This Week @ MHS

By Dan Hinchen

We return from our Thanksgiving break well-rested, well-fed, and grateful for the respite it provided. We have two hectic weeks ahead here at the Society before we slow down once again for the next holiday break. This week we have a plethora of programs on tap for public consumption.

Starting things off on Tuesday, 3 December, is a public seminar from our Early American History series. Serena Zabin of Carleton College present “Occupying Boston: An Intimate History of the Boston Massacre.” In this talk, Zabin shows the fundamental component that women constituted in the British army’s experience in Boston, evidenced by the records of some forty marriages of military men and more than a hundred baptisms of their children. This chapter from a larger study of the occupation of Boston examines the personal, social, and political meanings of these new families. Comment provided by Lisa Wilson, Connecticut College. The seminar begins at 5:15PM and is free and open to the public. RSVP required. Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.

On Wednesday, 4 December, spend your lunch hour at the Society for “To Spread Liberty to the North: The Invasion of Canada and the Coming of American Independence, 1774-1776.” In this Brown Bag talk, Amy Noel of Boston University presents research on her project which seeks to explain the enormous changes taking place in American society between 1774 and 1776 by examining the failed invasion of Canada. The campaign played a crucial role in shaping colonial attitudes toward Catholicism and Britishness, the escalation of rebellion into an imperial civil war, and the looming issue of American independence. The talk begins at 12:00PM and is free and open to the public.

And on Wednesday evening, join us for “Elegant Interiors in Early 19th-Century Boston.” In this public program related to our current exhibition, Richard and Jane Nylander discuss the new styles of architecture and furniture that appeared in early 19th-century Boston and will provide a glimpse of the interiors of the homes of some of the city’s wealthiest citizens, among them Nathan Appleton, Charles Russell Codman, Benjamin Bussey, Barney Smith, and David Hinckley. Pre-talk reception begins at 5:30PM and the talk begins at 6:00PM. Registration is required for this event and you can RSVP here. This program is part of the Massachusetts Furniture Series.

On Thursday, 5 December, the Society hosts a special year-end reception for MHS Fellows and Members to celebrate the season with the Trustees and staff of the MHS. The event begins at 6:00PM and is open only to MHS Fellows and Members at no cost. Please RSVP here.

Then, on Friday, 6 December, there is a public author talk. Join us at 2:00PM for “End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy.” Fifty years ago, our country was jolted by tragedy: our 35th president was shot. In End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, historian James L. Swanson offers a comprehensive understanding of this historic day, lending edge-of-your-seat storyteller’s mastery to the subject. This event is free.

And last but certainly not least, on Saturday 7 December, come by the Society at 10:00AM for “The History and Collections of the MHS.” This 90-minute docent-led tour exposes visitors to the Society’s public rooms and touches on the history, collections, art, and architecture of the Society’s historic building at 1154 Boylston Street. 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