Announcing 2016-2017 Research Fellowships
By Elaine Heavey, Reader Services
The MHS is thrilled to receive the list of the incoming research fellows for the 2015-2016 cycle. Each year our various fellowship programs bring a wide variety of researchers working on a full range of topics into the MHS library. The Reader Services Staff enjoys getting to know the fellows, many of whom become career-long friends of the Society, returning to our reading room year after year.
If any of the research topics are particularly interesting to you, keep an eye on our events calendar over the course of the upcoming year, as all research fellows present their research at brown-bag lunch programs as part of their commitment to the MHS.
For more information about the different fellowship types, click the headings below.
MHS-NEH Long-term Research Fellowships (With special thanks to the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent agency of the U.S. government):
Manisha Sinha, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, “Men for All Seasons: Sumner, Stevens, and the Making of Radical Reconstruction”
Kara Swanson, Northeastern University, “A Passion for Patents: Inventiveness, Citizenship and American Nationhood”
Suzanne and Caleb Loring Research Fellowship On the Civil War, Its Origins, and Consequences (with the Boston Athenaeum):
Kent McConnell, Phillips Exeter Academy, “A Time-Stained God: Spiritual Lives, Civil War Deaths and the Violent Remaking of Religion in America”
MHS Short-Term Research Fellowships:
African-American Studies Fellow
James Shinn, Yale University, “Republicans, Reconstruction, and the Origins of U.S. Imperialism in the Caribbean, 1865-1878”
Andrew Oliver Fellow
Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire, “Exploring Anglicization Through Pre-1750 Textiles”
Andrew W. Mellon Fellows
Abigail Cooper, Brandeis University, ‘“Lord, Until I Reach My Home’: Inside the Refugee Camps of the American Civil War”
Stephen Engle, Florida Atlantic University, “Champion in Our Hour of Need: The Life of John Albion Andrew”
Jessica Farrell, University of Minnesota, “(Re)Capturing Empire: A Reconsideration of Liberia’s Precarious Sovereignty and American Empire as Exception in the 19th Century”
Andrea Gray, Papers of Thomas Jefferson and George Mason University, “’Leaving their callings’: Retirement in the Early Republic”
Ross Nedervelt, Florida International University, “The Border-seas of a New British Empire: The British Atlantic Islands in the Age of the American Revolution”
Luke Nichter, Texas A&M University – Central Texas, “Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., and the Decline of the Eastern Establishment”
Franklin Sammons, University of California, Berkeley, “The Long Life of Yazoo: Land Speculation, Finance, and Dispossession in the Southeastern Borderlands, 1789-1840”
Michael Verney, University of New Hampshire, “’Our Field of Fame’: Naval Exploration and Empire in the Early American Republic, 1815-1860”
Stephen West, Catholic University of America, “A Constitutional Lost Cause: The Fifteenth Amendment in American Memory and Political Culture, 1870-1920”
Benjamin F. Stevens Fellow
Abram Van Engen, Washington University in Saint Louis, “American Model: The Life of John Winthrop’s City on a Hill”
Louis Leonard Tucker Alumni Fellows
Catherine Kelly, University of Oklahoma, “Making Peace: Loyalists in the Early U.S. Republic”
David Montejano, University of California, Berkeley, “From Southern Plantation to Northern Mill: Traveling along the Cotton Trail during the American Civil War”
Malcolm and Mildred Freiberg Fellow
Nora Slominsky, Graduate Center, CUNY, “’The Engine of Free Expression’[?]: The Political Development of Copyright in the Colonial British Atlantic and Early National United States”
Marc Friedlaender Fellow
Julia Rose Kraut, New York University, “A Fear of Foreigners and of Freedom: Ideological Exclusion and Deportation in America”
Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati Fellow
Craig Smith, Lesley University, “Redemption: The American Revolution, Ethics, and Abolitionism in Britain and the United States”
Ruth R. & Alyson R. Miller Fellows
Evan Haefeli, Texas A&M University, “The Delaware as Women and the Iroquois Great Peace of 1670”
Cathryn Halverson, University of Copenhagen, “Faraway Women and The Atlantic Monthly”
W. B. H. Dowse Fellows
Nathan Fell, University of Houston, “The Nature of Colonization: Native Americans, Colonists, and the Environment in New England, 1400-1750”
Michael Hattem, Yale University, “The Past is Prologue: The Origins of American History Culture, 1730-1800”
New England Regional Fellowship Consortium (NERFC) Awards (* indicates that part of fellowship will be completed at the MHS):
*Cassandra Berman, Brandeis University, “Motherhood and the Court of Public Opinion: Transgressive Maternity in America, 1768-1868”
Amy Breimaier, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, “’I learn my Books well’: Child Readers and the Economics of Cultural Change in New England, 1765-1815”
Jamie Brummitt, Duke University, “Protestant Relics: The Politics of Religion and the Art of Mourning in the Early American Republic”
*Emily Burns, Auburn University, “Innocence Abroad: The Cultural Politics and Paradox of American Artistic Innocence in Fin-de-Siècle France”
Ben Davidson, New York University, “Freedom’s Generation: Coming of Age in the Era of Emancipation”
Mary Draper, University of Virginia, “The Tropical Metropolis: Cities and Society in the Early Modern British Caribbean”
*John Garcia, University of Pennsylvania, “Specimen Pages: Critical Bibliography and Digital Analysis of 19th-Century Subscription Publishing in America”
*Louis Gerdelan, Harvard University, “Calamitous Knowledge: Understanding Disaster in the British, Spanish, and French Atlantic Worlds, 1666-1755”
Matthew Ghazarian, Columbia University, “Famine and the American Protestant Mission: Humanitarianism and Sectarianism in Turkey, 1858-1893”
*Kenyon Gradert, Washington University in St. Louis, “The Second Reformation: Protestant Inheritance in Antislavery New England”
Nalleli Guillen, University of Delaware, “Round the World Every Evening: Panoramic Spectacles, Entertainment Culture, and a Growing Imperial Consciousness in Nineteenth-Century America”
Jane Hooper, George Mason University, “’Let the Girls Come Aboard’: Intimate Contact between America and Madagascar”
Rachel Knecht, Brown University, “Inventing the Mathematical Economy in Nineteenth-Century America”
*Jonathan Lande, Brown University, “Disciplining Freedom: Union Army Slave Rebels and Emancipation in the Civil War Courts-Martial”
*Rachel Miller, University of Michigan, “Capital Entertainment: Creative Labor and the Modern Stage, 1860-1930”
Alexandra Montgomery, University of Pennsylvania, “Projecting Power in the Dawnland: Colonization Schemes, Imperial Failure, and Competing Visions of the Gulf of Maine World, 1710-1800”
Carrie Streeter, University of California, San Diego, “Before Yoga: Self-Expression and Health in the Age of Nervousness”
Andrew Wasserman, Louisiana Tech University, “Bang! We’re All Dead: The Places of Nuclear Fear in 1980s America”
| Published: Friday, 29 April, 2016, 12:00 AM
Harriet the Spy
By Susan Martin, Collections Services
Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that Harriet Tubman will be featured on the new $20 bill, becoming simultaneously the first African American and the third woman (after Pocahontas and Martha Washington) to appear on our federal paper currency. An escaped slave, “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, Union scout, armed raider, humanitarian, suffragist: the more you learn about Tubman, the more fascinating she becomes. John Brown called her “General Tubman.” I decided to search the MHS collections for material related to this remarkable woman.
Unfortunately (but perhaps unsurprisingly) I didn’t find much. We do have three photographs of Tubman in our collection of Portraits of American Abolitionists, one from 1886 and two taken in 1906, when she was in her eighties.
We also hold a copy of Sarah H. Bradford’s 1886 biography, Harriet, the Moses of Her People, a second edition and revision of Bradford’s 1869 Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman. Both books were written from personal interviews with Tubman, who was, by all accounts, illiterate all her life.
But when I looked at manuscript collections, I turned up only two passing references to Tubman, neither of which mention her by name. Both appear in the correspondence of John A. Andrew, the famous Civil War governor of Massachusetts. Sparse in content, these particular letters are important and intriguing primarily because of context.
First, some background. According to Bradford, “In the early days of the war, Governor Andrew of Massachusetts, knowing well the brave and sagacious character of Harriet, sent for her, and asked her if she could go at a moment’s notice, to act as spy and scout for our armies, and, if need be, to act as hospital nurse, in short, to be ready to give any required service to the Union cause.” (pp. 93-94)
It looks like the two letters in our collection document Tubman’s trip south from Boston as she embarked on this espionage mission. Both were written by Col. Frank E. Howe in New York, formerly a member of Gov. Andrew’s staff. The first dates from 10 January 1862 and begins: “Colored woman arrived & is cared for.”
On 21 January 1862, Howe wrote to Andrew again, this time marking his letter “Confidential.” After discussing other matters, he said: “I have a letter from Washington informing me that the colored underground woman did not sail in the Baltic, but her luggage did – will send a pass on for her – & its all I can do.”
Subterfuge may have been the reason Howe didn’t use Tubman’s name. Presumably, she was traveling through New York and Washington to points south. Abolitionist Franklin B. Sanborn later confirmed: “In 1862, I think it was, she went from Boston to Port Royal, [S.C.] under the advice and encouragement of Mr. Garrison, Governor Andrew, Dr. Howe, and other leading people.” (Bradford, pp. 136-137)
I’d be surprised if there weren’t more references to Harriet Tubman buried in other manuscript collections here at the MHS, but unfortunately item-level subject access to our vast holdings is impossible. I found these two letters in Andrew’s papers because of an index to the collection created 35 years ago and encoded as part of the online guide. We hope our intrepid researchers will uncover more!
| Published: Wednesday, 27 April, 2016, 11:11 AM
Margaret Russell's Diary, April 1916
By Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, Reader Services
Today, we return to the line-a-day diary of Margaret Russell. You can read previous installments here:
April of 1916 continues to be cold, with Margaret Russell reporting snow and cold temperatures throughout the month -- although on an April 25th drive to Swampscott she notes “things coming up well.” Indeed, the messy spring weather does not seem to curtail Margaret’s mobility as she drives to Swampscott, Rowley, and Fairview, walks in the Arnold Arboretum, and takes a short trip to New York City by train.
April is also marked by more domestic matters. Margaret notes attendance every Sunday at the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Paul, on Tremont Street overlooking the Boston Common; during the week leading up to Easter Sunday she attends additional services every evening at five. Margaret’s April also sees a sobering number of deaths: “Mary Russell died at three,” “To see Annie whose brother Egerton W- died yesterday,” “Mrs. Wentworth’s funeral at 10.” Perhaps because of this steady stream of passings, Margaret also takes care to note more happy life events: “Went to see Perry to hear about wedding yesterday,” “Minnie Ames engaged to L. Frothingham.”
In the midst of these briefly recorded yet significant transitions in others’ lives, Margaret also continues her intense social schedule of club activities, musical performances, botany lessons, and lectures on unidentified topics. Shortly after Patriot’s Day (“holiday”) she attends a performance of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, “splendidly given” by a cast that included soprano Johanna Gadski (1870-1932) and Johannes Sembach (1881-1944), both on tour from Germany.
With a view across the first four months of the year, as readers of Margaret Russell’s diary it is becoming steadily clearer exactly how deeply embedded in the upper crust of Boston’s elite society Margaret was.
* * *
1 April. Saturday - Walked for errands. Lunched early & went out to see Mrs. Haddes. Lovely warm day.
2 April. Sunday - Early service. Miss A- & I walked through Arboretum & back to Brookline. Lunched at H.G.C’s. Mary Russell died at three. Family to dine.
3 April. Monday - Hospital meeting - [illegible] lunched at Marian’s. Went to see Aunt Emma & Mary Amory.
4 April.Tuesday - Drove Miss Lamb out to funeral which was at the farm. Not many people & all arranged like Harry’s.
5 April. Wednesday - Mrs. Ward’s lecture.
6 April. Thursday - Meeting of M.G.H. Comm. Went for errands. Lunch club at Annie’s. To Dr. Crockett. Out to see Ellen at R[illegible].
7 April. Friday - Went to Swampscott in A.M. Concert - [illegible] - To see Annie whose brother Egerton W- died yesterday.
8 April. Saturday - Went to N. Y. at 10. Morning did errands - Kate is at Colony Club & we dined together.
9 April. Sunday - Snowing. Went to hear Dr. Parkes. After lunch tried to see Annie Lew. Dined at Mrs. West Roosevelt ^also [illegible]. Went to Mahler symphony. Very nice.
10 April. Monday - Mrs. Wentworth’s funeral at 10 [illegible] chapel. Walked back to club. Home on 10 o’clock. Found Mama very well.
11 April. Tuesday - Walked downtown. Interesting talk at Chilton by Miss Burke. Lunched at Marians. Went to Cambridge & saw Mary Amory.
12 April. Wednesday - Went to see Annie. Took 12.25 for Rowley in time for lunch.
13 April. Thursday - Lovely spring day with lots of birds. Elizabeth & I met to walk. After lunch drove to Fairview & bought a lot of things.
14 April. Friday - E & I met to walk & see the chickens. Raining & then heavy snow. Home after lunch. Still snowing.
15 April. Mrs. Tysen’s reading - drove to Swampscott.
16 April. Sunday - Church at Cathedral with Miss. A- lunch at H.G.C’s - Went to see Perry to hear about wedding yesterday. Edith & E. Ballantine.
17 April. Monday - Dressmaker - Mary - Lunch with Marian. Botany lesson & a drive. Church at five.
18 April. Tuesday - To see Dr. Haskell. Church at five. The Rev. George Douglas is preaching this week.
19 April. Holiday - Went to see Mrs. Bell & S. Bradley. Botany lesson & to see Aunt Emma. Church at five.
20 April. Thursday - Dentist. Miss Harman to play. Lunch club at Rosamund’s. Lecture on Jap. gardens. Church.
21 April. Friday - Church. Concert.
22 April. Saturday - Took flowers to Mt. Auburn & Forest Hills. Mrs. Tysen’s. Went to hear Meistersinger with Edith. Splendidly given. Gadski & Sembach.
Johanna Gadski (1872 - 1932), German opera singer, soprano
23 April. Easter - Raining and cold. Church & to see Parkmans. Lunched at H.G.C’s. Family to dine.
24 April. Monday - Meeting of the CD’s [Colonial Dames] going to Wash. Mary. Lunch with Marian. Botany lesson at Cambridge. Still raining.
25 April. Tuesday - Went to Swampscott, things coming up well. Mr. Gibson’s funeral at Mt. Auburn. Back to Tuesday Club. Minnie Ames engaged to L. Frothingham.
26 April. Wednesday - Mrs. Ward’s lecture & then Botany lesson. Mayflower [illegible]. meeting. Musical at Emily Morison’s. Mary Parkman’s reception.
27 April. Thursday - Eye & Ear to see Eliz. Murray & then Errands. Took a drive & went to concert at H. Bigelow’s new house. Nice day but cold wind.
28 April. Friday - Snowing hard.
29 April. Saturday.
30 April. Sunday.
* * *
If you are interested in viewing the diary in person in our library or have other questions about the collection, please visit the library or contact a member of the library staff for further assistance.
*Please note that the diary transcription is a rough-and-ready version, not an authoritative transcript. Researchers wishing to use the diary in the course of their own work should verify the version found here with the manuscript original.
| Published: Friday, 22 April, 2016, 12:00 AM
This Week @ MHS
The Society is CLOSED on Monday, 18 April, in observance of Patriot's Day. But despite a shortened week, we still have these programs on tap:
- Tuesday, 19 April, 1:00PM : Looking for something fun to do during school vacation week? Look no further! Join us for "Comic History - Making Your Own Comic Explaining the Stamp Act." This family program features noted historian J.L. Bell and the Boston Comics Roundtable who will engage participants in the history of the Stamp Act through stories of 18th century children and then assist and inspire young historians to create their own comic based on the events. The workshops are free, although space is limited and prior registration is required, please RSVP. The program and the comic book have been made possible through the support of the Society of the Cincinnati and the Massachusetts Historical Society.
- Wednesday 20 April, 9:00AM : "Teaching Thomas Jefferson" is an interdisiplinary workshop which introduces participants to the Society's collection of Jeffeson manuscripts. This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts for a fee of $25 per person (to cover materials and lunch). Educators can earn 22.5 PDPs or one graduate credit (for an additional fee). To Register / For more information: complete this registration form, or contact the education department firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-646-0557.
- Wednesday, 20 April, 6:00PM : "The Citizen Poets of Boston: A Collection of Forgotten Poems, 1789-1820" is a public author talk featuring Paul Lewis of Boston College. Lewis and his research team completed a 3-year project at Boston College to review about 4,500 poems published in 59 different literary magazines. These mostly forgotten works have been brought back to light in this publication. Mr. Lewis and members of the research team will discuss the project and read from the book. This talk is open to the public, registration required. There is a pre-talk reception at 5:30PM and the talk begins at 6:00PM.
- Saturday, 23 April, 10:00AM : Our Saturday tour returns! After a few weeks off, we are back with The History and Collections of the MHS, a docent-led tour through the public spaces in our building on Boylston St. This tour is free and open to the public, no reservations required for small groups or individuals. Larger parties of 8 or more should contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley in advance at email@example.com or 617-646-0508.
| Published: Sunday, 17 April, 2016, 12:00 AM