Telling the bees painting

“Telling the Bees”

In nineteenth-century New England, it was held to be essential to whisper to beehives of a loved one’s death.
Whaling painting

Did North America’s Longest Painting Inspire Moby-Dick?

Herman Melville likely saw the panorama “Whaling Voyage,” which records the sinking of the whaler Essex, while staying in Boston in 1849.
Colonial headstone

Funerals Once Included Swag

In eighteenth-century New England, funeral attendees went home with funeral tokens–usually a pair of gloves or a ring that declared their sorrow.
Pequot war engraving

When Native Americans Were Slaves

Initially, Indian slavery was considered different from African slavery in the early Anglo-American colonial world, but this split did last for long.
Shaker tree art

The Shaker Formula for Gender Equality

Shaker communities seem to have appealed to a lot of women because they offered a respite where their work was honored and respected.
Wampum illustration

Wampum was Massachusetts’ First Legal Currency

First Nations' seashell-derived wampum was Massachusetts' first legal currency, used as currency throughout northeastern America into the 19th century.
Rev. Cotton Mather

A Puritan War on Wigs

In colonial New England, moral quandaries were everywhere. A surprisingly big one in the 17th and 18th century was whether it was okay to wear a wig.
Hasty Pudding

Hasty Pudding: The Original American Comfort Food

Puddings can be surprisingly nationalistic.
Cuisine des sorcières

What Caused the Salem Witch Trials?

Looking into the underlying causes of the Salem Witch Trials in the 17th century.