Sarah Josepha Hale

The Mother of Thanksgiving 

Sarah Josepha Hale’s legacy is astounding. She penned the famed poem, Mary Had a Little Lamb and is one of America’s first female novelists. She published many famous authors as the editor of one of the most influential and successful periodicals of the time, Lady’s Book.  Sarah campaigned for the completion of the Bunker Hill monument and the preservation of Washington’s Mount Vernon plantation, all while being a single mother of five children. And finally, Sarah Josepha Hale is known as the mother of Thanksgiving, for she successfully lobbied for it to become a National Holiday.

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Victorian Gift-Giving

No era in history has influenced how we celebrate Christmas, quite as much as the Victorians. Before Queen Victoria’s reign, Christmas celebrations were bleak, or non-existent. Christmas trees went undecorated, Christmas cards not sent, and not many knew of the Jolly Ole Saint Nick. In the same right, the process of giving and receiving gifts was not a Christmas tradition.

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Victorian Crazy Quilts

Victorian Crazy Quilts

The term “Crazy Quilt” refers to a type of patchwork quilt that was wildly popular in the late 1800s. But it could also credit those who attempted the stitchery.

In 1884, Harper’s Bazaar estimated that a full-sized quilt might take 1,500 hours to complete! If a Victorian sewed 8 hours per day, the masterpiece would be complete in 187 days. Otherwise measured as 26 weeks or half a year.

Fashioned from irregularly shaped pieces of fabric in a variety of exotic materials, Crazy quilts were especially trendy among urban, upper-class Victorian women.

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Victorian Spiritualism

During the Victorian Era, death was everywhere. The infant mortality rate was alarmingly high, countless lives were lost to industrial equipment, and all the while a single disease could take an entire family. With such an abundance of death, survivors were left full of anguish. Thus Spiritualism – the belief that ghosts exist and we can communicate with them – came into existence. 

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