The Beehive: Official Blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society http://www.masshist.org/blog The official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society, covering MHS events and activities. en-us Fri, 01 May 2009 00:00:00 GMT Wed, 28 Sep 2016 12:24:06 GMT http://www.masshist.org/blog/rss/feed2.0.rss egrublin@masshist.org (Elaine Grublin) webmaster@masshist.org An Adams Homecoming http://www.masshist.org/blog/1405 <p><span style="font-size: 14px;">On September 4, 1801, John Quincy Adams stepped ashore in Philadelphia, returning to the United States almost exactly </span><a style="font-size: 14px;" href="http://www.masshist.org/publications/apde2/view?mode=p&vol=AFC10&page=214#214">seven years</a><span style="font-size: 14px;"> after he had left on his diplomatic mission to the Netherlands. He was not returning alone however; now his wife, Louisa Catherine Adams, and their first son, five-month-old George Washington Adams, accompanied him. Greeted by his brother Thomas Boylston Adams who was living in the city, the reunion was a happy but brief one. Both Louisa and John Quincy were anxious to see their parents once more but as the Johnsons lived in Washington, D.C., and the Adamses in Quincy, going together would mean a long wait for one of them. Neither wanted to put off greeting their families and so they went in opposite directions for the first time in their marriage. Louisa departed on the stage on September 12 with their son headed south, and John headed first to New York to see his sister, Nabby, before completing the journey to Massachusetts.</span></p> <p>The decision to go independently was not without its concerns, however. Although her father was American, Louisa was "yet a forlorn stranger in the land of my Fathers" and ultimately in an unfamiliar country with an infant. John Quincy noted his distress over the separation in <a href="http://www.masshist.org/jqadiaries/php/doc?id=jqad24_336">his Diary</a>: "I parted from her and my child with pain and no small concern and anxiety."</p> <p>In her Autobiography, Louisa recalled reuniting with her parents for the first time in four years: "When I arrived after a tedious and dangerous journey, my Father was standing on the steps at the door of the house, expecting his Child, yet he did not <em>know me</em>--; After he had recovered from the shock at first seeing me; he kept exclaiming that he did not know his own Child,' and it was sometime before he could calm his feelings, and talk with me." John Quincy's experience on the other had was quite different; on <a href="http://www.masshist.org/jqadiaries/php/doc?id=jqad24_338">the 21st</a> he recorded the event: "Here I had the inexpressible delight of finding once more my parents. After an absence of seven years--; This pleasure would have been unalloyed but for the feeble and infirm state of my mother's health. My parents received me with a welcome of the tenderest affection."</p> <p>As both John Quincy and Louisa settled in, they reunited with old friends and <a href="/adams/slipfile/search.php?addP%5b%5d=adams-louisa-catherine1775&addP%5b%5d=adams-john-quincy1767&addPT%5b%5d=either&addPT%5b%5d=either&addPD%5b%5d=Louisa%20Catherine%20Adams&addPD%5b%5d=John%20Quincy%20Adams&ds=18010901&de=18011101&ds_y=1801&ds_m=09&ds_d=01&de_y=1801&de_m=11&de_d=01&slip_words=&num=10&inst=&ind=&doct=&color=&filter=req&pl=&pld=&drest=1&form=sbya&start=0">wrote to each other</a> from afar. Although the plan was for Louisa to once again travel alone and meet John Quincy in Massachusetts, John Quincy agreed to meet Louisa and escort her and their son northward for one more significant homecoming--;on <a href="http://www.masshist.org/jqadiaries/php/doc?id=jqad24_348">November 25</a> John Quincy "had the pleasure of introducing my wife and child to my parents." For her part, Louisa acknowledged that she had been received "very kindly," but after London and Berlin, Quincy was quite an adjustment, and indeed Louisa declared, "Had I steped into Noah's Ark I do-not think I could have been more utterly astonished." It would take time for this homecoming to feel like home.</p> <p> </p> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 12:24:06 GMT Amanda M. Norton, Adams Papers http://www.masshist.org/blog/1405 This Week @ MHS http://www.masshist.org/blog/1401 <p>As September draws to a close, seminar season kicks into gear and with it comes a slew of public programs in the weeks ahead. Here's what's on tap this week:</p> <p>- Tuesday, September 27, 8:00AM : Local innovators, investors, and influencers share their insights and perspectives on the history and future of innovation in the Boston region, a locale known for breakthroughs and firsts. <a href="/calendar/event?event=1970">The History and Future of Mass Innovation</a> addresses such questions as: Why has Boston been the key center of social and technological change? What can community and business leaders and local governments do to nurture the factors that promote innovation? This talk is free and open to the public, though registraiton is required. <strong>This program will be held at the Stratton Student Center at MIT - 84 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139</strong>.</p> <p>- Tuesday, September 27, 5:15PM : The first seminar of the fall is part of the newly named <a href="/2012/calendar/seminars/modern-american">Modern American Society and Culture series</a>. Donna Murch of Rutgers University presents "<a href="/calendar/event?event=1990">The Color of War: Race, Neoliberalism, and Punishment in Late 20th Century Los Angeles</a>." Drawing on the recent history of urban rebellions and punishment campaigns stemming from the late 1960s, this presentation will place our current movement for black lives in historical context. Andrew Darien of Salem State University provides comment. Seminars are free and open to the public; <a href="mailto:seminars@masshist.org">RSVP required</a>. <a href="/calendar/seminars/modern-american">Subscribe</a> to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.</p> <p>- Wednesday, September 28, 12:00PM : "<a href="/calendar/event?event=2027">A Hero of Two Worlds</a>" is a <a href="/calendar/brown-bags">Brown Bag</a> talk presented by Sam Allis which explores a recently published work of historical fiction set in Rome in the early 1860s, when the great fight to unify Italy into a country was raging. The work features a protagonist who hails from Bangor, Maine, as well as a group of Boston expatriates. This event is free and open to the public. </p> <p>- Thursday, September 29, 5:30PM : The second seminar of the week is part of the History of Women and Gender series. "<a href="/calendar/event?event=1991">Developing Women: Global Poverty, U.S. Foreign Aid, and the Politics of Productivity in the 1970s</a>" emerges from a chapter of a book-in-progress on US involvement campaigns to end global poverty in the 1970s and 1980s. Joanne Meyerowitz of Yale University leads the program with Priya Lal of Boston College providing comment. Seminars are free and open to the public; <a href="mailto:seminars@masshist.org">RSVP required</a>. <a href="/calendar/seminars/women-and-gender">Subscribe</a> to receive advance copies of the seminar papers. <strong>This event takes place at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University</strong></p> <p>- Saturday, October 1, 10:00AM : <a href="/calendar/event?event=2018">The History and Collections of the MHS</a> is a 90-minute, docent-led walk through the public spaces at the Society's home on Boylston St. The tour is free and open to the public with no need for reservations for individuals or small groups. Larger parties (8 or more) should contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley in advance at 617-646-0508 or <a href="mailto:abentley@masshist.org">abentley@masshist.org</a>. While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: <a href="/2012/calendar/event?event=1935">Turning Points in American History</a>.</p> <p>- Saturday, October 1, 1:00PM : Join us for a public discussion of Puritan writings to discover just how fervently they loved in marriage and in faith, contrary to popular belief. "<a href="/calendar/event?event=2015">Sweet Talk - The Passion of Puritans in LEtters, Diaries, and Sermons</a>" is part of the Begin at the Beginning series sponsored by the Partnership of Historic Bostons. Lori Stokes and Sarah Stewart guide the conversation. This program is open to the public free of charge, though registration is required. </p> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 04:00:00 GMT Dan Hinchen http://www.masshist.org/blog/1401 Autumn Dinner in the White Mountains, September 1875 http://www.masshist.org/blog/1403 <p>It is Leaf Peeping' (fall foliage viewing) season in New England, so here are a few inspired leaves of thought...</p> <p>Looking through our collections I came across an intriguing broadside, having read about the once opulent Hotels that dotted the New Hampshire Countryside in the mid nineteenth century. The <a href="http://balthazaar.masshist.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&BBID=137496">[<em>Dinner menu and wine list for Sunday September 12</em>],</a> no doubt, would serve as a glimpse into the grandeur of the majestic New Hampshire Resorts.</p> <p>This unique Broadside attests to the lavish dinners served at the Crawford House, located in Crawford Notch New Hampshire. The most fascinating feature of this broadside is the material on which it is printed, a lovely piece of Birch bark. Birch trees are known for their beautiful lenticel marked white bark and can be seen throughout the forests of the White Mountains.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/front-cover.jpg" alt="" width="442" height="612" /></p> <p> </p> <p>The single page pamphlet is printed on both sides and folded in half conveniently presenting the day's fare and other pieces of information for hotel guests. For those intrigued by gastronomical history this is a fascinating specimen. Examining what was served on Sunday, September 12th 1875, one can truly note the changes in our collective palate and food culture over 150 years.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/inner_leaves.jpg" alt="" width="582" height="441" /></p> <p> </p> <p>Finally, the last page features an extensive wine list, after all, how else would one be on a proper vacation? Modern coinsures will be intrigued by the Hock (German White wine) and Sauternes (French sweet wine) being such popular categories, but otherwise the list is quite familiar. <em>Moet et Chandon</em> champagne was a full $4.00 (The equivalent of $86.96 modern currency) proving that some things never change!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/back-cover.jpg" alt="" width="408" height="614" /></p> <p> </p> <p>The first Crawford House was built in 1850. Described as having "a three and a half story central pavilion with a fine Greek Revival portico, identical five-bay, two and a half story wings, topped by pitched roofs with dormer windows." By 1852 there was such a high demand for rooms, that the owners of the Crawford House expanded, to create 200 sleeping rooms, by enlarging each wing by "eight bays". Unfortunately the first Crawford House succumbed to fire, although within two days plans for the new Crawford House were already underway. Cyrus Eastman and his partners utilized a workforce of 175 men and 75 oxen and horses to complete the fastest hotel construction 1859 had ever seen. Opening night was July 13th when 40 guests were received for dinner and 100 were entertained for the night, and the press noted that it was "the most spacious hotel about the mountain". In Eastman's words "The Crawford House is a large and new edifice, very commodious and agreeable for a summer hotel. There are pleasant piazzas on the outside, and five halls, much used in the evening for promenading, run the entire length of the house within. The parlor is large and well furnished, the dining room ample in its proportion, and its tables always supplied with the delicacies of the metropolitan markets, as well as such substantial articles of mountain production, as delicious berries, and the richest milk and cream. The office is situated in the central part of the house... Here also is the post office of this wild region. Portraits of two of the Crawfords, patriarchs of these mountains, adorn the wall. The lodging rooms of the house are well furnished, and pleasant, especially those which have windows toward the Notch. Connected with the hotel are a bowling-alley for rainy-day and evening amusement, and extensive stables, furnished with a large number of horses... Last summer two tame bears afforded guests much amusement." <a href="http://balthazaar.masshist.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&BBID=129906">http://balthazaar.masshist.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&BBID=129906</a></p> <p>Bostonians have always flocked to the White Mountain of New Hampshire to enjoy the striking natural beauty, although we in the modern era will never experience the grandeur met there by our predecessors. A great transformation came to the region in the 1850s, the beginning of a huge tourist Industry, prompted by the laying of railroads, and later fueled by the Industrial Revolution which created a surplus of wealth in eastern cities. In the 1820s and 30s, the mountains and lakes were home to only a few highway taverns and Inns that provided rest for the weary stagecoach traveler on the harrowing passage north. After 1850, the region that had only been visited by a few hundred, started to see tens of thousands of tourists. This was the heyday of the White Mountain Resorts and Hotels. Rising up from scenic valleys, construction began on the grandest hotels in America in the mid-nineteenth century. These hotels were famous for their luxurious lodging, exquisite dinning, and state of the art facilities such as gas lighting. Travelers came from Europe to admire the grandeur of these Hotels, and to admire the beauty of the White Mountains, which, according to some European Newspapers, rivaled that of the Alps. Each of these hotels could accommodate 200-500 or more guests, offering extensive entertainment, numerous excursions, exquisite gardens, elegant parlors and dining halls serving the finest cuisine. Some of these Hotels had their very own railroad stations, conveniently bringing guests from Boston, Portland and New York directly to their doors and promising a scenic journey through the mountains before arriving at the their lavish lodgings. These hotels were The Crawford House, the Fabyan House, the Profile House, the Maplewood, and the Waumbek.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the grand Hotels of New Hampshire were all built of wood, and almost all perished in fire. The Appalachian Mountain Club Highland Center sits on the site of the former Crawford House. The last of the majestic hotels built in the region was the Mount Washington Hotel, the grandest and largest, which still remains, a testament of the elegance and luxury of a bygone era and the largest wooden structure in New Hampshire.</p> <p>The Massachusetts Historical Society lists 153 titles under the heading Menu' in our catalog. For this broadside, or to search for other broadsides in our collection, please use <a href="http://www.masshist.org/abigail">ABIGAIL</a>, our online catalog. Visit the library of the Society to research more culinary history!</p> <p>______________</p> <p>Next up:</p> <p><a href="http://balthazaar.masshist.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&BBID=192420">Nineteenth Century Travels through New Hampshire</a></p> <p>(Burrage, Mary Greene Hunt. Letter to Margaret Howe (Cotton) Hunt [transcript] [1854} in Miscellaneous Manuscripts 1854)</p> <p>Followed by:</p> <p><a href="http://balthazaar.masshist.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&BBID=147485">The first map of the White Mountains done by none other than our very own Jeremy Belknap!</a></p> <p> </p> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:35:50 GMT Rakashi Chand, Reader Services http://www.masshist.org/blog/1403 From the Bay State to the Free State: A Massachusetts Soldier in Maryland http://www.masshist.org/blog/1404 <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/phinney_1.jpg" alt="" width="574" height="476" /></p> <p>The Civil War diary of <a href="http://balthazaar.masshist.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=205999">Joseph Warren Phinney</a>, a recent acquisition of the MHS, is a small unassuming leather volume. Probably fewer than half the pages are covered with smudged pencil entries dated 13 July 1864-22 April 1865, as well as miscellaneous memoranda. But even a cursory look into its contents reveals fascinating details.</p> <p>Phinney hailed from Sandwich, Mass. and served with the 5<sup>th</sup> Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, Company A. His diary complements our other holdings related to this regiment, which include the papers of <a href="http://balthazaar.masshist.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=18207">Charles Bowers</a>, <a href="http://balthazaar.masshist.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=115718">William Wallace Davis</a>, <a href="http://balthazaar.masshist.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=202025">Benjamin Newell Moore</a>, and <a href="http://balthazaar.masshist.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=21457">George L. Prescott</a>. But it was Phinney's entry of 8 October 1864 that piqued my interest. It begins: "To-day I was detailed to go with a squad to protect the Polls in a small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland." October was too early for the presidential election, but Phinney didn't provide any context, so I consulted Alfred S. Roe's 1911 <a href="http://balthazaar.masshist.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=11136">history of the regiment</a> to learn more.</p> <p>Phinney was, in his small way, taking part in a momentous day in Maryland's history. The Emancipation Proclamation had freed slaves in the Confederacy nearly two years before, but Maryland had never seceded and so was still a slave-holding state. In fact, its 1851 Constitution explicitly outlawed "any law abolishing the relation of master or slave." October 1864 saw Marylanders voting to ratify a new constitution which would, among other things, abolish slavery in the state. (It ultimately squeaked by with a tiny majority of 375 votes.)</p> <p>The 5<sup>th</sup> Massachusetts Infantry sent several squads from Baltimore's Fort McHenry down the Chesapeake Bay to protect polling places along the Eastern Shore. Phinney's squad was detailed to the small town of Trappe in Talbot County. They were quartered there for about a week, first in a schoolhouse and then a church.</p> <p>But this 19-year-old bachelor wasn't thinking about his place in history. He wrote: "We received many favors from the inhabitants and lived high on sweet potatoes and johnny cake brought in by them. The boys had plenty of liberty and improved it by seeing all they could and tasting all they saw."</p> <p>If you sense a certain tone to his words, you're not imagining things. After his return to Baltimore, Phinney elaborated: "How much I enjoyed my visit at Trappe I can't well express, but a long letter, containing three closely written sheets of good sensible sized note paper seems to tell me that I wan't the only one who remembers with pleasure my visit to the Eastern Shore.'" His correspondent was someone named either Emma or Erma--;I can't quite make out his handwriting. Whoever she was, he called her "darling" and "a good sweet little dear" and cherished her "token of love and friendship more than I shall dare to express here."</p> <p>I won't keep you in suspense: as far as I can tell, Phinney and the young lady in question never saw each other again. But she wrote to him six months later, prompting him to reflect, in the only other entry he wrote about her: "Who would imagine that she would remember me enough to write such a letter after such a time since we met has elapsed. I am sure I didn't when we enjoyed ourselves so pleasantly on the Eastern Shore of <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Maryland, My Maryland</span>,' - as she used to sing so sweetly." But she lived too far away, and he was a "wandering vagabond" and "scallawag" who couldn't provide for a family. So he concluded: "I guess it will be best policy to let them all slide Nettie, Emma, and Lizzie, the whole <span style="text-decoration: underline;">boodle</span> of them."</p> <p>Phinney didn't let the whole boodle slide, however, at least not permanently. He married in 1869 to Susan Jane Turner, with whom he had two children before she died 13 years later. Phinney then married Priscilla Chase Morris and had four more children.</p> <p>Other entries in Phinney's diary are interesting, funny, or just plain cryptic. He had a tendency to scribble down random thoughts, financial memoranda, aphorisms, etc. He also sometimes vented his frustration. After his promotion to sergeant of the guard, he wrote: "Hullo, Sergeant Phinney? Your <span style="text-decoration: underline;">three</span> stripes look better than <span style="text-decoration: underline;">two</span>. How mad Walsh was that he didn't get the warrant. I don't give a damn!"</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/phinney_2.jpg" alt="" width="542" height="427" /></p> <p> </p> <p>And here's an excerpt from his description of the day Abraham Lincoln died, which stretches for several pages: "This has been a day of sorrow and mourning for the nation. [] On the opening of the telegraph office there was an immense crowd gathered in front of the entrance, awaiting, with intense anxiety, something definite in regard to the matter. Alas! The news was too true, for the wire confirmed what we had before hesi[ta]ted to believe. We cannot depict the horror and grief that seized our community."</p> <p>The MHS also holds a copy of <em>Catch 'ems?</em>, a beautiful two-volume compilation of the letters of Phinney's daughter<a href="http://balthazaar.masshist.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=134019"> Ellis Phinney Taylor</a>, published in 2004 by other members of the family. Although the letters date from the early 20<sup>th</sup> century, <em>Catch 'ems?</em> gave me my first glimpse of Joseph Warren Phinney and the Phinney family.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/phinney_book_1.jpg" alt="" width="215" height="233" /></p> <p> </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/phinney_book_2.jpg" alt="" width="532" height="427" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> </p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 14px;">Phinney was born in 1845, the only son and youngest child of Warren and Henrietta J. (Smith) Phinney. His mother died just a few months after his birth, and his father a few years later, so young Phinney was raised by his maternal grandparents. After the Civil War, he became a printer and type founder and designed several typefaces. He died in 1934 at the age of 89.</span></p> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 04:00:00 GMT Susan Martin, Collection Services http://www.masshist.org/blog/1404 This Week @ MHS http://www.masshist.org/blog/1400 <p>Summer officially ends this week. With its demise comes a rise in programs here at the Society. Here is what's on tap this week:</p> <p>- Wednesday, 21 September, 6:00PM : With a major election looming, you might wonder what the young vote can do to alter the outcome. First, get some historical perspective. Join us for a public author talk featuring Jon Grinspan of the Smithsonian as he talks about his new book, <em><a href="/calendar/event?event=1954">The Virgin Vote: How Young Americans Made Democracy Social, Politics Personal, and Voting Popular in the Nineteenth Century</a>. </em>Registration is requried for this event with a fee of $10 (no charge for MHS Members or Fellows). A pre-talk reception starts at 5:30PM and the program begins at 6:00PM. </p> <p>- Thursday, 22 September, 6:00PM : <strong>Calling all graduate students and faculty! </strong><span style="font-size: 14px;">Please join us on for our seventh annual <a href="/calendar/event?event=1989">Graduate Student Reception</a> for students in history, American Studies, and related fields. Enjoy drinks and hors d'oeuvres as you meet colleagues from other universities working in your field. Take a behind-the scenes tour and learn about the resources the MHS offers to support your scholarship, from research fellowships to our seminar series.</span></p> <p>- Saturday, 24 September, 10:00AM : Come on in for a free tour of the Society's home at 1154 Boylston St. The History and Collections of the MHS is a 90-minute, docent-led tour of the public spaces at the MHS. The tour is free and open to the public with no need for individuals or small groups to set reservations. Larger parties (8 or more) should contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley in advance at 617-646-0508 or <a href="mailto:abentley@masshist.org">abentley@masshist.org</a>. </p> Sun, 18 Sep 2016 04:00:00 GMT Dan Hinchen http://www.masshist.org/blog/1400