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

p. 358 p. 359


p. 360 p. 361


I HAVE noticed that not unfrequently Vineland, in New Jersey, and Anaheim, in California, are classed with Communistic Societies. They are nothing of the kind; and only one of the two—Anaheim, namely—was in the beginning even co-operative.

As, however, both these settlements were founded under peculiar circumstances, and as both show what can be achieved in a short time by men of narrow means, acting more or less in concert for certain purposes, I have determined to give here a brief history of the two places.


Anaheim, the oldest of these two "colonies," lies in Los Angeles County, in Southern California, about thirty miles from the town of Los Angeles, and ten or twelve miles from the ocean, upon a fertile and well-watered plain. In its settlement it was strictly a co-operative enterprise.

In 1857 several Germans in San Francisco proposed to certain of their countrymen to purchase by a united effort a tract of land in the southern part of the state, cause it to be subdivided into small farms, and procure these to be fenced, planted with grape-vines and trees, and otherwise prepared for the settlement of the owners. After some deliberation, fifty men set their names to an agreement to buy eleven hundred and sixty-five acres of land, at two dollars per acre; securing water-rights for irrigation with the purchase, because in that region the dry summers necessitate artificial watering.

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The originator of the enterprise, Mr. Hansen, of Los Angeles, a German lawyer and civil engineer, a man of culture, was appointed by his associates to select and secure the land; and eventually he became the manager of the whole enterprise, up to the point where it lost its co-operative features and the members took possession of their farms.

The Anaheim associates consisted in the main of mechanics, and they had not a farmer among them. They were all Germans. There were several carpenters, a gunsmith, an engraver, three watch-makers, four blacksmiths, a brewer, a teacher, a shoemaker, a miller, a hatter, a hotel-keeper, a bookbinder, four or five musicians, a poet (of course), several merchants, and some teamsters. It was a very heterogeneous assembly; they had but one thing in common: they were all, with one or two exceptions, poor. Very few had more than a few dollars saved; most of them had neither cash nor credit enough to buy even a twenty-acre farm; and none of them were in circumstances which promised them more than a decent living.

The plan of the society was to buy the land, and thereupon to cause it to be subdivided and improved as I have said by monthly contributions from the members, who were meantime to go on with their usual employments in San Francisco. It was agreed to divide the eleven hundred and sixty-five acres into fifty twenty-acre tracts, and fifty village lots, the village to stand in the centre of the purchase. Fourteen lots were also set aside for school-houses and other public buildings.

With the first contribution the land was bought. The fifty associates had to pay about fifty dollars each for this purpose. This done, they appointed Mr. Hansen their agent to make the projected improvements; and they, it may be supposed, worked a little more steadily and lived a little more frugally in San Francisco. He employed Spaniards and Indians as laborers; and what he did was to dig a ditch seven miles long

p. 363

to lead water out of the Santa Anna River, with four hundred and fifty miles of subsidiary ditches and twenty-five miles of feeders to lead the water over every twenty-acre lot. This done, he planted on every farm eight acres of grapes and some fruit-trees; and on the whole place over five miles of outside willow fencing and thirty-five miles of inside fencing. Willows grow rapidly in that region, and make a very close fence, yielding also fire-wood sufficient for the farmer's use.

All this had to be done gradually, so that the payments for labor should not exceed the monthly contributions of the associates, for they had no credit to use in the beginning, and contracted no debts.

When the planting was done, the superintendent cultivated and pruned the grape-vines and trees, and took care of the place; and it was only when the vines were old enough to bear, and thus to yield an income at once, that the proprietors took possession.

At the end of three years the whole of this labor had been performed and paid for; the vines were ready to bear a crop, and the division of lots took place. Each shareholder had at this time paid in all twelve hundred dollars; a few, I have been told, fell behind somewhat, but were helped by some of their associates who were in better circumstances. If we suppose that most of the members had no money laid by at the beginning of the enterprise, it would appear that during three years they saved, over and above their living, somewhat less than eight dollars a week—a considerable sum, but easily possible at that time in California to a good and steady mechanic.

It was inevitable that some of the small farms should be more valuable than others; and there was naturally a difference, too, in the village lots. To make the division fairly, all the places were viewed, and a schedule was made of them, on which each was assessed at a certain price, varying from six hundred to fourteen hundred dollars, according to its situation,

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the excellence of its fruit, etc. They were then distributed by a kind of lottery, with the condition that if the farm drawn was valued in the schedule over twelve hundred dollars, he who drew it should pay into the general treasury the surplus; if it was valued at less, he who drew it received from the common fund a sum which h, added to the value of his farm, equaled twelve hundred dollars. Thus A, who drew a fourteen-hundred-dollar lot, paid two hundred dollars; B, who drew a six-hundred-dollar lot, received six hundred dollars additional in cash.

The property was by this time in such a state of improvement that money could readily be borrowed on the security of these small farms. Moreover, when the drawing was completed, there was a sale of the effects of the company—horses, tools, etc.; and on closing all the accounts and balancing the books, it was found that there remained a sum of money in the general treasury sufficient to give each of the fifty shareholders a hundred dollars in cash as a final dividend.

When this was done, the co-operative feature of the enterprise disappeared. The members, each in his own good time, settled on their farms. Lumber was bought at wholesale, and they began to build their houses. Fifty families make a little town in any of our Western States, sufficiently important to attract traders. The village lots at once acquired a value, and some were sold to shopkeepers. A school was quickly established; mechanics of different kinds came down to Anaheim to work for wages; and the colonists in fact gathered about them at once many conveniences which, if they had settled singly, they could not have commanded for some years.

They were still poor, however. But few of them were able even to build the slight house needed in that climate without running into debt. For borrowed money they had to pay from two to three per cent, per month interest. Moreover, none of them were farmers; and they had to learn to cultivate,

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prune, and take care of their vines, to make wine, and to make a vegetable garden. They had from the first to raise and sell enough for their own support, and to pay at least the heavy interest on their debts. It resulted that for some years longer they had a struggle with a burden of debt, and had to live with great economy. But the people told me that they had always enough to eat, a good school for their children, and the immense satisfaction of being their own employers. "We had music and dancing in those days; and, though we were very poor, I look back to those times as the happiest in all our lives," said one man to me.

And they gradually got out of debt. Not one failed. The sheriff has never sold out any one in Anaheim; and only one of the original settlers had left the place when I saw it in 1872. They have no destitute people. Their vineyards give them an annual clear income of from two hundred and fifty to one thousand dollars over and above their living expenses; their children have enjoyed the advantages of a social life and a fairly good school. And, finally, the property which originally cost them an average of one thousand and eighty dollars for each, is now worth from five to ten thousand dollars. They live well, and feel themselves as independent as though they were millionaires.

Now this was an enterprise which any company of prudent mechanics, with a steadfast purpose, might easily imitate. The founders of Anaheim were not picked men. I have been told that they were not without jealousies and suspicions of each other and of their manager, which made his life often uncomfortable, and threatened the life of the undertaking. They had grumblers, fault-finders, and wiseacres in their company, as probably there will be among any company of fifty men; and I have heard that Mr. Hansen, who was their able and honest manager, declared that he would rather starve than conduct another such enterprise.

p. 366

They were extremely fortunate to have for their manager an honest, patient, and sufficiently able man; and such a leader is indeed the corner-stone of an undertaking of this kind. Granted a man sufficiently wise and honest, in whom his associates can have confidence, and there needs only moderate patience, perseverance, and economy, in the body of the company, to achieve success. Nor could I help noticing, when I was at Anaheim, that the experience and training which men gain in carrying to success—no matter through what struggles of poverty, self-denial, and debt—such an enterprise, has an admirable effect on their characters. The men of Anaheim were originally a very common class of mechanics; they have stepped up to a higher plane of life—they are masters of their own lives. This result—namely, the training of families in the hardier virtues, their elevation to a higher moral as well as physical standard—is certainly not to be overlooked by any thoughtful man.


Vineland was not a co-operative enterprise. It is the land-speculation of a long-headed, kind-hearted man, who believed that he could form a settlement profitable and advantageous to many people, and with pecuniary benefit to himself. Until the year 1861, the southern part of New Jersey contained a large region known as "the Barrens," and very sparsely settled with a rude and unthrifty population. The light soil was supposed to be unfit for profitable agriculture; and the country for miles was covered with scrub pine and small oak timber, used chiefly for charcoal, and as fuel for some glass factories at Millville and Glassborough. Much of this land was owned in large tracts, and brought in but a small revenue. When the West Jersey Railroad, connecting Cape May with Philadelphia, was completed, it ran through many miles of these "Barrens," and some of the owners, tired of a property which in their hands had little value, were ready to sell out.

p. 367

Charles K. Landis had conceived the idea of forming a colony, upon certain plans which he had matured in his own mind. His attention was attracted to this region, and after examining the soil and the general character of the region, he bought sixteen thousand acres in one parcel. To this he added, soon after, another purchase of fourteen thousand acres, making thirty thousand in all. He has bought lately (in 1874) twenty-three thousand acres more.

The country is a rolling plain, densely overgrown with small wood, with one or two streams running through it; with water obtainable at from fifteen to thirty feet every where, and perfectly healthy. Mr. Landis took possession in August, 1861, and at once began to develop the land according to his own ideas. He laid out, first, the town site of Vineland, in the centre of the tract; next had the adjacent plain surveyed, and laid out into tracts of ten, twenty, and fifty acres; laid out and opened roads, so as to make these small parcels accessible; and then he began to advertise for settlers.

His offer was to sell the land, lying within thirty-four miles of Philadelphia by railroad, in tracts of from ten to forty or sixty acres, at twenty-five dollars per acre, guaranteeing a clear title, and giving reasonable credit, but requiring the purchasers to make certain improvements within a year after buying. These consisted of a house—which need not be costly—the clearing of some acres of ground, and the planting of shade-trees along the road-side, and sowing a strip of this road-side with some kind of grass. It was also stipulated that if the owner, in after-years, neglected his road-side adornment, it should be kept in order by the town at his cost.

Mr. Landis had procured the passage of a law prohibiting the straying of cattle within the limits of the township in which his estate lay; and consequently the new settlers were not obliged to build fences. This was an immense saving to the people, who came in mostly with small means. Vineland

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has to-day between eleven thousand and twelve thousand people; it has about one hundred and eighty miles of roads; and it is probable that the "no fence" regulation, as it is called, has saved the inhabitants at least a million and a half of dollars.

He prevented in the beginning, with the most solicitous care, the establishment of bar-rooms or dram-shops on the tract; the Legislature gave permission to the people of the township, by an annual vote, to decide whether the sale of liquor at retail should be allowed or forbidden, and they have constantly forbidden it, to their immense advantage.

He endeavored as soon as possible to establish factories in the village, and succeeded so well in this that there has long been a local market for a part of the products of the place.

He founded and encouraged library, horticultural, and other societies, helped in the building of churches, and paid particular attention to obtaining for the people facilities for marketing their products advantageously.

In all these concerns he sought the advantage of the settlers on his lands, knowing that their prosperity would make him also prosperous.

But one other part of his plan appears to me to have been of extraordinary importance, though usually it is not mentioned in descriptions of Vineland. Mr. Landis established the price of his own uncultivated lands at twenty-five dollars per acre. At that price he sold to the first settler; and that price he did not increase for many years. Any one could, within two or three years, buy wild land on the Vineland tract at twenty-five dollars per acre. This means that he did not speculate upon the improvements of the settlers. He gave to them the advantage of their labors. It resulted that many poor men bought, cleared, and planted places in Vineland on purpose to sell them, certain that they could, if they wished, buy more land at the same price of twenty-five dollars per acre which they originally paid.

p. 369

In my judgment, this feature of the Vineland enterprise, more than any other, changed it from a merely selfish speculation to one of a higher order, in which the settlers, to a large extent, have a common interest with the proprietor of the land. He might have done all the rest—might have laid out roads, proclaimed a "no fence" law, prevented the establishment of dram-shops, helped on educational and other enterprises—and still, had he raised the price of his wild lands as the settlers increased, he would have been a mere land speculator, and I doubt if his scheme would have obtained more than a very moderate and short-lived success. But the undertaking to sell his wild land always at the one fixed price, not only gave later comers an advantage which attracted them with a constantly increasing force, but it gave the poorer settlers an occupation from which many of them gained handsomely—the improvement of places to sell to new-comers with capital. The result showed Mr. Landis's wisdom. Improved property, cleared and planted in fruit, has always borne a high price in Vineland, and has almost always had a ready sale, but there has never been any feverish land speculation there.

In twelve years the founder of Vineland was able to collect upon his tract—which had not a single inhabitant in 1861—about eleven thousand people. Most of these have improved their condition in life materially by settling there. Many of them came without sufficient capital, and no doubt suffered from want in the early days of their Vineland life. But if they persevered, two or three years of effort made them comfortable. Meantime they had, what our American farmers have not in general, easy access to good schools for their children, to churches and an intelligent society, and the possibility of good laws regarding the sale of liquor.

Vineland was settled largely by New England people. They are more restless and changeable than the Germans of Anaheim: less easily contented with mere comfort. The New-Englander

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seems to me to like change, often, for its own sake; the German too frequently goes to the other extreme, and so greatly abhors change that he does without conveniences which he might well afford. Anaheim and Vineland differ in these respects, as the character of their inhabitants differs. But in both, no one can doubt that the people have been greatly benefited by the colonizing experiment; that they not merely live better, but have a higher standard of thinking as well, and are thus better citizens than they would have been had they remained in their original employments and abodes.

Some of the striking practical and moral results of the Vineland plan of colonization were set forth by Mr. Landis in a speech before the Legislature of New Jersey last year; and the following extracts from this address are of interest in this place. He said:

"When I first projected the colony, in 1861, what is now Vineland lay before me an unbroken wilderness. Nothing was to be heard but the song of birds to break the silence, which at times was oppressive. It was necessary that the fifty square miles of territory should be suddenly, thoroughly, and permanently improved. The land was in good part to be paid for out of the proceeds of sale. One hundred and seventy miles of public roads and other improvements were to be made, and the improvements were to be such as to insure the prosperity of the colonist in future years, as my outlay was in the early start of the settlement, and my returns were not to be realized for years to come. If the settlement should not be prosperous in these years to come, I could never realize my reward, and besides, ruin, involving character and fortune, stared me in the face. It was by no temporary efforts or expedients that I could succeed, but by fixing upon certain principles, calculated to be creative, healthful, and permanent in their influences—principles which, while they benefited each colonist day by day, would have a growing influence in developing the prosperity of the colony. What were these principles?

"1. That no land should be sold to speculators who would not improve, but only to persons who would agree to improve in a specified time, and also to plant shade-trees in front of their places, and seed the road-sides to grass for purposes of public utility and ornamentation.

"2. That no man should be compelled to erect fences, that his neighbor's

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cattle might roam at large; but that the old and shiftless and wasteful system should be done away with.

"3. That the public sale of intoxicating drinks should be prohibited, and that this prohibition should be obtained by leaving it to a vote of the people.

"By the first principle, the continual improvement of the land was secured. Employment was furnished to laborers at remunerative prices. The value of the land was increased by the mutual effort of the colonists. The value of my land was also enhanced, and it was made more and more marketable.

"By the second principle, a vast and constant expense was saved—greater than the cost and annual interest upon all the railroads of the United States. Stock was improved, the cultivation of root crops was encouraged, and the economizing of fertilizers.

"By the third principle, the money, the health, and the industry of the people were conserved, that they might all be devoted to the work before them.

"I am in candor compelled to say that I did not introduce the local-option principle into Vineland from any motives of philanthropy. I am not a temperance man in the total-abstinence sense. I introduced the principle because in cool, abstract thought I conceived it to be of vital importance to the success of my colony. If in this thought I had seen that liquor made men more industrious, more skillful, more economical, and more æsthetic in their tastes, I certainly should then have made liquor-selling one of the main principles of my project."

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

"The question then came up as to how I could give such direction to public opinion as would regulate this difficulty. Many persons had the idea that no place could prosper without taverns—that to attract business and strangers taverns were necessary. I could not accomplish my object by the influence of total-abstinence men, as they were too few in numbers in proportion to the whole community. I had long perceived that there was no such thing as reaching the result by the moral influence brought to bear on single individuals—that to benefit an entire community, the law or regulation would have to extend to the entire community. In examining the evil, I found also that the moderate use of liquor was not the difficulty to contend against, but it was the immoderate use of it.

"The question, then, was to bring the reform to bear upon what led

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to the immoderate use of it. I found that few or none ever became intoxicated in their own families, in the presence of their wives and children, but that the drunkards were made in the taverns and saloons. After this conclusion was reached, the way appeared clear. It was not necessary to make a temperance man of each individual—it was not necessary to abridge the right or privilege that people might desire to have of keeping liquor in their own houses, but to get their consent to prevent the public sale of it by the small—that people in bartering would not be subject to the custom of drinking—that they would not have the opportunity of drinking in bar-rooms, away from all home restraint or influence; in short, I believed that if the public sale of liquor was stopped either in taverns or beer saloons, the knife would reach the root of the evil. The next thing to do was to deal with settlers personally as they bought land, and to counsel with them as to the best thing to be done. In conversation with them I never treated it as a moral question—I explained to them that I was not a total-abstinence man myself, but that on account of the liability of liquor to abuse when placed in seductive forms at every street corner, and as is the usual custom that followed our barbarous law that it incited to crime, and made men unfortunate who would otherwise succeed; that most of the settlers had little money to begin with, sums varying from two hundred to one thousand dollars, which, if added to a man's labor, would be enough in many cases to obtain him a home, but which taken to the tavern would melt away like snow before a spring sun; that new places were liable to have this abuse to a more terrible extent than old places, as men were removed from the restraints of old associations, and in the midst of the excitement of forming new acquaintances; and that it was a notorious fact that liquor-drinking did not add to the inclination for physical labor. I then asked them—for the sake of their sons, brothers, friends—to help establish the new system, as I believed it to be the foundation-stone of our future prosperity.

"To these self-evident facts they would almost all accede. Many of them had witnessed the result of liquor-selling in the new settlements of the Far West, and were anxious to escape from it. The Local-Option Law of Vineland was not established, therefore, by temperance men or total-abstinence men only, but by the citizens generally, upon broad social and public principles. It has since been maintained in the same way. Probably not one tenth of the number of voters in Vineland are what may be called total-abstinence men. I explain this point to show that this reform was not the result of mere fanaticism, but the sense of the people

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generally, and that the people who succeed under it are such people as almost all communities are composed of. This law has been practically in operation since the beginning of the settlement in the autumn of 1861, though the act of the Legislature empowering the people of Landis Township to vote upon license or no license was not passed until 1863. The vote has always stood against license by overwhelming majorities, there being generally only from two to nine votes in favor of liquor-selling. The population of the Vineland tract is about ten thousand five hundred people, consisting of manufacturers and business people upon the town plot in the centre, and, around this centre, of farmers and fruit-growers. The most of the tract is in Landis Township. I will now give statistics of police and poor expenses of this township for the past six years:





$50 00



$400 00


50 00



425 00


75 00



425 00


75 00



350 00


150 00



400 00


25 00



350 00

These figures speak for themselves, but they are not all. There is a material and industrial prosperity existing in Vineland which, though I say it myself, is unexampled in the history of colonization, and must be due to more than ordinary causes. The influence of temperance upon the health and industry of her people is no doubt the principal of these causes. Started when the country was plunged in civil war, its progress was continually onward. Young as the settlement was, it sent its quota of men to the field, and has paid over $60,000 of war debts. The settlement has built twenty fine school-houses, ten churches, and kept up one of the finest systems of road improvements, covering one hundred and seventy-eight miles, in this country. There are now some fifteen manufacturing establishments on the Vineland tract, and they are constantly increasing in number. Her stores in extent and building will rival any other place in South Jersey. There are four post-offices on the tract. The central one did a business last year of $4,800 mail matter, and a money-order business of $78,922.

"Out of seventy-seven townships in the state, by the census of 1869 Landis Township ranked the fourth from the highest in the agricultural value of its productions. There are seventeen miles of railroad upon the tract, embracing six railway stations.

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"The result of my project as a land enterprise has been to the interest of the colonists as well as my own. Town lots that I sold for $150 have been resold for from $500 to $1500, exclusive of improvements. Land that I sold for $25 per acre has much of it been resold at from $200 to $500 per acre. This rule will hold good for miles of the territory—all resulting from the great increase of population and the prosperity of the people.

"Were licenses for saloons and taverns obtainable with the same ease as in New York, Philadelphia, and many country districts, Vineland would probably have, according to its population, from one to two hundred such places. Counting them at one hundred, this would withdraw from the pursuits of productive industry about one hundred families, which would give a population of six hundred people. Each of these places would sell about $3000 worth of beer and liquor per annum, making $300,000 worth of stimulants a year. I include beer saloons, as liquor can be obtained in them all as a general thing, and in the electrical climate of America beer leads to similar results as spirits. Think of the effect of $300,000 worth of stimulants upon the health, the minds, and the industry of our people. Think of the increase of crime and pauperism—the average would be fully equal to other places in which liquor is sold. Instead of having a police expense of $50, and poor expenses of $400 per annum, the amount would be swollen to thousands. Homes that are now happy would be made desolate, and, instead of peace reigning in our midst, we should have war—the same war that is now carried on throughout the length and breadth of the land in the conflict that is waged with crime, where blood is daily shed, where houses are daily fired, where helpless people are daily robbed, and the darkest of crimes daily perpetrated. Concentrate the work of this war that is carried on throughout the land for one day, and you will have as many people killed and wounded, houses fired or plundered, as in the sack of a city.

"The results in Vineland have convinced me—

"1. That temperance does conserve the industry of the people.

"2. That temperance is conducive to a refined and esthetical taste.

"3. That temperance can be sufficiently secured in a community by suppressing all the taverns and saloons, to protect it from the abuse of excessive liquor-drinking. Here is a community where crime and pauperism are almost unknown, where taxes are nominal, where night is not made hideous by the vilest of noises, where a man's children are not contaminated by the evil language and influence of drunkards."

p. 375

The following letter from the deputy sheriff of Vineland gives the practical result of the Vineland system of moral cooperation, as it may be called:

VINELAND, December 4,1873.

"Dear Sir,—The poor tax in this township amounts to about five cents to each inhabitant per annum, and our special expense for police matters, when any body happens to be engaged on an emergence, amounts to an average expense of about one half cent each. In fact, it may be said we have little or no crime or breach of the peace; and, though I am no total-abstinence man, I ascribe this state of things to the absence of liquor shops, and on this account have always voted against licensing. Before I came here I acted as constable in Massachusetts, and have been deputy sheriff and overseer of the poor for five years, and I know from actual observation that more happiness is secured to men themselves, to their wives and children, and more peace to the home, than by any other cause in the world, not excepting all the churches—so help me God!

"Yours respectfully,    T. T. CORTIS, Deputy Sheriff."   

In the journal from which I take this letter it is stated that the poor and police expenses of Perth Amboy, also in New Jersey, amount in the same year to two dollars per head! The figures need no comment.

Prairie Home.

The Prairie Home Colony, in Franklin County, Kansas, was established by a French gentleman, E. V. Boissiere. He owns three thousand acres of land, and has been engaged during the last three years in putting it in order for settlement, upon a plan to which he gives the title, "Association and Co-operation, based on Attractive Industry." So far as the details of his plan are developed, it appears that he wishes to secure to colonists constant employment at reasonable wages, and to enable them to live in an economical manner. It is evident from what follows that he does not intend to establish a benevolent institution, and that at Prairie Home there will be no accommodations for idlers. I reprint here a circular, which is issued

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by Mr. Boissiere, and parts of a private note from him, in which, in March, 1874, he gave me some particulars of the progress of his enterprise:

"A domain of more than three thousand acres, purchased about four years ago, and then called the 'Kansas Co-operative Farm,' but since named 'Silkville,' from the fact that the weaving of silk-velvet ribbons is one of its branches of industry, and silk-culture is contemplated, for which ten thousand mulberry-trees are now thriftily growing, having had two hundred and fifty acres subjected to cultivation, and several preliminary buildings erected upon it, it is now thought expedient to inform those who wish to take part in the associative enterprise for which the purchase was made, that the Subscribers, as its projectors, will be prepared to receive persons the ensuing spring, with a view to their becoming associated for that purpose.

"A leading feature of the enterprise is to establish the 'Combined Household' of Fourier—that is, a single large residence for all the associates. Its principal aim is to organize labor, the source of all wealth, first, on the basis of remuneration proportioned to production, and, second, in such manner as to make it both efficient and attractive. Guarantees of education and subsistence to all, and of help to those who need it, are indispensable conditions, to be provided as soon as the organization shall be sufficiently advanced to render them practicable.

"A spacious edifice, sufficient for the accommodation of eighty to one hundred persons, will be erected the ensuing season, its walls and principal partitions, which are to be of stone, being already contracted for, to be completed by the 1st of October. But the buildings already erected will furnish accommodations—less eligible, but perfectly comfortable except in severely cold weather—for at least an equal number.

"It is not, however, expected that the operations of the ensuing year will be any thing more than preparative; they will be limited probably to collecting a few persons to form a nucleus of the institution to be gradually developed in the future. But, from the first, facilities will be furnished for industry on the principle of remuneration proportioned to production, by means of which, or otherwise, each candidate will be required to provide for his own support, and for that of such other persons as are admitted at his request as members of his family or other dependents.

"The means of support at present available for those who come to reside on the domain will be, as they may be stated in a general way, opportunities

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to engage, on liberal terms, in as many varieties as possible of productive industry; but, more particularly, first, an ample area of fertile land to cultivate; and, secondly, facilities for such mechanical work as can be executed with hand-tools, especially the making of clothes, boots and shoes, and other articles of universal consumption, not excluding, however, any article whatever for which a market, either internal or external, can be found. But, as far as income depends upon earnings, the most reliable resource will be agricultural and horticultural industry, as most of the mechanical work likely to be required for some time should perhaps be reserved for weather not suitable to out-door employments. Employment for wages at customary rates will be furnished to some extent to those who desire it for a part of their time, but cannot be reliably promised. Steam-power will be provided as soon as warranted by a sufficient number of associates, and by the prospect of being applied to profitable production.

"Having provided the associates and candidates with these facilities for industry, and made them responsible each for his own support, and, at first, for that of his dependents, the projectors propose to have them distribute themselves into organizations for industrial operations, and select or invent their own kinds and mode of cultivation and other practical processes, under regulations prescribed by themselves. They will be indulged with the largest liberty, consistent with the protection of rights and the preservation of order, in choosing their own employments, and their own industrial and social companions; in appointing, concurrently with those with whom they are immediately associated, their own hours of labor, recreation, and repose; and, generally, in directing their activity in such manner and to such purposes as their taste or interest may induce them to prefer. We hope thus to demonstrate that interference with individual choice is necessary only to restrain people from transgressing their own proper sphere and encroaching upon that of others, and that restraints, even for that purpose, will seldom be required, and not at all except during the rudimentary stage of industrial organization.

"No efforts, therefore, will be made to select persons of similar views or beliefs, or to mould them afterward to any uniform pattern. That unanimity which is not expected in regard to practical operations, is much less expected in regard to those subjects transcending the sphere of human experience about which opinions are now so irreconcilably conflicting. All that will be required is that each shall accord to others as much

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freedom of thought and action as he enjoys himself, and shall respect the rights and interests of others as he desires his own to be respected by them.

"The apprehension that our experiment might be greatly embarrassed by admitting the totally destitute to participate in it, compels us to say that such cannot at present be received. The means applicable to our purpose, considerable as they are, might become inadequate if subjected to the burden of maintaining objects of charity; while but few could be thus relieved, even if all the means at command were devoted to that single object. Our system, if we do not misapprehend it, will, in its maturity, provide abundantly for all.

"But though we insist that the first participators in our enterprise shall not be pecuniarily destitute, the amount insisted upon is not large. So much, however, as is required must be amply secured by the following cash advances:

"First: rent of rooms and board paid two months in advance for each person admitted to reside on the domain, including each member of the applicant's family; and at the end of the first month, payment of these items for another month, so that they shall again be paid two months in advance, and so from month to month indefinitely.

"Rent of rooms will be reasonable, and board will be finally settled for at its cost, as near as may be; but in computing it for advance payment, it will be rated rather above than below its expected cost, to provide against contingencies. If too much is advanced, the excess, when ascertained, will either be repaid or otherwise duly accounted for.

"Facilities for cheap boarding, and for tables graduated to suit different tastes and circumstances, will be limited at first, and until associates become numerous enough to form messes and board themselves.

"Second: each person so admitted will be required to deposit, as may be directed, the sum of one hundred dollars for himself, and an equal sum for every other person admitted with him at his request, on which interest will be allowed at the rate of six per cent, per annum. This deposit is expected to be kept unimpaired until the projectors think it may safely be dispensed with, but will be repaid, or so much thereof as is subject to no charges or offsets, whenever the person on whose account it was made withdraws from the enterprise and ceases to reside on the domain; as will also any unexpended residue of the amount advanced for rooms and board.

"This deposit, besides furnishing a guarantee against the destitution

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of the person making it, is recommended by another consideration not less important—it secures him, in case he wishes to retire from the enterprise, because he can find no satisfactory position in it, or for any other reason, against retiring empty-handed, or remaining longer than he wishes for want of means to go elsewhere.

"In addition to these cash advances, each person admitted as an associate or candidate will be required to provide furniture for his room, and all other articles needed for his personal use, including, generally, the hand-tools with which he works. But some of these articles may, in certain cases, be rented or sold on credit to persons of good industrial capacity who have complied with the other conditions.

"We should esteem, as especially useful, a class of residents who, having an income, independent of their earnings, adequate to their frugal support at least, can devote themselves as freely as they please to attractive occupations which are not remunerative, it being such occupations probably that will furnish the first good examples of a true industrial organization. Next to be preferred are those having an independent income which, though not adequate to their entire support, is sufficient to relieve them from any considerable anxiety concerning it; for they can, to a greater or less extent, yield to the impulses of attraction with comparative indifference to the pecuniary results of their industry.

"It is hoped and expected that the style of living, at least in the early stages of the experiment, will be frugal and inexpensive. Neatness and good taste, and even modest elegance, will be approved and encouraged; but the projectors disapprove of superfluous personal decorations, and of all expense incurred for mere show without utility, and in this sentiment they hope to be sustained by the associates.

"As a general rule, applicants who comply with the pecuniary conditions will be admitted on trial as candidates, to the extent of our accommodations, without formal inquisition of other particulars; but each applicant should state his age and occupation, and the ages and industrial capacities of others, if any, whom he desires to have admitted with him, and whether any of them are permanently infirm. References are also requested, and photographs if possible.

"The cardinal object of our enterprise being, as has been said, to organize labor on the basis of rewarding it according to the value of its product, and in such manner as to divest it of the repugnance inseparable from it as now prosecuted, the policy to which recourse will first be had to effect this object will be to throw upon the associates the chief responsibility

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of selecting functions and devising processes, as well as of marshaling themselves into efficient industrial organizations. Freedom to select their preferred occupations and modes of proceeding is proposed, with the expectation that a diversity of preferences will be developed in both, the respective partisans of which will vie with each other to demonstrate the superior excellence of their chosen specialties. Among the numerous merits which recommend this policy, not the least important is that it will, as is believed, give full play to all varieties of taste and capacity, and secure a more perfect correspondence of functions with aptitudes than exists in the present system of labor. But we are not so committed to any policy as to persist in it, if, after being fairly tested, it fails of its purpose. In that event new expedients will be resorted to, and others again, if necessary, for we should not abandon our enterprise, though our first efforts should prove unsuccessful. The failure of any particular policy, therefore, does not involve a final failure, of which indeed the danger, if any, is remote, inasmuch as care will be taken not to exhaust the means applicable to our main purpose in a first trial, or in a second, or even any number of trials. But we have great confidence that not many trials will be necessary to construct a system of industry and of social life far in advance of any form of either now prevailing in the world.

"The lowest degree of success—we will not say with which we shall be satisfied, but to which we can be reconciled—is that the experiment shall be SELF-SUSTAINING. By this we mean that the associates, aided by the facilities furnished them, shall produce enough not only to supply their own consumption, including education for children and subsistence for all, and to repair the waste, wear, and decay of tools, machines, and other property used, but enough also to reasonably compensate those who furnish the capital for the use of it. Less production than this implies a waning experiment, which must, sooner or later, terminate adversely. But even though this low degree of success should be delayed, the domain is indestructible, and being dedicated forever to associative purposes, must remain unimpaired for repeated trials.

"An ample sufficiency of land will be conveyed to trustees in such manner as to secure the perpetual use of it to the associates and their successors. The land to be thus appropriated has on it a large peach orchard now in full bearing, which yielded last season a large crop of excellent peaches; 400 selected apple-trees, which have four years' thrifty growth from the nursery, and a considerable number of other fruit-trees;

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and a vineyard of about 1200 young grape-vines. A library of 1200 volumes in English, besides a large number in French and other languages, is now here, intended for the use of future associates and residents.

"No fund is set apart for the gratuitous entertainment of visitors. Those not guests of some one here who will be chargeable for them, will be expected to pay a reasonable price for such plain and cheap accommodations as can be afforded them.

"For a more extended explanation of the principles and aim of our enterprise, and of some of the details of the mode of proceeding, persons interested are referred to a treatise on 'Co-operation and Attractive Industry,' published under the auspices of the departed and lamented Horace Greeley, for which send fifty cents to the Tribune, New York, or to either of the subscribers.

"[Note.—It should be understood that the foregoing exposition of principles and policy, though the best that our present knowledge enables us to make, is provisional only, and liable to be modified from time to time as experience makes us wiser.]


"Williamsburg P. O., Franklin Co., Kansas."

On the back of the circular is the following description of Silkville's position and other particulars:

"Silkville, at which 'The Prairie Home' is located, is near the southwest corner of Franklin County, Kansas, three miles south of Williamsburg, at present the nearest post-office; about twelve miles nearly west of Princeton, on the L. L. and G. Railroad, the nearest railroad station; and about twenty miles southwest of Ottawa, the county seat. An open wagon, which carries passengers and the mail between Williamsburg and Princeton, connects with the cars at the latter place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at about 2 o'clock P. M., which (by special arrangement) will carry passengers with ordinary baggage between Princeton and Silkville for sixty-five cents each. Fare from Ottawa to Princeton, nine miles, fifty cents. Persons coming here frequently hire a private conveyance from Ottawa.

"Through tickets to Kansas City and Lawrence (and perhaps to Ottawa) can be purchased at the principal railroad stations. Fare from Kansas City to Ottawa, fifty-three miles, $2 90; from Lawrence to Ottawa, twenty-seven miles, $1. 60."

Under date of March 30,1874, Mr. Boissiere writes me:

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"The unitary building is complete so far as masonry and carpenter work goes, but the plastering and painting will require two months to complete. Our neighborhood has not settled as fast as I expected, and will not afford a market for small industries. I would not invite associates to come on until I establish more firmly the silk business and some other industries. The country has not yet learned what crops will pay best. Farmers, are now trying the castor-bean and flax for seed, with some promise of success. I had information about an oil-mill, but find it gives occupation to only a very few operators. I think now of a factory for working the flax-tow into twine and rope, bagging, or mats.

"I have plenty of patience, having lived a farmer's life; and I like better to go surely than too fast. We have plenty of good coal around us, selling at fourteen cents per bushel of eighty pounds. We had the prospect of a railroad crossing our grounds from Ottawa to Burlington, but the hard times prevent it.

Yours,             E. V. BOISSIERE."

It is difficult to foretell what will be the outcome of Mr. Boissiere's effort. The offer he makes to "associates" is not very promising. Land and employment outside of the great cities are both so plentiful in this country that men who have capital enough to make the deposit required by Mr. Boissiere are more likely to settle upon public land under the homestead act, and carve out their own future.

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