Friday, April 30, 2010

Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster did not believe that the public good would ever be served apart from Christianity. As he reminded one public gathering, “Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.”

Daniel Webster was another of the great leaders here at the Capitol who was outspoken about Christianity both in private and in public and who has received special recognition in the Capitol both with paintings and with a statue in Statuary Hall.

As a final note on National Statuary Hall, in addition to the statues of Ethan Allen, Lew Wallace, and Daniel Webster already discussed, there are numerous other statues commemorating the lives and accomplishments of many famous Christians, including those of missionary and pioneer trailblazer Marcus Whitman with Bible under his arm, missionary Junipero Serra with cross held high, and numerous others.

In the House Connecting Corridor just beyond Statuary Hall are additional statues, including one of Jonathan Trumbull. However, this is not the John Trumbull who painted the pictures in the Rotunda nor is this the Colonel Jonathan Trumbull whose religious proclamation was presented earlier. Rather, this is the father of them both.

This Jonathan Trumbull was the only governor of the thirteen States to serve in that capacity throughout the entire Revolution. He probably did more than any other single individual to supply men, munitions, and materials to General George Washington. In fact, he became one of Washington’s closest friends and confidants; Washington called him “Brother Jonathan”; and whenever he needed counsel or a listening ear, it was to Governor Trumbull he turned.

Jonathan Trumbull had not planned to be a governor, or for that matter, to have a military or political career. Originally, he had studied for the ministry and had served as a preacher of the Gospel. But when his State (Connecticut) asked him to serve as governor, he did not refuse. He held that post for fourteen years, and as soon as the Revolution was over and the peace treaty with Great Britain was signed, he resigned.

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