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City of RefugeSeparatists and Utopian Town Planning$
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Michael J. Lewis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691171814

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691171814.001.0001

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(p.169) 7 Economy
City of Refuge

Michael J. Lewis

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes Robert Owen (1771–1858), a Welsh industrialist and social reformer, and Johann Georg Rapp's equal as a utopian visionary. In the summer of 1824, Rapp bought three thousand acres on the Ohio River, twenty-four miles downriver of Pittsburgh, and sent his advance party of builders ahead to erect the first houses. There they would be joined by the rest of the Harmonists in the summer of 1825. In the meantime, Rapp put New Harmony and its thirty thousand acres on the market, and only one buyer was ever seriously considered, Owen. Owen was one of the most complicated and ambitious personalities of the Industrial Revolution who saw no reason why the principles of running a rational and efficient cotton mill could not be applied to all of human society. He sought to create a visionary town, to which he gave the stirring and poignantly hopeful name Village of Unity and Mutual Co-operation.

Keywords:   Robert Owen, Johann Georg Rapp, town planning, Pennsylvania, Harmonists, Industrial Revolution

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