History Matters
E-News from the Congregational Library & Archives
June 2013
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July 18th


August 21st

Brown Bag Lunches are Free and Open to the Public





Find out about our collections and what's happening at the Library by checking out our blog, 

Beacon Street Journal.



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Congregational Library Receives Major Planning Grant

The Library is honored to be on a list of well-known Massachusetts arts and culture institutions awarded grants by the Massachusetts Cultural Council to support new capital projects. The Library's grant will fund planning for a dynamic new public exhibit on the New England Puritans and their legacy. Governor Deval Patrick's administration made the announcement June 17th. Governor

Patrick said, "Supporting projects that expand access to the arts, humanities and sciences creates jobs, increases tourism and leaves a stronger Commonwealth for the next generation."
Brown Bag Lunch Explores the 
Multi-Dimensional Life of Rebecca Kellogg
On June 19th, Joy Howard, Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Saint Joseph's University, engaged an eager audience in a discussion of Rebecca Kellogg's richly complex story. An English colonist taken captive as a child in 1704 and adopted into the Mohawk community of Kahnawake, Kellogg returned to English territory as an adult. She became a respected translator for missionaries targeting Iroquois speakers, such as Jonathan Edwards and Gideon Hawley, but retained her Mohawk identity in many important ways.

Howard read between the lines of letters and journals that mention Kellogg to piece together her busy life as a much needed translator and a highly respected figure in her extended Mohawk community. It seems Kellogg deftly navigated multiple cultures while making some of her own rules, for instance, wearing moccasins to church against the wishes of Jonathan Edwards.
Sari Mauro, Digital Archivist, explains the preservation issues caused by Gideon Hawley's use of homemade ink. 
Attendees were offered a rare treat in being able to see the diaries of Gideon Hawley, which are part of the Congregational Library's collection. Archivists were on hand to discuss the diaries and the particulars of their preservation, such as the use of homemade inks. Homemade ink recipes were born out of necessity and personal preference could include everything from coffee grounds and leaves to eggs and tea.

Library Hosts Annual Visit 
from Doshisha Students

Nearly 90 students from Doshisha Elementary School in Kyoto, Japan visited the Library on a Friday afternoon in June. Each year, Doshisha students come to explore the Library and pay tribute to Joseph Hardy Neesima, the founder of their school. Neesima, an ambitious young man who yearned to experience faraway places, left isolationist Japan in 1864 and boarded an American schooner in Hong Kong. He worked as a cabin boy and eventually arrived in Boston, where he was introduced to the schooner's owner, Alpheus Hardy, who was a member of the Old South Church in Boston. Hardy and his wife were supportive of Neesima's desire to study, and he became the first Japanese student to graduate from several prestigious schools--Phillips Andover Academy, Amherst College, and Andover Seminary. Ordained as a Congregational minister in 1874, he was also the first Japanese Protestant minister.


Neesima returned to his homeland in 1875, bought land in Kyoto, and started the Doshisha, or "one purpose," school. Eventually, it grew to include not only the original theological seminary but a full university curriculum, a preparatory school, and an elementary school, where the Library's student visitors hail from! Of their visits, Executive Director, Margaret Bendroth, said, "It's always wonderful to welcome them back to a building and a library that Niijima Jo would have known, and treasured as we do today."


Doshisha students have given the Library many interesting gifts over the years that can be viewed by the public. These include posters, origami, and books such as a Japanese-language guide to Plimoth Plantation and a manga story of Neesima's life.  


New to Our Collection

 For Adam's Sake: 

A Family Saga in Colonial New Englan

by Allegra di Bonaventura, Liveright Publishing, 2013

We frequently purchase books that are the published journals or based on journals and diaries kept by ordinary people. This book is described as a scholarly study of wealthy landowners and slaves in New London, CT in the 17th and 18th centuries. The diary of Joshua Hempstead is the primary source of the research and the "Adam" is Adam Jackson, a slave purchased by Hempstead. Slavery is not a topic covered often in New England history. The original journal is in the collection of the New London County Historical Society which created a Joshua Hempstead blog with postings from his diary.


From a review: "This is an extraordinary story about ordinary people in a pre-revolutionary New England family. Among the people are a master and his slave, the only account of such psychological depth I have seen in all the family histories of New England. Impeccably researched, elegantly written, For Adams' Sake is a model of its kind." - Joseph Ellis, author of Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation.

Allegra Di Bonaventura


Allegra Di Bonaventura holds a PhD from Yale University and a JD from Yale Law School. She is an assistant dean at the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in New Haven, Connecticut. For Adam's Sake is based on her dissertation, which was awarded the George Washington Egleston Prize.



--Claudette Newhall, Librarian




An October Special Event: Mather Matters
Mark your calendar for October 18th and watch our website, Facebook page, and Twitter account for information about a symposium commemorating what would have been Cotton Mather's 350th birthday. Of interest to experts as well as history buffs, the event will shed light on less explored areas his life and times, such as men's fashion and issues surrounding the singing of hymns. It will also include a walking tour of Mather's Bostonian haunts and an exhibit of Matheriana and Second Churchiana.


Visit us online at www.CongregationalLibrary.org
for a complete list of our resources, 
classes, tours, lectures, and more!


For more information on the Library, call (617) 523-0470, 

or e-mail info@14beacon.org

 14 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108 | (617) 523 - 0470