Letter To Francis Brinley, Esq., President Of The Common Council Of The City Of Boston Quotes

Daniel Webster

"The Cradle Of American Liberty"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: In April, 1851, Webster, at the time Secretary of State, made a short visit to Massachusetts. While he was at Marshfield, many Bostonians–both Whigs and Democrats–planned a public reception for him at Faneuil Hall. Although permission for use of the hall was usually granted on the petition of one hundred tax-payers, the Board of Aldermen refused to grant permission. Following a sharp reply by Webster, the Common Council of Boston hastily extended an invitation to meet them in Faneuil Hall. In this letter he declines the invitation, thanking the Council members and implying his scorn for the Board of Aldermen. He states emphatically that he will not enter Faneuil Hall until its doors are open wide–freely, not grudgingly–to all men of all parties ". . . who are true to the Union as well as to Liberty–men who can look around on the faces of the patriots which adorn the walls of the sacred temple, draw in with their deepest breath the appropriate inspiration, and stand upright and erect upon its pavement, in mind and heart elate, in the consciousness that they, too, are Americans, lovers of their country, and their whole country, and not unworthy to follow in the footsteps of their great forefathers." With no little irony he promises, in closing, that if Providence spares his life and health

till that hour comes, I shall meet the citizens of Boston, and my voice shall be heard once more in the Cradle of American Liberty.