November 23, 1900
Lecturing in the Chapel on Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bliss Perry, editor of The Atlantic Monthly and a pioneer in the study of American literature, called Hawthorne, according to The Vassar Miscellany, "America's "greatest imaginative genius." Perry "followed a somewhat unusual plan," the reviewer noted, in seeing Hawthorne's stay in at the Whig Tavern in North Adams, MA, during the summer of 1838 as "the critical point in his mental and spiritual development. The Whig Tavern...was the gathering place for all the village worthies and convivial spirits, who gladly received the shy reluctant Hawthorne among them.... The North Adams period marks a new contract with actualities, a quickening of interests and a longing to share in the life of humanity."