Gulliver was born on 30 July 1856 in Norwich, Connecticut, to Frances Curtis Gulliver and John Putnam Gulliver, a minister, theologian, and later President of Knox College in Illinois. Gulliver was one of the first professional academic women philosophers. She was part of the first class of Smith College in Massachusetts, and earned a BA in 1879. After further study with her father she received a PhD in philosophy from Smith College in 1888. Her dissertation was titled “The Substitutes for Christianity Proposed by Comte and Spencer.” Gulliver was the second woman to receive a PhD in philosophy in America, preceded by May Preston Slosson in 1880, and followed by Eliza Ritchie in 1889. Gulliver also had a year of study with Wilhelm Wundt at the University of Leipzig during 1892–3. In 1910 her alma mater awarded her the honorary LLD
From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.