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Roger MacBride

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Roger MacBride
Roger MacBride.jpg
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Roger Lea MacBride

(1929-08-06)August 6, 1929
New Rochelle, New York, U.S.
DiedMarch 5, 1995(1995-03-05) (aged 65)
Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
Political partyRepublican (Before 1972,

Libertarian (1972–1980s)
Alma materPrinceton University
Harvard University

Roger Lea MacBride (August 6, 1929 – March 5, 1995) was an American lawyer, political figure, writer, and television producer. He was the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party in the 1976 election. MacBride became the first presidential elector in U.S. history to cast a vote for a woman when, in the presidential election of 1972, he voted for the Libertarian Party candidates John Hospers for president and Theodora "Tonie" Nathan for vice president.[1][2]

He was co-creator and co-producer of the television series Little House on the Prairie.[3]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Little House Legacy
  • ✪ Foundation series


The Hoover Presidential Library has hosted many exhibits over the past years. It would be very difficult for us to choose a favorite one. The interest generated by the present exhibit of Laura Ingalls Wilder has far surpassed all of our expectations. And because of that, we’ve decided to film it. This picture is of the famous author Laura Ingalls Wilder in 1937. She was 70 years old and she was in the middle of writing her famous books. Next to her is Rose Wilder Lane, her daughter. A journalist and author in her own right, and the collaborator, with Laura, on the Little House series. Just as Laura had pieced together quilts to keep her family warm in the winter, she also pieced together the memories of her childhood to keep her past alive. She did not begin writing the story of her life until she was 60 years old. But the patchwork of her memories was vividly colorful and resulted in the Little House series that children and adults have come to love so dearly. And here we see Laura huggin’ Pa at night just before she would drift off to sleep. Pa symbolized safety for them. She knew that if she could here Pa’s fiddle in the background, that all was right. Well, let’s meet this famous family and its beginnings. Here we see Charles Ingalls. He was born in New York. He was the third child of ten in the Ingalls family. They will emigrate to Illinois and then later on to Wisconsin, where they will settle next to the Quiner family. And years later then, Caroline Quiner and Charles Ingalls will become the famous couple known the world over as, Pa and Ma Ingalls. Here we see a portrait taken in 1894 of the entire family. Of course you will recognize Pa and Ma, the famous author, Laura. And over in the right hand corner you see Mary sitting in a chair. Baby Grace is standing next to her all grown up. And over by Ma, is Carrie. And that makes up the famous family. Well, when Pa and Ma were married, they first lived with Charles’ family. And then, when they could afford a home of their own, they moved north of Pepin, Wisconsin and built probably one of the most famous homes in the entire world, the Little House in the Big Woods. And so the story begins, “Once upon a time 60 years ago a little girl lived in the big woods of Wisconsin in a little grey house made of logs. The great dark trees of the big woods stood all around the house. Beyond them were other trees. Beyond them were more trees. There were no houses, there were no roads, and there were no people. There were only trees and the wild animals who had their homes among them.” Laura Elizabeth Ingalls was born on February 7, 1867 in Pepin, Wisconsin. Her parents were pioneers who moved their family of daughters throughout the Midwest looking for fresh starts and free lands. Laura had fond memories of her childhood and all the things her parents had done for her. And I’d like you to hear them in Laura’s own words. “I’ve began to think of what a wonderful childhood I have had, how’d I’d seen the whole frontier, the woods, the Indian country of the great plains, the frontier towns, the building of the railroads on wild unsettled country, homesteading and farmers coming in to take possession. Then I understood that in my own life I represented a whole period of American history. But the frontier was gone and agricultural settlements had taken its place when I married a farmer. I wanted the children now to understand more about the beginning of things. To know what is behind the things they see, what it is that made America as they know it.” That was in Laura’s words from a speech she had given in 1937 at the age of 70. Laura was a storyteller herself and she always cherished the stories that Pa had told her as she was growing up. Pa would always keep them safe and warm. He would trap rabbits, salt their skins down, and nail them to the cabin wall so that in the wintertime he could make warm snug hats for his little girls. And Ma was always there at night to keep the girls safe. This case represents the Little House Memories and in each case you will see a quilt. The quilts did not belong to the Ingalls or the Wilder families, but they are of the period. Quilts were very important. They kept the families warm in the wintertime. You can see here a piece of grandpa’s shirt. And over here is a piece of her daughter’s first dress. Quilts were living histories, and that’s exactly what Laura was doing in her stories. This fiddle is typical of those used by the frontier musicians. Pa’s fiddle was one of Laura’s favorite memories. Pa’s fiddle music could create an instant party to entertain his family. Or play soothing hymns to give them strength during difficult times. Mary and Laura were always playing together. And here we see them in the second story of the log cabin. And they’re sitting on pumpkins and squash. And they’re playing with found objects. Mary was lucky, she had a rag doll. But Laura had just a corn cob, named Susan, wrapped in Pa’s handkerchief. And Laura loved her very much. And then, one magical Christmas, Charlotte arrives. And Laura had a real rag doll to love. The realities of pioneer life could be very harsh, as seen in the winter of 1880 to 81. It was a fierce one on the plains of South Dakota. No trains could get to DeSmet, where the Ingalls lived and the food was scarce. And when fuel ran out, the settlers burned parried grass in their woodstoves. And here we have a hay twist, or a hay stick. The realities were also harsh when it came to the health of young children. Mary will have Scarlet Fever when she is 13 years old and she will be blind. Laura will sew and Laura will become a schoolteacher. Something she did not want to do. But she did it to help Mary be able to go to Vinton, Iowa for the School of the Blind. And Mary will graduate there after 8 years of attendance. And this is a letter that Mary wrote home with the aid of a schoolteacher and a ruler. Laura Ingalls will fall in love with Almanzo Wilder. And they will be married on August 25, 1885 in DeSmet, Dakota Territory. Laura will nickname him “Manly” and he will call her “Bess,” after her middle name, Elizabeth. Their only child, Rose, will be born in December of the following year. And then, in 1889, the Wilder family home will catch fire and burn to the ground. Laura will escape with Rose and the deed box. A few other items, including this silver spoon, were rescued by a neighbor. The silver set was Almanzo’s wedding gift to Laura. In 1888, Laura and Manly were both stricken with Diphtheria. Almanzo suffered a small stroke in conjunction with the disease and his feet never regained full mobility. Because of Almanzo’s health, the Wilders moved to Mansfield in southern Missouri, where the winters were milder. Mansfield would be Laura and Almanzo’s home for the rest of their life. After Laura and Almanzo and Rose moved to Missouri in 1894, they settled on Rocky Ridge Farm and set out to make a living. Laura was quite successful at raising chickens and was often asked to share her secrets on getting hens to lay eggs. Once in 1911, when she could not keep an engagement to speak at a meeting of farm women, she sent a handwritten copy of her speech to be read. The editor of the “Missouri Ruralist,” who happened to be in the audience that day, asked Laura to contribute to the magazine. And with that, the writing career of Laura Ingalls Wilder was born. Laura became a regular contributor to the “Missouri Ruralist,” in which she had her own regular feature called, “As a Farm Woman Thinks.” In 1925, Laura published “My Ozark Kitchen” in “County Gentleman,” a monthly magazine considered a step up in the national publishing world. When she moved to the Rocky Ridge, she originally wanted a small modern kitchen, resembling the ones in women’s magazines. But she later wrote, “I had not realized that a farm kitchen must be more than merely a kitchen. It is the place where house and barn meet, often in pitched battle.” All of the objects in this case belonged to Laura. This was her white cotton dress, with matching shoes. This was her black hat. Her sewing basket. She enjoyed doing needlework. And this was a place setting of her good china. Notice the floral pattern of roses. And while I’m speaking of roses, let’s look at the next case that’s dedicated to her daughter. Rose Wilder was born in DeSmet, Dakota Territory on December 5, 1886. When she was 8 years old, her family moved to Mansfield, Missouri where they toiled to make a living on Rocky Ridge Farm. Rose later said, she never really fit into the world of southern Missouri. When Rose was a little girl, she owned a donkey and that’s how she got to school. But she described him as a stubborn fat little beast who liked to slump his ears, neck, and shoulders suddenly when going downhill and tumble her off over his head. After graduating high school, Rose took a job as a Western Union telegraph operator in Kansas City. It was probably at this job that Rose learned to type; a valuable skill for a writer. Rose moved to San Francisco in 1908. And less than a year later, at age 22, married Clair Gillette Lane. This marriage did not last. Rose would become a world traveler. She would travel throughout Europe, and the Near East. She was also a journalist and an author in her own right. She wrote the first biography of president Hoover in 1920 titled, “The Making of Herbert Hoover.” Her most famous book was “Let the Hurricane Roar” and it was serialized by “The Saturday Evening Post.” This is the mahogany desk where Laura sat while writing the Little House books. On the desk is the tablet of the manuscript for “The First Four Years.” Laura was 63 years old when she began the Little House series. She handwrote all of her manuscripts, and her daughter, Rose, typed them and offered suggestions. And they worked together to refine Laura’s style. And make her a better writer. This became an editing pattern that carried on through the writing of all the Little House books. And in 1932, after many revisions and several title changes, “Little House in the Big Woods” was released to the public. And the legacy of the Little House books began. In 1894, Laura and Almanzo purchased their farm in Mansfield, Missouri for $400. The land was much rockier than the farmland in Dakota Territory. So it was fitting that Laura should name the farm Rocky Ridge. They were able to survive on the farm without going in the debt that had chased them from Dakota Territory. Laura and Almanzo worked as equal partners. They had an apple orchard. Almanzo kept a herd of milk cows. And Laura tended the chickens that made her a local celebrity. Almanzo’s health was better in the milder winters of Missouri. And he and Laura loved the Ozarks. This photo of Laura and Almanzo was taken the year before “These Happy Golden Years” was published. Laura was 75. And Almanzo was 85 when they posed in the yard at the Rocky Ridge farmhouse. Almanzo died in 1949 at the age of 92. And Laura continued living on the farm until her death in 1957. These three place settings of Laura’s glass dishes are on loan from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and Home in Mansfield, Missouri. The pattern on the dishes is called the cabbage rose. And Laura got them out of boxes of oatmeal. In this room, we have scenes taken from Laura’s books. To my left is a scene taken from the “Little House in the Big Woods.” Behind me comes from “By the Shores of Silver Lake.” And over here, we have a cutting from “These Happy Golden Years.” “Ma and grandma cleared away the dishes and washed them, and swept the hearth, while Aunt Docia and Aunt Ruby made themselves pretty in their room. Laura sat on the bed and watched them comb out their long hair and part it carefully. They braided their back hair in long braids. And then they did their braids up carefully in big knots. They fussed for a long time with their front hair, holding up the lamp and looking at their hair in the little looking glass that hung on the wall. They brushed it so smooth on each side of the straight white part that it shone like silk in the lamp light. The little puff on each side, shone too, and the ends were coiled and twisted neatly under the big knot in the back. Then they pulled on their beautiful white stockings, that they had knit of fine cotton thread in lacy, openwork patterns, and they buttoned up their best shoes. They helped each other with their corsets. Aunt Docia pulled as hard as she could on Aunt Ruby’s corset strings, and then Aunt Docia hung onto the foot of the bed while Aunt Ruby pulled on hers. Then Aunt Ruby and Aunt Docia put on their flannel petticoats and their plain petticoats and their stiff, starched white petticoats with knitted lace all around the flounces. And they put on their beautiful dresses.” Next, we will see the Ingalls family at the train depot from “By the Shores of Silver Lake.” “When the time came, Laura could hardly believe it was real. The weeks and months had been endless, and now suddenly they were gone. Plum Creek, and the house, and all the slopes and fields she knew so well were gone; she would never see them again. Clean and starched and dressed-up, in the morning of a weekday, they sat in a row on the bench in the waiting room while Ma bought the tickets. In an hour they would be riding on the railroad cars. Ma lifted Grace on her arm, and with her other hand she took tight hold of Carrie’s. She said, “Laura, you come behind me with Mary. Be careful now!” Bumps and crashes ran along the freight cars and flat cars and they stopped moving. The train was there, and they had to get into it.” The next scene is taken from sleighs on Main Street from “These Happy Golden Years.” “That Sunday afternoon the weather was even more beautiful. Again the sleigh bells were ringing, and laughter floating on the wind. Suddenly, a ringing of bells stopped at the door! Before Pa could look up from his paper, Laura had the door open, and there stood Prince and Lady with the little cutter, and Almanzo stood beside it smiling. “Would you like to go sleigh riding?” he asked. “Oh yes!” Laura answered. “Just a minute, I’ll put on my wraps.” Theirs was one of the line of sleighs and cutters, swiftly going the length of Main Street, swinging in a circle on the prairie to the south, then speeding up Main Street and around in a circle to the north, and back again, and again. Far and wide the sunshine sparkled on the snowy land; the wind blew cold against their faces. The sleigh bells were ringing, the sleigh runners were squeaking on the hard-packed snow, and Laura was so happy that she had to sing.” The legacy of the Little House books stretches far and wide. The volumes have been translated into many languages, and they are enormously popular. It’s been estimated that over 60 million of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books have been sold worldwide. And even more people have seen the television show based on them. Almost immediately after the publication of her first book, Laura began receiving mail at her home in Mansfield, Missouri. The Wilders purchased the largest mailbox that they could find, and it was often filled with letters. In 1953, Harpers released a new set of Laura’s books, illustrated by Garth Williams. Mr. Williams autographed this copy of one of the many soft pencil drawings, which added warmth and charm to the Little House books. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s childhood was a vivid picture in her memory. She remembered a time of strong family ties, the rugged pioneer life on the prairie, moving from place to place, the friends she made, her schooldays, and the many activities that kept her busy. And her stories live on.



MacBride was born in 1929 in New Rochelle, New York, the son of Elise Fairfax (Lea) and William Burt MacBride, an editor.[4][5][6] He called himself "the adopted grandson" of a family friend, writer, and political theorist Rose Wilder Lane,[7] whom he met for the first time when he was 14 years of age.[8][9] Lane – the daughter of writer Laura Ingalls Wilder, who was noted for writing the Little House series of books – designated MacBride as a "political disciple," as well as her executor and sole heir.[4]

MacBride was a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.[4]

Law career

MacBride worked for the Wall Street-based law firm White & Case for several years before opening a small practice in Vermont.[4] By the mid-1970s, MacBride had relocated to Virginia and was no longer practicing law full-time.[2]

Writing and television producing career

MacBride inherited Lane's estate including rights to the substantial Ingalls-Wilder literary estate, including the "Little House on the Prairie" franchise.[4] He is the author of record of three additional "Little House" books, and began the "Rocky Ridge Years" series of children's novels, describing Lane's Ozark childhood.[4][7] He published two books on constitutional lawThe American Electoral College and Treaties versus the Constitution,[10] as well as a Libertarian Party manifestoA New Dawn for America: The Libertarian Challenge.[4]

In the 1970s, MacBride co-created the television series Little House on the Prairie and served as a co-producer for the show.[2][7]

Political career

Vermont politics

MacBride was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1962 and served one term.[11] Running as a Goldwater Republican,[12] he made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican Party nomination for Governor of Vermont in 1964.[10][11][13]

1972 electoral vote

MacBride was the treasurer of the Republican Party of Virginia in 1972 and one of the party's electors when Richard Nixon won the popular vote for his second term as President of the United States.[14] MacBride, however, as a "faithless elector," voted for the nominees of the Libertarian Party – presidential candidate John Hospers and vice-presidential candidate Tonie Nathan. In doing so, MacBride made Nathan the first woman in U.S. history to receive an electoral vote.[10][14] Political pundit David Boaz later commented in Liberty magazine that MacBride was "faithless to Nixon and Agnew, anyway, but faithful to the constitutional principles Rose Wilder Lane had instilled in him."[15]

1976 presidential campaign

MacBride touring the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field during his presidential campaign in 1976.
MacBride touring the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field during his presidential campaign in 1976.

After casting his electoral vote in 1972,[10] MacBride instantly gained favor within the fledgling Libertarian Party, which had only begun the previous year.[16] As the Libertarian presidential nominee in 1976,[2] he achieved ballot access in 32 states;[4] he and his running mate, David Bergland,[17] received 172,553 (0.2%) popular votes by official count, and no electoral votes. His best performance was in Alaska, where he received 6,785 votes, or nearly 5.5%.[10][18] In his campaign the issues that he supported included a free market system, a return to the gold standard, the abolition of the Federal Reserve, an end to corporate welfare, the abolition of the FCC, a foreign policy of non-interventionism, and abolishing all victimless crimes.[19]

Republican Liberty Caucus

MacBride rejoined the Republican Party in the 1980s and helped establish the Republican Liberty Caucus, a group promoting libertarian principles within the Republican Party.[7][20] He chaired this group from 1992 until his death in 1995.[21]


MacBride died of heart failure on March 5, 1995.[4] A controversy ensued upon his death when the local library in Mansfield, Missouri, contended that Wilder's original will gave her daughter ownership of the literary estate for her lifetime only, and that all rights were to revert to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Library after her death.[22] The ensuing court case was settled in an undisclosed manner, but MacBride's heirs retained the rights.[23]

In an obituary for MacBride, David Boaz wrote, "In some ways he was the last living link to the best of the Old Right, the rugged-individualist, anti-New Deal, anti-interventionist spirit of Rep. Howard Buffett, Albert Jay Nock, H. L. Mencken, Isabel Paterson, and Lane."[15]

Partial bibliography

  • Series on the early life of Rose Wilder
    • Little House on Rocky Ridge (1993)
    • Little Farm in the Ozarks (1994)
    • In the Land of the Big Red Apple (1995)
    • On the Other Side of the Hill (1995)
    • Little Town in the Ozarks (1996)
    • New Dawn on Rocky Ridge (1997)
    • On the Banks of the Bayou (1998)
    • Bachelor Girl (1999)
  • A New Dawn for America: the Libertarian Challenge


  1. ^ "Virginian switches his electoral vote". The Free Lance–Star. Associated Press. December 19, 1972. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d St. John, Jeffrey (September 30, 1975). "MacBride Plans Campaign". Merced Sun-Star. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  3. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (1995-03-08). "Roger MacBride, 65, Libertarian And 'Little House' Heir, Is Dead". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-11-09.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Saxon, Wolfgang (March 8, 1995) "Roger MacBride, 65, Libertarian And 'Little House' Heir, Is Dead", The New York Times. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  5. ^ kanopiadmin (30 March 2010). "The Libertarian Legacy of Rose Wilder Lane - Jeff Riggenbach". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Annie Elise Wing Lea 1873 – 1935 -". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d Thies, Clifford F. (October 1997). "Cast a Giant Ballot: Roger MacBride Made the Libertarian Party the Most Important Third Party in America". The Freeman. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  8. ^ Holtz, William (1995). The Ghost in the Little House: A Life of Rose Wilder Lane. University of Missouri Press. pp. 323, 373. ISBN 9780826210159.
  9. ^ Doherty, Brian (2008). Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement. PublicAffairs. p. 131. ISBN 1586485725. ISBN 9781586485726
  10. ^ a b c d e Boaz, David (2008). "MacBride, Roger Lea (1929–1995)". In Hamowy, Ronald (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE; Cato Institute. pp. 310–11. doi:10.4135/9781412965811.n186. ISBN 978-1412965804. LCCN 2008009151. OCLC 750831024.
  11. ^ a b Lawyer Politicians in Virginia: Roger Lea MacBride (1929–1995), The Political Graveyard. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  12. ^ Chamberlain, John (September 1, 1964). "A Goldwater Man in Vermont". The Times-News. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  13. ^ (1964) Primary Election Results Archived 2013-05-18 at the Wayback Machine, Office of the Vermont Secretary of State. State Archives. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  14. ^ a b Adams, Mason; Sluss, Michael (June 13, 2011). "Remembering Virginia's "faithless" elector of 1972". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  15. ^ a b Boaz, David "Roger Lea MacBride, 1929–1995", Liberty, March 1995, p. 13.
  16. ^ Doherty, Brian (2008). Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement. PublicAffairs. pp. 393–95.
  17. ^ "Libertarian candidate to visit". Daily News. March 18, 1976. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  18. ^ "1976 Presidential General Election Results", Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  19. ^
  20. ^ The Republican Liberty Caucus Library, Republican Liberty Caucus: Background and Early History, Retrieved July 26, 2012. Archived June 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ The Republican Liberty Caucus, History of our Movement, Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  22. ^ Langton, James (November 29, 1999) "Library claims rights to `Little House' books", Chicago Sun-Times via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  23. ^ Margolis, Rick (June 1, 2001) "Settlement on 'Little House' Books", School Library Journal. Retrieved July 26, 2012.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
John Hospers
Libertarian nominee for President of the United States
Succeeded by
Ed Clark
This page was last edited on 11 July 2019, at 09:26
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