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NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, THE CONCORD FREEMAN, AND THE IRISH “OTHER” MONICA ELBERT during his Wrst residence in Concord—from 1842 to 1845—Nathaniel Hawthorne was probably aware that the weekly local newspaper, The Concord Freeman, a hodgepodge of sophistication and provinciality, reprinted no fewer than eleven of his stories on its front page, which was most often devoted to domestic, patriotic, sentimental, Gothic, or moral and allegorical Wction and poetry. Hawthorne’s stories, as well as most of the popular tales which made their way to the front page, were reprinted from earlier publications in newspapers, journals, or books. Being a popular writer of sorts, Hawthorne also imbibed the prejudices of his time, so that he upheld gender stereotypes and inadvertently condoned xenophobic tendencies.1 Moreover, in forging a new American identity, Hawthorne attempted to make sense of cultures traditionally perceived as less than civilized, which, for Hawthorne, often meant Anglicized. No Hawthorne critic, to my mind, has pointed out Hawthorne’s connection to his local Concord newspaper, though there are references to several stories being reprinted in his local Salem newspapers, the Salem Mercury and Salem Gazette.2 I am not so much interested in showing how NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, THE CONCORD FREEMAN, AND THE IRISH “OTHER” 60 1 As Laura Wexler has pointed out, there was a real design on the part of sentimental white middle-class Wction to control others: “it aimed at the subjection of diVerent classes and even races who were compelled to play not the leading roles but the human scenery before which the melodrama of middle-class redemption could be enacted.” Joel PWster quotes this passage from Wexler’s forthcoming essay in Pfister’s book The Production of Personal Life: Class, Gender, and the Psychological in Hawthorne’s Fiction (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991), p. 7. 2 Not even the most extensive expositions by C. E. Frazer Clark, Jr. and by Lea Newman on the publication history of Hawthorne’s tales and sketches make The Concord Freeman connection. However, various authors do make the Salem connection: C. E. Frazer Clark, Jr., Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Descriptive Bibliography (Pittsburgh: University Hawthorne inXuenced the newspaper as I am in showing how the editor of The Concord Freeman, Charles Creighton Hazewell, appropriated Hawthorne, perhaps for his own political purposes or economic ends, and certainly for Hawthorne’s popular appeal.3 Those stories of Hawthorne’s that Hazewell reprinted on the front page of his paper reXected the community ’s values, for the subject matter related to the domestic or moral and allegorical sphere, to American patriotism, or to the Gothic uncanny.4 Certainly, as many critics have pointed out about Hawthorne’s most successful stories during his lifetime, these reprints are, generally, not the stories for which we remember him today.5 In his recent portrait of Hawthorne as a popular writer, David S. Reynolds has shown that Hawthorne had a NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, THE CONCORD FREEMAN, AND THE IRISH “OTHER” 61 of Pennsylvania Press, 1978), pp. 56, 412, V.; Lea Bertani Vozar Newman, A Reader’s Guide to the Short Stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1979), p. 287, V.; and David S. Reynolds, Beneath the American Renaissance (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988), p. 255. Much of my research was conducted at the Concord Free Public Library, one of the few repositories that houses The Concord Freeman. My special thanks go to the curator of special collection, Marcia Moss, for allowing me access to the newspaper holdings and for telling me many interesting Concord stories. 3 Charles C. Hazewell was editor of The Concord Freeman during Hawthorne’s Wrst residence in Concord. Although Hazewell supposedly never met Hawthorne in person, he wrote, according to Buford Jones, many favorable reviews of Hawthorne’s work during and after Hawthorne’s life. While I was doing research at the Concord Free Public Library, Buford Jones, of Duke University, gave an informative and thorough talk on Charles Creighton Hazewell at the Hawthorne Conference, June, 1992. Unfortunately, I could not locate any Hazewell reviews of Hawthorne in his own paper, The Concord Freeman. When Hawthorne left Concord in 1845, his presence in The Concord Freeman also seemed, curiously , to disappear. Perhaps it...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1550-5162
Print ISSN
0013-2683
Pages
pp. 60-73
Launched on MUSE
2017-08-31
Open Access
No
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