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1 1846–64 “I do not at all despair of seeing him grow up a gentleman” “A small troglodyte made his appearance here at ten minutes to six o’clock this morning,”the proud father announced on June 22, 1846.“He has dark hair and is no great beauty at present, but is said to be a particularly fine little urchin by everybody who has seen him.” The “troglodyte” was not christened for nearly a year, because his parents could not agree on a name. They bandied about a few, such as Theodore and Gerald; meanwhile, his father called him the “Black Prince” and “Bumblebreech.”1 For whatever reason, they finally chose Julian, the name of a pagan and apostate. A well-born child, he was the heir of distinguished New England families . On his mother Sophia’s side, he was descended from “Boadicea, queen of the Britons,” or so he bragged, and the Revolutionary general Joseph Palmer.2 His mother’s sisters, Mary Mann and Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, were renowned reformers, the first a teacher and wife of progressive educator Horace Mann, the latter an antislavery activist, feminist, and champion of kindergartens.The corpulent Aunt Lizzie—Julian once estimated her weight at “several tons”—“became the honored and loved friend of most of the eminent persons of her time and place,”and she“overflowed with unselfish love and good works for everybody, for us children especially.”3 On his father Nathaniel’s side, Julian was descended from the Puritan selectman William Hathorne, who accompanied John Winthrop to the New World aboard the Arbella in 1630. His forte was the“adjudication of crime, particularly illegal fornication.”4 William’s son John was a presiding magistrate at the Salem witch trials. Julian’s great-grandfather “Bold Daniel” Hathorne was a hero of the Revolution, and his grandfather had been a sea captain in the merchant marine and died of yellow fever in Surinam in 1808. Julian’s paternal grandmother had been a Manning, a prominent Salem family. Julian’s ancestry was not without blemish, however. Philip 12 part i: the heir Young documents an episode of incest in the Manning family in the late seventeenth century.5 As Nathaniel remarked in his tale“Main Street,”“Let us thank God for having given us such ancestors; and let each successive generation thank him, not less fervently, for being one step further from them in the march of ages.”6 Sophia bore her second child in the relative safety and comfort of her parents’ house in Boston near her mother, her physician father, and her homeopathic doctor. For six months her husband commuted to his job in the Salem Custom House. In August 1846, father, mother, daughter Una, and baby Julian moved to a small house on Chestnut Street in Salem, then two months later to a more spacious, three-story house on Mall Street. Julian’s grandmother Elizabeth Clarke Manning Hathorne (aka Madame Hawthorne) and her daughters, Elizabeth (aka Aunt Ebe) and Louisa, were ensconced in rooms on the second floor just below Nathaniel’s study.“It will be very pleasant to have Madame Hawthorne in the house,” Sophia claimed. “Her suite of rooms is wholly distinct from ours, so that we shall only meet when we choose to do so.” The house rented for two hundred dollars a year, a small fraction of Nathaniel’s twelve-hundred-dollar annual salary.7 Though Julian purported in later life to have been a fragile child, the opposite seems to be true. In November, five months old, he weighed a hearty twenty-three pounds. A month later his mother reported that he was “a Titan in strength & size” and “as large as some children of two years.” His father thought he resembled “an alderman in miniature. . . . There never was a gait more expressive of childish force and physical well-being.” At twenty months he was a headstrong “little outlaw” fond of mischief. In December 1848, Sophia noted that Julian at age two “rides very far on his hobby-horse,—round the whole earth,—and then dismounts, loaded down with superb presents for us all.” Or as Emerson might have said, “Hawthorne rides well his hobby-horse of the night.” His father hoped to foster a martial spirit in his son, who possessed “a disposition to make use of weapons—to brandish a stick, and use it against an adversary,” what his father considered a normal “masculine attribute.” Julian played with a wooden cannon and trumpet...


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