Godey's Lady's Book editor, Sarah Hale, began a letter-writing
campaign to establish the last Thursday in November as a national
Thanksgiving Day. Hale began writing essays calling for the national
celebration of the holiday as the editor of Boston's Ladies'
Magazine in 1827. Godey's merged with Ladies' Magazine
in Philadelphia a decade later and Hale's editorials reached an
audience of approximately 150,000 people. In 1846, however, she
moved beyond her readership and for the next 17 years directly petitioned
state and federal officials. Her perseverance yielded increasing
response from state governors and other politicians such as Abraham
Lincoln's Secretary of State, William Seward.
Letter from Massachusetts Governor, Nathaniel P. Banks, to Sarah
Hale, September 28, 1863.