History professor recognized for excellence in research
David L. Preston, associate professor in the Department of History, has been awarded the 2010 Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Research Using the Holdings of the State Archives. The award from the New York State Archives recognizes his book “The Texture of Contact: European and Indian Settler Communities on the Frontiers of Iroquoia, 1667-1783” for excellence in use of New York State archival materials.
Preston’s book examines the history of early America from the perspective of the Iroquois peoples and describes the everyday lives of European and Indian settlers who coexisted in what is now Pennsylvania, New York and Canada.
His current book project is entitled "Braddock's Defeat and the Road to the American Revolution." It examines the lives of six Indian, British, and American individuals who fought in the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Preston will be on sabbatical leave in 2011 to complete research and to begin writing the book.
Preston is one of 10 historians nationally to receive a Gilder Lehrman Research Fellowship from the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History. The project also was awarded the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati Fellowship for the study of the American Revolution at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston. These fellowships will enable him to complete archival research in 18th records in New York City and Boston.
In addition to his scholarship, Preston is involved in public and community history activities. In June 2010, he led a two-week workshop on “The American West: The Indian, Spanish, and Anglo Wests,” for a Teaching American History Grant awarded to The Citadel and Berkeley County School District by the U.S. Department of Education. He led public school history teachers through many historical sites and Indian reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. This fall, he is also leading a six-part discussion and lecture series on the French and Indian War at the Charleston County Public Library.
The Citadel Foundation provided support for both of Preston’s book projects.