An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Hale, Sarah Josepha

(Oct. 24, 1788-Apr. 30, 1879). Editor, poet, and advocate for social justice. She was born in Newport, New Hampshire. In 1813 she married a lawyer, David Hale, and they had five children. He died in 1822, and she supported the children by writing. Her poem, "Mary Had a Little Lamb," published in her Poems For Our Children (1830), became a favorite nursery rhyme. Hale edited the Ladies Magazine, later the American Ladies Magazine, 1828-1837, and Godey's Lady's Book, 1837-1857. She advocated "female improvement," the kindergarten movement, education for the deaf, charitable organizations, the movement to win property rights for women, the deaconess movement being imported from Germany, and the foreign mission field for women. Hale campaigned for funds to complete the Bunker Hill monument, to have Thanksgiving Day declared a national holiday, and to have Mount Vernon named a national shrine. She was converted to the Episcopal Church and was an active member at Holy Trinity, Philadelphia. Hale died in Philadelphia.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.