Calendar of Events

Extended
to May 26

Exhibition

The Private Jefferson

Explore Jefferson’s complexity through select correspondence and writings including the Declaration of Independence, records of farming at Monticello, and his architectural drawings.

Details

May

Early American History Seminar “They bid me speak what I thought he would give”: The Commodification of Captive Peoples during King Phillip’s War 3 May 2016.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Joanne Jahnke Wegner, University of Minnesota Comment: Kate Grandjean, Wellesley College This essay will address the systems of human trafficking that circulated both Native American and ...

This essay will address the systems of human trafficking that circulated both Native American and English captives during King Phillip’s War. Using the examples of Mary Rowlandson and King Phillip’s nameless son, the study explores the processes that turned captive peoples into commodities exchangeable for currency, material goods, or other humans. It argues that this commodification facilitated the circulation, exchange, and exploitation of captive peoples through human trafficking during King Phillip’s War.

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Brown Bag Fear and Loathing at the Crystal Palace: the Failure of America's First World's Fair 4 May 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Michael Zakim, Tel Aviv University and the Charles Warren Center Inspired by the spectacular success of London's Crystal Palace Exhibition of the Industry of All ...

Inspired by the spectacular success of London's Crystal Palace Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations in 1851, an enthusiastic group of New Yorkers hoped to repeat that achievement two years later and so position the New World firmly at the center of a new global economy. Instead, they ended up stoking ongoing American debate over the changing meaning of industry in these years of industrial revolution.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 7 May 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a docent-led walk ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 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.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition.

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Public Program Mad for Glory: The true story of two Americans and the fate of the Pacific world 7 May 2016.Saturday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 4:30pm. Robert Booth, Author While researching Death of an Empire, which explored the rise and fall of merchant trade in Salem, ...

While researching Death of an Empire, which explored the rise and fall of merchant trade in Salem, Robert Booth came across the story of a naval vessel sent out under Capt. John Downes, who took unauthorized bloody reprisal for an incident at Sumatra involving a Salem merchant vessel. He wondered how this came about and found that 20 years earlier Downes had been lieutenant under Capt. David Porter on board the frigate Essex. Investigating the story, he found that Captain Porter had gone rogue with a U.S. Navy ship only to meet an American ambassador who had organized a new nation overseas and led its armies into the field. In 1813, during the confusion of the War of 1812, two charismatic Americans played out an astonishing drama of nation-building and imperialism in the Pacific.

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Brown Bag Getting Old in the Young Nation 11 May 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Rebecca Brannon, James Madison University What was it like getting old in a nation self-defined as a young nation? This research considers ...

What was it like getting old in a nation self-defined as a young nation? This research considers changes in how old men in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries self-conceptualized their own aging process, and how others around them perceived their aging. The American Revolution’s embrace of youthfulness—epitomized in constant descriptions of the young nation, and in the young men who largely led the Revolution—undermined traditional assurances of respect for the aged.

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Public Program, Jefferson Series Jefferson and His Gardens 11 May 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Andrea Wulf, Author For the Founding Fathers, gardening, agriculture, and botany were elemental passions: a conjoined ...

For the Founding Fathers, gardening, agriculture, and botany were elemental passions: a conjoined interest as deeply ingrained in their characters as the battle for liberty and a belief in the greatness of their new nation. Andrea Wulf tells the story of Jefferson and the revolutionary generation from the unique perspective of their lives as gardeners, plant hobbyists, and farmers. She describes how George Washington wrote letters to his estate manager even as British warships gathered off Staten Island; how a tour of English gardens renewed Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’ faith in their fledgling nation; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of environmentalism. Through these and other stories, Wulf reveals a fresh, nuanced portrait of Jefferson and the men who created our nation.

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Cocktails with Clio 2016 Special Event Cocktails with Clio 12 May 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 9:00PM Please RSVP   Feast, sip, and celebrate history at the sixth annual Cocktails with Clio! ...

Feast, sip, and celebrate history at the sixth annual Cocktails with Clio!

Thursday, 12 May 2016
6:00 PM

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Columbia Point
Boston, Massachusetts

Tickets are $300 per person

As part of the Society’s 225th anniversary celebrations, we invite you to join us for a festive evening that will raise funds in support of MHS outreach initatives and educational programs. The evening will begin with cocktails in the lovely pavilion space overlooking the harbor. A seated dinner will follow along with a conversation between the 71st Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick and Boston radio and television personality Jim Braude. Sit back and listen as Governor Patrick reflects on his time in office, talks about how the Commonwealth’s great history affected his governorship, and makes connections between past and present leaders.

Purchase a ticket today!


Become a sponsor of Cocktails with Clio

Our sponsors are crucial to the success of the event. As a result of their generosity, the Society’s educational and outreach efforts continue to expand. The additional funding provided by Clio enables the MHS to offer a wide array of educational services including engaging workshops and hands-on student programs; online classroom tools; lesson plans and curricular resources; fellowships for students and teachers; and community partnerships. The Society also reaches out to students and teachers in its role as state sponsor of National History Day in Massachusetts. Become a sponsor and join with other history enthusiasts in demonstrating your commitment to promoting the study of American history and deepening our nation’s understanding of the diverse stories that define our past.  

For more information, visit www.masshist.org/clio/sponsor or e-mail cknauff@masshist.org.

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Jefferson Series, Public Program Gallery Talk: Touch Art Gallery brings Jefferson to the Digital Age 13 May 2016.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Andries van Dam and team, Brown University The Private Jefferson represents a significant new use of technology in MHS exhibitions. This was ...

The Private Jefferson represents a significant new use of technology in MHS exhibitions. This was made possible by Microsoft and a team of undergraduates at Brown University who created the Touch Art Gallery program. The faculty guide and the students who worked on the project will show the technology and explain how it was created.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 14 May 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a docent-led walk ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 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.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition.

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Brown Bag Valuing the Body of the Enslaved: From the Cradle to the Grave 16 May 2016.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Daina Ramey Berry, University of Texas at Austin Based on 10 years of research in northern and southern archives, Daina Ramey Berry will share some ...

Based on 10 years of research in northern and southern archives, Daina Ramey Berry will share some of her discoveries about the price of human chattel. Enslaved people were valued from before birth and beyond death and Berry has created a framework for understanding this phenomenon.

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Public Program, Jefferson Series Jefferson the Architect 16 May 2016.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Henry Adams, Case Western Reserve University There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Thomas Jefferson was not just the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President, ...

Thomas Jefferson was not just the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President, but he was also an influential architect in the early republic. Although he is best known today for the design of his own house, Monticello, Jefferson was very important as a champion for and scholar of neoclassical design. His plans for the Virginia State Capital and the University of Virginia helped define how Americans thought of public spaces for the following century. Henry Adams will explore the impact of Jefferson in American architecture and the legacy he has left on our country's built environment. 

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Brown Bag The Lives of Textiles: Trading and Consuming Clothing, Fabrics and Apparel Accessories in French and British North America, 1720s-1770s 18 May 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Sarah Templier, Johns Hopkins University This program will present an overview of Templier's dissertation research, which addresses how ...

This program will present an overview of Templier's dissertation research, which addresses how clothing and textiles, particularly valuable and exchangeable goods in the eighteenth-century Atlantic, circulated across social scale, through formal and informal channels of exchange.

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Public Program Innovation Hub: Mass Momentum 19 May 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe; Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School; Rob Go, NextView Ventures; Carmichael Roberts, North Bridge, and moderated by Robert Krim, Framingham State University This program will be held at MIT's Morss Hall at the Walker Memorial Building (142 Memorial ...

This program will be held at MIT's Morss Hall at the Walker Memorial Building (142 Memorial Drive - Cambridge)

Massachusetts is the birthplace of more world changing innovations than almost anywhere on earth. From the first modern anesthesia to the first venture capital firm to the legalization of same sex marriage, these innovations have shaped the world.  

Our region’s future as a global innovation hub can’t be taken for granted.  Five leaders from divergent sectors who focus on innovation will address critical questions about how to keep our region innovative:

Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School

Rob Go, NextView Ventures

Carmichael Roberts, North Bridge

Moderated by Robert Krim, Dir., Innovation Center, Framingham State University

 

They will tackle questions such as:

  • What innovation drivers have consistently been a part of our region and what can we do to strengthen them for the future?
  • Why have major social innovations, from being the 1st state to abolish slavery to the 1st state to legalize gay marriage (and many others) happened here?
  • What can our region learn from previous losses?
    • The 1st decade of the auto industry was centered in Boston & Hartford. How did we lose it?
    • Greater Boston was the center of early computer development (in the ‘40’s), the transistor revolution of the ‘50’s as well as some early digital breakthroughs in the 1960’s. Why did the next wave of innovation move west?
  • How did waves of innovation in each of four centuries bring the region back from depression to national and global innovative leadership? 
  • How can these lessons help retain the current “innovation generation” in this region?

 

Presented by the Massachusetts Historical Society working with MIT, the Russell Museum at MGH, Cambridge Innovation Center, Framingham State University and faculty from Suffolk University.

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Brown Bag "My principles for my government …are fixed," Declarations of Independence between Fathers and Sons in the Age of Revolution 20 May 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Travis Jacquess, University of Mississippi Unlike their colonial counterparts who had a vested interested in keeping their sons close to home ...

Unlike their colonial counterparts who had a vested interested in keeping their sons close to home as a source of labor for the family farm or as an otherwise participant in the family business, fathers in the Revolutionary era emphasized their sons' individual achievement and development over communal interests. Jaquess argues that the spirit of independence, the  spirit of ’76 if you will, gave rise to the spirit of individualism, which was  passed from father to son as a natural product of their experience in the Revolution and their engagement in the new American Republic.

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Public Program A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts 24 May 2016.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Joseph Bagley, Boston Archaeologist & Author History is right under our feet; we just need to dig a little to find it. Boston’s Big Dig has ...

History is right under our feet; we just need to dig a little to find it. Boston’s Big Dig has contributed more to our understanding and appreciation of the city’s archaeological history than any other recent event. Joseph M. Bagley, city archaeologist of Boston, uncovers a fascinating hodgepodge of history—from ancient fishing grounds to Jazz Age red-light districts—that will surprise and delight even longtime residents.

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Brown Bag "For the Good of the Country": Captive Trade Networks in the Colonial Northeast, 1630-1763 25 May 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Joanne Jahnke Wegner, University of Minnesota Between 1630 and 1763, multiple, intersecting captive trades developed in the colonial northeast as ...

Between 1630 and 1763, multiple, intersecting captive trades developed in the colonial northeast as Native Americans, the English, and the French competed for geo-political power in the northeastern borderlands. The captive trades that emerged and evolved did so in the broader context of settler colonialism, where captive bodies became fungible commodities circulated by individuals and corporate bodies for economic, social, or political gain. The development of these captive trades depended upon the commodification of captive peoples who were trafficked in the colonies, across imperial borders, and into the Atlantic world.

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The Private Jefferson Exhibitionends The Private Jefferson 26 May 2016.Thursday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Thomas Jefferson has been described as an "American Sphinx." As the drafter of the Declaration of ...

Thomas Jefferson has been described as an "American Sphinx." As the drafter of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States, he is one of the most famous Americans. Nevertheless, he is an enigmatic figure: an intensely private man who spent more than thirty years in public service; the spokesman for popular democracy who, at the same time, held hundreds of men, women and children as his personal property; an urbane, widely-travelled, and widely-read exemplar of the Enlightenment, who appeared happiest in a meticulously-planned environment that he had created for himself in the back country. The exhibition aims to pull back the veil and uncover the private Jefferson. Kicking off a year-long 225th anniversary celebration, The Private Jefferson: From the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society is open at the MHS through 20 May, Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

One of the Society’s greatest treasures is the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson manuscripts. The collection is comprised of letters, journals, record books, accounts, and 400 architectural drawings and sketches—almost 9,500 documents in all—collected by Jefferson’s descendants who lived in Massachusetts and donated them to the Society. 

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Brown Bag From the Partisan Press to the Political Procedural 27 May 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Mary Hale, University of Illinois - Chicago This project considers  the development of a new post-Civil War genre of political novels ...

This project considers  the development of a new post-Civil War genre of political novels specifically by looking at Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner's The Gilded Age and Henry Adams's Democracy. It examines the way in which Twain and Adams turn to the novel after their experiences working as political journalists and how this move from the partisan press to the political novel enables them to imagine new forms of nonpartisan political activity.

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Building Closed Memorial Day 28 May 2016.Saturday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed. 

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed. 

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Building Closed Memorial Day 30 May 2016.Monday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed. 

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed. 

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June
Brown Bag The Slave South in the Far West: California, the Pacific, and Proslavery Visions of Empire, 1800-1865 1 June 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kevin Waite, University of Pennsylvania Whereas most scholarship on slaveholding imperialism focuses on the Atlantic Basin, Waite argues ...

Whereas most scholarship on slaveholding imperialism focuses on the Atlantic Basin, Waite argues that Southerners pursued an empire within the Pacific world as well. By tracking both proslavery activity in California and Southerners' attempts to capture the Pacific trade, hiswork highlights the centrality of the Far West in the nation's road to disunion.

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Brown Bag "A Just and Honest Valuation": Money and Value in Colonial America, 1690-1750 3 June 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Katie Moore, Boston University The first half of the eighteenth century was a period of economic transformation for Britain&rsquo ...

The first half of the eighteenth century was a period of economic transformation for Britain’s North American colonies, during which colonial settlers were active agents in an increasingly complex Atlantic World of goods, credit, and labor. At the same time, colonists maintained traditional moral tenets and such social norms as communal obligation, economic fairness, and stewardship over the poor. In the face of widespread economic change, how did early Americans preserve their worldview? This project argues that colonists mediated economic change within existing moral and social frameworks by re-imagining the origins and nature of value as extrinsic, a conceptual shift reflected in their use of paper money.

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Public Program The Lively Place: Mount Auburn, America's First Garden Cemetery, and Its Revolutionary and Literary Residents 6 June 2016.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Stephen Kendrick, Author When the Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded, in 1831, it revolutionized the way Americans mourned the ...

When the Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded, in 1831, it revolutionized the way Americans mourned the dead by offering a peaceful space for contemplation. This cemetery, located not far from Harvard University, was also a place that reflected and instilled an imperative to preserve and protect nature in a rapidly industrializing culture—lessons that would influence the creation of Central Park, the cemetery at Gettysburg, and the National Parks system. Even today this urban wildlife habitat continues to connect visitors with nature and serves as a model for sustainable landscape practices. Stephen Kendrick celebrates this vital piece of our nation’s history, as he tells the story of Mount Auburn’s founding, its legacy, and the many influential Americans interred there, from religious leaders to abolitionists, poets, and reformers.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 11 June 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM 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.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition.

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Public Program The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton 11 June 2016.Saturday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 4:30pm. William E. Leuchtenburg, Author The American President is an account of American presidential actions from the assassination of ...

The American President is an account of American presidential actions from the assassination of William McKinley in 1901 to Bill Clinton's last night in office. William Leuchtenburg, one of the great presidential historians of the century, portrays each of the presidents in a chronicle sparkling with anecdote and wit. He offers a nuanced assessment of their conduct in office, preoccupations, and temperament. This book charts the enormous growth of presidential power from its lowly state in the late nineteenth century to the imperial presidency of the twentieth. That striking change was manifested both at home in periods of progressive reform and abroad, notably in two world wars, Vietnam, and the war on terror.

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Brown Bag Briton Hammon in the Archives 15 June 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Zach Hutchins, Colorado State University Sharing new evidence from the British National Archives, Hutchins traces the circum-Atlantic ...

Sharing new evidence from the British National Archives, Hutchins traces the circum-Atlantic journey of Massachusetts resident Briton Hammon. The enslaved Hammon published a narrative of his travels in 1760, an account many have described as the first slave narrative. In the Narrative Hammon places himself at the nexus of global politics, a player in the War of Jenkin’s Ear, the Seven Year’s War, and the larger power struggle between Catholics and Protestants.

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Public Program On the Battlefield of Merit: Harvard Law School, the First Century 15 June 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Daniel Coquillette and Bruce Kimball, Harvard Law School Harvard Law School is the oldest and, arguably, the most influential law school in the nation. ...

Harvard Law School is the oldest and, arguably, the most influential law school in the nation. During its first century, Harvard Law School pioneered revolutionary educational ideas, including professional legal education within a university, Socratic questioning and case analysis, and the admission and training of students based on academic merit. But the school struggled to navigate its way through the many political, social, economic, and legal crises of the century, and it earned both scars and plaudits as a result. On the Battlefield of Merit offers a candid, critical, definitive account of a unique legal institution during its first century of influence. Daniel R. Coquillette and Bruce A. Kimball examine the school’s deep involvement in the Civil War, its reluctance to admit minorities and women, its anti-Catholicism, and its financial missteps at the turn of the twentieth century. Currently working on the second volume that will bring the story to the present, the authors will also relate this history to recent challenges faced by the school including questions of the relation of its seal to a fortune made on the backs of slaves.

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Brown Bag Freedom's Generation: Coming of Age in the Era of Emancipation 17 June 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Ben Davidson, New York University This research traces the lives of the generation of black and white children, in the North, South, ...

This research traces the lives of the generation of black and white children, in the North, South, and West, who grew up during the Civil War era and were the first generation to come of age after the end of slavery. The project explores how young people across the nation learned persistent lessons carried into adulthood about complexities inherent in ideas and experiences of emancipation, and it assesses how these lessons were transformed in memory by the turn of the twentieth century.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 18 June 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM 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.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition.

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Public Program The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America 20 June 2016.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Ethan Michaeli, Author Giving voice to the voiceless, the Chicago Defender condemned Jim Crow, catalyzed the Great ...

Giving voice to the voiceless, the Chicago Defender condemned Jim Crow, catalyzed the Great Migration, and focused the electoral power of black America. Robert S. Abbott founded The Defender in 1905, smuggled hundreds of thousands of copies into the most isolated communities in the segregated South, and was dubbed a "Modern Moses," becoming one of the first black millionaires in the process. His successor wielded the newspaper’s clout to elect mayors and presidents, including Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy, who would have lost without The Defender’s support. Drawing on dozens of interviews and extensive archival research, Ethan Michaeli constructs a revelatory narrative of race in America and brings to life the reporters who braved lynch mobs and policemen’s clubs to do their jobs, from the age of Teddy Roosevelt to the age of Barack Obama.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 25 June 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM 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.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition.

More
Public Program A New Perspective on the 19th Century Rivalry between New York and Boston 29 June 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Michael Wheeler, Ph.D Changing technology has introduced tools that can change the way we see and understand history. Dr. ...

Changing technology has introduced tools that can change the way we see and understand history. Dr. Wheeler has degrees in history, computer science, international relations, and earned a PhD by using Historical Geographic Information Systems (HGIS) to develop three-dimensional, animated maps for studying historical events. During the 19th Century urban rivalry between New York and Boston, small topographic features had large transportation effects that created winners and losers. The bigger surprises come from understanding the timing and motivations for canal and railroad construction – through the act of correctly positioning internal improvements in space and time, we uncover new insights into 19th Century urban rivals, transportation profits, and international trade.

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July
Building Closed Independence Day 4 July 2016.Monday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed.

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed.

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Brown Bag Passing Transcendental: Harvard, Heresy, and the Modern American Origins of Unbelief 6 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM David Faflik, University of Rhode Island Dismissed in some quarters as “infidels,” the so-called “transcendentalists&rdquo ...

Dismissed in some quarters as “infidels,” the so-called “transcendentalists” of greater Boston in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s articulated an alternative faith that was rooted in their principled commitments to liberal spiritual renewal, philosophical idealism, and social reform. However we reckon with transcendentalism today, in our current post-secular moment, we might take seriously the charge that the transcendentalists were indeed representative “infidels” in their day and in their way. Some would say New England’s historical transcendentalists were idiosyncratically spiritual; others would call them symptomatically secular. This project asks if we might also say that transcendentalism’s unique worldview constituted not only a kind of unorthodoxy, but outright unbelief. 

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Public Program Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums 6 July 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Samuel Redman, UMASS Amherst In 1864 a U.S. army doctor dug up the remains of a Dakota man who had been killed in Minnesota. ...

In 1864 a U.S. army doctor dug up the remains of a Dakota man who had been killed in Minnesota. Carefully recording his observations, he sent the skeleton to a museum in Washington, DC, that was collecting human remains for research. In the “bone rooms” of this museum and others like it, a scientific revolution was unfolding that would change our understanding of the human body, race, and prehistory. Samuel Redman unearths the story of how human remains became highly sought-after artifacts for both scientific research and public display. Seeking evidence to support new theories of human evolution and racial classification, collectors embarked on a global competition to recover the best specimens of skeletons, mummies, and fossils. The Smithsonian Institution built the largest collection of human remains in the United States, edging out stiff competition from natural history and medical museums springing up in cities and on university campuses across America. Today, debates about the ethics of these collections continue, but the terms of engagement were largely set by the surge of collecting that was already waning by World War II.

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Teacher Workshopbegins Teaching Three Centuries of History through MHS Collections 12 July 2016.Tuesday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Celebrate the Society’s 225th anniversary and help us make our collections more accessible to ...

Celebrate the Society’s 225th anniversary and help us make our collections more accessible to teachers and students. Participants will engage with items in our collections, learn from guest historians, and investigate different methods for using primary sources in the classroom. Together with MHS staff we will explore topics such as colonial encounters between English settlers and native peoples, urban politics in the era of the American Revolution, African American poetry and antebellum abolition efforts, and the woman’s suffrage movement.

Application Information:
Educators in grades 5 - 12 are welcome to apply.

Each participant will be expected to curate a set of classroom resources on a specific topic, and will receive a $500 stipend and two graduate credits.

For more information, including application instructions, contact education@masshist.org or call 617-646-0557.

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Brown Bag The Great Peace of 1670 and the Forgotten Corner of the Iroquois Confederacy's Eastern Door 13 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Evan Haefeli, Texas A&M University In a little known treaty conference, the Iroquois made peace with the Hudson Valley tribes who had ...

In a little known treaty conference, the Iroquois made peace with the Hudson Valley tribes who had been allied with the southern New England Algonquians in a war with the Confederacy that for the New Englanders was not concluded until after King Philip’s War. The 1670 treaty is important for several reasons: it not only kept the New York Algonquians neutral during King Philip’s War, and thus abandoned their former allies, but it is the origin of the designation of the “Delaware” Indians (who did not yet exist as such) as “women” (a problematic term) that became so notorious in 18th century Pennsylvania. This project examines the origins of the treaty in the war against the Iroquois and the previously overlooked alliance between the Hudson Valley and New England Algonquians in the 1660s.

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Public Program Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon 13 July 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Larry Tye, Author                 History remembers Robert F. Kennedy ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s. In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure. To capture the full arc of his subject’s life, Tye draws on unpublished memoirs, unreleased government files, and fifty-eight boxes of Bobby's papers that had been under lock and key for the past forty years. He conducted hundreds of interviews with RFK intimates--including Bobby’s widow, Ethel, his sister Jean, and his aide John Siegenthaler—many of whom have never spoken to another biographer. Tye’s determination to sift through the tangle of often contradictory evidence means that Bobby Kennedy will stand as the definitive one-volume biography of a man much beloved, but just as often misunderstood.

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Teacher Workshopends Teaching Three Centuries of History through MHS Collections 14 July 2016.Thursday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Celebrate the Society’s 225th anniversary and help us make our collections more accessible to ...

Celebrate the Society’s 225th anniversary and help us make our collections more accessible to teachers and students. Participants will engage with items in our collections, learn from guest historians, and investigate different methods for using primary sources in the classroom. Together with MHS staff we will explore topics such as colonial encounters between English settlers and native peoples, urban politics in the era of the American Revolution, African American poetry and antebellum abolition efforts, and the woman’s suffrage movement.

Application Information:
Educators in grades 5 - 12 are welcome to apply.

Each participant will be expected to curate a set of classroom resources on a specific topic, and will receive a $500 stipend and two graduate credits.

For more information, including application instructions, contact education@masshist.org or call 617-646-0557.

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Public Program Boston Historical 21 July 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Boston does not have a city historical society, but it has a wealth of neighborhood organizations. ...

Boston does not have a city historical society, but it has a wealth of neighborhood organizations. From the West End to the South Boston, Bostonians are steeped in local history and proud of their neighborhood’s identity. The Massachusetts Historical Society is pleased to invite the public and representatives of local organizations for a chance to mingle and share recent accomplishments or the great projects they are working on.

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Teacher Workshopbegins Women in the Era of the American Revolution 26 July 2016.Tuesday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Study the revolution through the words and artifacts of the women who lived it. Correspondence ...

Study the revolution through the words and artifacts of the women who lived it. Correspondence demonstrates that women like Abigail Adams, Hannah Winthrop, and Mercy Otis Warren were vital consumers (and boycotters) of imported goods, and functioned as heads of household while their male family members served in the military or traveled on political missions. They recorded important events of the day, and, in the case of Warren, interpreted those events for a public audience. Throughout the workshop we will explore the daily lives of revolutionary women, including those who served as soldiers and secret agents, or followed the army as cooks and laundresses.

This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 45 PDPs and two graduate credits (for an additional fee).

Dates: July 26-28, 2016

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Fee: $35 per person

To Register / For more information: complete this registration form, or contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

Program Highlights

  • Tour the Society's newest exhibition Turning Points: Decisive Moments in American History
  • Explore letters, diaries, and images from the Society's collection and participate in a hands-on activity that will engage your detective skills.
  • Discuss the intimate nature of women's political, social, and economic networks in colonial Boston with Dr. Serena Zabin.
  • Analyze paintings and artifacts at the Museum of Fine Arts.
  • Visit Old North Church investigate church records to discover untold stories of congregants, specifically women and African Americans.
  • Interpret life for colonial women through objects and structures at the Paul Revere House.
  • This program is funded in part by the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati

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Teacher Workshopends Women in the Era of the American Revolution 28 July 2016.Thursday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Study the revolution through the words and artifacts of the women who lived it. Correspondence ...

Study the revolution through the words and artifacts of the women who lived it. Correspondence demonstrates that women like Abigail Adams, Hannah Winthrop, and Mercy Otis Warren were vital consumers (and boycotters) of imported goods, and functioned as heads of household while their male family members served in the military or traveled on political missions. They recorded important events of the day, and, in the case of Warren, interpreted those events for a public audience. Throughout the workshop we will explore the daily lives of revolutionary women, including those who served as soldiers and secret agents, or followed the army as cooks and laundresses.

This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 45 PDPs and two graduate credits (for an additional fee).

Dates: July 26-28, 2016

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Fee: $35 per person

To Register / For more information: complete this registration form, or contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

Program Highlights

  • Tour the Society's newest exhibition Turning Points: Decisive Moments in American History
  • Explore letters, diaries, and images from the Society's collection and participate in a hands-on activity that will engage your detective skills.
  • Discuss the intimate nature of women's political, social, and economic networks in colonial Boston with Dr. Serena Zabin.
  • Analyze paintings and artifacts at the Museum of Fine Arts.
  • Visit Old North Church investigate church records to discover untold stories of congregants, specifically women and African Americans.
  • Interpret life for colonial women through objects and structures at the Paul Revere House.
  • This program is funded in part by the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati

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Public Program Augustus Saint-Gaudens Civil War Monuments 29 July 2016.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Jack Curtis The greatest sculptor of the Beaux-Arts era, Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), secured his place ...

The greatest sculptor of the Beaux-Arts era, Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), secured his place in the pantheon of American artists with his dynamic portrayals of Civil War heroes. This survey of the life and work of the influential sculptor will focus on his heroic, yet compassionate 1887 Abraham Lincoln: The Man (or Standing Lincoln) in Chicago’s Lincoln Park as representative of Saint-Gaudens’s method, art, and time. By also looking at his first commission, the Admiral David Farragut Monument in New York’s Madison Square Park, and his final work, the General Sherman Monument at New York’s Central Park, and studying the magisterial Shaw Memorial/54th Massachusetts Regiment on the Boston Common, this talk will give students an appreciation of Saint-Gaudens’s pioneering integration of architecture, landscape design, and monumental sculpture.

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Teacher Workshop Civil War Seminar 30 July 2016.Saturday, 8:30AM - 3:30PM Please RSVP   This seminar will explore, through the use of primary source documents, three themes: how the Union ...

This seminar will explore, through the use of primary source documents, three themes: how the Union and the Confederacy justified secession and war; the idea of emancipation as a revolutionary form of war; and Lincoln's proposals for reconstruction the United States as the Civil War came to an end in 1865. This program is co-sponsored by the Ashbrook institute at Ashland University, with assistance from the Lincoln and Therese Filene Foundation.

This program is open to all  K-12 educators. Contact education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557 for more information.

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Early American History Seminar “They bid me speak what I thought he would give”: The Commodification of Captive Peoples during King Phillip’s War Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
3 May 2016.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Joanne Jahnke Wegner, University of Minnesota Comment: Kate Grandjean, Wellesley College

This essay will address the systems of human trafficking that circulated both Native American and English captives during King Phillip’s War. Using the examples of Mary Rowlandson and King Phillip’s nameless son, the study explores the processes that turned captive peoples into commodities exchangeable for currency, material goods, or other humans. It argues that this commodification facilitated the circulation, exchange, and exploitation of captive peoples through human trafficking during King Phillip’s War.

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Brown Bag Fear and Loathing at the Crystal Palace: the Failure of America's First World's Fair this event is free 4 May 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Michael Zakim, Tel Aviv University and the Charles Warren Center

Inspired by the spectacular success of London's Crystal Palace Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations in 1851, an enthusiastic group of New Yorkers hoped to repeat that achievement two years later and so position the New World firmly at the center of a new global economy. Instead, they ended up stoking ongoing American debate over the changing meaning of industry in these years of industrial revolution.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 7 May 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 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.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition.

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Public Program Mad for Glory: The true story of two Americans and the fate of the Pacific world registration required 7 May 2016.Saturday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 4:30pm. Robert Booth, Author

While researching Death of an Empire, which explored the rise and fall of merchant trade in Salem, Robert Booth came across the story of a naval vessel sent out under Capt. John Downes, who took unauthorized bloody reprisal for an incident at Sumatra involving a Salem merchant vessel. He wondered how this came about and found that 20 years earlier Downes had been lieutenant under Capt. David Porter on board the frigate Essex. Investigating the story, he found that Captain Porter had gone rogue with a U.S. Navy ship only to meet an American ambassador who had organized a new nation overseas and led its armies into the field. In 1813, during the confusion of the War of 1812, two charismatic Americans played out an astonishing drama of nation-building and imperialism in the Pacific.

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Brown Bag Getting Old in the Young Nation this event is free 11 May 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Rebecca Brannon, James Madison University

What was it like getting old in a nation self-defined as a young nation? This research considers changes in how old men in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries self-conceptualized their own aging process, and how others around them perceived their aging. The American Revolution’s embrace of youthfulness—epitomized in constant descriptions of the young nation, and in the young men who largely led the Revolution—undermined traditional assurances of respect for the aged.

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Public Program, Jefferson Series Jefferson and His Gardens registration required 11 May 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Andrea Wulf, Author

For the Founding Fathers, gardening, agriculture, and botany were elemental passions: a conjoined interest as deeply ingrained in their characters as the battle for liberty and a belief in the greatness of their new nation. Andrea Wulf tells the story of Jefferson and the revolutionary generation from the unique perspective of their lives as gardeners, plant hobbyists, and farmers. She describes how George Washington wrote letters to his estate manager even as British warships gathered off Staten Island; how a tour of English gardens renewed Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’ faith in their fledgling nation; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of environmentalism. Through these and other stories, Wulf reveals a fresh, nuanced portrait of Jefferson and the men who created our nation.

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Special Event Cocktails with Clio Please RSVP   registration required 12 May 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 9:00PM Cocktails with Clio 2016

Feast, sip, and celebrate history at the sixth annual Cocktails with Clio!

Thursday, 12 May 2016
6:00 PM

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Columbia Point
Boston, Massachusetts

Tickets are $300 per person

As part of the Society’s 225th anniversary celebrations, we invite you to join us for a festive evening that will raise funds in support of MHS outreach initatives and educational programs. The evening will begin with cocktails in the lovely pavilion space overlooking the harbor. A seated dinner will follow along with a conversation between the 71st Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick and Boston radio and television personality Jim Braude. Sit back and listen as Governor Patrick reflects on his time in office, talks about how the Commonwealth’s great history affected his governorship, and makes connections between past and present leaders.

Purchase a ticket today!


Become a sponsor of Cocktails with Clio

Our sponsors are crucial to the success of the event. As a result of their generosity, the Society’s educational and outreach efforts continue to expand. The additional funding provided by Clio enables the MHS to offer a wide array of educational services including engaging workshops and hands-on student programs; online classroom tools; lesson plans and curricular resources; fellowships for students and teachers; and community partnerships. The Society also reaches out to students and teachers in its role as state sponsor of National History Day in Massachusetts. Become a sponsor and join with other history enthusiasts in demonstrating your commitment to promoting the study of American history and deepening our nation’s understanding of the diverse stories that define our past.  

For more information, visit www.masshist.org/clio/sponsor or e-mail cknauff@masshist.org.

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Jefferson Series, Public Program Gallery Talk: Touch Art Gallery brings Jefferson to the Digital Age this event is free 13 May 2016.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Andries van Dam and team, Brown University

The Private Jefferson represents a significant new use of technology in MHS exhibitions. This was made possible by Microsoft and a team of undergraduates at Brown University who created the Touch Art Gallery program. The faculty guide and the students who worked on the project will show the technology and explain how it was created.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 14 May 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 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.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition.

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Brown Bag Valuing the Body of the Enslaved: From the Cradle to the Grave this event is free 16 May 2016.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Daina Ramey Berry, University of Texas at Austin

Based on 10 years of research in northern and southern archives, Daina Ramey Berry will share some of her discoveries about the price of human chattel. Enslaved people were valued from before birth and beyond death and Berry has created a framework for understanding this phenomenon.

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Public Program, Jefferson Series Jefferson the Architect registration required 16 May 2016.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Henry Adams, Case Western Reserve University There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm.

Thomas Jefferson was not just the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President, but he was also an influential architect in the early republic. Although he is best known today for the design of his own house, Monticello, Jefferson was very important as a champion for and scholar of neoclassical design. His plans for the Virginia State Capital and the University of Virginia helped define how Americans thought of public spaces for the following century. Henry Adams will explore the impact of Jefferson in American architecture and the legacy he has left on our country's built environment. 

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Brown Bag The Lives of Textiles: Trading and Consuming Clothing, Fabrics and Apparel Accessories in French and British North America, 1720s-1770s this event is free 18 May 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Sarah Templier, Johns Hopkins University

This program will present an overview of Templier's dissertation research, which addresses how clothing and textiles, particularly valuable and exchangeable goods in the eighteenth-century Atlantic, circulated across social scale, through formal and informal channels of exchange.

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Public Program Innovation Hub: Mass Momentum registration required 19 May 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe; Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School; Rob Go, NextView Ventures; Carmichael Roberts, North Bridge, and moderated by Robert Krim, Framingham State University

This program will be held at MIT's Morss Hall at the Walker Memorial Building (142 Memorial Drive - Cambridge)

Massachusetts is the birthplace of more world changing innovations than almost anywhere on earth. From the first modern anesthesia to the first venture capital firm to the legalization of same sex marriage, these innovations have shaped the world.  

Our region’s future as a global innovation hub can’t be taken for granted.  Five leaders from divergent sectors who focus on innovation will address critical questions about how to keep our region innovative:

Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School

Rob Go, NextView Ventures

Carmichael Roberts, North Bridge

Moderated by Robert Krim, Dir., Innovation Center, Framingham State University

 

They will tackle questions such as:

  • What innovation drivers have consistently been a part of our region and what can we do to strengthen them for the future?
  • Why have major social innovations, from being the 1st state to abolish slavery to the 1st state to legalize gay marriage (and many others) happened here?
  • What can our region learn from previous losses?
    • The 1st decade of the auto industry was centered in Boston & Hartford. How did we lose it?
    • Greater Boston was the center of early computer development (in the ‘40’s), the transistor revolution of the ‘50’s as well as some early digital breakthroughs in the 1960’s. Why did the next wave of innovation move west?
  • How did waves of innovation in each of four centuries bring the region back from depression to national and global innovative leadership? 
  • How can these lessons help retain the current “innovation generation” in this region?

 

Presented by the Massachusetts Historical Society working with MIT, the Russell Museum at MGH, Cambridge Innovation Center, Framingham State University and faculty from Suffolk University.

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Brown Bag "My principles for my government …are fixed," Declarations of Independence between Fathers and Sons in the Age of Revolution this event is free 20 May 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Travis Jacquess, University of Mississippi

Unlike their colonial counterparts who had a vested interested in keeping their sons close to home as a source of labor for the family farm or as an otherwise participant in the family business, fathers in the Revolutionary era emphasized their sons' individual achievement and development over communal interests. Jaquess argues that the spirit of independence, the  spirit of ’76 if you will, gave rise to the spirit of individualism, which was  passed from father to son as a natural product of their experience in the Revolution and their engagement in the new American Republic.

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Public Program A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts registration required 24 May 2016.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Joseph Bagley, Boston Archaeologist & Author

History is right under our feet; we just need to dig a little to find it. Boston’s Big Dig has contributed more to our understanding and appreciation of the city’s archaeological history than any other recent event. Joseph M. Bagley, city archaeologist of Boston, uncovers a fascinating hodgepodge of history—from ancient fishing grounds to Jazz Age red-light districts—that will surprise and delight even longtime residents.

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Brown Bag "For the Good of the Country": Captive Trade Networks in the Colonial Northeast, 1630-1763 this event is free 25 May 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Joanne Jahnke Wegner, University of Minnesota

Between 1630 and 1763, multiple, intersecting captive trades developed in the colonial northeast as Native Americans, the English, and the French competed for geo-political power in the northeastern borderlands. The captive trades that emerged and evolved did so in the broader context of settler colonialism, where captive bodies became fungible commodities circulated by individuals and corporate bodies for economic, social, or political gain. The development of these captive trades depended upon the commodification of captive peoples who were trafficked in the colonies, across imperial borders, and into the Atlantic world.

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Exhibition The Private Jefferson this event is free 26 May 2016.Thursday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM The Private Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson has been described as an "American Sphinx." As the drafter of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States, he is one of the most famous Americans. Nevertheless, he is an enigmatic figure: an intensely private man who spent more than thirty years in public service; the spokesman for popular democracy who, at the same time, held hundreds of men, women and children as his personal property; an urbane, widely-travelled, and widely-read exemplar of the Enlightenment, who appeared happiest in a meticulously-planned environment that he had created for himself in the back country. The exhibition aims to pull back the veil and uncover the private Jefferson. Kicking off a year-long 225th anniversary celebration, The Private Jefferson: From the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society is open at the MHS through 20 May, Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

One of the Society’s greatest treasures is the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson manuscripts. The collection is comprised of letters, journals, record books, accounts, and 400 architectural drawings and sketches—almost 9,500 documents in all—collected by Jefferson’s descendants who lived in Massachusetts and donated them to the Society. 

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Brown Bag From the Partisan Press to the Political Procedural this event is free 27 May 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Mary Hale, University of Illinois - Chicago

This project considers  the development of a new post-Civil War genre of political novels specifically by looking at Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner's The Gilded Age and Henry Adams's Democracy. It examines the way in which Twain and Adams turn to the novel after their experiences working as political journalists and how this move from the partisan press to the political novel enables them to imagine new forms of nonpartisan political activity.

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Building Closed Memorial Day 28 May 2016.Saturday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed. 

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Building Closed Memorial Day 30 May 2016.Monday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed. 

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Brown Bag The Slave South in the Far West: California, the Pacific, and Proslavery Visions of Empire, 1800-1865 this event is free 1 June 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kevin Waite, University of Pennsylvania

Whereas most scholarship on slaveholding imperialism focuses on the Atlantic Basin, Waite argues that Southerners pursued an empire within the Pacific world as well. By tracking both proslavery activity in California and Southerners' attempts to capture the Pacific trade, hiswork highlights the centrality of the Far West in the nation's road to disunion.

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Brown Bag "A Just and Honest Valuation": Money and Value in Colonial America, 1690-1750 this event is free 3 June 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Katie Moore, Boston University

The first half of the eighteenth century was a period of economic transformation for Britain’s North American colonies, during which colonial settlers were active agents in an increasingly complex Atlantic World of goods, credit, and labor. At the same time, colonists maintained traditional moral tenets and such social norms as communal obligation, economic fairness, and stewardship over the poor. In the face of widespread economic change, how did early Americans preserve their worldview? This project argues that colonists mediated economic change within existing moral and social frameworks by re-imagining the origins and nature of value as extrinsic, a conceptual shift reflected in their use of paper money.

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Public Program The Lively Place: Mount Auburn, America's First Garden Cemetery, and Its Revolutionary and Literary Residents registration required 6 June 2016.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Stephen Kendrick, Author

When the Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded, in 1831, it revolutionized the way Americans mourned the dead by offering a peaceful space for contemplation. This cemetery, located not far from Harvard University, was also a place that reflected and instilled an imperative to preserve and protect nature in a rapidly industrializing culture—lessons that would influence the creation of Central Park, the cemetery at Gettysburg, and the National Parks system. Even today this urban wildlife habitat continues to connect visitors with nature and serves as a model for sustainable landscape practices. Stephen Kendrick celebrates this vital piece of our nation’s history, as he tells the story of Mount Auburn’s founding, its legacy, and the many influential Americans interred there, from religious leaders to abolitionists, poets, and reformers.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 11 June 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM

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.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition.

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Public Program The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton registration required 11 June 2016.Saturday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 4:30pm. William E. Leuchtenburg, Author

The American President is an account of American presidential actions from the assassination of William McKinley in 1901 to Bill Clinton's last night in office. William Leuchtenburg, one of the great presidential historians of the century, portrays each of the presidents in a chronicle sparkling with anecdote and wit. He offers a nuanced assessment of their conduct in office, preoccupations, and temperament. This book charts the enormous growth of presidential power from its lowly state in the late nineteenth century to the imperial presidency of the twentieth. That striking change was manifested both at home in periods of progressive reform and abroad, notably in two world wars, Vietnam, and the war on terror.

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Brown Bag Briton Hammon in the Archives this event is free 15 June 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Zach Hutchins, Colorado State University

Sharing new evidence from the British National Archives, Hutchins traces the circum-Atlantic journey of Massachusetts resident Briton Hammon. The enslaved Hammon published a narrative of his travels in 1760, an account many have described as the first slave narrative. In the Narrative Hammon places himself at the nexus of global politics, a player in the War of Jenkin’s Ear, the Seven Year’s War, and the larger power struggle between Catholics and Protestants.

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Public Program On the Battlefield of Merit: Harvard Law School, the First Century registration required 15 June 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Daniel Coquillette and Bruce Kimball, Harvard Law School

Harvard Law School is the oldest and, arguably, the most influential law school in the nation. During its first century, Harvard Law School pioneered revolutionary educational ideas, including professional legal education within a university, Socratic questioning and case analysis, and the admission and training of students based on academic merit. But the school struggled to navigate its way through the many political, social, economic, and legal crises of the century, and it earned both scars and plaudits as a result. On the Battlefield of Merit offers a candid, critical, definitive account of a unique legal institution during its first century of influence. Daniel R. Coquillette and Bruce A. Kimball examine the school’s deep involvement in the Civil War, its reluctance to admit minorities and women, its anti-Catholicism, and its financial missteps at the turn of the twentieth century. Currently working on the second volume that will bring the story to the present, the authors will also relate this history to recent challenges faced by the school including questions of the relation of its seal to a fortune made on the backs of slaves.

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Brown Bag Freedom's Generation: Coming of Age in the Era of Emancipation this event is free 17 June 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Ben Davidson, New York University

This research traces the lives of the generation of black and white children, in the North, South, and West, who grew up during the Civil War era and were the first generation to come of age after the end of slavery. The project explores how young people across the nation learned persistent lessons carried into adulthood about complexities inherent in ideas and experiences of emancipation, and it assesses how these lessons were transformed in memory by the turn of the twentieth century.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 18 June 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM

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.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition.

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Public Program The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America registration required 20 June 2016.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Ethan Michaeli, Author

Giving voice to the voiceless, the Chicago Defender condemned Jim Crow, catalyzed the Great Migration, and focused the electoral power of black America. Robert S. Abbott founded The Defender in 1905, smuggled hundreds of thousands of copies into the most isolated communities in the segregated South, and was dubbed a "Modern Moses," becoming one of the first black millionaires in the process. His successor wielded the newspaper’s clout to elect mayors and presidents, including Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy, who would have lost without The Defender’s support. Drawing on dozens of interviews and extensive archival research, Ethan Michaeli constructs a revelatory narrative of race in America and brings to life the reporters who braved lynch mobs and policemen’s clubs to do their jobs, from the age of Teddy Roosevelt to the age of Barack Obama.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 25 June 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM

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.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition.

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Public Program A New Perspective on the 19th Century Rivalry between New York and Boston registration required 29 June 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Michael Wheeler, Ph.D

Changing technology has introduced tools that can change the way we see and understand history. Dr. Wheeler has degrees in history, computer science, international relations, and earned a PhD by using Historical Geographic Information Systems (HGIS) to develop three-dimensional, animated maps for studying historical events. During the 19th Century urban rivalry between New York and Boston, small topographic features had large transportation effects that created winners and losers. The bigger surprises come from understanding the timing and motivations for canal and railroad construction – through the act of correctly positioning internal improvements in space and time, we uncover new insights into 19th Century urban rivals, transportation profits, and international trade.

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Building Closed Independence Day 4 July 2016.Monday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed.

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Brown Bag Passing Transcendental: Harvard, Heresy, and the Modern American Origins of Unbelief this event is free 6 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM David Faflik, University of Rhode Island

Dismissed in some quarters as “infidels,” the so-called “transcendentalists” of greater Boston in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s articulated an alternative faith that was rooted in their principled commitments to liberal spiritual renewal, philosophical idealism, and social reform. However we reckon with transcendentalism today, in our current post-secular moment, we might take seriously the charge that the transcendentalists were indeed representative “infidels” in their day and in their way. Some would say New England’s historical transcendentalists were idiosyncratically spiritual; others would call them symptomatically secular. This project asks if we might also say that transcendentalism’s unique worldview constituted not only a kind of unorthodoxy, but outright unbelief. 

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Public Program Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums registration required 6 July 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Samuel Redman, UMASS Amherst

In 1864 a U.S. army doctor dug up the remains of a Dakota man who had been killed in Minnesota. Carefully recording his observations, he sent the skeleton to a museum in Washington, DC, that was collecting human remains for research. In the “bone rooms” of this museum and others like it, a scientific revolution was unfolding that would change our understanding of the human body, race, and prehistory. Samuel Redman unearths the story of how human remains became highly sought-after artifacts for both scientific research and public display. Seeking evidence to support new theories of human evolution and racial classification, collectors embarked on a global competition to recover the best specimens of skeletons, mummies, and fossils. The Smithsonian Institution built the largest collection of human remains in the United States, edging out stiff competition from natural history and medical museums springing up in cities and on university campuses across America. Today, debates about the ethics of these collections continue, but the terms of engagement were largely set by the surge of collecting that was already waning by World War II.

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Teacher Workshop Teaching Three Centuries of History through MHS Collections Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 12 July 2016 to 14 July 2016 Funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation.

Celebrate the Society’s 225th anniversary and help us make our collections more accessible to teachers and students. Participants will engage with items in our collections, learn from guest historians, and investigate different methods for using primary sources in the classroom. Together with MHS staff we will explore topics such as colonial encounters between English settlers and native peoples, urban politics in the era of the American Revolution, African American poetry and antebellum abolition efforts, and the woman’s suffrage movement.

Application Information:
Educators in grades 5 - 12 are welcome to apply.

Each participant will be expected to curate a set of classroom resources on a specific topic, and will receive a $500 stipend and two graduate credits.

For more information, including application instructions, contact education@masshist.org or call 617-646-0557.

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Brown Bag The Great Peace of 1670 and the Forgotten Corner of the Iroquois Confederacy's Eastern Door this event is free 13 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Evan Haefeli, Texas A&M University

In a little known treaty conference, the Iroquois made peace with the Hudson Valley tribes who had been allied with the southern New England Algonquians in a war with the Confederacy that for the New Englanders was not concluded until after King Philip’s War. The 1670 treaty is important for several reasons: it not only kept the New York Algonquians neutral during King Philip’s War, and thus abandoned their former allies, but it is the origin of the designation of the “Delaware” Indians (who did not yet exist as such) as “women” (a problematic term) that became so notorious in 18th century Pennsylvania. This project examines the origins of the treaty in the war against the Iroquois and the previously overlooked alliance between the Hudson Valley and New England Algonquians in the 1660s.

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Public Program Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon registration required 13 July 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Larry Tye, Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s. In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure. To capture the full arc of his subject’s life, Tye draws on unpublished memoirs, unreleased government files, and fifty-eight boxes of Bobby's papers that had been under lock and key for the past forty years. He conducted hundreds of interviews with RFK intimates--including Bobby’s widow, Ethel, his sister Jean, and his aide John Siegenthaler—many of whom have never spoken to another biographer. Tye’s determination to sift through the tangle of often contradictory evidence means that Bobby Kennedy will stand as the definitive one-volume biography of a man much beloved, but just as often misunderstood.

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Public Program Boston Historical this event is free 21 July 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm.

Boston does not have a city historical society, but it has a wealth of neighborhood organizations. From the West End to the South Boston, Bostonians are steeped in local history and proud of their neighborhood’s identity. The Massachusetts Historical Society is pleased to invite the public and representatives of local organizations for a chance to mingle and share recent accomplishments or the great projects they are working on.

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Teacher Workshop Women in the Era of the American Revolution Please RSVP   registration required 26 July 2016 to 28 July 2016

Study the revolution through the words and artifacts of the women who lived it. Correspondence demonstrates that women like Abigail Adams, Hannah Winthrop, and Mercy Otis Warren were vital consumers (and boycotters) of imported goods, and functioned as heads of household while their male family members served in the military or traveled on political missions. They recorded important events of the day, and, in the case of Warren, interpreted those events for a public audience. Throughout the workshop we will explore the daily lives of revolutionary women, including those who served as soldiers and secret agents, or followed the army as cooks and laundresses.

This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 45 PDPs and two graduate credits (for an additional fee).

Dates: July 26-28, 2016

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Fee: $35 per person

To Register / For more information: complete this registration form, or contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

Program Highlights

  • Tour the Society's newest exhibition Turning Points: Decisive Moments in American History
  • Explore letters, diaries, and images from the Society's collection and participate in a hands-on activity that will engage your detective skills.
  • Discuss the intimate nature of women's political, social, and economic networks in colonial Boston with Dr. Serena Zabin.
  • Analyze paintings and artifacts at the Museum of Fine Arts.
  • Visit Old North Church investigate church records to discover untold stories of congregants, specifically women and African Americans.
  • Interpret life for colonial women through objects and structures at the Paul Revere House.
  • This program is funded in part by the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati

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Public Program Augustus Saint-Gaudens Civil War Monuments this event is free 29 July 2016.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Jack Curtis

The greatest sculptor of the Beaux-Arts era, Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), secured his place in the pantheon of American artists with his dynamic portrayals of Civil War heroes. This survey of the life and work of the influential sculptor will focus on his heroic, yet compassionate 1887 Abraham Lincoln: The Man (or Standing Lincoln) in Chicago’s Lincoln Park as representative of Saint-Gaudens’s method, art, and time. By also looking at his first commission, the Admiral David Farragut Monument in New York’s Madison Square Park, and his final work, the General Sherman Monument at New York’s Central Park, and studying the magisterial Shaw Memorial/54th Massachusetts Regiment on the Boston Common, this talk will give students an appreciation of Saint-Gaudens’s pioneering integration of architecture, landscape design, and monumental sculpture.

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Teacher Workshop Civil War Seminar Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 30 July 2016.Saturday, 8:30AM - 3:30PM

This seminar will explore, through the use of primary source documents, three themes: how the Union and the Confederacy justified secession and war; the idea of emancipation as a revolutionary form of war; and Lincoln's proposals for reconstruction the United States as the Civil War came to an end in 1865. This program is co-sponsored by the Ashbrook institute at Ashland University, with assistance from the Lincoln and Therese Filene Foundation.

This program is open to all  K-12 educators. Contact education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557 for more information.

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