Skip to Main Content

CIST Student Sandbox

IST 605: Salem Witch Trials: Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne's book, The House of the Seven Gables and his ancestor Judge John Hathorne who oversaw the Salem witch Trials.

Search Terms/keywords

  • Some keywords can include: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Salem, Salem witch trials, Hathorne, The House of the Seven Gables, etc.

Database 1 - America: History and Life

  • Try typing in Nathaniel Hawthorne into the first search bar, then select OR and type in Salem Witch Trials in the second search bar. Click the search button. You will find ‘The Salem Witch Trials 1692’ by C.R. Keyes as a good reference to get an overview of what the Salem Witch Trials were about. Then, scroll down and continue to look for ‘Hawthorne, History, and Politics: A Reassessment’ by Scott M. Reznick, which will give a biographical overview of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Next, refine your search. You’ll want to update the second search bar to ‘The House of the Seven Gables’ and switch the OR to AND, then click Search. Scroll down to the 5th result; ‘The House of the Seven Gables’. This is an article by John L. Idol, discussing the book and its author. The next article is another excellent source for analyzing the book and Hawthorne’s reasons for writing it as well as his ancestral connection to the house in real life.

Database 2 - American Fiction

It would also be a good idea to read the actual novel, ‘The House of the Seven Gables’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne. You’ll want to use the American Fiction database and type the title into the search bar.

Database 3 - Salem History

Interestingly enough, there is a database called Salem History. It does not have to do with the historical town, however you can conduct an advanced search. The first keywords here that I have used were Nathaniel Hawthorne. The literary biography by John D. Raymer, “Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times” is a great source to start with here. Another literary biography by Terry Heller, “Salem is My Dwelling Place” is a close second. These brief literary biographies will help give detail to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s life. If you keep scrolling down, you will find a Critical Evaluation of Hawthorne’s “The House of the Seven Gables” by Sally Buckner. If you refine your search and type in ‘Salem Witch Trials’, a Critical Evaluation of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” can also be found. This can be a very useful source as it pertains to the topic and also depicts Hawthorne’s ancestor as a character.

Database 4 - Oxford Reference

It’s important to have multiple biographies, not only on Nathaniel Hawthorne, but on others as well. One being his ancestor John Hathorne and of course another being the famous playwright Arthur Miller who wrote “The Crucible”. You can find these under Oxford Reference. A biography on Nathaniel Hawthorne can be found in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature. A better source would be The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature, where there is a more detailed biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne that talks about his relation to Justice John Hathorne who took part in the Salem witch trials.

Database 5 - Gale Ebooks

A biography on Arthur Miller can be more easily found through the Gale ebooks database in Encyclopedia of World Biography second edition.

Multimedia Resources

Students should also be looking at Arthur Miller’s actual play “The Crucible”. It can be found in Arthur Miller’s “Eight Plays” in your local or school library. They should also view the film or a stage version of it (whichever is more easily available).



American Writers Museum (2016, October 25). Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Horrors of Salem.

"Arthur Miller." Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed., vol. 11, Gale, 2004, pp. 25-26. Gale eBooks, Accessed 31 July 2023.

Baraw, C. (2017). Hawthorne, a Pilgrimage to Salem, and the Poetics of Literary Tourism. Canadian Review of American Studies47(1), 76–111.

Bendixen, Alfred. "Hawthorne, Nathaniel." The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature. : Oxford University Press, , 2005. Oxford Reference. Date Accessed 1 Aug. 2023 <>.

Buckner, Sally. "The House Of The Seven Gables." Masterplots, Fourth Edition, edited by Laurence W. Mazzeno, Salem Press, 2010. Salem Online,

Carrington, Bridget. "Hawthorne, Nathaniel." The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature. : Oxford University Press, , 2006. Oxford Reference. Date Accessed 31 Jul. 2023 <>.

Clark, Nancy Brewka (2005, July 16). Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Struggle and Romance With Salem. Literary Traveler.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel (1851) ‘The House of Seven Gables: A Romance: By Nathaniel Hawthorne’, Boston: Ticknor and Fields.

Heller, Terry. "Salem Is My Dwelling Place." Magill’s Literary Annual 1993, edited by Frank N. Magill, Salem Press, 1993. Salem Online,

Hytner, N. (1996). The Crucible. Twentieth Century Fox.

Idol, J.L. (1991) ‘“The House of the Seven Gables.”’, Essex Institute Historical Collections, 127(1), pp. 31–49. Available at:,sso&db=31h&AN=45850243&site=ehost-live (Accessed: 16 July 2023).

Karafilis, M. (2020). Temporal Derangement and Historical Entanglement in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Alice Doane’s Appeal. New England Quarterly, 93(3), 462-488.

Keyes, C.R. (2021) ‘The Salem Witch Trials 1692’, Public Historian, 43(2), pp. 128–130. Available at:,sso&db=31h&AN=150805785&site=ehost-live (Accessed: 16 July 2023).

Mcclurg, Jocelyn (1993, December 4). Salem’s Fame: Witches, Hawthorne. News&Record.

Miller, Arthur. Arthur Miller : Eight Plays. Garden City, N.Y: Nelson Doubleday, 1981. Print.

Moore, R. (1972) ‘Hawthorne’s Folk-Motifs and “The House of the Seven Gables.”, New York Folklore Quarterly, 28(3), pp. 221–233. Available at:,sso&db=31h&AN=47304092&site=ehost-live (Accessed: 16 July 2023).

Raymer, John D. "Nathaniel Hawthorne In His Times." Magill’s Literary Annual 1981, edited by Frank N. Magill, Salem Press, 1981. Salem Online,

Renehan Jr., Edward J. (2021, December 16). Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Salem: A Town With A Dark History Of Brutality and Murder. Crime Reads.

Reznick, S.M. (2022) ‘Hawthorne, History, and Politics: A Reassessment’, Arizona Quarterly, 78(1), pp. 1–29. doi:10.1353/arq.2022.0001.

Sundstrand, David. "The Crucible." Masterplots, Fourth Edition, edited by Laurence W. Mazzeno, Salem Press, 2010. Salem Online,