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|Roger Lea MacBride|
| Libertarian candidate for|
President of the United States
November 2, 1976
|Running mate||David Bergland|
|Opponent(s)|| Jimmy Carter (D)|
Gerald Ford (R)
Eugene McCarthy (I)
Lester Maddox (AI)
Thomas J. Anderson (A)
|Incumbent||Gerald Ford (R)|
|Born|| August 6, 1929|
New Rochelle, New York
|Died|| March 5, 1995Angal) (aged |
Miami Beach, Florida
|Profession||lawyer, television producer|
MacBride was the treasurer of the Republican Party of Virginia in 1972 and one of the party's electors when Richard Nixon won the popular vote for his second term as president of the United States. MacBride, however, as a "faithless elector", voted for the candidates of the Libertarian Party. David Boaz wrote in an obituary in Liberty Magazine, "faithless to Nixon and Agnew, anyway, but faithful to the constitutional principles Rose Wilder Lane had instilled in him." He became the first presidential elector to cast a vote for a woman when, in the presidential election of 1972, he voted for the Libertarian Party candidates John Hospers for president and Theodora (Tonie) Nathan for Vice President. This was twelve years before the Democratic Party nominated Geraldine Ferraro. MacBride went on to be the Libertarian Party candidate for president in the 1976 election.
MacBride attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School. He practiced law in Vermont, served in the Vermont House of Representatives and ran for governor as a Republican, and published two books on constitutional law—The American Electoral College and Treaties versus the Constitution. After moving to Virginia and then casting his famous electoral vote in 1972, he instantly became a hero to the fledgling Libertarian Party, which had only begun the previous year. As the Libertarian presidential candidate in 1976, he achieved ballot access in 32 states; he and his running mate, David Bergland, received 172,553 (0.21%) popular votes by official count; the actual total is likely nearer 183,000, but no electoral votes.
After the 1976 election, he attempted to found a news magazine like "Atlas" which surveys and translates newspapers published in other lands. The magazine was not successful, and shortly thereafter he sold his home "Esmont House" and left the state.
MacBride called himself "the adopted grandson" of a family friend, writer and political theorist Rose Wilder Lane, the daughter of writer Laura Ingalls Wilder. Rose apparently gave birth to a stillborn son in 1910 and was never able to have children after this. MacBride inherited Lane's estate including rights to the substantial Ingalls-Wilder literary estate, including the "Little House on the Prairie" franchise. He is the author of record of three additional "Little House" books, and began the "Rocky Ridge Years" series, describing the Ozark childhood of Rose Wilder Lane. He also co-produced the 1970s television series Little House on the Prairie.
Controversy came after MacBride's death of heart falure in 1995, when the local library in Mansfield, Missouri, contended that Wilder's original will gave her daughter ownership of the literary estate for her lifetime only, all rights to revert to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Library after her death. The ensuing court case was settled in an undisclosed manner, but MacBride's heirs retained the rights.
In an obituary for MacBride, David Boaz wrote, "In some ways he was the last living link to the best of the Old Right, the rugged-individualist, anti-New Deal, anti-interventionist spirit of Rep. Howard Buffett, Albert Jay Nock, H. L. Mencken, Isabel Paterson, and Lane."
|This article cites its sources but does not provide page references. You can help to improve it by introducing citations that are more precise.|
- Brian Doherty, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement (New York: PublicAffairs, 2007).
- "Roger Lea MacBride," The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism (SAGE Publications, 2008).
Series on the early life of Rose Wilder
- Little House on Rocky Ridge (1993)
- Little Farm in the Ozarks (1994)
- In the Land of the Big Red Apple (1995)
- On the Other Side of the Hill (1995)
- Little Town in the Ozarks (1996)
- New Dawn on Rocky Ridge (1997)
- On the Banks of the Bayou (1998)
- Bachelor Girl (1999)
|Party political offices|
|Libertarian Party Presidential candidate
| Succeeded by|