Thursday, November 26, 2009


"Thanksgiving like the Fourth of July should be considered a national festival and observed by all our people." – Sarah Josepha Hale

Did you know if it weren’t for Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879), poet, writer and magazine editor, Thanksgiving may not have been made a national holiday? This author of Mary Had a Little Lamb, used Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine to campaign for Thanksgiving as a national holiday until Lincoln made it official.

What’s amazing to me is that at age 34 she was widowed and penniless. With five small children to raise, she supported herself with sewing and poetry. Then, at 39, her first novel, Northwood, became a huge success. She continued to write and edit for many years. At age 90, she wrote:

“And now, having reached my ninetieth year, I must bid farewell to my countrywomen, with the hope that this work of half a century may be blessed to the furtherance of their happiness and usefulness in their Divinely-appointed sphere. New avenues for higher culture and for good works are opening before them, which fifty years ago were unknown. That they may improve these opportunities, and be faithful to their higher vocation, is my heartfelt prayer.”

Thank you Sarah Josepha Hale! For more about this fascinating woman writer, visit Best Years blog, Women Writers, and Wikipedia.

Now I’ll leave you with this from

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tags: Sarah Hale, Thanksgiving, Godey’s Lady’s Book, Mary had a little lamb, inkygirl,


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I didn't know about Sarah Hale--what an interesting story! Thanks for sharing it with me.

Mystery Writing is Murder

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Wow, I learned something today!

And if Benjamin Franklin had his way, we'd be eating our national bird on this national holiday - LOL!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Jane, Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing Sarah Hale and the fabulous turkey cartoon.

Helen Ginger said...

Cute cartoon and thanks for the info on Hale. I had no idea who was behind the push to get Thanksgiving made an official holiday.

Straight From Hel

Carol Kilgore said...

Ours was wonderful. Hope yours was, too. I remembered Lincoln made Thanksgiving official, but didn't know about Sarah Hale. Thanks.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

First, I hope your holiday was warm and wonderful. Once you mentioned it, I had a vague recollection about Sarah Hale, but couldn't had recited the story. I love history, so, I liked this timely post...sort of a mini-history channel!

Best Wishes, Galen.

Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world