18th century "was" vs. "had been"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Feb 4 02:02:35 UTC 2010

When Paul Revere wrote about his ride to Lexington, that in
Charleston he "got opposite where Mark was hung in chains", did that mean
(a)  he "got opposite where Mark was still hung in chains"(that is,
was still hanging); or
(b)  he "got opposite where Mark had been hung in chains up to some
previous time" (that is, had been hanging)?

(Mark was one of the two slaves convicted of poisoning their master,
John Codman, in 1755.)


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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