Massachusetts Historical Society

Massachusetts Historical Society Founded in 1791, the Massachusetts Historical Society is an independent research library and an invaluable resource for American history, life, and culture. www.masshist.org
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"The Papers of John Adams," Volume 18, from the Adams Papers Editorial Project (www.masshist.org/adams_editorial) is now...
04/27/2020
Adams Papers Digital Edition - Massachusetts Historical Society

"The Papers of John Adams," Volume 18, from the Adams Papers Editorial Project (www.masshist.org/adams_editorial) is now available online. As he closed out his diplomatic life in Europe, Adams warred with the British ministry over economic relations, and partnered with Thomas Jefferson to secure a lucrative U.S. treaty with Morocco. Adams kept an eye on domestic affairs like Shays' Rebellion, drafting the first volume of his "Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America," to underline the U.S. commitment to federalism.

Papers of John Adams Volume 18, December 1785 – January 1787 Front Matter Copyright Dedication Sponsorship Committees Descriptive List of Illustrations Introduction Guide to Editorial Apparatus Documents 2 December 1785To Nathaniel BarrettSir Last Night I received your Letter of Nov. 29. inclosing...

Brook Farm, the most famous utopian experimental community established in the United States, was founded in West Roxbury...
04/24/2020
MHS Collections Online: Brook Farm

Brook Farm, the most famous utopian experimental community established in the United States, was founded in West Roxbury in April 1841 by the transcendentalists George and Sophia Ripley. Josiah Wolcott's contemporary view of Brook Farm captures the entrance to the community, along with the various buildings-the Hive, Shop, Eyrie, Cottage, and Pilgrim House-and the foundations for the new building, the phalanstery, which was begun in 1844 and burned to the ground in March 1846, prior to its completion.

Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections Online: Brook Farm

In honor of Earth Day, one MHS staff member wrote a blog post exploring John Quincy Adams’s post-presidential stint as a...
04/22/2020
“Planted by my hand”: John Quincy Adams, Arborist | Beehive

In honor of Earth Day, one MHS staff member wrote a blog post exploring John Quincy Adams’s post-presidential stint as a horticulturalist. When Adams left the White House in March 1829, he believed he would spend the rest of his life in idle retirement in Quincy, Mass. By November, he worried in his diary that “my occupations are engrossed for transitory purposes . . . I am losing day after day without atchieving any thing.” The following summer he sought to remedy this situation by establishing an “orchard” or “plantation.” Read more at www.masshist.org/beehiveblog/2020/04/planted-by-my-hand-john-quincy-adams-arborist/.

“Planted by my hand”: John Quincy Adams, Arborist April 21, 2020 by Neal Millikan, Adams Papers Today, 22 April, is Earth Day, and in honor of this event, we will explore John Quincy Adams’s post-presidential stint as a horticulturalist. When Adams left the White House in March 1829, he believ...

For Patriots' Day, take a look at this draft deposition prepared by Paul Revere. It contains an account of his ride to L...
04/20/2020
MHS Collections Online: Paul Revere's deposition, draft, circa 1775

For Patriots' Day, take a look at this draft deposition prepared by Paul Revere. It contains an account of his ride to Lexington, Mass. on 18-19 April 1775. Revere explains how he received instructions from Dr. Joseph Warren to ride to Lexington to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that English troops were marching west and how he secured a horse in Charlestown, avoided Britsh officers near Charlestown Common, and reached Lexington. He set out for Concord with William Dawes and Samuel Prescott but halfway there was captured by British soldiers. Revere was released and returned to Lexington. See the draft and read a transcription at www.masshist.org/database/97.

Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections Online: Paul Revere's deposition, draft, circa 1775

In this statement written #OTD in 1776, William Burbeck certifies that he was assisted by Henry Howell Williams in leavi...
04/17/2020
MHS Collections Online: Statement of William Burbeck certifying that he received help from Henry Howell Williams in April 1775, written on 17 April 1776

In this statement written #OTD in 1776, William Burbeck certifies that he was assisted by Henry Howell Williams in leaving Boston on 21 April 1775, two days after the Battle of Lexington and Concord. This statement is part of the Noddles Island papers, a collection of documents assembled by Henry Howell Williams when he requested compensation for property losses incurred during the Siege of Boston.

Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections Online: Statement of William Burbeck certifying that he received help from Henry Howell Williams in April 1775, written on 17 April 1776

A MHS short term fellow is currently writing a PhD dissertation on the Continental Army’s evolving approach to petite gu...
04/16/2020
Making & Unmaking a Military Myth: John Adams & the American Riflemen | Beehive

A MHS short term fellow is currently writing a PhD dissertation on the Continental Army’s evolving approach to petite guerre or partisan warfare during the American War for Independence. The Adams Family Papers at the MHS provided important insights into a critical aspect of this evolution--the use of frontier riflemen in support of Washington’s army. Read more about the project at http://www.masshist.org/beehiveblog/2020/04/making-unmaking-a-military-myth-john-adams-the-american-riflemen/.

Making & Unmaking a Military Myth: John Adams & the American Riflemen April 15, 2020 By Thomas A. Rider II, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Military Historical Society of Massachusetts Short Term Fellow at the MHS Tom is currently writing a PhD dissertation on the Continental Army’s evolving ...

In 1891, New England poet Lucy Larcom published a small collection of Easter poems. Here is the beginning of the poem Su...
04/12/2020

In 1891, New England poet Lucy Larcom published a small collection of Easter poems. Here is the beginning of the poem Sunrise:

"The Sunrise over the houses!
The beautiful rose of dawn
Reddening the eastern windows, —
The curtains of Night withdrawn!
More lovely than boughs in blossom
The spires and the roof-trees glow.
It is day; and, in God awaking,
Shall the spirit unfold and grow."

Read "Sunrise" in its entirety as well as “Ring! Happy Bells!” by visiting http://www.masshist.org/beehiveblog/2018/03/across-wide-fields-of-melting-snow-the-winds-of-summer-softly-blow-the-easter-poems-of-lucy-larcom/

In this 10 April [1869] letter to Edward M. Davis, written from New York, Elizabeth Cady Stanton requested that Davis sp...
04/10/2020
MHS Collections Online: Letter from Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Edward M. Davis, 10 April [1869]

In this 10 April [1869] letter to Edward M. Davis, written from New York, Elizabeth Cady Stanton requested that Davis speak at the annual meeting of the American Equal Rights Association (AERA) on "the Biblical view of the great question of Woman's suffrage." Click on the link to learn more and to read the letter.

Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections Online: Letter from Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Edward M. Davis, 10 April [1869]

In a 7 April 1863 letter to his mother from the encampment of the First Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, near ...
04/07/2020
MHS Collections Online: Letter from Stephen Goodhue Emerson to his mother, 7 April 1863

In a 7 April 1863 letter to his mother from the encampment of the First Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, near Falmouth, Virginia, Private Stephen Goodhue Emerson describes daily life in camp, including the difficulties soldiers faced trying to obtain furloughs and the special duties he was assigned while nursing his sore throat back to health. Before sending the letter he added a second page, stating, "I have got to take up my pen and write some more. The President has just been here...He is very homely, but I looked on him with great interest and should like to see more of him."

Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections Online: Letter from Stephen Goodhue Emerson to his mother, 7 April 1863

In looking to see what the MHS collections might hold about the Arnold Arboretum, one staff member found the "Report upo...
04/03/2020
“The number of visitors to the Garden is rapidly increasing”: Charles Sprague Reports to Harvard University on the condition and progress of the Botanic Garden and Arboretum, 1878. | Beehive

In looking to see what the MHS collections might hold about the Arnold Arboretum, one staff member found the "Report upon the condition and progress of the Botanic Garden and Arboretum during the year ending August 31, 1878…" prepared by Charles Sprague Sargent, the first director of the arboretum, which offers a glimpse into the first decade of the arboretum’s operations. The academic year of 1877-1878 had been a busy one for the Botanic Garden and Arboretum. Among many accomplishments, Sargent noted that “the work of re-arranging the hardy plants in the Garden has been continued,” “the old rockery of the Garden has been entirely rebuilt and replanted,” and “the artificial bog has been enlarged, and entirely remodelled and replanted … with satisfactory results.” Along with the industry of its gardeners, the Arboretum also saw an increase in visitors. Click on the link to read more about Charles Sprague Sargent and the Arboretum.

“The number of visitors to the Garden is rapidly increasing”: Charles Sprague Reports to Harvard University on the condition and progress of the Botanic Garden and Arboretum, 1878. April 2, 2020 By Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, Reference Librarian Arnold Arboretum, photo by Anna Clutterbuck-Cook Since ...

True to the 2020 theme of “Breaking Barriers,” National History Day in Massachusetts has transitioned to a virtual conte...
03/31/2020
History Day Has Gone Virtual—and We Need Judges! | Beehive

True to the 2020 theme of “Breaking Barriers,” National History Day in Massachusetts has transitioned to a virtual contest! We are looking for judges. Judging is a great way to learn some amazing history and support our students. And you can do so on your own schedule from the comfort of home. Judging will take place between 17 and 23 April. No experience or technological expertise required. Learn more at www.masshistoryday.com/Judging.html or by e-mailing [email protected].

History Day Has Gone Virtual—and We Need Judges! March 30, 2020 by Elyssa Tardif, Director of Education True to our 2020 theme “Breaking Barriers,” National History Day in Massachusetts has transitioned for the first time ever to a virtual contest! Looking for something to do at home? Learn so...

This is a manuscript copy of a poem by Phillis Wheatley that is dedicated to Lt.-Gov. Andrew Oliver on the death of his ...
03/24/2020
MHS Collections Online: Poem by Phillis Wheatley, "To His Honor the Lieutenant Governor on the death of his Lady," 24 March 1773

This is a manuscript copy of a poem by Phillis Wheatley that is dedicated to Lt.-Gov. Andrew Oliver on the death of his second wife Mary (Sanford) who died on 17 March 1773. The poem is published in Phillis's book, Poems on Various Subjects. Lt.-Gov. Oliver was one of the men who verified Phillis's authorship of the book.

Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections Online: Poem by Phillis Wheatley, "To His Honor the Lieutenant Governor on the death of his Lady," 24 March 1773

In this 18 March 1672 letter to John Leverett, Robert Atkyn of Boston, England shares news of mutual friends in the town...
03/18/2020
MHS Collections Online: Letter from Robert Atkyn to John Leverett, 18 March 1672

In this 18 March 1672 letter to John Leverett, Robert Atkyn of Boston, England shares news of mutual friends in the town and refers to an enclosed register of the baptisms of the children of John's father, Thomas Leverett of Boston, county of Lincoln.

Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections Online: Letter from Robert Atkyn to John Leverett, 18 March 1672

Happy Birthday, Maine! Today (15 March 2020), marks the 200th anniversary of Maine’s statehood.  Maine had been a distri...
03/15/2020

Happy Birthday, Maine! Today (15 March 2020), marks the 200th anniversary of Maine’s statehood. Maine had been a district of Massachusetts since the 1650s, and though secessionist sentiment was strong in the district from shortly after the Revolution, it was not until 1819 that Massachusetts allowed Maine to become its own state. The move was formalized in 1820 as a part of the Missouri compromise. Read a recent blog post at www.masshist.org/beehiveblog/2020/03/happy-birthday-maine.

David Hall's diary entries for 11 and 18 March 1770 each make mention of the Boston Massacre. Writing six days after the...
03/11/2020
MHS Collections Online: David Hall diary 2, 11-25 March 1770

David Hall's diary entries for 11 and 18 March 1770 each make mention of the Boston Massacre. Writing six days after the event, he calls what transpired "striking news" and a "Dark day." Seven days later, the news was "not Just as we heard. yet not less affecting," illustrating how difficult it was to gather, report, and makes sense of the events.

Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections Online: David Hall diary 2, 11-25 March 1770

03/10/2020

Due to the state of emergency in Massachusetts regarding ongoing concerns about COVID-19 (coronavirus), beginning Wednesday, 11 March, the MHS will be CLOSED until further notice.

We have a busy week of programming at the MHS. Here is a look at what is planned:On Monday, 9 March, at 6:00 PM, Edward ...
03/09/2020

We have a busy week of programming at the MHS. Here is a look at what is planned:

On Monday, 9 March, at 6:00 PM, Edward S. Cooke, Jr., Yale University, presents "Inventing Boston: Design, Production, & Consumption, 1680–1720."

On Tuesday, 10 March, at 5:15 PM, David Hsiung, Juniata College, presents "The Metabolism of Military Forces in the War of Independence: Environmental Contexts & Consequences" with comment by James Rice, Tufts University. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Environmental History series and the Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar series.

On Wednesday, 11 March, at 6:00 PM, Abram C. Van Engen, Washington University in St. Louis, presents "City on a Hill: A History of American Exceptionalism."

On Thursday, 12 March, at 5:15 PM, Caroline Weber, Barnard College; Channing Joseph, University of Southern California; and moderator Natalie Dykstra, Hope College, present "Fashioning a Life: How Style Matters in Biography." This is part of the New England Biography Seminar series.

On Saturday, 14 March, at 10:00 AM, a docent will lead "The History & Collections of the MHS," a 90-minute tour.

Please visit www.masshist.org/events for more information and to register.

On 6-7 March 1770, Andrew Oliver, Jr., a judge and scientist who was a Loyalist, writes to his father-in-law, Benjamin L...
03/06/2020
MHS Collections Online: Letter from Andrew Oliver, Jr. to Benjamin Lynde, 6-7 March 1770

On 6-7 March 1770, Andrew Oliver, Jr., a judge and scientist who was a Loyalist, writes to his father-in-law, Benjamin Lynde, Jr., a representative, councilor, and justice of the Superior Court from 1769 to 1771. Although he "was confined to my Chamber with the Gout," Oliver writes of "Skirmish after Skirmish between the Inhabitants & the Soldiery" and describes the violence of 5 March 1770 and its aftermath.

Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections Online: Letter from Andrew Oliver, Jr. to Benjamin Lynde, 6-7 March 1770

03/05/2020
Fire! Voices of the Boston Massacre

Witnesses of the Boston Massacre share their experiences of that fateful night in this video from our exhibition "Fire! Voices of the Boston Massacre." It is on display at the MHS through 30 June.

A short compilation of readings from depositions and testimony of witnesses to the Boston Massacre

These are some of John Adams's legal notes, made while he worked as the defense attorney for the British soldiers accuse...
03/05/2020
MHS Collections Online: Notes on the Boston Massacre trials, by John Adams, 1770, "Captn. Prestons Case"

These are some of John Adams's legal notes, made while he worked as the defense attorney for the British soldiers accused of the murder of Crispus Attucks and four other colonists. This set of notes consists of eight pages and relates to the case against Capt. Thomas Preston (Rex v. Preston), in which Preston was eventually found not guilty.

#DidYouKnow that the jury that heard Captain Preston's case contained five members who became loyalist exiles? And the jury that heard the soldiers' case did not consist of a single Bostonian.

Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections Online: Notes on the Boston Massacre trials, by John Adams, 1770, "Captn. Prestons Case"

John Adams did not keep a diary at the time of the Boston Massacre Trials, and there is no evidence that he faced widesp...
03/05/2020

John Adams did not keep a diary at the time of the Boston Massacre Trials, and there is no evidence that he faced widespread social criticism for his defense of the British soldiers. When he described the events in his Autobiography three decades later, Adams's perspective was colored by the successes and challenges of his public life: "The juries in both Cases, in my Opinion gave correct Verdicts. It appeared to me, that the greatest Service which could be rendered to the People of the Town, was to lay before them, the Law as it stood that that the[y] might be fully apprized of the Dangers of various kinds, which must arise from intemperate heats and irregular commotions. Although the Clamour was very loud, among some Sorts of People, it has been a great Consolation to me through Life,that I acted in this Business with steady impartiality, and conducted it to so happy an Issue."

For a substantial discussion of the Boston Massacre Trials and the legal issues raised, the Editorial Note to Vol. 3 of the Legal Papers of John Adams is essential reading. #AdamsPapers

Today is the 250th anniversary of the Boston Massacre. On the evening of 5 March, 1770, an unruly crowd gathered in Bost...
03/05/2020
MHS Collections Online: The Bloody Massacre perpetrated in King Street, Boston on March 5th 1770 by a party of the 29th Regiment

Today is the 250th anniversary of the Boston Massacre. On the evening of 5 March, 1770, an unruly crowd gathered in Boston outside the Custom House on King Street to taunt with jeers and snowballs the British soldiers standing guard. Reinforcements were called, unordered shots rang out, and when the smoke cleared three locals lay dead and another eight were wounded, two mortally. The Boston Massacre quickly became a rallying point for anti-British sentiment in the province, and the real indignation of the people was further inflamed by colonial propaganda, including this engraving by Paul Revere. It is currently on display at the MHS as part of our exhibition "Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre."

Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections Online: The Bloody Massacre perpetrated in King Street, Boston on March 5th 1770 by a party of the 29th Regiment

In this 3 March 1838 letter to Horace Mann, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody described a young author of Salem, Mass. named Nath...
03/03/2020
MHS Collections Online: Letter from Elizabeth Palmer Peabody to Horace Mann, 3 March 1838

In this 3 March 1838 letter to Horace Mann, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody described a young author of Salem, Mass. named Nathaniel Hawthorne. She praised Hawthorne's "first rate genius," but worried that "authorship does not seem to offer a means of living" for him. Mann and Hawthorne would later marry Peabody's sisters, Mary and Sophia.

Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections Online: Letter from Elizabeth Palmer Peabody to Horace Mann, 3 March 1838

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1154 Boylston St
Boston, MA
02215

General information

Founded in 1791, the Massachusetts Historical Society is an invaluable resource for American history, life, and culture. Its extraordinary collections tell the story of America through millions of rare and unique documents, artifacts, and national treasures, including the personal papers of three presidents—John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Through its research library, online resources, publications, exhibitions, and programs, the MHS makes its holdings accessible to anyone with an interest in the people and events that shaped our country. As the nation’s first historical society, the MHS strives to enhance the understanding of our nation’s past and its connection to the present, demonstrating that history is not just a series of events that happened to individuals long ago but is integral to the fabric of our daily lives.

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Tuesday 10:00 - 19:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 15:30

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(617) 646-0500

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If you are struggling to find your female ancestors, you may be interested in tomorrow's event. The Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, Inc.'s, Merrimack Valley Chapter has a meeting at 10 AM Eastern Time U.S. that is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Kathleen Doherty Kaldis will present "What's in a Name? Strategies for Identifying Maiden Names." Please register for MV Meeting - What's in a Name? Tips for Identifying Maiden Names on Apr 25, 2020 10:00 AM EDT at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6058923002290173196 After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Brought to you by GoToWebinar® Webinars Made Easy®
Spending my stay at home days piecing together a few John Adams documents.
Getting Into Genealogy webinar - Tuesday April 21 at 7 PM. FREE and open to the public! Just how does one get started researching their family tree? This program is meant to answer that question and provide additional information on local resources for that research. This webinar is free and open to everyone; it is not limited to society members only. Register at the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, Inc. page (use the tickets link found on the event).
If you live in Massachusetts and this affects you, take a look at his cause and his potential. If you just would like to see a fellow veteran who expects higher standards for his state as well as his country take a look and donate.
I want to thank everyone who has generously shared their knowledge and collections here. I wrote an article about the 18th century Charlestown MA potter, John Parker for Early American Industries Association magazine Chronicle. John Parker's grandmother and several siblings died from small pox. Grace, his mother, brother in law Dr Zabiel Boylston inoculated his family, with the technique that is said that his uncle learned from an African slave. This story is easily search engine found. Enjoy the article and let me know what you think of it. Keep Safe!
I'd love to return these to their rightful descendants.
I'd love to return these to their rightful decedents
Free genealogy event at The Old Bridgewater Historical Society in 2 weeks!
Mohd jamalun alam zainuddin bin mohamed dan alamat saya desa sri kemunting A.K.A kampung beoh 16090 gunung bachok kota bharu kelantan darul naim