The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

After a sputtering return to business last week due to a two-day snowstorm, the Society is back up and running this week, though it is a quiet one. On Wednesday, 8 January, join us at noon for a Brown Bag lunch discussion with Katherine Johnston of Columbia University. Well-timed to coincide with the latest round of winter storms and chills and the ensuing discussions about global climate versus local climate, during this lunchtime talk Johnston presents "A Climate Debate: Abolition and Climate in Eighteenth-Century Britain." As British Parlimanetary debates over abolition in the West Indies grew increasingly serious toward the end of the eighteenth century, the Board of Trade interrogated people familiar with plantation life. What sorts of health risks did plantation work pose for enslaved laborers? Could Europeans labor in the West Indies climate? This project examines some of the testimony that absentee planters provided to Parliament and contrasts these arguments with evidence taken from these same planters' private letters. Public testimony did not always match up with personal opinions, and this project explores some of the differences between the two. This event is free and open to the public.

And as this recent storm has shown, the Society is susceptible to the New England winters. When planning a trip the MHS, be sure to keep an eye on the website and events calendar to see updates on building closures and schedule changes.

permalink | Published: Tuesday, 7 January, 2014, 3:24 PM