Book Cover of Annie Fellows Johnston


Lifetime: 1863 - 1931 Passed: ≈ 93 years ago




United States

Annie Fellows Johnston

Annie Fellows Johnston was an American author of children's fiction who wrote the popular The Little Colonel series, which was the basis for the 1935 Shirley Temple film The Little Colonel; many of the books were illustrated by photographer Kate Matthews. She was born and grew up in McCutchanville, Indiana, a small unincorporated town near Evansville, Indiana.

Johnston was born Annie Julia Fellows on May 15, 1863, the daughter of Albion Fellows, a Methodist minister at Trinity, and Mary Erskine Fellows. She had a brother, Erwin, and two sisters, Lura and Albion. She attended the University of Iowa for one year, returned to Evansville, taught school for three years, then became a private secretary. She married a cousin, William Levi Johnston. He was a widower with three children, Rena, John, and Mary. Rena died in 1899 and John in 1910 or 1911.

Johnston moved to Pewee Valley in 1898, the move becoming permanent in 1911. There, she lived until her death at "The Beeches" with her stepdaughter, artist Mary Gardener Johnston. The Beeches was built in 1901 by "Mamie" Craig Lawton, widow of Gen. Henry Ware Lawton, who was the only general killed during the Spanish–American War. Members of the Craig family inspired 12 characters in the "Little Colonel" stories.

Annie Fellows Johnston died at her home in Pewee Valley on October 5, 1931.

The Little Colonel series was her 13-book collection beginning with The Little Colonel (1895). It was made into a movie starring Shirley Temple in 1935 featuring Lionel Barrymore and "Bojangles" Robinson.

An assessment of her achievements in connection with her induction into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame says, "Her work is now considered anachronistic, depicting Reconstruction Era South still transitioning from the Civil War, and must be taken in the context of the times..."

Books by Annie Fellows Johnston

Mary Ware in Texas Cover image

Mary Ware in Texas

Adventure Fiction
Family Christmas Young Experiences Winter

A continuation of the adventures of Mary Ware, the chum of the Little Colonel and the heroine of the tenth volume in the "Little Colonel" series. Mary Ware goes to Texas where during a winter with her mother and Jack in San Antonio and the hill count...

Mary Ware's Promised Land Cover image

Mary Ware's Promised Land

Fairy Tale
Children Romance Desert Childhood Desire Classics

In this latest and most delightful book Mary's desire to visit "The Locusts," the old home of the "Little Colonel," is gratified, and the environment of green fields and spreading trees and all the charm and freshness of the beautiful Kentucky countr...

The Little Colonel's Knight Comes Riding Cover image

The Little Colonel's Knight Comes Riding

Fiction Novel
Family Love Dream Sacrifice Happiness Childhood Communism Ambition

In the charming Southern town of Fairmount, where magnolia trees bloom and dreams come true, the Little Colonel, Lloyd Sherman, is coming of age. But who will be her knight in shining armor? Lloyd Sherman, the spirited and beloved Little Colonel, ha...

Little Colonel Cover image

Little Colonel

The scene of this story is laid in Kentucky. Its heroine is a small girl, who is known as the Little Colonel, on account of her fancied resemblance to an old-school Southern gentleman, whose fine estate and old family are famous in the region. (Intro...

Gate of the Giant Scissors Cover image

Gate of the Giant Scissors

This is the story of Joyce, an American girl who has been sent abroad to France to study, and of her adventures in France, - the wonderful house with the gate of The Giant Scissors, Jules, her little playmate, Sister Denis, the cruel Brossard, and he...

Two Little Knights of Kentucky Cover image

Two Little Knights of Kentucky

In this volume the Little Colonel returns to us like an old friend, but with added grace and charm. She is not, however, the central figure of the story, that place being taken by the “two little knights,” Malcolm and Keith, little Southern aristocra...

Little Colonel's House Party Cover image

Little Colonel's House Party

Lloyd Sherman, the "Little Colonel", is a girl of eleven whose mother invites three other girls to spend a month with Lloyd in her beautiful home in Kentucky. The children come from very different homes, but fall into the new ways very readily. The a...

Little Colonel's Holidays Cover image

Little Colonel's Holidays

"What happened after the Little Colonel's house party?" they demand, and they send letters to the Valley by the score, asking "Did Betty go blind?" "Did the two little Knights of Kentucky ever meet Joyce again or find the Gate of the Giant Scissors?"...

Little Colonel's Hero Cover image

Little Colonel's Hero

In this sixth volume of “The Little Colonel Series” for girls, Lloyd is surprised with a gift for her twelfth birthday, of a summer trip to Europe. In Geneva she becomes friends with an old Prussian major and his Red Cross dog, a St. Bernard named He...

Little Colonel at Boarding-School Cover image

Little Colonel at Boarding-School

Because of the illness of her grandfather, Lloyd Sherman, the Little Colonel, finds herself being sent off to boarding school from her home in Lloydsboro Valley, Kentucky. Jolly times are mixed with lessons in this 7th book in the "Little Colonel" se...

Little Colonel in Arizona Cover image

Little Colonel in Arizona

In The Little Colonel in Arizona the story is centered around the Ware family, who, after their husband and father has died, and due to the mother's illness, have to move from Kentucky to Arizona. Joyce now has to take most of the responsibility for...

Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation Cover image

Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation

In this delightful story ”The Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation” by Annie Fellows Johnston the Little Colonel, Lloyd Sherman. together with her friends Betty, Kitty and Allison are starting the schoolyear at a new school, Warwick Hall, a Boardingsc...

Little Colonel: Maid of Honor Cover image

Little Colonel: Maid of Honor

The Little Kentucky "Colonel," so much of a favorite with young readers, has reached the age for interest in other people's love affairs. The main action of this new page of happenings in the life of Lloyd Sherman centers about a southern wedding, so...

Joel, a Boy of Galilee Cover image

Joel, a Boy of Galilee

Joel, a crippled boy, cannot play with the children and has nothing to care about. Rabbi Phineas helps him to find something he can do and tells him the reason that he is so kind is because of a boy from his hometown of Nazareth. Soon stories are goi...

In League With Israel Cover image

In League With Israel

When Bethany Hallam travels to Chattanooga for the League Conference, she meets David Herschel, who challenges her thinking and changes her views about her missionary obligations to God's "chosen people." ( Esther ben Simonides)

Miss Santa Claus of the Pullman Cover image

Miss Santa Claus of the Pullman

We all know that Santa Claus has a large family in which to help him in the delivery of presents, peace, and good cheer. So what would you do if you were Miss Santa Claus and met two children on Christmas Eve traveling to a strange town to be reunite...

Songs Ysame Cover image

Songs Ysame

This is a volume of poetry written by the sisters Albion Fellows Bacon and Annie Fellows Johnston. Both of the sisters reached quite a level of fame in their own right, Ms Bacon primarily as a social reformer and Ms Johnston as an author of children'...

Little Colonel's Chum: Mary Ware Cover image

Little Colonel's Chum: Mary Ware

This volume is the result of an avalanche of letters that, reached the author, Annie Fellows Johnston, complaining that she skipped in the Little Colonel series. To entreaties she has responded with this charming, wholesome volume, in which she fills...