skip to page content | skip to main navigation
 Catalog and Search Tools  Research Help   Libraries and Collections  Services  How To ...  About SULAIR

General Information
Special Collections
Nineteenth Century
Twentieth Century to 1945
Twentieth-Century Poetry Since 1945
Twentieth-Century Fiction and Drama Since 1945
Twentieth-Century Literary Publishers
Popular/Mass Culture
Electronic Resources
British and Commonwealth Literary Studies
Contact Information

Printer-Friendly Printer-Friendly     


American Literary Studies

The Hawthorne Family Papers

The Collection

Location: Department of Special Collections, Green Library

Call Number: M0981

Size: 67 items

Finding Guide: A printed version is available in the reading room of the Department of Special Collections. Electronic versions of this finding guide are also available. If you have Microsoft's Internet Explorer version 6.0 or higher, click here to connect to the XML version on the Stanford server; if not, click here for the html version on the Online Archives of California server.

Research Access and Use: Materials in the Department of Special Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the Special Collections' Reading Room in the Cecil H. Green Library. The Reading Room is open 10:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Photocopies, photographs, and microfilm can be made of some materials in the collections. For more information about the collections and access policies, please contact Special Collections by telephone at (650) 725-1022, by electronic mail at or by regular mail at the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-6004.

Highlights and Research Potential of the Papers:

The Hawthorne family papers consist of manuscripts, letters, journals, and sketch books from Sophia Peabody Hawthorne, who was Nathaniel Hawthorne's wife, and from two of their children, the son Julian and the younger daughter, Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, both writers themselves. Documents in the collection indicate that these papers were originally owned by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, who gave them in 1921 to Clifford Smyth, the husband of Julian's daughter Beatrix, who was Rose's much adored niece.

Career of Sophia Hawthorne, 1809 - 1871:

Sophia Amelia Peabody was born September 21, 1809 to Elizabeth Palmer Peabody and Nathaniel Peabody. She attended a school run by her mother and sister in Salem, Massachusetts and upon graduation, became a teacher there as well. In December of 1833, Sophia and her sister Mary traveled with the family of Richard Cleveland to Cuba. Her letters home were collected and circulated among friends by her mother under the title Cuba Journal. After returning from Cuba in 1835, Sophia achieved a reputation as a copyist of artworks, which led to a meeting with Nathaniel Hawthorne, who engaged her to illustrate the published edition of The Gentle Boy (1839), which he in turn dedicated to her. In 1842, Sophia and Nathaniel Hawthorne were married and moved into the Old Manse in Concord. Together they had three children: Una in 1844, Julian in 1846, and Rose in 1851. In 1852, Hawthorne was appointed U.S. Consul to England and the family moved to Liverpool. After the completion of his term of office, they traveled about Europe, returning to Wayside, their house in Concord, in 1858, where they remained until Hawthorne’s death in 1864. In 1865 Sophia edited his notebooks for a series of articles in the Atlantic Monthly; they were later collected under the title Passages from the American Notebooks (1868). Moving to London in 1868, she supported herself by publishing her own travel writings, Notes in England and Italy (1870). She spent her last years transcribing other of her husband’s journals, which were eventually published as Passages from the French and Italian Notebooks of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1878), seven years after her death.

Career of Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, 1851 - 1926:

Born in Lenox, Massachusetts, on May 20, 1851, Rose Hawthorne was educated abroad in London, Paris, Rome, and Florence. In 1883, she married George Parsons Lathrop, who became assistant editor of Atlantic Monthly, and who also edited a collected edition of Hawthorne's works. Her first published work was a book of poems, Along the Shore(1888). She later separated from her husband and moved to New York where she began caring for the cancerous poor. In an effort to support her charity work she wrote Memories of Hawthorne (1897) which drew on her mother’s journals and letters. She converted to Catholicism in 1900 and took vows in the Dominican order, assuming the title "Mother Alphonsa." She went on to found the Servants of Relief for Incurable Cancer and spent the remainder of her life in this service.

Description of the Papers:

Sophia Hawthorne Letters (32 letters)
Small segments of some of these letters have been published in Rose Hawthorne Lathrop's Memories of Hawthorne (1897), which prints portions of 23 of them. Among the 9 letters that do not appear in Memories of Hawthorne are two letters containing passages about Herman Melville. The second of these, dated 24 October 1851, devotes two of its 8 pages to Sophia's impression of Melville and is especially remarkable.

Sophia Hawthorne Journals (4 journals, c.100+ holograph pages)
These journals open a more intimate window onto the mind of Sophia and the Hawthorne milieu than do the letters. The journals from 1832 and 1833 appear especially notable, since in they pre-date her visit to Cuba, a period for which only 4 other journals exist.

Sophia Hawthorne Sketchbooks (2 sketchbooks)
These notebooks contain a few drawings and watercolor fragments by Sophia Hawthorne; many more are by her daughter Rose, when she was a child.

Letters to Sophia and Nathaniel Hawthorne (22 letters)
Particularly notable in this series are the letters from R.W. Emerson and George Hillard. Among the remaining letters, correspondents Ellen Channing, Mrs. Hall, Elizabeth Hoar, and Mrs. James Russell Lowell are particularly useful in showing the manner of communication among the women in the greater Concord circle.

Julian Hawthorne Letters (23 letters)
All but three of the letters are to Julian’s son-in-law Clifford Smyth, a literary editor and historian. Of the remaining three, two are childhood notes, written in pencil, one to his grandmother, Mrs. Elizabeth Peabody, and the other to his aunt, Mrs. Elizabeth Peabody Mann.

Rose Lathrop Hawthorne Letters and Manuscripts (56 letters, literary manuscripts, and juvenalia)
Virtually all of these letters are written from Rosary Hill Home to Beatrix, Rose's niece and the wife of Clifford Smyth, some of which appear in her book, Memories of Hawthorne (1897) Long, intimate, often highly emotional pieces, they provide striking insight into Rose Hawthorne Lathrop from 1913 until her death in 1926. Also included are c. 450 pages of holograph manuscripts which, though undated, can be placed as pre-1900, during the later years of her estranged marriage and the early years of her Catholic service. The manuscripts consist of complete drafts of short stories and substantial fragments of several novels. None of these manuscripts seem to have been previously published. Also present are two other items of interest: a copybook dated 1858, when Rose was seven, with penmanship exercises and numerous poems, and a holograph journal from 1873, when she was 22.

Selected Criticism of Sophia Hawthorne

  • Valenti, Patricia Dunlavy "Sophia Peabody Hawthorne: A Study of Artistic Influence" In
    Studies in the American Renaissance: 1 - 22.

Selected Writings and Criticism of Rose Hawthorne Lathrop

  • Culbertson, Diana, Ed., Selected Writings of Rose Hawthorne Lathrop (New York : Paulist Press, 1993)

Selected Biography and Autobiography of Rose Hawthorne Lathrop

  • Burton, Katherine, Sorrow Built a Bridge: A Daughter of Hawthorne (London : Longman, Greens, 1937) PS2231 .B8
  • Joseph, M. Out of Many Hearts. (Hawthorne, NY : Servants of Relief for Incurable Cancer, 1965.
  • Lathrop, Rose Hawthorne. Memories of Hawthorne. (New York : Houghton, Mifflin, 1897) 813.3.H392Lt
  • Maynard, Theodore. A Fire Was Lighted : The Life of Rose Hawthorne Lathrop. (Milwaukee : Bruce Publishing Company, 1948) BX4705 .L35 M3
  • Valenti, Patricia Dunlavy. To Myself a Stranger : A Biography of Rose Hawthorne Lathrop. (Baton, LA : Louisiana State University Press, 1991) PS 2231 .V35
  • Vance, Marguerite. On the Wings of Fire: The Story of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Daughter, Rose (Mother Alphonsa). (New York : Dutton, 1955.) BX4705 .L35 V3
  • Gaeddert, LouAnn. A New England Love Story: Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody.
    (NY : The Dial Press, 1980)
  • Tharp, Louise Hall. The Peabody Sisters of Salem. (London : George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd, 1951) 974.45 .P354T

Other Manuscript Depositories
For Sophia Hawthorne, the Berg Collection at New York Public Library is the major repository, holding most of the extant letters, many of her journals, and hundreds of letters received by her.

For Julian Hawthorne, the Bancroft Library at UC-Berkeley owns the principal collection.

Rose Hawthorne's papers are dispersed among a number of different institutions, with the larger concentrations at the Peabody Essex Institute and at the Rosary Hill Home for Incurable Cancer in Hawthorne N.Y.

Related Manuscript Collections at Stanford

  • Bridge, Horatio. DIARY, 1840.
    Special Collections Misc 135 - Item CSUR85-A156 (Archives)



Last modified: September 21, 2007

© Stanford University. Stanford, CA 94305. (650) 723-2300. Terms of Use | Copyright Complaints
[an error occurred while processing this directive]