This Week @MHS

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

On Monday, 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, December, at 5:15 PM: Climate in Words & Numbers: How Early Americans Recorded Weather in Almanacs with Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University. With support from the Guggenheim Foundation, Joyce Chaplin is compiling a database of manuscript notes about weather in early American almanacs, 1647-1820. Her talk focuses on how people recorded weather in numbers (including degrees Fahrenheit) and in words, ranging from “dull” to “elegant!” These notations are significant as records of a period of climate change, the Little Ice Age, also as records of how people made sense of and coped with that climatic disruption. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Environmental History series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 4 December, at 6:00 PM: Members & Fellows Holiday Party. MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the Society’s annual holiday party. Celebrate the season with an evening of holiday cheer and jovial camaraderie. This event is open to Members and Fellows of the MHS. Registration is required and space is limited.

On Saturday, 7 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 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 on Wednesday, 4 December, the library will close at 3:45 PM.

This Week @MHS

Join us for a program this week. We have a talk on Monday evening and a seminar on Tuesday. Please note that the library and exhibition galleries will close at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, 26 November and the building will be closed Thursday, 27 November, Friday, 28 November, and Saturday, 29 November for the Thanksgiving holiday.

On Monday, 25 November at 6:00 PM: Black Radical: The Life & Times of William Monroe Trotter with Kerri Greenidge, Tufts University. William Monroe Trotter was an unlikely American hero. With the stylistic verve of a newspaperman and the unwavering fearlessness of an emancipator, he galvanized black working- class citizens to wield their political power despite the violent racism of post- Reconstruction America. For more than 30 years, the Harvard-educated Trotter edited and published the Guardian, a weekly Boston newspaper that was read across the nation. Defining himself against the gradualist politics of Booker T. Washington and the elitism of W. E. B. Du Bois, Trotter advocated for a radical vision of black liberation that prefigured leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther king, Jr.  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, 26 November at 5:15 PM: Navigating Colonial, Racial, & Indigenous Histories on the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail with Laura Barraclough, Yale University, and comment by Maria John, University of Massachusetts–Boston. Launched by Congress in 1978, the National Historic Trail (NHT) system recognizes historic travel routes that contributed to the making of the United States. This paper examines the collision of colonial, racial, and indigenous histories on the Juan Bautista de Anza NHT, which commemorates the 1775-76 expedition of Mexican settlers from Sonora to San Francisco. While the Anza NHT has been empowering to contemporary Mexican Americans, it struggles to fairly represent the layered impacts of Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. colonization on the region’s Native peoples. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

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 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

It’s a busy week at the MHS. Here is a look at what is planned:

On Monday, 18 November, at 6:00 PM: This Land Is Their Land The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, & the Troubled History of Thanksgiving with David J. Silverman, George Washington University. David Silverman explores the history of the Wampanoag people to reveal the distortions of the Thanksgiving Myth, a persisting story that promotes the idea that Native people willingly ceded their country to the English to give rise to a white, Christian, democratic nation. Silverman traces how the Wampanoags have lived—and told—a different history over the past four centuries. 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 Tuesday, 19 November, at  5:15 PM: Murder at the Manhattan Well: The Personal & the Political in the Election of 1800 with Paul Gilje, University of Oklahoma and comment by Kate Grandjean, Wellesley College. In 1800, journeyman carpenter, Levi Weeks, was accused of murdering Guliema Sands, a young woman living in the same boarding house. Using the trial transcript, this paper places the lives of Weeks and Sands in a larger context: Weeks as an artisan in a dynamic economy and Sands as a poor unattached woman amidst changing ideas about sexuality. The author also relates the trial to the New York election that occurred a month later.

On Wednesday, 20 November, at 6:00 PM: New Directions for Boston’s Subsidized Housing: Learning from the Past with Kate Bennett, Boston Housing Authority; Soni Gupta, The Boston Foundation; Lawrence Vale, MIT; Sandra Henriquez, Detroit Housing Commission; and moderator David Luberoff, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. As neighborhoods across Boston face enormous development pressure, there is a risk that low-income residents will be forced out of the city. Social disruption due to gentrification, shifting government policies and programs, and the challenges of climate change make the future of affordable housing in Boston precarious. In the past, Boston modeled creative and successful solutions to dire housing problems, and there is hope that the city can continue to deploy innovative policies that will brighten the future for all city residents. Our final panel in this series will look at the future of affordable housing in Boston, taking stock of past lessons learned. Note: We had originally scheduled William McGonagle to be a part of this discussion. We were shocked and heartbroken to learn of his passing. Kate Bennett, the Acting Administrator of the Boston Housing Authority, has agreed to participate in his place. We apologize if there is any confusion due to the names listed in printed material being different from the names listed online. This is part three 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.  REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.

On Thursday, 21 November, at 5:15 PM: Mary Church Terrell’s Intersectional Black Feminism with Alison M. Parker, University of Delaware, and Kerri Greenidge, Tufts University. Civil rights activist Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954) highlighted the intersections of race and sex in black women’s lives. This paper focuses on Terrell’s critiques of the suffrage movement, the social purity movement, and the postbellum white nostalgia for “Black Mammies.” Terrell asserted black women’s right to be full citizens, to vote, and to be treated without violence and with respect. This is part of the Boston Seminar on African American History series.This session is co-sponsored by the New England Biography Series. Seminars are free and open to the public. 

On Friday, 22 November, at 2:00 PM: Abigail Adams: Life & Legacy Gallery TalkJoin an Adams Papers editor to explore how Abigail Adams has come to hold a unique place within the fabric of American life.

On Saturday, 23 November, 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. Join us for a gallery talk on 22 November at 2:00 PM.

Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre now open!
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 October 31, 2019 through June 30, 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, 11 November, there is still a lot planned for the week. Here is a look:

On Tuesday, 12 November, at 5:15 PM: Engineering, Politics, & Dams: John R. Freeman & San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy Water Supply with Donald C. Jackson, Lafayette College, and comment by Conevery Bolton Valencius, Boston College.San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy Dam sparked one of America’s first great environmental controversies. This paper explores John R. Freeman’s work as a consulting engineer and his essential role in championing the city’s Sierra Nevada water supply. Freeman was among the most influential engineers of the Progressive Era and his technocratic vision underlay hydraulic projects throughout North America. For good or ill, Freeman’s vision has had a long and enduring legacy, not just for San Francisco but for dams and watersheds nationwide. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Environmental History series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, November 13, at 12:00 PM: Staged Readings: Parlor Play & Contesting Class in 19th-Century America with Michael D’Alessandro, Duke University. This talk focuses on the curious practice of nineteenth-century parlor theatricals in the United States. In the postbellum years, the country’s evolving middle classes created elaborate sets, donned fancy costumes, and even attempted amateur special effects as a means of entertainment. While they staged these shows in order to create class definition and solidarity, the performances often revealed unforeseen social anxieties and prejudices. This is part of the Brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 13 November, at 6:00 PM: Housing as History: the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative & Orchard Gardens with Karilyn Crockett, MIT; Tony Hernandez, Dudley Neighbors, Inc.; and Valerie Shelley, Orchard Gardens Resident Association. By the 1980s the Dudley Square neighborhood of Roxbury was facing significant challenges. Absentee landlords had allowed property to deteriorate, left units vacant, or had used arson to raze buildings and make insurance claims. Facing what many considered insurmountable obstacles, the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative was formed to create a comprehensive plan for “development without displacement.” The first non-governmental organization in America to be granted eminent domain authority, they began purchasing vacant land, protecting affordable housing and creating a community land trust. Meanwhile, the nearby housing project Orchard Park became notorious for crime and drugs. The Orchard Park Tenants Association lobbied for years for improvements and by the mid-1990s began to see a path forward partnering with the police and using community organizing to reduce crime and linking the redevelopment to the new federal HOPE VI program which was meant to revitalize the worst housing projects in America. HOPE VI was in part modeled on the redevelopment of Columbia Point and encouraged partnerships with private developers and a mixture of incomes among the residents. Through community action and smart development, Orchard Park was redeveloped as Orchard Gardens and became a safe, stable neighborhood. This is part three 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 the Dewitt Center, 122 Dewitt Drive, Boston. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30 PM; the speaking program begins at 6:00 PM.

On Thursday, 14 November, at 6:00 PM: Atlas of Boston History with Nancy Seasholes, Robert Allison, Richard Garver, and Jim Vrabel. Few American cities possess a history as long, rich, and fascinating as Boston’s. The Atlas of Boston History traces the history of Boston from late prehistoric times to the present using thematic maps that are drawn from the latest scholarship and supplemented with historical images, maps, illustrations, and graphs as well as explanatory text. The subjects of the maps and atlas plates were determined by a board of noted scholars. The editor will present the project and then discuss the process of determining the contents of the atlas with three of the consulting scholars.  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). Please note that registration for this program is now closed.

On Saturday, 16 November, at 4:00 PM: Legacies of 1619: Black Radicalism / Black Power with John Stauffer, Harvard University; Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar, University of Connecticut; Adrienne Lentz-Smith, Duke University; and moderator Valerie Roberson, Roxbury Community College. Facing the hegemonic force of slavery, discrimination, and disenfranchisement, communities of color have resisted and presented radical models of empowerment. Along with countless and often unknown stories of personal courage, large scale resistance, such as Nat Turner’s Rebellion, go back to the very beginnings of the United States. This program will explore the different forms African Americans have taken to assert their agency and autonomy. This program is part three of a series of four programs co-sponsored by the Museum of African American History and the Roxbury Community College. It will be held at Roxbury Community College, Student Commons, 1234 Columbus Avenue. There will be a pre-talk reception at 3:30 PM; the speaking program begins at 4:00 PM.

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 a gallery talk on 22 November at 2:00 PM.

Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre now open!
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 October 31, 2019 through June 30, 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 at the MHS we have a seminar, two evening programs, a brown-bag lunch, and a tour. Please note that the library and exhibition galleries will be closed on Thursday, 7 November for a staff retreat. The building will open at 5:00 PM for the evening program.

On Tuesday, 5 November, at 5:15 PM: Native Lands & American Expansion in the Early Republic with Emilie Connolly, New York University; Franklin Sammons, University of California, Berkeley; and comment by Nancy Shoemaker, University of Connecticut. In the Early Republic, Americans pressed against the borders of the new nation to expand their control over Native lands. This panel examines these interactions between Native tribes and the land-hungry white settlers and speculators to discuss issues of agency, financial stability, and legal precedent. Emilie Connolly considers the 1797 Treaty of Big Tree between the Seneca and Founding Father Robert Morris in New York State. Franklin Sammons looks at the illegal “Yazoo Land Sales” in Georgia. This is part of the Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, November, at 12:00 PM: Laboring Bodies: Dispossessed Women & Sexuality in Colonial New England with Emily Clark, Johns Hopkins University. This project will examine the intimate lives of enslaved, servant, and poor women using cases in which their supposedly “deviant” bodies entered the historical record – in court cases, almshouse ledgers, and cheap print. Often overlooked in histories of New England, these women made up a crucial part of colonial society. Their bodies and labors (productive and reproductive) were used against their wills. Nonetheless, these sources reveal laboring women’s everyday efforts to control their own bodies and sexualities. This is part of the Brown-bag lunch program. Brown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, November, at 6:00 PM: Girl in Black & White: The Story of Mary Mildred Williams & the Abolition Movement with Jessie Morgan-Owens. This talk is about the little-known story of Mary Mildred Williams—a slave girl who looked “white” and whose image transformed the abolitionist movement. Mary became the face of American slavery when Sen. Charles Sumner saw in her a monumental political opportunity for the abolitionist cause. Weaving together long-overlooked primary sources, including daguerreotypes found in the MHS collection, this history follows Mary through to her own adulthood, describing a life parallel to the antislavery movement. 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, November,  at 6:00 PM: The Will of the People: The Revolutionary Birth of America with T.H. Breen, Northwestern University. Over eight years of war, ordinary Americans accomplished something extraordinary. Far from the actions of the Continental Congress and the Continental Army, they took responsibility for the course of the Revolution. In villages, towns, and cities from Georgia to New Hampshire, Americans managed local affairs, negotiated shared sacrifice, and participated in a political system in which each believed they were as good as any other. Presenting hundreds of stories, T. H. Breen captures the powerful sense of equality and responsibility resulting from this process of self-determination. 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 Saturday, 9 November, 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. Join us for a gallery talk on 22 November at 2:00 PM.

Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre now open!
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 October 31, 2019 through June 30, 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 we have a seminar, a brown-bag lunch, and a sneak preview of our upcoming exhibition. Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre opens to the public on Thursday, 31 October. Here is a look at what is planned:

On Tuesday, 29 October, at 5:15 PM: Sesame Street & the Cultural Politics of the Spoken Word in the 1970s with Kathryn Ostrofsky, Freelance Historian, and comment by Victoria Cain, Northeastern University. Sesame Street’s creators, audiences, and social activists all tried to use the popular television program as a tool to shape American society. The resulting discussions reveal that the sound of the spoken word played an important role in media representations of culture and community. People contested the messages conveyed by working-class accents, African American slang, and the Spanish language as they encouraged Sesame Street to embody Great Society liberalism or to engender a pluralistic society. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 30 October, at 12:00 PM: Inhuman Women & Puritanical Legacies in The VVitch 2015 with Amber Hodge, University of Mississippi. The VVitch (2015) visualizes historical oppression as an origin for present-day animalization and concordant disenfranchisement of women who operate outside of proscribed social norms. This talk connects MHS’s archives to The VVitch’s depiction of animality as both feminine and evil to demonstrate the legacy of patriarchal puritanism and possibilities for resistance. This is part of the Brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 30 October, 6:00 PM: Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre Sneak Preview ReceptionOn March 5, 1770, British soldiers occupying the town of Boston shot into a crowd, killing five civilians. The incident quickly became known as the Boston Massacre. Through a selection of first-person accounts, artifacts, and trial notes, this exhibition explores what it meant to be living in an occupied city and how this flash point changed the course of American history. This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members. Please note that registration has closed and this event is SOLD OUT.

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 a gallery talk on 22 November at 2:00 PM.

Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre opens on Thursday, 31 October
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 October 31, 2019 through June 30, 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 we have a couple of evening programs, a biography seminar, a brown-bag lunch program, and a gallery talk. Here is a look at what is planned:

On Monday, 21 October, at 6:00 PM: Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue & the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age with Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University. Edward J. Logue was a giant of 20th-century East Coast urban redevelopment. From the 1950s through the 1980s, he worked to revive a declining New Haven, became the architect of the “New Boston,” led New York State’s Urban Development Corporation, and ended his career working to turn around the South Bronx. Prizewinning historian Lizabeth Cohen analyzes Logue’s complicated legacy in urban renewal as a dramatic story of heart- break and destruction, but also of human idealism and resourcefulness. 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 Wednesday, 23 October, at 12:00 PM: Towards an Intellectual History of Reconstruction: Ideas about Democracy, Nation, & Race in the era of Reconstruction with Peter Wirzbicki, Princeton University. What were the philosophical and intellectual ideas that Northern Republicans used to justify Reconstruction? This project analyzes the way that the Civil War and Reconstruction reshaped American ideas about democracy, nationalism, and race. Looking at works of political philosophy, popular pamphlets and polemics, and personal writing, this project demonstrates that, in order to justify Reconstruction, Northern thinkers had to remake their ideas about the nature of American sovereignty and what the American nation was. This is part of the Brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 23 October, at 6:00 PM: Queen Victoria: The Making of an Icon with Polly Putnam, Historic Royal Palaces. This talk considers the development of Queen Victoria’s public image over the course of her 63-year reign. Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and later Empress of India, is only second to Queen Elizabeth II as the longest ruling monarch in British history. Queen Victoria ruled from June 20, 1837 until her death on January 22, 1901. Ms. Putnam’s presentation reveals how Queen Victoria made a virtue of and shared her personal life with the people of Great Britain, which ensured not only her popularity but also an enduring public image. The event is co-sponsored by the Algonquin Club Foundation. A reception will follow the presentation at 7:00. There is a $25 per person fee. The event is complimentary for MHS Fund Giving Circle donors and Algonquin Club Foundation members. Registration is required.

On Thursday, 24 October, at 5:15 PM: On the Campaign Trail with Sidney Blumenthal in Conversation in conversation with Megan Marshall. Today it seems you can’t run for president without first putting out a memoir or autobiography. But biographies of presidential candidates – and presidents – are nothing new. Veteran political strategist, Washington insider, and author of the highly acclaimed multi-volume The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, Sidney Blumenthal, returns to Boston, where he got his start as a journalist, to engage in a wide-ranging discussion of lives in politics—from 1860 to 2020—and the uses of biography and, more recently, autobiography in shaping successful campaigns. This is part of the New England Biography Seminar series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Friday, 25 October, at 2:00 PM: Abigail Adams: Life & Legacy Gallery TalkJoin an Adams Papers editor to explore how Abigail Adams has come to hold a unique place within the fabric of American life.

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.

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.