To Mr. L. Frank Baum,

By Royal Appointment Historian to the Land of Oz

At the request of your Highly Esteemed Writeness, I have issued a Decree permitting my beloved subjects, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Woggle-Bug and Jack Pumpkinhead, to visit the United States of America, in order that they may accumulate great store of Wisdom and Experience in your most prosaic Country. They are permitted to take with them the Animated Saw-Horse, and their journey will be made in the Flying Gump. They should arrive upon your Earth Planet within a brief space of Time, and I trust you will accord them a warm Welcome and watch carefully over their Interests.
Given under my Hand and Seal at my Royal Palace in the Emerald
City in the Ninth Division of the Second Year of my Reign.
(Successor to the Wizard of Oz)
OZMA
Reigning Princess of
the Fairyland of Oz

 

Well, I felt like shouting "Hurrah!" when I got the above letter. These visitors from Oz are fine fellows. They may not be so worldly wise as some of the Americans are, and it is possible that their ignorance of our ways and manners may get them into a few scrapes before their return to Princess Ozma. But they are used to adventures, and I have no doubt the Scarecrow and his friends will have a royal good time here. The Woggle-Bug is said to be very wise and quick to discover things, and the Scarecrow has proven more times than one that he can think, and think clearly. As for Nick Chopper, the Tin Woodman, he allows his kindly nature to direct his actions, and I understand the Pumpkinhead has learned to look to the Tin Woodman to protect him in case he does anything stupid and gets into trouble. I’m glad they brought the animated Saw-Horse, for that remarkable creature can always be depended upon to do the right thing at the right time.

And you will notice they have arrived in the Gump, which is a sort of flying machine they have made by tying two sofas together and putting a stuffed elk’s head in front for a figurehead. The wings of this curious airship are merely four big palm leaves fastened to the sides of the sofas; and the whole thing has been given life by means of a magic powder such as could exist no place but Fairyland.

Whereabouts in the United States our friends from Oz first landed is a mystery — just at present, anyway. Walt McDougall and I (both wearing Magic Caps that render us invisible) are going to follow the Scarecrow’s party wherever they go, so that we can tell about their adventures and make pictures of them to amuse the readers of this paper. And now that they are safely arrived and have begun to explore America, let us watch and see what happens.

L. Frank Baum


Baum and McDougall and their magic caps.

Sources: Philadelphia North American, 28 August 1904. Reprinted in The Baum Bugle, Spring 1985.


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