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• • 

• •( 







• _ • 


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Printed by 
Kathleen Gordon Ford Turle 
Rosalie Grebnleaf Ford Barr 
Grace Kidder Ford Williams 
Emily Ellsworth Ford Skeel 
Worthington Chauncey Ford 
KoswELL Skeel, Junior 


• • • • 

• t 

• • 



XIL Rzuoa^c?^ JLi 



XIV. Fusjki- 

1 dZ I. 


XVI. Ufe Wi«jt rr? 

*ig ¥■! 

XVII. CHA&j^m 

ST C?^ *» 

?= IF Jtl 

AuTHORjTiis C:r 


•■* <■ 


Noah Webster 



Statuette of Noah Webster designed for the 

Hartford Capitol 229 

Reproduction of Webster Memorandum 



the study and improvement of language. This 
modest <lictionary was an earnest of his 
stupendous later labors.^ 

Webster at this time had not gone farther 
bacjc tlian the Hebrew. Later he included 
Arabic in his researches, but alas! Sanscrit 

.-renlained a sealed book to him to the end of 

'.VKis life.** 


;* ' 1 See Appendices XXIV. and XXV. below. 

' * A comparative philologist without a knowledge of Sanscrit 
is like an astronomer without a knowledge of mathematics. He 
may admire, he may observe, he may discover, but he will 
never feel satisfied, he will never feel certain, he will never feel 
<iuite at home.' Chips from a German WorkshoPy Max Miiller, 
iv. p. 19. But this dictum of Miiller is not beyond criticism. 

'About 1805 Webster published 'Elements of Useful Know- 
ledge ' in two volumes, * containing a historical and geographical 
account of the United States.' /uterward a third volume giving 
a 'historical and geographical account of Europe, Asia and 
Africa with a brief description of New Holland and the prin- 
cipal Islands in the Paafic and Indian Ocean.' A fourth 
volume was ' A History of Animals.' 

In thanking him for, and commending these books, Dr David 
Ramsay writes, 

Charleston, January 3PS 1806,^ 

* * * ' It is much to be regretted that there is so little inter- 
course in the literary way between the States. As soon as a 
book of general utility comes out in any State it should be for 
sale in all of them. The British reviewers boast that their 
support will ensure the currencv of any book from the Thames 
to the Ganges. I hoped mucn from the literary fair. This if 
properly managed would be of great service both to authors and 

Srinters. Readers are increasing in these states, and I trust the 
ay is not far distant when the sale of two thousand copies of an 
original work mip;ht be counted upon. This would make it 
worth while to write books. All that I have ever done in that 
way, has not cleared actual expenses. Many booksellers never 
accounted at all for the books put into their hands for sale.' 

^ This letter has not been found for collation. — [Ed.] 


.^^, c*iiu lie must have 

contrary to his agre[e]ment with 
first night cv: sent Betsy «^ Polly tl 
me, for I thought the fatigue woi 
was half after twelve when I got 

We had a shower on Thursday 
but it has cleard up astonishing!) 
parlor yesterday, and was fearful ( 
planted the raddishes yesterday, I 
the important Parsnip. Josey ha 
lies in the yard, as you said not 
into the wood house. 

I calld on M" Whittlesey, & 
polite. She says as far as she has 
are welcome to sit in it, but the 
Ministers Pew, & M" Stewart will 
A Bradley['s] family are without se 
a good deal of ill blood in the socic 

Donnan has brought 4 letters fo 
from Emily I shall keep till you coi 
M' Buckminster of Boston with a c 
caird the Polyanthos (this I have 
you or some of your friends to f 
sketch of the life, & criticisms or 
great men in Connecticut, the c 
& relate to each other. T e»^-" — ' 


From JosiAH Quincy. W. MSS. 

Boston. 30. June. 1806. 
Dear Sir, 

I should have, with pleasure attended to your request, 
in relation to your dictionary, but untill this day I have 
not been able to procure a copy. Your preface, I have 
perused with great satisfaction, and could wish that you had 
pushed your remarks and enquiries on the analogies and 
etymology of the language farther. Many of your observa- 
tions are both new and just and interesting. This is a 
subject for which I have no inconsiderable taste but other 
pursuits have not left me, at leisure, to cultivate it. 

I believe there is a disposition in the men of literary 
inclinations in this neighbourhood to treat this work with 
more indulgence than they have been usually inclined to 
extend to attempts of a kin to this, which have been made, 
in this country. I have, however, some little doubt of 
inviting newspaper notice of it until it has gotten into more 
hands, which it will in a short period I think, gradually. 
Some man of sarcastic temperature may thereby be 
stimulated to exercise himself upon it and thus give it a 
temporary unpopularity. The natural and slow progress of 
just reputation will, in a little time deter adventurers in this 
way, and secure the quickest and surest harvest both of 
reputation & pecuniary profit. 

I intend to write you more particularly on this subject 


Very respectfully, 

I am your hble Serv* 

From Thomas Dawes, Jun. W. MSS. 

Boston 10^. August 1806. 
Dear Brother. 

We have recieved your summons for the return of 
Emily ; which is the only uncomfortable circumstance about 
her visit ; and yet every visit must have its end ; and when- 

jxtt a Imk qf tl» cwwaitian 1 

JtvoTfc^iod gni m very 

te ^dion ire all hftw itt 


900B as IPC cm find it 

^^^■* ^^Bb^^^ V^Vv^^^v ^ V wvv%i^VBaa 

fai^ yet as to -f^ggy^ ISLoMot is ths 
M'. AcImhh wiiii a copy of ycrar 
donlit DOt liot his vct^et wiQ be 
i^it aboot the time of 
of our Aca d c«i|: — ^I foond by the public pspers 
that for that di^, the 13*^. Ai^^I had kusg siDce adrertued 
a mfrting of the Oocfiton of a bankrapt ooe of whose 
Gommisiooen I am ; and leaiC. that I shoald not be able 
to go to Cambridge that day, I gave your Essay to M^ J. Q. 
Adams to piesent in my name. Bat I now expect I shall 
be able so to dispose of diat bankrupt business as to be able 
to attend the Academy. I note what you say of the Fish. 
Cap. Jones always {xocures my Other's fish, and is now on 
the watdi for him ; his last Quintail being nearly out ; but 
says it wiD be a month before he can procure the true Isle 
of Shoal-Fish and then he will get a Quintail for you and 
we will get it round to Newhaven, but my father says that 
unless you know how to watch it and shift it and turn it 
up and expose it from time to time to dry air, and, after all, 
that, unless you or your Bastim wife know how to soak it 
from Friday to Saturday and then to boil it properly, and, 
after all that, to mince it up in your plate, Boston fashion, 
Isle of Shoal aint a bit better than a carpenter's chip after 
it is buttered. 


I was in hopes you would have come yourself abot 
Commencement time for Emily. As you are not to be hen 
I expect to take my wife, who is a little too lean, to Bedfon 
about that time. 

Ever yours 

From Thomas Dawes, Jun. W. MS 

Boston 14^ August 1806 
Dear Brother : 

It is late at night, and your Emmy has gone to bee 

having bid me farewell for this visit, not the last I trust an 

sincerely hope. I received your last favor at noon this da 

and immediately procured 2 copies of your Dictionary an 

sent them by stage, with the Newspapers, to Cambridg* 

This afternoon President Webber called at my Office an 

acknowledged the favor and said that the office of profess< 

of M being yet vacant, he was obliged to do its duties i 

well as those of president, & had no leisure j^^/, but hope 

to have some, soon ; and then would attend to your subjec 

Your Phaeton I presented yesterday. 

Wishing a safe return for your lovely daughter. I am, 

Peggy's love to Becky. 

It did not occur [to me] yesterday that I should ma 
J. Q. Adams at Cambridge or I should have taken tb 
Dictionary with me. But Tomorrow I shall send it by m 
Hannah who is going to Uncle Daniel's. I shall also send tb 
Newspaper. Apropos I hastily read it : The piece again 
you is the work of no ordinary writer ; but I think yoi 
answer is excellent, and that there is in it more point an 
good sense and what Sir W°^ Temple calls J?a^, than i 
anything of N. W.'s that I have red. My own impre 
sions, say prejudices, however, are in favor of a middle pai 
between yourselves and ^^ players, Chooseday for Tuesds 


I cannot bev, and as to 
than Indian Root 
Orihogra^. SdD, I 
niatter whkfa has 
labofioiis^ i 
lifed 49 yeais wttfaom 
So, good nigfat 

P. S. Yoa acoae the czidc of Hmlgfiiiii I 
certain that jour 

From JOHM QcmcT 

I f cc d fcd some tne sdcs rfinaii^yi 

Judge Dawes joor £&Toiir of 12^. JLa^. nsixervati i 3Sf 
of your Dictiooary and a ocvsyoper awRumn^ ±e sm- 
tures of a critic at Albany la^ jobt sectf oo -jvna My 
thanks for your obl^ing presac oosac ee ±ia n 3bi» 
been returned to yon; and wood Jsie besL bit iir & 
pressure of occnpatioo at tha txmeir and son. a (Sexze wan. 
full deliberation to give yon mj cmad zouaaa. 
your project for a larger 

There are three o h f rrtinns 
the critic of Albany — rcbsin^ fine as yxr z 
spelling — secondly to your prmripirf ct y e jmn 
thirdly to the i nti o d u ct i nn into yoar DsrciHrj u jcmsl, 

With regard to the two first, I haie al-nn caxHdeasd taesi 
as under the absohrte dominion dijmkatm, taL m-mtmtn 
the habit of reoeiTing aQ oar Uhnn firua »>yafT*f tus 
has been regularly imfnrted widi ae rss. i 
thought it a subject wocth oitfrr i iTlr i g ascnc 
we can mann^^'"^ woids 
cloths for oursdTes, and we can rrmr spas. ^^^^*^ 


pronouncing them as they ought to be, or as our Gfeat- 
Grandfather's spelt or pronounced them, as we can dress in 
the costume of the seventeenth Century, or cut our cloaAs 
on a philosophical principle of convenience, if we please. 
Every individual must in this respect act for himself. A 
patriotic spirit will from a sense of duty encourage domestic 
manufactures, but to prescribe their use by Law, and to 
prohibit the introduction of them from Great Britain, is at 
least of more questionable policy, and perhaps not quite so 

Alterations of spelling or of pronunciation upon the 
authority of a single writer have an inevitable tendency to 
introduce confusion into a language. Voltaire undertook to 
introduce a new system of spelling into the French language. 
Yet his authority has not even to this day generally pre- 
vailed, and the greater part of the French Nation spell as 
their fathers did. Many writers however have followed his 
example, and a numerous class of words are consequently 
spelt in two different ways. I am apprehensive that your 
example and authority may produce a similar inconvenience 
to the writers and speakers of English. That is; if you 
adhere to the intention of getting up a standard of spelling 
or pronunciation different from that which is admitted in 

The sentiments indeed which you express to me in 
your letter of the inconveniences, and impracticability of 
attempting to impose dogmas upon others in respect to 
pronunciation are so perfectly congenial to my own, that I 
could not but regret to find that our inference from these 
principles was not exactly the same. My own Conclusion 
is, to take the standard as I find it and shun all controversy 
on the subject Your's I observe is to take nearly the 
standard of Entick, and to reject all subsequent changes as 
innovations of the English Stage and Court. That innova- 
tion^ in many of the cases where you differ from them, is 
chargeable upon them, and not upon you, I readily believe ; 


to us from England, it must doubtless be necessary to 
proceed upon some geneial principle, yet I presume you 
will not think it necessary to insert a great number of 
wofdsi which are in very common use. Between vulgarism 
and propriety of speedi some line must be drawn, and where 
that shall precisely be may perhaps be a question of some 
difliculty. Your liberality of admission in the compendious 
Dictionary extends so Cur, that I should prefer to find in the 
laiger woric a restriction rather than an enlargement of it 

I have not had an opportunity of exchanging sentiments 
with President Webber, or Professor Ware, with respect to 
your undertaking, and know not how far they would deem 
it advisable to pledge our University to support your system 
of spelling, pronunciation, or of d^Murture from the English 
Language* Though not entirely coinciding with you in 
opinion upon these subjects, I hope you will be persuaded 
of the sincerity with which I appretiate your genius and 
learning, and of my respect for the depdi and extent of 
your researches upon Uiis and other subjects of high 
moment to our Country. I have thought a free and 
explicit avowal of my own impressions, would be most 
satisfactory to you in answer to the confidence with which 
you had frivored me, although the principles which I have 
accustomed myself to apply, in these cases, have led me 
to deductions, differing in some respect from your's. 

I am, Sir, with great respect, your very humble & obed'. 

To Albert Gallatin.^ W. MSS. 

New Haven Dec. 24, 1806. 

***It gives me pleasure to learn that our increasing 
revenues will speedily yield a surplus, beyond the ordinary 
demands of government. Tbo I am a stranger to you & 

^ Then Secretary of the Treasury. Albert Gallatin, the most 
famous of an old and noble lineage, born in Geneva, 1761. 
Orphaned at nine years of age, he was carefully educated by 


To the Same. W. MSSL 

Deer 24. 1806 

Accompanying this is a Copy of my Dictionary^ 
which I request you to accept You will observe that I 
have corrected Uie orthography of a few words, among 
which is ComiroIUr the title of an Officer belonging to the 
lYeasury. The common orthography was introduced or 
made current by D' Johnson, by a most egregious mistake. 
Baily has the word correct, & you will see the Compilers of 
the Encyclopedia Britannica have preserved the genuine 
spelling. I wish the Gendemen at the head of Gov* would 
set us an example of correctness in this particular, for I am 
one of those who feel di^)osed to differ from the English 
when obviously wrong; nor do I deem these small things 
wholly unimportant * * * 

I am Sir, very respectfully 

Your Obed* Serv« 

From William Cranch. W. MSS. 

\Vash». March 3**. 1807. 
Dear Sir, 

I rec^. your kind letter of the S'^. Dec^. but have been 
so constandy engaged in attending Court ever since, that I 
have not been able to reply. 

We too, on the 2\ ult^*, were blessed widi another boy, 
whom we have called John ; and who, widi his mother, is in 
fine health. 

I have no news of importance, but what I suppose you 
will get sooner by the public papers than by this letter. 

The monstrous rebellion which has so much excited the 
attention of the nation, & which has been so much 
exaggerated by remours issuing from Ms Ciiy^ has dwindled 
into insignificance. 

The public opinion now points at Wilkinson, as equally 
involved in the guilt of Burr's inieniians^ and as the grossest 


coidd gtldier from tlie fitiends of the administiaftion in their 
ODune? I lio|)e I ui not imdiftritJifafe, bat it seems to me 
that Exectttrre aedsfitjliis eitlier been imposed opoa, or it 
has been blinded by its widws. 

I beg perdon Ibr thus troubling joo widi my reveries. 
Brodier Robert Greenleif is here* and bas been iqppointed 
by Col^. Wharton paymaster to tlie Marine Coqis, ubich 
adds something to hb pay. He expects his fiunily in the 
Spring. Eliot & his wife are «<dl — no certainty of an 
increase of &mily yet 

Nancy sends her Love to her Sister, yooisdf [and the] 
Children, in whidi die is joined by yoor [torn] 

affifictioiyae brodier 

From WiLUAM Samukl Johnsoh. W. MSS. 

Stratford April 25. 1807 


I am disabled by a paralytick affection in my hand 
from answering particularly yours of the so^. inst respecting 
the pronunciation of the wo«ds you refer ta At the time I 
went to EngiarKl in 1766 we pronourxred in this Country 
the word you mention as if it was spdt maitr: When 
I arrived in England I found it was universally pro- 
nouTKred natvre with the full sound of the if, & I heard 
nodiing of the ck pronunciation until the latter part of my 
residence in diat Country, when I first heard it at the 
Theatre, at the time when Powell Holland &c were the 
principal Actors after M' Garridc had almost retired : — and 
I perceived that it was adopted by some of the younger 
Barristers & Members of Parliament but had not become 
common. M' Sheridan who had been the Preceptor of 
M' Wedderbum and many other eminent Speakers at that 
time bc^an to be considered in a great degree the standard 
of pronunciation. How he has determined it, you will see 
by his Dictionary & am 

Sr, your obed' Serv< 


slight.^ Even his old friends and colleagues 
adopted a hopeless tone, as the following letter 

From RuFUS King. W. MSS. 

New York May 25. 1807. 

Dear Sir 

I stand in need of your Excuse for not haying 
sooner replied to your letters of February and April; 
concerning the subject of the latter, so for as my Observa- 
tion has enabled me to determine, I am disposed to believe 
that the usage of giving to /, before f#, the power of ch^ 
has become general among the learned and higher classes 
of Society in England. It prevails at the Bar, in the Pulpit, 
and in Parliament, at the Universities, public Schools, and 
Theatres, as well as among persons of fashion of both sexes. 
The tone of London, in this, as among other Cases, is 
the tone of the Country, among those whose minds and 
manners are influenced by fashion; in respect to the 
numerous body of farmers, manufacturers and tradesmen, 
this innovation not having reached them, their Pronuncia- 
tion remains that of the district in which they were bom, 
or passed their early years. ^ When this innovation com- 
menced, is a question concerning which I am without 
information, though I am inclined with you to ascribe 
its introduction to the Irish. 

In respect to the more interesting Subject of your first 
letter, I am sorry to remark that I am able to discover 
but little Probability of your receiving adequate encourage- 
ment to continue to devote your Time and Talents to 

*See Appendix XXVII. below. 

'So late as 1901, 2, or 3, a Manila newspaper, urging the 
claims of self-government for the Filipinos, gravely contended 
as an argument that even in the British Parliament the mem- 
bers from the different parts of the island could not understand 
one another's dialect.— {Ed.] 


roused from their Lediaigr, and even then, appear to be 
restless and unhappy until they have sunk again into their 
hopdess ind<dence. 

In diis condition of the many, and with this Temper, 
of the few, I find myself unaUe to offer you the Encourage- 
ment, that on every coosideralion, it would afibrd me so 
much satisfrurtion to impart, my poor & limited aid shall 
not be withheld, but it is too insignificant to be mentioned, 
and I can therefore only entreat you to be assured that 
I stiU remain, with snicere esteem and Respect Dear Sir. 

[Signature cut ofil] 

From Noah Wsbstkr, Senior. W. MSS. 

West Hartford June 9^ 1807 
£ff£ctionate Son. 

it is a Consideral^ time Since I saw you but I have 

heard from you often, it was sometime Before I recevd 

your letter that Mentioned the loss of your Child, by what 

I heard from you I have expected to see you at Hartford 

Before this time but I Suppose you was hindred by Publick 

or private Business. I am in want of Some money if you 

can help me Consistent with your own interest you will 

much oblige an aged Parent I have Been at great Cost in 

purchasing post and rails to fence my wife's right of dower 

if you can help me to about ten Dollars or twenty I Believe 

I can repay you in the fall for I have let our pasture to men 

able to pay me in the fall. I have had Sickness which has 

Cost me much the winter past but nowin Comfortable Health. 

I intend to have better ink before I write another letter. 

I remain your 

Efifectionat Father 

From Samuel Latham Mitchill. W. MSS. 

New York June 19, rSoy 
♦♦♦To convince you that one of your Readers, at least 
has proceeded beyond the Prefieure, I would ask why the foUow- 


that period, and is believed to be the most truly 
philosophic grammar of the English language 
ever published in America.^ Meantime it has 
been absorbed by the best writers on grrammar 
who for years adopted its principles under 
various disguises or in various degrees, mixing 
with them the older and customary names and 
statements of grammatical forms, and in this 
modified and diluted form, the truths and facts 
which his patient investigation elucidated have 
been adopted and used by the publics-even by 
the British themselves. 

From Thomas Dawes, Jun. W. MSS. 

Boston August 28^ 1807. 
Dear Brother : 

I have received several letters from you, especially 
2 of the present month, for which I am much obliged to 
you. I have attended to the subscription papers and have 
lodged them at the best places. I gave one to W"^ Shaw 
who has displayed it in the Athenaeum room. He says 
(and he is a man of strict truth) that he has prevented 
several (or many) criticisms from appear^ in his Anthol(^ : 
because he thot you treated ill in them. I am really fearhil 
that you will lose money by your intended great work, let it 
be ever so meritorious. Your grammar (for which I thank 
you) I have studied with Delight and sincerely believe it to 
be built on the most perfect foundations. But I am not 
to enlarge upon your subjects in Ms Letter; the sole object 
of which is of another nature. It is to beg of you to com- 
municate to me as soon as possible the very best information 
touching the character of young Joshua Huntington, son of 

* Written between 1885 and 1892.— [Ed.] 


way of New Haven ; of which I am extremely glad, altho 
it may perhaps incommode your dear family a little. 
For I have had the impudence to invite, very strongly, 
M^ & M". Emory to take one bed and my Emily Goddard 
and Miss Emory another under your hospitable roof, and 
all this without knowing whether it could be done. For 
there are times when families cannot lodge a friend, and 
there are times when such an addition is convenient and 
grateful. But upon this I have run the risk. The dis- 
position of yourself and Becky and of all of you I know -, 
let abilities and circumstances be as they may. 

Pray be kind enough to mention in your letter which is 
to be the answer to my last, whether my dear Emmy has 
arrived sound and about her manner of finishing the jour- 
ney, whether by water or land I am this moment going to 
sit down to dine with all my 12, besides my wife and Eliot, 
for the last time until we all sit down together with Abraham 
Isaac and Jacob in the paradise of God (which sit^^. down 
&c I hope 1) 

Yours affectionately 

I hope your awn sweet Emily will be settled near 

From Oliver Wolcott. W. MSS. 

New York Sept. 19. 1807. 
Dear Sir. 

I have not been inattentive to your Letter of August 
22*^, which was duly d^*^ to me by M' Perkins. I have no 
doubt that a number of subscriptions may be obtained, but 
I have thought it best, to endeavor to render you a real 
service, by ascertaining in what manner your plan would be 
rec*^ by the public. With this view I have conversed with 
some of the booksellers & others acquainted with the differ- 
ent modes of disposing of literary works in this Country & 
now communicate the result of my enquiries. 

^^. «- !:--V!»Mi-7*|p-:ai 


South. The first was sent a month ago, the second, dupli- 
cate of the first, this day week. Each of them contained a 
copy of unanimous votes in his fiavor and requests to preach 
on probation. The sooner you answer this the greater will 
be your favor. 

Yours affectionately, 

The foregoing continued. 

Boston 21 Sep 

Dear brother 

I have written the other leaves separately with intention 
that you might shew it to M^ H: — if you should see fit, as 
oiyaur awn motion. 

Tell Becca that her sister Dawes has been very sick for 
Ten Days and confined to her bed for the last 3 ; but that 
she seems to be convalescent; for which may the good God 
accept our praise. It began with Influenza, and one night 
when she was gett^^. better and freely perspiring, she was 
called suddenly from bed to see one of the children who 
was sick. On her return, said she was chilled and had 
never felt so before. From that time she grew ill, and I 
have been in constant apprehension: but blisters and 
poultices and medicine and patience seem to be pre- 
vailing. Emily had a long passage in your packet but 
writes that it has done her good and that she was never 

Our love to all of you. 

From Thomas Dawes, Jun. W. MSS. 

Boston, Sunday Morn 11^. October 1807 

Dear Brother : 

Knowing that President Dwight is at this moment 
at my Father's house, on a visit before bellringing for meet- 
ing (I suppose on the subject of M** Huntington) I cannot 


omit the opportmutj of ■ending yoa faj Imn a line Jtbom 
my imwa&samt wife. Efoy dsf for die 5 IssL idie has 
been got out of bed to her easy dnir §ar mh ham. Her 
fever hjis left her; and, dio' a drrirton, iiie eatt a haUt 
beef with great ididi, md takes more faroth ice than ihe 
was able to do two months ^go before her Ynflarm and 
Long fever attacked her; fior bcJiore those di s uites sebed 
her she was Cut wasting with a Jlkmrano, — soon a&ei litt 
fever came upon her, her hrarii^ little as it was, abnosi 
departed and shesud die oonld not paj lor Bie, rhinnng 
she most be usdes; and that her heait nnered ooi}j ''Tbr 
Will be done!* — She now hens as well as when yoa iis: 
saw her and she widies, and his good n^ 10 fa^ea to mn: 
with me some years more. At die worst of her iDnesi her 
memcxy fiuled, and two days were cntirtiy jost frms her 
calender; and when it was retsm^ it appeared to be r: 
that state described by the s^oomy aicbDr of nae Xipc 

' My soul £uita5t3C meascies tr:c 
' O'er faiiy fields, or moomd aloof r^ 
* Of pathless woods, or down the ca^gr 
' Horld headlong, swam the manrlfd pcol 
' Or scal'd the cli^ or danc'd on hoZiow viads 
' With antic shapes, wild nath-es of xbe 'zjxr^' 

Among my consolations was the evidence zzjh 
cine and every blister seemed to openie tsaCLj 2s rL*jeMtd. 
The friendly assiduity of my two physacars vas f;3a£»hL : 
and I am grateful to the giver of aH good fcr zfss:rjrss^ to 
me, as I think He is doing, this mos: excel 

Give my love to Becca and Emily asd tbe res^ Sasrer 
Appleton and O. wiU leave this place Tosx>c?Tr/w vt^dc ztA 
travell slowly via New haven: and by :h*r: yji wfT k.'y/r 
all our fisusiily particulars. 

Yours affectionatdy 


To JoBL Barlow. 

New Haven, Oct 19, 1807. 

***A few gentlemen of this character, like yourself 
duly appreciate the merit of my labors, but the number is 
small ; my hope and expectations are that it will increase. 
You will recollect that Judge Trumbull and yourself were 
the only friends who, in 1783, ventured to encourage me to 
publish my Spelling Book, The attempt to correct English 
books was thought a rash undertaking, yet more than 
aoo,ooo copies now sell annually. My Grammar had its 
run, but has been superseded by Murra/s. Both are 
wrong. I have lately published one on Home Tooke's 
plan, which President Smith, of Princeton, pronounces the 
best analjTsis of the language ever published. If I can, I 
will send you a copy. 

* * * I have in the press an abridgement of my Complete 
Dictionary for common schools, omitting obsolete, and 
technical terms, and reducing it to a dollar book. With the 
profits of these I hope to be able to finish my Complete 
Dictionary. If I could get two or three hundred sub- 
scribers to advance the price of it this would be all I should 
want ; but I have no expectation of such patronage, though 
I am confident there would be no hazard to the subscribers 
except that of my life. It will require the incessant labor 
of from three to five years. My views comprehended a 
whole system, intended to lay the foundation of a more 
correct practice of writing and speaking, as well as a general 
system of instruction in other branches. It is time for us 
to b^n to think for ourselves. Great Britain is probably 
in her wane, and I look forward to the time when her 
descendants will reflect some light back on the parent 
nation. But immense hosts of prejudices are to be 


I can affinn that the standard English books abound widi 
errors which nothing could have kept in countenance in this 
country but a blind veneration for English authorities. Our 
literary men investigate so little that they do not judge 
correctly of the talents and erudition of English writers, 
many of whom are not half so learned as our people siqh 
pose. * * * In truth, we shall always be in leading strings 
till we resort to original writers and original principles 
instead of taking upon trust what English writers please to 
give us. But I need not enlarge upon this subject You 
must certainly understand it better than I do; you know 
the manner in which book making is carried on in England 
and how with a due portion of puffing from the reviewers, 
almost anjTthing may obtain currency in this country. 
Leaving therefore a consideration of the cause of this evil 
let us attend to the remedy. 

In this same letter we have a glimpse of the 
obstacles with regard to the larger Dictionary 
in Webster's own words. 

The outline was drawn more than twenty years ago, but 
my circumstances compelled me to suspend the execution 
of it, for the purpose of getting bread by other business, 
until within a few years last past. Even now my resources 
are inadequate to the work ; my income barely supports my 
family, and I want five hundred dollars' worth of books from 
Europe which I cannot obtain here, and which I cannot 
afford to purchase. I have made my wishes known to 
men of letters by a circular accompanied by certificates, 
and have issued a subscription paper, but I have not any 
encouragement that one cent will be advanced by the 
wealthy citizens of my country. I must therefore drudge 
on under all the embarrassments which have usually 
attended like undertakings. 

iciuopcd to 

rnqr be 
0^^ to be 
dMfl be in no 

m jHf mnf Hiy %i^ 

Bntain. Tbief ougbit to 
gromid of ooooedm^ to 
abuses of her maiitinie 
wrong in atteniptmg to 
be crushed, nor oqgfat ir ao be 
stanrial men of boch 
waiikre, be induced to 
& nameSy & unite on 
succeed in 
southern or 

It is in contemplatian 
principal chanctere of this 
of the Legislature at HaitianL 
to assert popular opinion, m 
which I will transmit to 
me know your sentiments 

I am. Dear 

From Rxv. Jkdboiah M 

***I rejoyce with joa in the 
blessings, & espedaDj in foor 


of the period that we venture to quote from it 

To Thomas Dawes, Jun. W. MSS. 

(Copy.) New Haven Dec 20* 180S. 

* * * This candid avowal of your own opinions demands 
from me, a faithful and explicit exposition of my own, and 
the reasons on which they are founded. Errors are always 
mischievous, but never so much so as in the concerns of 
our immortal souls and in the relations which exist between 
God and ourselves. 

Being educated in a religious family, under pious pazenta^ 
I had, in early life some religious impressions, but being 
too young to understand fully the doctrines of the Christian 
religion and falling into vicious company at college, I lost 
those impressions and contracted a habit of using pro&ne 
language. This habit however was not of many years 
duration — profaneness appeared to me then as it now doea» 
a vice without the apology which some other vices find in 
human propensities, and as unworthy of a gentleman as it 
is improper for a christian. 

I rec'd my first degree in Sept. 1778, at a time when our 
country was impoverished by war, and when few encoursge- 
ments offered to induce young men to enter into professional 
employments. Having neither property nor powerful friends 
to aid me, and being utterly unacquainted with the worldt 
I knew not what business to attempt nor by what way to 
obtain subsistence. Being set afloat in the world at the 
inexperienced age of 20, without a father's aid which had 
before supported me, my mind was embarrassed with solici- 
tude, and overwhelmed with gloomy apprehensions. In this 
situation I read Johnson's Rambler, with unusual interest 
and with a visible effect upon my moral opinions, for when 
I closed the last volume, I formed a firm resolution to 
pursue a course of virtue through life, and to perform all 

it: il»a^iz^ ^^^j-ss: 

**"fe I Sst X iesrss zi = 

T — -- — ■ 


some doctrines of my religious foith; but I am not con- 
fident of the propriety of what may be deemed an obtnl* 
sion. Of your benevolence, sincerity and affection for meb 
I have had sufficient proof and my heart reciprocates tSL 
your kind wishes for my welfare. I have long been aocm- 
tomed to consider you as the best of men, and if we haie 
not corresponding views of Christian principles, my fiiend- 
ship for you will remain undiminished. Accept my sincevest 
love and that of my wife and daughters for yourself and 
Sister D. and all the family. From your affectioaate 

In these latter days when the lament is wide* 
spread over the lost art of letter- writing, perhaps 
the reading of the above may reconcile some 
grumbler to the paucity of family correspon- 
dence. — [Ed.] 

Webster's personal letter to his brother-in- 
law was followed by a still longer statement of 
Reasons for Accepting the Christian and Calr 
vinistic Scheme, which was sent to Judge Dawes 
on February 23rd, 1809, and was published in 
The Panoplist in July of the same yean It 
aroused much interest in theological and lay 
circles, and called out many replies. Gov. 
Bowdoin published a reply under the title An 
Old-fashioned Churchman, while Dr. Spring, 
Rev. William Jenks, and Abiel Holmes wrote 
with warmth and praise of this effort in a 
new direction, while many anonymous letters 
expressed the gratitude and interest of their 
writers. Webster was now asked, and even 
urged, to turn his attention to the writing of 
tracts and theological discussions since he had 


gained so stroi^ a £uth and *a 
ence' ably and ^ncerdy 
wisely declined these ova cm e 
were chosen in die direcdoa 
research, widi only oocasknil 
the field of politics. 

The letters of these 'farodien 
are too loi^ to be given, but At 
reading. Ur. Sprii^ (NcwboiT Pare 

1809, ^* ^'^^) i^a^ ^^"^ 
the Panelist with subfime 

ceeds to ask for 'priwate answers 

ing questions : 

'I. What is the generick afiecta 
of holiness ? Is it dismtercsKC ? 
the highest enjoyment of Gcc sad iil 

' 2. What is the generick 
of sin ? Is It sdf love or seiSaisaesi' 
object the separate or prrrase g^arttir: 
the senses ?••• 

mm 'U-.llttt.^««t 

mi » 19 

* 9. Are Armenians* correct bi hciSa^ -issc 
God elected characters rather rraa zi 
or are the Calvinists correct ai 
God elected & reprobated pezscc 
characters, tho' characters are :re zaLj 
his approbadon or disapprofasdcs ^ 

There are seventeen of tbese oaoBiani. if 
which these few only are grrex as kk^ousbl 
and the letter omdudes wid: dbs pac upwqa 
' I have Sir used modi firecdooc 5x ^hfae -giev 
tions, because I find your miad avauEe isai jnnr 



heart engaged. Please to excuse my freedom. 
Make my respects to your Lady, love to your 
lovely children. Love to Brother Stewart 
Tell him to write me soon what is saying, & 
doing, & wAai is contemplcUed. 

* From your friend & brother ' 

Endorsed : ' Not answered. I have not time 
nor talents, nor reading to qualify me for theo- 
logical discussions. N. W.' 

From James Hillhouse. W. MSS. 

City of Washington March 27^, 1808. 

Inclosed is a letter in answer to yours of the 16^. Iiii^.| 
our del[e]gation were of opinion that a formal addren from 
them to the people of Connecticut, would, at this time be 
inexpedient. I have hastily thrown together some thoughts 
on the topicks mentioned in your letter, which however I 
do not wish to have published, unless, upon a consuUatioii 
with Doct^ Dwight, M^ Goodrich, M^ Baldwin, and M^ D. 
Daggett, it should be determined that a publication would 
be of real use. 

[Signature cut out.] 

From Jambs Hillhouse. W. MSS. 

City of Washington March 22^^ 1808. 

Your letter of the 16^. Ins^ came duely to hand ; and 
it is with pleasure I inform you, that I do perfectly accord 
with you, and our friends at New Haven, in the opinion, 
that Col: Pickering's letter to Governor Sullivan, for the 
purpose of communicating information to his constitoentii 
tAe legislature, and people of Massachusetts, is a very impor- 
tant State paper, and is deserving the attention of every man 
in New England. 


To James Madison.^ 

New Haven Feby. 20. 1809 


I am engaged in a literary pursuit, which I believe to 
be very interesting to my country, & in this opinion I have 
the concurrence of Gentlemen of the first talents in diis 
State. In this pursuit however I have neither assistance 
nor patronage. I want many books which are not to be 
procured in America, & which cannot easily be obtained by 
orders, as some of them are rare in Europe. In addition to 
this, I have not the means of purchasing them to the extent 
I wish, much less to bear the expenses of a voyage to Europe. 
I have thought it possible, tho' by no means probable, that I 
might perform some service for government, in Europe. 
I know not that I have the requisite talents to justify an 
appointment to which any considerable emolument b 
attached, & I cannot consent to make a voyage merely as a 
messenger. Possibly an occasion may occur in which the 
objects of government may be answered in coincidence with 
my own private interest & views. I am sensible, that, to any 
appointment of this kind, there is a weighty objection, that^ 
on political subjects, I differ from the present administration, 
& if the next administration shall pursue a system sub- 
stantially the same, I must be opposed to it on principle. 
I therefore make no specific request; for while I know 
myself sincerely the friend of my country, & of a republican 
government, I must say, I think the measures of the present 
administration are fundamentally wrong. On subjects of 
this kind it becomes not me to interpose my private opinions ; 
but as the administration will,' in a few days, devolve into 
your hands, it must be important to you to know the 
opinions of Gentlemen in all parts of the country. The 

^ Madison Papers, Library of Congress, vol. xxxiii. p. 98. 
Madison was then Secretary of State. — [Ed] 

'When Madison succeeded Jefferson to the Presidency. — [Ed.] 

■*»2 L. 


We do 


presence to elucidate multifarious documents is reqoiied 
It may be tried on Monday. But you know the unoertunty 
of Courts ! I will not say of law. Doctor Morse shew'd me 
your revision o( your epistles to me. I took the Ubeitj of 
altering the introduction and to intitle it 'a communication 
selected from 2 Letters of N. W to his friend in Beaton j 
such parts thereof as were not of a more private conoe^^ 
being published at the earnest desire of some pious gentifr 
men who had read the originals' — I recite the title fiom 
memory. It then begins at that part where you say yoa 
had red the little pamphlet, (omitting your notice of my 
father). I should never have had the least objection to 
both letters, as they originally stood, being addressed to mt; 
as they both seemed to take for granted my doubts as to 
some opinions contained in them. But in the digest wUch 
D^ M. now publishes, it not only looks as if both cor- 
respondents thought alike ; but there is one opinion tonch^ 
which my doubts are the strongest, thdXyaur digest emburgu 
upon as if supported by evidence that no one can contiadicL 
I mean that part which supposes the universal Iiitlwr 10 
select some favorites on whose imaginations he sees fit to 
flash peculiar and instantaneous light. I will not say tiiat 
the Apostle Paul was not one of these ; when he was stnick 
blind. Bui perhaps^ (I would speak cautiously and tenderly) 
it is not scriptural to lead the many to expect inch inlei^ 
positions. As by the grace of GOD I am what I am, I 
see no pride in finding myself enabled to obey the ooaUMfei 
rules of piety or morality. I must work out my mm 
salvation : and I see no self conceit in the consdonsnoM of 
doing that which I am enabled to do by him who mods ntti 
Surely there are such things as praise and blarney w w ai ds 
& punishments. I am afraid there is less of humility dm 
we are aware of, in some persons supposing themtdvui flie 
more particular objects of providence. GOD forbid that 
I should have the least doubt in the sincerity of many who 
think themselves thus favored. And indeed they an fiivonod^ 


that iamgmap is a subject perfectif welt understood, eren so 
well, as to preclude tbe necessity of further investigation. 
Indeed, many seem to think that our language in partinuW 
is so perfect, so clearly uodeistood and defined, that it 
cannot be improved. The student is so well satisfied widi 
the works of Varro, Voscies, Caudxn, Hicks, SKtnni, 
JintiL-s, Harris, Lowth, and Johnson, that he acaico^ 
thinks of examiiung Horne, Tooke, Whiter, and GxBiLn; 
•nd even concei^'vs it a ^lecies of sacril^e to violate thi 
remains of those giants in literature, with the unhallowed 
spirit of inquiry and scepticism. I was once a slave to tlii 
prejudicv myself; I say to Hcai prtjuditt ; for I am OOW per 
suaded it deserves [his appellation ; and that this pRJafies 
now interposes an immense obstacle to the progress of tnA 
and improvement in this country. 

In opposition to this opinion, the discoveries that I faan 
already made, enable me to state, with confidence tfait 
scarcely any thing belonging to man and his works, n n 
little understood, as the erigiit anAs/nuhtre of language; 
and that the English writers above-named, whose wocka BS 
conudered as standard authorities in the 1 
entered the threshold of the subji 
bility attached to this remark ; but 
witness that it is not dictated, in 
vanity, but by deliberate judgment, 
of all the means of establishing tbe 

In addition to the advantages 
orthography and signification of 
understood and universally admitti 
gations are extremely useful in illus 
ably to an extent not generally bel 
points, however, I have already ot 
evidence : — 

I. That the opinion of the des 
one pair, is well founded, and suso _ 
factory proof. 


are still retained in the Ceiiu and Teuiomc dialects ; but 
which cannot be translated by Hebrew roots. — Hence the 
translators of the Bible, by referring such names to Hdtftm 
roots, have mistaken their signification. Thus Beihshean^ 
or Beth'Shan^ they translate, the house of the toothy from the 
resemblance of shan to the Hebrew name of tooth — but tham 
is our word sun^ pronounced in the ancient oriental dialect 
zhan^ or zan, Beth-shan is the house or tempk of the sun^ in 
Greek HeliopoKs^ a name given to the place by the SaHam 
who had a temple to the sun there, before the IsraeMiu 
possessed the land of Canaan, 

In like manner I find many English words which amieir 
to be insulated, having no connection with any other RwgiiA 
words, belong to roots which, with numerous fomilies, remain 
in the Ethiopic and Amharic dialects in the heart of Afirkm* 

It is also very evident that nothing but etymology can 
ever reach the true origin of the pagan mythology. The 
historical and poetical writings of the ancients exhibit on 
this subject a mass of fables. But I have been able to 
ascertain, to a good degree of certainty, the true origin of 
many of the pagan deities ; their names being retained in 
their primitive literal sense, by the descendants of the first 
races of men, in the west of Europe^ or the interior xAAfrim. 
Thus the word Cronus^ the name of one of the oldest of the 
Grecian deities, is still found in the Celtic and Contabijgiin 
dialects, as it is in the Coptic or old Egyptian. It is simply 
the Cruin of the Celtic nations, which signifies round. It 
was first applied to the great circle of the year, or revolntioa 
of the sun (that is, of the earth,) the measure of the yeu; 
and afterwards became the representative of tinu^ whidi is 
measured by the revolutions of the heavenly bodies. This 
is the origin of Cronus or satum. The Copts and CdntB" 
brians applied the word to heax^en^ from the rotunMif or 
vaulted appearance of the sky. On this subject, I haifO 
already obtained evidence that will correct many errors in 
Bryant^ Faber and Gebelin \ who, but especially the two 


in breadth &c, about which, however, I say that sdioian 
differ, and that so valuable a book ought not to be oon- 
demned for an objection of doubtful foundation. If I can 
get people to talk about it, I may be able to help it op to 
the notice it deserves. 

I regret exceedingly that I did not tarry another day at 
New Haven ; which I could have done, had I foreseen that 
I could not put my Providence plan into execution. I waa 
obliged to go straight home when I came to the stage that 
turns off from Pomfret to Providence. M' Channing nyi 
I should have found a very strong intellect in your MF 
Stuart and his conversation would have been rich. I oonfai 
I should have liked to hear him explain how predestinatka 
and free will consist Channing says he thinks ezacdy at 
Stuart thinks. It is inexplicable to my understanding; bat 
I am very humble at my own blindness when I cannot bat 
believe that Channing's eyes are so open : For upon tbcm 
subjects which he handles he is the most persfncuoos itt 
sentiment and style of any man I hear preach. By the way 
he never touches those dreadful points : But yo9ir folki 
make them articles of your creed necessary to the 
from everlasting burning. I was struck with horror 
I read the printed creed of your first church, aa beim 
necessary to be signed by 2i youth before being permitted to 
obey the injunction of his savior. But I forbear. Hc^p^ 
Lord, my unbelief! 

I took into the stage, the morning when I left yon, Jn^ 
Baldwin. I was charmed with him long before I koev 
who he was, and regretted at parting with him. lliere ii& ^ 
dryness and pointedness in his talk that I like m a 
If you see him, tell him I sent a line to his brother 
inform^ what he requested. 

Remember [me] to Becca and her dear tribe. I have told 
the younger ones of my own tribe how your little W^ spankU 
round me and jump'd by my side, parvus Jiilus, and bov 
he dragged the babe about on a teaboard with a 


distribution, believing as they do, that it woul^ 
greatly subserve the cause of Divine Trutl — 
and stop the mouths of Gainsay ers.^ And h^ 
goes on to ask if there were • any additions 
variations which would render the letter moi 
useful as a tract,' closing thus : * And were 
not that we know the author^ and his avocm^, 
tions we should say with the reviewers of 7> 
World without Souls, "The pen which 
produce such a work, should not dare to 

' I am dear Sir with sincere and affections^i)* 
respect your most obed* serv* (in behalf of 
several friends of the Truth as it is in Jesus.) * 

From Noah Webster, Senior. W. MSS. 

Hartford, Nov. 28 in the evening, z8o^ 

Effectionate Son, 

I re'd yours of £. Belden. I acknowledge with 
gratitude the Respect you manifest to your aged Parent 
in sending the 10 dollar Bill which I Iflec'd of £. Beldeo, 
and your Good wishes for my comfort, and hope the Dirae 
Blessing may rest upon you and your family. Brother 
Steele has written to you concerning the Genealogy of your 
Grand Mother, Katherine Steele; that she was cousin to 
Gov. Belcher. I have often heard that he was Governor 
of New Jersey, when that was a colony of Great Britain. 
''^ "^^ "^^ I heard from Abraham by a Neighbor of his about 
five weeks since; that he and his family were welL He 
wrote to me, if I would come and live with him, he woukl 
come with a Sleigh and fetch me. On the ensuing winter 
I wrote to him that I should not be willing to take such 
a journey in the cold weather. But it is probable, if my 
life and health continued as at present I should be willing 

a;i r.lS nc^'tif^!- T 1--T: - 


receivei z-j Tim 



Exertions, & I wish you could be crowned with the public 
Munificence commensurate with your deserts. But you 
have [a] much better opinion than I have of a fierce & stormy 
democracy, if you expect much Liberality. I do not per- 
ceive it, & instead of growing better, I think the Genius 
of our Government is to render us worse. We are making 
a prodigious Effort here for General Platt^ The Prospect 
is encouraging, & yet it seems to me almost impossible that 
so pure & virtuous a Character can be successful If he 
should it would cure me of much of my Spleen. 
My respects to M". Webster & believe me. 

[Signature cut out.] 

The following letters furnish another explana- 
tion of his ill-success in obtaining subscriptions 
for his larger Dictionary, viz. ; his open identifi- 
cation with the Calvinists. 

From MosKS Stuart.* Misc. Letters, N.Y.P.L. 

Andover, i6^. March. 1810. 

Dear Sir 

After passing through a variety of scenes, I am at last 
settled down at Andover & quietly pursuing my professorial 
duties. They are pleasant to me; & if I had my fieunily 
here, & my N. Haven friends too, I think I should be 
sufficiently happy. 

I am persuaded our Seminary will be a great blessing or 
curse to the community. Under God, much will depend 
on the Professors. It is an arduous task, to teach 60 young 

'Jonas Piatt, jurist, 1769- 1834, was defeated in his candidacy 
for the governorship by Daniel D. Tomptkins. Served in the State 
Assembly, Senate, Council, and as Justice of the Supreme Court 
of New York. See Lamb's BiographiccU Dictionary of tlu 
United States, For a letter from this college mate of Webster's 
see p. 87 below. — [Ed.] 

* Misc. Letters, N.Y.P.L, 


Julia I trust will also fed the weight of this oonsidenitioo. 
I imagine myself, at this moment, in the midst of this dear 
circle — but I must not — I dare not indulge in the fond 
recollection. I should be tempted to repine at my present lot 
May the God of Heaven bless you and yours, is the 
prayer of your 

Affectionate Friend,^ 

The theological differences will be mentioned 
several times later by various authorities as 
arousing prejudice against Webster^s works. 
His religious essay in The Panoplist had seemed 
to array the weight of talent and learning among 
Massachusetts Unitarians in opposition to his 
philological labors as a consequence of his pro- 
nounced Calvinism. 

It is difficult to realize the bitterness of the 
old controversies, for in those days differences 
of creed frayed friendships by their friction, 
or burnt out with their hot zeal tender family 
ties, blinding even far-sighted scholars to values 
outside their own denomination. The odium 
theologicum is a deadly hate, disguised under 
a conscientious duty, and denominational pre- 
judice, under other names and shapes, assailed 
Webster's philological works. Dr. Bowdoin 
answered the essay in The Panoplist over the 
signature of * An old-fashioned Churchman,' and 
was in turn replied to by Webster over that of 
* A Calvinist ' under the title of * A word to an 

. J Professor Stuart, who had just taken the chair of Sacred 

^rature in the Theological Seminary at Andover — a position 

'Ued with much learning and enthusiasm — had been pastor 

le church in New Haven in which the Webster nimily 



oncxir oQBstatthevoTiBQBMotof Inspnddiigiiphis tnmk 
to cone on shore at tbe Yinefud after a aaicessful voynge. 
Hs short letter is beiore me dated * 7^. JanT at Holmes's 
hole:" He says 'mj Tessd is on a reef of rocks, my usmd 
forame pmsu e s me; but I am as tianqinl as any one can 
be who is probaUy reduce d in one minute from enough to 
faaTc enabled me to set up shop at home to a — a — but 
enough of this.' * I was bdow parking up a small trunk, 
eiqiectc to start oierland for Boston and to be with you To 
morrow erenii:^ — but GOI^S will be done ! ' 

Strai^ as it may seem to you, brother Webster, this is a 
small trouble compared with some I have met since I saw 
you : the greatest of whidi I cannot put upon paper. My 
little Eliot &mfly, now 4 in number and every one of which 
4 is very dear to all of us, are now setting up a temporuy 
housekeeping at New BedfiKd, with borrowed furniture ; 
borrowed lest some creditors of Ritchie and Eliot should 
dismantle their little castle. I need not tell you that such a 
circumstance must be among our secrets. I never lost any- 
thing by Eliot excepts the expense of 3 or 4 years support 
in the family which their virtuous and interest^ company 
much more than paid for. But I have met with (wo losses 
since I saw you which spunged me of every dollar of per^ 
sonal estate my father left me and some hundred dollars 
anticipated from those rents & incomes of the real estates, 
intended by my father's will for our support 

The fee of those real estates he wisely gave to his 12 
children. The losses just mentioned have no connection 
with any Greenleaf or with any concerns grows, out of the 
old matters. Those losses amount to more than 5000 
dollars ; from the interest of which I was able to do some 
chanties and to anticipate enough for decent furniture for 
my girls ; without breaks, in upon the rents^ which together 
with my Judge salary, brot our year round not only com- 
fortably but handsomely and notwithstanding my family 
often consists of 20. 


pretty zealously, I perceived, (u I tkoi^ had dropped it I 
tho't the same of a number of others. Your 'overweaoiog 
fondness for Morse and Griffin and all that may be called 
Andover ' was mentioned to me. I think I have the expres- 
sions. Now if I thought you could tell of this, I should be 
afraid to write you again. But I believe many thought 
that your Dictionary would be tinged with the * peculiar 
doctrines^' as Doctor Morse entitled your letter in the 
Panoplist. They thought your own sentiments would get 
into the work, as the true and only definition, as Johnson 
defined excise from his own politics, and Oats as bread for 
Scotsmen. I have now hinted only my suspicions of the 
cause of your disappointment about the help in these parts. 
I think there was another. Many men are loth to advance 
money for a book to be finished 12 years hence, when the 
author may be impaired or in his grave ; tho' such men will 
not confess such motives; being unwilling to be thought 
niggardly. Another circumstance, I believe, diverted those 
who intended to subscribe only from charitable motives. I 
mean the circulation of a story that you was so very dear to 
the Andoverians, you would certainly be one of their pro- 
fessors. I confess I myself expected it. And my family 
anticipated much delight from the visits we were dream- 
ing of, to see your family at Andover. And why they 
did not elect you, considering your opinions together 
with your erudition and capacity of Instruction I never 

Should you be obliged to take a farm, how would it 
answer to come into some place within a dozen miles of 
Boston, and take young lads to board and fit them for 
Harvard College and even set up a Uttle Academy? I 
think you would have applicants. When a man's heart is 
hard he is not sensible of it This may be my case. But, 
I feel as tho' I commiserated you and your lovely mate and 
young ones and would do anything in my power for any of 
you. And I know^ as well as believe, that my wife is very 


rrery qoftiter. Impressed with the importance of the sob- 
jec: isst^^oed them it being nothing less, than to provide 
the eisest, cheaprst and most efficacious mode of instmct- 
tn$ vouth* bT the establishment and promotion of a proper 
namber of well regulated sdKX>Is» in every county of the 
State, they take the liberty of addressing thee on the 
subject, in tuU confidence that as diy mind has long been 
devoted to literary puisnits^ and to the subject of education, 
thou vilt readily contribute thy efforts toward promoting 
the object contemplated by die Legislature of this State. 
With this impression the Commissioners desiring that thou 
wih furnish them with an account in detul of the mode 
adopted in the State of Connecticut, for the establishment 
and support of common schools. They wish to be in- 
flamed what alterations^ also, have been made in the 
ori^nal plan : and of what improvements the present 
system is susceptible. Thy long residence in Connecticut 
and thy peculiar turn of mind, and great application have 
afforded thee an opportunity of making thyself complete 
master of this subject. And as it is commendable on all 
occasions^ to profit by the experience of others, and to 
consult the judgments and observations of men of under- 
standingy the Commissioners cannot but be very solicitous 
that thou wilt favor them, as soon as convenient with all 
the information of which thou art possessed, and whidi 
thou mayst be able to collect, on the subject assigned to 
them by the Legislature of the State. 

By order of the Board. 

RoitERT Macomb Sec. 

Endorsed : This was answered and the facts made the 
basis of the Law of New York on the subject See Report 
of Commissioners, New York Spectator, March ii^ 1812. 

Webster s reply, after stating the substance 
of the laws in Connecticut, suggested additional 


He will ask •dmmion as freshman ; in which grade I 
hope his pcafidenqr will entitle him to rank with credit 

Permit me Sir to request you to be his guardian and 
banker. Presuming that you wiU not refuse to your old 
frieixi and pupil, that &¥or I ax:lose $75 for the requisite 
advances for my son ; aixl have requested my friend 
M^ Dudley Walsh, who takes charge of hind to N. Haven, 
to supply any deficiency. 

My predilection is in favor of lodging him in College, if 
possible ; not merely because he may be under the imme- 
diate care and inflection of the officers of the Collie ; but 
because I think the regimen and restraint of appetite in 
College-Commons, are a useful part of education. 

I wish mv son to live as well and no better than the 
goierality of reputable boys of his class ; and as to pocket 
Money, he must always have a few shillings ; but the less 
he spends the better. His habits in this respect, I know 
are good : and I fondly hope that by your friendly admoni- 
tion he will be preserved from vice and profligacy. I have 
directed him to apply to You Sir, as his wants occur ; and 
submit the question of Money entirely to your discretion. 

fie so obliging as to advise me of the state of his funds ; 

and I shall take timely measures to anticipate your advances 

for him. 

With gratitude and respect, 

D' Sir, Your friend and obed^ Serv*. 

In 181 1 a meeting was held at New Haven 
on the commercial policy of Madison's Adminis- 
tration, and a paper was drawn up by Webster 
and his neighbors, dated May ist, which was 
printed in the form of a circular letter, and sent 
to the principal cities and towns of Connecticut, 
accompanied by a draft of fifteen Resolutions. 
These were also drawn up by Webster and 
published in the Connecticut Herald, May 7th. 


finished I think it would be acting wisely to spend the 
dainder of our days in the service of God and for hit 
dry more than we have hitherto done. When I reflect on 
f tour to Connecticut last fall I experience a degree of 
sasure and of pain, pleasure at the recollection of seeing 
f Brothers and Sisters in circumstances of health and 
imfort and pain at leaving my Honourd Father in such an 
isafe State, two persons aged and infirm as they are ought 
3t to live by themselves, how to remedy the evil I do not 
now — when Seymour was there last winter he p[e]rsisted in 
is former resolution to come and live with me, this I 
bould be Glad to have him do but I dare not be the means 
>f parting him from his wife. You will have the Goodness 
o write by M' Hubbard (if you get this before he l[c]aves 
^ Haven) and let me hear what you know from 
W Hartford. 

be pleased to accept the Love and affection of myself and 
wife to you and each of your family 

From Thomas Dawes. W. MSB. 

Boston 25*** June 181 2 
My Dear Brother. 

Your valuable political letter I rec^ yesterday morn« ; 

and after looking all over it as the mirror of my own 

impressions, 1 read it, and had it read, to many leaders of 

our commercial and political friends, at the Insurance offices 

and on 'Change, who had been assembled in groupes to 

reciprocrate their sentiments of horror at the declaration of 

War. No letter ever came more opportunely. Misery 

loves company. We were comforted that people in New 

Haven, and such as yourself, felt like ourselves. I sent the 

letter to Gov' Strong, who, 1 believe, read it at the Council 

board. Last evening there was a convention of federal 

members of our house of representatives, whose committees 

reported this day an address to be sent to the Towns. Nat 

& Charles Appleton. who are sojourn^ with us, told me at 


When in sight of Majorca, tempest drove him bade to 
Minorca where he was ship wrecked and all was lost ! and 
the ship that carried his order for Malta for insurance never 
arrived ! But ' a living dog is better than a dead lyon.' I 
expect my son James home hourly; his masters having 
failed at Rio Janeiro, and one of them being in prison ! 
Notwithstand^ all I have described, I have double my share 
of blessings 

Love to Becca and tribe — 

From the Same. W. MSS. 

Boston, 24 July 1812. 
Dear Brother: 

I have omitted longer than I intended to answer 3rour 
last favor inclosing a valuable manuscript I submitted the 
manuscript to the inspection of some Federalists of the first 
water, and tho' they were unanimous in praising the greater 
part of it, yet they tho't there were some observations 
about the British which rendered it impolitic to publish 
the work, at this period of uncommon excitement. Our 
Federalists here do not think it expedient to express 
much about injuries from the Brittish. We do not like to 
mention both belligerents in the same breath. If Saul has 
slain his thousands, David has slain his Ten thousands. I 
beg pardon of David for abusing his name, I only mean that 
the French are ten times worse than the English. I heard 
one of our best statesmen regret that your Gov** Griswold 
had admitted so much against the English and that his 
admission was calculated to do more harm than the best 
pamphlet could do good. 

We have a number of first rate pamphlets now in circula- 
tion — one entitled * M*" Madison's War,' a M*". Webster's * 
Oration to the Washington society in Portsmouth, another 

^ Daniel Webster, then a young lawyer in Portsmouth, who 
delivered this oration, July 4, 18 12. — [Ed.] 

venot bad, 

from the 

gsve up my wfaaif 

and I have no 

OB iL tbo'herctO' 

at it, tfao' here- 

Thanks to 

to caome in Jone 

except W". 

there and to 

to oomc 

cxpcdBd: but 

begs to be remem- 


January 1S09. First week, cold, b 
Haren. The cold continued 
ment through January, till the 
Harbor at New Haven clos< 
snow in January & Febr. fell 
feet nearly in New Haven, & 
or four feet A severe winter 
d^iree. The harbor of N F 
BUck rock for some time, ^ 
wharfs or 10 weeks; it was 
ice till March 22. 

The Spring Cold ^' late. Martins first 
that day I cut my first aspan 
blossom about the 20 to 25 

May 25. about ro. o clock in the Mo 
of earth quake was felt at N< 
with a rumbling sound. I d 
was on the water, just entering 
return from New York 
June & July, « well as May wet & cool 
e«epted. In July, two long N I 
18 & ,9* & this day. the 19*. 
ore- I do not recollect such a 

wet & rr\r»l Ai-n^^ .t 

DIARY [1809-1811 

Aboot the same time there 
at the Cape of Good Hope. 
Jjew k. AaipsBt were Boady wsrj nmy, hot & moist, with 

bast a loqg Equinoctial stonn. 
Mt fii-pyrr Hankt vas sieaed widi a bilioiis fever the 
bemrrTTg of A^g;ast, & mnfinwl aboot 4 wedo, &: 
dad sec $0 tt> Gfanrdi in 8 we^s. But a merdfiil 

Cte. 51. a !3|bt SDOv at m^iL. 

iSc^ X. A saov storm at X £. die snow idl the preceding 
s^bt JL aH diK|> — about a foot in dtpdk — but the 
g yyin i aoc mac I have never known sndi a snow- 
sscns & SQcb severe cold, so early by a fortnight Sc 
I am now ^1 i«bis old. 

A few weeks a$a there were two eruptions of 6re of the 
Vi>casic kind in Stafibrd* Connecticut 

Tbe SDOV socQ dssTOt'nNl & the middle of the month was 
moderate v::h g:ceat rains* violent wind & high tides. 
Soch a tide ia Raritan Rirer never before known. 
Tbe lower rooms of the booses on its borders, in 
New Brunswick, were half filled. 
At the ckse of this great Rain, after 8 days rain or 
cioudj weather, a considerable earth quake was felt 
in Massachusetts from Charlestown to Portland — ^at 
least. This was on Friday night the 16*^. at 90 dodc. 
On the 10^ of S^>tember Vesuvius b^gui to duow 
out fire & lava, & an astonishing eruption succeeded 
for several days. Courant. Mardi. 181 1. 
Great storms this autumn & immense losses at sea — 

> See Appendix XXVIII. bdow. 

3S3fl?rikL TO Jkl^IHERST 

I "mtrnt cwtf i Hif moie of 

tiiin twenty 
^ bcfcre Qncsplored 

tibe fiteiati of 
to nmc an the 

rexmices axe 
di^s I sball adl my 
JkB tibe asmanoes 
X Toik &c bave fiuled 
m the couDtxy. 

IT aesL prapei^, or to obtain 
A »r tboBsmd doDaiSi (or 

vtivrx « car ^^«f snzrc^ wsmtt pKS bc in a oooditioD in 
z:k rjunir-t IT rv- wcr rjiinix: , tad ponae mj studies — 
Mi: r«7r m:^ csnnrc ik j cmtuiad til :^ meanucs of Cod- 
r^ss^ fismm: i. n\n*: axscnzms asKct! 

iinvstu Ttsr Sn — Tie Tjt'e Bmd viQ do doubt do 
:^?!r xizr^ rue ip-hb: car ^e ose jciiast the Army of 

"A t nusc .^Tzx^ m* cxn- re ihy:^-y id ibe dregs ! 
Yrurs IT ir^ sores. 



ATTibers: ii iris lirse m^as a small (arming 
ST. jlSxx eii:^:: r^les £n«n Northampton* the 

HtcT t: vil he s«cx be &: coce atovs bis bdicf in tbe 

« A n a y a cr Wcticic:. Snrr :— 5 i= Wnwisor, Conn, [a coosin 
« OlT^r}. Kr«^g:> xzcvaeoexhs; ; was made collector of the 
r«t <st Msddjr^c^^ ai :5c: br Jenenoo, an office iHiicb be 
zeca:»ec ^naq^ hfe. aad := wtjch'be mas socceeded by bis son. 
See lA* -g^ y^iar t. Fnmk: a Bomtirtcb Dexter, p. 8i.— [Ed.] 


— "U — 

. tai- ic3e of the most im- 
rtXL rcnscs which can be 
ir-r * • * A baixisomer piece of 

re Amherst) com- 

js rarely seen, more 

tf-=" Tre .uri-es by which they 

•-T-miM r^ in exquisite hand, 

« i:ru. r"i»r5 whkh cannot be 

'^•"•-^ > ..: ::">ir Lzr-iirDrn: Sssies the beauty 
r- «-^ r^: — ^-^i^i^ n ne ri;ir*- and the friend- 
r. " - - ""^ ." iT'rirrr:?. m*t cergyman, was 

V -.: ■ r^ u^-: rr.^ A 7* ^ersc had been for 

Lr« i"^ - -.—i.:-^ TfiSLL rffired to plant a 

'^ ..-:>..'' r^ Trcjirr ^as the mother 

■■«•.• * ^>v-r:-: * i mSSl::! -sects : it was the 

-• -.- -. .■ ^ •.• rr^ fziri. in-i An:herst was 

'* ^*. : •< r-i'^i^ 5;iv-5 ■ No county 

*^. -^ -- V.C- . ■ rm-*' ci5c:vrre-i so firm an 

x'>. ": ■-" • '-■^~ ^"^^ ^-:oi c-'verr.ment, or a 

Vi^"--- "^v - "- ■ :-.'"• T-C '*'rc"j-> ind religion,' 

^^^ . **.x. *■; :\;»,^.-i-i .-ossescs that middle 

^....t V -V ^ V * :-* s: . :"_^ and so often 

%^^ x^. ^ •••'-- ^: j^.-. * * * Few are poor, 

^w V* . ":: '-'* •*• A — ':s^: ill :he xnhabi- 

>....'v A *> , -u T. JL--; . 'ierencent. in this 

V, * <. ^SL- *-. : -"^f . • *f .~ r. ruses, and on 

^^"^ j^ % * V'' w.-:: .^ " :«" ini which they 

^^^ r o. >- ••-''^ • * • S *--^? :hese journeys 

^v^V juivc -*> vc- .v^-:r%-. after having 

TiDage lads 
vim Rufus 
tbe bfow of 

^i-w In f 

and adl 

T ■ *"•* 

2. gocxl deal of 
"iky ca£s» having 
Ii is certain 
strtxiger hold 
Mrs. Webster, 

ocgree, never 

in her life, 

azid resetdement 

lodeed her high 

her thorough 

cheered and 

laborious and 

s wrote: "Mv father re- 
when I was very young. I 
with some much loved 

:SS5 and 1S92. — [E<L] 


in a 
die south 

.^ V 

r»5: ^>^ci^gi ai n g s 

iT^c 3 :se lii:u if 2. haSofm circle. 


ocder upon 



it iq> in 


TrcU::^ . X-.r t^.j t*I ^ rmirrrrTaf COQSidered 

^'^c^ v: r^r=«-: ¥T:r-^ uivi 3ea pissed to the 
xvi ^v^u.:-jjLr- n seme ^oer sc^ue. He 
xv^ iHic:: ¥1-^^ rrrni^ti ne rTresxv^or thirty 
,:tc\:v^ .:...; -^-k^: ictx-s rf is dzscoveries, 
<iic jsissii:!^ ii>ru:m :r*s :iicie axs&rr tiznes in the 
^^>u:>5* :i I ^4iv s. uccr rf sricuce aixl careful 
5C-CV. ?''!i$ iru:^ ^--nxnr^ncTe philology which 
102^ ^vvtjn ^-trac V-suics m xxMxiem philo- 
CK^^ss. N,>c si :he scucy of the rtfois of 
ait^ud^^j — ;V;w in ^uxccw- asd to be most 
cio»v ^ctllcol:^ — cct :c was toe same method 
at.vii<\i in ^ .esser i.-rc siore general way to the 
whole Eaglisit lan^r^ja^re.'- 

• ' \Y^l)st«rs sime irsin^j out ct tbe use of his name in tbe 
jer^es oi ictonanes ±a: have perpetuated his original work is 
mH nectssarly any axeasure of ie actual value of his work in 
W i|g die modem art and science of lexicograpdby. It 


Uterary productions of Great Britain and America being 
interesting to each other, many are of opbion (and I 
concur in it) that the English language and its oithogi a phy 
shonld be the same in both countries. 

Apprehensions have been entertained that your dictionaiy 
would tend to impair that sameness, and those apprdien- 
sions may to an uncertain degree, hare had an imfinrorable 

The progress of the subscription having been so long 
siiq)ended, I think it better to enclose what I intended to 
subscribe than trouble your agents at New York with it 

If any plan to render your prospects more promising, and 
in my power to promote should be adopted, be pleased to 
communicate it to me. 

I am, Sir, 

To the Same. W. MSS. 

(Copy.) Amherst, June 9*^, 1813. 


For your favor of the 31*^ ult. with the enclosed bill 
be pleased to accept my most grateful acknowledgements. 
The interest you have manifested in my labors, and the 
liberality accompanying it, are the more acceptable as they 
have been unsolicited. 

It is not improbable that some ill founded apprehensions 
that I might attempt changes of orthography have had their 
effect in preventing subscriptions, but there are several 
other causes, among which may be numbered differences of 
r^gious opinions, which have had an obvious influence 
on the minds of the Unitarians in and near Boston. The 
flBict may appear surprising but I have certain evidence 
of it. 

On the subject of orthography, gentlemen might have 
been easy, as any considerable changes must prevent the 
sale and use of a work of this sort, and they might naturally 


de aooth of Jane; md when it sabrided was followed 
the suae dwnidn tint attends myadf. What makes it 
is l auuiug & icfaing ladier than soreness for the 
liaa is ooe broken but roqgjh as a Cocamber, we have 
to icar that as tibe cold weather advances it will be a 
to ?ncim\ r tibe Mahdj we wish to be sincerely 
i cvgcird tt> the wiD of Heaven wheather it be sickness or 

I bdive been able to do hot little Labour this Summer 
■nr pcesent indi^wftili on forbids my visiting Father this 
If be rTHiHTOif\ I intend to afford hi"* assistance 
as ofj^pcKtonity pr esents — Sophia's healdi is better than it 
was bfit wincer — ^Accept Oor Love and good wishes for the 
bapiness of yosself and Your £unily 

Emily Webster was married to William 
Wolcott EDswrorth on September 14th, 18 13, 
and went to Hartford to live. 

At all periods Webster's private interests were 
often merged in public afiairs, for he concerned 
himself always vrith the larger movements of 
his generation. Thus he * was for nine sessions 
[iSoo-iSo?] a member of the General Assembly; 
councilnvm of New Haven, 1799- 1804 ; alder- 
man« i S06- 1 809 ; and J udge of the County Court 
from i$o6-iSia In Massachusetts he was a 
Member of the General Court in 181 4, 1815 
and 1817/^ While in Amherst he also served 
as selectman of the town. 

Two more of his local activities were his 
directorship of the Hampshire Bible Society, 
his vice-presidency of the Hampshire and 

» YtUe Biograpkica^ F. B. Dexter. 


often the people of tlib coimtrj have been 
in tfadr np e rt i rio ns of peace and of wise 
and wben we consider the terms which our 
has hitherto demanded, some of which it 
is ootain cannot be obtained, and some of which, in the 
of able stitemen, ought not to be insisted on, 

of a speedy peace are ix>t ^ery 

«.< • I •■ I 

^JtSEL a Toj serious question occurs — whedier without 
of the Federal Constitution, the Northern 
Slates can enjoy die advantages to which 
a^ e ^gtL and white popoktion jusdy entide 
Bnt scans of the rqxesentation of slaves, the 
Siiif^Li A ^aaes kave an infioenoe in our Natiooal Covmdls, 

to diev wealdi, strength and 
le it to be a fiKl, capable <^ 
<fcaK«stcabccv that for about twenty years past, the United 
Steiss boeve been gOTemed by a r e pr esentation of about 
9«l^ifti!lft oc :£i( j^txxal ptop a ij of die country. 

lat fciSHaao »> diss,, die creation of New States in the 
$?«idW «ai c«tit cf the original limits of the United States, 
tes incxtsaaiidl dbie Socthem interest, which has appeared 
:|i^ ^hKCSe ^ d^ peace azid commercial prosperity of the 
^teftett Stees. Tbss power assumed by Conqgiress of 
I ri ttf jltm ioB^ t&e VoBoa new States, not comprdiended 
lft» (itntecT of the United States at the time of 
dual OMapac^ is deemed arbitrary, unjust, and 

ip fkipg ement of the Constitution. 
^ ll % (Q«ir Ihtf oaay be bqe aftq extended ; and the 
idl WK; OMur wttibt the establtdmient of peace. We 
rii idl^ tiNM^ «Mi[^ the Northern States to acquiesce 
Hl^ twwriil<i Qif th» power? To what consequences 
iM il^ kliii^ How can the people of the Northern 
r lo theflasehres and to their posterity, for an 
i((fiij|tt;t«fi^ ^ th» esercxse of a power, that augments an 

dJUtmctiYe of our prosperity, and will 



bevSliBg to bear 


be opedient forihe 

to die 



to be appointed by 

s in 

in ^ Fedenl Coo- 

ftdne proportion 

finm die futine eaeroise 


tbey voold pmme socAk 

diaD deem best 

that vie iqiprdiend a 

caimutfntt tt> 

T!h( measure is of sodi 
onsnsrt of S^ues vtH be nseml aad ev^en necessary to 
pcccure die Ji nffiiin i fms p ro pose d ; and sbonkl the people 
of the sevesaL towns concur in this opinion, it would be 
eipeoecc to act on the subject vitboot dday. 

We ret^oest too» Sir, to consult with your friends on the 
snbiect. Jad if it shooki be thought advisable to lay this 
commankattop before the people of our town. 

In behajtf azid by direction of the Gentlemen assonbled, 

JossPH Lyuan, Chairman. 

Endorsed : This is the germ of the celebrated Hartford 
CoQTcntioii, N. W.» 

X * * * ^ The report of the convention represented the extreme 
of moderation Ml by the members, and the cahn discnssion d[ 
s eces si on was creditable, when it is remembered that it had been 
senoQsly considered by leading New England Federalists for 
ten years before the convention was called. They felt them- 
9bI«m Iwwi]^ to the Union by a slender thread, and showed that 
4 miwilling to break it if uncomfortably pressed.' 
mn^ Gaillard Hunt, p. 9a 


i'''?*'*!p*^*"'**- snd lus 

It of 

* I a»-iBdBed I dD 

Atetd his pbms and 

jptended mixnige: »li e gliB it wiD 

— . — ( . i ■ 

knov. Bat vie are ill 90 wdl ploaBd wiA i1k 

tbe scKner die hts so gcxid a laumum I dnnk 

I im m great saifierer by Ae l w ua : Sor I had plMaed 

aoziear my wife, dux I hoped they wooldgraar old 

Ba: as the intended f. CHHi er, tkm is one of 

tmxi OS TPuT^^^ afiiectsan. as much as any 

can b«. after so endeanng a nman as die 

snbnui and am eren ThankrfiiL Nobody 

ihro* did age so well as min & wife 

sorted. There is a son of dependence 

wi& the very best of dnidien. And ihnrid 

■— '^■^'M^ her modier would be alone or five 

wdiokweher as they oi^; but m8xnaee»I 

one, incbida no idea of dependetxx. I faggot to 

Maxy is to go widi her mazier and If'. Haven 

jjiMiP^i hot an adopted danchter wim 

do not 




■'.--^•r -TT \tr mm :3m aue Peioe on whit you 

:•«» s^ . ""KTroes-oi Tvoiic Ixv^ diat administimtion 

■-uisjeu *% ."nmir s ^ooe fotevei. We shall 

go on in this 
GonsoUtion & 

-u -.-?«. v-^ "-.K - .smM. VcvtseLve^ ao husband Toor 
' -^iv. - r>.-^T.T3t -* -zzanpi :31s praffigate War & 

*-r •-.x-i-.? - — j-i^^Mft :*'?iii:t -ntBci 5«a,fs the Councils 

"rx -"- - ^«.7ae 'X -x :tic wiuiiJL noffc fully. I am 
^T--»:-r-::«\. r-c • :ii: .nxaixua ^ SussacsBL Permit me 
- ^. -^ .« .j^i^ ,^ >uawT \,'gBRt'?n <k regard, diat I 

-^ ^ :-- ^ rM? :\2ZBiui ar ji a inffip ce with tender 

■^•' .V— , ••. -ta*t acat ."vruTiiiiv vonr Healdi & 

^-_ •••—1 •«»«* ••'' *t*' 

"■ -c . ->^s. W. MSS. 

-^caixc -"ec^aicxr j^. 18x4 

■ V .. . .-v^ •:>« Hv:cer:T^j "oas seen fit to 
ux- -••• - — ..-x, t:'*,'*^-?CE iTuer Circumstances 

V-. -u ^v-*' —v '^tf ^as -"aile-i »xca :he meiitia to 
"^i^ *--"> ' .-v *-; xv""--^ -- ST;«::ember where he 
--".■v.: V— .-.-. ^ X-..- ;:-:•:: ij>:ur ±e 2c^ of Ocr, 
▼--■:• '- r::> .. -v>,-v 1- - -^ ^rjTs. H«i remained in the 
:ir-.iv:vj . .•: .»-> . «,. rr-^ ->? icubc suffered greatly 
-■ :?!-•: L^ TV .-..:-. -V '-*-■;•.. .'v :r:- Svircnjon — ae walked out 

r c t:x: r, :::« .-jurse >Ji a few days by 
i;y.*:'> «:t> .v":%^vt!«i : - 3x:Ies and lodged with 
1 i.-T::.v »--rtf is t-,' ri^-t:' -*iscn re relieve he had good 
ir:er:ni:n -j;c :-j ?.::! .1 ";"':vTsvrn [.7/ was called but no 
r-,.:*t^ :r -:s -'scricr .vii,c r«? ."ccaii^ec he '.amcuished there 
; 2 ^v i-#i :r.en ^xpir-vi ru: ::cc .in nil as we humbly hope 
^/'/i "/ :-. s ^cv-re:— z:er-v h^c be wee his wicked heart 




ii£ wmiK nsant be Mt the wndfl SStL had been Gods 
mH XBT TinTifT IK teh TBBgmB^ ht nijirtidlf D uiicd hb 
xsBs IT nmsscs: ium ro in Ike kod and leid a Chapter 
ir IX liiikf imct she did, and lie jMyc d Mik apareot 
rnpHBfnng g annmK He "«» Dtai^e)''^ ■■►■ifd m the 
zAginnjT «smJV£ Tstc ir Utt Tmn of AdsBS & SennoD 
*= ^"""^msc zir the im iimiil Aninii Slnr the only idAliie 

UKnxm£ X- c laaf hee;if I Arnold have lOBiDd hni Bfxlf. 

X*^ itSLin s TTOirt near :fiam it ^ob a yev j^ and so is 
IT* ulub aziT Sziz«ii& HKsr ba& mnte indi ne n lofv to 

?•&"« irr ^na* sffwr^mf jBTlfllBr 

?^nn JLis.«i.i.w4L 'V'isscs. W. MSS. 

Tgtannr December 5^. 1815 

^ »-;v*j T*,^\n ^\M. I": 2S in riic scjiz^ dm zao nevs is good 
■«r%2s I z:«?t*.i:ri rsc sbst it nrr Trmd wi&k icg^Lrd to 
v^v 4in: a;ni:*( r>,:ii2%r.UA::x;^ rro.: r a=T Thing had tsiken place 
«.*hor «fcs 3ts«!?ci**ii ix iw 3r kn:^ vac wosild biwe vritten. 
<> ^^'' II t^fcc I fire ttt »rvJT scrsqpii Decsjix^ throogb 
jiixfcic? A ,6^ iiv£ r:j* sewer? rais «idi a Just God has 
^s?«rtr fc ?," p£v^- se v.^r;. izji I hcsbhr hope h has been 
?>r x:trxr:> ,\: l^si.npKr:^^:^: =rj edSec^oos in soine measore 
rr^Mt tr>f iiii:.7ic ▼xr. ns cc riis wcrkf aad irring them on 
r:^;^^ H<!iTcr..n uvi T'.vjd* I>ssr Brccber God has given 
3»f A Jocjc Jocorr^rr rr rK^es: of z:t sins and embnce 
rise vktjofcl cc hs Soc xai ':iis cLIec uroo me borfi br his 
w»oirc JLTxi Prc^vjiers?* xai I jirz ei>excrsable if I do not 

= A=>xber aepbe«^. NeJcz. 50= cc Chxries Webster, had 
sbova soch cilliruy a: ihc conle oc Eric that he was pro- 
nMCec on die spec 


tea or pot luck much oftener than you would be obliged to 

do» should your lodgings be nearer to the State House. 

But there can be no accommodation in this world without 

some inconvenience. 

Please to write me whether I shall engage for you at M" 
More's. My own advice to you is to swallow the objections 
I have so fairly stated as well as you can and let me engage 
the place. Two days ago I wrote by W"* G. Appleton & 
wife to your son Ellsworth, thank's bdm, tho very late, for 
his letter of information concerning Emily's nine pound baby 
son. We are all very well and wish you a happy New Year. 

Yours with affection. 

From Thomas Dawes. W. MSS. 

Boston 1 6^. May 1816. 
Dear Brother; 

We rejoice at your domestic prospects. My wife was 

saying yesterday that she knew of no parents more fortunate 

than you and Becky in the connections of their daughters.^ 

This opinion, however, so far as relates to Juliet & Harriet 

(for she knows Elsworth) she borrows from me who have 

learned the characters of Goodrich & Cobb. I have seen 

both of them and have heard much of them, and very much 

to my gratification. Mr. Cobb was kind enough to call upon 

me last evening. Half a dozen of my club were present 

An odd incident occurred, which however increased the 

interest I had taken in him, and, as I am persuaded, could 

not impair any regard he might have had for me. As I had 

seen him but once before, when I omitted, as I am too apt 

to do, to fix his countenance in my memory, I did not 

recognize him upon his first entering my parlor last evening. 

I supposed it was a doctor Coffin whom I had never seen, 

but whom Doctor Dexter had mentioned as a Candidate for 

lOn May 22nd, 1816, the third child Harriet was married to 
M S:dward Cobb of Portland, Maine, son of a leading 
mercM^^ in the West Indian trade. 


From Emilt Wibstsk Ellsvobth. 

Aug" 5* 1816I 
My d&ul r^THXR — 

Will jott honor joar (hifghtrt 00 her Inrth day so £eu: 
as to accept & wear a tortooe sDoff box in lieu of die one 
you lost? I have sought for one still more worthy of your 
acceptance than a plain sihrer lined box but can not 
procure one in Hartford. 

My affectionate remembcanoe to all my dear fietmily at 


Yrs as ever my 

hon<^ &dier with duty & love 
Endorsed. Emily W. EHswotdi with a birth day present 

Fhxn Thomas Dawis» Juil W. MSS. 

Boston 7^. December 1816 
Dear brotuir 

Accept our Thanks for the Firkin of excellent butter 

which you sent ; not so small a one as your letter described 

it to be. It came in a very good season for us ; and tho' we 

do not require any memorial of our brother Webster, yet at 

breastfasts and tea times a slice of the Amherst butter 

freshens our recollection. I need not inform one who has 

read Locke and every other author upon the association of 

ideas how one link of thoughts is connected with another 

and how a morsel of butter may be the entering wedge to a 

thousand imaginations, first Amherst, then Hartford, then 

Middletown & then Portland and all who belong there whom 

we care about &c &c &c 

We rejoice that your three accomplished goad girls have 

^ This letter and the snuff-box are now in the possession of my 
sister, Mrs. Richmond Mayo-Smith. Strangely enough, in 1885, 
the original and larger one, made of the same materials, with 
N. W. engraved on its lid, was found in Philadelphia by a family 
friend, who purchased it and presented it to me. — [Ed.] 


lessened, but his efforts to obtain subscribers 
were still fruitless, and had it not been for the 
pot an feu of the Spelling Book^ he would have 
had but small and fluctuating support 

From JosiAH Meigs.^ W. MSS. 

W[ashington] City, August 21, 1818 
Dear Sir, 

I received, yesterday, yours of the 11^, and r^ret 

that you have it not in your power to send the Pam> 


Of Alexander Hamilton I have never changed my 
opinion. He was a very vicious, corrupt, ambitious, and 
inteUectuaUy great man — an Archangel ruined. 

There is a sort of Calm at present in our political 
Atmosphere — it is not at all improbable that a Storm may 
succeed sooner than we wish or expect 

I have much confidence in the present administration. 
The President has had much experience, and is I verily 
believe an honest man. The Heads of departments are 
men of real ability. I never enquire their views. I believe 
that the Policy of England with regard to the Floridas & 
Spanish America will not succeed. We have but one 
enemy — viz : England. All other Nations wish us well, for 
they all look to us for the powerful lever which will upturn 
the Gigantic Fabric of a Monopoly of the Navigation & 
Trade of the World. 

Our Government goes on ' vi insitu* All the great men, 
nearly, are gone from the City or rather the Village. Only 
the Secy of State & of W;ir are here, & the Secy of State 
will leave us in a few days for Boston. 

This place is increasing as rapidly as I wish ; it will never 
be a more pleasant residence than it now is, and it is, 
indeed, a Pleasant Village. I have no where seen such 

^ At this time Land Commissioner of the United States. 


abundance of pore water; tibii m d 
health & pieasme. 

The Season has been aiaMli ifijj 
Fanner & Planter. TheCrapofCam 
to any ever known. 

— bat Horace never saw In 

sum^ Irish I\fiaUe, the two 

Earth, & whidi 

as it is improperly called. I 

the extent of mj wisiieL M j oflkae is 

with the Jefl c r soni an Xat libnij — a libarf cf 

value to such men as Abbe Conea, wbo fpeods 

time in it. I have also the use of oar J fc Tpmf 

valuable library & of the Gty lifacBj. 

The business of my Office k peat k, npidy 
I have 33 Cleiiu f w i UaKly em p loyed, asd jet ±e9 s?^ ifst 
able to prevent an a mimnl ation of basooeaL 

The Executors of M' Bariow have yrwmrd se :ae 
magnificent Edition of the works of lcLsmM& — wtx 'xm 
Atlas Pittoresque de NonveOe F^pignr. BaaboMX m !3e 
Newton of Geogmpbers, He Geologists 

I could give you a voimne of osy fhi-n^t^ ca aucpy 
subjects idiich Inve interested you and mkt Sor wfxt ^ua. 
Y^nt^ Years, in other words, I am an M mmm — earn 6sf I 
commence the 63d year of fife. I have £ve 0£dbs 4 
fourteen grand diildren living He 1 tiiaac G»i tuj are 
bom in a Country %pa€ioa% eooog^ lor rhfm 4c d^ar 
descendants for many genentioasu 

It is not probable that we dall meet in tsas woM. I 
regret that you have not been able to compkte focer I^ 
tionary. I am daily He hourly vexed with EM^wmd' £m^ 
iand-^England—YKm see even the £JMmr:i[k I^€9kw^ 



which seemed to have some small share of grace has lately 

declared our literature good for nothing, and we are such a 

CuUible People that they almost make us own ourselves to 

be Idiots. 

Affectionately yours, 

From the Same. W. MSS. 

W[ashington] City Oct 5, 18 18. 
Dear friend: 

Accept my thanks for your Pamphlet addressed to 
John Pickering.^ I am gratified with every thing that points 
to Independence of England. With me Jealousy of England 
is not merely a passion — it is instinct — I saw, and felt, 
during my residence in Bermuda, more of the true & real 
feelings of Englishmen relative to the United States than I 
would have experienced in half a Century while in the 
bosom of my own Country. 

I have no objection to the adoption of any good thing 
either of England or of any other Country — but that our 
learned men, and our great men should be hooked to the 
Car of English whims & Cockney nonsense, and adopt 
whatever they prescribe, or reject whatever they disapprove 
in language or dress or any thing else is shameful. 

We, as a People have been far too good humoured — far 
too cullible. I know nothing of England which invests her 
with authority to dictate the words we shall use. We have 
had and we now have as great men as she ever produced. 

You are better acquainted with Philology than any other 
person : — How much false praise has been given to many a 
person! Doctor Dwight is gone — & de mortuis nil nisi 
bonum^ is perhaps a good maxim — but tho' Dwight sustained 
a splendid reputation as what we call a belie lettre scholar, I 
venture to assert that he never wrote a single page of correct 

^ Sec Bibliography below. — [Ed.] 
'President Timothy Dwight, of Yale.— [Ed,] 


I regret tbat you do not pursue your Philological 

We have no news of importance. Our great men have for 
a long time been absent from the Qty. The Government 
seems to ppente in diu^ without human aid. The Revenue 
from Public Lands this Year will be very great — 
bx greater than the Estimates of the Secretary of the 
Treasury. About 3 weeks ago sales of Lands were made at 
HuntsvUle (Alabama)— a single Township 6 miles square 
was sold fcMT upwards of 1512*000 1 ! It is at the head of 
Hunli [?] Shoals — near Miltons Bluff on the South side of 
the River Tennesee. The average price is about $22. an 
acre; The Cotton of one acre, one year, will be worth from 
100 to 150 dollars. Ab. Bishop has invited me to New 
Haven where he says several of the Class will convene this 
month. I shall not be able to attend. 

Aflfecty & Respectfully, yours. 

From Abraham Bishop.^ W. MSS. 

New Haven, 9. October 1818. 


Dear Sir, 

On Wednesday, the 21. instant, several of our class 
will dine with me. Please to write me, by return mail, that 
we may expect the pleasure of your company on that 

Of 40, who were graduated in 1778, 24 are supposed to 
be living. 

Make my house your home during your stay. 

I am very affectionately 

Your friend & classmate 

^ The same whom Webster lampooned, in : A Rod for the 
FooPs Back. See Bibliography below. — [Ed.] 


County, by the aid of German farmers, is able to vie with 
the best Counties of Pennsylvania. 

In respect of Webster's public services we 
learn that he drew up the answer to the 
address of tlie Governor, John Brooks. His 
original draft of this paper is thus endorsed : 
*May session 1819, reported & published in 
The Centinel, June 5, 1819. Written in the 
room with Judge Dawes and M" Webster, N. W.* 

[w. Mss.]. This was after his last term as 
egislator, for he wrote in a private letter to 
Solomon Snead of Greenfield [Amherst, March 
30th, 1820], giving an account of the corruptions 
in the legislature which he with others had 
attempted to correct : overcharges for printing, 
large salaries for trifling services, reduction of 
military expenses, expenses of supporting town 
paupers, etc. The letter concludes thus : 

It is desirable that the revenue of the Commonwealth 
may be rendered adequate to its expenses and yield a 
surplus for public objects. A State like this ought not to 
want the means of erecting and endowing hospitals, provid- 
ing funds for seminaries of learning and for public schools, 
and for various other useful objects. Had the plans pro- 
posed the last session succeeded according to my wishes 
and efforts, a liberal grant might have been made to the 
hospital. I trust however that future provision will be 
made for this and other objects without any increase of 
the direct tax. 

I should rejoice to see a system adopted that should 
lay a foundation for a permanent fund for public schools ; 
and to have more pains taken to discipb'ne our youth in 
early life in sound maxims of moral, political and religious 

<t^ ^tSMQIi^aL TO ikMHERST 

x mmiuL and eaatBtmnaa^r rtytrwn} his sorrow at 
lurg^GaUHL Qd se&nt bat iru i i sgd it after what 
^«* smd to huDDi^ aod be ^oped joa would find another 
QfupomuBt^ to pqp and reoebe regards [Dkgible.] On 
Fkidajp moniiD^ as we woe at bfcakfiut, a coach arrived 
wttb Nath: Appletoa Jt o^p- Suah, and Thomas & his wife 
and cfaiki with a leQow attendant girL At noon brother & 
sister Haien came, and we had a table fall of friends. The 
Havens went to Qaincj diat afternoon. We expect our son 
Harrison hourij t^ water. Lest major Rossell should forget 
to send yon die Newspaper cootain'g your speech, I put one 
into die Post office for yon on Saturday.^ Your speech is 
ipery much liked erery where. We expect sister Bell to pass 
a wedt or two with as: but sister Pope will return soon 
by way of Bridgewater* when she will stop a week at her 
diuighter Ritchie's. 

P. Sw Our son Harrison has arrived in health and 
brother John's son Daniel with him. Daniel's master W"" 
Ck Appleton hav'g given up business for the present. 
Ditti^ returned home for the present, bring'g with him as 
it^od a character from aH as one could wish a child to 

bN^v $ k>ve to Becky & M» Cobb & all. 
Yours affectionately, 

K^> J^y had been so continuously gener- 
^^^ l¥>t C4ily in subscriptions, but also in 
V^l «[Wi^r liberality of the spirit — encourage- 
W#^t iKii^t we give Webster's last letter to 
^iiiu^ U\^9(^uxg first another instance of private 
WW^^y ^ini open-handedness- That Webster 
\N^ ^bW U^ re|>ay the note shows him more 
^<i^y in Ki^ circumstances. 

* S«« jv 65 kMmu. 


Aom SnpHKii Vah Remssblaxr. W. MSS. 

jj^^ gjj^ . Albany, October 20th 1820. 

I received your letter on my return from Boston also 
four address & the interesting Sermon delivered at Amherst 
inily this is an age of wonders — the exertions making in 
the Christian World for the spread & advancement of the 
Redeemers Kingdom is nnparalleled in History, the note 
of hand to which you allude I have not seen for years — 
I presume it is amcxig the papers of the late Gen. Hamilton 
or Go Hoffiman^ of N York. I will make the enquiry the 
first oppor tun ity whenever it is perfectly convenient for you 
to discharge the principal you will have the goodness to 
present it to your institution at Amherst in my behalf. 

I am anticipating great pleasure from the work (which is 
Herculean) When finished I hope you will be remunerated 
for your toils & expenses. With great respect, 


From the Same. W. MSS. 

Dear Sir: Albany, Janv. 2. 1821. 

I received your favor with a receipt enclosed for $150. 

from the building Committee in Amherst — for the charitable 

object therein expressed — ^which is in full of all demands on 

you ; the Note I have not found or I should have forwarded 

it; this acknowledgment I presume will be sufficient voucher 

of the payment. 

With great respect 

& your obd 

From John Jay. W. MSS. 

Bedford. West Chester County. N. York, 
g 29^^. Oct^ 182 1. 

I understood from Col Pickering about two years, 
since that you were going on with your great work. Nothing 

^ Probably Josiah Ogden Hoffman. — [Ed.] 


finther req^ecting it haying oome to my knowledge, I appre- 
hend that either some new Obstacle, or the operation of 
former ones, may have retarded, tho' not terminated your 
Progress. Being desirous that each of my two Sons should 
have a Copy, I enclose a farther Sum for that Purpose. In 
no Event are my Subscriptions or any part of them to be 

Whenever you come this way, it would give me pleasure 
to see you here. My House is only 15 miles from Stam- 

With my best wishes for the health and welCeure of your- 
self, and Family, I am Sir 

[Signature cut oat] 

To John Jav.^ W. MSS. 

Amherst, Nov. 8^, 1821. 

I yesterday received your favor of the 29* inst 

with another proof of your benevolence, for which please to 

accept my particular acknowledgements. As the mail 

returns this morning, I can only state that in a few days, I 

will write to you more particularly the progress I have made 

m my Dictionary and Uie reasons of delay, which I trust will 

l>f MitisfiKlory* 

rVAs>e to accept my particular respects. 

IV the Same« W. MSS. 

Amherst, Mass, Nov. 1821. 

^^ V^ I b<^n the compilation of a large Dictionary 
\^* ^Kx^ Kv>ii|\>^ l.An^£\ia|E«, I limited my views chiefly to a 
v^^^>vo»vv*^ vM 5>H^^itn>r» as had escaped former compilers 
•i^w^ ^K^* t\n>|s^v K^t n^h new terms as have sprung from 
v\\ov»v^u .^u|M^^^rw^u^ m svnmhx. But in searching for the 

' * ' Sir* iHH« vm jx U7 omU. 


etennining the particular sense of words — for instance in 
the Hebrew TT3 which signifies *to bless, to curse' 

With the knowledge of the primary sense, these difficulties 

The languages of which I have made a synopsis are the 
Chaldaic, Syriac, Arabic, Samaritan, Hebrew, Ethiopic, 
Persian, Irish (Hybeme, Celtic) Armoric, Anglo-Saxon, 
German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Greek, Latin, Italian, 
Spanish, French, Prussian, with the English. 

I am now proceeding with the Dictionary. I am engaged 
in the letter H, Making my past progress the basis of 
calculation, it must require the constant labor oi four years, 
to complete the work even if my health should be continued. 
For this blessing, I rely tranquilly on the goodness and 
forbearance of that Being whose favor I desire to seek in the 
way which he has prescribed and which I trust I value 
above any temporal good. But I did not begin my studies 
early enough. I am 63 years of age, and after this age a 
small portion only of active life remains. If however, I 
should not be permitted to finish the work b^un, the 
synopsis will enable some other person to pursue the plan 
^'th advantage, so that my labor will not be wholly lost to 
Vrtv ciH!ntr)\ 

Siiice my time has been almost exclusively occupied in 
t^t^ (H^rsuit, I must have expended about $25,000. This 
Min^ h^s been taken from my own income, except about 
(^Nr^ro. My ptx>perty which is less than half the sum 
Nr^^^>r<rtin?d to the public, affords an income barely sufficient 
^•^N ^\x *^wily expenses. Many books I have wanted which 
\ ^^ \\ V v^>rM h^\^ the means to purchase and I still want them. 
l*^^ \>\v>\ ^x^^ 1^,^ copied and revised, before it can be 
^^^^^>^^^ ^vst^ ^\ |M>^9^ent there are not types enough in 
VvvsvNSN^ ^xs ^s^^^^, ,1^ AiY^ndix. I cannot revise and com- 
>^^ w. \\\Y \syss\ NMthxHu helps of men and books, which I 

!.!^r^^'^ II^^"* ^'^ ''^ •^^^r^ *^"^^ n^y income will not maintain 
nm\\ \\\ \y\\t \s\ xs\\K liY^e tv^wtis. If I take four or five 


by wixMn I pre- 
fcwiBjP offices would be 
a tether Revision should be 
Good Wai, at Oxford or Cam- 
vidi cxpfidt comnieodadoo, it would 
both in Biitun & America, and produce 
To whatever Persons the Perusal of 
Ae maiwympts waj be ooounitted, permit me to hint ; that 
they should be vtFj AgiUe. This Remark is suggested by 
the Recollection of an Incident whidi occurred many 
years since. The Anthor of a large Manuscript, written 
in obscure indistinct Chaiacters requested a certain 
Gendeman to fiivor him widi his opinion of it. The 
Gentleman after a while returned it, with some polite 
General Observations of little Importance — it seems the 
Gentleman 'had neither Time nor Patience to decypher 
much of it' 

Should Circumstances occur to render it highly probable 
that your attending a Revision in England would eventually 
promote Sales in both Countries, or ensure a good Price for 
the Copy, the Expense incurred by it might be more than 
compensated. As several Years are still necessary to finish 
the work, and as Occurrences may in the mean time create 
Objections or afford Facilities which cannot now be fore- 
seen, the Question, what posterior measures would be 
Advisable may probably be more easily answered at a future 
I>ay than at present. 

Your Intention to favor me with a Visit next Summer 
(ftivr!^ me Pleasure. Whether our Lives will be prolonged to 
ihAt i^rtod, time depends on that Good Providence, on 
whh h \\>u happily and wisely rely ; and whose Beneficence, 
\ )viN|v \\Hi will cvmtinue to experience. 

[Signatiue cut out] 

Xmht^-j^l C\^^lcJ^e being now placed on a firm 
HvN>\HNi'^lh^v \Vel>^r found his direct exertions 


(February 2Sv tSi^i.) ficKno^ a cku^hter three 
weeks oM.^ Tbts was reaSp dte first £unily 
b cr e av e m enc iar tkaas^ l^ delicate second 
sock Henry BtaJS »L bad hdtd away at the 

ponly^eii aod her 9Brt9Bt <ficd. After her recovery, the party 
crassed t» C hatfeafa aid ictamed overland with the feeble 
aad hetpiess old grwirman» in their own carriage. The 
j o mui c y o ccup ie d MWifhs so that she reached Dorchester after 
a km^ and weary and lesponsible absence to find that her little 
ittflBtc s£EBj)(iioer Bacriei^ who could not share the voyage, had 
vfimt. t?«ct "^^^ ^siiR her ho^hand She insisted on going into 
tte ^^auit: ^wen dfat qmBr was resting until the spring, and 
{i»-in)|::iht MasHML Her notiber Cobb feared the result of 
^» ' g a ni m m tam. bic jwr'iiiitaaii her die visit if she would promise 
niH xt> ia»r fasr «eil u «s :&a w t a tbi'i was cold the little creature 
1b5* inichai)|<wL wtdi ^mik <dfaBEis and daok soft hair which had 
f^moi Mbsr dea^L :;SBe AggBiiifA XXXIL below.) Harriet 
^icsc mBxrr .TnanfhTi ^ :&a jmse wtt&i as in Amherst Seven 
years a£er Vti. CcdA>% i&aidi sdK !Hui!»'ifif fitcvi WOliam Chauncey 

^ ' The fnnth dat^^oer ^dfinr Fa&esi;, IdHacy; married while be 
was a resident of AinhrrsL Ste wots vesry luveiy in character 
and appearance. iSae bad ^zikxK; c;i«Si. Ikm^ dark lashes, and 
brown hair in large XDcassm^. SIbe w;^ §Br while the most of 
us were brunnette^. Slie vkes a Ikewesr cf gHccrr, always cheerful 
and hopeful and of so smmOL a icsoi^cr chat t cannot recall an 
instance of petolenoe or iH hsaaor ai cfisat dear sister's life. I 
remember her mi««aned loadsess to ate and tender love. I 
was six years yooi^ger than >laiT aaii shared her room after the 
Tnarna^e of my three eSder^ )pte£ sisters^ Mary sang very 
««<M<:i^r-v "^like an angd' as oar «&£ postiir Dr. Parsons would 
s^"^'. i-n t^ morning early, as soom as she was awake, she 
^»^mjU: tsifn^ ^Ihe h\-mn, " While thee I seek protecting power." 

She ^^\^ ^nj every verse and Father was usually in the 
ft^*; r/v»m. m«b?dh was his study and fer years after her death 
"hfv ^t^ filled m*fe^ tears when the hymn was sang at church or 
IP. fbe ffitnfh^. ^ Maiy^ hymn " he called it She was a sun- 
h^utr. €-N^ixiMh6Wi, 4CTtd open and frank with Father ; while the 
fe's: ^i irs ^«epe -oift**! «*iy m his dignified presence, she gave way 
•^ y^i t^^p^*fnh}esfi 4it>d h. pleased him. She seemed to under- 
»>fj>f?^» >>fs nkttivt aT>4 to know the deep currant of tenderness 
xvwo^j^lefl at be^n i^nd '•j^Jing up when circumstances overcame 
'A*' ^iUFbt^mal TMioMYce of his manners. He used to read her his 
•41^^ «v>d FowTth of July orations, 1 remember once at the 


^ 2iic ^jTsm loun^ mnd dann of Webster's 
oaLognas^ an ma sc^^diQc. 3Ar. George Mon- 
la^iic imo lad ioKMrn diem as a hd of Amherst, 
AOiK ID xiie aanjJri, He said : ' I was very 
much axraid of them, and I used to watch in 
caroexs that I m^iit loc^ at tbem. They 
had tiie sweetest ways with me, a shy lad, 
whom diey would sometimes ask to go up 
the faiD with thrm, and pick flowers in Mr. 
Sweepers grove; and they were full of fun, 
but fiill of kindness. I remember them as 
angels. ' 

A letter fttun Mrs. Boltwood of Amherst 
gi^'es some interesting details of Diana, a 
sen-ant trained by Mrs. Webster.^ In older 
times, the squire's family or the minister s wife 
often took chai^ of the few stray waifs then 
left to the charity of the town, and brought 
them up «ith care and kindness. Several of 
the compiler'^; maternal ancestry on both sides 
h^ ^inpiUr 5;kil] in de\^oping these homeless 
omh^ns into admirable serving women, and in 
Ofit c.«»c the »mce was so long and unusual, 
that a tnftct was written on it called * The faith- 
ftil lVm«5tk\' This work of training these 
^chiWron w^s vwe ol' the lesser personal charities 
At" tK't«* time?;, which now from their vastness 
^fsri m^mhet wx^st he or^nixed into systems 
^^n ^v<sM^fv5 At ;«V\MKi vv third or fourth hand. 
¥^?i ^ t)^ ^swjvW limes, almost every family 

:^s>*ji^ '^ y>VC n'Vai.^ V Sh^r^virxl of New Haven, whose 
.«^>a^^K *>#^iN>NObi \mm>{OaU^\ Km beauty, was burned down on 


lit a candle, and cut it out herself; this important question 
off her mind, she went to bed and to sleep again. 

She said when her eldest sister was newly betrothed to 
Mr. Ellsworth he wished to take her to the Junior Ball of the 
Class (of Yale). She was sh^ from her recent engagement, and 
tried to plead off. He persisted in his entreaties, so at four 
o'clock in the afternoon, she crossed the green to the shops, 
bought a pink silk and appeared in it as Movely as a poet's 
dream' at eight the same evening. It was made with a 
breadth in front, a breadth behind, and another breadth cut 
into two gored breadths at the side. It had drawing strings at 
the waist and neck, and was trimmed about the low neck and 
sleeves with fine English lace at twelve dollars a yard. 

My aunt Julia also told me how very thinly the ladies at one 
period were clothed. To wear a flannel underskirt was then as 
vulgar as it would be now to wear overshoes constantly in the 
house, and the height of the ^Eishion demanded but one linen 
undergarment in summer, with a muslin gown over. She 
confessed to wearing two undergarments to her friend — after- 
ward Mrs. Street, who gave the Art Building to Yale College 
— and was called to account by her for such prudishness and 
want of style. Another jotting was that she found a case of 
poverty, suddenly, in Amherst. There was a child who had no 
shoes or stockings in winter. She asked her father if she 
might knit Sunday. 'Certainly my child. It is a work of 
necessity and mercy.' She sat down after church and knit a 
pair of stockings for the child. The neighbors wondered, but 
she said: 'Father was right' 



January 18 11. 

Generally moderate weather but wet with very frequent 
changes. Late in January commenced a series 
of cold weather with snow, & the beginning of 
February & indeed most of the month we had good 
winter weather. Snow about 15 or 18 inches. The 
harbor of New Haven was closed a week or two only. 

March was warmer than usual. 

April was a temperate month. 

May was dry & cool, June was dry, & cool till about the 
ao'^. when summer weather began. The first week 
in July was dry, & excessively hot. So that our 
garden plants withered, even the leaves of maize, in 
my garden, turned white. But on the 9^ we had a 
copious rain; grass is very light, but wheat & rye, 
remarkably good. 

August was temperate, except a few days of great heat, 
rain sufficient 

The first week in September very hot. On Tuesday Sept 
10, a most violent Tornado, in Charleston, S Carolina, 
which blew down houses, killed several persons, & 
did immense damage. 

The first week in Sept. appeared a Comet, it sets in 
the N N W & rises in N N £. nearly. It was seen 
at the Cape of Good Hope in May. 
Sept 17, a great eclipse of the Sun. In Virginia, it 
is annular. Weather very warm. 

In July, a hurricane in the West Indies. In May or June, 

17a DIARY [1811 

a great eruption of fire at the Western isles, & an 
island thrown up. 

In the East Indies, at the Cape of Good Hope & in the 
Atlantic, the Gales of wind have been violent the 
y^r past Spectator. Sept 21. 181 1. 

Ctetober was remarkable for heat & for gales of wind, 
tor many days about the middle of the month, the 
h^t was very oppressive, & followed by frequent & 
tr<»a>endous winds. On Thursday the 31*^. a violent 
hnnpest from the E & E S £, brought in the highest 
Hd^ which had been see[n] for many years. 
Se0 Nov^ Is 1803, 

Nov? was moderalei & I>ecember, till the 24***. when we had 
a roost violent tempest of wind, with snow, & very 
cold. Before this, thore was little frost or snow. In 
this storm fell about a foot of snow at N Haven, but 
tho wind at North was a hurricane, & accompanied 
with unusual cold, the thermometer being at 6 above 
cypher in the middle of the day, & at 2 at night A 
great number of vessel[s] driven ashore on Long 
Island, <& many persons perished. The decks & rig- 
ging of vessels were covered with ice. This was the 
day before Christmas. Dec'. 26. the theater at Rich- 
mond burnt <!^ 75 persons suffocated & burnt 


Janoaiy 1813. Cold & dry, the dust fijring, till the 15^ 

when a snow fell, sufficient for sledding till middle 

of March. 
April & May rather cooler than usual Appletrees not in 

full blossom till May 25, rain sufficient. 
June, a few warm days, but mostly cooler than usual 
July, as warm as usual, with plenty of rain. 
August & Sept warm & dry, springs very low. 
Oct Rainy & colder than usual Crops good. Maize 

ripened well. 
Novr. pleasant, as usual 
December. Dry & cold as usual. Connecticut river closed 

with ice, 24^^. but no snow for sleds till the 29^. of 

the month. 

.J , 

^^ -v' - i " • "L - 

r. •^' . ^ SEP."- . .-.: .^ r' - 


January 1817. Mild the first week or two, on the 17^ a 
squall with thunder & lightning & rain. In the north, 
New Hampshire &c the thunder very heavy, & snow 
at the same time, a church burnt by lightning 
33^. Snow sufficient for sledding, a very cold season 
succeeds. Feby 5. The mercury in Farenheit, fell to 
20*" below Zero, on the 15^ to 25** in Northampton. 
On the 24^ a great tempest with snow. The first 
week in March, snow two feet deep or more. 
The season was dry till June, when the earth was 
supplied abundantly for the first time since Sep^ 2$^^. 
18 15. during the hurricane. Weather cool, grass 
thin & late. Worms of various kinds did much 
injury, in May & June. 

July & August hot Great rains in August, during harvest 
& grain injured by growing, but crops good. 

Sept & October warm, as usual. First firost in Hampshire. 
Oct I. Maiz ripened well, though late. 

Oct 5. Sunday at noon, a slight earthquake, or trembling, 
without report, in Hampshire County. 

Novem. & December, moderate. 




founding this Institution has been very laborious & 
perplexing, as we had no funds for erecting the 
building, & every thing almost was to be collected 
by begging Contributions. As soon as I was satisfied 
the Institution was well established by the Induction 
of Officers, I resigned my seat in the Board of 
Trustees Sept 19. 1820, & D'^ Moore was elected 
into the Board & made President^ 

* See Appendix XXXI. below, where Webster gives the date 
as 182 1. —[Ed.] 



neared cxxnpkDan, his 
rd New Haren as a place 
!ned famfly was far less 
Uvig' Book was becoanng 
:very year, and be was 

to Eun^>ean libraries to 
lat could not be found oo 
He wisbed to brings his 
immunicaticHi, during his 
leave them within eaaer 
daughters, who now w>eie 

at Hartford and Xev 
uid other reasons be re- 
in 1822 resettled in Kew 

I to the waterside whidi 
laimed fen- wharves and 
hose a ktt at the earner 
e Streets, wiere he cam- 
wme. in which same cd' 
eir fami]r connecdan soD 
•use on the comer of WiD 
where be spent die first 

iW; ana ihgz — ^^Ec" 


From Thomas Dawes. W. MSS. 

Boston. 14*^. Febr. 1834 
Dear Brother : 

My son Appleton will go Soothwaxd on Monday, and 

I will not omit so good an opportunity of expressing the 

thanks of your brother and sister Dawes for the information 

he brought us about the health & wellfare of yourself and 

B«ckey and children. Tho' many months have gone by 

lince I wrote you, yet you and your's have very seldom been 

out of mind. * Out of sight, out of mind ' was never one 

ol my transgressions^ I take frequent excursions, in rtcollec- 

^Vn^ over the numerous places of my earlier visitations, 

t^p^cially the abodes of relatives and friends; and my 

wakiixg dreams about them are so much like realities, that 

my children sometimes think, as I suspect, that father is 

ti^lking to himself. I was gratified that old madam Yale 

was so just to herself as to append LL. D. to your name.* 

In my copy of your Metters to a young gentleman,'* which 

1 purchased of Armstrong, I added those LL. D. in their 

proper place. As to that Book, I was much instructed and 

pleased, as indeed I always have been by your publications. 

I have no fault to find with your Seventh letter ; tho' I have 

not yet been in Heaven, to make me so certain as some men 

are of many doctrinal points. No writer could have treated 

the mysterious subject better than you have done. But as 

Christians have differed so much about it, I wish you could 

have reserved your creed for some work, other than a school 

book. I call it a book for schools^ because you say that 

the tenth section is adapted to the use of families & schools. 

Now that section is so large a portion of the volume, that if 

preceptors or school committees should introduce one part 

of it, they must another, and there are so many wicked folks 

* In 1823 Webster received the degree of LL.D. from his 
Alma Mater. For other degrees, see Appendix XXXV. below. 

* See Bibliography below. 


Undated, and endorsed by Webster : Harriet's generous 

This offer of Mrs. Cobb, who, a widow and 
childless, wished to share her competence with 
her father and to assist him in his undertaking, 
was accepted. Later, when the long struggle 
was over, the sum was repaid to ner. Mrs. 
Cobb also engaged her friend S. B. F. Morse 
to paint her father's portrait, which was success- 
fully done.^ 

Webster finally sailed for Europe in June, 
1 824, taking his only son William, aged twenty- 
two years. We quote diaries and letters 
during the separation of the family, giving first, 
Webster's manuscript 

Prayer before sailing for Europe?^ 

We entreat thee, Gracious God, to regard this family, 
in much mercy, during its approaching separation. May 
thy servants who are about to depart for a foreign land, 
be under thy constant guidance & protection. Wherever 
they may be, wilt thou be on their right hand & on their 
left, for their defence & their safety. Protect them from all 
dangers by sea & by land, preserve them from sickness, from 
sin & from the influence of evil examples. Give them 
wisdom & prudence to guide them in all situations, & in due 
time may they return, rejoicing in thy goodness with thank- 

^ This was the original of the frontispiece to the Dictionary^ 
and was considered by most of the family as the best ever 
painted of him. A number of years later he was again painted 
by Herring, with whiter hair and a fuller face, and about 1840 
his bust was made. See Appendix XXXVI. below. 

'In the possession of the Editor. 

nisworth & Emily quite well. Julia is gone to Hartford 
irith her two children Eliza has spraind her hand so that 
I feu she will not be able to write William, if so she will 
write the next oppertunitf. We are all in comfortable 

From Harriet Webster Cobb. W. MSS. 

(On the same sheet.) 

Wednesday Morning >4''>. [1834] 
After giving you the AirewcU kiss my dear Father, & 
brother I remained in the cabin until all my tears were 
dry'd away after which I sought my friends on deck, & 
pass'd a pleasant day in their society — altho now & then 
the idea that I had parted for many long weeks & months 
from you & William would rise up & cast a shade of 
sadness upon every cheerful feeling. But I feel a sweet 
pleasure in giving you both up to God, and one of the most 
pleasant and delightful feelings of my heart is when I am 
committing you into the hands of Him who rules the winds, 
and waves, & who can protect you on the mighty waters, 
guide you to a haven of safety, & keep you ever in His 
watchful care. Dearest Father, may your life be prolonged 
by this voyage, your health & strength renewed & in due 
time may you come back crown'd with the [torn] kindness 
of that Being who in all our troubles has [not] forsaken us. 
Yesterday I took tea with Mrs. Deacon Whitey [Whitney?]. 


I buve been <lisa{^KHDted in oat havtiig an interview with 
tb/e Marquis. Yesterday maming M' Beadej, the American 
Conftuli wrote me a polite note, with the leqoeit of M' 
PbiliipoDi at whose house Che Maiquis was to lodge, to 
spend the evening with him. M' Beaslej & other Gentle- 
men went out to meet the Marquis. But between nine & 
ten at night, M*^ Beasley's clerk called to inform me, that 
the Marquis had not arrived ; so that I retired to rest This 
was a disappointment to me & to William too, who had 
bis boots well cleaned for the occasion. In half an hour 
after the Marquis arrived. 

This morning, the people collected in crowds about the 
wharf ^ there was such a bustle with the troops who were 
ordered to the place to prevent disturbance, that I could 
barely get a sight of the Marquis, as he left his carriage & 
entered the steam boat, to go down to the ship below. I 
have been told that the Government retarded the journey of 
the Marquis by throwing diihculties in his way, in the pro- 
curing of conveyances, with a view to prevent the people 
from honoring him with escorts C^c. I am told also that the 
officers of government were very particular in searching his 
baggage, papers <S:c He is now in the declining party, <& 
the government is very jealous of him. The Royalists are 
gaining the ascendancy. 

I have nothing in particular to add to what I have before 
written. 1 expect to leave this place to-morrow. May the 
blessing of heaven attend you <& all my dear children <& 
their connections. 

Affectionately yours, 


Paris July 21. 1824 
My dear Becca iS: all my dkar family, 

I arrived here last Saturday evening in very 
health. I left Havre on thursduy oc passed up 


onr fbrmer Conmi, rafiwf on oe^ & ufleicd to wlioducc 
me Co tilt Gexdemes of tiie Iiiiifitiife I ssppose I oras^ 
some tune before loo^ mJbe mf bow to dmL. 

Paris is a little worki ; tte Stsccfis «e hu i weiq not so 
narrow as I tubd sipposecL IMsBSf of theot sie coovemendy 
wide. Others ci than are cffrtainly too narrow, bat not so 
narrow as in Havre & RooBL Theboosesareof a whitish 
or creantcolored fione, wfaoch kx^ weil when new, osoaUy 

5 Aorks high. The Wtabbf inbabctucs have an ezcdknt 
practice of trutii'ig tbeu front-boxl^ngs & erectni||[ tfien 
booses hehmd, forming a sqoare Court, where they aze free 
from the Ewoe of carriages. 

Jaly 25, I have ths day been to see die Chamber oi 
Depoties^ There were not more dian 70 members present, 

6 no important bosmess was transacted. The memben 
look better than the Coontry members of M a ssach u setts & 
Connectfcnt, as to dress^ bat not better than the more 
gentleman-Iy part of our legislatures. Their Room is little 
more than a semicircle. The seats circular & handsonie, 
the floor well carpeted. The Speaker's & derk's seats &c 
are in a kind of niche or arch on the side being die cirde. 
The room is lighted by a semi-drcnlar skylight — six statues 
adorn the wall — three on each side of die Speaker or 
president in niches. I saw nothing of dignity in the 
proceedings of the house. The members were t^llrwig 
most of the time, & less order was obserted than in die 
house of Representatives in Connecticut. 

The Column in the place Vendome is more than loc 
feet high, I should suppose, & from S to 10 feet Hiaw^^^ 
at the base. The exterior of it is of bronze, all made of die 
Cannon which Buonaparte took from the Austrians & odiei 
nations. It is divided spirally into partitions & all 
with representations of battles. Originally, this 
with a statue of Buonaparte, but this has been 
Nothing remains to remind the Parisians of his 

Wlien at the Chamber of Deputies, we visited tfaeB 


The city is now extended at least half a mile» or a mile 
beyond this street in all directions, & a new barrier is formed 
around the city. But the city is full of people, little alleys 
run back from the street to large dwellings, which are the 
residence of Gentlemen, or hotels &c. The streets are 
incessantly thronged, carriages are running from three or 
four oclock in the morning till 12 at night without inter- 
mission, & they sometimes deprive me of sleep. The 
practice here is to breakfast at from 9 o'clock to 11 or 
12, & to dine at 5 or six. The French drink little tea. 
Most of them drink wine at breakfast & dinner, & coffee, 
among people of property, is drank, in the morning, & 
immediately after dinner. These customs & the cookery 
are not pleasant to me, but by some sacrifices, on my part, & 
some accommodation on the part of the people where I live, 
I am pretty well supplied. I find the best &milies here sit 
at dinner around a round table — such as were in use in 
Connecticut when I was young. The butter in France is 
all unsaltedy & in this state, I cannot eat it It is the 
practice for people to salt it as they use it, on bread, but 
in this way I think it is not so good, as when the salt is 
wrought into the butter. The bread comes in loaves or 
rolls of all shapes & sizes. That which is used where I now 
lodge comes in long loaves, about two feet & a half Xong & 
from four to six inches thick, almost all crust & none of the 
baker's bread will make good toast. The roast meats & 
fowls are all very tender, in this respect, the French exceed 
our cooks very much, & when no garlic is used, the meats 
are excellent. 

William is writing to Mary Denison a letter in French, 
& I think very good French. 

I now lodge at No. 12 Rue St. More, but I think of 
leaving France in about a month, for England. I shall have 
no particular object in remaining in France, after a few 
weeks, except to give William an opportunity to pursue the 
study of French, & this is a consideration secondary to mine. 


I shall therefore leave Paris in four or five weeks & pro- 
ceed directly to London & Cambridge, where I wish my 
letters to be directed. IK Lee has expressed his readiness 
to aid me in my views, as far as he is able. 

Our mode of living here is not agreeable to me, perhaps 
it will not be so in England, but I am persuaded that it will 
be less disagreeable in England. In addition to this I want 
English books more than French, & I wish to have my 
manuscripts under the inspection of D' Lee or some other 
person or persons in England, for it is a serious work to read 

My love to all the dear family, & to other friends. That 
you may recover your health & enjoy temperal & spiritual 
blessings as you need, is the ardent Prayer of your most 
affectionate husband. 

To Rebecca Greenleaf Webster. W. MSS. 

Paris Augt 27, 1824 
Mv DEAR Becca 

I have this moment received yours & Harriet's of 

July 24^. & I rejoice very much to hear that your health is 

improving, & that the family, connections & friends are in 

good health. I presume you must have received my first 

letters, in a few days after the date of yours, & trust your 

mind will be quieted. I remain in usual health, through 

the kindness of that God in whom is all my trust & all my 

hope. William is hearty & makes progress in French. 

Yesterday M'. N. Chauncey arrived, from Italy by the 
way of Geneva, where he left M*^ Dwight.^ He will write 
by the same conveyance. 

As to my consent, to the connection of M*^ F. with 
Harriet, I shall certainly give it most cheerfully. You know 
I have always chose to have my daughters please themselves 
& in doing that, they have hitherto pleased me. I sincerely 

* Probably Mr. Henry Dwight. See p. 240 below. — [Ed.] 

• "• 

• ••• • 



• • -, 

• •••• 


• • 







• • • 

• •..• 


new bridge over the Seine was laid &c I went to the 
gardens of the Tuilerie & saw all Paris in motion, but I 
staid but a short time, as the pleasure was hardly a com- 
pensation for the fatigue. My best love be with you all & 
that you may all be preserved in health & blest by a kind 
providence is the continual prayer of your 

affectionate husband 

From Harriet Webster Cobb. W. MSS. 

New haven, August, [1824] 

A son of Mr. Harry Dennison, call'd yesterday, who 
leaves here for Havre in a few days, as he was kind enough 
to give us the intelligence & offer his services to take 
packages if we will write a few lines; tho nothing very 
important or interesting has transpired in this vicinity. 

In one fortnight my dear father & brother, we hope to 
hear from you & ah, may we here pleasant intelligence. 

Mother continues well since her return from Hartford, 
tho sometimes anxious & depressed. The failure of Mr. 
Wright Strong perhaps will give her some anxiety. We 
heard it from Mr. Coleman last evening, and I know not 
whether Mr. Ellsworth has yet heard of it, and particulars 
we have not heard. It is quite healthy in this place — more 
than usually so — & Commencement is rapidly approaching. 
Brother Allen is extremely feeble with his many labors. 
Mr. Button returned better but his complaints returned 
upon coming to this damp air & he has gone another 
voyage. Mr. Silliman is getting better. Mrs. Trumbull, 
his mother very sick. I get on slowly with my music, but 
still do not feel discouraged. I hope my dear brother you 
are constantly learning something in your new situation 
which will make you wiser & better, & that you will 
endeavor at all times to regard Pa's interests as well as his 
happiness. I long to have you back that you can assist me 
on the piano — have no doubt I should learn more rapidly if 


goodness, but cheerfully submit to IBs will who does all 
things well. I sympathize sincerely with M** Strong & 
fiimily all their goods & furniture are taken from themt or 
attachd by creditors. I fear all those gentlemen who 
subscribed to fill up the deficiency of the fund will yet foil,^ 
they are calld upon now & !>. Parsons (who unfortunately 
signed his name on condition that his fnends would promise 
to screan him from loss) ; has involved his widow & children 
in difficulty. Our poor house will be considered a very 
unfortunate one & this character will prevent the sail of 
it. O I Amherst, Amherst I 

A vessel arrivd from Havre a few days since after a 
passage of thirty six days — left there the i July. We shall 
expect to hear from you & William in a fortnight I long 
to hear of your safe arrival. I wrote you in my last that 
Harriet was engaged to one who has long possessd her 
heart ; an explanation has recently taken place & all between 
the parties set[t]led ; the wedding will be deferred till you 

return, the secret is not yet outy but I suppose M^ F 's 

next visit will make it public. Louisa requests me to tell 
Papa & brother that she is a pretty good girl & that at 
present she is perfectly happy for dear M" Ward has a little 
son & she is permitted to tend it Important news to send 
across the Atlantic. 

We think of you both my dear husband & son with deep 
interest, accept the kind love of all. D^ Monroe & family 
unite in kind remembrances. 

With your ever affec*'*. 

From Harriet Webster Cobb W. MSS. 

to William G. Webster. 

August 24. [1824] 
My very dear brother. 

It is needless to repeat to you the pleasure your letters 

afforded. They perfectly crazed us with joy, and as to dear 

^ Probably toward the building of Amherst College. — [Ed.] 


' For oft had he heard the grave Doctors decide 
' That better he'd preach with "a thorn in his side." 
' Though he hop'd that this thorn (could you know but his 

* Would tickle, not wound him, like Cupid's fam*d dart 

' So homeward he hies from the land of the Sun, 

' At each step on a wife^ — on a wife his thoughts run. 

' On a wife, but how chuse her ? The question would poze 

' A committee of Doctors with Spectacled nose. 

' For beauty's deceitful, and wit but a show, 

' And dancing, and painting, and music, so so 

' But how shall he learn the impossible art, 

' Through womans disguises to reach to her heart. 

' And search out the temper, the feelings, the sense, 

* How quick to give pleasure, how slowly offence. 

* In short he was hoping like many fond boobies, 

* For what Solomon says, is of price above rubies. 
' In this sad dilemma, he sighed & he pondered, 

' And cudgelled his brains, but nobody wondered. 

* 'Twas all without use, for brains, as you know 

* Had always with love-matters little to do. 

* At length a thought struck him, as sadly at dinner, 

* He was gnawing his corn, in the old fashioned manner, 

* That the Cob was the sweetest^ — twas so with his bride 

* By the hearty then he chose her, & not the outside! 

I have seen none of your particular friends lately. Every- 
body is stoning raisins & cleaning house. I shall be glad 
to have still times that I may practice music more thoroughly, 
but at present have many interruptions. When you write 
my dear brother, do not write in French, because I feel so 
impatient to read your letter that it makes me irritable, 
Eliza is much better in health & still in Hartford. The 
Don's lady preparing for a great party. My Portland friends 


Your account of the severe gale made ua shudder, 
especially when the wave broke over the ship. I think 
you were in danger of being wash'd over board. Heaven 
be praisd you are safe & once more on land. Poor 
l^^lUiam ! I expected you would suffer, for you have my 
constitution, sea sickness is a painful sensation, but notwith- 
standing your remarks about the plagues of Egypt, I do 
think that Phariohs had rather more to endure. We were 
much amusd with your account of the littie English Lady 
& her crying child. She must have been a trial to you all. 
Your letters by the Don Quixotte came to hand on the 20^. 
She will sail again Sep i"^. If I shou'd undertake to write 
you all that has been done, & is still doing in honor of 
Gen^ LAFayette, I might fill a sheet You will receive a 
newspaper giving an account of the parade in N. Y. & 
Boston. Last Wednesday Commencement at Cambridge, 
I suppose there was splendid doings. On friday p. m. we 
were informed by hand bills that the Marquess would be in 
town at ten o clock that a signal gun would be fired to 
announce his arrival. We immediately prepared our candles, 
fix'd lathes to our windows, made potato candle sticks & 
had our apparatus all ready. Precisely at eleven the gun 
was fired & in five minutes every house was lighted. The 
scene was brilliant beyond conception. The Colleges & 
houses round the Green were not only illuminated but 
tastefully ornamented with flowers & emblems of various 

After our house was lighted I walk'd once round the 
green accompanied by Harriet (for we had no Beau) & then 
retum'd to take care of my candles & give my girl an 
oppertunity to see what she never saw before — a general 
iUutnination, Louisa, Mary & Ellen had the satisfaction of 
going to the door & looking down Temple street, this was 
quite enough for them, & furnishes conversation for a month 
to come. 

On Saturday I went to the College Library with M'. G., 


des. I shall have a scarcitf of logs ^m a winter supply 
ihink oC soliciting the ddei M*. G. t>D fmdtmat for me a 
r loads of wood to bam gnm, wsAi m praportion of small 
II. My flour I get at T. ft S. BofaoiB wnj good coffee, 
l«a» at A. Bradleyfs], take leoeipls ibr afl I purchase, & 
ia( 1 cant pay for, I will not boy. 
1 wn>|ti^ you in my last that M^ Wright Strong has faiVd 
Mvi^ ifiiH^ rec*^ a letter from him requesting a delay of pay- 
N»l slt\M on M' Tapes mortgage, requesting me to receive 
i^m"^ i¥>lt» ol twenty dollars as part payment I wrote 
r aivjtwiMr. that 1 had understood [from] jw, that arrange- 
wt» havl bwn ntade fw the payment of WUiam's debt, 
a it I was misuken» he was at liberty to deduct that sum 

ikwwatv) the mnainder. I agreed to wait till the so* 
ctohcr. The truth is, my dear husband, I have very little 
tpecution of receiving the interest of the note, or any 
oit<?y fn>m that quarter during your absence, tho' M' T. 
«ures me that I certainly shall receive it Rev** Daniel A. 
lark is dismiss'd. The particulars I have not heard. 

Harriet will write William, & Julia will write you either 
f this or the next conveyance. M'. G. is better & has 
iken to writing poetry, as you will see. I wish I had time 
k transcribe a little peice which H. has omitted in her 
tter« )\>u shall have it perhaps in Juliaf^s] letter. I am the 
lore (^leased with it, as it proves him to be in better health. 
ly garden is in neat order. Lewis is very attentive or 
Uher i^i^us for he often sfea/s in when it serves his leisure 
: works an hour or two when I think it unnecessary. The 
\>rn produces more than I expected considering the extreme 
oolness of the summer, beans in abundance & a prospect 
f excellent cabbages. But O, the Winter Squashes ! per- 
5Ct Mammoths, several of the largest have crept thro to 
i' Sandfordf's] & one poor squash (the largest I ever saw) in 
ts attempt to emigrate is choked between the paling, the 
lead on our side & body on M*^ Sandford's. 

Your friends in Temple street & elsewhere request to be 


small family & leisure to recruit I have many things to 
say dear William but this letter must go to the post office 
within an hour. The girls will write the next oppertunity & 
tell you all the news. I must give one page to your dear 


Your affectionate Mother. 

Excuse all inaccuracies dear William for I am really in a 
violent hurry. 

My dear Husband: 
(On the same sheet.) 
Owing to the hurry of the season I have inadvertantly 
delay'd writing till the last minute & therefore must be 
brief. Last week I received a letter from M'. Boltwood. 
He writes that M'. Strong is keeping tavern with a pros- 
pect of success, that he has made such improvements as 
will increase the value of your property & he thinks that 
your property is safe at present. The Springfield bank 
note is settled & in the possession of M*^ Blastman. On 
Saturday eve'8 I rec** a letter from M'. Strong with my 
money. William's note with interest was twenty five dollars 
50 cents, this was deducted, the money passed thro M' 
Ellsworth's hands who deducted ten dollars for the in- 
sur[ance] leaving me, ninety-four dollars 50. cents. I b[elieve] 
it is all right. Your letters my dear Husband make us 
as happy as we can be in your absence. Your picture is a 
great comfort to us, & we go on without you better than we 
anticipated. We are all at present in a state of comfortable 
health & rejoicing that Commencement is over. The 
weather is cold so that we almost need a fire. Harriet has 
had a letter from her brother R. & his wife, approving of 
her contemplated change of situation. M". Cobb is con- 
fined to her room & is not at present able to write but 
promises to do it soon. Chancellor Kent was at Com- 
mencement. I invited him with Judge Baldwin's family to 


taj party, but he was oblig*!! to leave, the eren* before. I met 
with him at M' Hillhouses, & he requested to be rememberd 
to you. Most of your friends hare made the same request 
but 1 have not time to particularize. The girls send duty 
& love, they will write the next opporr. Louisa begs to be 
puticutarly mentioned. She is in fine health & seated it 
her usual occupation on Monday mom*. She talks about 
you every day & wonders what you will bring home for her. 
In great baste. 

Your very affectionate, 
I think long before this you must have receivd letters 
from home, no oppertunity has been omitted by us & this 
makes five times that 1 have written. 


To RxBiccA Ckkulkaf Wkbstex. 

Loodon Sqit 

I left Puis on Monday the i^^^ InsL I 
throu^ Rouen to Dieppe, where I vrived on I 
dsj. We had for a companioo Mr Bacot of 
Una, a Gentleman educated at Yale Collie. We expected to 
find a Steam boat at Dieppe ready to convey us to Brighton 
in England, but it had just left Dieppe, & we were detained 
diere two days. But on Friday morning we embarked, 
widi nearly a hundred passengers in a steam boat of about 
30 tons, in which we had no accommodations, the passengers 
not being able to find comfortable seats even on deck. But 
we bad as fine a day as I ever saw, as warm as July, & 
almost calm. We reached Brighton, in less than 13 hoars. 
The distance about as great as from New Haven to New 
Vork. We found Brighton a beautiful town, & here is the 
pavillion — a mansion for the Kii^* who sometimes visita 
this place — a house built in the Chinese style. Here our 
trunks suffered a strict search, the first we had been sub- 
jected to, for the English watch & guard ag' the intro- 
duction of smuggled goods from France. The unpacking 
of our trunks was a troublesome thing and I had to pay 
a duty on all my books which are not of English Impression 
— amounting to 45/ Sterling. This business was Bnishetf 
'George IV. 


becomes a matter of doubt in my mind whether we shall 
have any lingers remaining. We can at least show honor- 
able scars. I think mama appears pretty well & in 
comforuble spirits. Since we heard of your safe arrival 
iSc esublishmcnt at Paris, Ma's mind has been relieved 
of much anxiety, she thinks of you as at home there, 
imagines how you are occupied, how your room looks &c. 
And when she has cooked a dinner much to her taste 
wishes that Pa could have a piece of that chicken or 
pudding l>ccause * he loves it done in this way.' My own 
feelings, dear Father respecting you are pleasant though 
tender. I often find myself when thinking of your absence, 
the length of time before we meet, or the uncertainties of 
this life, rei)eating that beautiful psalm, 

* Up to the hills I lift mine eyes ' 

* * * Harriet will not go to Portland this winter, she will 
proh.ibly occupy herself in making towels &c against the 
time of need. Her health, except a bad tooth, is very 
lini- iV her spirits decidedly more equal. This we expected 
aftrr what has taken place, for all Harriet wanted to make 
her cheerful was some object to draw her mind from herself. 
Kli/a is much as usual, Louisa tends baby, sew^s towels, 
sings, iV iflls us we all grow handsome. Little Mary is 
a fnic child, obedient, diligent & cheerful. Mama is very 
proud of her woodhouse because she has consumed so little 
wood. She says it is /<?r lack of dinners \ or rather because 
lea and toast or a little steak have been the prevailing taste. 

I made a fine dinner there this week on tea & short cakes. 

« # « 

To Rkbecca Grkenlkaf Webster. W. MSS, 

Cambridge. Oct. i6 1824. 
My dear Becca. 

On the 14*^ instant I had the pleasure to receive 
yours & Harriets of Augl. 27. informing us that you had 

•WWJk HW («, „k 


My paper b foil dar kasbuMl bdbve I was aware of it, 
accept die kindest km from aO & bdieve tluU we take a 
deep interest in aQ that aaic e im jour happiness. MF 
Goodrich is now jo mneyiiig Julia & cfaikbcn aie well, send 
kyvcL M^ Deotsons iuadlj aie aQ wefl. 

Fiom Rebsvxa GauxL&kr Wsasrsa. W. MSS. 

New HaveiK October sy*^ 1824. 
Mt dkar Hus&slxd 

We cecetT^d 3foar w e fc ome letters of An^ so^, & 
14*^« list MoodiT, & on toesday another pfecio u s pm^et 
dated Sep^ S*^. I need not say that they aibrded as a lidi 
feast. I send [sent] on >r EILswortl^s] letter— & the same 
day (last fndiT> XT Fletcher & Emtly with the dear little 
babe« dine to mike as a nsxt. Tbey haie jost left ns in fine 
healdi Jc sptricsw I never saw a liDer child than Elisabeth. 
She ts the express imj^ ot what her mother was^ at the 
same 1^ when wvai ised to xiooie. & say, widi raptore 
^tum sweet eres on Paipa' dont you remember it? M' 
ELlswvcth lus pftss^d a who^e fortniaeht at Amherst inTesti^at- 
ii^ the sci^^ ot dte Coi jc^iii^ nxr^l He has retumd with 
more tiTonble izuxesssoRS nsscectfnit them. There accounts 
were cDOce fjir. & accuradf thin their tnends e x^ o A d, or 
their ei>»n» wbhed. He thiaks they win oltimafriy 
succeed. M~ Oarke scon af%r hs dsaaission went to 
Willx&xas-tv>wn to s a et %th en the prefodices oc People there, 
jt his socceeded. :f I may jod^e from a ooaTenation I htid 
with M^ GfidiCT tEha rs>w$ T' wbo :s tww in New- 
haven. M - C ts now pneachix^ a: Utica jc Saratoga & with 
anboooded ap pl an sr Jr it is thoc^.t. w~7I take them in. as be 
did the Amherst Sodety. M"^ Esrebrcok hu gone to the 
y jptli to find employmenL 

My last letter was dattd oc the 1 1"^ ul: — sdnce then, we 
have been in a oanstar:t whirl oc Szsit^ess Jc comp a ny. 
We have bad amit fiom M' Kipp Jl Ljkdy accocnpuned hf 


mM^ ^ypltMi, Lauitt tiitiiig bf the Pboo in npCnred with 
iK« Xlu3kH\ hiUr MUiy at tcbooi, & the Domestics desning 
«<KAwh»«i^ \\> |^> cm desr Hasband in the old tiack, 
uii«wla>( MVMi n> idttt up for the winter^ wUdi is lapidly 
^"vvM^c hu\£, Ydui inecidi here talk aboat joa & call rtxj 
iHNjiM^Uy i>> ««i4)mrr ccmc^ming yoor healdi & whether you 
^>< A )vvbi}^^c'i 1^' «aiV(t» 1 can only teU them that yoor 
Hiki^h )» t^vsL X ihfti >N>u write in good qarits. As I 
mw^K' >\Na A Vm>j^ k^M the hot oppertunity I have nothii^ 
{iM^KX^i ^^ «\Y»aMuu<«Kw M* G. has written & will tdl 
5v\A a)1 i>^ n^v& c«i A )in«fl«nr nsime. We have heard from 
M~ Kj^wv«^)^\ *ll»^^ Smhr VA u^ dxy are aD wdL 

\\> j^: «)yu>^ A Ks>^ rc" 5««H»e)f & WiBiam. Widung you 
j»^u;3k X M^voM*^ ^"^ a^id«« aB the Dmne pieiemje & 

A: a uo^ 4iic<CiJ|^ ."£ :3e ?li& B^sca IUp9n Sociefj 
l^X^ N.v<<> ♦^siiU >f -M^/!^ 3t^ X MMUCQC w3zh f^nor 

M" 4p^ !>cc«use 1 wish vvm :u xn\:w :hd£ "ju arc .-tsmemr 

WQlfia^iillHiiQg $ac^«iai^ Ji J2C >ao«y.^Hd.; 


three weeks. Old Mr. HiUhoote calli occigiofially & offera 
to keep company with Mama in your absence — that is to 
AftUMP her home from parties. Finley Morse^ has gone to 
pass the winter in New York. I hardly know what his 
prospects are. We are going to make New H. lode very 
smart against you come back, for die town is making 
eiertions to purchase all the ground from Ogden's comer to 
Austin & Brown's comer, that they may raise a handsome 
Tontine & Bank which are to make a monstrous block of 
buildings & if diey succeed will improve NewfaaTsn 

I thank you dearest Fadier for your kind wishes on the 
subject of my engagement with Mr. F. — I som^mes 
shrink from it, lest die duties which must necessarily 
devolve upon me in such a situation should prove too 
mighty for one, so in^ffideni as your child. Let me have 
your prayers, that I may not only be happy, but useful, 
wherever Providence may place me. I hear occasionally 
from Portland. They are in usual health, & often enquire 
for you. I fear they are not entirely reconciled to my 
union, but I feel that I have done right Mr. F. has written 
you, but nothing about his prospects because he is unde- 
cided — when I can write definitely concerning them I shall. 

Mr. Bacon is now preaching for [us] & gives very good 
satisfaction. I hope [we] will settle him. Mary Denison has 
been quite sick, but is getting better rapidly. Our other 
friends well. My music comes on slowly beoiuse I find so 
little time to practise. I wish you were here dear William 
to help me. Why don't you write me? 

Accept the love of all far & near, for all feel more or less 
interested in your welfare. 

With much aflfection, 

^ Samuel F. B. Morse. See note on p. 198 a»/^— [Ed.] 


V *' -t 


/■ -^-^ JGT* 


e have the same things and the same ideas, die wocds 

press them should remain the same. The diversities 

of language among men, may be considered as a cucse^ 

certainly one of the greatest evils that commerce, rdigion & 

the social interests of men have to encounter. 

The English language will prevail over the whole of North 
America from the latitude of 35 or 30* north, to the utmost 
limit of population towards the N. Pole, and according 
to the r^;ular laws of population, it must, widiin two 
Centuries, be spoken by three hundred millions of people 
on that continent If we take into view the English popula- 
tion in New HoUand, & other lands in the South & East^ 
we may £airly suppose that in two centuries, die English will 
be the language of one third or two fifths of all the inhabi- 
tants of the globe. 

Besides this, the English language is to be the instrument 
of propagating sciences, arts & the Christian religion, to an 
extent probably exceeding that of any other language. It is 
therefore important that its principles shouU be adjusted, & 
uniformity of spelling & pronunciation established & pre- 
served, as far as the nature of a living language will admit 
In regard to the great body of the language, its principles 
are now settled by usage, & are uniform in this country & 
in the United States. But there are many points in which 
respectable men are not agreed, & it is the sincere desire of 
my fellow-citizens, that such a diversity may no longer exist 
If a delegation of Gentlemen from the two Universities of 
Oxford & Cambridge could be induced to meet & consult 
on this subject, either in Oxford or Cambridge or in London, 
I would meet them with pleasure, & lay before them such 
points of difference in the practice of the two CountrieSi as 
it is desirable to adjust, & the Gentlemen would consider 
any other points that they might think it expedient to deter- 
mine. I would also lay before them some thoughts on a 
plan for correcting the evils of our irregular orthog;niph|b 
without the use of any new letters. 


I know that the decisions of sudi a collection of 
tinau^orized individuals would not be considered a* 
binding on the community, & it might be thought assumii^ 
But the Gentlemen would disavow anyintention of imposing 
their opinions on the public as authoritatiTe — they would 
offer simply their opinions, & the public would still be at 
liberty to receive or reject them. But whatever cavils mi^t 
be made, at &rst, those who know the influence of men of 
distinguished erudition on public opinion, in cases of a 
literary nature, will have no question respecting the ultimate 
success of such a project. That my countrymen would 
generally receive the decisions & follow them, I have no 

I sincerely wish, Sir, that this proposition may be trans- 
mitted to some Gentlemen of your acquaintance in Oxford, 
Sc that you would converse with the masten & professors 
of this University on the subject 

I am, Sir, with great respect, 

your Obed' serv'. 

Endorsed : A copy of this letter was sent to Oxford, but 
no answer was returned. 

To Rkbecca Grebnlkaf Webster. W. MSS, 

Cambridge, Dec' a6. 1834 
♦ * * The sun has now reached its utmost limit south, 
& how do you think it seems, to see it but about an hour 
high at noon ? The days are 7I hours long, but the obliquity 
of the sun's course helps us to a long twilight, at least, it 
would, were it not for being almost constantly obscured by 
clouds. It is cloudy four days out of five or more, St it 
rains more or less edmost every day. We have had three 
frosts, sufficient to show ice of a quarter of an inch in thick- 



jiom mna die Saatk «ea^ or oev dud pomt, nine days 
«2it( oc :ecu ^ vitten wtdi groU vioieDce. The streets here 
«K iJAVQiibuc^waysiiiiidiiy, IS k seldom rains ha^ 
en ^Ktstt rm! ^ue walks^ This has probably introduced the 
HM v>t^ pacteos which die frrmaln of all ranks wear* when 
diey ^«;tik . v»^ (iise diev wear a thkk sole under the shoe, 
lib} Ji suxiiau. Hie Lidies here walk a great deal, & I notice 
4 vviis<«uic -practice ot esposing chikiien to the open air. 
A: ;Ltno$t .ill nmeSk when it does not rain, the streets are 
riul v>« :iur»$ jr maids carrying about young children in 
dh^r unts^ s^ 'eauin^ such as can walk. But it is not so 
^vt ^nnully j:^ x^ v^bii^^ men to wear surtouts or great 
cci*x:$. I w^ac this cnoniing tt> the Baptist meeting or 
Otki.'Cu w'l^n: ivs>tx:rt KoU iced to preach, & I think I did 
9CC !i%^r ^ -Rjut wtch an over-coat The Thermometer in 
Xc^v'»b«}r X lVcvtuo«r has gjeoerally been between 40 and 

I >^v'^: ,i:t ;:vettiii;; .aKiy at Professor Lee's, where was 
j*rvs;.?»: :x' w row oc ::x' !ace I> Owen, Secretary to the 
l?:b*c >N.V'civ <he *.s a wouun of superior understanding, 
¥^ftv '^vmSc X tul! Of anecdote* especially in what relates 
^* ; V ncjl:^ oi' r^ii^'on And religious parties. I find the 
viv-'J^*-^^ V'^'f ""^^ Church Archbishops & Bishops, are 
^V'A. V oi*iVi<v ^.^ bi?ie Societies — unless they send the 
pra^^< Nvk. w:h :S* i>ible. 1 am told the Archbishop of 
CJL:r^:r^cnr wxtn: A con:»derible distance, some time ago^ to 
pcvvvt^; A :«ect:it|j: of a Society^ t& accomplished his object. 
thsTC u? now as ch^re alwats has been a high church & a 
low churvh ivxrtv, Th*? Hi^h church seem intent only on 
*uv>^vuu\^ Cic c\tci*vi->^ that particular Church, but among 
the ochcr v^rt>% there i* a respectable number of evangelical 
& piou$ clct^*iMei\ who unite with the dissenters in the 
great cause ot evat^^eliiing the world. 

1 shall nvn at present write :o any pers n but yourself — 
letters from others of the family must remain unanswered. 
My reasons are the high postage of letters, and the weakness 


of my right hand or rather, the right thumb, the strength of 
which is ahnost exhausted. I am approaching the end of 
my work, & by care, I hope to have strength to proceed, 
without interruption. 

William is gone to the Chapel for evening service. His 
eyes have been weaker these three weeks past, owing to 
straining them by writing at night But they are gaining 

Last week, Mr. Emmerson, at whose house we lodge, 
died, a victim to intemperance. His wife who is a good 
manager, will probably conduct the business of the family 
better without him than with him. Accept, my Dear Becca, 
for yourself & all my dear family & friends, my kindest 
wishes & prayers for safety & happiness from your most 
affectionate husband, 

In his efforts to obtain an English pubh'sher 
for the Dictionary, Webster corresponded, 
amongst others, with a compatriot, WiUiam C. 
Woodbridge,^ but fruitlessly. 

To the Same. W. M.SS. 

Cambridge Jan^. 27***. 1825 
My dear Becca, 

Through the goodness of Providence I still enjoy as 

good health as usual, & am somewhat relieved from labor, 

though my labors & solicitudes cannot cease, till I get my 

manuscripts published. I sent William to I.x>ndon, last 

Monday, to get some information, & he returned last 

evening in consequence of which, I have determined tr> 

remove my lodgings to London, & if possible put the work 

to press immediately. But it is uncertain what difficulties 

I may have to encounter from the prejudices of the English 

& from the interest which the prindpal booksellers have in 

1 See Appendix XXXVI I. below. 


Johnson's Dictionary by Todd. It is however neoessaty 
for me to be in London, & make an attempt to get an 
impression before the public. I shall certainly find many 
friends, & if the book has much merit, that will make its 
way in spite of opposition. 

I have written to M*^ Ellsworth to send me the amount of 
$500. in a bill of Exchange, & if I can finish the publica- 
tion, by mid-summer that will be as much as I shall want 
In the course of February, I hope to be able to state more 
definitely my prospects. M' Woodbridge was very usefiil 
to William in London, & I hear is in better h^th, at 
which I very much rejoice. He rec!^ a letter from M' 
Goodrich dated about the last of Decem', but my last letter 
fix}m you or any of the family was early in Deoem^ 

I have nothing very important further to communicate at 
present, & you will excuse me from writing much, when I 
am worn out with writing. As soon as I am settled in 
London, I will let you know how to address letters to me. 
Accept for yourself & all the dear family & near friends the 
sincere love of your affectionate Husband, 

P. S. I hear there had been no snow in Connecticut 
Jan7 I. There has been no snow here, except one slight 
fall, of half an inch. There has been frost to congeal the 
surface of water, I think, three nights, since DeC i. In 
general for three months past, the temperature of the air 
has been about 48. by Fahrenheit. But rain — rain — almost 

From Rebecca Greenleaf Webster. W. MSS. 

New Haven Jan'y 9*^. 1825 
My dear Husband 

My last letter to you was dated Dec' 11''* since then 

I have two from you— one dated from London, & the 

other Nov' ii'^. Harriet has received one from William 

Octo' 28'** 



Our meeting house is new painting against the ordination. 
So much for Parish concerns. 

M' Whitney, after a severe ilhiess of six weeks d^Muted 
this life yesterday mom*. His suffering was extreme A: I 
am happy to tell you, that Religeon was the subject of his 
conversation & possessed all his thoughts for some weeks 
previous to his death. His friends hope that he has 
exchanged this world for a better. The death of M" 
Harry Denison — so sudden & affecting— excited universal 
sympathy. She gave birth to twins —the first bom, is a 
&ie boy — the last was bur/d with his Mother, who survived 
but a few minutes after his birth. ' Blessed is the death of 
the righteous.' M' Goodrich's family are now well The 
children daily improving, little Willy acts just as his mother 
did at the same age — he is a complete little mimic — full of 
pranks from morn^^ to night but good natur'd & very 
affectionate withal. Louisa is sitting by my side with a 
pillow behind her, & occasionally groaning, but she begs 
me to tell you that she is pretty good — considering, & that 
she trys to be patient, but thinks it is really hard to suffer 
so much. Mary is occupying a comer of your chair» 
studying her scripture lesson. The weather, & the remains 
of a sore throat, prevented her going out today. Our circle 
of friends are all well. No one sick in Temple street 
except W^ Murdock who is gradually wasting away. M' 
Hillhouse goes 81 comes, as usual. Aunt Woolsey is as 
friendly, & Miss Mary as literal as ever D'^ Smith occupies 
Medical College, & the lamp before his door shines upon 
my bed, & cheers my spirits in the lonely hours of mid- 
night Mary is my bed-mate & if the little gipsey did not 
wake so early in the morns she wou'd be a charming 
companion, as it is, I am not willing to part with her. 
M" D. & Martha pass'd an afternoon here recently. 
Martha calls almost every day, Mary is still in N. York. 
William's young friends sometimes call to enquire after his 
welfare & request a remembrance. The weather has been 



doors, having had the last week a comfortable fall of snow, 
the very first which has lain during the cold season. Our 
good people, particularly those who have horses & sleighs at 
command improve this fine riding and Newhaven seems all 
alive, but most of all is it convenient to our Farmers who 
were almost despairing of fetching their produce to maricet 
on runners. The weather is now daily becoming milder, & 
our streets will soon be muddy. Altho I am no great friend 
to cold weather I do not feel impatient to be rid of it, but 
while counting the remaining weeks of winter, find myself 
very frequently wishing to retard the hours which fly so 
swiftly. In the course of six or seven months my dear Father, 
I may enter upon a new state of trial, and tho I do not rtgnit 
the step I have taken, yet still I dread the responsibility 
attached to it. I am happy in Mr Fowler, yet afraid I shall 
prove unfaithful to the God we both profess to love, & thus 
destroy his usefulness. I pray I may be faithful, may prove 
a blessing in the difficult situation [in] which providence may 
place me. If I do prove a blessing it must be owing to the 
restraining sanctifying grace of God, for of myself I feel with 
increasing strength, I can do nothing. 

When I think of my far distant parent & brother, I feel 
very differently respecting the rapidity of time. I then wish 
to annihilate time & space, that I may once more give them 
an affectionate embrace. Oh, may we meet in health & 
happiness — happy in the past & happy in the future. 

How I wish I knew all who surround you, all who are 
contributing to your comfort & happiness. I feel dear 
Father, that it is in the mutual interchange of confidence & 
affection, in the exercise of all the kindnesses of kindred 
& friendship, that our only hours of enjoyment are to be 
found. There is an idea of confidence & sacredness if I 
may so express it in the idea of Home which no other spot 
can excite, and how delighted will you be my friends, when 
you can once more return, & enter the circle which contains 
those you most value & receive and bestow the many name* 

Sew \ 

U that 
reeks a 

nrer thi 
» see I 
;hat I r 

she was doing well without mentioning that she had been 
nore indisposed since he left her. All day yesterday she 
^ntinued better, till about 6 in the eve*, when she said 
)he wou'd lie down. She went across the room & steppd 
nto bed without assistance, & on laying her head on her 
pillow instantly expired, as her body continued wans 
leveral hours after she ceased to breathe every method 
vas tryed, (but in vain) to reanimate her lifeless form. 
Never have I seen so lovely an appearance of Death. 
She was indeed lovely in Character as in form, & will be 
iiniversally lamented. I could say much on this interesting 
lubject but my paper is full. I believe alt your letters 
nave come to hand. The two last— Dec. 6''' 8c a6. I 
irrote you in my Sep' letter that M' Strong had paid me 
ieducting the sum due on Williams note, which was 95 
dollars. He now keeps a very good tavern — he is so 
nuch involved in debt however, that he never can extricate 
nimself. M' Boltwood thinks you are safe, & that M' 
» La Fayette. See p. 285 below.— [Ed.] 


I rece 

has this 
with Qui 
hMltb. ; 

Paris, wt 

I sent 
be printE 
sent to a 
uiother i 
in the o 

I have 
bank sto 

requesting them to send me a bill on London or Liverpool, 
as early as the first of April. I have written by two ships, 
but if there should be any failure, this letter must be a 
substitute for the former. I trust that there will be no 
delay, if my letters arrive in safety. 

I wish letters for me to he hereafter sent by the Ships 
direct to London, addressed to me at No 7. Queens Square, 
New Ormond, London. 

Love to all my dear family & friends. 

Yours with the tenderest affection. 

From Rebecca Greenleaf Webster. W. MSS. 

New Haven March lo"" [iSas-] 
My dear Husband 

Your letter of Jan'i' 14'* was receivd yesterday. M' 
Goodrich receivd one the day before; & Mary Denison 
likewise. Jan^v 7"'. The prospect of seeing you so much 
•This should read 9th.— {Ed.] 


never knew such a time, they ascribe it to the opai winter 
& humid atmosphere. It is computed that one half the 
population in New York & Philadelphia are sick, Sc the 
report of Deaths the last week were a hundred & forty 
eight in the City of N Y — the deaths here are less frequent 
in proportion to our numbers, but the very aged, & a vast 
number of young children have fallen victims to this for- 
midable disease. You will unite in gratitude with me, my 
very dear Husband & son, to our kind Preserver that when 
so many have fallen around us, we have been mercifully 
spared May our spared lives be devoted to his service who 
has not forsaken us. 

Yesterday the Rev^ Leonard Bakon was installd as our 
Pastor. Myself & Eliza attended — the exercises were good. 
Introductory Prayer by M' Wilcox, Sermon by Mr. Howes, 
Installing Prayer by M^ Stebbings, Charge by D' Taylor, 
Fellowship of the Churches by M' Merwin, Concluding 
Prayer, ProflP" Fitch. The Music I am sorry to say, was 
wretched. If William had been present he woud have 
stop d his ears, which I wish d very much to do. Our new 
Minister with his sister took tea with [usj last even« M' B. 
is boarding at M*^ Hitchcocks. M*" Staples & family remove 
to New York in May. D' Knight has purchased M' Staple's 
house. The Old Beacher house, & the old Ogden coffee- 
house are moved away from the green— the latter is on 
its march to-day — to be located on Judge Baldwins land. 
M. A. Bradley has nearly completed an elegant three story 
house on the place of M'^ Daggett's stone house — his 
daughter M" Durand & his son Leonard are to occupy it 
I have been so secluded this winter that I scarcely know 
what is going on in the world, and my eyes are too weak to 
read news papers — ^last evening I heard for the first time of 
the [end] of Gov'' Brooks & Gov' Eustis— tho they have 
been dead a fortnight. I rejoice to hear that you find some 
pleasant society in Cambridge & that you are favor d with 
health. And O ! I do heartily rejoice that there is a 


p iD sp ec t of joar Rtmnmg to us in the course of the next 
sominov jet I due not be too sangnin — it will take a IsX^ 
tiine to pohftth joar work^ <& I had rather do without voc 
anoiher winter, than yoo shood attempt the Voyage late in 

In coDScqncoce of sckness «ic Gmrtticg^ 1 have cv^nsumed 
more wood this winter than I calculated upon atnxher 
year, I shall know better — & buy more lo^ & green wvxhI 
— but M^ Goodrich says he shall burn a new kind ot i.'oal 
now used in New York, which makes a hot lire at le>s than 
half the price of wood — if so I shall follow suit. M' G. has 
ei^aged my dry wood of M' Ives at five dollars Cs: a quarter 
per cord ready saw'd I am ver>- much indebted to M^ i«. 
in a variety of ways, he has saved me several times from 
beii^ grossly imposed upon he says, however that 1 make 
quite as good bargains as — Your honor 

Louisa is sitting by me stringing beads. She sends her 
love to dear Father & brother, the Girls are both oiU, but 
left their love. With the tenderest wishes for your health & 
happiness I am, as ever. 

Your affectionate wife. 

From Julia Webster Goodrich. W. MSS. 

New Haven March 14*** 1825 
My dear William, 

I think I have not written to you since you left 
America, & perhaps a fairer opportunity will not present 
itself than the present. From the last letter received from 
Papa we suppose you to be in London. We very deeply 
regret Papa's disappointment in not receiving the letter 
of Mr Goodrich with the title page of the Dictionary sooner 
(for I think Papa must have it by this time) but the 
letter lay at Washington a month after its arrival in the 
country before Mr G. received it. The rapidity with which 
Papa has accomplished his work in England thus far iSi 


I hope, a forerunner of his prosperity & speedy return to his 
family here it is an unceasing subject of joy & gratitude. 
Even little William b^;ins to talk about * Gkifqier Webser 
come home by bye.' I know you are longing to hear heir 
the lovers get on this winter. Mr Fowler & Harriet, Mr 
Jones & Eliza are employed in the same business of court- 
ing, but court in different ways. Mr Fowler is a great 
admirer of beautiful ladies & sometimes I think is rather 
too complimentary, for a minister whose business it should 
be to aim at correcting the heart, though he is on the whole 
a reasonable swain. Mr Jones gets together all new works 
of any value & day after day reads [a]loud to his fair one, 
compares opinions with her, reasons with her if they dis- 
agree, & expatiates where they are particularly pleased. If 
he finds Eliza feeble, he looks wo-be-gone»if Mr. F. sees 
Harriet so, he smiles with his usual cheerfulness & sajrs she 
will be better — for one striking trait of his disposition is to 
see everything upon the most favorable side & expect good 
without apprehending evil. There is no immediate prospect 
of settlement for the gentlemen but a number of vacancies 
have occurred recently in the neighborhood & I think there 
may be settlements & marriages too within six months to 
come. I do not feel anxious for either. 

Our neighborhood will be somewhat changed to you when 
you return. Mr Kingsley has become your opposite neigh- 
bor. Mrs Whelpley has taken the house last but one on the 
turnpike & will remain for the education of her two boys — 
the oldest only nine — so that she may be considered a per- 
manent resident of New Haven. Mrs Tuthill will probably 
take her four children home to her fathers & her house will 
sell or rent to some new comer. Her situation is painful. 

Your minister Mr Bacon boards in our vicinity at Mr Hitch- 
cocks, & a sister of his is visiting about among the parish. 
Of your particular friends I know nothing at all except Mrs 
Denison & daughters, who are in usual health, but Eliza 
could tell you more about them than I. Being one of St 

M :i 

3K ?ousx2i]:rf Jt« iaaa^ I see br die Int piper from 
Suroni .xstt >4f 'J«igp:*t is ■' MMi^r*«w^ te- Gowemor and MF 

W; 3Us«oitn Sot So&tai; Imt L l»e no hcMi or bent for 

Z utt isai|rr:u uknm you^acnejrevBsf ancbide^ghted 
^vtn .lur nuttscKT ^tK :<e^ vba wse qp pcmc Q to bini 
At «:t^mnt jt its vomh <for be is ooiy xjX *>^ <Knr 
sauxsae«i :iKT jre unioi^die ftst of hs fiiend^ & 
4R «qU ^.nTv:nc?i :h^ ±tf TQUDS at ?eKS». be is old in 

l.i;:!C ««M4i ::n* ««Mchvr -v;t£ sc warm ±111: I had the beds 
-.0 :::e ;*nu ?! :hti ^.tn&cn^^ ■';ini iu^ Kt peas are cooung 
:ar, ^uc ::w viricinjr ras ^'vw^i ctrid j^oizx I sfaaQ pat do 
iiore iettii n iw: r^^umi ^c .jreswit Adeime b so food of 
jEuxii^'.Tun: ±tac I :s;7dil ice >f ic nuch espence about iL I 
sOitil m^ nv ^unitfn iu^ x M^ G will ceil ber when & 
3CW X* ,"uc It r:n; 5««. Lcuisl wll watch che p»igeoiis & 
I «ralt :aiw ^*:irrf ?f rh» rasMerries Cfc currants— doot you 
±mic w« shall Jo ^ \l' f'.'^KS prmcbd in tbe Cbapie last 
SabCATi cc wa:^ .nuch jcmired. He is bosilj writing 
iemons ic 2>:s brcther l^v:» oSc waicisg for tbe ^moring 
or the wad»rs —rten: jjre tcw several vacant parislies in 
this 5ca>f. One jc Bedbtiem. £j:st Guilfonl Xortb Bnmfoid 
Oix^ni jc L<fb«:Eioa •& Thnw in MxssachiEsetts Bekfaotown, 
Amherst .& Greenfield. 

Vou will pi^Kse :o '.lt lU my mistakes in wilting to the 
accoont of Hjiriet $ music Ie:ssocs. Miss Saker 
teaching her, ' Come oisre :o ±e Wedding ' Mary 
& Eliza are chattering like a couple oc \ 



not x> 
as to 

but I 
& I I 


§1 ^1 

■4 Mi 



ArTT3< Webswrs neram to New Haven he 
?esor)<v£ a :schou&r's quxt life, with more free- 

Tc * K^TR? M^i^w. W. MSS. 

Xev R&T«c MATdi 17, 1826. 

I >fci>^ :>,:? ijLT r^-TKVic A rvct froen toc, intCDded to 
cocrrc: a yMs$siu::f ir, jl forrsr rfcrsr ro me oa the sabject 
of ;Sf \-« rr-ocvxR-rsor. ru^ie r.? r>e /cpsAmre of Vnginia 
'ST i'*^^ \v A Oorv«r:ror, oc' v^ocrmasaooere to recukte the 
vV«si-jt*<-\"r ^'^^ :^ c*.\;vr:y. Foe A^ pDeue to accept my 

Kv wx:: >ct?fr, I recoetn? tvc ssi^fxtse me to be Tet in 
Burvxxf. I'hs » Ji r^r^scjLke- I i«urDeci list Tune. Tbe 
ob;>Nt* 1 hic :n rjew ir. jocr^ ro Europe, were in part 
AvXv^eupkishevi I srvr.: i sx>R:hs in PArsi^ vbere I hid the 
becM: vY ejaiQiiv. r^ the il^K^ works on the physical 

* On luN jcv i$J>, HArtt« \Vetw«? Cobb was married to 
Wilhjun Ohjku&cey Fowler. They *:\^ drst in Greenfield, 
Massacbu$ett:Ss where Mr. Fo» jer was cju'.ee to a choicb ; later 
in MkidJebcry. Verxpor:. «here he taugh: mineralogy and 
chemistry at the small cv4Ie^ there : and dnally. after 1858^ in 
Amherst, where he was fix-en the Chair ot Rhetonc and Oratory. 

"See TJU HVUgngj 0/ /jytt^s J.^.www, Gaillard Hunt, viL 
pi 162, ix. p. 2461 — [Ed.]' 

ijo acres e&ch acre requires 1600 poles so that the whole 
number of hop poles set is aioooo yeailj this branch of 
business hks so thin[n]ed the young growth in our forest that 
mutj have be«i Drawn this winter seven miles this [torn] 
gnat labour. Indeed mj neighbors have been so busily 
wgaged in it that I have bem difficulted to get them to 
dnw my fire vrood. Hops will yield about 1000 pound pr 
•ore and the average price is (is. 50 per hundred. 

I have not undertaken the business. To hire all the 
taboor would not he profitable. My farm is managed by 
hireing or let[t]ing and in eithn of these ways it yields me 
but a scanty supporL If the foregoing sUiement appears 
large to }'ou you must come and view for yourself. I hope 
you will — my wife & S. Blair join me in love to you & Sister 
and your dear Children. 

Ftem William Jav. W. MSS. 

Bedford, ij*. July i8a6 

My Father sometime since desired M', Converse of 
New Haven to place his name on the list of subscribers to 
your Dictionary, (or six copues. It has since occurred to 
him that the expense which this great work has already cost 
you, & that which must still attend its publication might 
perhaps render it convenient to you to receive the amount 
of his suhscription in advance. He therefore desires roe to 
inform you that you are at lib^ty, should you think i»operr 

tA fin* nn mv TtmlhH P A Tav in5t R-l.vse Kfm Vnrk Inr 


success of four book, k. 

I hgwc ag JiauaiL ix le 

While in Engkad \V 
British Parliament 
enacted a law br 
were very much 

efforts, one of his first a 
country was the endeavcr zrj p 
of a new copyright -aw En 
giving a like extensicc: to vyt 
authors. Thus, after fortv r- 
at his first leg^lative task. 

To Daniel Webster.^ * 3€r* 

(Copy.) Sew Hjtss: 5ccc 53* ri^i 


Having, since my retom from Europe, b^ so ^fp^x- 
tunity of seeing you, I take this occasioa to eipress to foc 
my acknowledgments for complyii^ with my request k, 
procuring an act of Congress, enabling me to import copies 
of my dictionary & synopsis, into the United Stales, free of 
the duties imposed by the tariff.* When I wrote to you 
from Cambridge in England, I had not offered my mano- 
scripts to the book sellers & I supposed that I should find 
no difficulty in procuring them to be published, but after I 
went to London, I soon found that the principal publishers 
were engaged in a new edition of Johnson, & in a new 
work of a like kind; and they would not bring into market 

» Daniel Webster was a very disUnt kinsman. 
^ 2f<^ ««^.— {Ed] 


far tbe benefit of cettiin public Ubnries. This premium 
■31 often uDoont to j^ pamnii sttHmg or mtve. Ao 
eAoct WIS made by pablidtas to obtain a repeal of this 
pnmsioa; hot it was opposed by the institutions which 
were to leceiTe tbe boiefit & tbe attempt biled. 

I have « great intenst in this question, & I think the 
iotensts of sdeoce & litentnre in this question are by 
DO means incoosidenble. 

I siDcerely wish our L^islature would come at once to 
tfkc line of right & justice on this subject, & pass a new 
act, tbe preamble to which shall admit the principle that 
an author has, by common law, or natural justice, the sole 
& ptrwiantni ri^t to make {Mt>fit by bis own labor, & that 
his heire & assigns shall enjoy the right, undogged with 
conditions. The act thus admitting the right would pre- 
scribe only the modt by wbidi it shall be ascertained, 
secured & enjoyed, & violations of the right punished ; & 
perhaps make some provisions for the case of attempts to 
elude the statute by slight alterations of books by mutila- 
tions & transpositions. 

Excuse me, Sir, for the trouble 1 give you, & believe 
me, with much respect. 

Your Obed' Serv' 

From Danikl Webster. W. MSS. 

(Copy.) Boston Oct 14 i8a6 

Dear Sir:— 

I have received yours of the 30"' of September, and 
shall with your permission, lay it before the Committee of 
the Judiciary next session, as that committee has tn ctm- 
templation some important changes in the law respc 
copyright. Your opinion in the abstract, is c 
& incontrovertible. Authorship, is, in its f 

of property. Most people I think arr '^ 

better) with the reasoning of Mr. J 


From Edward £vsrsxt. W.MSS. 

WinterhiD, Chuiestovn, 

19 Jane 1S27 

♦ ♦ ♦ There can be no doubt, however, diftfc Wmlker had 

acoiss to die bet^c sources of information, as to the fiishion- 

jible pronunciation of die language. He was selected, by 

gjinund Burke, jls his Son's Master in Elocntioa ; he was 

familiarly ciiled ' elocution Walker': and having occasion to 

pre^D^ ^ petition x^ the House of Commons, & invoking 

^urke'> •ud on uiac occasion, Mr. Burke introduced him to 

^ Sobleman m this .nanner ; ' Here, mj Lord Berkel[e]7, is 

>lr. Walker, whom not to know, by name at least, would 

^j^e want of knowledge of the harmonies, cadencies, & 

pjoperti^ o( our lani^uage.' 

♦ ♦ ♦ I hope. L>ear Sir, you will excuse these crude 

g^gg^ionss I am really much less of an adept in pro- 

nunciauon, than I ought to be, as a public speaker. I 

hav< never paid much attention to the subject; & have 

aiade the foregoing statements principally for the purpose 

of manifesting a respectful attention to your request. 

1 be^ leave, to assure you, that I look forward with great 
eogern^ to the Publioition of your Work, which I doubt 
not will prove, as Honorable to the Country, as it has been 
laborious to yourself. Hoping that you will reap a nch 
reward, in the approbation of the Country & the hterary 
PubUc at large, I remain, Dear Sir, 

With high Respect, 

Your faithful humble Servant, 

From Abraham Webster. ^V. MSS. 

Lebanon NoV^ 22** 1827 

Dear Brother 

When I look back on my late journey to New 
England. Thr calls we made and the kind recep- 
tion we reo wr frien^- ^ ^nd gieat cause of 


Numbers are inquireing of me about your Dictionary 
they seem anxious to have sight at it 

Please to accept our highest wishes for the happiness of 
you & Sister and your Children, both here & hereafter, and 
remember us to M' Goodrich, Proff. Goodrich and his wife 

Soon after Webster's return to this country, 
arrangements were made for the publication of 
The American Dictionary in two volumes 
quarto of more than a thousand pages each. 
The edition consisted of twenty-five hundr^ 
copies and was completed at the close of 
November, 1828. 

From William Jay. W, MSS. 

Bedford 3i«: DeC: i8a8. 


I received by M'. Cook, your letter of the is"": ins': & 
the copies of your dictionary for which my Father sub- 
scribed. My Father desires me to thank you for the two 
additional copies, mentioned in your letter, & to assure you, 
that he accepts them as a mark of the continuance of those 
friendly feelings which you have so long manifested towards 
him. His state of health deprives him of the pleasure of 
examining the dictionary, but he both hopes & believes, 
that it will be productive of reputation & emolument to its 

The partial inspection 1 have yet been able to give this 
great work, convinces me that it is a very valuable acquisi- 
tion to our literature, & that it alTords a proud proof of 
American talent & learning. 

I have the honor to be Sir, with great respect, 
Your very obd'; Serv': 

■•riiji^ JI>1HLJ 

i TTrk i-ii:iit ~--' ' iZ"; 5:.:^ :■' :he American 
Lzizza-mjr^j . tccitJe-i .-i Syt^y::^ cf Iflfrds in 
Twenty Ltmguage:. Th:;. citing lo the ex- 
pense of chc undertaking, wa^ r.ever published. 


rtaan n iickneaa ic lang^ajor. I stmH keep to a smple 
>iiet n 'ucurc I tut 'Sic iimter at Ljunb every week* Be 
cao AC X '-^rr :;crle ji :t 37 seiC it lasts the fiuinly 4 dajSw 
ybrr las xen juice JxnfeiL & cauxkerd montfa, attended 
vith r'JxcHCefobLe 'erer. I amsaited with IX Ives who 
prescrrbed in :sxenc which has broke up the fever so dxat 
sfae 5 ^mfcrtaoie i^ain. She is very hungry today« & 
Tadxer iispieased jenuse I wril not permit her to eat a fiill 
neaL n ooster. Xew Haven is mfl of Company every 
Hocei n the r.xv :rouued. Jc I haxdly daxe walk out, for the 
Mr Jt Tnn^n^ nvseif into trouble. I dare say people 
rhtnk ae •-erv nhospicabie. but I cannot entertaun com- 
jwrv. ^ io Tiyseit. i smiily justice. * * * [torn] Parties 
>nx uie J.uiai ire venr siuch in vogue : Last Satmday a 
very rtspec3.oie Miry jt 21L iges went on a sail. Deacon 
3ecT? i Ijiiv. Ticge Baldwin i Wire the whole tale of 
hiiUhcustf^ A.UTC Si'iza 6l oil. Your Ijuiv was invited but 
pieadeii .ncispcsicca d:!e boar did not recixm till 9 in the 
eve» I r^JLiy ricu^^ac this was encroaching on holy time. 
On ■•V-dresdav 1 vcur:^ oartv went out. i this p m 
another irs ntendinu to ^c. 

From the Sime. W. MSS. 

New Hdven July 6^ [1829] 

* * * I have just this Minute receiv'd yours by M*" 
WooLsey, <k am glad your labors in X Y are drawing to 
a dose. The weather here has been too cold for comfort^ 
& yesterday the Ladies in Church were all dress'd with 
shawls. I think it is growing warmer & that summer will 
come at last poor William ! I wish he had more decision 
of Character, what will become of him ? I shall send this 
by M' Tappan, if he is not already gone. 

Yours affectionately 


To Rebecca Gresitix/lf Webstul W. MSS. 

WashingtOD Jan^ 7. 1831 
Dear Becca 

Emily & I have just returned from the Capitol, & we 
were in the gallery when the House of Rep^ passed the 
Copyright bill, without a division. It is bdieved the bill 
will meet with no obstacles in the Senate. By diis UIl, 
authors &c have an absolute exclusive right in their works 
for 28 years, with the right of renewal to them, thdr widows 
& children for 14 more. I have reason to think my presence 
here has been very useful in this affiur; & I rejoice very 
much in the result If the bill should pass in the Senate, it 
will add very much to the value of my property. 

I begin to be invited to parties, but shall avoid them as 
much as possible, except those which are given by N. 
England people. We go to-day, I believe, to Dr. SewalFs. 
I am invited to Mr. Ingham's next week, & as the house is 
opposite my lodgings, I shall go with our family, but it 
is all disagreeable to me ; &: as I wish to avoid parties I 
have called on none of the heads of departments, & foreign 
ministers. Love to all. 

Most affectionately yours, 

To the Same. W. MSS. 

Washington, Jan^ 26. 183 1 
My dear Becca, 

I had hoped before this to have communicated the 
news of the passage of the Copyright bill ; but I am dis- 
appointed. There are yet five or six bill[s] before it on 
the calendar; & it may not come to its turn for several 
days. But I rest more contented on account of the 
weather, which renders it unsafe for me to travel. The 
thermometer has been several days down to 10 & 8* above 
zero j & this morning at 6' ditto. This is an extraordinary 
winter here, but the snow now thaws a little in the sun. 



a man as Mr. 
I mi '""""""** 

thing may have 

vitfa Mr. EnmtoSagKtLtim,^ht 
book. On bong miiBBMd of dK tndi 
qoainted whfa m^faefl^slievilbiyaoaff 
b B very pOKible that tUs Ipng 

Eanlj it in prettj good linlrti^ 
the wone for bdi% at paitiei. 

I hope kind providenoe ariD itill 
flooo leiiuii in hcahh & sJetjr. 

My kyve be with all the banliei^ 
Your affxtioDafte 

protect vi ft 

P. S. Mr. Eliott's child is not so wdL 

To the Same. W. MSS. 

Washington Febar 7. i83s[i] 
My dear Becca. 

Youri of the first inst is lec'd but not in time to 

enable me to answer Afar/s request The maik are 

irregular, being sometimes delayed by snow or the ice 

in the rivers. But Mary may be assured diat I diink of 

her often, as I do of you all, & I rejoice diat yoo are in 

health & safety. 

I have enclosed a newspaper to Mr. Goodridi rftntamittg 
the Copy-right law. My great object is now aocomi^ished, 
& as soon as the weather moderates a little, I shall leave 
Washington-*Mr. £. Goodrich's opinion to the contnuy 

I think it best for you to get some wood as I wrote in my 
last letter, if you can find any person who will take the 
trouble. I am sorry to be obliged to ask this £avor; but if 


one htlf of this loss, by paying the interast of $1500 « year, 
until the proceeds of the Dictiimary shall be an interest for 
your use; and as much longor as your convenience shi& 


We are very affectionately and dutifully 
Your children 

Chauncey a Goodrich 
Julia W Goodrich 

From 1830 onward Webster was active in 
the cause of education in Connecticut He 
presided at Teachers' Conventions in Hartford 
and elsewhere. He was an interested member 
of the Society for the Improvement of Common 
Schools, and was a constant correspondent with 
the Hon. Henry Barnard, LL.L)., who was 
Superintendent for Connecticut He still wrote 
with vigor, and his memory was clear and 

From E. H. Barker. W. MSS. 

Thetford, Norfolk, England, 
March 29, 1832. 
Dear Sir, 

You have perhaps by this time received a copy of the 
Avsfectas of Boucher's Glossary : if not, you will receive 
two copies herewith. Our printer, M'. R. Taylor, is con- 
versant with Anglo-Saxon literature, and has promised to 
pay great attention to the work himself. His additions have 
caused a delay in the appearance of our JSrsi N^., which is 
now destined for publication on April i^. & he thinks 
that he can manage to fetch up some of the lost time. I 
think that you will be much pleased with the work, which 
indodes what could not with any great propriety be intro* 
duced into your work. You will observe that the sub- 

Hoping that you enjoy good health, t remain, dear EUr, 
with respect & esteem, 

Most truly yours. 

From Rbbkcca Gresnleaf Webster. W. MSS. 

New Haven August 6^ [1832 ?] 
Dear Husband 

I promisd you a line ten days after you left us, this is 
the ii"'.* Thro' the blessing of a kind Providence we are 
all, Lucy excepted, in comfortable health. SAe has had a 
relapse in consequence of attending the moin> service at 
Church yesterday; as she was so well last week & able, 
with my assistance to do the light work of the family I did 
not object to her going, but it was communion day & the 
service very long. She fainted, & is now so weak that 

' Almost annually he traveled about New England visiting 
his daughters. A postscript in a letter from his wife reads : 

(17th August, 1834] ' I hope you will not ride when you are the 
east iDdisp<»ed — pray take care of yourself & dont eat apple 
pie for supper.' 


Lucy will go home & spend a few weeks to recruit her 
strength when I can get some one to supply her place. 
I dispose of her services at present, but dare not be left 
quite without help, at this critical time. 

Accept the love of all, in both families for yourself & the 
dear friends at Middlebury 

Your very affectionate Wife 

M^liam has forwarded three newspapers containing /i(^. 
Dont let them puff you up too much. 

To William G. Webster. W. MSS. 

Middlebury Aug' 17. 1833 

"^^^^The managers of the Commencement Ball sent 
me a polite note, informing me that they should be much 
gratified by my attendance. Pretty well for a man of 
seventy fimrt But I was better entertained at home.^ * * * 

To the Same. W. MSS. 

Middlebury, Friday 24 Aug' 1832 
Dear William. 

I rode on Wednesday to New Haven 8 miles & 

attended a Sunday School meeting where M' Fowler 

delivered an address. I then went to Vergennes intending 

to proceed the next day to Burlington & thence towards 

Connecticut river, by the Onion river road. But beginning 

to grow weary of riding, & wishing to shorten the journey, I 

returned here yesterday, very much to the surprize of my 

friends. I propose now to remain here till Monday & then 

cross the Mountain & go to the Connecticut by the White 

river road. 

The night I was at Vergennes, a lady by the name of 

^Addressed: Middlebury Vermont To the care of Prof 
who is requested to break the seal if M' W is not 

■- ■ • I 
. 1 . 

I *- ■ 

• t * .. 

•.: » Webstei 

- ■..*:i.*. It h 

..v.; A'! :o-da 

-. iiiLMn'jc has 

iM >oinci:iriv."> Vookir 
'. wio \\"e"o>[:fr> work 

•'L.iiOiMi ■ tiiiiiy ::^ac h' 

...LL. ■..irt.aii^n the land. 
...s.'.-is ■! '.i^e Holy ^ 
..-^.! . >.-;i:s. which 

' '.v::en to 

. . .x>i.: ...xier center 
c work ot / :?? -nar!, :ha 

342 LIFE "was^ rmimi rTurnn 

twi his 

but it VMS dcniinfu.. for mewaal 

At tbu txtut the j 
d ibc frvncL AltmcKr : 

frcM^uiT ^^ BinuiifEton, wnc ^os C 

(jmi briuiin, Bii^ iui- fr^lrm n?nn7ii mbA m 

cbv(«i trtcL sc uiuiut; ptmufatv tDT muiHiiitit. Taa<v 

NCV VVK, UtUC tm- iaui IT: fr^hnrity ^ 

|Kiliic7 1 Kod never Eiaue d til: nt tef: sk i 

In l^te penud li t i wcLiJ 17^3 anc i 

•Undcn and siST'^ffCMffistum pubiiibec in iIicbb p^KK 

*oul(l ainrMm to tbe camena ofa In^ oom TOtnac 

I lie (rcodr^m ^ tbe prea k « T»lnKtilc jtnvHt^ ; bat the 
iiliiiM! lA It, in ih» ooumn-- it x in^rinhi] ei^ Tbe bccD- 
lliiitviirki uf the [iteti is a 6R7 cxis i^icm ibe f>.»T*'^r' of 
lht> iiitiiiliy ; and in iiddiucjo id -^tt rni of CTttnwiiaring 
nnnit Mini, ntiil K>vin(; a wrong cirecisL to ps'obc iDoisiies, 
It tt>iiti|itn Ihr |N«ii>le by rendoii^ ^tao inseaafa l e to tbe 
vrthto III iitilU uiid of rcpuution. Pany Bpim. indolged to 
(.^tt'ii* h«« H kiittilar iiffect, as bigotiy in religion, and to 
liUil ll'f irimliiliim of a political advereaiy. who stands in 
lit,' w«v •'! MiitTM, ix to do God serrice. Whu extreme 
v»ulritit> i>l |Mili«nii malevolence must thai have been 
«tt»it txttlit itMiiiiiiK'**, as traiton to their coanti;, a 
tt»VK>iit.<n mttl N Jny, men of as pure integrity and 
Lw.iu-ttiHv «■ I'tKi IiimI lli<^ «iil of America'. But see tbe 
!v,-.s.. »« VttKMol 'H.'* ; '■'« following paragraph appeared 
.. . v'-^«*v t.« ill Kichmond, Vi^nia, by one 

V - « ^ ^.l^^^ sivi'H, 'Hiat in case the treaty entered 



ramarr 5; rSt^ :o xrend g e n demm in tbe iwiflh^wiw g 

olT chu ToundL * nir the purpose of a free and dispunocMte 
iir''i~"' " anica in g onr public cancans' ; stating also tliat 
the iegtalature which was soon to meet, waulii probably be 
jpanfini ra icnow die feelings and wishes of die peofdfe 
Tbat lettB^ is buw b^bie me. 

Id campliaoce widi dial luquest, seveal gatdemes mef, 
and after a &ee ct iH T Ci aaPon ob die ralamitica of tba 
counny, di^ appointed a commttXee to pcepare a drcnlar 
address to die seroal towns in the three counties Hanqi- 
diiie, Hampdon and FiaokUn, called tbe (^ county of 
Hampshire. A pnnted copj of that address is now beixe 
me. The chief complaints insed in this address, against 
tbe measures of Congress, are tbe iincoDsdtudonality of tbe 
embaigo^ tbe distresses molting from the intemiptioo of 
oar commerce, aod die inequality of the rqireseotadon of 
die oommcTcial states in Congress. Tbe following are tbe 
fonriading ftngftflu tit that circular. 

•We forbear to cmmwntte all the measures of tbe fedenl 
jlMiwnmenl. iriiidi we consider a violation of the consdtii- 


t of ibe public enl& In das n 
pnred die legntinne co take n 
iBiBts to cfae L - o n atituti on, eitku- ijr a giwpiniiMW if dAgata 
Jnm :/i yortknn .md ivmwmniai Stafs, or ia nch Other 
imer ^ ibould b« judged nitable. 

Ac 1 town cneeting in Hatfidd, hdd on die s8th of 
^Buanr, a memorki of s like tenor was iilifiiwiiil to the 
GtBonl Court and dns contained a like f^iw^^ far a 
m m ti ^ jf Mitgsm Jram dm JVaeiiirm Jttnkr for the nme 

A town m ee ting was held in DeaSeld on the lodi of 
ranuarr, which voted a memorial to the ffff«ffH>l Com^ in 
irtiich d>e infaabiOnts petitioDed diat body to take enage ti c 
DGBsmes for 2 redress of j^nevoiances. 

A town meeting wu held in Amhmt on the third of 
Jaaoarr. and resolutions were passed, enumoating the 
disti e as e a of die comitry, and directing the leptesentatiTies 
of the town in the General Coort, to take the most vigorous 
measures to put an end to a hopeless war. 

These applications were made to the l^slature then in 
SKaion, but as negotiations were then on foot for concluding 
a tr^tj of peace with Great Britain, it was jndged advisable 
to postpone aoj action on them during that Session. 

But the n^otiation was protracted during the foUowing 
summer ; the affairs of the country grew worse ; our sbippii^ 
was dismantled and perishing in our harbors; the public 
treasury was exhausted ; the banks south and west of New 
Ei^land had suspended specie payments ; the coast of Con- 
necticut was blockaded by British ships ; a part of Maine 
was in possession of a British force ; and the whole coast of 
New England was left without any adequate defense. Canada 
had been invaded and abandoned ; battles had been fought 
on land without any advantage to the cause; and excepting 

- t^SHK *" 


. -OK TSfr ..ACT TD X' T^.QBUi innaiit '^— — g x ^*VT 
ji : JsT » zaacuKC. iw Webster Genealogy' 

♦J * 

ML 3ISDX Of aest&r 

x^^sr* vos^ jmie :a :c(r" oi hiis fornKr paper, 
"k ^Ip wi ) i -i^ . AtOMmsKK. :bsssL e&ed hf CoL 
xnK. Tc '«u:^ ssuei Xov^sztfaer loch under 
le ::ce .^ "zee jr ^f^sgmm. given it by the 
citt>r. iiw ¥:crt rtis "ictie irtcr'^fuctioa by him : 
t >ur -«;ccrs ciew 'vac wrctse the Knowing 
!csc Acic lac annrssav^ jrticie. thev would be 
ir^ a> ^-vt; t leeMhii jxteadon, without a hint 
tnn ^s ^c xs riey S^ 30c we must needs 
escw uixni rrtnn rre idvio?. by no means to 
«:!$ c ,"v^r w:chcuc ^ v»iiberace and reflecting 
tjrasa^. THey will riad in ic perhaps, some 
cssccits jLCVvinced or indtnated^ with which 
cuitc rtfcubiicxa griaciples cannot harmonize ; 
jtvi twse ney wul reject as we da But the 
iieotfrjL chancterisric of the ardde is truth — 
erious and important truth — in the full and 
tticient conviction of which the welfare of our 
^public is most seriously involved. Age and 
ns^kxn have given us here a chapter of in- 

1 See Appendix XL. below. 


honiUe. The aboUtionists are infatuated, & their oppoaen 
are worse. I aee no end to our disorders. Accept our lote 
from joar affectionate Father. 

From William Chauncey Fowler. \V. MSS. 

Middpebury] College Jan. 16, 1838. 

^^^The children were very much pleased with their 
New Year's presents from their Grand-papa. I think they 
are doing pretty well. Emily succeeds very well in VirgiL 
She is now in her fifth book. She has got a letter in Latin 
prepared for you. I helped her to the phrase 'studio- 
sorum rerum novovum,' and two or three other words. The 
main body of it she prepared, propria mente. 

To WiLUAM G. Webster. W. MSS. 

New Haven April 8^ 1838 

♦ * * Mr Ellsworth is elected Governor, & the whigs have 
30 out of 21 Senators &. two thirds of the house of Repre- 
sentatives. We shall have a great parade in May, when the 
Governor enters New Haven. But after all our public 
aflfairs are very gloomy. Trade is almost at a stand — New 
York appears to [be] almost deserted. 

We are justly punished for our violations of treaties with 
the Indians. Ten miiiions already expended in Florida, in 
driving a thousand Indians into the Swamps 1 And now a 
military force is to be employed to drive the Cherokees 
from their native soil, in consequence of a treaty with a part 
of the tribe, who had no authority to make it. Was there 

wholly forgotten that Gen Schuyler had uttered a like opinion 
at Gen Washington's table more than forty years before. See 
the fact stated by Mr. Jefferson in his works. Vol. iv, p. 470. 

* I believe every word of Sidney to be true ; and farther that 
there is not in the English language, an article which contains 
more important political truth within the same compass.' 



z 3 

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leic ft> aeszcc iCBkn 

Tbe rtscJ: vu in frror re rssaaocc ; Al :t is 

C IT C l*l'^^^''f*^^*^ 



br SIT sxxher. See 

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■:• -=01 ui "jre jnaci- lamzei Tun 

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"■y '•0 irs*-!! »-:i: niiiii let ana: nai l. reaas Lt 


ril'J.,: ^;,>; .i_;j; JcK f.-Te iUli =tf- ■ H?c2e. 


•Ljui^ i,-:.; :ja,-3 :, s-^isae* izii -i.-y f:::.iwttL 

w,. .1 

iiifi t; ;, -ii- ;^s - -^^ ig,^ ;ii.-.:r. =:e abli 


■i"«'iKc.. ;.] -.-..-^ i:u..-j :i' rza r:i:c:. trc iilitirw 


' 1 '■■■i': -ii;.:.:..; 1.-.: -j:- =i^siz=s ic ±fi :m i-:^e. 


I..1W .„ ■.;.^ _i..^r oi .34 £n^i.x:lirs7. i.-Ti=^?i -.T 

"He • :n; ;,-j:::i:c;:. . z, :' "iS i =-eua=: Ein: ' 
;ii- -C.HCU ii :hc well ills-i :cari. ;— -thir G- 
1 sillily :iii|iiorciI the blMKn; ::" har^. We 
"vi na» mill na and it was i :itrir^^. =:si!. 
..; ^iii>iii.-d i'tother Fowi« made a few r-natb 
. .•ill ^laimide 10 God thai we zii beer. ?er- 
.. . 1 .mil .imiCort, and that we ws~ &: -^l-ed. 
\.<M\i. .Hid returned solemn hearrv -jr^a. 
.:;Ti.ii !i) ilie parlor to talL of old a-d 
MCl'infss of the little folks whose eves srarkled 
•iriio* .ind laugh gladdened the hearj ci" -s 
.».■.' sell that we were to part never :o tneti 
■-■ ,1 ■'., till we stand unsheltered before the Grea: 

vLi)'' to learn where shall be our last eCemal 

I were professedly the children of grace, aod 
■■ it ihoy too come to the cross of Christ and find 

x-riastini; portion ! At five we all went to 
,s-\ .>iir tea in the home of our earl^ days. 
^ >oiv we [larted, our beloved and revered 

•, .t,;ci;t;i'n. and kneeling, as we all did, 

,.■ . ;-.■ >:cssiuj; of heaven upon us, our 

, ,-v:-< children to ihe latest generation. 


presented each of us with a Bible, his last gift,^ with our 
names written by his own trembling hand ; and we closed 
our meeting by singing * Blest be the tie that binds.' Shall 
we ever forget it Oh, no ! the youngest there received some 
deep impression of the blessedness of nurturing a family 
in the fear of God The little Bibles are cherished gifts. 

June y^. Here, dear E. I was interrupted and left 
my sentence unfinished, but I beUeve I was going to tell 
you of little William Fowler who screemed out in his sleep 
that night—' My Bible, Oh Pa— take care of my Bible.' 

In the summer of 1842 Webster had made his 
annual visits to his daughters in Hartford and 
Amherst, and at the latter place addressed the 
students of the college on the 4th of July. 

In the spring of 1843 he revised an Appen- 
dix to his Dictionary prepared by his son.* 
Early in May 1843 he took a long walk 
(dressed in thinner clothing, which he had 
lightened for the season) to visit some old 
neighbors * in Water Street ; he took a severe 
cold which ended in pleurisy. This terminated 
his life on the twenty-eighth of the month, in 
the eighty-fifth year of his age. 

His funeral was largely attended. The 
students of Yale College and the children of 
the schools walked in the procession which was 
more than a mile in length. Dr. Taylor made 
the address. A modest granite shaft in the New 
Haven burying-ground marks his resting-place.* 

1 See Appendix XL below. 

« Yale BiographUs, F. B. Dexter. *Tbe Mtfies Brintnall 
♦For an account of Mri. Webfter*! death, tec Appendix 
XXXVIII below. 

E VlK^Ctf 

r =s ^ ■" ^ :i:.r. r-t^:^ oar 7j:^r 

— vsanff E 

-t;riT.fiTTr 3-' US asTZBi .oii ne coDaoipkUian 

■=it azx ii-rr. :i; »:c<:iT^ creacioDs of tbe 
!<i »;tlj; yt aafcicing to bis deified visioa 


his ErUkt's tann, the fruit of which wu s &Torite ooe wliea 
be wu a rerj litde bojr. He took me three yesn ago to 
the home of his childhood, which I had never visted before^ 
and requested me then to cut some slip* for my own gaiden, 
and cherish them in memory of him. The last nmnner 
the young pknt produced only one grape io peifiection, 
■o I wrapt it in cotton wool and put it in a tiny bcs 
and sent it to him. He alladed to it in this coDvecsa- 
tton and said playfully, 'I held it np to mother, asked 
her if she did not want it, and popped it into my own 

I visited the study three times befcffe gewig to rest^ and 
he was very affectionate and cheerftil. He wiriied his drinks 
to be placed by his side, and no one to remain with him 
through the night. He was not willing Dear Mother's rest 
should be broken — she was so feeble. Sister Julia and 
myself wished to be near him, but he evidently prefened 
to be alone, and we had been early taught to regard with 
deference and delicacy his least desire. 

On Thursday, he was not worse, he walked about his 
room and conversed with deep interest on many pleasant 
family topics. I worked by bis side, and when he slept, I 
looked upon his dear unfurrowed face, and blest God that I 
had had a Christian father. Once he woke suddenly, and 
caught my eye fixed upon him. He smiled, and said 

' From Eliza Webster Jones. W. MSS. 

' Bridgeport Sept. 1842. 
• • • ' I went out yesterday to look at the grape vines which 
have grown lar^e & strong— the little clusters blasted early in 
the season, but in poking about, I chanced to see one nice fat 
graft, which in great gtu I brought in, & after exhibiting its 
nne qualities to eyes that longed & mouth that watered I 
carefully enclosed it in a pill box -well laiped out & lined 
with cotton wool — so dear father pop it into your mouth, not as 
a pill — but first fruits of the youngest slip of the old patriarch 
vine of the homestead. I wish I could find one for mother but 
another year 1 think there will be many.' 


Mm safiei 
mf mind 
lovii^ yo 
TBiteda 1i 
the phjm* 
the mom 
sUter snd 
dinner, si: 

wu alone with Tather. Soon be said, ' My dai^ter, will 
you retire for a little vhile?' I told htm I would adl 
Mother, and entreated him not to rise unaided, as be had 
dtme before. Mother was at the door in a momenL It 
was loeked. We waited with great anxiety some moments. 
The perfect silence alarmed us, we feared father was feint 
and called to him. He had risen and walked across the 
room ; but when he unfastened the door he was exhausted 
by his efforts. Mother went in and found him speechless. 
I followed and raised his head to administer a restoradve. 
He faintly declined by a motion, but I placed it to his lips 
and he swallowed it. The physician and brother and sister 
Goodrich were in a few moments by his side. He told 
them he was not aware of his own feebleness before, and 
that he was afraid he had injured himself by his exertions. 
One chief characteristic was his delicacy and his fear of 
troubling others, and it remained to the last I observed 
through this sad afternoon, an anxious expression on dear 
father's face. I caught his eyes fixed tenderly and inquir- 
ingly on me, as I moved about the room, and as mother 
went in and out, he followed her with an emotion which was 
very evident, tho' under strong control. He knew there 
was a change in himself. At 5 D' Taylor' called to see 
> Rev. Dr. Nathaniel W. Taylor, an old friend and neighbor, 
Dwight Professor of Didactic Theology in Yale. His daughter 
was married to President Noah Porter, who later revised 
Webster's Dictionary.— {E.A.'\ 


dfl^ly re 
rated on 
die end,' 
Uke, whe 
mfflcs its 
■tream in 

were borne heavenward beneath the sweet influence of the 
Sun c^ Righteousness, and is it strange they lingered? A 
tender wife and loving children were clinging round our 
bther. He knew our grief and felt himself the separati<m 
deeply. In the afternoon his respiration became more 
difficult, he changed his position often for relief, but could 
still converse freely with us. All his children surrounded 
him but one, and looking with deep affection on the 
grieving group, be said, ' you have all been good children to 
me. It is pleasant to be sick with so little pain, and such 
kind nurses. I have much to be grateful for.' One dear 
sister threw herself on his pillow, and said with much 
emotion, ' Father if we have ever grieved or troubled you, 
foigive us now.' With a sweet and almost playful smile, 
just as he would have spoken when in health, he answered, 
' Do you think my children, that I have laid up anything 
against you?' 

Some time after, I asked him if he suffered much. 'Not 
acute suffering dear, but an indescribable uneasiness.' 
'Well dear Father, you will soon be at rest and in glory, 
with sister Mary and the little grandchildren who have gone 
before you.' 'Yes my child, I trust so.' 'And Father 
all the rest will follow on to heaven, we hope.' He raised 
his eyes filled with tears, folded his hands purple with die 
efforts of expiring nature, and answered with stron" *' *" ' "* " ■ - 
'Yes, they all will, if prayers can save them.' 

-« -<-jTC -i-rail !-Jis "trsa t:= cau w '«» ±iek off the 
SKUi.':, . lix-i -'-X «^ 'afr j'Txn-ic*' T aiL 'gg 5x ^ xxd it 
» i» '-••-•■i.i: anx -i^iispec : ."c a; :aB ?7*t CifiaE. cuiring 
Ss- ^a*. c" ?.*,-;, lif^ «au>:ii^ ■^sr' sc-w^* »3^ joaKv steps 
4»!»; 1. ,-e« ^wrse _■> »> iir.'wra.TC saccir n'" rise »rd ccspm- 
^^i^i*- ^ iksiC -xr-iw.-* ctrx jr "tnir -fan. »as aid to 
it**: ,-uTst .^t a I vnif M>Ji:x'us tc :t ^roiiafa iangfater 
*i»iC!t ^-iniBunicawir <»»£ x," at* Mbin;. gspec ia lh- to my 
paitcfscKr i^ic au^pMC i.'w uni x-c^ ai 3k. and «bo hu 
MiraKC 2(i; m:<.ti«DC ji stow Jtw ^" "23 mr . - jss s fcr children. 
>i'."i» 1 »«■« » iiscnct jBVFsssix d tiis sceac. ind am sdll 
ihimt :>n«w art i^es. =» "anpr «iiis::f bci of the gorem- 
ahiiic 3t««j«ipfE "sjs pKoi wii ire ^:a^, CTen bnrtbe dink 
■K :iir awul b*(f ^ •: was dnjyec oloog the ground, and yet 
t pictures con- 

I MI br no meaas sme cha: tht»e are i 

«& HfCRuc 3M J n^i r . ^QQHi ippua boxe the door of 
K -ivpK < 'on.'cuBe 3UCS. ioi at* a^ed gaodfitflier <fae was 
ctfut •«<'a)p-«^Qt.' vouiii atcer with, hs swift, light stept 
jfi -c>.-^''n; nv n«aac nutn^s who scwiy followed him, and 
,ou;v; «c;e wr n let ?iao;. t hmicipc in ifter. I cannot 
yi'.v-w -w "vuw WW r i-'ii. 3cuaa w,ti =m tank gtuRony of 
-iilchixv. ^ -ttmeaiotir siciK ?Kil«i jolmoo for tea at 
\j^itu, iini .nv4-K«i ac m gw a ere eise on tfa« road, and my 
e <:acatbal it was among 
; «,tiCCT Tcw rwE iw was wiling to charge himself 
^-sn; _^' in :n»al»i ciald like my cousin, or a 
-^dc-jrt; wtth ^uii:k3i;'»i!r ic her »«cs like myself. But his 
■jAtTipi."^ ioc .ncuigw« w my restlessness and activity I 
^■4.1 wt3 tn=wce loi amiiemcnt, a patience and indul- 
«iwt '«"•■*' I w*«d«: with ftmd sympathy and proud 
*ifanroit a "a&it vwsrs. In ordinary moods he. was a 
«aw. _iwt>. bihcwi man. kindly to all and especially 
wsiCT x- his btcod o« Krandchildren, and to me always con- 
Minaw and e^n caressing. I have never lived with any 
renon who entered so endrely into my wishes and neces- 
sities, and his care and love for his descendants, espedaUy 
for his vm, who was never fortunate in business, was 
aiiceMii«. I had DO ear of him ; only love. 

- — .«^ -\'.-js' ' "- T.'' rsmr.nine- nin :: scor: rl; 

»•:-. ' :^.>« iii'v ^is "If rem 
iiL- -..^-A* .X. I -^JTr—Ser the so 

t ^ 

t «^. ■-^- 

:.:t ^unii*^. 



<• ^> « '<- .. 


1 •« « 

V'v.^^ v.n. 


of the cnfier tan^Hais £d not do jnstkse to tiie fipixit of 
l Kffi i>r » incBilaetad. Free coovecmctian and jokes widi sma- 

"waj oboGBOOis to hhn, jmd if ooe wts made 

in Ins pme n oe, fae loae and left tiie Toom; if tiie aflfender 
of Ins own £um)j, ^le rebnike was idiaip and 

Probably in eai^ fiie bis lrin|'ir!i was qniciL, bixt it voy 
luciy ibowcd iftelf in domestic mterccmxae. When be was 
angry, it was agaixist on, and ncA as a pcranfuil oflfennr 
*g*'"*^ ^"""^^ Ooce wben Bomelbixig roarBr or imperti- 
nent was said in bis presence be reboked tbe colpnt so 
se f crcly tbat one of bk little girls, wbo sat by said : ' Papa 
makes me siver (diiver) like a top.' In my many montbs of 
readenoe witb bim I nerer saw bim loosed to anger bot 
once, and tbat was wben a dnbions and ntber indelicate 
word was mentioned before bim.^ 

Indeed it must bave been a rash nature tbat ooold 
approacii tbk noble old gentleman witb anything bat 
reverence. His face indicated bis power as well as bis 
benevolence, bis apparel was spotless as a Quaker's, and 
his manners were as big^brod as bis dre». Yet bis speedi 
was stra^t4orward and strong rather than elegant, be qx>ke 
to tbe point witboat drcnmlociitioo and widxxit detail, so 
that his refinement seemed to be of temperament, while his 
intellect was robust rather than gracefoL 

I have the impresnon that at one time in his life be was 
a snuff taker,' and tbat be gave it tip on losing his snuff box 
when he was about fifty years old I do not remember this 
habit, and I think if be bad used strnfT in my childhood, I 
should retain some recollection of it since I was an obser- 
vant child witb a good merfy/ry, and was a great deal with him« 

1 Upon a brosdV^ \n attempted verte^ entKled TTu BunUr's 
Weddings h wrHum ; '7^ff^ Um Un tlie tuMimity of my genius 
and tbe elegant taH« tA K W«fMer/ (L. CI 

Tbe band tbcm^t hm Up hnv \tmtn ttfll youog— probably 
dnring )n§ soutberti UM$f^{K4.) 

'Set p. 140, ohU. 

' f 

I' >. 

.1 [,: 

. ' .". :-iiiiIy lias a p! 

:-. riL-ipinj; me ir 

.;;in I ay lor, and Mr. 

. :;i«..M, and his seeing 

" •■'»-• are iritlcs, but the) 

. . .:i:«.h nciilcctcd no dut) 

. .*:.«i I have a Latin letter 

.. . •• mv own.^ He had 

.'.ni'jenth year with hi 

... \.in was carried Out, 

• -.: -i-andmother left al^-n^ 

';4^ he made his last vis: 

t.idents on the 4lh of Ju 

.1 !!!y .ippreciation of him ha 

•.li^iiieiied withniv strenL'th. 

- ::i>teN the fidelity of h:5 c:: 
. ... 


r^K V 

^ • 

of her 2i^ 
and =l: — 

T l-I/ I ' 

"□CXSHId II Irjeri:: . .«!_ ^rz" 

Tiiu 2£S: Li ri- 

ses: i:: Jvs¥ ; 

T'ii"^l tilt Ui 

: Irt^- 

!L.' :r_ii . r.^: =s:?r -*-■-.*'. ^ ^.^^■•, xK 

iirtie nic« ihin I'wv A^-si a N*'< xn*-**-^ ^^^^ ^"^ n>o>\ !»\.^^ 
only a few weeks. I ^«^^ *^^* >^'*^^ ^^^ "•'^'' ^'^'"'^^ ^ 
Julia A: in the eArly nv^nuMft a ^>h>mm *-^Wr u^ n u 0\^ >\\ 0\ s^ 
baby was dead. Ihov di^^^v.^ .jm^h A \^»\v^ ^ » U^w 
leaving me lo c*ir um w\m^I< \ «v»m 4^^mu\ ^^^ 0\» \\^\\ 
loom door ^5: my moiUiM o|v»\»'%l w i\^\ ww A »\\m\ \\v\\ \\\\ 
' her heart & Midi *V«m itu' \\\\ \\\\\\ Mw ^\^^^^ ''^\\y m) 

^wa >tr. ;Staart vas the pastoc of tbe church where she 
■onbifrpeti I «as a wtt Twmg cfaDd then & so from tbe 
Mr)i«s£ I tuil cbe ^n<u adnotage of her religious teachings. 
Sho liked poMcT & hTmos & eocounged me to team them 
M]is«lf ^ W repeat them often. ' Hrmns for Inbnt Minds ' 
«iff« my Jeltgbc, & as 1 Eearoed to read at a very early age 
I tiMiraeJ them aU, & some of them I used to think over 
wheo seut early to bed & their influence I feel even now. 
*1 th&uk the goodness & tbe grace, which on my birth 
hftth smiled ' made roe hate sbrery from my infant yean — 
& one of my first voluntary prayers was that God would 
make all free, & most earnest was I. The prayers of all my 
dkildhood years are answered, & I praise God for it. Soon 
the bond of Union & Christian love will be drawn closely 
about the Races. All shall be one in Christ Jeaus. 

1 remember my mother when her sweet face was shaded 
by solicitude by the infirmities of my youngest sister, Louisa 
bom two years after Henry Bradford's death. Her care for 


sister Julia who became as it vcre a second mother to me & 
was always loved as sudi. Sister Julia was like mother in 
her gentleness & ^)r^tlineas & mndfishness. Father once 
said to me ' Mother is never so happy as when I send home 
a piece of muslin or flannd & set her to work for others.' 
She had a great diare of e ie c uti te ability ic could plan it 
execute with remaricable speed anytfaii^ she undertook for 
her housdicrfd. When tired she would slip away & wid> 
some book of Romance or poetry soon be rested for work 
again. I remember with a musem ent her Hkxx^ for the 
lighter litemtnre of the day, at the suae time of her Hfe, 
when the works of Hannah Moore, John Xewton ik others 
of a very devout character were eqcBlly her resocrce. One 
of her fiivorite books brramr a dtH^t o( tssnt, Mtl 
Rowe's ZOten frmm the Dtad i9 the Ucim^^- ic 6b how 
they fedmyimiginatkxL I was a de^care cix^ ^ was leoc 
early to rest at n^ht Ic used to axsy^esasaU: zrrvdf zij fi g ^n 
into the ^im woM Ic ho<d tone taJks vfrh ±^ ng»fi k 
with the Sczipcure dncacten I eked !«c ; Ajuolumss^ Y2rp^ 
& Danid 9l the Dtsczpie whom J^sbb ^spvuf were ^Jtuss, itMOi 
on the Heavenly Hrlh, Ac I 2aked rxsorjcA, ic sub^ ri^ 
answers act oi ifing to the ksx^re^^ I hatL Oz. !r<e hkrjrjic±^ 
I remember bow Motiter osed to uke S7 briber 'A^Iiaa 
& a young aervaat of nrya^ itae was 'brc^ra ^i^' » a 
waitress* inCD tEie \arpt t£pger ikcr^en with Jiy i gi / xrA uas 
our lesHiDS in the hamsBJckf CaxexbJaaaBu ic se hj7u» mt 
learned each week. We voaaed ±e w!icu!: 'taosftfusn is 
three «WwriK Ic c&es be^as a^aox. ir I Txuiesrw/rA z ^»»rT 
early but <fid hoc appcowe ^vE ill the ansnpsx T:u( 'rrzre:^ 
sion 'Booed m hnn Jc Ssil w:t& him' in 'iii-t ^r-it trsna- 
greswn ' I marked rJE wA ^rsssciiei^ rx mj ymr::i. ir ' f 
<fidnt ' was the fangi a y ^ mv hear: — 

by Fliyahrrft ^Singer) fitdwe^EtL, 
^ProCttiify Adefine 4r E^ea^ zneatuuieii is :tue jerten.^ — fE^', 

small children did not understand him & were timid in his 
presence. As we matured we knew the deep affection (rf 
his nature, the strong under-current which welled up occa- 
sionally surprising us & then was quickly controlled. Not 
one of his children had his reticence. We were more like 
Mother, free & outspoken at home & in society. The 
'Greenleaf was in the midst of buds & blossom. Father 
was like the tulip tree before me now, on the lawn, straight 
& stately, its blossoms high above our reach. We look up 
wistfully & would catch the delicate petals — now & then 
some breeze will waft one to us, not often. I have seen my 
Father's eyes fill with tears, when he would be silent I 
used to wish he would speak & free a full heart from its 
oppression. He seldom did — when he did it was memor- 
able. So Father & Mother were very unlike but the years 
of their life glided harmoniously. My Mother dearly loved 
the Bible and read it a great deal. When she was very 
young a brother became blind from an accident. He was 



/lear my mother in age & I have understood was almost 
ready to enter College at Harvard. Mother read aloud to 
him a great deal & from the Word of God. In this way she 
became familiar with it & committed chapter after chapter 
to memory. She could repeat many of the epistles entire 
& much of the gospels, forty of the Psalms & many of the 
grand chapters of Isaiah. In her long last illness of ten 
months this was a sweet resource. If we mentioned the 
text on coming from church she knew where to find it 
always. Dear Mother, I fear that some of her children are 
not as familiar with the scriptures. There are too many 
religious papers now, or so called religious. Once we had 
iew books & read them thoroughly. 




ster's cfa 

for. and 
and prin 
cS scien) 

of his college years to the end of his long and 
busy life. He was a born investigator' 

' Dr. Francis A. March, the Anglo-Saxon scholar, has summed 
up the characteristics of Webster^s researches in these words : 

* But Noah Webster had a genius for linguistic investigadons 
which has not been surpassed by any English lexico^ranhcr or 
grammarian. The dictionaries before his time were id tne first 
stage of nhilol^^, unorganiied accumulations of facts. Webster 
caught tlie soini which was beginning to move in France and 
Germany, and advanced from Home Tooke to the second stage. 
He grasped the general principles of etymology ; that certain 
root-sounds have a definite sense which is the radical sense of 
all words into which they enter ; that (he growth of words goes 
on according to regular laws both of sense and sound ; that the 
various meanings of a word should be developed from the 
tsdical meaning according to regular laws of philological sug- 
gestion ; that all languages have like roots and laws, so that a 
comparison of all should be made to throw light on all, and on 
language in general ; that letters of the same organ interchange 
so that (he reco^iiing of kindred words is no guess-work. 
Noah Webster's life was nobly spent in redrganizing English 


Adl pove 

ITOIII his ( 

r^^t h.w, 
in his edi 
priies for 
mod in hi 
ahnys tt 
among h 
b^an in 

that he w 
America i 

It has 
given to i 
first who 
facts, rect 
the laws 
which the 
the mind 
science fc 
his key : 
Morse an 

rollowed 1 
always m 
used as i 


anticipated error without u and nAuceA fimbHcke 
to pubiuk. 

It is plain from his philological career that 
Webster possessed industry, perseverance and 
persistence in an extraordinary d^ree. The 
names of these qualities change according to 
the success of the individual who displays them. 
What is called self-conceit in an adventurer 
struggling in new fields becomes in the successful 
hero the prophetic instinct of the discoverer; 
the obstinacy of the inventor is rechristened 
and called die firmness of conviction of the 
successful patentee. 

This charge of self-conceit and presumption 
meets all souls that strive for reform, and it was 
often hurled at Webster through the middle 
period of his life. His own generation, and the 
older generation of patriots and scholars before 
him, believed in him from their personal know- 
ledge of the man and his great qualities. They 
trusted him, for he had worked with them for 
high ends. But the later generations (for he 
lived through nearly three) who heard of him — 
not as the active scholar in politics, nor the 
practical man of affairs — considered him a self- 
admiring visionary. Manufactures and railroads 
were visible facts of progress ; the education he 
strove to give the people was an invisible, silent 
force, making no show by the side of the material 
civilization of the day. It was the fashion to 
jeer at him, as it was the earlier fashion to 
ridicule Franklin, with whom he had many traits 
in common. 


am engaged is generally ooosidered as drudgery 
fx the blind, as die proper toD for ardess in- 
dustry, a book that requires neither the light 
of leauming, nor the acdvity of genius ; but may 
be successfully performed without any higher 
quality than that of bearii^ burdens widi dull 
patience, and beating the track of the alphabet 
widi sluggish resolution.' 

Webster had from the first fiu* higher ideas 
of the province of the lexicographer. He con- 
sidered him an investigator of ideas, of past 
history of language, of roots and kinship of 
tongrues; he wished to be a reformer, a dis- 
coverer, a prophet and yet an antiquary, and he 
held that the largest reach and broadest scope 
of study is a duty as well as a pleasure to me 
dictionary-maker. This ver)'^ breadth of view 
interfered for the time with his success, yet 
Johnson encountered equal discouragement for 
his representative book — representative of his 
times. For he wrote to Dr. Bumey : ^ * I 
remember with great pleasure your commen- 
dation of my Dictionary. Your praise was 
welcome, not only because I believe it was 
sincere, but because praise has been very 
scarce. A man of your candour will be sur- 
prised when I tell you that among all my 
acquaintance there were only two, who upon 
the publication of my book did not endeavour 
to depress me with threats of censure from the 
public, or with objections learned from those 

'Charles Burncy. 1726-1814, the mu>ician, writer and charm- 
ing man of the world, but perhaps best known as the father of 
•Fanny* Bumey (Madame d'ArblayX the author of£'Tr//««i.--{EA] 


hts country. 

Max Miiller, in Chips from a German Work- 
shop, speaks twice of Webster's Dictionary as 
the representative dictionary of the age.' 

It is plainly seen that langu£ige borrows new 
life and blood from even slang terms. It is 
renovated, as the nobility of England enrich 
their race and their posterity by intermarri^e 
with the stronger blood and fibre of the com- 
moners. Language now and then — like the 
classic Antxus — must touch the earth, the 
common soil, to keep itself wholesome and 

And time has answered the various objections 
to Webster's changes. The nation for which he 

' Volume iv. pp. 68 and 485.— [£<1'1 

the n\ 
«u rt 
nwn i 
the cc 


grasp of ideas which his experience gave to him, hi> open- 
minded receptiveness, his sturdy perseverance, the wi^ to 
be helpful, the wish to be right for the sake of the right, all 
contributed to make him a fitter man for the work that 
he undertook than Johnson could have hoped to be. There 
was an earnestness of purpose, a determination to be fit, 
a determination to be just, a detennination to be true, 
which Johnson in a large degree lacked. Johnson pursued 
his work to get a living and denounced its drudgery. 
Webster pursued his work because he looked upon it u 
a high calling, a privil^e, and because he believed it was 
worth while. Johnson was a literary genius: Webster 
was not, — but literary genius is not essential to lexict^raphj.* 
The capacity to be honest, the capacity to think right, 
' ' The emphasis has been shifted from literary taste to lingu- 
istic fact***Thc lexicographer must not select, but must 
record. *** To make, to use Trench's phrase, an "inventory 
of the language."' See Ben. E. Smith in TJie Evening Post, 
April 34, I9[2,— fEd} 


venuvji, and would have intiodiioed him to Ac hbofs 
of Bopp and odier Gcnnan wotkens, wfaoae methods afierall 
most have been not so different 6om WebBtei'% thoc^i^ 
more wisely directed. Had he p o wgmcd sndi atsoriarioni^ 
it is quite possible tfiat he might have anticipated later 

*\Veb5ter*s improvements over the woik of his prede- 
cessors were such as might be eiqpected of such a man. 
Johnson, a litenry genius, made an essentially literary 
dictionary, lisdiig and defining the terms and senses that 
occurred in the literature that he knew and cared to read. 
Webster, the man of affiun, the man with an insatiable 
thint after knowledge for its own sake^ the man of many 
and bioad intellectual sympathies, widi a bent to researdi 
in history, science, and linguistics, made the best dictionary 
that he could to meet the wants of such a man as himseUl 
Webster had the true historical instinct, and his work 
represents a distinct advance in that respect over Johnson's. 
He did not originate the historical method of lexicography, 
nor did any of his successors in the same field of labor. 
That was a slow growth, of which the first development was 
the attempt to trace the senses of words from their originals^ 
which Johnson refers to when he says, ** in every word of 
extensive use, it was requisite to mark the progress of its 
meaning, and show by what gradations of intermediate 
sense it has passed from its primitive to its remote and 
accidental significations; so that every foregoing explana- 
tion should tend to that which follows, and the series be 
regularly concatenated from the first notion to the last** If 
this is not historical I know not what to call it In pursuit 
of the same idea Webster spent a dozen years ; and says : 
*' There is a primary sense of every word, from which all the 
others have proceeded; and whenever this can be dis- 
covered, this sense should stand first in order." In fact the 
etymologically primary sense of a word is usually its first 
sense in English, and in Webster's day knowledge of the 








scientist, the artisan, and what not. I do not know that 

I am prepared to say, with E. S. Gannett, "Blessed be 

Drui^ery ; " but if good work is to be done, drudgery must 

be endured. 

' Johnson begins the preface to his dictionary, by saying : 
'■It is the fate of those who toil at the lower employments 
of life to be rather driven by the fear of evil than attracted 
by the prospect of good ; to be exposed to censure, without 
hope of praise ; to be disgusted by miscarriage or punished 
for neglect, where success would have been without applause, 
diligence without reward." 

'"Among these unhappy mortals is the writer of dic- 
tionaries, whom mankind have considered, not as the pupil 
but the slave of science, the pioneer of literature, doomed 
only to remove rubbish and clear obstruction from the paths 
through which learning and genius press forward to conquest 
and glory, without bestowing a smile on the humble drudge 
that facilitates their progress. Every other author may 
aspire to praise ; the lexicographer can only hope to escape 

bat with my ardent wishes for their improTOnent and their 
happiness ; and for the continued increase of the wealth, 
the leamir^ the moral and religions elcratioD of chanu:ter, 
and the gkxy of my country." This sentiment seems to me 
to imply a truer conception than Johnson's of the wortit of 
hb labor, and to fonn a more fitting condusicn to Eudi a 

' ^(mA WtitUf'i Plact among English Ltxieagn^k^rs, F. 
Starves Allen. 



if an I 


I wi 
my sui 
from a 
I cam 

for the i^ress as soon as possible, & my Institute stands in 
need of improvement. 

If your Excellency can furnish me with any prospects in 
either of the ways mentioned, or in any other, it would be 
a satisfaction to me & enable me to make such arrai^e- 
ments here as will be necessary, if I leave this S*-*- 

1 have the honor to be with perfect respect 
Vour Excellency's most obliged 
very humble Servant 

To William Youhc. 

New York December 

I have fixed my residence in this city, whi 
tend the publication of the American Magai 



tbe p 



ben, Mid if there is a prospect of getting subnsteooe by 
business in Boston, this shall be preferred. 

I am as happy as the heart of the loveliest of her sea, & 
the kindness and esteem of all your connections, can make 
me. Still a union of a more sacred & endearing nature it 
mjp anient wish. In this wish I am not alone; but what- 
ever may be our desires, your sister & myself must 
postpone a nearer union, till she can be furnisbed, ft I can 
bogin business. 

Your sister depends on you for provision for furniture— 
and I must depend on my own exertions. I shall try to 
make it convenient to marcy in the course of this year ; but 
it dqwnds partly on your assistance, & partly on events that 
art w>t altt^ther in my power. 

I shall send this Letter to N Vork to be forwarded by the 
Arat vessel. Your Sister Becca will write you soon, & 
perhaps her letters wilt be forwarded with this. Everything 
here is as usual : Your friends well, & often speaking of you 

ordeis for 
will alway 

M' Dai 
ate Kcqiu 

I wrote 
brother K 

pain by ir 
hit friend! 
& there it 
ing busint 

never can 
friends in 
dam, but 
your eneti 

Since you left us I have made little enquiry into the state 
of certiticates, & I know not what measures the national 
legislature will adopt. We are all happy in the establiih- 
ment of government, & waiting with ardent hopes for its 
successful operation. 

I know what has passed between you 5c yours & h(^ 
never to betray the confidence reposed in me. You have a 
hard struggle between inclination & s sense of duty; bat 
your good sense & fortitude will triumph over passion: I 
am sure of your success, but we all share your pains. 

I shall be happy to be numbered among those of your 
friends who have your esteem & utmost confidence. I wish 
my name to be mentioned & my respects presented to 
M" Greenleaf. Every thing connected with you has a 
claim to my regards. 

With cordial attachment 

I am your obliged friend 
& hum' Serv' 


For this she 
hBrdlf knoi 

There is 
cannot pua 
mmke every 
nicceed, th< 
lemark, tha 
At first settii 
in the atteit 
man must e 

I have a 
should be u 

Your letl 
ever mingle 
of these yoi 

I can giv< 
sphere or in 
bustle of pu 
certainty th 

With eve 

To the Sara 

My DKAt 

the hands o 
all your oth 
no great re^ 
our Westen 
of them wo 

Morse. His Geography is esteemed here^ but toeie we 
some inaccuracies in it. In the brief History, page 971 

will sell slowly, and I have to make paymc"' ''"' »*-— ~'* 

of the sales of the Institute. On the whole 

require it, I should with great reluctance < 

some small sum to assist us, knowing that 

enable me to return it with an interest i 

your generous heart, than six pr cent. ' 

Hartford — in a large convenient house of C 

where our friends will always find a hearty 

will probably remain [in] Europe some tii 

the system of finance to be adopted by our 

ment will be favorable to your business. V 

wilt be, it is not certain ; but we know tl 

opinion is that our debts will be funded on 

cent interest. Congress have a recess till 

laws are going into operation peaceably & 

faction. No appointments are made abroaa, except 

Carmichael at the Court of Madrid. I am not in the ceni 


to ni 



to be 

fantng stock in Amsterdam cmmiot be obtsined of oar 

Comptroller & Ttemsurer ; but if not, I can porcbase stodc 

for Tou & deposit with any agent yoa shall name — recicTe 

* negociate intefest for you, &c M' Wstson will po^ 

cbase to the amount of jf 30,000, if be can obtain sndi 

Toocben as he likes ; a[t any r)ate be will [torn] laigdjr ; 

and I am [toro] 

I will give orders to M' Watson to redeve some of mjr 
DisseiUtions in New York & fonrard to joa. I sboold 
bave suit you more, but I supposed the present would 
hardly have been acceptable to any of your friends. 

I hare only to conclude by giving it as my opinion, that 
you OT your friends can not vest money to so good advan- 
tage in any other way, as in the debt of Connecticut, because 
the interest is regularly paid — and I should not want a better 
business than paying 6 or 7 per cent interest on specie 
vested in the principal of this State. If you can find any 



or II 

draw . ^ , 

sdf \vu will chccT^lly do me this favor ; the troable on jour 
I^ut vill not be gnai ; and it will be afibidii^ me «U tbe 
asusomce I «>ni. 

The hinds of Amoica are rising, in constqaatce of tbe 
ex(«cted s>ratvni of Finance. \Mul this will be 1 know not ; 
but e^vnr eK.-wt is making to persuade the s[t]ates to give 
all their debts into the management of the Gen" GorenunenL 
I apfHvSend howefvr that Kinds cannot be provided to paj 
six pn cent on the whole. J^r ^ a Aa//& perhaps Hfw 
pr Cent interest would satisfy the Cieditof^ at present. At 
any rate Cortgress will pay as much as they am now ; for 
we hear noihiti([ of ^^^g the debt, so thai poidiaseis are 
perfectk safe- 
Accept the kind love of jour good sisters & particularly 
of Wtur adfecttonate friend & broths 








li is a long time since I wrote to 70U, bat in thu long 
time, few e\-<«)ts either public or pnvate, luve occaned 
wW-h (lesefre reheu^aL 

t[n} pnvxie life, I am vtiy hxppy. My ^milj genenBj 
b)c«sr<il with hetldi & spurits, & hitherto we have found & 
ConiivwiKe. The business of Uwyere is at a lower ebb 
dum w*s M*r b^ore known, while the number of them has 
brMi in^-Tusins, tiU some who hare been in business ten 
yvars scArcelf maintain their funilies, & would gladly relin- 
qui^ the profession, if they bad any other means of obtainii^ 
subsistence. Howerer the little business I have with mj 
boi^ks will keep me aloi^ some yeare, till we can push off some 
of the i^M Liwyw& In this decay of business however we 
(ood iMirxits have some consolation ; for it discoven a 
filW)>efvMn uikunbairassed state of the citizens in goieraL 
lltdee^ the cMablishment of funds to maintain public credit 
has had an amasng effect uix)n the face of business & the 
country. Mooey circulates freely X: every one almost 

pany some adnnt^cs which no other peraon cui xt presenl 
in thii Country. 

You ask n*e whether I think of any other person — I con- 
fess 1 hanlty know of another in New York. I wish you to 
wait a little for M< Childs anival, which may be in the 
r»ckrt. which is already on the Coast 

XT AlJm. in Queen Street ; M' Gaine, & M' Rivii^ton 
an the i^ersoiu 1 most esteem in their professions. A M' 
PelK^ws, 1'n.Mn New Kngland, a man ot liberal education is 
bndinniiig the tiusiness in N York ; but is mew in it, & I 
b»4ieve has not much capital. I know of no man in tbe 
City, vbo unites so many advantages, of capital, estabtish- 
nent in (vinting & respectable character, with good connec- 
tHHU as M' Childs. At least none who would be likely (o 
wish for Miy partner at all. 

l> Appleton writes me to think of Boston. The Baton 
t)*tk Sttrt, he thinks, from the declining health of M' 
Blake, will soon be to be disposed of & it is a good stand. 

To discharge this amount of debts is beyond my power. 

To =w S*aw. ILS.P. 

HznJbcd Oct az* 1793 

I h.iTv >5eretmic«i co bring mv serruus with me — no 
£ifft2HT zrvxibu; oo tfuu bead. A aooun to Uke care at 
cIk <:iiuii« «nll b« ibsoIuCieiT oecesarr Toy sooo after oar 
mival I see a lOuog voenaa adrcrdso to Quid's [sper, 
■fao siv^ she can proiiuce an anescepdoDaUe cfaancter, as 
■ s«iat$avss, & viil uke care of childien. It b probable 
ifae wxinl utswT our purpose, it tu be aired u a re{a]sooaUe 
priof. ^^lut makes it oecessair to bare one provided iw, 
s our two chiidren, & female serrant must be toocalated 
immediately 00 oar airit^, 'S: tou may easily conacre 
ihat Becca will tuT« much to do for the tint two cv three 
reeks. Soooe Lady of your A: our acquaintance will no 


Wit hai 

ywt aie 1 
Beccais c 

(HKUiI ru 

DOCK? *X ^Tc^^uAuuo, wuuiK^ u^ |jiiuc OL uctHacy CK- 

Ireax^Y. Id dudv tosaocvs sh« has been so modi nK»ti6e4 
as to fc« tunllT able to sit at Table. Do not say this is Use 
drtioiCT — it is noc We cannot muMi ag* fitUng, Yoa 
caooot cvociere how ui^upp^ you make her. 

Our chikben are no* ill — Be«xa ts abo in TeeUe health. 
Maoy ttoies Uietr she has been obliged to »t at table, when 
nothing but vvut cocapsny tus kept her from her bed. As 
bet husbaiMi and her ^end I am deeply womxled by ber 
situation. I beg of yon as you regard her happiness to say 
not a woni to ber on this subject — She has not yet recovered 
from ber shock on a late occasion. I tetl you tbe truth & 
only beg that after thb day, you would consult yoor sister, 
before any company is innted. 


To Thomas Bradford. L.C.* 

N York 25 Augt 97 


By the Severn Capt° Fairley from Hull we have 
London papers to July 5'^. & Hull papers to July 8'^ 

The substance of the important intelligence is, the signing 
of the definitive Treaty between France & the Emperor. 
The arrival of Lord Malmesbury & the French Commis- 
sioners at Lisle to enter on negotiations for peace. The 
Mutiny on Board two Ships of Lord Brid[g?]port's fleet. The 
Execution of Parker. The Recognition of the Batavian 
Republic by the King of Prussia, who approaches his Exit. 
Admiral Duncan is anchored off the Texel, but as 72,000 
French Troops appear to be embarking, he demands a 
Reinforcement Pastoret in the Council of 500 has declared 
that the Arret of the Directory respecting the United States, 
of the date of March 2** is equivalent to a declaration of war. 
The differences between the Legislative & Executive of 
France have risen to a most alarming Height. Capt" Eaton 
of the Marlborough arrived from his Ship at the Admiralty 
and stabb'd himself mortally with a Dagger. ' The Verdict 
of the Jury pronounced him lunatic. 

I am Sir 

Your Obed Serv* 

To Mathew Carey. H.S.P. 

New Haven, Aug^ 18'^ 1806 


I have a copy of a Grammar now ready for the press ; 
& agreeable to my promise, give you the offer of it for 
publication. I have other applications, but yours has the 
prior claim. My price for the entire Copy right is $750 
dollars. It will make from 200 to 250 pages duodecimo in 

1 Inserted in a copy of The Prompter^ 1815. 

II. 3B 

' I have agreable to your request sent a man and have tafc 
a Coppy from inscription on Tomb stone of your ancestor wbi 
is as follows 

' " To the memory of John Webster Esq", one of first Settle 
of Hartford in Connecticult, who was many years a Mafristis 
or assistant, and afterwards Deputy Govemour and Govenor 
that Colony and in 1659 with three sons, Robert, William, 
Thomas, associated with others in the purchase & Settleme 
of Hadley where he died in 1665 this monument is erected 1 
his descendant Noah Webster in iSiB." 

' M" Potter & my daughter Lois join me in afTectJonate Sal 
tation & Respect to you & your Family. Caroline being abse 
at Auburn.' 

Endorsed: 'The death of John Webster is stated to ha' 
been in 1665— This is a mistake- It was in 1661. N. W.' 




Connecticut, being weak of bod*. «ett sonncl of mind, & hkrini 
BT perfect miderstaitdiitg doe ordayne this to be my last «3 A 
tcstameiit in mamiM- foOowing — 

^Imprimis — I committ my sonic into the hands <rf the Afamghq 
and most meidfuL bopii^ to be saved by the aloae memts d 
the Lord JesQS Christ, being washed with his blood, ami doOed 
with his rightecKiSDcss and sanctified by the Holy Gbost, Ames ;— 
' My body also I beqacath to the earth to be interred will 
comdy borial (if at this time I be taken out of this worid) is 
some part of the new {dantaiion on the east side of the liva 
against Nonhampton. 

' Moreover my worldly good: which the Lord hath blessed mt 
with, and left mee as a father's portion, i bestow as followeth— 


*To my deare and beloved wife Agnes Webster, I give one 
bed and comely furniture for the same ; — As also my house & 
lands att Hartford, all the profitts of the same during her 
naturall life. And upon her decease, all shall come into the 
hands and be at ye dispose of my Executor. 

* Item — to my son Matthew Webster, I give the sum of ten 

* Item — to my son William Webster I give ye sum of seventy 

* Item — to my son Thomas Webster, I give ye sum of fifty 

* Item— to my daughter Marsh, I give the sume of Twenty 

* Item — to my daughter Markam, I give ye summe of Forty 

* To my Grandchild Jonathan Hunt, I give the sum of forty 

* To my Grandchild Mary Hunt, I give ye sume of ten pounds. 
' To all my grandchildren in New England, I give ten shillings 


* To Mary, the wife of William Holton, of Northampton in 
part of recompence for her great love and paynes for me, I give 
forty shillings. 

* To my son Robert Webster, I give all the remaynder of my 
estate of one kind and another, whom also I do appoynt and 
ordayn to be my sole and full executor of this my last will and 

* My will further is that the foresaid legacyes should be paid 
within fifteene months after my decease, so farr as my personal 
estate (that is all my estate beside houses and lands) will 
reach, and the rest within eighteen monthes after my wives 

* Which of the legacyes shall be paid first, or how much of 
them, I leave to the discretion and faithfulness of my son 
Robert, desireinge yt if there appeare any difference, he would 
in it take and act by the advise of my loving friends Nathaneel 
Ward and Andrew Bacon who have been acquainted with much 
of my mind herein. Only my just debts I would have first paid 
before ye legacyes ; as also my funerall expences. 

*My Lott at the New Plantation with ye accommodations 
thereunto belonginge, I give to my sons William & Thomas 

of Jun 

& tes 
Mr. J 



' Whereas I Robert Webster of Hartford fun at present under 
the holy hand of God and brought very weake by sickness, yet 
not, througe mercy, destitute of my understanding, doe see 
cause to sett my house in order & doe declare this to be my 
will & testament as followetb — first 1 commend my soule to 
God in Jesus Christ, hopeing for the pardon of all my sins 
through the meriils of Jesus Christ my Savior & my Body to 
the earth, hopeing for a glorious resurrection. And (or that 
estate which God hath blessed me with all 1 give and bequeatti 
it as followeth ; after my just debts are honestly pay' out of my 
estate The remainder of my estate I give unto my dear & well 
beloved wife, Susannah Webster during her widowhood, not 
doubting but she will have a tender care of o' children & will 
help them as she is able. But if my wife change her name then 
1 give her but one third part of my aforesay' estate. The 
remainder being to bee equally divided amongst my children 
excepting my eldest a double portion & if any of my children 
dye before they come at age, that is to say my sonns at the 
age of twenty-one yeares & my daughters eighteen yeares of 
age, my will is that it be equally divided amongst those that 

:>oas. TlLi: :9 ^:? <aT. T'J |ofLUhaa, SamaeB. Rabat, JOH^fe ft 
WUIluq Weosnr. voi to Ae vow suz t i t io f rhJWiiB of Mf 
Ofai«sc Scon, 'oca Webanr deceased. Thai is Knrit, Jota 
Etx acM T. .' JCQO ^ DiutieQ. Suab. Asa aad Abful, the §aM sia 
«" Oa« bueii::«>i pvcstis. ^ CarrcnE SilTCi aacnej of Mew 
Eagf ^aoii. bei^ so tamA *s «3S (ti 
ST T,Sia H^ oi Bostoo dcccasedV d 
Sam. 3 >& ibjll b< rccnded, deemed &: a 
JC CMBpceiwooed -.a dw bods bereinaftcT to ti 
W me i^sigoed sett out. deified. gircB A beqnalfaed, tke wUck 
ttfacT or cert^e I Bjkt to cbeot especiaUr in coasidcfatkM irf 
Aeir pc-j>ieai:e. Isii JSt rf & belp in paying the driXs of B7 
Deceased Hasboad Robert Websm. tbcir Father abo*v Bi^Kd, 
attd sarts^ [be Estate. — Also I s^re. grant, sett oat, derne A 
be»^ o e»A to eclt aboie aaiDed Grand Childrett. that is to say, 
jUm. Ebeneza. Jacob & Daniel. Soz^. Ann & Abigail Wdnter 
m iT^ht of tbeit FJtber. my said 50c JoEia Webster deceased, 
aO that Capital Messiage Te:^:^-.^^:. Bun. Ontbooses and 
tight Acres of iand (bcin^ p^.'- o: :he Home-Iott of my i'' 


That old 
wide apart 
letter copie 


•I sei 
found in 01 
graphy whi' 
where it is i 

his various 

" A grocp of JV^^er wimmen black as sul were told to tot and 
hold their A(n^j; but ifu/^i/ of ii>ifl^ they left their /if/V(^ regard- 
less of Ihreu, and went to the theater — where they saw as groUsk 
an exhibition as you can imagin, to wit, a Porpus, a Zeier, and 
a Ltpard from an eastern Hand ; also a ranedeer, a woodckuk^ a 
raioon, a weesel and a Shammy. Likewise a gillolin, a ckintisl 
with specimcs of granit, and a kucster with his cags and faueti, 
and above all a Specter rising from a sepulcMer, a most redout- 
ablef»ntom full seven feet in higktk, his f^/cir of ^ilfr, a kagta-d 
face, eyes without luster, a Ulhen cap crouded with Hbins and 
fitkers, a somber cloke, an i>^;&« scepter, in one hand, a Mar* 
w/cMjjaif^omiw^/arin the other; and with these mrcow/frMMfA 
he vanted his vn/tir and thretened to massacer every kypocrit 
and liberHn present. Wherat the nsger-wimmen were frightened 
and ran home — But for this hainoui misbehavior their steddy 
superior being at no loss to determin on the proper diseiplin, in 
his suveran pleasure tied them up by the thums, and with the 
v/^ur requisil to punish such maneitvers denied them their 
J/«i» and Meliuses '■ " — 

' I have laughed much while copying the above — It tells the 
whole story in a nutshell of IVebslers iiinoi'aitons.' 








fitl*iii\|l A liAilmr.' 

' lit* |iiii«nti who learned to read out of iu pages asked tbc 
M>n>( #\i<«iieno< for their childTcn, and die flat prairiet of 
Illinois, nnd the nak opening* of Michigan used the same bode 
a* th# little hilUide school house of New England ' The [Civil] 
O'Ai hail ntiMl Rcnoiitly diminished the circulation by closing to 
II* Ihp ti«i<c with the Southern States.' ' 

^IMM l». Al-I'LKTOJJ & Co. W. L 

(•.""py.) ' 34tli. Jan. 190a 

')>K. IIknrv Barnard.' 
*Ukah Sir : 

' In response to your inquiry in regard to the sole of 
\Vvb«ter's Speller, we would say that the sale of this book from 

* i\*Hgttgational Quarterly, 'R^v. I. N. Tarbon, vii. part i. pi 4, 

' Henry Barnard, educator, bom in Hartford 181 1, graduated 

at Yale 1830, Connecticut leyislaior 1837-1840, 'where he 

M«%. '^ t^KT aerk 'A Taj Coapec i 

Tte jgaer. z s be^cnd. [Kmand sMy faidKr iMiim>lii,i 

'These iKien arc pctfrihrd u brsc v the CtMBectkat 
Covuc of Mard jo. IT<4-' 
(SeeDarrfar 17*4.] 

To Saxuu. Adam^' 

' Hanfcrd, Z4di Mud), 17S4. 


'Tbe importaoce of thb axnmankatiaa wiB, I faner 
BTseU, be a mffickat apoiogr for (be freedom 1 takefrfwihiBg 
to a gestleman with wbom I have not tbe booor of an acquaint- 
ance. Yoa are tctt sensible, sir, thai an imconstitiiaona] body 
of mea, tbe Cooveniioii, beaded by a few designing chaiactos, 

' For tbis and the folknring letter, see Tie U/e amd PtMic 
Stnrias of Samuei Adanti. \V:ll;am V. Wells, iii. p. 207. 

<tf beiBf * ****^**^ i^ 

acdprof wkick I shall desire T bucta d fa in PhiH u defivcr 
to *oiv»<fa^ . ss soon H iher urn*. 

•Wid vdnr ^tshes farike bfc & beahh of » vafanble a 


Oa tbe ttr kaf of WcbsttiS <■«(> copy u this I: 
rn— T" '. 'This is a tustr pcodoctkn written at the request of 

4.^^ -APPENPtX XI. 

umim: ^rvern mmves which octnate him on thi» occasion, tb 

'^^r »i his .Turk s .:innprehensive; and great paw** i 
51? uw^ T» "«Kier t n the exetrntion both osefiil aM amosmi 

•"^e •M-tT^r -i leiemmiRi to ooilect as many original essa 
i> K»»:->.o ;j!a n;i-^7uarv 5uch as relate to this coontry, & 
•♦ni:i;"i :>o!i:; imi -irous ii^'overes in the history or geograb 
»i X.ntr!*i-u M- 'v^fMious --marks jpon the science of gora 
rem, ;iu; ic •t:*.'r.Mr jis::t:u:ons .inii inxstonxs of the people 
tie '.■ ;fi-' '•m: "^v.;:t?^. / »r 'hesc purposes the Editor has fumtsh< 
irr^^'t v'.-i r.Mv naLerdis ind he wrll acknowledge hxms< 
m;i"*iTM «M i.'.mLMe r-.Mnmr.nicutTons both from Societies az 
Tin" -v!'. :;:!>. 

•*'Tt! pos; :ut?r-v:*:iv: i-^sav? upon every subject, will I 
•xfii •*>: T"in ::if .ut:*?? jenMicii publications, both in Grc 
7i*f.i n I !v: "•*-:j:ii:-. iskl t'jih .:me :o abridgment of tl 
*£.»v;':'»:i ^ •• .^_Mv>i m ii,mv i:n: i5«?ui 'jubiicacroos vrll be inserter 

' "«? T '. v-;7 ' ;-i.'"- ^vi.r.- :iass of readers — th 

j. ....... ..^. r>i--i-.;:. 'i; -J: ■.•si'iMKT Vie 5:a:*sman, ±e rnoHilis 

=K» '^v . *«• T \: :. >e .i-'-i'i-^jr — and h's ^-xzr ^gaJ^f 

n.r *i' ;-^:'v«*. m ^' ii.-MTST.'evi.^iii 7.i;ns w'l be taken C 
•••••1 >..» 'i*T! \' • vr:-*'—.i :) r.i.vM i: -he san:e rme he flatter 
? vh,*.'. '.;i ".i • M '!i! .;'::»!< v^.o ir* the tavortes c 
\1 'O'* •. i.M .■!'• 'm ;>o^» \ \ :e 'cui'ii :: the ai;rn?er of hi 

•**',.« • »r. •^. .-r * :^ :j7 1. v!! :e :i:en ri:r every* sp<c:es o 
ie-.-^T. I.:*: • ili.i Se Z>i,i';. -cr ni.r isoission, ^ecera 
?a:-:; i:*: v: i*.: • ::ri'r a.-:c rcr :he cr:i:u«.t:cc ot rma^ 
i.i.-:--. \- t'l* •:•::»? :he E-itT -v;: nr.d :: aecessari 
?j --ser- - t: * -rse.: :>.e -^^ht :f ie«-o:r:^ .-n the srert of th< 
5!.-^^,l "i^r- rit^:, the Tr:cr'?cv :r ivi.T:::::-:^ them int< 
:i:e v-N V . 15 :ers:.:^ r. '^.:':- -. rholor- i-vi TT-norL wrttia^ 
w . :•'!.-.:• r*: :r the rrrccsed 2e!.•^:r :" 

• 7*te i^i tvT j 5er:5.":e :c :>-tf i.-.:. -...i :ai^t he has inapose^i 
;;r«.' c ".: ^' ^e ! :". - a tt i :r r ■ n ^ t : r . e.i j.^ ..-.:; i.-. .; cs Liites of h : 3 
reaier?. lt.o r;;-cer t.-.i r»-r.-"i : ■ v v--.-. ::' i::coura*:emenL 
5.: ■• ; ? ieter.r. rt-i :: ii- ■^■' 11c r^ itti--.. :- :: the work thaa 
:s ^<-.L^ r. ?-:h r-:'.:j.:v A that : :j>.._ i:V". ?tsuv:ces5. 

: sha. . :e :o- 5.- re :a; ^^nct r. -.^mhk to remove. 

F:ie h-^lk jf reaier< w ^^acd &:^^^^^kBoa to anv 


a psrcfament 
Muing torn 
fiidden knob 
bearers, and 
flag, with fii: 
hands.' • * • 

' Anns on 
crest, a bull 
Tanner in '. 
a Tanner's 
working An 
Mollo, "B] 

'Skinners, breeches makers ec ulovbks. 
'Headed by Messrs. Alsop Hunt, Benjamin Gatfield, James 
Mathers, Leonard Rogers, and James Hays; a flag of cieam 
coloured silk, borne by James Mott and John Peal, supported by 
Henry Frederic and Jacob Grindlemeyer ; coat of arms, a pair 
of breeches and three gloves, supported by two rampant bodes ; 
crest, a buck's head ; a green field, with a ewe and two lambs, 
one lying down, the other standing. Mollo, 'Americans, en- 
courage your own manufactures' ; followed by thirty-one of the 
trade, in buckskin waistcoats, faced with blue silk, breeches, 
gloves, and stockings, with a buck's tail in their hats. To these, 
Mr. W. Thompson, the parchment manufacturer, attached him- 
self, with a standard of parchment, and ihe inscription, "American 

'Third Division. 


* ♦ * ' A stage, drawn by four white horses, with two postihons 

a livery j a shop on the stage, with ten men diligently prose- 

^Vj- Uki» A AwatiAia^ .-.-tfOAmi^f laK^Mcri 

.(nsoi. A :. n a uiu:i.iia1: I^km 


slow and majestic, and the general appearance of the scene as 
far surpassed every one's expectation, as mere description must 
fall short of it. While numberless crowds were pressing on 
every side, the doors and windows of houses were thronged by 
the fair daughters of Columbia, whose animated smiles and 
satisfaction contributed not a little to complete the general 
joy. ♦♦** 

On July 22d the following notice appeared in the Daily 
Advertiser of New York : 

Federal Procession. 

* A report having been circulated that the procession would be 
postponed, the Committee of Arrangements gives notice that it 
will positively take place, agreeable to advertisement, tomorrow, 
the 23d instant. The inhabitants of Broadway, Whitehall 
Street, Great Dock Street, Hanover Square, and Queen Streets 
are requested to sweep and water their respective streets this 
evening and early to-morrow morning for the accommodation of 
the Federal procession. 

* Richard Platt, 
* Chairman of the Committee of Arrangements.' 

[Order of the Procession.] 

' Down Broadway [from " The Fields "] to Great Dock [now 
Pearl] Street ; thence through Hanover Square, Queen [Pearl] 
Chatham, Division, and Aurundle [now Clinton] Streets ; and 
thence through Bullock [now Broome] Street to Bayard's house. 



* Dedications are usually designed to flatter the Great, to 
acknowledge their services, or court their favor and influence. 
But very different motives have led me to prefix the venerable 
name of Franklin to this publication. 

II. 2G 

Adnfbravdc&nv or (bar WonbbcCoR the Voice. IfdwSicfat 
devtr dtstr^poshea vhai the cotniog Words are, it gms time 
ta onki tbc ModcUciao o< tbr Voice to ezpnss tbem y t mi ettr - 
Bm if tb«« uc otisc<n«hr priotnl, or dtt gw i ri by ontittnic Ae 
Capital A kng rs, or otfacrwrse, tbe Readn is apt to modnbte 
■imt, and. finding be has done so, be b obliged to go bad 
a*d begin cbe Sentence again ; wbicfa lessens tbe Pknsmc of tbe 
Hcnien. This leads me to mennoo an old Enorinooi Modeof 
Pnmiag. We aic •''^"■>'*'- that, when a Qncstioo is BKt wiA in 
Reading, there is a proper Vaiiatim to be used in tbe Manage- 
■Mnt o( the Voice. We baire iberefoit a Point, called ao inter- 
logalioo, affix'd to the QoestioD ld ordei to distioguish it- But 

'May i8, 16. 
bill for profess 
reads, "Bill 1 
wounded whil 
Newbury by tl 

or five rods o 
Greenleafs ai 

upon on certai 
or twelve feet i 
Green leaf add 
" The petition 
That upon tht 
the afternoon. 

Hill in said town, captured nine persons, women and childrett, 
rifled the house, carrj'ing away bedding and dry goods. Only 
one person escaped, and gave notice to the next family, and 
tbey the town ; upon the alarm your petitioner with a party of 
men pursued after the enemy, endeavoring to line the river 
Merrimac to prevent their passage, by which means the captives 
were recovered and brought back. The enemy lay in a gullT 
hard by the roadway, and about nine at night made a shot at 
your petitioner, and shot him through the wrist, between the 
bones, and also made a hrge wound in his side, which would 
have been very painful and costly to your petitioner in the cure 
of them, and have in a great measure utterly taken away the tise 
of his left hand, and wholly taken off from his employment this 
winter. Vour petitioner therefore honorably prays this honor- 
able court that they would make him such compensation as 
shall seem fit; which he sh:ill thankfully acknowledge, and 
doubts not but will be an encouragement to others, and possibly 
to relieve their neighbors when assaulted by so barbarous an 
enemy. And your petitioner shall ever pray. (Signed) Stephen 
Green leaf." 



?S^ ILK rs 5 

• . * -^^ 

T|».r\ " 

\. >- *- 

".♦.* '■•.^.* * •—>'- T>-"5 -' ^A. 

^i> f^r- *tfi;i:: J. tr.:?" -."^ c-*:-* 
%.t*: -•■.:r,'**r»- »:.:t :?r -■-*. •••■ 

Ht urss msK -*--M*t ^**^«• 

t* ■ •> .*. ;r* -rtixr am 


la this coi 

'Dress wi 
quite as mu 
mcDtioned I; 
of Brattle-Sl 
cocked hats 
f^entlemen ii 
«s wunng 
linen." Th 
waistcoats c 
Copley. A 
powdered ai 
time and irc 
ofthe weare 
buckles, (wl 

of a genileman. The business suit was of broadcloth, {renerally 
of a lighl shade. But on occasions of ceremony brocades and 
velvets of bright colors made the costumes of the gentlenicn 
quite as various and picturesque as those of the ladies. Officnl 
personages did not always avoid pecularities of dress. Govenrat 
Bowdoin had appeared in red small-clolhes, and Judge Dana 
wore in winter a white corduroy surtout, lined with fur ; and be 
carried a large muff! Crimson cloaks, white-topped botts, and 
cocked hat5 gave that pleasing color to a walk about town whkh 
is now supplied by the shop-windows. The judges of the 
supreme court shone in robes of scarlet, trimmed with Mack 
velvet, and only during the oppressive heat of summer, ex- 
changed this oppressive finery for the sombre dignity of gowits of 
black silk. At the funeral of Gov. Hancock, the court appeared fiir 
the last time in full dress. It has been said that the bearing of 
Judge Dawes, who was less than live feel in height, so detracted 
from the emblematic significance of (he Judicial trappings, that 
the chief-justice decided that [he unadorned majesty of the law 
would thereafter be more inijiosing. But a better explanation 
may be found in the visits to Boston of the Federal judges Jay 


Torrington - 
Torrington - 


Rev. Sam«» J. Mills 
William Battle 

Hartford - 

w m 

Chauncey Goodrich Esq. 
Enoch Perkins Esq. 
Revd. Nathan Strong 
Rev. Abel Flint 
Noah Webster Esq. 
John Trumbul Eso. 
Doct Lemuel Hopkins 

Revd. Nathan Perkins 



Rev. Allen Olcott 


« M 

Thomas Seymour Esq. 
Hez^ Bissell Esq. 
Revd. Theodore Hinsdale 
Revd. John Smalley 
Roger Newbury Esq. 

* Total Number. 

* County of H. 

N. H. - 
N. L. - 











153.' [sic] 

This must have been one of the very first Abolition Societies 

'An Abolition Society was formed in New York in 1785, of 
which John Jay was president and Alexander Hamilton 
secretary. Similar societies were formed in Rhode Island and 
Connecticut in 1789 and 1790, in New Jersey in 1792, and 
others were also organized in Delaware, Maryland and Vir- 
ginia. In the last-named state, however, in 1785, Washington 
wrote to Lafayette that ** petitions for the abolition of slavery . . . 
could scarcely obtain a hearing."' A Retrospect of Forty Years, 
William Allen Butler, p. 68. 

The following was written for publication, but was returned 
by the editor to John L, Boswell, Hartford (a nom de plume 
given by Webster). Postmarked Jan. 24, the year unknown, 
but presumably after 1820, it shows the change toward conser- 
vatism from Webster's earlier zeal for Abohtion.— [Ed.] 



"f. ;: yni "sn" ma- ais s Rnn; - : 

then. VTt a. 

liw tnulH iiu: we arc ai, •-.ti«-<«i:: 

UIiuii^ OUT cvt peuciKr i=tu:> 11 l)>e&i ut :1k LKBtMii (rf'soc 

tbc KDVdixu u: ue zsh^w on 
practice it il c:rb^ ^lur-odL; 

direciKl itim.. :i. -"^ met < 
tbc dn»i of iliea^ ise. L J=i-e 
fo pttin-rrr it firroLhzr.:-. -l 
iloubtlett fw lilt rtaivK!-' --ii.: 
& irould cridun^" 
' I thcrtf'jrc U 



object here in the north, are guilty of violating both christian 
apolitical duty. 

'John ' 

Endorsed in pencil in Webster's handwriting *Mr. Boswell 
please to print the foregoing & send paper to N. Webster.' 

In Bos well's handwriting : * Remailed to N. Webster Feb. 2.' 
[W. MSS.] 




* This Manuscript, as appears by some passages, was originally 
designed for publication ; and it was formerly consulted by the 
first compilers of New-England History, particularly by Hub- 
bard, Mather and Prince. But it continued, unpublished and 
uncopied, in possession of the elder branch of the family, till the 
late revolution, when Governor Trumbull of Connecticut pro- 
cured it, and, with the assistance of his Secretary, copied a con- 
siderable part of it Soon after the Governor's death, a gentleman, 
who has a taste for examining curious original papers, which 
respect his own country, came, by accident, to a knowledge of 
this manuscript ; and with consent of the Governor's heirs, 
contracted for a copy merely for his own improvement and 
amusement. On reading the work, he found it to contain many 
curious and interesting facts, relating to the settlement of 
Massachusetts, and the Qther New-Englahd colonies, and highly 
descriptive of the character and views of the first inhabitants. 
This suggested to him the design of publishing the journal 
complete ; as any abridgement of it would tend to weaken its 
historical evidence, and put [it] in the power of captious critics 
to impeach its authenticity. By consent of the descendants 
of Gov. Winthrop, proposals were issued for publishing 
a small number of copies ; and the design is at length 


copied Mr. Webster's intro- 

' Winthrop, including Mr. 

" latter responsible for 

'*-«?t edition; often 



.e copy of Win- 

1 and published ; 

d question, that we 

.throp's Journal," but 

.d," also.' ^ 

.nt edition, Mr. Savage's, 

. lightly of the industry or 

jquires only a glance at the 

jnt work, or at a few of the 

is of Boston to satisfy us of the 

i handwriting of Gov. Winthrop 

those who inspect it for the first 

.ising that numerous errors should 

\ first editor, or that he should have 

*• Boston Dec' 26 1795 

came to hand 3 days aga In 

re you to accept their thanks for 

ard. I have sent to the Post 

d that any have come in that 


history of this Country is much 

little that we are not able to 

" for the public benefits. Our 

iven us 200 Dollars which he 

Copy-right of his history of 

maL N.Y.P.L.— [Ed.] 


From Thouj 

' Duut Sib 
to feceive. 
Goveraor Wi 
I doubt not 
Winthrop wil 
all the Paper 
municate son 

Early in th( 
edited the fin 
the Old Soutl 
ofjohn Wint 
appal several 
cfausetts His 
undertook th 
diflerent man 
his predecessi 

But there : 

condemn the _- , , .., 

his work supplemented and corrected. He makes Webster 
personally responsible for the misiakes in the text, which be 
employed a skilful copyist to transcribe. Instead of acknow- 
ledging the great help he must have derived from Mr 
Porter's copy which this reviewer says : ' unquestionahly 
saved him some months of labor,' he mentions it but to slight 
Webster's share in the publication. 'Knowing as we do what 
time it costs to team the chirography of Winthrop, and assummg 
that Mr. Porter was not a critic in our early history we cannot 
but marvel that he made a transcript of Winthrop as good as he 

' Inserted in a copy of xhtjcumal, which contains Webster's 
MS. Notes, N.Y.P.L— {Ed] 

' A review of Savage's second edition of Winthrop, by Samuel 
G- Drake, printed in the New Englanii Histoticm and Ctnea- 
loeial Regiitir, October, i8S3, and January, 1854. The writer 
t£uies the position that Savage did not give due acknow- 
ledgement of his indebtedness to Webster and Porter, pioneers 
in the issue of tbe History, and with justice criticises this piece of 

■-^^» m K ■ 

l » ■ ^ 1 



imitate ; And it is well known in Europe itself, that an English- 
man is not able agreeably to converse with a stranger even in 
one and the same Latin ; nay even in England, it is noted by 
Mr. Camden and D' Fuller that the natives of Carleton Curlew 
in Leicestershire, by a certain peculiarity of the place, have the 
turn of their voice very different from those of the neighboring 
villages." * * 

From this extract it can be seen that Webster had noticed 
that consonants are interchangeable in different languages, and 
that climate and civilization modify and soften speech. 



W. MSS. 
* Contributors to aid in the prosecution of my Dictionary. 

William W.Woolsey. — in 1812.920a [In pencil — 

loa [In pencil — copy of Dic^ ] 

1 00 refunded J une 1 8 1 8 

100. given [In pencil — copy] 


50 refunded 1820 
50 [In pencil — copy] 

Oliver Wolcott— 
W" Lcfiingwell— 
T Dwight Jun— 
John P Mumford — 

Elias Kane 

Amasa Jackson — 
N & G. Griswold— 
Lynde Catlin — 
E Leavenworth — 

Daniel Wadsworth 

Ab"» Bradley 3** 

Eli Whitney— 

D Bethune. — 100. not paid 

Mr Caldwell. loa not paid. 

William Bartlet, Newbury port.— 100— given. 

John Jay, Bedford, West Chester. [In pencil & 50.] 50 given.' 

' Reference not found — [Ed.] 


>^^\ k 


vamtre to nnut a J^bx bv 

with ' Cslriinmi. 
nine of picvr mittOBtu. 

w. Msa 


' It h indeed trne my den- Gizl, ''^at 
iiictioD snd rofiipfaicency m 4k 
cfaander, than in liuo. of my odier obyBCly*' 
indeed, faifesi in die fiwriwinp of dm 
poHKftstn^, a Bouice of enjoyment ns 
lactin^ as substnntiaL Hnppy indeed is tbat 
turn from the sickenini: scenes in viiids praod 
his fantastic tricks, to contemplaxe 

viciuitudes of a liie, chequered with an rndlrss diversity of 
fortuitous et-ents, still looks np with angel tnuiqninity, to Him 
who is good as g:reai— immotaUe as good. Tbe Dirine Per- 
fection : NMiat an ineidiausDble theme for medit at iop. What 
food for the contemplative mind to feast npoo ! Would that my 
grovelling heart intent on things of time, could learn to love, to 
soar with yours to the foontain of all ex ce llence. It does some- 
limes attempt to fly, and pants for something beyond the vale of 
sense, but like the little bird scarce fledged, its flights are low. Tis 
scarcely ever borne on eagles wings to the great source of light, 
and life and peace. My moments of rnimiind enjoyment are 
less frequent than formerly. I need not account for this defection 
to you. You can sol\'e all difficulties. You have read my heart 
tir who seeks the Lord with his 7t'Ao/e Jkearf is sore to find and 
0i\t()y. Never the less trusting in his goodness amd mercy, 
whit It Imve so long abounded toward me, I still find mudi 
MO«^vini*nt. A slender hope, compared with which the spider's 
iHiut AM^nuMle^l thread is cord and cable, sustains me amid the 
|H>nv OmU of life (for as to real evils, I have ever been a 

AifcxDix xxnn. 

Fran K*.«-i-S:» ^i..,i ^TS. W. MSS. 

- BcRon 6 mar iS^x 
-Dlj.1 Sn 

Tnc Dcsr fmr^ answer vhuli i cxb pnc tn toot &n( 
D! :m <" wiL iit fminc ir. a nnie ir V"- Wlllaitfs ~lu$tOcr o( 
ifae reputitic of Amen.-t' papc 3:1. ^c&*cted frooi a leitn 
wjiict I »Tme he: or' nhi^V. J have no cop?— •* faDowi -Tlit 
Harriord CoDi-emioc laj Iron- heing dw onfin*] anmrmncc of 
> cabaJ fur any purposes o: factioc 1 ~ ' 
grfvtng bf natuia^ cDnsftaoeD.-T out n 
More than a year prvi-iouf ;o 1;$ m»:':u:io&. ■ coorcDtioD <ns 
■iinulianeciiuly callec for b<' :he jieaple ir. ibeir ir>«n ineetiDgi 
tn all paru of Mas&schuse:u. F-e:i:K-iiis to ihai efiect were 
■ttumulited on the tables of the ie^:s!;it:i-c cbunben, Tbet 
were poilpond for 


The Doounenti, in Wtba 

evidently prepared » CbaiTMuw ofn 

l$i, The Circolu- to all the Qeigym ep of Uk r^iixi caUbf * 
Convention at Amherst to confer whh ibe Trustees at Ambatt 
Academy in regard to the 'estaUtdiiDeot of a Charitable Insti- 
tullnn,' dated Amberat, September ii'^, t8t8. 

inil, Koaioni for locating Williams College is Amhem read 
tti (ha Committee, Mesi. Kent, Smith, and Pafs«m, when tbej 
mat Nl Niirihampton. 

Oil. A |M|>er for obuinio? subscriptioas to the Fund in 

^tK. A |>«)i«r ylvinfc authority from the Trustees to himself 
*¥n< |>thn* to lOlicil subscriptions. 

•Too.. .^^^^''^tf^^^ 

r ^ author J*' ^*-'a.t tr '"'>- 'CV'*^»S^^d'S*" 

'Sensible o^/k"* «f ".e? "'^ «»« St^** P«>»e/^ *"" ^i 

••"Ponsibilitv -f^ Of your arrf '"^'' «-i/I ^''*'" 

^he Seminary . ^u*^ ^"''citous 7*"°"^ do L **'*"«! a fa;,., 

;'■"' you Gentle'' """^''^ «" Tn '^'^'^ot^J ^WTe^' *"«' 
•'^"'and, or ;i' H *"■ '" such 2"''^« *• JI ^* »>«« 1,^*"- °»» 
'■ons PresrHK ^^"""^e dicta? "'^asure, '^''eertuilv *'**'* «»f 

--«e;y;r ''/ -d „,ost a«- ^ ""^ "-^^eSn^ ^- 

.^"P'^me Head '? ^^''^ '"">' gt''''"^^^-ly r. ""^ 

'* consecrrr!^ °^ ••" Church ,^'"'<^e an^' ^^a"" Sir, . 
"^'ven' ::';^-^ Most eameiVdV''*- siti'^'^'ectt"? o/^^ 
success ' u •^'^•^O'npany yo,,^ T° *e Pra^ .""= 'bis ,„ ^^ ""^ 
-"denV.^^"'^- your piou?". '-t-ors^f/^'lat the\^ '!""- 

P'-udent gove!-i*' your pi, 
fbsf#»r;«-. "^J^ anrf r-».. 

r-«ucnt ifov*.,. •" "' P'°"s car** ^ ^nd ^ "^ «>iess;.. 


he needed the ^d of books from ifae Yale libraiy. I as 
■magine the reason bat do not leroeniber bcuing from him or 
Mother of any.' 


The long letter from Mr. Southgale, of tender details of hii 
wife Mary Webster Southgate's last iUness is extant, and blotted 
with many tears of the writer. He dwells on the spiritual exalta- 
tion of his suffering wife, her patience, her cheerfulness, but the 
record seemi sacred, too SAcred to prinL Only his testimoay 
to her character which fills the ninth and concluding page of 
this beautiful letter is also a testimony to the faithful and loving 
parents who had trained and perfected her character : 

W. MSS. 

'Juitice to the memory of the dearest of women bids me add 
one word more, and that on the subject of our connexion. 
There could not have been a woman found more happily 

rope naa a son oi lomuy nwenng oi 

And I can assure you that even now the impresnoo erf' thai 
couneous and dignified bearing still tingcn. Hy eUer sistet 
with whom I was engaged in school and who was fiavnnd wiA 
an intimacy with Mrs. Pope and Mrs. Bell, anotber sister, had 
a high appreciation of these excellent women. As it r ^anh 
myself I owe your Grandnotfaer a debt of gratitude in that 
through her wise training of an "ignorant girl' (as Diana 
herself expressed it, when speaking of her coming to Mrs. 
Webster) I was favored with an excellent domestic for ten long 
years. There is even now to my mind a secret, how Mrs. 
Webster could get such an influence, and that it should last 
through her long life. To all the families she lived with, she 
rendered "good and laudable" service. In Amherst she lived 
with Mrs. Lucinda Dickinson, with Mrs. Montague, the mother 
of Miss Harriet Montague, with Doct. Humphrey and with me. 
She went and lived with your mother in Greenfield, and was in 
her family when you were bom. She always spoke of your 
mother as if she was more than human and akin to angels. 1 
dare say she was ready to pay you the truest devotion when 
you were given to your parents. She had a perfect love for 
every infant, but to those who were committed to her cate, she 
had the most wonderful power of ministering in the best way, 
so thai the most restless babe would lie down in her arms in 
perfect quieL Diana married and had sons, and lived to see 
them married and ministered to grandchildren. After she was 
a widow she used to come twice a year to \-isit me. I was 
always glad to see her and gave her the sunniest chamber and 


for Diana to come, when I 

Montague that ** mother IumI 

see her son, he told me that his 

latter part of the winter stn pp ie g 

who was in feeble heahh. She staid 

and then came bade to her son in M< 

comfortable, only worn, and en>fHed to 

was taken with a hmg tiou hie 

days when she slept in death. Dear Good Soil ! 

her life with qoiet duties, and I 

entrance into that hearen to which 

cared for my predoos litde ones a 

she grieved with me when they 

memory was very pleasant to me, as day by day I 

mind some pleasant litde thing cnnnfftt 

She was a thoroughly honest and good 

faithful discharge d duty had b ec o m e ike habit of every day, 

and it is pleasant to think that in 

she has now passed, the paltry distinctians of 

separate no longer b et w een God's iuikUk 




1. Abolition Society, 179a 

2. Massachusetts Historical Sodety, 1792. 

3. Diploma from the Whig Society of Nortib Caroiina, 17^ 

4. American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Massadmsetts. 


5. The Academy of Medicine, Philad^phia, i8oa 

6. New York Historical Sodety, 1809L 

7. LL.D. from Yale College in 1823. 

8. From the American Philosc^ic Society of Philadelphia, 


9. The Royal Academy of Sdence, Paris, France, 1829. 

10. American Institute, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1829. 

11. LL.D. from Middlebury College, 1850. 

12. The Society of Adelphi in Union CoU^e, 1830. 

***'" •*-' '- — r* " ^TThl pMpwn [iJ] 

fa^TBg dt« Slim:! a£ -.l beian due Yaadt^ wfaach I dU m d^ 
Ian mgemg wixh. tsv [ g apwiiul «i|1»-ms« ws «f j,mwI vfl i^ 
mipHSDcii oc me diK I wanM. aek «f iob A« £mc la faiKh 
Bswimi Bast far uaxid^ite potiGc nnB& xirf tfcoa ;•« ««iU 
do it .n COK tD rOK che maoiB B> tte '■■jf— Mif m thcv 
meecny ac i~ fm m >»i.-wii»wr I harie wnttBt a faxKr to Hvt- 
fani reqnesons Oa< Ellsi)ract& tn fcKwsd it wifk ^K^te} bf 
a^jK, ^ I amiefsinni froHB WHIaoKS faUK Ifaos k had hccK 



Fata A^tA rt- iSss 

^rtuailv cailcti rar an 

-j?£vr:x xxxviii. 

?i:v;:x XXXVIII. 

r=.-f^ ;rr by iheir fa.trfui 
»"■— i=- r^cic a^d of :he 

■ ■^^■^'-T -^z iron". cciMhoa: 

Ti;.-— «■: 

*hed :o 

\ week. 

:ei :hi: 
she iti'i 

rT7iJ VI! 

f:: irom 

iry -;e» 

.:iii OM 
be b'd 





a servant, and she remained with them from that time until the 
home broke up, some months after M« Webster's death. 

In Webster's will it was found that he had supplemented the 
modest wages of a dollar a week of those days by regularly 
putting twenty dollars a year in the bank to her account. At 
his death Lucy found herself a wealthy woman in her church 
and society. After M** Webster's death she took a little house 
in the outskirts of New Haven, and for years made all the fine 
pastry for the Tontine Hotel and New Haven House with 
additional earnings from doing up fine muslins, dresses and 
embroideries. She was of much consideration for years among 
her race, but at the very last learned to drink and became poor 
in consequence. The branches of the Webster family residing 
in New Haven cared most kindly for her until the end came. 
We all loved and respected her and her kitchen was an ideal 
place of joy, and comfort for the grandchildren. Her bright, 
respectful, ' Good morning Miss Emily, how does Miss Emily 
find herself this morning ?* was a mixture of kindness and polite- 
ness that made me respect myself ; while her pantry of goodies, 
always of the best and most delicate preparation, were free to 
our hands. Her heart was full of love, and her hands of faithful 

From the New York Observer, July 17, 1847. 


•The aged widow of the distinguished American Lexico- 
grapher entered on her rest June 25, at the advanced age of 
81 years. For nearly a year she had survived a paralytic stroke, 
though suffering intensely from its effects. It was a year of 
Christian submission, and saint-like triumph, and when death 
came at last, it was as a welcome friend and deliverer. 

• Mrs. Webster possessed a mind of unusual strength, culti- 
vated and refined. For half a century her associations had 
been with learned and literary circles. In early life her mind 
was warped by error in religious opinion ; but in her maturer 
years she renounced it for the faith of Jesus, as a divine, atoning 
Sftvior ; and for more than thirty years lived a cheerful, con- 
* t«at, devoted Christian. 

' Perhaps by Henry Jones. — [^^] 


From Wnxiikli fiRECKliiiT WtsST^ W, MSS. 

■"Windieswr ^"irfmia' :;' Mar. 183I. 

* Ml' DKAK it nO>IOKt3> M.-TKCtL 

' The ** •;th of Mk^ ' nrm-wi s mliiL adfiaiuL ecnial dif, 
& ixs evening calm & serene— i. pr.i.-nrinci inner, ice Ae happ- 
acts of the put whose eanh'i' sc^z-.ri'n were 10 be gniwid — 


,• ;«■; ^;; d.Eferra; forms. Turks heads, & 
:'i :!£««. Jcc. ocr-.unemed with baskets of suf;xt 
: .- .-.'Xk. a iTzill table was rolled out & on 
:- li. -■!:',■ dei:: Jedly one of the handsomest [ 
rii 1 vC. pvrar^iii, I'onned by dated cakes of 
h. 7^:tii :r.e oe the other, nil iced togelhef. 
'Li — --^i, >v ■r::»=;hes of hawthome lowering 
.. :-* roje i; er.:;rc!ed by wreaths of double 
.. . ■** :■■ ".-e ".■a'ley. Thus the evening passed 
:. V;^ '.V— i iiM was said "to be radiant 
-- ■ :- s.-;.i the ^loom even firetfitJeJ 
:.i-:>-— e i -•.t:tr..~^::" acquitting himself 

j.i-,-:i. i '■'.--iiy. ■\e reoeii-ed the con^ram- 
..: -■* :. ii-: tr--= ■,:" :he pUce. Gen. Walter 
; ■.■.■- ,' :■ ■r.--.-7*i o^r p^r-.y. .-V son of Mr. 
; -.- 7iM- S7e-ir; :l-.e '.as; fortnight here, but 
, - - - :.- : - :^ ?.!">' t'Ti Thursday Eveg. 

■ ■:■ f <.:■■■ f r.j r.sii here b-u: I have =ince 

■ - -. ::r.:- .;s i- -.i college acquaintance. 

..,-:- 7 -■.-.■-.-■.■. 7er!>c;ly happy, in the 

;,i yo',;. or r.T.her to 
o: leaves the City 
o t.ike charge of it. 

::*:;:..;: sincere &de« 
o;hers & niece. 

A^^iinT asA 'ti^ C'j'^^p^ lOrzsf ixs si been s ±^ swt 
tdtsArr.r.zig for ea<i ztt:yta.\. He tac ^ w o csI't ^ i g. bo^ 

i«-.-j«t«t of V>ie, Sbertxtrae AcvleniT, Cfaesaags Co. N-Y. 
aarj *Jb« C'w&et^iTiit Hitwrka] Society, tTir^rr «^*~Tr ^aa- 
l>j»i ;a many d^rectiont. 

' Tbe {•nvni-.t.-^ h/joia I give lo my Nephew John R^I^m £ ra 
tbc paitot fif (be Cburch, for the time being, in West Hanfcnl, 
my native pUce, in tnui for the lue erf" anr proprietors Libcaiy, 

■ ' He wx* ihe mmiI of honor and uprightness in all his dealingSi 
Imi m* much (be retired Kbolar that he was unduly sensiiii-e of 
*iif(po*ed e nc roach m en ti on the field of labor which he had 
tnnde m largely hi« own.' ya/e Jliograpkiei, F. B. Dexter. 

'This wai after the publication of his Improved Grammar. 


which is now or may be formed by any of the inhabitants, with 
power to appoint trustees after the death of the said Belden & 
Pastor, to manage the concerns of said Library. 


Historical Collections, Massachusetts • - lo 
Memoirs of Historical Society, Pennsylvania - 2 
Neal's History of New England ... 2 
Hutchinson History of Massachusetts & Minots 

Continuation 3 

Minots History of the Insurrection • 
Sullivans History of Maine . . - - 

Carver's Travels 

Mackenzie's Voyages 

Josephus's History 

Drayton's South Carolina 

Edwards on the Affections .... 

Christian Magazine 

Life of Paul Jones 

Annals of Yale College 

Morse's Report on Indians . . . - 

Burgoyne's Defense 

History of New Haven 

Smith's Essay 

Webster's History of Animals - - - - 

Parents Present 

Trumbull's twelve Discourses - - - - 
Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge 

Barrow's Travels 

Jefferson's Notes 

Letters to a Young Gentleman . . - . 

Life of President Stiles 

Advocate of Peace 

History of Popery 

Colton's four years in Great Britain - - - 2 

Reed & Mathison 2 

Webster's United States 

do Lessons for Youth - - . - 

Richmonds Memoirs 

Brewer's Turkey 

Hinman's Antiquities 

Humphrey's Discourses 



Daudet was himself a living refutation, and so forth, and so 
forth ; yet it has a certain measure of reason in it, and the same 
regret has been more seriously expressed by the Italian poet 
Aleardi : 

'* Muse of an aged people, in the eve 
Of fading civilization, I was bom. 

♦ ♦ ♦ Oh, fortunate, 
My sisters, who in the heroic dawn 
Of races sung ! To them did destiny give 
The virgin fire and chaste ingenuousness 
Of their land's speech ; and, reverenced, their hands 
Ran over potent strings." 

* It will never do to allow that we are at such a desperate pass 
in English, but something of this divine despair we may feel too 
in thinking of " the spacious times of great Elizabeth," when the 
poets were trying the stops of the young language, and thrilling 
with the surprises of their own music. We may comfort our- 
selves, however, unless we prefer a luxury of grief, by remem- 
bering that no language is ever old on the lips of those who 
speak it, no matter how decrepit it drops from the pen. We 
have only to leave our studies, editorial and other, and go into 
the shops and fields to find the " spacious times " again ; and 
from the beginning Realism, before she had got a name or put 
on her capital letter, had divined this near-at-hand truth along 
with the rest. Mr. Lowell, the greatest and finest realist who 
ever wrought in verse, showed us that Elizabeth was still Queen 
where he heard Yankee farmers talk ; and without asking that 
our novelists of the widely scattered centres shall each seek to 
write in his local dialect, we are glad, as we say, of every tint 
any of them gets from the parlance he hears ; it is much better 
than the tint he will get from the parlance he reads. One need 
not invite slang into the company of its betters, though perhaps 
slang has been dropping its s and becoming language ever since 
the world began, and is certainly sometimes delightful and 
forcible beyond the reach of the dictionary. We would not have 
any one go about for new words, but if one of them came 
aptly, not to reject its help. For our novelists to try to write 
Americanly, from any motive, would be a dismal error, but being 
bom Americans, we would have them use *' Americanisms " 
whenever these serve their turn ; and when their characters 

i&ngiisii 01 inis continent.' wiuiam L'ean noweiis ii 
Editor's Study, Harptr's New Magamntt January, 1886. 



The following list makes no pretense to containing all the many 
issues and editions of Webster's writings. The popularity of 
the Prompter and Spelling Book led to many editions, and often 
to editions that soon disappeared. Like the New England 
Primer^ of the immense number printed only a few copies 
remain in existence, and the earlier imprints are already num- 
bered among the rarities of Americana. Of the Dictionary^ 
abridged, enlarged, amended or improved, there are almost 
countless editions, but only the earlier ones are indicated. It 
is hoped to issue a more complete Bibliography later. 

Emily E. F. Skeel. 

The initials used indicate the following : 

A.A.S., American Antiquarian 

A.P.S., American Philosophical 

B.A., Boston Atheneum. 

6.M., British Museum. 

B.P.L., Boston Public Libraij. 

C.H.S., Connecticut Historical 

E.I., Essex Institute. 

H.C., Harvard College. 

H.S.P., Historical Society of 

J.C.B., John Carter Brown Li- 

L.C., Library of Congress. 
L.C.Phil., Library Company of 

M.H.S., Massachusetts Historic 

cal Society. 
N.Y.H.S., New York Historical 

N.Y.P.L., New York PubUc 

N.Y.SocL., New York Society 

N.Y.S.L., New York Slate Lib. 

R.I.H.S., Rhode Island Histori- 
cal Society. 
R.I. M.S., Rhode Island Medical 

U. P. , University of Pennsylvania. 
W.L., Watkinson Library. 
Ya,, Yale Library. 

An Account of the Federal Procession, etc. July 23, 1783. 
[In pamphlet entitled : Interesting Documents . . . New 
York . . . John S. Murray.] 18 19. i2mo. pp. 129. 

An Address, Delivered at the Laying of the Comer Stone of the 
Building now erecting for the Charity Institution in Amherst, 



Attention ! or, New Thoughts on a serious Subject : Being an 
Enquiry into the Excise Laws of Connecticut ; Addressed 
to the Freemen of the State. By a Private Citizen. 
Hartford : Hudson & Goodwin. M,DCC,LXXXIX. 8vo. 
pp. 18. 
M.H.S., N.Y.P.L., W.L., Ya. 

Bill of Mortality. With Remarks on the history of the town of 
Hartford in Connecticut. [In Collections of the Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society, 1794. Vol. III. pp. 4-6.] 

Biography, for The Use of Schools. New Haven : Hezekiah 
Howe. 1830. 24mo. pp. 214. Illus. 
B.M., B.P.L., N.Y.P.L., L.C. 

A Brief History of Epidemic and Pestilential Diseases ; with 
the Principal Phenomena of the Physical World, which 
Precede and Accompany them, and Observations Deduced 
from the Facts stated. In Two Volumes. Hartford : 
Hudson & Goodwin. 1799. 8vo. pp. xii, 348 and 352. 

A.A.S., B.M., B.P.L., C.H.S., L.C., L.C.Phil., M.H.S., 
N.Y.H.S., N.Y.P.L., R.I.M.S., U.P., Ya.[Vol. I.t 

Reprinted. London : . . . G. G. & J. Robinson . . . 
By G. Woodfisdl. 1800. 8vo. pp. xvi, 559 and 526. 


Brief History. [Anon. In The American Geography . . . 
Jedidiah Morse. Elizabethtown . . , Shepard Kollock, 
for the Author. ic,DCC,LXXXix. i2mo. pp. $34.] 

A Brief View. i. Of Errors and Obscurities in the common 
versioD of the scriptures ... 2. Of Errors and Defects 
in class-books used in Seminaries of Learning ; . . . 
3. A few Plagiarisms. n.t.p. n.d« [New Haven, 1^59'] 
8vo. pp. 24. 

/V*A-o^ o.M.y LteO., M.n.di^ N.i •««*>«, N*i«P.L., iV«L»f 

A C<rilectioii of Essays and Fngitiv Writings, on Morale His- 
toricaly Political and Literary Sobyects, Printed at Botton, 
For the Author, By L Thomas and E. T. Aikdrewt, 
XDCCXC Sva pp. xvi, 414. 

A.AJSmf EkmAy BuJn., BuP.Lm, n«C«, L^C*, L^O^xbiL, Jn^n^i^^ 
N.y.ILSu, X.Y.P.L, Ya. 

A Collcctioa of Papm od the sobyect of Bi Hoot Fevers, Frevak 
lent m the hmud SukU% Ux a Few Years Past < , . 
Ncv-Yotk : HofHam, Webb amd Co, , , . ly/^ , , , %vf$, 

''/LaS, ait, RKL, HAF-, LC^ LX^FhiL, ^MM.%^ 
XYJPX, S.YSocl^ U.P-, W.L^ Ya. 

By liajaii Thomas & Co. mdcclxxxix. 8vo. pp. xv (i), 

A.A.S-, A.P.S., B.A., B.M., B.KL., C.H.S., H.C., H.S.P., 
J.C.B., LC, LC.Phil., M.H.S., N.Y.H.S., N.Y.P.L, 
N.V.SotL., W.L., Va. 

"Dissertation on the Origio, History, and Connexion of the Lan- 
guages of Western Asia and of Europe, n.t.p. n.d. 8vo. 

A Dissertation on the supposed Change in the Temperature of 
Winter, [[n Memoirs of The Connecticut Academy of 
Arts and Sciences. Vol. I. Part I. No. I. New-Haven. 
1810. pp. 1-68.] 

Effects of Slavery, on Morals and Industry. Hartford, (Con- 
necticut) . . . Hudson & Goodwin. H.i>cc.xcni. 8vo. 

A.A.S., A.P,S., B.A., B.M., B.P.L., C.H.S., H.C., H.S.P., 
The Elementary Primer, or First Lessons for Children ; being 
an Introduction to the Elementary Spelling Book. [New- 
York . . . M-Etrath and Bangs . . , and L. D. Dewey . , . 


The Elementary Spelling Book; being an Improvement on 
the American Spelling Book. Philadelphia: . . . Kimber & 
Sharpless. Stereotyped by A. Chandler. 1829. i2mo. 
pp. 166. Front. 


Other editions. 1829- 1908. 

Reprinted under titles : Webster's Old Spelling Book, 
Sandbomton, N.H.: Charles Lane [181 7?], and Webster's 
Elementary Spelling Book. Manchester, [England] : Abel 
Hey wood. [1870.] 

See The Pictorial Elementary Spelling Book. 

Elements of Useful Knowledge. Vol. I. Containing a His- 
torical and Geographical Account of the United States : 
For the Use of Schools . . . Hartford : Hudson & Good- 
win. 1802. i2mo. pp. 206. 

A.A.S., N.Y.H.S., Ya. 

Other editions. 1 806- 1 8 1 5 . 

Same. Volume II. . . . From Sidney's Press, New-Haven: 
For the Author . . . 1804. i2mo. pp. (3), 206(1). 
A.A.S., H.C., L.C.,* M.H.S., R.I.H.S., W.L. 
Other editions. 1 8o6- 1 8 1 3. 

Same. Volume III. Containing a Historical and Geographical 
Account of the Empires and States in Europe, Asia and 
Africa, with their Colonies. To which is added, A Brief 
Description of New Holland, and the Principal Islands in 
the Pacific and Indian Oceans. For the Use of Schools. 
New-Haven, (Connecticut) . . . Bronson, Walter & Co. 
O. Steele & Co. Printers. 1806. i2mo. pp. 294 (2). 

A.A.S., B.A., B.M., H.C., W.L., Ya. 

Another edition. 1 8 1 2. 

Same. Volume IV. See History of Animals. 

The English Ship of War righting herself, after twenty years 
hard fighting ! ... or. Thirty Practical Essays founded on 
Common Sense ; • • . Bristol : Printed for the editor . . . 
by T. Long. n.d. [1816?] i2mo. pp. (5), 68. 


Twenty-eight of these Essays were from The Prompter. 

An/ Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal 
" Constitution proposed by the late Convention held at 
Philadelphia. With Answers to the Principal Objections 
that have been raised against the System. By a Citizen 
of America . . . Philadelphia : . . . Prichard & Hall. 
M.DCC.LXXXVII. 8vo. pp. 55. 

A-A.S., B.A., H.C., H.S.P., J.C.B., N.Y.H.S., N.Y.P.L., 
W.L., Ya. 

Reprinted in Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United 


Aaocber editian. Ne« Haven : FcUisbed by N. Webster. 
ll.EiCCC.Xl.1. Sm. szmo. pp. =6cx 
A-A-S^ B.P.1_ 1-C_ N.Y.P.U 
Tbe lUustntcd Webster Spclbng Book . . . (WtUUm G. Wcb- 
Kcr}. Loodon : Waid & Lode . . . [1S56}. Bvo. ih>. nii, 
1x8, 3. 
B.M.. N.V.P.U 
Another Issue. London. [tSrS-l Si-o. 

An Impro^-ed Grammai' of tbe Englisb Language. New 
Haven: Hetekiah Hove . . . 1831. iimo. pp. 180. 
A.A.S., B.P.L., E.I.. L.C., N.Y.P.L., W.L., Va. 
Oiher editions. 1833-1843. 
Instructive and Entertaining Lessons for Youth ; with Rules 
for Reading with Propriety, Illustrated by Examples : 
Designed for Use in Schools and Families. N'ew-Haven: 
. . . S. Babcock and Dnrrie & Peck , , . 1835. '-™o- 
pp. {2\ 151. lUus. 
A.A.S., L.C., N.Y.P.L., W.L., Va. 
Substantially the same as tbe American Selection, or 
Third Part of the Grammatical Institute. 

delphia : . , . W. Young, . . . M,DCC,LXXXvni, Sm, I2r 
pp. 36. 

H.S.P., L.C.Phii. 

A Journal of the Transactions and Occurences in the Settle- 
ment of Massachusetts and the other New- England colonies, 
from the year 1630 to 1644: Written by John Winlhrop, 
Esq., First Governor of Massachusetts . . . [Edited by 
Noah Webster]. Hartford : Elisha Babcock. m,dcCXC. 
8vo. pp. 364. 
A.A.S., H.C., L.C., N.V.P.L. 

A Letter to Dr. David Ramsay, of Charleston (S.C.) respecting 
the Errors in Johnson's IJiclionary, and Other Lexicons, 
New-Haven : Oliver Steele & Co. 1S07. 81-0. pp. 38. 

A.A.S., B.A., B.M., B-P-UCH-.-^.. H.C.. L.C.. M.H.S., 
N.Y.H.S., N.Y.P.L., W.L 

A I Mt>r in*nl Hamiltnn. Occasioned by his Letter to