March

Teacher Workshop, Public Program, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Canceled: Emancipation & Assassination: Remembering Abraham Lincoln 28 March 2015.Saturday, 9:00AM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   How did the people of Massachusetts react to Lincoln’s presidential politics? How did they ...

How did the people of Massachusetts react to Lincoln’s presidential politics? How did they mourn his death in 1865? Using documents and artifacts from the Society’s collections, participants will explore Lincoln’s legacy in his own time, and debate what his legacy is – or should be – in the twenty-first century. This program is open to all K-12 educators, as well as history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 5 PDPs for the workshop (and additional PDPs for attending related programs).

Fee: $25 per person (includes lunch and materials)

For more information: contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

To register: Complete our Registration Form and send it to the education department at education@masshist.org.

Program Highlights

  • Learn more about new digital resources available from the MHS and Ford's Theatre.
  • View Lincoln-related treasures from the Society’s collections.
  • Discover methods for teaching Lincoln's life and legacy.
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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 28 March 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

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 abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition, "God Save the People!” which explores events leading up to the American Revolution. 

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Early American History Seminar Frontiers and Geopolitics of Early America 31 March 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Patrick Spero, Williams College Comment: Kate Grandjean, Wellesley College This essay investigates the use of the term “frontier” in its colonial context to show ...

This essay investigates the use of the term “frontier” in its colonial context to show that the word conveyed a potent message that affected the political development of British North America. More than just an etymological exercise, the research shows how governmental and social understandings of frontiers and their specific locations influenced official policies and settler action. It argues that a disagreement over the location and treatment of the imperial frontier in the 1760s created a crisis of empire in the years preceding Independence. The essay ends with an examination of changes to the word’s meaning within American society in the early national period.

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April
Brown Bag Contesting the Centennial: Civil War Memory at the 1876 World's Fair 1 April 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Krista Kinslow, Boston University The 1876 Philadelphia Exhibition was promoted as a fair to show off American greatness. But at the ...

The 1876 Philadelphia Exhibition was promoted as a fair to show off American greatness. But at the same time, the Centennial exposed the rifts in society. Given that the Civil War had ended only eleven years before, a celebration of American unity and power bore a certain irony. Issues of the Civil War pervaded the Centennial Exhibition and this project explores the different ways in which Americans brought their particular memories of that war to Philadelphia. 

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Lincoln Series Public Program, Author Talk, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Founders’ Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln 1 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   6:00 program with 5:30 reception Richard Brookhiser, Senior Editor – National Review $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series Program 2 Abraham Lincoln grew up in ...

Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series
Program 2

Abraham Lincoln grew up in the shadow of the Founding Fathers. Seeking an intellectual and emotional replacement for his own taciturn father, Lincoln turned to the men of the founding—Washington, Paine, Jefferson—and their great documents for knowledge, guidance, inspiration, and purpose. Out of the vacuum created by their passing, Lincoln emerged from among his peers as the inheritor of the Founders' mantle, bringing their vision to bear on the Civil War and the question of slavery. Richard Brookhiser presents a compelling biography of Lincoln that highlights his lifelong struggle to carry on the Founding Fathers’ work. Brookhiser shows us every side of the man: laborer, lawyer, congressman, president; storyteller, wit, lover of ribald jokes; depressive, poet, friend, visionary. And he shows that despite his many roles and his varied life, Lincoln returned time and time again to the Founders. They were rhetorical and political touchstones, the basis of his interest in politics, and the lodestars guiding him as he navigated politics and the national scene. But their legacy with not sufficient. As the Civil War lengthened and the casualties mounted Lincoln wrestled with one more paternal figure—God the Father—to explain to himself, and to the nation, why ending slavery had come at such a terrible price.

Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review and the author of eleven books, including the James MadisonAlexander Hamilton, American, and Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington. He lives in New York City.


Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series

The MHS will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln with a series of programs. Renowned authors and historians will explore the war, the president, and the legacy this conflict has left. Mourning Lincoln with Martha Hodes will take place on Wednesday, 8 April. Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality with John Stauffer will take place on Wednesday, 15 April.

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Biography Seminar Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter 2 April 2015.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Dava Sobel in conversation with Susan Ware A conversation with the author of Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the ...

A conversation with the author of Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time, and Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love, on the subject of writing scientific biography.

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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 4 April 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

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 abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition, "God Save the People!” which explores events leading up to the American Revolution. 

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Public Program, Conversation Begin at the Beginning: Boston’s Founding Documents 4 April 2015.Saturday, 1:00PM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   Join us for the second of our lively Massachusetts Historical Society/Partnership of Historic ...

Join us for the second of our lively Massachusetts Historical Society/Partnership of Historic Bostons co-hosted discussions exploring the origins of Boston and its founding documents. We’ll be reading John Winthrop’s journal – a key, if not the key, primary source for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. You don’t need to be an expert – just come with your observations and curiosity about early Boston’s leading citizen.

Discussion group is limited to 15; available on a first come first serve basis. Links to the documents are available at the registration site. (Registration for this discussion group is coordinated by the Partnership of Historic Bostons)

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Author Talk, Public Program Book Launch Reception for Investment Management in Boston: A History 6 April 2015.Monday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM David Grayson Allen Please RSVP by calling 617-646-0578 Presented here for the first time is the history of Boston’s evolution as a center of American ...

Presented here for the first time is the history of Boston’s evolution as a center of American money management from early settlement to the twenty-first century. Within a few decades after the Revolution, Bostonians built up an impressive mercantile and industrial economy, and used wealth accrued from the China trade, New England mills, and other ventures to establish the most important stock exchange in America. They also created the “Boston trustee,” a unique professional who managed private fortunes over generations. During the late nineteenth century, Boston financial institutions were renowned as bastions of stability and conservatism in an era of recurrent economic panics and frequent failures.

It was not until the twentieth century that Boston became better known for its role in investment management. In 1924, local financiers created the first mutual fund, an innovation almost a century in the making. After World War II, Boston originated venture capital with the founding of American Research & Development. This was soon followed by the development of private equity, the growth of the mutual fund industry, the pension “revolution” that changed and strengthened money management, the evolution in management of institutional endowments, and the rise of new family offices and hedge funds. The contributions of fiduciaries and investment managers have played an important part in the rise of the “New Boston” and made the city one of the most vibrant financial capitals in the world.

Investment Management in Boston is published in association with Massachusetts Historical Society.

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Brown Bag When "the Fourteenth Colony" Lost its Place: Quebec after 1776 8 April 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jacqueline Reynoso, Cornell University Quebec has often been referred to as "the fourteenth colony." The Quebec Act of 1774 featured among ...

Quebec has often been referred to as "the fourteenth colony." The Quebec Act of 1774 featured among the enumerated grievances in the United Colonies' Declaration of Independence, and much of the colony served as the scene of one of the Continental Army's first military campaigns. Yet, the end of the army's siege of Quebec City on May 6, 1776 is often treated as the end of Quebec's relevance to the American Revolution. In this talk, Reynoso argues that the colony's relevance did not end when the siege did, and she explores different ways of approaching the study of Quebec and the revolution after May 1776.

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Lincoln Series Public Program, Author Talk, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Mourning Lincoln 8 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   6:00 program with 5:30 reception Martha Hodes, Professor of History - New York University $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series Program 3 The news of Abraham Lincoln ...

Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series
Program 3

The news of Abraham Lincoln's death on April 15, 1865, just days after Union victory, astounded the war weary nation. Massive crowds turned out for services and ceremonies, and countless expressions of grief were printed in newspapers and preached in sermons. Public responses to the assassination have been well chronicled, but Martha Hodes is the first to delve into personal and private responses—of northerners and southerners, Yankees and Confederates, African Americans and whites, soldiers and civilians, men and women, rich and poor, the well-known and the unknown. Exploring letters, diaries, and other personal writings penned during the spring and summer of 1865, Hodes tells a story of shock, glee, sorrow, anger, blame, and fear. Black freedom, the fate of former Confederates, and the future of the nation were at stake for everyone, whether they grieved or rejoiced when they heard the news. In her new book, Mourning Lincoln, Hodes brings to life a key moment of national uncertainty and conflict that takes us far beyond the headlines to illuminate the nation's first presidential assassination on a human scale.

Martha Hodes is Professor of History at New York University. In addition to Mourning Lincoln, she is the author of The Sea Captain’s Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century, and White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the Nineteenth-Century South. She holds degrees from Bowdoin College, Harvard University, and Princeton University, and has been awarded fellowships from the Massachusetts Historical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Whiting Foundation. She is a winner of NYU’s Golden Dozen Teaching Award and is an elected fellow of the Society of American Historians.


Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series

The MHS will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln with a series of programs. Renowned authors and historians will explore the war, the president, and the legacy this conflict has left. The final program in the series, Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality with John Stauffer, will take place on Wednesday, 15 April.

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Conferencebegins "So Sudden an Alteration": The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the American Revolution 9 April 2015.Thursday, all day Over the past two decades the study of the Revolution has generated little in the way of ...

Over the past two decades the study of the Revolution has generated little in the way of fundamentally new approaches to the topic. This conference will pay special attention to new ways to understand the political roots and consequences of the crisis.

The program will feature a keynote address by Woody Holton, the McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, “‘Not Yet’: The Originality Crisis in American Revolution Studies,” and a proposal by Boston University Professor of History Brendan McConville, "In the Year One: The Revolution Reconsidered," which offers a new approach to thinking about the conflict. It will also include nine panels, each consisting of three precirculated papers, a wrap-up discussion, and an introduction to Annotated Newspapers of Harbottle Dorr, Jr., the Society’s digital collection of the Revolutionary-era publications that Dorr, a Boston shopkeeper, assembled between the mid 1760s and the mid 1770s, commented on, and indexed. Presenters will not read their papers at the conference; sessions will focus on the discussion of academic papers circulated in advance of the event.

Learn more.

Support for the conference includes grants from Boston University, the David Library of the American Revolution, and Williams College, as well as a gift from an anonymous donor.

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Library Closed Library Closing @ 3:30 PM 9 April 2015.Thursday, all day In order to accomodate "So Sudden an Alteration": The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the ...

In order to accomodate "So Sudden an Alteration": The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the American Revolution the library will be closing at 3:00 PM on Thursday, 9 April, and will remain closed on Friday, 10 April and Saturday, 11 April.  The library will resume regular hours on Monday, 13 April. Exhibition galleries will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Public Program "Not Yet": The Originality Crisis in American Revolution Studies 9 April 2015.Thursday, 5:00PM - 8:00PM Woody Holton, McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina RSVP to attend this lecture. One of today’s leading historians of the American ...

RSVP to attend this lecture.

One of today’s leading historians of the American Revolution, Holton is the McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina. He is the author of three books, each widely acclaimed. Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Meaning of the American Revolution (1999) received the Merle Curti Prize of the Organization of American Historians. Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution (2007) was a finalist for the National Book Award in non-fiction. Abigail Adams (2009) earned the Bancroft Prize. Professor Holton will devote his talk to the problems historians in recent decades have encountered when writing about the Revolution and the prospects for a new understanding of the event. His own writings have focused on the Revolution’s social and economic contexts.

This free public lecture will serve as the keynote address for the conference "So Sudden an Alteration: The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the American Revolution" (registration required to attend sessions). Over the past two decades the study of the Revolution has generated little in the way of fundamentally new approaches to the topic. The conference program will pay special attention to new ways to understand the political roots and consequences of the crisis.

A reception will follow the 5:00 PM lecture, from 6:00-8:00 PM. All are welcome to attend. RSVP by email or phone 617-646-0568.

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Library Closed Library Closed 10 April 2015.Friday, all day In order to accomodate "'So Sudden an Alteration': The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the ...

In order to accomodate "'So Sudden an Alteration': The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the American Revolution" the MHS library will be closed on Friday, 10 April & Saturday, 11 April. Exhbiition galleries will be open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Conferenceends "So Sudden an Alteration": The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the American Revolution 11 April 2015.Saturday, all day Over the past two decades the study of the Revolution has generated little in the way of ...

Over the past two decades the study of the Revolution has generated little in the way of fundamentally new approaches to the topic. This conference will pay special attention to new ways to understand the political roots and consequences of the crisis.

The program will feature a keynote address by Woody Holton, the McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, “‘Not Yet’: The Originality Crisis in American Revolution Studies,” and a proposal by Boston University Professor of History Brendan McConville, "In the Year One: The Revolution Reconsidered," which offers a new approach to thinking about the conflict. It will also include nine panels, each consisting of three precirculated papers, a wrap-up discussion, and an introduction to Annotated Newspapers of Harbottle Dorr, Jr., the Society’s digital collection of the Revolutionary-era publications that Dorr, a Boston shopkeeper, assembled between the mid 1760s and the mid 1770s, commented on, and indexed. Presenters will not read their papers at the conference; sessions will focus on the discussion of academic papers circulated in advance of the event.

Learn more.

Support for the conference includes grants from Boston University, the David Library of the American Revolution, and Williams College, as well as a gift from an anonymous donor.

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Library Closed Library Closed 11 April 2015.Saturday, all day In order to accomodate "'So Sudden an Alteration': The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the ...

In order to accomodate "'So Sudden an Alteration': The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the American Revolution" the MHS library will be closed on Friday, 10 April & Saturday, 11 April. Exhbiition galleries will be open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Environmental History Seminar Legacy Pollution Issues in Energy Development: The Cases of Manufactured Gas and Natural Gas 14 April 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Joel Tarr, Carnegie Mellon University Patrick Malone, Brown University This paper will present two case studies concerning the environmental impacts of past energy ...

This paper will present two case studies concerning the environmental impacts of past energy transitions and their legacy. The cases will focus upon the manufactured gas industry with Massachusetts examples and conventional natural gas development in western Pennsylvania.

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Brown Bag The Urban World of the Early Modern British Caribbean 15 April 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Mary Draper, University of Virginia This project examines the history of the early modern British Caribbean through its cities and ...

This project examines the history of the early modern British Caribbean through its cities and urban residents. By analyzing the founding, development, and integration of the Caribbean's port cities as well as the enterprises of its urban residents, Draper demonstrates that the townscapes of these cities were the stages on which colonists adapted to the harsh environs of the West Indies. There, residents, visitors, and officials created artificial land, fortified settlements, forged extensive hinterlands, and fostered communication networks. By doing so, they helped transform the Caribbean into the most profitable region in early modern British America.

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Lincoln Series Public Program, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality 15 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   6:00 program with 5:30 reception John Stauffer, Professor of English and African American Studies – Harvard University $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series Program 4 Professor Stauffer will ...

Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series
Program 4

Professor Stauffer will explore Frederick Douglass's and other black and white abolitionists' responses to Lincoln's assassination and the degree to which the assassination prompted Northerners to consider and accept full black citizenship.  He will also address the theme of forgiveness and its political dilemmas as it relates to assassination, while keeping Douglass at the center of the story.

John Stauffer writes and lectures on antislavery, social protest movements, interracial friendship, and photography. He is a Harvard University professor of English, African American Studies, and American Studies. He is also a long term Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society. His 13 books include The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race (2002) and Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln (2008), which both won numerous awards. He is the author of more than 90 articles, on topics ranging from the Civil War era to visual culture.  His newest book is Sally Mann:  Southern Landscape (2014); Picturing Frederick Douglass:  An Illustrated Biography of the 19th Century's Most Photographed American will be published by Norton in 2015; and at Mass Historical he is completing a cultural biography of Charles Sumner. His essays have appeared in Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The New Republic, and Huffington Post. He has appeared on national radio and television shows and has lectured widely throughout the United States and Europe.


Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series

The MHS will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln with a series of programs. Renowned authors and historians will explore the war, the president, and the legacy this conflict has left. Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality with John Stauffer is the last program in the series.

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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 18 April 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

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 abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition, "God Save the People!” which explores events leading up to the American Revolution. 

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Library Closed Patriot's Day 20 April 2015.Monday, all day The MHS Library is closed.

The MHS Library is closed.

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Public Program Comic History: Making your own history comic 21 April 2015.Tuesday, 2:00PM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Family Day Program for Young Historians, Parents and Grandparents John L. Bell, independent historian and a team of comic book artists Come to MHS during the school vacation week for a hands-on history program. Noted historian John ...

Come to MHS during the school vacation week for a hands-on history program. Noted historian John Bell will tell participants the story of the riots that followed the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765 from an eighteenth century child’s point of view; young boys participated in marches to the Liberty Tree and witnessed the ransacking of Thomas Hutchinson’s mansion. After the talk, local comic book artists associated with the Boston Comics Roundtable, Fulcrum Publishing, and the Massachusetts Historical Society will help the young historians make their own historical comic depicting the story of the Liberty Tree and the Stamp Act Riots. Finished comics will be part of a temporary display.

John L. Bell is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Public Program Colonial Comics 21 April 2015.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Jason Rodriguez, independent author Colonial Comics by Fulcrum Publishing is a graphic novel collection of twenty stories ...

Colonial Comics by Fulcrum Publishing is a graphic novel collection of twenty stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. These illustrated stories focus on tales you cannot find in history books; includes stories about free thinkers, Pequots, Jewish settlers, female business owners and dedicated school teachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, and many other aspects of colonial life. Editor Jason Rodriguez will speak about the process of putting the collection together, ensuring historical accuracy, and selecting the topics to be covered.

Jason Rodriguez is a writer and editor whose books have been nominated for an Eisner Award and eight Harvey Awards. Jason lives in Arlington, Virginia.

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Special Event, Member Event Colonial Comics Happy Hour 21 April 2015.Tuesday, 7:30PM - 8:30PM This event is open only to MHS Associate Members (age 40 and under) Following the Colonial Comics presentation, MHS Associate Members are invited to a nearby restaurant ...

Following the Colonial Comics presentation, MHS Associate Members are invited to a nearby restaurant with Jason Rodriguez to continue the discussion about historical events as subject matter for comic books and graphic novels.

Please call 617-646-0543 for more information.

 

 


 

Author Talk

Colonial Comics
Jason Rodriguez, Independent Author

5:30 Reception | 6:00 Talk

Colonial Comics by Fulcrum Publishing is a graphic novel collection of 20 stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. This illustrated book focuses on tales you cannot find in history books with stories about free thinkers, Pequots, Jewish settlers, female business owners, dedicated schoolteachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, and many other aspects of colonial life. Editor Jason Rodriguez will speak about the process of putting the collection together, ensuring historical accuracy, and selecting the topics to be covered.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Mildred Jefferson and the Right to Life Revolution of 1976 23 April 2015.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Jennifer Donnally, Hollins University Sara L. Dubrow, Williams College Dr. Mildred Faye Jefferson was an African American Republican who became a pivotal leader of the ...

Dr. Mildred Faye Jefferson was an African American Republican who became a pivotal leader of the American conservative movement when she presided over the National Right to Life Committee, the largest anti-abortion organization in the United States, from 1974 to 1978. As president, Jefferson prioritized a lobbying campaign to cut federal Medicaid funding of abortion for poor, minority, and underage women. This paper focuses on Mildred Jefferson and the anti-abortion Medicaid campaign to illustrate how conservative minority women employed categories of race, class, gender, and sexuality to break down existing political coalitions and forge new alliances, paving the way for the Reagan Revolution of 1980.

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Special Event Massachusetts History Lab 25 April 2015.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Students! Bring a parent, teacher, or your favorite adult and learn more about the behind-the-scene ...

Students! Bring a parent, teacher, or your favorite adult and learn more about the behind-the-scene activities at one of the country’s oldest organizations devoted to our nation’s history. Throughout the day you will be introduced to a set of characters from the periods of the American Revolution and the Civil War and investigate letters, journals, newspaper articles, account books, photographs, artifacts, and more in order to unravel their stories. As you piece together the puzzles of the past in our role as historical detectives, you will have the opportunity view some of our country’s most significant and intriguing documents.

**This program is designed for students in grades 5-8. Students must register with an adult chaperone.

For more information: contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar Due Credit: Chinese Workers and the Central Pacific Railroad 28 April 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Manu Vimalassery, Barnard College Hidetaka Hirota, Columbia University It is commonplace to remember Chinese labor on the transcontinental railroad as part of a pageant of ...

It is commonplace to remember Chinese labor on the transcontinental railroad as part of a pageant of
national belonging. But if we focus on imperialism and capitalism, rather than belonging, how might we
remember Chinese migrant labor on the Central Pacific differently? This talk will consider Chinese
railroad labor in relation to the history and politics of imperialism, race, and freedom, in a context of
global Chinese and South Asian indentured labor migrations. Chinese workers’ migration debts, as well
as their racialization and community institutions, provided means of labor control, exploitation, and
differentiation that were at the heart of Central Pacific Railroad business strategies. These strategies
displaced risk and violence onto Chinese workers in order to concentrate profit and power at the upper
echelons of corporate decision-making.

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Public Program, Author Talk Picture Freedom 29 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Jasmine Nicole Cobb, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies - Northwestern University $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) In the decades leading up to the end of U.S. slavery, many free Blacks sat for daguerreotypes ...

In the decades leading up to the end of U.S. slavery, many free Blacks sat for daguerreotypes decorated in fine garments to document their self-possession. People pictured in these early photographs used portraiture to seize control over representation of the free Black body and reimagine Black visuality divorced from the cultural logics of slavery. In Picture Freedom, Jasmine Nichole Cobb analyzes the ways in which the circulation of various images prepared free Blacks and free Whites for the emancipation of formerly unfree people of African descent. She traces the emergence of Black freedom as both an idea and as an image during the early nineteenth century. Through an analysis of popular culture of the period—including amateur portraits, racial caricatures, joke books, antislavery newspapers, abolitionist materials, runaway advertisements, ladies’ magazines, and scrapbooks, as well as scenic wallpaper—Cobb explores the earliest illustrations of free Blacks and reveals the complicated route through visual culture toward a vision of African American citizenship. 

Jasmine Nichole Cobb is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and (by courtesy) the Department of African American Studies, at Northwestern University. She earned a PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania (2009). Cobb is the recipient of numerous awards, and presently, an American Fellow of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She is the author of Picture Freedom:  Remaking Black Visuality in the Early Nineteenth Century (NYUP 2015), which explores the role of visual culture within processes of abolition and the emergence of African American emancipation.  

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May
MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 2 May 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

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 abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition, "God Save the People!” which explores events leading up to the American Revolution. 

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Public Program, Conversation May Day Mayday! 2 May 2015.Saturday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program William Fowler, Nathaniel Philbrick, and Michael Tougias $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) From its founding, Massachusetts has looked towards the sea. Merchant trade, fishing, and whaling ...

From its founding, Massachusetts has looked towards the sea. Merchant trade, fishing, and whaling were the engines that drove the New England economy. However, the bounty of the sea was not without cost. Shipwrecks, disasters, and heroic rescues are staples of maritime history. This special evening at MHS will feature three eminent historians telling stories of catastrophes at sea and reflecting on the evening’s tales.

William Fowler is the author of a number of books dealing with American history including: Under Two Flags: The Navy in the Civil WarSilas Talbot Captain of the Old Ironsides; co-author America and The SeaWilliam Ellery: A Rhode Island Politico and Lord of AdmiraltyRebels Under Sail: The Navy in the RevolutionJack Tars and Commodores: The American Navy, 1783-1815Samuel Adams: Radical PuritanEmpires at War: The French and Indian War and The Struggle for North America, 1754-1763. He is the former Gay Hart Gaines Distinguished Fellow in American History at Mount Vernon. He has taught at Mystic Seaport Museum and has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Naval War College, and the Sea Education Association.

Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of In the Heart of the Sea, winner of the 2000 National Book Award and soon to be a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard; Sea of Glory, winner of the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Naval History Prize; Mayflower, a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in history; Bunker Hill, winner of the New England Book Award, and other bestselling works of American history.  He lives on Nantucket Island.   

Michael Tougias is an award winning author and co-author of 23 books. Among his bestsellers are A Storm Too Soon, The Finest Hours (soon to be a major motion picture by Disney), Fatal ForecastOverboard, and King Philip's War. He is a sought-after inspirational speaker to business groups such as John Hancock, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and the Gulf Coast CEO's.

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Early American History Seminar "All Manner of Slavery Servitude Labour Service Bondage and Hire": Varieties of Indian and African Unfreedom in Colonial New England and Jamaica 5 May 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Linford Fisher, Brown University Comment: Jennifer Anderson, SUNY - Stonybrook New England and Jamaica seemed worlds apart during the colonial period, on the surface at least. But ...

New England and Jamaica seemed worlds apart during the colonial period, on the surface at least. But is it possible that there was more than meets the eye? This paper investigates varying ways that people of color labored in Jamaica and New England, and how these unfree circumstances changed over time.

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Brown Bag Slave Horse: The Narragansett Pacer 6 May 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Charlotte Carrington-Farmer, Roger Williams University This project uses horses and the horse trade as a lens to explore a range of connections among ...

This project uses horses and the horse trade as a lens to explore a range of connections among people, colonies, and nations in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Part of a larger book project on horses throughout the Atlantic World, it focuses specifically on the Narragansett Pacer, a mixture of Dutch, Irish, and English breeds that was bred in Rhode Island for a wider global market. As such, it was entwined with slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. The first truly “American” horse, the Pacer was extinct by the nineteenth century.

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MHS Tour History and the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 9 May 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

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 abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition, "God Save the People!” which explores events leading up to the American Revolution. 

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Utopian Settlements Series Public Program, Author Talk Puritan Paradise: Eden in Massachusetts Bay & Beyond 13 May 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   6:00 program with 5:30 reception Zachary Hutchins, Assistant Professor of English – Colorado State University Utopian Settlements SeriesProgram 1 Thomas More’s Utopia was inspired ...

Utopian Settlements Series
Program 1

Thomas More’s Utopia was inspired by paradisiacal descriptions of the New World, and associations between Eden and the Americas persisted throughout the colonial period. Many of the immigrants arriving in New England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries looked to the biblical garden of Adam and Eve as a pattern of the ideal society they wished to build. Religiously-minded colonists modeled the English language after the Adamic tongue, cited Genesis during debates over natural law, and looked to the prelapsarian Eve as a physiological ideal. A belief in Eden’s historicity and the future return of paradisiacal conditions inspired Quakers to disrobe in public and led to the first judicial decision abolishing slavery in United States history. New England settlers striving to invent Eden’s perfections anew shaped American history and culture in lasting ways; their visions of paradise linger in the theology of prophets from Robert Matthews to Joseph Smith and in the enduring myth of the “self-made man.”

Zach Hutchins is Assistant Professor of English at Colorado State University, where he teaches courses on early American literature and culture. His talk will draw on research recently published in his first book, Inventing Eden: Primitivism, Millennialism, and the Making of New England (Oxford UP; 2014). Hutchins is also the author of a dozen essays that have appeared in journals such as The New England Quarterly, ELH, Shakespeare, and Early American Literature. A New England native, he returns to Massachusetts regularly to wield a clamshell hoe in the garden of his aged parents, the last two surviving Puritans. 


Utopian Settlements Series

New Englanders have a long tradition of separating from society and trying to create a more perfect world. From the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Yankees have dreamed of a better world and tried to make it real. This series will explore the history of three utopian settlements that started in our backyard. Puritan Paradise with Zachary Hutchins is the first program in the series. Mr. Ripley's Utopia with Peter Drummey will take place on Wednesday, 20 May. Fruitlands with Jan Turnquist will take place on Wednesday, 27 May. We are thankful to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for its support of this series.

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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 16 May 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

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 abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition, "God Save the People!” which explores events leading up to the American Revolution. 

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Early American History Seminar Panel Discussion: Slavery in Early Massachusetts 19 May 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Barbara A. Mathews, Historic Deerfield, and Gloria McCahon Whiting, Harvard University Maria A. Bollettino, Framingham State University This session will consider two papers. “‘Is this where Titus lived?’ Researching ...

This session will consider two papers. “‘Is this where Titus lived?’ Researching and Interpreting African-American Presence in 18th-Century Rural New England,” by Barbara A. Mathews, and “The Body of Liberties and Bodies in Bondage: Dorcas the Blackmore, Dorchester’s First Church, and the Legalization of Slavery in the Anglo-Atlantic World,” by Gloria McCahon Whiting.

Mathews’s paper draws on a remarkable cache of documentation preserved by early antiquarians of Deerfield, Massachusetts. It discusses the preliminary results of research into slavery in the 18th-century town, focusing on the ways in which slavery was inextricably bound up in the social, economic, and political web that defined a closely-knit rural community. Drawing on the work of Joanne Pope Melish, it also explores the broader implications of this history and its preservation even as Deerfielders in company with other New Englanders disassociated themselves in the decades before and after the Civil War from the region’s slave-holding history.

Whiting’s paper contextualizes the lived experience of one of the Bay Colony’s first African slaves to argue that slavery was bound up with democracy in the colony’s early years; that race shaped servitude from the colony’s founding; that Puritan religion provided slaves with unique opportunities for family building; that family was linked to freedom for the region’s early blacks; that Africans were building kin networks—and whites were recognizing them—from the first decades of Puritan settlement; and that the histories of whites and blacks, of powerful men and their polyglot households, and of law and social relations are inextricably linked.

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Utopian Settlements Series Public Program, Walking Tour Mr. Ripley’s Utopia 20 May 2015.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   Lecture and tour at Brook Farm (670 Baker Street in West Roxbury, entrance shared with the Gardens at Gethsemane) Peter Drummey from MHS and DCR Staff Utopian Settlements SeriesProgram 2 Brook Farm, the utopian community established ...

Utopian Settlements Series
Program 2

Brook Farm, the utopian community established by George and Sophia Ripley in West Roxbury, lasted only from 1841 to 1847, but it became the country’s most celebrated experiment in Transcendentalism as a social movement. By opening the benefits of education and the profits of labor to all, the Brook Farm Association sought to prepare a society of liberal, intelligent, and cultivated men and women, whose relations with each other would permit a simple and wholesome life, apart from the competitive pressures found beyond the boundaries of the Farm. 

Peter Drummey, the Historical Society’s Stephen T. Riley Librarian (and a volunteer during the archaeological investigation of Brook Farm), will lead a discussion of what Brook Farmers attempted, what they accomplished, and why they failed as well as describing the manuscript records of the Association held by MHS.  This talk will be followed by a DCR tour of Brook Farm, led by DCR staff. We will explore the quiet woodlands and wetlands that inspired the likes of Nathaniel Hawthorne and George Ripley. 


Utopian Settlements Series

New Englanders have a long tradition of separating from society and trying to create a more perfect world. From the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Yankees have dreamed of a better world and tried to make it real. This series will explore the history of three utopian settlements that started in our backyard. The final program in the series, Fruitlands with Jan Turnquist, will take place on Wednesday, 27 May. We are thankful to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for its support of this series.

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Library Closed Memorial Day 23 May 2015.Saturday, all day The MHS library is closed. 

The MHS library is closed. 

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Library Closed Memorial Day 25 May 2015.Monday, all day The MHS library is closed. 

The MHS library is closed. 

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Brown Bag Purity and Power: The American Sugar Empire in the Gilded Age 27 May 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM David Singerman, MIT In the late nineteenth century, American dreams of empire were built on sugar. The Bostonian sugar ...

In the late nineteenth century, American dreams of empire were built on sugar. The Bostonian sugar magnate Edwin Atkins, a key architect of that empire, owned New England refineries, Atlantic shipping lines, and Cuban plantations. By following Atkins’s machinations from the White House to the customs house, we can see how U.S. attempts to govern labor and nature overseas were linked to the most contentious issues of Gilded Age political economy: corruption, free trade, and monopoly power.

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Utopian Settlements Series Public Program, Conversation Fruitlands 27 May 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   6:00 program with 5:30 reception Jan Turnquist, Executive Director of Orchard House Utopian Settlements SeriesProgram 3 Jan Turnquist, Executive Director of Orchard ...

Utopian Settlements Series
Program 3

Jan Turnquist, Executive Director of Orchard House, the Alcott family home in Concord will give a living history presentation of Louisa May Alcott. Looking back on her time at Fruitlands, the author of Little Women will give us the behind the scenes stories from her life: family friendships with Thoreau and Emerson; her unconventional upbringing in poverty; and the family love that inspired her to write an American classic. From the youngest reader to the most sophisticated Alcott scholar, audiences have acclaimed Turnquist’s performances. The interactive presentation is an inspiring experience is open to all ages. 


Utopian Settlements Series

New Englanders have a long tradition of separating from society and trying to create a more perfect world. From the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Yankees have dreamed of a better world and tried to make it real. This series will explore the history of three utopian settlements that started in our backyard. Fruitlands with Jan Turnquist is the final program in the series. We are thankful to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for its support of this series.

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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 30 May 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

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 abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition, "God Save the People!” which explores events leading up to the American Revolution. 

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June
Brown Bag The Invention of Rum 3 June 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jordan Smith, Georgetown University This project investigates the history of rum in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In ...

This project investigates the history of rum in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In particular, it examines the processes of invention, commodification, innovation, and transformation that defined the spirit's production in the West Indies, North America, and Britain. Ultimately, rum—and the knowledge necessary for its production—was pioneered by a complex cast of free and coerced workers operating in various parts of the British Atlantic world.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Conversation How Community Activism Made the New Boston Better 3 June 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Jim Vrabel, independent author $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Author and activist, Jim Vrabel will facilitate a conversation among history makers. The discussion ...

Author and activist, Jim Vrabel will facilitate a conversation among history makers. The discussion will focus on the role that protests, demonstrations, and increased civic involvement by residents in the 1960s and 1970s played in the physical, economic, and social improvements made to the city during and since that time – in areas like urban renewal, community development, transportation, civil rights, school and welfare reform, employment, and service delivery. The discussion will explore reasons for the rise in community activism in that era and the state of activism today. Vrabel will provide a brief overview of Boston in the 1950s and list some of the various activist movements of the 1960s and 1970s. He will invite a panel of community activists featured in his book; A People’s History of the New Boston and ask each to reflect on his or her own experience.

Jim Vrabel is a former newspaper reporter, longtime community activist, local historian, and city official. He is also author of the recently released A People’s History of the New Boston, When in Boston: A Timeline & Almanac, and Homage to Henry: A Dramatization of John Berryman’s “The Dream Songs.”

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Public Program Boston Historical Societies 10 June 2015.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   Reception Although Boston does not have a city historical society, it has a wealth of neighborhood ...

Although Boston does not have a city historical society, it has a wealth of neighborhood organizations. From the North End to the South End and from Brighton to Dorchester, Bostonians are steeped in local history and proud of their neighborhood’s identity. The Massachusetts Historical Society is pleased to invite representatives of local organizations for a chance to mingle and tell their neighbors about the great projects they have started or recent accomplishments.

 

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Special Event MHS Fellows Annual Meeting & Reception 24 June 2015.Wednesday, 5:00PM - 7:00PM This event is open only to MHS Fellows. MHS Fellows are invited to the Society's annual business meeting. A reception will follow the ...

MHS Fellows are invited to the Society's annual business meeting. A reception will follow the meeting.

Please call 617-646-0572 with any questions.

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More events
Teacher Workshop, Public Program, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Canceled:
Emancipation & Assassination: Remembering Abraham Lincoln
28 March 2015.Saturday, 9:00AM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   registration required

How did the people of Massachusetts react to Lincoln’s presidential politics? How did they mourn his death in 1865? Using documents and artifacts from the Society’s collections, participants will explore Lincoln’s legacy in his own time, and debate what his legacy is – or should be – in the twenty-first century. This program is open to all K-12 educators, as well as history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 5 PDPs for the workshop (and additional PDPs for attending related programs).

Fee: $25 per person (includes lunch and materials)

For more information: contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

To register: Complete our Registration Form and send it to the education department at education@masshist.org.

Program Highlights

  • Learn more about new digital resources available from the MHS and Ford's Theatre.
  • View Lincoln-related treasures from the Society’s collections.
  • Discover methods for teaching Lincoln's life and legacy.
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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 28 March 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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 abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition, "God Save the People!” which explores events leading up to the American Revolution. 

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Early American History Seminar Frontiers and Geopolitics of Early America 31 March 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Patrick Spero, Williams College Comment: Kate Grandjean, Wellesley College

This essay investigates the use of the term “frontier” in its colonial context to show that the word conveyed a potent message that affected the political development of British North America. More than just an etymological exercise, the research shows how governmental and social understandings of frontiers and their specific locations influenced official policies and settler action. It argues that a disagreement over the location and treatment of the imperial frontier in the 1760s created a crisis of empire in the years preceding Independence. The essay ends with an examination of changes to the word’s meaning within American society in the early national period.

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Brown Bag Contesting the Centennial: Civil War Memory at the 1876 World's Fair 1 April 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Krista Kinslow, Boston University

The 1876 Philadelphia Exhibition was promoted as a fair to show off American greatness. But at the same time, the Centennial exposed the rifts in society. Given that the Civil War had ended only eleven years before, a celebration of American unity and power bore a certain irony. Issues of the Civil War pervaded the Centennial Exhibition and this project explores the different ways in which Americans brought their particular memories of that war to Philadelphia. 

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Public Program, Author Talk, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Founders’ Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln 1 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required 6:00 program with 5:30 reception Richard Brookhiser, Senior Editor – National Review $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Lincoln Series

Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series
Program 2

Abraham Lincoln grew up in the shadow of the Founding Fathers. Seeking an intellectual and emotional replacement for his own taciturn father, Lincoln turned to the men of the founding—Washington, Paine, Jefferson—and their great documents for knowledge, guidance, inspiration, and purpose. Out of the vacuum created by their passing, Lincoln emerged from among his peers as the inheritor of the Founders' mantle, bringing their vision to bear on the Civil War and the question of slavery. Richard Brookhiser presents a compelling biography of Lincoln that highlights his lifelong struggle to carry on the Founding Fathers’ work. Brookhiser shows us every side of the man: laborer, lawyer, congressman, president; storyteller, wit, lover of ribald jokes; depressive, poet, friend, visionary. And he shows that despite his many roles and his varied life, Lincoln returned time and time again to the Founders. They were rhetorical and political touchstones, the basis of his interest in politics, and the lodestars guiding him as he navigated politics and the national scene. But their legacy with not sufficient. As the Civil War lengthened and the casualties mounted Lincoln wrestled with one more paternal figure—God the Father—to explain to himself, and to the nation, why ending slavery had come at such a terrible price.

Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review and the author of eleven books, including the James MadisonAlexander Hamilton, American, and Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington. He lives in New York City.


Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series

The MHS will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln with a series of programs. Renowned authors and historians will explore the war, the president, and the legacy this conflict has left. Mourning Lincoln with Martha Hodes will take place on Wednesday, 8 April. Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality with John Stauffer will take place on Wednesday, 15 April.

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Biography Seminar Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter 2 April 2015.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Dava Sobel in conversation with Susan Ware

A conversation with the author of Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time, and Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love, on the subject of writing scientific biography.

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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 4 April 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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 abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition, "God Save the People!” which explores events leading up to the American Revolution. 

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Public Program, Conversation Begin at the Beginning: Boston’s Founding Documents 4 April 2015.Saturday, 1:00PM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost

Join us for the second of our lively Massachusetts Historical Society/Partnership of Historic Bostons co-hosted discussions exploring the origins of Boston and its founding documents. We’ll be reading John Winthrop’s journal – a key, if not the key, primary source for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. You don’t need to be an expert – just come with your observations and curiosity about early Boston’s leading citizen.

Discussion group is limited to 15; available on a first come first serve basis. Links to the documents are available at the registration site. (Registration for this discussion group is coordinated by the Partnership of Historic Bostons)

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Author Talk, Public Program Book Launch Reception for Investment Management in Boston: A History 6 April 2015.Monday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM David Grayson Allen Please RSVP by calling 617-646-0578

Presented here for the first time is the history of Boston’s evolution as a center of American money management from early settlement to the twenty-first century. Within a few decades after the Revolution, Bostonians built up an impressive mercantile and industrial economy, and used wealth accrued from the China trade, New England mills, and other ventures to establish the most important stock exchange in America. They also created the “Boston trustee,” a unique professional who managed private fortunes over generations. During the late nineteenth century, Boston financial institutions were renowned as bastions of stability and conservatism in an era of recurrent economic panics and frequent failures.

It was not until the twentieth century that Boston became better known for its role in investment management. In 1924, local financiers created the first mutual fund, an innovation almost a century in the making. After World War II, Boston originated venture capital with the founding of American Research & Development. This was soon followed by the development of private equity, the growth of the mutual fund industry, the pension “revolution” that changed and strengthened money management, the evolution in management of institutional endowments, and the rise of new family offices and hedge funds. The contributions of fiduciaries and investment managers have played an important part in the rise of the “New Boston” and made the city one of the most vibrant financial capitals in the world.

Investment Management in Boston is published in association with Massachusetts Historical Society.

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Brown Bag When "the Fourteenth Colony" Lost its Place: Quebec after 1776 8 April 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Jacqueline Reynoso, Cornell University

Quebec has often been referred to as "the fourteenth colony." The Quebec Act of 1774 featured among the enumerated grievances in the United Colonies' Declaration of Independence, and much of the colony served as the scene of one of the Continental Army's first military campaigns. Yet, the end of the army's siege of Quebec City on May 6, 1776 is often treated as the end of Quebec's relevance to the American Revolution. In this talk, Reynoso argues that the colony's relevance did not end when the siege did, and she explores different ways of approaching the study of Quebec and the revolution after May 1776.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Mourning Lincoln 8 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required 6:00 program with 5:30 reception Martha Hodes, Professor of History - New York University $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Lincoln Series

Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series
Program 3

The news of Abraham Lincoln's death on April 15, 1865, just days after Union victory, astounded the war weary nation. Massive crowds turned out for services and ceremonies, and countless expressions of grief were printed in newspapers and preached in sermons. Public responses to the assassination have been well chronicled, but Martha Hodes is the first to delve into personal and private responses—of northerners and southerners, Yankees and Confederates, African Americans and whites, soldiers and civilians, men and women, rich and poor, the well-known and the unknown. Exploring letters, diaries, and other personal writings penned during the spring and summer of 1865, Hodes tells a story of shock, glee, sorrow, anger, blame, and fear. Black freedom, the fate of former Confederates, and the future of the nation were at stake for everyone, whether they grieved or rejoiced when they heard the news. In her new book, Mourning Lincoln, Hodes brings to life a key moment of national uncertainty and conflict that takes us far beyond the headlines to illuminate the nation's first presidential assassination on a human scale.

Martha Hodes is Professor of History at New York University. In addition to Mourning Lincoln, she is the author of The Sea Captain’s Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century, and White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the Nineteenth-Century South. She holds degrees from Bowdoin College, Harvard University, and Princeton University, and has been awarded fellowships from the Massachusetts Historical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Whiting Foundation. She is a winner of NYU’s Golden Dozen Teaching Award and is an elected fellow of the Society of American Historians.


Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series

The MHS will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln with a series of programs. Renowned authors and historians will explore the war, the president, and the legacy this conflict has left. The final program in the series, Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality with John Stauffer, will take place on Wednesday, 15 April.

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Conference "So Sudden an Alteration": The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the American Revolution 9 April 2015 to 11 April 2015 registration required

Over the past two decades the study of the Revolution has generated little in the way of fundamentally new approaches to the topic. This conference will pay special attention to new ways to understand the political roots and consequences of the crisis.

The program will feature a keynote address by Woody Holton, the McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, “‘Not Yet’: The Originality Crisis in American Revolution Studies,” and a proposal by Boston University Professor of History Brendan McConville, "In the Year One: The Revolution Reconsidered," which offers a new approach to thinking about the conflict. It will also include nine panels, each consisting of three precirculated papers, a wrap-up discussion, and an introduction to Annotated Newspapers of Harbottle Dorr, Jr., the Society’s digital collection of the Revolutionary-era publications that Dorr, a Boston shopkeeper, assembled between the mid 1760s and the mid 1770s, commented on, and indexed. Presenters will not read their papers at the conference; sessions will focus on the discussion of academic papers circulated in advance of the event.

Learn more.

Support for the conference includes grants from Boston University, the David Library of the American Revolution, and Williams College, as well as a gift from an anonymous donor.

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Library Closed Library Closing @ 3:30 PM 9 April 2015.Thursday, all day

In order to accomodate "So Sudden an Alteration": The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the American Revolution the library will be closing at 3:00 PM on Thursday, 9 April, and will remain closed on Friday, 10 April and Saturday, 11 April.  The library will resume regular hours on Monday, 13 April. Exhibition galleries will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Public Program "Not Yet": The Originality Crisis in American Revolution Studies 9 April 2015.Thursday, 5:00PM - 8:00PM registration required at no cost Woody Holton, McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina

RSVP to attend this lecture.

One of today’s leading historians of the American Revolution, Holton is the McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina. He is the author of three books, each widely acclaimed. Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Meaning of the American Revolution (1999) received the Merle Curti Prize of the Organization of American Historians. Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution (2007) was a finalist for the National Book Award in non-fiction. Abigail Adams (2009) earned the Bancroft Prize. Professor Holton will devote his talk to the problems historians in recent decades have encountered when writing about the Revolution and the prospects for a new understanding of the event. His own writings have focused on the Revolution’s social and economic contexts.

This free public lecture will serve as the keynote address for the conference "So Sudden an Alteration: The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the American Revolution" (registration required to attend sessions). Over the past two decades the study of the Revolution has generated little in the way of fundamentally new approaches to the topic. The conference program will pay special attention to new ways to understand the political roots and consequences of the crisis.

A reception will follow the 5:00 PM lecture, from 6:00-8:00 PM. All are welcome to attend. RSVP by email or phone 617-646-0568.

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Library Closed Library Closed 10 April 2015.Friday, all day

In order to accomodate "'So Sudden an Alteration': The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the American Revolution" the MHS library will be closed on Friday, 10 April & Saturday, 11 April. Exhbiition galleries will be open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Library Closed Library Closed 11 April 2015.Saturday, all day

In order to accomodate "'So Sudden an Alteration': The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the American Revolution" the MHS library will be closed on Friday, 10 April & Saturday, 11 April. Exhbiition galleries will be open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Environmental History Seminar Legacy Pollution Issues in Energy Development: The Cases of Manufactured Gas and Natural Gas 14 April 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Joel Tarr, Carnegie Mellon University Patrick Malone, Brown University

This paper will present two case studies concerning the environmental impacts of past energy transitions and their legacy. The cases will focus upon the manufactured gas industry with Massachusetts examples and conventional natural gas development in western Pennsylvania.

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Brown Bag The Urban World of the Early Modern British Caribbean 15 April 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Mary Draper, University of Virginia

This project examines the history of the early modern British Caribbean through its cities and urban residents. By analyzing the founding, development, and integration of the Caribbean's port cities as well as the enterprises of its urban residents, Draper demonstrates that the townscapes of these cities were the stages on which colonists adapted to the harsh environs of the West Indies. There, residents, visitors, and officials created artificial land, fortified settlements, forged extensive hinterlands, and fostered communication networks. By doing so, they helped transform the Caribbean into the most profitable region in early modern British America.

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Public Program, Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality 15 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required 6:00 program with 5:30 reception John Stauffer, Professor of English and African American Studies – Harvard University $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Lincoln Series

Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series
Program 4

Professor Stauffer will explore Frederick Douglass's and other black and white abolitionists' responses to Lincoln's assassination and the degree to which the assassination prompted Northerners to consider and accept full black citizenship.  He will also address the theme of forgiveness and its political dilemmas as it relates to assassination, while keeping Douglass at the center of the story.

John Stauffer writes and lectures on antislavery, social protest movements, interracial friendship, and photography. He is a Harvard University professor of English, African American Studies, and American Studies. He is also a long term Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society. His 13 books include The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race (2002) and Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln (2008), which both won numerous awards. He is the author of more than 90 articles, on topics ranging from the Civil War era to visual culture.  His newest book is Sally Mann:  Southern Landscape (2014); Picturing Frederick Douglass:  An Illustrated Biography of the 19th Century's Most Photographed American will be published by Norton in 2015; and at Mass Historical he is completing a cultural biography of Charles Sumner. His essays have appeared in Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The New Republic, and Huffington Post. He has appeared on national radio and television shows and has lectured widely throughout the United States and Europe.


Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series

The MHS will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln with a series of programs. Renowned authors and historians will explore the war, the president, and the legacy this conflict has left. Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality with John Stauffer is the last program in the series.

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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 18 April 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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 abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition, "God Save the People!” which explores events leading up to the American Revolution. 

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Library Closed Patriot's Day 20 April 2015.Monday, all day

The MHS Library is closed.

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Public Program Comic History: Making your own history comic 21 April 2015.Tuesday, 2:00PM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Family Day Program for Young Historians, Parents and Grandparents John L. Bell, independent historian and a team of comic book artists

Come to MHS during the school vacation week for a hands-on history program. Noted historian John Bell will tell participants the story of the riots that followed the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765 from an eighteenth century child’s point of view; young boys participated in marches to the Liberty Tree and witnessed the ransacking of Thomas Hutchinson’s mansion. After the talk, local comic book artists associated with the Boston Comics Roundtable, Fulcrum Publishing, and the Massachusetts Historical Society will help the young historians make their own historical comic depicting the story of the Liberty Tree and the Stamp Act Riots. Finished comics will be part of a temporary display.

John L. Bell is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Public Program Colonial Comics 21 April 2015.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Jason Rodriguez, independent author

Colonial Comics by Fulcrum Publishing is a graphic novel collection of twenty stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. These illustrated stories focus on tales you cannot find in history books; includes stories about free thinkers, Pequots, Jewish settlers, female business owners and dedicated school teachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, and many other aspects of colonial life. Editor Jason Rodriguez will speak about the process of putting the collection together, ensuring historical accuracy, and selecting the topics to be covered.

Jason Rodriguez is a writer and editor whose books have been nominated for an Eisner Award and eight Harvey Awards. Jason lives in Arlington, Virginia.

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Special Event, Member Event Colonial Comics Happy Hour 21 April 2015.Tuesday, 7:30PM - 8:30PM registration required at no cost This event is open only to MHS Associate Members (age 40 and under)

Following the Colonial Comics presentation, MHS Associate Members are invited to a nearby restaurant with Jason Rodriguez to continue the discussion about historical events as subject matter for comic books and graphic novels.

Please call 617-646-0543 for more information.

 

 


 

Author Talk

Colonial Comics
Jason Rodriguez, Independent Author

5:30 Reception | 6:00 Talk

Colonial Comics by Fulcrum Publishing is a graphic novel collection of 20 stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. This illustrated book focuses on tales you cannot find in history books with stories about free thinkers, Pequots, Jewish settlers, female business owners, dedicated schoolteachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, and many other aspects of colonial life. Editor Jason Rodriguez will speak about the process of putting the collection together, ensuring historical accuracy, and selecting the topics to be covered.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Mildred Jefferson and the Right to Life Revolution of 1976 23 April 2015.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Jennifer Donnally, Hollins University Sara L. Dubrow, Williams College

Dr. Mildred Faye Jefferson was an African American Republican who became a pivotal leader of the American conservative movement when she presided over the National Right to Life Committee, the largest anti-abortion organization in the United States, from 1974 to 1978. As president, Jefferson prioritized a lobbying campaign to cut federal Medicaid funding of abortion for poor, minority, and underage women. This paper focuses on Mildred Jefferson and the anti-abortion Medicaid campaign to illustrate how conservative minority women employed categories of race, class, gender, and sexuality to break down existing political coalitions and forge new alliances, paving the way for the Reagan Revolution of 1980.

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Special Event Massachusetts History Lab 25 April 2015.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost

Students! Bring a parent, teacher, or your favorite adult and learn more about the behind-the-scene activities at one of the country’s oldest organizations devoted to our nation’s history. Throughout the day you will be introduced to a set of characters from the periods of the American Revolution and the Civil War and investigate letters, journals, newspaper articles, account books, photographs, artifacts, and more in order to unravel their stories. As you piece together the puzzles of the past in our role as historical detectives, you will have the opportunity view some of our country’s most significant and intriguing documents.

**This program is designed for students in grades 5-8. Students must register with an adult chaperone.

For more information: contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar Due Credit: Chinese Workers and the Central Pacific Railroad 28 April 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Manu Vimalassery, Barnard College Hidetaka Hirota, Columbia University

It is commonplace to remember Chinese labor on the transcontinental railroad as part of a pageant of
national belonging. But if we focus on imperialism and capitalism, rather than belonging, how might we
remember Chinese migrant labor on the Central Pacific differently? This talk will consider Chinese
railroad labor in relation to the history and politics of imperialism, race, and freedom, in a context of
global Chinese and South Asian indentured labor migrations. Chinese workers’ migration debts, as well
as their racialization and community institutions, provided means of labor control, exploitation, and
differentiation that were at the heart of Central Pacific Railroad business strategies. These strategies
displaced risk and violence onto Chinese workers in order to concentrate profit and power at the upper
echelons of corporate decision-making.

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Public Program, Author Talk Picture Freedom 29 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Jasmine Nicole Cobb, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies - Northwestern University $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members)

In the decades leading up to the end of U.S. slavery, many free Blacks sat for daguerreotypes decorated in fine garments to document their self-possession. People pictured in these early photographs used portraiture to seize control over representation of the free Black body and reimagine Black visuality divorced from the cultural logics of slavery. In Picture Freedom, Jasmine Nichole Cobb analyzes the ways in which the circulation of various images prepared free Blacks and free Whites for the emancipation of formerly unfree people of African descent. She traces the emergence of Black freedom as both an idea and as an image during the early nineteenth century. Through an analysis of popular culture of the period—including amateur portraits, racial caricatures, joke books, antislavery newspapers, abolitionist materials, runaway advertisements, ladies’ magazines, and scrapbooks, as well as scenic wallpaper—Cobb explores the earliest illustrations of free Blacks and reveals the complicated route through visual culture toward a vision of African American citizenship. 

Jasmine Nichole Cobb is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and (by courtesy) the Department of African American Studies, at Northwestern University. She earned a PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania (2009). Cobb is the recipient of numerous awards, and presently, an American Fellow of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She is the author of Picture Freedom:  Remaking Black Visuality in the Early Nineteenth Century (NYUP 2015), which explores the role of visual culture within processes of abolition and the emergence of African American emancipation.  

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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 2 May 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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 abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition, "God Save the People!” which explores events leading up to the American Revolution. 

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Public Program, Conversation May Day Mayday! 2 May 2015.Saturday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program William Fowler, Nathaniel Philbrick, and Michael Tougias $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members)

From its founding, Massachusetts has looked towards the sea. Merchant trade, fishing, and whaling were the engines that drove the New England economy. However, the bounty of the sea was not without cost. Shipwrecks, disasters, and heroic rescues are staples of maritime history. This special evening at MHS will feature three eminent historians telling stories of catastrophes at sea and reflecting on the evening’s tales.

William Fowler is the author of a number of books dealing with American history including: Under Two Flags: The Navy in the Civil WarSilas Talbot Captain of the Old Ironsides; co-author America and The SeaWilliam Ellery: A Rhode Island Politico and Lord of AdmiraltyRebels Under Sail: The Navy in the RevolutionJack Tars and Commodores: The American Navy, 1783-1815Samuel Adams: Radical PuritanEmpires at War: The French and Indian War and The Struggle for North America, 1754-1763. He is the former Gay Hart Gaines Distinguished Fellow in American History at Mount Vernon. He has taught at Mystic Seaport Museum and has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Naval War College, and the Sea Education Association.

Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of In the Heart of the Sea, winner of the 2000 National Book Award and soon to be a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard; Sea of Glory, winner of the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Naval History Prize; Mayflower, a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in history; Bunker Hill, winner of the New England Book Award, and other bestselling works of American history.  He lives on Nantucket Island.   

Michael Tougias is an award winning author and co-author of 23 books. Among his bestsellers are A Storm Too Soon, The Finest Hours (soon to be a major motion picture by Disney), Fatal ForecastOverboard, and King Philip's War. He is a sought-after inspirational speaker to business groups such as John Hancock, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and the Gulf Coast CEO's.

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Early American History Seminar "All Manner of Slavery Servitude Labour Service Bondage and Hire": Varieties of Indian and African Unfreedom in Colonial New England and Jamaica 5 May 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Linford Fisher, Brown University Comment: Jennifer Anderson, SUNY - Stonybrook

New England and Jamaica seemed worlds apart during the colonial period, on the surface at least. But is it possible that there was more than meets the eye? This paper investigates varying ways that people of color labored in Jamaica and New England, and how these unfree circumstances changed over time.

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Brown Bag Slave Horse: The Narragansett Pacer 6 May 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Charlotte Carrington-Farmer, Roger Williams University

This project uses horses and the horse trade as a lens to explore a range of connections among people, colonies, and nations in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Part of a larger book project on horses throughout the Atlantic World, it focuses specifically on the Narragansett Pacer, a mixture of Dutch, Irish, and English breeds that was bred in Rhode Island for a wider global market. As such, it was entwined with slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. The first truly “American” horse, the Pacer was extinct by the nineteenth century.

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MHS Tour History and the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 9 May 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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 abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition, "God Save the People!” which explores events leading up to the American Revolution. 

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Public Program, Author Talk Puritan Paradise: Eden in Massachusetts Bay & Beyond 13 May 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 6:00 program with 5:30 reception Zachary Hutchins, Assistant Professor of English – Colorado State University Utopian Settlements Series

Utopian Settlements Series
Program 1

Thomas More’s Utopia was inspired by paradisiacal descriptions of the New World, and associations between Eden and the Americas persisted throughout the colonial period. Many of the immigrants arriving in New England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries looked to the biblical garden of Adam and Eve as a pattern of the ideal society they wished to build. Religiously-minded colonists modeled the English language after the Adamic tongue, cited Genesis during debates over natural law, and looked to the prelapsarian Eve as a physiological ideal. A belief in Eden’s historicity and the future return of paradisiacal conditions inspired Quakers to disrobe in public and led to the first judicial decision abolishing slavery in United States history. New England settlers striving to invent Eden’s perfections anew shaped American history and culture in lasting ways; their visions of paradise linger in the theology of prophets from Robert Matthews to Joseph Smith and in the enduring myth of the “self-made man.”

Zach Hutchins is Assistant Professor of English at Colorado State University, where he teaches courses on early American literature and culture. His talk will draw on research recently published in his first book, Inventing Eden: Primitivism, Millennialism, and the Making of New England (Oxford UP; 2014). Hutchins is also the author of a dozen essays that have appeared in journals such as The New England Quarterly, ELH, Shakespeare, and Early American Literature. A New England native, he returns to Massachusetts regularly to wield a clamshell hoe in the garden of his aged parents, the last two surviving Puritans. 


Utopian Settlements Series

New Englanders have a long tradition of separating from society and trying to create a more perfect world. From the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Yankees have dreamed of a better world and tried to make it real. This series will explore the history of three utopian settlements that started in our backyard. Puritan Paradise with Zachary Hutchins is the first program in the series. Mr. Ripley's Utopia with Peter Drummey will take place on Wednesday, 20 May. Fruitlands with Jan Turnquist will take place on Wednesday, 27 May. We are thankful to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for its support of this series.

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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 16 May 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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 abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition, "God Save the People!” which explores events leading up to the American Revolution. 

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Early American History Seminar Panel Discussion: Slavery in Early Massachusetts 19 May 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM this event is free Barbara A. Mathews, Historic Deerfield, and Gloria McCahon Whiting, Harvard University Maria A. Bollettino, Framingham State University

This session will consider two papers. “‘Is this where Titus lived?’ Researching and Interpreting African-American Presence in 18th-Century Rural New England,” by Barbara A. Mathews, and “The Body of Liberties and Bodies in Bondage: Dorcas the Blackmore, Dorchester’s First Church, and the Legalization of Slavery in the Anglo-Atlantic World,” by Gloria McCahon Whiting.

Mathews’s paper draws on a remarkable cache of documentation preserved by early antiquarians of Deerfield, Massachusetts. It discusses the preliminary results of research into slavery in the 18th-century town, focusing on the ways in which slavery was inextricably bound up in the social, economic, and political web that defined a closely-knit rural community. Drawing on the work of Joanne Pope Melish, it also explores the broader implications of this history and its preservation even as Deerfielders in company with other New Englanders disassociated themselves in the decades before and after the Civil War from the region’s slave-holding history.

Whiting’s paper contextualizes the lived experience of one of the Bay Colony’s first African slaves to argue that slavery was bound up with democracy in the colony’s early years; that race shaped servitude from the colony’s founding; that Puritan religion provided slaves with unique opportunities for family building; that family was linked to freedom for the region’s early blacks; that Africans were building kin networks—and whites were recognizing them—from the first decades of Puritan settlement; and that the histories of whites and blacks, of powerful men and their polyglot households, and of law and social relations are inextricably linked.

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Public Program, Walking Tour Mr. Ripley’s Utopia 20 May 2015.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Lecture and tour at Brook Farm (670 Baker Street in West Roxbury, entrance shared with the Gardens at Gethsemane) Peter Drummey from MHS and DCR Staff Utopian Settlements Series

Utopian Settlements Series
Program 2

Brook Farm, the utopian community established by George and Sophia Ripley in West Roxbury, lasted only from 1841 to 1847, but it became the country’s most celebrated experiment in Transcendentalism as a social movement. By opening the benefits of education and the profits of labor to all, the Brook Farm Association sought to prepare a society of liberal, intelligent, and cultivated men and women, whose relations with each other would permit a simple and wholesome life, apart from the competitive pressures found beyond the boundaries of the Farm. 

Peter Drummey, the Historical Society’s Stephen T. Riley Librarian (and a volunteer during the archaeological investigation of Brook Farm), will lead a discussion of what Brook Farmers attempted, what they accomplished, and why they failed as well as describing the manuscript records of the Association held by MHS.  This talk will be followed by a DCR tour of Brook Farm, led by DCR staff. We will explore the quiet woodlands and wetlands that inspired the likes of Nathaniel Hawthorne and George Ripley. 


Utopian Settlements Series

New Englanders have a long tradition of separating from society and trying to create a more perfect world. From the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Yankees have dreamed of a better world and tried to make it real. This series will explore the history of three utopian settlements that started in our backyard. The final program in the series, Fruitlands with Jan Turnquist, will take place on Wednesday, 27 May. We are thankful to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for its support of this series.

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Library Closed Memorial Day 23 May 2015.Saturday, all day

The MHS library is closed. 

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Library Closed Memorial Day 25 May 2015.Monday, all day

The MHS library is closed. 

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Brown Bag Purity and Power: The American Sugar Empire in the Gilded Age 27 May 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free David Singerman, MIT

In the late nineteenth century, American dreams of empire were built on sugar. The Bostonian sugar magnate Edwin Atkins, a key architect of that empire, owned New England refineries, Atlantic shipping lines, and Cuban plantations. By following Atkins’s machinations from the White House to the customs house, we can see how U.S. attempts to govern labor and nature overseas were linked to the most contentious issues of Gilded Age political economy: corruption, free trade, and monopoly power.

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Public Program, Conversation Fruitlands 27 May 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 6:00 program with 5:30 reception Jan Turnquist, Executive Director of Orchard House Utopian Settlements Series

Utopian Settlements Series
Program 3

Jan Turnquist, Executive Director of Orchard House, the Alcott family home in Concord will give a living history presentation of Louisa May Alcott. Looking back on her time at Fruitlands, the author of Little Women will give us the behind the scenes stories from her life: family friendships with Thoreau and Emerson; her unconventional upbringing in poverty; and the family love that inspired her to write an American classic. From the youngest reader to the most sophisticated Alcott scholar, audiences have acclaimed Turnquist’s performances. The interactive presentation is an inspiring experience is open to all ages. 


Utopian Settlements Series

New Englanders have a long tradition of separating from society and trying to create a more perfect world. From the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Yankees have dreamed of a better world and tried to make it real. This series will explore the history of three utopian settlements that started in our backyard. Fruitlands with Jan Turnquist is the final program in the series. We are thankful to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for its support of this series.

close
MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 30 May 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

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 abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition, "God Save the People!” which explores events leading up to the American Revolution. 

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Brown Bag The Invention of Rum 3 June 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Jordan Smith, Georgetown University

This project investigates the history of rum in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In particular, it examines the processes of invention, commodification, innovation, and transformation that defined the spirit's production in the West Indies, North America, and Britain. Ultimately, rum—and the knowledge necessary for its production—was pioneered by a complex cast of free and coerced workers operating in various parts of the British Atlantic world.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Conversation How Community Activism Made the New Boston Better 3 June 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Jim Vrabel, independent author $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members)

Author and activist, Jim Vrabel will facilitate a conversation among history makers. The discussion will focus on the role that protests, demonstrations, and increased civic involvement by residents in the 1960s and 1970s played in the physical, economic, and social improvements made to the city during and since that time – in areas like urban renewal, community development, transportation, civil rights, school and welfare reform, employment, and service delivery. The discussion will explore reasons for the rise in community activism in that era and the state of activism today. Vrabel will provide a brief overview of Boston in the 1950s and list some of the various activist movements of the 1960s and 1970s. He will invite a panel of community activists featured in his book; A People’s History of the New Boston and ask each to reflect on his or her own experience.

Jim Vrabel is a former newspaper reporter, longtime community activist, local historian, and city official. He is also author of the recently released A People’s History of the New Boston, When in Boston: A Timeline & Almanac, and Homage to Henry: A Dramatization of John Berryman’s “The Dream Songs.”

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Public Program Boston Historical Societies 10 June 2015.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Reception

Although Boston does not have a city historical society, it has a wealth of neighborhood organizations. From the North End to the South End and from Brighton to Dorchester, Bostonians are steeped in local history and proud of their neighborhood’s identity. The Massachusetts Historical Society is pleased to invite representatives of local organizations for a chance to mingle and tell their neighbors about the great projects they have started or recent accomplishments.

 

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Special Event MHS Fellows Annual Meeting & Reception 24 June 2015.Wednesday, 5:00PM - 7:00PM registration required at no cost This event is open only to MHS Fellows.

MHS Fellows are invited to the Society's annual business meeting. A reception will follow the meeting.

Please call 617-646-0572 with any questions.

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