in his private Journal
: “I will not obey it, by God
So said hundreds of thousands of obscure men in the North
, but Webster
did not or could not hear them.
While no other orator of that period was so richly endowed as Daniel Webster, the struggle for Union and Liberty enlisted on both sides many eloquent men. John C. Calhoun
's acute, ingenious, masterly political theorizing can still be studied in speeches that have lost little of their effectiveness through the lapse of time.
The years have dealt roughly with Edward Everett
, once thought to be the pattern of oratorical gifts and graces.
In commemorative oratory, indeed, he ranked with Webster
, but the dust is settling upon his learned and ornate pages.
, another conservative Whig in politics, and a leader, like Wirt
, at the bar, had an exotic, almost Oriental
fancy, a gorgeousness of diction, and an intensity of emotion unrivaled among his contemporaries.
His Dartmouth College eulogy of Webster
in 1853 shows him at his best.
The Anti-Slavery orators, on the other hand, had the advantage of a specific moral issue in which they led the attack.
was the most polished, the most consummate in his air of informality,