MAC: Historical Society Hosts Noted Author & Historian



The Canton Historical Society, Stoughton Historical Society, and the Friends of the Canton Public Library will host an evening with Stephen Puleo, author of The Caning: The Assault that Drove America to Civil War, on Monday, February 11, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the Canton Public Library. Puleo will discuss his book, which explores the attack on U.S. Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts by U.S. Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina in 1856.

The caning (over 30 blows with his cane) took place at Sumner’s desk in the Senate chamber following Sumner’s speech against the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which called for creating the two territories and allowing them to decide independently whether to allow slavery. Sumner argued for admitting Kansas as a free state. Days later, Brooks physically attacked Sumner. He suffered head damage so severe, today it would have been diagnosed as a traumatic brain injury.

This event ignited the passions and prejudices that led to the Civil War in the United States. MAC, a Civil War buff, thinks this will be a very interesting evening with dynamic author and historian Stephen Puleo.

The Canton Historical Society building is open to the public the second Sunday of every month from 1-4 p.m. during the winter season.

Canton selectmen are once again offering Canton senior citizens who are property owners the “Senior Citizen Tax Credit Program,” which affords seniors (60 and older) the opportunity to work for the town in various temporary, part-time service areas in exchange for a residential property tax credit, up to $1,000 per year. Seniors can work a maximum of 125 hours at a rate of $8 per hour. Work will begin on April 1.

Interested seniors can pick up an application at the Senior Center at 660 Washington Street or call 781-828-1323. Applications must be submitted to the attention of Diane Tynan, director of the Council on Aging, by Friday, February 15.

The Meditech Company in Canton awarded a $15,000 grant to the Canton school system to be used for technical programs.

The Canton Fire Department recently received two donations, one in the amount of $5,000 from the Simoni Foundation and one for $500 from Pulse Systems of Canton.

Because of the winter season, the Canton Fire Department will allow open burning between January 15 and May 1. Permits must be obtained from the Fire Department.

This past month, we sadly lost a number of well-known Cantonites:

Paul Callanan worked for over 40 years in the Canton Public School system where he retired as head of the Industrial Arts Department. Mr. Callanan taught MAC in his “shop class” when he first arrived at CHS in the late 1950s. Mr. Callanan also played Santa Claus for the past 30 years at Christmas time at the Canton Public Library, a job he loved to do as he interacted with the children of Canton.

Karen Sampson co-owned the popular Queen Anne’s sub shop on Route 138 with her husband, Frank Sampson. Over 500 of Karen’s friends gathered at the Canton Town Club to celebrate her life.

Maureen (Galvin) Darling, a 1966 graduate of CHS, worked as a big rig truck driver for Teamsters Local 25 on Boston’s Big Dig project as well as the Spectacle Island and Quincy quarry projects. Maureen was one of the few female truck drivers in Massachusetts.

Johnny Bires Sr., a relative of MAC’s, was a mainstay at the Canton Town Club, a Navy veteran of World War II, and well-liked by everyone he ever came in contact with.

They all will be missed and may they all rest in peace.

It is not your blue blood, your pedigree, or your college degree. It’s what you do with your life that counts.

This is all for now folks. See you next week.

Joe DeFelice can be reached at

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avatar Posted by on Feb 6 2013. Filed under Man About Canton, Opinion. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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