The Massachusetts Historical Society will host “Revolutionary Colonialism and the French Atlantic: Albert Gallatin in Maine and the Western Country, 1780-1786,” a seminar with Sean P. Harvey, Seton Hall University, with comments by Bethel Saler, Haverford College, set for Tuesday, October 11th. [Read more…] about Revolutionary Colonialism and the French Atlantic
Massachusetts Historical Society
A distinguished portrait of Louis Arthur Coolidge hangs in the Founder’s Room at the Algonquin Club of Boston – now known as “The ‘Quin House”–commemorating his term as club president from 1923-1925.
Arthur and his cousins T. Jefferson Coolidge and Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, Jr. were part of a dynasty committed to maintaining their family’s legacy. The architecture firm of McKim, Mead and White provided the backdrop which was the papers and drawings of the inspiration, Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, and the Massachusetts Historical Society provided the repository for both the family’s and recently, the Algonquin Club’s histories. [Read more…] about The Coolidges, The Algonquin Club of Boston, and American Memory
In the late nineteenth century, anthropologists, linguists, archaeologists, and other chroniclers began amassing Indigenous cultural objects by the millions. Convinced that Indigenous peoples were doomed to disappear, collectors donated these objects to museums and universities that would preserve and exhibit them.
The collecting practice became an engine of the American museum and significantly shaped public education and preservation, as well as popular ideas about Indigenous cultures. [Read more…] about Prophets and Ghosts: The Story of Salvage Anthropology
The story of the founding of the U.S. Navy during the American Revolution has been told many times, yet largely missing from maritime histories of the war is the ragtag fleet of private vessels that truly revealed the new nation’s character ― above all, its ambition and entrepreneurial ethos.
Privateers were privately owned vessels, mostly refitted merchant ships, that were granted permission by the new government to seize British merchantmen and men of war. At a time when the young Continental Navy numbered no more than about sixty vessels all told, privateers rushed to fill the gaps. Nearly 2,000 set sail over the course of the war, with tens of thousands of Americans serving on them and capturing some 1,800 British ships. [Read more…] about Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution
Alternately described as a “city upon a hill” and “an organized system of hatreds,” Massachusetts politics has indisputably exerted an outsized pull on the national stage.
The Commonwealth’s leaders often argue for the state’s distinct position within the union, citing its proud abolitionist history and its status as a policy leader on health care, gay marriage, and transgender rights, not to mention its fertile soil for budding national politicians. [Read more…] about The Politics of Massachusetts Exceptionalism
In other scenarios, descendants of LGBTQ+ people have censored or destroyed records. [Read more…] about Documenting Queer Stories in Archives
Throughout history rarely have LGBTQ+ clubs, meeting places, and social areas been landmarked or turned into a museum. House museums that were once homes to Queer residents can pose difficult questions about the interpretation if the former residents were not public about their identity in their lifetime.
Many important sites in Queer history don’t exist anymore; clubs have closed, publications have shut down, buildings have been razed or radically altered, but these are still spaces that exist in the history and memory of the Queer community. [Read more…] about Hidden in Plain Sight: Remembering Queer Nightlife
In the new book Public Faces, Secret Lives: A Queer History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement (NYU Press, 2022) Wendy L. Rouse of San Jose State University reveals that the suffrage movement included individuals who represented a range of genders and sexualities. However, owing to the constant pressure to present a “respectable” public image, suffrage leaders publicly conformed to gendered views of ideal womanhood in order to make women’s suffrage more palatable to the public. [Read more…] about A Queer History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement
The Massachusetts Historical Society has announced “Underrepresented Voices of the American Revolution,” a conference set for July 14th through 16th. [Read more…] about Underrepresented Voices of the American Revolution Conference July 14-16
The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) will host “Boston at 200: Where We Were, Where We Are & Where We Are Going,” a program set for Monday, May 9th. [Read more…] about Boston at 200: A Virtual Discussion May 9th