Nathaniel Hawthorne Society Conference

Commemorating Hawthorne’s Bicentennial

Salem, Masssachusetts

July 1–4, 2004


            The Nathaniel Hawthorne Society will sponsor a conference to commemorate Hawthorne’s bicentennial in Salem, Massachusetts, beginning at 5:30 on July 1 and concluding in the afternoon of July 4.  With all but one session convening at Salem State College, the conference promises to be the most illustrious in the Society’s history, featuring thirty-nine presentations and several coordinated events sponsored by The House of the Seven Gables, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, and the Salem Athenæum.  Among the presenters, several were extended special invitations: Millicent Bell, Michael J. Colacurcio, Rita K. Gollin, Leland S. Person, and Thomas Woodson.  Nina Baym will deliver the banquet address.  As can be seen in the enclosed schedule of sessions, other presentations will be made by well-known Hawthorneans, together with established and more recent scholars in American literature from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Japan, England, France, Sweden, and Germany.  And for those who wish to remain in Salem throughout the 4th, the city will commemorate both Independence Day and Hawthorne’s birthday with an evening pyrotechnics show in the harbor fronted by the Custom House.



            The standard registration fee is $90.00; for retired persons and graduate students, the fee is $70.00; for spouses or companions attending conference sessions, the fee is $50.00  The enclosed registration form plus a check made out for the proper amount should be sent to Frederick Newberry, Department of English, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282, and must be received by June 15.  Registration materials arriving after that date will not be opened, and those who send late materials will have to register in Salem at the expense of an additional $20.00.

            Check-in: Pre-registrants must check-in at the registration table on July 1 at the House of the Seven Gables or on July 2 at Salem State College where they will receive a conference badge and hangtag, banquet reservation, commemorative booklet/program, and other materials.



            By far, the least expensive housing will be available in dorm rooms at Salem State College.  Single occupancy rooms will cost $25.00 per night, double occupancy rooms $40.00, with an $8.00 charge (total) for linens.  Payment for dorm housing must be arranged with Residence Life, which has set aside a block of rooms for conference registrants.  For information on the dorms that have been reserved, log on to  Persons interested in dorm housing are advised to make reservations soon by contacting Mathew R. Chetnik at 978-542-7572 or 542-5416.  His e-mail address is

            The Hawthorne Hotel has reserved a block of single and double rooms at a discounted conference rate of $169.00 a night (plus tax) for a maximum of four nights.  Depending upon availability, additional rooms may also be reserved at the conference rate.  Double rooms have either one queen-size bed or two double beds, and so one needs to specify the type desired.  Rooms come equipped with remote television, irons, and hair dryers.  Reservations must be made by mid-May for the special rate, and they may be secured by calling 978-744-4080.  Information on the hotel can be found at  Other housing available in Salem and nearby towns can be accessed by logging on to



            Lunches on July 2 and 3 will be provided at Salem State College and are included in the registration fee.  Those persons staying in the dorms at Salem State may take advantage of breakfasts (a wide variety) on campus, and to make arrangements for them, registrants must include an addtional $22.50 to the cost of registration.  Registrants housed elsewhere must breakfast in local establishments. The conference’s mid-morning coffee breaks on July 2 and 3 will offer what amounts to a continental breakfast, also included in the registration fee.

            For supper on July 1 and 2, registrants may select from restaurants in Salem and vicinity.  A list of restaurants and their locations, along with a helpful map, will be included in a packet of materials to be obtained upon checking in at the conference.  For online access to local restaurants, one may log on to

            The traditional banquet on Saturday evening (July 3) will be held at the Hawthorne Hotel.  Registrants are encouraged to attend the banquet not only because it has proved over time to be the capstone event of the biennial conferences but also because the Society has contracted for a required minimum attendance and cost.  Although the registration fee partly subsidizes it, the banquet will cost registrants an additional $30.00.  Persons filling out the registration form must be sure to select the entrée they prefer: Hawthorne Chicken or Roast Sirloin.  A vegetarian option is also available.  Wines are included in the banquet fee.  A cash bar will be set up in the banquet room.

            The banquet room has limited seating, and thus early registration for the conference may prove decisive in securing a place at table.  Many persons in Salem (who will not be registering for the conference but who are planning and participating in local bicentennial events) will also be attending the banquet.  It also seems worth mentioning that a good number of people not on the program have expressed their intent to attend the conference and, likely, the banquet.



            The conference program will begin with a presentation by Thomas Woodson at 5:30 P.M. on July 1 at the House of the Seven Gables, followed by a reception.  In the late afternoon on July 2, conference attendees will be invited to assemble at the Peabody Essex Museum, where exhibits of relevant Hawthorne materials will be on display, where a limited number of people will be able to descend to the spacious vault beneath the Phillips Library to see the C. E. Frazer Clark collection of Hawthorniana, and where the Society will also be treated to a reception.  In the afternoon of July 3, attendees will have the options of taking a walking tour of spots relevant to Hawthorne conducted by the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, visiting the Custom House and Derby Wharf, or doing what they please.  After the last paper session in the morning of July 4, additional persons will be able to take the guided walking tour of Salem, concluding at the Salem Athenæum, where the Society as a whole will be honored once more with a reception.  (Because numbers will be restricted, sign-up sheets for seeing the Frazer Clark collection and taking the walking tours will be available at the check-in tables.)



            Persons flying to Boston’s Logan Airport who are not renting cars should consider, rather than a taxi, enlisting one of several car services or public transportation to get to Salem.  A recommended car service is North Shore Airport Limo and Shuttle (978-745-1266 or 927-0700), which requires advanced reservations.

            For directions to Salem by car and public transportation, and for maps of downtown Salem and the area, log on to

            For directions to Salem State College and maps of the campus and area, log on to

            For bus and train schedules from Boston to Salem, consult  For the train, click “commuter trains” and then “Newburyport/Rockport line.”  Click on “buses” and the 455/459 line for the bus schedule.

            To access parking at Salem State College, take route 1-A South at the intersection of Lafayette Street and Derby Street in Salem.  Approximately a mile ahead on the right lies the college.  Continue straight, passing five institutional buildings, and turn right into the second driveway.  Turn left into the first lot, which will be open for the conference at no cost.

            To reach the House of the Seven Gables by entering Salem from the north on Route 1-A South: Pass the Salem Common on the left, and one block after Essex Street turn left onto Derby Steet, and three blocks after the Custom House on the left, turn right in the Gables’ parking lot.  It may, however, be necessary to park on Derby Street or nearby and walk to Gables.

            To reach the House of the Seven Gables by entering Salem from the north on route 114 South: Follow 114 into town, turning left at Norman Street, which becomes New Derby Street (and route 1-A North) after crossing Washington Street.  Proceed ahead one long block, cross the intersection of Hawthorne Boulevard/Congress Street (different names, same street), and continue ahead, now on Derby Street (name change alone), passing the Custom House on the left and entering the parking lot three blocks later on the right.

            Because private busing will not be available in Salem and public busing may prove inconvenient, it will be necessary to car-pool in order to ensure that everyone can get back and forth between Salem State College and non-campus housing or venue-sites in town.  Regular announcements will be made to encourage people having their own vehicles to offer benevolent taxi service.




            Members of the Society who have not paid their dues for 2004 should send $15.00 ($5.00 for graduate students) as soon as possible to Leland S. Person, Department of English, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221.  Non-members of the Society are encouraged to join at the rates just mentioned.