Hildegarde Swift

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hildegarde Swift
BornJanuary 10, 1890
Clinton, New York
DiedJanuary 10, 1977(1977-01-10) (aged 87)
GenreChildren's Literature, Biographies
Notable worksThe railroad to Freedom, The Little Red Lighthouse and The Great Gray Bridge, Little Blacknose: The Story of a Pioneer
PartnerL. Swift

Hildegarde H. Swift (January 10, 1890 – January 10, 1977) was a published children's book author. One of her books, Little Blacknose: The Story of a Pioneer was the recipient of the Newbery Honor Medal.[1] She is best known for her book The Railroad to Freedom. She won the prestigious Newbery Honor in 1933.[2][3][4]


Hildegarde Swift was born in Clinton, New York on January 10, 1890. Her father, Author S. Hoyt was an English Literature professor at Hamilton College. Swift had a different educational background than most. In her younger years, she had private tutors and attended European boarding schools. She later graduated from Auburn High School, moving on to further her education and graduate from Smith College. She continued her studies at the New York School of Social Work where she worked with children, which she credits gave her, her "first real knowledge of children."

She married Arthur L. Swift, a pastor from New York. Their son Hewson H. Swift was born November 8, 1920.[5] In her later years, she taught children's literature at the New School for Social Research. In 1929, she began to write children's books which she says has been the "most interesting" part of her life. Swift died on January 10, 1977. In her honor, The New York Times published an obituary.


Swift's book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge has sold more than 400,000 copies. After the United States Coast Guard's plans to tear down the Little Red Lighthouse, Swift's book was used by fans to help make the site a national landmark. Eleanor Roosevelt praised Swift for admonishing young people to care for the wilderness in her writings.


  • The Railroad to Freedom
  • The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge
  • North star shining, a pictorial history of the American Negro
  • Little Blacknose: The Story of a Pioneer
  • From the Eagle's Wing: A Biography of John Muir


  1. ^ "Hildegarde H. Swift." Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 April 2015.
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Hildegarde H. Swift Books, Author Biography, and Reading Level - Scholastic". www.scholastic.com.
  4. ^ Lodge, Sally. "A Lighthouse Shines Again." Publishers Weekly 249.42 (2002): 28. MasterFILE Complete. Web. 28 April 2015.
  5. ^ Hewson: One of the founders of the American Society for Cell Biology served as its president in 1960.

External links[edit]