Karl Gerhardt, Nathan Hale, 1886, bronze, Connecticut State Capitol, lobby
Nathan Hale, also by Gerhardt, stands inside the east entrance of the capitol’s first floor corridor. One of Connecticut’s earliest heroes, the young school teacher was hanged by the British as a spy in 1776. The statue’s marble base is inscribed with the patriot’s final words to his executioners: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”
Gerhardt’s statue is above life-sized. The statue’s neck is bared at the moment before the noose is put into place. Hale’s large hands and straining neck emphasize the intense emotion of the coming event. His outstretched arms indicate the sacrifice he has accepted. This pose is reserved compared to the more dramatic conception of Hale (1889) by E.F. Woods (q. v.) now in front of the Wadsworth Athenaeum. The monument was cast by M.H. Mosman, Chicopee, Massachusetts.