Location: Bowdoin / Library / Special Collections & Archives / Manuscript Collections / Nathaniel Hawthorne Collection, 1819-2004, n.d. (bulk 1844-1864)

Nathaniel Hawthorne Collection, 1819-2004, n.d. (bulk 1844-1864)

5 linear feet.

Catalog Number: M85

Series List:


Agency History / Biographical Note:
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), of Bowdoin's Class of 1825, was the author of many classic novels and short stories. Early in his career, while writing A Wonder Book and Mosses from the Old Manse, Hawthorne served as editor of the American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge (1836), weigher at the Boston Custom House (1839-1841), and surveyor of the port of Salem (1845-1849). He produced the novels for which he is best remembered after leaving the surveyorship, among them The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables.

Hawthorne was appointed U.S. consul in Liverpool, England (1853-1857) by Franklin Pierce, for whom he had written a campaign biography, The Life of Franklin Pierce. He traveled in Italy (1858-1859) before returning to the U.S. These experiences influenced his later writings, especially The Marble Faun.

Hawthorne married Sophia Peabody on July 9, 1842. They had three children: Una, a settlement worker in London; Julian, an author and his parents' biographer; and Rose who, as Mother Alphonsa, founded a Dominican order in New York City.

Scope and Content:
Letters, documents, essays, and other records relating to Nathaniel Hawthorne and his literary works, including correspondence of the Hathorne and Manning families. The bulk of the letters are from Hawthorne or Hawthorne and his wife, Sophia, to his Bowdoin classmate Horatio Bridge or Bridge's wife, Charlotte; or are part of the correspondence between his mother Elizabeth C. Hathorne, his sisters Elizabeth M. and Maria L. Hathorne, his uncle Robert Manning, and his aunt Mary Manning. There is also correspondence with Jonathan Cilley of the Class of 1825, a representative from Maine; publisher Samuel G. Goodrich; and his friend William B. Pike. Most of the letters owned by Bowdoin College are reproduced in the Centenary Edition of the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Cite as: Nathaniel Hawthorne Collection, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library.
Access Restrictions: Use of original material is restricted, with exceptions determined on an individual basis.

George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
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