Talk:Timothy Dexter

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Sidney Perley and Lord Timothy[edit]

Quite frankly, how can there be a tale out of Essex County, MA without something from Sidney Perley (see post, today, Sidney's Antiquarian)? At the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc., we have been referencing Sidney's work, for years. He was a friend of the principal Gardner author (Frank A. Gardner, MD). Sidney's work was picked up, when he went to write the History of Salem, by Frank's sister, Lucie M. Gardner, who was an early graduate of Tufts College. Sidney's walkabouts of the area were wonderful (example comparing Sidney's layout with a Google view). We are writing a historical account of early events in Essex using Sidney's work.

As a means of respect, I am going through all of the issues of The Essex Antiquarian, just like I did with all of the issues of The Massachusetts Magazine. And, today, I ran into this story of Dexter in Volume VII, 1903, see page 107. And, per usual, came to Wikipedia to see if this had been covered. In short, you can believe that Sidney was quoting other sources. We intend to build some indication of that information back to visibility via a bit of research. jmswtlk (talk) 00:01, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

lack of credible references, and links to shady sites - to say the least[edit]

They speak (badly) for themselves.

Also, what is "a large idiot"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.127.128.24 (talkcontribs) 21:51, 10 April 2011

Dubious references comment added by UnifiedLeft WP:DEL <-- is a deletion in order?contribs) 23:08, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Added tags: "Peacock|date=May 2011" because of the phrase "large idiot", "peculiarly lucky" (isn't all luck peculiar?), "a golden eagle on the top of the cupola?!" (how is this known). "Expert-verify|date=May 2011", it would be nice if some historian would delineate for us what of this story is likely to be wives tale and what is recorded history. The article is interesting to me, but it reads like a tall tale, which it probably is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by UnifiedLeft (talkcontribs) 15:44, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

The "eagle atop the cupola" was a weather vane. Its wings were spread to turn with the wind. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.243.51.84 (talk) 18:00, 24 December 2019 (UTC)
What's so shady about NPR?--Auric (talk) 13:04, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Nothing shady about NPR but Mr. Collins' brief interview only covers a couple "facts" from this article namely, lack of punctuation and the "mittens". The other references link to tongue-in-cheek websites that offer no supporting information for any of the other claims in the article, those are the "shady" references. The article should probably be reduced to the claims that are referenced by the one probably reliable source. --UnifiedLeft (talk) 15:23, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

I read A Pickle for the Knowing Ones and the Samuel L Knapp book about Dexter and they talk about the events listed on this page; however, I'm relying purely on their creditability. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.139.145.98 (talk) 17:16, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Shit's pretty amusing, yo.[edit]

— Preceding unsigned comment added by 212.92.188.243 (talkcontribs) 13:19, 18 April 2011 Shit is indeed amusing, yo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.49.181.209 (talkcontribs) 17:49, 23 April 2011

May 21, 2012 POV Check Request[edit]

The wording of the article is informal at best, but that is besides the point. Throughout the article, each and every sentence focuses on the eccentricity of the so-called "Lord" Timothy Dexter — to the point in where there are no useful neutral statements.

Begin by dissecting the lead: the position of the "Lord" in quotations is hardly understandable if it was actually used, let alone in this uncited sentence. The next part of the lead reads: "admiring contemporaries". Not only is this phrase evidently flowery language, and therefore ineligable to be objective, it also carries an innate sarcasm — definately not appropriate in Wikipedia. Although the phrase "eccentric" is not harmful when it without dispute, in this case there is not even a single source to back it up. Such material would have been removed in an eyeblink if the person were living.

The first sentence of the Biography section is hardly the most important, and in fact is not a lead to anything in the article. Therefore, it can be assumed that the promotion of that information to the first paragraph of the biography carries a non-neutral connotation. The remainder of the first paragraph and the beginning of the second discuss various lucky events, without discussing any other events — clearly a focus on one part while masking the other part.

Following, the entire remainder of the article seems to focus on eccentric aspects that are sourced, but arguable without reliable sources (most seem almost satirical). Obviously, the sources accentuate this bias — no source referenced discusses less eccentric event in Dexter's life. However, the wording of these paragraphs needs improvement: there are evident phrasings exemplifying Dexter's lack of reason when writing his book, responding to complaints, etc. In fact, the wording of the entire article could likely benefit from improvement.

In response to these issues, I have tagged the article with a POV check. Thank you for taking the time to read this. 99.237.12.45 (talk) 01:16, 22 May 2012 (UTC)


just plain wrong[edit]

The Timothy Dexter house in Newburyport is at 201 HIgh Street. It has never been, and is not, the Newburyport library. When I lived there in 1984 or so, it was a single family home with two apartments. There is lots of press about a fire that hit it years later during remodeling. Zillow still lists it as a single family home. I can't imagine how the author of this piece would not know this unless he has never lived in Newburyport. One of the statues that Dexter had in is front yard (to the annoyance of all) is today in the Smithsonian Institute.

00:43, 11 July 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Douglasswm (talkcontribs)


Today the Dexter house has a family living in it, and three separated apartments. It has never been a library or a hotel. It has never exited private hands at any point of it's history. The most recent time it transferred hands was in 1984. This article is very inaccurate.

Warnings at the top? Proposed deletion?[edit]

"The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia's general notability guideline. (July 2012)" - Wikipedia:Notability is killing Wikipedia. ugh. trisweb (Talk) 16:29, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Timothy Dexter might not be as notable as George Washington, but he certainly meets qualifications for "notability" on Wiki. He is a regional, New England historical figure, albeit rather minor. Whomever cited this article as not notable is probably not from New England and probably did not check additional references not cited in this article. While there are "shady" sites that are used as references to him here in this article, there are others (as well as books, including his own) which are credible. He is at the least notable to history of Newburyport as a very successful merchant and eccentric. Austin023 (talk) 21:36, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Removing notability tag[edit]

He was rather famous in his own day, and was profiled in "American Heritage" magazine in 1961, so I think he's quite notable enough for Wikipedia. AnonMoos (talk) 03:23, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

I agree. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 01:10, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Birth and death details[edit]

Dexter's dates of birth and death seem to be a very moveable feast.

Birth
  • Appletons' Cyclopedia says 22 January 1743
  • lordtimothydexter.com says 22 January 1747. Presumably they base this on the obituary mentioned below and Dexter's gravestone, which both say he was in his 60th year (and all sources agree he died in 1806)
  • WP says 22 January 1748.
  • Find-a Grave says 22 February 1748
Death (1806)
  • lordtimothydexter.com says 22 October, and they source it to an obituary that even gives the day of the week and the time of day (“Wednesday evening” – 22 Oct 1806 was a Wednesday); they also acknowledge Dexter's gravestone says 23 October, so they're aware of the discrepancy and still stick to the 22 October story
  • Find-a-Grave says 26 October even though they have a photo of the grave showing 23 October; there's no comment on the discrepancy
  • Appletons' and WP say 26 October.

We really need to mention all these possibilities unless there's some way of authoritatively choosing one over another (as we're pretending to do at the moment). -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 01:10, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Continental dollars[edit]

The US government never "made good" on the continental dollars. They honored 1/100th of the face value with bonds, when previously they had been trading at 1/40th of face value. Investing in these would lose money, not make a "fortune." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_American_currency#Continental_currency--Skintigh (talk) 19:43, 2 September 2015 (UTC)