September

Building Closed Labor Day 1 September 2018.Saturday, all day The Society is CLOSED on Saturday, 1 September, for Labor Day.

The Society is CLOSED on Saturday, 1 September, for Labor Day.

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Building Closed Labor Day 3 September 2018.Monday, all day The Society is CLOSED in observance of Labor Day. Normal hours resume on Tuesday, 4 September.

The Society is CLOSED in observance of Labor Day. Normal hours resume on Tuesday, 4 September.

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Brown Bag Garrisonian Rhode Island: Reassessing Abolitionism’s Radicals 5 September 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kevin Vrevich, Ohio State University This talk explores the place of Rhode Island, a center of William Lloyd Garrison’s &ldquo ...

This talk explores the place of Rhode Island, a center of William Lloyd Garrison’s “radical” abolitionism, in the larger antislavery network. As historians of abolitionism increasingly focus on continuities within the movement, Rhode Island offers an opportunity to reassess the place of the Garrisonians and to reconsider their contributions.

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Public Program, Conversation 100 Years of Educating Henry Adams 6 September 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Natalie Dykstra, Hope College; William Decker, Oklahoma State University; and Natalie Taylor, Skidmore College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Henry Adams offers an account of his life and commentary on political and cultural events during the ...

Henry Adams offers an account of his life and commentary on political and cultural events during the mid and late 19th century in the Pulitzer Prize–winning autobiography The Education of Henry Adams. Join us to mark the centenary of both Adams’s death and the Education’s publication with a critical conversation on Adams and his best known work.

 

 

 

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Brown Bag American Silver, Chinese Silverwares, and the Global Circulation of Value 7 September 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Susan Eberhard, University of California, Berkeley Silver coin was the primary commodity shipped to China from the United States in the late eighteenth ...

Silver coin was the primary commodity shipped to China from the United States in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, some of which was reworked into silverwares by Chinese craftsmen for British and American buyers. This talk explores the different silver conduits of the American trade relationship with China. Far from a neutral medium, how were understandings of its materiality mobilized in cross-cultural transactions?

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 8 September 2018.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: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

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Brown Bag “This Summer-Home of the Survivors”: The Civil War Vacation in Architecture & Landscape, 1878-1910 12 September 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM C. Ian Stevenson, Boston University In the decades after the Civil War, its veterans built communal summer cottages in waterfront ...

In the decades after the Civil War, its veterans built communal summer cottages in waterfront locations to merge memory and leisure among their comrades and families. Through interdisciplinary lenses, this talk considers the ways veterans used architecture and landscape to heal their wartime trauma and preserve their scripted legacy.

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Public Program, Author Talk Boston's Massacre 12 September 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Eric Hinderaker , University of Utah There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). On the night of March 5, 1770, British soldiers fired into a crowd gathered in front of Boston&rsquo ...

On the night of March 5, 1770, British soldiers fired into a crowd gathered in front of Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/revolution250_vertical_logo.jpgBoston’s Custom House, killing five people. Denounced as an act of unprovoked violence and villainy, the Boston Massacre became one of the most familiar incidents in American history, yet one of the least understood. Eric Hinderaker revisits this dramatic episode, examining in forensic detail the facts of that fateful night, the competing narratives that molded public perceptions at the time, and the long campaign to transform the tragedy into a touchstone of American identity.

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Isaac Vose Couch Exhibitionends Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825 14 September 2018.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Virtually forgotten for 200 years, Isaac Vose and his brilliant furniture are revealed in a new ...

Virtually forgotten for 200 years, Isaac Vose and his brilliant furniture are revealed in a new exhibition and accompanying volume. Beginning with a modest pair of collection boxes he made for his localBoston church in 1788, Vose went on to build a substantial business empire and to make furniture for the most prominent Boston families. The exhibition and catalog restore Vose from relative obscurity to his rightful position as one of Boston’s most important craftsmen. Opening at the MHS on May 11, the exhibition will be on view through September 14.

The complementary book, Rather Elegant Than Showy (May 2018), by Robert Mussey and Clark Pearce, will be available for sale at the MHS.

Image: Couch, Isaac Vose & Son, with Thomas Wightman, carver, Boston, 1824. Historic New England, Gift of the Massachusetts Historical Society (1923.507); photograph by David Bohl.

 

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Brown Bag A Possible Connection between a Scandal and Susanna Rowson's Last Novel 14 September 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Steven Epley, Samford University The talk will describe evidence in letters and public records suggesting that best-selling author ...

The talk will describe evidence in letters and public records suggesting that best-selling author Susanna Rowson may have based her last novel, Lucy Temple, at least in part on a scandal in which she was innocently but indirectly involved in Medford, Mass., in 1799.

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Public Program, Author Talk If I Survive: Frederick Douglass and Family in the Walter O. Evans Collection 18 September 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Celeste-Marie Bernier, University of Edinburgh There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Bringing to light previously unpublished manuscript letters, essays, speeches, and photographs from ...

Bringing to light previously unpublished manuscript letters, essays, speeches, and photographs from Frederick Douglass and his sons, Charles Remond, Frederick Jr., and Lewis Henry Douglass, If I Survive casts Douglass in the role of dedicated family man and inspirational figure to his five children. This family biography as accompanied by these personal documents comprises the first extensive study of Frederick Douglass and his family’s fight for the cause of liberty during the Civil War and in the post-emancipation era.

 

 

 

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Special Event Graduate Student Reception 20 September 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Calling all graduate students and faculty in history, American Studies, or any related field! Please ...

Calling all graduate students and faculty in history, American Studies, or any related field! Please join us for our ninth annual Graduate Student Reception.

 

Starting at six pm, you can enjoy free drinks and hors d’oeuvres as you meet students and professors from other universities working in your fields. At 6:30 or a little later, set down your glass and take a behind-the-scenes tour to learn more about the Society's collections as well as the resources available to support your scholarship, from research fellowships to our six different seminar series.

 

Faculty, bring your graduate students! Graduate students, bring your cohort! This reception is free, but we ask that you RSVP by September 19, by emailing seminars@masshist.org or calling (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Conversation Historians on Hamilton 22 September 2018.Saturday, 4:00PM - 5:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 3:30. Catherine Allgor, Massachusetts Historical Society; Lyra D. Monteiro, Rutgers University-Newark; Joseph M. Adelman, Framingham State University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). The musical Hamilton has catapulted a founding father to the heights of popular culture.Three ...

The musical Hamilton has catapulted a founding father to the heights of popular culture.Three historians will explore this creative approach to discussing the stories of America’s founding, the conversations that have been created by this phenomenon, and how the excitement can be used to inspire the public to look at American history in greater depth.

 

 

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Public Program, Author Talk Under the Starry Flag: How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt and Sparked a Crisis over Citizenship 24 September 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Lucy Salyer, University of New Hampshire There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). In 1867 forty Irish-American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland ...

In 1867 forty Irish-American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland to join the effort to end British rule. Yet they never got a chance to fight. British authorities arrested them for treason as soon as they landed, sparking an international conflict that dragged the United States and Britain to the brink of war. Under the Starry Flag recounts this gripping legal saga, a prelude to today’s immigration battles.

 

 

 

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Radical Nonviolence and Interracial Utopias in the Early Civil Rights Movement 25 September 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Victoria Wolcott, State University of New York at Buffalo Comment: Jason Sokol, University of New Hampshire This paper examines how radical pacifists refined nonviolent direct action to challenge racial ...

This paper examines how radical pacifists refined nonviolent direct action to challenge racial segregation and inequality in the United States. These activists adopted the methods of earlier utopian communities by living communally and practicing a prefigurative politics that called for immediate change.

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

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Library Closed Library Closed 26 September 2018.Wednesday, all day The Library is CLOSED for a staff development event.

The Library is CLOSED for a staff development event.

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Public Program, Author Talk Race Over Party: Black Politics and Partisanship in Late Nineteenth-Century Boston 27 September 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Millington Bergeson-Lockwood There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). In late 19th-century Boston, battles over black party loyalty were fights over the place of African ...

In late 19th-century Boston, battles over black party loyalty were fights over the place of African Americans in the post–Civil War nation. Party politics became the terrain upon which black Bostonians tested the promise of equality in America’s democracy. Most African Americans remained loyal Republicans, but a determined cadre argued that the GOP took black votes for granted and offered little meaningful reward for black support. These activists branded themselves “independents,” forging new alliances and advocating support of whichever candidate would support black freedom regardless of party.

 

 

 

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October
Early American History Seminar The Protestant Cult of the Dead in New England, 1800-1848 2 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Erik Seeman, State University of New York at Buffalo Comment: Kenneth Minkema, Yale University Many 19th-century Protestants in New England held religious ceremonies venerating deceased family ...

Many 19th-century Protestants in New England held religious ceremonies venerating deceased family and friends, in addition to their orthodox worship of God. This paper examines women’s desires to connect with their deceased loved ones, and argues that this drove important developments in Protestant belief and practice. It shows how pious Protestants maintaining connections with the dead made séance Spiritualism a transatlantic sensation in 1848.

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

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Brown Bag Native Citizens: Race, Culture, & the Politics of Belonging, 1884-1924 3 October 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Lila Teeters, University of New Hampshire As the nineteenth century gave way to the twentieth, Native activists played an essential—yet ...

As the nineteenth century gave way to the twentieth, Native activists played an essential—yet overlooked—role in shaping constructions of American citizenship. Some pushed to harden the political boundaries separating Native nations from their American foil, while others sought to remove those boundaries completely. Still others sought a more permeable relationship. This talk traces those debates from the 1884 Elk v. Wilkins decision through the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act.

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Public Program, Author Talk American Honor: The Creation of the Nation's Ideals during the Revolutionary Era 3 October 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Craig Bruce Smith, William Woods University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). The American Revolution was not only a revolution for liberty and freedom; it was also a ...

The American Revolution was not only a revolution for liberty and freedom; it was also a revolution of ethics, reshaping what colonial Americans understood as “honor” and “virtue.” As Craig Bruce Smith demonstrates, these concepts were crucial aspects of Revolutionary Americans’ ideological break from Europe, shared by all ranks of society. Focusing his study primarily on prominent Americans who came of age before and during the Revolution, Smith shows how a colonial ethical transformation caused and became inseparable from the American Revolution, creating an ethical ideology that still remains.

 

 

 

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:30PM 4 October 2018.Thursday, all day The Library closes early at 3:30PM in preparation for an evening event.

The Library closes early at 3:30PM in preparation for an evening event.

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Fashioning the New England Family Exhibition, Member Event, Special Event Fashioning the New England Family: Sneak Preview Reception 4 October 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM This event is now sold out. Take a journey through several centuries of New England style in an exhibition of textiles and ...

Take a journey through several centuries of New England style in an exhibition of textiles and artifacts from the MHS collection.

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the the opening of Fashioning the New England Family. The exhibition uncovers stories as told by various samples of clothing, fabric, accoutrements, and associated manuscripts—many shown for the first time. Join us and explore several family narratives as well as the cultural, social, and economic history of Massachusetts through the lens of fashion. The exhibition will be open through 6 April 2019.

Become a Member today!

Special thanks to preview reception sponsor

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Fashioning the New England Family Exhibitionbegins Fashioning the New England Family 5 October 2018.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Fashioning the New England Family explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of ...

Fashioning the New England Family explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition will give scholars, students, and professionals in fields such as fashion, material culture, and history the chance to see these items for the first time; encourage research; and, provide the possibility for new discoveries. For the public, it is an opportunity to view in detail painstaking craftsmanship, discover how examples of material culture relate to significant moments in our history, and learn how garments were used as political statements, projecting an individual’s religion, loyalties, and social status. It may allow some to recognize and appreciate family keepsakes but it will certainly help us all to better understand the messages we may have previously missed in American art and literature. 

The exhibition is organized as part of MASS Fashion, a consortium of eight cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts. 

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Brown Bag Liverpool, Slavery, and the Atlantic Cotton Frontier c. 1763-1833 5 October 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Alexey Krichtal, Johns Hopkins University This talk follows the enslaved peoples who toiled on cotton estates in the Caribbean, Northeast ...

This talk follows the enslaved peoples who toiled on cotton estates in the Caribbean, Northeast Brazil and the American South, the planters who owned cotton plantations, the mariners who crossed the Atlantic basin shipping the fiber to Europe, and the merchants who linked enslaved producers to the Manchester manufacturers and fashion-orientated consumers in the Americas on a scale never see before, helping to usher in the first Industrial Revolution.

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Public Program, Revolution 250 Boston Occupied: The British Are Coming . . . Again! 6 October 2018.Saturday, all day In October of 1768 the British government sent troops to quell the unrest that had been rising since ...

In October of 1768 the British government sent troops to quell the unrest that had Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/revolution250_vertical_logo.jpgbeen rising since the passage of the Townshend Acts. Boston was a town of about 16,000 residents and the arrival of 2,000 soldiers did not calm tensions but rather marked an escalation that would eventually lead to the Boston Massacre. A reenactment of the arrival of the troops in Boston Harbor, their parade through Boston, and encampment on the Common will be reenacted this October. A tentative itinerary is listed below; stay tuned for updates!

9:00 am: British Troops land at Long Wharf

9:30 am: Salute to King George III at the Old State House

10:00 am: Troops arrive at Faneuil Hall

10:30 am: Troops welcomed at the Reviewing Stand–Downtown Crossing

11:15 am: Troops arrive on Boston Common

From 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm: British Soldiers patrol Downtown Boston and occupy Boston Common

 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 6 October 2018.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.

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Public Program, Revolution 250 Boston Occupied: The British Are Coming . . . Again! 7 October 2018.Sunday, 9:00AM - 1:00PM In October of 1768 the British government sent troops to quell the unrest that had been rising since ...

In October of 1768 the British government sent troops to quell the unrest that had been rising since the passage of the Townshend Acts. Boston was a town of about   Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/revolution250_vertical_logo.jpg16,000 residents and the arrival of 2,000 soldiers did not calm tensions but rather marked an escalation that would eventually lead  to the Boston Massacre. A reenactment of the arrival of the troops in Boston Harbor, their parade through Boston, and encampment on the Common will be reenacted this October. Stay tuned for updates!

From 10:00 am to 12:00 pm:                          

British Soldiers patrol Downtown Boston and occupy Boston Common

 

 

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Public Program Opening Our Doors 8 October 2018.Monday, 10:00AM - 3:00PM The Massachusetts Historical Society will join our neighboring cultural institutions for a day of ...

The Massachusetts Historical Society will join our neighboring cultural institutions for a day of free history, art, music, and cultural happenings in the Fenway neighborhood. With over 20 different museums, venues, colleges, and organizations participating, there will be something for everyone.

 

 

 

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Library Closed Columbus Day 8 October 2018.Monday, all day The Library is CLOSED for Columbus Day.

The Library is CLOSED for Columbus Day.

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Environmental History Seminar Panel: Native American Environmental History 9 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Lisa Brooks, Amherst College; Strother Roberts, Bowdoin College; Ashley Smith, Hampshire College; Thomas Wickman, Trinity College Moderator: Cedric Woods, Institute for New England Native American Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston This panel will explore the intersections of environmental history and indigenous studies—the ...

This panel will explore the intersections of environmental history and indigenous studies—the questions that each field engenders in the other, as well as the perspectives that native and non-native scholars bring to their research as they traverse both fields. Questions of race, gender, geography, and sources enliven this growing body of scholarship. Join us for a stimulating and wide-ranging conversation on these and other topics.

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

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Public Program Evan Thomas on writing presidential biographies 11 October 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT This event is sold out   Evan Thomas, the author of nine books and a former writer and editor ...

This event is sold out

 

Evan Thomas, the author of nine books and a former writer and editor for Time and Newsweek, will be the first speaker in our new MHS Speaker Fund annual lecture series. Having published books on Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, Clinton, and Obama, he will offer his insight into writing presidential biographies.

 

 

 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 13 October 2018.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.

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Brown Bag Examining Land Ownership in the Praying Towns of New England 15 October 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Taylor Kirsch, University of California, Santa Cruz Across the tumultuous borderlands of 17th-century Southern New England, a diverse indigenous ...

Across the tumultuous borderlands of 17th-century Southern New England, a diverse indigenous population numbering in the thousands carved out space for themselves via an unlikely colonial project, “praying towns.” This talk explores the complexities of indigenous land tenure within these communities, and its role in shaping the cultural, political, and spiritual landscape of New England.

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Public Program, Conversation "All Legislative Powers…" Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution Then & Now 15 October 2018.Monday, 5:00PM - 7:30PM Location: The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 136 Irving Street Cambridge, Mass. Margaret H. Marshall, Choate, Hall, & Stewart, and former Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts; Jack N. Rakove, Stanford University, and Pulitzer Prize recipient Join us for a thought-provoking conversation on the history surrounding the issues that are framed ...

Join us for a thought-provoking conversation on the history surrounding the issues that are framed by Article 1 of the Constitution, which established the U.S. Congress and defined its powers, including the rights to tax, raise armies, and regulate commerce and naturalization. Marshall and Rakove will discuss the historical context in which the article was drafted in the 1780s, as well as the current meaning and impact of the article in contemporary legal thought and practice. The Massachusetts Constitution will serve as counterpoint to the national story.

 

This program is a collaboration between the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the MHS.

 

Please note that registration is through the AAAS website. Please click on the non-member link to register.

 

 

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Brown Bag “Watering of the Olive Plant”: Catechisms and Catechizing in Early New England 17 October 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Roberto Flores de Apodaca, University of South Carolina Early New Englanders produced and used an unusually large number of catechisms. These catechisms ...

Early New Englanders produced and used an unusually large number of catechisms. These catechisms shaped relations of faith for church membership, provided content for missions to the Indians, and empowered lay persons theologically to critique their ministers. This talk explores the content and the function of these unique, question and answer documents.

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Public Program, Author Talk The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War 17 October 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Joanne Freeman, Yale University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. ...

Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, she shows that the Capitol was rife with conflict in the decades before the Civil War. Legislative sessions were often punctuated by mortal threats, canings, flipped desks, and all-out slugfests. Pistols were drawn and knives brandished in an attempt to intimidate fellow congressmen into compliance, particularly on the issue of slavery.

 

 

 

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African American History Seminar Losing Laroche: The Story of the Titanic’s Only Black Passenger 18 October 2018.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Kellie Carter Jackson, Wellesley College Comment: Saje Mathieu, University of Minnesota Losing Laroche is the first in-depth study of the only black family on board the RMS ...

Losing Laroche is the first in-depth study of the only black family on board the RMS Titanic. The story of the Haitian Joseph Philippe Lemercier Laroche and his descendants is largely unknown and troubles the assumption of an all-white Titanic narrative. This paper seeks to understand the possibilities of black advancement in the Titanic moment and throughout the Diaspora.

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

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 20 October 2018.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.

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Public Program, Walking Tour Tour of Longfellow Bridge 20 October 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The tour group will meet in front of the Charles Circle CVS, 155 Charles Street, Boston MA 02114 Miguel Rosales THIS PROGRAM IS NOW SOLD OUT. After five years and over $300 million worth of construction and refurbishment, the beautiful and ...

After five years and over $300 million worth of construction and refurbishment, the beautiful and historic Longfellow Bridge is once again fully operational. Constructed at the turn of the 20th century and designed with an eye towards the greatest infrastructure projects of Europe, the Longfellow Bridge has long been one of the most striking and beloved landmarks in Boston. Architect and urban designer Miguel Rosales has been involved in this restoration project for close to 15 years and will lead visitors on an in-depth tour of this exceptional bridge.

 

 

 

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Seminar Paul Revere's Ride through Digital History 22 October 2018.Monday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Joseph M. Adelman, Framingham State University and Omohundro Institute; Liz Covart, Omohundro Institute; Karin Wulf, Omohundro Institute This seminar examines components of the Omohundro Institute’s multi-platform digital project ...

This seminar examines components of the Omohundro Institute’s multi-platform digital project and podcast series, Doing History: To the Revolution. It explores Episode 130, “Paul Revere’s Ride through History,” and the ways the topic was constructed through narrative and audio effects, as well as the content in the complementary reader app. Participants are asked to listen to the podcast and access the reader app before the session. Refreshments will follow the presentation and discussion.

 

To reserve: Please call 617-646-0579 or e-mail seminars@masshist.org.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Reproducing Race in the Early Americas 23 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Knafel Center, Radcliffe Institute Rhae Lynn Barnes, Princeton University; Deirdre Cooper Owens, Queens College; Sasha Turner, Quinnipiac University Moderator: Nicole Aljoe, Northeastern University This roundtable will use the body as frame for examining racial formation in the Caribbean and U.S. ...

This roundtable will use the body as frame for examining racial formation in the Caribbean and U.S. from the eighteenth century to the present. The presenters will meditate on biological reproduction in relation to citizenship and subjecthood, labor and economy, medical and scientific knowledge, and representations of blackness in popular culture.

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

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Public Program, Author Talk Swindler Sachem: The American Indian Who Sold His Birthright, Dropped Out of Harvard, and Conned the King of England 24 October 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Jenny Hale Pulsipher, Brigham Young University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Jenny Pulsipher opens a window onto 17th-century New England and the English empire from the unusual ...

Jenny Pulsipher opens a window onto 17th-century New England and the English empire from the unusual perspective of John Wompas, a Nipmuc Indian who may not have been all he claimed but was certainly out of the ordinary. Drawing on documentary and anthropological sources as well as consultations with Native people, Pulsipher examines struggles over Native land and sovereignty during an era of political turmoil and reveals how Wompas navigated these perilous waters for the benefit of himself and his kin.

 

 

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front clasp of a red cloak.  The cloak is tied with a red satin ribbon. Teacher Workshop Fashioning History 27 October 2018.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration: $25 Throughout history, our choices about what we wear tell the world about our personality, position, ...

Throughout history, our choices about what we wear tell the world about our personality, position, background, and beliefs. From textile in Boston Boycott, manufacture in the Industrial Revolution, to the fashion of war and protest, clothing offers a vivid lens to examine American cultural history. Drawing on the MHS exhibit “Fashioning the New England Family,” we will explore how clothing and style help us understand the everyday lives of historical New Englanders.

This program is open to all who work with K-12 students. Teachers can earn 22.5 Professional Development Points or 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee).

For questions, contact Kate Melchior at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

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Public Program Armistice: WWI in Memory and Song 29 October 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-program reception at 5:30. A collaboration of MHS and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee with John Brancy, Baritone; Peter Dugan, Piano; and Peter Drummey, MHS There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). A temporary exhibition on the end of World War I will be coupled with songs and a conversation about ...

A temporary exhibition on the end of World War I will be coupled with songs and a conversation about the journey home that men and women faced at the close of The War to End All Wars. This program will explore both the history of the war and the memory of it. On Tuesday October 30 at 8:00 pm, John Brancy and Peter Dugan will perform their program “Armistice: The Journey Home” in Seully Hall at Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

 

 

 

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Governing the “Black Power” City: Leon H. Sullivan, Opportunities Industrialization Centers Inc., and the Rise of Black Empowerment 30 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Jessica Ann Levy, Johns Hopkins University Comment: Julia Rabig, Dartmouth College This paper traces the Opportunities Industrialization Center’s rise from its meager founding ...

This paper traces the Opportunities Industrialization Center’s rise from its meager founding in North Philadelphia to one of the largest black community development programs in the United States. In doing so, it sheds new light on the financial and intellectual investments made by American business, government bureaucrats, and civil rights entrepreneurs like Sullivan in transforming black dissidents into “productive citizens,” “productive” having economic and civic connotations.

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

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November
Biography Seminar “No Ideas But in Things”: Writing Lives from Objects 1 November 2018.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Deborah Lutz, University of Louisville; Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Amherst College; Susan Ware, Independent Scholar Moderator: Natalie Dykstra, Hope College Often a biographer confronts silences in the record of her subject, when part of the life story is ...

Often a biographer confronts silences in the record of her subject, when part of the life story is not documented with words. Mute sources—objects in the subject’s archive—can pose a challenge for interpretation, but also offer rich opportunities. How can biographers read objects as eloquent sources?

Panelists include Deborah Lutz, whose book The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects is a biography of the sisters centered on the humble objects they owned. Susan Ware, author of the forthcoming Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote, is using artifacts from the Schlesinger Library’s collections in her group biography of suffrage activists. Karen Sanchez-Eppler is writing In the Archives of Childhood: Playing with the Past, viewing children’s lives from material things. Natalie Dykstra, author of Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life, will moderate.

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

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 3 November 2018.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.

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Early American History Seminar “A Rotten-Hearted Fellow”: The Rise of Alexander McDougall 6 November 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Christopher Minty, the Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society Comment: Brendan McConville, Boston University Historians have often grouped the DeLanceys of New York as self-interested opportunists who were ...

Historians have often grouped the DeLanceys of New York as self-interested opportunists who were destined to become loyalists. By focusing on the rise of Alexander McDougall, this paper offers a new interpretation, demonstrating how the DeLanceys and McDougall mobilized groups with competing visions of New York’s political economy. These prewar factions stayed in opposition until the Revolutionary War, thus shedding new light on the coming of the American Revolution.

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

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Brown Bag John Perkins Cushing and Boston's Early China Trade 7 November 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Gwenn Miller, College of the Holy Cross In July of 1803, John Perkins Cushing, an orphaned relation of some of the most prominent families ...

In July of 1803, John Perkins Cushing, an orphaned relation of some of the most prominent families in Boston, set sail for the Canton at the age of sixteen. The emerging literature on the Early American China trade often mentions Cushing as an aside, sometimes refers in passing to his importance among the foreign residents of Canton. This project explores how he came to be in that position of importance and casts Boston’s opium exchange at the center of the trade.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Revolution 250 Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero 7 November 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 with a special rum tasting courtesy of Privateer Rum Christian Di Spigna THIS PROGRAM IS NOW SOLD OUT Had he not been martyred at Bunker Hill in 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren, an architect of the colonial ...

Had he not been martyred at Bunker Hill in 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren, an architect of the colonial rebellion, might have led the country as Washington or Jefferson did. Warren was involved in almost every major insurrectionary act in the Boston, from the Stamp Act protests to the Boston Massacre to the Boston Tea Party, but his legacy has remained largely obscured. Di Spigna’s biography of Warren is the product of two decades of research and scores of newly unearthed documents that have given us this forgotten Founding Father anew.

Join our pre-talk reception at 5:30 for a special rum tasting courtesy of Privateer Rum.

 

 

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Brown Bag Persistent Futures of Americas Past: The Genres of Geography and Race in Early America 9 November 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Timothy Fosbury, University of California, Los Angeles This talk analyzes the speculative literary origins of America as a desired community and geography ...

This talk analyzes the speculative literary origins of America as a desired community and geography of economic, political, and religious belonging in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by considering how place making was a form of nascent race making in the early Americas. Moving between New England, Bermuda, and the Caribbean, this talk considers how settler imaginings of their desired futures in the Americas produced the preconditions for what we would now call race.

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Conference Art and Memory: The Role of Medals 10 November 2018.Saturday, 8:00AM - 6:30PM THE REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS NOW CLOSED. Dinner afterward (at The Colonnade Hotel), 7:00PM – 9:00PM A cocktail reception at the MHS will conclude the conference in the late afternoon Medal Collectors of America and MHS Conference There is a $75 per person ...

Medal Collectors of America and MHS Conference

There is a $75 per person conference fee, with dinner afterward optional at an additional $95 per person.

This conference on medals and medal collecting will include a series of presentations on the role medals have played in America history, the evolution of medallic art, and the ways medals have reflected American culture up through the 20th century. In addition, a panel discussion will cover the stylistic developments from Renaissance medallic art to contemporary art medals (“The Art of the Medal”).  A second panel will explore the individual passions that drive numismatists to build their unique collections (“Why Collect Medals?”).

8:00 am Arrival/registration/coffee; time to view the MHS medal exhibit

8:30 am Welcome, A primer on the MHS Numismatic Collection.

Anne Bentley, Curator of Art and Artifacts

9:00 am Their Secrets Revealed! Early American College Secret Society Medals

John Sallay

9:45 am Medallic America: Allegorical Representations of America on European and American Medals

Alan Stahl

10:30 am Break

11:00 am Panel Discussion: “The Art of the Medal”

Ira Rezak (moderator)
Cory Gilliland
Robert Hoge
Scott Miller

12:00 noon Lunch

1:00 pm The Early Work of Victor David Brenner

Patrick McMahon

1:45 pm So-Called Dollars as a Reflection of Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century American Culture

Jonathan Brecher

2:30 pm Break

2:50 pm Welcome

Catherine Allgor, President of the MHS

3:00 pm Medals and Books

Len Augsburger

3:45 pm Medallic Art Company Archives at the ANS

Ute Wartenberg Kagan

4:15 pm Panel Discussion: “Why Collect Medals?”

John Adams (moderator)
Q. David Bowers
Rob Rodriguez
John Sallay
Stephen Scher

5:15 pm Wrap up

A cocktail reception at the MHS will conclude the conference, followed by an optional dinner at the Colonnade Hotel (120 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116)

5:30 pm Social/cocktails/reception at MHS

6:30 pm Depart for dinner

7:00 pm Dinner at the Colonnade Hotel (Braemore/Kenmore Room)

The special rate offered by The Colonnade Hotel has expired and other rooms may or may not be available there. A list of other nearby hotels is available by request.

MHS is proud to partner with the Medal Collectors of America, a national organization dedicated to the study and collection of artistic and historical medals. For further information, please see www.medalcollectors.org.

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Library Closed Library Closed 10 November 2018.Saturday, all day The library is CLOSED to accommodate a special event.

The library is CLOSED to accommodate a special event.

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Building Closed Veterans Day 12 November 2018.Monday, all day The Society is CLOSED in observance of Veterans Day.

The Society is CLOSED in observance of Veterans Day.

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Environmental History Seminar Ditched: Digging Up Black History in the South Carolina Lowcountry 13 November 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Caroline Grego, University of Colorado Boulder Comment: Chad Montrie, University of Massachusetts Lowell For nearly three centuries, Black sea islanders enslaved and free have dug thousands of miles of ...

For nearly three centuries, Black sea islanders enslaved and free have dug thousands of miles of ditches that channeled the South Carolina Lowcountry, for purposes from rice to phosphate to mosquito control. This piece explores the evolving projects of environmental use and management in the Lowcountry, through the conduit of ditches, and traces the history of how the environment, politics, and labor intersected in the miry ditches of the region from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.

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

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African American History Seminar An “Organic Union”: Ecclesiastical Imperialism and Caribbean Missions 15 November 2018.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Christina Davidson, Harvard University Comment: Greg Childs, Brandeis University In 1880, hundreds of black clergy and lay delegates of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) ...

In 1880, hundreds of black clergy and lay delegates of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) gathered to discuss reunion with the British Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada. Factions within both denominations disputed the nature and procedure of the proposed organic union. This paper argues that the organic union debate was in fact crucial to AME expansion and the development of foreign missions in Haiti and the broader Caribbean.

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

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:00PM 16 November 2018.Friday, all day The library is closing early at 3:00PM for staff training.

The library is closing early at 3:00PM for staff training.

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Tour Gallery Talk: Fashioning the New England Family 17 November 2018.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire Material culture specialist and guest curator, Dr. Kimberly Alexander will help viewers explore and ...

Material culture specialist and guest curator, Dr. Kimberly Alexander will help viewers explore and contextualize rarely seen costumes, textiles and fashion-related accessories mined from the MHS collection. Representing three- centuries of evolving New England style, most of the pieces have never before been on view to the public.

 

 

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Public Program, Author Talk Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates 19 November 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM This program is no longer accepting registrations. Eric Jay Dolin There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the dramatic ...

Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the dramatic history of American piracy’s “Golden Age”—spanning the late 1600s through the early 1700s—when lawless pirates plied the coastal waters of North America and beyond. Eric Jay Dolin illustrates how American colonists at first supported these outrageous pirates in an early display of solidarity against the Crown, and then violently opposed them.

 

 

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Brown Bag Postponed: The American Debates over the China Relief Expedition of 1900 21 November 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Xiangyun Xu, Pennsylvania State University This talk examines the American debates over the country’s participation in the eight-nation ...

This talk examines the American debates over the country’s participation in the eight-nation alliance to relieve the Chinese Boxers’ siege of internationals in Tianjin and Beijing. It places U.S. participation within the context of concurrent controversies over the Spanish-American and Philippine-American war as well as the assertive U.S. policy in East Asia.

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Building Closed Thanksgiving 22 November 2018.Thursday, all day The Society is CLOSED for Thanksgiving.

The Society is CLOSED for Thanksgiving.

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Building Closed Thanksgiving Friday 23 November 2018.Friday, all day More
Building Closed Thanksgiving Saturday 24 November 2018.Saturday, all day More
Modern American Society and Culture Seminar In Search of the Costs of Segregation 27 November 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Elizabeth Herbin-Triant, University of Massachusetts Lowell Comment: Kenneth W. Mack, Harvard Law School Historians generally treat Jim Crow as a legal, political, and cultural system shaping where African ...

Historians generally treat Jim Crow as a legal, political, and cultural system shaping where African Americans went, whether they voted, and how they acted. Yet it was also an economic system that imposed financial burdens. This paper explores how segregation made the activities undertaken by African Americans—from gaining education to property—more expensive for them and how it excluded them from economic advancement.

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

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Brown Bag Mules, Fuels, and Fusion: Overcoming Entropy and Crossing the Isthmian Transit Zone 1848-1977 28 November 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jordan Coulombe, University of New Hampshire This talk explores American attempts to construct transportation infrastructures in Panama between ...

This talk explores American attempts to construct transportation infrastructures in Panama between the creation of the Panama Railroad and the Carter-Torrijos Treaties. It focuses specifically on the role proliferating energy sources played in restructuring the Isthmian environment.

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Public Program, Author Talk After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet 29 November 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Julie Dobrow, Tufts University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Despite Emily Dickinson’s world renown, the story of the two women most responsible for her ...

Despite Emily Dickinson’s world renown, the story of the two women most responsible for her initial posthumous publication—Mabel Loomis Todd and her daughter, Millicent Todd Bingham—has remained in the shadows of the archives. A rich and compelling portrait of women who refused to be confined by the social mores of their era, After Emily explores Mabel and Millicent’s complex bond, as well as the powerful literary legacy they shared.

 

 

 

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Tour Gallery Talk: Fashioning the New England Family 30 November 2018.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire Material culture specialist and guest curator, Dr. Kimberly Alexander will help viewers explore and ...

Material culture specialist and guest curator, Dr. Kimberly Alexander will help viewers explore and contextualize rarely seen costumes, textiles and fashion-related accessories mined from the MHS collection. Representing three- centuries of evolving New England style, most of the pieces have never before been on view to the public.

 

 

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Building Closed Labor Day 1 September 2018.Saturday, all day

The Society is CLOSED on Saturday, 1 September, for Labor Day.

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Building Closed Labor Day 3 September 2018.Monday, all day

The Society is CLOSED in observance of Labor Day. Normal hours resume on Tuesday, 4 September.

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Brown Bag Garrisonian Rhode Island: Reassessing Abolitionism’s Radicals 5 September 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kevin Vrevich, Ohio State University

This talk explores the place of Rhode Island, a center of William Lloyd Garrison’s “radical” abolitionism, in the larger antislavery network. As historians of abolitionism increasingly focus on continuities within the movement, Rhode Island offers an opportunity to reassess the place of the Garrisonians and to reconsider their contributions.

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Public Program, Conversation 100 Years of Educating Henry Adams 6 September 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Natalie Dykstra, Hope College; William Decker, Oklahoma State University; and Natalie Taylor, Skidmore College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Henry Adams offers an account of his life and commentary on political and cultural events during the mid and late 19th century in the Pulitzer Prize–winning autobiography The Education of Henry Adams. Join us to mark the centenary of both Adams’s death and the Education’s publication with a critical conversation on Adams and his best known work.

 

 

 

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Brown Bag American Silver, Chinese Silverwares, and the Global Circulation of Value 7 September 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Susan Eberhard, University of California, Berkeley

Silver coin was the primary commodity shipped to China from the United States in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, some of which was reworked into silverwares by Chinese craftsmen for British and American buyers. This talk explores the different silver conduits of the American trade relationship with China. Far from a neutral medium, how were understandings of its materiality mobilized in cross-cultural transactions?

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 8 September 2018.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: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

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Brown Bag “This Summer-Home of the Survivors”: The Civil War Vacation in Architecture & Landscape, 1878-1910 12 September 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM C. Ian Stevenson, Boston University

In the decades after the Civil War, its veterans built communal summer cottages in waterfront locations to merge memory and leisure among their comrades and families. Through interdisciplinary lenses, this talk considers the ways veterans used architecture and landscape to heal their wartime trauma and preserve their scripted legacy.

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Public Program, Author Talk Boston's Massacre 12 September 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Eric Hinderaker , University of Utah There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

On the night of March 5, 1770, British soldiers fired into a crowd gathered in front of Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/revolution250_vertical_logo.jpgBoston’s Custom House, killing five people. Denounced as an act of unprovoked violence and villainy, the Boston Massacre became one of the most familiar incidents in American history, yet one of the least understood. Eric Hinderaker revisits this dramatic episode, examining in forensic detail the facts of that fateful night, the competing narratives that molded public perceptions at the time, and the long campaign to transform the tragedy into a touchstone of American identity.

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Exhibition Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825 14 September 2018.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Isaac Vose Couch

Virtually forgotten for 200 years, Isaac Vose and his brilliant furniture are revealed in a new exhibition and accompanying volume. Beginning with a modest pair of collection boxes he made for his localBoston church in 1788, Vose went on to build a substantial business empire and to make furniture for the most prominent Boston families. The exhibition and catalog restore Vose from relative obscurity to his rightful position as one of Boston’s most important craftsmen. Opening at the MHS on May 11, the exhibition will be on view through September 14.

The complementary book, Rather Elegant Than Showy (May 2018), by Robert Mussey and Clark Pearce, will be available for sale at the MHS.

Image: Couch, Isaac Vose & Son, with Thomas Wightman, carver, Boston, 1824. Historic New England, Gift of the Massachusetts Historical Society (1923.507); photograph by David Bohl.

 

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Brown Bag A Possible Connection between a Scandal and Susanna Rowson's Last Novel 14 September 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Steven Epley, Samford University

The talk will describe evidence in letters and public records suggesting that best-selling author Susanna Rowson may have based her last novel, Lucy Temple, at least in part on a scandal in which she was innocently but indirectly involved in Medford, Mass., in 1799.

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Public Program, Author Talk If I Survive: Frederick Douglass and Family in the Walter O. Evans Collection 18 September 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Celeste-Marie Bernier, University of Edinburgh There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Bringing to light previously unpublished manuscript letters, essays, speeches, and photographs from Frederick Douglass and his sons, Charles Remond, Frederick Jr., and Lewis Henry Douglass, If I Survive casts Douglass in the role of dedicated family man and inspirational figure to his five children. This family biography as accompanied by these personal documents comprises the first extensive study of Frederick Douglass and his family’s fight for the cause of liberty during the Civil War and in the post-emancipation era.

 

 

 

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Special Event Graduate Student Reception 20 September 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM

Calling all graduate students and faculty in history, American Studies, or any related field! Please join us for our ninth annual Graduate Student Reception.

 

Starting at six pm, you can enjoy free drinks and hors d’oeuvres as you meet students and professors from other universities working in your fields. At 6:30 or a little later, set down your glass and take a behind-the-scenes tour to learn more about the Society's collections as well as the resources available to support your scholarship, from research fellowships to our six different seminar series.

 

Faculty, bring your graduate students! Graduate students, bring your cohort! This reception is free, but we ask that you RSVP by September 19, by emailing seminars@masshist.org or calling (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Conversation Historians on Hamilton 22 September 2018.Saturday, 4:00PM - 5:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 3:30. Catherine Allgor, Massachusetts Historical Society; Lyra D. Monteiro, Rutgers University-Newark; Joseph M. Adelman, Framingham State University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

The musical Hamilton has catapulted a founding father to the heights of popular culture.Three historians will explore this creative approach to discussing the stories of America’s founding, the conversations that have been created by this phenomenon, and how the excitement can be used to inspire the public to look at American history in greater depth.

 

 

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Public Program, Author Talk Under the Starry Flag: How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt and Sparked a Crisis over Citizenship 24 September 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Lucy Salyer, University of New Hampshire There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

In 1867 forty Irish-American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland to join the effort to end British rule. Yet they never got a chance to fight. British authorities arrested them for treason as soon as they landed, sparking an international conflict that dragged the United States and Britain to the brink of war. Under the Starry Flag recounts this gripping legal saga, a prelude to today’s immigration battles.

 

 

 

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Radical Nonviolence and Interracial Utopias in the Early Civil Rights Movement 25 September 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Victoria Wolcott, State University of New York at Buffalo Comment: Jason Sokol, University of New Hampshire

This paper examines how radical pacifists refined nonviolent direct action to challenge racial segregation and inequality in the United States. These activists adopted the methods of earlier utopian communities by living communally and practicing a prefigurative politics that called for immediate change.

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

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Library Closed Library Closed 26 September 2018.Wednesday, all day

The Library is CLOSED for a staff development event.

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Public Program, Author Talk Race Over Party: Black Politics and Partisanship in Late Nineteenth-Century Boston 27 September 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Millington Bergeson-Lockwood There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

In late 19th-century Boston, battles over black party loyalty were fights over the place of African Americans in the post–Civil War nation. Party politics became the terrain upon which black Bostonians tested the promise of equality in America’s democracy. Most African Americans remained loyal Republicans, but a determined cadre argued that the GOP took black votes for granted and offered little meaningful reward for black support. These activists branded themselves “independents,” forging new alliances and advocating support of whichever candidate would support black freedom regardless of party.

 

 

 

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Early American History Seminar The Protestant Cult of the Dead in New England, 1800-1848 2 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Erik Seeman, State University of New York at Buffalo Comment: Kenneth Minkema, Yale University

Many 19th-century Protestants in New England held religious ceremonies venerating deceased family and friends, in addition to their orthodox worship of God. This paper examines women’s desires to connect with their deceased loved ones, and argues that this drove important developments in Protestant belief and practice. It shows how pious Protestants maintaining connections with the dead made séance Spiritualism a transatlantic sensation in 1848.

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

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Brown Bag Native Citizens: Race, Culture, & the Politics of Belonging, 1884-1924 3 October 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Lila Teeters, University of New Hampshire

As the nineteenth century gave way to the twentieth, Native activists played an essential—yet overlooked—role in shaping constructions of American citizenship. Some pushed to harden the political boundaries separating Native nations from their American foil, while others sought to remove those boundaries completely. Still others sought a more permeable relationship. This talk traces those debates from the 1884 Elk v. Wilkins decision through the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act.

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Public Program, Author Talk American Honor: The Creation of the Nation's Ideals during the Revolutionary Era 3 October 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Craig Bruce Smith, William Woods University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

The American Revolution was not only a revolution for liberty and freedom; it was also a revolution of ethics, reshaping what colonial Americans understood as “honor” and “virtue.” As Craig Bruce Smith demonstrates, these concepts were crucial aspects of Revolutionary Americans’ ideological break from Europe, shared by all ranks of society. Focusing his study primarily on prominent Americans who came of age before and during the Revolution, Smith shows how a colonial ethical transformation caused and became inseparable from the American Revolution, creating an ethical ideology that still remains.

 

 

 

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:30PM 4 October 2018.Thursday, all day

The Library closes early at 3:30PM in preparation for an evening event.

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Exhibition, Member Event, Special Event Fashioning the New England Family: Sneak Preview Reception 4 October 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM This event is now sold out. Fashioning the New England Family

Take a journey through several centuries of New England style in an exhibition of textiles and artifacts from the MHS collection.

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the the opening of Fashioning the New England Family. The exhibition uncovers stories as told by various samples of clothing, fabric, accoutrements, and associated manuscripts—many shown for the first time. Join us and explore several family narratives as well as the cultural, social, and economic history of Massachusetts through the lens of fashion. The exhibition will be open through 6 April 2019.

Become a Member today!

Special thanks to preview reception sponsor

M&T Bank logo

 

 

 

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Exhibition Fashioning the New England Family this event is free 5 October 2018 to 6 April 2019 Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Fashioning the New England Family

Fashioning the New England Family explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition will give scholars, students, and professionals in fields such as fashion, material culture, and history the chance to see these items for the first time; encourage research; and, provide the possibility for new discoveries. For the public, it is an opportunity to view in detail painstaking craftsmanship, discover how examples of material culture relate to significant moments in our history, and learn how garments were used as political statements, projecting an individual’s religion, loyalties, and social status. It may allow some to recognize and appreciate family keepsakes but it will certainly help us all to better understand the messages we may have previously missed in American art and literature. 

The exhibition is organized as part of MASS Fashion, a consortium of eight cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts. 

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Brown Bag Liverpool, Slavery, and the Atlantic Cotton Frontier c. 1763-1833 5 October 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Alexey Krichtal, Johns Hopkins University

This talk follows the enslaved peoples who toiled on cotton estates in the Caribbean, Northeast Brazil and the American South, the planters who owned cotton plantations, the mariners who crossed the Atlantic basin shipping the fiber to Europe, and the merchants who linked enslaved producers to the Manchester manufacturers and fashion-orientated consumers in the Americas on a scale never see before, helping to usher in the first Industrial Revolution.

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Public Program, Revolution 250 Boston Occupied: The British Are Coming . . . Again! 6 October 2018.Saturday, all day

In October of 1768 the British government sent troops to quell the unrest that had Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/revolution250_vertical_logo.jpgbeen rising since the passage of the Townshend Acts. Boston was a town of about 16,000 residents and the arrival of 2,000 soldiers did not calm tensions but rather marked an escalation that would eventually lead to the Boston Massacre. A reenactment of the arrival of the troops in Boston Harbor, their parade through Boston, and encampment on the Common will be reenacted this October. A tentative itinerary is listed below; stay tuned for updates!

9:00 am: British Troops land at Long Wharf

9:30 am: Salute to King George III at the Old State House

10:00 am: Troops arrive at Faneuil Hall

10:30 am: Troops welcomed at the Reviewing Stand–Downtown Crossing

11:15 am: Troops arrive on Boston Common

From 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm: British Soldiers patrol Downtown Boston and occupy Boston Common

 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 6 October 2018.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.

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Public Program, Revolution 250 Boston Occupied: The British Are Coming . . . Again! 7 October 2018.Sunday, 9:00AM - 1:00PM

In October of 1768 the British government sent troops to quell the unrest that had been rising since the passage of the Townshend Acts. Boston was a town of about   Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/revolution250_vertical_logo.jpg16,000 residents and the arrival of 2,000 soldiers did not calm tensions but rather marked an escalation that would eventually lead  to the Boston Massacre. A reenactment of the arrival of the troops in Boston Harbor, their parade through Boston, and encampment on the Common will be reenacted this October. Stay tuned for updates!

From 10:00 am to 12:00 pm:                          

British Soldiers patrol Downtown Boston and occupy Boston Common

 

 

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Public Program Opening Our Doors 8 October 2018.Monday, 10:00AM - 3:00PM

The Massachusetts Historical Society will join our neighboring cultural institutions for a day of free history, art, music, and cultural happenings in the Fenway neighborhood. With over 20 different museums, venues, colleges, and organizations participating, there will be something for everyone.

 

 

 

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Library Closed Columbus Day 8 October 2018.Monday, all day

The Library is CLOSED for Columbus Day.

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Environmental History Seminar Panel: Native American Environmental History 9 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Lisa Brooks, Amherst College; Strother Roberts, Bowdoin College; Ashley Smith, Hampshire College; Thomas Wickman, Trinity College Moderator: Cedric Woods, Institute for New England Native American Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston

This panel will explore the intersections of environmental history and indigenous studies—the questions that each field engenders in the other, as well as the perspectives that native and non-native scholars bring to their research as they traverse both fields. Questions of race, gender, geography, and sources enliven this growing body of scholarship. Join us for a stimulating and wide-ranging conversation on these and other topics.

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

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Public Program Evan Thomas on writing presidential biographies 11 October 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT

This event is sold out

 

Evan Thomas, the author of nine books and a former writer and editor for Time and Newsweek, will be the first speaker in our new MHS Speaker Fund annual lecture series. Having published books on Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, Clinton, and Obama, he will offer his insight into writing presidential biographies.

 

 

 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 13 October 2018.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.

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Brown Bag Examining Land Ownership in the Praying Towns of New England 15 October 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Taylor Kirsch, University of California, Santa Cruz

Across the tumultuous borderlands of 17th-century Southern New England, a diverse indigenous population numbering in the thousands carved out space for themselves via an unlikely colonial project, “praying towns.” This talk explores the complexities of indigenous land tenure within these communities, and its role in shaping the cultural, political, and spiritual landscape of New England.

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Public Program, Conversation "All Legislative Powers…" Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution Then & Now 15 October 2018.Monday, 5:00PM - 7:30PM Location: The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 136 Irving Street Cambridge, Mass. Margaret H. Marshall, Choate, Hall, & Stewart, and former Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts; Jack N. Rakove, Stanford University, and Pulitzer Prize recipient

Join us for a thought-provoking conversation on the history surrounding the issues that are framed by Article 1 of the Constitution, which established the U.S. Congress and defined its powers, including the rights to tax, raise armies, and regulate commerce and naturalization. Marshall and Rakove will discuss the historical context in which the article was drafted in the 1780s, as well as the current meaning and impact of the article in contemporary legal thought and practice. The Massachusetts Constitution will serve as counterpoint to the national story.

 

This program is a collaboration between the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the MHS.

 

Please note that registration is through the AAAS website. Please click on the non-member link to register.

 

 

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Brown Bag “Watering of the Olive Plant”: Catechisms and Catechizing in Early New England 17 October 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Roberto Flores de Apodaca, University of South Carolina

Early New Englanders produced and used an unusually large number of catechisms. These catechisms shaped relations of faith for church membership, provided content for missions to the Indians, and empowered lay persons theologically to critique their ministers. This talk explores the content and the function of these unique, question and answer documents.

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Public Program, Author Talk The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War 17 October 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Joanne Freeman, Yale University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, she shows that the Capitol was rife with conflict in the decades before the Civil War. Legislative sessions were often punctuated by mortal threats, canings, flipped desks, and all-out slugfests. Pistols were drawn and knives brandished in an attempt to intimidate fellow congressmen into compliance, particularly on the issue of slavery.

 

 

 

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African American History Seminar Losing Laroche: The Story of the Titanic’s Only Black Passenger 18 October 2018.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Kellie Carter Jackson, Wellesley College Comment: Saje Mathieu, University of Minnesota

Losing Laroche is the first in-depth study of the only black family on board the RMS Titanic. The story of the Haitian Joseph Philippe Lemercier Laroche and his descendants is largely unknown and troubles the assumption of an all-white Titanic narrative. This paper seeks to understand the possibilities of black advancement in the Titanic moment and throughout the Diaspora.

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

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 20 October 2018.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.

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Public Program, Walking Tour Tour of Longfellow Bridge 20 October 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The tour group will meet in front of the Charles Circle CVS, 155 Charles Street, Boston MA 02114 Miguel Rosales THIS PROGRAM IS NOW SOLD OUT.

After five years and over $300 million worth of construction and refurbishment, the beautiful and historic Longfellow Bridge is once again fully operational. Constructed at the turn of the 20th century and designed with an eye towards the greatest infrastructure projects of Europe, the Longfellow Bridge has long been one of the most striking and beloved landmarks in Boston. Architect and urban designer Miguel Rosales has been involved in this restoration project for close to 15 years and will lead visitors on an in-depth tour of this exceptional bridge.

 

 

 

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Seminar Paul Revere's Ride through Digital History 22 October 2018.Monday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Joseph M. Adelman, Framingham State University and Omohundro Institute; Liz Covart, Omohundro Institute; Karin Wulf, Omohundro Institute

This seminar examines components of the Omohundro Institute’s multi-platform digital project and podcast series, Doing History: To the Revolution. It explores Episode 130, “Paul Revere’s Ride through History,” and the ways the topic was constructed through narrative and audio effects, as well as the content in the complementary reader app. Participants are asked to listen to the podcast and access the reader app before the session. Refreshments will follow the presentation and discussion.

 

To reserve: Please call 617-646-0579 or e-mail seminars@masshist.org.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Reproducing Race in the Early Americas 23 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Knafel Center, Radcliffe Institute Rhae Lynn Barnes, Princeton University; Deirdre Cooper Owens, Queens College; Sasha Turner, Quinnipiac University Moderator: Nicole Aljoe, Northeastern University

This roundtable will use the body as frame for examining racial formation in the Caribbean and U.S. from the eighteenth century to the present. The presenters will meditate on biological reproduction in relation to citizenship and subjecthood, labor and economy, medical and scientific knowledge, and representations of blackness in popular culture.

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

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Public Program, Author Talk Swindler Sachem: The American Indian Who Sold His Birthright, Dropped Out of Harvard, and Conned the King of England 24 October 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Jenny Hale Pulsipher, Brigham Young University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Jenny Pulsipher opens a window onto 17th-century New England and the English empire from the unusual perspective of John Wompas, a Nipmuc Indian who may not have been all he claimed but was certainly out of the ordinary. Drawing on documentary and anthropological sources as well as consultations with Native people, Pulsipher examines struggles over Native land and sovereignty during an era of political turmoil and reveals how Wompas navigated these perilous waters for the benefit of himself and his kin.

 

 

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Teacher Workshop Fashioning History 27 October 2018.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration: $25 front clasp of a red cloak.  The cloak is tied with a red satin ribbon.

Throughout history, our choices about what we wear tell the world about our personality, position, background, and beliefs. From textile in Boston Boycott, manufacture in the Industrial Revolution, to the fashion of war and protest, clothing offers a vivid lens to examine American cultural history. Drawing on the MHS exhibit “Fashioning the New England Family,” we will explore how clothing and style help us understand the everyday lives of historical New Englanders.

This program is open to all who work with K-12 students. Teachers can earn 22.5 Professional Development Points or 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee).

For questions, contact Kate Melchior at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

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Public Program Armistice: WWI in Memory and Song 29 October 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-program reception at 5:30. A collaboration of MHS and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee with John Brancy, Baritone; Peter Dugan, Piano; and Peter Drummey, MHS There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

A temporary exhibition on the end of World War I will be coupled with songs and a conversation about the journey home that men and women faced at the close of The War to End All Wars. This program will explore both the history of the war and the memory of it. On Tuesday October 30 at 8:00 pm, John Brancy and Peter Dugan will perform their program “Armistice: The Journey Home” in Seully Hall at Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

 

 

 

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Governing the “Black Power” City: Leon H. Sullivan, Opportunities Industrialization Centers Inc., and the Rise of Black Empowerment 30 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Jessica Ann Levy, Johns Hopkins University Comment: Julia Rabig, Dartmouth College

This paper traces the Opportunities Industrialization Center’s rise from its meager founding in North Philadelphia to one of the largest black community development programs in the United States. In doing so, it sheds new light on the financial and intellectual investments made by American business, government bureaucrats, and civil rights entrepreneurs like Sullivan in transforming black dissidents into “productive citizens,” “productive” having economic and civic connotations.

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

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Biography Seminar “No Ideas But in Things”: Writing Lives from Objects 1 November 2018.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Deborah Lutz, University of Louisville; Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Amherst College; Susan Ware, Independent Scholar Moderator: Natalie Dykstra, Hope College

Often a biographer confronts silences in the record of her subject, when part of the life story is not documented with words. Mute sources—objects in the subject’s archive—can pose a challenge for interpretation, but also offer rich opportunities. How can biographers read objects as eloquent sources?

Panelists include Deborah Lutz, whose book The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects is a biography of the sisters centered on the humble objects they owned. Susan Ware, author of the forthcoming Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote, is using artifacts from the Schlesinger Library’s collections in her group biography of suffrage activists. Karen Sanchez-Eppler is writing In the Archives of Childhood: Playing with the Past, viewing children’s lives from material things. Natalie Dykstra, author of Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life, will moderate.

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

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 3 November 2018.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.

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Early American History Seminar “A Rotten-Hearted Fellow”: The Rise of Alexander McDougall 6 November 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Christopher Minty, the Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society Comment: Brendan McConville, Boston University

Historians have often grouped the DeLanceys of New York as self-interested opportunists who were destined to become loyalists. By focusing on the rise of Alexander McDougall, this paper offers a new interpretation, demonstrating how the DeLanceys and McDougall mobilized groups with competing visions of New York’s political economy. These prewar factions stayed in opposition until the Revolutionary War, thus shedding new light on the coming of the American Revolution.

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

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Brown Bag John Perkins Cushing and Boston's Early China Trade 7 November 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Gwenn Miller, College of the Holy Cross

In July of 1803, John Perkins Cushing, an orphaned relation of some of the most prominent families in Boston, set sail for the Canton at the age of sixteen. The emerging literature on the Early American China trade often mentions Cushing as an aside, sometimes refers in passing to his importance among the foreign residents of Canton. This project explores how he came to be in that position of importance and casts Boston’s opium exchange at the center of the trade.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Revolution 250 Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero 7 November 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 with a special rum tasting courtesy of Privateer Rum Christian Di Spigna THIS PROGRAM IS NOW SOLD OUT

Had he not been martyred at Bunker Hill in 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren, an architect of the colonial rebellion, might have led the country as Washington or Jefferson did. Warren was involved in almost every major insurrectionary act in the Boston, from the Stamp Act protests to the Boston Massacre to the Boston Tea Party, but his legacy has remained largely obscured. Di Spigna’s biography of Warren is the product of two decades of research and scores of newly unearthed documents that have given us this forgotten Founding Father anew.

Join our pre-talk reception at 5:30 for a special rum tasting courtesy of Privateer Rum.

 

 

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Brown Bag Persistent Futures of Americas Past: The Genres of Geography and Race in Early America 9 November 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Timothy Fosbury, University of California, Los Angeles

This talk analyzes the speculative literary origins of America as a desired community and geography of economic, political, and religious belonging in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by considering how place making was a form of nascent race making in the early Americas. Moving between New England, Bermuda, and the Caribbean, this talk considers how settler imaginings of their desired futures in the Americas produced the preconditions for what we would now call race.

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Conference Art and Memory: The Role of Medals 10 November 2018.Saturday, 8:00AM - 6:30PM THE REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS NOW CLOSED. Dinner afterward (at The Colonnade Hotel), 7:00PM – 9:00PM A cocktail reception at the MHS will conclude the conference in the late afternoon

Medal Collectors of America and MHS Conference

There is a $75 per person conference fee, with dinner afterward optional at an additional $95 per person.

This conference on medals and medal collecting will include a series of presentations on the role medals have played in America history, the evolution of medallic art, and the ways medals have reflected American culture up through the 20th century. In addition, a panel discussion will cover the stylistic developments from Renaissance medallic art to contemporary art medals (“The Art of the Medal”).  A second panel will explore the individual passions that drive numismatists to build their unique collections (“Why Collect Medals?”).

8:00 am Arrival/registration/coffee; time to view the MHS medal exhibit

8:30 am Welcome, A primer on the MHS Numismatic Collection.

Anne Bentley, Curator of Art and Artifacts

9:00 am Their Secrets Revealed! Early American College Secret Society Medals

John Sallay

9:45 am Medallic America: Allegorical Representations of America on European and American Medals

Alan Stahl

10:30 am Break

11:00 am Panel Discussion: “The Art of the Medal”

Ira Rezak (moderator)
Cory Gilliland
Robert Hoge
Scott Miller

12:00 noon Lunch

1:00 pm The Early Work of Victor David Brenner

Patrick McMahon

1:45 pm So-Called Dollars as a Reflection of Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century American Culture

Jonathan Brecher

2:30 pm Break

2:50 pm Welcome

Catherine Allgor, President of the MHS

3:00 pm Medals and Books

Len Augsburger

3:45 pm Medallic Art Company Archives at the ANS

Ute Wartenberg Kagan

4:15 pm Panel Discussion: “Why Collect Medals?”

John Adams (moderator)
Q. David Bowers
Rob Rodriguez
John Sallay
Stephen Scher

5:15 pm Wrap up

A cocktail reception at the MHS will conclude the conference, followed by an optional dinner at the Colonnade Hotel (120 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116)

5:30 pm Social/cocktails/reception at MHS

6:30 pm Depart for dinner

7:00 pm Dinner at the Colonnade Hotel (Braemore/Kenmore Room)

The special rate offered by The Colonnade Hotel has expired and other rooms may or may not be available there. A list of other nearby hotels is available by request.

MHS is proud to partner with the Medal Collectors of America, a national organization dedicated to the study and collection of artistic and historical medals. For further information, please see www.medalcollectors.org.

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Library Closed Library Closed 10 November 2018.Saturday, all day

The library is CLOSED to accommodate a special event.

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Building Closed Veterans Day 12 November 2018.Monday, all day

The Society is CLOSED in observance of Veterans Day.

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Environmental History Seminar Ditched: Digging Up Black History in the South Carolina Lowcountry 13 November 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Caroline Grego, University of Colorado Boulder Comment: Chad Montrie, University of Massachusetts Lowell

For nearly three centuries, Black sea islanders enslaved and free have dug thousands of miles of ditches that channeled the South Carolina Lowcountry, for purposes from rice to phosphate to mosquito control. This piece explores the evolving projects of environmental use and management in the Lowcountry, through the conduit of ditches, and traces the history of how the environment, politics, and labor intersected in the miry ditches of the region from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.

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

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African American History Seminar An “Organic Union”: Ecclesiastical Imperialism and Caribbean Missions 15 November 2018.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Christina Davidson, Harvard University Comment: Greg Childs, Brandeis University

In 1880, hundreds of black clergy and lay delegates of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) gathered to discuss reunion with the British Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada. Factions within both denominations disputed the nature and procedure of the proposed organic union. This paper argues that the organic union debate was in fact crucial to AME expansion and the development of foreign missions in Haiti and the broader Caribbean.

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

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:00PM 16 November 2018.Friday, all day

The library is closing early at 3:00PM for staff training.

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Tour Gallery Talk: Fashioning the New England Family 17 November 2018.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire

Material culture specialist and guest curator, Dr. Kimberly Alexander will help viewers explore and contextualize rarely seen costumes, textiles and fashion-related accessories mined from the MHS collection. Representing three- centuries of evolving New England style, most of the pieces have never before been on view to the public.

 

 

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Public Program, Author Talk Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates registration required 19 November 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM This program is no longer accepting registrations. Eric Jay Dolin There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the dramatic history of American piracy’s “Golden Age”—spanning the late 1600s through the early 1700s—when lawless pirates plied the coastal waters of North America and beyond. Eric Jay Dolin illustrates how American colonists at first supported these outrageous pirates in an early display of solidarity against the Crown, and then violently opposed them.

 

 

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Brown Bag Postponed:
The American Debates over the China Relief Expedition of 1900
this event is free 21 November 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Xiangyun Xu, Pennsylvania State University

This talk examines the American debates over the country’s participation in the eight-nation alliance to relieve the Chinese Boxers’ siege of internationals in Tianjin and Beijing. It places U.S. participation within the context of concurrent controversies over the Spanish-American and Philippine-American war as well as the assertive U.S. policy in East Asia.

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Building Closed Thanksgiving 22 November 2018.Thursday, all day

The Society is CLOSED for Thanksgiving.

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Building Closed Thanksgiving Friday 23 November 2018.Friday, all day close
Building Closed Thanksgiving Saturday 24 November 2018.Saturday, all day close
Modern American Society and Culture Seminar In Search of the Costs of Segregation Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
27 November 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Elizabeth Herbin-Triant, University of Massachusetts Lowell Comment: Kenneth W. Mack, Harvard Law School

Historians generally treat Jim Crow as a legal, political, and cultural system shaping where African Americans went, whether they voted, and how they acted. Yet it was also an economic system that imposed financial burdens. This paper explores how segregation made the activities undertaken by African Americans—from gaining education to property—more expensive for them and how it excluded them from economic advancement.

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

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Brown Bag Mules, Fuels, and Fusion: Overcoming Entropy and Crossing the Isthmian Transit Zone 1848-1977 this event is free 28 November 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jordan Coulombe, University of New Hampshire

This talk explores American attempts to construct transportation infrastructures in Panama between the creation of the Panama Railroad and the Carter-Torrijos Treaties. It focuses specifically on the role proliferating energy sources played in restructuring the Isthmian environment.

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Public Program, Author Talk After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet registration required 29 November 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Julie Dobrow, Tufts University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Despite Emily Dickinson’s world renown, the story of the two women most responsible for her initial posthumous publication—Mabel Loomis Todd and her daughter, Millicent Todd Bingham—has remained in the shadows of the archives. A rich and compelling portrait of women who refused to be confined by the social mores of their era, After Emily explores Mabel and Millicent’s complex bond, as well as the powerful literary legacy they shared.

 

 

 

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Tour Gallery Talk: Fashioning the New England Family this event is free 30 November 2018.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire

Material culture specialist and guest curator, Dr. Kimberly Alexander will help viewers explore and contextualize rarely seen costumes, textiles and fashion-related accessories mined from the MHS collection. Representing three- centuries of evolving New England style, most of the pieces have never before been on view to the public.

 

 

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