Timothy Dexter


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(1747–1806), eccentric merchant of Newburyport, Mass., who dubbed himself “Lord” Timothy Dexter. He gained his wealth by unusual, though shrewd, business transactions and spent part of it for a curious mansion in his native town. His book, A Pickle for the Knowing Ones (1802), is an amusing expression of his idiosyncrasies, famous for its lack of punctuation except in the second edition, which had a page of punctuation marks at the end so that readers could “pepper and solt it as they plese.” J. P. Marquand wrote a biography of Dexter (1925, revised 1960).

From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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