Image of Edward Everett Hale


Lifetime: 1822 - 1909 Passed: ≈ 114 years ago


Author , Historian


United States

Edward Everett Hale

Edward Everett Hale was an American author, historian, and Unitarian minister, best known for his writings such as "The Man Without a Country", published in Atlantic Monthly, in support of the Union during the Civil War. He was the grand-nephew of Nathan Hale, the American spy during the Revolutionary War.

Hale was born on April 3, 1822, in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Nathan Hale proprietor and editor of the Boston Daily Advertiser, and Sarah Preston Everett; and the brother of Lucretia Peabody Hale, Susan Hale, and Charles Hale. Edward Hale was a nephew of Edward Everett, the orator and statesman, and grand-nephew of Nathan Hale the Revolutionary War hero executed by the British for espionage. Edward Everett Hale was also a descendant of Richard Everett and related to Helen Keller.

Hale 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. Decades later, he reflected on the new liberal theology there.

Hale was licensed to preach as a Unitarian minister in 1842 by the Boston Association of Ministers. In 1846 he became pastor of the Church of the Unity in Worcester, Massachusetts. 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 Lyman Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher on her mother's side. They had nine children. Hale 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, from 1852 to 1854, and a lengthy term from 1858 to 1891, and as recording secretary from 1854 to 1858. He served as vice-president of the society from 1891 to 1906, served a shorter term as president from 1906 to 1907, then again took up the position of vice-president from 1907 to 1909.

Books by Edward Everett Hale

The Man Without A Country And Other Tales  Cover image

The Man Without A Country And Other Tales

Realism Loyalty America Civil War Early Modern Patriotism United States

This was written to inspire loyalty and patriotism during the Civil War. It is the tear-jerking story of this man, a sailor, who makes a rash wish that "he wishes he would never hear again of America.