The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg

Deacon Billson Character Analysis

One of Hadleyburg’s Nineteeners. When Reverend Burgess reads the notes submitted by the Nineteeners (who submit these pieces of paper in order to win the sack of gold), Billson’s is the first one to be read aloud. Proud, he stands to accept his reward. Little does he know, though, that Howard Stephenson (the stranger) has written to all of the other Nineteeners and told them to submit the same exact phrase. As such, eighteen other men in the town hall have written down the same sentence. Upon standing up, then, Billson is surprised to see that another Nineteener, Wilson, has also risen from his seat. The two men then disparage one another, accusing each other of cheating. Before long, though, it becomes clear that they aren’t the only ones to have written the same sentence, and they—along with the other Nineteeners—are revealed to be immoral and dishonest men.
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Deacon Billson Character Timeline in The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg

The timeline below shows where the character Deacon Billson appears in The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 3
Vanity and Virtue Theme Icon
...are very far from being a bad man: go, and reform.’” Burgess then identifies Deacon Billson as the man who wrote this note, and Billson stands to accept his reward. (full context)
Vanity and Virtue Theme Icon
Guilt and Shame Theme Icon
...another end of the hall, Lawyer Wilson also stands. “Why do you rise, Mr. Wilson?” Billson asks. “With great pleasure,” replies Wilson. “Because I wrote that paper.” Beside himself, Billson yells,... (full context)
Revenge and Redemption Theme Icon
...descends into mayhem, the local tanner—who holds a grudge against the elite Nineteeners—points out that Billson’s and Wilson’s submissions aren’t exactly the same, since Billson’s note contains the word “very,” whereas... (full context)
Vanity and Virtue Theme Icon
Revenge and Redemption Theme Icon
Guilt and Shame Theme Icon
...The full phrase, the stranger reveals in this note, begins in the same way that Billson’s and Wilson’s submissions begin. However, it doesn’t stop there. Instead, the remark goes on to... (full context)