THE CONNECTICUT SOCIETY OF THE
SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Founded April 2, 1889, our purpose is to keep alive the memory of
men and women who fought or gave service for Independence in the American Revolutionary War.

THE FIRST SACRIFICE OF THE REVOLUTION

Nathan Hale, The Patriot Martyr Spy

It was a glorious day in June in the year of our Lord 1755. The laggard spring of chill New England had succumbed to the wooing of the sun, and the flush of her joyousness was brightening the fields and hills. The bustle of life was heard on every side ; the birds filled their nests with softest down, and the chatter of their housekeeping preparations was heard in every tree.

Somewhat back from the village of Coventry, upon an elevated ridge, which gave it view of a large area of the most beautiful part of Connecticut, stood a substantial building two stories in height, provided with many windows and surrounded with out-buildings. It had about it an air of immaculate respectability. Approaching it, one said to oneself: " Here dwells a righteous, God-respecting' man." One would not have been wrong in reading the character of the owner from the aspect of his habitation. It was the home of Deacon Richard Hale, one of the foremost men of Coventry, a pillar of the church, a man of learning and strict probity, somewhat given to dogmatically asserting his own will, but possessing a strong and true heart. He had early settled in Coventry, coming there from the home of his father, John Hale, the first minister of Beverly, Mass.

The Hales were an excellent stock :Robert Hale, who arrived at Charlestown in x632, was a Hale of Kent, a direct descendant of Nicholas at Hales, who is chronicled as residing at Hales Place, Holden, Kent, in the reign of Edward III. The Hales, from whom the American branch came, were celebrated in English history, but none have now more enduring laurels than those gained by the descendants of the Robert Hale who had come to Charlestown, and who has left in Massachusetts such a noble scion as Ed-ward Everett Hale. But it is with the Connecticut branch that we are concerned. Shortly after Richard Hale located in Coventry he fell in love with, and married Elizabeth Strong, a young woman of rare mental and physical endowment.
On this glorious 6th of June, 1755, Deacon Richard Hale was diligently planting with his men. Ever and anon, however, he looked anxiously toward the house, and occasionally halted his work altogether and went into his house. But he quickly returned and redoubled his efforts. for there was a scarcity of men and the Deacon intended to fulfil the labor of two.

The loyal colonies of his Gracious Majesty, George the Second of England. were engaged in helping that regal gentleman to gobble up all the possessions of the French that he could swallow. The youth of New England were taking part in the four expeditions of that year, one of which, the disgraceful campaign of Nova Scotia, is always to be remembered because of Longfellow's Evangeline. Of the other three, there is no concern, save that in the expedition against Crown Point was the Deacon's brother, Nathan, who won fame in the capture of Louisburg later. The pursuit of glory left few to plow the fields; therefore, the deacon's unceasing exertions. While he was bending over a furrow, a voice said at his elbow : " Give yourself a holiday for the rest of the day, Deacon Hale, and let your help rejoice, for this day a sixth son is born to you." The Deacon lifted his head. " The Lord be praised ! As you shall see, I am thankful for his mercies; my men shall have a holiday, and the child shall be called Nathan, if his mother so wills."

She did, good lady, she never opposed her husband, nor did any of
the twelve children with whom the Lord gradually blessed him. He was want to govern them with an iron rule. As soon as daybreak came he was urging his men to greater labor. On one occasion, when he was loading hay upon a cart, the helper being rather slow, the Deacon kept calling out, " More hay, more hay. " so repeatedly and excitedly that the man, exasperated, flung up the cocks so rapidly that his employer was unable to place it right.

As a consequence, it all fell down, and the deacon, in its midst. " What do you want, Deacon? " inquired his man. The deacon scrambled hastily up : " More hay " he cried, as he again took his place upon the cart. As his step-daughter Alice, Nathan I tale's love, remarked : " There never was a man who worked harder for this world and the next than Deacon Hale."

Birthplace of Nathan Hale
THE HOUSE IN WHICH NATHAN HALE WAS BORN

The household was ruled by the Bible. He even objected to the innocent diversion of the morris board. In order to prevent the children from playing it, he
used to allow but one light in the room this he held in his hand, but, wearied by his day's labor, he would soon fall asleep and young Nathan and his brothers, drawing close to his chair, used to play the game while one watched for his awakening.

The child Nathan was destined by his father for the service of the Lord. At first very puny, he grew robust in outdoor pursuits. He had the advantage of studying with the Rev. Joseph Huntington, a divine of rare education, who loved his pupil for his large gifts of mind and soul. At sixteen the lad entered Yale College, where he immediately became a favorite. He was actually beloved by all with whom he came in contact. Tallmadge, his classmate, who, by a singular fate, was the custodian of Andre, has written his opinion of Hale.

Foremost in college recreations and studies, President Dwight and the celebrated Hillhouse both bear testimony to his qualities. lie was gay and perfectly unassuming, and of a simple piety which expressed itself in acts, not words. Graduated among the first in his class, he immediately went to teach. He was settled first at East Haddam, but was delighted when he was called to the Union Gram-mar School, New London.

In a letter Sept. 24, 1744, to his uncle, Samuel Hale, a teacher of reputation in Portsmouth, N. H., Hale says :

" My own employment is at present the same that you have spent your days in. I have a school of 32 boys, the half Latin, the rest English. The salary allowed me is 70 pounds per annum. In addition I have kept during the summer a morning school between the hours of five and seven, of about 20 young ladies, for which I have received 6s a scholar, by the quarter. The people with whom I live are free and generous; many of them are gentlemen of sense and merit. They are desirous that I would continue and settle in the school and propose a considerable increase of wages. I am much at a loss whether to accept their proposals. Your advice in this matter, coming from an uncle and from a man who has spent his life in the business, would, I think, be the best I could possibly receive. A few lines on this subject, and also to acquaint mewith the welfare of your family, if your leisure will permit, will be much to the satisfaction of your most dutiful nephew,
NATHAN HALE."

This letter but modestly hints at the appreciation in which Hale was held by his pupils and their friends. Society then in New London was composed of cultivated men and women who quickly perceived the uncommon ability of the young pedagogue. His gifts of mind were supplemented by nature's charms : he was tall, five feet ten inches ; superbly pro-portioned, and of a graceful, dignified yet amiable bearing. He was fair in complexion, with large, light-blue, expressive eyes ; abundant brown hair, and a frank and engaging smile. He was rather fastidious in dress, fond of society, both of his own and the other sex; quick in jest and conversation and a great athlete. " He not only," says Col. Samuel Green, who had been one of his pupils, " could put his hand upon a fence as high as his head and clear it easily with a bound, but would jump from the bottom of one empty hogshead over and down into a second and from the bottom of the second over and down into a third, and from the third over and out like a cat." This is but a sample of his marvelous muscular feats.

The cultivation of his mental powers was as marked. He was an expert in drawing and geometry, a proficient surveyor, an ardent, scientific student, a skilled Latin and Greek scholar and a fervent devotee of the muses and polite literature. He was always in correspondence with his college mates and his friends, always engaged in some work. As he says in that Diary of his short life, "A man ought never to lose a moment's time. If he puts off a thing from one minute to the next, his reluctance is but increased." He practiced his preaching.

Some of his letters, a portion of his Diary, and the address delivered to the Linoman Society when he was Chancellor in 1772, at the age of 17, are preserved. Chauncey M. Depew, President of the Society in 1855, and of whom people have heard wherever a newspaper finds its way, kindly furnished a copy of the speech to Stuart, author of an admirable life of Hale which appeared in 186. Here are a few passages which demonstrate how mature was his intellect :

"Under whatsoever character we consider them (the retiring members of the society) we have the greatest reason to regret their departure. As our patrons, we have shared their utmost care and vigilance in supporting Linonia's cause, and protecting her from the malice of her insulting foes. As our benefactors, we have partaken of their liberality, not only in their rich and valuable donations to our library, but what is still more, their amiable company and conversation. But as our friends, what disinterested love and cordial affection have given us inexpressible happiness ! We have lived together, not as fellow-students and members of the same college, but as brothers and children of the same family ; not as superiors and inferiors, but rather as equals and companions. The only thing that has given them the pre-eminence is their superior knowledge in those arts and sciences which are here cultivated, and their greater skill and patience in the management of such affairs as concern the good order and regularity of the society. * *
" King and generous Sirs " — he concluded — " it is with the greatest reluctance that we are now all obliged to bid adieu to you, our dearest friends. Accept then our sincerest thanks, as some poor return for your disinterested zeal in Linonia's cause, and your unwearied efforts to
suppress her opposers. Be assured that your memory will always be clear to us, that although hundreds of miles should interfere, you will always be attended with our best wishes. May Providence protect you in all your ways, and may you have prosperity in all your undertakings."


In his letter to his brothers, three years later, it will be seen how much he had expanded.

It would seem for the superficial observer that young Hale's life at this period was perfectly happy. Not yet 20, master of a school, idolized by his pupils, and courted by the young and old of the town, there could be nothing he desired save, of course, that thirst for fame which parches every young and ambitious heart, made him pant for opportunity to do something great. It is a singular truth that Nathan Hale, who was to offer to the world one of the most sublime and heroic examples of man's devotion to his country, never in his extensive correspondence and confidence betrayed any longing after glory. Duty was the guiding star of his life, and following its guidance that life was sacrificed.

But Hale had his sorrow. That it did not gangrene his heart is additional evidence of his sterling strength of character. His father's second wife brought to her husband several children of her first marriage. One of these, Alice, was remarkably beautiful, charming in person and mind. Alice Adams and young Nathan soon became attached to each other. She was the belle of Coventry, sincerely beloved for her amiability and true christian virtues. In character she was almost Hale's counter-part : joyous, vivacious, quick in intelligence, prompt in sympathy and thoroughly imbued with religious conviction. On that account alone she would have been a most fitting mate for the noble Nathan. She, too, was graciously dowered with beauty in person, below the medium height, she was so exquisitely proportioned that even at the age of eighty she was the subject of admiration. Her features were classical in regularity, and the soul and mind shining forth from her lustrious hazel orbs re-deemed the coldness of the classic outlines. Her hair was jet black, a pro-fuse mass of ringlets, and her hands so beautiful that even her own sex raved over them. Young Nathan and his step-mother's daughter at once fell in love, but his brother John had married her sister Sarah and it was deemed best that there should be no further alliance, and while Nathan was teaching at East Haddam Alice was persuaded to marry Elijah Rip-ley, a merchant of Coventry, February 8, 1773. She was then in her sixteenth year. There are no letters extant showing how Hale bore this thwarting of his love ; probably his great nature prevented him from indulging in upbraidings of father or fortune. We know he did not suffer his interest in his favorite pursuits to lag.
Mr. Ripley died Dec. 26, 1774, leaving his wife, then eighteen, with one child. Hale, now at New London, immediately wrote to the woman he had always loved. She was her own mistress now and she promptly decided to give herself to him at the expiration of her mourning. She returned to her step-father's roof and with her infant son prepared to wait for her soul's love. The elder Hale was what Connecticut would call " sot " in his ways. Ile had determined that Nathan should study for the ministry, and he judged an early marriage would prove a powerful bar to such a project. Nevertheless, he forebore active opposition, trusting by quiet disapproval to prevent the union of the lovers. Alice Ripley was a woman of a remarkably determined character. She had changed from child to woman, and she intimated to her step-father her de-termination not to let anything again intervene. But she reckoned not on Destiny.

Hale Site, Huntinging LI
MEMORIAL TO NATHAN HALE ERECTED AT " HALE-SITE," HUNTINGTON, L. I. 13Y
MR. GEORGE TAYLOR AN ENGLISH ADMIRER OF HALE.

The spring of 1775 dawned full of promise for Nathan Hale. The proprietors of the Union Grammar School had installed him in the building on Union Street. It was a new and substantial structure on the corner of Union and State where the the present Crocker house now rears itself. It was a most pretentious and commodious building, and the young pedagogue might be pardoned pride in being its ruler. The proprietors had the highest esteem for him, and his profession was be-ginning to be very clear to him.

New London was deeply interested in the events leading up to the outbreak at Lexington. Bold, warlike, ever impatient of restraint, it had openly rejoiced in the Boston tea party, and long ere the shot was fired at Lexington, had its independent militia company under Capt. William Coit. It had vague premonitions, and when, on the x 9th of April the first blow was struck, the whole town was quivering with excitement, and had a red coat appeared ill would he have fared.

All occupation was suspended. Men, women and children flocked toward Miner's Tavern where the express from Lexington, the foam still dropping from the jaws of his panting horse, was retailing his news. Men listened, but there was no thought of action. Every one was absorbed in hearing. Suddenly, through the throng there pushed a supple anderect figure, for whom even grandfathers fell back, for there was inspired authority in the youthful face. It was the school master. He mounted a bench and began to speak. Gray-haired grandsires, men of weight and honors, heeded him as a leader. His words awoke a patriotic devotion that never died. He concluded his brief harangue by "Let us not lay down our arms until we have gained in-dependence ! "

He had struck the mighty chord. Not concessions nor privileges nor immunities will satisfy us declared the inchoate martyr. Lexington is the nucleus of a nation. It is not a more indulgent master, but freedom we demand.

" Independence ! " cried Hale. The instinct inborn in every man leaped in response. It was a new word. They grasped its meaning without understanding why nor how. The very children were impressed, both by the utterance and the manner in which it was uttered. " What is independence?" asked Richard Law, a boy who afterwards won glory in his country's cause. He had gone to the meeting clinging to his father's hand, and as they turned homeward, stirred by strange emotions, " What is independence, father?" asked the child.

Hale immediately set out for Lexington with Capt. Coit's independent militia. He returned in a short time, and the school having assembled, bade it adieu, saying he felt it his duty to serve his country. The parting was most affecting. His pupils loved this lad of twenty with an affection that weakened not with the flight of time. A half century later men who had been his scholars could not mention his name without quivering lips. July 7, 1775, he wrote his resignation to the proprietors. It is a model of terseness and modesty, utterly devoid of high-flown sentiments, (then introduced into everything), a simple declaration that he thought he ought to go to the army, and regretting that he would put them to any inconvenience by leaving.

His commission as lieutenant in the regiment of Col. Charles Webb was al-ready in his possession. This was stationed at New London until September, when Washington demanded that all the regiments raised be sent to him at Boston. There the young lieutenant devoted himself with such zest and intelligence to the art of war that he soon attracted the notice and approval of the Commander-in-chief. His ambition was to have his company thoroughly drilled and conversant with military manoeuvres. He soon had their very thoughts in unison. The wonderful magnetism of a noble mind captivated them and from his body-servant, Asher Wright, who lost his mind when informed of his master's fate, every man in the company unquestioningly yielded him obedience. So great was his influence that in November, 1775, when two-thirds of the inexperienced and undisciplined throng whom Washington was endeavoring to form into soldiers threatened to go home, Hale went personally through the camp. He argued and entreated the officers, and persuaded and promised the men. To his own company he gave up his wages, and by appeals to the higher nature of the soldiers, induced them to renew their enlistment.

This service and the superiority of his company, for whom be had designed a simple and serviceable uniform, and drawn up a code for their government, commended him to the Continental Congress, which, on January 1, 1776, bestowed upon him the commission of captain. Hale had but received his commission when he journeyed through all the rigors and hard snow storms of an exceptionally severe winter to Coventryto see his father and his dear Alice. The former had delighted to have his son go to the battle for freedom. The latter was overjoyed to see her hero. Then he promised to send her letters, his diary, and particular accounts of everything that should happen. Hale gave her his miniature, and at length they parted, never to meet.

In April 1776, the scene of operation was transferred from Boston to New York. Washington encamped on Long Island. It was now that Hale first tasted the actual business of war. Shortly after the American army took up its quarters at Brooklyn an opportunity occurred for a display of enterprise. The stately British ship Asia was up the river having under her convoy a sloop filled with supplies for the British soldiers. Hale conceived the bold design of capturing the sloop. He picked out a skiff full of choice spirits and on. the appointed night they rowed across the river and hid in the shadow of an overhanging cliff till the moon should set. They were near enough to the big British ship to hear every movement on its decks and the cry of the sentinel " All's well!" At length the wished-for darkness cast its friendly pall over the river. Forward the skiff leaped and while the sentinel on the Asia's deck cried out " All's well," the Americans boarded the sloop, silently overwhelmed resistance and turned the nose of the vessel toward the American quarters. It may be taken for granted that its arrival was welcome, and its capturers warmly applauded.

Nathan Hale in the Capitol at Hartford
STATUE OF NATHAN HALE ON THE GROUNDS
OF THE WADSWORTH ATHENEUM,
HARTFORD.

 

The following letters given in sequence convey an idea of Hale's employments during this time. Further on there are brief extracts from his diary :

NEW YORK, May 30, 1776.

Dear Brother :
Your favor of the 9th of May, and another written at Norwich, I have re-
ceived—the former yesterday. You complain of my neglecting you ; I acknowledge it is not wholly without reason—at the same time I am conscious to have written to you more than once or twice within this half year. Perhaps my Ietters have miscarried.

1 am not on the end of long Island, but in New York, encamped about one mile back of the city. We have been on the Island, and spent about three weeks there, but since returned. As to Brigades; we spent part of the winter at Winter Hill in Gen'l Sullivan's—thence we were removed to Roxbury and annexed to Gen'l Spencer'sfrom thence we came to New York in Gen'l Heath's ; on our arrival we were put in Gen'l Lord Stirling's ; here we were combined a few days and returned to Gen'l Sullivan's ; on his being sent to the northward under Gen'l Thomson, Webb's regiment was put down; but the question being asked whether we had many sea-men, and the reply being yes, we were erased and another put in our stead.

We have an account of the arrival of troops at 1 Halifax thence to proceed on their infamous errand to some part of America.

Maj'r Brooks informed me last evening that in conversation with some of the frequenters at Head Quaters, he was told that Gen'l Washing-ton had received a packet from one of the sheriffs of the city of London in which was contained the Debates at large of both houses of Parliament—and what is more, the whole proceedings of the Cabinet. The plan of the summer's campaign in America is said to be communicated in full. Nothing has yet transpired ; but the prudence of our gen'l we trust will make advantage of the intelligence.

Some late accounts from the north-ward are very unfavorable, and would be more so could they be depended upon. It is reported that a fleet has arrived in the River, upon the first notice of which our army though it prudent to break up the siege and retire—that in retreating they were attacked and routed. Number kill'd, the sick, most of the cannon and stores taken. I t would grieve every good man to consider what unnatural monsters we have as it were in our bowels. Numbers in this Colony, and likewise in the western part of Connecticut would be glad to imbrue their hands in their country's blood. Facts render this too evident to be disputed. In this city such as refuse to deliver up their allegiance to the Association have been sent to prison.

NEW YORK, June 3, 1776.

Dear Brother : Continuance or removal from here depends wholly upon the operations of the War.

The army is every day improving in discipline, and it is hoped will soon be able to meet the enemy at any kind of play. My company which at first was small is now increased to eighty, and there is a Sergeant recruiting, who, I hope, has got the other ten which completes the Company.

We are hardly able to judge as to the numbers of the British army for the summer is to consist of—undoubtedly sufficient to cause us too much bloodshed.

Gen'l Washington is at the Congress, being sent for thither to advise on matters of consequence.

I had written you a complete letter in answer to your last, but missed the pportunity of sending it. This will probably find you in Coventry—if so remember me to all my friends—particularly belonging to the family. Foget not frequently to visit and strongly to represent my duty to my grandmother Strong. Has she not repeatedly favored us with her tender, most important advice? The natural tie is sufficient, but increased by so much goodness our gratitude cannot be too sensible. I always with respect remember Mr. Huntington, and shall write to him if time admits. Pay Mr. Wright a visit for me. Tell him Asher is well—he has for some time lived with me here as a waiter. I am in hopes of obtaining him a furlough soon. Asher this moment told me that our brother Joseph Adams was here yesterday to see me, when I happened to be out of the way. He is in Col. Parson's Regt. I intend to see him to-day, and ifpossible by exchanging to get him into my company.

Yours affectionately,
N. HALE.

P. S. Sister Rose talked of making me some linen cloth similar to Brown Holland for summer wear. If she has made it, desire her to keep it for me. My love to her, the Doctor and little Joseph."

New York, Aug. 20, 1776.

Dear Brother :

I have only time for a hasty letter. Our situation has been such for this fort-night or more as scare to admit of writing. We have daily expected an action—by which means, if any one was going, and we had letters written, orders were so strict for our tarrying in camp that we could rarely get leave to go and deliver them. For about 6 or 8 days the enemy have been expected hourly whenever the wind and tide in the least favored. We keep a particular lookout for them this morning. The place and manner of attack, time must determine. The event we leave to Heaven. Thanks to God ! we have had time for completing our works and receiving our reinforcements. The Militia of Connecticut ordered this way are mostly arrived. We hope under God, to give a good account of the enemy whenever they choose to make the least appeal.

Last Friday night, two of our five vessels (a sloop and a schooner) made an attempt upon the shipping up the River. The night was too dark, the wind too slack for the attempt. The schooner which was intended for one of the ships had got by before she discovered them, but as Providence would have it, she ran across a bomb catch which she quickly burned. The sloop by the light of the former discovered the Phoenix—but rather too late — however she made shift to grapple her, but the wind not proving sufficient to bring her close alongside, or drive the flames immediately on board, the Phoenix by much difficulty got her clear by cutting her own rigging. Serg't Fosdick, who commanded the above sloop, and four of his hands were of my company. The General has been pleased to reward their bravery with forty dollars each, except the last man who quitted the fore sloop who had fifty. Those on board the schooner received the same.

I must write to some of my other brothers lest you should not be at home. Remain
Your friend and brother,

N. Hale.' Mr. Enoch Hale."

Hale kept a diary. This diary, his camp book and basket came into the possession of Alice Ripley. The diary contains all the reflections of an ingenuous and reflective soul. It is unnecessary to transcribe them. Let us take the last brief entries that ever flowed from his pen :

Aug. 21st. Heavy Storm at Night. Much and heavy Thunder. Captain Van Wycke, a Lieut. and Enos. of Col. Mc-Dougall's Reg't killed by a Shock. Like-wise one man in town, belonging to a Militia Reg't of Connecticut. The Storm continued for two or three hours for the greatest part of which time (there) was a perpetual Lightning, and the sharpest I ever knew.

22nd, Thursday. The enemy landed some troops down at the Narrows on Long Island.

23rd, Friday. Enemy landed some more troops—News that they had marched up and taken Station near Flat-bush, their advance Gds. being on this side near the woods—that some of our Riflemen attacked and drove them back from their posts, burnt two stacks of hay, and it was thought killed some of them—this about 12 o'clock at Night. Our troops attacked them at their station near Flat-bush, routed and drove them back 1 1/2 mile."

Aug. 27, 1776, was fought the disasterous battle of Long Island. The patriots were compelled to fall back upon New York. History tells us how gloomy and desperate was the situation of the American troops. They numbered 14,000, constantly decreasing through desertion, sickness, and expiration of enlistment. They were hungry, ragged, discontented, unused to soldier's life and unwilling to endure its privation, especially since de-feats held before them the prospect that they must inevitably succumb.

There were noble, courageous souls among them, but they were unable to inject their own enthusiasm. However, had it not been for the example and the eloquence of these men it is not improbable that after the Battle of Long Island the hungry, homesick, heart-sickened Americans would have lost hope altogether.
Only sublime faith in their cause could have sustained Washington and his men. The struggling line of the Americans stretched from the Battery to King's Bridge ; opposite them in splendid condition, equipped with every munition of war, aided by an efficient fleet, perfect in discipline, lay Howe's 25,000 men, from the southern end of Long Island to a point opposite the Heights of Harlem. It was impossible to anticipate its next move. It was impossible for the American commander to defend his long line ; which was the most vulnerable point, where could he make best defence, how could he prevent the enemy from skirting him and falling upon his rear? It was Howe's plan to mislead Washington. How could he better prepared for the former's tactics?

At the council of the Board of Officers, it was decided that some one must ascertain Howe's motives, or the American army was caught in a trap. And this some one could not be an illiterate soldier, but a man able to sketch plans and fortifications, examine redoubts and circulate among officers. He must hazard life and the respect of the world. To advance a great cause he must perform a detestable office. He must act an unworthy part for the worthiest of motives : he must be a spy.

" Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori ! "

Nathan Hale Statue
STATUE OF NATHAN HALE IN THE CAPITOL AT HARTFORD

A timid soul can become great in face of a heroic death. When Col. Knowlton, to whom had been entrusted the duty offinding a volunteer, made known Washington's want to the officers whom he had assembled for that purpose, there was an appalled silence. There were heroes there, but they were not sufficiently up-lifted from the world to put duty before consideration of their fate. To he hung? No ! Again and again Knowlton urged the need. There was resentment on the faces of the men listening silently, when a clear voice said, " I will undertake it." It was the voice of Capt. Hale. He had just recovered from illness and entered the circle in time to give courage to the hearts of the commander and his council. But there was immediately earnest protest from his friends and the officers above him, to whom he had grown very dear. Gen. Hall, who was Hale's school-mate at Yale, has given us Hale's exact words in response to his persuasions :

" I think I owe to my country the accomplishment of an object so important, and so much desired by the Commander of her armies—and I know no other mode of obtaining the information than by assuming a disguise and passing into the enemy's camp. I am fully sensible of the consequences of discovery and capture in such a situation. But for a year I have been attached to the army and have not rendered any material service, while receiving a compensation for which I make no return. Yet I am not influenced by the expectation of promotion or pecuniary reward. I wish to be useful, and every kind of service necessary for the public good becomes honorable by being necessary. If the exigencies of my country demand a peculiar service, its claims to the performance of that service are imperious."

Noble sentiments, which should be immortal ! What self-abnegation, what lofty courage, what rare grandeur of soul, what sublime abandonment of fear, what glorious reliance upon the sanctity of a holy purpose ! No wonder remonstrance was silent.

He made all his preparations and quietly left the camp a few days before Washington retreated to Harlem Heights. He had with him only his faithful friend, Stephen Hempstead, of New London, with whom he journeyed to Norwalk on the Connecticut shore. Here, donning the garb of a schoolmaster, and leaving his valuables, save his watch and his Yale diploma, in Hempstead's hands, and bid-ding him a gay and hopeful leave, he jumped into the skiff that had been se-cured and was rowed over to the place called "The Cedars," near Huntington, on the opposite shore. Near his landing place was a sort of tavern kept by a Tory widow, Rachel Chichester. It is not known whether he approached this place on his journey to the British camp. His ease in his disguise let him progress famously. The British now held New York and he was compelled to pass through the entire army. He made good use of his ' eyes and ears and skill as a draughtsman. The meagreness' of detail leaves little known of his perilous sojourn, but it has been demonstrated that he had succeeded when the memorable 20th of September found him back at The Cedars. It was but daybreak. The boat he expected was not visible. Grown confident by his long immunity from suspicion, weaay and cold, Hale boldly entered the tavern. Seated by the table was a man whom he did not observe, but who, after a scrutiny of the newcomer arose and left the room. There have been various conjectures as to the identity of this man, but it has never been revealed. Hale chatted gayly. His natural buoyancy, his exultations at his success, the prospect of being with friends in a few hours, must have rendered him unusually blithe.

" Look," exclaimed one of the habitues, "there is a strange boat ! What can it be? May be an American ! "

They all flocked to the window. Hale stepped out. A bend in the path hid him from the boat. He walked rapidly for-ward. It was that for which he eagerly worked. He came suddenly upon the shore. He beheld the boat and its crew. Instinct forced him to turn to flee.

"Surrender, or we fire ! "

The whole crew covered him with their guns. It was useless. He had been betrayed. God only knows what thoughts surged through his soul at that moment.

His courage and calmness on the voyage back to New York won the sincere admiration of the captain of the British vessel, Halifax. He felt sorry for the young fellow. Under a guard Hale landed in New York City. That was an eventful 21st of September. A terrible fire was still raging. It had already burned one-third of the city, and the panic-stricken people and British soldiers were yet fighting its advance. Through all the hurry and excitement Hale was rudely hurried to Howe's headquarters. These were in the Beekman mansion at the corner of what is now Fifty-first Street and First Avenue.

Hale was searched. From the soles of his shoes were drawn maps, specifications, sketches and descriptions in Latin. Hale could have saved his life had he taken the oath of allegiance, offered to raise a native regiment for the king, or revealed the American situation. He scorned this. Nor was he actuated by the motives of pride and desire to be treated well which governed Andre. He offered no mitigation, made no plea for mercy. Frankly he stated what he was and had done. Without an instant's deliberation or compassion Howe sentenced him to be hung by the neck till dead at daybreak. He turned back to his revelries, and Hale was
led away to the provost jail down near the site of the present City Hall. This is said by several competent authorities to have been the place of Hale's incarceration that awful last night.

Howe's order put Hale in the custody of Provost Marshal Cunningham, one of the most brutal and infamous bullies that ever disgraced the form of man. He de-lighted in torturing his prisoners. The Provost and the old Sugar House were filled with Americans whom Cunningham put to every indignity he could devise. He erected the gibbet before their windows, paraded his negro hangmen up and down before their doors, and startled them from their brief slumbers by shouting it was time for them to prepare for execution.

To the hands of this brute was this grand and undaunted hero consigned. Cunningham pounced upon him like a vulture. He treated him to his worst de-vices. Hale asked for a bible. It was refused. He implored that he be unbound and a light and writing materials be al-lowed him. Cunningham refused this also, but a young British lieutenant moved by humanity interfered and he had the comfort of writing his farwells to his Alice and his parents. No one knows what were the outpourings of that soul, soon to be with its maker.

Cunningham was so eager to wreak his vengeance upon his noble prisoner that scarcely had the first ray of light brightened night's gloom than he thrust himself upon his prisoner. He seized the letters, and, reading them, tore them in bits. Hedeclared that he would not let the rebels know they had a man who could pen such thoughts. Ile ordered him to prepare for his doom.

There were few abroad at that hour. It was the Sabbath morning. Hale must have felt this. There were a few stragglers, some country people who had been rendered homeless by the great fire. It was long before sunrise. Before Hale marched a file of soldiers. With manacled hands, clad in the white blouse edged with black, white cap and white trousers, (the garb of the condemned) he walked erect and fearless. Close behind him were two men carrying a rude coffin ; back of them was Richmond, the black hangman, bear-over his shoulders a ladder and a coil of rope. In the rear were Cunningham and a few officers and the rear guard. The march was short; they halted beneath a large tree : the negro placed his ladder against a limb,climbed up and adjusted his halter, Hale standing upon his coffin and calmly surveying the operation.

It was ready. The negro descended. Hale ascended the ladder. He was not allowed to adjust the noose. Then while Richmond was waiting to pull the ladder from beneath his feet, Cunningham, hoping to have some frenzied expression, told Hale to speak his last words.

Hale's lofty glance rested upon him a a moment. Then in a firm voice he said, " I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."
" Swing him off ! " shouted the baffled Cunningham, " swing him off ! "