Nathan Hale (City Hall Park)


This graceful, 13-foot standing bronze figure, sculpted by Frederick MacMonnies (1863-1937), directly faces City Hall and honors the last moments of the 21-year-old American Revolution era spy, Nathan Hale (1755-1776). Hale worked for 3 weeks after he began spying for the Revolutionary Army. Disguised as a Dutch schoolteacher, he attempted to infiltrate New York`s British ranks to gather intelligence on the enemy`s Long Island military installations. The young man was captured, however, on the night of September 21, 1776 and hanged for treason the next morning on a gallows believed to have been erected near 63rd Street and First Avenue. Before he was hung, he uttered the words, "I only regret I have but one life to give for my country."Since no life portraits of the patriot spy exist, Frederick Macmonnies`s work offers a romantic interpretation of Hale. The bronze statue of the shackled and bound Hale is set upon a granite base and illustrates the hero`s last predawn moments. This sculpture was erected in 1890 in City Hall Park, New York.

Constructed, 1890
Dedication, Nov 25, 1893


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