Annie Fellows Johnson

Annie Fellows Johnston

Author of the Two Little Knights of Kentucky
and the Little Colonel Series

Annie Fellows Johnston, author of the Little Colonels seriesMrs. Johnston wrote the Two Little Knights of Kentucky in 1899, using William and Craig Culbertson,  young sons of   Samuel A. Culbertson and Louise Craig Culbertson of Louisville, as her models.  The boys spent several summers in Lloydsborough Valley (Pewee Vally) visiting their aunts Mamie and Fannie. 

Fannie Craig appears in Two Little Knights of Kentucky as Aunt Allison.  Aunt Mamie Craig Lawton owned "the Beeches," which later became Annie Fellows Johnstons' home (who purchased it in 1911 and lived there until her death in 1931.)  Mamie was married to Henry Lawton, who as an Indian fighter early in his career,  is credited with (or blamed for) the capture of the Apache Chief Geronimo.   Later, General Lawton backed up Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill in Cuba, and ended his career as the "Super Hero of the Phillippines" during the Spanish American War. (He was killed in action.) 

Mamie Lawton's daughters became the "Walton" girls (Allison, Elise and Kitty) of the Little Colonel Series. 

In the 1930's, the Little Colonel, speaking in a newspaper interview, remembered her dearest friends in childhood as the Culbertson boys (the Two Little Knights) and their cousins,  the Lawton girls. (Courier-Journal June 10, 1932)

Below are autographed notes left to the two Culbertson boys by Mrs. Johnston:

Annie's note to Craig Culbertson

"For Craig Culbertson
to whom Nature gave her royal
accolade, long before he became
the Keith of the story--
'The Two Little Knights of Kentucky' "
                 --Annie Fellows Johnston"

Annie's note to William Culbertson

"For William Culbertson
whose boyish grace and courtly
manners suggested the character
of Malcom in the story of the
'Two Little Knights of Kentucky' "
                 --Annie Fellows Johnston"


More on William and Craig Culbertson, the models for the Two Little Knights of Kentucky, with pictures

Read Two Little Knights of Kentucky on line