Fanny Wright was born in Dundee in 1795. She travelled to America in 1818 and 1824 and, during the second visit, published A Plan for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery in the United States, which urged Congress to set aside land for emancipated slaves. S
It was in 1818, that Fanny Wright travelled to America for the first time and was enthralled by the possibilities that the new nation offered, writing that the system of representative government “has been carried to perfection in America”.
Indeed, it seemed that she only found one black mark on America’s name: the continuing existence of slavery, which she called “odious beyond all that the imagination can conceive”. She wrote a book on her experiences entitled, ‘Views of Society and Manners in America’. which apparently cemented her place as an intellectual.
She returned to America in 1824 and became a citizen in 1825. It was there that she met a fellow Scot, Robert Owen, who was addressing Congress on the topic of improving working conditions for labourers (as he had done in his own mills).
Inspired by Owen’s utopian ideas, Wright bought a plot of land on the Tennessee frontier and named it Nashoba, populating it with thirty former black slaves and several white overseers. She intended to create a community where former slaves could work and gain an education, however. this failed and she was forced to relocate the former slaves to Haiti.
In her absence on that trip, her reputation was tarnished and she withdrew temporarily before becoming an advocate for social reform and women’s equal rights.