Nathaniel Hawthorne The 19th century had many great achievements happen within its 100-year time period. From the building of the Erie Canal, to the steel plow being invented. From the invention of the telegraph, to Thomas Edison creating the first light bulb. While all of these inventions have stood the test of time, one has lasted just as long; the inspiring tales a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1804. His name by birth was Nathaniel Hawthorne. He added the w to his name when he began to sign his stories. ("Nathaniel Hawthorne" American Writers II) One of Hawthorne's ancestors was actually a judge in the Salem witch trials. The guilt and shame Hawthorne felt of his ancestors were included in some of his stories. (McGraw Hill, pg.67) Hawthorne's father was a sea captain. He died of fever when Hawthorne was only four. Shortly after his father's death, his mother was forced to move her three children into her parent's home and then into her brother's home in Maine. Hawthorne's childhood was not particularly abnormal, as many famous authors have claimed to have. Hawthorne attended Bowdoin College and graduated after four years. After graduation, he returned to Salem. Contrary to his family's expectations, Hawthorne did not begin to read law or enter business, rather he moved into his mother's house to turn himself into a writer. Hawthorne wrote his mother, "I do not want to be a doctor and live by men's diseases, nor a minister to live by their sins, nor a lawyer and live by their quarrels. So, I don't see that there is anything left for me but to be an author." (" American Writers II, pg. 227) For the next twelve years Hawthorne lived in his mother's house. He Seldemly went out except late at night, or when going to another city. " I had read endlessly all sorts of good and good for nothing books, and in dearth of other employment, had early begun to scribble sketches and stories, most of which I burned.