Daniel Webster’s Famed Oratory Does Not Move Everyone
In his infamous March 7th “Plea for Harmony and Peace” speech before the U.S. Senate, Daniel Webster called upon his great talent as an orator to urge support for the Compromise of 1850. However, his words did not convince everyone that the U.S. Constitution protected the rights of slave owners to capture escaped slaves. Four days later, on March 11, New York Senator William H. Seward sardonically remarked to the Senate the following statement, as published by the Daily Atlas (Boston, Massachusetts) on March 15, 1850:
“Argument, ingenious and subtle; declamation, earnest and bold; and persuasion, gentle and winning as the voice of the turtle dove when it is heard in the land, all alike and all together have failed to convince me of the soundness of this principle of the proposed Compromise, or of any one of the propositions on which it is attempted to be established.”
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