Horatio Alger Letters

Horatio Alger Letters is kicking off our new week here at AnchoredScraps.com with looking at historical letters by the prolific American writer.

On my bookcase is a very old hard bound issue of the 1872 “Strive and Succeed” by Horatio Alger, Jr.; it has been in our family a very long time.

Recently I was sharing with a dear friend that successfully taking on a diet for me meant taking an Horatio Alger approach to it – to lift oneself up by your own bootstraps and do what is required with hard work.

Horatio Alger Letters

Over at the Horatio Alger Society there are several Horatio Alger Letters shown with scanned image of the letters along with text of the original handwritten letters.

The three page “Letter to Richie Sheafe” from October 16, “(1894?)” was especially enjoyable to read with his suggestions on digging for gold.

“Natick, Mass.

Oct. 16-
My dear Richie,

I mail you today a copy of “Digging for Gold.” I hope it will reach you, and that you will let me know of its reception.

Perhaps you may feel like digging for gold yourself. If your father had a garden, go out some moonlight night with a spade and commence digging. You

must be sure to have the moon shining over your left shoulder. When you begin to dig, say in a distinct tone “Elorum foolorum rattledebangdorumslapdashimus. That will bring the gold if there is any there. You needn’t dig more than ten or twelve feet down. If your father should manipulate the ground before you begin your chances of finding something would be increased.

I hope you got home safe, and that your mother is rested. We are glad to be at home and fall into our usual ways. I have just written a chapter

on a story which is now being published in a paper in New York. But we are much pleased with our visit, and remember with pleasure the pleasant friends whom we met on our way back.

Mr. and Mrs. Cheney send regards to your father and mother, and I send love to my little friend Richie.

Your affectionate friend,

Horatio Alger, Jr.”

There is the “Postcard to Mr. Alber,  May 18, 1893. Natick, Massachusetts” (image on left) that includes the cancel date stamp.

At the Northern Illinois University Libraries there is the Horatio Alger Digital Repository that includes letters from Horatio Alger, Jr.

See if you also have an old Horatio Alger book on your bookcase or go select one at Project Gutenberg for free – and take a few minutes to enjoy reading.  Here’s to kicking off our Monday, to successfully making the time to eat healthier, and a great week ahead – Happy Monday!   


Anchors Aweigh,  


Attribution & Thank you to the following who are referenced today 

Image above upper left of Cover of Horatio Alger, Jr.’s The Telegraph Boy circa 1880 – by ItsLassieTime (Self, from copy in my collections) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

To read online The Telegraph Boy it is available at Project Gutenberg for free; and to view Horatio Alger books at Project Gutenberg.  @gutenberg_org

Images above and excerpt from The Horatio Alger Society Website Horatio Alger, Jr. Letters and Autographs –  “Letter to Richie Sheafe” and “postcard to Mr. Alber, 1893.”

NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY University Libraries  Horatio Alger Digital Repository Letters: Arranged Chronologically 1853, 1853, and 1883 @NIUlive

P.S.  There is the Horatio Alger Association which is “A nonprofit organization honoring outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education.” @HoratioAlgerUS 



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