Unearthing the Past at Longfellow House – Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site (Longfellow Fall 2022 Lecture Series)

A variety of archeological fragments displayed on a screen

Before Henry Wadsworth Longfellow moved into the yellow house on Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA, it was already historic, having served as the home and headquarters for General George Washington in 1775-1776. In anticipation of the upcoming 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States, the NPS Northeast Archeological Resources Program conducted archeological excavations in front of the home. Excavations in 2022 uncovered elements from an 18th century formal garden and the foundation of an early colonial house. This presentation will discuss the results of the excavations and the unique combination of technology, methodology, and outreach that were used to address research questions, and share the project with the public.

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Not Just Roommates: Queer Historic Preservation (Longfellow 2022 Fall Lecture Series)

Four people in black and white photograph, two younger men standing and two older women, one standing and one seated

Queer and trans history can be found everywhere across the country and going back in time beyond the country’s founding. But excavating those stories and sharing them with the public has been largely a 21st century project with lots of work left to be done. Join us for a conversation with Ken Turino and Friends of the Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters Paterson Research Fellow Danielle Bennett to learn more about the past, present, and future of LGBTQ+ historic preservation work.

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HERE LIES DARBY VASSALL: Rendering the obscured and concealed history of slavery at Christ Church Cambridge (Longfellow 2022 Fall Lecture Series)

Orange banner with "HERE LIES DARBY VASSALL" next to headshot of Nicole Piepenbrink

Nicole Piepenbrink, recipient of the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s 2022 Design Studies Thesis Prize, will discuss her award-winning HERE LIES DARBY VASSALL project on October 27. Piepenbrink’s work examines the perceived invisibility of slavery in New England through the lens of Christ Church, the final resting place of Darby Vassall. The inaccessible, largely unknown Vassall Tomb in the basement of Christ Church is shared with the public via a looped video projection telling the story of this church’s collusion with, dependency on, and profit from the slave trade that provided economic foundations for the establishment and growth not only of this church, but also of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and New England.

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Charles Longfellow’s Japanese Photographs: Collecting, Cataloging, and Digitizing (Longfellow Fall 2022 Lecture Series)

Black-and-white photograph with colored-in blue, red, yellow and green details representing four standing and sitting Japanese women and two seated white men at the rear of a Japanese house with a garden on the left.

Join Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters Curator David Daly and Archivist Kate Hanson Plass for a conversation on Charles Longfellow’s extensive collection of photographs from his travels in 1870s Japan, the context in which they were created and collected, and the recent digitization process that makes many of these unique photographs available to the public.

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Our History: Poetry & the Personal Past (Longfellow 2022 Fall Lecture Series)

toni bee

Join us for Our History: Poetry & the Personal Past, hosted by former Cambridge Poet Populist Toni Bee. This event features short poetry readings by local poets Chad Parenteau, Justice, Jean Dany Joachim, and Heather Nelson, as well as opportunities for the audience to create their own poetry. Poets and audience members will reflect on how the past shapes our individuality and connects us with others.

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The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family (Longfellow Fall 2022 Lecture Series

Book cover for The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family at left; headshot of Dr. Kerri Greenidge at right.

The Fall 2022 lecture series concludes with a talk by Dr. Kerri Greenidge (Tufts University), discussing her newly released The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family, cited by the New York Times as one of “15 Works of Nonfiction to Read This Fall.” Sarah and Angelina Grimke—the Grimke sisters—are revered figures in American history, famous for rejecting their privileged lives on a plantation in South Carolina to become firebrand activists in the North. Yet, retellings of their epic story have long obscured their Black relatives. In The Grimkes, award-winning historian Kerri Greenidge presents a parallel corrective narrative, shifting the focus from the white abolitionist sisters to the Black Grimkes and deepening our understanding of the long struggle for racial and gender equality. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

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