August

MHS Tour, Public Program The History and Collections of the MHS 26 August 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

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

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: The Irish Atlantic: A Story of Famine Migration and Opportunity.

More
September
Library Closed, Galleries Open Labor Day 2 September 2017.Saturday, all day The MHS library is CLOSED; the exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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

More
Building Closed Labor Day 4 September 2017.Monday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are CLOSED for Labor Day.

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are CLOSED for Labor Day.

More
Brown Bag The Liberator’s Legacy: Memory, Abolitionism, and the Struggle for Civil Rights, 1865-1965 6 September 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Donald Yacovone, Harvard University The Liberator’s Legacy explores popular memory of William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick ...

The Liberator’s Legacy explores popular memory of William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and their fellow abolitionists in the decades following the Civil War and reveals how that legacy influenced the rise of the modern Civil Rights Movement. Through the lens of collective memory, this book will examine the changing meaning of the Civil War in American thought.

More
Public Program, Author Talk The Selected Letters of John Kenneth Galbraith 13 September 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Richard P.F. Holt $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows) In his long, cosmopolitan life, Galbraith wrote thousands of letters. Richard P. F. Holt has ...

In his long, cosmopolitan life, Galbraith wrote thousands of letters. Richard P. F. Holt has selected the most important of these and made them available in print for the first time. The letters provide an intimate account of the three main political goals to which Galbraith devoted his professional life: ending war, fighting poverty, and improving quality of life by achieving a balance between private and public goods in an affluent capitalist society.

More
Public Program, Author Talk Expelling the Poor: Atlantic Seaboard States & the Nineteenth-Century Origins of American Immigration Policy 14 September 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Hidetaka Hirota, City College of New York This groundbreaking work reinterprets the origins of immigration restriction in the U.S. Faced with ...

This groundbreaking work reinterprets the origins of immigration restriction in the U.S. Faced with the influx of Irish immigrants over the first half of the 19th century, nativists in Massachusetts and New York developed policies for prohibiting the landing of destitute foreigners and deporting those already resident. These state-level policies laid the foundations for federal immigration law. Expelling the Poor fundamentally revises the history of American immigration policy by locating the roots of immigration control in cultural and economic nativism against the Irish on the 19th-century Atlantic seaboard.

More
Brown Bag Exploring Conflict, Collaboration, and Conciliation in Colonial Families before the American Revolution 20 September 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nina Sankovitch, Independent Researcher The Quincy, Adams, and Hancock families represent three different social classes all living in the ...

The Quincy, Adams, and Hancock families represent three different social classes all living in the small village of Braintree, MA before the American Revolution. This talk considers how the men and women of the families interacted, especially in their attitudes towards England in the late colonial era, and the different roles the families played in fomenting agitation against English rule.

More
Public Program, Conversation John McCormack and David K. Niles: How Two Reinvented Bostonians Altered American Politics and Foreign Policy 20 September 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Garrison Nelson, University of Vermont; Michael Dukakis, Northeastern University; and Peter Drummey, MHS $20 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows) John McCormack and David Niles came from large and poor families within religious minority ...

John McCormack and David Niles came from large and poor families within religious minority communities. With no formal education, they reinvented themselves and moved into political circles eventually rising to be the Speaker of the House and high level White House advisor. While less well known than some of Boston’s more recent political stars, both became central to the shaping of modern American political parties and politics.

 

The program is co-sponsored by the Northeastern University Political Science Department

More
JQA250 Special Event, Public Program An Extraordinary Life: An Evening with John Quincy Adams 21 September 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members) President John Quincy Adams, the eldest son of founders Abigail and John, remains America’s ...

President John Quincy Adams, the eldest son of founders Abigail and John, remains America’s most fascinating statesman. He began his life’s work of public service as a teenager in Catherine the Great’s court and continued until he collapsed at his desk in the U.S. Capitol more than six decades later. He served as a diplomat, secretary of state, president, and U.S. congressman. John Quincy Adams had one of the most extraordinary lives in American history, and he wrote it all down. Join us to explore his remarkable story and to celebrate the milestones in his life. 

There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members). 

More
Exhibitionends The Irish Atlantic 22 September 2017.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Explore 175 years of the Irish in Boston from the founding of the Charitable Irish Society in 1737, ...

Explore 175 years of the Irish in Boston from the founding of the Charitable Irish Society in 1737, through famine relief efforts led by Capt. Robert Bennet Forbes at the helm of the Jamestown, to a mass migration movement, decades of community and institutional building, and a rise in political power. The exhibition is co-sponsored by the MHS and the Forbes House Museum.

See the exhibit’s companion website for an overview, timeline, and more videos about the Irish in Boston.

Watch this video for an overview of the exhibit by guest curator William M. Fowler, Distinguished Professor of History at Northeastern University.

More
Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Lost Cities of Chicago's South Side 26 September 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Carlo Rotella, Boston College Comment: Samuel Zipp, Brown University Any city is composed of many layers, including superseded and could-have-been versions of itself: ...

Any city is composed of many layers, including superseded and could-have-been versions of itself: lost cities. This essay is drawn from Rotella’s current book project on South Shore, a neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side. Over the past half-century, the area has gradually shifted toward a class system of haves and have-nots separated by an increasing divide. Its fallen orders, which include factory complexes and ethnic urban villages, nevertheless exert a persistent pull today.

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

More
Brown Bag The Constitution of Disability in the Early United States 27 September 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Laurel Daen, MHS-NEH Fellow Disability emerged in the Early Republic as a meaningful bureaucratic, legal, institutional, and ...

Disability emerged in the Early Republic as a meaningful bureaucratic, legal, institutional, and cultural category. It was rooted in ideas about work, social worth, and economic independence and increasingly determined by the expert discourse of medicine. This project examines this development and considers its consequences for the new nation and its citizens.

More
Public Program, Author Talk Sargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas 27 September 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Donna Lucey, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows)   This biography, based on original letters and diaries, illuminates four extraordinary women ...

 

This biography, based on original letters and diaries, illuminates four extraordinary women painted by the iconic high-society portraitist John Singer Sargent. With uncanny intuition, Sargent hinted at the mysteries and passions that unfolded in his subjects’ lives. Like characters in an Edith Wharton novel, these women challenged society’s restrictions, risking public shame and ostracism. These compelling stories of female courage connect our past with our present and remind us that while women live differently now, they still face obstacles to attaining full equality.

More
Special Event Graduate Student Reception 28 September 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Calling all graduate students and faculty in history, American Studies, or any related field! ...

Calling all graduate students and faculty in history, American Studies, or any related field! Please join us for our eighth 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 five 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 27, by emailing seminars@masshist.org or calling (617) 646-0579.

More
Begin at the Beginning - Violence, Disease, and Public Medicine during the Pequot and King Philip’s War 30 September 2017.Saturday, 1:00PM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   Kevin McBride, Pequot Museum Co-sponsored with the Partnership of Historic Bostons This interactive talk by Kevin McBride, director of research at the Pequot Museum, and Ashley ...

This interactive talk by Kevin McBride, director of research at the Pequot Museum, and Ashley Bissonnette, Pequot Museum senior researcher, reveals how New England’s landscape were far more heavily contested than previously thought. Through an examination of musket balls, arrows, and gun parts, they will present recent archaeological findings to explore the reality of the Pequot and Philip’s Wars: epidemics, the destruction of food and shelter, and battlefield slaughter. They will also discuss the beginning of public health in the colonies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to join us on 5 October as we celebrate the arrival of Catherine Allgor, incoming president of the MHS, and open Yankees in the West. Following remarks by Sara Martin, enjoy a reception, meet our new president, and preview the exhibition.


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

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

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

More
Public Program How Boston Became the 'West': George Ticknor and the Arrival of Spanish Culture to the United States 6 October 2017.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Ricardo Miguel Alfonso, University of Castilla-La Mancha   George Ticknor, William H. Prescott, and other New Englanders wrote about Spain and the ...

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

More
Library Closed, Galleries Open Columbus Day 9 October 2017.Monday, all day The MHS library is CLOSED; the exhibition galleries are OPEN, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

More
Conversation, Public Program Advise and Dissent? The Role of Public History in Modern Life 23 October 2017.Monday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm. There is a $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows) Karilyn Crockett, Office of Economic Development, City of Boston; Brian W. J. LeMay, independent scholar; Richard Rabinowitz, American History Workshop and author, Curating America: Journeys through Storyscapes of the American Past; and Moderator Kathryn P. Viens, Massachusetts Historical Society What is the role of historical organizations in a politically polarized environment, a world of ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

More
Walking Tour, Public Program Weird and Worrisome Tour 25 October 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Meet at Loring-Greenough House, 12 South Street, Jamaica Plain, Boston Hosted by the MHS, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and Jamaica Plain Historical Society $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS, ENC, and JPHS Members) All neighborhoods have secrets but some are stranger than others. Just in time for Halloween, we ...

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

More
Public Program, Author Talk Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson 30 October 2017.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Gordon S. Wood, Brown University $20 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows) Thomas Jefferson and John Adams could scarcely have come from more different worlds or been more ...

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

More
Building Closed Veteran's Day 10 November 2017.Friday, all day The MHS is CLOSED for Veteran's Day (observed).

The MHS is CLOSED for Veteran's Day (observed).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More
More events
MHS Tour, Public Program The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 26 August 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

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

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: The Irish Atlantic: A Story of Famine Migration and Opportunity.

close
Library Closed, Galleries Open Labor Day 2 September 2017.Saturday, all day

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

close
Building Closed Labor Day 4 September 2017.Monday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are CLOSED for Labor Day.

close
Brown Bag The Liberator’s Legacy: Memory, Abolitionism, and the Struggle for Civil Rights, 1865-1965 this event is free 6 September 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Donald Yacovone, Harvard University

The Liberator’s Legacy explores popular memory of William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and their fellow abolitionists in the decades following the Civil War and reveals how that legacy influenced the rise of the modern Civil Rights Movement. Through the lens of collective memory, this book will examine the changing meaning of the Civil War in American thought.

close
Public Program, Author Talk The Selected Letters of John Kenneth Galbraith registration required 13 September 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Richard P.F. Holt $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows)

In his long, cosmopolitan life, Galbraith wrote thousands of letters. Richard P. F. Holt has selected the most important of these and made them available in print for the first time. The letters provide an intimate account of the three main political goals to which Galbraith devoted his professional life: ending war, fighting poverty, and improving quality of life by achieving a balance between private and public goods in an affluent capitalist society.

close
Public Program, Author Talk Expelling the Poor: Atlantic Seaboard States & the Nineteenth-Century Origins of American Immigration Policy registration required at no cost 14 September 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Hidetaka Hirota, City College of New York

This groundbreaking work reinterprets the origins of immigration restriction in the U.S. Faced with the influx of Irish immigrants over the first half of the 19th century, nativists in Massachusetts and New York developed policies for prohibiting the landing of destitute foreigners and deporting those already resident. These state-level policies laid the foundations for federal immigration law. Expelling the Poor fundamentally revises the history of American immigration policy by locating the roots of immigration control in cultural and economic nativism against the Irish on the 19th-century Atlantic seaboard.

close
Brown Bag Exploring Conflict, Collaboration, and Conciliation in Colonial Families before the American Revolution this event is free 20 September 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nina Sankovitch, Independent Researcher

The Quincy, Adams, and Hancock families represent three different social classes all living in the small village of Braintree, MA before the American Revolution. This talk considers how the men and women of the families interacted, especially in their attitudes towards England in the late colonial era, and the different roles the families played in fomenting agitation against English rule.

close
Public Program, Conversation John McCormack and David K. Niles: How Two Reinvented Bostonians Altered American Politics and Foreign Policy registration required 20 September 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Garrison Nelson, University of Vermont; Michael Dukakis, Northeastern University; and Peter Drummey, MHS $20 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows)

John McCormack and David Niles came from large and poor families within religious minority communities. With no formal education, they reinvented themselves and moved into political circles eventually rising to be the Speaker of the House and high level White House advisor. While less well known than some of Boston’s more recent political stars, both became central to the shaping of modern American political parties and politics.

 

The program is co-sponsored by the Northeastern University Political Science Department

close
Special Event, Public Program An Extraordinary Life: An Evening with John Quincy Adams registration required 21 September 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members) JQA250

President John Quincy Adams, the eldest son of founders Abigail and John, remains America’s most fascinating statesman. He began his life’s work of public service as a teenager in Catherine the Great’s court and continued until he collapsed at his desk in the U.S. Capitol more than six decades later. He served as a diplomat, secretary of state, president, and U.S. congressman. John Quincy Adams had one of the most extraordinary lives in American history, and he wrote it all down. Join us to explore his remarkable story and to celebrate the milestones in his life. 

There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members). 

close
Exhibition The Irish Atlantic this event is free 22 September 2017.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM

Explore 175 years of the Irish in Boston from the founding of the Charitable Irish Society in 1737, through famine relief efforts led by Capt. Robert Bennet Forbes at the helm of the Jamestown, to a mass migration movement, decades of community and institutional building, and a rise in political power. The exhibition is co-sponsored by the MHS and the Forbes House Museum.

See the exhibit’s companion website for an overview, timeline, and more videos about the Irish in Boston.

Watch this video for an overview of the exhibit by guest curator William M. Fowler, Distinguished Professor of History at Northeastern University.

close
Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Lost Cities of Chicago's South Side Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
26 September 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Carlo Rotella, Boston College Comment: Samuel Zipp, Brown University

Any city is composed of many layers, including superseded and could-have-been versions of itself: lost cities. This essay is drawn from Rotella’s current book project on South Shore, a neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side. Over the past half-century, the area has gradually shifted toward a class system of haves and have-nots separated by an increasing divide. Its fallen orders, which include factory complexes and ethnic urban villages, nevertheless exert a persistent pull today.

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

close
Brown Bag The Constitution of Disability in the Early United States this event is free 27 September 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Laurel Daen, MHS-NEH Fellow

Disability emerged in the Early Republic as a meaningful bureaucratic, legal, institutional, and cultural category. It was rooted in ideas about work, social worth, and economic independence and increasingly determined by the expert discourse of medicine. This project examines this development and considers its consequences for the new nation and its citizens.

close
Public Program, Author Talk Sargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas registration required 27 September 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Donna Lucey, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows)

 

This biography, based on original letters and diaries, illuminates four extraordinary women painted by the iconic high-society portraitist John Singer Sargent. With uncanny intuition, Sargent hinted at the mysteries and passions that unfolded in his subjects’ lives. Like characters in an Edith Wharton novel, these women challenged society’s restrictions, risking public shame and ostracism. These compelling stories of female courage connect our past with our present and remind us that while women live differently now, they still face obstacles to attaining full equality.

close
Special Event Graduate Student Reception this event is free 28 September 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM

Calling all graduate students and faculty in history, American Studies, or any related field! Please join us for our eighth 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 five 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 27, by emailing seminars@masshist.org or calling (617) 646-0579.

close
Begin at the Beginning - Violence, Disease, and Public Medicine during the Pequot and King Philip’s War Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 30 September 2017.Saturday, 1:00PM - 3:00PM Kevin McBride, Pequot Museum Co-sponsored with the Partnership of Historic Bostons

This interactive talk by Kevin McBride, director of research at the Pequot Museum, and Ashley Bissonnette, Pequot Museum senior researcher, reveals how New England’s landscape were far more heavily contested than previously thought. Through an examination of musket balls, arrows, and gun parts, they will present recent archaeological findings to explore the reality of the Pequot and Philip’s Wars: epidemics, the destruction of food and shelter, and battlefield slaughter. They will also discuss the beginning of public health in the colonies.

close
Early American History Seminar John Marshall, Slaveowner and Jurist Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
3 October 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Paul Finkelman, University of Pittsburgh School of Law Comment: R. Kent Newmyer, University of Connecticut

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

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

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

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

close
Member Event, Special Event Yankees in the West: Fellows & Members Preview & Reception registration required at no cost 5 October 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members Sara Martin, MHS Yankees in the West

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to join us on 5 October as we celebrate the arrival of Catherine Allgor, incoming president of the MHS, and open Yankees in the West. Following remarks by Sara Martin, enjoy a reception, meet our new president, and preview the exhibition.


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

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

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

close
Public Program How Boston Became the 'West': George Ticknor and the Arrival of Spanish Culture to the United States registration required at no cost 6 October 2017.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Ricardo Miguel Alfonso, University of Castilla-La Mancha

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

close
Environmental History Seminar Early American Environmental Histories Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
10 October 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM James Rice, Tufts University Comment: Christopher Parsons, Northeastern University

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

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

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

 

 

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

close
History of Women and Gender Seminar Panel Discussion: Gender, Sexuality, and the New Labor History Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
17 October 2017.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Fay House, Radcliffe Institute Anne G. Balay, Haverford College; Aimee Loiselle, University of Connecticut; Traci L. Parker, UMass-Amherst Moderator: Seth Rockman, Brown University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

close
Conversation, Public Program Advise and Dissent? The Role of Public History in Modern Life registration required 23 October 2017.Monday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm. There is a $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows) Karilyn Crockett, Office of Economic Development, City of Boston; Brian W. J. LeMay, independent scholar; Richard Rabinowitz, American History Workshop and author, Curating America: Journeys through Storyscapes of the American Past; and Moderator Kathryn P. Viens, Massachusetts Historical Society

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

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

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

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

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

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

close
Walking Tour, Public Program Weird and Worrisome Tour registration required 25 October 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Meet at Loring-Greenough House, 12 South Street, Jamaica Plain, Boston Hosted by the MHS, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and Jamaica Plain Historical Society $10 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS, ENC, and JPHS Members)

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

close
Public Program, Author Talk Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson registration required 30 October 2017.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Gordon S. Wood, Brown University $20 registration fee per person. (No Charge for MHS Members or Fellows)

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

close
Building Closed Veteran's Day 10 November 2017.Friday, all day

The MHS is CLOSED for Veteran's Day (observed).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

close

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