the first of his productions
ever published. I know not if they are to
be met with now. He delivered some ad
dresses while in college, before literary so
cieties, which were also published.
Ezekiel Webster the sole brother of
Dmitl of the whole blood was destined by
his father to carry on the farm. But he had
other aspirations, and so had his brother for
him. Accordingly, when Daniel returned
home on a visit in his sophomore year in the
spring of '99, he held serious consultations
with his brother Ezekiel, in relation to his
It was resolved between them, that Eze
kiel should go to College, and that Danie!
should be the organ of communication with
their father on the subject. He lost no
time in opening the negotiation, and expe
rienced no great difficulty in obtaining the
consent of his father, who lived only for his
children, to their design. The result was
that in about ten days, Mr. Webster had
gone back to college, having first seen his
brother bid adieu to the farm, and place
himself in school under a teacher in latin.
Soon afterwards Ezekiel went to Mr. Woods
and remained with him till he was fitted for
In March, 1801, his father carried him
to college, where be entered the freshman
He had not great quickness of apprehen
sion nor vivacity of intellect, and was not,
therefore early estimated at his full value.
But he had a strung mind, and great pow
ers of observation and memory. He ac
quired slowly but safely. Not fluent of
speech, he was always correct in language
and thought. Few excelled him in clear
ness and vigor of style, none in argumenta
tive ability. He wanted but opportuuity to
become a great man.
. He fell dead while arguing a case iu
Concord, New Hampshire, in 1829. A
handsome monument was erected to his
memory iu Boscawen, where he was buried.
Mr. Webster while in college, during the
winter vacations, kept school, to pay the
collegiate expeuses of bis brother as well as
his own. Being graduated in August 1801,
be immediately entered Mr. Thompson's
office in Salisbury, as student of law, and
remained there till Jauuary following. The
res axgusti domi seemed then to require
that be should go somewhere" and do some
thing to earn a little money. An applica
tion was at this time made to him from
Fryeburg, Maine, to take the charge of a
school there. He accepted tbe offer, mount
ed bis horse, and 'commenced his labors on
reaching Fryeburg. His salary was 1350
per annum, all of which he -saved as he
made besides a sufficient sum tc pay board
and other necessary expenses, by acting as
assistant to the Register of Deeds for the
county, to whose chirography there was the
one objection of illegibility. The ache is
not yet out I hare beard Mr. Webster
say which so much writing caused him.
In September, 1802, he returned to Mr.
Thompson's office, in which lie remained
till February, 1804. Mr. Thompson was a
respectable man, and an excellent lawyer
but he did not understrnd how to make the
study of law either agreeable or instructive.
He put his students to study after the old
fashion, that is, the hardest books first.
Coke s Littleton was ths bonk in those days
upon which pupils were broken in which
is like teaching arithmetic by beginning
with differential calculus. "A boy of i!U,
says Mr. vvebsler, " with no previous
Knowledge on such subjects, cannot under
stand Coke. It is folly to set him upon
such an author. There are P'opositions in
Coke so abstract, and dbUoCtionJ-ea nice,
and doctrines embracing so many conditions
and qualifications, that it requires an effort
not only ot a mature tritid, but ot a minu
both strong and mature, to understind him.
Why disgust and discourage a boy by.tcll
ing him he must break into his profession
through such a wall as this V
Mr. Webster soon laid aside Coke till "a
more convenient season," and, in the mean
while, took up other more plain, eisy and
iutellible authors.
While not engaged in the study of law,
he occupied himself with the Latin classics.
He added greatly to what acquisitions be
had made in the language .while in college,
reading Sallust, Cssar, and Horace. Some
odes of the latter, which he translated into
English, were published.
But books were not at this time of his
life, as they nerer have been, Mr. Webster's
sole study. He then was fond, and has
been through life, of the manly field sports,
fishing, shooting and riding. These brought
him into near communion with Nature and
himself; supplied him with the material
and opportuuity for thought; made him
contemplative, logical and earnest. At a
subsequent period of his life, he found that
the solitary rides he was wont to indulge in
afforded him many an edifying day. The
great argument iu the Dartmouth College
case was principally arranged in a tour he
made from Boston to Barnstable and back.
Jolm Adams's speech before the Philadel
phia Convention in '70, was composed by
Mr. Webster, while taking a drive in a N.
England chaise. His favorite sport of an
gling gave him many a favorable opportuni
ty for composition. The address for Bunk
er Hill (fur instance) was all planned out
even to many of its best passages, milarslt
pce Brook; the orator catching trout and
elaborating sentences at the same time.
A like fondness for solitary rambles and
sequestered spots, is said to have character
ised Canning and Burke; who found their
fancies brightened and their philosophy in
vigorated by this self-communion. With
them, as with the Roman Lawgiver, Ege
eia, avoiding crowds and bustling life, was
to be met with only in solitude, bo true is
it that the intellectual man is never less
alone than when alone ; that to him his
mind a kingdom is, & his own thoughts his
most agreeable and instructive companions.
In July, 1804, Mr. Webster went to Bos
ton, and, after some unsuccessful applica
tions elsewhere, obtained admission as a
student iu the office of the Hon. Christo
pher Gore, who had then just returned from
England, and resumed the practice of law.
It was a most fortunate event for Mr. Web
ster. Mr. Gore was no less distinguished
as a lawyer than as a statesinaa and public
ist, eminent iu each character, and was,
besides, one of the rare examples of the
highest intellectual qualities united with
sound, practical, keeu common sense. He
knew mankind no less than boiks ; and the
wisdom he derived from the study of both,
he could impart, in most impressive lan
guage. With him Mr. Webster enjoyed
the best opportunity thus far of his life for
studying books, and men, and things; and
be made the best use of the opportunity.
He attended the session of the Supreme
Court which sat in August of this year,
constantly, and reported all its decisions.
He also reported the decisions of the Cir
cuit Court of the United States. He read
diligently and carefully the books, general
ly, of the Common aud Municipal Law,
and the best authorities on the Law of Na
tions, some of them for the third time, ac
compaying these studies with l vast variety
of miscellanous reading. His chief study,
however, was the Common Lav, aud more
especially that part of it which relates to
the science of Special Pleading. This,
one of the most ingenious and refined, and
at the same time instructive and useful
branches of the law, he pursued with devo
tion. Besides appropriating whatever he
could of this part of tbe science from Viner,
Bacon, and other books then in common
study, he waded through Saunders's Re
portsthe old folio edition and abstracted
and put into English, out of tbe Latin aud
Norman-French, the pleadings in all the
reports. This undertaking, both as an ex
ercise of the mind, aud as an acquisition
of useful learning, was a great advantage
to him in his succeeding professional ca
reer. An anecdote I have heard Mr. Webster
tell in relation to his 'first interview with a
gentlemen, then and afterwards distinguish
ed in the history of the country, it may not
be improper to relate here. " I remember
one day," says Mr. Webster, " as I was
alone in tbe office, a man came in and asked
for Mr. Gore. Mr. Gore- was out, and be
sat down.to wait for bun. He was dressed
in plain grey, clothes. I wen, on with my
book, till be asked me what. I was reading,
and coming along up to the table, took the
book and looked at it. ' Roccm,' said be,
' de navidus et nando.' Well, I read that
book too when I was a boy ; and proceed
ed to talk not only about 'ships and freights,'
but insurance, prize, and other 'matters of
maritime law, in a manner to put me- up
to all I knew,, and a good deal more. The
grey-coated stranger turned out to be Mr.
ttufus King."
In March, 1805, Mr. Webster was ad-
It is said I know eot ODM "what Jilbork-lbU as tb.
etaloc drew iu sea It 1 yrtirahrly larg, fct was fceaxd to
a Tecmet ftMfama. HsTtn has bautesjwry ksurtiMM
scums, veaeimM mi : jm ui com Hn to
rear lises, ttat J
y mvgmt men am Joyces) qmj." a
LdeaUcsl Beoleaces aSMarod aJUnraida ia lb Boji&ai-fckaU
m Blssuibilitr tor I
Ue story. At least. (Meuny vita tit ItsW-Si m .
im, iMM Irrcalf .
milted to practice, in Suffolk Court of Com
mon 1'leas. lhe custom then prevailed
for the patron to accompany his pupil into
Court, introduce him to the Judges, make
a brief speech in commendation of studi
ous conduct and attainments, and then
move for his admission On Mr. Webster's
admission, one informs me that he recollects
almost every word of Mr. Gore's speech,
aud that it contained, among other things,
'a prediction of bis pupil's future profession-
al distinction. In all probability the pre
diction, as is generally the case, aided its
own accomplishment. Certainly, the fav
orable opinion of such a man as Mr. Gore
must have been an additional incentive to
Mr. Webster's ambitious hopes and efforts.
The clerk of the Court of Common Pleas
for the county of Hillsborough, New Hamp
shire, resigned his office in January, 1805.
Mr. Webster's father was one of the Judges
of this court ; and his colleagues, from re
gard forjiim, tendered his sou the vacant
clerkship. It was what Judge Webster had
long desired. The office was worth $1,500
per annum, which was in those days, and
in that neighborhood, a competency; or
rather absolute wealth. Mr. Webster him
self considered it a great prize, and was
eager to accept it. He weighed the ques
tion in his mind. On the one side he saw
immediate comforts; on the other, at the
best, a doubtful struggle. By its acceptance
he made sure of his own good condition,
and what was nearer to his heart, that of
his family. By its refusal, he condemned
'both himself and them to an uncertain, and
probably, harrassing future. Whatever as
pirations he might have cherished of pro
fessional distinction, he was willing cheer
fully to relinquish, to promote the immedi
ate welfare of those he held most dear.
But Mr. Gore peremptorily and vehe
mently interposed his dissent. He urged
every argument against the purpose. He
exposed its absurdity and its consequences.
He appealed to the ambition of his pupil :
once a clerk, he said he would always be a
clerk there would be no step upwards.
lie attacked him, too, on the side of his
family affection ; telling him that he would
be far more able to gratify his friends from
his professional labors than iu the clerkship.
" Go on," he said, " and finish your studies
you are poor enough ; but there are grea
ter evils than poverty ; live on no man's fa
vor ; what bread you eat, let it be the bread
of independence ; pursue your profession ;
make yourself useful to your friends, and a
little formidable to your enemies, and you
have nothing to fear."
Diverted from his design by arguments
like these, it still remained to Mr. Webster
to acquaint his father with his determina
tion, aud satisfy him of its propriety. He
felt this would be no easy task, as bis father
had set bis heart so much upon the office;
but he dotermiued to go home immediately,
and give him, in full, the reasons of his
It was midwinter, and he looked round
for a country sleigh for stage-coaches at
that tune, were things unknown in the cen
tre of New Hampshire and finding one
that had come down to market, he took pas
sage therein, and iu two or three days he
was set down at his father's door. (The
same journey is now made in four hours by
steam.) It vas evening when he arrived.
I have heard him tell the story of the inter
view. His father was sitting before the
fire, and received him with manifest joy.
He looked feebler thau he had ever appeared,
but his countenance lighted up on seeing
his clerk stand before him in good health
and spirits. He lost no time iu alluding to
the great appointment said how spontane
ously it had been made how kindly the
chief justice proposed it, with what unanim
ity all assented, iSoc. &c. During this
speech, it can be well imagined how em
barrassed Mr. Webster felt, compelled, as
he thought, from a conviction of duty to
disappoint his father's sanguine expecta
tions. Nevertheless, he commanded his
countenance and his voice, so as to reply in
a sufficiently assured manner. He spoke
gaily about the office ; expressed his great
obligation to their Honors, and his inten
tion to write thm a most respectful letter ;
if he could have consented to record any
body's judgments, he should have been
proud to have recorded their Honors', &c.
&c. He proceeded in this strain, till his
father exhibited signs of amazement, it hav
ing occurred to him, finally, that his son
might all the while be serious. " Do you
intend to decline this office 1" he said at
length. " Most certainly," replied his son;
I cannot think of doing otherwise. I mean
to use my tongue in courts, not my pen ; to
be an actor, not a register of other men's
For a moment Judge Webster seemed
angry. He rocked his chair slightly, a flash
went over iiis eye, softened by age, but even
then black as jet, but it immediately disap
peared, .and his pountenance regained its
usual serenity. Parental love and partiali
ty could not after all but have been grati
fied with the son's devotion to an honorable
and distinguished profession, and seeming
confidence of success in it. " Well, my
son," said Judge - Webster finally, " your
mother has always said that you would come
to something or nothing, she was not sure
which. I think you are now about settling
that doubt for her." The Judge never af
terwards spoke to his son on the subject.
Mr. Webster having thus reconciled his
father to his views returned to Boston. In
March, following, having been admitted to
the bar as before stated, he went to Amherst
N. H. where his father's court was then in
session ; from Amherst he went home with
his father. His design bad been to settle
in the practice at Poitsmouth; but unwil
ling to leave bis father, who bad become
infirm, and bad no sons at home, be opened
au office at Boscawen, near his father's res
idence, and commenced the practice of his
Judge Webster lived but a year after bis
son's commencement of practice ; long e
nougb, however, to hear bis. first argument
in court, and to be gratified with confident
predictions of his future success. Then,
like Simeon of old, be gathered up bis gar
ments and died.
He died in April, 1806. Exposure to
tbe hardships of a frontier life, more severe
than we can now entertain any idea of, tbe
fivations and labors-be suBeredand under
went in the Indian wars, and the war of tbe
R.p.vnlnli'nn hmrl hrnlma in nnrui & ennsititn.
. n v. j v' . a u:. j.
tion naturally robast, and hastened his de-
cease. He was of a manly and generous
character, and of a deportment and manner
to gain him great consideration among all
that knew him. In civil and military life,
he obtained deserved distinction. Judge of
the Court of Common Pleas for twelve or
fourteen years, he made good, by the integ
rity of his purpose, the clearness of his
judgment and thestrength of his character,
the want of early education; and gained
for his opinions and decisions a confidence
and concurrence not always accorded to
persons professionally more learned. He
was distinguished also in ms military career.
entering the army a private, he retired a
major; and won his commission by laithlul
and gallant service, as well in the Revolu
tionary, as in the French and Indian wars.
He acted as majur under Stark at Benning
ton, and contributed no little to the fortu
nate result of that day.
In May, 1807, Mr. Webster was admitted
as attorney aud counsellor of the Superior
Court in. New Hampshire, and in Septem
ber of, that year relinquished his office in
Boscawen to his brother Ezekiel, who had
then obtained admission to the bar, and mo-
yed to Portsmouth, according to his original
He married in June, 1S03, Grace Fletch
er, the daughter of the Rev. Mr. Fletcher,
of Hopkinton, N. H. By her he had four
children, Grace, Fletcher, Julia, and Ed
ward ; but one of whom, Hetcher, survives.
Edward died with the army in AIcxico,1847,
Major of the Massachusetts Regiment of
Volunteers, lie was one of the most gen-
tlemanly, amiable, and honorable young
men of the age.
Mr. Webster lived in Portsmouth nine
years, wanting one mouth. -1 he counsel
most eminent at the bar of the county at
that time were Jeremiah Mason, Edward
St. Loe Livermore, Jeremiah Smith, Judge
of the Superior Court and Governor of the
State; William King Atkinson, Attorney
General of the Stale; George Sullivan.also
Attorney General ; Samuel Dexter, aud
Joseph Story, of Massachusetts, all lawyers
of much more than ordinary ability, and
some of surpassing excellence. No bar at
that time, probably in the country, present
ed such an array of various talents. Mr.
Webster s estimate of Judge atory and Mr.
Mason, expressed in public, will form not
the least important nor least enduring mon
ument to their fame. It will outlast the
sculptured marble. For Mr. Mason, his
professional rival sometimes, his friend al
ways, he entertained a warm regard as well
as respect. Mr. Mason was of infinite ad
vantage to him, Mr. V ebster has said, in
Portsmouth, not only by his unvarying
friendship, but by the many good lessons he
taught him, and the good example he set
him iu the commencement of his career.
" If there be in the country a stronger in
tellect," Mr. Webster once said, " If there
be a mind of more native resources, if there
be a vision that sees quicker or sees deeper
into whatever is intricate, or whatever is
profound, I must confess I have not kuown
Mr. Webster's practice, while he lived in
Portsmauth, was very much of a circuit
practice. He followed the superior Court
in most of the counties of the state, and
was retained in nearly all the important
causes. It is a tact somewhat singular ol
his professional life, that with the exception
of instances in which he has been associa
ted with the Attorney General of the United
States for the time being, he had hardly ap
peared ten times as junior counsel. Once
or twice with Mr. Mason, once or twice
with Mr. Prescolt, and with .Mr. Hopkiu-
son, are the only exceptions within recollec
Mr. Webster's practice ia New Hamp
shire was never lucrative. Clients then and
there were not rich, and fees, consequently,
were not large ; nor were persons so litigi
ous as in places less civilized, by intelli
gence. Though his time was exclusively
devoted to his profession, his practice never
gave him more than a livelihood.
lie never held otlice, popular or other, in
the government of New Hampshire. He
occasionally took part in political affairs,
and was then not unlelt in his action. Ills
vote was always given, his voice aud pen
sometimes exercised, in favor of the party
whose principles he espoused, liven in that
early period of his life, however, when per
haps something could be pardoned to the
vehemence of youth, he used no acrimoni
ous language of his political opponents, nor
suggested or participated in any act indica
tive of personal animosity towards them.
At thirty years ol age, he had become
well known and respected throughout the
State; so much eo, that he was elected a
Representative of the State in Congress,
after an animated contest, in November,
1812, aud took his seat at the extra session
iti May, 1813.
What has been written thus far, relates
rather to the private life of Mr. Webster ;
what follows concerns mostly, his public;
as gathered from the records and contem
poraneous testimony.
But the ingenuous youth of the country
should understand, that Mr. Webster, great
as he is, has not become so, without great
study. Greatness has not been thrust upon
him. He has studied books, he has studied
mankind, he has studied himself, (which is
the very fountain of all true wisdom,) deep
ly9 and conscientiously, from bis earliest
youth. There has been no unappropriated
time with him : none trifled away. Eveu
in the hours of relaxation, he has thought
of, and methodized the gleanings of the
Past, or prepared results lor the Future.
lie laid early and solid the foundation of
his tame. While the mind was eager and
facile to receive earnest impressions, he
sought after everything in the way of learn
ing, that was sincere, elevated, and enno
bling, to fill and satisfy it. He pursued no
study he did not comprehend ; undertook
no task to which he did not devote his whole
mind. Whatever he strove after he acquir
ed, and whatever he acquired, he retained.
It was this, early aud constant seeking
after knowledge, this desire unsatisfied with
acquisition this all-embracins nursuit.that
determined his intellectual character, and
prepared him tor any encounter with the
world. What be has said of Adams and
Jeflerson, might be applied with equal truth
to himself. "If we could now ascertain
all the causes which gave them eminence
and distinctian, in the midst of the great
men with whom they acted, we should find
not among the least, their early acquisitions
in literature, the resources which it furnish
ed, the promptitude and facility which it
communicated andthe wide field it opened,
for analogy and illustration; giving them
tfausVa every subject, a larger view, and a
broader range, as well for discussion, as for
the governmeut of their own conduct."
Prosperity of the United States.
The London Examiner, discoursing upon this
Jbject has the following :
" Tha prosperity is attractive, and it is the
boast. of so,neof the journals, that while tha
members of Congress are daily threatening a
dfesoluti'in ot the Union, neighborinrr states and
countries are anxious to be admitted members of
it. Canada, talks of annexation ; California is
pressing for admission; Cuba is ready to join it,
and is only withheld by the power ofSpain, and
the moJesty and integrity of tl e United Stafes
in refusing to accede to its wishes, and to grant
tome assistance to accomplish them. Mexico
has laid aside, it is said, its hostile feelings, and
its people are looking earnestly and anxiously to
incorporation. Central America is soIici!in a
closer connexion, and hoping for the time to
come when it shall form a Dart of tbo freat Rn-
f public that is to stretch over the whole conti-
J nent. Evenls are advancing rapidly, though the
Congress may sland still. Society will not wait
lor its leave to live, and thrive, and grow, and
will, in some way or other, settle the slavery
question ; perhaps before Con jres3 his done talk
ing about it. In America it is seen more than
in Europe that society moves faster than legisla
tion, and does not depend on that to regulate its
future existence. Thus, while members of Con
gress are threatening dismemberment, there is
gathering round the States as a nucleus other
states ready to adhere to it and increase it on ev
ery tide. It is swelling too, by immigration from
every quarter, and exhibiting the extraordinary
spectacle of men of nearly evry lineage of tha
earth being harmoniously absorbed by the great
Anglo-Saxon family, nnd becoming one with, it.
The reverse of the phenomenon that occurred
on the plains of Babel seems there in progress,
and many, if not branches of all the various na
tions of the cartb, are united to use one tongue
and live under one !aw."
The Problem solved by the Bee3.
For advanced Scbolus ia Mathematics.
Bees secrete only a limited quantity of wax,
and it becomes requisite tint this should be em
ployed in the most economical manner Dos?ih!c
Bees, therefore," as one remarks, "have to
solve this difficult problem : A quantity of wax
being given, to form of it similar and equal cells
of a determinate capacity, but of the largest size
in proportion to the quantity ot matter employed,
and disposed in such a manner as to occupy tlio
least possible space in the hive." This problem
is solved by bees in all its conditions. "The cy-
lindric'al form would seem to be the best adapt
ed to the ehipe of the insect; but had the cells
been cylindrical, they would not have applied to
each oiher witho'ut leaving a vacant and super
fluiins space between every three comnmous
cells. Had the cells, on the other hand.been
square or triangular, they might have been con
etructed uilhout unnecessary vacancies, But
these forms would havo both required more ma
terial, and been very unsuitiblo to the shape of
the bees' body. The six-s'ded form of the cell
obviaics every objection ; and while it fulfills the
cundilioiia ot the problems, it is equally adapted,
with a cylinder, to the shape of the bee.
l lie base ot each cell, instend of forming a
plane, is usually-composed of three meces like
the diamunda on playing cards, and placed
in suJi a mauiier as to form a hollow Dvrainid
This stiucmre, it may be observed, imparts a
greater uegree oi sircpgui, anu still keeping the
lution ot" the problem in view gives the great
est capacity wnhtbe smallest expenditure of ma
terial. This hai indeed, actually been ascer
tained by mathematical measurement, and cal
culation. Maraldi, the inventor of glass hives,
delermined by minutely measuring these angles,
mat ine greaier were lua u aciaiin., and tha
smaller, 70 3 30min., and Reamer, being desir
ous tj know why these particular angles are se
lected, requested Al. Kcemg, a skillful mathema
tician, (without informing him of his design, or
telling him of Miraldi's researches,) to deter
mine, by calculation, what ought to be the an
gles of a six tided cell, with a concave pyramid
al base, formed of three similar and equal rhom
boid plates, so that the least possible matter
6hould enter into the construction. By employ
ing what geometricans denominate the infinitesi
mal calculus, he found that the angles should t9
100 2t min. for the greater, and 70 34 mm.
for the lesser, or about one thirtieth of a degree
more or less than the actual angles made choice
of by tbe bees !
French Merino Sheep. Mr. A. L. Bingham,
of Cornwall, Vermont, gives the weight of wool
unwashed, obtained the present season from 83
Merino Sheep, of the " Taimor Stock," together
with the aggreegatc live weight of carcass of
the same sheep obtained after they were shorn.
Twenty-seven of these are stated to have been
only ten months old when shorn. The aggre
gate of eighty-thtee sheep, was 10,457 lbsrae
mg an average of 12G lbs. each. Aggregate
weight of wool obtained from tbe eighty-three
sheep, Was 1,494 lbs., or on an average of 18 lbs.
each tleece, and two and two-sevenths ounces
of ool for each pound of carcass. The growth
of the fleeces is stated to have been just ono
year, with the exception of the lambs which
were but ten months old. The ewes, it is stated,
produce " three crops of lambs in two years."
Albany Cultivator.
Every man, no matter how lowly he may ap
pear to himself, might still endeavor tn produca
something for the benefit or use of society ; re
membering that an insect furnishes by its labor
materials wherewith to form the regal robes of
D'lSltesnng Accident. On Tuesday last, Mr.
Lewis Paine, of Brownington, went out from
his house to his siw-mill early in the morning,
und a few hours afterwards was discovered in
the road by a stepp bank, down which he was
enjaed roiling logs to bis mill, dead. It U
supposed from appearances about the road and
upon lhe side of the hill, that in starting logs to
wards the mill, ho was run over and crushed to
death. He leives a family to mourn his loss.
Iraaburgh I'hig.
........ vu j' lug
veteran clitpf 4t0vnMt nfiliik ltnnl 0n,
. w . w ..... u u , mi, ..wjul 111 . i.
ships, sailed from Boston in the Asia on Wed-
1113 one nunoreu ana. stxty-eigbth
voyage across the Atlantic Ocean within tba
twelve years last past. Allowing the distance
to ne tjw miles he has sailed within the period
named, over 500,000 miles, averaging- one trip
each 25 days.
rarlnrf .C.nn.J I r .L n:..
burg" papers of Tuesday, that all tho cotton fac
tories of Alleghany c.ty have been s opped, throw
ing about 1100 hands out of employment.
x u not tune that a suitably regulated tiriu
should protect. the capital employed in manufac
tures and keeo in emolovment the industry of
Frederic VII of Denmark, it seems, bos mar
ried a mantau maker. Ho, has already hid two
wives, from eca of; whom net baa been divorc-
-.i - '.mi : . i. : ..-. in tha alattf oi

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