Noah Webster began work on his dictionary in 1807, intending to contribute to national independence. The two-volume book took him twenty-one years to prepare and its title confessed to the continuing dominance of “English”. Webster included some 12,000 new American words and 40,000 definitions but his work was criticised for its unconventional spellings and usages, precisely what he had sought to record.
Editors. "An American Dictionary of the English Language published". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 December 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=35, accessed 23 May 2013.]