Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘Legends of the Province House’ in relation to historical documents

Examination Thesis, 2003

64 Pages, Grade: 1,3


Table of Contents

I. Introduction and Preliminaries

II. Historical Background
II.1 Thomas Hutchinson – Epitome of British Rule?
II.2 The Province House – From Centre of Power to Oblivion

III. “Legends of the Province House”
III.1 The frame story
III.2 “Howe’s Masquerade”
III.3 “Edward Randolph’s Portrait”
III.4 “Lady Eleanor’s Mantle”
III.5 “Old Esther Dudley”

IV. Conclusion – “Moral History” or “Divided Loyalties”?

Works Cited

Further Reading

I. Introduction and Preliminaries

In all of Hawthorne’s work these four stories have probably been most neglected in the research done on his writing; Frederick Newberry goes so far as to say that “until recently the four ‘Legends’ have been essentially ignored by Hawthorne critics,” (Newberry 70) a fact that is only too true. Criticism on this collection has been only too rare, but, fortunately, these stories of colonial times and the American Revolution have come into the focus of researchers like Newberry himself, Michael J. Colacurcio, Alide Cagidemetrio and Julian Smith since the early 1980s (Smith taking a first look at them in 1969/70). All other research dating from the 1960s and earlier is rather brief and only looks at details of the stories.

But these researchers have taken a closer look at the presentation of history, Hawthorne’s divided loyalties and the general historical value of the stories. Additional work on Hawthorne’s use of history and his thoughts about the significance of history help to understand this amazing historical picture.

This paper wants to put Hawthorne’s tales into relation with historical documents, contemporary accounts and historical research of our days. It will also be necessary to look at Hawthorne’s other writing, specifically The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair to get towards a more comprehensive picture of his views on the colonial past of the United States. To give the reader a better basis to start the exploration of the ‘Legends,’ a chapter on Governor Hutchinson and the Old Province House itself will introduce the historical surroundings. Lieutenant-Governor and later on Governor Thomas Hutchinson is the central character of “Edward Randolph’s Portrait” only, but he is probably the man who has been made the most infamous figure in colonial history. His History of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay is also the main source for this paper as it was one of Hawthorne’s main sources. This should make it necessary to look closely at his allegiances and loyalties.

Except for the chapters on historical background secondary literature will only be mentioned; the source material and Hawthorne’s text shall be of primary interest here. The conclusion will then pick up some of the major discussions of research to round the picture off.

Although we are looking at the “Legends of the Province House” as a unit of four tales connected by the means of a frame story, it should be taken into account that Hawthorne did not at first publish them as a unit. They were individually published in the United States Magazine and Democratic Review in the years 1838 and ‘39. As a serial they must have been read by the public as separate narrations, probably not seeing the frame story as a unit. Only the second edition of Twice-told Tales brought the four ‘Legends’ together and gave them their subtitles “Legends of the Province House I” to “IV.” Here, they could be seen together for the first time.

Most modern collections of short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne choose one or more of the stories like the Penguin edition Selected Tales and Sketches. The Centenary Edition of Hawthorne’s Work prints them in the place they were given by Hawthorne in 1842 in the second book of Twice-told Tales. The edition used here (published in 1952 by Doubleday) is one of the early complete collections of short stories (although not comprising the texts now called ‘sketches’) and presents an accurate rendering of the texts.

The structure of the ‘Legends’ is an intricate walk through the history of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, told and ‘re-told’ as it appears. The frame story (see 4.1) uses a simple enough setting: A gentleman walking through Boston comes past a sign that points to the “Old Province House,” the former magnificent seat of the royal governors. Finding it to be a tavern he enters and encounters a man who seems to be one of the regulars and who is called by the narrator “The Old Democrat,” Bela Tiffany by name. It is him, who actually tells the first three stories, leaving the last one to be told by “an old loyalist.” The implications of this construct shall be looked at closer later on in this paper.

The stories take us back through the history of the province starting at the very end of British rule with “Howe’s Masquerade.” Governor Howe who had to abandon the Province House when General George Washington’s troops set on Boston in late 1775, is holding an extravagant ball earlier on that year and pretending that nothing of the glory and might of British rule has changed since the outbreak of what was to become the American Revolution. But his entertainment is interrupted by the parade of “spectres” who turn out to be representations of the royal governors of the colony and province, duly commented on by one of the guests. Although we start in 1775 with the end of British rule in sight, this story also takes us deeper into history, starting at the very beginning of British rule and slowly advancing on the present day of revolutionary Boston. This parade is a brief overview of Massachusetts history ending in the representation of Howe’s own person.

From this point on the reader penetrates the history of the province deeper, going back to Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson’s days in “Edward Randolph’s Portrait.” The scene is the day of Hutchinson’s decision to let British troops patrol the streets of Boston in 1770 to re-instate law and order in the town that had seen quite some riots about British decisions lately. Again, even earlier times are evoked by the prominence a black canvas takes in the story: It allegedly shows Edward Randolph, a civil servant under Governor Andros who was mainly responsible for the revocation of the first Provincial charter in 1686. Hutchinson’s fictitious niece Alice Vane brings this picture back showing Randolph with the horrified expression of someone suffering under “the curse of the people.” But Hutchinson cannot be moved not to sign the order to let in the troops.

ERP[1] takes place only five years before the action of HM, but, once again, earlier times are evoked in allusions; a reader with no intimate knowledge of colonial history will get hints as to Randolph having been a definitely bad influence on colonial politics, but the whole picture is only revealed to a reader who is knowledgeable about Massachusetts history.

“Lady Eleanor’s Mantle” goes further back in history: It is set during the smallpox epidemic of 1721. Governor Shute receives his distant niece from England who arrives in a near-royal flurry, evoking instant applause about the grandeur of her appearance. She is wrapped in a richly ornamented mantle that – as people say – was made by an old woman of London, England, in hours and hours of work and steps on the back of Jervase Hellwyse (who had known her in London) as he begs her to do so. A ball in honour of Lady Eleanor’s arrival is disrupted after only a short time, not before Jervase Hellwyse has once again begged Lady Eleanor to share with him a cup of wine, the communion of all humanity as he puts it. The day after the festivity, the smallpox epidemic starts its way through Boston, first affecting the people who had been standing around Lady Eleanor at the ball, then going its way down the social ladder to the poorest citizens. Hellwyse visits Lady Eleanor on her sickbed and is aghast at what he sees. He grasps her mantle and runs out, only to lead a mob in a violent demonstration in front of the Province House to burn the mantle and an effigy of Lady Eleanor herself.

LEM is the story with the earliest setting, and here, no excursion into earlier periods are made. The story is highly allegorical and the discussion later on will try to extricate what there is of historical telling in it, without losing sight of the allegorical jeremiad of its setting.

With “Old Esther Dudley” the circle comes to full close. We are back in the times of Governor Howe, but this time at the very end of his rule. We are shown how he leaves the Province House for the last time to give it – and thereby the province – up to the revolutionary troops. Left behind is an old woman, Esther Dudley, who has been sort of a housekeeper at the mansion for years. She vows not to leave the Province House before the next royal governor will pass the threshold. She is allowed to stay by the new republican government and spends her time keeping the building ready for a new occupant, meanwhile telling the children of Boston, whom she asks to come regularly, stories about the glorious past of the province under British rule. From a mirror she is said to be able to evoke figures from the past who then join her and keep her company. When the first elected republican governor - Governor Hancock – is ready to take over the Province House, she mistakes him for the royal governor she has been waiting for all these years and welcomes him on the steps of the building, only to be bitterly disappointed about who this man really is. She dies there and then, Hancock promising an honourable funeral for somebody whose loyalty had been so admirable.

OED closes a circle insofar as from HM on the reader has been led backwards through time, penetrating deeper and deeper into the provincial past of Massachusetts Bay, then coming back to the very end of the provincial era and thereby to the beginning of the cycle. If HM foreshadows the outcome of the revolution, ERP and LEM explore the reasons and developments that have led to the War of Independence and, finally, the United States of America. These developments come to their peak in OED,[2] showing the final withdrawal of the last royal governor and the arrival of John Hancock – the epitome of the Democratic Revolution (cf. to this cyclical theory also Newberry 99).

Remarkably, Hawthorne limits his exploration of the events leading up to the American Revolution here to the 18th century, only giving glimpses of the 17th century, although resentments had certainly been building up since then. But the final outcome of the revolution was certainly triggered by events that were still in the memory of the people alive, added to by the memory of a people as to what had happened in the previous century.

Additionally, Hawthorne had already explored the 17th century in earlier stories like “Endicott and the Red Cross,” “The Maypole of Merry Mount,” “The Gray Champion” and others. A treatment of the decisive years before the outbreak – literally: a people breaking out – of the revolution seems to make the events more real for the reader, to make it nearly touchable and – most importantly – understandable, with a great amount of emotional argumentation involved.

II. Historical Background

II.1 Thomas Hutchinson – Epitome of British Rule?

Few of the royal governors have been associated with the evils of British rule in such a ferocious way as Governor Thomas Hutchinson. Who was this man, and why was he followed by such hate? How did Nathaniel Hawthorne portray him in The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair ?

Many biographies of Hutchinson and more than one analysis of his governmental style have been written.[3] One of the latest accounts is A. S. Walmsley’s Thomas Hutchinson & the Origins of the American Revolution. Walmsley is following up exactly the question put above: Why was Hutchinson made the epitome of the hated British rule?[4]

Thomas Hutchinson (1711–1781) came from a trader’s family that had been living in Massachusetts for several generations. Anne Hutchinson (subject of another one of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short stories) was expelled from the town of Boston for religious distortion. Her children came back to the town and founded one of the most trusted and valued families of Boston. Thomas set up in business when he was rather young, but at the same time developed a keen interest in politics. After his two sons were old enough to enter in the business he had more time to invest into his political ambitions. By then he was already Chief Justice of the Province of Massachusetts Bay and held some other minor posts. This collection of political posts was the main point of objection to many of his opponents.

One of his great ambitions beside his trading company and his political career was history. Over years, when he was already in office as Lieutenant Governor and later-on as Governor, he assembled his History of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay, one of the chief works on New England history ever written. He himself believed that his great ancestor, Cotton Mather, had probably given him this skill.

His career advanced rapidly, and his inexhaustible work for the Province eventually made him Lieutenant Governor under Governor Bernard. By this time, conflicts between the citizens of Boston and the royal government had already deepened. Governor Bernard was heavily criticised for his position about the Stamp Act and the Currency Act, but it was Hutchinson who was made responsible for the anti-provincial legislation coming from London. Letters of his writing were published in the papers, and, finally, Hutchinson’s family home was ransacked by the mob in April 1765, just as Colonel Oliver’s, his confidant. Whether Hutchinson had really been responsible for the heavy duties implied by the Stamp Act shall be discussed in the following.

Another incident that enraged the people of Boston was Hutchinson’s decision as acting governor after the departure of Bernard for England to let British troops take over Castle William in the harbour of Boston and later on to come into the town as a police force. It is this decision that constitutes the historical background for ERP. For the people of Boston this was the final manifestation of British power politics, undermining the age-old independence of the province from the mother country. And again, it was laid at Thomas Hutchinson’s doorstep that he was a traitor to the cause of New England.

When Hutchinson became Governor of the Province in 1770 the crisis deepened. He announced that he would not be paid by the general Assembly of the province but directly by the crown, thus stating clearly his position as an official of the king. The removal of the troops from Boston to Castle William only constituted a temporary quietening of the situation. The (in-)famous “Boston Tea Party” as it was later-on called, and the death of his trusted brother-in-law, confidant and lieutenant governor Andrew Oliver late in 1773 devastated him: “He had lost faith in the ability of the British to govern Massachusetts by the end of 1773” (Walmsley 150). He resigned his power to the Commander-in-Chief of the British troops in North America, Thomas Gage, on May 13, 1774 and sailed for England on the Minerva on June 01.

There he finished and published his History. But his private life suffered one blow after another. Two of his children died in England (the daughter Peggy and one of his sons, Billy), and he was pushed out of the circle of political influence quickly as he had been reluctant to mingle with the society at court upon his arrival. He died in England in January 1781. The obituary in the Boston Independent Chronicle was written by John Adams, one of his fiercest opponents, with considerable sympathy and understanding. (cf. Walmsley 158)

Hutchinson’s conflict was to draw a line between his loyalty to the Crown and to his native country and fellow citizens of the province. His dilemma caused by his stern views about the position of the province in relation to the Crown of England can best be seen from the speeches he made following the “Boston Declaration” in 1773, a declaration by the citizens of Boston postulating the “Rights of the Colonists.” Within weeks 250 towns had issued resolutions to go along with the “Declaration”.[5] Hutchinson had the unique opportunity to make these speeches before both houses of the assembly (known then as the great and general court). He could be sure that his views would subsequently be published.

In the first speech on January 06, 1773, the governor established his fundamental views about the colony and its mother country. All colonial institutions were subservient to the king; they consisted of “a legislature established in the Province, consisting of the King by his Representative the Governor, the Council and the House of Representatives” (Reid 18). This might seem a harsh statement had it not been put into relation by the following:

When our Predecessors first took Possession of this plantation or Colony, under a Grant and Charter from the Crown of England, it was their Sense, and it was the Sense of the Kingdom, that they were to remain subject to the supreme Authority of Parliament. [...]

We see also Governments established in the Plantations which, from their separate and remote Situation, require most general and extensive Powers of Legislation within themselves than those formed within the Kingdom, but subject nevertheless, to all such Laws of the Kingdom as immediately respect them or are designed to extend to them, and accordingly we in the Province have, from the first Settlement of it, been left to the Exercise of our legislative and executive Powers, Parliament occasionally though rarely, interposing as in its Wisdom has been judged necessary. (Reid 16-17)

This is Hutchinson’s central idea, his perception of the relationship between colony and mother country: The colony is free to govern itself, but if Parliament, under whose rule the colony has to remain, sees fit to intervene in colonial politics, the inhabitants are not to object as to Parliament’s “wise” decisions. It can be derived from this brief passage that Hutchinson on the one hand was a firm believer in the freedom of political decision making within the colonies themselves, but would on the other hand never subject Parliament’s power and rights under this wish. But “freedom” – for people like John Adams or John Hancock – was independence. These ideas had to clash, and political awareness and the urge for independence were growing. Hutchinson was clearly misjudging this urge when making his speech. His goal was to paint parliamentary supremacy in as positive colours as possible.

The main objection of those who did not want complete independence but at least a better position in the Kingdom, was that there was no colonial representation in Westminster. Hutchinson’s reply is brief and direct: People who chose to leave the mother country, temporarily relinquished their right to representation in Parliament and subjected themselves to the considerate judgement of their fellow countrymen (cf. Reid 19)

Towards the end of his speech, Hutchinson makes his position once again quite clear:

I know of no Line that can be drawn between the supreme Authority of Parliament and the total Independence of the Colonies: It is impossible there should be two independent Legislatures in one and the same State, for although there may be but one Head, the King, yet the two Legislative Bodies will make two Governments as distinct as the Kingdoms of England and Scotland before the Union. (Reid 20)

The comparison with Scotland is – as Hutchinson as a historian will have been very well aware of – not quite correct as the personal union of Scotland and England under King James I (of England) and VI (of Scotland) can hardly be compared with the relationship between a coloniser and a colony (although Scottish nationalists are even today arguing along that line). But still: Hutchinson would not hear of any compromises in the constitutional rights of either colony or mother country – either subjection or sedition. His loyalties were quite clear.

Following this, the end of his speech sounds rather feeble:

I hope, we shall put an End to those Irregularities, which ever will be the Portion of a Government where the Supreme Authority is controverted, and introduce that Tranquility [sic] which seems to have taken Place in most of the Colonies upon the Continent.

To speak of “irregularities” at that time seems to the modern reader an understatement, and even his casually formulated wish for peace and tranquillity can hardly have been his purpose; Hutchinson was indeed hoping for reconciliation.[6]

That Hutchinson primarily wished for reconciliation with the mother land is shown impressively in his description of his arrival in England in the History. When coming to London he first heard of another Act just passed by Parliament that was to withdraw some of the fundamental rights of the colony.[7] Hutchinson’s comment highlights his resignation and shows (maybe for the first time) quite some insight into the minds of his fellow people in the province: He speaks of the act,

the consequences of which he[8] dreaded. The people, by their own authority, formed a legislative body; and from that time all pacifick measures for restoring their former dependence upon the supreme authority of the British dominions, were in vain and to no purpose. (Hutchinson III, 330)

His resignation and disappointment can already be seen in his account of his leaving the colonies:

This mark of royal favour [the prospective of his being re-instated as governor; mh] increased popular displeasure. The people were also made to believe, that these measures were the effects of his misrepresentations, and the clamour was greater against him than ever; and, being urged to it by his friends, he determined to take his lodging at the castle, while he remained in the province. (Hutchinson III, 329)

Once again he stresses the fact that people were deliberately telling lies about him to put him into bad repute with his fellow citizens. As already pointed out, he was not to return to Massachusetts and soon after Governor Howe had taken over the province, matters came to their dramatic climax.

The purpose of this chapter is not only to present historical evidence and an insight into the motives of Governor Hutchinson, but also to have a look at Hawthorne’s presentation of Thomas Hutchinson in other texts than ERP. Some attention should therefore be paid to The Whole History of Grandfather’s Chair in order to establish a first impression of Hawthorne’s attitude towards the main character of one of the ‘Legends.’

The portrait Hawthorne draws in Grandfather’s Chair is highly ambiguous. His first mention of him already gives a brief summary of his character traits:

He trusted in the might of the King of England [...] and thought himself safe under the shelter of the throne. If no dispute had arisen between the king and the people, Hutchinson would have had the character of a wise good, and patriotic magistrate. But, from the time that he took part against the rights of his country, the people’s love and respect were turned to scorn and hatred, and he never had another hour of peace. (Hawthorne, Grandfather’s Chair 153)

In contrast to many of his contemporaries, Hawthorne does not deny Hutchinson a good character; the only, but in his opinion fatal flaw, was his allegiance to the king. The description of the night when Hutchinson’s house was raided by a mob is another incident that is highly sympathetic for the man, if not the politician. Hawthorne seems to be eager to establish a picture of a human being that might have chosen the wrong allegiance, but was still human (cf. Hawthorne, Grandfather’s Chair 154ff).

Clearly negative is the following account, when talking about the people standing loyally on the king’s side, he chiefly mentions Hutchinson, Oliver, Judge Auchmuty and Reverend Byles with the following commentary:

[T]hey had the worst side of the argument, and therefore seldom said anything worth remembering. Moreover, their hearts were faint and feeble; for they felt that the people scorned and detested them. They had no friends, no defence, except in the bayonets of the British troops. A blight fell upon their faculties, because they were contending against the rights of their own native land. (Hawthorne, Grandfather’s Chair 177)

After this, Hutchinson only appears briefly in the descriptions of the following events without any judgement. The short notice about his leave for England is quite interesting, though. Hawthorne explains that Hutchinson “was summoned to England, in order that he might give his advice about the management of American affairs” ([141] emphasis added). No mention here that Hutchinson was afraid of staying in the province and probably even feared physical harm.

Hawthorne’s thus slightly ambiguous presentation of Thomas Hutchinson is mirrored in ERP as shall be shown later on in this paper. Although it seems clear that Hawthorne saw Hutchinson on the wrong side of an argument leading towards the independence of the colonies, he always seems to keep an eye on the man Thomas Hutchinson so as not to forget that the governor was acting out of conviction and not malice.

II.2 The Province House – From the Centre of Power to Oblivion

As the setting of the four ‘Legends’ as well as the frame story, the building of the Old Province House itself is well worth considering. The building is, unfortunately, no longer to be seen in modern-day Boston as it was demolished in 1922; only a bronze tablet reminds the passer-by of the erstwhile dwelling of the royal governors:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten[9]

Peter Sergeant was a merchant who had come from England and grown very prosperous in the provinces trading with England. His house was bought by the province after his death as official residence of the royal governors of the province.

Hawthorne gives a hint as to the builder in the frame story at the beginning of HM: “These letters and figures – 16 P. S. 79 – are wrought into the iron work of the balcony, and probably express the date of the edifice, with the initials of the founder’s name.” (120) He leaves a certain doubt, because he has just told the reader that his narrator had just been “attracted by a signboard” to the Province House and had thus not known anything about its existence previously.

The author himself must have been a lot more knowledgeable about the building as John S. Garner has shown. Between 1835 and 1851 Thomas Waite (as named in the ‘Legends’) was indeed the inn-keeper at the Province House. Hawthorne must have known this inn just as his narrator describes it. By that time warehouses had been built around the Province House so that the former facade now faced a courtyard.

As to Hawthorne’s further sources, Garner notes the following works:

- Thomas Hutchinson: The History of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay
- Caleb Hopkins Snow: A History of Boston
- George Bancroft: History of the United States of America
- John Claudius Loudon: An Encyclopaedia of Cottage, Farm, and Villa Architecture and Furniture (Garner 54)

To Snow’s account Hawthorne seems to owe a lot. The above quoted sentence from HM seems to be a paraphrase of Snow’s text, and the “description of the exterior of the house contains essentially the same information as found in Snow” (Garner 55). From this book Hawthorne could also have got the information that during the occupation of Boston amusements were held at the Province House to ease the minds of Boston’s upper class.

But Garner also points out two mistakes Hawthorne made: He describes Edward Randolph as the “founder” of the house (132), which can’t be true. The building was erected in the year Randolph arrived in Boston, but as shown above, was only acquired by the provincial government in 1716. He goes on to point out that another mistake in ERP is that Hutchinson as a native of Boston did not reside at the Province House, but had his own mansion on North Square (Garner 58). This observation is correct, but it could still be argued that decisions like this would be taken at a more official place like the Province House. The State House would hardly have been appropriate as it was too public a place for such a meeting and deliberation.[10]

It remains to be stated once more that Hawthorne did not have to rely on literary sources alone for his background. He must actually have seen the Province House as he has his narrator describe it and might actually have gone there just like the narrator for refreshments and the odd talk with one of the regulars. But whether Bela Tiffany did originate in one of the people Hawthorne met there remains speculation.[11]

The Province House burned out in 1864, and after this fire only the outer walls were true remnants of the erstwhile building. The interior was completely rebuilt and didn’t actually remind the visitor of the old function of the building at all. This may be a cause for the final demolition in 1921. Fortunately, architects and historians had the chance to take measures of the remaining walls as Faye Campbell Kaynor has documented and could thus give us an impression of the former magnificence of the building. In addition to the pencil drawing on the cover of this paper (also taken from the quoted article) the following reconstruction might give the reader an idea of what this impressive building must have looked like in provincial times.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten[12]

Directly opposite the former site of the Province House, Old South Meeting House and Church can still be seen. This church, an early wooden version of which was already built in the late 17th century, was built as a stone edifice in 1729. Its predecessor had seen the baptism of Benjamin Franklin in 1706. Robert Twelve established a public library in the tower, and Thomas Hutchinson used this library while doing research for his History of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay.


[1] The titles of the stories will in the following be abbreviated using the initials of the respective story.

[2] In the discussion of OED, the importance and meaning of history for Hawthorne shall primarily be discussed. A comparison with historical sources (as in the discussion of the other stories) will not be undertaken.

[3] Some of the most important works on Hutchinson can be found in the section “Further Reading.”

[4] The following brief account of Hutchinson’s life shall illustrate the rise of a politician and statesman and will be the basis for the account in the chapter about ERP.

[5] Cf. Reid 3. John Philip Reid has collected the speeches and responses by the House of Representatives from pamphlets printed by the editors of the Boston Gazette (cf. Editor’s Note).

[6] The subsequent speeches of both sides shall not be taken into consideration here, as this short extract is only to show Hutchinson’s complex ideas of loyalty.

[7] “Act for the better regulating the Government of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England,” August 1774. Cf. footnote 1, Hutchinson III 330.

[8] Hutchinson uses the third person throughout the account, probably to show his independent narration of history.

[9] The text of the tablet reads: “Here Stood | THE PROVINCE HOUSE | Occupied by the Royal Governors | of the Province of Massachusetts Bay | until the Evacuation of Boston by | the British Army March 17, 1776 | Residence of Peter Sergeant | Built 1679 | Bought by the Province | April 11, 1716 || This tablet placed by the | Massachusetts Society | Sons of the Revolution | 1923.” This illustration and other historical data taken from Fay Campbell Kaynor: “The Province House and the Preservation Movement.” The author of this article gives detailed information about the history of the building and also honours Hawthorne’s “Legends.” Other publications about historic buildings in Boston do not elaborate on the Province House like Howard S. Andros’ Buildings and Landmarks of Old Boston, which mentions it only briefly (59). Historic Walks in Old Boston published by The Boston Globe gives more detailed information and also mentions the “Legends.” (151-3)

[10] Hutchinson noted on his family’s residing at his country place in a paragraph of his History that Catherine Barton Mayo found some years after its publication. He describes in some detail his measures to repair the Province House that had fallen into a state of dereliction, and he goes on to explain its necessity as an important place of government (cf. Mayo, Additions 49-50).

[11] Garner actually speculates that the author of an article about the Province House that was published in the Southern Literary Messenger in 1839 could have been the inspiration for Bela Tiffany or the Old Loyalist as “[b]oth supposedly shared Hawthorne’s company at the Province House and are mentioned at the beginning and again at the end of the tale” (Garner 59). As Bela Tiffany had already been the narrator of the first story that was published in 1838 this is impossible, and even the coincidence with the publication of OED in the same year seems rather vague as evidence of a source.

[12] Illustration taken from Kaynor.

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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘Legends of the Province House’ in relation to historical documents
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