Nathan Hale


     Hey people!

     Here’s one of the reasons I haven’t been on in a while:

 

 

Nathan Hale

     Hello, my name is Nathan Hale.  I was America’s first spy, and this is my story…

     I was born on June 6th, in Coventry, Conecticut.  I had eight siblings, and I was number six. My parents were Puritans and I was raised knowing God’s love.

     I was a sickly child, and couldn’t do much. My father, the Deacon of our church, had a local minister tutor me. I guess you could say I was home schooled. I fell in love with reading and writing. I learned everything I could, soaking up each and every letter on the page.

     When I was fourteen my father sent me and my older brother, Enoch, to Yale University. My original intention was to become a minister, but along the way I decided to be a teacher instead.

     I spent the next four years learning. Then, in 1773, when I was eighteen I graduated.

     I became a teacher in East Haddam, though I only stayed there for a year. I went to New London and taught at the Union School. At any time I had around 30 young men in my classes; during the summer I offered morning classes for the women in the community.

     In 1774, it looked like our country was going to war. I debated enlisting. But decided to stay a teacher for another year. The next year however, a good friend of mine sent me a letter. After that, my mind was made up, I would fight for freedom.

     I enlisted in Colonel Webb’s regiment as a first Lieutenant. After training my regiment was sent to Roxbury, where we helped drive the British from Boston. From there we went to New York, and my regiment burned the British ship Phoenix.

     This caught the attention of another Colonel, and in September of 1776 I was, uh, put on loan, to Lieutenant Colonel Knowlton. One night the Colonel called a meeting of the officers. He told us General Washington needed a volunteer to go behind enemy lines as a spy.

     His request was meet with dead silence. One of the older officers finally said “I am willing to be shot, but not hung.”

     A longer silence followed the officers statement. I could see on Knowlton’s face that he was disappointed.

     I knew I would be risking death. I knew I would be easily recognized by anyone who knew me. I knew I would be memorable to anyone who met me because of my height and the scar over my right eye. I knew all the risks. But I also knew my country needed this spy. I knew it needed me.

    I looked up at Knowlton, “I will undertake it.”

     Colonel Knowlton looked at me, “What did you say Captain Hale?”

     I took a deep breath, “I said, I will undertake it. Colonel Knowlton, tell General Washington you have his spy.”

    I spent the next few day’s preparing for my mission. My friend, William Hull, tried to talk me out of becoming the spy. Had I known that would be the last time I saw Will, I would have said so much more.

     In the second week of September, I left for Stamford, New York. I was in civilian clothes, with nothing on my person, save my diploma from Yale. I was to pretend to be a Connecticut school teacher visiting New York hoping to prove myself. I landed in what is now commonly called Oyster Bay, and told the boatman to return on the twentieth.

     I spent the next week or so gathering all the information on the British army’s plans I could. Thank God for drunk soldiers with loud mouths!

     On the night of the twentieth I returned to the bay. There I waited…and waited…and froze my butt off…Where on Earth was the boat!?!?

    I was glaring at the open water when I spotted it. About time. I signaled my position, then saw that the boat belonged to the British. I swore under my breath, and tried to make a run for it. But I was caught anyway.

     The soldiers searched me, and found all the papers I’d hidden in the sole of my shoe. They had their evidence, so they took me to General Howe.

     I wasn’t given a trial. I was just interrogated by Howe. I told him my name and rank, I told him the truth. It didn’t really matter if I did or not. But I wanted to die an honest man. My parents had raised me to be honest, so I would honor my teaching.

     Howe did what I knew he would. He condemned me to hang the next morning. I was confined to the greenhouse outside his headquarters. I didn’t sleep that night. I couldn’t sleep, not on the last night I had on God’s Earth. Instead, I thought.

     I thought of a verse in my Bible, 1 Corinthians, Chapter 15, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” I had made notes around that verse, right after my grandparents funeral. It seemed slightly humorous to me now; that I had been contemplating life after death then, when I faced death now.

     I thought of something my parents always told my brothers and I growing up, “To be a good man, you must first be a good servant to God.”

     I closed my eyes, and leaned my head back against the wall of my prison. “Dear Father in Heaven, if you see fit to call your servant home tomorrow, I pray I have been a good servant to you. I pray for those I leave behind, that they will be comforted.

      I pray for the souls of those who have condemned me to die, I ask you show them mercy. They are merely doing their duty as loyal soldiers.

      I pray for the family of Colonel Knowlton, whom I know is with you now. I pray for the cause he and countless others gave their lives for, the cause that I now lay down my life for.

     Dear Father, Dear God, I pray that you bring me swiftly home. Amen.”

     I opened my eyes, sighed, and watched the night pass through the roof of the greenhouse.

     The morning came quickly, and I was lead to a marquee, where I was to wait until the gallows were ready for me. There was an officer there, waiting for me. He was Captain Montresor, and he asked if there was anything I required. I asked for paper and ink, which he gave me.

     I sat and wrote two letters, one to my mother, and one to a fellow soldier. I will not say what they contained, they were incredibly personal, and meant only for the eyes they were wrote to. When I had finished I gave the letters to Captain Montresor, and shortly after that I was lead out to the apple tree I would be hung from.

     I was asked if I had any last words. I looked out to the crowd of people who had come to see an educated man hung in a disgraceful manner. I stood tall, held my head high, and said “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country. For if I had a thousand lives, I would gladly give them all for our freedom and independence!”

     After that, the bag was out over my head and the noose around my neck. I felt a jerk, and stepped into the light to meet my Lord.

 

“Every kind of service necessary to the public good becomes honorable by being necessary” – Nathan Hale

Notes from the author: A huge thank you to Lora Innes for letting me use your wonderful drawings of Nathan for this essay! If you want to see more of these incredible drawings check out http://www.thedreamercomic.com.

The reason I used pictures from a web comic is because we don’t know exactly what Nathan looked like, there are no paintings or drawings of the real living breathing Nathan. But…

Ok, hope you enjoyed this info on my hero.  Yes, I had a lot of fun, um, channeling Nathan…And yes, I’m a total dork.

TTYL

Meredith

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48 Comments

  1. Hey this is pretty cool, my friend. I followed your link from Lora’s site ;). To make it sound more legit, the proper term is “hanged” when referring to a person, not “hung.” Today most people don’t know that but back then it it would have been.

    Not bad, though, not bad at all!

    • 😀 Yay! You found me! Sorry, you’re only the second person to find me from the Dreamer…I’m a bit hyper…like always. I’m glad you liked the essay though! Did you get to check out vamp Nate yet??? Lol.

  2. Great 🙂

  3. oh my god im doing Nathan Hale for my biography and he’s so cool! Btw Nathan got ppl thinking about girl’s having education if Nathan didn’t say that then us girls would be at home helping our mothers with washing, weaving, stuff like that. So girls be greatfull that Nathan said that! 😀 “I only regret that i have but one life to lose for my country” WOOHOO GO NATHAN! :D. Awesomest person in the world!

    • oh and i forgot stupid General Howe! He hung Nathan with out even given a trial! oh and iwritelikekrazy Nathan had 12 siblings not 8 just sayin…… xD im not sure if u added this in ur story or not but Nathan’s 3 other brother’s Enoch, someone else and some else (it doesn’t say what they’re names r) they fought in the war with Nathan :3 and did Nathan have any sister’s? It’s possible right?

      • Yeah, I know he had 12 siblings, but when I was writing the essay and I asked some of my friends over at The Dreamer I asked specifically how many siblings Nathan would HAVE KNOWN he had. Little known fact: Nathan had half siblings, his father remarried after Nathan died, (or enlisted, I’m not 100% sure…) I don’t know if they’re ever counted in how many siblings Nathan had or not…But I’d rather play it safe. And yes, Nathan had…If I remeber correctly, 4 sisters.
        As to your previous comment, Good luck with your Bio!!!! And Nathan standing up for women is just one of the many reasons I love him…<3 BTW, you might want to look up Ben Tallmadge, he was Nathan's BFF from Yale and the one who convinced Nathan to join the army.

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