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This Week @ MHS

Here is the round-up of events in the week to come here at the MHS:

- Tuesday, 20 June, 6:00PM : Starting off the week is an author talk with the Society's own Conrad Edick Wright, editor of Pedagogues and Protestors: The Harvard College Student Diary of Stephen Peabody, 1767-1768. Through the lens of of the daily journal entries of Stephen Peabody, Wright guides us through the relationships among students, faculty, and administrators at Harvard College in the lead-up to the largest student strike at any colonial college. The culmination of months of tensions between undergraduates and faculty resulted in over half the student body leaving campus in protest against new rules regarding class preparation. This talk is open to the public and registration is required with a fee of $10 (no charge for MHS Members and Fellows). Pre-talk reception begins at 5:30PM, followed by the speaking program at 6:00PM. 

- Wednesday, 21 June, 5:00PM : MHS Fellows are invited to the Society's annual business meeting. RSVP by e-mailing wlindsey@masshist.org or calling 617-646-0572. This event is open only to MHS Fellows.

The library closes early on Wednesday at 3:45PM in preparation for the annual meeting.

- Friday, 23 June, 12:00PM : "Bonds Burst Asunder: The Revolutionary Politics of 'Getting By' in Civil War and Emancipation" is a rare Friday Brown Bag talk. In this project, Kathleen Hilliard of Iowa State University examines the transformation of southern political economy during the era of the American Civil War and African American emancipation, exploring how crisis and transition exposed weaknesses in slavery's cruel paternalist bargains. This talk is free and open to the public. 

- Saturday, 24 June, 10:00AM : The History and Collections of the MHS is a 90-minute docent-led walk through the public spaces of the Society. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: The Irish Atlantic: A Story of Famine Migration and Opportunity.

- Saturday, 24 June, 4:00PM : Come in on Satuday afternoon for "'Impossible Dreamers': The Pennant-Winning 1967 Boston Red Sox." This special program features a temporary exhibition of photographs and artifacts that runs through July 8. However, only on Saturday will you be able to see the 2004, 2007, and 2013 World Series trophies! There is also a panel discussion on Saturday moderated by Red Sox historian Gordon Edes with panelists Herb Crehan (author of The Impossible Dream 1967 Red Sox: Birth of Red Sox Nation), Bill Nowlin (The 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox: Pandemonium on the Field), and Tom Whalen (The Spirit of '67: Cardiac Kids, El Birdos, and the World Series That Captivated America). This program is open to the public and registration is requried with a fee of $20. Please register and pay online using the RSVP link. 

The library closes early on Saturday at 3:00PM in preparation for the afternoon program.

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 18 June, 2017, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

In the week ahead there are just two events on the calendar here at the Society. Those events are:

- Thursday, 15 June, 6:00PM : "Final Courses" is the last program in the Cooking Boston series and it takes place at Mount Auburn Cemetery. A docent-led tour of the cemetery will visit the graves of notable chefs, inventors, and confectionares, including 19th-century cookbook author Fanny Farmer, chefs Joyce Chen and Gian Franco Romagnoli, chocolate makers Walter Baker and William Schrafft, Harvey Parker of Boston's famed Parker House, and many more. This event is open to the public, though registration is required. Cost is $20 per person (no charge for MHS Members or Fellows) and space is limited.

- Saturday, 17 June, 10:00AM : The History and Collections of the MHS is a 90-minute docent-led tour through the public spaces of the Society's home on Boylston Street. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: The Irish Atlantic: A Story of Famine Migration and Opportunity.

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 11 June, 2017, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

Coming up this week, we have programs featuring ice cream, the "other" speaker at Gettysburg, and interstate trade during the Civil War. Here are the specifics:

- Tuesday, 6 June, 6:00PM : Ice Kings is the next installment in our Cooking Boston series or public programs. In this panel discussion, Gus Rancatore, Jeri Quinzio, and Judy Herrell discuss Boston's unusual obsession with ice cream. Moderated by Kathleen Fitzgerald, the talk will look at where this devotion to ice cream comes from and how institutions like Bailey's ice cream parlor and innovators like Steve's have changed the country's taste for frozen treats. Samples of ice cream from Toscanini's and Herrell's are available at the reception. This talk is open to the public and registration is required with a fee of $20 (no charge for MHS Members or Fellows). Pre-talk reception begins at 5:30PM followed by the speaking progam at 6:00PM. 

- Wedensday, 7 June, 12:00PM : This week's Brown Bag talk is put on by research fellow David Montejano of University of California, Berkeley. "From Southern Plantation to Northern Mill: Traveling the Cotton Trail During the Civil War" looks at the vigorous cotton trade between the north and south that re-emerged through the neutral port of Matamoros, Mexico. Montejano looks at how the politics of war were trumped by the "invisible hand" of the market by following the cotton stream from Texas to Massachusetts and making visible the many hands involved in this suspect wartime commerce. This talk is free and open to the public. 

- Thursday, 8 June, 6:00PM : Join us for a talk with Matthew Mason of Brigham Young University, author fo Apostle of Union: A Political Biography of Edward Everett. Everett's distinguished career, from the 1820s through the Civil War, reveals a complex man who shifting political opinions illuminate the nuances of Northern Unionism. Everett's political and cultural efforts to preserve the Union, and the response to his work from citizens and politicians, help us see the complexity of the coming of the Civil War. This talk is open to the public, registration required with a fee of $10 (No charge for MHS Members or Fellows; no charge for Members of the Union Club of Boston). Reception begins at 5:30PM, followed by the talk at 6:00PM. 

- Saturday, 10 June, 10:00AM : The History and Collections of the MHS is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: The Irish Atlantic: A Story of Famine Migration and Opportunity.

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 4 June, 2017, 12:00 AM

The Significance of Strawberries

In New England, the arrival of summer is synonymous with strawberries. Strawberry plants (fields) can be found throughout the region, and the strawberry harvest in late May and early June goes hand-in-hand with the most beautiful part of the year. The lovely, fragrant evenings and the final sigh of relief as New Englanders pack their coats away for the summer inevitably lead to the sudden desire to celebrate the arrival of the long-awaited warm months of summer. So, naturally, spring fetes were often “Strawberry Festivals.” The delicious berry was a welcome addition to the kitchen after months of cooking and consuming dried fruit. Every dish on the table was augmented, filled, or garnished with the beautiful, vibrant, and sweet berry.

In the nineteenth century Strawberry Festivals or parties were very popular. The strawberry was the first crop of the summer, and the region was dotted with strawberry farms. Strawberry festivals were popular events celebrated in many New England towns. Here at the Historical Society we have a few examples of broadside advertisements for local strawberry festivals from the late nineteenth century.

 

Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club (yes, they were up to the same silliness all those years ago!) produced an annual show called “Strawberry Night” in June. 

 

But for us at the Massachusetts Historical Society, such festivals have a very special significance as our annual strawberry festival may have indeed led to the bequest of our biggest benefactor. According to Robert C. Winthrop, MHS President from 1855-1885, it was the invitation to the Massachusetts Historical Society’s Strawberry Festival that led Thomas Dowse to donate his prized library to the MHS, and to that end, Winthrop says, “the regeneration of our Society may thus be fairly dated.”

“SPECIAL MEETING, JUNE, 1886. A Social Meeting of the Society was held at the house of Mr. Charles Deane, in Cambridge, on Friday, the 18th instant, at five o'clock, P.M.

The Hon. Robert C. Winthrop then spoke as follows :

 “Passing from this topic, let me say how glad I am to find myself at another social meeting of our old society at Cambridge…

…But another of these Cambridge meetings was still more memorable, and can never be forgotten in the history of our Society. I refer, as I need hardly say, to the meeting at good George Livermore's in 1856, just thirty years ago. From that meeting came the library and large endowment of our great benefactor, Thomas Dowse. Mr. Dowse was a neighbor and friend of Mr. Livermore, and had been specially invited by him to come over to our strawberry festival. Age and infirmities prevented his acceptance of the invitation; but the occasion induced him to inquire into the composition and character of our Society, and he forthwith resolved to place his precious books, the costly collections of a long life, under our guardianship, and to make them our property forever. From that meeting the regeneration of our Society may thus be fairly dated. Cambridge strawberries have ever since had a peculiar flavor for us, - not Hovey's Seedling, though that too was a Cambridge product, but what I might almost call the Livermore Seedling or the Dowse Graft, which were the immediate fruits of our social meeting at Mr. Livermore's.”*

Read more about Thomas Dowse and the Dowse Library here! (http://www.masshist.org/database/210)

 

 

Ten years ago, The Librarian of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Peter Drummey, suggested the library staff resurrect the age-old tradition; one hundred and fifty years later, a Strawberry Festival was once again held by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

The Library Staff of the Massachusetts Historical Society holds a Strawberry Festival every year in late May or early June for the staff, friends, volunteers, researchers and patrons of the Massachusetts Historical Society. We will be hosting our 2017 Strawberry Festival on Friday, June 2nd.

 

*Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Second Series, Vol. 3, [Vol. 23 of continuous numbering] (1886 - 1887), pp. 53-54

 

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Friday, 2 June, 2017, 8:51 AM

This Week @ MHS

Returning from a long weekend, this week's schedule is heavy at the tail-end. Here is what's coming up in the week ahead:

The MHS is CLOSED on Monday, 29 May, in observance of Memorial Day. Normal hours resume on Tuesday, 30 May. 

- Thursday, 1 June, 6:00PM : The seventh annual Cocktails with Clio takes place at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum at Columbia Point. We invite you to join us for a festive evening in support of the Center for the Teaching of History at the MHS featuring Jill Lepore in conversation with Robin Young. The evening will begin with cocktails in the pavilion space overlooking the harbor. A seated dinner will follow. Registration is required for this event. 

- Friday, 2 June, 2:00PM : A Description of the New York Central Park by Clarence C. Cook, published in 1869, is recognized as the most important book about the park to apper during its early years. Stop by on Friday for a talk with Maureen Meister, who recently penned the introduction to a re-publication of the work. This talk is free and open to the public. 

The Library closes early on Friday at 2:30PM.

- Saturday, 3 June, 10:00AM : The History and Collections of the MHS is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: The Irish Atlantic: A Story of Famine Migration and Opportunity.

- Saturday, 3 June, 1:00PM : Begin at the Beginning - "'They being stolne': Conflicting Views of Slavery and Governance in Early Massachusetts." Holly Brewer of the University of Maryland leads a discussion of primary documents revealing Massachusetts’s contradictory views and practice on slavery.  Compared to other British colonies, where elements of slavery were justified with broad and near-feudal rationales, she argues, Puritan Massachusetts resisted the right of kings and broadened the idea of consent. These ideas helped restrict slavery, even in the face of royal approval and promotion of slavery during the later 17th century and into the eighteenth century. This event is open to the public and registration is required at no cost. 

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 28 May, 2017, 12:00 AM

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