Sarah Margaret Fuller was one of the most prominent literary women of the nineteenth century, and is sometimes thought of as America’s first feminist. After a rigorous classical education in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, she sought out Ralph Waldo Emerson. A brilliant conversationalist, Fuller applied many of Emerson’s Transcendental ideas to women in a series of open discussions. These conversations, which included some of the finest minds of the day, pioneered the idea that women could argue philosophy on par with men. She was sent to Rome as foreign correspondent for the New York Tribune, and there met Marchese Giovanni Ossoli, a lieutenant in the Italian Unification Movement, whom she married. After the revolt failed, she set off for America, but perished when her ship was wrecked off Fire Island.
LIFE SPAN 1810–1850