May 20 1844 Letter from Schetterly to The Phalanx on the Alphadelphia Association’s Progress

NOTE: One of the more interesting things about this article, to me, is that at the time the society was given as having “upwards of” 1300 members, with at least 100 rejected. This far exceeds the typical assessment of numbers belonging to the society. Addressed here are the association’s early attempts to prepare for on site residence of members, only a limited number supported at that time due to housing and food production.

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J. Winchester, Publisher

Volume 1, New York, Saturday, July 13, 1844. Number 14


Ann Arbor, May 20th, 1844

GENTLEMEN: Your readers will no doubt to pleased to learn every important movement regarding Industrial Association; and therefore I send you an account of the present condition of the Alphadelphia Association, to the organization of which all my time has been devoted since the beginning of last December.

The Association held its first annual meeting on the second Wednesday in March, and at the close of a session of four days, during which its consitution, & as a society were perfected, and about eleven hundred persons, including children and adults, admitted to membership, adjourned to meet on the Domain on the first of May. Its officers repaired immediately to the place selected last winter for the domain, and after overcoming great difficulties, secured the deeds of two thousand eight hundred and fourteen acres of land, nine hundred and twenty-seven of which is under cultivation, at a cost of thirty-two thousand dollars. This gives us perfect control over an immense water power, and our land debt is only five thousand seven hundred and seventy-six dollars, (the greater portion of the land having been invested in stock,) to be paid out of a proposed capital of two hundred and forty thousand dollars, fourteen thousand of which is to be paid in cash during the summer and autumn. More land adjoining the domain has since been tendered as stock, but we have as much as we can use at present, and do not wish to increase our taxes, and diminish our first annual dividend too much. It will all come in as soon as wanted. At our last meeting the number of members was increased to upwards of thirteen hundred, and more than one hundred applicants were rejected, because there seemed to be no end, and we became almost frightened at the number. Among our members are Milwrights, six Machinists, Furnacemen, Printers, Manufacturers of cloth, paper, & and almost every other kind of mechanics you can mention, besides farmers in abundance.

Farming and gardening were commenced on the domain about the middle of April, and two weeks since, when I came away, there were seventy-one adult male and more than half that number of adult female laborers on the ground, and more constantly arriving. We shall not however be able to accommodate more than about two hundred resident members this season.

There is much talk about the formation of other Associations in this State, (Michigan,) and I am well convinced that others will be formed next winter. The fact is, men have lost all confidence in each other, and those who have studied the theory of Association, are desirous of escaping from the present hollow-hearted state of civilized society, in which fraud and heartless competition grind the more noble-minded of our citizens to the dust.

The Alphadelphia Association will not commence building its mansion this season, but several groups have been organized to erect a two story wooden building, five hundred and twenty-three feet long, including the wings, which will be finished the coming fall, so as to answer for dwellings till we can build a mansion, and afterwards may be converted into a silk establishment or shops. The principal pursuit this year, besides putting up this building, will be farming, and preparing for erecting a furnace, sawmill, machine shop, &. We have more than a hundred thousand feet of lumber on hand, and a sawmill, which we took as stock, is running day and night.

The fact is, I do not see any obstacle to our future prosperity. Our farmers have plenty of wheat on the ground. We have teams, provision–all we ought to desire on the domain; and more than all, since the location of the buildings has been decided, we are perfectly united, and have never yet had an angry discussion on any subject. We have religious meetings twice a week, and preaching at least once, and shall have schools very soon. If God be for us–of which we have sufficient evidence–who can prevail against us?

Our domain is certainly unrivalled in its advantages in Michigan, possessing every kind of soil that can be found in the State. Our people are moral, religious and industrious, having been actually engaged in manual labor, with few exceptions, all their days. The place where the mansion and outhouses will stand, is a most beautiful level plain, that wants no grading, extending nearly a mile in every direction, which can be irrigated by a constant stream of water flowing from a lake. Between it and the river is another plain, twelve feet lower, on which our manufactories may be set in any desirable position. Our mill race is half dug by nature, and can be finished, according to the estimate of the State Engineer, for eighteen hundred dollars, giving five and a half feet fall without a damn, which may be raised by a grant from the Legislature, adding three feet more, and affording water power sufficient to drive fifty pair of millstones. A very large spring, brought nearly a mile in pipes, will rise nearly fifty feet at our mansion. The Central Railroad runs across our domain. We have a great abundance of first rate timber, and land as rich as any in the State.

Our Constitution is liberal, and secures the fullest individual freedom and independence. Whilst capital is fully protected in its rights and guarrantied in its interests, it is not allowed to exercise an undue control or in the least degree encroach on personal liberty, even if this too common tendency could possibly manifest itself in Association.

As we proceed I will inform you or our progress.


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

“Our Evils are Social, Not Political, and a Social Reform only can eradicate them.”

Two Dollars a year. Payable in Advance.

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


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.


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.

Silk at Alphadelphia

A. C. Van Epps, the writer of the note below on silk, I find mentioned in “The Romance of China”, chronicled as having visited a Chinese junk on “exhibit” in New York’s harbor, with Chinese crew, and interviewing a Chinese artist about silk production in China. The adventure of that particular junk, a business venture undertaken by an enterprising Westerner that made virtual kidnap victims and slaves of the Chinese crew, was interesting enough that I became caught up in reading about the West’s attitude toward China in the 19th century and its metamorphosis from, with the first Opium War of 1839-1843 (China didn’t want the British importing it), a land of mystery to one made much fun of and viewed as particularly degraded in every way. Adherents of looking to phrenology and physiognomy for revelations on the intelligence and morals of a people found the Chinese to be simian and debased, while travelers to China racked up large on the prestigious lecture circuit with their pseudo-scientific observations. One wonders if Epp’s reference to silks fall from grace is in part due to this.

Later, Victor Noyes, son of James Allan Noyes, would travel in his youth to China and cultivate silk at Liberal, Missouri, at least for a time, as a hobby and not a profession.

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United States Congressional Serial Set

First Session of the 29th Congress
Begun and Held
At the City of Washington
December 1 1845

We are informed by a note from the editor of the ” Alphadelphia Tocsin,” that their association will commence their arrangements next spring for making the silk business a regular and permanent pursuit, and that they have every convenience for making it extensive and profitable. We would refer similar associations to the German society, at Economy, to show to what extent it may be carried, where not less than 500 to 600 pounds of reeled silk have been produced in a single season; and this they manufacture into the finest and most beautiful fabrics—thus rendering it not merely an ornamental, but one of the most lucrative pursuits of the community.

Now that there can be no longer a doubt as to the feasibility and profit of the silk business, how long will men refuse, as many do, to embark in it, for no other reason than that it was once connected with speculation and humbugging?


The Object and Plans of the Alphadelphia Association, 1844

A very interesting bit of reading here on the beliefs and hopes of the Alphadelphia Association.

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Report of the Committee on Incorporations.

The committee on banks and incorporations to whom was referred sundry petitions of citizens of the county of Oakland and other counties, praying for the incorporation of the Alphadelphia association have had the same under consideration, and in answer to the prayer of the petitioners prepared the accompanying bill which they now ask leave to introduce. The plans and objects of such an association were fully staled by the president of the association to your committee, and to enable the association to carry out those plans, your committee believe an act of incorporation necessary, and for the reasons why the bill should receive the favorable consideration of the legislature, the committee would respectfully refer to the reasons set forth in the following letter, addressed to your committee by Doct. Henry R. Schetterly, president of the association.


To the Hon. W. W. Murphy, Esq., Chairman of the Committee on Banks and Incorporations.

Sir—At the request of your honorable committee, I embrace this opportunity of presenting to you the object and plans of the Alphadelphia association, and a few of the reasons why the honorable, the Senate and House of Representatives, ought to grant to it an act of incorporation.

The plan of organizing joint stock industrial associations is new, and but little understood in this country. The theory was discovered by Charles Fourier, a Frenchman, whose name is spread on the pages of many of the journals of the arts and sciences to which he contributed, in almost every part of Europe, having been a member of many learned societies on the eastern continent. He died in 1837, without seeing a single association organized on his darling plan, to the investigation of which he had devoted the last twenty years of his active life.

The first joint stock association was organized in France, in 1839, by a nobleman who purchased and stocked a farm, on which he employed three hundred poor laborers, and realized 4 and 1/2 per cent on his investments, besides nearly forty dollars clear gain to every laborer, after all expenses for repairs, boarding and clothing had been deducted; and in 1842 seven per cent on the capital, and seventy-nine dollars to each laborer was realized, clear of all expense. But this is merely an agricultural association, and the dividends can evidently never equal those of an association, in which every pursuit is carried on, at the same time, and the income runs together from many different sources into one great reservoir.

In 1841 Mr. Brisbane, one of Fourier’s pupils, returned from France and soon published his social system; and the editor of the Tribune, (published in the city of New York,) has, during the last eighteen months, admitted essays on this subject into its columns, weekly.— There are now published in Paris and London, daily papers devoted exclusively to this subject; and a large monthly periodical, soon to be made a weekly, called the Phalanx, has been lately issued from the press in Now York.

There are now ten or twelve joint stock associations in the United States, and the two oldest, which have each had one annual settlement, have declared more than twenty per cent. dividend on their stock. Nor is this strange, when it is considered that nil the unconsumed labor, consisting of improvements made on the domain, as well as money or property received for products,’sold out of the association, constitutes the dividend ; and that economy, unrivaled in the present organization of society, must necessarily ensure a large income.

But the doctrine of association still meets with much opposition, on account, probably, of the vagaries of Fanny Wright and company, with which the public mind has become, and, with great propriety, disgusted. This inference is drawn from the fact, that such insinuations have been insultingly cast in the writer’s face. But in the Alphadelphia association, every thing will be done to protect innocence and virtue, that the legislature of Michigan can permit. Families will reside in separate suits of apartments, and virtue and truth inculcated into the minds of all, in early childhood, by able, moral and experienced teachers, who are members already. The system promulgated by Charles Fourier, has no connection with the obscene theory just mentioned.

By the provisions of the constitution of our association, which has been laid on the tables of all the honorable gentlemen of both Houses, the right of individual property is supposed to be perfectly secured to every member of the association, in the most available shape it can be put, to be readily transferable; and the bill, which you have drawn up, makes further provision on the subject. No restraint is put upon the employment of any person’s civil liberty, except upon the liberty of doing wrong, and injuring his neighbor ; and the slavery to circumstances is greatly mitigated, by giving every one the choice of his employment, which may be changed every day, at pleasure ; and by securing to all constant employment, and the means to labor with, to the greatest possible advantage. The number of non-producers, and the waste of time for want of suitable conveniences to labor with, as well as in doing by hand what could be done by machinery in. a tenth or twentieth part of the time, will be. indefinitely..diminished.;, and those who can riot now find profitable employment, or who are, necessarily engaged in unproductive industry, will be set free from the slavery of circumstances, and become prosperous, and consequently independent, virtuous and happy. Who can doubt, for a moment, that associations are pre-eminently calculated to diminish crime and consequent misery? There are already, in the Alphadelphia association, men of science, and more such stand ready to join it, so soon as the Honorable legislature will suffer it to go into active operation. And there can be no doubt that, with its extensive means, it will be able to bring the arts of agriculture and manufactures to a state of perfection hitherto unknown in Michigan. Surely the honorable members of the Senate, and of the House, cannot be indifferent to an object so noble and cheering to every philanthropic mind, cherishing, as they are known to do, the desire of elevating our adopted and beautiful peninsula to the highest pitch of prosperity, happiness and independence.

In associations man deals no longer with man ; but every member sells the product of his labor to the association, and the association supplies him with the necessaries, comforts and luxuries of life at cost. The temptation to fraud is consequently done away: for no one can make any thing by it, because the whole income, from all sources, goes into the common treasury, to be distributed annually to all the members, and stockholders, in proportion to each ones labor and stock; and every ones income, being proportional to the income of the whole, no one can injure or diminish the income of his neighbor, without injuring himself. Thus a unity of interest is established, and almost all the real causes of strife and contention, are forever, and effectually removed, Every civil officer, who has tried the experiment, knows that nine tenths of all petty quarrels can be settled amicably, if people only try to do it ; and it is the intention of the Alphadelphia association, to try this method effectually, ”to overcome evil with good;” and, if any of its members should creep in, notwithstanding all their diligence to prevent, who are determined to set the law of kindness at defiance, it is necessary that it should have the power of expelling, provided it do not injure them. And though others may doubt, the members

Mention of the “Alphadelphia Tocsin”

History of Washtenaw County, Michigan









Vol. I




There have been several newspaper publications in the lower town. The “Signal of Liberty, an anti-slavery organ, was published by the Rev. Guy Beckley and a Mr. Foster, on the east side of Broadway. At an office or offices on the other side we had ” The Gem of Science,” published by San ford & Sanford, also a weekly ; “The Primitive Expounder,” a semi-monthly, by Thornton & Billings, two Universalist ministers; “The Alphadelphie Tocsin,” published in the interest of the Alphadelphian Association, located in Kalamazoo. Besides these there was the ” Native American,” a political paper; the “Young -Yankee,” devoted to light reading and amusement; “The Corrector,” instituted to make crooked people walk straight, an organ much needed even at the present day. The last named, however, were short-lived, and expired after an ephemeral existence of a few months.

The Alphadelphia Association in The People’s Journal

“The People’s Journal” appears to have been a weekly published by John Saunders and William Howitt from Jan 1846 to Jul 1849, and then as “People’s and Howitt’s Journal” from July 1849 to June 1851.

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Edited by
John Saunders
Vol. III

People’s Journal Office

The Wisconsin Phalanx is an association approximating to Fourier’s plan, in that State. By a printed report of their first year’s operation, it appears that this association owns in fee simple an estate of 1553 acres, with four distinct mill sites and sufficient water power. Their soil is excellent, and their property wholly unincumbered. Their moral and social condition is also spoken of as prosperous. Lastly, we have to notice the Alphadelphia Association, in the State of Michigan. It also approximates to Fourier’s plan. There is an excellent water power on the domain, which it was proposed to sell out to the capitalist portion of the society. The first wing of their mansion is completed, and is intended to be used principally as a school, and they already print and publish in the establishment the Alphadelphia Tocsin, a fairly edited paper, advocating association, and illustrated with small woodcuts by their own members.

The Alphadelphia Association

Pioneer Collections, Volume 5
By Pioneer Society of the State of Michigan

Lansing Mich
W. S. George & Co. State Printers & Binders




The theory of holding property in common was advanced by Pythagoras, and was fully advocated and given to the world by the great Plato in his “Republic.” The idea of man’s living in common with his fellows is essentially primitive. It is certain that man early sought, not only the “elixir of life” and the “philosopher’s stone,” but the “golden mean of life,” where labor bestowed her rewards on the true principle of merit; and health, virtue, honor, and happiness followed in her train. The earliest efforts of industry have been to eliminate the evils that beset her path, and to get rid of the ruinous efforts of competition, that evil genius of society, by the substitution of a healthy emulation, that labor should ever be honored, and that wealth or capital which she creates, should ever be subservient to her. Philosophers have ever striven to find the mode of life that would endow man with the most health and happiness. The poet has sung—

“He that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
The little and the great,
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor
Nor plagues that haunt the rich man’s door,
Embittering all his state.”

From Abraham on the plains of Mamre, to the shepherds tending the flocks among the Judean hills, long before “they hung their harps on the willows and sat down by the rivers of Babylon and wept,” all through those periods of history, we find a tendency to pastoral communism. Coming down to the middle ages we find the monks occasionally trying communistic life. And reaching our own time, we shall have Louis Blanc, Saint Simon, and Charles Fourier in France, Robert Owen in Scotland, and his son, Robert Dale, in America, giving to the world the theory and practice of what is commonly known as socialism in Germany, communism in France, and Fourierism in America. From these, which essentially are one, .communists, Alphadelphians, and the late cociperationists, with various other theories and theorists.


On the 14th day of December, 1843, pursuant to a call for a convention published in the Primitive Expounder at Ann Arbor, 56 persons from the counties of Wayne, Oakland, Washtenaw, Genesce, Jackson, Eaton, Calhoun, and Kalamazoo, assembled in the school-house at the head of Clark’s lake in Columbia, Jackson county. The object of the convention was to organize and found a domestic and industrial institution. These 56 men after a laborious session of three days, each session extending from morning to midnight, adopted the outline of a constitution which was referred to a committee of three composed of Dr. H. R. Schetterly, James Billings, and Franklin Pierce, for revision and amendment. A committee consisting of Dr. H. R. Schetterly, John Curtis, and Wm. Grant was also appointed to view three places designated by the convention as suitable for a domain. The convention then adjourned to meet at Bellevue, Eaton county, on the 3d day of January, 1844. when they would receive the reports of said committee on location, and revise, perfect and adopt their constitution. The committee on location went forth like those men of old, “to spy out the land,” to select a goodly region suitable for a domain. The adjourned convention met on the day appointed and after listening to the reports of the committee on location, they chose the southeast quarter of the township of Comstock, county of Kalamazoo, as a permanent home, whose advantages the committee set forth in the following terms:

“The Kalamazoo 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, it will propel 100 run of stone in the dryest season. The digging is easy and may be nearly all done with scrapers and teams.” They then speak of “the place where the mansion and the manufactories will stand;” on a beautiful plain descending gradually toward the river, a plain 50 to 60 rods wide, skirted on the south by a range of hillocks about twenty feet high and running parallel with the river. Beyond these, some 10 or .’l0 rods, is a gentle, undulating plain, extending south, east, and west for miles, and being covered with the most thrifty timber your committee ever beheld, consisting of whitewood, black, white and blue ash, white and red oak, two kinds of beech, and two cf elm, black walnut, soft maple, some cherry and especially hard maple in large quantity and the best quality. “There is a spring, pouring out a barrel of water per minute, one-half a mile from where the mansion and manufactories will stand.” They say cobble stones for buildings and dams are plenty on the domain; and sand and clay for making brick, in abundance. “Iron ore is known to exist on the domain, but its extent is not yet found out. The Michigan Central railroad will run l| miles north of the proposed site of the mansion. They found no cause for fever here; there were only two out of 150, in seven years, who died of fever. “The soil of the domain is exceedingly fertile and of great variety, consisting of prairie, oak opening, timbered and bottom land along the river, and about 3,000 acres of it have been tendered to our association as stock to be appraised at the cash value. Nine hundred acres of this land has been cultivated and nearly all the rest has been offered in exchange for other improved lands owned by members living at a distance.

The convention there perfected, engrossed, and adopted their constitution, which was signed by 51 members, nearly all fathers of families and respectable and thrifty farmers, mechanics, and manufacturers. This number might easily have been doubled in Bellevue and vicinity, but the convention thought proper to restrict the membership, for the present, to those who had taken an’ active part in the enterprise. The following is a list of the officers elected at this Bellevue convention: President, Dr. H. R. Schetterly of Ann Arbor; vice-president, A. Darrow of Bellevue; secretary, E. S. Camp, of Marshall; treasurer, John Curtis, of Norville, Jackson county; directors, G. S. Avery and Alanson Meech, Bellevue; Harvey Keith, Wm. Earl, and Dr. Ezra Stetson, Galesburg; Wm. Grant, Sandstone; Amos Picket, Anson Delamatter, and C. W. Vining, Columbia, Jackson county; Charles Mason and H. B. Teed, Battle Creek.

We pass on in our history and find the next scene laid in the township of Comstock, Kalamazoo county. The beginning of the history here consisted of the visit of the committee on location, of whom we have spoken. At that time the pioneers of this part of the county had enlarged their clearings into good farms. They were getting out of the woods and began to enjoy the fruits of their hard toil in making their improvements. It was at this time, December 23, 1843, that this committee came among them. Dr. H. R. Schetterly was the controlling spirit of this party, as well as of the association. He was a ‘German, and had imbided the views of Charles Fourier. He was a small, slender man, with dark hair and eyes and complexion; was a man of talent and an enthusiast on his special theme of Fourierism. With a Burrlike persuasiveness he soon won his way into the confidence, the homes, and the hearts of the old pioneers of Comstock. In the public meetings he held here, he pictured to their imaginations a life as picturesque as a Cooper could draw—a life of Arcadian healthfulness and enjoyment; of Spartan fidelity and frugality; a life in whose calendar the selfish “mine” and “thine” would not exist, for all would be absorbed in the more humane and harmonious “ours.” He was an able and effective speaker, and could use the philosophy, the learning and logic of Fourier and! Owen with most convincing effect upon his hearers. We can imagine the glowing picture he drew of the pastoral and happy life there was in store for his adherents, in their future mansion-home on the banks of the beautiful Kalamazoo. Here, surrounded by his wife and dear ones, the pioneer would realize the truth of the poet:

“Here on the fertile, fair domain,
Unvexed with all the cares of gain,
In summer’s heat, and winter’s cold,
He fed his flock, and penned his fold;
His hours In cheerful labor flew,
Nor strife, nor hate, nor envy knew.”

From the first appearance of this disciple of Fourier among them, the settlers were unusually interested in his new theory of living; and before he had been here three days, many of them were enthusiastic Fourierites, and anxious to join the association. Viewing the matter in the sober, calm reflection of to-day, we would as soon think of trying to cheat old Prof. Playfair, by inserting passages of a “Fourth of July oration” into the demonstration of a proposition of Euclid, as that this little black-haired German socialist should make Fourierites of such sturdy old pioneers as Lyman Tubbs, Amos Wilson, E. M. Clapp, Harvey Keith, David Ford, Joseph Flanders, Dr. Ezra Stetson, Wm. Earl, Roswell Ransom, James Noyes, Hannibal Taylor, C. L. Keith, P. H. Whitford, and scores of other early settlers who, like them, were noted for their practical hard sense, and shrewd discernment of men and things. But the truth is, the Fourierites came among them just at the right time, for the common hardships and suffering, which all alike had passed through, had established a genuine brotherhood among the old settlers. Their property, although not held in common, caused no envy, and created no distinctions. Their conditions and surroundings were such as to foster a feeling of brotherhood. They helped each other not only at raisings, but in clearing off their kinds, in husking their corn, and through all troubles, and over all difficulties. Wherever their aid or kindness could be of any avail, it was cheerfully given. If they were not all poor alike, there was no wealthy class, no special strife or rivalry, but they lived together, in the same community, as harmonious and happy as if they were members of one family; so that when Dr. Schetterly came here to found his domestic and industrial association, which was now called “Alphadelphia,” he found many of the settlers, if not altogether, almost Alphadelphians to begin with; and hence his work here was comparatively easy in his school of reform. As evidence of this, we quote the first part of the report of Dr. Schetterly concerning the success of his labors, as one of the committee on location, in Comstock. Jt is as follows:

“Galesburgh, Kalamazoo Co., Dec. 27, 1843.

“To the Fourier Convention to be held at Bellevue: Your committee arrived here on Saturday evening the 23d ult., and rejoice to say that an ardor now exists among the people in this place for entering into association which never can be cooled until their wishes shall have been realized. Two meetings have been held, of three hours’ duration each, by your committee, and attended by crowded audiences, and more information is still solicited.” Further on he quotes David Ford as saying; “No man must oppose a project so fraught with principles calculated to promote the bes^ interests of mankind.”

Under such favorable auspices the work of founding an association in Comstock was soon effected. It was first intended to build the mansion on the south side of the river; but the other side was afterwards selected for this purpose. The domain was intended to include the southeast quarter of the township of Comstock. The first year of the organization the association had possession of nearly all of section 23, the west half of 24, and a large part of the north halves of sections 25 and 26. The first meeting on the domain was held in the house of Harvey Keith, at 8 o’clock A. M., March 21, 1844. The directors were Spencer Mitchell, Anson Delamatter, John Curtis, H. G. Pierce, John White, Henry H. Reading, James Weeks, Wm. S. Mead, Albert Whitccmb, H. R. Schetterly, David Ford, and Benjamin Wright. The name of the association was to be “Alphadelphia, or First Brotherhood;” its officers, a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and twelve directors. At this f.rst meeting the above directors chose for president, Anson Delamatter; secretary, Henry H. Reading; and the association went to work. I cannot find the treasurer’s name, nor the vice-president’s. The meetings were held in the house of the resident members until the mansion was built. The Comstock members lived in their own houses, and those who came from abroad were accommodated with such homes as they could get, until a long shanty was built on the north side of the river, which was occupied as a general “tabernacle” by the new members until the mansion was erected in the fall of 1844. This building was originally some 20 by 200 feet, and two stories high.

The first school was taught by James Allen Knight, in a log building on the south side of the river. The pupils lived on the other side of the stream and crossed it in a boat used for that purpose. Afterwards Mr. Avery, the Shaker, taught school on the north side and was succeeded by Miss Nancy A. Tuttle, who married Levi S. Blakesly, the printer. Miss M. Hanchett also taught school there. They had no lawyer; they settled their difficulties by arbitration, and saved money and much trouble. Philander H. Bowman, of Jackson, was the physician; James Hoxie, of Bellevue, was the leading carpenter, Leonard Luscomb was the tailor, G. O. Ball and John Wetherbec, the shoemakers, Nelson Tubbs, the blacksmith, and C. L. Keith, the wagon-maker. The editors were Dr. Schetterly and Rev. Richard Thornton; the printers, Levi S. BlakesLy and C. W. Sawyer. The paper was called the Alphadelphia Tocsin. Mr. Thornton also published here the Primitive Expounder, which he had formerly published at Ann Arbor. This was a staunch Universalist journal. Most of the leaders of this movement wore Universalists, and the preaching at Alphadelphia was mostly from ministers of that denomination. Revs. R. Thornton, J. Billings, and E. Wheeler officiating in that capacity generally. They also had preaching from ministers of other denominations. Their constitution says: “The religious and political opinions of the members are to- be unmolested and inviolate; and no member shall be compelled to support, in any way, any religious worship.” It furthermore provides for “the support of all resident members whose stock is insufficient to support them, in case of sickness or any other cause.”

The constitution was explicit and ample on the subject of education, general health, and moral reforms. Any person of good moral character, of 21 years of age, could be admitted to membership by a two-thirds vote of the members present, provided he had six months’ provision for the future, or the means to furnish it. They were to reward operatives in proportion to the labor or skill bestowed, and they were to equalize the labor and skill of males and females. The latter could become members at the age of 18, by the requisite vote of the members.

The organization having been thoroughly effected, the mansion built, the property, both personal and real, of every member, having been appraised by competent judges appointed for that purpose, and the amounts entered upon the books of the association as credit to each member for so much stock, at fifty dollars a share, Alphadelphianism was then ready to drive its teama-field and turn its first furrow. Then tl»e busy hive of Alphadelphians could go forth to work, each in his or her special vocation; some as farmers, some as housewives, others as doctors, teachers, editors, and printers; some as mechanics, teamsters, tailors, brickmakers, men of all work, till all the professions, trades, callings, talents, skill, and labor of the association that could be made available, was turned into its proper Held of usefulness. This was the great object for which the organization was effected, to live and work together in harmony and enjoy the benefits of each other’s society and the fniits of their own labor, like a united, happy family. How far they succeeded in accomplishing this, their four years’ trial, that ended in a total failure, plainly tells.

From the old census list taken by C. L. Keith, in May, 1845, I find the number of male and female residents on the domain to be 188. There must have been at this time, counting resident and non-resident members, over 300 in all. The total value of the association’s real estate, as appraised March 9, 1846, by Lyman Tubbs and E. M. Clapp, of the general council, was $43,- • 897.21. The first death on the domain was that of the son of S. W. Vinton in 1844. The first marriage was in October, 1845, when Rev. Asa Bushnell made one for life, our old pioneer friend P. H. Whitford and Miss Emeline A. T. Wheelock. The Alphadelphia poet, C. H. Bradford, sonnetized the happy pair in the columns of the Primitive Expounder, where you will find a poem on the occasion of their marriage called the “Socialist’s Bride.” We have heard Mr. Whitford remark that he “went into the association with a yoke of oxen and came out with a wife and a buggy.” We don’t know how valuable the buggy was, but every one of his old friends will say that he left the Alphadelphia domain with a great prize—his estimable wife.

A large number put their farms into the association; others put in various kinds of property; James Noyes put in his saw-mill, which was valuable in furnishing lumber to the society. That some of them lost much of what they put in; and that others sacrificed a great deal to get their farms back, or in taking “what they could get,” as an equivalent for the property they had brought there; and that some lost all they put in; and that some went away richer than they came: I believe one and all of these to be true.

From their first meeting on the domain, March 21, 1844, till the last entry on the journal of the association, April 30, 1848, the presidents were Anson Delamatter, Benjamin Wright, Harvey Keith, Lyman Tubbs, and James Noyes. The first entry on the day book is—


1844. July 23. Sold to H. G. Pierce.

Two pair of hose at 2s 6el 0.63

One spool stand at Is 6d 19

Two spools of thread Us 3d 03

The last entry is—


1848. April 30. David Ford, Dr.

To use of Rogers’ farm and pasturage $40.00

The last family on the domain was Hannibal A. Taylor’s; when the county purchased the property in the spring of 1848, Mr. Taylor delivered it over to. the purchasers as a “county house and farm.” Dr. H. R. Schetterly, the guiding genius of the association, left with his family (just before Mr. Taylor did) and went to an institution of like character, called the “La Grange Phalanx,” in Indiana. From La Grange he went to another society of the game nature in Wisconsin, called the. “Wisconsin Phalanx.” From Wisconsin. he came to Michigan to take charge of the government light-house at Grand Traverse. Here he was some few years ago, and this is the last trace we have of Dr. H. R. Schetterly, the founder of the Alphadelphia association, in 1844, in Comstock, Kalamazoo county, Michigan. Most of the information contained in this history, I have received from C. L. Keith and Hannibal A. Taylor (old Alphadelphians) and from the books and papers of the association which they have in their possession.

That this system lacked the elements of success is as clear now to the minds of the old members as that effect follows cause. In trying to get information from some of the old pupils in this Alphadelphia school, they would shake their heads and reply, “Better let that be, we don’t tell tales out of school.” Others would say, “We can’t tell you anything about it. When we left we banished every memory of the old domain from our minds and have not wished to recall them.” Another would answer: “Too many large families, poor and hungry, who could do no work, or were incapable of supporting themselves, got among us and were a continual expense—a hole in the meal bag from first to last, to the association.” The incompatibility of such a system with Yankee ambition, independence, and individual enterprise ever has caused and ever will cause its failure.

We have space for but few incidents. “Uncle” Lyman Tubbs was regarded as the patriarchal Abraham, of the brotherhood. Wise in council, clear in his views, able in speech, he was of great value to the organization. And if in denouncing chicanery, he called it “tri-kany,” or in telling them they were passing through a crisis, he said through a “cri-pus,” he conveyed all the full sense and meaning of the words if he did not pronounce them according to the Websterian style. At one time the brotherhood lived a good while on buckwheat cakes. This gave the poet, Bradford, an occasion to court his muse. Here is a verse that still lingered in the mind of an old member:

“And If perchance a luckless wight
Should from his dinner bilk.
His supper then was sure to be
Cold buckwheat cakes and milk.”

The school teacher, James Allen Knight, was passionately fond of taking down “the fiddle and the bow,” and regaling his leisure hours with the sweet Cremonan strains that he knew how to make from the sensitive strings. Hut into the adjoining room of his friend Avery, the Shaker, these strains did not come in such sweet measure. What was pleasure to the fiddler was becoming torture to him who was compelled to listen to the fiddling. We give a verse of a poem that appeared in the Tocsin at this time, entitled


“Oh Allen, oh Allen, how you do torture me,
Surely you’ll kill me dead as a stone;
All the while sawing, and rasping, and scraping me,
Surely you’ll scrape all the flesh from my bones.”

It is no discredit to any of the Alphadelphia association that they belonged to it and helped to carry out its contemplated reforms. Their object was the noble and beneficent one of aiding their brothers in other parts of the country to

“Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in the good for all mankind.”

“The Primitive Expounder” published out of Alphadelphia by R. Thornton and J. Billins

Universalist Companion
with an
containing the

A. B. Grosh, Editor and Proprietor

Periodical—The Primitive Expounder” is published every other Thursday, in Alphadelphia, on a medium sheet, octavo form, at $1.00 per annum in advance, by Revs. R. Thornton, and J. Billings, Editors.

New Society.—Convis, 24 ms., 1. Total, 27.

New Meeting Houses.—Jackson, Pontiac, 2. Total, 4.

Preachers – – P. O. Address
Adam, H…..Ann Arbor
Billings, J…..Jackson
Curtis, S S…..Wolfcreek
Gage, J, 2nd…..Wayne
Gage, W…..Grand Blanc
Goss, H A…..Kensington
Hard W…..Plymouth
Lockwood, J…..Jonesville
Miles, S…..Ann Arbor
Miner, J N…..Camden
Orton, J…..Groveland
Orton, Amos…..Groveland
Ravlin, D H…..Ann Arbor
Sanford, J H…..Detroit
Shephard, J…..Fentonville
Stebbins, J…..Detroit
Thornton, R…..Alphadelphia
West, C P…..Otsego
Wheeler, T…..Alphadelphia
New preacher, 1. Total, 19.


Spiritualism became quite popular in the mid to late 19th century. Interestingly enough, and not surprisingly, some of those who had been interested in the utopian movements were attracted to spiritualism. For example, James Allen Noyes, after the failure of the Alphadelphia Association, eventually moved to Liberal, Missouri, a town founded for free thinkers. Spiritualism proved to be popular there and the family was deeply involved. Meanwhile, back in Michigan, Spiritualism was popular with some others who had been involved in the Alphadelphia Association.

Barbara Triphahn, a descendant of one of the Alphadelphia Association families who lived in Michigan, sends the below copy of the National Spiritualist Association Declaration of Principles 1914-1918.

I’m posting the images as I’ve not done a transcription.

* * * * *


AMERICAN SOCIALISMS by John Humphrey Noyes

In which is mentioned the Alphadelphia Association as the Washtenaw Phalanx, and the Lagrange Indiana community to which James Noyes went after the collapse of the Alphadelphia Association–as well did H. R. Schetterly, the founder of the Alphadelphia Association.

* * * * *

John Humphrey Noyes by the artist Robert Preston

John Humphrey Noyes by the artist Robert Preston


by John Humphrey Noyes



(My note: In the following is mentioned what appears to be the Alphadelphia Association, under the name of the “Washtenaw Phalanx”, also the community in Lagrange County, Indiana to which James NOYES went after the failure of the Alphadelphia Association.)

THE exposition of Fourierism in this country commenced with the publication of the “Social Destiny of Man,” by Albert Brisbane, in 1840. It is very probable that the excitement propagated by this book, turned the thoughts of Dr. Channing and the Transcendentalists toward Association, and led to the Massachusetts experiments which we have reported. Other influences prepared the way. Religious Liberalism and Anti-slavery were revolutionizing the world of thought, and predisposing all lively minds to the boldest innovations. But it is evident that the positive scheme of reconstructing society came from France through Brisbane. Brook Farm, Hopedale, the Northampton Community and the Skaneateles Community struck out, each on an independent theory of social architecture; but they all obeyed a common impulse; and that impulse, so far as it came by literature, is traceable to Brisbane’s importation and translation of the writings of Charles Fourier. The second notable movement, preparatory to the great Fourier revival of 1 843, was the opening of the New York Tribune to the teachings of Brisbane and the Socialists. That paper was in its first volume, but already popular and ascending towards its zenith of rivalry with the Herald, when one morning in the spring of 1842, it appeared with the following caption at the top of one of its columns:


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

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

Brisbane edited his column with ability for more than a year. Our file (which is defective), extends from March 28, 1842, to May 28, 1843. At first the socialistic articles appeared twice a week; after August 1842, three times a week; and during the latter part of the series, every day. This was Brisbane’s great opportunity, and he improved it. All the popularities of Fourierism – “Attractive Industry,” Compound Economies,” “Democracy of Association,” “Equilibrium of the Passions” – were set before the Tribune’s vast public from day to day, with the art and zest of a young lawyer pleading before a court already in his favor. Interspersed with these topics were notices of socialistic meetings, reports of Fourier festivals, toasts and speeches at celebrations of Fourier’s birthday, and all the usual stimulants of a growing popular cause. The rich were enticed; the poor were encouraged; the laboring classes were aroused; objections were answered; prejudices were annihilated; scoffing papers were silenced; the religious foundations of Fourierism were triumphantly exhibited. To show how gloriously things were going, it would be announced on one day that ” Mr. Bennett has promised us the insertion of an article in this day’s Herald, in vindication of our doctrines;” on the next, that “The Democratic and Boston, Quarterly Rev iews, are publishing a series of articles on the system from the pen of A. Brisbane;” on the next, that ‘we have obtained a large Hall, seventy-seven feet deep by twenty-five feet wide, in Broadway, for the purpose of holding meetings and delivering lectures.”

Perhaps the reader would like to see a specimen of Brisbane’s expositions. The following is the substance of one of his articles in the Tribune dated March, 1842; subject – “Means of making a Practical Trial:”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With this specimen, we trust the imagination of the reader will be able to make out an adequate picture of Brisbane’s long work in the Tribune. That work immediately preceded the rush of Young America into the Fourier experiments. He was beating the drum from March 1842 till May 1843; and in the summer of ’43, Phalanxes by the dozen were on the march for the new world of wealth and harmony. On the fifth of October 1843, Brisbane entered upon his third advance-movement by establishing in New York City, an independent paper called THE PHALANX, devoted to the doctrines of Fourier, and edited by himself and Osborne Macdaniel. It professed to be a monthly, but was published irregularly the latter part of its time. The volume we have consists of twenty-three numbers, the first of which is dated October 5, 1843, and the last May 28, 1845. In the first number Brisbane gives the following condensed statement of practical experiments then existing or contemplated which may be considered the results of his previous labors, and especially of his fourteen months reveillle in the Tribune:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The most important result of Brisbane’s eighteen month’s labor in the Phalanx was the conversion of Brook Farm to Fourierism. William H. Channing’s magazine, the Present, which commenced nearly at the same time with the Phalanx, closed its career at the end of seven months, and its subscription list was transferred to Brisbane. In the course of a year after this Brook Farm confessed Fourierism, changed its constitution, assumed the title of the Brook Farm Phalanx, and on the 14th of June1845 commenced publishing the Harbinger, as the successor of the Phalanx and the heir of its subscription list. So that Brisbane’s fourth advance was the transfer of the literary responsibilities of his cause to Brook Farm. This was a great move. A more brilliant attorney could not have been found. The concentrated genius of Unitarianism and Transcendentalism was at Brook Farm. It was the school that trained most of the writers who have created the newspaper and magazine literature of the present time. Their work on the Harbinger was their first drill. Fourierism was their first case in court. The Harbinger was published weekly, and extended to seven and a half semi-annual volumes, five of which were edited and printed at Brook Farm, and the last two and a half at New York, but by Brook Farm men. Its issues at Brook Farm extend from June 14, 1845, to October 30, 1847; and at New York from November 6, 1847 to February 10, 1849. The Phalanx and Harbinger together cover a period of more than five years. Other periodicals of a more provincial character, and of course a great variety of hooks and pamphlets, were among the issues of the Fourier movement; but the main vertebrae of its literature were the publications of which we have given account – Brisbane’s Social Destiny of Man, his daily column in the Tribune, the monthly Phalanx, and the weekly Harbinger.