The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

Another busy week around here!

Join us on Wednesday, 4 November for two events: at 12 noon Tracy Potter and Sarah Desmond will discuss their current and ongoing MHS research project, "The Letters of the Presidents: A Survey of the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society." Tracy and Sarah are scouring the MHS' holdings to create a complete guide to presidential manuscripts in our collections. [Note: This is a changed event from the regular schedule; Karen Woods Weierman's brown-bag lunch talk has been postponed].

Also on Wednesday, as part of our "Creating the Past" Conversation series, novelist William Martin will speak on "Creating the Past Through Historical Fiction." Martin is the author of several historical novels, including Harvard Yard, Cape Cod, Back Bay, and The Lost Constitution. The conversation will be moderated by Steve Marini. Refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m., and the event will begin at 6 p.m. More info here.

On Thursday, 5 November, as part of the Boston Early American History seminar series, former long-term MHS fellow Michael Hoberman will present a talk, "'His Solemn Profession of his Faith in the Messiah Already Come': Judah Monis and the Limits of Puritan Hebraism." William Pencak of Penn State will deliver a comment. Please read the Seminars @ MHS blog post for more information on attending seminars, including how to make reservations and receive the papers in advance. The seminar will begin at 5:15 p.m.

And on Saturday, 7 November, as part of the John Brown and New England series of public events, David Reynolds will speak on "Warriors for Freedom: John Brown and Henry David Thoreau." Reynolds will "describe how the Transcendentalists were the boldest and most publicly visible proponents of John Brown in the immediate aftermath of Harpers Ferry. Virtually everyone in the North, including radical abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison, initially reacted negatively to Brown's attack on Virginia. Henry David Thoreau stood alone in coming out immediately and eloquently on Brown's behalf and planted the seed for the mass veneration of John Brown that grew steadily in the months before and after John Brown's execution on December 2, 1859. Focusing on three newly discovered letters housed at the American Antiquarian Society and written by Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, Dr. Reynolds will argue that if it had not been for the positive reception and promotion of John Brown by Thoreau and other Transcendentalists, Brown may very well have passed into obscurity as a solitary, crazed anarchist." This event will begin at 2 p.m.

permalink | Published: Monday, 2 November, 2009, 10:00 AM


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