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The jury announces its verdict: "We find for the defendant, Jabez Stone." They admit, "Perhaps 'tis not strictly in accordance with the evidence, but even the damned may salute the eloquence of Mr.Webster." The judge and jury disappear with the break of dawn. Scratch congratulates Webster, and the contract is torn up.
Webster states "If two New Hampshiremen aren't a match for the devil, we might as well give the country back to the Indians." However, the stranger/Satan remarks that "When the first wrong was done to the first Indian, I was there", which implies the author's acknowledgement that the Indians were sometimes wronged.
"King Philip, wild and proud as he had been in life, with the great gash in his head that gave him his death wound" is noted as a notorious villain of American history (the historical King Philip (Metacomet), died from a gunshot to the heart, not a gash to the head).
However, in reality many of the jury would not have classed themselves as Americans, as Governor Dale, Morton, Hathorne, and Blackbeard were English, and King Phillip was a Wampanoag. Classifying the jurors as "Americans" involves a wider definition, including all who had a part in its history – even those who lived and died as English subjects before 1775, the Loyalists who actively opposed the creation of the U.
Butler and Girty would have called themselves Americans – and indeed were Americans – but they were Loyalists, and Webster might not have intended any but U. S., and those Indians (like King Philip) who interacted with the new civilization.
Scratch in fair fight, his power on you was gone." Webster makes him agree "never to bother Jabez Stone nor his heirs or assigns nor any other New Hampshire man till doomsday! Scratch offers to tell Webster's fortune in his palm.
He foretells (actual) events in Webster's future, including his failure to become President (an actual ambition of his), the death of Webster's sons (which happened in the American Civil War) and the backlash of his last speech, warning "Some will call you Ichabod" (as in John Greenleaf Whittier's poem in reaction to Webster's controversial Seventh of March speech supporting the Compromise of 1850 that incorporated the Fugitive Slave Act, which many in the North calling Webster a traitor).
The devil has overreached himself, agreeing to a jury trial out of pride in his unbreakable contract.
But by doing so, he has put his contract within the reach of the Common Law used in America, under which a jury can enter whatever verdict it likes, regardless of the law.
The narrative includes direct references to factual events in the life of Webster and his family. The author also adapted it in 1938 into a folk opera with music by Douglas Stuart Moore, a fellow Yale University alumnus.
The story appeared in The Saturday Evening Post (October 24, 1936) and was published in book form by Farrar & Rinehart the following year. Farmer Jabez Stone, from the small town of Cross Corners, New Hampshire, is plagued with unending bad luck, causing him to finally swear "it's enough to make a man want to sell his soul to the devil! Stone bargains for an additional three years; after the additional three years pass, Mr. Wanting out of the deal, Stone convinces famous lawyer and orator Daniel Webster to accept his case. Scratch arrives and is greeted by Webster, presenting himself as Stone's attorney. Scratch tells Webster, "I shall call upon you, as a law-abiding citizen, to assist me in taking possession of my property," and so begins the argument. Stone is an American citizen, and no American citizen may be forced into the service of a foreign prince.