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Author photo. Frontispiece engraved by John Chester Buttre, 1881 <br>(LoC Prints and Photographs Division,<br> LC-USZ62-39344

Frontispiece engraved by John Chester Buttre, 1881
(LoC Prints and Photographs Division,
LC-USZ62-39344

Frances Wright (1795–1852)

Author of Views of society and manners in America

Includes the names: Frances Wright D'arusmont

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Short biography
Fired with idealism, Frances "Fanny" Wright, a Scottish-born author and social reformer, emigrated to the USA in 1825 with the goal of building a multiracial community to educate slaves and prepare them for freedom. The project failed. She became a popular lecturer despite social disapproval of such a public role for women in the early 19th century. She was already a minor celebrity as the author of poetry, a play, and the widely-read travel memoir Views of Society and Manners in America, published in England in 1821. She became the first woman in America to edit a newspaper, initially the Harmony Gazette in Indiana, and then The Free Enquirer in New York City, founded with Robert Dale Owen. In her public speeches and writings, she demanded improvements in the status of women, including access to education, property rights for married women, more liberal divorce laws, and birth control. In 1831, she married Guillaume (William) d'Arusmont, a French physician and educator with whom she had a daughter. They lived in Paris for a time and then returned to the USA, settling in Cincinnati, Ohio. She traveled frequently back and forth between Europe and the USA. In 1848, she published her last book, England, the Civilizer: Her History Developed in Its Principles. See her biography Fanny Wright: Rebel in America, by Celia Morris Eckhardt (1984).
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