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LITERARY READER

EDWARD EVERETT HALE

(1822–1909)

Edward Everett Hale was born in Boston, April 3, 1822. He came of a distinguished family. Nathan Hale, the Revolutionary hero, was his father's uncle. Edward's mother was a sister of the famous orator and publicist, Edward Everett, for whom the boy was named.

He was graduated from Harvard College in 1839, at the age of seventeen.

In 1856 he assumed the pastorate of the South Congregational Church in Boston. Dr. Hale held his pastorate in Boston for forty-seven years. In 1903 he finally resigned his pastorate to become chaplain of the United States Senate. This position he filled until his death in June, 1909, at the advanced age of eighty-seven.

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Dr. Hale's presence was commanding, his manner most attractive. All through his life he radiated cheerfulness, kindliness, benevolence, and optimism. Young people especially gathered around him, to find in him the wisest of counselors and the most helpful of friends.

Among his friends and associates were Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison, Emerson, Webster,

, Holmes, Lowell, Longfellow, Sumner, Whittier, Phillips Brooks, Freeman Clarke -- a brilliant cir , of whom he was by no means the least, though he was the last, for with him died an era in New England's history.

THE MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY

This is one of the most remarkable realistic stories in all literature. It ranks in verisimilitude with Defoe's History of the Great Fire in London. Its obvious motive is to arouse a spirit of patriotism in the youth of the nation. It deserved and won tremendous success.

The story is pure fiction; it is supposed to be told by an officer of the United States Navy who had charge of Nolan. It was suggested to Dr. Hale, the author, by the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. It occurred to Dr. Hale, while considering the imprisonment of Napoleon on St. Helena, that if a Napoleon could have been kept on the sea, passed from one ship to another, much trouble might have been spared.

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I suppose that very few casual readers of the New York Herald of August 13, 1863, observed, in an obscure corner, among the “Deaths,” the announcement:

“Nolan, Died, on board U. S. Corvette 1 Levant, 5 Lat. 2° 11' S., Long. 131° W., on the 11th of May, PHILIP NOLAN.

My memory for names and people is good, and the reader will see, as he goes on, that I had reason enough to remember Philip Nolan. There are 10 hundreds of readers who would have paused at that announcement, if the officer of the Levant who reported it had chosen to make it thus: “Died, May 11, THE MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY." For it was as “The Man without a Country” that poor Philip 15 Nolan had generally been known by the officers who had him in charge during some fifty years, as, indeed, by all the men who sailed under them.

There can now be no possible harm in telling this 20 poor creature's story. Reason enough there has been till now ever since Madison's administration went out in 1817, for very strict secrecy, the secrecy of honor itself, among the gentlemen of the navy who have had Nolan in successive charge.

But, as I say, there is no need for secrecy any longer. And now the poor creature is dead, it seems to me worth while to tell a little of his story, by way

1 Corvette, a wooden ship of war.

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of showing young Americans of today what it is to 30 be A Man without a Country.

PHILIP NOLAN I was as fine a young officer as there was in the “Legion of the West,” as the Western division of our army was then called. When Aaron

Burr ? made his first dashing expedition down to 35 New Orleans in 1805, at Fort Massac, or somewhere

above on the river, he met, as the devil would have it, this gay, dashing, bright young fellow, at some dinner party, I think. Burr marked him, talked to

him, walked with him, took him a day or two's voyage 40 in his flatboat, and, in short, fascinated him. For the

next year barrack life was very tame to poor Nolan. He occasionally took advantage of the permission the great man had given him to write to him. Long,

high-worded, stilted letters the poor boy wrote and 45 rewrote and copied. But never a line did he have in

reply from the gay deceiver. The older boys in the garrison sneered at him. . . . But one day Nolan had his revenge. This time Burr came down the

river, not as an attorney seeking a place for his 50 office, but as a disguised conqueror. ...

It was a

1

Philip Nolan was the name of a real man who moved to Texas after the trial of Aaron Burr. But it is needless to say that the Nolan of the story is fictitious.

2 Aaron Burr, a brilliant, unscrupulous character of the early days of the nation. At times he rendered efficient and patriotic service. Again he conspired to establish a nation of his own in the southwest and seduced many young men to join the traitorous enterprise. It was Burr who forced Alexander Hamilton into a duel and shot him dead.

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