Daniel Webster, the ninth son of a Ebenezer Webster, a farmer and tavern-keeper, was born in Salisbury, New Hampshire, on 18th January, 1782. At fifteen he entered Dartmouth College and after graduating he taught for a while before working in a law office in Boston.
In 1807 Webster married and moved to Portsmouth and became a lawyer in this growing seaport. A supporter of the pro-British Federalist Party, Webster was elected to the House of Representatives (1813-17) and the Senate (1827-41) where he developed a reputation as America's best orator.
Webster joined the Whig Party and served as Secretary of State under William Henry Harrison (1841) and John Tyler (1841-43) and was responsible for the negotiation of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty with the British government in 1842.
Returned to power as Secretary of State under Millard Fillmore (1850-52). Although opposed to slavery, Webster supported the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. This infuriated anti-slavery Whigs who suspected that Webster wanted the support of the South in his expected presidential bid in 1852. However, Franklin Pierce got the nomination. Daniel Webster died on 24th October, 1852.