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United States Senate Chamber

Daniel Webster
Thomas Doney, active mid 19th Century
Copy after
James A. Whitehorne, 22 Aug 1803 - 31 Mar 1888
Victor Piard, active c. 1840 - c. 1870
Anthony, Clark & Company, active 1838 - c. 1847
Daniel Webster, 18 Jan 1782 - 24 Oct 1852
Unidentified Group
Mezzotint and etching on paper
Image: 68.2 x 91.4cm (26 7/8 x 36")
Sheet: 78.1 x 100.3cm (30 3/4 x 39 1/2")
Mat: 91.4 x 112.7cm (36 x 44 3/8")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number
Exhibition Label
On August 10, 1846, the United States Senate passed a bill to establish the Smithsonian Institution, which coincidentally occurred at the time this mezzotint was being offered for sale at ten dollars a copy. Nearly four years in the making, the picture was a composite of daguerreotypes taken during the past three sessions of Congress especially for this mezzotint. Individuals included prominent senators Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, and John C. Calhoun, and former president John Quincy Adams, who was representing his Massachusetts district in the House of Representatives. Adams was an enthusiastic proponent for establishing the Smithsonian Institution, while Calhoun voted against the bill.
The year 1846 also marked the start of America's war with Mexico. Territory acquired from the vanquished Mexicans would ultimately fuel acrimonious debate about the most polarizing issue of that era-the extension of slavery into new territories.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection