The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

The Society is CLOSED on Monday, 19 February, for Presidents Day. 

It is a holiday-shortened week but there is still plenty of action happening here at the Society. Below are details for what we have on tap.

- Tuesday, 20 February, 6:00PM : Kendra Field's epic family history, Growing Up with the Country, chronicles the westward migration of freedom's first generation in the 50 years after emancipation. Fields traces the journey of her ancestors out of the South to Indian Territory, where they participated in the development of black towns and settlements. When statehood, oil speculation, and segregation imperiled their lives, some launched a back-to-Africa movement while others moved to Canada and Mexico. Interweaving black, white, and Indian histories, Field's narrative explores how ideas about race and color powerfully shape the pursuit of freedom. 

This talk is open to the public. Registration is required with a fee of $10 (no charge for MHS Members and Fellows or EBT cardholders). Pre-talk reception begins at 5:30PM, followed by the program at 6:00PM. 

- Wednesday, 21 February : All K-12 educators are invited to register for Yankees in the West, an all-day teacher workshop. Using the Society's current exhibition as a guide, participants will investigate how writers, artists, and photographers sensationalized the frontier experience for eastern audiences and conceptualized the West for Americans who increasingly embraced the nation's manifest destiny. 

Registration is required for this program with a fee of $25 per person. 

- Wednesday, 21 February, 12:00PM : "Billets & Barracks: The Quartering Act & the Coming of the American Revolution" is a Brown Bag talk with John McCurdy of Eastern Michigan University. The arrival of British soldiers in the 1750s forced Americans to ask “where do soldiers belong?” This project investigates how they answered this question, arguing that it prompted them to rethink the meaning of places like the home and the city, as well as to reevaluate British military power.

This talk is free and open to the public. 

- Thursday, 22 February, 6:00PM : After the Civil War, artists and writers from Boston faced a question that haunted America: what’s next? For cultural leaders like Charles Eliot Norton and Isabella Stewart Gardner, Reconstruction left them feeling directionless and betrayed. Shunning the Whig narrative of history, these “Boston Cosmopolitans” researched Europe’s long past to discover and share examples of civil society shaped by high ideals. "For the Union Dead: Bostonians Travel East in Search of Answers in the Post-Civil War Era" is a public talk with Mark Rennella.

This program is open to all, free of charge, though registration is required. Click on the link and look for the Register button. 

- Saturday, 24 February, 9:00AM : The second teacher workshop this week examines how the personal and political philosophies of Justices John Marshall, Roger B. Taney, and Joseph Story influenced their proslavery positions. In "Slavery & the U.S. Supreme Court," Paul Finkelman, President of Gratz College, will discuss why these three influential justices upheld the institution of slavery and continued to deny black Americans their freedom. Participants will connect these federal rulings to local court cases, as well as antislavery and abolitionist efforts to undermine these unpopular decrees. 

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Registration is required with a fee of $25 per person. 


There is no public tour this week.

permalink | Published: Sunday, 18 February, 2018, 12:00 AM