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The 1776 hanging of Nathan Hale...

Item # 644241

December 2, 1776

THE EDINBURGH EVENING COURANT, Scotland, December 2, 1776 

* The hanging of Nathan Hale - American Revolutionary War

The front page has an exceedingly significant--albeit brief & inconspicuous--report of an event known by any student of American history. In a letter dated Sept. 23 from New York is: "...Yesterday we hanged an officer of the Provincials who came as a spy...". Noting that this letter is dated "From New  York Island, Sept. 23", and with the records verifying that Nathan Hale was hanged on Sept. 22 in New  York, it is very obvious that this "officer of the Provincials" was Nathan Hale although not mentioned by name. Hale was, indeed, a spy for the Continental Army having volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission in New York City before being captured by the British. He is probably best remembered for his purported last words before being hanged: "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." It is my experience that any contemporary newspaper reference to the hanging of Nathan Hale is extremely rare, and great to have on the front page.
The front page has other content concerning the Revolutionary War, including: "The number of the rebels said to be killed & taken prisoners at the action of King's Bridge exceeds 7000. Our loss in killed & wounded is reported to be 1400...Should this intelligence be confirmed it is expected that Gen. Howe will winter at Philadelphia, & that the Congress, to use the expression of a great statesman, will be at 'the feet of this country' before the rising of Parliament."
Page 2 has a letter from New York concerning events in that vicinity, beginning: "Four thousand of the king's troops are gone over to Long Island to prevent the provincials from carrying off the cattle at the end of that island..." with much more.
Four pages, a red tax stamp on the front page, some minor wear at the margins, and some light dirtiness to the front page. Generally in good condition.

Note: Nathan Hale is remembered for his famous quote: "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country" - which is not present within this issue.

Category: British

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