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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1086

Margaret Fuller family papers


Correspondence and compositions of the American social reformer Margaret Fuller and her family.


  • 1662-1970
  • Majority of material found within 1760-1864

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English, French, Italian, Latin, and German.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Images linked to the finding aid describing this collection are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.


7 linear feet (23 volumes, 14 boxes)
The Fuller family papers contains correspondence, journals, and writings of Margaret Fuller, including letters she wrote as a child to her father; correspondence with her husband Giovanni Angelo Ossoli; letters to other relatives and friends; notebooks on her reading, literary studies, and the first issue of the Dial; clippings of her articles for the New York Tribune; "Italian letters"; her Roman diary, 1849, that was washed ashore after the shipwreck of the Elizabeth; and a daguerreotype of a painting of Fuller. Much of the material is handwritten transcriptions of the originals. The Ossoli-Fuller letters have been translated into English. Also contains much original correspondence between her parents Timothy Fuller, a lawyer and politician, and Margaret Crane Fuller; their correspondence with their children; and the correspondence of the younger Margaret Fuller's brothers, especially Arthur Fuller, a minister.

Timothy Fuller's papers, found primarily in series I, include diaries, journals, orations, college themes, an expense book he kept while a student at Harvard, 1797-1801, and his correspondence with family, friends, and associates. Arthur Fuller's papers consist mainly of letters written to his wife and brothers when he was an army chaplain during the Civil War.

Collection also contains poems and notebooks of Richard Fuller, a younger brother; a few portraits of Margaret Fuller and biographical essays about her; clippings on the shipwreck in which she, her husband, and son died; correspondence and printed material concerning memorials to Margaret Fuller; and early family correspondence and documents.

Bound volumes include items (1)-(22). Boxed materials include items (23)-(138).

Biographical / Historical

Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli, known as Margaret Fuller, (1810-1850) was an American author, editor, critic, and social reformer, who was interested in Transcendentalism, feminism, and the revolution in Rome.

Some pertinent Fuller family names are:
  1. Timothy Fuller, Jr. (1778-1835), Harvard Colllege AB 1801; Margaret Fuller's father.
  2. Margaret Crane Fuller (1789-1859); Margaret Fuller's mother.
  3. Ellen Kilshaw Fuller Channing (1820-1856); Margaret Fuller's sister. She was married to William Ellery Channing (1818-1901).
  4. Arthur Buckminster Fuller (1822-1862), Harvard College AB 1843; Margaret Fuller's brother.
  5. Richard Frederick Fuller (1824-1869); Margaret Fuller's brother.
  6. Elizabeth Godfrey Davenport Fuller (1831-1856). First wife of Arthur Buckminster Fuller.
  7. Edith Davenport Fuller (1854-1926). Daughter of Arthur B. and Elizabeth G. D. Fuller.
  8. Marchese Giovanni Angelo Ossoli (1821-1850); Margaret Fuller's husband.
  9. Angelo Eugene Philip Ossoli (1848-1850); Margaret Fuller's son.


Arranged into the following series:
  1. I. General correspondence (volumes 1-11)
  2. II. Arthur B. Fuller correspondence (volumes 12-13)
  3. III. Fuller family correspondence (volumes 14-17)
  4. IV. Works of S. M. F. Ossoli (volumes 18-22) [manuscript transcripts and clippings]
  5. V. Fuller family papers [boxed]: A. Margaret Fuller additional correspondence
  6. V. Fuller family papers [boxed]: B. Margaret Fuller additional compositions
  7. V. Fuller family papers [boxed]: C. Margaret Fuller bound journals
  8. V. Fuller family papers [boxed]: D. Images of and relating to Margaret Fuller
  9. V. Fuller family papers [boxed]: E. Printed material
  10. V. Fuller family papers [boxed]: F. Compositions by others
  11. V. Fuller family papers [boxed]: G. Fuller family additional papers

Physical Location

f, b, gen

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Recataloged from MS Am 9025.

No accession number. Bequest of Miss Edith D. Fuller, Cambridge, Massachusetts; received: 1926 November 8.

Processing Information

Reprocessed by: Ashley M. Nary and Bonnie B. Salt with the assistance of Judith Mattson Bean.

The boxed portion of the collection [loose material] was not fully processed until August of 2013. A box list to the former 4 black boxes of these papers was created by a reader. The now annotated box list is available in the curatorial file for this collection. See Public Services staff to retrieve this file.

Bound volumes 1-22 were not fully processed until 2016.

An alphabetic index to each bound volume is found within that volume and also in a compilation for all the volumes (but omitting volumes 3-4) found in the curatorial file.
Link to catalog
Fuller, Margaret, 1810-1850. Margaret Fuller family papers, 1662-1970: Guide and index.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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