syllabus HIST 1632 spring 2014

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					     HIST E-1632/W                            The History of Boston
          Tuesdays, 7:40 to 9:40 p.m., Maxwell Dworkin Room G125
                              Harvard University Extension, Spring 2014

                                    Robert J. Allison.
                     Chair, History Department, Suffolk University
                Phone: 617 573 8510.       e-mail:
  Office: 73 Tremont Street, 10th floor; (corner Beacon & Tremont, 1 block from Park
   Street). Available by appointment—also will available before class in the lobby of
                                   Maxwell Dworkin.

Assisted by the following graders:

Christopher G. Libertini beginning M-Z)
Patric O’Brien         
                                                      (Names beginning A-L)
Karen Chaney            (In-class students)

                 The History of Boston: Introduction
This semester we will begin an exploration of Boston’s history. We will have time
barely to scratch the surface of our city’s history; you will begin a more thorough
exploration in your own work this semester. As this is a writing-intensive course, you
will have the opportunity to write a lot about the city.

All books are available at the Harvard Coop, and on reserve in the Grossman Library. I
have supplied the ISBN so you can obtain copies through on-line sources.

The Allison and Martin books are intended to be read over the course of the semester, as
they cover the whole span of Boston’s history. Each of the other books covers one facet
of the story, and is intended to be read at a particular time during the semester.


Robert Allison, Short History Of Boston' (9781889833477)
William Martin, Back Bay ((9780446363167)

Nathaniel Philbrick, Bunker Hill (9780857520456)
Kerri Greenidge, Boston's Abolitionists (9781933212197)
Stephen Puleo, A City So Grand, (9780807001493)
Nat Hentoff, Boston Boy:Growing Up W/Jazz (9780967967523)

William M. Bulger, James Michael Curley (9781933212753)
Thomas O’Connor, Building a New Boston, (9781555532468)
Anthony Lukas, Common Ground (9780394746166)

Louis P. Masur, The Soiling of Old Glory (9781596916005)

     HIST E-1632/W                       The History of Boston
         Tuesdays, 7:40 to 9:40 p.m., Maxwell Dworkin Room G125
                         Harvard University Extension, Spring 2014

Recommended: William Martin, The Rising of the Moon. 978-0446364188

                              Class Schedule
                                     January 28
                                 Boston’s Beginnings.

                                     February 4
                             Boston in the British Empire

                                   February 11
                  Why did the American Revolution begin in Boston?
Reading: Philbrick, Bunker Hill

                                    February 18
                             Boston in the Early Republic
                                    February 25
                              Boston’s Transformation

                       First Paper Draft Due on February 25

                                      March 4
                              Boston in the Civil War
Reading: Greenidge, Boston’s Abolitionists

                                      March 11
                      A City so Grand: Boston in the Gilded Age
Reading: Puleo, A City so Grand

                                 March 18 No Class!

                                      March 25
                      Boston in the Age of James Michael Curley
Reading: Bulger, James Michael Curley
Rec: Martin, Rising of the Moon.

                            First Paper Due March 25

                                         April 1

                  Boston in the age of James Michael Curley, Part 2.
Reading: Hentoff, Boston Boy

     HIST E-1632/W                         The History of Boston
         Tuesdays, 7:40 to 9:40 p.m., Maxwell Dworkin Room G125
                           Harvard University Extension, Spring 2014

                                           April 8

                         Building a New Boston, Again
Reading: Thomas O’Connor, Building a New Boston

                          Second Assignment Due on April 15

                                     April 15
                                Boston in the 1960s
Reading: Lukas, Common Ground
      Masur, Soiling of Old Glory

                                         April 22
                                     The Busing Crisis
Reading: Lukas, Common Ground
      Masur, Soiling of Old Glory
       Note: April 25 is the last day to drop a class for a WD grade; no refund!

                                    April 29, May 6
                              Building Another New Boston

                                   Paper 3 Due May 6

                     May 13: All revised work must be turned in.

                            Writing Assignments
Ungraded assignments: Every other week, you will turn in a one-page reflection memo
on what you have been reading, seeing, or thinking about. These memos will not be
graded, but either one of the graders or I will comment on it. You can expand these
thoughts into a longer essay, and at the end of the semester I will take into account the
fact that you have (or have not) submitted these papers when I calculate your final grade.

You will also have the opportunity to post these papers on the course web-site, under the
discussion section. Your classmates will be able to make comments, and you will be able
to post comments to their papers.

Assignment #1. Choice: Either visit an historical site, and write a 4-6 page evaluation of
how it presents its story; or read one of the assigned books and write a 4-6 page
evaluation of how the author presents his story. Draft Due on February 25. Paper Due
March 25

     HIST E-1632/W                         The History of Boston
         Tuesdays, 7:40 to 9:40 p.m., Maxwell Dworkin Room G125
                           Harvard University Extension, Spring 2014

Assignment #2. Choice: Eminent Bostonian, Person or Monument. Either write a 4-6
page profile of a Bostonian, with an annotated bibliography of sources (including books,
articles, web-sites), indicating the person’s importance to the city; or a 4-6 page
evaluation of a Boston landmark, indicating both what it represents, why it was built, and
by whom it was built, with an annotated bibliography of sources. Due April 15.

Assignment #3: Boston Fact or Fiction. See below. Due May 6.

                       Neighborhood History Option
 You may substitute this assignment for two of the other papers. Choose a Boston
neighborhood, and using all the available sources (neighborhood historical society, on-
line sources, books) write a 10-14 page essay on the neighborhood. This assignment
may substitute for two of the others, though you must inform me that you are doing this
by March 15.      Paper Due May 6.

                             Special Assignment
This semester students will have the opportunity to do a project involving original
research or archival work. Any of these assignments may be used in substitution for two
papers. If you are interested in one of these projects, or if you have another
neighborhood or Boston history project that intrigues you, please consult with me as soon
as possible!

East Boston. The East Boston neighborhood has a rich history, but unfortunately not
much has been done to research or write it. You will have the opportunity to work with
members of the East Boston community in researching and writing the neighborhood
history, and finding areas of collaboration.

Revolutionary Boston. The Revolution began in Boston. The Freedom Trail
Foundation has a standard guidebook, which is in need of revision. You will work with
staff from the Freedom Trail Foundation in researching and writing new copy, and in
preparing short articles for their newsletter.

The West End Museum. The West End Museum on Staniford Street preserves the story
of the people of this neighborhood, which was demolished as part of the urban renewal
craze of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Students in this class have played an important
part in shaping the Museum over the past years, and you will be able to join them.

       If you chose to do one of these assignments, let me know by February 11.

      HIST E-1632/W                                The History of Boston
           Tuesdays, 7:40 to 9:40 p.m., Maxwell Dworkin Room G125
                                 Harvard University Extension, Spring 2014

                                      Boston Fact or Fiction

“Never let the facts get in the way of a good story,” Isabella Stewart Gardner said. She was right. But how
do good stories come into being? Here are some of my favorite stories, and some of the favorites offered
by other Boston historians. We have been telling our students and any interested listeners these things for
years. Your assignment—CHOOSE ONE of these stories, find out if it is true. Where did the story come
from? You will need to conduct primary research on the story, and will report back on what you find.
True? False? Impossible to tell? Document everything--where you did your research, what problems you
encountered, what sources you found, what you wished you could find. In this assignment, How you know
is as important as what you know.

1. In the early 1880s, the City of Boston wanted to demolish the Old State House. The City of Chicago
heard this, and offered to move the building the shores of Lake Michigan. Bostonians decided to keep the
old building, and formed the Bostonian Society to protect it.

2. James Michael Curley, determined to get a reluctant banker to loan the City money, threatened to open
the sewers beneath the bank and flood the vaults.

3. Evacuation Day (March 17) only became a holiday because the Protestant city leaders would not allow
St. Patrick’s Day to be celebrated. The wily Irish created Evacuation Day as a way to celebrate their patron

3. Publisher James Fields was the first to give royalties to authors.

4. Edgar Allan Poe called Boston “Frogpondia,” mocking the pretensions of Boston’s literary culture.

5. Nick’s Mate, the island in Boston harbor, was a hanging place for pirates and mutineers. It is named for
the wrongly-executed Mate of a Captain Nix, who warned that if they hanged him, an innocent man, the
island would disappear.

6. Theatre was banned in Puritan Boston. To get around the ban, enterprising actors would bill their
performances as moral lectures.

7. Alexander Graham Bell, an immigrant from Scotland, planned to move to another city, but decided to
stay in Boston after attending a rally against the Ku Klux Klan, and discovered the temperament of
Bostonians was to his liking.

8. Peter Faneuil’s fortune came from two sources: the slave trade; and his rich uncle, who bequeathed his
fortune to his nephew on the condition that Peter never marry.

9. Samuel Adams operated a brewery.

10. Before assassinating President Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth visited Boston, and practiced shooting.

11. Edgar Allan Poe, stationed at Fort Independence in 1827, heard the story of Lieutenant Gustavus Drane
killing Lieutenant Robert Massie in a duel at there in 1817. Soldiers loyal to Massie got him drunk and
walled him up inside the Castle. Poe later based his story, “A Cask of Amontillado,” on this incident.

12. Elizabeth Vergoose, buried in the Granary, wrote nursery rhymes under the name “Mother Goose.”
Who was Elizabeth Vergoose?

      HIST E-1632/W                                The History of Boston
           Tuesdays, 7:40 to 9:40 p.m., Maxwell Dworkin Room G125
                                 Harvard University Extension, Spring 2014

13. Harry Frazee, owner of the Boston Red Sox, sold star pitcher/hitter Babe Ruth to the Yankees in order
to finance his Broadway play, “No, No, Nanette.” Ruth vowed that the Red Sox, winners of five World
Series, would never win another championship.

14. Colonists taunted British soldiers by calling them “Lobster backs.” Lobster was considered trash fish
in the colonial period, only eaten by the destitute and convicts.

14. The grave of Daniel Malcolm at Copp’s Hill is pockmarked, the result of British soldiers using it for
target practice during the siege of Boston.

15. The Parkman bandstand on Boston Common was the only public place in the city where women were
allowed to smoke.

16. Alexander Graham Bell--where did he invent the telephone?

17. There are no Catholic churches on Boston’s main downtown streets because of the virulent anti-
Catholic prejudice of the 19th-century.

18. During the Siege of Boston, British officers used Old South Meeting House as a riding stable. They set
up a bar in the balconies for spectators to their equestrian exhibitions.

19. Architect Charles Bulfinch was jailed for debt in the early 19th-century, ironically, in a jail he designed.

20. Joseph P. Kennedy made his fortune as a bootlegger during Prohibition. To this day, the Kennedys
receive $1 for every bottle of Irish whisky imported into the United States.

21. The Golden Stairs in East Boston received their name:
         --because immigrants landing in Boston would mount the “golden stairs” to their successful lives
in the new world;
         --because the stairs led down to the high-paying jobs in the shipyards during World Wars 1 and 2;
         --because during Prohibition, rum-runners would bring alcohol up the stairs to be sold for high

22. Goodwife Glover, executed as a witch in the 1680s, was actually a victim of anti-Catholic prejudice.

23. At the Battle of Bunker Hill, Captain Thomas Preston ordered, “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of
their eyes.”

24. The Boston Celtics were created by the owners of the Boston Garden as a way to enhance revenue for
their National Hockey League team, the Boston Bruins.

25. A disgruntled city contractor tried to assassinate West End ward leader Martin Lomasney inside City
Hall. Lomasney commented, “People might not like their aldermen, but they don’t think we should be shot
without a fair trial.”

26. During the War of 1812, suspected British spies would be asked where the grasshopper flew in Boston.

     HIST E-1632/W                         The History of Boston
         Tuesdays, 7:40 to 9:40 p.m., Maxwell Dworkin Room G125
                           Harvard University Extension, Spring 2014

Rewriting. You will have the opportunity to rewrite your first and second paper, using
the comments the grader and I provide. If the grade improves, we will only count the
higher grade. While you have until May 13 to turn in all work, it will be best to submit
the revisions as soon as possible.

                        How to Turn In Your Papers
Chris Libertini and Patric O’Brien are both long-distance graders. Karen Chaney will
attend class every week. If you attend class, give your papers directly to Ms. Chaney. If
you are a distance student, e-mail your papers to Chris Libertini or Patric O’Brien. If
your name begins with A-L, send the papers to Patric O’Brien.

If you have concerns about a grade or comments, please see me.

When you submit your paper electronically, make sure your name AND E-MAIL
ADDRESS are clearly marked on the paper itself so we can return them to you.

                              Penalty for Late Papers
Since you have the opportunity to rewrite papers, do not wait until your paper is perfect
before turning it in. Paper 1 must be turned in by March 29; Paper 2 must be turned in
by April 19; Paper 3 must be turned in by May 3. If there are extenuating circumstances
(i.e., military service, changes at work or at home, death or illness in the family) please
come to see me. Otherwise I will think you are malingering. Late papers will have their
grades reduced appropriately.

If you have not submitted your first paper by March 30, the highest grade you can earn in
the course will be B.

If you have not submitted two papers by April 19, or informed me you are doing one of
the optional assignments, the highest grade you can earn will be B-.

If you have not submitted 3 papers by May 13, your highest grade will be C+.

                           Boston History Web-Sites
Massachusetts Historical Society

Bostonian Society         
This web-site has links to Boston neighborhood historical society web-sites; also, the
photo collection is now digitized and searchable by street or by person.

     HIST E-1632/W                        The History of Boston
         Tuesdays, 7:40 to 9:40 p.m., Maxwell Dworkin Room G125
                          Harvard University Extension, Spring 2014

Boston Public Library       

Historic New England       
Formerly the Society for Preservation of New England Antiquities, Historic New
England has a phenomenal photo collection, as well as several historic properties.

City of Boston Archives

Massachusetts State Archives
The Archives also house the Commonwealth Museum; lots of material from the
Colonial, Revolutionary, and Civil War periods; as well as census, voting, and tax

Primary Research,
       Prepared by students in Beverly Public Schools

New England Historic Genealogical Society 
One of the foremost repositories of genealogical information in the nation.

Boston 1775 A web-site on Boston in the Revolution, compiled and maintained by Jon

                                  Grading Criteria

A paper in the “A”: range must be interesting and original. It will
    adhere to the conventions of the discipline,
          o with properly formatted foot-notes or end-notes,
          o paragraphs that develop an overall argument,
          o which has been introduced clearly in the opening paragraph.
    It will rely on relevant sources,
          o which are properly cited,
          o and focus on the issue at hand.
    It will explain the quotes and other material used.
    The writer will give clear evidence of not only understanding the material, but
      engaging with it.

       HIST E-1632/W                       The History of Boston
         Tuesdays, 7:40 to 9:40 p.m., Maxwell Dworkin Room G125
                           Harvard University Extension, Spring 2014

      Both the writer and the reader will be interested in the outcome.
      Typographical errors or grammatical lapses will be at a minimum, suggesting a
       careful proof-reading before submission; more than a few such errors will push
       even the most remarkable paper to the B range.

A paper in the B range will be solidly-researched and clearly written.
           It must adhere to the conventions of the discipline
                 o with properly-formatted foot-notes or end-notes.
           It will show a solid understanding of the material.
           It will be based clearly on the sources, which are cited.
           A “B” paper is always good.
           The writing will be clear,
                 o though some paragraphs may be too long or too short;
                 o it might have stylistic or editorial glitches.
                 o These are outweighed by its merits.

A paper in the C Range will show an effort to understand the topic at hand.
           The author may not have a full grasp of all the issues, but will have
              presented material related to some question or issue.
           Typically the paper will have some problems—
                  o not enough sources,
                  o not enough thought,
                          poor writing
                          skimpy research.
                  o Editorial, or typographical or grammatical errors.
                     The paper will attempt to convey an idea or ideas, but these
                     problems will weigh it down and prevent it from succeeding.

A paper in the D range has significant editorial or grammatical errors.
    It might fail to use sources adequately, showing little time or care taken in
    The author will not give sufficient evidence of thought or research.
    Though the paper may have some interesting or perceptible point, it will not be
      developed sufficiently.

An F paper will be lacking in thought, care, judgment; typically it shows little time
taken by the author, and it wastes the time of the reader. If a paper is plagiarized, the
author will receive an F for the semester.

Plagiarism is a serious academic offense; if you are unfamiliar with what constitutes
plagiarism (i.e., appropriating someone else’s ideas and passing it off as your own) you
should consult “Writing with Sources,” a guide produced by Harvard’s Expository

     HIST E-1632/W                        The History of Boston
         Tuesdays, 7:40 to 9:40 p.m., Maxwell Dworkin Room G125
                          Harvard University Extension, Spring 2014

Writing Program. The appropriate guidelines can be found in Any paper found to be plagiarized will earn
the student turning it in a Failing grade for the semester, and there may be other
repercussions including expulsion from the program after investigation by the
Administrative Board.

As a general rule, we will insist that paper in the D range or below be rewritten.

Extension of Time
If you realize during the course of the semester that you will not be able to complete the
work on time, you must request a formal Extension of Time, obtaining an Extension of
Time form from the Registrar’s Office (available on-line). I must sign this form and we
must agree on a date for you to complete the work. This must be done well in advance of
the semester’s end—by our last class meeting on May 4.


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