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Edward Everett Hale

Edward Everett HaleEdward Everett Hale (1822–1909) was an American author, historian and Unitarian minister. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts and was a child prodigy who exhibited extraordinary literary skills. He graduated from Boston Latin School at age 13 and enrolled at Harvard College immediately after. There, he settled in with the literary set, won two Bowdoin prizes and was elected the Class Poet.He graduated second in his class in 1839 and then studied at Harvard Divinity School.

Hale was licensed to preach as a Unitarian minister in 1842 by the Boston Association of Ministers and in 1846 became pastor of the Church of the Unity in Worcester, Massachusetts. He left the Unity Church in 1856 to become pastor at the South Congregational Church, Boston, where he served until 1899.

In 1847 Hale was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society, and he would be involved with the society for the rest of his life, taking up various positions in the service of the society. He served two non-consecutive terms on its board of councilors and also served as recording secretary. He served as vice-president of the society from 1891 to 1906 and as president from 1906 to 1907, then again took up the position of vice-president from 1907 to 1909.

Hale first came to notice as a writer in 1859, when he contributed to the Atlantic Monthly and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1865. In recognition of his support for the Union during the American Civil War he was elected as a Third Class Companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. In 1869 he assisted in founding the Christian Examiner, Old and New in 1869 and became its editor.

In 1886, Hale founded Lend a Hand, which merged with the Charities Review in 1897, and the Lend a Hand Record. Throughout his life he contributed many articles on a variety of subjects to the periodicals of his day including the North American Review, the Atlantic Monthly, the Christian Register, the Outlook, and many more. He was the author or editor of more than sixty books—fiction, travel, sermons, biography and history.

Hale retired as minister from the South Congregational Church in 1899. By the turn of the century he was recognized as among the nation's most important men of letters and Bostonians asked him to help ring in the new century on December 31, 1900, by presenting a psalm on the balcony of the Massachusetts State House. In 1903 he became Chaplain of the United States Senate, and joined the Literary Society of Washington. The next year, he was elected as a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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