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Profile of the Day: Nathan Hale

On this day in 1776, Nathan Hale, a solider in the Continental Army, volunteered to spy behind British lines.

Profile of the Day: Nathan Hale

Image: New York Public Library

Nathan Hale was born in Coventry, Connecticut Colony on June 6, 1755. Educated at Yale, Hale joined the Connecticut militia after the start of the American Revolutionary War. Prior to the upcoming Battle of Harlem Heights, General George Washington called for a volunteer to cross enemy lines to gather intelligence. Hale volunteered for the dangerous mission and became one of the first known American spies of the Revolutionary War.

For several weeks, he successfully infiltrated British troops and gathered information on their movements. Although it is unknown how he was discovered, Hale was captured by the British in New York City. He was interrogated by British General William Howe when incriminating documents were found in his possession. On September 22, 1776, Hale was hanged for espionage. Hale is perhaps best remembered for his famous last worlds,

“I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

Considered an American hero, Hale was officially designated the state hero of Connecticut in 1985.

Explore Nathan Hale’s family tree on Geni and discover your connection to the American patriot.

View Nathan Hale’s Geni Profile


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