October

Early American History Seminar John Marshall, Slaveowner and Jurist 3 October 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Paul Finkelman, University of Pittsburgh School of Law Comment: R. Kent Newmyer, University of Connecticut This chapter from Finkelman’s forthcoming book examines the personal and professional life of ...

This chapter from Finkelman’s forthcoming book examines the personal and professional life of Chief Justice John Marshall in the context of his relationship to slavery. Though previous studies downplay Marshall’s slavery jurisprudence and his slaveholding, this paper argues that Marshall as a Supreme Court justice always favored slavery over freedom, and that this reflected his personal investment, emotional and economic, in slavery.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Commerce and the Material Culture of the Maritime Atlantic World 4 October 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM J. Ritchie Garrison, University of Delaware This talk considers the maritime economy in the early modern Atlantic World, focusing on the ...

This talk considers the maritime economy in the early modern Atlantic World, focusing on the infrastructure of commercial exchanges as port cities adapted to larger ships, increased consumer goods, and productivity challenges in environments that included bays, rivers, and estuaries. The argument is grounded on historical documents, maps, objects, and archaeological fieldwork to show that people—from dock workers to financiers—sought to stabilize local variables to accommodate rapid market shifts.

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Yankees in the West Member Event, Special Event Yankees in the West: Fellows & Members Preview & Reception 5 October 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members Sara Martin, MHS MHS Fellows and Members are invited to join us on 5 October as we celebrate the arrival of  ...

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to join us on 5 October as we celebrate the arrival of Catherine Allgor, incoming president of the MHS, and open Yankees in the West

 - Welcome, Paul Sandman, Chair, Board of Trustees

- Remarks, Catherine Allgor, President

- ‘Where the sunset beckons’: Henry Adams in the West, Sara Martin, Editor in Chief, Adams Papers


Yankees in the West
For generations Americans have been fascinated with the American west. Depictions of the western landscape flooded New England in the mid 19th century, spurring a stream of western tourism. The exhibition draws from the Society’s collections of letters, diaries, photographs, drawings, and artifacts to explore the ways New Englanders experienced the trans-Mississippi west in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Yankees in the West Exhibitionbegins Yankees in the West 6 October 2017.Friday, 10:00AM - 12:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM For generations Americans have been fascinated with the American west. Depictions of the western ...

For generations Americans have been fascinated with the American west. Depictions of the western landscape flooded New England in the mid19th century, spurring a stream of western tourism. Yankees in the West draws from the Society's collections of letters, diaries, photographs, drawings, and artifacts to explore the ways New Englanders experienced the trans-Mississippi west in the late19th and early 20th centuries.

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Public Program Canceled: How Boston Became the 'West': George Ticknor and the Arrival of Spanish Culture to the United States 6 October 2017.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Ricardo Miguel Alfonso, University of Castilla-La Mancha This program is cancelled due to a family emergency    George Ticknor, William H. ...

This program is cancelled due to a family emergency 

 

George Ticknor, William H. Prescott, and other New Englanders wrote about Spain and the Spanish people in the early- to mid 19th century. Boston became a center for publishing Spanish literature and discussing Spanish culture as well as creating and perpetuating stereotypes as the Spanish empire came to be replaced by the American one. This helped to shape U.S.–Spain cultural relations until the Spanish-American War and helped to define America as the West.

 

Image: Thomas Sully, George Ticknor, 1831, oil on canvas. Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 7 October 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Public Program MHS Open House 9 October 2017.Monday, 10:00AM - 3:00PM There is limited street parking and several garages nearby. The use of public transportation is highly recommended. MHS Staff   Visit the MHS and view Yankees in the West, an exhibition of letters, diaries, photographs, ...

 

Visit the MHS and view Yankees in the West, an exhibition of letters, diaries, photographs, drawings, and artifacts that explores the ways New Englanders experienced the trans-Mississippi west in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Free and open to the public, the open house is part of the Opening Our Doors celebration in the Fenway Cultural District.

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Library Closed, Galleries Open Columbus Day 9 October 2017.Monday, all day The MHS library is CLOSED; the exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-3:00PM.

The MHS library is CLOSED; the exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-3:00PM.

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Environmental History Seminar Early American Environmental Histories 10 October 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM James Rice, Tufts University Comment: Christopher Parsons, Northeastern University This essay speaks to questions raised in a recent workshop at the Huntington on early American ...

This essay speaks to questions raised in a recent workshop at the Huntington on early American environmental history. How do timespan and scale change our understanding of historical relationships between people and their environments? What new light does environmental history shed on topics such as race, gender, or law? What can early Americanists contribute to the field of environmental history as a whole?

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Author Talk Steam Titans: Cunard, Collins and the Epic Battle for Commerce on the North Atlantic 12 October 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. William M. Fowler, Jr., Northeastern University $20 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows)     Steam travel transformed the Atlantic into a pulsating highway, dominated by ports ...

 

 

Steam travel transformed the Atlantic into a pulsating highway, dominated by ports in Liverpool and New York. American raw materials flowed eastward, while goods, capital, people, and technology crossed westward. Steam Titans tells the story of a transatlantic fight to seize control of the globe’s most lucrative trade route. Two men—Samuel Cunard and Edward Knight Collins—and two nations wielded the tools of technology, finance, and politics to compete for control of a commercial lifeline that spanned the North Atlantic.

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Brown Bag Women and Household Authority in Colonial New England 13 October 2017.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Caylin Carbonell, The College of William and Mary In their households and communities, women in colonial New England wielded authority and were ...

In their households and communities, women in colonial New England wielded authority and were subjected to the authority of others, often shifting between these positions of dependence and authority. This project interrogates women's vertical and horizontal relationships with other members of their households, as well as their involvement in the daily operation of their homes, to show colonial households as contested spaces wherein authority was negotiated rather than assumed.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 14 October 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Brown Bag ‘Lived Botany’: Settler Colonialism and Natural History in British North America 16 October 2017.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Hannah Anderson, University of Pennsylvania Natural historians in early America frequently benefited from information and plants provided by non ...

Natural historians in early America frequently benefited from information and plants provided by non-elite colonists. Yet these colonists did not think about plants using the categories and rules of natural history, but relied upon a form of knowledge that I call ‘lived botany.’ My term ‘lived botany’ reveals that settlers described plants using methods inspired by material culture, household production, and more. ‘Lived botany’ shaped early American natural history, and facilitated settler colonialism by allowing colonists to adapt to new environments in the Atlantic world.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Panel Discussion: Gender, Sexuality, and the New Labor History 17 October 2017.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Fay House, Radcliffe Institute Anne G. Balay, Haverford College; Aimee Loiselle, University of Connecticut; Traci L. Parker, UMass-Amherst Moderator: Seth Rockman, Brown University The “New Labor History” is highly gendered, global, and often situated in spaces that ...

The “New Labor History” is highly gendered, global, and often situated in spaces that are transitory or obscured. This session will consider the new directions that the path-breaking work of these three scholars indicates: on female, trans, and intersex truck drivers and state surveillance (Balay), on Puerto Rican needleworkers and the global working class (Loiselle), and on African American women workers in the post-Civil Rights Era (Parker). Note: There are no pre-circulated essays for this session.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Palatable Slavery: Food, Race, and Freedom in the British Atlantic, 1620-1838 18 October 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Heather Sanford, Brown University This project uses food in the British Atlantic to understand ideas about the body, race, and freedom ...

This project uses food in the British Atlantic to understand ideas about the body, race, and freedom. In New England, the Caribbean, and the Gold Coast of Africa, supplies of foodstuffs sustained colonization and slavery. Food allowed for survival, and also demarcated hierarchies of class, gender, and especially race. However, subjugated populations often used food-related practices to negotiate degrees of freedom within (and in defiance of) oppressive systems of colonization and slavery.

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Biography Seminar Chasing Your Subject: Traveling Biographers, Traveling Subjects 19 October 2017.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM RSVP required Paul Fisher, Wellesley College; Charlotte Gordon, Endicott College; Sue Quinn, author Moderator: Carol Bundy, Civil War biographer What do biographers learn when they travel to distant parts and foreign countries in pursuit of ...

What do biographers learn when they travel to distant parts and foreign countries in pursuit of their subjects? Is travel a necessary component to writing biography? And what challenges does a traveling subject present to a biographer? This panel will include Paul Fisher, who has traveled extensively to research his work in progress, The Grand Affair: John Singer Sargent, His Patrons, and Sexuality in the Art World of the Belle Epoque; Charlotte Gordon, whose latest book, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, also took her all over Europe; and Sue Quinn, author of Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady and earlier biographies of Marie Curie and Karen Horney, who has pursued her subjects from Hyde Park to Warsaw and Tokyo.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579

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Public Program Looking West from the East 20 October 2017.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Da Zheng, Suffolk University     Artist, poet, lecturer, and best selling author Chiang Yee is best known for his ...

 

 

Artist, poet, lecturer, and best selling author Chiang Yee is best known for his Silent Traveler books, which offered a Chinese perspective of London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, and Boston. Chiang was also good friends with historian, author, and Boston Athenaeum librarian Walt Whitehill, whose papers are at the MHS. This biographical sketch offers a unique perspective on America and the immigrant experience as well as a glimpse into the life of the Silent Traveler through one of his closest friendships.

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Teacher Workshop The Material Culture of Death 21 October 2017.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Registration fee: $25 per person Grief was serious business in the nineteenth century. We will explore grim reminders of lives lost ...

Grief was serious business in the nineteenth century. We will explore grim reminders of lives lost such as mourning jewelry, postmortem photographs, samplers, and household goods. Women played an important role in creating these objects and fostering remembrance, but so too did photographers, artists, and con men. Using documents and photographs from the Society’s collections participants can investigate spirit photography, the spiritualist movement, and other fascinating intersections of technology, faith, and grief.

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 PDPs or one graduate credit (for an additional fee).

Image: John Gray mourning ring, Gold, enamel, crystal, gold foil, hair by unidentified goldsmith. [Boston?, 1763]

Highlights:

  • Meet Peter Manseau and discuss his new book, The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln's Ghost.
  • Investigate the causes of the growing popularity of mourning souvenirs (such as china, handkerchiefs, needlework, medals, and jewelry)  the nineteenth century.  
  • View and and analyze photographs and artifacts from the Society's collection. 
  • Take a walking tour of three of downtown Boston's burying grounds with Boston By Foot and dig deeper into the religious views, practices, symbolism, and traditions of death in Boston.
  • Discover suggestions for connecting material culture of death to curriculum frameworks, as well as modern-day practices. 


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Public Program, Author Talk The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography & the Man Who Captured Lincoln's Ghost 21 October 2017.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Peter Manseau, Smithsonian National Museum of American History More than just a ghost story, this is a portrait of a young nation struggling to separate fact from ...

More than just a ghost story, this is a portrait of a young nation struggling to separate fact from fiction. Manseau details the trial of William H. Mumler, the “spirit photographer” who claimed he could take pictures of the souls of the dead, along with the battlefield exploits of Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner, the fathers of photojournalism who created frauds of their own. These stories offer a view of our nation’s obsession with the afterlife and our reluctance to choose science over fantasy.

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Brown Bag "Let it be your resolution to be happy": Women's Emotion Work in the Early Republic 23 October 2017.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Laura McCoy, Northwestern University Tasked with maintaining the comfort and happiness of their families even in the face of adversity, ...

Tasked with maintaining the comfort and happiness of their families even in the face of adversity, many middling- and upper-class women in the early-nineteenth century saw expressing and managing emotions as the foundation of their daily labors. This talk explores the everyday realities of this emotion work and helps us understand women’s actions and self-perceptions—as well as wider familial and social dynamics—in the early republic.

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Conversation, Public Program Advise and Dissent? The Role of Public History in Modern Life 23 October 2017.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm. There is a $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows) Karilyn Crockett, Office of Economic Development, City of Boston; Brian W. J. LeMay, independent scholar; Richard Rabinowitz, American History Workshop and author, Curating America: Journeys through Storyscapes of the American Past; and Moderator Katheryn P. Viens, Massachusetts Historical Society What is the role of historical organizations in a politically polarized environment, a world of ...

What is the role of historical organizations in a politically polarized environment, a world of “alternative facts” and a social fabric that is being torn apart by political and class divides? Many historians and public historical organizations are changing the way they work, offering their talents and skills as advocates and healers. Yet, they face a complex public. Some audience members embrace the opportunity to engage in dialogue over difficult issues. Others seek a more entertaining, escapist experience. Still others are alert to activities that appear to overstep the traditional role of museums or to signal that their own perspectives might be unwelcome. Some visitors yearn for the inclusion of minority viewpoints but consider museums too inherently biased to present these narratives. It is all a challenging prospect for organizations that are seeking to be truly inclusive and build broad public support. Join us for a compelling conversation.

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Allaying Terror: Domesticating Artisan Refugees in South Vietnam, 1956 24 October 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Jennifer Way, University of North Texas Comment: Robert Lee, Brown University This essay explores the publication of photographs of North Vietnam refugee artisans in English ...

This essay explores the publication of photographs of North Vietnam refugee artisans in English-language mass print media. These images served as an extension of American economic diplomacy. They aimed at resettling and domesticating the refugees while diminishing white American middle-class anxieties about the potential spread of communism in South Vietnam, a place Sen. John F. Kennedy pronounced “the cornerstone of the Free World in Southeast Asia.”

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Political Appetites: Revolution, Taste, and Culinary Activism in the Early Republic 25 October 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nancy Siegel, Towson University Culinary activists furthered republican values in the revolutionary era as part of a political and ...

Culinary activists furthered republican values in the revolutionary era as part of a political and cultural ideology. They developed a culinary vocabulary expressed in words and actions such as the refusal to consume politically charged comestibles, like imported tea, and the celebration of a national horticulture. Through these choices, they established a culinary discourse involving food, political culture, and national identity from the Stamp Act to the early republic.

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Walking Tour, Public Program Weird and Worrisome Tour 25 October 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Meet at Loring-Greenough House, 12 South Street, Jamaica Plain, Boston Hosted by the MHS, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and Jamaica Plain Historical Society Sold OUT THIS TOUR IS SOLD OUT! All neighborhoods have secrets but some are stranger than others. Just in ...

THIS TOUR IS SOLD OUT!

All neighborhoods have secrets but some are stranger than others. Just in time for Halloween, we will explore Jamaica Plain in Boston. Participants will stop at sites of anarchist robberies, stuffed elephants, and a nervine asylum and hear tales of trainwrecks and things that lurk beneath the surface of Jamaica Pond. The tour is hosted in collaboration with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and the Jamaica Plain Historical Society.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 28 October 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Public Program, Author Talk Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson 30 October 2017.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. $20 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows) Gordon S. Wood, Brown University SOLD OUT -If you would like to be added to the wait-list, please email programs@masshist.org THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT.    Thomas Jefferson and John Adams could ...

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. 

 

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams could scarcely have come from more different worlds or been more different in temperament. Jefferson, the optimist, was an aristocratic Southern slaveowner, while Adams, the overachiever from New England’s middle classes, was a skeptic. They worked closely in the crucible of revolution, but ultimately, their differences would lead to a crisis, in their friendship and the nation. But late in life these two men were nudged into reconciliation. What started as a trickle of correspondence became a flood, and a friendship was rekindled.

 

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November
Brown Bag Equal School Rights: Black Girlhood and School Desegregation in Antebellum Massachusetts 1 November 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kabria Baumgartner, University of New Hampshire Eunice Ross. Phebe Ann Boston. Sarah Roberts. Sarah Parker Remond. Charlotte Forten Grimké. ...

Eunice Ross. Phebe Ann Boston. Sarah Roberts. Sarah Parker Remond. Charlotte Forten Grimké. Joanna Turpin Howard. These six African American women, among others, played an integral role in the fight to desegregate public schools in antebellum Massachusetts. They authored anti-discrimination petitions, they helped to organize boycotts, and they wrote missives against racial prejudice. As this school desegregation campaign grew, so too did an activist network that bound together African American women, men, and children as well as their allies from Salem to Nantucket to Boston.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 4 November 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Early American History Seminar British Caledonia: English America and the Scottish Darien Project, 1675-1702 7 November 2017.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM RSVP required Craig Gallagher, Boston College Comment: Hannah Muller, Brandeis University Beginning in 1695, Scots at home and abroad flocked to support their country's nascent colony on ...

Beginning in 1695, Scots at home and abroad flocked to support their country's nascent colony on the Darien isthmus in Panama. This paper argues that Scots’ enthusiasm for the Darien project stemmed not from national impulses, but from a desire to define their status in a liberal, Protestant British Atlantic World alongside their colonial American allies and patrons.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579. Please note that unlike other sessions in the series, this session begins at 5:30 pm.

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Brown Bag Politics at the Poles: Liberty Poles and the Popular Struggle for the New Republic 8 November 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Shira Lurie, University of Virginia This project examines conflicts over liberty poles in the 1790s. Liberty poles offered grassroots ...

This project examines conflicts over liberty poles in the 1790s. Liberty poles offered grassroots partisans a tangible symbol through which to channel debates about political participation, popular sovereignty, and dissent under the new Constitution.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Conversation The Weeping Angel: Letter and Poems from World War I France 8 November 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Mary Kelley, editor, and Christopher Capozzola, MIT $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows) Army recruitment posters proclaimed “Join up and be in France in 60 days.” Young high ...

Army recruitment posters proclaimed “Join up and be in France in 60 days.” Young high school graduate Hubert Kelley answered the call. Working as a soldier on the railroads in France during World War I, he found his vocation as a poet and writer through vivid letters to family. Kelley will describe her efforts to retrace the forgotten history of a perceptive observer of the war’s destruction, and Capozzola will comment on the letters’ contribution to new historical understandings that have emerged during the war’s centennial.

 

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Building Closed Veterans Day 10 November 2017.Friday, all day The MHS is CLOSED for Veterans Day (observed).

The MHS is CLOSED for Veterans Day (observed).

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Building Closed Veterans Day 11 November 2017.Saturday, all day The MHS is CLOSED for Veterans Day.

The MHS is CLOSED for Veterans Day.

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Environmental History Seminar Drafting the Cape Cod Formula 14 November 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Jacqueline Gonzales, Historical Research Associates Comment: Steven Moga, Smith College When the National Park Service wanted to create a federal park on Cape Cod, residents worried about ...

When the National Park Service wanted to create a federal park on Cape Cod, residents worried about what would happen to their homes, communities, and coastal traditions. This paper examines how citizens articulated their concerns, and how these responses helped the NPS and Senators John F. Kennedy and Leverett Saltonstall to create a new acquisition and land management policy that would then be applied to other living landscapes.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag The Roasting of Hugh Peter: Satire and Politics in Early America 15 November 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Adrian Weimer, Providence College Accused regicide and former pastor of Salem, Massachusetts, Hugh Peter was the target of colorful ...

Accused regicide and former pastor of Salem, Massachusetts, Hugh Peter was the target of colorful satirical ballads and mock-sermons in the mid-seventeenth century. This presentation will explore the ways Royalists attacked Peter as a way of mocking the culture of puritanism, expressing anxieties about the very existence of puritan colonies.

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Public Program, Author Talk Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty 16 November 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. John Boles, Rice University $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows) Jefferson challenges us more thoroughly than any other Founder; he was at once the most idealistic, ...

Jefferson challenges us more thoroughly than any other Founder; he was at once the most idealistic, contradictory, and quintessentially American of them all. This biography does not ignore aspects of Jefferson that trouble us today but strives to see him in full and understand him amid the sweeping upheaval of his times. From his inspiring defenses of political and religious liberty to his heterodox abridgment of Christian belief, this book explores Jefferson’s expansive intellectual life and the profound impact of his ideas on the world.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 18 November 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Public Program, Author Talk Schlesinger: The Imperial Historian 20 November 2017.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Richard Aldous, Bard College in conversation with Fredrik Logevall, Harvard University $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows) Drawing on oral histories, rarely seen archival documents, and the official Schlesinger papers, this ...

Drawing on oral histories, rarely seen archival documents, and the official Schlesinger papers, this biography crafts an invaluable portrait of a brilliant and controversial historian who framed America’s rise to global empire. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., the architect of John F. Kennedy’s legacy, redefined the art of presidential biography. A Thousand Days, his best selling record of the Kennedy administration, remains immensely influential and cemented his place as one of the nation’s greatest political image makers.

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Building Closed Thanksgiving 23 November 2017.Thursday, all day The MHS is CLOSED for Thanksgiving.

The MHS is CLOSED for Thanksgiving.

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Library Closed, Galleries Open Thanksgiving 24 November 2017.Friday, 12:00PM - 11:59PM The MHS library is CLOSED; the exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

The MHS library is CLOSED; the exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 25 November 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

More
Library Closed, Galleries Open Thanksgiving 25 November 2017.Saturday, all day The MHS library is CLOSED; the exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

The MHS library is CLOSED; the exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Conversation The New Annotated African American Folktales 27 November 2017.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University, and Maria Tatar, Harvard University $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows) This new publication presents nearly 150 African American stories, among them familiar Brer Rabbit ...

This new publication presents nearly 150 African American stories, among them familiar Brer Rabbit classics, but also stories like “The Talking Skull” and “Witches Who Ride,” as well as out-of-print tales from the 1890s’ Southern Workman. Arguing for the value of these stories as part of a sophisticated, complex, and heterogeneous cultural heritage, Gates and Tatar show how these stories deserve a place alongside the classic works of African American literature and American literature more broadly.

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Panel Discussion: Volunteerism and Civil Society in the Twentieth Century 28 November 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required K. Ian Shin, Bates College, and Chris Staysniak, Boston College Comment: Timothy Neary, Salve Regina University This panel considers volunteerism as sponsored by ethnic and service organizations. Both essays ...

This panel considers volunteerism as sponsored by ethnic and service organizations. Both essays challenge our notions of “belonging” in a civil society, including our understandings of assimilation, activism, and protest. Shin’s paper is “Lions, Scouts, and Legionnaires: Voluntary Associations and the Making of Chinese American Civil Society, 1900-1945.” Staysniak’s essay is “Poverty Warriors, Service Learners, and a Nationwide Movement: Youth Volunteer Service, 1964-1973.”

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Author Talk Revolution Song 30 November 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Russell Shorto, New York Times Magazine $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows) With America’s founding principles being debated today as never before, Shorto looks back to ...

With America’s founding principles being debated today as never before, Shorto looks back to the era in which those principles were forged. Drawing on new sources, he weaves the lives of six people into a seamless narrative that casts fresh light on the range of experience in colonial America on the cusp of revolution. While some of the protagonists play major roles, others struggle no less valiantly. Through these lives we understand that the Revolution was, indeed, fought over the meaning of individual freedom.

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December
Teacher Workshop The Political Lives of Historical Monuments and Memorials 2 December 2017.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Registration fee: $25 per person Who decides what should be remembered in public spaces? Is removing a monument the equivalent of ...

Who decides what should be remembered in public spaces? Is removing a monument the equivalent of erasing history, or should monuments change along with their communities? Join MHS in exploring how monuments and memorials can help students understand history, historical memory, and how national symbols play a critical role in articulating culture and identity. We will discuss examples of monuments and memorials ranging from early American history to the Holocaust, and will engage with the current controversy over the role of Confederate monuments and memorials in communities across the US.

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 PDPs or one graduate credit (for an additional fee).

Image: Dedication of the Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, Boston, 31 May 1897, albumen print.

Highlights:

  • Explore WWII and Holocaust commemoration across the globe 
  • Learn about the history of Confederate monuments in America: When were they erected? Who built them? What do they signify? 
  • Discuss ways to engage students in conversation on current national debates over Confederate symbols in public spaces
  • View and analyze documents and artifacts from the Society's collections


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Early American History Seminar Petitions and the Cry of Sedition 5 December 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Adrian C. Weimer, Providence College Comment: Walter Woodward, University of Connecticut In the political upheavals of the early Restoration a remarkable number of Massachusetts men and ...

In the political upheavals of the early Restoration a remarkable number of Massachusetts men and women expressed keen dissatisfaction with the monarchy or General Court, leading to trials over seditious speech. The rich theological language in the petitions and feisty curses in the trial records offer an unrivaled glimpse into the significance of religion for the mobilization of local political communities in this tumultuous era.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Winter Scene, Newbury Street Member Event, Special Event MHS Fellows and Members Holiday Party 6 December 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members MHS Fellows and Members are invited to celebrate the season at the Society’s annual holiday ...

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to celebrate the season at the Society’s annual holiday party. Enjoy an evening of holiday cheer along with the traditional reading of the anti-Christmas laws.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 9 December 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Environmental History Seminar Lived Botany: Settler Colonialism, Household Knowledge Production, and Natural History in Eighteenth-Century Pennsylvania 12 December 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Hannah Anderson, University of Pennsylvania Comment: Thomas Wickman, Trinity College When Pennsylvania settlers used plants to treat illnesses, they used a type of knowledge that ...

When Pennsylvania settlers used plants to treat illnesses, they used a type of knowledge that Anderson calls “lived botany.” This term reveals that colonists developed ways of interpreting their landscapes that simultaneously partook of and deviated from the norms of eighteenth-century natural history. Domestic spaces became sites where colonists created information about the natural world, allowing them to feel secure in the new environments where they claimed dominion.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Author Talk The Slave's Cause 13 December 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Manisha Sinha, University of Connecticut Abolitionists are often portrayed as bourgeois, mostly white reformers burdened by racial ...

Abolitionists are often portrayed as bourgeois, mostly white reformers burdened by racial paternalism and economic conservatism. This book broadens the chronology of abolition beyond the antebellum period as well as recasts it as a radical social movement in which men and women, black and white, free and enslaved found common ground in causes ranging from feminism to anti-imperialism. This new history sets the abolition movement in a transnational context and illustrates how the abolitionist vision ultimately linked the slave’s cause to the struggle to redefine democracy and human rights across the globe.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 16 December 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Miss America’s Politics: Beauty and the Development of the New Right since 1968 19 December 2017.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM RSVP required Location: Massachusetts Historical Society Micki McElya, University of Connecticut Comment: Genevieve A. Clutario, Harvard University Drawn from McElya’s larger book project, this essay examines the centrality of the Miss ...

Drawn from McElya’s larger book project, this essay examines the centrality of the Miss America pageant, its local networks, and individual contestants to the rise of activist conservative women and the New Right in the 1960s and 1970s. It analyzes the celebration, power, and political effects of normative beauty, steeped in heterosexual gender norms and white supremacy, and argues for the transformative effect of putting diverse women’s voices at the center of political history and inquiry.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Building Closed Christmas Day 25 December 2017.Monday, all day The MHS is CLOSED for Christmas.

The MHS is CLOSED for Christmas.

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Holiday Hours Galleries Open 26 December 2017.Tuesday, all day The exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

The exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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Library Closed Library Closed 26 December 2017.Tuesday, all day The MHS library is CLOSED.

The MHS library is CLOSED.

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Holiday Hours Galleries Open 27 December 2017.Wednesday, all day The exhibition galleris are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

The exhibition galleris are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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Library Closed Library Closed 27 December 2017.Wednesday, all day The MHS library is CLOSED.

The MHS library is CLOSED.

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Holiday Hours Galleries Open 28 December 2017.Thursday, all day The exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM. 

The exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM. 

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Library Closed Library Closed 28 December 2017.Thursday, all day The MHS library is CLOSED.

The MHS library is CLOSED.

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Holiday Hours Galleries Open 29 December 2017.Friday, all day The exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM. 

The exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM. 

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Library Closed Library Closed 29 December 2017.Friday, all day The MHS library is CLOSED.

The MHS library is CLOSED.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 30 December 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Early American History Seminar John Marshall, Slaveowner and Jurist 3 October 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Paul Finkelman, University of Pittsburgh School of Law Comment: R. Kent Newmyer, University of Connecticut

This chapter from Finkelman’s forthcoming book examines the personal and professional life of Chief Justice John Marshall in the context of his relationship to slavery. Though previous studies downplay Marshall’s slavery jurisprudence and his slaveholding, this paper argues that Marshall as a Supreme Court justice always favored slavery over freedom, and that this reflected his personal investment, emotional and economic, in slavery.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Commerce and the Material Culture of the Maritime Atlantic World 4 October 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM J. Ritchie Garrison, University of Delaware

This talk considers the maritime economy in the early modern Atlantic World, focusing on the infrastructure of commercial exchanges as port cities adapted to larger ships, increased consumer goods, and productivity challenges in environments that included bays, rivers, and estuaries. The argument is grounded on historical documents, maps, objects, and archaeological fieldwork to show that people—from dock workers to financiers—sought to stabilize local variables to accommodate rapid market shifts.

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Member Event, Special Event Yankees in the West: Fellows & Members Preview & Reception 5 October 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members Sara Martin, MHS Yankees in the West

Watch the recording of this event, embedded below:

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to join us on 5 October as we celebrate the arrival of Catherine Allgor, incoming president of the MHS, and open Yankees in the West

 - Welcome, Paul Sandman, Chair, Board of Trustees

- Remarks, Catherine Allgor, President

- ‘Where the sunset beckons’: Henry Adams in the West, Sara Martin, Editor in Chief, Adams Papers


Yankees in the West
For generations Americans have been fascinated with the American west. Depictions of the western landscape flooded New England in the mid 19th century, spurring a stream of western tourism. The exhibition draws from the Society’s collections of letters, diaries, photographs, drawings, and artifacts to explore the ways New Englanders experienced the trans-Mississippi west in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Exhibition Yankees in the West this event is free 6 October 2017 to 6 April 2018 Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Yankees in the West

For generations Americans have been fascinated with the American west. Depictions of the western landscape flooded New England in the mid19th century, spurring a stream of western tourism. Yankees in the West draws from the Society's collections of letters, diaries, photographs, drawings, and artifacts to explore the ways New Englanders experienced the trans-Mississippi west in the late19th and early 20th centuries.

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Public Program Canceled:
How Boston Became the 'West': George Ticknor and the Arrival of Spanish Culture to the United States
6 October 2017.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Ricardo Miguel Alfonso, University of Castilla-La Mancha

This program is cancelled due to a family emergency 

 

George Ticknor, William H. Prescott, and other New Englanders wrote about Spain and the Spanish people in the early- to mid 19th century. Boston became a center for publishing Spanish literature and discussing Spanish culture as well as creating and perpetuating stereotypes as the Spanish empire came to be replaced by the American one. This helped to shape U.S.–Spain cultural relations until the Spanish-American War and helped to define America as the West.

 

Image: Thomas Sully, George Ticknor, 1831, oil on canvas. Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 7 October 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Public Program MHS Open House 9 October 2017.Monday, 10:00AM - 3:00PM There is limited street parking and several garages nearby. The use of public transportation is highly recommended. MHS Staff

 

Visit the MHS and view Yankees in the West, an exhibition of letters, diaries, photographs, drawings, and artifacts that explores the ways New Englanders experienced the trans-Mississippi west in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Free and open to the public, the open house is part of the Opening Our Doors celebration in the Fenway Cultural District.

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Library Closed, Galleries Open Columbus Day 9 October 2017.Monday, all day

The MHS library is CLOSED; the exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-3:00PM.

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Environmental History Seminar Early American Environmental Histories 10 October 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM James Rice, Tufts University Comment: Christopher Parsons, Northeastern University

This essay speaks to questions raised in a recent workshop at the Huntington on early American environmental history. How do timespan and scale change our understanding of historical relationships between people and their environments? What new light does environmental history shed on topics such as race, gender, or law? What can early Americanists contribute to the field of environmental history as a whole?

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Author Talk Steam Titans: Cunard, Collins and the Epic Battle for Commerce on the North Atlantic 12 October 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. William M. Fowler, Jr., Northeastern University $20 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows)

 

 

Steam travel transformed the Atlantic into a pulsating highway, dominated by ports in Liverpool and New York. American raw materials flowed eastward, while goods, capital, people, and technology crossed westward. Steam Titans tells the story of a transatlantic fight to seize control of the globe’s most lucrative trade route. Two men—Samuel Cunard and Edward Knight Collins—and two nations wielded the tools of technology, finance, and politics to compete for control of a commercial lifeline that spanned the North Atlantic.

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Brown Bag Women and Household Authority in Colonial New England 13 October 2017.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Caylin Carbonell, The College of William and Mary

In their households and communities, women in colonial New England wielded authority and were subjected to the authority of others, often shifting between these positions of dependence and authority. This project interrogates women's vertical and horizontal relationships with other members of their households, as well as their involvement in the daily operation of their homes, to show colonial households as contested spaces wherein authority was negotiated rather than assumed.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 14 October 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Brown Bag ‘Lived Botany’: Settler Colonialism and Natural History in British North America 16 October 2017.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Hannah Anderson, University of Pennsylvania

Natural historians in early America frequently benefited from information and plants provided by non-elite colonists. Yet these colonists did not think about plants using the categories and rules of natural history, but relied upon a form of knowledge that I call ‘lived botany.’ My term ‘lived botany’ reveals that settlers described plants using methods inspired by material culture, household production, and more. ‘Lived botany’ shaped early American natural history, and facilitated settler colonialism by allowing colonists to adapt to new environments in the Atlantic world.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Panel Discussion: Gender, Sexuality, and the New Labor History 17 October 2017.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Fay House, Radcliffe Institute Anne G. Balay, Haverford College; Aimee Loiselle, University of Connecticut; Traci L. Parker, UMass-Amherst Moderator: Seth Rockman, Brown University

The “New Labor History” is highly gendered, global, and often situated in spaces that are transitory or obscured. This session will consider the new directions that the path-breaking work of these three scholars indicates: on female, trans, and intersex truck drivers and state surveillance (Balay), on Puerto Rican needleworkers and the global working class (Loiselle), and on African American women workers in the post-Civil Rights Era (Parker). Note: There are no pre-circulated essays for this session.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Palatable Slavery: Food, Race, and Freedom in the British Atlantic, 1620-1838 this event is free 18 October 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Heather Sanford, Brown University

This project uses food in the British Atlantic to understand ideas about the body, race, and freedom. In New England, the Caribbean, and the Gold Coast of Africa, supplies of foodstuffs sustained colonization and slavery. Food allowed for survival, and also demarcated hierarchies of class, gender, and especially race. However, subjugated populations often used food-related practices to negotiate degrees of freedom within (and in defiance of) oppressive systems of colonization and slavery.

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Biography Seminar Chasing Your Subject: Traveling Biographers, Traveling Subjects Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
19 October 2017.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Paul Fisher, Wellesley College; Charlotte Gordon, Endicott College; Sue Quinn, author Moderator: Carol Bundy, Civil War biographer

What do biographers learn when they travel to distant parts and foreign countries in pursuit of their subjects? Is travel a necessary component to writing biography? And what challenges does a traveling subject present to a biographer? This panel will include Paul Fisher, who has traveled extensively to research his work in progress, The Grand Affair: John Singer Sargent, His Patrons, and Sexuality in the Art World of the Belle Epoque; Charlotte Gordon, whose latest book, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, also took her all over Europe; and Sue Quinn, author of Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady and earlier biographies of Marie Curie and Karen Horney, who has pursued her subjects from Hyde Park to Warsaw and Tokyo.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579

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Public Program Looking West from the East registration required at no cost 20 October 2017.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Da Zheng, Suffolk University

 

 

Artist, poet, lecturer, and best selling author Chiang Yee is best known for his Silent Traveler books, which offered a Chinese perspective of London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, and Boston. Chiang was also good friends with historian, author, and Boston Athenaeum librarian Walt Whitehill, whose papers are at the MHS. This biographical sketch offers a unique perspective on America and the immigrant experience as well as a glimpse into the life of the Silent Traveler through one of his closest friendships.

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Teacher Workshop The Material Culture of Death Please RSVP   registration required 21 October 2017.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration fee: $25 per person

Grief was serious business in the nineteenth century. We will explore grim reminders of lives lost such as mourning jewelry, postmortem photographs, samplers, and household goods. Women played an important role in creating these objects and fostering remembrance, but so too did photographers, artists, and con men. Using documents and photographs from the Society’s collections participants can investigate spirit photography, the spiritualist movement, and other fascinating intersections of technology, faith, and grief.

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 PDPs or one graduate credit (for an additional fee).

Image: John Gray mourning ring, Gold, enamel, crystal, gold foil, hair by unidentified goldsmith. [Boston?, 1763]

Highlights:

  • Meet Peter Manseau and discuss his new book, The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln's Ghost.
  • Investigate the causes of the growing popularity of mourning souvenirs (such as china, handkerchiefs, needlework, medals, and jewelry)  the nineteenth century.  
  • View and and analyze photographs and artifacts from the Society's collection. 
  • Take a walking tour of three of downtown Boston's burying grounds with Boston By Foot and dig deeper into the religious views, practices, symbolism, and traditions of death in Boston.
  • Discover suggestions for connecting material culture of death to curriculum frameworks, as well as modern-day practices. 


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Public Program, Author Talk The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography & the Man Who Captured Lincoln's Ghost registration required at no cost 21 October 2017.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Peter Manseau, Smithsonian National Museum of American History

More than just a ghost story, this is a portrait of a young nation struggling to separate fact from fiction. Manseau details the trial of William H. Mumler, the “spirit photographer” who claimed he could take pictures of the souls of the dead, along with the battlefield exploits of Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner, the fathers of photojournalism who created frauds of their own. These stories offer a view of our nation’s obsession with the afterlife and our reluctance to choose science over fantasy.

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Brown Bag "Let it be your resolution to be happy": Women's Emotion Work in the Early Republic this event is free 23 October 2017.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Laura McCoy, Northwestern University

Tasked with maintaining the comfort and happiness of their families even in the face of adversity, many middling- and upper-class women in the early-nineteenth century saw expressing and managing emotions as the foundation of their daily labors. This talk explores the everyday realities of this emotion work and helps us understand women’s actions and self-perceptions—as well as wider familial and social dynamics—in the early republic.

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Conversation, Public Program Advise and Dissent? The Role of Public History in Modern Life registration required 23 October 2017.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm. There is a $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows) Karilyn Crockett, Office of Economic Development, City of Boston; Brian W. J. LeMay, independent scholar; Richard Rabinowitz, American History Workshop and author, Curating America: Journeys through Storyscapes of the American Past; and Moderator Katheryn P. Viens, Massachusetts Historical Society

What is the role of historical organizations in a politically polarized environment, a world of “alternative facts” and a social fabric that is being torn apart by political and class divides? Many historians and public historical organizations are changing the way they work, offering their talents and skills as advocates and healers. Yet, they face a complex public. Some audience members embrace the opportunity to engage in dialogue over difficult issues. Others seek a more entertaining, escapist experience. Still others are alert to activities that appear to overstep the traditional role of museums or to signal that their own perspectives might be unwelcome. Some visitors yearn for the inclusion of minority viewpoints but consider museums too inherently biased to present these narratives. It is all a challenging prospect for organizations that are seeking to be truly inclusive and build broad public support. Join us for a compelling conversation.

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Allaying Terror: Domesticating Artisan Refugees in South Vietnam, 1956 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
24 October 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Jennifer Way, University of North Texas Comment: Robert Lee, Brown University

This essay explores the publication of photographs of North Vietnam refugee artisans in English-language mass print media. These images served as an extension of American economic diplomacy. They aimed at resettling and domesticating the refugees while diminishing white American middle-class anxieties about the potential spread of communism in South Vietnam, a place Sen. John F. Kennedy pronounced “the cornerstone of the Free World in Southeast Asia.”

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Political Appetites: Revolution, Taste, and Culinary Activism in the Early Republic this event is free 25 October 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nancy Siegel, Towson University

Culinary activists furthered republican values in the revolutionary era as part of a political and cultural ideology. They developed a culinary vocabulary expressed in words and actions such as the refusal to consume politically charged comestibles, like imported tea, and the celebration of a national horticulture. Through these choices, they established a culinary discourse involving food, political culture, and national identity from the Stamp Act to the early republic.

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Walking Tour, Public Program Weird and Worrisome Tour 25 October 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Meet at Loring-Greenough House, 12 South Street, Jamaica Plain, Boston Hosted by the MHS, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and Jamaica Plain Historical Society Sold OUT

THIS TOUR IS SOLD OUT!

All neighborhoods have secrets but some are stranger than others. Just in time for Halloween, we will explore Jamaica Plain in Boston. Participants will stop at sites of anarchist robberies, stuffed elephants, and a nervine asylum and hear tales of trainwrecks and things that lurk beneath the surface of Jamaica Pond. The tour is hosted in collaboration with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and the Jamaica Plain Historical Society.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 28 October 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Public Program, Author Talk Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson 30 October 2017.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. $20 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows) Gordon S. Wood, Brown University SOLD OUT -If you would like to be added to the wait-list, please email programs@masshist.org

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. 

 

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams could scarcely have come from more different worlds or been more different in temperament. Jefferson, the optimist, was an aristocratic Southern slaveowner, while Adams, the overachiever from New England’s middle classes, was a skeptic. They worked closely in the crucible of revolution, but ultimately, their differences would lead to a crisis, in their friendship and the nation. But late in life these two men were nudged into reconciliation. What started as a trickle of correspondence became a flood, and a friendship was rekindled.

 

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Brown Bag Equal School Rights: Black Girlhood and School Desegregation in Antebellum Massachusetts this event is free 1 November 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kabria Baumgartner, University of New Hampshire

Eunice Ross. Phebe Ann Boston. Sarah Roberts. Sarah Parker Remond. Charlotte Forten Grimké. Joanna Turpin Howard. These six African American women, among others, played an integral role in the fight to desegregate public schools in antebellum Massachusetts. They authored anti-discrimination petitions, they helped to organize boycotts, and they wrote missives against racial prejudice. As this school desegregation campaign grew, so too did an activist network that bound together African American women, men, and children as well as their allies from Salem to Nantucket to Boston.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 4 November 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Early American History Seminar British Caledonia: English America and the Scottish Darien Project, 1675-1702 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
7 November 2017.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Craig Gallagher, Boston College Comment: Hannah Muller, Brandeis University

Beginning in 1695, Scots at home and abroad flocked to support their country's nascent colony on the Darien isthmus in Panama. This paper argues that Scots’ enthusiasm for the Darien project stemmed not from national impulses, but from a desire to define their status in a liberal, Protestant British Atlantic World alongside their colonial American allies and patrons.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579. Please note that unlike other sessions in the series, this session begins at 5:30 pm.

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Brown Bag Politics at the Poles: Liberty Poles and the Popular Struggle for the New Republic this event is free 8 November 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Shira Lurie, University of Virginia

This project examines conflicts over liberty poles in the 1790s. Liberty poles offered grassroots partisans a tangible symbol through which to channel debates about political participation, popular sovereignty, and dissent under the new Constitution.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Conversation The Weeping Angel: Letter and Poems from World War I France registration required 8 November 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Mary Kelley, editor, and Christopher Capozzola, MIT $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows)

Army recruitment posters proclaimed “Join up and be in France in 60 days.” Young high school graduate Hubert Kelley answered the call. Working as a soldier on the railroads in France during World War I, he found his vocation as a poet and writer through vivid letters to family. Kelley will describe her efforts to retrace the forgotten history of a perceptive observer of the war’s destruction, and Capozzola will comment on the letters’ contribution to new historical understandings that have emerged during the war’s centennial.

 

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Building Closed Veterans Day 10 November 2017.Friday, all day

The MHS is CLOSED for Veterans Day (observed).

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Building Closed Veterans Day 11 November 2017.Saturday, all day

The MHS is CLOSED for Veterans Day.

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Environmental History Seminar Drafting the Cape Cod Formula Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
14 November 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Jacqueline Gonzales, Historical Research Associates Comment: Steven Moga, Smith College

When the National Park Service wanted to create a federal park on Cape Cod, residents worried about what would happen to their homes, communities, and coastal traditions. This paper examines how citizens articulated their concerns, and how these responses helped the NPS and Senators John F. Kennedy and Leverett Saltonstall to create a new acquisition and land management policy that would then be applied to other living landscapes.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag The Roasting of Hugh Peter: Satire and Politics in Early America this event is free 15 November 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Adrian Weimer, Providence College

Accused regicide and former pastor of Salem, Massachusetts, Hugh Peter was the target of colorful satirical ballads and mock-sermons in the mid-seventeenth century. This presentation will explore the ways Royalists attacked Peter as a way of mocking the culture of puritanism, expressing anxieties about the very existence of puritan colonies.

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Public Program, Author Talk Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty registration required 16 November 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. John Boles, Rice University $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows)

Jefferson challenges us more thoroughly than any other Founder; he was at once the most idealistic, contradictory, and quintessentially American of them all. This biography does not ignore aspects of Jefferson that trouble us today but strives to see him in full and understand him amid the sweeping upheaval of his times. From his inspiring defenses of political and religious liberty to his heterodox abridgment of Christian belief, this book explores Jefferson’s expansive intellectual life and the profound impact of his ideas on the world.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 18 November 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Public Program, Author Talk Schlesinger: The Imperial Historian registration required 20 November 2017.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Richard Aldous, Bard College in conversation with Fredrik Logevall, Harvard University $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows)

Drawing on oral histories, rarely seen archival documents, and the official Schlesinger papers, this biography crafts an invaluable portrait of a brilliant and controversial historian who framed America’s rise to global empire. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., the architect of John F. Kennedy’s legacy, redefined the art of presidential biography. A Thousand Days, his best selling record of the Kennedy administration, remains immensely influential and cemented his place as one of the nation’s greatest political image makers.

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Building Closed Thanksgiving 23 November 2017.Thursday, all day

The MHS is CLOSED for Thanksgiving.

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Library Closed, Galleries Open Thanksgiving 24 November 2017.Friday, 12:00PM - 11:59PM

The MHS library is CLOSED; the exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 25 November 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Library Closed, Galleries Open Thanksgiving 25 November 2017.Saturday, all day

The MHS library is CLOSED; the exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Conversation The New Annotated African American Folktales registration required 27 November 2017.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University, and Maria Tatar, Harvard University $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows)

This new publication presents nearly 150 African American stories, among them familiar Brer Rabbit classics, but also stories like “The Talking Skull” and “Witches Who Ride,” as well as out-of-print tales from the 1890s’ Southern Workman. Arguing for the value of these stories as part of a sophisticated, complex, and heterogeneous cultural heritage, Gates and Tatar show how these stories deserve a place alongside the classic works of African American literature and American literature more broadly.

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Panel Discussion: Volunteerism and Civil Society in the Twentieth Century Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
28 November 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM K. Ian Shin, Bates College, and Chris Staysniak, Boston College Comment: Timothy Neary, Salve Regina University

This panel considers volunteerism as sponsored by ethnic and service organizations. Both essays challenge our notions of “belonging” in a civil society, including our understandings of assimilation, activism, and protest. Shin’s paper is “Lions, Scouts, and Legionnaires: Voluntary Associations and the Making of Chinese American Civil Society, 1900-1945.” Staysniak’s essay is “Poverty Warriors, Service Learners, and a Nationwide Movement: Youth Volunteer Service, 1964-1973.”

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Author Talk Revolution Song registration required 30 November 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Russell Shorto, New York Times Magazine $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows)

With America’s founding principles being debated today as never before, Shorto looks back to the era in which those principles were forged. Drawing on new sources, he weaves the lives of six people into a seamless narrative that casts fresh light on the range of experience in colonial America on the cusp of revolution. While some of the protagonists play major roles, others struggle no less valiantly. Through these lives we understand that the Revolution was, indeed, fought over the meaning of individual freedom.

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Teacher Workshop The Political Lives of Historical Monuments and Memorials Please RSVP   registration required 2 December 2017.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration fee: $25 per person

Who decides what should be remembered in public spaces? Is removing a monument the equivalent of erasing history, or should monuments change along with their communities? Join MHS in exploring how monuments and memorials can help students understand history, historical memory, and how national symbols play a critical role in articulating culture and identity. We will discuss examples of monuments and memorials ranging from early American history to the Holocaust, and will engage with the current controversy over the role of Confederate monuments and memorials in communities across the US.

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 PDPs or one graduate credit (for an additional fee).

Image: Dedication of the Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, Boston, 31 May 1897, albumen print.

Highlights:

  • Explore WWII and Holocaust commemoration across the globe 
  • Learn about the history of Confederate monuments in America: When were they erected? Who built them? What do they signify? 
  • Discuss ways to engage students in conversation on current national debates over Confederate symbols in public spaces
  • View and analyze documents and artifacts from the Society's collections


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Early American History Seminar Petitions and the Cry of Sedition Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
5 December 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Adrian C. Weimer, Providence College Comment: Walter Woodward, University of Connecticut

In the political upheavals of the early Restoration a remarkable number of Massachusetts men and women expressed keen dissatisfaction with the monarchy or General Court, leading to trials over seditious speech. The rich theological language in the petitions and feisty curses in the trial records offer an unrivaled glimpse into the significance of religion for the mobilization of local political communities in this tumultuous era.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Member Event, Special Event MHS Fellows and Members Holiday Party registration required at no cost 6 December 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members Winter Scene, Newbury Street

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to celebrate the season at the Society’s annual holiday party. Enjoy an evening of holiday cheer along with the traditional reading of the anti-Christmas laws.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 9 December 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Environmental History Seminar Lived Botany: Settler Colonialism, Household Knowledge Production, and Natural History in Eighteenth-Century Pennsylvania Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
12 December 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Hannah Anderson, University of Pennsylvania Comment: Thomas Wickman, Trinity College

When Pennsylvania settlers used plants to treat illnesses, they used a type of knowledge that Anderson calls “lived botany.” This term reveals that colonists developed ways of interpreting their landscapes that simultaneously partook of and deviated from the norms of eighteenth-century natural history. Domestic spaces became sites where colonists created information about the natural world, allowing them to feel secure in the new environments where they claimed dominion.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Author Talk The Slave's Cause registration required 13 December 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Manisha Sinha, University of Connecticut

Abolitionists are often portrayed as bourgeois, mostly white reformers burdened by racial paternalism and economic conservatism. This book broadens the chronology of abolition beyond the antebellum period as well as recasts it as a radical social movement in which men and women, black and white, free and enslaved found common ground in causes ranging from feminism to anti-imperialism. This new history sets the abolition movement in a transnational context and illustrates how the abolitionist vision ultimately linked the slave’s cause to the struggle to redefine democracy and human rights across the globe.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 16 December 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Miss America’s Politics: Beauty and the Development of the New Right since 1968 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
19 December 2017.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Massachusetts Historical Society Micki McElya, University of Connecticut Comment: Genevieve A. Clutario, Harvard University

Drawn from McElya’s larger book project, this essay examines the centrality of the Miss America pageant, its local networks, and individual contestants to the rise of activist conservative women and the New Right in the 1960s and 1970s. It analyzes the celebration, power, and political effects of normative beauty, steeped in heterosexual gender norms and white supremacy, and argues for the transformative effect of putting diverse women’s voices at the center of political history and inquiry.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Building Closed Christmas Day 25 December 2017.Monday, all day

The MHS is CLOSED for Christmas.

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Holiday Hours Galleries Open 26 December 2017.Tuesday, all day

The exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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Library Closed Library Closed 26 December 2017.Tuesday, all day

The MHS library is CLOSED.

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Holiday Hours Galleries Open 27 December 2017.Wednesday, all day

The exhibition galleris are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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Library Closed Library Closed 27 December 2017.Wednesday, all day

The MHS library is CLOSED.

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Holiday Hours Galleries Open 28 December 2017.Thursday, all day

The exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM. 

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Library Closed Library Closed 28 December 2017.Thursday, all day

The MHS library is CLOSED.

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Holiday Hours Galleries Open 29 December 2017.Friday, all day

The exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM. 

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Library Closed Library Closed 29 December 2017.Friday, all day

The MHS library is CLOSED.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 30 December 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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    Key to event colors:
  • MHS Tours
  • Seminars
  • Public Programs
  • Brown Bags
  • Special Events