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Laura Ingalls

In: English and Literature

Submitted By annadawn
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The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder Laura Ingalls wrote the way she did because she wanted others to see the way life was in the 1800’s. She was influenced by her mother, Caroline and daughter Rose. Laura knew how important and interesting it was when her mother passed down stories and passed times to her. So Laura then wanted to do the same; she began to tell others through writing, what happened and what she had went through any years ago. She is now known as a famous American author and has created a whole new world in literature that nobody would have dreamed of on their own. Laura Elizabeth Ingalls was the second child of Caroline and Charles Ingalls. She was born on February 7, 1867. Laura had an older sister Mary who was only two when she was born, after Laura there was Carrie, Charles, and Grace. Charles passed away as an infant leaving only the girls. During this time there were no hospitals to give birth in so Laura was born in a small log cabin near Pepin, Wisconsin. During the mid-to-late 1800’s many changes were occurring. The Civil War had ended only two years prior to Laura being born, which left everything in turmoil. Many cities and industries were growing at rapid rates, and taking over the free lands. Population rates were on the rise, and had nearly doubled by this time. Many people including Lansford Ingalls, Laura’s grandfather, got loans that could not be repaid throwing the United States into a deep depression. Due to the increase in industry and city size, railroads were being used much more; therefore more were being put into place. Another major development was the Homestead Act of 1862

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(Anderson, page 9). The Homestead Act provided one hundred and sixty acres of land in the west to any citizen or intended citizen that was the head of the household and was willing to cultivate the land for five years. The law led to a record amount of U.S. settlers claiming private property rights outside of the governments land limits. After the act was put into place things became harder for the Ingalls, so they began to migrate west. They began to move when Laura was only two, and within nine years they had moved five times. When they traveled it was not like the way people do now. They had to use covered wagons and horses which took much longer than it would in the present time. They started out in Pepin, Wisconsin where Laura was born, and in 1869 they moved to Kansas (All about Laura Ingalls Wilder). From Kansas they return back to Pepin in 1871, and later they went to Walnut Grove, Minnesota in 1874 (All about Laura Ingalls Wilder). After a couple years in Walnut Grove they ventured out into Burr Oak, Iowa in 1876 (All about Laura Ingalls Wilder). After a few short years in Burr Oak, they travel back to Walnut Grove where Laura met Almanzo Wilder (All about Laura Ingalls Wilder). On August 25, 1885 Laura and Almanzo got married (Raatma, page 63). Almanzo and Laura made their new home on his claim in DeSmet, Dakota Territory (All about Laura Ingalls Wilder). After being married for only a year the couple had their first child, Rose. Laura named her after the flowers that came up in the field every year (Raatma, page 65). In 1888, Laura and Almanzo caught diphtheria, which is a serious bacterial infection. This disease usually effected the heart, lungs, and the nervous system (Raatma, page 68).

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Almanzo returned to work to quickly causing him to fall back into a relapse. The relapse caused him to have a stroke leaving him partially paralyzed. Laura healed perfectly fine from the diphtheria but had to take on full responsibility for awhile now that Almanzo was crippled. The Wilders faced many obstacles in their life time. They were poor and had to work for everything they owned.

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