Letter from Samuel Cornish to Robert Owen

Scope and Content

This manuscript letter opens with discussion of the proposed publication of a pamphlet recording the history of the Rappites who lived at Harmony, Indiana prior to Owen establishing a community there. The desire to publish is emanates from "co-operative friends", and Owen is asked to provide the details; where the establishment is now situated, what amount of capital they have accumulated, what is the state of morals or the extent of crime and the progress of the community since the death of the founder "old Mr Rapp" [Johann Georg Rapp] are amongst the questions Cornish feels Owen will be able to answer. Cornish enquires of the success of the Rappites, as professed previously by Owen, and ponders as to why they have not been overrun by "thousands of Labourers & poor men...as would be the case in England" and writes that if "co-operation has thus been crowned with such complete success - it would seem the most desirable thing that could be, to make the fact generally known".

Further discussion of the feasibility of using the Rappite community as an example of the practicality of Owen's thoughts on property follows with Cornish supportive of such a move, despite adding that it may contradict Owen's assertions of " Superstition and Community".

Cornish continues to discuss his feelings that Owen may need to reach out to Christians and meet them "half way"; this could be done by Owen's "disciples", so as not to necessitate Owen his "elevated philosophical position", through joining with those who are calling for "Sabbath restrictions" and demand a " Charter of Incorporation".


Stamped number: 787