As we all look forward to a relaxing Thanksgiving spent with family and friends, we also take this opportunity to highlight the importance of Sarah Josepha Hale. Hale is widely regarded as the person most directly responsible for creating what we know as modern day Thanksgiving.
Ahead of Her Time
Sarah Josepha Hale, born in 1788, was, among her many accomplishments, a teacher, author, and notably, the first female magazine editor. She wrote poetry and novels, and, may be most well known for her “Collected Poems for Our Children,” which included the iconic Mary Had a Little Lamb. She was the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, the overwhelmingly dominant women’s publication of the time, for forty years. Hale was also a vocal advocate for women’s education, and helped found Vassar College.
Hale was also a patriotic American, committed to publishing the works of American writers in her magazine. In addition, her own work typically focused on American issues and themes. As an anti-slavery advocate, she was strongly pro-Union, but also dedicated to the concept of a unified nation. This was, in part, the driving force behind her ceaseless campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. This campaign began in 1846 and persisted for 17 years and through five presidents. Eventually, President Lincoln, seeing this as an opportunity to unify the country after the Civil War, was able to push the effort through the legislature in 1863. Beyond this, Hale’s legacy of patriotism includes raising funds to complete the Bunker Hill Monument in Boston, and helping to preserve Mount Vernon plantation.
Klingenstein Fields Advisors (KF Advisors) would like to wish everyone a peaceful Thanksgiving, filled with friends and family, lasting memories, and shared time together. We are honored and grateful for the trust you place in us and look forward to continuing to work together.