Harrison Bennett and New England Women’s History

History Smiths

For fans of women’s history, New England offers a wealth of historic sites to visit — from Native American days through four centuries of colonial and American history.

Louisa May Alcott’s home in Concord, Massachusetts; Judith Sargent Murray’s home in Gloucester, Massachusetts; Emily Dickinson’s home in Amherst, Massachusetts; Harriet Beecher Stowe’s home in Hartford, Connecticut — many of these places are historic house museums that are open to the public.

The other good news is that many historic sites normally associated with men are reinterpreting their tours to include women’s history. Otis House in Boston is one such example; Longfellow House in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is another, or the Old Manse in Concord, Massachusetts, Adams National Historic Site in Quincy, Massachusetts, the Moffatt-Ladd House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, or the famous “cottages” in Newport, Rhode Island.

In Salem, Massachusetts, thousands of people the world over flock to the Salem Witch Museum to learn more about the tragic Salem Witch Trials of 1692, when the hysteria of young girls (and those who believed them) caused the innocent deaths of primarily women.

Get out and walk!

The Boston Women’s Heritage Trail — the first-in-the-nation self-guided women’s history walking trail — reveals four centuries of sites in Boston’s most historic neighborhoods. You will find a similar trail to the north in Salem, Massachusetts, and even further north in Portland and Augusta, Maine. In Worcester, Massachusetts, there is a trail of woman suffrage sites. In Boston, a trail of women’s legal history sites offers a new look. Each one of these trails has a brochure or booklet you may purchase, and in Cambridge, Massachusetts, women’s history sites are available online.

Let’s take a tour!

If you would like a spirited and informative walking tour in Boston, Cambridge, or Salem, Massachusetts, please contact me! I can also join your bus tour of women’s history sites in Concord, Cambridge, Boston, the North Shore, and Cape Ann. These tours are fun for all ages, and you will hear dozens of inspiring stories.

Special events

In 2010, communities throughout New England will celebrate Margaret Fuller’s Bicentennial. Best known as part of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s circle of friends and for her landmark women’s rights book Woman in the Nineteenth Century, Fuller was also the first woman foreign correspondent, living as a real Transnational in England, France, and Italy before her tragic death by shipwreck at the age of 40.