Julian Hawthorne (June 22, 1846–July 21, 1934) was an American writer and journalist, the son of novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody. He wrote numerous poems, novels, short stories, mystery/detective fiction, essays, travel books, biographies and histories. As a journalist he reported on the Indian Famine for Cosmopolitan magazine, and the Spanish-American War for the New York Journal.
Julian Hawthorne was the second child of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody Hawthorne. He was born June 22, 1846, shortly after sunrise in Boston. His father announced to his sister:
His parents had difficulty choosing a name for eight months. Possible names included George, Arthur, Edward, Horace, Robert, and Lemuel. His father referred to him for some time as "Bundlebreech" or "Black Prince", due to his dark curls and red cheeks. As a boy, Julian was well-behaved and good-natured.
Hawthorne entered Harvard College in 1863, but did not graduate. He was tutored privately in German by James Russell Lowell, a professor/writer who encouraged Nathaniel Hawthorne's work. It was during his freshmen year at Harvard that he learned of his father's death, coincidentally the same day he was initiated into a fraternity. Years later, he wrote of the incident:
He studied civil engineering in America and Germany, was engineer in the New York City Dock Department under General McClellan (1870–72), spent 10 years abroad, and on his return edited his father's unfinished Dr. Grimshawe's Secret (1883). While in Europe he wrote the novels: Bressant (1873); Idolatry (1874); Garth (1874); Archibald Malmaison (1879); and Sebastian Strome (1880).
Hawthorne wrote a book about his parents called Nathaniel Hawthorne and His Wife. In it, he responded to an accusation from his father's friend Herman Melville that the famous author had a "secret". Julian defended his father by alleging that the secret was Melville's, causing much speculation. The younger Hawthorne also wrote a critique of his father's novel The Scarlet Letter that was published in The Atlantic Monthly in April 1886. He wrote many novels after his return.
Julian Hawthorne published an article in the October 24, 1886, issue of the New York World titled "Lowell in a Chatty Mood" based on a long interview with James Russell Lowell. Hawthorne reported that Lowell called the Prince of Wales "immensely fat" as well as other negative comments on British royals and politicians. Lowell angrily complained that the article made him seem like "a toothless old babbler".
In 1889 there were reports that Hawthorne was one of several writers who had, under the name of "Arthur Richmond," published in the North American Review devastating attacks on President Grover Cleveland and other leading Americans. Hawthorne denied the reports.
Fraud and imprisonment
In 1908, Hawthorne's old Harvard friend William J. Morton (son of pioneer anesthesiologist William T.G. Morton) invited Hawthorne to join in promoting some newly created mining companies in Ontario, Canada. Hawthorne made his writing and his family name central to the stock-selling campaigns. After complaints from shareholders, both Morton and Hawthorne were tried in New York City for mail fraud, and convicted in 1913. Julian Hawthorne Hawthorne was able to sell some three and a half million shares of stock in a nonexistent silver mine and served one year in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary.
Upon his release from prison, he wrote The Subterranean Brotherhood (1914), a nonfiction work calling for an immediate end to incarceration of criminals. Hawthorne argued, based on his own experience, that incarceration was inhumane, and should be replaced by moral suasion. Of the fraud with which he was charged he always maintained his innocence.