Noah Webster Additional Biography


(Critical Guide to Censorship and Literature)

Baron, Dennis E. Grammar and Good Taste: Reforming the American Language. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1982. Baron’s chapter entitled “Webster and Federal English” is detailed and provides interesting insights into Webster’s changing notions about language and spelling.

Ford, Emily E. Fowler. Notes on the Life of Noah Webster. 2 vols. Privately printed, 1912. Reprint. New York: Burt Franklin, 1971. The new edition of this previously hard-to- find work has been carefully re-edited by Emily Ellsworth Ford Skeel, the daughter of the original compiler. It presents valuable, previously unpublished letters and essays.

Fuess, Claude Moore. Amherst: The Story of a New England College. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1935. Presents important information about Webster’s role in the founding of Amherst College as well as presenting suggestions as to his motivations.

Morgan, John S. Noah Webster. New York: Mason/Charter, 1975. The best book thus far on Webster. Relates him to his times and gives extensive consideration to him as an educator, a patriot, and a lexicographer.

Scudder, Horace E. Noah Webster. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1882. This first important biography of Webster has been superseded, but it presents an accurate overview of its subject by a biographer who was initially not kindly disposed toward him. As part of the “American Men of Letters” series, it had gone into six editions by 1886.

Shoemaker, Ervin C. Noah Webster: Pioneer of Learning. New York: Columbia University Press, 1936. A detailed and appreciative doctoral dissertation on Webster that considers him broadly as an educator.

Warfel, Harry R. Noah Webster: Schoolmaster to America. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1936. A full biography and critical assessment of Webster. By no means limited to him as an educator, as the title might suggest.

Webster, Noah. Letters. Edited by Harvey R. Warfel. New York: Library Publisher, 1953. Although this 562-page book barely touches the surface of Webster’s voluminous correspondence, it does present the most significant letters. The editing is meticulous.

Webster, Noah. Noah Webster: On Being American. Edited by Homer D. Babbidge, Jr. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1967. Babbidge’s introduction to this well-selected edition of Webster’s papers dealing with topics relating to the new nation is provocative and worthwhile.