rlem Heights, Hale received instructions on duty from the commander-in-chief.
He entered the British camp on Long Island as a plain young farmer, and made sketches and notes unsuspected.
A Tory kinsman knew and betrayed him. He was taken to Howe's headquarters at the Beekman mansion, and confined in the green-house all night.
He frankly avowed his name, rank, and character as a spy (which his papers revealed), and, without even the form of a trial, was handed over to the provostmarshal (Cunningham) the next morning (Sept. 22, 1776) to be hanged.
That infamous officer denied Hale the services of a clergyman and the use of a Bible; but the more humane officer who superintended the execution furnished him with materials to write letters to his mother, his betrothed, and sisters.
These the brutal Cunningham destroyed before the face of his victim, while tears and sobs marked the sympathy of the spectators.
With unfaltering voice, Hale said, at the last mo-
Hale's execution. ment,
And some ran here, and others there, Like men almost distracted.
Some “Fire!” cried, which some denied.
But said the earth had quaked; And girls and boys, with hideous noise, Ran through the streets half naked.
Sir William Howe. he, snug as a flea, Lay all this time a snoring; Nor dream'd of harm as he lay warm In bed with Mrs. L—ng.
The wife of a Boston refugee, who was then a commissary of prisoners in Philadelphia.
He is represented by some as being second only to Cunningham in cruelty, while others speak of him as an honorable man. Now, in a fright, he starts upright, Awaked by such a clatter; He rubs both eyes and boldly cries, “For God's sake, what's the matter?” At his bedside he then espied Sir Erskine,
Sir William Erskine. at command, sir; Upon one foot he had one boot, And t'other in his hand, sir. “Arise!
arise!” Sir Erskine cries; “The rebels—more's the pity— Without a boat, are all afloat, And ranged before the city.
armed men came from the barracks, hewed it down, sawed it to pieces, and piled it in front of Montagne's. The perpetrators were discovered, the bells of St. George's Chapel, in Beekman Street, were rung, and early the next morning 3,000 people stood around the stump of the pole.
There they passed strong resolutions of a determination to maintain their liberties at all hazards.
For three days intense excitement continued, and in frequent affrays with the citizens the soldiers were worsted.
A severe conflict occurred on Golden Hill (Cliff Street, between Fulton Street and Maiden Lane), when several of the soldiers were disarmed.
Quiet was soon restored.
The people erected another pole upon ground purchased on Broadway, near Warren Street, and this fifth liberty pole remained untouched as a rallying-place for the Whigs until the British took possession of the city in 1776, when the notorious Provost-Marshal Cunningham (who, it is said, had been whipped at its foot) had it hewn down.