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Article Index


"Higher natures like hers, living for higher aims, have a more evident Providence managing their destiny, & it was manifest that she was not to come back to struggle against poverty, misrepresentation, & perhaps alienated friendships and chilled affections. There seemed no position for her here, & her life was complete, so far as experience & development went. That she shd. have accomplished so little for the public in proportion to her genius & attainments is to us a loss -- but her own aim was rather development than manifestation, & that first aim she perfectly fulfilled. Her life will seem to us now complete & round."

--James Freeman Clarke

"To the last her country proves inhospitable to her; brave, eloquent, subtle, accomplished, devoted, constant soul! If nature availed in America to give birth to many such as she, freedom & honour & letters & art too were safe in this new world."

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"She is full of all nobleness, and with the generosity native to her mind & character, appears to me an exotic in New England, a foreigner from some more sultry & expansive climate. She is, I suppose, the earliest reader & lover of Goethe, in this country, and nobody here knows him so well. Her love too of whatever is good in French & especially in Italian genius, give her the best title to travel. In short, she is our citizen of the world by quite special diploma."

--Thomas Carlyle

"America has produced no woman who in mental endowments and acquirements has surpassed Margaret Fuller."

--Horace Greeley

"The Conversations were a 'vindication of woman's right to think.'"

--Elizabeth Cady Stanton

"How characteristic are all the things told of Margaret on board, giving her only life-preserver to a sailor to seek for help, when a less sanguine or more selfish person would not have done [so] -- her refusing to part with her child when she could not have saved him...; her securing the money about her showed how much she felt the need of it -- One who had always been taken care of would not have done so when lives were in danger."

--Caroline Sturgis Tappan

"There was ... a fate in her, and was in the struggle against this, that she wrought her greatest victories. I think her courage surpassed by no woman I have met. It made her life one of the revolutions, and brought her to the tragic end."

--Bronson Alcott

"To her, I, at least, had hoped to confide the leadership of this movement. It can never be known if she would have accepted it...; she was, and still is a leader of thought; a position far more desirable than a leader of numbers."

--Paulina Wright Davis, president, Woman's Rights Convention, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1850; the convention observed a moment of silence in her memory before proceeding

"She was not framed by nature for a mystic, a dreamer, or a bookworm ... but a career of mingled thought and action, such as she finally found."

--Thomas Wentworth Higginson

"For as long as she lived, and afterward too, almost everyone who knew Fuller well groped for words when they tried to describe her; nearly all of them were compelled, sooner or later, to use the word 'force.'"

--Joan von Mehren, biographer


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