In her new book, One Colonial Woman's World: The Life and Writings of Mehetabel Chandler Coit, Michelle Marchetti Coughlin reconstructs the life of Mehetabel Chandler Coit (1673-1758), the author of what may be the earliest surviving diary by an American woman. A native of Roxbury, Massachusetts, who later moved to Connecticut, Mehetabel began her diary at the age of fifteen and kept it intermittently until she was well into her seventies. A previously overlooked resource, the diary contains entries on a broad range of topics as well as poems, recipes, folk and herbal medical remedies, religious meditations, and financial accounts. An extensive collection of letters by Mehetabel and her female relatives has also survived, shedding further light on her experiences. Mehetabel's long life covered an eventful period in American history, and this book explores the numerous--and sometimes surprising--ways in which her personal history was linked to broader social and political developments.
The lecture will be followed by a book signing. Free and open to the public.