The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Bostonians Respond to Union Loss at 2nd Bull Run

31 August 1862 was a remarkable day in Boston—one full of anxiety and activity. News reached town that day of the Union’s devastating defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run. The battle, which took place in Virginia from 28 to 30 August, resulted in approximately [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Friday, 31 August, 2012, 8:00 AM

“Out of Doors”: Attend a Nature Lecture by Opal Whiteley

Last week, New Yorker essayist Michelle Dean published a piece on the diaries of mystical nature writer Opal Whiteley, “Opal Whiteley’s Riddles.” Originally appearing in the Atlantic Monthly beginning in March of 1920, Opal’s diaries were both popular [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Thursday, 30 August, 2012, 1:00 AM

The Idiosyncratic Index Subjects of Harbottle Dorr, Jr.

Part of the Harbottle Dorr, Jr. Annotated Newspaper project has been to transcribe and encode for presentation and searching at our website his interesting and detailed indexes. In the process, we took special notice of those subject headings that were quirky, weird, and--to [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Monday, 27 August, 2012, 1:00 AM

The Death of a Soldier

Captain Richard Cary of the Second Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the subject of the March 1862 feature in the MHS' online presentation Looking at the Civil War: Massachusetts Finds Her Voice, was shot in the leg on 9 August 1862 during the battle of Cedar Mountain [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Friday, 24 August, 2012, 1:00 AM

The Benefit of Hindsight

One of the things that makes working with original manuscripts so interesting is hindsight. We may have the advantage of knowing how historical events ultimately played out, but there’s nothing quite like reading the words of the people who experienced them first-hand. [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 22 August, 2012, 8:00 AM

The USS Constitution Takes to the Seas

If you missed seeing it in person, provides a short piece about yesterday's historic sailing of the USS Constitution in Boston Harbor. The sailing marked the 200th anniversary of the ship's victory over the British frigate HMS Guerriere during the War of 1812 [...] read more

comments: 2 | permalink | Published: Monday, 20 August, 2012, 8:00 AM

Interview: Spotlight on Education at the MHS

On Wednesday Assistant Director of Education and Public Programs Kathleen Barker wrote about the recent teacher workshops held at the MHS. The week-long workshops, titled “At the Crossroads of Revolution: Lexington and Concord in 1775,” engaged 80 teachers from [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Friday, 17 August, 2012, 1:00 AM

Glimpses of Harbottle Dorr, Jr.

The Massachusetts Historical Society has a collection of 796 newspapers dating from 1765-1776, collected, annotated, and indexed by a Boston man named Harbottle Dorr, Jr. This collection is comprised of 4 volumes containing 3,674 pages. Of that total number of pages, 3,314 [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Thursday, 16 August, 2012, 8:00 AM

Teachers at the Crossroads

In the spring of 1775, the towns of Lexington and Concord became targets, scenes, and symbols of actions that would ignite a war culminating in the birth of a new country. What happened to inhabitants of towns like these that were literally and figuratively “on the [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 8:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

Join us at noon on Wednesday, 15 August, for a brown-bag lunch "Cotton Mather's use of Jacques Basnage's History of the Jews in the Biblia Americana," presented by Rick Kennedy of Point Loma Nazarene University. Kennedy will present his thoughts on Basnage's influence on [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Monday, 13 August, 2012, 8:00 AM

“What a merry Company there is of Us, in the Universe”

Earlier this week, the world received the exciting news of the NASA rover “Curiosity” successfully landing on Mars. The great questions of whether or not we are alone in the Universe, whether other life exists and what forms it might take call out to us for answers. [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 8 August, 2012, 8:00 AM

MHS Begins Its 4th Year Tweeting JQA's Line-a-day Diaries!

Three years ago, on 5 August 2009, MHS staff began posting JQA's line-a-day diary entries on Twitter, exactly 200 years after the day described. (Read about the projects launch in a post from July 2009.) JQA's followers on Twitter received daily updates about his long [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Tuesday, 7 August, 2012, 8:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

Looking for something to do on your lunch break today? Why not visit 1154 Boylston at noon and enjoy a stimulating brown-bag lunch program.  Lindsay Moore, Boston University, will present her research "Women, Power, and Litigation in the English Atlantic World, 1630-1700," [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Monday, 6 August, 2012, 8:00 AM

Decoding a Photograph

The first time I viewed this cabinet card, which is part of our Photographic Views collection, I immediately recognized the old Jordan Marsh building in Downtown Crossing and thought, "Wow! They really decorated Jordan Marsh up right for the 4th of July." Perhaps drawn first [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Friday, 3 August, 2012, 12:00 PM

Interview with Author and NEH Fellow Martha Hodes

Martha Hodes, author of The Sea Captain’s Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century, is the recent recipient of an NEH fellowship to conduct research at the Massachusetts Historical Society. The Sea Captain’s Wife was a finalist for [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 1 August, 2012, 8:00 AM