Noah Webster House
This house was constructed about 1823 in New Haven, Connecticut by Connecticut builder David Hoadley. The floor plan was devised by the Webster family with some architectural detail specified by Noah Webster himself. Noah was nearly sixty five when he moved in, bringing his wife Rebecca, four of his seven children, and a free black servant. The home was arranged to accommodate two elderly people who found large, drafty rooms and stair climbing a hardship. The home has been restored to the mid 1890s.
While living in this house, Noah Webster completed his American Dictionary and published his revised version of the Bible. Webster was already well known for his "Blue-Back Speller" when he built this house in 1823. Throughout his life, Webster advocated the standardization of both the American language and the education system.
The drawing room was the most formal room in the house. It was used on special occasions for entertaining guests and contained the familys grandest furniture. However, the room was seldom used because the elderly Websters no longer enjoyed the parties as when they were younger.
The parlor bustled with activity. Noah delighted in his large family and lovingly recorded escapades in his letters. Here Noah and Rebecca took tea and the children recited lessons and tea rehearsed music. Rebecca pieced quilts or pored over novels while grandchildren were entertaining themselves.
Noah Websters study was his workshop, and his library held the tools of his trade. It included over a thousand works on language, religion, travel, natural history, the ancient world, and biographies of famous Americans. He also owned a number of dictionaries and nearly one hundred spellers and grammar books by various authors.
Noah Webster labored over his "American Dictionary of the English Language," containing 70,000 definitions for nearly twenty-five years. He wrote parts of the dictionary in at least three different houses, completing the manuscript in 1825 while researching in England. He then returned to the house and published the dictionary in 1828. Other works completed here include, among others, "A History of the United States," a revision of his "American Dictionary," his edition of the Bible (the work he believed to be his most significant) and a book of miscellaneous essays published just weeks before his death.
Noah Webster continued to publish new and revised works through the years he lived in the
house, 1825-1843. Thoroughly disgusted with American politics and pessimism about the countrys
future, Webster concentrated on promoting his educational books. Text book were his way of
promoting a citizenry that was morally and educationally fit to live in a democracy.
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