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Royall House & Slave Quarters - news & updates

Posted by Christina Jedra  March 12, 2013 04:20 PM

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The following was submitted by the Royall House and Slave Quarters: 

Get Involved as a Volunteer
Our museum relies on volunteers to provide guided tours, staff the gift shop, maintain the gardens, conduct research, and so much more.  Whether you can spare a few hours for a one-time project or would like to help with staffing during the tour season, we would value your help.   

     Here's how volunteer Elizabeth Merrick describes her role:  "As a guide I try to share with visitors this window into the past, as one enthusiast to (hopefully) another. I really enjoy introducing visitors to this place, whether they are interested primarily in architecture, the Revolutionary War, colonial life, Northern slavery, or just old houses! I particularly think it's great when visitors bring children with them; nurturing curiosity about what life was like before our time, and appreciation of older forms of beauty in architecture starts early and -- as in my case -- may be enriching on a lifelong basis."  

     Please contact executive director Tom Lincoln, Director@RoyallHouse.org, to learn more about volunteer opportunities at the museum.  And thank you!  

Public Program:  
The Social Significance of Boston's Colonial Country Houses 
Illustrated lecture by Alexander von Hoffman, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 7:30 p.m.  

Dr. von Hoffman will explore how the members of Boston’s eighteenth-century elite expanded their social lives into the town’s suburban and rural environs. Fashionably designed country houses are among the most notable and long-lasting artifacts left by these leading Bostonians. The stately homes that still ring Boston include not only the Isaac Royall House in Medford but also the Vassal-Craigie-Longfellow House in Cambridge, the Loring-Greenough House in Jamaica Plain, and the Shirley-Eustis House in Roxbury. The presentation will feature a close look at the architecture of these building and the social context in which they were built, offering lively and accessible insights into this important, but often overlooked, aspect of Boston's history. 

     Alexander von Hoffman is a Senior Fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University and Lecturer at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. He is the author of "House by House, Block by Block: The Rebirth of America’s Urban Neighborhoods"(Oxford University Press, 2003) and has published scholarly articles on urban history and essays on housing and cities for the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe.   
 
Public Program:  
Master of the Mountain:  Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves
Lecture by Historian Henry Wiencek
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 7:30 p.m.  
"The very existence of slavery in the era of the American Revolution presents a paradox," writes journalist/historian Henry Wiencek, "and we have largely been content to leave it at that. Jefferson animates the paradox. And by looking closely at Monticello, we can see the process by which he rationalized an abomination to the point where an absolute moral reversal was reached and he made slavery fit into America’s national enterprise." Wiencek’s controversial new book suggests that the author of the Declaration of Independence shifted his position on slavery for financial reasons, convinced that the only way to make a success of his debt-ridden plantation was through what he called the “silent profits” gained from those he enslaved.  

     Please save the date for this program. The talk by award-winning author Henry Wiencek will follow a brief annual business meeting.   
  
Save the Date:  Giving Voice on June 8th
Please join us on Saturday, June 8, 2013, for our annual benefit event.  Dr. Lois Brown -- author, literary critic, cultural historian, and contributor to "The Abolitionists" on PBS -- is the featured speaker.  This event on the museum grounds will also feature tours and exhibits, music, and refreshments.  Registration details to follow.  

Feedback from Our Facebook Fans
We started our Facebook page last March, and we’re delighted with the response. More than 260 people and pages now follow our posts, frequently liking, sharing, and commenting on them. 
     Among the comments of which we are most pleased: “I honestly don't know how you come up with these fantastic links. Thank you, thank you,” and “I signed up for [your] posts months ago and I love reading them. Very well done and I learn something new or link through to something new each time.” And finally, this nice endorsement from one of our supportive neighbors: “If you are as fascinated as I am by these posts, follow the Royall House and Slave Quarters’ feed. It’s my friendly neighborhood Tory mansion. Yes, George Washington stayed there … and it just happens to have the only former slave quarters building still standing in the north.”
     We invite you to "Like" our page to view new and old photos, the latest news and events, short items from the museum's history, and interesting shared posts from other organizations' pages.  

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