The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Gertrude Carter’s Diary: An Introduction

Gertrude Carter with her husband Gilbert and son John, 1916 (Library of Congress, Public Domain) Following the serialization of the 1915 travel diary of an anonymous Boston woman who journeyed down the Nile, and the 1916 line-a-day-diary kept by upper-class Bostonian [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Friday, 30 December, 2016, 11:45 AM

The Bostonian and the Bard

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is an organization in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England which oversees the historic home in which the William Shakespeare was born. Through the centuries, millions have visited this 16th century abode in order to pay their respects [...] read more

comments: 2 | permalink | Published: Friday, 23 December, 2016, 12:00 AM

An Anxious Christmas

Christmas 1798 was an anxious one for the Adams family. President John Adams faced a new congressional session and the continued threat of war with France, a presidential cabinet of unknown loyalty, and a fiercely partisan Congress. The situation in his personal life was [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 21 December, 2016, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

There are no public programs scheduled for this week, but there are a few things to take note of: - The library closes at 3:30PM on Monday, 19 December, and the building closes at 4:00PM. - The library is closed from Friday, 23 December, through Monday, 2 January. Normal [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 18 December, 2016, 12:00 AM

“A fearful time for old Boston”: The Great Fire of 1872

It was with extreme surprise and pain that I learned on going out onto the street yesterday morn of the extensive conflagration sweeping th[r]o the business part of Boston. It seemed impossible that fire could get such headway among those solid granite buildings which [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 14 December, 2016, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

This week is your final chance to take part in some public programs here at the MHS for the year 2016. Please note that the library closes at 3:30PM on Monday, 12 December. Here are the progams ahead: - Monday, 12 December, 6:00PM : Building Old Cambridge: Architecture [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 11 December, 2016, 12:00 AM

Christmas with the Poets: Traditions and Superstitions

Now that it's December and Thanksgiving is long behind us, we're hopefully in the clear to indulge in Christmas songs. To get in the holiday spirit, I pulled out our copy of Christmas with the Poets, a selection of “songs, carols, and descriptive verses relating to [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Friday, 9 December, 2016, 12:00 AM

Margaret Russell’s Diary, December 1916

 Messianic Era (1919) by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). Boston Public Library.   Today, we return to final month of 1916 in the line-a-day diary of Margaret Pelham Russell (1858-1924). You can read previous installments here: January | February | March | April [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 7 December, 2016, 12:00 AM

From the Case Notes of Robert Treat Paine: The Prison Ship Riot

Serving in his official role before the Superior Judicial Court for Suffolk County in August 1780, Atty. Gen. Robert Treat Paine prosecuted a complicated wartime case. On the docket was murder; at stake was legal precedent in a new nation. In the midst of the Revolutionary [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Monday, 5 December, 2016, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

It's that time, once again, for our weekly round-up of programs to come. Here's what's happening at the Society in the week ahead: - Monday, 5 December, 6:00PM : Join us for an author talk with Jane Kamensky of Harvard University. A Revolution in Color: The World of John [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 4 December, 2016, 12:00 AM

Pilgrims of Pompeii

The skeletons and the state representative first met on a warm fall afternoon in West Medford, 1862. Two day-laborers, sifting the topsoil with an ox-shovel, nearly hit bone. They ran to alert landowner Francis Brooks, a well-known lawyer and amateur naturalist. Peering [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Friday, 2 December, 2016, 3:04 PM