Noah Webster facts for kids
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Noah Webster, Jr.
October 16, 1758
|Died||May 28, 1843(aged 84)|
|Resting place||Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven, Connecticut|
|Alma mater||Yale University|
Connecticut state representative
|Spouse(s)||Rebecca Greenleaf Webster|
Noah Webster, Jr. (October 16, 1758 – May 28, 1843), was the author of a famous American dictionary, a pioneer of spelling, and a political writer and editor. His "Blue-backed Speller" books taught five generations of American children how to spell and read. His dictionary was first published in 1828 as An American Dictionary of the English Language.
Webster worried that his Grammatical Institute might be pirated. He had to seek copyright protection from each state. At last, on May 31, 1790, President George Washington signed the United States’ first general copyright act into law. Later, Webster lobbied for an extended copyright law. He wrote “By this bill the term of copy-right is secured for 28 years, with the right of renewal … for 14 years more. If this should become law, I shall be much benefited.” The new federal copyright law was passed and remained in effect until 1909.
The Blue-backed Speller
- 1783 as the first part of the Grammatical Institute of the English language.
- 1786 as The American Spelling Book, containing the rudiments of the English language, for the use of schools in the United States.
- 1829 as The Elementary Spelling Book.
385 'editions' (mostly reprints) in his lifetime; by 1837 15 million copies sold; by 1890 60 million copies sold.
- 1806 A first attempt was published as A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language.
- 1828 The first edition of his famous An American Dictionary of the English Language; second edition in 1840 in two volumes. The first edition sold only 2,500 copies.
- 1785. Sketches of American policy.
- 1790. A collection of essays and fugitive writings on moral, historical, politics and literary subjects.
- 1789. Dissertations.
- 1793. The effects of slavery on morals and industry. In two volumes.
- 1799. A brief history of epidemic and pestilential diseases.
- 1800. A Grammatical Institute of the English Language. In three parts, part II is the grammar.
- 1802. Letters to a young gentleman concerning his education.
- 1802. Miscellaneous papers on political and commercial subjects.
- 1832. History of the United States.
- 1833. A dictionary for primary schools.
- 1839. Observations on language, and on the errors of class-books.
Images for kids
Webster's New Haven home, where he wrote An American Dictionary of the English Language. Now relocated to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.
A 1932 statue of Webster by Korczak Ziółkowski stands in front of the public library of West Hartford, Connecticut.
Handwritten drafts of dictionary entries by Webster
Noah Webster Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.