Songs & Ballads Of the American Revolution

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134
NATHAN HALE.
account of him is copied from the " Freeman's Journal," of February 18, 1777. " The following is a genuine specimen of tory benevolence, and may be depended upon as real matter of fact. Samuel Hale, late of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, after his elopement from thence, visit­ed an uncle in Connecticut, where he was hospitably entertained; but as his uncle was a whig, and had a son, a young gentleman of liberal education, and most amiable disposition, who strongly felt for his bleeding country, and being very active in the military way, was urged and prevailed on to take a commission in the Continental army; consequently Samuel was obliged to conduct with caution, and counterfeit, as well as he could, a whiggish phiz, while he tar­ried, which was, however, but a short time, before he made his escape to General Howe in New York. Some time after this, Cap­tain Hale, at the request of the General, went into New York in disguise, and having nearly accomplished his designs, who should he meet but his aforesaid cousin Samuel, whom he attempted to shun ; but Sam knew him too well. Captain Hale soon found lie was advertised, and so particularly described, that he could not get through Long Island. He therefore attempted to escape by King's-bridge, and so far succeeded as to get to the outer guard, where he was suspected, apprehended, carried back and tried, and yet would have been acquitted, had not his affectionate and grateful cousin Samuel appeared and made oath, that he was a captain in the Con­tinental army, and that he was in there as a spy, in consequence of which he was immediately hung up. However, at the gallows he made a sensible and spirited speech; among other things told them they were shedding the blood of the innocent, and that if he had ten thousand lives, he would lay them all down, if called to it, in defence of this injured bleeding country.
" The printers throughout the continent are desired to exhibit this tragical scene to the public; that they may see what they may expect if they fall into the hands of the tories."
2 Hannah Adams' History of New England.






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III