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Edward Everett Hale Statue

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16 Charles St. (Near Charles Street entrance of Public Garden)
Boston, MA 02108 United States

Edward Everett Hale entered Harvard when he was only thirteen. When he graduated at seventeen, he was second in his class; shortly after, he served as a teacher and an editor for the Boston Daily Advertiser. His true calling, however, was religion, and he was ordained as a Unitarian minister before his twenty-fifth birthday, a post that would remain important to him for the rest of his life. Hale came from a prestigious Boston family: he was related by birth or marriage to an American statesman, a Revolutionary war hero, several prominent authors, the owner of the Boston Daily Advertiser, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. He moved in the same social circles as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and, following his tenure as Chaplain of the US Senate, John Quincy Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Howard Taft. He was an outspoken abolitionist, fiercely loyal to the Union, and the pastor of the South Congregational Church for over forty years.

Today, however, Hale is largely remembered for his writing. Early in his career, he produced abolitionist pamphlets, histories, educational texts, travel literature, and biographies, and edited a spiritual anthology and several newspapers. In 1859, a short, humorous story about a minister and his double, entitled “My Double and How He Undid Me,” launched Hale’s fiction career. “The Man Without a Country,” Hale’s most famous work, was published in The Atlantic Monthly shortly after. It told the story of a treasonous lieutenant who renounced the United States and was sentenced to spend the rest of his life aboard a ship, never to hear any news of his own country again. The story was so realistic that many readers believed it to be a true account, bringing Hale to national acclaim.

The bronze and marble statue of Hale was designed by Bela Lyon Pratt and erected in 1913. It shows Hale not as a preacher, but as an old man walking through the garden and is inscribed with one of his most memorable sayings:

“Look up and not down. Look forward and not back. Look out and not in. Lend a hand.”



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Did You Know?

Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.