There is a bit of the nativist to him and ironically for an author of dictionaries this makes him somewhat prey to charges of anti intellectualism. Whatever his shortcomings might have been he was intelligent enough to realize that for the Republic to function it had to avoid the pitfalls of Europe. His Americanism is of the same stripe as George Washington’s although he may he been a little more steadfast in recognizing that, No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people. The post founding generations continued to import more and more immigrants from Europe and as surely as early settlers had brought smallpox these new immigrants brought the plague of European democratic thought – which was the bastard stepchild of the French Revolution – that culturally drove a wedge between north and South and contributed as much to the causes of the Civil War as any other factor.
The forgotten founding father : Noah Webster’s obsession and the creation of an American culture Joshua Kendall New York : G.P. Putnam’s Sons, c 2010 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xii, 355 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. -345) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
Noah Webster‘s name is now synonymous with the dictionary he created, but his story is not nearly so ubiquitous. Now acclaimed author of The Man Who Made Lists, Joshua Kendall sheds new light on Webster’s life, and his far-reaching influence in establishing the American nation.
Webster hobnobbed with various Founding Fathers and was a young confidant of George Washington and Ben Franklin. He started New York’s first daily newspaper, predating Alexander Hamilton’s New York Post. His “blue-backed spellers” for schoolchildren sold millions of copies and influenced early copyright law. But perhaps most important, Webster was an ardent supporter of a unified, definitively American culture, distinct from the British, at a time when the United States of America were anything but unified – and his dictionary of American English is a testament to that.