Noah Webster's Dictionary of 1828 was a huge influence at the time but it's also a very good tool for writers and historians today.
Here's a link to a word search for the dictionary. Noah Webster's Dictionary 1828
The 1828 dictionary wasn't Noah's first. His first was in 1806. He learned 26 languages to develop the 1828 dictionary and it took 27 years to complete. Unfortunately, it didn't sell well, so Noah mortgaged his home to publish the second edition in 1840. It wasn't until after his death that Noah's efforts were recognized.
Another great point for researchers and writers is all of Noah Webster's dictionaries and other books are in public domain.