Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Daniel Webster

Photography Studio:
Southworth and Hawes (American, active 1843–1863)
Artist:
Albert Sands Southworth (American, West Fairlee, Vermont 1811–1894 Charlestown, Massachusetts)
Artist:
Josiah Johnson Hawes (American, Wayland, Massachusetts 1808–1901 Crawford Notch, New Hampshire)
Date:
ca. 1850
Medium:
Daguerreotype
Dimensions:
21.5 x 16.6 cm (8 7/16 x 6 9/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gift of I. N. Phelps Stokes, Edward S. Hawes, Alice Mary Hawes, and Marion Augusta Hawes, 1937
Accession Number:
37.14.2
Not on view
Daniel Webster (1782-1852) was one of nineteenth-century America's most imposing figures, a statesman and orator of staggering power and erudition. He sat for this portrait just one month before his controversial speech in support of the Compromise of 1850, which allowed fugitive slaves to be returned to their owners, a stance which subsequently contributed to Webster's political downfall. Southworth & Hawes' monumental depiction seems to embody Carlyle's opinion that "as a logic fencer, advocate, or parliamentary Hercules, one would incline to back [Webster] at first sight against all the extant world."
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil, verso: "Original"

Marking: Hallmark TR: Doublé / J.P. [see Spirit of Fact #9, p. 153]
Edward S. Hawes, Alice Mary Hawes, and Marion Augusta Hawes; [Holman's Print Shop, Boston]; I.N. Phelps Stokes, New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Hawes-Stokes Collection of American Daguerreotypes by Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes," November 4, 1939–December 7, 1939.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Thirty Photographers: A Selection from the Museum's Collection," April 12, 1969–June 1, 1969.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography," May 7, 1989–July 30, 1989.

Art Institute of Chicago. "On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography," September 16, 1989–November 26, 1989.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography," December 21, 1989–February 25, 1990.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 11," November 13, 1995–March 11, 1996.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Old Faces and Places: American Photographs, 1845-1870," February 3, 2004–April 25, 2004.

International Center of Photography. "Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes," June 17, 2005–September 4, 2005.

George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. "Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes," October 1, 2005–January 8, 2006.

Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy. "Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes," January 28, 2006–April 9, 2006.

Hart, Charles Henry. "Life Portraits of Daniel Webster." McClure Magazine 9, no. 1 (May 1897). pp. 619–30.

Stokes, Isaac Newton Phelps. The Hawes-Stokes Collection of American Daguerreotypesby Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1939. p. 330.

Greenough, Sarah. On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography. 1st ed. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 1989. pl. 16.

Moore, Charles LeRoy. "Expression: The Soul of the Daguerreotype." The Daguerreian Annual (1997). no. 6, pp. 1–25.

Romer, Grant B., and Brian Wallis, ed. Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes. New York: George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, 2005. no. 345.



In interviews later in life, Josiah Hawes always maintained that Webster posed for this portrait before delivering his Revere House speech. The date repeated in the literature is April 22, 1850. The actual date of the speech was April 22, 1851. Webster had been denied the use of Faneuil Hall for a meeting, so the enraged Secratery of State spoke from his hotel balcony at the Revere House, not far from the Southworth & Hawes studio. The famous speech defended Webster's compromise position on the Fugitive Slave Law , and included the famous line "Union, union, union-Now and forever!"
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