March, Francis Andrew

March, Francis Andrew

(1825–1911) philologist; born in Millbury, Mass. Inspired by the lectures of Noah Webster at Amherst College, he went on to teach for 49 years at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. (1855–1906), where in 1857 he was appointed to the chair of English language and philology, the first professorship of its kind. His text, A Comparative Grammar of the Anglo-Saxon Language (1870), details the Indo-European origins of the language and laid the foundation for the future study of the English language and historical grammar. He directed the American readers for the Oxford English Dictionary during the 1870s and 1880s and he was active in the spelling reform movement. With his son (Francis Andrew) he edited an English-language dictionary and a thesaurus.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.