The Massachusetts Studies Network

All Journal Posts (67)

Massachusetts Inventor Who Aided the Deaf

I launched my new Brookline History blog last week with this story of William E. Shaw, a deaf inventor -- largely forgotten today -- who lived and worked in Brookline, Dorchester, Lynn, and Cambridge early in the last century and was ahead of his time in the development of adaptive technologies.

Added by Ken Liss on May 23, 2009 at 7:30 — 2 Comments

New Edmonia Lewis Auction Record Set

Edmonia Lewis's 1874 sculpture, The Marriage of Hiawatha, (lot 32) went for $314,500 at Sotheby's May 21 American Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture auction. My catalogue essay is online with some fine pictures. The published catalogue actually features the sculpture and the essay with a gorgeous colorful layout.

Added by Marilyn Richardson on May 21, 2009 at 13:30 — No Comments

My New Historic Home

I was floored when I got the call that my offer had been accepted on the single family home in the Highlands section of Lowell. Once I realized it was mine (barring any unfortunate discoveries during the upcoming inspection) I quickly put on my historian hat and researched the property.Through Census records, Lowell City Directories, Atlases, and permit records, I began to shape the story of my home.

In June of 1891, Utley and Boynton subdivided a portion of the Noah Spaulding farm… Continue

Added by Kim Zunino on April 28, 2009 at 16:28 — 1 Comment

Family Ties

After nearly four years of research, I am still finding amazing facts about the folks buried at the Hunt-Clark Cemetery in Lowell, MA. Here are a few of the facts that have been uncovered:

John Chapman (1714-1760), his first wife Martha Perley Boardman Chapman (1704-1753), and his second wife Martha Hunt Chapman (1722-1786) are buried here. Turns out that John and his first wife Martha are the grandparents of John Chapman (1774-1807), AKA "Johnny Appleseed." Capt. Nathaniel Chapman,… Continue

Added by Kim Zunino on March 31, 2009 at 10:31 — 3 Comments

We've been selected for the Massachusetts Cultural Council Creative Teaching Partners roster

Jim and Maggi are proud to announce that they have been appointed by a panel of expert artists/educators to the Massachusetts Cultural Council Creative Teaching Partners roster.

Our specialty category is "Professional Development." Inclusion on this roster assures schools applying for our services through the MCC's Creative Schools Program will automatically receive the maximum score for artist quality, giving them "a competitive edge in this grant application process."

In… Continue

Added by Maggi Smith-Dalton on March 17, 2009 at 12:20 — 2 Comments

Save Edward Bannister's Providence Home

Bannister spent many productive years in Boston.

I found this article from the Providence Journal quite disturbing. Although Pres. Simmons is quoted as supporting restoration of the Bannister home, a few paragraphs later a Univ. spokesperson makes it clear that they wish they could palm it off on an organization they must know could never afford to purchase or restore the building. Your Thoughts?


Sunday, March 1,… Continue

Added by Marilyn Richardson on March 1, 2009 at 18:00 — 1 Comment

How to Spend the Stimulus Wisely? Start a State-Wide Digital Library

Op-Ed How to Spend the Stimulus Wisely? Start a State-Wide Digital Library

In his address to Congress, President Obama emphasized higher education as essential to national recovery and future prosperity. He pledged that "by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world." That ambitious goal will remain elusive in Massachusetts now that the Governor has proposed massive cuts to public higher ed.… Continue

Added by Susan Gallagher on February 28, 2009 at 11:57 — 3 Comments

Writing About The Bancroft School in Worcester

I’ve decided to post something a bit unusual, possibly controversial, and definitely personal. We have, however, many posts that deal with oral history projects, first-hand accounts, a Memories Road Show, and similar programs. I think my vignette fits in there as food for thought about past and present. As you will see, the actual piece was written some months ago.

The Bancroft School in Worcester, founded in 1900, is the oldest independent day school in Central Massachusetts. The… Continue

Added by Marilyn Richardson on February 10, 2009 at 13:00 — 1 Comment

Boston Abolitionists

“Written by first-rate scholars, these 10 essays give focus to the antislavery movement in Boston, particularly to the significance of African American abolitionists.” —Choice

“ . . . handsome, lavishly illustrated, and informative . . . ” —The New England Quarterly

“ . . . this work is a thoughtful, long overdue discourse on individual and group accomplishments. It is replete with absorbing illustrations, which when… Continue

Added by Marilyn Richardson on January 30, 2009 at 13:10 — No Comments

The African Meeting House and a Couple of Related Books

The African Meeting House on Beacon Hill

The original Meeting House built in 1806

. . . and after it was remodeled in 1855

The African Meeting House on Smith Court off of Joy Street housed a Baptist church and a school. It is the oldest surviving black church building in the United States.

For a while, a few years back, I was the entire… Continue

Added by Marilyn Richardson on January 30, 2009 at 1:00 — No Comments


For More Info on Copland's "Lincoln…

Added by Maggi Smith-Dalton on January 19, 2009 at 11:30 — No Comments

New England Abolitionists Buried in Florence, Italy

Last month I gave a paper at a really interesting conference in Florence having to do with the English Cemetery. At least 80 Americans were also buried there in the 19th-century, including Theodore Parker. I spoke on Edmonia Lewis who began her life in Italy in Florence - - and said a bit as well about Sarah Parker Remond who was born in Salem and studied medicine in Florence (I should be clear that neither woman is buried there; they were part of the larger Florentine ex-pat… Continue

Added by Marilyn Richardson on November 23, 2008 at 13:55 — No Comments

Women's Review of Books

We should all support this new and improved incarnation of the original publication, now edited by the brilliant Amy Hoffman. It's a Massachusetts journal with national and international reach. Be sure you or your institution subscribe, and consider writing a review essay; I have one in the Nov./Dec. issue.

Added by Marilyn Richardson on November 23, 2008 at 13:38 — 3 Comments



And a President we can again be proud of ...

"...every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature..."



Maggi & Jim Dalton

(who got way too little sleep last night ... but what a glorious reason we had for that!)

Understanding History Thru… Continue

Added by Maggi Smith-Dalton on November 5, 2008 at 19:00 — No Comments

"Freedom Festival" in Rhode Island

I've been working with people from across Rhode Island, led by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, to organize programs to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade by the U.S., and to consider the legacy of slavery and the history of African Americans in Rhode Island. This has been a tremendous undertaking and a model of collaborative programming that has involved dozens of organizations.

The programs start Saturday, September 27th,… Continue

Added by Annie Valk on September 19, 2008 at 8:48 — No Comments

A Survey of Digital Humanities Centers in the United States

This just in from Brett Bobley, writing on NEH's ODH Blog:

"The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has recently released a report entitled "A Survey of Digital Humanities Centers in the United States" . The report, written by Diane Zorich, was commissioned by the Scholarly Communication Institute and will be one of the focuses of discussion at their July meeting.


Added by Joanne Riley on July 21, 2008 at 17:30 — No Comments

Royall House and Slave Quarters / open for Tours

I have just been added to this interesting and useful site and wanted people to know about our NHL in Medford: the Royall House and Slave Quarters.

We're open for Tours on weekends, 1 to 5 p.m. at 15 George Street in sunny Medford. If there is sufficient interest, I an can arrange for a Saturday morning or weekday Tour for people in this MA Studies group. We are virtually all-volunteer and a modest organization, so some modest admission rate is generally charged,… Continue

Added by Tom Lincoln on July 14, 2008 at 8:58 — No Comments

Summertime is "Walden-time" for me...


Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I would drink deeper; fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars.

It seems to me with each passing birthday that this the truest description of how my life's continuing work has evolved, and the concepts here so eloquently expressed… Continue

Added by Maggi Smith-Dalton on July 7, 2008 at 10:30 — No Comments

And the crowd thickens!

Well, well, well... When I visited the network this morning, we had 95 members. Came back this evening - we've broken the 100-member mark! One hundred and six illustrious members, and counting. The honorable 100th member was (drum roll, please) Jayne Gordon - welcome Jayne!

The steady growth of the network is due to the invitations you're extending to friends and colleagues to join you here. There have been 343 invitations… Continue

Added by Joanne Riley on July 1, 2008 at 23:45 — No Comments

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