May

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Brown Bag For Love and Money: Marriage in Early America 9 May 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Lindsay Keiter, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation While historians have analyzed the rise of companionship and romance in marriage, they have ...

While historians have analyzed the rise of companionship and romance in marriage, they have overlooked a critical continuity: marriage continued to serve vital financial functions. This talk briefly sketches the economic importance of marriage and families’ strategies for managing wealth across generations.

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Notice Library Closing at 3:00PM 10 May 2018.Thursday, all day In preparation for an evening event, the reading room closes at 2:45PM and the library closes at 3 ...

In preparation for an evening event, the reading room closes at 2:45PM and the library closes at 3:00PM.

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Special Event, Member Event Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End Preview & Reception 10 May 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT MHS Fellows and Members special preview and reception for Entrepreneurship & Classical ...

Isaac Vose CouchMHS Fellows and Members special preview and reception for Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose &Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825 is SOLD OUT.

Virtually forgotten for 200 years, Isaac Vose and his brilliant furniture are revealed in a new exhibition and accompanying volume. Beginning with a modest pair of collection boxes he made for his localBoston church in 1788, Vose went on to build a substantial business empire and to make furniture for the most prominent Boston families. The exhibition and catalog restore Vose from relative obscurity to his rightful position as one of Boston’s most important craftsmen. Opening at the MHS on May 11, the exhibition will be on view through September 14.

Become a Member today!

Image: Couch, Isaac Vose & Son, with Thomas Wightman, carver, Boston, 1824. Historic New England, Gift of the Massachusetts Historical Society (1923.507); photograph by David Bohl.

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Isaac Vose Couch Exhibitionbegins Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825 11 May 2018.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Virtually forgotten for 200 years, Isaac Vose and his brilliant furniture are revealed in a new ...

Virtually forgotten for 200 years, Isaac Vose and his brilliant furniture are revealed in a new exhibition and accompanying volume. Beginning with a modest pair of collection boxes he made for his localBoston church in 1788, Vose went on to build a substantial business empire and to make furniture for the most prominent Boston families. The exhibition and catalog restore Vose from relative obscurity to his rightful position as one of Boston’s most important craftsmen. Opening at the MHS on May 11, the exhibition will be on view through September 14.

The complementary book, Rather Elegant Than Showy (May 2018), by Robert Mussey and Clark Pearce, will be available for sale at the MHS.

Image: Couch, Isaac Vose & Son, with Thomas Wightman, carver, Boston, 1824. Historic New England, Gift of the Massachusetts Historical Society (1923.507); photograph by David Bohl.

 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 12 May 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

 While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825

 

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Public Program, Author Talk The Burr Conspiracy 15 May 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 James E. Lewis, Jr., Kalamazoo College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). In 1805 and 1806, former vice president Aaron Burr traveled through the trans-Appalachian West ...

In 1805 and 1806, former vice president Aaron Burr traveled through the trans-Appalachian West gathering support for a mysterious enterprise, for which he was arrested and tried for treason in 1807. The Burr Conspiracy was a cause célèbre of the early republic-with Burr cast as the chief villain of the Founding Fathers—even as the evidence against him was vague and conflicting. James Lewis will explore how Americans made sense of the reports of Burr’s intentions and examine what the crisis revealed about the new nation’s uncertain future.

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Clio 2018 Special Event Cocktails with Clio 17 May 2018.Thursday, 6:30PM - 10:00PM Feast, sip, and celebrate history at the eighth Cocktails with Clio!  ...

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

Thursday, 17 May 2018
6:30 PM

Fairmont Copley Plaza
Boston, Massachusetts

We invite you to join us for a festive evening in support of the Center for the Teaching of History at the MHS featuring Harvard President Drew Faust in conversation with MHS President Catherine Allgor. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception. A seated dinner will follow.

Tickets are $300 per person. Purchase tickets today!

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 19 May 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825

 

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Public Program, Author Talk Lafayette in America 21 May 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Alan Hoffman In 1824 and 1825 General Lafayette made a farewell tour of the United States. The 67-year-old hero ...

In 1824 and 1825 General Lafayette made a farewell tour of the United States. The 67-year-old hero was welcomed in an adoring frenzy. The visit to Boston of the sole surviving major general of the Continental Army was one of the largest celebrations the city had ever seen. A “Committee of Arrangements” was organized to rent and furnish an appropriate home and all of the furniture was purchased from Isaac Vose & Son. Alan Hoffman will recount the general’s visit and discuss his translation of Lafayette’s private secretary’s journal.

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Brown Bag Are We Descended from Puritans or Pagans?: New England’s Critique of Manifest Destiny 23 May 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Daniel Burge, University of Alabama This talk examines the religious critique of manifest destiny put forth by New Englanders from 1848 ...

This talk examines the religious critique of manifest destiny put forth by New Englanders from 1848-1871. Although manifest destiny is often portrayed as an ideology rooted in Puritan theology, this talk explores how opponents of expansion in New England used religion to castigate and separate themselves from this ideology.

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Galleries Open, Library Closed Memorial Day 26 May 2018.Saturday, all day The MHS library is CLOSED. The exhibition galleries remain open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

The MHS library is CLOSED. The exhibition galleries remain open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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Building Closed Memorial Day 28 May 2018.Monday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are CLOSED for Memorial Day.

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are CLOSED for Memorial Day.

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Brown Bag Conjuring Emancipation: Making Freedom in the U.S. Civil War’s Refugee Camps 30 May 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Abigail Cooper, Brandeis University Black Americans did not just pray for emancipation, they conjured it. This project examines the ...

Black Americans did not just pray for emancipation, they conjured it. This project examines the political work of revival in wartime refugee camps and envisions emancipation as a religious event. It reckons with religion as a mediating force between the enslaved and the state, asking "Who belongs and how?" for those negotiating statelessness and peoplehood in the midst of self-emancipation.

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Public Program, Author Talk Apostles of Revolution: Jefferson, Paine, Monroe, & the Struggle against the Old Order in America & Europe 30 May 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 John Ferling, University of West Georgia There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). As Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Monroe risked their lives and their ...

As Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Monroe risked their lives and their liberty for  American independence, and as reformers, each rejoiced at the opportunity to be part of the French Revolution, praying that it in turn would inspire others to sweep away Europe’s monarchies and titled nobilities. But as the 18th century unfolded, these three embarked on different routes to revolution. As writers, soldiers,and statesmen, these three men reshaped their country and the Western world.

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June
MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 2 June 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

 

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Mass History Day Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Celebration 2 June 2018.Saturday, 1:00PM - 3:00PM Location: Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center David Blight, Lois Brown, and John Stauffer Join us in celebrating Frederick Douglass’s Bicentennial alongside three of the country&rsquo ...

Join us in celebrating Frederick Douglass’s Bicentennial alongside three of the country’s leading Douglass scholars. A group discussion will be led by David Blight (Yale University), Lois Brown (Wesleyan University), and John Stauffer (Harvard University) on the relevance of Frederick Douglass today with a focus on the theme, “Democracy and the Informed Citizen.” What is Douglass’s rightful place in American history and how is he relevant to the social and civic concerns of today?

During the event, the projects of student winners of the Mass History Day Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Awards will be on display for guests to view, and the winners will present their projects alongside the three scholars. The afternoon will close with a specially commissioned, Frederick Douglass-themed “choral poem” researched, written, and performed by the young poets of Mass LEAP.   

This is a free, public event; you're encouraged to bring friends and family! Free parking is available and there is easy access on the T (Orange line, Roxbury Crossing).

Location: Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center

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Brown Bag Genres of the Mind: 19th-Century American Literature and the Idea of Intelligence 4 June 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Ittai Orr, Yale University While the measurement of human intelligence is now fully in the purview of science, antebellum ...

While the measurement of human intelligence is now fully in the purview of science, antebellum novelists and poets engaged in public debate over its meaning. Key to recovering this contentious field are the student essays of Richard Henry Dana, Jr. and Henry David Thoreau for Harvard professor Edward Channing in 1836.

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Brown Bag Projecting Power in the Dawnland: Empires, Native Americans, & Settlement Schemes in the Gulf of Maine, 1710-1800 6 June 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Alexandra Montgomery, University of Pennsylvania In the eighteenth century, the far northeastern coast of North America had more in common with the ...

In the eighteenth century, the far northeastern coast of North America had more in common with the trans-Appalachian west than the white settler colonial east. This talk examines British and French efforts to import white settlers in an attempt to change these demographic and political realities. These state projects offer a different view of the role of settlement in 18th-century North American empires.

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Public Program, Author Talk Massachusetts Leadership in the Woman Suffrage Movement 6 June 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Barbara Berenson There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Few are familiar with Massachusetts’s role at the center of the national struggle for woman ...

Few are familiar with Massachusetts’s role at the center of the national struggle for woman suffrage. Lucy Stone and other Massachusetts abolitionists were some of the first figures who vocally opposed women’s exclusion from political life. Demanding the vote and other reforms, they launched the organized women’s movement at the first National Woman’s Rights Convention, held in Worcester in 1850.Barbara Berenson gives Massachusetts suffragists the attention they deserve in this engaging story and discusses the battle over historical memory that long obscured the state’s leading role.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 9 June 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825

 

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Brown Bag "We have no need for Virginia Trade": New England Tobacco in the Atlantic World 11 June 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Andrew Rutledge, University of Michigan This talk examines tobacco’s role in the agriculture, commerce, and political economy of New ...

This talk examines tobacco’s role in the agriculture, commerce, and political economy of New England. By the 18th-century, tobacco figured prominently in the region, and was exported in large quantities to Dutch Suriname and to West African slave traders. Tobacco was a true “Atlantic Commodity;” and, just as in the southern colonies, it drew New England farmers into the world of Atlantic slavery.

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Notice Library Closing @ 1:30PM 13 June 2018.Wednesday, all day In preparation for the Society's Annual Meeting, the library closes at 1:30PM.

In preparation for the Society's Annual Meeting, the library closes at 1:30PM.

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MHS Fellows Annual Meeting 13 June 2018.Wednesday, 5:00PM - 6:30PM This event is open only to MHS Fellows. MHS Fellows are invited to the Society's annual business meeting. RSVP by e-mailing ...

MHS Fellows are invited to the Society's annual business meeting. RSVP by e-mailing dbeardsley@masshist.org or calling 617-646-0572.

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Public Program, Author Talk United Tastes: The Making of the First American Cookbook 14 June 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). American Cookery (1796) by Amelia Simmons is known as the “first American cookbook”and ...

American Cookery (1796) by Amelia Simmons is known as the “first American cookbook”and has attracted an enthusiastic modern audience of historians, food journalists, and general readers. Yet until now American Cookery has not received the sustained scholarly attention it deserves. Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald’s United Tastes fills this gap by providing a detailed examination of the social circumstances and culinary tradition that produced this American classic.

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:00PM 15 June 2018.Friday, all day The library closes at 3:00PM in preparation for a staff event.

The library closes at 3:00PM in preparation for a staff event.

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Brown Bag U.S. Monarchism in the Middle East?: Orientalism, American Travelers, and Arab Rulers 15 June 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Adam Mestyan, Duke University The origins of the United States are often framed as anti-monarchist, yet Americans entertain a ...

The origins of the United States are often framed as anti-monarchist, yet Americans entertain a fascination with monarchs and royalty. Is it possible to create a taxonomy of popular Orientalist images of modern Muslim and Arab rulership in the United States? Next to foreign policy considerations and economic interests, this talk searches for the private views of American travelers about modern Muslim and Arab rulers in the Middle East in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 16 June 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825

 

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Public Program Gallery Talk: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End 16 June 2018.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Gallery Talk Robert Mussey Guest curator and furniture conservator Robert Mussey will lead visitors through the ...

Guest curator and furniture conservator Robert Mussey will lead visitors through the exhibition’s highlights while giving deeper context to the life and work of two extraordinary Massachusetts craftsmen, Isaac Vose and Thomas Seymour.

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Notice Library Closing @ 4:00PM 18 June 2018.Monday, all day The library closes at 4:00PM in preparation for the evening's Juneteenth Open House.

The library closes at 4:00PM in preparation for the evening's Juneteenth Open House.

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Public Program Juneteenth Open House 18 June 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Join us for an open house and a one-day display celebrating milestones on the road to the end of ...

Join us for an open house and a one-day display celebrating milestones on the road to the end of slavery. Featured items explore the 1783 abolition of slavery in Massachusetts; celebrations within the African American community in Boston of the ending of slavery in the British West Indies in 1833; Garrisonian protest banners; and a look at the evolution of depictions of Crispus Attucks’s death in the Boston Massacre as a symbol of black abolitionism before and during the Civil War.

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Brown Bag Picturing Modernism in the Work and Archive of Henry Adams 20 June 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Matthew Fernandez, Columbia University This talk examines three interrelated elements of Henry Adams’s literary output: his ...

This talk examines three interrelated elements of Henry Adams’s literary output: his transnational focus, his reconsideration of subject/object relations, and his interest in the visual arts. While travelling during the 1890s, Adams took a break from writing to immerse himself in painting and sketching—after which he produced acclaimed works like Chartres and The Education. His time abroad represents an important transitional moment between the Romanticism of the nineteenth century and the Modernism of the twentieth century.

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Public Program, Author Talk Chateau Higginson: Social Life in Boston’s Back Bay, 1870–1920 21 June 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Margo Miller, Boston Globe (retired) There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Chateau Higginson is a vivid and absorbing account of one man’s efforts to construct a ...

Chateau Higginson is a vivid and absorbing account of one man’s efforts to construct a building that would create “a new way for Bostonians—and Americans—to live.” Henry Lee Higginson is best known for founding the Boston Symphony Orchestra, but exploring his housing gamble helps bring him to life, as well as a whole social class in 19th-century urban America.

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Brown Bag Cut from the Same Cloth: Salem, Zanzibar, and the Consolidation of the Indo-Atlantic World, 1820-1870 22 June 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Joshua Morrison, University of Virginia This talk explores the economic and cultural exchange between New England and Zanzibar, the premier ...

This talk explores the economic and cultural exchange between New England and Zanzibar, the premier entrepôt of the Western Indian Ocean. This trade network linked the cotton magnates of Massachusetts with the Omani elite, Indian merchants, and Swahili slaves of Zanzibar. As the trade expanded, each close-knit community found themselves increasingly dependent on an incredibly foreign counterpart for survival. This project maps the many compromises, adaptations, and concessions made in the name of profit.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 23 June 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

 

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:00 PM 23 June 2018.Saturday, all day To accommodate this evening's program, the MHS library will be closing at 3:00 PM.

To accommodate this evening's program, the MHS library will be closing at 3:00 PM.

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Public Program, Conversation The All-American Girls: Women in Professional Baseball 23 June 2018.Saturday, 4:00PM - 5:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 3:30 Kat Williams, Maybelle Blair, Shirley Burkovich, Donna Mills, Marti Sementelli, moderated by Red Sox historian Gordon Edes There is a $20 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Baseball is not just a beloved pastime for American boys and men. From 19th-century college teams ...

Baseball is not just a beloved pastime for American boys and men. From 19th-century college teams formed at Vassar and Smith and the nationally celebrated Boston Bloomer Girls to the formation of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League when major male talent faced the WWII draft, women players have increasingly found ways to make their mark on the game. Today, more women than ever before are playing baseball at a world-class level, staking a claim on the most nostalgic and patriotic of American sports.

Attend a panel discussion: Moderated by Red Sox historian Gordon Edes, with panelists Maybelle Blair and Shirley Burkovich (All American Girls Professional Baseball League); Donna Mills (Women's World Cup of Baseball MVP); Marti Sementelli (U.S. Women's National Baseball Team); and Dr. Kat Williams (Women's Sports historian at Marshall University).

(sales of Red Sox game tickets have ended)

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Brown Bag Dis-Union: Disability and the U.S. Civil War 25 June 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jean Franzino, Beloit College This talk will examine the emerging legal category of the “disabled” American at ...

This talk will examine the emerging legal category of the “disabled” American at the end of the nineteenth century in relation to the construction of disability in Civil War literature, broadly conceived. In texts ranging from hospital newspaper poetry to mendicant narratives sold for veterans’ financial support, representations of Civil War injury engaged shifting understandings of disability: from individual condition to evolving social class.

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Public Program, Author Talk William James on Democratic Individuality 26 June 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Stephen Bush, Brown University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). William James advocated a philosophy of democracy and pluralism that emphasizes individual and ...

William James advocated a philosophy of democracy and pluralism that emphasizes individual and collective responsibility for our social arrangements, our morality, and our religion. In James’s view, democracy resides first and foremost not in governmental institutions but rather in the characteristics of individuals and in qualities of mind and conduct. It is a philosophy for social change, counseling action and hope despite the manifold challenges facing democratic politics, and these issues still resonate strongly today. Stephen Bush explores how these themes connect to James’s philosophy of religion, his moral thought, his epistemology, his psychology, and his metaphysics.

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Brown Bag The Gendering of Diaspora: Irish American Women Teachers and the Rise of the Irish American Elite, 1880‒1920 27 June 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Judith Harford, University College Dublin Focusing on the period 1880‒1920, the peak of Irish emigration to the United States, this talk ...

Focusing on the period 1880‒1920, the peak of Irish emigration to the United States, this talk examines the education, professional training and wider public activism of first-generation Irish American women teachers.

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Public Program Gallery Talk: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End 29 June 2018.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Clark Pearce Gallery Talk Guest curator and American furniture specialist Clark Pearce will lead visitors through the ...

Guest curator and American furniture specialist Clark Pearce will lead visitors through the exhibition’s highlights while giving deeper context to the life and work of two extraordinary Massachusetts craftsmen, Isaac Vose and Thomas Seymour.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 30 June 2018.Saturday, all day 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: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

 

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Public Program, Walking Tour Martin Luther King in Boston Walking Tour 30 June 2018.Saturday, 3:00PM - 4:30PM There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). As a doctoral student at Boston University’s School of Theology, Martin Luther King, Jr., ...

As a doctoral student at Boston University’s School of Theology, Martin Luther King, Jr., spent some of his formative years walking the streets of Boston and living in the South End. His life in Boston was King’s first immersive experience outside of the segregated South and while he experienced the de facto racism of the North he also enjoyed the acceptance of the BU and Boston area communities. This tour will guide visitors through areas of Boston where King lived and socialized, where he met and courted Coretta Scott, and where he returned later at the height of the Civil Rights Movement to deliver powerful speeches on the struggle for racial and economic equality.

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July
Building Closed Independence Day 4 July 2018.Wednesday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are CLOSED for Independence Day.

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are CLOSED for Independence Day.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 7 July 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

 

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Brown Bag Disestablishing Virtue: Federalism, Religion, and New England Women Writers 11 July 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Gretchen Murphy, University of Texas at Austin This talk examines the religious expressions of 18th- and 19th-century female Federalist writers, ...

This talk examines the religious expressions of 18th- and 19th-century female Federalist writers, specifically Catharine Sedgwick, in the context of the Federalist commitment to public religion. Sedgwick’s 1824 novel Redwood looks to the French Revolution as a site of U.S. debate about role of religion in a republic, signaling her interest in her father’s earlier Federalism while staking her position in the Unitarian controversy of the early 1800s.

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Public Program Boston Historical Reception 11 July 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-event reception at 5:30 Hosted by Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council There is no “Boston Historical Society,” but the metro area does have a wealth of ...

There is no “Boston Historical Society,” but the metro area does have a wealth of history organizations. Boston and surrounding towns are steeped in local history and the inhabitants are proud of their local identity. The MHS is pleased to hold a reception for history buffs and representatives of local organizations to mingle, share recent accomplishments, and talk about the great projects on which they are working.

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Brown Bag Notes on Phillis Wheatley: Prodigy, Poetics, and the Science of the Human, 1761-1800 13 July 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Camille Owens, Yale University This talk studies Phillis Wheatley’s significance to the history of black prodigy, focusing ...

This talk studies Phillis Wheatley’s significance to the history of black prodigy, focusing on Wheatley’s education as an enslaved child. It reconstructs Wheatley’s education in relation to early American philosophy and pedagogy of childhood, looking to primers, tract literature, and the influence of Locke. From there, it examines the often-cited (and likely fictionalized) “trials” of Phillis Wheatley—and to Jefferson’s Notes on Wheatley—to show the performance of authenticating and/or discrediting black intellect as a cultural tradition which Wheatley’s literary career inaugurated.

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JQA Transcribe-a-thon Special Event, Public Program JQA Transcribe-a-thon 14 July 2018.Saturday, 9:30AM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   Celebrate John Quincy Adams's birthday at the second annual transcribe-a-thon! Immerse yourself in ...

JQA pages

Celebrate John Quincy Adams's birthday at the second annual transcribe-a-thon! Immerse yourself in JQA's diary and help the Adams Papers Editorial Project make more of his 15,000-page diary available online. 

While the ability to read handwriting is necessary, no transcription experience is required. Bring your laptop or use one of ours. Come for the day or pop in for a little while. All are welcome!

Lunch and light refreshments will be provided. Registration is free and open to the public. For more information, or to register, contact Gwen Fries: gfries@masshist.org; 617-646-0556. 

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Teacher Workshopbegins Loyalism in the Era of the American Revolution 18 July 2018.Wednesday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Registration fee: $50 per person People did not become loyalists; it was the patriots who first began to craft an identity different ...

People did not become loyalists; it was the patriots who first began to craft an identity different from that of a loyal British subject.  In the struggle over identity and ideology, families were torn apart, friendships were broken, and lifelong residents of Massachusetts were forced to surrender their homes and possessions. Through letters, diaries, newspapers, propaganda, and historical sites, our workshop will introduce teachers to some of the people and places implicated in debates over loyalism between 1770 and 1785. 

This program is open to all K-12 educators.  Teachers can earn 45 Professional Development Points or 2 graduate credits (for an additional fee).

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Melchior at kmelchior@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

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Public Program, Author Talk Back Bay through Time 19 July 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Anthony Sammarco There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood is not just a quintessential Victorian neighborhood of the 19th ...

Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood is not just a quintessential Victorian neighborhood of the 19th century but one that was infilled and planned as the premier residential and institutional development. in this photographic history of the Back Bay of Boston, Anthony M. Sammarco, with the contemporary photographs of Peter B. Kingman, has created a fascinating book that chronicles the neighborhood from the late 19th century through to today.

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Teacher Workshopends Loyalism in the Era of the American Revolution 20 July 2018.Friday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Registration fee: $50 per person People did not become loyalists; it was the patriots who first began to craft an identity different ...

People did not become loyalists; it was the patriots who first began to craft an identity different from that of a loyal British subject.  In the struggle over identity and ideology, families were torn apart, friendships were broken, and lifelong residents of Massachusetts were forced to surrender their homes and possessions. Through letters, diaries, newspapers, propaganda, and historical sites, our workshop will introduce teachers to some of the people and places implicated in debates over loyalism between 1770 and 1785. 

This program is open to all K-12 educators.  Teachers can earn 45 Professional Development Points or 2 graduate credits (for an additional fee).

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Melchior at kmelchior@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 21 July 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

 

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Public Program Gallery Talk: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End 21 July 2018.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Clark Pearce Gallery Talk Guest curator and American furniture specialist Clark Pearce will lead visitors through the ...

Guest curator and American furniture specialist Clark Pearce will lead visitors through the exhibition’s highlights while giving deeper context to the life and work of two extraordinary Massachusetts craftsmen, Isaac Vose and Thomas Seymour.

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Brown Bag The End of War: The Wabanaki Struggle with New England, 1722-1727 25 July 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Ian Saxine, Alfred University This talk examines the Anglo-Wabanaki War of 1722-1727 in the American Northeast. It situates the ...

This talk examines the Anglo-Wabanaki War of 1722-1727 in the American Northeast. It situates the conflict as the final resolution of a half-century of imperial crisis in the region. The talk argues the limits of indigenous, colonial, and imperial power influenced the war’s outbreak, the fighting, and its resolution.

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Public Program, Author Talk Blood & Ivy: The 1849 Murder That Scandalized Harvard 25 July 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Paul Collins, Portland State University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). On November 23, 1849, in the heart of Boston, one of the city’s richest men, Dr. George ...

On November 23, 1849, in the heart of Boston, one of the city’s richest men, Dr. George Parkman, vanished. What resulted was a baffling case of red herrings, grave robbery, and dismemberment on the grounds of Harvard Medical School. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. John White Webster pioneered the use of medical forensics and the meaning of reasonable doubt. Paul Collins brings 19th-century Boston back to life in vivid detail, weaving together accounts of one of America’s greatest murder mysteries.

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Teacher Workshopbegins Immigration Policy in American History 26 July 2018.Thursday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration fee: $35 per person This workshop has been POSTPONED.  We will post further information here when it is ...

This workshop has been POSTPONED.  We will post further information here when it is rescheduled. 

The Society holds a wealth of material to contextualize contemporary debates over immigration. From Irish immigration to Boston and the parallel Know-Nothing movement, the Progressive Era and efforts to “Americanize” immigrants, to debates over immigration restriction in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, we will explore the roots of current immigration policies and their legacy in politics today.

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 45 Professional Development Points or 2 graduate credits (for an additional fee).

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Teacher Workshopends Immigration Policy in American History 27 July 2018.Friday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration fee: $35 per person This workshop has been POSTPONED.  We will post further information here when it is ...

This workshop has been POSTPONED.  We will post further information here when it is rescheduled. 

The Society holds a wealth of material to contextualize contemporary debates over immigration. From Irish immigration to Boston and the parallel Know-Nothing movement, the Progressive Era and efforts to “Americanize” immigrants, to debates over immigration restriction in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, we will explore the roots of current immigration policies and their legacy in politics today.

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 45 Professional Development Points or 2 graduate credits (for an additional fee).

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Brown Bag Maroon Ecologies: Albery Allson Whitman and the Place of Poetry 27 July 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Katherine McIntyre, Columbia University This talk follows the intertwining of race and ecology in Albery Allson Whitman’s 1884 The ...

This talk follows the intertwining of race and ecology in Albery Allson Whitman’s 1884 The Rape of Florida through an analysis of colonial cartographic practices. Using maps to examine the cartographic representation of swamps and other wetlands that permeate the boundary between land and water, this talk opens questions about the porous ecologies of maroon communities and the poetics that follow from such ecologies.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 28 July 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

 

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Brown Bag “The Sons of Britain”: Partisanship & the Origins of the American Revolution in New York City 1 August 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Christopher Minty, Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society In 1775, New York City merchant Frederick Rhinelander told a friend, “if this province ever ...

In 1775, New York City merchant Frederick Rhinelander told a friend, “if this province ever fights, it will be for the King.” Yet Rhinelander’s reasons were not based on New Yorkers’ blind loyalty to George III or Great Britain. Instead, for him and many of his friends, loyalism was a tool to challenge political opponents.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 4 August 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

 

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Brown Bag Sensory Experiences of Daily Life at New England Hospitals for the Insane 6 August 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Madeline Kearin, Brown University Despite their reputation as sites of abuse and neglect, 19th-century hospitals for the insane were ...

Despite their reputation as sites of abuse and neglect, 19th-century hospitals for the insane were originally envisioned as “technological marvels” that would solve the national mental health crisis. This talk examines how New England lunatic hospitals were designed to mobilize sensory experience to cure mental illness, and how these designs shaped patient experiences.

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Brown Bag For Love and Money: Marriage in Early America 9 May 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Lindsay Keiter, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

While historians have analyzed the rise of companionship and romance in marriage, they have overlooked a critical continuity: marriage continued to serve vital financial functions. This talk briefly sketches the economic importance of marriage and families’ strategies for managing wealth across generations.

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Notice Library Closing at 3:00PM 10 May 2018.Thursday, all day

In preparation for an evening event, the reading room closes at 2:45PM and the library closes at 3:00PM.

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Special Event, Member Event Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End Preview & Reception 10 May 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT

Isaac Vose CouchMHS Fellows and Members special preview and reception for Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose &Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825 is SOLD OUT.

Virtually forgotten for 200 years, Isaac Vose and his brilliant furniture are revealed in a new exhibition and accompanying volume. Beginning with a modest pair of collection boxes he made for his localBoston church in 1788, Vose went on to build a substantial business empire and to make furniture for the most prominent Boston families. The exhibition and catalog restore Vose from relative obscurity to his rightful position as one of Boston’s most important craftsmen. Opening at the MHS on May 11, the exhibition will be on view through September 14.

Become a Member today!

Image: Couch, Isaac Vose & Son, with Thomas Wightman, carver, Boston, 1824. Historic New England, Gift of the Massachusetts Historical Society (1923.507); photograph by David Bohl.

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Exhibition Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825 this event is free 11 May 2018 to 14 September 2018 Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Isaac Vose Couch

Virtually forgotten for 200 years, Isaac Vose and his brilliant furniture are revealed in a new exhibition and accompanying volume. Beginning with a modest pair of collection boxes he made for his localBoston church in 1788, Vose went on to build a substantial business empire and to make furniture for the most prominent Boston families. The exhibition and catalog restore Vose from relative obscurity to his rightful position as one of Boston’s most important craftsmen. Opening at the MHS on May 11, the exhibition will be on view through September 14.

The complementary book, Rather Elegant Than Showy (May 2018), by Robert Mussey and Clark Pearce, will be available for sale at the MHS.

Image: Couch, Isaac Vose & Son, with Thomas Wightman, carver, Boston, 1824. Historic New England, Gift of the Massachusetts Historical Society (1923.507); photograph by David Bohl.

 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 12 May 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

 While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825

 

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Public Program, Author Talk The Burr Conspiracy 15 May 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 James E. Lewis, Jr., Kalamazoo College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

In 1805 and 1806, former vice president Aaron Burr traveled through the trans-Appalachian West gathering support for a mysterious enterprise, for which he was arrested and tried for treason in 1807. The Burr Conspiracy was a cause célèbre of the early republic-with Burr cast as the chief villain of the Founding Fathers—even as the evidence against him was vague and conflicting. James Lewis will explore how Americans made sense of the reports of Burr’s intentions and examine what the crisis revealed about the new nation’s uncertain future.

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Special Event Cocktails with Clio 17 May 2018.Thursday, 6:30PM - 10:00PM Clio 2018

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

Thursday, 17 May 2018
6:30 PM

Fairmont Copley Plaza
Boston, Massachusetts

We invite you to join us for a festive evening in support of the Center for the Teaching of History at the MHS featuring Harvard President Drew Faust in conversation with MHS President Catherine Allgor. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception. A seated dinner will follow.

Tickets are $300 per person. Purchase tickets today!

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 19 May 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825

 

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Public Program, Author Talk Lafayette in America 21 May 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Alan Hoffman

In 1824 and 1825 General Lafayette made a farewell tour of the United States. The 67-year-old hero was welcomed in an adoring frenzy. The visit to Boston of the sole surviving major general of the Continental Army was one of the largest celebrations the city had ever seen. A “Committee of Arrangements” was organized to rent and furnish an appropriate home and all of the furniture was purchased from Isaac Vose & Son. Alan Hoffman will recount the general’s visit and discuss his translation of Lafayette’s private secretary’s journal.

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Brown Bag Are We Descended from Puritans or Pagans?: New England’s Critique of Manifest Destiny 23 May 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Daniel Burge, University of Alabama

This talk examines the religious critique of manifest destiny put forth by New Englanders from 1848-1871. Although manifest destiny is often portrayed as an ideology rooted in Puritan theology, this talk explores how opponents of expansion in New England used religion to castigate and separate themselves from this ideology.

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Galleries Open, Library Closed Memorial Day 26 May 2018.Saturday, all day

The MHS library is CLOSED. The exhibition galleries remain open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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Building Closed Memorial Day 28 May 2018.Monday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are CLOSED for Memorial Day.

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Brown Bag Conjuring Emancipation: Making Freedom in the U.S. Civil War’s Refugee Camps 30 May 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Abigail Cooper, Brandeis University

Black Americans did not just pray for emancipation, they conjured it. This project examines the political work of revival in wartime refugee camps and envisions emancipation as a religious event. It reckons with religion as a mediating force between the enslaved and the state, asking "Who belongs and how?" for those negotiating statelessness and peoplehood in the midst of self-emancipation.

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Public Program, Author Talk Apostles of Revolution: Jefferson, Paine, Monroe, & the Struggle against the Old Order in America & Europe 30 May 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 John Ferling, University of West Georgia There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

As Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Monroe risked their lives and their liberty for  American independence, and as reformers, each rejoiced at the opportunity to be part of the French Revolution, praying that it in turn would inspire others to sweep away Europe’s monarchies and titled nobilities. But as the 18th century unfolded, these three embarked on different routes to revolution. As writers, soldiers,and statesmen, these three men reshaped their country and the Western world.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 2 June 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

 

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Mass History Day Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Celebration 2 June 2018.Saturday, 1:00PM - 3:00PM Location: Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center David Blight, Lois Brown, and John Stauffer

Join us in celebrating Frederick Douglass’s Bicentennial alongside three of the country’s leading Douglass scholars. A group discussion will be led by David Blight (Yale University), Lois Brown (Wesleyan University), and John Stauffer (Harvard University) on the relevance of Frederick Douglass today with a focus on the theme, “Democracy and the Informed Citizen.” What is Douglass’s rightful place in American history and how is he relevant to the social and civic concerns of today?

During the event, the projects of student winners of the Mass History Day Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Awards will be on display for guests to view, and the winners will present their projects alongside the three scholars. The afternoon will close with a specially commissioned, Frederick Douglass-themed “choral poem” researched, written, and performed by the young poets of Mass LEAP.   

This is a free, public event; you're encouraged to bring friends and family! Free parking is available and there is easy access on the T (Orange line, Roxbury Crossing).

Location: Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center

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Brown Bag Genres of the Mind: 19th-Century American Literature and the Idea of Intelligence 4 June 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Ittai Orr, Yale University

While the measurement of human intelligence is now fully in the purview of science, antebellum novelists and poets engaged in public debate over its meaning. Key to recovering this contentious field are the student essays of Richard Henry Dana, Jr. and Henry David Thoreau for Harvard professor Edward Channing in 1836.

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Brown Bag Projecting Power in the Dawnland: Empires, Native Americans, & Settlement Schemes in the Gulf of Maine, 1710-1800 6 June 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Alexandra Montgomery, University of Pennsylvania

In the eighteenth century, the far northeastern coast of North America had more in common with the trans-Appalachian west than the white settler colonial east. This talk examines British and French efforts to import white settlers in an attempt to change these demographic and political realities. These state projects offer a different view of the role of settlement in 18th-century North American empires.

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Public Program, Author Talk Massachusetts Leadership in the Woman Suffrage Movement 6 June 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Barbara Berenson There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Few are familiar with Massachusetts’s role at the center of the national struggle for woman suffrage. Lucy Stone and other Massachusetts abolitionists were some of the first figures who vocally opposed women’s exclusion from political life. Demanding the vote and other reforms, they launched the organized women’s movement at the first National Woman’s Rights Convention, held in Worcester in 1850.Barbara Berenson gives Massachusetts suffragists the attention they deserve in this engaging story and discusses the battle over historical memory that long obscured the state’s leading role.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 9 June 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825

 

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Brown Bag "We have no need for Virginia Trade": New England Tobacco in the Atlantic World 11 June 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Andrew Rutledge, University of Michigan

This talk examines tobacco’s role in the agriculture, commerce, and political economy of New England. By the 18th-century, tobacco figured prominently in the region, and was exported in large quantities to Dutch Suriname and to West African slave traders. Tobacco was a true “Atlantic Commodity;” and, just as in the southern colonies, it drew New England farmers into the world of Atlantic slavery.

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Notice Library Closing @ 1:30PM 13 June 2018.Wednesday, all day

In preparation for the Society's Annual Meeting, the library closes at 1:30PM.

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MHS Fellows Annual Meeting 13 June 2018.Wednesday, 5:00PM - 6:30PM This event is open only to MHS Fellows.

MHS Fellows are invited to the Society's annual business meeting. RSVP by e-mailing dbeardsley@masshist.org or calling 617-646-0572.

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Public Program, Author Talk United Tastes: The Making of the First American Cookbook 14 June 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

American Cookery (1796) by Amelia Simmons is known as the “first American cookbook”and has attracted an enthusiastic modern audience of historians, food journalists, and general readers. Yet until now American Cookery has not received the sustained scholarly attention it deserves. Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald’s United Tastes fills this gap by providing a detailed examination of the social circumstances and culinary tradition that produced this American classic.

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:00PM 15 June 2018.Friday, all day

The library closes at 3:00PM in preparation for a staff event.

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Brown Bag U.S. Monarchism in the Middle East?: Orientalism, American Travelers, and Arab Rulers 15 June 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Adam Mestyan, Duke University

The origins of the United States are often framed as anti-monarchist, yet Americans entertain a fascination with monarchs and royalty. Is it possible to create a taxonomy of popular Orientalist images of modern Muslim and Arab rulership in the United States? Next to foreign policy considerations and economic interests, this talk searches for the private views of American travelers about modern Muslim and Arab rulers in the Middle East in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 16 June 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825

 

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Public Program Gallery Talk: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End 16 June 2018.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Gallery Talk Robert Mussey

Guest curator and furniture conservator Robert Mussey will lead visitors through the exhibition’s highlights while giving deeper context to the life and work of two extraordinary Massachusetts craftsmen, Isaac Vose and Thomas Seymour.

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Notice Library Closing @ 4:00PM 18 June 2018.Monday, all day

The library closes at 4:00PM in preparation for the evening's Juneteenth Open House.

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Public Program Juneteenth Open House 18 June 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM

Join us for an open house and a one-day display celebrating milestones on the road to the end of slavery. Featured items explore the 1783 abolition of slavery in Massachusetts; celebrations within the African American community in Boston of the ending of slavery in the British West Indies in 1833; Garrisonian protest banners; and a look at the evolution of depictions of Crispus Attucks’s death in the Boston Massacre as a symbol of black abolitionism before and during the Civil War.

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Brown Bag Picturing Modernism in the Work and Archive of Henry Adams 20 June 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Matthew Fernandez, Columbia University

This talk examines three interrelated elements of Henry Adams’s literary output: his transnational focus, his reconsideration of subject/object relations, and his interest in the visual arts. While travelling during the 1890s, Adams took a break from writing to immerse himself in painting and sketching—after which he produced acclaimed works like Chartres and The Education. His time abroad represents an important transitional moment between the Romanticism of the nineteenth century and the Modernism of the twentieth century.

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Public Program, Author Talk Chateau Higginson: Social Life in Boston’s Back Bay, 1870–1920 21 June 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Margo Miller, Boston Globe (retired) There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Chateau Higginson is a vivid and absorbing account of one man’s efforts to construct a building that would create “a new way for Bostonians—and Americans—to live.” Henry Lee Higginson is best known for founding the Boston Symphony Orchestra, but exploring his housing gamble helps bring him to life, as well as a whole social class in 19th-century urban America.

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Brown Bag Cut from the Same Cloth: Salem, Zanzibar, and the Consolidation of the Indo-Atlantic World, 1820-1870 22 June 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Joshua Morrison, University of Virginia

This talk explores the economic and cultural exchange between New England and Zanzibar, the premier entrepôt of the Western Indian Ocean. This trade network linked the cotton magnates of Massachusetts with the Omani elite, Indian merchants, and Swahili slaves of Zanzibar. As the trade expanded, each close-knit community found themselves increasingly dependent on an incredibly foreign counterpart for survival. This project maps the many compromises, adaptations, and concessions made in the name of profit.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 23 June 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

 

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:00 PM 23 June 2018.Saturday, all day

To accommodate this evening's program, the MHS library will be closing at 3:00 PM.

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Public Program, Conversation The All-American Girls: Women in Professional Baseball 23 June 2018.Saturday, 4:00PM - 5:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 3:30 Kat Williams, Maybelle Blair, Shirley Burkovich, Donna Mills, Marti Sementelli, moderated by Red Sox historian Gordon Edes There is a $20 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Baseball is not just a beloved pastime for American boys and men. From 19th-century college teams formed at Vassar and Smith and the nationally celebrated Boston Bloomer Girls to the formation of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League when major male talent faced the WWII draft, women players have increasingly found ways to make their mark on the game. Today, more women than ever before are playing baseball at a world-class level, staking a claim on the most nostalgic and patriotic of American sports.

Attend a panel discussion: Moderated by Red Sox historian Gordon Edes, with panelists Maybelle Blair and Shirley Burkovich (All American Girls Professional Baseball League); Donna Mills (Women's World Cup of Baseball MVP); Marti Sementelli (U.S. Women's National Baseball Team); and Dr. Kat Williams (Women's Sports historian at Marshall University).

(sales of Red Sox game tickets have ended)

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Brown Bag Dis-Union: Disability and the U.S. Civil War this event is free 25 June 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jean Franzino, Beloit College

This talk will examine the emerging legal category of the “disabled” American at the end of the nineteenth century in relation to the construction of disability in Civil War literature, broadly conceived. In texts ranging from hospital newspaper poetry to mendicant narratives sold for veterans’ financial support, representations of Civil War injury engaged shifting understandings of disability: from individual condition to evolving social class.

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Public Program, Author Talk William James on Democratic Individuality registration required 26 June 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Stephen Bush, Brown University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

William James advocated a philosophy of democracy and pluralism that emphasizes individual and collective responsibility for our social arrangements, our morality, and our religion. In James’s view, democracy resides first and foremost not in governmental institutions but rather in the characteristics of individuals and in qualities of mind and conduct. It is a philosophy for social change, counseling action and hope despite the manifold challenges facing democratic politics, and these issues still resonate strongly today. Stephen Bush explores how these themes connect to James’s philosophy of religion, his moral thought, his epistemology, his psychology, and his metaphysics.

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Brown Bag The Gendering of Diaspora: Irish American Women Teachers and the Rise of the Irish American Elite, 1880‒1920 this event is free 27 June 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Judith Harford, University College Dublin

Focusing on the period 1880‒1920, the peak of Irish emigration to the United States, this talk examines the education, professional training and wider public activism of first-generation Irish American women teachers.

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Public Program Gallery Talk: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End this event is free 29 June 2018.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Clark Pearce Gallery Talk

Guest curator and American furniture specialist Clark Pearce will lead visitors through the exhibition’s highlights while giving deeper context to the life and work of two extraordinary Massachusetts craftsmen, Isaac Vose and Thomas Seymour.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 30 June 2018.Saturday, all day

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: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

 

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Public Program, Walking Tour Martin Luther King in Boston Walking Tour registration required 30 June 2018.Saturday, 3:00PM - 4:30PM There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

As a doctoral student at Boston University’s School of Theology, Martin Luther King, Jr., spent some of his formative years walking the streets of Boston and living in the South End. His life in Boston was King’s first immersive experience outside of the segregated South and while he experienced the de facto racism of the North he also enjoyed the acceptance of the BU and Boston area communities. This tour will guide visitors through areas of Boston where King lived and socialized, where he met and courted Coretta Scott, and where he returned later at the height of the Civil Rights Movement to deliver powerful speeches on the struggle for racial and economic equality.

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Building Closed Independence Day 4 July 2018.Wednesday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are CLOSED for Independence Day.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 7 July 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

 

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Brown Bag Disestablishing Virtue: Federalism, Religion, and New England Women Writers this event is free 11 July 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Gretchen Murphy, University of Texas at Austin

This talk examines the religious expressions of 18th- and 19th-century female Federalist writers, specifically Catharine Sedgwick, in the context of the Federalist commitment to public religion. Sedgwick’s 1824 novel Redwood looks to the French Revolution as a site of U.S. debate about role of religion in a republic, signaling her interest in her father’s earlier Federalism while staking her position in the Unitarian controversy of the early 1800s.

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Public Program Boston Historical Reception registration required at no cost 11 July 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-event reception at 5:30 Hosted by Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council

There is no “Boston Historical Society,” but the metro area does have a wealth of history organizations. Boston and surrounding towns are steeped in local history and the inhabitants are proud of their local identity. The MHS is pleased to hold a reception for history buffs and representatives of local organizations to mingle, share recent accomplishments, and talk about the great projects on which they are working.

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Brown Bag Notes on Phillis Wheatley: Prodigy, Poetics, and the Science of the Human, 1761-1800 this event is free 13 July 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Camille Owens, Yale University

This talk studies Phillis Wheatley’s significance to the history of black prodigy, focusing on Wheatley’s education as an enslaved child. It reconstructs Wheatley’s education in relation to early American philosophy and pedagogy of childhood, looking to primers, tract literature, and the influence of Locke. From there, it examines the often-cited (and likely fictionalized) “trials” of Phillis Wheatley—and to Jefferson’s Notes on Wheatley—to show the performance of authenticating and/or discrediting black intellect as a cultural tradition which Wheatley’s literary career inaugurated.

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Special Event, Public Program JQA Transcribe-a-thon Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 14 July 2018.Saturday, 9:30AM - 3:00PM JQA Transcribe-a-thon

JQA pages

Celebrate John Quincy Adams's birthday at the second annual transcribe-a-thon! Immerse yourself in JQA's diary and help the Adams Papers Editorial Project make more of his 15,000-page diary available online. 

While the ability to read handwriting is necessary, no transcription experience is required. Bring your laptop or use one of ours. Come for the day or pop in for a little while. All are welcome!

Lunch and light refreshments will be provided. Registration is free and open to the public. For more information, or to register, contact Gwen Fries: gfries@masshist.org; 617-646-0556. 

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Teacher Workshop Loyalism in the Era of the American Revolution Please RSVP   registration required 18 July 2018 to 20 July 2018 Registration fee: $50 per person

People did not become loyalists; it was the patriots who first began to craft an identity different from that of a loyal British subject.  In the struggle over identity and ideology, families were torn apart, friendships were broken, and lifelong residents of Massachusetts were forced to surrender their homes and possessions. Through letters, diaries, newspapers, propaganda, and historical sites, our workshop will introduce teachers to some of the people and places implicated in debates over loyalism between 1770 and 1785. 

This program is open to all K-12 educators.  Teachers can earn 45 Professional Development Points or 2 graduate credits (for an additional fee).

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Melchior at kmelchior@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

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Public Program, Author Talk Back Bay through Time registration required 19 July 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Anthony Sammarco There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood is not just a quintessential Victorian neighborhood of the 19th century but one that was infilled and planned as the premier residential and institutional development. in this photographic history of the Back Bay of Boston, Anthony M. Sammarco, with the contemporary photographs of Peter B. Kingman, has created a fascinating book that chronicles the neighborhood from the late 19th century through to today.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 21 July 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

 

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Public Program Gallery Talk: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End this event is free 21 July 2018.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Clark Pearce Gallery Talk

Guest curator and American furniture specialist Clark Pearce will lead visitors through the exhibition’s highlights while giving deeper context to the life and work of two extraordinary Massachusetts craftsmen, Isaac Vose and Thomas Seymour.

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Brown Bag The End of War: The Wabanaki Struggle with New England, 1722-1727 this event is free 25 July 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Ian Saxine, Alfred University

This talk examines the Anglo-Wabanaki War of 1722-1727 in the American Northeast. It situates the conflict as the final resolution of a half-century of imperial crisis in the region. The talk argues the limits of indigenous, colonial, and imperial power influenced the war’s outbreak, the fighting, and its resolution.

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Public Program, Author Talk Blood & Ivy: The 1849 Murder That Scandalized Harvard registration required 25 July 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Paul Collins, Portland State University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

On November 23, 1849, in the heart of Boston, one of the city’s richest men, Dr. George Parkman, vanished. What resulted was a baffling case of red herrings, grave robbery, and dismemberment on the grounds of Harvard Medical School. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. John White Webster pioneered the use of medical forensics and the meaning of reasonable doubt. Paul Collins brings 19th-century Boston back to life in vivid detail, weaving together accounts of one of America’s greatest murder mysteries.

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Teacher Workshop Immigration Policy in American History registration required 26 July 2018 to 27 July 2018 Registration fee: $35 per person

This workshop has been POSTPONED.  We will post further information here when it is rescheduled. 

The Society holds a wealth of material to contextualize contemporary debates over immigration. From Irish immigration to Boston and the parallel Know-Nothing movement, the Progressive Era and efforts to “Americanize” immigrants, to debates over immigration restriction in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, we will explore the roots of current immigration policies and their legacy in politics today.

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 45 Professional Development Points or 2 graduate credits (for an additional fee).

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Brown Bag Maroon Ecologies: Albery Allson Whitman and the Place of Poetry this event is free 27 July 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Katherine McIntyre, Columbia University

This talk follows the intertwining of race and ecology in Albery Allson Whitman’s 1884 The Rape of Florida through an analysis of colonial cartographic practices. Using maps to examine the cartographic representation of swamps and other wetlands that permeate the boundary between land and water, this talk opens questions about the porous ecologies of maroon communities and the poetics that follow from such ecologies.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 28 July 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

 

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Brown Bag “The Sons of Britain”: Partisanship & the Origins of the American Revolution in New York City this event is free 1 August 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Christopher Minty, Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society

In 1775, New York City merchant Frederick Rhinelander told a friend, “if this province ever fights, it will be for the King.” Yet Rhinelander’s reasons were not based on New Yorkers’ blind loyalty to George III or Great Britain. Instead, for him and many of his friends, loyalism was a tool to challenge political opponents.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 4 August 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825.

 

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Brown Bag Sensory Experiences of Daily Life at New England Hospitals for the Insane this event is free 6 August 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Madeline Kearin, Brown University

Despite their reputation as sites of abuse and neglect, 19th-century hospitals for the insane were originally envisioned as “technological marvels” that would solve the national mental health crisis. This talk examines how New England lunatic hospitals were designed to mobilize sensory experience to cure mental illness, and how these designs shaped patient experiences.

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