It is the late 19th century and you are a child. You have faced many hardships in your young life. The American Civil War is still a fresh in the minds of your family members, you yourself may need to work in order to help supply your family with food and clothing, and perhaps you have already had to attend the funerals of some siblings. This is, of course, if you have a family at all. But you do have a family, and today is a day of celebration. A birthday perhaps, or maybe Christmas, and your home is bustling with activity, voices, and delectable food in honor of the occasion. The time has come for dessert and you eagerly take your piece before cutting into it. Smelling the warm sugar you look down and discover something sticking out of your food. A face. A small dead white face attached to a small white naked body staring blankly at you. You exclaim not out of horror, but out of happiness. You found it! How lucky! You are congratulated and reminded about the importance of listening to your parents, you don’t want to end up dead do you? The message is serious but at the moment you are simply happy being the winner of a new Frozen Charlotte doll.
Before 1860 the story of poor Charlotte was being carried all over the country thanks to folk singer William Lorenzo Carter. A blind poet and musician from Vermont, Carter took the original words written by Smith and set them to music creating a cautionary folk ballad that quickly spread throughout the United States and Canada. The song eventually became very well-known but the story of the frozen girl in the sleigh erupted all over 19th century America and England thanks to its attachment to the tiny porcelain children that became known as “Frozen Charlottes”.
The origin of the figures began innocently enough in Germany where they were manufactured to be bath toys for young children. However, it was in the United States and England where the small figures became intertwined with the story of the poor frozen girl and became highly desired object by both children and their parents. Burnside’s Fort