Perley's Reminiscences of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis - Vol. 1

By Ben: Perley Poore | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXI.
DIPLOMATIC AND SOCIAL LIFE OF WEBSTER.

THE ASHBURTON TREATY--DIPLOMATIC NEGOTIATIONS--SPEECH BY
DANIEL WEBSTER--WEBSTER'S SOCIAL LIFE--MR. CLAY'S NIGHTCAPS
--ADMINISTRATION ORGANS--JUSTICE TO JOHN TYLER.

MR. WEBSTER'S great work as Secretary of State--indeed, he regarded it as the greatest achievement of his life--was the negotiation of a treaty with Great Britain adjusting all existing controversies. To secure this had prompted Mr. Webster to enter the Cabinet of General Harrison, and when Mr. Tyler became President Mr. Webster pledged himself to his wealthy friends in Boston and New York not to resign until the troubles with the mother country had been amicably adjusted. His position soon became very unpleasant. On the one hand President Tyler, whose great desire was the annexation of Texas, wanted him to resign; on the other hand, many influential Whigs began to regard him with distrust for remaining in the enemy's camp. But Mr. Webster kept on, regardless of what was said by friend or foe.

The appointment of Lord Ashburton to represent the British Government was especially gratifying to Mr. Webster, who had become personally acquainted with him when he visited England in 1839. Lord Ashburton's family name was Alex. Baring. He had

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