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Kate Douglass Wiggin 1856 ~ 1923


Kate Douglas Wiggin

Her family were people of prominence in church and politics and at the New England Bar. She was born in Philadelphia and educated in New England, transplanted to California, and returned again to the Atlantic coast.

 Her first article appeared in St Nicholas and was written at the age of eighteen. This she wrote while studying kindergarten work under the celebrated Marshall in California. After the death of her stepfather, she taught in the Santa Barbara College and organized the first free kindergarten west of the Rocky Mountains. Soon after the successful establishment of this work, she was married to Mr. Samuel Bradley Wiggin, a talented young lawyer.

 She gave up her work in the kindergarten but continued to give lectures. One of the stories written at this time was the story of 'Patsy' which she wrote to obtain money for the work in which was so much interested, to be followed by "The Birds' Christmas Carol," written for the same purpose.

After removing to New York, in 1888, she was urged to offer these two books to an eastern publisher, and Houghton, Mifflin and Company reprinted them in book form, and they met with remarkable success. "The Birds' Christmas Carol" has been translated into Japanese, French, German and Swedish, even being put into raised type for the blind.

Her story "Timothy's Quest" met with great success as also "Polly Oliver's Problem." Mr. Wiggin's death soon after they left San Francisco necessitated her taking up the kindergarten work in the East with great energy.

She does much of her work at her old home in Maine, and many of the scenes and descriptions in the "Village Watch Tower" were taken from this neighborhood.

In 1895 she married Mr. George Christopher Riggs, and has spent much of her time since then in England. "Penelope's English Experience" is a story of her own experiences among her English friends, as were those of "Penelope's Irish Experiences," "Penelope's Progress in Scotland" which followed a period of her life in these countries.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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