Membership

The Massachusetts Historical Society has two membership categories—Fellows and Members. Both groups are important to the life of the Society. Fellows and Members help support the Society's mission and receive benefits such as a subscription to our annual journal, the Massachusetts Historical Review, and invitations to special events.

Members

Membership at the MHS is open to all with an interest in American history. The Society welcomes Members from near and far to join its community of history lovers. The MHS offers a handful of different membership categories aimed to encourage participation in its various activities. Learn how to become a Member or renew your membership now.

Fellows

Election as a Fellow of the MHS is an honor bestowed by the Society on distinguished scholars and civic leaders. The Fellows are the legal governing body of the MHS, and therefore have the privilege of shaping the Society. Learn more about the MHS Fellows or renew your Fellow dues.



Join Us at an Upcoming Program

Public Program, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Canceled: Emancipation & Assassination: Remembering Abraham Lincoln 28 March 2015.Saturday, 9:00AM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   How did the people of Massachusetts react to Lincoln’s presidential politics? How did they ...

How did the people of Massachusetts react to Lincoln’s presidential politics? How did they mourn his death in 1865? Using documents and artifacts from the Society’s collections, participants will explore Lincoln’s legacy in his own time, and debate what his legacy is – or should be – in the twenty-first century. This program is open to all K-12 educators, as well as history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 5 PDPs for the workshop (and additional PDPs for attending related programs).

Fee: $25 per person (includes lunch and materials)

For more information: contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

To register: Complete our Registration Form and send it to the education department at education@masshist.org.

Program Highlights

  • Learn more about new digital resources available from the MHS and Ford's Theatre.
  • View Lincoln-related treasures from the Society’s collections.
  • Discover methods for teaching Lincoln's life and legacy.
details
April
Lincoln Series Public Program, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Founders’ Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln 1 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   6:00 program with 5:30 reception Richard Brookhiser, Senior Editor – National Review $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series Program 2 Abraham Lincoln grew up in ...

Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series
Program 2

Abraham Lincoln grew up in the shadow of the Founding Fathers. Seeking an intellectual and emotional replacement for his own taciturn father, Lincoln turned to the men of the founding—Washington, Paine, Jefferson—and their great documents for knowledge, guidance, inspiration, and purpose. Out of the vacuum created by their passing, Lincoln emerged from among his peers as the inheritor of the Founders' mantle, bringing their vision to bear on the Civil War and the question of slavery. Richard Brookhiser presents a compelling biography of Lincoln that highlights his lifelong struggle to carry on the Founding Fathers’ work. Brookhiser shows us every side of the man: laborer, lawyer, congressman, president; storyteller, wit, lover of ribald jokes; depressive, poet, friend, visionary. And he shows that despite his many roles and his varied life, Lincoln returned time and time again to the Founders. They were rhetorical and political touchstones, the basis of his interest in politics, and the lodestars guiding him as he navigated politics and the national scene. But their legacy with not sufficient. As the Civil War lengthened and the casualties mounted Lincoln wrestled with one more paternal figure—God the Father—to explain to himself, and to the nation, why ending slavery had come at such a terrible price.

Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review and the author of eleven books, including the James MadisonAlexander Hamilton, American, and Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington. He lives in New York City.


Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series

The MHS will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln with a series of programs. Renowned authors and historians will explore the war, the president, and the legacy this conflict has left. Mourning Lincoln with Martha Hodes will take place on Wednesday, 8 April. Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality with John Stauffer will take place on Wednesday, 15 April.

details
Public Program Begin at the Beginning: Boston’s Founding Documents 4 April 2015.Saturday, 1:00PM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   Join us for the second of our lively Massachusetts Historical Society/Partnership of Historic ...

Join us for the second of our lively Massachusetts Historical Society/Partnership of Historic Bostons co-hosted discussions exploring the origins of Boston and its founding documents. We’ll be reading John Winthrop’s journal – a key, if not the key, primary source for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. You don’t need to be an expert – just come with your observations and curiosity about early Boston’s leading citizen.

Discussion group is limited to 15; available on a first come first serve basis. Links to the documents are available at the registration site. (Registration for this discussion group is coordinated by the Partnership of Historic Bostons)

details
Public Program Book Launch Reception for Investment Management in Boston: A History 6 April 2015.Monday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM David Grayson Allen Please RSVP by calling 617-646-0578 Presented here for the first time is the history of Boston’s evolution as a center of American ...

Presented here for the first time is the history of Boston’s evolution as a center of American money management from early settlement to the twenty-first century. Within a few decades after the Revolution, Bostonians built up an impressive mercantile and industrial economy, and used wealth accrued from the China trade, New England mills, and other ventures to establish the most important stock exchange in America. They also created the “Boston trustee,” a unique professional who managed private fortunes over generations. During the late nineteenth century, Boston financial institutions were renowned as bastions of stability and conservatism in an era of recurrent economic panics and frequent failures.

It was not until the twentieth century that Boston became better known for its role in investment management. In 1924, local financiers created the first mutual fund, an innovation almost a century in the making. After World War II, Boston originated venture capital with the founding of American Research & Development. This was soon followed by the development of private equity, the growth of the mutual fund industry, the pension “revolution” that changed and strengthened money management, the evolution in management of institutional endowments, and the rise of new family offices and hedge funds. The contributions of fiduciaries and investment managers have played an important part in the rise of the “New Boston” and made the city one of the most vibrant financial capitals in the world.

Investment Management in Boston is published in association with Massachusetts Historical Society.

details
Lincoln Series Public Program, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Mourning Lincoln 8 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   6:00 program with 5:30 reception Martha Hodes, Professor of History - New York University $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series Program 3 The news of Abraham Lincoln ...

Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series
Program 3

The news of Abraham Lincoln's death on April 15, 1865, just days after Union victory, astounded the war weary nation. Massive crowds turned out for services and ceremonies, and countless expressions of grief were printed in newspapers and preached in sermons. Public responses to the assassination have been well chronicled, but Martha Hodes is the first to delve into personal and private responses—of northerners and southerners, Yankees and Confederates, African Americans and whites, soldiers and civilians, men and women, rich and poor, the well-known and the unknown. Exploring letters, diaries, and other personal writings penned during the spring and summer of 1865, Hodes tells a story of shock, glee, sorrow, anger, blame, and fear. Black freedom, the fate of former Confederates, and the future of the nation were at stake for everyone, whether they grieved or rejoiced when they heard the news. In her new book, Mourning Lincoln, Hodes brings to life a key moment of national uncertainty and conflict that takes us far beyond the headlines to illuminate the nation's first presidential assassination on a human scale.

Martha Hodes is Professor of History at New York University. In addition to Mourning Lincoln, she is the author of The Sea Captain’s Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century, and White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the Nineteenth-Century South. She holds degrees from Bowdoin College, Harvard University, and Princeton University, and has been awarded fellowships from the Massachusetts Historical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Whiting Foundation. She is a winner of NYU’s Golden Dozen Teaching Award and is an elected fellow of the Society of American Historians.


Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series

The MHS will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln with a series of programs. Renowned authors and historians will explore the war, the president, and the legacy this conflict has left. The final program in the series, Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality with John Stauffer, will take place on Wednesday, 15 April.

details
Public Program "Not Yet": The Originality Crisis in American Revolution Studies 9 April 2015.Thursday, 5:00PM - 8:00PM Woody Holton, McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina RSVP to attend this lecture. One of today’s leading historians of the American ...

RSVP to attend this lecture.

One of today’s leading historians of the American Revolution, Holton is the McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina. He is the author of three books, each widely acclaimed. Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Meaning of the American Revolution (1999) received the Merle Curti Prize of the Organization of American Historians. Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution (2007) was a finalist for the National Book Award in non-fiction. Abigail Adams (2009) earned the Bancroft Prize. Professor Holton will devote his talk to the problems historians in recent decades have encountered when writing about the Revolution and the prospects for a new understanding of the event. His own writings have focused on the Revolution’s social and economic contexts.

This free public lecture will serve as the keynote address for the conference "So Sudden an Alteration: The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the American Revolution" (registration required to attend sessions). Over the past two decades the study of the Revolution has generated little in the way of fundamentally new approaches to the topic. The conference program will pay special attention to new ways to understand the political roots and consequences of the crisis.

A reception will follow the 5:00 PM lecture, from 6:00-8:00 PM. All are welcome to attend. RSVP by email or phone 617-646-0568.

details
Lincoln Series Public Program, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality 15 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   6:00 program with 5:30 reception John Stauffer, Professor of English and African American Studies – Harvard University $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series Program 4 Professor Stauffer will ...

Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series
Program 4

Professor Stauffer will explore Frederick Douglass's and other black and white abolitionists' responses to Lincoln's assassination and the degree to which the assassination prompted Northerners to consider and accept full black citizenship.  He will also address the theme of forgiveness and its political dilemmas as it relates to assassination, while keeping Douglass at the center of the story.

John Stauffer writes and lectures on antislavery, social protest movements, interracial friendship, and photography. He is a Harvard University professor of English, African American Studies, and American Studies. He is also a long term Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society. His 13 books include The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race (2002) and Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln (2008), which both won numerous awards. He is the author of more than 90 articles, on topics ranging from the Civil War era to visual culture.  His newest book is Sally Mann:  Southern Landscape (2014); Picturing Frederick Douglass:  An Illustrated Biography of the 19th Century's Most Photographed American will be published by Norton in 2015; and at Mass Historical he is completing a cultural biography of Charles Sumner. His essays have appeared in Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The New Republic, and Huffington Post. He has appeared on national radio and television shows and has lectured widely throughout the United States and Europe.


Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series

The MHS will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln with a series of programs. Renowned authors and historians will explore the war, the president, and the legacy this conflict has left. Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality with John Stauffer is the last program in the series.

details
Public Program Comic History: Making your own history comic 21 April 2015.Tuesday, 2:00PM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Family Day Program for Young Historians, Parents and Grandparents John L. Bell, independent historian and a team of comic book artists Come to MHS during the school vacation week for a hands-on history program. Noted historian John ...

Come to MHS during the school vacation week for a hands-on history program. Noted historian John Bell will tell participants the story of the riots that followed the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765 from an eighteenth century child’s point of view; young boys participated in marches to the Liberty Tree and witnessed the ransacking of Thomas Hutchinson’s mansion. After the talk, local comic book artists associated with the Boston Comics Roundtable, Fulcrum Publishing, and the Massachusetts Historical Society will help the young historians make their own historical comic depicting the story of the Liberty Tree and the Stamp Act Riots. Finished comics will be part of a temporary display.

John L. Bell is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

details
Public Program Colonial Comics 21 April 2015.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Jason Rodriguez, independent author Colonial Comics by Fulcrum Publishing is a graphic novel collection of twenty stories ...

Colonial Comics by Fulcrum Publishing is a graphic novel collection of twenty stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. These illustrated stories focus on tales you cannot find in history books; includes stories about free thinkers, Pequots, Jewish settlers, female business owners and dedicated school teachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, and many other aspects of colonial life. Editor Jason Rodriguez will speak about the process of putting the collection together, ensuring historical accuracy, and selecting the topics to be covered.

Jason Rodriguez is a writer and editor whose books have been nominated for an Eisner Award and eight Harvey Awards. Jason lives in Arlington, Virginia.

details
Special Event, Member Event Colonial Comics Happy Hour 21 April 2015.Tuesday, 7:30PM - 8:30PM This event is open only to MHS Associate Members (age 40 and under) Following the Colonial Comics presentation, MHS Associate Members are invited to a nearby restaurant ...

Following the Colonial Comics presentation, MHS Associate Members are invited to a nearby restaurant with Jason Rodriguez to continue the discussion about historical events as subject matter for comic books and graphic novels.

Please call 617-646-0543 for more information.

 

 


 

Author Talk

Colonial Comics
Jason Rodriguez, Independent Author

5:30 Reception | 6:00 Talk

Colonial Comics by Fulcrum Publishing is a graphic novel collection of 20 stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. This illustrated book focuses on tales you cannot find in history books with stories about free thinkers, Pequots, Jewish settlers, female business owners, dedicated schoolteachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, and many other aspects of colonial life. Editor Jason Rodriguez will speak about the process of putting the collection together, ensuring historical accuracy, and selecting the topics to be covered.

details
Special Event Massachusetts History Lab 25 April 2015.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Students! Bring a parent, teacher, or your favorite adult and learn more about the behind-the-scene ...

Students! Bring a parent, teacher, or your favorite adult and learn more about the behind-the-scene activities at one of the country’s oldest organizations devoted to our nation’s history. Throughout the day you will be introduced to a set of characters from the periods of the American Revolution and the Civil War and investigate letters, journals, newspaper articles, account books, photographs, artifacts, and more in order to unravel their stories. As you piece together the puzzles of the past in our role as historical detectives, you will have the opportunity view some of our country’s most significant and intriguing documents.

**This program is designed for students in grades 5-8. Students must register with an adult chaperone.

For more information: contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

details
Public Program Picture Freedom 29 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Jasmine Nicole Cobb, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies - Northwestern University $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) In the decades leading up to the end of U.S. slavery, many free Blacks sat for daguerreotypes ...

In the decades leading up to the end of U.S. slavery, many free Blacks sat for daguerreotypes decorated in fine garments to document their self-possession. People pictured in these early photographs used portraiture to seize control over representation of the free Black body and reimagine Black visuality divorced from the cultural logics of slavery. In Picture Freedom, Jasmine Nichole Cobb analyzes the ways in which the circulation of various images prepared free Blacks and free Whites for the emancipation of formerly unfree people of African descent. She traces the emergence of Black freedom as both an idea and as an image during the early nineteenth century. Through an analysis of popular culture of the period—including amateur portraits, racial caricatures, joke books, antislavery newspapers, abolitionist materials, runaway advertisements, ladies’ magazines, and scrapbooks, as well as scenic wallpaper—Cobb explores the earliest illustrations of free Blacks and reveals the complicated route through visual culture toward a vision of African American citizenship. 

Jasmine Nichole Cobb is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and (by courtesy) the Department of African American Studies, at Northwestern University. She earned a PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania (2009). Cobb is the recipient of numerous awards, and presently, an American Fellow of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She is the author of Picture Freedom:  Remaking Black Visuality in the Early Nineteenth Century (NYUP 2015), which explores the role of visual culture within processes of abolition and the emergence of African American emancipation.  

details
May
Public Program May Day Mayday! 2 May 2015.Saturday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program William Fowler, Nathaniel Philbrick, and Michael Tougias $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) From its founding, Massachusetts has looked towards the sea. Merchant trade, fishing, and whaling ...

From its founding, Massachusetts has looked towards the sea. Merchant trade, fishing, and whaling were the engines that drove the New England economy. However, the bounty of the sea was not without cost. Shipwrecks, disasters, and heroic rescues are staples of maritime history. This special evening at MHS will feature three eminent historians telling stories of catastrophes at sea and reflecting on the evening’s tales.

William Fowler is the author of a number of books dealing with American history including: Under Two Flags: The Navy in the Civil WarSilas Talbot Captain of the Old Ironsides; co-author America and The SeaWilliam Ellery: A Rhode Island Politico and Lord of AdmiraltyRebels Under Sail: The Navy in the RevolutionJack Tars and Commodores: The American Navy, 1783-1815Samuel Adams: Radical PuritanEmpires at War: The French and Indian War and The Struggle for North America, 1754-1763. He is the former Gay Hart Gaines Distinguished Fellow in American History at Mount Vernon. He has taught at Mystic Seaport Museum and has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Naval War College, and the Sea Education Association.

Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of In the Heart of the Sea, winner of the 2000 National Book Award and soon to be a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard; Sea of Glory, winner of the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Naval History Prize; Mayflower, a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in history; Bunker Hill, winner of the New England Book Award, and other bestselling works of American history.  He lives on Nantucket Island.   

Michael Tougias is an award winning author and co-author of 23 books. Among his bestsellers are A Storm Too Soon, The Finest Hours (soon to be a major motion picture by Disney), Fatal ForecastOverboard, and King Philip's War. He is a sought-after inspirational speaker to business groups such as John Hancock, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and the Gulf Coast CEO's.

details
Utopian Settlements Series Public Program Puritan Paradise: Eden in Massachusetts Bay & Beyond 13 May 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   6:00 program with 5:30 reception Zachary Hutchins, Assistant Professor of English – Colorado State University Utopian Settlements SeriesProgram 1 Thomas More’s Utopia was inspired ...

Utopian Settlements Series
Program 1

Thomas More’s Utopia was inspired by paradisiacal descriptions of the New World, and associations between Eden and the Americas persisted throughout the colonial period. Many of the immigrants arriving in New England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries looked to the biblical garden of Adam and Eve as a pattern of the ideal society they wished to build. Religiously-minded colonists modeled the English language after the Adamic tongue, cited Genesis during debates over natural law, and looked to the prelapsarian Eve as a physiological ideal. A belief in Eden’s historicity and the future return of paradisiacal conditions inspired Quakers to disrobe in public and led to the first judicial decision abolishing slavery in United States history. New England settlers striving to invent Eden’s perfections anew shaped American history and culture in lasting ways; their visions of paradise linger in the theology of prophets from Robert Matthews to Joseph Smith and in the enduring myth of the “self-made man.”

Zach Hutchins is Assistant Professor of English at Colorado State University, where he teaches courses on early American literature and culture. His talk will draw on research recently published in his first book, Inventing Eden: Primitivism, Millennialism, and the Making of New England (Oxford UP; 2014). Hutchins is also the author of a dozen essays that have appeared in journals such as The New England Quarterly, ELH, Shakespeare, and Early American Literature. A New England native, he returns to Massachusetts regularly to wield a clamshell hoe in the garden of his aged parents, the last two surviving Puritans. 


Utopian Settlements Series

New Englanders have a long tradition of separating from society and trying to create a more perfect world. From the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Yankees have dreamed of a better world and tried to make it real. This series will explore the history of three utopian settlements that started in our backyard. Puritan Paradise with Zachary Hutchins is the first program in the series. Mr. Ripley's Utopia with Peter Drummey will take place on Wednesday, 20 May. Fruitlands with Jan Turnquist will take place on Wednesday, 27 May. We are thankful to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for its support of this series.

details
Utopian Settlements Series Public Program Mr. Ripley’s Utopia 20 May 2015.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   Lecture and tour at Brook Farm (670 Baker Street in West Roxbury, entrance shared with the Gardens at Gethsemane) Peter Drummey from MHS and DCR Staff Utopian Settlements SeriesProgram 2 Brook Farm, the utopian community established ...

Utopian Settlements Series
Program 2

Brook Farm, the utopian community established by George and Sophia Ripley in West Roxbury, lasted only from 1841 to 1847, but it became the country’s most celebrated experiment in Transcendentalism as a social movement. By opening the benefits of education and the profits of labor to all, the Brook Farm Association sought to prepare a society of liberal, intelligent, and cultivated men and women, whose relations with each other would permit a simple and wholesome life, apart from the competitive pressures found beyond the boundaries of the Farm. 

Peter Drummey, the Historical Society’s Stephen T. Riley Librarian (and a volunteer during the archaeological investigation of Brook Farm), will lead a discussion of what Brook Farmers attempted, what they accomplished, and why they failed as well as describing the manuscript records of the Association held by MHS.  This talk will be followed by a DCR tour of Brook Farm, led by DCR staff. We will explore the quiet woodlands and wetlands that inspired the likes of Nathaniel Hawthorne and George Ripley. 


Utopian Settlements Series

New Englanders have a long tradition of separating from society and trying to create a more perfect world. From the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Yankees have dreamed of a better world and tried to make it real. This series will explore the history of three utopian settlements that started in our backyard. The final program in the series, Fruitlands with Jan Turnquist, will take place on Wednesday, 27 May. We are thankful to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for its support of this series.

details
Utopian Settlements Series Public Program Fruitlands 27 May 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   6:00 program with 5:30 reception Jan Turnquist, Executive Director of Orchard House Utopian Settlements SeriesProgram 3 Jan Turnquist, Executive Director of Orchard ...

Utopian Settlements Series
Program 3

Jan Turnquist, Executive Director of Orchard House, the Alcott family home in Concord will give a living history presentation of Louisa May Alcott. Looking back on her time at Fruitlands, the author of Little Women will give us the behind the scenes stories from her life: family friendships with Thoreau and Emerson; her unconventional upbringing in poverty; and the family love that inspired her to write an American classic. From the youngest reader to the most sophisticated Alcott scholar, audiences have acclaimed Turnquist’s performances. The interactive presentation is an inspiring experience is open to all ages. 


Utopian Settlements Series

New Englanders have a long tradition of separating from society and trying to create a more perfect world. From the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Yankees have dreamed of a better world and tried to make it real. This series will explore the history of three utopian settlements that started in our backyard. Fruitlands with Jan Turnquist is the final program in the series. We are thankful to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for its support of this series.

details
More events
Public Program, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Canceled:
Emancipation & Assassination: Remembering Abraham Lincoln
28 March 2015.Saturday, 9:00AM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   registration required

How did the people of Massachusetts react to Lincoln’s presidential politics? How did they mourn his death in 1865? Using documents and artifacts from the Society’s collections, participants will explore Lincoln’s legacy in his own time, and debate what his legacy is – or should be – in the twenty-first century. This program is open to all K-12 educators, as well as history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 5 PDPs for the workshop (and additional PDPs for attending related programs).

Fee: $25 per person (includes lunch and materials)

For more information: contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

To register: Complete our Registration Form and send it to the education department at education@masshist.org.

Program Highlights

  • Learn more about new digital resources available from the MHS and Ford's Theatre.
  • View Lincoln-related treasures from the Society’s collections.
  • Discover methods for teaching Lincoln's life and legacy.
close
Public Program, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Founders’ Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln 1 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required 6:00 program with 5:30 reception Richard Brookhiser, Senior Editor – National Review $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Lincoln Series

Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series
Program 2

Abraham Lincoln grew up in the shadow of the Founding Fathers. Seeking an intellectual and emotional replacement for his own taciturn father, Lincoln turned to the men of the founding—Washington, Paine, Jefferson—and their great documents for knowledge, guidance, inspiration, and purpose. Out of the vacuum created by their passing, Lincoln emerged from among his peers as the inheritor of the Founders' mantle, bringing their vision to bear on the Civil War and the question of slavery. Richard Brookhiser presents a compelling biography of Lincoln that highlights his lifelong struggle to carry on the Founding Fathers’ work. Brookhiser shows us every side of the man: laborer, lawyer, congressman, president; storyteller, wit, lover of ribald jokes; depressive, poet, friend, visionary. And he shows that despite his many roles and his varied life, Lincoln returned time and time again to the Founders. They were rhetorical and political touchstones, the basis of his interest in politics, and the lodestars guiding him as he navigated politics and the national scene. But their legacy with not sufficient. As the Civil War lengthened and the casualties mounted Lincoln wrestled with one more paternal figure—God the Father—to explain to himself, and to the nation, why ending slavery had come at such a terrible price.

Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review and the author of eleven books, including the James MadisonAlexander Hamilton, American, and Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington. He lives in New York City.


Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series

The MHS will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln with a series of programs. Renowned authors and historians will explore the war, the president, and the legacy this conflict has left. Mourning Lincoln with Martha Hodes will take place on Wednesday, 8 April. Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality with John Stauffer will take place on Wednesday, 15 April.

close
Public Program Begin at the Beginning: Boston’s Founding Documents 4 April 2015.Saturday, 1:00PM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost

Join us for the second of our lively Massachusetts Historical Society/Partnership of Historic Bostons co-hosted discussions exploring the origins of Boston and its founding documents. We’ll be reading John Winthrop’s journal – a key, if not the key, primary source for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. You don’t need to be an expert – just come with your observations and curiosity about early Boston’s leading citizen.

Discussion group is limited to 15; available on a first come first serve basis. Links to the documents are available at the registration site. (Registration for this discussion group is coordinated by the Partnership of Historic Bostons)

close
Public Program Book Launch Reception for Investment Management in Boston: A History 6 April 2015.Monday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM David Grayson Allen Please RSVP by calling 617-646-0578

Presented here for the first time is the history of Boston’s evolution as a center of American money management from early settlement to the twenty-first century. Within a few decades after the Revolution, Bostonians built up an impressive mercantile and industrial economy, and used wealth accrued from the China trade, New England mills, and other ventures to establish the most important stock exchange in America. They also created the “Boston trustee,” a unique professional who managed private fortunes over generations. During the late nineteenth century, Boston financial institutions were renowned as bastions of stability and conservatism in an era of recurrent economic panics and frequent failures.

It was not until the twentieth century that Boston became better known for its role in investment management. In 1924, local financiers created the first mutual fund, an innovation almost a century in the making. After World War II, Boston originated venture capital with the founding of American Research & Development. This was soon followed by the development of private equity, the growth of the mutual fund industry, the pension “revolution” that changed and strengthened money management, the evolution in management of institutional endowments, and the rise of new family offices and hedge funds. The contributions of fiduciaries and investment managers have played an important part in the rise of the “New Boston” and made the city one of the most vibrant financial capitals in the world.

Investment Management in Boston is published in association with Massachusetts Historical Society.

close
Public Program, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Mourning Lincoln 8 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required 6:00 program with 5:30 reception Martha Hodes, Professor of History - New York University $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Lincoln Series

Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series
Program 3

The news of Abraham Lincoln's death on April 15, 1865, just days after Union victory, astounded the war weary nation. Massive crowds turned out for services and ceremonies, and countless expressions of grief were printed in newspapers and preached in sermons. Public responses to the assassination have been well chronicled, but Martha Hodes is the first to delve into personal and private responses—of northerners and southerners, Yankees and Confederates, African Americans and whites, soldiers and civilians, men and women, rich and poor, the well-known and the unknown. Exploring letters, diaries, and other personal writings penned during the spring and summer of 1865, Hodes tells a story of shock, glee, sorrow, anger, blame, and fear. Black freedom, the fate of former Confederates, and the future of the nation were at stake for everyone, whether they grieved or rejoiced when they heard the news. In her new book, Mourning Lincoln, Hodes brings to life a key moment of national uncertainty and conflict that takes us far beyond the headlines to illuminate the nation's first presidential assassination on a human scale.

Martha Hodes is Professor of History at New York University. In addition to Mourning Lincoln, she is the author of The Sea Captain’s Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century, and White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the Nineteenth-Century South. She holds degrees from Bowdoin College, Harvard University, and Princeton University, and has been awarded fellowships from the Massachusetts Historical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Whiting Foundation. She is a winner of NYU’s Golden Dozen Teaching Award and is an elected fellow of the Society of American Historians.


Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series

The MHS will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln with a series of programs. Renowned authors and historians will explore the war, the president, and the legacy this conflict has left. The final program in the series, Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality with John Stauffer, will take place on Wednesday, 15 April.

close
Public Program "Not Yet": The Originality Crisis in American Revolution Studies 9 April 2015.Thursday, 5:00PM - 8:00PM registration required at no cost Woody Holton, McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina

RSVP to attend this lecture.

One of today’s leading historians of the American Revolution, Holton is the McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina. He is the author of three books, each widely acclaimed. Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Meaning of the American Revolution (1999) received the Merle Curti Prize of the Organization of American Historians. Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution (2007) was a finalist for the National Book Award in non-fiction. Abigail Adams (2009) earned the Bancroft Prize. Professor Holton will devote his talk to the problems historians in recent decades have encountered when writing about the Revolution and the prospects for a new understanding of the event. His own writings have focused on the Revolution’s social and economic contexts.

This free public lecture will serve as the keynote address for the conference "So Sudden an Alteration: The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the American Revolution" (registration required to attend sessions). Over the past two decades the study of the Revolution has generated little in the way of fundamentally new approaches to the topic. The conference program will pay special attention to new ways to understand the political roots and consequences of the crisis.

A reception will follow the 5:00 PM lecture, from 6:00-8:00 PM. All are welcome to attend. RSVP by email or phone 617-646-0568.

close
Public Program, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality 15 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required 6:00 program with 5:30 reception John Stauffer, Professor of English and African American Studies – Harvard University $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Lincoln Series

Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series
Program 4

Professor Stauffer will explore Frederick Douglass's and other black and white abolitionists' responses to Lincoln's assassination and the degree to which the assassination prompted Northerners to consider and accept full black citizenship.  He will also address the theme of forgiveness and its political dilemmas as it relates to assassination, while keeping Douglass at the center of the story.

John Stauffer writes and lectures on antislavery, social protest movements, interracial friendship, and photography. He is a Harvard University professor of English, African American Studies, and American Studies. He is also a long term Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society. His 13 books include The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race (2002) and Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln (2008), which both won numerous awards. He is the author of more than 90 articles, on topics ranging from the Civil War era to visual culture.  His newest book is Sally Mann:  Southern Landscape (2014); Picturing Frederick Douglass:  An Illustrated Biography of the 19th Century's Most Photographed American will be published by Norton in 2015; and at Mass Historical he is completing a cultural biography of Charles Sumner. His essays have appeared in Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The New Republic, and Huffington Post. He has appeared on national radio and television shows and has lectured widely throughout the United States and Europe.


Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series

The MHS will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln with a series of programs. Renowned authors and historians will explore the war, the president, and the legacy this conflict has left. Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality with John Stauffer is the last program in the series.

close
Public Program Comic History: Making your own history comic 21 April 2015.Tuesday, 2:00PM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Family Day Program for Young Historians, Parents and Grandparents John L. Bell, independent historian and a team of comic book artists

Come to MHS during the school vacation week for a hands-on history program. Noted historian John Bell will tell participants the story of the riots that followed the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765 from an eighteenth century child’s point of view; young boys participated in marches to the Liberty Tree and witnessed the ransacking of Thomas Hutchinson’s mansion. After the talk, local comic book artists associated with the Boston Comics Roundtable, Fulcrum Publishing, and the Massachusetts Historical Society will help the young historians make their own historical comic depicting the story of the Liberty Tree and the Stamp Act Riots. Finished comics will be part of a temporary display.

John L. Bell is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

close
Public Program Colonial Comics 21 April 2015.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Jason Rodriguez, independent author

Colonial Comics by Fulcrum Publishing is a graphic novel collection of twenty stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. These illustrated stories focus on tales you cannot find in history books; includes stories about free thinkers, Pequots, Jewish settlers, female business owners and dedicated school teachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, and many other aspects of colonial life. Editor Jason Rodriguez will speak about the process of putting the collection together, ensuring historical accuracy, and selecting the topics to be covered.

Jason Rodriguez is a writer and editor whose books have been nominated for an Eisner Award and eight Harvey Awards. Jason lives in Arlington, Virginia.

close
Special Event, Member Event Colonial Comics Happy Hour 21 April 2015.Tuesday, 7:30PM - 8:30PM registration required at no cost This event is open only to MHS Associate Members (age 40 and under)

Following the Colonial Comics presentation, MHS Associate Members are invited to a nearby restaurant with Jason Rodriguez to continue the discussion about historical events as subject matter for comic books and graphic novels.

Please call 617-646-0543 for more information.

 

 


 

Author Talk

Colonial Comics
Jason Rodriguez, Independent Author

5:30 Reception | 6:00 Talk

Colonial Comics by Fulcrum Publishing is a graphic novel collection of 20 stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. This illustrated book focuses on tales you cannot find in history books with stories about free thinkers, Pequots, Jewish settlers, female business owners, dedicated schoolteachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, and many other aspects of colonial life. Editor Jason Rodriguez will speak about the process of putting the collection together, ensuring historical accuracy, and selecting the topics to be covered.

close
Special Event Massachusetts History Lab 25 April 2015.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost

Students! Bring a parent, teacher, or your favorite adult and learn more about the behind-the-scene activities at one of the country’s oldest organizations devoted to our nation’s history. Throughout the day you will be introduced to a set of characters from the periods of the American Revolution and the Civil War and investigate letters, journals, newspaper articles, account books, photographs, artifacts, and more in order to unravel their stories. As you piece together the puzzles of the past in our role as historical detectives, you will have the opportunity view some of our country’s most significant and intriguing documents.

**This program is designed for students in grades 5-8. Students must register with an adult chaperone.

For more information: contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

close
Public Program Picture Freedom 29 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Jasmine Nicole Cobb, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies - Northwestern University $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members)

In the decades leading up to the end of U.S. slavery, many free Blacks sat for daguerreotypes decorated in fine garments to document their self-possession. People pictured in these early photographs used portraiture to seize control over representation of the free Black body and reimagine Black visuality divorced from the cultural logics of slavery. In Picture Freedom, Jasmine Nichole Cobb analyzes the ways in which the circulation of various images prepared free Blacks and free Whites for the emancipation of formerly unfree people of African descent. She traces the emergence of Black freedom as both an idea and as an image during the early nineteenth century. Through an analysis of popular culture of the period—including amateur portraits, racial caricatures, joke books, antislavery newspapers, abolitionist materials, runaway advertisements, ladies’ magazines, and scrapbooks, as well as scenic wallpaper—Cobb explores the earliest illustrations of free Blacks and reveals the complicated route through visual culture toward a vision of African American citizenship. 

Jasmine Nichole Cobb is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and (by courtesy) the Department of African American Studies, at Northwestern University. She earned a PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania (2009). Cobb is the recipient of numerous awards, and presently, an American Fellow of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She is the author of Picture Freedom:  Remaking Black Visuality in the Early Nineteenth Century (NYUP 2015), which explores the role of visual culture within processes of abolition and the emergence of African American emancipation.  

close
Public Program May Day Mayday! 2 May 2015.Saturday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program William Fowler, Nathaniel Philbrick, and Michael Tougias $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members)

From its founding, Massachusetts has looked towards the sea. Merchant trade, fishing, and whaling were the engines that drove the New England economy. However, the bounty of the sea was not without cost. Shipwrecks, disasters, and heroic rescues are staples of maritime history. This special evening at MHS will feature three eminent historians telling stories of catastrophes at sea and reflecting on the evening’s tales.

William Fowler is the author of a number of books dealing with American history including: Under Two Flags: The Navy in the Civil WarSilas Talbot Captain of the Old Ironsides; co-author America and The SeaWilliam Ellery: A Rhode Island Politico and Lord of AdmiraltyRebels Under Sail: The Navy in the RevolutionJack Tars and Commodores: The American Navy, 1783-1815Samuel Adams: Radical PuritanEmpires at War: The French and Indian War and The Struggle for North America, 1754-1763. He is the former Gay Hart Gaines Distinguished Fellow in American History at Mount Vernon. He has taught at Mystic Seaport Museum and has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Naval War College, and the Sea Education Association.

Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of In the Heart of the Sea, winner of the 2000 National Book Award and soon to be a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard; Sea of Glory, winner of the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Naval History Prize; Mayflower, a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in history; Bunker Hill, winner of the New England Book Award, and other bestselling works of American history.  He lives on Nantucket Island.   

Michael Tougias is an award winning author and co-author of 23 books. Among his bestsellers are A Storm Too Soon, The Finest Hours (soon to be a major motion picture by Disney), Fatal ForecastOverboard, and King Philip's War. He is a sought-after inspirational speaker to business groups such as John Hancock, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and the Gulf Coast CEO's.

close
Public Program Puritan Paradise: Eden in Massachusetts Bay & Beyond 13 May 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 6:00 program with 5:30 reception Zachary Hutchins, Assistant Professor of English – Colorado State University Utopian Settlements Series

Utopian Settlements Series
Program 1

Thomas More’s Utopia was inspired by paradisiacal descriptions of the New World, and associations between Eden and the Americas persisted throughout the colonial period. Many of the immigrants arriving in New England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries looked to the biblical garden of Adam and Eve as a pattern of the ideal society they wished to build. Religiously-minded colonists modeled the English language after the Adamic tongue, cited Genesis during debates over natural law, and looked to the prelapsarian Eve as a physiological ideal. A belief in Eden’s historicity and the future return of paradisiacal conditions inspired Quakers to disrobe in public and led to the first judicial decision abolishing slavery in United States history. New England settlers striving to invent Eden’s perfections anew shaped American history and culture in lasting ways; their visions of paradise linger in the theology of prophets from Robert Matthews to Joseph Smith and in the enduring myth of the “self-made man.”

Zach Hutchins is Assistant Professor of English at Colorado State University, where he teaches courses on early American literature and culture. His talk will draw on research recently published in his first book, Inventing Eden: Primitivism, Millennialism, and the Making of New England (Oxford UP; 2014). Hutchins is also the author of a dozen essays that have appeared in journals such as The New England Quarterly, ELH, Shakespeare, and Early American Literature. A New England native, he returns to Massachusetts regularly to wield a clamshell hoe in the garden of his aged parents, the last two surviving Puritans. 


Utopian Settlements Series

New Englanders have a long tradition of separating from society and trying to create a more perfect world. From the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Yankees have dreamed of a better world and tried to make it real. This series will explore the history of three utopian settlements that started in our backyard. Puritan Paradise with Zachary Hutchins is the first program in the series. Mr. Ripley's Utopia with Peter Drummey will take place on Wednesday, 20 May. Fruitlands with Jan Turnquist will take place on Wednesday, 27 May. We are thankful to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for its support of this series.

close
Public Program Mr. Ripley’s Utopia 20 May 2015.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Lecture and tour at Brook Farm (670 Baker Street in West Roxbury, entrance shared with the Gardens at Gethsemane) Peter Drummey from MHS and DCR Staff Utopian Settlements Series

Utopian Settlements Series
Program 2

Brook Farm, the utopian community established by George and Sophia Ripley in West Roxbury, lasted only from 1841 to 1847, but it became the country’s most celebrated experiment in Transcendentalism as a social movement. By opening the benefits of education and the profits of labor to all, the Brook Farm Association sought to prepare a society of liberal, intelligent, and cultivated men and women, whose relations with each other would permit a simple and wholesome life, apart from the competitive pressures found beyond the boundaries of the Farm. 

Peter Drummey, the Historical Society’s Stephen T. Riley Librarian (and a volunteer during the archaeological investigation of Brook Farm), will lead a discussion of what Brook Farmers attempted, what they accomplished, and why they failed as well as describing the manuscript records of the Association held by MHS.  This talk will be followed by a DCR tour of Brook Farm, led by DCR staff. We will explore the quiet woodlands and wetlands that inspired the likes of Nathaniel Hawthorne and George Ripley. 


Utopian Settlements Series

New Englanders have a long tradition of separating from society and trying to create a more perfect world. From the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Yankees have dreamed of a better world and tried to make it real. This series will explore the history of three utopian settlements that started in our backyard. The final program in the series, Fruitlands with Jan Turnquist, will take place on Wednesday, 27 May. We are thankful to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for its support of this series.

close
Public Program Fruitlands 27 May 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 6:00 program with 5:30 reception Jan Turnquist, Executive Director of Orchard House Utopian Settlements Series

Utopian Settlements Series
Program 3

Jan Turnquist, Executive Director of Orchard House, the Alcott family home in Concord will give a living history presentation of Louisa May Alcott. Looking back on her time at Fruitlands, the author of Little Women will give us the behind the scenes stories from her life: family friendships with Thoreau and Emerson; her unconventional upbringing in poverty; and the family love that inspired her to write an American classic. From the youngest reader to the most sophisticated Alcott scholar, audiences have acclaimed Turnquist’s performances. The interactive presentation is an inspiring experience is open to all ages. 


Utopian Settlements Series

New Englanders have a long tradition of separating from society and trying to create a more perfect world. From the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Yankees have dreamed of a better world and tried to make it real. This series will explore the history of three utopian settlements that started in our backyard. Fruitlands with Jan Turnquist is the final program in the series. We are thankful to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for its support of this series.

close

Back to top