Category Archives: Noah Webster

Noah Webster (October 16, 1758 – May 28, 1843) was an American lexicographer, textbook pioneer, English spelling reformer, political writer, editor, and prolific author. He has been called the “Father of American Scholarship and Education.” His blue-backed speller books taught five generations of American children how to spell and read, and made their education more secular and less religious. According to Ellis (1979) he gave Americans “a secular catechism to the nation-state.” His name became synonymous with “dictionary,” especially the modern Merriam-Webster dictionary that was first published in 1828 as An American Dictionary of the English Language.

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“If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, I do not know what is going to become of us as a nation. If truth be not diffused, error will be; If God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy, If the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; If the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end.”

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