I have the privilege of working on behalf of the City of Beacon, New York, to help the municipality apply for a Pomeroy Foundation marker grant to erect a marker for women’s rights activist, Margaret Fuller. For seven weeks, Margaret revelled in the nature near the Hudson river with no headaches occurring as she transformed her Transcendental Dial article, “The Great Lawsuit,” into her national and international bestselling American feminist tract, “Woman in the Nineteenth Century.” Margaret wrote her book and several letters from Fishkill Landing in the fall of 1844 staying at the Van Vliet boardinghouse where she could see the river and the Catskill Mountains. She was in transition as she moved from Boston and New England into New York City to serve as the first woman social and literary critic for Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune. It was Greeley who encouraged her to make a book from her article which he and his business partner, Thomas McElrath, published in 1845. This miraculous book comes out of Margaret’s phenomenal “Conversations with Women,” which she conducted in Boston at the bookstore of her Transcendental Club colleague, Elizabeth Peabody, on West Street in Boston from 1839 to 1844. Though she was strong in her own views and personality, Margaret beautifully encouraged each female participant in the “Conversations” to come forth with her insights and perceptions with great care and affection. She was compared to the Sybyl, the Oracle at the Temple at Delphi, who intuitively expounded the divine wisdom which kings and conquerors sought with great respect before they took action. While staying at Fishkill Landing (now part of Beacon), Margaret visited the women inmates at Sing Sing prison several times to discuss the book she was writing with them and get their profound input. She was continuing her “Conversations” in a new way. As she heard a group of them singing, Margaret felt that she had been touched deeply by angels through their song. She worked with her friends in New York and Boston to create a library for these precious and misunderstood women at Sing Sing who were victimized in their plight by the traditional sphere of men manipulating and abusing them. I thank my friend and colleague, Marguerite Kearns, who has created the Suffrage Wagon News Channel and http://www.suffragewagon.org honoring her grandmother, Edna Kearns’, women’s rights work in Philadelphia and New York State, for letting me know about the Pomeroy Foundation grant marker program. Also my thanks to Elizabeth Evans, Assistant to the Mayor of Beacon, for taking my proposal for the Margaret Fuller marker to the mayor and City Council for consideration and their approval with whom I am working on the application. And finally, thanks to Robert Murphy, president of the Beacon Historical Society, and to Beacon resident, Terri Pahucki, who diligently worked together locating the former Van Vliet boardinghouse site for the marker location. I am grateful for our teamwork on behalf of the significance of Margaret Fuller being in Fishkill Landing as part of women’s rights and suffrage history in New York State to apply for this special grant marker.
It is exciting to be part of the working group of the 100th Anniversary Women’s Rights Committee of the New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network to make sure that Margaret Fuller is included for her life and work in New York State while writing her international bestseller, “Woman in the Nineteenth Century,” and reporting as the first woman social and literary critic for Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune from 1844 to 1846. She continued writing for this newspaper as first woman foreign and war correspondent in Europe from 1846 to 1850 on her Grand Tour of Europe before settling in Rome. On July 19, 1850, Margaret died in a shipwreck during a hurricane near Fire Island, New York with her Italian husband, Count Giovanni Ossoli, and their child, Angelino. Published in 1845 to wide acclaim, “Woman in the Nineteenth Century” was a catalyst for the creation of the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York. As we prepare for and celebrate the 2017 Anniversary of New York State’s Women’s Right To Vote, I am available to speak about Margaret Fuller’s life and work at events, programs, and conferences on women’s suffrage to highlight her extraordinary ability to liberate women and men from their stereotypical roles. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, 215-256-8481, or P.O. Box 281, Lederach, PA 19450 if you are interested in having me speak. Thank you! My article on Margaret Fuller for the New York State History Blog is http://www.newyorkhistoryblog.org/2014/03/17/margaret-fuller-transcendentalist-womens-rights-advocate/ My History Seminar paper, “Margaret Fuller Shapes the Consciousness of America through the New York Tribune,” is available at http://www.uucollegium.org/Research%20papers/10paper_Barnett.pdf My ode, “For Margaret Fuller,” is available at http://www.uuconvo.org/report2010/barnett-poem.htm My curriculum, “The Life, Writing, and Poetry of Margaret Fuller,” is at http://www.a2pwebdesign.com/poetrywits/lessonplans/mfuller.htm
7 PM, Wednesday, February 19, 2014: I have been invited to dialogue with Amy Edelstein at The Waverly Street Reading Library near Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia on Margaret Fuller and the Sacred Marriage. If you wish to attend this free event, please register at the Waverly Street Reading Library website http://www.facebook.com/WaverlyStLibrary It will be an exciting discussion!
On Sunday, October 20, 2013, at 2 pm at the Brandywine Workshop, 728 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA, I will be speaking on the extraordinary life and work of Transcendentalist, women’s rights activist, and social justice champion Margaret Fuller. My … Continue reading
“Male and female represent the two sides of the great radical dualism. But, in fact, they are perpetually passing into one another. Fluid hardens to solid, solid rushes to fluid. There is no wholly masculine man, no purely feminine woman.”
From Woman in the Nineteenth Century, Margaret’s national and international bestseller which was the first American feminist tract published in 1845. It inspired the 1848 Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention as Margaret served in the Roman Revolution.
Margaret posed for this photograph for her family and friends before she left on her Grand Tour of Europe as the first woman foreign correspondent for Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune.