Nathan Hale Research Paper

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An Amateur Spy “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Shakespeare (Twelfth Night) Nathan Hale’s short life may not have had an impact on everyone, but he nobly died for America’ cause. He was only 21 years old. As a scholar, Nathan loved learning and endeavored to pass that love to the children he taught. As a patriot, he did not feel like the heroes he had read about in college, but Nathan acted bravely throughout his life. As an amateur spy, Nathan, naturally, did a horrible job, but he became famous for what he did for the country he loved; and he is now the official Connecticut State hero. Nathan Hale’s early life was filled with learning. He was born in June of 1755 in Coventry,…show more content…
Nathan Hale arrived at his first army post. Nathan and his fearless men impatiently waited to attack the British with George Washington. Nothing happened. Captain Nathan Hale did not feel like the courageous war heroes he had read about in college. He wanted to be useful. His men began deserting him, so he gave them his wages. After the British fled from Boston to New York City, Nathan and the patriot army followed. One night, Nathan and a few men snuck onto a British sloop, which carried food and supplies, and sailed it away to the American camp. The sloop was under heavy guns from a British Man of War, The Asia. After that perilous adventure, Nathan became a Ranger. Because they lacked intelligence about the British, the Americans were losing badly. General George Washington, who desperately needed a spy, and needed one fast, recklessly asked for volunteers. Finally, Nathan replied, “OK.” Other Rangers tried to convince Nathan to back out since spying was a dishonorable, dangerous deed, where he could only expect a quick death. Obstinately, Nathan had made up his mind. He took off his uniform, put on a disguise to make him look like a teacher, and sailed over to the British camp on Long Island. He was to return nine days later. Nathan Hale never returned to his…show more content…
Wearing his disguise, he was able to cross British lines. He drew maps of the camp and location, and wrote notes in Latin about the number of British troops. He hid them in his boots. Eventually, however, Nathan was captured, tried for spying, convicted, and hanged. Possibly betrayed by his loyalist cousin, the British captured him while trying to leave their camp. Since he was out of uniform, they sent him to the British Commander, General Howe, where Nathan was questioned. As America’s first amateur spy, he simply told the truth. The general was so furious; he had him hanged without a trial the next day. Nathan’s calmness of mind helped ease the fact that he was to be hanged. On September 22, 1776, Nathan slowly climbed the ladder; he received the noose around his neck; and he nobly walked off the ladder to his death. Just before his final step, he presumably said, “I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” General Howe left him there for three days. When word of Nathan’s death reached General Washington, the distressed general vowed to safeguard all future spies. For example instead of using amateur spies he would now operate scientifically; keep the agent’s name and missions secret; and use invisible ink. Not surprisingly, George Washington sent the Second Continental Congress a bill for $17,000 to refund him for paying his large number of spies. These included farmers, shopkeepers, and

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