On March 22, 1621, a Native American delegation walked through what is now southern New England to meet with a group of foreigners who had taken over a recently deserted Indian settlement. At the head of the party was an uneasy triumvirate: Massasoit, the sachem (political-military leader) of the Wampanoag confederation, a loose coalition of several dozen villages that controlled most of southeastern Massachusetts; Samoset, sachem of an allied group to the north; and Tisquantum, a distrusted captive, whom Massasoit had brought along only reluctantly as an interpreter. Massasoit was an adroit politician, but the dilemma he faced would have tested Machiavelli. About five years before, most of his subjects had fallen before a terrible calamity. Whole villages had been depopulated. It was all Massasoit could do to hold together the remnants of his people. Adding to his problems, the disaster had not touched the Wampanoag’s longtime enemies, the Narragansett alliance to the west. Soon, Massasoit feared, they would take advantage of the Wampanoag’s weakness and overrun them. And the only solution he could see was fraught with perils of its own, because it involved the foreigners—people from across the sea.
The Indians who first feasted with the English colonists were far more sophisticated than you were taught in school. But that wasn't enough to save them In addition to providing a beautifully written account of what happened, the article does something subtle but incredibly cool in using a Native centered perspective that really illuminates how dramatically silenced and othered Native voices are in other accounts. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 28, 2013 -
: America’s first publicly out transgender high school coach is opening minds in the conservative rural town of Glocester, R.I.
posted by yeoz
on Nov 12, 2013 -
What started as a report of a convenience store robbery near the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last night has sprawled into a chaotic manhunt for the perpetrators of the recent terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon
The deadly pursuit, involving a policeman's murder, a carjacking, a violent chase with thrown explosives, and the death of one suspect
, has resulted in Governor Deval Patrick
ordering an unprecedented lockdown of the entire Boston metropolitan area
as an army of law enforcement searches house by house for the remaining gunman.
The Associated Press has identified the duo as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev
, who remains at large. Both are immigrants
from wartorn Chechnya
in southwestern Russia.
The Guardian liveblog is good for quick updates, and Reddit's updating crowdsourced timeline of events
that has often outpaced mainstream media coverage of the situation. You can also get real-time reports straight from the (Java-based) local police scanner
posted by Rhaomi
on Apr 19, 2013 -
Fenway Park, in Boston, is a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark. Everything is painted green and seems in curiously sharp focus, like the inside of an old-fashioned peeping-type Easter egg. It was built in 1912 and rebuilt in 1934, and offers, as do most Boston artifacts, a compromise between Man's Euclidean determinations and Nature's beguiling irregularities.
So wrote John Updike in his moving tribute to Red Sox legend Ted Williams
-- an appropriately pedigreed account for this oldest
and most fabled
of ballfields that saw its first major league game
played one century ago today
As a team in flux
hopes to recapture the magic with an old-school face-off
against the New York
Yankees, it's hard to imagine the soul of the Sox faced the specter
not too long ago. Now legally preserved
, in a sport crowded with corporate-branded superdome behemoths, Fenway abides
, bursting with history
, record crowds
, and occasional song
. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Apr 20, 2012 -
... [Sarah Orne] Jewett's gifts have always been recognized by a select few, and continue to be.
[The Country of the] Pointed Firs, especially, was immediately recognized as a major achievement. Henry James called it, perfectly, “a beautiful little quantum of achievement.” Willa Cather listed it as one of her three great American novels...
posted by Trurl
on Jan 13, 2012 -
"We are under obligation to A. S. Partridge of Depeyster, who obtained the following incidents last summer from N. F. Swain, his neighbor. Mr. Swain is now upwards of ninety years old, and his memory of what transpired in his younger days is especially good, and the incidents, together with the dates, places and names were so impressed on his mind that they may be relied upon as authentic."
From the History of Hammond, New York,
one of about 1500 Town Histories
, courtesy of Ray's Place. [more inside]
posted by Devils Rancher
on Feb 7, 2011 -
For all the faults of the poorhouse
, the system it replaced was perceived to be even worse. In post-Revolution America, if you were poor, you could be "farmed out" at public auction to the lowest bidder. [more inside]
posted by Knappster
on Dec 30, 2010 -
Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High
As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies—more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year. Some adults dismissed the statistic as a blip. Others blamed hit movies like Juno and Knocked Up for glamorizing young unwed mothers. But principal Joseph Sullivan knows at least part of the reason there's been such a spike in teen pregnancies in this Massachusetts fishing town.
posted by swift
on Jun 19, 2008 -
is a loosely affiliated group based in New England with an interest in the societies and peoples who lived in Northern Europe during the Viking age. While no longer formally organized, they still have events, frequently at the Higgins Armory Museum
in Worcester MA. [more inside]
posted by owhydididoit
on Apr 14, 2008 -
The Dreaded Half Worcester warning: music
is just one of the possible vexing configurations players
encounter in candlepin bowling
, a regional variation on traditional bowling that's unique to northern New England and maritime Canada. Developed in Worcester, MA, around 1880 (warning: more music)
, the game
is played in gorgeous antique alleys
dotted around New England and Nova Scotia, and features a 4 1/2" wooden or rubber ball
, three rolls per frame or "box," and 15 and 3/4" narrow, cylinder-shaped pins that are the devil to knock down -- even though you can use the dead wood
to knock other pins down, a score over 200 is extremely rare. Find some lanes
or just take the quiz
- like so many regional quirks, this one's undergoing a bit of a revival
posted by Miko
on Jul 19, 2007 -
The Ames Fan Club
documents the life of each of the deceased department stores following the dissolution of their corporate souls. From Gallipolis
to West Hartford
, the shells of Ames have been photographed and critiqued. Some have lain dormant, logos still peeking out from between overturned racks and offline registers. Some have found new
lives, though while the buildings remain, the smell of "bargains by the bagful" will never return. If only we could all age as gracefully as the Agawam Ames
posted by setanor
on Nov 15, 2005 -
6000 breathtaking aerial photos
of American towns and other sites, with particularly good coverage of towns in New England (MA
). All of this by one photographer, Joseph Melanson, whose mission in life is "to show you facets of your environment that you never realized no matter how long you lived there."
posted by dougb
on Aug 6, 2003 -
If you grew up in or around New England you're probably familiar with a carbonated concoction called Moxie
. Tastewise, it's kind of a love or hate deal and I fall squarely in the love camp. And I'm not alone apparently
. The history of the product is actually pretty interesting. For those whose thirst has been stoked, here's a list
places to get it.
posted by jonmc
on Mar 22, 2002 -