Calendar of Events

Exhibition

Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country

Massachusetts Women in WWI. 12 June 2014 to 24 January 2015

Details

April

Early American History Seminar Making Saltpetre for the Continental Army: How Americans Understood the Environment During the War of Independence 2 April 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required 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 ...

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.

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Brown Bag Mourning Lincoln: Shock, Sorrow, Anger, and Glee in the Archives 3 April 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Martha Hodes, New York University Reading private letters and journals, this book-in-progress investigates personal responses to ...

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?

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Conferencebegins Massachusetts and the Civil War: the Commonwealth and National Disunion 4 April 2013.Thursday, all day Prof. Stauffer’s lecture on Thursday evening will open a conference that will consider almost ...

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.

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Public Program Massachusetts and the Civil War in Black and White: The Commonwealth’s Role in Secession, Emancipation, and Reconstruction 4 April 2013.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   John Stauffer, Harvard University Prof. Stauffer is a member of Harvard’s English Department and the chair of the ...

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.

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Conferenceends Massachusetts and the Civil War: the Commonwealth and National Disunion 6 April 2013.Saturday, all day Prof. Stauffer’s lecture on Thursday evening will open a conference that will consider almost ...

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.

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Environmental History Seminar "Good Meat & Good Skins": Winter Game and Political Ecology on the Maritime Peninsula, 1620-1727 9 April 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Thomas Wickman, Trinity College Comment: Neal Salisbury, Smith College The search for a heterogeneous menu of game animals allowed northeastern Indians a flexible pattern ...

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.

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Brown Bag Child Soldiers in America 10 April 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Frances Clarke, University of Sydney Children aged seven to seventeen made up a significant portion of the American military until ...

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.

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Public Program, Author Talk Defiant Brides of the American Revolution 10 April 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   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 ...

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.

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Special Event, Member Event Historical Happy Hour 10 April 2013.Wednesday, 7:30PM - 8:30PM Special event for MHS Associate Members MHS Associate Members are invited to the second Historical Happy Hour. Following the talk by Nancy ...

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.

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Public Program, Exhibition “You Know I Dislike Slavery”: Lincoln before the Presidency 12 April 2013.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM 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 ...

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.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 13 April 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour ...

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.

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Building Closed Patriots' Day 15 April 2013.Monday, all day details
Notice Library & Exhibitions Open 16 April 2013.Tuesday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries will be open regular business hours today.  The ...

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.  

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Notice Seminar Canceled 16 April 2013.Tuesday, all day details
Immigration and Urban History Seminar Canceled: Dynamic Tensions: Charles Atlas, Immigrant Bodybuilders, and Eugenics, 1920-45 16 April 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Dominique Padurano, Scarsdale High School Comment: Martin Summers, Boston College Rescheduled from March 19. This paper explores the paradox of bodybuilders such as ...

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.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Panel Discussion: The Big Tent of U.S. Women’s and Gender History: A State of the Field 18 April 2013.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM RSVP required 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 details
MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 20 April 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour ...

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.

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Library Closed, Building Closed Library and Exhibitions Closed; Building Tour Canceled 20 April 2013.Saturday, all day Due to police action in the area the MHS will be closed Saturday, 20 April  2013.    

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

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Special Event Bus Trip to the Museum of World War II 26 April 2013.Friday, 11:00AM - 5:00PM 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 ...

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.

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Public Program, Walking Tour Authors & Abolitionists 28 April 2013.Sunday, 2:00PM - 4:30PM Please RSVP   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 ...

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.

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar Panel Discussion: 19th-century Immigration, Nativism, and Politics 30 April 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required 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, ...

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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May
Brown Bag Transient Painters, Traveling Canvases: Portraiture and Mobility in the British Atlantic, 1750 – 1780 1 May 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Katelyn Crawford, University of Virginia This project examines the paintings of portraitists working within the eighteenth-century British ...

This project examines the paintings of portraitists working within the eighteenth-century British Atlantic world, demonstrating the impact of mobility on artistic practice and portraiture on identity construction. Considering a network of about ten portraitists, the canvases they produce, and the travel of both individuals and images throughout the British Atlantic in the mid eighteenth century, this study identifies a shift in the construction of artistic communities as artists take to sea. By considering portraits and conversation pieces across the Atlantic rim, this project reveals visual convergences (in empire-wide visual conventions) and divergences (between local idioms in various port cities) that illustrate the development of regional identities within imperial conventions.

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Author Talk, Public Program Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution 1 May 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Location: Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline Nathaniel Philbrick Nathaniel Philbrick, the bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea and ...

Nathaniel Philbrick, the bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea and Mayflower, brings his prodigious talents to the story of the first major battle of the American Revolution. Boston in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from sober citizens to thuggish vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents have warily maneuvered around each other until 19 April, when violence finally erupts at Lexington and Concord. In June, however, with the city cut off from supplies by a British blockade and Patriot militia poised in siege, skirmishes give way to outright war in the Battle of Bunker Hill. It would be the bloodiest battle of the Revolution to come, and the point of no return for the rebellious colonists.

Nathaniel Philbrick is the New York Times bestselling author of National Book Award winner In the Heart of the Sea, Pulitzer Prize finalist Mayflower, Sea of Glory, and The Last Stand. He is also the author of Why Read Moby- Dick? and Away Off Shore. He lives on Nantucket.

Tickets

  • Tickets will go on sale on Monday, April 8, 2013.
  • Tickets are $5 per person and are available from Brookline Booksmith.
  • Please visit brooklinebooksmith.com/tickets or call 617-566-6660 to reserve your space!
  • When you purchase the book, you receive one free ticket and the option to purchase a second ticket for $5.

This event is co-sponsored with Brookline Booksmith and will take place at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline. For directions, please visit http://www.coolidge.org/. 

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Public Program, Exhibition The Three Lives of Anthony Burns 3 May 2013.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Exhibition Spotlight Peter Drummey, Massachusetts Historical Society The rendition of Anthony Burns—his return from Boston to slavery in 1854—was a turning ...

The rendition of Anthony Burns—his return from Boston to slavery in 1854—was a turning point in the Abolitionist struggle. But who was Anthony Burns? A fugitive slave? A symbol of the antislavery cause in Boston? What happened to him after he was freed and his celebrity faded? We will explore the heroic, and tragic, life of Anthony Burns through documents on display at the Society.

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Early American History Seminar Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention 7 May 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Mary Sarah Bilder, Boston College Law School Pauline Maier, MIT Madison's Notes with his revisions remain the most prominent remnants of the Convention in ...

Madison's Notes with his revisions remain the most prominent remnants of the Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. What does it mean to take seriously that Madison's notes on the Convention are notes? Two hundred and twenty-five years after Madison first wrote the Notes, changing technology makes it possible to revisit the manuscript. This paper will suggest that Madison revised his notes far more extensively than has been previously understood. The revised notes demonstrate that Madison's understanding of the Convention, the Constitution, and his own role changed dramatically between May 1787 and the end of the eighteenth century.

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Public Program New Perspectives on Jefferson's Monticello: House, Landscape, and Family 8 May 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30 PM Susan R. Stein, Monticello Annual Jefferson Lecture The wide lens of this talk will focus on recent restoration and interpretive efforts including ...

The wide lens of this talk will focus on recent restoration and interpretive efforts including Monticello's work spaces beneath the house, public rooms, and upper floors as well as Mulberry Row, the plantation's principal street. The discussion will also describe Monticello's free and enslaved community. Susan R. Stein is the longtime Richard Gilder Senior Curator and Vice President for Museum Programs.

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

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 11 May 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour ...

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.

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Brown Bag Cotton Mather Encounters the Gods of Egypt: The Transatlantic Enlightenment and the Origin of Pagan Religions 15 May 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Reiner Smolinski, Georgia State University This brown-bag lunch presentation is based on Professor Smolinski's ongoing work for his new ...

This brown-bag lunch presentation is based on Professor Smolinski's ongoing work for his new intellectual biography of Cotton Mather, forthcoming from Yale University Press.

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Public Program “The Tender Heart & Brave”: The Politics & Friendship of Charles Sumner & Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 16 May 2013.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30 PM Rob Velella, Longfellow-Washington’s Headquarters NHS Stepehn Puleo, author of "The Caning" How did a fiery abolitionist senator and a genteel poet come together as the closest of friends? ...

How did a fiery abolitionist senator and a genteel poet come together as the closest of friends? Presented as a dramatic reading of actual historic documents - including letters, journals, poetry, and speeches - this program will highlight the deep personal relationship shared between abolitionist politician Charles Sumner and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The reading takes listeners from the earliest friendship of these two men to their antislavery advocacy, from their personal triumphs and tragedies and into their final years, weaving through the events of the nation including Emancipation.

Stephen Puleo, author of The Caning: The Assault that Drove America to Civil War, will be on hand to provide commentary and sign copies of his book.

Co-sponsored by Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site and the Boston African American National Historic Site.

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

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 18 May 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour ...

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.

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Pen used to sign Emancipation Proclamation Exhibitionends Forever Free: Lincoln & the Emancipation Proclamation 24 May 2013.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on 1 ...

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.

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Bronze cast of Abraham Lincoln Exhibitionends Lincoln in Manuscript & Artifact 24 May 2013.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM View documents and artifacts related to Abraham Lincoln. Featured items include Lincoln's letter to ...

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.

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Proclaim Liberty banner Exhibitionends "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land": Boston Abolitionists, 1831-1865 24 May 2013.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM In the decades leading up to the Civil War, Boston became a center of the national antislavery ...

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.

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Building Closed Memorial Day 25 May 2013.Saturday, all day details
Building Closed Memorial Day 27 May 2013.Monday, all day details
Brown Bag Confiscated Voices: Representing the Slave Experience during the American Civil War 29 May 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Heather Cooper, University of Iowa Runaway slaves who fled to Union lines during the Civil War were known as “contrabands” ...

Runaway slaves who fled to Union lines during the Civil War were known as “contrabands” because of their inclusion in the category of seizeable enemy property under the First and Second Confiscation Acts. The pervasive references to “contraband” in the press, on stage, and in political cartoons suggest that “contraband” became the primary representation of slavery and slaves during the Civil War, much in the way that “Uncle Tom” had in the 1850s. This talk will explore the ways in which contraband men and women enacted their own representations of their changing status and slave experience and through everyday performance in the contraband camps, challenging competing representations of race, gender, and slavery in the process.

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Notice Library Closing @ 4:00 29 May 2013.Wednesday, all day details
Public Program Sounds of the Civil War 29 May 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please RSVP   Boston Saxophone Quartet Sing along with the Boston Saxophone Quartet as we explore the music of the Civil War era. This ...

Sing along with the Boston Saxophone Quartet as we explore the music of the Civil War era. This program will feature familiar tunes from the 1860s that were sung around the parlor piano, as well as songs written specifically for the newest instrument of the era: the saxophone. The evening will include musical performances and historical commentary on the selected pieces. Members of the Boston Saxophone Quartet have performed with the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestra and leading Broadway theaters throughout New England. Conductor and instrumentalist Peter Cokkinias, Professor at neighboring Berklee College of Music, has served for over 30 seasons as Music Director/Conductor of the Metrowest Symphony Orchestra; has conducted the Boston Ballet and Boston Pops; and has performed with the Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Ballet, and Cincinnati, Hartford, Pittsburgh, and Boston Symphony Orchestras.

Registration Required. Fee $30/$20 (F/M); Free for MHS Fund Giving Circle members. Please click on the ticket icon above, or contact the education department at 617-646-0557 / education@masshist.org.

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:00 30 May 2013.Thursday, all day details
June
MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 1 June 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour ...

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.

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Conference "Listen my children and you shall hear": Balancing History and Myth in Massachusetts Public History 3 June 2013.Monday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM This conference will take place at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester Keynote Speaker: Ray Raphael, author of Constitutional Myths: What We Get Wrong and How to Get it Right This conference for Massachusetts history organizations is presented by Mass Humanities, ...

This conference for Massachusetts history organizations is presented by Mass Humanities, Massachusetts Historical Society, University of Massachusetts Amherst Public History Program, and the University of Massachusetts Boston Public History and Archives Track

Join us on Monday, June 3rd at the Hogan Campus Center, College of the Holy Cross, for a thought-provoking day examining myth in Massachusetts history. Ray Raphael, author of the forth-coming Constitutional Myths: What We Get Wrong and How to Get it Right (March 2013), a companion volume to the earlier Founding Myths: Stories that Hide our Patriotic Past, will explore “Why Myths Persist” in his keynote address.

In sessions and round tables such as Massachusetts History beyond the Tea Party; Reinterpretation 101; Redefining Freedom on the Trail, and “It Never Happened Here”: Iconic Myth as Burden we will examine and present organizations, programs and projects that have successfully harnessed myths, expanded their narratives, and redefined their mission without losing their identity. In practical sessions/workshops we will explore “teaching the problem,” and how to use this model for programming purposes in exciting ways that successfully challenge audiences.

Registration Fees
Fee includes workshop, morning refreshments, buffet lunch (vegetarian option available), and afternoon snack.

  • $85 Standard Fee per person
  • $60 Student Fee (include copy of student ID with registration or bring ID to event if registering online)
  • $75 Per person for 3 registrants from same organization at the same time
  • $65 Per person for 4 registrants from same organization at the same time

For more information, or to register for the conference, visit the Mass Humanities website: http://masshumanities.org/history_conference.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Brown Bag What "The Federalist Papers" Are Not 4 June 2013.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Ray Raphael When and why did The Federalist become The Federalist Papers? What role did the ...

When and why did The Federalist become The Federalist Papers? What role did the essays play in the ratification debates? Can Publius be considered an authoritative source for interpreting specific sections of the Constitution – or for discovering its inner meaning?

Ray Raphael’s latest book is Constitutional Myths: What We Get Wrong and How To Get It Right. His previous works include Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive, Founding Myths, A People’s History of the American Revolution, and The First American Revolution: Before Lexington and Concord.

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Brown Bag Betwixt Brewings: A History of College Students and Alcohol 5 June 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Michael Hevel, University of Arkansas The project traces the historical roots of contemporary concerns about college students' alcohol use ...

The project traces the historical roots of contemporary concerns about college students' alcohol use. The brown bag session will specifically focus on college students and alcohol between 1820 and 1860. The diaries that antebellum college men kept reveal students' drinking behaviors, the meanings they made from alcohol, and their reactions to and involvement in the temperance movement. 

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 8 June 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour ...

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.

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Library Closed Library Closing @ 4:00 12 June 2013.Wednesday, all day To accommodate the MHS Annual Meeting, the Library will close at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, 12 June 2013.

To accommodate the MHS Annual Meeting, the Library will close at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, 12 June 2013.

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Special Event MHS Annual Meeting 12 June 2013.Wednesday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM Special event for MHS Fellows MHS Fellows are invited to attend the Society's annual business meeting followed by a program and ...

MHS Fellows are invited to attend the Society's annual business meeting followed by a program and preview reception for The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. RSVP required.

5:00 PM
Annual Meeting for elected MHS Fellows

6:00 PM
Remarks by Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey followed by a reception and exhibition preview for MHS Fellows and Members

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Object of History Special Event, Member Event Preview Reception for The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Massachusetts Historical Society 12 June 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Special Event for MHS Fellows and Members Following the Society's annual business meeting, MHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special ...

Object of HistoryFollowing the Society's annual business meeting, MHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview reception of The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. The evening will begin with remarks by Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey. A reception and exhibition preview will follow. The exhibition highlights 18th-century treasures from the Society's collections including portraits, needlework, firearms, clothing, furniture, silver, documents, and books.

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Exhibitionbegins "Estlin Cummings Wild West Show" 13 June 2013.Thursday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm “Estlin Cummings Wild West Show” features a selection of E.E. Cummings’s childhood ...

Estlin Cummings Wild West Show“Estlin Cummings Wild West Show” features a selection of E.E. Cummings’s childhood writings and drawings, showcasing the young poet’s earliest experiments with words and illustrations. Drawings and paintings include ink blots, watercolors, and sketches in pen and pencil of cowboys and Indians, boats, the “world’s tallest tower,” wild west shows, hunting expeditions, locomotives, zoos, circuses, elephants, and house plans.

Image: “Estlin Cummings Wild West Show,” drawing by E. E. Cummings. From the Cummings-Clarke family papers. Artwork by E.E. Cummings. Used by permission of the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust.

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Exhibitionbegins "The Education of Our Children Is Never out of My Mind" 13 June 2013.Thursday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm From 13 June through 7 September, the Society will display letters written by John and Abigail ...

Letter from John Adams to Abigail, August 28, 1774From 13 June through 7 September, the Society will display letters written by John and Abigail Adams to each other, to their children, and to friends and family regarding their views on education.

In a letter to his wife, Abigail, dated August 28, 1774, John Adams writes: “The Education of our Children is never out of my Mind. Train them to Virtue, habituate them to industry, activity, and Spirit. Make them consider every Vice, as shamefull and unmanly: fire them with Ambition to be usefull-make them disdain to be destitute of any usefull, or ornamental Knowledge or Accomplishment. Fix their Ambition upon great and solid Objects, and their Contempt upon little, frivolous, and useless ones.”

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Object of History Exhibitionbegins The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Massachusetts Historical Society 13 June 2013.Thursday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM What is the meaning of historical objects? Why are they preserved, and why have they survived? Are ...

Object of HistoryWhat is the meaning of historical objects? Why are they preserved, and why have they survived? Are they valued for their associations with notable historical figures or landmark events, as objects of beauty, as the survival of relics from a distant past, or for the stories they convey? The exhibition explores these questions through the display of 18th-century portraits and objects from the Society's collections, along with rarely seen engravings, needlework, maps, weapons, furniture, clothing, scientific instruments, and silver.

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Public Program, Exhibition Curator's Choice 14 June 2013.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Exhibition Spotlight J. L. Bell J.L. Bell will discuss the provenance, history, and people connected with one of the fascinating ...

J.L. Bell will discuss the provenance, history, and people connected with one of the fascinating items featured in The Object of History exhibition: Ephraim Moors's powder horn. Carvings on the horn icnlude a crude drawing of the Continental Army encampment on Winter Hill, five grenadiers, a mansion house, and the head of a beast. Aside from what the carving itself says and the name of the sea captain who donated it to the Society, almost nothing else is known about this object. Bell will discuss his investigation into the object's details, and what they tell us about the Siege of Boston.

J. L.Bell is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. His blog, Boston1775.net, features "history, analysis, and unabashed gossip about the start of the American Revolution in Massachusetts."

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 15 June 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour ...

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.

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Public Program, Conversation The Object of History: A Conversation 17 June 2013.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30 PM David Wood, Concord Museum & Peter Drummey, Massachusetts Historical Society Part of "The Object of History" series David Wood, the curator of the Concord Museum, and Peter Drummey, the Librarian for the Society, ...

David Wood, the curator of the Concord Museum, and Peter Drummey, the Librarian for the Society, will discuss early works of art, artifacts, and documents on display at the MHS as part of The Object of History exhibition.

The Object of History
A series of chats with MHS Librarian Peter Drummey about what documents and artifacts from the collections can tell us about the characters, events, and issues of the past, as well as the role of MHS in documenting the rich history of our state and nation.

Registration Required. Fee $25/$15 (F/M); Free for MHS Fund Giving Circle members. Please click on the ticket icon above, or contact the education department at 617-646-0557 / education@masshist.org.

Register for all three programs in “The Object of History” series and receive a registration discount! Series fee: $60/30 (F/M); Free for MHS Fund Circle members.

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Brown Bag 19th-Century Narratives of Transgender Experience & the History of Possibility 19 June 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jen Manion, Connecticut College In the 1880s, the field of sexology declared masculine women to be inverts—true homosexuals. ...

In the 1880s, the field of sexology declared masculine women to be inverts—true homosexuals. Prior to this period, representations of gender crossings were more varied and common. Such representations shine a spotlight on some of the most obvious anxieties concerning women’s place in society as well as the constitutive relationships between sex, gender, and sexuality.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 22 June 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour ...

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.

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Brown Bag Island Masters: Gender, Race, and Power in the Eighteenth-Century British Caribbean 26 June 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Brooke Newman, Virginia Commonwealth University At its height in the late eighteenth century, Jamaica was the most valuable and productive of ...

At its height in the late eighteenth century, Jamaica was the most valuable and productive of Britain’s colonial possessions in the Atlantic world. Yet intertwined with Jamaica’s reputation for unparalleled profit was a growing apprehension of settler degeneration—in manners, morals, bloodlines, and especially life expectancy. The island, as one would-be colonist put it, offers “the most flattering prospect of pecuniary acquisition or death.” Such notions signify Britain’s ambivalent and contradictory relationship with Jamaica, and the West India colonies more generally, during the era of slavery.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 29 June 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour ...

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.

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More events
Early American History Seminar Making Saltpetre for the Continental Army: How Americans Understood the Environment During the War of Independence 2 April 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
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.

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Brown Bag Mourning Lincoln: Shock, Sorrow, Anger, and Glee in the Archives 3 April 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free 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?

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Conference Massachusetts and the Civil War: the Commonwealth and National Disunion 4 April 2013 to 6 April 2013 registration required

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.

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Public Program Massachusetts and the Civil War in Black and White: The Commonwealth’s Role in Secession, Emancipation, and Reconstruction 4 April 2013.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 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.

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Environmental History Seminar "Good Meat & Good Skins": Winter Game and Political Ecology on the Maritime Peninsula, 1620-1727 9 April 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
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.

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Brown Bag Child Soldiers in America 10 April 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free 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.

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Public Program, Author Talk Defiant Brides of the American Revolution 10 April 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 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.

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Special Event, Member Event Historical Happy Hour 10 April 2013.Wednesday, 7:30PM - 8:30PM registration required at no cost 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.

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Public Program, Exhibition “You Know I Dislike Slavery”: Lincoln before the Presidency 12 April 2013.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM this event is free 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.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 13 April 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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.

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Building Closed Patriots' Day 15 April 2013.Monday, all day close
Notice Library & Exhibitions Open 16 April 2013.Tuesday, 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.  

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Notice Seminar Canceled 16 April 2013.Tuesday, all day close
Immigration and Urban History Seminar Canceled:
Dynamic Tensions: Charles Atlas, Immigrant Bodybuilders, and Eugenics, 1920-45
16 April 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
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.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Panel Discussion: The Big Tent of U.S. Women’s and Gender History: A State of the Field 18 April 2013.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
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 close
MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 20 April 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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.

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Library Closed, Building Closed Library and Exhibitions Closed; Building Tour Canceled 20 April 2013.Saturday, all day

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

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Special Event Bus Trip to the Museum of World War II 26 April 2013.Friday, 11:00AM - 5:00PM registration required 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.

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Public Program, Walking Tour Authors & Abolitionists 28 April 2013.Sunday, 2:00PM - 4:30PM Please RSVP   registration required 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.

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar Panel Discussion: 19th-century Immigration, Nativism, and Politics 30 April 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
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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Brown Bag Transient Painters, Traveling Canvases: Portraiture and Mobility in the British Atlantic, 1750 – 1780 1 May 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Katelyn Crawford, University of Virginia

This project examines the paintings of portraitists working within the eighteenth-century British Atlantic world, demonstrating the impact of mobility on artistic practice and portraiture on identity construction. Considering a network of about ten portraitists, the canvases they produce, and the travel of both individuals and images throughout the British Atlantic in the mid eighteenth century, this study identifies a shift in the construction of artistic communities as artists take to sea. By considering portraits and conversation pieces across the Atlantic rim, this project reveals visual convergences (in empire-wide visual conventions) and divergences (between local idioms in various port cities) that illustrate the development of regional identities within imperial conventions.

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Author Talk, Public Program Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution 1 May 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM registration required Location: Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline Nathaniel Philbrick

Nathaniel Philbrick, the bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea and Mayflower, brings his prodigious talents to the story of the first major battle of the American Revolution. Boston in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from sober citizens to thuggish vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents have warily maneuvered around each other until 19 April, when violence finally erupts at Lexington and Concord. In June, however, with the city cut off from supplies by a British blockade and Patriot militia poised in siege, skirmishes give way to outright war in the Battle of Bunker Hill. It would be the bloodiest battle of the Revolution to come, and the point of no return for the rebellious colonists.

Nathaniel Philbrick is the New York Times bestselling author of National Book Award winner In the Heart of the Sea, Pulitzer Prize finalist Mayflower, Sea of Glory, and The Last Stand. He is also the author of Why Read Moby- Dick? and Away Off Shore. He lives on Nantucket.

Tickets

  • Tickets will go on sale on Monday, April 8, 2013.
  • Tickets are $5 per person and are available from Brookline Booksmith.
  • Please visit brooklinebooksmith.com/tickets or call 617-566-6660 to reserve your space!
  • When you purchase the book, you receive one free ticket and the option to purchase a second ticket for $5.

This event is co-sponsored with Brookline Booksmith and will take place at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline. For directions, please visit http://www.coolidge.org/. 

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Public Program, Exhibition The Three Lives of Anthony Burns 3 May 2013.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM this event is free Exhibition Spotlight Peter Drummey, Massachusetts Historical Society

The rendition of Anthony Burns—his return from Boston to slavery in 1854—was a turning point in the Abolitionist struggle. But who was Anthony Burns? A fugitive slave? A symbol of the antislavery cause in Boston? What happened to him after he was freed and his celebrity faded? We will explore the heroic, and tragic, life of Anthony Burns through documents on display at the Society.

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Early American History Seminar Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention 7 May 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Mary Sarah Bilder, Boston College Law School Pauline Maier, MIT

Madison's Notes with his revisions remain the most prominent remnants of the Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. What does it mean to take seriously that Madison's notes on the Convention are notes? Two hundred and twenty-five years after Madison first wrote the Notes, changing technology makes it possible to revisit the manuscript. This paper will suggest that Madison revised his notes far more extensively than has been previously understood. The revised notes demonstrate that Madison's understanding of the Convention, the Constitution, and his own role changed dramatically between May 1787 and the end of the eighteenth century.

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Public Program New Perspectives on Jefferson's Monticello: House, Landscape, and Family 8 May 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30 PM Susan R. Stein, Monticello Annual Jefferson Lecture

The wide lens of this talk will focus on recent restoration and interpretive efforts including Monticello's work spaces beneath the house, public rooms, and upper floors as well as Mulberry Row, the plantation's principal street. The discussion will also describe Monticello's free and enslaved community. Susan R. Stein is the longtime Richard Gilder Senior Curator and Vice President for Museum Programs.

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

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 11 May 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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.

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Brown Bag Cotton Mather Encounters the Gods of Egypt: The Transatlantic Enlightenment and the Origin of Pagan Religions 15 May 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Reiner Smolinski, Georgia State University

This brown-bag lunch presentation is based on Professor Smolinski's ongoing work for his new intellectual biography of Cotton Mather, forthcoming from Yale University Press.

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Public Program “The Tender Heart & Brave”: The Politics & Friendship of Charles Sumner & Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 16 May 2013.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30 PM Rob Velella, Longfellow-Washington’s Headquarters NHS Stepehn Puleo, author of "The Caning"

How did a fiery abolitionist senator and a genteel poet come together as the closest of friends? Presented as a dramatic reading of actual historic documents - including letters, journals, poetry, and speeches - this program will highlight the deep personal relationship shared between abolitionist politician Charles Sumner and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The reading takes listeners from the earliest friendship of these two men to their antislavery advocacy, from their personal triumphs and tragedies and into their final years, weaving through the events of the nation including Emancipation.

Stephen Puleo, author of The Caning: The Assault that Drove America to Civil War, will be on hand to provide commentary and sign copies of his book.

Co-sponsored by Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site and the Boston African American National Historic Site.

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

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 18 May 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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.

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Exhibition Forever Free: Lincoln & the Emancipation Proclamation 24 May 2013.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM this event is free Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Pen used to sign Emancipation Proclamation

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.

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Exhibition Lincoln in Manuscript & Artifact 24 May 2013.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM this event is free Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Bronze cast of Abraham Lincoln

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.

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Exhibition "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land": Boston Abolitionists, 1831-1865 24 May 2013.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM this event is free Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM Proclaim Liberty banner

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.

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Building Closed Memorial Day 25 May 2013.Saturday, all day close
Building Closed Memorial Day 27 May 2013.Monday, all day close
Brown Bag Confiscated Voices: Representing the Slave Experience during the American Civil War 29 May 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Heather Cooper, University of Iowa

Runaway slaves who fled to Union lines during the Civil War were known as “contrabands” because of their inclusion in the category of seizeable enemy property under the First and Second Confiscation Acts. The pervasive references to “contraband” in the press, on stage, and in political cartoons suggest that “contraband” became the primary representation of slavery and slaves during the Civil War, much in the way that “Uncle Tom” had in the 1850s. This talk will explore the ways in which contraband men and women enacted their own representations of their changing status and slave experience and through everyday performance in the contraband camps, challenging competing representations of race, gender, and slavery in the process.

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Notice Library Closing @ 4:00 29 May 2013.Wednesday, all day close
Public Program Sounds of the Civil War 29 May 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please RSVP   registration required Boston Saxophone Quartet

Sing along with the Boston Saxophone Quartet as we explore the music of the Civil War era. This program will feature familiar tunes from the 1860s that were sung around the parlor piano, as well as songs written specifically for the newest instrument of the era: the saxophone. The evening will include musical performances and historical commentary on the selected pieces. Members of the Boston Saxophone Quartet have performed with the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestra and leading Broadway theaters throughout New England. Conductor and instrumentalist Peter Cokkinias, Professor at neighboring Berklee College of Music, has served for over 30 seasons as Music Director/Conductor of the Metrowest Symphony Orchestra; has conducted the Boston Ballet and Boston Pops; and has performed with the Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Ballet, and Cincinnati, Hartford, Pittsburgh, and Boston Symphony Orchestras.

Registration Required. Fee $30/$20 (F/M); Free for MHS Fund Giving Circle members. Please click on the ticket icon above, or contact the education department at 617-646-0557 / education@masshist.org.

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:00 30 May 2013.Thursday, all day close
MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 1 June 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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.

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Conference "Listen my children and you shall hear": Balancing History and Myth in Massachusetts Public History 3 June 2013.Monday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM registration required This conference will take place at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester Keynote Speaker: Ray Raphael, author of Constitutional Myths: What We Get Wrong and How to Get it Right

This conference for Massachusetts history organizations is presented by Mass Humanities, Massachusetts Historical Society, University of Massachusetts Amherst Public History Program, and the University of Massachusetts Boston Public History and Archives Track

Join us on Monday, June 3rd at the Hogan Campus Center, College of the Holy Cross, for a thought-provoking day examining myth in Massachusetts history. Ray Raphael, author of the forth-coming Constitutional Myths: What We Get Wrong and How to Get it Right (March 2013), a companion volume to the earlier Founding Myths: Stories that Hide our Patriotic Past, will explore “Why Myths Persist” in his keynote address.

In sessions and round tables such as Massachusetts History beyond the Tea Party; Reinterpretation 101; Redefining Freedom on the Trail, and “It Never Happened Here”: Iconic Myth as Burden we will examine and present organizations, programs and projects that have successfully harnessed myths, expanded their narratives, and redefined their mission without losing their identity. In practical sessions/workshops we will explore “teaching the problem,” and how to use this model for programming purposes in exciting ways that successfully challenge audiences.

Registration Fees
Fee includes workshop, morning refreshments, buffet lunch (vegetarian option available), and afternoon snack.

  • $85 Standard Fee per person
  • $60 Student Fee (include copy of student ID with registration or bring ID to event if registering online)
  • $75 Per person for 3 registrants from same organization at the same time
  • $65 Per person for 4 registrants from same organization at the same time

For more information, or to register for the conference, visit the Mass Humanities website: http://masshumanities.org/history_conference.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Brown Bag What "The Federalist Papers" Are Not 4 June 2013.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Ray Raphael

When and why did The Federalist become The Federalist Papers? What role did the essays play in the ratification debates? Can Publius be considered an authoritative source for interpreting specific sections of the Constitution – or for discovering its inner meaning?

Ray Raphael’s latest book is Constitutional Myths: What We Get Wrong and How To Get It Right. His previous works include Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive, Founding Myths, A People’s History of the American Revolution, and The First American Revolution: Before Lexington and Concord.

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Brown Bag Betwixt Brewings: A History of College Students and Alcohol 5 June 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Michael Hevel, University of Arkansas

The project traces the historical roots of contemporary concerns about college students' alcohol use. The brown bag session will specifically focus on college students and alcohol between 1820 and 1860. The diaries that antebellum college men kept reveal students' drinking behaviors, the meanings they made from alcohol, and their reactions to and involvement in the temperance movement. 

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 8 June 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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.

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Library Closed Library Closing @ 4:00 12 June 2013.Wednesday, all day

To accommodate the MHS Annual Meeting, the Library will close at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, 12 June 2013.

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Special Event MHS Annual Meeting 12 June 2013.Wednesday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM registration required at no cost Special event for MHS Fellows

MHS Fellows are invited to attend the Society's annual business meeting followed by a program and preview reception for The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. RSVP required.

5:00 PM
Annual Meeting for elected MHS Fellows

6:00 PM
Remarks by Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey followed by a reception and exhibition preview for MHS Fellows and Members

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Special Event, Member Event Preview Reception for The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Massachusetts Historical Society 12 June 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Special Event for MHS Fellows and Members Object of History

Object of HistoryFollowing the Society's annual business meeting, MHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview reception of The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. The evening will begin with remarks by Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey. A reception and exhibition preview will follow. The exhibition highlights 18th-century treasures from the Society's collections including portraits, needlework, firearms, clothing, furniture, silver, documents, and books.

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Exhibition "Estlin Cummings Wild West Show" 13 June 2013 to 30 August 2013 this event is free Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm

Estlin Cummings Wild West Show“Estlin Cummings Wild West Show” features a selection of E.E. Cummings’s childhood writings and drawings, showcasing the young poet’s earliest experiments with words and illustrations. Drawings and paintings include ink blots, watercolors, and sketches in pen and pencil of cowboys and Indians, boats, the “world’s tallest tower,” wild west shows, hunting expeditions, locomotives, zoos, circuses, elephants, and house plans.

Image: “Estlin Cummings Wild West Show,” drawing by E. E. Cummings. From the Cummings-Clarke family papers. Artwork by E.E. Cummings. Used by permission of the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust.

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Exhibition "The Education of Our Children Is Never out of My Mind" 13 June 2013 to 7 September 2013 this event is free Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm

Letter from John Adams to Abigail, August 28, 1774From 13 June through 7 September, the Society will display letters written by John and Abigail Adams to each other, to their children, and to friends and family regarding their views on education.

In a letter to his wife, Abigail, dated August 28, 1774, John Adams writes: “The Education of our Children is never out of my Mind. Train them to Virtue, habituate them to industry, activity, and Spirit. Make them consider every Vice, as shamefull and unmanly: fire them with Ambition to be usefull-make them disdain to be destitute of any usefull, or ornamental Knowledge or Accomplishment. Fix their Ambition upon great and solid Objects, and their Contempt upon little, frivolous, and useless ones.”

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Exhibition The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Massachusetts Historical Society 13 June 2013 to 7 September 2013 this event is free Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM Object of History

Object of HistoryWhat is the meaning of historical objects? Why are they preserved, and why have they survived? Are they valued for their associations with notable historical figures or landmark events, as objects of beauty, as the survival of relics from a distant past, or for the stories they convey? The exhibition explores these questions through the display of 18th-century portraits and objects from the Society's collections, along with rarely seen engravings, needlework, maps, weapons, furniture, clothing, scientific instruments, and silver.

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Public Program, Exhibition Curator's Choice 14 June 2013.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM this event is free Exhibition Spotlight J. L. Bell

J.L. Bell will discuss the provenance, history, and people connected with one of the fascinating items featured in The Object of History exhibition: Ephraim Moors's powder horn. Carvings on the horn icnlude a crude drawing of the Continental Army encampment on Winter Hill, five grenadiers, a mansion house, and the head of a beast. Aside from what the carving itself says and the name of the sea captain who donated it to the Society, almost nothing else is known about this object. Bell will discuss his investigation into the object's details, and what they tell us about the Siege of Boston.

J. L.Bell is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. His blog, Boston1775.net, features "history, analysis, and unabashed gossip about the start of the American Revolution in Massachusetts."

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 15 June 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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.

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Public Program, Conversation The Object of History: A Conversation 17 June 2013.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30 PM David Wood, Concord Museum & Peter Drummey, Massachusetts Historical Society Part of "The Object of History" series

David Wood, the curator of the Concord Museum, and Peter Drummey, the Librarian for the Society, will discuss early works of art, artifacts, and documents on display at the MHS as part of The Object of History exhibition.

The Object of History
A series of chats with MHS Librarian Peter Drummey about what documents and artifacts from the collections can tell us about the characters, events, and issues of the past, as well as the role of MHS in documenting the rich history of our state and nation.

Registration Required. Fee $25/$15 (F/M); Free for MHS Fund Giving Circle members. Please click on the ticket icon above, or contact the education department at 617-646-0557 / education@masshist.org.

Register for all three programs in “The Object of History” series and receive a registration discount! Series fee: $60/30 (F/M); Free for MHS Fund Circle members.

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Brown Bag 19th-Century Narratives of Transgender Experience & the History of Possibility 19 June 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Jen Manion, Connecticut College

In the 1880s, the field of sexology declared masculine women to be inverts—true homosexuals. Prior to this period, representations of gender crossings were more varied and common. Such representations shine a spotlight on some of the most obvious anxieties concerning women’s place in society as well as the constitutive relationships between sex, gender, and sexuality.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 22 June 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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.

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Brown Bag Island Masters: Gender, Race, and Power in the Eighteenth-Century British Caribbean 26 June 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Brooke Newman, Virginia Commonwealth University

At its height in the late eighteenth century, Jamaica was the most valuable and productive of Britain’s colonial possessions in the Atlantic world. Yet intertwined with Jamaica’s reputation for unparalleled profit was a growing apprehension of settler degeneration—in manners, morals, bloodlines, and especially life expectancy. The island, as one would-be colonist put it, offers “the most flattering prospect of pecuniary acquisition or death.” Such notions signify Britain’s ambivalent and contradictory relationship with Jamaica, and the West India colonies more generally, during the era of slavery.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 29 June 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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.

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