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Personal Recollections
Nathaniel Hawthorne

By Horatio Bridge

U.S. Navy (Retired)

New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers


What then? shall we sit idly down and say
The night hath come, it is no longer day?
The night hath not yet come; we are not quite
Cut off from labor by the failing light
Something remains for us to do or dare
Even the oldest tree some fruit may bear

"Morituri Salutamus"

Charlotte Marshall Bridge
the wife who, by her wise counsels and cheerful aid, has
contributed largely to whatever of success has
come to me since our marriage; who has bravely
borne her full share of life's burdens, and who
for many years, enjoyed Hawthorne's
friendship and confidence

is gratefully enscribed by



THREE papers of "Personal Recollections of Nathaniel Hawthorne," recently published in Harper's Magazine, were favorably received, and have brought many letters, from strangers as well as from friends, urging me to publish still more upon the same subject.

I may therefore hope that a somewhat more extended account--in book-form--of Hawthorne will also be well received.

Accordingly, while taking the papers just mentioned as the basis of a volume, I have added some new material--including several letters from Hawthorne and General Pierce--now first published.

For many years I have resisted the persuasions of friends and publishers to write something of Hawthorne's life and character; to which end many recollections and not a little material, still in my possession, might, perchance, be profitably applied. But, conscious of having neither the literary ability nor the critical skill essential to a biographical sketch of the great romance-writer or to an analysis of his writings, I shall refrain from attempting either, and here limit my narrative chiefly to matters connected with his college days, and to some incidents in his later career which, I think, have not yet been fully recounted by others.

The rules of chronology will not be strictly adhered to in the following pages, whatever may be the effect on the story. My main object is to give some facts--new and old--with little regard to structure or embellishment.

A somewhat busy life on my part and frequent separations, by sea and land, often broke the continuity of our personal association, but never that of our friendship. As an offset to those separations, however, I probably received more letters from Hawthorne, of a purely friendly character, than did any other man.

The earlier of those letters were all destroyed at his request. Some of the others --the publishing of which I trust no friend of his would disapprove--are herein given.

H. B.

"The Moorings," Athens, PA., 1892.


  1. Chapter I
    • Boyhood of Hawthorne
    • Leaving Home for College
    • Youthful Characteristics
    • His Personality
  2. Chapter II
    • Preface to "The Snow Image"
    • Pastimes
    • College Grounds and Surroundings
    • Favorite Strolls
    • "Songs for Sailors"
    • The Old Fortune-Teller
    • Self-Distrust
  3. Chapter III
    • Class of 1825
    • Longfellow and Others
    • Duel of Cilley
    • Men of Mark in other Classes
    • Pierce, Fessenden, Stow, I. P. Hale, and others
    • Franklin Pierce's Character and Rank in College
  4. Chapter IV
    • Social Life in Brunswick
    • College Friendships
    • Favorite Studies
    • Rank at Graduation
    • Poetry Renounced
  5. Chapter V
    • Salem Home
    • College Expenses
    • Inn near College
    • Social Gatherings
    • Card-Playing
    • Rooms and Boarding-Places
    • Incidental Expenses
  6. Chapter VI
    • Wager about Marriage
    • Early Letters Destroyed
    • Hawthorne's Pseudonyms
    • Unmusical
  7. Chapter VII
    • The Faculty of Bowdoin
    • Close of College Life
    • Semi-Centennial Class Reunion
  8. Chapter VIII
    • Life after Graduation already Chronicled by others
    • Franklin Pierce's Friendship for Hawthorne, and his Devotion to the Union
    • Republicans Blind to the Danger of Secession
    • A Month's Visit to Writer
    • French Teacher Described
    • Purpose of Commercial Life Abandoned
    • "Seven Tales of my Native Land"
    • Fanshawe
    • Despondency
    • Various Disappointments
    • Old Letters of Writer Reproduced
  9. Chapter IX
    • Peter Parley Books
    • "Twice-Told-Tales"
    • Exploring Expedition
    • Weigher and Gauger in Boston Custom-House
    • Brook Farm
  10. Chapter X
    • Hawthorne's Marriage
    • Life at the Old Manse
    • Failure to Obtain Postmastership at Salem
    • "Journal of an African Cruiser"
    • Letters Relating thereto
    • Advice about Journalizing
  11. Chapter XI
    • Return to Salem
    • Visit to Writer at Portsmouth Navy-Yard
    • Appointed Surveyor in Salem Custom-House
    • Removed from Office
    • Resentment towards Salem People
  12. Chapter XII
    • Several Visits to us after my Marriage
    • Hawthorne's Residence in Lenox
    • The Red House Burned
    • "The Life of Franklin Pierce"
  13. Chapter XIII
    • The Liverpool Consulate
    • Letters relating to Changes of Consular Salaries
    • Letter of Sympathy
    • Offer of Portuguese Mission Declined
    • Resignation of Consulate
    • Recollections of a Gifted Woman
  14. Chapter XIV
    • Return to America
    • The Civil War
    • Hawthorne's Political Principles
    • His Loyalty to the Union
  15. Chapter XV
    • Visit to Washington in War Time
    • Letters showing Devotion to Northern Cause
    • Failing Health
    • General Pierce's Account of Hawthorne's Last Journey and Death
    • General Pierce's own Death
  16. Chapter XVI
    • Several Letters of Mrs. Hawthorne
    • Conclusion


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