Printer Friendly

Dexter, Timothy (1747-1806).

merchant, humorist. Born in Malden, Massachusetts, Dexter made a fortune through unusual business deals that included buying up apparently worthless Continental currency (later redeemed), selling warming pans in the West Indies, and trading in whalebone. Describing himself as First in the East, First in the West, and Greatest Philosopher of All the Known World, he built an eccentric mansion in Newburyport and left a charity bequest to the city. Much of his story he tells in A Pickle for the Knowing Ones, or Plain Truths in a Homespun Dress (1802) in a style enlivened by idiosyncratic spelling and without punctuation. In a second edition (1805) he includes a page of stops--periods, commas, etc.--for those who love punctuation and tells them to "peper and solt as they plese." John P. Marquand wrote a life of Dexter (1925) and revised it in 1960.

COPYRIGHT 1991 HarperCollins Publishers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1991
Words:142
Previous Article:Dewey, John (1859-1952).
Next Article:Dial, The.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters