Sunday, January 1, 2017

Daniel Webster on New Mexico as Typee

via Library of Congress

"It presses hard on Typee...."
--Daniel Webster, speech in the U. S. Senate March 30, 1848; quoted in the Springfield, Illinois Weekly State Journal for April 20, 1848.
Webster's polemic against statehood for New Mexico invoked "Typee" to signify the farthest and foreign-est of imaginable habitats. Webster's arguments including the rhetorical use of "Typee" were later endorsed by Virginia congressman Thomas H. Bayly in his 1850 speech on California and New Mexico.

Bayly's 1850 House speech with the excerpt from Webster's 1848 Senate speech is printed in The Congressional Globe Volume 23.

In published versions of his influential 1848 speech Webster makes the same comparison, but his language has been revised for clarity and polish as follows:
"In seclusion and remoteness New Mexico may press hard on the character and condition of Typee."  --Mr. Webster's Speech
David Van Holtby observes that Webster’s vividly negative portrayal of New Mexico
“besmirched its reputation for more than 60 years.”  --Forty-Seventh Star: New Mexico's Struggle for Statehood

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