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Early Years

Sarah Margaret Fuller was born May 23, 1810, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the first child of Timothy Fuller and Margaret Crane Fuller. She was named after her paternal grandmother and her mother; by the age of nine, however, she dropped "Sarah" and insisted on being called "Margaret". The Margaret Fuller House, in which she was born, is still standing. Her father taught Fuller to read and write at the age of three and a half, shortly after the couple's second daughter, Julia Adelaide, had died at the age of fourteen months. He offered her an education as rigorous as any boy's at the time and forbade her from reading the typical feminine fare such as etiquette books and sentimental novels. He incorporated Latin into his teaching shortly after the birth of the couple's son, Eugene, in May 1815, and soon she was translating simple passages from Virgil. During the day, young Margaret spent time with her mother, who taught her household chores and sewing. In 1817, her brother William Henry Fuller was born and her father was elected as a representative in the United States Congress. For the next eight years, he would spend four to six months of the year in Washington, D.C. At the age of 10, Fuller wrote a cryptic note which her father saved: "On the 23rd of May, 1810, was born one foredoomed to sorrow and pain, and like others to have misfortunes".


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