Reminiscences and Anecdotes of Daniel Webster

By Peter Harvey | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III.
AT THE BAR.

MANY anecdotes of Mr. Webster's early career at the bar survive, and a few of them may properly find a place in these pages. Some that are given have been told before, having had the transient circulation of a newspaper paragraph, and some I had from Mr. Webster himself.

Joel Parker, formerly chief justice of the New Hampshire Court of Common Pleas, and later professor of law in Harvard College, who had many opportunities of judging of Mr. Webster's capabilities as an advocate, has left his impression of him on record, as follows : --

"There is evidence of his early professional ability, as manifested at the September term of 1806, when his argument made such an impression upon a friend of mine, -- then a lad of some ten or twelve years, -- that, after a lapse of nearly half a century, he distinctly remembers the high encomiums passed upon it. He recollects, he writes, with perfect distinctness the sensation which the speech produced upon the multitude. The court-house was thronged, and all were loud in his praise. As soon as the adjournment took

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