Charles Schulz writes to an irritated Peanuts fan
On November 30th 1954, a character by the name of Charlotte Braun made her debut in the much-loved, four-year-old comic strip Peanuts, and almost immediately pushed all the wrong buttons. Loud, brash and opinionated, “Good Ol’ Charlotte Braun” quickly irked Peanuts’ loyal readers and on February 1st 1955, after just ten sightings in the strip, she appeared in a storyline for the last time. Forty-five years later, following the death of Peanuts’ creator, Charles M. Schulz, a lady named Elizabeth Swaim donated to the United States Library of Congress this fascinating letter, written to her by Schulz in response to a complaint she had made about Braun just a month before the character’s demise. In it, Schulz agrees to kill the character off, reminds Swaim that she will be responsible for her death, and then signs off with a picture of Braun with an axe to the head.
Jan. 5, 1955
Dear Miss Swaim,
I am taking your suggestion regarding Charlotte Braun and will eventually discard her. If she appears anymore it will be in strips that were already completed before I got your letter or because someone writes in saying that they like her. Remember, however, that you and your friends will have the death of an innocent child on your conscience. Are you prepared to accept such responsibility?
Thanks for writing, and I hope that future releases will please you.
Charles M. Schulz
This letter is taken from the first volume of Letters of Note. © 1955 by Charles Schultz. Permission granted by Peanuts Worldwide, LLC & Universal Uclick. All rights reserved. Image of Charles Schulz letter courtesy of the Library of Congress.