The Surprising Net Worth of Sarah Hale: Uncovering the Wealth of a Female Trailblazer

Have you ever heard of Sarah Hale? If not, you’re not alone. She is a woman who lived in the 19th century and made significant contributions to society that are often overlooked. Sarah Hale was an American writer, editor, and advocate for women’s education. She is best known for her campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. However, there is something about Sarah Hale that might surprise you: she was incredibly wealthy. In this post, we will explore the surprising net worth of Sarah Hale.


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Sarah Josepha Hale, born in 1788, was a remarkable woman for her time. She started her career as a teacher and later turned to writing. She was one of the few women who could earn a living as a writer in the 19th century. Her most famous work was the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Hale was also a vocal advocate for women’s education, and she founded the first women’s magazine in the United States.

Hale accomplished much in her life, but her wealth is often overlooked. In fact, when Hale died in 1879, she was worth $50,000, which is equivalent to over $1 million today. How did she amass such a fortune? Let’s find out.

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Section 1: Sarah Hale’s Early Life

Sarah Hale was born in New Hampshire in 1788, the same year that the United States Constitution was ratified. She was one of twelve children, and her parents were farmers. Hale’s parents valued the education of their children and encouraged her to become a teacher. However, Hale was determined to become a writer, which was not a typical career for a woman at that time.

At the age of eighteen, Hale published her first collection of poems titled “The Genius of Oblivion.” The book received favorable reviews and encouraged Hale to continue writing. However, her career as a writer was put on hold when she married David Hale, an attorney. The couple had five children, and Hale focused on raising them for several years.

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Section 2: Sarah Hale’s Writing Career

In 1828, Hale became the editor of the Ladies’ Magazine, the first women’s magazine in the United States. She used the magazine as a platform to advocate for women’s education and the professionalization of domestic work. Hale believed that women had a vital role to play in society and that education was essential for their success.

Under Hale’s leadership, the Ladies’ Magazine grew in popularity and became a significant influence on women’s culture in the United States. Hale also published several novels and collections of poetry.

Section 3: Hale’s Campaign to Make Thanksgiving a National Holiday

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Hale is best known for her campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. At the time, Thanksgiving was celebrated in some states but not in others. Hale believed that Thanksgiving could help unify the country, and she wrote to several presidents advocating for a national holiday.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday after receiving a letter from Hale. In her letter, she wrote, “You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritative fixation.”

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Section 4: Hale’s Financial Investments

Hale’s wealth came not only from her writing but also from her financial investments. Hale was an astute investor, putting her money into safer options such as government bonds. Hale also invested in railroads and mining companies, which were profitable at the time.

Hale’s financial success meant that she could provide for her family and contribute to causes she believed in, such as women’s education.

Section 5: Hale’s Real Estate Investments

In addition to her financial investments, Hale also invested in real estate. She owned several houses, including a summer home in Newport, Rhode Island. Hale rented out these properties, which provided her with a steady income.

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Section 6: Hale’s Philanthropy

Despite her wealth, Hale remained humble and used her money to help others. She donated to organizations that supported women’s education and helped to open a college for women in New Hampshire. Hale also gave money to charities that supported soldiers injured in the Civil War.

Section 7: FAQ

Q: What other accomplishments did Sarah Hale achieve in her life?

A: Sarah Hale accomplished many things in her lifetime, including founding the first women’s magazine in the United States and writing the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Q: How did Sarah Hale become so wealthy?

A: Sarah Hale’s wealth came from her writing, financial investments, and real estate investments.

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Q: What did Sarah Hale believe in?

A: Sarah Hale was a vocal advocate for women’s education and believed that women had a vital role to play in society.

Q: What was Sarah Hale’s most famous accomplishment?

A: Sarah Hale’s most famous accomplishment was her campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.

Q: How much was Sarah Hale worth when she died?

A: When Sarah Hale died in 1879, she was worth $50,000, which is equivalent to over $1 million today.

Q: How did Sarah Hale use her wealth?

A: Sarah Hale used her wealth to provide for her family, donate to charities and organizations, and invest in causes she believed in.

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Q: What can we learn from Sarah Hale?

A: We can learn from Sarah Hale that women can accomplish great things and make a significant impact on society. We can also learn the value of financial investments and using our success to help others.

Section 8: Conclusion

Sarah Josepha Hale was an extraordinary woman who accomplished much in her life. From her writing career to her successful campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, Hale was a trailblazer for women’s rights and education. Hale’s surprising net worth of $50,000 at the time of her death is a testament to her financial acumen and success. Hale is an inspiration to us all, and we can learn from her life the importance of hard work, determination, and using our success to help others.

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