Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) was one of the best known American novelists of the 19th century. He also wrote a number of short stories. Many of his writings dealt with psychologically rich topics such as guilt and shame. His best known novel, The Scarlet Letter, dealt with both of these themes, as did his well known short story "The Minister's Black Veil".
Hawthorne and author Herman Melville struck up a friendship, in which the two forged a deep connection, but this did not last over time. Nonetheless, Hawthorne was deeply influential to Melville's literary career.