VALE NATHAN HALE

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Jeff Thorpe
Posts: 330
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:54 pm

VALE NATHAN HALE

Post by Jeff Thorpe » Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:46 pm

VALE NATHAN HALE

© Jeff Thorpe June 2020

Tis indeed a sorry tale of the fate of Nathan Hale
in his short life from 1755 to 1776,
A soldier in America’s Revolutionary War,
his story stands out in Independence politics.

Born in Coventry, Connecticut to a devout Puritan family
Hale attended Yale College at age fourteen
graduating at age eighteen and becoming a teacher.
A staunch patriot with no brook for George III’s lien.

As anti-British hostility grew over harsh taxes and edicts
events such as the Boston Tea Party fuelled insurrection,
colonists formed the Continental Congress and Continental Army
to fight for their rights and resolve their disaffection.

War began in 1775, General George Washington led the colonists,
Hale joined the army, firstly as a Lieutenant but later Captain in the rank,
by August ’76 Boston had fallen and the Continental Army retreated
to New York, desperate to evade British moves to outflank.

Washington needed reliable information on British troop movement
so, he called for a volunteer to spy behind enemy positions.
Hale immediately agreed despite danger if caught
for spying carried the death penalty under military traditions.

Hale left American lines on 12 September disguised as an itinerant teacher
ostensibly looking for work in Long Island which was British controlled
but, by fifteenth his mission needless, enemy engaging Washington’s troops
worse, he was recognised and captured, setbacks manifold.

Grilled by British General Howe, Hale’s fate was sealed,
maps and drawings of fortifications found on him
surely implicated him as a spy and execution orders were issued
followed by his hanging on 22 September with no further prelim.

A neophyte warrior, Hale was accorded hero status by the American public
at a time when such measure was sorely needed,
“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country”,
Hale’s final words framing conduct to be heeded.

Many statues and memorials were erected honouring Nathan Hale’s bravery,
postage stamps of his effigy issued in 1921 and 1925.
In 1985 he was officially designated Connecticut’s state hero,
his renown reaching beyond that than when he was alive.

Terry
Posts: 2836
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: VALE NATHAN HALE

Post by Terry » Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:42 pm

Hi Jeff

Being a hero is a dangerous occupation, a hero to some, a traitor to others.
Even if they build you a statue it's likely to be pulled down,
by the next mob with an axe to grind, and even the birds have no respect.

Cheers

Terry

Jeff Thorpe
Posts: 330
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:54 pm

Re: VALE NATHAN HALE

Post by Jeff Thorpe » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:35 pm

You're not wrong Terry.
I was in Alice Springs earlier this year (before Covid) looking at a huge statue of John McDouall Stuart. It looked like an avian latrine.
A near 100 year old stamp would be worth a few bob to a collector though, I suppose.

Regards, Jeff

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