Calendar of Events

Exhibition

Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country

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

Details

May

Early American History Seminar Through Novanglus’s Eyes: Forms of Empire in India 6 May 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Hari Vishwanadha, Santa Monica College Comment: Eliga H. Gould, University of New Hampshire Yankee merchants in the India trade successfully negotiated the competing claims of Indian society ...

Yankee merchants in the India trade successfully negotiated the competing claims of Indian society and the British Raj. As the empire flourished, the merchants prospered. The experiences of two prominent men, Henry Lee and Charles Eliot Norton, are representative of the rich and complex relationship among the three peoples and their cultures and served as a template for subsequent merchants engaged in the India trade during the nineteenth century.

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Notice Library Closing @ 2:30 PM 7 May 2014.Wednesday, all day details
Brown Bag The Poor Always with You: Poverty in an Age of Emancipation, 1833-1879 7 May 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Chris Florio, Princeton University Poverty and slavery are monumental problems – but today we assume they are separate problems. ...

Poverty and slavery are monumental problems – but today we assume they are separate problems. In the mid-nineteenth century, however, American and British observers struggled to distinguish the poor from the slave. Tracing a key shift in the moral imagination, my dissertation explores how the boundaries of poverty and slavery blurred during the so-called “age of emancipation.” I ask: how did poverty and slavery, as political categories and social conditions, entangle with one another in locations spanning the United States and the British Empire?

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Member Event, Special Event John F. Kennedy Medal Presentation 7 May 2014.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM SOLD OUT The event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617-646-0552. ...

The event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617-646-0552.

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to attend the presentation of The John F. Kennedy Medal to David McCullough.

5:30 PM: reception

6:00 PM: presentation of the medal with remarks by David McCullough

Seating is limited.

Kennedy Medal

 

 

 

 

 

 

The John F. Kennedy Medal is awarded by the Massachusetts Historical Society to persons who have rendered distinguished service to the cause of history. It is not limited to any field of history or to any particular kind of service to history.

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Public Program The Adams Portraits & Other Treats: 18th-Century Artist Benjamin Blyth 8 May 2014.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Bettina A. Norton Benjamin Blyth, the Salem artist of the Society’s iconic portraits of John and Abigail Adams, ...

Benjamin Blyth, the Salem artist of the Society’s iconic portraits of John and Abigail Adams, also left a large, delightful number of other portraits of local families, merchants, and participants in the American Revolution. His brother Samuel, a jack-of-all trades in the construction and home-decorating trades, was far more successful. But because of Benjamin’s flight from Salem to Virginia in 1782, he and his brother seemed to swap careers. Therein lies the tale.

Bettina A. Norton is a retired museum professional. She has published widely in her field, American historical prints. In later years, she was editor and publisher of The Beacon Hill Chronicle and is currently Editor Emerita of the Boston Musical Intelligencer. She is author of Edwin Whitefield: Nineteenth-Century North American Scenery; History of the Boston Naval Shipyard, 1800-1974; Trinity Church: The Story of an Episcopal Parish in the City of Boston; ‘To Create and Foster Architecture: History of the Boston Architectural Center; Prints at the Essex Institute; and over 60 articles on American graphic arts, architecture, and social history. She has lived with her family in a house on Beacon Hill since 1941, and in 1967 she founded Hill House, its community center.

To Reserve: Click here to register online, or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

Image: Abigail Adams. Portrait, pastel on paper by Benjamin Blyth, circa 1766.

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Brown Bag Classroom Currents: Childhood Education Reforms in Nineteenth-Century Boston and Buenos Aires 9 May 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Carolina Zumaglini, Florida International University This project traces the origins and evolution of nineteenth-century public educational theories and ...

This project traces the origins and evolution of nineteenth-century public educational theories and their significance to nation-building processes within the Americas. Focusing on the Atlantic seaboard cities of Boston in the United States and Buenos Aires in Argentina as case studies, it analyzes how educational ideas traveled and were reshaped by local conditions. The similarities in the nature and scope—and ultimately, the differences in the implementation—of educational policies in each city supports a larger analysis on the transformation of politics and the shaping of distinct national identities in the nineteenth-century Americas.

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Walking Tour, Public Program Created Equal: Walking Tour of Boston Black Heritage Trail 10 May 2014.Saturday, 10:00AM - 12:00PM Boston African American National Historic Site Series participants are invited on a walking tour of Boston’s Black Heritage Trail offered in ...

Series participants are invited on a walking tour of Boston’s Black Heritage Trail offered in conjunction with the Created Equal Film & Discussion Series. The tour is presented by our partner organization, Boston African American National Historic Site.

For more information, please call 617-646-0557 or e-mail education@masshist.org.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 10 May 2014.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 The Performance of Miracles: Alexander Graham Bell's Mission to Save the Deaf 12 May 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Katie Booth, University of Pittsburgh Alexander Graham Bell believed that his most important contribution was not the telephone, but his ...

Alexander Graham Bell believed that his most important contribution was not the telephone, but his work to liberate the deaf by destroying their community. He came to Boston in 1871 to teach deaf children through oralism, a method that forbade the use of Sign Language and instead taught deaf children to speak. He quickly became an international leader of the oralist movement, but for the deaf who believed he was robbing them of their language, he became the culture’s greatest enemy.

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Public Program, Special Event An Historical Look at the Goodridge Same Sex Marriage Decision 15 May 2014.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall Same-sex marriage in Massachusetts began on May 17, 2004, as a result of the ruling in Goodridge ...

Same-sex marriage in Massachusetts began on May 17, 2004, as a result of the ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which stated that it was unconstitutional under the Massachusetts Constitution to allow only opposite-sex couples to marry. Chief Justice Marshall will talk about this landmark decision.

Chief Justice Marshall is a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, having retired from the Court in December 2010. Appointed to the position in 1999 by Governor A. Paul Cellucci, Chief Justice Marshall was the first woman to serve as Chief Justice, and the second woman appointed to serve as an Associate Justice in the Court's then three hundred and four year history when she was first appointed to the bench in 1996 by Governor William F. Weld.

To Reserve: There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Click here to register online, or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

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Public Program, Brown Bag Louisa Catherine Adams: One Woman, Many Voices 16 May 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Moderator: Beth Luey Panelists: Judith Graham, Margaret Hogan, David Michelmore Louisa Catherine Adams wrote in several genres, including letters, diaries, poetry, and memoirs. ...

Louisa Catherine Adams wrote in several genres, including letters, diaries, poetry, and memoirs. Bring your lunch and join us for a conversation with the editors who have prepared her work for publication, and a biographer who has used it. They will discuss what we can learn about Louisa by listening to her different voices.

To Reserve: This event is free and open to the public.

Image: Louisa Catherine Johnson. Miniature oil portrait, circa 1792.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 17 May 2014.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 Postponed: POSTPONED - NEW DATE TBA Securing the Spanish Main: British Subjecthood and the Peace of 1763 21 May 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Bryan Rosenblithe, Columbia University This talk examines the ways that political, economic, and military contests in the Floridas and ...

This talk examines the ways that political, economic, and military contests in the Floridas and Honduras during the era of the Seven Years War shaped imperial notions of British subjecthood. It also explores how questions related to who counted as a subject influenced British strategic thinking during a time of widely perceived Bourbon revanchism.  

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Exhibitionends Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial 23 May 2014.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington In commemoration of the Civil War battle of Fort Wagner led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the men ...


In commemoration of the Civil War battle of Fort Wagner led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the men of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment and in cooperation with the Massachusetts Historical Society, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. has organized the exhibition Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial.

The exhibition celebrates Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ magisterial Shaw Memorial (1883–1900). When Saint-Gaudens created the monument, he based his likeness of Shaw on photographs of the colonel, but for his depiction of the other soldiers, he hired African American men to pose in his studio. This exhibition seeks to make real the soldiers of the 54th represented anonymously in the memorial. It brings together vintage photographic portraits of members of the regiment and of the men and women who recruited, nursed, taught, and guided them.

Throughout the run of the exhibition special programs are planned in cooperation with the Museum of African American History, the Boston African American National Historic Site, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment Company A, and the Friends of the Public Garden.

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Public Program Celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the U.S. Foreign Service 23 May 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM HdG, Dna. Maria St. Catherine McConnell Bring your lunch and join us as we celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the 1924 U.S. Foreign Service ...

Bring your lunch and join us as we celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the 1924 U.S. Foreign Service Act ("The Rogers Act"), which created the US Foreign Service. We will explore the role of Massachusetts statesmen and diplomats in establishing the U.S. Foreign Service and in pioneering America's diplomatic history and tradition. The Rogers Act was authored by Massachusetts Congressman, John Jacob Rogers (1912-1925) of Lowell, Massachusetts, supported in the US Senate by Henry Cabot Lodge, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1893-1924), and signed into law by former Massachusetts Governor, President Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929). Men from Massachusetts have also played important roles in America's diplomatic corps, from Boston-born American envoy Benjamin Franklin (America's first diplomat at the father of American diplomacy) to our current Secretary of State, former Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.

HdG, Dna. Maria St. Catherine McConnell is a U.S.-, U.N.-, Vatican-trained & Oxford-educated diplomatic scholar formerly with The American Academy of Diplomacy, and a member of the American Foreign Service Association. She heads the Franklin-Rogers MA Public Commission on American Diplomacy & The U.S. Foreign Service, whose mission includes the promotion of knowledge and appreciation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as "the birth-state of American diplomacy."

Reservation requested: (617) 646-0557 or education@masshist.

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Library Closed Memorial Day 24 May 2014.Saturday, all day The library at the MHS is closed for the Memorial Day weekend.

The library at the MHS is closed for the Memorial Day weekend.

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Building Closed Memorial Day 26 May 2014.Monday, all day The MHS is closed for Memorial Day.

The MHS is closed for Memorial Day.

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Brown Bag Circulating Counterfeits: Making Money and Its Meanings in the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic 28 May 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Katherine Smoak, The Johns Hopkins University Counterfeiting was a ubiquitous problem in the eighteenth-century British Atlantic, encouraged by ...

Counterfeiting was a ubiquitous problem in the eighteenth-century British Atlantic, encouraged by the unstandardized and various nature of eighteenth-century currency. Counterfeiters formed regional and trans-Atlantic networks to produce and circulate debased and forged coin, both British and foreign, and faked reproductions of newly available paper notes.  Reconstructing these networks, I argue that counterfeiters shaped imperial economies in unexpected ways, impacting everything from daily economic practices to the course of economic development, and prompted complex discussions about value, worth and trust in an expanding commercial empire.

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Public Program, Author Talk The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941–1942 28 May 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Nigel Hamilton Based on years of archival research and interviews with the last surviving aides and Roosevelt ...

Based on years of archival research and interviews with the last surviving aides and Roosevelt family members, Nigel Hamilton offers a definitive account of FDR’s masterful—and underappreciated—command of the Allied war effort. Hamilton takes readers inside FDR’s White House Oval Study—his personal command center—and into the meetings where he battled with Churchill about strategy and tactics and overrode the near mutinies of his own generals and secretary of war.

Time and again, FDR was proven right and his allies and generals were wrong. When the generals wanted to attack the Nazi-fortified coast of France, FDR knew the Allied forces weren’t ready. When Churchill insisted his Far East colonies were loyal and would resist the Japanese, Roosevelt knew it was a fantasy. As Hamilton’s account reaches its climax with the Torch landings in North Africa in late 1942, the tide of war turns in the Allies’ favor and FDR’s genius for psychology and military affairs is clear.

Nigel Hamilton is a bestselling and award-winning biographer of President John F. Kennedy, General Bernard “Monty” Montgomery, and President Bill Clinton, among other subjects. He is a Senior Fellow in the McCormack Graduate School, University of Massachusetts-Boston, and first president of the Biographers International Organization (BIO).

To Reserve: There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Click here to register online, or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

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June
Conference Never Done: Interpreting the History of Women at Work in Massachusetts 2 June 2014.Monday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM This conference will take place at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester Keynote Speaker: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Harvard University 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, The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and Elizabeth & Ned Bacon.

Join us on Monday, June 2, at the Hogan Campus Center, College of the Holy Cross, for a thought-provoking day examining women in Massachusetts history. At this, the tenth annual Mass History Conference we will welcome the many small historical organizations that preserve, interpret, and deepen the exploration of Massachusetts history. The stories of lesser-known women change-makers get lost in the larger narrative of industry, politics and conflict, but the timing is right for an examination of their tales of great and compelling variety, of lives lived with courage and determination.

The conference is widely celebrated as the best networking and skill-sharing opportunity for historians of our state culture.

Registration Fees
Fee includes workshop, morning refreshments, buffet lunch (vegetarian option available), and afternoon snack
Registrations cannot be refunded; however you may send another person in your place.

  • $95 Standard Fee per person
  • $60 Student Fee (include copy of student ID with registration or bring ID to event if registering online)
  • $80 Per person for 3 registrants from same organization at the same time
  • $70 Per person for 4 registrants from same organization at the same time

For more information--including a detailed schedule of the day, or to register for the conference, visit the Mass Humanities website: http://masshumanities.org/history_conference_2014.

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Brown Bag Creating Adams Family Values 4 June 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Sara Georgini, Adams Papers and Boston University This project is a history of religion in the Adams family of Massachusetts from 1583 to 1927. Most ...

This project is a history of religion in the Adams family of Massachusetts from 1583 to 1927. Most Adams family members accepted organized religion as a public good, but they filled letters and lives with the effort to answer one query: What was it good for? As men and women operating at the heart of the nation, prevailing notions of Christian citizenship laid out duties for them to fulfill, and the Adamses repeatedly sought out God for help. Drawing on the public and private papers of several generations, this project explores the “cosmopolitan Christianity” that the Adams family developed over time.

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Public Program A Conversation with David S. Ferriero 4 June 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero was confirmed as 10th Archivist of the United States on November 6, 2009. ...

David S. Ferriero was confirmed as 10th Archivist of the United States on November 6, 2009. Previously, Mr. Ferriero served as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries (NYPL). He was part of the leadership team responsible for integrating the four research libraries and 87 branch libraries into one seamless service for users, creating the largest public library system in the United States and one of the largest research libraries in the world. Mr. Ferriero was in charge of collection strategy; conservation; digital experience; reference and research services; and education, programming, and exhibitions.Before joining the NYPL in 2004, Mr. Ferriero served in top positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Duke University. In those positions, he led major initiatives including the expansion of facilities, the adoption of digital technologies, and a reengineering of printing and publications.

Mr. Ferriero earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from Northeastern University in Boston and a master’s degree from the Simmons College of Library and Information Science, also in Boston. After serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War, he started in the humanities library at MIT, where he worked for 31 years, rising to associate director for public services and acting co-director of libraries.

To Reserve: Click here to register online, or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:00 PM 5 June 2014.Thursday, all day details
MHS Annual Meeting 11 June 2014.Wednesday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM Please RSVP   This event is open only to MHS Fellows MHS Fellows are invited to attend the Society's annual business meeting followed by a talk and ...

MHS Fellows are invited to attend the Society's annual business meeting followed by a talk and reception for Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War. Registration 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 Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country Preview Reception 11 June 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please RSVP   This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview reception of Letters and Photographs from ...

Photograph by Margaret HallFellows and Members are invited to a special preview reception of Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country. The evening will begin with remarks by Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey. A reception and exhibition viewing will follow.

To commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, the MHS has organized the exhibition Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War focusing on two of the hundreds of women from the Commonwealth who went to France as members of the U.S. armed forces, the Red Cross, and other war relief organizations. From the Society’s extraordinary collection of women’s recollections, this exhibition features photographs, letters, diaries, and memorabilia related to Margaret Hall and Eleanor (Nora) Saltonstall, Red Cross volunteers in France. The exhibition will highlight Hall’s large-format photographs of the battlefront on loan from the Cohasset Historical Society. Both women were keen observers of the climactic months of the war and depicted what they witnessed in vivid detail.

Become a Member today!

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Hall at Ecury Exhibitionbegins Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War 12 June 2014.Thursday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM To commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, the MHS has organized the exhibition ...

To commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, the MHS has organized the exhibition Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War focusing on two of the hundreds of women from the Commonwealth who went to France as members of the U.S. armed forces, the Red Cross, and other war relief organizations.

From the Society’s extraordinary collection of women’s recollections, this exhibition features photographs, letters, diaries, and memorabilia related to Margaret Hall and Eleanor (Nora) Saltonstall, Red Cross volunteers in France. The exhibition will highlight Hall’s large-format photographs of the battlefront on loan from the Cohasset Historical Society. Both women were keen observers of the climactic months of the war and depicted what they witnessed in vivid detail.

The exhibition celebrates the forthcoming MHS publication Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: The World War I Memoir of Margaret Hall.

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Public Program Lost Boston 13 June 2014.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Anthony Sammarco Historian and author Anthony Sammarco will explore some of the  sixty-eight houses, churches, ...

Historian and author Anthony Sammarco will explore some of the  sixty-eight houses, churches, libraries, clubs, squares and baseball fields that have been lost by demolition, fire, or neglect since the 1870s.  His new book, Lost Boston, is a nostalgic journey back in time to visit some of the disappeared buildings and spaces in all their grandeur. Some lost places include Boston City Hall, Boston Coliseum, Boylston Market, Merchants Exchange, Huntington Avenue Grounds, Cyclorama, East Boston Airport, Braves Field, the Massachusetts State Prison, Boston Opera House, South Boston Aquarium, and the Howard Athenaeum.

Anthony M. Sammarco is a noted historian and author of sixty books on the history and development of Boston, and he lectures widely on the history and development of his native city. He commenced writing in 1995, and his books Dorchester and The Baker Chocolate Company: A Sweet History have made the bestsellers list. Boston’s Back Bay in the Victorian Era, Dorchester: Volume II, Dorchester Then & Now, Boston’s North End (and Il North End di Boston in Italian) and the Great Boston Fire of 1872, are among his perennially popular books. Since 1996, Mr. Sammarco has taught history at the Urban College of Boston, where he was named educator of the year in 2003 and where he serves on the Leadership Council. He is a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, a member of the Boston Author's Club and the Boston Athenaeum.

To Reserve: This event is free and open to the public.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 14 June 2014.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 At the Point of a Cutlass: The Pirate Capture, Bold Escape, and Lonely Exile of Philip Ashton 19 June 2014.Thursday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Gregory N. Flemming Called America's real-life Robinson Crusoe, the true story of Philip Ashton--a nineteen-year-old ...

Book cover, Called America's real-life Robinson Crusoe, the true story of Philip Ashton--a nineteen-year-old fisherman captured by pirates, impressed as a crewman, subjected to torture and hardship, who eventually escaped and lived as a castaway and scavenger on a deserted island in the Caribbean--was at one time as well known as the tales of Cooper, Hawthorne, and Defoe. Based on a rare copy of Ashton's 1725 account, author Gregory N. Flemming's vivid portrait recounts this maritime world during the golden age of piracy. Fishing vessels and merchantmen plied the coastal waters and crisscrossed the Atlantic and Caribbean. It was a hard, dangerous life, made more so by both the depredations and temptations of piracy. Chased by the British Royal Navy, blown out of the water or summarily hung when caught, pirate captains such as Edward Low kidnapped, cajoled, beat, and bribed men like Ashton into the rich--but also vile, brutal, and often short--life of the pirate. Flemming drew not only on Ashton's own first-person account of his experiences, but a wealth of other materialsfrom the Massachusetts Historical Society's collections, including hundreds of colonial newspaper reports, trial records, and the hand-written logbooks and correspondence from the British warships that patrolled the Bay of Honduras and fought with Low's pirates.

Gregory N. Flemming is a former journalist who holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives with his family in New England. His website is www.gregflemming.com.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 21 June 2014.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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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 28 June 2014.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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July
Brown Bag The Camera and the Community: How Photography Changed American Abolitionism 2 July 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Matthew Fox-Amato, University of Southern California In 1839, when the French-born daguerreotype arrived in the United States, it was hardly clear that ...

In 1839, when the French-born daguerreotype arrived in the United States, it was hardly clear that the photographic process would be used as a political weapon. Examining the production, exchange and visuality of photographs of abolitionists, this talk shows how radical activists harnessed the medium as a way to build their movement in the decades prior to the Civil War.

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Building Closed BUILDING CLOSING AT NOON 3 July 2014.Thursday, all day details
Building Closed 4th of July 4 July 2014.Friday, all day The MHS will be closed for the 4th of July holiday.

The MHS will be closed for the 4th of July holiday.

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Library Closed 4th of July 5 July 2014.Saturday, all day The library at the MHS is closed for the 4th of July weekend.

The library at the MHS is closed for the 4th of July weekend.

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Brown Bag Slavery, Sacred Texts and the Antebellum Confrontation with History 9 July 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jordan Watkins, University of Nevada, Las Vegas This study explores biblical and constitutional debates over slavery in the antebellum era. It ...

This study explores biblical and constitutional debates over slavery in the antebellum era. It argues that the developing slavery crisis fueled the move to understand both the Bible and the Constitution as historical texts. It also contends that the emphasis on contextual interpretation among biblical scholars in the first few decades of the nineteenth century informed a similar reading of the Constitution in the decades before the Civil War. It demonstrates that these overlapping developments cultivated an awareness of the historical distances that divided Americans from their favored biblical and Revolutionary pasts.

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Teacher Workshopbegins Symbols of Liberty: The Magna Carta, the Liberty Bowl, and the American Revolution 10 July 2014.Thursday, 10:00AM - 5:00PM This event will take place at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston & the Massachusetts Historical Society. In conjunction with the exhibition Magna Carta: Cornerstone of Liberty, the Museum of Fine ...

Thomas Jefferson's manuscript copy of the Declaration of IndependenceIn conjunction with the exhibition Magna Carta: Cornerstone of Liberty, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Massachusetts Historical Society will offer a two-day professional development workshop for teachers in grades K-12 that will provide an introduction to the rich collections of 18th-century documents and objects at both institutions. The workshop will include lectures, hands-on activities in the classroom, and gallery explorations using primary source documents and original art objects related to the founding of the United States.

One of only four surviving copies of the original Magna Carta—an inspiration for the US Constitution and Bill of Rights—is on view at the MFA this summer in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Magna Carta—Latin for “Great Charter”— joins other historical documents and objects, as well as portraits and works of art from the Museum’s collection, to tell the story of patriots and revolutionaries who fought for freedom in the face of tyranny. The exhibition also includes portraits, marble busts, and historical documents related to several of the Founding Fathers, presidents, and abolitionists, particularly from Massachusetts, who were inspired by the liberties enshrined in Magna Carta.

Image: Declaration of Independence, manuscript copy by Thomas Jefferson, [1776]. Massachusetts Historical Society.

 

Registration Fee: $100

Registration covers admission to the MFA, lunch both days, and materials. Participants can earn one graduate credit from Framingham State University for an additional fee. Visit the MFA website to register.

Contact education@masshist.org for more information.

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Teacher Workshopends Symbols of Liberty: The Magna Carta, the Liberty Bowl, and the American Revolution 11 July 2014.Friday, 10:00AM - 5:00PM This event will take place at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston & the Massachusetts Historical Society. In conjunction with the exhibition Magna Carta: Cornerstone of Liberty, the Museum of Fine ...

Thomas Jefferson's manuscript copy of the Declaration of IndependenceIn conjunction with the exhibition Magna Carta: Cornerstone of Liberty, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Massachusetts Historical Society will offer a two-day professional development workshop for teachers in grades K-12 that will provide an introduction to the rich collections of 18th-century documents and objects at both institutions. The workshop will include lectures, hands-on activities in the classroom, and gallery explorations using primary source documents and original art objects related to the founding of the United States.

One of only four surviving copies of the original Magna Carta—an inspiration for the US Constitution and Bill of Rights—is on view at the MFA this summer in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Magna Carta—Latin for “Great Charter”— joins other historical documents and objects, as well as portraits and works of art from the Museum’s collection, to tell the story of patriots and revolutionaries who fought for freedom in the face of tyranny. The exhibition also includes portraits, marble busts, and historical documents related to several of the Founding Fathers, presidents, and abolitionists, particularly from Massachusetts, who were inspired by the liberties enshrined in Magna Carta.

Image: Declaration of Independence, manuscript copy by Thomas Jefferson, [1776]. Massachusetts Historical Society.

 

Registration Fee: $100

Registration covers admission to the MFA, lunch both days, and materials. Participants can earn one graduate credit from Framingham State University for an additional fee. Visit the MFA website to register.

Contact education@masshist.org for more information.

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Brown Bag Of Form and Failure: American Puritanism, Quantification, and the Way of All Grace 11 July 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Rachel Trocchio, University of California, Berkeley From its foundations in the diagrammatic habits of sixteenth-century England to its intercourse with ...

From its foundations in the diagrammatic habits of sixteenth-century England to its intercourse with the new science of infinity, Puritanism applied a series of quantitative strategies for understanding an arbitrary God and the perfection of his decrees. This program argues that, simultaneously as these quantifications failed, their very failure inspired the imaginative leap between sensory and intelligible things that Puritanism made requisite for knowledge of God and one’s grace.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 12 July 2014.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 Cautious Romantics: The Dana Family of Boston as the Interpretive Key to a Larger Discourse 14 July 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jonathan Koefoed, Indiana University, Purdue University, Columbus This project seeks to provide a fuller picture of the way that European Romantic texts functioned in ...

This project seeks to provide a fuller picture of the way that European Romantic texts functioned in American intellectual, cultural, and religious history by highlighting a group of “Cautious Romantics” that emerged as an alternative and conservative Romantic religious tradition in America between 1800 and the late 19th century. They retained a commitment to a settled social order and embraced the Trinitarian Christianity long since abandoned by the Transcendentalists and their Unitarian predecessors. This program will focus on how the Dana Family functions as a critical lens through which one can view the larger Cautious Romantic discourse.

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Brown Bag Land, Liberty, & Property: Surveyors and the Production of Empire in British North America 15 July 2014.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Mark L. Thompson, University of Groningen The land surveyor was a key figure in early America—instrumental in everything from marking ...

The land surveyor was a key figure in early America—instrumental in everything from marking colonial boundaries to measuring the smallest parcel of a farmer’s land. Adapting European methods to American conditions, surveyors drafted a “creole science” that served the demands of imperial authorities and common settlers alike. Together they transformed land into liberty, property, and a territorial empire.

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Public Program, Author Talk "What is Focus?" Margaret Hall's Battle Country 15 July 2014.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Margaret Higonnet, University of Connecticut Comments by Susan Solomon and Suzanne Diefenbach Between August 1918 and August 1919, Cohasset, Mass., native Margaret Hall served as a volunteer in ...

Between August 1918 and August 1919, Cohasset, Mass., native Margaret Hall served as a volunteer in the canteen service with the Red Cross in France. Using letters, diaries, and photographs, she created an unusual typescript, Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country, 1918-1919, when she returned home from the Great War. Pasted opposite the relevant sections of the narrative are roughly 281 photographs and other memorabilia. Starting in August 1918, Hall captured in rich detail her passage from New York to France, her pursuit of a Red Cross posting as close to the front as possible, and then her day-to-day experiences at a canteen at Châlons sur Marne, where she continued to work for a number of months following the Armistice in November 1918. Her photographs document a significant range of her war experience, from the quotidian life at Châlons sur Marne to the exploration of battlefields at Longwy and Verdun.

Margaret R. Higonnet, the volume’s editor, is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut, and an Affiliate at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies. At the intersection of feminist theory with history and comparative literature, she has published extensively on gender and World War I, editing Behind the Lines: Gender and the Two World Wars (1987), Lines of Fire: Women Writers of World War I (1999), and Nurses at the Front: Writing the Wounds of War (2001).

Susan Solomon is Yardımcı Doçent (or Assistant Professor) of Humanities, Western Languages and Literatures, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. She will comment on her research into the life and photographs of Margaret Hall.

Suzanne Diefenbach is Margaret Hall's great niece. She will share her recollections  of "Aunts" and life with her at Paradise Hill Farm in Hull, Massachusetts.

To Reserve: Register online or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

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Brown Bag Americans in Chinese Treaty Ports: Trade and Diplomacy in Nineteenth-Century U.S.-China Relations 16 July 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Laurie Dickmeyer, University of California, Irvine This project explores the changing texture and relationship of trade and diplomacy between American ...

This project explores the changing texture and relationship of trade and diplomacy between American and Chinese traders and diplomats from 1784 to the 1860s. The consumption of luxury goods by both Americans and Chinese and the relationship between the U.S. and Great Britain abroad both helped to shape U.S.-China diplomacy in the nineteenth century. This program will present an overview of the project but will focus on findings from traders' records at the MHS.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 19 July 2014.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 Cosmopolitan Parochialism: Magistrates and Imperial Revolution in New England, 1760-1800 21 July 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Brendan Gillis, Indiana University From Massachusetts to Australia, justices of the peace and other equivalent magistrates provided an ...

From Massachusetts to Australia, justices of the peace and other equivalent magistrates provided an exportable unit of local government responsible for the vast majority of judicial and administrative decisions. This project investigates how shared assumptions about magisterial authority contributed to the construction of new jurisdictions incorporating non-English lands and peoples. In New England, this British model of local government proved so adaptable that it allowed justices of the peace to assert independence during a period of imperial crisis.

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Brown Bag Watershed Decisions: Arthur Shurcliff's Vision of the Quabbin Reservoir, 1922-1945 22 July 2014.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jeffrey Egan, University of Connecticut This presentation will provide a brief historical overview of the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir ...

This presentation will provide a brief historical overview of the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts, a massive public-works project that led to the disincorporation of four rural towns in the western portion of the Commonwealth and radically transformed 39 square miles of land during the 1930s and 1940s. After tracing the arc of this story, it will delve into the environmental worldview and vision of the Quabbin project held by Arthur Shurcliff, the landscape architect employed by the Boston Metropolitan District Commission to reform the grounds surrounding this new, artificial lake.

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Brown Bag The Virgin Vote: Young Americans in the Age of Popular Politics 23 July 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jonathan Grinspan, University of Virginia/ Jefferson Scholars Foundation Young people fueled American democracy at its most popular. Between 1840 and 1900, children, youths ...

Young people fueled American democracy at its most popular. Between 1840 and 1900, children, youths and young adults turned out at rallies and elections, searching for identity, advancement, and fun. Many viewed the political system as a route to adulthood, during a period of major social instability. At the same time, politicians wooed first-time “virgin voters,” lobbied young women to influence the men in their lives, and recruited children as future partisans. Their interest helped bring about the highest voter turnouts in U.S. history. This project explores this fascinating and forgotten relationship between public politics and personal aspirations.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 26 July 2014.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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Teacher Workshop, Public Programbegins Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation 30 July 2014.Wednesday, 8:30AM - 3:30PM This workshop will take place in Milford, New Hampshire, and Pepperell, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before ...

What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before becoming part of a new nation in 1776? Designed for educators and local history enthusiasts, this workshop will explore some of the social, cultural, economic, and political concerns expressed by New England towns as the United States was attempting to form a new government in the 1780s and 1790s. We will discuss the truly participatory, well-informed conversations taking place in town halls and meeting places throughout the new colonies-turned-states. By turning an eye towards local politics and events we will rediscover the ways in which “ordinary people” contributed to America’s creation story.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • investigate what it was like to live in an old town in a new country and discover what changed for the inhabitants of different towns as new government structures were implemented.
  • discuss the concerns (both local and national) expressed by Massachusetts & New Hampshire residents in various towns while the American government was being created in the years after the revolution.
  • explore the ways in which geography, economy, and social/cultural practices influenced local concerns.
  • discover evidence of local concerns, and discussions of national policies, in primary sources held by local repositories and the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • explore new ways of engaging students and local communities in their history.

There is a $25 charge to cover lunches both days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Educators can earn 14 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

To Register: Please complete this registration form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

Additional two-day workshops will be held in Searsport, Maine, August 6-7; in Falmouth, Massachusetts, August 13-14; and in Framingham, Massachusetts, September 26-27.

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Brown Bag John Barleycorn vs. Sir Richard Rum: Alcohol, the Atlantic, and the Distilling of Colonial Identity, 1650-1800 30 July 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kristen Burton, University of Texas at Arlington This project examines the shifting perceptions of spirituous liquors in the Atlantic World ...

This project examines the shifting perceptions of spirituous liquors in the Atlantic World throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Focusing on the rise of commercial distilling, particularly in regard to rum, gin, and whiskey, this research explores the evolution of liquors from their use a wholesome source of medicine to a pernicious, societal threat.

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Teacher Workshop, Public Programends Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation 31 July 2014.Thursday, 8:30AM - 3:30PM This workshop will take place in Milford, New Hampshire, and Pepperell, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before ...

What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before becoming part of a new nation in 1776? Designed for educators and local history enthusiasts, this workshop will explore some of the social, cultural, economic, and political concerns expressed by New England towns as the United States was attempting to form a new government in the 1780s and 1790s. We will discuss the truly participatory, well-informed conversations taking place in town halls and meeting places throughout the new colonies-turned-states. By turning an eye towards local politics and events we will rediscover the ways in which “ordinary people” contributed to America’s creation story.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • investigate what it was like to live in an old town in a new country and discover what changed for the inhabitants of different towns as new government structures were implemented.
  • discuss the concerns (both local and national) expressed by Massachusetts & New Hampshire residents in various towns while the American government was being created in the years after the revolution.
  • explore the ways in which geography, economy, and social/cultural practices influenced local concerns.
  • discover evidence of local concerns, and discussions of national policies, in primary sources held by local repositories and the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • explore new ways of engaging students and local communities in their history.

There is a $25 charge to cover lunches both days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Educators can earn 14 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

To Register: Please complete this registration form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

Additional two-day workshops will be held in Searsport, Maine, August 6-7; in Falmouth, Massachusetts, August 13-14; and in Framingham, Massachusetts, September 26-27.

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More events
Early American History Seminar Through Novanglus’s Eyes: Forms of Empire in India 6 May 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Hari Vishwanadha, Santa Monica College Comment: Eliga H. Gould, University of New Hampshire

Yankee merchants in the India trade successfully negotiated the competing claims of Indian society and the British Raj. As the empire flourished, the merchants prospered. The experiences of two prominent men, Henry Lee and Charles Eliot Norton, are representative of the rich and complex relationship among the three peoples and their cultures and served as a template for subsequent merchants engaged in the India trade during the nineteenth century.

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Notice Library Closing @ 2:30 PM 7 May 2014.Wednesday, all day close
Brown Bag The Poor Always with You: Poverty in an Age of Emancipation, 1833-1879 7 May 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Chris Florio, Princeton University

Poverty and slavery are monumental problems – but today we assume they are separate problems. In the mid-nineteenth century, however, American and British observers struggled to distinguish the poor from the slave. Tracing a key shift in the moral imagination, my dissertation explores how the boundaries of poverty and slavery blurred during the so-called “age of emancipation.” I ask: how did poverty and slavery, as political categories and social conditions, entangle with one another in locations spanning the United States and the British Empire?

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Member Event, Special Event John F. Kennedy Medal Presentation 7 May 2014.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM registration required at no cost SOLD OUT

The event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617-646-0552.

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to attend the presentation of The John F. Kennedy Medal to David McCullough.

5:30 PM: reception

6:00 PM: presentation of the medal with remarks by David McCullough

Seating is limited.

Kennedy Medal

 

 

 

 

 

 

The John F. Kennedy Medal is awarded by the Massachusetts Historical Society to persons who have rendered distinguished service to the cause of history. It is not limited to any field of history or to any particular kind of service to history.

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Public Program The Adams Portraits & Other Treats: 18th-Century Artist Benjamin Blyth 8 May 2014.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Bettina A. Norton

Benjamin Blyth, the Salem artist of the Society’s iconic portraits of John and Abigail Adams, also left a large, delightful number of other portraits of local families, merchants, and participants in the American Revolution. His brother Samuel, a jack-of-all trades in the construction and home-decorating trades, was far more successful. But because of Benjamin’s flight from Salem to Virginia in 1782, he and his brother seemed to swap careers. Therein lies the tale.

Bettina A. Norton is a retired museum professional. She has published widely in her field, American historical prints. In later years, she was editor and publisher of The Beacon Hill Chronicle and is currently Editor Emerita of the Boston Musical Intelligencer. She is author of Edwin Whitefield: Nineteenth-Century North American Scenery; History of the Boston Naval Shipyard, 1800-1974; Trinity Church: The Story of an Episcopal Parish in the City of Boston; ‘To Create and Foster Architecture: History of the Boston Architectural Center; Prints at the Essex Institute; and over 60 articles on American graphic arts, architecture, and social history. She has lived with her family in a house on Beacon Hill since 1941, and in 1967 she founded Hill House, its community center.

To Reserve: Click here to register online, or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

Image: Abigail Adams. Portrait, pastel on paper by Benjamin Blyth, circa 1766.

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Brown Bag Classroom Currents: Childhood Education Reforms in Nineteenth-Century Boston and Buenos Aires 9 May 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Carolina Zumaglini, Florida International University

This project traces the origins and evolution of nineteenth-century public educational theories and their significance to nation-building processes within the Americas. Focusing on the Atlantic seaboard cities of Boston in the United States and Buenos Aires in Argentina as case studies, it analyzes how educational ideas traveled and were reshaped by local conditions. The similarities in the nature and scope—and ultimately, the differences in the implementation—of educational policies in each city supports a larger analysis on the transformation of politics and the shaping of distinct national identities in the nineteenth-century Americas.

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Walking Tour, Public Program Created Equal: Walking Tour of Boston Black Heritage Trail 10 May 2014.Saturday, 10:00AM - 12:00PM registration required at no cost Boston African American National Historic Site

Series participants are invited on a walking tour of Boston’s Black Heritage Trail offered in conjunction with the Created Equal Film & Discussion Series. The tour is presented by our partner organization, Boston African American National Historic Site.

For more information, please call 617-646-0557 or e-mail education@masshist.org.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 10 May 2014.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 The Performance of Miracles: Alexander Graham Bell's Mission to Save the Deaf 12 May 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Katie Booth, University of Pittsburgh

Alexander Graham Bell believed that his most important contribution was not the telephone, but his work to liberate the deaf by destroying their community. He came to Boston in 1871 to teach deaf children through oralism, a method that forbade the use of Sign Language and instead taught deaf children to speak. He quickly became an international leader of the oralist movement, but for the deaf who believed he was robbing them of their language, he became the culture’s greatest enemy.

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Public Program, Special Event An Historical Look at the Goodridge Same Sex Marriage Decision 15 May 2014.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall

Same-sex marriage in Massachusetts began on May 17, 2004, as a result of the ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which stated that it was unconstitutional under the Massachusetts Constitution to allow only opposite-sex couples to marry. Chief Justice Marshall will talk about this landmark decision.

Chief Justice Marshall is a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, having retired from the Court in December 2010. Appointed to the position in 1999 by Governor A. Paul Cellucci, Chief Justice Marshall was the first woman to serve as Chief Justice, and the second woman appointed to serve as an Associate Justice in the Court's then three hundred and four year history when she was first appointed to the bench in 1996 by Governor William F. Weld.

To Reserve: There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Click here to register online, or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

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Public Program, Brown Bag Louisa Catherine Adams: One Woman, Many Voices 16 May 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Moderator: Beth Luey Panelists: Judith Graham, Margaret Hogan, David Michelmore

Louisa Catherine Adams wrote in several genres, including letters, diaries, poetry, and memoirs. Bring your lunch and join us for a conversation with the editors who have prepared her work for publication, and a biographer who has used it. They will discuss what we can learn about Louisa by listening to her different voices.

To Reserve: This event is free and open to the public.

Image: Louisa Catherine Johnson. Miniature oil portrait, circa 1792.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 17 May 2014.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 Postponed:
POSTPONED - NEW DATE TBA Securing the Spanish Main: British Subjecthood and the Peace of 1763
21 May 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Bryan Rosenblithe, Columbia University

This talk examines the ways that political, economic, and military contests in the Floridas and Honduras during the era of the Seven Years War shaped imperial notions of British subjecthood. It also explores how questions related to who counted as a subject influenced British strategic thinking during a time of widely perceived Bourbon revanchism.  

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Exhibition Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial 23 May 2014.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM this event is free Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington


In commemoration of the Civil War battle of Fort Wagner led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the men of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment and in cooperation with the Massachusetts Historical Society, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. has organized the exhibition Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial.

The exhibition celebrates Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ magisterial Shaw Memorial (1883–1900). When Saint-Gaudens created the monument, he based his likeness of Shaw on photographs of the colonel, but for his depiction of the other soldiers, he hired African American men to pose in his studio. This exhibition seeks to make real the soldiers of the 54th represented anonymously in the memorial. It brings together vintage photographic portraits of members of the regiment and of the men and women who recruited, nursed, taught, and guided them.

Throughout the run of the exhibition special programs are planned in cooperation with the Museum of African American History, the Boston African American National Historic Site, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment Company A, and the Friends of the Public Garden.

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Public Program Celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the U.S. Foreign Service 23 May 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free HdG, Dna. Maria St. Catherine McConnell

Bring your lunch and join us as we celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the 1924 U.S. Foreign Service Act ("The Rogers Act"), which created the US Foreign Service. We will explore the role of Massachusetts statesmen and diplomats in establishing the U.S. Foreign Service and in pioneering America's diplomatic history and tradition. The Rogers Act was authored by Massachusetts Congressman, John Jacob Rogers (1912-1925) of Lowell, Massachusetts, supported in the US Senate by Henry Cabot Lodge, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1893-1924), and signed into law by former Massachusetts Governor, President Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929). Men from Massachusetts have also played important roles in America's diplomatic corps, from Boston-born American envoy Benjamin Franklin (America's first diplomat at the father of American diplomacy) to our current Secretary of State, former Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.

HdG, Dna. Maria St. Catherine McConnell is a U.S.-, U.N.-, Vatican-trained & Oxford-educated diplomatic scholar formerly with The American Academy of Diplomacy, and a member of the American Foreign Service Association. She heads the Franklin-Rogers MA Public Commission on American Diplomacy & The U.S. Foreign Service, whose mission includes the promotion of knowledge and appreciation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as "the birth-state of American diplomacy."

Reservation requested: (617) 646-0557 or education@masshist.

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Library Closed Memorial Day 24 May 2014.Saturday, all day

The library at the MHS is closed for the Memorial Day weekend.

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Building Closed Memorial Day 26 May 2014.Monday, all day

The MHS is closed for Memorial Day.

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Brown Bag Circulating Counterfeits: Making Money and Its Meanings in the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic 28 May 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Katherine Smoak, The Johns Hopkins University

Counterfeiting was a ubiquitous problem in the eighteenth-century British Atlantic, encouraged by the unstandardized and various nature of eighteenth-century currency. Counterfeiters formed regional and trans-Atlantic networks to produce and circulate debased and forged coin, both British and foreign, and faked reproductions of newly available paper notes.  Reconstructing these networks, I argue that counterfeiters shaped imperial economies in unexpected ways, impacting everything from daily economic practices to the course of economic development, and prompted complex discussions about value, worth and trust in an expanding commercial empire.

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Public Program, Author Talk The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941–1942 28 May 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Nigel Hamilton

Based on years of archival research and interviews with the last surviving aides and Roosevelt family members, Nigel Hamilton offers a definitive account of FDR’s masterful—and underappreciated—command of the Allied war effort. Hamilton takes readers inside FDR’s White House Oval Study—his personal command center—and into the meetings where he battled with Churchill about strategy and tactics and overrode the near mutinies of his own generals and secretary of war.

Time and again, FDR was proven right and his allies and generals were wrong. When the generals wanted to attack the Nazi-fortified coast of France, FDR knew the Allied forces weren’t ready. When Churchill insisted his Far East colonies were loyal and would resist the Japanese, Roosevelt knew it was a fantasy. As Hamilton’s account reaches its climax with the Torch landings in North Africa in late 1942, the tide of war turns in the Allies’ favor and FDR’s genius for psychology and military affairs is clear.

Nigel Hamilton is a bestselling and award-winning biographer of President John F. Kennedy, General Bernard “Monty” Montgomery, and President Bill Clinton, among other subjects. He is a Senior Fellow in the McCormack Graduate School, University of Massachusetts-Boston, and first president of the Biographers International Organization (BIO).

To Reserve: There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Click here to register online, or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

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Conference Never Done: Interpreting the History of Women at Work in Massachusetts 2 June 2014.Monday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM this event is free This conference will take place at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester Keynote Speaker: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Harvard University

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, The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and Elizabeth & Ned Bacon.

Join us on Monday, June 2, at the Hogan Campus Center, College of the Holy Cross, for a thought-provoking day examining women in Massachusetts history. At this, the tenth annual Mass History Conference we will welcome the many small historical organizations that preserve, interpret, and deepen the exploration of Massachusetts history. The stories of lesser-known women change-makers get lost in the larger narrative of industry, politics and conflict, but the timing is right for an examination of their tales of great and compelling variety, of lives lived with courage and determination.

The conference is widely celebrated as the best networking and skill-sharing opportunity for historians of our state culture.

Registration Fees
Fee includes workshop, morning refreshments, buffet lunch (vegetarian option available), and afternoon snack
Registrations cannot be refunded; however you may send another person in your place.

  • $95 Standard Fee per person
  • $60 Student Fee (include copy of student ID with registration or bring ID to event if registering online)
  • $80 Per person for 3 registrants from same organization at the same time
  • $70 Per person for 4 registrants from same organization at the same time

For more information--including a detailed schedule of the day, or to register for the conference, visit the Mass Humanities website: http://masshumanities.org/history_conference_2014.

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Brown Bag Creating Adams Family Values 4 June 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Sara Georgini, Adams Papers and Boston University

This project is a history of religion in the Adams family of Massachusetts from 1583 to 1927. Most Adams family members accepted organized religion as a public good, but they filled letters and lives with the effort to answer one query: What was it good for? As men and women operating at the heart of the nation, prevailing notions of Christian citizenship laid out duties for them to fulfill, and the Adamses repeatedly sought out God for help. Drawing on the public and private papers of several generations, this project explores the “cosmopolitan Christianity” that the Adams family developed over time.

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Public Program A Conversation with David S. Ferriero 4 June 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States

David S. Ferriero was confirmed as 10th Archivist of the United States on November 6, 2009. Previously, Mr. Ferriero served as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries (NYPL). He was part of the leadership team responsible for integrating the four research libraries and 87 branch libraries into one seamless service for users, creating the largest public library system in the United States and one of the largest research libraries in the world. Mr. Ferriero was in charge of collection strategy; conservation; digital experience; reference and research services; and education, programming, and exhibitions.Before joining the NYPL in 2004, Mr. Ferriero served in top positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Duke University. In those positions, he led major initiatives including the expansion of facilities, the adoption of digital technologies, and a reengineering of printing and publications.

Mr. Ferriero earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from Northeastern University in Boston and a master’s degree from the Simmons College of Library and Information Science, also in Boston. After serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War, he started in the humanities library at MIT, where he worked for 31 years, rising to associate director for public services and acting co-director of libraries.

To Reserve: Click here to register online, or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:00 PM 5 June 2014.Thursday, all day close
MHS Annual Meeting 11 June 2014.Wednesday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost This event is open only to MHS Fellows

MHS Fellows are invited to attend the Society's annual business meeting followed by a talk and reception for Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War. Registration 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 Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country Preview Reception 11 June 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members

Photograph by Margaret HallFellows and Members are invited to a special preview reception of Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country. The evening will begin with remarks by Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey. A reception and exhibition viewing will follow.

To commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, the MHS has organized the exhibition Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War focusing on two of the hundreds of women from the Commonwealth who went to France as members of the U.S. armed forces, the Red Cross, and other war relief organizations. From the Society’s extraordinary collection of women’s recollections, this exhibition features photographs, letters, diaries, and memorabilia related to Margaret Hall and Eleanor (Nora) Saltonstall, Red Cross volunteers in France. The exhibition will highlight Hall’s large-format photographs of the battlefront on loan from the Cohasset Historical Society. Both women were keen observers of the climactic months of the war and depicted what they witnessed in vivid detail.

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Exhibition Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War 12 June 2014 to 24 January 2015 this event is free Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Hall at Ecury

To commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, the MHS has organized the exhibition Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War focusing on two of the hundreds of women from the Commonwealth who went to France as members of the U.S. armed forces, the Red Cross, and other war relief organizations.

From the Society’s extraordinary collection of women’s recollections, this exhibition features photographs, letters, diaries, and memorabilia related to Margaret Hall and Eleanor (Nora) Saltonstall, Red Cross volunteers in France. The exhibition will highlight Hall’s large-format photographs of the battlefront on loan from the Cohasset Historical Society. Both women were keen observers of the climactic months of the war and depicted what they witnessed in vivid detail.

The exhibition celebrates the forthcoming MHS publication Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: The World War I Memoir of Margaret Hall.

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Public Program Lost Boston 13 June 2014.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM this event is free Anthony Sammarco

Historian and author Anthony Sammarco will explore some of the  sixty-eight houses, churches, libraries, clubs, squares and baseball fields that have been lost by demolition, fire, or neglect since the 1870s.  His new book, Lost Boston, is a nostalgic journey back in time to visit some of the disappeared buildings and spaces in all their grandeur. Some lost places include Boston City Hall, Boston Coliseum, Boylston Market, Merchants Exchange, Huntington Avenue Grounds, Cyclorama, East Boston Airport, Braves Field, the Massachusetts State Prison, Boston Opera House, South Boston Aquarium, and the Howard Athenaeum.

Anthony M. Sammarco is a noted historian and author of sixty books on the history and development of Boston, and he lectures widely on the history and development of his native city. He commenced writing in 1995, and his books Dorchester and The Baker Chocolate Company: A Sweet History have made the bestsellers list. Boston’s Back Bay in the Victorian Era, Dorchester: Volume II, Dorchester Then & Now, Boston’s North End (and Il North End di Boston in Italian) and the Great Boston Fire of 1872, are among his perennially popular books. Since 1996, Mr. Sammarco has taught history at the Urban College of Boston, where he was named educator of the year in 2003 and where he serves on the Leadership Council. He is a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, a member of the Boston Author's Club and the Boston Athenaeum.

To Reserve: This event is free and open to the public.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 14 June 2014.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 At the Point of a Cutlass: The Pirate Capture, Bold Escape, and Lonely Exile of Philip Ashton 19 June 2014.Thursday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Gregory N. Flemming

Book cover, Called America's real-life Robinson Crusoe, the true story of Philip Ashton--a nineteen-year-old fisherman captured by pirates, impressed as a crewman, subjected to torture and hardship, who eventually escaped and lived as a castaway and scavenger on a deserted island in the Caribbean--was at one time as well known as the tales of Cooper, Hawthorne, and Defoe. Based on a rare copy of Ashton's 1725 account, author Gregory N. Flemming's vivid portrait recounts this maritime world during the golden age of piracy. Fishing vessels and merchantmen plied the coastal waters and crisscrossed the Atlantic and Caribbean. It was a hard, dangerous life, made more so by both the depredations and temptations of piracy. Chased by the British Royal Navy, blown out of the water or summarily hung when caught, pirate captains such as Edward Low kidnapped, cajoled, beat, and bribed men like Ashton into the rich--but also vile, brutal, and often short--life of the pirate. Flemming drew not only on Ashton's own first-person account of his experiences, but a wealth of other materialsfrom the Massachusetts Historical Society's collections, including hundreds of colonial newspaper reports, trial records, and the hand-written logbooks and correspondence from the British warships that patrolled the Bay of Honduras and fought with Low's pirates.

Gregory N. Flemming is a former journalist who holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives with his family in New England. His website is www.gregflemming.com.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 21 June 2014.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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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 28 June 2014.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 The Camera and the Community: How Photography Changed American Abolitionism 2 July 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Matthew Fox-Amato, University of Southern California

In 1839, when the French-born daguerreotype arrived in the United States, it was hardly clear that the photographic process would be used as a political weapon. Examining the production, exchange and visuality of photographs of abolitionists, this talk shows how radical activists harnessed the medium as a way to build their movement in the decades prior to the Civil War.

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Building Closed BUILDING CLOSING AT NOON 3 July 2014.Thursday, all day close
Building Closed 4th of July 4 July 2014.Friday, all day

The MHS will be closed for the 4th of July holiday.

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Library Closed 4th of July 5 July 2014.Saturday, all day

The library at the MHS is closed for the 4th of July weekend.

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Brown Bag Slavery, Sacred Texts and the Antebellum Confrontation with History 9 July 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Jordan Watkins, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

This study explores biblical and constitutional debates over slavery in the antebellum era. It argues that the developing slavery crisis fueled the move to understand both the Bible and the Constitution as historical texts. It also contends that the emphasis on contextual interpretation among biblical scholars in the first few decades of the nineteenth century informed a similar reading of the Constitution in the decades before the Civil War. It demonstrates that these overlapping developments cultivated an awareness of the historical distances that divided Americans from their favored biblical and Revolutionary pasts.

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Teacher Workshop Symbols of Liberty: The Magna Carta, the Liberty Bowl, and the American Revolution 10 July 2014 to 11 July 2014 registration required This event will take place at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston & the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Thomas Jefferson's manuscript copy of the Declaration of IndependenceIn conjunction with the exhibition Magna Carta: Cornerstone of Liberty, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Massachusetts Historical Society will offer a two-day professional development workshop for teachers in grades K-12 that will provide an introduction to the rich collections of 18th-century documents and objects at both institutions. The workshop will include lectures, hands-on activities in the classroom, and gallery explorations using primary source documents and original art objects related to the founding of the United States.

One of only four surviving copies of the original Magna Carta—an inspiration for the US Constitution and Bill of Rights—is on view at the MFA this summer in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Magna Carta—Latin for “Great Charter”— joins other historical documents and objects, as well as portraits and works of art from the Museum’s collection, to tell the story of patriots and revolutionaries who fought for freedom in the face of tyranny. The exhibition also includes portraits, marble busts, and historical documents related to several of the Founding Fathers, presidents, and abolitionists, particularly from Massachusetts, who were inspired by the liberties enshrined in Magna Carta.

Image: Declaration of Independence, manuscript copy by Thomas Jefferson, [1776]. Massachusetts Historical Society.

 

Registration Fee: $100

Registration covers admission to the MFA, lunch both days, and materials. Participants can earn one graduate credit from Framingham State University for an additional fee. Visit the MFA website to register.

Contact education@masshist.org for more information.

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Brown Bag Of Form and Failure: American Puritanism, Quantification, and the Way of All Grace 11 July 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Rachel Trocchio, University of California, Berkeley

From its foundations in the diagrammatic habits of sixteenth-century England to its intercourse with the new science of infinity, Puritanism applied a series of quantitative strategies for understanding an arbitrary God and the perfection of his decrees. This program argues that, simultaneously as these quantifications failed, their very failure inspired the imaginative leap between sensory and intelligible things that Puritanism made requisite for knowledge of God and one’s grace.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 12 July 2014.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 Cautious Romantics: The Dana Family of Boston as the Interpretive Key to a Larger Discourse 14 July 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Jonathan Koefoed, Indiana University, Purdue University, Columbus

This project seeks to provide a fuller picture of the way that European Romantic texts functioned in American intellectual, cultural, and religious history by highlighting a group of “Cautious Romantics” that emerged as an alternative and conservative Romantic religious tradition in America between 1800 and the late 19th century. They retained a commitment to a settled social order and embraced the Trinitarian Christianity long since abandoned by the Transcendentalists and their Unitarian predecessors. This program will focus on how the Dana Family functions as a critical lens through which one can view the larger Cautious Romantic discourse.

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Brown Bag Land, Liberty, & Property: Surveyors and the Production of Empire in British North America 15 July 2014.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Mark L. Thompson, University of Groningen

The land surveyor was a key figure in early America—instrumental in everything from marking colonial boundaries to measuring the smallest parcel of a farmer’s land. Adapting European methods to American conditions, surveyors drafted a “creole science” that served the demands of imperial authorities and common settlers alike. Together they transformed land into liberty, property, and a territorial empire.

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Public Program, Author Talk "What is Focus?" Margaret Hall's Battle Country 15 July 2014.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Margaret Higonnet, University of Connecticut Comments by Susan Solomon and Suzanne Diefenbach

Between August 1918 and August 1919, Cohasset, Mass., native Margaret Hall served as a volunteer in the canteen service with the Red Cross in France. Using letters, diaries, and photographs, she created an unusual typescript, Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country, 1918-1919, when she returned home from the Great War. Pasted opposite the relevant sections of the narrative are roughly 281 photographs and other memorabilia. Starting in August 1918, Hall captured in rich detail her passage from New York to France, her pursuit of a Red Cross posting as close to the front as possible, and then her day-to-day experiences at a canteen at Châlons sur Marne, where she continued to work for a number of months following the Armistice in November 1918. Her photographs document a significant range of her war experience, from the quotidian life at Châlons sur Marne to the exploration of battlefields at Longwy and Verdun.

Margaret R. Higonnet, the volume’s editor, is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut, and an Affiliate at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies. At the intersection of feminist theory with history and comparative literature, she has published extensively on gender and World War I, editing Behind the Lines: Gender and the Two World Wars (1987), Lines of Fire: Women Writers of World War I (1999), and Nurses at the Front: Writing the Wounds of War (2001).

Susan Solomon is Yardımcı Doçent (or Assistant Professor) of Humanities, Western Languages and Literatures, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. She will comment on her research into the life and photographs of Margaret Hall.

Suzanne Diefenbach is Margaret Hall's great niece. She will share her recollections  of "Aunts" and life with her at Paradise Hill Farm in Hull, Massachusetts.

To Reserve: Register online or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

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Brown Bag Americans in Chinese Treaty Ports: Trade and Diplomacy in Nineteenth-Century U.S.-China Relations 16 July 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Laurie Dickmeyer, University of California, Irvine

This project explores the changing texture and relationship of trade and diplomacy between American and Chinese traders and diplomats from 1784 to the 1860s. The consumption of luxury goods by both Americans and Chinese and the relationship between the U.S. and Great Britain abroad both helped to shape U.S.-China diplomacy in the nineteenth century. This program will present an overview of the project but will focus on findings from traders' records at the MHS.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 19 July 2014.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 Cosmopolitan Parochialism: Magistrates and Imperial Revolution in New England, 1760-1800 21 July 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Brendan Gillis, Indiana University

From Massachusetts to Australia, justices of the peace and other equivalent magistrates provided an exportable unit of local government responsible for the vast majority of judicial and administrative decisions. This project investigates how shared assumptions about magisterial authority contributed to the construction of new jurisdictions incorporating non-English lands and peoples. In New England, this British model of local government proved so adaptable that it allowed justices of the peace to assert independence during a period of imperial crisis.

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Brown Bag Watershed Decisions: Arthur Shurcliff's Vision of the Quabbin Reservoir, 1922-1945 22 July 2014.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Jeffrey Egan, University of Connecticut

This presentation will provide a brief historical overview of the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts, a massive public-works project that led to the disincorporation of four rural towns in the western portion of the Commonwealth and radically transformed 39 square miles of land during the 1930s and 1940s. After tracing the arc of this story, it will delve into the environmental worldview and vision of the Quabbin project held by Arthur Shurcliff, the landscape architect employed by the Boston Metropolitan District Commission to reform the grounds surrounding this new, artificial lake.

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Brown Bag The Virgin Vote: Young Americans in the Age of Popular Politics 23 July 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Jonathan Grinspan, University of Virginia/ Jefferson Scholars Foundation

Young people fueled American democracy at its most popular. Between 1840 and 1900, children, youths and young adults turned out at rallies and elections, searching for identity, advancement, and fun. Many viewed the political system as a route to adulthood, during a period of major social instability. At the same time, politicians wooed first-time “virgin voters,” lobbied young women to influence the men in their lives, and recruited children as future partisans. Their interest helped bring about the highest voter turnouts in U.S. history. This project explores this fascinating and forgotten relationship between public politics and personal aspirations.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 26 July 2014.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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Teacher Workshop, Public Program Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation 30 July 2014 to 31 July 2014 registration required This workshop will take place in Milford, New Hampshire, and Pepperell, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area

What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before becoming part of a new nation in 1776? Designed for educators and local history enthusiasts, this workshop will explore some of the social, cultural, economic, and political concerns expressed by New England towns as the United States was attempting to form a new government in the 1780s and 1790s. We will discuss the truly participatory, well-informed conversations taking place in town halls and meeting places throughout the new colonies-turned-states. By turning an eye towards local politics and events we will rediscover the ways in which “ordinary people” contributed to America’s creation story.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • investigate what it was like to live in an old town in a new country and discover what changed for the inhabitants of different towns as new government structures were implemented.
  • discuss the concerns (both local and national) expressed by Massachusetts & New Hampshire residents in various towns while the American government was being created in the years after the revolution.
  • explore the ways in which geography, economy, and social/cultural practices influenced local concerns.
  • discover evidence of local concerns, and discussions of national policies, in primary sources held by local repositories and the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • explore new ways of engaging students and local communities in their history.

There is a $25 charge to cover lunches both days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Educators can earn 14 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

To Register: Please complete this registration form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

Additional two-day workshops will be held in Searsport, Maine, August 6-7; in Falmouth, Massachusetts, August 13-14; and in Framingham, Massachusetts, September 26-27.

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Brown Bag John Barleycorn vs. Sir Richard Rum: Alcohol, the Atlantic, and the Distilling of Colonial Identity, 1650-1800 30 July 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Kristen Burton, University of Texas at Arlington

This project examines the shifting perceptions of spirituous liquors in the Atlantic World throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Focusing on the rise of commercial distilling, particularly in regard to rum, gin, and whiskey, this research explores the evolution of liquors from their use a wholesome source of medicine to a pernicious, societal threat.

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