MHS News

@MHS mini bannernewsletter

September 2014

Sturgis-Hooper Family Papers Now Available

MHS exteriorThe MHS has recently processed and made available to researchers the Sturgis-Hooper family papers (1785-1944). The collection is primarily the correspondence of Transcendentalist poet Ellen Sturgis Hooper, the mother of Clover (Mrs. Henry) Adams, with her family members. Highlights include letters from William and Henry James and Daniel Webster, letters from Dr. Robert W. Hooper about his work on the battlefields of Gettysburg, and a letter from Ellen Hooper Gurney about Clover's suicide in December 1885.

From the Stacks: The Treaty That Ended the Revolutionary War

Treaty of Paris"On Wednesday the third day of this Month, the American Ministers met the British Minister at his Lodgings at the Hôtel de York, and signed, sealed and delivered the Definitive Treaty of Peace between the United States of America and the King of Great Britain." John Adams reported this news to the president of Congress on 5 September 1783 and congratulated Congress on the "Completion of the work of Peace." It was eight o'clock in the morning when John Adams, along with Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, met the British peace negotiator, David Hartley, at his residence in Paris, ending months of negotiations—first the previous year leading to the preliminary peace treaty, and then in earnest from April until the end of August—that culminated in this definitive treaty. Read more about the Treaty of Paris.

Tour the World of Flemish and Dutch Art and Architecture with Dennis Fiori and Peter Lauritzen

18 to 30 March 2015Cover of brochure
Join us for an 11-day tour that has been crafted to emphasize the great treasures of Flemish and Dutch art and architecture. The tour begins in Bruges, one of the most picturesque medieval cities surviving in Northern Europe and the most important center of devotional 15th-century oil painting on panel. Travel from Bruges to Ghent, Brussels, Antwerp, and Amsterdam while exploring the extraordinary and unexpected riches of paintings, architecture, and the decorative arts. Special visits to townhouse museums, royal residences, and museums, including the newly redecorated and re-opened Rembrandt House, will enable travelers to see furnishings and tapestries and to explore "Old Master" paintings. We will also visit the newly opened Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh in Amsterdam to see the largest collection of the great Dutch painter's work on view anywhere in the world. For more information, including program and pricing details, please call 617-646-0572.

Upcoming Programs and Events

Répondez s'il vous plaît!

We hope that all who read this newsletter will join us at the MHS—early and often—for our exciting public programs, academic programs, and special events. Because the Society typically offers refreshments either before or after a program, we ask for your kindness in letting us know you plan to attend. Some events also carry a small registration fee. Here is a handy guide to RSVPing for a range of programs that the MHS offers:

Public programs and special events (such as author talks and MHS Fellows and Members events): call 617-646-0560 or register online at

Academic programs (such as seminars): phone 617-646-0579 or e-mail

Brown-bag lunchtime programs never require an RSVP.

Following this guide will help ensure that your registration is received in a timely manner. This is especially important when space is limited. As always, do not hesitate to contact any member of the MHS staff if you have any questions. We look forward to speaking with you and to seeing you soon.

An Exciting Lineup of Programs at the Society This Fall

The MHS has an exciting lineup of public programs this fall. The season kicks off on Wednesday, 1 October, at 6:00 PM when Mary Fuhrer will give a talk titled The Trials of Old New England Towns in a New Nation. The talk will explore remarkable stories of conflict and transformation that reshaped local communities leading up to the Civil War.

On Monday, 6 October, at 6:00 PM, the Boston City Archaeologist, Joe Bagley, will present Katherine, Grace, and Mary: Archaeological Revelations of 17th- and 18th-Century Women from Boston's Big Dig. The archaeological surveys conducted prior to Boston's Big Dig resulted in the uncovering of mountains of historical data on Boston's deep history. Bagley will discuss three archaeological sites that stand out for their contributions to women's history.

We have also added a new program to our calendar. On Thursday, 9 October, at 6:00 PM, Adam Hochschild will speak on his book To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918. Hochschild examines the First World War by looking at the struggle between people who regarded the war as a noble and necessary crusade and a minority who felt it was tragic madness and refused to fight.

Be sure to mark your calendars for other great programs throughout the fall!

Hands-On Workshops for Teachers and History Enthusiasts

All K-12 teachers and history enthusiasts are welcome to join us as we explore documents, artifacts, and landscapes that shed light on the past. Join us on September 26 and 27 at the Framingham History Center for the last installment of our "Old Towns/New Country" workshop series. We will investigate the lives of freed slaves who lived and worked in the area after the America Revolution, the history of the Academy Movement and education in the early nineteenth century, and the story of smallpox in the region.

On October 17 and 18, we will explore the lives of Massachusetts men and women who participated in the First World War. We'll take a field trip to the Fort Devens Museum and view artifacts, documents, and landscapes connected with this historic camp. We will also have a full day at the Society to explore our current exhibition on Massachusetts women in WWI, as well as to engage with related materials not currently on view. Please visit our web calendar or contact the Education Department at for more information about each program, including registration details.

Save the Date

MHS Open House: 13 October
The MHS will open its doors on Monday, 13 October (Columbus Day), 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.

Cocktails with Clio: 7 November
Save the date of Friday, 7 November, for the fifth annual Cocktails with Clio featuring MHS Fellow, Pulitzer Prize–winning author, and historian David Hackett Fischer. Join us as we feast on scrumptious bites, sip cocktails, socialize with friends, and celebrate history. Tickets are $250 per person and can be purchased online at

Object of the Month

We Are Doing Our Bit: A 1918 Liberty Loan Poster with an African American Theme

We Are Doing Our Bit posterWe Are Doing Our Bit, a poster advertising the 1918 Liberty Loan campaign, depicts a lone African American soldier engaged in close combat on the battlefields of Europe. The artist was Jane "Jennie" Touissant Welcome, an African American woman born in Lenox, Mass. This poster, circulated during the final months of the First World War to encourage citizens to buy war savings bonds, is something of a mystery. Although more than 200,000 black men and women served in the war, images of African Americans in posters produced in support of the war effort are very rare. Compared to the very high standard of illustration seen in many World War I posters, the figures in this example are stereotypes and have almost no connection with what troops actually experienced on the Western Front. Read more about the poster and the artist.

Looking at the Civil War: Massachusetts Finds Her Voice

September 1864: "I can see no relief nor peace for our unhappy country by merely military success under Mr. Lincoln..."

Letter from William C. EndicottLetter from William C. Endicott to Robert C. Winthrop, 21 September 1864

In this 21 September 1864 letter, William C. Endicott writes to Robert C. Winthrop, praising the latter's recent speech. Winthrop delivered a keynote address four days earlier at a meeting held in New York City in support of George B. McClellan, the Democratic presidential candidate in the election of 1864. In his speech, Winthrop extolled the virtues of Gen. McClellan, crediting him with saving the nation's capital from the Confederate invaders. Winthrop noted that "forgetting, everything but his country's dangers and his own determination to stand or fall with its flag," McClellan responded "without a murmur or a moment's delay to the personal appeal of the President, gathered up the scattered fragments of his brave but broken army, reorganized their shattered battalions, as by the waving of a magician's wand, drove back the invaders across the Potomac, and once more secured the safety of Washington and of Government." Read more about the election of 1864, William Endicott, and Robert Winthrop.

On View

Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War

Margaret Hall photoTo commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, the MHS has organized this exhibition 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 remembrances, the exhibition features photographs, letters, diaries, and memorabilia related to Margaret Hall and Eleanor (Nora) Saltonstall, Red Cross volunteers in France. The exhibition highlights 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. Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country is open at the MHS through 24 January 2015.

Visit, a companion website, featuring 246 of Hall's photographs and 29 other illustrative items from the Society's typescript of her memoir.

The new edition of Hall's previously unpublished memoir of her World War I experiences is now available for purchase:

The exhibition is open to the public, Monday through Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

MHS Events Calendar

Saturday, 13 September 10:00 AM

MHS Tour
The History & Collections of the MHS

Thursday, 18 September 6:00 PM

Special Event
Graduate Student Reception
Registration required: e-mail

Saturday, 20 September 10:00 AM

MHS Tour
The History & Collections of the MHS

Tuesday, 23 September 5:15 PM

Immigration and Urban History Seminar
The Importance of Place & Place-makers in the Life of a Los Angeles Community: What Gentrification Erases from Echo Park, 1950s-Present
Natalia Molina, University of California – San Diego
Registration required

Friday, 26 September to Saturday, 27 September 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM

Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation
There is a $25 fee
This event will take place at the Framingham History Center
Registration required

Saturday, 27 September 10:00 AM

MHS Tour
The History & Collections of the MHS

Wednesday, 1 October 12:00 PM

Reading Locke on the Plantation
Sean Moore, University of New Hampshire

Wednesday, 1 October 6:00 PM

Author Talk
The Trials of Old New England Towns in a New Nation
Mary Fuhrer, Independent Scholar
Pre-talk reception at 5:30
There is a $10 fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members)
Registration required

Thursday, 2 October 5:30 PM

History of Women and Gender Seminar
Enslaved Women & the Politics of Liberation in the Late 18th- and Early 19th-Century Atlantic World
Barbara Krauthamer, University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Location: Schlesinger Library
Registration required

Saturday, 4 October 10:00 AM

MHS Tour
The History & Collections of the MHS

Monday, 6 October 6:00 PM

Public Program
Katherine, Grace, & Mary: Archaeological Revelations of 17th- & 18th-Century Women from Boston's Big Dig
Joe Bagley, Boston City Archaeologist
Pre-talk reception at 5:30
There is a $10 fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members)
Registration required

Tuesday, 7 October 5:15 PM

Early American History Seminar
Thomas Jefferson, Slavery, & the Law
David Konig, Washington University in St. Louis
Registration required

Wednesday, 8 October 6:00 PM

Special Event for MHS Fellows and Members
History Revealed: Thomas Hutchinson & the Stamp Act Riots
John W. Tyler
This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members
Registration required

Thursday, 9 October 6:00 PM

Author Talk
1914-1918: The War Within the War
Adam Hochschild, University of California Berkeley
Registration required

All events are free and open to the public and held at the MHS unless otherwise noted. Reservations are requested for most events. There is a charge to receive seminar papers in advance.

For complete event and RSVP information, visit the MHS online calendar:

Support the MHS

Become a Member
The Society's Fellows and Members have been the heart of its community since 1791. Presidents, noted scholars, civic leaders, and amateur historians have been among those dedicated to continuing the tradition of historical stewardship. Learn more about membership at

Join an MHS Fund Giving Circle
Gifts to the MHS Fund allow us to continue our 222-year-old mission to collect, preserve, and share the stories that define America's past. With a donation of $500 or more, you can become a member of one of the MHS Fund Giving Circles and enjoy a full year of social, cultural, and educational experiences reserved for this select group. Learn more at

Join us on Facebook.

Follow the MHS on Twitter.

Follow John Quincy Adams on Twitter.

Charity Navigator 4-star Rating

MCC Logo