Awards / Book Awards and Prizes

Ray Allen Billington Prize

Recognizing the best book on the history of native and/or settler peoples in frontier, border, and borderland zones of intercultural contact.



The Ray Allen Billington Prize is awarded biennially by the Organization of American Historians to the author of the best book on the history of native and/or settler peoples in frontier, border, and borderland zones of intercultural contact in any century to the present, including works that address the legacies of those zones. Ray Allen Billington was president of the OAH from 1962–1963.


Each entry must be published during the two-year period January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2024.

Submission Process

One copy of each entry, clearly labeled “2025 Ray Allen Billington Prize Entry,” must be mailed directly to the committee members listed below. Each committee member must receive all submissions postmarked by October 1, 2024.

Bound page proofs may be used for books to be published after October 1, 2024 and before January 1, 2025. If a bound page proof is submitted, a bound copy of the book must be sent to each member of the committee postmarked no later than January 7, 2025.

Please mail submissions to the committee members listed below: 

Ari Kelman, Chair
700 Elmwood Drive
Davis, CA 95616
Email to provide title(s) you will submit for consideration so the committee can verify that all books have been received: [email protected]

Jessica Kim
History Department
18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA 91330

Jessica Roney
History Department
Temple University
9th Floor Gladfelter Hall
1115 Polett Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Past Winners


Paul Conrad, University of Texas at Arlington. The Apache Diaspora: Four Centuries of Displacement and Survival (University of Pennsylvania Press) 


Jeffery Ostler, University of Oregon, Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution to Bleeding Kansas (Yale University Press)


Beth Lew-Williams, Princeton University, The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America (Harvard University Press)


Karl Jacoby, Columbia University, The Strange Career of William Ellis: The Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire (W. W. Norton  Company)


Jared Farmer, Stony Brook University, SUNY, Trees in Paradise: A California History (W.W. Norton & Company)


Peter Boag, Washington State University, Re-Dressing America’s Frontier Past (University of California Press)


Louise Pubols, Oakland Museum of California, The Father of All: The de la Guerra Family, Power, and Patriarchy in Mexican California (University of California Press/The Huntington Library)


Matthew Klingle, Bowdoin College, Emerald City: An Environmental History of Seattle (Yale University Press)


Pablo R. Mitchell, Oberlin College, Coyote Nation: Sexuality, Race, and Conquest in Modernizing New Mexico, 1880–1920 (The University of Chicago Press)


Colin G. Calloway, Dartmouth College, One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West before Lewis and Clark (University of Nebraska Press).


Martha A. Sandweiss, Amherst College, Print the Legend: Photography and the American West (Yale University Press)


Gunther Peck, Reinventing Free Labor: Padrones and Immigrant Workers in the North American West, 1880–1930 (Cambridge University Press)


Malcolm J. Rohrbough, Days of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the American Nation (University of California Press)

Elliott West, The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, and the Rush to Colorado (University Press of Kansas)


No award given.


John P. Demos, The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America (Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.)


Daniel K. Richter, The Ordeal of the Longhouse: The Peoples of the Iroquois League in the Era of European Colonization (The University of North Carolina Press for the Institute of Early American History and Culture)


James N. Gregory, American Exodus: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California (Oxford University Press)


Albert L. Hurtado, Indian Survival on the California Frontier (Yale University Press)


Paul Andrew Hutton, Phil Sheridan and His Army (The University of Nebraska Press)


Francis Paul Prucha, S.J., The Great Father (The University of Nebraska Press)


David Weber, The Mexican Frontier, 1821–1846: The American Southwest Under Mexico (The University of New Mexico Press)


John D. Unruh, The Plains Across (University of Illinois Press)