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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                            • Teacher Workshop, Public ProgramOld Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation
                              begins Teacher Workshop, Public ProgramOld Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation
                              30 July 2014 to 31 July 2014 8:30AM - 3:30PM This workshop will take place in Milford, New Hampshire, and Pepperell, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area registration required details
                            • Brown BagJohn Barleycorn vs. Sir Richard Rum: Alcohol, the Atlantic, and the...
                              Brown BagJohn Barleycorn vs. Sir Richard Rum: Alcohol, the Atlantic, and the Distilling of Colonial Identity, 1650-1800
                              12:00PM - 1:00PM Kristen Burton, University of Texas at Arlington this event is free details
                            • Teacher Workshop, Public ProgramOld Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation
                              ends Teacher Workshop, Public ProgramOld Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation
                              8:30AM - 3:30PM This workshop will take place in Milford, New Hampshire, and Pepperell, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area registration required details
                            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.

                            You can view all of the photographs from Margaret Hall's memoir on our companion website.

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                            Brown Bag The Camera and the Community: How Photography Changed American Abolitionism 2 July 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Matthew Fox-Amato, University of Southern California

                            In 1839, when the French-born daguerreotype arrived in the United States, it was hardly clear that the photographic process would be used as a political weapon. Examining the production, exchange and visuality of photographs of abolitionists, this talk shows how radical activists harnessed the medium as a way to build their movement in the decades prior to the Civil War.

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                            Building Closed BUILDING CLOSING AT NOON 3 July 2014.Thursday, all day close
                            Building Closed 4th of July 4 July 2014.Friday, all day

                            The MHS will be closed for the 4th of July holiday.

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                            Library Closed 4th of July 5 July 2014.Saturday, all day

                            The library at the MHS is closed for the 4th of July weekend.

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                            Brown Bag Slavery, Sacred Texts and the Antebellum Confrontation with History 9 July 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Jordan Watkins, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

                            This study explores biblical and constitutional debates over slavery in the antebellum era. It argues that the developing slavery crisis fueled the move to understand both the Bible and the Constitution as historical texts. It also contends that the emphasis on contextual interpretation among biblical scholars in the first few decades of the nineteenth century informed a similar reading of the Constitution in the decades before the Civil War. It demonstrates that these overlapping developments cultivated an awareness of the historical distances that divided Americans from their favored biblical and Revolutionary pasts.

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                            Teacher Workshop Symbols of Liberty: The Magna Carta, the Liberty Bowl, and the American Revolution 10 July 2014 to 11 July 2014 registration required This event will take place at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston & the Massachusetts Historical Society.

                            Thomas Jefferson's manuscript copy of the Declaration of IndependenceIn conjunction with the exhibition Magna Carta: Cornerstone of Liberty, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Massachusetts Historical Society will offer a two-day professional development workshop for teachers in grades K-12 that will provide an introduction to the rich collections of 18th-century documents and objects at both institutions. The workshop will include lectures, hands-on activities in the classroom, and gallery explorations using primary source documents and original art objects related to the founding of the United States.

                            One of only four surviving copies of the original Magna Carta—an inspiration for the US Constitution and Bill of Rights—is on view at the MFA this summer in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Magna Carta—Latin for “Great Charter”— joins other historical documents and objects, as well as portraits and works of art from the Museum’s collection, to tell the story of patriots and revolutionaries who fought for freedom in the face of tyranny. The exhibition also includes portraits, marble busts, and historical documents related to several of the Founding Fathers, presidents, and abolitionists, particularly from Massachusetts, who were inspired by the liberties enshrined in Magna Carta.

                            Image: Declaration of Independence, manuscript copy by Thomas Jefferson, [1776]. Massachusetts Historical Society.

                             

                            Registration Fee: $100

                            Registration covers admission to the MFA, lunch both days, and materials. Participants can earn one graduate credit from Framingham State University for an additional fee. Visit the MFA website to register.

                            Contact education@masshist.org for more information.

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                            Brown Bag Of Form and Failure: American Puritanism, Quantification, and the Way of All Grace 11 July 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Rachel Trocchio, University of California, Berkeley

                            From its foundations in the diagrammatic habits of sixteenth-century England to its intercourse with the new science of infinity, Puritanism applied a series of quantitative strategies for understanding an arbitrary God and the perfection of his decrees. This program argues that, simultaneously as these quantifications failed, their very failure inspired the imaginative leap between sensory and intelligible things that Puritanism made requisite for knowledge of God and one’s grace.

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                            MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 12 July 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 Cautious Romantics: The Dana Family of Boston as the Interpretive Key to a Larger Discourse 14 July 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Jonathan Koefoed, Indiana University, Purdue University, Columbus

                            This project seeks to provide a fuller picture of the way that European Romantic texts functioned in American intellectual, cultural, and religious history by highlighting a group of “Cautious Romantics” that emerged as an alternative and conservative Romantic religious tradition in America between 1800 and the late 19th century. They retained a commitment to a settled social order and embraced the Trinitarian Christianity long since abandoned by the Transcendentalists and their Unitarian predecessors. This program will focus on how the Dana Family functions as a critical lens through which one can view the larger Cautious Romantic discourse.

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                            Brown Bag Land, Liberty, & Property: Surveyors and the Production of Empire in British North America 15 July 2014.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Mark L. Thompson, University of Groningen

                            The land surveyor was a key figure in early America—instrumental in everything from marking colonial boundaries to measuring the smallest parcel of a farmer’s land. Adapting European methods to American conditions, surveyors drafted a “creole science” that served the demands of imperial authorities and common settlers alike. Together they transformed land into liberty, property, and a territorial empire.

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                            Public Program, Author Talk "What is Focus?" Margaret Hall's Battle Country 15 July 2014.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Margaret Higonnet, University of Connecticut Comments by Susan Solomon and Suzanne Diefenbach

                            Between August 1918 and August 1919, Cohasset, Mass., native Margaret Hall served as a volunteer in the canteen service with the Red Cross in France. Using letters, diaries, and photographs, she created an unusual typescript, Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country, 1918-1919, when she returned home from the Great War. Pasted opposite the relevant sections of the narrative are roughly 281 photographs and other memorabilia. Starting in August 1918, Hall captured in rich detail her passage from New York to France, her pursuit of a Red Cross posting as close to the front as possible, and then her day-to-day experiences at a canteen at Châlons sur Marne, where she continued to work for a number of months following the Armistice in November 1918. Her photographs document a significant range of her war experience, from the quotidian life at Châlons sur Marne to the exploration of battlefields at Longwy and Verdun.

                            Margaret R. Higonnet, the volume’s editor, is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut, and an Affiliate at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies. At the intersection of feminist theory with history and comparative literature, she has published extensively on gender and World War I, editing Behind the Lines: Gender and the Two World Wars (1987), Lines of Fire: Women Writers of World War I (1999), and Nurses at the Front: Writing the Wounds of War (2001).

                            Susan Solomon is Yardımcı Doçent (or Assistant Professor) of Humanities, Western Languages and Literatures, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. She will comment on her research into the life and photographs of Margaret Hall.

                            Suzanne Diefenbach is Margaret Hall's great niece. She will share her recollections  of "Aunts" and life with her at Paradise Hill Farm in Hull, Massachusetts.

                            To Reserve: Register online or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

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                            Brown Bag Americans in Chinese Treaty Ports: Trade and Diplomacy in Nineteenth-Century U.S.-China Relations 16 July 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Laurie Dickmeyer, University of California, Irvine

                            This project explores the changing texture and relationship of trade and diplomacy between American and Chinese traders and diplomats from 1784 to the 1860s. The consumption of luxury goods by both Americans and Chinese and the relationship between the U.S. and Great Britain abroad both helped to shape U.S.-China diplomacy in the nineteenth century. This program will present an overview of the project but will focus on findings from traders' records at the MHS.

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                            MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 19 July 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 Cosmopolitan Parochialism: Magistrates and Imperial Revolution in New England, 1760-1800 21 July 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Brendan Gillis, Indiana University

                            From Massachusetts to Australia, justices of the peace and other equivalent magistrates provided an exportable unit of local government responsible for the vast majority of judicial and administrative decisions. This project investigates how shared assumptions about magisterial authority contributed to the construction of new jurisdictions incorporating non-English lands and peoples. In New England, this British model of local government proved so adaptable that it allowed justices of the peace to assert independence during a period of imperial crisis.

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                            Brown Bag Watershed Decisions: Arthur Shurcliff's Vision of the Quabbin Reservoir, 1922-1945 22 July 2014.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Jeffrey Egan, University of Connecticut

                            This presentation will provide a brief historical overview of the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts, a massive public-works project that led to the disincorporation of four rural towns in the western portion of the Commonwealth and radically transformed 39 square miles of land during the 1930s and 1940s. After tracing the arc of this story, it will delve into the environmental worldview and vision of the Quabbin project held by Arthur Shurcliff, the landscape architect employed by the Boston Metropolitan District Commission to reform the grounds surrounding this new, artificial lake.

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                            Brown Bag The Virgin Vote: Young Americans in the Age of Popular Politics 23 July 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Jonathan Grinspan, University of Virginia/ Jefferson Scholars Foundation

                            Young people fueled American democracy at its most popular. Between 1840 and 1900, children, youths and young adults turned out at rallies and elections, searching for identity, advancement, and fun. Many viewed the political system as a route to adulthood, during a period of major social instability. At the same time, politicians wooed first-time “virgin voters,” lobbied young women to influence the men in their lives, and recruited children as future partisans. Their interest helped bring about the highest voter turnouts in U.S. history. This project explores this fascinating and forgotten relationship between public politics and personal aspirations.

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                            MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 26 July 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 30 July 2014 to 31 July 2014 registration required This workshop will take place in Milford, New Hampshire, and Pepperell, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area

                            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 by 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 Searsport, Maine, August 6-7; in Falmouth, Massachusetts, August 13-14; and in Framingham, Massachusetts, September 26-27.

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                            Brown Bag John Barleycorn vs. Sir Richard Rum: Alcohol, the Atlantic, and the Distilling of Colonial Identity, 1650-1800 30 July 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Kristen Burton, University of Texas at Arlington

                            This project examines the shifting perceptions of spirituous liquors in the Atlantic World throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Focusing on the rise of commercial distilling, particularly in regard to rum, gin, and whiskey, this research explores the evolution of liquors from their use a wholesome source of medicine to a pernicious, societal threat.

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