Calendar of Events

Exhibition

Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country

Massachusetts Women in WWI. 12 June 2014 to 24 January 2015

Details

January

Teacher Workshop, Public Program, Adams Series John & Abigail: A Life in Letters 31 January 2015.Saturday, 9:00AM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   This program will take place at the Abigail Adams Birthplace in Weymouth, Massachusetts Immerse yourself in the lives of John & Abigail Adams! This hands-on workshop will (re)introduce ...

Immerse yourself in the lives of John & Abigail Adams! This hands-on workshop will (re)introduce participants to the famous couple and their rich correspondence. What can these letters tell us about life in the late eighteenth century? We will explore topics such education, women’s rights, and the challenges John and Abigail faced as a young family living through a revolution. Participants will have the opportunity to view treasures from the Society’s collections and tour the Abigail Adams Birthplace in Weymouth. This program is open to all K-12 educators, as well as history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 10 PDPs.

Pleae visit http://www.abigailadamsbirthplace.com/ for directions to the Birthplace.

Fee: $25 per person

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

To register: complete this registration form, or contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

Program Highlights

  • Tour the Abigail Adams Birthplace
  • Try your hand at transcribing eighteenth-century Adams letters and diaries.
  • Analyze documents from the 1770s and 1780s, and explore the relationships forged between Thomas Jefferson and different members of the Adams family.

Watercolor, circa 1800; birthplace of Abigail (Smith) Adams

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February
Early American History Seminar Panel Discussion: Slavery in Early Massachusetts 3 February 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Barbara A. Mathews, Historic Deerfield, and Gloria McCahon Whiting, Harvard University Comment: 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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Brown Bag Everyday Laureates: Community Poetry in New England, 1865-1900 4 February 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Erin Kappeler, MHS-NEH Research Fellow Why did the Brookline Whist Club leave behind a handwritten book of poems? What did the members of ...

Why did the Brookline Whist Club leave behind a handwritten book of poems? What did the members of the Boston Game Club think they were doing when they wrote and published poetic parodies and songs? This talk considers how and why members of late nineteenth-century social clubs wrote and circulated poetry. It argues that these poems were more than simple diversions, showing that these groups engaged with poetic forms in sophisticated ways in order to create a sense of community and place.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Adams Series The Adams Series - Program Two: Nation Builder: John Quincy Adams and the Grand Strategy of the Republic 5 February 2015.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   6:00 pm program with 5:30 reception Charles Edel, Assistant Professor - U.S. Naval War College $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) America “goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy”—John Quincy ...

America “goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy”—John Quincy Adams’s famous words are often quoted to justify noninterference in other nations’ affairs. Yet when he spoke them, Adams was not advocating neutrality or passivity but rather outlining a national policy that balanced democratic idealism with a pragmatic understanding of the young republic’s capabilities and limitations. America’s rise from a confederation of revolutionary colonies to a world power is often treated as inevitable, but Charles N. Edel’s provocative biography of Adams argues that he served as the central architect of a grand strategy that shaped America’s rise. Adams’s particular combination of ideas and policies made him a critical link between the founding generation and the Civil War–era nation of Lincoln. While Adams did not live to see all of his strategy fulfilled, his vision shaped the nation’s agenda for decades afterward and continues to resonate as America pursues its place in the twenty-first-century world.

Charles EdelCharles Edel serves an Assistant Professor of Strategy and Policy at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I., where he focuses on U.S. foreign policy and grand strategy, American political history, and the connections between foreign policy and domestic politics.  He holds a Ph.D. in History from Yale University, and received a B.A. in Classical Civilization from Yale College. He worked at Peking University's Center for International and Strategic Studies as a Henry A. Luce Scholar. Previously, he served in various roles in the U.S. government as a political and counterterrorism analyst, worked as a research associate at the Council of Foreign Relations, and taught high school history in New York.

Please call 617-646-0578 to register

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Public Program, Conversation Begin at the Beginning: Boston’s Founding Documents 7 February 2015.Saturday, 1:00PM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   In a new discussion group co-hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Partnership of ...

In a new discussion group co-hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Partnership of Historic Bostons, we’ll look at the documents at the heart of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Among them are the Charter and Winthrop’s sermon to his fellow passengers on board ship to New England.  Whether you’re an expert or a newcomer to early Boston, please join us for the first meeting in a  stimulating, exhilarating series of discussions. The meeting is chaired by Partnership President Rose A. Doherty. 

Discussion group 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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Environmental History Seminar An Enervating Environment: Altered Bodies in the Lowcountry and the British West Indies 10 February 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Katherine Johnston, Columbia University Conevery Bolton Valencius, University of Massachusetts - Boston This paper examines the interactions between humans and the environment in the eighteenth century. ...

This paper examines the interactions between humans and the environment in the eighteenth century. Both Britons and creoles believed in a close connection between bodies and place, and colonists tried to change the environment based on those perceptions. That interaction created concern for Caribbean inhabitants who attempted to manage the environment to promote their health while noting the environmental changes their actions caused.

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Public Program, Author Talk Arts and Crafts Architecture: History and Heritage in New England 11 February 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   Pre-talk reception at 5:30pm Maureen Meister, independent art historian $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Maureen Meister’s new book is the first comprehensive study of the Arts and Crafts ...

Maureen Meister’s new book is the first comprehensive study of the Arts and Crafts architecture in the region. Focusing on the 1890s through the 1920s, she will explain how a group of Boston architects and craftsmen encountered English Arts and Crafts theorists, including John Ruskin and William Morris, and produced exquisite works of their own. Among the architects were Ralph Adams Cram, Lois Lilley Howe, Charles Maginnis, and R. Clipston Sturgis. They were conservative in some respects, promoting designs based on historical precedent and the region's heritage, while they also were forward-looking, blending Arts and Crafts values with Progressive Era idealism. They have left us with a legacy of landmark buildings, honored today in cities and towns across New England.

Maureen Meister is an art historian who writes about American art and architecture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is the author of Architecture and the Arts and Crafts Movement in Boston: Harvard's H. Langford Warren, 2003, and was volume editor of H. H. Richardson: The Architect, His Peers, and Their Era, 1999. She holds a doctorate from Brown University and an A.B. from Mount Holyoke College. She has taught at Boston area universities, including Lesley, Northeastern, and Tufts.  

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Her Hat Will Not Down: Sumptuary Laws and Consumer Rights in 1890s Chicago 12 February 2015.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Location: Schlesinger Library Emily A. Remus, American Academy of Arts and Sciences Comment: Ardis Cameron, University of Southern Maine This presentation examines a sumptuary law passed in Chicago to regulate the size of ladies’ ...

This presentation examines a sumptuary law passed in Chicago to regulate the size of ladies’ theater hats and a near-riot that erupted over it. It reveals how civic authorities sought to protect the rights of ticketholders by constraining the conspicuous consumption of women. The paper offers insight into early notions of consumer rights and the remaking of gender codes amid capitalist transformation.

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Special Event Everyday Life in America: Behind Closed Doors 12 February 2015.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM This event is open only to MHS Fund Giving Circle members. Location: Concord Museum in Concord, Mass. MHS Fund Giving Circle members are invited to a special evening at the Concord Museum. Enjoy an ...

MHS Fund Giving Circle members are invited to a special evening at the Concord Museum. Enjoy an intimate reception in Brooke Hall along with a gallery tour led by Curator David Wood of Behind Closed Doors: Asleep in New England, an exhibition that looks at the complex role sleep has played in everyday life.

Space is limited. To reserve, please call 617-646-0543.

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Building Closed President's Day 16 February 2015.Monday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed.

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed.

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Public Program, Author Talk The Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks Come to Terms with Genocide, Memory, and Identity 17 February 2015.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Thomas de Waal, Senior Associate - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace The destruction of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-16 was a brutal mass crime that ...

The destruction of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-16 was a brutal mass crime that prefigured other genocides in the 20th century. By various estimates, more than a million Armenians were killed and the survivors were scattered across the world. In Great Catastrophe, the eminent scholar and reporter Thomas de Waal looks at the changing narratives and politics of the Armenian Genocide and tells the story of recent efforts by courageous Armenians, Kurds, and Turks to come to terms with the disaster as Turkey enters a new post-Kemalist era. Drawing on archival sources, reportage and moving personal stories, de Waal tells the full story of Armenian-Turkish relations since the Genocide in all its extraordinary twists and turns. He strips away the propaganda to look both at the realities of a terrible crime and also the divisive "politics of genocide" it produced. The book throws light not only on our understanding of Armenian-Turkish relations but also of how mass atrocities and historical tragedies shape contemporary politics.

Thomas de Waal is a writer and scholar on the Caucasus and Black Sea region and currently Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the author of three books, including The Caucasus: An Introduction. From 1991 to 2000, de Waal worked as a newspaper journalist in Moscow and for the BBC World Service in London.

Please call 617-646-0578 to register

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Teacher Workshop, Public Program Comic Books in the History Classroom 18 February 2015.Wednesday, 9:00AM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   Learn how to capture your students’ attention and engage their imagination using comic books ...

Learn how to capture your students’ attention and engage their imagination using comic books and graphic novels! Together with a historian we will explore the history of colonial Massachusetts, and hear from artists who have brought this period to life through images. We will also meet with teachers who have used comics in the classroom and brainstorm methods for incorporating them into history and English/language arts lessons. This program is open to all K-12 educators, as well as history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 5 PDPs.

Fee: $25 per person

For more information: complete this registration form, or contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

To register: contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

Program Highlights

  • Meet artists who have created and contributed to comic books on the history of colonial America.
  • View original political cartoons and other documents from the Society’s collections.
  • Learn how to incorporate comic books from multiple historical eras into your lesson plans.
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Public Program, Author Talk, Adams Series The Adams Series - Program Three: The Culinary Lives of John and Abigail Adams: A Cookbook 19 February 2015.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   6:00 pm program with 5:30 reception Rosana Y. Wan, independent author $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) On November 29, 1798, Abigail Adams wrote “When I look Back upon the Year past, I perceive ...

On November 29, 1798, Abigail Adams wrote “When I look Back upon the Year past, I perceive many, very many causes for thanksgiving, both of a publick and private nature.” Throughout their dialog, John reported on having formal dinners in Europe or delegates in Philadelphia while Abigail grew from a New England wife to the The Culinary Lives of John and Abigail AdamsFirst Lady. By studying "receipts" from 18th century cookbooks, we can paint a portrait of their culinary lives. While together, Abigail once wrote to her sister that her “Good Man is so very fat that [she is] lean as a rale,” before ending the letter “But is dinner time, and I must bid you good by…” While they were separate, they reminded each other of dishes they enjoyed including “rusticrat potatoes” and “fine salmon” while continuing the talk of independence. Rosana Y. Wan will speak about the process of documenting the culinary history of the Adams family and putting together her cookbook.

Rosana Yin-Ting Wan was born in Hong Kong and migrated to the United States as a child. Growing up in Houston, Texas, she began her passion of history by giving short lectures on classical music composers to fellow music class students. She received her B.A. in history from Suffolk University in 2011. As an independent scholar, a museum docent, and a sergeant in the Army National Guard, she continues to pursue her studies in the history of the American Revolution, late 18th century culinary culture, and fine arts. She is the first recipient of the John C. Cavanagh Prize in History at Suffolk University in 2011 and a member of the Phi Alpha Theta (National History Honor Society). She is also a recipient of the 2014 Outstanding New Interpreter Award from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Please call 617-646-0578 to register

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar "I Had Ample Opportunity to Notice the City as It then Was": Social and Economic Geographies in New York City, 1783-1830 24 February 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Steven Carl Smith, Providence College Comment: Joshua Greenberg, Bridgewater State College The essay examines the social and economic geographies of the New York City publishing trade between ...

The essay examines the social and economic geographies of the New York City publishing trade between 1783 and 1830. The paper reveals the contours of social and economic networks formed by tradesmen and merchants on the streets and in the print houses of early New York, and focuses on the possibilities of Geographic Information Systems technology for book history and American studies.

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The Bloody Massacre engraving by Paul Revere Special Event, Member Event God Save the People! MHS Fellows and Members Preview Reception 26 February 2015.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members MHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview of and reception for God Save the ...

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview of and reception for God Save the People! From the Stamp Act to Bunker Hill. To tell the story of the coming of the American Revolution in Boston, this exhibition follows the evolution of colonial thought and political action through the letters and diaries of men and women caught up in the conflict, together with political cartoons, newspapers, maps, artifacts, and portraits.

Become a Member today!

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The Bloody Massacre engraving by Paul Revere Exhibitionbegins God Save the People! From the Stamp Act to Bunker Hill 27 February 2015.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM To tell the story of the coming of the American Revolution in Boston, this exhibition follows the ...

To tell the story of the coming of the American Revolution in Boston, this exhibition follows the evolution of colonial thought and political action through the letters and diaries of men and women caught up in the conflict, together with political cartoons, newspapers, maps, artifacts, and portraits.

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MHS Tourbegins History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 28 February 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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March
Early American History Seminar Degrees of Britishness: The People of Albany, New York, and Questions of Cultural Community Membership, 1763-1775 3 March 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Elizabeth M. Covart, Boston, Massachusetts Comment: Lisa Wilson, Connecticut College Following the French and Indian War, Albanians believed themselves to be British, but visiting ...

Following the French and Indian War, Albanians believed themselves to be British, but visiting Britons did not recognize them as fellow countrymen. New World Dutch architecture, the Albany Dutch dialect, and the Dutch Reformed Church contributed to the British view of the Albanians as inter-imperial foreigners: subjects who lived within the British empire, but stood outside of the British cultural community. This paper, drawn from Covart’s larger book project, explores the Albanians’ response, which ranged from rebuilding efforts to public protest.

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Brown Bag John Quincy Adams and the Paradox of Anglo-American Relations in the Early Republic: The London Years, 1815-1817 4 March 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Robert Shimp, Boston University This talk will center on how John Quincy Adams’s experiences in London and Ealing as Minister ...

This talk will center on how John Quincy Adams’s experiences in London and Ealing as Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain came to influence his subsequent domestic career. Shimp argues that this period in Adams’s career can provide us with important insights into the paradoxical relationship that Adams and the United States maintained with Great Britain through the early national period. Such connections were significant for the second party system in the United States.

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Public Program, Landscape Architecture Series Landscape Architecture Series Program One: Charles Eliot and the Modernization of Boston's Landscape 4 March 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Anita Berrizbeitia, Professor of Landscape Architecture - Harvard Graduate School of Design $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members of the MHS, Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum) Charles Eliot was the son of Harvard President Charles William Eliot, a visionary landscape ...

Charles Eliot was the son of Harvard President Charles William Eliot, a visionary landscape architect, and protégé of Frederick Law Olmsted. He inspired the 1891 Trustees of Public Reservations — what is now the oldest regional land trust in the world — and had a central role in shaping the Boston Metropolitan Park System. He was the guiding vision behind the transformation of the banks of Charles River in Cambridge and, although he did not live to see his plans reach fruition, his work accelerated the rescue of the Charles from a virtual sewer to one of the most picturesque features of region’s landscape. Professor Berizbeitia will talk about Eliot’s work and his legacy in landscape design.

Anita Berrizbeitia is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of the Master in Landscape Architecture Degree Programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her research focuses on design theories of modern and contemporary landscape architecture, the productive aspects of landscapes, and Latin American cities and landscapes. Berrizbeitia has taught design theory and studio, most recently at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, where she was Associate Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture. Her studios investigate innovative approaches to the conceptualization of public space, especially on sites where urbanism, globalization, and local cultural conditions intersect. From 1987 to 1993, she practiced with Child Associates, Inc., in Boston, where she collaborated on many award-winning projects. She was awarded the 2005/2006 Prince Charitable Trusts Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture. A native of Caracas, Venezuela, she studied architecture at the Universidad Simon Bolivar before receiving a BA from Wellesley College and an MLA from the GSD.

The Landscape Architects series has been made possible by the generous underwriting of Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects and is cosponsored by the Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum. 

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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 7 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, "Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in World War I."

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Environmental History Seminar Fear of an Open Beach: The Privatization of the Connecticut Shore and the Fate of Coastal America 10 March 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Andrew W. Kahrl, University of Virginia Comment: Karl Haglund, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation This essay traces the rise of private beaches along the Connecticut shore and the efforts of ...

This essay traces the rise of private beaches along the Connecticut shore and the efforts of municipalities to protect exclusionary laws from the effects of civil rights movements. It argues that overdeveloped coastlines have been the product of racial and class segregation; thus, the battle over public access to the nation’s shoreline during the 1970s sheds light on the roots of the environmental crisis facing America’s coast.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Landscape Architecture Series Landscape Architecture Series Program Two: The Brookline Troika: Olmsted, Richardson, Sargent and the Planning of a “Model Community.” 11 March 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Keith Morgan, Director of Architectural Studies - Boston University $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members of the MHS, Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum) Derived from the recently publish book, Community by Design:  The Olmsted Office and the ...

Derived from the recently publish book, Community by Design:  The Olmsted Office and the Making of Brookline, Massachusetts, this lecture will explore the close and dynamic relationship of the country’s leading landscape architect, architect, and horticulturalist in the evolution of Boston’s premier suburb. These three men lived within easy walking distance of each other in the Green Hill section of Brookline and used their private residences and landscapes as teaching and professional spaces as well.  Their friendships and (occasional) conflicts informed the character of the suburban development for a community that called itself “the richest town in the world” and believed that its model was worthy of emulation.

Keith N. Morgan is a Professor of the History of Art & Architecture and American & New England Studies at Boston University, where he has taught since 1980. He currently direct BU’s Architectural Studies Program and is a former national president of the Society of Architectural Historians. Written in collaboration with Elizabeth Hope Cushing and Roger Reed, Community by Design was published in 2013 by the University of Massachusetts Press for the Library of American Landscape History and received the Ruth Emery Prize of the Victorian Society in America.

This series has been made possible by the generous underwriting of Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects and is cosponsored by the Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum. 

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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 14 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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Brown Bag Networks of Faith and Finance: Boston’s Scottish Exile Community in the Later Seventeenth Century 18 March 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Craig Gallagher, Boston College Many Scots fled their native country to escape persecution at the hands of their monarch Charles II ...

Many Scots fled their native country to escape persecution at the hands of their monarch Charles II for their adherence to the Presbyterian faith. A significant number sought refuge in Boston, a city whose leaders they knew to be sympathetic to their plight and in which they spied a commercial opportunity. Between 1660 and 1689, they cultivated networks of faith and finance. Through their patrons in the Dutch and English Atlantic Worlds, these Scots were well placed to capitalize on political opportunities that emerged after the Glorious Revolution.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Landscape Architecture Series Landscape Architecture Series Program Three: Arthur Shurcliff 18 March 2015.Wednesday, all day Please RSVP   There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Elizabeth Hope Cushing, independent author $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members of the MHS, Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum) In 1928 Boston landscape architect Arthur A. Shurcliff began what became one of the most important ...

In 1928 Boston landscape architect Arthur A. Shurcliff began what became one of the most important examples of the American Colonial Revival landscape—Colonial Williamsburg, a project that stretched into the 1940s and included town and highway planning as well as residential and institutional gardens. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1894, Shurcliff immediately went back to school at Harvard University where his mentor, Charles Eliot, helped him piece together a program in the Art History Department, the Lawrence Scientific School and the Bussey Institute. Upon graduation with a second Bachelor of Science, he worked in Frederick Law Olmsted’s office for eight years, acquiring a broad and sophisticated knowledge of the profession. When he opened his practice in 1904, Shurcliff emphasized his expertise in town planning. Two decades later, when he was tapped to be Chief Landscape Architect at Colonial Williamsburg, he was a seasoned professional whose commissions included his Boston work, campus design, town planning, and a robust practice in private domestic design.  How he utilized the skills he acquired over the years, and how his professional expertise intermingled with his avocational interests in history, craftsmanship, and design is the subject of Cushing’s biography—a story that inexorably sweeps him to his work in the restoration and recreation at Colonial Williamsburg.

Elizabeth Hope Cushing, Ph.D., is the author of a newly published book about Boston landscape architect Arthur A. Shurcliff (1870–1957), based on her doctoral dissertation for the American and New England Studies program at Boston University. She is also a coauthor, with Keith N. Morgan and Roger Reed, of  Community by Design, released in 2013.  Cushing is a practicing landscape historian who consults, writes, and lectures on landscape matters. She has written cultural landscape history reports for the Taft Art Museum in Cincinnati, The National Park Service, the Department of Conservation and Recreation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and other institutions and agencies. Her contributor credits include Pioneers of American Landscape Design (McGraw Hill Companies, 2000), Design with Culture: Claiming America’s Landscape Heritage (University of Virginia Press, 2005), Shaping the American Landscape (University of Virginia Press, 2009), and Drawing Toward Home (Historic New England, 2010). She has received a grant from the Gill Family Foundation to write a biography of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., which she is currently researching.

This series has been made possible by the generous underwriting of Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects and is cosponsored by the Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum. 

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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 21 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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Immigration and Urban History Seminar Remaking Boston's Chinatown: Race, Place, and Redevelopment after World War II 24 March 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Thomas Chen, Brown University Comment: Jim Vrabel, author of A People's History of the New Boston This paper examines how Boston’s Chinese American community confronted urban change in the ...

This paper examines how Boston’s Chinese American community confronted urban change in the decades after World War II. Focusing on contests over Chinatown space and place, it explores how postwar formations of Chinese American identity and community were intertwined with the urban transformation that Boston and other American cities underwent in this period.

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Brown Bag Allegiance and Protection: The Problem of Subjecthood in the Glorious Revolution, 1680-95 25 March 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Alex Jablonski, State University of New York at Binghamton This project explores the ways in which people in the British Isles and the American colonies ...

This project explores the ways in which people in the British Isles and the American colonies struggled to define their status as subjects of the English king in a decade whose political, religious, and cultural turmoil frustrated any simple answer. At its heart, this debate unfolded over the nature of obedience owed to a sovereign power, and as a result spilled from the narrow banks of legal theory onto a far broader plain of concerns about character and identity in a quite large and diverse empire.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Conversation Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series Program One: A Dialog: James McPherson and Louis Masur, facilitated by Dennis Fiori 26 March 2015.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program James McPherson, Princeton University; Louis Masur, Rutgers University, and Dennis Fiori, Massachusetts Historical Society $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the assassination of President Lincoln, two eminent Civil War ...

On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the assassination of President Lincoln, two eminent Civil War historians will discuss the cause of the war, the abolition of slavery, how the aftermath of the war weighed on Lincoln, and what the Civil War means to America today. Their conversation will spring, in part, from their new books, McPherson’s The War that Forged a Nation and Masur’s Lincoln’s Last Speech.

James M. McPherson is a renowned historian of the American Civil War, and is the George Henry Davis '86 Professor Emeritus of United States History at Princeton University. He is the author of many works of history, including Battle Cry of Freedom, which won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize and has sold over half a million copies.

Louis P. Masur is Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University. He is the author of many books, including The Civil War: A Concise History and Lincoln's Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union. Masur’s essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times. 

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Teacher Workshop, Public Program 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

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

To register: contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

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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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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Public Program, Author Talk Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series Program Two: Founders’ Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln 1 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Richard Brookhiser, Senior Editor – National Review $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Abraham Lincoln grew up in the shadow of the Founding Fathers. Seeking an intellectual and emotional ...

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.

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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 Tourends 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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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, Author Talk Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series Program Three: Mourning Lincoln 8 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Martha Hodes, Professor of History - New York University $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) The news of Abraham Lincoln's death on April 15, 1865, just days after Union victory, astounded the ...

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.

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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 and register for the three-day conference.

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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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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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 and register for the three-day conference.

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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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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Public Program Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series Program Four: Mourning Lincoln and Racial Equality 15 April 2015.Wednesday, all day Please RSVP   There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program John Stauffer, Professor of English and African American Studies – Harvard University $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Professor Stauffer will explore Frederick Douglass's and other black and white abolitionists' ...

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.

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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, all day 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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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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Teacher Workshop, Public Program, Adams Series John & Abigail: A Life in Letters 31 January 2015.Saturday, 9:00AM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   registration required This program will take place at the Abigail Adams Birthplace in Weymouth, Massachusetts

Immerse yourself in the lives of John & Abigail Adams! This hands-on workshop will (re)introduce participants to the famous couple and their rich correspondence. What can these letters tell us about life in the late eighteenth century? We will explore topics such education, women’s rights, and the challenges John and Abigail faced as a young family living through a revolution. Participants will have the opportunity to view treasures from the Society’s collections and tour the Abigail Adams Birthplace in Weymouth. This program is open to all K-12 educators, as well as history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 10 PDPs.

Pleae visit http://www.abigailadamsbirthplace.com/ for directions to the Birthplace.

Fee: $25 per person

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

To register: complete this registration form, or contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

Program Highlights

  • Tour the Abigail Adams Birthplace
  • Try your hand at transcribing eighteenth-century Adams letters and diaries.
  • Analyze documents from the 1770s and 1780s, and explore the relationships forged between Thomas Jefferson and different members of the Adams family.

Watercolor, circa 1800; birthplace of Abigail (Smith) Adams

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Early American History Seminar Panel Discussion: Slavery in Early Massachusetts 3 February 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.
Barbara A. Mathews, Historic Deerfield, and Gloria McCahon Whiting, Harvard University Comment: 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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Brown Bag Everyday Laureates: Community Poetry in New England, 1865-1900 4 February 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Erin Kappeler, MHS-NEH Research Fellow

Why did the Brookline Whist Club leave behind a handwritten book of poems? What did the members of the Boston Game Club think they were doing when they wrote and published poetic parodies and songs? This talk considers how and why members of late nineteenth-century social clubs wrote and circulated poetry. It argues that these poems were more than simple diversions, showing that these groups engaged with poetic forms in sophisticated ways in order to create a sense of community and place.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Adams Series The Adams Series - Program Two: Nation Builder: John Quincy Adams and the Grand Strategy of the Republic 5 February 2015.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required 6:00 pm program with 5:30 reception Charles Edel, Assistant Professor - U.S. Naval War College $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members)

America “goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy”—John Quincy Adams’s famous words are often quoted to justify noninterference in other nations’ affairs. Yet when he spoke them, Adams was not advocating neutrality or passivity but rather outlining a national policy that balanced democratic idealism with a pragmatic understanding of the young republic’s capabilities and limitations. America’s rise from a confederation of revolutionary colonies to a world power is often treated as inevitable, but Charles N. Edel’s provocative biography of Adams argues that he served as the central architect of a grand strategy that shaped America’s rise. Adams’s particular combination of ideas and policies made him a critical link between the founding generation and the Civil War–era nation of Lincoln. While Adams did not live to see all of his strategy fulfilled, his vision shaped the nation’s agenda for decades afterward and continues to resonate as America pursues its place in the twenty-first-century world.

Charles EdelCharles Edel serves an Assistant Professor of Strategy and Policy at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I., where he focuses on U.S. foreign policy and grand strategy, American political history, and the connections between foreign policy and domestic politics.  He holds a Ph.D. in History from Yale University, and received a B.A. in Classical Civilization from Yale College. He worked at Peking University's Center for International and Strategic Studies as a Henry A. Luce Scholar. Previously, he served in various roles in the U.S. government as a political and counterterrorism analyst, worked as a research associate at the Council of Foreign Relations, and taught high school history in New York.

Please call 617-646-0578 to register

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Public Program, Conversation Begin at the Beginning: Boston’s Founding Documents 7 February 2015.Saturday, 1:00PM - 3:00PM Please RSVP  this event is free

In a new discussion group co-hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Partnership of Historic Bostons, we’ll look at the documents at the heart of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Among them are the Charter and Winthrop’s sermon to his fellow passengers on board ship to New England.  Whether you’re an expert or a newcomer to early Boston, please join us for the first meeting in a  stimulating, exhilarating series of discussions. The meeting is chaired by Partnership President Rose A. Doherty. 

Discussion group 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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Environmental History Seminar An Enervating Environment: Altered Bodies in the Lowcountry and the British West Indies 10 February 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.
Katherine Johnston, Columbia University Conevery Bolton Valencius, University of Massachusetts - Boston

This paper examines the interactions between humans and the environment in the eighteenth century. Both Britons and creoles believed in a close connection between bodies and place, and colonists tried to change the environment based on those perceptions. That interaction created concern for Caribbean inhabitants who attempted to manage the environment to promote their health while noting the environmental changes their actions caused.

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Public Program, Author Talk Arts and Crafts Architecture: History and Heritage in New England 11 February 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required Pre-talk reception at 5:30pm Maureen Meister, independent art historian $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members)

Maureen Meister’s new book is the first comprehensive study of the Arts and Crafts architecture in the region. Focusing on the 1890s through the 1920s, she will explain how a group of Boston architects and craftsmen encountered English Arts and Crafts theorists, including John Ruskin and William Morris, and produced exquisite works of their own. Among the architects were Ralph Adams Cram, Lois Lilley Howe, Charles Maginnis, and R. Clipston Sturgis. They were conservative in some respects, promoting designs based on historical precedent and the region's heritage, while they also were forward-looking, blending Arts and Crafts values with Progressive Era idealism. They have left us with a legacy of landmark buildings, honored today in cities and towns across New England.

Maureen Meister is an art historian who writes about American art and architecture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is the author of Architecture and the Arts and Crafts Movement in Boston: Harvard's H. Langford Warren, 2003, and was volume editor of H. H. Richardson: The Architect, His Peers, and Their Era, 1999. She holds a doctorate from Brown University and an A.B. from Mount Holyoke College. She has taught at Boston area universities, including Lesley, Northeastern, and Tufts.  

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Her Hat Will Not Down: Sumptuary Laws and Consumer Rights in 1890s Chicago 12 February 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.
Location: Schlesinger Library Emily A. Remus, American Academy of Arts and Sciences Comment: Ardis Cameron, University of Southern Maine

This presentation examines a sumptuary law passed in Chicago to regulate the size of ladies’ theater hats and a near-riot that erupted over it. It reveals how civic authorities sought to protect the rights of ticketholders by constraining the conspicuous consumption of women. The paper offers insight into early notions of consumer rights and the remaking of gender codes amid capitalist transformation.

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Special Event Everyday Life in America: Behind Closed Doors 12 February 2015.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM this event is free This event is open only to MHS Fund Giving Circle members. Location: Concord Museum in Concord, Mass.

MHS Fund Giving Circle members are invited to a special evening at the Concord Museum. Enjoy an intimate reception in Brooke Hall along with a gallery tour led by Curator David Wood of Behind Closed Doors: Asleep in New England, an exhibition that looks at the complex role sleep has played in everyday life.

Space is limited. To reserve, please call 617-646-0543.

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Building Closed President's Day 16 February 2015.Monday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed.

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Public Program, Author Talk The Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks Come to Terms with Genocide, Memory, and Identity 17 February 2015.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Thomas de Waal, Senior Associate - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The destruction of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-16 was a brutal mass crime that prefigured other genocides in the 20th century. By various estimates, more than a million Armenians were killed and the survivors were scattered across the world. In Great Catastrophe, the eminent scholar and reporter Thomas de Waal looks at the changing narratives and politics of the Armenian Genocide and tells the story of recent efforts by courageous Armenians, Kurds, and Turks to come to terms with the disaster as Turkey enters a new post-Kemalist era. Drawing on archival sources, reportage and moving personal stories, de Waal tells the full story of Armenian-Turkish relations since the Genocide in all its extraordinary twists and turns. He strips away the propaganda to look both at the realities of a terrible crime and also the divisive "politics of genocide" it produced. The book throws light not only on our understanding of Armenian-Turkish relations but also of how mass atrocities and historical tragedies shape contemporary politics.

Thomas de Waal is a writer and scholar on the Caucasus and Black Sea region and currently Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the author of three books, including The Caucasus: An Introduction. From 1991 to 2000, de Waal worked as a newspaper journalist in Moscow and for the BBC World Service in London.

Please call 617-646-0578 to register

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Teacher Workshop, Public Program Comic Books in the History Classroom 18 February 2015.Wednesday, 9:00AM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   registration required

Learn how to capture your students’ attention and engage their imagination using comic books and graphic novels! Together with a historian we will explore the history of colonial Massachusetts, and hear from artists who have brought this period to life through images. We will also meet with teachers who have used comics in the classroom and brainstorm methods for incorporating them into history and English/language arts lessons. This program is open to all K-12 educators, as well as history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 5 PDPs.

Fee: $25 per person

For more information: complete this registration form, or contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

To register: contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

Program Highlights

  • Meet artists who have created and contributed to comic books on the history of colonial America.
  • View original political cartoons and other documents from the Society’s collections.
  • Learn how to incorporate comic books from multiple historical eras into your lesson plans.
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Public Program, Author Talk, Adams Series The Adams Series - Program Three: The Culinary Lives of John and Abigail Adams: A Cookbook 19 February 2015.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required 6:00 pm program with 5:30 reception Rosana Y. Wan, independent author $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members)

On November 29, 1798, Abigail Adams wrote “When I look Back upon the Year past, I perceive many, very many causes for thanksgiving, both of a publick and private nature.” Throughout their dialog, John reported on having formal dinners in Europe or delegates in Philadelphia while Abigail grew from a New England wife to the The Culinary Lives of John and Abigail AdamsFirst Lady. By studying "receipts" from 18th century cookbooks, we can paint a portrait of their culinary lives. While together, Abigail once wrote to her sister that her “Good Man is so very fat that [she is] lean as a rale,” before ending the letter “But is dinner time, and I must bid you good by…” While they were separate, they reminded each other of dishes they enjoyed including “rusticrat potatoes” and “fine salmon” while continuing the talk of independence. Rosana Y. Wan will speak about the process of documenting the culinary history of the Adams family and putting together her cookbook.

Rosana Yin-Ting Wan was born in Hong Kong and migrated to the United States as a child. Growing up in Houston, Texas, she began her passion of history by giving short lectures on classical music composers to fellow music class students. She received her B.A. in history from Suffolk University in 2011. As an independent scholar, a museum docent, and a sergeant in the Army National Guard, she continues to pursue her studies in the history of the American Revolution, late 18th century culinary culture, and fine arts. She is the first recipient of the John C. Cavanagh Prize in History at Suffolk University in 2011 and a member of the Phi Alpha Theta (National History Honor Society). She is also a recipient of the 2014 Outstanding New Interpreter Award from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Please call 617-646-0578 to register

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar "I Had Ample Opportunity to Notice the City as It then Was": Social and Economic Geographies in New York City, 1783-1830 24 February 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.
Steven Carl Smith, Providence College Comment: Joshua Greenberg, Bridgewater State College

The essay examines the social and economic geographies of the New York City publishing trade between 1783 and 1830. The paper reveals the contours of social and economic networks formed by tradesmen and merchants on the streets and in the print houses of early New York, and focuses on the possibilities of Geographic Information Systems technology for book history and American studies.

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Special Event, Member Event God Save the People! MHS Fellows and Members Preview Reception 26 February 2015.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM registration required at no cost This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members The Bloody Massacre engraving by Paul Revere

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview of and reception for God Save the People! From the Stamp Act to Bunker Hill. To tell the story of the coming of the American Revolution in Boston, this exhibition follows the evolution of colonial thought and political action through the letters and diaries of men and women caught up in the conflict, together with political cartoons, newspapers, maps, artifacts, and portraits.

Become a Member today!

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Exhibition God Save the People! From the Stamp Act to Bunker Hill 27 February 2015 to 4 September 2015 this event is free Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM The Bloody Massacre engraving by Paul Revere

To tell the story of the coming of the American Revolution in Boston, this exhibition follows the evolution of colonial thought and political action through the letters and diaries of men and women caught up in the conflict, together with political cartoons, newspapers, maps, artifacts, and portraits.

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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 28 February 2015 to 4 April 2015 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 Degrees of Britishness: The People of Albany, New York, and Questions of Cultural Community Membership, 1763-1775 3 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.
Elizabeth M. Covart, Boston, Massachusetts Comment: Lisa Wilson, Connecticut College

Following the French and Indian War, Albanians believed themselves to be British, but visiting Britons did not recognize them as fellow countrymen. New World Dutch architecture, the Albany Dutch dialect, and the Dutch Reformed Church contributed to the British view of the Albanians as inter-imperial foreigners: subjects who lived within the British empire, but stood outside of the British cultural community. This paper, drawn from Covart’s larger book project, explores the Albanians’ response, which ranged from rebuilding efforts to public protest.

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Brown Bag John Quincy Adams and the Paradox of Anglo-American Relations in the Early Republic: The London Years, 1815-1817 4 March 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Robert Shimp, Boston University

This talk will center on how John Quincy Adams’s experiences in London and Ealing as Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain came to influence his subsequent domestic career. Shimp argues that this period in Adams’s career can provide us with important insights into the paradoxical relationship that Adams and the United States maintained with Great Britain through the early national period. Such connections were significant for the second party system in the United States.

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Public Program, Landscape Architecture Series Landscape Architecture Series Program One: Charles Eliot and the Modernization of Boston's Landscape 4 March 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Anita Berrizbeitia, Professor of Landscape Architecture - Harvard Graduate School of Design $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members of the MHS, Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum)

Charles Eliot was the son of Harvard President Charles William Eliot, a visionary landscape architect, and protégé of Frederick Law Olmsted. He inspired the 1891 Trustees of Public Reservations — what is now the oldest regional land trust in the world — and had a central role in shaping the Boston Metropolitan Park System. He was the guiding vision behind the transformation of the banks of Charles River in Cambridge and, although he did not live to see his plans reach fruition, his work accelerated the rescue of the Charles from a virtual sewer to one of the most picturesque features of region’s landscape. Professor Berizbeitia will talk about Eliot’s work and his legacy in landscape design.

Anita Berrizbeitia is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of the Master in Landscape Architecture Degree Programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her research focuses on design theories of modern and contemporary landscape architecture, the productive aspects of landscapes, and Latin American cities and landscapes. Berrizbeitia has taught design theory and studio, most recently at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, where she was Associate Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture. Her studios investigate innovative approaches to the conceptualization of public space, especially on sites where urbanism, globalization, and local cultural conditions intersect. From 1987 to 1993, she practiced with Child Associates, Inc., in Boston, where she collaborated on many award-winning projects. She was awarded the 2005/2006 Prince Charitable Trusts Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture. A native of Caracas, Venezuela, she studied architecture at the Universidad Simon Bolivar before receiving a BA from Wellesley College and an MLA from the GSD.

The Landscape Architects series has been made possible by the generous underwriting of Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects and is cosponsored by the Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum. 

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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 7 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, "Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in World War I."

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Environmental History Seminar Fear of an Open Beach: The Privatization of the Connecticut Shore and the Fate of Coastal America 10 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.
Andrew W. Kahrl, University of Virginia Comment: Karl Haglund, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

This essay traces the rise of private beaches along the Connecticut shore and the efforts of municipalities to protect exclusionary laws from the effects of civil rights movements. It argues that overdeveloped coastlines have been the product of racial and class segregation; thus, the battle over public access to the nation’s shoreline during the 1970s sheds light on the roots of the environmental crisis facing America’s coast.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Landscape Architecture Series Landscape Architecture Series Program Two: The Brookline Troika: Olmsted, Richardson, Sargent and the Planning of a “Model Community.” 11 March 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Keith Morgan, Director of Architectural Studies - Boston University $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members of the MHS, Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum)

Derived from the recently publish book, Community by Design:  The Olmsted Office and the Making of Brookline, Massachusetts, this lecture will explore the close and dynamic relationship of the country’s leading landscape architect, architect, and horticulturalist in the evolution of Boston’s premier suburb. These three men lived within easy walking distance of each other in the Green Hill section of Brookline and used their private residences and landscapes as teaching and professional spaces as well.  Their friendships and (occasional) conflicts informed the character of the suburban development for a community that called itself “the richest town in the world” and believed that its model was worthy of emulation.

Keith N. Morgan is a Professor of the History of Art & Architecture and American & New England Studies at Boston University, where he has taught since 1980. He currently direct BU’s Architectural Studies Program and is a former national president of the Society of Architectural Historians. Written in collaboration with Elizabeth Hope Cushing and Roger Reed, Community by Design was published in 2013 by the University of Massachusetts Press for the Library of American Landscape History and received the Ruth Emery Prize of the Victorian Society in America.

This series has been made possible by the generous underwriting of Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects and is cosponsored by the Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum. 

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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 14 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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Brown Bag Networks of Faith and Finance: Boston’s Scottish Exile Community in the Later Seventeenth Century 18 March 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Craig Gallagher, Boston College

Many Scots fled their native country to escape persecution at the hands of their monarch Charles II for their adherence to the Presbyterian faith. A significant number sought refuge in Boston, a city whose leaders they knew to be sympathetic to their plight and in which they spied a commercial opportunity. Between 1660 and 1689, they cultivated networks of faith and finance. Through their patrons in the Dutch and English Atlantic Worlds, these Scots were well placed to capitalize on political opportunities that emerged after the Glorious Revolution.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Landscape Architecture Series Landscape Architecture Series Program Three: Arthur Shurcliff 18 March 2015.Wednesday, all day Please RSVP   registration required There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Elizabeth Hope Cushing, independent author $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members of the MHS, Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum)

In 1928 Boston landscape architect Arthur A. Shurcliff began what became one of the most important examples of the American Colonial Revival landscape—Colonial Williamsburg, a project that stretched into the 1940s and included town and highway planning as well as residential and institutional gardens. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1894, Shurcliff immediately went back to school at Harvard University where his mentor, Charles Eliot, helped him piece together a program in the Art History Department, the Lawrence Scientific School and the Bussey Institute. Upon graduation with a second Bachelor of Science, he worked in Frederick Law Olmsted’s office for eight years, acquiring a broad and sophisticated knowledge of the profession. When he opened his practice in 1904, Shurcliff emphasized his expertise in town planning. Two decades later, when he was tapped to be Chief Landscape Architect at Colonial Williamsburg, he was a seasoned professional whose commissions included his Boston work, campus design, town planning, and a robust practice in private domestic design.  How he utilized the skills he acquired over the years, and how his professional expertise intermingled with his avocational interests in history, craftsmanship, and design is the subject of Cushing’s biography—a story that inexorably sweeps him to his work in the restoration and recreation at Colonial Williamsburg.

Elizabeth Hope Cushing, Ph.D., is the author of a newly published book about Boston landscape architect Arthur A. Shurcliff (1870–1957), based on her doctoral dissertation for the American and New England Studies program at Boston University. She is also a coauthor, with Keith N. Morgan and Roger Reed, of  Community by Design, released in 2013.  Cushing is a practicing landscape historian who consults, writes, and lectures on landscape matters. She has written cultural landscape history reports for the Taft Art Museum in Cincinnati, The National Park Service, the Department of Conservation and Recreation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and other institutions and agencies. Her contributor credits include Pioneers of American Landscape Design (McGraw Hill Companies, 2000), Design with Culture: Claiming America’s Landscape Heritage (University of Virginia Press, 2005), Shaping the American Landscape (University of Virginia Press, 2009), and Drawing Toward Home (Historic New England, 2010). She has received a grant from the Gill Family Foundation to write a biography of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., which she is currently researching.

This series has been made possible by the generous underwriting of Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects and is cosponsored by the Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum. 

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MHS Tour History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 21 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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Immigration and Urban History Seminar Remaking Boston's Chinatown: Race, Place, and Redevelopment after World War II 24 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.
Thomas Chen, Brown University Comment: Jim Vrabel, author of A People's History of the New Boston

This paper examines how Boston’s Chinese American community confronted urban change in the decades after World War II. Focusing on contests over Chinatown space and place, it explores how postwar formations of Chinese American identity and community were intertwined with the urban transformation that Boston and other American cities underwent in this period.

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Brown Bag Allegiance and Protection: The Problem of Subjecthood in the Glorious Revolution, 1680-95 25 March 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Alex Jablonski, State University of New York at Binghamton

This project explores the ways in which people in the British Isles and the American colonies struggled to define their status as subjects of the English king in a decade whose political, religious, and cultural turmoil frustrated any simple answer. At its heart, this debate unfolded over the nature of obedience owed to a sovereign power, and as a result spilled from the narrow banks of legal theory onto a far broader plain of concerns about character and identity in a quite large and diverse empire.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Conversation Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series Program One: A Dialog: James McPherson and Louis Masur, facilitated by Dennis Fiori 26 March 2015.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program James McPherson, Princeton University; Louis Masur, Rutgers University, and Dennis Fiori, Massachusetts Historical Society $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members)

On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the assassination of President Lincoln, two eminent Civil War historians will discuss the cause of the war, the abolition of slavery, how the aftermath of the war weighed on Lincoln, and what the Civil War means to America today. Their conversation will spring, in part, from their new books, McPherson’s The War that Forged a Nation and Masur’s Lincoln’s Last Speech.

James M. McPherson is a renowned historian of the American Civil War, and is the George Henry Davis '86 Professor Emeritus of United States History at Princeton University. He is the author of many works of history, including Battle Cry of Freedom, which won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize and has sold over half a million copies.

Louis P. Masur is Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University. He is the author of many books, including The Civil War: A Concise History and Lincoln's Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union. Masur’s essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times. 

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Teacher Workshop, Public Program 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

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

To register: contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

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 Series Program Two: Founders’ Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln 1 April 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   registration required There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program Richard Brookhiser, Senior Editor – National Review $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members)

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.

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

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.

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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 and register for the three-day conference.

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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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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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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Public Program Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series Program Four: Mourning Lincoln and Racial Equality 15 April 2015.Wednesday, all day Please RSVP   registration required There will be a 5:30 reception before the 6:00 pm program John Stauffer, Professor of English and African American Studies – Harvard University $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members)

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.

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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, all day 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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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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