The research for this book was begun in the fall of 1966 with the help of a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation and was later facilitated by a sabbatical leave from Carnegie-Mellon University. Over the years I have accumulated many debts to institutions and to individuals. A former student, Ruth Fleishman, assisted me with a summer of arduous research in antebellum newspapers. Erwin Steinberg and Ruth Corrigan arranged for the purchase of the microfilm edition of the Webster Papers by Carnegie- Mellon's Hunt Library. My debt to the entire staff of this library has grown steadily over the years and is especially great to Marilyn Albright, Dorothea Thompson, and Joan Tieman, who serve so assiduously and creatively in the Reference Department. I would also like to thank Edwin Latham and Kenneth Cramer for making my extended visit to the Archives of the Baker Library at Dartmouth College in the early stages of research both pleasant and productive.
My interest in Daniel Webster is part of a continuing fascination with the history of New England, which first became apparent a long time ago at Ohio Wesleyan University under the tutelage of Benjamin T. Spencer. My work as a teaching fellow under the direction of Edmund Morgan and Donald Fleming at Brown University led me eventually to a study of one of Webster's most eloquent critics, Wendell Phillips, and later to Webster himself. I began my research, trying to explain why so many of Webster's contemporaries, even those who hated him the most, thought he was so great. In writing the book, which attempts to answer this and the multitude of other ques