November

African American History Seminar An “Organic Union”: Ecclesiastical Imperialism and Caribbean Missions 15 November 2018.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Christina Davidson, Harvard University Comment: Greg Childs, Brandeis University In 1880, hundreds of black clergy and lay delegates of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) ...

In 1880, hundreds of black clergy and lay delegates of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) gathered to discuss reunion with the British Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada. Factions within both denominations disputed the nature and procedure of the proposed organic union. This paper argues that the organic union debate was in fact crucial to AME expansion and the development of foreign missions in Haiti and the broader Caribbean.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:00PM 16 November 2018.Friday, all day The library is closing early at 3:00PM for staff training.

The library is closing early at 3:00PM for staff training.

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Tour Gallery Talk: Fashioning the New England Family 17 November 2018.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire Material culture specialist and guest curator, Dr. Kimberly Alexander will help viewers explore and ...

Material culture specialist and guest curator, Dr. Kimberly Alexander will help viewers explore and contextualize rarely seen costumes, textiles and fashion-related accessories mined from the MHS collection. Representing three- centuries of evolving New England style, most of the pieces have never before been on view to the public.

 

 

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Public Program, Author Talk Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates 19 November 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Eric Jay Dolin There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the dramatic ...

Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the dramatic history of American piracy’s “Golden Age”—spanning the late 1600s through the early 1700s—when lawless pirates plied the coastal waters of North America and beyond. Eric Jay Dolin illustrates how American colonists at first supported these outrageous pirates in an early display of solidarity against the Crown, and then violently opposed them.

 

 

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Brown Bag The American Debates over the China Relief Expedition of 1900 21 November 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Xiangyun Xu, Pennsylvania State University This talk examines the American debates over the country’s participation in the eight-nation ...

This talk examines the American debates over the country’s participation in the eight-nation alliance to relieve the Chinese Boxers’ siege of internationals in Tianjin and Beijing. It places U.S. participation within the context of concurrent controversies over the Spanish-American and Philippine-American war as well as the assertive U.S. policy in East Asia.

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Building Closed Thanksgiving 22 November 2018.Thursday, all day The Society is CLOSED for Thanksgiving.

The Society is CLOSED for Thanksgiving.

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Building Closed Thanksgiving Friday 23 November 2018.Friday, all day More
Building Closed Thanksgiving Saturday 24 November 2018.Saturday, all day More
Modern American Society and Culture Seminar In Search of the Costs of Segregation 27 November 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Elizabeth Herbin-Triant, University of Massachusetts Lowell Comment: Kenneth W. Mack, Harvard Law School Historians generally treat Jim Crow as a legal, political, and cultural system shaping where African ...

Historians generally treat Jim Crow as a legal, political, and cultural system shaping where African Americans went, whether they voted, and how they acted. Yet it was also an economic system that imposed financial burdens. This paper explores how segregation made the activities undertaken by African Americans—from gaining education to property—more expensive for them and how it excluded them from economic advancement.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Mules, Fuels, and Fusion: Overcoming Entropy and Crossing the Isthmian Transit Zone 1848-1977 28 November 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jordan Coulombe, University of New Hampshire This talk explores American attempts to construct transportation infrastructures in Panama between ...

This talk explores American attempts to construct transportation infrastructures in Panama between the creation of the Panama Railroad and the Carter-Torrijos Treaties. It focuses specifically on the role proliferating energy sources played in restructuring the Isthmian environment.

More
Public Program, Author Talk After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet 29 November 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Julie Dobrow, Tufts University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Despite Emily Dickinson’s world renown, the story of the two women most responsible for her ...

Despite Emily Dickinson’s world renown, the story of the two women most responsible for her initial posthumous publication—Mabel Loomis Todd and her daughter, Millicent Todd Bingham—has remained in the shadows of the archives. A rich and compelling portrait of women who refused to be confined by the social mores of their era, After Emily explores Mabel and Millicent’s complex bond, as well as the powerful literary legacy they shared.

 

 

 

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Tour Gallery Talk: Fashioning the New England Family 30 November 2018.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire Material culture specialist and guest curator, Dr. Kimberly Alexander will help viewers explore and ...

Material culture specialist and guest curator, Dr. Kimberly Alexander will help viewers explore and contextualize rarely seen costumes, textiles and fashion-related accessories mined from the MHS collection. Representing three- centuries of evolving New England style, most of the pieces have never before been on view to the public.

 

 

More
December
Portrait of Abigail Adams ca 1766.  She is about 19 years old, dark hair pulled back low on her neck, and wearing pearls. Teacher Workshop Remembering Abigail Adams 1 December 2018.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Registration fee: $25 per person Abigail Adams lived at the heart of American politics for nearly half a century. She was a ...

Abigail Adams lived at the heart of American politics for nearly half a century. She was a revolutionary First Lady, urging her husband to “Remember the Ladies” in the colonial quest for independence, and a huge influence on the nation’s sixth president, John Quincy Adams. In her letters to her family and a wide circle of influential colleagues, Abigail was candid and colorful in depicting the hard work and great reward of nation-building. Join us as we remember the life and legacy of Abigail Adams, one of the many women who helped build early America.

This program is open to all educators of K-12 students. Teachers can earn 22.5 Professional Development Points or 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee).

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Melchior at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

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Public Program, Revolution 250 Rochambeau: The French Military Presence in Boston 3 December 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Robert Selig, The Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail In July 1780, the French troop transport Île de France sailed into Boston Harbor. ...

In July 1780, the French troop transport Île de France sailed into Boston Harbor. Thus began 30 months of uninterrupted French military presence in Boston as the city became the most important French base in North America until Christmas Day 1782, when a fleet under Admiral Vaudreuil sailed from Boston for the West Indies carrying the comte de Rochambeau’s infantry. This talk provides an in-depth look at this little-known episode in Massachusetts and Boston history.

 

 

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Early American History Seminar “Attend to the Opium”: Boston's Trade with China in the Early 19th Century 4 December 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Gwenn Miller, College of the Holy Cross Comment: Dael Norwood, University of Delaware The opium trade is the nefarious flip-side of the opulence of the American China trade. The ...

The opium trade is the nefarious flip-side of the opulence of the American China trade. The involvement of so many Boston families in this trade would contribute to the growth of the city and its institutions by the end of the nineteenth century. Homes decorated with Chinese art, porcelains, silks, and meticulously curated gardens were made possible by profits initially rooted in the fur trade, and in large part sustained by opium.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:30PM 5 December 2018.Wednesday, all day The Library closes early at 3:30PM in preparation for an evening event.

The Library closes early at 3:30PM in preparation for an evening event.

More
Brown Bag Seas of Connection: Narratives of Migration through Local American Wards 5 December 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nicholas Ames, University of Notre Dame Mass emigration during the 19th and early 20th centuries produced rapidly shifting cityscapes across ...

Mass emigration during the 19th and early 20th centuries produced rapidly shifting cityscapes across America. This talk investigates changes at the neighborhood (ward) level in three industrial American communities, Pittsburgh, PA, Cleveland, OH, and Clinton, MA, to understand the impact of historic Irish immigrants on community development within "quintessential" America.

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Holiday card showing birds in flight Member Event, Special Event MHS Fellows & Members Holiday Party 5 December 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members. MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the Society's annual holiday party.  Become a Member ...

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the Society's annual holiday party. 

Become a Member today!

Image: Holiday card showing birds in flight, chromolithograph by unidentified publisher, late 19th century.

 

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Public Program Boston in the Great War: Manuscripts & Artifacts of World War I 6 December 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Facilitator: Bruce J. Schulman, Boston University Prof. Bruce Schulman and students from Boston University will present a collection of artifacts and ...

Prof. Bruce Schulman and students from Boston University will present a collection of artifacts and documents from the holdings of the MHS. From printed propaganda and personal recollections to battle plans and victory gardens, this presentation and virtual exhibit will explore the many ways in which Bostonians were affected by the Great War.

Light refreshments will be served after the presentation.

 

 

 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 8 December 2018.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.

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Public Program, Conversation Robert Treat Paine’s Life & Influence on Law 11 December 2018.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General; Catherine Allgor, MHS President; Edward W. Hanson, Editor, The Papers of Robert Treat Paine Join us for a special event with the current Attorney General looking at the first Massachusetts ...

Join us for a special event with the current Attorney General looking at the first Massachusetts Attorney General’s life and influence on law and order during the Revolutionary era. This event celebrates the completion of the five-volume series The Papers of Robert Treat Paine.

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Environmental History Seminar A Nice History of Bird Migration: Ethology, Expertise, and Conservation in 20th Century North America 11 December 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Kristoffer Whitney, Rochester Institute of Technology Comment: Marilyn Ogilvie, University of Oklahoma This paper focuses on the historical relationships between migratory birds, scientists, and amateur ...

This paper focuses on the historical relationships between migratory birds, scientists, and amateur experts in 20th-century North America, especially Margaret Morse Nice. Nice, simultaneously a trained ornithologist and an enthusiastic amateur across disciplines, almost single-handedly introduced the American ornithological community to European ethology. Her bird-banding work exemplified the tensions in natural history around expertise, gender, and conservation.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Ecology of Utopia: Environmental Discourse and Practice in Antebellum Communal Settlements 12 December 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Molly Reed, Cornell University During the 1840s, members of short-lived intentional communities debated strategies for &ldquo ...

During the 1840s, members of short-lived intentional communities debated strategies for “getting back to nature” and explored emerging meanings of “natural” through radical hygiene, diet, and agricultural practices. This talk examines how Transcendentalist and Fourierist communitarians articulated human-environment relationships in terms that reflected and informed their visions for social change.

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Public Program, Conversation No More, America 12 December 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-program reception at 5:30. Peter Galison, Harvard University; Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). In 1773, two graduating Harvard seniors, Theodore Parsons and Eliphalet Pearson, were summoned ...

In 1773, two graduating Harvard seniors, Theodore Parsons and Eliphalet Pearson, were summoned before a public audience to debate whether slavery was compatible with “natural law.” Peter Galison’s short film, “No More, America” co-directed with Henry Louis Gates, reimagines this original debate to include the powerful voice of Phillis Wheatley, an acclaimed poet, then-enslaved, who lived just across the Charles River from the two Harvard students. Join us for a film screening followed by a discussion between Peter Galison, and Henry Louis Gates.

 

 

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:30PM 13 December 2018.Thursday, all day The library closes early at 3:30PM for a staff event. 

The library closes early at 3:30PM for a staff event. 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 15 December 2018.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.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Transgender History and Archives: An Interdisciplinary Conversation 18 December 2018.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM RSVP required Location: Knafel Center, Radcliffe Institute Genny Beemyn, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Laura Peimer, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; Sari L. Reisner, Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Moderator: Jen Manion, Amherst College This panel aims to begin an interdisciplinary conversation in transgender history. What is the state ...

This panel aims to begin an interdisciplinary conversation in transgender history. What is the state of the field of transgender studies in history, archiving, and public health? How do changes in popular usage and attitudes about terminology facilitate or hinder research? In what ways does transgender studies intersect with women’s and gender history and other feminist scholarly concerns?

This session has recommended reading (available here) but is open to all regardless of whether they have done the reading.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 22 December 2018.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.

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Building Closed Building Closed 24 December 2018.Monday, all day The MHS is CLOSED.

The MHS is CLOSED.

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Building Closed Christmas Day 25 December 2018.Tuesday, all day The MHS is CLOSED for Christmas.

The MHS is CLOSED for Christmas.

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Building Closed Building Closed 26 December 2018.Wednesday, all day The MHS Library is CLOSED.

The MHS Library is CLOSED.

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Building Closed Building Closed 27 December 2018.Thursday, all day The MHS Library is CLOSED.

The MHS Library is CLOSED.

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Building Closed Building Closed 28 December 2018.Friday, all day The MHS Library is CLOSED.

The MHS Library is CLOSED.

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Building Closed Building Closed 29 December 2018.Saturday, all day Building Closed

Building Closed

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Building Closed Building Closed 31 December 2018.Monday, all day The MHS Library is CLOSED.

The MHS Library is CLOSED.

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January
Building Closed New Year 1 January 2019.Tuesday, all day The Society is CLOSED for New Year

The Society is CLOSED for New Year

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Early American History Seminar The Consecration of Samuel Seabury and the Crisis of Atlantic Episcopacy, 1782-1807 8 January 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Brent Sirota, North Carolina State University Comment: Chris Beneke, Bentley University Samuel Seabury’s consecration in 1784 signaled a transformation in the organization of ...

Samuel Seabury’s consecration in 1784 signaled a transformation in the organization of American Protestantism. After more than a century of resistance to the office of bishops, American Methodists and Episcopalians and Canadian Anglicans all established some form of episcopal superintendency after the Peace of Paris. This paper considers how the making of American episcopacy and the controversies surrounding it betrayed a lack of consensus regarding the relationship between church, state and civil society in the Protestant Atlantic.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag The Octopus’s Other Tentacles: The United Fruit Company, Congress, Dictators, & Exiles against the Guatemalan Revolution 9 January 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Aaron Moulton, Stephen F. Austin University With the 1954 U.S. government-backed overthrow of Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz, scholars have ...

With the 1954 U.S. government-backed overthrow of Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz, scholars have focused on ties between the State Department, the CIA, and el pulpo, the octopus, the United Fruit Company. This talk reveals how the Company's influence reached further to Boston-based congresspersons, Caribbean Basin dictators, and Guatemalan exiles.

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Environmental History Seminar Camp Benson and the “GAR Camps”: Recreational Landscapes of Civil War Memory in Maine, 1886-1910 15 January 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required C. Ian Stevenson, Boston University Comment: Ian Delahanty, Springfield College This chapter examines sites where veterans transitioned the Civil War vacation toward a civilian ...

This chapter examines sites where veterans transitioned the Civil War vacation toward a civilian audience: Camp Benson, where several Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) posts built a campground, and at the “GAR Camps” where a single veteran proprietor built rental cottages. The chapter asks why postwar civilians would want to mimic the veteran desire to associate healthful destinations with wartime memory. How do these outdoor landscapes explain the nation’s healing process from the Civil War?

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar How to Be an American Housewife: American Red Cross “Bride Schools” in Japan in the Cold War Era 22 January 2019.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM RSVP required Location: Massachusetts Historical Society Sonia Gomez, University of Chicago Comment: Arissa Oh, Boston College In 1951, the American Red Cross in Japan began offering “schools for brides,” to prepare ...

In 1951, the American Red Cross in Japan began offering “schools for brides,” to prepare Japanese women married to American servicemen for successful entry into the United States. This paper argues that bride schools measured Japanese women’s ability to be good wives and mothers because their immigration to the US depended on their labor within the home as well as their reproductive value in the family.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Better Teaching through Technology, 1945-1969 29 January 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Victoria Cain, Northeastern University Comment: Heather Hendershot, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Uncertainty about media technology’s affective and political power plagued post-World War II ...

Uncertainty about media technology’s affective and political power plagued post-World War II efforts to expand media use in schools around the nation. Would foundations or federal agencies use screen media to strengthen participatory democracy and local control or to undermine it? Was screen media a neutral technology? This paper argues that educational technology foundered or flourished not solely on the merits of its pedagogical utility, but also as a result of changing ideas about the relationship between citizenship and pictorial screen media.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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February
Early American History Seminar Making Money in the Massachusetts Bay Colony: the Boston Mint, 1652-1686 5 February 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Mara Caden, MHS-NEH Fellow Comment: Penelope Ismay, Boston College In the history of the British Atlantic empire, the Massachusetts Bay Colony stands alone as the site ...

In the history of the British Atlantic empire, the Massachusetts Bay Colony stands alone as the site of the sole colonial mint. Based on new research in MHS collections, this papers tells the political and technological story of this mint, which furnished the colony with silver money for thirty years, and reveals the close relationship between currency and industrial development.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Environmental History Seminar Amputated from the Land: Black Refugees from America and the Neglected Voices of Environmental History 12 February 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Bryon Williams, Academy at Penguin Hall Comment: John Stauffer, Harvard University This paper focuses on dictated narratives from the 1840s and ‘50s, accounts delivered by ...

This paper focuses on dictated narratives from the 1840s and ‘50s, accounts delivered by blacks who fled the U.S. to settle in the wilds of Ontario. These first-person accounts of environmental encounter and expertise are unrivaled in depth, breadth, and detail among black ecological writing of any era. New environmental histories need such accounts that not only counter dominant American environmental and political myths, but offer black-lived stories of environmental belonging and agency.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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African American History Seminar An “Organic Union”: Ecclesiastical Imperialism and Caribbean Missions Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
15 November 2018.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Christina Davidson, Harvard University Comment: Greg Childs, Brandeis University

In 1880, hundreds of black clergy and lay delegates of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) gathered to discuss reunion with the British Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada. Factions within both denominations disputed the nature and procedure of the proposed organic union. This paper argues that the organic union debate was in fact crucial to AME expansion and the development of foreign missions in Haiti and the broader Caribbean.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close
Notice Library Closing @ 3:00PM 16 November 2018.Friday, all day

The library is closing early at 3:00PM for staff training.

close
Tour Gallery Talk: Fashioning the New England Family this event is free 17 November 2018.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire

Material culture specialist and guest curator, Dr. Kimberly Alexander will help viewers explore and contextualize rarely seen costumes, textiles and fashion-related accessories mined from the MHS collection. Representing three- centuries of evolving New England style, most of the pieces have never before been on view to the public.

 

 

close
Public Program, Author Talk Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates registration required 19 November 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Eric Jay Dolin There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the dramatic history of American piracy’s “Golden Age”—spanning the late 1600s through the early 1700s—when lawless pirates plied the coastal waters of North America and beyond. Eric Jay Dolin illustrates how American colonists at first supported these outrageous pirates in an early display of solidarity against the Crown, and then violently opposed them.

 

 

close
Brown Bag The American Debates over the China Relief Expedition of 1900 this event is free 21 November 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Xiangyun Xu, Pennsylvania State University

This talk examines the American debates over the country’s participation in the eight-nation alliance to relieve the Chinese Boxers’ siege of internationals in Tianjin and Beijing. It places U.S. participation within the context of concurrent controversies over the Spanish-American and Philippine-American war as well as the assertive U.S. policy in East Asia.

close
Building Closed Thanksgiving 22 November 2018.Thursday, all day

The Society is CLOSED for Thanksgiving.

close
Building Closed Thanksgiving Friday 23 November 2018.Friday, all day close
Building Closed Thanksgiving Saturday 24 November 2018.Saturday, all day close
Modern American Society and Culture Seminar In Search of the Costs of Segregation Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
27 November 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Elizabeth Herbin-Triant, University of Massachusetts Lowell Comment: Kenneth W. Mack, Harvard Law School

Historians generally treat Jim Crow as a legal, political, and cultural system shaping where African Americans went, whether they voted, and how they acted. Yet it was also an economic system that imposed financial burdens. This paper explores how segregation made the activities undertaken by African Americans—from gaining education to property—more expensive for them and how it excluded them from economic advancement.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close
Brown Bag Mules, Fuels, and Fusion: Overcoming Entropy and Crossing the Isthmian Transit Zone 1848-1977 this event is free 28 November 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jordan Coulombe, University of New Hampshire

This talk explores American attempts to construct transportation infrastructures in Panama between the creation of the Panama Railroad and the Carter-Torrijos Treaties. It focuses specifically on the role proliferating energy sources played in restructuring the Isthmian environment.

close
Public Program, Author Talk After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet registration required 29 November 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Julie Dobrow, Tufts University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Despite Emily Dickinson’s world renown, the story of the two women most responsible for her initial posthumous publication—Mabel Loomis Todd and her daughter, Millicent Todd Bingham—has remained in the shadows of the archives. A rich and compelling portrait of women who refused to be confined by the social mores of their era, After Emily explores Mabel and Millicent’s complex bond, as well as the powerful literary legacy they shared.

 

 

 

close
Tour Gallery Talk: Fashioning the New England Family this event is free 30 November 2018.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire

Material culture specialist and guest curator, Dr. Kimberly Alexander will help viewers explore and contextualize rarely seen costumes, textiles and fashion-related accessories mined from the MHS collection. Representing three- centuries of evolving New England style, most of the pieces have never before been on view to the public.

 

 

close
Teacher Workshop Remembering Abigail Adams Please RSVP   registration required 1 December 2018.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration fee: $25 per person Portrait of Abigail Adams ca 1766.  She is about 19 years old, dark hair pulled back low on her neck, and wearing pearls.

Abigail Adams lived at the heart of American politics for nearly half a century. She was a revolutionary First Lady, urging her husband to “Remember the Ladies” in the colonial quest for independence, and a huge influence on the nation’s sixth president, John Quincy Adams. In her letters to her family and a wide circle of influential colleagues, Abigail was candid and colorful in depicting the hard work and great reward of nation-building. Join us as we remember the life and legacy of Abigail Adams, one of the many women who helped build early America.

This program is open to all educators of K-12 students. Teachers can earn 22.5 Professional Development Points or 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee).

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Melchior at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

close
Public Program, Revolution 250 Rochambeau: The French Military Presence in Boston registration required at no cost 3 December 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Robert Selig, The Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail

In July 1780, the French troop transport Île de France sailed into Boston Harbor. Thus began 30 months of uninterrupted French military presence in Boston as the city became the most important French base in North America until Christmas Day 1782, when a fleet under Admiral Vaudreuil sailed from Boston for the West Indies carrying the comte de Rochambeau’s infantry. This talk provides an in-depth look at this little-known episode in Massachusetts and Boston history.

 

 

close
Early American History Seminar “Attend to the Opium”: Boston's Trade with China in the Early 19th Century Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
4 December 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Gwenn Miller, College of the Holy Cross Comment: Dael Norwood, University of Delaware

The opium trade is the nefarious flip-side of the opulence of the American China trade. The involvement of so many Boston families in this trade would contribute to the growth of the city and its institutions by the end of the nineteenth century. Homes decorated with Chinese art, porcelains, silks, and meticulously curated gardens were made possible by profits initially rooted in the fur trade, and in large part sustained by opium.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close
Notice Library Closing @ 3:30PM 5 December 2018.Wednesday, all day

The Library closes early at 3:30PM in preparation for an evening event.

close
Brown Bag Seas of Connection: Narratives of Migration through Local American Wards this event is free 5 December 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nicholas Ames, University of Notre Dame

Mass emigration during the 19th and early 20th centuries produced rapidly shifting cityscapes across America. This talk investigates changes at the neighborhood (ward) level in three industrial American communities, Pittsburgh, PA, Cleveland, OH, and Clinton, MA, to understand the impact of historic Irish immigrants on community development within "quintessential" America.

close
Member Event, Special Event MHS Fellows & Members Holiday Party registration required at no cost 5 December 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members. Holiday card showing birds in flight

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the Society's annual holiday party. 

Become a Member today!

Image: Holiday card showing birds in flight, chromolithograph by unidentified publisher, late 19th century.

 

close
Public Program Boston in the Great War: Manuscripts & Artifacts of World War I registration required at no cost 6 December 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Facilitator: Bruce J. Schulman, Boston University

Prof. Bruce Schulman and students from Boston University will present a collection of artifacts and documents from the holdings of the MHS. From printed propaganda and personal recollections to battle plans and victory gardens, this presentation and virtual exhibit will explore the many ways in which Bostonians were affected by the Great War.

Light refreshments will be served after the presentation.

 

 

 

close
MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 8 December 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

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.

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Public Program, Conversation Robert Treat Paine’s Life & Influence on Law registration required at no cost 11 December 2018.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General; Catherine Allgor, MHS President; Edward W. Hanson, Editor, The Papers of Robert Treat Paine

Join us for a special event with the current Attorney General looking at the first Massachusetts Attorney General’s life and influence on law and order during the Revolutionary era. This event celebrates the completion of the five-volume series The Papers of Robert Treat Paine.

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Environmental History Seminar A Nice History of Bird Migration: Ethology, Expertise, and Conservation in 20th Century North America Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
11 December 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Kristoffer Whitney, Rochester Institute of Technology Comment: Marilyn Ogilvie, University of Oklahoma

This paper focuses on the historical relationships between migratory birds, scientists, and amateur experts in 20th-century North America, especially Margaret Morse Nice. Nice, simultaneously a trained ornithologist and an enthusiastic amateur across disciplines, almost single-handedly introduced the American ornithological community to European ethology. Her bird-banding work exemplified the tensions in natural history around expertise, gender, and conservation.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Ecology of Utopia: Environmental Discourse and Practice in Antebellum Communal Settlements this event is free 12 December 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Molly Reed, Cornell University

During the 1840s, members of short-lived intentional communities debated strategies for “getting back to nature” and explored emerging meanings of “natural” through radical hygiene, diet, and agricultural practices. This talk examines how Transcendentalist and Fourierist communitarians articulated human-environment relationships in terms that reflected and informed their visions for social change.

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Public Program, Conversation No More, America registration required 12 December 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-program reception at 5:30. Peter Galison, Harvard University; Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

In 1773, two graduating Harvard seniors, Theodore Parsons and Eliphalet Pearson, were summoned before a public audience to debate whether slavery was compatible with “natural law.” Peter Galison’s short film, “No More, America” co-directed with Henry Louis Gates, reimagines this original debate to include the powerful voice of Phillis Wheatley, an acclaimed poet, then-enslaved, who lived just across the Charles River from the two Harvard students. Join us for a film screening followed by a discussion between Peter Galison, and Henry Louis Gates.

 

 

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:30PM 13 December 2018.Thursday, all day

The library closes early at 3:30PM for a staff event. 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 15 December 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

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.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Transgender History and Archives: An Interdisciplinary Conversation Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
18 December 2018.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Knafel Center, Radcliffe Institute Genny Beemyn, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Laura Peimer, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; Sari L. Reisner, Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Moderator: Jen Manion, Amherst College

This panel aims to begin an interdisciplinary conversation in transgender history. What is the state of the field of transgender studies in history, archiving, and public health? How do changes in popular usage and attitudes about terminology facilitate or hinder research? In what ways does transgender studies intersect with women’s and gender history and other feminist scholarly concerns?

This session has recommended reading (available here) but is open to all regardless of whether they have done the reading.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 22 December 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

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.

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Building Closed Building Closed 24 December 2018.Monday, all day

The MHS is CLOSED.

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Building Closed Christmas Day 25 December 2018.Tuesday, all day

The MHS is CLOSED for Christmas.

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Building Closed Building Closed 26 December 2018.Wednesday, all day

The MHS Library is CLOSED.

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Building Closed Building Closed 27 December 2018.Thursday, all day

The MHS Library is CLOSED.

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Building Closed Building Closed 28 December 2018.Friday, all day

The MHS Library is CLOSED.

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Building Closed Building Closed 29 December 2018.Saturday, all day

Building Closed

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Building Closed Building Closed 31 December 2018.Monday, all day

The MHS Library is CLOSED.

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Building Closed New Year 1 January 2019.Tuesday, all day

The Society is CLOSED for New Year

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Early American History Seminar The Consecration of Samuel Seabury and the Crisis of Atlantic Episcopacy, 1782-1807 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
8 January 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Brent Sirota, North Carolina State University Comment: Chris Beneke, Bentley University

Samuel Seabury’s consecration in 1784 signaled a transformation in the organization of American Protestantism. After more than a century of resistance to the office of bishops, American Methodists and Episcopalians and Canadian Anglicans all established some form of episcopal superintendency after the Peace of Paris. This paper considers how the making of American episcopacy and the controversies surrounding it betrayed a lack of consensus regarding the relationship between church, state and civil society in the Protestant Atlantic.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag The Octopus’s Other Tentacles: The United Fruit Company, Congress, Dictators, & Exiles against the Guatemalan Revolution this event is free 9 January 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Aaron Moulton, Stephen F. Austin University

With the 1954 U.S. government-backed overthrow of Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz, scholars have focused on ties between the State Department, the CIA, and el pulpo, the octopus, the United Fruit Company. This talk reveals how the Company's influence reached further to Boston-based congresspersons, Caribbean Basin dictators, and Guatemalan exiles.

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Environmental History Seminar Camp Benson and the “GAR Camps”: Recreational Landscapes of Civil War Memory in Maine, 1886-1910 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
15 January 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM C. Ian Stevenson, Boston University Comment: Ian Delahanty, Springfield College

This chapter examines sites where veterans transitioned the Civil War vacation toward a civilian audience: Camp Benson, where several Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) posts built a campground, and at the “GAR Camps” where a single veteran proprietor built rental cottages. The chapter asks why postwar civilians would want to mimic the veteran desire to associate healthful destinations with wartime memory. How do these outdoor landscapes explain the nation’s healing process from the Civil War?

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar How to Be an American Housewife: American Red Cross “Bride Schools” in Japan in the Cold War Era Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
22 January 2019.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Massachusetts Historical Society Sonia Gomez, University of Chicago Comment: Arissa Oh, Boston College

In 1951, the American Red Cross in Japan began offering “schools for brides,” to prepare Japanese women married to American servicemen for successful entry into the United States. This paper argues that bride schools measured Japanese women’s ability to be good wives and mothers because their immigration to the US depended on their labor within the home as well as their reproductive value in the family.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Better Teaching through Technology, 1945-1969 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
29 January 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Victoria Cain, Northeastern University Comment: Heather Hendershot, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Uncertainty about media technology’s affective and political power plagued post-World War II efforts to expand media use in schools around the nation. Would foundations or federal agencies use screen media to strengthen participatory democracy and local control or to undermine it? Was screen media a neutral technology? This paper argues that educational technology foundered or flourished not solely on the merits of its pedagogical utility, but also as a result of changing ideas about the relationship between citizenship and pictorial screen media.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Early American History Seminar Making Money in the Massachusetts Bay Colony: the Boston Mint, 1652-1686 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
5 February 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Mara Caden, MHS-NEH Fellow Comment: Penelope Ismay, Boston College

In the history of the British Atlantic empire, the Massachusetts Bay Colony stands alone as the site of the sole colonial mint. Based on new research in MHS collections, this papers tells the political and technological story of this mint, which furnished the colony with silver money for thirty years, and reveals the close relationship between currency and industrial development.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Environmental History Seminar Amputated from the Land: Black Refugees from America and the Neglected Voices of Environmental History Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
12 February 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Bryon Williams, Academy at Penguin Hall Comment: John Stauffer, Harvard University

This paper focuses on dictated narratives from the 1840s and ‘50s, accounts delivered by blacks who fled the U.S. to settle in the wilds of Ontario. These first-person accounts of environmental encounter and expertise are unrivaled in depth, breadth, and detail among black ecological writing of any era. New environmental histories need such accounts that not only counter dominant American environmental and political myths, but offer black-lived stories of environmental belonging and agency.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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