Saturday, 20 December 2014


Madame Fanny Wright Daursmont, once celebrated as a political agitator, died at Cincinnati on the 13th ultimo. She was born at Dundee, in Scotland, 1795, and was early initiated in republican principles by her father, who was well known in the literary circles of his time as a scholar and a politician of extreme opinions. He was intimate with Dr. Adam Smith, Dr. Cullen, and other men of literary and scientific eminence of his day. In early life, under the tuition of his maternal uncle, Professor Mylne, his daughter Fanny had obtained a first-class education, and at the age of 18 she wrote a little book called " A Few Days in Athens," in which she defended the opinions and character of Epicurus. She was soon afterwards left an orphan, and was reared as a ward in Chancery by a maternal aunt. She visited America in 1818, and afterwards visited Paris on the invitation of General Lafayette. On her return to America, she purchased about 2000 acres of land at the old Chickasaw Bluffs, now Memphis, and peopled it with a number of slave families whom she had redeemed. In 1833 she appeared as a public lecturer. Her deep soprano voice, her commanding figure, and marvellous eloquence, combined with her furious attacks on slavery and all American abuses, soon made her notorious over that vast continent. Her powers of oratory are spoken of by several travellers as extraordinary, and when she spoke thousands flocked to hear her. Elated by her powers, she visited all the principal cities of the Union, but as she too often made the philosophy of her "Few Days in Athens" the groundwork of her discourses, she aroused the hostility of the press and the clergy, and for two years she battled singled-handed, by her pen and her tongue, with her powerful foes, and kept the country ringing with her name. Meanwhile she had her redeemed slaves educated in agricultural pursuits and general knowledge, and they promised to make a thriving colony,{text unreadable} Wright forced her to quit her estate, and to leave the management of it in incompetent and wasteful hands. The establishment was consequently broken up, and the slaves sent to Hayti. She then joined Robert Owen in his communist scheme in New Harmony, editing the Gazette, and lecturing in its behalf at the principal cities and towns of the west of America. After the close of her lecturing career she removed to Cincinnati, where she married a Frenchman named Daursmont, with whom she subsequently disagreed, and got into a lawsuit in reference to the disposition of her property. This circumstance and her ill-health compelled her to visit Europe, where a few years' residence seems to have cooled her enthusiasm and modified her opinions.

 The Sydney Morning Herald 29 April 1853,

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