September 2013
Building Closed Labor Day 2 September 2013.Monday, all day The MHS will be closed Saturday, 31 August, and Monday, 2 September, in observance of Labor Day. The MHS will be closed Saturday, 31 August, and Monday, 2 September, in observance of Labor Day.

The MHS will be closed Saturday, 31 August, and Monday, 2 September, in observance of Labor Day.

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Brown Bag Brahmin Capitalism: Bankers, Populists, and the Making of the Modern American Economy 4 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Noam Maggor, Vanderbilt University This project charts the business and politics of Boston’s late-nineteenth-century ...

This project charts the business and politics of Boston’s late-nineteenth-century transformation from an anchor of an industrial region into the second largest banking center in North America. It explores how a vanguard of financiers from the city’s old elite created a wide-ranging network of capital flows that funded railroads, mines, agriculture, and industry across the continent, and how this process of capital migration, in turn, redefined urban politics on the local level. Far from seamless, this transformation triggered an array of political controversies over the priorities of city government, and more broadly, over the future shape of American capitalism.

More
Exhibitionends "The Education of Our Children Is Never out of My Mind" 7 September 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm From 13 June through 7 September, the Society will display letters written by John and Abigail ...

Letter from John Adams to Abigail, August 28, 1774From 13 June through 7 September, the Society will display letters written by John and Abigail Adams to each other, to their children, and to friends and family regarding their views on education.

In a letter to his wife, Abigail, dated August 28, 1774, John Adams writes: “The Education of our Children is never out of my Mind. Train them to Virtue, habituate them to industry, activity, and Spirit. Make them consider every Vice, as shamefull and unmanly: fire them with Ambition to be usefull-make them disdain to be destitute of any usefull, or ornamental Knowledge or Accomplishment. Fix their Ambition upon great and solid Objects, and their Contempt upon little, frivolous, and useless ones.”

More
Exhibitionends The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Massachusetts Historical Society 7 September 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM What is the meaning of historical objects? Why are they preserved, and why have they survived? Are ...

What is the meaning of historical objects? Why are they preserved, and why have they survived? Are they valued for their associations with notable historical figures or landmark events, as objects of beauty, as the survival of relics from a distant past, or for the stories they convey? The exhibition explores these questions through the display of 18th-century portraits and objects from the Society's collections, along with rarely seen engravings, needlework, maps, weapons, furniture, clothing, scientific instruments, and silver.

More
Public Program, Author Talk The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changes His Mind & Changed the History of Free Speech in America 9 September 2013.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Thomas Healy Free speech as we know it comes less from the First Amendment than from a most unexpected source: ...

Free speech as we know it comes less from the First Amendment than from a most unexpected source: Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Law professor Thomas Healy reconstructs Holmes’s journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero. It is the story of a remarkable behind-the-scenes campaign by a group of progressives to bring a legal icon around to their way of thinking—and a deeply touching human narrative of an old man saved from loneliness and despair by a few unlikely young friends.

More
Brown Bag Friendship in Colonial New England, 1750-1775 11 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jill Bouchillon, University of Stirling This talk will examine the different types of friendships presented in New England's print culture ...

This talk will examine the different types of friendships presented in New England's print culture during the pre-Revolutionary era. Although there is a continuity of interpersonal elements inherently understood about friendship, it is the normative social construction that is particular to time and place. This is perceptible in the popularity of certain texts and characters, in how they were received by New England colonists and how they represented nuances of friendship during the period.

More
Public Program, Author Talk History Matters: Reflections on Efforts to Make It Come out Right 12 September 2013.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Bernard Bailyn, Harvard University A talk by Bernard Bailyn, Adams University Professor and James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early ...

A talk by Bernard Bailyn, Adams University Professor and James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History emeritus at Harvard University. His books include The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600–1675; The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, which received the Pulitzer and Bancroft Prizes; The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson, which won the National Book Award for History; and Voyagers to the West, which won the Pulitzer Prize.

To Register: Tickets are $10 per person (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or register online by clicking the ticket icon above.

More
Brown Bag Manufacturing Advantage: Boston Merchant-Industrialists and the Federal Government, 1790-1840 18 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Lindsay Schakenbach, Brown University This project examines the process by which the federal government made possible the rise of the ...

This project examines the process by which the federal government made possible the rise of the Waltham-Lowell system, the first integrated factory system in the United States. While this predecessor to modern industry is typically viewed as a product of merchant wealth and innovative entrepreneurship, it also benefited from federal support in the form of diplomacy, national expansion, and patent legislation. This research is part of her dissertation, which seeks to explain the early republican transition from merchant to industrial capitalism by analyzing the development of the New England arms and textile industries in the context of federal patronage and expanding U.S. geopolitical dominance in the Americas.

More
Smuggler Nation Public Program, Author Talk Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America 18 September 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Peter Andreas, Brown University Providing a sweeping narrative history from colonial times to the present, Smuggler Nation ...

Smuggler NationProviding a sweeping narrative history from colonial times to the present, Smuggler Nation is the first book to retell the story of America as a series of highly contentious battles over clandestine commerce. As Peter Andreas demonstrates, smuggling has played a pivotal role in America's birth, westward expansion, and economic development, while anti-smuggling campaigns have enhanced the federal government's policing powers.

Peter Andreas is Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Brown University. His research focuses on the intersection between security, political economy, and cross-border crime in comparative and historical perspective. His books include, Blue Helmets and Black Markets: The Business of Survival in the Siege of Sarajevo (2008); Policing the Globe: Criminalization and Crime Control in International Relations (2006); and Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico Divide (2nd edition 2009).

To Register: Tickets are $10 per person (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or register online by clicking the ticket icon above.

More
Graduate Student Reception 19 September 2013.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Calling all graduate students and faculty! Please plan to join us for our fourth annual Graduate ...

Calling all graduate students and faculty! Please plan to join us for our fourth annual Graduate Student Reception. This is a wonderful opportunity for students in history, American Studies, and related fields to meet people from other universities, enjoy great refreshments, and learn about the resources that the MHS has to offer. Last year students from more than a dozen universities participated. This event is free of charge; RSVP required: phone 617-646-0568 or email kviens@masshist.org.

More
City Water, City Life Public Program, Author Talk City Water, City Life: The Infrastructure of Ideas in Urbanizing Boston 23 September 2013.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Carl Smith, Northwestern University This talk will discuss how a city is more than a massing of citizens, a layout of buildings and ...

City Water, City LifeThis talk will discuss how a city is more than a massing of citizens, a layout of buildings and streets, or an arrangement of political, economic, and social institutions. It is also an infrastructure of ideas, an embodiment of the beliefs, values, and aspirations of the people who created it. In no instance was this more the case than in the construction of Boston’s first comprehensive public waterworks, the Cochituate aqueduct system, which opened on 25 October 1848.

Carl Smith is the Franklyn Bliss Snyder Professor of English & American Studies at Northwestern University where he teaches American literature and cultural history. He is the author of numerous books, including Chicago and the American Literary Imagination, 1880-1920 (1984) and of Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief: The Great Chicago Fire, the Haymarket Bomb, and the Model Town of Pullman (1994), which won the Urban History Association's prize for Best Book in North American Urban History and the Society of Midland Authors' first prize for non-fiction. His most recent book, The Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City (2006), won the Lewis Mumford Prize for Best Book in Planning History, given by the Society of American City, Regional, and Planning History.

To Register: Tickets are $10 per person (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or register online by clicking the ticket icon above.

More
Public Program, Author Talk Amy Lowell Anew 24 September 2013.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Carl Rollyson, Baruch College The controversial American poet Amy Lowell (1874–1925) excelled as the impresario for the ...

The controversial American poet Amy Lowell (1874–1925) excelled as the impresario for the “new poetry” that became news across the U.S. in the years after World War I. This provocative new biography restores Amy Lowell to her full humanity in an era that, at last, is beginning to appreciate the contributions of gays and lesbians to America’s cultural heritage.

Carl Rollyson, professor of journalism at Baruch College, will focus on the discovery of letters in the Society’s collections that altered his understanding of the shape and significance of the poet’s life. Rollyson has published more than 40 books ranging in subject matter from biographies of Marilyn Monroe, Lillian Hellman, Martha Gellhorn, Norman Mailer, Rebecca West, Susan Sontag, Jill Craigie, Dana Andrews, Sylvia Plath, and Amy Lowell to studies of American culture, genealogy, children's biography, film and literary criticism.

More
Immigration and Urban History Seminar Emergent Ghettos: Black Neighborhoods in New York and Chicago, 1880-1940 24 September 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM John Logan, Brown University Comment: William Julius Wilson, Harvard University Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568. Authors ...

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.

More
Brown Bag Narrative of a Journey: Louisa Catherine Adams and the Vexed Question of Identity 25 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Louisa Thomas, author of Conscience: Two Soldiers, Two Pacifists, One Family--A Test of Will and Faith in World War I (2011) This program will present research from a forthcoming biography of Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, ...

This program will present research from a forthcoming biography of Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, especially focusing on new evidence about her background. It will also explore tensions in her writings, in an attempt to understand her better as a Johnson, as an Adams, and simply as herself. 

More
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Building Closed Labor Day 2 September 2013.Monday, all day The MHS will be closed Saturday, 31 August, and Monday, 2 September, in observance of Labor Day.

The MHS will be closed Saturday, 31 August, and Monday, 2 September, in observance of Labor Day.

close

Brown Bag Brahmin Capitalism: Bankers, Populists, and the Making of the Modern American Economy 4 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Noam Maggor, Vanderbilt University

This project charts the business and politics of Boston’s late-nineteenth-century transformation from an anchor of an industrial region into the second largest banking center in North America. It explores how a vanguard of financiers from the city’s old elite created a wide-ranging network of capital flows that funded railroads, mines, agriculture, and industry across the continent, and how this process of capital migration, in turn, redefined urban politics on the local level. Far from seamless, this transformation triggered an array of political controversies over the priorities of city government, and more broadly, over the future shape of American capitalism.

close

Exhibition "The Education of Our Children Is Never out of My Mind" Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm

Letter from John Adams to Abigail, August 28, 1774From 13 June through 7 September, the Society will display letters written by John and Abigail Adams to each other, to their children, and to friends and family regarding their views on education.

In a letter to his wife, Abigail, dated August 28, 1774, John Adams writes: “The Education of our Children is never out of my Mind. Train them to Virtue, habituate them to industry, activity, and Spirit. Make them consider every Vice, as shamefull and unmanly: fire them with Ambition to be usefull-make them disdain to be destitute of any usefull, or ornamental Knowledge or Accomplishment. Fix their Ambition upon great and solid Objects, and their Contempt upon little, frivolous, and useless ones.”

close

Exhibition The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Massachusetts Historical Society Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM

What is the meaning of historical objects? Why are they preserved, and why have they survived? Are they valued for their associations with notable historical figures or landmark events, as objects of beauty, as the survival of relics from a distant past, or for the stories they convey? The exhibition explores these questions through the display of 18th-century portraits and objects from the Society's collections, along with rarely seen engravings, needlework, maps, weapons, furniture, clothing, scientific instruments, and silver.

close

Public Program, Author Talk The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changes His Mind & Changed the History of Free Speech in America 9 September 2013.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Thomas Healy

Free speech as we know it comes less from the First Amendment than from a most unexpected source: Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Law professor Thomas Healy reconstructs Holmes’s journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero. It is the story of a remarkable behind-the-scenes campaign by a group of progressives to bring a legal icon around to their way of thinking—and a deeply touching human narrative of an old man saved from loneliness and despair by a few unlikely young friends.

close

Brown Bag Friendship in Colonial New England, 1750-1775 11 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jill Bouchillon, University of Stirling

This talk will examine the different types of friendships presented in New England's print culture during the pre-Revolutionary era. Although there is a continuity of interpersonal elements inherently understood about friendship, it is the normative social construction that is particular to time and place. This is perceptible in the popularity of certain texts and characters, in how they were received by New England colonists and how they represented nuances of friendship during the period.

close

Public Program, Author Talk History Matters: Reflections on Efforts to Make It Come out Right 12 September 2013.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Bernard Bailyn, Harvard University

A talk by Bernard Bailyn, Adams University Professor and James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History emeritus at Harvard University. His books include The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600–1675; The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, which received the Pulitzer and Bancroft Prizes; The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson, which won the National Book Award for History; and Voyagers to the West, which won the Pulitzer Prize.

To Register: Tickets are $10 per person (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or register online by clicking the ticket icon above.

close

Brown Bag Manufacturing Advantage: Boston Merchant-Industrialists and the Federal Government, 1790-1840 18 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Lindsay Schakenbach, Brown University

This project examines the process by which the federal government made possible the rise of the Waltham-Lowell system, the first integrated factory system in the United States. While this predecessor to modern industry is typically viewed as a product of merchant wealth and innovative entrepreneurship, it also benefited from federal support in the form of diplomacy, national expansion, and patent legislation. This research is part of her dissertation, which seeks to explain the early republican transition from merchant to industrial capitalism by analyzing the development of the New England arms and textile industries in the context of federal patronage and expanding U.S. geopolitical dominance in the Americas.

close

Public Program, Author Talk Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America 18 September 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Peter Andreas, Brown University Smuggler Nation

Smuggler NationProviding a sweeping narrative history from colonial times to the present, Smuggler Nation is the first book to retell the story of America as a series of highly contentious battles over clandestine commerce. As Peter Andreas demonstrates, smuggling has played a pivotal role in America's birth, westward expansion, and economic development, while anti-smuggling campaigns have enhanced the federal government's policing powers.

Peter Andreas is Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Brown University. His research focuses on the intersection between security, political economy, and cross-border crime in comparative and historical perspective. His books include, Blue Helmets and Black Markets: The Business of Survival in the Siege of Sarajevo (2008); Policing the Globe: Criminalization and Crime Control in International Relations (2006); and Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico Divide (2nd edition 2009).

To Register: Tickets are $10 per person (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or register online by clicking the ticket icon above.

close

Graduate Student Reception 19 September 2013.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM

Calling all graduate students and faculty! Please plan to join us for our fourth annual Graduate Student Reception. This is a wonderful opportunity for students in history, American Studies, and related fields to meet people from other universities, enjoy great refreshments, and learn about the resources that the MHS has to offer. Last year students from more than a dozen universities participated. This event is free of charge; RSVP required: phone 617-646-0568 or email kviens@masshist.org.

close

Public Program, Author Talk City Water, City Life: The Infrastructure of Ideas in Urbanizing Boston 23 September 2013.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Carl Smith, Northwestern University City Water, City Life

City Water, City LifeThis talk will discuss how a city is more than a massing of citizens, a layout of buildings and streets, or an arrangement of political, economic, and social institutions. It is also an infrastructure of ideas, an embodiment of the beliefs, values, and aspirations of the people who created it. In no instance was this more the case than in the construction of Boston’s first comprehensive public waterworks, the Cochituate aqueduct system, which opened on 25 October 1848.

Carl Smith is the Franklyn Bliss Snyder Professor of English & American Studies at Northwestern University where he teaches American literature and cultural history. He is the author of numerous books, including Chicago and the American Literary Imagination, 1880-1920 (1984) and of Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief: The Great Chicago Fire, the Haymarket Bomb, and the Model Town of Pullman (1994), which won the Urban History Association's prize for Best Book in North American Urban History and the Society of Midland Authors' first prize for non-fiction. His most recent book, The Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City (2006), won the Lewis Mumford Prize for Best Book in Planning History, given by the Society of American City, Regional, and Planning History.

To Register: Tickets are $10 per person (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or register online by clicking the ticket icon above.

close

Public Program, Author Talk Amy Lowell Anew 24 September 2013.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Carl Rollyson, Baruch College

The controversial American poet Amy Lowell (1874–1925) excelled as the impresario for the “new poetry” that became news across the U.S. in the years after World War I. This provocative new biography restores Amy Lowell to her full humanity in an era that, at last, is beginning to appreciate the contributions of gays and lesbians to America’s cultural heritage.

Carl Rollyson, professor of journalism at Baruch College, will focus on the discovery of letters in the Society’s collections that altered his understanding of the shape and significance of the poet’s life. Rollyson has published more than 40 books ranging in subject matter from biographies of Marilyn Monroe, Lillian Hellman, Martha Gellhorn, Norman Mailer, Rebecca West, Susan Sontag, Jill Craigie, Dana Andrews, Sylvia Plath, and Amy Lowell to studies of American culture, genealogy, children's biography, film and literary criticism.

close

Immigration and Urban History Seminar Emergent Ghettos: Black Neighborhoods in New York and Chicago, 1880-1940 24 September 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM John Logan, Brown University Comment: William Julius Wilson, Harvard University

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.

close

Brown Bag Narrative of a Journey: Louisa Catherine Adams and the Vexed Question of Identity 25 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Louisa Thomas, author of Conscience: Two Soldiers, Two Pacifists, One Family--A Test of Will and Faith in World War I (2011)

This program will present research from a forthcoming biography of Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, especially focusing on new evidence about her background. It will also explore tensions in her writings, in an attempt to understand her better as a Johnson, as an Adams, and simply as herself. 

close


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