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Title: History of American Socialisms
Author: Noyes, John Humphrey, 1811-1886
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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       *       *       *       *       *

This is an exact reprint
of the scarce 1870 edition

This edition
Limited to 500 Copies

       *       *       *       *       *


The object of this book is to help the study of Socialism by the
inductive method. It is, first and chiefly, a collection of facts; and
the attempts at interpretation and generalization which are
interspersed, are secondary and not intentionally dogmatic.

It is certainly high time that Socialists should begin to take lessons
from experience; and for this purpose, that they should chasten their
confidence in flattering theories, and turn their attention to actual

This country has been from the beginning, and especially for the last
forty years, a laboratory in which Socialisms of all kinds have been
experimenting. It may safely be assumed that Providence has presided
over the operations, and has taken care to make them instructive. The
disasters of Owenism and Fourierism have not been in vain; the
successes of the Shakers and Rappites have not been set before us for
nothing. We may hope to learn something from every experiment.

The author, having had unusual advantages for observing the
Socialistic movements, and especial good fortune in obtaining
collections of observations made by others, has deemed it his duty to
devote a year to the preparation of this history.

As no other systematic account of American Socialisms exists, the
facts here collected, aside from any interpretation of them, may be
valuable to the student of history, and entertaining to the general

The present issue may be considered a proof-sheet, as carefully
corrected as it can be by individual, vigilance. It is hoped that it
will call out from experts in Socialism and others, corrections and
additions that will improve it for future editions.

_Wallingford, Conn., December, 1869._


  CHAPTER                                                    PAGE

        I. INTRODUCTION                                         1

       II. BIRDS-EYE VIEW                                      10

      III. THEORY OF NATIONAL EXPERIENCE                       21

       IV. NEW HARMONY                                         30

        V. INQUEST ON NEW HARMONY                              44

       VI. YELLOW SPRINGS COMMUNITY                            59

      VII. NASHOBA                                             66

     VIII. SEVEN EPITAPHS                                      73

       IX. OWEN'S GENERAL CAREER                               81

        X. CONNECTING LINKS                                    93

       XI. CHANNING'S BROOK FARM                              102

      XII. HOPEDALE                                           119

     XIII. THE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES                          133

      XIV. THE NORTHAMPTON ASSOCIATION                        154

       XV. THE SKANEATELES COMMUNITY                          161

      XVI. SOCIAL ARCHITECTS                                  181

     XVII. FUNDAMENTALS OF SOCIALISM                          193

    XVIII. LITERATURE OF FOURIERISM                           200

      XIX. THE PERSONNEL OF FOURIERISM                        211

       XX. THE SYLVANIA ASSOCIATION                           233

      XXI. OTHER PENNSYLVANIA EXPERIMENTS                     251

     XXII. THE VOLCANIC DISTRICT                              267

    XXIII. THE CLARKSON PHALANX                               278

     XXIV. THE SODUS BAY PHALANX                              286

      XXV. OTHER NEW YORK EXPERIMENTS                         296

     XXVI. THE MARLBORO ASSOCIATION                           309

    XXVII. PRAIRIE HOME COMMUNITY                             316

   XXVIII. THE TRUMBULL PHALANX                               328

     XXIX. THE OHIO PHALANX                                   354

      XXX. THE CLERMONT PHALANX                               366

     XXXI. THE INTEGRAL PHALANX                               377

    XXXII. THE ALPHADELPHIA PHALANX                           388

   XXXIII. LA GRANGE PHALANX                                  397

    XXXIV. OTHER WESTERN EXPERIMENTS                          404

     XXXV. THE WISCONSIN PHALANX                              411

    XXXVI. THE NORTH AMERICAN PHALANX                         449

   XXXVII. LIFE AT THE NORTH AMERICAN                         468

  XXXVIII. END OF THE NORTH AMERICAN                          487

    XXXIX. CONVERSION OF BROOK FARM                           512

       XL. BROOK FARM AND FOURIERISM                          529

      XLI. BROOK FARM AND SWEDENBORGIANISM                    537

     XLII. THE END OF BROOK FARM                              551

    XLIII. THE SPIRITUALIST COMMUNITIES                       564

     XLIV. THE BROCTON COMMUNITY                              577

      XLV. THE SHAKERS                                        595

     XLVI. THE ONEIDA COMMUNITY                               614

    XLVII. REVIEW AND RESULTS                                 646

   XLVIII. TWO SCHOOLS OF SOCIALISM                           658




Many years ago, when a branch of the Oneida Community lived at Willow
Place in Brooklyn, near New York, a sombre pilgrim called there one
day, asking for rest and conversation. His business proved to be the
collecting of memoirs of socialistic experiments. We treated him
hospitably, and gave him the information he sought about our
Community. He repeated his visit several times in the course of some
following years, and finally seemed to take a very friendly interest
in our experiment. Thus we became acquainted with him, and also in a
measure with the work he had undertaken, which was nothing less than a
history of all the Associations and Communities that have lived and
died in this country, within the last thirty or forty years.

This man's name was A.J. Macdonald. We remember that he was a person
of small stature, with black hair and sharp eyes. He had a benevolent
air, but seemed a little sad. We imagined that the sad scenes he had
encountered while looking after the stories of so many short-lived
Communities, had given him a tinge of melancholy. He was indeed the
"Old Mortality" of Socialism, wandering from grave to grave, patiently
deciphering the epitaphs of defunct "Phalanxes." We learned from him
that he was a Scotchman by birth, and a printer by trade; that he was
an admirer and disciple of Owen, and came from the "old country" some
ten years before, partly to see and follow the fortunes of his
master's experiments in Socialism: but finding Owenism in ruins and
Fourierism going to ruin, he took upon himself the task of making a
book, that should give future generations the benefit of the lessons
taught by these attempts and failures.

His own attempt was a failure. He gathered a huge mass of materials,
wrote his preface, and then died in New York of the cholera. Our
record of his last visit is dated February, 1854.

Ten years later our attention was turned to the project of writing a
history of American Socialisms. Such a book seemed to be a want of the
times. We remembered Macdonald, and wished that by some chance we
could obtain his collections. But we had lost all traces of them, and
the hope of recovering them from the chaos of the great city where he
died, seemed chimerical. Nevertheless some of our associates, then in
business on Broadway, commenced inquiring at the printing offices, and
soon found acquaintances of Macdonald, who directed them to the
residence of his brother-in-law in the city. There, to our joyful
surprise, we found the collections we were in search of, lying useless
except as mementos, and a gentleman in charge of them who was willing
we should take them and use them as we pleased.

On examining our treasure, we found it to be a pile of manuscripts, of
letter-paper size and three inches thick, with printed scraps from
newspapers and pamphlets interspersed. All was in the loosest state of
disorder; but we strung the leaves together, paged them, and made an
index of their contents. The book thus extemporized has been our
companion, as the reader will see, in the ensuing history. The number
of its pages is seven hundred and forty-seven. The index has the names
of sixty-nine Associative experiments, beginning with Brook Farm and
ending with the Shakers. The memoirs are of various lengths, from a
mere mention to a narrative of nearly a hundred pages. Among them are
notices of leading Socialists, such as Owen, Fourier, Frances Wright,
&c. The collection was in no fit condition for publication; but it
marked out a path for us, and gave us a mass of material that has been
very serviceable, and probably could not elsewhere be found.

The breadth and thoroughness of Macdonald's intention will be seen in
the following circular which, in the prosecution of his enterprise, he
sent to many leading Socialists.


                                        "_New York, March, 1851._

    "I have been for some time engaged in collecting the necessary
    materials for a book, to be entitled '_The Communities of the
    United States_,' in which I propose giving a brief account of
    all the social and co-operative experiments that have been made
    in this country--their origin, principles, and progress; and,
    particularly, the causes of their success or failure.

    "I have reason to believe, from long experience among social
    reformers, that such a work is needed, and will be both useful
    and interesting. It will serve as a guide to all future
    experiments, showing what has already been done; like a
    light-house, pointing to the rocks on which so many have been
    wrecked, or to the haven in which the few have found rest. It
    will give facts and statistics to be depended upon, gathered
    from the most authentic sources, and forming a collection of
    interesting narratives. It will show the errors of enthusiasts,
    and the triumphs of the cool-thinking; the disappointments of
    the sanguine, and the dear-bought experience of many social
    adventurers. It will give mankind an idea of the labor of body
    and mind that has been expended to realize a better state of
    society; to substitute a social and co-operative state for a
    competitive one; a system of harmony, for one of discord.

    "To insure the truthfulness of the work, I propose to gather
    most of my information from individuals who have actually been
    engaged in the experiments of which I treat. With this object in
    view, I take the liberty to address you, asking your aid in
    carrying out my plan. I request you to give me an account of the
    experiment in which you were engaged at ----. For instance, I
    require such information as the following questions would call
    forth, viz:

    "1. Who originated it, or how was it originated?

    "2. What were its principles and objects?

    "3. What were its means in land and money?

    "4. Was all the property put into common stock?

    "5. What was the number of persons in the Association?

    "6. What were their trades, occupations and amount of skill?

    "7. Their education, natural intelligence and morality?

    "8. What religious belief, and if any, how preached and

    "9. How were members admitted? was there any standard by which
    to judge them, or any property qualification necessary?

    "10. Was there a written or printed constitution or laws? if so
    can you send me a copy?

    "11. Were pledges, fines, oaths, or any coercive means used?

    "12. When and where did the Association commence its experiment?
    Please describe the locality; what dwellings and other
    conveniences were upon it; how many persons it could
    accommodate; how many persons lived on the spot; how much land
    was cultivated; whether there were plenty of provisions; &c.,

    "13. How was the land obtained? Was it free or mortgaged? Who
    owned it?

    "14. Were the new circumstances of the associates superior or
    inferior to the circumstances they enjoyed previous to their

    "15. Did they obtain aid from without?

    "16. What particular person or persons took the lead?

    "17. Who managed the receipts and expenditures, and were they
    honestly managed?

    "18. Did the associates agree or disagree, and in what?

    "19. How long did they keep together?

    "20. When and why did they break up? State the causes, direct
    and indirect.

    "21. If successful, what were the causes of success?

    "Any other information relating to the experiment, that you may
    consider useful and interesting, will be acceptable. By such
    information you will confer a great favor, and materially assist
    me in what I consider a good undertaking.

    "The work I contemplate will form a neat 12mo. volume, of from
    200 to 280 pages, such as Lyell's 'Tour in the United States,'
    or Gorrie's 'Churches and Sects of the United States.' It will
    be published in New York and London at the lowest possible
    price, say, within one dollar; and it is my intention, if
    possible, to illustrate the work with views of Communities now
    in progress, or of localities rendered interesting by having
    once been the battle grounds of the new system against the old.

    "Please make known the above, and favor me with the names and
    addresses of persons who would be willing to assist me with such
    information as I require.

    "Trusting that I shall receive the same kind aid from you that I
    have already received from so many of my friends,

                        "I remain, very respectfully, yours,

                                           "A.J. MACDONALD."

Among the manuscripts in Macdonald's collection are many that were
evidently written in response to this circular. Many others were
written by himself as journals or reports of his own visits to various
Associations. We have reason to believe that he spent most of his time
from his arrival in this country in 1842 till his death in 1854, in
pilgrimages to every Community, and even to every grave of a
Community, that he could hear of, far and near.

He had done his work when he died. His collection is nearly exhaustive
in the extent of its survey. Very few Associations of any note are
overlooked. And he evidently considered it ready for the press; for
most of his memoirs are endorsed with the word "_Complete_," and with
some methodical directions to the printer. He had even provided the
illustrations promised in his circular. Among his manuscripts are the
following pictures:

A pencil sketch and also a small wood engraving of the buildings of
the North American Phalanx;

A wood engraving of the first mansion house of the Oneida Community;

A pencil sketch of the village of Modern Times;

A view in water-colors of the domain and cabin of the Clermont

A pencil sketch of the Zoar settlement;

Four wood engravings of Shaker scenes; two of them representing
dances; one, a kneeling scene; and one, a "Mountain meeting;" also a
pencil sketch of Shaker dwellings at Watervliet;

A portrait of Robert Owen in wood;

A very pretty view of New Harmony in India ink;

A wood-cut of one of Owen's imaginary palaces;

Two portraits of Frances Wright in wood; one representing her as she
was in her prime of beauty, and the other, as she was in old age;

A fine steel engraving of Fourier.

In the following preface, which was found among Macdonald's
manuscripts, and which is dated a few months before his death, we
have a last and sure signal that he considered his collection


    "I performed the task of collecting the materials which form
    this volume, because I thought I was doing good. At one time,
    sanguine in anticipating brilliant results from Communism, I
    imagined mankind better than they are, and that they would
    speedily practise those principles which I considered so true.
    But the experience of years is now upon me; I have mingled with
    'the world,' seen _stern reality_, and now am anxious to do as
    much as in me lies, to make known to the many thousands who look
    for a 'better state' than this on earth as well as in heaven,
    the amount (as it were at a glance) of the labors which have
    been and are now being performed in this country to realize that
    'better state'. It may help to waken dreamers, to guide lost
    wanderers, to convince skeptics, to re-assure the hopeful; it
    may serve the uses of Statesmen and Philosophers, and interest
    the general reader; but it is most desirable that it should
    increase the charity of all those who may please to examine it,
    when they see that it was for Humanity, in nearly all instances,
    that these things were done.

    "Of necessity the work is imperfect, because of the difficulty
    in obtaining information on such subjects; but the attempt,
    whatever may be its result, should not be put off, since there
    is reason to believe that if not now collected, many particulars
    of the various movements would be forever lost.

    "It remains for a future historian to continue the labor which I
    have thus superficially commenced; for the day has not yet
    arrived when it can be said that Communism or Association has
    ceased to exist; and it is possible yet, in the progress of
    things, that man will endeavor to cure his social diseases by
    some such means; and a future history may contain the results of
    more important experiments than have ever yet been attempted.

    "I here return my thanks to the fearless, confiding, and
    disinterested friends, who so freely shared with me what little
    they possessed, to assist in the completion of this work. I name
    them not, but rejoice in their assistance.

                                                 A.J. MACDONALD.

    "_New York City, 1854._"

The tone of this preface indicates that Macdonald was discouraged. The
effect of his book, if he had lived to publish it, would have been to
aggravate the re-action against Socialism which followed the collapse
of Fourierism. We hope to make a better use of his materials.

It should not be imagined that we are about to edit his work. A large
part of his collections we shall omit, as irrelevant to our purpose.
That part which we use will often be reconstructed and generally
condensed. Much of our material will be obtained from other sources.
The plan and theory of this history are our own, and widely different
from any that Macdonald would have been willing to indorse. With these
qualifications, we still acknowledge a large debt of gratitude to him
and to the Providence that gave us his collections.



A general survey of the Socialistic field will be useful, before
entering on the memoirs of particular Associations; and for this
purpose we will now spread before us the entire Index of Macdonald's
collections, adding to it a schedule of the number of pages which he
gave to the several Associations, and the dates of their beginning and
ending, so far as we have been able to find them. Many of the
transitory Associations, it will be seen, "made no sign" when they
died. The continuous Communities, such as the Shakers, of course have
no terminal date.


    Associations, &c.                        No. of Pages.     Dates.
    Alphadelphia Phalanx                          7            1843-6.
    Auxiliary Branch of the Association
      of All Classes of All Nations               3            1836.
    Blue Spring Community                         1            1826-7.
    Brazilian Experiment                          1            1841.
    Brook Farm                                   20            1842-7.
    Brooke's Experiment                           5            1844.
    Brotherhood of the Union                      1            1850-1.
    Bureau Co. Phalanx                            1            1843.
    Cincinnati Brotherhood                        5            1845-8.
    Clarkson Industrial Association              11            1844.
    Clermont Phalanx                             13            1844-7.
    Colony of Bethel                             11            1852.
    Columbian Phalanx                             1            1845.
    Commonwealth Society                          1            1819.
    Communia Working Men's League                 1            1850.
    Convention at Boston of the Friends
    of Association                                2            1843.
    Convention in New York for organizing
      an Industrial Congress                      1            1845.
    Co-operating Society of Alleghany Co.         1            1825.
    Coxsackie Community                           2            1826-7.
    Davis' Harmonial Brotherhood                  2            1851.
    Dunkers                                       4            1724.
    Ebenezer Community                            5            1843.
    Emigration Society, 2d Section                4            1843.
    Forrestville Community                        1            1825.
    Fourier, Life of                              3
    Franklin Community                            1            1826.
    Garden Grove                                  1            1848.
    Goose Pond Community                          1            1843.
    Grand Prairie Community                       2            1847.
    Grand Prairie Harmonial Institute             8            1853.
    Guatemala Experiment                          1            1843.
    Haverstraw Community                          3            1826.
    Hopedale Community                           13            1842.
    Hunt's Experiment of Equality                12            1843-7.
    Icaria                                       82            1849
    Integral Phalanx                              5            1845.
    Jefferson County Industrial Association       3            1843.
    Kendal Community                              4            1826.
    Lagrange Phalanx                              2            1843.
    Leraysville Phalanx                           5            1844.
    Macluria                                      7            1826.
    Marlboro Association                         10            1841.
    McKean County Association                     1            1843.
    Modern Times                                  3            1851.
    Moorhouse Union                               6            1843.
    Moravians, or United Brethren                 9            1745.
    Murray, Orson S.                              3
    Nashoba                                      14            1825-8.
    New Lanark                                   10            1799.
    New Harmony                                  60            1825-7.
    North American Phalanx                       38            1843-55.
    Northampton Association                       7            1842.
    Ohio Phalanx                                 11            1844-5.
    Oneida Community                             27            1847.
    One-mentian Community                         6            1843.
    Ontario Phalanx                               1            1844.
    Owen, Robert                                 25
    Prairie Home Community                       23            1844.
    Raritan Bay Union                             5            1853.
    Sangamon Phalanx                              1            1845.
    Shakers                                      93            1776.
    Skaneateles Community                        18            1843-6.
    Social Reform Unity                          23            1842.
    Sodus Bay Phalanx                             3            1844.
    Spiritual Community at Mountain Cove          3            1853.
    Spring Farm Association                       3            1846-9.
    St. Louis Reform Association                  1            1851.
    Sylvania Association                         25            1843-5.
    Trumbull Phalanx                             13            1844-7.
    United Germans                                2            1827.
    Venezuelan Experiment                        25            1844-6.
    Warren, Josiah, Time Store &c.               11            1842.
    Washtenaw Phalanx                             1            1843.
    Wisconsin Phalanx                            21            1844-50.
    Wright, Frances                               9
    Wilkinson, Jemima, and her Community          5            1780.
    Yellow Springs Community                      1            1825.
    Zoar                                          8            1819.

On general survey of the matter contained in this index, we may begin
to sort it in the following manner:

First we will lay aside the antique _religious_ Associations, such as
the Dunkers, Moravians, Zoarites, &c. We count at least seven of
these, which do not properly belong to the modern socialistic
movement, or even to American life. Having their origin in the old
world, and most of them in the last century, and remaining without
change, they exist only on the outskirts of general society.

Next we put out of account the _foreign_ Associations, such as the
Brazilian and Venezuelan experiments. With these may be classed those
of the Icarians and some others, which, though within the United
States, are, or were, really colonies of foreigners. We see six of
this sort in the index.

Thirdly, we dismiss two or three Spiritualistic attempts that are
named in the list; first, because they never attained to the dignity
of Associations; and secondly, because they belonged to a later
movement than that which Macdonald undertook to record. The social
experiments of the Spiritualists should be treated by themselves, as
the _sequelæ_ of the Fourier excitement of Macdonald's time.

The Associations that are left after these exclusions, naturally fall
into two groups, viz.; those of the OWEN MOVEMENT, and those of the

Robert Owen came to this country and commenced his experiments in
Communism in 1824. This was the beginning of a national excitement,
which had a course somewhat like that of a religious revival or a
political campaign. This movement seems to have culminated in 1826;
and, grouped around or near that year, we find in Macdonald's list,
the names of eleven Communities. These were not all strictly Owenite
Communities, but probably all owed their birth to the general
excitement that followed Owen's labors, and may therefore, properly be
classified as belonging to the Owen movement.

Fourierism was introduced into this country by Albert Brisbane and
Horace Greeley in 1842, and then commenced another great national
movement similar to that of Owenism, but far more universal and
enthusiastic. We consider the year 1843 the focal period of this
social revival; and around that year or following it within the
forties, we find the main group of Macdonald's Associations.
Thirty-four of the list may clearly be referred to this epoch. Many,
and perhaps most of them, never undertook to carry into practice
Fourier's theories in full; and some of them would disclaim all
affiliation with Fourierism; but they all originated in a common
excitement, and that excitement took its rise from the publications of
Brisbane and Greeley.

Confining ourselves, for the present, to these two groups of
Associations, belonging respectively to the Owen movement of 1826 and
the Fourier movement of 1843, we will now give a brief statistical
account of each Association; i.e., all we can find in Macdonald's
collection, on the following points: 1, Locality; 2, Number of
members; 3, Amount of land; 4, Amount of debt; 5, Duration. We give
the amount of land instead of any other measurement of capital,
because all and more than all the capital of the Associations was
generally invested in land, and because it is difficult to
distinguish, in most cases, between the cash capital that was actually
paid in, and that which was only subscribed or talked about.

As to the reliability of these statistics, we can only say that we
have patiently picked them out, one by one, like scattered bones, from
Macdonald's heap. Though they may be faulty in some details, we are
confident that the general idea they give of the attempts and
experiences of American Socialists, will not be far from the truth.

_Experiments of the Owen Epoch._

Blue Spring Community; Indiana; no particulars, except that it lasted
"but a short time."

Co-operative Society; Pennsylvania; no particulars.

Coxsackie Community; New York; capital "small;" "very much in debt;"
duration between 1 and 2 years.

Forrestville Community; Indiana; "over 60 members;" 325 acres of land;
duration more than a year.

Franklin Community; New York; no particulars.

Haverstraw Community; New York; about 80 members; 120 acres; debt
$12,000; duration 5 months.

Kendal Community; Ohio; 200 members; 200 acres; duration about 2

Macluria; Indiana; 1200 acres; duration about 2 years.

New Harmony; Indiana; 900 members; 30,000 acres, worth $150,000;
duration nearly 3 years.

Nashoba; Tennessee; 15 members; 2,000 acres; duration about 3 years.

Yellow Spring Community; Ohio; 75 to 100 families; duration 3 months.

_Experiments of the Fourier Epoch._

Alphadelphia Phalanx; Michigan; 400 or 500 members; 2814 acres;
duration 2 years and 9 months.

Brook Farm; Massachusetts; 115 members; 200 acres; duration 5 years.

Brooke's experiment; Ohio; few members; no further particulars.

Bureau Co. Phalanx; Illinois; small; no particulars.

Clarkson Industrial Association; New York; 420 members; 2000 acres;
duration from 6 to 9 months.

Clermont Phalanx; Ohio; 120 members; 900 acres; debt $19,000; duration
2 years or more.

Columbian Phalanx; Ohio; no particulars.

Garden Grove; Iowa; no particulars.

Goose Pond Community; Pennsylvania; 60 members; duration a few months.

Grand Prairie Community; Ohio; no particulars.

Hopedale; Massachusetts; 200 members; 500 acres; duration not stated,
but commonly reported to be 17 or 18 years.

Integral Phalanx; Illinois; 30 families; 508 acres; duration 17

Jefferson Co. Industrial Association; New York; 400 members; 1200
acres of land; duration a few months.

Lagrange Phalanx; Indiana; 1000 acres; no further particulars.

Leraysville Phalanx; Pennsylvania; 40 members; 300 acres; duration 8

Marlboro Association; Ohio; 24 members; had "a load of debt;" duration
nearly 4 years.

McKean Co. Association; Pennsylvania; 30,000 acres; no further

Moorhouse Union; New York; 120 acres; duration "a few months."

North American Phalanx; New Jersey; 112 members; 673 acres; debt
$17,000; duration 12 years.

Northampton Association; Massachusetts; 130 members; 500 acres of
land; debt $40,000; duration 4 years.

Ohio Phalanx; 100 members; 2,200 acres; deeply in debt; duration 10

One-mentian (meaning probably one-mind) Community; Pennsylvania; 800
acres; duration one year.

Ontario Phalanx; New York; brief duration.

Prairie Home Community; Ohio; 500 acres; debt broke it up; duration
one year.

Raritan Bay Union; New Jersey; few members; 268 acres.

Sangamon Phalanx; Illinois; no particulars.

Skaneateles Community; New York; 150 members; 354 acres; debt $10,000;
duration 2-1/2 years.

Social Reform Unity; Pennsylvania; 20 members; 2,000 acres; debt
$2,400; duration about 10 months.

Sodus Bay Phalanx; New York; 300 members; 1,400 acres; duration a
"short time."

Spring Farm Association; Wisconsin; 10 families; duration 3 years.

Sylvania Association; Pennsylvania; 145 members; 2394 acres; debt
$7,900; duration nearly 2 years.

Trumbull Phalanx; Ohio; 1500 acres; duration 2-1/2 years.

Washtenaw Phalanx; Michigan; no particulars.

Wisconsin Phalanx; 32 families; 1,800 acres; duration 6 years.

_Recapitulation and Comments._

1. _Localities._ The Owen group were distributed among the States as
follows: in Indiana, 4; in New York, 3; in Ohio, 2; in Pennsylvania,
1; in Tennessee, 1.

The Fourier group were located as follows: in Ohio, 8; in New York, 6;
in Pennsylvania, 6; in Massachusetts, 3; in Illinois, 3; in New
Jersey, 2; in Michigan, 2; in Wisconsin, 2; in Indiana, 1; in Iowa, 1.

Indiana had the greatest number in the first group, and the least in
the second.

New England was not represented in the Owen group; and only by three
Associations in the Fourier group; and those three were all in

The southern states were represented by only one Association--that of
Nashoba, in the Owen group--and that was little more than an
eleemosynary attempt of Frances Wright to civilize the negroes.

The two groups combined were distributed as follows: in Ohio, 10; in
New York, 9; in Pennsylvania, 7; in Indiana, 5; in Massachusetts, 3;
in Illinois, 3; in New Jersey, 2; in Michigan, 2; in Wisconsin, 2; in
Tennessee, 1; in Iowa, 1.

2. _Number of members._ The figures in our epitome (reckoning five
persons to a family when families are mentioned), give an aggregate of
4,801 members: but these belong to only twenty-five Associations. The
numbers of the remaining twenty are not definitely reported. The
average of those reported is about 192 to an Association. Extending
this average to the rest, we have a total of 8,641.

The numbers belonging to single Associations vary from 15 to 900; but
in a majority of cases they were between 100 and 200.

3. _The amount of land_ reported is enormous. Averaging it as we did
in the case of the number of members, we make a grand total of 136,586
acres, or about 3,000 acres to each Association! This is too much for
any probable average. We will leave out as exceptional, the 60,000
acres reported as belonging to New Harmony and the McKean Co.
Association. Then averaging as before, we have a grand total of 44,624
acres, or about 1,000 acres to each Association.

Judging by our own experience we incline to think that this fondness
for land, which has been the habit of Socialists, had much to do with
their failures. Farming is about the hardest and longest of all roads
to fortune: and it is the kind of labor in which there is the most
uncertainty as to modes and theories, and of course the largest chance
for disputes and discords in such complex bodies as Associations.
Moreover the lust for land leads off into the wilderness, "out west,"
or into by-places, far away from railroads and markets; whereas
Socialism, if it is really ahead of civilization, ought to keep near
the centers of business, and at the front of the general march of
improvement. We should have advised the Phalanxes to limit their
land-investments to a minimum, and put their strength as soon as
possible into some form of manufacture. Almost any kind of a factory
would be better than a farm for a Community nursery. We find hardly a
vestige of this policy in Macdonald's collections. The saw-mill is the
only form of mechanism that figures much in his reports. It is really
ludicrous to see how uniformly an old saw-mill turns up in connection
with each Association, and how zealously the brethren made much of it;
but that is about all they attempted in the line of manufacturing.
Land, land, land, was evidently regarded by them as the mother of all
gain and comfort. Considering how much they must have run in debt for
land, and how little profit they got from it, we may say of them
almost literally, that they were "wrecked by running aground."

4. _Amount of debt._ Macdonald's reports on this point are few and
indefinite. The sums owed are stated for only seven of the
Associations. They vary from $1,000 to $40,000. Five other
Associations are reported as "very much in debt," "deeply in debt,"
&c. The exact indebtedness of these and of the remaining thirty-three,
is probably beyond the reach of history. But we have reason to think
that nearly all of them bought, to begin with, a great deal more land
than they paid for. This was the fashion of the socialistic schools
and of the times.

5. _The duration_ of fourteen Associations is not reported; twelve
lasted less than 1 year; two 1 year; four between 1 and 2 years; three
2 years; four between 2 and 3 years; one between 3 and 4 years; one 4
years; one 5 years; one 6 years; one 12 years, and one (it is said) 17
years. All died young, and most of them before they were two years



Now that our phenomena are fairly before us, a little speculation may
be appropriate. One wants to know what position these experiments,
which started so gaily and failed so soon, occupy in the history of
this country and of the world; what relation they have to
Christianity; what their meaning is in the great scheme of Providence.
Students of Socialism and history must have some theory about their
place and significance in the great whole of things. We have studied
them somewhat in the circumspective way, and will devote a few pages
to our theory about them. It will at least correct any impression that
we intend to treat them disrespectfully.

And first we keep in mind a clear and wide distinction between the
Associations and the movements from which they sprung. The word
_movement_ is very convenient, though very indefinite. We use it to
designate the wide-spread excitements and discussions about Socialism
which led to the experiments we have epitomized. In our last chapter
we incidentally compared the socialistic movements of the Owen and
Fourier epochs to religious revivals. We might now complete the idea,
by comparing the Associations that issued from those movements, to
churches that were organized in consequence of the revivals. A vast
spiritual and intellectual excitement is one thing; and the
_institutions_ that rise out of it are another. We must not judge the
excitement by the institutions.

We get but a very imperfect idea of the Owen and Fourier movements
from the short-lived experiments whose remains are before us in
Macdonald's collections. In the first place Macdonald, faithful as he
was, did not discover all the experiments that were made during those
movements. We remember some that are not named in his manuscripts. And
in the next place the numbers engaged in the practical attempts were
very small, in comparison with the masses that entered into the
enthusiasm of the general movements and abandoned themselves to the
idea of an impending social revolution. The eight thousand and six
hundred that we found by averaging Macdonald's list, might probably be
doubled to represent the census of the obscure unknown attempts, and
then multiplied by ten to cover the outside multitudes that were
converted to Socialism in the course of the Owen and Fourier revivals.

Owen in 1824 stirred the very life of the nation with his appeals to
Kings and Congresses, and his vast experiments at New Harmony. Think
of his family of nine hundred members on a farm of thirty thousand
acres! A magnificent beginning, that thrilled the world! The general
movement was proportionate to this beginning; and though this great
Community and all the little ones that followed it failed and
disappeared in a few years, the movement did not cease. Owen and his
followers--especially his son Robert Dale Owen and Frances
Wright--continued to agitate the country with newspapers, public
lectures, and "Fanny Wright societies," till their ideas actually got
foot-hold and influence in the great Democratic party. The special
enthusiasm for practical attempts at Association culminated in 1826,
and afterwards subsided; but the excitement about Owen's ideas, which
was really the Owen movement, reached its height after 1830; and the
embers of it are in the heart of the nation to this day.

On the other hand, Fourier (by proxy) started another national
excitement in 1842. With young Brisbane for its cosmopolitan apostle,
and a national newspaper, such as the _New York Tribune_ was, for its
organ, this movement, like Owen's, could not be otherwise than
national in its dimensions. We shall have occasion hereafter to show
how vast and deep it was, and how poorly it is represented by the
Phalanxes that figure in Macdonald's memoirs. Meanwhile let the reader
consider that several of the men who were leaders in this excitement,
were also leaders then and afterwards in the old Whig party; and he
will have reason to conclude that Socialism, in its duplex form of
Owenism and Fourierism, has touched and modified both of the
party-sections and all departments of the national life.

We must not think of the two great socialistic revivals as altogether
heterogeneous and separate. Their partizans maintained theoretical
opposition to each other; but after all the main idea of both was _the
enlargement of home--the extension of family union beyond the little
man-and-wife circle to large corporations_. In this idea the two
movements were one; and this was the charming idea that caught the
attention and stirred the enthusiasm of the American people. Owenism
prepared the way for Fourierism. The same men, or at least the same
sort of men that took part in the Owen movement, were afterward
carried away by the Fourier enthusiasm. The two movements may,
therefore, be regarded as one; and in that view, the period of the
great American socialistic revival extends from 1824, through the
final and overwhelming excitement of 1843, to the collapse of
Fourierism after 1846.

As a man who has passed through a series of passional excitements, is
never the same being afterward, so we insist that these socialistic
paroxysms have changed the heart of the nation; and that a yearning
toward social reconstruction has become a part of the continuous,
permanent, inner experience of the American people. The Communities
and Phalanxes died almost as soon as they were born, and are now
almost forgotten. But the spirit of Socialism remains in the life of
the nation. It was discouraged and cast down by the failures of 1828
and 1846, and thus it learned salutary caution and self-control. But
it lives still, as a hope watching for the morning, in thousands and
perhaps millions who never took part in any of the experiments, and
who are neither Owenites nor Fourierites, but simply Socialists
without theory--believers in the possibility of a scientific and
heavenly reconstruction of society.

Thus our theory harmonizes Owenism with Fourierism, and regards them
both as working toward the same end in American history. Now we will
go a step further and attempt the reconciling of still greater

Since the war of 1812-15, the line of socialistic excitements lies
parallel with the line of religious Revivals. Each had its two great
leaders, and its two epochs of enthusiasm. Nettleton and Finney were
to Revivals, what Owen and Fourier were to Socialism. Nettleton
prepared the way for Finney, though he was opposed to him, as Owen
prepared the way for Fourier. The enthusiasm in both movements had the
same progression. Nettleton's agitation, like Owen's, was moderate and
somewhat local. Finney, like Fourier, swept the nation as with a
tempest. The Revival periods were a little in advance of those of
Socialism. Nettleton commenced his labors in 1817, while Owen entered
the field in 1824. Finney was at the height of his power in 1831-3,
while Fourier was carrying all before him in 1842-3. Thus the
movements were to a certain extent alternate. Opposed as they were to
each other theologically--one being a movement of Bible men, and the
other of infidels and liberals--they could not be expected to hold
public attention simultaneously. But looking at the whole period from
the end of the war in 1815 to the end of Fourierism after 1846, and
allowing Revivals a little precedence over Socialism, we find the two
lines of excitement parallel, and their phenomena wonderfully similar.

As we have shown that the socialistic movement was national, so, if it
were necessary, we might here show that the Revival movement was
national. There was a time between 1831 and 1834 when the American
people came as near to a surrender of all to the Kingdom of Heaven, as
they came in 1843 to a socialistic revolution. The Millennium seemed
as near in 1831, as Fourier's Age of Harmony seemed in 1843. And the
final effect of Revivals was a hope watching for the morning, which
remains in the life of the nation, side by side, nay identical with,
the great hope of Socialism.

And these movements--Revivalism and Socialism--opposed to each other
as they may seem, and as they have been in the creeds of their
partizans, are closely related in their essential nature and objects,
and manifestly belong together in the scheme of Providence, as they do
in the history of this nation. They are to each other as inner to
outer--as soul to body--as life to its surroundings. The Revivalists
had for their great idea the regeneration of the soul. The great idea
of the Socialists was the regeneration of society, which is the soul's
environment. These ideas belong together, and are the complements of
each other. Neither can be successfully embodied by men whose minds
are not wide enough to accept them both.

In fact these two ideas, which in modern times are so wide apart, were
present together in original Christianity. When the Spirit of truth
pricked three thousand men to the heart and converted them on the day
of Pentecost, its next effect was to resolve them into one family and
introduce Communism of property. Thus the greatest of all Revivals was
also the great inauguration of Socialism.

Undoubtedly the Socialists will think we make too much of the Revival
movement; and the Revivalists will think we make too much of the
Socialistic movement; and the politicians will think we make too much
of both, in assigning them important places in American history. But
we hold that a man's deepest experiences are those of religion and
love; and these are just the experiences in respect to which he is
most apt to be ashamed, and most inclined to be silent. So the nation
says but little, and tries to think that it thinks but little, about
its Revivals and its Socialisms; but they are nevertheless the deepest
and most interesting passages of its history, and worth more study as
determinatives of character and destiny, than all its politics and
diplomacies, its money matters and its wars.

Doubtless the Revivalists and Socialists despise each other, and
perhaps both will despise us for imagining that they can be
reconciled. But we will say what we believe; and that is, that they
have both failed in their attempts to bring heaven on earth, _because_
they despised each other, and would not put their two great ideas
together. The Revivalists failed for want of regeneration of society,
and the Socialists failed for want of regeneration of the heart.

On the one hand the Revivalists needed daily meetings and continuous
criticism to save and perfect their converts; and these things they
could not have without a thorough reconstruction of domestic life.
They tried the expedient of "protracted meetings," which was really a
half-way attack on the fashion of the world; but society was too
strong for them, and their half-measures broke down, as all
half-measures must. What they needed was to convert their churches
into unitary families, and put them into unitary homes, where daily
meetings and continuous criticism are possible;--and behold, this is

On the other hand the Socialists, as often as they came together in
actual attempts to realize their ideals, found that they were too
selfish for close organization. The moan of Macdonald was, that after
seeing the stern reality of the experiments, he lost hope, and was
obliged to confess that he had "imagined mankind better than they
are." This was the final confession of the leaders in the Associative
experiments generally, from Owen to the last of the Fourierites; and
this confession means, that Socialism needed for its complement,
regeneration of the heart;--and behold, this is Revivalism!

These discords and failures of the past surely have not been in vain.
Perhaps Providence has carried forward its regenerative designs in two
lines thus far, for the sake of the advantage of a "division of
labor." While the Bible men have worked for the regeneration of the
soul, the infidels and liberals have been busy on the problem of the
reconstruction of society. Working apart and in enmity, perhaps they
have accomplished more for final harmony than they could have done
together. Even their failures when rightly interpreted, may turn to
good account. They have both helped to plant in the heart of the
nation an unfailing hope of the "good time coming." Their lines of
labor, though we have called them parallel, must really be convergent;
and we may hope that the next phase of national history will be that
of Revivalism and Socialism harmonized, and working together for the
Kingdom of Heaven.

To complete our historical theory, we must mention in conclusion, one
point of contrast between the Socialisms and the Revivals.

_The Socialisms were imported from Europe; while the Revivals were
American productions._

Owen was an Englishman, and Fourier was a Frenchman; but Nettleton and
Finney were both Americans--both natives of Connecticut.

In the comparison we confine ourselves to the period since the war of
1812, because the history of the general socialistic excitements in
this country is limited to that period. But the Revivals have an
anterior history, extending back into the earliest times of New
England. The great American _system_ of Revivals, of which the
Nettleton and Finney excitements were the continuation, was born in
the first half of the last century, in central Massachusetts. Jonathan
Edwards, whose life extended from 1703 to 1758, was the father of it.
So that not only since the war of 1812, but before the Revolution of
1776, we find Revivalism, _as a system_, strictly an American

We call the Owen and Fourier movements, _American_ Socialisms, because
they were national in their dimensions, and American life chiefly was
the subject of them. But looking at what may be called the _male_
element in the production of them, they were really European
movements, propagated in this country. Nevertheless, if we take the
view that Socialism and Revivalism are a unit in the design of
Providence, one looking to the regeneration of externals and the other
to the regeneration of internals, we may still call the entire
movement American, as having Revivalism, which is American, for its
inner life, though Socialism, the outer element, was imported from
England and France.



American Socialisms, as we have defined them and grouped their
experiments, may be called _non-religious_ Socialisms. Several
religious Communities flourished in this country before Owen's
attempts, and have continued to flourish here since the collapse of
Fourierism. But they were originally colonies of foreigners, and never
were directly connected with movements that could be called national.
Owen was the first Socialist that stirred the enthusiasm of the whole
American people; and he was the first, so far as we know, who tried
the experiment of a non-religious Community. And the whole series of
experiments belonging to the two great groups of the Owen and Fourier
epochs, followed in his footsteps. The exclusion of theology was their
distinction and their boast.

Our programme, limited as it is by its title to these national
Socialisms, does not strictly include the religious Communities. Yet
those Communities have played indirectly a very important part in the
drama of American Socialisms, and will require considerable incidental
attention as we proceed.

In attempting to make out from Macdonald's collection an outline of
Owen's great experiment at New Harmony (which was the prototype of all
the Owen and Fourier experiments), we find ourselves at the outset
quite unexpectedly dealing with a striking example of the relation
between the religious and non-religious Communities.

Owen did not build the village of New Harmony, nor create the
improvements which prepared his 30,000 acres for his family of nine
hundred. He bought them outright from a previous religious Community;
and it is doubtful whether he would have ever gathered his nine
hundred and made his experiment, if he had not found a place prepared
for him by a sect of Christian Communists.

Macdonald was an admirer, we might almost say a worshiper, of Owen. He
gloats over New Harmony as the very Mecca of his devotion. There he
spent his first eighteen months in this country. The finest picture in
his collection is an elaborate India-ink drawing of the village. But
he scarcely mentions the Rappites who built it. No separate account of
them, such as he gives of the Shakers and Moravians, can be found in
his manuscripts. This is an unaccountable neglect; for their
pre-occupation of New Harmony and their transactions with Owen, must
have thrust them upon his notice; and their history is intrinsically
as interesting, to say the least, as that of any of the religious

A glance at the history of the Rappites is in many ways indispensable,
as an introduction to an account of Owen's New Harmony. We must
therefore address ourselves to the task which Macdonald neglected.


In the first years of the present century, old Würtemburg, a province
always famous for its religious enthusiasms, was fermenting with
excitement about the Millennium; and many of its enthusiasts were
expecting the speedy personal advent of Christ. Among these George
Rapp became a prominent preacher, and led forth a considerable sect
into doctrines and ways that brought upon him and them severe
persecutions. In 1803 he came to America to find a refuge for his
flock. After due exploration he purchased 5000 acres of land in Butler
Co., Pennsylvania, and commenced a settlement which he called Harmony.
In the summer of 1804 two ship-loads of his disciples with their
families--six hundred in all--came over the ocean and joined him. In
1805 the Society was formally organized as a Christian Community, on
the model of the Pentecostal church. For a time their fare was poor
and their work was hard. An evil eye from their neighbors was upon
them. But they lived down calumny and suspicion by well-doing, and
soon made the wilderness blossom around them like the rose. In 1807
they adopted the principle of celibacy; but in other respects they
were far from being ascetics. Music, painting, sculpture, and other
liberal arts flourished among them. Their museums and gardens were the
wonder and delight of the region around them. In 1814, desiring warmer
land and a better location for business, they sold all in Pennsylvania
and removed to Indiana. On the banks of the Wabash they built a new
village and again called it Harmony. Here they prospered more than
ever, and their number increased to nearly a thousand. In 1824 they
again became discontented with their location, on account of bad
neighbors and malaria. Again they sold all, and returned to
Pennsylvania; but not to their old home. They built their third and
final village in Beaver Co, near Pittsburgh, and called it Economy.
There they are to this day. They own railroads and oil wells and are
reported to be millionaires of the unknown grade. In all their
migrations from the old world to the new, from Pennsylvania to
Indiana, and from Indiana back to Pennsylvania; in all their perils by
persecutions, by false brethren, by pestilence, by poverty and wealth,
their religion held them together, and their union gave them the
strength that conquers prosperity. A notable example of what a hundred
families can do when they have the wisdom of harmony, and fight the
battle of life in a solid phalanx! A nobler "six hundred" than the
famous dragoons of Balaklava!

Such were the people who gave Robert Owen his first lessons in
Communism, and sold him their home in Indiana. Ten of their best years
they spent in building a village on the Wabash, not for themselves (as
it turned out), but for a theater of the great infidel experiment.
Rev. Aaron Williams, D.D., the historian to whom we are indebted for
the facts of the above sketch, thus describes the negotiations and the

"The Harmonists, when they began to think of returning to
Pennsylvania, employed a certain Richard Flower, an Englishman, and a
prominent member of an English settlement in their vicinity, to
negotiate for a sale of their real estate, offering him five thousand
dollars to find a purchaser. Flower went to England for this purpose,
and hearing of Robert Owen's Community at New Lanark, he sought him
out and succeeded in selling to him the town of Harmony, with all its
houses, mills, factories and thirty thousand acres of land, for one
hundred and fifty thousand dollars. This was an immense sacrifice; but
they were determined to leave the country, and they submitted to the
loss. Having in the meantime made a purchase of their present lands in
Pennsylvania, on the Ohio river, they built a steamboat and removed in
detachments to their new and final place of settlement."

Thus Owen, the first experimenter in non-religious Association, had
substantially the ready-made material conditions which Fourier and his
followers considered indispensable to success.

We proceed now to give a sketch of the Owen experiment chiefly in
Macdonald's words. When our own language occurs it is generally a
condensation of his.


"Robert Owen came to the United States in December 1824, to complete the
purchase of the settlement at Harmony. Mr. Rapp had sent an agent to
England to dispose of the property, and Mr. Owen fell in with him there.
In the spring of 1825 Mr. Owen closed the bargain. The property
consisted of about 30,000 acres of land; nearly 3,000 acres under
cultivation by the society; 19 detached farms; 600 acres of improved
land occupied by tenants; some fine orchards; eighteen acres of
full-bearing vines; and the village, which was a regularly laid out
town, with streets running at right angles to each other, and a public
square, around which were large brick edifices, built by the Rappites
for churches, schools, and other public purposes."

We can form some idea of the size of the village from the fact which
we learn from Mr. Williams, that the Rappites, while at Harmony,
numbered one thousand souls. It does not appear from Macdonald's
account that Owen and his Community made any important additions to
the village.

"On the departure of the Rappites, persons favorable to Mr. Owen's
views came flocking to New Harmony (as it was thenceforth called) from
all parts of the country. Tidings of the new social experiment spread
far and wide; and, although it has been denied, yet it is undoubtedly
true, that Mr. Owen in his public lectures invited the 'industrious
and well disposed of all nations' to emigrate to New Harmony. The
consequence was, that in the short space of six weeks from the
commencement of the experiment, a population of eight hundred persons
was drawn together, and in October 1825, the number had increased to
nine hundred."

As to the character of this population, Macdonald insists that it was
"as good as it could be under the circumstances," and he gives the
names of "many intelligent and benevolent individuals who were at
various times residents at New Harmony." But he admits that there were
some "black sheep" in the flock. "It is certain," he says, "that there
was a proportion of needy and idle persons, who crowded in to avail
themselves of Mr. Owen's liberal offer; and that they did their share
of work more in the line of _destruction_ than _construction_."

_Constitution No. 1._

On the 27th of April 1825, Mr. Owen instituted a sort of provisional
government. In an address to the people in New Harmony Hall, he
informed them, "that he had bought that property, and had come there
to introduce the practice of the new views; but he showed them the
impossibility that persons educated as they were, should change at
once from an irrational to a rational system of society, and the
necessity for a 'half-way house,' in which to be prepared for the new
system." Whereupon he tendered them a _Constitution_, of which we find
no definite account, except that it was not fully Communistic, and was
to hold the people in probationary training three years, under the
title of the _Preliminary Society of New Harmony_. "After these
proceedings Mr. Owen left New Harmony for Europe, and the Society was
managed by the _Preliminary Committee_.(!)" We may imagine, each one
for himself, what the nine hundred did while Mr. Owen was away.
Macdonald compiled from the _New Harmony Gazette_ a very rapid but
evidently defective account of the state of things in this important
interval. He says nothing about the work on the 30,000 acres, but
speaks of various minor businesses as "doing well." The only
manufactures that appear to have "exceeded consumption" were those of
soap and glue. A respectable apothecary "dispensed medicines without
charge," and "the store supplied the inhabitants with all
necessaries"--probably at Mr. Owen's expense. Education was considered
"public property," and one hundred and thirty children were schooled,
boarded and clothed from the public funds--probably at Mr. Owen's
expense. Amusements flourished. The Society had a band of music;
Tuesday evenings were appropriated to balls; Friday evenings to
concerts--both in the old Rappite church. There was no provision for
religious worship. Five military companies, "consisting of infantry,
artillery, riflemen, veterans and fusileers," did duty from time to
time on the public square.

_Constitution No. 2._

"Mr. Owen returned to New Harmony on the 12th of January, 1826, and
soon after the members of the Preliminary Society held a convention,
and adopted a constitution of a Community, entitled _The New Harmony
Community of Equality_. Thus in less than a year, instead of three
years as Mr. Owen had proposed, the 'half-way house' came to an end,
and actual Communism commenced. A few of the members, who, on account
of a difference of opinions, did not sign the new constitution, formed
a second Community on the New Harmony estate about two miles from the
town, in friendly connection with the first."

The new government instituted by Mr. Owen, was to be in the hands of
an _Executive Council_, subject at all times to the direction of the
Community; and six gentlemen were appointed to this function. But
Macdonald says: "Difficulties ensued in organizing the new Community.
It appears that the plan of government by executive council would not
work, and that the members were unanimous in calling upon Mr. Owen to
take the sole management, judging from his experience that he was the
only man who could do so. This call Mr. Owen accepted, and we learn
that soon after general satisfaction and individual contentment took
the place of suspense and uncertainty."

This was in fact the inauguration of

_Constitution No. 3._

"In March the _Gazette_ says that under the indefatigable attention of
Mr. Owen, order had been introduced into every department of
business, and the farm presented a scene of active and steady
industry. The Society was rapidly becoming a Community of Equality.
The streets no longer exhibited groups of idle talkers, but each one
was busily engaged in the occupation he had chosen. The public
meetings, instead of being the arenas for contending orators, were
changed into meetings of business, where consultations were held and
measures adopted for the comfort of all the members of the Community.

"In April there was a disturbance in the village on account of
negotiations that were going on for securing the estate as private
property. Some persons attempted to divide the town into several
societies. Mr. Owen would not agree to this, and as he had the power,
he made a selection, and by solemn examination constituted a _nucleus_
of twenty-five men, which _nucleus_ was to admit members, Mr. Owen
reserving the power to _veto_ every one admitted. There were to be
three grades of members, viz., conditional members, probationary
members, and persons on trial. (?) The Community was to be under the
direction of Mr. Owen, until two-thirds of the members should think
fit to govern themselves, provided the time was not less than twelve

This may be called,

_Constitution No. 4._

In May a third Community had been formed; and the population was
divided between No. 1, which was Mr. Owen's Community, No. 2, which
was called Macluria, and No. 3, which was called _Feiba Peven_--a name
designating in some mysterious way the latitude and longitude of New

"May 27. The immigration continued so steadily, that it became
necessary for the Community to inform the friends of the new views
that the accommodations were inadequate, and call upon them by
advertisement not to come until further notice."

_Constitution No. 5._

"May 30. In consequence of a variety of troubles and disagreements,
chiefly relating to the disposal of the property, a great meeting of
the whole population was held, and it was decided to form four
separate societies, each signing its own contract for such part of the
property as it should purchase, and each managing its own affairs; but
to trade with each other by paper money."

Mr. Owen was now beginning to make sharp bargains with the independent
Communities. Macdonald says, "He had lost money, and no doubt he tried
to regain some of it, and used such means as he thought would prevent
further loss."

On the 4th of July Mr. Owen delivered his celebrated _Declaration of
Mental Independence_, from which we give the following specimen:

"I now declare to you and to the world, that Man, up to this hour, has
been in all parts of the earth a slave to a Trinity of the most
monstrous evils that could be combined to inflict mental and physical
evil upon his whole race. I refer to Private or Individual Property,
Absurd and Irrational systems of Religion, and Marriage founded on
Individual Property, combined with some of these Irrational systems of

"August 20. After Mr. Owen had given his usual address, it was
unanimously agreed by the meeting that the entire population of New
Harmony should meet three times a week in the Hall, for the purpose of
being educated together. This practice was continued about six weeks,
when Mr. Owen became sick and it was discontinued."

_Constitution No. 6._

"August 25. The people held a meeting at which they _abolished all
officers_ then existing, and appointed three men as _dictators_."

_Constitution No. 7._

"Sept. 17. A large meeting of all the Societies and the whole
population of the town took place at the Hall, for the purpose of
considering a plan for the '_amelioration of the Society_, to improve
the condition of the people, and make them more contented.' A message
was received from Mr. Owen proposing to form a Community with as many
as would join him, and put in all their property, save what might be
thought necessary to reserve to help their friends; the government to
consist of Robert Owen and four others of his choice, to be appointed
by him every year; and not to be altered for five years. This movement
of course nullified all previous organizations. Disagreements and
jealousies ensued, and, as was the case on a former change being made,
many persons left New Harmony.

"Nov. 1. The _Gazette_ says: 'Eighteen months experience has proved to
us, that the requisite qualifications for a permanent member of the
Community of Common Property are, 1, Honesty of purpose; 2,
Temperance; 3, Industry; 4, Carefulness; 5, Cleanliness; 6, Desire for
knowledge; 7, A conviction of the fact that the character of man is
formed for, and not by, himself.'

"Nov. 8. Many persons leaving. The _Gazette_ shows how impossible it
is for a Community of common property to exist, unless the members
comprising it have acquired the genuine Community character.

"Nov. 11. Mr. Owen reviewed the last six months' progress of the
Community in a favorable light.

"In December the use of ardent spirits was abolished.

"Jan. 1827. Although there was an appearance of increased order and
happiness, yet matters were drawing to a close. Owen was selling
property to individuals; the greater part of the town was now resolved
into individual lots; a grocery was established opposite the tavern;
painted sign-boards began to be stuck up on the buildings, pointing out
places of manufacture and trade; a sort of wax-figure-and-puppet-show
was opened at one end of the boarding-house; and every thing was getting
into the old style."

It is useless to follow this wreck further. Everybody sees it must go
down, and _why_ it must go down. It is like a great ship, wallowing
helpless in the trough of a tempestuous sea, with nine hundred
_passengers_, and no captain or organized crew! We skip to Macdonald's
picture of the end.

"June 18, 1827. The _Gazette_ advertised that Mr. Owen would meet the
inhabitants of New Harmony and the neighborhood on the following
Sunday, to bid them farewell. I find no account of this meeting, nor
indeed of any further movements of Mr. Owen in the _Gazette_. After
his departure the majority of the population also removed and
scattered about the country. Those who remained returned to
individualism, and settled as farmers and mechanics in the ordinary
way. One portion of the estate was owned by Mr. Owen, and the other
by Mr. Maclure. They sold, rented, or gave away the houses and lands,
and their heirs and assigns have continued to do so to the present

Fifteen years after the catastrophe Macdonald was at New Harmony,
among the remains of the old Community population, and he says: "I was
cautioned not to speak of Socialism, as the subject was unpopular. The
advice was good; Socialism was unpopular, and with good reason. The
people had been wearied and disappointed by it; had been filled full
with theories, until they were nauseated, and had made such miserable
attempts at practice, that they seemed ashamed of what they had been
doing. An enthusiastic socialist would soon be cooled down at New

The strength of the reaction against Communism caused by Owen's
failure, may be seen to this day in the sect devoted to "Individual
Sovereignty." Josiah Warren, the leader of that sect, was a member of
Owen's Community, and a witness of its confusions and downfall; from
which he swung off into the extreme of anti-Communism. The village of
"Modern Times," where all forms of social organization were scouted as
unscientific, was the electric negative of New Harmony.

Macdonald thus moralizes over his master's failure:

"Mr. Owen said he wanted honesty of purpose, and he got dishonesty. He
wanted temperance, and instead, he was continually troubled with the
intemperate. He wanted industry, and he found idleness. He wanted
cleanliness, and found dirt. He wanted carefulness, and found waste.
He wanted to find desire for knowledge, but he found apathy. He wanted
the principles of the formation of character understood, and he found
them misunderstood. He wanted these good qualities combined in one
and all the individuals of the Community, but he could not find them;
neither could he find those who were self-sacrificing and enduring
enough, to prepare and educate their children to possess these
qualities. Thus it was proved that his principles were either entirely
erroneous, or much in advance of the age in which he promulgated them.
He seems to have forgotten, that if one and all the thousand persons
assembled there, had possessed the qualities which he wished them to
possess, there would have been no necessity for his vain exertions to
form a Community; because there would of necessity be brotherly love,
charity, industry and plenty. We want no more than these; and if this
is the material to form Communities of, and we can not find it, we can
not form Communities; and if we can not find parents who are ready and
willing to educate their children, to give them these qualities for a
Community life, then what hope is there of Communism in the future?"

Almost the only redeeming feature in or near this whole scene of
confusion--which might well be called New Discord instead of New
Harmony--was the silent retreat of the Rappite thousand, which was so
orderly that it almost escaped mention. Remembering their obscure
achievements and their persistent success, we can still be sure that
the _idea_ of Owen and his thousand was not a delusion, but an
inspiration, that only needed wiser hearts, to become a happy



The only laudable object any one can have in rehearsing and studying
the histories of the socialistic failures, is that of learning from
them practical lessons for guidance in present and future experiments.
With this in view, the great experiment at New Harmony is well worth
faithful consideration. It was, as we have said, the first and most
notable of the entire series of non-religious Communities. It had for
its antecedent the vast reputation that Owen had gained by his success
at New Lanark. He came to this country with the prestige of a reformer
who had the confidence and patronage of Lords, Dukes and Sovereigns in
the old world. His lectures were received with attention by large
assemblies in our principal cities. At Washington he was accommodated
by the Speaker and President with the Hall of Representatives, in
which he delivered several lectures before the President, the
President elect, all the judges of the Supreme Court, and a great
number of members of Congress. He afterwards presented to the
Government an expensive and elaborate model, with interior and working
drawings, elevations, &c., of one of the magnificent communal edifices
which he had projected. He had a large private fortune, and drew into
his schemes other capitalists, so that his experiment had the
advantage of unlimited wealth. That wealth, as we have seen, placed at
his command unlimited land and a ready-made village. These attractions
brought him men in unlimited numbers.

How stupendous the revolution was that he contemplated as the result
of his great gathering, is best seen in the famous words which he
uttered in the public hall at New Harmony on the 4th of July, 1826. We
have already quoted from this speech a paragraph (underscored and
double-scored by Macdonald) about the awful Trinity of man's
oppressors--"Private property, Irrational Religion, and Marriage." In
the same vein he went on to say:

"For nearly forty years have I been employed, heart and soul, day by
day, almost without ceasing, in preparing the means and arranging the
circumstances, to enable me to give the death-blow to the tyranny
which, for unnumbered ages, has held the human mind spellbound in
chains of such mysterious forms that no mortal has dared approach to
set the suffering prisoner free! Nor has the fullness of time for the
accomplishment of this great event, been completed until within this
hour! Such has been the extraordinary course of events, that the
Declaration of Political Independence in 1776, has produced its
counterpart, the _Declaration of Mental Independence_ in 1826; the
latter just half a century from the former.***

"In furtherance of our great object we are preparing the means to
bring up our children with industrious and useful habits, with
national and of course rational ideas and views, with sincerity in all
their proceedings; and to give them kind and affectionate feelings for
each other, and charity, in the most extensive sense of the term, for
all their fellow creatures.

"By doing this, uniting our separate interests into one, by doing away
with divided money transactions, by exchanging with each other our
articles of produce on the basis of labor for equal labor, by looking
forward to apply our surplus wealth to assist others to attain similar
advantages, and by the abandonment of the use of spiritous liquors, we
shall in a peculiar manner promote the object of every wise government
and all really enlightened men.

"And here we now are, as near perhaps as we can be in the center of
the United States, even, as it were, like the little grain of mustard
seed! But with these _Great Truths_ before us, with the practice of
the social system, as soon as it shall be well understood among us,
our principles will, I trust, spread from Community to Community, from
State to State, from Continent to Continent, until this system and
these _truths_ shall overshadow the whole earth, shedding fragrance
and abundance, intelligence and happiness, upon all the sons of men!"

Such were the antecedents and promises of the New Harmony experiment.
The Professor appeared on the stage with a splendid reputation for
previous thaumaturgy, with all the crucibles and chemicals around him
that money could buy, with an audience before him that was gaping to
see the last wonder of science: but on applying the flame that was to
set all ablaze with happiness and glory, behold! the material prepared
would not burn, but only sputtered and smoked; and the curtain had to
come down upon a scene of confusion and disappointment!

What was the difficulty? Where was the mistake? These are the
questions that ought to be studied till they are fully answered; for
scores and hundreds of just such experiments have been tried since,
with the same disastrous results; and scores and hundreds will be
tried hereafter, till we go back and hold a faithful inquest, and find
a sure verdict, on this original failure.

Let us hear, then, what has been, or can be said, by all sorts of
judges, on the causes of Owen's failure, and learn what we can.

Macdonald has an important chapter on this subject, from which we
extract the following:

"There is no doubt in my mind, that the absence of Robert Owen in the
first year of the Community was one of the great causes of its
failure; for he was naturally looked up to as the head, and his
influence might have kept people together, at least so as to effect
something similar to what had been effected at New Lanark. But with a
people free as these were from a set religious creed, and consisting,
as they did, of all nations and opinions, it is doubtful if even Mr.
Owen, had he continued there all the time, could have kept them
permanently together. No comparison can be made between that
population and the Shakers, Rappites, or Zoarites, who are each of one
religious faith, and, save the Shakers, of one nation.

"Mr. Samson, of Cincinnati, was at New Harmony from the beginning to
the end of the Community; he went there on the boat that took the last
of the Rappites away. He says the cause of failure was a rogue, named
Taylor, who insinuated himself into Mr. Owen's favor, and afterward
swindled and deceived him in a variety of ways, among other things
establishing a distillery, contrary to Mr. Owen's wishes and
principles, and injurious to the Community.

"Owen always held the property. He thought it would be ten or twelve
years before the Community would fill up; but no sooner had the
Rappites left, than the place was taken possession of by strangers
from all parts, while Owen was absent in England and the place under
the management of a committee. When Owen returned and found how things
were going, he deemed it necessary to mike a change, and notices were
published in all parts, telling people not to come there, as there
were no accommodations for them; yet still they came, till at last
Owen was compelled to have all the log-cabins that harbored them
pulled down.

"Taylor and Fauntleroy were Owen's associates. When Owen found out
Taylor's rascality he resolved to abandon the partnership with him,
which Taylor would only agree to upon Owen's giving him a large tract
of land, upon which he proposed to form a Community of his own. The
agreement was that he should have the land and _all upon it_. So on
the night previous to the execution of the bargain, he had a large
quantity of cattle and farm implements put upon the land, and he
thereby came into possession of them! Instead of forming a Community,
he built a distillery, and also set up a tan-yard in opposition to Mr.

In the _Free Enquirer_ of June 10th, 1829, there is an article by
Robert Dale Owen on New Lanark and New Harmony, in which, after
comparing the two places and showing the difference between them, he
makes the following remark relative to the experiment at New Harmony:
"There was not disinterested industry, there was not mutual
confidence, there was not practical experience, there was not unison
of action, because there was not unanimity of counsel: and these were
the points of difference and dissension--the rocks on which the social
bark struck and was wrecked."

A letter in the _New Harmony Gazette_, of January 31, 1827, complains
of the "slow progress of education in the Community--the heavy labor,
and no recompense but _cold water_ and _inferior provisions_."

Paul Brown, who wrote a book entitled "Twelve months at New Harmony,"
among his many complaints says, "There was no such thing as real
general _common stock_ brought into being in this place." He
attributes all the troubles, to the anxiety about "_exclusive
property_," principally on the part of Owen and his associates.
Speaking of one of the secondary Societies, he says there were "class
distinctions" in it; and Macluria or the School Society he condemns as
being most aristocratical, "its few projectors being extremely

In the _New Moral World_ of October 12, 1839, there is an article on
New Harmony, in which it is asserted that Mr. Owen was induced to
purchase that place on the understanding that the Rappite population
then residing there would remain, until he had gradually introduced
other persons to acquire from them the systematic and orderly habits,
as well as practical knowledge, which they had gained by many years of
practice. But by the removal of Rapp and his followers, Mr. Owen was
left with all the property on his hands, and he was thus compelled to
get persons to come there to prevent things from going to ruin.

Mr. Josiah Warren, in his "Practical Details of Equitable Commerce,"
says: "Let us bear in mind that during the great experiments in New
Harmony in 1825 and 1826, every thing went delightfully on, except
pecuniary affairs! We should, no doubt, have succeeded but for
property considerations. But then the experiments never would have
been commenced but for property considerations. It was to annihilate
social antagonism by a system of _common property_, that we undertook
the experiments at all."

Mr. Sargant, the English biographer of Owen, intimates several times
that _religion_ was the first subject of discord at New Harmony. His
own opinion of the cause of the catastrophe, he gives in the following

"What were the causes of these failures? People will give different
answers, according to the general sentiments they entertain. For
myself I should say, that such experiments must fail, because it is
impossible to mould to Communism the characters of men and women,
formed by the present doctrines and practices of the world to intense
individualism. I should indeed go further by stating my convictions,
that even with persons brought up from childhood to act in common and
live in common, it would be impossible to carry out a Communistic
system, unless in a place utterly removed from contact with the world,
or with the help of some powerful religious conviction. Mere
benevolence, mere sentiments of universal philanthropy, are far too
weak to bind the self-seeking affections of men."

John Pratt, a Positivist, in a communication to _The Oneida Circular_,
contributes the following philosophical observations:

"Owen was a Scotch metaphysician of the old school. As such, he was a
most excellent fault-finder and _disorganizer_. He could perceive and
depict the existing discord, but knew not better than his
contemporaries Shelley and Godwin, where to find the New Harmony. Like
most men of the last generation he looked upon society as a
manufactured product, and not as an organism endued with imperishable
vitality and growth. Like them he attributed all the evils it endured
to priests and politicians, whose immediate annihilation would be
followed by immediate, everlasting and universal happiness. It would
be astonishing if an experiment initiated by such a class of thinkers
should succeed under the most favorable auspices. One word as to mere
externals. Owen was a skeptic by training, and a cautious man of
business by nature and nationality. He was professedly an entire
convert to his own principles; yet set an example of distrust by
holding on to his thirty thousand acres himself. This would do when
dealing with starving Scotch peasantry, glad of the privilege of
moderately remunerated labor, good food and clothing. Had he been a
benevolent Southern planter he would have succeeded admirably with
negro slaves, who would have been only too happy to accept any
'Principles.' He had to do with people who had individual hopes and
aspirations. The internal affinities of Owen's Commune were too weak
to resist the attractions of the outer world. Had he brought his New
Lanark disciples to New Harmony, the result would not have been
different. Removed from the mechanical pressure of despair and want,
his weakly cohered elements would quickly have crumbled away."

Our chapter on New Harmony was submitted, soon after it was written,
to an evening gathering of the Oneida Community, for the purpose of
eliciting discussions that might throw light on the failure; and we
take the liberty here to report some of the observations made on that
occasion. They have the advantage of coming from persons who have had
long experience in Community life.

_E.H. Hamilton_ said--"My admiration is excited, to see a man who was
prospering in business as Mr. Owen was, turn aside from the general
drift of the world, toward social improvement. I have the impression
that he was sincere. He risked his money on his theories to a certain
extent. His attempt was a noble manifestation of humanity, so far as
it goes. But he required other people to be what he was not himself.
He complains of his followers, that they were not teachable. I do not
think he was a teachable man. He got a glimpse of the truth, and of
the possibilities of Communism; but he adopted certain ideas as to the
way in which these results are to be obtained, and it seems to me, in
regard to those ideas, he was not docile. It must be manifest to all
candid minds, that all the improvement and civilization of the present
time, go along with the development of Christianity; and I am led to
wonder why a man with the discernment and honesty of Mr. Owen, was not
more impressible to the truth in this direction. It seems to me he was
as unreceptive to the truths of Christianity, as the people he got
together at New Harmony were to his principles. His favorite dogma was
that a man's character is formed for him, and not by himself. I
suppose we might admit, in a certain sense, that a man's character is
formed for him by the grace of God, or by evil spirits. But the notion
that man is wholly the creature of external circumstances,
irrespective of these influences, seems foolish and pig-headed."

_H.J. Seymour._--"I should not object to Owen's doctrine of
circumstances, if he would admit that the one great circumstance of a
man's life is the possibility of finding out and doing the will of
God, and getting into vital connection with him."

_S.R. Leonard._--"The people Mr. Owen had to deal with in Scotland
were of the servile class, employees in his cotton-factories, and were
easily managed, compared with those he collected here in the United
States. When he went to Indiana, and undertook to manage a family of a
thousand democrats, he began to realize that he did not understand
human nature, or the principles of Association."

_T.R. Noyes._--"The novelty of Owen's ideas and his rejection of all
religion, prevented him from drawing into his scheme the best class in
this country. Probably for every honest man who went to New Harmony,
there were several parasites ready to prey on him and his enterprise,
because he offered them an easy life without religion. Even if he
might have got on with simple-minded men and women like his Lanark
operatives, it was out of the question with these greedy adventurers."

_G.W. Hamilton._--"At the west I met some persons who claimed to be
disciples of Owen. From what I saw of them, I should judge it would be
very difficult to form a Community of such material. They were very
strong in the doctrine that every man has a right to his own opinion;
and declaimed loudly against the effect of religion upon people. They
said the common ideas of God and duty operated a great deal worse upon
the characters of men, than southern slavery. There is enough in such
notions of independence, to break up any attempt at Communism."

_F.W. Smith._--"I understand that Owen did not educate and appoint men
as leaders and fathers, to take care of the society while he was
crossing the ocean back and forth. He undertook to manage his own
affairs, and at the same time to run this Community. Our experience
has shown that it is necessary to have a father in a great family for
daily and almost hourly advice. I should think it would be doubly
necessary in such a Community as Owen collected, to have the wisest
man always at his post."

_C.A. Burt._--"There are only two ways of governing such an
institution as a Community; it must be done either by law or by grace.
Owen got a company together and abolished law, but did not establish
grace; and so, necessarily failed."

_L. Bolles._--"The popular idea is that Owen and his class of
reformers had an ideal that was very beautiful and very perfect; that
they had too much faith for their time--too much faith in humanity;
that they were several hundred years in advance of their age; and that
the world was not good enough to understand them and their beautiful
ideas. That is the superficial view of these men. I think the truth
is, they were not up to the times; that mankind, in point of real
faith, were ahead of them. Their view that the evil in human nature is
owing to outward surroundings, is an impeachment of the providence of
God. It is the worst kind of unbelief. But they have taught us one
great lesson; and that is, that good circumstances do _not_ make good
men. I believe the circumstances of mankind are as good as Providence
can make them, consistently with their own state of development and
the well-being of their souls. Instead of seeking to sweep away
existing governments and forms of outward things, we should thank God
that he has given men institutions as good as they can bear. We know
that he will give them better, as fast as they improve beyond those
they have."

_J.B. Herrick._--"Although the apparent effect of the failure of
Owen's movement was to produce discouragement, still below all that
discouragement there is, in the whole nation, generated in part by
that movement, a hope watching for the morning. We have to thank Owen
for so much, or rather to thank God, for using Owen to stimulate the
public mind and bring it to that state in which it is able to receive
and keep this hope for the future."

_C.W. Underwood._--"Owen's experiment helped to demonstrate that there
is no such thing as organization or unity without Christ and religion.
But on the other hand we can see that Owen did much good. The churches
were compelled to adopt many of his ideas. He certainly was the father
of the infant-school system; and it is my impression that he started
the reform-schools, houses of refuge, etc. He gave impulse, at any
rate, to the present reformatory movements."

       *       *       *       *       *

It is noticeable, as a coïncidence with our observations on the lust
for land in a preceding chapter, that Owen succeeded admirably in a
factory, and failed miserably on a farm. Whether his 30,000 acres had
anything to do with his actual failure or not, they would probably
have been the ruin of his Community, if it had not failed from other

We have reason to believe from many hints, that _whisky_ had
considerable agency in the demoralization and destruction of New
Harmony. The affair of Taylor's distillery is one significant fact.
Here is another from Macdonald:

"I was one day at the tan-yard, where Squire B. and some others were
standing, talking around the stove. During the conversation Squire B.
asked us if he had ever told us how he had served 'old Owen' in
Community times. He then informed us that he came from Illinois to New
Harmony, and that a man in Illinois was owing him, and asked him to
take a barrel of whisky for the debt. He could not well get the money;
so took the whisky. When it came to New Harmony he did not know where
to put it, but finally hid it in his cellar. Not long after Mr. Owen
found that the people still got whisky from some quarter, he could not
tell where, though he did his best to find out. At last he suspected
Squire B., and came right into his shop and accused him of it; on
which Squire B. had to own that it was he who retailed the whisky. 'It
was taken for a debt,' said he, 'and what else was I to do to get rid
of it?' Mr. Owen turned round, and in his simple manner said, 'Ah, I
see you do not understand the principles.' This story was finished
with a hearty laugh at 'old Owen.' I could not laugh, but felt that
such men as Squire B. really did not understand the principles; and no
wonder there are failures, when such men as he thrust themselves in,
and frustrate benevolent designs."

It was too early for a Community, when this country was a "nation of
drunkards," as it was in 1825.

Owen's method of getting together the material of his Community, seems
to us the most obvious _external_ cause of his failure. It was like
advertising for a wife; and we never heard of any body's getting a
good wife by advertising. A public invitation to "the industrious and
well-disposed of all nations," to come on and take possession of
30,000 acres of land and a ready-made village, leaving each one to
judge as to his own industry and disposition, would insure a prompt
gathering--and also a speedy scattering.

This method, or something like it, has been tried in most of the
non-religious experiments. The joint-stock principle, which many of
them adopted, necessarily invites all who choose to buy stock. That
principle may form organizations that are able to carry on the
businesses of banks and railroads after a fashion; because such
businesses require but little character, except zeal and ability for
money-making. But a true Community, or even a semi-Community, like the
Fourier Phalanxes, requires far higher qualifications in its members
and managers.

The socialistic theorizers all assume that Association is a step in
advance of civilization. If that is true, we must assume also that the
most advanced class of civilization is that which must take the step;
and a discrimination of some sort will be required, to get that class
into the work, and shut off the barbarians who would hinder it.

Judging from all our experience and observation, we should say that
the two most essential requisites for the formation of successful
Communities, are _religious principle_ and _previous acquaintance_ of
the members. Both of these were lacking in Owen's experiment. The
advertising method of gathering necessarily ignores both.

Owen, in his old age, became a Spiritualist, and in the light of his
new experience confessed what seems to us the principal cause of his
failure. Sargant, his biographer, referring to chapter and verse in
his writings says:

"He confessed that until he received the revelations of Spiritualism,
he had been quite unaware of the necessity of good _spiritual
conditions_ for forming the character of men. The physical, the
intellectual, the moral, and the practical conditions, he had
understood, and had known how to provide for; but the spiritual he had
overlooked. _Yet this, as he now saw, was the most important of all in
the future development of mankind._"

In the same new light, Owen recognized the principal cause of all real
success. Sargant continues:

"Owen says, that in looking back on his past life, he can trace the
finger of God directing his steps, preserving his life under imminent
dangers, and impelling him onward on many occasions. It was under the
immediate guidance of the Spirit of God, that during the inexperience
of his youth, he accomplished much good for the world. The
preservation of his life from the peculiar dangers of childhood, was
owing to the monitions of this good Spirit. To this superior invisible
aid he owed his appointment, at the age of seven years, to be usher in
a school, before the monitorial system of teaching was thought of. To
this he must ascribe his migration from an inaccessible Welsh county
to London, and then to Stamford, and his ability to maintain himself
without assistance from his friends. So he goes on recounting all the
events of his life, great and small, and attributing them to the



The fame of New Harmony has of course overshadowed and obscured all
other experiments that resulted from Owen's labors in this country. It
is perhaps scarcely known at this day that a Community almost as
brilliant as Brook Farm, was started by his personal efforts at
Cincinnati, even before he commenced operations at New Harmony. The
following sketch, clipped by Macdonald from some old newspaper (the
name and date of which are missing), is not only pleasant reading, but
bears internal marks of painstaking and truthfulness. It is a model
memoir of the life and death of a non-religious Community; and would
serve for many others, by changing a few names, as ministers do when
they re-preach old funeral sermons. The moral at the close, inferring
the impracticability of Communism, may probably be accepted as sound,
if restricted to non-religious experiments. The general career of Owen
is sketched correctly and in rather a masterly manner: and the
interesting fact is brought to light, that the beginning of the Owen
movement in this country was signalized by a conjunction with
Swedenborgianism. The significance of this fact will appear more
fully, when we come to the history of the marriage between Fourierism
and Swedenborgianism, which afterwards took place at Brook Farm.


"The narrative here presented," says the unknown writer, "was prepared
at the request of a minister who had looked in vain for any account of
the Communities established by Robert Owen in this country. It is
simply what it pretends to be, reminiscences by one who, while a
youth, resided with his parents as a member of the Community at Yellow
Springs. For some years together since his manhood, he has been
associated with several of the leading men of that experiment, and has
through them been informed in relation to both its outer and _inner_
history. The article may contain some errors, as of dates and other
matters unimportant to a just view of the Community; but the social
picture will be correct. With the hope that it may convey a useful
lesson, it is submitted to the reader.

"Robert Owen, the projector of the Communities at Yellow Springs,
Ohio, and New Harmony, Indiana, was the owner of extensive
manufactories at New Lanark, Scotland. He was a man of considerable
learning, much observation, and full of the love of his fellow men;
though a disbeliever in Christianity. His skeptical views concerning
the Bible were fully announced in the celebrated debate at Cincinnati
between himself and Dr. Alexander Campbell. But whatever may have been
his faith, he proved his philanthropy by a long life of beneficent
works. At his manufactories in Scotland he established a system based
on community of labor, which was crowned with the happiest effects.
But it should be remembered that Owen himself was the owner of the
works and controlled all things by a single mind. The system,
therefore, was only a beneficent scheme of government by a
manufacturer, for the good of himself and his operatives.

"Full of zeal for the improvement of society, Owen conceived that he
had discovered the cause of most of its evils in the laws of _meum et
tuum_; and that a state of society where there is nothing _mine_ or
_thine_, would be a paradise begun. He brooded upon the idea of a
Community of property, and connected it with schemes for the
improvement of society, until he was ready to sacrifice his own
property and devote his heart and his life to his fellow men upon this
basis. Too discreet to inaugurate the new system among the poorer
classes of his own country, whom he found perverted by prejudice and
warped by the artificial forms of society there, he resolved to
proceed to the United States, and among the comparatively unperverted
people, liberal institutions and cheap lands of the West, to establish
Communities, founded upon common property, social equality, and the
equal value of every man's labor.

"About the year 1824 Owen arrived in Cincinnati. He brought with him a
history of his labors at New Lanark; with glowing and not unjust
accounts of the beneficent effects of his efforts there. He exhibited
plans for his proposed Communities here; with model farms, gardens,
vineyards, play-grounds, orchards, and all the internal and external
appliances of the social paradise. At Cincinnati he soon found many
congenial spirits, among the first of whom was Daniel Roe, minister of
the "New Jerusalem Church," a society of the followers of Swedenborg.
This society was composed of a very superior class of people. They
were intelligent, liberal, generous, cultivated men and women--many
of them wealthy and highly educated. They were apparently the best
possible material to organize and sustain a Community, such as Owen
proposed. Mr. Roe and many of his congregation became fascinated with
Owen and his Communism; and together with others in the city and
elsewhere, soon organized a Community and furnished the means for
purchasing an appropriate site for its location. In the meantime Owen
proceeded to Harmony, and, with others, purchased that place, with all
its buildings, vineyards, and lands, from Rapp, who emigrated to
Pennsylvania and established his people at Economy. It will only be
added of Owen, that after having seen the New Harmonians fairly
established, he returned to Scotland.

"After careful consultation and selection, it was decided by the
Cincinnati Community to purchase a domain at Yellow Springs, about
seventy-five miles north of the city, [now the site of Antioch
College] as the most eligible place for their purpose. It was really
one of the most delightful regions in the whole West, and well worthy
the residence of a people who had resolved to make many sacrifices for
what they honestly believed to be a great social and moral

"The Community, as finally organized consisted of seventy-five or one
hundred families; and included professional men, teachers, merchants,
mechanics, farmers, and a few common laborers. Its economy was nearly
as follows:

"The property was held in trust forever, in behalf of the members of
the Community, by the original purchasers, and their chosen
successors, to be designated from time to time by the voice of the
Community. All additional property thereafter to be acquired, by
labor, purchase, or otherwise, was to be added to the common stock,
for the benefit of each and all. Schools were to be established, to
teach all things useful (except religion). Opinion upon all subjects
was free; and the present good of the whole Community was the standard
of morals. The Sabbath was a day of rest and recreation, to be
improved by walks, rides, plays, and pleasing exercises; and by public
lectures. Dancing was instituted as a most valuable means of physical
and social culture; and the ten-pin alley and other sources of
amusement were open to all.

"But although Christianity was wholly ignored in the system, there was
no free-loveism or other looseness of morals allowed. In short, this
Community began its career under the most favorable auspices; and if
any men and women in the world could have succeeded, these should have
done so. How they _did_ succeed, and how they did not, will now be

"For the first few weeks, all entered into the new system with a will.
Service was the order of the day. Men who seldom or never before
labored with their hands, devoted themselves to agriculture and the
mechanic arts, with a zeal which was at least commendable, though not
always according to knowledge. Ministers of the gospel guided the
plough; called the swine to their corn, instead of sinners to
repentance; and let patience have her perfect work over an unruly yoke
of oxen. Merchants exchanged the yard-stick for the rake or
pitch-fork. All appeared to labor cheerfully for the common weal.
Among the women there was even more apparent self-sacrifice. Ladies
who had seldom seen the inside of their own kitchens, went into that
of the common eating-house (formerly a hotel), and made themselves
useful among pots and kettles: and refined young ladies, who had all
their lives been waited upon, took their turns in waiting upon others
at the table. And several times a week all parties who chose mingled
in the social dance, in the great dining-hall."

But notwithstanding the apparent heartiness and cordiality of this
auspicious opening, it was in the social atmosphere of the Community
that the first cloud arose. Self-love was a spirit which would not be
exorcised. It whispered to the lowly maidens, whose former position in
society had cultivated the spirit of meekness--"You are as good as the
formerly rich and fortunate; insist upon your equality." It reminded
the favorites of former society of their lost superiority; and in
spite of all rules, tinctured their words and actions with the love of
self. Similar thoughts and feelings soon arose among the men; and
though not so soon exhibited, they were none the less deep and strong.
It is unnecessary to descend to details: suffice it to say, that at
the end of three months--_three months!_--the leading minds in the
Community were compelled to acknowledge to each other that the social
life of the Community could not be bounded by a single circle. They
therefore acquiesced, but reluctantly, in its division into many
little circles. Still they hoped and many of them no doubt believed,
that though social equality was a failure, community of property was
not. But whether the law of _mine and thine_ is natural or incidental
in human character, it soon began to develop its sway. The
industrious, the skillful and the strong, saw the products of their
labor enjoyed by the indolent, the unskilled, and the improvident; and
self-love rose against benevolence. A band of musicians insisted that
their brassy harmony was as necessary to the common happiness as
bread and meat; and declined to enter the harvest field or the
work-shop. A lecturer upon natural science insisted upon talking only,
while others worked. Mechanics, whose day's labor brought two dollars
into the common stock, insisted that they should, in justice, work
only half as long as the agriculturist, whose day's work brought but

"For a while, of course, these jealousies were only felt; but they
soon began to be spoken also. It was useless to remind all parties
that the common labor of all ministered to the prosperity of the
Community. _Individual_ happiness was the law of nature, and it could
not be obliterated; and before a single year had passed, this law had
scattered the members of that society, which had come together so
earnestly and under such favorable circumstances, back into the
selfish world from which they came.

"The writer of this sketch has since heard the history of that
eventful year reviewed with honesty and earnestness by the best men
and most intelligent parties of that unfortunate social experiment.
They admitted the favorable circumstances which surrounded its
commencement; the intelligence, devotion, and earnestness which were
brought to the cause by its projectors; and its final, total failure.
And they rested ever after in the belief that man, though disposed to
philanthropy, is essentially selfish; and that a community of social
equality and common property is impossible."



Macdonald erects a magniloquent monument over the remains of Nashoba,
the experiment of Frances Wright. This woman, little known to the
present generation, was really the spiritual helpmate and better-half
of the Owens, in the socialistic revival of 1826. Our impression is,
not only that she was the leading woman in the communistic movement of
that period, but that she had a very important agency in starting two
other movements, that have had far greater success, and are at this
moment strong in public favor: viz., Anti-Slavery and Woman's Rights.
If justice were done, we are confident her name would figure high with
those of Lundy, Garrison, and John Brown on the one hand, and with
those of Abby Kelly, Lucy Stone and Anna Dickinson on the other. She
was indeed the pioneer of the "strong-minded women." We copy the most
important parts of Macdonald's memoir of Nashoba:

"This experiment was made in Shelby Co., Tennessee, by the celebrated
Frances Wright. The objects were, to form a Community in which the
negro slave should be educated and upraised to a level with the
whites, and thus prepared for freedom; and to set an example, which,
if carried out, would eventually abolish slavery in the Southern
States; also to make a home for good and great men and women of all
countries, who might there sympathize with each other in their love
and labor for humanity. She invited congenial minds from every quarter
of the globe to unite with her in the search for truth and the pursuit
of rational happiness. Herself a native of Scotland, she became imbued
with these philanthropic views through a knowledge of the sufferings
of a great portion of mankind in many countries, and of the condition
of the negro in the United States in particular.

"She traveled extensively in the Southern States, and explained her
views to many of the planters. It was during these travels that she
visited the German settlement of Rappites at Harmony, on the Wabash
river, and after examining the wonderful industry of that Community,
she was struck with the appropriateness of their system of coöperation
to the carrying out of her aspirations. She also visited some of the
Shaker establishments then existing in the United States, but she
thought unfavorably of them. She renewed her visits of the Rappites,
and was present on the occasion of their removal from Harmony to
Economy on the Ohio, where she continued her acquaintance with them,
receiving valuable knowledge from their experience, and, as it were,
witnessing a new village, with its fields, orchards, gardens,
vineyards, flouring-mills and manufactories, rise out of the earth,
beneath the hands of some eight hundred trained laborers."

Here is another indication of the important part the Rappites played
in the early history of Owenism. As they cleared the 30,000 acres and
built the village which was the theatre of Owen's great experiment, so
it is evident from the above account and from other hints, that their
Communistic ideas and manner of living were systematically studied by
the Owen school, before and after the purchase of New Harmony. Indeed
it is more than intimated in a passage from the _New Moral World_
quoted in our 5th chapter, that Owen depended on their assistance in
commencing his Community, and attributed his failure to their
premature removal. On the whole we may conclude that Owen learned all
he really knew about practical Communism, and more than he was able to
imitate, from the Rappites. They learned Communism from the New
Testament and the day of Pentecost.

"In the autumn of 1825 [when New Harmony was under full sail in the
absence of Mr. Owen], Frances Wright purchased 2,000 acres of good and
pleasant woodland, lying on both sides of the Wolf river in west
Tennessee, about thirteen miles above Memphis. She then purchased
several negro families, comprising fifteen able hands, and commenced
her practical experiment."

Her plan in brief was, to take slaves in large numbers from time to
time (either by purchase, or by inducing benevolent planters to donate
their negroes to the institution), and to prepare them for liberty by
education, giving them half of what they produced, and making them pay
their way and purchase their emancipation, if necessary, by their
labor. The working of the negroes and the general management of the
Community was to be in the hands of the philanthropic and wealthy
whites associated with the lady-founder. The theory was benevolent;
but practically the institution must have been a two-story
commonwealth, somewhat like the old Grecian States which founded
liberty on Helotism. Or we might define it as a Brook Farm _plus_ a
negro basis. The trouble at Brook Farm, according to Hawthorne, was,
that the amateurs who took part in that 'pic-nic,' did not like to
serve as 'chambermaids to the cows.' This difficulty was provided
against at Nashoba.

"We are informed that Frances Wright found in her new occupation
intense and ever-increasing interest. But ere long she was seized by
severe and reïterated sickness, which compelled her to make a voyage
to Europe for the recovery of her health. 'During her absence,' says
her biographer, 'an intriguing individual had disorganized every thing
on the estate, and effected the removal of persons of confidence. All
her serious difficulties proceeded from her white assistants, and not
from the blacks.'"

In December of the following year, she made over the Nashoba estate to
a board of trustees, by a deed commencing thus:

"I, Frances Wright, do give the lands after specified, to General
Lafayette, William Maclure, Robert Owen, Cadwallader Colden,
Richardson Whitby, Robert Jennings, Robert Dale Owen, George Flower,
Camilla Wright, and James Richardson, to be held by them and their
associates and their successors in perpetual trust for the benefit of
the negro race."

By another deed she gave the slaves of Nashoba to the before-mentioned
trustees: and by still another she gave them all her personal

In her appeal to the public in connection with this transfer, she
explains at length her views of reform, and her reasons for choosing
the above-named trustees instead of the Emancipation or Colonization
Societies; and in respect to education says: 'No difference will be
made in the schools between the white children and the children of
color, whether in education or any other advantage.' After further
explanation of her plans she goes on to say:

"'It will be seen that this establishment is founded on the principle
of community property and labor: preserving every advantage to those
desirous, not of accumulating money but of enjoying life and rendering
services to their fellow-creatures; these fellow-creatures, that is,
the blacks here admitted, requiting these services by services equal
or greater, by filling occupations which their habits render easy, and
which, to their guides and assistants, might be difficult or
unpleasing.' [Here is the 'negro basis.']

"'No life of idleness, however, is proposed to the whites. Those who
cannot work must give an equivalent in property. Gardening or other
cultivation of the soil, useful trades practiced in the society or
taught in the school, the teaching of every branch of knowledge,
tending the children, and nursing the sick, will present a choice of
employment sufficiently extensive.'"

In the course of another year trouble had come and Disorganization had

"In March, 1828, the trustees published a communication in the
_Nashoba Gazette_, explaining the difficulties they had to contend
with, and the causes why the experience of two years had modified the
original plan of Frances Wright. They show the impossibility of a
co-operative Community succeeding without the members composing it are
superior beings; 'for,' say they, 'if there be introduced into such a
society thoughts of evil and unkindness, feelings of intolerance and
words of dissension, it can not prosper. That which produces in the
world only common-place jealousies and every-day squabbles, is
sufficient to destroy a Community.'

"The society has admitted some members to labor, and others as
boarders from whom no labor was required; and in this they confess
their error, and now propose to admit those only who possess the funds
for their support.

"The trustees go on to say that 'they desire to express distinctly
that they have deferred, for the present, the attempt to have a
society of co-operative labor; and they claim for the association only
the title of a Preliminary Social Community.'

"After describing the moral qualifications of members, who may be
admitted without regard to color, they propose that each one shall
yearly throw $100 into the common fund for board alone, to be paid
quarterly in advance. Each one was also to build for himself or
herself a small brick house, with piazza, according to a regular plan,
and upon a spot of ground selected for the purpose, near the center or
the lands of Nashoba."

This communication is signed by Frances Wright, Richardson Whitby,
Camilla Wright Whitby, and Robert Dale Owen, as resident trustee, and
is dated Feb. 1, 1828.

"It is probable that success did not further attend the experiment,
for Francis Wright abandoned it soon after, and in June following
removed to New Harmony, where, in conjunction with William Owen, she
assumed for a short time the management of the _New Harmony Gazette_,
which then had its name altered to the _New Harmony and Nashoba
Gazette or Free Enquirer_.

"Her biographer says that she abandoned, though not without a
struggle, the peaceful shades of Nashoba, leaving the property in the
charge of an individual, who was to hold the negroes ready for
removal to Hayti the year following. In relinquishing her experiment
in favor of the race, she held herself equally pledged to the colored
families under her charge, to the southern state in which she had been
a resident citizen, and to the American community at large, to remove
her dependents to a country free to their color. This she executed a
year after."

This Communistic experiment and failure was nearly simultaneous with
that of New Harmony, and was the immediate antecedent of Frances
Wright's famous lecturing-tour. In December 1828 she was raising
whirlwinds of excitement by her eloquence in Baltimore, Philadelphia
and New York; and soon after the _New Harmony Gazette_, under the
title of _The Free Enquirer_, was removed to the latter city, where it
was ably edited several years by Frances Wright and Robert Dale Owen.



We have passed the most notable monuments of the Owen epoch, and come
now to obscurer graves. Doubtless many of the little Communities that
followed New Harmony, and in a small way repeated its fortunes, were
buried without memorial. We have on Macdonald's list the names of only
seven more, and their epitaphs are for the most part very brief. We
may as well group them all in one chapter, and copy what Macdonald
says about them, without comment.


"Located at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Founded on the principles of
Robert Owen. Benjamin Bakewell, President; John Snyder, Treasurer;
Magnus M. Murray, Secretary."


"Located somewhere in New York. Had a printed Constitution; also a
'preparatory school.' No further particulars."


"A gathering under the above title, existed for a short time near
Bloomington, Ind. It was said [by somebody] to be 'harmonious and
prosperous' as late as Jan. 1, 1827; but as I find no trace of it in
my researches, it is fair to conclude that it is numbered with the
dead, like others of its day."


"This Society was formed on the 16th day of December, 1825, of four
families consisting of thirty-one persons. March 26, 1826, the
constitution was printed. During the year their number increased to
over sixty. The business was transacted by three trustees, to be
elected annually, together with a secretary and treasurer. The
principles were purely republican. They had no established religion,
the constitution only requiring that all candidates should be of good
moral character, sober and industrious. They declared that 'a baptist,
a methodist, a universalist, a quaker, a calvinist, a deist, or any
other _ist_, provided he or she is a genuine good moralist, are
equally privileged and equally esteemed.' They occupied 325 acres of
land, two saw-mills, one grist-mill, a carding machine, and a tannery,
and carried on wagon-making, shoe-making, blacksmithing, coopering,
agriculture, &c."


"This Society was formed in the year 1826 by a Mr. Fay (an attorney),
Jacob Peterson and George Houston of New York, and Robert L. Ginengs
of Philadelphia. It is probable that it originated in consequence of
the lectures which were at that time delivered by Robert Owen in this

"The principles and objects of the Society, as far as I can learn,
were to better the condition of themselves and their fellowmen, which
they conceived could be done by living in Community, having all things
in common, giving equal rights to each, and abolishing the terms 'mine
and thine.'

"They increased their numbers to eighty persons, including women and
children, and purchased an estate at Haverstraw, two miles back from
the Hudson river, on the west side, about thirty miles above Mew York.
There were 120 acres of wood land, two mansion houses, twelve or
fourteen out-buildings, one saw-mill, and a rolling and
splitting-mill: and the estate had a noble stream of water running
through it. The property was owned by a Major Suffrens of Haverstraw,
who demanded $18,000 for it. On this sum $6,000 were paid, and bond
and mortgage were given for the remainder. To raise the $6,000 and to
defray other expenses, Jacob Peterson advanced $7,000; another
individual $300; and others subscribed sums as low as $10. Money,
land, and every thing else were held as common stock for the equal
benefit of all the members.

"Among the members, were persons of various trades and occupations,
such as carpenters, cabinet-makers, tailors, shoe-makers and farmers.
It was the general opinion that the society, as a whole, possessed a
large amount of intelligence; and both men and women were of good
moral character. I was acquainted with two or three persons who were
engaged in this enterprise, and must say I never saw more just and
honorable old men than they were when I knew them.

"It appears that they formed a church among themselves, which they
denominated the _Church of Reason_; and on Sundays they attended
meetings, where lectures were delivered to them on Morals,
Philosophy, Agriculture and various scientific subjects. They had no
religious ceremonies or articles of faith.

"They admitted members by ballot. The details of their rules and
regulations were never printed. I have reason to believe that they had
an abundance of laws and by-laws; and that they disagreed upon these,
as well as upon other matters.

"While the Community lasted, they were well supplied with the
necessaries of life, and generally speaking their circumstances were
by no means inferior to those they had left.

"The splitting and rolling mill was not used, but farming and
mechanical operations were carried on; and it is supposed (as in many
other instances) that if the officers of the society had acted right,
the experiment would have succeeded; but by some means the affairs
soon became disorderly, and though so much money had originally been
raised, and assistance was received from without, yet the experiment
came to an end after a struggle of only five months.

"An informant asserts that dishonesty of the managers and want of good
measures were the causes of failure, and expresses himself thus: 'We
wanted men and women of skillful industry, sober and honest, with a
knowledge of themselves, and a disposition to command and be
commanded, and not men and women whose sole occupation is parade and

"In this experiment, like many others, several individuals suffered
pecuniary loss. Those who had but a home, left it for Community, and
of course were thrown back in their progress. Those who had money and
invested there, lost it. Jacob Peterson, of New York, who advanced
$7,000, never got more than $300 of it back, and even that was lost
to him through the dishonesty of those with whom he did business."


"This experiment also was commenced in 1826, and members from the
Haverstraw experiment joined it on the breaking up of their Society.

"The principal actors in this attempt, were Samuel Underhill, John
Norberry, Nathaniel Underhill, Wm. G. Macy, Jethro Macy and Jacob
Peterson. The objects were the same as at Haverstraw, but in trying to
carry them out they met with no better success. It appears that the
capital was small, and the estate, which was located seven miles back
from Coxsackie on the Hudson river, was very much in debt. From the
little information I am enabled to gather concerning this attempt, I
judge that they made many laws, that their laws were bad, and that
they had many persons engaged in talking and law-making, who did not
work at any useful employment. The consequences were, that after
struggling on for a little more than a year, this experiment came to
an end. One of my informants thus expresses himself about this
failure: 'There were few good men to steer things right. We wanted men
and women who would be willing to live in simple habitations, and on
plain and simple diet; who would be contented with plain and simple
clothing, and who would band together for each others' good. With such
we might have succeeded; but such attempts can not succeed without
such people.'

"In this little conflict there were many sacrifices; but those who
survived and were still imbued with the principles, emigrated to Ohio,
to fight again with the old system of things."


"This was an attempt to carry out the views of Mr. Owen. It was
located near Canton, Stark County, Ohio. The purchase of the property
was made in June 1826, by a body of freeholders, whose farms were
mortgaged for the first payment, and who, on account of the difficulty
of realizing cash for their estates, were under some embarrassment in
their operations, though the property was a great bargain."

Of this enterprise in its early stage the _Western Courier_ (Dec.,
1826,) thus speaks:

"The Kendal Community is rapidly on the increase; a number of
dwellings have been erected in addition to those previously built; yet
the increase of families has been such that there is much
inconvenience experienced for want of house-room. The members are now
employed in erecting a building 170 by 33 feet, which is intended to
be temporarily occupied as private dwellings, but ultimately as
work-shops. This and other improvements for the convenience of the
place, will soon be completed.

"Kendal is pleasantly and advantageously situated for health. We are
informed that there is not a sick person on the premises. Mechanics of
various professions have joined the Community, and are now occupied in
prosecuting the various branches of industry. They have a woolen
factory in which many hands are employed. Everything appears to be
going on prosperously and harmoniously. There is observed a bustling
emulation among the members. They labor hard, and are probably not
exempt from the cares and perplexities incident to all worldly
undertakings; and what society or system can claim immunity from
them? The question is, whether they may not be mitigated. Trouble we
believe to be a divisible quantity; it may be softened by sympathy and
intercourse, as pleasure may be increased by union and companionship.
These advantages have already been experienced at the Kendal
Community, and its members are even now in possession of that which
the poet hath declared to be the sum total of human happiness, viz.,
Health, Peace and Competence."

"Several families from the Coxsackie Community," says Macdonald, "had
joined Kendal when the above was written, and the remainder were to
follow as soon as they were prepared. The Kendal Community then
numbered about one bundled and fifty members including children. They
were engaged in manufacturing woolen goods on a small scale, had a few
hops, and did considerable business on the farm. They speak of their
'_choice spirits_;' and anticipate assistance to carry out their
plans, and prove the success of the social system beyond all
contradiction, by the disposal of property and settlement of affairs
at Coxsackie. In their enthusiasm they assert, 'that unaided, and with
only their own resources and experience, and above all, with their
little band of _invincible spirits_, who are tired of the old system
and are determined to conquer or die, they _must_ succeed.' I conclude
they did not conquer but died, for I can learn nothing further
concerning them."

A recent letter from Mr. John Harmon, of Ravenna, Ohio, who was a
member of the Kendal Community, gives a more definite account of its
failure, as follows:

"Our Community progressed harmoniously and prosperously, so long as
the members had their health and a hope of paying for their domain.
But a summer-fever attacked us, and seven heads of families died,
among whom were several of our most valued and useful members. At the
same time the rich proprietors of whom we purchased our land urged us
to pay; and we could not sell a part of it and give a good title,
because we were not incorporated. So we were compelled to give up and
disperse, losing what we had paid, which was about $7,000. But we
formed friendships that were enduring, and the failure never for a
moment weakened my faith in the value of Communism."

       *       *       *       *       *

We group the three last Communities together, because they were
evidently closely related by members passing from one to another, as
the earlier ones successively failed. This habit of migrating from one
Community to another is an interesting characteristic of the veterans
of Socialism, which we shall meet with frequently hereafter.



Confining ourselves strictly to memoirs of Associations, we might
leave Owen now and go on to the experiments of the Fourier school. But
this would hardly be doing justice to the father of American
Socialisms. We have exhibited his great failure; and we must stop long
enough to acknowledge his great success, and say briefly what we think
of his whole life and influence. Indeed such a review is necessary to
a just estimate of the Owen movement in this country.

We accept what he himself said about his early achievements, that he
was under the guidance of the Spirit of God, and was carried along by
a wonderful series of special providences in his first labors for the
good of the working classes. The originality, wisdom and success of
his doings at New Lanark were manifestly supernatural. His factory
village was indeed a light to the world, that gave the nations a great
lesson in practical beneficence; and shines still amid the darkness of
money-making selfishness and industrial misery. The single fact that
he continued the wages of his operatives when the embargo stopped his
business, actually paying out $35,000 in four months, to men who had
nothing to do but to oil his machinery and keep it clean, stamps him
as a genius of an order higher than Napoleon. By this bold maneuver of
benevolence he won the confidence of his men, so that he could manage
them afterwards as he pleased; and then he went on to reform and
educate them, till they became a wonder to the world and a crown of
glory to himself. So far we have no doubt that he walked with
inspiration and special providence.

On the other hand, it is also manifest, that his inspiration and
success, so far at least as practical attempts were concerned,
deserted him afterwards, and that much of the latter part of his life
was spent in disastrous attempts to establish Communism, without the
necessary spiritual conditions. His whole career may be likened to
that of the first Napoleon, whose "star" insured victory till he
reached a certain crisis; after which he lost every battle, and sunk
into final and overwhelming defeat.

In both cases there was a turning-point which can be marked.
Napoleon's star deserted him when he put away Josephine. Owen
evidently lost his hold on practical success when he declared war
against religion. In his labors at New Lanark he was not an active
infidel. The Bible was in his schools. Religion was at least tolerated
and respected. He there married the daughter of Mr. Dale, a preacher
of the Independents, who was his best friend and counsellor through
the early years of his success. But when his work at New Lanark became
famous, and he rose to companionship with dukes and kings, he outgrew
the modesty and practical wisdom of his early life, and undertook the
task of Universal Reform. Then it was that he fell into the mistake of
confounding the principles of the Bible with the character and
pretensions of his ecclesiastical opposers, and so came into the false
position of open hostility to religion. Christ was in a similar
temptation when he found the Scribes and Pharisees arrayed against
him, with the Old Testament for their vantage ground; but he had
wisdom enough to keep his foothold on that vantage ground, and drive
them off. His programme was, "Think not that I am come to destroy the
law and the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill."
Whereas Owen, at the turning-point of his career, abandoned the Bible
with all its magazines of power to his enemies, and went off into a
hopeless warfare with Christianity and with all God's past
administrations. From that time fortune deserted him. The splendid
success of New Lanark was followed by the terrible defeat at New
Harmony. The declaration of war against all religion was between them.
Such is our interpretation of his life; and something like this must
have been his own interpretation, when he confessed in the light of
his later experience, that by overlooking spiritual conditions, he had
missed the most important of all the elements of human improvement.

And yet we must not push our parallel too far. Owen, unlike Napoleon,
never knew when he was beaten, and fought on thirty years after his
Waterloo. It would be a great mistake to imagine that the failure of
New Harmony and of the attempts that followed it, was the end of
Owen's achievements and influence, even in this country. Providence
does not so waste its preparations and inspirations. Let us see what
was left, and what Owen did, after the disasters of 1826-7.

In the first place the failure of his Community at New Harmony was not
the failure of the _village_ which he bought of the Rappites. That
was built of substantial brick and stone. The houses and a portion of
the population which he gathered there, remained and have continued to
be a flourishing and rather peculiar village till the present time.
Several Communities that came over from England in after-years made
New Harmony their rendezvous, either on their arrival or when they
broke up. So Macdonald, with the enthusiasm of a true Socialist, on
landing in this country in 1842 first sought out New Harmony. There he
found Josiah Warren, the apostle of Individualism, returned from his
wanderings and failures, to set up a "Time Store" in the old seat of
Socialism. We remember also, that Dr. J.R. Buchanan, the
anthropologist, was at New Harmony in 1842, when he astonished the
world with his novel experiments in Mesmerism, which Robert Dale Owen
reported in a famous letter to the _Evening Post_, and which gave
impetus and respectability to the beginnings of modern Spiritualism.
These facts and many others indicate that New Harmony continued to be
a center and refuge of Socialists and innovators long after the
failure of the Community. Notwithstanding the unpopularity of
Communism which Macdonald says he found there, it is probably a
semi-socialist village to this day, representing more or less the
spirit of Robert Owen.

In the next place, with all his failures, Owen was successful in
producing a fine family; and though he himself returned to England
after the disaster at New Harmony, he bequeathed all his children to
this country. Macdonald, writing in 1842, says: "Mr. Owen's family all
reside in New Harmony. There are four sons and one daughter; viz.,
William Owen, who is a merchant and bank director; Robert Dale Owen,
a lawyer and politician, who attends to the affairs of the Owen
Estate; David Dale Owen, a practical geologist; Richard Owen, a
practical farmer; and Mrs. Fauntleroy. The four brothers, with the
wives and families of three of them, live together in one large

Mr. Owen in his published journal says that "his eldest son Robert
Dale Owen, after writing much that was excellent, was twice elected
member of Congress, and carried the bill for establishing the
Smithsonian Institute in Washington; that his second son, David Dale
Owen, was professor of chemistry, mineralogy and geology, and had been
employed by successive American governments as their accredited
geologist; that his third son, Major Richard Owen, was a professor in
a Kentucky Military College; and that his only daughter living in
1851, was the widow of a distinguished American officer."

Robert Dale Owen undoubtedly has been and is, the spiritual as well as
natural successor of Robert Owen. Wiser and more moderate than his
father, he has risen out of the wreck of New Harmony to high stations
and great influence in this country. He was originally associated with
Frances Wright in her experiment at Nashoba, her lecturing career, and
her editorial labors in New York. At that time he partook of the
anti-religious zeal of his father. Opposition to revivals was the
specialty of his paper, the _Free Enquirer_. In those days, also, he
published his "Moral Physiology," a little book teaching in plain
terms a method of controlling propagation--_not_ "Male Continence."
This bold issue, attributed by his enemies to licentious proclivities,
was really part of the socialistic movement of the time; and
indicated the drift of Owenism toward sexual freedom and the abolition
of marriage.

Robert Dale Owen originated and carried the law in Indiana giving to
married women a right to property separate from their husbands; and
the famous facilities of divorce in that State are attributed to his

He, like his father, turned toward Spiritualism, notwithstanding his
non-religious antecedents. His report of Dr. Buchanan's experiments,
and his books and magazine-articles demonstrating the reality of a
world of spirits, have been the most respectable and influential
auxiliaries to the modern system of necromancy. There is an air of
respect for religion in many of his publications, and even a happy
freedom of Bible quotation, which is not found in his father's
writings. Perhaps the variation is due to the blood of his mother, who
was the daughter of a Bible man and a preacher.

So much Mr. Owen left behind. Let us now follow him in his after
career. He bade farewell to New Harmony and returned to England in
June 1828. Acknowledging no real defeat or loss of confidence in his
principles, he went right on in the labors of his mission, as Apostle
of Communism for the world, holding himself ready for the most distant
service at a moment's warning. His policy was slightly changed,
looking more toward moving the nations, and less toward local
experiments. In April 1828, he was again in this country, settling his
affairs at New Harmony, and preaching his gospel among the people.
During this visit the challenge to debate passed between him and Rev.
Alexander Campbell, and an arrangement was made for a theological
duel. He returned to England in the summer, and in November of the
same year (1828) sailed again for America on a scheme of obtaining
from the Mexican government a vast territory in Texas on which to
develop Communism. After finishing the negotiations in Mexico (which
negotiations were never executed), he came to the United States, and
in April 1829 met Alexander Campbell at Cincinnati in a debate which
was then famous, though now forgotten. From Cincinnati he proceeded to
Washington, where he established intimate relations with Martin Van
Buren, then Secretary of State, and had an important interview with
Andrew Jackson, the President, laboring with these dignitaries on
behalf of national friendship and his new social system. In the summer
of 1829 he returned to England, and for some years after was engaged
in labors for the conversion of the English government, and in some
local attempts to establish "Equitable Commerce," "Labor Exchange" and
partial Communism, all of which failed. Here Mr. Sargant, his English
biographer, gives up the pursuit of him, and slurs over the rest of
his life as though it were passed in obscurity and dotage. Not so
Macdonald. We learn from him that after Mr. Owen had exceeded the
allotment of three-score years and ten, he twice crossed the ocean to
this country. Let us follow the faithful record of the disciple. We
condense from Macdonald:

In September 1844, Mr. Owen arrived in New York and immediately
published in the _Herald_ (Sept. 21) an address to the people of the
United States proclaiming his mission "to effect in peace the greatest
revolution ever yet made in human society." Fourierism was at that
time in the ascendant. Mr. Owen called at the office of the _Phalanx_,
the organ of Brisbane, and was received with distinction. In October
he visited his family at New Harmony. On his way he stopped at the
Ohio Phalanx. In December he went to Washington with Robert Dale Owen,
who was then member of Congress. The party in power was less friendly
than that of 1829, and refused him the use of the National Halls. He
lectured, or advertised to lecture, in Concert Hall, Pennsylvania
Avenue. "In March 1845," says Macdonald, "I had the pleasure of
hearing him lecture at the Minerva rooms in New York, after which he
lectured in Lowell and other places." In May he visited Brook Farm. In
June he published a manifesto, appointing a World's Convention, to be
held in New York in October; and soon after sailed for England.
Stopping there scarcely long enough to turn round, he was in this
country again in season to give a course of lectures preparatory to
the October Convention. After that Convention (which Macdonald
confesses was a trifling affair) he continued his labors in various
places. On the 26th of October Macdonald met him on the street in
Albany, and spent some time with him at his lodgings in much pleasant
gossip about New Lanark. In November he called at Hopedale. Adin
Ballou, in a published report of the visit, dashed off a sketch of him
and his projects, which is so good a likeness that we copy it here:

"Robert Owen is a remarkable character, in years nearly seventy-five:
in knowledge and experience super-abundant; in benevolence of heart
transcendental; in honesty without disguise; in philanthropy
unlimited; in religion a skeptic; in theology a Pantheist: in
metaphysics a necessarian circumstantialist; in morals a universal
exclusionist; in general conduct a philosophic non-resistant; in
socialism a Communist; in hope a terrestrial elysianist; in practical
business a methodist; in deportment an unequivocal gentleman.**

"Mr. Owen has vast schemes to develop, and vast hopes of speedy
success in establishing a great model of the new social state; which
will quite instantaneously, as he thinks, bring the human race into a
terrestrial Paradise. He insists on obtaining a million of dollars to
be expended in lands, buildings, machinery, conveniences and
beautifications, for his model Community; all to be finished and in
perfect order, before he introduces to their new home the
well-selected population who are to inhabit it. He flatters himself he
shall be able, by some means, to induce capitalists, or perhaps
Congress, to furnish the capital for this object. We were obliged to
shake an incredulous head and tell him frankly how groundless, in our
judgment, all such splendid anticipations must prove. He took it in
good part, and declared his confidence unshaken, and his hopes
undiscourageable by any man's unbelief."

The winter of 1845--6 Mr. Owen appears to have spent in the west,
probably at New Harmony. In June 1846, he was again in Albany, and
this time for an important purpose. The Convention appointed to frame
a new Constitution for the State of New York was then in session. He
obtained the use of the Assembly Chamber and an audience of the
delegates; and gave them two lectures on "Human Rights and Progress,"
and withal on their own duties. Macdonald was present, and speaks
enthusiastically of his energy and dignity. After reminding the
Convention of the importance of the work they were about, he went on
to say that "all religious systems, Constitutions, Governments and
Laws are and have been founded in _error_, and that error is the
false supposition that _man forms his own character_. They were about
to form another Constitution based upon that error, and ere long more
Constitutions would have to be made and altered, and so on, until the
truth that the _character of man is formed for him_ shall be
recognized, and the system of society based upon that principle become
national and universal." "After the lecture," says Macdonald, "I
lunched with Mr. Owen at the house of Mr. Ames. We had conversation on
New Harmony, London, &c. Mr. Ames having expressed a desire for a
photograph of Mr. Owen, I accompanied them to a gallery at the
Exchange where I parted with him--perhaps forever! He returned soon
after to England where he remains till the present time." [1854.]

Six times after he was fifty years old, and twice after he was
seventy, he crossed the Atlantic and back in the service of Communism!
Let us not say that all this wonderful activity was useless. Let us
not call this man a driveller and a monomaniac. Let us rather
acknowledge that he was receiving and distributing an inspiration
unknown even to himself, that had a sure aim, and that is at this
moment conquering the world. His hallucination was not in his
expectations, but in his ideas of methods and times.

Owen had not much theory. His main idea was Communism, and that he got
from the Rappites. His persistent assertion that man's character is
formed for him by his circumstances, was his nearest approach to
original doctrine; and this he virtually abandoned when he came to
appreciate spiritual conditions. The rest of his teaching is summed up
in the old injunction, "Be good," which is the burden of all

But theory was not his function. Nor yet even practice. His business
was to seed the world, and especially this country, with an
unquenchable desire and hope for Communism; and this he did

We call him the Father of American Socialisms, because he took
possession of this country first. Fourierism was a secondary infusion.
His English practicality was more in unison with the Yankee spirit,
than the theorizing of the French school. He himself claimed the
Fourierites as working on his job, grading the track by their half-way
schemes of joint-stock and guaranteeism for his Rational Communism.
And in this he was not far wrong. Communism or nothing, is likely to
be the final demand of the American people.

The most conspicuous trait in all Owen's labors and journeyings is his
indomitable perseverance. And this trait he transmitted to a large
breed of American Socialists. Read again the letter of John Harmon at
the close of our last chapter. He is now an old man, but his faith in
Communism remains unshaken; it is failure-proof. See how the veterans
of Haverstraw, when their Community fell in pieces, moved to
Coxsackie, and when the Coxsackie Community broke up, migrated to Ohio
and joined the Kendal Community; and perhaps when the Kendal Community
failed, they joined another, and another; and probably never gave up
the hope of a Community-home. We have met with many such
wanderers--men and women who were spoiled for the world by once
tasting or at least imagining the sweets of Communism, and would not
be turned back by any number of failures. Alcander Longley is a fine
specimen of this class. He has tried every kind of Association, from
Co-operation to Communism, including Fourierism and the nameless
combinations of Spiritualism; and is now hard at work in the farthest
corner of Missouri on his sixth experiment, as enthusiastic as ever!
J.J. Franks is a still finer specimen. He began with Owenism. When
that failed he enlisted with the Fourierites. During their campaign he
bought five-thousand acres of land in the mountains of Virginia for a
prospective Association, the Constitution of which he prepared and
printed, though the Association itself never came into being. When
Fourierism failed he devoted himself to Protective Unions. For twenty
years past he has been a faithful disciple and patron of the Oneida
Community. In such examples we trace the image and spirit of Robert



In the transition from Owenism to Fourierism and later socialist
movements, we find that Josiah Warren fulfills the function of a
modulating chord. As we have already said, after seeing the wreck of
Communism at New Harmony, he went clear over to the extreme doctrine
of "Individual Sovereignty," and continued working on that theme
through the period of Fourierism, till he founded the famous village
of Modern Times on Long Island, and there became the master-spirit of
a school, which has developed at least three famous movements, that
are in some sense alive yet, long after the Communities and Phalanxes
have gone to their graves.

Imprimis, Dr. Thomas L. Nichols was a fellow of the royal society of
Individual Sovereigns, and an _habitue_ of Modern Times, when he
published his "Esoteric Anthropology" in 1853, and issued his printed
catalogue of names for the reciprocal use of affinity-hunters all over
the country; whereby he inaugurated the system of "Free Love" or
Individual Sovereignty in sexual intercourse, that prevailed among the
Spiritualists. He afterwards fell into a reaction opposite to
Warren's, and swung clear back into Roman Catholicism. But "though
dead, he yet speaketh."

Secondly, Stephen Pearl Andrews was publishing-partner of Josiah
Warren in the propagandism of Individual Sovereignty; and built or
undertook to build a notable edifice at Modern Times, when that
village was in its glory. He subsequently distinguished himself by
instituting, in connection with Nichols and others, a series of
"Sociables" for the Individual Sovereigns in New York city, which were
broken up by the conservatives. He is also understood to have
originated a great spiritual or intellectual hierarchy, called the
"Pantarchy," and a system of Universology, which is not yet published,
but has long been on the eve of organizing science and revolutionizing
the world. On the whole he may be regarded as the American rival of
Comte, as A.J. Davis is of Swedenborg.

Lastly, Henry Edger, the actual hierarch of Positivism, one of the ten
apostles _de propaganda fide_ appointed by Comte, was called to his
great work from Warren's school at Modern Times. He is still a
resident of that village, and has attempted within a year or two to
form a Positivist Community there, but without success.

The genealogy from Owen to these modern movements may be traced thus:

Owen begat New Harmony; New Harmony (by reaction) begat Individual
Sovereignty; Individual Sovereignty begat Modern Times; Modern Times
was the mother of Free Love, the Grand Pantarchy, and the American
branch of French Positivism. Josiah Warren was the personal link next
to Owen, and deserves special notice. Macdonald gives the following
account of him:


"This gentleman was one of the members of Mr. Owen's Community at New
Harmony in 1826, and from the experience gained there, he became
convinced that there was an important error in Mr. Owen's principles,
and that error was _combination_. It was then that he developed the
doctrine of Individual Sovereignty, and devised the plan of Equitable
Commerce, which he labored on incessantly for many years. He
communicated his views on Labor Exchange to Mr. Owen, who endeavored
to practice them in London upon a large scale, but failed, as Mr.
Warren asserts, through not carrying out the principle of
_Individuality_. A similar attempt was made in Philadelphia, but also
failed for the same cause.

"After the failure of the New Harmony Community, Mr. Warren went to
Cincinnati, and there opened a Time Store, which continued in
operation long enough, as he says, to demonstrate the truth of his
principles. After this, in association with others, he commenced an
experiment in Tuscarawas Co., Ohio; but in consequence of sickness it
was abandoned. His next experiment was at Mount Vernon, Indiana, which
was unsuccessful. After that he opened a Time Store in New Harmony,
which he was carrying on when I became acquainted with him in 1842.

"The following must suffice as a description of


"A portion of a room was divided off by a lattice-work, in which were
many racks and shelves containing a variety of small articles. In the
center of this lattice an opening was left, through which the
store-keeper could hand goods and take pay. On the wall at the back of
the store-keeper and facing the customer, hung a clock, and underneath
it a dial. In other parts of the room were various articles, such as
molasses, corn, buckets, dry-goods, etc. There was a board hanging on
the wall conspicuous enough for all persons to see, on which were
placed the bills that had been paid to wholesale merchants for all the
articles in the store; also the orders of individuals for various

"I entered the store one day, and walking up to the wicket, requested
the store-keeper to serve me with some glue. I was immediately asked
if I had a '_Labor note_,' and on my saying no, I was told that I must
get some one's note. My object in going there was to inquire if Mr.
Warren would exchange labor with me; but this abrupt reception scared
me, and I hastily departed. However, upon my becoming further
acquainted with Mr. Warren, we exchanged labor notes, and I traded a
little at the Time Store in the following manner:

"I made or procured a written labor note, promising so many hours
labor at so much per hour. Mr. Warren had similar labor notes. I went
to the Time Store with my note and my cash, and informed the keeper
that I wanted, for instance, a few yards of Kentucky jean. As soon as
he commenced conversation or business with me, he set the dial which
was under the clock, and marked the _time_. He then attended to me,
giving me what I wanted, and in return taking from me as much cash as
he paid for the article to the wholesale merchant; and as much time
out of my labor note as he spent for me, according to the dial, in the
sale of the article. I believe five per cent. was added to the cash
cost, to pay rent and cover incidental expenses. The change for the
labor notes was in small tickets representing time by the five, ten,
or fifteen minutes; so that if I presented a note representing an
hour's labor, and he had been occupied only ten minutes in serving
me, he would have to give me forty minutes in change. I have seen Mr.
Warren with a large bundle of these notes, representing various kinds
and quantities of labor, from mechanics and others in New Harmony and
its vicinity. Each individual who gave a note, affixed his or her own
price per hour for labor. Women charged as high, or nearly as high, as
men; and sometimes unskillful hands overrated their services. I knew
an instance where an individual issued too many of his notes, and they
became depreciated in value. I was informed that these notes were
refused at the Time Store. It was supposed that public opinion would
regulate these things, and I have no doubt that in time it would. In
this experiment Mr. Warren said he had demonstrated as much as he
intended. But I heard him complain of the difficulties he had to
contend with, and especially of the want of common honesty.

"The Time Store existed about two years and a half, and was then
discontinued. In 1844 Mr. Warren went to Cincinnati and lectured upon
his principles. On the breaking up of the Clermont Phalanx and the
Cincinnati Brotherhood, Mr. Warren went to the spot where both
failures had taken place, and there found four families who were
disposed to try 'Equitable Commerce.' With these and a few other
friends he started a village which he called Utopia, where he
published the _Peaceful Revolutionist_ for a time.

"His next and last movement was at Modern Times, on Long Island, a few
miles from New York, whither he came in 1851."

From a copy of the _Peaceful Revolutionist_, published by Warren at
Utopia in 1845, we take the first of the two following extracts. The
second, relating to Modern Times, is from a newspaper article pasted
into Macdonald's collection, without date, but probably printed in
1853. These will give a sufficient idea of the reaction from New
Harmony, which, on several important lines of influence, connects Owen
with the present time.


From an editorial by J. Warren.

"Throughout the whole of our operations at this village, everything
has been conducted so nearly on the _Individual_ basis, that not one
meeting for legislation has taken place. No organization, no delegated
power, no constitutions, no laws or bye-laws, rules or regulations,
but such as each individual makes for himself and his own business; no
officers, no priests nor prophets have been resorted to; nothing of
this kind has been in demand. We have had a few meetings, but they
were for friendly conversation, for music, dancing or some other
social and pleasant pastime. Not even a single lecture upon the
principles upon which we were acting, has been given on the premises!
It was not necessary; for, as a lady remarked, 'the subject once
stated and understood, there is nothing left to talk about; all is
action after that.'

"I do not mean to be understood that all are of one mind. On the
contrary, in a progressive state there is no demand for conformity. We
build on _Individuality_; any difference between us confirms our
position. Differences, therefore, like the admissible discords in
music, are a valuable part of our harmony! It is only when the rights
of persons or property are actually invaded that collisions arise.
These rights being clearly defined and sanctioned by public opinion,
and temptations to encroachments being withdrawn, we may then consider
our great problem practically solved. With regard to mere difference
of opinion in taste, convenience, economy, equality, or even right and
wrong, good and bad, sanity and insanity--all must be left to the
supreme decision of each _Individual_, whenever he can take on himself
the _cost_ of his decisions; which he cannot do while his interests or
movements are united or combined with others. It is in combination or
close connection only, that compromise and conformity are required.
Peace, harmony, ease, security, happiness, will be found only in


Conversation between a Resident and a Reporter.

"We are not Fourierites. We do not believe in Association. Association
will have to answer for very many of the evils with which mankind are
now afflicted. We are not Communists; we are not Mormons; we are not
Non-Resistants. If a man steals my property or injures me, I will take
good care to make myself square with him. We are Protestants, we are
Liberals. We believe in the SOVEREIGNTY OF THE INDIVIDUAL. We protest
against all laws which interfere with INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS--hence we are
Protestants. We believe in perfect liberty of will and action--hence
we are Liberals. We have no compacts with each other, save the compact
of individual happiness; and we hold that every man and every woman
has a perfect and inalienable right to do and perform, all and
singular, just exactly as he or she may choose, now and hereafter.
But, gentlemen, this liberty to act must only be exercised at the
_entire cost_ of the individuals so acting. They have no right to tax
the community for the consequences of their deeds."

"Then you go back to nearly the first principles of government, and
acknowledge the necessity of some controlling power other than
individual will?"

"Not much--not much. In the present depraved state of society
generally, we--few in numbers--are forced by circumstances into
courses of action not precisely compatible with our principles or with
the intent of our organization, thus: we are a new colony; we can not
produce all which we consume, and many of our members are forced to go
out into the world to earn what people call money, so that we may
purchase our groceries, &c. We are mostly mechanics--eastern men.
There is not yet a sufficient home demand for our labor to give
constant employment to all. When we increase in numerical strength,
our tinsmiths and shoemakers and hatters and artisans of that grade
will not only find work at home, but will manufacture goods for sale.
That will bring us money. We shall establish a Labor Exchange, so that
if my neighbor, the blacksmith, wants my assistance, and I in turn
desire his services, there will be a scale to fix the terms of the

"But this would disturb Individual Sovereignty."

"I don't see it. No one will be _forced_ to barter his labor for
another's. If parties don't like the terms, they can make their own.
There are three acres of corn across the way--it is good corn--a good
crop--it is mine. You see that man now at work in the field cutting
and stacking it. His work as a farmer is not so valuable as mine as a
mason. We exchange, and it is a mutual benefit. Corn is just as good a
measure of value as coin. You should read the pamphlet we are getting
out. It will come cheap. Andrews has published an excellent work on
this subject of Individual Sovereignty."

"Have you any schools?"

"Schools? Ah! we only have a sort of primary affair for small
children. It is supported by individual subscription. Each parent pays
his proportion."

"How about women?"

"Well, in regard to the ladies, we let them do about as they please,
and they generally please to do about right. Yes, _they_ like the idea
of Individual Sovereignty. We give them plenty of amusement; we have
social parties, music, dancing, and other sports. They are not all
Bloomers: they wear such dresses as suit the individual taste,
_provided they can get them_!"

"And the _breeches_ sometimes, I suppose?"

"Certainly they can _wear the breeches_ if they choose."

"Do you hold to marriage?"

"Oh, marriage! Well, folks ask no questions in regard to _that_ among
us. We, or at least some of us, do not believe in life-partnerships,
when the parties can not live happily. Every person here is supposed
to know his or her own interests best. We don't interfere; there is no
eaves-dropping, or prying behind the curtain. Those are good members
of society, who are industrious and mind their own business. The
individual is sovereign and independent, and all laws tending to
restrict the liberty he or she should enjoy, are founded in error, and
should not be regarded."



We are now on the confines of the Fourier movement. The time-focus
changes from 1826 to 1843. As the period of our history thus
approaches the present time, our resources become more ample and
authentic. Henceforward we shall not confine ourselves so closely to
Macdonald's materials as we have done. The printed literature of
Fourierism is more abundant than that of Owenism; and while we shall
still follow the catalogue of Associations which we gave from
Macdonald in our third chapter, and shall appropriate all that is
interesting in his memoirs, we shall also avail ourselves freely of
various publications of the Fourierists themselves. A full set of
their leading periodicals, (probably the only one in existence) was
thrust upon us by the freak of a half-crazed literary gentleman,
nearly at the very time when we had the good fortune to find
Macdonald's collections. We shall hereafter refer most frequently to
the files of _The Dial_, _The Present_, _The Phalanx_, _The
Harbinger_, and _The Tribune_.

In order to understand the Fourier movement, we must look at the
preparations for it. This we have already been doing, in studying
Owenism. But there were other preparations. Owenism was the
socialistic prelude. We must now attend to what may be called the
religious preparations.

Owenism was limited and local, chiefly because it was thoroughly
non-religious and even anti-religious. In order that Fourierism might
sweep the nation, it was necessary that it should ally itself to some
form of popular religion, and especially that it should penetrate the
strongholds of religious New England.

To prepare for this combination, a differentiation in the New England
church was going on simultaneously with the career of Owenism. After
the war of 1815, the division of Congregationalism into Orthodoxy and
Unitarianism, commenced. Excluding from our minds the doctrinal and
ecclesiastical quarrels that attended this division, it is easy to see
that Providence, which is always on both sides of every fight, aimed
at division of labor in this movement. One party was set to defend
religion; the other liberty. One stood by the old faith, like the Jew;
the other went off into free-thinking and the fine arts, like the
Greek. One worked on regeneration of the heart; the other on culture
of the external life. In short, one had for its function the carrying
through of the Revival system; the other the development of Socialism.

The royal men of these two "houses of Israel" were Dr. Beecher and Dr.
Channing; and both left royal families, direct or collateral. The
Beechers are leading the Orthodox to this day; and the Channings, the
Unitarians. We all know what Dr. Beecher and his children have done
for revivals. He was the pivotal man between Nettleton and Finney in
the last generation, and his children are the standard-bearers of
revival religion in the present. What the Channings have done for
Socialism is not so well known, and this is what we must now bring to

First and chief of all the experiments of the Fourier epoch was BROOK
FARM. And yet Brook Farm in its original conception, was not a Fourier
formation at all, but an American seedling. It was the child of New
England Unitarianism. Dr. Channing himself was the suggester of it. So
says Ralph Waldo Emerson. As this is an interesting point of history,
we have culled from a newspaper report of Mr. Emerson's lecture on
Brook Farm, the following summary, from which it appears that Dr.
Channing was the pivotal man between old-fashioned Unitarianism and
Transcendentalism, and the father of _The Dial_ and of Brook Farm:


"In the year 1840 Dr. Channing took counsel with Mr. George Ripley on
the point if it were possible to bring cultivated, thoughtful people
together, and make a society that deserved the name. He early talked
with Dr. John Collins Warren on the same thing, who admitted the
wisdom of the purpose, and undertook to make the experiment. Dr.
Channing repaired to his house with these thoughts; he found a well
chosen assembly of gentlemen; mutual greetings and introductions and
chattings all around, and he was in the way of introducing the general
purpose of the conversation, when a side-door opened, the whole
company streamed in to an oyster supper with good wines, and so ended
that attempt in Boston. Channing opened his mind then to Ripley, and
invited a large party of ladies and gentlemen. I had the honor to be
present. No important consequences of the attempt followed. Margaret
Fuller, Ripley, Bronson and Hedge, and many others, gradually came
together, but only in the way of students. But I think there prevailed
at that time a general belief in the city that this was some concert
of doctrinaires to establish certain opinions, or to inaugurate some
movement in literature, philosophy, or religion, but of which these
conspirators were quite innocent. It was no concert, but only two or
three men and women, who read alone with some vivacity. Perhaps all of
them were surprised at the rumor that they were a school or sect, but
more especially at the name of 'Transcendentalism.' Nobody knows who
first applied the name. These persons became in the common chance of
society acquainted with each other, and the result was a strong
friendship, exclusive in proportion to its heat.***

"From that time, meetings were held with conversation--with very
little form--from house to house. Yet the intelligent character and
varied ability of the company gave it some notoriety, and perhaps
awakened some curiosity as to its aims and results. But nothing more
serious came of it for a long time. A modest quarterly journal called
_The Dial_, under the editorship of Margaret Fuller, enjoyed its
obscurity for four years, when it ended. Its papers were the
contributions and work of friendship among a narrow circle of writers.
Perhaps its writers were also its chief readers. But it had some noble
papers; perhaps the best of Margaret Fuller's. It had some numbers
highly important, because they contained papers by Theodore Parker.**

"I said the only result of the conversations which Dr. Channing had
was to initiate the little quarterly called _The Dial_; but they had a
further consequence in the creation of the society called the "Brook
Farm" in 1841. Many of these persons who had compared their notes
around in the libraries of each other upon speculative matters, became
impatient of speculation, and wished to put it into practice. Mr.
George Ripley, with some of his associates, established a society, of
which the principle was, that the members should be stockholders, and
that while some deposited money others should be allowed to give their
labor in different kinds as an equivalent for money. It contained very
many interesting and agreeable persons. Mr. Curtis of New York, and
his brother of English Oxford, were members of the family; from the
first also was Theodore Parker; Mr. Morton of Plymouth--engaged in the
fisheries--eccentric; he built a house upon the farm, and he and his
family continued in it till the end; Margaret Fuller, with her joyous
conversations and sympathies. Many persons gave character and
attractiveness to the place. The farm consisted of 200 acres, and
occupied some spot near Reedville camp of later years. In and around
it, whether as members, boarders, or visitors, were remarkable persons
for character, intellect and accomplishments. *** The Rev. Wm. H.
Channing, now of London, student of Socialism in France and England,
was a frequent sojourner here, and in perfect sympathy with the

"Brook Farm existed six or seven years, when the society broke up and
the farm was sold, and all parties came out with a loss; some had
spent on it the accumulations of years. At the moment all regarded it
as a failure; but I do not think that all so regard it now, but
probably as an important chapter in their experience, which has been
of life-long value. What knowledge has it not afforded them! What
personal power which the studies of character have given: what
accumulated culture many members owe to it; what mutual pleasure they
took of each other! A close union like that in a ship's cabin, of
persons in various conditions; clergymen, young collegians, merchants,
mechanics, farmers' sons and daughters, with men of rare opportunities
and culture."

Mr. Emerson's lecture is doubtless reliable on the main point for
which we quote from it--the Unitarian and Channing-arian origin of
Brook Farm--but certainly superficial in its view of the substantial
character and final purpose of that Community. Brook Farm, though
American and Unitarian in its origin, became afterward the chief
representative and propagative organ of Fourierism, as we shall
ultimately show. The very blossom of the experiment, by which it
seeded the nation and perpetuated its species, was its periodical,
_The Harbinger_, and this belonged entirely to the Fourieristic period
of its career. Emerson dilates on _The Dial_, but does not allude to
_The Harbinger_. In thus ignoring the public function by which Brook
Farm was signally related to the great socialistic revival of 1843,
and to the whole of American Socialism, Emerson misses what we
conceive to be the main significance of the experiment, and indeed of
Unitarianism itself.

And here we may say, in passing, that this brilliant Community has a
right to complain that its story should have to be told by aliens.
Emerson, who was not a member of it, nor in sympathy with the
socialistic movement to which it abandoned itself, has volunteered a
lecture of reminiscences; and Hawthorne, who joined it only to jilt
it, has given the world a poetico-sneering romance about it; and that
is all the first-hand information we have, except what can be gleaned
from obsolete periodicals. George William Curtis, though he was a
member, coolly exclaims in _Harper's Magazine:_

"Strangely enough, Hawthorne is likely to be the chief future
authority upon 'the romantic episode' of Brook Farm. Those who had it
at heart more than he, whose faith and energy were all devoted to its
development, and many of whom have every ability to make a permanent
record, have never done so, and it is already so much a thing of the
past, that it will probably never be done."

In the name of history we ask, Why has not George William Curtis
himself made the permanent record? Why has not George Ripley taken the
story out of the mouths of the sneerers? Brook Farm might tell its own
story through him, for he _was_ Brook Farm. It was George Ripley who
took into his heart the inspiration of Dr. Channing, and went to work
like a hero to make a fact of it; while Emerson stood by smiling
incredulity. It was Ripley who put on his frock and carted manure, and
set Hawthorne shoveling, and did his best for years to keep work
going, that the Community might pay as well as play. It was no
"picnic" or "romantic episode" or chance meeting "in a ship's cabin"
to him. His whole soul was bent on making a _home_ of it. If a man's
first-born, in whom his heart is bound up, dies at six years old, that
does not turn the whole affair into a joke. There were others of the
same spirit, but Ripley was the center of them.

Brook Farm came very near being a _religious_ Community. It inherited
the spirit of Dr. Channing and of Transcendentalism. The inspiration
in the midst of which it was born, was intensely literary, but also
religious. The Brook Farmers refer to it as the "revival," the
"_newness_," the "_renaissance_." There was evidently an afflatus on
the men, and they wrote and acted as they were moved. _The Dial_ was
the original organ of this afflatus, and contains many articles that
are edifying to Christians of good digestion. It was published
quarterly, and the four volumes of it (sixteen numbers) extended from
July 1840 to April 1844.

The first notice we find of Brook Farm is in connection with an
article in the second volume of _The Dial_ (Oct. 1841), entitled, "_A
Glimpse of Christ's Idea of Society_." The writer of this most devout
essay was Miss Elizabeth P. Peabody, then and since a distinguished
literary lady. She was evidently in full sympathy with the "newness"
out of which Brook Farm issued. Margaret Fuller, one of the
constituents of Brook Farm, was editress of _The Dial_, and thus
sanctioned the essay. Its reference to Brook Farm is avowed in a note
at the end, and in a subsequent article. The following extracts give


[From _The Dial_, Oct. 1841.]

"While we acknowledge the natural growth, the good design, and the
noble effects of the apostolic church, and wish we had it, in place of
our own more formal ones, we should not do so small justice to the
divine soul of Jesus of Nazareth, as to admit that it was a main
purpose of his to found it, or that when it was founded it realized
his idea of human society. Indeed we probably do injustice to the
apostles themselves, in supposing that they considered their churches
anything more than initiatory. Their language implies that they looked
forward to a time when the uttermost parts of the earth should be
inherited by their beloved master; and beyond this, when even the
name, which is still above every name, should be lost in the glory of
the Father, who is to be all in all.

"Some persons, indeed, refer all this sort of language to another
world; but this is gratuitously done. Both Jesus and the apostles
speak of life as the same in both worlds. For themselves individually
they could not but speak principally of another world; but they imply
no more than that death is an accident, which would not prevent, but
hasten the enjoyment of that divine life, which they were laboring to
make possible to all men, in time as well as in eternity.***

"The Kingdom of Heaven, as it lay in the clear spirit of Jesus of
Nazareth, is rising again upon vision. Nay, this Kingdom begins to be
seen not only in religious ecstasy, in moral vision, but in the light
of common sense, and the human understanding. Social science begins to
verify the prophecy of poetry. The time has come when men ask
themselves what Jesus meant when he said, 'Inasmuch as ye have not
done it unto the least of these little ones, ye have not done it unto

"No sooner is it surmised that the Kingdom of Heaven and the Christian
Church are the same thing, and that this thing is not an association
outside of society, but a reörganization of society itself, on those
very principles of love to God and love to man, which Jesus Christ
realized in his own daily life, than we perceive the day of judgment
for society is come, and all the words of Christ are so many trumpets
of doom. For before the judgment-seat of his sayings, how do our
governments, our trades, our etiquettes, even our benevolent
institutions and churches look? What church in Christendom, that
numbers among its members a pauper or a negro, may stand the thunder
of that one word, 'Inasmuch as ye have not done it to the least of
these little ones, ye have not done it unto me?' And yet the church of
Christ, the Kingdom of Heaven, has not come upon earth, according to
our daily prayer, unless not only every church, but every trade, every
form of social intercourse, every institution political or other, can
abide this test.***

"One would think from the tone of conservatives, that Jesus accepted
the society around him, as an adequate framework for individual
development into beauty and life, instead of calling his disciples
'out of the world.' We maintain, on the other hand, that Christ
desired to reörganize society, and went to a depth of principle and a
magnificence of plan for this end, which has never been appreciated,
except here and there, by an individual, still less been carried

"There _are_ men and women, who have dared to say to one another, Why
not have our daily life organized on Christ's own idea? Why not begin
to move the mountain of custom and convention? Perhaps Jesus's method
of thought and life is the Savior--is Christianity! For each man to
think and live on this method is perhaps the Second Coming of Christ.
To do unto the little ones as we would do unto _him_, would be perhaps
the reign of the Saints--the Kingdom of Heaven. We have hitherto heard
of Christ by the hearing of the ear; now let us see him, let us be
him, and see what will come of that. Let us communicate with each
other and live.***

"There have been some plans and experiments of Community attempted in
this country, which, like those elsewhere, are interesting chiefly as
indicating paths in which we should _not_ go. Some have failed because
their philosophy of human nature was inadequate, and their
establishments did not regard man as he is, with all the elements of
devil and angel within his actual constitution. Brisbane has made a
plan worthy of study in some of its features, but erring in the same
manner. He does not go down into a sufficient spiritual depth, to lay
foundations which may support his superstructure. Our imagination
before we reflect, no less than our reason after reflection, rebels
against this attempt to circumvent moral freedom, and imprison it in
his Phalanx.**

"_The_ church of Christ's Idea, world-embracing, can be founded on
nothing short of faith in the universal man, as he comes out of the
hands of the Creator, with no law over his liberty, but the Eternal
Ideas that lie at the foundation of his Being. Are you a man? This is
the only question that is to be asked of a member of human society.
And the enounced laws of that society should be an elastic medium of
these Ideas; providing for their everlasting unfolding into new forms
of influence, so that the man of time should be the growth of
eternity, consciously and manifestly.

"To form such a society as this is a great problem, whose perfect
solution will take all the ages of time; but let the Spirit of God
move freely over the great deep of social existence, and a creative
light will come at his word; and after that long evening in which we
are living, the morning of the first day shall dawn on a Christian

"N.B. A Postscript to this Essay, giving an account of a specific
attempt to realize its principles, will appear in the next number."

Thus, according to this writer, Brook Farm, in its inception, was an
effort to establish the kingdom of God on earth; that kingdom in which
"the will of God shall be done as it is done in heaven;" a higher
state than that of the apostolic church; worthy even to be called the
Second Coming of Christ, and the beginning of the day of judgment! A
high religious aim, surely! and much like that proposed by the Shakers
and other successful Communities, that have the reputation of being

The reader will notice that Miss Peabody, on behalf of Brook Farm,
disclaims Fourierism, which was then just beginning to be heard of
through Brisbane's _Social Destiny of Man_, first published in 1840.

In the next number of _The Dial_ Miss Peabody fulfills her promise of
information about Brook Farm, in an article entitled, "_Plan of the
West Roxbury Community_." Some extracts will give an idea of the first
tottering steps of the infant enterprise:


    [From _The Dial_, Jan. 1842.]

    "In the last number of _The Dial_, were some remarks, under the
    perhaps ambitious title of, 'A Glimpse of Christ's Idea of
    Society;' in a note to which it was intimated, that in this
    number would be given an account of an attempt to realize in
    some degree this great Ideal, by a little company in the midst
    of us, as yet without name or visible existence. The attempt is
    made on a very small scale. A few individuals, who, unknown to
    each other, under different disciplines of life, reacting from
    different social evils, but aiming at the same object,--of
    being wholly true to their natures as men and women--have been
    made acquainted with one another, and have determined to become
    the Faculty of the Embryo University.

    "In order to live a religious and moral life worthy the name,
    they feel it is necessary to come out in some degree from the
    world, and to form themselves into a community of property, so
    far as to exclude competition and the ordinary rules of trade;
    while they reserve sufficient private property, or the means of
    obtaining it, for all purposes of independence, and isolation at
    will. They have bought a farm, in order to make agriculture the
    basis of their life, it being the most direct and simple in
    relation to nature. A true life, although it aims beyond the
    highest star, is redolent of the healthy earth. The perfume of
    clover lingers about it. The lowing of cattle is the natural
    bass to the melody of human voices. [Here we have the old
    farming hobby of the socialists.]***

    "The plan of the Community, as an economy, is in brief this: for
    all who have property to take stock, and receive a fixed
    interest thereon: then to keep house or board in commons, as
    they shall severally desire, at the cost of provisions purchased
    at wholesale, or raised on the farm; and for all to labor in
    community, and be paid at a certain rate an hour, choosing their
    own number of hours, and their own kind of work. With the
    results of this labor and their interest, they are to pay their
    board, and also purchase whatever else they require at cost, at
    the warehouses of the Community, which are to be filled by the
    Community as such. To perfect this economy, in the course of
    time they must have all trades and all modes of business carried
    on among themselves, from the lowest mechanical trade, which
    contributes to the health and comfort of life, to the finest
    art, which adorns it with food or drapery for the mind.

    "All labor, whether bodily or intellectual, is to be paid at the
    same rate of wages; on the principle that as the labor becomes
    merely bodily, it is a greater sacrifice to the individual
    laborer to give his time to it; because time is desirable for
    the cultivation of the intellectual, in exact proportion to
    ignorance. Besides, intellectual labor involves in itself higher
    pleasures, and is more its own reward, than bodily labor.***

    "After becoming members of this Community, none will be engaged
    merely in bodily labor. The hours of labor for the Association
    will be limited by a general law, and can be curtailed at the
    will of the individual still more; and means will be given to
    all for intellectual improvement and for social intercourse,
    calculated to refine and expand. The hours redeemed from labor
    by community, will not be re-applied to the acquisition of
    wealth, but to the production of intellectual goods. This
    Community aims to be rich, not in the metallic representative of
    wealth, but in the wealth itself, which money should represent;
    Community, it will traffic with the world at large, in the
    products of agricultural labor; and it will sell education to as
    many young persons as can be domesticated in the families, and
    enter into the common life with their own children. In the end
    it hopes to be enabled to provide, not only all the necessaries,
    but all the elegances desirable for bodily and for spiritual
    health: books, apparatus, collections for science, works of art,
    means of beautiful amusement. These things are to be common to
    all; and thus that object, which alone gilds and refines the
    passion for individual accumulation, will no longer exist for
    desire, and whenever the sordid passion appears, it will be seen
    in its naked selfishness. In its ultimate success, the Community
    will realize all the ends which selfishness seeks, but involved
    in spiritual blessings, which only greatness of soul can aspire

    "And the requisitions on the individuals, it is believed, will
    make this the order forever. The spiritual good will always be
    the condition of the temporal. Every one must labor for the
    Community in a reasonable degree, or not taste its benefits.***
    Whoever is willing to receive from his fellow men that for which
    he gives no equivalent, will stay away from its precincts
    forever. But whoever shall surrender himself to its principles,
    shall find that its yoke is easy and its burden light.
    Everything can be said of it, in a degree, which Christ said of
    his kingdom, and therefore it is believed that in some measure
    it does embody his idea. For its gate of entrance is strait and
    narrow. It is literally a pearl hidden in a field. Those only
    who are willing to lose their life for its sake shall find it.
    Its voice is that which sent the young man sorrowing away: 'Go
    sell all thy goods and give to the poor, and then come and
    follow me.' 'Seek first the kingdom of Heaven and its
    righteousness, and all other things shall be added to you.'***

    "There may be some persons at a distance, who will ask, To what
    degree has this Community gone into operation? We can not answer
    this with precision, but we have a right to say that it has
    purchased the farm which some of its members cultivated for a
    year with success, by way of trying their love and skill for
    agricultural labor; that in the only house they are as yet rich
    enough to own, is collected a large family, including several
    boarding scholars, and that all work and study together. They
    seem to be glad to know of all who desire to join them in the
    spirit, that at any moment, when they are able to enlarge their
    habitations, they may call together those that belong to them."

Thus far it is evident that Brook Farm was not a Fourier formation.
Whether the beginnings of the excitement about Fourierism may not have
secretly affected Dr. Channing and the Transcendentalists, we can not
say. Brisbane's first publication and Dr. Channing's first suggestion
of a Community (according to Emerson) took place in the same
year--1840. But Brook Farm, as reported by Miss Peabody, up to January
1842 had nothing to do with Fourierism, but was an original Yankee
attempt to embody Christianity as understood by Unitarians and
Transcendentalists; having a constitution (written or unwritten)
invented perhaps by Ripley, or suggested by the collective wisdom of
the associates. Without any great scientific theory, it started as
other Yankee experiments have done, with the purpose of feeling its
way toward co-operation, by the light of experience and common sense;
beginning cautiously, as was proper, with the general plan of
joint-stock; but calling itself a Community, and evidently bewitched
with the idea which is the essential charm of all Socialisms, that it
is possible to combine many families into one great home. Moreover
thus far there was no "advertising for a wife," no gathering by public
proclamation. The two conditions of success which we named as primary
in a previous chapter, viz., _religious principle_ and _previous
acquaintance_, were apparently secured. The nucleus was small in
number, and well knit together by mutual acquaintance and spiritual
sympathy. In all this, Brook Farm was the opposite of New Harmony.

If we take Rev. William H. Channing, nephew and successor of Dr.
Channing, as the exponent of Brook Farm--which we may safely do, since
Emerson says he was "a frequent sojourner there, and in perfect
sympathy with the experiment"--we have evidence that the Community had
not fallen into the ranks of Fourierism at a considerably later
period. On the 15th of September 1843, Mr. Channing commenced
publishing in New York a monthly Magazine called _The Present_, the
main object of which was nearly the same as that of _The Dial_, viz.,
the discussion of religious Socialism, as understood at Brook Farm and
among the Transcendentalists; and in his third number (Nov. 15) he
used language concerning Fourier, which _The Phalanx_, Brisbane's
organ (then also just commencing), criticised as disrespectful and
painfully offensive.

From this indication, slight as it is, we may safely conclude that the
amalgamation of Brook Farm and Fourierism had not taken place up to
November 1843, which was more than two years after Miss Peabody's
announcement of the birth of the Community. So far Brook Farm was
American and religious, and stood related to the Fourier revival only
as a preparation. So far it was _Channing's_ Brook Farm. Its story
after it became _Fourier's_ Brook Farm will be reserved for the end of
our history of Fourierism.



This Community was another anticipation of Fourierism, put forth by
Massachusetts. It was similar in many respects to Brook Farm, and in
its origin nearly contemporaneous. It was intensely religious in its
ideal. As Brook Farm was the blossom of Unitarianism, so Hopedale was
the blossom of Universalism. Rev. Adin Ballou, the founder, was a
relative of the Rev. Hosea Ballou, and thus a scion of the royal
family of the Universalists. Milford, the site of the Community, was
the scene of Dr. Whittemore's first ministerial labors.

Hopedale held on its way through the Fourier revival, solitary and
independent, and consequently never attained so much public
distinction as Brook Farm and other Associations that affiliated
themselves to Fourierism; but considered by itself as a Yankee attempt
to solve the socialistic problem, it deserves more attention than any
of them. Our judgment of it, after some study, may be summed up thus:
As it came nearest to being a religious community, so it commenced
earlier, lasted longer, and was really more scientific and sensible
than any of the other experiments of the Fourier epoch.

Brook Farm was talked about in 1840, but we find no evidence of its
organization till the fall of 1841. Whereas Mr. Ballou's Community
dates its first compact from January 1841; though it did not commence
operations at Hopedale till April 1842.

The North American Phalanx is reputed to have outlived all the other
Associations of the Fourier epoch; but we find, on close examination
of dates, that Hopedale not only was born before it, but lived after
it. The North American commenced in 1843, and dissolved in 1855.
Hopedale commenced in 1841, and lasted certainly till 1856 or 1857.
Ballou published an elaborate exposition of it in the winter of
1854-5, and at that time Hopedale was at its highest point of success
and promise. We can not find the exact date of its dissolution, but it
is reported to have attained its seventeenth year, which would carry
it to 1858. Indeed it is said there is a shell of an organization
there now, which has continued from the Community, having a President,
Secretary, &c., and holding occasional meetings; but its principal
function at present is the care of the village cemetery.

As to the theory and constitutional merits of the Hopedale Community,
the reader shall judge for himself. Here is an exposition published in
tract form by Mr. Ballou in 1851, outlining the scheme which was fully
elaborated in his subsequent book:

    "The Hopedale Community, originally called Fraternal Community,
    No. 1, was formed at Mendon, Massachusetts, January 28, 1841, by
    about thirty individuals from different parts of the State. In
    the course of that year they purchased what was called the
    'Jones Farm,' _alias_ 'The Dale,' in Milford. This estate they
    named HOPEDALE--joining the word 'Hope' to its ancient
    designation, as significant of the great things they hoped for
    from a very humble and unpropitious beginning. About the first
    of April 1842, a part of the members took possession of their
    farm and commenced operations under as many disadvantages as can
    well be imagined. Their present domain (December 1, 1851),
    including all the lands purchased at different times, contains
    about 500 acres. Their village consists of about thirty new
    dwelling-houses, three mechanic shops, with water-power,
    carpentering and other machinery, a small chapel, used also for
    the purposes of education, and the old domicile, with the barns
    and out-buildings much improved. There are now at Hopedale some
    thirty-six families, besides single persons, youth and children,
    making in all a population of about 175 souls.

    "It is often asked, What are the peculiarities, and what the
    advantages of the Hopedale Community? Its leading peculiarities
    are the following:

    "1. It is a church of Christ (so far as any human organization
    of professed Christians, within a particular locality, have the
    right to claim that title), based on a simple declaration of
    faith in the religion of Jesus Christ, as he taught and
    exemplified it, according to the scriptures of the New
    Testament, and of acknowledged subjection to all the moral
    obligations of that religion. No person can be a member, who
    does not cordially assent to this comprehensive declaration.
    Having given sufficient evidence of truthfulness in making such
    a profession, each individual is left to judge for him or
    herself, with entire freedom, what abstract doctrines are
    taught, and also what external religious rites are enjoined in
    the religion of Christ. No precise theological dogmas,
    ordinances or ceremonies are prescribed or prohibited. In such
    matters all the members are free, with mutual love and
    toleration, to follow their own highest convictions of truth and
    religious duty, answerable only to the great Head of the true
    Church Universal. But in practical Christianity this church is
    precise and strict. There its essentials are specific. It
    insists on supreme love to God and man--that love which 'worketh
    no ill' to friend or foe. It enjoins total abstinence from all
    God-contemning words and deeds; all unchastity; all intoxicating
    beverages; all oath-taking; all slave-holding and pro-slavery
    compromises; all war and preparations for war; all capital and
    other vindictive punishments; all insurrectionary, seditious,
    mobocratic and personal violence against any government,
    society, family or individual; all voluntary participation in
    any anti-Christian government, under promise of unqualified
    support--whether by doing military service, commencing actions
    at law, holding office, voting, petitioning for penal laws,
    aiding a legal posse by injurious force, or asking public
    interference for protection which can be given only by such
    force; all resistance of evil with evil; in fine, from all
    things known to be sinful against God or human nature. This is
    its acknowledged obligatory righteousness. It does not expect
    immediate and exact perfection of its members, but holds up this
    practical Christian standard, that all may do their utmost to
    reach it, and at least be made sensible of their shortcomings.
    Such are the peculiarities of the Hopedale Community as a

    "2. It is a Civil State, a miniature Christian Republic,
    existing within, peaceably subject to, and tolerated by the
    governments of Massachusetts and the United States, but
    otherwise a commonwealth complete within itself. Those
    governments tax and control its property, according to their own
    laws, returning less to it than they exact from it. It makes
    them no criminals to punish, no disorders to repress, no paupers
    to support, no burdens to bear. It asks of them no corporate
    powers, no military or penal protection. It has its own
    Constitution, laws, regulations and municipal police; its own
    Legislative, Judiciary and Executive authorities; its own
    educational system of operations; its own methods of aid and
    relief; its own moral and religious safeguards; its own fire
    insurance and savings institutions; its own internal
    arrangements for the holding of property, the management of
    industry, and the raising of revenue; in fact, all the elements
    and organic constituents of a Christian Republic, on a miniature
    scale. There is no Red Republicanism in it, because it eschews
    blood; yet it is the seedling of the true Democratic and Social
    Republic, wherein neither caste, color, sex nor age stands
    proscribed, but every human being shares justly in 'Liberty,
    Equality and Fraternity.' Such is The Hopedale Community as a
    Civil State.

    "3. It is a universal religious, moral, philanthropic, and
    social reform Association. It is a Missionary Society, for the
    promulgation of New Testament Christianity, the reformation of
    the nominal church, and the conversion of the world. It is a
    moral suasion Temperance Society on the teetotal basis. It is a
    moral power Anti-Slavery Society, radical and without
    compromise. It is a Peace Society on the only impregnable
    foundation of Christian non-resistance. It is a sound
    theoretical and practical Woman's Rights Association. It is a
    Charitable Society for the relief of suffering humanity, to the
    extent of its humble ability. It is an Educational Society,
    preparing to act an important part in the training of the young.
    It is a socialistic Community, successfully actualizing, as well
    as promulgating, practical Christian Socialism--the only kind of
    Socialism likely to establish a true social state on earth. The
    members of this Community are not under the necessity of
    importing from abroad any of these valuable reforms, or of
    keeping up a distinct organization for each of them, or of
    transporting themselves to other places in search of
    sympathizers. Their own Newcastle can furnish coal for
    home-consumption, and some to supply the wants of its neighbors.
    Such is the Hopedale Community as a Universal Reform Association
    on Christian principles.

    "_What are its Advantages?_

    "1. It affords a theoretical and practical illustration of the
    way whereby all human beings, willing to adopt it, may become
    individually and socially happy. It clearly sets forth the
    principles to be received, the righteousness to be exemplified,
    and the social arrangements to be entered into, in order to this
    happiness. It is in itself a capital school for self-correction
    and improvement. No where else on earth is there a more
    explicit, understandable, practicable system of ways and means
    for those who really desire to enter into usefulness, peace and
    rational enjoyment. This will one day be seen and acknowledged
    by multitudes who now know nothing of it, or knowing, despise
    it, or conceding its excellence, are unwilling to bow to its
    wholesome requisitions. 'Yet the willing and the obedient shall
    eat the good of the land.'

    "2. It guarantees to all its members and dependents employment,
    at least adequate to a comfortable subsistence; relief in want,
    sickness or distress; decent opportunities for religious, moral
    and intellectual culture; an orderly, well regulated
    neighborhood; fraternal counsel, fellowship and protection under
    all circumstances; and a suitable sphere of individual
    enterprise and responsibility, in which each one may, by due
    self-exertion, elevate himself to the highest point of his

    "3. It solves the problem which has so long puzzled Socialists,
    the harmonization of just individual freedom with social
    co-operation. Here exists a system of arrangements, simple and
    effective, under which all capital, industry, trade, talent,
    skill and peculiar gifts may freely operate and co-operate, with
    no restrictions other than those which Christian morality every
    where rightfully imposes, constantly to the advantage of each
    and all. All may thrive together as individuals and as a
    Community, without degrading or impoverishing any. This
    excellent system of arrangements in its present completeness is
    the result of various and wisely improved experiences.

    "4. It affords a peaceful and congenial home for all
    conscientious persons, of whatsoever religious sect, class or
    description heretofore, who now embrace practical Christianity,
    substantially as this Community holds it, and can no longer
    fellowship the popular religionists and politicians. Such need
    sympathy, co-operation and fraternal association, without undue
    interference in relation to non-essential peculiarities. Here
    they may find what they need. Here they may give and receive
    strength by rational, liberal Christian union.

    "5. It affords a most desirable opportunity for those who mean
    to be practical Christians in the use of property, talent, skill
    or productive industry, to invest them. Here those goods and
    gifts may all be so employed as to benefit their possessors to
    the full extent of justice, while at the same time they afford
    aid to the less favored, help build up a social state free from
    the evils of irreligion, ignorance, poverty and vice, promote
    the regeneration of the race, and thus resolve themselves into
    treasure laid up where neither moth, nor rust, nor thieves can
    reach them. Here property is preëminently safe, useful and
    beneficent. It is Christianized. So, in a good degree, are
    talent, skill, and productive industry.

    "6. It affords small scope, place or encouragement for the
    unprincipled, corrupt, supremely selfish, proud, ambitious,
    miserly, sordid, quarrelsome, brutal, violent, lawless, fickle,
    high-flying, loaferish, idle, vicious, envious and
    mischief-making. It is no paradise for such; unless they
    voluntarily make it first a moral penitentiary. Such will hasten
    to more congenial localities; thus making room for the upright,
    useful and peaceable.

    "7. It affords a beginning, a specimen and a presage of a new
    and glorious social Christendom--a grand confederation of
    similar Communities--a world ultimately regenerated and
    Edenized. All this shall be in the forthcoming future.

    "The Hopedale Community was born in obscurity, cradled in
    poverty, trained in adversity, and has grown to a promising
    childhood, under the Divine guardianship, in spite of numberless
    detriments. The bold predictions of many who despised its puny
    infancy have proved false. The fears of timid and compassionate
    friends that it would certainly fail have been put to rest. Even
    the repeated desertion of professed friends, disheartened by
    its imperfections, or alienated by too heavy trials of their
    patience, has scarcely retarded its progress. God willed
    otherwise. It has still many defects to outgrow, much impurity
    to put away, and a great deal of improvement to make--moral,
    intellectual and physical. But it will prevail and triumph. The
    Most High will be glorified in making it the parent of a
    numerous progeny of practical Christian Communities. Write,
    saith the Spirit, and let this prediction be registered against
    the time to come, for it shall be fulfilled."

In the large work subsequently published, Mr. Ballou goes over the
whole ground of Socialism in a systematic and masterly manner. If the
people of this country were not so bewitched with importations from
England and France, that they can not look at home productions in this
line, his scheme would command as much attention as Fourier's, and a
great deal more than Owen's. The fact of practical failure is nothing
against him in the comparison, as it is common to all of them.

For a specimen, take the following: Mr. Ballou finds all man's wants,
rights and duties in seven spheres, viz.: 1, Individuality; 2,
Connubiality; 3, Consanguinity; 4, Congeniality; 5, Federality; 6,
Humanity; 7, Universality. These correspond very nearly to the series
of spheres tabulated by Comtists. On the basis of this philosophy of
human nature, Mr. Ballou proposes, not a mere monotony of Phalanxes or
Communities, all alike, but an ascending series of four distinct kinds
of Communities, viz.: 1, The Parochial Community, which is nearly the
same as a common parish church; 2, The Rural Community, which is a
social body occupying a distinct territorial domain, but not
otherwise consolidated; 3, The Joint-stock Community, consolidating
capital and labor, and paying dividends and wages; of which Hopedale
itself was a specimen; and 4, The Common-stock Community, holding
property in common and paying no dividends or wages; which is
Communism proper. Mr. Ballou provides elaborate Constitutional forms
for all of these social states, and shows their harmonious relation to
each other. Then he builds them up into larger combinations, viz.: 1,
Communal Municipalities, consisting of two or more Communities, making
a town or city; 2, Communal States; 3, Communal Nations; and lastly,
"the grand Fraternity of Nations, represented by Senators in the
Supreme Unitary Council." Moreover he embroiders on all this an
ascending series of categories for individual character. Citizens of
the great Republic are expected to arrange themselves in seven
Circles, viz.: 1, The Adoptive Circle, consisting of members whose
connections with the world preclude their joining any integral
Community; 2, The Unitive Circle, consisting of those who join in
building up Rural and Joint-stock Communities; 3, The Preceptive
Circle, consisting of persons devoted to teaching in any of its
branches; 4, The Communistic Circle, consisting of members of common
stock Communities; 5, The Expansive Circle, consisting of persons
devoted to extending the Republic, by founding new Communities; 6, The
Charitive Circle, consisting of working philanthropists; and 7, The
Parentive Circle, consisting of the most worthy and reliable
counselors--the fathers and mothers in Israel.

This is only a skeleton. In the book all is worked into harmonious
beauty. All is founded on religion; all is deduced from the Bible. We
confess that if it were our doom to attempt Community-building by
paper programme, we should choose Adin Ballou's scheme in preference
to any thing we have ever been able to find in the lucubrations of
Fourier or Owen.

To give an idea of the high religious tone of Mr. Ballou and his
Community, we quote the following passage from his preface:

    "Let each class of dissenting socialists stand aloof from our
    Republic and experiment to their heart's content on their own
    wiser systems. It is their right to do so uninjured, at their
    own cost. It is desirable that they should do so, in order that
    it may be demonstrated as soon as possible which the true social
    system is. When the radically defective have failed, there will
    be a harmonious concentration of all the true and good around
    the Practical Christian Standard. Meantime the author confides
    this Cause calmly to the guidance, guardianship and benediction
    of God, even that Heavenly Father who once manifested his divine
    excellency in Jesus Christ, and who ever manifests himself
    through the Christ-Spirit to all upright souls. He sincerely
    believes the movement to have been originated and thus far
    supervised by that Holy Spirit. He is confident that
    well-appointed ministering angels have watched over it, and will
    never cease to do so. This strong confidence has sustained him
    from the beginning, under all temporary discouragements, and now
    animates him with unwavering hopes for the future. The Hopedale
    Community, the first constituent body of the new social order,
    commenced the settlement of its Domain in the spring of 1842,
    very small in numbers and pecuniary resources. Its disadvantages
    were so multiform and obvious, that most Associationists of that
    period regarded it as little better than a desperate
    undertaking, alike contracted in its social platform, its funds,
    and other fundamental requisites of success. Yet it has lived
    and flourished, while its supposed superiors have nearly all
    perished. Such was the will of God; such his promise to its
    founders; such their trust in him; such the realization of their
    hopes; and such the recompense of their persevering toils. And
    such is the benignant Providence which will bear the Practical
    Christian Republic onward through all its struggles to the
    actualization of its sublime destiny. Its citizens 'seek first
    the kingdom of God and his righteousness.' Therefore will all
    things needful be added unto them. Let the future demonstrate
    whether such a faith and such expectations are the dreams of a
    shallow visionary, or the divinely inspired, well-grounded
    assurances of a rightly balanced religious mind."

Let it not be thought that Ballou was a mere theorizer. Unlike Owen
and Fourier, he worked as well as wrote. Originally a clergyman and a
gentleman, he gave up his salary, and served in the ranks as a common
laborer for his cause. In conversation with one who reported to us, he
said, that often-times in the early days of Hopedale he would be so
tired at his work in the ditch or on the mill-dam, that he would go to
a neighboring haystack, and lie down on the sunny side of it, wishing
that he might go to sleep and never wake again! Then he would
recuperate and go back to his work. Nearly all the recreation he had
in those days, was to go out occasionally into the neighborhood and
preach a funeral sermon!

And this, by the way, is a fit occasion to say that in our opinion
there ought to be a prohibitory duty on the importation of socialistic
theories, that have not been worked out, as well as written out, by
the inventors themselves. It is certainly cruel to set vast numbers of
simple people agog with Utopian projects that will cost them their
all, while the inventors and promulgators do nothing but write and
talk. What kind of a theory of chemistry can a man write without a
laboratory? What if Napoleon had written out a programme for the
battle of Austerlitz, and then left one of his aids-de-camp to
superintend the actual fighting?

It will be noticed that Mr. Ballou, in his expositions, carries his
assurance that his system is all right, and his confidence of success,
to the verge of presumption. In this he appears to have partaken of a
spirit that is common to all the socialist inventors. Fourier, without
a laboratory or an experiment, was as dogmatic and infallible as
though he were an oracle of God; and Owen, after a hundred defeats,
never doubted the perfection of his scheme, and never fairly confessed
a failure. But in the end Ballou rises above these theorizers, even in
this matter. Our informant says he manfully owns that Hopedale was a
_total_ failure.

As to the causes of the catastrophe, his account is the old story of
general depravity. The timber he got together was not suitable for
building a Community. The men and women that joined him were very
enthusiastic, and commenced with great zeal; their devotion to the
cause seemed to be sincere; but they did not know themselves.

The following details, given by Mr. Ballou, of the actual proceedings
which brought Hopedale to its end, are very instructive in regard to
the operation of the joint-stock principle.

Mr. Ballou was the first President of the Community; but was
ultimately superseded by E.D. Draper. This gentleman came to Hopedale
with great enthusiasm for the cause. He was not wealthy, but was a
sharp, enterprising business man; and very soon became the managing
spirit of the whole concern. He had a brother associated with him in
business, who had no sympathy with the Community enterprise. With this
brother Mr. Draper became deeply engaged in outside operations, which
were very lucrative. They gained in wealth by these operations, while
the inside interests were gradually falling into neglect and bad
management. The result was that the Community sunk capital from year
to year. Meanwhile Draper bought up three-fourths of the joint-stock,
and so had the legal control in his own hands. At length he became
dissatisfied with the way matters were tending, and went to Mr. Ballou
and told him that "this thing must not go any further." Mr. Ballou
asked him if that meant that the Community must come to an end. He
replied, "Yes." "There was no other way," said Mr. Ballou, "but to
submit to it." He then said to Mr. Draper that he had one condition to
put to him; that was, that he should assume the responsibility of
paying the debts. Mr. Draper consented; the debts were paid; and thus
terminated the Hopedale experiment.



We have said that Brook Farm came very near being a religious
Community; and that Hopedale came still nearer. In this respect these
two stand alone among the experiments of the Fourier epoch. Here
therefore is the place to bring to view in some brief way for purposes
of comparison, the series of strictly religious Communities that we
have referred to heretofore as colonies of foreigners. The following
account of them first published in the _Social Record_, has the
authority and freshness of testimony by an eye-witness. Of course it
must not be taken as a view of the exotic Communities at the present
time, but only at its date.


    "During the last eight years I have visited all the Communities
    in this country, except the Icarian and Oneida societies,
    staying at each from six months to two years, to get thoroughly
    acquainted with their practical workings. I will mention each
    society according to its age:

    "1. Conrad Beizel, a German, founded the colony of Ephrata,
    eight miles from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1713. There were at
    times some thousands of members. The Bible was their guide;
    they had all things in common; lived strictly a life of
    celibacy; increased in numbers, and became very rich. Conrad was
    at the head of the whole; he was the sun from which all others
    received the rays of life and animation. He lived to a very old
    age, but it was with him as with all other men; his sun was not
    standing in the zenith all the time, but went down in the
    afternoon. His rays had not power enough to warm up thousands of
    members, as in younger days: he as the head became old and
    lifeless, and the members began to leave. He appointed a very
    amiable man as his successor, but he could not stop the
    emigration. The property is now in the hands of trustees who
    belong to the world, and gives an income of about $1200 a year.
    Perhaps there are now twelve or fifteen members. Some of the
    grand old buildings are yet standing. This was the first
    Community in America.

    "2. Ann Lee, an English woman, came to this country in 1774, and
    founded the Shaker societies. I have visited four, and lived in
    two. In point of order, neatness, regularity and economy, they
    are far in advance of all the other societies. They are from
    nearly all the civilized nations of the globe, and this is one
    reason for their great temporal success. Other Communities do
    not prosper as well, because they are composed too much of one
    nation. In Ann Lee's time, and even some time after her
    departure, they had many spiritual gifts, as never a body of
    people after Christ's time has had; and they were of such a
    nature as Christ said should be among his true followers; but
    they have now lost them, so far as they are essential and
    beneficial. The ministry is the head. Too much attention is
    given to outward rules, that set up the ministers and elders as
    patterns, and keep all minds on the same plane. While limited by
    these rules there will be no progress, and their noble
    institutions will become dead letters.

    "3. George Rapp, a German, founded a society in the first
    quarter of this century. After several removals they settled at
    Economy, in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, eighteen miles from
    Pittsburg. They are all Germans; live strictly a life of
    celibacy; take the Bible as their guide, as Rapp understood it.
    They numbered about eighteen hundred in their best times, but
    are now reduced to about three hundred, and most of them are far
    advanced in years. They are very rich and industrious. Rapp was
    their leader and head, and kept the society in prosperous motion
    so long as he was able to exercise his influence; but as he
    advanced in years and his mental strength and activity
    diminished, the members fell off. He is dead; and his successor,
    Mr. Baker, is advanced in years. They are next to the Shakers in
    point of neatness and temporal prosperity; but unlike them in
    being strict Bible-believers, and otherwise differing in their
    religious views.

    "4. Joseph Bimeler, a German, in 1816 founded the colony of
    Zoar, in Tuscorora County, Ohio, twelve miles from New
    Philadelphia, with about eight hundred of his German friends.
    They are Bible believers in somewhat liberal style. Bimeler was
    the main engine; he had to do all the thinking, preaching and
    pulling the rest along. While he had strength all went on
    seemingly very well; but as his strength began to fail the whole
    concern went on slowly. I arrived the week after his death. The
    members looked like a flock of sheep who had lost their
    shepherd. Bimeler appointed a well-meaning man for his
    successor, but as he was not Bimeler, he could not put his
    engine before the train. Every member pushed forward or pulled
    back just as he thought proper; and their thinking was a poor
    affair, as they were not used to it. They live married or not,
    just as they choose; are well off, a good moral people, and
    number about five hundred.

    "5. Samuel Snowberger, an American, founded a society in 1820 at
    Snowhill, Pennsylvania, twenty miles from Harrisburg. He took
    Ephrata as his pattern in every respect. The Snowbergers believe
    in the Bible as explained in Beizel's writings. They are well
    off, and number about thirty. [This society should be considered
    an offshoot of No. 1.]

    "6. Christian Metz, a German, with his followers, founded a
    society eight miles from Buffalo, New York, in 1846. They called
    themselves the inspired people, and their colony Ebenezer. They
    believe in the Bible, as it is explained through their mediums.
    Metz and one of the sisters have been mediums more than thirty
    years, through whom one spirit speaks and writes. This spirit
    guides the society in spiritual and temporal matters, and they
    have never been disappointed in his counsels for their welfare.
    They have been led by this spirit for more than a century in
    Germany. They permit marriage, when, after application has been
    made, the spirit consents to it; but the parties have to go
    through some public mortification. In 1851 they had some
    thousands of members. They have now removed to Iowa, where they
    have 30,000 acres of land. This is the largest and richest
    Community in the United States. One member brought in $100,000,
    others $60,000, $40,000, $20,000, etc. They are an intelligent
    and very kind people, and live in little comfortable cottages,
    not having unitary houses as the other societies. They are not
    anxious to get members, and none are received except by the
    consent of the controlling spirit. They have a printing-press
    for their own use, but do not publish any books.

    "7. Erick Janson, a Swede, and his friends started a colony at
    Bishop Hill, Illinois, in 1846, and now number about eight
    hundred. They are Bible-believers according to their
    explanations. They believe that a life of celibacy is more
    adapted to develop the inner man, but marriage is not forbidden.
    Their minds are not closed against liberal progress, when they
    are convinced of the truth and usefulness of it. They began in
    very poor circumstances, but are now well off, and not anxious
    to get members; do not publish any books about their colony.
    Janson died eight years ago. They have no head; but the people
    select their preachers and trustees, who superintend the
    different branches of business. They are kept in office as long
    as the majority think proper. I am living there now.

    "_August 26 1858._                                A. JACOBI."

The connection between religion of some kind and success in these
Communities, has come to be generally recognized, even among the old
friends of non-religious Association. Thus Horace Greeley, in his
"Recollections of a Busy Life," says:

"That there have been--nay, are--decided successes in practical
Socialism, is undeniable; but they all have that Communistic basis
which seems to me irrational and calculated to prove fatal.***

"I can easily account for the failure of Communism at New Harmony, and
in several other experiments; I can not so easily account for its
successes. Yet the fact stares us in the face that, while hundreds of
banks and factories, and thousands of mercantile concerns, managed by
shrewd, strong men, have gone into bankruptcy and perished, Shaker
Communities, established more than sixty years ago, upon a basis of
little property and less worldly wisdom, are living and prosperous
to-day. And their experience has been imitated by the German
Communities at Economy, Zoar, the Society of Ebenezer, &c., &c.
Theory, however plausible, must respect the facts.***

"Religion often makes practicable that which were else impossible, and
divine love triumphs where human science is baffled. Thus I interpret
the past successes and failures of Socialism.

"With a firm and deep religious basis, any Socialistic scheme may
succeed, though vicious in organization and at war with human nature,
as I deem Shaker Communism and the antagonist or 'Free Love' Community
of Perfectionists at Oneida. Without a basis of religious sympathy and
religious aspiration, it will always be difficult, though I judge not

Also Charles A. Dana, in old times a Fourierist and withal a Brook
Farmer, now chief of _The New York Sun_, says in an editorial on the
Brocton Association (May 1 1869):

"Communities based upon peculiar religious views, have generally
succeeded. The Shakers and the Oneida Community are conspicuous
illustrations of this fact; while the failure of the various attempts
made by the disciples of Fourier, Owen, and others, who have not had
the support of religious fanaticism, proves that without this great
force the most brilliant social theories are of little avail."

It used to be said in the days of Slavery, that religious negroes were
worth more in the market than the non-religious. Thus religion,
considered as a working force in human nature, has long had a
recognized commercial value. The logic of events seems now to be
giving it a definite socialistic value. American experience certainly
tends to the conclusion that religious men can hold together longer
and accomplish more in close Association, than men without religion.

But with this theory how shall we account for the failure of Brook
Farm and Hopedale? They certainly had, as we have seen, much of the
"fanaticism" of the Shakers and other successful Communities--at least
in their expressed ideals. Evidently some peculiar species of
religion, or some other condition than religion, is necessary to
insure success. To discover the truth in this matter, let us take the
best example of success we can find, and see what other principle
besides religion is most prominent in it.

The Shakers evidently stand highest on the list of successful
Communities. Religion is their first principle; what is their second?
Clearly the exclusion of marriage, or in other words, the subjection
of the sexual relation to the Communistic principle. Here we have our
clue; let us follow it. Can any example of success be found where this
second condition is not present? We need not look for precisely the
Shaker treatment of the sexual relation in other examples. Our
question is simply this: Has any attempt at close Association ever
succeeded, which took marriage into it substantially as it exists in
ordinary society? Reviewing Jacobi's list, which includes all the
Communities commonly reported to be successful, we find the following

1. The Communists of Ephrata live strictly a life of celibacy.

2. The Rappites live strictly a life of celibacy; though Williams says
they did not adopt this principle till 1807, which was four years
after their settlement in Pennsylvania.

3. The Zoarites marry or not as they choose, according to Jacobi; but
Macdonald, who also visited them, says: "At their first organization
marriage was strictly forbidden, not from any religious scruples as to
its propriety, but as an indispensable matter of economy. They were
too poor to rear children, and for years their little town presented
the anomaly of a village without a single child to be seen or heard
within its limits. Though this regulation has been for years removed,
as no longer necessary, their settlement still retains much of its old
character in this respect."

4. The Snowbergers, taking Ephrata as their pattern, adhere strictly
to celibacy.

5. The Ebenezers, according to Jacobi, permit marriage, when their
guiding spirit consents to it; but the parties have to go through some
public mortification. Another account of the Ebenezers says: "They
marry and are given in marriage; but what will be regarded as most
extraordinary, they are practically Malthusians when the economy of
their organization demands it. We have been told that when they
contemplated emigration to this country, in view of their then
condition and what they must encounter in fixing a new home, they
concluded there should be no increase of their population by births
for a given number of years; and the regulation was strictly adhered

6. The Jansonists believe that a life of celibacy is more adapted to
develop the life of the inner man; but marriage is not forbidden.

Thus in all these Societies Communism evidently is stronger than
marriage familism. The control over the sexual relation varies in
stringency. The Shakers and perhaps the Ephratists exclude familism
with religious horror; the Rappites give it no place, but their
repugnance is less conspicuous; the Zoarites have no conscience
against it, but exclude it from motives of economy; the Ebenezers
excluded it only in the early stages of their growth, but long enough
to show that they held it in subjection to Communism. The Jansonists
favor celibacy; but do not prohibit marriage. The decreasing ratio of
control corresponds very nearly to the series of dates at which these
Communities commenced. The Ephratists settled in this country in 1713;
the Shakers in 1774; the Rappites in 1804; the Zoarites in 1816; the
Ebenezers in 1846; and the Jansonists in 1846. Thus there seems to be
a tendency to departure from the stringent anti-familism of the
Shakers, as one type of Communism after another is sent here from the
Old World. Whether there is a complete correspondence of the fortunes
of these several Communities to the strength of their anti-familism,
is an interesting question which we are not prepared to answer. Only
it is manifest that the Shakers, who discard the radix of old society
with the greatest vehemence, and are most jealous for Communism as the
prime unit of organization, have prospered most, and are making the
longest and strongest mark on the history of Socialism. And in
general it seems probable from the fact of success attending these
forms of Communism to the exclusion of all others, that there is some
rational connection between their control of the sexual relation and
their prosperity.

The only case that we have heard of as bearing against the hypothesis
of such a connection, is that of the French colony of Icarians. We
have seen their example appealed to as proof that Communism may exist
without religion, and _with_ marriage. Our accounts, however, of this
Society in its present state are very meager. The original Icarian
Community, founded by Cabet at Nauvoo, not only tolerated but required
marriage; and as it soon came to an end, its fate helps the
anti-marriage theory. The present Society of Icarians is only a
fragment of that Community--about sixty persons out of three hundred
and sixty-five. Whether it retained its original constitution after
separating from its founder, and how far it can fairly claim to be a
success, we know not. All our other facts would lead us to expect that
it will either subordinate the sexual relation to the Communistic, or
that it will not long keep its Communism.

Of course we shall not be understood as propounding the theory that
the negative or Shaker method of disposing of marriage and the sexual
relation, is the only one that can subordinate familism to Communism.
The Oneida Communists claim that their control over amativeness and
philoprogenitiveness, the two elements of familism, is carried much
farther than that of the Shakers; inasmuch as they make those passions
serve Communism, instead of opposing it, as they do under suppression.
They dissolve the old dual unit of society, but take the constituent
elements of it all back into Communism. The only reason why we do not
name the Oneida Community among the examples of the connection between
anti-marriage and success, is that we do not consider it old enough to
be pronounced successful.

Let us now go back to Brook Farm and Hopedale, and see how they stood
in relation to marriage.

We find nothing that indicates any attempt on the part of Brook Farm
to meddle with the marriage relation. In the days of its original
simplicity, it seems not to have thought of such a thing. It finally
became a Fourier Phalanx, and of course came into more or less
sympathy with the _expectations_ of radical social changes which
Fourier encouraged. But it was always the policy of the _Harbinger_,
the _Tribune_, and all the organs of Fourierism, to indignantly
protest their innocence of any _present_ disloyalty to marriage. And
yet we find in the _Dial_ (January 1844), an article about Brook Farm
by Charles Lane, which shows in the following significant passage,
that there was serious thinking among the Transcendentalists, as to
the possibility of a clash between old familism and the larger style
of life in the Phalanx:

"The great problem of socialism now is, whether the existence of the
marital family is compatible with that of the universal family, which
the term 'Community' signifies. The maternal instinct, as hitherto
educated, has declared itself so strongly in favor of the separate
fireside, that Association, which appears so beautiful to the young
and unattached soul, has yet accomplished little progress in the
affections of that important section of the human race--the mothers.
With fathers, the feeling in favor of the separate family is
certainly less strong; but there is an undefinable tie, a sort of
magnetic rapport, an invisible, inseverable, umbilical cord between
the mother and child, which in most cases circumscribes her desires
and ambition to her own immediate family. All the accepted adages and
wise saws of society, all the precepts of morality, all the sanctions
of theology, have for ages been employed to confirm this feeling. This
is the chief corner-stone of present society; and to this maternal
instinct have, till very lately, our most heartfelt appeals been made
for the progress of the human race, by means of a deeper and more
vital education. Pestalozzi and his most enlightened disciples are
distinguished by this sentiment. And are we all at once to abandon, to
deny, to destroy this supposed stronghold of virtue? Is it questioned
whether the family arrangement of mankind is to be preserved? Is it
discovered that the sanctuary, till now deemed the holiest on earth,
is to be invaded by intermeddling skepticism, and its altars
sacrilegiously destroyed by the rude hand of innovating progress? Here
'social science' must be brought to issue. The question of Association
and of marriage are one. If, as we have been popularly led to believe,
the individual or separate family is in the true order of Providence,
then the associative life is a false effort. If the associative life
is true, then is the separate family a false arrangement. By the
maternal feeling it appears to be decided, that the co-existence of
both is incompatible, is impossible. So also say some religious sects.
Social science ventures to assert their harmony. This is the grand
problem now remaining to be solved, for at least the enlightening, if
not for the vital elevation of humanity. That the affections can be
divided, or bent with equal ardor on two objects, so opposed as
universal and individual love, may at least be rationally doubted.
History has not yet exhibited such phenomena in an associate body, and
scarcely perhaps in any individual. The monasteries and convents,
which have existed in all ages, have been maintained solely by the
annihilation of that peculiar affection on which the separate family
is based. The Shaker families, in which the two sexes are not entirely
dissociated, can yet only maintain their union by forbidding and
preventing the growth of personal affection other than that of a
spiritual character. And this in fact is not personal in the sense of
individual, but ever a manifestation of universal affection. Spite of
the speculations of hopeful bachelors and æsthetic spinsters, there is
somewhat in the marriage bond which is found to counteract the
universal nature of the affections, to a degree tending at least to
make the considerate pause, before they assert that, by any social
arrangements whatever, the two can be blended into one harmony. The
general condition of married persons at this time is some evidence of
the existence of such a doubt in their minds. Were they as convinced
as the unmarried of the beauty and truth of associate life, the
demonstration would be now presented. But might it not be enforced
that the two family ideas really neutralize each other? Is it not
quite certain that the human heart can not be set in two places? that
man can not worship at two altars? It is only the determination to do
what parents consider the best for themselves and their families,
which renders the o'er populous world such a wilderness of self-hood
as it is. Destroy this feeling, they say, and you prohibit every
motive to exertion. Much truth is there in this affirmation. For to
them, no other motive remains, nor indeed to any one else, save that
of the universal good, which does not permit the building up of
supposed self-good, and therefore forecloses all possibility of an
individual family.

"These observations, of course, equally apply to all the associative
attempts, now attracting so much public attention; and perhaps most
especially to such as have more of Fourier's designs than are
observable at Brook Farm. The slight allusion in all the writers of
the 'Phalansterian' class, to the subject of marriage, is rather
remarkable. They are acute and eloquent in deploring Woman's oppressed
and degraded position in past and present times, but are almost silent
as to the future."

So much for Brook Farm. Hopedale was thoroughly conservative in
relation to marriage. The following is an extract from its

    "ARTICLE VIII. Sec. 1. Marriage, being one of the most important
    and sacred of human relationships, ought to be guarded against
    caprice and abuse by the highest wisdom which is available.
    Therefore within the membership of this republic and the
    dependencies thereof, marriage is specially commended to the
    care of the Preceptive and Parentive circles. They are hereby
    designated as the confidential counselors of all members and
    dependents who may desire their mediation in cases of
    matrimonial negotiation, contract or controversy; and shall be
    held preëminently responsible for the prudent and faithful
    discharge of their duties. But no person decidedly averse to
    their interposition shall be considered under imperative
    obligation to solicit or accept it. And it shall be considered
    the perpetual duty of the Preceptive and Parentive Circles to
    enlighten the public mind relative to the requisites of true
    matrimony, and to elevate the marriage institution within this
    Republic to the highest possible plane of purity and happiness.

    "Sec. 2. Marriage shall always be solemnized in the presence of
    two or more witnesses, by the distinct acknowledgment of the
    parties before some member of the Preceptive, or of the
    Parentive Circle, selected to preside on the occasion. And it
    shall be the imperative duty of the member so presiding, to see
    that every such marriage be recorded within ten days thereafter,
    in the Registry of the Community to which one or both of them
    shall at the time belong.

    "Sec. 3. Divorce from the bonds of matrimony shall never be
    allowable within the membership of this Republic, except for
    adultery conclusively proved against the accused party. But
    separations for other sufficient reasons may be sanctioned, with
    the distinct understanding that neither party shall be at
    liberty to marry again during the natural lifetime of the

On this text Mr. Ballou comments in his book to the extent of thirty
pages, and occupies as many more with the severest criticisms of
"Noyesism" and other forms of sexual innovation.

The facts we have found stand thus: All the successful Communities,
besides being religious, exercise control, more or less stringent,
over the sexual relation; and this principle is most prominent in
those that are most successful. But Brook Farm and Hopedale did not
attempt any such control.

We incline therefore to the conclusion that the Massachusetts
Socialisms were weak, not altogether for want of religion, but because
they were too conservative in regard to marriage, and thus could not
digest and assimilate their material. Or in more general terms, the
conclusion toward which our facts and reflections point is, first,
that religion, not as a mere doctrine, but as an _afflatus_ having in
itself a tendency to make many into one, is the first essential of
successful Communism; and, secondly, that the _afflatus_ must be
strong enough to decompose the old family unit and make Communism the

We will conclude with some observations that seem necessary to
complete our view of the religious Communities.

When we speak of these societies as successful, this must not be
understood in any absolute sense. Their success is evidently a thing
of _degrees_. All of them appear to have been very successful at some
period of their career in _making money_; which fact indicates plainly
enough, that the theories of Owen and Fourier about "compound
economies" and "combined industry," are not moonshine, but practical
verities. We may consider it proved by abundant experiment, that it is
easy for harmonious Associations to get a living, and to grow rich.
But in other respects these religious Communities have had various
fortunes. The oldest of them, Beizel's Colony of Ephrata, in its early
days numbered its thousands; but in 1858 it had dwindled down to
twelve or fifteen members. So the Rappites in their best time numbered
from eight hundred to a thousand; but are now reduced to two or three
hundred old people. This can hardly be called success, even if the
money holds out. On the other hand, the Shakers appear to have kept
their numbers good, as well as increased in wealth, for nearly a
century; though Jacobi represents them as now at a stand-still. The
rest of the Communities in his list, dating from 1816 to 1846, are
perhaps not old enough to be pronounced permanently successful.
Whether they are dwindling, like the Beizelites and Rappites, or at a
stand-still, like the Shakers, or in a period of vigor and growth,
Jacobi does not say; and we have no means of ascertaining. It is
proper, however, to call them all successful in a relative sense; that
is, as compared with the non-religious experiments. They have held
together and made money for long periods; which is a success that the
Owen and Fourier Communities have not attained.

If required here to define absolute success, we should say that at the
lowest it includes not merely self-support, but also self-perpetuation.
And this attainment is nearly precluded by the ascetic method of
treating the sexual relation. The adoption of foreign children can not
be a reliable substitute for home-propagation. The highest ideal of a
successful Community requires that it should be a complete nursery of
human beings, doing for them all that the old family home has done, and
a great deal more. Scientific propagation and universal culture should
be its ends, and money-making only its means.

The causes of the comparative success which the ascetic Communities
have attained, we have found in their religious principles and their
freedom from marriage. Jacobi seems disposed to give special
prominence to _leadership_, as a cause of success. He evidently
attributes the decline of the Beizelites, the Rappites and the
Zoarites, to the old age and death of their founders. But something
more than skillful leadership is necessary to account for the success
of the Shakers. They had their greatest expansion after the death of
Ann Lee. Jacobi recognizes, in his account of the Ebenezers, another
centralizing and controlling influence, coöperating with leadership,
which has probably had more to do with the success of all the
religious Communities than leadership or anything else; viz.,
_inspiration_. He says of the Ebenezers:

"They call themselves the inspired people. They believe in the Bible,
as it is explained through their mediums. Metz, the founder, and one
of the sisters, have been mediums more than thirty years, through whom
_one_ spirit speaks and writes. This spirit guides the society in
spiritual and temporal matters, and they have never been disappointed
in his counsels for their welfare. They have been led by this spirit
for more than a century in Germany. No members are received except by
the consent of this controlling spirit."

Something like this must be true of all the Communities in Jacobi's
list. This is what we mean by _afflatus_. Indeed, this is what we mean
by _religion_, when we connect the success of Communities with their
religion. Mere doctrines and forms without afflatus are not religion,
and have no more power to organize successful Communities, than the
theories of Owen and Fourier.

Personal leadership has undoubtedly played a great part in connection
with afflatus, in gathering and guiding the religious Communities.
Afflatus requires personal mediums; and probably success depends on
the due adjustment of the proportion between afflatus and medium. As
afflatus is the permanent element, and personal leadership the
transitory, it is likely that in the cases of the dwindling
Communities, leadership has been too strong and afflatus too weak. A
very great man, as medium of a feeble afflatus, may belittle a
Community while he holds it together, and insure its dwindling away
after his death. On the other hand, we see in the case of the Shakers,
a strong afflatus, with an ordinary illiterate woman for its first
medium; and the result is success continuing and increasing after her

It is probably true, nevertheless, that an afflatus which is strong
enough to make a strong man its medium _and keep him under_, will
attain the greatest success; or in other words, that the greater the
medium the better, other things being equal.

In all cases of afflatus continuing after the death of the first
medium, there seems to be an alternation of experience between
afflatus and personal leadership, somewhat like that of the Primitive
Christian Church. In that case, there was first an afflatus
concentrated on a strong leader; then after the death of the leader, a
distributed afflatus for a considerable period following the day of
Pentecost; and finally another concentration of the afflatus on a
strong leader in the person of Paul, who was the final organizer.

Compare with this the experience of the Shakers. The afflatus (issuing
from a combination of the Quaker principality with the "French
Prophets") had Ann Lee for its first medium, and worked in the
concentrated form during her life. After her death, there was a short
interregnum of distributed inspiration. Finally the afflatus
concentrated on another leader; and this time it was a man, Elder
Meacham, who proved to be the final organizer. Each step of this
progress is seen in the following brief history of Shakerism, from the
American Cyclopædia:

"The idea of a community of property, and of Shaker families or
unitary households, was first broached by Mother Ann, who formed her
little family into a model after which the general organizations of
the Shaker order, as they now exist, have been arranged. She died in
1784. In 1787 Joseph Meacham, formerly a Baptist preacher, but who had
been one of Mother Ann's first converts at Watervliet, collected her
adherents in a settlement at New Lebanon, and introduced both
principles, together probably with some others not to be found in the
revelations of their foundress. Within five years, under the efficient
administration of Meacham, eleven Shaker settlements were founded,
viz.: at New Lebanon, New York, which has always been regarded as the
parent Society; at Watervliet, New York; at Hancock, Tyringham,
Harvard, and Shirley, Massachusetts; at Enfield, Connecticut
(Meacham's native town); at Canterbury and Enfield, New Hampshire; and
at Alfred and New Gloucester, Maine."

Going beyond the Communities for examples (as the principles of growth
are the same in all spiritual organizations), we may in like manner
compare the development of Mormonism with that of Christianity. Joseph
Smith was the first medium. After his death came a period of
distributed inspiration. Finally the afflatus concentrated on Brigham
Young as its second medium, and he has organized Mormonism.

For a still greater example, look at the Bonaparte dynasty. It can not
be doubted that there is a persistent afflatus connected with that
power. It was concentrated on the first Napoleon. After his deposal
and death there was a long interregnum; but the afflatus was only
distributed, not extinguished. At length it concentrated again on the
present Napoleon; and he proves to be great in diplomacy and
organization, as the first Napoleon was in war.

We have said that the general conclusion toward which our facts and
reflections point, is, first, that religion, not as a mere doctrine,
but as an afflatus, is the first essential to successful Communism;
and secondly, that the afflatus must be strong enough to make
Communism the home-center. We may now add (if the law we have just
enunciated is reliable), that the afflatus must also be strong enough
to prevail over personal leadership in its mediums, and be able, when
one leader dies, to find and use another.

We must note however that this law of apparent transfer does not
necessarily imply real change of leadership. In the case of
Christianity, its adherents assume that the first leader was not
displaced, but only transferred from the visible to the invisible
sphere, and thus continued to be the administrative medium of the
original afflatus. And something like this, we understand, is claimed
by the Shakers in regard to Ann Lee.



This Community, though its site was in a region where Jonathan Edwards
and Revivalism reigned a hundred years before, could hardly be called
religious. It seems to have represented a class sometimes called
"Nothingarians." But like Brook Farm and Hopedale, it was an
independent Yankee attempt to regenerate society, and a forerunner of

Massachusetts, the center of New England, the mother of school systems
and factory systems, of Faneuil Hall revolutions and Anti-Slavery
revolutions, of Liberalism, Literature, and Social Science, appears to
have anticipated the advent of Fourierism, and to have prepared herself
for or against the rush of French ideas, by throwing out three
experiments of her own on her three avenues of approach:--Unitarianism,
Universalism, and Nothingarianism.

The following neat account of the Northampton Community, is copied
from a feminine manuscript in Macdonald's collection, on which he
wrote in pencil:

"_By Mrs. Judson, for me, through G.W. Benson, Williamsburg, February
14 1853._"


"The Northampton Association of Education and Industry had its origin
in the aspiration of a few individuals for a better and purer state of
society--for freedom from the trammels of sect and bigotry, and an
opportunity of carrying out their principles, socially, religiously,
and otherwise, without restraint from the prevailing practices of the
world around.

"The projectors of this enterprise were Messrs. David Mack, Samuel L.
Hill, George W. Benson and William Adam. These, with several others
who were induced to unite with them, in all ten persons, held their
first meeting April 8 1842, organized the Association, and adopted a
preamble, constitution and by-laws.

"This little band formed the nucleus, around which a large number soon
clustered, all thinking, intelligent persons; all, or nearly all,
seeing and feeling the imperfections of existing society, and seeking
a purer, more free and elevated position as regards religion,
politics, business, &c. It would not be true to say that _all_ the
members of the Community were imbued with the true spirit of reform;
but the leading minds were sincere reformers, earnest, truthful souls,
sincerely desiring to advance the cause of truth and liberty. Some
were young persons, attracted thither by friends, or coming there to
seek employment on the same terms as members, and afterwards applying
for full membership.

"The Association was located about two and a half miles from the
village and center of business of Northampton. The estate consisted of
five hundred acres of land, a good water-privilege, a silk factory
four stories in height, six dwelling-houses, a saw-mill and other
property, all valued at about $31,000. This estate was formerly owned
by the Northampton Silk Company; afterwards by J. Conant & Co., who
sold it to the persons who originated the Association. The amount of
stock paid in was $20,000. This left a debt of $11,000 upon the
Community, which, in the enthusiasm of the new enterprise, they
expected soon to pay by additions to their capital stock, and by the
profits of labor. But by the withdrawal of members holding stock, and
also by some further purchases of property, this debt was afterwards
increased to nearly four times its original amount, and no progress
was made toward its liquidation during the continuance of the

"Labor was remunerated equally; both sexes and all occupations
receiving the same compensation.

"It could not be expected that so many persons, bound by no pledges or
'Articles of Faith,' should agree in all things. They were never asked
when applying for membership, 'Do you believe so and so?' On the
contrary, a good life and worthy motives were the only tests by which
they were judged. Of course it was necessary, before they could be
admitted, to decide the question, 'Can they be useful to the

"The accommodations for families were extremely limited, and many
times serious inconvenience was experienced, in consequence of small
and few apartments. For the most part it was cheerfully sustained; at
least, so long as there was any hope of success--that is, of paying
the debts, and obtaining a livelihood. Most of the members had been
accustomed to good, spacious houses, and every facility for
comfortable living.

"To obviate the difficulty of procuring suitable tenements for
separate families, a community family was instituted, occupying a part
of the silk-factory. Two stories of this building were appropriated to
the use of such as chose to live at a common table and participate in
the labor of the family. This also formed the home of young persons
who were unconnected with families.

"There was always plenty of food, and no one suffered for the
necessaries or comforts of life. All were satisfied with simplicity,
both in diet and dress.

"At the first annual meeting, held January 18 1843, some important
changes were made in the management of the affairs of the Association,
and a new 'Preamble and Articles of Association,' tending toward
consolidation and communism, were adopted for the year. This step was
the occasion of dissatisfaction to some of the stockholders--to one in
particular, and probably led to his withdrawal, before the expiration
of the year.

"Previous to this time some of the early members had become
dissatisfied with life in a Community, and had withdrawn from all
connection with it. They were persons who had been pleased with the
avowed objects and principles of the Association, and with the persons
composing it, and also looked upon it as a profitable investment of
money. Of course in this they were disappointed, and they had no
principles which would induce them to make sacrifices for the cause.

"A department of education was organized, in which it was designed to
unite study with labor, on the ground that no education is complete
which does not combine physical with mental development. Mr. Adam was
the first director of that department, and was an able and efficient
teacher. He was succeeded by Mr. Mack and his wife, who were persons
of much experience in teaching, and of superior attainments. A
boarding-school was opened under their auspices, and several pupils
were received from abroad, who pursued the same course as those
belonging to the Association.

"In the course of the third year a subscription was opened, for the
purpose of relieving the necessities of the Association; and people
interested in the object of Social Reform were solicited to invest
money in this enterprise, no subscription to be binding unless the sum
of $25,000 was raised. This sum never was subscribed, and of course no
assistance was obtained in that way.

"Many troubles were constantly growing out of the pecuniary
difficulties in which the Community was involved. Many sacrifices were
demanded, and much hard labor was required, and those whose hearts
were not in the work withdrew.

"As might be inferred from what has been said, there was no religious
creed, and no particular form of religious worship enjoined. A meeting
was sustained on the first day of the week most of the time while the
Association existed, in which various subjects were discussed, and all
had the right and an opportunity of expressing their opinions or
personal feelings. Of course a great variety of views and sentiments
were introduced. As the religious sentiment is strong in most minds,
this introduction of every phase of religious belief was very
exciting, producing in some dissatisfaction; in others, the shaking of
all their preconceived views; and probably resulting in greater
liberality and more charitable feelings in all.

"The carrying out of different religious views was, perhaps, the
occasion of more disagreement than any other subject: the more liberal
party advocating the propriety and utility of amusements, such as
card-playing, dancing, and the like; while others, owing perhaps to
early education, which had taught them to look upon such things as
sinful, now thought them detrimental and wholly improper, especially
in the impoverished state of the Community. This disagreement operated
to general disadvantage; as in consequence of it several worthy people
and valuable members withdrew.

"There was also a difference of opinion many times with regard to the
management of business, which was principally in the hands of the
trustees, viz., the President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and it is
believed was honestly conducted.

"The whole number of persons ever resident there, as nearly as can be
ascertained, was two hundred and twenty; while probably the number of
actual members at any one time did not exceed one hundred and thirty.

"With regard to the dissolution of this organization, which took place
November 1 1846, I can only quote from the official records. 'There
being no business before the meeting, there was a general conversation
among the members about the business prospects of the Association, and
many were of the opinion that it was best to dissolve; as we were
deeply in debt, and there was no prospect of any more stock being
taken up, which was the only thing that could relieve us, as our
earnings were not large, and those members who had left us, whose
stock was due, were calling for it. Some spoke of the want of that
harmony and brotherly feeling which were indispensable to the success
of such an enterprise. Others spoke of the unwillingness to make
sacrifices on the part of some of the members; also, of the lack of
industry and the right appropriation of time.' At a subsequent meeting
the Executive Council stated that 'in view of all the circumstances of
the Association, they had decided upon a dissolution of the several
departments as at present organized, and should proceed to close the
affairs of the Association as soon as practicable.' So the Association
ceased to exist.

"The spirit which prompted it can never die; and though, in the
carrying out of the principles which led to its organization, a
failure has been experienced, yet the spirit of good-will and
benevolence, that all-embracing charity, which led them to receive
among them some unworthy and unprofitable members, still lives and is
developing itself in other situations and by other means.

"It is impossible to give a complete history of this Community--its
changes--its trials--its failure, and in some respects, perhaps, its
success. Much happiness was experienced there--much of trial and
discipline. No doubt it had its influence on the surrounding world,
leading them to greater liberality and Christian forbearance. It was a
great innovation on the established order of things in the whole
region, and was at first looked upon with horror and distrust. These
prejudices in a great measure subsided, and gave way to a feeling of
comparative respect. With other similar undertakings that have been
abandoned, it has done its work; and may it be found that its
influence has been for good and not for evil."



A wonderful year was 1843. Father Miller's prophetic calculations had
created a vast expectation that it would be the year of the final
conflagration. His confident followers had their ascension-robes
ready; and outside multitudes saw the approach of that year with an
uneasy impression that the advent of Christ, or something equally
awful, was about to make an end of the world.

And indeed tremendous events did come in 1843. If Father Miller and
his followers had been discerning and humble enough to have accepted a
spiritual fulfillment of their prophecies, they might have escaped the
mortification of a total mistake as to the time. The events that came
were these:

The Anti-slavery movement, which for twelve years had been gathering
into itself all minor reforms and firing the northern heart for
revolution, came to its climax in the summer of 1843, in a rush of one
hundred National Conventions! At the same time Brisbane had every
thing ready for his great socialistic movement, and in the autumn of
1843 the flood of Fourierism broke upon the country. Anti-slavery was
destructive; Fourierism professed to be constructive. Both were
rampant against existing civilization. Perhaps it will be found that
in the junction and triumphant sweep of these forces, the old world,
in an important sense, did come to an end.

In 1843 Massachusetts, the great mother of notions, threw out in the
face of impending Fourierism her fourth and last socialistic
experiment. There was a mania abroad, that made common Yankees as
confident of their ability to achieve new social machinery and save
the world, as though they were Owens or Fouriers. The Unitarians at
Brook Farm, the Universalists at Hopedale, and the Nothingarians at
Northampton, had tried their hands at Community-building in 1841--2,
and were in the full glory of success. It was time for Anti-slavery,
the last and most vigorous of Massachusetts nurslings, to enter the
socialistic field. This time, as if to make sure of out-flanking the
French invasion, the post for the experiment was taken at Skaneateles
(a town forty miles west of the present site of the Oneida Community),
thus extending the Massachusetts line from Boston to Central New York.

John A. Collins, the founder of the Skaneateles Community, was a
Boston man, and had been a working Abolitionist up to the summer of
1843. He was in fact the General Agent of the Massachusetts
Anti-slavery Society, and in that capacity had superintended the one
hundred National Conventions ordered by the Society for that year.
During the latter part of this service he had turned his own attention
and that of the Conventions he managed, so much toward his private
schemes of Association, that he had not the face to claim his salary
as Anti-slavery agent. His way was to get up a rousing Anti-slavery
Convention, and conclude it by calling a socialistic Convention, to
be held on the spot immediately after it. At the close of the campaign
he resigned, and the Anti-slavery Board gave him the following
certificate of character:

"Voted, That the Board, in accepting the resignation of John A.
Collins, tender him their sincerest thanks, and take this occasion to
bear the most cordial testimony to the zeal and disinterestedness with
which, at a great crisis, he threw himself a willing offering on the
altar of the Anti-slavery cause, as well as to the energy and rare
ability with which for four years he has discharged the duties of
their General Agent; and in parting, offer him their best wishes for
his future happiness and success."

In October Mr. Collins bought at Skaneateles a farm of three hundred
and fifty acres for $15,000, paying $5,000 down, and giving back a
mortgage for the remainder. There was a good stone farm-house with
barns and other buildings on the place. Mr. Collins gave a general
invitation to join. One hundred and fifty responded to the call, and
on the first of January 1844 the Community was under way, and the
first number of its organ, _The Communitist_, was given to the world.

The only document we find disclosing the fundamental principles of
this Community is the following--which however was not ventilated in
the _Communitist_, but found its way to the public through the
_Skaneateles Columbian_, a neighboring paper. We copy _verbatim_:

    _Articles of Belief and Disbelief, and Creed prepared and read
    by John A. Collins, November 19, 1843._

    "BELOVED FRIENDS: By your consent and advice, I am called upon
    to make choice of those among you to aid me in establishing in
    this place, a Community of property and interest, by which we
    may be brought into love relations, through which, plenty and
    intelligence may be ultimately secured to all the inhabitants of
    this globe. To accomplish this great work there are but very
    few, in consequence of their original organization, structure of
    mind, education, habits and preconceived opinions, who are at
    the present time adapted to work out this great problem of human
    redemption. All who come together for this purpose, should be
    united in thought and feeling on certain fundamental principles;
    for without this, a Community of property would be but a farce.
    Therefore it may be said with great propriety that the success
    of the experiment will depend upon the wisdom exhibited in the
    choice of the materials as agents for its accomplishment.

    "Without going into the detail of the principles upon which this
    Community is to be established, I will state briefly a few of
    the fundamental principles which I regard as essential to be
    assented to by every applicant for admission:

    "1. RELIGION.--A disbelief in any special revelation of God to
    man, touching his will, and thereby binding upon man as
    authority in any arbitrary sense; that all forms of worship
    should cease; that all religions of every age and nation, have
    their origin in the same great falsehood, viz., God's special
    Providences; that while we admire the precepts attributed to
    Jesus of Nazareth, we do not regard them as binding because
    uttered by him, but because they are true in themselves, and
    best adapted to promote the happiness of the race: therefore we
    regard the Sabbath as other days; the organized church as
    adapted to produce strife and contention rather than love and
    peace; the clergy as an imposition; the bible as no authority;
    miracles as unphilosphical; and salvation from sin, or from
    punishment in a future world, through a crucified God, as a
    remnant of heathenism.

    "2. GOVERNMENTS.--A disbelief in the rightful existence of all
    governments based upon physical force; that they are organized
    bands of bandits, whose authority is to be disregarded:
    therefore we will not vote under such governments, or petition
    to them, but demand them to disband; do no military duty; pay no
    personal or property taxes; sit upon no juries; and never appeal
    to the law for a redress of grievances, but use all peaceful and
    moral means to secure their complete destruction.

    "3. That there is to be no individual property, but all goods
    shall be held in common; that the idea of mine and thine, as
    regards the earth and its products, as now understood in the
    exclusive sense, is to be disregarded and set aside; therefore,
    when we unite, we will throw into the common treasury all the
    property which is regarded as belonging to us, and forever after
    yield up our individual claim and ownership in it; that no
    compensation shall be demanded for our labor, if we should ever

    "4. MARRIAGE.--[Orthodox as usual on this head.] That we regard
    marriage as a true relation, growing out of the nature of
    things--repudiating licentiousness, concubinage, adultery,
    bigamy and polygamy; that marriage is designed for the happiness
    of the parties and to promote love and virtue; that when such
    parties have outlived their affections and can not longer
    contribute to each other's happiness, the sooner the separation
    takes place the better; and such separation shall not be a
    barrier to the parties in again uniting with any one, when they
    shall consider their happiness can be promoted thereby; that
    parents are in duty bound to educate their children in habits of
    virtue and love and industry; and that they are bound to unite
    with the Community.

    "5. EDUCATION OF CHILDREN.--That the Community owes to the
    children a duty to secure them a virtuous education, and watch
    over them with parental care.

    "6. DIETETICS.--That a vegetable and fruit diet is essential to
    the health of the body, and purity of the mind, and the
    happiness of society; therefore, the killing and eating of
    animals is essentially wrong, and should be renounced as soon as
    possible, together with the use of all narcotics and stimulants.

    "7. That all applicants shall, at the discretion of the
    Community, be put upon probation of three or six months.

    "8. Any person who shall force himself or herself upon the
    Community, who has received no invitation from the Community, or
    who does not assent to the views above enumerated, shall not be
    treated or considered as a member of the Community; no work
    shall be assigned to him or her if solicited, while at the same
    time, he or she shall be regarded with the same kindness as all
    or any other strangers--shall be furnished with food and
    clothing; that if at any time any one shall dissent from any or
    all of the principles above, he ought at once, in justice to
    himself, to the Community, and to the world, to leave the
    Association. To these views we hereby affix our respective

    "Assented to by all, except Q.A. Johnson, of Syracuse; J.
    Josephine Johnson, do.; William Kennedy, do.; Solomon Johnson,
    of Martinsburgh; and William C. Besson, of Lynn, Massachusetts."

This was too strong, and had to be repudiated the next spring by the
following editorial in the _Communitist_:

    "CREEDS.--Our friends abroad require us to say a few words under
    this head.

    "We repudiate all creeds, sects, and parties, in whatever shape
    or form they may present themselves. Our principles are as broad
    as the universe, and as liberal as the elements that surround
    us. They forbid the adoption and maintenance of any creed,
    constitution, rules of faith, declarations of belief and
    disbelief, touching any or all subjects; leaving each individual
    free to think, believe and disbelieve, as he or she may be moved
    by knowledge, habit, or spontaneous impulses. Belief and
    disbelief are founded upon some kind of evidence, which may be
    satisfactory to the individual to-day, but which other or better
    evidence may change to-morrow. We estimate the man by his acts
    rather than by his peculiar belief. We say to all, Believe what
    you may, but act as well as you can.

    "These principles do not deny to any one the right to draw out
    his peculiar views--his belief and disbelief--on paper, and
    present them for the consideration and adoption of others. Nor
    do we deny the fact that such a thing has been done even with
    us. But we are happy to inform all our friends and the world at
    large, that such a document was not fully assented to and was
    never adopted by the Community; and that the authors were among
    the first to discover the error and retrace the step. The
    document, with all proceedings under it, or relating thereto,
    has long since been abolished and repudiated by unanimous
    consent; and we now feel ourselves to be much wiser and better
    than when we commenced."

It will be noticed that there was a party in the Community, headed by
Q.A. Johnson, who saw the error of the creed before Collins did, and
refused to sign it. This Johnson and his party made much trouble for
Collins; and the whole plot of the Community-drama turns on the
struggle between these two men, as the reader will see in the sequel.

Macdonald says, "A calamitous error was made in the deeding of the
property. It appears that Mr. Collins, who purchased the property, and
whose experiment it really was, permitted the name of another man
[Q.A.J.] to be inserted in the deed, as a trustee, in connection with
his own. He did this to avoid even the suspicion of selfishness. But
his confidence was misplaced; as the individual alluded to
subsequently acted both selfishly and dishonestly. Mr. Collins and his
friends had to contend with the opposition of this person and one or
two others during a great portion of the time."

Mr. Finch, an Owenite, writing to the _New Moral World_, August 16,
1845, says:

Mr. Collins held to no-government or non-resistance principles: and
while he claimed for the Community the right to receive and reject
members, he refused to appeal to the government to aid him in
expelling imposters, intruders and unruly members; which virtually
amounted to throwing the doors wide open for the reception of all
kinds of worthless characters. In consequence of his efforts to
reduce that principle to practice, the Community soon swarmed with an
indolent, unprincipled and selfish class of 'reformers,' as they
termed themselves; one of whom, a lawyer [Q.A.J.], got half the estate
into his own hands, and well-nigh ruined the concern. Mr. Collins,
from his experience, at length became convinced of his errors as to
these new-fangled Yankee notions, and has now abandoned them,
recovered the property, got rid of the worthless and dissatisfied
members, restored the society to peace and harmony, and they are now
employed in forming a new Constitution for the society, in agreement
with the knowledge they have all gained by the last two years'

    "Owing to the dissensions that arose from their defective
    organization at the first, a considerable number of the
    residents have either been dismissed, or have withdrawn from the
    place. The population, therefore, at present numbers only eleven
    adult male members, eight female, and seven children. The whole
    number of members, male and female, labor most industriously
    from six till six; and having large orders for their saw-mill
    and turning shop, they work them night and day, with two sets of
    men, working each twelve hours--the saw-mill and turning shop
    being their principal sources of revenue."

_The Communitist_, September 18, 1845, about two years after the
commencement of the Community, and eight months before its end, gives
the following picture of its experiences and prospects, from the
lively pen of Mr. Collins:

"Most happy are we to inform our readers and the friends of Community in
general, that our prospects of success are now cheering. The dark
clouds which so long hung over our movement, and at times threatened not
only to destroy its peace, but its existence, have at last disappeared.
We now have a clear sky, and the genial rays of a brilliant sun once
more are radiating upon us. Our past experience, though grievous, will
be of great service to us in our future progress, and will no doubt
ultimately work out the fruits of unity, industry, abundance,
intelligence and progress. It has taught us how far we may, in safety to
our enterprise, advance; that some important steps may be taken, of the
practicability of which we had doubts; and others, in the success of
which we had but little faith, have proved both safe and expedient. Our
previous convictions have been confirmed, that all is not gold that
glitters; that not all who are most clamorous for reform are competent
to become successful agents for its accomplishment; that there is
floating upon the surface of society, a body of restless, disappointed,
jealous, indolent spirits, disgusted with our present social system, not
because it enchains the masses to poverty, ignorance, vice and endless
servitude; but because they could not render it subservient to their
private ends. Experience has convinced us that this class stands ready
to mount every new movement that promises ease, abundance, and
individual freedom; and that when such an enterprise refuses to
interpret license for freedom, and insists that members shall make their
strength, skill and talent subservient to the movement, then the cry of
tyranny and oppression is raised against those who advocate such
industry and self-denial; then the enterprise must become a scape-goat,
to bear the fickleness, indolence, selfishness and envy of this class.
But the above is not the only class of minds that our cause convened.
From the great, noble, and disinterested principles which it embraces,
from the high hopes which it inspires for progress, reform and, in a
word, for human redemption, it has called many true reformers, genuine
philanthropists, men and women of strong hands, brave hearts and
vigorous minds.

"Our enterprise, the most radical and reformatory in its profession,
gathers these two extremes of character, from motives diametrically
opposite. When these are brought together, it is reasonable to expect
that, like an acid and alkali, they will effervesce, or, like the two
opposite poles of a battery, will repel each other. For the last year
it has been the principal object of the Community to rid itself of its
cumbersome material, knowing that its very existence hinged upon this
point. In this it has been successful. Much of this material was hired
to go at an expense little if any short of three thousand dollars.
People will marvel at this. But the Community, in its world-wide
philanthropy, cast to the winds its power to expel unruly and
turbulent members, which gave our quondam would-be-called 'Reformers,'
an opportunity to reduce to practice, their real principles. In this
winnowing process it would be somewhat remarkable if much good wheat
had not been carried off with the chaff.

"Communities and Associations, in their commencement too heavily
charged with an impracticable, inexperienced, self-sufficient, gaseous
class of mind, have generally exploded before they were conscious of
the combustible material they embraced, or had acquired strength or
experience sufficient to guard themselves against those elements which
threaten their destruction. With a small crew well acclimated, we
have doubled the cape, and are now upon a smooth sea, heading for the
port of Communism.

"The problem of social reform must be solved by its own members; by
those possessed of living faith, indomitable perseverance, unflinching
devotion and undying energy. The vicious, the sick, the infirm, the
indolent, can not at present be serviceable to our cause. Community
should neither be regarded in the light of a poor-house nor hospital.
Our object is not so much to give a home to the poor, as to
demonstrate to them their own power and resources, and thereby
ultimately to destroy poverty. We make money no condition of
membership; but poverty alone is not a sufficient qualification to
secure admission. Stability of character, industrious habits, physical
energy, moral strength, mental force, and benevolent feelings, are
characteristics indispensable to a valuable Communist. A Community of
such members has an inexhaustible mine of wealth, though not in
possession of one dollar. Do not understand by this that we reject
either men or money, simply because they happen to be united. The more
wealth a good member brings, the better. It is, however, the smallest
of all qualifications, in and of itself. There should be at first as
few non-producers as possible. Single men and women and small families
are best adapted to our condition and circumstances. In the
commencement, the less children the better. It would be desirable to
have none but the children born on the domain. Then they would grow up
with an undivided Community feeling. Through the agency of such is our
cause to be successfully carried forward. A man with a large family of
non-producing children, must possess extraordinary powers, to justify
his admission."

Macdonald thus concludes the tale: "After the experiment had
progressed between two and three years, Mr. Collins became convinced
that he and his fellow members could not carry out in practice the
Community idea. He resolved to abandon the attempt; and calling the
members together, explained to them his feelings on the subject. He
resigned the deed of the property into their hands, and soon after
departed from Skaneateles, like one who had lost his nearest and
dearest friend. Most of the members left soon after, and the Community
quietly dissolved.

"This experiment did not fail through pecuniary embarrassment. The
property was worth twice as much when the Community dissolved, as it
was at first; and was much more than sufficient to pay all debts. So
it may be truly said, that this experiment was given up through a
conviction in the mind of the originator, that the theory of the
Community could not be carried out in practice--that the attempt was
premature, and the necessary conditions did not yet exist. The
Community ended in May 1846."

Mr. Collins subsequently acknowledged in the public prints his
abandonment of the schemes of philanthropy and social improvement in
which he had been conspicuous; and returned, as a socialistic paper
expressed it, "to the decencies and respectabilities of orthodox

For side-lights to this general sketch which we have collected from
Macdonald, Finch and Collins, we have consulted the files of the
_Phalanx_ and the _Harbinger_. The following is all we find:

_The Phalanx_, September 7, 1844, mentions that the _Communitist_ has
reached its seventh number--has been enlarged and improved--has changed
its terms from _gratis_ to $1.00 per year in advance--congratulates the
Community on this improvement, but criticises its fundamental principle
of Communism.

_The Harbinger_, September 14, 1845, quotes a Rochester paper as
saying that "the Skaneateles concern has been sifted again and again
of its chaff or wheat, we hardly know which, until, from a very wild
republic, it appears verging toward a sober monarchy; i.e., toward the
unresisted sway of a single mind." On this the _Harbinger_ remarks:

"The Skaneateles Community, so far from being a Fourier institution,
has been in open and bitter hostility with that system; no man has
taken stronger ground against the Fourier movement than its founder,
Mr. John Collins; and although of late it has somewhat softened in its
opposition to the views of Fourier, it is no more in unison with them
than it is with the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church, or the
'domestic arrangements' of South Carolina. We understand that Mr.
Collins has essentially modified his ideas in regard to a true social
order, since he commenced at Skaneateles; that he finds many
principles to which he was attached in theory, untenable in practice;
and that learning wisdom by experience, he is now aiming at results
which are more practicable in their nature, than those which he had
deeply at heart in the commencement. But with the most friendly
feelings toward Mr. Collins and the Skaneateles Community, we declare
that it has no connection with Association on the plan of Fourier; it
is strictly speaking a Community of property--a system which we reject
as the grave of liberty; though incomparably superior to the system
of violence and fraud which is upheld in the existing order of

In the _Harbinger_ of September 27, 1845, Mr. Ripley writes in
friendly terms of the brightening prospects of the Skaneateles
Community; objects to its Communistic principles and its hostility to
religion; with these exceptions thinks well of it and wishes it

In the _Harbinger_ of November 20, 1847, a year and more after the
decease of the Community, an enthusiastic Associationist says that
several defunct Phalanxes--the Skaneateles among the rest--"are not
dead, but only asleep; and will wake up by and by to new and superior

Several members of the Oneida Community had more or less personal
knowledge of the Skaneateles experiment. At our request they have
written what they remember; which we present in conclusion, as the
nearest we can get to an "inside view."


"My acquaintance with the Skaneateles Community was limited to what I
gathered under the following circumstances: John A. Collins lectured
on Association in Westmoreland, near where I lived, in 1843. His
eloquence had some effect on my father and his family, and on me among
the rest. In the fall, when the Community started, my father sent my
brother, then eighteen years old, with a wagon and yoke of oxen, to
the Community. He remained there till nearly the middle of winter,
when he returned home, ostensibly by invitation of my mother, who had
become alarmed by the reports and evidences of the infidelity of
Collins and his associates; but I am inclined to think my brother was
ready to leave, having satisfied his aspirations for that kind of
Communism. The next summer I made a call of a few hours at the
Community in company with my mother; but most of my information about
it is derived from my brother.

"He spoke of Collins as full of fiery zeal, and a kind of fussy
officiousness in business, but lacking in good judgment. To figure
abroad as a lecturer was thought to be his appropriate sphere. The
other most prominent leader was Q.A. Johnson of Syracuse. I have heard
him represented as a long-headed, tonguey lawyer. The question to be
settled soon after my brother's arrival, was, on which of the falls
the saw-mill and machine-shop should be built. Collins said it should
be on one; Johnson said it should be on the other; and the dispute
waxed warm between them. I judge, from what my brother told me, that
the conflict between these two men and their partisans raged through
nearly the whole life of the Community, and was finally ended only by
the withdrawal of Johnson, in consideration of a pretty round sum of

"My brother did not make a practice of attending their evening
meetings, for the reason that he was one of the hard workers and could
not afford it; as there was an amount of disputing going on that was
very wearisome to the flesh.

"The question of diet was one about which the Community was greatly
exercised. And there seems to have been an inner circle, among whom
the dietetic furor worked with special violence. For the purpose of
living what they considered a strictly natural life, they betook
themselves to an exclusive diet of boiled wheat, and built themselves
a shanty in the woods; hoping to secure long life and happiness by
thus getting nearer to nature."


"I visited the Skaneateles Community twice, partly on business, and
partly by request of a neighbor who was about to join, and wished me
to join with him. I was received pleasantly and treated well. The
first time, they gave me a cup of tea and bread and butter for supper.
I told them I wished to fare as the rest did. They said it was usual
for them to give visitors what they were accustomed to; but they were
looking forward to some reform in this respect. In the morning I
noticed that some poured milk on their plates, laid a slice of bread
in it, and cut it into mouthfuls before eating. Some used molasses
instead of milk. There was not much of the home-feeling there. Every
one seemed to be setting an example, and trying to bring all the
others to it. The second time I was there I discovered there were two
parties. One man remarked to another on seeing meat on the table, that
he 'guessed they had been to some grave-yard.' The other said he 'did
not eat dead creatures.' After supper I was standing near some men in
the sitting-room, when one said to another, 'How high is your God?'
The answer was, 'About as high as my head.' The first, putting his
hand up to his breast, said, 'Mine is so high.' I concluded they were


"I attended a Convention of Associationists held near the Skaneateles
Community in 1845, and became very much interested in the principles
set forth by John A. Collins and his friends. There was much
excitement at that time all through the country in regard to
Association. Quite a number came from Boston and joined the
Skaneateles Community. Johnson and Collins seemed to be the two
leading spirits, Collins was a strong advocate of infidel principles,
and was very intolerant to all religious sects; while Johnson
advocated religious principles and general toleration. In becoming
acquainted with these two men, I was naturally drawn toward Johnson;
this created jealousy between them. Mrs. Vanvelzer and myself talked a
great deal about selling out and going there; but before we had made
any practical move, I began to see that there was not any unity among
them, but on the contrary a great deal of bickering and back-biting. I
became disgusted with the whole affair. But my wife did not see things
as I did at that time. She was determined to go, and did go. At the
expiration of three or four weeks I went to see her, and found she was
becoming dissatisfied. In consequence of her joining them, there had
been a regular quarrel between the two parties, and it resulted in a
rupture. They had a meeting that lasted nearly all night; Johnson and
his party standing up for Mrs. Vanvelzer, and Collins and his party
against her. Some went so far as to threaten Johnson's life. This
state of things went on until they broke up, which was only a short
time after Mrs. Vanvelzer left."


"In the winter of 1845 Mr. Collins and others associated with him
lectured in Baldwinsville, where I then resided. My husband was
interested in their teachings, and invited them to our house, where I
had more or less conversation with them. They set forth their scheme
in glowing colors, and professed that the doings of the day of
Pentecost were their foundation; and withal they flattered me
considerably, telling me I was just the woman to go to the Community
and help carry out their principles and build up a home for humanity.

"Well, I went; but I was disappointed. Nothing was as represented; but
back-biting, evil-thinking, and quarreling were the order of the day.
They set two tables in the same dining-room; one provided with
ordinary food, though rather sparingly; the other with boiled wheat,
rice and Graham mush, without salt or seasoning of any kind. They kept
butter, sugar and milk under lock and key, and in fact almost every
thing else. They had amusements, such as dancing, card-playing,
checkers, etc. There were some 'affinity' affairs among them, which
caused considerable gossiping. I remained there three weeks, and came
away disgusted; but firm in the belief that Christian Communism would
be carried out sometime."

       *       *       *       *       *

Allen and Orvis, the lecturing missionaries of Fourierism sent out by
Brook Farm in 1847, passed through Central New York in the course of
their tour, and in their reports of their experiences to the
_Harbinger_, thus bewailed the disastrous effects of Collins's

"In Syracuse our meetings were almost a failure. Collins's Skaneateles
'Hunt of Harmony,' or fight to conquer a peace, his infidelity, his
disastrous failure after making such an outcry in behalf of a better
order of society, and the ignorance of the people, who have not
intelligence enough to discriminate between a true Constructive
Reform, and the No-God, No-Government, No-Marriage, No-Money, No-Meat,
No-Salt, No-Pepper system of Community, but think that Collins was a
'Furyite' just like ourselves, has closed the ears of the people in
this neighborhood against our words."



Thus far we have been disposing of the preludes of Fourierism. Before
commencing the memoirs of the regular PHALANXES (which is the proper
name of the Fourier Associations), we will devote a chapter or two to
general views of Fourierism, as compared with other forms of
Socialism, and as it was practically developed in this country.

Parke Godwin was one of the earliest and ablest of the American
expositors of Fourierism; second only, perhaps, to Albert Brisbane. In
his "_Popular View of the Doctrines of Charles Fourier_" (an octavo
pamphlet of 120 pages published in 1844), he has a chapter on "Social
Architects," in which he proposes the following classification:

    "These daring and original spirits arrange themselves in three
    classes; the merely Theoretical; the simply Practical; and the
    Theoretico-Practical combined. In other words, the Social
    Architects whom we propose to consider, may be described as
    those who ideally plan the new structure of society; those who
    set immediately to work to make a new structure, without any
    very large and comprehensive plan; and those who have both
    devised a plan and attempted its actual execution.

    "I. The Theoretical class is one which is most numerous, but
    whose claims are the least worthy of attention. [Under this
    head, Mr. Godwin mentions Plato, Sir Thomas More and Harrington,
    and discusses their imaginative projects--the Republic, Utopia
    and Oceana.]

    "II. The Practical Architects of Society, or the Communities
    instituted to exemplify a more perfect state of social life.
    [The Essenes, Moravians, Shakers and Rappites are mentioned
    under this head.]

    "III. The Theoretico-Practical Architects of Society, or those
    who have combined the enunciation of general principles of
    social organization with actual experiments, of whom the best
    representatives are St. Simon, Robert Owen and Charles Fourier.
    This class will extend the basis of our inquiries, and demand a
    more elaborate consideration."

This classification, if it had not gone beyond the popular pamphlet in
which it was started, might have been left without criticism. But it
is substantially reproduced in the New American Cyclopædia under the
head of "Socialism," and thus has become a standard doctrine. We will
therefore point out what we conceive to be its errors, and indicate a
truer classification.

In the first place, from the account of St. Simon and Fourier which
Mr. Godwin himself gives immediately after the last of his three
headings, it is clear that they did _not_ belong to the
theoretico-practical class. St. Simon undertook to perfect himself in
all knowledge, and for this purpose experimented in many things, good
and bad; but it does not appear that he ever tried his hand at
Communism or Association of any kind. He published a book called "New
Christianity," of which Godwin says:

"It was an attempt to show, what had been often before attempted, that
the spirit and practice of religion were not at one; that there was a
wide chasm separating the revelation from the commentary, the text
from the gloss, the Master from the Disciples. Nothing could have been
more forcible than its attacks on the existing church, in which the
Pope and Luther received an equal share of the blows. He convicted
both parties of errors without number, and heresies the most
monstrous. But he did not carry the same vigor into the development of
the positive portions of his thought. He ceased to be logical, that he
might be sentimental. Yet the truth which he insisted on was a great
one--perhaps the greatest, _viz._, that the fundamental principle in
the constitution of society, should be Love. Christ teaches all men,
he says, that they are brothers; that humanity is one; that the true
life of the individual is in the bosom of his race; and that the
highest law of his being is the law of progress."

On the basis of this sentimentalism, St. Simon appealed most
eloquently to all classes to unite--to march as one man--to inscribe
on their banners, "Paradise on earth is before us!" but Godwin says:

"Alas! the magnanimous spirit which could utter these thrilling words
was not destined to see their realization. The long process of
starvation finally brought St. Simon to his end; but in the sufferings
of death, as in the agony of life, his mind retained its calmness and
sympathy, and he perished with these words of sublime confidence and
hope on his lips: 'The future is ours!'

"The few devoted friends who stood round that deathbed, took up the
words, and began the work of propagation. The doctrine rapidly spread;
it received a more precise and comprehensive development under the
expositions of Bazard and Enfantan; and a few years saw a new family,
which was also a new church, gathered at Menilmontant. On its banner
was inscribed, 'To each, according to his capacity, and to each
capacity according to its work.' Its government took the form of a
religious hierarchy, and its main political principle was the
abolition of inheritance.

"It was evident that a society so constituted could not long be held
together. Made up of enthusiasts, without definite principles of
organization, trusting to feeling and not to science, its members soon
began to quarrel, and the latter days of its existence were stained by
disgusting license. St. Simon was one of the noblest spirits, but an
unfit leader of any enterprise. He saw all things, says a friendly
critic, through his heart. In this was his weakness; he wanted head;
he wanted precise notions; he vainly hoped to reconstruct society by a
sentiment; he laid the foundations of his house on sand."

What is there in all this that entitles St. Simon to a place among the
theoretico-practicals? How does it appear that he "combined the
enunciation of general principles of social organization with actual
experiments?" His followers tried to do something; but St. Simon
himself, according to this account, did absolutely nothing but write
and talk; and far from being a theoretico-practical, was not even
theoretical, but only sentimental!

Fourier was theoretical enough. But we look in vain through Mr.
Godwin's account of him for any signs of the practical. He meditated
much and wrote many books, and that is all. He was a student and a
recluse to the end of his career. Instead of engaging in any practical
attempt to realize his social theories, he quarreled with the only
experiment that was made by his disciples during his life. Godwin

    "A joint-stock company was formed in 1832, to realize the new
    theory of Association; and one gentleman, M. Baudet Dulary,
    member of parliament for the county of Seine and Oise, bought an
    estate, which cost him five hundred thousand francs (one hundred
    thousand dollars), for the express purpose of putting the theory
    into practice. Operations were actually commenced; but for want
    of sufficient capital to erect buildings and stock the farm, the
    whole operation was paralyzed; and notwithstanding the natural
    cause of cessation, the simple fact of stopping short after
    having commenced operations, made a very unfavorable impression
    upon the public mind. Success is the only criterion with the
    indolent and indifferent, who do not take the trouble to reason
    on circumstances and accidental difficulties.

    "Fourier was very much vexed at the precipitation of his
    partisans, who were too impatient to wait until sufficient means
    had been obtained. They argued that the fact of having commenced
    operations would attract the attention of capitalists, and
    insure the necessary funds. He begged them to beware of
    precipitation; told them how he had been deceived himself in
    having to wait more than twenty years for a simple hearing,
    which, from the importance of his discovery, he had fully
    expected to obtain immediately. All his entreaties were in vain.
    They told him he had not obtained a hearing sooner because he
    was not accustomed to the duplicity of the world; and confident
    in their own judgment, commenced without hesitation, and were
    taught, at the expense of their own imprudence, to appreciate
    more correctly the sluggish indifference of an ignorant public."

Not only did Fourier thus wholly abstain from practical experiments
himself and discourage those of others during his lifetime, but he
condemned in advance all the experiments that have since been made in
his name. He set the conditions of a legitimate experiment so high,
that it has been thus far impossible to make a fair trial of
Fourierism, and probably always will be. How Mr. Godwin could imagine
him to be one of the theoretico-practicals, we do not understand. His
system seems to us to have been as thoroughly separate from
experiment, as it was possible for him to make it; and in that sense,
as far removed from the modern standards of science, as the east is
from the west. It can be defended only as a theory that came by
inspiration or intuition, and therefore needs no experiment.
Considered simply as the result of human lucubrations, it belongs with
the _a priori_ theories of the ancient world, of which Youmans says:
"The old philosophers, disdaining nature, retired into the ideal world
of pure meditation, and holding that the mind is the measure of the
universe, they believed they could reason out all truths from the
depths of the soul."

Owen, Mr. Godwin's third example, was really a theoretico-practical
man; i.e. he attempted to carry his theories into practice--with what
success we have seen. Instead of classing St. Simon and Fourier with
him, we should name Ballou and Cabet as his proper compeers.

Another error of Mr. Godwin is, in representing Plato as merely
theoretical; meaning that the Republic, like the Utopia and Oceana,
was "sketched as an exercise of the imagination or reason, rather than
as a plan for actual experiment." It is recorded of Plato in the
American Cyclopædia, that "he made a journey to Syracuse in the vain
hope of realizing, through the new-crowned younger Dionysius, his
ideal Republic." Thus, though he never made an actual experiment, he
wished and intended to do so; which is quite as much as St. Simon and
Fourier ever did.

Mr. Godwin seems also to underrate the Practical Architects: i.e.
those that we have called the successful Communities. It is hardly
fair to represent them as merely practical. The Shakers certainly have
a theory which is printed in a book; and there is no reason to doubt
that such thinkers as Rapp, and Bimeler of the Zoarites, and the
German nobleman that led the Ebenezers, had socialistic ideas which
they either worked by or worked out in their practical operations, and
which would compare favorably at least with the sentimentalisms of the
first French school. If St. Simon and Owen and Fourier are to be
called the theoretico-practicals, such workers as Ann Lee, Elder
Meacham, Rapp, and Bimeler ought at least to be called the

Indeed these Practical Architects, who have actually given the world
examples of successful Communism, have certainly contributed more to
the great socialistic movement of modern times, than they have credit
for in Godwin's classification, or in public opinion. We called
attention, in the course of our sketch of the Owen movement, to the
fact that Owen and his disciples studied the social economy of the
Rappites, and were not only indebted to them for the village in which
they made their great experiment, but leaned on them for practical
ideas and hopes of success. These facts came to us at the first
without our seeking them. But since then we have watched occasionally,
in our readings of the socialistic journals and books, for indications
that the Fourierist movement was affected in the same way by the
silent successful examples; and we have been surprised to see how
constantly the Shakers, Ebenezers &c., are referred to as
illustrations of the possibilities and benefits of close Association.
We will give a few examples of what we have found.

_The Dial_, which was the nurse of Brook Farm and of the beginnings of
Fourierism in this country, has two articles devoted to the Shakers.
One of them entitled "A Day with the Shakers," is an elaborate and
very favorable exhibition of their doctrines and manner of life. It
concludes with the following observation:

"The world as yet but slightingly appreciates the domestic and humane
virtues of this recluse people; and we feel that in a record of
attempts for the actualization of a better life, their designs and
economies should not be omitted, especially as, during their first
half century, they have had remarkable success."

The other article, entitled the "Millennial Church," is a flattering
review of a Shaker book. In it occurs the following paragraph:

"It is interesting to observe, that while Fourier in France was
speculating on the attainment of many advantages by union, these
people have, at home, actually attained them. Fourier has the merit of
beautiful words and theories; and their importation from a foreign
land is made a subject for exultation by a large and excellent portion
of our public; but the Shakers have the superior merit of excellent
actions and practices; unappreciated, perhaps, because they are not
exotic. 'Attractive Industry and Moral Harmony,' on which Fourier
dwells so promisingly, have long characterized the Shakers, whose
plans have always in view the passing of each individual into his or
her right position, and of providing suitable, pleasant, and
profitable employment for every one."

Miss Peabody, in the article entitled "Christ's Idea of Society," from
which we quoted in a former chapter, thus refers to the practical

"The temporary success of the Hernhutters, the Moravians, the Shakers,
and even the Rappites, has cleared away difficulties and solved
problems of social science. It has been made plain that the material
goods of life, 'the life that now is,' are not to be sacrificed (as by
the anchorite) in doing fuller justice to the social principle. It has
been proved, that with the same degree of labor, there is no way to
compare with that of working in a Community, banded by some sufficient
Idea to animate the will of the laborers. A greater quantity of wealth
is procured with fewer hours of toil, and without any degradation of
the laborer. All these Communities have demonstrated what the
practical Dr. Franklin said, that if every one worked bodily three
hours daily, there would be no necessity of any one's working more
than three hours."

A writer in _The Tribune_ (1845) at the end of a glowing account of
the Ebenezers, says:

"The labor they have accomplished and the improvements they have made
are surprising; it speaks well for the superior efficiency of combined
effort over isolated and individual effort. A gentleman who
accompanied me, and who has seen the whole western part of this State
settled, observed that they had made more improvements in two years,
than were made in our most flourishing villages when first settled, in
five or six."

In _The Harbinger_ (1845) Mr. Brisbane gives an account of his visit
to the same settlement, and concludes as follows:

    "It is amazing to see the work which these people have
    accomplished in two years; they have cleared large fields, and
    brought them under cultivation; they have built, I should judge,
    forty comfortable houses, handsomely finished and painted white;
    many are quite large. They have the frame-work for quite an
    additional number prepared; they are putting up a large woolen
    manufactory, which is partly finished; they have six or eight
    large barns filled with their crops, and others erecting, and
    some minor branches of manufactures. I was amazed at the work
    accomplished in less than two years. It testifies powerfully in
    favor of combined effort."

But enough for specimens. Such references to the works of the
Practical Architects are scattered everywhere in socialistic
literature. The conclusion toward which they lead is, that the
successful religious Communities, silent and unconspicuous as they
are, have been, after all, the specie-basis of the entire socialistic
movement of modern times. A glimmering of this idea seems to have
been in Mr. Godwin's mind, when he wrote the following:

    "If, in spite of their ignorance, their mistakes, their
    imperfections, and their despotisms, the worst of these
    societies, which have adopted, with more or less favor, unitary
    principles, have succeeded in accumulating immeasurable wealth,
    what might have been done by a Community having a right
    principle of organization and composed of intellectual and
    upright men? Accordingly the discovery of such a principle has
    become an object of earnest investigation on the part of some of
    the most acute and disinterested men the world ever saw. This
    inquiry has given rise to our third division, called
    theoretico-practical architects of society."

The great facts of modern Socialism are these: From 1776--the era of
our national Revolution--the Shakers have been established in this
country; first at two places in New York; then at four places in
Massachusetts; at two in New Hampshire; two in Maine; one in
Connecticut; and finally at two in Kentucky, and two in Ohio. In all
these places prosperous religious Communism has been modestly and yet
loudly preaching to the nation and the world. New England and New York
and the great West have had actual Phalanxes before their eyes for
nearly a century. And in all this time what has been acted on our
American stage, has had England, France and Germany for its audience.
The example of the Shakers has demonstrated, not merely that
successful Communism is subjectively possible, but that this nation is
free enough to let it grow. Who can doubt that this demonstration was
known and watched in Germany from the beginning; and that it helped
the successive experiments and emigrations of the Rappites, the
Zoarites and the Ebenezers? These experiments, we have seen, were
echoes of Shakerism, growing fainter and fainter, as the time-distance
increased. Then the Shaker movement with its echoes was sounding also
in England, when Robert Owen undertook to convert the world to
Communism; and it is evident enough that he was really a far-off
follower of the Rappites. France also had heard of Shakerism, before
St. Simon or Fourier began to meditate and write Socialism. These men
were nearly contemporaneous with Owen, and all three evidently obeyed
a common impulse. That impulse was the sequel and certainly in part
the effect of Shakerism. Thus it is no more than bare justice to say,
that we are indebted to the Shakers more than to any or all other
Social Architects of modern times. Their success has been the solid
capital that has upheld all the paper theories, and counteracted the
failures, of the French and English schools. It is very doubtful
whether Owenism or Fourierism would have ever existed, or if they had,
whether they would have ever moved the practical American nation, if
the facts of Shakerism had not existed before them, and gone along
with them.

But to do complete justice we must go a step further. While we say
that the Rappites, the Zoarites, the Ebenezers, the Owenites, and even
the Fourierites are all echoes of the Shakers, we must also
acknowledge that the Shakers are the far-off echoes of the PRIMITIVE



The main idea on which Owen and Fourier worked was the same. Both
proposed to reconstruct society by gathering large numbers into
unitary dwellings. Owen had as clear sense of the compound economies
of Association as Fourier had, and discoursed as eloquently, if not as
scientifically, on the beauties and blessings of combined industry.
Both elaborated plans for vast buildings, which they proposed to
substitute for ordinary family dwellings. Owen's communal edifice was
to be a great hollow square, somewhat like a city block. Fourier's
phalanstery, on the other hand, was to be a central palace with two
wings. In like manner their plans of reconstructing society differed
in details, but the main idea of combination in large households was
the same.

What they undertook to do may be illustrated by the history of
bee-keeping. The usual way in this business is to provide hives that
will hold only a few quarts of bees each, and so compel new
generations to swarm and find new homes. But it has always been a
problem among ingenious apiarians, how to construct compound hives,
that will prevent the necessity of swarming, and either allow a single
swarm to increase indefinitely, or induce many swarms to live
together in contiguous apartments. We remember there was an invention
of this kind that had quite a run about the time of the Fourier
excitement. It was not very successful; and yet the idea seems not
altogether chimerical; for it is known that wild bees, in certain
situations, as in large hollow trees and in cavities among rocks, do
actually accumulate their numbers and honey from generation to
generation. Owen and Fourier, like the apiarian inventors (who are
proverbially unpractical), undertook to construct, each in his own
way, great compound hives for human beings; and they had the example
of the Shakers (who may be considered the wild bees in the
illustration) to countenance their schemes.

The difference of their methods was this: Owen's plan was based on
_Communism_; Fourier's plan was based on the _Joint-stock_ principle.
Both of these modes of combination exist abundantly in common society.
Every family is a little example of Communism; and every working
partnership is an example of Joint-stockism. Communism creates homes;
Joint-stockism manages business. Perhaps national idiosyncracies had
something to do with the choice of principles in these two cases.
_Home_ is an English word for an English idea. It is said there is no
equivalent word in the French language. Owen, the Englishman, chose
the home principle. Fourier, the Frenchman, chose the business

These two principles, as they exist in the world, are not
antagonistic, but reciprocal. Home is the center from which men go
forth to business; and business is the field from which they go home
with the spoil. Home is the charm and stimulus of business; and
business provides material for the comfort and beauty of home. This
is the present practical relation between Communism and Joint-stockism
every-where. And these two principles, thus working together, have had
a wonderful expansion in modern times. Every body knows what progress
has been made in Joint-stockism, from the old-fashioned simple
partnership, to the thousands of corporations, small and great, that
now do the work of the world. But Communism has had similar progress,
from the little family circle, to the thousands of benevolent
institutions that are now striving to make a home of the world. Every
hospital and free school and public library that is comforting and
civilizing mankind, is an extension of the free, loving element, that
is the charm of home. And it is becoming more and more the fashion for
men to spend the best part of their lives in accumulating millions by
Joint-stockism, and at last lay their treasures at the feet of
Communism, by endowing great public institutions of mercy or

As these two principles are thus expanding side by side, the question
arises, Which on the whole is prevailing and destined to prevail? and
that means, which is primary in the order of truth, and which is
secondary? The two great socialistic inventors seem to have taken
opposite sides on this question. Owen believed that the grand advance
which the world is about to make, will be into Communism. Fourier as
confidently believed that civilization will ripen into universal
Joint-stockism. In all cases of reciprocal dualism, there is
manifestly a tendency to mutual absorption, coalescence and unity.
Where shall we end? in Owenism or Fourierism? Or will a combination of
both keep its place in the world hereafter, as it has done hitherto?
and if so which will be primary and which secondary, and how will
they be harmonized? We do not propose to answer these questions, but
only to help the study of them, as we proceed with our history.

A few facts, however, may be mentioned in passing, which lead toward
some solution of them. One is, that the changes which are going on in
the laws of marriage, are in the direction of Joint-stockism. The
increase of woman's independence and separate property, is manifestly
introducing Fourierism into the family circle, which is the oldest
sanctuary of Communism. But over against this is the fact, that all
the successful attempts at Socialism go in the other direction, toward
Communism. Providence has presented Shakerism, which is Communism in
the concrete, and Owenism, which is Communism in theory, to the
attention of this country at advance of Fourierism; and there are many
signs that the third great socialistic movement, which many believe to
be impending, will be a returning wave of Communism. All these facts
together might be interpreted as indicating that Joint-Stockism is
devouring the institutions of the past, while Communism is seizing the
institutions of the future.

It must not be forgotten that, in representing Owen as the exponent of
Communism, and Fourier as the exponent of Joint-stockism, we refer to
their theoretical principles, and not at all to the experiments that
have been made in their name. Those experiments were invariably
compromises, and nearly all alike. We doubt whether there was ever an
Owen Community that attempted unconditional Communism, even of worldly
goods. Certainly Owen himself never got beyond provisional
experiments, in which he held on to his land. And on the other hand,
we doubt whether there was ever a Fourier Association that came any
where near carrying out Joint-stockism, into all the minutiæ of
account-keeping which pure Fourierism requires. When we leave theories
and attempt actual combinations, it is a matter of course that we
should communize as far as we dare; that is, as far as we can trust
each other; and beyond that manage things as well as we can by some
kind of Joint-stockism. Experiments therefore always fall into a
combination of Owenism and Fourierism.

If we could find out the metaphysical bases of the two principles
represented respectively by Owen and Fourier, perhaps we should see
that these practical combinations of them are, after all,
scientifically legitimate. Let us search a little in this direction.

Our view is, that unity of _life_ is the basis of Communism; and
distinction of _persons_ is the basis of Joint-stockism. Property
belongs to life, and so far as you and I have consciously one life, we
must hold our goods in common; but so far as distinct personalities
prevail, we must have separate properties. This statement of course
raises the old question of the Trinitarian controversy, viz., whether
two or more persons can have absolutely the same life--which we will
not now stop to discuss. All we need to say is that, according to our
theory, if there is no such thing as unity of life between a plurality
of persons, then there is no basis for Communism.

But the Communism which we find in families is certainly based on the
assumption, right or wrong, that there is actual unity of life between
husband and wife, and between parents and children. The common law of
England and of most other countries recognizes only a unit in the
male and female head of every family. The Bible declares man and wife
to be "one flesh." Sexual intercourse is generally supposed to be a
symbol of more complete unity in the interior life; and children are
supposed to be branches of the one life of their parents. This theory
is evidently the basis of family Communism.

So also the basis of Bible Communism is the theory that in Christ,
believers become spiritually one; and the law, "Thou shalt love thy
neighbor as thyself," is founded on the assumption that "thy neighbor"
is, or should be, a part of "thyself."

In this view we can reduce Communism and Joint-stockism to one
principle. The object of both is to secure property to life. Communism
looks after the rights of the unitary life--call it _afflatus_ if you
please--which organizes families and spiritual corporations.
Joint-stockism attends to the rights of individuals. Both these forms
of life have rights; and as all true rights can certainly be
harmonized, Communism and Joint-stockism should find a way to work
together. But the question returns after all, Which is primary and
which is secondary? and so we are in the old quarrel again. Our
opinion, however, is, that the long quarrel between afflatus and
personality will be decided in favor of afflatus, and that personality
will pass into the secondary position in the ages to come.

Practically, Communism is a thing of degrees. With a small amount of
vital unity, Communism is possible only in the limited sphere of
familism. With more unity, public institutions of harmony and
benevolence make their appearance. With another degree of unity,
Communism of external property becomes possible, as among the Shakers.
With still higher degrees, Communism may be introduced into the
sexual and propagative relations. And in all these cases the
correlative principle of Joint-stockism necessarily takes charge of
all property that Communism leaves outside.

Other differences of theory, besides this fundamental contrast of
Communism and Joint-stockism, have been insisted upon by the
respective partizans of Owen and Fourier; but they are less important,
and we shall leave them to be exhibited incidentally in our memoirs of
the Phalanxes.



The exposition of Fourierism in this country commenced with the
publication of the "_Social Destiny of Man_," by Albert Brisbane, in
1840. It is very probable that the excitement propagated by this book,
turned the thoughts of Dr. Channing and the Transcendentalists toward
Association, and led to the Massachusetts experiments which we have
reported. Other influences prepared the way. Religious Liberalism and
Anti-slavery were revolutionizing the world of thought, and
predisposing all lively minds to the boldest innovations. But it is
evident that the positive scheme of reconstructing society came from
France through Brisbane. Brook Farm, Hopedale, the Northampton
Community and the Skaneateles Community struck out, each on an
independent theory of social architecture; but they all obeyed a
common impulse; and that impulse, so far as it came by literature, is
traceable to Brisbane's importation and translation of the writings of
Charles Fourier.

The second notable movement, preparatory to the great Fourier revival
of 1843, was the opening of the _New York Tribune_ to the teachings of
Brisbane and the Socialists. That paper was in its first volume, but
already popular and ascending towards its zenith of rivalry with the
_Herald_, when one morning in the spring of 1842, it appeared with the
following caption at the top of one of its columns:


    "This column has been purchased by the Advocates of Association,
    in order to lay their principles before the public. Its
    editorship is entirely distinct from that of the _Tribune_."

By this contrivance, which might be called a paper within a paper,
Brisbane became the independent editor of a small daily, with all the
_Tribune's_ subscribers for his readers; and yet that journal could
not be held responsible for his inculcations. It was known, however,
that Horace Greeley, the editor-in-chief, was much in sympathy with
Fourierism; so that Brisbane had the help of his popularity; though
the stock-company of the _Tribune_ was not implicated. Whether the
_Tribune_ lifted Fourierism or Fourierism lifted the _Tribune_, may be
a matter of doubt; but we are inclined to think the paper had the best
of the bargain; as it grew steadily afterward to its present
dimensions, and all the more merrily for the _Herald's_ long
persistence in calling it "our Fourierite cotemporary;" while
Fourierism, after a year or two of glory, waned and disappeared.

Brisbane edited his column with ability for more than a year. Our file
(which is defective), extends from March 28, 1842, to May 28, 1843. At
first the socialistic articles appeared twice a week; after August
1842, three times a week; and during the latter part of the series,
every day.

This was Brisbane's great opportunity, and he improved it. All the
popularities of Fourierism--"Attractive Industry," "Compound
Economies," "Democracy of Association," "Equilibrium of the
Passions"--were set before the _Tribune's_ vast public from day to
day, with the art and zest of a young lawyer pleading before a court
already in his favor. Interspersed with these topics were notices of
socialistic meetings, reports of Fourier festivals, toasts and
speeches at celebrations of Fourier's birthday, and all the usual
stimulants of a growing popular cause. The rich were enticed; the poor
were encouraged; the laboring classes were aroused; objections were
answered; prejudices were annihilated; scoffing papers were silenced;
the religious foundations of Fourierism were triumphantly exhibited.
To show how gloriously things were going, it would be announced on one
day that "Mr. Bennett has promised us the insertion of an article in
this day's _Herald_, in vindication of our doctrines;" on the next,
that "_The Democratic_ and _Boston Quarterly Reviews_, are publishing
a series of articles on the system from the pen of A. Brisbane;" on
the next, that "we have obtained a large Hall, seventy-seven feet deep
by twenty-five feet wide, in Broadway, for the purpose of holding
meetings and delivering lectures."

Perhaps the reader would like to see a specimen of Brisbane's
expositions. The following is the substance of one of his articles in
the _Tribune_, dated March, 1842; subject--"Means of making a
Practical Trial:"

    "Before answering the question, How can Association be realized?
    we will remark that we do not propose any sudden transformation
    of the present system of society, but only a regular and gradual
    substitution of a new order by local changes or replacement.
    One Association must be started, and others will follow, without
    overthrowing any true institutions in state or church, such as
    universal suffrage or religious worship.

    "If a few rich could be interested in the subject, a stock
    company could be formed among them with a capital of four or
    five hundred thousand dollars, which would be sufficient. Their
    money would be safe: for the lands, edifices, flocks, &c., of
    the Association, would be mortgaged to secure it. The sum which
    is required to build a small railroad, a steamship, to start an
    insurance company or a bank, would establish an Association.
    Could not such a sum be raised?

    "A practical trial of Association might be made by appropriation
    from a State Legislature. Millions are now spent in constructing
    canals and railroads that scarcely pay for repairs. Would it
    endanger the constitution, injure the cause of democracy, or
    shock the consciences of politicians, if a Legislature were to
    advance for an Association, half a million of dollars secured by
    mortgage on its lands and personal estate? We fear very much
    that it might, and therefore not much is to be hoped from that

    "The truth of Association and attractive industry could also be
    proved by children. A little Association or an industrial or
    agricultural institution might be established with four hundred
    children from the ages of five to fifteen. Various lighter
    branches of agriculture and the mechanical arts, with little
    tools and implements adapted to different ages, which are the
    delight of children, could be prosecuted. These useful
    occupations could, if organized according to a system which we
    shall later explain, be rendered more pleasing and attractive
    than are their plays at present. Such an Association would prove
    the possibility of attractive industry, and that children could
    support themselves by their own labor, and obtain at the same
    time a superior industrial and scientific education. The
    Smithsonian bequest might be applied to such a purpose, as could
    have been Girard's noble donation, which has been so shamefully

    "The most easy plan, perhaps, for starting an Association would
    be to induce four hundred persons to unite, and take each $1,000
    worth of stock, which would form a capital of $400,000. With
    this sum, an Association could be established, which could be
    made to guarantee to every person a comfortable room in it and
    board for life, as interest upon the investment of $1,000; so
    that whatever reverses might happen to those forming the
    Association, they would always be certain of having two great
    essentials of existence--a dwelling to cover them, and a table
    at which to sit. Let us explain how this could be effected.

    "The stockholders would receive one-quarter of the total product
    or profits of the Association; or if they preferred, they would
    receive a fixed interest of eight per cent. At the time of a
    general division of profits at the end of the year, the
    stockholders would first receive their interest, and the balance
    would be paid over to those who performed the labor. A slight
    deviation would in this respect take place from the general law
    of Association, which is to give one-quarter of the profits to
    capital, whatever they may be; but additional inducements of
    security should be held out to those who organize the first

    "The investment of $1,000 would yield $80 annual interest. With
    this sum the Association must guarantee a person a dwelling and
    living; and this could be done. The edifice could be built for
    $150,000, the interest upon which, at 10 per cent., would be
    $15,000. Divide this sum by 400, which is the number of persons,
    and we have $37.50 per annum, for each person as rent. Some of
    the apartments would consist of several rooms, and rent for
    $100, others for $90, others for $80, and so on in a descending
    ratio, so that about one-half of the rooms could be rented at
    $20 per annum. A person wishing to live at the cheapest rates
    would have, after paying his rent, $60 left. As the Association
    would raise all its fruit, grain, vegetables, cattle, &c., and
    as it would economize immensely in fuel, number of cooks, and
    every thing else, it could furnish the cheapest priced board at
    $60 per annum, the second at $100, and the third at $150. Thus a
    person who invested $1,000 would be certain of a comfortable
    room and board for his interest, if he lived economically, and
    would have whatever he might produce by his labor in addition.
    He would live, besides, in an elegant edifice surrounded by
    beautiful fields and gardens.

    "If one-half of the persons taking stock did not wish to enter
    the Association at first, but to continue their business in the
    world, reserving the chance of so doing later, they could do so.
    Experienced and intelligent agriculturists and mechanics would
    be found to take their places; the buildings would be gradually
    enlarged, and those who remained out could enter later as they
    wished. They would receive, however, in the mean time their
    interest in cash upon their capital. A family with two or three
    children could enter upon taking from $2,000 to $2,500 worth of

    "We have not space to enter into full details, but we can say
    that the advantages and economies of combination and Association
    are so immense, that if four hundred persons would unite, with a
    capital of $1,000 each, they could establish an Association in
    which they could produce, by means of economical machinery and
    other facilities, four times as much by their labor as people do
    at present, and live far cheaper and better than they now can;
    or which, in age or in case of misfortune, would always secure
    them a comfortable home.

    "There are multitudes of persons who could easily withdraw
    $1,000 from their business and invest it in an establishment of
    this kind, and secure themselves against any reverses which may
    later overtake them. In our societies, with their constantly
    recurring revulsions and ruin, would they not be wise in so

With this specimen, we trust the imagination of the reader will be
able to make out an adequate picture of Brisbane's long work in the
_Tribune_. That work immediately preceded the rush of Young America
into the Fourier experiments. He was beating the drum from March 1842
till May 1843; and in the summer of '43, Phalanxes by the dozen were
on the march for the new world of wealth and harmony.

On the fifth of October 1843, Brisbane entered upon his third
advance-movement by establishing in New York City, an independent
paper called THE PHALANX, devoted to the doctrines of Fourier, and
edited by himself and Osborne Macdaniel. It professed to be a monthly,
but was published irregularly the latter part of its time. The volume
we have consists of twenty-three numbers, the first of which is dated
October 5, 1843, and the last May 28, 1845. In the first number
Brisbane gives the following condensed statement of practical
experiments then existing or contemplated, which may be considered the
results of his previous labors, and especially of his fourteen months
_reveille_ in the _Tribune_:

    "In Massachusetts, already there are three small Associations,
    viz., the Roxbury Community near Boston, founded by the Rev.
    George Ripley; the Hopedale Community, founded by the Rev. Adin
    Ballou; and the Northampton Community, founded by Prof. Adam and
    others. These Associations, or Communities, as they are called,
    differ in many respects from the system of Fourier, but they
    accept some of his fundamental practical principles, such as
    joint-stock property in real and movable estate, unity of
    interests, and united domestic arrangements, instead of living
    in separate houses with separate interests. None of them have
    community of property. They have been founded within the last
    three years, and two of them at least, under the inspiration of
    Fourier's doctrine.

    "In the state of New York, there are two established on a larger
    scale than those in Massachusetts: the Jefferson County
    Industrial Association, at Watertown, founded by A.M. Watson,
    Esq.; and another in Herkimer and Hamilton Counties (on the
    line), called the Moorhouse Union, and founded by Mr. Moorhouse.
    A larger Association, to be called the Ontario Phalanx, is now
    organizing at Rochester, Monroe County.

    "In Pennsylvania there are several: the principal one is the
    Sylvan in Pike County, which has been formed by warm friends of
    the cause from the cities of New York and Albany; Thomas W.
    Whitley, President, and Horace Greeley, Treasurer. In the same
    county there is another small Association, called the Social
    Unity, formed principally of mechanics from New York and
    Brooklyn. There is a large Association of Germans in McKean
    County, Pennsylvania, commenced by the Rev. George Ginal of
    Philadelphia. They own a very extensive tract of land, over
    30,000 acres we are informed, and are progressing prosperously:
    the shares, which were originally $100, have been sold and are
    now held at $200 or more. At Pittsburg steps are taking to
    establish another.

    "A small Association has been commenced in Bureau County,
    Illinois, and preparations are making to establish another in
    Lagrange County, Indiana, which will probably be done this fall,
    upon quite an extensive scale, as many of the most influential
    and worthy inhabitants of that section are deeply interested in
    the cause.

    "In Michigan the doctrine has spread quite widely. An excellent
    little, paper called _The Future_, devoted exclusively to the
    cause, published monthly, has been established at Ann Arbor,
    where an Association is projected to be called the Washtenaw

    "In New Jersey an Association, projected upon a larger scale
    than any yet started, has just been commenced in Monmouth
    County: it is to be called the North American Phalanx, and has
    been undertaken by a company of enterprising gentlemen of the
    city of Albany.

    "Quite a large number of practical trials are talked of in
    various sections of the United States, and it is probable that
    in the course of the next year, numbers will spring into
    existence. These trials are upon so small a scale, and are
    commenced with such limited means, that they exhibit but a few
    of the features of the system. They are, however, very important
    commencements, and are small beginnings of a reform in some of
    the most important arrangements of the present social order;
    particularly its system of isolated households or separate
    families, its conflicts of interest, and its uncombined and
    incoherent system of labor."

The most important result of Brisbane's eighteen month's labor in the
_Phalanx_ was the conversion of Brook Farm to Fourierism. William H.
Channing's magazine, the _Present_, which commenced nearly at the same
time with the _Phalanx_, closed its career at the end of seven months,
and its subscription list was transferred to Brisbane. In the course
of a year after this, Brook Farm confessed Fourierism, changed its
constitution, assumed the title of the _Brook Farm Phalanx_, and on
the 14th of June 1845 commenced publishing the _Harbinger_, as the
successor of the _Phalanx_ and the heir of its subscription list. So
that Brisbane's fourth advance was the transfer of the literary
responsibilities of his cause to Brook Farm. This was a great move. A
more brilliant attorney could not have been found. The concentrated
genius of Unitarianism and Transcendentalism was at Brook Farm. It was
the school that trained most of the writers who have created the
newspaper and magazine literature of the present time. Their work on
the _Harbinger_ was their first drill. Fourierism was their first case
in court. The _Harbinger_ was published weekly, and extended to seven
and a half semi-annual volumes, five of which were edited and printed
at Brook Farm, and the last two and a half at New York, but by Brook
Farm men. Its issues at Brook Farm extend from June 14, 1845 to
October 30, 1847; and at New York from November 6, 1847 to February
10, 1849. The _Phalanx_ and _Harbinger_ together cover a period of
more than five years.

Other periodicals of a more provincial character, and of course a
great variety of books and pamphlets, were among the issues of the
Fourier movement; but the main vertebræ of its literature were the
publications of which we have given account--Brisbane's _Social
Destiny of Man_, his daily column in the _Tribune_, the monthly
_Phalanx_, and the weekly _Harbinger_.



Albert Brisbane of course was the central man of the brilliant group
that imported and popularized Fourierism. But the reader will be
interested to see a full tableau of the persons who were prominent in
this movement. We will bring them to view by presenting, first, a list
of the contributors to the _Phalanx_ and _Harbinger_, and secondly, a
condensed report of one of the National Conventions of the

The indexes of the _Phalanx_ and _Harbinger_ (eight volumes in all),
have at their heads the names of the principal contributors; and their
initials, in connection with the articles in the indexes, enable us to
give the number of articles written by each contributor. Thus the
reader will see at a glance, not only the leading men of the movement,
but proximately the proportion of influence, or at least of
literature, that each contributed. Several of the names on this list
are now of world-wide fame, and many of them have attained eminence
as historians, essayists, poets, journalists or artists. A few of them
have reached the van in politics, and gained public station.


    Names.                           No. of articles.
    John Allen,                             2
    Stephen Pearl Andrews,                  1
    Albert Brisbane,                       56
    Geo. H. Calvert,                        1
    Wm. E. Channing,                        1
    Wm. F. Channing,                        1
    Wm. H. Channing,                       39
    Otis Clapp,                             1
    J. Freeman Clarke,                      1
    Joseph J. Cooke,                       10
    Christopher P. Cranch,                  9
    George W. Curtis,                      10
    Charles A. Dana,                      248
    Hugh Doherty,                          11
    A.J.H. Duganne,                         3
    John S. Dwight,                       324
    George G. Foster,                       7
    Edward Giles,                           3
    Parke Godwin,                         152
    E.P. Grant,                             4
    Horace Greeley,                         2
    Frederic H. Hedge,                      1
    T.W. Higginson,                        10
    E. Ives, Jr.,                           3
    Henry James,                           32
    Wm. H. Kimball,                         1
    Marx E. Lazarus,                       52
    James Russell Lowell,                   2
    Osborne Macdaniel,                     47
    Wm. H. Müller,                          2
    C. Neidhardt,                           1
    D.S. Oliphant,                          1
    John Orvis,                            23
    Jean M. Palisse,                       16
    E.W. Parkman,                           1
    Mary Spencer Pease,                     1
    J.H. Pulte,                             1
    George Ripley,                        315
    Samuel D. Robbins,                      1
    Lewis W. Ryckman,                       5
    J.A. Saxton,                            1
    James Sellers,                          3
    Francis G. Shaw,                      131
    Miss E.A. Starr,                        5
    W.W. Story,                            14
    Edmund Tweedy,                          7
    John G. Whittier,                       1
    J.J. Garth Wilkinson,                  12

Most of these writers were in the prime of youth, and Socialism was
their first love. It would be interesting to trace their several
careers in after time, when acquaintance with "stern reality" put
another face on their early dream, and turned them aside to other
pursuits. Certain it is, that the socialistic revival, barren as it
was in direct fruit, fertilized in many ways the genius of these men,
and through them the intellect of the nation.


Report from _The Phalanx_ condensed.

Pursuant to a call published in the _Phalanx_ and other papers, a
Convention of Associationists assembled on Thursday morning, the 4th
of April, 1844, at Clinton Hall, in the city of New York.

The following gentlemen were appointed officers of the Convention:

             _President_, George Ripley.

                 _Vice Presidents_,

     A.B. Smolnikar,   Parke Godwin,  Horace Greeley,
     Charles A. Dana,  A. Brisbane,   Alonzo M. Watson.


         Osborne Macdaniel,       D.S. Oliphant.

        _Committee on the Roll and Finance._

    John Allen, James P. Decker, Nathan Comstock, Jr.

                _Business Committee._

     L.W. Ryckman,    John Allen,      Osborne Macdaniel,
     George Ripley,   Horace Greeley,  Albert Brisbane,
     Parke Godwin,    James Kay,       Charles A. Dana,
     W.H. Channing,   A.M. Watson,     Solyman Brown.

Before proceeding to business, the secretary read letters addressed to
the Convention by a number of societies and individuals in different
parts of the United States. The style of these letters may be seen in
a few brief extracts. E.P. Grant wrote:

"The day is speedily coming when justice will be done to Fourier and
his doctrines; when monuments will rise from ten thousand hills,
surmounted by his statue in colossal proportions, gazing upon a happy
people, whose God will be truly the Lord, because they will live in
spontaneous obedience to his eternal laws."

John White and others wrote:

"We behold in the science of associated industry, a new social
edifice, of matchless and indescribable beauty, and true architectural
symmetry! Surely, it must be no other than that 'house not made with
hands, eternal in the heavens;' for its foundation is justice, and the
superstructure, praise; in every department of which dwell peace and
smiling plenty, and whose walls are every where inscribed with
manifold representations of that highest Divine attribute--love."

H.H. Van Amringe wrote:

"Certainly all creation is a reflex of the mind of the Deity, and we
cannot hesitate to believe that all the works of Divine wisdom are
connected, as Fourier teaches, by laws of groups and series of groups.
To discover these, as observers of nature discover and combine the
harmonies of astronomy, geology, botany and chemistry, should be our
aim; and this noble and heavenly employment, while it banishes want
and misery from our present life--destroying the spiritual death and
hell which now reign--will, under the Providence of the most High,
open to us admission into the Kingdom of the Messiah, that the will of
our Father may be done on earth as it is done in heaven."

And so on. After the reading of the letters, Wm. H. Channing, on
behalf of the business committee, introduced a series of resolutions,
prefacing them with a speech in the following vein:

"It is but giving voice to what is working in the hearts of those now
present, and of thousands whose sympathies are at this moment with us
over our whole land, to say this is a religious meeting. Our end is to
do God's will, not our own; to obey the command of Providence, not to
follow the leadings of human fancies. We stand to-day, as we believe,
amid the dawn of a new era of humanity; and as from a Pisgah look down
upon a promised land."

The resolutions (occupying nearly two pages of the _Phalanx_) commence
with a long preamble of four _Whereases_ about the designs of God in
regard to universal unity, the call of Christendom and especially of
the United States to forward these designs, the dreadful state of the
world, &c., &c. The third resolution proposes Association on Fourier's
principles of Joint-stockism, Guaranteeism, Combined Industry, Series
and Groups, &c., as the panacea of human woes. The fourth resolution
protests against "rash and fragmentary attempts," and advises
Associationists not to undertake practical operations till they have
secured the right sort of men and women and plenty of capital. The
fifth resolution recommends that Associationists concentrate their
efforts on experiments already commenced, in preference to undertaking
new enterprises. The sixth resolution betrays a little distrust of
Fourier, and an inclination to keep a certain independence of him--a
symptom that the Brook Farm and Unitarian element prevailed in the
business committee. They say:

"We do not receive all the parts of his theories which in the
publications of the Fourier school are denominated 'conjectural,'
because Fourier gives them as speculations, because we do not in all
respects understand his meaning, and because there are parts which
individually we reject; and we hold ourselves not only free, but in
duty bound, to seek and obey truth wherever revealed, in the word of
God, the reason of humanity, and the order of nature. For these
reasons we do not call ourselves Fourierists; but desire to be always
publicly designated as the Associationists of the United States of

It must be borne in mind, in order to understand this _caveat_, that
the courtship between the Massachusetts Socialists and the Brisbane
propagandists, though very warm, had not yet proceeded to coalescence.
Brook Farm was not yet a "Phalanx," The _Harbinger_ was yet _in
futuro_. And Fourier's latitudinarian speculations about marriage and
sexual matters, made a difficulty for men of Puritan blood, that was
not yet disposed of. In fact this difficulty always made a jar in the
family of American Fourierists, and probably helped on their disasters
and hastened their dissolution.

The seventh resolution proposes that measures be taken for forming a
National Confederation of Associations. The eighth resolution
expresses a wish for concert of action with the Associationists of
Europe, and says:

"For this end we hereby appoint Albert Brisbane, representative from
this body, to confer with them as to the best modes of mutual
coöperation. And we assure our brethren in Europe that the
disinterestedness, ability and perseverance with which our
representative has devoted himself to the promulgation of the doctrine
of Association in the United States, entitle him to their most
cordial confidence. Through him we extend to them, with joy and trust,
the right hand of fellowship; and may heaven soon bless all nations
with a compact of perpetual peace."

The ninth and last resolution appoints the following gentlemen as an
executive committee to edit the _Phalanx_, and to do many other things
for carrying into effect the objects of the Convention:

  Horace Greeley,   Parke Godwin,     James P. Decker,
  Frederick Grain,  Albert Brisbane,  Wm. H Channing,
  Edward Giles,     Chas. J. Hempel,  Osborne Macdaniel,
  Rufus Dawes,      D.S. Oliphant,    Pierre Maroncelli,
               of the City of New York.

  Solyman Brown, Leraysville Phalanx, Bradford County,

  George Ripley, Brook Farm Association, West Roxbury,

  Alonzo M. Watson, Jefferson County Industrial Association, New

  E.P. Grant, Ohio Phalanx, Belmont County, Ohio.

  John White, Cincinnati Phalanx, Cincinnati, Ohio.

  Nathan Starks, North American Phalanx, Monmouth County, New

On the second evening of the Convention, Parke Godwin, on behalf of
the business committee, reported a long address to the people of the
United States. It is a powerful presentation of all the common-places
of Fourierism: the defects of present society; organization of the
townships into joint-stock companies; central unitary mansions and
workshops; division of labor according to the law of groups and
series; distribution of profit in the proportion of five-twelfths to
labor, four-twelfths to capital, and three-twelfths to talent, &c. We
quote the eloquent and pious conclusion, as a specimen of the whole:

    "An important branch of the divine mission of our Savior Jesus
    Christ, was to establish the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth. He
    announced incessantly the practical reign of Divine wisdom and
    love among all men: and it was a chief aim of all his struggles
    and teachings to prepare the minds of men for this glorious
    consummation. He proclaimed the universal brotherhood of
    mankind; he insisted upon universal justice, and he predicted
    the triumphs of universal unity. 'Thou shall love,' he said,'the
    Lord thy God with all thy mind and all thy heart, and all thy
    soul, and thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments
    hang all the law and the prophets.' Again: 'If ye love not one
    another, how can ye be my disciples?' 'I have loved you, that
    you also may love one another.' 'Ye are all one, as I and my
    father are one.' Again: he taught us to ask in daily prayer of
    our Heavenly Father, 'Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on
    earth as it is in heaven.' Aye, it must be done, actually
    executed in all the details of life! And again, in the same
    spirit his disciple said, 'Little children, love one another.'
    'If you love not man, whom you have seen, how can you love God
    whom you have not seen?' And in regard to the form which this
    love should take, the apostle Paul says, 'As the body is one, so
    also is Christ. For by one spirit we are all baptized into one
    body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles,' &c. 'That there should be
    no schism (disunity) in the body, but that the members should
    have the same care one for another; and if one member suffer,
    all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all
    the members rejoice with it.' 'Ye are members one of another.'

    "These Divine truths must be translated into actual life. Our
    relations to each other as men, our business relations among
    others, must all be instituted according to this law of highest
    wisdom and love. In Association alone can we find the
    fulfillment of this duty; and therefore we again insist that
    Association is the duty of every branch of the universal church.
    Let its views of points of doctrines be what they may; let it
    hold to any creed as to the nature of man, or the attributes of
    God, or the offices of Christ; we say that it can not fully and
    practically embody the spirit of Christianity out of an
    organization like that which we have described. It may exhibit,
    with more or less fidelity, some tenet of a creed, or even some
    phase of virtue; but it can possess only a type and shadow of
    that universal unity which is the destiny of the church. But let
    the church adopt true associative organization, and the
    blessings so long promised it will be fulfilled. Fourier, among
    the last words that he wrote, describing the triumph of
    universal Association, exclaims, 'These are the days of mercy
    promised in the words of the Redeemer, Blessed are they which do
    hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be
    filled.' It is verily in harmony, in Associative unity, that God
    will manifest to us the immensity of his providence, and that
    the Savior will come according to his word, in 'all the glory of
    his Father:' it is the Kingdom of Heaven that comes to us in
    this terrestrial world; it is the reign of Christ; he has
    conquered evil. _Christus regnat, vincit, imperat._ Then will
    the Cross have accomplished its two-fold destiny, that of
    consolation during the reign of sin, and that of universal
    banner, when human reason shall have accomplished the task
    imposed upon it by the Creator. 'Seek ye first the Kingdom of
    God and his righteousness'--the harmony of the passions in
    associative unity. Then will the banner of the Cross display
    with glory its device, the augury of victory, _In Hoc Signo
    Vinces_; for then it will have conquered evil, conquered the
    gates of hell, conquered false philosophy and national indigence
    and spurious civilization; _et portæ inferi non prevalebunt_.

    "To the free and Christian people of the United States, then, we
    commend the principle of Association; we ask that it be fairly
    sifted; we do not shrink from the most thorough investigation.
    The peculiar history of this nation convinces us that it has
    been prepared by Providence for the working out of glorious
    issues. Its position, its people, its free institutions, all
    prepare it for the manifestation of a true social order. Its
    wealth of territory, its distance from the political influences
    of older and corrupter nations, and above all the general
    intelligence of its people, alike contribute to fit it for that
    noble union of freemen which we call Association. That peculiar
    constitution of government, which, for the first time in the
    world's career, was established by our Fathers; that signal fact
    of our national motto, _E Pluribus Unum_, many individuals
    united in one whole; that beautiful arrangement for combining
    the most perfect independence of the separate members with
    complete harmony and strength in the federal heart--is a rude
    outline and type of the more scientific and more beautiful
    arrangement which we would introduce into all the relations of
    man to man. We would give our theory of state rights an
    application to individual rights. We would bind trade to trade,
    neighborhood to neighborhood, man to man, by the ties of
    interest and affection which bind our larger aggregations called
    States; only we would make the ties holier and more
    indissoluble. There is nothing impossible in this; there is
    nothing unpractical! We, who are represented in this Convention
    have pledged our sleepless energies to its accomplishment. It
    may cost time, it may cost trouble, it may expose us to
    misconception and even to abuse; but it must be done. We know
    that we stand on sure and positive grounds; we know that a
    better time must come; we know that the hope and heart of
    humanity is with us--that justice, truth and goodness are with
    us; we feel that God is with us, and we do not fear the anger of
    man. _The future is ours--the future is ours._ Our practical
    plans may seem insignificant, but our moral aim is the grandest
    that ever elevated human thought. We want the love and wisdom of
    the Highest to make their daily abode with us; we wish to see
    all mankind happy and good; we desire to emancipate the human
    body and the human soul; we long for unity between man and man
    in true society, between man and nature by the cultivation of
    the earth, and between man and God, in universal joy and

After this address, Mr. Ripley of Brook Farm made a speech, and Mr.
Solyman Brown of the Leraysville Phalanx recited "a very beautiful
pastoral, entitled, A Vision of the Future." Here occurred a little
episode that brought our old friends of the Owenite wing of Socialism
on the scene; not, however, altogether harmonically. The report says:

"A delegation of English Socialists, from a society in this city,
presented itself. The gentlemen composing the delegation, demanded
seats as members of the Convention. The call of the Convention was
read, and they were asked if they could unite with the Convention
according to the terms of the call, as 'friends of Association based
on the principles of Charles Fourier.' This they said they could not
do, as they differed with the partisans of Fourier in fundamental
principles, and particularly in regard to religion and property. They
held to community of property, and did not accept our views of a
Providential and Divine social order. They were informed that the
objects of the Convention were of a special and business character,
and that a controversy and discussion of principles could not be
entered into. Their claim to sit as members of the Convention was
therefore denied: but they were allowed freely to express their
opinions, and treated with the utmost courtesy, without reply."

Many "admirable addresses" continued to be delivered; among which one
of Mr. Channing's is mentioned, and one of Charles A. Dana's is
reported in full. He spoke as the representative of Brook Farm. We
cull a few broken paragraphs:

"As a member of the oldest Association in the United States, I deem it
my duty to make some remarks on the practical results of the system.
We have an Association at Brook Farm, of which I now speak from my own
experience. We have there abolished domestic servitude. This
institution of domestic servitude was one of the first considerations;
it gave one of the first impulses to the movement at Brook Farm. It
seemed that a continuance in the relations which it established, could
not possibly be submitted to. It was a deadly sin--a thing to be
escaped from. Accordingly it was escaped from, and we have now for
three years lived at Brook Farm and have carried on all the business
of life without it. At Brook Farm they are all servants of each other;
no man is master. We do freely, from the love of it, with joy and
thankfulness, those duties which are usually discharged by domestics.
The man who performs one of these duties--he who digs a ditch or
executes any other repulsive work, is not at the foot of the social
scale; he is at the head of it. Again we have in Association
established a natural system of education; a system of education which
does justice to every one; where the children of the poor receive the
integral development of all their faculties, as far as the means of
Association in its present condition will permit. Here we claim to
have made an advance upon civilized society.

"Again, we are able already, not only to assign to manual labor its
just rank and dignity in the scale of human occupations, but to insure
to it its just reward. And here also, I think, we may humbly claim
that we have made some advance upon civilized society. In the best
society that has ever been in this world, with very small exceptions,
labor has never had its just reward. Every where the gain is to the
pocket of the employer. He makes the money. The laborer toils for him
and is his servant. The interest of the laborer is not consulted in
the arrangements of industry; but the whole tendency of industry is
perpetually to disgrace the laborer, to grind him down and reduce his
wages, and to render deceit and fraud almost necessary for him. And
all for the benefit of whom? For the benefit of our excellent
monopolists, our excellent companies, our excellent employers. The
stream all runs into their pockets, and not one little rill is
suffered to run into the pockets of those who do the work. Now in
Association already we have changed all this; we have established a
true relation between labor and the people, whereby the labor is done,
not entirely for the benefit of the capitalist, as it is in civilized
society, but for the mutual benefit of the laborer and the capitalist.
We are able to distribute the results and advantages which accrue from
labor in a joint ratio.

"These, then, very briefly and imperfectly stated, are the practical,
actual results already attained. In the first place we have abolished
domestic servitude; in the second place, we have secured thorough
education for all; and in the third place, we have established justice
to the laborer, and ennobled industry.*** Two or three years ago we
began our movement at Brook Farm, and propounded these few simple
propositions, which I say are here proven. All declared it to be a
scheme of fanaticism. There was universal skepticism. No one believed
it possible that men could live together in such relations. Society,
it was said, had always lived in a state of competition and strife
between man and man; and when told that it was possible to live
otherwise, no one received the proposition except with scorn and
ridicule. But in the experience of two or three years, we maintain
that we have by actual facts, by practical demonstration, proven this,
viz.: that harmonious relations, relations of love and not of
selfishness and mutual conflict, relations of truth and not of
falsehood, relations of justice and not of injustice, are possible
between man and man."

At noon on Saturday the last resolution was adopted, and the
Convention was about to adjourn, when Mr. Channing rose and addressed
the assembly, as follows:

"Mr. President and brother Associationists: We began our meeting with
calling to mind, as in the presence of God, our solemn privileges and
responsibilities. We can not part without invoking for ourselves, each
other, our friends everywhere, and our race, a blessing. It this cause
in which we are engaged, is one of mere human device, the emanation of
folly and self, may it utterly fail; it will then utterly fail. But
if, as we believe, it is of God, and, making allowance for human
limitations, is in harmony with the Divine will, may it go on, as thus
it must, conquering and to conquer. Those of us who are active in this
movement have met, and will meet with suspicion and abuse. It is well!
well that critical eyes should probe the schemes of Association to the
core, and if they are evil, lay bare their hidden poison; well that in
this fiery ordeal the sap of our personal vanities and weaknesses
should be consumed. We need be anxious but on one account; and that is
lest we be unworthy of this sublime reform. Who are we, that we should
have the honor of giving our lives to this grandest of all possible
human endeavors, the establishment of universal unity, of the reign of
heaven on earth? Truly 'out of the mouths of babes and sucklings has
the Lord ordained strength.' Kings and holy men have desired to see
the things we see, and have not been able. Let our desire be, that our
imperfections, our unfaithfulness, do not hinder the progress of love
and truth and joy."

The Convention then united in prayer, and parted with the benediction,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward

But this was not the end. That last day of the Convention was also the
anniversary of Fourier's birthday, and in the evening the members held
a festival at the Apollo Saloon. "The repast was plain and simple, but
the intellectual feast and the social communion were delightful." The
regular toasts, announced and probably prepared by Mr. Channing, were
to the memory of Fourier, and to each of the twelve passions which,
according to Fourier, constitute the active forces of human nature.
"Soul-stirring speeches" followed each toast. Mr. Dana responded to
the toast for friendship, and at the close of his speech Mr. Macdaniel
proposed that the toast be repeated with clasped hands. "This
proposition was instantly accepted, and with a burst of enthusiasm
every man rose, and locking hands all round the table, the toast was
repeated by the whole company, producing an electric thrill of emotion
through every nerve."

Mr. Godwin compared the present prospects of Association to the tokens
of approaching land which cheered the drooping spirits of the crew of
Columbus. The friends from Brook Farm were the birds, and those from
other places the flowers that floated on the waves.

Mr. Ripley said, "Our friend has compared us to birds. Well, it is
true we have a good deal of singing, though not a great deal to eat;
and we have very small nests. (Laughter.) Our most appropriate emblem
is the not very beautiful or magnificent, but the very useful and
respectable barn-yard fowl! for we all have to scratch for a living!

"Mr. Brisbane pronounced an enthusiastic and hearty tribute of his
gratitude, esteem and respect for Horace Greeley, for the manly,
independent, and generous support he had given to the cause from its
infancy to the present day; and closed by saying--

"He (Mr. Greeley), has done for us what we never could have done. He
has created the cause on this continent. He has done the work of a
century. Well then, I will give [as a toast], 'One Continent and One

Mr. Greeley returned his grateful thanks for what he said was the
extravagant eulogium of his partial friend, and continued:

"When I took up this cause, I knew that I went in the teeth of many of
my patrons, in the teeth of prejudices of the great mass, in the teeth
of religious prejudices; for I confess I had a great many more
clergymen on my list before, than I have now, as I am sorry to say,
for had they kept on, I think I could have done them a little good.
(Laughter.) But in the face of all this, in the face of constant
advices, 'Don't have any thing to do with that Mr. Brisbane,' I went
on. 'Oh!' said many of my friends, 'consider your position--consider
your influence.' 'Well,' said I, 'I shall endeavor to do so, but I
must try to do some good in the meantime, or else what is the use of
the influence.' (Cheers.) And thus I have gone on, pursuing a manly
and at the same time a circumspect course, treading wantonly on no
man's prejudice, telling on the contrary, universal man, I will defer
to your prejudices, as far as I can consistently with duty; but when
duty leads me, you must excuse my stepping on your corn, if it be in
the way." (Cheers.)

And so they went on with toasts and speeches and letters from
distinguished outsiders--one, by the way, from Archbishop Hughes,
courteously declining an invitation to attend--till the twelve
o'clock bell warned them of the advent of holy time, and so they

A notable thing in this great demonstration was the intense
_religious_ element that pervaded it. The Convention was opened and
closed with prayers and Christian doxologies. The letters and
addresses abounded in quotations from scripture, always laboring to
identify Fourierism with Christianity. Even the jollities of the
festival at the Apollo Saloon could not commence till a blessing had
been asked.

These manifestations of religious feeling were mainly due to the
presence of the Massachusetts men, and especially to the zeal of
William H. Channing. He never forgot his religion in his enthusiasm
for Socialism.

It would be easy to ridicule the fervor and assurance of the actors in
this enthusiastic drama, by comparing their hopes and predictions with
the results. But for our part we hold that the hopes and predictions
were true, and the results were liars. Mistakes were made as to the
time and manner of the blessings foreseen, as they have been made many
times before and since: but the inspiration did not lie.

We have had a long succession of such enthusiasms in this country.
First of all and mother of all, was the series of Revivals under
Edwards, Nettleton and Finney, in every paroxysm of which the
Millennium seemed to be at the door. Then came Perfectionism,
rapturously affirming that the Millennium had already begun. Then came
Millerism, reproducing all the excitements and hopes that agitated the
Primitive Church just before the Second Advent. Very nearly coincident
with the crisis of this last enthusiasm in 1843, came this Fourier
revival, with the same confident predictions of the coming of
Christ's kingdom, and the same mistakes as to time and manner. Since
then Spiritualism has gone through the same experience of brilliant
prophecies and practical failures. We hold that all these enthusiasms
are manifestations, in varied phase, of one great afflatus, that takes
its time for fulfillment more leisurely than suits the ardor of its
mediums, but inspires them with heart-prophecies of the good time
coming, that are true and sure.


The reader will observe that in the final passage of compliments
between Messrs. Brisbane and Greeley at the Apollo festival, there is
a clear answer to the question, Who was next in rank after Brisbane in
the propagation of Fourierism in this country? As there is much
confusion in the public memory on this important point in the
_personnel_ of Fourierism, we will here make a note of the principal
facts in the Fourieristic history of the _Tribune_:

A prominent New England journal in an elaborate obituary on the late
Henry J. Raymond, after mentioning that he was an efficient assistant
of Mr. Greeley on the _Tribune_, from the commencement of that paper
in 1841 till he withdrew and took service on the _Courier and
Enquirer_, went on to say:

"It was at the time of Mr. Raymond's withdrawal from it, that the
_Tribune_, which was speedily joined by George Ripley and Charles A.
Dana, fresh from Brook Farm, had its Fourieristic phase."

The mistakes in this paragraph are remarkable, and ought not to be
allowed any chance of getting into history.

In the first place Ripley and Dana did not thus immediately succeed
Raymond on the _Tribune_. The American Cyclopædia says that Raymond
left the _Tribune_ and joined Webb on the _Courier and Enquirer_ in
1843. But Ripley and Dana retained their connection with Brook Farm
till October 30, 1847, and continued to edit the _Harbinger_ in New
York till February 10, 1849, as we know by the files of that paper in
our possession. They could not have joined the _Tribune_ before the
first of these dates, and probably did not till after the last; so
that there was an interval of from three to six years between
Raymond's leaving and their joining the _Tribune_.

But the most important error of the above quoted paragraph is its
implication that the "Fourieristic phase" of the _Tribune_ was after
Raymond left it, and was owing to the advent of Ripley and Dana "fresh
from Brook Farm." The truth is, that the _Tribune_ had become the
organ of Mr. Brisbane, the importer of Fourierism, in March 1842, less
than a year from its commencement (which was on April 10, 1841); and
of course had its "Fourieristic phase" while Raymond was employed on
it, and in fact before Ripley and Dana had been converted to
Fourierism. Brook Farm, be it ever remembered, was originally an
independent Yankee experiment, started in 1841 by the suggestion of
Dr. Channing, and did not accept Fourierism till the winter of 1843-4.
During the entire period of Brisbane's promulgations in the _Tribune_,
which lasted more than a year, and which manifestly caused the great
Fourier excitement of 1843, Brook Farm had nothing to do with
Fourierism, except as it was being carried away with the rest of the
world, by Brisbane and the _Tribune_. Thus it is certain that Ripley
and Dana did not bring Fourierism into the _Tribune_, but on the
contrary received Fourierism from the _Tribune_, during the very
period when Raymond was assisting Greeley. When they joined the
_Tribune_ in 1847-9, Fourierism was in the last stages of defeat, and
the most that they or Greeley or any body else did for it after that,
was to help its retreat into decent oblivion.

The obituary writer probably fell into these mistakes by imagining
that the controversy between Greeley and Raymond, which occurred in
1846, while Raymond was employed on the _Courier and Enquirer_, was
the principal "Fourieristic phase" of the _Tribune_. But this was
really an after-affair, in which Greeley fought on the defensive as
the rear-guard of Fourierism in its failing fortunes; and even this
controversy took place before Brook Farm broke up; so that Ripley and
Dana had nothing to do with it.

The credit or responsibility for the original promulgation of
Fourierism through the _Tribune_, of course does not belong to Mr.
Raymond; though he was at the time (1842) Mr. Greeley's assistant. But
neither must it be put upon Messrs. Ripley and Dana. It belongs
exclusively to Horace Greeley. He clearly was Brisbane's other and
better half in the propagation of Fourierism. For practical devotion,
we judge that he deserves even the _first_ place on the roll of honor.
We doubt whether Brisbane himself ever pledged his property to
Association, as Greeley did in the following address, published in the
_Harbinger_, October 25, 1845:

    "As one Associationist who has given his efforts and means freely
    to the cause, I feel that I have a right to speak frankly. I know
    that the great number of our believers are far from wealthy; yet
    I know that there is wealth enough in our ranks, if it were but
    devoted to it, to give an instant and resistless influence to the
    cause. A few thousand dollars subscribed to the stock of each
    existing Association would in most cases extinguish the mortgages
    on its property, provide it with machinery and materials, and
    render its industry immediately productive and profitable. Then
    manufacturing invention and skill would fearlessly take up their
    abode with our infant colonies; labor and thrift would flow
    thither, and a new and brighter era would dawn upon them. Fellow
    Associationists! _I_ shall do whatever I can for the promotion of
    our common cause; to it whatever I have or may hereafter acquire
    of pecuniary ability is devoted: may I not hope for a like
    devotion from you?




This was the first of the PHALANXES. The North American was the last.
These two had the distinction of metropolitan origin; both being
colonies sent forth by the socialistic schools of New York and Albany.
The North American appears to have been Mr. Brisbane's _protege_, if
he had any. Mr. Greeley seems to have attached himself to the
Sylvania. His name is on its list of officers, and he gives an account
of it in his "Recollections," as one of the two Phalanxes that issued
from New York City. In the following sketch we give the rose-color
first, and the shady side afterward. Indeed this will be our general
method of making up the memoirs of the Phalanxes.

The first number of Brisbane's paper, the _Phalanx_, (October 5, 1843)
gives the following account of the Sylvania:

    "This Association has been formed by warm friends of the cause
    from the cities of New York and Albany. Thomas W. Whitley is
    President, and Horace Greeley, Treasurer. Operations were
    commenced in May last, and have already proved incontestably the
    great advantages of Association; having thus far more than
    fulfilled the most sanguine hopes of success of those engaged
    in the enterprise. Temporary buildings have been erected, and
    the foundation laid of a large edifice; a great deal of land has
    been cleared, and a saw- and grist-mill on the premises when
    purchased, have been put in excellent repair; several branches
    of industry, shoe-making particularly, have been established,
    and the whole concern is now in full operation. Upwards of one
    hundred and fifty persons, men, women and children, are on the
    domain, all contented and happy, and much gratified with their
    new mode of life, which is new to most of the members as a
    country residence, as well as an associated household; for
    nearly all the mechanics formerly resided in cities, New York
    and Albany principally. In future numbers we will give more
    detailed accounts of this enterprising little Association. The
    following is a description of its location and soil:

    "The Sylvania domain consists of 2,300 acres of arable land,
    situated in the township of Lackawaxen, County of Pike, State of
    Pennsylvania. It lies on the Delaware river, at the mouth of the
    Lackawaxen creek, fourteen miles from Milford, about eighty-five
    miles in a straight line west by north of New York City (by
    stage route ninety-four, and by New York and Erie Railroad to
    Middletown, one hundred and ten miles; seventy-four of which are
    now traversed by railroad). The railroad will certainly be
    carried to Port Jervis, on the Delaware, only fifteen miles
    below the domain; certainly if the Legislature of the State will
    permit. The Delaware and Hudson Canal now passes up the Delaware
    directly across from the domain, affording an unbroken water
    communication with New York City; and the turnpike from Milford,
    Pennsylvania, to Owego, New York, bounds on the south the lands
    of the Association, and crosses the Delaware by a bridge about
    one mile from the dwellings. The domain may be said, not very
    precisely, to be bounded by the Delaware on the north, the
    Lackawaxen on the west, the Shoholy on the east, and the
    turnpike on the south.

    "The soil of the domain is a deep loam, well calculated for
    tillage and grazing. About one hundred acres had been cleared
    before the Association took possession of it; the remainder is
    thinly covered with the primitive forest; the larger trees
    having been cut off of a good part of it for timber. Much of it
    can be cleared at a cost of six dollars per acre. Abundance of
    timber remains on it for all purposes of the Association. The
    land lies in gentle sloping ridges, with valleys between, and
    wide, level tables at the top. The general inclination is to the
    east and south. There are very few acres which can not be plowed
    after clearing.

    "Application for membership, to be made (by letter, post paid),
    to Thomas W. Whitley, Esq., President, or to Horace Greeley,
    Esq., New York."

The Executive officers issued a pamphlet soon after the commencement
of operations, from which we extract the following:

    "This Association was formed early in 1843, by a few citizens of
    New York, mainly mechanics, who, deeply impressed with the
    present defective, vice-engendering and ruinous system of
    society, with the wasteful complication of its isolated
    households, its destructive competition and anarchy in industry,
    its constraint of millions to idleness and consequent dependence
    or famine for want of employment, and its failure to secure
    education and development to the children growing up all around
    and among us in ignorance and vice, were impelled to immediate
    and energetic action in resistance to these manifold and mighty
    evils. Having earnestly studied the system of industrial
    organization and social reform propounded by Charles Fourier,
    and been led to recognize in it a beneficent, expensive and
    practical plan for the melioration of the condition of man and
    his moral and intellectual elevation, they most heartily adopted
    that system as the basis and guide of their operations. Holding
    meetings from time to time, and through the press informing the
    public of their enterprise and its objects, their numbers
    steadily increased; their organization was perfected;
    explorations with a view to the selection of a domain were
    directed and made; and in the last week of April a location was
    finally determined on and its purchase effected. During the
    first week in May, a pioneer division of some forty persons
    entered upon the possession and improvement of the land. Their
    number has since been increased to nearly sixty, of whom over
    forty are men, generally young or in the prime of life, and all
    recognizing labor as the true and noble destiny on earth. The
    Sylvania Association is the first attempt in North America to
    realize in practice the vast economies, intellectual advantages
    and such enjoyments resulting from Fourier's system.

    "Any person may become a stockholder by subscribing for not less
    than one share ($25); but the council, having as yet its
    head-quarters in New York, is necessarily entrusted with power
    to determine at what time and in what order subscribers and
    their families can be admitted to resident membership on the
    domain. Those who are judged best calculated to facilitate the
    progress of the enterprise must be preferred; those with large
    families unable to labor must await the construction of
    buildings for their proper accommodation; while such as shall,
    on critical inquiry, be found of unfit moral character or
    debasing habits, can not be admitted at all. This, however, will
    nowise interfere with their ownership in the domain; they will
    be promptly paid the dividends on their stock, whenever
    declared, the same as resident members.

    "The enterprise here undertaken, however humble in its origin,
    commends itself to the respect of the skeptical and the generous
    coöperation of the philanthropic. Its consequences, should
    success (as we can not doubt it will) crown our exertions, must
    be far-reaching, beneficent, unbounded. It aims at no
    aggrandizement of individuals, no upbuilding or overthrow of
    sect or party, but at the founding of a new, more trustful, more
    benignant relationship between capital and labor, removing
    discord, jealousy and hatred, and replacing them by concord,
    confidence and mutual advantage. The end aimed at is the
    emancipation of the mass; of the depressed toiling millions, the
    slaves of necessity and wretchedness, of hunger and constrained
    idleness, of ignorance, drunkenness and vice; and their
    elevation to independence, moral and intellectual development;
    in short, to a true and hopeful manhood. This enterprise now
    appeals to the lovers of the human race for aid; not for
    praises, votes or alms, but for coöperation in rendering its
    triumph signal and speedy. It asks of the opulent and the
    generous, subscriptions to its stock, in order that its lands
    may be promptly cleared and improved, its buildings erected,
    &c.; as they must be far more slowly, if the resident members
    must devote their energies at once and henceforth to the
    providing, under the most unfavorable circumstances, of the
    entire means of their own subsistence. Subscriptions are
    solicited, at the office of the Association, 25 Pine street,
    third story.

    "THOS. W. WHITLEY, President; J.D. PIERSON, Vice President;
    HORACE GREELEY, Treasurer; J.T.S. SMITH, Secretary."

After this discourse, the pamphlet presents a constitution, by-laws,
bill of rights, &c., which are not essentially different from scores
of joint-stock documents which we find, not only in the records of the
Fourier epoch, but scattered all along back through the times of
Owenism. The truth is, the paper constitutions of nearly all the
American experiments, show that the experimenters fell to work, only
under the _impulse_, not under the _instructions_, of the European
masters. Yankee tinkering is visible in all of them. They all are shy,
on the one hand, of Owen's flat Communism (as indeed Owen himself
was,) and on the other, of Fourier's impracticable account-keeping and
venturesome theories of "passional equilibrium." The result is, that
they are all very much alike, and may all be classed together as
attempts to solve the problem, How to construct a _home_ on the
joint-stock principle; which is much like the problem, How to eat your
cake and keep it too.

For the shady side, Macdonald gives us a Dialogue which, he says, was
written by a gentleman who was a member of the Sylvania Association
from beginning to end. It is not very artistic, but shrewd and
interesting. We print it without important alteration. The curious
reader will find entertainment in comparing its descriptions of the
Sylvania domain with those given in the official documents above. In
this case as in many others, views taken before and after trial, are
as different as summer and winter landscapes.


_B._--Good morning, Mr. A. I perceive you are busy among your papers.
I hope we do not disturb you?

_A._--Not in the least, sir. I am much pleased to meet you.

_B._--I wish to introduce to you my friend Mr. C. He is anxious to
learn something concerning the experiment in which you were engaged in
Pike County, Pennsylvania, and I presumed that you would be willing to
furnish him with the desired information.

_A._--I suppose, Mr. C., like many others, you are doubtful about the
correctness of the reports you have heard concerning these

_C._--Yes, sir: but I am endeavoring to discover the truth, and
particularly in relation to the causes which produce so many failures.
I find thus far in my investigations, that the difficulties which all
Associations have to contend with, are very similar in their
character. Pray, sir, how and where did the Sylvania Association

_A._--It originated partly in New York City and partly in Albany, in
the winter of 1842-3. We first held meetings in Albany, and agitated
the subject of Socialism till we formed an Association. Our original
object was to read and explain the doctrines of Charles Fourier, the
French Socialist; to have lectures delivered, and arouse public
attention to the consideration of those social questions which
appeared to us, in our new-born zeal, to have an important bearing
upon the present, and more especially upon the future welfare of the
human family. In this we partly succeeded, and had arrived at the
point where it appeared necessary for us to think of practically
carrying out those splendid views which we had hitherto been dreaming
and talking about. Hearing of a similar movement going on in New York
City, we communicated with them and ascertained that they thought
precisely as we did concerning immediate and practical operations.
After several communications the two bodies united, with a
determination to vent their enthusiasm upon the land. Our New York
friends appointed a committee of three persons to select a desirable
location, and report at the next meeting of the Society.

_C._--What were the qualifications of the men who were appointed to
select the location? I think this very important.

_A._--One was a landscape painter, another an industrious cooper, and
the third was a homoeopathic doctor!

_C._--And not a farmer among them! Well, this must have been a great
mistake. At what season did they go to examine the country?

_A._--I think it was in March; I am sure it was before the snow was
off the ground.

_C._--How unhappy are the working classes in having so little
patience. Every thing they attempt seems to fail because they will not
wait the right time. Had you any capitalists among you?

_A._--No; they were principally working people, brought up to a city

_C._--But you encouraged capitalists to join your society?

_A._--Our constitution provided for them as well as laborers. We
wished to combine capital and labor, according to the theory laid down
by Charles Fourier.

_C._--Was his theory the society's practice?

_A._--No; there was infinite difference between his theory and our
practice. This is generally the case in such movements, and invariably
produces disappointment and unhappiness.

_C._--Does this not result from ignorance of the principles, or a want
of faith in them?

_A._--To some extent it does. If human beings were passive bodies, and
we could place them just where we pleased, we might so arrange them
that their actions would be harmonious. But they are not so. We are
active beings; and the Sylvanians were not only very active, but were
collected from a variety of situations least likely to produce
harmonious beings. If we knew mathematically the laws which regulate
the actions of human beings, it is possible we might place all men in
true relation to each other.

_C._--Working people seem to know no patience other than that of
enduring the everlasting toil to which they are brought up. But about
the committee which you say consisted of an artist, mechanic and a
doctor; what report did they make concerning the land?

_A._--They reported favorably of a section of land in Pike County,
Pennsylvania, consisting of about 2,394 acres, partly wooded with
yellow pine and small oak trees, with a soil of yellow loam without
lime. It was well watered, had an undulating surface, and was said to
be elevated fifteen hundred feet above the Hudson river. To reach it
from New York and Albany, we had to take our things first to Rondout
on the Hudson, and thence by canal to Lackawanna; then five miles up
hill on a bad stony road. [In the description on p. 234 the canal is
said to be "_directly across from the domain_."] There was plenty of
stone for building purposes lying all over the land. The soil being
covered with snow, the committee did not see it, but from the small
size of the trees, they probably judged it would be easily cleared,
which would be a great advantage to city-choppers. Nine thousand
dollars was the price demanded for this place, and the society
concluded to take it.

_C._--What improvements were upon it, and what were the conditions of

_A._--There were about thirty acres planted with rye, which grain, I
understood, had been successively planted upon it for six years
without any manure. This was taken as a proof of the strength of the
soil; but when we reaped, we were compelled to rake for ten yards on
each side of the spot where we intended to make the bundle, before we
had sufficient to tie together. There were three old houses on the
place; a good barn and cow-shed; a grist-mill without machinery, with
a good stream for water-power; an old saw-mill, with a very
indifferent water-wheel. These, together with several skeletons of
what had once been horses, constituted the stock and improvements. We
were to pay $1,000 down in cash; the owner was to put in $1,000 as
stock, and the balance was to be paid by annual instalments.

_C._--How much stock did the members take?

_A._--To state the exact amount would be somewhat difficult; for some
who subscribed liberally at first, withdrew their subscriptions, while
others increased them. On examining my papers, I reckon that in Albany
there were about $4,500 subscribed in money and useful articles for
mechanical and other purposes. In New York I should estimate that
about $6,000 were subscribed in like proportions.

_C._--When did the members proceed to the domain, and how did they
progress there?

_A._--They left New York and Albany for the domain about the beginning
of May; and I find from a table I kept of the number of persons, with
their ages, sex and occupations, that in the following August there
were on the place twenty-eight married men, twenty-seven married
women, twenty-four single young men, six single young women, and
fifty-one children; making a total of one hundred and thirty-six
individuals. These had to be closely packed in three very indifferent
two-story frame houses. The upper story of the grist-mill was devoted
to as many as could sleep there. These arrangements very soon brought
trouble. Children with every variety of temper and habits, were
brought in close contact, without any previous training to prepare
them for it. Parents, each with his or her peculiar character and mode
of educating children, long used to very different accommodations,
were brought here and literally compelled to live like a herd of
animals. Some thought their children would be taken and cared for by
the society, as its own family; while others claimed and practiced the
right to procure for their children all the little indulgences they
had been used to. Thus jealousies and ill-feelings were created, and
in place of that self-sacrifice and zealous support of the
constitution and officers, to which they were all pledged (I have no
doubt by some in ignorance), there was a total disregard of all
discipline, and a determination in each to have the biggest share of
all things going, except hard labor, which was very unpopular with a
certain class. Aside from the above, had we been carefully selected
from families in each city, and had we been found capable of giving up
our individual preferences to accomplish the glorious object we had in
view, what had we to experiment upon? In my opinion, a barren
wilderness; not giving the slightest prospect that it would ever
generously yield a return for the great sacrifices we were making upon
it. The land was cold and sterile, apparently incapable of supporting
the stunted pines which looked like a vast collection of barbers'
poles upon its surface. I will give you one or two illustrations of
the quality of the soil: We cut and cleared four and a half acres of
what we thought might be productive soil; and after having plowed and
cross-plowed it, we sowed it with buckwheat. When the crop was drawn
into the barn and threshed, it yielded eleven and a-half bushels.
Again, we toiled hard, clearing the brush and picking up the stones
from seventeen acres of new land: we plowed it three different ways,
and then sowed and harrowed it with great care. When the product was
reaped and threshed, it did not yield more than the quantity of seed
planted. Such experiences as these made me look upon the whole
operation as a suicidal affair, blasting forever the hopes and
aspirations of the few noble spirits who tried so hard to establish in
practice, the vision they had seen for years.

_C._--How long did the Association remain on the place?

_A._--About a year and a half, and then it was abandoned as rapidly as
it was settled.

_C._--They made improvements while there. What were they, and who got
them when the society left?

_A._--We cleared over one hundred acres and fenced it in; built a
large frame-house forty feet by forty, three stories high; also a
two-story carpenter's-shop, and a new wagon-house. We repaired the dam
and saw-mill, and made other improvements which I can not now
particularize. These improvements went to the original owner, who had
already received two thousand dollars on the purchase; and (as he
expressed it) he generously agreed to take the land back, with the
improvements, and release the trustees from all further obligations!

_C._--It appears to me that your society, like many others, lacked a
sufficient amount of intelligence, or they never would have sent such
a committee to select a domain; and after the domain was selected,
sent so many persons to live upon it so soon. Your means were totally
inadequate to carry out the undertaking, and you had by far too many
children upon the domain. There should have been no children sent
there, until ample means had been secured for their care and education
under the superintendence of competent persons.

_A._--It is difficult to get any but married men and women to endure
the hardships consequent on such an experiment. Single young men,
unless under some military control, have not the perseverance of
married men.

_C._--But the children! What have you to say of them?

_A._--I am not capable of debating that question just now; but I am
satisfied that a very different course from the one we tried must be
pursued. Better land and more capital must be obtained, and a greater
degree of intelligence and subordination must pervade the people,
before a Community can be successful.

Macdonald moralizes as usual on the failure. The following is the
substance of his funeral sermon:

    "There were too many children on the place, their number being
    fifty-one to eighty-five adults. Some persons went there very
    poor, in fact without anything, and came away in a better
    condition; while others took all they could with them, and came
    back poor. Young men, it is stated, wasted the good things at
    the commencement of the experiment; and besides victuals,
    dry-goods supplied by the Association were unequally obtained.
    Idle and greedy people find their way into such attempts, and
    soon show forth their character by burdening others with too
    much labor, and, in times of scarcity, supplying themselves with
    more than their allowance of various articles, instead of taking

    "Where such a failure as this occurs, many persons are apt to
    throw the blame upon particular individuals as well as on the
    principles; but in this case, I believe, nearly all connected
    with it agree that the inferior land and location was the
    fundamental cause of ill success.

    "It was a loss to nearly all engaged in it. Those who subscribed
    and did not go, lost their shares; and those who subscribed and
    did go, lost their valuable time as well as their shares. The
    sufferers were in error, and were led into the experiment by
    others, who were likewise in error. Working men left their
    situations, some good and some bad, and, in their enthusiasm,
    expected, not only to improve their own condition, but the
    condition of mankind. They fought the fight and were defeated.
    Some were so badly wounded that it took them many years to
    recover; while others, more fortunate, speedily regained their
    former positions, and now thrive well in the world again. The
    capital expended on this experiment was estimated at $14,000."

The exact date at which the Sylvania dissolved is not given in
Macdonald's papers, but the _Phalanx_ of August 10, 1844, indicates in
the following paragraph, that it was dying at that time:

    "We are requested to state that the Sylvania Association, having
    become satisfied of its inability to contend successfully
    against an ungrateful soil and ungenial climate, which
    unfortunately characterize the domain on which it settled, has
    determined on a dissolution. Other reasons also influence this
    step, but these, and the fact that the domain is located in a
    thinly inhabited region, cut off almost entirely from a market
    for its surplus productions, are the prominent reasons. A
    grievous mistake was made by those engaged in this enterprise,
    in the selection of a domain; but as a report on the matter is
    forthcoming, we shall say no more at present."

It is evident enough that this was not Fourierism. Indeed, Mr. A., the
respondent in the Dialogue, frankly admits, for himself and doubtless
for his associates, that their doings had in them no semblance of
Fourierism. But then the same may be said, without much modification,
of all the experiments of the Fourier epoch. Fourier himself would
have utterly disowned every one of them. We have seen that he
vehemently protested against an experiment in France, which had a cash
basis of one hundred thousand dollars, and the advantage of his own
possible presence and administration. Much more would he have refused
responsibility for the whole brood of unscientific and starveling
"picnics," that followed Brisbane's excitations.

Here then arises a distinction between Fourierism as a theory
propounded by Fourier, and Fourierism as a practical movement
administered in this country by Brisbane and Greeley. The constitution
of a country is one thing; the government is another. Fourier
furnished constitutional principles; Brisbane was the working
President of the administration. We must not judge Fourier's theory by
Brisbane's execution. We can not conclude or safely imagine, from the
actual events under Brisbane's administration, what would have been
the course of things, if Fourier himself had been President of the
American movement. It might have been worse; or it might have been
better. It certainly would not have been the same; for Brisbane was a
very different man from Fourier. For one thing, Fourier was
practically a cautious man; while Brisbane was a young enthusiast.
Again, Fourier was a poor man and a worker; while Brisbane was a
capitalist. Our impression also is, that Fourier was more religious
than Brisbane. From these differences we might conjecture, that
Fourier would not have succeeded so well as Brisbane did, in getting
up a vast and swift excitement; but would have conducted his
operations to a safer end. At all events, it is unfair to judge the
French theory by the American movement under Brisbane. The value of
Fourier's ideas is not determined, nor the hope of good from them
foreclosed, merely by the disasters of these local experiments.

And, to deal fairly all round, it must further be said, that it is not
right to judge Brisbane by such experiments as that of the Sylvania
Association. Let it be remembered that, with all his enthusiasm, he
gave warning from time to time in his publications of the
deficiencies and possible failures of these hybrid ventures; and was
cautious enough to keep himself and his money out of them. We have not
found his name in connection with any of the experiments, except the
North American Phalanx; and he appears never to have been a member
even of that; but only was recommended for its presidency by the
Fourier Association of New York, which was a sort of mother to it.

What then shall we say of the rank-and-file that formed themselves
into Phalanxes and marched into the wilderness to the music of
Fourierism? Multitudes of them, like the poor Sylvanians, lost their
all in the battle. To them it was no mere matter of theory or pleasant
propagandism, but a miserable "Bull Run." And surely there was a great
mistake somewhere. Who was responsible for the enormous miscalculation
of times, and forces, and capabilities of human nature, that is
manifest in the universal disaster of the experiments? Shall we clear
the generals, and leave the poor soldiers to be called volunteer
fools, without the comfort even of being in good company?

After looking the whole case over again, we propose the following
distribution of criticism:

1. Fourier, though not responsible for Brisbane's administration, was
responsible for tantalizing the world with a magnificent theory,
without providing the means of translating it into practice. Christ
and Paul did no such thing. They kept their theory in the back-ground,
and laid out their strength mainly on execution. The mistake of all
"our incomparable masters" of the French school, seems to have been in
imagining that a supreme genius is required for developing a theory,
but the experimenting and execution may be left to second-rate men.
One would think that the example of their first Napoleon might have
taught them, that the place of the supreme genius is at the head of
the army of execution and in the front of the battle with facts.

2. Brisbane, though not altogether responsible for the inadequate
attempts of the poor Sylvanians and the rest of the rabble volunteers,
must be blamed for spending all his energy in drumming and recruiting;
while, to insure success, he should have given at least half his time
to drilling the soldiers and leading them in actual battle. One
example of Fourierism, carried through to splendid realization, would
have done infinitely more for the cause in the long run, than all his
translations and publications. As Fourier's fault was devotion to
theory, Brisbane's fault was devotion to propagandism.

3. The rank-and-file, as they were strictly volunteers, should have
taken better care of themselves, and not been so ready to follow and
even rush ahead of leaders, who were thus manifestly devoting
themselves to theorizing and propagandism without experience.

It may be a consolation to all concerned--officers, privates, and
far-off spectators of the great "Bull Run" of Fourierism--that the
cause of Socialism has outlived that battle, and has learned from it,
not despair, but wisdom. We have found by it at least _what can not be
done_. As Owenism, with all its disasters, prepared the way for
Fourierism, so we may hope that Fourierism, with all its disasters,
has prepared the way for a third and perhaps final socialistic
movement. Every lesson of the past will enter into the triumph of the



Our memoirs of the Phalanxes and other contemporary Associations, may
as well be arranged according to the States in which they were
located. We have already disposed of the Sylvania, which was the most
interesting of the experiments in Pennsylvania during the Fourier
epoch. Our accounts of the remaining half-dozen are not long. The
whole of them may be dispatched at a sitting.


This was a Community founded by Andreas Bernardus Smolnikar, whose
name we saw among the Vice Presidents of the National Convention.
Macdonald says nothing of it; but the _Phalanx_ of April 1844, has the
following paragraph:

"This colony of Germans is situated in Limestown township, Warren
County, Pennsylvania; it is founded upon somewhat peculiar views and
associative principles, by Andreas Bernardus Smolnikar, who was
Professor of Biblical Study and Criticism in Austria, and perceiving
by the signs of the times compared with prophecies of the Bible, that
the time was at hand for the foundation of the universal peace which
was promised to all nations, and feeling called to undertake a
mission to aid in carrying out the great work thus disclosed to him,
he came to America. In the years 1838 and 1842, he published at
Philadelphia five volumes in explanation of his views; and gathering
around him a body of his countrymen, during the last summer he
commenced with them the Peace Union Settlement, on a tract of fertile
wild land of 10,000 acres, which had been purchased."

That is all we find. Smolnikar begun, but, we suppose, was not able to
finish. In 1845 he was wandering about the country, professing to be
the "Ambassador extraordinary of Christ, and Apostle of his peace." He
called on us at Putney; but we heard nothing of his Community.


The _Phalanx_, in its first number (October 1843), announced this
experiment among many others, in the following terms:

"There is a large Association of Germans in McKean County,
Pennsylvania, commenced by the Rev. George Ginal of Philadelphia. They
own a very extensive tract of land, over thirty thousand acres we are
informed, and are progressing prosperously. The shares, which were
originally $100, have been sold and are now held at $200 or more."

This is the first and the last we hear of the Rev. George Ginal and
his thirty thousand acres.


The name of this Community, Macdonald says, was derived from
Scripture; probably from the expression of Paul, "Be of one mind."
_The New Moral World_ claimed it as an Owenite Association, "with a
constitution slightly altered from Owen's outline of rational society,
i.e., made a little more theological." It originated at Paterson, New
Jersey, but the sect of One-Mentianists appears to have had branches
in Newark, New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia and other cities. The
prominent men were Dr. Humbert and Messrs. Horner, Scott, and Hudson.

The _Regenerator_ of February 12, 1844, published a long epistle from
John Hooper, a member of the One-Mentian Community, giving an account
in rather stilted style, of its origin, state and prospects. We quote
the most important paragraphs:

"In the beginning of last year a few humble but sincere persons
resolved to raise the standard of human liberty, and though limited
indeed in their means, yet such as they could sacrifice they
contributed for that purpose; believing that the tree being once
planted, other generous spirits, filled with the same sympathy,
enlightened by the same knowledge, and kindled by the same resolve,
would, from time to time step forward, unite in the same holy cause,
and nurture this tree, until its redeeming unction shall shed a
kindred halo through the length and breadth of the land. Having made
this resolve, they looked not behind them, but freely contributed of
their hard-earned means, and purchased eight hundred acres of fertile
wood-land, in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. Their zeal perhaps
overpacing their judgment, they located upon their domain several
families before organizing sufficient means for their support, which
necessarily produced much privation and disappointment, and which
placed men and women, good and true, in a position to which human
nature never ought to be exposed. But their undying faith in the
truth and grandeur of social Community, strengthened them in their
endeavor to overcome their disasters, and they have passed the fiery
ordeal chastened and purified. Do I censure their want of foresight?
Do I regret this trial? Oh, no! It but the more forcibly confirms me
in my persuasion of the practicability of our system. It but the more
clearly shows how persons united in a good and just cause, can and
will surmount unequaled privations, withering disappointments, and
unimagined difficulties, if their impulse be as pure as their object
is sacred and magnificent. It shows, too, most clearly, how the
humblest in society can work out their redemption, when true to one
another. And moreover, it is a security that blessings so dearly
purchased, will be guarded by as judicious watchfulness and jealous
care, as the labor was severe and trying in producing them.

"But the land has been bought, and better still, it is paid for; and
the Society stands at this moment free from debt. We have no interest
nor rent to pay, no mortgage to dread; but we are free and
unincumbered. The land is good, as can be testified by several persons
in the city of New York, who well know it, and who are willing to bear
witness of this fact to any who may or have questioned it. About
sixteen acres of this land are cleared and cultivated. We have
implements, some stock, and some machinery. But what is better than
all, we have honest hearts, clear heads, and hardy limbs, which have
passed the severest tests, battling with the huge forest, struggling
with the hitherto sterile glebe, fostering the generous seed, that
they may build suffering humanity a home. Who after this can be so
cold as not to bid them good speed? Who so ungenerous as to speak to
their disparagement? Who so niggardly as to withhold from them their
mite? Having a fine water-power on their domain, they are yearning for
the creation of a mill, which, at a small cost, can and will be soon
accomplished," etc.

Macdonald reports the progress and _finale_ of this experiment, with
some wholesome criticisms, as follows:

    "The committee appointed to select a domain, chose the location
    when the ground was covered with snow. The land was wild and
    well timbered, but the region is said to be cold. Some of the
    soil is good, but generally it is very rocky and barren. The
    society paid five hundred dollars for some six or seven hundred
    acres, Cheap enough, one would say; but it turned out to be dear

    "Enthusiasm drove between thirty and forty persons out to the
    spot, and they commenced work under very unfavorable
    circumstances. The accommodations were very inferior, there
    being at first only one log cabin on the place; and what was
    worse, there was an insufficiency of food, both for men and
    animals. The members cleared forty acres of land and made other
    improvements; and for the number of persons collected, and the
    length of time spent on the place, the work performed is said to
    have been immense.

    "As the land was paid for and assistance was being rendered by
    the various branches of the society, there were great
    anticipations of success. But it appears that an individual from
    Philadelphia visited the place, constituted himself a committee
    of inspection, and reported unfavorably to the Philadelphia
    branch; which quenched the Philadelphia ardor in the cause. A
    committee was sent on from the New York branch, and they
    likewise reported unfavorably of the domain. This speedily
    caused the dissolution of the Community.

    "The parties located on the domain reluctantly abandoned it, and
    returned again to the cities. I am informed that one of the
    members still lives on the place, and probably holds it as his
    own. Who has got the deeds, it seems difficult to determine.

    "This failure, like many others, is ascribed to ignorance.
    Disagreements of course took place; and one between Mr. Hudson
    and the New York branch, caused that gentleman to leave the
    One-Mentian, and start another Community a few miles distant.
    This probably broke up the One-Mentian. It lasted scarcely a


"This Association," says Macdonald, "originated in Brooklyn, Long
Island, among some mechanics and others, who were stimulated to make a
practical attempt at social reform, through the labors of Albert
Brisbane and Horace Greeley. Business was dull and the times were
hard; so that working-men were mostly unemployed, and many of them
were glad to try any apparently reasonable plan for bettering their

Mr. C.H. Little and Mr. Mackenzie were the leading men in this
experiment. They framed and printed a very elaborate constitution; but
as Macdonald says they never made any use of it, we omit it. One or
two curiosities in it, however, deserve to be rescued from oblivion.

The 14th article provides that "The treasury of the Unity shall
consist of a suitable metallic safe, secured by seven different locks,
the keys of which shall be deposited in the keeping and care of the
following officers, to wit: one with the president of the Unity, one
with the president of the Advisory Council, one with the secretary
general, one with the accountant general, one with the agent general,
one with the arbiter general, and one with the reporter general. The
monies in said treasury to be drawn out only by authority of an order
from the Executive Council, signed by all the members of the same in
session at the time of the drawing of such order, and counter-signed
by the president of the Unity. All such monies thus drawn shall be
committed to the care and disposal of the Executive Council."

The 62d Article says, "The question or subject of the dissolution of
this Unity shall never be entertained, admitted or discussed in any of
the meetings of the same."

"Land was offered to the society by a Mr. Wood, in Pike County,
Pennsylvania, at $1.25 per acre, and the cheapness of it appears to
have been the chief inducement to accepting it. They agreed to take
two thousand acres at the above rate, but only paid down $100. The
remainder was to be paid in installments within a certain period.

"A pioneer band was formed of about twenty persons, who went on to the
property: their only capital being their subscriptions of $50 each.
The journey thither was difficult, owing to the bad roads and the
ruggedness of the country.

"The domain was well-timbered land near the foot of a mountain range,
and was thickly covered with stones and boulders. A half acre had been
cleared for a garden by a previous settler. A small house with about
four rooms, a saw-mill, a yoke of oxen, some pigs, poultry, etc.,
were on the place; but the accommodations and provisions were
altogether insufficient, and the circumstances very unpleasant for so
many persons, and especially at such a season of the year; for it was
about the middle of November when they went on the ground.

"At the commencement of their labors they made no use of their
constitution and laws to regulate their conduct, intending to use them
when they had made some progress on their domain, and had prepared it
for a greater number of persons. All worked as they could, and with an
enthusiasm worthy of a great cause, and all shared in common whatever
there was to share. They commenced clearing land, building bridges
over the 'runs,' gathering up the boulders, and improving the
habitation. But going on to an uncultivated place like that, without
ample means to obtain the provisions they required, and at such a
season, seems to me to have been a very imprudent step; and so the
sequel proved.

"None of the leading men were agriculturists; and although it may be
quite true that the soil under the boulders was excellent, yet a band
of poor mechanics, without capital, must have been sadly deluded, if
they supposed that they could support themselves and prepare a home
for others on such a spot as that; unless, indeed, mankind can live on
wood and stone.

"They depended upon external support from the Brooklyn Society, and
expected it to continue until they were firmly established on the
domain. In this they were totally disappointed; the promised aid never
came; and indeed the subscriptions ceased entirely on the departure of
the pioneers to the place of experiment.

"They continued struggling manfully with the rocks, wood, climate and
other opposing circumstances, for about ten months; and agreed pretty
well till near the close, when the legislating and chafing increased,
as the means decreased.

"Occasionally a new member would arrive, and a little foreign
assistance would be obtained. But this did not amount to much; and
finally it was thought best to abandon the enterprise. Want of capital
was the only cause assigned by the Community for its failure; but
there was evidently also want of wisdom and general preparation."


It was mentioned at the close of the account of the One-Mentian
Community, that a Mr. Hudson seceded and started another Association.
That Association took the domain left by the Social Reform Unity. The
locality was called "Goose Pond," and hence the name of this
Community. About sixty persons were engaged in it. After an existence
of a few months it failed.


Several notices of this Association occur in The _Phalanx_, from which
we quote as follows:

    [From the _Phalanx_, February 5, 1844.]

    "An Industrial Association, which promises to realize
    immediately the advantages of united interests, and ultimately
    all the immense economies and blessings of a true, brotherly
    social order, is now in progress of organization near the
    village of Leraysville, town of Pike, county of Bradford, in the
    State of Pennsylvania.

    "Nearly fifty thousand dollars have been subscribed to its
    stock, and a constitution nearly identical with that of the
    North American Phalanx, has received the signatures of a number
    of heads of families and others, who are preparing to commence
    operations early in the spring. Thus the books are fairly open
    for subscription to the capital stock, only a few thousand
    dollars more of cash capital being needed for the first year's

    "About fifteen hundred acres of land have already been secured
    for the domain, consisting of adjacent farms in a good state of
    cultivation, well fenced and watered, and as productive as any
    tract of equal dimensions in its vicinity.

    "As Dr. Lemuel C. Belding, the active projector of this
    enterprise, and several other gentlemen who have united their
    farms to form the domain, are members of the New Jerusalem
    church, it may be fairly presumed that the Leraysville Phalanx
    will be owned mostly by members of that religious connection;
    although other persons desirous of living in charity with their
    neighbors, will by no means be excluded, but on the contrary be
    freely admitted to the common privileges of membership.

    "We are very much pleased with this little Phalanx, which is
    just starting into existence. Rev. Dr. Belding, the clergyman at
    the head of it, is a man of sound judgment, great practical
    energy, and clear views--not merely a theologian, talking only
    of abstract faith and future salvation. He knows that 'work is
    worship;' that order, economy and justice must exist on earth in
    the practical affairs of men, as they do wherever God's laws are
    carried out; and that if men would pray in _deed_, as they do in
    _word_, those principles would soon be realized in this world.

    "He enjoys the confidence of the people around him, and unites
    with them practically in the enterprise, setting an example by
    putting in his own land and other property, and doing his share
    of the LABOR."

    [From the _Phalanx_ March 1, 1844.]

    "We learn that this Association is proceeding with its
    organization under favorable auspices. The most interesting
    practical step that has been taken is, throwing down the
    division fences of the farms which have been united to form the
    domain. How significant a fact is this! The barricades of
    selfishness and isolation are overthrown!

    "Buried deep in the mountains of Pennsylvania, in a secluded,
    and as is said, beautiful valley, some honest farmers are living
    on their separate farms. In general they are thrifty; but they
    feel sensibly many evils and disadvantages to which they are
    subjected. The doctrines of Association reach them, and as
    intelligent, sincere minded men, they come together and discuss
    their merits. They are satisfied of their truth, and that they
    can live together as brethren with united interests, far better
    than they can separated, under the old system of divided and
    conflicting interests. They resolve to carry out their
    convictions, and to form an Association. Now how is this to be
    done? Simply by uniting their farms, and forming of them one
    domain. They do not sacrifice any interest in their property;
    the tenure of it only is changed. Instead of owning the acres
    themselves, they own the shares of stock which represent the
    acres, and the individual and collective interests are at once
    united. They are now joint-partners in a noble domain, and the
    interest of each is the interest of all, and the interest of all
    the interest of each. From unity of interests at once springs
    unity of feeling and unity of design; and the first sign is a
    destructive one; they throw down the old land-marks of
    division. The next will be constructive; they will build them a
    large and comfortable edifice in which they can reside in true
    social relations.

    "Now what do we gather from this? Plainly that the social
    transformation from isolation to Association, is a simple and
    easy thing, a peaceful and a practical thing, which neither
    violates any right nor disturbs any order.

    "We understand that as soon as the spring opens, the Leraysville
    Phalanx is to be joined by a number of enterprising men and
    skillful mechanics from this city and other places."

    [From the _Phalanx_, April 1, 1844.]

    "The cash resources of the Phalanx, in addition to its local
    trade, will consist of sales of cattle, horses, boots, shoes,
    saddles and harness, woolen goods, hats, books of its own
    manufacture, paper, umbrellas, stockings, gloves, clothing,
    cabinet-wares, piano fortes, tin-ware, nursery-trees, carriages,
    bedsteads, chairs, oil-paintings and other productions of skill
    and art, together with the receipts from pupils in the schools
    and boarders from abroad, residing on the domain.

    "It need not be concealed that the intention of the founders of
    the Leraysville Association, is to keep up, if possible, a
    prevailing New Church influence in the Phalanx, in order that
    its schools may be conducted consistently with the views of that
    religious connection."

                                  SOLYMAN BROWN, General Agent.
                                         13 Park Place, New York.

    [From the _Phalanx_, September 7, 1844.]

    "We have received a paper containing an oration delivered on the
    Fourth of July, by Dr. Solyman Brown, late of this city, at the
    Leraysville Phalanx, which institution he has joined."

So far the _Phalanx_ carries us pleasantly; but here it leaves us.
Macdonald tells the unpleasant part of the story thus:

    "There were about forty men, women and children in the
    Association. Among them were seven farmers, two or three
    carpenters, one cabinet maker, two or three shoemakers, one
    cooper, one lawyer, and several doctors of physic and divinity,
    together with some young men who made themselves generally
    useful. The majority of the members were Swedenborgians, and Dr.
    Belding was their preacher.

    "The land (about three hundred acres) and other property
    belonged to Dr. Belding, his sons, his brother, and other
    relatives. It was held as stock, at a valuation made by the

    "In addition to the families who were thus related, and who
    owned the property, individuals from distant places were induced
    to go there; but for these outsiders the accommodations were not
    very good. Each of the seven persons owning the land had
    comfortable homesteads on which they lived, the estimated value
    of which gave them controlling power and influence. But the
    associates from a distance (some even from the State of Maine)
    were compelled to board with Dr. Belding and others, until the
    associative buildings could be constructed--which in fact was
    never done. No doubt these invidious arrangements produced
    disagreements, which led to a speedy dissolution. The outsiders
    very soon became discontented with the management, conceiving
    that those who held the most stock, i.e., the original owners
    of the soil, after receiving aid from without, endeavored so to
    rule as to turn all to their own advantage.

    "The circumstances of the property owners were improved by what
    was done on the place; but the associates from a distance, whose
    money and labor were expended in cultivating the land and in
    rearing new buildings, were not so fortunate. Their money
    speedily vanished, and their labor was not remunerated. The land
    and the buildings remained, and the owners enjoyed the
    improvements. The whole affair came to an end in about eight

We hope the reader will not fail to notice how powerfully the
land-mania raged among these Associations. Let us recapitulate. The
Pennsylvania Associations, including the Sylvania, are credited with
real estate as follows:

    The Sylvania Association had                    2,394
    The Peace Union Settlement "                   10,000
    The McKean Co. Association "                   30,000
    The Social Reform Unity    "                    2,000
    The Goose-Pond Community   "                    2,000
    The Leraysville Phalanx    "                    1,500
    The One-Mentian Community  "                      800
    Total for the seven Associations               48,694

It is to be observed that Northern Pennsylvania, where all these
Associations were located, is a paradise of cheap lands. Three great
chains of mountains and not less than eight high ridges run through
the State, and spread themselves abroad in this wild region. Any one
who has passed over the Erie railroad can judge of the situation. It
is evident from the description of the soil of the above domains, as
well as from the prices paid for them, that they were, almost without
exception, mountain deserts, cold, rocky and remote from the world of
business. The Sylvania domain in Pike County, was elevated 1,500 feet
above the Hudson river. Its soil was "yellow loam," that would barely
support stunted pines and scrub-oaks; price, four dollars per acre.
Smolnikar's Peace Union Settlement was on the ridges of Warren County,
a very wild region. The Rev. George Ginal's 30,000 acres were among
the mountains of McKean County, which adjoins Warren, and is still
wilder. The Social Reform Unity was located in Pike County, near the
site of the Sylvania. Its domain was thickly covered with stones and
boulders; price, one dollar and a quarter per acre. The Goose Pond
Community succeeded to this domain of the Social Reform Unity, with
its stones and boulders. The Leraysville Association appears to have
occupied some respectable land; but the _Phalanx_ speaks of it as
"deep buried in the mountains of Pennsylvania." The One-Mentian
Community, like the Sylvania, selected its domain while covered with
snow; the soil is described as wild, cold, rocky and barren; price,
five hundred dollars for seven or eight hundred acres, or about
sixty-five cents per acre.

Such were the domains on which the Fourier enthusiasm vented itself.
An illusion, like the _mirages_ of the desert, seems to have prevailed
among the Socialists, cheating the hungry mechanics of the cities with
the fancy, that, if they could combine and obtain vast tracts of land,
no matter where or how poor, their fortunes were made. Whereas it is
well known to the wise that the more of worthless land a man has the
poorer he is, if he pays taxes on it, or pays any attention to it;
and that agriculture anyhow is a long and very uncertain road to

We can not but think that Fourier is mainly responsible for this
_mirage_. He is always talking in grand style about vast
domains--three miles square, we believe, was his standard--and his
illustrations of attractive industry are generally delicious pictures
of fruit-raising and romantic agriculture. He had no scruple in
assigning a series of twelve groups of amateur laborers to raising
twelve varieties of the Bergamot pear! And his staunch disciples are
always full of these charming impracticable ruralities.



Western New York was the region that responded most vigorously to the
gospel of Fourierism, proclaimed by Brisbane, Greeley, Godwin and the
Brook Farmers.

Taking Rochester for a center, and a line of fifty miles for radius,
we strike a circle that includes the birth-places of nearly all the
wonderful excitements of the last forty years. At Palmyra, in Wayne
County, twenty-five miles east of Rochester, Joseph Smith in 1823 was
visited by the Angel Moroni, and instructed about the golden plates
from which the book of Mormon was copied; and there he began the
gathering which grew to be a nation and settled Utah. Batavia, about
thirty miles west of Rochester, was the scene of Morgan's abduction in
1820; which event started the great Anti-Masonic excitement, that
spread through the country and changed the politics of the nation. At
Acadia, in Wayne County, adjoining Palmyra, the Fox family first heard
the mysterious noises which were afterward known as the "Rochester
rappings," and were the beginning of the miracles of modern
Spiritualism. The Rochester region has also been famous for its
Revivals, and borders on what Hepworth Dixon has celebrated as the
"Burnt District."

In this same remarkable region around Rochester, occurred the greatest
Fourier excitement in America. T.C. Leland, writing from that city in
April 1844, thus described the enthusiasm: "I attended the socialistic
Convention at Batavia. The turn-out was astonishing. Nearly every town
in Genesee County was well represented. Many came from five to twelve
miles on foot. Indeed all western New York is in a deep, a shaking
agitation on this subject. Nine Associations are now contemplated
within fifty miles of this city. From the astonishing rush of
applications for membership in these Associations, I have no
hesitation in saying that twenty thousand persons, west of the
longitude of Rochester in this State, is a low estimate of those who
are now ready and willing, nay anxious, to take their place in
associative unity."

Mr. Brisbane traveled and lectured in this excited region a few months
before Mr. Leland wrote the above. The following is his report to the

    "It will no doubt be gratifying to those who take an interest in
    the great idea of a Social Reform, to learn that it is spreading
    very generally through the State of New York. I have visited
    lately the central and western parts of the State, and have been
    surprised to see that the principles of a reform, based upon
    Association and unity of interests, have found their way into
    almost every part of the country, and the farmers are beginning
    to see the truth and greatness of a system of dignified and
    attractive industry, and the advantages of Association, such as
    its economy, its superior means of education, and the guaranty
    it offers against the indirect and legalized spoliation by those
    intermediate classes who now live upon their labor.

    "The conviction that Association will realize Christianity
    practically upon earth, which never can be done in the present
    system of society, with its injustice, frauds, distrust, and the
    conflict and opposition of all interests, is taking hold of many
    minds and attracting them strongly to it. There is a very
    earnest desire on the part of a great number of sincere minds to
    see that duplicity which now exists between theory and practice
    in the religious world, done away with; and where this desire is
    accompanied with intelligence, Association is plainly seen to be
    the means. It is beginning to be perceived that a great social
    reformation must take place, and a new social order be
    established, before Christianity can descend upon earth with its
    love, its peace, its brotherhood and charity. The noble doctrine
    propounded by Fourier, is gaining valuable disciples among this
    class of persons.

    "I lectured at Utica, Syracuse, Seneca Falls, and Rochester, and
    although the weather was very unfavorable, the audiences were
    large. At Rochester I attended a convention of the friends of
    Association, interested in the establishment of the Ontario
    Phalanx. Men of intelligence, energy and strong convictions, are
    at the head of this enterprise, and it will probably soon be
    carried into operation. A very heavy subscription to the stock
    can be obtained in Rochester and the vicinity, in productive
    farms and city real estate, for the purpose of organizing this
    Association; but, owing to the scarcity of money, it is
    difficult to obtain the cash capital requisite to commence
    operations. From the perseverance and determination of the men
    at the head of the undertaking, it is presumed, however, that
    this difficulty will be overcome. Those persons in the western
    part of the State of New York, who wish to enter an
    Association, can not be too strongly recommended to unite with
    the Ontario Phalanx.

    "It is very advisable that the friends of the cause should not
    start small Associations. If they are commenced with inadequate
    means, and without men who know how to organize them, they may
    result in failures, which will cast reproach upon the
    principles. The American people are so impelled to realize in
    practice any idea which strikes them as true and advantageous,
    that it will of course be useless to preach moderation in
    organizing Associations; still I would urgently recommend to
    individuals, for their own interest, to avoid small and
    fragmental undertakings, and unite with the largest one in their
    section of the country.

    "Four gentlemen from Rochester and its vicinity will be engaged
    this winter in propagating the principles of Association by
    lectures etc., in western New York. At Rochester they have
    commenced the publication of tracts upon Association, which we
    trust will be extensively circulated. That city is becoming an
    important center of propagation, and will, we believe, exercise
    a very great influence, as it is situated in a flourishing
    region of country, inhabited by a very intelligent population.

    "It must be deeply gratifying to the friends of Association to
    see the unexampled rapidity with which our principles are
    spreading throughout this vast country. Would it not seem that
    this very general response to, and acceptance of, an entirely
    new and radically reforming doctrine by intelligent and
    practical men, prove that there is something in it harmonizing
    perfectly with the ideas of truth, justice, economy and order,
    and those higher sentiments implanted in the soul of man,
    which, although so smothered at present, are awakened when the
    correspondences in doctrine or practice are presented to them
    clearly and understandingly?

    "The name of Fourier is now heard from the Atlantic to the
    Mississippi; from the remotest parts of Wisconsin and Louisiana
    responsive echoes reach us, heralding the spread of the great
    principles of universal Association; and this important work has
    been accomplished in a few years, and mainly within two years,
    since Horace Greeley, Esq., the editor of the _Tribune_, with
    unprecedented courage and liberality, opened the columns of his
    widely-circulated journal to a fair exposition of this subject.
    What will the next ten years bring forth?"

Mr. John Greig of Rochester, a participator in this socialistic
excitement and in the experiments that went with it, contributed the
following sketch of its beginnings to Macdonald's collection of

    "We in western New York received an account of the views and
    discoveries of (the to-be-illustrious) Fourier, through the
    writings of Brisbane, Greeley, Godwin and the earnest lectures
    of T.C. Leland. Those ideas fell upon willing ears and hearts
    then (1843), and thousands flocked from all quarters to hear,
    believe, and participate in the first movement.

    "This excitement gathered itself into a settled purpose at a
    convention held in Rochester in August 1843, which was attended
    by several hundred delegates from the city and neighboring towns
    and villages. A great deal of discussion ensued as a matter of
    course, and some little amount of business was done. The nucleus
    of a society was formed, and committees for several purposes
    were appointed to sit in permanence, and call together future
    conventions for further discussions.

    "I was one of the Vice Presidents of that convention, and took a
    decided interest in the whole movement. As there existed from
    the very beginning of the discussions some diversity of opinion
    on several points of doctrine and expediency, there arose at
    least four different Associations out of the constituents of
    said convention. Those who were most determined to follow as
    near the letter of Fourier as possible, were led off chiefly by
    Dr. Theller (of 'Canadian Patriot' notoriety), Thomas Pond (a
    Quaker), Samuel Porter of Holly, and several others of less
    note, including the writer hereof. They located at Clarkson, in
    Monroe County. The other branches established themselves at
    Sodus Bay in Wayne County, at Hopewell near Canandaigua in
    Ontario County, at North Bloomfield in Ontario County, and at
    Mixville in Alleghany County."

The Associations that thus radiated from Rochester, hold a place of
peculiar interest in the history of the Fourier movement, from the
fact that they made the first, and, we believe, the only practical
attempt, to organize a _Confederation_ of Associations. The National
Convention, as we have seen, recommended general Confederation; and
its executive committee afterward, through Parke Godwin, made
suggestions in the _Phalanx_ tending in the same direction. The
movement, however, came to nothing, and at the subsequent National
Convention in October, was formally abandoned. But the Rochester group
of Associations, attracted together by their common origin, actually
formed a league, called the "American Industrial Union," and a Council
of their delegates held a session of two days at the domain of the
North Bloomfield Association, commencing on the 15th of May, 1844. The
_Phalanx_ has an interesting report of the doings of this Confederate
Council, from which we give below a liberal extract, showing how
heartily these western New Yorkers abandoned themselves to the spirit
of genuine Fourierism:


    "_Resolved_, That it be recommended to the several institutions
    composing this Confederacy to adopt, as far as possible, the
    practice of mutual exchanges between each other; and that they
    should immediately take such measures as will enable them to
    become the commercial agents of the producing classes in the
    sections of the country where the Associations are respectively

    _Classification of Industry._

    "_Resolved_, That in the opinion of the council, the first step
    towards organization should be an arrangement of the different
    branches of agricultural, mechanical and domestic work, in the
    classes of necessity, usefulness and attractiveness. The exact
    category in which an occupation shall be placed, will be
    influenced more or less by local circumstances, and is, at best,
    somewhat conjectural. It will be indicated, however, with
    certainty, by observation and experience. In the meantime, the
    council take the liberty to express an opinion, that to the

    _Class of Necessity._

    belong, among others, the following, viz.: ditching, masonry,
    work in woolen and cotton factories, quarrying stone,
    brickmaking, burning lime and coal, getting out manure, baking,
    washing, ironing, cooking, tanning and currier business,
    night-sawing and other night work, blacksmithing, care of
    children and the sick, care of dairy, flouring, hauling seine,
    casting, chopping wood, and cutting timber.

    _Class of Usefulness._

    "All mechanical trades not mentioned in the class of necessity;
    agriculture, school-teaching, book-keeping, time of directors
    while in session, other officers acting in an official capacity,
    engineering, surveying and mapping, store-keeping, gardening,
    rearing silk-worms, care of stock, horticulture, teaching music,
    housekeepers (not cooks), teaming.

    _Class of Attractiveness._

    "Cultivation of flowers, cultivation of fruit, portrait-and
    landscape-painting, vine-dressing, poultry-keeping, care of
    bees, embellishing public grounds.

    _Groups and Series._

    "The Council recommend to the different Associations the
    following plan for the organization of groups and series, viz.:

    "1. Ascertain, for example, the whole number of members who will
    attach themselves to, or at any time take part in, the
    agricultural line. From this number, organize as many groups as
    the business of the line will admit.

    "2. We recommend the numbers 30, 24, 18, as the maximum rank of
    the classes of necessity, usefulness and attractiveness.

    "The series should then be numbered in the order in which they
    are formed, and the groups in the same manner, beginning 1, 2,
    3, &c., for each series.

    "Mechanical series can be organized, embracing all the
    different trades employed by the Association, in the same
    manner; and if the groups can not be filled up at once with
    adults, we would recommend to the institutions to fill them
    sufficiently for the purpose of organization, with apprentices.

    "Each group should have a foreman, whose business it should be
    to keep correct accounts of time, superintend and direct the
    performance of work, and maintain an oversight of
    working-dresses, etc.

    "There should be one individual elected as superintendent of the
    series, whose business it should be to confer with the farming
    committee of the board, and inform the different foremen of
    groups, of the work to be done, and inspect the same afterwards.

    "The council is thoroughly satisfied that all the labor of an
    Association should be performed by groups and series, and
    although the combined order can not be fully established at
    once, the adoption of this arrangement will avoid incoherence,
    and be calculated to impress on each member a sense of his
    personal responsibility.

    _Time and Rank._

    "The time, rank and occupation should be noted daily, and
    oftener, if a change of employment is made. The sum of the
    products of the daily time of each individual, as multiplied by
    his daily rank, should be carried to the time-ledger, weekly or
    monthly, to his or her credit. Each of the several amounts,
    whether performed in the classes of necessity, usefulness, or
    attractiveness, will thus be made to bear an equal proportion to
    the value of the services rendered.

                                          A.M. WATSON, President.
    E.A. STILLMAN, Secretary."

The reader may be curious to see how these instructions were carried
out in actual account-keeping. Fortunately the _Phalanx_ furnishes a
specimen of what, we suppose, may be called, unmitigated Fourierism.

"The following tables," says a subsequent report, "exhibit the mode of
keeping the account of a group at the Clarkson domain. The total
number of hours that each individual has been employed during the
week, is multiplied by the degree in the scale of rank, which gives an
equation of rank and time of the whole group. At Clarkson, for every
thousand of the quotient, each member is allowed to draw on his
account for necessaries, to the value of seventy-five cents:


_Maximum Rank 25._

   1844|             |    |    |    |    |    |    |Total|Hours
   Rank|             | Mo.|Tue.| We.|Thu.|Fri.|Sat.|hours|& rank.
   20  | M. Weed,    |  6 | 10 |  3 | -- | -- |  5 |  24 |  480
   25  | J. Peabody, | 10 | 10 | 10 | 12 | 10 | 10 |  62 | 1550
   20  | S. Clark,   | 10 | 10 | 10 | 10 |  8 | -- |  48 |  960
   25  | E. Clark,   |  2 | 10 | 10 |Sick| -- | -- |  22 |  550
   18  | H. Lee,     |  6 |  4 | 10 |  6 |  4 |  4 |  34 |  612
   15  | J. Folsom,  |  3 |  3 |  2 |  6 |  5 |  3 |  22 |  330
   12  | Eliza Mann, |  4 |  4 |  2 |  2 |  6 |  4 |  22 |  264

The above is a true account of the time and rank of the whole group,
working under my direction for the past week.

                                          JULIA PEABODY. Foreman.

     Entered on the books of the Association, by
                                               WM. SEAVER, Clerk.
  _Clarkson Domain, July 6, 1844._


_Maximum Rank 30._

   1844|                |    |    |    |    |    |    |Total|Hours
   Rank|                | Mo.|Tue.| We.|Thu.|Fri.|Sat.|hours|& rank.
   24  | Chas. Odell,   | 10 |  9 | 10 | 10 |  8 |  9 |  56 | 1344
   30  | John Allen,    | 10 | 10 |  2 |  6 | 10 |  8 |  46 | 1380
   20  | Jas. Smith,    |Sick| -- | -- | -- | -- |  3 |   3 | 120
   30  | Wm. Allen,     | 10 | 12 | 10 | 10 | 10 | 10 |  62 | 1860
   30  | Jas. Griffith, | 10 | 10 | 10 | 10 | 10 | 10 |  60 | 1800

The above is a true account of the time and rank of the whole group,
working under my direction for the past week.

                                         JAMES GRIFFITH, Foreman.

       Entered on the books of the Association, by
                                               WM. SEAVER, Clerk.
  _Clarkson Domain, July 6, 1844._"

For the sake of keeping in view the various religious influences that
entered into the Fourier movement, it is worth noting here that Edwin
A. Stillman, the Secretary of the Union, was one of the early
Perfectionists; intimately associated with the writer of this history
at New Haven in 1835. We judge from the frequent occurrence of his
official reports in the _Phalanx_ and _Harbinger_, that he was the
working center of the socialist revival at Rochester, and of the
incipient confederacy of Associations that issued therefrom. In like
manner James Boyle, another New Haven Perfectionist, was a very busy
writer and lecturer among the Socialists of New England in the
excitements 1842-3, and was a member of the Northampton Community.



This Association appears to have been the first and most important of
the Confederated Phalanxes. Mr. John Greig (before referred to) is its
historian, whose account we here present with few alterations:

    "Our Association commenced at Clarkson on the shore of Lake
    Ontario, in the county of Monroe, about thirty miles from
    Rochester, in February 1844. We adopted a constitution and
    bye-laws, but I am sorry to say that I have not a copy of them.
    The reason why no copies have been preserved is, that after a
    year's experience in the associative life, we all became so wise
    (or smart, as the phrase is), that we thought we could make much
    better constitutions, and ceased to value the old ones.

    "We had no property qualifications. All male and female members
    over eighteen years of age were voters upon all important
    matters, excepting the investment and outlay of capital. No
    religious or political tests were required. The chief principle
    upon which we endeavored to found our Association, was to
    establish justice and judgment in our little earth at Clarkson
    domain, and as much further as possible.

    "Our means were ample; but, as it proved, unavailable. The
    beginning and ending of our troubles was this--and let all
    readers consider it--we were without the pale and protection of
    law, for want of incorporation. Consequently we could do no
    business, could not buy or sell land or other property, could
    not sue or be sued, could neither make ourselves responsible,
    nor compel others to become so; and as a majority of us were
    never able to adopt the dreamy abstractions of non-resistance
    and no-law, we were unable to live and prosper in that kingdom
    of smoke 'above the world.'

    "The members, in different proportions, had placed in the hands
    of trustees, after the manner of religious societies in this
    State, ninety-five thousand dollars worth of choice landed
    property, to be sold, turned into cash, and invested in Clarkson
    domain. We purchased of a Mr. Richmond Church and others, over
    two thousand acres of first-rate land, all on trust, excepting
    twenty acres bought for cash. The rise in value of our large
    purchase since our dispersion, has exceeded fifty thousand
    dollars. We probably took on to the domain some ten thousand
    dollars worth of goods and chattels.

    "Our property was not considered common stock; we only
    recognized a common cause. Our agreement gave capital to labor
    for less than half of the world's present interest, and gave to
    labor its full reward, according to merit, that is, skill,
    strength, and time; establishing 'Do as you would be done by'
    first; and attending to the questions of brotherhood afterward,
    such as home for life, respect, comfort, and all needful or
    desirable things to the old, the infant, the disabled, etc. This
    was the extent of our Communism. Our company stock was divided
    into twenty-five dollar shares. About one-third of the members
    owned none at all at first, although their rights were
    considered equal; and that point, be it said to the glory of the
    domain, was never mooted and scarcely mentioned.

    "We commenced our new life at Clarkson in March, April and May,
    1844; building our temporary, and enlarging our established,
    houses, and beginning to marshal our forces of toil. In April we
    'numbered Israel,' and found we were four hundred and twenty
    souls, as happy and joyous a family as ever thronged to an
    Independence dinner. If, in our fiscal affairs we were not
    Communists, in our moral and social feelings we were a house not
    divided against itself.

    "In relation to education, natural intelligence, and morality, I
    candidly think we were a little above the average of common
    citizens at large in the State, and no more. Trades and
    occupations were multiform. Our doctor and minister were
    academical scholars merely. We had one ripe merchant (a great
    rogue, too), some first-rate mechanics of all the substantial
    trades, and a noble lot of common farmers.

    "As for religion, we had seventy-four praying Christians,
    including all the sects in America, excepting Millerites and
    Mormons. We had one Catholic family (Dr. Theller's), one
    Presbyterian clergyman, and one Universalist. One of our first
    trustees was a Quaker. We had one Atheist, several Deists, and
    in short a general assortment; but of Nothingarians, none; for
    being free for the first time in our lives, we spoke out, one
    and all, and found that every body did believe something. All
    the gospels were preached in harmony and good fellowship. We
    early got up a committee on preaching the gospel, placing one of
    each known denomination upon said committee, including a Deist,
    who being a liberal soul, and no bigot in his infidelity, was
    chosen chairman on the gospel; and allow him modestly to say, he
    did acquit himself to the entire satisfaction of his more
    fortunate brethren in the faith. One word about our Atheist--our
    poor unfortunate Atheist; he was beloved by every soul on the
    domain, and was an intimate friend of our orthodox minister. We
    had no difficulties on the score of religion, and had we
    remained, we should have been nearer to love to God and love to
    man, than we are now, scattered as we are, broadcast over the
    continent. For membership, we required a decent character--no
    more. No oaths nor fines were required. Honorable pledges were
    given and generally kept.

    "Our domain was located at the mouth of Sandy Creek, on Lake
    Ontario. It was a slightly rolling plain, and the best soil in
    the world. On account of so much water (Lake, Bay and Creek), it
    was rather unhealthy, but would improve in time by cultivation.
    We had one good flour-mill, two saw-mills, one machine-shop,
    some good farm buildings and barns, and about half a mile in
    length of temporary rows of board buildings; a dry goods store
    for a portion of the time, and over 400 acres of land, under
    fair cultivation. At one period of our career, we had about four
    hundred sheep, forty cows, twenty-five span of horses, twelve
    yoke of oxen, swine, guinea fowls, barn fowls, geese, ducks,
    bees, etc., etc., in great abundance. We cultivated several
    acres of vegetable garden, reaped one hundred acres of wheat,
    and had corn, potatoes, peas, etc., to a large amount--I should
    think seventy-five acres. We had abundance of pasture, and must
    have cut two hundred tons of hay. Of wild berries there must
    have been gathered hundreds of bushels.

    "Our regularly elected officers managed the receipts and
    expenditures; and they were, I believe, honestly managed up to a
    certain time.

    "The four hundred and twenty members kept together until the
    autumn of the first year, and then were forced to break up and
    divide property, having but little to sustain themselves,
    because our capital was wrongfully tied up, in the hands of
    trustees: this course having been pursued by advice of certain
    great lawyers, who, when our legal troubles commenced, appeared
    in the courts against us. No purchasers could be found to buy
    the lands in the hands of the trustees; so we had come to a dead
    lock, and were obliged to break up or down, as the fact may be
    estimated. The associates did not disagree at all save in one
    thing, and that was, as to these bad property arrangements,
    which compelled them to break up. They staid or went by lots
    cast. Two hundred persons staid on the domain some four months
    longer, and then, the hope of a legal foundation having entirely
    died out, the whole matter was necessarily thrown into the court
    of Chancery, and the lawyers, as usual, took the avails of the
    hard earnings of the disappointed members.

    "The regularly organized Association kept together nearly one
    year. A remnant of the band remained after the court of chancery
    had adjudged a transfer of the estate back into the hands of the
    original owners. That remnant tried every little scheme and new
    contrivance that imagination could devise (except Fourierism),
    to stick together in a joint-stock capacity for a year longer or
    so, and then broke and ran all over the world, proclaiming
    Fourierism a failure. The Heavens may fall, and Fourier's
    industrial science may fail; but it must be tried first; till
    then it can not fail.

    "In short the reason why the attempt at Clarkson failed, and the
    only reason, was, that the founders missed the entrance door,
    viz., a legal foundation; by which they would have made friends
    with the old world, and begun the new in a constructive way,
    obtaining the right men and plenty of the 'mammon of
    unrighteousness.' They should have got incorporated under a
    general law like our manufacturing law, and obtained a suitable
    domain of at least 5760 acres of land or three miles square, and
    should have built and furnished a sufficient portion of a
    phalanstery to accommodate at least 400 persons, at the outset
    of organization. I boldly pronounce all partial attempts, short
    of such a beginning, a waste, and worse than a waste, of time
    and brain, blood and muscle, soul and body.

                                                     JOHN GREIG."

A writer in the _Phalanx_ (July 1844), viewing things from a
standpoint a little further off than Mr. Greig's, gave the following
more probable account of the Clarkson failure:

    "The original founders of this Association, no doubt actuated by
    good motives, but lacking discretion, held out such a brilliant
    prospect of comfort and pleasure in the very infancy of the
    movement, that hundreds, without any correct appreciation of the
    difficulties to be undergone by a pioneer band, rushed upon the
    ground, expecting at once to realize the heaven they so ardently
    desired, and which the eloquent words of the lecturers had
    warranted them to hope for. Thus, ignorant of Association,
    possessed, for the most part, of little capital, without
    adequate shelter from the inclemency of the weather, or even a
    sufficient store of the most common articles of food, without
    plan, and I had almost said, without purpose, save to fly from
    the ills they had already experienced in civilization, they
    assembled together such elements of discord as naturally in a
    short time led to their dissolution."

One feature of Mr. Greig's entertaining sketch deserves notice in
passing, viz., his cheerful boast of the multiplicity of religions in
the Clarkson Association, and the wonderful harmony that prevailed
among them. The meaning of the boast undoubtedly is, that religious
belief was so completely a secondary and insignificant matter, that it
did not prevent peaceful family relations, even between the atheists
and the orthodox. This kind of harmony is often spoken of in the
accounts of other Associations, and seems to have been a general
characteristic, or at least a _desideratum_, of the Owen and Fourier
schools. It is this harmonious indifference, which we refer to when we
speak of the Associations of those schools as _non-religious_.

The primary Massachusetts Communities, however, were hardly so free
from religious limitations, though they issued from the sects commonly
called liberal. The Brook Farmers, we have seen, covered the National
Convention all over with the mantle of piety, insisting that they were
at work as devout Christians, and that Fourierism, as they held it,
was Christianity. And Hopedale was even more zealous for Christianity
than Brook Farm. Collins's Community at Skaneateles, on the other
hand, went clear over to exclusive anti-religion; and actually barred
out by its original creed, all kinds of Christians, tolerating nobody
but sound Atheists and Deists.

The Northampton Association, which we have termed Nothingarian, seems
to have invented the happy medium of the Clarkson platform, and in
that respect may be regarded as the prototype of the whole class of
Fourier Associations. The mixture of religions, however, at
Northampton, was not so harmonious as at Clarkson. The historian of
the Northampton Community says: "The carrying out of different
religious views was perhaps the occasion of more disagreement than any
other subject; and this disagreement, operated to general
disadvantage, as in consequence of it several valuable members
withdrew." We shall meet with similar disagreements and disasters in
the Sodus Bay Phalanx and other Associations, to be reported
hereafter. So that it does not seem altogether safe to huddle a great
variety of contradictory religions together in close Association,
notwithstanding the apparent results in the Clarkson case. And it
occurs, as a natural suggestion, that possibly the Clarkson
Association did not last long enough to fairly test the results of a
general mixture of religions.



This Association originated about the same time as the Clarkson
Association (February 1844), and in the same place (Rochester). The
following description of its domain is from the _Herald of Freedom_:

"We have at this place about 1,400 acres of choice land, three hundred
of which are under improvement. It borders on Sodus Bay, the best
harbor on Lake Ontario, and for beauty of scenery, is not surpassed by
any tract in the State. We have on the domain two streams of water,
which can both be used for propelling machinery. We number at present
about three hundred men, women and children. The buildings on the
place were nearly enough to accommodate the whole, the place having
formerly been occupied by the Shakers, who had erected good buildings
for their own accommodation."

The editor of the _Phalanx_ visited this Association in the autumn of
1844, and wrote of it as follows:

"The advantages of the location seemed to us very rare, and it was
with great pain that we discovered that the internal condition, of the
Phalanx was not encouraging. We did not find that unity of purpose,
without which a small and imperfectly provided Association can not be
held together until it has attained the necessary perfection in its
mechanism. At the commencement, as it appeared to us, there was not
sufficient caution in the admission of members. A large number of
persons were received without proper qualification, either in
character or industrial abilities. Sickness unfortunately soon arose
in the new Phalanx, and increased the confusion which resulted from a
want of unity of feeling and systematic organization. Religious
differences, pressed in an intolerant manner on both sides, had at the
time of our visit produced entire uncertainty as to future operations,
and carried disorder to its height. We left the domain with the
conviction, which reflection has strengthened, that without an entire
reörganization under more efficient leaders, the Association must fall
entirely to pieces; a fact which is greatly to be deplored on account
of the cause in general, as well as on account of the excellence of
the location, and the real worth of several individuals who have
passed unshaken through such trying circumstances. We have, however,
in the case of this Phalanx, a striking example of the folly of
undertaking practical Association without sufficient means, and
without men of proper character. No other advantages can compensate
for the want of these."

Nearly a year later (September 1845), a member of the Sodus Bay
Phalanx wrote to the _Harbinger_ in the following dubious vein:

"We have only about twelve or fifteen adult males, and we believe we
may safely say (from the amount of labor performed the present
season), not many unprofitable ones. We have learned wisdom from the
many difficulties and privations of last year, and there is now
evidently a settled and determined will to succeed in our enterprise.
There is, however, a debt which is very discouraging; $7,000 principal
(besides $2,450 interest), which will come due next spring, and an
ability on our part of paying no more than the interest."

About the beginning of 1846 John A. Collins of the Skaneateles
Community, visited Sodus Bay, and sent to his paper, the
_Communitist_, the following mournful report:

    "Experience has taught them that but little confidence can be
    placed on calculations which are predicated upon a
    newly-organized, or more properly disorganized, body of
    heterogeneous materials, during the first and second years of
    its existence. There is not the least doubt, but that an
    energetic and efficient individual, with sufficient capital to
    erect with the least possible delay the saw-mill, lath, shingle,
    broom-handle, tub and pail, fork and hoe-handle, last, and
    general turning machinery, and employ as many first-class
    workmen as the business would require, could in three years, pay
    both principal and interest, and have the entire farm and
    several thousand dollars besides. But an Association composed of
    inexperienced, restless, indolent, feeble and selfish
    individuals, would perish beneath the pressure of interest, ere
    they could construct their mills, get their machinery in
    operation, and become organized and systematized, so that all
    things could be carried forward with that system and perfection
    which characterize isolation and the older established

    "But had not capital stepped forth to crush this movement, other
    elements equally poisonous and deadly were introduced, which
    would have sealed its ruin. A great portion of its members were
    brought together, not by a strong feeling or sympathy for the
    poor, noble philanthropy, or self-denying enthusiasm, but by the
    most narrow selfishness. Add to this, that bane of all that is
    meek, pure, noble and peaceful, religious bigotry was carried in
    and incorporated into the constitution of the Phalanx. Soon the
    body was divided into the religious and liberal portions, both
    of which carried their views, we think, to extremes.

    "We were present at a business meeting, in the early part of the
    fall of 1844. Each party, it seemed, felt bound to oppose the
    wishes, plans and movements of the other. We advised the more
    liberal portion of the society quietly to withdraw, and allow
    the other party to succeed if it possibly could. But they did
    not feel at liberty to do so; and soon after the religious body
    left, taking with them what of their property they could find,
    leaving those who remained (the liberal portion of the society),
    comparatively destitute. They felt determined to succeed, and
    nobly have they combated, to the present time, the hostile
    elements which have warred against them with terrible force.
    United in sympathy and feeling, they re-organized last spring;
    but the interest was too much for them to meet, and now there is
    no prospect of their remaining as an Association longer than the
    approaching April. Could those now upon the domain purchase
    three or four hundred acres of the land, we have not the least
    doubt but that they would succeed, and ultimately come into
    possession of the valuable wood-land adjoining. But this is
    impossible. In the evening all the adults convened together, and
    at their earnest request, we spoke for the space of an hour or
    more upon the signs of the times, the evidences of social
    progress, and the various minor difficulties that the pioneers
    in this movement must necessarily have to experience; proving to
    the satisfaction of most of them, we think, that Fourier's plan
    of distributing wealth, was both arbitrary and superficial; that
    it was a useless effort to unite two opposite and hostile
    elements, which have no more affinity for each other than water
    and oil, or fire and gunpowder; that inasmuch as individual and
    separate interests are the cause or occasion of nearly all the
    crime, poverty, and suffering in civilized society, it follows
    that the cause and occasion must be removed, ere the effects
    will disappear. Still the difference between Communists and
    Associationists is not so great, that they should be opposed and
    alienated. It should be our object to see the points of
    agreement, rather than seek for points of disagreement. In the
    former we have been too active and earnest. Association is a
    great school for Communism. It will develop the false, and point
    out the good.

    "As we left this interesting spot the following morning, it was
    painful to think that those men and women, who for nearly two
    years had struggled against great odds, with their
    philanthropic, manly and heroic spirit, with all their
    enthusiasm, zeal and confidence in the beauty and practicability
    of the principles of social co-operation, must soon be dispersed
    and thrown back again, to act upon the selfish and beggarly
    principles of strife and competition."

Macdonald ends the story in his usual sombre style as follows:

    "This experiment was a total failure. I have been unable to
    gather many particulars concerning its last days, and those I
    have obtained are of a very unfavorable character.

    "The chief cause of failure was religious difference. Persons of
    various religious creeds could not agree. There were some among
    them who thought it no sin to labor on the Sabbath, and others
    who looked upon it as an outrage, which the Phalanx should take
    action to prevent. A committee was appointed to settle such
    differences, but in this they failed. Sickness was another of
    their troubles. They were severely afflicted with typhoid
    erysipelas, and at one time forty-nine of their members were
    upon the sick list.

    "After laboring a year or two under these difficulties, there
    was a hasty and disorderly retreat. It is said that each
    individual helped himself to the movable property, and that some
    decamped in the night, leaving the remains of the Phalanx to be
    disposed of in any way which the last men might choose. The fact
    that mankind do not like to have their faults and failings made
    public, will probably account for the difficulty in obtaining
    particulars of such experiments as the Sodus Bay Phalanx."

Allen and Orvis, the lecturing missionaries of Brook Farm, in that
same letter from which we quoted some time since a maledictory
paragraph on the memory of the Skaneateles Community, mention also the
bad odor of the defunct confederated Phalanxes of Western New York, in
the following disrespectful terms. Their letter is dated at Rochester,
September 1847:

"The prospect for meetings in this city is less favorable than that of
any place where we have previously visited. It is the nest wherein was
hatched that anomalous brood of birds, called the 'Sodus Bay Phalanx,'
'The Clarkson Phalanx,' the 'Bloomfield Phalanx,' and the 'Ontario
Union.' The very name of Association is odious with the public, and
the unfortunate people who went into these movements in such mad
haste, have been ridiculed till endurance is no longer possible, and
they have slunk away from the sight and knowledge of their neighbors."

The experience of the Sodus Bay Phalanx in regard to religion,
suggests reflections. Let us improve the opportunity to study some of
the practical relations of religion to Association.

The object and end of Association in all its forms, as we have
frequently said, is to gather men, women and children into larger and
more permanent HOMES than those established by marriage. The
advantages of partnership, incorporation and coöperation have become
so manifest in modern affairs, that an unspeakable longing has arisen
in the very heart of civilization for the extension of those
advantages to the dearest of all human interests--family affairs--the
business of home. The charm that drew the western New Yorkers together
in such rushing multitudes, was simply the prospect of home on the
large scale, which indeed is heaven.

Now if we consider the laws which govern the formation of homes on the
small scale, we shall be likely to get some wisdom in regard to their
formation on the large scale.

And in the first place, it is evident that homes formed by the
conjunction of pairs in the usual way, are not all harmonious--perhaps
we might say, are not generally harmonious. Families quarrel and break
up, as well as Associations; and if husbands and wives were as free to
separate as the members of Association are, possibly marriage would
not make much better show than Socialism has made. Human nature, as we
have seen it in the Communities and Phalanxes--discordant,
centrifugal--is the same in marriage. Now, as experience has developed
something like a code of rules that govern prudent people in venturing
on marriage, our true way is to study that code, and apply it as far
as possible to the vastly greater venture of Association.

Fourier's dream that two or three thousand discordant centrifugal
individuals in one great home, would fall, by natural gravitation,
into a balance of passions, and realize a harmony unattainable on the
small scale of familism, has not been confirmed by experience, and
seems to us the wildest opposite of truth. We should expect, _a
priori_, that with discordant materials, the greater the formation,
the worse would be the hell: and this is just what has been proved by
all the experiments. Let us go back, then, and study the rules of
harmony in the formation of common families.

Probably there is not one among those rules so familiar and so
universally approved by the prudent, as that which advises men and
women not to marry without agreement in religion This rule has nothing
to do with bigotry. It does not look at the supposed truth or
falsehood of different religious creeds. It simply says: Let the
Catholic marry the Catholic; the Orthodox, the Orthodox; the Deist,
the Deist; the Nothingarian, the Nothingarian; but don't match these
discords together, if you wish for family peace. Now this is the
precept which the Fourier Associations, as we see, deliberately
violated; and yet they expected peace, and complained dreadfully
because they did not get it! There is latent quarrel enough in the
religious opposition of a single pair, to spoil a family; and yet
these Socialists ventured on hundred-fold complications of such
oppositions, with a heroism that would be sublime, if it were not
desperately unwise.

It is useless to say that religion is an affair of the inner man and
need not disturb external relations. It did disturb the external
relations of the Socialists at Sodus Bay, and could not do otherwise.
They quarreled about the Sabbath. It did disturb the external
relations of the Northampton Socialists. They quarreled about
amusements. Religion always extends from the inner man to such
external things.

It is useless to say, as Collins evidently wished to insinuate, that
the bigoted sort of religionists, those of the orthodox order, were
alone to blame. In the first place this is not true. All the witnesses
say, Collins among the rest, that both parties pushed and hooked. And
in the next place, if it were true, it would only show the importance
of excluding the orthodox from Associations, and the value of the rule
that forbids marrying religious discords.

Even Collins, with all his liberality, had originally too much good
sense to attempt Association in the promiscuous way of the
Fourierists. His first idea was to make his Community a sort of
close-communion church of infidelity; and, as it turned out, this was
his brightest idea; for in abandoning it he succumbed to his more
religious rival, Johnson, and admitted quarreling and weakness that
ruined the enterprise. His advice also to the liberal party at Sodus
Bay to withdraw, shows that his judgment was opposed to the
heterogeneous mixtures that were popular among the Fourierists.

On the whole it seems to us that it should be considered settled by
reason and experience, that the rule we have found governing the
prudential theory of marriage on the small scale, should be
transferred to the theory of Association, which is really marriage on
the large scale. Better not marry at all, than marry a religious
quarrel. Better have no religion, than have a dozen different
religions, as they had at Clarkson. If you mean to found a Community
for peace and permanence, first of all find associates that agree with
you in religion, or at least in no-religion, and if possible bar out
all others. Remember that all the successful Communities are
harmonious, and the basis of their harmony is unity in religion. If
you think you can find a way to secure harmony in no-religion, try it.
But don't be so foolish as to enter on the tremendous responsibilities
of Community-building, with a complication of religious quarrels
lurking in your material.



The next on the list of the Confederated Associations of western New
York, was


We have but meager accounts of this experiment. Macdonald does not
mention it. The _Phalanx_ of June 15, 1844, says that it commenced
operations on the 15th of March in that year, on a domain of about
five hundred acres, mostly improved land, situated one mile east of
Honeoye Falls, in the Counties of Monroe, Livingston and Ontario; that
it was in debt for its land about $11,000, and had $35,000 of its
subscriptions actually paid in; that it had one hundred and
forty-eight resident members, and a large number more expecting to
join, as soon as employment could be found for them. Two or three
allusions to this Association occur afterward in the _Phalanx_,
congratulating it on its prospects, and mentioning good reports of its
progress. Finally in the _Harbinger_, volume 1, page 247, we find a
letter from E.D. Wight and E.A. Stillman, dated August 20, 1845,
defending the Association against newspaper charges, and asserting its
continued prosperity; but giving us the following peep into a
complication of troubles, that probably brought it to its end shortly

    "We are not fully satisfied with the tenor by which our real
    estate, under the existing laws, is obliged to be held.
    Conveyances, pursuant to legal advice, were made originally by
    the owners of each particular parcel, to the committee of
    finance, in trust for the stockholders and members; and a power
    was executed by the stockholders to the committee, by which,
    under certain regulations, they were to have authority to sell
    and convey the same. The absurdity of the Statute of Trusts
    never having been licked into shape by judicial decisions, a
    close and unavailing search has since been instituted for the
    fugitive legal title.

    "Some counselors, learned in the law, find it in the committee
    of finance, as representatives of the Association; others have
    discovered that it is vested in them as individuals; others
    still, of equal eminence, and equally intent on arriving at a
    true solution, find perhaps that it is in the committee and
    stockholders jointly; while there are those who profess to find
    it in neither of these parties, but in the persons of whom the
    property was purchased, and to whom has been paid its full

    "In order to educe order out of this confusion of opinions, and
    to enable us to acquire, if possible, a less objectionable
    title, it has been proposed to petition the Chancellor for a
    sale, as a title from the court would be free from doubt."

If this may be considered the end (as it probably was), it shows that
the Bloomfield Association died, as the Clarkson did, in a quarrel
about its titles, and in the hands of the lawyers.


"This Association" says the _Phalanx_ of June 1844, "commenced
operations about two weeks since, in Hopewell, Ontario County, five
miles from Canandaigua. They have purchased the mills and farm
formerly owned by Judge Bates, consisting of one hundred and fifty
acres of land, a flouring mill with five run of burr stones, and
saw-mill, at $16,000. They have secured by subscription, about one
hundred and thirty acres of land in the immediate vicinity, which they
are now working. To meet their liabilities for the original purchase,
I am informed they have already a subscription which they believe can
be relied on, amounting to over $40,000. They have now upon the domain
about seventy-five members. This institution has been able already to
commence such branches of industry as will produce an immediate
return, and as a consequence, will avoid the necessity of living upon
their capital. There is danger that their enthusiasm will get the
better of their judgment in admitting members too fast."

The editor of the _Phalanx_ visited this Association among others, in
the fall of 1844, and gave the following cheerful account of it:

    "The whole number of resident members is one hundred and fifty;
    fifty of whom are men, and upward of sixty children. We were
    greatly pleased with the earnest spirit which seemed to pervade
    this little Community. We thought we perceived among them a
    really religious devotion to the great cause in which they have
    embarked. This gave an unspeakable charm to their rude,
    temporary dwellings, and lent a grace to their plain manners,
    far above any superficial elegance. We have no doubt that they
    will succeed in establishing a state of society higher even than
    they themselves anticipate. Of their pecuniary success their
    present condition gives good assurance. We should think that,
    with ordinary prudence, it was entirely certain."

We find nothing after this in the _Phalanx_ about this Association.
Macdonald merely mentions a few such items as the date, place, etc.,
and concludes with the following terse epitaph: "It effected but
little, and was of brief duration. No further particulars."


was one of the group that radiated from Rochester, according to Mr.
Greig; but we can find no account of it anywhere, except that it had
not commenced operations at the time of the session of the
Confederated Council; though a delegate from it was a member of that
Council. How long it lived, or whether it lived at all, does not


This Association, though not properly a member of the group that
radiated from Rochester, and somewhat remote from western New York,
was named among the confederated Associations, and sent a delegate to
the Bloomfield Council. Three notices of it occur in the _Phalanx_,
which we here present.

    [From the _Phalanx_ October 5, 1843.]

    "This Association has been commenced through the efforts,
    principally, of A.M. Watson, Esq., the President, who for some
    years past has been engaged in advocating and disseminating the
    principles of Association in Watertown and that section of the
    State. There are over three hundred persons now on the domain,
    which consists of twelve or fifteen hundred acres of superior
    land, finely watered, and situated within two or three miles of
    Watertown. It is composed of several farms, put in by farmers,
    who have taken stock for their lands, and joined the
    Association. Very little cash capital has been paid in; the
    enterprise was undertaken with the subscription of property,
    real estate, provisions, tools, implements, &c., brought in by
    the members, who were principally farmers and mechanics in the
    neighborhood; and the result is an interesting proof of what can
    be done by union and combined effort among the producing
    classes. Different branches of manufactures have been
    established, contracts for building in Watertown have been
    taken, and an organization of labor into groups or squads, with
    their foremen or leaders, has been made to some extent. The
    agricultural department is prosecuted with vigor, and when last
    heard from, the Association was flourishing. We hope from this
    Association that perseverance and constancy--for it of course
    has many difficulties to contend with--which will insure
    success, and give another proof of the truth of the great
    principles of combined effort and united interests."

    [From the _Phalanx_, November 4, 1843.]

    "The following statement from the _Black River Journal_ of
    October 6th, exhibits the affairs of the Jefferson County
    Association in a gratifying light, and shows that so far it has
    been extremely prosperous and successful. The fact alone of a
    profit having been made, whether much or little, affords a
    strong proof of the advantages of associated effort, for we
    apprehend that either farmers or mechanics working separately,
    would generally find it difficult to show a balance in their
    favor upon the settlement of their accounts. But a net profit of
    nearly thirteen thousand dollars, or twenty-five per cent. upon
    the capital invested, for the first six months that a small
    Association has been in operation, under circumstances by no
    means the most favorable, is striking and incontestable evidence
    of real prosperity. Before a great while we shall have many such
    cases to record."


    The first Semi-Annual Report of the property, expenditures and
    proceeds of labor of the Jefferson County Industrial
    Association, was submitted to a meeting of the stockholders on
    Monday the 2d inst.

    Since the organization of the Association in
    April last, the real and personal property
    acquired by purchase and subscription, has
    reached the amount of                         $54,832.10

    This is subject to reduction by the amount
    of subscribed property applied to the
    purchase of real estate                         5,458.28
    Total property on hand                                  $49,373.82

    The aggregate product of the several
    departments of business, to Sept. 23d         $20,301.67

    Expense of same, including all purchases
    of goods and supplies                           7,331.95
    Net proceeds                                            $12,969.72

    Of this has been expended in improvement of
    buildings, making a brick-yard, and preparing
    summer fallows                                            1,365.00
    Balance on hand                                         $11,604.72

    This balance consists of agricultural products in store, brick
    manufactured and now on hand, proceeds of jobbing contracts,
    earnings of mechanics' shops, etc.

    Published by order of the President and Board of Directors.

    _Report of A.M. Watson to the Confederate Council, May 15,

    "The Jefferson County Association has made its first annual
    statement, by which it appears that capital in that institution
    will receive a fraction over six per cent. interest. Owing to
    inattention to the principles of Association, and a defective
    and incomplete organization of industry into groups and series,
    as well as to the fact that in the commencement much time is
    lost, labor in this institution fails to obtain its fair
    remuneration. Another circumstance which has operated to the
    disadvantage of labor, is, that no allowance has been made in
    its favor, in the annual settlement, for working dresses. These
    facts are conclusive, to my mind, that the disadvantages of
    improper or inadequate organization in all institutions, will be
    even more injurious to labor than to capital.

    "This institution commenced operations without the investment of
    much, if any, cash capital, and they now are somewhat
    embarrassed for want of such means. A subscription to their
    stock of two thousand dollars in cash, or a loan of that amount
    for a reasonable time, for which good security could be given,
    would, in my opinion, place them in a situation to carry on a
    very profitable business the ensuing year. If this obstacle can
    be surmounted, I know of no institution of better promise than
    this. This would seem to be but a small matter; but when the
    fact is considered that they are located in the midst of a
    community which sympathizes but little in the movement, while
    many exert themselves to increase the embarrassment by decrying
    their responsibility, it will readily be seen that their
    situation is unenviable. Their responsibility, when compared
    with that of most business concerns in the country, is more real
    than that of a majority of business men who are considered
    perfectly solvent. Considering the difficulties and
    embarrassments through which they have already struggled, I have
    strong confidence in their ultimate success. The whole number of
    members will not vary much at this time, from one hundred and
    fifty. They have reduced, by sale, their lands to about eight
    hundred acres, and I refer you to the annual report for further
    information as to their liabilities."

We perceive in the depressed tone of this report, as well as in the
reduction of numbers and land which it exhibits, that decline had
begun and failure was impending. Nothing more is said in the _Phalanx_
about this Association, except that it sent a delegate to a
socialistic convention that met in New York City on the 7th of
October, 1844. We have to fall back, as usual, on Macdonald, for the
summing-up and final moral. He says:

    "After a few months, disagreements among the members became
    general. Their means were totally inadequate; they were too
    ignorant of the principles of Association; were too much crowded
    together, and had too many idlers among them. There was bad
    management on the part of the officers, and some were suspected
    of dishonesty. As times grew better, many of those who joined on
    account of hard times, got employment and left; and many more
    thought they could do better in the world again, and did the
    same thing. The only aid they could get in their difficulties,
    was from stock subscriptions, and that was not much. Men who
    invested actual property sustained heavy losses. One farmer who
    involved his farm, lost nearly all he possessed. After existing
    about twelve months the land was sold to pay the debts, and the
    Association disbanded."


is mentioned in the first number of the _Phalanx_, October 1843, as
one among the many Associations just starting at that time. Macdonald
gives the following account of it:

    "This experiment originated in the offer of a grant of land by
    A.K. Moorhouse, of Moorhouseville, Hamilton County, New York,
    who owned 60,000 acres of land in the counties of Hamilton,
    Herkimer and Saratoga. As most of this land was situated in what
    is called the 'wilderness of New York,' he could find few
    persons who were willing to purchase and settle the inhospitable
    wild. Under these circumstances he offered to the Socialists as
    much of 10,000 acres as they might clear in three years, hoping
    that an Association would build up a village and form a nucleus
    around which individuals and Associations might settle and
    purchase his lands.

    "The offer was accepted by an Association formed in New York
    City, and several capitalists promised to take stock in the
    enterprise; but none was ever paid for. In May 1843, Mr.
    Moorhouse arrived at Piseco from New York, with a company of
    pioneers, who were soon followed by others, and the work
    commenced. The locality chosen at Lake Piseco was situated about
    five miles from Lake Pleasant, the county seat, a village of
    eight or nine houses and a court-house. On the arrival of the
    party it was found that Mr. Moorhouse had made some
    improvements, which he was willing to exchange for $2,000 of
    stock in the Association. This was agreed to. He also engaged to
    furnish provisions, tools etc., and take his pay in stock. The
    land on which the Association commenced its labors was a gift
    from Mr. Moorhouse; but the improvements which consisted of 120
    acres of cleared land with a few buildings, was accepted as
    stock at the above valuation.

    "The money, property and labor were put into common stock. Labor
    was rated at fifty cents per day, no matter of what kind. A
    store was kept on the premises, in which articles were sold at
    prime cost, with an allowance for transportation, &c. By the
    constitution the members were entitled to scrip representing the
    excess of wages over the amount of goods received from the
    store; or, in other words, laborers became stockholders in
    proportion to that excess. No dividends were to be declared for
    the first five years.

    "The persons thus congregated to carry out the principles of
    Association [number not stated], belonged to a variety of
    occupations; but it appears that but few of them were adapted to
    the wants of the Community. Some of the members were intelligent
    and moral people; but the majority were very inferior. No
    property qualifications were necessary to admission. It appears
    that members were obtained by an agent, who took
    indiscriminately all he could get. The most common religious
    belief among them was Methodist; but a large proportion of them
    did not profess any religion, and some were what is commonly
    called infidels.

    "Though the persons congregated here had left but humble homes
    and poor circumstances generally, yet the circumstances now
    surrounding them were worse than those they had left, and as a
    natural consequence there was a deterioration of character. Not
    having formed any organization in the city, as is customary in
    such experiments, they received no aid from without; and the
    want of this aid does not appear to have insured success, as
    some enthusiastic Socialists have imagined that it would; but on
    the contrary a most signal failure ensued.

    "The leading persons were Mr. Moorhouse and a relative of his
    named Brown. The former furnished every thing and turned it in
    as stock. The latter kept the store and the accounts. The
    members do not appear to have been acquainted with the mode in
    which either the store or books were kept.

    "At the commencement, when they were sufficiently supplied from
    the store, they agreed tolerably well; but during the latter
    period of the experiment, when Mr. Moorhouse began to be slack
    in buying things for the members, there was a good deal of
    disagreement. The store was nearly always empty, and when
    anything was brought into it, there was a general scramble to
    see who should get the most. This, as a matter of course,
    produced much jealousy and quarreling. All kinds of suspicions
    were afloat, and it was generally reported that the executive,
    including the store-keeper, fared better than the rest.

    "Some work was done, and some improvements were made upon the
    land. Rye and potatoes were planted, and probably consumed. The
    experiment existed a few months, and then by degrees died away."

The following from a person who took part in the experiment, will give
the reader a nearer view of the causes of the failure:

    "The population congregated at Piseco was composed of all
    nations, characters and conditions; a motley group of
    ill-assorted materials, as inexperienced as it was
    heterogeneous. We had some specimens of the raw material of
    human nature, and some of New York manufacture spoiled in the
    making. There were philosophers and philanthropists, bankrupt
    merchants and broken-down grocery-keepers; officers who had
    retired from the Texan army on half-pay; and some who had
    retired from situations in the New York ten-pin alleys. There
    were all kinds of ideas, notions, theories, and whims; all kinds
    of religions; and some persons without any. There was no
    unanimity of purpose, or congeniality of disposition; but there
    was plenty of discussion, and an abundance of variety, which is
    called the spice of life. This spice however constituted the
    greater part of the fare, as we sometimes had scarcely anything
    else to eat.

    "At first we were pretty well off for provisions; but soon the
    supplies began to be reduced; and in November the list of
    luxuries and necessaries commenced with rye and ended with
    potatoes, with nothing between! As the supplies were cut off,
    the number of members decreased. They were starved out. But of
    course the starving process was slower in those cases where the
    individuals had not the means of transportation back to the
    white settlements. When I left the 'promised land' in March
    1844, there were only six families remaining. I had determined
    to see it out; but the state of things was so bad, and the
    prospects ditto, that I could stand it no longer. I thought the
    whole would soon fall into the hands of Mr. Moorhouse, and I
    could not afford to spend any more time in a cause so hopeless.
    I had given nine months' time, was half starved, got no pay, had
    worn out my clothes, and had my best coat borrowed without
    leave, by a man who went to New York some time before. This I
    thought might suffice for one experiment. I left the place less
    sanguine than when I went there that Associations could succeed
    without capital and without a good selection of members. Yet my
    belief was as firm as ever in the coming abolition of
    conflicting interests, and the final harmonious reconstruction
    of society."

Here ends the history of the Fourier Associations in the State of New
York. The Ohio experiments come next.



As in New England, so in Ohio, the general socialistic excitement of
1841 and afterwards, gave rise to several experiments that had nothing
to do with Fourier's peculiar philosophy. We begin with one of these
indigenous productions.

Mrs. Esther Ann Lukens, a member of the Marlboro Community, answered
Macdonald's inquiries about its history. We copy the greater part of
her story:

    _Mrs. Lukens's Narrative._

    "The Marlboro Community seems, as I think of it, to have had its
    existence so entirely in dreams of human advancement and the
    generous wish to promote it, and also in ignorance of all but
    the better part of human nature, that it is hard to speak of it
    as a _bona fide_ portion of our plodding work-a-day world.

    "It was originated by a few generous and ardent spirits, who
    were disgusted with the oppressive and antagonistic conditions
    of ordinary labor and commerce. The only remedy they saw, was a
    return to the apostolic manner of living--that of 'having all
    things common.'

    "The Association was first talked of and its principles
    generally discussed in Clinton County, some years before
    anything was done. Many in all parts of Ohio participated in
    this discussion, and warmly urged the scheme; but only a few
    were found who were hopeful and courageous enough to dare the
    final experiment.

    "The gathering commenced in 1841 on the farm of Mr. E. Brooke,
    and consisted at first of his family and a few other persons.
    Gradually the number increased, and another farm was added by
    the free gift of Dr. A. Brooke, or rather by his resigning all
    right and title to it as an individual, and delivering it over
    to the joint ownership of the great family.

    "As may be supposed, the majority of those who gathered around
    this nucleus, were without property, and very slenderly gifted
    with the talent of acquiring it, but thoroughly honest,
    philanthropic, warmly social, and willing to perform what
    appeared to them the right amount of labor belonging to freemen
    in a right state of society. They forgot in a few instances,
    that this right state did not exist, but was only dreamed about,
    and had yet to be realized by more than common labor with the

    "The Community had but little property of any value but land,
    and that was in an uncultivated, half-wild state. There were a
    few hundred dollars in hand; I can not say how many; but
    certainly not half the amount required for purchases that seemed
    immediately necessary. There was a good house and barn on each
    farm, each house capable of accommodating comfortably three
    families, besides three small tenant houses of logs, capable of
    accommodating one family each. There were also on the premises
    four or five horses and a few cattle and sheep.

    "It became necessary, as the numbers increased, to purchase the
    farm intervening between the one first owned by E. Brooke, and
    the one given by Dr. A. Brooke, both for convenience in passing
    and repassing, and for the reason that more land was needed to
    give employment to all. The owner asked an exorbitant price,
    knowing our necessities; but it was paid, or rather promised,
    and so a load of debt was contracted.

    "The members generally were eminently moral and intellectual. As
    to religious belief, they were what people called, and perhaps
    justly, Free-thinkers. In our conferences for purposes of
    improvement and domestic counsel, which were held on Sundays,
    religion, as a distinct obligation, was never mentioned.

    "Provisions were easily procured. One of the farms had a large
    orchard, and our living was confined to the plainest vegetable
    diet; so that much time was left for social and mental
    improvement. All will join with me in saying that love and good
    fellowship reigned paramount; so that all enjoyed good care
    during sickness, and kindly sympathy at all times.

    "About a year and a-half after its foundation, the Community
    sustained a great loss by the death of one of its most efficient
    and ardent supporters, Joseph Lukens. It was after this period
    that a constitution or form of Association was framed, and many
    persons were admitted who had different views of property and
    the basis of rights, from what were generally held at the

    "The existence of the Community, from first to last, was nearly
    four years. If I should say there was perfect unanimity of
    feeling to the last, it would not be true. Yet there were no
    quarrels, and all discussions among us were temperate and kind.
    As to our breaking up, there was no cause for it clear to my
    mind, except the complicated state of the business concerns, the
    amount of debt contracted, and the feeling that each one would
    work with more energy, for a time at least, if thrown upon his
    own resources, with plenty of elbow-room and nothing to distract
    his attention."

Mr. Thomas Moore, also a member of this Community, gave his opinion of
the cause of its decease in a separate paper, as follows:

    _Mr. Moore's Post Mortem._

    "The failure of this experiment may be traced to the fact that
    the minds of its originators were not homogeneous. They all
    agreed that in a properly organized Community, there should be
    no buying and selling between the members, but that each should
    share the common products according to his necessity. But while
    Dr. A. Brooke held that this principle should govern our conduct
    in our interchange with the whole world, the others believed it
    right for any number of individuals to separate themselves from
    the surrounding world, and from themselves into a distinct
    Community; and while they had every thing free among themselves,
    continue to traffic in the common way with those outside. And
    again, while many believed they were prepared to enter into a
    Community of this kind, Mr. Edward Brooke had his doubts,
    fearing that the time had not yet arrived when any considerable
    number of individuals could live together on these principles;
    that though some might be prompted to enter into such relations
    through principles of humanity and pure benevolence, others
    would come in from motives altogether selfish; and that discord
    would be the result. Dr. A. Brooke, not being willing to be
    confined in any Community that did not embrace the whole world,
    stepped out at the start, but left the Community in possession
    of his property during his life; believing that to be as long as
    he had any right to dispose of it. But Edward Brooke yielded to
    the views of others, and went on with the Community.

    "For some time the members who came in from abroad added nothing
    of consequence to the common stock. Some manifested by their
    conduct that their objects were selfish, and being disappointed,
    left again. Others, who perhaps entered from purer motives, also
    became dissatisfied for various reasons and left; and so the
    Community fluctuated for some time. At length three families
    were admitted as members, who had property invested in farms,
    and who were to sell the farms and devote the proceeds to the
    common stock. Two of these, after having tried community life a
    year, concluded to leave before they had sold their farms; and
    the third, not being able to sell, there was a lack of capital
    to profitably employ the members; and the consequence was, there
    was not quite enough produced to support the Community.
    Discovering this to be the case, several of the persons who
    originally owned the property became dissatisfied; and although
    according to the principles of the Community they had no greater
    interest in that property than any other members, yet it was no
    less a fact that they had donated it nearly all (excepting Dr.
    A. Brooke's lease), and that now they would like to have it
    back. This placed the true Socialists in delicate circumstances.
    Being without pecuniary means of their own, they could not
    exercise the power that had voluntarily been placed in their
    hands, to control these dissatisfied ones, so as to cause them,
    against their will, to leave their property in the hands of the
    Community. The property was freely yielded up, though with the
    utmost regret. My opinion therefore is that the experiment
    failed at the time it did, through lack of faith in those who
    had the funds, and lack of funds in those who had the faith."

Dr. A. Brooke, who devoted his land to the Marlboro Community, but
stepped out himself, because he would not be confined to anything less
than Communism with the world, afterwards tried a little experiment of
his own, which failed and left no history. Macdonald visited him in
1844, and reports some curious things about him, which may give the
reader an idea of what was probably the most radical type of Communism
that was developed in the Socialistic revival of 1841-3.

"Dr. Brooke" says Macdonald, "was a tall, thin man, with gray hair,
and beard quite unshaven. His face reminded me of the ancient
Philosophers. His only clothing was a shirt and pantaloons; nothing
else on either body, head, or feet. He invited us into his comfortable
parlor, which was neatly furnished and had a good supply of books and
papers. Our breakfast consisted of cold baked apples, cold corn bread,
and I think potatoes.

"We questioned him much concerning his strange notions, and in the
course of conversation I remarked, that such men as Robert Owen,
Charles Fourier, Josiah Warren and others, had each a certain number
of fundamental principles, upon which to base their theories, and I
wished to understand definitely what fundamental principles he had,
and how many of them. He replied that he had only one principle, and
that was to do what he considered right. He said he attended the sick
whenever he was called upon, for which he made no charge. When he
wanted anything which he knew one of his neighbors could supply, he
sent to that neighbor for it. He shewed me a brick out-building at the
back of his cottage, which he said had been put up for him by masons
in the vicinity. He made it known that he wanted such work done, and
no less than five men came to do it for him."

Macdonald adds the following story:

    "I remember when in Cincinnati, one Sunday afternoon at a
    Fourier meeting I heard Mr. Benjamin Urner read a letter from
    Dr. A. Brooke to some hardware merchants in Cincinnati (the
    Brothers Donaldson in Main street, I believe), telling them that
    his necessities required a variety of agricultural tools, such
    as a plow, harrow, axes, etc., and requesting that they might be
    sent on to him. He stated that he had given up the use of money,
    that he gave his professional services free of cost to those
    whose necessities demanded them, and for any thing his
    necessities required he applied to those whom he thought able to
    give. Mr. Urner stated that this strange individual had been the
    post-master of the place where he now lived, but that he had
    given up the office so that he might not have to use money. He
    also informed us that the hardware merchants very kindly sent on
    the articles to Dr. Brooke free of cost; which announcement gave
    great satisfaction to the meeting."



This Association (another indigenous production) with several like
attempts, originated with Mr. John O. Wattles, Valentine Nicholson and
others, who, after attending a socialistic convention in New York in
1843, lectured on Association at various places on their way back to
the West. Orson S. Murray, the editor of the _Regenerator_, was also
interested in this Community, and was on his way with his printing
establishment to join it and publish his paper under its auspices,
when he was wrecked on Lake Erie, and lost nearly every thing but his

Prairie Home is a beautiful location near West Liberty in Logan
County, Ohio. The domain consisted of over five hundred acres; half of
which on the hills was well-timbered, and the remainder was in fine
rich fields stretching across the prairie.

The members numbered about one hundred and thirty, nearly all of whom
were born and bred in the West. Of foreigners there were only two
Englishmen and one German. Most of the members were agriculturists.
Many of them had been Hicksite Quakers. A few were from other sects,
and some from no sect at all. There were but few children.

A few months before the dissolution of this Community Macdonald
visited it, and staid several days. His gossiping report of what he
saw and heard gives as good an inside view of the transitory species
of Associations as any we find in his collections. We quote the most
of it:

    _Macdonald's visit at Prairie Home._

    "On arriving at West Liberty I inquired eagerly for the
    Community; but when very coldly and doubtfully told that it was
    somewhere down the Urbana road, and seeing that folks in the
    town did not seem to know or care much where it was, my ardor
    sensibly abated, and I began to doubt whether it was much of an
    affair after all; but I pushed on, anxious at once to see the

    "On reaching the spot where I was told I should find the
    Community, I turned off from the main road up a lane, and soon
    met a gaunt-looking individual, rough but very polite, having
    the look of a Quaker, which I afterwards found he was. He spoke
    kindly to me, and directed me where to go. There was a two-story
    frame house at the entrance of the lane, which belonged to the
    Community; also a log cabin at the other corner of the lane.
    After walking a short distance I arrived at another two-story
    frame house, opposite to which was a large flour-mill on a
    little stream, and an old saw-mill, looking very rough. At the
    door of the dwelling-house there was a group of women and girls,
    picking wool; and as it was just noon, many men came in from
    various parts of the farm to take their dinner. At the back of
    the house there was a long shed, with a rough table down the
    center, and planks for seats on each side, on which thirty or
    forty people sat. I was kindly received by them, and invited to
    dinner; and a good dinner it was, consisting of coarse brown
    bread piled up in broken lumps, dishes of large potatoes
    unpeeled, some potato-soup, and a supply of melons for a second

    "I sat beside a Dr. Hard, who noticed that I took a little salt
    with my potatoes, and remarked to me that if I abstained from
    it, I would have my taste much more perfect. There was but
    little salt on the table, and I saw no person touch it. There
    was no animal food of any kind except milk, which one or two of
    them used. They all appeared to eat heartily. The women waited
    upon the table, but the variety of dishes being small, each
    person so attended to himself that waiting was rendered almost
    unnecessary. All displayed a rude politeness.

    "After dinner I fell in with a cabinet-maker, a young man from
    Bond street, London, and had quite a chat with him; also an
    elderly man from England, John Wood by name, who was acquainted
    with the socialistic movement in that country. I then went to
    see the man work the saw-mill, and was much pleased with his
    apparent interest and industry.

    "Not finding the acquaintance I was in search of at this place,
    and hearing that he was at another Community or branch of
    Prairie Home, about nine miles distant in a northerly direction
    (which they called the Upper Domain or Highland Home or
    Zanesfield), I determined to see him that night, and after
    obtaining necessary information I started on my journey.

    "The walk was long, and it was dark before I reached the
    Community farm. At length the friendly bow-wow of a dog told of
    the habitable dwelling, and soon I was in the comfortable and
    pretty looking farm house at Highland Home. This Community
    consisted of only ten or twelve persons. Here I found my friend,
    and after a wholesome Grahamite supper of corn-bread, apple-pie
    and milk, I had a long conversation with him and others on
    Community matters. I put many questions to them, all of which
    were answered satisfactorily. Here is a specimen of our

    "Do you make laws? No. Does the majority govern the minority?
    No. Have you any delegated power? No. Any kind of government?
    No. Do you express opinions and principles as a body? No. Have
    you any form of society or test for admission of members? No. Do
    you assist runaway slaves? Yes. Must you be Grahamites? No. Do
    you object to religionists? No. What are the terms of admission?
    The land is free to all; let those who want, come and use it.
    Any particular trades? No. Can persons take their earnings away
    with them when they leave? Yes.

    "Their leading principle, they repeatedly told me, was to
    endeavor to practice the golden rule, 'Do as you would be done

    "The next morning I took a walk round the farm. It was a nice
    place, and appeared to have been well kept formerly, but now
    there was some disorder. The workmen appeared to be without
    clear ideas of the duties they were to perform. It seemed as if
    they had not made up their minds what they could do, or what
    they intended to do. Some of them were feeble-looking men, and
    in conversation with them I ascertained that several, both here
    and at Prairie Home, had adopted the present mode of Grahamite
    living to improve their health.

    "Phrenology seemed to be pretty generally understood, and I was
    surprised to hear rude-looking men, almost ragged, ploughing,
    fence-making, and in like employments, converse so freely upon
    Phrenology, Physiology, Magnetism, Hydropathy, &c. The
    _Phrenological Journal_ was taken by several of them.

    "I visited a neighboring farm, said to belong to the Community,
    the residence, I believe, of Horton Brown, with whom I had an
    interesting conversation on religion and Community matters. He
    said they took the golden rule as their guide, 'Do unto others
    as ye would have others do unto you.' I reminded him that even
    the golden rule was subject to individual interpretation, and
    might be misinterpreted.

    "_Saturday, August 25, 1844._--I noticed several persons here
    were sick with various complaints, and those who were not sick
    labored very leisurely. During the day four men arrived from
    Indiana to see the place and 'join the Community;' but there
    were no accommodations for them. They reported quite a stir in
    Indiana in regard to the Community.

    "In the afternoon my friend was ready to return to Cincinnati,
    whither he was going to try and induce his family to come to
    Zanesfield. We walked to Prairie Home that evening. At night we
    were directed to sleep at the two-story frame house at the
    entrance of the lane. At that place there seemed to be much
    confusion; too many people and too many idlers among them. The
    young women were most industrious, attending to the supper table
    and the provisions in a very steady, business-like manner; but
    the young men were mostly lounging about doing nothing. At
    bed-time there were too many persons for each to be accommodated
    with a bed; so the females all went up stairs and slept as they
    could; and the males slept below, all spread out in rows upon
    the floor. This was unpleasant, and as the sequel proved, could
    not long be endured.

    "_Prairie Home, Sunday, August 26._--In the morning, there was a
    social meeting of all the members. The weather was too wet and
    cold for them to meet on the hills, as was intended; so they
    adjourned to the flour-mill, and seated themselves as best they
    could, on chairs and planks, men and women all together. Such a
    meeting as this was quite a novel sight for me. There was no
    chairman, no secretary and no constitution or by-laws to
    preserve order. Yet I never saw a more orderly meeting. The
    discussions seemed chiefly relating to agricultural matters. One
    man rose and stated that there was certain plowing to be done on
    the following day, and if it was thought best by the brothers
    and sisters, he would do it. Another rose and said he would
    volunteer to do the plowing if the first one pleased, and he
    might do something else. There appeared to be some competition
    in respect to what each should do, and yet a strong
    non-resistant principle was manifest, which seemed to smooth
    over any difficulty. There was some talk about money and the
    lease of the property, and several persons spoke, both male and
    female, apparently just as the spirit moved them. At the close
    of the meeting some singing was attempted, but it was very poor
    indeed. The folks scattered to the houses for dinner, and as
    usual took a pretty good supply of the potatoes, potato-soup,
    brown bread, apples and apple butter, together with large
    quantities of melons of various kinds.

    "Owing to the cold weather the people were all huddled together
    inside the houses. The rooms were too small, and many of the
    young men were compelled to sleep in the mill. Altogether there
    were too many persons brought together for the scanty
    accommodations of the place.

    "_Monday, August 27._--The wind blew hard, and threw down a
    large stack of hay. It was interesting to see the rapidity with
    which a group of volunteers put it in order again. The party
    seemed to act with perfect union.

    "Several persons arrived to join the Community; among the rest a
    farmer and his family in a large wagon, with a lot of household

    "I watched several men at work in different places, and to one
    party I could not help expressing myself thus: 'If you fail, I
    will give it up; for never did I see men work so well or so
    brotherly with each other.' But all were not thus industrious;
    for I saw some who merely crawled about (probably sick), just
    looking on like myself, at any thing which fell in their way.
    There was evident disorder, showing a transition state toward
    either harmony or anarchy. I am sorry to say, it too soon proved
    to be the latter.

    "After dinner some one suggested having a meeting to talk about
    a plow. With some little exertion they managed to get ten or
    twelve men together. Then they sat down and reasoned with each
    other at great length. But it was very uneconomical, I thought,
    to bring so many persons together from their work, to talk so
    much about so small a matter. A plow had to be repaired; some
    one must and did volunteer to go to the town with it; he wanted
    money to pay for it; there was no money; he must take a bag of
    corn or wheat, and trade that off to pay for the repairs; a
    wagon had to be got out; two horses put to it, and a journey of
    some miles made, and nearly a day of time expended about such a
    trifling job.

    "I went to see the saw-mill at work; found one or two men
    engaged at it. They were working for customers, and got a
    certain portion of the lumber for what they sawed. I then went
    into an old log cabin and found my acquaintance, the
    cabinet-maker. On my inquiring how he liked Community, he told
    me the following story: He came from London to find friends in
    Indiana, and brought with him a fine chest of tools. On his
    arrival, he found his friends about to start for Community; so
    he came with them. He brought his tools with him, but left them
    at Zanesfield, and came down here. The folks at Zanesfield,
    wanting a plane, a saw and chisels, and knowing that his box was
    there, having no key, actually broke open the box, and under the
    influence of the common-property idea, helped themselves to the
    tools, and spoiled them by using them on rough work. He had got
    his chest away from there. He said he had no objection to their
    using the tools, if they knew how and did not spoil them. I saw
    one or two large chisels with pieces chipped out of them and
    planes nicked by nails, all innocently and ignorantly done by
    the brothers, who scarcely saw any wrong in it.

    "It was interesting to see the groups of unshaven men. There
    were men between forty and fifty years of age, who had shaved
    all their lives before, but now they let their beards grow, and
    looked ferocious. The young men looked well, and some of them
    rather handsome, with their soft beards and hair uncut; but the
    elderly ones did certainly look ugly. There was a German of a
    thin, gaunt figure, about fifty years of age, with a large,
    stubby, gray beard, and an ill-tempered countenance.

    "John Wood, the Englishman, a pretty good specimen, blunt,
    open-hearted and independent, had got three pigs in a pen, which
    he fed and took care of. They were the only animals on the
    place, except the horses. But exercising his rights, he said,
    'If the rest of them did not want meat, he _did_--for he liked a
    bit o'meat.'

    "I was informed that all the animals on the place, when the
    Community took possession of the domain, were allowed to go
    where they pleased; or those who wanted them were free to take

    "Before the meeting on Sunday, groups of men stood round the
    house talking; some two or three of them, including John Wood
    and the Dutchman (as he was called) were cleaning themselves up
    a bit; and John had blackened and polished his boots; after
    which he carefully put the blacking and brushes away. Out came
    the Dutchman and looked round for the same utensils. Not seeing
    them, he asked the Englishman for the 'prushes.' So John brings
    them out and hands them to him. Whereupon the Dutchman marches
    to the front of the porch, and in wrathful style, with the
    brushes uplifted in his hand, he addresses the assembled crowd:
    'He-ar! lookee he-ar! Do you call dis Community? Is dis common
    property? See he-ar! I ask him for de prushes to placken mine
    poots, and he give me de prushes, and _not give me de
    placking_!' This was said with great excitement. 'He never saw
    such community as dat; he could not understand; he tought every
    ting was to be common to all!' But John Wood good-humoredly
    explained that he had bought a box of blacking for himself, and
    if he gave it to every one who wanted to black boots, he would
    very soon be without any; so he shut it up for his own use, and
    those who wanted blacking must buy it for themselves.

    "I noticed there was some carelessness with the farm tools.
    There was a small shed in which all the scythes, hoes, axes,
    &c., were supposed to be deposited when not in use. But they
    were not always returned there. It appeared that these tools
    were used indiscriminately by any one and every one, so that one
    day a man would have one ax or scythe, and the next day another.
    This was evidently not agreeable in practice; for every
    working-man well knows that he forms attachments for certain
    tools, as much as he does for friends, and his hand and heart
    get used to them, as it were, so that he can use them better
    than he can strange ones.

    "With these few notices of failings, I must say I never saw a
    better-hearted or more industrious set of fellows. They appeared
    to struggle hard to effect something, yet it seemed evident that
    something was lacking among them to make things work well. It
    might have been organized laws, or government of some kind; it
    might have been a definite bond of union, or a prominent leader.
    It is certain there was some power or influence needed, to
    direct the force mustered there, and make it work economically
    and harmoniously.

    "People kept coming and going, and were ready to do something;
    but there was nobody to tell them what to do, and they did not
    know what to do themselves. They had to eat, drink and sleep;
    and they expected to obtain the means of doing so; but they
    seemed not to reflect who was going to supply these means, or
    where they were to come from. Some seemed greedy and reckless,
    eating all the time, cutting melons out of the garden and from
    among the corn, eating them and throwing the peels and seeds
    about the foot-paths and door-ways.

    "There was an abundance of fine corn on the domain, abundance of
    melons of all kinds, and, I believe, plenty of apples at the
    upper Community. Much provision had been brought and sent there
    by farmers who had entered into the spirit of the cause. For
    instance there were some wagon-loads of potatoes and apples
    sent, as well as quantities of unbolted wheat meal, of which the
    bread was made.

    "On my asking about the idlers, the reply was, 'Oh! they will
    not stop here long; it is uncongenial to lazy people to be among
    industrious ones; and for their living, it don't cost much more
    than fifty cents per week, and they can surely earn that.'

    "At the Sunday meeting before mentioned, the enthusiasm of some
    was great. One man said he left his home in Indiana; he had a
    house there, which he thought at first to reserve in case of
    accident; but he finally concluded that if he had any thing to
    fall back upon, he could not give his heart and soul to the
    cause as he wanted to; so he gave up every thing he possessed,
    and put it into Community. Others did the same, while some had
    reserved property to fall back upon. Some said they had lands
    which they would put into the Community, if they could get rid
    of them; but the times were so hard that there was much scarcity
    of money, and the lands would not sell.

    "From all I saw I judged that the Community was too loosely put
    together, and that they had not entire confidence in each other;
    and I left them with forebodings.

    "The experiment lasted scarcely a year. On the 25th of October,
    about two months after my visit, they had a meeting to talk over
    their affairs. More than three thousand dollars had been paid on
    the property; but the land owner was pressed with a mortgage,
    and so pressed them. One man sold his farm and got part of the
    required sum ready to pay. Others who owned farms could not sell
    them; and the consequence was, that according to agreement they
    were obliged to give up the papers; so they surrendered the
    domain and all upon it, into the hands of the original

    "The members then scattered in various directions. Several were
    considerable losers by the attempt, while many had nothing to
    lose. At the present time I learn that there are men and women
    of that Community who are still ready with hands and means to
    try the good work again. The cause of failure assigned by the
    Communists was their not owning the land they settled upon; but
    I think it very doubtful whether they could have kept together
    if the land had been free; for as I have before said, there was
    something else wanted to make harmony in labor."



This experiment originated among the Socialist enthusiasts of
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Its domain at Braceville, Trumbull County,
Ohio, was selected and a commencement was made in the spring of 1844.
From this date till its failure in the latter part of 1847, we find in
the _Phalanx_ and _Harbinger_ some sixteen notices of it, long and
short, from which we are to gather its history. We will quote the
salient parts of these notices; and so let the friends of the
experiment speak for themselves. The rose-color of their
representations will be corrected by the ultimate facts. This was one
of the three most notable experiments in the Fourier epoch--the North
American and the Wisconsin Phalanxes being the other two.

    [From a letter of Mr. Jehu Brainerd, June 29, 1844.]

    "The location which this society has chosen, is a very beautiful
    one and is situated in the north-west quarter of Braceville
    township, eight miles west of Warren, and five miles north of
    Newton Falls.

    "The domain was purchased of Mr. Eli Barnum, at twelve dollars
    per acre, and consists of two hundred and eighty acres of the
    choicest land, about half of which is under good cultivation.
    There is a valuable and durable mill privilege on the domain,
    valued at three thousand six hundred dollars; and at the time
    the purchase was made, there were in successful operation, a
    grist-mill with two run of stones, an oil-mill, saw-mill, double
    carding-machine, and cloth-dressing works.

    "The principal buildings on the domain are a large two story
    brick house, grist-mill and oil-mill, very large, substantial,
    and entirely new, framed and well painted, and a large barn; the
    other buildings, though sufficient for present accommodation,
    are old and somewhat decayed.

    "There has been already subscribed in real estate stock, most of
    which is within two miles and less of the domain, nine hundred
    and fifty-seven acres of land, mostly improved farms, which were
    valued (including neat stock, grain, &c.) at sixteen thousand
    one hundred and fifty dollars. Five hundred dollars cash capital
    has also been subscribed and paid in; and about six hundred
    dollars in lathes, tools, machinery, &c., including one hundred
    thousand feet of lumber, have been received.

    "There are thirty-five families now belonging to the
    Association, in all one hundred and forty persons; of this
    number forty-three are males over twenty-one years of age. Until
    accommodations can be prepared on the domain, some of the
    families will reside on the farms subscribed as stock. It is the
    intention to commence an edifice of brick this present summer,
    and extend it from time to time, as the increase of members may
    require, or the funds of the society admit. For present
    necessity, temporary buildings are erected."

    [From a letter of N.C. Meeker, August 10, 1844.]

    "The number of persons belonging to the Phalanx is about two
    hundred; some reside on the domain proper; others on more
    distant farms belonging to the Phalanx. Indeed as regards room,
    they are much crowded, residing in loose sheds. Nevertheless, on
    no consideration would they exchange present conditions for
    former ones. More convenient residences are to be erected
    forthwith, but it is not contemplated to erect the Phalanstery
    or final edifice for a year or so, or until they are possessed
    of sufficient means. Then the magnificent palace of the Combined
    Order will equally shame the temples of antiquity and the
    card-houses of modern days.

    "For the present year hard work and few of the attractions of
    Association are expected. Almost everything is unfitted for the
    use of Associations, being too insignificant, or characteristic
    of present society; made to sell rather than to use. The members
    of the Trumbull Phalanx, knowing how to work truly, and fully
    understanding that it is a gigantic labor to overturn the
    despair which has been accumulating so long in men's bosoms,
    have nerved themselves manfully, showing the true dignity of
    human nature.

    "Labor is partially organized by the instituting of groups, and
    to much advantage. Boys who were idle and unproductive, have
    become producers, and a very fine garden is the work of their
    hands. They are under the charge of a proper person, who permits
    them to choose their foreman from among themselves, and at
    certain hours, in grounds laid out for the purpose, to engage in
    sports. Even the men themselves, at the close of the work, find
    agreeable and salutary exercise in a game of ball. Some going to
    school, earn six or seven shillings a week, and where they work
    in the brick-yard, from three to four shillings a day. These
    sums are not final wages, but _permits_; for when a dividend is
    declared there will be an additional remuneration.

    "On the Sabbath I attended their social meeting, in which those
    of all persuasions participated. The liberal views and kindly
    feelings manifested by the various speakers were such as I had
    never heard before. They spoke of the near relations they
    sustained to each other, and of the many blessings they look to
    receive in the future; meanwhile the present unity gave them an
    idea of heaven. One spirit of joy and gladness seemed to animate
    them, viz; that they had escaped from the wants, cares, and
    temptations of civilization, and instead were placed where
    public good is the same as individual good; hence nothing save
    pre-conceived prejudices, fast giving away, prevent their loving
    their neighbors as themselves. This is the spirit of
    Christianity. Their position calls for union. No good can arise
    from divers sects; no good ever did arise. They will all unite,
    Presbyterians, Disciples, Baptists, Methodists, and all; and if
    any name be needed, under that of Unionism. After meeting the
    sacrament was administered; then followed a Bible-class, and
    singing exercises closed the day. [It would seem from this
    description, that the religion of the Trumbull was more orthodox
    than any we have found in other Phalanxes.]

    "Those not accustomed to view the progress of combined labor
    will be astonished to see aggregates. A vast brick-kiln is
    raised in a short time; a touch plants a field of corn, and a
    few weeks turns a forest into a farm. Only a few of such results
    can be seen now; but enough has been done at this Phalanx since
    last spring, to give one an idea of the vast results which will
    arise in the days of the new industrial world. Seating myself
    in the venerable orchard, with the temporary dwellings on the
    opposite side, the joiners at their benches in their open shops
    under the green boughs, and hearing on every side the sound of
    industry, the roll of wheels in the mills, and merry voices, I
    could not help exclaiming mentally: Indeed my eyes see men
    making haste to free the slave of all names, nations and
    tongues, and my ears hear them driving, thick and fast, nails
    into the coffin of despotism. I can but look on the
    establishment of this Phalanx as a step of as much importance as
    any which secured our political independence; and much greater
    than that which gained the Magna Charta, the foundation of
    English liberty.

    "But as yet there is nothing clearly demonstrated save by faith.
    That which remains to be seen is, whether families can be made
    to associate in peace, enjoying the profits as well as pleasures
    arising from public tables, granaries, store-houses, libraries,
    schools, gardens, walks and fountains; or, briefer, whether a
    man will be willing that he and his neighbor should be happy
    together. Are men forever to be such consummate fools as to
    neglect even the colossal profits of Association? Am I to be
    astonished by hearing sensible men declare, because mankind have
    been the victims of false relations, that these things are
    impracticable? No, no! We have been shown by the Columbus of the
    new industrial world how to solve the problem of the egg, and a
    few caravels have adventured across the unknown ocean, and are
    now, at the dawn of a new day, drawing nigh unto strange shores,
    covered with green, and loading the breeze with the fragrance of
    unseen flowers.

                                              "NATHAN C. MEEKER."

    [From an official letter to a Convention of Associations in New
    York, signed by B. Robins and H.N. Jones, President and
    Secretary of the Trumbull Phalanx, dated October 1, 1844.]

    "We should have sent a delegate to your Convention or written
    sooner, were not the assistance of all of our members daily
    demanded, as also all our time, in the building up of Humanity's
    Home. In common with the inhabitants of the region round about
    (it is supposed on account of the dry season), we have had many
    cases of fever and ague, a disease which has not been known here
    for many years. This has prevented our executing various plans
    for organization, etc., which we are now entering upon. And now,
    with each day, we have abundant cause to hope for a joyous
    future. We have harmony within and sympathy without; and being
    persuaded that these are sure indications of success, we toil
    on, 'heart within and God o'erhead.'

    "Further, our pecuniary prospects brighten. Late arrangements
    add to our means of paying our debt, which is light; and
    accumulations of landed estate make us quite secure.
    Nevertheless we feel that we are in the transition period, using
    varied and noble elements not the most skillfully, and that we
    need more than man's wisdom to guide us.

    "The union of the Associations we look upon as a great and noble
    idea, without which the chain of universal unity were
    incomplete. When we shall have emerged from the sea of
    civilization, so that we can do our own breathing, we shall be
    able to coöperate with our friends throughout the world, as
    members of the grand Phalanx. Meanwhile our hearts will be with
    you, urging you not to falter in the work in which all the noble
    and healthy spirit of the age is engaged.

    "Accompanying is a copy of our constitution. Our number is over
    two hundred. We have 1,500 acres of land, half under
    cultivation, and a capital stock of $100,000. The branches of
    industry are sufficiently varied, but mostly agricultural."

    [Letter to the Pittsburg _Spirit of the Age_, July 1845.]

    "I have just returned from a visit to the Trumbull Phalanx, and
    I can but express my astonishment at the condition in which I
    found the Association. I had never heard much of this Phalanx,
    and what little had been said, gave me no very favorable opinion
    of either location or people, and in consequence I went there
    somewhat prejudiced against them. I was pleased, however, to
    find that they have a beautiful and romantic domain, a rich
    soil, with all the natural and artificial advantages they can
    desire. The domain consists of eleven hundred acres in all. The
    total cost of the real estate of the Phalanx is $18,428; on
    which they have paid $8,239, leaving a debt of $10,189. The
    payments are remarkably easy; on the principal, $1,000 are to be
    paid in September next, and the same sum in April 1846, and
    $1,133 in April 1847, and the same sum annually thereafter. They
    apprehend no difficulty in meeting their engagements. Should
    they even fail in making the first payments, they will be
    indulged by their creditor. From this it will be seen that the
    pecuniary condition of the Trumbull Phalanx is encouraging.

    "The Phalanx has fee simple titles to many tracts of land, and a
    house in Warren, with which they will secure capitalists who
    choose to invest money, for the purpose of establishing some
    branches of manufacturing.

    "There are about two hundred and fifty people on the domain at
    present, and weekly arrivals of new members. The greater
    portion of them are able-bodied men, who are industrious and
    devoted to the cause in which they are engaged. The ladies
    perform their duties in this pioneer movement in a manner
    deserving great praise. The educational department of the
    Phalanx is well organized. The children from eight to fourteen
    attend a manual-labor school, which is now in successful
    operation. The advantages of Association are realized in the
    boarding department. The cost per week for men, women and
    children, is not more than forty cents.

    "They soon expect to manufacture their own clothing. Carders,
    cloth-dressers, weavers etc., are now at work. These branches
    will be a source of profit to the Association. A good
    flouring-mill with two run of stone is now in operation, which
    more than supplies the bread-stuffs. They expect shortly to have
    four run of stone, when this branch will be of immense profit to
    the Association. The mill draws the custom of the neighborhood
    for a number of miles around. Two saw-mills are now in
    operation, which cut six hundred thousand feet per year, worth
    at least $3,000. The lumber is principally sent to Akron. A
    shingle-machine now in operation, will yield a revenue of $3,000
    or $4,000 per annum. Machinery for making wooden bowls has been
    erected, which will also yield a revenue of about $3,000. An
    ashery will yield the present season about $500. The
    blacksmiths, shoemakers, and other branches are doing well. A
    wagon-shop is in progress of erection, and a tan-yard will be
    sunk and a house built, the second story of which is intended
    for a shoe-shop.

    "_Crops_: thirty acres of wheat, fifty acres of oats, seventy
    acres of corn, twelve acres of potatoes, five acres of English
    turnips, ten acres of buckwheat, five acres of garden truck,
    one and a half acres of broom corn. There are five hundred young
    peach trees in the nursery; two hundred apple trees in the old
    orchard; (fruit killed this year). _Live Stock_: forty-five
    cows, twelve horses, five yoke of oxen, twenty-five head of

    "From the above hasty sketch (for I can not find time to speak
    of this flourishing Association as I should), it will be seen
    that it stands firm. Under all the disadvantages of a new
    movement, the members live together, in perfect harmony; and
    what is gratifying, Mr. Van Amringe is there, cheering them on
    in the great cause by his eloquence, and setting them an example
    of devotion to the good of humanity.


    [Editorial in the _Harbinger_ August 23 1845.]

    "TRUMBULL PHALANX.--We rejoice to learn by a letter just
    received from a member of this promising Association, that they
    are going forward with strength and hope, determined to make a
    full experiment of the great principles which they have
    espoused. Have patience, brothers, for a short season; shrink
    not under the toils of the pioneer; let nothing daunt your
    courage, nor cloud your cheerfulness; and soon you will joy with
    the 'joy of harvest.' A few years will present the beautiful
    spectacle of prosperous, harmonic, happy Phalanxes, dotting the
    broad prairies of the West, spreading over its luxuriant
    valleys, and radiating light to the whole land that is now in
    'darkness and the shadow of death.' The whole American people
    will yet see that the organization of industry is the great
    problem of the age; that the spirit of democracy must expand in
    universal unity; that coöperation in labor and union of
    interest alone can realize the freedom and equality which have
    been made the basis of our national institutions.

    "We trust that our friends at the Trumbull Phalanx will let us
    hear from them again at an early date. We shall always be glad
    to circulate any intelligence with which they may favor us. Here
    is what they say of their present condition: 'Our crops are now
    coming in; oats are excellent, wheat and rye are about average,
    while our corn will be superior. We are thankful that we shall
    raise enough to carry us through the year; for we know what it
    is to buy every thing. We are certain of success, certain that
    the great principles of Association are to be carried out by us;
    if not on one piece of ground, then on another. Literally we
    constitute a Phalanx, a Phalanx which can not be broken, let
    what will oppose. And this you are authorized to say in any
    place or manner.'"

    [Letter of N.C. Meeker to the _Pittsburg Journal_.]

                         "_Trumbull Phalanx, September 13, 1845._

    "R.M. RIDDLE--Sir: I have the pleasure of informing the public,
    through the columns of the _Commercial Journal_, that we
    consider the success of our Association as entirely certain. We
    have made our fall payment of five hundred dollars, and, what is
    perhaps more encouraging, we are at this moment engaged in
    industrial operations which yield us thirty dollars cash, each
    week. The waters are now rising, and in a few days, in addition
    to these works which are now in operation, we shall add as much
    more to the above revenue. The Trumbull Phalanx may now be
    considered as an entirely successful enterprise.

    "Our crops will be enough to carry us through. Last year we
    paid over a thousand dollars for provisions. We have sixty-five
    acres of corn, fifty-five of oats, twenty-four of buckwheat,
    thirty of wheat, twenty of rye, twelve of potatoes, and two of
    broom-corn. Our corn, owing to the excellent soil and superior
    skill of the foreman of the farming department, is the best in
    all this region of country. Thus we have already one of the
    great advantages of Association, in securing the services of the
    most able and scientific, not for individual, selfish good, but
    for public good. We are fortunate, also, that we shall be able
    to keep all our stock of fifty cows, etc., and not be obliged to
    drive them off or kill them, as the farmers do around us, for we
    have nearly fodder enough from our grains alone. Thus we are
    placed in a situation for building up an Association, for
    establishing a perfect organization of industry by means of the
    groups and series, and in education by the monitorial
    manual-labor system, and shall demonstrate that order, and not
    civilization, is heaven's first law.

    "Some eight or ten families have lately left us, one-fourth
    because they had been in the habit of living on better food (so
    they said), but the remainder because they were averse to our
    carrying out the principles of Association as far as we thought
    they ought to be carried. On leaving, they received in return
    whatever they asked of us. They who enter Association ought
    first to study themselves, and learn which stage of Association
    they are fitted for, the transitional or the perfect. If they
    are willing to endure privations, to eat coarse food, sometimes
    with no meat, but with milk for a substitute (this is a glorious
    resort for the Grahamites), to live on friendly terms with an
    old hat or coat, rather than have the society run in debt, and
    to have patience when many things go wrong, and are willing to
    work long and late to make them go right, they may consider
    themselves fitted for the transition-period. But if they sigh
    for the flesh-pots and leeks and onions of civilization, feel
    melancholy with a patch on their back, and growl because they
    can not have eggs and honey and warm biscuit and butter for
    breakfast, they had better stay where they are, and wait for the
    advent of perfect industrial Association. I am thus trifling in
    contrast; for there is nothing so serious, hearty, and I might
    add, sublime, as the building up of a Phalanx, making and seeing
    it grow day by day, and anticipating what fruits we shall enjoy
    when a few years are past. Why, the heart of man has never yet
    conceived what are the to-be results of the equilibrial
    development of all the powers and faculties of man. It is like
    endeavoring to comprehend the nature and pursuits of a spiritual
    and superior race of beings.

    "We are prepared to receive members who are desirous of uniting
    their interests with us, and of becoming truly devoted to the
    cause of industrial Association.

                                 "Yours truly,     N.C. MEEKER."

    [From a letter to the _Tribune_, September 29, 1846.]

    "The progress made by the Trumbull Phalanx is doing great good.
    People begin to say, 'If they could hang together under such bad
    circumstances for so long a time, and no difficulties occur,
    what must we hope for, now that they are pecuniarily
    independent?' You have heard, I presume, that the Pittsburghers
    have furnished money enough to place that Association out of
    debt. I may be over-sanguine, but I feel confident of their
    complete success. I fear our Eastern friends have not sufficient
    faith in our efforts. Well, I trust we may disappoint them. The
    Trumbull, so far as means amount to any thing, stands first of
    any Phalanx in the United States; and as to harmony among the
    members, I can only say that there has been no difficulty yet.

                                      "Yours truly,       J.D.S."

    [From the _Harbinger_, January 2, 1847.]

    "We have received the following gratifying account of the
    Trumbull Phalanx. Every attempt of the kind here described,
    though not to be regarded as an experiment of a model Phalanx,
    is in the highest degree interesting, as showing the advantages
    of combined industry and social union. Go forward,
    strong-hearted brothers, assured that every step you take is
    bringing us nearer the wished-for goal, when the redemption of
    humanity shall be fully realized. This is what they say:

    "'We are getting along well. Our Pittsburg friends have lately
    sent us two thousand dollars, and are to send more during the
    winter. We are also adding to our numbers. We have an abundance
    to eat of our own raising; but aside from this, our mill brings
    sufficient for our support. We have put up a power-loom at our
    upper works, and are about prepared to produce thereby
    sufficient to clothe us. Hence, by uniting capital, labor and
    skill in two mechanical branches, we secure, with ordinary
    industry, what no equal number of families in civilization can
    be said to possess entirely, a sufficient amount of food and
    clothing. And these are items which practical men know how to
    value; and we know how to value them too, because they are the
    results of our own efforts.

    "'We have two schools, one belonging to the district, that is, a
    State or public school, and the other to the Phalanx, both
    taught by persons who are members. In the latter school, among
    other improvements, there are classes in Phonography and
    Phonotopy, learning the new systems embraced by the writing and
    printing reformation, the progress of which is highly

    "'On the whole, we feel that our success is ensured beyond an
    earthly doubt. Not but that we have yet to pass through trying
    scenes. But we have encountered so many difficulties that we are
    not apprehensive but that we are prepared to meet others equally
    as great. Indeed we feel that if we had known at the
    commencement what fiery trials were to surround us, we should
    have hesitated to enter upon the enterprise. Now, being fairly
    in, we will brave it through, and we think you may look to see
    us grow with each year, adding knowledge to wealth, and
    industrious habits to religious precepts and elevated
    sentiments, till we shall be prepared to enter upon the combined
    order, and, with our co-partners, who are now breast and heart
    with us, lead the kingdoms of the earth into the regions of
    light, liberty and love.'"

    [From the _Pittsburg Post_, January 1847.]

    "TRUMBULL PHALANX.--Several Pittsburgers have joined the
    above-named Association: and a sufficient amount of money has
    been contributed to place it upon a solid foundation. It is
    pecuniarily independent, as we are informed; and the members are
    full of faith in complete success. Several letters have been
    received by persons in this city from resident members of the
    Phalanx. We should like to have one of them for publication, to
    show the feelings which pervade those who are working out the
    problem of social unity. They write in substance, 'The
    Association is prosperous, and we are all happy.'

    "The Trumbull Phalanx is now in its third or fourth year, and so
    far has met with but few of the difficulties anticipated by the
    friends or enemies of the cause. The progress has been slow, it
    is true, owing to a variety of causes, the principal one of
    which has been removed, viz.: debt. Much sickness existed on the
    domain during the last season, but no fears are felt for the
    future, as to the general health of the neighborhood."

    [From a letter of C. Woodhouse, July 3, 1847.]

    "This Phalanx has been in existence nearly four years, and has
    encountered many difficulties and submitted to many privations.
    Difficulties still exist and privations are not now few or
    small; but so great is the change for the better in less than
    four years, that they are fully impressed with the promise of
    success. At no time, indeed, have they met with as many
    difficulties as the lonely settler in a new country meets with;
    for in all their poverty they have been in pleasant company and
    have aided one another. They are now surrounded by all the
    necessaries and some of the comforts of life. Each family has a
    convenient dwelling, and so far as I can judge from a short
    visit, they enjoy the good of their labor, with no one to molest
    or make them afraid. Several branches of mechanical industry are
    carried on there, but agriculture is the staff on which they
    principally lean. Their land is very good, and of their thousand
    acres, over three hundred are improved. Their stock--horses,
    cattle and cows--look very well, as the farmers say. The
    improvements and condition of the domain bespeak thrift,
    industry and practical skill. The Trumbullites are workers. I
    saw no dainty-fingered theorists there. When such do come, I am
    informed, they do not stay long. Work is the order of the day.
    They would be glad of more leisure; but at this stage of the
    enterprise they put forth all their powers to redeem themselves
    from debt, and make such improvements as will conduce to this
    end and at the same time add to their comforts. Not a cent is
    expended in display or for knicknacks. The President lives in a
    log house and drives team on the business of the Association.
    Whatever politicians may say to the contrary, I think he is the
    only veritable 'log-cabin President' the whole land can show."

    [From a letter of the Women of the Trumbull Phalanx to the Women
    of the Boston Union of Associationists, July 15, 1847.]

    "It is plain that our efforts must be different from yours.
    Yours is the part to arouse the idle and indifferent by your
    conversation, and by contributing funds to sustain and aid
    publications. Ours is the part to organize ourselves in all the
    affairs of life, in the best manner that our imperfect
    institution will permit; and, not least, to have faith in our
    own efforts. In this last particular we are sometimes deficient,
    for it is impossible for us with our imperfect and limited
    capacities, clearly and fully to foresee what faith and
    confidence in God's providence can accomplish. We have been
    brought hither through doubts and dangers, and through the
    shadows of the future we have no guide save where duty points
    the way.

    "Our trials lie in the commonest walks. To forego conveniences,
    to live poorly, dress homely, to listen calmly, reply mildly,
    and wait patiently, are what we must become familiar with. True,
    these are requirements by no means uncommon; but imperfect
    beings like ourselves are apt to imagine that they alone are
    called upon to endure. Yet, perhaps, we enjoy no less than the
    most of our sex; nay, we are in truth, sisters the world round;
    if one suffers, all suffer, no matter whether she tends her
    husband's dogs amidst the Polar snows, or mounts her consort's
    funeral pile upon the banks of the Ganges. Together we weep,
    together we rejoice. We rise, we fall together.

    "It would afford us much pleasure could we be associated
    together. Could all the women fitted to engage in Social Reform
    be located on one domain, one can not imagine the immense
    changes that would ensue. We pray that we, or at least our
    children, may live to see the day when kindred souls shall be
    permitted to coöperate in a sphere sufficiently extensive to
    call forth all our powers."

    (From a letter of N.C. Meeker, August 11, 1847.)

    "Our progress and prosperity are still continued. By this we
    only mean that whatever we secure is by overcoming many
    difficulties. Our triumphs, humble though they be, are achieved
    in the same manner that the poet or the sculptor or the chemist
    achieves his, by labor, by application; and we believe that to
    produce the most useful and beautiful things, the most labor and
    pains are necessary.

    "Our present difficulties are, first, want of a sufficient
    number to enable us to establish independent groups, as Fourier
    has laid down. The present arrangement is as though we were all
    in one group; what is earned by the body is divided among
    individuals according to the amount of labor expended by each.
    Were our branches of business fewer (for we carry on almost
    every branch of industry necessary to support us) we could
    organize with less danger of interruption, which at present
    must be incessant; yet, at the same time there would be less
    choice of employment. Our number is about two hundred and fifty,
    and that of laboring men not far from fifty. This want of a
    greater number is by no means a serious difficulty; still, one
    we wish were corrected by an addition of scientific and
    industrious men, with some capital.

    "Again, when the season is wet, we have the fever and ague among
    us to some extent, though previous to our locating here the
    place was healthy. Whether it will be healthy in future we of
    course can not determine, but see no reason why it may not. The
    ague is by no means dangerous, but it is quite disagreeable, and
    during its continuance, is quite discouraging. Upon the approach
    of cold weather it disappears, and we recover, feeling as strong
    and hopeful as ever. Other diseases do not visit us, and the
    mortality of the place is low, averaging thus far, almost four
    years, less than two annually, and these were children. We are
    convinced, however, that all cause of the ague may be removed by
    a little outlay, which of course we shall make.

    "These are our chief incumbrances at present; others have
    existed equally discouraging, and have been surmounted. The time
    was when our very existence for a period longer than a few
    months, was exceedingly doubtful. Two or three heavy payments
    remained due, and our creditor was pressing. Now we shall not
    owe him a cent till next April. By the assistance of our
    Pittsburg friends and Mr. Van Amringe, we have been put in this
    situation. About half of our debt of about $7,000 is paid. All
    honor to Englishmen (William Bayle in particular), who have
    thus set an example to the 'sons of '76.'"

    [From a report of a Socialist Convention at Boston, October

    "The condition and prospects of the experiments now in progress
    in this country, especially the North American, Trumbull and
    Wisconsin Phalanxes, were discussed. Mr. Cooke has lately
    visited all these Associations, and brings back a large amount
    of interesting information. The situation of the North American
    is decidedly hopeful; as to the other two, his impressions were
    of a less sanguine tone than letters which have been recently
    published in the _Harbinger_ and _Tribune_. Yet it is not time
    to despair."

The reader will hardly be prepared for the next news we have about the
Trumbull; but we have seen before that Associations are apt to take
sudden turns.

    [Letter to the _Harbinger_ announcing failure.]

                           "_Braceville, Ohio, December 3, 1847._

    _To the Editors of the Harbinger_,

    "GENTLEMEN: You and your readers have no doubt heard before this
    of the dissolution of this Association, and the report is but
    too true; we have fallen. But we wish civilization to know that
    in our fall we have not broken our necks. We have indeed caught
    a few pretty bad scratches; but all our limbs are yet sound, and
    we mean to pick ourselves up again. We will try and try again.
    The infant has to fall several times before he can walk; but
    that does not discourage him, and he succeeds; nor shall we be
    so easily discouraged.

    "Some errors, not intentional though fatal, have been committed
    here; we see them now, and will endeavor to avoid them. I
    believe that it may be said of us with truth, that our failure
    is a triumph. Our fervent love for Association is not quenched;
    we are not dispersed; we are not discouraged; we are not even
    scared. We know our own position. What we have done we have done
    deliberately and intentionally, and we think we know also what
    we have to do. There are, however, difficulties in our way: we
    are aware of them. We may not succeed in reörganizing here as we
    wish to do; but if we fail, we will try elsewhere. There is yet
    room in this western world. We will first offer ourselves, our
    experience, our energies, and whatever means are left us, to our
    sister Associations. We think we are worth accepting; but if
    they have the inhumanity to refuse, we will try to build a new
    hive somewhere else, in the woods or on the prairies. God will
    not drive us from his own earth. He has lent it to all men; and
    we are men, and men of good intentions, of no sinister motives.
    Our rights are as good in his eyes as those of our brothers.

    "We do not deem it necessary here to give a detailed account of
    our affairs and circumstances. It will be sufficient to say
    that, however unfavorable they may be at present, we do not
    consider our position as desperate. We think we know the remedy;
    and we intend to use our best exertions to effect a cure. It may
    be proper also to state that we have not in any manner infringed
    our charter.

    "I do not write in an official capacity, but I am authorized to
    say, gentlemen, that if you can conveniently, and will, as soon
    as practicable, give this communication an insertion in the
    _Harbinger_, you will serve the cause, and oblige your brothers
    of the late Trumbull Phalanx.


After this decease, an attempt was made to resuscitate the
Association; as will be seen in the following paragraphs:

    [From a letter in the _Harbinger_, May 27, 1848.]

    "With improvident philanthropy, the Phalanx had admitted too
    indiscriminately; so that the society was rather an asylum for
    the needy, sick and disabled, than a nucleus of efficient
    members, carrying out with all their powers and energies, a
    system on which they honestly rely for restoring their race to
    elevation and happiness. They also had accepted unprofitable
    capital, producing absolutely nothing, upon which they were
    paying interest upon interest. All this weighed most heavily on
    the efficient members. They made up their minds to break up

    "A new society has been organized, which has bought at auction,
    and very low, the domain with all its improvements. We, the new
    society, purpose to work on the following foundation: Our object
    is to try the system of Fourier, so far as it is in our power,
    with our limited means, etc."

    [From a letter in the _Harbinger_, July 15, 1848.]

    "With respect to our little society here, we wish at present to
    say only that it is going on with alacrity and great hopes of
    success. We are prepared for a few additional members with the
    requisite qualifications; but we do not think it expedient to do
    or say much to induce any body to come on until we see how we
    shall fare through what is called the sickly season. To the
    present date, however, we may sum up our condition in these
    three words: We are healthy, busy and happy."

    This is the last we find about the new organization. So we
    conclude it soon passed away. As it is best to hear all sides,
    we will conclude this account with some extracts from a
    grumbling letter, which we find among Macdonald's manuscripts.

    [Account by a Malcontent.]

    "A great portion of the land was swampy, so much so that it
    could not be cultivated. It laid low, and had a creek running
    through it, which at times overflowed, and caused a great deal
    of sickness to the inhabitants of the place. The disease was
    mostly fever and ague; and this was so bad, that three-fourths
    of the people, both old and young, were shaking with it for
    months together. Through the public prints, persons favorable to
    the Association were invited to join, which had the effect of
    drawing many of the usual mixed characters from various parts of
    the country. Some came with the idea that they could live in
    idleness at the expense of the purchasers of the estate, and
    these ideas they practically carried out; whilst others came
    with good hearts for the cause. There were one or two designing
    persons, who came with no other intent than to push themselves
    into situations in which they could impose upon their fellow
    members; and this, to a certain extent, they succeeded in doing.

    "When the people first assembled, there was not sufficient house
    room to accommodate them, and they were huddled together like
    brutes; but they built some log cabins, and then tried to
    establish some kind of order, by rules and regulations. One of
    their laws was, that all persons before becoming members must
    pay twenty-five dollars each. Some did pay this, but the
    majority had not the money to pay. I think most persons came
    there for a mere shift. Their poverty and their quarrelling
    about what they called religion (for there were many notions
    about which was the right way to heaven), were great drawbacks
    to success. Nearly all the business was carried on by barter,
    there was so little money. Labor was counted by the hour, and
    was booked to each individual. Booking was about all the pay
    they ever got. At the breaking up, some of the members had due
    to them for labor and stock, five or six hundred dollars; and
    some of them did not receive as many cents.

    "To give an idea of the state of things, I may mention that
    there was a shrewd Yankee there, who established a
    boarding-house and pretended to accommodate boarders at very
    reasonable charges. He was poor, but he made many shifts to get
    something for his boarders to eat, though it was but very
    little. There was seldom any butter, cheese, or animal food upon
    the table, and what he called coffee was made of burnt bread. He
    had no bedding for the boarders; they had to provide it for
    themselves if they could; if not, they had to sleep on the
    floor. For this board he charged $1.62 per week, while it was
    proved that the cost per week for each individual was not more
    than twenty cents. This man professed to be a doctor, (though I
    believe he really knew no more of medicine than any other person
    there); and as there were so many persons sick with the ague, he
    got plenty of work. Previous to the breaking up, he brought in
    his bills to the patients (whom he had never benefited),
    charging them from ten to thirty dollars each, and some even
    higher. But the people being very poor, he did not succeed in
    recovering much of what he called his 'just dues;' though by
    threats of the law he scared some of them out of a trifle. There
    was another keen fellow, a preacher and lawyer, who got into
    office as secretary and treasurer, and kept the accounts. When
    there was any money he had the management of it; and I believe
    he knew perfectly well how to use it for his own advantage,
    which many of the members felt to their sorrow. The property was
    supposed to have been held by stockholders. Those who had the
    management of things know best how it was finally disposed of.
    For my part I think this was the most unsatisfactory experiment
    attempted in the West.

                          "J.M., member of the Trumbull Phalanx."

What a story of passion and suffering can be traced in this broken
material! Study it. Think of the great hope at the beginning; the
heroism of the long struggle; the bitterness of the end. This human
group was made up of husbands and wives, parents and children,
brothers and sisters, friends and lovers, and had two hundred hearts,
longing for blessedness. Plodding on their weary march of life,
Association rises before them like the _mirage_ of the desert. They
see in the vague distance, magnificent palaces, green fields, golden
harvests, sparkling fountains, abundance of rest and romance; in one
word, HOME--which also is HEAVEN. They rush like the thirsty caravan
to realize their vision. And now the scene changes. Instead of
reaching palaces, they find themselves huddled together in loose
sheds--thirty-five families trying to live in dwellings built for one.
They left the world to escape from want and care and temptation; and
behold, these hungry wolves follow them in fiercer packs than ever.
The gloom of debt is over them from the beginning. Again and again
they are on the brink of bankruptcy. It is a constant question and
doubt whether they will "SUCCEED," which means, whether they will
barely keep soul and body together, and pacify their creditors. But
they cheer one another on. "They _must_ succeed; they _will_ succeed;
they _are_ already succeeding!" These words they say over and over to
themselves, and shout them to the public. Still debt hangs over them.
They get a subsidy from outside friends. But the deficit increases.
Meanwhile disease persecutes them. All through the sultry months which
should have been their working time, they lie idle in their loose
sheds, or where they can find a place, sweating and shivering in
misery and despair. Human parasites gather about them, like vultures
scenting prey from afar. Their own passions torment them. They are
cursed with suspicion and the evil eye. They quarrel about religion.
They quarrel about their food. They dispute about carrying out their
principles. Eight or ten families desert. The rest worry on through
the long years. Foes watch them with cruel exultation. Friends shout
to them, "Hold on a little longer!" They hold on just as long as they
can, insisting that they are successful, or are just going to be, till
the last. Then comes the "break up;" and who can tell the agonies of
that great corporate death!

If the reader is willing to peer into the darkest depths of this
suffering, let him read again and consider well that suppressed wail
of the women where they speak of the "polar snows" and the "funeral
pile;" and let him think of all that is meant when the men say, "If we
had known at the commencement what fiery trials were to surround us,
we should have hesitated to enter on the enterprise. _But now being
fairly in, we will brave it_ _through!_" See how pathetically these
soldiers of despair, with defeat in full view, offer themselves to
other Associations, and take comfort in the assurance that God will
not drive them from the earth! See how the heroes of the "forlorn
hope," after defeat has come, turn again and reörganize, refusing to
surrender! The end came at last, but left no record.

This is not comedy, but direst tragedy. God forbid that we should
ridicule it, or think of it with any feeling but saddest sympathy. We
ourselves are thoroughly acquainted with these heights and depths.
These men and women seem to us like brothers and sisters. We could
easily weep with them and for them, if it would do any good. But the
better way is to learn what such sufferings teach, and hasten to find
and show the true path, which these pilgrims missed; that so their
illusions may not be repeated forever.



This Association, originally called the American Phalanx, commenced
with a very ambitious programme and flattering prospects; but it did
not last so long as many of its contemporaries. It belonged to the
Pittsburg group of experiments. The founder of it was E.P. Grant. Mr.
Van Amringe was one of its leaders, whom we saw busy at the Trumbull.
The first announcement of it we find in the third number of the
_Phalanx_, as follows:

    [From the _Phalanx_, December 5, 1843.]

    "GRAND MOVEMENT IN THE WEST.--The friends of Association in Ohio
    and other portions of the West, have undertaken the organization
    of a Phalanx upon quite an extended scale. They have secured a
    magnificent tract of land on the Ohio, have framed a
    constitution, and taken preliminary steps to make an early

    The projectors say: "We feel pleasure in announcing that the
    American Phalanx has contracted for about two thousand acres of
    land in Belmont County, Ohio, known as the Pultney farm, lying
    along the Ohio river, seven or eight miles below Wheeling; and
    that sufficient means are already pledged to remove all doubts
    as to the formation of an Association, as soon as the domain
    can be prepared for the reception of the members. The land has
    been purchased of Col. J.S. Shriver, of Wheeling, Virginia, at
    thirty dollars per acre, payable at the pleasure of the
    Association, in sums not less than $5,000. The payment of six
    per cent. interest semi-annually, is secured by a lien on the

    "The tract selected is two and a-half miles in length from north
    to south, and of somewhat irregular breadth, by reason of the
    curvatures of the Ohio river, which forms its eastern boundary.
    It contains six hundred acres of bottom land, all cleared and
    under cultivation; the residue is hill land of a fertility truly
    surprising and indeed incredible to persons unacquainted with
    the hills of that particular neighborhood. Of the hill lands,
    about two hundred and fifty acres are cleared, and about three
    hundred acres more have been partially cleared, so as to answer
    imperfectly for sheep pasture. The residue is for the most part

    "There are upon the premises two frame dwelling-houses, and ten
    log houses, mostly with shingle roofs; none of them, however,
    are of much value, except for temporary purposes.

    "The domain is singularly beautiful, as well as fertile; and
    when it is considered, in connection with the advantages already
    enumerated, that it is situated on one of the greatest
    thoroughfares in the world, the charming Ohio, along which from
    six to ten steamboats pass every day for eight or nine months in
    the year; that it is immediately accessible to several large
    markets, and a multitude of small ones; and that it is within
    seven miles of that great public improvement, the National Road,
    leading through the heart of the Western States, we think we
    are authorized to affirm that the broad territory of our country
    furnishes but few localities more favorable for an experiment in
    Association, than that which has been secured by the American

    "From eighty to one hundred laborers are expected to be upon the
    ground early in the spring, and it is hoped that in the fall a
    magnificent edifice or Phalanstery, on Fourier's plan, will be
    commenced, and will progress rapidly, until it shall be of
    sufficient extent to accommodate one hundred families.

    "Our object can not be more intelligibly explained than by
    stating that it is proposed to organize an industrial army,
    which, instead of ravaging and desolating the earth, like the
    armies of civilization, shall clothe it luxuriantly and
    beautifully with supplies for human wants; to distribute this
    army into platoons, companies, battalions, regiments, in which
    promotion and rewards shall depend, not upon success in
    spreading ruin and woe, but upon energy and efficiency in
    diffusing comfort and happiness; in short, to invest labor the
    creator, with the dignity which has so long impiously crowned
    labor the destroyer and the murderer, so that men shall vie with
    each other, not in devastation and carnage, but in usefulness to
    the race."

Applicants for admission or stock were referred to E.P. Grant, A.
Brisbane, H. Greeley and others.

    [From the _Phalanx_, February 5, 1844.]

    "E.P. Grant, Esq., of Canton, Ohio, a gentleman of high
    standing, superior talents, and indefatigable energy, who is at
    the head of the movement to establish the American Phalanx,
    which is to be located on the banks of the beautiful Ohio,
    informs us by letter, that 'the prospect is truly cheering;
    even that greatest of wants, capital, is likely to be abundantly
    supplied. There will indeed be some deficiency during the
    ensuing spring and summer; but the amount already pledged to be
    paid by the end of the first year, is not, I think, less than
    $40,000, and by the end of the second year, probably not less
    than $100,000; and these amounts, from present appearances, can
    be almost indefinitely increased. Besides, the proposed
    associates are devoted and determined, resenting the intimation
    of possible failure, as a reflection unworthy of their zeal.'"

    [From the _Phalanx_, March 1, 1844.]

    "The Ohio Phalanx (heretofore called the American), is now
    definitely constituted, and the first pioneers are already upon
    the domain. More will follow in a few days to assist in making
    preliminary preparations. A larger company will be added in
    March, and by the end of May the Phalanx is expected to consist
    of 120 resident members, of whom the greater part will be adult
    males. They will be received from time to time as rapidly as
    temporary accommodations can be provided. The prospects of the
    Phalanx are cheering beyond the most sanguine anticipations of
    its friends.

                                                     E.P. GRANT."

    [From the _Phalanx_, July 13, 1844.]

    "Our friends of the Ohio Phalanx appear to have celebrated the
    Fourth of July with much hilarity and enthusiasm. About ten
    o'clock the members of the Association with their guests, were
    seated beneath the shade of spreading trees, near the dwelling;
    when Mr. Grant, the President, announced briefly the object of
    the assemblage and the order to be observed, which was, first,
    prayer by Dr. Rawson, then an address by Mr. Van Amringe, in
    which the present condition of society, its inevitable
    tendencies and results, were contrasted with the social system
    as delineated by Fourier. It is not doing full justice to the
    orator to say merely that his address was interesting and able.
    It was lucid, cogent, religious and highly impressive. This
    portion of the festival was closed by prayer and benediction by
    Rev. J.P. Stewart, and adjournment for dinner. After a good and
    plentiful repast, the social party resumed their seats for the
    purpose of hearing (rather than drinking) toasts and whatsoever
    might be said thereupon."

The topics of the regular toasts were, _The day we celebrate_; _The
memory of Fourier_; _The Associationists of Pittsburg_; and so on
through a long string. The volunteer toasters liberally complimented
each other and the socialistic leaders generally, not forgetting
Horace Greeley. Somebody in the name of the Phalanx gave the

"_The Bible_, the book of languages, the book of ideas, the book of
life. May its pages be the delight of Associationists, and its
precepts practiced by the whole world."

Our next quotation hints that something like a dissolution and
reörganization had taken place.

    [From the _Phalanx_, May 3, 1845.]

    "We notice in a recent number of the _Pittsburg Chronicle_, an
    article from the pen of James D. Thornburg, on the present
    condition of the Ohio Phalanx, from which it appears that the
    report of its failure which has gone the rounds of the papers,
    is premature; and that although it has suffered embarrassment
    and difficulties from various causes, it is still in operation
    under new arrangements that authorize the hope of its ultimate
    success. We know nothing of the internal obstacles of which Mr.
    Thornburg speaks, and have no means of forming an opinion on the
    merits of the questions which, it would seem, have given rise to
    divided counsels and inefficient action. For the founder of the
    Ohio Phalanx, E.P. Grant, we cherish the most unqualified
    respect, believing him to be fitted as few men are, by his
    talents, energy and scientific knowledge, for the station of
    leader of the great enterprise, which demands no less courage
    and practical vigor, than wisdom and magnanimity.

    "We learn from Mr. Thornburg's statement that to those who chose
    to leave the Phalanx, it was proposed to give thirty-three per
    cent. on their investments, which is all they could be entitled
    to, in case of a forfeiture of the title to the domain, in which
    case all the improvements, buildings, crops in ground, etc.,
    would be a total loss to the members. But there is no
    depreciation in the stock, when these improvements are
    estimated. The rent has been reduced to one-half the former
    amount. The proprietor is expected to furnish a large number of
    sheep, the profits of which, it is believed, will be nearly or
    quite sufficient to pay the rent. At the end of two years,
    $30,000 in bonds, mortgages, etc., is to be raised, for which
    the Phalanx will receive a fee-simple title to the domain. A
    large share of the balance will be invested in stock, and
    whatever may remain will be apportioned in payments at two and
    a-half per cent. interest, and fixed at a date so remote that no
    difficulty will result. There are buildings on the domain
    sufficient for the accommodation of forty families, in addition
    to a number of rooms suitable for single persons. The movable
    property on the domain is at present worth three thousand

    "In view of all the facts in the case, as set forth by Mr.
    Thornburg, we see no reason to dissent from the conclusion which
    he unhesitatingly expresses, that the future success of the
    Phalanx is certain. We trust that we have not been inspired with
    too flattering hopes by the earnestness of our wishes. For we
    acknowledge that we have always regarded the magnificent
    material resources of this Phalanx with the brightest
    anticipations; we have looked to it with confiding trust, for
    the commencement of a model Association; and we can not now
    permit ourselves to believe that any disastrous circumstance
    will prevent the realization of the high hopes which prompted
    its founders to engage in their glorious enterprise.

    "The causes of difficulty in the Ohio Phalanx, as stated in the
    article before us, are as follows: Want of experience; too much
    enthusiasm; unproductive members; want of means. These causes
    must always produce difficulty and discouragement; and at the
    same time, can scarcely be avoided in the commencement of every
    attempt at Association.

    "The harmonies of the combined order are not to be arrived at in
    a day or a year. Even with the noblest intentions, great
    mistakes in the beginning are inevitable, and many obstacles of
    a formidable character are incident to the very nature of the
    undertaking. A want of sufficient means must cripple the most
    strenuous industry. Ample capital is essential for a complete
    organization, for the necessary machinery and fixtures, for the
    ordinary conveniences, to say nothing of the elegancies of the
    household order; and this in the commencement can scarcely ever
    be obtained. Restriction, retrenchment, more or less confusion,
    are the necessary consequences; and these in their turn beget a
    spirit of impatience and discontent in all but the heroic; and
    few men are heroes. The transition from the compulsory industry
    of civilization to the voluntary, but not yet attractive,
    industry of Association, is not favorable to the highest
    industrial effects. Men who have been accustomed to shirk labor
    under the feeling that they had poor pay for hard work, will not
    be transformed suddenly into kings of industry by the atmosphere
    of a Phalanx. There will be more or less loafing, a good deal of
    exertion unwisely applied, a certain waste of strength in random
    and unsystematic efforts, and a want of the business-like
    precision and force which makes every blow tell, and tell in the
    right place. Under these circumstances many will grow uneasy, at
    length become discouraged, and perhaps prove false to their
    early love. But all these, we are fully persuaded, are merely
    temporary evils. They will soon pass away. They are like the
    thin mists of the valley, which precede, but do not prevent, the
    rising of the sun. The principles of Association are founded on
    the eternal laws of justice and truth; they present the only
    remedy for the appalling confusion and discord of the present
    social state; they are capable of being carried into practice by
    just such men and women as we daily meet in the usual walks of
    life; and as firmly as we believe in a Universal Providence, so
    sure we are that their practical accomplishment is destined to
    bless humanity with ages of abundance, harmony, and joy,
    surpassing the most enthusiastic dream."

    [Editorial in the _Harbinger_, June, 14, 1845.]

    "We learn from a personal interview with Mr. Thornburg, whose
    letter on the Ohio Phalanx was alluded to in a recent number of
    the _Phalanx_, that the affairs of that Association wear a very
    promising aspect, and that there can be no reasonable doubt of
    its success. He gives a very favorable description of the soil
    and general resources of the domain, and from all that we have
    learned of its character, we believe there are few localities at
    the West better adapted for the purposes of an experimental
    Association on a large scale. We sincerely hope that our friends
    in that vicinity will concentrate their efforts on the Ohio
    Phalanx, and not attempt to multiply Associations, which,
    without abundant capital and devoted and experienced men, will,
    almost to a certainty, prove unsuccessful. The true policy for
    all friends of Associative movements, is to combine their
    resources, and give an example of a well-organized Phalanx, in
    complete and harmonic operation. This will do more for the cause
    than any announcement of theories, however sound and eloquent,
    or ten thousand abortive attempts begun in enthusiasm and
    forsaken in despair."

    [From the correspondence of the _Harbinger_, July 19, 1845,
    announcing the final dissolution.]

    "On the 24th of June last, the Ohio Phalanx again dissolved. The
    reason is the want of funds. Since the former dissolution they
    have obtained no accession of numbers or capital worth
    considering. The members, I presume, will now disperse. They all
    retain, I believe, their sentiments in favor of Association; but
    they have not the means to go on."

Macdonald contributes the following summary, to close the account:

    [From the Journal of a Resident Member of the Ohio Phalanx.]

    "At the commencement of the experiment there was general
    good-humor among the members. There seemed to be plenty of
    means, and there was much profusion and waste. There was no
    visible organization according to Fourier, most of the members
    being inexperienced in Association. They were too much crowded
    together, had no school nor reading-room, and the younger
    members, as might be expected, were at first somewhat unruly.
    The character of the Association had more of a sedate and
    religious tone, than a lively or social one. There was too much
    discussion about Christian union, etc., and too little practical
    industry and business talent. No weekly or monthly accounts were

    "About ten months after the commencement of the Association, a
    partial scarcity of provisions took place, and other
    difficulties occurred, which may in part be attributed to
    neglect in keeping the accounts. At this juncture Mr. Van
    Amringe started on a lecturing tour in aid of the Association;
    and the Phalanx had a meeting at which Mr. Grant, who was then
    regent, stated that between $7,000 and $8,000 had been expended
    since they came together; but no accounts were shown giving the
    particulars of this expenditure. From the difficult position in
    which the Phalanx was placed, Mr. Grant advised the breaking-up
    of the concern, which was agreed to, with two or three
    dissentients. [This was probably the first dissolution, referred
    to in a previous extract from the _Harbinger_.]

    "On December 26 a new constitution was proposed which caused
    much discontent and confusion; and with the commencement of 1845
    more disagreements took place, some in relation to the social
    amusements of the people, and some regarding the debts of the
    Phalanx, the empty treasury, the depreciation of stock, Mr. Van
    Amringe's possession of the lease of the property, and the bad
    prospect there was for raising the interest upon the cost of the
    domain, which was about $4,140, or six per cent. on $69,000, the
    price of twenty-two hundred acres.

    "On January 20th, 1845, another attempt at re-organization was
    made by persons who had full confidence in the management of Mr.
    Grant, and on February 28th still another re-organization was
    considered. On March 10th a general meeting of the Phalanx took
    place. Three constitutions were read, and the third (attributed,
    I believe, to Mr. Van Amringe), was adopted by a majority of
    one. After this there was a meeting of the minority, and the
    constitution of Mr. Grant was adopted with some slight
    alterations. Difficulties now took place between the two
    parties, which led to a suit at law by one of the members
    against the Ohio Phalanx. [These fluctuations remind us of the
    experience of New Harmony in its last days.]

    "In such manner did the Association progress until August 27,
    1845, when it was whispered about, that the Phalanx was defunct,
    although no notification to that effect was given to the
    members. Colonel Shriver, who held the mortgage on the property,
    took alarm at the state of affairs, and placed an agent on the
    premises to look after his interests. This agent employed
    persons to work the farm, and the members had to shift for
    themselves as best they could. Col. S. proposed an assignment of
    the whole property over to him, requiring entire possession by
    the 1st of October. This was assented to, though the value of
    the property was more than enough to cover every claim.

    "On September 9th advertisements were issued for the public sale
    of the whole property, and on the 17th of that month the sale
    took place before two or three hundred persons. After this the
    members dispersed, and the Ohio Phalanx was at an end. The lease
    of the property had been made out in the name of Mr. Grant for
    the Phalanx. It was afterward given up to him by Mr. Van
    Amringe, who had possession of it, and by Mr. Grant was returned
    to Colonel Shriver.

    "Much space might be occupied in endeavoring to show the right
    and the wrong of these parties and proceedings, which to the
    reader would be quite unprofitable. The broad results we have
    before us, viz., that certain supposed-to-be great and important
    principles were tried in practice, and through a variety of
    causes failed. The most important causes of failure were said to
    be the deficiency of wealth, wisdom, and goodness; or if not
    these, the fallacy of the principles."



This Association originated in Cincinnati. An enthusiastic convention
of Socialists was held in that city on the 22d of February, 1844, at
which interesting letters were read from Horace Greeley, Albert
Brisbane, and Wm. H. Channing, and much discussion of various
practical projects ensued. A committee was appointed to find a
suitable domain; and at a second meeting on the 14th of March, the
society adopted a constitution, elected officers, and opened books for
subscription of stock. Mr. Wade Loofbourrow, a gentleman of capital
and enterprise, took the lead in these proceedings, and was chosen
president of the future Phalanx. A domain of nine hundred acres was
soon selected and purchased on the banks of the Ohio, in Clermont
County, about thirty miles above Cincinnati. On the 9th of May a large
party of the members proceeded from Cincinnati on a steamer chartered
for the occasion, to take possession of the domain with appropriate
ceremonies, and leave a pioneer band to commence operations. Macdonald
accompanied this party, and gives the following account of the

    "There were about one hundred and thirty of us. The weather was
    beautiful, but cool, and the scenery on the river was splendid
    in its spring dress. The various parties brought their
    provisions with them, and toward noon the whole of it was
    collected and spread upon the table by the waiters, for all to
    have an equal chance. But alas for equality! On the meal being
    ready, a rush was made into the cabin, and in a few minutes all
    the seats were filled. In a few minutes more the provisions had
    all disappeared, and many persons who were not in the first
    rush, had to go hungry. I lost my dinner that day; but improved
    the opportunity to observe and criticise the ferocity of the
    Fourieristic appetite. We reached the domain about two o'clock
    P.M., and marched on shore in procession, with a band of music
    in front, leading the way up a road cut in the high clay bank;
    and then formed a mass meeting, at which we had praying, music
    and speech-making. I strolled out with a friend and examined the
    purchase, and we came to the conclusion that it was a splendid
    domain. A strip of rich bottom-land, about a quarter of a mile
    wide, was backed by gently rolling hills, well timbered all
    over. Nine or ten acres were cleared, sufficient for present
    use. Here then was all that could be desired, hill and plain,
    rich soil, fine scenery, plenty of first-rate timber, a
    maple-sugar camp, a good commercial situation, convenient to the
    best market in the West, with a river running past that would
    float any kind of boat or raft; and with steamboats passing and
    repassing at all hours of the day and night, to convey
    passengers or goods to any point between New Orleans and
    Pittsburg. Here was wood for fuel, clay and stone to make
    habitations, and a rich soil to grow food. What more could be
    asked from nature? Yet, how soon all this was found

    "The land was obtained on credit; the price was $20,000. One
    thousand was to be paid down, and the rest in installments at
    stated periods. The first installment was paid; enthusiasm
    triumphed; and now for the beginning! On my return to the
    landing, I found a band of sturdy men commencing operations as
    pioneers. They were clearing a portion of the wood away with
    their axes, and preparing for building temporary houses, the
    materials for which they brought with them. A temporary tent was
    put up, and it would surprise any one to hear how many things
    were going to be done.

    "We left the domain on our return at about five P.M., and I
    noticed that the president, Mr. Loofbourrow, and the secretary,
    Mr. Green, remained with the workmen. There were about a dozen
    persons left, consisting, I believe, of carpenters, choppers and
    shoemakers. They all seemed in good spirits, and cheered merrily
    on our departure."

A second similar excursion of Socialists from Cincinnati came off on
the 4th of July following, which also Macdonald attended, and reports
as follows:

    "We left Cincinnati triumphantly to the sound of martial music,
    and took our journey up the river in fine spirits, the young
    people dancing in the cabin as we proceeded. We arrived at the
    Clermont Phalanx about one o'clock. On landing, we formed a
    procession and marched to a new frame building, which was being
    erected for a mill. Here an oration was delivered by a Mr.
    Whitly, who, I noticed, had the Bible open before him. After
    this we formed a procession again and marched to a lot of rough
    tables enclosed within a line of ropes, where we stood and took
    a cold collation. After this the folks enjoyed themselves with
    music and dancing, and I took a walk about the place to see what
    progress had been made since my last visit. The frame building
    before mentioned was the only one in actual progress. A
    steam-boiler had been obtained, and preparations had been made
    to build other houses. A temporary house had been erected to
    accommodate the families then on the domain, amounting as I was
    informed, to about one hundred and twenty persons. This building
    was made exactly in the manner of the cabin of a Western
    steamboat; i.e., there was one long narrow room the length of
    the house, and little rooms like state-rooms arranged on either
    side. Each little room had one little window, like a port-hole;
    and was intended to accommodate a man and his wife, or two
    single men temporarily. It was at once apparent that the persons
    living there were in circumstances inferior to what they had
    been used to; and were enduring it well, while the enthusiastic
    spirit held out. But it seldom lasts long. It is said that
    people will endure these deprivations for the sake of what is
    soon to come. But experience shows that the endurance is
    generally brief, and that if they are able, they soon return to
    the circumstances to which they have been accustomed. They
    either find that their patience is insufficient for the task, or
    that being in inferior circumstances, _they_ are becoming
    inferior. Be the cause what it may, the result is nearly always
    the same. This Association had been on the ground only a few
    months; but I was told that disagreements had already commenced.
    The persons brought together were strangers to each other, of
    many different trades and habits, and discord was the result, as
    might have been anticipated. From one of the shoemakers I
    gained considerable information as to their state and
    prospects. In the afternoon we returned to the city."

    [From the _Phalanx_, May 3, 1845.]

    "We are glad to learn by the following notice, taken from a
    Cincinnati paper, that the _Clermont Phalanx_ still lives, and
    is in a fair way of going on successfully. We have received no
    account of it lately, and as the last that we had was not very
    flattering in respect to its pecuniary condition, we should not
    have been surprised to hear of its dissolution. The indiscretion
    of starting Associations without sufficient means and a proper
    selection of persons, has been shown to be disastrous in some
    other cases, and that we should fear for the fate of this one
    was quite natural. But if our Clermont friends can, by their
    devotion, energy and self-sacrificing spirit, overcome the
    trying difficulties of a pioneer state, rude and imperfect as it
    must be, they will deserve and will receive an abundant reward.
    We bid them God speed! They say:

    "'The pioneer band, with their friends, took possession of the
    domain on the 9th day of May last year, since which time we have
    been engaged in cultivating our land, clearing away the forest,
    and erecting buildings of various kinds for the use of the

    "'The amount of capital stock paid in is about $10,000; $3,000
    of which has been paid for the domain. We have a stock of
    cattle, hogs and sheep, and sufficient teams and agricultural
    utensils of various kinds; also a steam saw- and grist-mill.
    Shoe, brush, tin and tailor's shops are in active operation.
    There are on the ground thirty-five able-bodied men, with a
    sufficient number of women and children.

    "'When we first entered on our domain, there were no buildings
    of any description, except three log-cabins, which were occupied
    by tenants. We have since erected a building for a saw- and
    grist-mill, a frame building forty by thirty feet, two stories
    high, and another, one story high, eighty by thirty-six feet,
    and one thirty-six by thirty feet, together with a kitchen,
    wash-house, etc. These buildings are of course slightly built,
    being temporary. We have also commenced a brick building eighty
    by thirty feet, three stories high, which is ready for the roof;
    all the timbers are sawed for that purpose; and we expect soon
    to put them on.

    "'There are about two thousand cords of wood chopped, part of
    which is on the bank of the river. There are thirty acres of
    wheat in the ground, in excellent condition, and it is intended
    to put in good spring crops. We are also preparing to plant
    large orchards this spring, Mr. A.H. Ernst having made us the
    noble donation of one thousand selected fruit-trees.'"

    [From the _Harbinger_, June 14, 1845.]

    "George Sampson, Secretary of the Phalanx, says, in an address
    soliciting funds: 'The members of the Association have the
    satisfaction of announcing that they have just paid off this
    year's installment due for their domain, amounting to $4,505,
    and have also advanced nearly $1,000 on their next year's
    payment. With increased zeal and confidence we now look forward
    to certain success.'"

    [Letter from a member, in the _Harbinger_, October 4, 1845.]

                        "_Clermont Phalanx, September 13, 1845._"

    "I am pleased to have to inform you, that we are improving since
    you were among us. We have had an accession of members, three
    single men, and two with families. One of them attends the
    saw-mill, which he understands, and the others are carpenters
    and joiners, whom we much needed.

    "We are now hard at work on our large brick edifice. We are
    fitting up a large dining-hall in the rear of it, with kitchen,
    wash-house, bakery, etc. We think we shall get into it in about
    five weeks from this time. We now all sit down to the Phalanx
    table, and have done so for about six weeks, and all goes on
    harmoniously. How much better is this system than for each
    family to have their own table, their own dining-room, kitchen,
    etc. We have admitted several other members, who have not yet
    arrived. We have applications before us from several members of
    the Ohio Phalanx. How much I regret that these people were
    compelled to abandon so beautiful a location as Pultney Bottom,
    merely for want of money to carry on their operations. Their
    experience is the same as ours. Though their movement failed,
    they have become confirmed Associationists; they know that
    living together is practicable; that the Phalanstery is man's
    true home; and the only one in which he can enjoy all the
    blessings of earthly existence, without those evils which flesh
    is heir to in false civilization."

Macdonald concludes his account with the following observations:

    "The Phalanx continued to progress, or to exist, till the fall
    of 1846, when it was finally abandoned. During its existence
    various circumstances concurred to hasten its termination; among
    them the following: Stock to the amount of $17,000 was
    subscribed, but scarcely $6,000 of it was ever paid;
    consequently the Association could not meet its liabilities. An
    installment of $3,000 had been paid at the purchase of the
    property, but as the after installments could not be met, a
    portion of the land had to be sold to pay for the rest. A little
    jealousy, originating among the female portion of the Community,
    eventually led to a law-suit on the part of one of the male
    members against the Association, and caused them some trouble. I
    have it also on good authority, that an important difficulty
    took place between Mr. Loofbourrow and the Phalanx, relative to
    the deed of the property which he held for the Phalanx.

    "At one time there were about eighty persons on the domain,
    exclusive of children. They were of various trades and
    professions, and of various religious beliefs. There was no
    common religious standard among them.

    "Some of the friends of this experiment say it failed from two
    causes, viz., the want of means and the want of men; while
    others attribute the failure to jealousy and the law-suit, and
    also to losses they sustained by flood."

The fifth volume of the _Harbinger_ has a letter from one who had been
a member of the Clermont Phalanx, giving a curious account of certain
ghosts of Associations that flitted about the Clermont domain, after
the decease of the original Phalanx. Here is what it says:

    [Letter in the _Harbinger_, October 2, 1847.]

    "It was well known that our frail bark would strand about a year
    ago. I need not say from what cause, as the history of one such
    institution is the history of all; but it is commonly said and
    believed that it was owing to our large indebtedness on our
    landed property. Persons of large discriminating powers need not
    inquire how and why such debt was contracted; suffice it to
    say, it was done, and under such burden the Clermont Phalanx
    went down about the first of November, 1856. The property of the
    concern was delivered up to our esteemed friends, B. Urner and
    C. Donaldson of Cincinnati, who disposed of the land in such a
    way as to let it fall into the hands of our friends of the
    Community school, of which John O. Wattles, John P. Cornell and
    Hiram S. Gilmore are conspicuous members, and who seem to have
    all the pecuniary means and talents for carrying on a grand and
    notable plan of reform. They are now putting up a small
    Community building, spaciously suited for six families, which
    for beauty, convenience and durability, probably is not
    surpassed in the western country.

    "Of the old members of the Clermont, many returned again to the
    city where the institution was first started, but a goodly
    number still remain about the old domain, making various
    movements for a re-organization. After the break-up, a deep
    impression seemed to pervade the whole of us that something had
    been wrong at the outset, in not securing individually a
    permanent place _to be_, and then procuring the things _to be
    with_. Had that been the case, a permanent and happy home would
    have been here for us ere this time. But I will add with
    gratitude that such is the case now. We have a home! We have a
    place to be! After various plans for uniting our energies in the
    purchase of a small tract of land, we were visited during the
    past summer by Mr. Josiah Warren of New Harmony, Indiana, who
    laid before us his plan for the use of property, in the
    rudimental re-organization of society. Mr. Warren is a man of no
    ordinary talents. In his investigations of human character his
    experience has been of the most rigorous kind, having begun with
    Mr. Owen in 1825, and been actively engaged ever since; and
    being an ingenious mechanic and artist, an inventor of several
    kinds of printing-presses and a new method of stereotyping and
    engraving, and an excellent musician, and combining withal a
    character to do instead of say, gives us confidence in him as a
    man. His plan was taken up by one of our former members, who has
    an excellent tract of land lying on the bank of the Ohio river,
    within less than a mile of the old domain. He has had it
    surveyed into lots, and sells to such of us as wish to join in
    the cause. An extensive brick-yard is in operation, stone is
    being quarried and lumber hauled on the ground, and buildings
    are about to go up 'with a perfect rush.' Mr. Warren will have a
    press upon the ground in a few weeks that will tell something.
    So you see we have a home, we have a place. But by no means is
    the cause at rest. We call upon philanthropists and all men who
    have means to invest for the cause of Association, to come and
    see us, and understand our situation, our means and our
    intentions. We are ready to receive capital in many forms, but
    not to hold it as our own. The donor only becomes the lender,
    and must maintain a strict control over every thing he
    possesses. [Here Warren's Individual Sovereignty protrudes.]
    Farms and farming utensils, mechanical tools, etc., can be
    received only to be used and not abused; and in the language of
    the 'Poughkeepsie seer,' of whose work we have lately received a
    number of copies, this all may be done without seriously
    depreciating the capital or riches of one person in society. On
    the contrary, it will enrich and advance all to honor and

Here we come upon the trail of two old acquaintances. John O. Wattles
was one of the founders of the Prairie Home Community. It seems from
the above, that after the failure of that experiment, he set up his
tent among the _debris_ of the Clermont Phalanx. And Josiah Warren
came from the failure of his New Harmony Time-store to the same
favored or haunted spot, and there started his Utopia. These
intersections of the wandering Socialists are intricate and
interesting. Note also that the ideas of the "Poughkeepsie seer," A.J.
Davis, whose star was then only just above the horizon, had found
their way to this queer mixture of all sorts of Socialists.



This Association was founded in the early part of 1845 by John S.
Williams of Cincinnati, who is spoken of by the _Phalanx_, as one of
the most active adherents of Fourierism in the West. It settled first
in Ohio, and afterwards in Illinois.

    [From the _Ohio State Journal_, June 14, 1845.]

    "An Association of citizens of Ohio, calling themselves the
    'Integral Phalanx,' have recently purchased the valuable
    property of Mr. Abner Enoch, near Middletown, Butler County, in
    this State, known by the name of Manchester Mills, twenty-three
    miles north of Cincinnati, on the Miami Canal. This property
    embraces about nine hundred acres of the most fertile land in
    Ohio, or perhaps in the world; six hundred acres of which lie in
    one body, and are now in the highest state of cultivation,
    according to the usual mode of farming; three hundred acres in
    wood and timber land. There are now in operation on the place a
    large flouring-mill, saw-mill, lath-factory and shingle-cutter,
    with water-power which is abundantly sufficient to propel all
    necessary machinery that the company may choose to put in
    operation. The property is estimated to be worth $75,000, but
    was sold to the Phalanx for $45,000. As Mr. Enoch is himself an
    Associationist and a devoted friend of the cause, the terms of
    sale were made still more favorable, by the subscription, on the
    part of Mr. Enoch, of $25,000 of purchase money, as capital
    stock of the Phalanx. Entire possession of the domain is to be
    given as soon as existing contracts of the proprietor are

    "Arrangements are already made for the vigorous prosecution of
    the plans of the Phalanx. A press is to be established on the
    domain, devoted to the science of industrial Association
    generally, and the interests of the Integral Phalanx
    particularly. Competent agents are appointed to lecture on the
    science, and receive subscriptions of stock and membership; and
    it is contemplated to erect, as soon as possible, one wing of a
    unitary edifice, large enough to accommodate sixty-four
    families, more than one-half of which number are already in the

    [From the _Harbinger_, July 19, 1845.]

    "We have received the first number of a new paper, entitled, the
    '_Plowshare and Pruning-Hook_,' which the Integral Phalanx
    proposes to publish semi-monthly at the rate of one dollar per

    "The reasons presented for the establishment of the Integral
    Phalanx are to our minds quite conclusive, and we feel great
    confidence that its affairs will be managed with the wisdom and
    fidelity which will insure success. We earnestly desire to
    witness a fair and full experiment of Association in the West.
    The physical advantages which are there enjoyed, are far too
    great to be lost. With the fertility of the soil, the ease with
    which it is cultivated, the abundance of water-power, and the
    comparative mildness of the climate, a very few years of
    judicious and energetic industry would place an Association in
    the West in possession of immense material resources. They could
    not fail to accumulate wealth rapidly. They could live in great
    measure within themselves, without being compelled to sustain
    embarrassing relations with civilization; and with the requisite
    moral qualities and scientific knowledge, the great problem of
    social harmony would approximate, at least, toward a solution.
    We trust this will be done by the Integral Phalanx. And to
    insure this, our friends in Ohio should not be eager to
    encourage new experiments, but to concentrate their capital and
    talent, as far as possible, on that Association which bids fair
    to accomplish the work proposed. The advantages possessed by the
    Integral Phalanx will be seen from the following statement in
    their paper:

    "'To say that our prospects are not good, would be to say what
    we do not believe; or to say that the Phalanx, so far, is not
    composed of the right kind of materials, would be to affect a
    false modesty we desire not to possess. One reason why our
    materials are superior is, that young Phalanxes generally are
    known to be in doubtful, difficult circumstances, and therefore
    the inducement to rush into such movements merely from the
    pressure of the evils of civilization, without a full
    convincement of the good of Association, is not so great as it
    was. We are composed of men whose reflective organs,
    particularly that of caution, seem to be largely developed. We
    believe in moving slowly, cautiously, safely; giving our Phalanx
    time to grow well, that permanence may be the result. The
    members already enrolled on the books of the _Phalanx_, are, in
    their individual capacities, the owners of property to an amount
    exceeding one hundred thousand dollars, clear of all
    incumbrances; and they are all persons of industrial energy and
    skill, fully capable of compelling the elements of earth, air
    and water, to yield them abundant contributions for that
    harmonic unity with which their souls are deeply inspired. In
    view of all these advantages we can, with full confidence,
    invite the accession of numbers and capital, and assure them of
    a safe investment in the Integral Phalanx.'"

    [From the _Harbinger_, August 16, 1845.]

    "We have received the second number of the _Plowshare and
    Pruning-Hook_. Besides a variety of interesting articles on the
    subject of Association, this number contains the pledges and
    rules of the Integral Phalanx, together with an explanation of
    some parts of the instrument, which have been supposed to be
    rather obscure. It is an elaborate document, exhibiting the
    fruits of deep reflection, and aiming at the application of
    scientific principles to the present condition of Association.
    We do not feel ourselves called on to criticise it; as every
    written code for the government of a Phalanx must necessarily be
    imperfect, of the nature of a compromise, adapted to special
    exigences, and taking its character, in a great measure, from
    the local or personal circumstances of the Association for which
    it is intended. In a complete and orderly arrangement of groups
    and series, with attractive industry fully organized, with a
    sufficient variety of character for the harmonious development
    of the primary inherent passions of our nature, and a
    corresponding abundance of material resources, we conceive that
    few written laws would be necessary; everything would be
    regulated with spontaneous precision by the pervading common
    sense of the Phalanx; and the law written on the heart, the
    great and holy law of attraction, would supersede all others.
    But for this blessed condition the time is not yet. Years may be
    required, before we shall see the first red streaks of its
    dawning. Meanwhile, we must make the wisest provisional
    arrangements in our power. And no constitution recognizing the
    principles of distributive justice and the laws of universal
    unity, will be altogether defective; while time and experience
    will suggest the necessary improvements.

    "Three attorneys-at-law have left that profession and joined the
    Integral Phalanx, not, as they say, that they could not make a
    living, if they would stick to it and do their share of the
    dirty work, but because by doing so they must sacrifice their
    consciences, as the practice of the law, in many instances, is
    but stealing under another name. They are elevating themselves
    by learning honest and useful trades, so as to become producers
    in Association. A wise resolution."

Here comes a sudden turn in the story of this Phalanx, for which the
previous assurances of caution and prosperity had not prepared us, and
of which we can find no detailed account. We skip from Ohio to
Illinois, with no explanation except the dark hints of trouble,
defeat, and partial dissolution, contained in the following document.
The Sangamon Phalanx, which seems to have taken in the Integral (or
was taken in by it), is one of the Associations of which we have no
account either from Macdonald or the Fourier Journals.

    [From the New York _Tribune_.]

                                "_Home of the Integral Phalanx, }
                       Sangamon Co., Illinois, Oct. 20, 1845._" }

    "_To the Editor of the New York Tribune_:

    "We wish to apprise the friends of Association that the Integral
    Phalanx, having for the space of one year wandered like Noah's
    dove, finding no resting place for the sole of its foot, has at
    length found a habitation. A union was formed on the 16th of
    October inst., between it and the Sangamon Association; or
    rather the Sangamon Association was merged in the Integral
    Phalanx; its members having abandoned its name and constitution,
    and become members of the Integral Phalanx, by placing their
    signatures to its pledges and rules: the Phalanx adopting their
    domain as its home. We were defeated, and we now believe, very
    fortunately for us, in securing a location in Ohio. We have,
    during the time of our wanderings, gained some experience which
    we could not otherwise have gained, and without which we were
    not prepared to settle down upon a location. Our members have
    been tried. We now know what kind of stuff they are made of.
    Those who have abandoned us in consequence of our difficulties,
    were 'with us, but not of us,' and would have been a hindrance
    to our efforts. They who are continually hankering after the
    'flesh-pots of Egypt,' and are ready to abandon the cause upon
    the first appearance of difficulties, had better stay out of
    Association. If they will embark in the cause, every Association
    should pray for difficulties sufficient to drive them out. We
    need not only clear heads, but also true hearts. We are by no
    means sorry for the difficulties which we have encountered, and
    all we fear is that we have not yet had sufficient difficulties
    to try our souls, and show the principles by which we are

    "We have now a domain embracing five hundred and eight acres of
    as good land as can be found within the limits of Uncle Sam's
    dominions, fourteen miles southwest from Springfield, the
    capital of the State, and in what is considered the best county
    and wealthiest portion of the State. This domain can be extended
    to any desired limit by purchase of adjoining lands at cheap
    rates. We have, however, at present, sufficient land for our
    purposes. It consists of high rolling prairie and woodlands
    adjoining, which can not be excelled in the State, for beauty of
    scenery and richness of soil, covered with a luxuriant growth of
    timber, of almost every description, oak, hickory, sugar-maple,
    walnut, etc. The land is well watered, lying upon Lick Creek,
    with springs in abundance, and excellent well-water at the depth
    of twenty feet. The land, under proper cultivation, will produce
    one hundred bushels of corn to the acre, and every thing else in
    proportion. There are five or six comfortable buildings upon the
    property; and a temporary frame-building, commenced by the
    Sangamon Association (intended, when finished, to be three
    hundred and sixty feet by twenty-four), is now being erected for
    the accommodation of families.

    "The whole domain is in every particular admirably adapted to
    the industrial development of the Phalanx. The railroad
    connecting Springfield with the Illinois river, runs within two
    miles of the domain. There is a steam saw- and flouring-mill
    within a few yards of our present eastern boundary, which we can
    secure on fair terms, and shall purchase, as we shall need it

    "But we will not occupy more time with description, as those who
    feel sufficiently interested, will visit us and examine for
    themselves. We 'owe no man,' and although we are called infidels
    by those who know not what constitutes either infidelity or
    religion, we intend to obey at least this injunction of Holy
    Writ. The Sangamon Association had been progressing slowly,
    prudently and cautiously, determined not to involve themselves
    in pecuniary difficulties; and this was one great inducement to
    our union with them. We want those whose 'bump of caution' is
    fully developed. Our knowledge of the progressive movement of
    other Associations has taught us a lesson which we will try not
    to forget. We are convinced that we can never succeed with an
    onerous debt upon us. We trust those who attempt it may be more
    successful than we could hope to be.

    "We are also convinced that we can not advance one step toward
    associative unity, while in a state of anarchy and confusion,
    and that such a state of things must be avoided. We will
    therefore not attempt even a unitary subsistence, until we have
    the number necessary to enable us to organize upon scientific
    principles, and in accordance with Fourier's admirable plan of
    industrial organization. The Phalanx will have a store-house,
    from which all the families can be supplied at wholesale prices,
    and have it charged to their account. It is better that the
    different families should remain separate for five years, than
    to bring them together under circumstances worse than
    civilization. Such a course will unavoidably create confusion
    and dissatisfaction, and we venture the assertion that it has
    done so in every instance where it has been attempted. Under our
    rules of progress, it will be seen that until we are prepared to
    organize, we shall go upon the system of hired labor. We pay to
    each individual a full compensation for all assistance rendered
    in labor or other services, and charge him a fair price for what
    he receives from the Phalanx; the balance of earnings, after
    deducting the amount of what he receives, to be credited to him
    as stock, to draw interest as capital. To capital, whether it be
    money or property put in at a fair price, we allow ten per cent.
    compound interest. This plan will be pursued until our edifice
    is finished and we have about four hundred persons, ready to
    form a temporary organization. Fourier teaches us that this
    number is necessary, and if he has taught the truth of the
    science, it is worse than folly to pursue a course contrary to
    his instructions. If there is any one who understands the
    science better than Fourier did himself, we hope he will make
    the necessary corrections and send us word. We intend to follow
    Fourier's instructions until we find they are wrong; then we
    will abandon them.

    "As to an attempt to organize groups and series until we have
    the requisite number, have gone through a proper system of
    training, and erected an edifice sufficient for the
    accommodation of about four hundred persons, every feature of
    our Rules of Progress forbids it. We believe that the effort
    will place every Phalanx that attempts it, in a situation worse
    than civilization itself. The distance between civilization and
    Association can not be passed at one leap. There must
    necessarily be a transition period; and any set of rules or
    constitution (hampered and destroyed by a set of by-laws),
    intended for the government of a Phalanx, during the transition
    period, and which have no analogical reference to the human
    form, will be worse than useless. They will be an impediment
    instead of an assistance to the progressive movement of a
    Phalanx. The child can not leap to manhood in a day nor a month,
    and unless there is a system of training suited to the different
    states through which he must pass in his progress to manhood,
    his energies can never be developed. If Associations will
    violate every scientific principle taught by Fourier, pay no
    regard to analogy, and attempt organisms of groups and series
    before any preparation is made for it, and then run into anarchy
    and confusion, and become disgusted with their efforts, we hope
    they will have the honesty to take the blame upon themselves,
    and not charge it to the science of Association.

    "We are ready at all times to give information of our situation
    and progress, and we pledge ourselves to give a true and correct
    statement of the actual situation of the Phalanx. We pledge
    ourselves that there shall not be found a variance between our
    written or published statements, and the statements appearing
    upon our records. Those of our members now upon the ground are
    composed principally of the former members of the Sangamon
    Association. We expect a number of our members from Ohio this
    fall, and many more of them in the spring. We have applications
    for information and membership from different directions, and
    expect large accession in numbers and capital during the coming
    year. We can extend our domain to suit our own convenience, as,
    in this land of prairies and pure atmosphere, we are not hemmed
    in by civilization to the same extent as Socialists in other
    States. We have elbow-room, and there is no danger of treading
    on each other's toes and then fighting about it.

    "The _Plowshare and Pruning-Hook_ will be continued from its
    second number, and published from the home of the Integral
    Phalanx in a few weeks, as soon as a press can be procured.

                                 "SECRETARY OF INTEGRAL PHALANX."

Here all information in the _Harbinger_ about the Integral comes to an
end, and Macdonald breaks off short with, "No further particulars."



This Association was commenced in the winter of 1843-4, principally by
the exertions of Dr. H.R. Schetterly of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a
disciple of Brisbane and the _Tribune_. The _Phalanx_ of February 5,
1844, publishes its prospectus, from which we take the following

"Notice is hereby given, that a Fourier industrial Association, called
the Alphadelphia Phalanx, has been formed in this State, under the
most flattering prospects. A constitution has been adopted and signed,
and a domain selected on the Kalamazoo river, which seems to possess
all the advantages that could be desired. It is extremely probable
(judging from the information possessed), that only half the
applicants can be received into one Association, because the number
will be too great: and if such should be the case, two Associations
will doubtless be formed; for such is the enthusiasm in the West that
people will not suffer themselves to be disappointed."

    [From the _Phalanx_, March 1, 1844.]

    "THE ALPHADELPHIA ASSOCIATION.--We have received the
    constitution of this Association, a notice of the formation of
    which was contained in our last. In most respects the
    constitution is similar to that of the North American Phalanx.
    It will be seen by the description of the domain selected, which
    we publish below, that the location is extremely favorable. The
    establishment of this Association in Michigan is but a pioneer
    movement, which we have no doubt will soon be followed by the
    formation of many others. Our friends are already numerous in
    that State, and the interest in Association is rapidly growing
    there, as it is throughout the West generally. The West, we
    think, will soon become the grand theater of action, and ere
    long Associations will spring up so rapidly that we shall
    scarcely be able to chronicle them. The people, the farmers and
    mechanics particularly, have only to understand the leading
    principles of our doctrines, to admire and approve of them; and
    it would therefore be no matter of surprise to see in a short
    time their general and simultaneous adoption. Indeed, the social
    transformation from a state of isolation with all its poverty
    and miseries, to a state of Association with its immense
    advantages and prosperity, may be much nearer and proceed more
    rapidly than we now imagine. The signs are many and cheering."

    _History and Description of the Alphadelphia Association._

    "In consequence of a call of a convention published in the
    _Primitive Expounder_, fifty-six persons assembled in the
    school-house at the head of Clark's lake, on the fourteenth day
    of December last, from the Counties of Oakland, Wayne,
    Washtenaw, Genesee, Jackson, Eaton, Calhoun and Kalamazoo, in
    the State of Michigan; and after a laborious session of three
    days, from morning to midnight, adopted the skeleton of a
    constitution, which was referred to a committee of three,
    composed of Dr. H.R. Schetterly, Rev. James Billings and
    Franklin Pierce, Esq., for revision and amendment. A committee
    consisting of Dr. Schetterly, John Curtis and William Grant, was
    also elected to view three places, designated by the convention
    as possessing the requisite qualifications for a domain. The
    convention then adjourned to meet again at Bellevue, Eaton
    County, on the third day of January, to receive the reports of
    said committees, to choose a domain from those reported on by
    the committee on location, and to revise, perfect and adopt said
    constitution. This adjourned convention met on the day
    appointed, and selected a location in the town of Comstock,
    Kalamazoo County, whose advantages are described by the
    committee on location, in the following terms:

    "The Kalamazoo river, a large and beautiful stream, nine rods
    wide, and five feet deep in the middle, flows through the
    domain. The mansion and manufactories will stand on a beautiful
    plain, descending gradually toward the bank of the river, which
    is about twelve feet high. There is a spring, pouring out about
    a barrel of pure water per minute, half a mile from the place
    where the mansion and manufactories will stand. Cobble-stone
    more than sufficient for foundations and building a dam, and
    easily accessible, are found on the domain; and sand and clay,
    of which excellent brick have been made, are also abundant. The
    soil of the domain is exceedingly fertile, and of great variety,
    consisting of prairie, oak openings, and timbered and
    bottom-land along the river. About three thousand acres of it
    have been tendered to our Association, as stock to be appraised
    at the cash value, nine hundred of which are under cultivation,
    fit for the plow; and nearly all the remainder has been offered
    in exchange for other improved lands belonging to members at a
    distance, who wish to invest their property in our Association."

    [Letter from H.R. Schetterly.]

                                     "_Ann Arbor, May 20, 1844._"

    "GENTLEMEN:--Your readers will no doubt be pleased to learn
    every important movement in industrial Association; and
    therefore I send you an account of the present condition of the
    Alphadelphia Association, to the organization of which all my
    time has been devoted since the beginning of last December.

    "The Association held its first annual meeting on the second
    Wednesday in March, and at the close of a session of four days,
    during which its constitution and by-laws were perfected, and
    about eleven hundred persons, including children and adults,
    admitted to membership, adjourned to meet on the domain on the
    first of May. Its officers repaired immediately to the place
    selected last winter for the domain, and after overcoming great
    difficulties, secured the deeds of 2,814 acres of land, (927 of
    which is under cultivation), at a cost of $32,000. This gives us
    perfect control over an immense water-power; and our land-debt
    is only $5,776 (the greater portion of the land having been
    invested as stock), to be paid out of a proposed capital of
    $240,000, $14,000 of which is to be paid in cash during the
    summer and autumn. More land adjoining the domain has since been
    tendered as stock; but we have as much as we can use at present,
    and do not wish to increase our taxes and diminish our first
    annual dividend too much. It will all come in as soon as wanted.
    At our last meeting the number of members was increased to
    upwards of 1,300, and more than one hundred applicants were
    rejected, because there seemed to be no end, and we became
    almost frightened at the number. Among our members are five
    mill-wrights, six machinists, furnacemen, printers,
    manufacturers of cloth, paper, etc., and almost every other kind
    of mechanics you can mention, besides farmers in abundance.

    "Farming and gardening were commenced on the domain about the
    middle of April, and two weeks since, when I came away, there
    were seventy-one adult male and more than half that number of
    adult female laborers on the ground, and more constantly
    arriving. We shall not however be able to accommodate more than
    about 200 resident members this season.

    "There is much talk about the formation of other Associations in
    this State (Michigan), and I am well convinced that others will
    be formed next winter. The fact is, men have lost all confidence
    in each other, and those who have studied the theory of
    Association, are desirous of escaping from the present
    hollow-hearted state of civilized society, in which fraud and
    heartless competition grind the more noble-minded of our
    citizens to the dust.

    "The Alphadelphia Association will not commence building its
    mansion this season; but several groups have been organized to
    erect a two-story wooden building, five hundred and twenty-three
    feet long, including the wings, which will be finished the
    coming Fall, so as to answer for dwellings till we can build a
    mansion, and afterwards may be converted into a silk
    establishment or shops. The principal pursuit this year, besides
    putting up this building, will be farming and preparing for
    erecting a furnace, saw-mill, machine-shop, etc. We have more
    than one hundred thousand feet of lumber on hand; and a
    saw-mill, which we took as stock, is running day and night.

    "I do not see any obstacle to our future prosperity. Our farmers
    have plenty of wheat on the ground. We have teams, provisions,
    all we ought to desire on the domain; and best of all, since the
    location of the buildings has been decided, we are perfectly
    united, and have never yet had an angry discussion on any
    subject. We have religious meetings twice a week, and preaching
    at least once, and shall have schools very soon. If God be for
    us, of which we have sufficient evidence, who can prevail
    against us?

    "Our domain is certainly unrivaled in its advantages in
    Michigan, possessing every kind of soil that can be found in the
    State. Our people are moral, religious, and industrious, having
    been actually engaged in manual labor, with few exceptions, all
    their days. The place where the mansion and out-houses will
    stand, is a most beautiful level plain, of nearly two miles in
    extent, that wants no grading, and can be irrigated by a
    constant stream of water flowing from a lake. Between it and the
    river is another plain, twelve feet lower, on which our
    manufactories may be set in any desirable position. Our
    mill-race is half dug by nature, and can be finished, according
    to the estimate of the State engineer, for eighteen hundred
    dollars, giving five and a-half feet fall without a dam, which
    may be raised by a grant from the Legislature, adding three feet
    more, and affording water-power sufficient to drive fifty pair
    of mill-stones. A very large spring, brought nearly a mile in
    pipes, will rise nearly fifty feet at our mansion. The Central
    railroad runs across our domain. We have a great abundance of
    first-rate timber, and land as rich as any in the State.

    "Our constitution is liberal, and secures the fullest individual
    freedom and independence. While capital is fully protected in
    its rights and guaranteed in its interests, it is not allowed to
    exercise an undue control, or in the least degree encroach on
    personal liberty, even if this too common tendency could
    possibly manifest itself in Association. As we proceed I will
    inform you of our progress.

                                               H.R. SCHETTERLY."

The _Harbinger_ of January 17, 1846, mentions the Alphadelphia as
still existing and in hopeful condition; but we find no further notice
of it in that quarter. Macdonald tells the following story of its
fortunes and failure, the substance of which he obtained from Dr.

    "At the commencement a disagreement took place between a Mr.
    Tubbs and the rest of the members. Mr. Tubbs wanted to have the
    buildings located on the land he had owned; but the Association
    would not agree to that, because the digging of a mill-race on
    the side of the river proposed by Mr. Tubbs would have cost
    nearly $18,000; whereas on the railroad side of the river, which
    was supposed to be a much better building-place, the race would
    have cost only $1,800. The consequence was that all but Mr.
    Tubbs voted for the railroad side, and Mr. Tubbs left, no doubt
    in disgust, at the same time cautioning every person against
    investing property in the Phalanx. This disagreement at the
    commencement of the experiment threw a damper on it, from which
    it never entirely recovered.

    "There were a number of ordinary farm-houses on the domain, and
    a beginning of a Phalanstery seventy feet long was erected to
    accommodate those who resided there the first winter. The rooms
    were comfortable but small. A large frame-house was also begun.
    During the warm weather a number of persons lived in a large
    board shanty.

    "The members of the Association were mostly farmers, though
    there were builders, shoemakers, tailors, blacksmiths and
    printers, and one editor; all tolerably skillful and generally
    well informed; though but few could write for the paper called
    the _Tocsin_, which was published there. The morality of the
    members is said to have been good, with one exception. A school
    was carried on part of the time, and they had an exchange of
    some seventy periodicals and newspapers. No religious tests were
    required in the admission of members. They had preaching by one
    of the printers, or by any person who came along, without asking
    about his creed.

    "All lived in clover so long as a ton of sugar or any other such
    luxury lasted; but before provisions could be raised, these
    luxuries were all consumed, and most of the members had to
    subsist afterward on coarser fare than they were accustomed to.
    No money was paid in, and the members who owned property abroad
    could not sell it. The officers made bad bargains in selling
    some farms that lay outside the domain. Laborers became
    discouraged and some left; but many held on longer than they
    otherwise would have done, because a hundred acres of beautiful
    wheat greeted them in the fields. In the winter some of the
    influential members went away temporarily, and thus left the
    real friends of the Association in the minority; and when they
    returned after two or three months absence, every thing was
    turned up-side-down. There was a manifest lack of good
    management and foresight. The old settlers accused the majority
    of this, and were themselves elected officers; but it appears
    that they managed no better, and finally broke up the concern."



The first notice of this Association is the following announcement in
the _Phalanx_, October 5, 1843:

"Preparations are making to establish an Association in La Grange
County, Indiana, which will probably be done this fall, upon quite an
extensive scale, as many of the most influential and worthy
inhabitants of that section are deeply interested in the cause."

    [From a letter of W.S. Prentise, Secretary of the La Grange
    Phalanx, published in the Phalanx, February 5, 1844.]

    "We have now about thirty families, and I believe might have
    fifty, if we had room for them. We have in preparation and
    nearly completed, a building large enough to accommodate our
    present members. They will all be settled and ready to commence
    business in the spring. They leave their former homes and take
    possession of their rooms as fast as they are completed. The
    building, including a house erected before we began by the owner
    of a part of our estate, is one hundred and ninety-two feet
    long, two stories high, divided so as to give each family from
    twelve to sixteen feet front and twenty-six feet depth, making a
    front room and one or two bed-rooms. One hundred and twenty feet
    of this building is entirely new. We commenced it in September,
    and have had lumber, brick and lime to haul from five to twelve
    miles. All these materials can be hereafter furnished on our
    domain. Notwithstanding the disadvantages and waste attendant on
    hasty action without previous plan, we shall have our tenements
    at least as cheap again as they would cost separately. Our farm
    consists of about fifteen hundred acres of excellent land, four
    hundred of which is improved, about three hundred of rich
    meadow, with a stream running through it, falling twelve feet,
    and making a good water-power. We are about forty miles from
    Fort Wayne, on the Wabash and Erie canal. Our land, including
    one large new house and three large new barns, and a saw-mill in
    operation, cost us about $8.00 per acre. It was put in as stock,
    at $10.31 for improved, and $2.68 for unimproved. We have about
    one hundred head of cattle, two hundred sheep, and horse and ox
    teams enough for all purposes: also farming tools in abundance;
    and in fact every thing necessary to carry on such branches of
    business as we intend to undertake at present, except money.
    This property was put in as stock, at its cash value; cows at
    $10.00, sheep $1.50, horses $50.00, wheat fifty cents, corn
    twenty-five cents.

    "We shall have about one hundred and fifty persons when all are
    assembled; probably about half of this number will be children.
    Our school will commence in a few days. We have a charter from
    the Legislature, one provision of which, inserted by ourselves,
    is, that we shall never, as a society, contract a debt. We are
    located in Springfield, La Grange County, Indiana. The nearest
    post-office is Mongoquinong. We think our location a good one.
    Our members are seventy-three of them practical farmers, and
    the rest mechanics, teachers, etc. We shall not commence
    building our main edifice at present. When our dwelling rooms,
    now in progress, are completed, and such work-shops as are
    necessary to accommodate our mechanics, we shall stop building
    until more capital flows in, either from abroad or from our own
    labors. It is a pity that the mechanics of the city and farmers
    of the country could not be united. They would do far better
    together than separate. We have two of the best physicians in
    the country in our number."

    [From the _Harbinger_, July 4, 1846.]

    "LA GRANGE PHALANX.--This Association has been in operation some
    two years, and has been incorporated since the first of June,
    1845. It commenced on the sure principle of incurring no debts,
    which it has adhered to, with the exception of some fifteen
    hundred dollars yet due on its domain. We find in the _True
    Tocsin_ a statement of the operations of this Association for
    the last fifteen months, and of its present condition, by Mr.
    Anderson, its Secretary, from which we make the following

    "_Annual Statement of the condition of La Grange Phalanx, on the
    1st day of April, 1846._

    "Total valuation of the real and personal estate
    of the Phalanx, including book accounts, due from
    members and others                                   $19,861.61
    Deduct capital stock.                     $14,668.39
      "    debts                                1,128.82  15,797.21
    Total product for fifteen months previous to
      the above date                                      $4,064.40

    Being a net increase of property on hand (since our settlement
    on the 1st of January, 1845), of $1,535.63, the balance of the
    total product above having been consumed (namely, $2,531.72) in
    the shape of rent, tuition, fuel, food and clothing. The above
    product forms a dividend to labor of sixty-one cents eight mills
    per day of ten hours, and to the capital stock four and
    eleven-twelfths per cent. per annum.

    "Our domain at present consists of ten hundred and forty-five
    acres of good land, watered by living springs. The land is about
    one-half prairie, the balance openings, well timbered. We have
    four hundred and ninety-two acres improved, and two hundred and
    fifty acres of meadow. The improvements in buildings are three
    barns, some out-houses, blacksmith's-shop, and a dwelling house
    large enough to accommodate sixteen families; besides a
    school-room twenty-six by thirty-six feet, and a dining-room of
    the same size. All our land is within fences. We consider our
    condition bids fair for the realization of at least a share of
    happiness, even upon the earth.

    "The rule by which this Association makes dividends to capital
    is as follows: When labor shall receive seventy-five cents per
    day of ten hours at average or common farming labor, then
    capital shall receive six per cent. per annum, and in that
    ratio, be the dividend what it may; in other words, an
    investment of one hundred dollars for one year will receive the
    same amount which might be paid to eight days average labor.

    "There are now ten families of us at this place, busily engaged
    in agriculture. We are rather destitute of mechanics, and would
    be very much pleased to have a good blacksmith and shoemaker, of
    good moral character and steady habits, and withal
    Associationists, join our number.

    "Since our commencement in the fall of 1843, our school has been
    in active operation up to the present time, with the exception
    of some few vacations. It is our most sincere desire to have the
    very best instruction in school, which our means will enable us
    to procure."

The _Harbinger_ adds: "The preamble to the constitution of this little
band of pioneers in the cause of human elevation, shows that their
enterprise is animated by the highest purposes. We trust that they
will not be disheartened by any discouragements or obstacles. These
must of necessity be many; but it should be borne in mind that they
can not be equal to the burdens which the selfishness and antagonism
of the existing order of things lay upon every one who toils through
its routine. The poorest Association affords a sphere of purer, more
honest, and heartier life than the best society that we know of in the
civilized world. Let our friends persevere; they are on the right
track, and whatever mistakes they may make, we do not doubt that they
will succeed in establishing for themselves and their children a
society of united interests."

    [Communication in the _Harbinger_.]

                                   _Springfield, June, 14, 1846._

    "We hope our humble effort here to establish a Phalanx, will in
    due time be crowned with success. Our prospects since we got our
    charter have been very cheering, notwithstanding the
    difficulties attendant upon so weak an attempt to form a
    nucleus, around which we expect to see truth and happiness
    assembled in perpetual union, and that too at no very distant
    period. Our numbers have lately been increased by some members
    from the Alphadelphia Association, whose faith has outlived that
    of others in the attempt to establish an Association at that

    "Agriculture has been our main and almost only employment since
    we came together. We have ten hundred and forty-five acres of
    excellent land, four hundred and ninety-two acres of which are
    improved, and two hundred and fifty acres of it are natural
    meadow. We are preparing this fall to sow three hundred acres of
    wheat. Our domain is as yet destitute of water-power except on a
    very limited scale. Our location in other respects is all that
    could be wished. We have a very fine orchard of peach-and
    apple-trees, set out mostly a year ago last spring, and many of
    the trees will soon bear, they having been moved from orchards
    which were set out for the use of families on different points
    of what we now call our domain. We shall have this season a
    considerable quantity of apples and peaches from old trees which
    have not been moved. The wheat crop promises to be very abundant
    in this part of the country. Oats and corn are rather backward
    on account of the late dry weather. We have at present on the
    ground one hundred and forty acres of wheat, fifty-two acres of
    oats, thirty-eight acres of corn, besides buckwheat, potatoes,
    beans, squashes, pumpkins, melons and what not.

                                   "WILLIAM ANDERSON, Secretary."

Macdonald gives the following meager account of the decease of this

    "A person named Jones owned nearly one-half of the stock, and it
    appears that his influence was such that he managed trading and
    money matters all in his own way, whether he was an officer or
    not. This gave great dissatisfaction to the members, and has
    been assigned as the chief cause of their failure. They
    possessed about one thousand acres of land, with plenty of
    buildings of all kinds. The members were mostly farmers,
    tolerably moral, but lacking in enterprise and science. They
    maintained schools and preaching in abundance, and lived as well
    as western farmers commonly do. But they fully proved that,
    though hard labor is important in such experiments, yet without
    the right kind of genius to guide, mere labor is vain."



A half dozen obscure Associations, begun or contemplated in the
Western States, will be disposed of together in this chapter; and then
all that will remain of the experiments on our list, will be the
famous trio with which we propose to conclude our history of American
Fourierism--the Wisconsin, the North American and the Brook Farm

One of the experiments mentioned by Macdonald, but about which he
gives very little information, was


This Association turns up twice in the pages of the _Harbinger_; but
we can not ascertain when it started, how long it lasted, nor even
where it was located, except that it was in Franklin County, Ohio.
Nevertheless it crowed cheerily in its time, as the following
paragraphs testify:

    [Letter to the _Harbinger_, August 15, 1845.]

    "It is reported all through the country, and currently within
    thirty miles of the location, that the Columbian Phalanx have
    disbanded and broken up; and that those who remain are in a
    constant state of discontent and bickering, owing to want of
    food and comforts of life. Now, sir, having visited this spot,
    and viewed for myself, I can safely say, that in no one thing is
    this true. In fact only one family has left, and it is supposed
    that they can't stay away; while five families are now entering
    or about to enter, from Beverly, Morgan County, all of good,
    substantial character. As good a state of harmony exists in the
    Phalanx as could possibly be expected in so incipient a state.
    On Saturday last, having the required number of families
    (thirty-two), they went into an inceptive organization; and all
    feel that at no time have the prospects been as fair as at this
    moment. In proof of this, it need only be stated, that they are
    about four thousand dollars ahead of their payments, and no
    interest due till spring, with no other debts that they are not
    able to meet. They have one hundred and thirty-seven acres of
    wheat, and thirteen of rye, all of a most excellent quality,
    decidedly the best that I have seen this year; not more than ten
    or fifteen acres at all injured. On a part of it they calculate
    to get twenty-five bushels to the acre. They have one hundred
    and fifty acres of corn, much better than the corn generally in
    Franklin County; one hundred acres of oats, all of the largest
    kind; fifteen acres of potatoes, in the most flourishing
    condition; four acres of beans; five acres of vines; besides
    forty acres of pumpkins! (won't they have pies!) one acre of
    sweet potatoes; ten thousand cabbage plants; and are preparing
    ground for five acres of turnips; six acres of buckwheat; five
    acres of flax, and ten acres of garden. I had the pleasure of
    taking dinner with them to-day at the public table, furnished as
    comfortably as we generally find. They have provisions enough
    growing to supply three times their number, and they are
    calculating on a large increase this season. They are fully
    satisfied of the validity of their deed, which they are soon to

    [A letter from a Member, in the _Harbinger_.]

                           "_Columbian Phalanx, October 4, 1845._

    "If I have said aught in high-toned language of our future
    prospects, preserve it as truth, sacred as Holy Writ. We are in
    a prosperous condition. The little difficulties which beset us
    for a time, arising from lack of means, and which the world
    magnified into destruction and death, have been dissipated.

    "Our crops of grain are the very best in the State of Ohio, a
    very severe drought having prevailed in the north of the State.
    We could, if we wished, sell all our corn on the ground. We have
    one hundred and fifty acres, every acre of which will yield one
    hundred bushels. We have cut one hundred acres of good oats.
    Potatoes, pumpkins, melons, etc., are also good. We are now
    getting out stuff to build a flouring-mill in Zanesville, for a
    Mr. Beaumont; two small groups of seven persons each, make
    twenty-five dollars per day at the job. We have the best hewed
    timber that ever came to Zanesville; and it is used in all the
    mills and bridges in this region. We have purchased fixtures for
    a new steam saw-mill, with two saws and a circulator, and
    various other small machinery, all entirely new, which we shall
    get into operation soon. Plenty to eat, drink, and wear, with
    three hundred dollars per week coming in, all from our own
    industry, imparts to us a tone of feeling of a quite different
    zest, to an abundance obtained in any other way. The world has
    watched with anxious solicitude our capacity to survive alone.
    Now that we have gained shore, we find extended to us the right
    hand of the capitalist and the laboring man; they beg
    permission to join our band.

    "You are already aware, no doubt, that the Beverly Association
    has joined us. The Integral having failed to obtain the location
    they had selected, some of the members have united their efforts
    with us. Tell Mr. W., of Alleghany, to come here; tell him for
    me that all danger is out of the question. Please by all means
    tell Mr. M. to come here; tell him what I have written. Tell H.,
    of Beaver, to come and see us, and say to him that you have
    always failed in depicting the comforts and pleasures of
    Association. And in fine, say to all the Associationists in
    Pittsburg, that we are doing well, even better than we ourselves
    ever expected; and if they wish to know more and judge for
    themselves, let them come and see us.

                                                   Yours, J.R.W."

These are all the memorials that remain of the Columbian Phalanx.
Another experiment of some note and enterprise, but with scanty
history, was


"In the year 1845," says Macdonald, "there was quite an excitement in
the quiet little village of Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, on the subject
of Fourier Association, stimulated by the energetic mind of Dr. P.
Cady of Ohio. Meetings were held and Socialism was discussed, until
ten families agreed to attempt an Association somewhere in the wilds
of Sheboygan County. In making a selection of a suitable place, they
divided into two parties, the one wishing to settle on the shore of
Lake Michigan, and the other about twenty miles from the lake and six
miles from any habitation. So strong were the opinions and prejudices
of each, that the tents were pitched in both places. The following
brief account relates to the one which was commenced in February,
1846, on Government land about twenty miles from the lake shore, and
was named 'Spring Farm' from the lovely springs of water which were
found there. (The other company was less successful.) The objects
proposed to be carried out by this little band, were 'Union, Equal
Rights, and Social Guaranties.'

"The pecuniary means, to begin with, amounted to only $1,000, put in
as joint stock. The members consisted of six families, including ten
children. Among them were farmers, blacksmiths, carpenters and
joiners. They were tolerably intelligent, and with religious opinions
various and free. They possessed an unfinished two-story frame
building, twenty feet by thirty. They cultivated thirty acres of the
prairie, and a small opening in the timber; but they appear to have
made very little progress; though they worked in company for three

One of the members thus answered Macdonald's questions concerning the
general course and results of the experiment:

    "Mr. B.C. Trowbridge was generally looked up to as leader of the
    society. The land was bought of Government by individual
    resident members. We had nothing to boast of in improvements;
    they were only anticipated. We obtained no aid from without;
    what we did not provide for ourselves, we went without. The
    frost cut off our crops the second year, and left us short of
    provisions. We were not troubled with dishonest management, and
    generally agreed in all our affairs. We dissolved by mutual
    agreement. The reasons of failure were poverty, diversity of
    habits and dispositions, and disappointments through failure of
    harvest. Though we failed in this attempt, yet it has left an
    indelible impression on the minds of one-half the members at
    least, that a harmonious Association in some form is the way,
    and the only way, that the human mind can be fully and properly
    developed; and the general belief is, that community of property
    is the most practicable form."


In the first number of the _Phalanx_, October 5, 1843, it is mentioned
that a small Association had been commenced in Bureau County,
Illinois. Macdonald repeats the mention, and adds, "No further


was projected at Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a monthly paper called the
_Future_, was started in connection with it; but it appears to have
failed before it got fairly into operation; as the _Phalanx_ barely
refers to it once, and Macdonald dismisses it as a mere abortive


was projected by D. Roberts, W. Davis, and others. The plan was to
settle a colony of the "right sort" on contiguous lots, each family
with its separate farm and dwelling, but all having a common
pleasure-ground, dancing-hall, lecture-room and seminary. What came of
it is not known.


is mentioned twice in the _Phalanx_, as a Fourierist colony about to
emigrate from Jefferson County, New York, to Iowa. It issued a paper;
but whether it ever emigrated or what became of it, does not appear.

If there were any more of these feeble experiments--as there may have
been many--they escaped the sharp eyes of Macdonald and the
_Harbinger_, and left no memorials.



This was one of the most conspicuous experiments of the Fourier epoch.
The notices of it in the _Phalanx_ and _Harbinger_ are quite
voluminous. We shall have to curtail them as much as possible, and
still our patchwork will be a long one. The Wisconsin had the
advantage of most other Phalanxes in the skill of its spokesman. Mr.
Warren Chase, a gentleman at present well known among Spiritualists,
was its founder and principal manager. Most of the important
communications relating to it in the socialistic Journals and other
papers, were from his ready pen. We will do our best to save all that
is most valuable in them, while we omit what seems to be irrelevant or
repetitious. It may be understood that we are indebted to the
_Phalanx_ and _Harbinger_ for nearly all our quotations from other

    [From the _Green Bay Republican_, April 30, 1844.]

    "WISCONSIN PHALANX.--We have just been informed by the agent of
    the above Association, that the _locale_ has been chosen, and
    ten sections of the finest land in the Territory entered at the
    Green Bay Land Office. The location is on a small stream near
    Green Lake, Marquette county. The teams conveying the requisite
    implements, will start in a week, and the improvements will be
    commenced immediately. We are in favor of Fourier's plan of
    Association, although we very much fear that it will be
    unsuccessful on account of the selfishness of mankind, this
    being the principal obstacle to be overcome: yet we are pleased
    to see the commendable zeal manifested by the members of the
    Wisconsin Phalanx, who are mostly leading and influential
    citizens of Racine County. The feasibility of Association will
    now be tested in such a manner that the question will be
    decided, at least so far as Wisconsin is concerned."

    [From a letter in the _Southport Telegraph_,]

                               _Wisconsin Phalanx, May 27, 1844._

    "We left Southport on Monday, the 20th inst., and arrived on the
    proposed domain, without accident, on Saturday last at five
    o'clock P.M. This morning (Monday) the first business was to
    divide into two companies, one for finding the survey stakes,
    and the other for setting up the tent on the ground designed for
    building and gardening purposes. Eight men, with ox-teams and
    cattle, arrived between nine and ten A.M. After dinner the
    members all met in the tent and proceeded to a regular
    organization, Mr. Chase being in the chair and Mr. Rounds

    "A prayer was offered, expressing thanks for our safe protection
    and arrival, and invoking the Divine blessing for our future
    peace and prosperity. The list of resident members was called
    (nineteen in number), and they divided themselves into two
    series, viz., agricultural and mechanical (each appointing a
    foreman), with a miscellaneous group of laborers, under the
    supervision of the resident directors.

    "A letter was read by request of the members, from Peter
    Johnson, a member of the board of directors, relating to the
    proper conduct of the members in their general deportment, and
    reminding them of their obligations to their Creator.

    "The agricultural series are to commence plowing and planting
    to-morrow, and the mechanical to excavate a cellar and prepare
    for the erection of a frame building, twenty-two feet by twenty,
    which is designed as a central wing for a building twenty-two
    feet by one hundred and twenty. There are nineteen men and one
    boy now on the domain. The stock consists of fifty-four head of
    cattle, large and small, including eight yoke of oxen and three
    span of horses. More men are expected during the week, and
    others are preparing to come this summer. Families will be here
    as the building can be sufficiently advanced to accommodate

    "A few words in regard to the domain: There is a stream which,
    from its clearness, we have denominated Crystal Creek; it has
    sufficient fall and water supplied by springs, for one or two
    mill-seats. It runs over a bed of lime-stone, which abounds
    here, and can be had convenient for fences and building. There
    is a good supply of prairie and timber. Every member is well
    pleased with the location, and also the arrangements for
    business. Up to this time no discordant note has sounded in our

    "We have begun without a debt, which is a source of great
    satisfaction to each member; and we are certain of success,
    provided that the same union prevails which has hitherto, and
    the company incur no debt by loan or otherwise, in the
    transaction of business. We expect to be prepared this summer or
    fall to issue the prospectus of a paper to be published on the

                                              "GEO. H. STEBBINS."

    [From a letter of Warren Chase.]

                       "_Wisconsin Phalanx, September, 12, 1844._

    "Our first company, consisting of about twenty men, arrived here
    and commenced improvements on the 27th of May last. We put in
    about twenty acres of spring crops, mostly potatoes, buckwheat,
    turnips, etc., and have now one hundred acres of winter wheat in
    the ground. We have erected three buildings (designed for wings
    to a large one to be erected this fall), in which there are
    about twenty families snugly stored, yet comfortable and happy
    and busy, comprising in all about eighty persons, men, women,
    and children. We have also erected a saw-mill, which will be
    ready to run in a few days, after which we shall proceed to
    erect better dwellings. We do all our cooking in one kitchen,
    and all eat at one table. All our labor (excepting a part of
    female labor, on which there is a reduction), is for the present
    deemed in the class of usefulness, and every member works as
    well as possible where he or she is most needed, under the
    general superintendence of the directors. We adhere strictly to
    our constitution and by-laws, and adopt as fast as possible the
    system of Fourier. We have organized our groups and series in a
    simple manner, and thus far every thing goes admirably, and much
    better than we could have expected in our embryo state. We have
    regular meetings for business and social purposes, by which
    means we keep a harmony of feeling and concert of action. We
    have a Sunday-school, Bible-class, and Divine service every
    Sabbath by different denominations, who occupy the Hall (as we
    have but one) alternately; and all is harmony in that
    department, although we have many members of different religious
    societies. They all seem determined to lay aside metaphysical
    differences, and make a united social effort, founded on the
    fundamental principles of religion.

                                                  "WARREN CHASE."

    [From a letter in the _Ohio American_, August, 1845.]

    "I wish, through the medium of your columns, to correct a
    statement which has been going the rounds of the newspapers in
    this vicinity and in other parts, that the Wisconsin Phalanx has
    failed and dispersed. I am prepared to state, upon the authority
    of a letter from their Secretary, dated July 31, 1845, that the
    report is entirely without foundation. They have never been in a
    more prosperous condition, and the utmost harmony prevails. They
    are moving forward under a charter; own two thousand acres of
    fine land, with water-power; twenty-nine yoke of oxen,
    thirty-seven cows, and a corresponding amount of other stock,
    such as horses, hogs, sheep, etc.; are putting in four hundred
    acres of wheat this fall; have just harvested one hundred acres
    of the best of wheat, fifty-seven acres of oats, and other
    grains in proportion. They have been organized a little more
    than a year, and embrace in their number about thirty families.

    "One very favorable feature in this institution is, that they
    are entirely out of debt, and intend to remain so; they do not
    owe, and are determined never to owe, a single dollar. An
    excellent free school is provided for all the members; and as
    they have no idle gentlemen or ladies to support, all have time
    to receive a good education."

    [From a letter of Warren Chase.]

                          "_Wisconsin Phalanx, August, 13, 1845._

    "We are Associationists of the Fourier school, and intend to
    reduce his system to practice as fast as possible, consistently
    with our situation. We number at this time about one hundred and
    eighty souls, being the entire population of the congressional
    township. We are under the township government, organized
    similar to the system in New York. Our town was set off and
    organized last winter by the Legislature, at which time the
    Association was also incorporated as a joint-stock company by a
    charter, which is our constitution. We had a post-office and
    weekly mail within forty days after our commencement. Thus far
    we have obtained all we have asked for.

    "We have religious meetings and Sabbath-schools, conducted by
    members of some half-a-dozen different denominations of
    Christians, with whom creeds and modes of faith are of minor
    importance compared with religion. All are protected, and all is
    harmony in that department. We have had no deaths and very
    little sickness. No physician, no lawyer or preacher, yet
    resides among us; but we expect a physician soon, whose interest
    will not conflict with ours, and whose presence will
    consequently not increase disease. In politics we are about
    equally divided, and vote accordingly; but generally believe
    both parties culpable for many of the political evils of the

    "The Phalanx has a title from Government to fourteen hundred and
    forty acres of land, on which there is one of the best of
    water-powers, a saw-mill in operation and a grist-mill
    building; six hundred and forty acres under improvement, four
    hundred of which is now seeding to winter wheat. We raised about
    fifteen hundred bushels the past season, which is sufficient for
    our next year's bread; have about seventy acres of corn on the
    ground, which looks well, and other crops in proportion. We have
    an abundance of cattle, horses, crops and provisions for the
    wants of our present numbers, and physical energy enough to
    obtain more. Thus, you see, we are tolerably independent; and we
    intend to remain so, as we admit none as members who have not
    sufficient funds to invest in stock, or sufficient physical
    strength, to warrant their not being a burden to the society. We
    have one dwelling-house nearly finished, in which reside twenty
    families, with a long hall conducting to the dining-room, where
    all who are able, dine together. We intend next summer to erect
    another for twenty families more, with a hall conducting to
    another dining-room, supplied from the same cook-room. We have
    one school constantly, but have as yet been unable to do much
    toward improving that department, and had hoped to see something
    in the _Harbinger_ which would be a guide in this branch of our
    organization. We look to the Brook Farm Phalanx for instruction
    in this branch, and hope to see it in the _Harbinger_ for the
    benefit of ourselves and other Associations.

    "We have a well-regulated system of grouping our laborers, but
    have not yet organized the series. We have no difficulty in any
    department of our business, and thus far more than our most
    sanguine expectations have been realized. We commenced with a
    determination to avoid all debts, and have thus far adhered to
    our resolution; for we believed debts would disband more
    Associations than any other one cause; and thus far, I believe
    it has, more than all other causes put together.

                                                  "WARREN CHASE."

    From the Annual Statement of the Condition and Progress of the
    Wisconsin Phalanx, for the fiscal year ending December 1, 1845.

    "The four great evils with which the world is afflicted,
    intoxication, lawsuits, quarreling, and profane swearing, never
    have, and with the present character and prevailing habits of
    our members, never can, find admittance into our society. There
    is but a very small proportion of the tattling, backbiting and
    criticisms on character, usually found in neighborhoods of as
    many families. Perfect harmony and concert of action prevail
    among the members of the various churches, and each individual
    seems to lay aside creeds, and strive for the fundamental
    principles of religion. Many have cultivated the social feeling
    by the study and practice of vocal and instrumental music. In
    this there is a constant progress visible. Our young gentlemen
    and ladies have occasionally engaged in cotillions, especially
    on wedding occasions, of which we have had three the past

    "Our convenience for schools, their diminished expense, &c., is
    known only to those acquainted with Association. We have done
    but little in perfecting this branch of our new organization;
    but having erected a school-house, we are prepared to commence
    our course of moral, physical and intellectual education. For
    want of a convenient place, we have not yet opened our
    reading-room or library, but intend to do so during the present

    "The family circle and secret domestic relations are not
    intruded on by Association; each family may gather around its
    family altar, secluded and alone, or mingle with neighbors
    without exposure to wet or cold. In our social and domestic
    arrangements we have approximated as far toward the plan of
    Fourier, as the difficulties incident to a new organization in
    an uncultivated country would permit. Owing to our infant
    condition and wish to live within our means, our public table
    has not been furnished as elegantly as might be desirable to an
    epicurean taste. From the somewhat detached nature of our
    dwellings, and the consequent inconveniencies attendant on all
    dining at one table, permission was given to such families as
    chose, to be furnished with provisions and cook their own board.
    But one family has availed itself of this privilege.

    "In the various departments of physical labor, we have
    accomplished much more than could have been done by the same
    persons in the isolated condition. We have broken and brought
    under cultivation, three hundred and twenty-five acres of land;
    have sown four hundred acres to winter wheat; harvested the
    hundred acres which we had on the ground last fall; plowed one
    hundred and seventy acres for crops the ensuing spring; raised
    sixty acres of corn, twenty of potatoes, twenty of buckwheat,
    and thirty of peas, beans, roots, etc.; built five miles of
    fence; cut four hundred tons of hay; and expended a large amount
    of labor in teaming, building sheds, taking care of stock, etc.

    "We have nearly finished the long building commenced last year
    (two hundred and eight feet by thirty-two), making comfortable
    residences for twenty families; built a stone school-house,
    twenty by thirty; a dining-room eighteen by thirty; finished one
    of the twenty-by-thirty dwellings built last year; expended
    about two hundred days' labor digging a race and foundation for
    a grist-mill thirty by forty, three stories high, and for a
    shop twenty by twenty-five, one story, with stone basements to
    both, and erected frames for the same; built a wash-house sixty
    by twenty-two; a hen house eleven by thirty, of sun-dried brick;
    an ash-house ten by twenty, of the same material; kept one man
    employed in the saw-mill, one drawing logs, one in the
    blacksmith shop, one shoe-making, and most of the time two about
    the kitchen.

    "The estimated value of our property on hand is $27,725.22,
    wholly unincumbered; and we are free from debt, except about
    $600 due to members, who have advanced cash for the purchase of
    provisions and land. But to balance this, we have over $1,000
    coming from members, on stock subscriptions not yet due.

    "The whole number of hours' labor performed by the members
    during the past year, reduced to the class of usefulness, is
    102,760; number expended in cooking, etc., and deducted for the
    board of members, 21,170; number remaining after deducting for
    board, 81,590, to which the amount due to labor is divided. In
    this statement the washing is not taken into account, families
    having done their own.

    "Whole number of weeks board charged members (including children
    graduated to adults) forty-two hundred and thirty-four. Cost of
    board per week for each person, forty-four cents for provisions,
    and five hours labor.

    "Whole amount of property on hand, as per invoice, $27,725.22.
    Cost of property and stock issued up to December 1, $19,589.18.
    Increase the past year, being the product of labor, etc.,
    $8,136.04; one-fourth of which, or $2,034.01, is credited to
    capital, being twelve per cent. per annum on stock, for the
    average time invested; and three-fourths, or $6,102.03 to labor,
    being seven and one-half cents per hour.

    "The property on hand consists of the following items:

    1,553 acres of land, at $3.00            $4,659.00
    Agricultural improvements                 1,522.47
    Mechanical improvements                   8,405.00
    Personal property                        10,314.01
    Advanced members in board, etc.           2,824.74
        Amount                              $27,725.22

                                         "W. CHASE, _President_."

    [From a letter of Warren Chase,]

                              _Wisconsin Phalanx, March 3, 1846._

    "Since our December statement, our course and progress has been
    undeviatingly onward toward the goal. We have added eighty acres
    to our land, making one thousand six hundred and thirty-three
    acres free of incumbrance. We are preparing to raise eight
    hundred acres of crops the coming season, finish our grist-mill,
    and build some temporary residences, etc. We have admitted but
    one family since the 1st of December, although we have had many
    applications. In this department of our organization, as well as
    in that of contracting debts, we are profiting by the experience
    of many Associations who preceded or started with us.

    "We pretend to have considerable knowledge of the serial law,
    but we are not yet prepared, mentally or physically, to adopt it
    in our industrial operations. We have something in operation
    which approaches about as near to it as the rude hut does to the
    palace. Even this is better than none, and saves us from the
    merciless peltings of the storm.

    "Success with us is no longer a matter of doubt. Our questions
    to be settled are, How far and how fast can we adopt and put in
    practice the system and principle which we believe to be true,
    without endangering or retarding our ultimate object. We feel
    and know that our condition and prospects are truly cheering,
    and to the friends of the cause we can say, Come on, not to join
    us, but to form other Associations; for we can not receive
    one-tenth of those who apply for admission. Nothing but the
    general principles of Association are lawful tender with us.
    Money will not buy admission for those who have no faith in the
    principles, but who merely believe, as most of our neighbors do,
    that we shall get rich; this is not a ruling principle here.
    With our material, our means, and the principles of eternal
    truth on our side, success is neither doubtful nor surprising.

    "We expect at our next annual statement, to be able to represent
    ourselves as a minimum Association of forty families, not fully
    organized on Fourier's plan, but approaching to, and preparing
    for it.

                                                       W. CHASE."

    From the Annual Statement of the Condition and Progress of the
    Wisconsin Phalanx, for the fiscal year ending December 7, 1846.

    "The study and adoption of the principles of industrial
    Association, have here, as elsewhere, led all reflecting minds
    to acknowledge the principles of Christianity, and to seek
    through those principles the elevation of man to his true
    condition, a state of harmony with himself, with nature and with
    God. The Society have religious preaching of some kind almost
    every Sabbath, but not uniformly of that high order of talent
    which they are prepared to appreciate.

    "The educational department is not yet regulated as it is
    designed to be; the Society have been too busily engaged in
    making such improvements as were required to supply the
    necessaries of life, to devote the means and labor necessary to
    prepare such buildings as are required. We have not yet
    established our reading-room and library, more for the want of
    room, than for a lack of materials.

    "The social intercourse between the members has ever been
    conducted with a high-toned moral feeling, which repudiates the
    slanderous suspicions of those enemies of the system, who
    pretend that the constant social intercourse will corrupt the
    morals of the members; the tendency is directly the reverse.

    "We have now one hundred and eighty resident members; one
    hundred and one males, seventy-nine females; fifty-six males and
    thirty-seven females over the age of twenty-one years. About
    eighty have boarded at a public table during the past year, at a
    cost of fifty cents per week and two and a half hours' labor;
    whole cost sixty-three cents. The others, most of the time, have
    had their provisions charged to them, and done their own cooking
    in their respective families, although their apartments are very
    inconvenient for that purpose. Most of the families choose this
    mode of living, more from previous habits of domestic
    arrangement and convenience, than from economy. We have resident
    on the domain, thirty-six families and thirty single persons;
    fifteen families and thirty single persons board at the public
    table: twenty-one families board by themselves, and the
    remaining five single persons board with them.

    "Four families have left during the past year, and one returned
    that had previously left. One left to commence a new
    Association: one, after a few weeks' residence, because the
    children did not like; and two to seek other business more
    congenial with their feelings than hard work. The Society has
    increased its numbers the past year about twenty, which is not
    one-fourth of the applicants. The want of room has prevented us
    from admitting more.

    "There has been 96,297 hours' medium class labor performed
    during the past year (mostly by males), which, owing to the
    extremely low appraisal of property, and the disadvantage of
    having a new farm to work on, has paid but five cents per hour,
    and six per cent. per annum on capital.

    "The amount of property in joint-stock, as per valuation, is
    $30,609.04; whole amount of liabilities, $1,095.33. The net
    product or income for the past year is $6,341.84, one-fourth of
    which being credited to capital, makes the six per cent.; and
    three-fourths to labor, makes the five cents per hour. We have,
    as yet, no machinery in operation except a saw-mill, but have a
    grist-mill nearly ready to commence grinding. Our wheat crop
    came in very light, which, together with the large amount of
    labor necessarily expended in temporary sheds and fences, which
    are not estimated of any value, makes our dividend much less
    than it will be when we can construct more permanent works. We
    have also many unfinished works, which do not yet afford us
    either income or convenience, but which will tell favorably on
    our future balance-sheets.

    "The Society has advanced to the members during the past year
    $3,293, mostly in provisions and such necessary clothing as
    could be procured.

    "The following schedule shows in what the property of the
    Society consists, and its valuation:

    1,713 acres of land, at $3.00              $5,139.00
    Agricultural improvements                   3,206.00
    Agricultural products                       4,806.76
    Shops, dwellings, and out-houses            6,963.61
    Mills, mill-race and dam                    5,112.90
    Cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, &c.            3,098.45
    Farming tools, &c.                          1,199.36
    Mechanical tools, &c.                         367.26
    Other personal property                       715.70
        Amount                                $30,609.04

                                           "W. CHASE, President."

In the _Harbinger_ of March 27, 1847, there is a letter from Warren
Chase giving eighteen elaborate reasons why the Fourierists throughout
the country should concentrate on the Wisconsin, and make it a great
model Phalanx; which we omit.

    [From a letter of Warren Chase.]

                             "_Wisconsin Phalanx, June 28, 1847._

    "We have now been a little more than three years in operation,
    and my most sanguine expectations have been more than realized.
    We have about one hundred and seventy persons, who, with the
    exception of three or four families, are contented and happy,
    and more attached to this home than to any they ever had before.
    Those three or four belong to the restless, discontented
    spirits, who are not satisfied with any condition of life, but
    are always seeking something new. The Phalanx will soon be in a
    condition to adopt the policy of purchasing the amount of stock
    which any member may have invested, whenever he shall wish to
    leave. As soon as this can be done without embarrassing our
    business, we shall have surmounted the last obstacle to our
    onward progress. We have applications for admission constantly
    before us, but seldom admit one. We require larger amounts to be
    invested now when there is no risk, than we did at first when
    the risk was great. We have borne the heat and burden of the
    day, and now begin to reap the fruits of our labor. We also must
    know that an applicant is devoted to the cause, ready to endure
    for it hardships, privations and persecution, if necessary, and
    that he is not induced to apply because he sees our physical or
    pecuniary prosperity. We shall admit such as, in our view, are
    in all respects prepared for Association and can be useful to
    themselves and us; but none but practical workingmen need apply,
    for idlers can not live here. They seem to be out of their
    element, and look sick and lean. If no accident befalls us, we
    shall declare a cash dividend at our next annual settlement.

                                                      "W. CHASE."

    [From a letter in the New York _Tribune_.]

                             "_Wisconsin Phalanx, July 20, 1847._

    "I have been visiting this Association several days, looking
    into its resources, both physical and moral. Its physical
    resources are abundant. In a moral aspect there is much here to
    encourage. The people, ninety of whom are adults, are generally
    quite intelligent, and possess a good development of the moral
    and social faculties. They are earnest inquirers after truth,
    and seem aware of the harmony of thought and feeling that must
    prevail to insure prosperity. They receive thirty or forty
    different publications, which are thoroughly perused. The
    females are excellent women, and the children, about eighty,
    are most promising in every respect. They are not yet well
    situated for carrying into effect all the indispensable agencies
    of true mental development, but they are not idle on this
    momentous subject. They have an excellent school for the
    children, and the young men and women are cultivating music. Two
    or three among them are adepts in this beautiful art. While
    writing, I hear good music by well-trained voices, with the
    Harmonist accompaniment.

    "I do believe something in human improvement and enjoyment will
    soon be presented at Ceresco, that will charm all visitors, and
    prove a conclusive argument against the skepticism of the world
    as to the capability of the race to rise above the social evils
    that afflict mankind, and to attain a mental elevation which few
    have yet hoped for. I expect to see here a garden in which shall
    be represented all that is most beautiful in the vegetable
    kingdom. I expect to see here a library and reading-room, neatly
    and plentifully furnished, to which rejoicing hundreds will
    resort for instruction and amusement. I expect to see here a
    laboratory, where the chemist will unfold the operations of
    nature, and teach the most profitable mode of applying
    agricultural labor. I expect to see here interesting cabinets,
    where the mineral and animal kingdoms will be presented in
    miniature. And I expect to see all the arts cultivated, and
    every thing beautiful and grand generally appreciated.


On which the editor of the _Tribune_ observes: "We trust the remark
will be taken in good part, that the writers of letters from these
Associative experiments are too apt to blend what they desire or hope
to see, with what they actually do see."

    [From a letter of J.J. Cooke in the _Tribune_.]

                           "_Wisconsin Phalanx, August 28, 1847._

    "_Editor of the New York Tribune_:

    "DEAR SIR: I have just perused in your paper, a letter from Mr.
    Hine, dated at this place. Believing that the letter is
    calculated to leave an erroneous impression on the mind of the
    reader, as to the true condition of this Association, I deem it
    to be my duty to notice it, for the reason of the importance of
    the subject, and the necessity of true knowledge in reference to
    correct action.

    "It is now twelve days since I arrived here, with the intention
    of making a visit sufficiently long to arrive at something like
    a critical knowledge of the experiment now in progress in this
    place. As you justly remark in your comments on Mr. Hine's
    letter, 'the writers of letters from these associative
    experiments are too apt to blend what they desire or hope to
    see, with what they actually do see.' So far as such a course
    might tend to induce premature and ill-advised attempts at
    practical Association, it should be regarded as a serious evil,
    and as such, should, if possible, be remedied. I presume no one
    here would advise the commencement of any Association, to pass
    through the same trials which they themselves have experienced.
    I have asked many of the members this question, 'Do you think
    that the reports and letters which have been published
    respecting your Association, have been so written as to leave a
    correct impression of your real existing condition on the mind
    of the reader?' The answer has invariably been, 'No.'"

    The writer then criticises the water-power, climate, etc., and
    proceeds to say:

    "The probability now is, that corn will be almost a total
    failure. 'Their present tenements,' says Mr. Hine, 'are such as
    haste and limited means forced them to erect.' This is
    undoubtedly true, and I will also add, that they are such as few
    at the East would be contented to live in. With the exception of
    the flouring-mill, blacksmith's-shop and carpenter's-shop, there
    are no arrangements for mechanical industry. This is not
    surprising, in view of the small means in their possession. 'In
    a moral aspect,' Mr. Hine says, 'there is much to encourage.' It
    would not be incorrect to say, that there is also something to
    fear. The most unpleasant feelings which I have experienced
    since I have been here, have been caused by the want of neatness
    around the dwellings, which seems to be inconsistent with the
    individual character of the members with whom I have become
    acquainted. This they state to be owing to their struggles for
    the necessaries of life; but I have freely told them that I
    considered it inexcusable, and calculated to have an injurious
    influence upon themselves and upon their children. 'They are
    earnest inquirers after truth,' says Mr. Hine, 'and seem aware
    of the harmony of thought and feeling that must prevail, in
    order to insure prosperity.' This I only object to so far as it
    is calculated to produce the impression that such harmony really
    exists. That there is a difference of feeling upon, at least,
    one important point, I know. This is in reference to the course
    to be pursued in relation to the erection of dwellings. I
    believe that a large majority are in favor of building only in
    reference to a combined dwelling; but there are some who think
    that this generation are not prepared for it, and who wish to
    erect comfortable dwellings for isolated households. A portion
    of the members go out to labor for hire; some, in order to
    procure those necessaries which the means of the Association
    have been inadequate to provide; and others, for want of
    occupation in their peculiar branches of industry. Mr. Hine
    says, 'They have an excellent school for the children.' I had
    thought that the proper education of the children was a want
    here, and members have spoken of it as such. They have no public
    library or reading-room for social re-union, excepting the
    school-room; and no room which is convenient for such purposes.
    There are no Associational guarantees in reference to sickness
    or disability in the charter (which is the constitution) of this

    "From the above statement, you can judge somewhat of the present
    foundation of Mr. Hine's hopes of 'soon' seeing the realization
    of the beautiful picture which he has drawn.

                                                JOSEPH J. COOKE."

In the _Harbinger_ of January 8, 1848, Warren Chase replied to Mr.
Cooke's criticisms, admitting the general truth of them, but insisting
that it is unfair to judge the Association by eastern standards. In
conclusion he says:

    "There is a difference of opinion in regard to board, which,
    under the law of freedom and attraction, works no harm. Most of
    our families cook their board in their rooms from choice under
    present circumstances; some because they use no meat and do not
    choose to sit at a table plentifully supplied with beef, pork
    and mutton: others because they choose to have their children
    sit at the table with them, to regulate their diet, etc., which
    our circumstances will not yet permit at our public table;
    others because they want to ask a blessing, etc.; and others
    because their manner of cooking and habits of living have become
    so fixed as to have sufficient influence to require their
    continuance. Some of our members think all these difficulties
    can not be speedily removed, and that cheap and comfortable
    dwellings, should be built, adapted to our circumstances, with a
    unitary work-house, bakery and dairy, by which the burdens
    should be removed as fast as possible, and the minds prepared by
    combined effort, co-operative labor, and equitable distribution,
    for the combined dwelling and unitary living, with its variety
    of tables to satisfy all tastes. Others think our devotion to
    the cause ought to induce us to forego all these attachments and
    prejudices, and board at one table and improve it, building none
    but unitary dwellings adapted to a unitary table. We pursue both
    ways in our living with perfect freedom, and probably shall in
    our building; for attraction is the only law whose force we
    acknowledge in these matters. We have passed one more important
    point in our progress since I last wrote you. We have adopted
    the policy to refund all investments to any member when he
    chooses to leave.

                                                       W. CHASE."

    [From a letter of Warren Chase.]

                           "_Wisconsin Phalanx, August 21, 1847._

    "We are in the enjoyment of an excellent state of health, owing
    in part to our healthy location, and in part to the diet and
    regimen of our members. There is a prevailing tendency here to
    abandon the use of animal food; it has been slowly, but steadily
    increasing for some time, and has been aided some by those
    excellent and interesting articles from the pen of Dr. Lazarus
    on 'Cannibalism.' When we have to resort to any medical
    treatment, hydropathy is the system, and the _Water-cure
    Journal_ very good authority. Our society will soon evince
    symptoms of two conditions of Associative life, viz.: physical
    health and material wealth. By wealth I do not mean burdensome
    property, but an ample supply of the necessaries of life, which
    is real wealth.

    "I fully believe that nine out of ten organizations and attempts
    at Association would finally succeed, even with small means and
    few members, if they would adhere strictly to the following

    "First, keep free from debt, and live within their means;
    Second, not attempt too much in the commencement.

    "Great changes require a slow movement. All pioneers should
    remember to be constructive, and not merely destructive; not to
    tear down faster than they can substitute something better.
    Every failure of Association which has come to my knowledge, has
    been in consequence of disregarding these conditions; they have
    all been in debt, and depended on stock subscriptions to relieve
    them; and they have attempted too much. Having, in most cases,
    torn down the isolated household and family altar (or table),
    before they had even science enough to draft a plan of a
    Phalanstery or describe a unitary household, they seemed in some
    cases to imagine that the true social science, when once
    discovered, would furnish them, like the lamp of Aladdin, with
    all things wished for. They have awakened from their dreams; and
    now is the time for practical attempts, to start with, first,
    the joint-stock property, the large farm or township, the common
    home and joint property of all the members; second, coöperative
    labor and the equitable distribution of products, the large
    fields, large pastures, large gardens, large dairies, large
    fruit orchards, etc., with their mills, mechanic shops, stores,
    common wash-houses, bake-houses, baths, libraries, lectures,
    cabinets, etc.; third, educational organization, including all,
    both children and adults, and through that the adoption of the
    serial law, organization of groups and series; (at this point
    labor, without reference to the pay, will begin to be
    attractive;) fourth, the Phalansterian order, unitary living. As
    this is the greatest step, it requires the most time, most
    capital, and most mental preparation, especially for persons
    accustomed to country life. In most cases many years will be
    required for the adoption of the second of these conditions, and
    more for the third, and still more for the fourth. Hence the
    necessity of commencing, if the present generation is to realize
    much from the discovery of the science.

    "Let no person construe these remarks to indicate an advanced
    state of Association for the Wisconsin Phalanx. We have taken
    the first step, which required but little time, and are now
    barely commencing the second. We have spent three years, and
    judging from our progress thus far, it will doubtless take us
    from five to ten more to get far enough in the second to
    commence the third. We have made many blunders for the want of
    precedents, and in consequence of having more zeal than
    knowledge. Among the most serious blunders was an attempt at
    unitary living, without any of the surrounding circumstances
    being adapted to it. With this view we built, at a cost of more
    than $3,000, a long double front building, which can not be
    ventilated, and is very uncomfortable and extremely
    inconvenient for families to live in and do their cooking. But
    in this, bad as it is, some twenty of our families are still
    compelled to live, and will be for some time to come. This, with
    some other mistakes, will be to us a total loss, for the want of
    more knowledge to commence with. But these are trifling in
    comparison with the importance of our object and the result for
    a series of years. No true Associationist has been discouraged
    by these trials and losses; but we have a few among us who never
    were Associationists, and who are waiting a favorable
    opportunity to return to civilization; and we are waiting a
    favorable opportunity to admit such as we want to fill their

                                                       W. CHASE."

    From the Annual Statement of the Condition and Progress of the
    Wisconsin Phalanx, for the fiscal year ending December 6, 1847.

    "The number of resident members is one hundred and fifty-seven;
    eighty-four males and seventy-three females. Thirty-two males
    and thirty-nine females are under twenty-one years, fifty-two
    males and thirty-four females over twenty-one years, and
    eighteen persons above the age of twenty-one unmarried. The
    whole number of resident families is thirty-two. We have
    resident with us who are not members, one family and four single
    persons. Four families and two single persons have left during
    the year, the stock of all of whom has been purchased, except of
    one family, and a single person; the former intends returning,
    and the latter owns but $25.00.

    "The number of hours' labor performed during the year, reduced
    to the medium class, is 93,446. The whole amount of property at
    the appraisal is $32,564.18. The net profits of the year are
    $9,029.73; which gives a dividend to stock of nearly 7-3/4 per
    cent., and 7-3/10 cents per hour to labor.

    "The Phalanx has purchased and cancelled during the year $2,000
    of stock; we have also, by the assistance of our mill (which has
    been in operation since June), and from our available products,
    paid off the incumbrance of $1,095.33 with which we commenced
    the year; made our mechanical and agricultural improvements, and
    advanced to members, in rent, provisions, clothing, cash, etc.,
    $5,237.07. The annexed schedule specifies the kinds and
    valuation of the property on hand:

    1,713 acres of land at $3.00             $5,139.00
    Agricultural improvements                 3,509.77
    Agricultural products                     5,244.16
    Mechanical improvements                  12,520.00
    Live stock                                2,983.50
    Farm and garden tools                     1,219.77
    Mechanical tools                            380.56
    Personal property, miscellaneous          1,567.42
        Amount                              $32,564.18

                                       "BENJ. WRIGHT, President."

In June, 1848, Warren Chase sent a letter to the _Boston
Investigator_, complaining of the _Harbinger's_ indifference to the
interests of the Wisconsin Phalanx; and another writer in the
_Investigator_ suggested that this indifference was on account of the
irreligious character of the Phalanx; all of which the _Harbinger_
denied. To the charge of irreligion, a member of the Phalanx
indignantly replied in the _Harbinger_, as follows:

    "Some of us are and have been Methodists, Baptists,
    Presbyterians, Congregationalists, etc. Others have never been
    members of any church, but (with a very few exceptions) very
    readily admit the authenticity and moral value of the
    Scriptures. The ten commandments are the sum, substance and
    foundation of all true law. Add to this the gospel law of love,
    and you have a code of laws worthy of the adoption and practice
    of any man or set of men, and upon which Associationists must
    base themselves, or they can never succeed. There are many
    rules, doctrines and interpretations of Scripture among the (so
    denominated) Orthodox churches, that any man of common sense can
    not assent to. Even they can not agree among themselves; for
    instance the Old and New School Presbyterians, the Baptists,
    Methodists, etc. If this difference of faith and opinion is
    infidelity or irreligion, we to a man are infidels and
    irreligious; but if faith in the principles and morality of the
    Bible is the test, I deny the charge. I can scarcely name an
    individual here that dissents from them.

    "I have been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for
    about twenty years, and a Methodist local preacher for over
    three years, and am now Secretary of the Association. I
    therefore should know somewhat about this matter."

    [From the New York _Tribune_, July, 1848.]

    "WISCONSIN PHALANX.--Having lately seen running around the
    papers a statement that the last remaining 'Fourier
    Association,' somewhere in Illinois, had just given up the
    ghost, we gladly give place to the following extracts from a
    private letter we have just received from a former fellow
    citizen, who participated in two of the earlier attempts
    (Sylvania and Leraysville) to establish something that
    ultimately would or might become an Association after the idea
    of Fourier. After the second failure he attached himself to the
    communistic undertaking near Skaneateles, New York, and when
    this too ran aground, he went back perforce to the cut-throat
    system of civilized competition. But this had become unendurably
    hateful to him, and he soon struck off for Ceresco, and became a
    member of the Wisconsin Phalanx at that place, whereof he has
    now for some months been a resident. Of this Association he

    "I have worked in the various groups side by side with the
    members, and I have never seen a more persevering, practical,
    matter-of-fact body of people in any such movement. Since I came
    here last fall, I see a great improvement, both externally and
    internally. Mr. Van Amringe, the energetic herald of national
    and social reform, did a good work by his lectures here last
    winter; and the meetings statedly held for intellectual and
    social improvement, have an excellent effect. All now indicates
    unity and fraternity. The Phalanx has erected and enclosed a new
    unitary dwelling, one hundred feet long, two stories high, with
    a spacious kitchen, belfry, etc. They have burnt a lime-kiln,
    and are burning a brick-kiln of one hundred thousand bricks as
    an experiment, and they bid fair to be first-rate. All this has
    been accomplished this spring in addition to their agricultural
    and horticultural operations. Their water-power is small, being
    supplied from springs, which the drought of the last three
    seasons has sensibly affected. In adding to their machinery,
    they will have to resort to steam.

    "The location is healthy and pleasant. The atmosphere is
    uniformly pure, and a good breeze is generally blowing. I doubt
    whether another site could be found combining so many natural
    advantages. I have visited nearly all the associative
    experiments in the country, and I like this the best. I think
    it already beyond the possibility of failure.


Mr. Van Amringe spent considerable time at Ceresco, and sent several
elaborate articles in favor of the Phalanx to the _Harbinger_. One of
the members wrote to him as follows:

    "Since you left here a great change has taken place in the
    feelings and tastes of the members, and that too for the better.
    You will recollect the black and dirty appearance of the
    buildings, and the wood-work inside scrubbed until it had the
    appearance of a dirty white. About the first of May they made a
    grand rally to alter the appearance of things. The long building
    was white-washed inside and out, and the wood-work of nearly all
    the houses has been painted. The school-house has been
    white-washed and painted, the windows white, the panels of the
    wood-work a light yellow, carvings around a light blue, the
    seats and desks a light blue; this has made a great change in
    its appearance. You will recollect the frame of a new building
    that stood looking so distressed; about as much more was added
    to it, and all covered and neatly painted. The corridor is now
    finished; a handsome good kitchen has been put up in the rear of
    the old one, with a bakery underneath; a beautiful cupola is on
    the top, in which is placed a small bell, weighing one hundred
    and two pounds, about the size of a steamboat bell; it can be
    heard on the prairie. The blinds in the cupola windows are
    painted green. Were you to see the place now you would be
    surprised, and agreeably so, too. Some four or five have left
    since spring; new members have been taken in their stead, and a
    good exchange, I think, has been made. Two or three tailors,
    and the same number of shoemakers, are expected shortly."

    From the Annual Statement of the Condition and progress of the
    Wisconsin Phalanx, for the fiscal year ending December 4, 1848.

    "Religious meetings are sustained by us every Sabbath, in which
    the largest liberty is extended to all in the search for truth.
    In the educational department we do no more than sustain a
    common school; but are waiting, anxiously waiting, for the time
    when our condition will justify a more extended operation. In
    the absence of a reading-room and library, one of our greatest
    facilities for knowledge and general information is afforded by
    a great number and variety of newspapers and periodical
    publications, an interchange of which gives advantages in
    advance of the isolated family. The number of resident members
    is one hundred and twenty, viz.: sixty-three males and
    fifty-seven females. The number of resident families is
    twenty-nine. We have resident with us, who are not members, one
    family and twelve single persons. Six families and three single
    persons have left during the year, a part of whose stock we have
    purchased. We have lost by death the past year seven persons,
    viz.: one married lady (by consumption), one child two years of
    age, and five infants. The health of the members has been good,
    with the exception of a few cases of remittent and billious
    fevers. The Phalanx has sustained a public boarding-house the
    past year, at which the majority of the members have boarded at
    a cost not exceeding seventy-five cents per week. The remaining
    families board at their own apartments.

    "The number of hours' labor performed during the year, reduced
    to the medium class, is 97,036. The whole amount of property at
    the appraisal, is $33,527.77. The net profits of the year are,
    $8,077.02; which gives a dividend to stock of 6-1/4 per cent.,
    and 6-1/4 cents per hour to labor. The annexed schedule
    specifies the kinds and valuation of property on hand:

    Real estate 1,793 acres at $3.00            $5,379.00
    Live Stock                                   3,117.00
    Mechanical tools                             1,866.34
    Farming tools                                1,250.75
    Mechanical improvements                     14,655.00
    Agricultural improvements                    2,298.90
         "       products                        3,161.56
    Garden products                              1,006.13
    Miscellaneous property                         793.09
    Total amount                               $33,527.77

                                           "S. BATES, President."

The following anonymous summary, well written and evidently authentic,
is taken from Macdonald's collection:

    [History of the Wisconsin Phalanx, by a member.]

    "In the winter of 1843-4 there was considerable excitement in
    the village of Southport, Wisconsin (now Kenosha City), on the
    subject of Association. The subject was taken up with much
    feeling and interest at the village lyceum and in various public
    meetings. Among the advocates of Association were a few persons
    who determined in the spring of 1844 to make a practical
    experiment. For that purpose a constitution was drawn up, and a
    voluntary Association formed, which styled itself 'The Wisconsin
    Phalanx.' As the movement began to ripen into action, the
    friends fell off, and the circle narrowed down from about
    seventy to twenty persons. This little band was composed mostly
    of men with small means, sturdy constitutions, below the middle
    age, and full of energy; men who had been poor, and had learned
    early to buffet with the antagonisms of civilization; not highly
    cultivated in the social and intellectual faculties, but more so
    in the moral and industrial.

    "They raised about $1,000 in money, which they sent to the
    land-office at Green Bay, and entered a tract of land selected
    by their committee, in a congressional township in the
    north-west corner of Fond du Lac County, a township six miles
    square, without a single inhabitant, and with no settlement
    within twenty miles, except a few scattered families about Green

    "With teams, stock, tents, and implements of husbandry and
    mechanism, they repaired to this spot in the latter part of May
    1844, a distance of about one hundred and twenty-five miles from
    their homes, and commenced building and breaking up land, etc.
    They did not erect a log house, but split out of the tough burr
    and white oak of the 'openings,' shingles, clapboards, floors,
    frames and all the materials of a house, and soon prepared a
    shelter. Their families were then moved on. Late in the fall a
    saw-mill was built, and every thing prepared as well as could be
    for the winter. Their dwellings would have been unendurable at
    other times and under other circumstances; but at this time
    zeal, energy, excitement and hope kept them from complaining.
    Their land, which was subsequently increased to 1,800 acres,
    mostly at $1.25 per acre, consisted of 'openings,' prairie and
    timber, well watered, and with several small water-powers on the
    tract; a fertile soil, with as healthy a climate as could be
    found in the Western States.

    "It was agreed to name the new town Ceresco, and a post-office
    was applied for under that name, and obtained. One of the
    members always held the office of post-master, until the
    administration of General Taylor, when the office was removed
    about three-quarters of a mile to a rival village. In the winter
    of 1844-5, the Association asked the Legislature to organize
    their town, which was readily done under the adopted name. A few
    settlers had by this time moved into the town (which, owing to
    the large proportion of prairie, was not rapidly settled), and
    in the spring they held their election. Every officer chosen was
    a member of the society, and as they were required to elect
    Justices and had no need of any, they chose the three oldest
    men. From that time until the dissolution of the society nearly
    every town-office of importance was filled by its members. They
    had also one of their members in both Constitutional Conventions
    of the State, and three in the State Senate for one term of two
    sessions. Subsequently one of their members was a candidate for
    Governor, receiving more votes in his town than both of the
    other candidates together; but only a small vote in the State,
    as he was the free-soil candidate.

    "The Association drew up and prepared a charter or act of
    incorporation upon which they agreed, and applied to the
    Legislature for its passage; which was granted; and thus they
    became a body corporate and politic, known in the land as the
    'Wisconsin Phalanx.' All the business was done in accordance
    with and under this charter, until the property was divided and
    the whole affair closed up. One clause in the charter prohibited
    the sale of the land. This was subsequently altered at the
    society's request, in an amendatory act in the session of
    1849-50, for the purpose of allowing them to divide their

    "In the spring of 1845, after their organization under the
    charter, they had considerable accession to their numbers, and
    might have had greater; but were very careful about admitting
    new members, and erred very much in making a property
    qualification. About this time (1845) a question of policy arose
    among the members, the decision of which is supposed by many
    good judges to have been the principal cause of the ultimate
    division and dissolution; it was, whether the dwellings should
    be built in unitary blocks adapted to a common boarding-house,
    or in isolated style, adapted to the separate family and single
    living. It was decided by a small majority to pursue the unitary
    plan, and this policy was persisted in until there was a
    division of property. Whether this was the cause of failure or
    not, it induced many of the best members to leave; and although
    it might have been the true policy under other circumstances and
    for other persons, in this case it was evidently wrong, for the
    members were not socially developed sufficiently to maintain
    such close relations. Notwithstanding this, they continued to
    increase slowly, rejecting many more applicants than they
    admitted; and often rejecting the better and admitting the
    worse, because the worse had the property qualifications. In
    this way they increased to the maximum of thirty-three families.
    They had no pecuniary difficulties, for they kept mostly out of

    "It was a great reading Community; often averaging as many as
    five or six regular newspapers to a family, and these constantly
    exchanging with each other. They were not religious, but mostly
    rather skeptical, except a few elderly orthodox persons. [This
    hardly agrees with the statement and protest on the 436th page.]

    "They were very industrious, and had many discussions and warm
    arguments about work, manners, progress, etc.; but still they
    continued to work and scold, and scold and work, with much
    energy, and to much effect. They raised one season ten thousand
    bushels of wheat, and much other grain; had about seven hundred
    acres under cultivation; but committed a great error in
    cultivating four hundred acres on the school lands adjoining
    their own, because it lay a little better for a large field.
    They had subsequently to remove their fences and leave that
    land, for they did not wish to buy it.

    "Their charter elections were annual, and were often warmly
    contested, and turned mainly on the question of unitary or
    isolated households; but they never went beyond words in their

    "They were all temperance men and women: no ardent spirits were
    kept or sold for the first four years in the township, and never
    on the domain, while it was held as joint-stock.

    "Their system of labor and pay was somewhat complicated, and
    never could be satisfactorily arranged. The farmers and
    mechanics were always jealous of each other, and could not be
    brought to feel near enough to work on and divide the profits at
    the end of the year; but as they ever hoped to get over this
    difficulty, they said but very little about it. In their system
    of labor they formed groups for each kind of work; each group,
    when consisting of three or more, choosing its own foreman, who
    kept the account of the time worked by each member, and reported
    weekly to a meeting of all the members, which regulated the
    average; and then the Secretary copied it; and at the end of the
    fiscal year each person drew, on his labor account, his
    proportion of the three-fourths of the increase and products
    which was allotted to labor, and on his stock shares, his
    proportion of the one-fourth that was divided to stock. The
    amount so divided was ascertained by an annual appraisal of all
    the property, thus ascertaining the rise or increase in value,
    as well as the product of labor. The dividend to capital was,
    however, usually considered too large and disproportionate.

    "The books and accounts were accurately kept by the Secretary,
    and most of the individual transactions passed through this
    form, thus leaving all accounts in the hands of a disinterested
    person, open to inspection at all times, and bringing about an
    annual settlement which avoided many difficulties incident to

    "The table of the Community, when kept as a public
    boarding-house, where the families and visitors or travelers
    were mostly seated, was set with plain but substantial food,
    much like the tables of farmers in newly settled agricultural
    States; but it often incurred the ridicule of loafers and
    epicures, who travel much and fare better with strangers than at

    "They had among their number a few men of leading intellect who
    always doubted the success of the experiment, and hence
    determined to accumulate property individually by any and every
    means called fair in competitive society. These would
    occasionally gain some important positions in the society, and
    representing it in part at home and abroad, caused much trouble.
    By some they were accounted the principal cause of the final

    "In the summer and fall of 1849 it became evident that a
    dissolution and division was inevitable, and plans for doing it
    within themselves, without recourse to courts of law, were
    finally got up, and they determined to have it done by their
    legal advisers as other business was done. At the annual
    election in December 1849, the officers were elected with a view
    to that particular business. They had already sold much of the
    personal property and cancelled much of the stock. The highest
    amount of stock ever issued was about $33,000, and this was
    reduced by the sale of personal property up to January 1850, to
    about $23,000; soon after which the charter was amended,
    allowing the sale of real estate and the discontinuance of
    annual settlement, schools, etc.

    "In April 1850 they fixed on an appraisal of their lands in
    small lots (having some of them cut into village and farm lots),
    and commenced selling at public sale for stock, making the
    appraisal the minimum, and leaving any lands open to entry,
    after they had been offered publicly. During the summer of 1850
    most of the lands were sold and most of the stock cancelled in
    this way, under an arrangement by which each stockholder should
    receive his proportional share of any surplus, or make up any
    deficiency. Most of the members bought either farming lands or
    village lots and became permanent inhabitants, thus continuing
    the society and its influences to a considerable extent. They
    divided about eight per cent. above par on the stock.

    "Thus commenced, flourished and decayed this attempt at
    industrial Association. It never attempted to follow Fourier or
    any other teacher, but rather to strike out a path for itself.
    It failed because its leading minds became satisfied that under
    existing circumstances no important progress could be made,
    rather than from a want of faith in the ultimate practicability
    of Association.

    "Many of the members regretted the dissolution, while others who
    had gained property and become established in business through
    the reputation of the Phalanx for credit and punctuality, seemed
    to care very little about it. Being absorbed in the world-wide
    spirit of speculation, and having their minds thus occupied,
    they forgot the necessity for a social change, which once
    appeared to them so important."

The writer of the foregoing was probably one of the leading members.
In a paragraph preceding the account he says that the Wisconsin
Phalanx had these three peculiarities, viz:

"1. The same individual who was the principal originator and organizer
of it, was also the one, who, throughout the experiment, had the
entire confidence of the members and stockholders; and finally did
nearly all the business in the closing up of its affairs.

"2. At the division of its property, it paid a premium on its stock,
instead of sustaining a loss.

"3. Neither the Association nor any of its members ever had a lawsuit
of any kind during its existence, or at its close.

"The truth is," he adds, "this attempt was pecuniarily successful; but
socially, a failure."

Macdonald concludes with the following note: "Mr. Daniels, a gentleman
who saw the whole progress of the Wisconsin Phalanx, says that the
cause of its breaking up was speculation; the love of money and the
want of love for Association. Their property becoming valuable, they
sold it for the purpose of making money out of it."

This explanation of the mystery of the failure agrees with the hints
at the conclusion of the previous account.

On the whole, the coroner's verdict in this case must be--'DIED, not
by any of the common diseases of Associations, such as poverty,
dissension, lack of wisdom, morality or religion, but by deliberate
suicide, for reasons not fully disclosed.'



This was the test-experiment on which Fourierism practically staked
its all in this country. Brisbane was busy in its beginnings; Greeley
was Vice-President and stockholder. Its ambitious name and its
location near New York City helped to set it apart as the model
Phalanx. It was managed with great ability, and on the whole was more
successful both in business and duration, than any other Fourier
Association. It not only saw all the Phalanxes die around it, but it
outlasted the _Harbinger_ that blew the trumpet for them; and fought
on, after the battle was given up. Indeed it outlived our friend
Macdonald, the 'Old Mortality' of Socialism. Three times he visited
it; and the record of his last visit, which was written in the year of
his death, 1854, and was probably the last of his literary labors,
closes with an acknowledgement of the continuance and prosperity of
the North American. We shall have to give several chapters to this
important experiment. We will begin with a semi-official expose of its

    A History of the first nine years of the North American Phalanx,
    written by its practical chief, Mr. Charles Sears, at the
    request of Macdonald; dated December, 1852.

    "Prior to the spring of 1843, Mr. Albert Brisbane had been
    publishing, principally in the New York _Tribune_, a series of
    articles on the subject of social science. He had also published
    his larger work on Association, which was followed by his
    pamphlet containing a summary of the doctrines of a new form of
    society, and the outline of a project to found a practical
    Association, to be called the North American Phalanx.

    "There was nominally a central organization in the city of New
    York, and affiliated societies were invited to co-operate by
    subscribing the means of endowing the proposed Phalanx, and
    furnishing the persons to engage personally in the enterprise.
    It was proposed to raise about four hundred thousand dollars,
    thus making the attempt with adequate means to establish the
    conditions of attractive industry.

    "The essays and books above mentioned had a wide circulation,
    and many were captivated with the glowing pictures of a new life
    thus presented; others were attracted by the economies of the
    combined order which were demonstrated; still others were
    inspired by the hopes of personal distinction in the brilliant
    career thus opened to their ambition; others again, were
    profoundly impressed by Fourier's sublime annunciation of the
    general destinies of globes and humanities; that progressive
    development through careers, characterized all movement and all
    forms; that in all departments of creation, the law of the
    series was the method observed in distributing harmonies;
    consequently, that human society and human activity, to be in
    harmony with the universe of relations, can not be an exception
    to the great law of the series; consequently, that the existing
    order of civilization and the societies that preceded it are but
    phases in the growth of the race, and having subserved their
    more active uses, become bases of further development.

    "Among those who became interested in the idea of social
    progress, were a few persons in Albany, New York, who from
    reading and interchange of views, were induced to unite in an
    organization for the purpose of deliberately and methodically
    investigating the doctrines of a new social order as announced
    by Fourier, deeming these doctrines worthy of the most profound
    and serious consideration.

    "This body, after several preliminary meetings, formally adopted
    rules of organization on the 6th of April, 1843, and the
    declaration of their objects is in the following words: 'We, the
    undersigned, for the purpose of investigating Fourier's theory
    of social reform as expounded by Albert Brisbane, and if deemed
    expedient, of co-operating with like organizations elsewhere, do
    associate, with the ulterior view of organizing and founding an
    industrial and commercial Phalanx.'

    "Proceeding in this direction, the body assumed the name of 'The
    Albany Branch of the North American Phalanx;' opened a
    correspondence with Messrs. Brisbane, Greeley, Godwin, Channing,
    Ripley and others; had lectures of criticism on existing
    institutions and in exposition of the doctrines of the proposed
    new order.

    "During the summer practical measures were so matured, that a
    commission was appointed to explore the country, more
    particularly in the vicinity of New York and of Philadelphia,
    for a suitable domain upon which to commence the foundation of
    new social institutions. Mr. Brisbane was the delegate on the
    part of the New York friends, and Mr. Allen Worden on the part
    of the Albany Branch. A site was selected in Monmouth County,
    New Jersey, about forty miles south of New York; and on the 12th
    day of August, 1843, pursuant to public notice, a convention was
    held in the Albany Exchange, at which the North American Phalanx
    was organized by adopting a constitution, and subscribing to a
    covenant to invest in the capital stock.

    "At this convention were delegates from New York, Catskill,
    Troy, Brook Farm Association, and the Albany Branch; and when
    the real work of paying money and elevating life to the effort
    of social organization was to be done, about a dozen subscribers
    were found equal to the work, ten of whom finally co-operated
    personally in the new life, with an aggregate subscription of
    eight thousand dollars. This by common consent was the absolute
    minimum of men and means; and, contrasted with the large
    expectations and claims originally stated, was indeed a great
    falling-off; but the few who had committed themselves with
    entire faith to the movement, went forward, determined to do
    what they could to make a worthy commencement, hoping that with
    their own families and such others as would from time to time be
    induced to co-operate, the germs of new institutions might
    fairly be planted.

    "Accordingly in the month of September, 1843, a few families
    took possession of the domain, occupying to over-fullness the
    two farm-houses on the place, and commenced building a temporary
    house, forty feet by eighty, of two stories, for the
    accommodation of those who were to come the following spring.

    "During the year 1844 the population numbered about ninety
    persons, including at one period nearly forty children under the
    age of sixteen years. Crops were planted, teams and implements
    purchased, the building of shops and mills was commenced,
    measures of business and organization were discussed, the
    construction of social doctrines debated, personal claims
    canvassed, and thus the business of life was going on at full
    tide; and now also commenced the real development of character.

    "Hitherto there had been no settled science of society. Fourier,
    the man of profound insight, announced the law of progress and
    indicated the new forms that society would take. People accepted
    the new ideas gladly, and would as gladly institute new forms;
    but there was a lack of well-defined views on the precise work
    to be done. Besides, education tended strongly to confirm in
    most minds the force of existing institutions, and after
    attaining to middle age, and even before this period, the
    character usually becomes quite fixed; so that to break up
    habitudes, relinquish prejudices, sunder ties, and to adopt new
    modes of action, accept of modified results, and re-adjust
    themselves to new relations, was a difficult, and to the many,
    almost impossible work, as is proved by the fact that, of the
    thirty or forty similar attempts at associated life within the
    past ten years in this country, only the North American Phalanx
    now [1852] remains. Nor did this Association escape the
    inevitable consequences of bringing together a body of grown-up
    people with their families, many of whom came reluctantly, and
    whose characters were formed under other influences.

    "Personal difficulties occurred as a matter of course, but
    these were commonly overruled by a healthy sentiment of
    self-respect. Parties also began to form, but they were not
    fully developed until the first annual settlement and
    distribution of profits was attempted. Then, however, they took
    a variety of forms according to the interest or ambition of the
    partisans; though two principal views characterized the more
    permanent and clearly defined party divisions; one party
    contending for authority, enforced with stringent rules and
    final appeal to the dictation of the chief officer; the other
    party standing out for organization and distribution of
    authority. The former would centralize power and make
    administration despotic, claiming that thus only could order be
    maintained; the latter claimed that to do this, would be merely
    to repeat the institutions of civilization; that Association
    thus controlled would be devoid of corporate life, would be
    dependent upon individuals, and quite artificial; whereas what
    we wanted was a wholly different order, viz., the
    enfranchisement of the individual; order through the natural
    method of the series; institutions that would be instinct with
    the life that is organic, from the sum of the series, down to
    the last subdivision of the group. The strife to maintain these
    several views was long and vigorous; and it would scarcely be an
    exaggeration to say that our days were spent in labor and our
    nights in legislation, for the first five years of our
    associative life. The question at issue was vital. It was
    whether the infant Association should or should not have new
    institutions; whether it should be Civilizee or Phalansterian;
    whether it should be a mere joint-stock corporation such as had
    been before, or whether the new form of industrial organization
    indicated by Fourier should be initiated. In the contest
    between the two principles of civilized joint-stock Association,
    and of the Phalansterian or Serial organization, the latter
    ultimately prevailed; and in this triumph of the idea of the
    natural organic forms of society through the method of the
    series, we see distinctly the development of the germ of the
    Phalanx. For when we have a true principle evolved, however
    insignificant the development may be, the results, although
    limited by the smallness of the development, will nevertheless
    be right in kind. It is perhaps important, to the end that the
    results of our experience be rightly comprehended, to indicate
    the essential features of the order of society that is to
    succeed present disorder, and wherein it differs from other
    social forms.

    "A fundamental feature is, that we deny the bald atheism that
    asserts human nature to be a melancholy failure and unworthy of
    respect or trust, and therefore to be treated as an alien and
    convict. On the contrary, we hold that, instead of chains, man
    requires freedom; instead of checks, he requires development;
    instead of artificial order through coercion, he requires the
    Divine harmony that comes through counterpoise. Hence society is
    bound by its own highest interests, by the obligation it owes to
    its every member, to make organic provision for the entire
    circle of human wants, for the entire range of human activity;
    so that the individual shall be emancipated from the servitude
    of nature, from personal domination, from social tyrannies; and
    that thus fully enfranchised and guaranteed by the whole force
    of society, into all freedoms and the endowment of all rights
    pertaining to manhood, he may fulfill his own destiny, in
    accordance with the laws written in his own organization.

    "In the Phalanx, then, we have, in the sphere of production, the
    relation of employer and employed stricken out of the category
    of relations, not merely as in the simple joint-stock
    corporations, by substituting for the individual employer the
    still more despotic and irresistible corporate employer; but by
    every one becoming his own employer, doing that which he is best
    qualified by endowment to do, receiving for his labor precisely
    his share of the product, as nearly as it can be determined
    while there is no scientific unit of value.

    "In the sphere of circulation or currency, we have a
    representative of all the wealth produced, so that every one
    shall have issued to him for all his production, the abstract or
    protean form of value, which is convertible into every other
    form of value; in commerce or exchanges, reducing this from a
    speculation as now, to a function; employing only the necessary
    force to make distributions; and exchanging products or values
    on the basis of cost.

    "In the sphere of social relations, we have freedom to form ties
    according to affinities of character.

    "In the sphere of education, we establish the natural method,
    not through the exaltation into professorships of this, that or
    other notable persons, but through a body of institutions
    reposing upon industry, and having organic vitality. Commencing
    with the nursery, we make, through the living corporation,
    through adequately endowed institutions that fail not, provision
    for the entire life of the child, from the cradle upward;
    initiating him step by step, not into nominal, ostensible
    education apart from his life, but into the real business of
    life, the actual production and distribution of wealth, the
    science of accounts and the administration of affairs; and
    providing that, through uses, the science that lies back of uses
    shall be acquired; so theory and practice, the application of
    science to the pursuits of life shall, through daily use, become
    as familiar as the mother tongue; and thus place our children at
    maturity in the ranks of manhood and womanhood, competent to all
    the duties and activities of life, that they may be qualified by
    endowment to perform.

    "In the sphere of administration, we have a graduated hierarchy
    of orders, from the simple chief of a group, or supervisor of a
    single function, up to the unitary administration of the globe.

    "In the sphere of religion, we have religious life as contrasted
    with the profession of a religious faith. The intellect requires
    to be satisfied as well as the affections, and is so with the
    scientific and therefore universal formula, that the religious
    element in man is the passion of unity; that is, that all the
    powers of the soul shall attain to true equilibrium, and act
    normally in accordance with Divine law, so that human life in
    all its powers and activities shall be in harmonious relations
    with nature, with itself, and with the supreme center of life.

    "Of course we speak of the success of an idea, and only expect
    realization through gradual development. It is obvious also that
    such realization can be attained only through organization;
    because, unaided, the individual makes but scanty conquests over
    nature, and but feeble opposition to social usurpations.

    "The principle, then, of the Serial Organization being
    established, the whole future course of the Association, in
    respect to its merely industrial institutions, was plain, viz.:
    to develop and mature the serial form.

    "Not that the old questions did not arise subsequently; on the
    contrary on the admission of new members from time to time, they
    did arise and have discussion anew; but the contest had been
    virtually decided. The Association had pronounced with such
    emphasis in favor of the organization of labor upon the basis of
    co-operative efforts, joint-stock property, and unity of
    interests, that those holding adverse views gradually withdrew;
    and the harmony of the Association was never afterward in
    serious jeopardy.

    "During the later as well as earlier years of our associated
    life, the question of preference of modes of realization came
    under discussion in the Phalansterian school, one party
    advocating the measure of obtaining large means, and so fully
    endowing the Phalanx with all the external conditions of
    attractive industry, and then introducing gradually a body of
    select associates. The North American Phalanx, as represented in
    the conventions of the school, held to the view that new social
    institutions, new forms into which the life of a people shall
    flow, can not be determined by merely external conditions and
    the elaboration of a theory of life and organization, but are
    matters of growth.

    "Our view is that the true Divine growth of the social, as of
    the individual man, is the progressive development of a germ;
    and while we would not in the slightest degree oppose a
    scientific organization upon a large scale, it is our preference
    to pursue a more progressive mode, to make a more immediately
    practical and controllable attempt.

    "The call of to-day we understand to be for evidence, First: Of
    the possibility of harmony in Association; Second: That by
    associated effort, and the control of machinery, the laborer
    may command the means, not only of comfort and the necessaries
    of life, but also of education and refinement; Third: that the
    nature of the relations we would establish are essentially those
    of religious justice.

    "The possibility of establishing true social relations,
    increased production, and the embodiment of the religious
    sentiment, are, if we read the signs aright, the points upon
    which the question of Association now hinges in the public mind.

    "Because, First: Man's capacity for these relations is doubted;
    Because, Second: Production is an essential and permanent
    condition of life, and means of progress; Because, Third: It is
    apprehended that the religious element is not sufficiently
    regarded and provided for in Association.

    "Demonstrate that capacity, prove that men by their own efforts
    may command all the means of life, show in institutions the
    truly religious nature of the movement and the relations that
    are to obtain, and the public will be gained to the idea of

    "Another question still has been pressed upon us offensively by
    the advocates of existing institutions, as though their life
    were pure and their institutions perfect, while no terms of
    opprobrium could sufficiently characterize the depravity of the
    Socialists; and this question is that of the marriage relation.
    Upon this question a form of society that is so notoriously
    rotten as existing civilization is, a society that has marriage
    and prostitution as complementary facts of its relations of the
    sexes, a society which establishes professorships of abortion,
    which methodizes infanticide, which outlaws woman, might at
    least assume the show of modesty, might treat with common
    candor any and all who are seeking the Divine law of marriage.
    Instead, therefore, of recognizing its right to defame us, we
    put that society upon its defense, and say to it, Come out of
    your infidelities, and your crimes, and your pretenses; seek out
    the law of righteousness, and deal justly with woman.
    Nevertheless this is a question in which we, in common with
    others, have a profound interest; it is a question which has by
    no means escaped consideration among us, and we perhaps owe it
    to ourselves to state our position.

    "What the true law of relationship of the sexes is, we as a body
    do not pretend to determine. Here, as elsewhere, individual
    opinion is free; but there are certain conditions, as we think,
    clearly indicated, which are necessary to the proper
    consideration of the question; and our view is that it is one
    that must be determined mainly by woman herself. When she shall
    be fully enfranchised, fully endowed with her rights, so that
    she shall no longer be dependent on marriage for position, no
    longer be regarded as a pensioner, but as a constituent of the
    State; in a single phrase, when society shall, independently of
    other considerations than that of inherent right, assure to
    woman social position and pecuniary independence, so that she
    can legislate on a footing of equality, then she may announce
    the law of the sexual relations. But this can only occur in
    organized society; society in which there is a complete circle
    of fraternal institutions that have public acceptance; can only
    occur when science enters the domain of human society, and
    determines relations, as it now does in astronomy or physic.

    "We therefore say to civilization, You have no adequate solution
    of this problem that is convulsing you, and in which every form
    of private and public protest against the actual condition is
    expressing itself. Besides this we claim what can not be claimed
    for any similar number of people in civilization, viz., that we
    have been here over nine years, with an average population of
    nearly one hundred persons of both sexes and all ages, and,
    judged by the existing standard of morals, we are above reproach
    on this question.

    "Thus we have proceeded, disposing of our primary legislation,
    demonstrating to general acceptance the rectitude of our awards
    and distributions of profit, determining questions of social
    doctrine, perfecting methods of order, and developing our
    industry, with a fair measure of success. In this latter respect
    the following statistics will indicate partially the progress we
    have made.

    "We commenced in 1843, as before mentioned, with a dozen
    subscribers, and an aggregate subscription of $8,000. On the
    30th of November, 1844, upon our first settlement, our property
    amounted in round numbers to $28,000; of which we owed in
    capital stock and balances due members, say, $18,000. The
    remainder was debt incurred in purchasing the land, $9,000;
    implements, etc., $1,000; total, $10,000.

    "Our population at this period, including members and
    applicants, was nearly as follows: Men, thirty-two; women,
    nineteen; children of both sexes under sixteen years,
    twenty-six; making an aggregate of seventy-seven. At one period
    thereafter our numbers were reduced to about sixty-five persons.

    "On the 30th of November, 1852, our property was estimated at
    $80,000, held as follows: capital stock and balances of account
    due members, say, $62,800; permanent debt, $12,103; floating
    debt, $5,097; total, $80,000. Dividing this sum by 673, the
    number of acres, the entire cost of our property is $119 per

    "At this period our population of members and applicants is as
    follows: men, forty-eight; women, thirty-seven; adults,
    eighty-five; children under sixteen years, twenty-seven; making
    an aggregate of one hundred and twelve.

    "Dividing the sum of property by this number, we have an average
    investment for each man, woman and child, of over $700, or for
    each family of five persons, say, $3,600. Dividing the sum of
    our permanent debt by the number of our population, the average
    to each person is, say, $107.

    "For the purpose of comparing the pecuniary results of our
    industry to the individual, with like pursuits elsewhere, we
    make the following exhibition: In the year 1844 the average
    earnings of adults, besides their board, was three dollars and
    eighty cents a month, and the dividend for the use of capital
    was 4.7 per cent.

    1845. Earnings of labor was          $8.21 per month.
                   of capital              05.1 per cent.

    1846. Earnings of labor               2.73 per month.
                   of capital              04.4 per cent.

    1847. Earnings of labor              12.02 per month.
                   of capital              05.6 per cent.

    1848. Earnings of labor              14.10 per month.
                   of capital              05.7 per cent.

    1849. Earnings of labor              13.58 per month.
                   of capital              05.6 per cent.

    1850. Earnings of labor              13.58 per month.
                   of capital             05.52 per cent.

    1851. Earnings of labor              14.59 per month.
                   of capital             04.84 per cent.

    "It is to be noted that when we took possession of our domain,
    the land was in a reduced condition; and upon our improvements
    we have made no profit excepting subsequent increased revenue,
    they having been valued at cost. Also that our labors were
    mainly agricultural until within the last three years, when
    milling was successfully introduced. We have, it is true,
    carried on various mechanical branches for our own purposes,
    such as building, smith-work, tin-work, shoe-making, etc.; but
    for purposes of revenue, we have not to much extent succeeded in
    introducing mechanical branches of industry.

    "Furthermore, we divide our profits upon the following general
    principles: For labors that are necessary, but repulsive or
    exhausting, we award the highest rates; for such as are useful,
    but less repugnant or taxing, a relatively smaller award is
    made; and for the more agreeable pursuits, a still smaller rate
    is allowed.

    "Thus observing this general formula in our classification of
    labor, viz.: the necessary, the useful, and the agreeable; and
    also awarding to the individual, first, for his labor, secondly,
    for the talent displayed in the use of means, or in adaptation
    of means to ends, wise administration, etc., and thirdly, for
    the use of his capital; it will be perceived that we make our
    award upon a widely different basis from the current method. We
    have a theory of awards, a scientific reason for our
    classification of labor and our awards to individuals; and one
    of the consequences is that women earn more, relatively, among
    us than in existing society.

    "In matters of education we have hitherto done little else than
    keep, as we might, the common district school, introducing,
    however, improved methods of instruction. Other interests have
    pressed upon us; other questions clamored for solution. We were
    to determine whether or not we could associate in all the labors
    of life; and if yea, then whether we could sufficiently command
    the material means of life, until we should have established
    institutions that would supersede the necessity of strenuous
    personal effort. It will be understood that this work has been
    sufficiently arduous, and consequently that our children, being
    too feeble in point of numbers to assert their rights, have been
    pushed aside."

Here follows a labored disquisition on the possibilities of serial
education, which we omit, as the substance of it can be found in the
standard expositions of Fourierism.

    "If now we are asked, what questions we have determined, what
    results we may fairly claim to have accomplished through our
    nine years of associated life and efforts at organization, we
    may answer in brief, that so far as the members of this body are
    concerned, we meet the universal demand of this day with
    institutions which guarantee the rights of labor and the
    products thereof, of education, and a home, and social culture.
    This is not a mere declaration of abstract rights that we claim
    to make, but we establish our members in the possession and
    enjoyment of these rights; and we venture to claim that, so far
    as the comforts of home, private rights and social privileges
    are concerned, our actual life is greatly in advance of that of
    any mixed population under the institutions of existing
    civilization, either in town or country. We claim, so far as
    with our small number we could do, to have organized labor
    through voluntary Association, upon the principle of unity of
    interests; so reconciling the hitherto hostile parties of
    laborer and capitalist; so settling the world-old, world-wide
    quarrel, growing out of antagonistic interests among men; that
    is, we have organized the production and distribution of wealth
    in agricultural and domestic labor, and in some branches of
    mechanics and manufactures, and thus have abolished the servile
    character of labor, and the servile relation of employer and
    employed. And it is precisely in the point where failure was
    most confidently predicted, viz., in domestic labor, that we
    have most fully succeeded, because mainly, as we suppose, in the
    larger numbers attached to this industry we had the conditions
    of carrying out more fully the serial method of organization.

    "In distributing the profits of industry we have adopted a law
    of equitable proportion, so that when the facts are presented,
    we have initiated the measure of attaining to practical justice,
    or in the formula of Fourier, 'equitable distribution of
    profits.' We claim also that we guarantee the sale of the
    products of industry; that is, we secure the means of converting
    any and every form of product or fruit of labor at the cost
    thereof, into any other form also at cost. For all our labor is
    paid for in a domestic currency. In other words, when value is
    produced, a representative of that value is issued to the
    producer; and only so far as there is the production of value,
    is there any issue of the representative of value; so that
    property and currency are always equal, and thus we solve the
    problem of banking and currency; thus we have in practical
    operation, what Proudhon vainly attempted to introduce into
    France; what Kellogg proposed to introduce under governmental
    sanction in this country; what Warren proposes to accomplish by
    his labor notes and exchanges at cost.

    "We might state other facts, but let this suffice for the
    present; and we will only say in conclusion, that when the
    organization of our educational series shall be completed, as we
    hope to see it, we shall thus have established as a body a
    measurably complete circle of fraternal institutions, in which
    social and private rights are guaranteed; we shall then fairly
    have closed the first cycle of our societary life and efforts,
    fairly have laid the germs of living institutions, of the
    corporations which have perpetual life, which gather all
    knowledges, which husband all experiences, and into the keeping
    of which we commit all material interests, and which only need a
    healthy development to change without injustice, to absorb
    without violence, the discords of existing society, and to
    unfold, as naturally as the chrysalis unfolds into a form of
    beauty, a new and higher order of human society.

    "To carry on this work we need additional means to endow our
    agricultural, our educational, our milling and other interests,
    and to build additional tenements; and above all we need
    additional numbers of people who are willing to work for an
    idea; men and women who are competent to establish or conduct
    successfully some branch of profitable industry; who understand
    the social movement; who will come among us with worthy motives,
    and with settled purpose of fraternal co-operation; who can
    appreciate the labor, the conditions of life, the worth of the
    institutions we have and propose to have, in contrast with the
    chances of private gain accompanied by the prevailing disorder,
    the denial of right, and the ever-increasing oppressions of
    existing civilization.

    "The views of members and applicants upon the foregoing
    statement are expressed by the position of their signatures
    affixed below:


    H.T. Stone,           Eugenia Thomson,           E.L. Holmes,
    Lucius Eaton,         Leemon Stockwell,          Gertrude Sears,
    Alcander Longley,     R.N. Stockwell,            E.A. Angell,
    Herman Schetter,      A.P. French,               J. Bucklin,
    W.A. French,          Nathaniel H. Colson,       L.E. Bucklin,
    John Ash, Jr.,        John French,               Edwin D. Sayre,
    John H. Steel,        Mary E.F. Grey,            O.S. Holmes,
    Phebe T. Drew,        Althea Sears,              John V. Sears,
    John Gray,            H. Bell Munday,            P. French,
    Robert J. Smith,      Caroline M. Hathaway,      M.A. Martin,
    J.R. Vanderburgh,     Anna E. Hathaway,          L. French,
    James Renshaw,        Anne Guillauden,           Z. King, Jr.,
    J.G. Drew,            L. Munday,                 D.H. King,
    S. Martin,            Chloe Sears,               A.J. Lanotte,
    Joseph T. French,     James Renshaw, Jr.,        W.K. Prentice,
    N.H. Stockwell,       Emile Guillauden, Jr.,     Julia Bucklin,
    Chas. G. French,      Ellen M. Stockwell,        ---- Maynet.


    "Geo. Perry believes that difficulty arises from the
      selfishness, class-interest and personal ambition, of Class
      No. 1 and 2; also, last and not least, absence of uniformity
      of attractions.

    "J.R. Coleman endorses the above sentiments. James Warren, do.
      H.N. Coleman, do.

    "M. Hammond has very reluctantly concluded that the difficulty
      is in the Institution and not in the members."



The following pictures from the files of the _Harbinger_, with the
subsequent reports of Macdonald's three visits, give a tolerable view
of life at the North American in its early and its latter days.

    [Fourth of July (1845) at the Phalanx.]

    "As soon as the moisture was off the grass, a group went down to
    the beautiful meadows to spread the hay; and the right good
    will, quickness, and thoroughness with which they completed
    their task, certainly illustrated the attractiveness of combined
    industry. Others meanwhile were gathering for dinner the
    vegetables, of which, by the consent of the whole neighborhood,
    they have a supply unsurpassed in early maturity and excellence;
    and still others were busy in the various branches of domestic

    "And now, the guests from New York and the country around having
    come in, and the hour for the meeting being at hand, the bell
    sounded, and men, women and children assembled in a walnut grove
    near the house, where a semicircle of seats had been arranged in
    the cool shade. Here addresses were given by William H. Channing
    and Horace Greeley, illustrating the position that Association
    is the truly consistent embodiment in practice of the professed
    principles of our nation.

    "After some hour and a half thus spent, the company adjourned to
    the house, where a table had been spread the whole length of the
    hall, and partook of a most abundant and excellent dinner, in
    which the hospitable sisters of the Phalanx had most
    satisfactorily proved their faith by their works. Good cold
    water was the only beverage, thanks to the temperance of the
    members. A few toasts and short speeches seasoned the feast.

    "And now once again, the afternoon being somewhat advanced, the
    demand for variety was gratified by a summons to the hay-field.
    Every rake and fork were in requisition; a merrier group never
    raked and pitched; never was a meadow more dexterously cleared;
    and it was not long before there was a demand that the right to
    labor should be honored by fresh work, which the chief of the
    group lamented he could not at the moment gratify. To close the
    festivities the young people formed in a dance, which was
    prolonged till midnight. And so ended this truly cheerful and
    friendly holiday."

    [George Ripley's visit to the Phalanx.]

                                                 _May, 14, 1846._

    "Arriving about dinner time at the Mansion, we received a
    cordial welcome from our friends, and were soon seated at their
    hospitable table, and were made to feel at once that we were at
    home, and in the midst of those to whom we were bound by strong
    ties. How could it be otherwise? It was a meeting of those whose
    lives were devoted to one interest, who had chosen the lot of
    pioneers in a great social reform, and who had been content to
    endure sacrifices for the realization of ideas that were more
    sacred than life itself. Then, too, the similarity of pursuits,
    of the whole mode of life in our infant Associations, produces a
    similarity of feeling, of manners, and I could almost fancy,
    even of expression of countenance. I have often heard strangers
    remark upon the cheerfulness and elasticity of spirit which
    struck them on visiting our little Association at Brook Farm;
    and here I found the same thing so strongly displayed, that in
    conversing with our new friends, it seemed as if they were the
    same that I had left at home, or rather that I had been side by
    side with them for months or years, instead of meeting them
    to-day for the first time. I did not need any formal
    introduction to make me feel acquainted, and I flatter myself
    that there was as little reserve cherished on their part.

    "After dinner we were kindly attended by our friend Mr. Sears
    over this beautiful, I may truly say, enchanting domain. I had
    often heard it spoken of in terms of high commendation; but I
    must confess, I was not prepared to find an estate combining so
    many picturesque attractions with such rare agricultural

    "Our friends here have no doubt been singularly fortunate in
    procuring so valuable a domain as the scene of their experiment,
    and I see nothing which, with industry and perseverance, can
    create a doubt of their triumphant success, and that at no very
    distant day.

    "I was highly gratified with the appearance of the children, and
    the provision that is made for their education, physical as well
    as intellectual. I found them in a very neat school-room, under
    the intelligent care of Mrs. B., who is devoting herself to
    this department with a noble zeal and the most pleasing results.
    It is seldom that young people in common society have such ample
    arrangements for their culture, or give evidence of such a
    healthy desire for improvement.

    "This Association has not been free from difficulties. It has
    had to contend with the want of sufficient capital, and has
    experienced some embarrassment on that account. It has also
    suffered from the discouragement of some of its members--a
    result always to be expected in every new enterprise, and by no
    means formidable in the long run--and discontent has produced
    depression. Happily, the disaffected have retired from the
    premises, and with few, if any, exceptions, the present members
    are heartily devoted to the movement, with strong faith in the
    cause and in each other, and determined to deserve success, even
    if they do not gain it. Their prospects, however, are now
    bright, and with patient industry and internal harmony they must
    soon transform their magnificent domain into a most attractive
    home for the associative household. May God prosper them!"

    [N.C. Neidhart's visit to the Phalanx.]

                                                  _July 4, 1847._

    "It is impossible for me to describe the deep impression which
    the life and genial countenances of our brethren have made upon
    us. Although not belonging to what are very unjustly called the
    higher classes, I discovered more true refinement, that which is
    based upon humanitary feeling, than is generally found among
    those of greater pretensions. There is a serene, earnest love
    about them all, indicating a determination on their part to
    abide the issue of the great experiment in which they are

    "After a fatiguing walk over the domain, I found their simple
    but refreshing supper very inviting. Here we saw for the first
    time the women assembled, of whom we had only caught occasional
    glimpses before. They appeared to be a genial band, with happy,
    smiling countenances, full of health and spirits. Such deep and
    earnest eyes, it seemed to me, I had never seen before. Most of
    the younger girls had wreaths of evergreen and flowers wound
    around their hair, and some also around their persons in the
    form of scarfs, which became them admirably.

    "After tea we resorted to the reading-room, where are to be
    found on files all the progressive and reformatory, as well as
    the best agricultural, papers of the Union, such as the _New
    York Tribune_, _Practical Christian_, _Young America_,
    _Harbinger_, etc. There is also the commencement of a small

    "Only one thing was wanting to enliven the evening, and that was
    music. They possess, I believe, a guitar, flutes, and other
    instruments, but the time necessary for their cultivation seems
    to be wanting. The want of this so necessary accompaniment of
    universal harmony, was made up to us by some delightful hours
    which we spent in the parlor of Mrs. B., who showed us some of
    her beautiful drawings, and in whose intelligent society we
    spent the evening. This lady was formerly a member of the
    Clermont Phalanx, Ohio. I was sorry there was not time enough to
    receive from her an account of the causes of the disbandment of
    this society. She must certainly have been satisfied of the
    superiority of associated life, to encourage her to join
    immediately another.

    "It was my good fortune (notwithstanding the large number of
    visitors), to obtain a nice sleeping-room, from which I was
    sorry to see I had driven some obliging member of the Phalanx.
    The orderly simplicity of this room was quite pleasing. It
    enabled us to form some judgment of the order which pervaded the

    "Next morning we took an early breakfast, and accompanied by Mr.
    Wheeler, a member of the society, we wandered over the whole
    domain. On our way home we struck across Brisbane Hill, where
    they intend to erect the future Phalansterian house on a more
    improved and extensive plan.

    "There is religious worship here every Sunday, in which all
    those who feel disposed may join. The members of the society
    adhere to different religious persuasions, but do not seem to
    care much for the outward forms of religion.

    "As far as I could learn, the health of the Phalanx has been
    generally very good. They have lost, however, several children
    by different diseases. During the prevalence of the small-pox in
    the Community, the superiority of the combined order over the
    isolated household was most clearly manifested. Quite lately
    they have constructed a bathing-house. The water is good, but
    must contain more or less iron, as the whole country is full of

    _Macdonald's first visit to the Phalanx._

                                                 _October, 1851._

    "It was dark when I arrived at the Phalanstery. Lights shone
    through the trees from the windows of several large buildings,
    the sight of which sent a cheering glow through me, and as I
    approached, I inwardly fancied that what I saw was part of an
    early dream. The glancing lights, the sounds of voices, and the
    notes of music, while all nature around was dark and still, had
    a strange effect, and I almost believed that this was a
    Community where people were really happy.

    "I entered and inquired for Mr. Bucklin, whose name had been
    given me. At the end of a long hall I found a small
    reading-room, with four or five strange-looking beings sitting
    around a table reading newspapers. They all appeared eccentric,
    not alone because they were unshaven and unshorn, but from the
    peculiar look of their eyes and form of their faces. Mr.
    Bucklin, a kind man, came to me, glancing as if he anticipated
    something important. I explained my business, and he sat down
    beside me; but though I attempted conversation, he had very
    little to say. He inquired if I wished for supper, and on my
    assenting, he left me for a few minutes and then returned, and
    very soon after he led me out to another building. We passed
    through a passage and up a short flight of steps into a very
    handsome room, capable, I understood, of accommodating two
    hundred persons at dinner. It had a small gallery or balcony at
    one end of it, and six windows on either side. It was furnished
    with two rows of tables and chairs, each table large enough for
    ten or twelve persons to dine at. There were three bright lamps
    suspended from the ceiling. At one end of the room the chairs
    and tables had been removed, and several ladies and gentlemen
    were dancing cotillions to the music of a violin, played by an
    amateur in the gallery. At the other end of the room there was a
    doorway leading to the kitchen, and near this my supper was
    laid, very nice and tidy. Mr. Bucklin introduced me to Mr.
    Holmes, a gentleman who had lived in the Skaneateles and
    Trumbull experiments; and Mr. Holmes introduced me to Mr.
    Williston, who gave me some of the details of the early days of
    the North American Phalanx, during which he sometimes lived in
    high style, and sometimes was almost starved. He told of the
    tricks which the young members played upon the old members, many
    of whom had left.

    "On looking at the dancers I perceived that several of the
    females were dressed in the new costume, which is no more than
    shortening the frock and wearing trowsers the same as men. There
    were three or four young women, and three or four children so
    dressed. I had not thought much of this dress before, but was
    now favorably impressed by it, when I contrasted it with the
    long dresses of some of the dancers. This style is decidedly
    superior, I think, for any kind of active employment. The dress
    seems exceedingly simple. The frocks were worn about the same
    length as the Highland _kilt_, ending a little above the knee;
    the trowsers were straight, and both were made of plain
    material. Afterward I saw some of the ladies in superior suits
    of this fashion, looking very elegant.

    "Mr. Holmes shewed me to my bed, which was in the top of another
    building. It was a spacious garret with four cots in it, one in
    each corner. There were two windows, one of which appeared to be
    always open, and at that window a young man was sleeping,
    although the weather was very wet. The mattress I had was
    excellent, and I slept well; but the accommodations were rather
    rude, there being no chairs or pegs to hang the clothes upon.
    The young men threw their clothes upon the floor. There was no
    carpet, but the floor seemed very clean.

    "It rained hard all night, and the morning continued wet and
    unpleasant. I rose about seven, and washed in a passage-way
    leading from the sleeping-rooms, where I found water well
    supplied; passed rows of small sleeping-rooms, and went out for
    a stroll. The morning was too unpleasant for walking much, but I
    examined the houses, and found them to be large framed
    buildings, the largest of the two having been but recently
    built. It formed two sides of a square, and had a porch in front
    and on part of the back. It appeared as if the portion of it
    which was complete was but a wing of a more extensive design,
    intended to be carried out at some future time. The oldest
    building reminded me of one of the Rappite buildings in New
    Harmony, excepting that it was built of wood and theirs of
    brick. It formed a parallelogram, two stories high, with large
    garrets at the top. A hall ran nearly the whole length of the
    building, and terminated in a small room which is used as a
    library, and to which is joined the office. Apartments were
    ranged on either side of the hall up stairs. All the rooms
    appeared to be bed-rooms, and were in use. The new building was
    more commodious. There were well furnished sitting-rooms on
    either side of the principal entrance. The dining-hall, which I
    have before mentioned, was in the rear of this. Up stairs the
    rooms were ranged in a similar manner to the old building, and
    appeared to be very comfortable. I was informed that they were
    soon to be heated by steam. All these apartments were rented to
    the members at various prices, according to the relative
    superiority of each room.

    "As the bell at the end of the building rang a second time for
    breakfast, I followed some of the members into the room, and on
    entering took my seat at the table nearest the door. I afterward
    learned that this was the vegetarian table, and also that it was
    customary for each person always to occupy the same seat at his
    meals. The tables were well supplied with excellent, wholesome
    food, and I think the majority of the members took tea and
    coffee and ate meat. Young men and women waited upon the tables,
    and seemed active and agreeable. An easy freedom and a
    harmonious feeling seemed to prevail.

    "On leaving the room I was introduced to Mr. Sears, who, I
    ascertained, was what they called the 'leading mind.' He was
    rather tall, of a nervous temperament, the sensitive
    predominating, and was easy and affable. On my informing him of
    the object of my visit, he very kindly led me to his office and
    showed me several papers, which gave me every information I
    required. He introduced me to Mr. Renshaw, a gentleman who had
    been in the Ohio Phalanx. Mr. Renshaw was engaged in the
    blacksmith-shop; looked quite a philosopher, so far as form of
    head and length of beard and hair was concerned; but he had a
    little too much of the sanguine in his temperament to be cool at
    all times. He very rapidly asked me the object of my book: what
    good would it do? what was it for? and seemed disposed to knock
    down some imaginary wrong, before he had any clear idea of what
    it was. I explained, and together with Mr. Sears, had a short
    controversy with him, which had a softening tendency, though it
    did not lead to perfect agreement. Mr. Sears contended that
    Community experiments failed because the accounts were not
    clearly and faithfully kept; but Mr. Renshaw maintained that
    they all failed for want of means, and that the public
    impression that the members always disagreed was quite
    erroneous. At dinner I found a much larger crowd of persons in
    the room than at breakfast. I was introduced to several members,
    and among them to Mr. French, a gentleman who had once been a
    Universalist preacher. He was very kind, and gave me some
    information relative to the Jefferson County Industrial

    "I also made the acquaintance of Mr. John Gray, a gentleman who
    had lived five years among the Shakers, and who was still a
    Shaker in appearance. Mr. Gray is an Englishman, as would
    readily be perceived by his peculiar speech; but with his
    English he had gotten a little mixture of the 'down east,' where
    he had lately been living. Mr. Gray was very fluent of speech,
    and what he said to me would almost fill a volume. He spoke
    chiefly of his Shaker experience, and of the time he had spent
    among the Socialists of England. He said it was his intention to
    visit other Communities in the United States, and gain all the
    experience he could among them, and then return to England and
    make it known. He was a dyer by trade (on which account he was
    much valued by the Shakers), and was very useful in taking care
    of swine. He spoke forcibly of the evils of celibacy among the
    Shakers, and of their strict regulations. He preferred living in
    the North American Phalanx, feeling more freedom, and knowing
    that he could go away when he pleased without difficulty. He
    thought the wages too low. Reckoning, for instance, that he
    earned about 90 cts. per day for ten hours labor, he got in cash
    every two weeks three-fourths of it, the remaining fourth going
    to the Phalanx as capital. Out of these wages he had to pay
    $1.50 per week for board, and $12 a year rent, besides extras;
    but he had a very snug little room, and lived well. He thought
    single men and women could do better there than married ones;
    but either could do better, so far as making money was the
    object, in the outer world. He decidedly preferred the single
    family and isolated cottage arrangement. I made allowances for
    Mr. Gray's opinions, when I remembered that he had been living
    five years among the Shakers, and but four months at the North
    American, whose regulations about capital and interest he was
    not very clear upon.

    "I had a conversation with a lady who had lived two years at
    Hopedale. She was intelligent, but very sanguine; well-spoken
    and agreeable, but had too much enthusiasm. She described to me
    the early days of Hopedale and its present condition. She did
    not like it, but preferred the North American and its more
    unitary arrangements. She thought that the single-cottage system
    was wrong, and that woman would never attain her true position
    in such circumstances. She had a great opinion of woman's
    abilities and capacities for improvement; was sorry that the
    Phalanx had such a bombastic name; had once been very sanguine,
    but was now chastened down; believed that the North American
    could not be called an experiment on Fourier's plan; the
    necessary elements were not there, and never had been, and no
    experiment had ever been attempted with such material as Fourier
    proposed; until that is done, we can not say the system is
    false, etc.

    "After supper I had conversation with several persons on Mr.
    Warren's plan of 'Equitable Commerce.' Most of them were well
    disposed toward his views of 'individuality,' but not toward his
    'cost principle,' many believing the difficulties of estimating
    the cost of many things not to be overcome; the details in
    carrying out the system would be too trifling and fine-drawn.
    Conversation turned upon the Sabbath. Some thought it would be
    good to have periodical meetings for reading or lecturing, and
    others thought it best to have nothing periodical, but leave
    every thing and every body to act in a natural manner, such as
    eating when you are hungry, drinking when you are thirsty, and
    resting when you are tired; let the child play when it is so
    inclined, and teach it when it demands to be taught. There were
    all kinds of opinions among them regarding society and its
    progress. My Shaker friend thought that society was progressing
    'first-rate' by means of Odd-Fellowship, Freemasonry, benevolent
    associations, railroads, steamboats, and especially all kinds of
    large manufactories, without such little attempts as these of
    the North American to regenerate mankind.

    "I might speculate on this strange mixture of minds, but prefer
    that the reader should take the facts and philosophize for
    himself. Here were persons who, for many years, had tried many
    schemes of social re-organization in various parts of the
    country, brought together not from a personal knowledge and
    attraction for each other, but through a common love of the
    social principles, which like a pleasant dream attracted them to
    this, the last surviving of that extensive series of experiments
    which commenced in this country about the year 1843.

    "I retired to my cot about ten o'clock, and passed a restless
    night. The weather was warm and wet, and continued so in the
    morning. Rose at five o'clock and took breakfast with Dr.
    Lazarus and the stage-driver, and at a quarter to six we left
    the Phalanx in their neat little stage.

    "During the journey to Keyport the Doctor seemed to be full of
    Association, and made frequent allusions to that state in which
    all things would be right, and man would hold his true position;
    thought it wrong to cut down trees, to clear land, to raise
    corn, to fatten pigs to eat, when, if the forest was left alone,
    we could live on the native deer, which would be much better
    food for man; he would have fruit-trees remain where they are
    found naturally; and he would have many other things done which
    the world would deem crazy nonsense."

    _Macdonald's second visit to the Phalanx._

    "I visited the North American Phalanx again in July, 1852. The
    visit was an interesting one to me; but I will only refer to the
    changes which have taken place since my last visit.

    "They have altered their eating and drinking arrangements, and
    adopted the eating-house system. At the table there is a bill of
    fare, and each individual calls for what he wants; on obtaining
    it the waiter gives him a check, with the price of the article
    marked thereon. After the meal is over, the waiters go round and
    enter the sum marked upon the check which each person has
    received, in a book belonging to that person; the total is added
    up at the end of each month and the payments are made. Each
    person finds his own sugar, which is kept upon the table. Coffee
    is half-a-cent per cup, including milk; bread one cent per
    plate; butter, I think, half-a-cent; meat two cents; pie two
    cents; and other things in like proportion. On Mr. Holmes's
    book, the cost of living ran thus: breakfast from one and a-half
    cents to three and a-half cents; dinner four and a-half cents to
    nine cents; supper four and a-half cents to eight cents. In
    addition to this, as all persons use the room alike, each pays
    the same rent, which is thirty-six and a-half cents per week;
    each person also pays a certain portion for the waiting labor,
    and for lighting the room. The young ladies and gentlemen who
    waited on table, as well as the Phalanx Doctor (a gentleman of
    talent and politeness), who from attraction performed the same
    duty, got six and a-quarter cents per hour for their labor.

    "The wages of various occupations, agricultural, mechanical and
    professional, vary from six cents to ten cents per hour; the
    latter sum is the maximum. The wages are paid to each individual
    in full every month, and the profits are divided at the end of
    the year. Persons wishing to become members are invited to
    become visitors for thirty days. At the end of that time it is
    sometimes necessary for them to continue another thirty days;
    then they may be admitted as probationers for one year, and if
    they are liked by the members at the end of that time, it is
    decided whether they shall become full members or not.

    "They had commenced brick-making, intending to build a mill;
    thought of building at Keyport or Red Bank. Some anticipated a
    loan from Horace Greeley. Their stock was good; some said it was
    at par; one said, at seventy-five per cent. premium. (?) The
    profits were invested in things which they thought would bring
    them the largest interest; they had shares in two steamboats
    running to New York from Keyport and Red Bank.

    "Their crops looked well, superior to any in the vicinity. There
    were large fields of corn and potatoes and a fine one of
    tomatoes. The first bushel of the latter article had just been
    sent to the New York market, and was worth eight dollars. There
    was a field of good melons, quite a picture to look upon. Since
    my last visit, there had been an addition made to the large
    building. A man had built the addition at a cost of $800, and
    had put $200 into the Phalanx, making $1,000 worth of stock. He
    lived in the house as his own. There is a neat cottage near the
    large building, which I suppose is also Association property,
    put in by the gentleman who built it and uses it--a Mr. Manning,
    I believe.

    "The wages were all increased a little since my last visit, and
    there seemed to be more satisfaction prevailing, especially with
    the eating-house plan, which I understood had effected a saving
    of about two-thirds in the expenditure; this was especially the
    case in the article of sugar.

    "The stage group was abolished; and the stage sold. It called
    there, however, regularly with the mails and passengers as

    "I gleaned the following: The Phalanx property could support one
    thousand people, yet they can not get them, and they have not
    accommodations for such a number. Some doubt the advantage of
    taking more members until they are richer. All say they are
    doing well; yet some admit that individually they could do
    better, or that an individual with that property could have done
    better than they have done. They hire about sixteen Dutch
    laborers, and say they are better treated than they would be
    elsewhere. These board in a room beneath the Phalanx
    dining-room, and lodge in various out-places around. They had an
    addition of six Frenchmen to their numbers, said to be exiles;
    these persons were industrious and well liked.

    "In a conversation with one of the discontented members, who had
    been there five years, he said that after an existence of nine
    years, there were fewer members than at the commencement; there
    was something wrong in the system they were practicing; and if
    that was Association, then Association was wrong; thinks there
    are some persons who try to crush and oust those who differ from
    them in opinion, or who wish to change the system so as to
    increase their number.

    "There was more than enough work for all to do, mechanics
    especially. Carpenters were in demand. They had to hire the
    latter at $1.50 per day. They don't get any to join them. Some
    thought the wages too low; yet the cost of living was not much
    over $2. per week, including washing and all else but clothing
    and luxuries.

    "My acquaintance, John Gray, had been away from the Phalanx for
    some months, but had returned, having found that he could not
    live in 'old society' again; sooner than that, he would return
    to the Shakers. He spoke much more favorably of the North
    American than before, and was particularly pleased with the
    eating arrangement; he wanted to see the individual system
    carried out still further among them; for in proportion as they
    adopted that, they were made free and happy; but in proportion
    as they progressed toward Communism, the result was the reverse.
    After alluding to their many little difficulties, he pointed
    out so many advantages, that they seemed to counter-balance all
    the evils spoken of by himself and others. Criticism, he said,
    was the most potent regulator and governor.

    "The charges were increased at the Phalanx. For five meals and
    very inferior sleeping accommodations twice, I paid $1.75. The
    Phalanx had paid five per cent. dividend on stock, for the past

    _Macdonald's third visit to the Phalanx._

    "In the fall of 1853 I made another pilgrimage to the North
    American. On my journey from Red Bank I had for my
    fellow-passengers, the well-known Albert Brisbane and a young
    man named Davidson. The ride was diversified by interesting
    debates upon Spiritualism and Association.

    "At the Phalanx I was pleased with the appearance of things
    during this visit. I saw the same faces, and felt assured they
    were 'sticking to it.' I also fell in with some strangers who
    had lately been attracted there. I was informed by one or two of
    the members that the articles which had been published about the
    Phalanx in the New York _Herald_, had done them good. It made
    the place known, and caused many strangers to visit them; among
    whom were some capitalists who offered to lend their aid; a Dr.
    Parmelee was named as one of these. The articles also did good
    in criticising their peculiarities, letting them know what the
    'world' thought of them, and shaking them up, like wind upon a
    stagnant pond.

    "Mr. Sears informed me that they had had a freshet in August,
    which destroyed a large quantity of their forage; and the dams
    were broken down, causing a loss of two or three hundred
    dollars. Their peach-orchard had failed, causing a deficiency of
    nearly two-thirds the usual amount of peaches. He was of the
    opinion that in five years they would be able to show something
    more tangible to the world. He thought that in about that time
    the experiment would have completed a marked phase in its
    history, and become more worthy of notice.

    "In a conversation with Mr. French I learned that he had been
    away from the Phalanx for three weeks, seeing his friends in the
    country; but it made him happy to return; he felt he could not
    live elsewhere. He said their grand object was to provide a
    fitting education for their children. They had been neglected,
    though often thought of; and ere long something important would
    be done for them, if things turned out as he hoped. Last year,
    for the first time since their commencement, they declared a
    dividend to labor; this year they anticipated more, but the
    accidents would probably reduce it. Their total debts were
    $18,000, but the value of the place was $55,000. They bought the
    land at $20 per acre, and it had increased in value, not so much
    by their improvements as by the rise of land all through that
    country. They were not troubled about their debts; it was an
    advantage to them to let them remain; they could pay them at any
    time if necessary."



The _Harbinger_ and Macdonald both fail us in our search for the
history of the last days of the North American; and having asked in
vain for an authentic account of its failure from one at least of its
leaders, we must content ourselves with such scraps of information on
this interesting catastrophe, as we have picked up here and there in
various publications. And first we will bring to view one or two facts
which preceded the failure, and apparently led to it.

In the spring of 1853--the tenth year of the Phalanx--there was a
split and secession, resulting in the formation of another
Association, called the Raritan Bay Union, at Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
A correspondent of the New York _Herald_, who visited this new Union
in June, 1853, speaks of its founders and foundations as follows:

    "The subscriptions already amount to over forty thousand
    dollars. Among the names of the stockholders I notice that of
    Mrs. Tyndale, formerly an extensive crockery dealer in Chestnut
    street, Philadelphia, who carried on the business in her own
    name until she accumulated a handsome fortune, and then
    relinquished it to her son and son-in-law; also Marcus Spring,
    commission merchant of New York; Rev. William Henry Channing of
    Rochester, and Clement O. Read, late superintendent of the large
    wash-house in Mott street, New York.

    "The President of the corporation, George B. Arnold Esq., was
    last year President of the North American Phalanx. Many years
    ago he was a minister at large in the city of New York. He
    afterward removed to Illinois, where he established an extensive
    nursery, working with his own hands at the business, which he
    carried on successfully. He is an original thinker, a practical
    man, of clear, strong common sense.

    "The founders of the Union believe that many branches of
    business may be carried on most advantageously here, and that
    the best class of mechanics will soon find their interest and
    happiness promoted by joining them. Extensive shops will be
    erected, and either carried on directly by the corporation, or
    leased, with sufficient steam-power, to companies of its own
    members. The different kinds of business will be kept separate,
    and every tub left to stand upon its own bottom. They aim at
    combination, not confusion. Every man will have pay for what he
    does, and no man is to be paid for doing nothing. Whether they
    will drag the drones out, if they find any, and kill them as the
    bees do in autumn, or whether their ferryman will be directed to
    take them out in his boat and tip them into the bay, or what
    will be done with them, I can not say. But the creed of this new
    Community seems to be, that 'Labor is praise.' In religious
    matters the utmost freedom exists, and every man is left to
    follow the dictates of his own conscience."

Macdonald briefly mentions this Raritan Bay Association, and
characterizes it as "a joint-stock concern, that undertook to hold an
intermediate position between the North American and ordinary
society;" meaning, we suppose, that it was less communistic than the
Phalanx. He furnishes also a copy of its constitution, the preamble of
which declares that its object is to establish "various branches of
agriculture and mechanics, whereby industry, education and social life
may, in principle and practice, be arranged in conformity to the
Christian religion, and where all ties, conjugal, parental, filial,
fraternal and communal, which are sanctioned by the will of God, the
laws of nature, and the highest experience of mankind, may be purified
and perfected; and where the advantages of co-operation may be
secured, and the evils of competition avoided, by such methods of
joint-stock Association as shall commend themselves to enlightened
conscience and common sense."

The board of officers whose names are attached to this constitution

_President_, George B. Arnold; _Directors_, Clement O. Read, Marcus
Spring, George B. Arnold, Joseph L. Pennock, Sarah Tyndale;
_Treasurer_, Clement O. Read; _Secretary_, Angelina G. Weld.

It is evident that this offshoot drew away a portion of the members
and stockholders of the North American. It amounted to little as an
Association, and disappeared with the rest of its kindred; but its
secession certainly weakened the parent Phalanx.

During the summer after this secession, the North American appears to
have had an acrimonious controversy about religion with somebody,
inside or outside, the nature of which we can only guess from the
following mysterious hints in a long article written by Mr. Sears in
the fall of 1853, on behalf of the Association, and published in the
New York _Tribune_ under the caption, "_Religion in the North American
Phalanx_." Mr. Sears said:

    "I am incited to these remarks by the recent imposition of a
    missionary effort among us, and by a letter respecting it,
    indicating the failure of a cherished scheme, in a spirit which
    shows that the old sanctions only are wanting, to kindle the old
    fires. And, lest our silence be further misconstrued, and we
    subjected to further discourtesy, I am induced to say a few
    words in defense.

    "Neither our quiet nor our good character have quite sufficed to
    protect us from the customary officiousness of busy sectaries,
    who professed not to understand how a people could associate,
    how a commonwealth could exist, without adopting some sectarian
    profession of religious faith, some partisan form of religious

    "In vain we urged that our institutions were religious; that
    here, before their eyes, was made real and practical in daily
    life and established as a real societary feature, that
    fraternity which the church in every form has held as its ideal;
    that here the Christian rule of life is made possible in the
    only way that it can be made possible, viz., through social
    guarantees which confirm the just claims of every member. In
    vain we showed that in the matter of private faith we did not
    propose to interfere, but in this respect held the same relation
    of a body to its constituent members, that the State of New
    Jersey or any other commonwealth does to its citizens; that
    tolerance was our only proper course, and must continue to be;
    that the professors of any name could organize a society and
    have a fellowship of the same religious communion, if they
    chose; but that our effort was to seek out the divine
    mathematics of societary relations, and to determine a formula
    that would be of universal application; and that to allow our
    organization to be taken possession of as an agency for pushing
    private constructions of doctrine, would be an impossible
    descent for us; that any who choose could make such profession
    and have such observances as they liked, and by arrangement have
    equal use of our public rooms. Still from time to time various
    parties have urged their private views upon us, and whenever
    they wished, have had, by arrangement, the use of room and such
    audience as they could attract. But never until the past summer
    has there been such a persistent effort to press upon us private
    observance as to excite much attention; and for the first time
    in our history there arose, through a reprehensible effort, a
    public discussion of religious dogmas; and, to our regret and
    annoyance, the usual sectarian uncharitableness was exhibited
    and has since been expressed to us."

A further glimpse at the difficulty alluded to, is afforded by the
following paragraph, which appeared in print about the same time,
written by Eleazer Parmlee, a partizan of the other side:

    "I received the inclosed letter from Marcus Spring, who
    requested me to co-operate with himself and others (at the two
    Phalanxes) in sustaining a preacher; as he insists 'that the
    religious and moral elements in man should be cultivated for
    the true success of Association.' I shall write to Mr. Spring
    that it is not my opinion that religious cultivation or teaching
    will be allowed, certainly at one of the Associations; and I
    would advise all persons who have any respect or regard for the
    religion of the Bible, and who do not wish to have their
    feelings outraged by a total want of common courtesy, to keep
    entirely away, at least from the North American."

It seems probable that this controversy, whatever it may have been,
was complicated with the secession movement in the spring before. We
notice that Marcus Spring, who was originally a prominent stockholder
in the North American, and who went over, as we have seen, to the
rival Phalanx at Perth Amboy, was mixed up with this controversy, and
apparently instigated the "missionary imposition" of which Mr. Sears
complains. It may be reasonably conjectured that this theological
quarrel led to the ultimate withdrawal of stock which brought the
Association to its end.

In September 1853, after the secession and after the quarrel about
religion, the following gloomy picture of the Phalanx was sent abroad
in the columns of the New York _Tribune_, the old champion of
Socialism in general and of the North American in particular. Whether
its representations were true or not, it must have had a very
depressing effect on the Association, and doubtless helped to realize
its own forebodings:

    [Correspondence of the New York _Tribune_.]

    "I remained nine days at the North American Phalanx. They appear
    to be on a safe material basis. Good wages are paid the
    laborers, and both sexes are on an equality in every respect;
    the younger females wear bloomers; are beautiful and apparently
    refined; but both sexes grow up in ignorance, and seem to have
    but little desire for mental progression. Their mode of life,
    however, is a decided improvement on the old one: the land
    appears to be well cultivated and very productive; the majority
    of the men, and some of the women, are hard workers; the wages
    of labor and profits on capital are constantly increasing and
    likely to increase; probably in a few years more the stock will
    be as good an investment as any other stock, and the wages of
    labor much better than elsewhere. The standard of agricultural
    and mechanical labor is now nine cents per hour; kitchen-work,
    waiting, etc., about the same. Their arrangements for
    economizing domestic labor seem very efficient; but they have no
    sewing-machine and no store that amounts to any thing. If a hat
    of any kind is wanted, they have to go to Red Bank for it. They
    appear to make no effort to redeem their stock, which is now
    mostly in the hands of non-residents. The few who do save any
    thing, I understand, usually prefer something that 'pays'
    better. Most of them are decent sort of people, have few bad
    qualities and not many good ones, but they are evidently not
    working for an idea. They make no effort to extend their
    principles, and do not build, as a general thing, unless a
    person wanting to join builds for himself. Under such
    circumstances the progress of the movement must be necessarily
    slow, if even it progress at all. Latterly the number of members
    and probationers has decreased. They find it necessary to employ
    hired laborers to develop the resources of the land.

    "So far as regards the material aspect, however, they get along
    tolerably well. But I regard the mechanism merely as a means
    for general progress--a basis for a superstructure of unlimited
    mental and spiritual development. They seem to regard it as the
    end. This absence of facilities for education and mental
    improvement is astonishing, in a Community enjoying so many of
    the advantages of co-operation. Those engaged in nurseries
    should have some acquaintance with physiology and hygiene; but
    such things are scarcely dreamed of as yet among any of the
    members, except two or three; or if so, they keep very quiet
    about it. A considerable portion of their hard earnings ends in
    smoke and spittoons, or some other form of mere animal
    gratification, to which they are in a measure compelled to
    resort, in the absence of any rational mode of applying their
    small amount of leisure. Their reading-room is supplied by two
    _New York Tribunes_, a _Nauvoo Tribune_, and two or three
    worthless local papers. The library consists of between three
    and four hundred volumes, not many of them progressive or the
    reverse. I believe there is a sort of a school, but should think
    they don't teach much there worth knowing, if results are to be
    the criterion. Cigar smoking is bad enough in men, but
    particularly objectionable in twelve-year olds. A number of
    papers are taken by individuals, but those that most need them
    don't have much chance at them; besides, it is the end of
    associate life to economise by co-operation in this as in other
    matters. Some of them make miserable apologies for neglect of
    these matters, on the score of want of leisure, means, etc., but
    all amounts to nothing.

    "The Phalanx people, having deferred improving the higher
    faculties of themselves and children until their lower wants are
    supplied, which can never be, are heavily in debt; and so far as
    any effect on the outer world is concerned, the North American
    Phalanx is a total failure. No movement based on a mere
    gratification of the animal appetites can succeed in extending
    itself. There must be intellectual and spiritual life and
    progress; matter can not move itself."

A year later the Phalanx suffered a heavy loss by fire, which was
reported in the _Tribune_, September 13, 1854, as follows:

    Destruction of the Mills of the North American Phalanx.

    "About six and a-half o'clock Sunday morning, a fire broke out
    in the extensive mills of the North American Phalanx, located in
    Monmouth County, New Jersey. The fire was first discovered near
    the center of the main edifice, and had at that time gained
    great headway. It is supposed to have originated in the eastern
    portion of the building, and a strong easterly wind prevailing
    at the time, the flames were carried toward the center and
    western part of the edifice. This was a wooden building about
    one hundred feet square, three stories high, with a thirty
    horse-power steam-engine in the basement, and two run of
    burr-stones and superior machinery for the manufacture of flour,
    meal, hominy and samp, on the floors above. Adjoining the mill
    on the north was the general business office, containing the
    account books of the Association, the most valuable of which
    were saved by Mr. Sears at the risk of his life. Adjoining the
    office was the saw-mill, blacksmith-shop, tin-shop, etc., with
    valuable machinery, driven by the engine, all of which was
    destroyed. About two thousand bushels of wheat and corn were
    stored in the mill directly over the engine, which, in falling,
    covered it so as to preserve the machinery from the fire. There
    was a large quantity of hominy and flour and feed destroyed
    with the mill. The carpenters' shop, a little south of the grain
    mill, was saved by great exertion of all the members, men and
    women. All else in that vicinity is a smouldering mass. Nothing
    was insured but the stock, valued at $3,000, for two-thirds that
    amount. The loss is from $7,000 to $10,000."

Alcander Longley, at present the editor of a Communist paper, was a
member of the North American, and should be good authority on its
history. He connects this fire very closely with the breaking-up of
the Phalanx. In a criticism of one of Brisbane's late socialistic
schemes, he says:

    "A little reminiscence just here. We were a member of the North
    American Phalanx. A fire burned our mills and shops one unlucky
    night. We had plenty of land left and plenty else to do. But we
    called the 'money bags' [stockholders] together for more stock
    to rebuild with. Instead of subscribing more, they dissolved the
    concern, because it didn't pay enough dividend! And the honest
    resident working members were scattered and driven from the home
    they had labored so hard and long for years to make. Would Mr.
    Brisbane repeat such a farce?"

Yet it appears that the crippled Phalanx lingered another year; for we
find the following in the editorial correspondence of _Life
Illustrated_ for August 1855:

    Last Picture of the North American.

    "After supper (the hour set apart for which is from five to six
    o'clock) the lawn, gravel walks and little lake in front of the
    Phalanstery, present an animated and charming scene. We look out
    upon it from our window. Nearly the whole population of the
    place is out of doors. Happy papas and mammas draw their baby
    wagons, with their precious freight of smiling innocence, along
    the wide walks; groups of little girls and boys frolic in the
    clover under the big walnut-trees by the side of the pond; some
    older children and young ladies are out on the water in their
    light canoes, which they row with the dexterity of sailors; men
    and women are standing here and there in groups engaged in
    conversation, while others are reclining on the soft grass; and
    several young ladies in their picturesque working and walking
    costume--a short dress or tunic coming to the knees, and loose
    pantaloons--are strolling down the road toward the shaded avenue
    which leads to the highway.

    "There seems to be a large measure of quiet happiness here; but
    the place is now by no means a gay one. If we observe closely we
    see a shadow of anxiety on most countenances. The future is no
    longer assured. Henceforth it must be 'each for himself,' in
    isolation and antagonism. Some of these people have been
    clamorous for a dissolution of the Association, which they
    assert has, so far as they are concerned at least, proved a
    failure; but some of them, we have fancied, now look forward
    with more fear than hope to the day which shall sunder the last
    material ties which bind them to their associates in this

The following from the _Social Revolutionist_, January, 1856, was
written apparently in the last moments of the Phalanx.

    [Alfred Cridge's Diagnosis in Articulo Mortis.]

    "The North American Phalanx has decided to dissolve. When I
    visited it two years since it seemed to be managed by practical
    men, and was in many respects thriving. The domain was well
    cultivated, labor well paid, and the domestic department well
    organized. With the exception of the single men's apartments
    being overcrowded, comfort reigned supreme. The following were
    some of the defects:

    "1. The capital was nearly all owned by non-residents, who
    invested it, however, without expectation of profit, as the
    stock was always below par, yielding at that time but 4-1/2 per
    cent. of interest, which was a higher rate than that formerly
    allowed. Probably the majority of the Community were hard
    workers, many of them to the extent of neglecting mental
    culture. I was informed that they generally lived from hand to
    mouth, saving nothing, though living was cheap, rent not high,
    and the par rate of wages ninety cents for ten hours, but
    varying from sixty cents to $1.20, according to skill,
    efficiency, unpleasantness, etc. Nearly all those who did save,
    invested in more profitable stock, leaving absentees to keep up
    an Association in which they had no particular interest. As the
    generality of those on the ground gave no tangible indications
    of any particular interest in the movement, it is no matter of
    surprise that, notwithstanding the zeal of a few disinterested
    philanthropists engaged in it, the institution failed to meet
    the sanguine expectations of its projectors.

    "2. They neglected the intellectual and æsthetic element. Some
    residents there attributed the failure of the Brook Farm
    Association to an undue predominance of these, and so ran into
    the opposite error. A well-known engraver in Philadelphia wished
    to reside at the Phalanx and practice his profession; but no; he
    must work on the farm; if allowed to join, he would not be
    permitted to follow his attractions. So he did not come.

    "3. The immediate causes of the dissolution of both Associations
    were disastrous fires, and no way attributable to the principles
    on which they were based.

    "4. The formation of Victor Considerant's colony in Texas
    probably hastened the dissolution of the Phalanx, as many of the
    members preferred establishing themselves in a more genial
    latitude, to working hard one year or two for nothing, which
    they must have done, to regain the loss of $20,000 by fire, to
    say nothing of the indirect loss occasioned by the want of the

    "Thus endeth the North American Phalanx! _Requiescat in pace!_
    Where is the Phoenix Association that is to arise from its ashes?

    "P.S. Since the above was written, the domain of the North
    American Phalanx has been sold."

N.C. Meeker, who wrote those enthusiastic letters from the Trumbull
Phalanx (now one of the editors of the _Tribune_), is the author of
the following picturesque account of the North American, which we will
call its

_Post Mortem and Requiem, by an old Fourierist._

    [From the New York _Tribune_ of November 3, 1866.]

    "Once in about every generation, attention is called to our
    social system. Many evils seem to grow from it. A class of men
    peculiarly organized, unite to condemn the whole structure. If
    public affairs are tranquil, they attempt to found a new system.
    So repeatedly and for so many ages has this been done, that it
    must be said that the effort arises from an aspiration. The
    object is not destructive, but beneficent. Twenty-five years ago
    an attempt was made in most of the Northern States. There are
    signs that another is about to be made. To those who are
    interested, a history of life in a Phalanx will be instructive.
    It is singular that none of the many thousand Fourierists have
    related their experience. (!) Recently I visited the old grounds
    of the North American Phalanx. Additional information is brought
    from a similar institution [the Trumbull] in a Western State.
    Light will be thrown on the problem; it will not solve it.

    "Four miles from Red Bank, Monmouth County, New Jersey, six
    hundred acres of land were selected about twenty years ago, for
    a Phalanx on the plan of Fourier. The founders lived in New
    York, Albany and other places. The location was fortunate, the
    soil naturally good, the scenery pleasing and the air healthful.
    It would have been better to have been near a shipping-port. The
    road from Red Bank was heavy sand.

    "First, a large building was erected for families; afterward, at
    a short distance, a spacious mansion was built, three stories
    high, with a front of one hundred and fifty feet, and a wing of
    one hundred and fifty feet. It is still standing in good repair,
    and is about to be used for a school. The rooms are of large
    size and well finished, the main hall spacious, airy, light and
    elegant. Grape-vines were trained by the side of the building,
    flowers were cultivated, and the adjoining ground was planted
    with shade-trees. Two orchards of every variety of choice fruit
    (one of forty acres) were planted, and small fruits and all
    kinds of vegetables were raised on a large scale. The Society
    were the first to grow okra or gumbo for the New York market,
    and those still living there continue its cultivation and
    control supplies. A durable stream ran near by; on its banks
    were pleasant walks, which are unchanged, shaded by chestnut
    and walnut trees. On this stream they built a first-class
    grist-mill. Not only did it do good work, but they established
    the manufacture of hominy and other products which gave them a
    valued reputation, and the profits of this mill nearly earned
    their bread.

    "It was necessary to make the soil highly productive, and many
    German and other laborers were employed. The number of members
    was about one hundred, and visitors were constant. Of all the
    Associations, this was the best, and on it were fixed the hopes
    of the reformers. The chief pursuit was agriculture. Education
    was considered important, and they had good teachers and
    schools. Many young persons owed to the Phalanx an education
    which secured them honorable and profitable situations.

    "The society was select, and it was highly enjoyed. To this day
    do members, and particularly women, look back to that period as
    the happiest in their lives. Young people have few proper wishes
    which were not gratified. They seemed enclosed within walls
    which beat back the storms of life. They were surrounded by
    whatever was useful, innocent and beautiful. Neighborhood
    quarrels were unknown, nor was there trouble among children.
    There were a few white-eyed women who liked to repeat stories,
    but they soon sunk to their true value.

    "After they had lived this life fourteen years,[A] their mill
    burned down. Mr. Greeley offered to lend them $12,000 to
    rebuild it. They were divided on the subject of location. Some
    wanted to build at Red Bank, to save hauling. They could not
    agree. But there was another subject on which they did agree.
    Some suggested that they had better not build at all! that they
    had better dissolve! The question was put, and to every one's
    surprise, decided that they would dissolve. Accordingly the
    property was sold, and it brought sixty-six cents on a dollar.
    In a manner the sale was forced. Previously the stockholders had
    been receiving yearly dividends, and they lost little.

    "While the young had been so happy, and while the women, with
    some exceptions, enjoyed society, with scarcely a cause for
    disquiet, fathers had been considering the future prospects of
    those they loved. The pay for their work was out of the profits,
    and on a joint-stock principle. Work was credited in hours, and
    on striking a dividend, one hour had produced a certain sum. A
    foreman, a skillful man, had an additional reward. It was five
    cents a day. One of the chief foremen told me that after working
    all day with the Germans, and working hard, so that there would
    be no delay he had to arrange what each was to do in the
    morning. Often he would be awakened by falling rain. He would
    long be sleepless in re-arranging his plans. A skillful teacher
    got an additional five cents. All this was in accordance with
    democratic principles. I was told that the average wages did not
    exceed twenty cents a day. You see capital drew a certain share
    which labor had to pay. But this was of no consequence,
    providing the institution was perpetual. There they could live
    and die. Some, however, ran in debt each year. With large
    families and small wages, they could not hold their own. These
    men had long been uneasy.

    "There was a public table where all meals were eaten. At first
    there was a lack of conveniences, and there was much hard work.
    Mothers sent their children to school, and became cooks and
    chamber-maids. The most energetic lady took charge of the
    washing group. This meant she had to work hardest. Some of the
    best women, though filled with enthusiasm for the cause, broke
    down with hard work. Afterward there were proper conveniences;
    but they did not prevent the purchase of hair-dye. The idea that
    woman in Association was to be relieved of many cares, was not

    "On some occasions, perhaps for reasons known at the time, there
    was a scarcity of victuals. One morning all they had to eat was
    buckwheat cakes and water. I think they must have had salt. In
    another Phalanx, one breakfast was mush. Every member felt

    "The combined order had been strongly recommended for its
    economies. All articles were to be purchased at wholesale; food
    would be cheaper; and cooking when done for many by a few, would
    cost little. In practice there were developments not looked for.
    The men were not at all alike. Some so contrived their work as
    not to be distant at meal-time. They always heard the first
    ringing of the bell. In the preparation of food, naturally,
    there will be small quantities which are choice. In families
    these are thought much of, and are dealt out by a mother's good
    hands. They come last. But here, in the New Jerusalem, those who
    were ready to eat, seized upon such the first thing. If they
    could get enough of it, they would eat nothing else.

    "You know that in all kinds of business there must be men to
    see that nothing is neglected. On a farm teams must be fed and
    watered, cattle driven up or out, and bars or gates closed. They
    who did these things were likely to come to their meals late.
    They were sweaty and dirty, their feet dragged heavy. First they
    must wash. On sitting down they had to rest a little. Naturally
    they would look around. At such times one's wife watches him. At
    a glance she can see a cloud pass across his face. He need not
    speak to tell her his thoughts. She can read him better than a
    Bible in large type. In one Phalanx where I was acquainted, the
    public table was thrown up in disgust, like a pack of unlucky

    "But our North Americans were determined. To give to all as good
    food as the early birds were getting, it was necessary to
    provide large quantities. When this was done, living became very
    expensive and the economies of Association disappeared.

    "They had to take another step. They established an eating-house
    on what is called the European plan. The plainest and the
    choicest food was provided. Whatever one might desire he could
    have. His meal might cost him ten cents or five dollars. When he
    finished eating he received a counter or ticket, and went to the
    office and settled. He handed over his ticket, and the amount
    printed on it was charged to him. For instance, a man has the
    following family: first, wifey, and then, George, Emily, Mary,
    Ralph and Rosa. They sit at a table by themselves, unless wifey
    is in the kitchen, with a red face, baking buckwheat cakes with
    all her might. They select their breakfast--a bill of fare is
    printed every day--and they have ham and eggs, fifteen cents;
    sausage, ten cents; cakes, fifteen cents; fish, ten cents; and
    a cup of coffee and six glasses of water, five cents; total,
    fifty-five cents, which is charged, and they go about their
    business. If wifey had been to work, she would eat afterward,
    and though she too would have to pay, she was credited with
    cake-baking. One should be so charitable as to suppose that she
    earned enough to pay for the meal that she ate sitting sideways.
    To keep these accounts, a book-keeper was required all day. One
    would think this a curious way; but it was the only one by which
    they could choke off the birds of prey. One would think, too,
    that Rosa, Mary and Co., might have helped get breakfast; but
    the plan was to get rid of drudgery.

    "Again, there was another class. They were sociable and amiable
    men. Everybody liked to hear them talk, and chiefly they secured
    admission for these qualities. Unfortunately they did not bring
    much with them. All through life they had been unlucky. There
    was what was called the Council of Industry, which discussed and
    decided all plans and varieties of work. With them originated
    every new enterprise. If a man wanted an order for goods at a
    store, they granted or refused it. Some of these amiable men
    would be elected members; it was easy for them to get office,
    and they greatly directed in all industrial operations. At the
    same time those really practical would attempt to counteract
    these men; but they could not talk well, though they tried hard.
    I have never seen men desire more to be eloquent than they;
    their most powerful appeals were when they blushed with silent
    indignation. But there was one thing they could do well, and
    that was to grumble while at work. They could make an impression
    then. Fancy the result.

    "Lastly: the rooms where families lived adjoined each other, or
    were divided by long halls. Young men do not always go to bed
    early. Perhaps they would be out late sparking, and they
    returned to their rooms before morning. A man was apt to call to
    mind the words of the country mouse lamenting that he had left
    his hollow tree. Sometimes one had a few words to say to his
    wife when he was not in good humor on account of bad digestion.
    When some one overheard him, they would think of her delicate
    blooming face, and her ear-rings and finger-rings, and wonder,
    but keep silent; while others thought that they had a good thing
    to tell of. But let no one be troubled. These two will cling to
    each other, and nothing but death can separate them. He will
    bear these things a long time, winking with both eyes; but at
    last he thinks that they should have a little more room, and she
    heartily agrees.

    "Fourteen years make a long period. At last they learned that it
    was easy enough to get lazy men, but practical and thorough
    business men were scarce. Five cents a day extra was not
    sufficient to secure them. A promising, ambitious young man
    growing up among them, did not see great inducements. He heard
    of the world; men made money there. His curiosity was great. One
    can see that the Association was likely to be childless.

    "Learning these things which Fourier had not set down, their
    mill took fire. Still they were out of debt. They were doing
    well. The soil had been brought to a high state of cultivation.
    Of the fifteen or twenty Associations through the country, their
    situation and advantages were decidedly superior. I inquired of
    the old members remaining on the ground, and who bought the
    property and are doing well, the reason for their failure. They
    admit there was no good reason to prevent their going on, except
    the disposition. But Fourier did not recommend starting with
    less than eighteen hundred. When I asked them what would have
    been the result if they had had this number, they said they
    would have broken up in less than two years. Generally men are
    not prepared. Association is for the future.

    "I found one still sanguine. He believes there are now men
    enough afloat, successfully to establish an Association. They
    should quietly commence in a town. There should be means for
    doing work cheaply by machinery. A few hands can wash and iron
    for several hundred in the same manner as it is done in our
    public institutions. Baking, cooking and sewing can be done in
    the same way. There is no disputing the fact that these means
    did not exist twenty years ago. Gradually family after family
    could be brought together. In time a whole town would be

    "The plausible and the easy again arise in this age. Let no one
    mistake a mirage for a real image. Disaster will attend any
    attempt at social reform, if the marriage relation is even
    suspected to be rendered less happy. The family is a rock
    against which all objects not only will dash in vain, but they
    will fall shivered at its base.


But even marriage and family, rocks though they are, have to yield to
earthquakes: and Fourierism, in which Meeker delighted, was one of the
upheavals that have unsettled them. They will have to be

The latest visitor to the remains of the North American whose
observations have fallen under our notice, is Mr. E.H. Hamilton, a
leading member of the Oneida Community. His letter in the _Circular_
of April 13, 1868, will be a fitting conclusion to this account; as
well for the new peep it gives us into the causes of failure, as for
its appropriate reflections.

Why the North American Phalanx failed.

                                     "_New York, March 31, 1868._

    "Business called me a short time ago to visit the domain once
    occupied by the North American Phalanx. The gentleman whom I
    wished to see, resided in a part of the old mansion, once warm
    and lively with the daily activities and bright anticipations of
    enthusiastic Associationists. The closed windows and silent
    halls told of failure and disappointment. When individuals or a
    Community push out of the common channel, and with great
    self-sacrifice seek after a better life, their failure is as
    disheartening as their success would have been cheering. Why did
    they fail?

    "The following story from an old member and eye-witness whom I
    chanced to meet in the neighboring village, impressed me, and
    was so suggestive that I entered it in my note-book. After
    inquiring about the Oneida Community, he told his tale almost
    word for word, as follows:

    _C._--My interest in Association turns entirely on its relations
    to industry. In our attempt, a number of persons came together
    possessed of small means and limited ideas. After such a company
    has struggled on a few years as we did, resolutely contending
    with difficulties, a vista will open, light will break in upon
    them, and they will see a pathway opening. So it was with us. We
    prospered in finances. Our main business grew better; but the
    mill with which it was connected grew poorer, till the need of
    a new building was fairly before us. One of our members offered
    to advance the money to erect a new mill. A stream was surveyed,
    a site selected. One of our neighbors whose land we wanted to
    flow, held off for a bonus. This provoked us and we dropped the
    project for the time. At this juncture it occurred to some of us
    to put up a steam-mill at Red Bank. This was the vista that
    opened to us. Here we would be in water-communication with New
    York city. Some $2,000 a year would be saved in teaming. This
    steam-mill would furnish power for other industries. Our
    mechanics would follow, and the mansion at Red Bank become the
    center of the Association, and finally the center of the town.
    Our secretary was absent during this discussion. I was fearful
    he would not approve of the project, and told some of our
    members so. On his return we laid the plan before him, and he
    said no. This killed the Phalanx. A number of us were
    dissatisfied with this decision, and thirty left in a body to
    start another movement, which broke the back of the Association.
    The secretary was one of our most enthusiastic members and a man
    of good judgment; but he let his fears govern him in this
    matter. I believe he sees his mistake now. The organization
    lingered along two years, when the old mill took fire and burned
    down; and it became necessary to close up affairs.

    _E.H.H._--Would it not have been better if your company of
    thirty had been patient, and gone on quietly till the others
    were converted to your views? If truth were on your side, it
    would in time have prevailed over their objections.

    _C._--I would not give a cent for a person's conversion. When a
    truth is submitted to a body of persons, a few only will accept
    it. The great body can not, because their minds are unprepared.

    _E.H.H._--How did your company succeed in their new movement?

    _C._--We failed because we made a mistake. The great mistake
    Associationists every where made, all through these movements,
    was to locate in obscure places which were unsuitable for
    becoming business centers. Fourier's system is based on a
    township. An Association to be successful must embrace a

    _E.H.H._--Well, suppose you get together a number sufficient to
    form a township, and become satisfactorily organized, will there
    not still remain this liability to be broken up by diversity of
    judgments arising, as in the instance you have just related to

    _C._--No; let the movement be organized aright and it might
    break up every day and not fail.

    "Here ended the conversation. The story interested me
    especially, because it taught so clearly that the success of
    Communism depends upon something else besides money-making. When
    Hepworth Dixon visited this country and inquired about the
    Oneida Community, Horace Greeley told him he would 'find the
    O.C. a trade success.' Now according to C.'s story the North
    American Phalanx entered the stage of 'trade success,' and then
    failed because it lacked the _faculty of agreement_. It is
    patent to every person of good sense, that 'a house divided
    against itself can not stand.' Divisions in a household, in an
    army, in a nation, are disastrous, and unless healed, are
    finally fatal. The great lesson that the Oneida Community has
    been learning, is, that agreement is possible. In cases where
    diversity of judgment has arisen, we have always secured
    unanimity by being patient with each other, waiting, and
    submitting all minds to the Spirit of Truth. We have experienced
    this result over and over again, until it has become a settled
    conviction through the Community, that when a project is brought
    forward for discussion, the best thing will be done, and we
    shall all be of one mind about it. How many times questions have
    arisen that would have destroyed us like the North American
    Phalanx, were it not for this ability to come to an agreement!
    Prosperity puts this power of harmony to a greater test than
    adversity. When we built our new house, how many were the
    different minds about material, location, plan! How were our
    feelings wrought up! Party-spirit ran high. There was the stone
    party, the brick party, and the concrete-wall party. Yet by
    patience, forbearing one with another and submitting one to
    another, the final result satisfied every one. Unity is the
    essential thing. Secure that, and financial success and all
    other good things will follow."


[A] To be exact, this should be eleven years instead of fourteen. The
Phalanx commenced operations in September, 1843, and the fire occurred
in September, 1854. The whole duration of the experiment was only a
little over twelve years, as the domain was sold, according to Alfred
Cridge, in the winter of 1855-6.



At the beginning of our history of the Fourier epoch, we gave an
account of the origin of the Brook Farm Association in 1841, and
traced its career till the latter part of 1843. So far we found it to
be an original American experiment, not affiliated to Fourier, but to
Dr. Channing; and we classed it with the Hopedale, Northampton and
Skaneateles Communities, as one of the preparations for Fourierism.
Now, at the close of our history, we must return to Brook Farm and
follow it through its transformation into a Fourierist Phalanx, and
its career as a public teacher and propagandist.

In the final number of the _Dial_, dated April 1844, Miss E.P. Peabody
published an article on Fourierism, which commences as follows:

    "In the last week of December, 1843, and first week of January,
    1844, a convention was held in Boston, which may be considered
    as the first publication of Fourierism in this region.

    "The works of Fourier do not seem to have reached us, and this
    want of text has been ill supplied by various conjectures
    respecting them; some of which are more remarkable for the
    morbid imagination they display than for their sagacity. For
    ourselves we confess to some remembrances of vague horror
    connected with this name, as if it were some enormous parasitic
    plant, sucking the life principles of society, while it spread
    apparently an equal shade, inviting man to repose under its
    beautiful but poison-dropping branches. We still have a certain
    question about Fourierism, considered as a catholicon for evil;
    but our absurd horrors were dissipated, and a feeling of genuine
    respect for the friends of the movement ensured, as we heard the
    exposition of the doctrine of Association, by Mr. Channing and
    others. That name [Channing] already consecrated to humanity,
    seemed to us to have worthily fallen, with the mantle of the
    philanthropic spirit, upon this eloquent expounder of Socialism;
    in whose voice and countenance, as well as in his pleadings for
    humanity, the spirit of his great kinsman still seemed to speak.
    We can not sufficiently lament that there was no reporter of the
    speech of Mr. Channing."

At the close of this article Miss Peabody says:

    "We understand that Brook Farm has become a Fourierist
    establishment. We rejoice in this, because such persons as form
    that Association, will give it a fair experiment. We wish it
    Godspeed. May it become a University, where the young American
    shall learn his duties, and become worthy of this broad land of
    his inheritance."

William H. Channing, in the _Present_, January 15, 1844, gives an
account of this same Boston convention, from which we extract as

    "This convention marked an era in the history of New England.
    It was the commencement of a public movement upon the subject of
    social reform, which will flow on, wider, deeper, stronger,
    until it has proved in deeds the practicability of societies
    organized, from their central principle of faith to the minutest
    detail of industry and pleasure, according to the order of love.
    This movement has been long gathering. A hundred rills and
    rivers of humanity have fed it.

    "The number of attendants and their interest increased to the
    end, as was manifested by the continuance of the meetings from
    Wednesday, December 27th, when the convention had expected to
    adjourn, through Thursday and Friday. The convention was
    organized by the choice of William Bassett, of Lynn, as
    President; of Adin Ballou, of Hopedale, G.W. Benson, of
    Northampton, George Ripley, of Brook Farm, and James N. Buffum,
    of Lynn, as Vice-Presidents; and of Eliza J. Kenney, of Salem,
    and Charles A. Dana, of Brook Farm, as Secretaries. The
    Associations of Northampton, Hopedale and Brook Farm, were each
    well represented.

    "It was instructive to observe that practical and scientific men
    constantly confirmed, and often apparently without being aware
    of it, the doctrines of social science as announced by Fourier.
    Indeed, in proportion to the degree of one's intimacy with this
    profound student of harmony, does respect increase for his
    admirable intellectual power, his foresight, sagacity,
    completeness. And for one, I am desirous to state, that the
    chief reason which prevents my most public confession of
    confidence in him as the one teacher now most needed, is, that
    honor for such a patient and conscientious investigator demands,
    of all who would justify his views, a simplicity of affection,
    an extent and accuracy of knowledge, an intensity of thought, to
    which very few can now lay claim. Quite far am I from saying,
    that as now enlightened, I adopt all his opinions; on the
    contrary, there are some I reject; but it is a pleasure to
    express gratitude to Charles Fourier, for having opened a whole
    new world of study, hope and action. It does seem to me, that he
    has given us the clue out of our scientific labyrinth, and
    revealed the means of living the law of love."

The _Phalanx_ of February 5, 1844, refers to the revolution going on
at Brook Farm, as follows:

    "The Brook Farm Association, near Boston, is now in process of
    transformation and extension from its former condition of an
    educational establishment mainly, to a regularly organized
    Association, embracing the various departments of industry, art
    and science. At the head of this movement, are George Ripley,
    Minot Pratt and Charles A. Dana. We can not speak in too high
    terms of these men and their enterprise. They are gentlemen of
    high standing in the community, and unite in an eminent degree,
    talent, scientific attainments and refinement, with great
    practical energy and experience. This Association has a fine
    spiritual basis in those already connected with it, and we hope
    that it will be able to rally to its aid the industrial skill
    and capital necessary to organize an Association, in which
    productive labor, art, science, and the social and the religious
    affections, will be so wisely and beautifully blended and
    combined, that they will lend reciprocal strength, support,
    elevation and refinement to each other, and secure abundance,
    give health to the body, development and expansion to the mind,
    and exaltation to the soul. We are convinced that there are
    abundant means and material in New England now ready to form a
    fine Association; they have only to be sought out and brought

From these hints it is evident that the Brook Farmers were fully
converted to Fourierism in the winter of 1843-4, and that William H.
Channing led the way in this conversion. He had been publishing the
_Present_ since September 1843, side by side with the _Phalanx_ (which
commenced in October of that year); and though he, like the rest of
the Massachusetts Socialists, began with some shyness of Fourierism,
he had gradually fallen into the Brisbane and Greeley movement, till
at last the _Present_ was hardly distinguishable in its general drift
from the _Phalanx_. Accordingly in April, 1844, just at the time when
the _Dial_ ended its career, as we have seen, with a confession of
quasi-conversion to Fourierism, the _Present_ also concluded its
labors with a twenty-five-page exposition of Fourier's system, and the
_Phalanx_ assumed its subscription list.

The connection of the Channings with Fourierism, then, stands thus:
Dr. Channing, the first medium of the Unitarian afflatus, was the
father (by suggestion) of the Brook Farm Association, which was
originally called the West Roxbury Community. William H. Channing, the
second medium according to Miss Peabody, converted this Community to
Fourierism and changed it into a Phalanx. The _Dial_, which Emerson
says was also a suggestion of Dr. Channing, and the _Present_, which
was edited by William H. Channing, ended their careers in the same
month, both hailing the advent of Fourierism, and the _Phalanx_ and
_Harbinger_ became their successors.

The _Dial_ and _Present_, in thus surrendering their Roxbury daughter
as a bride to Fourierism, did not neglect to give her with their dying
breath some good counsel and warning. We will grace our pages with a
specimen from each. Miss Peabody in the _Dial_ moralizes thus:

    "The social passions, set free to act, do not carry within them
    their own rule, nor the pledge of conferring happiness. They can
    only get this from the free action upon them of the intellectual
    passions which constitute human reason.

    "But these functions of reason, do they carry within themselves
    the pledge of their own continued health and harmonious action?

    "Here Fourierism stops short, and, in so doing, proves itself to
    be, not a life, a soul, but only a body. It may be a magnificent
    body for humanity to dwell in for a season; and one for which it
    may be wise to quit old diseased carcases, which now go by the
    proud name of civilization. But if its friends pretend for it
    any higher character than that of a body, thus turning men from
    seeking for principles of life essentially above organization,
    it will prove but another, perhaps a greater curse.

    "The question is, whether the Phalanx acknowledges its own
    limitations of nature, in being an organization, or opens up any
    avenue into the source of life that shall keep it sweet,
    enabling it to assimilate to itself contrary elements, and
    consume its own waste; so that, phoenix-like, it may renew
    itself forever in greater and finer forms.

    "This question, the Fourierists in the convention, from whom
    alone we have learned any thing of Fourierism, did not seem to
    have considered. But this is a vital point.

    "The life of the world is now the Christian life. For eighteen
    centuries, art, literature, philosophy, poetry, have followed
    the fortunes of the Christian idea. Ancient history is the
    history of the apotheosis of nature, or natural religion; modern
    history is the history of an idea, or revealed religion. In vain
    will any thing try to be, which is not supported thereby.
    Fourier does homage to Christianity with many words. But this
    may be cant, though it thinks itself sincere. Besides, there are
    many things which go by the name of Christianity, that are not

    "Let the Fourierists see to it, that there be freedom in their
    Phalanxes for churches, unsupported by their material
    organization, and lending them no support on their material
    side. Independently existing, within them but not of them,
    feeding on ideas, forgetting that which is behind petrified into
    performance, and pressing on to the stature of the perfect man,
    they will finally spread themselves in spirit over the whole

    "In fine, it is our belief, that unless the Fourierist bodies
    are made alive by Christ, 'their constitution will not march;'
    and the galvanic force of reäction, by which they move for a
    season, will not preserve them from corruption. As the
    corruption of the best is the worst, the warmer the friends of
    Fourierism are, the more awake should they be to this danger,
    and the more energetic to avert it."

Charles Lane in the _Present_ discoursed still more profoundly, as

    "Some questions, of a nice importance, may be considered by the
    Phalanx before they set out, or at least on the journey, for
    they will have weighty, nay, decisive influences on the final
    result. One of these, perhaps the one most deserving attention,
    nay, perhaps that upon which all others hinge, is the adjustment
    of those human affections, out of which the present family
    arrangements spring. In a country like the United States of
    North America, where food is very cheap, and all the needs of
    life lie close to the industrious hand, it is very rare to find
    a family of old parents with their sons and daughters married
    and residing under the same roof. The universal bond is so weak,
    or the individual bond is so strong, that one married pair is
    deemed a sufficient swarm of human bees to hive off and form a
    new colony. How, then, can it be hoped that there is universal
    affection sufficient to unite many such families in one body for
    the common good? If, with the natural affections to aid the
    attempt to meliorate the hardships and difficulties in natural
    life, it is rare, nay, almost impossible, to unite three
    families in one bond of fellowship, how shall a greater number
    be brought together? If, in cases where the individual
    characters are known, can be relied on, are trusted with each
    other's affections, property and person, such union can not be
    formed, how shall it be constructed among strangers, or
    doubtful, or untried characters? The pressing necessities in
    isolated families, the great advantages in even the smallest
    union, are obvious to all, not least to the country families in
    this land; yet they unite not, but out of every pair of
    affectionate hearts they construct a new roof-tree, a new
    hearth-stone, at which they worship as at their exclusive altar.

    "Is there some secret leaven in this conjugal mixture, which
    declares all other union to be out of the possible affinities?
    Is this mixture of male and female so very potent, as to hinder
    universal or even general union? Surely it can not happen, in
    all those numerous instances wherein re-unions of families would
    obviously work so advantageously for all parties, that there are
    qualities of mind so foreign and opposed, that no one could
    beneficially be consummated. Or is it certain, that in these
    natural affections and their consequences in living offspring,
    there is an element so subversive of general Association that
    the two can not co-exist? The facts seem to maintain such a
    hypothesis. History has not yet furnished one instance of
    combined individual and universal life. Prophecy holds not very
    strong or clear language on the point. Plato scarcely fancied
    the possible union of the two affections; the religious
    Associations of past or present times have not attempted it; and
    Fourier, the most sanguine of all futurists, does not deliver
    very succinct or decisive oracles on the subject.

    "Can we make any approximation to axiomatical truth for
    ourselves? May we not say that it is no more possible for the
    human affections to flow at once in two opposite directions,
    than it is for a stream of water to do so? A divided heart is an
    impossibility. We must either serve the universal (God), or the
    individual (Mammon). Both we can not serve. Now, marriage, as at
    present constituted, is most decidedly an individual, and not a
    universal act. It is an individual act, too, of a depreciated
    and selfish kind. The spouse is an expansion and enlargement of
    one's self, and the children participate of the same nature. The
    all-absorbent influence of this union is too obvious to be dwelt
    upon. It is used to justify every glaring and cruel act of
    selfish acquisition. It is made the ground-work of the
    institution of property, which is itself the foundation of so
    many evils. This institution of property and its numerous
    auxiliaries must be abrogated in associative life, or it will be
    little better than isolated life. But it can not, it will not be
    repealed, so long as marital unions are indulged in; for, up to
    this very hour, we are celebrating the act as the most sacred on
    earth, and what is called providing for the family, as the most
    onerous and holy duty.

    "The lips of the purest living advocates of human improvement,
    Pestalozzi, J.P. Greaves and others, are scarcely silent from
    the most strenuous appeals to mothers, to develop in their
    offspring the germs of all truth, as the highest resource for
    the regeneration of our race; and we are now turning round upon
    them and declaring, that naught but a deeper development of
    mortal selfishness can result from such a course. At least such
    seems to be a consequence of the present argument. Yet, if it be
    true, we must face it. This is at least an inquiry which must be
    answered. It is certain, indeed, that if there be a source of
    truth in the human soul, deeper than all selfishness, it may be
    consciously opened by appeals which shall enforce their way
    beneath the human selfishness which is superincumbent on the
    divine origin. Then we may possibly be at work on that ground
    whereon universal Association can be based. But must not,
    therefore, individual (or dual) union cease? Here is our
    predicament. It haunts us at every turn; as the poets represent
    the disturbed wanderings of a departed spirit. And
    reconciliation of the two is not yet so clearly revealed to the
    faithful soul, as the headlong indulgence is practiced by the
    selfish. It is an axiom that new results can only be arrived at
    by action on new principles, or in new modes. The old principle
    and mode of isolated families has not led to happy results. This
    is a fact admitted on all hands. Let us then try what the
    consociate, or universal family will produce. But, then, let us
    not seduce ourselves by vain hopes. Let us not fail to see, that
    to this end the individual selfishness, or, if so they must be
    called, the holy gratifications of human nature, must be
    sacrificed and subdued. As has been affirmed above, the two can
    not be maintained together. We must either cling to heaven, or
    abide on earth; we must adhere to the divine, or indulge in the
    human attractions. We must either be wedded to God or to our
    fellow humanity. To speak in academical language, the
    conjunction in this case is the disjunctive 'or,' not the
    copulative 'and.' Both these marriages, that is, of the soul
    with God, and of soul with soul, can not exist together. It
    remains, therefore, for us, for the youthful spirit of the
    present, for the faithfully intelligent and determinedly true,
    to say which of the two marriages they will entertain."

In consummation of their union with Fourierism, the Brook Farmers
formed and published a new constitution, confessing in its preamble
their conversion, and offering themselves to Socialists at large as a
nucleus for a model Phalanx. They say:

    "The Association at Brook Farm has now been in existence upwards
    of two years. Originating in the thought and experience of a
    few individuals, it has hitherto worn, for the most part, the
    character of a private experiment, and has avoided rather than
    sought the notice of the public. It has, until the present time,
    seemed fittest to those engaged in this enterprise to publish no
    statements of their purposes or methods, to make no promises or
    declarations, but quietly and sincerely to realize as far as
    might be possible, the great ideas which gave the central
    impulse to their movement. It has been thought that a steady
    endeavor to embody these ideas more and more perfectly in life,
    would give the best answer, both to the hopes of the friendly
    and the cavils of the skeptical, and furnish in its results the
    surest grounds for any larger efforts.

    "Meanwhile every step has strengthened the faith with which we
    set out; our belief in a divine order of human society, has in
    our own minds become an absolute certainty; and considering the
    present state of humanity and of social science, we do not
    hesitate to affirm that the world is much nearer the attainment
    of such a condition than is generally supposed. The deep
    interest in the doctrine of Association which now fills the
    minds of intelligent persons every where, indicates plainly that
    the time has passed when even initiative movements ought to be
    prosecuted in silence, and makes it imperative on all who have
    either a theoretical or practical knowledge of the subject, to
    give their share to the stock of public information.

    "Accordingly we have taken occasion at several public meetings
    recently held in Boston, to state some of the results of our
    studies and experience, and we desire here to say emphatically,
    that while on the one hand we yield an unqualified assent to
    that doctrine of universal unity which Fourier teaches, so on
    the other, our whole observation has shown us the truth of the
    practical arrangements which he deduces therefrom. The law of
    groups and series is, as we are convinced, the law of human
    nature, and when men are in true social relations their
    industrial organization will necessarily assume those forms.

    "But beside the demand for information respecting the principles
    of Association, there is a deeper call for action in the matter.
    We wish, therefore, to bring Brook Farm before the public, as a
    location offering at least as great advantages for a thorough
    experiment as can be found in the vicinity of Boston. It is
    situated in West Roxbury, three miles from the depot of the
    Dedham Branch Railroad, and about eight miles from Boston, and
    combines a convenient nearness to the city, with a degree of
    retirement and freedom from unfavorable influences, unusual even
    in the country. The place is one of great natural beauty, and
    indeed the whole landscape is so rich and various as to attract
    the notice even of casual visitors. The farm now owned by the
    Association contains two hundred and eight acres, of as good
    quality as any land in the neighborhood of Boston, and can be
    enlarged by the purchase of land adjoining, to any necessary
    extent. The property now in the hands of the Association is
    worth nearly or quite thirty thousand dollars, of which about
    twenty-two thousand dollars is invested either in the stock of
    the company, or in permanent loans at six per cent., which can
    remain as long as the Association may wish.

    "The fact that so large an amount of capital is already invested
    and at our service, as the basis of more extensive operations,
    furnishes a reason why Brook Farm should be chosen as the scene
    of that practical trial of Association which the public feeling
    calls for in this immediate vicinity, instead of forming an
    entirely new organization for that purpose. The completeness of
    our educational department is also not to be overlooked. This
    has hitherto received our greatest care, and in forming it we
    have been particularly successful. In any new Association it
    must be many years before so many accomplished and skillful
    teachers in the various branches of intellectual culture could
    be enlisted. Another strong reason is to be found in the degree
    of order our organization has already attained, by the help of
    which a large Association might be formed without the losses and
    inconveniences which would otherwise necessarily occur. The
    experience of nearly three years in all the misfortunes and
    mistakes incident to an undertaking so new and so little
    understood, carried on throughout by persons not entirely fitted
    for the duties they have been compelled to perform, has, we
    think, prepared us to assist in the safe conduct of an extensive
    and complete Association.

    "Such an institution, as will be plain to all, can not by any
    sure means be brought at once and full-grown into existence. It
    must, at least in the present state of society, begin with a
    comparatively small number of select and devoted persons, and
    increase by natural and gradual aggregations. With a view to an
    ultimate expansion into a perfect Phalanx, we desire to organize
    immediately the three primary departments of labor, agriculture,
    domestic industry and the mechanic arts. For this purpose
    additional capital will be needed, etc.

    "_Brook Farm, January 18, 1844._"

Here follows the usual appeal for co-operation and investments. In
October following a second edition of this constitution was issued, in
the preamble of which the officers say:

    "The friends of the cause will be gratified to learn, that the
    appeal in behalf of Brook Farm, contained in the introductory
    statement of our constitution, has been generously answered, and
    that the situation of the Association is highly encouraging. In
    the half-year that has elapsed, our numbers have been increased
    by the addition of many skillful and enthusiastic laborers in
    various departments, and our capital has been enlarged by the
    subscription of about ten thousand dollars. Our organization has
    acquired a more systematic form, though with our comparatively
    small numbers we can only approximate to truly scientific
    arrangements. Still with the unavoidable deficiencies of our
    groups and series, their action is remarkable, and fully
    justifies our anticipations of great results from applying the
    principles of universal order to industry.

    "We have made considerable agricultural improvements; we have
    erected a work-shop sixty feet by twenty-eight for mechanics of
    several trades, some of which are already in operation; and we
    are now engaged in building a section one hundred and
    seventy-five feet by forty, of a Phalanstery or unitary
    dwelling. Our first object is to collect those who, from their
    character and convictions, are qualified to aid in the
    experiment we are engaged in, and to furnish them with
    convenient and comfortable habitations, at the smallest possible
    outlay. For this purpose the most careful economy is used,
    though we are yet able to attain many of the peculiar
    advantages of the Associated household. Still for transitional
    society, and for comparatively temporary use, a social edifice
    can not be made free from the defects of civilized architecture.
    When our Phalanx has become sufficiently large, and has in some
    measure accomplished its great purposes, the serial organization
    of labor and unitary education, we shall have it in our power to
    build a Phalanstery with the magnificence and permanence proper
    to such a structure."

Whereupon the appeal for help is repeated. Finally, in May 1845 this
new constitution was published in the _Phalanx_, with a new preamble.
In the previous editions the society had been styled the "Brook Farm
Association for Education and Industry;" but in this issue, Article 1
Section 1 declares that "the name of this Association shall be The
Brook Farm Phalanx." We quote a few paragraphs from the preamble:

    "At the last session of the legislature of Massachusetts, our
    Association was incorporated under the name which it now
    assumes, with the right to hold real estate to the amount of one
    hundred thousand dollars. This confers upon us all the usual
    powers and privileges of chartered companies.

    "Nothing is now necessary to the greatest possible measure of
    success, but capital to furnish sufficient means to enable us to
    develop every department to advantage. This capital we can now
    apply profitably and without danger of loss. We are well aware
    that there must be risk in investing money in an infant
    Association, as well as in any other untried business; but with
    the labors of nearly four years we have arrived at a point where
    this risk hardly exists.

    "By that increasing number whose most ardent desire is to see
    the experiment of Association fairly tried, we are confident
    that the appeal we now make will not be received without the
    most generous response in their power. As far as their means and
    their utmost exertions can go, they will not suffer so favorable
    an opportunity for the realization of their fondest hopes to
    pass unimproved. Nor do we call upon Americans alone, but upon
    all persons of whatever nation, to whom the doctrines of
    universal unity have revealed the destiny of man. Especially to
    those noble men who in Europe have so long and so faithfully
    labored for the diffusion and propagation of these doctrines, we
    address what to them will be an occasion of the highest joy, an
    appeal for fraternal co-operation in behalf of their
    realization. We announce to them the dawning of that day for
    which they have so hopefully and so bravely waited, the
    upspringing of those seeds that they and their compeers have
    sown. To them it will seem no exaggeration to say that we, their
    younger brethren, invite their assistance in a movement which,
    however humble it may superficially appear, is the grandest both
    in its essential character and its consequences, that can now be
    proposed to man; a movement whose purpose is the elevation of
    humanity to its integral rights, and whose results will be the
    establishment of happiness and peace among the nations of the

                      "By order of the Central Council,
                                     "GEORGE RIPLEY, _President_.

    "_West Roxbury, May 20, 1845._"



Brook Farm having attained the dignity of incorporation and assumed
the title of Phalanx, was ready to undertake the enterprise of
propagating Fourierism. Accordingly, in the same number of the
_Phalanx_ that published the appeal recited at the close of our last
chapter, appeared the prospectus of a new paper to be called the
_Harbinger_, with the following editorial notice:

    "Our subscribers will see by the prospectus that the name of the
    _Phalanx_ is to be changed for that of the _Harbinger_, and that
    the paper is to be printed in future by the Brook Farm Phalanx."

From this time the main function of Brook Farm was propagandism. It
published the _Harbinger_ weekly, with a zeal and ability of which our
readers have seen plenty of specimens. It also instituted a missionary
society and a lecturing system, of which we will now give some

New York had hitherto been the head-quarters of Fourierism. Brisbane,
Greeley and Godwin, the primary men of the cause, lived and published
there; the _Phalanx_ was issued there; the National Conventions had
been held there; and there was the seat of the Executive Committee
that made several abortive attempts to institute a confederation of
Associations and a national organization of Socialists. But after the
conversion of Brook Farm, the center of operations was removed from
New York to Massachusetts. As the _Harbinger_ succeeded to the
subscription-list and propagandism of the _Phalanx_, so a new National
Union of Socialists, having its head-quarters nominally at Boston, but
really at Brook Farm, took the place of the old New York Conventions.
Of this organization, William H. Channing was the chief-engineer; and
his zeal and eloquence in that capacity for a short time, well
entitled him to the honors of the chief Apostle of Fourierism. In fact
he succeeded to the post of Brisbane. This will be seen in the
following selections from the _Harbinger_:

    [From William H. Channing's Appeal to Associationists.]


    "Your prompt and earnest co-operation is requested in fulfilling
    the design of a society organized May 27, 1846, at Boston,
    Massachusetts, by a general convention of the friends of
    Association. This design may be learned from the following
    extracts from its constitution:

    "'I. The name of this society shall be the American Union of

    "'II. Its purpose shall be the establishment of an order of
    society based on a system of joint-stock property; co-operative
    labor; association of families; equitable distribution of
    profits; mutual guarantees; honors according to usefulness;
    integral education; unity of interests: which system we believe
    to be in accord with the laws of divine providence and the
    destiny of man.

    "'III. Its method of operation shall be the appointment of
    agents, the sending out of lecturers, the issuing of
    publications, and the formation of a series of affiliated
    societies which shall be auxiliary to the parent society; in
    holding meetings, collecting funds, and in every way diffusing
    the principles of Association: and preparing for their practical
    application, etc.'

    "We have a solemn and glorious work before us: 1, To
    indoctrinate the whole people of the United States with the
    principles of associative unity; 2, To prepare for the time when
    the nation, like one man, shall re-organize its townships upon
    the basis of perfect justice.

    "A nobler opportunity was certainly never opened to men, than
    that which here and now welcomes Associationists. To us has been
    given the very word which this people needs as a guide in its
    onward destiny. This is a Christian Nation; and Association
    shows how human societies may be so organized in devout
    obedience to the will of God, as to become true brotherhoods,
    where the command of universal love may be fulfilled indeed.
    Thus it meets the present wants of Christians; who, sick of
    sectarian feuds and theological controversies, shocked at the
    inconsistencies which disgrace the religious world, at the
    selfishness, ostentation, and caste which pervade even our
    worshiping assemblies, at the indifference of man to the claims
    of his fellow-man throughout our communities in country and
    city, at the tolerance of monstrous inhumanities by professed
    ministers and disciples of him whose life was love, are longing
    for churches which may be really houses of God, glorified with
    an indwelling spirit of holiness, and filled to overflowing with
    heavenly charity.

    "Brethren! Can men engaged in so holy and humane a cause as
    this, which fulfills the good and destroys the evil in existing
    society throughout our age and nation, which teaches unlimited
    trust in Divine love, and commands perfect obedience to the laws
    of Divine order among all people, which heralds the near advent
    of the reign of heaven on earth--be timid, indifferent,
    sluggish? Abiding shame will rest upon us, if we put not forth
    our highest energies in fulfillment of the present command of
    Providence. Let us be up and doing with all our might.

    "The measures which you are now requested at once and
    energetically to carry out, are the three following: 1, Organize
    affiliated societies to act in concert with the American Union
    of Associationists; 2, Circulate the _Harbinger_ and other
    papers devoted to Association; 3, Collect funds for the purpose
    of defraying the expenses of lectures and tracts. It is proposed
    in the autumn and winter to send out lecturers, in bands and
    singly, as widely as possible.

    "Our white flag is given to the breeze. Our threefold motto,

    "Unity of man with man in true society,

    "Unity of man with God in true religion,

    "Unity of man with nature in creative art and industry,

    "Is blazoned on its folds. Let hearts, strong in the might of
    faith and hope and charity, rally to bear it on in triumph. We
    are sure to conquer. God will work with us; humanity will
    welcome our word of glad tidings. The future is ours. On! in the
    name of the Lord.

                                     WILLIAM HENRY CHANNING,
                  "_Cor. Sec. of the Am. Un. of Associationists._

    "_Brook Farm, June 6, 1846._"

In connection with this appeal, an editorial announced

    _The Mission of Charles A. Dana._

    "The operations of the 'American Union,' will be commenced
    without delay. Mr. Dana will shortly make a tour through the
    State of New York as its agent. He will lecture in the principal
    towns, and take every means to diffuse a knowledge of the
    principles of Association. Our friends are requested to use
    their best exertions to prepare for his labors, and give
    efficiency to them."

A meeting of the American Union of Associationists is reported in the
_Harbinger_ of June 27, at which all the speakers except Mr. Brisbane,
were Brook Farmers. The session continued two days, and William H.
Channing made the closing and electric speeches for both days. The
editor says:

    "Mr. Channing closed the first day in a speech of the loftiest
    and purest eloquence, in which he declared the great problem and
    movement of this day to be that of realizing a unitary church;
    showed how utterly unchristian is every thing now calling itself
    a church, and how impossible the solution of this problem, so
    long as industry tends only to isolate those who would be
    Christians, and to make them selfish; and ended with announcing
    the life-long pledge into which the believers in associative
    unity in this country have entered, that they will not rest nor
    turn back until the mind of this whole nation is made to see and
    own the truth which there is in their doctrines. The effect upon
    all present was electric, and the resolution to adjourn to the
    next evening, was a resolution to commence then in earnest a
    great work."

After mentioning many good things said and done on the second day, the
editor says:

    "It was understood that the whole would be brought to a head and
    the main and practical business of the meeting set forth by Mr.
    Channing. His appeal, alike to friends and to opposers of the
    cause, will dwell like a remembered inspiration in all our
    minds. It spoke directly to the deepest religious sentiment in
    every one, and awakened in each a consciousness of a new energy.
    All the poetic wealth and imagery of the speaker's mind seemed
    melted over into the speech, as if he would pour out all his
    life to carry conviction into the hearts of others. He seemed an
    illustration of a splendid figure which he used, to show the
    present crisis in this cause. 'It was,' said he, 'nobly,
    powerfully begun in this country; but, there has been a pause in
    our movement. When Benvenuto Cellini was casting his great
    statue, wearied and exhausted he fell asleep. He was roused by
    the cries of the workmen; Master, come quick, the fires have
    gone down, and the metal has caked in the running! He hesitated
    not a moment, but rushed into the palace, seized all the gold
    and silver vessels, money, ornaments, which he could find, and
    poured them into the furnace; and whatever he could lay hands on
    that was combustible, he took to renew the fire. We must begin
    anew, said he. And the flames roared, and the metal began to
    run, and the Jupiter came out in complete majesty. Just so our
    greater work has caked in the running. We have been luke-warm;
    we have slept. But shall not we throw in all our gold and
    silver, and throw in ourselves too, since our work is to produce
    not a mere statue, but a harmonious life of man made perfect in
    the image of God? Who ever had such motive for action? The
    Crusaders, on their knees and upon the hilts of their swords,
    which formed a cross, daily dedicated their lives and their all
    to the pious resolution of re-conquering the sepulcher in which
    the dead Lord was laid. But ours is the calling, not to conquer
    the sepulcher of the dead Lord, but to conquer the world, and
    bring it in subjection to truth, love and beauty, that the
    living Christ may at length return and enter upon his Kingdom of
    Heaven on the earth.'

    "We by no means intend this as a report of Mr. Channing's
    speech. To reproduce it at all would be impossible. We only tell
    such few things as we easily remember. He closed with requesting
    all who had signed the constitution, or who were ready to
    co-operate with the American Union, to remain at a business

    "The hour was late and the business was made short. The plans of
    the executive committee were stated and approved. These were, 1,
    to send out lecturers; a beginning having been already made in
    the appointment of Mr. Charles A. Dana as an agent of the
    society, to proceed this summer upon a lecturing tour through
    New York, Western Pennsylvania and Ohio; 2, to support the
    _Harbinger_; and 3, to publish tracts."

This report is followed by another stirring appeal from the Secretary,
of which the following is the substance:

    "ACTION!--Fellow Associationists, Brethren, Sisters, each and
    all! You are hereby once again earnestly entreated, in the name
    of our cause of universal unity, at once to co-operate
    energetically in carrying out the proposed plans of the American

    "1. Form societies. 2. Circulate the _Harbinger_. 3. Raise
    funds. We wish to find one hundred persons in the United States,
    who will subscribe $100 a year for three years, in permanently
    establishing the work of propagation; or two hundred persons who
    will subscribe $50. Do you know any persons in your neighborhood
    who will for one year, three years, five years, contribute for
    this end? Be instant, friends, in season and out of season, in
    raising a permanent fund, and an immediate fund. This whole
    nation must hear our gospel of glad tidings. Will you not aid?

                                            "WILLIAM H. CHANNING.
                 "_Cor. Sec. of the Am. Un. of Associationists._"

How far Mr. Dana fulfilled the missionary programme assigned to him,
we have not been able to discover. But we find that the two most
conspicuous lecturers sent abroad by the American Union were Messrs
John Allen and John Orvis. These gentlemen made two or three tours
through the northern part of New England; and in the fall of 1847 they
were lecturing or trying to lecture in Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, and
other parts of the state of New York, as we mentioned in our account
of the Skaneateles and Sodus Bay Associations. But the harvest of
Fourierism was past, and they complained sorely of the neglect they
met with, in consequence of the bad odor of the defunct Associations.
This is the last we hear of them. The American Union continued to
advertise itself in the _Harbinger_ till that paper disappeared in
February 1849; but its doings after 1846 seem to have been limited to
anniversary meetings.



Our history of the career of Brook Farm in its final function of
public teacher and propagandist, would not be complete without some
account of its agency in the great Swedenborgian revival of modern

In a series of articles published in the Oneida _Circular_ a year or
two ago, under the title of _Swedenborgiana_, the author of this
history said:

    "The foremost and brightest of the Associations that rose in the
    Fourier excitement, was that at Brook Farm. The leaders were men
    whose names are now high in literature and politics. Ripley,
    Dana, Channing, Dwight and Hawthorne, are specimens of the list.
    Most of them were from the Unitarian school, whose head-quarters
    are at Boston and Cambridge. The movement really issued as much
    from transcendental Unitarianism as from Fourierism. It was
    religious, literary and artistic, as well as social. It had a
    press, and at one time undertook propagandism by missionaries
    and lectures. Its periodical, the _Harbinger_, was ably
    conducted, and very charming to all enthusiasts of progress. Our
    Putney school, which had not then reached Communism, was among
    the admirers of this periodical, and undoubtedly took an impulse
    from its teachings. The Brook Farm Association, as the leader
    and speaker of the hundred others that rose with it, certainly
    contributed most largely to the effect of the general movement
    begun by Brisbane and Greeley. But the remarkable fact, for the
    sake of which I am calling special attention to it, is, that in
    its didactic function, it brought upon the public mind, not only
    a new socialism but a new religion, and that religion was

    "The proof of this can be found by any one who has access to the
    files of the _Harbinger_. I could give many pages of extracts in
    point. The simple truth is that Brook Farm and the _Harbinger_
    meant to propagate Fourierism, but succeeded only in propagating
    Swedenborgianism. The Associations that arose with them and
    under their influence, passed away within a few years, without
    exception; but the surge of Swedenborgianism which they started,
    swept on among their constituents, and, under the form of
    Spiritualism, is sweeping on to this day.

    "Swedenborgianism went deeper into the hearts of the people than
    the Socialism that introduced it, because it was a _religion_.
    The Bible and revivals had made men hungry for something more
    than social reconstruction. Swedenborg's offer of a new heaven
    as well as a new earth, met the demand magnificently. He suited
    all sorts. The scientific were charmed, because he was primarily
    a son of science, and seemed to reduce the universe to
    scientific order. The mystics were charmed, because he led them
    boldly into all the mysteries of intuition and invisible worlds.
    The Unitarians liked him, because, while he declared Christ to
    be Jehovah himself, he displaced the orthodox ideas of Sonship
    and tri-personality, and evidently meant only that Christ was
    an illusive representation of the Father. Even the infidels
    liked him, because he discarded about half the Bible, including
    all Paul's writings, as 'not belonging to the Word,' and made
    the rest a mere 'nose of wax' by means of his doctrine of the
    'internal sense.' His vast imaginations and magnificent promises
    chimed in exactly with the spirit of the accompanying
    Socialisms. Fourierism was too bald a materialism to suit the
    higher classes of its disciples, without a religion
    corresponding. Swedenborgianism was a godsend to the enthusiasts
    of Brook Farm; and they made it the complement of Fourierism.

    "Swedenborg's writings had long been circulating feebly in this
    country, and he had sporadic disciples and even churches in our
    cities, before the new era of Socialism. But any thing like a
    general interest in his writings had never been known, till
    about the period when Brook Farm and the _Harbinger_ were in the
    ascendant. Here began a movement of the public mind toward
    Swedenborg, as palpable and portentous as that of Millerism or
    the old revivals.

    "But Young America could not receive an old and foreign
    philosophy like Swedenborg's, without reacting upon it and
    adapting it to its new surroundings. The old afflatus must have
    a new medium. In 1845 the movement which commenced at Brook Farm
    was in full tide. In 1847 the great American Swedenborg, Andrew
    Jackson Davis, appeared, and Professor Bush gave him the right
    hand of fellowship, and introduced him into office as the medium
    and representative of the 'illustrious Swede,' while the
    _Harbinger_ rejoiced over them both.

    "Here I might show by chapter and verse from Davis's and Bush's
    writings, exactly how the conjunction between them took place;
    how Davis met Swedenborg's ghost in a graveyard near
    Poughkeepsie in 1844, and from him received a commission to help
    the 'inefficient' efforts of Christ to regulate mankind; how he
    had another interview with the same ghost in 1846, and was
    directed by him to open correspondence with Bush; how Bush took
    him under his patronage, watched and studied him for months, and
    finally published his conclusion that Davis was a true medium of
    Swedenborg, providentially raised up to confirm his divine
    mission and teachings; and finally, how Bush and Davis quarreled
    within a year, and mutually repudiated each other's doctrines;
    but I must leave details and hurry on to the end.

    "After 1847 Swedenborgianism proper subsided, and 'Modern
    Spiritualism' took its place. But the character of the two
    systems, as well as the history of their relations to each
    other, proves them to be identical in essence. Spiritualism is
    Swedenborgianism Americanized. Andrew Jackson Davis began as a
    medium of Swedenborg, receiving from him his commission and
    inspiration, and became an independent seer and revelator, only
    because, as a son, he outgrew his father. The omniscient
    philosophies which the two have issued are identical in their
    main ideas about intuition, love and wisdom, familiarity of the
    living with the dead, classification of ghostly spheres,
    astronomical theology, etc. Andrew Jackson Davis is more
    flippant and superficial than Swedenborg, and less respectful
    toward the Bible and the past, and in these respects he suits
    his customers."

We understand that some of the Brook Farmers think this view of the
Swedenborgian influence of Brook Farm and the _Harbinger_ is
exaggerated. It will be appropriate therefore now to set forth some of
the facts and teachings which led to this view.

The first notable statement of the essential dualism between
Swedenborg and Fourier that we find in the writings of the Socialists,
is in the last chapter of Parke Godwin's "_Popular View_," published
in the beginning of 1844, a standard work on Fourierism, second in
time and importance only to Brisbane's "_Concise Exposition_." Godwin

    "Thus far we have given Fourier's doctrine of Universal Analogy;
    but it is important to observe that he was not the first man of
    modern times who communicated this view. Emanuel Swedenborg,
    between whose revelations in the sphere of spiritual knowledge,
    and Fourier's discoveries in the sphere of science, there has
    been remarked the most exact and wonderful coïncidence, preceded
    him in the annunciation of the doctrine in many of its aspects,
    in what is termed the doctrine of correspondence. These two
    great minds, the greatest beyond all comparison in our later
    days, were the instruments of Providence in bringing to light
    the mysteries of His Word and Works, as they are comprehended
    and followed in the higher states of existence. It is no
    exaggeration, we think, to say, that they are the two
    commissioned by the Great Leader of the Christian Israel, to spy
    out the promised land of peace and blessedness.

    "But in the discovery and statement of the doctrine of Analogy,
    these authorities have not proceeded according to precisely the
    same methods. Fourier has arrived at it by strictly scientific
    synthesis, and Swedenborg by the study of the Scriptures aided
    by Divine illumination. What is the aspect in which Fourier
    views it we have shown; we shall next attempt to elucidate the
    peculiar development of Swedenborg."

From this Mr. Godwin goes on to show at length the parallelism between
the teachings of these "incomparable masters." It will be seen that he
intimates that thinkers and writers before him had taken the same
view. One of these, doubtless, was Hugh Doherty, an English
Fourierist, whose writings frequently occur in the _Phalanx_ and
_Harbinger_. A very long article from him, maintaining the identity of
Fourierism and Swedenborgianism, appeared in the _Phalanx_ of
September 7, 1844. The article itself is dated London, January 30,
1844. Among other things Mr. Doherty says:

    "I am a believer in the truths of the New Church, and have read
    nearly all the writings of Swedenborg, and I have no hesitation
    in saying that without Fourier's explanation of the laws of
    order in Scriptural interpretation, I should probably have
    doubted the truth of Swedenborg's illumination, from want of a
    ground to understand the nature of spiritual sight in
    contradistinction from natural sight; or if I had been able to
    conceive the opening of the spiritual sight, and credit
    Swedenborg's doctrines and affirmations, I should probably have
    understood them only in the same degree as most of the members
    of the New Church whom I have met in England, and that would
    seem to me, in my present state, a partial calamity of cecity. I
    say this in all humility and sincerity of conscience, with a
    view to future reference to Swedenborg himself in the spiritual
    world, and as a means of inducing the members of the New Church
    generally not to be content with a superficial or limited
    knowledge of their own doctrines."

In another passage Mr. Doherty claims to have been "a student of
Fourier fourteen years, and of Swedenborg two years."

In consequence partly of the new appreciation of Swedenborg that was
rising among the Fourierists, a movement commenced in England in 1845
for republishing the scientific works of "the illustrious Swede." An
Association for that purpose was formed, and several of Swedenborg's
bulkiest works were printed under the auspices of Wilkinson, Clissold
and others. This Wilkinson was also a considerable contributor to the
_Phalanx_ and _Harbinger_, as the reader will see by recurring to a
list in our chapter on the Personnel of Fourierism.

Following this movement, came the famous lecture of Ralph Waldo
Emerson on "_Swedenborg, the Mystic_," claiming for him a lofty
position as a scientific discoverer. That lecture was first published
in this country in a volume entitled, "_Representative Men_," in 1849;
but according to Mr. White (the biographer of Swedenborg), it was
delivered in England several times in 1847; and we judge from an
expression which we italicize in the following extract from it, that
it was written and perhaps delivered in this country in 1845 or 1846,
i.e. very soon after the republication movement in England:

    "The scientific works [of Swedenborg] have _just now_ been
    translated into English, in an excellent edition. Swedenborg
    printed these scientific books in the ten years from 1734 to
    1744, and they remained from that time neglected; and now, after
    their century is complete, he has at last found a pupil in Mr.
    Wilkinson, in London, a philosophic critic, with a coequal vigor
    of understanding and imagination comparable only to Lord
    Bacon's, who has produced his master's buried books to the day,
    and transferred them, with every advantage, from their forgotten
    Latin into English, to go round the world in our commercial and
    conquering tongue. This startling reäppearance of Swedenborg,
    after a hundred years, in his pupil, is not the least remarkable
    fact in his history. Aided, it is said, by the munificence of
    Mr. Clissold, and also by his literary skill, this piece of
    poetic justice is done. The admirable preliminary discourses
    with which Mr. Wilkinson has enriched these volumes, throw all
    the cotemporary philosophy of England into shade."

Emerson, it is true, was not a Brook Farmer; but he was the spiritual
fertilizer of all the Transcendentalists, including the Brook Farmers.
It is true also that in his lecture he severely criticised Swedenborg;
but this was his vocation: to judge and disparage all religious
teachers, especially seers and thaumaturgists. On the whole he gave
Swedenborg a lift, just as he helped the reputation of all "ethnic
Scriptures." His criticism of Swedenborg amounts to about this: "He
was a very great thinker and discoverer; but his visions and
theological teachings are humbugs; still they are as good as any
other, and rather better."

William H. Channing, another fertilizer of Brook Farm, was busy at the
same time with Emerson, in the work of calling attention to
Swedenborg. His conversions to Fourierism and Swedenborgianism seem to
have proceeded together. The last three numbers of the _Present_ are
loaded with articles extolling Swedenborg, and the editor only
complains of them that they "by no means do justice to the great
Swedish philosopher and seer." The very last article in the volume is
an item headed, "Fourier and Swedenborg," in which Mr. Charming says:

    "I have great pleasure in announcing another work upon Fourier
    and his system, from the pen of C.J. Hempel. This book is a very
    curious and interesting one, from the attempt of the author to
    show the identity or at least the extraordinary resemblance
    between the views of Fourier and Swedenborg. How far Mr. Hempel
    has been successful I cannot pretend to judge. But this may be
    safely said, no one can examine with any care the writings of
    these two wonderful students of Providence, man and the
    universe, without having most sublime visions of divine order
    opened upon him. Their doctrine of Correspondence and Universal
    Unity accords with all the profoundest thought of the age."

Such were the influences under which Brook Farm assumed its final task
of propagandism. Let us now see how far the coupling of Fourier and
Swedenborg was kept up in the _Harbinger_.

The motto of the paper, displayed under its title from first to last,
was selected from the writings of the Swedish seer. In the editors'
inaugural address they say:

    "In the words of the illustrious Swedenborg, which we have
    selected for the motto of the _Harbinger_, 'All things, at the
    present day, stand provided and prepared, and await the light.
    The ship is in the harbor; the sails are swelling; the east wind
    blows; let us weigh anchor, and put forth to sea.'"

In a glancing run through the five semi-annual volumes of the
_Harbinger_ we find between thirty and forty articles on Swedenborg
and Swedenborgian subjects, chiefly editorial reviews of books,
pamphlets, etc., with a considerable amount of correspondence from
Wilkinson, Doherty and other Swedenborgian Fourierists in England. The
burden of all these articles is the same, viz., the unity of
Swedenborgianism and Fourierism. On the one hand the Fourierists
insist that Swedenborg revealed the religion that Fourier anticipated;
and on the other the Swedenborgians insist that Fourier discovered the
divine arrangement of society that Swedenborg foreshadowed. The
reviews referred to were written chiefly by John S. Dwight and Charles
A. Dana.[B] We will give a few specimens of their utterances:

    [From Editorials by John S. Dwight.]

    *** "In religion we have Swedenborg; in social economy Fourier;
    in music Beethoven.

    *** "Swedenborg we reverence for the greatness and profundity of
    his thought. We study him continually for the light he sheds on
    so many problems of human destiny, and more especially for the
    remarkable correspondence, as of inner with outer, which his
    revelations present with the discoveries of Fourier concerning
    social organization, or the outward forms of life. The one is
    the great poet and high-priest, the other the great economist,
    as it were, of the harmonic order, which all things are

    *** "Call not our praises of Swedenborg 'hollow;' if he offered
    us ten times as much which we could not assent to, it would not
    detract in the least from our reverence for the man, or our
    great indebtedness to his profoundly spiritual insight.

    *** "Deeper foundations for science have not been touched by any
    sounding-line as yet, than these same philosophical principles
    of Swedenborg. Fourier has not gone deeper; but he has shed more
    light on these deep foundations, taken their measurement with a
    more bold precision, and reared a no insignificant portion of
    the everlasting superstructure. But in their ground they are
    both one. Taken together they are the highest expression of the
    tendency of human thought to universal unity."

    [From Editorials by Charles A. Dana.]

    *** "We recommend the writings of Swedenborg to our readers of
    all denominations, as we should recommend those of any other
    providential teacher. We believe that his mission is of the
    highest importance to the human family, and shall take every fit
    occasion to call the attention of the public to it.

    *** "No man of unsophisticated mind can read Swedenborg without
    feeling his life elevated into a higher plane, and his intellect
    excited into new and more reverent action on some of the
    sublimest questions which the human mind can approach. Whatever
    may be thought of the doctrines of Swedenborg or of his visions,
    the spirit which breathes from his works is pure and heavenly.

    *** "We do not hesitate to say that the publication and study of
    Swedenborg's scientific writings must produce a new era in human
    knowledge, and thus in society.

    *** "Though Swedenborg and Fourier differ in the character of
    their minds, and the immediate end of their studies, the method
    they adopted was fundamentally the same; their success is thus
    due, not to the vastness of their genius alone, but in a measure
    also to the instruments they employed. The logic of Fourier is
    imperfectly stated in his doctrine of the Series, of Universal
    Analogy, and of Attractions proportional to Destinies; that of
    Swedenborg in the incomplete and often very obscure and
    difficult expositions which appear here and there in his works,
    of the doctrine of Forms; of Order and Degrees; of Series and
    Society; of Influx; of Correspondence and Representation; and of
    Modification. This logic appears to have existed complete in the
    minds of neither of these great men; but even so much of it as
    they have communicated, puts into the hands of the student the
    most invaluable assistance, and attracts him to a path of
    thought in which the successful explorers will receive immortal
    honors from a grateful race.

    *** "The chief characteristic of this epoch is, its tendency,
    everywhere apparent, to unity in universality; and the men in
    whom this tendency is most fully expressed are Swedenborg,
    Fourier and Goethe. In these three eminent persons is summed up
    the great movement toward unity in universality, in religion,
    science and art, which comprise the whole domain of human
    activity. In speaking of Swedenborg as the teacher of this
    century in religion, some of the most obvious considerations
    are his northern origin, his peculiar education, etc.

    *** "We say without hesitation, that, excepting the writings of
    Fourier, no scientific publications of the last fifty years are
    to be compared with [the Wilkinson edition of Swedenborg] in
    importance. To the student of philosophy, to the savan, and to
    the votary of social science, they are alike invaluable, almost
    indispensable. Whether we are inquiring for truth in the
    abstract, or looking beyond the aimlessness and contradictions
    of modern experimentalism in search of the guiding light of
    universal principles, or giving our constant thought to the laws
    of Divine Social Order, and the re-integration of the Collective
    Man, we can not spare the aid of this loving and beloved sage.
    His was a grand genius, nobly disciplined. In him, a devotion to
    truth almost awful, was tempered by an equal love of humanity
    and a supreme reverence for God. To his mind, the order of the
    universe and the play of its powers were never the objects of
    idle curiosity or of cold speculation. He entered into the
    retreats of nature and the occult abode of the soul, as the
    minister of humanity, and not as a curious explorer eager to add
    to his own store of wonders or to exercise his faculties in
    those difficult regions. No man had ever such sincerity, such
    absolute freedom from intellectual selfishness as he."

The reader, we trust, will take our word for it, that there is a very
large amount of this sort of teaching in the volumes of the
_Harbinger_. Even Mr. Ripley himself wielded a vigorous cudgel on
behalf of Swedenborg against certain orthodox critics, and held the
usual language of his socialistic brethren about the "sublime visions
of the illustrious Swedish seer," his "bold poetic revelations," his
"profound, living, electric principles," the "piercing truth of his
productions," etc. Vide _Harbinger_, Vol. 3, p. 317.

On these and such evidences we came to the conclusion that the Brook
Farmers, while they disclaimed for Fourierism all sectarian
connections, did actually couple it with Swedenborgianism in their
propagative labors; and as Fourierism soon failed and passed away, it
turned out that their lasting work was the promulgation of
Swedenborgianism; which certainly has had a great run in this country
ever since. It would not perhaps be fair to call Fourierism, as taught
by the _Harbinger_ writers, the stalking-horse of Swedenborgianism;
but it is not too much to say that their Fourierism, if it had lived,
would have had Swedenborgianism for its state-religion. This view
agrees with the fact that the only sectarian Association, avowed and
tolerated in the Fourier epoch, was the Swedenborgian Phalanx at

The entire historical sequence which seems to be established by the
facts now before us, may be stated thus: Unitarianism produced
Transcendentalism; Transcendentalism produced Brook Farm; Brook Farm
married and propagated Fourierism; Fourierism had Swedenborgianism for
its religion; and Swedenborgianism led the way to Modern Spiritualism.


[B] Henry James also wrote many articles for the _Harbinger_ in the
interest of Swedenborg. His subsequent career as a promulgator of the
Swedenborgian philosophy, in which he has even scaled the heights of the
_North American Review_, is well known; but perhaps it is not so well
known that he commenced that career in the _Harbinger_. He has continued
faithful to both Swedenborg and Fourier, to the present time.



It only remains to tell what we know of the causes that brought the
Brook Farm Phalanx to its end.

Within a year from the time when it assumed the task of propagating
Fourierism, i.e. on the 3d of March, 1846, a disastrous fire
prostrated the energies and hopes of the Association. We copy from the
_Harbinger_ (March 14) the entire article reporting it:

    "FIRE AT BROOK FARM.--Our readers have no doubt been informed
    before this, of the severe calamity with which the Brook Farm
    Association has been visited, by the destruction of the large
    unitary edifice which it has been for some time erecting on its
    domain. Just as our last paper was going through the press, on
    Tuesday evening the 3d inst., the alarm of fire was given at
    about a quarter before nine, and it was found to proceed from
    the 'Phalanstery;' in a few minutes the flames were bursting
    through the doors and windows of the second story; the fire
    spread with almost incredible rapidity throughout the building;
    and in about an hour and a-half the whole edifice was burned to
    the ground. The members of the Association were on the spot in a
    few moments, and made some attempts to save a quantity of lumber
    that was in the basement story; but so rapid was the progress
    of the fire, that this was found to be impossible, and they
    succeeded only in rescuing a couple of tool-chests that had been
    in use by the carpenters.

    "The neighboring dwelling-house called the 'Eyry,' was in
    imminent danger while the fire was at its height, and nothing
    but the stillness of the night, and the vigilance and activity
    of those who were stationed on its roof, preserved it from
    destruction. The vigorous efforts of our nearest neighbors, Mr.
    T.J. Orange, and Messrs. Thomas and George Palmer, were of great
    service in protecting this building, as a part of our force were
    engaged in another direction, watching the work-shop, barn, and
    principal dwelling-house.

    "In a short time our neighbors from the village of West Roxbury,
    a mile and a-half distant, arrived in great numbers with their
    engine, which together with the engines from Jamaica Plain,
    Newton, and Brookline, rendered valuable assistance in subduing
    the flaming ruins, although it was impossible to check the
    progress of the fire, until the building was completely
    destroyed. We are under the deepest obligations to the fire
    companies which came, some of them five or six miles, through
    deep snow on cross roads, and did every thing in the power of
    skill or energy, to preserve our other buildings from ruin. Many
    of the engines from Boston came four or five miles from the
    city, but finding the fire going down, returned without reaching
    the spot. The engines from Dedham, we understand, made an
    unsuccessful attempt to come to our aid, but were obliged to
    turn back on account of the condition of the roads. No efforts,
    however, would have probably been successful in arresting the
    progress of the flames. The building was divided into nearly a
    hundred rooms in the upper stories, most of which had been
    lathed for several months, without plaster, and being almost as
    dry as tinder, the fire flashed through them with terrific

    "There had been no work performed on this building during the
    winter months, and arrangements had just been made to complete
    four out of the fourteen distinct suites of apartments into
    which it was divided, by the first of May. It was hoped that the
    remainder would be finished during the summer, and that by the
    first of October, the edifice would be prepared for the
    reception of a hundred and fifty persons, with ample
    accommodations for families, and spacious and convenient public
    halls and saloons. A portion of the second story had been set
    apart for a church or chapel, which was to be finished, in a
    style of simplicity and elegance, by private subscription, and
    in which it was expected that religious services would be
    performed by our friend William H. Channing, whose presence with
    us, until obliged to retire on account of ill health, has been a
    source of unmingled satisfaction and benefit.

    "On the Saturday previous to the fire, a stove was put in the
    basement story for the accommodation of the carpenters, who were
    to work on the inside; a fire was kindled in it on Tuesday
    morning which burned till four o'clock in the afternoon; at half
    past eight in the evening, the building was visited by the
    night-watch, who found every thing apparently safe; and at a
    quarter before nine, a faint light was discovered in the second
    story, which was supposed at first to have proceeded from the
    lamp, but, on entering to ascertain the fact, the smoke at once
    showed that the interior was on fire. The alarm was immediately
    given, but almost before the people had time to assemble, the
    whole edifice was wrapped in flames. From a defect in the
    construction of the chimney, a spark from the stove-pipe had
    probably communicated with the surrounding wood-work; and from
    the combustible nature of the materials, the flames spread with
    a celerity that made every effort to arrest their violence
    without effect.

    "This edifice was commenced in the summer of 1844, and has been
    in progress from that time until November last, when the work
    was suspended for the winter, and resumed, as before stated, on
    the day in which it was consumed. It was built of wood, one
    hundred and seventy-five feet long, three stories high, with
    attics divided into pleasant and convenient rooms for single
    persons. The second and third stories were divided into fourteen
    houses independent of each other, with a parlor and three
    sleeping-rooms in each, connected by piazzas which ran the whole
    length of the building on both stories. The basement contained a
    large and commodious kitchen, a dining-hall capable of seating
    from three to four hundred persons, two public saloons, and a
    spacious hall or lecture-room. Although by no means a model for
    the Phalanstery or unitary edifice of a Phalanx, it was well
    adapted for our purposes at present, situated on a delightful
    eminence, which commanded a most extensive and picturesque view,
    and affording accommodations and conveniences in the combined
    order, which in many respects would gratify even a fastidious
    taste. The actual expenditure upon the building, including the
    labor performed by the Association, amounted to about $7,000;
    and $3,000 more, it was estimated, would be sufficient for its
    completion. As it was not yet in use by the Association, and
    until the day of its destruction, not exposed to fire, no
    insurance had been effected. It was built by investments in our
    loan-stock, and the loss falls upon the holders of
    partnership-stock and the members of the Association.

    "It is some alleviation of the great calamity which we have
    sustained, that it came upon us at this time rather than at a
    later period. The house was not endeared to us by any grateful
    recollections; the tender and hallowed associations of home had
    not yet begun to cluster around it; and although we looked upon
    it with joy and hope, as destined to occupy an important sphere
    in the social movement to which it was consecrated, its
    destruction does not rend asunder those sacred ties which bind
    us to the dwellings that have thus far been the scene of our
    toils and of our satisfactions. We could not part with either of
    the houses in which we have lived at Brook Farm, without a
    sadness like that which we should feel at the departure of a
    bosom friend. The destruction of our edifice makes no essential
    change in our pursuits. It leaves no family destitute of a home;
    it disturbs no domestic arrangements; it puts us to no immediate
    inconvenience. The morning after the disaster, if a stranger had
    not seen the smoking pile of ruins, he would not have suspected
    that any thing extraordinary had taken place. Our schools were
    attended as usual; our industry in full operation; and not a
    look or expression of despondency could have been perceived. The
    calamity is felt to be great; we do not attempt to conceal from
    ourselves its consequences: but it has been met with a calmness
    and high trust, which gives us a new proof of the power of
    associated life to quicken the best elements of character, and
    to prepare men for every emergency.

    "We shall be pardoned for entering into these almost personal
    details, for we know that the numerous friends of Association in
    every part of our land, will feel our misfortune as if it were a
    private grief of their own. We have received nothing but
    expressions of the most generous sympathy from every quarter,
    even from those who might be supposed to take the least interest
    in our purposes; and we are sure that our friends in the cause
    of social unity will share with us the affliction that has
    visited a branch of their own fraternity.

    "We have no wish to keep out of sight the magnitude of our loss.
    In our present infant state, it is a severe trial of our
    strength. We can not now calculate its ultimate effect. It may
    prove more than we are able to bear; or like other previous
    calamities, it may serve to bind us more closely to each other,
    and to the holy cause to which we are devoted. We await the
    result with calm hope, sustained by our faith in the universal
    Providence, whose social laws we have endeavored to ascertain
    and embody in our daily lives.

    "It may not be improper to state, as we are speaking of our own
    affairs more fully than we have felt at liberty to do before in
    the columns of our paper, that, whatever be our trials of an
    external character, we have every reason to rejoice in the
    internal condition of our Association. For the last few months
    it has more nearly than ever approached the idea of a true
    social order. The greatest harmony prevails among us; not a
    discordant note is heard; a spirit of friendship, of brotherly
    kindness, of charity, dwells with us and blesses us; our social
    resources have been greatly multiplied; and our devotion to the
    cause which has brought us together, receives new strength every
    day. Whatever may be in reserve for us, we have an infinite
    satisfaction in the true relations which have united us, and
    the assurance that our enterprise has sprung from a desire to
    obey the Divine law. We feel assured that no outward
    disappointment or calamity can chill our zeal for the
    realization of a Divine order of society, or abate our effort in
    the sphere which may be pointed out by our best judgment as most
    favorable to the cause which we have at heart."

In the next number of the _Harbinger_ (March 21), an editorial
addressed to the friends of Brook Farm, indicated some depression and
uncertainty. The following are extracts from it:

    "We do not altogether agree with our friends, in the importance
    which they attach to the special movement at Brook Farm; we have
    never professed to be able to represent the idea of Association
    with the scanty resources at our command; nor would the
    discontinuance of our establishment or of any of the partial
    attempts which are now in progress, in the slightest degree
    weaken our faith in the associative system, or our conviction
    that it will sooner or later be adopted as the only form of
    society suited to the nature of man and in accordance with the
    Divine will. We have never attempted any thing more than to
    prepare the way for Association, by demonstrating some of the
    leading ideas on which the theory is founded; in this we have
    had the most gratifying success; but we have always regarded
    ourselves only as the humble pioneers in the work, which would
    be carried on by others to its magnificent consummation, and
    have been content to wait and toil for the development of the
    cause and the completion of our hope.

    "Still we have established a center of influence here for the
    associative movement, which we shall spare no effort to sustain.
    We are fully aware of the importance of this; and nothing but
    the most inexorable necessity, will withdraw the congenial
    spirits that are gathered in social union here, from the work
    which has always called forth their most earnest devotedness and
    enthusiasm. Since our disaster occurred, there has not been an
    expression or symptom of despondency among our number; all are
    resolute and calm; determined to stand by each other and by the
    cause; ready to encounter still greater sacrifices than have as
    yet been demanded of them; and desirous only to adopt the course
    which may be presented by the clearest dictates of duty. The
    loss which we have sustained occasions us no immediate
    inconvenience, does not interfere with any of our present
    operations; although it is a total destruction of resources on
    which we had confidently relied, and must inevitably derange our
    plans for the enlargement of the Association and the extension
    of our industry. We have a firm and cheerful hope, however, of
    being able to do much for the illustration of the cause with the
    materials that remain. They are far too valuable to be
    dispersed, or applied to any other object; and with favorable
    circumstances will be able to accomplish much for the
    realization of social unity."

This fire was a disaster from which Brook Farm never recovered. The
organization lingered, and the _Harbinger_ continued to be published
there, till October 1847; but the hope of becoming a model Phalanx
died out long before that time. The _Harbinger_ is very reticent in
relation to the details of the dissolution. We can only give the
reader the following scraps hinting at the end:

    [From the New York _Tribune_ (August, 1847), in answer to an
    allegation in the New York _Observer_ that "the Brook Farm
    Association, which was near Boston, had wound up its affairs
    some time since."]

    "The Brook Farm Association not only was, but is near Boston,
    and the _Harbinger_ is still published from its press. But,
    having been started without capital, experience or industrial
    capacity, without reference to or knowledge of Fourier's or any
    other systematic plan of Association, on a most unfavorable
    locality, bought at a high price, and constantly under mortgage,
    this Association is about to dissolve, when the paper will be
    removed to this city, with the master-spirits of Brook Farm as
    editors. The Observer will have ample opportunity to judge how
    far experience has modified their convictions or impaired their

    [From a report of a Boston Convention of Associationists, in the
    _Harbinger_, October 23, 1847.]

    "The breaking up of the life at Brook Farm was frequently
    alluded to, especially by Mr. Ripley, who, on the eve of
    entering a new sphere of labor for the same great cause,
    appeared in all his indomitable strength and cheerfulness,
    triumphant amid outward failure. The owls and bats and other
    birds of ill omen which utter their oracles in leading political
    and sectarian religious journals, and which are busily croaking
    and screeching of the downfall of Association, had they been
    present at this meeting, could their weak eyes have borne so
    much light, would never again have coupled failure with the
    thought of such men, nor entertained a feeling other than of
    envy of experience like theirs."

The next number of the _Harbinger_ (October 30, 1847) announced that
that paper would in future be published in New York under the
editorial charge of Parke Godwin, assisted by George Ripley and
Charles A. Dana in New York, and William H. Channing and John S.
Dwight in Boston. This of course implied the dispersion of the Brook
Farmers, and the dissolution of the Association; and this is all we
know about it.

The years 1846 and 1847 were fatal to most of the Fourier experiments.
Horace Greeley, under date of July 1847, wrote to the _People's
Journal_ the following account of what may be called,

    _Fourierism reduced to a Forlorn Hope._

    "As to the Associationists (by their adversaries termed
    'Fourierites'), with whom I am proud to be numbered, their
    beginnings are yet too recent to justify me in asking for their
    history any considerable space in your columns. Briefly,
    however, the first that was heard in this country of Fourier and
    his views (beyond a little circle of perhaps a hundred persons
    in two or three of our large cities, who had picked up some
    notion of them in France or from French writings), was in 1840,
    when Albert Brisbane published his first synopsis of Fourier's
    theory of industrial and household Association. Since then, the
    subject has been considerably discussed, and several attempts of
    some sort have been made to actualize Fourier's ideas, generally
    by men destitute alike of capacity, public confidence, energy
    and means. In only one instance that I have heard of was the
    land paid for on which the enterprise commenced; not one of
    these vaunted 'Fourier Associations' ever had the means of
    erecting a proper dwelling for so many as three hundred people,
    even if the land had been given them. Of course, the time for
    paying the first installment on the mortgage covering their land
    has generally witnessed the dissipation of their sanguine
    dreams. Yet there are at least three of these embryo
    Associations still in existence; and, as each of these is in its
    third or fourth year, they may be supposed to give some promise
    of vitality. They are the North American Phalanx, near
    Leedsville, New Jersey; the Trumbull Phalanx, near Braceville,
    Ohio; and the Wisconsin Phalanx, Ceresco, Wisconsin. Each of
    these has a considerable domain nearly or wholly paid for, is
    improving the soil, increasing its annual products, and
    establishing some branches of manufactures. Each, though far
    enough from being a perfect Association, is animated with the
    hope of becoming one, as rapidly as experience, time and means
    will allow."

Of the three Phalanxes thus mentioned as the rear-guard of Fourierism,
one--the Trumbull--disappeared about four months afterward (very
nearly at the time of the dispersion of Brook Farm), and another--the
Wisconsin--lasted only a year longer, leaving the North American alone
for the last four years of its existence.

Brook Farm in its function of propagandist (which is always expensive
and exhausting at the best), must have been sadly depressed by the
failures that crowded upon it in its last days; and it is not to be
wondered that it died with its children and kindred.

If we might suggest a transcendental reason for the failure of Brook
Farm, we should say that it had naturally a _delicate constitution_,
that was liable to be shattered by disasters and sympathies; and the
causes of this weakness must be sought for in the character of the
afflatus that organized it. The transcendental afflatus, like that of
Pentecost, had in it two elements, viz., Communism, and "the gift of
tongues;" or in other words, the tendency to religious and social
unity, represented by Channing and Ripley; and the tendency to
literature, represented by Emerson and Margaret Fuller. But the
proportion of these elements was different from that of Pentecost.
_The tendency to utterance was the strongest._ Emerson prevailed over
Channing even in Brook Farm; nay, in Channing himself, and in Ripley,
Dana and all the rest of the Brook Farm leaders. In fact they went
over from practical Communism to literary utterance when they assumed
the propagandism of Fourierism; and utterance has been their vocation
ever since. A similar phenomenon occurred in the history of the great
literary trio of England, Coleridge, Wordsworth and Southey. Their
original afflatus carried them to the verge of Communism; but "their
gift of tongues" prevailed and spoiled them. And the tendency to
literature, as represented by Emerson, is the farthest opposite of
Communism, finding its _summum bonum_ in individualism and incoherent
instead of organic inspiration.

The end of Brook Farm was virtually the end of Fourierism. One or two
Phalanxes lingered afterward, and the _Harbinger_, was continued a
year or two in New York; but the enthusiasm of victory and hope was
gone; and the Brook Farm leaders, as soon as a proper transition could
be effected, passed into the service of the _Tribune_.

During the fatal year following the fire at Brook Farm, the famous
controversy between Greeley and Raymond took place, which we have
mentioned as Greeley's last battle in defense of retreating
Fourierism. It commenced on the 20th of November, 1846, and ended on
the 20th of May, 1847, each of the combatants delivering twelve
well-shotted articles in their respective papers, the _Tribune_ and
the _Courier and Enquirer_, which were afterward published together in
pamphlet-form by the Harpers. Parton, in his biography of Greeley,
says at the beginning of his report of that discussion, "It _finished_
Fourierism in the United States;" and again at the close--"Thus ended
Fourierism. Thenceforth the _Tribune_ alluded to the subject
occasionally, but only in reply to those who sought to make political
or personal capital by reviving it."



We proposed at the beginning to trace the history of the Owen and
Fourier movements, as comprising the substance of American Socialisms.
After reaching the terminus of this course, it is still proper to
avail ourselves of the station we have reached, to take a birds-eye
view of things beyond.

We must not, however, wander from our subject. CO-OPERATION is the
present theme of enthusiasm in the _Tribune_, and among many of the
old representatives of Fourierism. But Co-operation is not Socialism.
It is a very interesting subject, and doubtless will have its history;
but it does not belong to our programme. Its place is among the
_preparations_ of Socialism. It is not to be classed with Owenism,
Fourierism and Shakerism; but with Insurance, Saving's Banks and
Protective Unions. It is not even the offspring of the theoretical
Socialisms, but rather a product of general common sense and
experiment among the working classes. It is the application of the
principle of combination to the business of buying and distributing
goods; whereas Socialism proper is the application of that principle
to domestic arrangements, and requires at the lowest, local gatherings
and combinations of homes. If the old Socialists have turned aside or
gone back to Co-operation, it is because they have lost their original
faith, and like the Israelites that came out of Egypt, are wandering
their forty years in the wilderness, instead of entering the promised
land in three days, as they expected.

We do not believe that the American people have lost sight of the
great hope which Owen and Fourier set before them, or will be
contented with any thing less than unity of interests carried into all
the affairs of life. Co-operation as one of the preparations for this
unity, is interesting them at the present time, in the absence of any
promising scheme of real Socialism. But they are interested in it
rather as a movement among the oppressed operatives of Europe, where
nothing higher can be attempted, than as a consummation worthy of the
progress that has commenced in Young America.

Our present business as historians of American Socialisms, is not with
Co-operation, but with experiments in actual Association which have
occurred since the downfall of Fourierism.

The terminus we have reached is 1847, the year of Brook Farm's
decease. Since then "Modern Spiritualism" has been the great American
excitation. And it is interesting to observe that all the Socialisms
that we have surveyed, sent streams (if they did not altogether
debouch) into this gulf. It is well known that Robert Owen in his last
days was converted to Spiritualism, and transferred all he could of
his socialistic stock to that interest. His successor, Robert Dale
Owen, has not carried forward the communistic schemes of his father,
but has been the busy patron of Spiritualism. Several other indirect
but important _anastomoses_ of Owenism with Spiritualism may be
traced; one, through Josiah Warren and his school of Individual
Sovereignty at Modern Times, where Nichols and Andrews developed the
germ of spiritualistic free-love; another (curiously enough), through
Elder Evans of New Lebanon, who was originally an Owen man, and now
may be said to be a common center of Shakerism, Owenism and
Spiritualism. In his auto-biographical articles in the _Atlantic
Monthly_ he maintained that Shakerism was the actual mother of
Spiritualism, and had the first run of the "manifestations," that
afterwards were called the "Rochester rappings." And lastly,
Fourierism, by its marriage with Swedenborgianism at Brook Farm, and
in many other ways, gave its strength to Spiritualism.

It is a point of history worth noting here, that Mr. Brisbane is
mentioned in the introduction to Andrew Jackson Davis's Revelations,
as one of the witnesses of the _seances_ in which that work was
uttered. C.W. Webber, a spiritualistic expert, in the introduction to
his story of "Spiritual Vampirism," refers to this conjunction of
Fourierism with Spiritualism, as follows:

    "No man, who has kept himself informed of the psychological
    history and progress of his race, can by any means fail to
    recognize at once, in the pretended 'revelations' of Davis, the
    mere _disjecta membra_ of the systems so extensively promulgated
    by Fourier and Swedenborg. Davis, during the whole period of his
    'utterings,' was surrounded by groups, consisting of the
    disciples of Fourier and Swedenborg; as, for instance, the
    leading Fourierite of America [Mr. Brisbane] was, for a time, a
    constant attendant upon those mysterious meetings, at which the
    myths of innocent Davis were formally announced from the
    condition of clairvoyance, and transcribed by his keeper, for
    the press; while the chief exponent and minister of
    Swedenborgianism in New York [George Bush] was often seated side
    by side with him. Can it be possible that these men failed to
    comprehend, as thought after thought, principle after principle,
    was enunciated in their presence, which they had previously
    supposed to belong exclusively to their own schools, that the
    'revelation' was merely a sympathetic reflex of their own
    derived systems? It was no accident; for, as often as Fourierism
    predominated in 'the evening lecture,' it was sure that the
    prime representative of Fourier was present; and when the
    peculiar views of Swedenborg prevailed, it was equally certain
    that he was forcibly represented in the conclave. Sometimes both
    schools were present; and on those identical occasions we have a
    composite system of metaphysics promulgated, which exhibited,
    most consistently, the doctrines of Swedenborg and Fourier,
    jumbled in liberal and extraordinary confusion."

As might be expected, Spiritualism has taken something from each of
the Socialisms which have emptied into it. It is obvious enough that
it has the omnivorous marvelousness of the Shakers, combined with the
infidelity of the Owenites. But probably the world knows little of the
tendency to socialistic speculation and experiment which it has
inherited from all three of its confluents. It has had very little
success in its local attempts at Association; and this has been owing
chiefly to the superior tenacity of its devotion to the great
antagonist of Association, Individual Sovereignty, which devotion also
it inherited specially from Owen through Warren, and generally from
both the Owen and Fourier schools. In consequence of its never having
been able to produce more than very short-lived abortions of
Communities, its Socialisms have not attracted much attention; but it
has been continually speculating and scheming about Association, and
its attempts on all sorts of plans ranging between Owenism and
Fourierism, with inspiration superadded, have been almost numberless.

One of the first of these spiritualistic attempts, and probably a
favorable specimen of the whole, was the Mountain Cove Community.
Having applied in vain for information, to several persons who had the
best opportunity to know about this Community, we must content
ourselves with a very imperfect sketch, obtained chiefly from
statements and references furnished by Macdonald, and from documents
in the files of the Oneida _Circular_.

All the witnesses we have found, testify that this Community was set
on foot by the rapping spirits in a large circle of Spiritualists at
Auburn, New York, sometime between the years 1851 and 1853. It appears
to have had active constituents at Oneida, Verona, and other places in
Oneida and Madison Counties. Several of the leading "New York
Perfectionists" in those places were conspicuous in the preliminary
proceedings, and some of them actually joined the emigration to
Virginia. The first reference to the movement that we have found, is
in a letter from Mr. H.N. Leet, published in the _Circular_, November
16, 1851. He says:

    "The 'rappings' have attracted my attention. I have scarcely
    known whether I should have to consider them as wholly of earth,
    or regard them as from Hades; or even be 'sucked in' with the
    other old Perfectionists. The reports I hear from abroad are
    wonderful, and some of them well calculated to make men exclaim,
    'This is the great power of God!' But what I see and hear
    partakes largely of the ridiculous, if not the contemptible.
    They have had frequent meetings at the houses of Messrs. Warren,
    Foot, Gould, Stone, Mrs. Hitchcock, etc.; and 'a chiel's amang
    them them taking notes;' but whether he will 'prent 'em' or not,
    is uncertain. I have from time to time been writing out what
    facts have come under my observation, and do so yet.

    "Yesterday in their meeting, I heard extracts of letters from
    Mr. Hitchcock written from Virginia; in which he states that
    they have found the garden of Eden, the identical spot where our
    first parents sinned, and on which no human foot has trod since
    Adam and Eve were driven out; that himself, Ira S. Hitchcock,
    was the first who has been permitted to set his foot upon it;
    and further, that in all the convulsions of nature, the
    upheavings and depressions, this spot has remained undisturbed
    as it originally appeared. This is the spot that is to form the
    center in the redemption now at hand; and parts adjacent are, by
    convulsions and a reverse process, to be restored to their
    primeval state. This is the substance of what I heard read. The
    revelation was said to have been spelled out to them by raps
    from Paul."

In a subsequent letter published in the _Circular_ December 14, 1851,
Mr. Leete sent us the spiritual document which summoned the saints to
Mountain Cove, introducing it as follows:

    "I send inclosed an authentic copy of a printed circular, said
    to have been received by Mr. Scott, the spiritual leader of the
    Virginia movement, in this manner, viz.: the words were seen in
    a vision, printed in space, one at a time, declared off by him,
    and written down by some one else."

    _Mountain Cove Circular._

    "Go! Scarcely let time intervene. Escape the vales of death.
    Pass from beneath the cloud of magnetic human glory. Flee to the
    mountains whither I direct. Rest in their embrace, and in a
    place fashioned and appointed of old. There the dark cloud of
    magnetic death has never rested. For I, the Lord, have thus
    decreed, and in my purpose have I sworn, and it shall come to
    pass. Time waiteth for no man.

    "For above the power of sin a storm is gathering that shall
    sweep away the refuge of lies. Come out of her, O, my people!
    for their sun shall be darkened, and their moon turned into
    blood, and their stars shall fall from their heaven. The Samson
    of strength feeleth for the pillars of the temple. Her
    foundation already moveth. Her ruin stayeth for the rescue of my

    "The city of refuge is builded as a hiding place and a shelter;
    as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land; as an asylum for
    the afflicted; a safety for those fleeing from the power of sin
    which pursueth to destroy. In that mountain my people shall rest
    secure. Above it the cloud of glory descendeth. Thence it
    encompasseth the saints. There angels shall ascend and descend.
    There the soul shall feast and be satisfied. There is the bread
    and the water of life. 'And in this mountain shall the Lord of
    hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of
    wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the
    lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face
    of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is
    spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory;
    and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and
    the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the
    earth; for the Lord hath spoken it.' And I will defend Zion, for
    she is my chosen. There shall the redeemed descend. There shall
    my people be made one. There shall the glory of the Lord appear,
    descending from the tabernacle of the Most High.

    "The end is not yet.

    "You are the chosen. Go, bear the reproaches of my people. Go
    without the camp. Lead in the conquest. Vanquish the foe. As ye
    have been bidden, meekly obey. Paradise hath no need of the
    things that ye love so dearly. For earthly apparel, if obedient,
    ye shall have garments of righteousness and salvation. For
    earthly treasures, ye shall gather grapage from your Maker's
    throne. For tears, ye shall have jewels, as dewdrops from
    heaven. For sighs, notes of celestial melody. For death, ye
    shall have life. For sorrow, ye shall have fulness of joy.
    Cease, then, your earthly struggle. All ye love or value, ye
    shall still possess. Earth is departing. The powers and
    imaginations of men are rolling together like a scroll. Escape
    the wreck ere it leaps into the abyss of woe. Forget not each
    other. Bear with each other. Love each other. Go forth as lambs
    to the slaughter. For lo, thy King cometh, and ere thou art
    slain he shall defend. Kiss the rod that smites thee, and bow
    chastened at thy Maker's throne."

Here occurs a long break in our information, extending from December
1851, to July 1853. How the Community was established and what
progress it made in that interval, the reader must imagine for
himself. Our leap is from the beginning to near the end. The
_Spiritual Telegraph_ of July 2, 1853, contained the following:

    "MOUNTAIN COVE COMMUNITY.--We copy below an article from the
    _Journal of Progress_, published in New York. It is from the pen
    of Mr. Hyatt, who was for a time a member of the Community at
    Mountain Cove. Mr. Hyatt is a conscientious man, and is still a
    firm believer in a rational Spiritualism. We have never regarded
    the claims of Messrs. Scott and Harris with favor, though we
    have thought and still think, that the motives and life of the
    latter were always honorable and pure. There are other persons
    at the Mountain who are justly esteemed for their virtues; but
    we most sincerely believe they are deluded by the absurd
    pretensions of Mr. Scott."

    [_From the Journal of Progress._]

    "Most of our readers are undoubtedly aware that there is a
    company of Spiritualists now residing at Mountain Cove,
    Virginia, whose claims of spiritual intercourse are of a
    somewhat different nature from those usually put forth by
    believers in other parts of the country.

    "This movement grew out of a large circle of Spiritualists at
    Auburn, New York, nearly two years since; but the pretensions on
    the part of the prime movers became of a far more imposing
    nature than they were in Auburn, soon after their location at
    Mountain Cove. It is claimed that they were directed to the
    place which they now occupy, by God, in fulfillment of certain
    prophecies in Isaiah, for the purpose of redeeming all who would
    co-operate with them and be dictated by their counsel; and the
    place which they occupy is denominated 'the Holy Mountain, which
    was sanctified and set apart for the redemption of his people.'

    "The principal mediums, James L. Scott and Thomas L. Harris,
    profess absolute Divine inspiration, and entire infallibility;
    that the infinite God communicates with them directly, without
    intermediate agency; and that by him they are preserved from the
    possibility of error in any of their dictations which claim a
    spiritual origin.

    "By virtue of these assumptions, and claiming to be the words of
    God, all the principles and rules of practice, whether of a
    spiritual or temporal nature, which govern the believers in that
    place, are dictated by the individuals above mentioned. Among
    the communications thus received, which are usually in the form
    of arbitrary decrees, are requirements which positively forbid
    those who have once formed a belief in the divinity of the
    movement, the privilege of criticising, or in any degree
    reasoning upon, the orders and communications uttered; or in
    other words, the disciples are forbidden the privilege of having
    any reason or conscience at all, except that which is prescribed
    to them by this oracle. The most unlimited demands of the
    controlling intelligence must be acceded to by its followers, or
    they will be thrust without the pale of the claimed Divine
    influence, and utter and irretrievable ruin is announced as the

    "In keeping with such pretensions, these 'Matthiases' have
    claimed for God his own property; and hence men are required to
    yield up their stewardships: that is, relinquish their temporal
    possessions to the Almighty. And, in pursuance of this, there
    has been a large quantity of land in that vicinity deeded
    without reserve by conscientious believers, to the human
    vicegerents of God above mentioned, with the understanding that
    such conveyance is virtually made to the Deity!

    "As would inevitably be the case, this mode of operations has
    awakened in the minds of the more reasoning and reflective
    members, distrust and unbelief, which has caused some, with
    great pecuniary loss, to withdraw from the Community, and with
    others who remain, has ripened into disaffection and violent
    opposition; and the present condition of the 'Holy Mountain' is
    anything but that of divine harmony. Discord, slander and
    vindictiveness is the order of proceedings, in which one or both
    of the professed inspired mediators take an active part; and the
    prospect now is, that the claims of divine authority in the
    temporal matters of 'the Mountain,' will soon be tested, and the
    ruling power conceded to be absolute, or else completely

After the above, came the following counter-statement in the
_Spiritual Telegraph_, August 6, 1853:

                                     _Cincinnati, July 14, 1853._

    "MR. S.B. BRITTAN--Sir: A friend has handed me the _Telegraph_
    of July 2, and directed my attention to an article appearing in
    that number, headed 'Mountain Cove Community,' which, although
    purporting to be from the pen of one familiar with our
    circumstances at the Cove, differs widely from the facts in our

    "Suffice it for the present to say, that Messrs. Scott and
    Harris, either jointly or individually, for themselves, or as
    the 'human vicegerents of God,' have and hold no deed (as the
    article quoted from the _Journal of Progress_ represents) of
    lands at the Cove. Neither have they pecuniary supporters
    there. Nor are men residing there required or expected to deal
    with them upon terms aside from the ordinary rules of business
    transactions. They have no claims upon men there for temporal
    benefits. They exact no tithes, or even any degree of
    compensation for public services; and, although they have
    preached and lectured to the people there during their sojourn
    in that country, they have never received for such services a
    penny; and, except what they have received from a few liberal
    friends who reside in other portions of the country, they secure
    their temporal means by their own industry. Moreover, for land
    and dwellings occupied by them, they are obligated to pay rent
    or lease-money; and should they at any time obtain a deed,
    according to present written agreement, they are to pay the full
    value to those who are the owners of the soil and by virtue
    thereof still retain their steward-ship.

    "I have thus briefly stated facts; facts of which I should have
    an unbiased knowledge, and of which I ought to be a competent
    judge. These facts I have ample means to authenticate, and
    together with a full and explicit statement of the nature of the
    lease, when due the public, if ever, I shall not hesitate to
    give. And from these the reader may determine the character of
    the entire expose, so liberally indorsed, as also other
    statements so freely trumpeted, relative to us at Mountain Cove.

    "From some years of the most intimate intercourse with the Rev.
    T.L. Harris, surrounded by circumstances calculated to try men's
    souls, I am prepared to bear testimony to your statements
    relative to his goodness and purity; and will add, that were all
    men of like character, earth would enjoy a saving change, and
    that right speedily.

    "Assured that your sense of right will secure for this brief
    statement, equal notoriety with the charges preferred against
    us--hence a place in the columns of the _Telegraph_;

                                        I am, &c.,   J.L. SCOTT."

This counter-statement has the air of special pleading, and all the
information that we have obtained by communication with various
ex-members of the Mountain Cove Community, goes to confirm the
substance of the preceding charges. The following extracts from a
letter in reply to some of our questions, is a specimen:

    "There were indications in the acts of one or more individuals
    at Mountain Cove, that plainly showed their desire to get
    control of the possessions which other individuals had saved as
    the fruits of their industry and economy. Those evil designs
    were frustrated by those who were the intended victims of the
    crafty, though not without some pecuniary sacrifice to the

From all this we infer that the Mountain Cove Community came to its
end in the latter part of 1853, by a quarrel about property; which is
all we know about it.

This was the most noted of the Spiritualist Communities. The rest are
not noticed by Macdonald, and, so far as we know, hardly deserve



We are forbidden to class this Association with the Spiritualist
Communities, by a positive disclaimer on the part of its founders: as
the reader will see further on. Otherwise we should have said that the
Brocton Community is the last of the series which commenced at
Mountain Cove. Thomas L. Harris, the leader at Brocton, was also one
of the two leaders at Mountain Cove, and as Swedenborgianism, his
present faith, is certainly a species of Spiritualism, not altogether
unrelated to the more popular kind which he held in the times of
Mountain Cove, we can not be far wrong in counting the Brocton
Community as one of the _sequelæ_ of Fourierism, and in the true line
of succession from Brook Farm.

After the bad failure of non-religious Socialism in the Owen
experiments, and the worse failure of semi-religious Socialism in the
Fourier experiments, a lesson seems to have been learned, and a
tendency has come on, to lay the foundations of socialistic
architecture in some kind of Spiritualism, equivalent to religion.
This tendency commenced, as we have seen, among the Brook Farmers, who
promulgated Swedenborgianism almost as zealously as they did
Fourierism. The same tendency is seen in the history of the Owens,
father and son. Thus, it is evident that the entire Spiritualistic
platform has been pushed forward by a large part of its constituency,
as a hopeful basis of future Socialisms. And the Brocton Community
seems to be the final product and representative of this tendency to
union between Spiritualism and Socialism.

As Mr. Harris and Mr. Oliphant, the two conspicuous men at Brocton,
are both Englishmen, we might almost class that Community with the
exotics, which do not properly come into our history. But the close
connection of Brocton with the Spiritualistic movement, and the
general interest it has excited in this country, on the whole entitle
it to a place in the records of American Socialisms. The following
account is compiled from a brilliant report in the _New York Sun_ of
April 30, 1869, written by Oliver Dyer:

    _History and Description of the Brocton Community._

    "Nine miles beyond Dunkirk, on the southerly shore of Lake Erie,
    in the village of Brocton, New York, is a Community which, in
    some respects, and especially as to the central idea around
    which the members gather, is probably without a parallel in the
    annals of mankind.

    "The founder of this Community is the Rev. Thomas Lake Harris,
    an Englishman by birth, but whose parents came to this country
    when he was three years old. He was for several years a noted
    preacher of the Universalist denomination in New York.
    Subsequently he went to England, where he had a noticeable
    career as a preacher of strange doctrines. Between five and six
    years ago he returned to this country, and settled in Amenia,
    Duchess County, where he prospered as a banker and
    agriculturist, until in October, 1867, he (as he claims), in
    obedience to the direct leadings of God's spirit, took up his
    abode at his present residence in Chautauqua County, on the
    southerly shore of Lake Erie, and founded the Brocton Community.

    "The tract of land owned and occupied by the Community,
    comprises a little over sixteen hundred acres, and is about two
    and a-half miles long, by one mile in breadth. One-half of this
    tract was purchased by Mr. Harris with his own money; the
    residue was purchased with the money of his associates and at
    their request is held by him in trust for the Community. The
    main building on the premises (for there are several residences)
    is a low, two-story edifice straggling over much ground.

    "A deep valley runs through the estate, and along the bed of the
    valley winds a copious creek, on the northerly bank of which, at
    a well-selected site, stands a saw-mill, [the inevitable!] which
    seems to have constant use for all its teeth.

    "The land for the most part lies warm to the sun, and its
    quality and position are such that it does not require
    under-draining, which is a great advantage. It is bountifully
    supplied with wood and water and is variegated in surface and in

    "About eighty acres are in grapes, of several varieties, among
    which are the Concord, Isabella, Salem, Iona, Rogers's Hybrid
    and others. They expect much from their grapes. The intention is
    to strive for quality rather than quantity, and to run
    principally to table fruit of an excellence which will command
    the highest prices.

    "It is the intention of the Community to go extensively into the
    dairy business, and considerable progress has already been made
    in that direction. Other industrial matters are also being
    driven ahead with skill and vigor; but a large portion of the
    estate has yet to be brought under cultivation, and there is a
    deal of hard work to be done to make the 1,600 acres
    presentable, and to secure comfortable homes for the workers.

    "There are about sixty adult members of the Community, besides a
    number of children. Among the rest are five orthodox clergymen;
    several representatives from Japan; several American ladies of
    high social position and exquisite culture, etc.

    "But the members who attract the most attention, at least of the
    newspaper world, are Lady Oliphant and her son, Lawrence
    Oliphant, who are understood to be exiles from high places in
    the aristocracy of England.

    "All these work together on terms of entire equality, and all
    are very harmonious in religion, notwithstanding their previous
    diversity of position and faith.

    "This is a very religious Community. Swedenborg furnishes the
    original doctrinal and philosophical basis of its faith, to
    which Mr. Harris, as he conceives, has been led by Providence to
    add other and vital matters, which were unknown until they were
    revealed through him. They reverence the Scriptures as the very
    word of God.

    "The fundamental religious belief of the Community may be summed
    up in the dogma, that there is one God and only one, and that he
    is the Lord Jesus Christ. The religion of the Community is
    intensely practical, and may be stated as, faith in Christ, and
    a life in accordance with his commandments.

    "And here comes in the question, What is a life in accordance
    with Christ's commandments? Mr. Harris and his fellow believers
    hold that when a man is 'born of the Spirit,' he is inevitably
    drawn into communal relations with his brethren, in accordance
    with the declaration that 'the disciples were of one heart and
    one mind, and had all things in common.'

    "This doctrine of Communism has been held by myriads, and
    repeated attempts have been made, but made in vain, to embody it
    in actual life. It is natural, therefore, to distrust any new
    attempt in the same direction. Mr. Harris is aware of this
    general distrust, and of the reasons for it; but he claims that
    he has something which places his attempt beyond the
    vicissitudes of chance, and bases it upon immutable certainty;
    that hitherto there has been no palpable criterion whereby the
    existence of God could be tested, no tangible test whereby the
    indication of his will could be determined; but that such
    criterion and test have now been vouchsafed, and that on such
    criterion and test to him communicated, his Community is

    "The pivot on which this movement turns, the foundation on which
    it rests, the grand secret of the whole matter, is known in the
    Community as 'open respiration,' also as 'divine respiration;'
    and the starting point of the theory is, that God created man in
    his own image and likeness, and breathed into him the breath of
    life. That the breathing into man of the breath of life was the
    sensible point of contact between the divine and human, between
    God and man. That man in his holy state was, so to speak,
    directly connected with God, by means of what might be likened
    to a spiritual respiratory umbilical chord, which ran from God
    to man's inmost or celestial nature, and constantly suffused
    him with airs from heaven, whereby his spiritual respiration or
    life was supported, and his entire nature, physical as well as
    spiritual, kept in a state of godlike purity and innocence,
    without, however, any infringement of man's freedom.

    "That after the fall of man this spiritual respiratory
    connection between God and man was severed, and the spiritual
    intercourse between the Creator and the creature brought to an
    end, and hence spiritual death. That the great point is to have
    this respiratory connection with God restored. That Mr. Harris
    and those who are co-operating with him have had it restored,
    and are in the constant enjoyment thereof. That it is by this
    divine respiration, and by no other means, that a human being
    can get irrefragable, tangible, satisfactory evidence that God
    is God, and that man has or can have conjunction with God. This
    divine respiration retains all that is of the natural
    respiration as its base and fulcrum, and builds upon and employs
    it for its service.

    "In the new respiration, God gives an atmosphere that is as
    sensitive to moral quality as the physical respiration is to
    natural quality; and this higher breath, whose essence is
    virtue, builds up the bodies of the virtuous, wars against
    disease, expels the virus of hereditary maladies, renews health
    from its foundations, and stands in the body as a sentinel
    against every plague. When this spiritual respiration descends
    and takes possession of the frame, there is thenceforth a
    guiding power, a positive inspiration, which selects the
    recipient's calling, which trains him for it, which leads him to
    favorable localities, and which co-ordinates affairs on a large
    scale. It will deal with groups as with individuals; it will
    re-distribute mankind; it will re-organize the village, the
    town, the workshop, the manufactory, the agricultural district,
    the pastoral region, gathering human atoms from their
    degradation, and crystallizing them in resplendent unities.

    "This primary doctrine has for its accompaniment a special
    theory of love and marriage, which is this: In heaven the basis
    of social order is marital order, and so it must be in this
    world. There, all the senses are completed and included in the
    sense of chastity; that sense of chastity is there the body for
    the soul of conjugal desire; there, the corporeal element of
    passion is excluded from the nuptial senses: there, the utterly
    pure alone are permitted to enter into the divine state involved
    in nuptial union; and so it must be here below. The 'sense of
    chastity' is the touchstone of conjugal fitness, and is bestowed
    in this wise:

    "When the Divine breaths have so pervaded the nervous structures
    that the higher attributes of sensation begin to waken from
    their immemorial torpor, and to react against disease, a sixth
    sense is as evident as hearing is to the ear, or sight to
    vision. It is distributed through the entire frame. So
    exquisitely does it pervade the hands that the slightest touch
    declares who are chaste and who are unchaste. And this sixth
    sense is the sense of chastity. It comes from God, who is the
    infinite chastity.

    "Within this sense of chastity nuptial love has its
    dwelling-place. So utterly hostile is it by nature to what the
    world understands by desire and passion, that the waftings of an
    atmosphere bearing these elements in its bosom affect it with
    loathing. This sense of chastity literally clothes every nerve.
    A living, sensitive garment, without spot or seam, it invests
    the frame of the universal sensations, and gives instant warning
    of the approach of impurity even in thought.

    "In true nuptial love, which is born of love to God, the nuptial
    pair, from the inmost oneness of the divine being, are embosomed
    each in each, as loveliness in loveliness, innocence in
    innocence, blessedness in blessedness. In possessing each other
    they possess the Lord, who prepares the two to become one heart,
    one mind, one soul, one love, one wisdom, one felicity. There
    are ladies and gentlemen in the Community who claim to have
    attained this sense of chastity to such a degree that they
    instantly detect the presence of an impure person.

    "It may surprise the reader to hear that what is called
    'Spiritualism' finds no favor in this Community. All phases of
    the spirit-rapping business are abhorred.

    "A cardinal principle of government, as to their own affairs in
    the Community, is unity of conviction. The Council of Direction
    consists of nineteen members; and if any one of them fails to
    perceive the propriety of a course or plan agreed upon by the
    other eighteen, it is accepted as an indication of Providence
    that the time for carrying out the course or plan has not yet
    come; and they patiently wait until the entire Council becomes
    'of one heart and one mind' as to the matter proposed.

    "They do not hunger for proselytes, nor seek public recognition.
    They know that the spirit is the great matter; and that an
    enterprise, as well as a human being, or a tree, must grow from
    the internal, vital principle, and not from external
    agglomerations. Whosoever, therefore, applies for admission to
    their circle is subject to crucial spiritual tests and a
    revealing probation. Unconditional surrender to God's will,
    absolute chastity not only in act but in spirit, complete
    self-abnegation, a full acceptance of Christ as the only and
    true God, are fundamental conditions even to a probationship.

    "Painting, sculpture, music and all the accomplishments are to
    have fitting development. There is no Quakerism or Puritanism in
    them. Man (including woman) is to be developed liberally,
    thoroughly, grandly, but all in the name of the Lord, and with
    an eye single to God's glory. Science, art, literature,
    languages, mechanics, philosophy, whatever will help to give
    back to man his lost mastership of the universe, is to be
    subordinated for that purpose.

    "Their domestic affairs, including cooking and washing, are
    carried on much as in the outside world. They live in many
    mansions, and have no unitary household. But they are alive to
    all the teachings of science and sociology on these topics, and
    intend to make machinery and organization do as much of the
    drudgery of the Community as possible.

    "They have no peculiar costume or customs. They eat, drink,
    dress, converse and worship God just like cultivated Christians
    elsewhere. They have no regular preaching at present, nor
    literary entertainments, but all these are to come in due
    season. They intend, as their numbers increase, and as the
    organization solidifies, to inaugurate whatever institutions may
    be necessary to promote their intellectual and spiritual
    welfare, and also to establish such industries and manufactures
    on the domain, as sound, economical discretion, vivified and
    guided by the new respiration, shall dictate.

    "By means of the new respiration they think that, in the lapse
    of time, mankind will become regenerate, and society be
    reconstructed, and physical disease banished from the earth, and
    a millennial reign inaugurated under the domination of Divine
    order. They especially expect great things in the East; that the
    doctrine of the Lord, as set forth by Swedenborg and Mr. Harris,
    and re-inforced by the new respiration, will by and by sweep
    over Asia, where the people are already beginning to be tossed
    on the waves of spiritual unrest, and are longing for a higher
    religious development."

After this luminous introduction, Mr. Dana, the editor of the _Sun_,
followed with the article ensuing:


    "The account which we published yesterday, from the accomplished
    pen of Mr. Oliver Dyer, of the new Community in Chautauqua
    County, which Mr. Harris, Mr. Oliphant and their associates are
    engaged in founding, will, we think, excite attention
    everywhere. Considered as a religious movement alone, the
    enterprise merits a candid and even sympathetic attention. Its
    fundamental ideas are such as must promote thought and inquiry
    wherever they are promulgated. That they are all true, as a
    matter of theological doctrine, we certainly are not prepared to
    affirm; but that they challenge a respectful interest in the
    minds of all sincere inquirers after spiritual truth, can not be
    disputed. But it is not as a new form of Christianity, with new
    dogmas and new pretensions, that we have to deal with the system
    proclaimed at Brocton. What especially engages our observation
    is the social aspect of the undertaking. Is it founded upon
    notions that promise any considerable advance upon the present
    form of society? Does it contain within itself the elements of

    "As respects the first question, we are free to answer that the
    scheme of the Brocton philosophers is too little developed, too
    immature in their own minds, to allow of any dogmatic judgment
    respecting it. The religious phase of the Community, and the
    enthusiasm which belongs to it, have not yet crystallized in
    relations of industry, art, education and external life,
    sufficiently to show the precise end at which it will aim.
    Indeed it would seem that its founders have avoided rather than
    cultivated those speculations on the organization of society to
    which most social innovators give the first place in their
    thoughts. Starting from man's highest spiritual nature alone,
    they prefer to leave every practical problem to be solved as it
    rises, not by scientific theory or business shrewdness, but by
    the help of that supernatural inspiration which forms a vital
    point in their theology. But on the other hand, they are pledged
    to democratic equality, to perfect respect for the dignity of
    labor, and to brotherly justice in the distribution alike of the
    advantages of life and the earnings of the common toil. We may
    conclude, then, that despite the Communism which seems to lie at
    the foundation of their design, with its annihilation of
    individual property, and its tendency to annihilate individual
    character also, all persons who can adopt the religion of this
    Community will find a happier life within its precincts than
    they can look for elsewhere. But that it will initiate a new
    stage in the world's social progress, or exercise any
    perceptible influence upon the general condition of mankind, is
    not to be expected.

    "As to the probability of its lasting, that seems to us to be
    strong. Communities based upon peculiar religious views, have
    generally succeeded. The Shakers and the Oneida Community are
    conspicuous illustrations of this fact; while the failure of the
    various attempts made by the disciples of Fourier, Owen and
    others, who have not had the support of religious fanaticism,
    proves that without this great force the most brilliant social
    theories are of little avail. Have the Brocton people enough of
    it to carry them safely through? Or is their religion of too
    transcendental a character to form a sure and tenacious cement
    for their social structure? These questions only time can
    positively answer; but we incline to the belief that they are
    likely to live and prosper, to become numerous and wealthy, and
    to play a much more influential part in the world than either of
    the bodies of religious Socialists that have preceded them."

The reader will perhaps expect us to say something from our
stand-point, in answer to Mr. Dana's question, "Will it succeed?" and
as the name of the Oneida Community is called in connection with the
Shakers and the Broctonians, it seems proper that we should do what we
can to help on a fair comparison of these competing Socialisms.

In the first place, many of the cardinal principles reported in Mr.
Dyer's account, command our highest respect and sympathy. Religion as
the basis, inspiration as the guide, Providence as the insurer,
reverence for the Bible, Communism of property, unanimity in action,
abstinence from proselytism, self-improvement instead of preaching and
publicity, liberality of culture in science, art, literature,
language, mechanics, philosophy, and whatever will help to give back
man his lost mastership of the universe, these and many other of the
fundamentals at Brocton we recognize as old acquaintances and very
dear friends. With this acknowledgment premised, we will be free to
point out some things which we regard as unpromising weaknesses in the
constitution of the new Socialism.

The Brocton Community is evidently very religious, and so far may be
regarded as strong in the first element of success. Its religion,
however, is Swedenborgianism, revised and adapted to the age, but not
essentially changed; and we have seen that the experiments in
Socialism which Swedenborgians have heretofore made, have not been
successful. The Yellow Spring Community in Owen's time, and the
Leraysville Phalanx in the Fourier epoch, were avowedly Swedenborgian
Associations; but they failed as speedily and utterly as their
contemporaries. Notwithstanding the claim of a wonderful affinity
between Swedenborgianism and Fourierism which the _Harbinger_ used to
make, it seems probable that the afflatus of pure Swedenborgianism is
not favorable to Communism or to close Association of any kind.
Swedenborg in his personal character was not a Socialist or an
organizer in any way, but a very solitary speculator; and the heavens
he set before the world were only sublimated embodiments of the
ordinary principle of private property, in wives and in every thing

When we say that the Brocton Community is Swedenborgian, we do not
forget that Mr. Harris professes to have made important additions to
the Teutonic revelations. But we see that the fundamental doctrines
reported by Mr. Dyer are essentially the same as those we have found
in Swedenborg's works. Even the pivotal discovery of "internal
respiration" is not original with Mr. Harris. Swedenborg had it in
theory and in personal experience. He ascribes the purity of the
Adamic church to this condition, and its degeneracy and destruction,
to the loss of it. Thus he says:

    "It was shown me, that [at the time of the degeneracy of the
    Adamites] the internal respiration, which proceeded from the
    navel toward the interior region of the breast, retired toward
    the region of the back and toward the abdomen, thus outward and
    downward. Immediately before the flood scarce any internal
    respiration existed. At last it was annihilated in the breast,
    and its subjects were choked or suffocated. In those who
    survived, external respiration was opened. With the cessation of
    internal respiration, immediate intercourse with angels and the
    instant and instinctive perception of truth and falsehood, were

And Mr. White, the latest biographer of Swedenborg, says of him:

    "The possession by him of the power of easy transition of sense
    and consciousness from the lower to the upper world, arose, it
    would appear, from some peculiarities in his physical
    organization. The suspension of respiration under deep thought,
    common to all men, was preternaturally developed in him; and in
    his diary he makes a variety of observations on his case; as for
    instance he says:

    "'My respiration has been so formed by the Lord, as to enable me
    to breathe inwardly for a long time without the aid of the
    external air, my respiration being directed within, and my
    outward senses, as well as actions, still continuing in their
    vigor, which is only possible with persons who have been so
    formed by the Lord. I have also been instructed that my
    breathing was so directed, without my being aware of it, in
    order to enable me to be with spirits, and to speak with them.'

    "Again, he tells us that there are many species of respirations
    inducing divers introductions to the spirits and angels with
    whom the lungs conspire; and goes on to say, that he was at
    first habituated to insensible breathing in his infancy, when at
    morning and evening prayers, and occasionally afterward when
    exploring the concordance between the heart, lungs and brain,
    and particularly when writing his physiological works; that for
    a number of years, beginning with his childhood, he was
    introduced to internal respiration mainly by intense
    speculations in which breathing stops, for otherwise intense
    thought is impossible. When heaven was open to him, and he spoke
    with spirits, sometimes for nearly an hour he scarcely breathed
    at all. The same phenomena occurred when he was going to sleep,
    and he thinks that his preparation went forward during repose.
    So various was his breathing, so obedient did it become, that he
    thereby obtained the range of the higher world, and access to
    all its spheres."

Thus it would seem that what Mr. Harris is attempting at Brocton is,
to realize on a large scale the experience of Swedenborg, and
reproduce the Adamic church. This "open respiration," however, must be
an oracular influx not essentially different from that which guides
the Shakers, the Ebenezers, and all the religious Communities. We have
called it afflatus. It does not appear to be strong enough in the
Brocton Community to dissolve old-fashioned familism; which we
consider a bad sign, as our readers know. There is an inevitable
competition between the family-spirit and the Community-spirit, which
all the "internal respiration" that we have enjoyed, has never been
able to harmonize in any other way than by thoroughly subordinating
family interests, and making the Community the prime organization. And
it is quite certain that this has been the experience of the Shakers
and all the other successful Communities. Indeed this is the very
revolution that is involved in real Christianity. The private family
has been and is the unit of society in naturalism, i.e. in the
pre-Christian, pagan state. But the Church, which is equivalent to the
Association, or Community, or Phalanx, is clearly the unit of society
in the Christian scheme.

The Brocton philosophy of love and marriage is manifestly
Swedenborgian. In some passages it seems like actual Shakerism, but
the prevailing sense is that of intensified conjugality, _a la_
Swedenborg. Here again the Swedenborgian afflatus will be very
unfavorable to success. Swedenborg wrote in the same vein as Mr.
Harris talks, about chastity; but withal he kept mistresses at several
times in his life; and he recommends mistress-keeping to those who
"can not contain." Moreover he gives married men thirty-four reasons,
many of them very trivial, for keeping concubines. Above all, his
theory of marriage in heaven, involving the sentimentalism of
predestined mating (which doubtless is retained entire in the Brocton
philosophy), not only leads directly to contempt of ordinary marriage,
as being an artificial system of blunders, but necessarily authorizes
the "right of search" to find the true mate. The practical result of
this theory is seen in the system of "free love," or experimenting
for "affinities," which has prevailed among Spiritualists. It will
require a very high power of "internal respiration" to steer the
Brocton Community through these dangers, resulting from its
affiliation with the Swedenborgian principality. Close Association is
a worse place than ordinary society for working out the delicate
problems of the negative theory of chastity.

The Broctonians are reported as reverencing the Bible, but this can
only mean that they reverence it in Swedenborg's fashion. He rejected
about half of it (including all of Paul's writings) as uninspired; and
worshiped the rest as full of divinity, stuffed in every letter and
dot with double and triple significance, of which significance he
alone had the key.

Probably Mr. Harris's principal deviation from the Swedenborgian
theology, is the introduction of his original faith of Universalism.
Swedenborg lived and wrote before modern benevolence was developed so
far as to require the elimination of future punishment; and with all
his laxity on other points, he was more orthodox and uncompromising in
regard to the eternity of hell-torments, and even as to their
sulphuric nature, than any writer the world has ever seen before or
since. Hence the Spiritualists, who generally belong to the
Universalist school, either have to quarrel with Swedenborg openly, as
Andrew Jackson Davis did, or modify his system on this point, as T.L.
Harris has done.

We were surprised, as Mr. Dyer supposes his readers might be, to learn
that the Brocton Communists abhor "all phases of the rapping
business;" for we remember that Mr. Harris was counted among
Spiritualists in old times, and we see that he is still in pursuit of
the Adamic status and other attainments that were the objective
points of the Mountain Cove Community.

As to externals, the Brocton Community, we fear, has got the
land-mania, which ruined so many of the Owen and Fourier Associations.
Sixteen hundred acres must be a dreary investment for a young and
small Community. If our experience is worth any thing, and if we might
offer our advice, we should say, Sell two-thirds of that domain and
put the proceeds into a machine-shop. Agriculture, after all, is not a
primary business. Machinery goes before it; always did and always will
more and more. Plows and harrows, rakes and hoes, were the dynamics
even of ancient farming; and the men that invented and made them were
greater than farmers. The Oneida Community made its fortune by first
sinking forty thousand dollars in training a set of young men as
machinists. The business thus started has proved to be literally a
high school in comparison with farming or almost any other business,
not excepting that of academies and colleges. With that school always
growing in strength and enthusiasm, we can make the tools for all
other businesses, and the whole range of modern enterprise is open to

If the Brocton leaders have plenty of money at interest, we see no
reason why they may not live pleasantly and do well in some form of
loose co-operation. But with the weaknesses we have noticed, we doubt
whether their "internal respiration" will harmonize them in close
Association, or enable them to get their living by amateur farming.



We should hardly do justice to the Shakers if we should leave them
undistinguished among the obscure exotics. Their influence on American
Socialisms has been so great as to set them entirely apart from the
other antique religious Communities. Macdonald makes more of them than
of any other single Community, devoting nearly a hundred pages to
their history and peculiarities. Most of his material relating to
them, however, may be found in their own current publications; and
need not be reproduced here. But there is one document in his
collection giving an "inside view" of their social and religious life,
which we are inclined to publish for special reasons. It is, in the
first place, a picture of their daily routine, as faithful as could be
expected from one who appears to have been neither a friend nor an
enemy to them; and its representations in this respect are verified
substantially by various Shaker publications. But it is specially
interesting to us as a disclosure of the historical secret which
connects Shakerism with "modern Spiritualism." Elder Evans, the
conspicuous man of the Shakers, in his late autobiography alludes to
this secret in the following terms:

    "In 1837 to 1844, there was an influx from the spirit world,
    confirming the faith of many disciples, who had lived among
    believers for years, and extending throughout all the eighteen
    [Shaker] societies, making media by the dozen, whose various
    exercises, not to be suppressed even in their public meetings,
    rendered it imperatively necessary to close them all to the
    world during a period of seven years, in consequence of the then
    unprepared state of the world, to which the whole of the
    manifestations, and the meetings too, would have been as
    unadulterated foolishness, or as inexplicable mysteries.

    "The spirits then declared, again and again, that, when they had
    done their work among the inhabitants of Zion, they would do a
    work in the world, of such magnitude, that not a place nor a
    hamlet upon earth should remain unvisited by them.

    "After their mission among us was finished, we supposed that the
    manifestations would immediately begin in the outside world; but
    we were much disappointed; for we had to wait four years before
    the work began, as it finally did, at Rochester, New York. But
    the rapidity of its course throughout the nations of the earth
    (as also the social standing and intellectual importance of the
    converts), has far exceeded the predictions."

                                 --_Atlantic Monthly_, May, 1869.

The narrative we are about to present relates to the period of closed
doors here mentioned, and to some of the "manifestations" which had to
be withdrawn from public view, lest they should be regarded as
"unadulterated foolishness." It is perhaps the only testimony the
world has in regard to the events which, according to Evans, were the
real beginnings of modern Spiritualism.

Macdonald does not give the name of the writer, but says that he was
an "intimate and esteemed friend, who went among the Shakers partly to
escape worldly troubles, and partly through curiosity; and that his
story is evidently clear-headed and sincere."

    _Four Months Among the Shakers._

    "Circumstances that need not be rehearsed, induced me to visit
    the Shaker Society at Watervliet, in the winter of 1842-3. Soon
    after my arrival, I was conducted to the Elder whose business it
    was to deal with inquirers. He was a good-looking old man, with
    a fine open countenance, and a well-formed head, as I could see
    from its being bald. I found him very intelligent, and soon made
    known to him my business, which was to learn something about the
    Shakers and their conditions of receiving members. On my
    observing that I had seen favorable accounts of their society in
    the writings of Mr. Owen, Miss Martineau, and other travelers in
    the United States, he replied, that 'those who wished to know
    the Shakers, must live with them;' and this remark proved to be
    true. He propounded to me at considerable length their faith,
    'the daily cross' they were obliged to take up against the devil
    and the flesh, and the supreme virtue of a life of celibacy.
    When he had concluded I asked if those who wished to join the
    society were expected to acknowledge a belief in all the
    articles of their faith? To which he replied, 'that they were
    not, for many persons came there to join them, who had never
    heard their gospel preached; but they were always received, and
    an opportunity given them of accepting or rejecting it.' He
    then informed me of the conditions under which they received
    candidates: 'All new comers have one week's trial, to see how
    they like; and after that, if they wish to continue they must
    take up the daily cross, and commence the work of regeneration
    and salvation, following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and
    Mother Ann.' My first cross, he informed me, would be to confess
    all the wicked acts I had ever committed. I asked him if he gave
    absolution like a Catholic priest. He replied, 'that God forgave
    sins and not they; but it was necessary in beginning the work of
    salvation, to unburden the mind of all its past sins.' I thought
    this confession (demanded of strangers) was a piece of good
    policy on their part; for it enabled the Elder who received the
    confession, to form a tolerable opinion of the individual to be
    admitted. I agreed however before confession to make a week's
    trial of the place, and was accordingly invited to supper; after
    which I was shown to the sleeping room specially set apart for
    new members. I was not left here more than an hour when a small
    bell rang, and one of the brothers entered the room and invited
    me to go to the family meeting; where I saw for the first time
    their mode of worshiping God in the dance. I thought it was an
    exciting exercise, and I should have been more pleased if they
    had had instrumental, instead of vocal music.

    "At first my meals were brought to me in my room, but after a
    few days I was invited to commence the work of regeneration and
    prepare for confession, that I might associate with the rest of
    the brothers. On making known my readiness to confess, I was
    taken to the private confession-room, and there recounted a
    brief history of my past life. This appeared rather to please
    the Elder, and he observed that I 'had not been very wicked.' I
    replied, 'No, I had not abounded in acts of crime and
    debauchery.' But the old man, to make sure I was not deceiving
    him, tried to frighten me, by telling me of individuals who had
    not made a full confession of their wickedness, and who could
    find no peace or pleasure until they came back and revealed all.
    He assured me moreover that no wicked person could continue
    there long without being found out. I was curious to know how
    such persons would be detected; so he took me to the window and
    pointed out the places where 'Mother Ann' had stationed four
    angels to watch over her children; and 'these angels,' he said,
    'always communicated any wickedness done there, or the presence
    of any wicked person among them.' 'But,' he continued, 'you can
    not understand these things; neither can you believe them, for
    you have not yet got faith enough.' I replied: 'I can not see
    the angels!' 'No,' said he, 'I can not see them with the eye of
    sense; but I can see them with the eye of faith. You must labor
    for faith: and when any thing troubles you that you can not
    understand or believe, come to me, and do not express doubts to
    any of the brethren.' The Elder then put on my eyes a pair of
    spiritual golden spectacles, to make me see spiritual things. I
    instinctively put up my hands to feel them, which made the old
    gentleman half laugh, and he said, 'Oh, you can not feel them;
    they will not incommode you, but will help you to see spiritual

    "After this I was permitted to eat with the family and invited
    to attend their love-meetings. I was informed that I had perfect
    liberty to leave the village whenever I chose to do so; but that
    I was to receive no pay for my services if I were to leave; I
    should be provided for, the same as if I were one of the oldest
    members, with food, clothing and lodgings, according to their


    "The hours of rising were five o'clock in the summer, and
    half-past five in the winter. The family all rose at the toll of
    the bell, and in less than ten minutes vacated the bed-rooms.
    The sisters then distributed themselves throughout the rooms,
    and made up all the beds, putting every thing in the most
    perfect order before breakfast. The brothers proceeded to their
    various employments, and made a commencement for the day. The
    cows were milked, and the horses were fed. At seven o'clock the
    bell rang for breakfast, but it was ten minutes after when we
    went to the tables. The brothers and sisters assembled each by
    themselves, in rooms appointed for the purpose; and at the sound
    of a small bell the doors of these rooms opened, and a
    procession of the family was formed in the hall, each individual
    being in his or her proper place, as they would be at table. The
    brothers came first, followed by the sisters, and the whole
    marched in solemn silence to the dining-room. The brothers and
    sisters took separate tables, on opposite sides of the room. All
    stood up until each one had arrived at his or her proper place,
    and then at a signal from the Elder at the head of the table,
    they all knelt down for about two minutes, and at another signal
    they all arose and commenced eating their breakfast. Each
    individual helped himself; which was easily done, as the tables
    were so arranged that between every four persons there was a
    supply of every article intended for the meal. At the conclusion
    they all arose and marched away from the tables in the same
    manner as they marched to them; and during the time of marching,
    eating, and re-marching, not one word was spoken, but the most
    perfect silence was preserved.

    "After breakfast all proceeded immediately to their respective
    employments, and continued industriously occupied until ten
    minutes to twelve o'clock, when the bell announced dinner.
    Farmers then left the field and mechanics their shops, all
    washed their hands, and formed procession again, and marched to
    dinner in the same way as to breakfast. Immediately after dinner
    they went to work again, (having no hour for resting), and
    continued steady at it until the bell announced supper. At
    supper the same routine was gone through as at the other meals,
    and all except the farmers went to work again. The farmers were
    supposed to be doing what were called 'chores,' which appeared
    to mean any little odd jobs in and about the stables and barns.
    At eight o'clock all work was ended for the day, and the family
    went to what they called a 'union meeting.' This meeting
    generally continued one hour, and then, at about nine o'clock,
    all retired to bed."


    "The two Elders and the two Eldresses held their meetings in the
    Elders' room. The three Deacons and the three Deaconesses met in
    one of their rooms. The rest of the family, in groups of from
    six to eight brothers and sisters, met in other rooms. At these
    meetings it was customary for the seats to be arranged in two
    rows about four feet apart. The sisters sat in one row, and the
    brothers in the other, facing each other. The meetings were
    rather dull, as the members had nothing to converse about save
    the family affairs; for those who troubled themselves about the
    things of the world, were not considered good Shakers. It was
    expected that in coming there we should leave the 'world' behind
    us. The principal subject of conversation was eating and
    drinking. One brother sometimes eulogized a sister whom he
    thought to be the best cook, and who could make the best
    'Johnny-cake.' At one meeting that I attended, there was a
    lively conversation about what we had for dinner; and by this
    means, it might be said, we enjoyed our dinner twice over.

    "I have thus given the routine for one day; and each week-day
    throughout the year was the same. The only variation was in the
    evening. Besides these union meetings, every alternate evening
    was devoted to dancing. Sundays also had a routine of their own,
    which I will not detail.

    "During the time I was with the Shakers, I never heard one of
    them read the Bible or pray in public. Each one was permitted to
    pray or let it alone as he pleased, and I believe there was very
    little praying among them. Believing as they did that all
    'worldly things' should be left in the 'world' behind them, they
    did not even read the ordinary literature of the day. Newspapers
    were only for the use of the Elders and Deacons. The routine I
    have described was continually going on; and it was their boast
    that they were then the same in their habits and manners as they
    were sixty years before. The furniture of the dwellings was of
    the same old-fashioned kind that the early Dutch settlers used;
    and every thing about them and their dwellings, I was taught,
    was originally designed in heaven, and the designs transmitted
    to them by angels. The plan of their buildings, the style of
    their furniture, the pattern of their coats and pants, and the
    cut of their hair, is all regulated according to communications
    received from heaven by Mother Ann. I was gravely told by the
    first Elder, that the inhabitants of the other world were
    Shakers, and that they lived in Community the same as we did,
    but that they were more perfect.


    "At half-past seven P.M. on the dancing days, all the members
    retired to their separate rooms, where they sat in solemn
    silence, just gazing at the stove, until the silver tones of a
    small tea-bell gave the signal for them to assemble in the large
    hall. Thither they proceeded in perfect order and solemn
    silence. Each had on thin dancing-shoes; and on entering the
    door of the hall they walked on tip-toe, and took up their
    positions as follows: the brothers formed a rank on the right,
    and the sisters on the left, facing each other, about five feet
    apart. After all were in their proper places the chief Elder
    stepped into the center of the space, and gave an exhortation
    for about five minutes, concluding with an invitation to them
    all to 'go forth, old men, young men and maidens, and worship
    God with all their might in the dance.' Accordingly they 'went
    forth,' the men stripping off their coats and remaining in their
    shirt-sleeves. First they formed a procession and marched around
    the room at double-quick time, while four brothers and four
    sisters stood in the center singing for them. After marching in
    this manner until they got a little warm, they commenced
    dancing, and continued it until they were all pretty well tired.
    During the dance the sisters kept on one side, and the brothers
    on the other, and not a word was spoken by any of them. After
    they appeared to have had enough of this exercise, the Elder
    gave the signal to stop, when immediately each one took his or
    her place in an oblong circle formed around the room, and all
    waited to see if any one had received a 'gift,' that is, an
    inspiration to do something odd. Then two of the sisters would
    commence whirling round like a top, with their eyes shut; and
    continued this motion for about fifteen minutes; when they
    suddenly stopped and resumed their places, as steady as if they
    had never stirred. During the 'whirl' the members stood round
    like statues, looking on in solemn silence.


    "On some occasions when a sister had stopped her whirling, she
    would say, 'I have a communication to make;' when the head
    Eldress would step to her side and receive the communication,
    and then make known the nature of it to the company. The first
    message I heard was as follows: 'Mother Ann has sent two angels
    to inform us that a tribe of Indians has been round here two
    days, and want the brothers and sisters to take them in. They
    are outside the building there, looking in at the windows.' I
    shall never forget how I looked round at the windows, expecting
    to see the yellow faces, when this announcement was made; but I
    believe some of the old folks who eyed me, bit their lips and
    smiled. It caused no alarm to the rest, but the first Elder
    exhorted the brothers 'to take in the poor spirits and assist
    them to get salvation.' He afterward repeated more of what the
    angels had said, viz., 'that the Indians were a savage tribe who
    had all died before Columbus discovered America, and had been
    wandering about ever since. Mother Ann wanted them to be
    received into the meeting to-morrow night.' After this we
    dispersed to our separate bed-rooms, with the hope of having a
    future entertainment from the Indians.


    "The next dancing night we again assembled in the same manner as
    before, and went through the marching and dancing as usual;
    after which the hall doors were opened, and the Elder invited
    the Indians to come in. The doors were soon shut again, and one
    of the sisters (the same who received the original
    communication) informed us that she saw Indians all around and
    among the brothers and sisters. The Elder then urged upon the
    members the duty of 'taking them in.' Whereupon eight or nine
    sisters became possessed of the spirits of Indian squaws, and
    about six of the brethren became Indians. Then ensued a regular
    pow-wow, with whooping and yelling and strange antics, such as
    would require a Dickens to describe. The sisters and brothers
    squatted down on the floor together, Indian fashion, and the
    Elders and Eldresses endeavored to keep them asunder, telling
    the men they must be separated from the squaws, and otherwise
    instructing them in the rules of Shakerism. Some of the Indians
    then wanted some 'succotash,' which was soon brought them from
    the kitchen in two wooden dishes, and placed on the floor; when
    they commenced eating it with their fingers. These performances
    continued till about ten o'clock; then the chief Elder requested
    the Indians to go away, telling them they would find some one
    waiting to conduct them to the Shakers in the heavenly world. At
    this announcement the possessed men and women became themselves
    again, and all retired to rest.

    "The above was the first exhibition of the kind that I
    witnessed, but it was a very trifling affair to what I afterward
    saw. To enable you to understand these scenes, I must give you
    as near as I can, the ideas the Shakers have of the other world.
    As I gathered from conversations with the Elder, and from his
    teaching and preaching at the meetings, it is as follows: Heaven
    is a Shaker Community on a very large scale. Every thing in it
    is spiritual. Jesus Christ is the head Elder, and Mother Ann the
    head Eldress. The buildings are large and splendid, being all of
    white marble. There are large orchards with all kinds of fruit.
    There are also very large gardens laid out in splendid style,
    with beautiful rivers flowing through them; but all is
    spiritual. Outside of this heaven the spirits of the departed
    wander about on the surface of the earth (which is the Shaker
    hell), till they are converted to Shakerism. Spirits are sent
    out from the aforesaid heaven on missionary tours, to preach to
    the wandering ones until they profess the faith, and then they
    are admitted into the heavenly Community.


    "At one of the meetings, after a due amount of marching and
    dancing, by which all the members had got pretty well excited,
    two or three sisters commenced whirling, which they continued to
    do for some time, and then stopped suddenly and revealed to us
    that Mother Ann was present at the meeting, and that she had
    brought a dozen baskets of spiritual fruit for her children;
    upon which the Elder invited all to go forth to the baskets in
    the center of the floor, and help themselves. Accordingly they
    all stepped forth and went through the various motions of taking
    fruit and eating it. You will wonder if I helped myself to the
    fruit, like the rest. No; I had not faith enough to see the
    baskets or the fruit; and you may think, perhaps, that I laughed
    at the scene; but in truth, I was so affected by the general
    gravity and the solemn faces I saw around me, that it was
    impossible for me to laugh.

    "Other things as well as fruit were sometimes sent as presents,
    such as spiritual golden spectacles. These heavenly ornaments
    came in the same way as the fruit, and just as much could be
    seen of them. The first presents of this kind that were received
    during my residence there, came as follows: A sister whirled for
    some time; then stopped and informed the Eldress as usual that
    Mother Ann had sent a messenger with presents for some of her
    most faithful children. She then went through the action of
    handing the articles to the Eldress, at the same time mentioning
    what they were, and for whom. As near as I can remember, there
    was a pair of golden spectacles, a large eye-glass with a chain,
    and a casket of love for the Elder to distribute. The Eldress
    went through the act of putting the spectacles and chain upon
    the individuals they were intended for; and the Elder in like
    manner opened the casket and threw out the love by handsful,
    while all the members stretched out their hands to receive, and
    then pressed them to their bosoms. All this appeared to me very
    childish, and I could not help so expressing myself to the
    Elder, at the first opportunity that offered. He replied, 'that
    this was what he labored for, viz., to be a simple Shaker; that
    the proud and worldly, the so-called great men of this world,
    must become as simple as they, as simple as little children,
    before they can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. They must suffer
    themselves to be called fools for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake.
    These were the crosses they had to bear.'

    "The Elder would sometimes kindly invite me to his room and ask
    me what I thought of the meeting last night. This was generally
    after those meetings at which there had been some great
    revelation from heaven, or some pow-wow with the spirits. I
    could only reply that I was much astonished, and that these
    things were altogether new to me. He would then tell me that I
    would see greater things than these. But I replied that it
    required more faith to believe them than I possessed. Then he
    would exhort me to 'labor for faith, and I would get it. He did
    not expect young believers to get faith all at once; although
    some got it faster than others.'


    "On the second Sunday I spent with the Shakers, there was a
    curious exhibition, which I saw only once. After dinner all the
    members assembled in the hall and sang two songs; when the Elder
    informed them that it was a 'gift for them to march in
    procession, with their golden instruments playing as they
    marched, to the holy fountain, and wash away all the stains that
    they had contracted by sinful thoughts or feelings; for Mother
    was pleased to see her children pure and holy.' I looked around
    for the musical instruments, but as they were spiritual I