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Title: La Reunion, a French Settlement in Texas
Author: Hammond, Margaret Ellen Forsyth, Hammond, William J.
Language: English
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                   [Illustration: _Charles Fourier._

Charles Francois Fourier was born in Besançon, France, in 1722. His
teachings and writings inspired Victor Prosper Considerant to attempt
the establishment of La Réunion, a French Colony in Texas.]



                              LA RÉUNION,
                      a French Settlement in Texas


                                   by
                       William J. Hammond, Ph.D.
                                  and
                       Margaret F. Hammond, M.A.


                        Royal Publishing Company
                             Dallas, Texas

                             Copyright 1958
                                  _by_
                           William J. Hammond

                Printed in the United States of America
                                  _by_
                        Royal Publishing Company


  “The Supreme law is liberty and reciprocal adaptation.”
                                      Considerant, _The Great West_, 40.

“We desire the free and spontaneous unison of human forces.”
                                      Considerant, _The Great West_, 47.

“Les principes de liberté, de justice, et d’unité”
                                    Considerant, _Au Texas_, 2 ed., 199.



                                PREFACE


In presenting this brief history of La Réunion, we realize that the
story may appear too long for such a seemingly unimportant event in our
state history, but to those who are doing research work, especially
years hence, the details can not be too numerous. Even now great
difficulties present themselves in tracing down the materials that are
now in existence.

Extensive quotations have been used throughout the monograph, too
extensive in fact, but the production of these documents in full rather
than in part may be justified on the basis of making them available to
students of Texas History. Additional material has been given in the
appendix where it was deemed too long to include such materials in the
story, and it is thus given as a mere narrative of facts of one of the
great romantic attempts to settle Texas and the Southwest. We have
avoided complicating the story by not discussing socialism per se,
dealing with its connection with La Réunion only when necessary for an
understanding of the activities of the colonists.

We wish to express our thanks to the librarians of the Public Library in
Fort Worth, the Texas University Library, and Congressional Library for
the loan of books, and especially to Mrs. Bertie Mothershead, former
librarian at Texas Christian University for her co-operation and
helpfulness.

                                                             The Authors



                                CONTENTS


Introduction                                                           9

Chapter I Founders of the Colony                                      17

Chapter II Au Texas                                                   35

Chapter III The Society                                               47

Chapter IV Attitude of Texans toward the Colony                       63

Chapter V The Immigrants                                              85

Chapter VI La Réunion, the Colony                                     95

Chapter VII The Breakup                                              107

The Appendix                                                         117

 A. Partial list of the Settlers                                     117

 B. Plan of the Phalanstery                                          126

 C. Acts Incorporating the Colony                                    127

 D. Letters of Introduction                                          130

References                                                           133

Bibliography                                                         147



                              INTRODUCTION
                     SOCIALISM CROSSES THE ATLANTIC


The last half of the eighteenth century was a period of awakening for
the masses of western Europe; revolution thundered in Paris and
reverberated throughout all Europe. Thrones tottered and fell; others
rose to take their places. Republics were created by the revolutions
overnight to live and thrive only during the predominance of the French
Revolution, and then fade into the kingdoms from whence they had
emerged. Peoples were led to believe that the day of Utopia had arrived
and they turned upon their masters and oppressors to destroy them, and
then, in return, were led to the battlefields and slaughtered for the
whimsical desire for glory of the man who rode the waves of emotional
fanaticism to power. Out of the mad chaos created by such desires and
emotions a new system of economic hope was created. French dreamers and
intellectuals had seen, in a short time of twenty-five years, the
ultimate hopes of a nation rise to exalted heights in a sort of
religious fanaticism and then plunge to depths of despair. A culture or
civilization in which such a catastrophe as that could happen, so the
philosophers thought, must be faulty beyond repair. Some of these
philosophers surrendered to discouragement and pessimism while others
sought to rebuild and reconstruct the crumbling ruins of the past.
Claude-Henri Saint Simon, Louis Blanc, François Fourier, Pierre
Proudhon, Karl Marx, Robert Owen, Charles Kingsley, Saint Jean-Baptiste
La Salle, Frederic Engels, and Johann Rodbertus were some of the most
prominent socialists and thinkers who attempted to find a solution to
the economic ills of Europe and to guarantee an equitable distribution
of wealth to the masses of the people.[1]

This new system became known as socialism and was a middle class
movement which developed out of the shattered eighteenth century era.
Side by side with socialism developed communism, a doctrine developed
out of the working class needs which, it was thought by some, neither
socialism nor capitalism could satisfy. Socialism, as maintained by
nineteenth century philosophers, stemmed not only from the old
totalitarian doctrine of the Greek city-state but from the old concept
of a universal pattern of cultural religion and economics of the
medieval period. The philosophers were only substituting economics for
medieval religion in the new social theory. The spirit of co-operative
good, of theoretical equality and ultimate perfection of society are
common to both Utopian socialism and religion. The socialists visualized
a world of productivity sufficient to abolish poverty and furnish
abundance to those who worked. The problem, as they understood it, was
to prevent the concentration of enormous wealth in the hands of a few
individuals by which those who possess wealth deprive the masses of
equitable distribution of goods. This concentration could be prevented,
so thought the socialist, if production and distribution could remain in
control of the people who produced the materials. The socialist dreamed
of an economy in which there would be a social development along with
the economic but in which all inequality and special privilege would be
eliminated from both political and economic life. One writer has defined
socialism as:

  A socialized industry is one in which the material instruments of
  production are owned by a public authority or voluntary association
  and operated, not with a view to profit by sale to other people, but
  for the direct service of those whom the authority or association
  represents. A socialized system is one the main part of whose
  productive resources are engaged in socialized industries.[2]

Over against the socialist theory was the pragmatic theory of capitalism
already operating in many parts of Europe and America. The same writer
defines capitalism as:

  A capitalist industry is one in which the material instruments of
  production are owned or hired by private persons and are operated at
  their orders with a view to selling at a profit the goods or services
  that they help to produce. A capitalist economy, or capitalist system,
  is one the main part of whose productive resources is engaged in
  capitalist industries.[3]

Out of the socialist movement there developed three different types:
first, socialism as represented by the Utopian idealism which is
apparently impractical but which doesn’t encourage hostility between
classes, groups or individuals; second, Marxian socialism which
theoretically conceives of a classless society and which recognizes a
ceaseless war between the so-called privileged and the underprivileged;
and third, liberal socialism which involves the gradual socialization of
all means of production and distribution by permitting it to remain
definitely in the hands of the producer and consumer through
governmental agencies or co-operating groups.[4] This latter type of
socialism is the kind that many governments of the world are adopting
today by the procedure of the established political parties in those
states acquiring what appears to them as the practical socialist
doctrines as new platforms and policies. These conceptions of socialism
are tenets of early socialism and not of the many varieties operating
under the name at the present time.

It is Utopian socialism rather than Marxian which developed into a
strong movement in Europe during the nineteenth century but failed to
materialize as a successful movement. This failure to gain immediate
success was accepted by the leaders of socialism as a weakness of
society instead of lack of merit in socialism, and the failure was
explained as due to the inherent conditions of a traditionally bound
European culture. Therefore, success, so the leaders thought, required
only the transfer of their efforts to new lands where traditions had not
yet been so thoroughly established. America was one of these new lands
where Utopias could be built in the vast spaces beyond the frontiers.
And so these dreamers turned their eyes toward the United States as a
place where doctrines could be established and success could be
achieved. However, neither here nor in Europe has the Utopian dream
approached realization.

Robert Owen was one of the Utopian socialists who crossed the Atlantic
to the United States seeking to escape the inheritance of European
culture so that he could develop his socialism in a new world. Owen was
the son of a saddler, well-educated, religious, and thoroughly trained
in business. He organized New Harmony in the United States, an
undertaking which cost him three to five years of his life and
four-fifths of his fortune. Another settlement similar to New Harmony,
located near Glasgow, Scotland, was attempted by him but also failed.
Perhaps due to his eminent success in business in the British Isles,
Owen was received by American leaders with more public acclaim than any
other socialist. However, due to rash unorthodox religious statements
and his temporary denouncement of marriage, he soon became unpopular in
the United States as well as in the British Isles.

Owen was absolutely opposed to violence of any kind and was extremely
favorable to recognition of the value of capital. He withdrew from the
labor movement after the leaders had violated his doctrine expressed in
his _Address to the Workman_, namely, that all workers must renounce
hatred and violence directed against the capitalist or ruling class.[5]

While Owen failed to establish a Utopia in Europe or America, he did
have great influence as stated by one writer:

  And yet, despite his errors in judgment and the failure of many of his
  plans, the great-hearted and lovable cotton manufacturer and communist
  did exert a profound influence on the social thinking of the world.
  His indictment of the present order of society for its waste, its
  injustices, its tragedy of unemployment; his emphasis on social
  happiness as the ideal of human progress; his insistence that
  character was profoundly influenced by social environment; his urgent
  plea that all co-operate for the common welfare in the production and
  distribution of wealth, all these left their imprint on future
  generations. And his life of untiring devotion and sacrifice proved
  one of the great sources of inspiration to those who followed later in
  the socialist, co-operative, and trade union movements, as well as
  those who worked in behalf of child training, of labor legislation, of
  prison reform, and of similar causes.[6]

Another class of socialists found in the United States who came from
across the Atlantic consisted of various religious groups. New Harmony
itself had been originally created and founded by the Rappists and later
purchased by Owen.

Fourier was to France what Owen was to England. There is a great
difference between the position of men like Owen and Fourier and the one
assumed by those who accepted Karl Marx, whose doctrines are best
represented by Wilhelm Weitling. The communism of the first group was
merely the communal possession of goods produced by communal effort with
no thought of class conflict or the confiscation of goods produced by
other means. This group sought to deny hostility and hatred between
classes saying that the wealthy had the same desire to create a perfect
society as did those who labored for a living. Marx held to the view
that constant conflict between classes was fundamental.

Frederick Engels in evaluating the Utopian socialist wrote:

  To all these Socialism is the expression of absolute truth, reason,
  and justice, and has only to be discerned to conquer all the world by
  virtue of its own power.[7]

Marxian socialism, on the other hand, is in direct contrast to the
Utopian. He says:

  From this time forward Socialism was no longer an accidental discovery
  of this or that ingenious brain, but the necessary outcome of the
  struggle between two historically developed classes—the proletariat
  and the bourgeoisie.[8]

Thus, it came about that the United States was fortunate in receiving
whatever socialistic contributions it has received from the English and
French Utopian socialism of reason rather than from the ruthless Marxian
socialism of conflict which never has had any great influence in the
United States.[9] All the colonies established by the followers of
Fourier and Owen have disappeared. La Réunion, a French colony in Texas,
furnishes a splendid opportunity to analyze the reasons for these
failures.

[Illustration: Bust of Victor Considerant erected in his native village
of Salins, France. From Maurice Commanget, _Victor Considerant, sa Vie,
                   son Oeuvre_, 1929, Paris France.]



                               CHAPTER I
                         FOUNDERS OF THE COLONY


La Réunion, a French settlement in Texas, was the result of the efforts
and teachings of three men: Albert Brisbane, Charles François Fourier,
and Victor Prosper Considerant. These men were all middle-class and all
were Utopian socialists. Both Brisbane and Considerant visited the
colony but Fourier’s contribution was confined to the promulgation of
the ideas and theories which formed a basis of the colony.

Owenism in England and Fourierism in France grew out of the distaste of
businessmen for business as it was conducted during the transition
period between the dominance of the Mercantile System and the
achievement of control of society by the new capitalistic groups. Both
Owen and Fourier deserted what promised to be a fruitful and very
successful business life in order to project their fantasia of reform.
The origin of these doctrines of Utopian socialism in such an
environment perhaps explains the non-violent principles insisted upon by
both Owen and Fourier.

Fourierism may be better understood when it is realized that Lyon, the
home of Fourier, was the most highly industrialized city in France at
the beginning of the nineteenth century. There was constant strife
between the owners and guild workers, oftentimes developing into open
warfare. Poverty and fear of insecurity were general. Thus Fourier was
able to observe and to compare capitalism with the co-operative nature
of peasant efforts in the rich agricultural area surrounding the
city.[1]

François Fourier was born in Besançon, France, in 1772, and while yet a
child he mastered Latin and Greek, as was the custom in the educational
system of those days. His father was a middle-class merchant who was
frugal, if not too honest, and who was able to gather a small fortune of
two hundred thousand francs of which François inherited one-half at his
father’s death. In 1793 he lost his inheritance in an insurrection of
the village against the French Convention then in power in France. In
the same year he was forced into the army by a decree of the National
Assembly, which provided that every man between the ages of eighteen and
twenty-five should be conscripted for service. In 1797 he quit the army
and returned to Lyon to enter business as a clerk. While making a living
clerking in the store, he amused himself by writing. He published an
article in a magazine in Lyon in 1803, another article in 1804; finally
in 1808 his first important work, _Theory of the Four Movements and the
General Destinies_, came from the press.

This work was met by indifference and disdain everywhere; even Fourier’s
mother tried to persuade him to discontinue his work and make amends for
that already published. However, he persisted. During the winter of 1815
and 1816 he left Lyon and retired to Talissier, where he prepared his
second great work, _Le traité de L’association domestique agricole ou
attraction industrielle_. It was after the production of these works
that Just Muiron, one of his most faithful disciples, came to him.
During these years and immediately thereafter, Fourier thought out and
planned an elaborate system of socialism, or economic policy, which the
world today has rejected as a fantastic Utopia incapable of
realization.[2]

Fourier’s idea was one of mass production and systematic co-operation
which was to be accomplished by minute organization, the unit of which
was to be a phalange or phalanx. People were to be impelled into this
system, rather than compelled, as is the method of many Utopian schemes.
No force or compulsion was to be used. The whole process of evolving
such a society was to be so natural and logical that people would accept
the scheme without any persuasion. Happiness and prosperity would be
obtained by a minute co-ordination of the various duties of the members
of the phalanx, and that without any community of property. The phalanx
would, in order to be successful, contain approximately two thousand
members, all living in the same huge buildings known as phalansteries,
which would contain the workshops as well as living quarters. This
settlement was to be surrounded with a few leagues of land which the
members worked when desire prompted them to do so.[3]

Under Fourier’s plan, however, work was to be nothing more than
organized sport, and thus by competitive effort all necessary work was
to be pleasantly done. Each community was to be self-sustaining and each
member was to draw from a common storehouse all the necessities of life,
provided, of course, that he had agreed to the unity of goods and
property. Food and clothing were not to be held in equal share, but to
be distributed according to the merits of each member of the
phalansteries.

Each person was to gain initiative by the emotional passions which
mutual attraction naturally developed. Misery, poverty, and unhappiness,
according to Fourier, came from suppression of natural desires and
passions. All that was required for perfect harmony in social life was
the harmonious development and satisfaction of natural desires. People
were misled only because civilization, by its unnatural laws of
suppression, prevented men and women from full acquisition and use of
their natural talents. Each person and each phalanx was to be brought
into competition with others in the arts of commerce, labor, learning,
and various activities of life. Then, too, desire for company, for
association and union would be fulfilled by the bringing together of
several hundred men and women into one phalanx or more. Whenever one
form of labor or association became monotonous for the individual, he
could easily transfer to another type of work and a new group of
associates. Women were to be relieved of the monotony and drudgery of
housework and the rearing of children. These duties, which had
previously been forced upon the women, would be abolished by the
switching from one type of labor to another, and by the organizing of
children into special phalanges of their own.

Fourier was neither a clear thinker nor a logical writer.[4] In fact,
all his writings are disorderly and his system has no logical outline
nor organization. He was never able to impart to his disciples an
impulse of victory and desire such as great men are frequently able to
do.[5] However, what Fourier lacked, his most prominent follower, Victor
Prosper Considerant, possessed.

Considerant was born in Salins, France, in 1808 at the foot of the Jura
mountains, of a family belonging to the bourgeoisie. His father was a
distinguished humanist, translator of English treatises, librarian for
the city, and headmaster of a small school. The family was poor and the
parents often had boarders in order to make financial ends meet.
Considerant finished school at Salins and then entered the Lycée de
Besançon in order to prepare himself for L’Ecole Polytechnique. While
attending school in Besançon he met Just Muiron in the home of Mme.
Vigoureaux who, with several others, was giving considerable time to the
study of the works of Fourier. Mme. Vigoureaux had lived in Salins and
had sent her son to Considerant’s father for instruction; it was thus
natural for Considerant to spend a portion of his time in her home.
Besides the boy, she had two daughters, one of whom later became the
wife of Considerant and accompanied him to Texas.

In 1826, at the age of eighteen, Considerant entered L’Ecole
Polytechnique and was in due time graduated, whereupon he immediately
entered the army and soon attained the rank of captain. After a short
service with the army, he felt that he should give all of his time to
the spreading of the teachings of Fourier and, finally, after some
hesitation, resigned his commission in the army. Marshall Soult, to whom
he applied for release, told him that his resignation would not be
accepted for the army needed officers of his type, but that he would be
granted indefinite leave of absence, and that he might return to the
army at any time with the same rank as he then held.[6]

Considerant also attended school in Metz and from there he went to
Paris, where he set about his work. In June, 1832, the first number of
the _Phalanstére_, organ of the Fourierists, appeared. The principal
contributors to the paper were Considerant, Baudet-Dulary, Jules
Lechevalier, Just Muiron, Amédee Paget, Pellarin, Renaud, Clarisse
Vigoureaux, and Fourier. The followers of Fourier rejected the name
Fourierists and accepted as an official title _phalanstériens_ and the
constituent parts were to be known as _phalanstére_ or phalange. The
paper soon brought discord, or rather the discord was inherent in the
publication. Fourier thought that the whole movement should be
advertised or established by an actual experiment, while the disciples
thought that conferences, pamphlets, political actions, public speeches,
and other means should be used to get the plan before the people. Then,
too, besides Fourier, others led a mild revolt from the group which
Considerant apparently controlled.

Fourier had an opportunity to see his scheme tested and his idea of
propagation carried out when in 1833 Baudet-Dulary, deputy from the
Seine-et-Oise, purchased five hundred hectares of land near the forest
of Rambouillet and founded a society with a capital of 1,200,000 francs
for the purpose of trying out the phalange idea. The subscription did
not reach five hundred thousand francs and failure came quickly. The
members could not agree, a sad situation which was repeated later at La
Réunion, and the company broke up greatly in debt. The disappointment
was great to Fourier; “he grew old quickly, his health declined, a
bitter disquietude seized him,” and he died at the home of Mme.
Vigoureaux, October, 1837. His death freed Considerant from certain
restraint which the master had held over him, and permitted Considerant
to develop the phalange idea along the line which he thought best to
follow.[7]

Great activity of the school now became imperative. The Phalanstére was
succeeded in 1835 by the _Réforme Industrielle_, and in the following
year the Phalange made its appearance. On July 30, 1843, the journal
announced further changes, and on August 1, there appeared the first
number of the _Démocratie Pacifique, journal des intérets des
gouvernements et des peuples_. At first the paper appeared three times
weekly, later becoming a daily. This advance and transformation of the
journal was made possible by a gift of four hundred thousand francs to
the society by Arthur Young, an Englishman. Young, who travelled much in
France, had been converted to Fourierism and made this contribution to
advancement of the doctrine. The _Démocratie Pacifique_, in a sense,
continued the great work of the St. Simonians, although the Fourierists
abstained from all theorizing on the subject of religion or on minor
changes in social institutions. The great objective was the organization
of the collective life of man strictly on a scientific basis. In 1840
the school founded a society for the propagation of the theories held by
Fourier; the capital amounted to seven hundred thousand francs. With the
aid of this money, Considerant gathered all the manuscripts which
Fourier had left and, combining them into one complete series, published
and sold them. Various other materials were sent out over Germany,
Switzerland, Brazil, Belgium, and the United States, so that in 1847 in
all these countries and in thirty-four cities in France, great banquets
were held in celebration of the memory of Fourier.[8]

This was undoubtedly the high tide of Fourierism; in France, and
everywhere the propaganda had been spread, people received and held on
to it like fanatics. Fourier’s works went through several editions, his
bust was sculptured and sold throughout the world; Considerant’s
writings were in demand everywhere. Even the government of France feared
the _Démocratie Pacifique_ and sought to stem the tide of its
influence.[9]

At the time of the publication of the first issue of the _Démocratie
Pacifique_, the disciples of Fourier, thanks to the incessant propaganda
of Considerant and his friends, already had a large number of converts,
not only in Paris and other cities in France but in other parts of the
world.[10] The paper, being most of the time published in secret, was
housed in various places, having to be moved frequently with only a
moment’s notice. However, the audacity and earnestness of Considerant
and his group of young intellectuals kept it alive. Their enthusiasm is
well illustrated by an incident told by Brisbane:

  Those were happy days—days of faith and enthusiasm, when material
  obstacles were but straws to be blown to the winds before the
  vehemence of youth under the inspiration of a grand idea! I remember
  Considerant rushing into the office one day—a red fez cap, which I had
  given him to wear to a masked ball a few days before, on his head,—and
  throwing down upon the sofa a bag of money; “There,” he exclaimed, “is
  enough to go on with sometime yet! In twenty years we shall be in
  Constantinople.” Fourier’s idea was that Constantinople would
  ultimately become the capital of the globe.[11]

Nevertheless, such inspiration and hope could not continue under a
despotic government such as ruled France. In 1848, a revolution having
dethroned Louis Philippe and established, for the time being, a
socialistic republic, Considerant was elected to the National Assembly.
Three years later, after Napoleon had been elected president,
Considerant, on account of his energetic protest against the French
armies’ destruction of the Roman republic and because of his known
connection with the _Démocratie Pacifique_, was condemned to be
transported to some French island, but he was successful in escaping in
disguise to Belgium where he continued to dwell until he came to the
United States.[12]

The incident of the escape is vividly told by Brisbane, who says:

  A great many caricatures of Napoleon had been posted up in the
  editorial rooms of the _Democratie Pacifique_ and these were speedily
  torn down: I could see that the editors felt that the reign of
  despotism had come; no one could tell how long he himself would be
  safe, and every preparation was made to meet an attack on the office.
  Fourier’s manuscripts and other valuables were removed to a place of
  safety just in time. The attack came, and Considerant made his escape
  by disguising himself as a fisherman. Having shaved his long
  peculiarly-shaped mustache he was unrecognizable, even by his intimate
  friends, and he thus spent several days fishing under the bridges of
  the Seine. At length passports were obtained and he made his way to
  Belgium.[13]

Considerant’s relation to the whole Fourieristic movement is splendidly
summed up in an article in the _Allgemeine Zeitung_, which states:

  The overthrow of the St. Simonian School at Paris was the point, as is
  well known, from which the prevalence of Fourierism commenced. With
  the failure of its external success, the whole of the St. Simonian
  School came to an end, both what was true in it and what was false.
  The person, who was the first, and that after a period of nearly
  twenty years, to take a lively interest in the ideas of Charles
  Fourier, was Just Muiron, who in the year 1814 attempted to apply them
  to the “Communal Comptoir.” He was sincere and devoted, but did not
  possess the qualities to promulgate and defend the new system of
  society. It could not succeed, unless a man was found, combining
  profound convictions with ardent zeal, and the gift of eloquence,
  demanded by new ideas in order to secure the attention of the public
  to the question proposed. Such a man was Victor Considerant. His
  education in Polytechnic school had accustomed him not merely to
  follow a rigid calculation but to appropriate its results as actual
  truths; the demonstration in figures for Fourier’s statements of the
  subversion of the present social institutions as regards the total
  production was not to be set aside.

  It was then but a single step to the idea of an Agricultural
  Association leading to the practical side of Fourier’s theory.
  Considerant was convinced: he formed personal relations with Fourier
  himself; ideas were exchanged; and the chief points of the school,
  then in its infancy, were established. After Jules Lechevalier (now in
  exile in London) and Abel Transon were brought into the School, the
  former lecturing upon its principles in Paris and the other
  promulgating them by his pen, Considerant repaired to Metz, where he
  delivered a course on the theory of Fourier, and subsequently became
  one of the most active contributors to the _Phalanstère_ or _Réforme
  Industrielle_, which appeared at the beginning of 1832.

  After the failure of a practical experiment at the time of which
  Reybaud said “There was silence concerning Charles Fourier,” the chief
  of the later Associative School, took his stand with fresh energy at
  the head of affairs, collected the scattered remains, and opened a new
  epoch for the doctrine. Victor Considerant returned to Paris. Young,
  bold, a fervent and impulsive speaker, he could not persuade himself
  that the cause which he had embraced and professed as the faith of his
  whole life was doomed to go down so soon, and with so little effect.
  He went to work and wrote the book, from which the revival of the
  Social School is dated, the _Destinée Sociale, Exposition Elementaire
  Complete de la Théorie Societaire_. In this, he first of all takes
  hold of the present condition of Society, showing that the perversion
  of its institutions was the cause of all misery, and that there was no
  hope of solving the present problem but in a total transformation of
  Society. This work contains Fourier’s theory in a comprehensive shape,
  but surrounded and in fact penetrated by an acute and powerful
  criticism of the whole social industrial and political condition of
  France. Considerant thus started the Social School anew, and from him
  dates the progressive importance of Fourierism.

  On the 11th of Dec., 1835, he delivered before the “Congress
  Historique” his celebrated lecture on the “True position of Fourierism
  in respect to the Religious and Philosophical Convictions of the Time”
  which he afterwards sent forth from the press, and which, at that
  time, caused so much sensation. The _Gazette de France_ and the
  _Univers_ attacked it with extreme violence. The discussion was
  pervaded by the spirit of progress, without being absolutely tied down
  to the dogmas of Fourier’s School. This direction has (been) always
  maintained by Considerant, and it is this which (has) gained an always
  increasing number of adherents from among the best youthful intellects
  to the higher and more abstract portions of social science. Entering
  upon this field, it contains a germ, which, though still at a distance
  from its true development, is alone able to secure its future.

  Not less important is the second side, which the Social School
  presents in relation to the times. By the Revolution of July, not
  merely the political conditions, but also the political consciousness
  of the French people was thrown into confusion on all sides. Each man
  followed only himself, claiming the liberty to enforce his convictions
  by every variety of method. Thus arose the secret unions of
  Republicans and Communists, amidst the public relations of the
  ever-changing struggle of parties, which were soon turned into
  factions, vying with each other for possession of power. Nowhere was
  peace, nowhere security—the most important interests neglected for
  questions of party—The welfare of the country was notoriously turned
  into a game. Disturbances arose at several points, as at Paris, Lyons,
  Muhlhausen. Then the public sentiment gradually began to react against
  these merely political movements and to become weary of them. People
  no longer wanted Revolution, and addressed themselves to other
  problems. The idea of material welfare emerged from the back ground,
  presenting its claims in opposition to political movements. But those
  who took up this direction were in want of an organ, possessing an
  independent life, and a representative of material necessities among
  the new parties demanding a Republic, Legitimacy, a Constitution and
  the Press. For such a position no one was better fitted than the
  Social School which has always acknowledged the principle that the
  improvement of the social condition was the true problem of the time
  without also perceiving the impossibility of such an improvement
  except in a free political State. Here also Considerant became a
  leading spokesman, taking his stand for the first time in decided
  opposition both to the Liberals and Conservatives, who displayed no
  other desire than to see an exclusive form of Government with a place
  in it for themselves. Considerant had found the points, which were
  sought by the general demand for criticism and system, and took
  possession of them in the name of Fourier. But we must here do justice
  to the elastic spirit of the school, which is by no means inclined to
  entrench itself under the dogmas of a master—it acknowledges the
  possibility of progress, the necessity of measuring with its
  principles the events of the day, and fairly uniting all in every
  field. Considerant was the first who gave this political direction to
  the Social School, which enabled it on a sudden to take such a strong
  stand at the side of the social parties in 1848, not merely as a
  theoretical school but as a political power.

  The career of Considerant from that time is too well known to those
  who have watched the social movements of the last three or four years,
  to need any comment in this place. It is sufficient to have maintained
  his early influence in respect to the social movements of the last ten
  years. His observations in the United States will still more forcibly
  show him the importance of combining political action with social
  aspirations, since the conviction will be forced upon him that there
  is no well-founded hope of a possible realization except in a
  democratic State.[14]

Albert Brisbane of New York was the third man who took a great deal of
interest in the establishment of La Réunion. He was Considerant’s chief
lieutenant in America, and was also a disciple of Fourier. Brisbane had
studied the works of Hegel, St. Simon, and other great social leaders
while in Germany and finally, by mere chance, came upon the writings of
Fourier. He soon returned to Paris where he placed himself under the
direct teachings of the master, to whom he paid five francs per lesson
for personal instruction.[15] Here, at the same time, he also became
acquainted with Considerant and was closely associated with him and his
group. The part of the doctrine which appealed to Brisbane is explained
in his own words as follows:

  First his idea of attractive industry, bearing directly on the
  material interest of men. The idea that the productive labors of
  mankind—those of agriculture, mining, manufacturing, etc.—now so
  repulsive, so monotonous, so wearing to mind and body, and so
  degrading to those engaged in them, can be dignified and rendered
  attractive certainly appears on the surface one of the most
  chimerical. Still, Fourier did not undertake to do this by any
  abstract, imaginative means, by persuasion or appeals to moral duties;
  his process is an entirely new and practical organization of those
  labors. It is by a minute division of their details; by convenient and
  labor-saving machinery; by healthy, even elegant workshops, where a
  certain refinement could be introduced, and scientific thought
  combined with the pursuit of industry; by short sessions of labor, and
  the prosecutions of all of its branches by groups of persons united in
  taste and in sympathy of character, thus bringing the play of the
  sentiments into industry, and identifying the social and productive
  life of man; lastly, by a clear appreciation on the part of humanity
  of the importance of these labors as regards their influence on the
  cultivation of the globe, and through that cultivation, on the whole
  economy of the planet, its climates, etc.[16]

After his return from Europe in 1839, Brisbane began propaganda for
Fourierism, and by the latter part of that year had won several
adherents, the most important of whom was Horace Greeley. Brisbane and
Greeley started a paper in New York, called the _Future_, which lasted
only a few weeks. When the paper suspended publication, Brisbane began a
column in Greeley’s newly organized _Tribune_. Brisbane soon withdrew
from this assignment and went to the _Chronicle_ which he began to edit,
and at the same time, wrote articles for other publications.[17]

The propaganda had great success; the repercussion, however, fell
heavily upon Brisbane. Various interests, especially those who saw in
socialism an enemy to established customs, began to attack him severely.
In his memoirs, Brisbane writes concerning the public attitude toward
him at this time as follows:

  Gradually, I came to be considered as an atheist, and advocate of
  theories subversive of all morality; as a fomentor of war between
  classes, and what not. No color was too black in which to paint my
  character. For a while I endeavored to defend myself, but the attacks
  were so varied, the blows came from so many quarters at once, that I
  soon felt the impossibility of meeting them and gave it up. Bowing to
  the necessity of things, I accepted the reputation thus made for
  me.[18]

Not only was he attacked editorially, but on some occasions he would
have suffered bodily harm if he had not escaped.[19] Socialism was too
new and the principles were too little known for an adherent to have an
unbiased hearing in a country seething with nationalism, and in a
country where political demagogues would not hesitate to appeal to any
prejudice that they might discover in an ignorant people.

Brisbane was a remarkable man who really felt the necessity of revamping
the institutions of the world. He was interested in the most minute
details of social and economic life; for instance, he writes, “Women ...
are absorbed in a monotonous repetition of the trivial degrading
occupations of the kitchen and the needle;—degrading because they have
to be so continually repeated and on so small a scale.”[20] Moreover, he
thought the labor of children under the present system was entirely
wasted because of the petty amount of their task. To overcome such
“smallness” of chores, he advocated that separate households be
abolished and associations of households be created instead. Thus, woman
would have time to help produce the material necessities of life and be
an equal to man. Such an idea of combinations, Brisbane thought, could
be applied to all industries and especially to that of agriculture.
There are only two methods to be followed he believed: the incoherent or
the combined. In his book, _Social Destiny of Man_, or _Associations and
Reorganization of Industry_, with the impulse of a fanatic and the
learning of a philosopher, he weighs the merits of one against the
merits of the other, always with prejudice in favor of the “combined.”
With provocative thought and earnest application he creates a favorable
impression for “associations” or “combines.” Speaking of agricultural
associations, he says,

  It is above all in precautions against fire and other accidental
  waste, that the profits (of the Association) become colossal. All
  measures of public security are impracticable with three hundred
  families, some being too poor to take necessary precautions, others
  too careless or indifferent. We frequently hear of a whole town being
  consumed by the imprudence of a single family. Precautions against
  insects, rats, etc. become illusive also, because there is no joint
  action between these families. If by great care one farmer destroys
  the rats in his granaries he is soon assailed by those of the
  neighboring farms and fields, that have not been cleared of them, for
  the want of a system of general co-operation, impossible with the
  present diversity of interest.[21]

Therefore, reasons the writer, not only in the matter of fire
protection, but in every other form of agricultural work, the advantages
of the Fourieristic principle of association are evident, and within the
near future all activities must be carried on in such combination of
various groups.

Brisbane soon became the center of a brilliant group which believed and
taught Fourierism. Some of the others were: John Allen, the Channings,
George W. Curtis, Charles A. Dana, John S. Dwight, Parke Goodwin, George
C. Foster, Henry James, Horace Greeley, James Russell Lowell, C.
Neidhardt, Francis G. Shaw, John G. Whittier, George Ripley and many
others.[22]

Hundreds became interested and phalanges were established in many
sections of the United States. In fact, the propaganda was so successful
that an avalanche of applications fell upon Brisbane before he had
worked out any plan of promotion or forms. He warned those who
contemplated forming the “associations” not to be hasty and not to make
any attempt to put the principles into operation until they had
sufficient capital to guarantee some sort of success. However, very
little attention was given to his advice and many phalanges were
established, but few were successful.[23]

It was from the results of the teachings of these three men, Fourier,
Considerant, and Brisbane, and from the direct effort of the last two
that La Réunion was established in Texas, on the banks of the Trinity
river.

  “The best elements of the old world ask only to leave it; let America
  afford to them a little aid; nothing more is required, for them at
  once to join forces with her. Europe is now driving from her bosom
  whatever is good; let America give it a home with herself.”

  Victor Considerant, _European Colonization in Texas_, p. 29.



                               CHAPTER II
                                AU TEXAS


Considerant, as a leader of the Fourieristic socialists, had always
refused to combine the teaching or propagandizing of the movement with
any attempt to put the phalansterian organization of society into
operation. He thought that the proper promotion of either problem would
require too large an outlay of energy and money ever to combine the two
into one undertaking, and consequently the teaching of Fourierism and
the colonization which would naturally grow out of it should be separate
undertakings. However, Considerant’s ideas changed after his first visit
to the United States in 1852; that is, he was willing to merge the two
in a very limited manner.[1]

Considerant’s departure to the United States on his first visit seemed
to have been hurriedly made, for he said that he left so quickly that he
did not have time to write to any one concerning his proposed trip. At
first, the trip was planned as only a four months’ tour of the United
States, but it later developed into a search for a location suitable for
the establishment of a colony.[2] On November 28, 1852, he left France
and sailed to Liverpool, from whence he sailed for New York on December
1, and reached that port about two weeks later. No one met him at the
port and, as Brisbane was in Detroit, he spent the time visiting some
phalanges near New York. Among these were Lowell’s and Lawrence’s
colonies near Boston, and the North American Phalanx in New Jersey. The
latter was the most successful and enduring of all the phalanges
established in North America. Considerant, after a six weeks’ visit,
pronounced the colony a failure in one sense of the word: the
co-operative efforts in economic and social life were carried out very
successfully, but serial development of other phalanges had been totally
abandoned by the colony. This he regretted very much.[3]

When Brisbane returned to New York from Detroit, he immediately got in
touch with Considerant, and they began to discuss what was best to
advance Fourierism in the United States. Brisbane apparently proposed
the founding of a big paper that would literally cover the United States
with propaganda. Considerant, however, urged that the day of education
had passed and proposed immediate founding of a colony that would show
what actually could be done with Fourierism at work. The idea of
disseminating propaganda should be secondary to the project itself.
Agreed on this part of the program, the two men began to seek a location
for the proposed colony. Brisbane proposed that lands in Ohio or
Illinois be chosen, but the project was subsequently rejected both by
him and by Considerant along with many other places. Finally, the
following was urged: first, that the northern, eastern, and western
states should be excluded because of the length and severity of the
winters, the short seasons and the excessive heat in summer, and by the
high price of land in the Ohio Valley; second, the citizens of the
proposed colony should be of both American and European stock, out of
which Considerant expected the development of a super-race; and third,
the colony must be located in the United States and east of the Rocky
Mountains. They thought of going to Santa Fe, but on the advice of
Captain Macy abandoned this plan because it was too far from the Gulf of
Mexico through which the colonists would have to ship their goods and
produce. Thus, the only possible solution was to locate the colony
somewhere in the South or in Texas. The latter place was finally agreed
upon, and a trip was immediately planned for investigation of the
territory and the location of the colony.[4]

Considerant and Brisbane left Lake Erie April 30, 1853, where ice was
still floating in the lake and the trees had not yet budded, for Texas.
The first day they went to Cleveland, from there to Wellsville, to
Canton, and then to Cincinnati. Here their arrival was announced in the
papers in the following way:

  Albert Brisbane and Victor Considerant, two of the most eminent living
  Socialists, of the Fourier school, were in Cincinnati on the 5 inst.
  Both of these Gentlemen are able, popular advocates of the
  Phalansterian system of the great French associationists above named.
  They are on their way to Northern Texas and the Red River country, for
  the purpose of selecting from twelve to fifteen thousand acres of good
  land, with a view to the importation of a colony of French and
  American Socialists.[5]

It was here, also, that they met several of their old friends.
Considerant refers to “our good and old friend Gingembre,” who was
living in a small house surrounded with large trees, which had been
built in eight days by Gingembre and his two sons. The house was dubbed
“Gingembree—Box.” John Allen, another leading socialist, met them and
promised to sell everything within eight days after he had received
notification of the location of the new colony and with his sons join
them immediately.[6]

From Cincinnati their journey led them to Patriot, where they bade
farewell to the last friends they were to meet, as they thought, until
they returned to New York. Carrying with them only saddles and the
barest necessities of a horseback journey to Texas, they embarked on a
steamship for Fort Smith. They sailed down the Mississippi river to the
mouth of the Arkansas and up the Arkansas to Little Rock, and later
continued to Fort Smith, where they purchased horses. Considerant was
amazed at the vast spaces of the West. Again and again he breaks his
narrative to tell of the seemingly impossible stretches of forest,
stream, and mountains. At the frontier, he is charmed by the contrast
between society of the fort and that of the surrounding country. He
says,

  Three social periods could not have been traversed more quickly. At
  two o’clock that afternoon we were still in the pleasant town which
  lies beneath Fort Smith.... Less than two hours afterwards, our horses
  were floundering along in the mire, among dead branches and rotten
  trunks, through which we traced with great trouble a kind of a road in
  the primitive forest, whose dense vaults anticipated night upon the
  swampy bottom lands. It was utterly wild, a deep silent virgin
  solitude, exhaling rank perfumes, the compact and luxuriant vegetation
  of arborescent masses, and gigantic vines embracing the large trees in
  one inextricable network, vegetable generations rising without the
  interruptions of time and space upon the secular ruins of their dying
  and dead predecessors.[7]

At the Choctaw Agency he had supper, consisting of “A piece of fish
perfectly burnt on one side, but, in compensation uncooked on the
other,” onions, and corn. Considerant reported that a negro slave was
the instructor of the Indians in the Choctaw country, teaching them the
crude elements of agriculture, how to play on the fiddle, and minor
industries. Here at the agency he apparently became exhausted by the
long rides and was somewhat discouraged over the whole proposition, but
Brisbane soon overcame his discouragement and they went on.

Eight days out of Fort Smith the two travellers came to Preston, located
on the bluffs of the Red River. On approaching the town, Considerant
describes the surrounding country and his personal reactions in the
following manner:

  The landscape was classic and charming; its character surprised us
  beyond all expression. In all civilized and cultivated America, I have
  seen nothing so sweet, so bewitching, so ornate and complete as these
  solitudes by which we entered the high basin of the Red River.
  Brisbane and I were struck with the same idea; we seemed to behold,
  transported into this rich climate and under the splendid firmament of
  latitude 34, those admirable parks, created and sustained at so great
  an expense by the high aristocracy of England....

  Nature has done all. All is prepared, all is arranged: we have only to
  raise those buildings which the eye is astonished at not finding; and
  nothing is appropriated nor separated by the selfish exclusiveness of
  civilized man; nothing is cramped. What fields of action! What a
  theatre of manoeuvres for a great colonization operating in the
  combined and collective mode! What reserves for the cradle of Harmony,
  and how powerful and prompt would be its developments, if the living
  and the willing elements of the World of the Future were transported
  there! A horizon of new ideas, new sentiments and hopes, suddenly
  opened before me, and I felt baptized in an American faith.[8]

Considerant does not describe the town of Preston and his reaction to
frontier life as exhibited there. The town was full of rough and crude
fellows, hijackers, murderers, and adventurers of all types. An army
officer, passing through the country about the time the above named
travelers were there, reported that the town was one of “bad repute.”[9]

From other sources it is learned that Considerant and Brisbane remained
in the vicinity of Preston for a few days and then went on toward
Clarksville. A letter from Bourland and Manion, a commercial company out
from Preston, to a Major de Morse says:

  Sir:

  Messrs. Albert Brisbane of New York, and Victor Considerant of France,
  got to our house a few days ago, coming into Texas at Preston, and
  thence to our bend. They are on their way through northern Texas for
  the purpose of selecting some several thousand acres of land, with a
  view to the settlement of a French Colony. They are well pleased with
  what they have seen. They remained with us a day and night, and we
  sent a guide with them on their way to Gainesville. They are fine
  looking, intelligent gentlemen. Their purpose, when they left our
  house, was, to examine the Cross Timbers country, and on to Fort
  Worth.[10]

Having reached Texas, Considerant immediately began to write his
reactions. “I was expecting something wild and rude, coarse grasses and
weeds of enormous height, etc.” However, he was astonished when he found
a “superior richness” of the soil, wild oats, numerous tender grasses,
large forests, and many prosperous, cultivated fields. Even the land
which the Americans rejected as poor, rocky, and of thin soil, which
they refused to cultivate, was exactly what the French needed to grow
their vines. Grapevines grown on such soil were of “lower growth and
much less run to wood and leaf, than the kind which overspreads the
bottoms. The latter reaches forth on all sides its gigantic branches and
climbs to the summit of the largest trees, balancing between them its
clusters of black grapes.”[11] Near Dallas, at the junction of the forks
of the Trinity river, Considerant and Brisbane met M. Gouhenans, chief
of the first Icarian vanguard, who gathered these wild grapes and made
wine out of them, which he sold for a dollar a bottle.[12]

The people classified the soil into four kinds: black sandy, red sandy,
mulatto, and black sticky. Considerant explains that the latter is
difficult to work and is more appropriate for cotton than for anything
else.

The reports he gave concerning the crops were very enthusiastic. For
instance, he mentions that he saw beets grown in unfertilized land that
measured two feet six inches in circumference, and tomatoes that put
forth shoots from ten to twelve feet in length.[13] At Fort Worth and
Fort Graham gardens which the soldiers had prepared were very prolific.
Within a few months after they were planted, there were beans of all
kinds, green peas, melons, sweet potatoes, and twenty other plants of
the kitchen garden, which were succeeding perfectly.[14] All of this was
accomplished without manuring the land, an absolute necessity in Europe.
There was no weeding necessary and only one or two plowings were
required. The garden in Fort Worth, so he reported, had been planted and
no further attention given to it, yet it was in very neat order.[15]

From the very first day of their trip, when they left Lake Erie, both
men had feared the Texas climate. They were afraid of the sub-tropic
summers, the fevers, langour, and sun-stroke; consequently, they were
surprised at the favorable reports they received wherever they went. In
Fort Worth, Major Merrill, who commanded the fort, told them that the
winters in Texas were so little feared “that he was in the habit of
making excursions of 15 days, sometime of a month, into the prairie or
forest, without serious inconvenience, and that he and his men did not
often even give themselves the trouble of erecting tents for the
night.”[16]

On inquiry they found that the soldiers of Fort Worth were comprised of
English, French, Irish, Spaniards, Russians, Swedes; in fact, a very
large portion of all the soldiers was European. However, there was no
complaint of climate—“one perfect accord, not a complaint, not a
regret.” The soldiers were happy and well, in spite of the not very
hygienic life and the sudden long and dangerous expeditions made into
the prairies and forests after the Indians. The settlers, exposed as
they were in cabins open to the wind and rain, were in good health, and
no serious illness was observed, except a few cases of fever in the
district along the coast. Nevertheless, this is not surprising when one
realizes that there are never more than thirty days of really cold
weather in the winter and that the hot summer days not tempered with the
Gulf breeze are few. Reflections of the climatic conditions were
noticeable in the habits of the live stock. There was an utter lack of
shelter for the stock. Horses, cows, sheep, and goats all wandered in
the woods or on the prairies the entire year without forage or shelter
being furnished them. The fowls around the houses had to be fed to keep
them from going “wild,” and effort had to be made to raise them, but not
so with the livestock.

Considerant’s estimate of the settlers is worth considering. When a new
settler came, he reported, his nearest neighbors, living anywhere from
six to fifteen miles from him, asked him on what day he desired to raise
his building, and at that time they all came to aid him in constructing
his modest home. In the meantime, the family camped in the open in their
covered wagon, the means of transportation used to get to Texas. At
first the settlers intended for the log cabin to be only a temporary
home, but the climate was so mild that they soon forgot to build more
commodious or permanent buildings until a growing town forced them to do
so. Examples of these settlers becoming financially independent in a
very short time are given by Considerant; for example,

  One had come with his wagon, his family, two horses and four or five
  dollars; another had only a pair of oxen, a third nothing at all, and
  the greater part of the immigrants were in this plight. We saw it
  everywhere, and yet everywhere at the end of some years, these
  families, so lately destitute, were surrounded with oxen, with cows,
  with horses, with hogs and fowls of their own, amid their fields which
  ripened abundant crops of corn, wheat, Irish and sweet potatoes, etc.,
  and gardens where ever they chose to make them.

  We saw a man who had thus come without any means, working with a
  settler, to earn the team of oxen and the seed with which, three
  months later, he was going to commence his farming; we saw the father
  of a family already aged, who having begun five years ago with one
  cow, had hitherto provided for twelve children, the eldest of whom was
  hardly sixteen, and for two women, without other help than his
  brother-in-law. Beautiful cattle, horses and fields in full culture
  were the conquests of these five years.

  A young French wagon maker arrived two years since on the upper
  Trinity with a dollar in his pocket for all his worldly wealth; he is
  now proprietor of the finest workshop in Dallas, which he has built at
  his own cost, and has an industrial capital of $1200....[17]

He characterizes the settlers as ignorant, destitute, without capital,
without instruments of labor, and without reciprocal ties. The social
conditions cannot be matched anywhere else in the world; in fact,

  In its elements, its action and effects, it is doubtless superior to
  the Savage state, since it is a seed of civilization that germinates
  very fast. But in its form, it is inferior, for the Indians at least
  unite in hordes, in camps or in tribes, while among the settlers, the
  principle of separation is pushed to the extreme degree.[18]

From Fort Graham Considerant and Brisbane returned by the way of the
Colorado River to Austin, perhaps to San Antonio and thence to New
Orleans, and Havana, reaching New York August 5. Considerant immediately
sailed for Europe, reaching Ostend, Belgium, August 29, 1853, having had
in all a nine-months’ trip of exploration and investigation.

With great faith in his glowing reports of Texas, and with a firm belief
that he could offer to the colonists the fullest economic liberty and
opportunity, Considerant began to gather his forces from a Europe,
blind, “timorous and enslaved to routine ... despotic even in its aims
of liberty and life.”

  “We have never been, in Europe, the abettors of disturbance, or the
  creators of disorder. We have there been diligent laborers in the good
  cause, the devoted soldiers of the interests of humanity. America!
  Free and Republican! was it a crime in us to have wished for Liberty
  and a Republic for Europe? And would it not be monstrous, should she
  repel us because we have been, at home, the martyrs of the very cause
  of which she bears the glorious banner in the face of the world?”

  Victor Considerant, _European Colonization in Texas_, p. 27.



                              CHAPTER III
                              THE SOCIETY


The over enthusiastic praise of Texas, its lands, its climate, and its
opportunities in an economic sense should stamp Considerant as a
promoter, if it were not for the caution with which he approached the
formation of the colony. After serious investigation, it will appear to
anyone that he was effusive by nature and his praise was sincere; no
flattering statement was made by him to induce people to part with their
money, or to participate in the Texas adventure. In fact, his first
appeal to the French socialists to immigrate in mass to Texas contains a
warning to those who contemplated investing money in the venture. He
said that he had always with obstinate sincerity exposed the illusion of
attributing to a first scientific experimental establishment the
character of a profitable investment.[1]

Furthermore, he warned that: first, the establishment must be considered
as a costly experiment; second, that little or no returns on the money
invested could be expected; and third, it would require very extensive
co-operation to avoid compromising individual fortunes.[2] All
colonization, he declares, develops itself at the expense of those
involved and at the risk of each individual participating in the act.
However, colonization requires a collective principle at its emergence,
as an individualistic principle is altogether too feeble to establish a
new home and new economic system in a difficult and distant state.
Communism, he says, has failed, except in rare cases where the effort
was supported by energetic religious faith, largely because of false
theory or poor conduct in the establishment of the colony. Therefore,
any effort that the Fourierists should put forth should be worked out
completely in theory before the undertaking is started.

The first necessity for successful establishment, Considerant thought,
was the creation of an agency to direct colonization. This agency was to
have two functions: first, to acquire lands on which the first
settlements were to be made; second, to prepare these lands to receive
the first immigrants. Preparation was to involve the purchasing of
grain, foods, live stock, implements, and the erection of houses
sufficient to care for the first groups to arrive. After the advance
guards of the immigrants had been established, they were in turn to
choose other grounds and construct other houses for the next or
succeeding wave of newcomers. This method would be continued
indefinitely, much like the Wakefield method proposed in England, until
the available lands were taken. Of course, the difference between the
Wakefield method and the one proposed by Considerant is that Wakefield
would have colonization carried on by the government on money which had
been obtained by the sale of government lands, while Considerant’s
scheme provided for collectivism, sanctioned and supported by private
individuals, either as participants in the act of colonization or as
interested observers.

Considerant was an experimenter, and intended the colony in Texas to be
purely an experiment. He definitely states:

  Although Phalansterians take the initiative in the work proposed, its
  object is not exclusively to realize their ideas, it is more general,
  it affords the opportunity of experiment and of practical verification
  to every other progressive doctrine, at its own cost, risk and
  responsibility.

  Let us found in Texas a colony characterized by its progressive social
  faith, which shall, first of all, improve the fruitful resources of a
  friendly Nature....

  We shall not seek to employ, as a means of effecting the colonization,
  our own ulterior and definite method of Social organization.[3]

Thus, again, he firmly states that it is an ideal of betterment of
humanity that he is seeking and not the bolstering up of his own pet
ideas. If by experiment another way could be established that would
prove more acceptable than the one he already had under consideration,
he would be willing immediately to adopt the other plan. Seemingly,
Considerant planned the whole movement as an experiment and
investigation into the social phases of life. He had an idea of social
betterment, which he admitted was no more than a mere theory, and by
means of this colony in Texas, placed under the most favorable
conditions, he could test the theory.[4]

The aims of the colony as far as settlement is concerned were, to
purchase lands in Texas, to bring a nucleus of colonists to the new
location, and to prepare the ground for reception of the members of the
colony. Of the latter, Considerant says,

  To bring ... European colonists upon a virgin soil, without
  preliminary arrangements, results, in most cases, simply in the
  dispersion of its elements and frequently in other disasters. In
  Texas, it is true, that the dispersion of our colonists would not be
  their ruin: they could easily derive advantages from their new
  position, but the collective enterprise and its aim would not the
  least be missed.[5]

He thought that the colonists should, as a general rule, find on their
arrival in a new country conditions equal to those which they left, and
that they should bring with them the reasonable hope that their
conditions would soon be made much better. In order to insure such a
development, Considerant proposes that there should be two phases of
development in the colony. Americans, already accustomed to the climate
and modes of cultivation practiced in Texas, were to be the chiefs of
the first operations. These chiefs were to be assisted by volunteer
workmen of Europe and America who expected to participate in the colony
and who apparently were to labor for the “faith and interest of the
enterprise,” while any lack of helpers was to be supplied by hired
labor, men who were already familiar with frontier life. The workers
were to clear the land, break the ground, plant the fields, sow the
grain, build the buildings, purchase saw and grist mills at Cincinnati
or Pittsburg and transfer them to the new fields. Livestock were to be
purchased and branded with the mark of the colony and then turned loose
in the fields and the forest to multiply. In fact, there was to be a
fully developed and operating industrial and agricultural community
already in existence before the Europeans, except “skillful nursery-men,
vine dressers and gardeners,” ever arrived in Texas. Considerant writes,
in enumerating what should be prepared, the following:

  A. Tenements ready to receive them, and so constructed as not only to
  impart a degree of comfort, but also to satisfy a variety of
  individual tastes.

  B. A complete system of _alimentary supplies_, which supposes, besides
  certain commercial facilities, depots of provisions, cultures in full
  bearing, fields sown with grain, gardens planted with vegetables, and
  a full stock of horses, cattle, hogs, sheep and poultry; then,
  machinery and workshops fitted to transform the raw materials into
  objects of daily consumption,—mills, ovens, and kitchens with their
  utensils.

  C. A provision of cottons, woolens, leather, and other materials for
  clothing.

  D. Such workshops, tools and special implements of art and industry,
  not comprised already in the preceding categories, as may be requisite
  to the most advantageous employment of the previously ascertained
  industrial capacities of the colonists expected.

  E. The creation of a commercial agency for the sale of the products
  created by the colony, as well as for the purchase of objects not
  produced by it.[6]

The second phase was apparently nothing more than the Europeans’ taking
possession of what had already been created, and their continuing to
repeat the process of preparation for others still to arrive.

In spite of the Utopian scheme, the plan would have probably succeeded
in establishing some sort of colony had not the colonists in America and
Europe been too anxious and rushed in before preparations were made for
them. Instead of waiting and gradually settling the lands which had been
purchased as planned, the colonists came to unprepared fields and barren
hills. This haste, no doubt, was due in large part to the advertisement
which both Considerant and Brisbane gave the proposed colony in America
and Europe.[7]

There was one group of bachelors, especially, that Considerant attempted
to persuade not to come, telling them that he would make no agreement
with them in his name or in the name of the society. However, they
disregarded his advice and came to La Réunion. He even sent Cousin, one
of his lieutenants, to several places to advise groups to wait until a
later date for their departure.[8] Nevertheless, when Considerant
reached New Orleans on his way from New York to La Réunion he learned
that more than two hundred colonists were already on their way to the
new establishment—young men, old men, old women and young women. They
came from Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, France and Sweden, all hurrying
to the New Utopia which Considerant had promised them in _Au Texas_.[9]

On September 26, 1854, at Brussels, Belgium, the articles of the
_Société de Colonisation Europeo-Americaine au Texas_ were signed by
Victor Prosper Considerant, Allyre Bureau, Charles Francois Guillon,
Jean Baptiste Godain-Lemaire, and four others.[10] This was the third
society formed by Considerant, the other two being Considerant, Paget
and Company, founded in 1840, and Considerant and Company formed in
1843. While these two societies did some colonizing in France, it was
not for this reason that they failed. The chief reason was the debt
which had accrued as a result of publication of newspapers and other
propaganda of the society.[11] One of their undertakings had been the
establishment and support of an orphan asylum in Paris of which Savardan
had control.[12]

In the new society some arrangements were to be made to indemnify the
people who had worked in these two societies.[13] The unsuccessful
outcome of these previous societies may have been the reason Considerant
took a minor place in the _Société de Colonisation Europeo-Americaine au
Texas_.

The first article of the statutes of the society provided for the
establishment of a central agency in Paris, other agencies in New York
and in other places where the business of the company might justify such
an establishment. Furthermore, it stated the purpose of the society to
be the planting and promoting of a colony as explained and defined in
Considerant’s book entitled _Au Texas_, published in Paris in May,
1854.[14] To carry out this purpose the society was to purchase or
secure lands in all parts of the State of Texas and to transport the
colonists thereto. It was also to guarantee development of the colony by
collectivism or individualism, as the members might direct.

The second article provided conditions of investments of capital and for
the payment of dividends resulting from the operation of the society.
The company was capitalized at $1,000,000 in American money, or
5,250,000 francs, and subscriptions were to be received in units of
five, twenty-five, and one hundred twenty-five dollars. The
subscriptions were to be divided into two groups: _actions a dividendes
and actions a primé_. The former was divided into three series, to be
issued each succeeding six months period and was to bear interest at the
rate of four per cent. The _actions a dividendes_ were not to
participate in the earnings of the society, with the exception of ten
per cent of the net income, which was to be set aside to constitute a
reserve fund.

Provisions were made in the statutes for the appointment of an agent in
Texas to be the executive officer of the organization in that state, and
who would be held directly responsible to the governors of the society.
Considerant accepted the proffered position and was instructed to
establish himself in America, where he was to receive subscriptions and
deliver bonds purchased from the society; acquire or sell in the name of
the society, furniture, tools, and lands; receive payments and give
quittance; agree in courts, and treat with the states for concessions,
or in general to transact any and all business for the company in
America. Furthermore, he agreed to give the society all concessions made
by him personally while in America, thus removing any chance of
criticism of the conduct of affairs by the officials. His salary was not
to be less than $1,200 per year.

The life of the charter of the society was to extend to December 31,
1874, with the possibility of extension of time, provided two-thirds of
the bondholders present and voting declared such to be their desire.
Should no extension be decided upon, the affairs of the company would be
liquidated.

By article thirty-one of the statutes the society was to be constituted
as soon as the subscription should reach $100,000, which was declared to
have been achieved on September 26, 1854, when A. Brisbane and
Godin-Lemaire subscribed $20,000 each, Considerant had brought to the
society an undesignated amount.[15] Other people were to be urged to
subscribe at least a million dollars for the proposed colony. In fact,
before leaving Europe in the early part of 1855, Considerant was able to
leave knowing that more than $300,000 had been subscribed for the
project, and prospects were good for the total amount to go beyond
$2,000,000.[16] Considerant reported that already more than $80,000 had
been expended upon the first project of the company at the conclusion of
the first year, 1855.

The above amounts were not merely investments in the form that we
understand investments today, they were payments of “rights of
participation.” That is, a man bought a certain amount of bonds and this
gave him a right to lands controlled by the company and a corresponding
right to draw from the company’s storehouse a certain specified amount
of materials or food, or as Considerant himself said,

  A third plan is based on the principle of co-partnership of different
  kinds of labor and industry united. In this system, each one
  co-operates to create a joint amount of stock and products, but each
  member draws a share proportionate amount of his capital and the value
  of his labor. In this combination a separate account being kept for
  each person I place confidence, and I should like to see some
  experiment made of it, under favorable conditions.[17]

The plan was apparently very much like the profit-sharing plan which
many leading industrialists are placing into operation today, each
employee being paid for his labor and, in addition, receiving an income
from the money which he has invested.[18]

In order to raise money for the colony, Considerant realized that he had
to depend upon the capitalists for a great deal of the money, to which
many of his followers objected. However, Considerant pleaded for the
co-operation of capital and labor. He wanted the capitalists to furnish
the capital for an interest payment. The appeal for funds on the ground
of gain was made directly to the men of affairs and not to the potential
settlers; the settlers were to receive freedom, a home, and higher
development. The capitalists and the company were to receive the
profits. The company was to use the profits to purchase lands and
transport additional colonists, and the capitalists were to use their
money as they pleased. Considerant, in answering those who charged him
with being friendly with the capitalists, said that he had to have money
to operate his society and if the objectors knew any method whereby he
might obtain the money without interest payment, or would mention
someone to whom he could go to secure the money, even on interest, he
would be glad to accept.[19]

The first proposal concerning capital was rather chimerical. As an
hypothesis, the sum of $800,000 was taken as a reasonable amount for the
promotion of the company. With this sum 400,000 or perhaps 300,000 acres
of land were to be bought at the price of twenty-five cents per acre,
and within two years 1200 colonists were to be permanently settled on
this land. In addition the following estimates were made:

 Grist and sawmills                                    $ 6,000
 Stocks of mechanics’ tools and fixtures                 5,000
 Stocks of farming and gardening implements,             8,000
     including threshing and reaping machines
 Horses and wagons for transportation                    5,000
 Building materials, seed, young fruit trees,           35,000
     vines, etc.
    2,000 head of cattle                                20,000
    1,000 horses and breeding mares bought in           16,000
     Mexico
 Stallions, jacks, rams, mules, sheep, hogs and         20,000
     fowls of approved breeds
    Cooper’s shop, pottery, brewery, tanner’s yard      15,000
     and cheese dairy
 Transport, wages and maintenance of colonists          60,000
 Sum of expenditure during the first year             $190,000
 For the second year—Transport of colonists           $ 20,000
 For their outfit, additional tools and                100,000
     implements, the establishment of workshops
     and various branches of industry
 Making a total for the first two years               $310,000[20]

Thus, there would be a balance of $400,000 in the treasury for further
development of the colony. In order to make it easy to raise this money
there were provided four ways in which one could invest, viz., (a)
invest the money and reserve the right to participate in the movement
later as a colonist, (b) to become a colonist, (c) gifts to be paid in
installments, (d) people to act as commercial and colonizing agents.[21]

Such relations in a financial way would determine the status of a
settler after he had arrived at the colony, and, of course, the
settler’s own desire as to his relations with the colony would have some
effect. The financial relations were to be determined by the formation
of the following groups within the colony:

  1. Associates in capital and in labor
  2. Associates in labor
  3. Associates in capital, working of their own accord
  4. Workers not associated, salaried by the association
  5. Some non-associated, or semi-associated residents working of their
          own accord
  6. Pensioners, or boarders, orphans, old and infirm, etc.

Only the first two groups were to have a full fellowship, the others
merely held rights in the company and participated in its activities in
a small degree.[22]

Outside of the above practical and semi-practical purposes, and
underlying the whole idea of the colony was a theory, novel,
interesting, and at times fantastic. In the first place, the colony was
not communistic but socialistic; that is, a socialism partaking of both
present day socialism and advanced capitalism. Several times Considerant
voiced his objection to communism and once stated that nearly all new
societies had been ruined by a “gross and rudimentary form of
Communism.”[23]

In La Réunion a person was to be either worker or proprietor, and no
equal division of earnings was ever to be made. Each person was to reap
the reward of his own labor, and partake of the profits of the company
as they accrued.[24] In fact, the whole success of his program depended
upon unearned increment, and co-operation with the capitalists in the
whole undertaking.[25]

He proposed, however, very advanced actions which progressive
capitalists accept today, namely, a maximum and a minimum wage scale to
be determined by the members of the society; co-operation “in credit, of
exchange, of mutual insurance, by provisions of cases of sickness, and
social guarantees in behalf of old age and infancy.” These regulations
were to be basic, but were subject to change, not being regulatory after
the society determined that there was a need for change.[26]

Considerant did not object to private establishments, even being willing
to aid them in reaching the new country and in getting established near
the colony. He thought that if they were to establish themselves in
proximity to the colony it would help increase the value of the colonial
lands. Any benefits derived from collectivism would also be extended to
the individual owners surrounding the colony. The unified efforts would
be to such a great advantage, it appeared, that no one would long desire
to remain outside. The colonists “must possess every moment, not only an
abstract and theoretical kind of liberty, but a practical guarantee, by
the very nature of organization, of the faculty to detach themselves
from it at their individual pleasure.” The colony was to be an example
of co-operation one with the other. The members could work in
communities practicing “individualism” and take advantage of the
co-operative organizations in so far as they desired. One might live
several miles from the colony, or he might live in the colony, and work
as an individual or in a group (phalanx). One could change rapidly from
the individualistic to the co-operative or vice-versa. Anyone might
enter the colony or leave it as he might desire. No compulsion was to
exist, no regulatory demands made on any person.[27]

The society itself was not to be exclusive: all other societies that
desired to co-operate—whether of the same opinion or not—had the right
to participate. The function of the _European-American Colonization
Society_ was to prepare a place of liberty and prosperity and to
represent liberal doctrines. Other societies were invited to come to try
out their doctrines by experience and application, and if they were
proved workable, then the Fourieristic society would accept them, for
there existed no right or reason for the members to attempt to impose
any pre-conceived plan upon the colonists. This seemed to Considerant to
be so rational there was no need to insist upon it.[28] However, it
seemed to him that there were certain principles of colonization already
established by the trial and error method recorded in history which
should not be disregarded. These were simple maxims, such as local
self-government, avoidance of extreme communism, and freedom of action.

Another part of his scheme was that of instruction or teaching. One day
was to be set apart for the teaching “of the social aims and of the
common faith, to the discussion of the general ideas and expressions of
the harmonic or the religious sentiment of the population.” Certain
functions that were unitary and of utilitarian value were to be
considered and voted upon by the whole body, and were to be developed
out of the religious emotions of the people. Favorable attitudes toward
progressive measures were also to be created, taking care, however, that
the whole movement was one of spontaneity and not one of passive
acceptance.[29]

A university and primary schools were to be provided wherein the French
and English languages and literatures were to be taught: art, physical
and mechanical sciences were to be taught by men of approved ability,
giving an opportunity to every person to follow the trend of his own
inclinations. A library was also to be provided, supplied, no doubt,
from the expected gifts of books to be received in subscriptions to the
stock of the company. The whole educational system, however, was to
allow for spontaneous acceptance of the program without any appearance
of compulsory education.[30]

Perhaps the most illusory part of the dream was that concerning
commerce. La Réunion was to become the center of a gigantic commercial
system. Colonies were to be established in all the states of the union,
especially in the Southwest, and they were to carry on their commerce
with one another, and through the mother colony connection would be made
with Europe. Considerant visualized great wagon trains winding through
the valleys and over the hills converging at La Réunion with their loads
of foods, metals, and manufactured goods ready for the European markets.
In fact, the shorter distance from Dallas to the Gulf of Mexico than
from Santa Fe to the same port was one of the determining factors which
led to the selection of the land near Dallas for the center of this
undertaking. At La Réunion the plan was to have the colony
self-sustaining and able to manufacture various materials for
exportation, such as furniture, pottery, brass work, glass, smelted
iron, as well as articles of food, especially pickles, and meat
products.[31]

His supreme concept of the colony was expressed as follows:

  Instead of a life consumed by cruel anxieties, we shall have conquered
  at last the right of Freedom from Care, which results from the blessed
  sentiment of solidarity and which gives to each the consciousness that
  his individual life is integrant of the social life. It is the _right
  to social life_, the right to a harmony between the elements of life,
  and the being who lives. Each one here feels himself a member of a
  social body founded for his faith and by his faith, destined soon to
  realize this in its plenitude, and recognizes himself as an associate
  and an active agent in a work whose grandeur penetrates him deeper and
  deeper every day.[32]

With such arrangements and connections in Europe as have been mentioned,
and with such a Utopian plan, Considerant asked for and received letters
of introduction from various men in Europe and the United States, among
whom were H. W. Merrill, Lieut. Major, U.S.A., and J. J. Seibel of the
American Consulate in Belgium, and came to establish a colony in Texas.



                               CHAPTER IV
                  ATTITUDE OF TEXANS TOWARD THE COLONY


When Victor Prosper Considerant, the founder of La Réunion, came to
Texas for the first time in 1852 he evidently met with hospitality from
all the people, as his reports show no feeling of having been treated
otherwise. In fact, in his writings he frequently refers to the kindly
interest in, and attitude of the people toward, his scheme of
colonization; especially does he mention Captain Macy of the United
States Army, and Major Merrill, Commanding Officer at Fort Worth.
However, when he returned to the United States seventeen months after
his first trip to Texas, he found conditions considerably changed.[1]

The first overtures he made to men of prominence after his return were
very favorable. He says, “The cordial reception and warm support,
moreover, which our first overtures have met with from many eminent
persons in Washington—senators or representatives from Texas, former
governors and etc., with whom I have had recently the honor to converse,
tended to strengthen me in my confidence.”[2] But the masses of the
people of the South and of Texas, had during these seventeen months
which had intervened between the first and second trips, been
over-powered with one of those peculiar psychological phenomena which
occur quite frequently in a nation. This time it was the Know-Nothing
Party.

This party grew up almost overnight and became a strong force in the
politics of the nation. The party was a secret organization which had as
its principal theories the idea that the government of the United States
should be in the hands of “Native Americans,” that no one should be
permitted to become a citizen until after a very long period of
probation, and that Catholics should be excluded from all offices. The
party gained its largest number of votes in 1854 and declined rapidly
after that time, being dead in less than three years after its victories
in 1854 and 1855. Such an organization, of course, could have very
little welcome for a group of French socialists and, in the main, would
be openly hostile toward them.

The rather sensitive and alert Considerant quickly sensed the change. He
immediately issued a statement concerning the attitude of himself and
his colonists in which he stated:

  I by no means intend to criticize or to approve this political
  movement, or to pass judgment upon it in any manner whatever. God
  forbid that I should follow the example of those new comers who,
  having scarcely set foot on a great country where they find
  hospitality, freedom, and an immense field open to their activity,
  hasten to take part in its internal affairs, mixing themselves up in
  questions of which they cannot yet understand the first elements,
  speaking, judging and deciding, right or wrong, on all sorts of
  subjects, which demand long study and profound knowledge of things in
  order to be comprehended.

  No! my friends and myself, I am authorized to say, are men of common
  sense. We do not come to America in order to enlist in parties, of
  which we know neither the principles, the traditions, nor the exciting
  causes.

  It is undoubtedly our earnest desire to attain, as soon as possible,
  the dignity of American citizens. But we will patiently wait the time
  when the law shall accord to us this title of nobility (whatever delay
  it may prescribe us to-day or establish to-morrow). We hold this title
  in high esteem, sufficiently to understand that the law, before
  conferring it on foreigners, should require them to become worthy of
  the privileges; and for ourselves, we do not pretend to see farther
  than the Americans into their own affairs. So far from aspiring to
  give them lessons of political conduct, we know that on all questions
  of this nature they are our superiors and masters, and it is our part
  to place ourselves on the seat of instruction. We feel ourselves far
  more urgently called to cultivate the earth, to erect buildings, and
  to establish various branches of industry, workshops, and schools,
  than to swell the ranks of any political party, to deposit our votes
  in the ballot box, or to place ourselves in either a scale of the
  political balance in the United States, Know-Nothingism, and
  Anti-Know-Nothingism—American Democracy Whiggism, Abolitionism,
  Pro-Slaveryism, with all the other isms of the same nature, are as yet
  to us only words expressing ideas, interests, and principles on which
  we are not ashamed to confess our ignorance, and to declare our
  perfect incompetence. All these questions, we think, are essentially
  American, concerning Americans alone, and in which no foreigner can
  reasonably take part until after he has been thoroughly Americanized;
  and,—this is not the work of a day.[3]

He expressed no fear of the consequences that Know-Nothingism would have
on his scheme. On the other hand, he analyzed the movement from a
political and social viewpoint and said nothing but good would come out
of it if it were conducted in a proper way. He had been told that the
party had as a cardinal principle the exclusion of all foreigners from
the domains of the United States, but through reading and investigation
he found out the true position of the party, namely, that it did not
particularly desire to exclude foreigners but to increase the time of
their residence within the United States before conferring political
rights upon them. Their civil rights were not called in question.
Considerant believed the causes for the rise of this party to be the
following: (1) accumulation of slums in larger cities causing indigent
people to become numerous; (2) lowering of wage scales by incoming
immigrants; (3) the possibility of these indigent new citizens forming a
political block that would destroy American principles of government;
(4) fear of the religious affiliations of these immigrants of whom
practically all were Roman Catholics.[4]

Considerant either was a novice in his judgment of American political
attitudes and was mistaken concerning the essential results of the
Know-Nothing Party on foreigners, or he was showing masterful diplomacy.
It seems the former was the case. He always esteemed the American people
very highly, ascribing to them far more love of liberty and toleration
than they possessed. It seemed absolutely impossible to him that the
Americans, steeped in democracy, would deny newcomers a small piece of
the vast uninhabited wilderness in which to live, no matter what form of
democracy they might profess. Then too, Considerant trusted the masses,
and like Jefferson, believed that eventually justice and right would
triumph if the people were permitted to decide the issues of government.
However, he was to learn that the hard-working American of 1853 whom he
had met on the frontier and in the cities was a different type of man
from that of 1855 when agitated by political leaders seeking votes to
control the national government. He met opposition from men from whom he
expected help and especially from the newspapers.

The attitude of the papers of that day toward his project ranged from
the position of vigorous opposition to that of active support. The
_Texas State Times_ and the _Austin State Gazette_ were the ones most
actively engaged against the colony. The proximity of these papers to
the capitol, where those interested in land speculation, railroad
grants, and other forms of private privileges came to press their
application, perhaps accounts for some of the opposition, but both
papers had on their editorial staffs men favorable to the Know-Nothing
Party, and furthermore, the highly intellectual reputation of the French
colonists excited the prejudice of the writers. The _Dallas Herald_ and
the _Northern Standard_ were the two papers most favorable toward the
colonists; also the _Galveston News_ took a favorable attitude. Outside
of Texas the _New York Tribune_ became one of the prime movers in
support of the colony, while the _Washington Sentinel_ (Washington,
D.C.) was hostile to the socialists. The opposition based its objections
to the colony upon the following four points: first, socialism, as such;
second, the alleged opposition to slavery on the part of the colonists;
third, dislike of foreigners; and, fourth, Considerant’s high
intellectual training, and his request for a subsidy of land in Texas
for his colonists.

In regard to socialism, the _Texas State Gazette_ in its issue of
February 17, 1855, says:

  We are always pleased to have industrious immigrants come among us.
  Plenty of work can be found by mechanics and laborers, and there is
  room in all our towns for more enterprising merchants and business
  men. There is one class, however, that we are opposed to, and have no
  disposition to hold out to them inducements to settle among us. This
  class is of that Propagandist school which in France and in parts of
  the United States, has and is seeking to sap the foundations of
  society. The socialist desires to destroy individual rights in
  property; and, if he is not a very intelligent and moral man—a rare
  thing,—we may have in him a neighbor who will rob and plunder us
  whenever he can get the chance; for he holds it as a primary principle
  in his creed, that no individual has a right to accumulate property
  for himself, and all above what is necessary to sustain him belongs to
  the rest of society.... Again, the socialist is an _abolitionist_
  everywhere. He would not be less opposed to slavery by living in Texas
  than in France or in Ohio. It is part of his creed. Now, we are told
  that John Allen, of Ohio, and Mons. Victor Considerant, propose
  bringing out from France to western Texas a colony of socialists. This
  move, for the purpose of building up a sect opposed to our political
  institutions, may well be regarded with jealousy, and the founders may
  rely upon it that they will not be suffered to tamper with our
  institutions. The whole principle of colonization, where men of a
  peculiar caste in religion or politics seek to array themselves
  together in particular sections of the country, both as landholders
  and factionists, is at war with all the elements of society, and
  cannot be carried on without creating bitter and unrelenting
  prejudices and animosities among our native citizens. We note this
  advent of socialism in Texas as foreboding us no good; and we wish
  them to have a fair understanding before they reach our soil, that as
  a political sect, our whole people are against them.[5]

The editorial just quoted was apparently read with wide interest all
over Texas and the United States. Considerant, himself, read the article
in New York and made a reply to the criticism; the _Washington Sentinel_
(Washington, D.C.) entered a long editorial in its column in support of
the stand taken by the _Texas State Gazette_; and, as a further
indication of interest, the writers of the editorial in the _Gazette_
received numerous letters praising them for the position which they had
taken against the socialists.[6] The _Washington Sentinel_ stated that
no paper had been more earnest in defending the rights of naturalized
foreigners and in insisting upon the supremacy of the constitution than
it had, but there were certain interferences that even it could not and
would not submit to, and this interference was socialism.[7]

On June 2, 1855, the _Texas State Gazette_ again called the attention of
the people of Texas to the serious danger which confronted the citizens
of the state by permitting the socialists to establish themselves among
the people. In an article, “The Socialist in Texas,” the paper declared:

  We have had enough discussion of the principles of Socialism from
  Greeley, Brisbane, and other fanatics and abolitionists, to know what
  Socialism must be in Texas, and how it will finally end.

  When men get tired of the glorious institutions of our republic, there
  is something wrong with them, themselves, radically. They are
  certainly good enough to protect us in our life, our liberty and
  pursuit of happiness. Whatever may be their _new views_, they are at
  least not the class of men to do a state any good. We have had
  occasion before to allude to the importation of foreign Socialists
  into Texas, and the opinions we have expressed have certainly
  undergone no change. We believe them to be a mischievous element of
  population, and did we not believe that their wild theories would not
  long stand the test of experiment, and would soon be abandoned, we
  might urge our objections more seriously than we have done.

In the same article was a letter from a man who signed himself J.L. from
the city of Washington. The writer of the letter mentioned that he had
seen a short article in a northern paper in which the attitude of the
_Gazette_, as expressed in a former editorial, was very unfavorable to
the “settlement of a colony of Fourierestes under the auspices of M.
Considerant,” in Texas. He appealed to the “Southerners of Texas, not to
permit that band of lawless and unprincipled foreigners to settle in
their midst,” and listed reasons why his appeal should be heeded as
follows:

1. That it is the purpose of the Socialists to overthrow all constituted
government and establish instead a system in which the members would
“follow the tendencies of their passions and inclinations regardless of
any restraint of laws.”

2. That they were opposed to the Christian code of morals as stated in
the decalogue, because that would check their passional liberty.

3. That they were all infidels.

4. That they condemned marriage relations and wherever they dared to do
so, “openly avow promiscuous intercourse of sexes, accordingly.”

5. That they were abolitionists of the most vile stamp.

6. That they would divert individual property to their own peculiar
organizations.[8]

Considerant answered these charges in a very dignified way in a pamphlet
published in New York.[9] However, he was astonished at the attitude of
the papers and asked, “why are we so precipitately attacked by persons
to whom we are entirely unknown, and who have been informed of our
projects only by vague rumors?” Why such an attitude could be held by
people of a free land against Europeans fleeing persecution was a
mystery to him; however, he sought to answer it on two grounds, namely,
a crusade of private interest, and on the ground of ignorance.

In his answer the Texans were assured that the immigrants did not desire
to leave the theatre of European struggles, to seek a theatre of other
struggles in Texas. They came to Texas seeking liberty and peace and
were seeking a place remote from civilization where the ideals of their
society could be developed in peace and security. If such a place was
not secured for them in Texas, they would be forced to seek other
climes, either in North America or Central America, even though such a
movement was repugnant to them as they had already selected Texas as
their adopted home. Considerant derided the _Texas State Gazette_ in
that it appeared to believe that the socialists were to make an assault
on Texas and, as mere barbarians, invade and destroy it. Such an absurd
idea! These gentle and civilized folk—more so than the Texans—were too
mild-mannered barbarians to wish to harm or disturb anyone.[10]

Such a wrong implication seemed so foreign to the sympathetic nature of
Texans that Considerant was inclined to excuse the attack on the ground
of ignorance. There were two errors in the statement of the _Gazette_,
he contended, one of fact and one of logic. The error of fact was that
there were several kinds of Socialists, and two divisions of the
Fourieristic type, one favoring private property and another opposing
it. The larger group of Fourierists, especially the colonists coming to
Texas, were those who believed in possession of private property. In
fact, the leaders of the former group had carried on several extensive
debates and had written articles against those favoring the abolishing
of private property. The error of logic was that the paper reasoned from
the assumption that because the immigrants did not believe in private
property they would in turn rob and pillage their neighbors who
possessed property. He stressed the fact that the men immigrating to the
United States in his colony were men of honor and accomplishments and
were not suddenly going to turn robbers and marauders. However,
Considerant did not ask for any special forbearance and importuned the
Americans for but one thing, namely to assure to the colonists the
protection of their lives and the property which they hoped to acquire.

Nevertheless, in spite of such declarations, when the pamphlet reached
Texas, perhaps in July or August of 1855, the attack of the newspapers
became even more severe. The _Texas State Gazette_, in an article in
which sarcasm rather than dignity was displayed, attacked Considerant
personally. Of him it was said that he possessed the traits of a
diplomat instead of those of a philosopher; that he was cunning and
ingenuous rather than dignified and learned. His good face was presented
to the Texans and his bad face was kept in the background, but his
“supercilious airs” and “unabashed self-sufficiency” were evident to
anyone reading the pamphlet. Fear of socialism seems to be the
predominant note in the long editorial. In one place the editor says:

  We would rather see the State a howling desert than witness the
  spreading waves of Socialism stretch itself over the Christian
  Churches and the Slave Institution of Texas. To hold out inducements
  to these Socialists is to take steps to make every part of the State
  where they may inhabit, undesirable for settlement to Southern
  citizens of other States, and as the Socialist increases, must we look
  forward to the repulsion and retirement of slave-holders. It is an
  excellent initiatory step for Northern Agressionists and may be
  flatteringly successful, if we lack the nerve at the present time to
  withhold our disapproval.[11]

The _Texas State Times_, in a more dignified and reasonable manner
discussed the pamphlet. The writer referred to the work as “an ably
written address to the American people upon the subject of European
colonization in Texas.”[12] But in a sarcastic vein it is shown how
Considerant desires to better the condition of a “Heaven deserted state
... by the introduction of mechanical arts among its rude people, and
designing to fruitfully occupy their leisure moments by illustrating the
practical workings of diverse new and improved social systems.” The
editor further states:

  The deep interest which this modern reformer manifests towards
  everything in America in general, and in Texas in particular, and the
  unselfishness with which he avows his willingness to bring his colony,
  with all their capital, ingenuity, industry, virtue, and vices, too,
  we suppose, and settle them in our midst, in consideration of a grant
  of our worthless lands, would excite our gratitude, if we were not
  convinced that quite a sufficiency of this description of better
  citizens reach our shores through the usual medium of emigration,
  without the aid of any special agent, and that European malcontents
  can spread the slow but certain poison of their obnoxious principles
  quite rapidly enough for the good of this country, when they come
  singly and in couples, without this wholesale importation.[13]

Again, it was the fear of dissemination of socialistic principles that
stirred the writer to warn his fellow countrymen.

  The dissemination of any set of principles antagonistic to an existing
  government, must inevitably decrease the strength and vigor of that
  government, be it democratic or monarchial, in the same ratio that
  these principles find defenders and advocates. Wherever doctrines,
  however preposterous and destructive to society, have been broached by
  men of mind, they have never failed to find disciples.[14]

The principles which Considerant was advocating were such, the writer
said, as the “vilest Red Republicans of France have repudiated, in the
most licentious and stormy days of that wavering government.” Even
though the whole scheme was to be experimental it would be very much
better, so the writer thought, that such experiments should be done by
“our own people rather than by a deputation of French philosophers”
whose attempts to “half-sole and heel-tap society in days gone by” had
ended in miserable failure.[15]

There were papers, however, that did not fear socialism and were anxious
to see the experiment tried in Texas. The _Galveston News_ even thought
that the experiment might discover or explain certain social regulations
that would bring to humanity “greater happiness and a higher degree of
civilization.” But in such statements there existed in the mind of the
writer a certain pessimism for he says, “Discord, which creeps into all
human organization, may cause it to riot in infamy.”[16]

Even so, the colony was not sufficiently large or powerful to cause any
serious dangers to the republican institutions of Texas. _The Dallas
Herald_ favored the colony because of the profit which would come to the
city of Dallas and the surrounding country from the manufactories which
Considerant proposed to establish.[17] The fact, though, that the men
who were to form the colony were republicans who had been expelled from
France because of their sentiments struck a responsive chord in the
minds of the Dallas editors, and caused them to issue a general welcome
to the colonists and express hope for their success. _The Standard_
said:

  For ourselves only, we say that we think the immigration of such a
  class of persons as he describes would be eminently beneficial to the
  State, and tend to its enrichment, by the introduction of
  Manufactures, without which no State is truly independent, and free
  from tribute in an eminent degree to other States. The agriculture,
  manufacturing and commercial elements all confined in a body politic,
  give it great power as the result of great resources—Texas has the
  elements for the successful development of all three, to which may be
  added mining in coal and iron.[18]

The support of the _New York Tribune_ perhaps did Considerant more harm
than good, as the Southern papers were suspicious of anything with which
Greeley was connected. The mere fact that Brisbane and Greeley favored
the colony was enough to convince most people in the South that the
colony was organized for the sole purpose of establishing Free-soilers
and Abolitionists in the slave states.

In fact, all the papers, even those supporting Considerant, were
unanimous in their condemnation of the anti-slavery sentiment as
expressed by Considerant. The _State Gazette_ on October 13, 1855, says:

  It is a matter of deep solicitude to all Southern men, that these
  Socialists should know in advance the opinions and views of our
  people. We are far from being fit subject for the transcendental
  theorists of the North and of France. The thousand isms of the day
  find no congenial soil in the South, and besides this, the hatred of
  the Slave Institution, cherished by these Socialists and avowed openly
  by them in our State, must only the more remind us of our duty and
  awake us to action.

It was said in the same issue that socialists were to be emptied upon
Texas by the thousands, and already that their surveyors were working
through several counties in which the colony had secured nearly every
available piece of ground. Rumor had it that the slave-holders who lived
near these people thought it opportune to dispose of their slaves, and
many Southerners were disposed to leave their homes and seek plantations
farther West.[19] Such statements apparently were wide of the mark as
investigation fails to produce a single protest from people in the
vicinity of the colony; such exaggeration merely represents the usual
effort of some editors and newspapers to carry their points in any
sensational issue and should not be given credence here. The incongruous
statements of the _Washington Sentinel_ are amusing:

  We have a great country, interminable in extent, blessed with every
  variety of climate, and adapted to every kind of production. We have
  vast uninhabited wilds that resound oftener with the tread of the
  buffalo or the howl of the wolf than with the step or the voice of the
  man. We have room for the oppressed, the enterprising, the industrious
  and the patriotic of every clime and country. They are welcome. We
  would say to them, come—our arms are open to receive. Come ... and be
  naturalized into our free American brotherhood.

  Yet when an effort is made to plant amongst us, and that, in a slave
  State (Texas) a colony of French Socialists and abolitionists (they
  are endorsed by the _New York Tribune_) then we demur, most positively
  and absolutely.

  We want no abolition _plantations_ or _colonies_ here, whether they
  are foreign or native. We want no European ideas of liberty. We carved
  out, by our own strong arms, the independence of this country, and we
  want nothing of foreign origin infused into our system.

  But Socialists are system-makers, government builders, and
  communists—they are political incendiaries and propagandists, and
  would not only plant themselves and their social institutions upon our
  soil, but would endeavor insidiously and furtively to erect the system
  of government which they espouse, on the same soil. Their system is
  altogether different from our system.... Besides, it is an abolition
  system. It is useless for M. Considerant or M. Anybody else to attempt
  to disguise it. They want to get a foothold here, and they will adopt
  any means to do so. It is vain for M. Considerant to attempt to hide
  his purposes under the rubbish of pedantic and scholastic phrases.
  Those purposes are plain and palpable.[20]

The above article was based largely upon Considerant’s declaration
against slavery contained in his pamphlet, _European Colonization in
Texas_, in which he stated that “The evil of slavery should not be
increased by an addition of peculiar grants.” Considerant well
understood that the slavery question would soon drive the North and
South into war if it were not settled by some scientific formula rather
than by the hot heads of either side. Personally, he wanted to see
slavery abolished gradually. He was influenced in this position, no
doubt, by Brisbane, who suggested as early as 1840 that a special
investigation should be made into all slavery or involuntary servitude
to determine whether it was economically sound to have such an
institution. If it were found to be economically unsound or unjust to
the men so penalized, then some plan should be worked out scientifically
for its abolition.[21] The charge of many of the Southern papers that
Considerant had been influenced by Greeley, Brisbane, and other liberal
leaders of the North in the formation of his American political
attitudes cannot be gainsaid. However, the wide political and basic
fundamentals of his concept of social and political relations were
European, and that of the extreme liberal school. Slavery was certainly
against all his doctrines concerning the political and social equality
of man, but he was not a fanatic on the subject as were many of the
Northern and Southern leaders.[22]

_The State Gazette_ referred to his statement of his position on slavery
as “traitorous” and said that he was merely using “honeyed words” to
cover up his “pernicious dogmas.” The prejudiced attitude of mind of the
editors is evidenced in the editorials in the _Gazette_. They state that
Considerant’s term “social relation of humanity” meant nothing more than
“nigger good as white man” and that his proposal for a “scientific and
peaceful progress” of the settlement meant “the development of this fact
in the legislature.”[23] Seemingly conscious of the fact that many of
Considerant’s arguments and pleas were unanswerable by reasonable
arguments, the papers resorted to sarcasm and appealed to the prejudice
of an inflamed public sentiment. It was not mere neutrality on the
slavery question that was demanded; it was actual participation in the
agitation for permanence of the institution.[24] Such activity would not
have been possible from the colonists’ viewpoint because Considerant had
distinctly declared against any active participation in the politics of
the nation until the members of the colony had become thoroughly
conversant with its problems, nor would such participation have been
acceptable to the South which was at this particular time largely
dominated by the “Know-Nothing” attitude toward the foreigner.

During the time that Considerant was trying to establish his colony in
Texas, Albert Brisbane, his chief lieutenant in the United States, was
having a very difficult time in New York. On one occasion the police,
urged on by the usual anti-socialist complaint of that day, raided a
meeting at which Brisbane was speaking. The _New York Tribune_ in
describing the scene said:

  Nervous young gentlemen, destitute of hats, and bemoaning rent gloves
  and departed overcoats, dashed about to and fro in confusion—In
  Broadway, around the doors of Taylor’s saloon, and thickly packed up
  the sidewalks of nearly the distance of a block, stood an expectant
  crowd, who had got the wind of the fun that was to be heard of above,
  and who watched with intense eagerness the egress of one victim after
  another in the relentless grasp of the Police. As the female members
  of the club emerged from the doors, like a flock of frightened sheep
  chased by wolves, the Police followed closely in their tracks, the
  crowd raised loud shouts,—“Make way for the Ladies;” “Here they
  come;”—“Three Cheers”—“Let us see them”—“Hoo-Raw for the Free Lovers,”
  etc., etc., etc.[25]

The attitude of the legislature of Texas is very interesting. This
attitude, perhaps, can best be explained by the study of a petition
presented by Considerant and by the report of bills in the House and the
Senate. Ignorance on the part of the legislators of the purposes and
policies of the colony is astonishing, and this ignorance existed in
spite of the fact that Considerant had done everything to inform them of
his purpose and policies. At one time he distributed to the members his
pamphlet on _European Colonization in Texas_ which went into detail
concerning the proposed colony. Savardan, in his book, states that this
distribution was the greatest mistake made by Considerant because he
took a neutral stand on political problems, especially on slavery. This,
Savardan explains, was the very thing that Texans, especially the
legislators, did not want. Conditions and circumstances in Texas
demanded partisan politics and not neutrality. One must of necessity be
for or against slavery, building of railroads, immigration, and similar
movements.

In December, 1855, Considerant presented a petition to the House of
Representatives and the Senate setting forth his appeal for grants of
land in Texas.[26] In this he said that in returning to Texas for the
second time he found there had been considerable change: in the public
sentiment toward foreigners; in that all vacant lands in the north part
of the state had been taken up by settlers, located on by speculators,
or reserved to the Pacific Railroad Company. Thus the advantage which he
clearly foresaw in 1852 for his colonization company and which he put
forth as inducements in his reports to his friends to settle in Texas,
had practically vanished, leaving him in a peculiar situation. The
reaction to such a situation in Europe and among his friends had been
such as to endanger the project of colonization. In consideration of
these factors he asked if “a grant, for instance of two hundred sections
of land, made to the Colonization Company, would exceed the measure of
the favor” which the state would feel disposed to extend to the company
as encouragement and compensation for the heavy expenses already
undergone by the company in bringing settlers to Texas. So when he
returned to present the above petition, he found public opinion aroused
opposing his project.[27]

Considerant, thoroughly realizing this opposition to him and his
colonists in Texas, attempted to answer the charges brought against him.
In a letter to the governor of Texas, he said that certain persons “see
only in our immigration an invasion of fanatics, enemies of property, of
robbers, abolitionists,” and that they “imagined that we came to this
country with the intention of subverting her institutions and laws, to
bring about the abolition of slavery, and to create a State within a
State.” Such charges were, according to him wholly unfounded, and could
be charged only to “persons who had previously given unmistakable signs
of mental aberration.”[28]

Nevertheless, in spite of Considerant’s pleading and earnest
presentation of facts, the state legislature did not see fit to grant
him lands which he had requested. This was due perhaps to the change of
policy in regard to state lands which had been recently adopted rather
than to any particular objections to the French colonists or their
socialistic doctrines. Of course, as was shown by newspaper reports, the
objection to the colonists was so great that no land would have been
granted even if there had been no change of policy.

Even though Considerant and others of the colony labored assiduously for
the grant of land and recognition of the colony, a bill permitting
incorporation was all that they could achieve. On July 19, 1856, the
Committee on Public Lands made the following report concerning the
petition of the colony:

  The Committee on Public Lands, to which was referred the petition of
  Victor Considerant, have had the same under consideration, and
  instructed me to report against the prayer of the petitioner; yet they
  have instructed me, in virtue of the fact that the petitioner
  represents a company with a large capital, and whose objects are to
  engage in manufacturing and other branches of industry, which it is
  believed will be of incalculable advantage to this country, to report
  a bill incorporating said company for the above purpose and recommend
  its passage.[29]

Later, on August 16, such a bill was introduced to “incorporate the
European and American Colonization Society in Texas.” Some one
immediately moved to amend the bill by inserting Harrison County and
substituting G. G. Gregg, W. Adair, W. M. Evans. The amendment was
tabled. Still another amendment was offered to substitute thirty-three
and one-third years for the one hundred years contained in the bill,
which amendment was also lost. Mr. Dickson of Red River, when his name
was called, arose and said,

  I would like to know what this incorporation means to do. I don’t see
  any proposition to do any particular thing. The bill just incorporates
  a body of men, without specifying for what purpose.

  Now, I understand that this is a French Colony of Communists, and that
  those people there work for the leading men at about twenty cents a
  day, and are charged for their provisions, thus coming in debt at the
  end of every night.

  Without having any explanation of what these people mean to do, and
  hearing these things charged against them, I vote No.[30]

The bill to incorporate finally passed the House by a vote of
forty-eight to twenty according to the _House Journal_, but only
forty-three to twenty according to the records of the _State
Gazette_.[31]

In the Senate the bill suffered the same fate as to amendments. On
August 25, one was offered which “provided, that this act shall not take
effect or be in force until said Corporation shall (if they be
foreigners) first file evidence in the State Department of their
naturalization.” Then another amendment,

  Provided, that a majority of the directors of said company, and the
  President thereof, shall be residents of Texas, and that the principal
  office shall be kept in this State, where all writs and citations
  shall be served.

and then the third amendment,

  Provided, that this act shall not be so construed as to entitle said
  company to the benefit of any law, granting land or money to any
  Railroad or Manufacturing or Colonization Company, nor shall it
  authorize the company to prohibit slavery in any territory occupied by
  them.[32]

The bill as amended was voted on and failed of adoption in the Senate by
a vote of fifteen for and thirteen against, two-thirds being needed for
its passage.

After the bill failed in passage, Senator McDade moved for a
reconsideration of the vote, but it was laid on the table for future
consideration.[33] Later, on August 29, Bryan called upon the Senate to
reconsider the vote on the colony, and was successful in winning the
passage in the Senate, fifteen to seven.[34] Then, on the following day
the bill was reported in a list of bills enrolled—having been signed by
the speaker of the House and the President of the Senate and being ready
for the governor’s signature.[35]

On September 1, 1856, the bill to incorporate the “American Colonization
Society in Texas,” was signed and thus became a recognized act of the
State Legislature. Thus, in spite of the prejudice created by the
newspapers the colony was legally established in Texas, but the outcome
was very discouraging to those who had expected success.



                               CHAPTER V
                             THE IMMIGRANTS


After the organization of the company in Belgium on September 26, 1854,
immediate preparations were made to raise money and prepare the
colonists for their emigration to America. François Cantagrel and a Mr.
Roger, Belgian medical student, left Brussels October 3, 1854, for New
York, reaching that port October 27. Cantagrel’s plan was to go overland
to Cincinnati where he was to purchase supplies and equipment for the
new colony. From this place he intended to continue his journey to
Texas, reaching his destination not later than the latter part of
November. However, his progress was far slower than he expected; he was
still on his way in February, 1855, and presumably did not reach La
Réunion until the latter part of that month.[1] The arrival of Cantagrel
and his party was announced as follows:

  Some of the leading gentlemen connected with the French Colony of
  Messrs. Brisbane and Considerant are now in town. From them we learn
  some additional items in relation to the designs and objects of the
  association. It is in contemplation to establish three provisional
  settlements; one, probably, in this county, one in Tarrant, and one on
  the Keechi or Brazos. A large number of the settlers for these
  colonies are now en route, having left Cincinnati in December last.
  They are probably detained by the low stage of the rivers.

  We understand that industrial, mechanical, and learned professions
  will be fully represented. It is their design to make everything they
  use within themselves, and they will engage largely in manufactures of
  different kinds. It is especially their intention we learn, to engage
  largely in the cultivation of the grape and manufacture of wines. Such
  a settlement in our midst, of a nation celebrated for its
  intelligence, genius and skill in the mechanic arts, cannot fail to
  add greatly to its prosperity. Some of the leading republican minds
  and most distinguished authors of France, who, since the usurpation of
  the “Man of the 2nd December” have been exiled from their country for
  opinion’s sake, are engaged in this enterprise. A welcome and success
  to all say we.[2]

It is not known just how many were in the party, but some joined
Cantagrel and Roger at Cincinnati and others were hired along the way to
do labor at La Réunion. Brisbane explained that the work of Cantagrel
was to explore the country and decide on a definite location for the
project, begin the erection of buildings for the first immigrants, sow
crops, prepare gardens, vineyards, and in general construct the
colony.[3] He further stated that it was hoped that “a body of
intelligent and enterprising Americans” would be “attracted to the work
by the noble aim which it holds out, and the advantages of a higher
social life which it offers.”[4] Other parties of immigrants soon
followed, some small, some large. One of these parties was reported by
the _National Intelligencer_, Washington, May 7, 1855, as having passed
through Anderson sometime previous to the date. It says:

  The Central Texan says that a party of French emigrants, about forty
  in number, passed through Anderson a few days ago enroute to Dallas.
  They belong to the Colony which M. Considerant is engaged in
  establishing. He proposed to introduce about two thousand this year.

M. Cousin, Belgian, conducted a party of twelve, eight Belgians and four
Frenchmen. One of this party was a young man named Guelles, son of the
French Consul-General at Jura, who had been exiled to Belgium. Savardan,
who disliked Considerant and his group, never tired of telling how
Considerant and his wife had persuaded this youngster to accompany the
party, even against the wishes of his mother, who yielded only when
Madame Considerant promised to look after the boy very carefully.
However, once in America, Guelles was turned loose to manage for
himself. He left the colony to live with some people near by and soon
fell ill with tuberculosis and died.

One of the largest groups was assembled by Dr. Savardan. He was one of
the outstanding disciples of Fourier in France and had assisted in the
formation of other phalanges. Savardan was ready to leave Brussels the
week Cantagrel left, but he and Considerant could not agree on terms.
Nevertheless, without agreement, he gathered his party at le Havre and
sailed on the _Nuremberg_, a ship of 1800 tons, on February 28, 1855.
Savardan had forty-three people and a considerable amount of material
which he was bringing to La Réunion. There were five members of this
party from Jura who remained in New Orleans and did not finish the trip,
eleven from Carcassonne, three from the Hautes-Alps, three from
Ardennes, four from Chateau-Renault, seven from Mons, one from Orleans,
one from Rouen, four from Paris, and four from Chapelle-Gaugain.

They all had a very pleasant trip which took its course from le Havre to
the Azores, where they passed on March 12, through the West Indies, and
from thence to New Orleans. Here the _Nuremberg_ stopped and the
colonists and materials were loaded on to another ship bound for
Galveston. On April 25, Dr. Nicolas, one of the leaders, and ten others
left for Galveston because they could not any longer endure the stifling
heat at New Orleans. Savardan and the other colonists tarried a few days
longer in order to purchase supplies for the party for the remainder of
the trip. The purchase consisted of:

      20  barrels of biscuit, some sweet and some             1000 pounds
          unsweetened
      10  half barrels of beer                                2000 pounds
      50  pounds of candles;
     100  pounds of coffee;
      50  pounds of chocolate;
       6  pounds of alcohol;
     130  pounds of Swiss cheese;
     200  pounds of beans;
     180  pounds of salad oil;
     200  pounds of smoked pork tongues;
     150  pounds of lentils;
     370  pounds of prune marmalade;
      20  pounds of mustard;
      25  pounds of onions;
      20  pounds of pepper;
     110  pounds of dried apples;
     650  pounds of rice;
     100  pounds of lard;
      20  pounds of sardines in small boxes;
     100  pounds of sausage;
     100  pounds of salt;
      68  pounds of white sugar;
     137  pounds of brown sugar;
     120  pounds of vermicelle and macaroni;
    1000  pounds of wine in two barrels;
     360  pounds of vinegar;
     300  pounds of whiskey; and
      25  pounds of powder and 100 pounds of bird shot.

The total weight amounted to 7000 pounds and cost, including freight
charges to Dallas, $1,000.[5]

The party embarked from New Orleans on May 3 with five women and one
young man, Christopher, added to the party. Savardan had been advised
that Considerant and his family would join his group at New Orleans, but
they did not arrive. However, they joined them later at Galveston.
Considerant brought with him his wife, a small child, M. Cesar Daly, and
two other Frenchmen from the North American Phalanx named Maguet and
Willemet. Galveston was reached May 5, and from here they sailed on a
small steamboat, the _L’Eclipse_, up Buffalo Bayou to Houston. Here
additional wagons and horses were purchased and teamsters were hired to
take the provisions, some of which had been sent from New York,
Cincinnati, and New Orleans, to La Réunion.

On May 18, the French wagon train, guided by a farmer who lived near
Dallas and who had come to Houston to sell two bales of cotton, moved
out through the woods toward Dallas. Some of the colonists were riding
horses, two or three riding in carriages, and some were walking. A few
of the men who had been drafted as teamsters were laboring with oxen,
trying to get them to move along. Poorly built wagons and the absence of
roads greatly hindered progress. They camped at night all together for
protection against Indians, the women and children sleeping in the
wagons and the men and boys on the ground. Eggs, milk, and poultry were
purchased at farm houses as the caravan traversed the sparsely settled
districts; some stealing was done, but, generally speaking, the
colonists conducted themselves well on the entire trip.

All the way from Houston to La Réunion Savardan reports the colonists
were expecting welcoming groups from La Réunion to come out and meet
them. This, of course, never occurred because the people already at camp
were finding it difficult to keep things going. They arrived at La
Réunion June 16, 1855.[6]

Several other groups and individuals arrived at La Réunion during the
following eighteen months. In fact, many arrived just in time to see the
colony disband, leaving them to shift for themselves. Philip Goetsel, a
Belgian, had a ranch of seventeen sections on Mountain Creek, twelve
miles west of Dallas, on which he established a colony of Belgians.
Several cabins were built on low lands which were subject to overflow;
other improvements were made, but the colony never did become more than
a dependency of La Réunion. Goetsel, however, planned to build a huge
city upon the land, which he proposed to name Louvain in honor of his
home city in Belgium. He had invested thirty thousand francs in La
Réunion and when he noticed that it was going to pieces, he demanded his
money with the intention of investing it in the “Louvain scheme.” The
directors of La Réunion refused him his share on the grounds that he was
building Louvain in opposition to La Réunion and that it would draw all
the trade away from the community stores of the colony.[7] Still another
party, time of arrival uncertain, was the one led by M. M. Raizant
composed of nine people. These apparently came by New Orleans and
Galveston, perhaps preceding Savardan’s party.

La Réunion was made up of high class, well educated and cultured people.
A brief biography of the founders of the colony has already been given
in the first chapter of this book, but a short sketch concerning several
will here serve to give the reader a better comprehension of the
colonists as a group.

Dr. Augustin Savardan had already helped to establish phalansteries in
France before coming to Texas. He had also organized and supervised an
orphans’ home in Paris which Napoleon III had helped to sustain. He was
one of the first men Considerant and his colleagues called into
conference in Brussels when they began the organization of the
European-American Colonization Society, and they asked him to act as
chairman in one of their first meetings. In his report of his practice
as a physician at La Réunion, he stated that he treated 226 patients and
served in many other capacities during his stay here.[8]

Julien Reverchon came from a distinguished family in France.

  His father, J. Maximilien Reverchon, was born at Lyons in 1810, and
  died at Dallas in 1879; and his mother (born Mlle. Florine Pete) was
  the daughter of a distinguished Lyonnaise advocate. Julien’s
  grandfather, Jacques Reverchon (1746-1829), was a Jacobin member of
  the National Convention (1792-95), as well as the Council of Five
  Hundred and of the Council of Elders. This Jacques Reverchon the
  _revolutionnaire_ is that same citizen-representative from Saone et
  Loire, Rhone-et-Ain, whose reports on the rapacity of the Maratists at
  Lyons have been quoted in Taine’s _Les Origines de la France
  Contemporaine_.[9]

Julien and his father came to La Réunion as members of a colony arriving
there in December, 1856. The father was a trained agriculturist and
attempted to direct the colonists in scientific farming. He told them
that if they would plow and stir the land deep in the fall and plant
early in the spring, good crops would be produced. The men, however,
were inexperienced in farming and Reverchon had little success.
Nevertheless, in spite of the most severe drought that Texas had
experienced in a long time, Reverchon grew crops, planted fruit trees,
and introduced advanced methods in Dallas County farming.[10]

  One of the most interesting names is that of François Santerre, farmer
  and ex-soldier, who remained with his wife and children near the
  colony site, engaged in sheep raising and farming when the colony
  disbanded. His varied interests included a love of books, particularly
  of the sixteenth century edition of Ovid’s _Metamorphoses_ which he
  took with him on six business trips he made to France.[11]

This book, among others, was in the possession of his son, Gustave,
former owner of the La Réunion Fruit Farm. His eldest son, Germain, was
one of two surviving immigrants in 1930, the other being M. Guilbot, who
lived near Alvarado.[12]

There is partial information concerning several others who were
outstanding in the colony. Madame Clarisse Vigoureaux, mother-in-law of
Considerant, was author of several books, and also intensely interested
in Fourierism. Emile Rémond was a scientific farmer and writer on soils.
A recent writer in explaining what Rémond did in Dallas County says,

  The clay resources of Dallas County very early attracted the attention
  of the pioneers, particularly the French, who settled the French town
  of La Réunion west of Dallas in 1854. Prof. E. Remond (1840-1906) of
  this colony was particularly active in his investigation and
  experiments with the clays of the county. He made successfully brick,
  vitri-brick, and sewer pipe. Prof. Remond was the first to import a
  plastic brick machine. He was also first to use the lime and shale for
  making concrete and instigated the founding of the Iola Cement Plant.
  Remond made brick in South, East, and West Dallas, at Dawdy’s Ferry
  and Mountain Creek.[13]

Allyre Bureau, a director of the colony, was a trained musician who had
been director in the Odeon, a national theater in Paris. He tried to
revive the dying colony in 1856, but failed, and started to return to
France toward the close of the Civil War in the United States. He
contracted yellow fever near Houston and died in a sanitarium located
about fifty miles north of that city. Several architects were in the
group, among whom may be mentioned Ureidag, Flemish, who submitted plans
for the Dallas County Court House, and John B. Louchx, who was later
alderman and one of the fourteen bachelors who came to build houses and
prepare the ground for the coming of other colonists. Ben Long came from
Zurich, Switzerland, and later introduced a group of Swiss colonists in
Dallas. Before his death, killed while serving as a Dallas officer, Long
served as United States Commissioner, as Mayor of Dallas, and as an
officer in the Sheriff’s office.[14]

Texas and Dallas were very fortunate in having a group of men and women
possessed of such attainments settle in their midst. Generally speaking,
Considerant was correct when he estimated that the French colonists who
were planning to come to La Réunion were far ahead in culture and
learning of the average Texas settlers in the state at that time.

On February 10, 1855, however, the _Texas State Gazette_ expressed in an
editorial a feeling of uneasiness when it announced that

  According to a recent letter from Strausburg, which is published in
  the National Gazette of Switzerland, the Socialist Party in Alsace is
  about to emigrate en masse to Texas, where one of their chiefs, the
  well known Victor Considerant, has purchased a large quantity of land.
  The departure of emigrants is to take place during the ensuing
  year.[15]

As far as can be determined, there is no roll of the colony in
existence, and thus statements of the survivors and descendants of those
in the colony must be taken as authority on the number who made up the
colony. One writer refers to a roll containing over three hundred names
formerly in the possession of the colonists. This roll, however, has
been lost and the writer had to depend upon the memory of the colonists
and lists given in various articles. Some of the survivors stated that
there were as many as 550 people in La Réunion, but it appears, through
a process of checking and rechecking, that the above-mentioned roll was
perhaps the complete roll of the members, and therefore there were no
more than three hundred in the colony at any one time—perhaps that
number included all that ever lived in the colony during its
existence.[16]



                               CHAPTER VI
                         LA RÉUNION, THE COLONY


La Réunion was located three to four miles west of the Dallas county
court house near what is generally termed the “Old Fort Worth-Dallas
Pike,” on the south bank of the Trinity River. The ground is now
occupied by a small settlement, Cement City, and several farms. The soil
is poor as compared with other lands surrounding Dallas, but the
location is very attractive as to scenery. The hills and valleys are
still partly wooded with elm and blackjack, and must have been more so
eighty years ago.[1]

The Dallas site was really second choice as the original plan was to
settle in Cooke County. However, arriving in Cooke County several months
after the first visit, the agents for the colony found all the land
already occupied or claimed by speculators, railroad companies, and
American colonists. This forced the selection of another location, since
the company did not feel justified in paying a large sum for land that
could be obtained elsewhere more reasonably. Victor Prosper Considerant,
founder of the colony, had spent two weeks near the Dallas location in
1853 in the home of Mr. Gouhenans and was favorably disposed toward
accepting it as the site for his future colony. Roger, another leader of
the colony, later joined Considerant in insisting on the choice. Allen,
Cantagrel, and other members wanted to settle at Fort Worth, at Belknap,
and even farther west, but upon the insistence of a few of the
colonists, supported by Considerant, the Dallas site was chosen and
further search was abandoned.[2]

The ground occupied in Dallas County consisted of various surveys from
time to time, but the actual ownership never surpassed a few thousand
acres. On January 7, 1855, James Knight of Fort Bend County conveyed to
Considerant one league and labor of land, which was probably the first
land purchased at the price of one hundred dollars for 320 acres.
Finally, during the following year, a map of the proposed La Réunion
with a description of its survey was placed on record in the Dallas
County courthouse.[3]

This land was at first controlled by Considerant and was listed in
Dallas County records as his personal property. Such an arrangement was
in full accord with the agreement made between Considerant and the
company in Belgium before he came to the United States as an agent with
full power, acting for the European-American Colonization Company. In
fact, he agreed with the company that any and all purchases of whatever
nature made by him while in America would become the property of the
company.[4] This was done so that no one would be able to accuse him of
using the funds of the company or his official position for his own
personal advancement.

There were some advantages in the choice of land, but the disadvantages
were far greater than the advantages, the colonists later learned. For
water the settlers had to depend largely upon fissure springs coming
from the Austin Chalk formation.

  In these springs the water which collects along certain of the more
  porous layers of the chalk rock is permitted to come to the surface
  along the more or less open fissures between the faulty blocks.
  Sometimes wells were dug in draws and low drain ways, which wells were
  often unsanitary as was shown by the number of cases of fever amongst
  the colonists during their stay in La Réunion.[5]

Savardan hints in several places in his book that Considerant did not
want to develop this land—this, however, appears unwarranted. The facts
seem to be that the French colonists were not able financially or
otherwise to develop the phalanstery or the land as it should have been
developed.[6] Inexperience, lack of capital, and the climate all
contributed to the lackadaisical policy which was followed.

Considerant had explained in his _Au Texas_, to those who contemplated
investing in the company, that La Réunion was to serve as a center from
which would radiate numerous lines leading to other counties, or even to
other states. Not only were there to be other colonies growing out of
the central foundation, but there was to be continual in-coming and
out-pouring of individuals. These individuals, having lived in the
colony and having imbibed of its policies, would go out and settle
nearby on new ground, but would retain their connection with the
establishment in a cultural and commercial way.

In line with such a policy, Considerant began almost immediately to
purchase land for such expansion. Savardan severely criticizes him for
this, but such action was in full accord with Considerant’s intention as
announced in _Au Texas_. However, Considerant erred greatly, almost
criminally, by not waiting until La Réunion, which was to be the center
of all activity, was firmly established. The facts are that he never
remained at La Réunion a sufficient length of time to establish anything
or to become familiar with its problems and possibilities. The first
purchase in the expansion move was made, May 17, 1855, which amounted to
fifty-one and one-eighth acres near the present city of Houston. This
plot was to be used as a way-station, where incoming colonists could
rest and become acclimated to the Texas weather.[7]

Some of the prominent leaders at La Réunion wanted to establish several
rest camps along the road from Houston to La Réunion, but this was never
put in operation. Savardan, the critic, says that A. M. Bussy proposed
to establish stores and gardens from which the incoming colonists would
receive supplies; Considerant not only opposed this but did not even
want a store at La Réunion.[8] On account of the climate and lack of
development, this Houston way-station served little good and was soon
abandoned. Two men, one of whom was a physician who had been in charge
of the camp for a short time, were forced to leave Houston on account of
a severe fever epidemic. They arrived at La Réunion weeks later, where
Savardan treated the men and brought them to a slow recovery.[9]

The second extension of the central colony was in Uvalde County where a
purchase of more than fifty thousand acres was made.[10] Some of the
settlers wanted to build the second colony near Fort Belknap. They
pointed out that the distance was not more than half of that to Uvalde,
and that better land could be secured for less than half the price of
Uvalde land. In addition to this, the United States Army would be at
hand to protect them from the Indians which would not be the case at
Uvalde.[11]

However, Considerant went from Austin, where he had been working with
the legislature trying to get a grant of land for his colonists, to San
Antonio with a state senator. Considerant was apparently introduced to a
land speculator and developer, who borrowed $10,000 from him. Later
Considerant was severely criticized for this act but he explained that
it was a legitimate business deal. Nevertheless, it appears that he fell
into the hands of clever land speculators who had been introduced to him
by the senator and that he was stripped of the remaining cash belonging
to the company which he had in his possession. The deal caused
considerable criticism and disagreement among the men at La Réunion.

Considerant answered the criticism by pointing out the success of the
colonists at Castroville, New Braunfels, and Fredericksburg. These
colonies had been established about ten years, he claimed, and all were
successful. He had visited Belton in 1853, at which time there was no
settlement, but in 1855 many stores and brick houses had either been
built or were under construction. Hondo also was flourishing and several
buildings were under construction there.

Considerant could dream of phalansteries all over Texas, linked together
by trade and culture, and talk of a super-race bred from a vigorous and
active American people mixed with the cultured French; in fact, he might
be classed as a great dreamer and philosopher, but as a manager of
commercial affairs or as to meeting the land speculators on even terms,
he was a sad failure.[12]

His financial accounts with the company were, apparently, always mixed
and his dealings with the individual colonists were never satisfactory.
Several men were sent at various times to investigate and audit his
accounts, but each time at their departure the old system—rather lack of
system—would develop again.

When the colonists reached the location where they expected to find a
flourishing colony, buildings, and growing crops and cattle, they were
always disappointed in finding everything in confusion and disagreement.
This is especially true of those arriving after the first six months;
those coming earlier entered the undertaking with faith and hope in the
ultimate success of the phalanstery. Both Albert Brisbane and
Considerant, chief proponents of the colony, had urged the company
agents and prospective colonists not to hurry over until all
preparations had been made to receive them. Furthermore, Considerant
urged the agents over and over again not to send out men who were not
farmers; it was his purpose to form an agricultural colony and introduce
industry only as needed. However, both the agents and the people
disregarded this advice; no farmers were sent, and the colonists were
thrust upon Considerant before any preparations had been made. Becoming
discouraged over the prospects, within a few months after the beginning
of the establishment, Considerant wrote to France advising that further
plans be suspended as the colony would very likely cease operation.[13]
Nevertheless, La Réunion was established and those people arriving from
Europe set immediately to work constructing houses in which to live. The
town which was built on the grounds was nothing like the phalanstery
which had been proposed.[14]

The following quotation shows that in addition to the President’s
office, in April, 1856, the colony possessed several other important
buildings,

  ... a building for making soap and candles, a laundry, a building for
  offices, a kitchen, a grocery store, beehives, a chicken house, a
  smoke house, a forge, a cottage for the Executive Agent, and have
  begun the construction of two dormitories of eight apartments each, to
  be given to different households.[15]

Three years later, in 1859, a visitor, after describing the general
merchandise store, says, “Réunion contains a fine and commodious
store-house, blacksmith shop, hotel, a bootmaker, tailor and mechanic’s
shop. Coombs’ steam mill is only one mile distance from La Réunion.”[16]
The same writer, in describing the store, said:

  We are indebted to the courteous and gentlemanly proprietor of the La
  Réunion store for a lot of choice cigars and a jar of delicious brandy
  pears. They have at La Réunion a well selected stock of new and
  fashionable goods, which they are prepared to sell at unreasonably low
  prices.[17]

In 1919 a visitor surveying the ruins wrote:

  Some distance from this structure, possibly 200 yards, were the
  remains of a store and concrete building about thirty feet or more
  square which was the commissary for the colony; thick walls were still
  several feet high on the four sides. Between this ruin and the
  residence were outlines of old fence partitions preserved by
  indigenous shrubs, prickly pear, hoar hound, etc., with now and then a
  plum tree survival.[18]

These buildings were constructed of wood and stone. Because of lack of
knowledge concerning the climate, the colonists did not realize the
necessity of good construction for protection against the “northers” and
consequently suffered severely from the cold.

When a sufficiently large group had settled at La Réunion, the people
met to form a society which they called “The Society of Réunion.”[19]
Objectives of this Society were: acquisition of the domains of La
Réunion, Dallas County, the development of agriculture, the construction
of industrial establishments, and the formation of a council for making
public decisions. The operating or social fund of the society was fixed
at $600,000 representing 4800 _actions_ at $125. The Society of Réunion
was to act as a local office or clearing house for the business of the
colony and to deal directly with the European Colonization Society of
Texas. It was not to replace or to usurp the prerogatives of the parent
society.

In addition to possessions in the form of buildings, the Society put
into cultivation 430 acres of land; purchased 500 head of cattle, some
sheep, pigs, and fowls; dug wells, built a few short, shallow canals;
bought mowing, reaping, and threshing machines; and secured two
half-sections of land near the settlement. A very large garden was
planted and developed, one that did not justify the funds invested but
excited the curiosity of all who visited the colony.[20]

At first the store was successful and apparently did a very good
business, as one report shows an average of $330 a month business, with
profits ranging from twenty to thirty per cent. This trade came largely
from outside the colony, and seems to have been due to the fact that the
store was stocked with better goods more reasonably priced than those in
stores farther from the surrounding settlers.

There was a co-operative kitchen in which the majority of the colonists
had their meals. During Cantagrel’s directorship the colony had four
long tables in the dining room. On each table was a large bowl of
pottage and one of meat which were passed around in family style. Quite
often, according to Savardan, the bowls reached the last two or three
people completely empty, and there was no more food to replenish the
dish. The men paid twenty-two sous each day for board; the women
eighteen sous; and children from six to twelve paid twelve sous; while
children under six paid six sous. Savardan was opposed to the
communistic arrangement at the table for he said such arrangements gave
privileges and thus made “nobilities of the great eaters and head
waiters, while the small eaters had to take what was left.” He suggested
a return to the restaurant as the most democratic plan, for then each
fellow would get what he paid for. The hotel, or “family style,” serving
proved unsatisfactory, and six members were appointed as a commission to
investigate the comparative cost of hotel meals and restaurant serving.
Cantagrel presided at the meeting. This commission found that the
“family style” was not paying expenses, so they decided to establish a
sort of cafeteria in which each was given the same portion. However,
this arrangement could not be instituted until May 10, 1856, because
Considerant would not surrender his house for the purpose. During the
first three months of operation the new plan was very successful and was
able to improve the meals by serving various foods such as chicken,
beef, pork, and mutton. But when Cantagrel left and was succeeded by
Dethoya the project disintegrated because the chief waiter or cashier
began to steal the money and serve poorer food. When so much trouble
arose, Dethoya had twenty people to sign a proof of his honesty. Madame
Considerant also sided with him against Guillmet.[21]

The co-operative kitchen broke up into dozens of small ones, one of
which was able to have good food at twenty-five sous per day. People
withdrew into separate institutions and planted small gardens. Slaves
brought them fish for which they paid twenty-five cents for ten or
fifteen pounds. Savardan’s group lived there for six months after the
breakup of the general colony.

For a time the colonists were not interested in stocking the land or
planting crops. Most of them came fairly well supplied with money and
did not find it necessary to work for their daily living until their
reserve funds began to dwindle. Then, according to one report, sheep,
cows, hogs, and chickens were purchased, even against the advice of
Considerant. The cattle numbered about six hundred when the final survey
of affairs was made.[22]

It is exceedingly difficult to reconstruct the system of work carried on
in La Réunion. In one place it is said that the laborer received
one-third of the products of his labor; in another statement it was said
that each worker was paid a stipulated sum and that near riots occurred
in an attempt to get higher wages. Toward the end of the colony’s
existence the “reserves” were apportioned to each man according to his
deserts. Just how these reserves were accumulated is not clear; however,
they appear to have consisted of money or goods stored up in excess of
the actual demands of the colony. In some cases the reserve accumulated
from contributions made by incoming colonists and in other instances it
was formed from excess production.[23]

Nevertheless, there was some order and plan even in this chaos. There
was to be a council of six men, in addition to Considerant, which was to
govern locally all of La Réunion. Then, there was the Council of
Workmen, supported by all workers, which elected two workers to be added
to the council of six. This Council of Workmen was formed by organized
groups of laborers who elected one member from each trade group. For
example, Mr. Louckx was committeeman of the workers in wood. Dailly was
head of metal workers, and other trades were similarly organized.[24]

Men were assigned to certain work; quite often they were changed day by
day. This led to waste and inefficiency. On one job six men were
employed in marking cattle, and because of their ignorance they often
burned the cattle severely, marking only about twenty-five each day.
However, in May, 1856, a young veterinarian, M. Louis, took charge of
this trade and marked as many as seventy a day. Dr. Savardan tells how
he, a trained physician, and several professional men were set to
cutting wood. Considerant, noticing that they were destroying the
younger trees, called their attention to it, whereupon two of the
woodcutters became very angry and contended with him. These same men
also built fences, dug wells, and did other odd jobs about the place. In
spite of the apparent universality of labor, there was some complaint
that all were not showing returns from their labors, and contention
arose as to whether all should produce something of general value.

  “_En réalité, depius l’expérience malheureuse du Texas—et mème bien
  avant—on ne pouvait plus dire que Victor Considerant était un
  représentant authentique du socilisme etopique at pacifique._”

                                 Translation

  “In reality since his unhappy experience in Texas—and even before—one
  is able to say only that Victor Considerant was an authentic
  representative of Utopian and pacific socialism.”

  Maurice Dommanget, _Victor Considerant, sa Vie, son Oeuvre_, p. 218.



                              CHAPTER VII
                              THE BREAKUP


La Réunion was a failure from the moment it started; it was never a
success. Of course, a historian cannot predict what would have happened
under certain given conditions, but it seems reasonable to believe that
any other type of colony formed by the same people under the same
conditions would also have been a failure.

In the first place, Considerant was not a suitable man to head such an
enterprise. His theory of colonization as propounded in _Au Texas_ is
reasonable enough and, if followed, could probably succeed under
favorable conditions. However, his weaknesses were his personal attitude
and his lack of administrative ability. Savardan says that Considerant
was a great organizer and promoter but did not possess a sense of
continuity or of development. He easily became discouraged and soon lost
interest in proposed plans and procedures. When he arrived in New York
in 1854 on his return to Texas, he was met by the denunciation of the
Know-Nothing Party (American Party.) Tirades against foreigners made by
leaders of the party were diplomatically and ably answered by
Considerant’s pamphlet, _European Colonization in America_, but in spite
of his confident tone exhibited in this pamphlet, he became discouraged
from that moment. His absolute faith in the sense of justice of the
American people, as stated in _Au Texas_, vanished and he was forced to
realize the absurd servility of people who will subject themselves to
demagogues in time of national hysteria. Considerant never exhibited any
sign of vigor, initiative, or enthusiasm after the publication of his
address to the American people.

When he joined Savardan’s party in Galveston, a change in his attitude
was evident. He was sullen, withdrawn, and sensitive to criticism.
Instead of going with the party from Houston to Dallas, he went to
Austin and then to La Réunion. However, there is no indication in the
records of any initiative on his part to put the colony in shape, or of
any plan of unity of development worked out. The moment he reached La
Réunion he began to think of leaving it. In a conversation between
Cantagrel and Savardan in April, 1856, before all the colonists had
arrived, Savardan understood that Considerant had come to the conclusion
to disband the colony, to parcel out the land to colonists and others,
and to break up the community affairs. Savardan states that not more
than ten per cent of the colonists wanted to divide up the land, that
most of them felt that they could not exist independently.[1]

Considerant, leader of the whole undertaking, was never in the colony
for any length of time. He was alternately at Austin, San Antonio, or
Uvalde, and consequently, when he was at La Réunion, he could not make
any decision because he was unacquainted with the workings of the
organization. Apparently, refusal of the state legislature to grant the
lands which Considerant had expected to obtain for the colonists
completely destroyed what hope he had left; it was after this refusal
that he wrote to France advising that no more colonists be sent.[2]
Finally, after an absence of five months, he returned to the colony from
a trip into Southwest Texas, and being convinced that the colony was
doomed, appointed a successor to himself and suddenly, on July 7, 1856,
departed in secret.[3]

Considerant, in his pamphlet _Du Texas_, assumes all blame for the
failure of the La Réunion experiment and confesses that he had a serious
lack of confidence in himself. After his plans failed, he became a
despairing and broken man, often planning to end all by
self-destruction.[4] It is certainly true that this lack of
self-confidence prevented success of the colony.

The second reason for its failure was the mismanagement of financial
affairs. Considerant reported about 1857 that “During two years, the
greater part of the disposable funds were wasted under my own eyes.”[5]
But Savardan gives a different story: he lists several funds which he
claims Considerant, himself, wasted. His evidence is as follows:

  a. $3,000 wasted by an inefficient gardener who, Considerant insisted,
  should be at the head of the agricultural work.

  b. That Considerant paid double price for meat when it could have been
  raised on the farms of La Réunion. There were no sheep or pigs—$300.

  c. That he bought carriages and horses for himself which he did not
  need, at least they were better than were required, for which he
  charged the society under the head of personal expense—$300.

  d. That he built for himself and family a cottage instead of living in
  the commodious buildings of the colony with the remainder of the
  colonists and charged the cost to personal expenses—$1,000.

  e. The horses that were lost by theft or death unnecessarily and the
  carriages and other equipment which soon depreciated in value because
  of lack of sheds, etc., the poorly constructed houses and other
  buildings, which would soon have to be replaced—$10,000.

  f. The failure of Considerant to pay his own passage and
  transportation as other colonists had done—$100.

  g. Numerous trips from San Antonio to Uvalde for the purchase of land
  when one or two trips would have been sufficient.

While the above does not convict Considerant of serious mismanagement,
it does indicate a lack of system. However, in another place he is
charged with using funds without giving any account to the directors,
and of entrusting the financial affairs of the colony to dishonest
men.[6]

Even though the society owned all its tools, cattle, and other property,
there was apparently no method used to check the use of this property
until toward the close of 1856, nearly two years after the organization
was started. Bussy, who had charge of the equipment, became disgusted
and resigned; then Savardan took over the work. He listed all equipment
and tools on cards and then numbered each object so he could keep up
with all the property belonging to the company. The records of this
checking were kept in a large book which he left at La Réunion on his
departure therefrom. All the cattle, hogs, and other livestock were also
numbered, and a proposal was made that even the colonists themselves
should be assigned a number by which their accounts could be checked.
All property loaned and assigned to members of the colony had to be
checked out and a record of it kept by a young man appointed as
caretaker. This scheme apparently worked well and the serious loss of
materials which had occurred previously was checked. However, a minor
reform such as Savardan made could not revitalize the faulty financial
system.[7]

In addition to mismanagement there was downright dishonesty and
misapplication of funds. This was especially true in the mismanagement
of the restaurant and in the keeping of accounts with individuals of the
colony. Savardan stated that Cousin took $98.00 from him which he
deposited with the treasurer of the colony for safe-keeping. Others had
the same experience. Apparently some one applied to the courts in Dallas
for redress, for on July 16, 1857, the Dallas court made inquiry as to
the administration. Considerant refused even to attempt a settlement of
the accounts and the company sent a Mr. Simonin to La Réunion from New
York to audit the accounts. He spent three months in the colony and
investigated more than 200 accounts, arranged them satisfactorily, and
then turned the business over to another man also sent from New York.

A third reason for the failure of La Réunion was the failure of the
Americans to participate in its promotion and settlement. Both Brisbane
and Considerant had planned to have as many Americans as Frenchmen in
the colony, but there were never more than twenty and perhaps less than
a dozen. One colonist tells about Pendleton and Newton, two American
carpenters, who joined the colony. They knew nothing about Fourierism
and had merely heard about socialism. Their wives wore bloomers, being
followers of Mrs. Blummer who advocated freedom of women’s dress.
Savardan said that he had no objections to bloomers as they were an
improvement over the old “hoop skirt” which flew up every time a woman
sat down in a carriage. In addition to these four Americans there were
only a few others, all of whom had left the colony by September, 1857.

Lack of interest on the part of the Americans might be explained on the
grounds of the intense American nationalism of the time, the sad
experiences of Peter’s Colony, and the “law of reserve” which had caused
a very sudden rise in the price of land in the vicinity of La Réunion.
After Brisbane’s visit and the first flush of excitement and investment,
very little attention was paid by Americans to the experiment. The
attitude of the Texas newspapers and the total lack of interest, even
hostility, of the state legislature, certainly contributed to the
failure.

The climate might be cited as a fourth reason for the breakup of the
colony. The years 1855-1857 seem to have been unusual years judging from
reports of the colonists themselves and of other Texas settlers living
in various parts of the state. Considerant reports that the winter
1856-1857 was a very cold one, and was considered by old settlers to
have been the coldest in their memory. Another colonist says that there
were twenty-three days of ice in January and from February 7 to March 2
the temperature measured an average of fifteen degrees above zero inside
the cabins. This statement is supported by Bureau who arrived in La
Réunion January 17, 1857, and found the temperature fifteen degrees
below zero. The cold brought great suffering to the settlers, especially
to women and children living in the poorly built cabins.

When spring came there was no relief. Drought took the place of cold.
Springs dried up and the obtaining of water became a serious problem.
Crops came up only to wither and die under the blast of dry winds.
Cattle had to be driven to the river for water, but there was no water
available for the gardens. The farmers found it difficult to raise
anything, especially since they refused to follow instructions of the
scientific farmers in the colony. Thus, cold weather, drought, and
discouragement undermined the morale of the group and one by one the
settlers began to disperse.

Nevertheless, after these things are taken into consideration, and all
due allowances are made for these factors, there remains the pertinent
fact that the colonists could never agree. There were racial divisions,
Belgians vs. French, and conflicts arising between individual members.
The most severe disagreements were between the leaders rather than in
the rank and file. Savardan, the most garrulous and troublesome of the
whole group, tells numerous stories about these misunderstandings. He
states that Considerant, Rogers, and Raizant made every effort in their
power to prevent colonists from coming to La Réunion. Barclay, a Swiss,
came to the colony in 1855 with twenty others, all healthy and strong,
intending to become permanent settlers. However, because of the attitude
of the colonists, especially of Considerant, all except one soon left
and established themselves elsewhere. He also wrote about the coming of
Santerre and his family. Santerre sold his farm in France and with seven
children started to America. They were dumped on the shore near a
Houston farm without anyone to guide them, finally reaching the farm
after much trouble. There Raizant did everything he could to prevent
them from continuing their journey to La Réunion, but without success.
When the family did arrive at La Réunion, Cousin tried to make them
leave by the use of sarcasm.[8]

Once when Savardan accused Cousin of forgery of a document which placed
him in control of the colony, Cousin threatened to place Savardan in
prison, whereupon Savardan immediately withdrew into the house and
challenged Cousin to enter, at the same time reminding him of the
American law which gave a man the right to protect his own home. After
considerable trouble the two men were quieted and the incident passed
without any serious results.

Several times, near riots occurred when the men of the colony met to
discuss various complaints, those concerning wages especially. Sometimes
these disturbances would be ended by the appointment of a committee to
consider the matter, after which very little was done—in fact, nothing
could be done, as the company had no resources with which to pay nor to
make good losses which had occurred. These continual bickerings would
have destroyed the colony had nothing else entered the situation to
hasten the end. Finally, no socialistic experiment could have been a
success under frontier conditions in Texas. The doctrine of Utopian
Socialism is a system which deals with industrial conditions and could
hardly be applicable to the agrarian frontier. In addition, the
capitalistic system had greater rewards to offer individual efforts than
did the Utopian social dream.

Thus, a fantastic plan of a French socialist colony came to an end,
wrecked upon the individualistic tendencies and weaknesses of its
membership. Texas has been made richer culturally by the attempts of
these dreamers to better conditions and transform the society in which
they lived, even though no economic gain came to these individuals.



                                APPENDIX


                      A. Partial List of Settlers

This list has been compiled from all the bibliographical data used in
this research, including the census report of 1850 and 1860. There are
doubtless duplications since no effort has been made to check transfer
of a son or daughter from a family list to a new family by marriage,
etc. American reporters of that time and writers of a later date were
not accurate in spelling French names. A careful check of names has been
made on tombstones in the Old French Cemetery. Many times names were
found such as “Dumirel” with no first name and no further appearance. In
this case the name was listed just as it appeared. This list is not
complete but it contains more names than any other list known at this
time. The symbol (S) has been used where the spelling or listing is
different but evidently of the same family. The most helpful list and
the most complete is by Eloise Santerre contained in her thesis,
_Réunion ... with a Biographical Dictionary of the Settlers_. She also
identifies each settler wherever possible.

  Achard, E.
  Allen, John
  Amyard
  Baer, two sisters
  Baer, Gaspard, wife and four children
  Bar, wife and son
  Barbeau
  Barbier, Alexander, wife, children: Alexis and François
  Barbot
  Barret, Francois
  Begnier
  Belinger
  Bernard, wife and mother-in-law
  Bessand, wife, son and daughter
  Besseraux
  Besseron, Adel
  Billard, wife and son
  Blot
  Boger
  Boll, Henry, wife Elizabeth, children: Henrietta, Lizatte, Mrs. Ernest
              Arnold, Charles, and Jacob
  Boll (S) Henry, wife Elizabeth, children: Ann and Minnie, (relative)
              Lena
  Boll, Henry, Sr.
  Bollanger
  Bonneville
  Bossereau, Abel
  Bossereau, Catherine
  Bouge and wife
  Boulay, Dominique, wife Isabelle, son Adolphine, sister, niece
  Boulay, Francois (uncle of Dominique), children: Domine K. and Adolphe
  Boulay, J. F., wife, daughter Louise
  Bourgeois, Lucien and wife Louise
  Boyer
  Brison
  Brisson
  Brisot, Pere
  Brochier, A., wife
  Brochier, O. (brother of A. Brochier)
  Brochier, P.
  Brunet, Eugene (brother of Joseph Brunet)
  Brunet, Joseph, Father
  Bucher
  Bureau, Allyre, wife, three sons and daughter Alice
  Burki, Emil
  Bussey
  Candie, daughter
  Cantagrel, Francois Jean, wife, children: Simon and Josephine
  Capy, Charles, wife Notiva, (seven children): Mrs. Segarri, Alfred
  Carpenter, Noel, wife and daughter
  Chamboard, wife and daughter
  Charpentier, Joseph, wife Elizabeth and children: Joseph Alfred, and
              Nativa
  Charron
  Chavennes
  Christian, M.
  Christophe, Henry
  Cillard, Jules
  Coiret, Francois, wife, (two daughters): Mathilde
  Coleman, Louis
  Colin, Denis
  Colm, Francois
  Come, Sebastien
  Considerant, Francois, wife, daughter and three sons
  Considerant, Victor Prosper
  Corne
  Cousin, Vincent
  Cretien, Athanase, wife Augastine, children: George and Emil
  Crisset, Josephine
  Dailly, Abel, wife Catherine
  Daly, Ceaser
  Danderet
  Debray
  De Guelles
  Deiterall
  Dellard, wife, son and two daughters
  Delasseau, Michel, wife Amelee, children: Angele and Anatole
  DeLord, Alphonse, wife, son and two daughters
  Derigni, wife and son
  Destnet, Henri, wife and daughter Marie
  Despart, Henry
  Dessau, Mlle.
  De Vry
  Dillard, wife, son and two daughters
  Divion
  Doderet
  Doelly, Abel
  Dominique
  Drevet
  Droxal
  Dumirel
  Desseau
  Duterall
  Duythoya, Tristan, daughter
  Enginard, (Enginaid)
  Ettienne, wife
  Eymar
  Farine, Nicholas, wife Jeannette, (second wife) Miss Mills, son Albert
  Ferguson
  Forette, Antoine
  Franchot
  Frishot, Achille
  Frishot, Desire Christophe, wife Susan, children: Laura, Henrietta,
              and Bertha
  Frishot, (S) Christopher Desire, wife, two daughters and two sons
  Frishot, D., (S) wife Susana, daughter Laura, (relatives) Pere, D.,
              and Hershel
  Frishot, Leontine (perhaps daughter of Phillip)
  Frishot, Pierre Philip, wife Marie Adeld Simmonett, children: Achille
              and Leontine
  Frick, Heinrich, wife Barbara, children: Adolph, Otto, and Henry
  Frique
  Gaudel, Mlle.
  Gaudel, daughter
  Giard, Pierre, three sons: Pierre, Joseph and Francois
  Girard, Francois (S)
  Girard, Pierre (S)
  Godelle, Mlle.
  Goetsels, (Goodseels) John, wife Lucine, children: Philip, Colette,
              Clemence, and Jennie
  Goetsel, Philip (son of John Goetsel)
  Goetseed, (Goodseels) (S) Lucine, children: Philip, Colette, Clemenie,
              Jennie, Ana, Lena, and Jean
  Gordia
  Goudsill, wife, son and three daughters
  Gouffre, A. J., wife and son
  Gouhenans (perhaps not a member of colony)
  Grimot, Pierre
  Grisset, Pierre, wife Josephine, daughter Marie
  Grisset, (S) Josephine and daughter
  Guerin
  Guillemet, August, wife Marie E., children: Angelle, Alexandrine and
              Augustine
  Guillemet, (S) Auguste, wife Marie, children: Angel, Augustine,
              Alfred, and Amen
  Guillemet, Augustine (daughter of Auguste)
  Guiller
  Guillot, August and wife (son of Maxime)
  Guillot, Maxime, wife Mary, son August
  Guillot, Remy
  Guyot, Remy, wife and son
  Gusman
  Haeck
  Haize, Jules
  Henry, (Henri) Paul R., wife, children: Paul, Rene, Marie and Asea
  Henry (S)
  Hetten, F. T.
  Heymens, F. T., A and V. (relatives)
  Hitten, Gustavus
  Joffre, Christophre
  Jones, Samuel S., wife Louisa, daughter Guillilmine
  Knopfli, Jacob, wife Barbara, daughter Elizabeth
  Lagogae, Jean Baptiste, son and daughter
  Lang, Benjamin, wife Eugenia, children: Mrs. Louis F. Rick, Mrs. F.
              Rick, and Mrs. Anna Lotzinhiser
  Lanotte, Jules, wife Josephine, children: Jules and Alice
  Lanotte, (Lonet), (S) Alexander, wife
  Lassagne
  Lavinge
  Leinhardt, George
  Le Pere, Lagogue
  Leray
  Lescrenier, (Le Lecrenier)
  Lesonier
  Long, Ben
  Lord, M. D.
  Louckx, John B., wife Mary, second wife Louisa, (seven children): Mrs.
              Thomas B. Matney, Mrs. Willard Boyer, Minnie, and Marie
  Louckx, Mrs. Louisa Lenison (S), (perhaps wife)
  Louis, Louis, wife Margaret
  Loupot, Francois
  Loupot, Jean, wife Rosina, children: Rosina, John, Ema, Maxime, and
              Emile
  Loupot, John
  McDelore, Aut., wife Augustine, Jennie
  Maguet
  Manduce, John
  Manduel, John (S)
  Mansion, Emanuel, wife Jeannie
  Marins
  Marius, Antoine, accompanied by brother
  Marold
  Mayrus
  Michel, Ferdinand, wife Salomee
  Migoureaux
  Mique
  Monduel, Jean, wife, daughter Julia
  Monpate, two sons and daughter
  Morize
  Moulard, Mrs. Jean, daughter Julia
  Moulard, John, wife, daughter and son
  Naton, (Newton)
  Nicholas
  Nusbaimer, Robert Jacques
  Nussbaimer, (S) Jacob, wife Dorothes, children: Mary and Theodore
  Pascal
  Peier, Jacob
  Peier, Jean
  Peloux, wife and daughter
  Pendleton
  Perison
  Petit, wife, son and daughter
  Pierquet
  Pierson
  Pimpare, (Pinpare), Rene, wife Isabelle
  Potevin, (Poitevin), Guillome, wife Anna Dusseau
  Priot, (Prict), Jean, wife Leontine, children: Ernest, Ernestine, and
              two other sons
  Protat, (Prota), Antoine, wife and two daughters
  Prunet, Joseph
  Quinet, Nicholas, wife children: Ledre and Matilde
  Raijan
  Raizant, (Raizen), (S)
  Regnoir
  Reinhardt, George
  Remond, Emile, wife Cesarine
  Renier
  Reverchon, Jacque Maximilien
  Reverchon, Julian Maximilien, children: Julien and Louise
  Roger, (Rogers)
  Rose, Jules, wife and son
  Rouby
  Royer, Julius, wife and son
  Royer, (S) Joseph
  Santerre, (Saunterre), Francois, wife Marie, children: Apploinaire,
              Cesarne, German, Luce, Emmanuel, Raphael, and Gustave
  Santerre, (Saunterre), Germane (son of Francois)
  Santerre, (Saunterre), Gustave (son of Francois)
  Savardan, Dr. Augustin
  Scherer
  Sellier
  Steere
  Stiffel
  Taupin
  Thevenet, Michel, wife, children: Marie, Charles, Henry, and Philip
  Thivnet, Bessare, wife and daughter
  Toidevin, wife
  Tourneville
  Tuillot, (Teulot), R., wife and son
  Vacher, Alexandrine, wife and daughter
  Vaizian
  Valentine
  Vanderbosch, (Van Den Bosch), Guillam (William J.), wife Collet
  Vardack
  Vigoureaux, Madame Clarisse, daughter
  Vilmain
  Vogel
  Voirin, Charles, wife and two sons
  Voision, Pierre
  Van Grinderbeck, Guilliame (William), wife Clemence
  Van Grinderbeck, Louis
  Vreidag, Rudolph
  Wealms, John, wife Barbara, daughter and two sons
  Wealms, (S) John, wife Barbara, children: Clemantine and John H.,
              (relative) Dominic
  Willemain
  Willemet, F. L., wife and two daughters
  Willis, wife, daughter and two sons
  Willdme, Richard
  Witiker
  Yeuch


                       B. PLAN OF THE PHALANSTERY

               [Illustration: B. PLAN OF THE PHALANSTERY]


                    C. ACTS INCORPORATING THE COLONY


                              CHAPTER CCCX

An Act to Incorporate the European and American Colonization Society in
                                 Texas

Whereas, A company under the name of the European and American
Colonization Society in Texas has been formed in Brussels between Victor
Prosper Considerant, Allyre Bureau, Charles Francois Guillon, Jean
Baptiste Andre, Goden Lemaire and their associates, on the 26th day of
September, A.D. 1854, as appeared by an act deposited at the office of
Mr. Hedweld, Notary in said city, and duly legalized and certified on
the 20th day of January, AD. 1855, by the Consul of the United States at
Antwerp, the nature and object of which said company consists in the
Union of intended colonists creating a joint stock, and constituting an
agency to enable its shareholders to emigrate to Texas to colonize, to
improve lands, to transfer hither their manufactories, to introduce new
culture and new branches of industry. And whereas, the objects of said
association are calculated to develop the resources and add to the
population and wealth of this State. Therefore, Be it enacted by the
Legislature of the State of Texas,

Section 1. That Victor Prosper Considerant, Allyre Bureau, Charles
Francois Guillion, Jean Baptiste Andre, Godin Lemaire and their
associates, successors be, and they are hereby constituted a body
politic and corporate, by the name of the European and American
Colonization Society in Texas, with power and authority in said
corporate name to have succession, to make contracts, to have and use a
seal, to acquire by purchase, donation or otherwise, and to own, manage
and alienate property real, mixed and personal, to sue and be sued, to
plead and be impleaded in law and equity in like manner and as fully as
natural persons, to carry on, conduct and manage any kind of
manufacturing, mechanical or agricultural business, to issue shares and
negotiate them, to borrow money by mortgage on its property or
otherwise; to have a President, Directors, Secretaries and Treasurers,
and all such officers and agents as the company may deem necessary, and
to prescribe their powers and duties; to make such by-laws, rules and
regulations, not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of this
State or of the United States, as they may deem necessary and proper for
the government of said company and the management of its affairs and
interests, and to possess generally all the powers, rights, immunities
and privileges necessary to carry into effect the provisions and objects
of the said association.

Provided, that a majority of the Directors of said Company and the
President thereof shall be residents of Texas, and that the principal
office shall be kept in this State, where all writs and citations shall
be served. And further provided, that this act shall not be so construed
as to entitle said company to the benefits of any law granting lands or
money to any railroad, manufacturing or colonization company, nor shall
it authorize said company to prohibit slavery in any Territory occupied
by it.

Section 2. The capital stock issued by the said Company shall not exceed
one million dollars, to be divided into shares of such values and
entitling the share holders thereof to vote in such manner as shall be
prescribed by the by-laws of said company; the duration of which shall
not exceed twenty years from the passage of this act.

Section 3. That the shareholders or corporators of the company, by this
act incorporated, shall be liable for all debts and obligations of said
company in the same manner and to the same extent as general partners
are by law now liable.

Passed, September 1st, 1856.

  Special Laws of the Sixth Legislature of the State of Texas passed at
  its adjourned session convened July 7, 1856 (Austin 1856) 216-217, in
  H.P.N. Gammel, _The Laws of Texas_, 1822-1897, Vol. IV (Austin, 1898),
  pp. 762-763.


                               CHAPTER 32

An Act amendatory of an act entitled an act to incorporate the European
              and American Colonization Society in Texas.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That
the third section of the above entitled act be so amended that the same
shall hereafter read as follows: That the Shareholders or Corporators of
the Company shall be liable for all debts and obligations of said
Company, to the extent of the Capital Stock subscribed or owned by each.

Section 2. That this act take effect and be in force from and after its
passage.

Approved, January 6th, 1858.

  Special Laws of Seventh Legislature of the State of Texas (Austin,
  1858), 26, _ibid._, p. 1204.


                       D. LETTERS OF INTRODUCTION

                                                           New York City
                                                       November 10, 1854

  His Excelly
  Gov. Pease

  My Dear Sir:

Permit me to introduce to you my friend Mr. F. Cantagrel of France—He is
a gentleman of _high standing_ and _acquirements_ and goes to Texas to
see the country and may perhaps establish himself there for life—Being a
stranger, he will be thankful for any advice, aid or consel you may
extend to him, will be regarded a personal favor by me and duly
reciprocated by us both.[1]

                            Very respectfully,
                                 (Signed)
                                                           H. W. Merrill
                                                                Bt Major
                                                                     USA

  To/His Excelly
      Gov. M. Pease


                                           Legation of the United States
                                              Brussels, January 14, 1855

  Dear Sir:

Although not acquainted with your Excellency, yet as the diplomatic
representative of our country I take the liberty of addressing you this
note for the purpose of introducing to your acquaintance and attention
the distinguished Republican, Mons. Victor Considerant of France; who is
about leaving Europe with a number of his Countrymen to settle and
establish a Colony in your state. Mons. Considerant is an ardent
republican and has not escaped the persecution usually attendant upon
the advocates of these opinions in Europe. Our Countrymen, I trust, will
receive him the more cordially. He is a gentleman of means education and
intelligence, and will be a most valuable acquisition to your state.
Under these circumstances it is not necessary to commend him both good
office and kind consideration of the governor of the free and chivalrous
state of Texas.

I have the honor to be, Sir, with very great respect your Countryman &
old Servant.[2]

                                 (Signed)
                                                            J. J. Seibel

  To/His Excellency the
      Governor of Texas


  The State of Texas
  County of Travis

Know all men by these present that I James Knight of Fort Bend County.
State aforesaid for a good & Valuable Consideration. The receipt of
which is hereby acknowledged, have by these presents doth hereby grant
bargain and convey unto Victor Prosper Considerant, his heirs and
assignees all the right title and interest that I have or may hereafter
acquire of in the certificate no [3169/3270] for one league and labor of
Land issued by the Commission—is of the General Land office on the 19th
day of January A D 1854 which said certificate was issued to me as
assigned of James McLaughlin

Witness my hand and scrawl for seal this 7th Jany A D 1855.[3]

  E. R. Peck
  John C. Higginson
                                                            James Knight
                                                                  (Seal)

[1]Texas Archives, Governor’s Letters—Pease.

[2]From Archives of Texas, Governor Pease’s Letters.

[3]From Texas Land Office—Dallas Co.—James McLaughlin, File 853.



                               REFERENCES


                              Introduction

[1]For a brief study of socialism see Thomas Kirkup, _A History of
    Socialism_ (New York, 1909); John Spargo, _A Summary and
    Interpretation of Socialistic Principles_ (New York, 1906); Harry W.
    Laidler, _A History of Socialist Thought_ (New York, 1927). For a
    more extended study, Donald Drew Egbert and Stow Persons, editors,
    _Socialism and American Life_ (Princeton, New Jersey, 1952), 2 Vols.

[2]A. C. Pigou, _Socialism Versus Capitalism_ (London: Macmillan and
    Company, 1938), p. 2; Egbert, _op. cit._, I, iii.

[3]_Ibid._, 1.

[4]Egbert, _Socialism and American Life_, I, Introduction.

[5]See also Max Beer, _A History of British Socialism_, London, 1929, I,
    160-180; Egbert, _op. cit._, I, 156-172.

[6]H. W. Laidler, _Social-Economic Movements_ (Thomas Y. Cromwell, New
    York, 1946), 98.

[7]_Socialism, Utopian and Scientific_ (Chicago: 1914), 74; Egbert, _op.
    cit._, I, iii.

[8]Engels, _op. cit._, 91.

[9]This conclusion does not coincide with the discussion in _Socialism
    and American Life_, I, 215-522 by Daniel Bell. It appears that Bell
    used an indefensibly wide interpretation of Marxianism to demand so
    many pages to relate the actions of the followers of Marx. An
    example, from the viewpoint of this author, may be noted on page
    250. The discussion in these two hundred and fifty pages is a
    splendid story of American Socialism but hardly of Marxian Socialism
    in America.


                               CHAPTER I

[1]D. O. Wagner, _Social Reformers from Adam Smith to John Dewey_ (New
    York: 1934), 213-239. Harry W. Laidler, _Social-Economic Movements,
    An Historical and Comparative Survey of Communism, Cooperation,
    Utopianism: and Other Systems of Reform and Reconstruction_ (New
    York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1946), 44-117. For general discussion
    concerning the period see _Revue des Deux Mondes_, XXIIIe Annee,
    Seconde serie de la Nouvelle Period, III, No. 1, 1853, 320-345, and
    especially, 1852, No. 3, 508-545.

[2]For a criticism of Fourier’s ideas and system see Mme. C. Coignet,
    _Victor Considerant, sa Vie, son Oeuvre_ (Paris, France, 1895), 5-9;
    Frederic Engels, _Socialism, Utopian and Scientific_, translated by
    Deward Aveling (Chicago, 1914), 63-66; Harry W. Laidler, _A History
    of Socialist Thought_ (New York, 1927). For a more extensive
    biography, _La Grande Encyclopedie Nouvelle Biographie Generale
    depuis les Temps les plus Recules Jusqua nos jours_, XII; Coignet,
    _op. cit._, 2-5. Fourier’s chief works are _Le Noveau Monde
    Industrial et Societaire_, 1829; _Traité de l’association
    Domestiquée Agricole au Attraction Industrielle_, 2 Vols., 1822; _La
    Theorie des Quarte Mouvements et de Destinées Générales_. For
    materials on related discussions see A. Grandin, _Bibliographie des
    Science_, etc. For a biography see F. August Bebel, _Charles
    Fourier, Sein Leben Und Seine Theorien_ (Stuttgart, 1888).

[3]For a plan of phalanstery see Appendix B. Compare Albert Brisbane,
    _Social Destiny of Man_: or, _Associations and Reorganization of
    Industry_ (Philadelphia, 1840), 353-354. For an extensive study see
    items listed in Egbert, _op. cit._, II, 132-135.

[4]Frederic Engels had a very high appreciation of Fourier; he said:
    “Fourier is not only a critic; his imperturbable serene nature makes
    him a satirist, and assuredly one of the greatest satirists of all
    times.... He was the first to declare that in any given society the
    degree of woman’s emancipation is the natural measure of the general
    emancipation.” See Frederic Engels, _op. cit._, 64-65. Ferrari, “Des
    Idées de L’école de M. Fourier depuïs 1830” in _Revue des Deux
    Mondes_, XI, August 1, 1845, No. 3, 389-434.

[5]Eugene Fourniere, “Le Rèigne de Louis-Philippe, 1830-1848,” in
    _Histoire Socialiste_, 1789-1900, edited by Jean Jaures, 322-326.

[6]Coignet, _op. cit._, 1-16. For a list of his writings see _Victor P.
    Considerant, in LaRousse du XXe Siécle_, II, 425.

[7]Coignet, _Victor Considerant, sa Vie, son Oeuvre_, 11-22; see also
    Eugene Fourniére, _op. cit._; Savardan, _Un Naufrage au Texas_
    (Paris, 1858), iii, 11-23.

[8]Coignet, _op. cit._, 29-34.

[9]_Ibid._; Albert Brisbane, _A Mental Biography With a Character Study
    by His Wife, Redelia Brisbane_ (Boston, 1893), 194; Hereafter cited
    as _Mental Biography_; Savardan, _op. cit._; Victor Prosper
    Considerant, _The Great West, A New Social and Industrial Life in
    Its Fertile Regions_ (New York, 1854) _passim_. Hereafter cited as
    _The Great West_.

[10]Eugene Fourniére, _op. cit._, 444.

[11]Brisbane, _Mental Biography_, 195.

[12]Brisbane, in the preface of Considerant, _The Great West_; see also,
    Considerant, _Contre M. Arago Réclamation addresse a la Chambre des
    Deputies par les Redacteurs du Feuilleton de la Phalange. Suive de
    la Théorie Droit de Propriété_, Paris, 1840.

[13]Albert Brisbane, _op. cit._, 315.

[14]_New York Tribune_, January 1, 1853, quoting the _Allegemeine
    Zeitung_.

[15]Albert Brisbane, _op. cit._, vii. For a short bibliography of
    Brisbane see Charles A. Madison, _Critics and Crusaders_ (New York,
    1947-1948), 114-133.

[16]Albert Brisbane, _op. cit._, 177; a further development of
    Brisbane’s ideas along this line is found in his _Social Destiny of
    Man_.

[17]Brisbane, _Mental Biography_, xi; For a discussion of Brisbane’s
    efforts in literature and propaganda see John Humphrey Noyes,
    _History of American Socialist_ (New York, 1870), xvii, entitled
    “Literature of Fourierism.”

[18]Brisbane, _op. cit._, 211.

[19]See _infra_. iv: footnote 25.

[20]Brisbane, _Social Destiny of Man, or Associations and Reorganization
    of Industry_ (Philadelphia, 1840), 5-40.

[21]Brisbane, _op. cit._, 40.

[22]For a full list of writers and supporters see Noyes, _History of
    Socialism_, 211-231; C. Nordhoff, _Communistic Societies of the
    United States_ (New York, 1875).

[23]For additional information concerning Fourierism in the United
    States, see William Alford Hinds, _American Communities_ (Chicago,
    1902), 221, 254, a list of phalanges on page 224; Albert Shaw,
    _Icaire, A Chapter in the History of Communism_ (New York, 1884),
    ii.


                               CHAPTER II

[1]Victor Prosper Considerant, _Au Texas_, 1st, 1-6. There are two
    editions of this book, and, unfortunately, notes were taken from
    both. The editions will be referred to as 1st and 2nd.

[2]_Ibid._, 6; Coignet, _Victor Considerant, sa Vie, son Oeuvre_, 74,
    states that Considerant came directly to the United States in
    response to an invitation from Brisbane, intending to establish a
    colony.

[3]Considerant, _op. cit._, 8; Coignet, _op. cit._, 175.

[4]_Ibid._, Part I, especially 16-17.

[5]_Picayune_ as quoted in the _Northern Standard_ (Clarksville, Texas),
    May 21, 1853.

[6]Considerant, _Au Texas_ (1st ed.), 23-28.

[7]Considerant, _The Great West_, 4-5; _Au Texas_ (1st ed.), 28-29.

[8]Considerant, _The Great West_, 6; _Au Texas_ (1st ed.), 32-33.

[9]“The town of Preston, from which all this misery for the Red Man
    emanates, is a collection of low groggeries and a few stores, lining
    the high bluff bank of the River.

    It is notorious as the scene of some most cold-blooded and cruel
    murders, committed in open day, and with—up to that time—perfect
    impunity. This, together with the detestable traffic I have just
    alluded, whiskey traffic has brought such a stigma upon the place,
    that the very name is sufficient for all that is ruthless and
    vicious.”

    W. B. Parker, _Notes Taken During the Expedition Through Unexplored
    Texas_, 72.

[10]Letter written June 9, 1853 from Cooke County, quoted in the
    _Northern Standard_, June 18, 1853.

[11]Considerant, _The Great West_, 9-10; _Au Texas_ (1st ed.), 37-44.

[12]_Ibid._, 42. The Icarian movement was an attempt to form a French
    colony which had preceded Considerant’s colony by several years.

[13]_Ibid._, 10-11. Perhaps the tomatoes were of the climbing variety.

[14]Considerant, _The Great West_, 10-11; _Au Texas_ (1st ed.), 44-45.

[15]Considerant, _The Great West_, 11.

[16]_Ibid._, 14.

[17]_Ibid._, 20.

[18]_Ibid._, 23.


                              CHAPTER III

[1]Considerant, _The Great West_, 27. The whole of _Au Texas_ is a
    defense of the colonization scheme, in which Considerant is
    continually reminding the colonists and those who furnished the
    money that no golden promises were ever made.

[2]_Ibid._, 27-28.

[3]_Ibid._, 30-31.

[4]_Ibid._, 31.

[5]_Ibid._, 32.

[6]_Ibid._, 35.

[7]Herman Studer, _Auswanderung nach hoch—Texas, Was wir in Texas
    wollen; Andeutungen Ueber Organization der Arbeit_ (Zuerich, 1855);
    Considerant, _Description du Phalanstere et Considerations Sociales
    sur l’ Architect antique_ (3rd ed.), Libraire Societaire, Paris,
    1846, 64.

[8]Considerant, _Du Texas, premier Rapport a Mes Amis_, (Paris, 1857),
    7.

[9]_Ibid._, 8-9. This surprise and disappointment of Considerant in
    having all his advice disregarded might explain Considerant’s
    attitude toward Savardan’s party at New Orleans and Galveston, as
    given in Savardan, _Un Naufrage au Texas_, ch. ii.

[10]Considerant, _Au Texas_, (2nd ed.), 276. The title is sometimes
    written the _Société Europeene de colonisation du Texas_.

[11]Savardan, _Un Naufrage Au Texas_, 14; see also Coignet, _Victor
    Considerant, sa Vie, son Oeuvre_.

[12]Savardan, _op. cit._

[13]Considerant, _op. cit._, 272-274. Agencies were to be established at
    No. 2 Rue de Beaune, Paris, France, and in New York, with Brisbane
    as agent for the United States—Considerant, _The Great West_, 60.

[14]Considerant, _Au Texas_, (2nd ed.), 240.

[15]Appendix of statutes of the Society, _ibid._, 271.

[16]Considerant, _A Petition to the Honorable, the Senate and the House
    of Representatives of the State of Texas_ (Austin, December 10,
    1855), Enclosure c, 7.

[17]Quoting an extract from a letter to his excellency, the Governor of
    Texas, in _ibid._, 5.

[18]Considerant, _Au Texas_, (2nd ed.), 199-217.

[19]_Ibid._, 197, 301-324.

[20]Considerant, _The Great West_, 42; _Au Texas_ (2nd ed.), 127-131.

[21]Considerant, _The Great West_, 59-60.

[22]Considerant, _Au Texas_, (2nd ed.), 306-310.

[23]Considerant, _The Great West_, 28-29.

[24]Considerant, _Au Texas_, (2nd ed.), 306-310.

[25]Considerant, _The Great West_, 25.

[26]_Ibid._, 37-38; _Au Texas_, (2nd ed.), 320-321.

[27]Considerant, _The Great West_, 30-31; see also succeeding footnote.

[28]Considerant, _Au Texas_, (2nd ed.), 189-190.

[29]Considerant, _The Great West_, 37-38.

[30]Considerant, _European Colonization in Texas_, 15; _The Great West_,
    37-38; _Au Texas_, (2nd ed.), 167-170.

[31]_Ibid._, 169 ff.

[32]Considerant, _The Great West_, 44.


                               CHAPTER IV

[1]Considerant, _European Colonization in Texas, An Address to the
    American People_, New York, 1855, 4-6; _Du Texas_, 5-6.

[2]Considerant, _European Colonization in Texas_, 5.

[3]_Ibid._, 6-7.

[4]_Ibid._, 6-16.

[5]Also quoted in Considerant, _op. cit._, 31.

[6]For Considerant’s reply see his pamphlet _European Colonization in
    Texas_; for editorial of _Washington Sentinel_, see _Texas State
    Gazette_, October 13, 1855; For the letters see _ibid._, June 2,
    1855, October 13, 1855.

[7]_Texas State Gazette_, October 13, 1855.

[8]Letter from J. L. to Editors, dated at Washington, May 2, 1855, as
    quoted in _Texas State Gazette_, June 2, 1855.

[9]_European Colonization in Texas._

[10]_Ibid._, 32.

[11]_Austin State Gazette_, Aug. 11, 1855; Compare this article with the
    one written in the issue of September 22, 1855, wherein those who
    had suffered from persecution were advised to, “Come to the gallant
    West, where freedom is as expansive as the prairie, and as generous
    as the soil. Come to the West and let the golden grain you raise be
    sent back to feed the men whose ruthless hands would, as did those
    of Cain of old, strike down the toiling tiller of the soil.”

[12]_Texas State Times_, August 4, 1855.

[13]_Ibid._

[14]_Ibid._

[15]_Ibid._; For opposition to other foreigners in Texas see _Texas
    State Times_, June 16, 1855, and also June 21, 1855.

[16]August 14, 1855.

[17]As quoted in _The Standard_, February 24, 1855.

[18]August 25, 1855.

[19]_Texas State Gazette_, October 13, 1855.

[20]_Ibid._

[21]Albert Brisbane, _Social Destiny of Man_; or _Associations and
    Reorganization of Industry_, ix, especially pps. 101-102.

[22]Considerant, _European Colonization in Texas_, 35-38.

[23]_Texas State Gazette_, August 11, 1855.

[24]Savardan, _Un Naufrage au Texas_, specifically states that the
    legislators would have no neutrality but actual participation
    favorable to the slavery question.

[25]_New York Tribune_ as quoted in the _Texas Sun_, November 17, 1855.

[26]The petition is entitled “_A petition to the Honorable, the Senate
    and the House of Representatives of the State of Texas_,” and is in
    the Library of the University of Texas. Search of the state archives
    was made for the original document, with other information which
    Considerant referred to in the petition, but was not found, due to
    the fact that the records were not systematically filed at the time
    of the search.

[27]Considerant, _European Colonization in Texas_, 4ff. states his
    attitude toward this opposition and the reasons for his application.

[28]Extract from a letter to his Excellency the Governor of Texas, as
    quoted in “_A Petition to the Honorable, the Senate and House of
    Representatives of the State of Texas_,” 5.

[29]_Dallas Herald_, August 16, 1856.

[30]_State Gazette Appendix_, Austin, No. 79, Sixth Legislature, Adj.
    Sess. 205.

[31]_House Journal_, 1856, 566, and _Austin Gazette, Appendix_, No. 70,
    205.

[32]_Senate Journal_, 1856, 340-341.

[33]_Ibid._, 341.

[34]_Ibid._, _Adj. Session_, 394.

[35]_Senate Journal_, 1856, 412.


                               CHAPTER V

[1]_Dallas Herald_, as quoted in _The Standard_, February 24, 1855.

[2]_Dallas Herald_, as quoted in the _Clarksville Standard_, February
    24, 1855.

[3]In preface of Considerant, _The Great West_.

[4]_Ibid._

[5]Savardan, _op. cit._, 37-38; the numbers really indicate livres
    instead of pounds.

[6]The account of Savardan’s trip and the others mentioned above are
    found in Savardan, _Un Naufrage au Texas_, chap. iv.

[7]Savardan, _op. cit._, 201-203.

[8]_Ibid._, chap. iv.

[9]Samuel W. Geiser, “Naturalists of the Frontier,” in _Southwest
    Review_, October, 1928-July, 1929, XIV, No. 3, 331. An adequate
    biography of Julien Reverchon is given in this article by Mr.
    Geiser.

[10]_Ibid._ See also Preston Sneed, “Letter signed by Napoleon is in
    Dallas,” in _Dallas News_, Sunday, May 8, 1927.

[11]I have been able to locate only a few detached pages of his diary.
    These pages were in the possession of a grandson of the La Notte
    family or Lanotte.

[12]Esubia Lutz, “Almost Utopia,” in _Southwest Review_ (October,
    1928-July, 1929), Vol. XIV, No. 3, 321-330. Since writing this
    article Germain Santerre has died. See also George H. Santerre,
    _White Cliffs of Dallas, the Story of La Reunion, The Old French
    Colony_, Dallas, 1955, 137-142.

[13]Ellis W. Schuler, “The Geology of Dallas County,” in _University of
    Texas Bulletin_, No. 1818, March 25, 1918.

[14]See Appendix A for a partial list of the colonists and see also
    Eloise Santerre, _Réunion_, a Translation of Dr. Savardan’s _Un
    Naufrage au Texas_.

[15]_Texas State Gazette_, February 10, 1855.

[16]The list of names contained in Appendix A was collected from
    articles, papers, and books written concerning the colony and does
    not represent any special investigation in unprinted sources. “The
    story of Old French Town” in the _Dallas News_, March 26, 1922; and
    also Santerre, _op. cit._, are perhaps the best sources available
    for names.


                               CHAPTER VI

[1]Victor Prosper Considerant, _Au Texas, le premier Rapport a mes Amis_
    (1st ed., Bruxelles, 1855), 44; _The Great West, A New Social and
    Industrial Life in its Fertile Regions_ (New York, 1854), 9-10;
    _European Colonization in Texas, an Address to the American People_
    (New York, 1855), 18. The greater part of this chapter first
    appeared as an article in _The Southwestern Social Science
    Quarterly_, XVII, No. 2, September, 1936.

[2]_A Petition to the Honorable, the Senate and the House of
    Representatives of the State of Texas_, Austin, December 10, 1885;
    Savardan, _Un Naufrage au Texas_ ..., p. 30-31.

[3]_Deed Record_, Dallas County, _Book K_, 67-69; also _Book F_,
    410-411.

[4]Considerant, _Au Texas_ (2nd ed.).

[5]Savardan, _op. cit._, v.

[6]Phalanstery was the name given to a unit of the colony in writings
    supporting the movement.

[7]Deed filed in Harris County _Record of Deeds, Book D_, 164; see also
    County of Dallas, _Deeds Record, Book K_, 174-176.

[8]Savardan, _Un Naufrage au Texas_, 148-149.

[9]_Ibid._, v.

[10]_Southwest Review_, (October-July, 1928-1929), XIV, 324-325. A list
    of the tracts purchased is found in Dallas County, _Deed Record_,
    Book K, 67-73.

[11]Savardan, _op. cit._, 244-246.

[12]Compare, _Ibid._, 160 ff.

[13]Savardan, _Un Naufrage_, 206-213.

[14]Considerant, _Au Texas_, _passim_, for definite explanation.

[15]Savardan, _op. cit._, 179 ff.

[16]_Dallas Herald_, November 23, 1859.

[17]_Dallas Herald_, June 1, 1859.

[18]Vincent, “The Story of Old French Town,” _Dallas Morning News_,
    November 23, 1919.

[19]Savardan, _op. cit._, vii.

[20]_Ibid._, vii.

[21]_Ibid._, 191-193.

[22]_Ibid._, 153-154.

[23]_Ibid._, 179, 180 ff.

[24]

      a. Considerant and council of six (supposedly elected by people).
      b. A Director, apparently responsible to the Council.
      c. Worker’s Council (elected from the different groups of
      workers). Two from this organization were elected to serve in the
      council of six.
      d. In addition to these committees there were numerous minor
      groups—one of the store, and one of the hotel—each one exerting
      some influence on local affairs.

    Savardan, _Un Naufrage au Texas_, _passim_.


                                    CHAPTER VII

[1]Savardan, _Un Naufrage au Texas_, 175-178.

[2]_Ibid._, 172, 206-207.

[3]Considerant, _Du Texas_, 14-16; Savardan, _op. cit._, 188.

[4]_Du Texas_, 9-13. He died in Paris, France, 1893.

[5]_Ibid._, 1.

[6]Savardan, _op. cit._, 150.

[7]Savardan, _Un Naufrage au Texas_, 151-153.

[8]Savardan, _op. cit._, 169-170.



                              BIBLIOGRAPHY


A selective bibliography is given here, listing only items important to
the development of the Colony. Other items will be found in footnotes,
especially for introduction and Chapter I.

Adair, W. S., “Old French Settlement Near Dallas,” _Dallas Morning
    News_, March 26, 1922.

Boyer, Louise, “The Story of Old French Colony,” in _Dallas Morning
    News_, June 15, 1924.

Bougle, C., “Victor Considerant,” _Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences_,
    Vol. IV, New York, 1931.

Brisbane, Albert, _A Mental Biography, with a Character Study by His
    Wife Redelia Brisbane_, Boston, 1893.

    _Social Destiny of Man: or, Associations and Reorganization of
    Industry_, Philadelphia, 1840.

Brown, John Henry, _History of Dallas County, Texas, from 1837-1887_,
    Dallas, 1887.

Bryan, Louise Estelle, _Considerant and His Texas Utopia_ (M.A. Thesis)
    Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, 1924.

Coignet, Madame C., _Victor Considerant, sa Vie, son Oeuvre_, Paris,
    France, 1895.

Collard, P., _Victor Considerant, sa Vie, ses Idees, Dijon_, 1910. (not
    cited).

Considerant, Victor Prosper, _A Petition to the Honorable, the Senate
    and House of Representatives of the State of Texas_, Austin,
    December 10, 1855.

    _Au Texas, la premiere rapport a mes amis_, Paris, 1954.

    _Au Texas! Ou Exposé fidèle des hauts faits de science sociale,
    exécutés par les grands hommes de la Phanage et de la Démocratie
    pacifique dans le Nouveaux Monde_, Paris, 1856.

    _Au Texas, Rapport a mes amis; Bases et status de la Sociéte de
    Colonization Europeo-Americaine, au Texas; Les bases d’un premier
    establissement societaire_, 2nd edition, 1855, Bruxelles.

    _Contre M. Argo Reclamation addressee a la chambre Des deputes par
    les Redacteurs du Feuilleton de la Phalange. Suivi de la Théorie
    Droit de Propriete._ Paris, 1840.

    _Destinée Sociale_, 3 Vols., Paris, 1834-1844.

    _Du Texas; premier rapport a mes amis_, Paris, Librairie Societaire,
    1857.

    _European Colonization in Texas; An Address to the American People_,
    New York, 1855.

    _Mexique: Quatre Lettres au Maréchal Bazaine_, Bruxelles, 1868.

    _The Great West; A New Social and Industrial Life in its Fertile
    Regions_, New York, 1854.

    _Théorie du Droit de Propriete, et du droit au travail_, 1848, N.P.
    (Bound with Contre M. Argo in Texas University Library.)

    _Three Hundred Millions of Dollars saved in Specie by the Meaning of
    a Word: Letter to Secretary McCulloch from Victor Considerant_ (La
    Conception, Texas). New York, 1867.

_Dallas County Deeds Record_, Courthouse, Dallas, Texas. (Examined files
    only from 1852-1870.)

_Dallas Herald_, Dallas, Texas.

    Newspaper published in Dallas, not connected with the present paper
    bearing the same name. Investigated incomplete files, at the
    University of Texas, covering the period from July 3, 1855, to June
    20, 1860.

_Dallas Morning News_, Dallas, Texas, (Examined files only from
    1915-1931.)

_Democratie Pacifique_, Paris, France, July 30, 1843.

    Newspaper published by the Fourieristes immediately after Fourier’s
    death. Not used in the preparation of this account.

Engels, Friedrick, _Socialism, Utopian and Scientific_, tr. by Edward
    Aveling ... with a special introduction by the author, Chicago,
    1900.

Fourniere, Eugene, _Le Reigne de Louis-Philippe_, 1830-1848, in the
    _Histoire Socialiste_, 1789-1900, 12 Vols., edited by Jean Jaures,
    Paris, 1901-1908.

_Galveston News_, Galveston, Texas.

Gammel, H. P. N., _The Laws of Texas_ 1822-1897, Vol. V., Austin, 1898.

Geiser, Samuel Wood, “Naturalists of the Frontier; Julian Reverchon” in
    _Southwest Review_, XIV (October, 1928, July, 1929), 231-342.

Grandin, A., _Bibliographie Générale des Sciences Juridiques Politiques,
    Economiques et Sociales de 1800 a 1925_, 3 Vols., Paris, 1926, also
    supplement for 1926, 1927 and 1928.

Laidler, Harry W., _Socialism in Thought and Action_, New York, 1920.

“Letters of the Governors” (Manuscripts), _State Archives_, Austin,
    Texas.

Lindsey, Philip, _A History of Greater Dallas and Vicinity_, 2 Vols.,
    Chicago, 1909.

Louis, Paul, _Histoire du Socialism en France de la Revolution a Nos
    Jours_, Paris, 1925.

Lutz, Esubia, “Almost Utopia,” in _Southwest Review_ (October,
    1928-July, 1929), Vol. XIV, No. 3, 321-330.

Madison, Charles A., _Critics and Crusaders_, New York, 1948.

Markham, S. F., _A History of Socialism_, London, 1930.

_New York Tribune_, Jan. 1, 1853-1855. New York.

Nordhoff, C., _Communistic Societies of the United States_, New York,
    1875.

_Standard_, Clarksville, Texas. Scattered files and a few bound numbers
    are in the Texas University Library. This paper is sometimes known
    as the _Northern Standard_.

Olmsted, Frederick Law, _A Journey Through Texas; or, a Saddletrip on
    the Southwestern Frontier_, with a statistical appendix and map, New
    York, 1857.

Parker, W. B., _Notes taken during the Expedition Commanded by Capt. R.
    B. Marcy, U.S.A., through unexplored Texas in the fall of 1854_,
    Philadelphia, 1856.

Pigon, A. C., _Socialism versus Capitalism_, London, 1938.

Raines, Cadwell Walton, _A Bibliography of Texas_, Austin, Texas, 1896.

_Revue des Deux Mondes_, Paris, France.

Rosengarten, J. G., _French Colonists and Exiles in the United States_,
    Philadelphia, 1907.

Santerre, George H., _White Cliffs of Dallas, the story of La Réunion,
    the Old French Colony_, Dallas, 1955.

Santerre, Eloise, _Réunion_, a Translation of Dr. Savardan’s _Un
    Naufrage au Texas_, with an Introduction to Reunion and a
    Biographical Dictionary of the Settlers (M.A. Thesis). Southern
    Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, 1936.

Savardan, Dr. Augustin, _Un Naufrage au Texas, Observations et
    Impressions et a Travers Les Etas-Unis d’Amerique_, Paris, 1858,
    Garnier Freres, Libraires-Editeurs.

Shuler, Ellis W., “The Geology of Dallas County,” in _University of
    Texas Bulletin_, No. 1818, March 25, 1918.

Sneed, Preston, “Letter Signed by Napoleon is in Dallas” in the _Dallas
    Morning News_, Feature section, Sunday, May 8, 1927.

    _State Gazette_, Austin, Texas.

Studer, Hermann, _Auswanderung nach hoch—Texas, Was wir in Texas wollen;
    andeutungen ueber Organization der Arbeit_, Zurich, 1855.

_Texas—issued by the Houston and Texas as Central Railway Co._ Land
    Department. N.P.N.D.

Texas Land Office, _Records_, State Archives, Austin, Texas.

_Texas State Gazette_, Austin, Texas.

_Texas State Times_, Austin, Texas.

Vincent, Louella Styles, “The Story of Old French Town,” _Dallas Morning
    News_, Nov. 23, 1919.



                                 INDEX


                                   A
  Abolitionists, 76, 77
  Adair, W., 82
  Aims of the colony, 49
  Allen, John, 33, 37, 68, 96
  _Allgemeine Zeitung_, 25
  Austin, 44, 99, 108
  _Austin State Gazette_ (_Texas State Gazette_), 67, 69, 71-72, 76-78,
          83, 94
  Azores, 88

                                   B
  Belgium, 23, 25, 44, 52, 62, 96
  Blanc, Louis, 9
  Blummer, 112
  Bourland and Manion, letter of recommendation, 40
  Brisbane, Albert, 17, 25, 29-33, 54, 85, 100, 111
  Brussels, 85, 87, 91
  Bryan, 84, 88
  Bureau, Allyre, 93
  Bussy, A. M., 98, 108-110

                                   C
  Cantagrel, Francçois, 85-86, 96, 103, 104, 108
  Capitalism, definition, 11, 55-56, 58
  Carcassonne, 87
  Castroville, 99
  Cement City, 95
  Chapelle-Guagain, 87
  Chateau-Renault, 87
  Choctaw Agency, 39
  Cincinnati, 38, 86, 95
  Colonists, 85-86, 89-94
  Communism, 28, 48, 58
  Considerant, Victor Prosper, birth and life, 21;
      escape, 25;
      contributions, 25-29;
      first trip to U.S.A., 35ff.;
      trip to Texas, ii;
      ideas concerning Texas, 40-44;
      return to Europe, 44;
      ideas on colonization, iii;
      leading attacks, 64-66;
      attitude toward slavery, 77-78;
      plans suicide, 109;
      departed in secret, 109.
  Co-operative kitchen, 103-104
  Cousin, M., 87, 114

                                   D
  Dallas, 41, 61, 89, 93, 95, 111
  Dallas County, 92, 93, 96, 102;
      courts, 111.
  _Dallas Herald_, 67, 75
  Daly, M. Cesar, 95
  _Démocratie Pacifique_, 23-24, 25
  De Morse, Major, 40
  Dickson (of Red River), 82
  Dwight, John S., 33

                                   E
  Engels, Frederic, 10-14
  Erie (Lake), 42
  European-American Colonization Society in Texas, 82, 84, 96, 102
  Evans, W. M., 82
  Experiment in Texas, 48

                                   F
  Fort Belknap, 98
  Fort Graham, 41, 44
  Fort Smith, 38, 39
  Fort Worth, 41, 42;
      soldiers in, 42, 63, 96
  Fourier, Charles Francois, photograph 1; 14, 17;
      birth and life, 18;
      teachings, 19-20;
      writings, 18, 21;
      idea tested, 22;
      death, 22.
  Fourierism, 17, 23, 30, 32-33, 111
  Free-soilers, 76

                                   G
  Galveston, 88, 89, 91
  _Galveston News_, 67, 74
  Godain-Lemaire, 52, 54
  Goetsel, Philip, proposed colony, 90
  Godwin, Parke, 33
  Gouhenans, M., 41, 95
  Greeley, Horace, 33, 75, 78
  Gregg, G. G., 82
  Guillon, Charles Francois, 52

                                   H
  Harrison County, 82
  Houston, 89, 90, 93, 96, 98, 114

                                   J
  James, Henry, 33

                                   K
  Kingsley, Charles, 10
  Knight, James, 96
  Know-Nothing Party, 64, 65-66, 107

                                   L
  _La Reunion_, founders, 15, 17, 91, 93;
      population, 94, 95, 97;
      remains, 101-102
  La Salle, Saint Jean-Baptiste, 10
  Lechevalier, Jules, 26
  Long, Ben, 93
  Lowell, James Russell, 33, 36

                                   M
  McDade, Senator, 84
  Macy, Captain, 37, 63
  Marx, Karl, 14
  Merrill, Major, 42, 62, 63
  Muiron, Just, 18, 21, 22, 26

                                   N
  Napoleon, 25
  Napoleon III, 91
  _National Intelligencer_, 86
  New Harmony, 12, 14
  New Orleans, 52, 88, 89, 91
  Newton, 111
  New York City, 35, 38, 44, 52, 107, 111
  _New York Tribune_, 67, 75, 77, 79
  _Northern Standard_, 75
  Nuremberg, 88

                                   O
  Owen, Robert, 9, 12-14

                                   P
  Paget, Amedee, 22
  Paris, 28
  Pellarin, 22
  Pendleton, 111
  _Phalanstére_, 22, 23, 26
  Phalansterians, 22, 49, 99
  Phlange (phalanx), 19-20, 22, 23, 36
  Philippe, Louis, 25
  Preston (Texas), 39-40

                                   R
  Raizant, M. M., 90, 113
  _Reforme Industrielle_, 23, 26
  Remond, Emile, 92
  Renaud, 22
  Reverchon, Julien, 91-92
  Rodbertus, Johann, 10
  Roger, 85, 86, 95, 113

                                   S
  Saint-Simon, school, 25, 29
  San Antonio, 44, 99, 108, 110
  Santa Fe, 37, 61
  Santerre, François, 92, 113-114
  Savardan, 87-88, 90, 91, 98, 114
  Shaw, Francis G., 33
  Socialism, definition, 10-11;
      types, 11-12;
      Marxian, 11;
      Utopian, 12; 14, 31
  _Société de colonisation_, 52;
      articles of incorporation, 53-55;
      concerning capital, 56-57;
      groups within, 57-58;
      cooperation with other societies, 59-60;
      center of commerce, 61;
      incorporation, 82-84, 96
  _Standard_ (_Northern Standard_), 75
  _State Gazette_ (_Texas State Gazette_) Texas, 40, 42, 43, 44, 47, 49,
          54, 63

                                   T
  Texas settlers, character, 43-44
  _Texas State Gazette_, see _Austin State Gazette_
  _Texas State Times_, 67, 73
  Trinity River, 33, 41, 95

                                   U
  Ureidag, 93
  Uvalde County, 98-99; 108

                                   V
  Vigoureaux, Mme. Clarisse, 21-22, 92

                                   W
  Wakefield method, 48
  Washington, D. C., 63, 70
  _Washington Sentinel_, 67, 69, 76
  Whittier, John G., 33

                                   Y
  Young, Arthur, 23

                                   Z
  Zurich (Switzerland), 93

LA REUNION, A French Settlement in Texas, by W. J. and Margaret F.
Hammond, is the story of one of the great romantic attempts to settle
Texas. It is also the failure of several hundred Europeans to realize
their dreams.

This venture was led by Victor Prosper Considerant who headed a group of
several hundred colonists that came to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in
1855 to establish La Reunion a few miles west of Dallas, Texas.

Considerant intended this colony to be an experiment. However, those who
joined him thought in terms of actual accomplishments. Most of the
colonists were college graduates. Many of them were professional people
who were successful in European countries. They knew nothing of Texas
Frontier life and were not prepared for the heavy demands the climate
would make upon their existence. Even though these factors contributed
to the disintegration of the colony and experiment, the chief reason for
failure was the contrast of this socialistic dream with an unlimited
capitalism.

While La Reunion is a product of historical research, the authors have
related the story in an interesting, brisk style. The gathering of all
footnotes on specific pages instead of placing them at the bottom of
each page will be found to be more convenient in research.



                          Transcriber’s Notes


--Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

--Corrected a few palpable typos.

--In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by
  _underscores_.





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