My Kinsman, Major Molineux

My Kinsman, Major Molineux

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My Kinsman, Major Molineux

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"My Kinsman, Major Molineux" is a short story written by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1831. It first appeared in the 1832 edition of The Token and Atlantic Souvenir, published by Samuel Goodrich. It later appeared in The Snow-Image, and Other Twice-Told Tales, a collection of short stories by Hawthorne published in 1852 by Ticknor, Reed & Fields. The story exemplifies the darkest times of American development.


In the days before the American Revolution, Robin, a youth, arrives by ferry in Boston seeking his kinsman, Major Molineux, an official in the British Colonial government, who has promised him work. Yet no one in town tells him where the major is. A rich man threatens the youth with prison, and an innkeeper calls him a runaway bond-servant. At every turn he meets a man with a red-and-black face, who seems at the center of many evil things. Later, he runs into the man with the painted face again, after blocking his path with a cudgel, he finally gets the answer that his kinsman will soon pass by. He waits at the spot on the steps of a church where he is greeted by the first polite gentleman he has met all night. Soon, the two men hear the roar of an approaching mob. At its head is the man with the red and black face and in its midst is Major Molineux, tarred and feathered. Disillusioned, the youth asks the old gentleman the way back to the ferry. Yet the latter restrains him, saying that it is still possible for him to thrive without...
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