Escape to Utopia: The Communal Movement in America

By Everett Webber | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIFTEEN
AMANA, WHERE THE LORD USUALLY SAID NO

FLY FROM WOMEN-KIND, AS A VERY DANGEROUS MAGNET AND MAGICAL FIRE

Ebenezer you shall call it--
"Hitherto our Lord has helped us"--
He was with us on our journey
And from many perils saved us.
His path and way are wonderful
And the end makes clear the start.

--SONG GIVEN CHRISTIAN METZ by the Lord, Dec. 7, 1842, concerning the name of the first home of the True Inspirationists in America.

THE collapse of forty Fourierist phalanxes, from the North American in the East to Silkville in Kansas, was to strengthen the saying that only religious communes might survive. Some of these successes, indeed, were begun during the Fourierist decade. Several morals might be drawn from the career of that at Bishop Hill in Illinois, beyond the obvious one of starveling Swedish immigrants putting home- based social reformers to shame.

A slight parallel may be seen between Luther's own account of his being frightened into the religious life by a thunder storm, and Eric Janson's conversion to crusading. He was plowing one day at his home near Bishop Hill in Sweden when he fell unconscious in a physical seizure. Com-

-274-

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