Nathan Hale, 1913
Bela Lyon Pratt (1867-1917, B.F.A. 1899)
Location: Old Campus

An idealized bronze statue honors the heroism of Yale College graduate Nathan Hale (1755-1776; B.A. 1773, M.A. 1776), a young schoolteacher captured and executed by the British during the American Revolution. Hale’s youth and defiant last words, inscribed on the statue’s base, made him a national hero, and his legend remained powerful over a century after his death when alumni donated this monument. Unable to afford the renowned Gilded Age sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, they commissioned the piece from his former assistant, Bela Pratt, who had studied at the Yale School of the Fine Arts under John Ferguson Weir. Combining dignity and beauty with a traditional martyr pose, Pratt’s statue stands beside Connecticut Hall, where Hale lived as a student.
A gift to Yale College by graduates and friends, 1914