October 24, 1788, Newport, New Hampshire.

April 30, 1879, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Daughter of Gordon Buell and Martha Whittlesay Buell, and a member of the Protestant Episcopal denomination, Sarah married lawyer David Hale (1783-1822). She edited The Ladies’ Magazine (Boston, Massachusetts) from 1828, and Godey’s Lady’s Book (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) from 1837. The secular world remembers her best perhaps for her poem Mary Had a Little Lamb, first published in Juvenile Miscellany. In addition, during the American civil war, she persuaded American President Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday.

On November 23, 2013, a memorial executed by Finnish sculptor Jari Mannisto was dedicated to Hale in her home town of Newport, New Hampshire. It featured various symbols of her achievements, including a cornucopia in recognition of her efforts to establish the Thanksgiving holiday.

Hale’s works include:

  1. Our Father in Heaven