(Sarah) Margaret Fuller, 1810-1850
"The especial genius of women I believe to be electrical in movement, intuitive in function, spiritual in tendency."
Among the most brilliant of the Transcendentalists, Margaret Fuller amassed an extraordinary record of accomplishment within a tragically short life. For a time she assisted A.Bronson Alcott at the Temple School in Boston. With Emerson and George Ripley, she founded the Dial, serving as editor from 1840 to 1842. Her "Conversations," or gatherings of women at Elizabeth Peabody's West Street Library in Boston, provided much of the material she used to argue for women's rights. She frequented the Brook Farm community, and is assumed to be the original of Zenobia in Hawthorne's Blithedale Romance.
In 1847, she visited Italy, where she befriended the Italian patriot Mazzini and married the Marquis Ossoli. In July 1850, on their return to the United States with their infant son Angelo, the entire family perished when their vessel was shipwrecked off Fire Island.
Among Fuller's significant works are Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1844) and Papers on Literature and Art (1846). Her letters to the New York Tribune describing her experiences in Europe during 1846 were published as At Home and Abroad (1856). The Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1851), edited by William Henry Channing, were written by Emerson, James Freeman Clarke, and Channing.
Letter from Margaret Fuller to George Ripley, February 21, 1839