Nathan Hale is probably not very well known, but he often thought of as Americas first spy. Here is his story.
Often dubbed “America’s first spy,” Nathan Hale was a Yale graduate who served in Knowlton’s Rangers, a short-lived Continental reconnaissance unit. When General George Washington’s forces became bottled up on Manhattan Island in September 1776, Hale volunteered for a mission to gather much-needed intelligence behind enemy lines. He was ferried across the Long Island Sound on September 16, slipped into the occupied town of Huntington and began surveying British fortifications and encampments while posing as a schoolmaster.
Hale was undoubtedly courageous, but according to most historians, he wasn’t a very skilled intelligence officer. It only took a few days before his suspicious questions drew attention from loyalist locals, and he later blew his cover after a British agent approached him in a tavern and pretended to be a fellow Patriot spy. Hale was arrested the next day and discovered to have incriminating documents concealed beneath the soles of his shoes. Charged as an illegal combatant, he was executed by hanging on the morning of September 22. According to legend, the 21-year-old patriot faced the gallows with “gentle dignity” before uttering the famous words, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”
Coffee out on the patio until the rain starts.