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Themed Set: The Spectacle of Public Hanging in America

December 26th, 2007 Headsman

Inherited from England, the ceremony and theater of public hangings in the youthful United States and its antecedent colonies present an almost impossibly dramatic variety for characters, costumes and stagecraft. The ritual has — at least in the U.S.A. — slipped out of time into history, myth, even kitsch.

How representative of public hangings are any of the phenomenon’s instantly recognizable tropes remains another matter.

The next four dates offer a handful that alongside their inherent interest suggest — if only by illustration — the diverse circumstances that have gathered men and women under the gallows in the New World.

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Entry Filed under: Themed Sets

10 thoughts on “Themed Set: The Spectacle of Public Hanging in America”

  1. Jimmy Shirley says:

    Public hanging ought to be brought back. Hanging is what was reserved for criminals. Today, with DNA evidence releasing people from Death row, then by God it ought to be able to confidently convict new criminals. To the point that they ought to be hanged within two years of sentencing, if not sooner. Preferably sunrise on the Monday after sentencing. The proposed two years would be an act of mercy so the condemned get his affairs in order.

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