Jul 092013

Margaret Fuller

Margaret Fuller, the subject of the Historical Society’s full moon ramble

As the full moon rises over Gibbet Hill on July 22, the Groton Historical Society kicks off another in its series of off-the-beaten path tours — this one winding up with shortcake and ice cream.

The theme of this year’s ramble is Fuller by Full Moon, tracing the life and work of Margaret Fuller, a transcendentalist author and 19th century Groton resident. Participants will meet at the Boutwell House, 172 Main Street at 6:00 p.m., board a bus and visit three local “Fuller”sites. The excursion is led by Nancy LeMay, a specialist in Transcendentalism, and winds up at 9:00 p.m. after home-made shortcake and ice cream at the last stop. A fee of $10 will be collected for the bus transportation on a first-come, first-served basis; others may caravan at no charge. Thanks to a grant from the Commissioners of Trust Funds, this program is free and open to the public.

From her childhood in Cambridge and Groton to her stint in Rome as an expatriate journalist during the Roman revolution of 1848, Margaret Fuller became a force for social justice and a ground-breaking pioneer on women’s rights. Her journals and correspondence paint a vivid picture of what her life was like in Groton — schooling at Miss Prescott’s Seminary for Young Girls to that of a young woman living on the family farm. She was the first woman journalist for Horace Greeley’s New York Daily Tribune. An outspoken feminist, she made her mark with the publication of her book Woman in the Nineteenth Century in 1845, considered the foundation for the women’s rights movement in America. Its publication had profound influence on Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.

Nancy LeMay discovered Margaret Fuller ten years ago while researching the New England Transcendentalists. She questioned why she and many others had heard so little of this woman considering her dynamic presence in American intellectual life until her untimely tragic death at age forty. LeMay lectures on the utopian communities of Bronson Alcott’s Fruitlands in Harvard, Massachusetts and George Ripley’s Brook Farm of Agriculture and Education, West Roxbury, Massachusetts, the New England Transcendentalists and Margaret Fuller.

For more information, go to www.GrotonHistoricalSociety.org or call 978-448-0092.