The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

Welcome back to another events round-up! Here is what is happening at the Society in the week ahead:

- Tuesday, 6 February, 5:15PM : Join us for an Early American History seminar with current MHS-NEH Fellow Laurel Daen, and commenter Cornelia Dayton of the University of Connecticut. Between 1790 and 1840, Americans deemed to be cognitively disabled lost the right to vote, marry, immigrate, obtain residency, and live independently. "'We all agree to exclude...those of unsound mind': Disability, Doctors, and the Law in the Early Republic" charts these legal developments in Massachusetts as well as how disabled people used the courts to negotiate these contraints. Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP requiredSubscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers. To RSVP: email or call (617) 646-0579.

- Wednesday, 7 February, 12:00PM : This week's Brown Bag talk is titled "John Winthrop, Benjamin Martin, & Worlds of Scientific Work." Pierce Williams of Carnegie Mellon University relates how Benjamin Martin was regarded by natural philosophers of his age as a showman and peddler of pseudo-scientific trinkets. At the same time, John Winthrop was working to elevate the North American colonies in the topography of learned culture. This project attempts to understand Winthrop's puzzling choice of Martin to refurbish Harvard's scientific instrument collection after the college laboratory burned to the ground in 1764. This talk is free and open to the public. 

- Wednesday, 7 February, 6:00 PM : In "Reconsidering King Philip's War," two historians reexamine the narrative of one of colonial America’s most devastating conflicts. Lisa Brooks, Amherst College, recovers a complex picture of war, captivity, and Native resistance during the “First Indian War." Christine DeLucia, Mount Holyoke College, offers a major reconsideration of the war, providing an alternative to Pilgrim-centric narratives that have dominated the histories of colonial New England. The program will include short presentations by both scholars followed by a conversation. This talk is open to the public, registration required with a fee of $10 (no charge for MHS Members and Fellows, and EBT cardholders). We have exceeded the seating in our main room. Audience members registering on or after February 1st will be seated in overflow seating.

- Thursday, 8 February, 6:00PM : The second author talk this weak features Douglas Egerton, Le Moyne College, and his recent work Thunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments that Redeemed AmericaOne of the most treasured objects belonging to the Society’s collection is the battle sword of Robert Gould Shaw, the leader of the courageous 54th Massachusetts infantry, the first black regiment in the North. The prominent Shaw family of Boston and New York had long been involved in reform, including antislavery and feminism, and their son, Robert, took up the mantle of his family’s progressive stances, though perhaps more reluctantly. In this lecture, historian Douglas R. Egerton focuses on the entire Shaw family during the war years and how following generations have dealt with their legacy. This talk is open to the public, registration required with a fee of $10 (no charge for MHS Members and Fellows, and EBT cardholders).

- Saturday, 10 February, 10:00AM : The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.


permalink | Published: Sunday, 4 February, 2018, 12:00 AM