Traveling Bricks

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The bricks that were used in the construction of the West Virginian Georgian mansion of Wappocomo were manufactured in England and used as ballast to stabilize ships loading tobacco in the James River, journeying in bullock carts over the Blue Ridge Mountains and Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians.

Review: Traveling Bricks


Creating a filter: In this question, when we read the prompt, something is off with the word "journeying." In the current expression, it introduces a phrase that modifies the bricks independently of what's in the main clause, but it's not truly independent of the manufacture in England and ship-loading in the James River. The intended meaning is that England happened first, then the use as ballast, then the overland journey. We look for an answer choice that expresses the intended meaning, specifically that chronology.

Applying the filter: Choices (B) through (D) all fail to be grammatical English sentences. In (B), "journey" has no subject. (C) and (D) have the same problem as (A) and furthermore are not proper expressions of a modifying phrase or a new clause. (E) looks good. "Had been," by using the past perfect, conveys the fact that the manufacture and ship-loading events occurred before the past tense event of "journeyed," and by omitting the dependent clause here we see that "journeyed" has a grammatical subject, which is "bricks." The correct answer is (E).

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