Kirsten. 1854.

Meet Samantha Parkington

Samantha is an orphan who lives with her well-to-do grandmother in upstate New York. She’s being raised as a proper young lady with the best of everything—but would rather climb a tree than sip tea.

 

Samantha's story

Samantha is growing up in 1904, as the restrictive Victorian age is giving way to the more permissive Edwardian era. Although Samantha lives in a luxurious home with servants and modern comforts like indoor plumbing, she is lonely. Her parents died in a boating accident when she was five, so she lives with her grandmother. She has no siblings or playmates, and the only other child in her neighborhood is the bratty neighbor boy, Eddie Ryland.

Samantha is plucky and, despite the social pressures and expectations for a young girl from a well-to-do family, she’s not afraid to think for herself and follow her conscience. By the end of her story, Samantha has found not only dear friends and playmates, but an adoptive family of her own.


Samantha's story



Samantha is growing up in 1904, as the restrictive Victorian age is giving way to the more permissive Edwardian era. Although Samantha lives in a luxurious home with servants and modern comforts like indoor plumbing, she is lonely. Her parents died in a boating accident when she was five, so she lives with her grandmother. She has no siblings or playmates, and the only other child in her neighborhood is the bratty neighbor boy, Eddie Ryland.

Samantha is plucky and, despite the social pressures and expectations for a young girl from a well-to-do family, she’s not afraid to think for herself and follow her conscience. By the end of her story, Samantha has found not only dear friends and playmates, but an adoptive family of her own.


 

Family & friends

Family & friends

Grandmary


Grandmary

Samantha’s maternal grandmother, a widow, is raising Samantha to be a well-mannered young lady. Grandmary is an excellent judge of character and supports Samantha’s ideas, even when Samantha bends the social rules to do the right thing.

Uncle Gard


Uncle Gard

Uncle Gard is Samantha’s mother’s brother. He adores his niece and visits her and Grandmary often. His jokes, puns, and silly riddles always make Samantha laugh. After he marries Cornelia, he adopts Samantha.

Jessie


Jessie

Jessie is Grandmary’s skillful seamstress and dressmaker. When Samantha gets into a scrap and tears a sticking or petticoat, she can depend on Jessie to “patch her up” and mend her torn clothing with invisible stitches.

Hawkins


Hawkins

Hawkins is Grandmary’s butler and carriage driver. He is very fond of Samantha, and he often finds ways to help her.

Mrs. Hawkins


Mrs.Hawkins

Grandmary’s kindly cook. She prepares three meals a day for the household, and she always has a tasty treat in the kitchen for Samantha.

Elsa


Elsa

Elsa is Grandmary’s housemaid. She is grumpy and unsympathetic, and she treats Samantha as if she is an obstacle to her work.

Eddie Ryland


Eddie Ryland

Eddie Ryland is Samantha’s neighbor. He loves to bother Samantha and poke fun at her. Sometimes he even sneaks into her yard and causes trouble.

Nellie O'Malley


Nellie O'Malley

Nellie O'Malley is a new servant girl in the house next door. She used to live with her family in New York City and work in a factory, but now she works as a maid in Mount Bedford, where she becomes Samantha’s friend.

Cornelia Pitt


Cornelia Pitt

Cornelia Pitt is the elegant, progressive young woman from Manhattan that Uncle Gard loves. Cornelia believes that women should have the right to vote. She is fun-loving, kind, and playful, but respectful of Grandmary. After marrying Gard, she adopts Samantha.

Agnes & Agatha Pitt


Agnes & Agatha Pitt

Agnes & Agatha Pitt are identical twins and Cornelia’s younger sisters. The ten-year-olds become fast friends with Samantha and go on vacation with her at Piney Point. They are bridesmaids, along with Samantha, at Gard and Cornelia’s wedding.

Admiral Archibald Beemis


Admiral Archibald Beemis

Admiral Archibald Beemis is a good-natured Englishman and retired admiral of the British Navy who has known Grandmary for 30 years. He visits Grandmary at Piney Point every summer, and later he marries her.

Grandmary


Grandmary

Samantha’s maternal grandmother, a widow, is raising Samantha to be a well-mannered young lady. Grandmary is an excellent judge of character and supports Samantha’s ideas, even when Samantha bends the social rules to do the right thing.

Uncle Gard


Uncle Gard

Uncle Gard is Samantha’s mother’s brother. He adores his niece and visits her and Grandmary often. His jokes, puns, and silly riddles always make Samantha laugh. After he marries Cornelia, he adopts Samantha.

Jessie


Jessie

Jessie is Grandmary’s skillful seamstress and dressmaker. When Samantha gets into a scrap and tears a sticking or petticoat, she can depend on Jessie to “patch her up” and mend her torn clothing with invisible stitches.

Hawkins


Hawkins

Hawkins is Grandmary’s butler and carriage driver. He is very fond of Samantha, and he often finds ways to help her.

Mrs. Hawkins


Mrs.Hawkins

Grandmary’s kindly cook. She prepares three meals a day for the household, and she always has a tasty treat in the kitchen for Samantha.

Elsa


Elsa

Elsa is Grandmary’s housemaid. She is grumpy and unsympathetic, and she treats Samantha as if she is an obstacle to her work.

Eddie Ryland


Eddie Ryland

Eddie Ryland is Samantha’s neighbor. He loves to bother Samantha and poke fun at her. Sometimes he even sneaks into her yard and causes trouble.

Nellie O'Malley


Nellie O'Malley

Nellie O'Malley is a new servant girl in the house next door. She used to live with her family in New York City and work in a factory, but now she works as a maid in Mount Bedford, where she becomes Samantha’s friend.

Cornelia Pitt


Cornelia Pitt

Cornelia Pitt is the elegant, progressive young woman from Manhattan that Uncle Gard loves. Cornelia believes that women should have the right to vote. She is fun-loving, kind, and playful, but respectful of Grandmary. After marrying Gard, she adopts Samantha.

Agnes & Agatha Pitt


Agnes & Agatha Pitt

Agnes & Agatha Pitt are identical twins and Cornelia’s younger sisters. The ten-year-olds become fast friends with Samantha and go on vacation with her at Piney Point. They are bridesmaids, along with Samantha, at Gard and Cornelia’s wedding.

Admiral Archibald Beemis


Admiral Archibald Beemis

Admiral Archibald Beemis is a good-natured Englishman and retired admiral of the British Navy who has known Grandmary for 30 years. He visits Grandmary at Piney Point every summer, and later he marries her.

 

Story brought to life

Story brought to life

Samantha Parkington doll


Samantha Parkington™ Doll & Book

Samantha’s outfit embodies the ladylike clothing of the early 1900s, featuring frilly details like ruffles, lace, puffy sleeves, and ribbons.

Shop Samantha Parkington™ Doll & Book

Samantha Parkington doll


Samantha Parkington™ Doll & Book

Samantha’s outfit embodies the ladylike clothing of the early 1900s, featuring frilly details like ruffles, lace, puffy sleeves, and ribbons.

Shop Samantha Parkington™ Doll & Book

The Gift

It’s 1904, and Samantha is learning the unspoken social rules for a proper young lady—and how to bend them when necessary. One day Uncle Gard comes to visit with his new friend, Miss Cornelia Pitt, and a gift for Samantha—a blue bicycle! Cycling is more challenging than Samantha expected, and she takes a fall. At school, Samantha wins the speech contest about Progress in America, and at home, she befriends Nellie, the servant girl next door. Samantha teaches Nellie to read—and Nellie teaches Samantha a larger truth about progress and child labor. On Uncle Gard’s next visit, Cornelia proposes a modern way for Samantha to enjoy biking—but will Grandmary allow Samantha to wear bloomers? The story ends with Samantha and Uncle Gard racing against the clock to save his wedding to Cornelia, and Samantha serves as a most exceptional bridesmaid! Read an excerpt



Shop The Gift


The Gift

It’s 1904, and Samantha is learning the unspoken social rules for a proper young lady—and how to bend them when necessary. One day Uncle Gard comes to visit with his new friend, Miss Cornelia Pitt, and a gift for Samantha—a blue bicycle! Cycling is more challenging than Samantha expected, and she takes a fall. At school, Samantha wins the speech contest about Progress in America, and at home, she befriends Nellie, the servant girl next door. Samantha teaches Nellie to read—and Nellie teaches Samantha a larger truth about progress and child labor. On Uncle Gard’s next visit, Cornelia proposes a modern way for Samantha to enjoy biking—but will Grandmary allow Samantha to wear bloomers? The story ends with Samantha and Uncle Gard racing against the clock to save his wedding to Cornelia, and Samantha serves as a most exceptional bridesmaid! Read an excerpt



Shop The Gift



Lost and Found

Samantha now lives with Uncle Gard and Aunt Cornelia in New York City. Aunt Cornelia’s twin sisters, Agnes and Agatha, are good at getting into mischief—and at bringing Samantha with them! The three girls take a trip to Grandmary’s summer home at Piney Point. After a day of boating and adventure, the girls get caught in a storm on Goose Lake—the very same lake where Samantha’s parents drowned. It will take all of Samantha’s bravery and boating skills to get them safely back to Piney Point. Once back in Manhattan, Samantha discovers Nellie and her sisters living in an orphanage under harsh conditions. When she learns that they may be separated forever, Samantha makes a daring, risky plan to rescue the sisters and find them a new home before it’s too late. Read an excerpt



Shop Lost and Found


Learning materials for schools and book clubs can be found here.


Lost and Found

Samantha now lives with Uncle Gard and Aunt Cornelia in New York City. Aunt Cornelia’s twin sisters, Agnes and Agatha, are good at getting into mischief—and at bringing Samantha with them! The three girls take a trip to Grandmary’s summer home at Piney Point. After a day of boating and adventure, the girls get caught in a storm on Goose Lake—the very same lake where Samantha’s parents drowned. It will take all of Samantha’s bravery and boating skills to get them safely back to Piney Point. Once back in Manhattan, Samantha discovers Nellie and her sisters living in an orphanage under harsh conditions. When she learns that they may be separated forever, Samantha makes a daring, risky plan to rescue the sisters and find them a new home before it’s too late. Read an excerpt



Shop Lost and Found



Learning materials for schools and book clubs can be found here.


 

Author & illustrator

Author & illustrator

Authors

Many writers have contributed to Samantha’s series, including Pleasant Rowland, Susan Adler, Valerie Tripp, and Jennifer Hirsch.

Illustrator Dan Andreasen

Dan Andreasen always wanted to be an artist. As a child he copied drawings by Leonardo da Vinci from art books. He lives in Florida.

Authors

Many writers have contributed to Samantha’s series, including Pleasant Rowland, Susan Adler, Valerie Tripp, and Jennifer Hirsch.

Illustrator Dan Andreasen

Dan Andreasen always wanted to be an artist. As a child he copied drawings by Leonardo da Vinci from art books. He lives in Florida.

 

Fun facts

Fun facts

Samantha’s favorite book is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which debuted in 1900 and was a bestseller, popular with children and adults.
Nicknames weren’t considered proper in Samantha’s time, but her uncle still calls her “Sam.”
Samantha is very much a tomboy and loves climbing trees. She opts to be outside and enjoys visiting Grandmary’s lake home.
Samantha was one of the first three characters launched in 1986 by American Girl®, then called The Pleasant Company.
Agnes and Agatha lose Cornelia’s dog Jip during a walk but find him in a park where they see their sister advocating for women’s voting rights.
Women won the right to vote in 1920, and Samantha would have been 25 years old for her first presidential election that year.

Samantha’s favorite book is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which debuted in 1900 and was a bestseller, popular with children and adults.

Nicknames weren’t considered proper in Samantha’s time, but her uncle still calls her “Sam.”

Samantha is very much a tomboy and loves climbing trees. She opts to be outside and enjoys visiting Grandmary’s lake home.

Samantha was one of the first three characters launched in 1986 by American Girl®, then called The Pleasant Company.

Agnes and Agatha lose Cornelia’s dog Jip during a walk but find him in a park where they see their sister advocating for women’s voting rights.

Women won the right to vote in 1920, and Samantha would have been 25 years old for her first presidential election that year.

 

Samantha's era

Samantha's era

In 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest-ever U.S. president at 42. Not everyone was confident he could lead America into the new century!
In Samantha’s time, teachers thought etiquette was just as important to teach girls as reading and writing.
Orville Wright made the first successful airplane flight across the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903.
In Samantha’s time, to go swimming, girls and women wore large bathing dresses made of alpaca wool. These helped keep swimmers warm in cold water.
In 1904, more than 20 million visitors from around the world came to the World’s Fair in St. Louis, MO, to see the latest inventions, including the world’s largest Ferris Wheel.
Even though child labor laws existed, some poor children continued to work in factories to earn money to help their families.

In 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest-ever U.S. president at 42. Not everyone was confident he could lead America into the new century!

In Samantha’s time, teachers thought etiquette was just as important to teach girls as reading and writing.

Orville Wright made the first successful airplane flight across the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903.

In Samantha’s time, to go swimming, girls and women wore large bathing dresses made of alpaca wool. These helped keep swimmers warm in cold water.

In 1904, more than 20 million visitors from around the world came to the World’s Fair in St. Louis, MO, to see the latest inventions, including the world’s largest Ferris Wheel.

Even though child labor laws existed, some poor children continued to work in factories to earn money to help their families.

 

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

  • Samantha’s hometown, Mount Bedford, is closely based on the real town of Mount Kisco, in Westchester County, New York. Grandmary’s house is based on a real mansion in Mount Kisco.
  • The architectural style of Grandmary’s house, where Samantha lives, is Queen Anne Victorian. These popular turn-of-the-century homes have an asymmetrical façade with gables, towers, porches, and balconies.
  • Samantha was the first American Girl character to be featured in a movie. On November 23, 2004, Samantha: An American Girl Holiday debuted on TV and played several times over the holidays. Nearly every Samantha doll and accessory sold out before Christmas!
  • In the Samantha TV movie, AnnaSophia Robb played Samantha and Mia Farrow played Grandmary.
  • Samantha’s hometown, Mount Bedford, is closely based on the real town of Mount Kisco, in Westchester County, New York. Grandmary’s house is based on a real mansion in Mount Kisco.
  • The architectural style of Grandmary’s house, where Samantha lives, is Queen Anne Victorian. These popular turn-of-the-century homes have an asymmetrical façade with gables, towers, porches, and balconies.
  • Samantha was the first American Girl character to be featured in a movie. On November 23, 2004, Samantha: An American Girl Holiday debuted on TV and played several times over the holidays. Nearly every Samantha doll and accessory sold out before Christmas!
  • In the Samantha TV movie, AnnaSophia Robb played Samantha and Mia Farrow played Grandmary.

 

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In every era, character counts

Learn more about other historical characters

In every era, character counts

Learn more about other historical characters