I am a historian and author with research interests in early American social history, women’s history, African-American history, material culture, and public history. A primary focus of my research has been the recovery of information about early American women, who continue to be underrepresented in the telling of America’s story. My first book, One Colonial Woman’s World: The Life and Writings of Mehetabel Chandler Coit (University of Massachusetts Press, 2012), reconstructs the life of the author of what may be the earliest surviving diary by an American woman. It received an honorable mention for the Western Association of Women Historians 2014 Kanner Prize.
I have lectured at institutions ranging from Brown University to the Boston Athenaeum to Historic Deerfield, and have written for both academic and nonspecialist audiences. My current writing projects include a book on the wives of the colonial governors and a book on Penelope Pelham Winslow, a member of the English gentry who was married to Plymouth Colony governor Josiah Winslow.
I have a strong interest in public history, and as a board member of the Abigail Adams Birthplace have planned a wide range of educational programming, including a panel on “Revolutionary Women” (which aired on C-SPAN), programs on slavery, and a symposium to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Abigail and John Adams’s marriage. I have served as a Massachusetts Humanities Scholar-in-Residence and am currently a consulting historian on a research project involving the nineteenth-century abolitionist Bradford sisters of Duxbury, Mass.
To find out more, please visit www.onecolonialwomansworld.com
Michelle’s article on the search for Mehetabel Chandler Coit’s diary appears in the Spring 2013 issue of Common-place http://www.common-place.org/vol-13/no-03/tales/