Calendar of Events

Exhibition

Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country

Massachusetts Women in WWI. 12 June 2014 to 24 January 2015

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September

Special Event MHS Graduate Student Reception 18 September 2014.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM All graduate students in American history and related subjects are invited to attend. Faculty ...

All graduate students in American history and related subjects are invited to attend. Faculty members in these fields are also welcome.

Begin the new academic year by meeting graduate students and faculty from other universities who are also working in your field. Enjoy refreshments, take a tour of MHS departments, and learn about the range of resources available to support your work, including MHS fellowship programs. Refreshments and networking begin at 6:00 p.m. and run throughout the evening. Program begins at 6:30 p.m.

No charge. RSVP required by September 17. Email kviens@masshist.org or phone 617-646-0568 with your name and affiliation. Indicate whether you are a graduate student or faculty member.

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar The Importance of Place and Place-makers in the Life of a Los Angeles Community: What Gentrification Erases from Echo Park, 1950s-Present 23 September 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Natalia Molina, University of California - San Diego Comment: Judith Smith, University of Massachusetts - Boston This talk examines a Los Angeles neighborhood, Echo Park, and discusses its history, shaped by its ...

This talk examines a Los Angeles neighborhood, Echo Park, and discusses its history, shaped by its Leftist, Communist, and gay residents.  Beginning in the 1950s and 60s, this neighborhood’s history of progressive politics left a legacy for a wave of Mexican immigrants, allowing them to create a community that reached across social boundaries. The paper looks at Echo Park today to examine this gentrifying area and ask what the role of history is in the neighborhood’s evolving identity.

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Teacher Workshop, Public Programbegins Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation 26 September 2014.Friday, 8:30AM - 3:30PM This event will take place at the Framingham History Center. What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before ...

What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before becoming part of a new nation in 1776? Designed for educators and local history enthusiasts, this workshop will explore some of the social, cultural, economic, and political concerns expressed in Framingham and other nearby towns as the Americans attempted to create a new nation in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. By turning an eye towards local politics and events we will rediscover the ways in which “ordinary people” contributed to America’s creation story.

Presenters include Jayne Gordon and Kathleen Barker of the Massachusetts Historical Society  Department of Education and Public Programs; Dean Eastman, educational consultant and co-creator of primaryresearch.org; Kevin Swope, FHC Board Chair; local storyteller Libby Franck and others…

To Register
Please complete this registration form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

There is a $25 charge to cover lunches both days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Educators can earn 14 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

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Teacher Workshop, Public Programends Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation 27 September 2014.Saturday, 8:30AM - 3:30PM This event will take place at the Framingham History Center. What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before ...

What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before becoming part of a new nation in 1776? Designed for educators and local history enthusiasts, this workshop will explore some of the social, cultural, economic, and political concerns expressed in Framingham and other nearby towns as the Americans attempted to create a new nation in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. By turning an eye towards local politics and events we will rediscover the ways in which “ordinary people” contributed to America’s creation story.

Presenters include Jayne Gordon and Kathleen Barker of the Massachusetts Historical Society  Department of Education and Public Programs; Dean Eastman, educational consultant and co-creator of primaryresearch.org; Kevin Swope, FHC Board Chair; local storyteller Libby Franck and others…

To Register
Please complete this registration form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

There is a $25 charge to cover lunches both days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Educators can earn 14 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

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October
Brown Bag Reading Locke on the Plantation 1 October 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Sean Moore, University of New Hampshire This talk will extend into book history Edmund Morgan’s articulation of the well-known paradox ...

This talk will extend into book history Edmund Morgan’s articulation of the well-known paradox that some early Americans were asserting their own desire for freedom from Britain while simultaneously enslaving others. Considering Locke’s political theory, it will examine how the African diaspora underwrote the dissemination of books of British literature and philosophy, and how Jefferson, Washington, and others bartered slave-produced goods for books through the London agents with whom they did business.

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Public Program, Author Talk The Trials of Old New England Towns in a New Nation 1 October 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-talk reception at 5:30pm Mary Fuhrer, Independent Scholar We tend to think of New England towns in the first decades of the 19th century as peaceful, bucolic ...

Mary White, circa 1840. Courtesy Boylston Historical Society.We tend to think of New England towns in the first decades of the 19th century as peaceful, bucolic havens -- they were not. In this talk, Mary Babson Fuhrer will discuss the remarkable stories of conflict and transformation that reshaped local communities in the decades leading up to the Civil War. As people struggled to work out the promises of the Revolution on the personal level, contrary ideals of community identity and individual interests clashed, until, as one observer noted, "the most malignant passions of our depraved natures raged." The diaries, letters, and account books she draws on form the basis of her recent book, Crisis of Community: Trials and Transformation of a New England Town, 1815-1848.

Mary Babson Fuhrer is a public historian and independent scholar who lives in Littleton, Mass. Fuhrer provides research, interpretation, and programs for humanities associations, museums, historical societies, and educational institutions. She specializes in using primary sources to recover everyday lives from the past. Her scholarship has received generous support from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the American Antiquarian Society, and the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium. Fuhrer was recently awarded the Massachusetts History Commendation for 2014 by the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. She is currently pursuing research on the illness narratives of consumptives (tubercular patients) across gender, class, ethnicity, and race in antebellum New England.

There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617- 646-0560 or click here to register.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Enslaved Women and the Politics of Liberation in the Late Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World 2 October 2014.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Location: Schlesinger Library Barbara Krauthamer, University of Massachusetts - Amherst Comment: Kate Masur, Northwestern University This paper examines enslaved women's strategies for gaining freedom through escape. It focuses on ...

This paper examines enslaved women's strategies for gaining freedom through escape. It focuses on enslaved women's escapes from bondage and their concomitant movements to various sites in the Americas from the Revolutionary era through the early decades of the nineteenth century. It also considers the ways in which both enslaved women and slaveholders made sense of the changing political landscape in the late eighteenth-century British Atlantic and African Diaspora.

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Public Program Katherine, Grace, and Mary: Archaeological Revelations of 17th and 18th Century Women from Boston's Big Dig 6 October 2014.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   There is a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Joe Bagley, Boston City Archaeologist The archaeological surveys conducted prior to the beginning of Boston's infamous Big Dig resulted in ...

A mid-18th century porringer pot by Grace Parker found at the Three Cranes TavernThe archaeological surveys conducted prior to the beginning of Boston's infamous Big Dig resulted in the uncovering of mountains of historical data on Boston's deep history.  Three archaeological sites stand out for their contributions to Women's history in Boston. These include the late 17th century site of Katherine Nanny Naylor, the early 18th century site of Mary Long, and the mid-18th century site of Grace Parker.  Katherine was the first woman to legally divorce her husband in Puritan Massachusetts, Mary was the operator of the Three Cranes Tavern in Charlestown---the cultural and physical heart of the Charlestown community, and Grace owned and operated the most successful ceramic business in Boston producing wears with her distinctive brush strokes.  Together, these three women paint a complicated and nuanced history of Boston that goes far beyond what is typically known or written about women in these periods.  Join City Archaeologist Joe Bagley as he discusses the information uncovered about these three women and their contributions to the history and culture of Boston.

Joe Bagley is the City Archaeologist of Boston.  As a City employee, Joe executed archaeological surveys on city-owned land, reviewed construction and development projects that could impact archaeological sites, and promotes Boston's archaeology through public events and talks.  Joe received his BA in Archaeology from Boston University and his MA in Historical Archaeology from UMass Boston.  He has been conducting archaeological surveys in New England on historic and Native sites for over a dozen years.  He is also the live-in caretaker of the Dorchester Historical Society's William Clapp House where he lives with his wife Jen and his dog, Jack.

There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617- 646-0560 or click here to register.

http://www.cityofboston.gov/archaeology/

https://www.facebook.com/BostonArchaeologyProgram

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Early American History Seminar Thomas Jefferson, Slavery, and the Law 7 October 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required David Konig, Washington University in St. Louis Comment: Malick Ghachem, MIT This paper, based on research into the nearly one thousand legal matters Thomas Jefferson handled as ...

This paper, based on research into the nearly one thousand legal matters Thomas Jefferson handled as a practicing attorney, analyzes the complex relationship between his legal career and his ownership of slaves. Jefferson used the law to manage enslaved people as his property but never repudiated their essential humanity. The political structure of the day made open assault on slavery inconceivable, but Jefferson claimed small victories against a loathsome institution in the courtroom.

Modern conceptions of rights posit them as universal and unitary: one either has the full panoply of rights protected by our express Constitutional commitment to “equal protection under the law,” or is experiencing a denial of liberty. Such a binary of rights-bearing status did not exist at the Founding – not in any of the newly independent united states, nor anywhere else for that matter. If we look closely at the nature of rights and of rights-bearing individuals, we find that they existed across a graded spectrum.

No full-scale frontal assault on slavery was conceivable within that structure of politics and law, but a venue for piecemeal achievements might be found in the courtroom within the interstices of procedure and doctrine still being debated and yet to assume settled form.  This study locates them in his legal practice where, to Jefferson, the enslaved were not only property but clients whose freedom he sought in the courtroom, and whose basic human dignity was to be effected by the rules of law.

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Thomas Hutchinson Member Event, Special Event History Revealed: Thomas Hutchinson and the Stamp Act Riots 8 October 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617-646-0518. MHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special evening at the Society as John W. Tyler, editor of ...

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special evening at the Society as John W. Tyler, editor of The Correspondence of Thomas Hutchinson: 1740-1766 (2014), relays the story of Lt. Gov. Thomas Hutchinson and how he came to be on the losing side of the American Revolution. His house was destroyed by a mob during the Stamp Act riots, a milestone in the series of acts of civil disobedience that made Boston notorious in the eyes of the British government. A pair of fire tongs salvaged from that evening and now in the collections of the MHS will be on display along with other objects related to Hutchinson and the coming of the American Revolution.

6:00 PM: Reception
6:30 PM: Remarks by John W. Tyler followed by a presentation of items from the Society's collections

Become a Member today!

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Public Program, Author Talk 1914-1918: The War Within the War 9 October 2014.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-talk reception at 5:30pm Adam Hochschild, University of California Berkeley As we mark the centenary of the First World War, this epochal event is usually remembered as a ...

As we mark the centenary of the First World War, this epochal event is usually remembered as a bloody conflict between rival alliances of nations. But there was another struggle within most of those countries: between people who regarded the war as a noble and necessary crusade, and a brave minority who felt it was tragic madness and who refused to fight. Writer Adam Hochschild describes this battle in an illustrated talk, focusing on the country where that tension was sharpest, Great Britain.

Adam HochschildAdam Hochschild’s writing has focused on human rights and social justice. His seven books include King Leopold's Ghost: a Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa, which won a J. Anthony Lukas award in the United States, and the Duff Cooper Prize in England. Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves was a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. For the body of his work, he has received awards from the Lannan Foundation, the American Historical Association, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He teaches at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.

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Special Event, Public Program Opening Our Doors Open House 13 October 2014.Monday, 10:00AM - 3:00PM Join us as part of Opening Our Doors, Boston’s largest single day of free arts and cultural ...

Join us as part of Opening Our Doors, Boston’s largest single day of free arts and cultural events. Stop by to view Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War. This event is free and open to the public.

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Library Closed Columbus Day 13 October 2014.Monday, all day The MHS library is closed on Columbus Day.

The MHS library is closed on Columbus Day.

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Environmental History Seminar Finding Meaning and Debating Value in a Historical Landscape 14 October 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required David Benac, Western Michigan University Victoria Cain, Northeastern University Rural Oregon has shifted from an emphasis on resource extraction to a reliance on ecotourism.   ...

Rural Oregon has shifted from an emphasis on resource extraction to a reliance on ecotourism.  This transition exacerbated a clash of opposing visions of the value of history and the natural world. Competing interpretations of landscape as a resource or as a haven is an old dichotomy in environmental history. This paper adds nuance by employing a third category that intermingles the others: historical significance.

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Brown Bag The Role of the Military within Imperial Security Policy, 1685-1689. 15 October 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Rachael Abbiss, University of Chester The Dominion of New England was established in 1686 by James VII & II. James’s ...

The Dominion of New England was established in 1686 by James VII & II. James’s colonial policy was the first substantial attempt to unite colonies under royal military authority and permanently station regular soldiers in New England. There is limited research pertaining to the military purpose of James’s imperial design, in particular the role, function and contribution of regular troops in controlling and securing New England. This project examines the army and military policy in North America between 1686 and 1689. 

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Public Program Rebels in Vermont!: The St. Albans Raid 15 October 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-talk reception at 5:30pm J. Kevin Graffagnino, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan On October 19, 1864, twenty-two Confederate soldiers under the command of Bennett H. Young attacked ...

Orleans County broadsideOn October 19, 1864, twenty-two Confederate soldiers under the command of Bennett H. Young attacked the village of St. Albans, Vermont.  They robbed the banks in town, tried to set fire to the downtown commercial district, shot and killed one person, and then fled north to Canada with $227,000 in their saddlebags.  The St. Albans Raid sent shock waves throughout the North.  A fraction of the stolen money made its way back to St. Albans, but a series of Canadian trials ended in the dismissal of all charges against Young and his men.  Kevin Graffagnino's "Rebels in Vermont!" presentation details the events of the raid and also looks at the lives and careers of the Confederate participants, providing more of a Southern perspective than most Northern versions of the story.

J. Kevin Graffagnino is Director of the William L. Clements Library of early American history at the University of Michigan.  In a long career, Kevin has been an antiquarian book dealer, special collections curator, library administrator, and Executive Director of the Vermont and Kentucky state historical societies.  He holds two degrees from the University of Vermont and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  Kevin's publications on early American history and bibliophilic topics include 17 books, the most recent of which is The Vermont Difference: Perspectives from the Green Mountain State (2014)

There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617- 646-0560 or click here to register.

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Teacher Workshopbegins Massachusetts Women and the First World War 17 October 2014.Friday, 8:30AM - 3:30PM Massachusetts men and women participated in the Great War in numerous ways, even before the United ...

Massachusetts men and women participated in the Great War in numerous ways, even before the United States officially entered the conflict in 1917. This two-day workshop will explore women’s many activities using the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Fort Devens Museum.

Day one (October 17) will take place in Devens. When Camp Devens was built in 1917, few realized what an impact it had on surrounding towns and the legacy it would leave behind. Using maps, letters, photographs and other materials from WWI we can see how Camp Devens changed both the lives of the men and women who worked and trained here, and the physical landscape of the Nashoba Valley. On day two (October 18) we will meet at the Massachusetts Historical Society, participants will analyze posters that used images of women as propaganda or encouraged women’s participation in various efforts, as well as letters, diaries, and photographs created by men and women who volunteered for the war effort at home and abroad. This workshop is open to all K-12 educations, as well as history enthusiasts.

Registration Fee: $75

Fee includes lunch both days, materials, and admission to the Fort Devens Museum. To register complete this Registration Form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215. Contact education@masshist.org for more information.

Image: “Mrs. Daly's Unit, 13 July 1918.” From the Saltonstall-Brooks-Lewis photograph collection, Photo. 33.3305.

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Teacher Workshopends Massachusetts Women and the First World War 18 October 2014.Saturday, 8:30AM - 3:30PM Massachusetts men and women participated in the Great War in numerous ways, even before the United ...

Massachusetts men and women participated in the Great War in numerous ways, even before the United States officially entered the conflict in 1917. This two-day workshop will explore women’s many activities using the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Fort Devens Museum.

Day one (October 17) will take place in Devens. When Camp Devens was built in 1917, few realized what an impact it had on surrounding towns and the legacy it would leave behind. Using maps, letters, photographs and other materials from WWI we can see how Camp Devens changed both the lives of the men and women who worked and trained here, and the physical landscape of the Nashoba Valley. On day two (October 18) we will meet at the Massachusetts Historical Society, participants will analyze posters that used images of women as propaganda or encouraged women’s participation in various efforts, as well as letters, diaries, and photographs created by men and women who volunteered for the war effort at home and abroad. This workshop is open to all K-12 educations, as well as history enthusiasts.

Registration Fee: $75

Fee includes lunch both days, materials, and admission to the Fort Devens Museum. To register complete this Registration Form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215. Contact education@masshist.org for more information.

Image: “Mrs. Daly's Unit, 13 July 1918.” From the Saltonstall-Brooks-Lewis photograph collection, Photo. 33.3305.

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Public Program, Author Talk Civil War Boston 21 October 2014.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Barbara Berenson Boston’s black and white abolitionists forged a second American revolution dedicated to ending ...

Boston and the Civil War book coverBoston’s black and white abolitionists forged a second American revolution dedicated to ending slavery and honoring the promise of liberty made in the Declaration of Independence. Before the war, Bostonians were bitterly divided between those who supported the Union and those opposed to its endorsement of slavery. The Fugitive Slave Act brought the horrors of slavery close to home and led many to join the abolitionists. March to war with Boston’s brave soldiers, including the grandson of Patriot Paul Revere and the Fighting Irish. The all-black Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment battled against both slavery and discrimination, while Boston’s women fought tirelessly against slavery and for their own right to be full citizens of the Union. Join local historian and author Barbara F. Berenson on a thrilling and memorable journey through Civil War Boston. 

Barbara F. Berenson is the author of Walking Tours of Civil War Boston: Hub of Abolitionism (2011, 2nd ed. 2014) and co-editor of Breaking Barriers: The Unfinished Story of Women Lawyers and Judges in Massachusetts (2012). A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Barbara works as a senior attorney at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

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Early American History Seminar Popular U.S. Enthusiasm for Latin American Independence, 1810-1825 21 October 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Caitlin A. Fitz, Northwestern University Comment: John Bezis-Selfa, Wheaton College This paper explores the reactions of those in the United States to the independence movements of ...

This paper explores the reactions of those in the United States to the independence movements of Latin American nations in the 1800s. In general, U.S. observers were overjoyed by these movements; however, Massachusetts citizens were less thrilled. This presentation will analyze the national trend and the commonwealth’s deviation from it.

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar Playing Charro, Transforming the City: Mexican Cowboys in San Antonio and Los Angeles, 1947-1970 28 October 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Laura Barraclough, Yale University Comment: Desirée J. Garcia, Arizona State University This paper examines the practice of charrería (Mexican rodeo) among Mexican immigrant ...

This paper examines the practice of charrería (Mexican rodeo) among Mexican immigrant men in San Antonio and Los Angeles from the late 1940s through the early 1970s. The charros claimed an active place for Mexicans in the history of the Southwest – as well as its future. At the same time, however, they reinscribed a gendered and classed vision of ethnic Mexican inclusion: one that privileged middle-class, socially conservative men while marginalizing other, more transformative visions.

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Public Program, Special Event Honoring Pauline Maier (1938–2013) 29 October 2014.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   The evening will begin with a reception at 5:30, followed by the talk at 6:00 Gordon S. Wood, Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus, Brown University Professor Pauline Maier’s contributions to the study of American history and to the life of ...

Professor Pauline Maier’s contributions to the study of American history and to the life of the MHS were both of tremendous value to this community. A distinguished historian who authored significant works on the Revolutionary era, Maier shaped—and will continue to shape—the way generations of students and readers view the foundation of American democracy. Join us as Professor Gordon S. Wood pays tribute to a great historian, teacher, and author who was committed to making American history vivid and accessible to all.

Please call 617-646-0560 or click here to register.

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November
Teacher Workshop Sources and Stories of the American Revolution 1 November 2014.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM What do works like “freedom” and “liberty” mean to you? What did they mean ...

What do works like “freedom” and “liberty” mean to you? What did they mean to a patriot in 1763, an enslaved woman in 1770, or a Loyalist in 1783? Using documents from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, participants will analyze the ways in which Massachusetts men and women sought—and were often denied—their own freedoms during the era of the American Revolution. We will use the morning sessions to explore how different individuals or groups used the language of liberty to further their own cause, and what sorts of tactics they used to promote their ideas of freedom.

Later in the day, historian Mary Fuhrer and educator Joanne Myers will introduce the participants to local records that can be used to research the lives of people living in Lexington in 1775. Through a series of hands-on research activities and a writing workshop, participants will choose one historical character from Lexington and examine his/her background, motivations, and the choices he/she made in the critical time period surrounding the beginning of the Revolution. The day will end with an opportunity to view rarely-seen original documents and artifacts from the Society’s collections.

Registration Fee: $100

Visit the EdCo website to register, or contact education@masshist.org for more information.

Image: Article from page 3 of The Boston-Gazette, and Country Journal, number 569, 24 February 1766. Massachusetts Historical Society.

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Brown Bag Choosing Challenges 5 November 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Gavin Kleespies, Massachusetts Historical Society Public programs are often the most direct contact a historical society has with its members and the ...

Public programs are often the most direct contact a historical society has with its members and the larger community. If an institution's presentations are well targeted, they can be an effective tool for forging new relationships, establishing connections among previously disparate groups, increasing support, and even redefining public perception. However, like any tool, programs are only effective if you have a clear sense of the goals you're aiming for. This presentation, by the Society’s new Director of Public Programs, will give a rough outline of goals determined through meetings with key constituents at the Massachusetts Historical Society and proposed tactics to meet these challenges. 

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Public Program, Author Talk The Rising at Roxbury Crossing: Boston 1919 5 November 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-talk reception at 5:30pm James Redfearn In this fascinating fictional tale Willie Dwyer, an Irish immigrant and Boston patrolman, struggles ...

In this fascinating fictional tale Willie Dwyer, an Irish immigrant and Boston patrolman, struggles with his conscience after being caught up in the violence of his native land’s rebellion. The Rising at Roxbury Crossing features a hard and gritty look at post-World War I Boston when she was burdened with high unemployment, radical anarchists, and labor unrest. Escaped political prisoner, Eamon de Valera campaigns for financial assistance for Ireland’s revolutionary government as the city’s police prepare to strike for fair pay and better working conditions. It is 1919, and just as Boston’s Irish patrolman strike and the city erupts into riots and chaos, Willie’s nemesis crosses the Atlantic to track him down. Willie Dwyer must decide whether to run from his past or confront his future.

Jim Redfearn was raised in Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood and is a former Massachusetts State Trooper, an investigator for a prominent Boston law firm, and an industrial photographer. He earned a graduate degree in writing from Harvard University at the age of fifty-nine. His short fiction has been published by the University’s Charles River Review and the New England Writer’s Network. Among his many appearances, Jim has participated in several authors’ panels, including last year’s panel at Harvard University, moderated by Pulitzer Prize winner, Paul Harding. He has lectured in the Moses Greeley Parker Lecture Series, at the Irish Cultural Center of New England and the Union Club of Boston. Visit www.TheRisingAtRoxburyCrossing.com to learn more about Jim or his novel.

There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or click here to register.

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Biography Seminar Understanding the Presidency: Personality, Politics, and Policy 6 November 2014.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Evan Thomas, Kathleen Dalton, and David Michaelis Moderator: Ted Widmer Focusing on the peculiar balance between policy and politics as it affects writing presidential ...

Focusing on the peculiar balance between policy and politics as it affects writing presidential biography, noted biographers Evan Thomas, Kathleen Dalton, and David Michaelis, with guest moderator Ted Widmer, will share their reflections on a wide range of 20th and 21st century presidencies.

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Library Closed Library Closed 7 November 2014.Friday, all day The MHS library will be closed to researchers on Friday, 7 November.

The MHS library will be closed to researchers on Friday, 7 November.

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Cocktails with Clio 2014 Special Event Cocktails with Clio 7 November 2014.Friday, 6:00PM - 9:00PM The fifth annual Cocktails with Clio will take place on 7 November 2014. Named for the muse of ...

The fifth annual Cocktails with Clio will take place on 7 November 2014. Named for the muse of history, this festive evening celebrates American history and the 223-year-old mission of the Society. Following an elegant cocktail buffet at the Society’s building, guests will proceed to the nearby Harvard Club for dessert and a conversation with historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Hackett FIscher.

Tickets cost $250 per person. All net proceeds from the event will support the Society's outreach efforts.


Become a sponsor of Cocktails with Clio

Our sponsors are crucial to the success of the event. As a result of their generosity, the Society’s outreach efforts have expanded. The additional funding has an important impact on our programming, and this year we hope to surpass last year’s goal in order to further enhance our exhibitions, public programs, and education initiatives. 

We are proud to offer individual sponsorship opportunities at the following levels:
$5,000 - Clio’s Circle
$2,500 - Patrons of the Muse
$1,000 - Friends of the Muse   

For more information about becoming a sponsor, please contact Carol Knauff at cknauff@masshist.org or 617-646-0554.

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Building Closed Veterans Day 11 November 2014.Tuesday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on Veterans Day. 

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on Veterans Day. 

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Public Program, Author Talk Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England 14 November 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Corin Hirsch Colonial New England was awash in ales, beers, wines, cider and spirits. Everyone from teenage ...

Colonial New England was awash in ales, beers, wines, cider and spirits. Everyone from teenage farmworkers to our founding fathers imbibed heartily and often. Tipples at breakfast, lunch, teatime and dinner were the norm, and low-alcohol hard cider was sometimes even a part of children’s lives. This burgeoning cocktail culture reflected the New World’s abundance of raw materials: apples, sugar and molasses, wild berries and hops. This plentiful drinking sustained a slew of smoky taverns and inns—watering holes that became vital meeting places and the nexuses of unrest as the Revolution brewed. New England food and drinks writer Corin Hirsch explores the origins and taste of the favorite potations of early Americans and offers some modern-day recipes to revive them today.

Corin Hirsch is an award-winning food and drinks writer at Seven Days, the alt-weekly in Burlington, Vermont. She learned to pull a pint of Schlitz (for her grandfather) at the age of six, and she used to tend bar inside a sixteenth-century English pub. She has written about craft beer for Serious Eats and also ghost-blogs and writes in the wine world. This is her first book.

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Public Program, Author Talk Decoding Roger Williams: The Lost Essay of Rhode Island's Founding Father 17 November 2014.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Linford D. Fisher, Brown University and J. Stanley Lemons, Rhode Island College In the margins of a curious seventeenth century book at the John Carter Brown Library is a ...

In the margins of a curious seventeenth century book at the John Carter Brown Library is a mysterious handwritten code, long suspected to be the work of Roger Williams, the seventeenth century theologian and founder of Rhode Island. In the spring of 2012, an interdisciplinary team of undergraduates, with support from faculty members, was able to crack this code, revealing a brand new essay by Roger Williams. Come peer into the mind of Roger Williams through the presentations by Linford D. Fisher (Brown University) and J. Stanley Lemons (Rhode Island College), who will discuss what this new essay tells us about Williams. Copies of their new book, Decoding Roger Williams (2014), co-authored with Lucas Mason-Brown, will also be available for purchase.

There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or click here to register.

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Environmental History Seminar The Ravages of Teredo: The Historical Impacts of Marine Wood-Boring Worms on American Society, Geography, and Culture, 1865-1930 18 November 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Derek Lee Nelson, University of New Hampshire Comment: Robert Martello, Olin College of Engineering In an episode of history largely forgotten today, teredo, or shipworm, caused millions of ...

In an episode of history largely forgotten today, teredo, or shipworm, caused millions of dollars’ worth of damage in American ports by destroying the structural integrity of wharves and ships. Even more startling was the extent to which the wood-boring mollusk invaded the American consciousness through congressional reports, newspapers, and popular culture from the coast deep into America’s heartland. This paper contributes to the history of the “littoral,” or coastal, environment.

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar "Greetings from the Levee!": Labor and Leisure on the Streets and Docks of Postbellum New Orleans 25 November 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Theresa McCulla, Harvard University Lynnell Thomas, University of Massachusetts - Boston This essay examines the histories of labor and leisure among the New Orleanian working poor and the ...

This essay examines the histories of labor and leisure among the New Orleanian working poor and the white tourists who came to observe them, and underscores the constructed nature of the city’s food and culture industries. The paper also excavates the origins of longstanding racial distinctions between those who produced and those who consumed in the New South.

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Building Closed Thanksgiving Day 27 November 2014.Thursday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on Thanksgiving Day.

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on Thanksgiving Day.

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Library Closed Thanksgiving 28 November 2014.Friday, all day The MHS library is closed for Thanksgiving.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 ...

The MHS library is closed for Thanksgiving.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Friday, 28 November and Saturday, 29 November.

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Library Closed Thanksgiving 29 November 2014.Saturday, all day The MHS library is closed for Thanksgiving.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 ...

The MHS library is closed for Thanksgiving.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Friday, 28 November and Saturday, 29 November.

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December
Early American History Seminar Threads that Bind: Irish Linens, Immigration, and the Consumer Atlantic World 2 December 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Kristin Condotta, Tulane University Comment: Marla R. Miller, University of Massachusetts - Amherst This paper traces early Irish immigration to the Americas through the Irish linen trade. It ...

This paper traces early Irish immigration to the Americas through the Irish linen trade. It considers how the American desire to imitate Europeans and the immigrants’ wish to feel comfortable in their new homes intersected to ease Irish cultural transitions abroad. It will also consider the ways in which transatlantic consumerisms prepared travelers for movement around the Atlantic world.

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Brown Bag Denominating a People: Congregational Laity, Church Disestablishment, and the Struggles of Denominationalism in Massachusetts, 1780-1865 3 December 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Seth Meehan, Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies, Boston College Local sources of church history—historical societies, libraries, town halls, and church ...

Local sources of church history—historical societies, libraries, town halls, and church basements and vaults—reveal a new half to Congregational historiography. Within the churches themselves power shifted to the pews and the laity and clergy fractured. There was no small degree of chaos, and it inhibited Congregationalists from denominating themselves from other groups and from articulating what was the unity in their diversity. Using a comparative approach focusing on Barnstable and Berkshire counties, this program will interest Congregational scholars and other historians alike.

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Cogswell snow scene Member Event, Special Event MHS Fellows and Members Holiday Party 3 December 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please RSVP   This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members. MHS Fellows and Members are invited to celebrate the season at the Society’s annual ...

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to celebrate the season at the Society’s annual holiday party. Enjoy festive music, holiday cheer, and the annual tradition of reading the anti-Christmas laws.

Become a Member today!

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History of Women and Gender Seminar "One’s Own Branch of the Human Race": Frances Watkins Harper, Anna Dickinson, and Frederick Douglass 4 December 2014.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Sharon Hartman Strom, University of Rhode Island Comment: Julie Winch, University of Massachusetts - Boston Sharon Hartman Strom taught U.S. Social History and Women’s Studies courses at the University ...

Sharon Hartman Strom taught U.S. Social History and Women’s Studies courses at the University of Rhode Island from 1969 to 2011 and is the author of Political Woman: Florence Luscomb and the Legacy of Radical Reform, and Beyond the Typewriter: Gender, Class and the Origins of Modern Office Work. She is completing a manuscript entitled Fame, Fortune and Desire: Public and Private Lives of the Nineteenth Century.

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Public Program Making History: King Philip's War in Documents & Artifacts 8 December 2014.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Facilitator: Bruce J. Schulman, Boston University Students of the Boston University course "Making History" discuss the MHS exhibit on King Philip's ...

Students of the Boston University course "Making History" discuss the MHS exhibit on King Philip's War they have researched and compiled. The semester-long project on the bloody conflict between English colonists and Native Americans includes work on letters and diaries, sermons, early printed books, and objects from the war.

Bruce J. Schulman is the William E. Huntington Professor and Chair of the History Department at Boston University. His teaching and research concentrate on the history of the modern United States, particularly on the relationships between politics and broader cultural change. Schulman is currently at work on a volume for the Oxford History of the United States covering the years 1896-1929. He lives with his family in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Image: Bowl attributed to the Wampanoag. Elm burl, 1655-1675. Massachusetts Historical Society .

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Environmental History Seminar Water Rights in the American Southwest 9 December 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Steven Rudnick, University of Massachusetts - Boston Comment: Megan Kate Nelson, author of Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War This paper will primarily consider legal entanglements over water rights in the Southwest, which ...

This paper will primarily consider legal entanglements over water rights in the Southwest, which have been developing since the 1920s and continue to reshape the use and abuse of water in New Mexico. Local contests between Pueblo and Navajo rights and those claimed by the descendants of the Spanish also play a role in this narrative.

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Public Program, Author Talk Race to the Top of the World: Richard Byrd & the First Flight to the North Pole 11 December 2014.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-talk reception at 5:30pm Sheldon Bart One hundred years ago—then as now—the eyes of the industrialized world were on the ...

Race to the Top of the World book coverOne hundred years ago—then as now—the eyes of the industrialized world were on the Arctic. It was widely held in this era that a new, uncharted continent would be found in the Arctic Ocean. Scientific treatises “proved” its existence. As aviation developed, the mythical land became endowed with commercial value and strategic importance. This was the context in which Richard Byrd (1888-1957) emerged as an explorer—an international quest for a mythic grail. His rivals included Roald Amundsen, Lincoln Ellsworth, and Hubert Wilkins.

The Arctic was considered as remote as outer space in the 1920s, and aerial exploits north of the Arctic Circle attracted a tremendous amount of attention. The New York Times called the race “the greatest story of the year.” The sensationalism, however, has never ended. Byrd’s flight to the North Pole has been bitterly disputed for the better part of a century, and almost every part of his early life and career has become controversial. Author Sheldon Bart offers compelling new evidence and new revelations to substantiate his thesis that the controversies still swirling around Admiral Byrd—including the legitimacy of his flight to the North Pole—are based on incomplete research, distortion, and superficial assessment.

Writer-explorer Sheldon Bart is a member of the Board of Governors of the American Polar Society and president and founder of Wilderness Research Foundation (WRF), a not-for-profit organization seeking to create more opportunities for scientific exploration beyond the limited regime of government funding. He organized and led the 1996 American Expedition to Baffin Island in the Canadian Eastern Arctic and was project manager of the 2010 WRF Antarctic Peninsula field program. Sheldon has lectured at the National Archives, the Explorers Club, the Virginia Historical Society, the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, the Geographical Society of Philadelphia, the Elisha Kent Kane Historical Society, Hunter College of the City University of New York, and the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University. He is a senior associate at LAPA Fundraising, a consulting firm based in New York City, and has published fiction and nonfiction. He is currently working on a novel based on his own polar adventures.

There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617- 646-0560 or click here to register.

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More events
Special Event MHS Graduate Student Reception 18 September 2014.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM this event is free

All graduate students in American history and related subjects are invited to attend. Faculty members in these fields are also welcome.

Begin the new academic year by meeting graduate students and faculty from other universities who are also working in your field. Enjoy refreshments, take a tour of MHS departments, and learn about the range of resources available to support your work, including MHS fellowship programs. Refreshments and networking begin at 6:00 p.m. and run throughout the evening. Program begins at 6:30 p.m.

No charge. RSVP required by September 17. Email kviens@masshist.org or phone 617-646-0568 with your name and affiliation. Indicate whether you are a graduate student or faculty member.

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar The Importance of Place and Place-makers in the Life of a Los Angeles Community: What Gentrification Erases from Echo Park, 1950s-Present 23 September 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Natalia Molina, University of California - San Diego Comment: Judith Smith, University of Massachusetts - Boston

This talk examines a Los Angeles neighborhood, Echo Park, and discusses its history, shaped by its Leftist, Communist, and gay residents.  Beginning in the 1950s and 60s, this neighborhood’s history of progressive politics left a legacy for a wave of Mexican immigrants, allowing them to create a community that reached across social boundaries. The paper looks at Echo Park today to examine this gentrifying area and ask what the role of history is in the neighborhood’s evolving identity.

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Teacher Workshop, Public Program Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation 26 September 2014 to 27 September 2014 registration required This event will take place at the Framingham History Center.

What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before becoming part of a new nation in 1776? Designed for educators and local history enthusiasts, this workshop will explore some of the social, cultural, economic, and political concerns expressed in Framingham and other nearby towns as the Americans attempted to create a new nation in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. By turning an eye towards local politics and events we will rediscover the ways in which “ordinary people” contributed to America’s creation story.

Presenters include Jayne Gordon and Kathleen Barker of the Massachusetts Historical Society  Department of Education and Public Programs; Dean Eastman, educational consultant and co-creator of primaryresearch.org; Kevin Swope, FHC Board Chair; local storyteller Libby Franck and others…

To Register
Please complete this registration form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

There is a $25 charge to cover lunches both days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Educators can earn 14 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

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Brown Bag Reading Locke on the Plantation 1 October 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Sean Moore, University of New Hampshire

This talk will extend into book history Edmund Morgan’s articulation of the well-known paradox that some early Americans were asserting their own desire for freedom from Britain while simultaneously enslaving others. Considering Locke’s political theory, it will examine how the African diaspora underwrote the dissemination of books of British literature and philosophy, and how Jefferson, Washington, and others bartered slave-produced goods for books through the London agents with whom they did business.

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Public Program, Author Talk The Trials of Old New England Towns in a New Nation 1 October 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required Pre-talk reception at 5:30pm Mary Fuhrer, Independent Scholar

Mary White, circa 1840. Courtesy Boylston Historical Society.We tend to think of New England towns in the first decades of the 19th century as peaceful, bucolic havens -- they were not. In this talk, Mary Babson Fuhrer will discuss the remarkable stories of conflict and transformation that reshaped local communities in the decades leading up to the Civil War. As people struggled to work out the promises of the Revolution on the personal level, contrary ideals of community identity and individual interests clashed, until, as one observer noted, "the most malignant passions of our depraved natures raged." The diaries, letters, and account books she draws on form the basis of her recent book, Crisis of Community: Trials and Transformation of a New England Town, 1815-1848.

Mary Babson Fuhrer is a public historian and independent scholar who lives in Littleton, Mass. Fuhrer provides research, interpretation, and programs for humanities associations, museums, historical societies, and educational institutions. She specializes in using primary sources to recover everyday lives from the past. Her scholarship has received generous support from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the American Antiquarian Society, and the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium. Fuhrer was recently awarded the Massachusetts History Commendation for 2014 by the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. She is currently pursuing research on the illness narratives of consumptives (tubercular patients) across gender, class, ethnicity, and race in antebellum New England.

There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617- 646-0560 or click here to register.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Enslaved Women and the Politics of Liberation in the Late Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World 2 October 2014.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Location: Schlesinger Library Barbara Krauthamer, University of Massachusetts - Amherst Comment: Kate Masur, Northwestern University

This paper examines enslaved women's strategies for gaining freedom through escape. It focuses on enslaved women's escapes from bondage and their concomitant movements to various sites in the Americas from the Revolutionary era through the early decades of the nineteenth century. It also considers the ways in which both enslaved women and slaveholders made sense of the changing political landscape in the late eighteenth-century British Atlantic and African Diaspora.

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Public Program Katherine, Grace, and Mary: Archaeological Revelations of 17th and 18th Century Women from Boston's Big Dig 6 October 2014.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required There is a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Joe Bagley, Boston City Archaeologist

A mid-18th century porringer pot by Grace Parker found at the Three Cranes TavernThe archaeological surveys conducted prior to the beginning of Boston's infamous Big Dig resulted in the uncovering of mountains of historical data on Boston's deep history.  Three archaeological sites stand out for their contributions to Women's history in Boston. These include the late 17th century site of Katherine Nanny Naylor, the early 18th century site of Mary Long, and the mid-18th century site of Grace Parker.  Katherine was the first woman to legally divorce her husband in Puritan Massachusetts, Mary was the operator of the Three Cranes Tavern in Charlestown---the cultural and physical heart of the Charlestown community, and Grace owned and operated the most successful ceramic business in Boston producing wears with her distinctive brush strokes.  Together, these three women paint a complicated and nuanced history of Boston that goes far beyond what is typically known or written about women in these periods.  Join City Archaeologist Joe Bagley as he discusses the information uncovered about these three women and their contributions to the history and culture of Boston.

Joe Bagley is the City Archaeologist of Boston.  As a City employee, Joe executed archaeological surveys on city-owned land, reviewed construction and development projects that could impact archaeological sites, and promotes Boston's archaeology through public events and talks.  Joe received his BA in Archaeology from Boston University and his MA in Historical Archaeology from UMass Boston.  He has been conducting archaeological surveys in New England on historic and Native sites for over a dozen years.  He is also the live-in caretaker of the Dorchester Historical Society's William Clapp House where he lives with his wife Jen and his dog, Jack.

There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617- 646-0560 or click here to register.

http://www.cityofboston.gov/archaeology/

https://www.facebook.com/BostonArchaeologyProgram

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Early American History Seminar Thomas Jefferson, Slavery, and the Law 7 October 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
David Konig, Washington University in St. Louis Comment: Malick Ghachem, MIT

This paper, based on research into the nearly one thousand legal matters Thomas Jefferson handled as a practicing attorney, analyzes the complex relationship between his legal career and his ownership of slaves. Jefferson used the law to manage enslaved people as his property but never repudiated their essential humanity. The political structure of the day made open assault on slavery inconceivable, but Jefferson claimed small victories against a loathsome institution in the courtroom.

Modern conceptions of rights posit them as universal and unitary: one either has the full panoply of rights protected by our express Constitutional commitment to “equal protection under the law,” or is experiencing a denial of liberty. Such a binary of rights-bearing status did not exist at the Founding – not in any of the newly independent united states, nor anywhere else for that matter. If we look closely at the nature of rights and of rights-bearing individuals, we find that they existed across a graded spectrum.

No full-scale frontal assault on slavery was conceivable within that structure of politics and law, but a venue for piecemeal achievements might be found in the courtroom within the interstices of procedure and doctrine still being debated and yet to assume settled form.  This study locates them in his legal practice where, to Jefferson, the enslaved were not only property but clients whose freedom he sought in the courtroom, and whose basic human dignity was to be effected by the rules of law.

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Member Event, Special Event History Revealed: Thomas Hutchinson and the Stamp Act Riots 8 October 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM registration required at no cost THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617-646-0518. Thomas Hutchinson

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special evening at the Society as John W. Tyler, editor of The Correspondence of Thomas Hutchinson: 1740-1766 (2014), relays the story of Lt. Gov. Thomas Hutchinson and how he came to be on the losing side of the American Revolution. His house was destroyed by a mob during the Stamp Act riots, a milestone in the series of acts of civil disobedience that made Boston notorious in the eyes of the British government. A pair of fire tongs salvaged from that evening and now in the collections of the MHS will be on display along with other objects related to Hutchinson and the coming of the American Revolution.

6:00 PM: Reception
6:30 PM: Remarks by John W. Tyler followed by a presentation of items from the Society's collections

Become a Member today!

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Public Program, Author Talk 1914-1918: The War Within the War 9 October 2014.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required Pre-talk reception at 5:30pm Adam Hochschild, University of California Berkeley

As we mark the centenary of the First World War, this epochal event is usually remembered as a bloody conflict between rival alliances of nations. But there was another struggle within most of those countries: between people who regarded the war as a noble and necessary crusade, and a brave minority who felt it was tragic madness and who refused to fight. Writer Adam Hochschild describes this battle in an illustrated talk, focusing on the country where that tension was sharpest, Great Britain.

Adam HochschildAdam Hochschild’s writing has focused on human rights and social justice. His seven books include King Leopold's Ghost: a Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa, which won a J. Anthony Lukas award in the United States, and the Duff Cooper Prize in England. Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves was a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. For the body of his work, he has received awards from the Lannan Foundation, the American Historical Association, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He teaches at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.

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Special Event, Public Program Opening Our Doors Open House 13 October 2014.Monday, 10:00AM - 3:00PM this event is free

Join us as part of Opening Our Doors, Boston’s largest single day of free arts and cultural events. Stop by to view Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War. This event is free and open to the public.

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Library Closed Columbus Day 13 October 2014.Monday, all day

The MHS library is closed on Columbus Day.

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Environmental History Seminar Finding Meaning and Debating Value in a Historical Landscape 14 October 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
David Benac, Western Michigan University Victoria Cain, Northeastern University

Rural Oregon has shifted from an emphasis on resource extraction to a reliance on ecotourism.  This transition exacerbated a clash of opposing visions of the value of history and the natural world. Competing interpretations of landscape as a resource or as a haven is an old dichotomy in environmental history. This paper adds nuance by employing a third category that intermingles the others: historical significance.

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Brown Bag The Role of the Military within Imperial Security Policy, 1685-1689. 15 October 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Rachael Abbiss, University of Chester

The Dominion of New England was established in 1686 by James VII & II. James’s colonial policy was the first substantial attempt to unite colonies under royal military authority and permanently station regular soldiers in New England. There is limited research pertaining to the military purpose of James’s imperial design, in particular the role, function and contribution of regular troops in controlling and securing New England. This project examines the army and military policy in North America between 1686 and 1689. 

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Public Program Rebels in Vermont!: The St. Albans Raid 15 October 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required Pre-talk reception at 5:30pm J. Kevin Graffagnino, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Orleans County broadsideOn October 19, 1864, twenty-two Confederate soldiers under the command of Bennett H. Young attacked the village of St. Albans, Vermont.  They robbed the banks in town, tried to set fire to the downtown commercial district, shot and killed one person, and then fled north to Canada with $227,000 in their saddlebags.  The St. Albans Raid sent shock waves throughout the North.  A fraction of the stolen money made its way back to St. Albans, but a series of Canadian trials ended in the dismissal of all charges against Young and his men.  Kevin Graffagnino's "Rebels in Vermont!" presentation details the events of the raid and also looks at the lives and careers of the Confederate participants, providing more of a Southern perspective than most Northern versions of the story.

J. Kevin Graffagnino is Director of the William L. Clements Library of early American history at the University of Michigan.  In a long career, Kevin has been an antiquarian book dealer, special collections curator, library administrator, and Executive Director of the Vermont and Kentucky state historical societies.  He holds two degrees from the University of Vermont and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  Kevin's publications on early American history and bibliophilic topics include 17 books, the most recent of which is The Vermont Difference: Perspectives from the Green Mountain State (2014)

There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617- 646-0560 or click here to register.

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Teacher Workshop Massachusetts Women and the First World War 17 October 2014 to 18 October 2014 registration required

Massachusetts men and women participated in the Great War in numerous ways, even before the United States officially entered the conflict in 1917. This two-day workshop will explore women’s many activities using the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Fort Devens Museum.

Day one (October 17) will take place in Devens. When Camp Devens was built in 1917, few realized what an impact it had on surrounding towns and the legacy it would leave behind. Using maps, letters, photographs and other materials from WWI we can see how Camp Devens changed both the lives of the men and women who worked and trained here, and the physical landscape of the Nashoba Valley. On day two (October 18) we will meet at the Massachusetts Historical Society, participants will analyze posters that used images of women as propaganda or encouraged women’s participation in various efforts, as well as letters, diaries, and photographs created by men and women who volunteered for the war effort at home and abroad. This workshop is open to all K-12 educations, as well as history enthusiasts.

Registration Fee: $75

Fee includes lunch both days, materials, and admission to the Fort Devens Museum. To register complete this Registration Form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215. Contact education@masshist.org for more information.

Image: “Mrs. Daly's Unit, 13 July 1918.” From the Saltonstall-Brooks-Lewis photograph collection, Photo. 33.3305.

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Public Program, Author Talk Civil War Boston 21 October 2014.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Barbara Berenson

Boston and the Civil War book coverBoston’s black and white abolitionists forged a second American revolution dedicated to ending slavery and honoring the promise of liberty made in the Declaration of Independence. Before the war, Bostonians were bitterly divided between those who supported the Union and those opposed to its endorsement of slavery. The Fugitive Slave Act brought the horrors of slavery close to home and led many to join the abolitionists. March to war with Boston’s brave soldiers, including the grandson of Patriot Paul Revere and the Fighting Irish. The all-black Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment battled against both slavery and discrimination, while Boston’s women fought tirelessly against slavery and for their own right to be full citizens of the Union. Join local historian and author Barbara F. Berenson on a thrilling and memorable journey through Civil War Boston. 

Barbara F. Berenson is the author of Walking Tours of Civil War Boston: Hub of Abolitionism (2011, 2nd ed. 2014) and co-editor of Breaking Barriers: The Unfinished Story of Women Lawyers and Judges in Massachusetts (2012). A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Barbara works as a senior attorney at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

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Early American History Seminar Popular U.S. Enthusiasm for Latin American Independence, 1810-1825 21 October 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Caitlin A. Fitz, Northwestern University Comment: John Bezis-Selfa, Wheaton College

This paper explores the reactions of those in the United States to the independence movements of Latin American nations in the 1800s. In general, U.S. observers were overjoyed by these movements; however, Massachusetts citizens were less thrilled. This presentation will analyze the national trend and the commonwealth’s deviation from it.

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar Playing Charro, Transforming the City: Mexican Cowboys in San Antonio and Los Angeles, 1947-1970 28 October 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Laura Barraclough, Yale University Comment: Desirée J. Garcia, Arizona State University

This paper examines the practice of charrería (Mexican rodeo) among Mexican immigrant men in San Antonio and Los Angeles from the late 1940s through the early 1970s. The charros claimed an active place for Mexicans in the history of the Southwest – as well as its future. At the same time, however, they reinscribed a gendered and classed vision of ethnic Mexican inclusion: one that privileged middle-class, socially conservative men while marginalizing other, more transformative visions.

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Public Program, Special Event Honoring Pauline Maier (1938–2013) 29 October 2014.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost The evening will begin with a reception at 5:30, followed by the talk at 6:00 Gordon S. Wood, Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus, Brown University

Professor Pauline Maier’s contributions to the study of American history and to the life of the MHS were both of tremendous value to this community. A distinguished historian who authored significant works on the Revolutionary era, Maier shaped—and will continue to shape—the way generations of students and readers view the foundation of American democracy. Join us as Professor Gordon S. Wood pays tribute to a great historian, teacher, and author who was committed to making American history vivid and accessible to all.

Please call 617-646-0560 or click here to register.

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Teacher Workshop Sources and Stories of the American Revolution 1 November 2014.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM registration required

What do works like “freedom” and “liberty” mean to you? What did they mean to a patriot in 1763, an enslaved woman in 1770, or a Loyalist in 1783? Using documents from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, participants will analyze the ways in which Massachusetts men and women sought—and were often denied—their own freedoms during the era of the American Revolution. We will use the morning sessions to explore how different individuals or groups used the language of liberty to further their own cause, and what sorts of tactics they used to promote their ideas of freedom.

Later in the day, historian Mary Fuhrer and educator Joanne Myers will introduce the participants to local records that can be used to research the lives of people living in Lexington in 1775. Through a series of hands-on research activities and a writing workshop, participants will choose one historical character from Lexington and examine his/her background, motivations, and the choices he/she made in the critical time period surrounding the beginning of the Revolution. The day will end with an opportunity to view rarely-seen original documents and artifacts from the Society’s collections.

Registration Fee: $100

Visit the EdCo website to register, or contact education@masshist.org for more information.

Image: Article from page 3 of The Boston-Gazette, and Country Journal, number 569, 24 February 1766. Massachusetts Historical Society.

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Brown Bag Choosing Challenges 5 November 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Gavin Kleespies, Massachusetts Historical Society

Public programs are often the most direct contact a historical society has with its members and the larger community. If an institution's presentations are well targeted, they can be an effective tool for forging new relationships, establishing connections among previously disparate groups, increasing support, and even redefining public perception. However, like any tool, programs are only effective if you have a clear sense of the goals you're aiming for. This presentation, by the Society’s new Director of Public Programs, will give a rough outline of goals determined through meetings with key constituents at the Massachusetts Historical Society and proposed tactics to meet these challenges. 

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Public Program, Author Talk The Rising at Roxbury Crossing: Boston 1919 5 November 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required Pre-talk reception at 5:30pm James Redfearn

In this fascinating fictional tale Willie Dwyer, an Irish immigrant and Boston patrolman, struggles with his conscience after being caught up in the violence of his native land’s rebellion. The Rising at Roxbury Crossing features a hard and gritty look at post-World War I Boston when she was burdened with high unemployment, radical anarchists, and labor unrest. Escaped political prisoner, Eamon de Valera campaigns for financial assistance for Ireland’s revolutionary government as the city’s police prepare to strike for fair pay and better working conditions. It is 1919, and just as Boston’s Irish patrolman strike and the city erupts into riots and chaos, Willie’s nemesis crosses the Atlantic to track him down. Willie Dwyer must decide whether to run from his past or confront his future.

Jim Redfearn was raised in Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood and is a former Massachusetts State Trooper, an investigator for a prominent Boston law firm, and an industrial photographer. He earned a graduate degree in writing from Harvard University at the age of fifty-nine. His short fiction has been published by the University’s Charles River Review and the New England Writer’s Network. Among his many appearances, Jim has participated in several authors’ panels, including last year’s panel at Harvard University, moderated by Pulitzer Prize winner, Paul Harding. He has lectured in the Moses Greeley Parker Lecture Series, at the Irish Cultural Center of New England and the Union Club of Boston. Visit www.TheRisingAtRoxburyCrossing.com to learn more about Jim or his novel.

There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or click here to register.

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Biography Seminar Understanding the Presidency: Personality, Politics, and Policy 6 November 2014.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Evan Thomas, Kathleen Dalton, and David Michaelis Moderator: Ted Widmer

Focusing on the peculiar balance between policy and politics as it affects writing presidential biography, noted biographers Evan Thomas, Kathleen Dalton, and David Michaelis, with guest moderator Ted Widmer, will share their reflections on a wide range of 20th and 21st century presidencies.

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Library Closed Library Closed 7 November 2014.Friday, all day

The MHS library will be closed to researchers on Friday, 7 November.

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Special Event Cocktails with Clio 7 November 2014.Friday, 6:00PM - 9:00PM registration required Cocktails with Clio 2014

The fifth annual Cocktails with Clio will take place on 7 November 2014. Named for the muse of history, this festive evening celebrates American history and the 223-year-old mission of the Society. Following an elegant cocktail buffet at the Society’s building, guests will proceed to the nearby Harvard Club for dessert and a conversation with historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Hackett FIscher.

Tickets cost $250 per person. All net proceeds from the event will support the Society's outreach efforts.


Become a sponsor of Cocktails with Clio

Our sponsors are crucial to the success of the event. As a result of their generosity, the Society’s outreach efforts have expanded. The additional funding has an important impact on our programming, and this year we hope to surpass last year’s goal in order to further enhance our exhibitions, public programs, and education initiatives. 

We are proud to offer individual sponsorship opportunities at the following levels:
$5,000 - Clio’s Circle
$2,500 - Patrons of the Muse
$1,000 - Friends of the Muse   

For more information about becoming a sponsor, please contact Carol Knauff at cknauff@masshist.org or 617-646-0554.

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Building Closed Veterans Day 11 November 2014.Tuesday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on Veterans Day. 

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Public Program, Author Talk Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England 14 November 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Corin Hirsch

Colonial New England was awash in ales, beers, wines, cider and spirits. Everyone from teenage farmworkers to our founding fathers imbibed heartily and often. Tipples at breakfast, lunch, teatime and dinner were the norm, and low-alcohol hard cider was sometimes even a part of children’s lives. This burgeoning cocktail culture reflected the New World’s abundance of raw materials: apples, sugar and molasses, wild berries and hops. This plentiful drinking sustained a slew of smoky taverns and inns—watering holes that became vital meeting places and the nexuses of unrest as the Revolution brewed. New England food and drinks writer Corin Hirsch explores the origins and taste of the favorite potations of early Americans and offers some modern-day recipes to revive them today.

Corin Hirsch is an award-winning food and drinks writer at Seven Days, the alt-weekly in Burlington, Vermont. She learned to pull a pint of Schlitz (for her grandfather) at the age of six, and she used to tend bar inside a sixteenth-century English pub. She has written about craft beer for Serious Eats and also ghost-blogs and writes in the wine world. This is her first book.

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Public Program, Author Talk Decoding Roger Williams: The Lost Essay of Rhode Island's Founding Father 17 November 2014.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  this event is free Linford D. Fisher, Brown University and J. Stanley Lemons, Rhode Island College

In the margins of a curious seventeenth century book at the John Carter Brown Library is a mysterious handwritten code, long suspected to be the work of Roger Williams, the seventeenth century theologian and founder of Rhode Island. In the spring of 2012, an interdisciplinary team of undergraduates, with support from faculty members, was able to crack this code, revealing a brand new essay by Roger Williams. Come peer into the mind of Roger Williams through the presentations by Linford D. Fisher (Brown University) and J. Stanley Lemons (Rhode Island College), who will discuss what this new essay tells us about Williams. Copies of their new book, Decoding Roger Williams (2014), co-authored with Lucas Mason-Brown, will also be available for purchase.

There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or click here to register.

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Environmental History Seminar The Ravages of Teredo: The Historical Impacts of Marine Wood-Boring Worms on American Society, Geography, and Culture, 1865-1930 18 November 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Derek Lee Nelson, University of New Hampshire Comment: Robert Martello, Olin College of Engineering

In an episode of history largely forgotten today, teredo, or shipworm, caused millions of dollars’ worth of damage in American ports by destroying the structural integrity of wharves and ships. Even more startling was the extent to which the wood-boring mollusk invaded the American consciousness through congressional reports, newspapers, and popular culture from the coast deep into America’s heartland. This paper contributes to the history of the “littoral,” or coastal, environment.

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar "Greetings from the Levee!": Labor and Leisure on the Streets and Docks of Postbellum New Orleans 25 November 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Theresa McCulla, Harvard University Lynnell Thomas, University of Massachusetts - Boston

This essay examines the histories of labor and leisure among the New Orleanian working poor and the white tourists who came to observe them, and underscores the constructed nature of the city’s food and culture industries. The paper also excavates the origins of longstanding racial distinctions between those who produced and those who consumed in the New South.

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Building Closed Thanksgiving Day 27 November 2014.Thursday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on Thanksgiving Day.

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Library Closed Thanksgiving 28 November 2014.Friday, all day

The MHS library is closed for Thanksgiving.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Friday, 28 November and Saturday, 29 November.

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Library Closed Thanksgiving 29 November 2014.Saturday, all day

The MHS library is closed for Thanksgiving.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Friday, 28 November and Saturday, 29 November.

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Early American History Seminar Threads that Bind: Irish Linens, Immigration, and the Consumer Atlantic World 2 December 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Kristin Condotta, Tulane University Comment: Marla R. Miller, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

This paper traces early Irish immigration to the Americas through the Irish linen trade. It considers how the American desire to imitate Europeans and the immigrants’ wish to feel comfortable in their new homes intersected to ease Irish cultural transitions abroad. It will also consider the ways in which transatlantic consumerisms prepared travelers for movement around the Atlantic world.

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Brown Bag Denominating a People: Congregational Laity, Church Disestablishment, and the Struggles of Denominationalism in Massachusetts, 1780-1865 3 December 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Seth Meehan, Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies, Boston College

Local sources of church history—historical societies, libraries, town halls, and church basements and vaults—reveal a new half to Congregational historiography. Within the churches themselves power shifted to the pews and the laity and clergy fractured. There was no small degree of chaos, and it inhibited Congregationalists from denominating themselves from other groups and from articulating what was the unity in their diversity. Using a comparative approach focusing on Barnstable and Berkshire counties, this program will interest Congregational scholars and other historians alike.

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Member Event, Special Event MHS Fellows and Members Holiday Party 3 December 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members. Cogswell snow scene

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to celebrate the season at the Society’s annual holiday party. Enjoy festive music, holiday cheer, and the annual tradition of reading the anti-Christmas laws.

Become a Member today!

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History of Women and Gender Seminar "One’s Own Branch of the Human Race": Frances Watkins Harper, Anna Dickinson, and Frederick Douglass 4 December 2014.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Sharon Hartman Strom, University of Rhode Island Comment: Julie Winch, University of Massachusetts - Boston

Sharon Hartman Strom taught U.S. Social History and Women’s Studies courses at the University of Rhode Island from 1969 to 2011 and is the author of Political Woman: Florence Luscomb and the Legacy of Radical Reform, and Beyond the Typewriter: Gender, Class and the Origins of Modern Office Work. She is completing a manuscript entitled Fame, Fortune and Desire: Public and Private Lives of the Nineteenth Century.

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Public Program Making History: King Philip's War in Documents & Artifacts 8 December 2014.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  this event is free Facilitator: Bruce J. Schulman, Boston University

Students of the Boston University course "Making History" discuss the MHS exhibit on King Philip's War they have researched and compiled. The semester-long project on the bloody conflict between English colonists and Native Americans includes work on letters and diaries, sermons, early printed books, and objects from the war.

Bruce J. Schulman is the William E. Huntington Professor and Chair of the History Department at Boston University. His teaching and research concentrate on the history of the modern United States, particularly on the relationships between politics and broader cultural change. Schulman is currently at work on a volume for the Oxford History of the United States covering the years 1896-1929. He lives with his family in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Image: Bowl attributed to the Wampanoag. Elm burl, 1655-1675. Massachusetts Historical Society .

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Environmental History Seminar Water Rights in the American Southwest 9 December 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Steven Rudnick, University of Massachusetts - Boston Comment: Megan Kate Nelson, author of Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War

This paper will primarily consider legal entanglements over water rights in the Southwest, which have been developing since the 1920s and continue to reshape the use and abuse of water in New Mexico. Local contests between Pueblo and Navajo rights and those claimed by the descendants of the Spanish also play a role in this narrative.

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Public Program, Author Talk Race to the Top of the World: Richard Byrd & the First Flight to the North Pole 11 December 2014.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required Pre-talk reception at 5:30pm Sheldon Bart

Race to the Top of the World book coverOne hundred years ago—then as now—the eyes of the industrialized world were on the Arctic. It was widely held in this era that a new, uncharted continent would be found in the Arctic Ocean. Scientific treatises “proved” its existence. As aviation developed, the mythical land became endowed with commercial value and strategic importance. This was the context in which Richard Byrd (1888-1957) emerged as an explorer—an international quest for a mythic grail. His rivals included Roald Amundsen, Lincoln Ellsworth, and Hubert Wilkins.

The Arctic was considered as remote as outer space in the 1920s, and aerial exploits north of the Arctic Circle attracted a tremendous amount of attention. The New York Times called the race “the greatest story of the year.” The sensationalism, however, has never ended. Byrd’s flight to the North Pole has been bitterly disputed for the better part of a century, and almost every part of his early life and career has become controversial. Author Sheldon Bart offers compelling new evidence and new revelations to substantiate his thesis that the controversies still swirling around Admiral Byrd—including the legitimacy of his flight to the North Pole—are based on incomplete research, distortion, and superficial assessment.

Writer-explorer Sheldon Bart is a member of the Board of Governors of the American Polar Society and president and founder of Wilderness Research Foundation (WRF), a not-for-profit organization seeking to create more opportunities for scientific exploration beyond the limited regime of government funding. He organized and led the 1996 American Expedition to Baffin Island in the Canadian Eastern Arctic and was project manager of the 2010 WRF Antarctic Peninsula field program. Sheldon has lectured at the National Archives, the Explorers Club, the Virginia Historical Society, the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, the Geographical Society of Philadelphia, the Elisha Kent Kane Historical Society, Hunter College of the City University of New York, and the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University. He is a senior associate at LAPA Fundraising, a consulting firm based in New York City, and has published fiction and nonfiction. He is currently working on a novel based on his own polar adventures.

There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617- 646-0560 or click here to register.

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