Bio: Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts on July 4, 1804. His parents were Captain Nathaniel and Elizabeth Clarke Manning Hawthorne. Nathaniel added the w to his name when he began publishing. He graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1825. While at college he became friends with the future President Franklin Pierce. Between 1825 and 1850, Hawthorne wrote more than 100 tales for magazines. These were later collected and published in Twice-Told Tales and other works.
Hawthorne married Sophia Peabody on July 9, 1842 and settled in Concord, Massachusetts. They had three children, Una, Rose, and Julian. The Old Manse, or minister's home, was the place in which Ralph Waldo Emerson lived as a young man. From 1842 to 1845 Nathaniel Hawthorne rented the Old Manse. He wrote about the house and surrounding landscape that later appeared in his American Notebooks and Mosses from an Old Manse.
In the book, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg, "Henry's friend pulled all the weeds in Mr. Hawthorne's garden." In real life Henry David Thoreau planted a garden at the Old Manse as a welcome/wedding gift for Hawthorne and his bride. The garden is still planted each year using seedlings from the original plants. From 1846 to 1849, Hawthorne worked in the Custom House in Salem, Massachusetts as surveyor of customs. It was in Salem that Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter, published in 1850 and The House of the Seven Gables, published in 1851. In 1852, the Hawthorne family moved back to Concord and into Wayside, formerly known as Hillside, home of the Alcotts. Nathaniel Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864 and is buried on Authors' Ridge in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, located in Concord.