Noah Webster Autograph Manuscript
A rare page from the original draft of Noah Webster's 1828 An American Dictionary of the English Language – the standard reference for American English
Noah Webster's dictionary at once became, and has remained, the standard English dictionary in the United States. Webster was an ardent nationalist who wanted to stress the political separation from Britain by cultivating a separate American language. Under the influence of his friend, Benjamin Franklin, he gave many printed American words a distinctive appearance.
The bulk of Webster’s manuscript—over 450 leaves—now resides in the Pierpont Morgan Library—and rarely appear for sale, particularly as a complete page. Webster’s dictionary is the cornerstone of the brand of English spoken in America today, and this manuscript offers fabulous insight into Webster’s discerning editorial process as he compiled the foundational text.
Offered with a copy of the corresponding page from the 1828 edition of Webster's dictionary.
Autograph Manuscript (unsigned), 2 pages, 8" x10", no date but circa 1824-1825, being a portion of a draft of An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) with extensive edits and emendations throughout. A choice selection of definitions ranging from "Bitter-sweet"to "Bivouac."
Expected folds, minor losses affecting seven words in text expertly repaired with archival tissue, otherwise in fine condition.