In their works, both Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville examine the limits of constructing history as well as the relationship between dominant and suppressed histories. Looking at the past, the authors turn to the present to demonstrate the cyclical and inescapable nature of inheritance. Hawthorne presents the past as a medium for understanding contemporary conflicts. The Scarlet Letter stages two historical commemorations to demonstrate how they become misapplied in the present. Hawthorne contemporizes the narrative of The House of the Seven Gables to emphasize heredity''s influence on immediate experience. Both novels develop a subversive style that works to undermine conventional and dominant perceptions of history. Hawthorne''s style would influence Herman Melville in the presentation of historical memory in Pierre or, the Ambiguities. The novel underscores the selective nature of viewing the past, especially when a history forms the underlying elements of one''s character. By looking at their works in relation to history, this study seeks to illustrate the sources of their influence as well as the themes in their novels pertaining to contemporary experience.