Henry Gale responded to Paul Revere’s call to Lexington and was honored as a patriot. Yet a decade later, he was considered a traitor for his leadership role in Shays’ Rebellion—a movement to stop courts from prosecuting and jailing the many Revolutionary War veterans unable to pay their debts in the post-war credit crisis. After a military conflict between the insurgents and the militia, Henry Gale was arrested, found guilty of treason and sentenced to “be hanged by the neck until he be dead.” Marched up to the scaffold, the gathered crowd watched the noose placed around his neck and prayers said. Moments before this father of several young children was about to be dropped from the land of the living, the sheriff pulled out a piece of paper and read a statement from Governor John Hancock.
“The Hanging of Henry Gale” was first published in the March/April 2008 issue of American Spirit, the Daughters of the American Revolution magazine.
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