Early American History Seminar

Subscribe to this seminar series for $25, and you will receive access to the seminar papers for THREE series: the Boston Area Early American History Seminar, the Boston Environmental History Seminar, and the Boston Immigration and Urban History Seminar. We recognize that topics frequently resonate across these three fields; now, mix and match the seminars that you attend!

Join us for an in-depth exploration of the latest scholarship.

The Boston Area Early American History Seminar provides a forum for local scholars as well as members of the general public to discuss all aspects of North American history and culture from the first English colonization to the Civil War. Six to eight sessions take place annually during the academic year. Programs are not confined to Massachusetts topics, and most focus on works in progress.

Seminar meetings revolve around the discussion of a precirculated paper. Sessions open with remarks from the essayist and an assigned commentator, after which the discussion is opened to the floor. After each session, the Society serves a light buffet supper.

Early American History Seminar Town Hall Meeting with the New Director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture 1 October 2013. Tuesday, 5:15 PM - 7:30 PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Karin A. Wulf, College of William and Mary and Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

This town hall meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss the present and future of the OIEAHC. Through conferences, fellowships, and publications including The William and Mary Quarterly, the institute fosters scholarship on colonial and early national American history as well as the Atlantic world. Wulf began her tenure on July 1.

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Early American History Seminar The Poison Plot 5 November 2013. Tuesday, 5:15 PM - 7:30 PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Elaine Crane, Fordham University Comment: Irene Q. Brown, University of Connecticut

The marital failings of early 18th-century Rhode Islanders Benedict Arnold and his wife, Mary, who in 1738 tried to poison her husband, offer new insights into a range of social fault lines that extended beyond their domestic circle: infidelity, illegitimacy, abuse of husbands, female dependency, criminal proceedings, and the role of the state as mediator.

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Early American History Seminar Occupying Boston: An Intimate History of the Boston Massacre 3 December 2013. Tuesday, 5:15 PM - 7:30 PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Serena Zabin, Carleton College Comment: Lisa Wilson, Connecticut College

As the records of some forty marriages of military men and more than a hundred baptisms of their children make clear, women constituted a fundamental component of the British army’s experience in Boston. This chapter from a larger study of the intimate occupation of Boston examines the personal, social, and political meanings of these new families.

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Early American History Seminar Panel Discussion: Law and the American Revolution 4 February 2014. Tuesday, 5:15 PM - 7:30 PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Mary Sarah Bilder, Boston College Law School, T.H. Breen, University of Vermont and Huntington Library, Bruce Mann, Harvard Law School, Kent Newmyer, University of Connecticut Moderator: Alan Rogers, Boston College

As we approach the 250th anniversary of the Stamp Act, scholarship on the American Revolution is poised to accelerate and move in innovative directions. Join us to consider the state of the field as it relates to legal history.

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Early American History Seminar Negro Cloth: Mastering the Market for Slave Clothing in Antebellum America 4 March 2014. Tuesday, 5:15 PM - 7:30 PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Seth Rockman, Brown University Comment: David Quigley, Boston College

This paper ties together the effort of a Northern firm to break into the business of making textiles for slaves; the politics of the slave plantation; and the national debate over tariffs. It brings together material culture studies, the history of capitalism, and comparative slavery. It emphasizes the design history of plantation textiles and the circuits of social knowledge that linked plantation to factory; in particular, it considers the role that enslaved men and women played as collaborators in the design of specific textiles.

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Early American History Seminar From "Disturbers" to Protectors of the Peace: Baptist Church Discipline and Legalities on the Trans-Appalachian Frontier 1 April 2014. Tuesday, 5:15 PM - 7:30 PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Jeff Perry, Purdue University Comment: Stephen A. Marini, Wellesley College

The Baptist church was an important site for the production of localized law in early America. This paper considers how the instability engendered by the missionary movement and the rise of competing religious sects impacted individual churches’ vision of their own authority and their role in regulating their wider communities.  In so doing, it speaks to the constantly changing nature of secular and religious authority in the United States.

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Early American History Seminar Through Novanglus’s Eyes: Forms of Empire in India 6 May 2014. Tuesday, 5:15 PM - 7:30 PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Hari Vishwanadha, Santa Monica College Comment: Eliga H. Gould, University of New Hampshire

Yankee merchants in the India trade successfully negotiated the competing claims of Indian society and the British Raj. As the empire flourished, the merchants prospered. The experiences of two prominent men, Henry Lee and Charles Eliot Norton, are representative of the rich and complex relationship among the three peoples and their cultures and served as a template for subsequent merchants engaged in the India trade during the nineteenth century.

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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More events
1 October 2013 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Early American History Seminar

Town Hall Meeting with the New Director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

5:15 PM - 7:30 PM
Karin A. Wulf, College of William and Mary and Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

5 November 2013 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Early American History Seminar

The Poison Plot

5:15 PM - 7:30 PM
Elaine Crane, Fordham University Comment: Irene Q. Brown, University of Connecticut

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

3 December 2013 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Early American History Seminar

Occupying Boston: An Intimate History of the Boston Massacre

5:15 PM - 7:30 PM
Serena Zabin, Carleton College Comment: Lisa Wilson, Connecticut College

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

4 February 2014 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Early American History Seminar

Panel Discussion: Law and the American Revolution

5:15 PM - 7:30 PM
Mary Sarah Bilder, Boston College Law School, T.H. Breen, University of Vermont and Huntington Library, Bruce Mann, Harvard Law School, Kent Newmyer, University of Connecticut Moderator: Alan Rogers, Boston College

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

There are no original essays to read for this program, but if you have not done so you might wish to read chapter 2 of Grant Gilmore's The Ages of American Law (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977) in preparation for this program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

4 March 2014 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Early American History Seminar

Negro Cloth: Mastering the Market for Slave Clothing in Antebellum America

5:15 PM - 7:30 PM
Seth Rockman, Brown University Comment: David Quigley, Boston College

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

1 April 2014 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Early American History Seminar

From "Disturbers" to Protectors of the Peace: Baptist Church Discipline and Legalities on the Trans-Appalachian Frontier

5:15 PM - 7:30 PM
Jeff Perry, Purdue University Comment: Stephen A. Marini, Wellesley College

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

6 May 2014 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Early American History Seminar

Through Novanglus’s Eyes: Forms of Empire in India

5:15 PM - 7:30 PM
Hari Vishwanadha, Santa Monica College Comment: Eliga H. Gould, University of New Hampshire

Yankee merchants in the India trade successfully negotiated the competing claims of Indian society and the British Raj. As the empire flourished, the merchants prospered. The experiences of two prominent men, Henry Lee and Charles Eliot Norton, are representative of the rich and complex relationship among the three peoples and their cultures and served as a template for subsequent merchants engaged in the India trade during the nineteenth century.


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