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February 2018

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          • Public Program, Author TalkThunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments that Redeemed A...
            Public Program, Author TalkThunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments that Redeemed America
            6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Douglas Egerton, Le Moyne College $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). More
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                • Environmental History SeminarGovernor Francis W. Sargent: Fisheries Manager
                  Environmental History SeminarGovernor Francis W. Sargent: Fisheries Manager
                  5:15PM - 7:30PM Benjamin Kochan, Boston University Comment: Brian Payne, Bridgewater State University More
                  • Public Program, Author TalkBrahmin Capitalism: Frontiers of American Wealth & Populism in Amer...
                    Public Program, Author TalkBrahmin Capitalism: Frontiers of American Wealth & Populism in America’s First Gilded Age
                    6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Noam Maggor, Queen Mary University of London $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). More
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                      • Public Program, Author TalkGrowing Up with the Country
                        Public Program, Author TalkGrowing Up with the Country
                        6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Kendra Field, Tufts University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). registration required More
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                          • Public Program, Author TalkSupreme Injustice: Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court
                            Public Program, Author TalkSupreme Injustice: Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court
                            6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Paul Finkelman, Gratz College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). registration required More
                          • Modern American Society and Culture SeminarPanel Discussion: Capitalism and Culture
                            Modern American Society and Culture SeminarPanel Discussion: Capitalism and Culture
                            5:15PM - 7:30PM Jonathan Cohen, University of Virginia, and Davor Mondom, Syracuse University Comment: Sven Beckert, Harvard University Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                            Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
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                            Exhibition Yankees in the West 6 October 2017 to 6 April 2018 Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Yankees in the West

                            For generations Americans have been fascinated with the American west. Depictions of the western landscape flooded New England in the mid19th century, spurring a stream of western tourism. Yankees in the West draws from the Society's collections of letters, diaries, photographs, drawings, and artifacts to explore the ways New Englanders experienced the trans-Mississippi west in the late19th and early 20th centuries.

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                            MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 3 February 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: Yankees in the West.

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                            Early American History Seminar “We all agree to exclude...those of unsound mind”: Disability, Doctors, and the Law in the Early Republic 6 February 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Laurel Daen, MHS-NEH Fellow Comment: Cornelia Dayton, University of Connecticut

                            Between 1790 and 1840, Americans deemed to be cognitively disabled lost the right to vote, marry, immigrate, obtain residency, and live independently. This paper charts these legal developments in Massachusetts as well as how disabled people used the courts to negotiate these constraints. Despite some successes, contesting incapacity became increasingly difficult towards the mid-nineteenth century when physicians became regular and trusted expert witnesses in court.

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

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                            Brown Bag John Winthrop, Benjamin Martin, & Worlds of Scientific Work 7 February 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Pierce Williams, Carnegie Mellon University

                            Benjamin Martin was regarded by natural philosophers of his age as a showman and peddler of pseudo-scientific trinkets. At the same time, John Winthrop was working to elevate the North American colonies in the topography of learned culture. This project attempts to understand Winthrop's puzzling choice of Martin to refurbish Harvard's scientific instrument collection after the college laboratory burned to the ground in 1764.

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                            Public Program, Author Talk Reconsidering King Philip’s War 7 February 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Lisa Brooks, Amherst College, and Christine DeLucia, Mount Holyoke College THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT

                            THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT.

                            Two historians reexamine the narrative of one of colonial America’s most devastating conflicts. Lisa Brooks recovers a complex picture of war, captivity, and Native resistance during the “First Indian War” by relaying the stories of Weetamoo, a female Wampanoag leader, and James Printer, a Nipmuc scholar, whose stories converge in the captivity of Mary Rowlandson. Christine DeLucia offers a major reconsideration of the war, providing an alternative to Pilgrim-centric narratives that have dominated the histories of colonial New England, grounding her study in five specific places that were directly affected by the crisis, spanning the Northeast as well as the Atlantic world. These two works offer new perspectives. The program will include short presentations by both scholars followed by a conversation.

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                            Public Program, Author Talk Thunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments that Redeemed America 8 February 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Douglas Egerton, Le Moyne College $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

                            One of the most treasured objects belonging to the Society’s collection is the battle sword of Robert Gould Shaw, the leader of the courageous 54th Massachusetts infantry, the first black regiment in the North. The prominent Shaw family of Boston and New York had long been involved in reform, including antislavery and feminism, and their son, Robert, took up the mantle of his family’s progressive stances, though perhaps more reluctantly. In this lecture, historian Douglas R. Egerton focuses on the entire Shaw family during the war years and how following generationshave dealt with their legacy.

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                            MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 10 February 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: Yankees in the West.

                            close
                            Environmental History Seminar Governor Francis W. Sargent: Fisheries Manager 13 February 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Benjamin Kochan, Boston University Comment: Brian Payne, Bridgewater State University

                            Francis Sargent was a Cape Cod fisherman. Fishing brought him into the government as Director of Fisheries, then head of Public Works, and, eventually, governor of Massachusetts. In his positions, Sargent bridged the gap between working-class fishers and government. This paper examines Sargent’s ability to speak directly to fishermen, arguing that his post-1974 disengagement from public life robbed fishermen of an ally who might have soothed tensions created by late-1970s federal regulations.

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

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                            Public Program, Author Talk Brahmin Capitalism: Frontiers of American Wealth & Populism in America’s First Gilded Age 15 February 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Noam Maggor, Queen Mary University of London $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

                            Brahmin Capitalism explores how the moneyed elite of Boston mobilized to reinvent the American economy in the aftermath of the Civil War. With the decline of cotton-based textile manufacturing and the abolition of slavery, Maggor shows these gentleman bankers traveled far and wide in search of new business opportunities and found them in the mines, railroads, and industries of the Great West. They leveraged their wealth to forge transcontinental networks of commodities, labor, and transportation leading the way to the nationally integrated corporate capitalism of the 20th century.

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                            MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 17 February 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: Yankees in the West.

                            close
                            Building Closed Presidents Day 19 February 2018.Monday, all day

                            The MHS is CLOSED in observance of Presidents Day. 

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                            Public Program, Author Talk Growing Up with the Country registration required 20 February 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Kendra Field, Tufts University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

                            Following the lead of her own ancestors, Kendra Field’s epic family history chronicles the westward migration of freedom’s first generation in the 50 years after emancipation. She traces their journey out of the South to Indian Territory, where they participated in the development of black towns and settlements. When statehood, oil speculation, and segregation imperiled their lives, some launched a back-to-Africa movement while others moved to Canada and Mexico. Interweaving black, white, and Indian histories, Field’s narrative explores how ideas about race and color powerfully shaped the pursuit of freedom.

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                            Teacher Workshop Yankees in the West Please RSVP   registration required 21 February 2018.Wednesday, all day Registration fee: $25 per person

                            Explore the American West through the eyes of 19th-century New Englanders. Participants will read the diaries and letters of Gold Rush hopefuls, intrepid train travelers, and tourists in search of “authentic” Native Americans. Using the Society’s current exhibition as our guide, we will investigate how writers, artists, and photographers sensationalized the frontier experience for eastern audiences and conceptualized the West for Americans who increasingly embraced the nation’s manifest destiny.

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

                            Image: Front and back cover of a fold-out map of Yellowstone National Park, produced by the Northern Pacific Railroad, 1893. MHS Collections. 

                             

                            Highlights:

                            • View and analyze documents and artifacts from the Society's collections.
                            • Follow New Englanders to the Gold Rush through their letters and diaires. 
                            • Investigate the lives of women in the trans-Mississippi West. 
                            • Explore portrayals of Native Americans captured by New England writers, painters, and photographers. 
                            • Learn more about the Adams family's connection to the West. 


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                            Brown Bag Billets & Barracks: The Quartering Act & the Coming of the American Revolution this event is free 21 February 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM John McCurdy, Eastern Michigan University

                            The arrival of British soldiers in the 1750s forced Americans to ask “where do soldiers belong?” This project investigates how they answered this question, arguing that it prompted them to rethink the meaning of places like the home and the city, as well as to reevaluate British military power.

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                            Public Program For the Union Dead: Bostonians Travel East in Search of Answers in the Post-Civil War Era registration required at no cost 22 February 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Mark Rennella

                            After the Civil War, artists and writers from Boston faced a question that haunted America: what’s next? For cultural leaders like Charles Eliot Norton and Isabella Stewart Gardner, Reconstruction left them feeling directionless and betrayed. Shunning the Whig narrative of history, these “Boston Cosmopolitans” researched Europe’s long past to discover and share examples of civil society shaped by high ideals.

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                            Teacher Workshop Slavery & the U.S. Supreme Court Please RSVP   registration required 24 February 2018.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration fee: $25 per person

                            How did the personal and political philosophies of Justices John Marshall, Roger B. Taney, and Joseph Story influence their proslavery positions? Paul Finkelman, President of Gratz College, will discuss why these three influential justices upheld the institution of slavery and continued to deny black Americans their freedom. Participants will connect these federal rulings to local court cases, as well as antislavery and abolitionist efforts to undermine these unpopular decrees.

                            This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 PDPs or one graduate credit (for an 

                            Highlights:

                            • Meet Professor Paul Finkelman and discuss his new book, Supreme Injustice: Slavery in the Nation's Highest Court. (Hardvard University Press, 2018)
                            • Investigate the history of slavery and antislavery in Massachusetts. 
                            • View and analyze documents and artifacts from the Society's collections


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                            Public Program, Author Talk Supreme Injustice: Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court registration required 26 February 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Paul Finkelman, Gratz College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

                            The three most important Supreme Court Justices before the Civil War Chief Justices John Marshall and Roger B. Taney and Associate Justice Joseph Story upheld the institution of slavery in ruling after ruling. These opinions cast a shadow over the Court and the legacies of these men, but historians have rarely delved deeply into the personal and political ideas and motivations they held. In Supreme Injustice Paul Finkelman establishes an authoritative account of each justice’s proslavery position, the reasoning behind his opposition to black freedom, and the incentives created by his private life.

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                            Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Panel Discussion: Capitalism and Culture Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                            Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                            27 February 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Jonathan Cohen, University of Virginia, and Davor Mondom, Syracuse University Comment: Sven Beckert, Harvard University

                            This panel examines the reaction against welfare state capitalism in the mid-20th century U.S., looking at two companies that promoted themselves as bastions of free enterprise or as a solution to high state taxes. Mondom’s paper is “Capitalism with a Human Face: Amway, Direct Sales, and the Redemption of Free Enterprise.” Cohen’s essay is titled “Rivers of Gold: Scientific Games and the Spread of State Lotteries, 1980-1984.”

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

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                              Key to event colors:
                            • MHS Tours
                            • Seminars
                            • Public Programs
                            • Brown Bags
                            • Special Events