The Year of the Hangman

By: Gary Blackwood

Main Conflict

Creighton wants to be loyal to the British, but after being kidnapped and taken to America, he sees that the Americans are civilized, smart, and good so he goes to their side and participates in rebel activities.


Creighton, Peter, Colonel Gower, General Benedict Arnold, Benjamin Franklin, Lieutenant Hale, Sophie, and Harry Brown

Creighton is a spoiled English boy who is kidnapped and brought to America. His mother was the one to order the kidnapping. The story is told from his point of view.

Colonel Gower is Creighton's uncle. He is in control of Creighton the first half if the book but becomes Creighton's enemy in the second half.


Southern American Colonies, 1777

Event 1

Creighton is kidnapped, which is requested for by his mother, and brought over to America so that his uncle can do whatever he likes to Creighton.(pg. 13-14) This starts the whole chain of events in motion because Creighton either has to find a way back to Bristol, or he will have to make a living in America.

Event 2

Creighton meets Dr. Franklin and his helper, Sophie.(pg. 84-85) Creighton's choice to stay in America and start a life there is started here. Creighton dislikes Franklin at first, thinking he is a Yankee, but starts to realize how friendly, trustworthy, wise, smart, and helpful Franklin is.

Event 3

Creighton helps Colonel Gower and Lieutenant Hale escape from the prison in New Orleans. In the process he accidentally shoots Lieutenant Hale in the shoulder. After they get out, the Colonel won't let Creighton come with him and Hale. Creighton argues and the Colonel hits him on the head with the butt of his pistol, hurting Creighton badly. (pg. 141-146) This shows that Creighton still hasn't chosen a side in the war.

Event 4

Dr. Franklin dies from a fire started in his printing shop. The British, dressed like Native Americans, are sent by Colonel Gower to burn it. As Franklin is trying to save the types, being expensive and irreplaceable, he is caught up in the fire. Creighton attempts to save him, but eventually passes out. Peter pulls Creighton out of harm's way, but Franklin is severely injured. A doctor tries to save him, but his injuries are too bad and Franklin dies. (pg 167-179) Because of Franklin's death, Creighton sides with the Americans. The death is the turning point for Creighton, he sides against his homeland.

Event 5

After a duel between Benedict Arnold and Colonel Gower, Gower dies. With his final breath, he tells Creighton a prison cell number, number four, and dies. Arnold thinks it might be where General Washington is held. After exploring it and getting arrested by the British, they discover that it is actually where Creighton's father, Lieutenant Major Harry Brown, is being held. Meanwhile, Peter is outside the prison, gets in, and helps Arnold, Creighton, and Major Brown out of prison. They escape to New Orleans and and take care of Major Brown. Then the story ends.