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The Communistic Societies of the United States, by Charles Nordhoff, [1875], at

p. 357


This is a communistic society, established in the beginning of the year 1874 in Chesterfield County, Virginia. It has as "full members" two women, one man, and three boys, with four women and five men as "probationary members." They have a farm of three hundred and thirty-three acres, unencumbered with debt, and with a water-power on it; and are attempting general farming, the raising of medicinal herbs, sawing lumber and staves, coopering, and the grinding of grain. The members are all Americans.

They hold, the secretary writes me, to "unity of interests, and political, religious, and social freedom; and believe that every individual should have absolute control of herself or himself, and that, so long as they respect the same freedom in others, no one has a right to infringe on that individuality."

The secretary further writes: "We have no constitution or bylaws; ignore the idea of man's total depravity; and believe that all who are actuated by a love of truth and a desire to progress (and we will knowingly accept no others), can be better governed by love and moral suasion than by any arbitrary laws. Our government consists in free criticism. We have a unitary home."

Next: Colonies Which Are Not Communistic.