The Newport Historical Society will host scholar Michelle Marchetti Coughlin to discuss her new book One Colonial Woman’s World: The Life and Writings of Mehetabel Chandler Coit on Thursday October 24, 2013 at 5:30pm.
Mehetabel Chandler Coit (1673-1758), a New England native, wrote what may be the earliest surviving diary by an American woman, recording entries on a broad range of topics as well as poems, recipes, and medical remedies. Mehetabel began her diary at the age of fifteen and kept it intermittently until she was well into her seventies. Her long life covered an eventful period in American history, and this talk will explore the sometimes surprising ways in which her personal history was linked to broader social and political developments.
Marla R. Miller, author of Betsy Ross and the Making of America, (St. Martin’s Griffin 2011) states that, “This book [is] a stunning development, the first deep examination of an unknown diary that affords a very rare glimpse into women’s lives in this time and place. Coughlin’s narrative places the diarist and the diary thoroughly in its context, situating each passage within broader patterns of local and regional history as well as the political, cultural, and social history of the era.”
Michelle Marchetti Coughlin is an independent scholar and former editor who holds graduate degrees in history and English and American literature. She currently works as a scholar in residence for the Westport, Massachusetts Historical Society, researching the life of Elizabeth Cadman White (1685-1768), one of the first owners of the Cadman-White-Handy House.
One Colonial Woman’s World takes place at the Colony House on Washington Square. Admission costs $5 per person, $1 for Newport Historical Society members. Please RSVP to 401-841-8770. Coughlin’s book of the same title, published by University of Massachusetts Press in 2012, will be available for purchase.