Calendar of Events

Exhibition

Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country

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

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May

Early American History Seminar The Classical Origins of the American Self: Puritans and Indians in New England Epics 1 May 2012.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:15PM RSVP required Joanne van der Woude, Harvard University Comment: Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Northeastern University In colonial New England, classicism was not a common stylistic choice for preachers and poets. ...

In colonial New England, classicism was not a common stylistic choice for preachers and poets. Puritan authors much preferred typology-casting Biblical figures as figurative forefathers of their own leaders-to antique heroes and forms. The guiding question of this paper is big and simple: what representative advantages does classicism confer? Or, what do you see if you look at early New England through a classical, rather than a Scriptural lens? What gets lost and what gets emphasized when Boston, for once, is a new Troy or Rome, instead of a shining Jerusalem? Only two exceptional events, Thomas Morton's Merrymount and King Philip's War, prompted a turn to classic origins: Morton's own The New English Canaan (Amsterdam, 1637) and Benjamin Tompson's New-Englands Crisis (London, 1676) and New-Englands Tears (1677). These (proto-)epics display an acute concern with place. Both authors depict the landscape and leadership of New England based on classical precedence-to opposite ends, one might argue. This paper will consider the larger stakes of such representations with an eye to future Puritan epics, such as Cotton Mather's Magnalia (1702).

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Brown Bag Clio and America's Civil War 2 May 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jordan Watkins, University of Nevada, Las Vegas This project examines the place of historical thought and historical representation in the build up ...

This project examines the place of historical thought and historical representation in the build up to, and event and aftermath of, America's Civil War. A religiously tinged republicanism and a politicized millenarianism informed much of the antebellum abolitionist and the proslavery anti-abolitionist rhetoric and the arrival of the war intensified chiliastic sentiment. While the apocalypticism continued throughout the war, widespread destruction dampened hopes of Christ’s return. Perhaps the impact of the Civil War on American historical consciousness can be profitably compared to the French Revolution’s impact on European historical consciousness.

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Biography Seminar POSTPONED: Biographers' Round Table: A Conversation with Stacy Schiff 3 May 2012.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Susan Ware, Moderator This program has been postponed until our 2012-2013 New England Biography Seminar series. Ms. Schiff ...

This program has been postponed until our 2012-2013 New England Biography Seminar series. Ms. Schiff will present on January 24, 2013. We apologize for any inconvenience that this change may cause.

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Public Program Clover: Artistry in Light and Shadow 4 May 2012.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Anne Bentley, MHS Curator of Art This talk, led by MHS curator of Art Anne Bentley, will examine Clover Adams's use of the ...

This talk, led by MHS curator of Art Anne Bentley, will examine Clover Adams's use of the photographic medium to reflect her emotional connections to the arts and her subjects.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 5 May 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, ...

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Brown Bag A Consuming Femininity: Gender, Culture, and the Material Worlds of Young Womanhood, 1750-1850 7 May 2012.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kathryn Goetz, University of Minnesota details
Brown Bag Yankee Passages to India 9 May 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Hari Vishwanadha, Santa Monica College This project focuses on the young captains and sailors who went to seek a fortune and found a ...

This project focuses on the young captains and sailors who went to seek a fortune and found a strange and rich world that profoundly influenced them and the young nation. As they encountered an entirely different culture and society, these men negotiated innumerable differences in traditions and beliefs in order to survive and succeed.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 12 May 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, ...

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Library Closed Library Closing @ 3:00 PM 16 May 2012.Wednesday, all day details
Special Event, Member Event MHS Annual Meeting and Kennedy Medal Ceremony 16 May 2012.Wednesday, 5:00PM - 8:00PM Please RSVP   Special event for MHS Fellows and Members MHS annual business meeting followed by a program and reception honoring Gordon S. Wood, recipient ...

MHS annual business meeting followed by a program and reception honoring Gordon S. Wood, recipient of the John F. Kennedy Medal.

5:00 PM
Annual Meeting for elected MHS Fellows

6:00 PM
MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the presentation of the Kennedy Medal and remarks by recipient, Gordon S. Wood. A reception will follow.

RSVP by May 9 by calling 617-646-0560 or by clicking on the link above.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 19 May 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, ...

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Brown Bag Researching a Naval History of the American Revolution 23 May 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Sam Willis Sam Willis is currently researching the naval aspects of the American Revolution. He is interested ...

Sam Willis is currently researching the naval aspects of the American Revolution. He is interested in telling the story from the American, British, French, Spanish and Dutch perspectives. A major theme in his work is how naval power crossed the boundaries between land in sea and affected many different people in many different ways.

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Author Talk, Public Program Where We Worked: A Celebration of America’s Workers and the Nation They Built 23 May 2012.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30 P.M. Jack Larkin, Clark University & Old Sturbridge Village Jack Larkin is Affiliate Professor of History at Clark University and Chief Historian Emeritus at ...

Jack Larkin is Affiliate Professor of History at Clark University and Chief Historian Emeritus at Old Sturbridge Village, the outdoor museum of early American history. He has also written The Reshaping of Everyday Life 1790-1840, and Where We Lived: Discovering the Places We Once Called Home, The American Home 1775-1840.

Reservations requested: please call 617-646-0560 or click on the ticket icon above to register online.

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Library Closed Library Closing @ 3:00 PM 24 May 2012.Thursday, all day details
Building Closedbegins Memorial Day 26 May 2012.Saturday, all day details
Building Closedends Memorial Day 28 May 2012.Monday, all day details
Author Talk, Public Program Chasing Venus: The Race to Measure the Heavens 30 May 2012.Wednesday, 7:00PM - 8:00PM LOCATION: Arnold Arboretum (Weld Hill Research Building, 1300 Centre Street, Roslindale) Andrea Wulf, Design Historian and Writer On June 6, 1761 and June 3, 1769, the planet Venus passed between Earth and Sun – each time ...

On June 6, 1761 and June 3, 1769, the planet Venus passed between Earth and Sun – each time visible as a small black dot against the burning face of the Sun for six hours. Transits of Venus always arrive in pairs – eight years apart – but then it takes more than a century before they are seen again. In the 1760s the world’s scientific community was electrified because the transit would allow them for the first time to calculate the distance between the planets in our solar system. This would require triangulated data to be compiled from various exact points around the globe – all taken simultaneously during the short period of the actual Transit. Join us for an intriguing glimpse at the spirit of the Enlightenment and the collaborative race to measure the heavens. Chasing Venus will be published in May 2012 in conjunction of the Transit of Venus on June 5/6, 2012.

Offered by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Historical Society. Fee: $10 MHS and Arboretum members, $20 nonmember. Register by phone at 617-384-5277.

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June
A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life: The Photographs of Clover Adams Exhibitionends A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life: The Photographs of Clover Adams, 1883-1885 2 June 2012.Saturday, Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM The striking photographs of Clover Adams, wife of historian and writer Henry Adams, capture iconic ...

A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life: The Photographs of Clover AdamsThe striking photographs of Clover Adams, wife of historian and writer Henry Adams, capture iconic moments of Gilded Age Boston and Washington, D.C., while also opening pathways to her long-concealed inner life. Her photographs tell a story—her story. This exhibition features many of Clover's images, some of which have not been shown publicly, along with her letters, the notebook she used to record the technical aspects of her photographs, Henry's letters, and other family materials.

At the heart of Clover’s story is a mystery: just when she found a powerful way through photography to document her life, it started to unravel. On a gloomy Sunday morning in December 1885, Clover committed suicide by drinking from a vial of potassium cyanide, a chemical used to develop photographs. Henry Adams commissioned a bronze statue by Augustus Saint-Gaudens to mark his wife’s grave in Washington’s Rock Creek Cemetery. But he rarely spoke of her and never mentioned her in his Pulitzer prize-winning The Education of Henry Adams.

What got lost—until now—was the remarkable story of how Clover, in the last years of her life, discovered with her camera an eloquent means with which to express herself.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 2 June 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, ...

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Public Program The Fenway Victory Gardens: Finding History Inside and Out 5 June 2012.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-Program Reception at 5:30 P.M. View items from the Fenway Garden Society's collections, which are preserved at the MHS, and take a ...

View items from the Fenway Garden Society's collections, which are preserved at the MHS, and take a tour of the nearby Victory Gardens.Presented in collaboration with the Fenway Garden Society to commemorate the 70th birthday of the Gardens.

 

Reservations requested. Please call 617-646-0560 or click on the ticket icon above.

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Brown Bag The Origins of Black Boston, 1700-1775 6 June 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jared Hardesty, Boston College This project examines the formation of a slave community in pre-Revolutionary Boston and argues that ...

This project examines the formation of a slave community in pre-Revolutionary Boston and argues that historians have overstated the significance of freedom as a motivating factor for slaves. Instead, the enslaved acted for myriad reasons, such as the protection of their families or the ability to labor independently, only one of which was liberty. By eschewing teleological notions of freedom, we see Afro-Bostonians as dynamic actors capable of decoding their new homeland, ameliorating their condition, and appropriating white values and institutions to better serve their interests.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 9 June 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, ...

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Conference Taking Center Stage: Conflict and Collaboration in the Peopling of Massachusetts 11 June 2012.Monday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Monday, June 11, 2012 9:00am - 4:00pm Hogan Campus Center, College of Holy Cross, Worcester ...

Monday, June 11, 2012
9:00am - 4:00pm
Hogan Campus Center, College of Holy Cross, Worcester
(directions)

Presented by Mass Humanities, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Program in Public History, the Joseph P. Healey Library and the Public History Track at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the "Bread and Roses" strike in Lawrence, known for a high level of collaboration between various groups of immigrants, the 2012 Massachusetts History Conference will explore im/migration history in the Bay State.

Visit the Mass Humanities Conference website for an overview of the day or view the Conference Registration page to register or to learn more about registration options.

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Special Event MHS Open House 16 June 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 3:00PM Join us on Saturday, June 16 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at our annual Open House featuring a preview ...

Chesapeake versus ShannonJoin us on Saturday, June 16 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at our annual Open House featuring a preview of our summer exhibition Mr. Madison’s War: The Controversial War of 1812. Visitors are invited to participate in tours; listen to exhibition talks; enjoy refreshments; and learn more about the Society’s collections, programs, and services.

A variety of activities will be offered throughout the day.

  • Starting in the front lobby at 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 2:00 PM, tours of the Society's public rooms will give visitors a taste of the history and collections of the MHS.
  • At 11:00 AM, visitors are invited to "Frederic Baury's Extraordinary War," a detailed description of the brief but illustrious Naval career of a Midshipman during the War of 1812. This talk will be given by Nora Saltonstall Preservation Librarian Kathy Griffin.
  • At 1:00 PM, Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey will present "War and Peace: John Quincy Adams in St. Petersburg and at Ghent, 1809-1814," a talk focused on John Quincy Adams. While serving as the American minister to Russia, Adams witnessed events leading up to the War of 1812 in America, and at the same time, the “other” War of 1812, the titanic French invasion of Russia. In detailed letters to his parents and voluminous diary accounts, Adams documented his observations of both.
  • View Mr. Madison’s War: The Controversial War of 1812 and examine the controversial nature of the war in Massachusetts and the struggles between the Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans.

Enjoy refreshments throughout the day and visit our information table to learn about MHS resources, upcoming programs, and how to become a member.  For more information e-mail rsvp@masshist.org.

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Mr. Madison's War Exhibitionbegins Mr. Madison's War: The Controversial War of 1812 18 June 2012.Monday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM In 1812, Massachusetts was bitterly divided along partisan political lines and a wave of popular ...

Mr. Madison's WarIn 1812, Massachusetts was bitterly divided along partisan political lines and a wave of popular protests greeted the declaration of war on 18 June. The MHS is commemorating the bicentennial with the exhibition Mr. Madison's War: The Controversial War of 1812. The exhibition showcases a number of letters, broadsides, artifacts, and images from the Society's rich collections including a midshipman's log of the USS Constitution describing the ship's first great victory, letters written by John Quincy Adams to his mother while serving as the American minister to Russia, and a brass cannon captured from the British at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

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Brown Bag Next to Kin: Native Americans and Friendship in Early America 20 June 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Tyler Boulware, West Virginia University Native Americans attached deep and varied meanings to friendship. Often inseparable from the ...

Native Americans attached deep and varied meanings to friendship. Often inseparable from the structures and obligations of kinship, friendship influenced both informal and formal relationships within Native communities and between Indians, Europeans, and Africans. Boulware is particularly interested in how the cultural meanings of friendship (both Indian and European) influenced personal relationships and inter-group alliances, and how ideas about friendship and its obligations contributed to the violence that erupted between individuals and communities.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 23 June 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, ...

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Brown Bag Found at Sea: Mapping Ships' Locations on the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic 27 June 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM John Dixon, Harvard University How did ships move from Port A to Port B? What happened in the middle? This project uses ships&rsquo ...

How did ships move from Port A to Port B? What happened in the middle? This project uses ships’ logbooks and a computer-aided mapping approach to address these foundational, previously unanswered questions about the 18th-century Atlantic World. Depicting the human geography of the ocean opens the Atlantic to historical questions about the existence and characteristics of sea lanes, the effects of weather conditions on sailing routes, the frequency and nature of meetings at sea (friendly, hostile, and otherwise), the practice of maritime navigation, and captains’ decision-making in the context of these and other complex factors.

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Author Talk, Public Program Dr. Kimball's Time Machine: The Man Who Rediscovered Thomas Jefferson, Architect 28 June 2012.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30 P.M. Hugh Howard, author of "Dr. Kimball and Mr. Jefferson" Hugh Howard, author of Dr. Kimball and Mr. Jefferson: Rediscovering the Founding Fathers of ...

Hugh Howard, author of Dr. Kimball and Mr. Jefferson: Rediscovering the Founding Fathers of American Architecture, will discuss Fiske Kimball, the pioneering writer, scholar, and museum director who recovered Thomas Jefferson’s architectural genius from historical memory. View a selection of Jefferson's drawings from the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and learn more about the Society's Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts.

Registration requested: please call 617-646-0560 or click on the ticket icon above to register online.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 30 June 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, ...

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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July
Public Program Gallery Talk: The Most Memorable Day in the History of America 2 July 2012.Monday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey In this gallery talk, Peter Drummey will explain why John Adams believed July 2, 1776 would be the ...

In this gallery talk, Peter Drummey will explain why John Adams believed July 2, 1776 would be the most memorable day in the history of America.

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Exhibitionbegins The Most Memorable Day in the History of America: July 2, 1776 2 July 2012.Monday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM On 2 July 1776, the Continental Congress resolved "That these United Colonies are, and of right, ...

John Adams letter to Abigail Adams July 3, 1776On 2 July 1776, the Continental Congress resolved "That these United Colonies are, and of right, ought to be, Free and Independent States." In a letter written to Abigail Adams on 3 July 1776, John Adams reflected on the event and summed up what it meant for Americans of his own time and in the future. He writes that the day will be celebrated with, "Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other." Adams seems to have understood more clearly than any other member of the Continental Congress the momentous importance of the vote for independence on 2 July, 1776 and how it should be celebrated. He was right about everything except the date. On 2 July, in celebration of America's independence, the MHS will open an exhibition of letters and documents relating to this important moment in United States history. The exhibition will be on display through 31 August.

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Public Program Gallery Talk: The Most Memorable Day in the History of America 2 July 2012.Monday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM In this gallery talk, Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey will discuss why John Adams believed ...

In this gallery talk, Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey will discuss why John Adams believed July 2, 1776 would be the most memorable day in the history of America.

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Building Closed 4th of July 4 July 2012.Wednesday, all day details
MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 7 July 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, ...

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Brown Bag The Emergence of the American Corporation: The New England Example 9 July 2012.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Moira Gillis, University of Oxford This project explores the legal and historical parameters of the corporation as it developed in New ...

This project explores the legal and historical parameters of the corporation as it developed in New England during the English colonial period through the initial years of the new republic. Gillis seeks to identify certain thematic developments relating to the incorporation, operation and regulation of such corporations, whether municipal, charitable, religious, educational or commercial. She will compare this New England corporate experience, as well as those of Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania, with their English counterpart to understand the degree to which the pre-modern American corporation was a unique legal creature rather than a mere offspring of its English corporate parent. 

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Brown Bag Pictures and Progress: The Politics of Images in the Woman Suffrage Movement 11 July 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Allison Lange, Brandeis University This talk will examine the visual culture of the woman suffrage movement. Lange’s ...

This talk will examine the visual culture of the woman suffrage movement. Lange’s research shows that images, from engravings and lithographs to photographs and halftones, shaped Americans' conceptions of gender and women's relationships to politics.  Her project analyzes how suffrage supporters and detractors used these powerful visuals to promote their political causes.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 14 July 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, ...

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 21 July 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, ...

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Brown Bag Conversion and Antislavery, 1750-1830 23 July 2012.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Benjamin Wright, Rice University Wright’s research explores the connections between religious conversion and antislavery ...

Wright’s research explores the connections between religious conversion and antislavery activism in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It argues that the Americans and Britons who attacked slavery prior to 1830 did so primarily out of a desire to convert the colonies, the new American republic, and eventually the world. This study demonstrates how ideologies of conversion directed the tactics of early antislavery reformers and how changes in these ideologies transformed antislavery into abolitionism. 

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Brown Bag Terror ubique tremor: Communicating Terror in Early New England, 1677-1713 25 July 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Katherine Grandjean, Wellesley College This program investigates two concurrent stories: the wars plaguing New England’s northern ...

This program investigates two concurrent stories: the wars plaguing New England’s northern frontier around the turn of the eighteenth century and, in the same years, the rise of the press. Between the 1670s and 1710s, the borderlands of northern New England were repeatedly convulsed by violence.  French and Indian raiders doggedly punished English towns, snatched captives, ambushed farmers in their fields. And, for better or worse, the news spread widely. Although printing had been present in New England since the 1630s, it was only in the latter part of the century—as the most terrific frontier violence was unfolding—that it truly took off. To what extent did the appetite for news of imperial warfare drive the rise of print publication? What appeared in print concerning the border raids—and how did these items circulate? Following the spread of terror in early New England suggests new ways to gauge the effects of imperial warfare in early America.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 28 July 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, ...

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Boston Theatre, Federal Street, Engraving by A. Bowen, 1825 Exhibitionends The First Seasons of the Federal Street Theatre, 1794-1798 30 July 2012.Monday, Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM In 1794, the first public theater in Boston opened on Federal Street despite strong legal and public ...

Boston Theatre, Federal Street, Engraving by A. Bowen, 1825In 1794, the first public theater in Boston opened on Federal Street despite strong legal and public opposition. The First Seasons of the Federal Street Theatre, 1794-1798 documents the battle over the Federal Street Theatre through playbills from early performances as well as the letters and publications of supporters and opponents of public theater in Boston. The MHS show is a satellite display of an exhibition titled Forgotten Chapters of Boston's Literary History on display at the Boston Public Library (BPL). Created by Professor Paul Lewis of the Boston College English Department and his students, the exhibition tells stories about Boston's literary history through letters, manuscripts, and early editions from the collections of the MHS, the BPL, the American Antiquarian Society, and Boston College. Divided into six “chapters,”  the exhibition follows the rise and fall of reputations, recovers out-of-print materials, and walks the streets of Boston in its literary heyday. The materials at the MHS will be on view 28 March through 30 July.

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Brown Bag Riots and Remembrance: America's Idols and the Origins of American Nationalism 30 July 2012.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nichole George, University of Notre Dame This project focuses on popular celebrations and the use of "celebrities" as symbols of the changing ...

This project focuses on popular celebrations and the use of "celebrities" as symbols of the changing dynamics of American nationalism from settlement through the Civil War. George’s research focuses on three main idols, the Pope, Benedict Arnold, and Crispus Attucks, each representing a major transition in American national identity.

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More events
Early American History Seminar The Classical Origins of the American Self: Puritans and Indians in New England Epics 1 May 2012.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:15PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Joanne van der Woude, Harvard University Comment: Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Northeastern University

In colonial New England, classicism was not a common stylistic choice for preachers and poets. Puritan authors much preferred typology-casting Biblical figures as figurative forefathers of their own leaders-to antique heroes and forms. The guiding question of this paper is big and simple: what representative advantages does classicism confer? Or, what do you see if you look at early New England through a classical, rather than a Scriptural lens? What gets lost and what gets emphasized when Boston, for once, is a new Troy or Rome, instead of a shining Jerusalem? Only two exceptional events, Thomas Morton's Merrymount and King Philip's War, prompted a turn to classic origins: Morton's own The New English Canaan (Amsterdam, 1637) and Benjamin Tompson's New-Englands Crisis (London, 1676) and New-Englands Tears (1677). These (proto-)epics display an acute concern with place. Both authors depict the landscape and leadership of New England based on classical precedence-to opposite ends, one might argue. This paper will consider the larger stakes of such representations with an eye to future Puritan epics, such as Cotton Mather's Magnalia (1702).

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Brown Bag Clio and America's Civil War 2 May 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Jordan Watkins, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

This project examines the place of historical thought and historical representation in the build up to, and event and aftermath of, America's Civil War. A religiously tinged republicanism and a politicized millenarianism informed much of the antebellum abolitionist and the proslavery anti-abolitionist rhetoric and the arrival of the war intensified chiliastic sentiment. While the apocalypticism continued throughout the war, widespread destruction dampened hopes of Christ’s return. Perhaps the impact of the Civil War on American historical consciousness can be profitably compared to the French Revolution’s impact on European historical consciousness.

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Biography Seminar POSTPONED: Biographers' Round Table: A Conversation with Stacy Schiff 3 May 2012.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Susan Ware, Moderator

This program has been postponed until our 2012-2013 New England Biography Seminar series. Ms. Schiff will present on January 24, 2013. We apologize for any inconvenience that this change may cause.

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Public Program Clover: Artistry in Light and Shadow 4 May 2012.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM this event is free Anne Bentley, MHS Curator of Art

This talk, led by MHS curator of Art Anne Bentley, will examine Clover Adams's use of the photographic medium to reflect her emotional connections to the arts and her subjects.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 5 May 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Brown Bag A Consuming Femininity: Gender, Culture, and the Material Worlds of Young Womanhood, 1750-1850 7 May 2012.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Kathryn Goetz, University of Minnesota close
Brown Bag Yankee Passages to India 9 May 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Hari Vishwanadha, Santa Monica College

This project focuses on the young captains and sailors who went to seek a fortune and found a strange and rich world that profoundly influenced them and the young nation. As they encountered an entirely different culture and society, these men negotiated innumerable differences in traditions and beliefs in order to survive and succeed.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 12 May 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Library Closed Library Closing @ 3:00 PM 16 May 2012.Wednesday, all day close
Special Event, Member Event MHS Annual Meeting and Kennedy Medal Ceremony 16 May 2012.Wednesday, 5:00PM - 8:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Special event for MHS Fellows and Members

MHS annual business meeting followed by a program and reception honoring Gordon S. Wood, recipient of the John F. Kennedy Medal.

5:00 PM
Annual Meeting for elected MHS Fellows

6:00 PM
MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the presentation of the Kennedy Medal and remarks by recipient, Gordon S. Wood. A reception will follow.

RSVP by May 9 by calling 617-646-0560 or by clicking on the link above.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 19 May 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Brown Bag Researching a Naval History of the American Revolution 23 May 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Sam Willis

Sam Willis is currently researching the naval aspects of the American Revolution. He is interested in telling the story from the American, British, French, Spanish and Dutch perspectives. A major theme in his work is how naval power crossed the boundaries between land in sea and affected many different people in many different ways.

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Author Talk, Public Program Where We Worked: A Celebration of America’s Workers and the Nation They Built 23 May 2012.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM registration required at no cost Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30 P.M. Jack Larkin, Clark University & Old Sturbridge Village

Jack Larkin is Affiliate Professor of History at Clark University and Chief Historian Emeritus at Old Sturbridge Village, the outdoor museum of early American history. He has also written The Reshaping of Everyday Life 1790-1840, and Where We Lived: Discovering the Places We Once Called Home, The American Home 1775-1840.

Reservations requested: please call 617-646-0560 or click on the ticket icon above to register online.

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Library Closed Library Closing @ 3:00 PM 24 May 2012.Thursday, all day close
Building Closed Memorial Day 26 May 2012 to 28 May 2012 close
Author Talk, Public Program Chasing Venus: The Race to Measure the Heavens 30 May 2012.Wednesday, 7:00PM - 8:00PM registration required LOCATION: Arnold Arboretum (Weld Hill Research Building, 1300 Centre Street, Roslindale) Andrea Wulf, Design Historian and Writer

On June 6, 1761 and June 3, 1769, the planet Venus passed between Earth and Sun – each time visible as a small black dot against the burning face of the Sun for six hours. Transits of Venus always arrive in pairs – eight years apart – but then it takes more than a century before they are seen again. In the 1760s the world’s scientific community was electrified because the transit would allow them for the first time to calculate the distance between the planets in our solar system. This would require triangulated data to be compiled from various exact points around the globe – all taken simultaneously during the short period of the actual Transit. Join us for an intriguing glimpse at the spirit of the Enlightenment and the collaborative race to measure the heavens. Chasing Venus will be published in May 2012 in conjunction of the Transit of Venus on June 5/6, 2012.

Offered by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Historical Society. Fee: $10 MHS and Arboretum members, $20 nonmember. Register by phone at 617-384-5277.

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Exhibition A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life: The Photographs of Clover Adams, 1883-1885 2 June 2012.Saturday, this event is free Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life: The Photographs of Clover Adams

A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life: The Photographs of Clover AdamsThe striking photographs of Clover Adams, wife of historian and writer Henry Adams, capture iconic moments of Gilded Age Boston and Washington, D.C., while also opening pathways to her long-concealed inner life. Her photographs tell a story—her story. This exhibition features many of Clover's images, some of which have not been shown publicly, along with her letters, the notebook she used to record the technical aspects of her photographs, Henry's letters, and other family materials.

At the heart of Clover’s story is a mystery: just when she found a powerful way through photography to document her life, it started to unravel. On a gloomy Sunday morning in December 1885, Clover committed suicide by drinking from a vial of potassium cyanide, a chemical used to develop photographs. Henry Adams commissioned a bronze statue by Augustus Saint-Gaudens to mark his wife’s grave in Washington’s Rock Creek Cemetery. But he rarely spoke of her and never mentioned her in his Pulitzer prize-winning The Education of Henry Adams.

What got lost—until now—was the remarkable story of how Clover, in the last years of her life, discovered with her camera an eloquent means with which to express herself.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 2 June 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Public Program The Fenway Victory Gardens: Finding History Inside and Out 5 June 2012.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Pre-Program Reception at 5:30 P.M.

View items from the Fenway Garden Society's collections, which are preserved at the MHS, and take a tour of the nearby Victory Gardens.Presented in collaboration with the Fenway Garden Society to commemorate the 70th birthday of the Gardens.

 

Reservations requested. Please call 617-646-0560 or click on the ticket icon above.

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Brown Bag The Origins of Black Boston, 1700-1775 6 June 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Jared Hardesty, Boston College

This project examines the formation of a slave community in pre-Revolutionary Boston and argues that historians have overstated the significance of freedom as a motivating factor for slaves. Instead, the enslaved acted for myriad reasons, such as the protection of their families or the ability to labor independently, only one of which was liberty. By eschewing teleological notions of freedom, we see Afro-Bostonians as dynamic actors capable of decoding their new homeland, ameliorating their condition, and appropriating white values and institutions to better serve their interests.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 9 June 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Conference Taking Center Stage: Conflict and Collaboration in the Peopling of Massachusetts 11 June 2012.Monday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM registration required

Monday, June 11, 2012
9:00am - 4:00pm
Hogan Campus Center, College of Holy Cross, Worcester
(directions)

Presented by Mass Humanities, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Program in Public History, the Joseph P. Healey Library and the Public History Track at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the "Bread and Roses" strike in Lawrence, known for a high level of collaboration between various groups of immigrants, the 2012 Massachusetts History Conference will explore im/migration history in the Bay State.

Visit the Mass Humanities Conference website for an overview of the day or view the Conference Registration page to register or to learn more about registration options.

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Special Event MHS Open House 16 June 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 3:00PM this event is free

Chesapeake versus ShannonJoin us on Saturday, June 16 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at our annual Open House featuring a preview of our summer exhibition Mr. Madison’s War: The Controversial War of 1812. Visitors are invited to participate in tours; listen to exhibition talks; enjoy refreshments; and learn more about the Society’s collections, programs, and services.

A variety of activities will be offered throughout the day.

  • Starting in the front lobby at 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 2:00 PM, tours of the Society's public rooms will give visitors a taste of the history and collections of the MHS.
  • At 11:00 AM, visitors are invited to "Frederic Baury's Extraordinary War," a detailed description of the brief but illustrious Naval career of a Midshipman during the War of 1812. This talk will be given by Nora Saltonstall Preservation Librarian Kathy Griffin.
  • At 1:00 PM, Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey will present "War and Peace: John Quincy Adams in St. Petersburg and at Ghent, 1809-1814," a talk focused on John Quincy Adams. While serving as the American minister to Russia, Adams witnessed events leading up to the War of 1812 in America, and at the same time, the “other” War of 1812, the titanic French invasion of Russia. In detailed letters to his parents and voluminous diary accounts, Adams documented his observations of both.
  • View Mr. Madison’s War: The Controversial War of 1812 and examine the controversial nature of the war in Massachusetts and the struggles between the Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans.

Enjoy refreshments throughout the day and visit our information table to learn about MHS resources, upcoming programs, and how to become a member.  For more information e-mail rsvp@masshist.org.

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Exhibition Mr. Madison's War: The Controversial War of 1812 18 June 2012 to 8 September 2012 this event is free Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM Mr. Madison's War

Mr. Madison's WarIn 1812, Massachusetts was bitterly divided along partisan political lines and a wave of popular protests greeted the declaration of war on 18 June. The MHS is commemorating the bicentennial with the exhibition Mr. Madison's War: The Controversial War of 1812. The exhibition showcases a number of letters, broadsides, artifacts, and images from the Society's rich collections including a midshipman's log of the USS Constitution describing the ship's first great victory, letters written by John Quincy Adams to his mother while serving as the American minister to Russia, and a brass cannon captured from the British at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

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Brown Bag Next to Kin: Native Americans and Friendship in Early America 20 June 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Tyler Boulware, West Virginia University

Native Americans attached deep and varied meanings to friendship. Often inseparable from the structures and obligations of kinship, friendship influenced both informal and formal relationships within Native communities and between Indians, Europeans, and Africans. Boulware is particularly interested in how the cultural meanings of friendship (both Indian and European) influenced personal relationships and inter-group alliances, and how ideas about friendship and its obligations contributed to the violence that erupted between individuals and communities.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 23 June 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Brown Bag Found at Sea: Mapping Ships' Locations on the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic 27 June 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free John Dixon, Harvard University

How did ships move from Port A to Port B? What happened in the middle? This project uses ships’ logbooks and a computer-aided mapping approach to address these foundational, previously unanswered questions about the 18th-century Atlantic World. Depicting the human geography of the ocean opens the Atlantic to historical questions about the existence and characteristics of sea lanes, the effects of weather conditions on sailing routes, the frequency and nature of meetings at sea (friendly, hostile, and otherwise), the practice of maritime navigation, and captains’ decision-making in the context of these and other complex factors.

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Author Talk, Public Program Dr. Kimball's Time Machine: The Man Who Rediscovered Thomas Jefferson, Architect 28 June 2012.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30 P.M. Hugh Howard, author of "Dr. Kimball and Mr. Jefferson"

Hugh Howard, author of Dr. Kimball and Mr. Jefferson: Rediscovering the Founding Fathers of American Architecture, will discuss Fiske Kimball, the pioneering writer, scholar, and museum director who recovered Thomas Jefferson’s architectural genius from historical memory. View a selection of Jefferson's drawings from the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and learn more about the Society's Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts.

Registration requested: please call 617-646-0560 or click on the ticket icon above to register online.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 30 June 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Public Program Gallery Talk: The Most Memorable Day in the History of America 2 July 2012.Monday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM this event is free Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey

In this gallery talk, Peter Drummey will explain why John Adams believed July 2, 1776 would be the most memorable day in the history of America.

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Exhibition The Most Memorable Day in the History of America: July 2, 1776 2 July 2012 to 31 August 2012 this event is free Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM

John Adams letter to Abigail Adams July 3, 1776On 2 July 1776, the Continental Congress resolved "That these United Colonies are, and of right, ought to be, Free and Independent States." In a letter written to Abigail Adams on 3 July 1776, John Adams reflected on the event and summed up what it meant for Americans of his own time and in the future. He writes that the day will be celebrated with, "Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other." Adams seems to have understood more clearly than any other member of the Continental Congress the momentous importance of the vote for independence on 2 July, 1776 and how it should be celebrated. He was right about everything except the date. On 2 July, in celebration of America's independence, the MHS will open an exhibition of letters and documents relating to this important moment in United States history. The exhibition will be on display through 31 August.

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Public Program Gallery Talk: The Most Memorable Day in the History of America 2 July 2012.Monday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM this event is free

In this gallery talk, Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey will discuss why John Adams believed July 2, 1776 would be the most memorable day in the history of America.

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Building Closed 4th of July 4 July 2012.Wednesday, all day close
MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 7 July 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Brown Bag The Emergence of the American Corporation: The New England Example 9 July 2012.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Moira Gillis, University of Oxford

This project explores the legal and historical parameters of the corporation as it developed in New England during the English colonial period through the initial years of the new republic. Gillis seeks to identify certain thematic developments relating to the incorporation, operation and regulation of such corporations, whether municipal, charitable, religious, educational or commercial. She will compare this New England corporate experience, as well as those of Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania, with their English counterpart to understand the degree to which the pre-modern American corporation was a unique legal creature rather than a mere offspring of its English corporate parent. 

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Brown Bag Pictures and Progress: The Politics of Images in the Woman Suffrage Movement 11 July 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Allison Lange, Brandeis University

This talk will examine the visual culture of the woman suffrage movement. Lange’s research shows that images, from engravings and lithographs to photographs and halftones, shaped Americans' conceptions of gender and women's relationships to politics.  Her project analyzes how suffrage supporters and detractors used these powerful visuals to promote their political causes.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 14 July 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 21 July 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Brown Bag Conversion and Antislavery, 1750-1830 23 July 2012.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Benjamin Wright, Rice University

Wright’s research explores the connections between religious conversion and antislavery activism in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It argues that the Americans and Britons who attacked slavery prior to 1830 did so primarily out of a desire to convert the colonies, the new American republic, and eventually the world. This study demonstrates how ideologies of conversion directed the tactics of early antislavery reformers and how changes in these ideologies transformed antislavery into abolitionism. 

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Brown Bag Terror ubique tremor: Communicating Terror in Early New England, 1677-1713 25 July 2012.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Katherine Grandjean, Wellesley College

This program investigates two concurrent stories: the wars plaguing New England’s northern frontier around the turn of the eighteenth century and, in the same years, the rise of the press. Between the 1670s and 1710s, the borderlands of northern New England were repeatedly convulsed by violence.  French and Indian raiders doggedly punished English towns, snatched captives, ambushed farmers in their fields. And, for better or worse, the news spread widely. Although printing had been present in New England since the 1630s, it was only in the latter part of the century—as the most terrific frontier violence was unfolding—that it truly took off. To what extent did the appetite for news of imperial warfare drive the rise of print publication? What appeared in print concerning the border raids—and how did these items circulate? Following the spread of terror in early New England suggests new ways to gauge the effects of imperial warfare in early America.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 28 July 2012.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour.  For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Exhibition The First Seasons of the Federal Street Theatre, 1794-1798 30 July 2012.Monday, this event is free Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM Boston Theatre, Federal Street, Engraving by A. Bowen, 1825

Boston Theatre, Federal Street, Engraving by A. Bowen, 1825In 1794, the first public theater in Boston opened on Federal Street despite strong legal and public opposition. The First Seasons of the Federal Street Theatre, 1794-1798 documents the battle over the Federal Street Theatre through playbills from early performances as well as the letters and publications of supporters and opponents of public theater in Boston. The MHS show is a satellite display of an exhibition titled Forgotten Chapters of Boston's Literary History on display at the Boston Public Library (BPL). Created by Professor Paul Lewis of the Boston College English Department and his students, the exhibition tells stories about Boston's literary history through letters, manuscripts, and early editions from the collections of the MHS, the BPL, the American Antiquarian Society, and Boston College. Divided into six “chapters,”  the exhibition follows the rise and fall of reputations, recovers out-of-print materials, and walks the streets of Boston in its literary heyday. The materials at the MHS will be on view 28 March through 30 July.

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Brown Bag Riots and Remembrance: America's Idols and the Origins of American Nationalism 30 July 2012.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Nichole George, University of Notre Dame

This project focuses on popular celebrations and the use of "celebrities" as symbols of the changing dynamics of American nationalism from settlement through the Civil War. George’s research focuses on three main idols, the Pope, Benedict Arnold, and Crispus Attucks, each representing a major transition in American national identity.

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