“Above all her accomplishments, she always considered her life’s finest achievement providing the best education available to her three sons and two daughters—the kind of education which she hoped would equip them to perpetuate the great American Revolution.”


Sarah Josepha Hale was born in New Hampshire in 1788. In an era when the average American life expectancy was forty years, she lived until 1879—91 years—and has been remembered by posterity primarily for two things: the poem popularly known as “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and the American tradition of Thanksgiving. Hale made herself “one of the most influential women of the nineteenth century.”