Sarah Margaret Fuller
By Staff Writer
Sarah Margaret Fuller was born on May 23rd 1810 in Cambridgeport, which is now known as Cambridge, Massachusetts. By the age of nine she dropped the name Sarah and insisted on being called Margaret. Timothy Fuller, who was a lawyer and later became a Congressman, educated his daughter Margaret. By the age of three and a half, Margaret learned how to read and write. He incorporated Latin into his teachings and soon enough Margaret was translating simple passages from Virgil. By the age of 10, Sarah wrote a cryptic note, which her father saved. In the daytime, Sarah would spend time with her mother who would teach her how to do household chores and how to sew. Sarah’s mother and father had a second daughter named Julie Adelaide who died at the age of 14 months. In May of 1815 they had a son named Eugene. Two years later they had another son named William Henry Fuller.
Margaret attended Port School in Cambridge in 1819 before she attended the Boston Lyceum for young ladies from 1821 to 1822. In 1824 she was sent to the school for young ladies in Groton where she returned home after studying for just two years. She trained herself in many modern language and several examples of world literature and studied classics. Eliza Farrar is the wife of Harvard professor John Farrar who tried to teach Margaret feminine etiquette until she was the age of 20 years. Eliza was never wholly successful.
Sarah was close friends with most people from Boston and Concord. She was good friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson. She would spend weeks at a time visiting his home teaching him German. She was respected for her intellect and learning. Friends had some trouble dealing with her mercurial emotions. Margaret served as an editor for the dial with Emerson. The dial was a literary and philosophical journal. She used it to write many articles and reviews on art and literature. The dial published her essay, The Great Lawsuit, in 1843.
After a trip to the west, Margaret wrote ‘Summer on the Lakes’ in 1844. Horace Greeley was impressed by the book and asked her to join his paper, ‘New York Tribune’. She became a book review editor and the first women on the paper’s staff. She expanded her essay on the Dial and published ‘Women in the Nineteenth Century which became a classic of feminist thought.
In 1846, Sarah traveled to Europe and became the first American female foreign and war correspondent. She sent back articles about letters and art in Europe. She met many well-known European writers and intellectuals. She traveled to Italy in 1847 and became involved in the revolutionary war and decided not to return to America for a while. Sarah fell in love with a fellow revolutionary, Marchese Giovanni Angel d’Ossoli. A year later they had a son named Angelo.
During the revolution of 1848, Margaret took charge of hospitals of the city while Marchese fought. In May of 1850 they decided to sail to America. Although she left her large collection of letters with friends in Europe, she carried her manuscript of a book on the Italian revolution. On the way back to America, the ship’s captain died of smallpox and his replacement ran the ship into a storm off of Fire Island, New York on July 19, 1850. Margaret, Angelo and Marchese went down along with the ship and drowned. Her friends sent Thoreau to the wreckage looking for remains of anything such as a body or her papers but it was too late, everything was lost at sea.
Margaret’s relentless attitude changed society today. She argued that men and women both have feminine and masculine qualities. Margaret being the first American Female foreign and war correspondent made it easier for other women to be accepted into that field of journalism. It made women brave and courageous and also made women believe that if she could do it then they could it to. Margaret changed society by showing the world that humans shouldn’t be judged by what their gender is; they should be judged on what they can do.