April

Notice Online catalog, ABIGAIL, will be unavailable 21 April 2018.Saturday, all day To allow for system maintenance, the Society's online catalog ABIGAIL will be unavailable on ...

To allow for system maintenance, the Society's online catalog ABIGAIL will be unavailable on Saturday, 21 April from 9:00AM to 4:00PM.  Manuscript and photograph collection guides should remain accessible via the MHS website at http://www.masshist.org/collection-guides/. 

The library will be open on Saturday and requests from the catalog placed via a portal Portal1791 account prior to 9:00 AM will be able to be processed throughout the day.  

More
Public Program Begin at the Beginning - Overstepping Their Bounds: How the Puritans Wrested Massachusetts from Gorges 21 April 2018.Saturday, 1:00PM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   In 1628, King Charles the 1st made a royal grant of what is now the entire state of Massachusetts ...

In 1628, King Charles the 1st made a royal grant of what is now the entire state of Massachusetts (not including Plymouth) to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Remarkably, ALL of this territory had previously been granted to others. In four separate actions between 1621 and 1623, this land had been granted, by Sir Ferdinando Gorges, President of the Council for New England, to himself and to his associates, and colonized. However, the King's Charter overrode their charters and boundaries.

At this Partnership of Historic Bostons discussion group at MHS, we will replay the struggles and strategies the Mass Bay Colony used to defend, and expand, its land grant against Gorges' accusations of usurpation, sedition, and religious non-conformity, and the efforts to recapture his lost territory by Gorges and his supporters. 

There are five readings (portions of original documents and maps), and a sixth suggested reading.  These will be emailed to everyone who registers thru MHS by Wednesday evening, April 18, and a few copies will be available at the meeting.  

More
Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Creepy Crawling in Los Angeles: The Manson Family and Cultural Mixing as Apocalypse 24 April 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Jeffrey Melnick, UMass-Boston Comment: Gretchen Heefner, Northeastern University Charles Manson made national news in 1969 when several “Family” members were arrested ...

Charles Manson made national news in 1969 when several “Family” members were arrested for murder, but by then he was well-established in Los Angeles. This paper explores the cultural fluidity that allowed Los Angeles’s hip aristocracy to mingle with marginal figures like Manson, but also the backlash which turned the Manson Family into a warning for the dangers of migration and the promiscuous cultural mixing that could follow.

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

More
Public Program, Conversation, This Land is Your Land This Land is Your Land Series: Public Land 25 April 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Ethan Carr, UMass Amherst; Alan Banks, National Parks Service; Sean Fisher and Karl Haglund, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation; moderated by Keith Morgan There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Massachusetts has undertaken large scale preservation of open space by government entities. The ...

Massachusetts has undertaken large scale preservation of open space by government entities. The Boston Public Garden, the Emerald Necklace, the first American public beach in Revere, the banks of the Charles River, and a network of state forests were all significant contributions to keeping open land available to the public. Were these projects pioneering? Have they shaped national discussions? Are similar projects possible today or will projects like the Community Preservation Act offer equivalent impacts?

MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

This program is supported by the Barr Foundation.

More
May
Early American History Seminar The Time of Anarchy: the Susquehannock Scattering and the Crisis of English Colonialism, 1675-1685 1 May 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Matthew Kruer, University of Chicago Comment: Linford Fisher, Brown University Part of a larger book project, this paper argues that the seemingly distinct conflicts across the ...

Part of a larger book project, this paper argues that the seemingly distinct conflicts across the English colonies in the 1670s were actually connected by the political initiatives of the scattered Susquehannock Indians. The dispersion of the Susquehannocks caused instability in surrounding Native American and colonial societies, drawing them into a spiral of violence interrupted only by Susquehannock success, which brought stability to the northeast and shattered the southeast.

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

More
Public Program, Conversation, This Land is Your Land This Land is Your Land Series: The Future of Our Land 2 May 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor Now; Austin Blackmon, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space for the City of Boston; Madhu C. Dutta-Koehler, City Planning and Urban Affairs, Boston University $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). The Boston metropolitan area is in the enviable spot of having more people who want to live and work ...

The Boston metropolitan area is in the enviable spot of having more people who want to live and work here than there is space for. Real estate regularly sells for prices that would have seemed inconceivable twenty five years ago. This situation puts more funds in municipal coffers, but what will this increased demand and density do to plans to preserve open space? How will climate change impact our priorities for preserving open space and how might it limit our options?

 MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

This program is supported by the Barr Foundation.

More
Teacher Workshop David McCullough: History and the American Spirit 5 May 2018.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Registration fee: $25 per person This workshop is FULL and registration has closed.  Please contact Kate Melchior at ...

This workshop is FULL and registration has closed.  Please contact Kate Melchior at kmelchior@masshist.org with any questions.

Known as the “master of the art of narrative history,” David McCullough is the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. He will join us to discuss his perspective on history, education, and American legacy.

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

Note: Due to high demand, this workshop is currently restricted to K-12 educators ONLY. This includes both classroom educators and museum/heritage institution educators.

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Melchior at kmelchior@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

More
Library Closed Library Closed 5 May 2018.Saturday, all day The library is CLOSED to make way for a teacher workshop. Normal hours resume on Monday, 7 May. ...

The library is CLOSED to make way for a teacher workshop. Normal hours resume on Monday, 7 May. Exhibition galleries remain open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

More
Public Program, Conversation Off the Charts: The Hidden Lives & Lessons of American Child Prodigies 7 May 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Ann Hulbert, The Atlantic; and Megan Marshall, Emerson College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Ann Hulbert and Megan Marshall will discuss Hulbert’s new book, which examines the lives of ...

Ann Hulbert and Megan Marshall will discuss Hulbert’s new book, which examines the lives of children whose rare accomplishments have raised hopes about untapped human potential and questions about how best to nurture it. The conversation will draw on a range of examples that span a century—from two precocious Harvard boys in 1909 to literary girls in the 1920s to music virtuosos today. Hulbert and Marshall will explore the changing role of parents and teachers, as well as of psychologists, a curious press and, above all, the feelings of the prodigies themselves, who push back against adults more as the decades proceed.

More
Brown Bag For Love and Money: Marriage in Early America 9 May 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Lindsay Keiter, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation While historians have analyzed the rise of companionship and romance in marriage, they have ...

While historians have analyzed the rise of companionship and romance in marriage, they have overlooked a critical continuity: marriage continued to serve vital financial functions. This talk briefly sketches the economic importance of marriage and families’ strategies for managing wealth across generations.

More
Special Event, Member Event Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End Preview & Reception 10 May 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members MHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview and reception for Entrepreneurship ...

Isaac Vose CouchMHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview and reception for Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose &Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825

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.

Become a Member today!

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.

More
Isaac Vose Couch Exhibitionbegins Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825 11 May 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.

More
Public Program, Author Talk The Burr Conspiracy 15 May 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 James E. Lewis, Jr., Kalamazoo College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). In 1805 and 1806, former vice president Aaron Burr traveled through the trans-Appalachian West ...

In 1805 and 1806, former vice president Aaron Burr traveled through the trans-Appalachian West gathering support for a mysterious enterprise, for which he was arrested and tried for treason in 1807. The Burr Conspiracy was a cause célèbre of the early republic-with Burr cast as the chief villain of the Founding Fathers—even as the evidence against him was vague and conflicting. James Lewis will explore how Americans made sense of the reports of Burr’s intentions and examine what the crisis revealed about the new nation’s uncertain future.

More
Clio 2018 Special Event Cocktails with Clio 17 May 2018.Thursday, 6:30PM - 10:00PM Please RSVP   Feast, sip, and celebrate history at the eighth Cocktails with Clio!  ...

Feast, sip, and celebrate history at the eighth Cocktails with Clio! 

Thursday, 17 May 2018
6:30 PM

Fairmont Copley Plaza
Boston, Massachusetts

We invite you to join us for a festive evening in support of the Center for the Teaching of History at the MHS featuring Harvard President Drew Faust in conversation with MHS President Catherine Allgor. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception. A seated dinner will follow.

Tickets are $300 per person. Purchase tickets today!

More
Public Program, Author Talk Lafayette in America 21 May 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Alan Hoffman In 1824 and 1825 General Lafayette made a farewell tour of the United States. The 67-year-old hero ...

In 1824 and 1825 General Lafayette made a farewell tour of the United States. The 67-year-old hero was welcomed in an adoring frenzy. The visit to Boston of the sole surviving major general of the Continental Army was one of the largest celebrations the city had ever seen. A “Committee of Arrangements” was organized to rent and furnish an appropriate home and all of the furniture was purchased from Isaac Vose & Son. Alan Hoffman will recount the general’s visit and discuss his translation of Lafayette’s private secretary’s journal.

More
Brown Bag Are We Descended from Puritans or Pagans?: New England’s Critique of Manifest Destiny 23 May 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Daniel Burge, University of Alabama This talk examines the religious critique of manifest destiny put forth by New Englanders from 1848 ...

This talk examines the religious critique of manifest destiny put forth by New Englanders from 1848-1871. Although manifest destiny is often portrayed as an ideology rooted in Puritan theology, this talk explores how opponents of expansion in New England used religion to castigate and separate themselves from this ideology.

More
Galleries Open, Library Closed Memorial Day 26 May 2018.Saturday, all day The MHS library is CLOSED. The exhibition galleries remain open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

The MHS library is CLOSED. The exhibition galleries remain open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

More
Building Closed Memorial Day 28 May 2018.Monday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are CLOSED for Memorial Day.

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

More
Brown Bag Conjuring Emancipation: Making Freedom in the U.S. Civil War’s Refugee Camps 30 May 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Abigail Cooper, Brandeis University Black Americans did not just pray for emancipation, they conjured it. This project examines the ...

Black Americans did not just pray for emancipation, they conjured it. This project examines the political work of revival in wartime refugee camps and envisions emancipation as a religious event. It reckons with religion as a mediating force between the enslaved and the state, asking "Who belongs and how?" for those negotiating statelessness and peoplehood in the midst of self-emancipation.

More
Public Program, Author Talk Apostles of Revolution: Jefferson, Paine, Monroe, & the Struggle against the Old Order in America & Europe 30 May 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 John Ferling, University of West Georgia There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). As Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Monroe risked their lives and their ...

As Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Monroe risked their lives and their liberty for  American independence, and as reformers, each rejoiced at the opportunity to be part of the French Revolution, praying that it in turn would inspire others to sweep away Europe’s monarchies and titled nobilities. But as the 18th century unfolded, these three embarked on different routes to revolution. As writers, soldiers,and statesmen, these three men reshaped their country and the Western world.

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June
Public Program, Author Talk Massachusetts Leadership in the Woman Suffrage Movement 6 June 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Barbara Berenson There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Few are familiar with Massachusetts’s role at the center of the national struggle for woman ...

Few are familiar with Massachusetts’s role at the center of the national struggle for woman suffrage. Lucy Stone and other Massachusetts abolitionists were some of the first figures who vocally opposed women’s exclusion from political life. Demanding the vote and other reforms, they launched the organized women’s movement at the first National Woman’s Rights Convention, held in Worcester in 1850.Barbara Berenson gives Massachusetts suffragists the attention they deserve in this engaging story and discusses the battle over historical memory that long obscured the state’s leading role.

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Public Program, Author Talk United Tastes: The Making of the First American Cookbook 14 June 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). American Cookery (1796) by Amelia Simmons is known as the “first American cookbook”and ...

American Cookery (1796) by Amelia Simmons is known as the “first American cookbook”and has attracted an enthusiastic modern audience of historians, food journalists, and general readers. Yet until now American Cookery has not received the sustained scholarly attention it deserves. Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald’s United Tastes fills this gap by providing a detailed examination of the social circumstances and culinary tradition that produced this American classic.

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Public Program, Author Talk Chateau Higginson: Social Life in Boston’s Back Bay, 1870–1920 21 June 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Margo Miller, Boston Globe (retired) There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Chateau Higginson is a vivid and absorbing account of one man’s efforts to construct a ...

Chateau Higginson is a vivid and absorbing account of one man’s efforts to construct a building that would create “a new way for Bostonians—and Americans—to live.” Henry Lee Higginson is best known for founding the Boston Symphony Orchestra, but exploring his housing gamble helps bring him to life, as well as a whole social class in 19th-century urban America.

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July
Building Closed Independence Day 4 July 2018.Wednesday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are CLOSED for Independence Day.

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

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More events
Notice Online catalog, ABIGAIL, will be unavailable 21 April 2018.Saturday, all day

To allow for system maintenance, the Society's online catalog ABIGAIL will be unavailable on Saturday, 21 April from 9:00AM to 4:00PM.  Manuscript and photograph collection guides should remain accessible via the MHS website at http://www.masshist.org/collection-guides/. 

The library will be open on Saturday and requests from the catalog placed via a portal Portal1791 account prior to 9:00 AM will be able to be processed throughout the day.  

close
Public Program Begin at the Beginning - Overstepping Their Bounds: How the Puritans Wrested Massachusetts from Gorges Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 21 April 2018.Saturday, 1:00PM - 4:00PM

In 1628, King Charles the 1st made a royal grant of what is now the entire state of Massachusetts (not including Plymouth) to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Remarkably, ALL of this territory had previously been granted to others. In four separate actions between 1621 and 1623, this land had been granted, by Sir Ferdinando Gorges, President of the Council for New England, to himself and to his associates, and colonized. However, the King's Charter overrode their charters and boundaries.

At this Partnership of Historic Bostons discussion group at MHS, we will replay the struggles and strategies the Mass Bay Colony used to defend, and expand, its land grant against Gorges' accusations of usurpation, sedition, and religious non-conformity, and the efforts to recapture his lost territory by Gorges and his supporters. 

There are five readings (portions of original documents and maps), and a sixth suggested reading.  These will be emailed to everyone who registers thru MHS by Wednesday evening, April 18, and a few copies will be available at the meeting.  

close
Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Creepy Crawling in Los Angeles: The Manson Family and Cultural Mixing as Apocalypse Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
24 April 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Jeffrey Melnick, UMass-Boston Comment: Gretchen Heefner, Northeastern University

Charles Manson made national news in 1969 when several “Family” members were arrested for murder, but by then he was well-established in Los Angeles. This paper explores the cultural fluidity that allowed Los Angeles’s hip aristocracy to mingle with marginal figures like Manson, but also the backlash which turned the Manson Family into a warning for the dangers of migration and the promiscuous cultural mixing that could follow.

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

close
Public Program, Conversation, This Land is Your Land This Land is Your Land Series: Public Land registration required 25 April 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Ethan Carr, UMass Amherst; Alan Banks, National Parks Service; Sean Fisher and Karl Haglund, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation; moderated by Keith Morgan There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Massachusetts has undertaken large scale preservation of open space by government entities. The Boston Public Garden, the Emerald Necklace, the first American public beach in Revere, the banks of the Charles River, and a network of state forests were all significant contributions to keeping open land available to the public. Were these projects pioneering? Have they shaped national discussions? Are similar projects possible today or will projects like the Community Preservation Act offer equivalent impacts?

MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

This program is supported by the Barr Foundation.

close
Early American History Seminar The Time of Anarchy: the Susquehannock Scattering and the Crisis of English Colonialism, 1675-1685 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
1 May 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Matthew Kruer, University of Chicago Comment: Linford Fisher, Brown University

Part of a larger book project, this paper argues that the seemingly distinct conflicts across the English colonies in the 1670s were actually connected by the political initiatives of the scattered Susquehannock Indians. The dispersion of the Susquehannocks caused instability in surrounding Native American and colonial societies, drawing them into a spiral of violence interrupted only by Susquehannock success, which brought stability to the northeast and shattered the southeast.

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

close
Public Program, Conversation, This Land is Your Land This Land is Your Land Series: The Future of Our Land registration required 2 May 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor Now; Austin Blackmon, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space for the City of Boston; Madhu C. Dutta-Koehler, City Planning and Urban Affairs, Boston University $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

The Boston metropolitan area is in the enviable spot of having more people who want to live and work here than there is space for. Real estate regularly sells for prices that would have seemed inconceivable twenty five years ago. This situation puts more funds in municipal coffers, but what will this increased demand and density do to plans to preserve open space? How will climate change impact our priorities for preserving open space and how might it limit our options?

 MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

This program is supported by the Barr Foundation.

close
Teacher Workshop David McCullough: History and the American Spirit Please RSVP   registration required 5 May 2018.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration fee: $25 per person

This workshop is FULL and registration has closed.  Please contact Kate Melchior at kmelchior@masshist.org with any questions.

Known as the “master of the art of narrative history,” David McCullough is the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. He will join us to discuss his perspective on history, education, and American legacy.

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

Note: Due to high demand, this workshop is currently restricted to K-12 educators ONLY. This includes both classroom educators and museum/heritage institution educators.

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Melchior at kmelchior@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

close
Library Closed Library Closed 5 May 2018.Saturday, all day

The library is CLOSED to make way for a teacher workshop. Normal hours resume on Monday, 7 May. Exhibition galleries remain open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

close
Public Program, Conversation Off the Charts: The Hidden Lives & Lessons of American Child Prodigies registration required 7 May 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Ann Hulbert, The Atlantic; and Megan Marshall, Emerson College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Ann Hulbert and Megan Marshall will discuss Hulbert’s new book, which examines the lives of children whose rare accomplishments have raised hopes about untapped human potential and questions about how best to nurture it. The conversation will draw on a range of examples that span a century—from two precocious Harvard boys in 1909 to literary girls in the 1920s to music virtuosos today. Hulbert and Marshall will explore the changing role of parents and teachers, as well as of psychologists, a curious press and, above all, the feelings of the prodigies themselves, who push back against adults more as the decades proceed.

close
Brown Bag For Love and Money: Marriage in Early America this event is free 9 May 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Lindsay Keiter, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

While historians have analyzed the rise of companionship and romance in marriage, they have overlooked a critical continuity: marriage continued to serve vital financial functions. This talk briefly sketches the economic importance of marriage and families’ strategies for managing wealth across generations.

close
Special Event, Member Event Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End Preview & Reception registration required at no cost 10 May 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members

Isaac Vose CouchMHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview and reception for Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose &Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825

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.

Become a Member today!

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.

close
Exhibition Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825 this event is free 11 May 2018 to 14 September 2018 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.

close
Public Program, Author Talk The Burr Conspiracy registration required 15 May 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 James E. Lewis, Jr., Kalamazoo College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

In 1805 and 1806, former vice president Aaron Burr traveled through the trans-Appalachian West gathering support for a mysterious enterprise, for which he was arrested and tried for treason in 1807. The Burr Conspiracy was a cause célèbre of the early republic-with Burr cast as the chief villain of the Founding Fathers—even as the evidence against him was vague and conflicting. James Lewis will explore how Americans made sense of the reports of Burr’s intentions and examine what the crisis revealed about the new nation’s uncertain future.

close
Special Event Cocktails with Clio Please RSVP   registration required 17 May 2018.Thursday, 6:30PM - 10:00PM Clio 2018

Feast, sip, and celebrate history at the eighth Cocktails with Clio! 

Thursday, 17 May 2018
6:30 PM

Fairmont Copley Plaza
Boston, Massachusetts

We invite you to join us for a festive evening in support of the Center for the Teaching of History at the MHS featuring Harvard President Drew Faust in conversation with MHS President Catherine Allgor. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception. A seated dinner will follow.

Tickets are $300 per person. Purchase tickets today!

close
Public Program, Author Talk Lafayette in America registration required at no cost 21 May 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Alan Hoffman

In 1824 and 1825 General Lafayette made a farewell tour of the United States. The 67-year-old hero was welcomed in an adoring frenzy. The visit to Boston of the sole surviving major general of the Continental Army was one of the largest celebrations the city had ever seen. A “Committee of Arrangements” was organized to rent and furnish an appropriate home and all of the furniture was purchased from Isaac Vose & Son. Alan Hoffman will recount the general’s visit and discuss his translation of Lafayette’s private secretary’s journal.

close
Brown Bag Are We Descended from Puritans or Pagans?: New England’s Critique of Manifest Destiny this event is free 23 May 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Daniel Burge, University of Alabama

This talk examines the religious critique of manifest destiny put forth by New Englanders from 1848-1871. Although manifest destiny is often portrayed as an ideology rooted in Puritan theology, this talk explores how opponents of expansion in New England used religion to castigate and separate themselves from this ideology.

close
Galleries Open, Library Closed Memorial Day 26 May 2018.Saturday, all day

The MHS library is CLOSED. The exhibition galleries remain open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

close
Building Closed Memorial Day 28 May 2018.Monday, all day

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

close
Brown Bag Conjuring Emancipation: Making Freedom in the U.S. Civil War’s Refugee Camps this event is free 30 May 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Abigail Cooper, Brandeis University

Black Americans did not just pray for emancipation, they conjured it. This project examines the political work of revival in wartime refugee camps and envisions emancipation as a religious event. It reckons with religion as a mediating force between the enslaved and the state, asking "Who belongs and how?" for those negotiating statelessness and peoplehood in the midst of self-emancipation.

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Public Program, Author Talk Apostles of Revolution: Jefferson, Paine, Monroe, & the Struggle against the Old Order in America & Europe registration required 30 May 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 John Ferling, University of West Georgia There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

As Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Monroe risked their lives and their liberty for  American independence, and as reformers, each rejoiced at the opportunity to be part of the French Revolution, praying that it in turn would inspire others to sweep away Europe’s monarchies and titled nobilities. But as the 18th century unfolded, these three embarked on different routes to revolution. As writers, soldiers,and statesmen, these three men reshaped their country and the Western world.

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Public Program, Author Talk Massachusetts Leadership in the Woman Suffrage Movement registration required 6 June 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Barbara Berenson There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Few are familiar with Massachusetts’s role at the center of the national struggle for woman suffrage. Lucy Stone and other Massachusetts abolitionists were some of the first figures who vocally opposed women’s exclusion from political life. Demanding the vote and other reforms, they launched the organized women’s movement at the first National Woman’s Rights Convention, held in Worcester in 1850.Barbara Berenson gives Massachusetts suffragists the attention they deserve in this engaging story and discusses the battle over historical memory that long obscured the state’s leading role.

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Public Program, Author Talk United Tastes: The Making of the First American Cookbook registration required 14 June 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

American Cookery (1796) by Amelia Simmons is known as the “first American cookbook”and has attracted an enthusiastic modern audience of historians, food journalists, and general readers. Yet until now American Cookery has not received the sustained scholarly attention it deserves. Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald’s United Tastes fills this gap by providing a detailed examination of the social circumstances and culinary tradition that produced this American classic.

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Public Program, Author Talk Chateau Higginson: Social Life in Boston’s Back Bay, 1870–1920 registration required 21 June 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Margo Miller, Boston Globe (retired) There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Chateau Higginson is a vivid and absorbing account of one man’s efforts to construct a building that would create “a new way for Bostonians—and Americans—to live.” Henry Lee Higginson is best known for founding the Boston Symphony Orchestra, but exploring his housing gamble helps bring him to life, as well as a whole social class in 19th-century urban America.

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Building Closed Independence Day 4 July 2018.Wednesday, all day

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

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