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Critical Commentary Relating to Quakers in Hawthorne

Critical Commentary Relating to Quakers in Hawthorne

George Fox, Quaker from England
George Fox, Quaker from England (courtesy of Dr. John L. Idol, Jr.)
 
  • Excerpt from Understanding The Scarlet Letter: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents by Claudia Johnson(courtesy of Greenwood Press)
    It is useful to understand the background and history of Puritanism and Quakerism. This long passage by Claudia Durst Johnson is a helpful and clarifying summary.

  • Excerpt from Understanding The Scarlet Letter: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents by Claudia Johnson (courtesy of Greenwood Press)
    This passage clarifies the differences between Puritan and Quaker beliefs and shows that the religious disagreements between the two had important political implications.

  • Excerpt from Understanding The Scarlet Letter: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents by Claudia Johnson (courtesy of Greenwood Press)
    Even after King Charles II prohibited the execution of Quakers, Puritans found ways to hound them out of Puritan settlements. Hawthorne's ancestor, William Hathorne, was active in their persecution. whipping post; pillory ; stocks

  • Excerpt from The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Margaret Moore (courtesy of University of Missouri Press)
    Margaret Moore vividly conveys the "bad blood" that existed between Quakers and Puritans and the kinds of cruel punishments Puritans visited upon Quakers who refused to comply with Puritan practices.

  • Excerpt from The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Margaret Moore (courtesy of University of Missouri Press)
    " . . . William Hathorne was 'a bitter persecutor' who ordered the whipping of Quaker Ann Coleman through Salem and two other towns. Nathaniel Hawthorne seemed haunted by his ancestor's association with the punishment of the Quaker, the 'strange people' who had the 'gift of a new idea'"(31).

  • Excerpt from The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Margaret Moore (courtesy of University of Missouri Press)
    "In 'Young Goodman Brown' the young protagonist talks of his ancestor who commanded the constable to lash 'the Quaker woman so smartly though the streets of Salem.' Hawthorne had read this detail of the whipping of Ann Coleman in William Sewel's The History of the People Called Quaker, which said that Major Hathorne had once opposed 'compulsion for conscience' but that his 'firm warrant' for whipping had almost cost Coleman's life" (32).

  • Excerpt from Margaret Moore unpublished manuscript (courtesy of Margaret Moore)
    As this passage suggests, the Salem in which Hawthorne grew up was immensely rich in religious thinking and in religious controversy. It would have been nearly impossible for any educated, literate person to fail to be influenced by this ambience.

  • Excerpt from The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Margaret Moore (courtesy of University of Missouri Press)
    Margaret Moore makes it clear that the historical Thomas Maule is the model for the curmudgeonly Matthew Maule of The House of the Seven Gables.

  • Excerpt from The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Margaret Moore (courtesy of University of Missouri Press)
    Margaret Moore's claim that "Hawthorne's primary connection with Quaker persecution, however, was his descent from the Phelps family" (34) is interesting because he is also descended from William Hathorne, the Puritan well known for his persecution of the Quakers. Moore offers in this excerpt a brief account of the lives of Nicholas and Hannah Phelps, Hawthorne's ancestors.

  • Excerpt from Sidney Perley's The History of Salem, Massachusetts, Vol. 3, pp. 235-36. 1928
    That Quakers were active in defending themselves against the persecution of the Puritans is clearly illustrated by this account of the advocacy of the elderly Samuel Shattock.



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