Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909) was a prominent Boston theologian and author. He penned the classic narrative – The Man Without a Country (1868) — the story of an American Army Lieutenant who renounces his country during a trial for treason. The lieutenant is sentenced to life at sea — never again to hear news about or the word “America.” The story was designed as an allegory about the pains of the Civil War.
From 1901 to 1909, Hale was the Chaplain of the United States Senate. While Reverend Hale was serving as chaplain, he was asked if he prayed for the Senators. “No,” he said. “I look at the Senators and I pray for the country.” Given the current chaos, perhaps we might all profit by extending similar petitions. . . .
As a collector and dealer of historic autograph material, Edward Everett Hale was long a focus of my collecting. Over the years, I acquired nearly 400 of Hale’s original letters and signed first editions. How I started collecting Hale’s original letters is a story in itself. Among the letters were perhaps a dozen small cards – each carefully handwritten – with Hale’s favorite advice – “Look forward and not back. Look out and not in. Lend a hand.” I couldn’t agree more. . . . .