Corydon Fuller was born on November 2, 1830, and spent his youth in several places in the Midwest, including Chardon, Ohio. After graduating from college, Fuller seems to have settled, at least temporarily, in Mishawaka, Ind. Here, on New Year's day 1855, he was married. It is unknown whether he and his wife, Mary, had any children, but they could count James and Lucretia Garfield among their friends.
For a time, Fuller was employed as an itinerant bookseller, peddling Colton atlases from door to door. He took this business southward in 1857, hoping to tap into the expanding market in the states of the old southwest. For seventeen months, he traveled Arkansas and bordering areas in Louisiana and Mississippi selling his wares, and recording his impressions of southern culture and law during the years in which the sectional crisis was approaching its apex.