Participant Info

First Name
Michelle Marchetti
Last Name
Independent Scholar & Author
Website URL
Women's History, Puritan New England, Seventeenth Century, Early American Social History, Material Culture, Colonial African-American History, Early American Women's Writings, Public History, Museums
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

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 (2012), is a biography 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. My most recent book, Penelope Winslow, Plymouth Colony First Lady: Re-Imagining a Life (2019), reconstructs the life of one of Plymouth Colony’s most influential women through material culture. I am currently at work on a book on the wives of America’s colonial governors (“The First First Ladies”) and their counterparts among female Native tribal leaders and the wives of America’s early peer-elected Black governors.​

I have a strong interest in public history and have lectured widely on my work. As a board member of the Abigail Adams Birthplace, I’ve created a wide range of educational programs focusing on women’s history and African-American history, some of which have aired on C-SPAN. I’ve served as a Mass Humanities Scholar in Residence, as a consultant to historical organizations seeking to integrate women’s history into their interpretation, and as a guest curator for Pilgrim Hall Museum’s 2019-2021 exhibit, pathFOUNDERS: Women of Plymouth.

Recent Publications


Penelope Winslow, Plymouth Colony First Lady: Re-Imagining a Life (Pilgrim Hall Museum, 2019)

One Colonial Woman’s World: The Life and Writings of Mehetabel Chandler Coit (University of Massachusetts Press, 2012)

Selected Articles & Reviews

Review of The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright by Ann M. Little, Coordinating Council for Women in History Newsletter, Fall 2020

“The Bradford House Women,” American Ancestors magazine, Summer 2018

​“A Shared Sensibility: Examining the Legacy of John and Mary (Mason) Norton, Maternal Great-Grandparents of Abigail Adams,” American Ancestors magazine, Winter 2015

“Reading Between the Lines: Interpreting the Writings of Mehetabel (Chandler) Coit and Her Mother, Elizabeth (Douglas) Chandler,” American Ancestors magazine, Winter 2014

​Review of The Notorious Elizabeth Tuttle by Ava Chamberlain
New England Quarterly, December 2013

“Mehetabel Chandler Coit: Finding ‘Her Book,’” Commonplace, Spring 2013

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
17th century, 18th century
Expertise by Topic
American Founding Era, Gender, Local & Regional, Material Culture, Museums, Public History, Slavery, Women