Noah Webster ALS

Lot Number 749
Author Noah Webster

Noah Webster ALS

Year Published
Place Printed
Printed By
Description ALS signed “N. Webster,” one page, 7.25 x 12, October 4, 1828. Letter to J. E. Worcester, headed at the top, “Copy.” In full: “I wish to be informed whether you have received directions to proceed in the abridgment, according to my instructions, or what directions, if any, have Mr. Converse. It is important for me to know; as I have some further particulars to attend to, if you are proceeding in the work. I have consented that my points may be inserted in the margin at top or bottom, as you shall see fit; & it is my desire that the word may be divided into syllables—which I believe Mr. Converse will consent to. If you are going on, please to send me two copies of each sheet, as soon as corrected & fitted for the steno typers, that the words may be carefully inspected by myself & some friends. The sheets may be sent in the mail, as newspapers are sent. Please to answer this by the first mail.” In very good condition, with partial separations to edges of horizontal mailing folds, a uniform shade of mild toning, and some light mirroring of ink from folding. Accompanied by a full letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA. Hired by the aging Noah Webster to help produce an abridgement to his massive 1828 American Dictionary of the English language, Joseph Worcester quickly became the master lexicographer’s biggest rival. A year after disappointing Webster with his abridgement, Worcester went on to publish a dictionary of his own, plagiarizing hundreds of definitions, according to Webster. The two competing dictionaries became a polarizing issue, known as the ‘dictionary wars,’ pitting not only linguistic moderates against liberals, but in a broader sense, Angophiles versus Americanizers, upper class traditionalists versus lower class rebels. An outstanding letter written the year of his famous Dictionary’s publication, as his relationship with Worcester was just beginning.
Estimated Price USD 800.00 - 1,000.00
Actual Price USD 5,160.00



Auction House RR Auction
Auction Name Rare Manuscript, Document & Autograph - bidstart 12/19
Sale Number #421
Auction Date January 15, 2014 - January 15, 2014
Sale Name Rare Manuscript, Document & Autograph - bidstart 12/19
Total Lots 1773
Description of Sale

Post Sale Description

Book Images 5be4a36a-7daf-4431-ab72-c265003b6fdb