Robert Manning, Hawthorne's maternal uncle (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Excerpt from The House of the Seven Gables, Chapter XV, "The Scowl and the Smile," relating to Robert Manning
Pyncheon, Hawthorne attacks Rev. Charles W. Upham, the Salem Whig largely responsible for Hawthorne's firing from his position at the Salem Custom House, but in her book The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Moore observes that Claudia Johnson "indicates that the vengeance may be against many of the patriarchs in Hawthorne's Salem" (196) including Hawthorne's uncle Robert Manning. This conclusion seems likely in light of this passage from Chapter XV, "The Scowl and the Smile," in which Hawthorne refers to Judge Pyncheon's "benefits to horticulture, by producing two much-esteemed varieties of the pear," an obvious reference to his uncle, Robert Manning, a noted pomologist who had over 1,000 varieties of the pear in his gardens in Salem.