The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

It is a shortened week for us here at the Society with just a couple of public programs happening but, with the end of the Red Sox season, there are no excuses to miss out on any evening events.

First up, on Tuesday, 5 November, is an Early American History seminar presented by Elaine Crane of Fordham University, with Irene Q. Brown, University of Connecticut, providing comment. Beginning at 5:15PM, "The Poison Plot" looks at the marital failing of early 18th century Rhode Islanders Benedict Arnold and his wife, Mary, who in 1738 tried to poison her husband. The story offers new insights into a range of social fault lines that extended beyond their domestic circle: infidelity, illegitimacy, abuse of husbands, female dependency, criminal proceedings, and the role of the state as mediator. Seminars are free and open to the public, RSVP required. Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.

And on Wednesday, 6 November, come in at noon for a Brown Bag lunch talk given by MHS-NEH Long-term fellow, Nancy Shoemaker, University of Connecticut. Shoemaker will discuss research for her project "Pursuing Respectability in the Cannibal Isles: Americans in Nineteenth-Century Fiji," which resurrects the history of the China Trade and the early nineteenth-century Pacific as key sites of American economic and political intervention. It explores the formation of an American sense of self through a study of several individuals, including a “beachcomber,” a sea captain’s wife, and a U.S. Consul.

The library of the MHS is closed on Thursday, 7 November, in preparation for the evening's event, the fourth annual Cocktails with Clio. Named for the muse of history, this festive evening celebrates American history and the 222-year-old mission of the Society. The evening will feature a cocktail buffet at the Society's building at 1154 Boylston St., followed by a conversation with political commentator, author, and MHS Overseer, Cokie Roberts, at the nearby Harvard Club. Ms. Roberts will discuss her approach to writing bestselling books about history and historical figures, her work as a political commentator, and how she has used the MHS collections in her research. RSVP required. Tickets are $250 per person. All net proceeds from the event will support the Society's outreach efforts. For more information, please contact Carol Knauff at or 617-646-0554.

The MHS will be closed on Saturday, 9 November, and Monday, 11 November, in observance of the Veterans Day holiday. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, 12 November.

Be sure to keep an eye on our events calendar to stay up-to-date with all of the goings-on here at the Society. And do not forget to come in to see our current exhibition, "The Cabinetmaker & the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections," on display six days per week, Monday-Saturday, 10:00AM-4:00PM. The exhibit is open to the public with a suggested donation of $5.


permalink | Published: Sunday, 3 November, 2013, 12:00 PM