[slides] Smallpox, Localism and Liberty in Rhode Island History

Long before threats to public health were coordinated by the Center for Disease Control, the response to epidemic disease handled almost entirely at the local level, with support provided only when needed from provincial governments. Using Rhode Island as a case study, WRICHS Archivist Mark Kenneth Gardner will outline the provincial laws that gave sweeping[…]

[video] How Governor Phips Stopped the Salem Witch Trials (sort of)

Freedom of Thought Day on October 12, a lesser-known-celebration, commemorates the day in 1692 when Massachusetts Governor Sir William Phips supposedly ended the witch trials. But history and Massachusetts politics are seldom so straightforward. Despite growing opposition to the trials after nineteen executions and escalating accusations, Phips still had to deal with crowded prisons, potential[…]

[video] Women’s Self-Empowerment in 19th-century Marblehead

This illustrated presentation tell a remarkable story of women’s self-empowerment in 19th-century Marblehead, Massachusetts as they broke out of extreme poverty caused by the service of more than a thousand men and boys from a similar number of families in both the Revolution and War of 1812, a dramatic change from the mid-1700s when Marblehead had been prosperous as[…]

[video] Involving New Communities in Your Historic Site or Institution

Jody Blankenship, Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Historical Society (on Twitter @CTHistorical, Instagram @CTHistorical, and Facebook @CTHistoricalSociety), will discuss his organization’s outreach to Hartford’s West Indian Community, and Ana Nuncio, the Settlement Partnership Manager at The House of the Seven Gables  (on Twitter @H7Gables, Instagram @H7Gables, and Facebook @7Gables), will describe their Caribbean Connections, Settlement Partnerships, and Community Conversations.

[video] The Genealogy of African America & Anti-Blackness in Boston

This illustrated talk will draw ideas from almost four centuries of hidden black life to uncover how it “mattered” at the birth of Boston and its continuity.  Along the way, we’ll discover what connects a “disdain” singing breeding victim in 1638 (Noddles Island); a fire setting servant in 1723 (downtown wharves); an Appeal writer in[…]

[video] Blood on the Snow: Discovering the History of the Boston Massacre Through Site-Specific Theatre

What happens when two of Boston’s most important cultural resources—its Revolutionary-era historic sites and its talented performing artists—work together? Playwright Patrick Gabridge and historian Nathaniel Sheidley reflect on their experience with Blood on the Snow, the Bostonian Society’s critically-acclaimed play about the aftermath of the Boston Massacre. The play premiered at the Old State House[…]

[slides] North Carolina’s Regulator Rebellion and Popular Protests

Download the handout: Chandler_History_Camp_Handout Similar to the growing revolutionary movement, the North Carolina Regulator Rebellion began in the 1760s with petitions and pamphlets from colonists calling themselves Regulators and progressed towards increasingly violent attacks on the North Carolina government before ending in defeat at the Battle of Alamance in 1771. This session will explore their actions[…]

[slides] Landsknecht 101: Reenacting 16th Century Mercenaries

You may not know what a Landsknecht is, but I can almost guarantee you’ve seen one. Landsknecht appear in military history games, on eCards circulating on Facebook, and at many renaissance faires around the country.  Landsknecht soldiers were the punk rockers of the renaissance, setting the fashion for everyone from burghers to kings. Henry VIII[…]

[video + slides] The Declaration of Independence: Which Version is This, and Why Does it Matter?

There is no singular authoritative version of the Declaration of Independence. Most Americans and many historians consider “the” Declaration of Independence to be the engrossed and signed parchment at our National Archives. The image that comes to mind when most people think of the Declaration is actually the William J. Stone facsimile of that signed[…]