top of page

The Complete Writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne

Autograph Edition

with Portraits, Illustrations, and Facsimiles in Twenty-Two Volumes.

Boston: Houghton Mifflin and Company, 1900.

#425 of 500 copies of the Autograph Edition


Contains an original Salem Custom House Collector's Certificate signed by Nathaniel Hawthorne.


Volume I is also signed by Hawthorne's youngest daughter, Rose Hawthorne, and the publisher, Houghton Mifflin.


A loose slip of paper is also inside reading "Sincerely yours, Julian Hawthorne". Julian's name is hand-signed.


All 22 volumes of the set are illustrated by 22 famous illustrators of the day. The frontispiece image in each volume is signed by the illustrator of that volume.


Possible extra association point:

Printed in 1900, this twenty-two volume edition was possibly a gift from Julian Hawthorne (Hawthorne's son) to Caroline Burnham Hastings, an esteemed 19th/early 20th century book collector whose custom bookplate is pasted in Volume I and dated 1901.

A link to info about her book plate may be found here:  As described in the above link, Caroline Burnham Hastings' bookplate was designed in 1841 by M.F. Hackley. The Heraldic bookplate is inscribed: "Caroline Burnham Hastings \ Her Book" and depicts books and a palette with paintbrushes, encircled by dolphins and flowers. In this particular Hawthorne volume, the date "May 4, '01" is handwritten to the left of the bookplate emblem.



About this set

Of the 500 similar sets printed, this set is one of a select few issued with a document signed by Nathaniel Hawthorne. In this set, a Salem Custom House Collector's Certificate is bound into Volume I.   [BAL 7645] 


Custom House Officers were appointed by the President of the United States and included positions of Collector, Naval Officer, and Surveyor. Appointed by President Polk, Nathaniel Hawthorne was a U.S. Custom's House Surveyor from March 18, 1846, thru June 17th, 1849. His appointment ended when Zachary Taylor became President.

The Custom’s Collector’s Certificate document in this volume is signed by members in all three of these positions:


Nathaniel Hawthorne (the Surveyor), General James Miller (the Collector from 1824-1849) and Naval Officer John D. Howard (April 12, 1846 – July 20, 1849).


Known as a war hero for his actions during the War of 1812, General James Miller held several government positions including Collector at the Salem Customs House. When Hawthorne worked with the former-military man, he observed that Miller in the Customs house was "as much out of place [here] as an old sword among the inkstands, paper folders, and mahogany rulers on the Deputy Collector’s desk”. In his historical-fiction novel The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne used the real-life Miller as a central character in the lengthy introduction chapter “The Custom House.”


Excerpt from the Scarlet Letter:

…A soldier,—New England’s most distinguished soldier,—he stood firmly on the pedestal of his gallant services; and, himself secure in the wise liberality of the successive administrations through which he had held office, he had been the safety of his subordinates in many an hour of danger and heart-quake. General Miller was radically conservative; a man over whose kindly nature habit had no slight influence; attaching himself strongly to familiar faces, and with difficulty moved to change, even when change might have brought unquestionable improvement…”



The extraordinary contents of this set are bound in simple buckram with paper labels. Overall good condition with a few of the spine paper labels in fair shape with significant loss and rubbing. The volume exteriors show signs of wear and age spotting and rubbing.


In Volume I, the Custom's house document envelope page has an ~1" tear at the bottom of the page that is starting (minimal) to extend up into the bottom of the Custom Certificate. The document's page binding into the book feels loose. Handle with care.

Inside bindings of the books in general are good- very good. 



Each volume also contains a frontispiece hand signed, in pencil, by the artist. Black and white illustrations throughout.


Title of Each Volume and the Illustrator who signed the frontispiece:

I: Twice-Told Tales, Volume I. Ann Whelan Betts. (Also signed in the front by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop (Hawthorne's youngest daughter), and publisher Houghton Mifflin).

II: Twice-Told Tales, Volume II. Emlen McConnell

III: The Snow Image and other Twice-Told Tales. Sarah S. Stillwell

IV: Mosses from an Old Manse, Volume I. Jessie Wilcox Smith

V: Mosses from an Old Manse, Volume II. Mary Lewis Ayer

VI: The Scarlet Letter. Eric Pape

VII: The House of the Seven Gables. Maud Cowles

VIII: The Blithedale Romance. Benjamin West Clinedinst

IX: The Marble Faun, Volume I. Alice Barber stephens

X: The Marble Faun, Volume II. Alice Barber Stephens

XI: Our Old House. Ernest C. Peixotto

XII: Grandfather's Chair, Biographical Stories. Frank T. Merrill

XIII: A Wonder-Book, and Tanglewood Tales. Howard Pyle

XIV: The Dolliver Romance, and Kindred Tales. A.I. Keller

XV: Dr. Grimshawe's Secret. Frederick McCormick

XVI: Fanshawe, Alice Doane's Appeal, The Antique Ring, An Old Woman's Tale, and other uncollected tales. F.C. Yohn

XVII: The Life of Franklin Pierce, Biographical Sketches. Albert Herter

XVIII: American Note Books. Harry Fenn

XIX: Notes of Travel, Volume I. Childe Hassam

XX: Notes of Travel, Volume II. Edmund H. Garrett

XXI: Notes of Travel, Volume III. Jules Guerin

XXII: Notes of Travel, Volume IV. Ross Taylor


For additional photos of this set and close ups of imperfections, please email

The Complete Writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne: Autograph Edition with Portraits

    bottom of page