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March 2015

Lincoln, the End of the Civil War, and the Legacy of Conflict

Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict SeriesApril 2015 marks the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln. A series of programs at the MHS will explore various aspects of the war and honor the life and legacy of our 16th president. A Civil Conversation kicks off the series on Thursday, 26 March with James McPherson and Louis Masur. Other programs in the series feature noted historians Richard Brookhiser, John Stauffer, and Martha Hodes. A full-day workshop, Emancipation & Assassination: Remembering Abraham Lincoln, will take place at the Society on Saturday, 28 March. Using documents and artifacts from the Society's collections, participants will explore Lincoln's legacy in his own time and debate what his legacy is—or should be—in the 21st century. For more information, please visit:

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln assassination, Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., is creating a digital collection called Remembering Lincoln. Selected items, including broadsides and letters, from the Society's collection will be featured on the forthcoming site. The digital collection will launch later this month ( making available many resources to help contextualize the tragic and historic event that occurred 150 years ago.

Comic History: Tales Not Found in History Books

Hamilton illustrationJoin us on 21 April for a hands-on history program for families, an author talk featuring a new publication of historical comics, and a special event for MHS Associate Members. Starting at 2:00 PM, young historians and their families are invited to create their own history comic with the help of noted historian John Bell and local comic book artists. Finished comics will be displayed at the evening program. At 6:00 PM, Jason Rodriguez will speak about the process of compiling and editing Colonial Comics by Fulcrum Publishing. Following the talk, MHS Associate Members are invited to continue the discussion with Jason Rodriguez at a neighborhood restaurant. For more information, please visit

(Illustration by Andrea Cronin)

MHS Staff Members Get Involved with National History Day Competition

National History Day logoIt's National History Day season again! On 28 February and 7 March staff members from the Education and Reader Services departments served as judges in our state's regional competitions. (Massachusetts hosts competitions in four regions: the North Shore, the South Shore, Metro Boston, and Central Massachusetts.) This year's theme is "Leadership and Legacy in History," and staff judged some interesting projects on topics including Joseph Mengele, the Soviet chess team, Coco Chanel, and Bruce Lee. Student winners from these regional events will advance to the state competition, which will take place at Stoneham High School on 11 April. Visit to learn more about how the MHS works with students and teachers on NHD projects, or how YOU can become a judge!

Make a Gift to the MHS Fund Today

Pine Tree PennyDonate to the MHS Fund today and help us to fulfill our mission to collect, preserve, and share the diverse stories that define our nation's past. Gifts to the MHS Fund provide the general operating budget with unrestricted money that is used each year to support the Society's highest priorities. In order to produce nationally important exhibitions, offer educational programs for visitors of all ages, share our collections with researchers around the world, and provide for the upkeep and care of our facilities, we rely on your continued support. If you have already made a contribution to the MHS Fund—thank you. If you have not yet made a donation, it is not too late. Give to the MHS Fund today!

Object of the Month

Adventures in Animal Husbandry: The Bull Admiral in Essex County

The Bull Admiral broadsideThis broadside, from the Timothy Pickering papers, advertises the availability of a recently imported short-horned bull named Admiral for breeding with Essex County cows. The importation of Admiral and other English cattle was an effort on the part of Massachusetts farmers to improve their livestock. Read more about the bull Admiral and heifer Annabella presented to the Massachusetts Agricultural Society by Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin.

Looking at the Civil War: Massachusetts Finds Her Voice

March 1865: ". . . tell anybody who has anything to give to give now"

Dorothea Dix letterLetter from Dorothea Dix to Mary, 29 March 1865

"Tell anybody who has anything to give to give now. I don't hesitate either to ask or to beg," implores Dorothea Lynde Dix, the superintendent of Army nurses, in this 29 March 1865 letter to her friend Mary. Dix both thanks Mary for foodstuffs she has already sent and entreats her to gather more food and other supplies and forward them to the front. Read more about Dorothea Dix.

On View

God Save the People! From the Stamp Act to Bunker Hill

Boston Massacre engraving by Paul RevereTo tell the story of the coming of the American Revolution in Boston, this exhibition follows the evolution of colonial thought and political action through the letters and diaries of men and women caught up in the conflict, together with political cartoons, newspapers, maps, artifacts, and portraits. The exhibition is on display at the Society 27 February through 4 September.

Explore the coming of the American Revolution through these online displays. Perspectives of the Boston Massacre is an interactive website that allows visitors to examine materials offering a range of perspectives related to the events of 5 March 1765. The Siege of Boston presents more than one dozen accounts written by individuals personally engaged in or affected by the siege, which occurred from April 1775 to March 1776. The Annotated Newspapers of Harbottle Dorr, Jr., presents the complete four-volume set of Revolutionary-era Boston newspapers and pamphlets assembled, annotated, and indexed by Harbottle Dorr, Jr., a shopkeeper in Boston. Discover the fears, friction, and turmoil that shaped these times with The Coming of the American Revolution, a web display of newspapers, official documents, and personal correspondence arranged into fifteen key topics.

The exhibition galleries are open to the public, Monday through Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

MHS Events Calendar

Saturday, 14 March 10:00 AM

MHS Tour
The History & Collections of the MHS

Tuesday, 17 March 5:15 PM

Environmental History Seminar
An Enervating Environment: Altered Bodies in the Lowcountry & the British West Indies
Katherine Johnston, Columbia University
Conevery Bolton Valencius, University of Massachusetts – Boston
Registration required: An Enervating Environment

Wednesday, 18 March 12:00 PM

Networks of Faith & Finance: Boston's Scottish Exile Community in the Later 17th Century
Craig Gallagher, Boston College

Wednesday, 18 March 6:00 PM

Landscape Architects Series
Landscape Architect Arthur Shurcliff
Elizabeth Hope Cushing, independent author
Pre-talk reception at 5:30 PM
$10 fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or members of the Friends of Mount Auburn and the Nichols House Museum)
Registration required: Arthur Shurcliff

Saturday, 21 March 10:00 AM

MHS Tour
The History & Collections of the MHS

Tuesday, 24 March 5:15 PM

Immigration and Urban History Seminar
Remaking Boston's Chinatown: Race, Place, & Redevelopment after World War II
Thomas Chen, Brown University
Comment: Jim Vrabel, author of A People's History of the New Boston
Registration required: Remaking Boston's Chinatown

Wednesday, 25 March 12:00 PM

Allegiance & Protection: The Problem of Subjecthood in the Glorious Revolution, 1680–1695
Alex Jablonski, State University of New York at Binghamton

Thursday, 26 March 6:00 PM

Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series
A Civil Conversation
James McPherson, Princeton University, and Louis Masur, Rutgers University
Facilitated by Carol Bundy, author of The Nature of Sacrifice: A Biography of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr., 1835–1864
Pre-talk reception at 5:30 PM
$20 fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members)
Registration required: A Civil Conversation

Saturday, 28 March 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Emancipation & Assassination: Remembering Abraham Lincoln
$25 fee
Registration required: Emancipation & Assassination

Saturday, 28 March 10:00 AM

MHS Tour
The History & Collections of the MHS

Tuesday, 31 March 5:15 PM

Early American History Seminar
Frontiers & Geopolitics of Early America
Patrick Spero, Williams College
Comment: Kate Grandjean, Wellesley College
Registration required: Frontiers & Geopolitics

Wednesday, 1 April 12:00 PM

Contesting the Centennial: Civil War Memory at the 1876 World's Fair
Krista Kinslow, Boston University

Wednesday, 1 April 6:00 PM

Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series
Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln
Richard Brookhiser, National Review
Pre-talk reception at 5:30 PM
$20 fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members)
Registration required: Founders' Son

Thursday, 2 April 5:30 PM

Biography Seminar
Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, in conversation with Susan Ware
Registration required: Dava Sobel

Saturday, 4 April 10:00 AM

MHS Tour
The History & Collections of the MHS

Monday, 6 April 5:30 PM

Author Talk
Investment Management in Boston: A History
David Grayson Allen
Registration required: call 617-646-0578

Wednesday, 8 April 6:00 PM

Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series
Mourning Lincoln
Martha Hodes, New York University
Pre-talk reception at 5:30 PM
$20 fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members)
Registration required: Mourning Lincoln

All events are free and open to the public and held at the MHS unless otherwise noted. Reservations are requested for most events. There is a charge to receive seminar papers in advance.

For complete event and RSVP information, visit the MHS online calendar:

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