Life of Daniel Webster - Vol. 1

By George Ticknor Curtis | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER III.
1801-1807.

BEGINS THE STUDY OF THE LAW IN SALISBURY--TEACHES A SCHOOL IN MAINE--ENTERS THE OFFICE OF MR. GORE IN BOSTON--ADMISSION TO THE BAR--REFUSES A LUCRATIVE OFFICE--PRACTISES IN BOSCAWEN--DEATH OF HIS FATHER--REMOVAL TO PORTSMOUTH.

LEAVING his brother Ezekiel at college in the Sophomore class, Mr. Webster returned to his father's house immediately after he was graduated, in August, 1801, and commenced the study of the law in the office of Thomas W. Thompson, Esq., a lawyer in Salisbury, his father's neighbor and friend. He chose this profession in compliance with the wish of his father, who did not, however, make that wish known to him in any other than the most delicate manner. His other friends urged it strongly; and the nearness of a very good lawyer's office to his father's house probably had some influence on his decision. But his own inclination to the law was not at first very strong. The tenor of his correspondence at this period shows, at least, that he would gladly have spent some further time in exploring the wider fields of literature. Yet he "precipitated" himself "into an office," as he said at the time, and immediately began such a course of elementary law-reading as the books and the methods of that day afforded.

Mr. Thompson, the gentleman with whom he began to study his profession, was a lawyer in good country practice, an assidu

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