Press Releases

Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize Awarded

Tamara Plakins Thornton recognized for her insightful biography Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers

Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers book coverThe MHS has announced that the Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize will go to Tamara Plakins Thornton for her book Nathaniel Bowditch & the Power of Numbers: How a 19th-Century Man of Business, Science, & the Sea Changed American Life, published in 2016 by The University of North Carolina Press. The Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize is given to the best nonfiction work on the history of Massachusetts published during the preceding year. Thornton will receive the award at an event at the Society on January 25, 2018.

Yankees in the West Now Open at the MHS

Explore how a generation of eastern tourists set out to claim their storyline in the expanding narrative of the American West.

Henry Adams - YellowstoneThe American West has long loomed large in the popular imagination. Depicted alternately as a harsh, untamed, and unpopulated wilderness; a land of opportunity; and the embodiment of America’s sense of entitlement through manifest destiny, realizing western promise was a dominant theme throughout the 19th century. Beginning mid-century, descriptions of the trans-Mississippi West flowed steadily east, capturing the Yankee eye and fueling still steadier streams of westward travel. Through a selection of letters, diaries, artifacts, photographs, and drawings, Yankees in the West explores how New Englanders experienced the trans-Mississippi west in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The exhibition is on display at the Society through April 6, 2018, Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

MHS Statement on Racism and Violence

The Massachusetts Historical Society joins the nation in condemning racism, hate, bigotry, and the violence borne of those views as evident in the recent actions in Charlottesville, Virginia. The MHS celebrates the American values of inclusion and diversity and will not tolerate individuals or groups who incite fear and hate based on factors such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

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Upcoming Events

Environmental History Seminar

The Fight before the Flood: Rural Protest and the Debate over Boston’s Quabbin Reservoir, 1919 ...

16Jan 5:15PM 2018

In 1919, state engineers proposed solving Boston’s water supply crisis by damming the Swift River, flooding a western Massachusetts valley and evicting 2,500 ...

Brown Bag

Skulls, Selves, and Showmanship: Itinerant Phrenologists in 19th-Century America

17Jan 12:00PM 2018

"Come, then, one and all, and learn to know yourselves." With these words, a traveling phrenologist advertised his lecture to the public. Proponents of phrenology ...

Author Talk

Pauline Maier Memorial Lecture - Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention

17Jan 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm.

James Madison’s Notes on the 1787 Constitutional Convention have acquired nearly unquestioned authority as the description of the U.S. Constitution’s creation ...

From our Blog

This Week @ MHS

First things first in this weekly round-up: The Society is CLOSED on Monday, 15 January, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. Normal hours resume on Tuesday, 16 January. Now that we have ...

A Midwinter’s Tale

  At eight o-clock on a January morning in 1891, and a world away from the ice-caked streets of his native New England, 52-year-old Henry Adams leisurely began to go about his day. Armed with ...

Read more from our blog

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