Education: SLO 4 – Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of technology on adult education and adult learning

Artifact- Wiki- Margaret Fuller-Ossoli

  1. Biography
  2. American Feminists/Teacher
  3. Author and cultural critic
  4. War Correspondent
  5. Transcendentalist
  6. Legacy      

  1. Bibliography

Today a reader; tomorrow a leader   . If you have knowledge;

(Margaret Fuller, 1850)  Let other light their


Sarah Margaret Fuller- Ossoli was born in Cambridge Massachusetts to a young couple, Timothy and Margaret Craine Fuller. She was the first and only child for five years. Her brief 40 years of life has left a legacy for mankind to cherish, especially, in adult education across the world. Initially, her informal education began by her father, Timothy Fuller, as a home schooling venture. Later she was privileged to attend public schooling where formal education was obtained. With prudent demonstration of her learning aptitude she became a teacher and devoted her early years towards adult education engaging in conversations with women who could not have attended school. This equipped her with further knowledge of the world since she was barred as a woman from formal higher education in United Sates of America.

Significant contributions:-

Margaret fuller has left a trail of magnificent firsts on which American woman can plunge their footsteps into. She has been the:-

  • First American woman to write a book about equality for women
  • First woman journalist on Horace Greeley’s New York Daily Tribune
  • First woman literary critic / set literary standards
  • First to organize paid “Conversations” for women
  • First woman to step foot inside Harvard College’s library
  • First woman war correspondent to serve under combat conditions
  • First woman foreign correspondent
  • First editor, Dial Magazine

Memoirs of Margaret Fuller (1852)

  1. American Feminists/Teacher

Margaret fuller was considered an abolitionist/feminist/teacher in the sense that she represented women irrespective of the social conditions under which they functioned in the American society. Importantly, she advocated for the abolition of African slavery within her society during her time. Women slaves she sought to have equal rights to men slaves contending that do the same type of work besides having to give birth.

As such, she spent many years helping women obtain at least a basic education ensuring they were could at least read and write in English. Her goal was to make women become independent, creative thinkers since she know that they have the ability to think and be productive irrespective of how society labeled them inefficient.  Margaret Fuller was a gifted teacher and she was accepted to teach taught at the Bronson Alcott Temple School for Women. This school’s founder Amos Alcott, father of Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women supported Fuller activism as a revolutionary in the American society

Bronson Alcott Temple School for Women

At that time in the American history it was illegal to teach women. To counteract this device of keeping women in limitation at the age of 29 she began offering lectures she defined as conversations to keep women informed about their future in the society. This device circumvented laws prohibiting teaching, but she could not have been arrested for misconduct.

Consequently, Fuller devoted her life towards adult education by teaching women oral communication skills giving them philosophical insights regarding contemporary issues affecting their social well-being.

She pointed them to political situations; work place discrimination against women, and how the home environment was another haven for slavery if they did not try to have an education to liberate themselves. The school where she taught became a social force because students were exposed to learning ways of taking social action through integrated group activity. They were also encouraged to demonstrate a very high self-esteem no matter what they were facing.

Memoirs of Margaret Fuller (1852)

  1. Author and cultural critic:-

Margaret Fuller had a close friendship with Ralph Waldo Emerson whose influence helped her publish the feminist classic, ‘Woman in the Nineteenth Century in 1845.’ Contemporary feminists have cited this book and its author as one of the major documents in American feminism. Subsequently, this gave her the renowned position of first female editor of the transcendental journal, the “Dial.” Ralph Waldo Emerson represented the masculinity in which her achievements were fueled. Apart from engaging in critical reviews regarding social injustices against women in ther American society essays, she emerged as a very vocal activists social reform in then segregated American society.

By 1844, ‘Summer on the Lakes,’ was published. This highlighted different aspects of her summer travels throughout the Great Lakes and Wisconsin. Horace Greely became very interested in her work and she was offered employment as a correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune. Later she undertook an overseas assignment through the Tribune in 1846 as an overseas foreign correspondent being the first female to hold that distinguished position in American history. In the same year ‘Papers on the Literature and Art,’ was published as a compilation of literary review documents for the Tribune. Her last three works were published after she died in 1850.

As a cultural critic Margaret Fuller projected the philosophy that women ought to be liberated from the tasks of only being mothers and wives, because they can be more useful. The truth she emphasized was that they just deserved exposure to opportunities of education and at a higher level too. They should be given a chance to choose for themselves. Her favorite quotation read:-“Let them be sea-captains, if they will.” (Margaret Fuller, 1852)

Memoirs of Margaret Fuller (1852)

  1. War Correspondent:-

While serving as foreign correspondent for the Tribune Fuller became the wife of Italian, Giovanni Ossoli. Subsequently she relocated to Florence, Italy.  They further relocated moved to Rome. During this era Guiseppe Mazzini’s was attempting to establish the Roman Republic by way of a revolution.  Fuller’s husband, Giovanni participated in the revolution while she served as a field hospital attendant. Margaret functioned also as a dispatcher channeling information to the New York Tribune. Through her contribution news about the Roman revolution were regularly fed to the American public.  By July 1849, when the revolution ended, Margaret and her family were forced out of Rome and headed back to America.

  1. Transcendentalist

Transcendentalism within American context has been associated with stalwarts in the caliber of Margaret Fuller; Ralph Waldo Emerson; Henry David Thoreau and George Ripley. During that period of American history the philosophy was connected to social reform. Therefore, Margaret Fuller was the single woman on that team of social reformers in her day. She relentlessly battled the recognition of equal rights for women. She held a place of prominence among New England transcendentalist group due to her distinguished brilliance despite the unappreciative male-dominated society in which she functioned. Interesting, as a social reformer and author, none of her male counterparts could have matched unique intelligence with which she was endowed.

  1. Legacy:-

Margaret Fuller’s life span of 40 years was relatively short.  In 1850, Fuller, her husband and son perished in a shipwreck while returning to United States of America from Europe after the Roman revolution. There have many speculations regarding the tragedy regarding Fuller’s exclamations they she had finished her work her on earth. History reported that even when they could have been saved it would appear that the family remained behind because they wanted to die.

However, this legendry’s work has been acknowledged. Today through the impact

of technology on adult education and adult learning it is possible to research her insights in demonstrating this skill as twenty-first century educationists. Margaret Fuller has been a radical nineteen century example of what can be achieved through persistence. Operating as a female American celebrity across Europe where she travelled Margaret Fuller, he demanded recognition where ever she went. Male critics described her as being ‘overly self-confident and having a bad temper.’ Memoirs of Margaret Fuller (1852). She has left a legacy of criticism, which American women have erased in succeeding years.


Margaret Fuller: Biography. Retrieved from

Margaret Fuller, IHAS (I Hear America Singing). Retrieved from


River, Lily. (January 23, 2009). 19th Century Women: Margaret Fuller. Retrieved from