August 15th, 1838

Nathaniel Hawthorne attends Williams College’s Commencement.

During the summer of 1838, Nathaniel Hawthorne spent several weeks in the Williamstown area. In addition to describing Williams’s August commencement ceremonies, he wrote numerous entries regarding Greylock and its startling cloud formations which he termed ‘cloud-scenery’: “It was like a dream to look at it: and the students ought to be day-dreamers, all of them,–when cloud-land is one and the same thing with the substantial earth.” The American note-books is said to contain the first use in print of the name ‘Graylock,’ a name some claim was bestowed by Albert Hopkins, Williams’ professor of natural philosophy and astronomy.