Calendar of Events

Exhibition

Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country

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

Details

December

MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 20 December 2014.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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Building Closed Christmas Eve 24 December 2014.Wednesday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on 24 & 25 December.

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on 24 & 25 December.

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Building Closed Christmas Day 25 December 2014.Thursday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on Christmas Day.

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on Christmas Day.

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Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 26 December 2014.Friday, all day The MHS exhibition galleries are open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

The MHS exhibition galleries are open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Library Closed Library Closed 26 December 2014.Friday, all day The MHS library is closed.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

The MHS library is closed.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

details
Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 27 December 2014.Saturday, all day The MHS exhibition galleries are open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

The MHS exhibition galleries are open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

details
Library Closed Library Closed 27 December 2014.Saturday, all day The MHS library is closed.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

The MHS library is closed.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

details
Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 29 December 2014.Monday, all day The MHS exhibition galleries are open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

The MHS exhibition galleries are open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

details
Library Closed Library Closed 29 December 2014.Monday, all day The MHS library is closed.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

The MHS library is closed.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

details
Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 30 December 2014.Tuesday, all day The MHS exhibition galleries are open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

The MHS exhibition galleries are open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

details
Library Closed Library Closed 30 December 2014.Tuesday, all day The MHS library is closed.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

The MHS library is closed.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Building Closed New Years Eve 31 December 2014.Wednesday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on New Years Eve.

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on New Years Eve.

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January
Building Closed New Years Day 1 January 2015.Thursday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on New Years Day.

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on New Years Day.

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Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 2 January 2015.Friday, all day details
Library Closed Library Closed 2 January 2015.Friday, all day details
Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 3 January 2015.Saturday, all day details
Library Closed Library Closed 3 January 2015.Saturday, all day details
Public Program Over There: The Boys Who Went to Fight and the Women Who Endured 7 January 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM 6:00 pm program with 5:30 reception $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Please call 617-646-0578 to register In the last weeks that the Massachusetts Historical Society is displaying the WWI exhibition &ldquo ...

“Over There:  The Boys Who Went to Fight and the Women Who Endured.”In the last weeks that the Massachusetts Historical Society is displaying the WWI exhibition “Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country,” we will host two events that explore the cultural and musical history of the time. The first program will be an approximately 70 minute program of songs telling the story of the U.S.’s involvement in WWI and its effects on the women, men and children.  Starting from before the U.S. entered the war until after the war when the “boys came home”, the program will feature some of the most popular songs of the era including “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”, “Till We Meet Again”, “Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning”, “Over There” and “How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm.”

Benjamin Sears & Bradford Conner have been called “Boston’s favorite song duo” by the Boston Globe, and “the delightful cabaret team” by the Boston Phoenix.  Recipients of IRNE (Independent Reviewers of New England) and LIP (Life in Provincetown) awards, they have performed as a duo since 1989, carrying on the great cabaret tradition of “the song, the singer, and the pianist”.  They are noted recording artists with a discography which features many previously unrecorded songs by Irving Berlin, the Gershwins, and E.Y. Harburg. 

Cynthia Mork, mezzo-soprano, is a performer of classical repertoire, American popular song and jazz, appearing around greater Boston and New England in a variety of concerts, recitals, operas, and other engagements. A vocal student of soprano Sue Ellen Kuzma for over ten years, she studied vocal performance as an undergraduate and was a student of tenor Jon Humphrey.  She currently resides with her husband and son in Bedford, MA.

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George Washington portrait by Gullager Exhibitionends The Father of His Country Returns to Boston, October 24, 1789 9 January 2015.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Two hundred twenty-five years ago, during his first year in office, President George Washington ...

Two hundred twenty-five years ago, during his first year in office, President George Washington embarked on a month-long tour of New England. Young John Quincy Adams observed the great excitement of people everywhere:

At the present moment they indulge themselves in sentiments of joy, arising/resulting . . . from the gratification of their affection in beholding personally among them, the friend, the benefactor, the father of his Country.

In Boston the president was met by a great procession that paraded beneath a triumphal arch designed by Charles Bulfinch. The MHS holds six portraits of Washington, including a life study by Christian Gullager painted during the New England tour.

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Environmental History Seminar The Rise and Fall of the Texas Longhorn 13 January 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Joshua Specht, Harvard University Beth LaDow, author of The Medicine Line: Life and Death on a North American Borderland This essay will highlight the relationship between the Texas Longhorn and the evolution of the ...

This essay will highlight the relationship between the Texas Longhorn and the evolution of the cattle ranching industry, and explore the linkages between economic systems and the biology of domesticated animals. It will also investigate how popular beliefs about cattle ranching and the West solidified the centrality of beef in the American diet, and serve as a meditation on environmental and business history.

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Biography Seminar Biography, the Visual Artist, and the Story Behind Public Art 15 January 2015.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Belinda Rathbone, Jane Kamensky, and Ruth Butler Moderator: Carol Bundy Carol Bundy will moderate this session, which will include panelists Belinda Rathbone (The Boston ...

Carol Bundy will moderate this session, which will include panelists Belinda Rathbone (The Boston Raphael), Jane Kamensky (Copley: A Life in Color, forthcoming), and Ruth Butler (Rodin: The Shape of a Genius).

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Public Program Here Comes America-WWI Performance by the Boston Saxophone Quartet 21 January 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please call 617-646-0578 to register Pre-talk reception at 5:30pm $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) The Boston Saxophone Quartet, a unique blend of musicians combining a range of repertoire, will ...

Boston Saxophone QuartetThe Boston Saxophone Quartet, a unique blend of musicians combining a range of repertoire, will perform a selection of songs taking the audience through the musical landscape of World War One. This will include selections of music from both sides of the Atlantic before the war, songs that show the changing attitudes of Americans to the war, patriotic songs, and finally songs reflecting on the impact of the war. After all, “How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm After They've Seen Paree”? Members of the BSQ have performed with the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestra and leading Broadway theaters throughout New England.

  • Most of Tom Ferrante's performing career has been in the orchestras of the Colonial, Wang and Schubert Theaters of Boston. Other credits include membership in the Herb Pomeroy Jazz Orchestra, The Viola Premier Saxophone Quartet, and the Greg Hopkins Big Band.  A former Director of Bands for Waltham (MA) High School, Tom has been featured jazz clarinet soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra for the past twenty seasons.
  • As an accomplished woodwind doubler on oboe, English horn, flute, saxophone, and clarinet,  Rod Ferland can often be heard and seen in the orchestra pit of Boston's Wang, Shubert and Colonial Theaters performing for Broadway productions.  Rod has also performed with the Boston Lyric Opera, the Boston Pops, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the North Shore Music Theater.  He was a former faculty member at Berklee College of Music.
  • Bob Bowlby is an active woodwind doubler and a Theater pit musician at Boston's Colonial, Wang, Shubert, Opera House and NSMT in Beverly.  He has been Lead alto with Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra, Artie Shaw Orch and plays with the Boston Pops. Currently, he is a member of John Allmark Jazz Orchestra.
  • Sharing a dual performing career as an instrumentalist and conductor, Peter Cokkinias has conducted the Boston Ballet, Boston Pops, Springfield Symphony (MA), and the Atlantic Sinfonietta (NY).  He has performed with the Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Ballet, and Cincinnati, Hartford, Pittsburgh, and Boston Symphony Orchestras.  Presently, Dr. Cokkinias is Music Director/Conductor of the Metrowest Symphony Orchestra (MA) since 1979,  Professor at Berklee College of Music and is a woodwind doubler at the North Shore Music Theater in Beverly (MA) and Colonial and Wang Theaters in Boston (MA) and PPAC in Providence (RI).
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Hall at Ecury Exhibitionends Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War 24 January 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM To commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, the MHS has organized the exhibition ...

To commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, the MHS has organized the exhibition Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War focusing on two of the hundreds of women from the Commonwealth who went to France as members of the U.S. armed forces, the Red Cross, and other war relief organizations.

From the Society’s extraordinary collection of women’s recollections, this exhibition features photographs, letters, diaries, and memorabilia related to Margaret Hall and Eleanor (Nora) Saltonstall, Red Cross volunteers in France. The exhibition will highlight Hall’s large-format photographs of the battlefront on loan from the Cohasset Historical Society. Both women were keen observers of the climactic months of the war and depicted what they witnessed in vivid detail.

The exhibition celebrates the forthcoming MHS publication Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: The World War I Memoir of Margaret Hall.

You can view all of the photographs from Margaret Hall's memoir on our companion website.

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Teacher Workshop, Public Program John & Abigail: A Life in Letters 24 January 2015.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Co-Sponsored by the Abigail Adams Historical Society 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? Over the course of two Saturdays in January 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.

Fee: $50 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

Saturday, January 24 at the Massachusetts Historical Society

  • Analyze documents from the 1770s and 1780s. What, according to Abigail, was “the decisive day… on which the fate of America depends”? Did John “Remember the Ladies”?
  • View original Adams manuscripts from the Society's collections.
  • Try your hand at transcribing eighteenth-century Adams letters and diaries.

Saturday, January 31 at the Abigail Adams Birthplace

  • Tour the Abigail Adams Birthplace
  • Discover and discuss the historical, cultural, and ethical role of women in early America.
  • 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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Immigration and Urban History Seminar Interpreters in Ellis Island: A Tool for Americanization, 1892-1954 27 January 2015.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Maria Aguilar-Solano, University of Massachusetts - Boston Emma Teng, MIT Through the narrative of existing interviews with Fiorello LaGuardia, personal letters of Ludmila ...

Through the narrative of existing interviews with Fiorello LaGuardia, personal letters of Ludmila Foxlee, and immigration literature, this paper will examine the role of interpreters in Ellis Island and the institutionalization of these interpreters as tools for assimilation into American culture.

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Author Talk, Public Program The Adams Series - Program One: The Remarkable Education of John Quincy Adams 29 January 2015.Thursday, all day 6:00 pm program with 5:30 reception Phyllis Lee Levin, independent author $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Please call 617-646-0578 to register A patriot by birth, John Quincy Adams’s destiny was foreordained. He was not only “The ...

The Remarkable Education of John Quincy Adams A patriot by birth, John Quincy Adams’s destiny was foreordained. He was not only “The Greatest Traveler of His Age,” but a gifted linguist and diplomat. His world encompassed the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the early and late Napoleonic Age. As an adolescent, he met everyone who was anyone in Europe, including America’s own luminaries, Franklin and Jefferson. Coming back to America he was determined to make his own career, but was soon embarked, at Washington’s appointment, on work aboard. At 50, he returned to America to serve as Secretary of State to President Monroe. He was inaugurated President in 1824, after which he served as a stirring defender of the slaves of the Amistad rebellion and as a member of the House of Representatives from 1831 until his death in 1848. In The Remarkable Education of John Quincy Adams, Phyllis Lee Levin provides the deeply researched and beautifully written definitive story of the intellectual development of one of the most fascinating and towering early Americans.

Phyllis Lee Levin is the author of several books including Abigail Adams and Edith and Woodrow. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, she has been a reporter, editor, and columnist for The New York Times. As writer and editor at Vogue she wrote a profile of Patricia Nixon whom she interviewed at the White House. She lives in Manhattan. 

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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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Public Program, Author Talk 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 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) Please call 617-646-0578 to register 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.

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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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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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Public Program, Author Talk The Adams Series - Program Three: The Culinary Lives of John and Abigail Adams: A Cookbook 19 February 2015.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM 6:00 pm program with 5:30 reception Rosana Y. Wan, independent author $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Please call 617-646-0578 to register 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.

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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 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 In recognition of the 250th anniversary of the Stamp Act riots, this exhibition follows the ...

In recognition of the 250th anniversary of the Stamp Act riots, this exhibition follows the evolution of colonial thought and political action “from resistance to revolution” in Boston.

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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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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: TBA 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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More events
MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 20 December 2014.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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Building Closed Christmas Eve 24 December 2014.Wednesday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on 24 & 25 December.

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Building Closed Christmas Day 25 December 2014.Thursday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on Christmas Day.

close
Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 26 December 2014.Friday, all day

The MHS exhibition galleries are open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

close
Library Closed Library Closed 26 December 2014.Friday, all day

The MHS library is closed.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

close
Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 27 December 2014.Saturday, all day

The MHS exhibition galleries are open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

close
Library Closed Library Closed 27 December 2014.Saturday, all day

The MHS library is closed.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

close
Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 29 December 2014.Monday, all day

The MHS exhibition galleries are open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

close
Library Closed Library Closed 29 December 2014.Monday, all day

The MHS library is closed.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

close
Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 30 December 2014.Tuesday, all day

The MHS exhibition galleries are open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

close
Library Closed Library Closed 30 December 2014.Tuesday, all day

The MHS library is closed.  The exhibition galleries are open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

close
Building Closed New Years Eve 31 December 2014.Wednesday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on New Years Eve.

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Building Closed New Years Day 1 January 2015.Thursday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed on New Years Day.

close
Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 2 January 2015.Friday, all day close
Library Closed Library Closed 2 January 2015.Friday, all day close
Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 3 January 2015.Saturday, all day close
Library Closed Library Closed 3 January 2015.Saturday, all day close
Public Program Over There: The Boys Who Went to Fight and the Women Who Endured 7 January 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM 6:00 pm program with 5:30 reception $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Please call 617-646-0578 to register

“Over There:  The Boys Who Went to Fight and the Women Who Endured.”In the last weeks that the Massachusetts Historical Society is displaying the WWI exhibition “Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country,” we will host two events that explore the cultural and musical history of the time. The first program will be an approximately 70 minute program of songs telling the story of the U.S.’s involvement in WWI and its effects on the women, men and children.  Starting from before the U.S. entered the war until after the war when the “boys came home”, the program will feature some of the most popular songs of the era including “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”, “Till We Meet Again”, “Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning”, “Over There” and “How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm.”

Benjamin Sears & Bradford Conner have been called “Boston’s favorite song duo” by the Boston Globe, and “the delightful cabaret team” by the Boston Phoenix.  Recipients of IRNE (Independent Reviewers of New England) and LIP (Life in Provincetown) awards, they have performed as a duo since 1989, carrying on the great cabaret tradition of “the song, the singer, and the pianist”.  They are noted recording artists with a discography which features many previously unrecorded songs by Irving Berlin, the Gershwins, and E.Y. Harburg. 

Cynthia Mork, mezzo-soprano, is a performer of classical repertoire, American popular song and jazz, appearing around greater Boston and New England in a variety of concerts, recitals, operas, and other engagements. A vocal student of soprano Sue Ellen Kuzma for over ten years, she studied vocal performance as an undergraduate and was a student of tenor Jon Humphrey.  She currently resides with her husband and son in Bedford, MA.

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Exhibition The Father of His Country Returns to Boston, October 24, 1789 9 January 2015.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM this event is free Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM George Washington portrait by Gullager

Two hundred twenty-five years ago, during his first year in office, President George Washington embarked on a month-long tour of New England. Young John Quincy Adams observed the great excitement of people everywhere:

At the present moment they indulge themselves in sentiments of joy, arising/resulting . . . from the gratification of their affection in beholding personally among them, the friend, the benefactor, the father of his Country.

In Boston the president was met by a great procession that paraded beneath a triumphal arch designed by Charles Bulfinch. The MHS holds six portraits of Washington, including a life study by Christian Gullager painted during the New England tour.

close
Environmental History Seminar The Rise and Fall of the Texas Longhorn 13 January 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.
Joshua Specht, Harvard University Beth LaDow, author of The Medicine Line: Life and Death on a North American Borderland

This essay will highlight the relationship between the Texas Longhorn and the evolution of the cattle ranching industry, and explore the linkages between economic systems and the biology of domesticated animals. It will also investigate how popular beliefs about cattle ranching and the West solidified the centrality of beef in the American diet, and serve as a meditation on environmental and business history.

close
Biography Seminar Biography, the Visual Artist, and the Story Behind Public Art 15 January 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.
Belinda Rathbone, Jane Kamensky, and Ruth Butler Moderator: Carol Bundy

Carol Bundy will moderate this session, which will include panelists Belinda Rathbone (The Boston Raphael), Jane Kamensky (Copley: A Life in Color, forthcoming), and Ruth Butler (Rodin: The Shape of a Genius).

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Public Program Here Comes America-WWI Performance by the Boston Saxophone Quartet 21 January 2015.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please call 617-646-0578 to register Pre-talk reception at 5:30pm $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members)

Boston Saxophone QuartetThe Boston Saxophone Quartet, a unique blend of musicians combining a range of repertoire, will perform a selection of songs taking the audience through the musical landscape of World War One. This will include selections of music from both sides of the Atlantic before the war, songs that show the changing attitudes of Americans to the war, patriotic songs, and finally songs reflecting on the impact of the war. After all, “How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm After They've Seen Paree”? Members of the BSQ have performed with the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestra and leading Broadway theaters throughout New England.

  • Most of Tom Ferrante's performing career has been in the orchestras of the Colonial, Wang and Schubert Theaters of Boston. Other credits include membership in the Herb Pomeroy Jazz Orchestra, The Viola Premier Saxophone Quartet, and the Greg Hopkins Big Band.  A former Director of Bands for Waltham (MA) High School, Tom has been featured jazz clarinet soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra for the past twenty seasons.
  • As an accomplished woodwind doubler on oboe, English horn, flute, saxophone, and clarinet,  Rod Ferland can often be heard and seen in the orchestra pit of Boston's Wang, Shubert and Colonial Theaters performing for Broadway productions.  Rod has also performed with the Boston Lyric Opera, the Boston Pops, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the North Shore Music Theater.  He was a former faculty member at Berklee College of Music.
  • Bob Bowlby is an active woodwind doubler and a Theater pit musician at Boston's Colonial, Wang, Shubert, Opera House and NSMT in Beverly.  He has been Lead alto with Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra, Artie Shaw Orch and plays with the Boston Pops. Currently, he is a member of John Allmark Jazz Orchestra.
  • Sharing a dual performing career as an instrumentalist and conductor, Peter Cokkinias has conducted the Boston Ballet, Boston Pops, Springfield Symphony (MA), and the Atlantic Sinfonietta (NY).  He has performed with the Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Ballet, and Cincinnati, Hartford, Pittsburgh, and Boston Symphony Orchestras.  Presently, Dr. Cokkinias is Music Director/Conductor of the Metrowest Symphony Orchestra (MA) since 1979,  Professor at Berklee College of Music and is a woodwind doubler at the North Shore Music Theater in Beverly (MA) and Colonial and Wang Theaters in Boston (MA) and PPAC in Providence (RI).
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Exhibition Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War 24 January 2015.Saturday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM this event is free Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Hall at Ecury

To commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, the MHS has organized the exhibition Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War focusing on two of the hundreds of women from the Commonwealth who went to France as members of the U.S. armed forces, the Red Cross, and other war relief organizations.

From the Society’s extraordinary collection of women’s recollections, this exhibition features photographs, letters, diaries, and memorabilia related to Margaret Hall and Eleanor (Nora) Saltonstall, Red Cross volunteers in France. The exhibition will highlight Hall’s large-format photographs of the battlefront on loan from the Cohasset Historical Society. Both women were keen observers of the climactic months of the war and depicted what they witnessed in vivid detail.

The exhibition celebrates the forthcoming MHS publication Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: The World War I Memoir of Margaret Hall.

You can view all of the photographs from Margaret Hall's memoir on our companion website.

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Teacher Workshop, Public Program John & Abigail: A Life in Letters 24 January 2015.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM registration required Co-Sponsored by the Abigail Adams Historical Society

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? Over the course of two Saturdays in January 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.

Fee: $50 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

Saturday, January 24 at the Massachusetts Historical Society

  • Analyze documents from the 1770s and 1780s. What, according to Abigail, was “the decisive day… on which the fate of America depends”? Did John “Remember the Ladies”?
  • View original Adams manuscripts from the Society's collections.
  • Try your hand at transcribing eighteenth-century Adams letters and diaries.

Saturday, January 31 at the Abigail Adams Birthplace

  • Tour the Abigail Adams Birthplace
  • Discover and discuss the historical, cultural, and ethical role of women in early America.
  • 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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Immigration and Urban History Seminar Interpreters in Ellis Island: A Tool for Americanization, 1892-1954 27 January 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.
Maria Aguilar-Solano, University of Massachusetts - Boston Emma Teng, MIT

Through the narrative of existing interviews with Fiorello LaGuardia, personal letters of Ludmila Foxlee, and immigration literature, this paper will examine the role of interpreters in Ellis Island and the institutionalization of these interpreters as tools for assimilation into American culture.

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Author Talk, Public Program The Adams Series - Program One: The Remarkable Education of John Quincy Adams 29 January 2015.Thursday, all day 6:00 pm program with 5:30 reception Phyllis Lee Levin, independent author $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Please call 617-646-0578 to register

The Remarkable Education of John Quincy Adams A patriot by birth, John Quincy Adams’s destiny was foreordained. He was not only “The Greatest Traveler of His Age,” but a gifted linguist and diplomat. His world encompassed the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the early and late Napoleonic Age. As an adolescent, he met everyone who was anyone in Europe, including America’s own luminaries, Franklin and Jefferson. Coming back to America he was determined to make his own career, but was soon embarked, at Washington’s appointment, on work aboard. At 50, he returned to America to serve as Secretary of State to President Monroe. He was inaugurated President in 1824, after which he served as a stirring defender of the slaves of the Amistad rebellion and as a member of the House of Representatives from 1831 until his death in 1848. In The Remarkable Education of John Quincy Adams, Phyllis Lee Levin provides the deeply researched and beautifully written definitive story of the intellectual development of one of the most fascinating and towering early Americans.

Phyllis Lee Levin is the author of several books including Abigail Adams and Edith and Woodrow. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, she has been a reporter, editor, and columnist for The New York Times. As writer and editor at Vogue she wrote a profile of Patricia Nixon whom she interviewed at the White House. She lives in Manhattan. 

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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.
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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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Public Program, Author Talk 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 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) Please call 617-646-0578 to register

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.

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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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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.
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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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Public Program, Author Talk The Adams Series - Program Three: The Culinary Lives of John and Abigail Adams: A Cookbook 19 February 2015.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM 6:00 pm program with 5:30 reception Rosana Y. Wan, independent author $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members) Please call 617-646-0578 to register

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.

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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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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

In recognition of the 250th anniversary of the Stamp Act riots, this exhibition follows the evolution of colonial thought and political action “from resistance to revolution” in Boston.

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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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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: TBA

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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