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Edward Everett Hale Collection

 Collection — Container: MS 7373
Call Number: MS 7373

Scope and Contents

This collection dates from 1852-1908 and documents Edward Everett Hale’s personal and professional lives. Correspondence with Hale’s family concerns the health of his children and their education, his relationships with his siblings, and his life and career. Of interest is the series of notes sent to his children’s teacher, Miss Westin, including a letter about the death of his young son. His professional correspondence reflects his involvement in many different ventures, including his work with charitable societies such as the Ten Times One Club, his writing and editing work, and his position as minister of the South Congregational Church in Boston. Correspondents include George W. Curtis (1824-1892), a writer and orator; Horace Porter (1847-1921), a Civil War officer and personal secretary to Ulysses S. Grant; and Francis Cabot Lowell (1855-1911), a federal judge. In addition to the correspondence, several photographs of Hale are included. Of interest is a photograph depicting Hale meeting his relative Helen Keller (1880-1968) and her teacher Anne Sullivan (1866-1936).


  • 1852-1908
  • Majority of material found in 1880-1908
  • Other: Date acquired: 00/00/2014


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. It is the sole responsibility of the user to make their own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909) was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1822.  Hale’s father was Nathan Hale (1784-1863), a newspaper owner and editor, and his great-uncle was Nathan Hale (1755-1776), a Revolutionary War hero executed for espionage.  Hale attended Boston Latin School and graduated at age thirteen.  He then went to Harvard College and later Harvard Divinity School, and became a Unitarian minister in 1842.  He was first a pastor at the Church of Unity in Worcester, Massachusetts, before becoming the pastor at the South Congregational Church in Boston in 1856, where he preached until 1899.  From 1903 until his death he served as chaplain to the United States Senate.

Hale wrote many short stories during his lifetime, most notably “The Man Without a Country”, which appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1863 and was meant to raise support for the Union during the Civil War.  In addition, he published books on many topics from history to theology.  He oversaw the production of the Christian Examiner, owned by his father before him, and founded Old and New Magazine, in which his story “Ten Times One” appeared in 1870.  This story, which included the quote “Look up and not down, look forward and not back, look out and not in, lend a hand,” was the basis for his founding of the nonsectarian Ten Times One Clubs and the Lend a Hand Clubs.  The Lend a Hand Society of Boston still provides emergency financial assistance to the needy in the Greater Boston area.

Hale also served as Secretary of the Soldier’s Memorial Society and became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1904. He died in 1909 at his home in Roxbury, Massachusetts.


90.00 Items

Language of Materials



Arranged in three sections: General, Correspondence, and Photographs.

Method of Acquisition

Purchased from Scott W. Peterson.

Processing Information

Finding aid written by Caitlin Culbertson, June 2015.

Processing Information

This electronic finding aid is transcribed from legacy data. In many cases, transcriptions were not verified against collection materials at the time of transcription. As a result, this finding aid could be incomplete and might only reflect a partial understanding of the material.

Statement on harmful description

Archival description reflects the biases of time periods and cultures in which it was created and may include direct quotations or descriptions that use inappropriate or harmful language. Creator provided descriptions may be maintained in order to preserve the context in which the collection was created and/or used. Legacy description and potentially offensive content may be made available online until a collection can be reprocessed because the access that they provide to primary source materials is uniquely valuable to the research community at large. Our efforts to repair outdated descriptions and to describe our collections more equitably are iterative and ongoing.
Edward Everett Hale Collection
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Part of the Boston Public Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

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