Fact Checking and WFMAD 23

There is a great story in many history books in which John Adams calls the year 1777 “the year of the hangman” because all those sevens lined up together looked like gallows. The implication was that if the British defeated the Patriots in the American Revolution, the Patriot leaders (like Adams) would all hang.

It’s a great quote; vivid, layered, and short.

I wanted to use it in the book I’m working on right now, so I started hunting for a primary source so I could verify the wording. Couldn’t find one. I found many people saying Adams said this, but no one pointed to the evidence that actually proved it. I could not find it in a searchable database of his writing, nor several other collections of his writings.

I turned to an 18th-century expert who writes a terrific blog about the time period: J.L. Bell of Boston 1775. He did his own investigating and came up with some surprises for me. And now I have to find a different quote. Darn.


We’re having a minor family emergency here, so this will be short today.

Today’s goal: Write 15 minutes, no matter what else is happening around you.

Today’s mindset: family comes first, but writing is a close second.

Today’s prompt: this is a free association drill. I’d like you to scroll down, down, down, until you get to the magic word of the day. When you do, write about all the images this word conjures in your head. Be specific and detailed in your descriptions. If you get stuck, repeat the word over and over out loud, no matter how silly you feel, and write whatever is flashing through your mind. If you stumble across a particularly vivid image, or one that for whatever reason hits you emotionally, stay with that one and write to your heart’s content.

Scroll down for the magic word…

Keep scrolling…

Almost there…..

Magic word = Spam (the kind you eat, not the kind that clogs your email inbox)


2 Replies to “Fact Checking and WFMAD 23”

  1. Been going strong all day and am taking a quick break, so I thought I’d drop by. I will get in another full day of writing. 🙂

    Hope your family emergency gets resolved well! Sending you good thoughts…

  2. Mahvelous inspiration. This one hit deep.

    Hope your family emergency was indeed minor and is now resolved.

    Any takers for a “stop the rain” dance?

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