Nathan Hale (1755-1776)
Nathan Hale was a Connecticut patriot and spy during the Revolutionary War. Born in Coventry in 1755, Hale attended Yale College before becoming a schoolteacher in East Haddam and New London. After the outbreak of hostilities at Lexington and Concord, Hale joined the Connecticut militia and then the Continental army’s Seventh Connecticut Regiment. On September 8, 1776, with the British on Long Island, Hale volunteered to go behind enemy lines and report on British troop movements. The British captured Hale and sentenced him to hang for spying. A British engineer in attendance at Hale’s execution said he heard Hale proclaim, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country,” but this account of Hale’s final moments remains in doubt. Regardless, in 1985, by an act of the General Assembly, Hale officially became Connecticut’s state hero.
More on Nathan Hale from the CT Digital ArchiveBrowse more interactive content on the CT Digital Archive website.
The Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revoultion. “Captain Nathan Hale (1755-1776),” 2001. Link.
“Nathan Hale Revisited: A Tory’s Account of the Arrest of the First American Spy.” Library of Congress, 2003. Link.
Yale University. “Nathan Hale: Yale 1773 - Exhibition,” 2009. Link.
Connecticut Landmarks. “Nathan Hale Homestead,” 2016. Link.
The Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revoultion. “Nathan Hale Schoolhouse - East Haddam,” 2016. Link.
The Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revoultion. “Nathan Hale Schoolhouse - New London,” 2016. Link.
Connecticut Historical Society Library Catalog. “Catalog Record of the Nathan Hale Collection, 1772-1955,” 2013. Link.
Connecticut Historical Society Library Catalog. “Catalog Record of the Nathan Hale Diary, 1775-1776,” 2013. Link.
Connecticut Digital Archive. “Nathan Hale Collection,” n.d. Link.
Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. “Nathan Hale Correspondence - Digital Collections,” 2013. Link.
Seymour, George Dudley. Documentary Life of Nathan Hale, Comprising All Available Official and Private Documents Bearing on the Life of the Patriot, Together with an Appendix, Showing the Background of His Life. New Haven, CT: Privately Printed for the Author, 1941.
Stuart, Isaac William. Life of Captain Nathan Hale, the Martyr Spy of the American Revolution, Etc. Hartford, CT: F. A. Brown, 1856. Link.
Root, Jean Christie. Nathan Hale. New York, NY: The Macmillan Company, 1915. Link.
Johnston, Henry Phelps. Nathan Hale, 1776; Biography and Memorials. New Haven, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1914. Link.
Lossing, Benson John. The Two Spies: Nathan Hale and John André. New York, NY: D. Appleton and Company, 1886. Link.
Rose, Alexander. Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring. New York, NY: Bantam Books, 2006.