Noah Webster

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Noah Webster painted by Samuel F. B. Morse

Noah Webster (1758-10-16 – 1843-04-28) was an American lexicographer, textbook author, Bible translator and spelling reformer.


  • The American states have gone far in assisting the progress of truth; but they have stopped short of perfection. They ought to have given every honest citizen an equal right to enjoy his religion and an equal title to all civil emoluments, without obliging him to tell his religion. Every interference of the civil power in regulating opinion, is an impious attempt to take the business of the Deity out of his own hands; and every preference given to any religious denomination, is so far slavery and bigotry.
    • Sketches of American Policy. (1785) p.27
  • Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.
    • An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (1787), p. 32
  • There iz no alternativ. Every possible reezon that could ever be offered for altering the spelling of wurds, stil exists in full force; and if a gradual reform should not be made in our language, it wil proov that we are less under the influence of reezon than our ancestors.
    • Preface to A Collection of Essays and Fugitiv Writings (1790) [1]
    • This quote illustrates the reformed spelling advocated by Webster.

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