Want to save this letter now that you've found it?
It's easy - just create your own collection of letters after signing up for a free account.
As to Washington occurrences I hardly know whether there be any thing of novelty. We have a plentiful parcel of persons here, many of them from Massachusetts, who having received commissions from the President since March, find it necessary to take care that they do not lose them. The great batch of appointments is not yet acted on in the Senate. Before particular cases shall be taken up, it is probable a general discussion will be had in open or secret session upon the course of the administration in regard to removals and appointments. I never did intend to trouble myself with another debate, on such questions, being as tired of them as I am of constitutional questions in the courts ; but if I could see clearly what was the true ground, I fear I might break my resolution. The power of removal, as a distinct power, and as residing in the President alone, has been often exercised ; but I confess I doubt its existence. It seems to me to be only incident to the power of appointment, and to belong therefore where that power belongs, that is to say, to the President and Senate. Pray, while you are making one turn in the Mall, give this subject one turn also in your thoughts.
The tariff sleepeth. It may be jogged a little during the session, but I think not awakened. Let them go on to spin at Lowell, with the persuasion that if then: condition be not made better, it will still not be made worse. I think the duties on tea and coffee will be reduced; and that then reduction will stop. The general face of things appears here, I presume, much as it does with you. Mr. Van Buren has evidently, at this moment, quite the lead in influence and importance. He controls all the pages on the back stairs, and flatters what seems to be at present the Aaron's serpent among the President's desires, a settled purpose of making out the lady, of whom so much has been said, a person of reputation. It is odd enough, but too evident to be doubted, that the consequence of this dispute in the social and fashionable world, is producing great political effects, and may very probably determine who shall be successor to the present chief magistrate. " Such great events, &c. &c. &c." Our good chief justice has not yet arrived, but is expected this evening, the convention at Richmond having agreed on a constitution, by a majority of ten, as the report is this morning. The court meantime is proceeding diligently with its docket of causes. Judge Story is well and in good spirits. The weather to-day is like May. Neither House sits. My wife is gone to the Capitol, House of Representatives, to hear Mr. Everett's address to the Columbia Institute. Julia is at her writing master's, and while a gentleman is occupying the attention of the court with the reading of a shocking long record, I have found time to write you a shocking long letter, which an apology would but further protract.
- Daniel Webster
- Private Correspondence of Daniel Webster, Edited by Fletcher Webster, Volume I, 1857