Boston Art Commission

« back

Click on thumbnails to view additional images of this piece:
  • 57-bac_1x1-daniel_webster

Daniel Webster

Artist:

Hiram Powers

Location:

Massachusetts State House, on south lawn near Beacon St.  

Location

Massachusetts State House, on south lawn near Beacon St.
United States
42° 21' 28.0764" N, 71° 3' 49.644" W

Neighborhood:

Downtown

Type:

Sculpture

Year:

1859

Medium:

Bronze on granite base

Collection:

Massachusetts State House

Funders:

Unknown

Description:

In the decades leading up to the Civil War, Daniel Webster distinguished himself as one of the country’s foremost politicians. He first rose to prominence as an attorney and as an advocate for the New England shipping industry, which was threatened at the time by England’s efforts to interfere with American trade. Webster was elected to the House of Representatives in 1812 and to the Senate ten years later, and also served as Secretary of State under three different presidents. During the 1840s, Webster consistently worked to facilitate compromise between northern and southern states to preserve the union and prevent war. His fellow politicians recognized him as a particularly eloquent and convincing speaker. Here, sculptor Hiram Powers has captured Webster as if he were standing before an audience, perhaps on the Senate floor. In his right hand, he holds a rolled-up scroll; his left hand rests on a fasces, a bundle of reeds surrounding an ax. During the time of the Roman Republic, fasces were carried as symbols of political power during processions and other events. Over the centuries, they have retained this association with governance, specifically with representative forms of government.

Audio Description: