(1794–1865), brother of Alexander Hill Everett, as a young man distinguished himself as a Unitarian minister, professor of Greek at Harvard (1819–26), and editor of The North American Review (1820–23), before entering upon his political career. After serving in Congress (1825–35), he became governor of Massachusetts (1836–39), and, despite much Northern opposition because of his careful conciliatory stand on slavery, he was appointed minister to England (1841–45). He was president of Harvard (1846–49), but returned to politics to complete Webster's term as secretary of state (1852–53) and was U.S. senator from Massachusetts (1853–54). Throughout his career he was criticized for his policies of compromise, but he was widely admired for his florid orations (including the lengthy speech that Lincoln followed with his brief Gettysburg Address), collected in four volumes (1836–68).
From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.