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     Nathan Hale was a twenty-four year old school teacher when he joined the Connecticutt army. He volunteered to spy on the British after they had taken possession of Long Island. General George Washington had expressed the need for intelligence about the British and their plans to a group of his officers. Colonel Knowlton took it upon himself to issue a call for a volunteer to undertake the mission. Hale had completed his job and was returning to the American lines when, on 21 September 1776 at a tavern he was recognized by Samuel Hale, a cousin of his from New Hampshire. Samuel was a tory, and felt no regret about turning in his cousin. Hale was taken captive and documents containing information about the enemy were found on him. He could do nothing but confess, being caught redhanded. Without benefit of a trial he was informed that he had already been found guilty of espionage, and would be hanged the following morning. A British officer quoted Hale's last words as: I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country._

"Last Words of Captain Nathan Hale,
the Hero-Martyr of the American Revolution" by Alexander Hay Ritchie
New York Public Library, New York City, NY

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