1853 Ltr: Margarett Fuller[mother Of The Margaret Fuller] Humbuggery & The Devil
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1853 Ltr: Margarett Fuller[mother Of The Margaret Fuller] Humbuggery & The Devil:
1853 Letter Margarett Fuller, Boston, MAto sister Abigail Crane, Canton, MA. Margarett [spelled with two ts, see #4] Crane Fuller (1789-1859) was born in Canton, Massachusetts and taught school as a young woman. In 1809, she married Timothy Fuller (1778-1835) a lawyer and Massachusetts Congressman [1817-1825] where he supported the Seminole Indians and opposed the Missouri Compromise. The couple moved to Cambridgeport, MA [see #6] and from the union came nine children. The first child, Sarah Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) [see #10]was pushed by her father into receiving what was in some ways a male education for the early 19th Century. Her mother Margarett who liked parties, balls and the theater was concerned that young Sarah Margaret was becoming too manly but also recognized her daughter's talents and wise insights. Margaret Fuller became an important critic, journalist and women's rights proponent while associating with Transcendentalism. She and her Italian husband were lost at sea in 1850.In 1835, Timothy died of cholera and his widow Margarett now had lots of children to support. Her daughter, Margaret stepped forth to lead the family. The letter is addressed to her sister Abigail Crane (1782-1876) who was one of young Margaret's maiden aunts whom she called"Abba" and the one she considered most loving. The letter has a stamp but folds into three sides for writing like the old stampless letters. It has aBoston 19 Dec postmark with a 3 cent at the bottom. There is also a cancellation on the stamp. This is a long family letter from the widowed sister with a number of children to the unmarried sister. After an exchange concerning Abigail being kept from a family gathering by "cold and cough" and Margarett scolding her for not taking care of herself, Margarett talks about the children. "Eliza expects in about two months to give another Scion to the Fuller stock" [Eliza Rotta Fuller was a young widow who married Eugene Fuller Margarett's eldest son. She gave birth to the couple's 4th child in February, 1854. Eugene Fuller (1815-1859) was a publisher in New Orleans who like his sister Margaret was lost at sea] "Richard is looking out for a farm in the vicinity of Boston[?] where he can come into Boston " for" his profession and go out at night. [Richard Frederick Fuller (1824-1869)was one of several lawyer sons of Margarett. ] Sarah [Sarah Kolloch Fuller (1828-1854) Richard's wife] has convinced him that his place at Reading[?] is unhealthy" " Sarah I think is somewhat better but I do not think she will ever be strong" [She died in 1854] He [Richard] brought Freddie to dinner? last Thursday [Apparently Richard dined with them every Thursday evening and brought his son Frederick Timothy Fuller (1850-?) with him. She also mentions "Arthur and Lizzie" who were Arthur Buckminster Fuller (1822-1862) [see #11]and his wife Elizabeth Davenport (?-1856). Arthur was a Unitarian minister and reformer who was killed at the Battle of Fredericksburg while acting aschaplin of the 19th Massachusetts Infantry. Lizzie died of cholera in 1856. She mentions other people too likeMary Halleck, Sally Shaw and Dr. Bartlett. She describes attending a "conversation" [ a social event] "at Richard's [son] had a very pleasant time met Mr. Whiting [ Maybe future War lawyer and Congressman William Whiting(1813-1873)and all the Beechers present, Cosgroves" [Refers toHarriet Beecher Stowe, Lyman Beecher, Henry Ward Beecher [see #9] and others] In another place she says "Mr. B havingsold his house in in Brooklyn" [Beecher?] She also discusses her religious studies. "I have a longer bible class on Sabbath days which I enjoy hope to reap benefit and do more good to others". She mentions someone moving to Ohio or more likely Illinois. However the majority of this letter to her sister is about one child and her immediate problems. Ellen Kilshaw Fuller Channing (1820-1856) was the eldest surviving daughter. She married William Ellery Channing (1818-1901) [see #7][not the Unitarian minister but the poet. Hehad pieces published in the Dial and wrote the first biography of Henry D. Thoreau]. It was a marriage opposed by both families and had become extremely difficult for Ellen. Margarett talks about her son-in-law. "Ellery's conduct was so monstrous"and "he[Ellery] yielded himself a willing captiveto the devil". Ellen has just left him and Margarett feels she has stood it"as long as waspossible but the time came when his conduct was oppressive, hurtful and unsafe for the children". " For no one can imagine such men without living with him and no one would live with him who could avoid it" Apparently he is not giving her support and "Barbara is gone". Barbara Higginson Channing (1816-1880) Ellery's sisterapparently was a mediator between the two and she could arrive at a "righteous resolution". She has gone to tour Italy. Margarett explains "Ellery is very artful when he has a point to convey and could always coax and deceive his father[Dr. Walter Channing doctor and Harvard Medical School professor] to do what he wished and I fear he will succeed" "All that we can say is that itwas impossible and unsafe for Ellen to live with Ellery without great danger to herself and children any longer and we must commit all to God". Ellery has gotten a lawyer and Margarett mentions that he considered them "humbuggery" but he has an attorney. [Not in letter: On December 9th his attorney asked Ellen to return the children and gave them 10 days-the day of this letter] Ellen remained apart from Channing until 1855 and returned but died soon afterwards. The children were raised by relatives. Letter is in excellent condition. A fantastic insight into an important New England family and its "modern" marital issues of spousal abuse and women's rights in in those issues. Sent folded.