The third child of Gordon and Martha Whittlesey Buell, Sarah Josepha was born on October 24, 1788. That was the year Washington assumed the presidency of the United States. Sarah was educated at home, in Newport, New Hampshire, with her older brothers Charles and Horatio. When Horatio went off to Dartmouth, he shared his notes and texts with Sarah, thus affording her more education than most women of her time. She conducted a dame school for six years until her marriage to David Hale in 1813. An ambitious lawyer and a Freemason, Hale encouraged Sarah to continue her studies and to write. Several of her poems were published by The New Hampshire Spectator, Newport's weekly newspaper. Sarah Hale bore five children during her happy nine-year marriage. David died suddenly, in 1822, and Hale tried the millinery trade to support herself and her children while continuing to write stories and poems. David's Freemason lodge paid for the publication of Sarah's first book of poems, The Genius of Oblivion and Other Original Poems ( 1823). Although not a critical success, the book sold well, allowing Hale to write full-time. The Atlantic Monthly, The Literary Gazette, and The Spectator and Ladies' Album published her poems and stories. She submitted winning entries to several poetry contests. In 1826, The Spectator and Ladies' Album published seventeen of Hale's poems, two short stories, and one literary review. Four of her poems appeared in the fashionable gift book The Memorial in 1827.
That same year her novel Northwood was published to enthusiastic reviews, launching Hale's national literary career. John Lauris Blake invited her to edit his new publication, The Ladies' Magazine. Although she tried editing the journal from Newport, she had to move to Boston to continue her work. Leaving