Talk:Little House on the Prairie (novel)

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The page suggests that the farm was not successful, but the whole book is taken up with their journey to the prairie, building the house and stable, enduring the winter, and planting in the spring. Before the farm has any chance to succeed or fail, they are told that they have built three miles inside the territory where homesteding is not permited, they decide to go somewhere else, and the last few pages are about the first day or two of their new travel. (I just read the book for the first time, at the age of 77.)Vinedo (talk) 11:20, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

From what I remember though, they did have trouble with planting...I'll take a look at the book and maybe rework the sentence. It does sound a bit WP:POV. Thanks for pointing that out! PrincessofLlyr (talk) 17:30, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Part of the confusion is the movie I believe, it combines the plots from this book with the fourth books and shows scenes of them being unable to farm. In the book they have to leave right after they have just finished planting. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Leighdevoe (talkcontribs) 16:01, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

"Opinion based posts"[edit]

It would be nice if I didn't have to keep deleting biased opinion based things from this page. Stop using the word squatters, and put some actual fact in. They didn't know they were not allowed to legally be there, and as soon as they found out they left. Stop vilifying them. If you actually read the book you would know that they mention several times that Washington had opened it up for settlement, and that in the end Pa states, "If some blasted politicians in Washington hadn't sent word it would be alright to settle here, I'd never have been three miles over the line..." Page 316

Honestly, I know there was a lot that was done wrong to the native americans, trust me, I am of Native descent, but I don't think attacking this book is valid. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:19, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

I disagree entirely with you. The statement you removed was derived from an article in a scholarly journal written by a professor from the University of Nebraska. The statement was not a "biased opinion" of mine and squatters is an accurate word to describe the Ingalls family's residence in The Little House on the Prairie. And while Ingalls, who was only three years old when the family lived in Kansas, may not have been aware of the complexities of land ownership, her father and mother certainly were. To quote the source, "It had been perfectly clear that in 1869 not one acre of the whole vast Osage tract [where the Ingalls house was located] was available for homestead or preemption. Charles Ingalls, like thousands of other hopeful settlers, had gambled that the rules would change...." (or in other words the Osage would be removed from the land and the squatters would have their rights confirmed by the government.) Moreover, the Ingalls cabin was not just "three miles over the line" for settlement. Their house was eleven miles inside the Osage reserve and "sixty miles east of the boundary of the ceded but still unavailable chunk of the reservation." Conclusion: the Ingalls family, whether Laura was aware of it or not, were squatters and Laura's parents knew they were squatters.
You are accepting without question the faded memory by a novelist of a long-ago childhood who may not have have been aware of the facts or may have shaded them for dramatic effect. I believe that the research by a scholar in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal has considerably more weight if one is searching for the truth. For fairness, however, I will include in the article, Laura's claim that the Ingalls did not know they were squatting on Indian land. Smallchief (talk) 09:06, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

You have clearly not read the book. They only just finished sewing seeds when they were told that the government decided not to open the land up for settlement. They did not have trouble farming the land. And in the book, they leave as soon as they find out, while several of his neighbors choose to stay and fight the decision. In the end of the book the author clearly states that the father feels badly that he was there illegally and that Mr Scotts bigoted statements were wrong. Besides, your article is not available, so how can I know its valid and not just a ranty blog post? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Leighdevoe (talkcontribs) 11:51, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

The article I cited can be found at I suggest you read it for a scholar's interpretation of the Ingall's residence at the Little House on the Prairie. It's enlightening. The authority you cite is "The Little House on the Prairie," a book of recollections by an author who was was 3 years old at the time the events described in the book occurred. Would you consider that a reliable source? I wouldn't. A dispassionate and scholarly examination of the facts and published in a well-known, peer-reviewed scholarly journal certainly carries more weight than a literary work such as "Little House on the Prairie" which is primarily written to entertain the public and earn money for the author.
I would remind you that "Little House on the Prairie" is a novel -- and a novel by definition is either fiction or a fictionalized version of reality. Smallchief (talk) 12:55, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

On a wikipedia page about the novel, yes, I consider the novel itself to be an acceptable source. Leighdevoe (talk) 16:11, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

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