In 1850 he was appointed, by President Taylor, Surveyor of the Port of Boston, an office which he held by successive appointments till March, 1861, when a successor was nominated by President Lincoln. Immediately after the firing upon Fort Sumter, and the attack by a lawless mob in Baltimore upon the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, he responded to an appeal made to the patriotic citizens of Massachusetts by the following notice, which appeared in the Boston papers of Saturday, April 20, 1861.
The above call was seconded by the following notice, subscribed by the names of twenty-eight well-known gentlemen.
There will be a public meeting to-morrow, Sunday, in front of the Exchange, State Street, at ten o'clock, A. M., to aid in the enrolment of the new regiment of volunteer militia called for by Fletcher Webster. Come all.At the appointed hour on Sunday, April 21st, an immense crowd appeared in State Street in front of the Exchange. Colonel Webster attempted to address them, but the place where he stood made it impossible for him to be heard except by those who were near him. Some one proposed to go to the Old State-House, at the head of the street, a few rods distant, and the suggestion was received with acclamation and immediately carried into effect. Colonel Webster then spoke from the balcony of the Old State-House, and, among other things, said he could see no better use to which the day could be put than for us to take the opportunity to show our gratitude to Divine Providence for bestowing upon us the best government in the world, and to pledge ourselves to stand by and maintain it. He whose name he bore had the good fortune to defend