Abigail - shop.indianahistory.org
By Portia Howe Sperry and Lois Donaldson

The Sperry family of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was a family whose comfortable life was shattered by the depression. Penniless, the Sperrys moved to Brown County, Indiana, where Portia Sperry found work as the Nashville House hotel's gift shop manager. In response to requests for locally handcrafted items she designed a rag doll named Abigail. As a result of the doll's popularity, Sperry, along with Lois Donaldson, wrote the fictional tale: Abigail. Set in the 1830s, the story centers around young Susan Calvin, her doll Abigail, and the adventures they share while traveling by covered wagon from Kentucky to their new home in Brown County, Indiana. Originally written in 1938, the IHS published a revised edition in 2000. Recommended for fourth graders.


Softcover, 174 pages. Indiana Historical Society, 2000. ISBN 0871951487.

About the author
Portia Howe Sperry (1890–1967), a native of Illinois, married Ralph Waldo Emerson Sperry. The Sperrys lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana, until the Great Depression, when they moved to Brown County, Indiana. Known for creating the Abigail doll, she also created another educational rag doll named Nancy Hanks.

Item #001640