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Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1871) Papers

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1871) Papers

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NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (1804-1871) PAPERS, 1817-1934, 1963-1968

Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1804-1871
Title:Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1871) Papers
Dates:1817/1934, 1963/1968
Quantity:3 linear feet (5 boxes)
Abstract:The Nathaniel Hawthorne papers contain the letters and other personal and professional papers of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), his father Nathaniel Hathorne (1775-1808), his mother Elizabeth Clarke (Manning) Hawthorne (1780-1845), and his wife Sophia Peabody Hawthorne (1809-1871). Also included are the papers of his children Una, Julian, and Rose, along with those of Rose’s husband, George Parsons Lathrop and Julian’s daughter, Hildegarde Hawthorne.
Collection Number:MSS 68

Series List

SERIES I. Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) PapersSERIES II. Salem Custom House Records
SERIES III. Hawthorne Family and Miscellaneous

Scope and Content Note

The Nathaniel Hawthorne papers contain the letters and other personal and professional papers of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), his father Nathaniel Hathorne (1775-1808), his mother Elizabeth Clarke (Manning) Hawthorne (1780-1845), and his wife Sophia Peabody Hawthorne (1809-1871). Also included are the papers of his children Una, Julian, and Rose, along with those of Rose's husband, George Parsons Lathrop and Julian's daughter, Hildegarde Hawthorne. The papers have been organized into three series.

Series I. Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) Papers has been divided into four subseries. Subseries A. Letters Sent includes letters written to his aunt, uncle, and mother while Nathaniel was in Salem preparing for college and while he was in Brunswick, Maine, studying at Bowdoin College. Also of importance are the documents and receipts related to his time at Bowdoin College (B1 F8) and the letter to his mother from college president, William Allen, concerning Nathaniel's' card playing (B3 F5). Contained within the period 1831 to 1863 are several letters concerning various writing projects, and of special interest here are the letters concerning the controversy over the use of the Pynchon name in the House of the Seven Gables (B1 F4 and 7). Subseries B. Letters Received includes those by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Theodore Parker, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau (B1 F7). Subseries C. Documents contains poems, documents from his time as Consul in Liverpool, England, a sketch, a visiting card, and a photograph by Mathew Brady. Of interest are the handwritten issues of The Spectator (B1 F8), the small newspaper which Nathaniel wrote and edited the year before entering college. This subseries contains a handwritten poem, "Moderate Views," written when Hawthorne was fourteen years old. Subseries D. Associated Documents is comprised of a variety of documents related to Hawthorne, but not created by him, e.g. a letter from James T. Fields (1871) regarding his plans to publish a book from prominent authors including Hawthorne. This series includes 17 letters addressed to or written by G. H. Holden (B1 F12).

Series II. Salem Custom House Records contains entries and returns of merchandise, warehousing papers, and receipts for inspectors, weighers, and gaugers.

Series III. Hawthorne Family and Miscellaneous includes material for eight members of the Hawthorne family. Subseries A. Nathaniel Hawthorne (1775-1808) contains shipping papers of Hawthorne's father for the ship Mary and Eliza and the schooner Neptune. Subseries B. Elizabeth Clarke (Manning) Hawthorne (1780-1849) consists of a letter dated 1822 from William Allen, President of Bowdoin College, about Nathaniel Hawthorne's card playing and his subsequent punishment. Subseries C. Sophia (Peabody) Hawthorne (1809-1871) contains three letters to Lucy Cleveland and her sister, Elizabeth Peabody, and a drawing of a house attributed to Sophia. Subseries D. Una Hawthorne (1844-1877) contains letters to Uncle Dike, Mrs. Horton, Elizabeth Manning Hawthorne, and a book of pressed flowers and leaves gathered in Italy (1858-1859). Subseries E. Julian Hawthorne (1846-1934) contains correspondence, a handwritten copy of "Idolatry, A Romance", a typewritten autobiography, four photographs, and two letters sent by Julian's wife, Minnie, to editors of Youth's Companion. Subseries F. Rose (Hawthorne) Lathrop (1851-1926) contains correspondence to Mr. Marcus, the Essex Institute, Harlan P. Kelsey, Mr. Estes, her husband George, and others. There are also a few letters from Samuel Hoar to W. G. Peckham as well as some genealogical notes, an image of Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, and her signature. Subseries G. George Parsons Lathrop (1851-1898) includes correspondence, cancelled checks, receipts, and a manuscript entitled "Unbidden Guests." Subseries H. Hildegarde Hawthorne (1871-1952) contains letters to Mr. Ellsworth, the Authors Fund for Relief of Wounded Soldiers of the Allies, Mr. Jackson, and a handwritten poem. Subseries I. Miscellaneous contains letters to and bills of James Davidson (1901) of New London, Connecticut, a handwritten note describing Hawthorne, two envelopes, and a poem "Life" cut out of a newspaper.

Biographical Sketches

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts, to Nathaniel Hathorne (1775-1808) and Elizabeth Clarke Manning (1780-1849). His ancestors include John Hathorne, the only judge involved in the Salem witch trials who never repented of his actions. Nathaniel later added a "w" to make his name "Hawthorne" in an effort to disassociate himself from this relation.

Hawthorne entered Bowdoin College in 1821, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1824, and graduated in 1825. He published his first work, a novel titled Fanshawe, in 1828. He published several short stories in various periodicals, which he collected in 1837 as Twice-Told Tales. The next year, he became engaged to Sophia Peabody. He worked at the Salem Custom House and joined Brook Farm, a transcendentalist community, before marrying Peabody in 1842. The couple moved to The Old Manse in Concord, Massachusetts, later moving to Salem, the Berkshires, then to The Wayside in Concord, which Hawthorne had bought from the Alcott family. The couple had three children: Una (1844-1877), Julian (1846-1934), and Rose (1851-1926).

The Scarlet Letter was published in 1850, followed by a succession of other novels. In 1853, Hawthorne was appointed to the American Consul in Liverpool, England, and the family, with the children's governess Ada Shepard in tow, relocated. They travelled throughout England, France, and Italy, before returning to New England in 1860. While on a tour of the White Mountains, Hawthorne died in his sleep on May 19, 1864, in Plymouth, New Hampshire. See Appendix I for a family tree.

Sophia Amelia Peabody Hawthorne was born September 21, 1809, in Salem, Massachusetts, and named after two of her aunts. Her father was the dentist Nathaniel Peabody, and her mother was Elizabeth Palmer. She had three brothers; her sisters were Elizabeth Palmer Peabody and Mary Tyler Peabody, later Horace Mann's wife. Her sister Elizabeth educated Sophia, focusing on geography, science, literature and both American and European history; eventually, she learned to read in Latin, French, Greek, Hebrew; she knew some German as well. Sophia was also an artist, but she gave up her writing and her art work after her marriage.

Sophia first met Nathaniel Hawthorne through her sister, Elizabeth. They became secretly engaged by New Year's Day 1839. A wedding was scheduled for June 27, 1842, but was postponed when Sophia fell ill. On July 9, 1842, five years after first meeting, she and Nathaniel were married at 13 West Street in Boston.

After her husband's death in 1864, Sophia threatened to sue publisher James Thomas Fields for not paying enough in royalties from book sales. She moved to England in 1868 with her three children. Sophia became ill in February 1871, diagnosed with "typhoid pneumonia". She had difficulty breathing and was cared for by her daughters before dying on February 26. She was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery in London on March 4. When the grave sites of Sophia and her daughter, Una, were in need of costly repair, it was suggested the remains be moved to the Hawthorne family plot in Concord, Massachusetts. In June 2006 the two were re-buried alongside Nathaniel in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

Hawthorne’s father, Nathaniel Hathorne, son of Daniel Hathorne, was born at 27 Union St. in Salem in 1775/6. Like many of his Hathorne ancestors, Nathaniel Hathorne chose a life at sea. He sailed aboard the America in the late 1780s and aboard the Perseverance, a ship owned by his brother-in-law, Simon Forrester, in 1796. Nathaniel Hathorne married Elizabeth Clarke Manning who lived a block away on Herbert Street, on August 2, 1801. Their daughter Elizabeth was born on March 7, 1802 and their son Nathaniel on July 4, 1804. Both children were born while Hathorne was away at sea. Hathorne returned in 1804 having achieved the rank of captain, and was inducted into the East India Marine Society in November of that year. On December 28, 1807, he sailed on the Nabby bound for South America. Less than a month later, on January 9, 1808, his wife gave birth to Maria Louisa. A few months later, in early April of 1808, she received the news of her husband's death from yellow fever in Surinam.

Elizabeth Clarke (Manning) Hawthorne was born in 1780 to Richard Manning, Jr. (1755-1813) and Miriam Lord (1748-1826). Richard Manning, Jr., a blacksmith, was born in Ipswich, Massachusetts, and moved to Salem sometime before 1774. He prospered as the owner of a stage business in Salem, and he acquired considerable property in Maine. After her family moved to Salem, Elizabeth (Betsey) Clarke Manning attended East Church in Salem, the Unitarian church presided over by Dr. William Bentley, and she was a participant in Bentley's singing school in 1792. Betsey Manning married Captain Nathaniel Hathorne (1775-1808) on August 2, 1801. Her husband went to sea as a youth and was frequently away on long voyages. In the spring of 1808, after Betsey learned that her husband had died at sea, she moved with her children from the house on Union Street to the house on Herbert Street where they lived with her parents and her eight siblings, who ranged in age from seventeen to thirty-one. Thereafter, Betsey Clarke Manning Hathorne was frequently in the position of accepting the favors of her Manning relatives. Her brother, Robert, for example, built houses for her and her children on Dearborn Street in Salem and in Raymond, Maine. Although she herself was reared in East Church, it was in the First Church where Betsey Manning Hathorne had her children baptized, and it was a minister of First Church who buried her on August 2, 1849, in the Howard St. Cemetery. Her daughters Maria Louisa and Elizabeth, neither of whom married, are also buried there.

Una Hawthorne was born in Concord, Massachusetts, on March 3, 1844, to Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Amelia Peabody. In 1858, while the family was living in Italy, Una, contracted malaria and she was quite ill for several months. After some improvement, she relapsed in March and was diagnosed with typhus. Una did recover, but she never regained full health. The Hawthornes returned to America in June of 1860 and took up residence again at the Wayside.

Una and her sister, Rose, enrolled in a series of schools. In February of 1871 Rose became engaged to George Lathrop and in September Una, displayed evidence of psychosis and was committed to an asylum. Rose and George married, and Una eventually recovered and moved in with her sister and her husband. While living with her sister and her husband, Una met and became engaged to Albert Webster, Jr. While waiting for Webster to return from a voyage, Una moved back to England to live with her brother Julian who was there to pursue a literary career. When Webster died at sea, Una entered a convent where she died not long afterwards in 1877 at the age of thirty-three. She was buried next to her mother at Kensal Green Cemetery in London.

Julian Hawthorne was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 22, 1846, to Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Amelia Peabody. While his family was living abroad, Julian was tutored at home by his father, with much studying of the classics. He entered Frank Sanborn's Transcendental co-educational academy in 1860. Julian entered Harvard in 1863, but his studies in civil engineering did not go well, and in 1864, after the death of his father, he dropped out to take care of his mother and sisters. He attempted the degree again in 1866, but was unsuccessful. In 1869, his mother and sisters already there, he moved to Dresden, Germany where he attended Dresden's Realschule. Julian met May Albertina "Minnie" Amelung there and they married in New York on November 15, 1870; they would have nine children, though two died in infancy. Harper's Weekly published his first short story Love & Counter Love; or, Masquerading in 1870, for which he was paid $50.00. The Harper's group of magazines, Scribner's, and Lippincott's accepted more of his stories, and he fully embraced the life of a writer. His first novel with a Faustian theme was titled Bressant (1873), followed by several others. In 1913 a charge of defrauding the public and misuse of the United States Postal Service brought disgrace on the Hawthorne family name. As President of Hawthorne Silver and Iron Mines, and with three other men, he procured funds from false mining shares grossing over $3.5 million. Hawthorne served a year's jail time in the Atlanta penitentiary.

In 1915 Hawthorne moved by himself to California, writing for the Pasadena Star-News and attempting screenplays. He parted ways with his wife Minnie, and when she died in 1925 it was just a month afterwards that he married Edith Garrigues, a painter from New York. Julian Hawthorne died on July 21, 1934, in San Francisco, California.

Rose (Hawthorne) Lathrop was born on May 20, 1851, in Lenox, Massachusetts, to Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Manning) Hawthorne. Growing up, Rose lived in Massachusetts, Liverpool, London, Paris, Rome, and Florence. The family returned to Concord, Massachusetts in 1860. Two years after Nathaniel's death in 1864, Rose was enrolled at a boarding school run by Diocletian Lewis in nearby Lexington, Massachusetts.

Rose married author George Parsons Lathrop in 1871. In 1876, they had a son, Francis, who died of diphtheria at the age of five. In the spring of 1879, her family's former home in Concord, The Wayside, became available for purchase and, with borrowed money, the Lathrops bought it. They then lived in New York City before moving to New London, Connecticut. There, they became involved with the Catholic summer school movement and collaborated on a book, A Story of Courage: A History of the Georgetown Visitation Convent. Rose tried to become an author, like her father, in her own right and published a book of poems, Along the Shore, in 1888. Both she and George converted to Roman Catholicism in 1891 but he became an alcoholic and increasingly unstable after Francis' death. They separated permanently in 1895; George died of cirrhosis three years later.

Rose devoted her last years to caring for cancer patients. She established St. Rose's Free Home for Incurable Cancer in New York City and Rosary Hill Home in Hawthorne, New York. After her husband's death in 1898, she entered a convent and became Mother Mary Alphonsa Lathrop. Her contribution to altering the treatment of cancer patients, who in the early nineteenth century were shunned, was recently acknowledged by Duke University by the establishment of the Rose Lathrop Cancer Center. She published several literary works, including Memories of Hawthorne in 1923. Rose died in her sleep at the Rosary Hill Home on July 9, 1926.

George Parsons Lathrop was born August 25, 1851, in Honolulu, Hawaii, the son of George Alfred Lathrop and Frances Maria (Smith) Lathrop. George was educated in New York City and Dresden, Germany, when he returned to New York, and decided on a literary career. In 1875 he became associate editor of the Atlantic Monthly, and remained in that position two years, leaving it to edit the Boston Courier in 1879. He worked on several books for Roberts Brothers, including Afterglow (1877) and Somebody Else (1878), and he edited A Masque of Poes as part of their "No Name" series. His contributions to the periodical and daily press were varied and voluminous. In 1883 he founded the American Copyright League, which assisted in securing an international copyright law. George died on April 19, 1898, in New York.

Hildegarde Hawthorne was born on September 25, 1871, in New York City, the daughter of Julian Hawthorne and May Amelung. She was a writer of supernatural and ghost stories, a poet and biographer. At age sixteen Hildegarde began selling articles to the children's magazine St. Nicholas. Her supernatural short story "Perdita," was published in the March 1897 Harper's Magazine. She wrote biographies of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Among her best-known books was The Romantic Rebel, a biography of her grandfather, Nathaniel, based on family gossip, his diaries, and his letters. She married the author John Oskison (1874-1947) on July 16, 1920 and moved to California. Later she lived in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and passed away in nearby Danbury on December 10, 1952, at age eighty-one.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Donaldson, B. R.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882
Fields, James Thomas, 1817-1881
Hathorne, Nathaniel, 1775-1808
Hawthorne, Elizabeth Clarke Manning, 1780-1849
Hawthorne, Hildegarde, 1871-1952
Hawthorne, Julian, 1846-1934
Hawthorne, Maria Louisa, 1808-1852
Hawthorne, Sophia Peabody, 1809-1871
Hawthorne, Una, 1844-1877
Holden, George H.
Lathrop, George Parsons, 1851-1898
Lathrop, Rose Hawthorne, 1851-1926
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882
Lowell, Robert, 1816-1891
Pierce, Franklin, 1804-1869
Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862
Webster, Alfred F.
Bowdoin College
Mary and Eliza (Ship)
Neptune (Schooner)
The Spectator
United States Customhouse (Salem, Mass.)
Consular documents
Letter writing
Salem (Mass.)
Account books


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Administrative Information


Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1871) Papers, MSS 68, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This collection is an integration and reorganization of several small collections. Documents originally in old box 1 folders 2-64 were originally mounted in a scrapbook which was deposited by Miss Rebecca Manning and Mr. Richard Clarke Manning on September 2, 1924, which was later purchased from Mr. Manning. The copies of the Spectator probably accompanied the scrapbook. The letter from Peter Oliver, box 1 folder 4 was purchased from Mrs. Andrew Oliver November 20, 1962, and the other letters concerning the Pynchon family name contained in box 1 folders 4 and 7 were donated by Henry A. Castle, November 14, 1953. The David Roberts letters contained in box 1 folders 4 and 5 were loaned by Dr. Harriet B. Leach, June 22, 1956. The consul document dated March 13, 1855 (box 1 folder 8) was removed from the Stickney collection; the receipts for Bowdoin College in box 1 folder 8 were a gift from R. E. Manning, August 1933; and the letter to George Peabody dated July 1, 1855, in box 1 folder 4 was removed from the George Peabody collection, September 25, 1935. The postscript of a letter regarding payment of bills (in box 1 folder 4) was a gift from the Alice Spooner estate on December 5, 1941. The materials originally contained in box 2 folders 1-21 were purchased from the estate of Richard C. Manning, Jr. on October 16, 1957. The letter and envelope to Samuel Timmons dated June 7, 1860, in box 1 folder 5 were removed from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Marble Faun (E H399 18602 cop. 2), and the surveyor’s certificate dated January 19, 1848 in box 1 folder 8 and the letter from Sophia Hawthorne to Mr. Fairbanks in box 3 folder 6 were photocopied from materials tipped in Julian Hawthorne’s deluxe illustrated edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne and His Wife (E H399H 1884 v.1 pt. 1). Twenty one items including letters by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sophia Hawthorne, Una Hawthorne, and some miscellany (see control file) was deposited by Mrs. Janet Appleton on July 12, 1982. Since her death, they have become the property of the Peabody Essex Museum. The Hawthorne account book was purchased in May 1941. The Salem Custom House records contained in boxes 2 and 3 were donated by David Mason Little, November 21, 1925. Documents originally in old box 7 folders 1-66 were purchased from C. E. Frazer Clarke. The New Hampshire signed Customs certificate, dated September 8, 1848 (acc #89018) was found in the library and added to box 3 folder 2. A letter dated 1853 (B1 F4) was purchased in May 2000. A carte-de-visite of Nathaniel Hawthorne was purchased in 2003 (acc #2003.037). A letter to Mrs. C. L. Bowen (1864, Box 1, Folder 5) was purchased in 2003 (acc #2003.055).The original finding aid with the old arrangement is available to researchers.

Processing Information

Collection processed by William E. Marion, December 1982, May 1989. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, January 2016.

Related Material

Merriman, C.D. "Julian Hawthorne." The Literature Network. Jalic Inc., 2006. Web. 02 June 2016. <

Whitney, Terri. "The Wife and Children of Nathaniel Hawthorne: Introduction." Hawthorne in Salem. North Shore Community College, 1 Sept. 2002. Web. 03 June 2016.

Whitney, Terri. "The Paternal Ancestors of Nathaniel Hawthorne: Introduction." Hawthorne in Salem. North Shore Community College, 11 Sept. 2002. Web. 06 June 2016.;Times/Family/Paternal/Introduction.html

Appendix I

Related Collections

Hawthorne Manning Family Papers, 1683-1956, MSS 69

Manning Family Papers, 1732-1929, MSS 143

Salem Custom House Records, 1762-1900, MH 261

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