Nathan Hale was a captain during the American Revolution who was executed by the British in New York in 1776. His now famous final words were, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." In 1889, Frederick MacMonnies was invited by the Empire State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution to compete for a statue commission of Nathan Hale to be placed in City Hall Park, New York. He was to submit a three foot plaster model adhering to the following guidelines, "a well-built young man of American type, dressed in simple costume of the end of the last Century...at the moment immediately preceding his execution by the British." (M. Smart, A Flight with Fame: The Life and Art of Frederick MacMonnies, Madison, Connecticut, 1996, p. 86) As no portrait of Hale is known to exist, MacMonnies was left to his creative devices to render an image of the national hero. He chose to present him as an idealized, defiant figure. MacMonnies won the competition and produced a bronze approximately 8 feet tall. The present work is one of several reduced size models that MacMonnies produced.