Meet The ‘Anti-Feminist’ Who Helped Invent Thanksgiving As We Know It

Nick Givas | Media And Politics Reporter

The New York Post published an article about the founder of Thanksgiving Saturday and credited a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale with crafting the holiday as we know it.

The pilgrims are said to have carried on the tradition of Thanksgiving, but they only celebrated the holiday “sporadically” and never held it as a custom, according to The New York Post. (RELATED: VOTE: What Is The Worst Topic For Thanksgiving Conversation)

Hale was born in 1788 in Newport, New Hampshire. She raised five children after her husband died and had a love for family and food. She even wrote a novel called “Northwood,” and had chapters entitled “A Thanksgiving Sermon,” “Thanksgiving Dinner” and “The Day After Thanksgiving.”

Author Jack David Eller writes about Hale in his book “Inventing American Tradition” and told The New York Post she was an “anti-feminist” who loved domesticity.

“She was obviously, from her writing, a big advocate of New England culture, but she was also a big advocate of traditional female roles. She was an anti-feminist,” Eller told The New York Post. “She saw [Thanksgiving] as a very domestic thing to promote, [endorsing] women and families, and the woman as mother, wife and housekeeper. So she had a multi-pronged cultural agenda.”

Thanksgiving Celebration - ShutterStock - By Rawpixel.com

Thanksgiving Celebration – ShutterStock – By Rawpixel.com

Hale also wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb” in a collection of 1830s poetry, according to Eller.

Hale’s became an editor at the Boston-based Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1837 and stayed on the job for 40 years. During her time there, she pushed for Thanksgiving to be recognized as a regional holiday and wrote editorials to make her case, according to The New York Post reported.

In 1860, Hale lobbied President Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday and three years later, he issued a presidential proclamation.

Hale lived to be 90 years old.

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