NOAH WEBSTER. - As a scholar, lawyer, author and journalist, there is no one who stands on a higher plane, or
whose reputation is better established than the honored gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He was a native
of West Hartford, Connecticut, and was born October 17, 1758. He came of an old New England family, his mother
being a descendant of Governor William Bradford, of the Plymouth colony. After acquiring a solid education in early
life Dr. Webster entered Yale College, from which he graduated in 1778. For a while he taught school in Hartford,
at the same time studying law, and was admitted to the bar in 1781. He taught a classical school at Goshen, Orange
county, New York, in 1782-83, and while there prepared his spelling book, grammar and reader, which was issued
under the title of "A Grammatical institute of the English Language," "in three parts, -so successful
a work that up to 1876 something like forty million of the spelling books had been sold. In 1786 be delivered a
course of lectures on the English language in the seaboard cities and the following year taught an academy at Philadelphia.
From December 17, 1787, until November, 1788, he edited the "American Magazine," a periodical that proved
unsuccessful. In 1789-93 he practiced law in Hartford having in the former year married the daughter of William
Greenleaf, of Boston, He returned to New York and November, 1793, founded a daily paper, the "Minerva,"
to which was soon added a semi weekly edition under the name of the "Herald." The former is still in
existence under the name of the "Commercial Advertiser," In this paper, over the signature of "Curtius,"
he published a lengthy and scholarly defense of "John Jay's treaty."
In 1798, Dr. Webster moved to New Haven and in 1807 commenced the preparation of his great work, the "American
Dictionary of the English Language." which was not completed and published until 1828. He made his home in
Amherst, Massachusetts, for the ten years succeeding 1812, and was instrumental in the establishment of Amherst
College, of which institution he was the first president of the board of trustees. During 1824-5 he resided in
Europe, pursuing his philological studies in Paris. He completed his dictionary from the libraries of Cambridge
University in 1825, and devoted his leisure for the remainder of his life to the revision of that and his school
Dr. Webster was a member of the legislatures of both Connecticut and Massachusetts, was judge of one of the courts
of the former state and was identified with nearly all the literary and scientific societies in the neighborhood
of Amherst College. He died in New Haven, May 28, 1843.
Among the more prominent works emanating from the fecund pen of Dr. Noah Webster besides those mentioned above
are the following: "Sketches of American Policy," "Winthrop's Journal," "A Brief History
of Epidemics," "Rights of Neutral Nations in time of War," "A Philosophical and Practical Grammar
of the English Language1" "Dissertations on the English Language," Collection of Essays," "The
Revolution in France," "Political Progress of Britain," ''Origin, History, and Connection of the
Languages of Western Asia and of Europe," and many others,
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.
Online Biographies is part of the RatsNest Group of websites which is striving
to be your one stop source for History, Biographies and New England
Genealogy. Please fell free to use all ouf sites as often as you need
them, that is what they are here for. If you have a web site you are always welcome to link to any of the pages
that we have online. Remember that new pages are being added all the time so you will find something new on most
There are now over 10,000 biographies at this web site.
Names A to H
Names I to Z
Biographies of the Presidents.
Railway Officials in America 1906
For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium