Born in Massachusetts 203 years ago this week, on May 23, 1810, Fuller received a classical education generally only given to boys at the time. She eventually became associated with the New England Transcendentalists, editing their magazine, The Dial. Horace Greeley brought her to New York where she became the city's first female newspaper columnist.
After moving to Europe, and sending back dispatches about the revolutions of the late 1840s, she sought to return to America with her new husband and infant son. Their ship was plagued with bad luck, and ran aground in a storm off Long Island. Fuller and her family drowned.
In New England, the news devastated Ralph Waldo Emerson, who dispatched his young friend Henry David Thoreau to bring Fuller's body back to Massachusetts for burial. Thoreau spent time at the shipwreck site, but Fuller's body was never found.
This week in Newspaper Sunday we look back at the career and tragic death of Margaret Fuller.
Note: The links below lead to excerpts of newspaper articles at the Chronicling America site of the Library of Congress. To view the entire page of the newspaper, you can click the "persistent link" on the excerpt page.
- New York Tribune, February 12, 1845: An article about Fuller's book Woman in the Nineteenth Century was reprinted on the front page of the newspaper.
- New York Tribune, June 10, 1845: Margaret Fuller's review of the autobiography of Frederick Douglass appeared on the front page of the New York Tribune. (Her newspaper articles were generally unsigned, a standard practice at the time, though they have been verified by researchers as being written by Fuller.)
- New York Tribune, July 23, 1850: "A great soul has passed from this mortal stage of being..." said the New York Tribune when reporting Fuller's death.
- New York Tribune, July 25, 1850: The departure of Henry David Thoreau for the wreck site was reported.
- New York Tribune, July 29, 1850: A mourning poem for Fuller appeared on the newspaper's front page.
- New York Tribune, September 4, 1850: An essay about Fuller from the Southern Literary Messenger, a noted magazine of the day, was reprinted in New York.
Illustration: Margaret Fuller/Library of Congress
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