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The Custom House Sketch: Original Documents

Original Documents Related to The Custom House Sketch

Title page of 1850 edition of <I>The Scarlet Letter</I>
Title page of 1850 edition of The Scarlet Letter
 (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
The Salem Custom House from the title page of the 1892 Riverside Press (Houghton Mifflin) edition of <I>The Scarlet Letter</I>.
The Salem Custom House from the title page of the 1892 Riverside Press (Houghton Mifflin) edition of The Scarlet Letter.
 
Title Page of \"The Gentle Boy\"
Title Page of "The Gentle Boy"
"The Gentle Boy" was published in a separate volume in 1839 by Weeks, Jordan & Co. in Boston and by Wiley & Putnam in New York and London and illustrated by Sophia Peabody. (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Page one of a copy made by George B. Curwen of a  letter from Hawthorne to Horace Ingersoll  written in Lenox in the summer of 1850 about his firing as surveyor at the Salem Custom House the year before.
Page one of a copy made by George B. Curwen of a letter from Hawthorne to Horace Ingersoll written in Lenox in the summer of 1850 about his firing as surveyor at the Salem Custom House the year before.
On the first page of this letter to Ingersoll, Hawthorne calls Putnam (who is appointed to take Hawthorne's place as surveyor) a "knave and a jackass" but says that even so, Putnam treated him in a "rather gentlemanly way." Ingersoll sold the original letter for one dollar to Curwen who made a copy of the letter for Ingersoll. This copy was given to George H. Holden by Ingersoll. Holden records this information on a note attached to the end of the letter dated March of 1896, Providence. (courtesy of The House of the Seven Gables Historic Site)
Page two of a copy made by Curwen of a letter from Hawthorne to Ingersoll regarding Ingersoll's role in Hawthorne's dismissal from the Salem Custom House
Page two of a copy made by Curwen of a letter from Hawthorne to Ingersoll regarding Ingersoll's role in Hawthorne's dismissal from the Salem Custom House
Hawthorne twice on this page calls himself a Christian, and contrasts himself with Ingersoll's "backbiting and stabbing me in the dark." Hawthorne attacks Ingersoll for his role in his dismissal as surveyor but also insists that Ingersoll did him a favor. Hawthorne explains: "If I had remained four years longer in the Custom House I should have rusted utterly away...." Instead, Hawthorne insists, "I came forth as fresh as if I had been just made." (courtesy of The House of the Seven Gables Historic Site)
Page three of a copy made by Curwen of a letter from Hawthorne to Ingersoll regarding Ingersoll's role in Hawthorne's dismissal from the Salem Custom House
Page three of a copy made by Curwen of a letter from Hawthorne to Ingersoll regarding Ingersoll's role in Hawthorne's dismissal from the Salem Custom House
On this page Hawthorne says to Ingersoll, "I do not reckon you among my enemies," but he refers to Ingersoll as "a kind of pet serpent who must be allowed to bite now and then." Hawthorne also sarcastically relates that Ingersoll has had quite an effect on "our literature" as "The Scarlet Letter would not have been existed" if Ingersoll had not "set his mischief making faculties to work." (courtesy of The House of the Seven Gables Historic Site)
Fourth and final page of a letter from Hawthorne to Horace Ingersoll  in which Hawthorne discusses Ingersoll's role in Hawthorne's dismissal from the Salem Custom House.
Fourth and final page of a letter from Hawthorne to Horace Ingersoll in which Hawthorne discusses Ingersoll's role in Hawthorne's dismissal from the Salem Custom House.
After attacking Ingersoll on earlier pages, on this final page Hawthorne states,"I doubt whether anybody (except perhaps the duchess) feels a greater kindness for you...." Then Hawthorne tells Ingersoll, "Try to be a better boy than you have been,Say your prayers,Leave off cigars, Eschew evil, make the most of what good you find in yourself,Stick to your friends,forgive your enemies, and leave that wretched old town of Salem, the moment you are your own man." (courtesy of The House of the Seven Gables Historic Site)
Salem Custom House Receipt, September 13, 1847
Salem Custom House Receipt, September 13, 1847
The receipt is signed by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Burchmore 
Salem Custom House Receipt, April 18, 1848 signed by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Salem Custom House Receipt, April 18, 1848 signed by Nathaniel Hawthorne
 
Salem Custom House Receipt from June, 1848
Salem Custom House Receipt from June, 1848
This receipt, signed by Hawthorne and General Miller, is for hides, ivory, nuts, and coffee brought to Salem on a ship from Africa. 
Salem Custom House receipt from May, 1848
Salem Custom House receipt from May, 1848
This receipt, signed by Hawthorne and Burchmore, is from a ship coming into Salem from Ceylon and Africa with hides, ivory, limes and two lions. (courtesy of The House of the Seven Gables Historic Site)
Hawthorne's Royalty Account from Ticknor and Fields dated July 10, 1865.
Hawthorne's Royalty Account from Ticknor and Fields dated July 10, 1865.
This account includes income from The Scarlet Letter
Mention of The Scarlet Letter
Mention of The Scarlet Letter
Page from the Historic Structure Report. (courtesy of Salem Maritime National Historic Site)
Summary Page
Summary Page
Page from the Historic Structure Report. (courtesy of Salem Maritime National Historic Site)
Plans for the Custom House
Plans for the Custom House
Page from the Historic Structure Report. (courtesy of Salem Maritime National Historic Site)
Alternate plan for the Salem Custom House
Alternate plan for the Salem Custom House
A Greek Revival plan for the Custom House. (courtesy of Salem Maritime National Historic Site)
Article from the June 11, 1849 edition of the <I>Salem Register </I> on Hawthorne's firing from his position as Surveyor of the Port at the Salem Custom House. Part 1.
Article from the June 11, 1849 edition of the Salem Register on Hawthorne's firing from his position as Surveyor of the Port at the Salem Custom House. Part 1.
 (courtesy of The Boston Public Library.)
	Article from the June 11, 1849 edition of the Salem Register  on Hawthorne's firing from his position as Surveyor of the Port at the Salem Custom House. Part 2.
Article from the June 11, 1849 edition of the Salem Register on Hawthorne's firing from his position as Surveyor of the Port at the Salem Custom House. Part 2.
 (courtesy of The Boston Public Library.)
Transcript Article from Salem Register, June 11, 1849 on Hawthorne’s firing from the Salem Custom House
Letter from architect Perley Putnam
Letter from Perley Putnam, "Architect" of the Original Building; June 19, 1818 (courtesy of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, National Park Service)
page2, letter from architect Perley Putnam
Page 2 of letter from Perley Putnam, "Architect" of the Original Building; June 19, 1818 (courtesy of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, National Park Service)
Building the Custom House
Carpenter and Mason Letter (courtesy of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, National Park Service)
Letters from the carpenter and mason
Carpenter and Mason Letter (courtesy of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, National Park Service)
Original Documents Related to Description and Depictions of the Salem Custom House
Poster advertising 1934 film version of <I>The Scarlet Letter</I> directed by Robert Vignola.
Article by Jim McAllister from the March 15, 2000 edition of The Salem Evening News entitled " ‘A’ for Effort" on film adaptations of The Scarlet Letter. (courtesy of Jim McAllister)
Portrait of Simon Forrester, eighteenth-century Salem merchant

Article by Jim McAllister from the March 22, 2000 edition of The Salem Evening News entitled "Forrester Was An Active Millionaire." (courtesy of Jim McAllister)




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