North American Scholar

ANDREWS, Ethan Allen

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1787-04-07
  • Born City: New Britain
  • Born State/Country: CT
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1858-03-04
  • Death City: New Britain
  • Death State/Country: CT
  • Married: Lucy Cowles, 1815.
  • Education:

    A.B. Yale, 1810.

  • Professional Experience:

    Admitted to CT bar, 1810; prof. anc. langs., U. North Carolina, 1822-8; tchr., New Haven (CT) gymnasium, 1828-9; founder, New Haven Young Ladies' Institute, 1829-33; princ. Mount Vernon Female School (name changed from "School" to "Seminary" in 1835) (Boston), 1833-9; senior ed. Religious Magazine and Family Miscellany, 1833-9; mem. CT state legis., 1851.

  • Publications:

    A Grammar of the Latin Language for the Use of Schools and Colleges, with Solomon Stoddard (Boston, 1836; 65th ed., 1872); *Questions upon Andrews' and Stoddard's Latin Grammar (Boston & New York, 1836; 25th ed., Boston, 1883); Slavery and the Domestic Slave-Trade in the United States (Boston, 1836); *First Lessons in Latin (Boston & New York, 1837; 47th ed., Boston & Cambridge, 1882); *The First Part of Jacobs and Düring's Latin Reader (Boston, 1837); *Latin Exercises (Boston, 1837); *A Key to Latin Exercises (Boston, 1838); Sallust's History of the War against Jugurtha, and of the Conspiracy of Catiline (New Haven, 1841; 17th ed., Boston, 1860); *Lhomond's Viri Romae (ed.) (Boston, 1842; 12th ed., 1860); Leisure Hours: A Choice Collection of Readings in Prose (new illus. ed.) (Boston, 1844); A First Latin Book or Progressive Lessons in Reading and Writing Latin (Boston, 1846; 23d ed., 1877); C. Julius Caesar Commentaries on the Gallic War (Boston, 1846; 51st ed., 1873); A Copious and Critical Latin-English Lexicon Founded on the Larger Latin-German Lexicon of Dr. William Freund (New York, 1851), revised as A) Harper's Latin Dictionary, A New Latin Dictionary Founded on the Translation of Freund's Latin and German Lexicon, rev., enlarged, and in great part re-written by Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short (New York & Cincinnati, 1879) and B) A Latin Dictionary founded on Andrews' Edition of Freund's Latin Dictionary (Oxford, 1879); A Synopsis of Latin Grammar (Boston, 1851); Exercises in Latin Etymology (Boston, 1855); A Manual of Latin Grammar (Boston, 1859).

  • Notes:

    Ethan Allen Andrews gave America its first great Latin Dictionary, based on Freund's abridgement and translation (1834-45) of Forcellini (1771). Trained for a career in the law, he practiced as an attorney for some years before embarking on a teaching career. He succeeded Jacob Abbott at the Boston Young Ladies' School and worked with the Abbott brothers in editing the Religious Magazine. In 1839 he returned to his birthplace to work on his series of Latin texts and supervise the translation (by others) of Freund under contract from Harper and Brothers. Forcellini's four volumes had been reduced by Freund to 4500 pages; "Andrews' Lexicon," as it became known, by eliminating quotations that followed citations (though it added some words and translated idiomatic or opaque usages for the benefit of students), totaled 1651 pages. The dictionary was widely used in England until William Smith's Latin-English Dictionary appeared in 1851. After Andrews' death the dictionary was revised by C. T. Lewis and Charles Short and became both the Harper's Latin Dictionary in this country and the Oxford A Latin Dictionary, superseded only with the appearance of the Oxford Latin Dictionary in the 1970s. He also produced with his classmate Solomon Stoddard a Latin grammar that was in its 65th edition in 1872, as well as a number of supporting texts, indicated in the list below by an asterisk (*). At the time of his death Andrews was editing revisions to his dictionary sent him by Freund.

  • Sources:

    NatCAB 13:416; Frederick F. Ohles, BDAE 41-2; Frank Jacques Sypher, Jr., "A History of Harper's Latin Dictionary," Harvard Library Bulletin 20 (1972) 349-66.

  • Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.