History, Department of


Date of this Version



By Erin Elizabeth Pedigo, December 2013


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: History, Under the Supervision of Dr. Kenneth Winkle. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2013

Copyright © 2013 Erin Elizabeth Pedigo


This thesis examines Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House book series for the frontier food ways described in it. Studying the series for its food ways edifies a 19th century American frontier of subsistence/companionate families practicing both old and new ways of obtaining food. The character Laura in Wilder's books is an engaging narrator who moves through childhood and adolescence, assuming the role of housewife. An overview of the century's norms about food in America, the strength of domesticity as an ideal, food and race relations, and the frontier as a physical place round out this unexplored area of Little House scholarship.

Adviser: Kenneth Winkle