Yep, you're right. I accidentally skipped a line while reading my source and thought it said that the same book had been published in Gainsville, Florida. My bad. dictionary.reference.com/help/…
Also, I was mistaken about the reason. The actual reason that the US spells "artifact" with an i is because Latin roots with the "Arte-" prefix change the e to an i when said root is given a suffix (artificial, artifice). English is a jumbled mess as it is, so the logic is that this helps make things easier.
For the record, I prefer artefact, because I pronounce it "art-eh-fact" rather than "art-ih-fact" as the American spelling would imply.
Ironically enough, the reason Webster turned all the "-our"s into "-or"s was because THEY were derived from Latin and were originally spelt "-or"; that's why "glamour," a word of Scottish origin, remained "-our".
And the reason island has an "s" is because the people in charge of that stuff in the 1600s thought island stemmed from the Latin "insula" and added an "s" to reflect that. Modern research indicates island is derived from a "Germanic" word which contained no "s", so now the "s" is there as a constant reminder of their error.
I honestly love the stereotypes about Americans being gun-slinging assholes who have baseless reasoning for all of their arguments... just warms the heart. Because I'd say at least half of that stereotype is true most of the time, because no matter how hard they try, they just won't get me to buy a gun or have a shoddy explanation to my thought process. -shrug-