Escape to Utopia: The Communal Movement in America

Escape to Utopia: The Communal Movement in America

Escape to Utopia: The Communal Movement in America

Escape to Utopia: The Communal Movement in America

Excerpt

To each they offer gifts after his will, Bread, kingdoms, stars, and sky that holds them all.

--EMERSON

What is man born for but to be a reformer, a re-maker of what man has made, a renouncer of lies; a restorer of truth and good. . . ?

--EMERSON

IT WAS a warm afternoon in the summer of 1873 in central New York State. Through the long shadows, two hundred people sauntered toward the excursion train which was to take them home. Already a number of their hosts--men, women, and children of the Kingdom of Heaven--were moving out upon the lawns around the big brick Mansion House to pick up cigar butts and trash left by the careless picnickers. The men of the colony looked like any group of unpretentious, comfortably well-off villagers. The women, however, wore bobbed hair, curled or straight as they preferred, and short dresses with bloomers to their ankles. These somewhat daring costumes were considered practical, comfortable, and attractive.

A not ungenerously built female excursionist lin-

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