Object of the Month


October 2007

General Washington's Terrible Dilemma

September 2007

"I am here too soon": Francis Dana's Failed Attempt to Establish Diplomatic Relations with Russia During the American Revolution

Letter from Francis Dana to John Adams, 1781

August 2007

A Ribald Acrostic in the Eliot Indian Bible

Manuscript verse (incomplete)

July 2007

A Fourth of July Feast, 1844 Style

Printed menu

June 2007

The Education of John Adams

Letter from John Adams to William Dawes, 28 July 1821

May 2007

"The Other Emersons": The Correspondence of William, Ralph Waldo, Edward Bliss, and Charles Chauncy Emerson

Miniature portrait of William Emerson, circa 1833

April 2007

The "literary leather dresser": Thomas Dowse and his Library

Engraving of the Dowse Library at the Massachusetts Historical Society, circa 1856

March 2007

Eliza Susan Quincy: The Education of an Artist in the Early Republic

Watercolor drawing of Presidential birthplaces, 1822

February 2007

The Education of Henry Adams: One Hundred Years Later

Photograph of Henry Adams, 1858

January 2007

"All are gone who desire to do so": Robert E. Lee and Slavery

Manuscript letter from Robert E. Lee to George W. C. Lee, 1863

December 2006

Boston Burning: the Fire of 1787

Manuscript map of Boston drawn by Jeremy Belknap, 1787

November 2006

"She had always aspired to something noble": Caroline Dall and Her Extraordinary Diary

Daguerreoptype of Caroline Wells Healey Dall

October 2006

Meet the Ochterlonys

Miniature portrait of Major General Sir David Ochterlony

September 2006

Indian deed for Boston, 19 March 1685

Quitclaim deed for the peninsula of Boston, 19 March 1685

August 2006

Sally Putnam visits the Aquarial Gardens

Sarah Gooll Putnam diary 2, 22-23 February 1862

July 2006

Will Bradley and the Art of the Bicycle

Catalog of the Overman Wheel Co., designed by Will Bradley

June 2006

Orphans of the Revolution: caring for the children of Dr. Joseph Warren

caring for the children of Dr. Joseph Warren

May 2006

The Diary of a Black Civil War Sailor

William B. Gould diary, 15 April 1865

April 2006

The Massachusetts Pine Tree penny

Copper pattern coin designed and engraved by Paul Revere, 1776

March 2006

The last days of the telegram

Telegram from Dean Rusk to Leverett Saltonstall, 24 September 1963.

February 2006

"Boston Harbor a tea-pot tonight"

Tea leaves in glass bottle collected on the shore of Dorchester Neck the morning of 17 December 1773.

January 2006

Benjamin Franklin recalls Boston, the place of his birth

Letter from Benjamin Franklin to Samuel Mather, 12 May 1784

December 2005

The Darkest December: George Washington during the crisis of the American Revolution in 1776

Letter from William Tudor to Delia Jarvis, 24 December 1776

November 2005

The Cape Ann Earthquake of November 1755

Broadside by Jeremiah Newland

October 2005

Ralph Farnham, the Last Survivor of the Battle of Bunker Hill?

Ambrotype of Ralph Farnham, 7 July 1858

September 2005

Harvard in 1726: The First Prospect of an American College

The First Prospect of an American College

August 2005

Slavery, Bleeding Kansas, and a Test of Friendship

A letter from Abraham Lincoln to Joshua Fry Speed

July 2005

"A Covenant with Death and an Agreement with Hell"

Broadside advertising a Fourth of July rally sponsored by the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in 1854.

June 2005

Fort Independence

Castle Island in Boston Harbor

May 2005

Three extraordinary women:

The Peabody sisters of Salem

April 2005

From the desk of Phillis Wheatley

Published in London in 1773, Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religous and Moral, was the first book of poetry by a Black American.

March 2005

Deborah Sampson, soldier in disguise

Paul Revere writes in support of Deborah Sampson Gannett, who served during the American Revolution disguised as a man.

February 2005

Montcalm and Wolfe

Francis Parkman's Account of the Deaths of Montcalm and Wolfe

January 2005

The Know-Nothing Party

The American Party (the Know-Nothing Party) comes to power in Massachusetts in 1855

December 2004

Benjamin Franklin's milk punch recipe

Benjamin Franklin sent a recipe "To make Milk Punch" to James Bowdoin, a Boston merchant and the future governor of Massachusetts, on 11 October 1763.

November 2004

Certificate of attendance at Dr. John Warren's course of anatomical lectures

One of two known surviving copies of a certificate of attendance at Dr. John Warren's anatomical lectures and demonstrations, engraved by Paul Revere.

October 2004

GOP campaign mugs

Mugs depicting the heads of the 1960 Republican candidates for President, Richard M. Nixon, and Vice President, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

September 2004

The Selling of Joseph A Memorial

Written by Samuel Sewall in 1700, The Selling of Joseph was the first anti-slavery tract published in New England.

August 2004

Letter from Eleanor "Nora" Saltonstall to her family

Saltonstall wrote this letter to her family while she was serving with the American Red Cross in France during World War I.

July 2004

Letter from Alexander Hamilton to Theodore Sedgwick, 10 July 1804

Hamilton wrote this letter the day before his duel with Aaron Burr.

June 2004

Colombo Yogurt: A Massachusetts Success Story

Colombo Yogurt 8-ounce container

May 2004

The Columbia and Washington Medal

The Columbia and Washington Medal commemorating "the first American Adventure on the Pacific Ocean."

April 2004

The Boston News-Letter

This is the first issue of the first continuously published newspaper in America.

March 2004

The Tragedy of Zara

"On Saturday next will be perform'd, by a society of ladies and gentlemen, at Faneuil-Hall, the Tragedy of Zara ... "

February 2004

Preble before Tripoli

Edward Preble and the burning of the Philadelphia

January 2004

The Mischief at Deerfield

Letter from William Whiting to Fitz-John Winthrop, 4 March 1703/4 [1704]

December 2003

100th Anniversary of First Flight

Letters by Octave Chanute and Godfrey L. Cabot following the Wright brothers' successful flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

November 2003

Atkins Family Photographs

Robert M. Grey, Mr. Brooks, and Thomas Barbour gathering papayas at the Harvard Botanical Garden, Soledad, Cuba