The Colonial Society of Massachusetts Announces the 2022
Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Early American History Competition
This prize of two thousand five hundred dollars, established in memory of Walter Muir Whitehill, for many years Editor of Publications for the Colonial Society and the moving force behind the organization, will be awarded for a distinguished essay on early American history (up to 1825), not previously published, with preference being given to New England subjects. The Society hopes that the prize may be awarded annually.
A committee of eminent historians will review the essays. Their decision in all cases will be final.
By arrangement with the editors of The New England Quarterly, the Society will have the winning essay published in an appropriate issue of the journal.
Essays are now being accepted for consideration. All manuscripts submitted for the 2022 prize must be postmarked no later than January 15, 2023. The Society expects to announce the winning candidate in the spring of 2022.
Entries submitted for consideration should be sent as a word attachment to email@example.com. Hard copies may be sent to
Whitehill Prize Committee c/o The New England Quarterly Department of History University of Massachusetts, Boston 100 Morrissey Blvd. Boston, MA 02125
All attendees must register to attend the conference. Note that conference presenters and commenters do NOT need to register.
In order to attend both days of the conference, please register for both events below.
Register to attend dinner and keynote on 16 September at the Somerset Club here.
Register to attend programs at the Massachusetts Historical Society on 17 September including lunch here.
Registration for events on both days of conference will close on 2 September.
Questions about registration? Email Research Coordinator Cassandra Cloutier firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, September 16
Reception and dinner: 6 p.m. Friday, September 16, Somerset Club
Keynote address:Sean Wilentz, 8 p.m. “The Radicalism of Northern Emancipation.” George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of History, Princeton University
Saturday, September 17
Massachusetts Historical Society
Arrival: 8:30-9:00 a.m. Coffee, tea, snacks
First Session: 9:00-10:15 a.m.
“Property in the Age of Revolutions” Panel Discussion
Gordon Wood, Alva O. Way Professor of History, Emeritus, Brown University
Wim Klooster, Robert H. and Virginia Scotland Professor in History and Foreign Relations, Clark University
Mark A. Peterson, Edmund S. Morgan Professor of History, Yale University
Rebecca L. Spang, Ruth N. Halls Professor of History, Indiana University
Short Break/Coffee, 10:15-10:30 a.m.
Second Session: 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Politics and Personality in New England
“‘Hereafter there will be no intimacy:’ Charles Francis Adams, Charles Sumner, and the Emerging Divisions Within the Republican Party.”Douglas Egerton, Professor of History, Le Moyne College
“Charles Sumner’s Political Culture and the Foundation of Civil Rights.”John Stauffer, Sumner R. and Marshall S. Kates Professor of English and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University
Comment: Manisha Sinha, James L. and Shirley A. Draper Chair and Professor in American History, University of Connecticut
Buffet Lunch, 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Third Session, 1:30-2:45 p.m.
The Politics and Culture of Investing
“American Expectations: the Culture of Interest, and Return on Investment in the New Republic.” Hannah Farber, Assistant Professor of History, Columbia University
“Silicon Politics, from Big Science to Big Tech.”Margaret O’Mara, Howard and Frances Keller Professor of History, University of Washington
Short Break/Coffee, 2:45-3:00 p.m.
Fourth Session, 3:00-4:15 p.m.
Creating a New New England
“Making a Post-Industrial New England.” Lizabeth Cohen, Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies, Harvard University
“Overlapping Diasporas and the New England Metropolis: Black Communities and Histories since the 1970s.”Brian Purnell, Geoffrey Canada Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History, Bowdoin College
Conclusion, 4:20-5:30 p.m.
Themes in American Political Cultures: A Concluding Discussion
Closing Reception: Beverages and Light Refreshments
Professor Cornelia H. Dayton will present her essay “Lost Years Recovered: John Peters and Phillis Wheatley Peters in Middleton” at a Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar at the Massachusetts Historical Society on Tuesday, September 21 at 5:15pm EDT.
Litigation in Essex County reveals where the African-born poet Phillis Wheatley Peters and her husband John Peters went when they left Boston for three years starting in spring 1780. Peters came into possession of a substantial farm where he had been enslaved as a child. But his tenuous legal position and the hostility of many townspeople led to his eventually losing the land and deciding to move the family back to Boston. Panelists will discuss the implications of these new findings, the future research pathways they suggest, and investigative methods that expand our awareness of Black lives in the late eighteenth-century northeast. Attendees are invited to read the recently published article by Dayton that delineates the complicated litigation record.
The Library of America celebrated the life of our dear friend Professor Bernard Bailyn with a conversation among three eminent historians: Gordon S. Wood of Brown University, Richard D. Brown of the University of Connecticut and President of New England Quarterly, Inc., and Robert J. Allison of Suffolk University. You can read their conversation here.