The Phalanx, article on the formation of the Alphadelphia Association, March 1, 1844

THE PHALANX, or JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCE
“Our Evils are Social, Not Political, and a Social Reform only can eradicate them.”

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Volume 1. New York, Friday, March 1, 1844. Number 6. Charles Fourier

THE ALPHADELPHIA ASSOCIATION

We have received the constitution of this Association, a notice of the formation of which was continued in our last. In most respects the constitution is similar to that of the North American Phalanx. It will be seen by the description of the domain selected, which we publish below, that the location is extremely favorable. The establishment of this Association in Michigan is but a pioneer movement, which we have no doubt will soon by followed by the formation of many others. Our friends are already numerous in that State, and the interest in Association is rapidly growing there, as it is throughout the West generally. The West we think will soon become the grand theater of action, and ere long Associations will spring up so rapidly, that we shall scarcely be able to chronicle them. The people, the farmers, and mechanics particularly, have only to understand the leading principles of our doctrines to admire and approve of them; and it would therefore be no matter of surprise to see, in a short time, their general and simultaneous adoption. Indeed, the social transformation from a state of isolation with all its poverty and miseries, to a state of Association with its immense advantages and prosperity, may be much neare and proceed more rapidly than we now imagine. The signs were many and cheering.

HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION OF THE ALPHADELPHIA ASSOCIATION

In consequence of a call of a convention published in the Primitive Expounder, fifty-six persons assembled in the School House at the head of Clark’s lake on the fourteenth day of December last, from the counties of Oakland, Wayne, Washtenaw, Genesee, Jackson, Eaton, Calhoun, and Kalamazoo, in the state of Michigan; and after a laborious session of three days, from morning to midnight, adopted the skeleton of a Constitution, which was referred to a Committee of three, composed of Doctor H. R. Schetterly, Rev. James Billings and Franklin Pierce Esq. for revision and amendment. A committee consisting of Doct. H. R. Schetterly, John Curtis, and William Grant, was also elected to view three places, designated by the Convention possessing the requisite qualifications for a domain. The Convention then adjourned to meet again at Bellevue, Eaton Co. on the third day of Jan., ultimo, to recive the reports of said Committees, to choose a domain from those reported on by the Committee on location, and to revise, perfect and adopt said Constition. The adjourned Convention met on the day appointed–selected a location in the town of Comstock, Kalamazoo Co. (being the South East quarter of town two South of Range ten West, in the state of Michigan) whose advantages are described by the Committee on location in the following terms (abridged).

The Kalamzaoo river is a large and beautiful stream, nine rods wide, and five feet deep in the middle, flowing at the rate of about four miles per hour; and with eight feet fall, which can be obtained without flowing any land worth mentioning, by digging a race one mile and a half in length, will propel one hundred run of mill stones, in the dryest season. The digging is easy, and may be nearly all done with scrapers and teams.

The mansion and manufactories will stand on a beautiful plain, descending gradually towards the bank of the river; which is about twelve feet high. The plain is always dry, and from fifty to sixty rods wide, being skirted on the south by a range of hillocks about twenty feet high, and running parallel with the river. These hillocks occupy a space of from ten to thirty rods in width, and then terminate in a gentle undulating plain, extending east, sough and westward for miles, being covered with the most thrifty timber your committee ever beheld, consisting of whitewood, white, black and blue ash, white and red oak, two kinds of beach and hard maple in large quantity and of the best quality–the trees being from two to three and a half feet in diameter, and some of the black walnut are fourteen fet in circumference.

There is a spring, pouringout about a barrel of pure water per minute, half a mile from the place where the mansion and manufactories will stand; the water of which, being brought in pipes, your committee found by levelling, will rise to the height of more than fifty feet.

Cobble stone more than sufficient for foundations and building a dam, and easily accessible, are found on the domain; and sand and clay, of which excellent brick have been made, are also abundant. Iron ore is known to exist both on the domain, and in its vicinity; but its extent has not yet been ascertained.

The Central Rail Road runs along the northern border, a mile and a quater from the mansion, and the state Commissioners have concluded to build a depot within a quater of a mile from the nearest place to it, and may be induced, it is thought, to place it in the very spot where it will best accomodate our Association.

Your Committee paid particular attention to the sources and causes of febrile diseases, and must say they could discover none (there being no wet marshes on the domain, nor timber in the river.) The soil of the Domain is exceedingly fertile, and of great variety , consisting of prairie, oak openings and timbered and bottom land along the river. About three thousand acres of it have been tendered to our Association, as stock to be appraised at the cash value, nine hundred of which are under cultivation, fit for the plough; and nearly all the remainder has been offered in exchange for other improved lands belonging to members at a distance, who wish to invest their property in our Association.

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