Margaretta Bleecker Faugères Biography

Margaretta Bleecker Faugères (October 11, 1771 – January 9, 1801) was the daughter of Ann Eliza Bleecker. She was an AmericSometime after her mother's death, she and her father moved to New York City where she continued her education and began to write. She was committed to establishing her mother's reputation as a writer as well as her own. She started publishing her mother's poetry, what was left of it, in The New York Magazine in 1790. Similarly she began publishing her own essays and poems in the same periodical. Her reputation as a poet grew and for a few years she was considered the "premier poet" of the magazine. She had strong political views and concentrated her writings around the anti-slavery movement, her support of the French Revolution and her disapproval of capital punishment.

In June 1791, The New York Magazine published her essay Fine Feelings Exemplified in the Conduct of a Negro Slave in which she challenged Thomas Jefferson's claim that slaves lacked "finer feelings", she wrote,

I cannot help thinking that their sensations, mental and external, are as acute as those of the people whose skin may be of a different colour; such an assertion may be bold, but facts are stubborn things, and had I not them to support me, it is probable I should not attempt to oppose the opinions of such an eminent reasoner.

Her support of the French Revolution was probably shaped by her friendship with a French physician, Peter Faugeres, who shared her political views. They were married, in opposition to her father's wishes, on Bastille Day, July 14, 1792. Her marriage proved to be miserable; it became widely known that her husband abused her and within just a few years managed to squander her large fortune. In 1793, she published The Posthumous Works of Ann Eliza Bleecker in Prose and Verse, to which is added a Collection of Essays, Prose and Poetical, a collection of her mother's work and her own. In 1795, she wrote Belisarius: A Tragedy. It was her major literary achievement, a blank-verse tragedy in four acts which echoed her views on human rights.

Faugeres opposed the death penalty for murder which made her view more radical than most. She felt it was inconsistent for a country which boasted of its freedom and happiness. She wrote The Ghost of John Young in 1797. It was a six page pamphlet arguing against the use of capital punishment. It was a poetic narrative in which she gave John Young's perspective from the grave.an playwright, poet and political activist.

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