Susan Hale

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Susan Hale
SusanHale ca1865 Boston.png
Susan Hale, ca. 1865
Born (1833-12-05)December 5, 1833
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died September 17, 1910
Matunuck, Rhode Island, U.S.
Occupation Author, artist

Susan Hale (December 5, 1833 – September 17, 1910) was an American author, traveler and artist.


She was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Nathan Hale and Sarah Preston Everett who had a total of eleven children. Susan's father, Nathan Hale, nephew and namesake of the patriot hero, was a lawyer and editor/owner of the Boston Daily Advertiser while her mother, also an author, was a sister of Edward Everett, a Unitarian minister and politician.

Growing up, Susan was mostly the companion of her older sister Lucretia.[1] She was educated privately by tutors until she was 16,[2] and then entered the school of George B. Emerson. Without any particular teaching, she learned to draw and to paint early in life.[1]

For many years, she was a successful teacher in Boston. She started on this occupation when her father became ill and the family income needed to be supplemented. In 1860, she moved to Brookline with her family. Her father died there in 1862 and her mother in 1865. When the family situation broke up in 1867, Susan and her sister Lucretia went abroad to stay with their brother Charles who was consul general of the United States in Egypt. On returning from abroad, Susan took rooms at 91 Boylston Street in Boston and continued her teaching.[1]

In 1872, she decided she wanted to get the best training in watercolor she could, and went abroad again and studied art in Paris, France, and Weimar, Germany, for nearly a year. When she returned in 1873, she began giving lessons in watercolors. She lived and maintained a studio in the Art Club at 64 Boylston Street. Later she began holding meetings where she read or talked to people.[1]

In 1885, she began to keep house at the summer home of her brother, Edward Everett Hale, in Matunuck, Rhode Island, which she called home until her death in 1910. Her brother and his wife had gone abroad to look after their sick daughter. Susan eventually moved most of her things to Matunuck, and began to spend time there regularly during summers. During winters, she traveled. In earlier years, she had spent winters working in Boston and traveled in the summer. She continued visiting Boston between her travels abroad and her stays at Matunuck.[1] Her watercolors were mostly landscapes done during her travels; she also described her travels in vivid detail in letters to her sister Lucretia.[2]

Hale died at her summer home in Matunuck, Rhode Island in 1910.[3]

Published works[edit]

  • A Family Flight through France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland. 1881 (with Edward Everett Hale)
  • A Family Flight over Egypt and Syria. 1882 (with Edward Everett Hale)
  • A Family Flight through Spain. 1883
  • Self-Instructive Lessons in Painting with Oil and Water-Colors on Silk, Satin, Velvet, and Other Fabrics Including Lustra Painting and the Use of Other Mediums. 1885
  • Men and Manners of the Eighteenth Century. 1898
  • Addison and Gay. 1898
  • Young Americans in Spain. 1899
  • Letters of Susan Hale. 1919
  • Nonsense Book; A Collection of Limericks. 1919
  • Inklings for Thinklings. 1919


  1. ^ a b c d e Caroline P. Atkinson, ed. (1918). "Introduction". Letters of Susan Hale. With a biographical introduction by Edward Everett Hale, Jr. Boston: Marshall Jones Co. pp. vii–xvii. 
  2. ^ a b Erica E. Hirshler (1999). "Hale, Susan". American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press. 
  3. ^ American Art Annual, Volume 8. MacMillan Company. 1911. p. 398. 


  • "Hale, Susan." American Authors 1600 – 1900. H. W. Wilson Company, NY 1938.
  • Ingebritsen, Shirley Phillips. "Hale, Susan" Notable American Women. Vol. 2, 4th ed., The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1975
  • Accessed July 10, 2007
  • Accessed July 10, 2007
  • Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1892). "Hale, John". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton. 

External links[edit]