Born in Salem, Massachusetts, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s (1804-1864) life was steeped in the Puritan legacy.
Hawthorne attended Bowdoin College from 1821 to 1825. There he met and befriended Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and future President Franklin Pierce. Hawthorne spent some time at the Brook Farm community where he got to know Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Never feeling comfortable living in Salem, Hawthorne was determined to take his family out of the town’s Puritan trappings. They moved to Red House in Lenox, Massachusetts, where he formed a close friendship with Moby Dick author Herman Melville. During the 1852 election, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a campaign biography for his college friend Franklin Pierce. When Pierce was elected president, he appointed Hawthorne an American Consul to Britain as a reward.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's short stories include, "My Kinsman, Major Molineux" (1832), "Roger Malvin's Burial" (1832), "Young Goodman Brown" (1835), and the collection Twice-Told Tales. He is best known for his novels The Scarlet Letter (1850) and The House of the Seven Gables (1851). His use of allegory and symbolism make Hawthorne one of the most studied writers and one of the greatest fiction writers in American literature. A second reason for many for Hawthorne’s greatness is his moral insight. He inherited the Puritan tradition of moral earnestness, and he was deeply concerned with the concepts of original sin and guilt and the claims of law and conscience. His greatest short stories and The Scarlet Letter are marked by a depth of psychological and moral insight seldom equaled by any American writer of his time.
He was a man of deep religious faith like many in the Tulsa community. In addition, he demonstrated great character throughout his life.
Teachers and lovers of literature look up to Hawthorne. He wrote about women’s rights, women’s work, women in relation to men, and social change. He wrote empathetically, sensitively, and even sometimes with disdain about topics that the everyday person could relate to.
Biography.com. (2017, January 04). Nathaniel Hawthorne. Retrieved from http://www.biography.com/people/nathaniel-hawthorne-9331923
Encyclopedia Brittanica. (2017, November 15). Nathaniel Hawthorne. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/biography/Nathaniel-Hawthorne
Klayman, R. (2009, August 23). What Should We Make of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Racism? Retrieved from http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/97175
Oklahoma Census Bureau. (1950). Number of Inhabitants: Oklahoma. Retrieved from www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/37783880v2p36ch2.pdf
The Gilder Lehman Institute of American History. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/literature-and-language-arts/essays/emthe-scarletletterem-and-nathaniel-hawthorne%E2%80%99s-
"Writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, Circa 1860." Gale Biography in Context, Gale, 2010. Biography In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/PC4295800879/BIC?u=tuls22931&sid=BIC&xid=c0b9e1b9. Accessed 12 July 2018.
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