Framing Fuller: The “Undocumented ” Daguerreotype

Photo by Sonia Di Loreto, Courtesy of Houghton Library, Harvard University.

There is another daguerreotype, which is in the same Papers as the "documented" one, but there is no trace of it in any book, or in any study, and it certainly does not belong in the Fuller iconography. In the "Images of the Channing, Fuller, and Loring Families, circa 1850-1887" (MS Am 2593, Houghton Library, Harvard University), folder # 4, there is the following daguerreotype, described as: "Fuller, Margaret, 1810-1850. Bust portrait: daguerreotype in copper frame, before 1850. 1 item in 1 folder ; 7 x 5 centimeters. Date: 1850.

Depicts Fuller with white lace scarf-wrap on head and black dress. Left side of face is shown; she is gazing into distance."

It was presented in memory of Margaret Fuller Channing Loring by her granddaughter, Charlotte Loring Lowell (Mrs. Ralph Lowell); received: 1960. The donor was the great-grandchild of William Ellery Channing 2nd and Ellen Kilshaw Fuller Channing.

In an email exchange, Leslie Morris, curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts at the Houghton Library confirmed that they believe it is Margaret Fuller, because "it is the attribution that came with it, and the donor was a member of the family".