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

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THE "True Inspiration Congregations," as they call themselves ("Wahre Inspiration's Gemeinden"), form a communistic society in Iowa, seventy-four miles west of Davenport.

The society has at this time 1450 members; owns about 25,000 acres of land; lives on this land in seven different small towns; carries on agriculture and manufactures of several kinds, and is highly prosperous.

Its members are all Germans.

The base of its organization is religion; they are pietists; and their religious head, at present a woman, is supposed by them to speak by direct inspiration of God. Hence they call themselves "Inspirationists."

They came from Germany in the year 1842, and settled at first near Buffalo, on a large tract of land which they called Eben-Ezer. Here they prospered greatly; but feeling the need of more land, in 1855 they began to remove to their present home in Iowa.

They have printed a great number of books—more than one hundred volumes; and in some of these the history of their peculiar religious belief is carried back to the beginning of the last century. They continue to receive from Germany accessions to their numbers, and often pay out of their common treasury the expenses of poor families who recommend themselves to the society by letters, and whom their inspired leader declares to be worthy.

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They seem to have conducted their pecuniary affairs with eminent prudence and success.

Next: II.—Historical.