Lester J. Cappon Award, 1965-2021

The annual best-article award is named in memory of Lester J. Cappon. Lester Cappon edited the Quarterly from 1955 to 1956, and again in 1963. He was the Institute’s first editor of the book program (1945–1954) and served as Institute director from 1954 until 1969. The award carries a cash prize of $500 and is funded by the Institute. (From 1965 until 2005, the award was supported by the National Society, Daughters of Colonial Wars.)

* notes those articles that also won the Adair Award

Year of AwardArticleIssue


Kathryn M. de Luna, “Sounding the African Atlantic”October
 Jenny Shaw, “In the Name of the Mother: The Story of Susannah Mingo, A Woman of Color in the Early English Atlantic”April
 Elizabeth Ellis, “The Natchez War Revisited: Violence, Multinational Settlements, and Indigenous Diplomacy in the Lower Mississippi Valley”July
2019Rachel Wheeler and Sarah Eyerly, “Singing Box 331: Re-Sounding Eighteenth-Century Mohican Hymns from the Moravian Archives”October
2018Alyssa Mt. Pleasant, Caroline Wigginton, and Kelly Wisecup, “Materials and Methods in Native American and Indigenous Studies: Completing the Turn”April
2017Juliana Barr,“There’s No Such Thing as ‘Prehistory’: What the Longue Durée of Caddo and Pueblo History Tells Us about Colonial America”April
2016*Rebecca Earle, “The Pleasures of Taxonomy: Casta Paintings, Classification, and Colonialism”July
 Sarah Barringer Gordon, “The African Supplement: Religion, Race, and Corporate Law in Early National America”July
 Jeffrey Ostler, “‘To Extirpate the Indians’: An Indigenous Consciousness of Genocide in the Ohio Valley and Lower Great Lakes, 1776–1810”October
2014Molly Warsh, “A Political Ecology in the Early Spanish Caribbean”October
 Robert Michael Morrissey, “Kaskaskia Social Network: Kinship and Assimilation in the French-Illinois Borderlands, 1695–1735”January
 Cary Carson, “Banqueting Houses and the Need of Society among Slave-Owning Planters in the Chesapeake Colonies”October
 Chris Evans, “The Plantation Hoe: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Commodity, 1650–1850”January
 Diana Paton, “Witchcraft, Poison, Law, and Atlantic Slavery”April
2011Juliana Barr, “Geographies of Power: Mapping Indian Borders in the ‘Borderlands’ of the Early Southwest”January
 Susan Scott Parrish, “Richard Ligon and the Atlantic Science of Commonwealth”April
 Caroline Winterer, “Model Empire, Lost City: Ancient Carthage and the Science of Politics in Revolutionary America”January
2009Gregory E. O’Malley, “Beyond the Middle Passage: Slave Migration from the Caribbean to North America, 1619–1807”January
2008Kathleen DuVal, “Indian Intermarriage and Métissage in Colonial Louisiana”April
2007Stephanie E. Smallwood, “African Guardians, European Slave Ships, and the Changing Dynamics of Power in the Early Modern Atlantic”October
2006Michael A. McDonnell, “Class War? Class Struggles during the American Revolution in Virginia”April
2005David J. Silverman, “Indians, Missionaries, and Religious Translation: Creating Wampanoag Christianity in Seventeenth-Century Martha’s Vineyard”April
2004Daniel Vickers, “Those Dammed Shad: Would the River Fisheries of New England Have Survived in the Absence of Industrialization?”October
2003Clare A. Lyons, “Mapping an Atlantic Sexual Culture: Homoeroticism in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia”January
2002Stephen Conways, “From Fellow-Nationals to Foreigners: British Perceptions of the Americans, circa 1739-1783”January
2001Michael Johnson, “Denmark Vesey and His Co-Conspirators”October
2000Susan Juster, “Mystical Pregnancy and Holy Bleeding: Visionary Experience in Early Modern Britain and America”April
1999Christopher L. Brown, “Empire without Slaves: British Concepts of Emancipation in the Age of the American Revolution”April
1998Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, “Wheels, Looms, and the Gender Division of Labor in Eighteenth-Century New England”January
1997Holly Brewer, “Entailing Artistocracy in Colonial Virginia: ‘Ancient Feudal Restraints’ and Revolutionary Reform”April
1996Ira Berlin, “From Creole to African: Atlantic Creoles and the Origins of African-American Society in Mainland North America”April
1995Martin Quitt, “Trade and Acculturation at Jamestown, 1607–609: The Limits of Understanding”April
1994Daniel Scott Smith, “Continuity and Discontinuity in Puritan Naming: Massachusetts, 1771”January
1993T. H. Breen, “Narrative of Commercial Life: Consumption, Ideology, and Community on the Eve of the American Revolution”July
1992Patricia Seed, “Taking Possession and Reading Texts: Establishing the Authority of Overseas Empire”April
1991*Cornelia Hughes Dayton, “Taking the Trade: Abortion and Gender Relations in an Eighteenth-Century New England Village”January
1990*Daniel F. Vickers, “Competency and Competition: Economic Culture in Early America”January
1989John Brooke, “To the Quiet of the People: Revolutionary Settlements and Civil Unrest in Western Massachusetts, 1774–1789”July
1988Isaac Kramnick, “The ‘Great National Discussion’: The Discourse of Politics in 1787”January
1987*Daniel W. Howe, “The Political Psychology of The FederalistJuly
1986Peter S. Onuf, “Liberty, Development, and Union: Visions of the West in the 1780s”April
1985Melvin B. Endy, Jr., “Just War, Holy War, and Millennialism in Revolutionary America”January
1984Bettye Hobbs Pruitt, “Self-Sufficiency and the Agricultural Economy of Eighteenth-Century Massachusetts”July
 W. J. Eccles, “The Fur Trade and Eighteenth-Century Imperialism”July
 Daniel K. Richter, “War and Culture: The Iroquois Experience”October
1982*Gordon S. Wood, “Conspiracy and the Paranoid Style: Causality and Deceit in the Eighteenth Century”July
1981*Alfred F. Young, “George Robert Twelves Hewes (1742–1840): A Boston Shoemaker and the Memory of the American Revolution”October
1980Jeffrey J. Crow, “Slave Rebelliousness and Social Conflict in North Carolina, 1775 to 1802”January
 Ralph Lerner, “Commerce and Character: The Anglo-American as New-Model Man”January
 Peter N. Moogk, “‘Thieving Buggers’ and ‘Stupid Sluts’: Insults and Popular Culture in New France”October
1978Drew R. McCoy, “Benjamin Franklin’s Vision of a Republican Political Economy for America”October
1977Catherine M. Scholten, “‘On the Importance of the Obstetrick Art’: Changing Customs of Childbirth in America, 1760 to 1825”July
1976Gary B. Nash, “Poverty and Poor Relief in Pre-Revolutionary Philadelphia”January
1975T. H. Breen, “Persistent Localism: English Social Change and the Shaping of New England Institutions”January
1974*Rhys Isaac, “Evangelical Revolt: The Nature of the Baptists’ Challenge to the Traditional Order in Virginia, 1765 to 1775”July
1973T. H. Breen and Stephen Foster, “Moving to the New World: The Character of Early Massachusetts Immigration”April
1972Norman S. Fiering, “Will and Intellect in the New England Mind”October
1971Allan Kulikoff, “The Progress of Inequality in Revolutionary Boston”July
1970*Pauline Maier, “Popular Uprisings and Civil Authority in Eighteenth-Century America”January
1969Robert M. Weir, “`The Harmony We Were Famous For’:  An Interpretation of Pre-Revolutionary South Carolina Politics”October
1968Michael Zuckerman, “The Social Context of Democracy in Massachusetts”October
1967*Edmund S. Morgan, “The Puritan Ethic and the American Revolution”January
1966Philip J. Greven, Jr., “Family Structure in Seventeenth-Century Andover, Massachusetts”April
1965H. Roy Merrens, “Historical Geography and Early American History”October