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“Dear Brother,” wrote a heartbroken farmer in Connecticut on March 28, 1777, “I Recd your favor of the 17th of February Last … your obversation as to the Dificulty of the times is very just so gloomey a day wee niver saw before but I trust our Cause is Just and for our Consolation in the times of greatest destress we have this to sopert us that their is a God that Jugeth in the earth … you desired me to inform you about my son Nathan … betra’d he doutless wass by somebody he was executed about the 22nd of Sepetember Last by the Aconts we have had. A Child I sot much by but he is gone …”

Modern Americans, so careless of liberty, mock the sorrow and sacrifice of patriots such as Richard “Deacon” Hale. Here he mourns the death of his beloved son, 21-year-old Nathan Hale, hanged for espionage 236 years ago today. (Read more about Nathan and his father in my novel, Halestorm, available in paperback or for Kindle, NookiPad, Sony, or your computer.)

8:02 am on September 22, 2012