Escape to Utopia: The Communal Movement in America

By Everett Webber | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE
ROBERT OWEN AND THE YANKEE HIGHBINDERS

IDLERS OR BUNGLERS OR BOTH, THEY WERE WILLING TO FORK OUT A COPPER AND POCKET A SHILLING

NOT long after Robert Owen met Frances Wright in Washington and suggested that she might care to visit Harmonie on the Wabash, he issued an invitation through the newspapers for all who were interested in joining his commune to meet him at the site. He had come a long way since his birth in Wales fifty-four years previously as the son of a saddler who was to send him to school only until he was nine.

After that he was apprenticed to a draper. In his teens he got into a small business of making superior spinning machinery, partly of his own invention. Then he went into a textile mill. Continually improving the techniques and machines there, at nineteen he was producing the best cloth in England.

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