boston 1801

The time has come again for another journey. Similar to my experience in June at the Huntington Library, I’ve been offered a fellowship at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston to do research for my dissertation, Ten Years of Winter, which is about volcanic climate change in the early 19th century. (The “ten years” of the title are 1810 to 1820, the “Cold Decade”). This is a fantastic opportunity and one I’m very grateful to have. I will also be spending some time at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester. I’m leaving today.

As with my Huntington foray earlier in the summer, my tasks with the fellowship will probably mean that I’ll be updating this blog less frequently than usual over the next few weeks, and probably featuring more guest posts and reblogs than I usually do. I’ll check in when I can, of course, and also as I did earlier, I hope to share some of the fascinating and cool things I expect to find in the MHS archives. Back in June I was able to do some really great articles based on my discoveries at the Huntington, such as the chronicle of Thomas Jefferson’s environmental difficulties, and a hard-drinking culinary tour of Iceland in 1809. The caliber of stuff at MHS, one of America’s most formidable repositories of historical data, should easily match those, and I can’t wait to share them with you.

I also love Boston. Walking the streets of that old city it’s hard not to see it as the Revolutionary generation did, with so many of the buildings and landmarks still there, from Bunker Hill to the Old North Church, or, one of my favorites, the Bell in Hand Pub. The experience of history will be even more real for me this time because at MHS I expect to be delving into the papers of some of these Revolutionary fellows, such as the Adamses (John, Abigail and J.Q.), whose papers are housed there. History really lives for me, as I hope it does for you; it’s one of the things I strive to do with this blog of which I continue to be proud, and to which I’ve given countless hours over the last two years.

Thanks again to all my faithful readers. Without you none of this would be worth it. See you in the archives!