|Depiction of Nathan Hale's Hanging|
Today, I remedy that for you. AND I am throwing in an extra GIVEAWAY today as well. If you DO know who Nathan Hale is, you get EXTRA points in the drawing for a paperback copy of my Revolutionary War book, Dawn of Liberty.
If you DON'T know who Nathan Hale is, that's okay too. You can still enter the drawing. ;)
Okay, on to the story of this amazing hero.
Nathan Hale was born June 6, 1755 in Coventry, Connecticut. At the age of fourteen, Nathan went with his brother to Yale College. After graduation, he became a teacher. When the Revolutionary War erupted in 1775, he joined the Connecticut militia. According to a letter from Nathan's classmate, Benjamin Tallmadge, and the fact that Nathan stayed behind when his regiment went to engage in the Siege of Boston, it would appear that Nathan had some sort of hesitation. It is uncertain if this was in regards to his contract that bound him to his teaching position, or as to whether fighting in a war was the moral and Christ-honoring thing to do. I'm not sure if Nathan asked his friend for advice, or if his friend gave it anyway, but the letter was frank and strong.
"Was I in your condition, I think the more extensive service would be my choice. Our holy Religion, the honor of our God, a glorious country, & a happy constitution is what we have to defend."
Only a few days after receiving his friend's letter, he threw his heart into the cause and accepted the position of first lieutenant in the 7th Connecticut. Hale had just turned 20 years old.
A little over a year later, General George Washington needed volunteers for a behind-enemy-lines mission in New York City. It was a spying mission that would be punishable by immediate death if caught.
While Hale was on this mission, General Washington was forced to draw back and leave the city in the hands of the British. The Great New York Fire of 1776 ensued. After this event, the British began rounding up any patriots they could find. There are contradictory accounts of how Nathan Hale was discovered. One account asserts that Nathan was betrayed by his own cousin, Samuel Hale, who was a loyalist. Another account claims he was recognized despite his disguise and tricked into betraying himself by a British officer posing as a patriot. Either way, Hale was caught. Evidence was found on him, and he was sentenced to hanging.
|Nathan Hale Postage Stamp|
He spent the night before his death in a greenhouse. He requested a Bible, but the British denied him. Later he asked to see a parson, but this request was also denied.
Accounts of Hale's last words also differ, but it must have been epic, because so many took note of it. His words were something to the effect of "My only regret is that I have but one life to give for my country."
One thing that doesn't differ in the accounts of Hale's death, is that he remained composed and resolute in his fate. At the age of only 21 years old, Nathan Hale laid down his one life for his country.
He has been honored as a hero ever since. He was named the State Hero of Connecticut, honored on a postage stamp, and had a memorial at Yale college and statues dedicated to him. It grieves me that his memory, heroism and patriotism are today being forgotten by most people.