Life of Daniel Webster - Vol. 1

By George Ticknor Curtis | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII.
1830-1831.

MR. WEBSTER'S POPULARITY--CHARACTER OF GENERAL JACKSON-- MR. CLAY'S CLAIMS TO THE PRESIDENCY--ANTI-MASONRY-- DINNER TO MR. WEBSTER IN NEW YORK--GIVES UP A JOURNEY TO THE WEST--NOMINATION OF MR. CLAY AS THE CANDIDATE OF THE NATIONAL REPUBLICANS--RELIEF OF INSOLVENT DEBTORS OF THE UNITED STATES--MISCELLANEOUS CORRESPONDENCE.

WE are now arrived at the period in Mr. Webster's life when he began to be considered, by a part of the people of the North and the West, and by many in the South who were politically opposed to the reëlection of General Jackson, the most suitable person to be brought forward as a candidate for the presidency. Aside from the public questions which were about to separate the people of the United States into two parties, many of the best minds in the country had come to place their hopes for the success and perpetuity of its institutions upon the power and the willingness of the nation to call to the chief magistracy a statesman whose extraordinary civil services, whose intellect, whose broad national politics, and whose moderation and elevation of character, pointed him out as the most fit person in the Union to be intrusted with the executive office. It is quite unnecessary for me to insist that this was not an undue partiality. We have to deal with facts; and it is one of the facts which constitute Mr. Webster's justification for allowing himself to be drawn into that long candidacy, in respect to which he was destined to be always unsuccessful, that

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