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.

This Week @MHS

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

On Monday, 22 July, at 6:00 PM: The Legacy of the China Trade in Massachusetts: The Emergence of a Global Boston with Gwenn Miller, College of the Holy Cross; Dael Norwood, University of Delaware; and moderator Tunney Lee, MIT. Trade with China began in earnest in the peaceful years following the Revolution, with ports in Salem and Boston emerging as some of the most dynamic sites of economic activity in the early American landscape. This cross-cultural exposure and influence helped cast Boston’s strong regional identity and marked the city as an international force in its own right. This discussion will explore the breadth of Boston’s early global reach and how reflections of this past are still felt 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 Wednesday, 24 July, at 12:00 PM: “That Agitating Element”: African Americans, Native Americans, & the Push for Citizenship in the 19th Century with Kevin Hooper, University of Oklahoma.This talk explores the ways in which African Americans and Native Americans shaped conceptions of U.S. citizenship in the 19th century. Although citizenship became more of a federal concern after the Civil War, this talk argues that African American and Native American activists began this transition in the antebellum period by appealing directly to the federal government to assert their rights.  This is part of our brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public. 

On Thursday, 25 July, and Friday, 26 July, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM: LGBTQ+ Rights & the U.S. Courts. This teacher workshop explores LGBTQ+ rights through pivotal U.S. court cases, with a particular focus on the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case that decriminalized homosexuality. The program is offered in partnership with History UnErased, an organization that helps teachers incorporate LGBTQ+ history in their classroom and curriculum. This workshop 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 $40 per person registration fee.

On Saturday, 27 July 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 the programs we have planned for this week:

On Wednesday, 17 July, at 12:00 PM: Class Conflict, Political Violence, & Coerced Oath-Taking In 1760s New England with Kevin Murphy, SUNY Stony Brook. Colonial society generally considered sworn promises binding in any circumstance, even if made under duress. This lecture describes the ethical and social values which underwrote this assumption and how they were weaponized during the Imperial Crisis to transfer power from loyalist elites to the patriot “crowd.” This is part of our brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public. 

On Thursday, 18 July, at 6:00 PM: Boston Historical Reception with Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council. There is no “Boston Historical Society,” but the metro area does have a wealth of history organizations. Boston and surrounding towns are steeped in local history and the inhabitants are proud of their local identity. The MHS is pleased to hold the fifth annual reception for history buffs and representatives of local organizations to mingle, share recent accomplishments, and talk about the great projects on which they are working. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30 PM; the program begins at 6:00 PM.

On Friday, 19 July, from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM: National History Day in Massachusetts workshop. Join us for an introductory workshop that will provide you with tools and strategies for implementing the National History Day curriculum in your classroom. This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. With generous support from Mass Humanities, we will be offering educators a $150 stipend and 22.5 PDPs upon completion of this workshop. The workshop will take place at the Hyde Park Branch of the Boston Public Library. It is open to grade 6 to 12 educators (priority given to BPS teachers).

On Friday, 19 July, 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, 20 July 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

Happy July! We have one evening program and a Saturday tour scheduled at the MHS this week. Here are the details:

On Tuesday, 2 July, at 6:00 PM: Isaac Allerton: Mayflower, Magistrate, & Merchant with David Furlow and Lisa PenningtonIsaac Allerton, a tailor born in 1586, went from Suffolk to London, Leiden to America. Through the Mayflower Compact, his service as Plymouth’s first Assistant to the Governor, and the Remonstrance of the Eight Men of Manhattan, Allerton wove representative government, popular elections, law, and commerce into the fabric of American society. David Furlow, editor of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Journal, and Lisa Pennington, a descendant, tell Allerton’s story. 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, 6 July 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.

Please note that the building is closed on Thursday, 4 July. Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.

This Week @MHS

Here’s a look at the programs we have planned for this week:

On Wednesday, 26 June, at 12:00 PM: Susie King Taylor: A Legacy of Black Womanhood & Historic Preservation with Rebecca Byrd, UNC Charlotte. Susie King Taylor was not Sojourner Truth or Harriet Tubman. Although she does not have the notoriety of those two women, her story is no less important. As the first African American army nurse who traveled with the First South Carolina Volunteers during the Civil War, an educator for freed people, and founder of the Women’s Relief Corps., Ms. Taylor is truly a remarkable woman. Although she remains in an unmarked grave, a younger historian has been tasked to preserve her legacy into the digital age. This is part of our brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 26 June, at 6:00 PM: The Peculiar Institution: Abigail Adams & Slavery with Edith Gelles, Stanford University. A senior scholar with the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, Edith Gelles is an award-winning historian and author of Abigail & John: Portrait of a Marriage and Portia: The World of Abigail Adams. Gelles will discuss her current research on Abigail’s thoughts and experiences with slavery and race. 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, 28 June, at 2:00 PM: Abigail Adams: Nature & Nurture, a pop-up display and talk. “The Earth is putting on a new Suit,” Abigail Adams wrote, savoring the arrival of spring amid the tumult of national politics in 1800. Tending her kitchen garden and nurturing the new republic with equal care, Abigail delighted in learning about the natural landscape and sharing that knowledge with her family and friends. Join an Adams Papers editor for an in-depth look at the display. Free and open to the public.

On Saturday, 29 June 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.

On Saturday, 29 June at 2:00 PM: “Can She Do It?” Gallery Talk with Allison Lange, Wentworth Institute of Technology. Join our guest curator for a guided tour and highlights from our current exhibition. 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.

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

This Week @MHS

This week at the MHS, we have a couple of evening programs, a gallery talk, and a Saturday morning tour. Here’s a look at what is planned:

On Tuesday, 18 June, at 6:00 PM: Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote with Susan Ware. The history of how American women won the right to vote has been told as the tale of a few iconic leaders, all white and native born. But there is a much broader and more diverse story waiting to be told. This talk is a tribute to the many activists who worked tirelessly out of the spotlight in communities across the nation, protesting, petitioning, and insisting on their right to full citizenship. 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, 20 June, at 6:00 PM: The Sound of Glass Shattering with Eleanor G. Shore, Harvard Medical School; Miles F. Shore, Harvard Medical School. One hundred years have passed since Harvard Medical School appointed Dr. Alice Hamilton as assistant professor of Industrial Medicine, making her the first female faculty member in the history of Harvard University. Hamilton’s legacy as a leader in the field of toxicology and occupational medicine, as a women’s rights activist, and as an international pacifist and outspoken advocate of progressive social reforms marks her as one of the great barrier-breaking women of the 20th century. 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, 21 June, at 2:00 PM: “Can She Do It?” Gallery Talk with Allison Lange, Wentworth Institute of Technology. Join guest curator, Allison Lange, Wentworth Institute of Technology professor, for a guided tour and highlights from our current exhibition.

On Saturday, 22 June 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

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

On Monday, 10 June, at 6:00 PM: Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait? Alice Paul, Woodrow Wilson, & the Fight for the Right to Vote with Tina Cassidy. In 1913, on the eve of his presidential oath of office, Woodrow Wilson landed in Washington, D.C., to witness 8,000 protesting suffragists, led by Alice Paul. From solitary confinement, hunger strikes, and mental institutions to sitting right across from President Wilson, this narrative reveals the inspiring near-death journey, spearheaded in no small part by Paul’s leadership, it took to grant women the right to vote in America. 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 Wednesday, 12 June, at 12:00 PM: “I did glimpse a tiger, but what I really got was malaria”: Massachusetts Women in India, 1920-1940 with Shealeen A. Meaney, Russell Sage College. Today we hear about American women heading off to Rishikesh to trian as yoga instructors, but what did India mean to women travelers from Massachusetts a century ago? This talk explores the ways that women experienced and wrote about India as tourists, hunters, and seekers in the decades after suffrage. This is part of our brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 12 June, at 5:00 PM: MHS Fellows Annual Meeting & Reception. MHS Fellows are invited to a special program at 4:30 PM followed by the Society’s annual business meeting at 5:00 PM. A reception will follow. This program is open only to MHS Fellows.

On Thursday, 13 June, at 6:00 PM: The Presidents: Noted Historians on the Lives & Leadership of America’s Best & Worst Chief Executives with Brian Lamb, Susan Swain, James Traub, and Peter Drummey. Over a period of decades, C-SPAN has surveyed leading historians on the best and worst of America’s presidents across a variety of categories—their ability to persuade the public, their leadership skills, their moral authority, and more. The crucible of the presidency has forged some of the very best and very worst leaders, along with much in between. Brian Lamb and Susan Swain will discuss presidential leadership qualities with historian James Traub and Peter Drummey, MHS. 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, 15 June 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 is a look at the programs we have planned for the first week of June:

On Monday, 3 June, at 12:00 PM: Tour of Fenway ParkJoin Gordon Edes for a private tour of Fenway Park with opportunities to take photos on the field and see team artifacts. This event is sold out.

On Wednesday, 5 June at 12:00 PM: “Things are not invariably so here”: Sheriffs, Capitalism, & the Formation of Legal Authority in 19th-century America with Chad Holmes, West Virginia University. This project focuses on the sheriff as an upper class representative whose authority and responsibility were altered by the democratic and capitalistic transformations of nineteenth-century America. The sheriff was not the gun-slinging officer of the American Wild West. The sheriff’s image—once grounded in pomp and regal status—evolved into one of market regulator and his own individual success. Increased responsibility for collecting debts and conducting sheriff sales redefined how Americans understood law and order in commercial terms. This is part of our brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 5 June at 6:00 PM: Making History Gala featuring David McCullough in conversation with NPR’s Meghna Chakrabarti. David McCullough has been acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative history.” He is twice winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. David’s new book,The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West, will be released in May 2019.  The event will take place at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, 138 St. James Avenue, Boston. General admission tickets are $500 per person. Purchase tickets here.

On Saturday, 8 June 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.

Please note that the library will close at 3:00 PM on Friday, 7 June. Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.

This Week @MHS

The MHS will be closed on Monday, 27 May and Friday, 31 May but we still have a number of programs planned for the week including a brown-bag lunch, an evening talk about Oliver Wendell Holmes, a tour, and a daytime program about the sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees. Here’s a look at what is planned:

On Wednesday, 29 May, at 12:00 PM: The Right to Hail an Officer at Night: Contests of Authority in Occupied Boston with Nicole Breault, University of Connecticut. Who had authority in occupied Boston? The arrival of British regulars and the encounters that followed raised such questions for Boston’s night watch. Using official reports and complaints filed by the night watchmen in November of 1768, this talk explores the logistical and emotional dimensions of occupation at street level.This is part of our brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 29 May, at 6:00 PM: Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Life in War, Law, & Ideas with Stephen Budiansky. Oliver Wendell Holmes twice escaped death as a young Union officer in the Civil War when musket balls missed his heart and spinal cord by a fraction of an inch at the Battles of Ball’s Bluff and Antietam. He lived ever after with unwavering moral courage, unremitting scorn for dogma, and an insatiable intellectual curiosity. Named to the Supreme Court by Theodore Roosevelt at age sixty-one, he served for nearly three decades, writing a series of famous, eloquent, and often dissenting opinions that would prove prophetic in securing freedom of speech, protecting the rights of criminal defendants, and ending the Court’s reactionary resistance to social and economic reforms. 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, 1 June 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.

On Saturday, 1 June at 3:00 PM: Sale of the Century: How the Red Sox Peddled Babe Ruth to the Yankees with Gordon Edes, Boston Red Sox historian; Jane Leavy; Leigh Montville; and John Thorn, official historian of Major League Baseball. At 24, Babe Ruth was already regarded as one of the best left-handed pitchers in baseball, having helped deliver three World Series titles to the Red Sox in just four seasons. In 1919, he was coming off a season in which he successfully transitioned to outfielder and shattered the Major League record for home runs in a season. Then, on December 26, 1919, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee agreed to sell Ruth to the Yankees for an astronomical sum. In pinstripes, Ruth became the most famous player in baseball history setting a course in which the Yankees won 40 American League pennants and 27 World Series titles. The Red Sox, however, went 86 years without winning a World Series. This drought became known as “The Curse of the Bambino.” Join us as our panel discusses the deal that altered the face of baseball history. A display of Ruth related artifacts will be part of the reception. A pre-talk reception and chance to view the display will begin at 2:00; the speaking program begins at 3:00. There is a $25 per person fee ($10 for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

“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

We have a Brown-bag lunch program and an evening talk scheduled at the MHS this week. We hope you can join us!

On Wednesday, 22 May, at 12:00 PM: Samuel Hooper, Merchant & Politician with Ann Daly, Brown University. Samuel Hooper is best known as a politician and architect of Civil War era financial reforms like the greenback, but before arriving in Congress, Hooper made a fortune in the China trade. Using Hooper’s papers and published writings, this talk examines how Hooper’s work as a China trader shaped his understanding of the relationship between banking, trade, and democracy; and argues that his time as a merchant directly influenced his later work regulating of banking and currency markets. This is part of our brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 22 May, at 6:00 PM: American States of Nature: The Origins of Independence, 1761-1775 with Mark Somos. In the British colonies, the phrase “state of nature,” or the condition of human beings before or without political association, appeared thousands of times in juridical, theological, medical, political, economic, and other texts from 1630 to 1810. But by the 1760s, a distinctively American state-of-nature discourse started to emerge. In laws, resolutions, petitions, sermons, broadsides, pamphlets, letters, and diaries, the American states of nature came to justify independence at least as much as colonial formulations of liberty, property, and individual rights did. The founding generation transformed this flexible concept into a powerful theme that shapes their legacy to this day. No constitutional history of the Revolution can be written without it. 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).

“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, 25 May and Monday, 27 May. Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.