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Why I Do This

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

I recently came across some quotes from Daniel Webster that eloquently epitomize one of my main motivations for writing this blog.

"To be faithful to ourselves, we must keep our ancestors and posterity within reach and grasp of our thoughts and affections, living in the memory and retrospect of the past, and hoping with affection and care for those who are to come after us."

"Human and mortal though we are, we are, nevertheless, not mere insulated beings, without relation to the past or future. Neither the point of time nor the spot of earth in which we physically live bounds our rational and intellectual enjoyments. We live in the past by a knowledge of its history, and in the future by hope and anticipation. By ascending to an association with our ancestors; by contemplating their example, and studying their character; by partaking their sentiments, and imbibing their spirit; by accompanying them in their toils; by sympathizing in their sufferings and rejoicing in their successes and their triumphs,—we mingle our own existence with theirs, and seem to belong to their age. We become their contemporaries, live the lives which they lived, endure what they endured, and partake in the rewards which they enjoyed."

"It is wise occasionally to recur to the sentiments and to the character of those from whom we are descended. Men who are regardless of their ancestry and of their posterity, are very apt to be regardless of themselves. The man who does not feel himself to be a link in the great chain to transmit life and being, intellectual and moral existence, from his ancestry to his posterity, does not justly appreciate the relations that belong to him. The contemplation of our ancestors and of our descendants ought to be within the grasp of our thoughts and affections. The past belongs to us by affectionate retrospect, and the future belongs to us no less by affectionate anticipation of those who are to come after us. And then only do we do ourselves justice, when we are true to the blood we inherit, and true to those to who we have been the means of transmitting that blood."

I could not have said it any better.

Daniel Webster was born in New Hampshire in 1782. He was an American lawyer and politician. He represented New Hampshire and Massachusetts in Congress and served as Secretary of State under 3 Presidents (William Henry Harrison, John Tyler and Millard Fillmore). He was also a tremendous orator and argued more than 200 cases before the Supreme Court. Daniel Webster is honored on 14 different US postage issues, more than most U.S. Presidents. The first one was issued in 1872.


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