The Poorhouses of Mass. with Heli Meltsner Now a Podcast

by Derrickkwa

The most recent episode of Fieldstone Common featuring author Heli Meltsner speaking about her book The Poorhouses of Massachusetts is now available as a podcast.

The podcast can be played through the computer using your default media player (click play below) or downloaded to iTunes (also below).

Listen to internet radio with Fieldstone Common on Blog Talk Radio
Copyright 2012-2013 Marian Pierre-Louis

The Poorhouses of Massachusetts with Heli Meltsner

LIVE: THURSDAY, 15 November 2012 at 1:00pm EST

Listen in to Fieldstone Common this week as host Marian Pierre-Louis talks to Heli Meltsner, author of The Poorhouses of Massachusetts.

Ever since the English settled in America, extreme poverty and the inability of individuals to support themselves and their families have been persistent problems. In the early nineteenth century, many communities established almshouses, or “poorhouses,” in a valiant but ultimately failed attempt to assist the destitute, including the sick, elderly, unemployed, mentally ill and orphaned, as well as unwed mothers, petty criminals and alcoholics.

This work details the rise and decline of poorhouses in Massachusetts, painting a portrait of life inside these institutions and revealing a history of constant political and social turmoil over issues that dominate the conversation about welfare recipients even today. The first study to address the role of architecture in shaping as well as reflecting the treatment of paupers, it also provides photographs and histories of dozens of former poorhouses across the state, many of which still stand.

Heli Meltsner, the curator of the Cambridge Historical Society, has been a town planner and a preservation consultant, undertaking numerous nominations to the National Register of Historic Places and historic resource inventories for municipalities and state agencies. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Copyright 2012-2013 Marian Pierre-Louis

Upcoming in November on Fieldstone Common Radio

Be sure to mark your calendar. We’ll be giving away some great books during the live broadcasts of Fieldstone Common.

1 Nov 2012 at 1pm EST
When America First Met China by Eric Jay Dolin on Fieldstone Common

When America First Met China with Eric Jay Dolin. As a brand new country the United States set out right away to establish itself as a commercial power. Eric Jay Dolin talks about the early roots of the China trade and the historical balance of power between these two nations.

8 Nov 2012 at 1pm EST
Mahogany by Prof. Jennifer L. Anderson on Fieldstone Common

Mahogany: The Costs of Luxury in Early America with Prof. Jennifer L. Anderson. In the mid-eighteenth century, colonial Americans became enamored with the rich colors and silky surface of mahogany. Mahogany traces the path of this wood through many hands, from source to sale: from the enslaved African woodcutters, to the ship captains, merchants, and timber dealers.

15 Nov 2012 at 1pm EST
The Poorhouses of Massachusetts by Heli Meltsner on Fieldstone Common
The Poorhouses of Massachusetts with Heli Meltsner.  A Study on the development of the poorhouses, the life within their walls and their architecture. Learn how Massachusetts dealt with its poor, homeless and mentally ill before the inception of Social Security and current welfare programs.
22 Nov 2012 at 1pm EST
Plimoth Plantation Culinarian Kathleen Wall on Fieldstone Common
An Original Thanksgiving with Plimouth Plantation Culinarian, Kathleen Wall. What was the original Thanksgiving like and how does it compare with how we celebrate today? Learn about colonial food in this very special Thanksgiving episode.
29 Nov 2012 at 1pm EST
Professor Ken Lockridge on Fieldstone Common

A New England Town with Prof. Ken Lockridge . Ken Lockridge wrote A New England Town in 1970 and it went on to become a significant contribution to the field of history and our understanding of the development of New England. Come hear how the field of history has changed since that time.
Copyright 2012-2013 Marian Pierre-Louis

Show Notes – Mahogany with Jennifer L. Anderson

Mahogany with Jennifer L. Anderson on Fieldstone CommonFollowing are some items that were mentioned during the 8 November 2012 Fieldstone Common interview with Prof. Jennifer L. Anderson, author of Mahogany: The Costs of Luxury in Early America.

The podcast of the interview is now available.

You can learn more about Jennifer L. Anderson from her staff page in the history department at SUNY Stony Brook.

Mahogany: The Costs of Luxury in Early America was published by Harvard University Press and copies are available for sale through Amazon.com and other booksellers.

Professor Anderson’s next research project/book will look at Long Island and its relationship to the Atlantic coast. 

Our sponsor for this episode was Houstory Publishing, makers of the Home History Book and the Heirloom Registry.Fieldstone Common listeners can take 15 % off their Heirloom Registry order by visiting the Heirloom Registry at www.heirloomregistry.com, and entering FIELDSTONE – in all caps – at checkout.


Harvard University Press, the publisher of Mahogany: The Costs of Luxury in Early America, donated two copies of the book that were given as a “door prizes” during the live show. One copy went to a listener in Florida and the other to a listener in New Hampshire. A big thank you to the Harvard University Press for  their generosity!

Copyright 2012-2013 Marian Pierre-Louis

Mahogany with Jennifer Anderson Now Available as a Podcast

Mahogany with Jennifer L. Anderson on Fieldstone Common now available as a Podcast
by Derrickkwa

The most recent episode of Fieldstone Common featuring author Jennifer L. Anderson speaking about her book Mahogany: The Costs of Luxury in Early America is now available as a podcast.

The podcast can be played through the computer using your default media player (click play below) or downloaded to iTunes (also below).

Listen to internet radio with Fieldstone Common on Blog Talk Radio
Copyright 2012-2013 Marian Pierre-Louis

Mahogany with Jennifer L. Anderson

Mahogany by Jennifer L. Anderson

LIVE: THURSDAY, 8 November 2012 at 1:00pm EST

Listen in to Fieldstone Common this week as host Marian Pierre-Louis talks to Prof. Jennifer L. Anderson, author of Mahogany: The Costs of Luxury in Early America.

In the mid-eighteenth century, colonial Americans became enamored with the rich colors and silky surface of mahogany. This exotic wood, imported from the West Indies and Central America, quickly displaced local furniture woods as the height of fashion. Over the next century, consumer demand for mahogany set in motion elaborate schemes to secure the trees and transform their rough-hewn logs into exquisite objects. But beneath the polished gleam of this furniture lies a darker, hidden story of human and environmental exploitation.

Mahogany traces the path of this wood through many hands, from source to sale: from the enslaved African woodcutters, including skilled “huntsmen” who located the elusive trees amidst dense rainforest, to the ship captains, merchants, and timber dealers who scrambled after the best logs, to the skilled cabinetmakers who crafted the wood, and with it the tastes and aspirations of their diverse clientele. As the trees became scarce, however, the search for new sources led to expanded slave labor, vicious competition, and intense international conflicts over this diminishing natural resource. When nineteenth-century American furniture makers turned to other materials, surviving mahogany objects were revalued as antiques evocative of the nation’s past.

Jennifer Anderson is Assistant Professor of History at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Copyright 2012-2013 Marian Pierre-Louis

Show Notes – When America First Met China with Eric Jay Dolin

When America First Met China by Eric Jay DolinFollowing are some items that were mentioned during the 1 November 2012 Fieldstone Common interview with Eric Jay Dolin, author of When America First Met China.

The podcast of the interview is now available.

You can learn more about Eric Jay Dolin and his books from his website and you can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

When American First Met China was published by the Liveright imprint of WW Norton & Company and copies are available for sale through Amazon.com and other booksellers.

You can watch a brief (less than 3 minute) video of When America First Met China to learn more about the book.

Some of the real life characters mentioned in the book were Robert Morris, financier of the American Revolution; and shipping magnates John Jacob Astor, Stephen Girard and Elias Hasket Derby.

The interview also touched on the history of tea and the environmental factors associated with the trade of seal and sea otter furs as well as sandalwood.

Harriet Low was the name of the young woman who snuck into Canton, China, defying a ban on women.

Cleopatra’s Barge was the Boston-built ship sold to the King of Hawaii.

Our sponsor for this episode was Houstory Publishing, makers of the Home History Book and the Heirloom Registry. Houstory Publishing is offering Fieldstone Common listeners a 20% discount on their brass plate Heirloom Registry Packages through November 15, 2012. Use the Offer Code: FIELDSTONEBRASS  — (IN ALL CAPS) checking out at the Heirloom Registry Marketplace.

The Liveright imprint of WW Norton & Company, the publisher of When America First Met China, donated two copies of the book that were given as a door prizes during the live show. One copy went to a listener in Boston and the other to one in Pennsylvania. A big thank you to the Liveright   for  their generosity!

Copyright 2012-2013 Marian Pierre-Louis

When America First Met China – Now Available as a Podcast

When America First Met China by Eric Jay Dolin now a Podcast
by Derrickkwa

The most recent episode of Fieldstone Common featuring author Eric Jay Dolin speaking about his book When America First Met China is now available as a podcast.

The podcast can be played through the computer using your default media player (click play below) or downloaded to iTunes (also below).

Listen to internet radio with Fieldstone Common on Blog Talk Radio
Copyright 2012-2013 Marian Pierre-Louis