"the new Surveyor was not a politician, and, though a faithful Democrat in principle, neither received nor held his office with any reference to political services"

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Hawthorne is being rather disingenuous here for it was through the machinations of his powerful political allies that he gained his appointment. Both future Democratic President Franklin Pierce and influential lawyer and naval Commodore Horatio Bridge had been close friends of Hawthorne’s since they met at Bowdoin College. Concerned for the author’s financial circumstances, these two were foremost amongst a group of Salem Democrats that lobbied tirelessly for Hawthorne to be given a place in James K. Polk’s administration.