Patriot; born in Coventry, Conn.
, June 6, 1755; graduated at Yale College in 1773; and taught school till the fight in Lexington
The Hale Homestead.|
to join Col. Charles Webb
He took part in the siege of Boston
; was promoted to captain in January, 1776; and was sent to New York.
In response to a call from Washington
he volunteered to enter the British
lines and procure needed information.
At the house of Robert Murray
, on the Incleberg (now Murray Hill
, in the city of New York
), where Washington
had his headquarters for a brief time while retreating towards Harlem Heights
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-
ment, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”
Statues of the patriot have been erected in the capitol
and in City Hall Park
, New York City.