The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

After a successful multi-day conference on the Civil War the Society is back to normal programming this week. Still, it is shaping up to be a busy one!

First on the bill is the next installment of the Environmental History Seminar series. On Tuesday, 9 April, join us at 5:15pm for "Good Meat & Good Skins: Winter game and political ecology on the maritime peninsual, 1620-1727." Thomas Wickman of Trinity College will examine how a mixed-menu of game animals allowed northeaster Indians a flexible pattern of winter mobility. At least until 1704, that is, after which English soldiers patrolled these winter hunting grounds and interfered with the natives' reliance on wild game. Mr. Wickman will argue that political ecology, the effects of power on access to routes and resources, mattered more than environmental degradation to the fate of the winter hunt on the Maritime Peninsula. Comment provided by Neal Salisbury, Smith COllege. Seminars are free and open to the public though RSVP is required. Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar paper.

On Wednesday, 10 April, there are multiple events happening, starting with a Brown Bag Lunch at noon. Pack a snack and come in to hear Frances Clarke, University of Sydney, as she presents "Child Soldiers in America." Did you know that, until recently, children aged seven to seventeen constituted a significant portion of the American military? In this project, co-authored with Rebecca Jo Plant of University of California, San Diego, Ms. Clarke aims to study the relationship between childhood militarism in American history and to trace the debate over enlistment of minors from the Revolution to the modern era, analyzing the shifting representations and experiences of child soldiers. This event is free and open to the public.

Then, at 6:00pm on Wednesday, award-winning author Nancy Rubin Stuart will give a talk entitled "Defiant Brides of the Revolution," part of the New Books/New Looks: Revisiting the Past series. This author talk examines how the lives and personal developments of Peggy Shippen and Lucy Knox were changed by their marriages to Benedict Arnold and Henry Know, respectively. Ms. Stuart will reveal the contradictory paths the two young women followed subsequent ot their passionate marriages to patriotic men during the American Revolution and early Federal era. Through correspondence, historical drawings, and portraits, Ms. Stuart will expose how these defiant brides affected the course of the Revolution. Registration is required at no cost for this event. Please RSVP. There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Contact the education department for more information at

Following the author talk the Society will hold its second Historical Happy Hour to continue the conversation over cocktails at the Back Bay Social Club. This is a special member event for MHS Associate Members and their guests, who will receive priority admission to the program as well as complimentary appetizers and a drink at the Happy Hour. Cash bar will also be available. While the author talk is open to the public, the Historical Happy Hour is only for associate members and their guests and begins at 7:30pm. Registration is required at no cost. Please contact Katy Capó for more information at The Back Bay Social Club is located at 867 Boylston St.

And on Friday, 12 April, be here at 2:00pm as Elaine Grublin, Head of Reader Services, shines a spotlight on our current exhibition. "'You Know I Dislike Slavery': Lincoln before the Presidency" focuses on the text of an August 1855 letter from Lincoln to his friend, Joshua Fry Speed. Elaine will discuss Lincoln's early thoughts on slavery in American and his reaction to the rise of the American ("Know-Nothing") Party. Show up early or stay after to browse our three current exhibitions, all revolving around the question of slavery in the United States. "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land: Boston Abolitionists, 1831-1865," "Lincoln in Manuscript & Artifact," and "Forever Free: Lincoln & the Emancipation Proclamation" will all be on view until 24 May, 10:00am-6:00pm, Mon-Sat.

Rounding out the week, come in on Saturday, 13 April, at 10:00am for the MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS. This 90-minute, docent-led tour takes guests through the public space of the Society's home at 1154 Boylston St. and touches on the history and collections of the Society, as well as some of the art and architecture on view. No reservation required for individuals and small groups but parties of 8 or more are requested to contact the MHS prior to attending. For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or

Finally, please note that the Historical Society will be closed on Monday, 15 April 2013, in observance of the Patriot's Day holiday and will resume normal hours on 16 April.

permalink | Published: Monday, 8 April, 2013, 7:48 AM


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