When did nathan hale die

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when did nathan hale die

Nathan Hale: The Life and Death of Americas First Spy by M. William Phelps

Few Americans know much more about Nathan Hale than his famous last words: “I only regret that I have one life left to give for my country.” But who was the real Nathan Hale?

M. William Phelps charts the life of this famed patriot and Connecticut’s state hero, following Hale’s rural childhood, his education at Yale, and his work as a schoolteacher. Even in his brief career, he distinguished himself by offering formal lessons to young women. Like many young Americans, he was soon drawn into the colonies’ war for independence and became a captain in Washington’s army. When the general was in need of a spy, Hale willingly rose to the challenge, bravely sacrificing his life for the sake of American liberty.

Using Hale’s own journals and letters as well as testimonies from his friends and contemporaries, Phelps depicts the Revolution as it was seen from the ground. From the confrontation in Boston to the battle for New York City, readers experience what life was like for an ordinary soldier in the struggling Continental Army.

In this impressive, well-researched biography, Phelps separates historical fact from long-standing myth to reveal the truth about Nathan Hale, a young man who deserves to be remembered as an original American patriot.
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Published 09.01.2019

Nathan Hale Trilogy by James Curnow

He volunteered for an intelligence -gathering mission in New York City but was captured by the British and executed.
M. William Phelps

Biography Newsletter

The 18th Century. Where would the British strike next? The mystery was solved when a British naval force appeared off the coast of Staten Island in late June - New York would be their target. The city had great strategic value. Its deep harbor could shelter the British fleet and its capture would pave the way for the Red Coats to battle northward up the Hudson and link with a force moving south from Canada. This would separate New England from the rest of the colonies.

Ever since he was executed by the British on the morning of September 22, , the death of Nathan Hale has been recognized as one of the great moments of American patriotism. Following his graduation from Yale in at the age of eighteen, Hale taught school for a time in his native Connecticut. Then, on July 1, —two months after Lcxington and Concord—he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Continental Army, and closed his one-room school in New London, a building still proudly preserved by the town. On the first call, none responded; on the second, Nathan Hale alone stepped forward. I replied, that it was an action which involved serious consequences, and the propriety of it was doubtful…Stratagems are resorted to in war; they are feints and evasions, performed under no disguise…and, considered in a military view, lawful and advantageous. If the exigencies of my country demand a peculiar service, its claims to perform that service are imperious. Hale had a general order to all armed vessels, to take him to any place he should designate: he was set across the Sound…at Huntington Long-Island …Capt.

Born in Coventry in , Hale attended Yale College and later became a schoolteacher. After hostilities erupted in Lexington and Concord in , Hale joined a Connecticut militia and participated in the siege of Boston. Hale was promoted to captain, and in early , he commanded a small unit defending New York City. After the fire, the British captured more than American supporters. Hale, despite being disguised, was apprehended and questioned, and physical evidence of his spying was seized. On the morning of September 22, Hale was marched along the Post Road to a public house called the Dove Tavern and hanged. He was 21 years old.

A graduate of Yale University, Hale joined a Connecticut regiment in and served in the successful siege of British-occupied Boston. On September 10, , he volunteered to cross behind British lines on Long Island to spy on the British in preparation for the Battle of Harlem Heights. Disguised as a Dutch schoolmaster, the Yale-educated Hale slipped behind British lines on Long Island and successfully gathered information about British troop movements for the next several weeks.
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Quick Facts

He attended Yale University , where he graduated in , and became a schoolteacher, first in East Haddam and then in New London. He joined a Connecticut regiment in , served in the siege of Boston, and was commissioned a captain Hale was captured on September 21, , by the British while attempting to return to his regiment, having penetrated the British lines on Long Island to obtain information. He was hanged without trial the next day. Hale is regarded by American Revolutionary tradition as a hero and a martyr.


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