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This Day in Boston History

October 24th, 1788

Sarah Hale Born

Sarah Hale

On this day, editor, poet and social leader Sarah Josepha Buell Hale was born in Newport, New Hampshire. Windowed and left in financial straights, she took up a literary career which led her to became editor of American Ladies' Magazine in Boston.

She used her position to found the Boston Seaman's Aid Society which cared for seamen, and their widows and orphans. She almost single-handedly raised the money to finish the Bunker Hill monument, which had languished unfinished for ten years. Perhaps her most far reaching achievements were her campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday, her advocacy of higher education for women and her popular children's poem, "Mary Had a Little Lamb".


England's Prime Minister never expected this tea tax to cause an outcry, let alone revolution. In 1767, England reduced its property taxes at home. To balance the national budget they needed to find a mechanism for the American colonies to pay for the expense of stationing officials in them. The officials would generate their own revenue by collecting taxes on all imported goods, and once paid affixing stamps on them. This Stamp Tax generated more in the way of protests and smuggling than added revenue.

Religion. Politics. Rebellion. Boston’s pedigree was forged back in England in the midst of religious dissension, where Puritans and Pilgrims sought religious reform, and Cavaliers and Roundheads vied for political power. The question isn't where did Boston get its name – but how.

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