Margaret Fuller: Summer on the Lakes, in 1843

(1844)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

In the spring of 1843 Fuller accepted an offer from her friends James Freeman Clarke and Sarah Clarke to accompany them on a trip through the Great Lakes region. After visiting Niagara Falls and traveling across Lake Michigan to Chicago, Fuller and Sarah Clarke embarked on an extended journey across the Illinois prairie. Although the roads were poor and the accommodations rough, Fuller found inspiration in the open expanses of the countryside. She was also impressed by the efforts of American and European pioneers to begin new lives in scattered settlements. As she traveled, Fuller spoke to people she encountered, kept a journal, and wrote letters to friends back home. Upon her return to Cambridge she gathered further information about North America's western region at the Harvard College Library, becoming the first woman reader allowed into its stacks. The result of her efforts was Summer on the Lakes, in 1843, published in 1844.

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Margaret Fuller (Library of Congress)

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