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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Judiciary Square in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Senator Daniel Webster

Civil War to Civil Rights

 

—Downtown Heritage Trail —

 
Senator Daniel Webster Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 2, 2012
1. Senator Daniel Webster Marker
The "new" version of the marker.
Inscription.
“Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable,” Senator Daniel Webster, January 1830.

Senator Daniel Webster, eloquent advocate for the preservation of the Union and a political giant in pre-Civil War America, lived and worked here. His home and office buildings, now demolished, were similar to the two surviving pre-Civil War buildings alongside this sign. Wester's buildings began where the ally is today, stretching to the west. In the mid-19th century this was a fashionable neighborhood of fine homes and magnificent churches within easy walking distance to the Capitol and near Washington’s City Hall/Courthouse.

Webster's unmatched speaking ability helped bring about the Compromise of 1850. The compromise helped delay the Civil War for about ten years and ended the notorious slave trade in District of Columbia. But at the same time strengthened the fugitive slave law that compelled citizens to help capture and return individuals fleeing slavery.

In 1850, at 69 years of age and near the end of his life, Webster made his last great speech on the floor of the Senate in defense of the Union. He filed the galleries with spectators, many of whom were Washingtonians who regularly attended the entertaining and educational congressional debates. Webster likely developed his arguments
Senator Daniel Webster image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 2, 2012
2. Senator Daniel Webster
Senator Daniel Webster, above, speaks in the U.S. Senate. He lived and worked in the buildings pictured at left (Photo reproduced below) which once stood in this block.
here in his office.

Among the dignitaries who lived nearby were Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, John C. Calhoun, vice president under President John Quincy Adams; and Salmon P. Chase, President Lincoln’s secretary of the Treasury. President Lincoln attended the wedding of Kate Chase in the family home at Sixth and D Streets, now demolished. Lincoln attended the wedding of Chase's daughter Kate at the family home at Sixth and E Streets, now demolished.

In Webster's day, the First Unitarian Church of Washington stood at the corner of Sixth and D. The Unitarians were among the city's loudest anti-slavery voices. When they tolled the church bell endlessly the day abolitionist John Brown was executed in 1859, the city ordered the bell silenced for good. The former Recorder of Deeds building now occupies the church site.

(Back):
The Civil War (1861 - 1865) transformed Washington, DC from a muddy backwater to a center of national power. Ever since, the city has been at the heart of the continuing struggle to realize fully the ideas for which the war was fought. The 25 signs that mark this trail follow the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, Clara Barton, Frederick Douglas, and others, famous and humble, who shaped a nation and its capital city while living and working in historic downtown DC.

Civil War to Civil Rights
Webster's Office and Residence image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 2, 2012
3. Webster's Office and Residence
Downtown Heritage Trail
is an Official Washington, DC Walking Trail. The self-guided tour consists of three distinct loops: West, Center, and East. Each one-mile loop offers about an hour of gentle exercise.

A free booklet capturing the trail's highlights is available at local businesses and institutions along the way. To download the free Civil War to Civil Rights Audio Tour, and learn about other DC neighborhoods, please visit www.CuturalTourismDC.org.
 
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number e.3.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Civil War to Civil Rights marker series.
 
Location. 38° 53.691′ N, 77° 1.15′ W. Marker is in Judiciary Square, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on D Street, NW, west of 5th Street, NW, on the right. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 503 D Street, NW, Washington DC 20001, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Daniel Webster (here, next to this marker); DC Recorder of Deeds Building/WPA Era Murals (a few steps from this marker); Ending Slavery in Washington (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sitting in Judgment
Secretary Chase image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 2, 2012
4. Secretary Chase
Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase lived in this fashionable home, now demolished, at Sixth and E Streets, below. His daughter Kate married Senator William Sprague in a ceremony at the Chase mansion attended by President Lincoln, right.
(about 400 feet away); A Courthouse Reborn (about 600 feet away); Washington City Spring (about 700 feet away); Pennsylvania Avenue (about 800 feet away); 601 Pennsylvania Avenue (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Judiciary Square.
 
Regarding Senator Daniel Webster. This marker was originally numbered "e.1", but was changed when the marker series was modified. Original text from the earlier version of the marker:

Senator Daniel Webster, eloquent advocate for the preservation of the Union and a political giant in pre-Civil War America, lived and worked in buildings that occupied part of the empty space near this sign. They were similar to the two surviving pre-Civil War structures immediately to the right of the space. In the mid-19th century, this was a fashionable neighborhood of fine homes and magnificent churches within easy walking distance to the Capitol and near Washington’s City Hall.

Webster put his unmatched oratorical skills to work in support of the Compromise of 1850–a series of Congressional acts that delayed the fracture of the Union for about ten
First Unitarian Church image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 2, 2012
5. First Unitarian Church
The abolitionist First (later All Souls) Unitarian Church, built in 1822, served as a Civil War hospital.
years. The compromise ended the slave trade in District of Columbia, but at the same time strengthened the fugitive slave law that compelled citizens to help capture and return runaway African American slaves.

In 1850, at 69 years of age and near the end of his life, Webster made his last great speech on the floor of the Senate in defense of the Union. The galleries were crowded with spectators. Spirited debates in Congress were a high point in the city’s political and social life. Since Webster had his office in his home, as was the custom of the day, it is all but certain that he developed his arguments here.

This neighborhood was home to many dignitaries, including Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, General and Mrs. John Fremont, Vice President John C. Calhoun, and Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase. President Lincoln attended the wedding of Kate Chase in the family home at Sixth and D Streets, now demolished. Today’s Recorder of Deeds building is located nearby at the corner of Sixth and D Streets. In the 1880s, the distinguished African American, Frederick Douglass held the prestigious position of recorder.


The original marker had a picture of Frederick Douglass, captioned: Abolitionist, orator, and statesman Frederick Douglass served as recorder of deeds for the District of Columbia, an office now located at the corner
Senator Daniel Webster Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 11, 2010
6. Senator Daniel Webster Marker
"Civil War to Civil Rights — Downtown Heritage Trail" map on reverse. View west on D Street with the DC Recorder of Deeds Building (erected 1941) on right.
of Fifth and D.

 
Categories. African AmericansAntebellum South, USPolitics
 
Senator Daniel Webster Marker - photo on reverse image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 5, 2010
7. Senator Daniel Webster Marker - photo on reverse
Trinity Episcopal Church, now demolished, shares the skyline with the unfinished Capitol during the Civil War. It was one of many churches in this neighborhood at the time. (The Historical Society of Washington, D.C.)
Map of the Downtown Heritage Trail System image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 2, 2012
8. Map of the Downtown Heritage Trail System
Senator Daniel Webster Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 5, 2010
9. Senator Daniel Webster Marker
Original "front" of the marker.
Senator Daniel Webster Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 11, 2010
10. Senator Daniel Webster Marker
Senator Daniel Webster Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 2, 2012
11. Senator Daniel Webster Marker
Buildings behind the marker mentioned in the text.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 4, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 11, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,289 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 1, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   6. submitted on April 12, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   7. submitted on April 11, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   8. submitted on July 1, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   9, 10. submitted on April 11, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   11. submitted on July 1, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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