Laura Ingalls Wilder Family Letters Go Online

We are pleased to share the following announcement from Michael Edmonds, head of Digital Collections at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has recently published on its website more than a dozen original letters written during the Civil War by relatives of Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957), author of Little House on the Prairie and other popular books for young readers.

Wilder’s famous novels are thinly disguised recollections of her childhood, and these private letters between her mother, uncles and an aunt shed light on the real-world adults whom she fictionalized. They include a four-page letter written by her mother, Caroline Quiner Ingalls, shortly after being married and others written by various uncles* while fighting in the Civil War.

The original handwritten documents are presented in color, accompanied by typed transcriptions, in the Society’s Turning Points in Wisconsin History digital collection. A lesson plan based on them has also been provided for the use of elementary school teachers who use the Little House books in the classroom.

*Please note: Although the Wisconsin Historical Society website refers several times to the Civil War letters being written by Laura’s uncles, these letters were actually written by the brothers of Laura’s uncle, Charles Carpenter, who was married to Caroline’s (Ma’s) sister Martha. One of the Civil War letters is written by Laura’s aunt, Nancy Quiner, who married Ma’s brother Joseph.

Posted in Minor Characters in Little House books, Research
4 comments on “Laura Ingalls Wilder Family Letters Go Online
  1. John A. Bass says:

    Please note everyone!: I have had Stout to re-send the folder (folder #142) back to the Historical Society, so that they can ADD the remainder letters to the website! Yes! There are like 10-15 more letters, that they “didn’t think people would be interested in”, that are MORE important than the ones online now. These remainder letters are those that CHARLOTTE WALLIS TUCKER QUINER HOLBROOK wrote. And one from Lottie, Ma’s sister, etc. Just wait! In a couple weeks, this will be added online, and also added is the “references” to where they came from, the Grieve family, and Elizabeth Carpenter Eggers (who once wrote the Genealogy of the Quiner-Carpenter book). Cheryl, I gave you a copy, remember?
    I have been in contact with DORLA TAM, whom owns most of the Quiner side of the family photographs, etc. She sent me copies of all these letters YEARS & YEARS ago. But good, chrisp COLOR COPY SCANS are much better to look at and have in your archives! Don’t you all agree?

    P.S. I want to come to De Smet for the “planning committee” week end, but don’t think I am going to make it, due to other trips. I have ZILLIONS of things going on!
    P.S.S. I am going to speak on the “historical markers/Little House sites” at the LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE CAST REUNION in Keystone, SD in September. Are you all going to this event?

    Y’all e-mail me…JohnBass@aol.com or IngWildLan@aol.com .

    See ya!

    -John Bass
    Ingalls-Wilder-Lane Historic Alliance
    Shreveport, LA – Crowley, LA – Harlingen, TX

  2. John A. Bass, LIW/RWL Scholar says:

    All the letters have been reorganized and updated, according to the dates, on the website. They also corrected their errors, according to my files.

  3. Christine Cail says:

    Sadly, the link you provided is not working. Do you have another one I can follow?

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Laura Ingalls Wilder Family Letters Go Online"
  1. More than a Dozen Original Letters Written by Relatives of Laura Ingalls Wilder Published Online by Wisconsin Historical Society…

    Via the Beyond Little House blog, an announcement from Michael Edmonds, head of Digital Collections at the Wisconsin Historical Society. The Wisconsin Historical Society has recently published on its website more than a dozen original…