When she was 11-years-old, Helen Keller wrote a story called The Frost King. The story was published in The Goodson Gazette, a journal on deaf-blind education. Keller was accused of plagiarism after someone accused her story of being very similar to Margaret Canby’s Frost Fairies. There was then a tribunal to discover if she had knowingly plagiarized Canby’s story. Ultimately, young Keller was acquitted. However, it had been discovered that Keller had been read the story when she was very young by using finger spelling. However, some came to Keller’s defense saying that she had adapted her own story out of the story by Canby. Anne Sullivan said, “all use of language is imitative, and one's style is made up of all other styles that one has met.” Margaret Canby herself stated that Keller's version was superior to her own. Keller never wrote fiction again.
Mark Twain read about the event in Keller’s autobiography, and sent the following letter of support:
St. Patrick's Day, '03
I must steal half a moment from my work to say how glad I am to have your book, and how highly I value it, both for its own sake and as a remembrance of an affectionate friendship which has subsisted between us for nine years without a break, and without a single act of violence that I can call to mind. I suppose there is nothing like it in heaven; and not likely to be, until we get there and show off. I often think of it with longing, and how they'll say, "There they come—sit down in front!" I am practicing with a tin halo. You do the same. I was at Henry Roger's last night, and of course we talked of you. He is not at all well;—you will not like to hear that; but like you and me, he is just as lovely as ever.
I am charmed with your book—enchanted. You are a wonderful creature, the most wonderful in the world—you and your other half together—Miss Sullivan, I mean, for it took the pair of you to make a complete and perfect whole. How she stands out in her letters! her brilliancy, penetration, originality, wisdom, character, and the fine literary competencies of her pen—they are all there.