Freeman and Cox Richardson To Receive Prescott Award for Excellence in Historical Writing

On November 17, noted historians Joanne Freeman and Heather Cox Richardson will jointly receive the Prescott Award for Excellence in Historical Writing from the Colonial Dames of Massachusetts in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS). After accepting the award at the MHS headquarters, Professors Cox and Richardson will tape their popular weekly podcast, Now and Then, in which these noted historians use their knowledge of the past to inform current events.

The theme of this podcast will be “Unsung History” drawing on objects from the MHS collection that represent the stories of ordinary people who – in one way or another – took part in or witnessed important historical events of moments. This includes a 19th century ledger book with images made by Native American prisoners of war, and a bottle of leaves from the Boston Tea Party.

Joanne Freeman is a professor at Yale whose work focuses on the Revolutionary and early Federal periods in American history. Heather Cox Richardson, a professor at Boston College whose focus is the post-Civil War period, is well-known for her blog “Letters to an American.”

The Massachusetts Colonial Dames are delighted to be collaborating with MHS in the presentation of the award. The presentation will take place in person at the MHS headquarters on Boylston Street. The event will begin at 5:30pm with a reception followed by the award presentation at 6pm. Drs. Freeman and Richardson will then address the audience together as they tape their weekly podcast. The public can register for this event at

The Prescott Award was initiated in 2013 when the Massachusetts Dames, whose headquarters is on Beacon Hill in Prescott House,  recognized Dr. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, the 300th Anniversary Professor at Harvard University, as the first recipient. Since then, David O. Stewart, Jane Kamensky and David Silverman have been chosen by the Dames to receive the award.

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