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Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4 1804 in Salem Massachusetts His ancestors were Puritans among which included William Hathorne He was a strong defender of his faith and took part in the persecution of the Quakers during the seventeenth century Hawthorne added the w to the family name himself by the way William Hathornes son John was a judge at the Salem witch trials Hawthorne was left to take care of his grievous mother at four-years-old because his father passed away early in his life He was alone throughout most of his childhood years He believed that all the misfortunes of his family were because of all his ancestors sins His dark views of human nature are reflected in his workHawthorne began to write while he was in school at Bowdoin College After he graduated he went back home to his mother in Salem and passed a twelve-year literary apprenticeship While he was there in 1828 he wrote some early pieces One specific novel was Fanshawe A Tale but later he withdrew it from circulation and burned every available copy During the early 1830s many of his pieces came out in The Token That was an annual anthology published by Samuel Goodrich Goodrich played a major role in developing Hawthornes career by naming him editor of the American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge in 1836 He also arranged for Hawthornes first collection of short stories Twice- Told Tales one year later in 1837 From 1839 to 1840 Hawthorne was employed as a salt and coal measurer in the Boston Custom House Later on he held the position of Surveyor in the Salem Custom House from 1846 to 1849 However he was dismissed abruptly from his position when Zachary Taylors administration came to power This left him poor but free to fully devote himself to writingThough his first collection of short stories Twice-Told Tales was highly praised by critics it didnt sell much Even
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