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.
(94)

Operating as usual

#OTDH 1862, the Battle of Shiloh begins. In Lieutenant Horace Newton Fisher's letter to his friend, he describes the dev...
04/06/2021

#OTDH 1862, the Battle of Shiloh begins. In Lieutenant Horace Newton Fisher's letter to his friend, he describes the devastation wrought by this battle as "The Waterloo of this hemisphere."

Lieutenant Fisher, an aide-de-camp on the staff of Brigadier General William Nelson, wrote this letter to John Ward, a family friend living in Louisville, Kentucky, in hopes that Mr. Ward would telegraph Fisher's family in Massachusetts to notify them that he had escaped with "not even scratches." In addition to supplying estimates of the number of casualties for both the Union and Confederate armies, Lieutenant Fisher relates how he narrowly missed having his head shot off by a cannonball.
Read more, here: http://bitly.ws/cvYz

#MHS1791 #CivilWar

The MHS is accepting proposals for the 2021-2022 academic year. Please submit your proposals by 9 April 2021 to research...
04/06/2021

The MHS is accepting proposals for the 2021-2022 academic year. Please submit your proposals by 9 April 2021 to [email protected]. That is this Friday!

The following seminar series are accepting proposals: #AfricanAmericanHistory, #EnvironmentalHistory, Maier Early American History, Malgeri Modern #American Society & Cutlure, Shapiro #DigitalHistory, and the History of #Women, #Gender, & #Sexuality.

The steering committees will consider all proposals for the available session slots, and proposers will be notified by early summer. To learn more, visit: https://masshist.org/research/seminars
#MHS1791 #Seminars #Scholars

It's National Library Week!Though our building remains closed, our library services team are still here to assist you wi...
04/06/2021

It's National Library Week!
Though our building remains closed, our library services team are still here to assist you with research needs! Be sure to check out our Live Chat with a librarian feature, here: http://masshist.org/library/chat

#MHS1791 #NationalLibraryWeek #Books #Research #Library

#OTDH 1764, a key step to the American Revolution: Parliament passed the Sugar Act, seeking to regulate trade and curb s...
04/05/2021

#OTDH 1764, a key step to the American Revolution: Parliament passed the Sugar Act, seeking to regulate trade and curb smuggling. Learn about the Sugar and Molasses Acts: http://masshist.org/database/viewer.php?item_id=212&pid=2, https://www.masshist.org/revolution/sugar.php

Image:
London: printed by the King's printer; Boston: reprinted by Richard Draper, 1764.
Originally printed in England and later reprinted in the Colonies, this pamphlet includes both the Sugar and Molasses Acts of 1764 in their entirety. The Sugar Act, technically an extension of the Molasses Act of 1733, specified a larger number of items to be taxed and added enforcement measures to insure that the tax was not evaded as was its 1733 predecessor. The act was meant to bail England out of economic troubles resulting from war, heavy taxes, and the costs of maintaining a large army abroad.

#MHS1791 #AmericanRevolution #Molasses #PrintingPress

To celebrate a few spring holidays, read a "Beehive" blog post by Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, Reader Services, MHS, from Apri...
04/04/2021

To celebrate a few spring holidays, read a "Beehive" blog post by Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, Reader Services, MHS, from April 2020 about New England poet Lucy Larcom's poems for spring.

https://bit.ly/2OaJKPZ
#MHS1791 #Easter #Passover

Call for papers! Massachusetts Historical Review (MHR): Representation in American History.Since its first volume in 199...
04/02/2021

Call for papers! Massachusetts Historical Review (MHR): Representation in American History.

Since its first volume in 1999, the MHR has published original analytical essays, photo-essays, historical documents, and reviews for a general audience. Beginning in 2021, a new series of the MHR will devote each issue to a theme connected with Massachusetts history, although the essays in the volume need not be limited to Massachusetts or New England topics.

The publication of the third volume of the new series will coincide with the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.

Learn more at http://www.masshist.org/publications/mhr-cfp
Image is the cover MHR vol. 18.

#MHS1791 #MHR #CallForPapers

04/02/2021
Seminar: NE Biography Series: Caroline Healey Dall & Charles Dall

New video available online! View the New England Biography Series
"Marriage of Minds or Boston Divorce? The Lives & Good Works of Caroline Healey Dall and Rev. Charles Henry Appleton Dall on Two Continents" with Neilesh Bose, University of Victoria; Helen R. Deese, Caroline Healey Dall Editor, MHS; and moderator Megan Marshall, Emerson College.

https://youtu.be/1ffXopjrFi4
#MHS1791 #NewEngland #India #Biography University of Victoria Emerson College #History

-- Webinar recorded 25 March 2021 -- Neilesh Bose, University of Victoria; Helen R. Deese, Caroline Healey Dall Editor, Massachusetts Historical Society, wit...

April is #NationalPoetryMonth! Watch this page for poetry throughout the month. Today, enjoy the first page in Henry Wad...
04/01/2021

April is #NationalPoetryMonth! Watch this page for poetry throughout the month.

Today, enjoy the first page in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Paul Revere's Ride"

"Paul Revere's Ride
LISTEN, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,"

View the rest of the poem online here: https://bit.ly/31GCSg5
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Poem from "Tales of a Wayside Inn," Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1863

#MHS1791 #PaulRevere The Paul Revere House #Longfellow Longfellow House - Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site

April is #CelebrateDiversity Month. What does diversity mean to the MHS? The MHS recognizes that the values of diversity...
04/01/2021

April is #CelebrateDiversity Month. What does diversity mean to the MHS? The MHS recognizes that the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion are integral to our mission and to ensuring the well-being of our staff and the communities we serve. We therefore embrace these values in the work we do on a daily basis to collect and communicate materials and resources that foster historical knowledge.

Learn more by reading the MHS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement. http://masshist.org/DEI

Image: Sergeant Henry F. Steward
Hand-colored ambrotype, 1863
From the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment photographs
Photo. 2.162 http://www.masshist.org/database/60

#MHS1791 #Diversity #Equity #Inclusion

03/31/2021

#OTDH in 1776 Abigail Adams wrote her most celebrated letter to her husband John, then attending the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. In this letter, Abigail urges John to "Remember the ladies" and protect women's rights in the new American government. John was in the midst of formulating his ideas about the types of governments to be organized in the former colonies and in April published his essay "Thoughts on Government." In Massachusetts, the British evacuation of Boston on 17 March freed American minds to contemplate their future, government, America's relations with foreign powers, slavery, and the status of women.

http://masshist.org/database/5
#MHS1791 #RememberTheLadies #Abigail #RevolutionaryWar #AdamsPapers #WomensHistoryMonth #ChooseToChallenge Revolution250

The 15th amendment was certified #OTDH 1870, stating that citizens' right to 'vote shall not be denied or abridged...on ...
03/30/2021

The 15th amendment was certified #OTDH 1870, stating that citizens' right to 'vote shall not be denied or abridged...on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.' Explore #voting rights #history: "WHO COUNTS? A Look at Voter Rights through Political Cartoons"

https://masshist.org/features/whocounts

#MHS1791 #WhoCounts #AfricanAmericanHistory #Cartoons #VirtualExhibit

Hannah Elder, Reproductions Coordinator at the MHS, wrote a blog post on "The Beehive" about the seasonable poetry of Lu...
03/30/2021

Hannah Elder, Reproductions Coordinator at the MHS, wrote a blog post on "The Beehive" about the seasonable poetry of Lucy Larcom found in her diaries.

"Spring

Have you felt the south wind blowing?
Have you seen the soft grass growing?
Have you heard the blue-birds sing?
Oh! ‘tis Spring! ‘tis pleasant Spring.

In ravines fresh streams are welling.
On the tree-tops buds are swelling.
Warmly glow the cloudless skies
Blue and deep as seraph’s eyes.

Now the frogs begin their tune
Moaning to the stately moon.
And from dawn till twilight’s fall
Sounds the grouse his mournful call.

Merrily the woods are ringing.
O’er the sky gay plumes are winging.
Brightly smile and sweetly sing;
For ‘tis spring! ‘tis joyous Spring!"

Read more about Hannah's Spring-like finds in her work with the collections and archives: http://www.masshist.org/beehiveblog/2021/03/lucy-larcoms-musings-on-spring/

#MHS1791 #Poems #Poetry #Spring #Collections #Archives

Phillis Wheatley was the first African-American author of a published book of poetry. She was sold into slavery at age 7...
03/29/2021

Phillis Wheatley was the first African-American author of a published book of poetry. She was sold into slavery at age 7 or 8 in West Africa and was transported to America where she was enslaved by the Wheatley family in Boston. The Wheatley's taught her to read and write and encouraged her writing as she showed a talent for poetry. She rose to fame upon publishing her book "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral" in September 1773, and was shortly thereafter emancipated.

This is a manuscript copy of a poem in her book, dedicated to Lieutenant-Governor Andrew Oliver, on the death of his second wife Mary (Sanford) who died on 17 March 1773.
https://www.masshist.org/database/viewer.php?item_id=779&img_step=1&mode=dual#page1

#MHS1791 #WomensHistoryMonth #AfricanAmericanHistory #Boston

Samantha Payne, Harvard University, Andrew W. Mellon Short-Term Fellow at the MHS recently wrote a blog post for "The Be...
03/27/2021

Samantha Payne, Harvard University, Andrew W. Mellon Short-Term Fellow at the MHS recently wrote a blog post for "The Beehive:" "Stories from the Black Atlantic World."

"In the past year, the MHS highlighted collections that shed light on the history of the Black freedom struggle in the United States. The MHS holds an extraordinary range of documents relating to African American history, including the letters of former slaves like Julia Jarrett, the writings of abolitionists like Maria Weston Chapman, and the diaries of Union soldiers like Dwight Emerson Armstrong.

The MHS also holds collections that can help us explore the history of the Black Atlantic."

Read more on the blog: http://www.masshist.org/beehiveblog/2021/03/stories-from-the-black-atlantic-world/
Image: Worker cutting sugar cane at Soledad, Cuba. 1900.

#MHS1791 #AfricanAmericanHistory #History #Blog #Cuba

This week on "The Beehive," blog of the MHS, Rakashi Chand, Senior Library Assistant, celebrates #InternationalWomensDay...
03/26/2021

This week on "The Beehive," blog of the MHS, Rakashi Chand, Senior Library Assistant, celebrates #InternationalWomensDay2021 with a post about Pandita Ramabai.

"Realizing that you need to change the very society in which you live can be an uphill battle that may not be embraced or applauded. This was the life of Pandita Ramabai.

Ramabai spent her life fighting for women’s rights in India. She fought not only for independence, autonomy, and quality of life but also for a girl’s right to education—an idea that shook the foundations of patriarchal society. Ramabai faced opposition from her own countrymen, friends, and relatives. Yet she persisted on a lifelong battle to fight for what she knew was just and necessary."

Read more about Pandita Ramabai: http://www.masshist.org/beehiveblog/2021/03/pandita-ramabai-scholar-educator-feminist/

Image: front face Ramabai F. GUTEKUNST PHOTOTYPE from The High-Caste Hindu Woman
#MHS1791 #Blog #TheBeehive #India #WomensRights

Tonight, join the Museum of the American Revolution for a musical event inspired by Abigail Adams "Remember the Ladies" ...
03/25/2021

Tonight, join the Museum of the American Revolution for a musical event inspired by Abigail Adams "Remember the Ladies" letter to John Adams in March of 1776.

Prior to the musical premiere, hear about Adams’s power of the pen in an interactive discussion with Dr. Dunphy led by the Museum of the American Revolution's Dr. Tyler Putman, Manager of Gallery Interpretation, and featuring Gwen Fries, Production Editor of the Adams Papers Editorial Project at Massachusetts Historical Society.

Learn more about this event and register here: https://bit.ly/3rohqXV
#MOAR #AmRevMuseum Revolution250 #MHS1791 #AbigailAdams #RememberTheLadies #Music #AdamsPapers

The MHS is accepting Seminar proposals for the 2021-2022 academic year. Please submit your proposals by 9 April 2021 to ...
03/25/2021

The MHS is accepting Seminar proposals for the 2021-2022 academic year. Please submit your proposals by 9 April 2021 to [email protected].

We invite proposals (500 words) and CVs from interested researchers. Please indicate when your paper can be available for distribution, as well as your preference (fall or spring) based on when the seminar’s feedback would be helpful to you. Sessions may take place virtually, in person, or in a hybrid format as conditions allow.

The following seminar series are accepting proposals: African American History, Environmental History, Maier Early American History, Malgeri Modern American Society & Cutlure, Shapiro Digital History, and the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality.

The steering committees will consider all proposals for the available session slots, and proposers will be notified by early summer.

For more information visit: https://masshist.org/research/seminars.

To attend a Seminar, register through our Calendar of Events and you will receive the session's discussion paper the day before the seminar by email. https://masshist.org/calendar

Purchasing a $25 seminar subscription gives you advanced access to the seminar papers of all seven seminar series for the current academic year. https://18308a.blackbaudhosting.com/18308a/Seminar-Subscription

#MHS1791 #Seminar #Research #VirtualEvent #Scholar #Academic

The Museum of the American Revolution currently has an exhibit "When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story" which f...
03/24/2021

The Museum of the American Revolution currently has an exhibit "When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story" which features a few objects from the collection of the MHS, one of which is the "Remember the Ladies" letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams in the spring of 1776.
https://www.amrevmuseum.org/exhibits/when-women-lost-the-vote-a-revolutionary-story Read the transcription of the letter here: http://www.masshist.org/publications/adams-papers/#exhibition

The Museum is also featuring a curated collection of thought-provoking books about the American Revolution. Today they are featuring "Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family" by Sara Georgini, Series Editor, Papers of John Adams, MHS. Read an excerpt on their website: https://www.amrevmuseum.org/read-the-revolution/household-gods. (And purchase it online: https://bit.ly/3slKe4q)

If that wasn't enough, listen to Georgini speak with Daniel Ford on the Writer's Bone podcast about "Household Gods." http://www.writersbone.com/

More on this letter next week on it's anniversary date, 31 March!
#MHS1791 #RememberTheLadies #Revolutionary Revolution250 #HouseholdGods #Books #Exhibit #Author #WritersBone #AdamsPapers

While the MHS's doors are closed there are still many opportunities to interact with the collections and staff! If you h...
03/24/2021

While the MHS's doors are closed there are still many opportunities to interact with the collections and staff! If you haven't attended a program, seminar, webinar, or online exhibit, consider this your invitation to visit us virtually. https://masshist.org/

CultureOwl Miami had this to say about visiting cultural centers: "Perhaps the most compelling and obvious reason for you to visit a museum is the beneficial impact on the human experience. Museums have an extremely positive effect on society, in addition to the art & culture benefits. Museums preserve the legacy of humanity, chronicling both the good and the bad, and serve to enrich the lives of countless visitors like you, making the world a more enlightened place for present and future generations."

#MHS1791 #VirtualVisits #Program #Seminar #Webinar #VirtualExhibit #WhyILoveMuseums

A verse for women, published in 16 November 1767 Boston newspaper "The Boston Post-Boy & Advertiser," promotes wearing l...
03/24/2021

A verse for women, published in 16 November 1767 Boston newspaper "The Boston Post-Boy & Advertiser," promotes wearing locally produced linen, avoiding imported ribbons and consuming Labradore (a locally grown tea) rather than imported tea. Within lines that rhyme, it is hinted that young men will find women following these patriotic actions attractive.

"Young ladies in town, and those that live round,
Let a friend at this season advise you :
Since money's so scarce, and times growing worse
Strange things may soon hap and surprize you :
First then, throw aside your high top knots of pride
Wear none but your own country linnen ;
of Oeconomy boast, let your pride be the most
What, if homespun they say is not quite so gay
As brocades, yet be not in a passion,
For when once it is known this is much wore in town,
One and all will cry out, 'tis the fashion !"

https://www.masshist.org/database/380
#MHS1791 #WomensHistoryMonth #TownshendActs #Boston #History

An historic day for Boston! Kim Janey has stepped into the role of Interim Mayor of Boston. Read more about this histori...
03/23/2021
Perspective | Black women have shaped politics in Boston for centuries

An historic day for Boston! Kim Janey has stepped into the role of Interim Mayor of Boston. Read more about this historic moment here: https://bit.ly/3tMC8SW on Boston.com.

Read more about how "Black women have shaped politics in Boston for centuries" in the Washington Post article by MHS Fellow Kabria Baumgartner, University of New Hampshire. https://wapo.st/3riib4C
#MHS1791 #Boston #WomensHistoryMonth #HistoryToday #History

A Black woman mayor will be the latest step in a long tradition.

03/23/2021

What do robotics, chocolate chip cookies, ether and the first phone call have in common? They were all Boston innovations!

Join the MHS tomorrow Wednesday, 24 March at 5:30 for From Revolution to Pandemic: What Makes Boston One of the World's Top Innovation Centers? presented by Robert Krim in conversation with Scott Kirsner. Register for this event here: https://masshist.org/calendar.

Dr. Robert Krim, author of "Boston Made: From Revolution to Robotics-Innovations that Changed the World," presents a fascinating journey through Boston’s innovation history. Looking at the range of Boston-born innovations that, over its 400-year history, have made Boston one of the world’s leading cities in innovation, Dr. Krim answers the question of why the city has remained innovative through its long history. He will describe in colorful detail the struggles the city—and its innovators—faced on their road to innovations which changed the nation or the world and will discuss how this unfettered innovative culture has helped the city reinvent itself after four devastating economic collapses.

To prepare yourself for this program, read this blog post from The Beehive on innovations by Raytheon recorded by Charles Frances Adams.
http://www.masshist.org/beehiveblog/2019/10/from-radaranges-to-handie-talkies-post-war-technology-in-massachusetts/

#MHS1791 #Innovation The Boston Globe #Microwave Raytheon Technologies #ChocolateChipCookies #Boston #History #WalkieTalkies #Blog #AdamsPapers

Address

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.

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 16:00
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

Telephone

(617) 646-0500

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Massachusetts Historical Society posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Videos

Category

Nearby museums


Comments

This image is from my Walk of Fame Project that has been proposed to the Lowell City Council last year 2020. I found a tad more info on the man and his family that is rather impressive. Harry Haskell Lew-(1884-1963), Born in Lowell, Ma Was the first African American to integrate professional basketball in 1902. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- His great-great-grandfather, Barzillai Lew, was a freeman who served in the American Revolution. And was a fifer and served with Captain John Ford at the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775. Barzillai was immortalized in the Duke Ellington song "Barzillai Lou". His great-great-aunt Lucy Lew and her husband Thomas Dalton were civil rights activists. The home of his grandparents, Adrastus and Elizabeth Lew, was a station on the Underground Railroad. His father, William Lew, was a delegate to the 1891 Equal Rights Convention in Boston, Massachusetts. That's an impressive family. To top things off, Barzillai Lew, is buried at the Clay Pit Cemetary, where the New Market Basket is located. This man and his family need to be held up and remembered. Especially during these times. Stuff like this is being ignored and it needs to be celebrated and honored for what they have done. He and his family is what is needed to inspire people of all Races And not ignored or covered in the pavement or hidden by weeds. Sending to you folks to see what can be done. This man and his family are National Heroes within the Black Community and all others. In today's age, it is history like this that needs to be honored and respected. Please pass this along and make it known.
Wondering if it's fake.
SAVING THIS 104-YEAR-OLD CHURCH BUILDING‼
I am trying to locate the old St Patrick's Church in Boston 1865. I read it was on Northhampton St. Was it torn down?
This has been collecting dust at my place for a long time. I got it from my mother. Think she picked it up in an auction many years ago. I believe it belonged to George D. Cabot. Any thoughts?
Brand New-For Ines & Dante (Sacco & Vanzetti)
Anyone recognize anyone, Names were on black on blace This picture is from Dora Alice Johnson 's 1891-1973 photo book, Gloucester, Marshfield Massachusetts area. mother Jónina Dyrleif Einarsdóttir (Anderson) step Dad Frank J. Carlton. about 1920 a Bertha with big bow, 2 little ones Bessie & Rob
Hello! I would like to share memories and have; in a sense; a family pow wow. I would like to host an educational exploration remembering and honoring the honorable harvest and White Buffalo. I am planning to meet this Sunday all day; starting as early as we can. Youth oriented; family involved educational exploration events.
I hope it's okay to share this quote on the MHS page; if not, let me know. [While traveling through the South in 1814, Massachusetts native and future congressional representative Edward] Everett observed, "There are no towns in Virginia, few cities, and those not large, . . . and the mass of the population must dwell upon their lands in the country." . . . Compared with New England's carefully tended landscape of prosperous towns and well-made roads and bridges, where even livestock were well housed and fed, life in Virginia struck Ticknor [traveling companion] and Everett as squalid. In addition, when Ticknor and Everett contemplated the problem of slavery, they feared that Virginia would one day experience an uprising like the recent Haitian Revolution. * * * As Everett rode from Washington to Mount Vernon hoping to see the home of the late president, he puzzled over "the absence of all small tenements in which the yeomanry might dwell. You everywhere perceive nothing but handsome seats, and the cabins of slaves." Everett knew that Virginia must have a considerable population of free whites who worked their own land, but their invisibility suggested that "this class of yeomanry instead of being as with us [in Massachusetts], the strength and pride of the state, are probably a depressed, despised, and consequently embittered class; the genuine materials for demagogues to work upon." If Thomas Jefferson feared the "mobs of great cities" as a threat to republican government, Everett and Ticknor found the materials for demagogues among the very people that Jefferson considered the "chosen people of God," the vaunted yeomanry of Virginia. From Mark Peterson, The City-State of Boston: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630-1865 (pub. 2019) Co
Brand New-For Ines & Dante (Sacco & Vanzetti)
Hello from Rotherham Yorkshire England. This photograph maybe of interest. This little building called ‘Boston Castle’ sits on a hilltop overlooking our town of Rotherham England. It was built in 1775 to celebrate the Boston Tea Party! This English support for the American Colonists is often overlooked. I’ve spent Corvid lockdown writing a little book for our local Civic Society. Both the Society and myself would be glad to freely email you an electronic copy to you Historical Society to help with any research you may be doing. Also we can freely offer further information and photographs of more relevant buildings if of interest. My email address [email protected].