Talk:Daniel Webster

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Former featured article Daniel Webster is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on April 8, 2007.

Benjamin Harrison[edit]

An opinion is needed on the Benjamin Harrison talk page. Two editors are in disagreement about whether or not the last section to the page is appropriate. One editor wants to included an image of the 1st Harrison stamp along with some history associated with it. An other editor feels the information too tangential and does not belong on the Harrison page. Gwillhickers (talk) 21:27, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Featured article quality has deteriorated.[edit]

This article was promoted in 2006 but no longer meets the Featured article criteria. Some serious problems are:

  • 1a The entire legacy section needs to be in prose instead of a list format.
  • 1c is questionable based on the extensive list of books in the bibliography when only a handful are used for inline citations.
  • 2c needs a lot of work. There are entire sections and paragraphs without citations.
  • 3 There are too many photos in the article creating overcrowding and text sandwiching. There are too many block quotes which are also overcrowding and text sandwiching. Articles are discouraged from having photo galleries.

If the issues cannot be addressed and solved within a reasonable amount of time or if it appears there has been no effort expended at all, the article will be listed at Featured article review. Brad (talk) 05:59, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Photos, etc.[edit]

Haven't looked through all the changes, but it seems to me the photos are nicely done per section. A lot better than most articles I've seen.

Having said that, do agree that there are too many "quotes" or documents or whatever in highlighted fashion. Many of these should probably be edited out or merely quoted and not highlighted, or maybe put into a ref footnote quote. Student7 (talk) 18:57, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

You're the second editor now that has removed the gallery tag and done nothing to solve the problem. Please read MOS:Images and the associated pages. Ask yourself if seven pics of stamps and the layout of pics meets with the mos. The article is now at FAR as mentioned above. Brad (talk) 20:31, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
I counted two stamps. I hate gallerys myself and and have fought many battles on them.
I do agree about the exaggerated quotes or whatever that are highlighted in the various sections. But the photos seem okay to me. Not too many but interesting layout. Student7 (talk) 19:43, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
In the On U.S. Postage section am I the only one who sees a blue bar that expands to show six pics of stamps? An editor did some work today with the pics and at least one stamp pic is gone now. Brad (talk) 03:14, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks.
Kind of unique situation, isn't it? Not many people with that many stamps. George Washington maybe. I don't know how to handle this. You obviously don't like the hidden gallery. I've done this before with horrible lists I had constructed and gotten away with it. :) These don't seem nearly as bad or uninteresting!
Maybe we'll get someone else to weigh in without recruiting them. It doesn't seem like a "burning issue" to me at this point. So it could take awhile before someone who is watching develops an opinion or s newbie reads our notes.
While we're on the topic, do the highlighted quotes seem okay to you? To me, they have "lost their punch" since the 19th century, and seem a bit much. Just regular quotes at most. And maybe not that. Student7 (talk) 19:22, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

My God, Webster looks like a bald eagle in his picture. I wonder if that's intentional. KevinLuna (talk) 10:05, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Eyyuch! Spent way, way too much time trying to track down the source of the main picture (at the top of the article). Mr. Webster is certainly a scary, imposing guy (is still, circa July 2012). The image is a little problematic though, and I'm not sure of the best way to remedy.
  • It's heavily retouched. The original here: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004664359/ looks a lot less pretty, but I've debated trying to manually clean it up as a substitute. Still, no amount of cleanup is going to make it an attractive alternative. Even if we start with Matthew Brady's (better condition) copy http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004664080/
  • The dates are off. "Circa 1847" is obviously wrong. In 1847, he still had hair! I've updated the Wikimedia page with proper attribution of date (1851) and creator (photographers Southworth & Hawes) but I'm not sure how to properly propose the image itself be renamed.--Robert Keiden (talk) 08:50, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington(Webster reference)[edit]

In the highly acclaimed film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington it is revealed that the seat Smith sits at used to belong to Daniel Webster. Being such a major film and with the high level of respect garnished by Smith for Webster in the film I believe it should be included in legacy section under literature and Film.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Smith_Goes_to_Washington — Preceding unsigned comment added by Beagle bond (talkcontribs) 01:06, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Elitist[edit]

Historians agree that Webster as an elitist was a major characteristic -- & a major weakness when it came to running for president. A statement like "Webster was known by some as an elitist who assumed this role with out reservation." is highly misleading: "known by some" is just not true, and "assumed this role without reservations" is meaningless. The Remini quote clearly says he had a highly visible elitist persona, which is important to know. No, it is NOT POV to rely on reliable sources that express the consensus--that is exactly what editors are supposed to be doing. Rjensen (talk) 04:47, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Saying "known by some" is better than saying 'everyone' as no one can conclude that, not even Webster's contemporaries much less the speculators of the 21st century. And the phrase "assumed this role without reservations" is a more neutral way of saying he "reveled in it" which is not a very definitive term in the first place. 'revel' can imply a lot of (not so nice) connotations. A POV can be easily be asserted by cherry picking statements from RS's. If Webster was an elitist, more so then other figures of state, then of course it should be mentioned but we need to do so without quoting and naming authors in the lede section. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 05:25, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
what we do is tell readers what the RS say--they say he was an ostentatios elitist. (POV has to do with Editors, not with the RS.) There is no Wiki rule or custom on this point: "do so without quoting and naming authors in the lede" and I see no purpose whatever. That "rule" weakens the editors' ability to make clear statements. Quoting Remini in the lede solves all the problems--it's clear, direct, based on the RS, and non-controversial. I have read numerous scholarly reviews of the book and they support Remini on the elitism business. The lede does NOT say "known by everyone". When you say "Some believed XYZ" many readers get the point that some did not believe in XYZ. (In this case that is false-no RS says he was not an elitist.) "assumed this role without reservations" seems to me a meaningless statement, and is not based on any RS. Did he have reservations about being so elitist--perhaps so because it cost him the presidency. 1) elitism is a main theme in Fuess's classic biography [Fuess says: "solid men of Boston " whom Webster so well represented"]; 2) in Sydney Nathans's Daniel Webster and Jacksonian Democracy (1973) ["Well aware of the mounting assaults on him as the aristocratic exemplar of an unchanged Whiggery"] 3) Webster himself said "The power is with the people; but they cannot exercise it in masses or per capita; they can only exercise it by their representatives." 4) Remini (p 353) says "To a considerable extent Daniel Webster was out of touch with the democratic surge that swept the nation .... Webster's lifestyle also demonstrated his "aristocratic tastes and habits.". 5) Fisher says (The true Daniel Webster - Page 128) "It was the sort of conservatism of education, wealth, and intellect that was always particularly attractive to Webster; ." Rjensen (talk) 08:02, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
My only issues are the excessive use of the 'Simon sez' prefix, esp when used to make (very) simple statements or to make (what seems here) a POV call on a personality trait, something that is quite subjective. (btw, Opnions of RS's can vary greatly and cherry picking only certain ones can amount to POV pushing -- don't know if that's the case here.) While there's no direct policy that says you can't quote/name historians in the lede that I know of there are still other considerations. MOS/Biographies says that in the lede section for biographies mention is given only to the things relevant to the person's notability. WP uses birth and death places to make the point. It appears from your last post that this 'elitist' persona was one such notable feature, so much so that it's the only item in the lede where a historian is pinged by name. Of all the things that can be said about Webster I found it a little odd that his stuffy attitude was the only item to cite with quote & author name. Besides most politicians of that day were elitists or had stuffy or snobbish attitudes. Seems Webster was just another one of the stuffy party members. This is something notable? Why not bring in a historian to comment on something he was great at, something he was most noted for -- e.g.his ability to orate? If we're going to chose an item in the lede to highlight with quote & name it seems it should be for something with more substance. Cheers. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 05:07, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

8. Historical Evaluations. " Baxter argues that his nationalistic view of the union as one and inseparable with liberty helped the union to try up over the states-rights Confederacy, making it his greatest contribution." Typo: it should read "helped the union to triumph..." Did an elementary school-child write this? Jakob3 (talk) 17:19, 26 September 2013 (UTC)