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Excerpt from The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne

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.
"Nicholas and Hannah Phelps became Quakers, and the meetings in Salem were held at their home in the Woods. They were repeatedly fined for absence from the Puritan meeting (the only one allowed) and for entertaining Quakers. William Hathorne had issued and order to his minions: "You are required by virtue hereof, to search in all suspicious houses from private meetings, and if they refuse to open the doors, you are to break open the door upon them, and return the names of all ye find to Ipswich Court." Finally both Hannah and Nicholas were arrested; Hannah was put into jail, and Nicholas was banished from the colony" (34).

Page citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/page/10497/

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