This is by no means a complete list of the portraiture of Daniel Webster: such a collection would fill volumes. This is not even a complete list of portraits of Daniel Webster owned by Dartmouth College, for that list, too, is lengthy. The eventual display of all of Dartmouth's portraits of Daniel Webster remains a long-term goal, but that by itself would have occupied more time than the rest of this project. Therefore, it must remain a goal. The actuality, though, is not without its value. The following are selected portraits of Daniel Webster from the Dartmouth College collections (except for the first image, the location of which is unknown). They have been chosen either because of particular historical interest, artistic interest, or because they seem to be representative of Webster at a certain period of his life. These images are the property of Dartmouth College and are used by the permission of the Hood Museum of Art.



This is a photograph of a miniature which was the first portrait ever made of Daniel Webster, ca. 1805. It is, therefore, the most representative image we have of what Webster looked like in his youth. This piece's current location is unknown. The image was reproduced from Barber and Voss.

Painted by Robert Clayton Burns in 1962, this painting depicts Daniel Webster's argument of the famous Dartmouth College Case. It was given to the College by Henry N. Teague, Class of 1900, and currently hangs in Thayer Dining Hall. Since it is a modern portrait, it does not have the historical value of portraits painted during Webster's lifetime. It is a dramatic and powerful painting nonetheless, including the beginning of Webster's immortal words: "It is, sir, as I have said, a small College. And yet... "

This portrait, although unfinished, is a beautiful depiction of Webster as a young man, fresh from his victory in the Dartmouth College Case. Following the College's success, it was decided that portraits of the attorneys who represented the College be commissioned. For this task, Gilbert Stuart was chosen. Stuart was a well-known portraitist of the period who had passed his prime and was in his decline. His style and schedule were often sporadic, and portraits, such as this one, might sit unfinished indefinitely. Stuart later did a complete portrait of Webster, but its quality does not approach that of this unfinished work.

This sketch of pencil, charcoal, and chalk was drawn by David Claypool Johnston in 1831. Johnston was a well-known political cartoonist of his time, but this serious drawing of Webster shows no sign of cartoonish exaggeration; rather, it nearly perfectly depicts the remarkable features of Webster's face and head (Barber & Voss 32).

This is the famous "Black Dan" painting, which currently hangs on the second floor of the Baker Library. This painting was commissioned by George Shattuck in 1834 as part of an effort to fulfill the task originally entrusted to Gilbert Stuart: portraits of the attorneys who valiantly defended Dartmouth College in the Dartmouth College Case. Although the College already owned a Webster portrait, Shattuck commissioned a new one at his own expense. The result is the famed "Black Dan" painting by Francis Alexander, completed in 1835. This is the most powerful portrait of Webster in existence, and a copy was owned by Webster himself (althought the copy is infereior in quality and dramatic effect to the original) (ibid. 36).

This painting by Joseph Goodhue Chandler is undated. It depicts Webster with the Bunker Hill Monument in the background. Webster spoke at the laying of the cornerstone of that monument, and again at its dedication. He is shown holding a copy of the Constitution in his hand, evidence of his recognition as the "Expounder of the Constitution."

This undated portrait by John Pope is a glorious portrayal of Webster as he appeared in his later adult life, a prominent Congressman and Secretary of State. Few paintings have been as successful in capturing the majesty of Webster or in doing justice to his noble bearing and fierce demeanor. Unfortunately, only a black and white image of this portrait is available at this time.

This is one of several portraits of Webster painted by Chester Harding. This particular portrait was painted in 1845, depicting Webster at age 63. This has been called the "most human" portrait of Webster, a contrast to "Godlike" images such as the Alexander and Pope portraits. It is possible that this painting was made after a daggureotype which depicts Webster in a similar pose, several copies of which are found in the Dartmouth Archives.

This is one of a number of dagguerotypes of Webster taken in his later years. This is by the team of Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes, who captured Webster's image several times. This particular dagguerotype was taken in 1850, two years before Webster's death.


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