Rev. Edward Everett Hale

Is your surname Hale?

Research the Hale family

Rev. Edward Everett Hale's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Rev. Edward Everett Hale

Birthplace: Roxbury, Massachusetts, United States
Death: June 10, 1909 (87)
Immediate Family:

Son of Nathan Hale, Sr. and Sarah Preston Everett
Husband of Emily Baldwin Perkins
Father of Ellen Day Hale; Alexander Hale; Arthur Hale; Charles A. Hale; Edward Everett Hale and 4 others
Brother of Sarah Hale; Nathan Hale, Jr.; Susan Hale; Alexander Hale; Lucretia Peabody Hale and 1 other

Occupation: American Author and Unitarian Clergyman
Managed by: Ivy Jo Smith
Last Updated:

About Rev. Edward Everett Hale

Edward Everett Hale (April 3, 1822 – June 10, 1909) was an American author and Unitarian clergyman.

Hale was born on April 3, 1822, in Roxbury, Massachusetts, the son of Nathan Hale (1784-1863), proprietor and editor of the Boston Daily Advertiser, and the brother of Lucretia Peabody Hale, Susan Hale, and Charles Hale. Edward Hale was the nephew of Edward Everett, the orator and statesman, while his father was the nephew of Nathan Hale who was executed by the British for espionage during the Revolutionary War. He was also a descendant of Richard Everett.

Edward Hale graduated from Harvard in 1839; was pastor of the Church of the Unity, Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1846-1856, and of the South Congregational (Unitarian) church, Boston, in 1856-1899. In 1903 he became Chaplain of the United States Senate. Hale married Emily Baldwin Perkins in 1852—she was the niece of Connecticut Governor and U.S. Senator Roger Sherman Baldwin and Emily Pitkin Perkins Baldwin on her father's side and Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher on her mother's side. They had nine children: one daughter and eight sons. Hale died in Roxbury, by then part of Boston, in 1909.

Combining a forceful personality, organizing genius, and liberal practical theology, Hale was active in raising the tone of American life for half a century. He had a deep interest in the anti-slavery movement (especially in Kansas), as well as popular education (especially Chautauquas), and the working-man's home. He was a constant and voluminous contributor to newspapers and magazines. He was an assistant editor of the Boston Daily Advertiser and edited the Christian Examiner, Old and New (which he assisted in founding in 1869 and which merged with Scribner's Magazine in 1875), Lend a Hand (which he founded in 1886 and which merged with the Charities Review in 1897), and the Lend a Hand Record. He was the author or editor of more than sixty books—fiction, travel, sermons, biography and history.

Hale first came to notice as a writer in 1859, when he contributed the short story "My Double and How He Undid Me" to the Atlantic Monthly. He soon published other stories in the same periodical. The best known of these was "The Man Without a Country" (1863), which did much to strengthen the Union cause in the North, and in which, as in some of his other non-romantic tales, he employed a minute realism which led his readers to suppose the narrative a record of fact. These two stories and such others as "The Rag-Man and the Rag-Woman" and "The Skeleton in the Closet," gave him a prominent position among short-story writers of 19th century America. His short story "The Brick Moon", serialized in the Atlantic Monthly, is the first known fictional description of an artificial satellite. It was possibly an influence on the novel The Begum's Fortune by Jules Verne.

The story "Ten Times One is Ten" (1870), with its hero Harry Wadsworth, contained the motto, first enunciated in 1869 in his Lowell Institute lectures: "Look up and not down, look forward and not back, look out and not in, and lend a hand." This motto was the basis for the formation of Lend-a-Hand Clubs, Look-up Legions and Harry Wadsworth Clubs for young people. Out of the romantic Waldensian story "In His Name" (1873) there similarly grew several other organizations for religious work, such as King's Daughters, and King's Sons.

Hale once said, "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I should do and, with the help of God, I will do."


A biography from the period reads: "In the ranks of the literary workers of America there is one figure that deserves the distinguishing title of the "Grand Old Man," of letters. Edward Everett Hale, D.D., is a survivor of that class of writers and thinkers of which Emerson, Lowell and Parkman were such conspicuous representatives. He was born in Boston, Mass., April 3, 1822. After graduating at Harvard, in 1839, he studied theology and became a Unitarian minister. He was pastor of the Church of the Unity, of Worcester, Mass., from 1846 to 1856, since which time he has been pastor of the South Congregational Church, Boston. Dr. Hale has published a large number of books. The one that first gave him international fame was "The Man Without a Country," which appeared in 1861. Prior to that he had produced "The Rosary," in 1848, and "America," in 1856. Among his subsequent works may be mentioned "His Level Best," and other stories, 1872, "Ups and Downs," 1873; "Working-Men's Homes" and "In His Name," 1874; "Philip Nolan's Friends," 1876; "Boys' Heroes," 1885; "What is the American People," 1885. He edited a series of stories of the war, sea, adventure, etc., from 1880 to 1885, and (conjointly with Miss Hale) wrote "A Family Flight Through France, Germany, etc.," in 1881. Mr. Hale has been a frequent contributor to periodicals, was editor of the "Christian Examiner," and the founder and editor of that popular publication, "Old and New." He afterward became editor of "Lend Me a Hand," and his work in the field of literature shows the same vigor and freshness today that characterized in thirty years ago. His stories are interesting and wholesome and show the masterly skill of the scholar."

view all 12

Rev. Edward Everett Hale's Timeline

April 3, 1822
Roxbury, Massachusetts, United States
December 18, 1853
Worcester, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
August 12, 1859
March 1, 1861
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
February 18, 1863
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
May 21, 1865
July 22, 1866
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
June 6, 1868