Table Of Contents

Table Of Contents

Ferdinand Tyler's Foundry, John Putnam's Toll Booth, April 1869 Flood.jpg

Ferdinand Tyler's Foundry In April 1869

Formerly Hines, Newman & Hunt Machine Shop In 1852

Sign Over Door Says Black-Smith

John Putnam's Island Toll House In Distance

Photograph Probably By David A. Henry


Mammoth Tusk Discovered 1865

Centennial Antiques Show 1876

The First Ballot Box 1759

Otis H. Cooley's Daguerreotype 1847

John Sargeant Family Bible 1752

Cardiff Giant In Revere House 1871

Town Hall Antique Show 1857

Joshua Davis Powder Horn 1776

Valley Fair Antiques Show 1890

Fairbank Moore Powder Horn 1777

Robert Pender's Indian Hatchet

Jason Bushnell's Old Red Mill Museum



Stephen Risley, Tombstones

Pardon Taylor, Edward Palmer, Drowning In July 1797

Meeting House Hill Cemetery 1880

Brattleboro Epitaphs

John Wolcott Phelps Visits Meeting House Hill

Elizabeth Amanda Miner And Dr. Charles L. Smith

Soldiers' Cemetery On Prospect Hill

Lost Cemetery On High Street Hill

John Noyes Mead 1850

Winifred Hadley, Seamstress 1884

Dr. John Wilson Gravestone 1847

Moses Platts Drowns 1816

Mary Elizabeth Bennett, Edgar Palmer Gillett

Prospect Hill Cemetery In September 1840

Prospect Hill Cemetery In May 1844

The Brattleboro Retreat Cemetery (Asylum Cemetery)

Two Women, Walnut Street, Mrs. Mary E. Kirkland's Boarding House, Akeley & Houghton Photograph.jpg

Two Women With Parasols At Main Street And Walnut Street

Mrs. Mary E. Kirkland's Boarding House

Akeley & Houghton Photographers


Service For Abraham Lincoln 1865

Church On The Common Dedication Address 1816

Rev. Charles Walker, Thanksgiving Sermon 1844

First Meeting House 1768

First Catholic Church On Spring Street 1855

Church On The Common, Clock And Bell 1832

Rev. Thomas Pickman Tyler, Christmas Sermon 1876

Church On The Common Land Lawsuit

The Elliot Street Chapel

Methodist Church Seen From Canal Street.jpg

Methodist Church On School Street

Connecticut River And Wantastiquet

Fort Dummer Site

Connecticut River Bridge 1804

Connecticut River Forts

Wantastiquet History And Mine Mountain

Charles L. Gunzinger, Sculptor

Old Covered Bridge 1903

Boat Club 1860

Connecticut River Flatboat 1814

John Wolcott Phelps, Connecticut River Fog

Steamboat "Greenfield" Explosion 1840

Brattleboro Across The Connecticut River 1887.jpg

Brattleboro From The Hinsdale Road In 1887

Root's Island, Covered Bridge


Early Settlement

Seth Smith House 1776

Rev. Jedediah L. Stark's Early History Of Brattleboro

Brattleboro East Village 1753--1795

Enoch Jacobs' Marlboro History 1879

Major John Arms 1762

Stephen Greenleaf's Village 1836

Stephen Greenleaf Senior's Lands

Thomas Brattle 1722

Samuel Wells Land Deed 1770

Town Meeting 1768

Town Meeting Halls

Old Roads, First Settlers, Hoyt Henry Wheeler's History

Daniel Whipple, Vermont Census 1771

Early Town Records 1768

Samuel Elliot On Newfane Hill

Main Street, Sign Of The Tall Pole, Billiards, Meals At All Hours, Circa 1860.jpg

"At the Sign of the Tall Pole"

East Side Of Main Street


Masquerade Ball 1887

An Evening In Brattleboro 1874

Leonid Meteor Shower, November 1833

Meteor Over Connecticut River 1860

Irish Flag 1873

Elliot Street Arson Fire 1886

Brooks House Party 1896

Printer's Devil 1834

Raphael Tapestry 1843



The Levi Goodnough Farm

John Thomas Farm 1798

Rev. William Wells Farm 1796

Cold Spring

Albert Bennet, His Farm 1839

Clark Rice Farm 1848

Ginseng Hill 1902

Stephen Greenleaf's Toast To American Farmers

Josiah Arms West River Farm 1804

North Main Street Area, May 1856.jpg

North Main Street Area, May 1856

Central School, John Wolcott Phelps House, Ferdinand Tyler House

Houses And Buildings

General John W. Phelps "The Lindens"

Samuel Wells House 1773

Seth Smith House 1776

Granite Block, Main Street

John Holbrook's Witch Stairs

"Lindenhurst" In 1890

Dr. John Wilson's House In Newfane

Alexander Turner's "Journey's End" Farm

Flat Street, Green Street, Methodist Church, Brown's Woods.jpg

Flat Street, Green Street, Methodist Church, Brown's Woods


Capt. John "Ringbolt" Codman Praises Brattleboro 1864

Una Hawthorne in Brown's Woods 1868

Henry Burnham "Reminicences" 1866

Helen Hunt Jackson

Rudyard Kipling Memory 1894

Davis Brown The "Newfane Hermit" 1872

Louisa Higginson's Railroad Song 1849

Henry David Thoreau's Panther 1856

Emily Dickinson Daguerreotype

View From Prospect Hill, Circa 1860, Wood Block Engraving.jpg

"History and Description of New England: Vermont"

Austin Jacobs Coolidge and John Brainard Mansfield

Boston: Austin J. Coolidge, 39 Court Street, Press of Geo. C. Rand, 1860.

Main Street

George Houghton's Main Street Photograph 1866

Joseph Steen's Corner

The Lottery 1827

Granite Block 1840

East Village Common

Edward Crosby Block 1873

Brattleboro House Arson Fire 1869

Anthony Van Doorn House Fire 1848

Elliot Street Fire 1886

Ryther's Arcade 1884

Arch Street Water Wheel 1840

Wilkins Lilley's Billiard Saloon 1860

John W. Blake Mansion

John L. Lovell's Daguerreotype Of Main Street 1854

Cannon On The Common

Squabble Hollow

Valley Fair Grandstand Crowd 1890.jpg

Valley Fair Grandstand Crowd 1890

Womens' Group In Bleachers Are Wives Of Vermont Wheel Club Members

(Purple And White Their Colors)


Arms, Clark & Company 1809

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Nursing School

Wesselhoeft Water Cure 1847

Dr. John Wilson's Remedy

Elliot Street Smallpox 1848

Dr. Arms D. Putnam

Dr. Daniel Gilbert 1846

Brattleboro Retreat X-Ray 1899

Dr. John Wilson's Horse

Creamery Bridge, Unpaved Road.jpg

Creamery Bridge

George A. Briggs, Wholesale & Retail


Frederick N. Palmer's "The Brattleboro Stamp"

William Fessenden's Bookstore And Library

The Valley Mill, Bridge Street

Orion Clark, Elliot Street Barber

William Stow, Hatter

Charles Thompson's Recollections

James Fisk Procession 1858

James H. Capen's Telegraph

Brattleboro In 1824

Jacob Estey's Lead Pipes

Village Business Directory 1833

Rufus Pratt Meat Market 1844

West Brattleboro 1870

Franklin H. Wheeler's Reminicences

The Proposed Horse Railroad 1828

John Gore Steam Wagon 1837

John Burnham Brass Foundry

Seth Wells Cheney, John Cheney, Engravers

Caleb Lysander Howe, Photographer

Harmony Lot Livery Stables

Jonas Putnam, Estey Hand



William A. Conant Violins

John Woodbury Violins

Dr. Frederick N. Palmer's Waltzes And Polka

Fred C. Leitsinger's Cornet Boys' Band

July The Fourth Celebrations

The Harp in the Wall 1851

Richard Wagner's Estey Organ 1876

Stella Brazzi

Gilbert And Sullivan's "H. M. S. Pinafore" 1879

Diagonally Parked Automobiles On Main Street, Circa 1940.jpg

Main Street, Circa 1940


John E. Gale's California Gold

Willard H. Alexander

Annie L. Grout

Samuel Briggs 1798

Anne Dempsey's Black People In Brattleboro

Abigail White, Counterfeiter In Newfane 1808

Eliphaz "Old Blind" Johnson

Old Jimmie Barnes and Sukie

Old Jimmie Barnes' Tale 1834

Charles K. Wood, Circus Horseman

Elizabeth Amanda Miner And Dr. Charles L. Smith

Flora M. Sargent 1895

Thomas Stores 1815

Gertrude Lucy Miller 1907

Dummerston Courtship 1824

Myra Morgan 1903

Old Mother Honeywell, The Witch Of Guilford, Vermont

Major Henry Smith 1845

Tribute To Thomas Judge

Frank Van Doorn

William Gould

Henry E. Brewster Diary 1851

Edward Gould

Hall's Long Building, Wide Plank Sidewalk.jpg

Hall's Long Building

Plants & Animals

Rattlesnakes On Wantastiquet

Asa Knight, Bee Hunting In Dummerston 1840

Peregrine Falcon 1858

Hydrophobia 1847

Horses On Main Street 1891

Pike Fishing In The West River 1848

First Grade Class, Canal Street School, Fall 1927, Learning To Pay Attention.jpg

Canal Street School, First Grade, Fall Class 1927

Learning To Pay Attention


Early School Districts

Round Schoolhouse In Brookline, Vermont 1822

County Road Schoolhouse 1793

District No. 7 Schoolhouse

The West Brattleboro Society

Houghton Horse Man Wagon.jpg

Main Street

George Harper Houghton, Photographer


Alexander And Sally Turner, Grafton, Vermont

Buffalo Soldiers In Brattleboro 1912

Jacob Cartledge

Fugitive Slaves On Flat Street

Elliot Street Chapel Riot 1837

Andrew Johnson Reed

Samuel B. Wells Recollects Anti-Slavery 1889

Theodore H. Taylor Store 1849.jpg

Theodore H. Taylor's Drug-Hardware-Grocery Store

Hall's Long Building 1849

Formerly The Post Office

Taverns And Roads

Rutherford Hayes Tavern 1796

Old Footpaths In The Village 1850

Jonathan Dunklee's County Road

Elm Street Covered Bridge 1873

Brattleboro House 1870

West Brattleboro Common 1785

Old Stagecoach Days

Ancient Highway Surveys

William Harris' Footpads 1817

Anthony Jones Hotel On Newfane Hill

Vermont House

John Wolcott Phelps, Cabinet Card.jpg

John Wolcott Phelps

Cabinet Card By Caleb Lysander Howe


General John Wolcott Phelps

Capt. Dennie W. Farr, 4th Vermont Regiment

John G. Sugland, 54th Massachusetts Infantry (Colored)

Civil War Hospital

Pvt. George M. Colt's Civil War Fiddle 1864

Green Mountain Boys 1775

Brattleboro Light Infantry

Samuel Moore Letter 1810

Samuel Elliot's Letter Opposing The War 1813

Converting The Copperheads 1861

Daniel B. Stedman Civil War Letters

Camp Holbrook 1862

Stephen Greenleaf's War Pension 1838

Gettysburg Battlefield Fence Rails

Peter S. Chase Survives The Battle Of The Wilderness

Capt. Robert B. Arms Letter Home July 5, 1863

Fourth Vermont Regiment, Saturday, September 24, 1864, Brattleboro House.jpg

Fourth Vermont Regiment Returns Saturday, September 24, 1864

Dr. Charles Chapin.jpg

Dr. Charles A. Chapin

Brattleboro House, Estey Organ Company Wagon.jpg

Brattleboro House

Estey Wagon Passing By

J. B. Beers Atlas 1876

New Connecticut River Bridge, Flour Mill.jpg

Clock Face Inside Steeple, Centre Congregational Church.jpg

Clock Face Inside Steeple, Centre Congregational Church


Buddington & Brothers Grist Mill

Creamery Bridge, 1955, Red And White Car.jpg

Red Buick 1955

Charles A. Tripp, Watch Sign, Main Street.jpg

Sign Of The Watch And Spoon

Main Street, High Street Corner, Horse, Wagon.jpg

Corner Main And High Streets

Baptist Church, Fountain, Stone and Wood Post Fence

Canal Street, Carriage Shop, Unitarian Church.jpg

Canal Street

Carriage Shop, Unitarian Church

Mary Howe, Brattleboro Pageant, 1912, After Singing, Home, Sweet Home.jpg

Mary Howe, Brattleboro Pageant, 1912

After Singing "Home, Sweet Home"

Chesterfield Bridge, Brattleboro, Vermont.jpg

Chesterfield Suspension Bridge

Main Street At Night, 1928.jpg

Night In Main Street 1928

Linden Street, Wells Fountain, Putney Road, 1904.jpg

Linden Street, 1904

Main Street, 1869, Toward Centre Congregational Church.jpg

Main Street 1869

Emily M. Nichols, Mrs. Denslow M. Stockwell, 1839-1911.jpg

Emily M. Nichols

Mrs. Denslow M. Stockwell

Creamery Bridge, Summer Day, 1950's.jpg

Tichnor Brothers, Boston, Post Card

Rail Road Arched Bridge, Train, Crew, Whetsone Brook Reflections.jpg

Centre Congregational Church, September11,1927, Estey Organ Dedication.jpg

Centre Congregational Church

Estey Organ Dedication Sunday, September 11, 1927

Centre Congregational Church, Estey Organ.jpg

Main Street Parade, Flags, Wagons, Brooks House Balcony, N. I. Hawley.jpg

Memorial Day Parade, May 30, 1891, Arrival At The Town Hall

Forty-Three Star Flags, Estey Guard Detachment Presenting Arms

"The heavy rain of Friday had brightened the foliage and grass, making everything fresh and beautiful, and though the morning of Memorial day was threatening, it cleared away and the afternoon was pleasant."

Brattleboro Reformer, 1907, Composing Room.jpg

Brattleboro Reformer Composing Room 1907

Dummer Farm, Hunt Farm, Flooded By Vernon Dam, April,1909.jpg

The Hunt Farm, Dummer Farm

Flooding From The Vernon Dam In April 1909

Apple Orchard

Vernon Dam Flooding, April,1909, Hunt Farm.jpg

Revere House Sign Before March1877, Center Design Says 1850.jpg

Revere House Sign

Photograph By George Harper Houghton In Autumn 1866

Valley Fair Parade, 1895, Car Station, Brattleboro Street 5 Railway Company.jpg

Valley Fair Parade 1895

Car Station

Brattleboro Street 5 Railway Company

Brooks House, Valley Fair Parade, 1897 Decorations.jpg

Brooks House Decorations

Valley Fair 1897

Thomas Chubbuck Engraving, After A George Harper Houghton Photograph, Printed In Henry M. Burt, The Attractions Of Brattleboro, 1866.jpg

Thomas Chubbuck's Engraving From 1856 Photograph By George Harper Houghton

First Railroad Station With Approaching Train

Granite Block,109 Main Street, F. W. Woolworth Co., May,1918.jpg

Benjamin Crown's May 1918 Photograph In Detail

BridgeStreet, Lower Main Street, Canal Street, South Main Street, Prospect Hill.jpg

View From Van Doorn Building Roof About 1860

Estey Factory In Future Plaza Park

Stockwell's Store, West Brattleboro, Circa 1910.jpg

J. L. Stockwell's Store In 1910

Victorian Garden, Gazebo, Fountain, Figure With Trident.jpg

Victorian Garden, Fountain, Urns, Figure With Trident


January 1872 Advertisement

Brattleboro 1830.jpg

C. Barnard's Map No. 5 For The United States Army Corps Of Engineers 1830

Wood Block Engraving, View From Prospect Hill, Circa 1860.jpg

James Capen House, Prospect Hill Cemetery, Wood Block Engraving 1860.jpg

E. P. Carpenter Company Trade Card.jpg

Brattleboro Garage Sign, Main Street.jpg

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Surrounding Houses.jpg

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Lawn.jpg


Alvan Fisher, Painter.jpg

Alvan Fisher, Painter

Alvan Fisher,1830, Brattleboro, Vermont.jpg

Alvan Fisher's "View Of Brattleboro" 1830

From Sketches During July-August 1829

Edward Sanborn's School, Summer 1829, Theorem Painting Advertisement.jpg

Alvan Fisher was probably teaching at Edward Sanborn's private school for two months. His skill with decorating carriages and finishing commercial signs would be welcome in any class for the traditional American folk art of stencil painting.


Royal Diner, 1939 Brattleboro Directory, Later Chelsea Royal Diner.jpg

Opened April 12, 1939

Brattleboro Directory Advertisement

Main Street 1865, Central Store, Hall's Long Building.jpg

Brattleboro Historians

Credit is required for the real historians of Brattleboro, for those who did the real work and research, that their names may not be entirely forsaken by residential heirs. This list is partial, and mindful for those not present---

James Henry Elliot
William Henry Wells
Henry Burnham
Dr. James Conland

Maj. Frederick W. Childs
Abby Estey Fuller
Henry M. Burt
Hon. Hoyt Henry Wheeler

Joseph Steen, Esq.
Stephen Greenleaf, Jr.
Hon. James Elliot
Charles Kellogg Field, Esq.

Gen. John Wolcott Phelps
Rev. Joseph Chandler
Rev. James Eastwood
Harry R. Lawrence

Charles C. Frost
Hon. James M. Tyler
Charles F. Thompson
Rev. Nathaniel Mighill

Col. William Austine
Gov. Levi K. Fuller
William H. Bigelow
Larkin G. Mead, Esq.

Grace Bailey Dunklee
Charles R. Crosby
Rev. Harry R. Miles
Mary Palmer Tyler

Rev. Charles O. Day
Franklin H. Wheeler
Dr. Joseph Draper
Starr Willard Cutting

Rev. Addison Brown
Gov. Frederick C. Holbrook
William E. Ryther
Hon. Kittredge Haskins

Daniel B. Stedman
Charles E. Crane
Rev. Lewis Grout
Hamilton B. Childs

Hon. Broughton Davis Harris
Charles N. Davenport
Timothy Vinton
Annie L. Grout

Rev. John C. Holbrook
Daniel Stewart Pratt
Rev. Hosea Beckley
Rev. Frank T. Pomeroy

Benjamin Hall
Rev. George Leon Walker
Thomas C. Mann
Samuel Storrow Higginson

Lafayette Clark

Wood Block Engraving, Circa 1860, Prospect Hill.jpg

James Capen House At Left, Prospect Hill Cemetery, 1860 Engraving


Thomas St. John

Thomas St. John, April 21, 2005.jpg

I have included here the following links to my own writing, because that work is not entirely irrelevant for any resident in Brattleboro---

Nathaniel Hawthorne.jpg

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne created two famous literary villains, both modelled upon two very prominent men resident in Brattleboro, Dr. Robert Wesselhoeft and more importantly, Judge Royall Tyler.

Nathaniel Hawthorne On Beacon Hill contains an account of the corrupt Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon, based upon Judge Royall Tyler, in "The House of the Seven Gables"---Hawthorne's literary reconciliation of crimes committed against his wife Sophia's family.

Dr. Robert Wesselhoeft became the evil figure in the tale "Rappaccini's Daughter" because Hawthorne considered him to be a villain, following an excessively invasive treatment of his wife Sophia. William Wesselhoeft, the hydropath's brother, was the Hawthorne family doctor.

Elizabeth Hunt, Mrs. Joseph Pearse Palmer, who lived and died here in Brattleboro with her daughter Mary Palmer Tyler, was the model for Nathaniel Hawthorne's character Hepzibah Pyncheon in "The House of the Seven Gables".

Una Hawthorne in Brown's Woods recalls Una's visit here in May, 1868, when she was engaged to Storrow Higginson. Una's letter to Storrow is a botanical description of the Rev. Addison Brown's Woods, from Chase Street to the Chestnut Hill pond---following in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau's walk here in 1856.

Hawthorne And Melville is another fine chapter from "Nathaniel Hawthorne: Studies in The House of the Seven Gables".

Indian-Hating In The Wizard Of Oz concerns the political journalist and editor Lyman Frank Baum's invention of racial symbols for his Oz fantasy, following the Wounded Knee massacre when he was living in nearby Aberdeen in the Dakota Territory.

Dr. John Wilson, Circa 1842 Daguerreotype By T.Covil.jpg

Dr. John Wilson

T. Covil Daguerreotype About 1842

Owned By Amasa Buckman

Kept Faced Toward A Wall

Dr. John Wilson, Captain Thunderbolt contains research about the reformed highwayman called Captain Thunderbolt, who had a L500 price on his head in Great Britain in the starvation year 1816.

Dr. John Wilson's Round Schoolhouse is a pictorial and architectural history of the Brookline, Vermont tourist attraction.

Dr. John Wilson, Probate Records contains the names of creditors and debtors to Dr. Wilson's estate, often with the reason stated, as well as a complete inventory of hundreds of items remaining in the Vernon road house, saw mill, and barn.

Dr. John Wilson's House In Newfane in the village called Williamsville.

Dr. John Wilson, Captain Seth Briggs describes Dr. Wilson's treatments for Capt. Seth Briggs of West Dummerston, including electricity.

Dr. John Wilson, Descriptions, Commentary gathers together the scattered references to the Windham County country doctor.

Dr. John Wilson's Stray Horse concerns the six year old sorrel mare that was last seen at the Fort Bridgman farm in Vernon, owned by Col. Erastus Hubbard.

Dr. John Wilson's Remedy describes the doctor's treatment for Wilder Knight, his indigestion.

Dr. Gardner C. Hill, George Norman Smith, Collections Display, Benjamin A. Crown Photograph.jpg

Folding Abscess Lancet, Foreign Body Eye Spud, Spectacles

Horn Shield Fleam, Tweezers-Ear Scoop, Reading Or Surgical Glass


Nathaniel Hawthorne: Hepzibah Pyncheon's Execution For A Witch

Inside "The House of the Seven Gables", Nathaniel Hawthorne concealed a short story which shows the persecution, trial, and execution of Hepzibah Pyncheon as a witch. This execution story is broken up into paragraphs, sentences, and phrases, and scattered into the text of the ongoing romance. These scattered pieces are re-assembled here. They reveal the cruel old Salem witchcraft story that Nathaniel Hawthorne wished to conceal from eyes more innocent than his own.

Hawthorne very carefully builds up a demonic aura about Hepzibah: "she expected to minister to the wants of the community, unseen, like a disembodied divinity, or enchantress, holding forth her bargains to the reverential and awe-stricken purchaser, in an invisible hand. . . She now issued forth, as would appear, to defend the entrance, looking, we must needs say, amazingly like the dragon which, in fairy tales, is wont to be the guardian over an enchanted beauty."

Satan calls Hepzibah---"She was suddenly startled by the tinkling alarum---high, sharp, and irregular---of a little bell. The maiden lady arose upon her feet, as pale as a ghost at cock-crow; for she was an enslaved spirit, and this the talisman to which she owed obedience." This "ugly and spiteful little din" betrays the appearance of Satan---

"But, at this instant, the shop-bell, right over her head, tinkled as if it were bewitched. The old gentlewoman's heart seemed to be attached to the same steel-spring; for it went through a series of sharp jerks, in unison with the sound. The door was thrust open, although no human form was perceptible on the other side of the half-window. Hepzibah, nevertheless, stood at a gaze, with her hands clasped, looking very much as if she had summoned up an evil spirit and were afraid, yet resolved, to hazard the encounter."

"Heaven help me! she groaned mentally. Now is my hour of need!"

Satan has come to tempt his servant with the riches of the world, in an American version of the temptation of Christ during his forty days in the Wilderness: "Some malevolent spirit, doing his utmost to drive Hepzibah mad, unrolled before her imagination a kind of panorama, representing the great thoroughfare of a city, all astir with customers. So many and so magnificent shops as there were!" The Pyncheon cent shop is very poor.

Hepzibah has "a sense of inevitable doom" about her nearsighted frown, or scowl, for good reason. This "scowl---a strange contortion of the brow---which, by people who did not know her, would probably have been interpreted as an expression of bitter anger and ill-will" has "done Miss Hepzibah a very ill-office, in establishing her character as an ill-tempered old maid. . .The custom of the shop fell off, because a story got abroad that she soured her small beer and other damageable commodities, by scowling on them." Moreover, in "her great life-trial. . . the testimony in regard to her scowl was frightfully important."

The laboring man Dixey testifies against her in his rough voice, "Why, her face---I've seen it; for I dug her garden for her, one year---her face is enough to frighten Old Nick himself, if he had ever so great a mind to trade with her. People can't stand it, I tell you! She scowls dreadfully, reason or none, out of pure ugliness of temper!"

One Mrs. Gubbins also condemns Hepzibah. Hawthorne describes this demonic neighbor: "there came a fat woman. . . Her face glowed with fire-heat; and, it being a pretty warm morning, she bubbled and hissed, as it were, as if all a-fry with chimney-warmth, and summer-warmth, and the warmth of her own corpulent velocity." She angrily jarred and outraged the shop bell, muttered, "The deuce take Old Maid Pyncheon!" and "took her departure, still brimming over with hot wrath".

Judge Pyncheon tells Hepzibah that he has arranged to have Clifford's "deportment and habits constantly and carefully overlooked"---in order to persecute him more effectively. "The butcher, the baker, the fishmonger, some of the customers of your shop, and many a prying old woman, have told me several of the secrets of your interior."

When both Clifford and the Judge die, in the concealed narrative, these eyewitnesses will accuse Hepzibah. She is accused specifically of the murder of Jaffrey Pyncheon, since the Judge died in her parlor. The "good lady on the opposite side of the street" will be there at the trial to explain that "there's been a quarrel between him and Hepzibah, this many a day, because he won't give her a living. That's the main reason of her setting up a cent-shop."

Dixey will be there to implicate Clifford in the murder as well--- "A certain cousin of his may have been at his old tricks. And Old Maid Pyncheon having got herself in debt by the cent-shop---and the Judge's pocket-book being well-filled---and bad blood amongst them already! Put all these things together, and see what they make!"

As one of the Judge's spies, the butcher assaults the House of the Seven Gables, prying about "every accessible door" and the window in his attempts to get a glimpse of Clifford. He sees the Judge himself sitting in the parlor---dead---and thinks that it is Clifford, whom he curses as "Old Maid Pyncheon's bloody brother."

Hawthorne's literary duplicity here convinces the unwary reader that the butcher's motive is his desire to please Hepzibah with "his sweetbread of lamb". In Hawthorne's concealed story, however, Clifford is the lamb sacrificed to the spying butcher's greed for Judge Pyncheon's bribe money.

The chapter called "The Flight of Two Owls" is filled with allusions to death and mortality. It records Hepzibah's sensations on her way to the place of execution and to that "gimlet-eyed" gentleman who will kill her. This acerbic old gentleman thinks that the newly invented telegraph is a great thing, "particularly as regards the detection of bank-robbers and murderers. . ." Hawthorne describes his gimlet eye, which traditionally could bore into a person to cause paralysis or death.

There was "a moral sensation, mingling itself with the physical chill, and causing her to shake more in spirit than in body" and "the wretched consciousness of being adrift. She had lost the faculty of self-guidance". As they went on, the feeling of indistinctness and unreality kept dimly hovering roundabout her, and so diffusing itself into her system that one of her hands was hardly palpable to the touch of the other". She whispered to herself, again and again---"Am I awake?---Am I awake?"

And "the bell rang out its hasty peal, so well expressing the brief summons which life vouchsafes to us, in its hurried career. . .At a little distance stood a wooden church, black with age, and in a dismal state of ruin and decay, with broken windows, a great rift through the main-body of the edifice, and a rafter dangling from the top of the square tower". Hepzibah Pyncheon will be executed as a witch near Salem's Gallows Hill.

The final scene is a deliberate parallel to the execution of Matthew Maule at the beginning of The House of the Seven Gables. Unlike Maule, Hepzibah does not curse the Pyncheons. Still, it is very difficult for Hepzibah to pray---"she lifted her eyes---scowling, poor, dim-sighted Hepzibah, in the face of Heaven!---and strove hard to send up a prayer through the dense, gray pavement of clouds."

"Those mists had gathered, as if to symbolize a great, brooding mass of human trouble, doubt, confusion, and chill indifference. . . Her faith was too weak; the prayer too heavy to be thus uplifted. It fell back, a lump of lead, upon her heart". Hepzibah's prayer on the isolated railroad platform at the end of the familiar version of "The Flight of Two Owls" is, in reality, her final petition---

"She knelt down upon the platform where they were standing, and lifted her clasped hands to the sky. The dull, gray weight of clouds made it invisible; but it was no hour for disbelief; ---no juncture this, to question that there was a sky above, and an Almighty Father looking down from it!"

"Oh, God!"---ejaculated poor, gaunt Hepzibah---then paused a moment, to consider what her prayer should be---"Oh, God---our Father---are we not thy children? Have mercy on us!"

Then "the signal was given;" and suffering "short, quick breaths". . ."With all her might, she had staggered onward beneath the burden. . . Indeed, she had not energy to fling it down, but only ceased to uphold it, and suffered it to press her to the earth".

Hepzibah Pyncheon's execution seems to be a literary description of carrying a cross, combined with suffering the "peine forte et dure"---pressing under planks with stones piled on gradually. This punishment was intended not to kill, but to extract a pleading, or possibly a confession. But beyond a certain weight, the crushing caused a lingering death.

The hidden and scattered quotations that are re-assembled here, may be found in The House of the Seven Gables, Volume 2 of "The Centenary Edition of the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne", Edited by William Charvat, Roy Harvey Pearce, and Claude Simpson (Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1965). See pages 33-4, 40, 41, 42, 47, 48-9, 126, 223-4, 236, 245, 253, 255, 256, 264, 266, 267, 288-9, 291-2, and 296.

The concealed narrative causes the smooth surface line of Hawthorne's romance to lurch sometimes, and there are occasionally strange descriptions, and unaccountably awkward juxtapositions of sentences. One critic notes that "there are gaps in the plot through which a herd of rhinos could comfortably graze. . .".

Hawthorne is so skilled in anticipating his readers' innocent expectations, that his true story remains hidden. The unwary reader sees only the charming, sunny, "blue-eyed" Nathaniel Hawthorne, casting his curiously "happy ending" over "The House of the Seven Gables".

The name of the Phoenix Lottery came from the notion that if you hit the lottery, then your splendid new life would rise from the ashes of your old life---just like the fabled phoenix rises anew every five hundred years from its own nested pyre, fretted with rue and cinnabar.




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