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Hawthorne at Salem

Hawthorne - Literature

The Seven Vagabonds

Introduction to "The Seven Vagabonds"

Materials prepared by: 

Cathy Eaton, Department of English
New Hampshire Technical Institute, Concord, NH

Joseph R. Modugno, Department of English
North Shore Community College, Danvers, MA

 

Chief Big Thunder (Frank Loring)
Chief Big Thunder (Frank Loring) (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)

Literature Related to "Seven Vagabonds"

Chief Big Thunder (Frank Loring)
Chief Big Thunder (Frank Loring) (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
 

Original Documents Related to "The Seven Vagabonds"

Maps:

Map of New England in 1640
Map of New England in 1640 
This map of New England in 1640 shows the region's major towns and settlements.  (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Map of Southern New England Indian Tribes, c. 1600.
Map of Southern New England Indian Tribes, c. 1600.
Map of Southern New England Indian Tribes, c. 1600. 

Indian signatures:

Indian Signatures from Early Massachusetts Documents
Indian Signatures from Early Massachusetts Documents 
Indian Signatures from Sidney Perley's History of Salem, Massachusetts. (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
The Squaw Sachem's Mark.
The Squaw Sachem's Mark.
Detail of an early document showing the bow and arrow that was the Squaw Sachem's Mark. The words identifying the "signature" were written by a clerk.  (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)

Thoreau-related documents:

Autograph of Henry David Thoreau from a Letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne, Feb 2Oth 1849.
Autograph of Henry David Thoreau from a Letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne, Feb 2Oth 1849. 
Autograph of Henry David Thoreau  (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Image of a Letter from Henry David Thoreau to Nathaniel Hawthorne, Feb 2Oth 1849.
Image of a Letter from Henry David Thoreau to Nathaniel Hawthorne, Feb 2Oth 1849. 
Letter from Thoreau to Hawthorne, Feb. 20th, 1849, Peabody Essex Museum, Phillips Library. (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Title page from the original autograph manuscript of Henry David Thoreau's <I/>Walden.</I> ©The Huntington Library
Title page from the original autograph manuscript of Henry David Thoreau's Walden. ©The Huntington Library
The first page of Thoreau's Walden, published in August of 1854. Thoreau lived at Walden Pond between 1845 and 1847 in a cabin he built on land owned by Emerson.  (courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA)

Images Related to "The Seven Vagabonds"

Penobscot Indian Arts
Photographs and Illustrations
Title Pages
Hawthorne and Raymond, Maine
Henry David Thoreau

Penobscot Indian Arts

Penobscot Indian Basket
Penobscot Indian Basket
Twisted Splint Ash Porcupine Basket. Penobscot Indian, 1946/48. (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
A Chief's Collar(Red wool, glass beads)
Mid-Nineteenth Century Penobscot Indian.
A Chief's Collar(Red wool, glass beads) Mid-Nineteenth Century Penobscot Indian.
Chief's Collar, Mid-Nineteenth Century Penobscot Indian (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Penobscot Indian Knife
Penobscot Indian Knife
A Carved Crook Knife. Mid-Nineteenth Century Penobscot Indian. (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Penobscot Indian Powder Horn
Late-Eighteenth, Early-Nineteenth Century
Penobscot Indian Powder Horn Late-Eighteenth, Early-Nineteenth Century
 (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Penobscot Indian Engraved Box;
Eighteenth Century
Penobscot Indian Engraved Box; Eighteenth Century
 (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Penobscot Birch-bark Vessel with Etched Designs
Penobscot Birch-bark Vessel with Etched Designs
Birch-bark Vessel  (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Penobscot Indian Brown Ash Baskets
Penobscot Indian Brown Ash Baskets
Penobscot Indian Brown Ash baskets made by Master Basket Maker Barbara D. Francis of Indian Island, Old Town, Maine.  (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Penobscot Curly Bowl Basket, 
20” round x 5.50” high
Brown Ash and Sweet Grass
Penobscot Curly Bowl Basket, 20” round x 5.50” high Brown Ash and Sweet Grass 
Penobscot Indian Curly Bowl Basket made by Barbara D. Francis of Indian Island, Old Town, Maine.  (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Penobscot Brown Ash Egg Basket,
Barbara D. Francis
Penobscot Brown Ash Egg Basket, Barbara D. Francis 
Penobscot Indian Egg Basket by Barbara D. Francis, Indian Island, Old Town, Maine. (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Penobscot Rosie Work Basket by Barbara D. Francis.
Penobscot Rosie Work Basket by Barbara D. Francis.
Penobscot Indian Rosie Work Basket by Barbara D. Francis, Indian Island, Old Town, Maine. (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Penobscot Two-Tone Porcupine Weave Basket,
Barbara D. Francis
Penobscot Two-Tone Porcupine Weave Basket, Barbara D. Francis 
Penobscot Indian Two-Tone Porcupine Weave Basket by Barbara D. Francis, Indian Island, Old Town, Maine. (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Old Style Penobscot Indian Birch Bark Canoe.  Made by Henri Vaillancourt, Greenville, NH.
Old Style Penobscot Indian Birch Bark Canoe. Made by Henri Vaillancourt, Greenville, NH. 
This eighteen foot reproduction of a Penobscot Indian birch bark canoe is in the style of those canoes used by Thoreau and his Indian guides on the lakes and rivers of the Maine woods. (courtesy of Henri Vaillancourt.)
Old Style Penobscot Indian Birch Bark Canoe.  Eighteen Feet Long. Made by Henri Vaillancourt, Greenville, NH.
Old Style Penobscot Indian Birch Bark Canoe. Eighteen Feet Long. Made by Henri Vaillancourt, Greenville, NH. 
This photo shows the beautiful detail and exceptional craftsmanship of this reproduction Penobscot Indian birch bark canoe.  (courtesy of Henri Vaillancourt.)

Photographs and Illustrations

Chief Big Thunder (Frank Loring)
Chief Big Thunder (Frank Loring) 
Chief Big Thunder (Frank Loring)  (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Clara Paul Wearing Traditional Penobscot Clothing, circa 1840
Clara Paul Wearing Traditional Penobscot Clothing, circa 1840
Clara Paul, Penobscot Indian  (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Unidentified Men Paddling a Penobscot Birch-bark Canoe
Unidentified Men Paddling a Penobscot Birch-bark Canoe
Paddling a Penobscot Birch-bark Canoe (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Illustration by Frank T. Merrill of Shem Drowne’s Indian warrior weathervane that stood on top of the Province House in Boston
Illustration by Frank T. Merrill of Shem Drowne’s Indian warrior weathervane that stood on top of the Province House in Boston 
Shem Drowne was a renowned weather vane-maker of the mid 1700s. The illustration was for "Howe's Masquerade" in In Colonial Days published by L.C. Page & Co. in 1906 (2) (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)

Title Pages

<I/>Twice-Told Tales</I>,
Twice-Told Tales,
The Cover of Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales, "Salem Edition," published in 1893 by Houghton, Mifflin and Company, The Riverside Press, Cambridge.  (Photography by Joseph R. Modugno)
<I/>Twice-Told Tales</I>, the \"Salem Edition,\" 1893, Houghton, Mifflin and Company, The Riverside Press, Cambridge.
Twice-Told Tales, the "Salem Edition," 1893, Houghton, Mifflin and Company, The Riverside Press, Cambridge.
Title Page of Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales, the "Salem Edition," 1893. (Photography by Joseph R. Modugno)

Hawthorne and Raymond, Maine


View of "Frye's Leap" on Raymond Cape after paintings on the rock have faded. (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Close-up of painting on rocks in Raymond, Maine
Close-up of painting on rocks in Raymond, Maine
The paintings, which some said were made by Indians, have faded over time. (courtesy of Dr. Melinda Ponder)
Rock on Raymond Cape between the Cape and Frye Island
Rock on Raymond Cape between the Cape and Frye Island 
Named "Frye's Leap" because a Captain Frye, leaped from the rock to the island fleeing from pursuing Indians. Later, according to E.H. Knight in Raymond Then and Now, "during the steamboat era as an attraction to passengers, supposed Indian paintings on the rock were reinforced in bright colors. To further intrigue the passengers a man or boy was hired for the summer to live in a tent on the top to appear in full regalia and with blood-curdling whoops fire a gun in the air" (6).  (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Detail of faded paintings at \"Frye's Leap\"
Detail of faded paintings at "Frye's Leap"
View of rock at "Frye's Leap" on Raymond Cape where paintings, said to be by Indians, have faded over time.  (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Hawthorne House in Raymond, Maine
Hawthorne House in Raymond, Maine
The Hawthorne House in South Casco, Maine, built by Richard Manning for his sister, Nathaniel Hawthorne's mother. This photograph shows the house in a state of disrepair, before it was restored by the Hawthorne Association. (courtesy of Raymond Woman's Club,Cardinal Publishing.)
Restored Hawthorne House at South Casco, built by Richard Manning for his sister, Nathaniel Hawthorne's mother
Restored Hawthorne House at South Casco, built by Richard Manning for his sister, Nathaniel Hawthorne's mother
Before being taken over and restored by the Hawthorne Association, the house was the Radoux Meeting House. Francis Radoux, who married Richard Manning's widow, made the house a community meeting place to satisfy a provision in Manning's will which left money for this purpose. (courtesy of Raymond Woman's Club,Cardinal Publishing.)
View of the Hawthorne House across the Dingley Brook from South Casco, Maine
View of the Hawthorne House across the Dingley Brook from South Casco, Maine
The photo was probably taken shortly after the house, which had been used by Raymond Village as the Radoux Meeting House, underwent restoration by the Hawthorne Association. Here the house is freshly painted. (courtesy of Raymond Woman's Club,Cardinal Publishing.)
Mill and box factory run by Willard Libby and built on the site of the original Dingley Sawmill
Mill and box factory run by Willard Libby and built on the site of the original Dingley Sawmill
The Dingley Sawmill and other mills were across the road from the house where Nathaniel Hawthorne spent time in Raymond, Maine.  (courtesy of Raymond Woman's Club,Cardinal Publishing.)
View of the Manning House, now in South Casco, built about 1810 in what was then Raymondtown, MA, but which became Casco, Maine, when Maine separated from Massachusetts in 1820 and Casco separated from Raymond town in 1841.
View of the Manning House, now in South Casco, built about 1810 in what was then Raymondtown, MA, but which became Casco, Maine, when Maine separated from Massachusetts in 1820 and Casco separated from Raymond town in 1841.
Richard Manning was local agent from the Raymond town Proprietors and was also the town blacksmith. According to Knight, in Manning's work as local agent and "through the acquisition of lands of proprietors in arrears on their assessments [Manning] owned a high percentage of the land of the town" (20). Knight notes that "the division line between Raymond and Casco is the Dingley Brook to the left of the house" (20). (courtesy of Raymond Woman's Club,Cardinal Publishing.)
Early picture of the Baptist Church on Raymond Hill, one of the first two churches in Raymondtown
Early picture of the Baptist Church on Raymond Hill, one of the first two churches in Raymondtown
The addition to the building in the rear was, according to Knight, "supposed to have been the building of the first church, which is very likely so, as it is of older origin and would not have been an added structure in this location and form" (173). Knight also notes that "the land for the Hill church was deeded by Richard Manning, agent for the Proprietors, on 23 March, 1803," and he points out that "the cemetery contains the graves of early settlers of Raymond"(173). (courtesy of Raymond Woman's Club,Cardinal Publishing.)

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
Daguerreotype taken of Henry David Thoreau at age 39 in 1856.  (courtesy of The Thoreau Society)
Joseph Aitteon, c. 1862
Joseph Aitteon, c. 1862
Aitteon was a Penobscot guide for Thoreau in Maine in 1853. 
 Walden Pond Reservation, Concord, MA.
Walden Pond Reservation, Concord, MA.
Replica of Thoreau's Cabin, Walden Pond  (Photography by Joseph R. Modugno)
Walden Pond Seen from the Thoreau Cabinsite.
Walden Pond Seen from the Thoreau Cabinsite. 
View of Walden Pond, Concord, MA (Photography by Joseph R. Modugno)
The Shore of Walden Pond Near the Thoreau Cabinsite.
The Shore of Walden Pond Near the Thoreau Cabinsite. 
View of Walden Pond, Concord, MA (Photography by Joseph R. Modugno)
Thoreau's Cabin Site, Walden Pond, Concord, MA
Thoreau's Cabin Site, Walden Pond, Concord, MA
Thoreau's Cabin Site, Walden Pond, Concord, MA  (Photography by Joseph R. Modugno)
Walden Pond, Concord, MA
Walden Pond, Concord, MA
from A Journey Into the Transcendentalists' New England by Robert Todd Felton (courtesy of Robert Todd Felton)
Walden Pond in 2006
Walden Pond in 2006
from A Journey Into the Transcendentalists' New England, 2006. (courtesy of Robert Todd Felton)
View from the site of Thoreau's cabin on Walden Pond toward the pond
View from the site of Thoreau's cabin on Walden Pond toward the pond
from A Journey Into the Transcendentalists' New England, 2006. (courtesy of Robert Todd Felton)

Critical Commentary Related to "The Seven Vagabonds"

Chief Big Thunder (Frank Loring)
Chief Big Thunder (Frank Loring) (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
 
  • Excerpt from The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Margaret B. Moore (courtesy of University of Missouri Press, 1998) In this excerpt Margaret Moore provides an overview of Hawthorne's treatment of Native Americans as subjects in his writings.
  • Excerpt from The Province of Piety: Moral History in Hawthorne's Early Tales by Michael J. Colacurcio (courtesy of Harvard University Press, 1984), used with author's permission Commentary related to the conflict and theme of "The Seven Vagabonds"
  • Excerpt from Gloria Erlich's Family Themes and Hawthorne's Fiction: The Tenacious Web (courtesy of Rutgers University Press, 1986). On the Theme and Conflict in "The Seven Vagabonds," From the Chapter "The Access of Power"
  • Excerpt from Salem Is My Dwelling Place: A Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Edwin Haviland Miller. (courtesy of University of Iowa Press, 1991) Edwin Haviland Miller comments on Hawthorne's relationship with his uncle, Samuel Manning.
  • Excerpt from Student Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne by Melissa McFarland Pennell (courtesy of Greenwood Press, 1999) Used with the author's permission Melissa McFarland Pennell on Hawthorne and authorship in the early 19th century
  • Excerpt from Salem Is My Dwelling Place: A Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Edwin Haviland Miller (courtesy of University of Iowa Press, 1999)  
  • Excerpt from The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Margaret B. Moore (courtesy of University of Missouri Press, 1998) Margaret B. Moore on Methodists and Methodism in Hawthorne's "The Seven Vagabonds"
  • Excerpt from Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times by James R. Mellow (courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Co., 1980) On Hawthorne's early travels

Websites Related to Henry David Thoreau and Native Americans of the Northeast

Chief Big Thunder (Frank Loring)
Chief Big Thunder (Frank Loring) (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
 

Explore Activities Related to "The Seven Vagabonds"

Chief Big Thunder (Frank Loring)
Chief Big Thunder (Frank Loring) (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
 

1. This activity was created by Dr. Doug Rowlett from Houston Community College System, Southwest Campus, Stafford, TX.

 

In nineteenth-century Salem the frontier was a distant place only to be read about by most inhabitants, and interactions with living Native Americans were few and far removed. The occasional Native American visitor to Salem had become by Hawthorne's time a quaint relic, more curiosity than threat in most people's minds.

However, residents did read about them in the newspapers and in popular books and articles and were certainly aware of their place in the history of New England, and there were still a few people alive during Hawthorne's early years who could recount old tales from previous generations about "Indian depredations." While Hawthorne never wrote the kinds of Indian-centered tales that Fenimore Cooper did, a close examination of his stories and novels will show he did make more use of Native Americans than is at first apparent. 
 

  • Read Hawthorne's "The Seven Vagabonds" and consider his thematic treatment of "vagabondage," in particular the repulsion and attraction he feels with regard to the tension between duty versus freedom. Hawthorne said at age 33 that "Our Indian races having reared no monuments, like the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, when they have disappeared from the earth their history will appear a fable, and they misty phantoms." . In other communications to his contemporaries, he discusses or alludes to his attitudes toward duty and freedom . Can his ambiguous attitude toward duty versus freedom be found in other short stories and novels (particularly The Scarlet Letter)? What does his attitude say to you about the place of the artist in the world and the conflict between his duties and responsibilities and the role of creativity and spontaneity in his life? Finally, explain the last sentence of "The Seven Vagabonds": "Finally, with a pensive shadow thrown across my mind, yet emulous of the light philosophy of my late companions, I joined myself to the Penobscot Indian, and set forth towards the distant city."

Lectures and Articles Related to "The Seven Vagabonds"

Chief Big Thunder (Frank Loring)
Chief Big Thunder (Frank Loring) (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
 

"Thoreau's Last Words-- and America's First Literatures" by Jarold Ramsey, in Redefining American Literary History, Edited by A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff & Jerry W. Ward, Jr. The Modern Language Association, New York, 1990. pp. 52-61.

"The Ideal Identity: Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Loss of Native American Culture," paper delivered by Greg Stone, Dept. of English, University of Tulsa, at the conference of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society, in Concord, MA, June 12, 2010.