OLD-TIME SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL-BOOKS - online book

An Illustrated history & description Of Schools in the 18th & 19th Centurys.

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VII
NOAH WEBSTER AND HIS SPELLING-BOOK
N OAH WEBSTERwas born October 16,1758, in Hartford, Connecticut, about three miles from the centre of the city. His father, Noah Webster, Sr., was a respectable farmer, a deacon in the church, and a justice of the peace. The boy worked on the home farm and attended the village school. When he had reached the age of fourteen, we find him beginning the study of the classics under the instruction of the parish clergyman, and two years later he was admitted to Yale College. The Revolutionary War seriously interrupted the college course, but he graduated with credit in 1778, and his father gave him an eight-dollar Continental bill, then worth about half its face value in specie, and told him he must henceforth rely on his own exertions.
It had been young Webster's intention to become a lawyer. The country, however, was impoverished by the war, and his first necessity was to make a living. So he resorted to school teaching. Peda­gogy at that time was attended with unusual difficul­ties. Not only was the war still in progress, but the interruption of intercourse with Great Britain had made school-books very scarce. The need of
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