2016 Events

research materials
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Speaker: Sari Mauro

Are you a genealogist with a Congregational ancestor? A historian interested in a Congregational church's history? A researcher with a burning question about Congregationalism? Have you always wanted to come to the Congregational Library & Archives for research but didn't know where to start?

Join our Digital Archivist Sari Mauro to learn more about the many resources available at the Congregational Library & Archives and how to get started on your research. Sari will cover...

excerpt from "Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way" (1861) by Emanuel Leuteze
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Speaker: Christopher C. Child

Since the first settlers arrived in New England in the 17th century, there has been movement and migration — first within New England, then to New York, the mid-west, and beyond. Understanding these migrations provides important context and a framework for anyone researching early New England and pioneer ancestors. This illustrated lecture will explain these population shifts, reasons for resettlement, and demographics, plus suggest a number of useful reference works.


construction workers on a lunch break
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Speaker: Heath W. Carter

The Social Gospel is often associated with well-known reforming ministers such as Washington Gladden and Walter Rauschenbusch. But in this talk, based on his newly-published book, Union Made: Working People and the Rise...

"The men and women of 1630. Prospect Church, Cambridge, 1930."
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Speaker: Peggy Bendroth

engraving of George Whitefield by Frederick Halpin (ca. 1870) based on a painting by John Greenwood (ca. 1768)
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Speaker: Jessica Parr

On a fall day in 1838, a cortege wound through the streets of Newburyport, Massachusetts, headed for Old South Presbyterian Church. A box contained the humerus bone of eighteenth-century English preacher George Whitefield, who had been previously interred in the basement crypt of the church following his death in September 1770. The reinterment ceremony restored the bone, which had been pilfered by a British admirer of Whitefield's, to its former resting place.


the burning of William Pynchon's book
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Speaker: David Powers

David M. Powers will speak about William Pynchon, the founder of Springfield, MA. Two things stand out about Pynchon's life: he enjoyed uniquely positive relationships with Native peoples.

"Prayer for USA" by Harley Pebley
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Speaker: David Mislin

David Mislin is a historian of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States, with a focus on American intellectual and religious history.

statue of Anne Hutchinson at the Massachusetts state house
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Co-host: Anne Marbury Hutchinson Foundation

This year marks the 425th anniversary of the birth of Anne Hutchinson (1591–1643), a prominent figure in Puritan New England due to her role in the Antinomian Controversy.

The Congregational Library & Archives is pleased to host an evening reception for the Anne...

Eve LaPlante
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Speaker: Eve LaPlante

This year marks the 425th anniversary of the birth of Anne Hutchinson (1591–1643), a prominent figure in Puritan New England due to her role in the Antinomian Controversy. Join us and the AMHF in commemorating the occasion.

Resurrection of Henry Box Brown, from "The Underground Railroad" by William Still (1872)
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Speaker: Sentidra Joseph

After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850, Boston became a hunting ground. The city, once a safe haven in the north and the home of many famous abolitionists, was suddenly fair game for slave catchers looking for those who had fled the South on the Underground Railroad.

In the years leading up to the Civil War, the Union unraveled, but Bostonians rallied together. The city's powerful abolitionists led the fight against the injustice of the Fugitive Slave Law. Throughout the...

cover of "The Liberty Bell" (1856 ed.) published by the American Anti-Slavery Society
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Speaker: Shawn Quigley

In 1638, a ship named The Desire arrived in Boston Harbor carrying tobacco, cotton, and enslaved Africans. Thus began the history of slavery in Massachusetts, a practice that continued for nearly 150 years, through the signing of the Declaration of independence and most of the Revolution. Massachusetts became the first state to abolish slavery in 1783.

Over the centuries, the abolition grew from a fringe belief to a widely accepted position. Massachusetts was uniquely positioned to be...

gravestones in the Granary Burial Ground
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Speaker: Nicholas E. Bonneau

Epidemics and Awakenings in the First Congregational Church of Haverhill, Massachusetts, 1735-1740

In May of 1736, John Boynton of Haverhill, Massachusetts, proclaimed to fellow parishioners, "I have been awakened and put upon my duty by the many and sudden deaths in this place." While intense religious revivals had sprung up across the Atlantic world, this relation of faith found its inspiration in a biological event particular to the frontier communities of Northern...

"Giving evidence before the Committee of the House of Commons"
Monday, October 17, 2016
Speaker: Jessica Parr

This year's joint ACA-Athenaeum Fellow, Jessica Parr, will be presenting on her research. Her forthcoming book will explore the evolution of African American religious thought. This talk will focus on the first chapter, discussing the legal, religious, and cultural matrix that emerged in defense of slavery in the British Atlantic.


John Kaag
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Speaker: John Kaag

John Kaag is a professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Harper's, Aeon Magazine, among many other publications. His latest book, American Philosophy: A Love Story, part intellectual history, part memoir is ultimately about love, freedom, and the role that wisdom can play in turning one's life around.


Calvin Coolidge
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Speaker: Stephen R. Silver

Taciturn New Englander, avatar of small government, Amherst alumnus, Governor of Massachusetts, and President of the United States. Calvin Coolidge is remembered for being all of these things but less well known yet central to his identity was his Christian faith. Coolidge was the only Congregationalist to serve as our nation's chief magistrate. Come hear the fascinating, inspiring story of how his experience in the Congregational Church shaped his life from rural Vermont to the White House...

Renaissonics - Miyuki Tsurutani (harpsichord, recorders) ; John Tyson (recorders, crumhorn, pipe & tabor) ; Laura Gulley (violin, viola) ; Daniel Rowe (cello)
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Performers: Renaissonics

Join us for a concert by Renaissonics, accompanied by The Gropina Trio.

Renaissonics' newest program, Such Stuff As Dreams, is an enchanting voyage though the Renaissance imagination where the fantasies and genius of the age of Leonardo, Galileo and Shakespeare come alive through their music.

Such Stuff As Dreams features Renaissance and early Baroque chamber music,...