Detail of Nathan Hale bronze sculpture by Frederick William MacMonnies – National Gallery of Art
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.
A school teacher hanged as a spy during the American Revolution, Nathan Hale became Connecticut's official state hero in 1985. …[more]
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