Nathaniel Hawthorne Timeline
How It All Went Down
Nathaniel Hawthorne Born
Nathaniel Hathorne (he adds the "w" later) is born in Salem, Massachusetts. He is the second child of U.S. Navy captain Nathaniel Hathorne and Elizabeth Manning Hathorne.
Nathaniel's youngest sister, Maria Louise, is born in January. In April, his father dies of yellow fever in Suriname. Hawthorne's mentally fragile mother withdraws, leaving his uncle Robert Manning to oversee the boy's education.
Hawthorne writes and publishes The Spectator, a newsmagazine that he distributes to friends and family. It runs for one month.
Graduates from College, Withdraws from World
Hawthorne graduates from Bowdoin and moves in with family back in Salem. He begins a decade-long period of intense isolation from the world. He takes his meals alone, rarely sees friends or family, and spends most of his time writing.
Hathorne's first novel, Fanshawe, is published anonymously. The public ignores it.
The End of Nathaniel Hathorne
In October and November, Hawthorne publishes two short stories under his original name, Nathaniel Hathorne. From then on, he uses the name "Hawthorne" both personally and professionally.
Hawthorne takes a job at the Boston Custom House.
Hawthorne quits the Custom House and moves to Brook Farm, a utopian community in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He lives there until November.
After a three year engagement, Hawthorne marries Sophia Peabody, a painter. The couple moves to a rented house in Concord known as the Old Manse.
Sophia gives birth to the couple's first child, a daughter named Una.
The couple's second child, a son, is born. He is nameless for the first few months of his life until his parents agree on "Julian." In July, the family moves to Salem, and Hawthorne takes a position at the Salem Custom House. He publishes Mosses From an Old Manse, a short story collection.
Hawthorne is dismissed from Salem Custom House in a political shakeup. He is furious and declares, "I detest this town so much that I hate to go out into the streets, or to have people see me."37 He begins work on a novel about adultery and hypocrisy in Salem.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's mother, Elizabeth Hathorne, dies. Hawthorne falls into a deep depression. He continues writing The Scarlet Letter.
The Scarlet Letter
Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter is published. Despite—or perhaps because of—its scandalous themes of adultery, the book is an instant bestseller. An introductory chapter called "The Custom House" takes a swipe at his former employers. Two months after its publication, the Hawthorne family moves to Lenox, Massachusetts.
Seven Gables and a White Whale
Hawthorne publishes The House of the Seven Gables. Herman Melville publishes Moby Dick, the novel he completed after reading Hawthorne's short story collection Mosses From an Old Manse. He dedicates the book to Hawthorne.
The Hawthorne's third and final child, daughter Rose, is born.
The Blithedale Romance
Hawthorne publishes the novel The Blithedale Romance, a fictionalized account of the utopian community Brook Farm. He and Sophia purchase Hillside, a home in Concord, Massachusetts previously owned by the Alcott family. The Hawthornes rename it Wayside.
Hawthorne's old college pal Franklin Pierce takes office as President and awards Hawthorne a political appointment as U.S. Consul in Liverpool. The Hawthorne family sails to England.
Ends Consul Position
Hawthorne loses his position as U.S. Consul after Pierce loses the Democratic nomination for re-election. He chooses to stay on in England.
Back in the U.S.
Hawthorne sails back to the United States and resettles at The Wayside in Concord.
The Marble Faun
Hawthorne's novel The Marble Faun is published.
Our Old Home
Hawthorne published Our Old Home, a non-fiction account of his time in Europe. It is the last thing that he publishes.
Nathaniel Hawthorne dies in Plymouth, New Hampshire while vacationing with friend and former president Franklin Pierce. He is buried on Author's Ridge at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord.
Sophia Peabody Hawthorne dies in London and is buried there.
A century after their deaths, Hawthorne's wife Sophia and eldest daughter Una, both of whom were buried in England, are re-interred with him at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord.