This Month at the MHS

Exhibition

Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country

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

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                                      Exhibition Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War 12 June 2014 to 24 January 2015 this event is free Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Hall at Ecury

                                      To commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, the MHS has organized the exhibition Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War focusing on two of the hundreds of women from the Commonwealth who went to France as members of the U.S. armed forces, the Red Cross, and other war relief organizations.

                                      From the Society’s extraordinary collection of women’s recollections, this exhibition features photographs, letters, diaries, and memorabilia related to Margaret Hall and Eleanor (Nora) Saltonstall, Red Cross volunteers in France. The exhibition will highlight Hall’s large-format photographs of the battlefront on loan from the Cohasset Historical Society. Both women were keen observers of the climactic months of the war and depicted what they witnessed in vivid detail.

                                      The exhibition celebrates the forthcoming MHS publication Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: The World War I Memoir of Margaret Hall.

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                                      Brown Bag Character Detectives: Female Physiognomists in the Early American Republic 1 August 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Rachel Walker, University of Maryland

                                      This project examines the fraught connection between female beauty, morality, and intelligence in the post-Enlightenment era. It examines how cultural ideas concerning these traits became intertwined by studying the 18th- and 19th-century “science” of physiognomy—a discipline rooted in the notion that an individual could discern a person’s moral and mental characteristics merely by examining his or her facial features. Early Americans discussed male and female physiognomy in distinct ways and used discussions about female appearance to distinguish between the moral and intellectual capacities of men and women. 

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                                      MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 2 August 2014.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

                                      Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

                                      The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour. For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                                      Free and open to the public.

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                                      Brown Bag The Labor of Self-Making in New England Mill Women's Poetry 4 August 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Robin Smith, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

                                      One of the most visible and publicly discussed moments in the history of American working women was the entrance of women into the industrial textile mills of New England in the 1830s and 1840s. The figure of the “female operative” or “Lowell mill girl” fostered an unprecedented public interest in the lives and labor of working women, and the mill women seized this opportunity to publicly challenge the obstacles that industrial labor posed to 19th century ideas of humanity and a coherent sense of self. Drawing upon poems and prose pieces written by women mill workers for publication in literary magazines such as The Lowell Offering, I will argue that for mill women, writing poetry was an important means of humanizing potentially dehumanizing labor; through the rhythms of poetry, they reclaimed control of time and in so doing, made space for fortifying their creative, coherent selves.

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                                      Teacher Workshop, Public Program Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation 6 August 2014 to 7 August 2014 registration required This event will take place in Searsport, Maine.

                                      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 New England towns as the United States was attempting to form a new government in the 1780s and 1790s. We will discuss the truly participatory, well-informed conversations taking place in town halls and meeting places throughout the new colonies-turned-states. By turning an eye towards local politics and events we will rediscover the ways in which “ordinary people” contributed to America’s creation story.

                                      Participants will have the opportunity to:

                                      • investigate what it was like to live in an old town in a new country and discover what changed for the inhabitants of different towns as new government structures were implemented.
                                      • discuss the concerns (both local and national) expressed by Massachusetts & New Hampshire residents in various towns while the American government was being created in the years after the revolution.
                                      • explore the ways in which geography, economy, and social/cultural practices influenced local concerns.
                                      • discover evidence of local concerns, and discussions of national policies, in primary sources held by local repositories and the Massachusetts Historical Society.
                                      • explore new ways of engaging students and local communities in their history.

                                      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.

                                      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.

                                      Additional two-day workshops will be held in Pepperell, Massachusetts & Milford, New Hampshire, July 30-31; in Falmouth, Massachusetts, August 13-14; and in Framingham, Massachusetts, September 26-27.

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                                      Brown Bag "The Day of Sainthood Has Passed": American Abolitionists and the Golden Moment of the Civil War, 1861-1865 6 August 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Frank Cirillo, University of Virginia

                                      This project explores the divisions among American abolitionists over whether or not to support the Lincoln Administration and the Union war effort during the Civil War. The choices that longtime reformers made in confronting the changed landscape of wartime America, and the series of schisms within the movement that ensued, helps to explain how the Union war achieved both so much and so little in terms of black social and political rights.

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                                      MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 9 August 2014.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

                                      Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

                                      The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour. For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                                      Free and open to the public.

                                      close
                                      Teacher Workshop, Public Program Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation 13 August 2014 to 14 August 2014 registration required This event will take place in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

                                      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 after the Revolution? Designed for educators and local history enthusiasts, this workshop -- offered in conjunction with the Falmouth Museums on the Green -- will explore some of the social, cultural, economic, and political concerns expressed in New England towns like Falmouth as the United States was becoming 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.

                                      Participants will have the opportunity to:

                                      • investigate what it was like to live in an old town in a new country and discover what changed for the inhabitants of Falmouth and Cape Cod as new government structures were implemented.
                                      • discuss the concerns (both local and national) expressed by Massachusetts residents while the American government was being created in the years after the revolution.
                                      • explore the ways in which geography, economy, and social/cultural practices influenced local concerns.
                                      • discover evidence of local concerns, and discussions of national policies, in primary sources held by the Falmouth Historical Society and the Massachusetts Historical Society.
                                      • explore new ways of engaging students and local communities in their history.

                                      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.

                                      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.

                                      Additional two-day workshops will be held in Pepperell, Massachusetts & Milford, New Hampshire, July 30-31; in Searsport, Maine, August 6-7; and in Framingham, Massachusetts, September 26-27.

                                      Image: Fracis Wicks House, c. 1790. Falmouth Museum on the Green.

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                                      Brown Bag Military Wives in Eighteenth-Century Boston 13 August 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Serena Zabin, Carleton College

                                      When British troops came to Boston in 1768, hundreds of army wives and children came with them. At the time, Boston newspapers exclaimed in horror at the arrival of these army women, referring to them as the “dregs and refuse of all nations.” Yet tantalizing hints in the diaries of Massachusetts militia and provincial soldiers suggest that during the campaigns in 1745 to Louisburg and throughout the Seven Years War, women may have occasionally also accompanied Massachusetts troops. If so, some Boston women may themselves have once been military wives, a possibility that no historian has ever considered, and one that might explain some of the relationships that came to develop between British regulars and Boston civilians in the months preceding the Boston Massacre.

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                                      Brown Bag The Death and Transfiguration of New England Psalmody, ca. 1790-1860 15 August 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Brenton Grom, Case Western Reserve University

                                       

                                      The robust culture of psalm- and hymn-singing that flourished in Revolutionary New England became subject to Europeanizing reforms after the turn of the nineteenth century. Introducing these reform efforts as instances of political and theological ideology operating within a larger discourse of refinement, this presentation focuses on their surprisingly variable reception as revealed in copybooks and marginalia. It furthermore considers Victorian values of home, sentiment, and historical memory as masks for the retention of outmoded musical styles in later years.

                                       

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                                      MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 16 August 2014.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

                                      Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

                                      The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour. For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                                      Free and open to the public.

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                                      Brown Bag Operating Outside of Empire: Trade and Citizenship in the Atlantic World, 1756-1812 18 August 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Mark Dragoni, Syracuse University

                                      This project examines merchants operating at the edge of empire and the competing discourses on trade, cosmopolitanism, and neutrality that statesmen, philosophers, and merchants mobilized. Under increasing demands for consumer goods, states were willing to bend supposedly strict mercantilist regulations to guarantee the steady supply of commodities in the metropole. This program will look at Samuel Cabot's and John and Jonathan Amory's participation in this often illicit, yet highly profitable transatlantic carrying trade during the foundational period for modern citizenship and increasing state regulation.

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                                      MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 23 August 2014.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

                                      Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

                                      The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour. For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                                      Free and open to the public.

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                                      Building Closed Labor Day 30 August 2014.Saturday, all day

                                      The MHS library and galleries will be closed Labor Day weekend.

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