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

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 4 03:39:37 UTC 2010

My WAG is that Mark was still hanging. As you probably know, it was
once customary to let a body rot, hanging from the gallows-tree, along
with spiking the heads of the beheaded, together with other stuff that
people now consider barbaric. Whether that was still customary - or
was ever customary in what's now the U.S. - in 1755 I have no idea. Of
course, if I really knew anything about this, my post wouldn't be a


On Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 9:02 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      18th century "was" vs. "had been"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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.)
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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