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Alcott Family Arrives at Fruitlands

June 1, 1843
June 1, 1843

Alcott Family Arrives at Fruitlands

On this day in 1843, a group of three adults and five children made its way from Concord to the town of Harvard. Their destination was an old and dilapidated farmhouse in a beautiful but...

Paper Publishes First Installment of Uncle Tom's Cabin

June 5, 1851
June 5, 1851

Paper Publishes First Installment of Uncle Tom's Cabin

On this day in 1851 an abolitionist newspaper published the first installment of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. The following March, a Boston publisher issued the work in book form. It sold 50,000 copies...

Writer Edith Wharton Builds in Lenox

June 7, 1902
June 7, 1902

Writer Edith Wharton Builds in Lenox

On this day in 1902, the writer Edith Wharton wrote to a friend about a visit to the site of her new home, The Mount, under construction in Lenox: "Lenox has had its usual tonic...

David Walker Found Dead

June 28, 1830
June 28, 1830

David Walker Found Dead

On this day in 1830, David Walker, a prominent and outspoken black man, was found dead in his Boston home. The year before he had written David Walker's Appeal To the Coloured Citizens of the...

Transcendentalists Publish The Dial

June 30, 1830
June 30, 1830

Transcendentalists Publish The Dial

On this day in 1840 the first issue of the Transcendentalist magazine "The Dial" was published in Boston. The moving force behind this "journal in a new spirit" was Ralph Waldo Emerson, the man who...

Phillis is Enslaved by the Wheatley Family

July 11, 1761
July 11, 1761

Phillis is Enslaved by the Wheatley Family

On this day in 1761, John Wheatley, a successful merchant, purchased a frail African girl off a slave ship in Boston. The Wheatleys named her Phillis, after the vessel that had brought her across the Atlantic...

Yiddish Book Rescuer Wins Genius Grant

July 17, 1989
July 17, 1989

Yiddish Book Rescuer Wins Genius Grant

On this day in 1989, an Amherst man who had spent more than a decade scrounging in dumpsters, basements, and attics was awarded a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant." Aaron Lansky led an initially quixotic campaign...

Hemingway Room Dedicated at JFK Library

July 18, 1980
July 18, 1980

Hemingway Room Dedicated at JFK Library

On this day in 1980, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Ernest Hemingway's son Patrick dedicated the Hemingway Room at the recently opened John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston. The Nobel-prize winning author and the...

Henry David Thoreau Spends Night in Jail

July 23, 1846
July 23, 1846

Henry David Thoreau Spends Night in Jail

On this day in 1846, Henry David Thoreau left his cabin at Walden Pond for a brief walk into town and ended up in the Concord jail for refusing to pay his poll tax. A...

Hawthorne and Melville Meet for the First Time

August 5, 1850
August 5, 1850

Hawthorne and Melville Meet for the First Time

On this day in 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville were among a small group who climbed to the top of Monument Mountain in the Berkshires for a picnic. Hawthorne had recently published The Scarlet...