Nineteenth-century American historian and author whose most famous works include The History of the Conquest of Mexico (1843) and The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic (1837). His works focus primarily on Hispanic military and political history.
He began studying at Harvard when he was just fifteen years old. He commenced research for his first major work, The History of Ferdinand and Isabella, in the mid 1820s.
He is known as the first American scientific historian.
He and his wife, Susan Amory Prescott, had four children. Their first daughter, Catherine, died at the age of five, and their son, William Gardiner Prescott, studied at Harvard and became a Boston-based attorney.
Like Prescott, Francis Van Wyck Mason was also a historian from Massachusetts.