Michelle Marchetti Coughlin is a historian and museum professional. Her new book, Penelope Winslow, Plymouth Colony First Lady: Re-Imagining a Life, is now available through Amazon. Penelope Winslow was a member of the English gentry (her third great-grandmother was Anne Boleyn’s sister Mary) who was married to King Philip’s War-era Plymouth Colony Governor Josiah Winslow. One of the most powerful women in Plymouth’s history, she, like most of her female contemporaries, has been largely forgotten. Although Penelope authored few surviving documents, she left behind a trove of material evidence–ranging from her portrait and personal possessions to surviving homes and archaeological artifacts–that provides great insight into her experiences. It also offers a portal into the world of Plymouth Colony’s women.
Michelle has served as a Massachusetts Humanities Scholar-in-Residence, researching the life of Elizabeth Cadman White, one of the first owners of the Westport (Mass.) Historical Society’s 1710 Cadman-White-Handy House. (This research was later used in a Brown Center for Public Humanities course on historic house interpretation.) She has also acted as a historical consultant for the Duxbury (Mass.) Historical Society, researching the women of the society’s nineteenth-century Bradford House, and as guest curator for Pilgrim Hall Museum’s 2019-2020 exhibit “pathFOUNDERS: Women of Plymouth.” She is currently working as a MassHumanities Discussion Grant Project Scholar on a program series commemorating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Abigail Adams Birthplace in Weymouth, Mass., Michelle has planned multiple programs on women’s history and New England slavery, several of which have aired on C-SPAN.
She may be reached at email@example.com