Noah Webster, the Great American Lexicographer

Started by Private User on Friday, June 10, 2011


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Private User
6/10/2011 at 5:05 PM

As a genealogist who is also a lexicographer, I am extremely honored to pursue filling the responsibilities of being principal manager of Noah Webster's Geni profile. At some point I must write here more about Noah Webster's significance to me. — Michael Reid Delahunt (born 1949, Milwaukee, WI, USA)

Let this discussion consider Noah Webster, his life and relatives, with respect to his practice of lexicography.

Michael Reid Delahunt, art teacher & lexocographer
in Boulder, CO for the month of June, 2011

Private User
6/10/2011 at 5:55 PM

I find the personal connections to, and interests in, an individual bring a vibrancy to history that's always enjoyable. I look forward to reading and learning more!

6/10/2011 at 6:51 PM

It's always fascinating to me that he is primarily remembered for being a lexicographer by most Americans. Here in Connecticut, especially in the Greater Hartford area, he's primarily remembered for his political and educational causes. Webster served for nearly a decade in the State House of Representatives and was actually one of the primary financial backers of our Old State House, which is now a museum where you can visit the chamber in which he served. His lexicography was really an extension of his politics -- as I'm sure you know, his whole idea behind creating his own dictionary was to create an "American" way of spelling to further separate American identity from British, in an approach not at all dissimilar from some modern feminists spelling "women" as "womyn" in order to make a sociopolitical statement. His lexicography is important, but it wouldn't exist without his politics.

If you're ever in the Hartford area, you should certainly visit the Old State House and the Noah Webster House. But in the meantime, what genealogical discussions would you like to have about him? (Seeing as this is a board for genealogical discussions, after all.) The Webster family as a whole is very interesting. The Websters were heavily involved in both the settling of Hartford and Middletown and the raids against the Native peoples in Western Massachusetts. I also seem to remember one of his grandmothers coming from another prominent family, but it's escaping me right now which one or why they stood out. I'll have to look it up later.

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