The MHS offers many engaging programs and special events.

March

Public Program Tea Sets and Tyranny: The Politics of Politeness in Early America 29 March 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Steven C. Bullock, Worcester Polytechnic University Even as eighteenth-century thinkers from John Locke to Thomas Jefferson struggled to find effective ...

Even as eighteenth-century thinkers from John Locke to Thomas Jefferson struggled to find effective means to restrain power, contemporary discussions of society gave increasing attention to ideals of refinement, moderation, and polished self-presentation. These two sets of ideas have long seemed separate, one dignified as political theory, the other primarily concerned with manners and material culture. Tea Sets and Tyranny challenges that division. In its original context, Steven C. Bullock suggests, politeness also raised important issues of power, leadership, and human relationships. This politics of politeness helped make opposition to overbearing power central to early American thought and practice.

 

Politics of Taste

Three authors will explore how the development of manners and taste in colonial America and the early republic were not just a statement of aesthetics but were also ways to define political identity and create shared affinities. This journey through the study of material culture with show how the politics of politeness helped define American thought. 

Other programs in the series 

More
April
Public Program Creating Acadia National Park: The Biography of George Bucknam Dorr 10 April 2017.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Ronald Epp Although he is known as the “Father of Acadia,” George Bucknam Dorr’s seminal ...

Although he is known as the “Father of Acadia,” George Bucknam Dorr’s seminal contributions to the American environmental movement have gone largely unacknowledged. This biography is the story of Dorr’s pioneering role. Raised in Boston, Dorr adopted Maine’s Mount Desert Island as his home and the setting to apply the practical lessons of “Boston Brahmin” philanthropy. Through his finest work—the creation and management of Acadia National Park—and through his collaborations with park co-founders Charles W. Eliot, John D. Rockefeller Jr., and others—Dorr transformed an elitist social inheritance into an all-consuming commitment to conservation.

More
Public Program The Rise and Fall of the American Party 12 April 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Peter Drummey, Stephen T. Riley Librarian, Massachusetts Historical Society The Irish Atlantic Series Secretive nativist societies began to form in ...

The Irish Atlantic Series

Secretive nativist societies began to form in the 1840s in response to large-scale immigration of Irish and German Catholics. By the 1850s, these organizations coalesced into the American Party—commonly referred to as the “Know Nothings” because members would not reveal any information about their movement. The American Party advocated for severe restrictions on immigration and citizenship and in 1854 swept the Massachusetts election, winning all state offices and all but four seats in the legislature. In seven years the state had gone from launching an Irish relief mission with the sailing of the Jamestown to strident nativist sentiment. Peter Drummey will look at the meteoric rise of the American Party as well as its rapid decline with the approach of the Civil War.

More
Public Program Make Your Own Comic: The Jamestown Relief Mission to Ireland & the Life of John Boyle O’Reilly 18 April 2017.Tuesday, 2:00PM - 3:30PM Please RSVP   Come to MHS during the school vacation week for a hands-on history program. Historians will tell ...

Come to MHS during the school vacation week for a hands-on history program. Historians will tell participants two stories related to Irish immigration. The first will explore the famine relief mission from Boston to Ireland led by Robert Bennet Forbes aboard the Jamestown. The second will explore the life of John Boyle O’Reilly, a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, or Fenians. For his part in the Fenian conspiracy, he was convicted and sent to Australia. He escaped from prison, made his way to America, and settled in Boston, finding work with the Catholic newspaper the Pilot, eventually becoming a celebrated writer and poet, as well as the paper’s editor and co-owner. After the talk, local comic book artists will help the young historians make their own historical comic depicting stories of Irish immigration.

More
Public Program John Quincy Adams and the Politics of Slavery: Selections from the Diary 26 April 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. David Waldstreicher and Matthew Mason In the final years of his political career, President John Quincy Adams was known for his objections ...

In the final years of his political career, President John Quincy Adams was known for his objections to slavery. As a young statesman, however, he supported slavery. What changed? Entries from Adams's personal diary reveal a highly dynamic and accomplished politician in engagement with one of his generation's most challenging national dilemmas. David Waldstreicher and Matthew Mason offer an unusual perspective on the dramatic and shifting politics of slavery in the early republic. By juxtaposing Adams's personal reflections on slavery with what he said-and did not say-publicly on the issue, the editors offer a nuanced portrait of how he interacted with prevailing ideologies during his consequential career and life.

More
Public Program Cooking Boston: Eating Other People's Food 27 April 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Alex Prud'homme, Laura Shapiro, Ana Sortun, Stephen Chen and Moderator Megan Sniffin-Marinoff Program 2: Eating Other People's FoodIn the second half of the 20th century, ...

Program 2: Eating Other People's Food
In the second half of the 20th century, Americans were re-introduced to the food of the world. Most famously, Julia Child in Cambridge and James Beard in New York brought fine cooking into American living rooms. They were not alone in pushing the culinary envelope. In Cambridge, Design Research was making cookware fashionable and Joyce Chen was convincing Americans they could cook Mandarin cuisine. The expansion of the American palate that began with television chefs continued with restaurants across greater Boston and helped reshape the idea of dinner.


Cooking Boston: How the Hub Shaped the American Diet 

This six program series will explore the culinary history of Boston and the impact the city has had on the American diet. In the first half of the 19th century, Boston had a reputation as the center for European taste and refinement. By the end of the 19th century, the Colonial Revival movement nationally popularized foods like Boston baked beans and Yankee pot-roast shifting Boston’s image from refined to rustic. In the 20th century, Boston clung to two identities: that of thrifty Puritans and of cosmopolitanism through education. This created some remarkably bland food but also made the city fertile ground for a culinary revolution. In the 1960s, chefs like Julia Child and Joyce Chen brought the flavors of the world to America through Boston.

The series will run from March through June of 2017. See the other programs in the series

More
May
Public Program Cooking Boston: Where to Go 3 May 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. James O'Connell, Corky White, Erwin Ramos and Moderator Peter Drummey Cooking Boston: Where to Go This series of programs explores the culinary history of Boston and the ...

Cooking Boston: Where to Go

This series of programs explores the culinary history of Boston and the impact the city has had on the American diet. In the first half of the 19th century, Boston had a reputation as the center for European taste and refinement. By the end of the 19th century, the Colonial Revival movement nationally popularized foods like Boston baked beans and Yankee pot-roast shifting Boston’s image from refined to rustic. In the 20th century, Boston clung to two identities: that of thrifty Puritans and of cosmopolitanism through education. This created some remarkably bland food but also made the city fertile ground for a culinary revolution. In the 1960s, chefs like Julia Child and Joyce Chen brought the flavors of the world to America through Boston.

 

Cooking Boston: How the Hub Shaped the American Diet 

This six program series will explore the culinary history of Boston and the impact the city has had on the American diet. In the first half of the 19th century, Boston had a reputation as the center for European taste and refinement. By the end of the 19th century, the Colonial Revival movement nationally popularized foods like Boston baked beans and Yankee pot-roast shifting Boston’s image from refined to rustic. In the 20th century, Boston clung to two identities: that of thrifty Puritans and of cosmopolitanism through education. This created some remarkably bland food but also made the city fertile ground for a culinary revolution. In the 1960s, chefs like Julia Child and Joyce Chen brought the flavors of the world to America through Boston.

The series will run from March through June of 2017. See the other programs in the series

More
Public Program Cooking Boston: Sweet Boston 18 May 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Joyce Chaplin, Michael Krondl and Carla Martin Cooking Boston: How the Hub Shaped the American Diet  This series of programs explores the ...

Cooking Boston: How the Hub Shaped the American Diet 

This series of programs explores the culinary history of Boston and the impact the city has had on the American diet. In the first half of the 19th century, Boston had a reputation as the center for European taste and refinement. By the end of the 19th century, the Colonial Revival movement nationally popularized foods like Boston baked beans and Yankee pot-roast shifting Boston’s image from refined to rustic. In the 20th century, Boston clung to two identities: that of thrifty Puritans and of cosmopolitanism through education. This created some remarkably bland food but also made the city fertile ground for a culinary revolution. In the 1960s, chefs like Julia Child and Joyce Chen brought the flavors of the world to America through Boston.

 

Cooking Boston: How the Hub Shaped the American Diet 

This six program series will explore the culinary history of Boston and the impact the city has had on the American diet. In the first half of the 19th century, Boston had a reputation as the center for European taste and refinement. By the end of the 19th century, the Colonial Revival movement nationally popularized foods like Boston baked beans and Yankee pot-roast shifting Boston’s image from refined to rustic. In the 20th century, Boston clung to two identities: that of thrifty Puritans and of cosmopolitanism through education. This created some remarkably bland food but also made the city fertile ground for a culinary revolution. In the 1960s, chefs like Julia Child and Joyce Chen brought the flavors of the world to America through Boston.

The series will run from March through June of 2017. See the other programs in the series


More
More events
Public Program Tea Sets and Tyranny: The Politics of Politeness in Early America Please RSVP   registration required 29 March 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Steven C. Bullock, Worcester Polytechnic University

Even as eighteenth-century thinkers from John Locke to Thomas Jefferson struggled to find effective means to restrain power, contemporary discussions of society gave increasing attention to ideals of refinement, moderation, and polished self-presentation. These two sets of ideas have long seemed separate, one dignified as political theory, the other primarily concerned with manners and material culture. Tea Sets and Tyranny challenges that division. In its original context, Steven C. Bullock suggests, politeness also raised important issues of power, leadership, and human relationships. This politics of politeness helped make opposition to overbearing power central to early American thought and practice.

 

Politics of Taste

Three authors will explore how the development of manners and taste in colonial America and the early republic were not just a statement of aesthetics but were also ways to define political identity and create shared affinities. This journey through the study of material culture with show how the politics of politeness helped define American thought. 

Other programs in the series 

close
Public Program Creating Acadia National Park: The Biography of George Bucknam Dorr registration required 10 April 2017.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Ronald Epp

Although he is known as the “Father of Acadia,” George Bucknam Dorr’s seminal contributions to the American environmental movement have gone largely unacknowledged. This biography is the story of Dorr’s pioneering role. Raised in Boston, Dorr adopted Maine’s Mount Desert Island as his home and the setting to apply the practical lessons of “Boston Brahmin” philanthropy. Through his finest work—the creation and management of Acadia National Park—and through his collaborations with park co-founders Charles W. Eliot, John D. Rockefeller Jr., and others—Dorr transformed an elitist social inheritance into an all-consuming commitment to conservation.

close
Public Program The Rise and Fall of the American Party Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 12 April 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Peter Drummey, Stephen T. Riley Librarian, Massachusetts Historical Society

The Irish Atlantic Series

Secretive nativist societies began to form in the 1840s in response to large-scale immigration of Irish and German Catholics. By the 1850s, these organizations coalesced into the American Party—commonly referred to as the “Know Nothings” because members would not reveal any information about their movement. The American Party advocated for severe restrictions on immigration and citizenship and in 1854 swept the Massachusetts election, winning all state offices and all but four seats in the legislature. In seven years the state had gone from launching an Irish relief mission with the sailing of the Jamestown to strident nativist sentiment. Peter Drummey will look at the meteoric rise of the American Party as well as its rapid decline with the approach of the Civil War.

close
Public Program Make Your Own Comic: The Jamestown Relief Mission to Ireland & the Life of John Boyle O’Reilly Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 18 April 2017.Tuesday, 2:00PM - 3:30PM

Come to MHS during the school vacation week for a hands-on history program. Historians will tell participants two stories related to Irish immigration. The first will explore the famine relief mission from Boston to Ireland led by Robert Bennet Forbes aboard the Jamestown. The second will explore the life of John Boyle O’Reilly, a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, or Fenians. For his part in the Fenian conspiracy, he was convicted and sent to Australia. He escaped from prison, made his way to America, and settled in Boston, finding work with the Catholic newspaper the Pilot, eventually becoming a celebrated writer and poet, as well as the paper’s editor and co-owner. After the talk, local comic book artists will help the young historians make their own historical comic depicting stories of Irish immigration.

close
Public Program John Quincy Adams and the Politics of Slavery: Selections from the Diary Please RSVP   registration required 26 April 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. David Waldstreicher and Matthew Mason

In the final years of his political career, President John Quincy Adams was known for his objections to slavery. As a young statesman, however, he supported slavery. What changed? Entries from Adams's personal diary reveal a highly dynamic and accomplished politician in engagement with one of his generation's most challenging national dilemmas. David Waldstreicher and Matthew Mason offer an unusual perspective on the dramatic and shifting politics of slavery in the early republic. By juxtaposing Adams's personal reflections on slavery with what he said-and did not say-publicly on the issue, the editors offer a nuanced portrait of how he interacted with prevailing ideologies during his consequential career and life.

close
Public Program Cooking Boston: Eating Other People's Food Please RSVP   registration required 27 April 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Alex Prud'homme, Laura Shapiro, Ana Sortun, Stephen Chen and Moderator Megan Sniffin-Marinoff

Program 2: Eating Other People's Food
In the second half of the 20th century, Americans were re-introduced to the food of the world. Most famously, Julia Child in Cambridge and James Beard in New York brought fine cooking into American living rooms. They were not alone in pushing the culinary envelope. In Cambridge, Design Research was making cookware fashionable and Joyce Chen was convincing Americans they could cook Mandarin cuisine. The expansion of the American palate that began with television chefs continued with restaurants across greater Boston and helped reshape the idea of dinner.


Cooking Boston: How the Hub Shaped the American Diet 

This six program series will explore the culinary history of Boston and the impact the city has had on the American diet. In the first half of the 19th century, Boston had a reputation as the center for European taste and refinement. By the end of the 19th century, the Colonial Revival movement nationally popularized foods like Boston baked beans and Yankee pot-roast shifting Boston’s image from refined to rustic. In the 20th century, Boston clung to two identities: that of thrifty Puritans and of cosmopolitanism through education. This created some remarkably bland food but also made the city fertile ground for a culinary revolution. In the 1960s, chefs like Julia Child and Joyce Chen brought the flavors of the world to America through Boston.

The series will run from March through June of 2017. See the other programs in the series

close
Public Program Cooking Boston: Where to Go registration required 3 May 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. James O'Connell, Corky White, Erwin Ramos and Moderator Peter Drummey

Cooking Boston: Where to Go

This series of programs explores the culinary history of Boston and the impact the city has had on the American diet. In the first half of the 19th century, Boston had a reputation as the center for European taste and refinement. By the end of the 19th century, the Colonial Revival movement nationally popularized foods like Boston baked beans and Yankee pot-roast shifting Boston’s image from refined to rustic. In the 20th century, Boston clung to two identities: that of thrifty Puritans and of cosmopolitanism through education. This created some remarkably bland food but also made the city fertile ground for a culinary revolution. In the 1960s, chefs like Julia Child and Joyce Chen brought the flavors of the world to America through Boston.

 

Cooking Boston: How the Hub Shaped the American Diet 

This six program series will explore the culinary history of Boston and the impact the city has had on the American diet. In the first half of the 19th century, Boston had a reputation as the center for European taste and refinement. By the end of the 19th century, the Colonial Revival movement nationally popularized foods like Boston baked beans and Yankee pot-roast shifting Boston’s image from refined to rustic. In the 20th century, Boston clung to two identities: that of thrifty Puritans and of cosmopolitanism through education. This created some remarkably bland food but also made the city fertile ground for a culinary revolution. In the 1960s, chefs like Julia Child and Joyce Chen brought the flavors of the world to America through Boston.

The series will run from March through June of 2017. See the other programs in the series

close
Public Program Cooking Boston: Sweet Boston registration required 18 May 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Joyce Chaplin, Michael Krondl and Carla Martin

Cooking Boston: How the Hub Shaped the American Diet 

This series of programs explores the culinary history of Boston and the impact the city has had on the American diet. In the first half of the 19th century, Boston had a reputation as the center for European taste and refinement. By the end of the 19th century, the Colonial Revival movement nationally popularized foods like Boston baked beans and Yankee pot-roast shifting Boston’s image from refined to rustic. In the 20th century, Boston clung to two identities: that of thrifty Puritans and of cosmopolitanism through education. This created some remarkably bland food but also made the city fertile ground for a culinary revolution. In the 1960s, chefs like Julia Child and Joyce Chen brought the flavors of the world to America through Boston.

 

Cooking Boston: How the Hub Shaped the American Diet 

This six program series will explore the culinary history of Boston and the impact the city has had on the American diet. In the first half of the 19th century, Boston had a reputation as the center for European taste and refinement. By the end of the 19th century, the Colonial Revival movement nationally popularized foods like Boston baked beans and Yankee pot-roast shifting Boston’s image from refined to rustic. In the 20th century, Boston clung to two identities: that of thrifty Puritans and of cosmopolitanism through education. This created some remarkably bland food but also made the city fertile ground for a culinary revolution. In the 1960s, chefs like Julia Child and Joyce Chen brought the flavors of the world to America through Boston.

The series will run from March through June of 2017. See the other programs in the series


close

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  • MHS Tours
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  • Public Programs
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  • Special Events