Title:
"A Full Supply of the Necessaries and Comforts of Life": The Owenite Community of Blue Spring, Indiana

Author:
Dawn E. Bakken

Date:
2011

Source:
Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 107, Issue 3, pp 235-249

Article Type:
Article

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"A Full Supply of the Necessaries and Comforts of Life"

The Owenite Community of Blue Spring, Indiana

DAWN E. BAKKEN

Indiana and Robert Owen are forever linked in history through the town of New Harmony, one of the best known of many communitarian experiments in the nineteenth-century United States.1 But during the brief period from 1824 to 1828, a crop of Owenite communities arose across the Midwest and the East, most only surviving for a few months or a year. One of these short-lived experiments took root in Monroe County, Indiana, about seven miles south of the recently established


  • Dawn E. Bakken is associate editor of the IMH. Her article, "Young Believers and Old Believers in the Wilderness: Narratives of Place and the Construction of Family among Western Shakers," appeared in the December 2001 issue of the magazine. The author would like to thank former IMH intern Meredith Lizza for help with transcription, and the staffs of the Indiana Room of the Monroe County Public Library and the genealogical library of the Monroe County History Center for their assistance.
  • 1See, for example, John E C. Harrison, Quest for the New Moral World: Robert Owen & the Owenites in Britain and America (New York, 1969); Arthur Bestor, Backwoods Utopias: The Sectarian Origins and the Owenite Phase of Communitarian Socialism in America, 1663-1829 (2nd ed., Philadelphia, Pa., 1970); Donald E Carmony and Josephine M. Elliott, "New Harmony, Indiana: Robert Owen's Seedbed for Utopia," Indiana Magazine of History 76 (September 1980), 161-261.
town of Bloomington. The Blue Spring community, as it was designated in its constitution, formed in April 1826 and dissolved by the next spring, but its founding precepts, its members, and even its failure still merit notice as an interesting chapter in the history of American communitarianism and frontier Indiana.

By the second decade of the nineteenth century, Welsh-born businessman turned social reformer Robert Owen was ready to cast his ideas, formed during years of social engineering at his factory in New Lanark, Scotland, before the wider world. Between 1813 and 1817, Owen published a series of essays on A New View of Society, in which he put forth his beliefs on individual character and society: "That the character of man is, without a single exception, always formed for him; that it may be, and is chiefly, created by his predecessors .... Man, therefore, never did, nor is it possible he ever can, form his own character."2 Because character could only be formed outside the individual, Owen believed that education should be available to people of all ages and all social classes, but especially to young children. Owen also wanted to see communities built around cooperation, human betterment, and a lack of the competition, greed, and other evils that he saw infecting the character of so many children and adults.

Owen continued to speak and publish, but at this point in his career he found little support for his ideas in Britain.3 He longed to build an ideal community that would serve as a proving ground for his theories and a pattern that could be replicated. Owen's imagined community-with no more than 2,000 people-would provide housing, food, clothing, and basic wants to every inhabitant in return for their labor. The community would emphasize children's education but would make learning and cultural enrichment available to all. Residents would engage in agriculture and a wide variety of manufacturing enterprises. In August 1824, opportunity presented itself to Owen in the person of an agent representing the Harmony Society, a successful communitarian religious group with a large settlement in southwestern Indiana. The community wanted to sell its lands and all of its buildings; by October,


  • 2Robert Owen, A New View of Society (1817; New York, 1991), 91.
  • 3In the 1830s and 1840s, Owenism gained popularity in Britain as a working-class movement. See, for example, Harrison, Quest for the New Moral World, 195-232; Sidney Pollard and John Salt, eds., Robert Owen, Prophet of the Poor: Essays in Honour of the Two Hundredth Anniversary of his Birth (London, 1971).
Owen had set sail for America. After landing on November 4, he worked his way west from New York through Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh, giving speeches, attending dinners, and meeting with influential people. He continued on through Ohio-stopping to speak in Cincinnati-to Indiana, where he arrived on December 16 in Harmony.

Owen purchased the entire town of Harmony-its land, its agricultural acreage, its homes, its businesses and manufacturing sites. In public speeches and in private communications, he issued an open invitation to join the new community. New Harmony attracted farmers, business owners, scientists, artists, intellectuals, and social reformers, as well as the merely curious. The town became known for its educational reforms, primarily because of the school led by William Maclure; it also became associated with scientists, such as Thomas Say, and reformers, including Frances Wright.4

New Harmony grew and struggled from early 1825 into 1828, when the community, beset by economic failures and internal divisions, devolved into an ordinary town, albeit one with some rather extraordinary occupants. Robert Owen had spent much of that period traveling back and forth from the United States to England, adopting a curiously detached approach to his great experiment. Historian Arthur Bestor describes Owen in 1825 as acting "in utter disregard of the fact that he had staked everything upon a crucial experiment. While time ticked away, he turned his back upon the reality which was New Harmony in order to chase the phantom which was public opinion."5

Owen's search for public recognition, however, did bear fruit beyond New Harmony, his influence spreading via a series of short-lived communities formed around his principles. Many people heard Owen speak as he made his way from New York to Indiana in late 1824; many more read newspaper accounts of his speeches.6 Six months after Owen


  • 4For a general history of New Harmony, see William E. Wilson, The Angel and the Serpent: The Story of New Harmony (Bloomington, Ind., 1964). The collection of the Working Men's Institute at New Harmony, an extensive collection of documents on the Owenite period and the decades beyond, is available online at http://www.workingmensinstitute.org. On some of New Harmony's better-known inhabitants, see, for example, Leonard Warren, Maclure of New Harmony: Scientist, Progressive Educator Radical Philanthropist (Bloomington, Ind., 2009); Patricia Tyson Stroud, Thomas Say: New World Naturalist (Philadelphia, Pa., 1992); Carmony and Elliott, "New Harmony, Indiana," 222-39.
  • 5Bestor, Backwoods Utopias, 122.
  • 6On Owen's reception by the American press, see ibid., 122-37.
completed the purchase of Harmony's land and buildings, an Owenite community sprang up in Yellow Springs, Ohio. During the same month, a joint stock society based on Owenite principles began in Illinois. In December, three more communities were formed, one in Fountain County, Indiana, one in Philadelphia, and another in the state of New York. In spring 1826, a group of Quakers in Kendal, Ohio, began yet another community; in April, members of the Blue Spring community in southern Indiana signed their constitution. Only two of these groups endured past 1827, and all of them quickly passed from historical memory.7

In 1826, when the Blue Spring community began, much of Monroe County was still undeveloped. A few families had begun to buy land in 1816 and 1817. The county seat of Bloomington was laid out in 1818 and by the end of that year could claim thirty families, as well as a log courthouse that also served as the first schoolhouse. The town quickly acquired general merchandise stores, tanneries, blacksmith shops, grain mills and sawmills, carding and fulling mills, taverns, and other small and necessary businesses. Even with this growth, by 1824 the town had only about 400 inhabitants. The surrounding rural townships were slowly gaining settlers, who bought eighth, quarter, and half-sections of land on which to establish farms.8

One of those rural townships was Van Buren, a few miles to the west and south of Bloomington, with "rich, fertile . . . well watered" land, which had already attracted a number of families by the mid-1820s. Among those families were many of the original signers of the Blue Spring constitution.9

The Blue Spring community is first mentioned in a news summary in the February 8, 1826, issue of the New Harmony Gazette:

Several communities on the principles of Mr. Owen, (with some modifications) have been established in various parts of the country-viz, at the Yellow Spring, in Ohio; the Alleghany Association, at Pittsburgh; one at the Blue Spring, near Bloomington, Indiana; the Philadelphia Association; and ....

  • 7See Bestor, Backwoods Utopias, chap. 8; Harrison, Quest for the New Moral World, 163-92.
  • 8Charles Blanchard, Counties of Morgan, Monroe, & Brown, Indiana (Chicago, 1884), 452-56.
  • 9Ibid., 507.
another co-operative community is commencing from families of Wilmington and Philadelphia. It is to be located twenty miles from Lancaster.10

No independent evidence exists to suggest how many people were involved at this early stage. The community officially formed in April, when the first members signed its constitution, which appears below. There are no physical remains of the community and little evidence of what it was like to live there.11 Some basic information on most of the original signers can be gleaned from early county records; a few of the signers are known only by name.

Nineteen men and eight women signed the community's constitution. Land deed records reveal that twelve of the nineteen men owned land. Nine of the men owned land in Van Buren Township, where the Blue Spring community was located; four men owned town lots in nearby Bloomington. Eighteen of the nineteen men were married, as were seven of the eight women (the other female signer was probably an adult daughter of one of the member couples). Five men had held county-level offices-justice of the peace, recorder, surveyor-or had served on grand juries.12

Family ties seem to have been one important element in determining who joined the community. Four members of the Berry family- William, James, Hannah, and Elizabeth-signed the constitution. Elizabeth was married to Dudley Smith, another signer; Hannah was married to signer Robert Hamilton; and William was married to Patsy Givens, a relative of signer John Givens. In addition, John Givens was married to Jane Berry and signer Orion Crocker was married to Olivia Berry.


  • 10New Harmony Gazette, February 8, 1826, p. 159, online at http:/www.workingmensinstitute.com/.
  • 11The primary account of the community is Richard Simons, "A Utopian Failure," Indiana History Bulletin 18 (1941), 98-113. Some of the Blue Spring signers are buried in Harmony cemetery, in Van Buren Township, a few miles south and west of Bloomington, Indiana.
  • 12Information on the signers was compiled from Monroe County Deed Records, Book A, Dec. 1817-Dec. 1825, Genealogical Library, Monroe County History Center, Bloomington, Indiana; Monroe County Marriage Records, 1818-1881 (Bloomington, Ind., 1995); General Land Office Records, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior, online at http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/; U.S., Fourth Census, 1820, Population Schedules for Monroe County, Indiana, and U.S., Fifth Census, 1830, Population Schedules for Monroe County, Indiana, both online at http://www.ancestry.com/.

The available information suggests that the signers were fairly typical of the white settlers who were moving into the state of Indiana. They were farmers-with two also involved in a milling business-many with both nuclear and extended families. They were neither wealthy nor dirt poor. What were the attractions of this Owenite settlement, that these women and men were willing to pledge themselves to it?

We do not know how the Blue Spring members first heard of Owen and his proposal for a new society. Someone may have heard him speak in Cincinnati and been inspired. Bestor writes that "Owenism was more gospel than theory," casting Owen as a secular preacher whose theory of social reform was "closely bound up with the personality of its founder." Bestor's description is borne out by the memoir of Miner Kellogg, an artist who, as a young boy, spent time in New Harmony. Kellogg's father, a Cincinnati businessman, had heard Owen promise "a much happier era in human affairs" and the reformer's "calm logic and good temper" persuaded the man to give up his business and move to New Harmony. If the Blue Spring members did not hear Owen in person, it is likely that newspaper accounts of his speeches made their way to Bloomington.13

Owen's model of a small community whose members cooperated in agriculture, manufacture, and domestic work would have appealed to young families as well as unmarried men beginning to make their lives on the frontier. Harrison observes that "although the ideology of Owenism was not the product of frontier conditions the communities themselves were in part a response to problems of life on the frontier. ... The Owenite community became in practice, if not always in original intent, a means of coping with such difficulties of pioneer settlement as shortage of capital, technical knowledge and social institutions." The priority of education-"the basis on which the future prosperity and happiness of the community must be founded" (article 19)-and the guarantee of schooling to every child in the community must have been of particular interest in a county where only a few small schools had been built.14

The constitution exhibits themes found in other Owenite community documents: the social system of society as preferable to the individual; cooperation as key to the community's workings (article 2); a "voice"


  • 13Bestor, Backwoods Utopias, 94; Lorna Lutes Sylvester, ed., "Miner K. Kellogg: Recollections of New Harmony," Indiana Magazine of History 64 (March 1968), 45-46.
  • 14On the few early schools in Monroe County, see History of Lawrence and Monroe Counties, Indiana (Indianapolis, Ind., 1914), 261-63.
for both men and women in community matters (7); a plan for agriculture and manufacture in the community's future (11); a structure of departments and committees for community administration (14); an educational system which would mold each child into "a rational being and render him charitable benevolent and kind to all his fellow creatures" (19); liberty of religious thought and practice (21); the importance of non-violent, gradual change from one social system to another (31); and the assignment of domestic work to women members (33). The document also reveals the earliest structure of the community: William B. May, Jonathan Nichols, and John Givens are listed as the "Committee of Management" and Robert Hamilton is identified as the treasurer.15

After the constitution, signed by some members on April 10, and by others on April 15 and May 11, the next document related to the community is a land deed for 80 acres ("the West half of the South west quarter") of section 21 of Van Buren Township. The deed is signed by a "Committee of the Blue Spring Community," made up of John Givens, Jonathan Nichols, and Coonrod Kerns. No deed records indicate that any of the members who already owned land sold any of that property during the time that the community existed.16

Blue Spring also appears once more in the records of the New Harmony settlement. The January 31, 1827, edition of the New Harmony Gazette recorded:

We have recently received a visit from two members of the Blue-Spring Community, established about fifteen months since, near Bloomington in this state, who inform us that the society there proceeds harmoniously and prosperously.17

We have no contemporaneous accounts of life during the months that the community tried to enact the articles of its constitution. In 1938, Dr. Rodney D. Smith, a grandson of one of the signers, deposited a


  • 15See, for example, Walter B. Hendrickson, "An Owenite Society in Illinois," Indiana Magazine of History 45 (June 1949), 180-82; Wendall P. Fox, "The Kendal Community," Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly 20 (1911), 176-219.
  • 16General Land Office Records, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior, online at http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/. Kerns did not sign the constitution and there is no information available on him from the sources used for this article.
  • 17New Harmony Gazette, January 31, 1827, p. 142, online at http://www.workingmens institute.org/.
typescript titled "The Blue Spring Community" with the Monroe County Historical Society. Smith also gave information to Richard S. Simons for a 1941 article on the community. Histories that mention Blue Spring often rely on Rodney Smith's information, as well as oral traditions used by Simons; although Simons himself treated the information with due caution, subsequent accounts often cite tradition as fact and seldom refer to the original source.18

Simons's account of the community-more than a century after the fact-describes "twenty-four houses," a store, a granary, and a schoolhouse. According to patterns suggested by Owen, the log houses were said to be "erected in the form of a square with six dwellings to a side." Local informants also told Simons that after the dissolution of the community, some of the members moved their cabins to their own farms elsewhere in the township.19

Rodney Smith's account, based on his family stories, adds more information about the school at Blue Spring:

My grandfather, Dudley Chase Smith, who had come to Bloomington from Vermont and taught Bloomington's first school, was invited to teach the Community School. This he did for the year that the organization existed-1826-1827.

Finally, Smith's typescript suggests two contributing factors to the community's failure:

The industrious members would not tolerate the lazy ones. Then my grandfather said the women quarreled over what color to dye the homespun jeans they had woven to make the men's pants.20


  • 18For his account of the buildings at Blue Springs, Simons cites "Grant Thrasher, present owner of the Blue Spring farm and descendant of a pioneer family of the vicinity; Walter Borland, farmer, living near the site of the community and life-long resident of the vicinity." Simons, "A Utopian Failure," 104n15. Examples of later newspaper articles include "Museum Musings: Blue Springs, A Communal Experiment from Our Past," Bloomington Magazine April-May 1989; and Richard S. Simons, "The End of Utopia," Indianapolis Star Magazine, May 3, 1953, pp. 6-7, in which Simons eschewed some of his earlier caution about sources.
  • 19Simons, "A Utopian Failure," 104.
  • 20Rodney D. Smith, "The Blue Spring Community," copy of typescript, Blue Springs Community File, Local History Collection, Indiana Room, Monroe County Public Library, Bloomington, Indiana.

Did Blue Spring fail over the dye color of a batch of denim? Probably not, but both of the stories suggest that the small community, like other Owenite experiments, experienced insurmountable difficulties with the practical application of Owen's cooperative society. Communities seldom enjoyed the right mix of farmers and craftsmen for self-sufficiency.21 Cooperation did not overcome shortages of capital, and hastily built dwellings sometimes provided inadequate quarters for living and working in communal order. And like other Owenite communities, Blue Spring apparently attracted members who did not contribute their fair share of labor.

The dispute over homespun jeans also suggests that Blue Spring shared the problems that many Owenite communities faced over the gendered system of labor. The Blue Spring constitution is typical: women were allowed to vote on some community matters-issues of membership but not economics-but their labor was centered on traditional household tasks.22 Carol Kolmerton's study of women in Owenite communities finds that female members who objected to their workload were deemed disruptive and, in more than one instance (including Blue Spring), blamed for the demise of the community. As Kolmerton observes: "Domestic-service employments were vital for the survival of the community, so that an unquestioned sexual division of labor was extraordinarily useful."23

Blue Spring, like most of the Owenite communities that arose in the United States between 1824 and 1828, was short-lived. Its impact upon its members-who dispersed to their private farms and homes- and upon the larger community of south-central Indiana appears to have been equally ephemeral. It is worth remembering, however, as one of the many examples of Robert Owen's influence that took quick root in the soil of the American frontier but soon withered under the many challenges of that life.


  • 21Jonathan Nichols and Acquilla Rogers both possessed surveying skills: Nichols surveyed and platted the town of Bloomington in 1818, assisted by Rogers. Robert Hamilton was the owner of a grist mill; Orion Crocker worked as his millwright. Dudley C. Smith and Jonathan Nichols had teaching experience. There is no evidence of work, apart from farming, conducted by other community members. Simons, "A Utopian Failure," 106-107.
  • 22See articles 8 and 33.
  • 23Carol Kolmerten, "Egalitarian Promises and Inegalitarian Practices: Women's Roles in the American Owenite Communities, 1824-1828," The Journal of General Education 33 (Spring 1981), 31-44, quote p. 42.

CONSTITUTION OF THE BLUE SPRING COMMUNITY FOR THE PROMOTION OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY.24

We the undersigned believing that the numberless ills which are inflicted on mankind by poverty and ignorance in the individual system of society may be effectually remedied and avoided in future by adopting the social system of society recommended to the world by Robert Owen do mutually agree hereby to enter into our association of union and cooperation of skills and labour for producing distributing and enjoying the blessings of life in the most advantageous manner and for giving to our posterity a superior education both physically and mentally - and we do adopt and agree to be governed by the following constitution

Article 1st This community shall be located near the Blue Spring in town[ship] eight north range two west in the county of Monroe and State of Indiana which shall be known by the name of the Blue Spring Community.

Article 2d We the members of the community shall cooperate by their skill and labor in measures for procuring distributing and enjoying in the most advantageous manner a full supply of the necessaries and com- forts of life, for securing to their children the best physical and mental education and for gradually raising a fund for repaying the capital advanced by members and others.

Article 3d Members who furnish cash or real estate for the use of the community shall receive a certifficate for the same, and those who furnish property of any other description shall have the same appraised by the committee and receive a certificate for the amount in other property or release of the same upon withdrawal according to [a]greement of the parties.

Article 4th Any member wishing to withdraw from the community shall have liberty to do so at any time by giving a weeks notice to the committee, and if he or she be a certificate holder may receive a scrip for the amount baring interest at six per cent per annum.


  • 24A copy of the original document, as well as a typed transcript which accompanies the document by Rodney Smith, is in the "Blue Spring Community" file, Indiana Room, Monroe County Public Library. The transcription which appears here was done by the author, with occasional corrections from the typed transcript.

Article 5th No creditor wishing to withdraw shall have that right to claim any payment from the community under the term of five years except by special contract and whenever the funds of the community are sufficient to liquidate the debts of itself the money shall be tendered to each creditor.

Article 6th The committies of our arrangement shall be elected annually by a majority of the members in the community. They shall consist of odd numbers never less than three but may be increased to odd numbers according to the a[d]vice of the community; and the method of election in this community shall be by ballot.

Article 7th All male members eighteen years and older shall be considered legal actors in all matters pertaining to the community. Females over eighteen who are heads of families shall also be considered legal actors and all females over eighteen may have a voice in the receiving and rejecting members and all domestic matters of their own concern.

Article 8th The Treasurer shall receive all monies due or belonging to the community, disburse the same on order signed by the chairman and attested by the secretary, record all receipts and disbursements in a book kept for that purpose - and report to the committee weekly.

Article 9th The secretary shall keep a regular detailed statement of the important transactions of the community and present the same weekly to the committee two of whom shall examine and keep the same [and?] in their signatures with such observations as they may deem necessary.

Article 10th The books of the community shall at all times to the inspection of any of the members.

Article 11th As it is of the first importance that the community produce within itself a competency for the [use/care?] and convenience of all its members there shall be attached thereto a sufficient quantity of land for agricultural purposes and also for establishing manufactures and the other mechanics arts.

Article 12th Whenever the capital advanced by the members and others shall have been repaid all property both real and personal shall be held and used in common purposes.

Article 13th It shall be the duty of the committee to form rules and regulations for the government of the community and for the transactions of the daily business and submit the same for the reception or rejection of the members monthly or oftener if deemed necessary for the commu- nity.

Article 14th The business of the community shall be divided into the following departments. vis:

  • 1st The erection of buildings and general improvements
  • 2nd Agriculture and gardening
  • 3d Manufactures and trades
  • 4th Commercial transactions
  • 5th Domestic economy comprehending the arrangements for heating and ventillating cleaning and lighting the dwelling houses and public buildings the arrangements connected with the publick kitchen and din- ing halls those for the suply of clothing linnen and furniture for washing and drying and for the management of the dormitories
  • 6th Health or the superintendance of the sick including the arrangements to prevent sickness and contagion
  • 7th Police including the arrangements of cleaning and lighting the square, repairing roads and walks guarding against fire and the protection of the property from external depredations
  • 8th Education or the formation of character from infancy. To this department, will belong the devising of the best means of recreation

Art. 15th The aged widows and orphans shall be the peculiar care of the community and every relief that kindness can afford shall be administered.

Art 16th That, in regulating the employments of the members acording to their ages and abilities previous acquirements and situations in life. The committee shall pay due regard to the inclinations of each, consistent with the general good and that each one may if disposed occupy part of his time in agriculture.

Art. 17th That the committee introduces all modern and scientific improvements for the abridgement of labour to the greatest possible extent.

Art 18th All the memberes of the committe shall be equal in rights and privileges acording to their ages.

Art 19th As the right education of the rising generation is under divine Providence the basis on which the future prosperity and happiness of the community must be founded, the committee shall employ in this important concern those individuals whose talents attainments and dispositions render them best qualifyed for such a charge. The children of the community shall be educated together as one family in the school and exercise grounds provided for them, where they may at all times be under the inspection of their parents: and that each child may acquire good habits, and facility in reading and writing -- a knowledge of arithmetic, the elements of the most useful sciences, including geography and natural history, a practical knowledge of agriculture and domestic economy with a knowledge of some one useful trade or manufacture so that his employment be varyed for the improvement of his physical and mental powers; and lastly a knowledge of himself and of human nature to form him into a rational being and render him charitable benevolent and kind to all his fellow creatures.

Art 20th All the children in the community shall be entitled to membership by inheritance and when the members shall become too numerous for our community, a second shall be formed. The number of individuals in the community shall not exceed two thousand.

Art 21st as liberty of conscience religio[u]s and mental liberty will be proffessed by every member of this community, arrangements shall be made to accomodate all d[en]om[in]ations with convenient places of worship; and it shall be the duty of each individual to exibit in his whole conduct the utmost forbearance, kindness and charity towards all who may differ from him.

Art 22nd Every member who wishes to support the gospel or give anything to the poor, shall be allowed so much as may be deemed necesary to be appropriated, as he may think proper.

Art 23d The committe shall form arrangement, by which all the members shall enjoy equal opportunities of visiting their friends elsewhere, and traveling for improvements, and other objects.

Art 24th Members may receive their friends to visit them provided they be answerable, that, such visitors during their stay do not transgress the rules of the society.

Art 25 The use of spiritous liquors shall be excluded, except when prescr[i]bed as a medicine.

Art 26 The society shall not be answerable for the debts of any member further than the amount of property advanced by him.

Art 27th Every member shall furnish his own provisions and clothing, house hold furniture and kitchen furniture for the first year, for which the community shall allow him a reasonable compensation. And if he have a family, for his wife and each child sixteen years old and over, he shall receive a propo[r]tionable compensation as is provided for in receiving other property. And at the expiration of the year all of the above described articles remaining in his possession shall be valued and received into the stock of the community, except such articles as the family wish to retain as their own.

Art 28th In case of a withdrawel of any of the members from the community, such gratuity shall be allowed as a majority of the [word missing] shall agree upon.

Art 29th The committee may receive men on probation; but no person shall be received into full membership; but by the unanimous consent of all the legal voters present at a general meeting.

Art 30th Persons whose peculiar circumstances may render it inexpedient for them to be received as members, may enjoy like comforts and intelectual advantages with the members and their children enjoy like advantages as the children of the community.

Art 31st If the conduct of any individual be immoral or injurious to the community, it s[h]all be the duty of every member to use every argument that kindness can dictate to reclaim such individual; and in no case shall any members be allo [w]ed to use reproachful epithets: should this course prove ineff[ec]tual such offender shall be excluded from the community. three fourths of the members present at a general meeting concuring therein.

Art 32nd All dealings and transactions with general society shall be done by the committee or their authorised agents; provided they make no contracts over a hundred dollars without the consent of a majority of the members.

Art 33d The employment of the female part of the community shall consist in preparing food and clothing, in the care of dwelling houses and dormitories, in the management of washing and drying helping in the education (in part) of the children, and such other employments as are suited to the female capacity.

Art 34th With regard to domestic consumption every individual shall be fully supplied with the necessaries of life.

Art 35th Any member of the community who is apointed guardian and having a child or children a proportionable part (according to the number of the family) of the money and property such number may have put into the community.

Art 36th Any of the members may propose amendments or alterations in writing to the committee at the general meeting which shall lie over until the next meeting and may then be adopted by unanimous consent provided vested rights be not contravened.

In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands this tenth day of April AD 1826

In presence of us

Isaac Pauley
John T. Berry

Jonathan Nichols
Robert Hamilton
John M. Berry
Elizabeth Berry
Amos Cox
John A. Givens
William Berry
Hannah Berry
Richard B. McCorkle
William B. Mary

April 15 1826
Orion S. Crocker
Philip Rogers
Elizabeth Cox
Sarah Cox
Dudley C. Smith
Elizabeth Bailey
Elisa Nichols
Ibby McCorkle

May 11
Parker Byford
Chesley D. Bailey
Acquilla Rogers Sr.
James Matlock
William B. Ferguson
Thomas Fullerton
Perseus Harris
James Bailey W
illiam Armstrong

Committee of Management
William B. May
Jonathan Nichols
John A. Givens

Treasurer
Robert Hamilton



Published by theĀ Indiana University Department of History.