The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @MHS

Here is a look at what is going on this week at the MHS:

- Tuesday, 6 November, 5:15 PM: “A Rotten-Hearted Fellow”: The Rise of Alexander McDougall with Christopher Minty, the Adams Papers, MHS, and comment by Brendan McConville, Boston University. Historians have often grouped the DeLanceys of New York as self-interested opportunists who were destined to become loyalists. By focusing on the rise of Alexander McDougall, this paper offers a new interpretation, demonstrating how the DeLanceys and McDougall mobilized groups with competing visions of New York’s political economy. These prewar factions stayed in opposition until the Revolutionary War, thus shedding new light on the coming of the American Revolution. This is part of the Boston Area Seminar on Early American History series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

- Wednesday, 7 November, 12:00 PM: John Perkins Cushing & Boston's Early China Trade with Gwenn Miller, College of the Holy Cross. In July of 1803, John Perkins Cushing, an orphaned relation of some of the most prominent families in Boston, set sail for the Canton at the age of sixteen. The emerging literature on the Early American China trade often mentions Cushing as an aside, sometimes refers in passing to his importance among the foreign residents of Canton. This project explores how he came to be in that position of importance and casts Boston’s opium exchange at the center of the trade.

- Wednesday, 7 November, 6:00 PM: Founding Martyr: The Life & Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero with Christian Di Spigna.   Had he not been martyred at Bunker Hill in 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren, an architect of the colonial rebellion, might have led the country as Washington or Jefferson did. Warren was involved in almost every major insurrectionary act in the Boston, from the Stamp Act protests to the Boston Massacre to the Boston Tea Party, but his legacy has remained largely obscured. Di Spigna’s biography of Warren is the product of two decades of research and scores of newly unearthed documents that have given us this forgotten Founding Father anew. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30 PM; the speaking program begins at 6:00 PM. There will be a special rum tasting courtesy of Privateer Rum at the reception.There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Please note that this program is SOLD OUT.

- Friday, 9 November, 12:00 PM: Persistent Futures of Americas Past: The Genres of Geography & Race in Early America with Timothy Fosbury, University of California--Los Angeles. This talk analyzes the speculative literary origins of America as a desired community and geography of economic, political, and religious belonging in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by considering how place making was a form of nascent race making in the early Americas. Moving between New England, Bermuda, and the Caribbean, this talk considers how settler imaginings of their desired futures in the Americas produced the preconditions for what we would now call race.

- Saturday, 10 November, 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM: Art & Memory:The Role of Medals, Medal Collectors of America and MHS Conference. This conference on medals and medal collecting will include a series of presentations on the role medals have played in America history, the evolution of medallic art, and the ways medals have reflected American culture up through the 20th century. In addition, a panel discussion will cover the stylistic developments from Renaissance medallic art to contemporary art medals (“The Art of the Medal”).  A second panel will explore the individual passions that drive numismatists to build their unique collections (“Why Collect Medals?”). There is a $75 per person conference fee, with optional dinner afterwards for an additional $95 per person. A cocktail reception at the MHS will conclude the conference in the late afternoon.

Fashioning the New England Family is open Monday through Friday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The exhibition explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition is organized as part of Mass Fashion, a consortium of cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts. 

Please note that the library is closed on Saturday, 10 November and the building is closed on Monday, 12 November. Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.

permalink | Published: Monday, 5 November, 2018, 1:00 AM