DEAD: Nathaniel Hawthorne

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

Nathaniel Hawthorne (aged 59)
American novelist and short story writer

Nathaniel Hawthorne (Hathorne; July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864) was an American novelist, dark romantic, and short story writer.

DEATH: Failing health prevented him from completing several more romance novels. Hawthorne was suffering from pain in his stomach and insisted on a recuperative trip with his friend Franklin Pierce, though his neighbor Bronson Alcott was concerned that Hawthorne was too ill. While on a tour of the White Mountains, he died in his sleep on May 19, 1864, in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Pierce sent a telegram to Elizabeth Peabody asking her to inform Mrs. Hawthorne in person. Mrs. Hawthorne was too saddened by the news to handle the funeral arrangements herself. Hawthorne’s son Julian was a freshman at Harvard College, and he learned of his father’s death the next day; coincidentally, he was initiated into the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity on the same day by being blindfolded and placed in a coffin. Longfellow wrote a tribute poem to Hawthorne published in 1866 called “The Bells of Lynn”.Hawthorne was buried on what is now known as “Authors’ Ridge” in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts. Pallbearers included Longfellow, Emerson, Alcott, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., James Thomas Fields, and Edwin Percy Whipple.Emerson wrote of the funeral: “I thought there was a tragic element in the event, that might be more fully rendered—in the painful solitude of the man, which, I suppose, could no longer be endured, & he died of it.”

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