Sculptor Thomas Ball (1819–1911) created this larger-than-life bronze piece depicting Daniel Webster (1782–1852), the 19th century statesman known for his eloquence and excellent oratory. During the mid-19th century Ball sculpted a bust of Webster shortly before the Massachusetts senator died. His piece was such a success that he made a statuette of the figure that went on to be patented and repeatedly replicated, one of the first mass-produced pieces in the United States. In the 1870s Gordon W. Burnham requested that Ball make a larger-than-life-size version of the statue for Central Park. The immensity of the statue prevented it from being placed on the Mall as its donor intended, and it was subsequently installed along the West Drive at 72nd Street where it was dedicated in 1876.