This Week @MHS

Take a look at the programs planned at the MHS this week:

On Tuesday, 3 March, at 5:15 PM: The 1621 Massasoit-Plymouth Agreement & the Genesis of American Indian Constitutionalism with Daniel R. Mandell, Truman State University, and comment by Linford Fisher, Brown University. On 22 March 1621, Wampanoag sachem Massasoit agreed to a pact of mutual sovereignty and defense with Plymouth. At the same time, Massasoit promised to send his people who injured Englishmen to stand trial in their courts. While apparently contradictory, Plymouth’s acknowledgment of Wampanoag sovereignty and claim of the right to judge such conflicts reflected emerging international law and English legal norms, and created a constitution for Native-English relations that held for decades. Although King Philip’s War destroyed this agreement, similar political and jurisdictional arrangements continued to dominate British America and were reflected in U.S. Indian policy through the 1820s. This is part of the Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar* series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 4 March, at 6:00 PM: The Boston Massacre: A Family History with Serena Zabin, Carleton College. The story of the Boston Massacre is familiar to generations. But from the very beginning, most accounts have obscured a fascinating truth: the Massacre arose from conflicts that were as personal as they were political. Serena Zabin draws on original sources and lively stories to follow British troops as they are dispatched from Ireland to Boston in 1768 to subdue the increasingly rebellious colonists. She reveals a forgotten world hidden in plain sight: the many regimental wives and children who accompanied the armies. We see these families jostling with Bostonians for living space, finding common cause in the search for a lost child, trading barbs, and sharing baptisms. Becoming, in other words, neighbors. When soldiers shot unarmed citizens in the street, it was these intensely human and now broken bonds that fueled what quickly became a bitterly fought American Revolution. 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, EBT or ConnectorCare cardholders). 

On Saturday, 7 March, 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.

*Our seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. After brief remarks from the author and an assigned commentator, the discussion is opened to the floor. All are encourage to ask questions, provide feedback on the circulated essay, and discuss the topic at hand. Discussion is followed by a reception of light refreshments. The sessions are free and open to everyone.

Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre
On the evening of March 5, 1770, soldiers occupying the town of Boston shot into a crowd, killing or fatally wounding five civilians. In the aftermath of what soon became known as the Boston  Massacre, questions about the command to “Fire!” became crucial. Who yelled it? When and why? Because the answers would determine the guilt or innocence of the soldiers, defense counsel John Adams insisted that “Facts are stubborn things.” But what are the facts? The evidence, often contradictory, drew upon testimony from dozens of witnesses. Through a selection of artifacts, eyewitness accounts, and trial testimony—the voices of ordinary men and women—Fire! Voice from the Boston Massacre explores how this flashpoint changed American history. The exhibition is on display at the MHS through 30 June 2020, Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

This Week @MHS

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

On Tuesday, 25 February, at 5:15 PM, The Difference the 19th Amendment Made: Southern Black Women & the Reconstruction of American Politics with Liette Gidlow, Wayne State University, and comment by Susan Ware, Schlesinger Library. Many scholars have argued that though the enfranchisement of women was laudable, not much changed after women got the vote: the suffrage coalition splintered, women’s voter turnout was low, and the progressive reforms promised by suffragists failed to materialize. This interpretation, however, does not fully account for the activities of aspiring African American women voters in the Jim Crow South at the time or more broadly across the U.S. in the decades since. This paper argues that southern Black women’s efforts to vote, successful and otherwise, transformed not only the mid-century Black freedom struggle but political parties, election procedures, and social movements on the right and the left. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture* series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Thursday, 27 February, at 6:00 PM: We the People: The 500-Year Battle Over Who Is American with Benjamin Railton, Fitchburg State University. Ben Railton argues that throughout our history two competing yet interconnected concepts have battled to define our national identity and community: exclusionary and inclusive visions of who gets to be an American. From the earliest moments of European contact with indigenous peoples, through the Revolutionary period’s debates on African American slavery, 19th century conflicts over Indian Removal, Mexican landowners, and Chinese immigrants, 20th century controversies around Filipino Americans and Japanese internment, and 21st century fears of Muslim Americans, time and again this defining battle has shaped our society and culture. 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, EBT or ConnectorCare cardholders).

On Friday, 28 February, at 12:00 PM: A Vast Consolidation: Agents of Empire, the United States Navy, & the Processes of Pacific Expansion, 1784-1861 with Christopher T. Costello, University of California San Diego. This project explores the ways through which New England merchants, ship captains, sailors, and missionaries who were living and working throughout the Pacific’s oceanic space from 1784 to 1861 utilized the United States Navy to promote or safeguard their commercial, spiritual, and political interests to expand an American sphere of influence; promoting a nascent concept of American empire. This is part of the Brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, 29 February, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM: Lessons from the Boston Massacre: Media Literacy in the 18th Century & TodayIn honor of the 250th anniversary of the infamous Boston Massacre, we will explore the events leading up to it and the conflict’s aftermath, which played out both in the courts and in public opinion. Using a variety of primary sources, we will examine the public narratives about the Massacre that were created and disseminated and connect our discussion to 21st-century sites of protest and challenges to authority, both violent and non-violent. This program is open to all who work with K-12 students. Teachers can earn 22.5 PDPs or 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee). There is a registration fee of $25 per person. Registration is required.

*Our seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. After brief remarks from the author and an assigned commentator, the discussion is opened to the floor. All are encourage to ask questions, provide feedback on the circulated essay, and discuss the topic at hand. Discussion is followed by a reception of light refreshments. The sessions are free and open to everyone.

Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre
On the evening of March 5, 1770, soldiers occupying the town of Boston shot into a crowd, killing or fatally wounding five civilians. In the aftermath of what soon became known as the Boston  Massacre, questions about the command to “Fire!” became crucial. Who yelled it? When and why? Because the answers would determine the guilt or innocence of the soldiers, defense counsel John Adams insisted that “Facts are stubborn things.” But what are the facts? The evidence, often contradictory, drew upon testimony from dozens of witnesses. Through a selection of artifacts, eyewitness accounts, and trial testimony—the voices of ordinary men and women—Fire! Voice from the Boston Massacre explores how this flashpoint changed American history. The exhibition is on display at the MHS through 30 June 2020, Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

This Week @MHS

While the MHS is closed on Monday, 17 February, it is still a busy programming week. Take a look at what is planned:

On Tuesday, 18 February, at 5:15 PM: “What the Women Can Do:” Doctors’ Wives & the American Medical Association’s Crusade Against Socialized Medicine with Kelly O’Donnell, Thomas Jefferson University, and comment by Oliva Weisser, University of Massachusetts, Boston. In the mid-20th century, the American Medical Association opposed attempts to create a national health program in this country, through lobbying and public outreach about the dangers of socialized medicine. Their most powerful weapon in this fight was a less conventional medical instrument: their wives. This paper examines the mobilization of the AMA Woman’s Auxiliary as the main “public relations firm” of organized medicine during these debates and their lingering influence on American health politics. This is part of the Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality* series. Seminars are free and open to the public. 

On Wednesday, 19 February, at 6:00 PM: Mother is a Verb: An Unconventional History with Sarah Knott, Indiana University. Pregnancy, birth, and the encounter with an infant: how have these experiences changed over time and cultures? Blending memoir and history, feminist Sarah Knott draws on the terrain of Britain and North America from the seventeenth century to the close of the twentieth. Knott searches among a range of past societies, pores over archives, and documents her own experiences to craft a new historical interpretation of maternity for our changing times. 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, EBT or ConnectorCare cardholders).

On Friday, 21 February, at 2:00 PM: FIRE! Voices of the Boston Massacre Gallery Talk with Amanda Norton, MHS. Join Adams Papers editor Amanda Norton to learn more about why John Adams, a noted Patriot, defended the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre and how he won acquittals for all but two of them.

On Saturday, 22 February, 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.

*Our seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. After brief remarks from the author and an assigned commentator, the discussion is opened to the floor. All are encourage to ask questions, provide feedback on the circulated essay, and discuss the topic at hand. Discussion is followed by a reception of light refreshments. The sessions are free and open to everyone.

Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre
On the evening of March 5, 1770, soldiers occupying the town of Boston shot into a crowd, killing or fatally wounding five civilians. In the aftermath of what soon became known as the Boston  Massacre, questions about the command to “Fire!” became crucial. Who yelled it? When and why? Because the answers would determine the guilt or innocence of the soldiers, defense counsel John Adams insisted that “Facts are stubborn things.” But what are the facts? The evidence, often contradictory, drew upon testimony from dozens of witnesses. Through a selection of artifacts, eyewitness accounts, and trial testimony—the voices of ordinary men and women—Fire! Voice from the Boston Massacre explores how this flashpoint changed American history. The exhibition is on display at the MHS through 30 June 2020, Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

This Week @MHS

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

On Monday, 10 February, at 6:00 PM: Civil War Monuments & the Militarization of America with Thomas J. Brown, University of South Carolina. This new assessment of Civil War monuments unveiled in the United States between the 1860s and 1930s argues that they were pivotal to a national embrace of military values. Americans’ wariness of standing armies limited construction of war memorials in the early republic and continued to influence commemoration after the Civil War. Professor Brown provides the most comprehensive overview of the American war memorial as a cultural form and reframes the national debate over Civil War monuments that remain potent presences on the civic landscape. 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, EBT or ConnectorCare cardholders). 

On Tuesday, 11 February, at 5:15 PM: Northern Exposure: American Military Engineering in the Arctic Circle with Gretchen Heefner, Northeastern University, and comment by Christopher Capozzola, MIT. From the late 1940s through the 1960s, U.S. military engineers constructed and maintained a vast, though largely unknown, infrastructure of military facilities throughout the Far North. This paper examines how these engineers explored the Arctic regions, what sorts of information they accumulated about it, and ultimately what happened to that information once it was released from military constraints. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Environmental History series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 12 February, at 12:00 PM: Committees in Unexpected Places: Community Building in the American Revolution with Catherine Treesh, Yale University. In 1772 Samuel Adams and the Boston Town Meeting famously created a correspondence network to resist imperial policies. If we move away from that familiar scene, though, we find that the committee of correspondence was actually a common tool for community-building during the American Revolution. By highlighting committees in unexpected places — New Hampshire and Nova Scotia — this talk shows that committees can give us a better sense of how colonists understood their place in the Empire and on the Continent.  This is part of the Brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, 15 February, 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.

Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre
On the evening of March 5, 1770, soldiers occupying the town of Boston shot into a crowd, killing or fatally wounding five civilians. In the aftermath of what soon became known as the Boston  Massacre, questions about the command to “Fire!” became crucial. Who yelled it? When and why? Because the answers would determine the guilt or innocence of the soldiers, defense counsel John Adams insisted that “Facts are stubborn things.” But what are the facts? The evidence, often contradictory, drew upon testimony from dozens of witnesses. Through a selection of artifacts, eyewitness accounts, and trial testimony—the voices of ordinary men and women—Fire! Voice from the Boston Massacre explores how this flashpoint changed American history. The exhibition is on display at the MHS through 30 June 2020, Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

This Week @MHS

Here is a look at the programs we have at the MHS this week:

On Monday, February, at 6:00 PM: Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize Ceremony and conversation between Christine DeLucia, Williams College, and Rae Gould, Brown University. Please join us for a special evening in which historian Christine DeLucia will receive the 2019 Gomes Prize for Memory Lands: King Philip’s War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast. DeLucia will join Dr. Rae Gould in a conversation about the war’s effects on the everyday lives and collective mentalities of the region’s diverse Native and Euro-American communities over the course of several centuries, focusing on persistent struggles over land and water, sovereignty, resistance, cultural memory, and intercultural interactions.

On Tuesday, 4 February, at 5:15 PM: Historical Datasets as Arguments: 21st Century Curations of 17th Century Records with Talya Housman, Digital Historian. Using Dr. Housman’s experience of curating a relational database on cases of sexual crime and gendered violence in England between 1642 and 1660 as a point of entry, this talk looks at some implicit editorial arguments we make in our historical research. This talk will outline the process of data collection, designing, and building the database (including software selection and database design choices) and discuss some of the issues posed by historical data itself, including standardization of spelling and how to document uncertainty. This is part of the Boston-Area Seminar on Digital History Projects series. Seminars are free and open to the public. Content warning: this talk discusses sexual violence.

Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery & Their Astonishing Odyssey Home with Richard Bell, University of Maryland. Philadelphia, 1825: five young, free black boys fall into the clutches of the most fearsome gang of kidnappers and slavers in the United States. Determined to resist, the boys form a tight brotherhood as they struggle to free themselves and find their way home. Their ordeal shines a glaring spotlight on the Reverse Underground Railroad, a black market network of human traffickers and slave traders who stole away thousands of free African Americans from their families in order to fuel slavery’s rapid expansion in the decades before the Civil War. 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, EBT or ConnectorCare cardholders). 

On Saturday, 8 February, 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.

Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre
On the evening of March 5, 1770, soldiers occupying the town of Boston shot into a crowd, killing or fatally wounding five civilians. In the aftermath of what soon became known as the Boston  Massacre, questions about the command to “Fire!” became crucial. Who yelled it? When and why? Because the answers would determine the guilt or innocence of the soldiers, defense counsel John Adams insisted that “Facts are stubborn things.” But what are the facts? The evidence, often contradictory, drew upon testimony from dozens of witnesses. Through a selection of artifacts, eyewitness accounts, and trial testimony—the voices of ordinary men and women—Fire! Voice from the Boston Massacre explores how this flashpoint changed American history. The exhibition is on display at the MHS through 30 June 2020, Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

This Week @MHS

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

On Monday, 27 January, at 6:00 PM: Animal City: The Domestication of America with Andrew A. Robichaud, Boston University. American cities were once full of animal life: cattle driven through city streets; pigs feeding on trash in public alleys and basements; cows crammed into urban feedlots; horses worked to death in the harness; dogs pulling carts and powering small machines; and wild animals peering out at human spectators from behind bars. In his new book, Andrew Robichaud reconstructs this evolving world of nineteenth-century urban animal life—from San Francisco to Boston to New York—and reveals its importance, both then and now. 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, EBT or ConnectorCare cardholders). 

On Tuesday, 28 January, at 5:15 PM: Genetown: The Urbanization of the Boston Area Biotechnology Industry with Robin Wolfe Scheffler, MIT, and comment by Lizbeth Cohen, Harvard University. Today, the Boston area hosts the densest cluster of biotechnology firms anywhere in the world. Yet in the 1980s, the rapid concentration of the industry within Boston’s urban neighborhoods was a striking contrast to the suburbanization of high technology research and development a generation before. This remarkable urbanization represented the confluence of the labor and financial challenges faced by biotechnology start-ups with decisions regarding municipal governance and redevelopment in the aftermath of deindustrialization.  This is part of the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Thursday, 30 January, at 6:00 PM: Historical Perspectives on Today’s World: Our Nation’s Founders & Today’s Political Challenges with Stephen Fried; Liz Covart; Sara Georgini; Nathaniel Sheidley, and moderator Fred Thys. Our Founding Fathers were progressive for their time in establishing a new nation. Many of them grappled with the same issues that we face today, including political polarization, voicing new ideas, and approaches to health care. Stephen Fried, author of Rush: Revolution, Madness & the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father, will explore the life and legacy of Benjamin Rush–one of the least known Founding Fathers. He will be joined by additional historians in a conversation of how many of our nation’s founders persevered during this time–and the lessons that we can learn by reflecting on our past. This program will be held at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute (210 Morrissey Blvd, Boston). Click HERE to register for this program.

On Saturday, 1 February, 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.

Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre
On the evening of March 5, 1770, soldiers occupying the town of Boston shot into a crowd, killing or fatally wounding five civilians. In the aftermath of what soon became known as the Boston  Massacre, questions about the command to “Fire!” became crucial. Who yelled it? When and why? Because the answers would determine the guilt or innocence of the soldiers, defense counsel John Adams insisted that “Facts are stubborn things.” But what are the facts? The evidence, often contradictory, drew upon testimony from dozens of witnesses. Through a selection of artifacts, eyewitness accounts, and trial testimony—the voices of ordinary men and women—Fire! Voice from the Boston Massacre explores how this flashpoint changed American history. The exhibition is on display through 30 June 2020, Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

This Week @ MHS

While the  MHS will be closed on Monday, 20 January in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we still have a busy week of programming including  two seminars, an author talk, and a Saturday tour. Here is a look at what is planned:

On Tuesday, 21 January, at 5:15 PM: “For I’d Rather Be Dead Than Not to Dream of a Better World”: Mae Gadpaille’s Vision of the Montessori Family Centre Community with Mary McNeil, Harvard University, and comment by Ashley Farmer, University of Texas – Austin. In 1967, Mae Gadpaille, the director of a black Montessori preschool in Roxbury, faced displacement; the church that housed her school was slated to be cleared for an urban renewal project. In response, Gadpaille launched a campaign to build the Montessori Family Centre Community, a living community for approximately 150 families with a PreK-12 Montessori school in the center. This talk traces Gadpaille’s efforts to realize her vision, paying special attention to how she thought Montessori methods could help advance a black nationalist project of self-determination, while also considering the limitations of such a vision – namely, who could “belong” to this community and who might be left at the margins. This is part of the Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality series. Seminars are free and open to the public. 

On Wednesday, 22 January, at 6:00 PM: The Puritans: A Transatlantic History with David Hall, Harvard University. David Hall presents a sweeping transatlantic history of Puritanism from its emergence out of the religious tumult of Elizabethan England to its founding role in the story of America. Shedding new light on the diverse forms of Puritan belief and practice in England, Scotland, and New England, Hall provides a multifaceted account of a cultural movement that judged the Protestant reforms of Elizabeth’s reign to be unfinished. Hall describes the movement’s deeply ambiguous triumph under Oliver Cromwell, its political demise with the Restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, and its perilous migration across the Atlantic to establish a “perfect reformation” in the New World. 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, 23 January, at 5:15 PM: The Art of Family History: Visual Imagery, Family Narrative, & Native American Modernism with Phil Deloria in conversation with Julie Dobrow. Decades ago, historian Philip Deloria (Harvard University) found some drawings in the basement. These distinctive prints turned out to be the iconic work of his great aunt. Deloria will speak about his new book, Becoming Mary Sully: Toward an American Indian Aesthetic with Julie Dobrow (Tufts University), author of After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America’s Greatest Poet. The event will focus on how an intensely personal story interweaves Sully’s life and works with the “richness of their historical situation” in Native studies and art history.  This is part of the New England Biography Seminar series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, 25 January, 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.

Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre
On the evening of March 5, 1770, soldiers occupying the town of Boston shot into a crowd, killing or fatally wounding five civilians. In the aftermath of what soon became known as the Boston  Massacre, questions about the command to “Fire!” became crucial. Who yelled it? When and why? Because the answers would determine the guilt or innocence of the soldiers, defense counsel John Adams insisted that “Facts are stubborn things.” But what are the facts? The evidence, often contradictory, drew upon testimony from dozens of witnesses. Through a selection of artifacts, eyewitness accounts, and trial testimony—the voices of ordinary men and women—Fire! Voice from the Boston Massacre explores how this flashpoint changed American history. The exhibition is on display at the MHS through 30 June 2020, Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

This Week @MHS

Our winter programming is in full swing this week with three evening programs, a brown-bag lunch, and a Saturday tour. Here is a look at what is planned:

On Tuesday, 14 January, at 5:15 PM: “Wealth and Beauty in Trees”: State Forestry & the Rehabilitation of Massachusetts’s Economy, Landscape, & Culture, 1898-1919 with Aaron Ahlstrom, Boston University, and comment by Brian Donahue, Brandeis University. Massachusetts currently stewards 311,000 acres of state forests and parks. This public land system originated in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century efforts to strengthen the Commonwealth’s economy, rehabilitate its unproductive landscapes, and revitalize its rural communities through scientific forestry. This paper offers new perspectives on Progressive Era conservation by analyzing how state foresters sought to improve rural landscapes’ profitability and aesthetics by educating private woodlot owners, suppressing forest fires and pests, and reforesting newly-acquired public lands. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Environmental History series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 15 January, at 12:00 PM: Career Activists: Women’s Organization & Social Reform in New England, 1830-1890 with Kathryn Angelica, University of Connecticut. This talk looks at the evolution of women’s organizations throughout the nineteenth century in New England, focusing on “career activists.” These women negotiated between public and private spheres while leading lives defined by their activism. The project examines the political implications of social reform and questions both the narrative of the two-dimensional benevolent woman and that of sporadic, passion-fueled benevolence. This is part of the Brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 15 January, at 6:00 PM: Deborah Sampson: A Revolution of Her Own! with Judith Kalaora, founder of History at Play. Deborah Sampson was the first woman to fight in and be honorably discharged from the American Military. An indentured servant by age five, Sampson grew up in a man’s world, where women were naught but second-class citizens. As a self-educated master-less woman, she felt a higher calling, and in the final years of the American Revolution, Sampson bound her chest, tied back her hair, and enlisted in the 4th Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army, as “Robert Shurtlieff.” Judith Kalaora reimagines Sampson’s remarkable story through living history performance. 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, EBT or ConnectorCare cardholders and Boston Public School students).

On Thursday, 16 January, at 5:15 PM: “Increasing her Stock”: Two Harriets and the Louisiana Borderlands with Rashauna Johnson, Dartmouth College, and comment by Jen Manion, Amherst College. This paper uses the sexual biographies of two enslaved women, both named Harriet, in Louisiana’s Florida Parishes to explore the workings of intimacy and empire in the plantation South during its transition from borderlands to hub of King Cotton. This is part of the Boston Seminar on African American History series. Seminars are free and open to the public. 

On Saturday, 18 January, 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.

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.

Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre
On the evening of March 5, 1770, soldiers occupying the town of Boston shot into a crowd, killing or fatally wounding five civilians. In the aftermath of what soon became known as the Boston  Massacre, questions about the command to “Fire!” became crucial. Who yelled it? When and why? Because the answers would determine the guilt or innocence of the soldiers, defense counsel John Adams insisted that “Facts are stubborn things.” But what are the facts? The evidence, often contradictory, drew upon testimony from dozens of witnesses. Through a selection of artifacts, eyewitness accounts, and trial testimony—the voices of ordinary men and women—Fire! Voice from the Boston Massacre explores how this flashpoint changed American history. The exhibition is on display at the MHS through 30 June 2020, Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

This Week @MHS

Happy 2020! Here is a look at what is happening at the MHS this week:

On Tuesday, January, at 5:15 PM: Supplying Slavery: Jamaica & British Imperial Trade, 1752-1769 with Peter Pellizzari, Harvard University and comment by Richard Dunn, American Philosophical Society. Historians have long understood the economic importance of Jamaica to the eighteenth-century British empire, but the vast profits that the island’s sugar-slave complexes produced could only have existed with the supplies and provisions provided by mainland colonists in North America. Newly collected data from nearly 10,000 British naval office shipping lists for Kingston, Jamaica provide a re-assessment of the size, nature, and value of this trade. The shipping lists reveal not only how deeply committed the mainland was to supplying Jamaican slavery, but also suggests that we reconsider the island as a powerful regional hub within the larger British Atlantic economy, one in which North America figured as an important hinterland. This is part of the Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 8 January, at 12:00 PM: “Thus Much for Politicks”: American Women, Diplomacy, & the Aftermath of the American Revolution with Miriam Liebman, City University of New York. This talk looks at the ways women used non-republican methods of politicking on behalf of the United States while abroad in Europe, focusing on Abigail Adams’s time abroad in London and Paris. Situating Adams in an international and diplomatic context highlights the ways she influenced American foreign and domestic policy while abroad. Using five different themes— letters, politics and political intrigue, money and economic diplomacy, social networks, and republicanism and aristocracy abroad— this work analyzes her politicking in Europe. This is part of the Brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Friday, 10 January, at 2:00 PM: FIRE! Voices of the Boston Massacre gallery talk with Peter Drummey, MHS. Walk through the exhibition with Peter Drummey. He will highlight some of the archival material found in the MHS collection.

On Saturday, 11 January, 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.

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.

Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre
On the evening of March 5, 1770, soldiers occupying the town of Boston shot into a crowd, killing or fatally wounding five civilians. In the aftermath of what soon became known as the Boston  Massacre, questions about the command to “Fire!” became crucial. Who yelled it? When and why? Because the answers would determine the guilt or innocence of the soldiers, defense counsel John Adams insisted that “Facts are stubborn things.” But what are the facts? The evidence, often contradictory, drew upon testimony from dozens of witnesses. Through a selection of artifacts, eyewitness accounts, and trial testimony—the voices of ordinary men and women—Fire! Voice from the Boston Massacre explores how this flashpoint changed American history. The exhibition is on display at the MHS through 30 June 2020, Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

This Week @MHS

This week marks the end of our fall programming at the MHS with an author talk, a seminar, and a tour. Take a look at what is planned.

On Monday, 16 December, at 6:00 PM: Revolutionary Networks: The Business & Politics of Printing the News, 1763–1789 with Joseph Adelman, Framingham State University. During the American Revolution, printed material played a crucial role as a forum for public debate. Joseph Adelman argues that printers—artisans who mingled with the elite but labored in a manual trade—used their commercial and political connections to directly shape Revolutionary political ideology and mass mobilization. Moving through the era of the American Revolution to the war’s aftermath, this history details the development of the networks of printers and explains how they contributed to the process of creating first a revolution and then the new nation. 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 Tuesday, 17 December, at 5:15 PM: Dr. Ana Livia Cordero, Social Medicine, & the Puerto Rican Liberation Struggle with Sandy Placido, Queens College, CUNY, and comment by Susan Reverby, Wellesley College. Born in San Juan in 1931, Ana Livia Cordero was a trailblazing physician and activist-intellectual whose life illuminates the crucial role Puerto Ricans played in Cold War-era freedom struggles. Cordero worked as a physician, public health advocate, and radical organizer in New York, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Ghana, Egypt, and Nicaragua for over four decades. Using a new framework of feminist social medicine, this essay examines Cordero’s contributions to the field of social medicine, particularly maternal and children’s health. This is part of the Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality series. Seminars are free and open to the public. 

On Saturday, 21 December, 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.

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.

Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre
On the evening of March 5, 1770, soldiers occupying the town of Boston shot into a crowd, killing or fatally wounding five civilians. In the aftermath of what soon became known as the Boston  Massacre, questions about the command to “Fire!” became crucial. Who yelled it? When and why? Because the answers would determine the guilt or innocence of the soldiers, defense counsel John Adams insisted that “Facts are stubborn things.” But what are the facts? The evidence, often contradictory, drew upon testimony from dozens of witnesses. Through a selection of artifacts, eyewitness accounts, and trial testimony—the voices of ordinary men and women—Fire! Voice from the Boston Massacre explores how this flashpoint changed American history. The exhibition is on display at the MHS through 30 June 2020, Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Please note that the library and gallery spaces will be closed Monday, 23 December 2019 through Wednesday, 1 January 2020.