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April 2019
Notice Library Closing @ 3:45PM 25 April 2019.Thursday, all day In preparation for an evening event, the library is closing at 3:45PM with the reading room closing ...

In preparation for an evening event, the library is closing at 3:45PM with the reading room closing at 3:30PM.

More
Can She Do It? Special Event, Member Event, Exhibition “Can She Do It?” Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote: Sneak Preview Reception 25 April 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please note: space at this event is limited. This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members. MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the sneak preview reception for “Can She Do It ...

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the sneak preview reception for “Can She Do It?” The exhibition explores the activism and debate around women’s suffrage in Massachusetts. Featuring items from the MHS collection, it illustrates in dynamic imagery the passion that surrounded both sides of the suffrage question.

Become a Member today!

 

Special thanks to our exhibition sponsor

 

 

 

More
Can She Do It? cartoon Exhibitionbegins "Can She Do It?" Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote 26 April 2019.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Colorful political cartoons, engaging campaign materials, and visual propaganda illustrate ...

Colorful political cartoons, engaging campaign materials, and visual propaganda illustrate the passion of those who argued for and against women’s suffrage.

Commemorating 100 years since Massachusetts ratified the 19th Amendment, this exhibition at the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) explores the activism and debate around women’s suffrage in Massachusetts. Featuring dynamic imagery from the collection of the MHS, “Can She Do It?” Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote illustrates the passion on each side of the suffrage question. The exhibition is open at the MHS April 26 through September 21, 2019, Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

More
MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 27 April 2019.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.

More
Public Program Visual Culture of Suffrage 29 April 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Allison Lange, Wentworth Institute of Technology Registration is required at no cost. As we have seen from the portraits of women selected to appear on the new ten-dollar bill to the ...

As we have seen from the portraits of women selected to appear on the new ten-dollar bill to the posters featuring suffragists carried at the 2017 Women’s March, the visual culture of the suffrage movement still makes news today. Allison Lange will speak about the ways that women’s rights activists and their opponents used images to define gender and power throughout the suffrage movement.

This program is a part of ArtWeek.

 

 

More
Seminar, Environmental History Seminar (Rescheduled) Amputated from the Land: Black Refugees from America and the Neglected Voices of Environmental History 30 April 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Bryon Williams, Academy at Penguin Hall Comment: John Stauffer, Harvard University This paper focuses on dictated narratives from the 1840s and ‘50s, accounts delivered by ...

This paper focuses on dictated narratives from the 1840s and ‘50s, accounts delivered by blacks who fled the U.S. to settle in the wilds of Ontario. These first-person accounts of environmental encounter and expertise are unrivaled in depth, breadth, and detail among black ecological writing of any era. New environmental histories need such accounts that not only counter dominant American environmental and political myths, but offer black-lived stories of environmental belonging and agency.

 

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

More
May 2019
Brown Bag Shinbone and Beefsteak: Meat, Science, and the Labor Question 1 May 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Molly S. Laas, University of Göttingen Medical School Could better nutrition help shore up U.S. democracy in an era of mass inequality? This talk explores ...

Could better nutrition help shore up U.S. democracy in an era of mass inequality? This talk explores the early years of nutrition science in the late nineteenth century by examining the science’s use as a tool for cultural and political change. By looking at how scientists understood the relationship between wages, the cost of living, and better nutrition, my paper will shed light on the political life of scientific ideas.

More
MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 4 May 2019.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.

More
Public Program Preserving Family Papers 4 May 2019.Saturday, 11:30AM - 1:00PM Registration for this workshop is now full. Do you have boxes full of family papers and photographs sitting in your closet, basement, or attic? ...

Do you have boxes full of family papers and photographs sitting in your closet, basement, or attic? Are you wondering how to best preserve those precious memories for generations to come? Let the experts at the MHS teach you simple steps you can take to preserve your paper-based materials. This workshop concludes with a behind-the-scenes tour including our conservation lab and library stacks.

More
Public Program, Conversation The Problem of Democracy: The Presidents Adams Confront the Cult of Personality 4 May 2019.Saturday, 4:30PM - 6:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 4:00. Nancy Isenberg and Andrew Burstein There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). John and John Quincy Adams were brilliant, prickly politicians and arguably the most independently ...

John and John Quincy Adams were brilliant, prickly politicians and arguably the most independently minded among leaders of the founding generation. Distrustful of blind allegiance to a political party, they brought skepticism of a brand-new system of government to the country’s first 50 years. Join Isenberg and Burstein as they boldly recast the historical role of the Adamses and reflect on how father and son understood the inherent weaknesses in American democracy.

More
Abigail Adams: Nature and Nurture, Pop-up Display and Talk 6 May 2019.Monday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM The Pop-up Display will be on view from April 29-June 28 May 6 at 2:00 PM: Join an Adams Papers editor for an in-depth look at the display. “The Earth is putting on a new Suit,” Abigail Adams wrote, savoring the arrival of ...

“The Earth is putting on a new Suit,” Abigail Adams wrote, savoring the arrival of spring amid the tumult of national politics in 1800. Tending her kitchen garden and nurturing the new republic with equal care, Abigail delighted in learning about the natural landscape and sharing that knowledge with her family and friends.

 

More
Early American History Seminar Panel: After the Fighting: The Struggle for Revolutionary Settlement 7 May 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Eliga Gould, University of New Hampshire; Katherine Grandjean, Wellesley College; Stephen Marini, Wellesley College; Brendan McConville, Boston University Moderator: TBD In the ten years after the American victory at Yorktown in 1781, the nation faced myriad problems ...

In the ten years after the American victory at Yorktown in 1781, the nation faced myriad problems and challenges. This panel examines how the revolutionary generation confronted issues of diplomacy, governance and economic growth, and how the legacies of warfare and political convulsion shaped spiritual and social behaviors in those troubled years.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

More
Brown Bag Odor and Power in the Americas: Olfactory Racism and the Atlantic World 8 May 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Andrew Kettler, University of Toronto This talk shows that capitalism incentivized discourses of African pungency applied by intellectuals ...

This talk shows that capitalism incentivized discourses of African pungency applied by intellectuals throughout the Atlantic World to justify racial dominance. Born of English literature, and agitated during the late Enlightenment, the idea that African bodies smelled perpetuates into modernity as a discourse of embodied racism.

More
Public Program Massachusetts in World War I 9 May 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Theodore Sedgwick There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). On February 24, 1919, Pres. Woodrow Wilson arrived in Boston after completing the negotiations of ...

On February 24, 1919, Pres. Woodrow Wilson arrived in Boston after completing the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I. He was met by a thunderous crowd; the Boston Evening Globe wrote “it seemed that every noise-making instrument in Boston had been set in motion.” The Yankee Division of the Massachusetts National Guard had been one of the first U.S. units deployed in the war. Bay State residents were some of the most active in the war, both on the front lines and in shipyards outfitting navy ships; however, somehow the Great War is often forgotten. This program will explore the history of Massachusetts in WWI as well as why the forgotten war should be remembered.

More
Teacher Workshop “Shall the Tail Wag the Dog?” The Fight For and Against Women’s Suffrage 11 May 2019.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Registration fee: $25 per person Massachusetts citizens played a central role in the suffrage movement; Worcester hosted the first ...

Massachusetts citizens played a central role in the suffrage movement; Worcester hosted the first national woman’s rights convention in 1850 and Bostonians, led by Lucy Stone, headed a national suffrage organization and edited a long-running woman’s rights newspaper. In response to these influential reformers, activists formed the first anti-suffrage organizations in Massachusetts as well. Drawing on MHS collections and our new suffrage exhibition, we will explore letters, newspapers, political cartoons, visual propaganda, and other sources that illuminate the history and motivations of women on both sides of the campaign for the vote.

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 Professional Development Points or 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee).

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

More
Public Program, Conversation Boston Women Designers: Then and Now 14 May 2019.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Mikyoung Kim, Tamara Roy, Regan Shields Ives, Justine Orlando, and moderator Catherine Allgor There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members, Fenway Alliance and Boston Preservation Alliance members, or EBT cardholders). Join us for a conversation with women working in architecture, design, and planning. They will ...

Join us for a conversation with women working in architecture, design, and planning. They will explore social and political landscapes for women designers in Boston today and when they got started, some challenges they overcame to get to where they are today, how Boston compares with other cities on the topic of gender equity, and if Boston is receptive to women in leadership roles.

More
Brown Bag Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood: Black Children's Cultural and Political Resistance 15 May 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Crystal Webster, University of Texas at San Antonio This talk examines the lives of African American children in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston ...

This talk examines the lives of African American children in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston during the late-18th to early-20th centuries by focusing on Black children's labor, play, and schooling. It argues that northern Black children intersected shifting constructions of race and childhood, as a group upon which society experimented with treatments of the newly recognized social category of the child, and came to terms with the social and economic place of the nascent free Black community.

More
Public Program, Conversation Fenway Fans 16 May 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Richard Flavin, Bill Nowlin, and Larry Ruttman There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Red Sox poet laureate Dick Flavin, author Bill Nowlin, and chronicler of Red Sox history Larry ...

Red Sox poet laureate Dick Flavin, author Bill Nowlin, and chronicler of Red Sox history Larry Ruttman will gather to share stories and reminisce about some of the highs and lows in the thousands of Red Sox games they have attended. With the joy of winning the World Series fresh in our memory, these stalwart fans and prolific scribes will tell of behind-the-scenes moments not often heard. Perhaps a mystery guest will be there! Bring your own story to tell.

More
MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 18 May 2019.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

More
Public Program, Author Talk American States of Nature: The Origins of Independence, 1761-1775 22 May 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Mark Somos There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). In the British colonies, the phrase “state of nature,” or the condition of human beings ...

In the British colonies, the phrase “state of nature,” or the condition of human beings before or without political association, appeared thousands of times in juridical, theological, medical, political, economic, and other texts from 1630 to 1810. But by the 1760s, a distinctively American state-of-nature discourse started to emerge. In laws, resolutions, petitions, sermons, broadsides, pamphlets, letters, and diaries, the American states of nature came to justify independence at least as much as colonial formulations of liberty, property, and individual rights did. The founding generation transformed this flexible concept into a powerful theme that shapes their legacy to this day. No constitutional history of the Revolution can be written without it.

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:45PM 25 April 2019.Thursday, all day

In preparation for an evening event, the library is closing at 3:45PM with the reading room closing at 3:30PM.

close

Special Event, Member Event, Exhibition “Can She Do It?” Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote: Sneak Preview Reception 25 April 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please note: space at this event is limited. This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members. Can She Do It?

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the sneak preview reception for “Can She Do It?” The exhibition explores the activism and debate around women’s suffrage in Massachusetts. Featuring items from the MHS collection, it illustrates in dynamic imagery the passion that surrounded both sides of the suffrage question.

Become a Member today!

 

Special thanks to our exhibition sponsor

 

 

 

close

Exhibition "Can She Do It?" Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote this event is free 26 April 2019 to 21 September 2019 Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Can She Do It? cartoon

Colorful political cartoons, engaging campaign materials, and visual propaganda illustrate the passion of those who argued for and against women’s suffrage.

Commemorating 100 years since Massachusetts ratified the 19th Amendment, this exhibition at the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) explores the activism and debate around women’s suffrage in Massachusetts. Featuring dynamic imagery from the collection of the MHS, “Can She Do It?” Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote illustrates the passion on each side of the suffrage question. The exhibition is open at the MHS April 26 through September 21, 2019, Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

close

MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 27 April 2019.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.

close

Public Program Visual Culture of Suffrage registration required at no cost 29 April 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Allison Lange, Wentworth Institute of Technology Registration is required at no cost.

As we have seen from the portraits of women selected to appear on the new ten-dollar bill to the posters featuring suffragists carried at the 2017 Women’s March, the visual culture of the suffrage movement still makes news today. Allison Lange will speak about the ways that women’s rights activists and their opponents used images to define gender and power throughout the suffrage movement.

This program is a part of ArtWeek.

 

 

close

Seminar, Environmental History Seminar (Rescheduled) Amputated from the Land: Black Refugees from America and the Neglected Voices of Environmental History Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
30 April 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Bryon Williams, Academy at Penguin Hall Comment: John Stauffer, Harvard University

This paper focuses on dictated narratives from the 1840s and ‘50s, accounts delivered by blacks who fled the U.S. to settle in the wilds of Ontario. These first-person accounts of environmental encounter and expertise are unrivaled in depth, breadth, and detail among black ecological writing of any era. New environmental histories need such accounts that not only counter dominant American environmental and political myths, but offer black-lived stories of environmental belonging and agency.

 

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close

Brown Bag Shinbone and Beefsteak: Meat, Science, and the Labor Question this event is free 1 May 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Molly S. Laas, University of Göttingen Medical School

Could better nutrition help shore up U.S. democracy in an era of mass inequality? This talk explores the early years of nutrition science in the late nineteenth century by examining the science’s use as a tool for cultural and political change. By looking at how scientists understood the relationship between wages, the cost of living, and better nutrition, my paper will shed light on the political life of scientific ideas.

close

MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 4 May 2019.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.

close

Public Program Preserving Family Papers 4 May 2019.Saturday, 11:30AM - 1:00PM Registration for this workshop is now full.

Do you have boxes full of family papers and photographs sitting in your closet, basement, or attic? Are you wondering how to best preserve those precious memories for generations to come? Let the experts at the MHS teach you simple steps you can take to preserve your paper-based materials. This workshop concludes with a behind-the-scenes tour including our conservation lab and library stacks.

close

Public Program, Conversation The Problem of Democracy: The Presidents Adams Confront the Cult of Personality registration required 4 May 2019.Saturday, 4:30PM - 6:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 4:00. Nancy Isenberg and Andrew Burstein There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

John and John Quincy Adams were brilliant, prickly politicians and arguably the most independently minded among leaders of the founding generation. Distrustful of blind allegiance to a political party, they brought skepticism of a brand-new system of government to the country’s first 50 years. Join Isenberg and Burstein as they boldly recast the historical role of the Adamses and reflect on how father and son understood the inherent weaknesses in American democracy.

close

Abigail Adams: Nature and Nurture, Pop-up Display and Talk this event is free 6 May 2019.Monday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM The Pop-up Display will be on view from April 29-June 28 May 6 at 2:00 PM: Join an Adams Papers editor for an in-depth look at the display.

“The Earth is putting on a new Suit,” Abigail Adams wrote, savoring the arrival of spring amid the tumult of national politics in 1800. Tending her kitchen garden and nurturing the new republic with equal care, Abigail delighted in learning about the natural landscape and sharing that knowledge with her family and friends.

 

close

Early American History Seminar Panel: After the Fighting: The Struggle for Revolutionary Settlement Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
7 May 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Eliga Gould, University of New Hampshire; Katherine Grandjean, Wellesley College; Stephen Marini, Wellesley College; Brendan McConville, Boston University Moderator: TBD

In the ten years after the American victory at Yorktown in 1781, the nation faced myriad problems and challenges. This panel examines how the revolutionary generation confronted issues of diplomacy, governance and economic growth, and how the legacies of warfare and political convulsion shaped spiritual and social behaviors in those troubled years.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close

Brown Bag Odor and Power in the Americas: Olfactory Racism and the Atlantic World this event is free 8 May 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Andrew Kettler, University of Toronto

This talk shows that capitalism incentivized discourses of African pungency applied by intellectuals throughout the Atlantic World to justify racial dominance. Born of English literature, and agitated during the late Enlightenment, the idea that African bodies smelled perpetuates into modernity as a discourse of embodied racism.

close

Public Program Massachusetts in World War I registration required 9 May 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Theodore Sedgwick There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

On February 24, 1919, Pres. Woodrow Wilson arrived in Boston after completing the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I. He was met by a thunderous crowd; the Boston Evening Globe wrote “it seemed that every noise-making instrument in Boston had been set in motion.” The Yankee Division of the Massachusetts National Guard had been one of the first U.S. units deployed in the war. Bay State residents were some of the most active in the war, both on the front lines and in shipyards outfitting navy ships; however, somehow the Great War is often forgotten. This program will explore the history of Massachusetts in WWI as well as why the forgotten war should be remembered.

close

Teacher Workshop “Shall the Tail Wag the Dog?” The Fight For and Against Women’s Suffrage Please RSVP   registration required 11 May 2019.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration fee: $25 per person

Massachusetts citizens played a central role in the suffrage movement; Worcester hosted the first national woman’s rights convention in 1850 and Bostonians, led by Lucy Stone, headed a national suffrage organization and edited a long-running woman’s rights newspaper. In response to these influential reformers, activists formed the first anti-suffrage organizations in Massachusetts as well. Drawing on MHS collections and our new suffrage exhibition, we will explore letters, newspapers, political cartoons, visual propaganda, and other sources that illuminate the history and motivations of women on both sides of the campaign for the vote.

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 Professional Development Points or 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee).

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

close

Public Program, Conversation Boston Women Designers: Then and Now registration required 14 May 2019.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Mikyoung Kim, Tamara Roy, Regan Shields Ives, Justine Orlando, and moderator Catherine Allgor There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members, Fenway Alliance and Boston Preservation Alliance members, or EBT cardholders).

Join us for a conversation with women working in architecture, design, and planning. They will explore social and political landscapes for women designers in Boston today and when they got started, some challenges they overcame to get to where they are today, how Boston compares with other cities on the topic of gender equity, and if Boston is receptive to women in leadership roles.

close

Brown Bag Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood: Black Children's Cultural and Political Resistance this event is free 15 May 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Crystal Webster, University of Texas at San Antonio

This talk examines the lives of African American children in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston during the late-18th to early-20th centuries by focusing on Black children's labor, play, and schooling. It argues that northern Black children intersected shifting constructions of race and childhood, as a group upon which society experimented with treatments of the newly recognized social category of the child, and came to terms with the social and economic place of the nascent free Black community.

close

Public Program, Conversation Fenway Fans registration required 16 May 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Richard Flavin, Bill Nowlin, and Larry Ruttman There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Red Sox poet laureate Dick Flavin, author Bill Nowlin, and chronicler of Red Sox history Larry Ruttman will gather to share stories and reminisce about some of the highs and lows in the thousands of Red Sox games they have attended. With the joy of winning the World Series fresh in our memory, these stalwart fans and prolific scribes will tell of behind-the-scenes moments not often heard. Perhaps a mystery guest will be there! Bring your own story to tell.

close

MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 18 May 2019.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

close

Public Program, Author Talk American States of Nature: The Origins of Independence, 1761-1775 registration required 22 May 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Mark Somos There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

In the British colonies, the phrase “state of nature,” or the condition of human beings before or without political association, appeared thousands of times in juridical, theological, medical, political, economic, and other texts from 1630 to 1810. But by the 1760s, a distinctively American state-of-nature discourse started to emerge. In laws, resolutions, petitions, sermons, broadsides, pamphlets, letters, and diaries, the American states of nature came to justify independence at least as much as colonial formulations of liberty, property, and individual rights did. The founding generation transformed this flexible concept into a powerful theme that shapes their legacy to this day. No constitutional history of the Revolution can be written without it.

close


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