Laura letter 27 showed up in my e-mail in box. I’m very gratified when something like happens out of the blue. While the fan letters sent to Laura Ingalls Wilder were all carefully preserved (and hopefully soon will be available for research when Mansfield constructs the Archive building they are working on), her answers were scattered to the four winds, since unlike Rose she didn’t keep copies of the letters she wrote. Some have found safe harbor in museums (ranging from Laura Ingalls Wilder Museums to county museums) or libraries or archives, but many have been stuck in old shoe boxes or stuck in albums. When my prodding to get an official collection project going met with no success, I started my own Seeking Laura Letters Project. While it would be great to get the originals, I’m primarily looking for photocopies or digital images so the information itself won’t be lost. Read all about it here:
Since this is my own project, my publicity budget is zero so I count on Laura fans to pass the word along. Please share on your favorite Social Media site, talk about it to your friends, and if you have a good location, post a flyer.
Number 27 has come from Robert Stuart originally of Clear Lake, Iowa. The summer he turned 12 Robert read all of the Little House books from the Carnegie Library in Clear Lake. The librarian there, Ida Clack, suggested since he liked the books so much that he write Laura and ask her his questions about the family. He did and received a response back dated July 16, 1946. Laura’s response is handwritten on plain paper (both sides) and goes through what happened to each family member. The unusual bit is this “Grace died four years ago and Carrie the first of last June. So I am the only one of the family living now.” That just grabbed me.
I’ve printed off the copy for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove, Minnesota where I deposit all such letters. I hope that you can help me add more soon.
Sarah S. Uthoff is main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.