Happy Birthday, Rose Wilder Lane!


One of Reason's 35 Heroes of Freedom, Rose Wilder Lane, was born today in 1886. Why did she make our list:

The daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lane extensively edited and shaped that great alternative history of American settlement, the Little House books, which place the family, community, and commerce—rather than male adventure, escape, and violence—at the heart of our national experience. She was a prolific author in her own right and, along with Isabel Patterson and Ayn Rand, one of the three godmothers of modern libertarianism. Lane's The Discovery of Freedom: Man's Struggle Against Authority remains a powerful statement about the evolution and necessity of individual rights.

The Mises Institute Economics Blog say Happy Birthday here, with quotes from her like this one:

"I am now a fundamentalist American; give me time and I will tell you why individualism, laissez-faire and the slightly restrained anarchy of capitalism offer the best opportunities for the development of the human spirit."

NEXT: So, What's New With Armstrong Williams?

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  1. Rose Wilder Lane rocked.

  2. The book is available through LFB.com, btw. Amazon also links to their store.

  3. I recall reading a story about her, she was working in her garden when a state trooper went to her house (in Connecticut I think?) and she like made him cry by explaining to him, forcefully I believe, her rights. I’m going by memory here, so I may have butchered the story a bit, I read it in that Raimondo book about the Old Right, anyway, yeah she was definitely a cool lady, Happy Birthday!

  4. Her contribution to libertarianism consisted of editing her mothers works by removing all mentions of the extensive government subsidies the settlers received. They were the original welfare queens.

    We can make our case without relying on deception of this sort.

    Remember, if it weren’t true I couldn’t post it on the ‘net.

  5. Thhanks for blogging this, Nick! Lane’s many writings and life have enriched ours’. Happy Birthday! I’m getting misty.

  6. the extensive government subsidies the settlers received.

    Wrong! (intentionally?) The dearth of government subsidy helps explain the robust nature of the expansion.

  7. Ooh, “fundamentalist American”, good description. Might have to borrow that, especially while debating the hyperreligious. “I too am a fundamentalist, suh — a fundamentalist American.”

  8. Rick:

    good call. this was one of the longest periods of price depreciation, too. And then WJ Bryan did his cross of gold speech here in chicago at the end 🙂

    c’mon Broncos. gotta keep on winning. (and i’m a diehard browns fan, too)

    poco: good call, yet again! where you posting from?


  9. Thanks Nick…she was one of the best of the best.

  10. Thanks Nick, we are all the richer for her existence.

  11. See, I kept trying to come up with something clever, and then kept going back to simple. And the damn server kept posting.

  12. This is really an interesting thing to know.

  13. “Little House” warped me in my young years. I mean, I remember a main character being burned alive while holding an infant. Jesus Christ. Something fucked up always was around the corner. You have some warm, happy family scenes and then someone gets kicked in the head by a horse.

    And how did men back then have access to blow-combs? Still trying to figure that one out.

  14. LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRARIE and living in WALNUT GROVE wow what a good thing her books are classics

  15. Mr. Nice Guy–

    Don’t confuse the horrible TV show with the books, which were great. Even when I was a kid I hated the show for what it did to the books. Especially the godawful episode featuring the standard 70s sitcom trope where Ma and Pa have a gender-based battle over who had the hardest job, so they switch roles for the day. Ma Ingalls would no sooner do such a thing than Laura Bush would demonstrate how to blow on a rubber at a Republican national convention.

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