The Year of the Hangman Characters

The Year of the Hangman Character List

Creighton Brown

The protagonist of the novel, Creighton Brown is a young British boy of fifteen years. He has already gotten in trouble with the British law and he has strong feelings against King George III and the government in general. Because of his bad behavior, Creighton’s mother sends him to the American Colonies to live with his uncle in hopes of changing his behavior. This trip was almost ruined when he is captured with his uncles, Colonel Gower and Lieutenant Hale. However, when he is released, he is forced to spy on his captors, which just happens to be the famous Benjamin Franklin. He is torn between being loyal to his British government and his uncles, but he also grows so much in the colonies that he can’t decide which side to take, because in this war, he can only be loyal to one.

Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin is quite a well known name when discussing the American Revolution. He was not only an inventor and a scientist (nearly everyone has heard of his experiments with electricity). However, he was also quite active with the political state of America. He published the newspaper “Liberty Tree” which was banned by the British government because it promoted independence and rebellion. An obvious patriot, Franklin let Creighton work for him because the former believed the latter to be loyal to the Patriots as well. However, Franklin dies at the hands of British soldiers, led by Colonel Gower, who set fire to his print shop.

Benedict Arnold

In history, Benedict Arnold is most famous for defecting to the British Army, and in this novel, Arnold befriends Creighton. Arnold is a violent man who does everything else he can think of that is related to fighting before resorting to a peaceful resolution, which he typically doesn’t do. As a result, it is clear that he has a terrible temper and enjoys dueling. Partially resulting from his violence, Arnold had his leg amputated in a battle.


Sophie works for Ben Franklin as well, and she is a French housemaid. She typically hates British people because the rest of her entire family was murdered by British soldiers. However, she seems to have feelings for Creighton, seen especially clearly when Creighton gets sick or injured. Though they sometimes flirt, they do not openly show their affection towards one another.

George Washington

Washington is, of course, the general of the American Continental Army. In this novel, he is executed at the end.

Colonel Gower

Colonel Gower is Creighton’s uncle who travels with Creighton to America. He is naturally a cruel and disagreeable man, who also has a terrible temper. On the way there, they get captured, but Creighton helps him escape. He is the Lieutenant Governor of West Florida. He also succeeds in invading and capturing French Haiti. Gower also is presiding over the execution of George Washington.

Lieutenant Harvey Hale

Lieutenant Harvey Hale is a British officer who also is supposed to escort Creighton to America. He is a Royal Marine officer who is a very respectable man. During the trip to America, he and Creighton become friends, and Hale is also imprisoned with Gower, Creighton’s uncle. When they escape, Hale becomes Gower’s assistant.

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