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The Letter from Laura Ingalls Wilder

Last week I was thrilled to share with you my friend's story. As a young child, Ginny became a big fan of the Little House books. She wrote a letter to the author of the books, Laura Ingalls Wilder. 

Like many other children then, she received a letter from Laura Ingalls Wilder (sort of). I interviewed Ginny about her treasured Laura Ingalls Wilder letter in the previous blog post. Now I want to show you the letters and photographs. Zoom in if you need to take a closer look.
In the envelope below, the sender is Harper & Brothers. (The publisher is now called Harper Collins.) The postmark tells us it was mailed from New York, NY on May 14, 1959 for four cents. 
Enclosed in the envelope were two photographs, a cover letter from Harper & Brothers along with a letter from Laura Ingalls Wilder. The letters are attached with a paperclip. You'll notice the paperclip in the images below because I chose not to move it.
On the publisher's letterhead is a form letter to children who wrote to Laura Ingalls Wilder. 

The second paragraph reads, "Mrs. Wilder continued to live on her farm in Missouri until her death, at the age of ninety, in February, 1957. We hope the enclosed literature will answer most of your questions about her." 
Below is the first page of the "literature." At the top of the page, it states, "(This is a composite letter gathered from several letters written by the late Mrs. Wilder in answer to inquiries about herself and her books.)"
And here is the other side of the letter.

It closes, 
"With love to you all and best wishes for your happiness, I am
Sincerely, your friend,

(Signed) Laura Ingalls Wilder

Doesn't that just make you smile?

Below is a photograph of the two images included in Ginny's letter. 
The left image says:
at the age of seventeen
The right image says:
Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of "Little
House" books, published by Harper & Bros

Here you can see the photographs and letters together.
Here is my friend Ginny holding her treasured letter. If you haven't had the chance, you'll want to read the interview with her.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read about these letters from Laura Ingalls Wilder. As a fan of the Little House books, you might be interested in reading my book The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide (Chicago Review Press, 2020).

Annette Whipple writes nonfiction books for children, including The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide which includes history, discussion, photographs, and 75 activities so readers can "live like Laura." Learn more about her books and presentations at

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