This Week @MHS

Here is a look at what is happening at the MHS this week:

On Wednesday, 21 August, at 12:00 PM: To “Watch” & “Gall” the Enemy: George Washington Wages Petite Guerre with Thomas Rider, University of Wisconsin – Madison. Petite guerre or partisan warfare was a critical component of eighteenth-century armed conflict. Historians of the American Revolution, however, have frequently understated and mischaracterized petite guerre as conducted in that war. This discussion will explain petite guerre within an eighteenth-century military context and explore how George Washington’s Continental Army learned to wage it. This is part of our brown-bag lunch program. Brown-bags are free and open to the public. 

From Thursday, 22 August to Friday, 23 August, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM: Immigration Policy in American History. This workshop will explore the long history of immigration policy in the United States and its legacy in politics today. Our discussions will cover the wave of Irish immigration to Boston in the mid 19th century, along with the parallel Know-Nothing anti-immigration movement, and debates over immigration restriction in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as well Progressive Era efforts to “Americanize” immigrants. This workshop will draw on items from the Society’s rich holdings to help put contemporary debates in context. The workshop is open all who work with K-12 students. Teachers can earn 45 Professional Development Points or 2 graduate credits (for an additional fee). There is a $40 per person registration fee.

On Friday, 23 August, at 12:00 PM: History on the Hoof: New Perspectives on Animal Research during the Civil War Era with David J. Gerleman. The Civil War affected America’s farmers in profound ways and especially the horse, cattle, and dairy industries. Modern civilization’s reliance on the combustion engine has rendered fully comprehending of those changes increasingly difficult. This talk will provide an overview of the changing husbandry and care practices of America’s livestock industry from the 1850s through war’s end in 1865. This is part of our brown-bag lunch program. Brown-bags are free and open to the public. 

On Saturday, 24 August at 10:00 AMThe History & Collections of the MHS. This is a 90-minute docent-led walk through of our public rooms. The tour is free and open to the public. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or

“Can She Do It?”: Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote is open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Featuring dynamic imagery from the collection of the MHS, the exhibition illustrates the passion on each side of the suffrage question. For over a century, Americans debated whether women should vote. The materials on display demonstrate the arguments made by suffragists and their opponents. While women at the polls may seem unremarkable today, these contentious campaigns formed the foundations for modern debates about gender and politics.

Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.