Nathaniel Hawthorne

hawthorne1July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864

Nathaniel Hathorne was born – without a ‘w’ – on July 4th, 1804 (U.S.A! U.S.A!) in Salem, Massachusetts. As in, “1690’s Witch Trial” Salem. This detail would factor greatly into his life. He was related to one of the judges in the infamous trials (he would later change his name to ‘Hawthorne’ to distance himself from this fact) and spent most of his life in and around New England. Because of this, most of the works that Hawthorne created were set in New England. But it was his novels The Scarlet Letter – set in pre-witch trial, Puritanical Salemand The House of Seven Gables – also set, implicitly, in Salem – for which he is most widely regarded. Hawthorne explored themes of guilt and sin and deep symbolism in his novels and short stories. He also wrote non-fiction, including a biography of U.S. President and friend, Franklin Pierce.

Hawthorne lived for a time in The Old Manse, a house in Concord, MA owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson‘s family. He later lived in The Wayside, another house in Concord in which Louisa May Alcott lived previously. It’s fitting, then, that these writers whose lives were so intertwined, are all buried together in Concord. Nathaniel Hawthorne died while hiking in New Hampshire in 1864. The pall bearers at his funeral included Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Bronson Alcott and Oliver Wendall Holmes, Sr.


Sleepy Hollow Cemetery – Concord, MA

Specific Location

Authors Ridge; There are signs that lead to the famed hill where a number of notable American writers are buried, look for them and follow them to the northeastern part of the cemetery, the Hawthorne family is buried on the north side of Hillside Ave, directly across from Thoreau.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: