Skip to content

Treat everyone with dignity and kindness: Samantha’s story

Samantha

An unexpected
friendship

Living with her wealthy grandmother, Samantha enjoys the best of everything. In Manners and Mischief, she becomes friends with Nellie, a servant girl, and she learns that life isn’t so easy for everyone. Samantha is determined to help her new friend avoid a dangerous factory job, even if it isn’t seen as “proper” for her to speak out in such a way.

Samantha

Rescue mission

In Lost and Found, Samantha’s calm head helps her think clearly when others are in trouble. She saves the day when she and her Aunt Cornelia’s younger sisters get stranded during a storm on Teardrop Island. And when her friend Nellie ends up in an orphanage, Samantha plans a daring escape. She senses there might be more trouble when she spies Cornelia giving a rousing speech at a rally for women’s voting rights, which she knows Grandmary doesn’t support.

Girl holding Samantha doll

Guidance for girls today

As her eyes open to the experiences of others, Samantha finds she sometimes has to bend—or even break—a rule to fight for what she believes in.

Compassion. Samantha’s big heart leads her to help those in need, like her servant friend Nellie, regardless of the differences that threaten to divide them.

Independence. Under the influence of her Aunt Cornelia, an outspoken suffragist, Samantha learns about the effort to win women the right to vote, and she begins to question the limited role women are given.

Problem solving. Samantha’s quick thinking and cool head help her come up with a plan to safely get her friends out of danger on Teardrop Island and keep Nellie off the “orphan train.”

Watch why character matters

Creating a hero: Samantha comes to life

Authentic from the start

Samantha’s story gives a snapshot of what life was like at the turn of the twentieth century. America was bursting with new inventions and ideas, and many progressive movements, including women’s suffrage, started to take root.

To ensure that Samantha’s story and world were historically accurate, American Girl’s historian, editors, designers, and authors did an enormous amount of research. The team read books, newspapers, magazines, catalogues, diaries, and letters from the 1900s. One of the series’ authors, Valerie Tripp, used details from her own childhood in upstate New York, and even modeled Samantha’s fictional hometown of Mount Bedford after her own real hometown of Mount Kisco, New York.

Through her stories, readers are introduced to important historical topics, such as Victorian-era etiquette for women and girls, class divisions and differences, and women’s rights. This clash of the old and new is especially poignant during Samantha’s stay in New York City. Author Valerie Tripp harkened back to her own memories of visiting the city as a child to recreate the enveloping energy of such an experience.

Inspiring confidence and future freedom

Samantha is such a tremendous example. Reading her story with my daughter opened up a world of possibilities in which her Indelible spirit was the source of self-worth. Samantha is a true friend and a fabulous investment. Thank you so much for taking time to carefully curate your collection so that girls feel empowered, embraced, and uplifted!

American Girl Customer

Brittney

Explore more of Samantha’s world