Author hosting party to introduce Noah Webster biography

By: Patty McAlpin, Reporter
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Know and Go:

“Noah Webster & His Words” book party takes place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Oct. 27 at Kilaga Springs Lodge Placer Room, 1187 Sun City Blvd.

Cookies and coffee will be offered.

Books will be available for sale from Barnes & Noble at the party. The book, which sells for $16.99, is for sale at stores and the Barnes & Noble’s website as well as at

Noah Webster’s official introduction party is Oct. 27. Not literally but literarily.

The official first publication day for “Noah Webster & His Words” was Oct. 23, 2012.

The author, Jeri Chase Ferris, is inviting the public to a book party between 11 and 3 p.m. Saturday at the Kilaga Springs Placer Room to introduce the Noah Webster she has come to know. Chase Ferris and husband Tom Ferris moved to Lincoln in 2005.

Noah Webster is best known as the publisher of the dictionary in 1828 when he was 70 years old. But he also played an important role in keeping the nation alive when the country was young, Chase Ferris said.

The author said what surprised her about Webster is “his pompousness, his quirky personality, his perseverance, his dedication and the fact that he’s one of the main ones who kept our country together when the country was brand new.”

The front cover of the book has a drawing of Noah Webster with a big head.

“When the illustrator read the first line of the book, he knew Noah had to have a big head,” Chase Ferris said.

The first line of the book reads, “Noah Webster always knew he was right, and he never got tired of saying so (even if, sometimes, he wasn’t).”

Webster’s note to his American Dictionary of the American Language readers brought tears to her eyes.

“He gave it to American’s with these words, ‘To my fellow citizens for their happiness and learning…for their moral and religious elevation…and for the glory of my country.’”

Chase Ferris has written nine other biographies since her first book was published in 1988.    

Most of the people she chose to write about came about as a result of her desire to give examples of positive role models to her students. She taught elementary school children in the inner city of Los Angeles.

“I want them to have more role models than just basketball players, not that there is anything wrong with having them as role models,” Chase Ferris said. “I wanted to write about people who made a difference like Harriet Tubman. I admire her faith, her perseverance and courage. She went back again and again to lead slaves to freedom even though her slave master was still looking for her.”

Asked why she selected Webster, she said, “Nobody knew about Noah. He wrote the dictionary but what else did he do? It was an exciting challenge. I wanted to be an archaeologist. I like to dig up facts. I have a master’s degree in history. I like to find the truth behind the person and he was a prime example.”