The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Wright, Frances
WRIGHT (D'Arusmont), Frances (commonly called Fanny), a Scottish reformer, born in Dundee, Sept. 6, 1795, died in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dec. 14, 1852. She was left an orphan at the age of nine, and was indoctrinated by her guardian with ideas founded on the philosophy of the French materialists. She travelled in the United States in 1818-'20 and published “Views on Society and Manners in America” (London, 1821). In 1825 she again came to America, and purchased 2,000 acres of land in Tennessee, including part of the present site of Memphis, where she established a colony of emancipated slaves, who were afterward sent to Hayti. In 1833-'6 her lectures upon negro slavery and other social institutions attracted large and enthusiastic audiences, and led to the establishment of what were called “Fanny Wright” societies. Her visits were subsequently extended to the principal cities of the Union, but the enunciation of views similar to those contained in her “Few Days in Athens” met with very decided opposition. About 1838 she married in France M. D'Arusmont, but soon separated from him, and resided in Cincinnati till her death. She published “Altorf,” a tragedy (Philadelphia, 1819); “A Few Days in Athens,” a defence of the philosophy of Epicurus (London, 1822); and “Lectures on Free Inquiry” (New York, 1829; 6th ed., 1836).