This Week @MHS

This is a busy week at the MHS. Take a look at what is planned:

On Monday, 14 October, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM: Opening Our Doors Celebration. The MHS will join its neighboring cultural institutions for a day of free history, art, music, and cultural happenings in the Fenway neighborhood. With over 20 different museums, venues, colleges, and organizations participating, there will be something for everyone. View Fenway Connections, an exhibition put together by the MHS and the Fenway Studios, take part in a family-friendly art project that is part of our Remember Abigail celebration, and join us for a historic walking tour of the Fenway neighborhood.

On Tuesday, 15 October, at 5:15 PM: “Ladies Aid” as Labor History: Working Class Formation in the Interwar Syrian American Mahjar with Stacy Fahrenthold, University of California, Davis, and comment by Ilham Khuri-Makdisi, Northeastern University.
Founded in 1917, the Syrian Ladies Aid Society of Boston (SLAS) provided food, shelter, education, and employment to Syrian workers. Volunteers understood the SLAS as both a women’s organization and a proletarian movement led by Syrian women. Drawing from SLAS club records, private family papers, activist correspondence, and the Syrian press, this essay calls attention to the role women played in working class formation in the Arab American diaspora, and argues for a class-centered reassessment of “ladies aid” politics. This is part of the Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality series. It is is co-sponsored by the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society & Culture. Seminars are free and open to the public. 

On Wednesday, 16 October, at 12:00 PM: The Last & Living Words of Mark: Following the Clues to the Enslaved Man’s Life, Afterlife, & to his Community in Boston, Charlestown, & South Shore Massachusetts with Catherine Sasanov, Independent Researcher. Mark, a blacksmith, husband, and father, might have slipped from public memory if not for his brutal end: his body gibbeted for decades on Charlestown Common for the poisoning of his enslaver, John Codman. This project, grounded in Mark’s testimony, approaches “legal” and other documents as crime scenes; attention to clues, connections, and seemingly insignificant details unlock important, previously unrecognized aspects of Mark’s world, thwarting their original intent: the enforcement of slavery’s status quo. This is part of the Brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 16 October, at 6:00 PM: Housing as History: Villa Victoria & the Fenway Community Development Corporation with Mario Luis Small, Harvard University; Mathew Thall, Fenway CDC; and Mayra I. Negrón-Roche, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción. In the 1960s and 1970s Boston struggled to stem urban flight and a landscape of deteriorating housing stock. Massive redevelopment projects, such as the razing of the West End, sent shockwaves through the city. By the mid-1960s, the South End found itself the focus of redevelopment plans. A group of mostly Puerto Rican residents began to meet and then incorporated as the Emergency Tenants’ Council, which became Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, Inc. (IBA). In 1969, following a widespread campaign, the IBA won the right to serve as the developer for their neighborhood and; using the architecture of Puerto Rico as inspiration, built Villa Victoria. A few years later and few blocks away, the Fenway neighborhood faced the Fenway Urban Renewal Plan (FURP), which planned to clear sections of the neighborhood. local residents sued the city to block FURP and won the right to have a neighborhood-elected board become part of the decision-making process. Out of these efforts came the Fenway CDC with a mission to develop and maintain affordable housing and advocate on behalf of a vibrant and diverse community. This is part two of a series of four programs that is made possible by the generosity of Mass Humanities and the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. It will be held at Blackstone Community Center, 50 W. Brookline Street, Boston. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30 PM; the speaking program begins at 6:00 PM.

On Thursday, 17 October, at 5:15 PM: The World Comes to Lowell: Building a Digital Immigration History Website with Robert Forrant, University of Massachusetts–Lowell, and Ingrid Hess, University of Massachusetts–Lowell. Based at the University of Massachusetts–Lowell, this digital project provides an entry point to the immigrant and refugee history of Lowell with an eye toward greater New England. An interdisciplinary team of faculty and students created the website content and produced the motion graphics to present supporting photographs, maps, and links to additional resources. The site is designed to be a tool for educators and a resource for interested community members. This is part of the Boston-Area Seminar on Digital History Projects series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, 19 October, at 10:00 AM: The History & Collections of the MHS. This is a 90-minute docent-led walk through of our public rooms. The tour is free and open to the public. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

On Saturday, 19 October, at 4:00 PM: Legacies of 1619: Afro-Native Connections with Christine DeLucia, Williams College; Kendra Field, Tufts University; and moderator Catherine Allgor, MHS. Even before the arrival of enslaved Africans, Native Americans were forced into bondage and transported far from their homes in North America. Even as the Native populations were decimated and displaced, the communities that survived remained a refuge for African Americans. These distinct communities forged familial, social, and cultural bonds with each other over time. This program will explore the complex relationship between African Americans, Native Americans, the institution of slavery, and these groups’ attempts to seek equal rights in American society. This program is part two of a series of four programs co-sponsored by the Museum of African American History and the Roxbury Community College. There will be a pre-talk reception at 3:30.

Abigail Adams: Life & Legacy Pop-Up Display
Abigail Adams urged her husband to “Remember the Ladies” and made herself impossible to forget. But Abigail is memorable for more than her famous 1776 admonition. This final Remember Abigail display uses documents and artifacts through the ages to consider the way Abigail viewed her own legacy and to explore how and why we continue to Remember Abigail. Join us for gallery talks on 25 October and 22 November at 2:00 PM.

Fenway Connections, an exhibition by the MHS and the Fenway Studios closes on Saturday, 19 October
The Fenway Studios is the only purpose-built structure in the United States designed to provide work and living space for artists that is still used for its original intent. It was modeled after 19th-century Parisian atelier studios but took the additional step of encouraging studio-design suggestions from the founding artists. This temporary exhibition will celebrate the history and evolution of Fenway Studios by shining a light on contemporary work produced by current members alongside rarely shown paintings from the MHS collection created by past Fenway Studios artists.

This Week @MHS

Join us for a program at the MHS this week. Here is a look at what is planned:

On Tuesday, 8 October, at 5:15 PM: Brighton Fair: The Animal Suburb & the Making of Modern Boston with Andrew Robichaud, Boston University, and comment by Zachary Nowak, Harvard University. In the 19th century, Brighton, Mass. became an iconic center of livestock and animal industries in North America. Andrew Robichaud explores the political and environmental dimensions of the rise and fall of this “animal suburb,” and explains its significance, both then and now. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Environmental History series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 9 October, at 6:00 PM: The Black Presence at the Battle of Bennington with Phil Holland. The Battle of Bennington, fought on August 16, 1777, was a critical patriot victory that led directly to the British surrender at Saratoga two months later. Led by Gen. John Stark, militia from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont, and Continental troops under Col. Seth Warner soundly defeated British troops attempting to seize stores held at Bennington. This illustrated talk is the first treatment of the black presence at the battle, which extended from black soldiers from the Berkshires to the sources of the wealth that funded the New Hampshire troops. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30. There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). 

On Thursday, 10 October, at 5:15 PM: Talking About the N-Word: A Personal Social History* with Elizabeth Pryor, Smith College, and comment by Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law. In the 1980s and 1990s, Black intellectuals increasingly refused to repeat the violent language wielded against them. Thus, they invented the “n” word phrase, placing the racist slur n***er at the center of debates over political correctness and Black cultural expression. By exploring the long history of African American protest against the n-word, this reflection examines how the surrogate phrase straddles Black radicalism on one hand and respectability politics on the other. This is part of the Boston Seminar on African American History series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

*Previously titled “‘A New Game’: The Invention of the N-Word Phrase”

Abigail Adams: Life & Legacy Pop-Up Display
Abigail Adams urged her husband to “Remember the Ladies” and made herself impossible to forget. But Abigail is memorable for more than her famous 1776 admonition. This final Remember Abigail display uses documents and artifacts through the ages to consider the way Abigail viewed her own legacy and to explore how and why we continue to Remember Abigail. Join us for gallery talks on 25 October and 22 November at 2:00 PM.

Fenway Connections, an exhibition by the MHS and the Fenway Studios
The Fenway Studios is the only purpose-built structure in the United States designed to provide work and living space for artists that is still used for its original intent. It was modeled after 19th-century Parisian atelier studios but took the additional step of encouraging studio-design suggestions from the founding artists. This temporary exhibition will celebrate the history and evolution of Fenway Studios by shining a light on contemporary work produced by current members alongside rarely shown paintings from the MHS collection created by past Fenway Studios artists.

This Week @MHS

Here is a look at what is going on at the MHS this week:

On Wednesday, 2 October, at 12:00 PM: Autonomous & Independent: Native Activists & the Rejection of U.S. Citizenship, 1906-1924 with Lila Teeters, University of New Hampshire. In the early 20th century, U.S. Congressmen attempted to make every Native within the territorial boundaries of the United States a citizen. Native activists, many committed to cultural integrity and the maintenance of tribal sovereignty, thwarted Congressional efforts for almost two decades. This talk follows the Native individuals and nations who led the protest against U.S. citizenship and analyzes how their fights shaped citizenship policies at large.  This is part of our brown-bag lunch program. Brown-bags are free and open to the public. 

On Wednesday, 2 October, at 6:00 PM: Housing as History: Columbia Point & Commonwealth with Lawrence Vale, Ford Professor of Urban Design and Planning, MIT; Jane Roessner, author; Charlie Titus, UMass Boston. In 1979, after touring public housing sites with deplorable conditions, Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Paul Garrity ordered the Boston Housing Authority into receivership. Lewis H. (Harry) Spence was appointed as receiver. As Spence oversaw a massive redevelopment of the fourth largest housing authority in America, two very different housing models emerged: Columbia Point in Dorchester and Commonwealth in Brighton. Columbia Point was the largest public housing complex in New England and had once been a source of pride. However, a quarter century after it opened, it stood neglected, isolated, and mostly vacant. When it was redeveloped into the new community of Harbor Point, less than one-third of the resultant apartments were targeted to public housing residents. By contrast, Commonwealth remained 100% public housing. Nearly two-thirds of its original residents, many of whom had been deeply involved in the site’s redevelopment, were able to return to the site. This conversation will explore these outcomes, situating these redevelopments in the overall history of the Boston Housing Authority. This program is made possible by the generosity of Mass Humanities and the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30 PM; the speaking program begins at 6:00 PM. Please note: those registered for the program after 28 September may be asked to sit in our overflow room with a live video feed.

On Thursday, 3 October, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM: Fenway Connections Opening Reception. This temporary exhibition will celebrate the history and evolution of Fenway Studios by shining a light on contemporary work produced by current members alongside rarely shown paintings from the MHS collection created by past Fenway Studios artists. The opening reception is free and open to the public. 

On Saturday, 5 October, from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM: Student Research Open House at the MHS. Working on a National History Day or other historical research project? Want to learn what it’s like to get your hands on primary sources? Discover the incredible primary sources at your fingertips in the MHS collections, and learn how to get the most out of researching in the archive! Open to students in grades 6-12 and teachers.

Abigail Adams: Life & Legacy Pop-Up Display
Abigail Adams urged her husband to “Remember the Ladies” and made herself impossible to forget. But Abigail is memorable for more than her famous 1776 admonition. This final Remember Abigail display uses documents and artifacts through the ages to consider the way Abigail viewed her own legacy and to explore how and why we continue to Remember Abigail. Join us for gallery talks on 25 October and 22 November at 2:00 PM.

Fenway Connections, an exhibition by the MHS and the Fenway Studios, opens on 3 October
The Fenway Studios is the only purpose-built structure in the United States designed to provide work and living space for artists that is still used for its original intent. It was modeled after 19th-century Parisian atelier studios but took the additional step of encouraging studio-design suggestions from the founding artists. This temporary exhibition will celebrate the history and evolution of Fenway Studios by shining a light on contemporary work produced by current members alongside rarely shown paintings from the MHS collection created by past Fenway Studios artists.

This Week @MHS

There is a lot going on at the MHS this week. Here is a look:

On Tuesday, 24 September, at 5:15 PM: Fifty Shades of Green: Sexing Economics with Bethany Moreton, Dartmouth College, and comment by Nancy Cott, Harvard University. From the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship to the Chicago School, thinkers on the Right have vigorously theorized the foundational connections between sexual and economic ideologies, even while self-identified partisans of labor democracy scold radicals for “trying to persuade people on the left that gay issues, black issues, feminist issues and so on are all really about capitalism.” What happens when we consider economic “science” as a chapter in the history of sexuality? This is part of the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 25 September, at 12:00 PM: Suffragists of Scituate with Lyle Nyberg, Scituate Historical Society. A hundred years ago, several nationally prominent suffragists spent summers in Scituate, which had become a popular seaside destination. They included Inez Haynes Irwin, who wrote the history of the National Woman’s Party, and Judith Winsor Smith, who wrote for the Woman’s Journal and gave public speeches into her 90s promoting a woman’s right to vote. This talk examines their little-known stories and unique relationship to Scituate. This is part of the Brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 25 September, at 6:00 PM: The Arts & Crafts Houses of Massachusetts: A Style Rediscovered with Heli Meltsner, Cambridge Historical Society. At the opening of the twentieth century, Massachusetts architects struggled to create an authentic new look that would reflect their clients’ increasingly informal way of life. Inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement in England, the result was a charming style that proved especially appropriate for the rapidly expanding suburbs and vacation houses in the states. Through meticulous research, Heli Meltsner brings this distinctly New England architectural style the attention it deserves.  A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30 PM; the speaking program begins at 6:00 PM. There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

On Thursday, 26 September, at 5:15 PM: Toward the Sistercentennial: New Light on Women’s Participation in the American Revolution with Woody Holton, University of South Carolina, and comment by Mary Bilder, Boston College Law. This essay offers new insight on some of the iconic stories of women’s involvement in the American Revolution. For example, it documents disputes among the Patriot boycotters of 1769 and 1770 (male vs. female, enslaved vs. free, and northern vs. southern) and describes the male-on-male conflicts that led to and resulted from Esther Reed’s famous Ladies Association of 1780. This is part of the Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, 28 September, at 2:00 PM: Primary Sources for Fashion & Costume History Research with Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire, and Sara Georgini, MHS. Antique textiles, images of historical figures, and material culture hold a wealth of information that can enrich personal stories, explain relationships, and contextualize the world that people occupied. However, these sources can seem daunting to explore. Two experts on fashion and material culture will guide you through unraveling the stories woven into history’s fabric. This workshop is part of our Remember Abigail programming.

Abigail Adams: Life & Legacy Pop-Up Display begins on 27 September
Abigail Adams urged her husband to “Remember the Ladies” and made herself impossible to forget. But Abigail is memorable for more than her famous 1776 admonition. This final Remember Abigail display uses documents and artifacts through the ages to consider the way Abigail viewed her own legacy and to explore how and why we continue to Remember Abigail. Join us for gallery talks on 25 October and 22 November at 2:00 PM.

Fenway Connections, an exhibition by the MHS and the Fenway Studios, opens on 3 October
The Fenway Studios is the only purpose-built structure in the United States designed to provide work and living space for artists that is still used for its original intent. It was modeled after 19th-century Parisian atelier studios but took the additional step of encouraging studio-design suggestions from the founding artists. This temporary exhibition will celebrate the history and evolution of Fenway Studios by shining a light on contemporary work produced by current members alongside rarely shown paintings from the MHS collection created by past Fenway Studios artists. An opening reception will take place on 3 October at 5:30 PM. It is free and open to the public.

This Week @MHS

Join us for a program at the MHS this week. If you haven’t had a chance to view our current exhibition, this week is your last chance.  “Can She Do It?” closes on Saturday, 21 September. Here is a look at what is planned:

On Wednesday, 18 September, at 6:00 PM: Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth with Kevin M. Levin. More than 150 years after the end of the Civil War, scores of websites, articles, and organizations repeat claims that anywhere between 500 and 100,000 free and enslaved African Americans fought willingly as soldiers in the Confederate army. But as Kevin M. Levin argues, such claims would have shocked anyone who served in the army during the war itself. Levin explains that imprecise contemporary accounts, poorly understood primary source material, and rising backlash against African Americans’ gains in civil rights have helped fuel the rise of the black Confederate myth. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30 PM; the speaking program begins at 6:00 PM. There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

On Thursday, 19 September, at 6:00 PM: The MHS hosts its 10th annual Graduate Student Reception. Calling all graduate students and faculty! Please join us at our annual Graduate Student Reception for students in history, American Studies, and related fields. Enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres as you meet colleagues from other universities working in your field. Take a behind-the-scenes tour and learn about the resources the MHS offers to support your scholarship, from research fellowships to our seminar series.

On Saturday, 21 September at 4:00 PM: Can They Do It? Divisions on the Road to the 19th Amendment with Allison K. Lange, Wentworth Institute of Technology; Corinne T. Field, University of Virginia; Manisha Sinha, University of Connecticut; and Barbara F. Berenson. The women’s suffrage movement was not always a cohesive or inclusive space for everyone who fought for the vote, nor did the Nineteenth Amendment bring about political enfranchisement for all women. Conflicts around political philosophy, campaign tactics, and most notably, issues of race, led to a movement that was deeply fractured. Our panel will further examine the divisions inherent in the movement and will look at how other social reform activists have historically struggled with coalition building and intersectionality. This program is made possible through the co-sponsorship of the Greater Boston Women’s Vote Centennial (presented by Mayor Walsh’s Office of Women’s Advancement). A pre-talk reception begins at 3:30 PM; the speaking program begins at 4:00 PM.

“Can She Do It?”: Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote is open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Featuring dynamic imagery from the collection of the MHS, the exhibition illustrates the passion on each side of the suffrage question. For over a century, Americans debated whether women should vote. The materials on display demonstrate the arguments made by suffragists and their opponents. While women at the polls may seem unremarkable today, these contentious campaigns formed the foundations for modern debates about gender and politics.

Please note that on Saturday, 21 September the MHS library will close at 3:00 PM.

This Week @MHS

We have a couple of evening programs and a gallery talk scheduled at the MHS this week. Here is a look:

On Tuesday, 10 September, at 6:00 PM: Properties of Empire: Indians, Colonists, & Land Speculators on the New England with Ian Saxine. Properties of Empire challenges assumptions about the relationship between Indigenous and imperial property creation in early America. Many colonists came to believe their prosperity depended on acknowledging Indigenous land rights and Wabanaki Indians’ unity allowed them to forcefully project their own interpretations of poorly remembered land deeds and treaties. The ongoing struggle to construct a commonly agreed-upon culture of landownership shaped diplomacy, imperial administration, and matters of colonial law in powerful ways, and its legacy remains with us today. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30 PM; the speaking program begins at 6:00 PM. There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

On Thursday, 12 September, at 6:00 PM: Benjamin Franklin’s Influence on Jewish Thought & Practice with Shai Afsai. In his 20s, Benjamin Franklin resolved to perfect his character, devising a self-improvement method to aid him in the challenging task of becoming virtuous and intending to complete a book on its use. This method was eventually incorporated into the Jewish ethical tradition through the publication, in 1808, of Rabbi Mendel Lefin’s Book of Spiritual Accounting, which made it available to Hebrew-reading audiences. Shai Afsai discusses this surprising historical development, which has often confused Judaic scholars, and of which Franklin specialists have been largely oblivious. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30 PM; the speaking program begins at 6:00 PM. There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

On Friday, 13 September, at 2:00 PM: Abigail Adams: Independence & Ideals, pop-up display and talk. Join an Adams Papers editor for an in-depth look at the display. Never “an uninterested Spectator” when it came to the American political landscape, Abigail Adams leveraged a wide network of correspondents to discuss her vision of the emerging nation. The display will be on view through 21 September.

On Saturday, 14 September, at 10:00 AM: The History & Collections of the MHS. This is a 90-minute docent-led walk through of our public rooms. The tour is free and open to the public. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

“Can She Do It?”: Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote is open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Featuring dynamic imagery from the collection of the MHS, the exhibition illustrates the passion on each side of the suffrage question. For over a century, Americans debated whether women should vote. The materials on display demonstrate the arguments made by suffragists and their opponents. While women at the polls may seem unremarkable today, these contentious campaigns formed the foundations for modern debates about gender and politics.

Please note that on Tuesday, 10 September the MHS library and galleries will open at 12:00 PM.

This Week @MHS

Here is a look at what is going on this week:

On Saturday, 7 September, at 4:00 PM: Legacies of 1619: Recognition & Resilience with Kerri Greenidge, Tufts University; David Krugler, University of Wisconsin—Platteville; and Peter Wirzbicki, Princeton University; and moderator Robert Bellinger, Suffolk University. The institution of slavery in English North America began in 1619 with the arrival of roughly 20 Africans in the settlement of Jamestown. What has followed has been 400 years of exploitation and discrimination in many different forms. However, telling this story is not complete without an exploration of how African American communities have created culture and institutions that have survived despite these challenges. This program will explore both structures of exploitation and forms of resistance. This program is part one of a four program series titled Legacies of 1619. The series is co-sponsored by the Museum of African American History and the Roxbury Community College. A pre-talk reception begins at 3:30; the speaking program begins at 4:00 PM. This program will held at the Museum of African American History, 46 Joy Street, Boston.

“Can She Do It?”: Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote is open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Featuring dynamic imagery from the collection of the MHS, the exhibition illustrates the passion on each side of the suffrage question. For over a century, Americans debated whether women should vote. The materials on display demonstrate the arguments made by suffragists and their opponents. While women at the polls may seem unremarkable today, these contentious campaigns formed the foundations for modern debates about gender and politics.

This Week @MHS

Here is a look at the brown-bag lunch presentation at the MHS this week:

On Friday, 30 August, at 12:00 PM: The Ordeal of Homecoming: Northern Civilians & Union Veterans with Patrick Browne, Boston University.Recent studies of Union veterans hold that northern civilians were eager to forget the Civil War, ignorant of the plight of the veteran, and inept in their few attempts to aid his adjustment. This talk challenges those assessments by focusing on the efforts of Frederick N. Knapp, Head of the Special Relief Department of the US Sanitary Commission. It outlines the unprecedented mechanisms he put in place to bring soldiers home and aid in their transition to civilian life. It also touches on the work of the Boston branch of the Sanitary Commission and the Boston Discharged Soldiers Home. This is part of our brown-bag lunch program. Brown-bags are free and open to the public. 

“Can She Do It?”: Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote is open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Featuring dynamic imagery from the collection of the MHS, the exhibition illustrates the passion on each side of the suffrage question. For over a century, Americans debated whether women should vote. The materials on display demonstrate the arguments made by suffragists and their opponents. While women at the polls may seem unremarkable today, these contentious campaigns formed the foundations for modern debates about gender and politics.

Please note that the MHS will be closed on Saturday, 31 August and Monday, 2 September. Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.

This Week @MHS

Here is a look at what is happening at the MHS this week:

On Wednesday, 21 August, at 12:00 PM: To “Watch” & “Gall” the Enemy: George Washington Wages Petite Guerre with Thomas Rider, University of Wisconsin – Madison. Petite guerre or partisan warfare was a critical component of eighteenth-century armed conflict. Historians of the American Revolution, however, have frequently understated and mischaracterized petite guerre as conducted in that war. This discussion will explain petite guerre within an eighteenth-century military context and explore how George Washington’s Continental Army learned to wage it. This is part of our brown-bag lunch program. Brown-bags are free and open to the public. 

From Thursday, 22 August to Friday, 23 August, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM: Immigration Policy in American History. This workshop will explore the long history of immigration policy in the United States and its legacy in politics today. Our discussions will cover the wave of Irish immigration to Boston in the mid 19th century, along with the parallel Know-Nothing anti-immigration movement, and debates over immigration restriction in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as well Progressive Era efforts to “Americanize” immigrants. This workshop will draw on items from the Society’s rich holdings to help put contemporary debates in context. The workshop is open all who work with K-12 students. Teachers can earn 45 Professional Development Points or 2 graduate credits (for an additional fee). There is a $40 per person registration fee.

On Friday, 23 August, at 12:00 PM: History on the Hoof: New Perspectives on Animal Research during the Civil War Era with David J. Gerleman. The Civil War affected America’s farmers in profound ways and especially the horse, cattle, and dairy industries. Modern civilization’s reliance on the combustion engine has rendered fully comprehending of those changes increasingly difficult. This talk will provide an overview of the changing husbandry and care practices of America’s livestock industry from the 1850s through war’s end in 1865. This is part of our brown-bag lunch program. Brown-bags are free and open to the public. 

On Saturday, 24 August at 10:00 AMThe History & Collections of the MHS. This is a 90-minute docent-led walk through of our public rooms. The tour is free and open to the public. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

“Can She Do It?”: Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote is open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Featuring dynamic imagery from the collection of the MHS, the exhibition illustrates the passion on each side of the suffrage question. For over a century, Americans debated whether women should vote. The materials on display demonstrate the arguments made by suffragists and their opponents. While women at the polls may seem unremarkable today, these contentious campaigns formed the foundations for modern debates about gender and politics.

Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.

This Week @MHS

Here’s a look at what is planned at the MHS this week:

On Wednesday, 7 August and Thursday, 8 August, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM: The Reconstruction Era: History & Legacy. This workshop will explore the era and legacy of Reconstruction in American history and society, from the aftermath of the war to the role it plays in current issues today. We will discuss the effects of Reconstruction on African American and Native American communities, its civic and legal legacies, memory of the period and of the violence that followed, and local heroes who fought for civil rights in the wake of the Civil War. This program is open to all K–12 educators. Teachers can earn 45 Professional Development Points and 2 graduate credits (for an additional fee). There is a $50 per person registration fee.

On Friday, 9 August, at 12:00 PM: Cotton Mather’s Biblia Americana 1693-1728: America’s First Bible Commentary & Storehouse of Early-Modern Learning with Jan Stievermann, Heidelberg University. With the ongoing edition of Cotton Mather’s massive Biblia Americana scholars of early America are now gaining access to the first comprehensive Bible commentary produced in the colonies. This talk will give an introduction to the riches of the Biblia as a source for the study of colonial New England and its place in early-modern intellectual history.  This is part of our brown-bag lunch program. Brown-bags are free and open to the public. 

On Saturday, 10 August at 10:00 AMThe History & Collections of the MHS. This is a 90-minute docent-led walk through of our public rooms. The tour is free and open to the public. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

“Can She Do It?”: Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote is open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Featuring dynamic imagery from the collection of the MHS, the exhibition illustrates the passion on each side of the suffrage question. For over a century, Americans debated whether women should vote. The materials on display demonstrate the arguments made by suffragists and their opponents. While women at the polls may seem unremarkable today, these contentious campaigns formed the foundations for modern debates about gender and politics.

Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.