Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (October 24, 1788 - April 30, 1879) was an American writer and an influential editor. She is the author of the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb". She famously campaigned for the creation of the American holiday known as Thanksgiving, and for the completion of the Bunker Hill Monument.
Hale was born in Newport, New Hampshire to Captain Gordon Buell and Martha Whittlesay Buell. Her parents believed in equal education for both sexes. Early on in her life, she was educated by her mother and her brother Horatio who taught her what he had learned at Dartmouth; later on, Hale was an autodidact.
While working as a schoolteacher in 1811, her father opened a tavern called The Rising Sun in Newport; she met David Hale the same year. The couple married at The Rising Sun, on October 23, 1813, and had five children: David (1815), Horatio (1817), Frances (1819), Sarah (1820), William (1822). David Hale, a lawyer, died in 1822 and, in perpetual mourning, Sarah Josepha Hale wore black for the rest of her life.