Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Guess Who?

Can you guess who this is before you read the end of this post? He is a man who today still touches the lives of many even though he was born over 250 years ago.

He has been called the most influential figure in the social history of the United States. He was born in a little red farmhouse in West Hartford, Connecticut in 1758. He became a man of many interests: an educator, historian, economist, political theorist, Biblical Scholar, climatologist, medical researcher, journalist, legislator and a lexicographer. In every career he tried, he left his mark.

When America was only a few years old, he wrote the American Spelling Book. Millions of American children were influenced by it. It sold 15-million copies in his own lifetime and over 60 million until it was replaced.

He structured and published the first American revised protestant version of the Bible. He also was instrumental in getting Congress to enact the first American copyright laws.

This man of letters believed in America and things American. He once wrote that "America must be as independent in literature as she is in politics" and he worked toward that end by encouraging a distinctive American language, an english different from the mother tongue of England. He felt an American english language would serve as "a band of national union".

Most of us have used and would recognize his greatest accomplishment. He published the American Dictionary of the English Language.

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The man is Noah Webster.

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