October

Early American History Seminar The Protestant Cult of the Dead in New England, 1800-1848 2 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Erik Seeman, State University of New York at Buffalo Comment: Kenneth Minkema, Yale University Many 19th-century Protestants in New England held religious ceremonies venerating deceased family ...

Many 19th-century Protestants in New England held religious ceremonies venerating deceased family and friends, in addition to their orthodox worship of God. This paper examines women’s desires to connect with their deceased loved ones, and argues that this drove important developments in Protestant belief and practice. It shows how pious Protestants maintaining connections with the dead made séance Spiritualism a transatlantic sensation in 1848.

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

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Brown Bag Native Citizens: Race, Culture, & the Politics of Belonging, 1884-1924 3 October 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Lila Teeters, University of New Hampshire As the nineteenth century gave way to the twentieth, Native activists played an essential—yet ...

As the nineteenth century gave way to the twentieth, Native activists played an essential—yet overlooked—role in shaping constructions of American citizenship. Some pushed to harden the political boundaries separating Native nations from their American foil, while others sought to remove those boundaries completely. Still others sought a more permeable relationship. This talk traces those debates from the 1884 Elk v. Wilkins decision through the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act.

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Public Program, Author Talk American Honor: The Creation of the Nation's Ideals during the Revolutionary Era 3 October 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Craig Bruce Smith, William Woods University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). The American Revolution was not only a revolution for liberty and freedom; it was also a ...

The American Revolution was not only a revolution for liberty and freedom; it was also a revolution of ethics, reshaping what colonial Americans understood as “honor” and “virtue.” As Craig Bruce Smith demonstrates, these concepts were crucial aspects of Revolutionary Americans’ ideological break from Europe, shared by all ranks of society. Focusing his study primarily on prominent Americans who came of age before and during the Revolution, Smith shows how a colonial ethical transformation caused and became inseparable from the American Revolution, creating an ethical ideology that still remains.

 

 

 

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:30PM 4 October 2018.Thursday, 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.

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Fashioning the New England Family Exhibition, Member Event, Special Event Fashioning the New England Family: Sneak Preview Reception 4 October 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM This event is now sold out. Take a journey through several centuries of New England style in an exhibition of textiles and ...

Take a journey through several centuries of New England style in an exhibition of textiles and artifacts from the MHS collection.

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the the opening of Fashioning the New England Family. The exhibition uncovers stories as told by various samples of clothing, fabric, accoutrements, and associated manuscripts—many shown for the first time. Join us and explore several family narratives as well as the cultural, social, and economic history of Massachusetts through the lens of fashion. The exhibition will be open through 6 April 2019.

Become a Member today!

Special thanks to preview reception sponsor

M&T Bank logo

 

 

 

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Fashioning the New England Family Exhibitionbegins Fashioning the New England Family 5 October 2018.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Fashioning the New England Family explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of ...

Fashioning the New England Family explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition will give scholars, students, and professionals in fields such as fashion, material culture, and history the chance to see these items for the first time; encourage research; and, provide the possibility for new discoveries. For the public, it is an opportunity to view in detail painstaking craftsmanship, discover how examples of material culture relate to significant moments in our history, and learn how garments were used as political statements, projecting an individual’s religion, loyalties, and social status. It may allow some to recognize and appreciate family keepsakes but it will certainly help us all to better understand the messages we may have previously missed in American art and literature. 

The exhibition is organized as part of MASS Fashion, a consortium of eight cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts. 

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Brown Bag Liverpool, Slavery, and the Atlantic Cotton Frontier c. 1763-1833 5 October 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Alexey Krichtal, Johns Hopkins University This talk follows the enslaved peoples who toiled on cotton estates in the Caribbean, Northeast ...

This talk follows the enslaved peoples who toiled on cotton estates in the Caribbean, Northeast Brazil and the American South, the planters who owned cotton plantations, the mariners who crossed the Atlantic basin shipping the fiber to Europe, and the merchants who linked enslaved producers to the Manchester manufacturers and fashion-orientated consumers in the Americas on a scale never see before, helping to usher in the first Industrial Revolution.

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Public Program, Revolution 250 Boston Occupied: The British Are Coming . . . Again! 6 October 2018.Saturday, all day In October of 1768 the British government sent troops to quell the unrest that had been rising since ...

In October of 1768 the British government sent troops to quell the unrest that had Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/revolution250_vertical_logo.jpgbeen rising since the passage of the Townshend Acts. Boston was a town of about 16,000 residents and the arrival of 2,000 soldiers did not calm tensions but rather marked an escalation that would eventually lead to the Boston Massacre. A reenactment of the arrival of the troops in Boston Harbor, their parade through Boston, and encampment on the Common will be reenacted this October. A tentative itinerary is listed below; stay tuned for updates!

9:00 am: British Troops land at Long Wharf

9:30 am: Salute to King George III at the Old State House

10:00 am: Troops arrive at Faneuil Hall

10:30 am: Troops welcomed at the Reviewing Stand–Downtown Crossing

11:15 am: Troops arrive on Boston Common

From 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm: British Soldiers patrol Downtown Boston and occupy Boston Common

 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 6 October 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, Revolution 250 Boston Occupied: The British Are Coming . . . Again! 7 October 2018.Sunday, 9:00AM - 1:00PM In October of 1768 the British government sent troops to quell the unrest that had been rising since ...

In October of 1768 the British government sent troops to quell the unrest that had been rising since the passage of the Townshend Acts. Boston was a town of about   Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/revolution250_vertical_logo.jpg16,000 residents and the arrival of 2,000 soldiers did not calm tensions but rather marked an escalation that would eventually lead  to the Boston Massacre. A reenactment of the arrival of the troops in Boston Harbor, their parade through Boston, and encampment on the Common will be reenacted this October. Stay tuned for updates!

From 10:00 am to 12:00 pm:                          

British Soldiers patrol Downtown Boston and occupy Boston Common

 

 

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Public Program Opening Our Doors 8 October 2018.Monday, 10:00AM - 3:00PM The Massachusetts Historical Society will join our neighboring cultural institutions for a day of ...

The Massachusetts Historical Society will join our neighboring cultural institutions for a day of free history, art, music, and cultural happenings in the Fenway neighborhood. With over 20 different museums, venues, colleges, and organizations participating, there will be something for everyone.

 

 

 

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Library Closed Columbus Day 8 October 2018.Monday, all day The Library is CLOSED for Columbus Day.

The Library is CLOSED for Columbus Day.

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Environmental History Seminar Panel: Native American Environmental History 9 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Lisa Brooks, Amherst College; Strother Roberts, Bowdoin College; Ashley Smith, Hampshire College; Thomas Wickman, Trinity College Moderator: Cedric Woods, Institute for New England Native American Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston This panel will explore the intersections of environmental history and indigenous studies—the ...

This panel will explore the intersections of environmental history and indigenous studies—the questions that each field engenders in the other, as well as the perspectives that native and non-native scholars bring to their research as they traverse both fields. Questions of race, gender, geography, and sources enliven this growing body of scholarship. Join us for a stimulating and wide-ranging conversation on these and other topics.

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

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Public Program Evan Thomas on writing presidential biographies 11 October 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT This event is sold out   Evan Thomas, the author of nine books and a former writer and editor ...

This event is sold out

 

Evan Thomas, the author of nine books and a former writer and editor for Time and Newsweek, will be the first speaker in our new MHS Speaker Fund annual lecture series. Having published books on Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, Clinton, and Obama, he will offer his insight into writing presidential biographies.

 

 

 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 13 October 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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Brown Bag Examining Land Ownership in the Praying Towns of New England 15 October 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Taylor Kirsch, University of California, Santa Cruz Across the tumultuous borderlands of 17th-century Southern New England, a diverse indigenous ...

Across the tumultuous borderlands of 17th-century Southern New England, a diverse indigenous population numbering in the thousands carved out space for themselves via an unlikely colonial project, “praying towns.” This talk explores the complexities of indigenous land tenure within these communities, and its role in shaping the cultural, political, and spiritual landscape of New England.

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Public Program, Conversation "All Legislative Powers…" Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution Then & Now 15 October 2018.Monday, 5:00PM - 7:30PM Location: The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 136 Irving Street Cambridge, Mass. Margaret H. Marshall, Choate, Hall, & Stewart, and former Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts; Jack N. Rakove, Stanford University, and Pulitzer Prize recipient Join us for a thought-provoking conversation on the history surrounding the issues that are framed ...

Join us for a thought-provoking conversation on the history surrounding the issues that are framed by Article 1 of the Constitution, which established the U.S. Congress and defined its powers, including the rights to tax, raise armies, and regulate commerce and naturalization. Marshall and Rakove will discuss the historical context in which the article was drafted in the 1780s, as well as the current meaning and impact of the article in contemporary legal thought and practice. The Massachusetts Constitution will serve as counterpoint to the national story.

 

This program is a collaboration between the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the MHS.

 

Please note that registration is through the AAAS website. Please click on the non-member link to register.

 

 

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Brown Bag “Watering of the Olive Plant”: Catechisms and Catechizing in Early New England 17 October 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Roberto Flores de Apodaca, University of South Carolina Early New Englanders produced and used an unusually large number of catechisms. These catechisms ...

Early New Englanders produced and used an unusually large number of catechisms. These catechisms shaped relations of faith for church membership, provided content for missions to the Indians, and empowered lay persons theologically to critique their ministers. This talk explores the content and the function of these unique, question and answer documents.

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Public Program, Author Talk The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War 17 October 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Joanne Freeman, Yale University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. ...

Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, she shows that the Capitol was rife with conflict in the decades before the Civil War. Legislative sessions were often punctuated by mortal threats, canings, flipped desks, and all-out slugfests. Pistols were drawn and knives brandished in an attempt to intimidate fellow congressmen into compliance, particularly on the issue of slavery.

 

 

 

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African American History Seminar Losing Laroche: The Story of the Titanic’s Only Black Passenger 18 October 2018.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Kellie Carter Jackson, Wellesley College Comment: Saje Mathieu, University of Minnesota Losing Laroche is the first in-depth study of the only black family on board the RMS ...

Losing Laroche is the first in-depth study of the only black family on board the RMS Titanic. The story of the Haitian Joseph Philippe Lemercier Laroche and his descendants is largely unknown and troubles the assumption of an all-white Titanic narrative. This paper seeks to understand the possibilities of black advancement in the Titanic moment and throughout the Diaspora.

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

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 20 October 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, Walking Tour Tour of Longfellow Bridge 20 October 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The tour group will meet in front of the Charles Circle CVS, 155 Charles Street, Boston MA 02114 Miguel Rosales THIS PROGRAM IS NOW SOLD OUT. After five years and over $300 million worth of construction and refurbishment, the beautiful and ...

After five years and over $300 million worth of construction and refurbishment, the beautiful and historic Longfellow Bridge is once again fully operational. Constructed at the turn of the 20th century and designed with an eye towards the greatest infrastructure projects of Europe, the Longfellow Bridge has long been one of the most striking and beloved landmarks in Boston. Architect and urban designer Miguel Rosales has been involved in this restoration project for close to 15 years and will lead visitors on an in-depth tour of this exceptional bridge.

 

 

 

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Seminar Paul Revere's Ride through Digital History 22 October 2018.Monday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Joseph M. Adelman, Framingham State University and Omohundro Institute; Liz Covart, Omohundro Institute; Karin Wulf, Omohundro Institute This seminar examines components of the Omohundro Institute’s multi-platform digital project ...

This seminar examines components of the Omohundro Institute’s multi-platform digital project and podcast series, Doing History: To the Revolution. It explores Episode 130, “Paul Revere’s Ride through History,” and the ways the topic was constructed through narrative and audio effects, as well as the content in the complementary reader app. Participants are asked to listen to the podcast and access the reader app before the session. Refreshments will follow the presentation and discussion.

 

To reserve: Please call 617-646-0579 or e-mail seminars@masshist.org.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Reproducing Race in the Early Americas 23 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Knafel Center, Radcliffe Institute Rhae Lynn Barnes, Princeton University; Deirdre Cooper Owens, Queens College; Sasha Turner, Quinnipiac University Moderator: Nicole Aljoe, Northeastern University This roundtable will use the body as frame for examining racial formation in the Caribbean and U.S. ...

This roundtable will use the body as frame for examining racial formation in the Caribbean and U.S. from the eighteenth century to the present. The presenters will meditate on biological reproduction in relation to citizenship and subjecthood, labor and economy, medical and scientific knowledge, and representations of blackness in popular culture.

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

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Public Program, Author Talk Swindler Sachem: The American Indian Who Sold His Birthright, Dropped Out of Harvard, and Conned the King of England 24 October 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Jenny Hale Pulsipher, Brigham Young University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Jenny Pulsipher opens a window onto 17th-century New England and the English empire from the unusual ...

Jenny Pulsipher opens a window onto 17th-century New England and the English empire from the unusual perspective of John Wompas, a Nipmuc Indian who may not have been all he claimed but was certainly out of the ordinary. Drawing on documentary and anthropological sources as well as consultations with Native people, Pulsipher examines struggles over Native land and sovereignty during an era of political turmoil and reveals how Wompas navigated these perilous waters for the benefit of himself and his kin.

 

 

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front clasp of a red cloak.  The cloak is tied with a red satin ribbon. Teacher Workshop Fashioning History 27 October 2018.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration: $25 Throughout history, our choices about what we wear tell the world about our personality, position, ...

Throughout history, our choices about what we wear tell the world about our personality, position, background, and beliefs. From textile in Boston Boycott, manufacture in the Industrial Revolution, to the fashion of war and protest, clothing offers a vivid lens to examine American cultural history. Drawing on the MHS exhibit “Fashioning the New England Family,” we will explore how clothing and style help us understand the everyday lives of historical New Englanders.

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

For questions, contact Kate Melchior at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

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Public Program Armistice: WWI in Memory and Song 29 October 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-program reception at 5:30. A collaboration of MHS and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee with John Brancy, Baritone; Peter Dugan, Piano; and Peter Drummey, MHS There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). A temporary exhibition on the end of World War I will be coupled with songs and a conversation about ...

A temporary exhibition on the end of World War I will be coupled with songs and a conversation about the journey home that men and women faced at the close of The War to End All Wars. This program will explore both the history of the war and the memory of it. On Tuesday October 30 at 8:00 pm, John Brancy and Peter Dugan will perform their program “Armistice: The Journey Home” in Seully Hall at Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

 

 

 

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Governing the “Black Power” City: Leon H. Sullivan, Opportunities Industrialization Centers Inc., and the Rise of Black Empowerment 30 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Jessica Ann Levy, Johns Hopkins University Comment: Julia Rabig, Dartmouth College This paper traces the Opportunities Industrialization Center’s rise from its meager founding ...

This paper traces the Opportunities Industrialization Center’s rise from its meager founding in North Philadelphia to one of the largest black community development programs in the United States. In doing so, it sheds new light on the financial and intellectual investments made by American business, government bureaucrats, and civil rights entrepreneurs like Sullivan in transforming black dissidents into “productive citizens,” “productive” having economic and civic connotations.

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

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November
Biography Seminar “No Ideas But in Things”: Writing Lives from Objects 1 November 2018.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Deborah Lutz, University of Louisville; Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Amherst College; Susan Ware, Independent Scholar Moderator: Natalie Dykstra, Hope College Often a biographer confronts silences in the record of her subject, when part of the life story is ...

Often a biographer confronts silences in the record of her subject, when part of the life story is not documented with words. Mute sources—objects in the subject’s archive—can pose a challenge for interpretation, but also offer rich opportunities. How can biographers read objects as eloquent sources?

Panelists include Deborah Lutz, whose book The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects is a biography of the sisters centered on the humble objects they owned. Susan Ware, author of the forthcoming Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote, is using artifacts from the Schlesinger Library’s collections in her group biography of suffrage activists. Karen Sanchez-Eppler is writing In the Archives of Childhood: Playing with the Past, viewing children’s lives from material things. Natalie Dykstra, author of Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life, will moderate.

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

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 3 November 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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Early American History Seminar “A Rotten-Hearted Fellow”: The Rise of Alexander McDougall 6 November 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Christopher Minty, the Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society Comment: Brendan McConville, Boston University Historians have often grouped the DeLanceys of New York as self-interested opportunists who were ...

Historians have often grouped the DeLanceys of New York as self-interested opportunists who were destined to become loyalists. By focusing on the rise of Alexander McDougall, this paper offers a new interpretation, demonstrating how the DeLanceys and McDougall mobilized groups with competing visions of New York’s political economy. These prewar factions stayed in opposition until the Revolutionary War, thus shedding new light on the coming of the American Revolution.

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

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Brown Bag John Perkins Cushing and Boston's Early China Trade 7 November 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Gwenn Miller, College of the Holy Cross In July of 1803, John Perkins Cushing, an orphaned relation of some of the most prominent families ...

In July of 1803, John Perkins Cushing, an orphaned relation of some of the most prominent families in Boston, set sail for the Canton at the age of sixteen. The emerging literature on the Early American China trade often mentions Cushing as an aside, sometimes refers in passing to his importance among the foreign residents of Canton. This project explores how he came to be in that position of importance and casts Boston’s opium exchange at the center of the trade.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Revolution 250 Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero 7 November 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 with a special rum tasting courtesy of Privateer Rum Christian Di Spigna THIS PROGRAM IS NOW SOLD OUT Had he not been martyred at Bunker Hill in 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren, an architect of the colonial ...

Had he not been martyred at Bunker Hill in 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren, an architect of the colonial rebellion, might have led the country as Washington or Jefferson did. Warren was involved in almost every major insurrectionary act in the Boston, from the Stamp Act protests to the Boston Massacre to the Boston Tea Party, but his legacy has remained largely obscured. Di Spigna’s biography of Warren is the product of two decades of research and scores of newly unearthed documents that have given us this forgotten Founding Father anew.

Join our pre-talk reception at 5:30 for a special rum tasting courtesy of Privateer Rum.

 

 

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Brown Bag Persistent Futures of Americas Past: The Genres of Geography and Race in Early America 9 November 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Timothy Fosbury, University of California, Los Angeles This talk analyzes the speculative literary origins of America as a desired community and geography ...

This talk analyzes the speculative literary origins of America as a desired community and geography of economic, political, and religious belonging in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by considering how place making was a form of nascent race making in the early Americas. Moving between New England, Bermuda, and the Caribbean, this talk considers how settler imaginings of their desired futures in the Americas produced the preconditions for what we would now call race.

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Conference Art and Memory: The Role of Medals 10 November 2018.Saturday, 8:00AM - 6:30PM THE REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS NOW CLOSED. Dinner afterward (at The Colonnade Hotel), 7:00PM – 9:00PM A cocktail reception at the MHS will conclude the conference in the late afternoon Medal Collectors of America and MHS Conference There is a $75 per person ...

Medal Collectors of America and MHS Conference

There is a $75 per person conference fee, with dinner afterward optional at an additional $95 per person.

This conference on medals and medal collecting will include a series of presentations on the role medals have played in America history, the evolution of medallic art, and the ways medals have reflected American culture up through the 20th century. In addition, a panel discussion will cover the stylistic developments from Renaissance medallic art to contemporary art medals (“The Art of the Medal”).  A second panel will explore the individual passions that drive numismatists to build their unique collections (“Why Collect Medals?”).

8:00 am Arrival/registration/coffee; time to view the MHS medal exhibit

8:30 am Welcome, A primer on the MHS Numismatic Collection.

Anne Bentley, Curator of Art and Artifacts

9:00 am Their Secrets Revealed! Early American College Secret Society Medals

John Sallay

9:45 am Medallic America: Allegorical Representations of America on European and American Medals

Alan Stahl

10:30 am Break

11:00 am Panel Discussion: “The Art of the Medal”

Ira Rezak (moderator)
Cory Gilliland
Robert Hoge
Scott Miller

12:00 noon Lunch

1:00 pm The Early Work of Victor David Brenner

Patrick McMahon

1:45 pm So-Called Dollars as a Reflection of Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century American Culture

Jonathan Brecher

2:30 pm Break

2:50 pm Welcome

Catherine Allgor, President of the MHS

3:00 pm Medals and Books

Len Augsburger

3:45 pm Medallic Art Company Archives at the ANS

Ute Wartenberg Kagan

4:15 pm Panel Discussion: “Why Collect Medals?”

John Adams (moderator)
Q. David Bowers
Rob Rodriguez
John Sallay
Stephen Scher

5:15 pm Wrap up

A cocktail reception at the MHS will conclude the conference, followed by an optional dinner at the Colonnade Hotel (120 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116)

5:30 pm Social/cocktails/reception at MHS

6:30 pm Depart for dinner

7:00 pm Dinner at the Colonnade Hotel (Braemore/Kenmore Room)

The special rate offered by The Colonnade Hotel has expired and other rooms may or may not be available there. A list of other nearby hotels is available by request.

MHS is proud to partner with the Medal Collectors of America, a national organization dedicated to the study and collection of artistic and historical medals. For further information, please see www.medalcollectors.org.

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Library Closed Library Closed 10 November 2018.Saturday, all day The library is CLOSED to accommodate a special event.

The library is CLOSED to accommodate a special event.

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Building Closed Veterans Day 12 November 2018.Monday, all day The Society is CLOSED in observance of Veterans Day.

The Society is CLOSED in observance of Veterans Day.

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Environmental History Seminar Ditched: Digging Up Black History in the South Carolina Lowcountry 13 November 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Caroline Grego, University of Colorado Boulder Comment: Chad Montrie, University of Massachusetts Lowell For nearly three centuries, Black sea islanders enslaved and free have dug thousands of miles of ...

For nearly three centuries, Black sea islanders enslaved and free have dug thousands of miles of ditches that channeled the South Carolina Lowcountry, for purposes from rice to phosphate to mosquito control. This piece explores the evolving projects of environmental use and management in the Lowcountry, through the conduit of ditches, and traces the history of how the environment, politics, and labor intersected in the miry ditches of the region from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.

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 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) ...

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 This program is no longer accepting registrations. 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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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 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.

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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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Brown Bag The American Debates over the China Relief Expedition of 1900 30 November 2018.Friday, 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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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.

 

 

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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 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 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.

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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 Registration for this event is now closed. 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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Brown Bag Sylvia Plath’s Letters & Traces 7 December 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Peter K. Steinberg, Co-Editor of the two-volume edition of The Letters of Sylvia Plath In this talk, Peter K. Steinberg will discuss his role in editing the two-volume Letters of ...

In this talk, Peter K. Steinberg will discuss his role in editing the two-volume Letters of Sylvia Plath, published recently by HarperCollins. He will also highlight the professional and personal responses to Plath in her lifetime, as well as share an archival discovery made on a piece of carbon typing paper.

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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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Notice Library Opens @ 2:00PM 11 December 2018.Tuesday, all day Due to a large public program the library will delay opening until 2:00PM and remain open until 7 ...

Due to a large public program the library will delay opening until 2:00PM and remain open until 7:45PM.

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Public Program, Conversation Robert Treat Paine’s Life & Influence on Law 11 December 2018.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT. Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General; Alan Rogers, Boston College; Christina Carrick, Assistant 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 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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Early American History Seminar The Protestant Cult of the Dead in New England, 1800-1848 2 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Erik Seeman, State University of New York at Buffalo Comment: Kenneth Minkema, Yale University

Many 19th-century Protestants in New England held religious ceremonies venerating deceased family and friends, in addition to their orthodox worship of God. This paper examines women’s desires to connect with their deceased loved ones, and argues that this drove important developments in Protestant belief and practice. It shows how pious Protestants maintaining connections with the dead made séance Spiritualism a transatlantic sensation in 1848.

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

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Brown Bag Native Citizens: Race, Culture, & the Politics of Belonging, 1884-1924 3 October 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Lila Teeters, University of New Hampshire

As the nineteenth century gave way to the twentieth, Native activists played an essential—yet overlooked—role in shaping constructions of American citizenship. Some pushed to harden the political boundaries separating Native nations from their American foil, while others sought to remove those boundaries completely. Still others sought a more permeable relationship. This talk traces those debates from the 1884 Elk v. Wilkins decision through the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act.

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Public Program, Author Talk American Honor: The Creation of the Nation's Ideals during the Revolutionary Era 3 October 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Craig Bruce Smith, William Woods University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

The American Revolution was not only a revolution for liberty and freedom; it was also a revolution of ethics, reshaping what colonial Americans understood as “honor” and “virtue.” As Craig Bruce Smith demonstrates, these concepts were crucial aspects of Revolutionary Americans’ ideological break from Europe, shared by all ranks of society. Focusing his study primarily on prominent Americans who came of age before and during the Revolution, Smith shows how a colonial ethical transformation caused and became inseparable from the American Revolution, creating an ethical ideology that still remains.

 

 

 

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:30PM 4 October 2018.Thursday, all day

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

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Exhibition, Member Event, Special Event Fashioning the New England Family: Sneak Preview Reception 4 October 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM This event is now sold out. Fashioning the New England Family

Take a journey through several centuries of New England style in an exhibition of textiles and artifacts from the MHS collection.

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the the opening of Fashioning the New England Family. The exhibition uncovers stories as told by various samples of clothing, fabric, accoutrements, and associated manuscripts—many shown for the first time. Join us and explore several family narratives as well as the cultural, social, and economic history of Massachusetts through the lens of fashion. The exhibition will be open through 6 April 2019.

Become a Member today!

Special thanks to preview reception sponsor

M&T Bank logo

 

 

 

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Exhibition Fashioning the New England Family this event is free 5 October 2018 to 6 April 2019 Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Fashioning the New England Family

Fashioning the New England Family explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition will give scholars, students, and professionals in fields such as fashion, material culture, and history the chance to see these items for the first time; encourage research; and, provide the possibility for new discoveries. For the public, it is an opportunity to view in detail painstaking craftsmanship, discover how examples of material culture relate to significant moments in our history, and learn how garments were used as political statements, projecting an individual’s religion, loyalties, and social status. It may allow some to recognize and appreciate family keepsakes but it will certainly help us all to better understand the messages we may have previously missed in American art and literature. 

The exhibition is organized as part of MASS Fashion, a consortium of eight cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts. 

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Brown Bag Liverpool, Slavery, and the Atlantic Cotton Frontier c. 1763-1833 5 October 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Alexey Krichtal, Johns Hopkins University

This talk follows the enslaved peoples who toiled on cotton estates in the Caribbean, Northeast Brazil and the American South, the planters who owned cotton plantations, the mariners who crossed the Atlantic basin shipping the fiber to Europe, and the merchants who linked enslaved producers to the Manchester manufacturers and fashion-orientated consumers in the Americas on a scale never see before, helping to usher in the first Industrial Revolution.

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Public Program, Revolution 250 Boston Occupied: The British Are Coming . . . Again! 6 October 2018.Saturday, all day

In October of 1768 the British government sent troops to quell the unrest that had Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/revolution250_vertical_logo.jpgbeen rising since the passage of the Townshend Acts. Boston was a town of about 16,000 residents and the arrival of 2,000 soldiers did not calm tensions but rather marked an escalation that would eventually lead to the Boston Massacre. A reenactment of the arrival of the troops in Boston Harbor, their parade through Boston, and encampment on the Common will be reenacted this October. A tentative itinerary is listed below; stay tuned for updates!

9:00 am: British Troops land at Long Wharf

9:30 am: Salute to King George III at the Old State House

10:00 am: Troops arrive at Faneuil Hall

10:30 am: Troops welcomed at the Reviewing Stand–Downtown Crossing

11:15 am: Troops arrive on Boston Common

From 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm: British Soldiers patrol Downtown Boston and occupy Boston Common

 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 6 October 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, Revolution 250 Boston Occupied: The British Are Coming . . . Again! 7 October 2018.Sunday, 9:00AM - 1:00PM

In October of 1768 the British government sent troops to quell the unrest that had been rising since the passage of the Townshend Acts. Boston was a town of about   Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/revolution250_vertical_logo.jpg16,000 residents and the arrival of 2,000 soldiers did not calm tensions but rather marked an escalation that would eventually lead  to the Boston Massacre. A reenactment of the arrival of the troops in Boston Harbor, their parade through Boston, and encampment on the Common will be reenacted this October. Stay tuned for updates!

From 10:00 am to 12:00 pm:                          

British Soldiers patrol Downtown Boston and occupy Boston Common

 

 

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Public Program Opening Our Doors 8 October 2018.Monday, 10:00AM - 3:00PM

The Massachusetts Historical Society will join our neighboring cultural institutions for a day of free history, art, music, and cultural happenings in the Fenway neighborhood. With over 20 different museums, venues, colleges, and organizations participating, there will be something for everyone.

 

 

 

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Library Closed Columbus Day 8 October 2018.Monday, all day

The Library is CLOSED for Columbus Day.

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Environmental History Seminar Panel: Native American Environmental History 9 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Lisa Brooks, Amherst College; Strother Roberts, Bowdoin College; Ashley Smith, Hampshire College; Thomas Wickman, Trinity College Moderator: Cedric Woods, Institute for New England Native American Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston

This panel will explore the intersections of environmental history and indigenous studies—the questions that each field engenders in the other, as well as the perspectives that native and non-native scholars bring to their research as they traverse both fields. Questions of race, gender, geography, and sources enliven this growing body of scholarship. Join us for a stimulating and wide-ranging conversation on these and other topics.

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

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Public Program Evan Thomas on writing presidential biographies 11 October 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT

This event is sold out

 

Evan Thomas, the author of nine books and a former writer and editor for Time and Newsweek, will be the first speaker in our new MHS Speaker Fund annual lecture series. Having published books on Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, Clinton, and Obama, he will offer his insight into writing presidential biographies.

 

 

 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 13 October 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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Brown Bag Examining Land Ownership in the Praying Towns of New England 15 October 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Taylor Kirsch, University of California, Santa Cruz

Across the tumultuous borderlands of 17th-century Southern New England, a diverse indigenous population numbering in the thousands carved out space for themselves via an unlikely colonial project, “praying towns.” This talk explores the complexities of indigenous land tenure within these communities, and its role in shaping the cultural, political, and spiritual landscape of New England.

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Public Program, Conversation "All Legislative Powers…" Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution Then & Now 15 October 2018.Monday, 5:00PM - 7:30PM Location: The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 136 Irving Street Cambridge, Mass. Margaret H. Marshall, Choate, Hall, & Stewart, and former Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts; Jack N. Rakove, Stanford University, and Pulitzer Prize recipient

Join us for a thought-provoking conversation on the history surrounding the issues that are framed by Article 1 of the Constitution, which established the U.S. Congress and defined its powers, including the rights to tax, raise armies, and regulate commerce and naturalization. Marshall and Rakove will discuss the historical context in which the article was drafted in the 1780s, as well as the current meaning and impact of the article in contemporary legal thought and practice. The Massachusetts Constitution will serve as counterpoint to the national story.

 

This program is a collaboration between the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the MHS.

 

Please note that registration is through the AAAS website. Please click on the non-member link to register.

 

 

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Brown Bag “Watering of the Olive Plant”: Catechisms and Catechizing in Early New England 17 October 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Roberto Flores de Apodaca, University of South Carolina

Early New Englanders produced and used an unusually large number of catechisms. These catechisms shaped relations of faith for church membership, provided content for missions to the Indians, and empowered lay persons theologically to critique their ministers. This talk explores the content and the function of these unique, question and answer documents.

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Public Program, Author Talk The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War 17 October 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Joanne Freeman, Yale University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, she shows that the Capitol was rife with conflict in the decades before the Civil War. Legislative sessions were often punctuated by mortal threats, canings, flipped desks, and all-out slugfests. Pistols were drawn and knives brandished in an attempt to intimidate fellow congressmen into compliance, particularly on the issue of slavery.

 

 

 

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African American History Seminar Losing Laroche: The Story of the Titanic’s Only Black Passenger 18 October 2018.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Kellie Carter Jackson, Wellesley College Comment: Saje Mathieu, University of Minnesota

Losing Laroche is the first in-depth study of the only black family on board the RMS Titanic. The story of the Haitian Joseph Philippe Lemercier Laroche and his descendants is largely unknown and troubles the assumption of an all-white Titanic narrative. This paper seeks to understand the possibilities of black advancement in the Titanic moment and throughout the Diaspora.

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

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 20 October 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, Walking Tour Tour of Longfellow Bridge 20 October 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The tour group will meet in front of the Charles Circle CVS, 155 Charles Street, Boston MA 02114 Miguel Rosales THIS PROGRAM IS NOW SOLD OUT.

After five years and over $300 million worth of construction and refurbishment, the beautiful and historic Longfellow Bridge is once again fully operational. Constructed at the turn of the 20th century and designed with an eye towards the greatest infrastructure projects of Europe, the Longfellow Bridge has long been one of the most striking and beloved landmarks in Boston. Architect and urban designer Miguel Rosales has been involved in this restoration project for close to 15 years and will lead visitors on an in-depth tour of this exceptional bridge.

 

 

 

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Seminar Paul Revere's Ride through Digital History 22 October 2018.Monday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Joseph M. Adelman, Framingham State University and Omohundro Institute; Liz Covart, Omohundro Institute; Karin Wulf, Omohundro Institute

This seminar examines components of the Omohundro Institute’s multi-platform digital project and podcast series, Doing History: To the Revolution. It explores Episode 130, “Paul Revere’s Ride through History,” and the ways the topic was constructed through narrative and audio effects, as well as the content in the complementary reader app. Participants are asked to listen to the podcast and access the reader app before the session. Refreshments will follow the presentation and discussion.

 

To reserve: Please call 617-646-0579 or e-mail seminars@masshist.org.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Reproducing Race in the Early Americas 23 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Knafel Center, Radcliffe Institute Rhae Lynn Barnes, Princeton University; Deirdre Cooper Owens, Queens College; Sasha Turner, Quinnipiac University Moderator: Nicole Aljoe, Northeastern University

This roundtable will use the body as frame for examining racial formation in the Caribbean and U.S. from the eighteenth century to the present. The presenters will meditate on biological reproduction in relation to citizenship and subjecthood, labor and economy, medical and scientific knowledge, and representations of blackness in popular culture.

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

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Public Program, Author Talk Swindler Sachem: The American Indian Who Sold His Birthright, Dropped Out of Harvard, and Conned the King of England 24 October 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Jenny Hale Pulsipher, Brigham Young University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Jenny Pulsipher opens a window onto 17th-century New England and the English empire from the unusual perspective of John Wompas, a Nipmuc Indian who may not have been all he claimed but was certainly out of the ordinary. Drawing on documentary and anthropological sources as well as consultations with Native people, Pulsipher examines struggles over Native land and sovereignty during an era of political turmoil and reveals how Wompas navigated these perilous waters for the benefit of himself and his kin.

 

 

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Teacher Workshop Fashioning History 27 October 2018.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration: $25 front clasp of a red cloak.  The cloak is tied with a red satin ribbon.

Throughout history, our choices about what we wear tell the world about our personality, position, background, and beliefs. From textile in Boston Boycott, manufacture in the Industrial Revolution, to the fashion of war and protest, clothing offers a vivid lens to examine American cultural history. Drawing on the MHS exhibit “Fashioning the New England Family,” we will explore how clothing and style help us understand the everyday lives of historical New Englanders.

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

For questions, contact Kate Melchior at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

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Public Program Armistice: WWI in Memory and Song 29 October 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-program reception at 5:30. A collaboration of MHS and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee with John Brancy, Baritone; Peter Dugan, Piano; and Peter Drummey, MHS There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

A temporary exhibition on the end of World War I will be coupled with songs and a conversation about the journey home that men and women faced at the close of The War to End All Wars. This program will explore both the history of the war and the memory of it. On Tuesday October 30 at 8:00 pm, John Brancy and Peter Dugan will perform their program “Armistice: The Journey Home” in Seully Hall at Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

 

 

 

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Governing the “Black Power” City: Leon H. Sullivan, Opportunities Industrialization Centers Inc., and the Rise of Black Empowerment 30 October 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Jessica Ann Levy, Johns Hopkins University Comment: Julia Rabig, Dartmouth College

This paper traces the Opportunities Industrialization Center’s rise from its meager founding in North Philadelphia to one of the largest black community development programs in the United States. In doing so, it sheds new light on the financial and intellectual investments made by American business, government bureaucrats, and civil rights entrepreneurs like Sullivan in transforming black dissidents into “productive citizens,” “productive” having economic and civic connotations.

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

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Biography Seminar “No Ideas But in Things”: Writing Lives from Objects 1 November 2018.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Deborah Lutz, University of Louisville; Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Amherst College; Susan Ware, Independent Scholar Moderator: Natalie Dykstra, Hope College

Often a biographer confronts silences in the record of her subject, when part of the life story is not documented with words. Mute sources—objects in the subject’s archive—can pose a challenge for interpretation, but also offer rich opportunities. How can biographers read objects as eloquent sources?

Panelists include Deborah Lutz, whose book The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects is a biography of the sisters centered on the humble objects they owned. Susan Ware, author of the forthcoming Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote, is using artifacts from the Schlesinger Library’s collections in her group biography of suffrage activists. Karen Sanchez-Eppler is writing In the Archives of Childhood: Playing with the Past, viewing children’s lives from material things. Natalie Dykstra, author of Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life, will moderate.

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

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 3 November 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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Early American History Seminar “A Rotten-Hearted Fellow”: The Rise of Alexander McDougall 6 November 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Christopher Minty, the Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society Comment: Brendan McConville, Boston University

Historians have often grouped the DeLanceys of New York as self-interested opportunists who were destined to become loyalists. By focusing on the rise of Alexander McDougall, this paper offers a new interpretation, demonstrating how the DeLanceys and McDougall mobilized groups with competing visions of New York’s political economy. These prewar factions stayed in opposition until the Revolutionary War, thus shedding new light on the coming of the American Revolution.

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

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Brown Bag John Perkins Cushing and Boston's Early China Trade 7 November 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Gwenn Miller, College of the Holy Cross

In July of 1803, John Perkins Cushing, an orphaned relation of some of the most prominent families in Boston, set sail for the Canton at the age of sixteen. The emerging literature on the Early American China trade often mentions Cushing as an aside, sometimes refers in passing to his importance among the foreign residents of Canton. This project explores how he came to be in that position of importance and casts Boston’s opium exchange at the center of the trade.

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Public Program, Author Talk, Revolution 250 Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero 7 November 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 with a special rum tasting courtesy of Privateer Rum Christian Di Spigna THIS PROGRAM IS NOW SOLD OUT

Had he not been martyred at Bunker Hill in 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren, an architect of the colonial rebellion, might have led the country as Washington or Jefferson did. Warren was involved in almost every major insurrectionary act in the Boston, from the Stamp Act protests to the Boston Massacre to the Boston Tea Party, but his legacy has remained largely obscured. Di Spigna’s biography of Warren is the product of two decades of research and scores of newly unearthed documents that have given us this forgotten Founding Father anew.

Join our pre-talk reception at 5:30 for a special rum tasting courtesy of Privateer Rum.

 

 

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Brown Bag Persistent Futures of Americas Past: The Genres of Geography and Race in Early America 9 November 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Timothy Fosbury, University of California, Los Angeles

This talk analyzes the speculative literary origins of America as a desired community and geography of economic, political, and religious belonging in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by considering how place making was a form of nascent race making in the early Americas. Moving between New England, Bermuda, and the Caribbean, this talk considers how settler imaginings of their desired futures in the Americas produced the preconditions for what we would now call race.

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Conference Art and Memory: The Role of Medals 10 November 2018.Saturday, 8:00AM - 6:30PM THE REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS NOW CLOSED. Dinner afterward (at The Colonnade Hotel), 7:00PM – 9:00PM A cocktail reception at the MHS will conclude the conference in the late afternoon

Medal Collectors of America and MHS Conference

There is a $75 per person conference fee, with dinner afterward optional at an additional $95 per person.

This conference on medals and medal collecting will include a series of presentations on the role medals have played in America history, the evolution of medallic art, and the ways medals have reflected American culture up through the 20th century. In addition, a panel discussion will cover the stylistic developments from Renaissance medallic art to contemporary art medals (“The Art of the Medal”).  A second panel will explore the individual passions that drive numismatists to build their unique collections (“Why Collect Medals?”).

8:00 am Arrival/registration/coffee; time to view the MHS medal exhibit

8:30 am Welcome, A primer on the MHS Numismatic Collection.

Anne Bentley, Curator of Art and Artifacts

9:00 am Their Secrets Revealed! Early American College Secret Society Medals

John Sallay

9:45 am Medallic America: Allegorical Representations of America on European and American Medals

Alan Stahl

10:30 am Break

11:00 am Panel Discussion: “The Art of the Medal”

Ira Rezak (moderator)
Cory Gilliland
Robert Hoge
Scott Miller

12:00 noon Lunch

1:00 pm The Early Work of Victor David Brenner

Patrick McMahon

1:45 pm So-Called Dollars as a Reflection of Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century American Culture

Jonathan Brecher

2:30 pm Break

2:50 pm Welcome

Catherine Allgor, President of the MHS

3:00 pm Medals and Books

Len Augsburger

3:45 pm Medallic Art Company Archives at the ANS

Ute Wartenberg Kagan

4:15 pm Panel Discussion: “Why Collect Medals?”

John Adams (moderator)
Q. David Bowers
Rob Rodriguez
John Sallay
Stephen Scher

5:15 pm Wrap up

A cocktail reception at the MHS will conclude the conference, followed by an optional dinner at the Colonnade Hotel (120 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116)

5:30 pm Social/cocktails/reception at MHS

6:30 pm Depart for dinner

7:00 pm Dinner at the Colonnade Hotel (Braemore/Kenmore Room)

The special rate offered by The Colonnade Hotel has expired and other rooms may or may not be available there. A list of other nearby hotels is available by request.

MHS is proud to partner with the Medal Collectors of America, a national organization dedicated to the study and collection of artistic and historical medals. For further information, please see www.medalcollectors.org.

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Library Closed Library Closed 10 November 2018.Saturday, all day

The library is CLOSED to accommodate a special event.

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Building Closed Veterans Day 12 November 2018.Monday, all day

The Society is CLOSED in observance of Veterans Day.

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Environmental History Seminar Ditched: Digging Up Black History in the South Carolina Lowcountry 13 November 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Caroline Grego, University of Colorado Boulder Comment: Chad Montrie, University of Massachusetts Lowell

For nearly three centuries, Black sea islanders enslaved and free have dug thousands of miles of ditches that channeled the South Carolina Lowcountry, for purposes from rice to phosphate to mosquito control. This piece explores the evolving projects of environmental use and management in the Lowcountry, through the conduit of ditches, and traces the history of how the environment, politics, and labor intersected in the miry ditches of the region from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.

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 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.

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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.

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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 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 This program is no longer accepting registrations. 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.

 

 

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Building Closed Thanksgiving 22 November 2018.Thursday, all day

The Society is CLOSED for Thanksgiving.

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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 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.

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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 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.

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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 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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Brown Bag The American Debates over the China Relief Expedition of 1900 30 November 2018.Friday, 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.

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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 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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Teacher Workshop Remembering Abigail Adams 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.

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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. 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 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.

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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.

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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 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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Member Event, Special Event MHS Fellows & Members Holiday Party 5 December 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Registration for this event is now closed. 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.

 

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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 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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Brown Bag Sylvia Plath’s Letters & Traces 7 December 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Peter K. Steinberg, Co-Editor of the two-volume edition of The Letters of Sylvia Plath

In this talk, Peter K. Steinberg will discuss his role in editing the two-volume Letters of Sylvia Plath, published recently by HarperCollins. He will also highlight the professional and personal responses to Plath in her lifetime, as well as share an archival discovery made on a piece of carbon typing paper.

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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 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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Notice Library Opens @ 2:00PM 11 December 2018.Tuesday, all day

Due to a large public program the library will delay opening until 2:00PM and remain open until 7:45PM.

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Public Program, Conversation Robert Treat Paine’s Life & Influence on Law 11 December 2018.Tuesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT. Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General; Alan Rogers, Boston College; Christina Carrick, Assistant 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 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 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 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 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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    Key to event colors:
  • MHS Tours
  • Seminars
  • Public Programs
  • Brown Bags
  • Special Events