Noah Webster

Lexographer / Writer

Born: 16 October 1758
Died: 28 May 1843
Birthplace: West Hartford, Connecticut
Best known as: The man behind 1828's An American Dictionary of the English Language
Noah Webster was a Connecticut writer and educator whose greatest achievement was An American Dictionary of the English Language, first published in 1828. Webster graduated from Yale in 1778, during the American Revolutionary War. He was staunchly anti-British and considered the new American nation to be morally superior to Europe. Webster taught school and practiced law, but his real talent lay in writing, and he spent his career advocating for a distinct American identity by way of language. He published several textbooks, including 1783's A Grammatical Institute of the English Language, a spelling book popularly known as the Blue-Back Speller and used in schools throughout the United States for the next century. Webster was an outspoken Federalist, and during the 1790s published hundreds of essays, books and articles on politics and education. His dictionary, like his spelling book, altered several spellings from the British, Americanizing words like "colour" to "color" and "defence" to "defense." The second volume of Webster's dictionary was published in two volumes in 1840.

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