The Beehive: Official Blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society The official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society, covering MHS events and activities. en-us Fri, 01 May 2009 00:00:00 GMT Mon, 17 Oct 2016 04:00:00 GMT (Elaine Grublin) Rose Dabney Forbes and women’s suffrage (part 2 of 2) <p>In an <strong style="font-size: 14px;"><a href="">earlier post</a> </strong>I gave you a preview of the <a href="">Rose Dabney Forbes papers</a>. Her papers are one of seven collections that have been fully digitized and are now available on our website as part of an LSTA funded project that we are calling "Women in the Public Sphere." These collections relate to women's involvement in social issues of the 19<sup>th</sup> and early 20<sup>th</sup> centuries- the suffrage and anti-suffrage movements, education, poverty, anti-slavery and pacifism.</p> <p>The papers of Rose Dabney Forbes (1864-1947), the wife of businessman J. Malcolm Forbes (1847-1904), are mostly from her work in in the American peace movement of the early 20<sup>th</sup> century, but I also found some vivid descriptions of the excitement generated by the ratification of the nineteenth amendment in 1920 giving women the right to vote. In a typewritten draft of an address delivered to the League of Women Voters by Mrs. Forbes on 31 March 1921, she described,</p> <blockquote> <p>that thrilling day in August when we knew with certainty that Tennessee had stepped forward and that political equality was at last in the grasp of the women of the United States. Our headquarters at Little Building held a continuous reception for several daysand all our members who were not too far off, came to talk over the wonderful news and to help Miss Luscomb and Mrs. Stantial put the final marks on the Suffrage map.</p> </blockquote> <p> She continued,</p> <blockquote> <p>...following the proclamation of the nineteenth amendment by the Secretary of State, bells were rung in many churches all over the land, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and from Maine to Florida. Five of us had the privilege of ringing the bells at the dear old North Church that Saturday noon, and never shall we forget the thrill of climbing those narrow dusty stairs up to the bell tower, nor of pulling on those big old ropes.</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/blog3-6060_b4_f34_004.jpg" alt="" width="448" height="276" /> </p> <p> </p> <p>But Mrs. Forbes and her colleagues couldn't get caught up in the excitement for long.</p> <blockquote>[A]s we all know voting is a serious business and as soon as our first rapture subsided we had to come down to earth. The work at our office grew more exacting up to the last date for registration in October. By day there were streams of would-be voters coming to the office, or ringing up by telephone, to find out about the mysteries of voting; and we kept open for five successive Monday <span style="text-decoration: underline;">evenings</span>, in order to give this same opportunity to those women whose duties precluded their coming in the day time-and hundreds availed themselves of it.</blockquote> <p> </p> <p>It will be fascinating to compare these descriptions with materials from another collection we digitized for this project, one which has the rather unwieldy name of the <a href=""> Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Extension of Further Suffrage of Women, 1895-1920</a>. We <span style="font-size: 14px;">hope that you will take advantage of these newly accessible collections and immerse yourself in the voices and the debates of their time.</span></p> <p> </p> <p><em>Funding for the digitization of this collection and the creation of preservation microfilm was provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act grant as administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.</em></p> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 04:00:00 GMT Laura Wulf, Collections Services This Week @ MHS <p>Here we are again with the round-up of events in the week to come at the Society.</p> <p>- Wednesday, 19 October, 12:00PM : "<a href="/calendar/event?event=2038">The Nature of Colonization: Natives, Colonists, and the Environment in New England, 1400-1750</a>" examines how the natural world shaped and was shaped by the interactions between Native Americans and English settlers. In this <a href="/calendar/brown-bags">Brown Bag</a> talk, Nathan Fell of the University of Houston also explores how the dynamics of empire influenced English management of the environment in the colonies. This talk is free and open to the public. </p> <p>- Wednesday, 19 October, 6:00PM : As we approach an election that promises far-reaching ramifications, we look back at previous periods of tumult in American democracy. "<a href="/calendar/event?event=1964">Democracy in Crisis: Four Elections</a>" is a panel discussion that explores the legacies of four previous presidential elections and the question of what this history suggests for our country's current trajectory. This talk is open only to MHS Fellows and Members, and registration is required. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30PM and the program commences at 6:00PM. </p> <p>- Thursday, 20 October, 6:00PM : Join us for a talk with Nonie Gadsden of the Museum of Fine Arts as she explores and contextualizes the efforts of the Eliot School, exploring how the School related to the rise of manual arts training and the advent of the Arts and Crafts Momvement. "<a href="/calendar/event?event=1931">Art, Craft, and Reform: The Eliot School, Manual Arts Training, and the Arts and Crafts Movement</a>" is open to the public for a fee of $10 (no charge for MHS Members or Fellows). A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30PM and the progam begins at 6:00PM. </p> <p>- Friday, 21 October, 2:00PM : Come in Friday for a special afternoon public program with Felicity Tsering Chdron Hamer. In a talk entitled "<a href="/calendar/event?event=1962">Helen F. Stuart and the Birth of Spirit Photography in Boston</a>," Hamer argues for a more foundational placement of women within the narrative of personal mourning rituals. This talk is free and open to the public. </p> <p><strong>Please note that the teacher workshop scheduled for Saturday, 22 October, was CANCELED. Please consider the next teacher workshop taking place on Saturday, 5 November. </strong></p> Sun, 16 Oct 2016 16:00:00 GMT Dan Hinchen Mount Auburn: A Guide through the Nation's First "Rural" Cemetery <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/map_close.jpg" alt="" width="426" height="280" /></p> <p>When friends and family ask me what they should do while visiting the Boston area in the fall, I generally get a strange look after my main recommendation. I tell them to visit Mount Auburn Cemetery, the first landscaped "rural" cemetery in the United States, located between Cambridge and Watertown. It's a beautiful setting year-round, but there's something about this season that brings out the best in Mount Auburn.</p> <p>I'm tempted to list all of the reasons why I love Mount Auburn, but I'll resist that urge here and tell you what I found out about it while searching our online catalog, <a href="" target="_blank">ABIGAIL</a> - mainly, that the MHS collections contain <em>a lot</em> more on Mount Auburn than I previously thought. Much of what we have are published materials, including catalogues of proprietors, maps, guides, pocket companions, and anthologies. Then, there are more personal items, such as poems written about Mount Auburn, speeches given at the cemetery, admission tickets, a broadside depicting Mount Auburn "on a delightful day in the Autumn of 1876," and more. Mention of Mount Auburn arises in manuscript collections as well. Search for yourself in ABIGAIL to see what kinds of materials you can find at the MHS connected to this historic cemetery.</p> <p>For someone whose interest in maps almost rivals her love of cemeteries, I found the fold-out maps in our copies of <em>Dearborn's Guide through Mount Auburn</em>, published by Boston-based engraver Nathaniel S. Dearborn, most interesting. The map in the 1857 edition includes small engravings of the Egyptian Revival entrance and Washington Tower, an observation lookout providing panoramic views of Cambridge, Boston, and beyond. The guide in general is full of useful information about the cemetery as it functioned in 1857. Regulations include prohibition of "discharging firearms in the Cemetery," and a warning of prosecution for anyone "found in possession of flowers or shrubs, within the grounds or before leaving them." On that note, a poem titled "Touch Not the Flowers" by Mrs. C. W. Hunt adds a lyrical emphasis to the rule (and implores visitors with the ominous last line, "Touch not the flowers. <em>They are the dead's</em>."). After all, the cemetery was and remains as much a horticultural gem as a place of burial and memorial.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/dearborn_title.jpg" alt="" width="454" height="672" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><br /> <br /> Among the conditions for proprietors, plot owners are informed that any monument, effigy, or inscription determined to be "offensive or improper" is subject to removal by the Trustees. Engraved illustrations present the cemetery-goer with a sampling of must-see monuments of notable men and women (and pets), including a memorial to Robert Gould Shaw, the impressive tomb of William P. Winchester on Narcissus Path, and a marble sculpture depicting the watchdog of Thomas H. Perkins, "an apparent guard to the remains of the family who were his friends." Beautiful illustrations of the tower and chapel embellish the guide as well.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/monuments.jpg" alt="" width="314" height="534" /></p> <p> </p> <p>For the directionally gifted, the guide lists names of foot paths, avenues, and carriage roads, with rather complicated descriptions of how they are situated - "Willow, with two branches, the 1<sup>st</sup> branch from Poplar Av., northeasterly. to Narcissus Path, then curving easterly for the 2<sup>nd</sup> branch, to the south, to Larch Avenue." I think you can see why Dearborn included a map.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/map_full.jpg" alt="" width="528" height="584" /></p> <p> </p> <p>Visitors can find up-to-date maps at the cemetery entrance today, so grab one for yourself and venture among the monuments and mausolea. Then, <a href="">visit the library</a> to see how the cemetery has changed over the years!</p> <p> </p> <p><a href=",1&Search%5FArg=mount%20auburn%20cemetery&Search%5FCode=SUBJ%5F&CNT=10&PID=iINmZeesgzG2mg0ozZlmkwA&SEQ=20161004100146&SID=1">Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge, Mass.)</a></p> <p><a href="">Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge, Mass.) Maps</a></p> <p><a href="">Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge, Mass.) Pictorial works.</a></p> <p><a href="">Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge, Mass.) Poetry.</a></p> <p> </p> Fri, 14 Oct 2016 04:00:00 GMT Shelby Wolfe, Reader Services Letters to Rosamond <p><em> </em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/rosamond1.jpg" alt="" width="535" height="293" /></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>For most of her life, Rosamond Gifford was a resident of Boston's Back Bay neighborhood. However, she was also received bachelor's and master's degrees from Radcliffe College, attended the Sorbonne in Paris, and was fluent in French.[i] Clearly, her residency in Boston never limited her worldview, or indeed, the array of individuals who corresponded with her. The <a href="">Rosamond Gifford papers, 1930-1954</a>, is composed of letters primarily dating from 1931-1946. During this time, Gifford received letters from a Harvard college professor advising her on thesis work for Radcliffe College, former classmates from the Waltham School for Girls, and friends who became soldiers and Red Cross nurses during World War II. Rosamond herself wrote to her family from France while touring abroad and studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. I have decided to highlight some of this correspondence for my blog post this week.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/rosamond2.jpg" alt="" width="449" height="345" /></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>The first of these comes from George L. Lincoln, a professor who worked in the Department of Languages and Literature at Harvard. The letter is dated November 3, 1931, when Rosamond was an undergraduate in her junior year at Radcliffe College. The letter is brief, consisting primarily of several book recommendations for Rosamond's thesis about French religious history, including <em>The Holiness of Pascal</em> by H.F. Stewart, but there is a note at the end that reads: "It seems to me that this thesis - if favorably commented upon by C.H.C.W. - might well be the basis for your HONOR Thesis next year." This is an interesting comment, notable in that Lincoln later serves as an academic advisor for Gifford in letters sent between 1931 and 1933, before Radcliffe College and Harvard merged their classrooms, which would not happen until over ten years later.[ii] For Radcliffe women, interaction with Harvard faculty was often conducted through different channels, whether this was separate classes taught later at night, or corresponding with professors about their academic work through postal mail. Despite these interactions, female undergraduate and graduate students would receive degrees only through Radcliffe at this time.</p> <p>Radcliffe was not the only women's school where Rosamond studied. The Gifford collection also includes a Round Robin' correspondence between Rosamond and former classmates from the Waltham School for Girls (the list of names includes Eleanor "Batesy" Bates, Vi Campbell, Rosalie Norris, Janet Lewis, and Marion Chick). It began on January 22, 1940 with a letter from the organizer and ringleader of this endeavor, Eleanor "Batesy" Bates, who opens her letter with a cheery, ""Dear Round Robinites" and encloses her hopes that 1940 will bring forth a "new and rejuvenated Waltham Round Robin." In this set of correspondence, Rosamond and her classmates discuss their lives with a refreshing degree of frankness. The letters include inexplicable nicknames and private jokes, slang, political talk, gossip about other classmates, and discussion of professional careers (writing, welfare work, teaching, and librarianship among them). I have included some favorite excerpts below:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/rosamond3.jpg" alt="" width="461" height="264" /></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>"Oh, yes, I saw <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Gone With the Wind</span> in New York two weeks ago, and liked it so much I sat through it a second time - ten hours in the movie before I left, but I had brought sandwiches with me, and went out during intermission." - Eleanor "Batesy" Bates</p> <p>"I do not get around much as my time is so taken up with writing and study, to say nothing of my son, husband and housework." - Vi Campbell.<span style="font-size: 14px;"> </span></p> <p>"Will be awfully glad to see you all if we decide to visit Waltham this year en masse so do let me know the place. It would be fun to have a cigarette in North Hall, instead of behind the gym just once." - Janet Lewis</p> <p> </p> <p><span style="font-size: 14px;">After World War II, there aren't many more letters between Rosamond and her various correspondents, but Rosamond continued to live at 340 Commonwealth Ave. until her death in 1997. The Rosamond Gifford collection was a delight and a surprise to stumble across and have the opportunity to explore. Although I have shared words from Rosamond's various correspondents, I would like to end this post with an excerpt from a letter written by Rosamond herself, dated July 16, 1936, while she was traveling abroad on an Anne Radcliffe fellowship for her graduate studies in France:[iii]</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/rosamond4.jpg" alt="" width="461" height="264" /></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>"Dearest Tribe,</p> <p>We arrived here contrary to your expectations on time, July 13, and depart the twentieth for a dozen days mad scramble through Normandie and BretagneFrom here we went to Ajaccio, one of the most charming cities I ever was in. The atmosphere exhales Napoleon and the house where he was born is most satisfactory. It is located on a little square with a garden, and the interior retains for the most part the original decoration of delicate eighteenth century designs. The main square is lined with palms and slopes down to the harbor which is surrounded by more red mountains - which were glowing in the evening light as we sailed away. I loved Corsica, best of the whole trip."</p> <p>She signs the letter, "Ever and ever so much love, Tibbles."</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/rosamond5.jpg" alt="" width="537" height="312" /></strong></p> <p> </p> <div> <hr size="1" noshade="noshade" /> </div> <p>[i] "Rosamond Gifford, 87, Philanthropist, taught French." <em>The Boston Sunday Globe</em>, July 20, 1997.</p> <p>[ii] Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. <em>Yards and gates: Gender in Harvard and Radcliffe history</em>. Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, 216. Radcliffe would not officially merge with Harvard until 1977.</p> <p>[iii] "Radcliffe Gives 42 Fellowships." <em>Daily Boston Globe</em>, May 12, 1935.</p> <p> </p> Wed, 12 Oct 2016 16:41:19 GMT Grace Wagner, Reader Services Rose Dabney Forbes and the American Peace Movement (part 1 of 2) <p>The Digital Projects team here at the MHS has spent much of the past two years working on an LSTA funded project that we are calling "Women in the Public Sphere." This grant allowed us to fully digitize and make accessible seven collections related to women's involvement in social issues of the 19th and early 20th centuries, including the suffrage and anti-suffrage movements, education, poverty, anti-slavery and pacifism. </p> <p>The collections range in size from 11 items in the <a href="">Juvenile Anti-Slavery Society records, 1837-1838</a> to more than 3000 items in the <a href="">Rose Dabney Forbes papers, 1902-1935</a>. In this post, I will take a closer look at the Forbes papers, which document the participation of Rose Dabney Forbes (1864-1947), the wife of businessman J. Malcolm Forbes (1847-1904), in the American peace movement of the early 20th century, as an officer of the Massachusetts Peace Society, the American Peace Society, the Massachusetts branch of the Woman's Peace Party, and the World Peace Foundation. The records of the organizations in which she was involved include governance documents, meeting minutes, and correspondence, as well as printed materials.</p> <p>In a typescript draft of an address delivered to members of the "Thought Club" in Hyde Park, Mass., by Mrs. Forbes on 1 February 1916, she argues for the "necessity of extending the reign of law out from the smaller circle of nationalism, to the larger circle of internationalism." Forbes goes on to write that,</p> <blockquote> <p style="text-align: left;">Irrespective of opinions as to the causes, and as to the consequences of this terrible European war, thinking persons who stand for Twentieth Century ideals are passionately exclaiming that this shall be the last war between civilized nations; that the world after this shall not allow such a method for trying to settle international differences.</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/blog2-6060_b4_f03_002.jpg" alt="" width="396" height="336" /></p> <p>Speaking as a representative of the Woman's Peace Party, Forbes asked why the peace movement "is still imperfectly understood even by many persons who are distinctly in sympathy with its fundamental object." Was it because the war is happening overseas, leading to what she called "[m]ental inertia"? Was it because of a "[l]ack of literature giving authoritative and complete statement of what a great body of leading internationalists believe," or because, as she suggested, the press ridiculed the ideas as well as the movement? </p> <p>She addressed what she calls a misconception that "when we work to banish the war system from earth, we are lowering the heroic ideals of manhood- that we are training our boys to be timid and slothful-to be molly-coddled. No indeed" she exclaimed, "we train our boys to be ready to die for their country, by serving humanity, not by destroying their human brothers." Lastly she asked whether it could be that the very name of the movement had held it back. "The word Peace," she wrote, "stands for the result of justice and righteousness; peace is an effect, not a method of working force. Only in a restricted sense of the word is peace simply cessation of war."</p> <p>As part of her call to action, Forbes quoted Phillips Brooks, Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Ellery Channing, and she summed up her argument by insisting that</p> <blockquote> <p>The truth is that the war against war is and has long been an aggressive campaign of education. The Peace Movement is a determined onslaught on the old and barbarous system of war, and a persistent pointing of the way to constructive international peace. The Peace worker must summon all the logic and clearness of thought that he can command and he must needs stand firm in his faith, not heeding either the ridicule or the sneers of the unconverted.<br /><br /></p> </blockquote> <p>How do peace movements of today articulate their hopes and strategies? We encourage you to look through these newly digitized collections and make your own comparisons and discoveries.</p> <p>For more of the story, check out <a href="">part 2 of Rose Dabney Forbes and the American Peace Movement</a>. </p> <p> </p> <p>*****</p> <p><em>Funding for the digitization of this collection and the creation of preservation microfilm was provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act grant as administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 10 Oct 2016 04:00:00 GMT Laura Wulf, Collections Services