4-6 April 2013
The program will begin on Thursday evening with a keynote address by Professor John Stauffer, a member of Harvard’s English Department and the chair of the university’s graduate program on the History of American Civilization. Professor Stauffer will speak on the contribution of Massachusetts black and white abolitionists and political leaders to secession, freedom, and equality under the law. He will also discuss briefly how the state responded to the "counter-Revolution" that stripped away these new rights after Reconstruction. The conference keynote and the reception that will follow will be open to the general public, free of charge.
Professor Stauffer’s lecture will open a conference that will consider almost every major aspect of Massachusetts’ participation in the war: reform activities and the origins of the war; military life; the war, politics and the economy; slavery and emancipation; and how the citizens of Massachusetts came to terms with the consequences of the conflict. It will feature established scholars as well as up-and-coming historians who will tackle new areas of emphasis, including the radical intellectual tradition, health and the environment, and the memory of the war.
Conference papers will be made available in advance to those who preregister. In six sessions on Friday and Saturday, panelists and commentators will offer brief remarks; then, a discussion with the audience will follow.
Thursday, April 4
Keynote address, 6:00-7:00 P.M.
John Stauffer, Harvard University, “Massachusetts and the Civil War in Black and White: The Commonwealth’s Role in Secession, Emancipation, and Reconstruction”
Reception, 7:00-8:00 P.M. This event is also open to the public free of charge. All are welcome to attend the lecture and the reception that follows. RSVP requested. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, April 5
Registration: 8:30-9:15 A.M.
Welcome: 9:15 A.M.
Dennis A. Fiori and Conrad Edick Wright, Massachusetts Historical Society
Session I: Radical Reformers and the Civil War, 9:30-11:30 A.M.
*Dean Grodzins, Massachusetts Historical Society, “‘Constitution or No Constitution, Law or No Law, We Will Not Allow a Fugitive Slave To Be Taken from Massachusetts’: The Boston Vigilance Committees of 1841, 1846, and 1850”
Chair and comment: Manisha Sinha, University of Massachusetts—Amherst
Lunch (on your own): 11:30 A.M.-1:00 P.M.
Session II: Massachusetts, Slavery, and Emancipation, 1:00-3:00 P.M.
*Jim Downs, Connecticut College, “Dying to Be Free: The Health Conditions of Former Slaves During the Civil War and Reconstruction”
Chair and comment: Martha Hodes, New York University
Break: 3:00-3:15 P.M.
Session III: Military Life, 3:15-5:15 P.M.
Chair and comment: Conevery Bolton Valencius, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Saturday, April 6
Registration: 8:30-9:15 A.M.
Session IV: The Civil War, Politics, and the Economy, 9:15-11:15 A.M.
Chair and comment: Drew R. McCoy, Clark University
Lunch (on your own): 11:15 A.M.-12:45 P.M.
Session V: The Civil War and Memory, 12:45-2:45 P.M.
Chair and comment: Nina Silber, Boston University
Break: 2:45-3:00 P.M.
Session VI: Massachusetts Interprets the Civil War, 3:00-5:00 P.M.
*Carol Bundy, author of The Nature of Sacrifice: A Biography of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr., 1835-64, “McClellan’s Ten Days in Boston, February 1863: Boston, Its Financiers, and the War for Emancipation”
Chair and comment: Donald Yacovone, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University