Exhibitions & Ongoing Events

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April 2013

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    • Early American History SeminarMaking Saltpetre for the Continental Army: How Americans Understood...
      Early American History SeminarMaking Saltpetre for the Continental Army: How Americans Understood the Environment During the War of Independence
      5:15 PM - 7:30 PM David Hsiung, Juniata College Comment: Rob Martello, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

      This case study focuses on how Americans understood the workings of the natural world as they imperfectly made gunpowder for the Continental Army.

      Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
      Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
      details
    • ConferenceMassachusetts and the Civil War: the Commonwealth and National Disu...
      begins ConferenceMassachusetts and the Civil War: the Commonwealth and National Disunion
      4 April 2013 to 6 April 2013 all day this event requires a feeregistration required details
    • Public ProgramMassachusetts and the Civil War in Black and White: The Commonwealt...
      Public ProgramMassachusetts and the Civil War in Black and White: The Commonwealth’s Role in Secession, Emancipation, and Reconstruction
      6:00 PM - 7:00 PM John Stauffer, Harvard University

      Prof. Stauffer is a member of Harvard’s English Department and the chair of the university’s graduate program on the History of American Civilization. He will speak on the contribution of the Bay State’s black and white abolitionists and political leaders to secession, freedom, and equality under the law. He will also discuss briefly how the state responded to the "counter-Revolution" that stripped away these new rights after Reconstruction. This lecture and the reception that will follow will be free and open to the public. This program is also the keynote address for the MHS conference Massachusetts and the Civil War: The Commonwealth and National Disunion.

      Please RSVP   free eventregistration required at no cost details
      7 8 9 10 11 12 13
          • Environmental History Seminar"Good Meat & Good Skins": Winter Game and Political Ecology on the ...
            Environmental History Seminar"Good Meat & Good Skins": Winter Game and Political Ecology on the Maritime Peninsula, 1620-1727
            5:15 PM - 7:30 PM Thomas Wickman, Trinity College Comment: Neal Salisbury, Smith College

            The search for a heterogeneous menu of game animals allowed northeastern Indians a flexible pattern of winter mobility. After 1704, however, English soldiers patrolled Indians’ winter hunting grounds, interfering with native reliance on wild animals. Political ecology—how power affects people’s access to routes and resources—mattered more than environmental degradation to the fate of the winter hunt on the Maritime Peninsula.

            Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
            Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
            details
          • Brown BagChild Soldiers in America
            Brown BagChild Soldiers in America
            12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Frances Clarke, University of Sydney this event is free details
          • Public Program, Author TalkDefiant Brides of the American Revolution
            Public Program, Author TalkDefiant Brides of the American Revolution
            6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30 PM Nancy Rubin Stuart Part of the "New Books/New Looks: Revisiting the Past" series Please RSVP   free eventregistration required at no cost details
          • Special Event, Member EventHistorical Happy Hour
            Special Event, Member EventHistorical Happy Hour
            7:30 PM - 8:30 PM Special event for MHS Associate Members

            MHS Associate Members (age 40 and under) are invited to join us for a cocktail and some delightful discourse immediately following the talk by Nancy Rubin Stuart. RSVP required.

            free eventregistration required at no cost details
            14 15 16 17 18 19 20
              • NoticeLibrary & Exhibitions Open
                NoticeLibrary & Exhibitions Open
                all day details
              • NoticeSeminar Canceled
                NoticeSeminar Canceled
                all day

                Tonight's Immigration and Urban History Seminar has been canceled. 

                details
              • Immigration and Urban History SeminarCanceled: Dynamic Tensions: Charles Atlas, Immigrant Bodybuilders, and Eugeni...
                Canceled:
                Immigration and Urban History SeminarDynamic Tensions: Charles Atlas, Immigrant Bodybuilders, and Eugenics, 1920-45
                5:15 PM - 7:30 PM Dominique Padurano, Scarsdale High School Comment: Martin Summers, Boston College

                Rescheduled from March 19. This paper explores the paradox of bodybuilders such as Atlas espousing eugenics principles while highlighting their own allegedly innate weaknesses as a marketing strategy for their diet and exercise regimens. It also argues that both techniques functioned as assimilation strategies for the immigrant and ethnic bodybuilding community at a time when the U.S. was less than hospitable to foreigners.

                Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
                details
                • History of Women and Gender SeminarPanel Discussion: The Big Tent of U.S. Women’s and Gender History...
                  History of Women and Gender SeminarPanel Discussion: The Big Tent of U.S. Women’s and Gender History: A State of the Field
                  5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Essayists: Cornelia H. Dayton, University of Connecticut, and Lisa Levenstein, University of North Carolina at Greensboro Panelists: Crystal Feimster, Yale University, Carol F. Karlsen, University of Michigan, and Betsy More, Harvard University Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                  Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
                  details
                  21 22 23 24 25 26 27
                            • Special EventBus Trip to the Museum of World War II
                              Special EventBus Trip to the Museum of World War II
                              11:00 AM - 5:00 PM Special event for Members of the MHS Fund Paine through Adams Circles

                              Members of the MHS Fund Paine through Adams Circles are invited to enjoy a special lunch and behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum of World War II with Founder and Director Kenneth Rendell. To register, contact Katy Capó at kcapo@masshist.org or 617-646-0518.

                              this event requires a feeregistration required details
                              28 29 30
                              • Public Program, Walking TourAuthors & Abolitionists
                                Public Program, Walking TourAuthors & Abolitionists
                                2:00 PM - 4:30 PM Location: Concord, Mass. Jayne Gordon, Massachusetts Historical Society Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required details
                                • Immigration and Urban History SeminarPanel Discussion: 19th-century Immigration, Nativism, and Politics
                                  Immigration and Urban History SeminarPanel Discussion: 19th-century Immigration, Nativism, and Politics
                                  5:15 PM - 7:30 PM Millington Bergeson-Lockwood, George Mason University, and Mimi Cowan, Boston College Comment: Evelyn Sterne, University of Rhode Island

                                  This discussion will focus on two papers, “Honorable Citizens, Ethnic Militias in Chicago, 1855-1879,” by Mimi Cowan of Boston College, and "African American and Irish Political Coalitions in Boston, Massachusetts, 1881-1890,” by Millington Bergeson-Lockwood of George Mason University. 

                                  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                                  Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
                                  details
                                this event is free Exhibition

                                Forever Free: Lincoln & the Emancipation Proclamation

                                2 January 2013 to 24 May 2013 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
                                Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM

                                Pen used to sign Emancipation ProclamationIn commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on 1 January 1863, this exhibition features the pen Abraham Lincoln used to sign the document. Visitors can learn how the MHS acquired this extraordinary pen as well as view paintings, broadsides, engravings, and manuscripts that tell the story of how Boston celebrated Emancipation.

                                this event is free Exhibition

                                Lincoln in Manuscript & Artifact

                                2 January 2013 to 24 May 2013 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
                                Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM

                                Bronze cast of Abraham LincolnView documents and artifacts related to Abraham Lincoln. Featured items include Lincoln's letter to Joshua F. Speed explaining his evolving views on slavery as well as the casts of the life mask and hands of Lincoln made by Leonard Volk in the spring of 1860.

                                this event is free Exhibition

                                "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land": Boston Abolitionists, 1831-1865

                                22 February 2013 to 24 May 2013 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
                                Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM

                                Proclaim Liberty bannerIn the decades leading up to the Civil War, Boston became a center of the national antislavery movement, and in 1831 William Lloyd Garrison, "all on fire" for the cause, began publication of The Liberator, the country's leading abolitionist newspaper. There was strong resistance to the radical movement, however, not only in the slaveholding South, but among Northerners' as well. The exhibition features manuscripts, photographs, artifacts—including the imposing stone for The Liberator—and portraits related to the abolitionist movement in Boston.

                                2 April 2013 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                                Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
                                Early American History Seminar

                                Making Saltpetre for the Continental Army: How Americans Understood the Environment During the War of Independence

                                5:15 PM - 7:30 PM
                                David Hsiung, Juniata College Comment: Rob Martello, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

                                This case study focuses on how Americans understood the workings of the natural world as they imperfectly made gunpowder for the Continental Army. It argues that paying attention to the interactions between humans and the natural environment leads to a richer understanding of the war, and that modern American attitudes towards the environment have important roots in the Revolutionary period.

                                3 April 2013 this event is free Brown Bag

                                Mourning Lincoln: Shock, Sorrow, Anger, and Glee in the Archives

                                12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                Martha Hodes, New York University

                                Reading private letters and journals, this book-in-progress investigates personal responses to Lincoln’s assassination, encompassing Union and Confederate, black and white, men and women, soldiers and civilians, rich and poor, the well-known and the unknown. What can these responses to such a cataclysmic event tell us about the aftermath of the Civil War, and what can we learn about understanding a transformative event on a human scale?

                                this event requires a feeregistration required Conference

                                Massachusetts and the Civil War: the Commonwealth and National Disunion

                                4 April 2013 to 6 April 2013 all day

                                Prof. Stauffer’s lecture on Thursday evening will open a conference that will consider almost every major aspect of Massachusetts’ participation in the war: reform activities and the origins of the war; military life; the war, politics, and the economy; slavery and emancipation; and how the citizens of Massachusetts came to terms with the consequences of the conflict. It will feature established scholars as well as up-and-coming historians who will tackle new areas of emphasis, including the radical intellectual tradition, health and the environment, and the memory of the war.

                                Conference papers will be made available in advance to those who preregister. In six sessions on Friday and Saturday, panelists and commentators will offer brief remarks; a discussion with the audience will follow. Registration fee required to attend sessions. Registration available in late 2012. For information, contact kviens@masshist.org.

                                View the conference program.

                                4 April 2013 Please RSVP   free eventregistration required at no cost Public Program

                                Massachusetts and the Civil War in Black and White: The Commonwealth’s Role in Secession, Emancipation, and Reconstruction

                                6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
                                John Stauffer, Harvard University

                                Prof. Stauffer is a member of Harvard’s English Department and the chair of the university’s graduate program on the History of American Civilization. He will speak on the contribution of the Bay State’s black and white abolitionists and political leaders to secession, freedom, and equality under the law. He will also discuss briefly how the state responded to the "counter-Revolution" that stripped away these new rights after Reconstruction. This lecture and the reception that will follow will be free and open to the public. This program is also the keynote address for the MHS conference Massachusetts and the Civil War: The Commonwealth and National Disunion.

                                9 April 2013 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                                Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
                                Environmental History Seminar

                                "Good Meat & Good Skins": Winter Game and Political Ecology on the Maritime Peninsula, 1620-1727

                                5:15 PM - 7:30 PM
                                Thomas Wickman, Trinity College Comment: Neal Salisbury, Smith College

                                The search for a heterogeneous menu of game animals allowed northeastern Indians a flexible pattern of winter mobility. After 1704, however, English soldiers patrolled Indians’ winter hunting grounds, interfering with native reliance on wild animals. Political ecology—how power affects people’s access to routes and resources—mattered more than environmental degradation to the fate of the winter hunt on the Maritime Peninsula.

                                10 April 2013 this event is free Brown Bag

                                Child Soldiers in America

                                12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                Frances Clarke, University of Sydney

                                Children aged seven to seventeen made up a significant portion of the American military until recently. This project, co-authored with Rebecca Jo Plant (UCSD), aims to study the relationship between childhood and militarism in American history, tracing debates over the enlistment of minors from the Revolution to the modern era and analyzing shifting representations and experiences of child soldiers.

                                10 April 2013 Please RSVP   free eventregistration required at no cost Public Program, Author Talk

                                Defiant Brides of the American Revolution

                                6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
                                Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30 PM Nancy Rubin Stuart Part of the "New Books/New Looks: Revisiting the Past" series

                                How did the marriages to Benedict Arnold and Henry Knox change the lives and personal development of their brides, Peggy Shippen and Lucy Knox? Nancy Rubin Stuart’s talk reveals the contradictory paths two young women followed subsequent to their passionate marriages to patriotic men during the American Revolution and the early Federal era. Using historical correspondence and historical drawings and portraits, Ms. Stuart will shed light on how these defiant brides affected the course of the Revolution. Ms. Stuart is an award-winning author and journalist who specializes in women and social history.

                                Reservations requested. Please click on the ticket icon above, or contact the education department at 617-646-0560 / education@masshist.org.

                                10 April 2013 free eventregistration required at no cost Special Event, Member Event

                                Historical Happy Hour

                                7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
                                Special event for MHS Associate Members

                                MHS Associate Members are invited to the second Historical Happy Hour. Following the talk by Nancy Rubin Stuartwe will continue the conversation while enjoying a cocktail at The Back Bay Social Club located at 867 Boylston Street.

                                Associate Members and their guests will receive priority admission to the program as well as complimentary appetizers and a drink at the Happy Hour. A cash bar will also be available. The program is open to the public, but the Historical Happy Hour is only for Associate Members and their guests.

                                Registration is required. Please contact Katy Capó at 617-646-0518 with any questions. 


                                Evening Lecture

                                Defiant Brides of the American Revolution
                                6:00 PM
                                Nancy Rubin Stuart

                                How did the marriages to Benedict Arnold and Henry Knox change the lives and personal development of their brides, Peggy Shippen and Lucy Knox? Nancy Rubin Stuart’s talk reveals the contradictory paths two young women followed subsequent to their passionate marriages to patriotic men during the American Revolution and the early Federal era. Using historical correspondence and historical drawings and portraits, Ms. Stuart will shed light on how these defiant brides affected the course of the Revolution. Ms. Stuart is an award-winning author and journalist who specializes in women and social history.

                                12 April 2013 this event is free Public Program, Exhibition

                                “You Know I Dislike Slavery”: Lincoln before the Presidency

                                2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
                                Exhibition Spotlight Elaine Grublin, Massachusetts Historical Society

                                Focusing on the text of the August 1855 letter Lincoln wrote to his friend Joshua Fry Speed, Elaine Grublin, MHS Head of Reader Services, will discuss Lincoln’s early thoughts on slavery in America and his reaction to the rise of the American (“Know-Nothing”) Party.

                                13 April 2013 this event is free MHS Tour

                                MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS

                                10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

                                Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

                                The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour. For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                                Free and open to the public.

                                15 April 2013 Building Closed

                                Patriots' Day

                                all day
                                16 April 2013 Notice

                                Library & Exhibitions Open

                                all day

                                The MHS library and exhibition galleries will be open regular business hours today.  The library will be open 9:00 AM to 7:45 PM.  The galleries will be open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  This evening's scheduled seminar has been canceled.  

                                16 April 2013 Notice

                                Seminar Canceled

                                all day
                                16 April 2013 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                                Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
                                Immigration and Urban History Seminar

                                Canceled:
                                Dynamic Tensions: Charles Atlas, Immigrant Bodybuilders, and Eugenics, 1920-45

                                5:15 PM - 7:30 PM
                                Dominique Padurano, Scarsdale High School Comment: Martin Summers, Boston College

                                Rescheduled from March 19. This paper explores the paradox of bodybuilders such as Atlas espousing eugenics principles while highlighting their own allegedly innate weaknesses as a marketing strategy for their diet and exercise regimens. It also argues that both techniques functioned as assimilation strategies for the immigrant and ethnic bodybuilding community at a time when the U.S. was less than hospitable to foreigners.

                                18 April 2013 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                                Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
                                History of Women and Gender Seminar

                                Panel Discussion: The Big Tent of U.S. Women’s and Gender History: A State of the Field

                                5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
                                Essayists: Cornelia H. Dayton, University of Connecticut, and Lisa Levenstein, University of North Carolina at Greensboro Panelists: Crystal Feimster, Yale University, Carol F. Karlsen, University of Michigan, and Betsy More, Harvard University
                                20 April 2013 this event is free MHS Tour

                                MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS

                                10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

                                Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

                                The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour. For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                                Free and open to the public.

                                20 April 2013 Library Closed, Building Closed

                                Library and Exhibitions Closed; Building Tour Canceled

                                all day

                                Due to police action in the area the MHS will be closed Saturday, 20 April  2013.    

                                26 April 2013 this event requires a feeregistration required Special Event

                                Bus Trip to the Museum of World War II

                                11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
                                Special event for Members of the MHS Fund Paine through Adams Circles

                                This special event is open to Members of the MHS Fund Paine through Adams Circles. Enjoy a special lunch and behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum of World War II with Founder and Director Kenneth Rendell. The museum houses the most comprehensive collection of WWII artifacts on display anywhere in the world. A bus will leave from the MHS at 11 AM and return by 5 PM.  Space is limited. RSVP required. Fee: $50. Part of the MHS Local Travel Series.

                                For more information or to register, contact Katy Capó at kcapo@masshist.org or 617-646-0518.

                                28 April 2013 Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required Public Program, Walking Tour

                                Authors & Abolitionists

                                2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
                                Location: Concord, Mass. Jayne Gordon, Massachusetts Historical Society

                                Slavery was the great social and moral issue of the 19th century, and Concord was a hotbed of abolitionist sentiment. Residents Emerson, Thoreau, and the Alcotts confronted slavery head-on in their writings and actions, as indignation turned to outrage. This leisurely two-mile walking tour explores the involvement of these authors and their neighbors in antislavery efforts in Concord and beyond. It begins and ends at the Concord train depot (an easy ride out from Boston and Cambridge) and is coordinated with the Sunday train schedule. Walk leader Jayne Gordon, MHS Director of Education and Public Programs, is a resident of Concord who has worked at most of the town’s historic sites. She teaches the Concord history course required for all town guides.

                                Registration Required. Fee $25/$15 (F/M); Free for MHS Fund Giving Circle members. Light refreshments included. Please click on the ticket icon above, or contact the education department at 508-577-4599 / education@masshist.org.

                                30 April 2013 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                                Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
                                Immigration and Urban History Seminar

                                Panel Discussion: 19th-century Immigration, Nativism, and Politics

                                5:15 PM - 7:30 PM
                                Millington Bergeson-Lockwood, George Mason University, and Mimi Cowan, Boston College Comment: Evelyn Sterne, University of Rhode Island

                                This discussion will focus on two papers, “Honorable Citizens, Ethnic Militias in Chicago, 1855-1879,” by Mimi Cowan of Boston College, and "African American and Irish Political Coalitions in Boston, Massachusetts, 1881-1890,” by Millington Bergeson-Lockwood of George Mason University. Cowan’s paper highlights the ways in which participation in volunteer military groups sometimes helped immigrants to combat nativism and, at other times, fueled nativists’ concerns about foreigners. Bergeson-Lockwood’s paper identifies three areas where African Americans and Irish immigrants established coalitions and laid claim, not only to a historic resistance to oppression, but also to participation in the founding events of the United States.


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