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For the Union Dead: Bostonians Travel East in Search of Answers

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Massachusetts Historical Society

1154 Boylston Street

Boston, MA 02215

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For the Union Dead: Bostonians Travel East in Search of Answers in the Post-Civil War Era

After the Civil War, artists and writers from Boston faced a question that haunted America: what’s next? For cultural leaders like Charles Eliot Norton and Isabella Stewart Gardner, Reconstruction left them feeling directionless and betrayed. Shunning the Whig narrative of history, these “Boston Cosmopolitans” researched Europe’s long past to discover and share examples of civil society shaped by high ideals.

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Massachusetts Historical Society

1154 Boylston Street

Boston, MA 02215

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