Nathaniel Hawthorne Customs Documents, 1846-1848
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Nathaniel Hawthorne served as Surveyor for the port of Salem from 1846 to 1848. The responsibilities of this position included signing off on the inspection of ship cargo arriving in Salem harbor. It is believed that his years as Surveyor inspired Hawthorne to write “The Scarlet Letter,” as the introduction of the novel describes the fictional discovery of the story among the papers of a Salem Surveyor. All of the examples pictured here are signed by Hawthorne.