If only Nathaniel Hawthorne had a better address book! In this brief letter, dated March 4, 1852, Hawthorne writes to William H. Adams at Amherst College, providing direction as to where to find the residences of historian George Bancroft, poet Fitz-Greene Halleck, and satirist/Secretary of the Navy James Kirke Paulding. He writes, "Bancroft and Halleck live in New York, and so, I think, does Paulding. I do not know where Mayo (?) resides, but a letter would probably reach him through his publisher, G.P. Putnam, of New York. Duane (?) lives in Boston, except during the _____? season."
Every Special Collections library has a number of mysterious boxes that for some reason or another have never been dealt with–gifts with mysterious provenances, duplicate copies, a collection that someone was working on but for some reason never finished, and so on.
Herman Melville plans a summer visit to his friend Nathaniel Hawthorne and hints at the secret Latin motto of his current project, a book about a whale.