Daniel Webster’s Tribute to Alexander Hamilton

The below excerpt from The Beauties of the Hon. Daniel Webster, published in 1839, captures some of Daniel Webster’s legendary respect for Alexander Hamilton and his sense

“How can I stand here to speak of the Constitution of the United States, of the wisdom of its provisions, of the difficulties attending its adoption, of the evils from which it rescued the country, and of the prosperity and power to which it has raised it, and yet pay no tribute to those who were highly instrumental in accomplishing the work?  While we are here to rejoice, that it yet stands firm and strong; while we congratulate one another that we live under its benign influence, and cherish hopes of its long duration; we cannot forget who they were, that in the day of our national infancy, in the times of despondency and despair, mainly assisted to work out our deliverance.  I should feel that I disregarded the strong recollections which the occasion presses upon us, that I was not true to gratitude, nor true to patriotism, nor true to the living or the dead, not true to your feelings or my own, if I should forbear to make mention of ALEXANDER HAMILTON.”

 Daniel Webster Desk
Image from http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/art/special/Desks/hdetail.cfm?id=5

In 1831, Webster gave a speech in New York, later quoted in Bartleby’s regarding Hamilton’s contributions to the financial system.

He smote the rock of the national resources, and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth. He touched the dead corpse of the Public Credit, and it sprung upon its feet. The fabled birth of Minerva, from the brain of Jove, was hardly more sudden or more perfect than the financial system of the United States, as it burst forth from the conceptions of Alexander Hamilton.

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