Framing Fuller: The Drawing

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

In the James Freeman Clarke Additional Papers, 1717-1889 (MS Am 1569.1). Houghton Library, Harvard University, and precisely in series IV, folder 152 (date 1835-1840), we find a drawing that has been considered a portrait of a young Margaret Fuller. In the finding aid it is described as "profile drawing of "SMF."

While James Freeman Clarke (April 8, 1810-June 8, 1888), was influential himself as a minister for the Unitarian church, a social reformist, author, among other titles to many living in New England, he owes much of his philosophy and education to his cousin, Margaret Fuller. During his days studying ministry at Harvard University, he would have long and often lively conversations with Fuller, which expanded his own view of the world.

He would then go on to work as a Unitarian Minister, where he would invigorate nineteenth-century religious debates, and help to push for new fields of study in ministry and religion, that forefronted how identity, action, and the church could all intersect. His work, would also go on to have social and political influence, much of it carried out by Fuller and Clarke's other close friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The brief note at the top of the page says: "This fits SMF's descrition about 1830-32. Perhaps AHC"