Watch CBSN Live

Writer Shares Advice From Notables

Author Dorie McCllough wanted to read the advice famous people gave their children. But when she went to find a collection of such letters, she was shocked to find that none existed.

So, she edited a collection of letters by great Americans to their children; the result is called "Posterity."

The daughter of the noted historian and author David McCullough visited The Saturday Early Show on Wednesday to talk about it.

Find out how she selected the letters, why the letters are important and read some of the letters famous people wrote to their offspring.

The following are a few excerpts from her book:

Sherwood Anderson - (1876-1941)
"I write as though you were a man. Well, you must know my heart is set on you."

This was writer/playwright Sherwood Anderson's letter to his 18–year-old son, John.

Jack London - (1867-1916)
"If for yourself to become a little person in a little place in a little portion of the world, it will be a great misfortune for which there will be no help"

This is writer Jack London's letter to his 12-year-old daughter, Joan.

W. E. B Du Bois - (1868-1963)
"The main thing is the YOU beneath the clothes and skin---the ability to do, the will to conquer, the determination to understand and know this great, wonderful, curious world."

This is a father's wish for his daughter.

Woody Guthrie - (1912-1967)
"...all of us, when you come right down to it, all of us are just as bit as weakened here in some way or the other."

Guthrie was 44 and hospitalized with Huntington's chorea when he wrote a letter to his son, Arlo, concerning Arlo's being born with a weak eye.

Frederick Law Olmsted - (1822-1903)
"A pile of 5,000 cats and kittens, some of them black ones, in front of my window would make my office so dark I should not be able to write in it."

Olmsted loved and enjoyed his children. They were one of the true pleasures of his life. This letter was written in response to his 4-year-old son's request to send the family dog to where the son was visiting. The letter talks of cats taking over the house, if he were to send away the dog.

Ansel Adams -(1902-1984)
"I am wondering, in the afternoon of my own life, just what your day will be."

Adams one of the most famous nature photographers and environmentalists of the last century. He wrote to his son on the occasion of the son's joining of the Air Force.

View CBS News In