"Mary Had A Little Lamb"

Updated July 24, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

The Question:

I am trying to find out the author of "Mary Had A Little Lamb" for my daughter's school project. Can you please help?

The Answer:

Sure. The poem was originally called "Mary's Lamb" and it was written by Sarah Josepha Hale. It first appeared in a book of verses called "Poems For Our Children" in 1830.

After the poem was published, a woman named Mary Sawyer, who as a young girl went to school at Redstone School in Sterling, Mass., claimed she was the "Mary" in the poem. In 1817 she did have a lamb follow her to school and she remembered being handed a poem about the event by 12-year-old John Rhoulstone. There is no evidence of whether or not Hale ever saw that poem.

-The Editors

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