Kids Corner

Do you Know Noah?

Noah Webster was born 250 years ago. He had two brothers and two sisters. He was born in West Hartford, Connecticut and lived in a four room house on South Main Street. Today this red house is a museum where visitors can learn about Noah’s life. Noah was very smart. Most children in the 1700’s did not go to school beyond age 10, when they were old enough to help on the farm. None of Noah’s brothers and sisters went to high school, but Noah had a tutor, a minister who helped prepare him for college.

When he was 16, he went to Yale University in New Haven. After he graduated from college, he thought about becoming a lawyer, but he was also interested in education. He wanted the schools to be much better. He thought education was the best way for America to become a strong country. He taught school in Glastonbury, and in the West District which is now called West Hartford.

He married a girl named Rebecca Greenleaf, and they had eight children. They had four girls before they had a boy. They had six daughters and two sons.

Noah wrote many books to educate people about the English language and about our government. His most famous books were the “Blue-Backed Speller” and An American Dictionary. The “Speller” sold millions of copies during his lifetime. The dictionary had 70,000 words and took him 27 years to write. He died at age 85, which was a pretty long life!

Today Blue Back Square in West Hartford Center is named after his “Speller.” You can see his statue in front of the West Hartford Library on Main Street. You can visit his house today with a school group or with your family. You will learn about Noah, the house, games, clothing, cooking and history of the time of Noah.