Oct. 2 Boston Area Seminar on Early American History

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Boston Area Seminar on Early American History at the Massachusetts Historical Society


Tuesday, October 2, 2018, 5:15 PM


Erik Seeman, State University of New York at Buffalo

The Protestant Cult of the Dead in New England, 1800-1848

Comment: Kenneth Minkema, Yale University


Many 19th-century Protestants in New England held religious ceremonies venerating deceased family and friends, in addition to their orthodox worship of God. This paper examines women’s desires to connect with their deceased loved ones, and argues that this drove important developments in Protestant belief and practice. It shows how pious Protestants maintaining connections with the dead made séance Spiritualism a transatlantic sensation in 1848.


RSVP required. To respond, email seminars@masshist.org or call 617-646-0579.


Unless stated, all seminars take place at the Society, 1154 Boylston St., Boston, and commence at 5:15 PM. After each session the Society will provide a light buffet supper. In case of inclement weather, phone 617-536-1608 for information.


As in the past, the essays are available to subscribers as PDFs through the seminar’s webpage,https://www.masshist.org/2012/calendar/seminars/early-american-history. Subscribe to the 2018-2019 series online via this page. A $25 subscription allows access to the full series of papers for the year, as well as the papers for the Boston Seminar on African American History, the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture, and the Boston Seminar on Environmental History. Papers are posted a few weeks before the session; the Oct. 2 paper is now online.


Questions? Email seminars@masshist.org.


We look forward to seeing you at the seminar!