A TRULY HAWTHORNE NATION

A TRULY HAWTHORNE NATION



Many people have had an effect on this country. The reason for this lies in our

country’s youth. The United States formed at a time when technological advancements

allowed many more people to leave a legacy in its dawning. These advancements led to

a creation of literary history. I find it hard to say one person had a larger effect on

anything than anyone else, but some people do seem to stand out more than others. In

helping to form, or even by just translating how others helped to form this country,

authors were able to compile a great deal of literature. This literature has left us a way to

learn about our history and many of the important people in it. One of these important

people, whom also happened to be an author, was Nathaniel Hawthorne. He wrote about

his own experiences, including his observations of other people’s experiences. His life

led him to the right places at the right times. Today anybody can pick up his works and

take from them the knowledge of what it was like to live during his times. Anyone who

reads his work inherits just a little bit of his style into their own writing. There is so

much of his own work, on top of so much work pertaining to him, in this world that it is

hard for him not to have made an impact on it. He has served as a translator, taking in

the influences of his time and especially the people of his time, to in turn influence the

future.


Nathaniel Hathorne was born July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts(Carey ed.

6). Here alone is where he gained much of his influence, both through his family’s

history, as well as in his own time. Much of his persona can be understood by knowing

some facts of his life. His father died, while at sea, of yellow fever in 1808(Carey ed.

6). Due to a leg injury in 1813 Nathaniel was unable to attend school and was thus home

taught by Joseph Worcester for a short time(online:Dates 1800 to 1900- a timeline from

Nathaniel Hawthorne: 4/1/99). In 1819 he attended Samuel Archer’s School, in

preparation for college(Martin 11). In 1820 he was tutored by Benjamin Oliver(11). He

began his studies at Bowdoin in 1821, where he was privileged enough to work along

side Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Franklin Pierce, and other great minds(Carey ed. 6).

In 1830 he added a “w” to his last name, changing it to Hawthorne(online: Dates:

4/1/99). In 1838 a good friend of his, Jonathan Cilley, died in a duel in Washington

D.C.(online: Dates: 4/1/99). Nathaniel married Sophia Peabody in July of 1842. He

served as consul to Liverpool from 1853 to 1857, a job he received from President

Franklin Pierce, most likely as a gift for having written his biography. Nathaniel his wife

Sophia and their many children lived a happy adventure filled life.


I find it really simple to see where Nathaniel Hawthorne gained his influences,

whether it be his family history or the unique paths he chose to take in his extraordinary

life. His family had a deep history in quaint Salem Village, where they were involved in

the infamous Salem Witch Trials. His embarrassment of this history is the reason many

people speculate he changed the spelling of his name. During the early 1830’s Nathaniel

spent time with the Shakers of Cantebury, New Hampshire(Online: Dates: 4/1/99). In

1840 he began a job in the Boston Custom House. He lived at Brook Farm, a utopian

community in West Roxbury, for part of 1841(online: Dates: 4/1/99). From 1853 to

1857, Nathaniel served as consul to Liverpool. I find it easy to say he did not live the

average life, he always strove to learn as much as possible about anything he could.


Luckily for him, but even more so for us, Nathaniel Hawthorne was given many

opportunities to share his wealth of information with the world. In 1836 he was given the

privilege of editing and mostly writing the American Magazine of Useful and

Entertaining Knowledge(Carey ed. 7). In 1837 Nathaniel edited Peter Parley’s Universal

History (Martin 11). In 1845 he edited Journal of an African Cruiser, for Horatio Bridge

(online: Dates: 4/1/99). In 1847