Nathan Hale, born on June 6, 1755, was a soldier in the American Revolution hanged for espionage in 1776. During his early life in Connecticut, Hale attended Yale University and shortly thereafter became a teacher.
When the idea of war started to appear in the colonies, Hale wanted his fair share. Patriotically, he gave up his occupation as a schoolteacher and pursued the war. He joined a regiment in Connecticut. For his valiant efforts, he became a Captain in 1776.
On September 10, 1776, George Washington requested help with the battle, and asked that someone become a spy for the British. Hale, of the 19th Regiment, volunteered. With great care and preparation, he readied himself. He then went to the British in New York and stayed on their side while they took over Manhattan.
The plan would have worked, except that Hale was caught trying to return to American territory. After the British had won in New York, they were told to watch for any American dissidents. With everyone on high alert, Hale’s escape was noticed, and he was instantly suspicious.
He was interrogated by General Howe and discovered to be a spy. Upon this discovery, his sentence was passed. On September 22, 1776, he was hanged by the British. Hale’s last words were, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”
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