In the small town of Coventry, Connecticut on June 6, 1755, Nathan Hale was born, to devout Puritans, Deacon Richard Hale and Elizabeth Strong Hale. Hale was the sixth of twelve children. The Hale’s had 9 boys and 3 girls. Hale’s parents were concerned that he wouldn’t survive his first year, like the two children before Hale (Lough 8). Even though he was a sickly small child, with weak lungs he did not let that stop him from loving the outdoors (Lough). As Hale got older, he became stronger. Sadly Hale’s mother Elizabeth died when he was 12 shortly after giving birth to her 12th child (Tracy 16). It is thought that Hale’s father Richard remarried a wealthy widow, Abigail Cobb Adams, 2 years after Elizabeth’s death, who brought three of her youngest children into the home (Tracy 16). Like most Puritans, Hale’s parents believed in hard work and education. Hale was a great student and had a hunger for knowledge. His father hired Rev. Joseph Huntington, to prepare him for ministry in the Puritan church. At age 14 Hale and his brother Enoch, who was 16 at the time, entered Yale College (now Yale University) which was founded by ministers in 1701. During this time it was not uncommon for boys of this age to enter college. Yale was strict but did not revolve around studies all the time, Hale and his brother played sports. They also joined a literary and debating society called Linonia during their sophomore, which was founded in 1753. The brothers stayed in Connecticut Hall together. Hale was described as ‘Almost 6ft, perfectly proportional in figure and manners, over flowing with good humor and was the idol of all his acquaintances.” by Dr. Eneas Munsen. Also his classmates and the schools officials said he was “unusually attractive and beloved.” During the graduation ceremony, Hale gave a speech that included an idea unusual for a young man of the time, education of women (Lough -17). At this time it was not important for women to be educated. In his...
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