"a sort of scaffold, at the western extremity of the market-place"

The type of scaffold used for executions
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe type of scaffold used for executions - Credit: Okinawa Soba
Early Boston’s scaffold sat alongside the whipping post on Market Street (now State Street), just in front of the present-day Old State House. This was the raised platform on which criminals were executed — public humiliations didn’t figure in its operations.
Hester on the scaffold in the 1926 silent film version of The Scarlet Letter
Public DomainHester on the scaffold in the 1926 silent film version of The Scarlet Letter - Credit: Victor Seastrom