Samuel Johnson

By Ashley Kendrick 7th period

Early life

Samuel Johnson was born September 18th, 1709. His father, Michael Johnson, was a bookseller, he was married to Sarah ford. Johnson was born above his fathers bookstore in lichfield, Staffordshire. Johnson says he was born in poverty. His mother, Sarah, was 40 when she gave birth to him so doctors thought he would die. His parents had a priest come to bless him when he was first born. When Johnson was six he got a diagnosed with a disease called scrofula, also known as "king's evil" because people thought only royalty could cure it. It eventually went away but left many scars across his body and face. His future was uncertain because his family was so deep in their debt. To help his family Johnson stitched his fathers books back together to help make more money. Johnson met a man named Harry Porter. Harry had a terminal illness. Johnson began to live with the porter family while Harry got very sick and passed away. His wife, Elizabeth, became a widow so Johnson court her (love her). Two of her kids accepted him, but Elizabeth's son Jurvis did not accept him because of their age difference (he was 25 and she was 46).

Middle age life

He applied to work as a tutor for solitude school, but the head of the school declined his request because they said "your face will scare the lads," implying that his scars (from his childhood) were ugly. He thought he could work better at his own school so he opened his own school, edial school, which was a private academy. The schools started to fail so he eventually closed it and started his first major work project, the historical tragedy Irene. He later published his first poem, London, anonymously. In 1746 a group of publishers asked johnsons about making a authorative dictionary. He agreed and then said he could complete it in three years. He eventually finished it in eight years. It was not the first dictionary, but it was. Last used and imitated for more than 150 years. There were many dictionary's but they didn't have good grammar, nor were they in the language they spoke (English). The dictionary was published in April 1755. It's pages were 18 inches tall and 20 inches wide. It had 42,773 entries (words) in the book. During the almost nine years he took to write the dictionary he also wrote many essays.

The last of his years

Samuel was arrested March 16, 1756 for being in debt and not paying his taxes. His good friend Samuel Richards got hi. Out of jail and payed for his debt. After he got out he wrote, The Seven Year War (French and Indian war), and started to write, The plays of William Shakespeare, but had lots of incorrect information that he had to fix before publishing. He delayed the publication from June 8th, 1758 to the next March. In February he got arrested again for debt so he could not finish, The plays of William Shakepeare. On May 16, 1763 he met James Boswell, which eventually became his biographer. On January 9th, 1765 he was introduced to another man named Henry Thrale, and Johnson ended up living with him for up to 17 years until Henry's death. Johnsons version of Shakepeare was was finally finished October 10th, 1765. In February 1767 Johnson was granted a special audience by King Goerge III to go to the queens library. In 1774 he wrote, The Patriot, in views of false patriotism. Then in 1775 he wrote, Taxation no Tryanny, as a response to the Declaration of Independence to the American colonists. Johnson said the colonists had no right to govern themselves. Johnson then signed the peace of Paris 1783. On December 13th, 1784 he went into coma and died.

Why/How did he change the world?

Samuel Johnson helped changed the world by giving us a proper example of many text to help people understand the spelling, meaning, and text in what many words mean. Without his dictionary it would be hard to read, understand and comprehend what certain words mean and how to use them.