My “American Language Book Tour,” which starts next week, is inspired by America’s first book tour — the one taken by Noah Webster in 1785-1786 to promote his speller. Webster went up and down America, going from Portsmouth, NH to Savannah, GA.
As I explain in Chapter 4 of my book, “Counting His Way Across America,” in each town, Webster would do a personal count of all the houses. In 1788, he published his results in The American Magazine, a NYC literary journal he edited. The list contained entries such as the following:
New Haven 400
New York 3340
I hope to visit most of the towns he did, (though as of yet I have no plans to count any houses). Seven months before my pub date, I am already slated to appear in those five towns — plus nearly a dozen more — in a total of ten states.