Little House News (Not About Books)

May 21, 2009 @ 3:52 pm | Filed under:

The Wisconsin Historical Society has published some Civil War-era letters written by members of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family, including one by Caroline Quiner Ingalls (Laura’s mother) to her sister Martha (who was named after “my” Martha, Laura’s great-grandmother).

I haven’t had a chance to read the letters yet—just got the announcement—but it sounds like at least one of them mentions Charlotte, Laura’s grandmother. This batch of letters wasn’t among the family archive material the Laura Ingalls Wilder estate gave me when I was researching the Martha and Charlotte books, so this is new and exciting stuff for me too.

The long letter from Aunt Martha to Laura full of anecdotes about the Quiner children’s early years isn’t among these. It was written after Caroline’s death and was an important source of information for Maria Wilkes during her writing of the Caroline books. I’d love to see that one published some day. I have a copy somewhere in my files, but I think the original belongs to the Ingalls Wilder estate—or possibly one of the museums? There are Laura-related treasures in many of the home sites and museums that celebrate her work and life.

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5 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. sarah says:

    It must be so wonderful writing about history – all that scrumptious research! My daughter was reminiscing just the other day about how great your books were. You must write more of something to make her happy! (Hey, it’s not like you’re busy or anything, is it?)


  2. Heidi Curnutt says:

    Thank you for the info. I am a huge Laura Fan. I have always read the books about her, by her and by her daughter. Pioneers were facinating folk. It is fun to hear something new on the front. Keep us posted. I am sorry you will not be doing more, but am looking forward to whatever your creative juices have bubbling! (great, now I am thinking about a great berry pie :>)

  3. Sarah says:

    I really like old letters and use them with students a lot. Just yesterday we were cleaning out my daughter’s room. She decided to send all the “Rose” books off to the thrift store, but held on to her “Martha” books for another read 🙂

  4. Penny in VT says:

    Thank you for sharing this – I can’t wait to dive in. It will be so interesting to read about the Ingalls’ life from the adult perspective rather than Laura’s – and to read about this time in history from the perspective of those who were living it as well – you find the best stuff!

  5. Mary says:

    I didn’t know where to comment on this on your blog, but I wanted to ask. Have you seen/heard of the miniseries based on the “Little House” books? I caught part of it on the Hallmark Channel yesterday. I am sitting at home more these days, the heat, a new puppy. I can’t say I liked it and I really didn’t want my 7 year old watching it with me, because you never know what direction things will go. Maybe it’s my angst against all remakes, but it had an edge to it that the T.V. series didn’t. I think my issue has to do with the point of view from which the stories are told. The portions of the new series that I caught were not obviously from the voice of a little girl, in my opinion.