Fuller grew up in a Unitarian family in Cambridge and her brother,
Arthur, became a Unitarian minister. Americas first female
correspondent and first book review editor was taught to read
at the age of three by her father, Timothy Fuller, a lawyer and
U.S. congressman. Although no women were then admitted to Harvard
College, Margaret studied with student friends who viewed her
as a peer. She was present at the Unitarian Church in Harvard
Square when Emerson delivered his famous address on "The
American Scholar." Later he and his wife invited her to live
in their Concord home. Fuller and Emerson jointly founded a Transcendentalist
journal, The Dial, first edited by her and then by him.
Her educational Conversations for prominent Boston
women concerning issues central in their lives was followed by
her becoming the editor of the New York Daily Tribune and
the author of Women in the Nineteenth Century. As the Tribunes
foreign correspondent reporting on European cities, she met in
Rome a son of Italian aristocrats, Angelo Ossoli, who was fighting
with the exiled patriot, Mazzini. When Rome fell, she and Ossoli
and their son chose to sail to America. Their ship sank in a storm
just four hundred yards away from New York City. All three drowned.
A plaque at the Margaret Fuller Memorial in Cambridge honors her
as a teacher, writer, critic of literature and art, a companion
and helper of many reformers in America and Europe.