Literary Landmark: Richards Free Library
Dedicated: Nov. 23, 2013
Partners: Richards Free Library Board of Trustees
The Sarah Josepha Hale Memorial Park, on the grounds of Richards Free Library in Newport, N.H., was designated ta Literary Landmark in honor of Sarah Josepha Hale in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Thanksgiving.
Hale (1788-1879) was a prominent 19th century editor who promoted the education of women and their important role in society. As editor of “Godey’s Lady Book,” she nurtured the careers of Catherine Beecher, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Instrumental in the completion of the Bunker Hill Monument, her many contributions to American culture include a successful campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Hale wrote nearly 50 volumes of work throughout her life, including the nursery rhyme “Mary had a Little Lamb.”
More than 200 people attended the Literary Landmark dedication ceremony. New Hampshire State Librarian Michael York read the Literary Landmark plaque and explained why Hale was deserving of such an honor, and what the designation means. This is the first Literary Landmark dedicated in New Hampshire.