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Oneida Community Collection

Life of John Humphrey Noyes, Volumes, IV - VI, The O.C. Part II

Noyes, George Wallingford [compiler]

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Call number: [Vol] 18, G[eorge] W[allingford] Materials, Vol. IV, 1855 - 1863; Vol. V, 1864 - 1878; Vol. VI 1880, Oneida Community Collection

This digital edition is part of the Syracuse University Library's Oneida Community Collection.

Life of John Humphrey Noyes, Volumes, IV - VI, The O.C. Part II

Noyes, George Wallingford [compiler]

Contained in a binder, the typescripts, journal entries, and excerpts from Community publications comprise the intial efforts of George Wallinford Noyes to write a biography of the founder, John Humphrey Noyes, and a history of the Oneida Community. The work is incomplete. The binder contains chapters numbered 4 to 6 by the compiler, and covers the early days, the Wallingford Community "Epoch"," and the breakup of the Oneida Community.

In an undated note at the beginning of the binder, JRL [John R. Lord?] writes:

"To me the important part of George's two volumes are the pages in volume two giving a very complete account of the harmonious way in which the Community discussed freely and finally arrived at a plan to disolve and rearrange as a stock corporation.

The discussion was only in the small [Towner] group.

The meetings held in the Hall are reported fully in the pages for July, August, and September 1880 in the latter part of Volume 2.


Volume 1 is assumed to be lost .


Vol. IV, 1855 - 1863


Vol. V, 1864 - 1878

Vol. VI, 1880

Vol. IV, 1855 - 1863

Industry & Finance

January 22, 1855 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

The names of eighteen men and as many women were drawn out last night as partners for today's washing. Mr. R. volunteered to start the fires and make necessary preparations.  By half-past four this morning the company were gathered in the long washroom engaged in the various processes of rubbing, wringing and rinsing, by which the soiled clothes of our 180 members are made to come out white and new. Darkness and tempest without, but cheerful lights and a merry hum within.  In two hours the breakfast bell rings, and all adjourn to the diningroom, where we washers have the post of honor.

After breakfast, one-half hour still by candle light for the bible-game.  All assemble in the parlor.  Our study is five chapters in the book of Numbers.  Then away to the different departments of work, to the woods, to the barn, to the shops, the mill and that printing-office.  The mingling of the sexes in labor is more and more encouraged in view of its great practical benefit.  At quarter before 12 M. the bell rings for a return.  At 12 precisely, dinner.  At one the bell rings, and Mr. R. and Mrs. W. appear in the parlor with piles of carpet-bag material.  This is the hour for the carpet-bag bee, and few are willing to be absent.   The room is soon filled, the doors are opened for ventilation, and a hundred needles are put in operation by old and young men and women, the children waiting upon his with threaded needles, and some forming a braiding group in one end of the room.  Too o-clock, a song is given, and those whose work is abroad or at the shops leave, the rest continuing another hour.  Supper gathers all again at a quarter-past five, and at half-past six the classes meet at their various rooms for study and recitation.  There are ten classes including, I believe, all the adults and youth of the Community, and the studies which have called them voluntarily together are as follows:  3 in Greek, 2 in grammar, 1 in history, 1 in spelling, 1 in arithmetic, 1 in natural sciences, 1 in French.  Three-fourths of an hour is given to this exercise.  Business consultations by the heads of different departments follow, and arrangements are made for the industry of to-morrow.  At half-past seven commences the evening gathering in the parlor:  correspondence, newspaper reports, business reports, general conversation and religious testimony occupy the evening.

May 14, 1855 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

It is customary during this season to appoint "bees" for specific jobs nearly every morning at 5 o'clock, and no part of the day is more pleasantly spent than this gregarious hour before breakfast.  Any one who has the responsibility of a job may mention it the evening before with an invitation to a general bee, and the red rising of the sun next morning greets us in the field.  One morning this week it was the kitchen group, which invited to a bee in the meadows for gathering cowslips for dinner:  another time the farmers called for the filling up of a ditch where drain tiles have been laid: a third morning the carpenters headed a party for cleaning the litter of a new building. These spontaneous labor-sorties, lasting but an hour in the purest and sweetest of morning air, with the sparkling dew, and the flowers and birds to accompany, are as attractive as they are effective.

August 26, 1855 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

We have had a financial report this evening. The showing was on the whole cheering. Oneida has gradually reduced her debts this summer, and the present prospect is that the remaining debts will be met promptly and without difficulty.  Mr. Noyes remarked that he did not want to be relieved from the pressure necessary to make us economical and industrious...

Mr. Thayer reported that we had received for vegetables this season up to the present time $1034.00 besides $30 or $40 trusted out.  Mr. Carr reported that the profits of the silk trade since last April has amounted to $1025.00. Mr. Burnham reported that 1854 and some odd pounds of cheese had been made this season.

Mr. Carr guarantees, with twenty men appropriated to peddling for the months of October and November, to clear $1000.00. He considered himself very safe in making this pledge.  It was alluded to, but left for after-thought.  The business will undoubtedly bee prosecuted vigorously for the next two or three months.

Mr. Newhouse reported about $300.00 worth of traps on hand.  He had a project for two men to go to Brown's Tract and trap during the month of October.   He is sanguine that $200.00 can be realized from such an expedition.  Game is reported plentiful and furs are high.  G.W. Noyes said he would vote for the bill if presented.

Speaking of pleasant weather Mr. Noyes said he felt better and better through the day, and toward night would begin to feel tipsy jolly.

For supper a truly sumptuous blackberry short cake; enough of it; nothing else on the table but water.

September 12, 1855 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

In the kitchen persons are busily engaged in various kinds of work, and still all goes on with ease and quietness. Lady Burnham is in the archway laying down cucumbers with Mr. Burnham to assist.  Mr. Pitt and Margaret are cooking plums and putting them up in glass jars.  Miss Burgess is spreading corn to dry.  A group of little boys and girls are shelling peas for dinner.  The kitchen company are paring apples for puddings, making bread etc. Messrs. Campbell and Barron are heating the oven and seeing to things in general.  Charles Joslyn and Mrs. Abbott are putting the clothes to soak preparatory to washing.  Several spoke of having a good time in their work today.

November 30, 1855 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

Mrs. Norton and Mrs. Abbott put on their last quilt this morning in the large tent-room.  A pleasant company having been busily engaged there throughout the day. At half-past four tea was prepared for the party of 22, including Messrs. Noyes and Burt, who were seated one at each end of the table.  Mr. Noyes made some happy remarks about having a tea party, and thanked God for a good family feeling.  He thought our experience the past year had shown a great improvement in happiness.   We had had some rough work to do, but it was only a proof-sheet to be corrected, and he would predict a better one to come. The criticisms that were going on indicated deeper earnestness and consequent improvement.

December 2, 1855 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 4: 182. ~

A fashion of little private tea-parties is having quite a run in the Community, and there is truly a sparkle of inspiration in them. This evening the milkers have had a supper.  There were present about 25, including all the officials of the dairy department and barn. The table was set at the dairy house, and the repast consisted of milk, pop-robin, butter cheese, custard, bread, pie and cake:  milk being the staple article and entering into all the compounds.  It was a sweet, white meal.  The health of Mr. Lawton, the chief manager of the barn, was drunk, to which he responded with some appropriate remarks on the condition of his department, its prosperity, and comparative attractiveness, which was ascribed partly to the fact that the milking had been elevated into one of the respectable businesses of the Community, J.H.N. and others whose presence always ensures enthusiasm and genial influences having engaged in it with heart and zest through the season.  Our milking department affords an encouraging example of what can be done to make a repulsive business agreeable.

December 16, 1855 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 4: 182. ~

Agreeably to a suggestion by Mr. Noyes a party was given this evening for the benefit of the boys who got up the cows and drove them to pasture last summer and fall.  The boys chose partners, being made free to follow their hearts; they chose mostly adults. The tables were set in the school-room. It was a pleasant sight, and the occasion seemed to be highly enjoyed by all.  The following memorial was posted conspicuously in the room, and was finally read and drunk for a toast:

Honor to the Youthful Heroes, who, in loyal obedience to the Association, used last fall to quit their beds in the dark hours of the morning, and with lantern in hand, sometimes alone and sometimes through storm and mud, go to the distant pastures and gather the cows, encountering discomforts, not to say dangers, worthy of the courage of pretty stout men.

Coffee and doughnuts for dinner today. Supper in the parlor. Thee parlor meals are quite popular. In place of classes this evening we are to have a lecture by Alfred Barron on the subject of marl. Mr. Burt has commenced preparation for a trip-hammer in the trap-shop.

January 10, 1856 ~ Voice From The Trap-shop. ~

I don't know what the good folks up-stairs in the printing-office think of the clatter we make down here: but I take leave to say to them that I, for one, enjoy it mightily.  It suits me in various moods of the imagination.  For instance, yesterday, which was Sunday, the ring of our six anvils in the morning sounded like the cheerful call of church-bells, and reminded me of the morning chimes we used to hear booming from the Trinity steeple. And then to-day, Sunday associations having given place to the more chivalrous feeling of week-day enterprise, I enjoyed in the midst of swinging hammers, flights of fire, and noisy confusion the excitement and sublimity of battle.  We had the rattle of small hammers at the vices for pistol shots, the steady clank of the anvils for the rolling fire of musketry, and now and then the thunder of the trip-hammer for a big battery of cannon.  Thank God for a place in the front rank of this work-battle! Have patience with our noise, friends upstairs!  While you are writing for us, we are fighting for you. 


January 20, 1856 ~ Voice From The Trap-shop. ~

The Printing Department had a supper on the occasion of the closing of the volume.  The trap manufacturers and all other operators in the building were invited. A table was set nearly the length of the office.  Bread and butter, citron preserve and frosted cake were had for eatables, and pure Java for drink. After partaking of the repast the following toasts were offered:

Our Trap Shop Associates.   "We've a liking for their striking." The Lord be with them in the great work battle, and let their motto be:  "Strike." Let every nerve and sinew tell on ages, tell for God!

A Free, Religious, Daily Press devoted to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ.

John H. Noyes, Founder of the Free Press, Christ's visible leader of the Resurrection Army, and Champion of the truth.

Our fellow-soldiers at Putney, Wallingford, and Newark.

February 1, 1856 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

A committee was appointed to see about fixing up the Burt house and grounds.  It is proposed to have Mr. Aiken open up a shop there and take in work from our neighbors. It was thought best to make the place as attractive as we reasonably could, in view of appropriating it for the shoe, dentist, and tailoring departments.

We have finished the wrought iron gears for our spring rollers.  They work well. We shall now be able to get our traps along faster.  Orders for traps begin again to come in.

March 4, 1856 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.5: 27. ~

Our preserved tomatoes in cans and jars have been tested in the neighboring cities, and are liked.  Preparations are being made for enlarging this business the coming season.  Mr. Pitt is now on a tour of inquiry and inspection with a view to gathering the best information in all that relates to raising and preserving fruit.  Preparations for building a fruit house are in progress.

May 8, 1956 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

We have a new institution this spring for facilitating business - a Central Board composed of about 15 members selected from all the different departments, who meet twice a week precisely at 11 o'clock A.M., and close the session at noon.

April 22, 1856 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.  5:55. ~

An order was received for 1000 traps from a Milwaukee dealer.  The farmers are afraid the trap-shop will have to retain all its hands through the summer.

Weekly financial reports show that the income of the Community now exceeds its expenses in a satisfactory ratio.

Eight peddlers start out this week, taking with them nearly $2000 worth of silk.  Some go as far as St. Louis, Milwaukee and Cincinnati.

June 1, 1856 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 5:  79. ~

es, others had what they considered little private earnings:  he only wished to divert what might be spent for private pleasure into a fund for Community use. This revealed a state of things which it was thought required some purification.  It is natural, as our business extends and we multiply points of contact with the world, that the spirit of the world about money should leak in, and we need double vigilance to escape its contamination.  The Community principle is that all our acquisitiveness should be turned toward filling the public treasury, and it was thought that even the boys could learn to appreciate this motive to industry.  Finally the idea of a music-fund or any such side operation was given up, and it was proposed to pass around the plate and collect what pocket-money should be voluntarily offered, so bringing our talk to a practical conclusion.  The proposition was received enthusiastically:  and while the plate was passing and some whose pieces were laid elsewhere were going out and returning, there was an animated scene.  All tongues seemed.

We have had it in contemplation for a year or two to buy a fount of music type, but the state of treasury has not hitherto seemed to warrant an appropriation for this purpose.  Two or three months ago some one who was interested proposed a contribution-box should be kept to catch all the old shillings and sixpences which might find their way into private pockets.   One night lately attention was called to the music fund; it was slowly making up and the treasurer hoped it would not be forgotten by any who had stray bits.  This gave rise to conversation about the propriety of the proceeding; whether it was not recognizing the principle of private property, and whether it was not a simple farce, taking out of one pocket and putting into another. The one who started the subject said that it was not in his heart to recognize anything but the Community principle, but he was aware that it was quite common for members to carry pocket-money; boys got it by selling muskrat skins, peddlers and those who did business with the world had change in their purs-let loose, as on the day of Pentecost, and a happy, fraternal feeling flowed in.  To the surprise of all the collection amounted to more than forty dollars.

December 21, 1856 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

A dinner was given to our young men today. It was John Hutchins' birthday, Daniel Abbott came of age a few days ago, and others will soon. The dinner consisted of Java coffee, biscuit and butter, custard pie, and some excellent crackers made by Mr. Nash. One o'clock was the hour. At half-past two we had a dance. On the whole quite an affair.

The subject of retrenchment was brought up, as we have about $2000 to pay out within the next fortnight.  Mr.  N.   said a committee should be appointed to investigate and put their finger on the spot where retrenchment could be made.   General exhortations did not do much good. For his part he thought we were not extravagant in our food - were not eating ourselves "out of house and home."  But very likely an opportunity for retrenchment would be found in the dress department. Without criticising the present company he thought the women were 200 years behind the men in exercising good sense in their dress; and he did not think the men were fully civilized yet. There was some criticism of the women for buying ribbons and many such things.  Notwithstanding considerable joking about whale bone, garters etc., there was criticism of the spirit that would follow fashion . . .

Mr. Kinsley thought there might be improvement in respect to giving presents.  If the present was something that was really needed, there might be no objection; but all had birthdays, and one wanted a present as much as another. Often those appreciated and needed most got the least.  Thus the giving of presents caused temptations to evil-thinking.

The subject of private parties was talked over. Mr. Noyes said he was afraid that in these some were omitted while others were invited often.   The discussion led to the general party today, and it was thought best to give up the private parties.

January 27, 1857 ~ G.C. TO C.A.M. ~

What do you say?

4 P.M.:  I have just returned from the trap-shop, where I have conversed with Messrs. Newhouse, Burt, Kinsley and others about chain-making at Wallingford, and it pleases them much.  The machinery and tools necessary can be made here with little expense.   We shall not have much to do but to fix up a room for a few small forges and vices.  The women and boyes make all the chains here.  The profit on them is greater than on the traps.  All this, Charlotte, is the result of your remarks on the subject of indoor employment in your last Journal.

Jan. 28:  Last evening I brought forward the subject of chain-making at Wallingford in the general meeting, and it received a very hearty approval. Mr. Noyes is in favor of having us start it immediately.

(In October 1857 Noyes visited Wallingford. He spent most of the day working in the chain-shop.  Many of the women worked there by turns.)

January 27, 1857 ~ Oneida ~ GEORGE CRAGIN TO CHARLOTTE A. MILLER.

I have thought a great deal since being here about more indoor employment for our Wallingford family.  How different it is here in that respect:   The trap-shop furnishes constant employment for all who apply there for work.  Last evening, while sitting beside J.H.N. in Harriet's room, he remarked that possibly we might carry on the manufacture of trap-chains at Wallingford. The making of chains is now quite a branch of the trap business, and it does not require any power.   The smallest chain is sold for $1.00 per dozen, or 8 cents per chain, and the stock for one does not cost over 1 1/2 cents. The expense for freight from Wallingford to Oneida would be but a trifle on a chain.  There is but little or no doubt that the demand for traps will soon reach 50,000 a year, and chains will be wanted for not less than 30,0000 of them.  At a net profit of 6 cents per chain, 30,000 chains would pay us $1800.00 for our labor. It is very easy, simple work, and all the boys and girls could work at it.

May 25, 1857 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.    6:57. ~

Left today Mr. J.J.FRANKS, who has been our visitor for a few days past Himself an experienced book-keeper in a leading New York bank and an enthusiast in his business, he has from the time of his first acquaintance with the Community been assiduous in his endeavors to introduce a perfect system of account-keeping among us.  Our communal relations not rendering it altogether essential that any rigid accounts should be kept except with the outside world, we have shown more indifference to his wishes in this respect than we should have otherwise done.  But our present book-keeper being also an enthusiast in figures, and having been brought to appreciate the superior system practised by Mr. Franks, an attempt will be made to introduce it as far as practicable.

November 4, 1857 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

In the evening meeting a new list of both men and women for the boot-blacking business were called for, and a long list was forthcoming.  There were some more women than men, however.

February 10, 1858 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

Banquet in the trap-shop.  G.W. Hamilton (foreman) master of ceremonies:   guests, all that have worked in the shop this winter, the number not less than sixty men, women, boys and girls.   The table was set in the shop, with a bench of drills and vices on one side, a punch machine, grindstone and drops on the other, a ponderous rolling machine near the head, furnaces and forges in the background. It was tastily arranged, the spotless linen and the lustrous white of the dishes contrasting well with the surrounding dinginess.  After a dance in the loft the company sat down to the repast.  It was simple compared with a banquet abroad, but the sumptuous compared with our ordinary fare.  Two varieties of cooked cereal, butter, a dish of preserved fruit, coffee composed the feast. The forenoon had been blustering, but just as the table was filled the sun broke out and shed a cheerful radiance over the scene.  At the same time music sent its thrilling sound from an adjoining room.  After the repast one was called upon for a speech, and he on sitting down called upon another; in this way we had some ten or twelve impromptu toasts. There is some depression of trade at this season, but the sun-break just as the guests were seated as taken as an omen of fair weather ahead.  The effect of the occasion was to encourage industry and provoke brotherly love, which, after all, are the products most thought of here.

March 2, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 7: 35. ~

Talks about our finances.  The Community treasury is low now-a-days.   The "hard times" have diminished our income from the sale of traps very perceptibly, and our income from other sources is proportionally small.  We wish to take a cheerful faith view of the matter, and on the other hand it is thought expedient to "trim our sails to the breeze" as well as we can - purchase nothing that we can well dispense with, do all we can to increase our income and wait hopefully for better times.

April 2, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR, 7:   43. ~

For a year or two past it has been customary with the Community to allot small parcels of land to such of its boys as desired to cultivate a garden for themselves, the avails of which they were free to use in any manner they pleased.  The question of continuing this practice the present season was discussed this evening. On the one hand a wish was generally expressed to gratify the boys in their desire to cultivate a small piece of ground:  but on the other hand there was quite a decided feeling against allowing such a thing as this to encourage in them the love of money or of individual property, which has been the tendency of their private gardening operations heretofore.   All the boys as well as the men should merge all other desires in that of the general interest of the Community, and expect that it will care for all individual interests.  In conclusion a committee was appointed to confer with the boys on the subject, find out their desires, and advise with them accordingly.

July 28, 1858 ~ THE.CIRCULAR, O.S.  7: 107. ~

Berry-parties seem to take the place this year of fishing excursions.  The Kitchen Department have gone riding today to a huckleberry pasture a dozen miles away.

August 1, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.  7: 107. ~

Our financial situation was pretty well canvassed this evening, and it was unanimously agreed that, however straitened our circumstances may be, there should be no grumbling, no finding fault with Providence.  We shall be contented and thankful, and with cheerful hearts do all we can to prospects.

October 28, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.  7:158. ~

A topic of some interest with us now is the moral influence of the silk-peddling business, and the character of its official management.  It is thought to have become too irresponsible.  The peddlers go and come, choose their own routes and terms of absence without sufficient central control.  Some are negligent about writing home, which is unfavorable to their good relations with us. The temptations of trade and the seductions of money have been fully discussed.  It seems almost impossible for persons to enter the great sphere of covetousness and handle its currency without losing some of their simplicity of heart. The Community principle forbids us to help ourselves to what we want:  our wants are supplied from the public treasury, and are controlled by its resources.  This principle should extend to those who do business which puts money in their pocket as well as the rest.  But successful traffic is found to be a temptation to self-appropriation.  The question of two prices has been discussed.   Is it lawful to take what you can get instead of sticking to what you consider a fair remuneration?  Peddlers who have tried both ways say they have more satisfaction in adhering to one price, no matter at what sacrifice, than in the system of prevarication which two prices almost compel.  Another question is, What shall be done with doubtful money? Another question is, whether it is the duty of persons riding in the cars to hunt up the conductor and pay their fare if he fails for any reason to call for it.  Some of our folks are conscientious enough to take a good deal of pains to find him, if he does not find them:  others have felt justified in letting him take care of his own business.  It was thought to be the meanest kind of sneaking to evade the payment of railroad fare in any manner.  The whole peddling business is up for judgment in our court of criticism, and the result will be its abandonment or thorough purification and reform.

November 1, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 7:163. ~


Fix upon your route and time of absence before starting, and adhere to them as nearly as possible.

Write to the Cashier at home at least as often as once a week.

Never sell a poor article of silk for a good one.

Adhere to the arrangement of prices agreed upon for the wholesale, retail and Jobbing trades without deviation. You are at liberty to adapt your prices to the locality where you may be:  but you are not to have different prices to the same class of customers in any one locality.

Never allow a known mistake in quantity, price, or making change to go unrectified.

Never defraud a railroad company.   Pay your fares, and return all passage-tickets to the conductors whenever it is possible to do so.

Be on your guard against counterfeits, but never pass them.  If a bad or suspected bill is taken, return it immediately to the person from whom it was received. Otherwise keep or destroy it.

Never offer to pass uncurrent money for more than its value.

Be prepared on your return to make a full report of your transactions.

Be truthful in all cases, if it costs you a trade.

December 22, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.  7: 195. ~

The demand for traps is so free now, we shall be compelled to do one of three things:  either fall behind our orders, or put more force into the shop this winter, or calculate to work in the shop next summer.  In view of this necessity the other departments have consented to detail several hands, and Wallingford is to be drawn on for one or two.

May 14, 1859 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 8: 67. ~

Talk about the New House.  It was thought the best economy to build it at once as large as we expected to need:  and its size must be determined by settling the question, What is the true limit of an integral family?  Our theory on this subject is that a Community Family should include all that pertains to a thriving village.  We should have a number sufficient to live within ourselves without hiring help from abroad. There should be some engaged in manufacturing, whose exports would be enough to pay for imports manufactured more economically in other villages.  From three to four hundred was thought to be the right number.

December 15, 1859 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.  8: 187. ~

Our young men between the ages of 15 and 22 have the entire forenoon for study, and then fill the shop from 1 till half past 7 P.M. except an interval for supper.

December 22, 1859 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 8: 187. ~

Industrial activity has redoubled.   The mingling of all ages and both sexes in the enthusiasm of our mechanical department has a uniting effect socially.   The material result is seen in the erection of an addition to our Mansion, additions to the Trap-shop and Green-house, the introduction of new machinery, and the paying off of our land debt, which by the loan of a few hundred dollars was effected on the first of December, so that the domain of 386 acres now rests in the Community's possession with a clear title.

Notwithstanding the addition to the Mansion, every available building on the premises is finished off and occupied. Our only outlook for the further enlargement of the family must be toward the building of a new house.

November 6, 1862 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

It is tremendous to think of, but we are $715 behind our orders for bags.  Mr. Noyes is quite stirred up about hiring help:  thinks we could employ many at Depot and Castle, who are out of employment. He has authorized Mr. Bradley to "put it through."  Mrs. Wilcox is going to take work, and Julia Hyde, and perhaps Mr. Eddy's daughters. Anyhow something will be done.

November 11, 1862 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

We have put out some bag work.

November 18, 1862 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

Mr. Noyes wrote the following on his slate, and G.W. Noyes read:

"It seems to me desirable that in entering upon the hiring system we should discuss and settle the principle which is to govern us in regard to bringing workmen into our family.  I think that the mixing up of the family with its hired men will not only be bad for the spiritual interests of the family, but will be unprofitable in a business point of view, because the free habits of the family in regard to labor are very different from those which will be necessary for men under wages."

December 31, 1862 ~ Oneida ~ NOYES TO THE FAMILY.

While the Community discountenances secret speculation, hoarding and spending, may we not recognize as reasonable and consistent with the Community spirit that desire which we all have for a little pocket money, with which we may be free to gratify our individual whims, or make presents to our particular friends?  If there is anything legitimate in this desire, let us provide for it by a legitimate institution that shall supersede the present irregular and demoralizing working of it among the young.  With this end in view I would offer for the consideration of the Community the proposition that once in three months, i.e. on the first of January, April, July and October it shall be the duty of the treasurer to distribute to every child at the children's house one shilling, and to every other member of the Community twenty-five cents.  Of course those who do not want the bounty can give it back, and those who take it can spend it as they please in presents to themselves, their sweethearts, or the Community.

If this institution, or something like it, should be approved on trial to work well, it might be understood that as the Community advances toward its destined millennial abundance, the quarterly distribution shall be doubled, tripled, quadrupled, and so on, till all shall be as free with the dollars as they now are with the gooseberries.

December 31, 1862 ~ Oneida Journal. ~

Last night a committee was appointed to decide on the allotment of money to be distributed.  Tonight the committee reported that all persons under fifteen should have one shilling, and all persons over that age should have two shillings.

Education, Drama, & Lectures

December 22, 1855 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

This evening G.W. Noyes announced at the table that there would be speaking in the parlor at the ringing of the bell Curtains were put up across the east end of the parlor, where two tents were furnished with evergreen. At the ringing of a small bell the curtains were drawn, and Homer Smith spoke a piece.  Next was a song by H.W. Burnham.  Then came a play taken from the Book of Ruth in six parts with music between the scenes.

December 25, 1856 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

A first-rate appetite is the characteristic of our educational state at present.  There is less machinery but more spontaneous enthusiasm in studies of all kinds than ever before.  The old engage in them with all the zest of the young.  Men who have lived one life, you would say, and a life perhaps of hard-handed toil, set themselves to studying French:  (and they may be seen in the intervals of business drawing out of their pockets a sheet on which is printed for home use the conjugation of the verb avoir. We noticed yesterday a stout striker at the anvil, while he waited for his partner to make the finishing strokes on the trap springs they were drawing, turn to his lesson of French verbs pinned on the window at his right hand.)  A few nights ago we heard a lad ask his father what the difference was between algebra and arithmetic.  His father worked out for him two or three simple sums by the algebraic process. The boy's curiosity was excited, and now we see him every night at the same hour with is book and slate, pursuing the study by himself.  Knots of boys may be seen after supper, watching the solution of some difficult problem that has brought one of them to a stop, perhaps, in school.

August 8, 1857 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

After supper a company of Fantastics came up from the direction of the mill and performed on the lawn.   They danced and sang and paraded their silly costumes and antics until the beholders held their sides with laughter.   Then the leader made a comical speech.   Although he tried hard to disguise his voice, we knew it to be William Hinds, the wag of the Community.  The others, we afterward learned, were Myron Kinsley, John Hutchins, George and Jared Allen, George Kellogg, John Sears and Henry Clark. They disappeared the way they came, the boys following them to the gate, trying to pull of their old rags. This seemed to be an attempt on the part of the boys to satisfy the love of comedy, and they succeeded very well. It was hoped that we should be able to provide our own amusements without going to the Dept for them.

Dancing till eight, music by the brass band till half-past, then our evening meeting ended the day.

October 24, 1857 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

Declamations in the parlor by the young men at half-past six.  A stage was built across the east end of the room with sliding curtains before it.   All thought that the performers did very well.

October 25, 1857 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 6: 163. ~

Conversation on the subject of the stage, declamations, dramatic art, etc., for which there seems to be a good deal of inspiration in the Community this season.  It was thought that such performances would be a good school, both for those that took part and for the audience too, and that they might result finally in our writing our own plays.  An invitation was extended to all who wished to join the class in public speaking.

November 14, 1857 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

The stage was put into the parlor yesterday afternoon, and this forenoon the players have been performing in preparation for the evening and for the benefit of the children who will not be present as the room would be too crowed.

9 O'clock:  Our play is over, and all are well satisfied.   Certainly it has been very entertaining. A beautiful representation of a street was made by G.W. Noyes and Mr. Delatre, and in this a good many of the scenes were acted.  The moonlight scene and one or two others were acted among large evergreen trees prettily arranged. The dresses were fine; jewelry and tinsel sparkled.  The duke's crown and a good many of the fixings and badges were borrowed from the Odd Fellows Hall at the Depot.  The duke (H.W. Burnham) with his crown and other ornaments, seated upon his throne with his officers about him looked "a very king."  Helen Noyes as Portia looked and played her part admirably.   She appeared well in men's clothes as the young doctor. The panorama of a street in Venice was very fine.

On one side of it was the Jew's houses, where Jessica talked with Lorenzo from the window:  on the other side Portia's house, all as natural as life.

November 18, 1857 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

This evening the play was offered for criticism. All were pretty well pleased with it so far, but thought that it ought not to break into business hours. The young men had the forenoon for school, and they should attend to business faithfully in the afternoon. Mr. Noyes thought we should be simple, and not get up anything that would cost much.

November 21, 1857 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.  6:179. ~

The following notice was posted on the bulletin-board during the day:

Supper at half-past four o'clock.   Dramatic Exercises to commence at half-past five o'clock.

"The Merchant of Venice." Dramatis Personne.   Here followed a list of those engaged, 22 persons. With a short intermission the performance occupied the evening.  It was commenced by a confession of Christ.  It was of sufficient interest to keep the unwearied attention of the audience to the end, and demonstrated one thing at least, hat we have abundant resources for entertainment among ourselves.

March 5, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.  7:27. ~

H.W. Burnham has signified his enthusiasm for vocal music by starting a movement for its more through cultivation.   The 50 singers among us have been divided into seven companies, each with its leader, and the circles so formed are to have regular meetings for the practice of Quartette singing.  The division into small companies, it is thought, will give some special facilities for thorough practice, and excite the ambition for improvement.

March 6, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 7:27. ~

Dramatic exercises in the evening.   First was the Bible story of Joseph and his brethren. This was followed by three acts from Shakespeare's comedy Taming of the Shrew.   Our assembly room is so small that we shall be precluded from enlarging our attempts in this direction.

May 11, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 7:63. ~

Bills of musical entertainments, menageries and exhibitions of various kinds are brought up from the Depot from time to time, and our young folks have a natural curiosity to go and see and hear. It was proposed tonight that a committee should be appointed, who should see that they were gratified to a legitimate extent.  All cannot go at once: all would not chose the same entertainment; but let them have a chance to express their preference, and go by turns.

September 23, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 7: 139. ~

Charles Joslyn was given time for arranging and composing new music, and otherwise promoting the interests of this department. He has a good gift and an inclination to cultivate it for the Community service.

November 6, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.  7: 167. ~

The first of our winter series of dramatic exhibitions came off this evening.

December 30, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.  7: 199. ~

A free concert of vocal and instrumental music was given by the Community to as many of our neighbors as could be seated in our dining-room.  In the forenoon a printed invitation and program was sent to as many of our neighbors as we thought we could accommodate.  The room was filled to its utmost capacity, but none had to go away.   The music consisted of pieces by the full orchestra alternating with pieces of a more select character.  A more quiet and respectful audience could not be desired.

August 17, 1859 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.  8:119. ~

The Brass Band has of late absorbed the musical enthusiasm of those belonging to it somewhat to the neglect of the Orchestra. There is danger, if both are maintained, that music will interfere with our other studies.   A suspension of the Brass Band was proposed and approved with the hearty consent of the members.  They have made a good beginning, and may look forward to future development. Meanwhile let there be an ambition to improve the parlor music, and carry it to a high perfection.

February 3, 1860 ~ THE CIRCULAR. ~

Innumerable are the perplexities of an association so full of conceits as this, with so little room!   We have all kinds of clubs, but where to meet is the vexed question.  There is an hour between supper and the Parlor reading.  in which we have rehearsals, dancing classes, musical practice of various kinds, studies requiring rooms and some privacy, and there is no little ingenuity necessary, after you have organized some scheme of improvement, to find a place to carry it on. Where shall we rehearse our play or song, so that everybody will not know it by heart before we are prepared to bring it out?   Where shall we go to scrape our first lesson on the fiddle, or to bolt our first brayings on the horn?  Where shall our committee on such a subject meet? Where can we gather for this or that? The school-room is one good place. The desks can be piled at one end, and leave a respectable hall for whatever exercise you please.   The dining-room will answer your purpose for a dancing lesson.  if you will help hurry up the chores and be at some trouble to move the central table. The printing-office is an occasional resort out of hearing.  If we have any proper "Academy of Music", it is the dairy-house!   Our parlor performances are often imported from that quarter.  Some chilly dormitory will do on a pinch.  Where there is a will there is a way.

April 4, 1861 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 10: 35. ~

The present interest of the young people seems to center around the meetings of a couple of debating societies that were formed in the latter part of winter, and that now assemble twice a week.

July 26, 1862 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 11: 99. ~

As the regular daily rehearsal of the Band had become somewhat monotonous, the experiment was tried this week of giving a mixed concert during the noon hour, not every day but on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  There were songs quartette, duet and solo:  duets of the violin and piano, and cornet and piano, the Bohemian Troup, piano solos, etc.  A committee was appointed, and each musician received a written order for some particular piece several days before his performance was expected.  The arrangement was liked, and will be continued.

October 9, 1862 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.  11:139. ~

On Monday evening the Community were highly favored by a lecture with ample pictorial illustrations on the subject of geology and the succession of life on the earth, by Prof. J.W. Taylor of Wampsville. The attention of the audience was held more than two hours by the clear and interesting presentation of the latest scientific conclusions respecting the history of the earth and races.


1855 ~ NOYES TO THE COMMUNITY. latter part. ~

I have perceived in myself during the past year a growth of faith.  While theories have remained stationary, or perhaps on the whole decayed, intuitions of celestial truth have abounded.  In fact I am conscious of a progress of the heart in the discovery of truth which I cannot reproduce in writing or even in thought.  It is more and more the habit of my mind to look and wait for intuitions, and when they come, as they do from time to time with a flashing certainty more effectual than all reasoning, I am inexpressibly thankful and hopeful. These intuitions relate to the Primitive Church, to immortality, to the science of love as understood in the heavens; and the conclusions to which they lead coincide with our past Bible theories and with the doctrines of Communism, yet the intuitions are wholly independent of these sources and come as fresh as "good news." This is the best thing I can say about my spiritual state.

January 20, 1856 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. (2) ~

The Church of the First Resurrection. They fought for the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the heavens 1800 years ago; we are fighting for its establishment in this world.  Let us prepare to welcome them home again.

October 15, 1856 ~ THE EXTENSION OF THE CHURCH ~ Home-Talk by Noyes.

For the growth of the church we must look in the direction first, of spiritual regeneration of the young in the Community, and second, of natural propagation.  God has not prospered us in proselytism.  We should give up the idea of insisting that God should convert the whole world right off, and have instead a far-reaching purpose to save the world by combining regeneration with generation.

July 21, 1859 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.  8: 103 ~

We have had some talk about the spiritual state of the Association as compared with our former days.  We do not study the bible as we once did, nor have the "ministry of the word" was we did when we had Home-Talks every evening. Are we doing as well? One said he felt a lack of something to centralize our attention; our experience is more individualized than formerly. There is evidently a change of dispensation, but we believe it is a progress.  God has set us hard a work acting out the Bible, and we may judge of our spiritual state not by how much we read the Bible, but by the question, Are we in sympathy with the Bible-makers?  Our weekly paper takes the place of preaching among us.   None can read that without getting a good idea of Bible. It was recommended to the young to make a practice of reading the paper all through every week.

November 3, 1859 ~ THE CIRCULAR, ~ O.S. 8: 163

There is in this country a pervading spirit of unbelief and proud, independent, philosophical skepticism, which rejects Christ, scorns the Bible, and feeds on the inane transcendental fatalism of Emerson and German metaphysicians.

April 10, 1861 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 10: 47. ~

Noyes:  It is a law of mechanics that if a body is acted upon by two different forces at the same time, it will move in an intermediate direction determined by the relative power of the two impelling forces.  To apply this illustration to the progress of the Community, I should say the present state of our movement is the result not of our social theory alone, but of that theory on the one hand and the selfishness of he world, its principles and education on the other.  While it is not proper therefore to think of our social state as exhibiting the ripe unimpeded fruits of communism, neither is it just to say that our social theory has had no effect.  It has had effect, and it is imperfect only so far as it has been embarrassed by the operation of a counteracting force. . . If we remain as free to change as we were twelve years ago, the next twelve years will bring us much nearer to the perfected life of Christ than we are now.

December 19, 1861 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 10: 182. ~

Thirty years ago this country was the theatre of a great spiritual movement.  The spirit of earnestness and religious inquiry pervaded the land, heaven and earth were drawing near together, and the next step apparently was to be the ushering in of the Millenium and the Kingdom of God.  The wave of spiritual revolution constantly rose until 1834, when the gospel of holiness was born in New Haven.

But while the year 1834 witnessed the development of the gospel of holiness and a glimpse of its bright promise, it witnessed also the obscuration of that gospel and that promise in the public mind. Slavery thrust itself in and claimed the attention which has been given to religion.  Slavery became the religion of the South, and Anti slavery the religion of the North.  Thus the Kingdom of Heaven was lost sight of and Christ was forgotten.

What is Christ's plan in the present campaign? We may be certain that his interest now is where it was thirty years ago, not in Antislavery or any other specific outward reform, but in Holiness.  The seed of the Kingdom of Heaven which in 1834 germinated in this world he has carefully fostered and sheltered amid all the storms and vicissitudes of the succeeding years.  It has been quietly perfecting itself in the heavenly life and spirit, and today it has, perhaps, a firmer bases of operations than at any time since 1834, giving proof that days are yet coming when Christ will call in forth to an active part in the harvest of the world which is approaching.

Hence we may not expect the outcome of the present revolution will be, 1, the destruction of Slavery and with it Antislavery; 2, the turning of the hearts of the people anew to the subject of holiness, the beginning of a new revival, the opening of the spiritual world, the union of heaven and earth, the ushering in of the Millenium?

March 9, 1855 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

A good work is going on here with the young. A spirit has prevailed among them of running together in cliques, leading to anti-improvement and superficiality. Last evening a note from Sarah Burt was read confessing a spirit of false love and insincerity and a desire to separate herself from it.  This led to a general criticism of that class of girls.  Their condition was attributed in some degree to novel reading. They were exhorted to seek the ascending fellowship.  The following evening there was a pretty general confession by the young which was very satisfactory. Harriet Worden has received a good deal of commendation lately from Mr. Noyes and others, and was not implicated in the above criticism.

September 14, 1855 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

We are enjoying a fast today both from food and labor. The proposition was made by Mr. Cragin last evening, others having expressed a wish for it, and the family joined in a hearty desire to observe the day in meditation and prayer. Several meetings were held during the day.  The first was from six to seven in the morning for reading the Bible and The Circular, followed by confessions and edifying conversation.  The family gathered in the parlor again at nine o'clock and spent an hour in conversation, singing and partaking of bread, cheese and cold water.   The children were present, sung a song, and seemed much in sympathy with the family.   They had cheerfully abstained from eating till coming to the parlor.  At noon there was a business meeting.  Refreshments consisting of brown bread, milk and plums were served to all in the parlor at half-past three.  There was no setting of tables or going to the dining-room to eat during the day.   In the evening meeting the interests of the paper were discussed, and the business men were exhorted to enlist as contributers. The family testified that God's blessing had attended us in fasting and turning attention to the interior.

October 24, 1855 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

There is some difficulty between Mr. Inslee and Mr. Newhouse.  Mr. Noyes called on both, and they presented their grievances.  The result was a free offering of themselves for criticism. Mr. Burt said that Mr. Newhouse had frequently expressed dissatisfaction with Mr. Inslee's lack of promptness in business.  Mr. Burt had been tried with Mr. Inslee during the summer; thought he had not entered heartily into the work since he came from Newark, but sought his own ease and comfort, and was not willing to take responsibility.  Mr. Kinsley thought he was not reliable in any department, and the tendency of his spirit was to draw persons off from public service to pleasure-seeking. Mr. Craigin thought it important that each individual should be practically interested not only in some particular department, but in all different departments.  Reference was made to the spirit he was involved in while at Newark, a spirit of daintiness about work, which Mr. Noyes calls "machinist aristocracy."  He and others had a spirit of pride which made it difficult for them to engage in small things, such as the trap business.

Noyes:  To me it is a pretty large business.  It has more inspiration from the heavens than the machine business ever had. It began small, has grown up through criticism, and has been turned out of the Association, as it were, several times while the machine business has been nursed and has failed - gone out with the ram.  (A hydraulic ram had been installed by Mr. Inslee, and after much fruitless experimenting had been abandoned. G.W.N.)  We must convert Mr. Inslee, or we shall all be as shiftless as he is.  Failing as he did at Newark I have thought that Mr. Inslee would be ambitious to regain the confidence of the Association, but instead he is losing it.  He is the very man we want, and there is plenty for him to do in the trap business.

The next evening Mr. Newhouse was criticised for personal feelings toward the Newark company, a strong tendency to isolate himself in his own department, lack of promptness in fulfilling his promises.

November 29, 1855 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

The large boys of Theodore's and Joseph's class (about fourteen years old), who are now considered as members of this family, offered themselves for criticism.  Mr. Cragin mentioned his dissatisfaction with George Cragin who has been mixed up a good deal with Harriet Worden, and was quite superficial.   He was commended by the Kitchen Department for faithfulness. Mr. Noyes said that Theodore was always engaged in some amusement, or seeking it in some way he could not sympathize with.  The boys as a while were criticised for disrespect, independence and pleasure-seeking. There has been considerable card playing among the boys, of which Samuel Hutchins was thought to be the leader. Mr. Noyes thought Samuel ought not to go to Putney unless thoroughly washed from the spirit of pleasure-seeking and eyeservice for which he was criticised.  Francis Smith was severely criticised for disrespect. Mr. Cragin did not know but Miss Burgess might be in fault.  Miss Burgess (Laura Burgess Smith) then said that Francis would not receive criticism from her since she was criticised.  Mr. Noyes moved that the Association make her free from that criticism, at least enough that she may have full liberty to exercise her authority over him.

30th. Evening:   Further conversation about the boys.   Mr. Cragin said there was an opportunity for correction of last evening's criticism, as he did not wish to give the boys an occasion to think they were unjustly dealt by.  Two or three corrections were made.  Then followed some criticism of the Community in respect to the boys. It was thought a good plan for such persons as Mr. Thacker and Mr. Campbell to take a boy and give him a thorough training and spiritual education.

December 26, 1855 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

John Lord was the subject of criticism this evening. He was commended highly for success in business, faithfulness. He was criticised for forwardness, a tendency to rise into a leading position.  It was thought that one reason for his success in whatever he undertook was, he was not bashful or timid, but made a dash at it and entered into it heartily. Mr. Noyes remarked that his character as a lover had not been touched upon:  he thought that John was one of the best lovers he knew.   He made a Community matter of it, harmonized with his business, had the fear of God in it, and kept open with his superiors.

December 27, 1855 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

Mrs. Harriet A. Noyes was criticised. It was thought she was deficient in severity; it would do her good to scold sometimes.   She should improve in sitting up straight. She was commended for a spirit that was humble, very accessible, justified and comforted and had hope for those that had sunk low.  She was a real spiritual mother and adviser, sought to please God, was very useful to the young, as she influenced by love and attraction, not by legality.   She lacked a little in respect to talking and edifying in our evening meetings, as other women looked to her for an example. She was a beautiful lover, combined love with simplicity and sincerity; did not trifle, but treated love with sacredness; She was free from the marriage spirit, a good critic, a medium of grace to the Association in respect to industry, love and sincerity.

February 2, 1856 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

This evening Georgiana Sears was the subject of criticism.  She was commended for her mechanical genius; was quiet and respectful to all.   She lacked the spirit of improvement, neglected her class in the afternoon taught by Mrs. Skinner.  She was as good a representative of the spirit of false love as there was in the Association; was apt to place her heart and affections on those who were extremely attractive.  Charles Joslyn thought there was a seductive spirit, which was coquetish, and created desire which she could not satisfy.

Noyes:  This is a hard criticism, but I endorse it, for I believe it just and true. Georgiana's relations have been mostly with those who were discontented and unspiritual, and if she does not get rid of them, she will be landed in the world.  And I protest in the name of Jesus Christ, that no man who is unspiritual shall be a leading lover.

In the evening of the 3rd a note from Georgiana was read, which was commended by the family.  Mr. Noyes had suggested that we commend her; he liked the plan which was started at Putney, to commend a person after a severe criticism.

May 23, 1856 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

Fidelia was criticised. . .  Much love for her was expressed.  And to close, G.W.N. said he would like to confess that he had loved her very much, and felt like making a community matter of it. If love was worth anything, he wanted the Community to sympathize with it, and if there was an element in it that needed to be criticised, it could be done.

October 17, 1856 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

Music in general was criticised.   It was thought that the brass band had not tended to improvement, but had rather drawn away from the interest from other music, besides being a temptation to George Hamilton.  Charles Joslyn and others to run off to the Depot to hear and get music. It was at last decided to unite the two bands, the brass and the stringed instruments, in the parlor.

October 18, 1856 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

The trap-shop was brought up for criticism this evening.  Mr. Newhouse was criticised for getting those who worked there too much under his own influence. Mr. Noyes said it was getting to be a man's shop.  Most of the hands were young men and boys, and there was but little opportunity for women. It was true that a good deal of work was done there, but it was done in an unwholesome way.   The shop was a dismal place for the women, and the men were gradually getting worn out.  Mr. Newhouse, Joel Higgins, Homer Barron, and even John Norton had been heard to say, it was work, work, work.  Lack of spirituality and order was criticised faithfully. The department had failed to recognize the source of their prosperity.  Mr. Noyes's spirit had been crowed out, and in order to prosper again his spirit must have scope.  Improvement, social unity and edification were lost sight of in too direct aim at material accomplishment.

October 27, 1856 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

Mr. E.H.Hamilton was criticised in the evening. Persons generally were free and sincere.  He was commended for faith, faithfulness and thorough execution, but a strong self-will, oppressive and overbearing to individuals, was complained of.  His financial administration was thought by some extravagant. Mr. Noyes said finally, that he was a man the Association ought to be thankful for with all his faults, and that he should lay the criticism to heart.

November 21, 1856 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

Referring to Charles Joslyn's assertion that some had a natural ear for music and others not, Mr. Noyes admitted that there was some natural difference, though not as marked as Charles's theory made out. He presumed that there were none in the Association but what might become practice respectable musicians. He cited some of his own experience in learning to sing.  Charles had put him among those lacking a natural ear, and he had always put himself there too.  But when he was at Andover he attended a singing-school because he wanted to figure among the girls, and in a year's time he was appointed one of six to do the singing for the College. Then when he went to New Haven he cheated them again, for they put him in to take the lead of singing.

November 22, 1856 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

Mr. Noyes was criticised as a musician. He was commended as genial and brotherly in the band.  He made up in perseverance what  he lacked in natural talent. He had a ready faculty of understanding and reading music, though there was more or less fault in his details and execution.  He was criticised for his manner of bowing, cutting short his notes, etc., but was commended as exercising a good influence, operating as a real balance-wheel in our music.


August 4, 1857 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

A company of boys attended a circle at the Depot this afternoon.

August 6, 1857 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

Mr. Bradley reported that Francis Smith went to the circus in an underhanded way - did not consult any one.   He was not one of the number selected to go. Mention was also made that George Allen and William Mills went without consultation.  Mr. Noyes remarked that a real spirit of grab-game about such things had commenced among us, and if the Community spirit did not get the lead of the individual spirit in the rising generation, the Association would come to an end.  Martin Kinsley, John Norton and George Allen were exhorted to have an obedient docile spirit as a good example to the younger class.  Many expressed a desire that this going to the Dept and having private money to spend might be put an end to.

August 25, 1857 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

The boys were criticised for getting apples and eating them privately, but it was said that some of the men set the example. Mr. Hamilton said he saw Mr. Hatch and Mr. Woolworth get up into a tree and shake off and eat the fruit. Mr. Noyes said there ought not to be such as state of things, and criticised it quite sharply.

Mr. Noyes has gone into the trap-shop to work again. I never saw him when he looked so healthy as now.

A company went to the Lake this morning to fish. They started about five o'clock, and arrived home about half-past six in the evening, bringing 69 pounds of fish.

October 10, 1861 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

While building the New House it is well to have before us this practical question:  Is the Community spiritually strong enough to convert its own children, and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?  If it is, we are building the house for a good purpose, and the Community will be a perpetual, self-renewing institution: if not, it will perish in the second generation, and our house will go to strangers.

January 26, 1855 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~


The subject of ventilation is discussed a good deal nowadays.  Mr. Noyes proposed that all our sessions be confined to one hour, and that at the end of the hour the windows and doors be thrown open wide; let the wind have a frolic with our bad breath.  Without some pretty decisive measures we shall have to breathe bad air.  If any one, himself even, had got right into the middle of a speech when the hour was up, let some one sing out and raise the windows. Some complained of Martin Kinsley and John Norton as not being willing to raise the windows.   They would sit by the windows and prevent air being let in.

G. Cragin:  Well, let us have a new committee.  Please to nominate.  Messrs. Thacker and Pitt were nominated.  The ayes rang through the parlor like the voice of many waters. So the young folks didn't rule.

In the evening after the usual preliminaries Mr. Cragin began a speech about the value of criticism.  He warmed up steadily till he had all steam on and could not have been running less than forty miles an hour, when some one sung out "Nine o'clock!"  Up went the four windows, open flew the doors, and Mr. Cragin was brought up short in the middle of a sentence.  "Good!" "Good!"    "Amen!" rang from every quarter, and the room full of folks gave vent to their merriment in uproarious laughter.

July 7, 1855 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

We have lately found it pleasant and profitable to avail ourselves of one of Fourier's suggestions in marching out to our field service with music.  At the sound of the clarionet on the lawn after supper, announcing a bee for picking peas, weeding, or some other work, all hands gather with great hilarity, and form a line under directions from Captain Kinsley.  The band strikes up a lively tune, and the whole company marches in order to the field, turning corners and changing from platoons to single file as the width of their way requires it, in regular military style.   At the close of our work the music again sounds a call, when all assemble and take up our line of march for home in a similar manner. For variety we sometimes sing one of our home-songs.  On arriving at the Mansion Captain Kinsley occasionally puts us through a few simple military evolutions.  Sometimes we march to the reservoir and parade on its green slope, while some of the young men in bathing-suits perform sportive feats in the water.

August 2, 1855 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

There are nights to suggest serenades and all kinds of romance.  The moon shines on nature, now in all the exuberance of its summer beauty, and an enchanting mystery is added to the scene.  The air is sweet and balmy, and there is a bath of pleasure for all the senses outdoors. Last night, after the watch had retired and most of the family were fallen into peaceful slumbers, some how were yet wakeful heard music in the distance, sweet voices and a song. We knew it was a band of serenaders, discoursing love to the sleepers in the "Circularium" and adjacent dormitories.  Presently a light tripping through the garden, and then after a little silence the same music was heard on the lawn before the Mansion, now near enough to gently wake the slumberers within or mingle pleasantly with their dreams.  This company of "intriguants" was composed of ten or twelve of the best singers of the Commune.  They sang last night, beside two familiar songs, one that was new here and very beautiful, we thought.  "The Guardian Angel."

October 29, 1855 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 4: 163. ~

Two dancing classes have been organized, which practise from six to seven on alternate evenings.  There is a good inspiration started for really learning the science of dancing and acquiring some perfection in the art.   The objections that attach to dancing in common society are excluded in the Association.  No ball dresses, no late hours, wine and revelry, no going home in the night air after being heated with exercise.  As a means of improvement in health and grace nothing can be better, and it may be made an expression of praise and worship.

January 29, 1856 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

Mr. Albert Kinsley, who is one of the committee on dentistry, wished to be excused from acting on that committee, as he could not sympathize with the proposition that Leonard Dunn learn this profession. Some others had objections, and others were in favor.  Mr. Noyes said he had been pleased with Leonard of late, and thought he was willing to give up the matter to the direction of the Community.  As it was nine o'clock further discussion of the matter was postponed till another evening.

February 1, 1856 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

This evening the discussion of our dentistry was resumed.  Mr. Kinsley expressed himself as dissatisfied with Leonard Dunn's spirit about it; thought he was above other work.  Some others had thought the same of him.  Upon this Mr. Noyes called upon Mrs. Noyes to tell what Leonard had said to her a short time since. He told her, if the Community wished, he was ready to drop dentistry entirely and go into the trap-shop: or he would go on with dentistry; his highest ambition was to get into sympathy with Mr. Noyes about labor. Some spoke of having become sick of patching up their teeth; it seemed like patching up the "old man." Mr. Noyes thought patching the teeth was better than being unable to talk with ease and masticate the food; It was better for those who had lost their teeth to have new ones put in.

The remark was made, that we had been praying for a dentist, and that now we had got one the best thing we could do was to pray that he might be spiritually minded.  Mr. Noyes said that at the time he prayed for a dentist he prayed also for a watchmaker, and if Leonard would take up that business in connection with his dentistry, he would back him.  He also thought Leonard might do work enough for outsiders to pay for our own dentistry.

November 26, 1856 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

This is the day appointed for our Thanksgiving. Our reading in The Berean, which is usually at quarter of seven, was this morning at six.   Breakfast was put off till eight o'clock. A notice was put on the bulletin board proposing that each gentleman invite a lady to sit by him at the table. . .Work went on as usual after breakfast.  At two o'clock we all descended to the dining-room.   On a white cloth framed with evergreens were the two words "Love" and Unity."  Mr. Burnham and others sang.  We had for dinner baked chickens stuffed, stewed oysters, pickles, potatoes, crackers, wheat bread, whortleberry pies and wine, all of which were excellent. From three till five we had a bag-bee, and from five till seven danced in the new house.  At half-past seven cake, cheese and apples were passed around in the parlor. . .We had a short meeting, in which Mr. Noyes and many others expressed pleasure and thankfulness for the entertainments of the day.

September 14, 1857 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

In the evening meeting the subject of gunning was brought up, as there seemed to be something of a fever in that direction. Some though it might be classed with fishing and other amusements; others considered it barbarous.    Mr. Noyes said he thought there was a difference between hunting and fishing in this respect:  hunting is a solitary amusement, one that the women never wish to join in, while fishing is made a very social affair.  For his part he enjoyed the ride, dinner and women more than he did the fishing. There seemed to be a hearty feeling on the part of those who are fond of hunting in giving it up, although no one was put under law about it.

February 25, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 7: 19. ~

The meat question has occupied several evenings this week.  Freedom of discussion has been the motto, and all opinions have been heard.  One said that he did not think we should settle this question satisfactorily either by reason or appetite.  It would be settled at last by religious instinct. He believed our movement in abandoning meat was inspired by Christ, and settling that in his heart he had not consulted his appetite of even science, but it had been his policy to think and talk in a way to make himself contented with our course.

March 20, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 7:35. ~

Supper in the parlor, and dancing in the dining-room immediately after.  This occurs as often as once in two weeks, and the family, with few exceptions, take part. Our room is not nearly large enough to accommodate all at the same time, but in the course of the evening each may have an opportunity to dance one or two figures.

July 25, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR. ~

Our bag business has prospered well the past year. Today the heads of this department proposed a ride for those who had attended the bees with more or less regularity. Fifty-four persons were accommodated in four wagons, and rode to the top of a high hill three or four miles east of us, which commands an extensive prospect.  There they enjoyed their dinner in a grove, making a dessert of raspberries, which grew in abundance near by.

May 16, 1859 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 8:67. ~

Question from the Kitchen whether the family would like to have coffee oftener than once a week.  No.  Great unanimity of feeling:  coffee once a week, cocoa and tea once a week, and abolish coffee at parties.   Parties have been quite a fashion with us for a year or two; testimonial parties to individuals or groups for eminent services, congratulatory parties on the completion of some piece of work, birth-day parties, etc., and coffee has been a favorite beverage at these honorary feasts.  Concluded to stop the use of it in this way, and make a clean matter of drinking it only once a week.

(THE CIRCULAR this week has a long debate in doggerel verse on the coffee question.)

February 11, 1860 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 9: 11. ~

The steward stated that there was an unusual consumption of tea and coffee lately.  We had backslidden from the resolution taken a year ago to have these drinks once a week at the family meal, and let them alone at all other times. They were now being used quite freely at select social gatherings and by individuals.  He invited some expression of the family on the matter, and suggested that the resolution be formally annulled if it was not to be observed. As the result of the conversation which followed, it was concluded that the secret of our backsliding is in the fact that we have one rule for our visitors and another for ourselves. We get tea and coffee for our visitors as a mark of courtesy almost impossible to miss, and as we have visitors all the time the tempting fumes of the coffee-pot and tea-pot ascend from our table morning and evening, and it is very natural that we should covet the stimulants.  The only way to raise our family standards to that we have for visitors, or bring down the visitor's standard to the family standard.    We arrived at no definite conclusion as to measures, only this principle was clear, that we should aim to make our own family fare good enough for visitors.  Whether the true common standard will include tea and coffee is for future discussion.

February 19, 1860 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 9: 15. ~

Talk about night ventilation, the custom of letting the fires go down through the night and filling the house with cold air from the windows.  Noyes protested against the custom as absurd.  He was in favor of a good circulation of air, but let it be warm air... The question of ventilation has been the one in respect to which there has been the most temptation to disagreement and irritation; but we are gradually harmonizing, and there was quite a unanimous sympathy with the views brought out tonight.

February 28-29, 1860 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 9: 23. ~

Debate on the tea and coffee question, resulting in a unanimous vote to banish these articles from the premises. As the meeting broke up, mention was made that it was just six years ago today since we first left off tea and coffee as a daily beverage.  For the first two or three years we had them not oftener than once in six or eight weeks. Gradually they have encroached, and have installed themselves at length as the chiefest of our table attractions.

January 1, 1861 ~ THE CIRCULAR. ~

 New Year's Day. All took a sleigh-ride who chose to go, the horse and mules with their drivers being tendered and in requisition for this purpose throughout the day.  The evening was occupied with a various entertainment, including orchestral and vocal music, declamations and pantomine.

June 21, 1861 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 10: 87. ~ Remarks by Noyes.

I am conscious of a strong spirit of health. I feel more encouraged against all disease that have haunted me than I did ten years ago, and have more prospect of wearing them out.

September 13, 1861 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 10: 131. ~

A party of eight went to Trenton Falls with tent and provisions, expecting to be absent three days.  A few days previous a party of seventeen went to Cazenovia Lake, camped out over night, and returned the next day by way of Chittenango Falls.

An extempore fete took place at home after supper on the dedication of a new walk in the grove beyond the creek.

September 16, 1861 ~ THE CIRCULAR. ~

A party of seventeen composed mostly of those engaged in the Laundry Department started for Cazenovia Lake to be absent two days.

September 26, 1861 ~ THE CIRCULAR. ~

Following the custom of the other industrial groups the Printing-Ofice company took their excursion last week. Our destination was Trenton Falls. We spent two nights in gypsy fashion in a tent on a beautiful wood-crowned pasture ridge about a mile from the Falls, enjoyed the scenery an dour camp fare, as woodsmen usually do, and returned on Sunday.

August 21, 1862 ~ ONEIDA CIRCULAR, O.S. 11: 110. ~

Fever may be the work of numbers of infinitesimally small creatures having as tangible an existence and voracious a disposition as the tiger.  So all other diseases are not improbably the work of parasites preying upon the organ or part affected. . . If diseases are wild beasts, why not find a way to confine them, to expel them, or to arm one's self against them? . . .  And at any rate, so long as Jesus Christ by spiritual power has proved himself master of all the wild beasts that infest human life, no one need despair of overcoming in the same spirit and by the same power.

November 17, 1862 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

Mr. Noyes has a sore throat today.   He says he is going to practice "total abstinence" from speaking, and see if it will not work a cure.  So he has a slate and pencil, and every time he is spoken to he answers on his slate.

November 18, 1862 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

After meeting last evening I went into Father's room, and saw a piece of paper pinned on his curtain with this written on it: "I don't intend speaking again until the first of January, 1863."  It really seems quite lonely not to hear him speak, not even to whisper, but all right!

December 7, 1862 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

W.A.Hinds brought up Mr. Mallory's case. He is giving himself up to the doctor's care and advice.  Several expressed themselves as having no confidence in his present course: thought he was in reality dying from unbelief, and needed help that the doctors could not give. Mr. Burnham and Theodore appointed to talk with him, and advise him to offer himself for criticism.

December 8, 1862 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

Mr. Noyes wrote as follows on his slate in bag bee today:  "Mr. Mallory says that the gift of healing has left the Community.  I claim that I have lately cast a demon out of Harriet Skinner, and that a splendid faith cure is going on in her quietly before our eyes."

This was confirmed by Mrs. Skinner and others.


December 23, 1862 ~ ONEIDA JOURNAL. ~

Mr. Mrs. Mallory stated that when Mr. Mallory was gone to Utica today she hid his medicine, and he was quite angry with her. He was taking not less than five different kinds.  She said, if she had done wrong she would like criticism.  He does not take advice of the family about Dr. Fitch.  Mr. Noyes said Mr. Mallory was a man, and must judge himself. We have counceled him, and if he dies in the doctor's hands, we have cleared our skirts.  We will treat him kindly, and will have no quarrel with him.

December 29, 1862 ~ Oneida ~

Mr. Kinsley introduced the subject of dentistry. He thought it not good for our people, especially the young, to go to the Depot.  Theodore said that perhaps he was somewhat responsible, as in some cases when he was not capable of filling or pulling he had advised going to the Depot.  Mr. Noyes said that filling teeth was not an absolute necessity, that people in olden times let their teeth take care of themselves.  He advised that the Community do the very best they could, and let the rest go, except in extreme cases.  It was proposed by some that Theodore be sent way to learn, as Leonard Dunn was, but Mr. Noyes rather objected, thinking that Leonard came under the professional spirit.

Journals: "Circular" & References to Periodicals

January 25, 1855 ~ Resumption of The Circular. ~

After an interval of removal, confusion, rest and commencing reorganization we are ready to resume our regular letters to friends and subscribers, not tri-weekly as last year but for the present once a week. We trust this arrangement will be satisfactory to our readers; and that in the end it will prove to be but a seeming and temporary retrogression from our previous standard. We hope to print a better paper than heretofore.  Considerable educational experience was gained in our Brooklyn campaign which can now be diffused through a larger circle; and if the interest of the whole Association can be enlisted in contributing to the value of The Circular, as is proposed by the present change, it will acquire a broader basis and more momentum than ever before.  We are willing to go back and take a new start, as the railroad men do when they encounter a snowdrift on the track; and perhaps, after having already cleared the way to a tri-weekly, our next advance, with the additional locomotive that is now being attached, will drive the train through to a daily.  This however is left with the Lord, whose pleasure we live for, to determine.  Meantime there is a preparation, not yet ripe but silently going on in the public mind, that will respond in due time to the idea of a daily paper devoted to Christ and the Truth.  It grows even as the trees do, while we sleep.  And the winter, which for a time may seem to check its outward manifestation, is but the prelude to the season of buds and blossoms.  We feel that the times are auspicious, that the inner forces of God and nature are gathering for great results, that the progress of spiritual and social redemption is right onward; and The Circular, we trust, will be found ready to fill its part as an echo at least of the grand march and movement of the heavenly armies.

The Circular would renew its adhesion to the motto at its head, "devotion to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ." Confessing his name and purpose we enter upon the year's work, cordially inviting also the correspondence and sympathy of believers abroad to make the paper of the highest worth to the cause.

November 19, 1857 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 6: 174. ~

Editorial on "new Boston Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly."  Its scant attention to religion is immediately noticed.  Eight or ten years later the "Boston Literature" was severely criticised by Noyes, who thought it had a deleterious effect on the Community.

March 19, 1858 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 7: 35. ~

G.W. Noyes proposed the question whether it would not be expedient to reduce the present size of the paper and publish it oftener. His idea was to make the paper more of a record of Community life, and send it out as a daily or tri-weekly letter to our outside friends.  He thought it would suit our subscribers better, and would have a quickening effect upon the Community itself, while the labor of printing would not be materially increased. His proposition elicited considerable comment, though nothing definite was determined upon.

November 4, 1862 ~ HOME-Talks. ~

After meeting the usual circle of men, women and young ladies collected in Mr. Noyes's room.  Mr.  Noyes requested G.W. Noyes to read a paragraph from the Atlantic Monthly, which he was laughing over as we came in.  It was from an article on "Natural History" by Prof. Agassiz, and propounded the idea that all animals in creation, man included, started into existence alike - that there was no difference between a man and a sheep, except that God breathed a soul into man.  After the reading, much astonishment was expressed.

February 9, 1855 ~ NOYES'S LOG. ~

The day passed as usual except that I spent two hours after dinner in labor of spirit and tongue on Sarah Burt's case. She seemed much humbled and in earnest for a new life.  I loved her more than I have fore a long time.  She offered herself for criticism at the evening meeting, and the discussion and exposure that ensued, though searching and severe, was evidently profitable and effectual.  At three o'clock I went to the trap-shop, and at the close of the work there had a good talk with George Allen about Sarah Burt.  I liked his spirit.  He seemed nearer to me than heretofore, and confessed his union with me and with Christ. I advised him not to turn away from Sarah, but to use the influence he has over her to turn her to Christ and improvement.

February 10, 1855:  The meeting in the evening was very pleasant, a happy and promising sequel to the sharp criticism of last evening.  The young men and girls offered themselves unanimously anew to Christ, and testified against the spirit of false love and dissipation. I trust this is the beginning of new life and new fashions among them.  Our young folks are certainly teachable and receptive.  I expect they will bear the abundance of good fruit.

February 13, 1855 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.  4:19. ~

Conversation about the improvement of time - a trite subject, it may be thought, but one which is gaining in interest with us every day.  The idea was suggested of every member's keeping a log-book, or a daily account of how he spends his hours and minutes.  It was further suggested, that as many as had a mind to volunteer, should be liable to have the reading of their log called for at any time, for the entertainment and profit of the evening meeting.  By thus keeping the subject agitated, and drawing our experience we may approximate to some solution of the problem before us, how to occupy the 24 hours.

February 18, 1855 ~ NOYES'S LOG. ~

Woke at half-past four.  Rose at bell-ring, washed as usual.  I find that bathing is very good as a waking up exercise. After breakfast and bible-game helped H.A.N. make my bed, and took part in an extemporaneous bee for making beds in the boys' chamber, a very pleasant and social affair.   Ran out bare-headed to the sliding hill, and took a slide with three of the little girls on the sled in front of me.   Chatted in the parlor till nine.  Read anatomy and lay on the bed thinking till ten. Braided till eleven. Hardly knew how to fill up my time between this and afternoon meeting, but hoped something would turn up. Dropped into the south tent-room, and passed a few words with Louisa and Fidelia.  Went into H.A.N.'s room, and found Charlotte in the hypo. Finally found a pleasant seat at the register of the large tent-room and stayed there till dinner. After dinner called on Charlotte again, and gave her some criticism and exhortation.  At one had a pleasant time of rest in my own room. After meeting took a jaunt across the swamp. At quarter of five helped Louisa get supper, and enjoyed the exercise very much.  After supper took a nap and attended the singing school.

February 19, 1855 ~ NOYES'S LOG. ~

Woke at four in some discomfort of body. My room was so cold that I got up and eloped into H.A.N.'s bed, where I had good warming.  Fifteen minutes walloping over the wash-bowl between bell-ring and breakfast started a good circulation.  After studying Bible lesson, took a lie-down on the bed of ten minutes.  After Bible-game worked on the traps four hours.  Attended dinner, music and braiding bee until quarter to two.  Returned to the shop and worked till after five. Had Ann Eliza Van Velzer for helper, and she and I together broke one of Mr. Newhouse's best punches, about which there was no scolding, but we all felt a little notwithstanding. After supper studied anatomy and wrote. Started to go down and talk with Mr. Cragin about giving Homer Barron the benefit of rotation in business, and as I passed Mr. Burt's room met Homer going in.  I accepted the circumstance as a rhyme of Providence, went in with him, and made my proposal to him and Mr. Burt, which was discussed in the meeting. After meeting read anatomy, wrote journal, etc, etc.

February 20, 1855 ~ NOYES'S LOG ~

Rose at the second bell.  After Bible-game and breakfast worked on the traps as usual till noon.  Good company made lovely work.  Dinner, music, braiding etc. till half-past two.  Worked in the shop again till five.  The triumph of our principles of mingling the sexes in labor seemed today to be complete. The trap-shop has been all day a busy and beautiful scene.  After supper took a lie-down till half-past six.  Read The Tribune till half-past seven.  The evening meeting was excellent.  Many testified to new and blessed experience of the grace of God. So ends the twentieth of February.


We touched the lowest point in our experience as an Association about the time of Mr. Miller's death.   There is now coming on a reaction against the death and darkness that has been oppressing us, and I feel in my heart that we shall go higher in faith and deeper into the mysteries of truth than we have ever been before.

February 20, 1856 ~ A Member's Log. ~

The first salute to my senses this morning was an excellent smell of buckwheat cakes.  The next was a charming strain of music.  Then came the rattle of the big bell.  Conscious of ability to dress in one minute, I waited for the second bell, at the ringing of which I jumped out of bed and into my clothes as promptly as usual: but the smell of the cakes and the music had called up so many, that all the tables were filled, and I had to wait for the second table.  Had a good time after breakfast reading about Joshua and Jericho, and attending the Bible-game. Then went to the barn and milked four cows.  At eight o'clock went to the shop, and took hold of the hammer and tongs with a good appetite. Had nothing but an odd job, in which I could not well employ a helpmeet, so I worked alone.  At twenty minutes past eleven, having pretty well moistened my shirt, I quit work and went home to my reading corner, and enjoyed reading Macaulay's History of England till dinner, or rather, as it proved, till the Johnny-cake luncheon.  Then came music with the band, which seemed to give unusual satisfaction, especially the Marseilles Hymn, which one lady said "went all through her like electricity." At one o'clock returned to the shop, and worked till half past three.  Then came home and changed my clothes, to be ready for the celebration appointed at four.  The scene in the parlor, the three long tables lined on both sides with happy faces, the cake, the apples, the bread and wine, the music and cheering, the toasts and speeches, and especially the allusion to old times, to the gospel of 1834, and the progress toward the resurrection which we have made since stirred my heart. After the banquet I attended milking service again at the barn; then went with W.H. to the mill to be weighed, an ordinance which we have attended to together punctually on the 20th of every month for a year past.  I found my weight to be 147lbs.  Returned to my reading corner, and spent the time pleasantly in a sort of three-sided chat with Macaulay, The Tribune, and the boys and girls till meeting-time. During meeting braided six times round a palmleaf hat.  After meeting chatted a little with several members, among the rest with S.R., who, I was glad to find, had profited by her late tribulation, and was in a more teachable and consequently happier state than usual.  After a little more reading, went to bed.


September 11, 1856 ~ Three Sacred Gifts. ~ J.H.N.

Three Sacred Gifts.

Stanza by J.H.N. Sept. 11, 1856.

WORK, that strengthens heart and brain:

Work, that makes earth bloom again.

MUSIC, bursting, joyous, free,

Charm of order's melody.

LOVE, sweet mystic fount within.

That gushes heaven, and keeps from sin.

Thanks for thy gifts, O God, above:

The sacred three, Work, Music, Love.

April 24 1856 ~ NOYES'S LOG. ~

Rose just as the sun began to brighten the western hills.  Ate breakfast at the first table.  Guessed right at the Bible game in consequence of the three persons next before me having guessed wrong. Went to business in the kitchen with a good appetite for work, thankful for the variety and good company which I found by late change of occupation.  First attended the usual morning gathering of the kitchen company, and received from our chief, Mrs. Van Velzer, the program for the day.   It was soon evident that a very busy forenoon was before us. A big baking was to be put through, and at the same time various dishes for dinner were to be prepared and put on the table.  Where such conjunctions occur we have lively times, but frequently have plenty of leisure, especially in the afternoon, and sometimes have little to do all day.   In the course of the forenoon yesterday I assisted in the following operations:  Bringing milk from the dairy, making brown bread, making wheat bread, making Indian puddings, making fruit pies, heating the oven, putting bread, puddings and pie into the oven, paring potatoes, dissecting codfish, cooking potatoes and codfish, putting potatoes and codfish on the table, taking out part of the contents of the oven and putting in more.  Withal I filled up a small interval with reading in Miller's Logic. After dinner enjoyed a private fiddling with G.W. Noyes and E.H. Hamilton.  At one o'clock returned to my post, and received orders from the Commander-in-chief to prepare for dinner of hulled corn, brought a bushel of corn from the corn-house, and helped put it asoak in hot lye.   Went to my room and read and wrote awhile. At half-past two returned to the kitchen and helped the ladies wash the corn after its caustic baptism. Wondered if all our folks knew that hulled corn was prepared partly after the fashion of soap-boiling. At three o'clock too the last batch of puddings and bread out of the oven.  Finding a slide in the oven door broken I took the job of tinkering it. This took me to the trap-shop, and occupied the time till supper.  After supper played on the violin awhile, criticised a young lady for not promptly returning things borrowed, talked with G.W.N. about social philosophy, received and read a pleasant and edifying note, chatted with several merry damsels, read The Tribune, attended meeting, enjoyed a skirmish of talk after meeting, read awhile and went to bed.

Escape from the Draft

May 2, 1861 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 10: 51. ~

We have been stirred by the great pulse of patriotism that throbs throughout the North to such a degree that many have been willing to take an active part in the war.  Two of our more impulsive youths went so far as to give their names to a recruiting agent as volunteers; but on reconsideration concluded to abide the advice and direction of the Community.  We desire to know exactly our duty, and do it . . . We are called to the work of social and material construction, and our allegiance to Christ requires us to maintain the post where we are placed until other orders are issued.

August 7, 1862 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S.  11: 103. ~

Some discussion in our evening meetings relative to the true position of the Community in regard to war and public movements in society around us.  The Community is devoted to The Establishment of the Kingdom of God; and we cannot cooperate with any movement which is not directly tending to that end.   If we lose sight of this purpose, the inspiration and work of leading the world forward to a heavenly order of society will be transferred to more faithful and worthy hands.

August 13, 1862 ~ Home-Talks. ~ THE DRAFT.

Noyes:  I submit myself to the Providence of God in regard to the draft; yet I shall advocate the policy of ransoming our young me, let it cost what it may. Our property is estimated at $100.000 at least, and I would spend $10.000 before I would let a man go. "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's"  If not necessary, I will not give any of our bodies or souls to the work of destruction. I don't believe that these things belong to Caesar.  Let him have the money. We belong to the Kingdom of Heaven.

February 13, 1863 ~ Home-Talk by Noyes ~ RELATION OF THE COMMUNITY TOWARD THE WAR.

The Community has been drawn into too much sympathy with the North and the war.  Christ is our king; his kingdom is our government.  The Abolitionists refused to have anything to do with the war against sin, and now they are trying to draw us into a minor issue.  The war is quite as likely to dissolve society in the North as in the South.  The paper should as soon as possible assume an impartial position.

August 13, 1863 ~ ARTICLE IN THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 12: 95. ~

By what call luck, but we cannot but recognize as a Providence, the military draft which took place in this district the present week passed the Community by without calling for a man. We had expected to be hit, and have held our business arrangements in suspense for a considerable time to provide for the call of several of our members, but through a mistake of the enrolling officer the names of the Community men were not taken in the spring enrollment. This mistake was due to the fact that our residence is situated on the border of two counties and two congressional districts, in a sharp bend of Oneida Creek, which is crossed by bridges a short distance on either side of us, so that while we are in Madison County our neighbors on a straight road on both sides of us are in Oneida County.  The consequence is that the enrolling officer supposed we belonged to another district. This unsought exemption we regard as no particular indulgence, Mankind are so much a unit that the griefs and burden's of one's neighbors must be in part his own, and no formal discharge can release true-hearted men from the wish to bear their share of a common responsibility.  We consider ourselves fellow-conscripts with the new-male soldiers, but drawn to serve in a different field.  Indeed, while most of them have been enjoying life in the usual way, we have been in camp for the last sixteen years, pioneering in a grand struggle against worse foes to the common welfare than the southern "secesh."  And while they go to the war, we will still continue to work in the not less noble task of making human society a better place for them on their return.

July 4, 1861 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 10: 91. ~

Nearly a thousand visitors were present in the afternoon, while others were coming and going throughout the day. Concerts by the Community Orchestra were given in the forenoon and afternoon.

July 6, 1861 ~ THE CIRCULAR. ~

Another great company day; eighty to dinner, beside ice creams etc.  The parlor was full at music hour, and when the people scattered about the grounds it seemed like another Fourth.

December 26, 1861 ~ THE CIRCULAR, O.S. 10: 187. ~

During the last five years the entertainment of visitors has grown into an important interest with us.  Every fair day, at least in summer, brings visitors to our door. The numbers have increased with the years until it is not unfrequent that one or two score and sometimes double that number per day call on us.  We have by necessity fallen into the way of furnishing meals, fruits in their season, etc. to these visitors when called for.  On the one hand we have not sought to attract visitors in any direct way, and on the other hand we have earnestly desired to fulfill the apostolic injunction, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers."

Again a Turning Point

The year 1863, like 1854, was a pivotal year. It bro't unexpected developments in the fields of industry, finance, science and health, and opened up serious questions of future policy.

In the fall of 1862, following a depression due to the declaration of war, a business boom commenced.  "It is tremendous to think of," writes the Oneida journalist, "but we are $715 behind our orders for bags." In this emergency work was given out to be done at home by a number of women in the neighborhood. This was seen to be the entering wedge of a new industrial system, and the Community hesitated.   The next spring men were hired for farm work and teaming, and in the fall, when the trap department was swamped with orders far beyond the ability of the Community to supply by their own labor, it became necessary to decide once for all, whether to go back to self-help, or forward to hiring on a large scale.

Another problem soon loomed over the horizon. As "coming events cast their shadows before," the Community in the fall of 1863 began to be sensible of hitherto undreamed-of profits.  The most that had ever been earned above expenses in one year before was $15.000.00.  The year 1863 rolled up a total of '

$55.000.00!  Beyond all doubt, the Community had passed over the line of bare self-support, and had become capitalistic.  What was to be done with the huge surplus earnings, which in the future seemed assured?

Still another change, pregnant with consequences, was now coming to a crisis.  After Noyes had passed through the acutely revival place of his career he began to be somewhat more hospitable toward the new ideas being brought out by science. In the early forties he had investigated mesmerism and spiritualism, accepting some of their claims and rejecting others; and we have seen how in 1854 he had accepted the conclusions of geologists concerning the age of the earth.  At the period we have now reached the theory of evolution was just beginning to be taught in America.  The Community were shocked and at the same time fascinated by it.  In November 1862 the reading of an article by Professor Agassiz, propounding the idea that all animals, man included, started in existence alike, caused much astonishment and laughter.   A year later the facts regarding the antiquity of man were discussed, and it was admitted that, granting the truth of Darwin's hypothesis of a tendency to variation from type, "only time was required to develop man out of a monkey."  But Noyes, in an effort to reconcile the Bible and science, threw in the remark: "The Bible itself gives an account of a race that dwelt on the earth before man was created.   It walked upright, had speech, was highly ingenious, and was called "the serpent"!  Main in the bible sense of the word is an inspired being, and I do not believe there is any evidence that such a man existed more than six thousand years go." With speculations which seemed to unsettle the foundations of the bible becoming daily more rife, the leading members quite naturally began to ask themselves, what ought to be the future attitude of the Community toward science?

Finally, the year 1862-3 brought a new experience in the department of health.  Originally the Community had relied almost exclusively on spiritual agencies in the treatment of disease.  But as time passed, there was some slipping back, on the part of a minority of members, into the employment of doctors and drugs.  The more spiritual ones counseled with those whom they regarded as erring, but allowed them to judge for themselves, refusing to quarrel with them whatever they did.  At last came a supreme test.  In September 1863 the diphtheria, after burning in the neighborhood for a while, gained entrance to the Community and spread like wild-fire.  Stephen Pearl Andrews was visiting the Community when the disease first appeared. Noyes, who was away, returned to hear of two deaths as he stepped from the train, and found Andrews beguiling the ear of the Community by a course of lectures on "Universology." The events that followed were thus described by Mrs. Harriet H. Skinner, Noyes's sister:  "We needed Mr. Noyes's wisdom and sincerity to save us from the sorceries of Mr. Andrews as much as from the diphtheria. He was present at Mr. Andrews' second lecture, and there was a sensible diminution of enthusiasm on the part of both speaker and hearers.  Mr. Noyes had no personal exchange with him for several days, but opposed lecture for lecture.  At effect of criticism in this case suggested its application in others, and soon a committee of criticism instead of a doctor was summoned immediately on an attack."

There were sixty cases of diphtheria in the Community during this epidemic, of which five were fatal.  No deaths occurred after the introduction of criticism and ice.

This diphtheria campaign was regarded as on the whole a victory for faith, yet a liberal use had been made of material means. Hence the question arose, in view of the possibility of other such attacks, whether the Community should go back to a simple faith treatment of disease, or forward to a more extensive use of scientific aids.

Noyes perceived that the grand question underlying all these perplexities was this:  From the standpoint of religion, is the use of natural means legitimate? His answer was, Yes - if the use is inspired.  He said: "Let this be our motto henceforth: Inspired use of natural means. We shall get miracles enough out of that to answer all our purposes.  Our quarrel is not with the natural means, but with the tendency of the natural means to exclude the inspired use.  Mere natural means will not produce the result we want.  If we cannot have both the natural means and the inspired use, we will take the inspiration.  Inspiration is the fire, and natural means are the fuel.  We must not pile on so much wood as to choke the fire. Inspiration is growing to be a pretty fierce flame among us, and after a while, when the furnace is going with a roar, we can throw in bushels and cartloads of fuel, and it will take all without being smothered.  I say then, Come with your natural means!  Through inspiration we shall learn to make a good use of them all."

But how could he be sure of the inspiration? Here he recurred to the great purpose which had guided his life since 1831, the inspiration of which he no more doubted than he doubted his own existence, - the purpose of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth.  He saw that his attempt to accomplish this object during the Community's earlier epochs failed largely for want of the very means which he could now command. Thus the outlines of an amended scheme took form in his mind.  He must have a great free daily paper in New York City devoted to Christ!   This paper must be supported, first, by an industrial system supplying adequate help; second, by unlimited funds; third, by an educational system capable of producing thinkers and writers as thoroughly equipped as the world in science and art; and fourth, by a department of health depending for its results primarily on faith and secondarily on al the scientific discoveries that faith could assimilate.  He regarded antislavery as but an episode in the history of America, and expected that at the close of the war the great religious revival would be resumed. If this should prove to be the case, he saw no reason why the Kingdom of God, with the increased means of influence now at its disposal, should not be borne along by an irresistible tide to its full and final realization on earth.

Vol. V, 1864 - 1878

The Wallingford Epoch

The first step in carrying out this program was the removal of "The Circular" to Wallingford, and the concentration of the best literary talent of the Community upon it.  Thus was inaugurated what might be called the "Wallingford Epoch", which extended from 1864 to 1868.  The paper remained still a weekly, but its character underwent a noteworthy change.  Noyes was anxious to rid it of the imputation of being exclusively religious.  He thought it should be first of all an interesting paper, and he was willing that its spiritual character should be "left to work itself out in silent ways."  Hence more attention was given than formerly to science and art, and the literary aim was distinctly higher.  To those who might have been stumbled by this change of policy was the following explanation was offered June 20, 1864:  "Come friendly reader - you, I mean who think "The Circular" is in danger of growing irreligious because it contains less of a certain kind of religious talk than formerly - let us settle this point by a little plain interchange before going further . . . There is more danger of leaving Christ through that spiritual laziness that wants to be forever repeating things because we have found them once good than in any other way.  All that we know of him shows that he never does the same thing twice, nor stays long in the same place. . . Let us not lay again the foundations that are already laid but, counting them eternally good, move forward under the guidance of the Spirit of Truth.  The religion of heaven is not a drowsy affair of sitting on benches and psalm-singing.  It is mighty and masculine and magnetic; it knows everything and can do everything, from teaching a child to pray to building an ironclad.   Let us expect that in taking possession of this world it will begin by introducing a style of thought and feeling somewhat in accordance with its own likeness."

During this same period the various departments that were designed to support the press were receiving each its due share of attention.  In the industrial department there was rapid expansion.  A new trap factory was built at Sherrill, and a new printing-office at Wallingford. The Fruit, Bag and Job-printing business were greatly enlarged.  The manufacture of plows and other agricultural implements was commenced. And for the first time an office was established in New York City for the sale of all the Community products. Silk-jobbing, which had been discontinued along with the Peddling business, was resumed.  It was thought, however, that the time had come to manufacture silk, instead of buying it for resale.  Hence, in early 1866, Mr. Inslee, after a tour of investigation, commenced the construction of the necessary machinery; Mr. C. L. Bottum, a silk manufacturer of Willimantic, Conn., readily consented to admit one of the Community young men and two young women into his factory as apprentices; and on the 30th of July the same year, in the presence of nearly the whole Community, the winders and spinners were for the first time set in motion. In all these enterprises the practice of hiring help was continued.  By 1867 there were  80 outside employees, and as a result the abstraction of about 35 Community members to man the press at Wallingford was scarcely felt.

So too the financial department was further strengthened.  The net earnings for 1864 were $61.000, and the net earnings during the entire Wallingford epoch averaged $27.000 per year, after deducting a loss of about $5000 per year due to the maintenance of "The Circular" as a free paper. There was a money stringency in the spring of 1865, caused by a falling off in the sale of traps co-inciding with heavy expenditures for new buildings, but at the end of 1866 the Community owed not a dollar.

In the educational department the policy was adopted of sending selected young men to outside schools.  In the fall of 1864 Theodore R. Noyes and George E. Cragin were sent to Yale College, and thereafter for ten years Community students were continuously in attendance at Yale, new ones taking the place of those who graduated. For the accommodation of these students a small branch Community was established at New Haven.   During this period, too, several of the young men studied in New York City, and one was admitted to the New York bar.   Meanwhile at home the system of classes for the instruction of all who chose to attend was continued with no abatement of interest.

Finally, in the department of health the Community began to possess itself of the facts and methods of science.  The first two students that were sent to Yale, "conscripts to science they were called, entered the Medical School.   After three years of study, including several months of practice in the hospitals of New York City, they received their degrees and took up the practice of their profession in the Community.

Such was the progress which the Community made during the Wallingford epoch toward the accomplishment of its great purpose. During the same period, important constitutional principles were brought out and the power of the Community to eject members who were not fundamentally in sympathy was put a test in two in cases of conflict with seceders.

The first case was that of William Mills, a man who joined the Community with his family in 1857.  The terms of admission to the Community were well-known. They were embodied in the following statement, which from the beginning had occupied a place at the head the "Register of Members," and had since been repeatedly published in descriptive pamphlets and in the paper:  "On the admission of any member all property belonging to him or her becomes the property of the Association.  A record of the estimated amount will be kept and, in case of the subsequent withdrawal of the member, the Association, according to its practice heretofore, will refund the property or an equivalent amount. This practice, however, stands on the ground not of obligation but of expediency and liberality; and the time and manner of refunding must be trusted to the discretion of the Association. While a person remains a member, his subsistence and education are held to be just equivalents for his labor; and no accounts are kept between him and the Association, and no claim of wages accrues to him in the case of subsequent withdrawal."

Notwithstanding this, Mills who became discontented and left within a year, made a claim for the property he had brought in, with interest; and when the Community demurred at paying the interest, he set a lawyer after them.  Rather than go to law, the Community paid the demand.

After an unsuccessful attempt to form a new Community in the west, Mills applied for readmission to the Oneida Community, and by abject confessions and fair promises at length hammered his way back. But on account of the nature of his original quarrel with the Community he was received expressly on probation. Noyes says:  "He had quarreled with the Community at first because he could not make a certain woman respond to his addresses, and because he could not make the Community compel her to do so.  Our principles protect women from compulsory connections.   The sexes sleep apart, and all addresses between them are conducted on principles that rule in courtship and not those that rule in marriage."  After a great deal of further labor with Mills on this point, the Community became almost convinced that he would never renounce his slaveholding ideas concerning women, and Mills on his part became a confirmed malcontent.  Meanwhile, his status as a probationer having been partly forgotten, he had become a quasi member.

At about this time a man named Lawton seceded, and brought in a claim for wages.  Mills, who was already meditating a second withdrawal, backed up Lawton's demand, saying "it was law, and would have to be paid."   Upon this the leaders of the Community made up their minds that the only safe course was to have every member sign the terms of admission. All signed voluntarily except Mills, who declared that he was not going to "put himself under law by signing any papers."  Noyes, having determined to make a square issue on this matter of a claim to wages, sent his answer to Lawton, and then confronted Mills.  "You undertake to oppose signing that paper," said he, "and you will get yourself into the worst scrape you ever were in!"  Mills refused. The next morning Mills was ousted from his job of dish-washing, the kitchen women declaring that they would not work with him.  He fumed and stalled, but finally signed the paper in full assembly.

From this time (which was the spring of 1864) Mills was absorbed in law-plots against the Community.  In November, when his plans were complete, he began to talk about his daughters having been "ruined", and placed his damages at $30.000. Then, having obtained money from the Community under the pretext of needing it for urgent business, he went to Syracuse and engaged a lawyer to prosecute his case.

Noyes, who was now thoroughly aroused, went to Wallingford and commenced a series of articles in the paper entitled "The Parasite", in which he held up Mills' character to view. He summed up his presentation thus: "We label him a force-parasite; and we trust that the scientific student of human nature will see from our description that this is a well-marked species, quite distinct from the more common sorts of insinuating, wriggling, slippery vermin that prey upon mankind chiefly by the arts of hypocrisy and deception.   Mills takes no pains to please God, man or woman, but studies day and night the checker-board of force.  relying first on moral force, that is moral pinching and goading, and failing in that, then on legal force, and finally, when both these fail, on physical force, the power of the brute and the bully."

Erastus H. Hamilton, who was in charge at Oneida, after some negotiation offered to settle with Mills for the amount of his original property in gold, which was the equivalent of $2250 in the depreciated currency of that time.  Mills rejected this offer, but said he would settle for $4000 in gold. Feeling the need of expert legal advice, Hamilton then called on Ward Hunt, the best lawyer in Utica, who was afterward appointed associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. Mills had already tried to engage him, but Hunt had put him off.  After a little conversation Hunt said to Hamilton:  "If you want me to work for you I am ready."

Mills' next step was to threaten Noyes with state prison, as a result of the "crimes" he had committed.   To this Noyes replied:  "If you choose to go on with the war you have begun, you must calculate that your whole past life, as well as mine, will have to come to light.  Every crime that you accuse me of you yourself have committed; and there is this difference between us, that while I have acted on well-considered and honestly published principles, and shall give a reason for what I have done that satisfies my own conscience and will in due time satisfy all candid judges, you are condemning by your present pretenses of holy horror your secret deeds in the past, and can escape the open shame of a self-convicted criminal only by hiding in darkness, which also will fail you at last."

After this exchange Hamilton began to think that, if the Community longer harbored Mills, the public would say: "It is because they are afraid he will expose their private character."  Hence the morning of December 12, as Mills refused to go voluntarily, he was "carefully picked up and helped out-of-doors." Those who had taken part in the proceeding reported themselves to the lawyers, and said that whatever the penalty was, they were glad to meet it.

At about this time Mills started out on a tour to work up hostile sentiment among the neighbors.  He met with little encouragement among the near-by neighbors, but boasted that Gerrit Smith, of Peterboro, perhaps the most influential man in the vicinity, had said to him that "the Community ought no longer be tolerated."  Members of the Community who called on Smith to verify this assertion were assured by him that he had always taken the ground, with Hon. Timothy Jenkins, that the Community ought to be allowed to work out its social experiment without interference, and were expressly authorized to say and to print that Mills had not his sanction for anything he was doing.

Mills was now ready to play his last card. After an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the District Attorney of Madison County to take up his case, he secured a promise from the District Attorney of Oneida County that, if the witnesses were on hand, he would bring the case before the Grand Jury, which went into session the middle of the following week.  Mills immediately telegraphed his two daughters, who were to be his principal witnesses, and in due time they appeared.  When the critical moment arrived, Mills, flushed with the expectation of victory, entered the court-room.  To his astonishment and dismay, there in the jury box sat - Ward Hunt! . . . Mills threw up the case, returned his daughters to their homes in the west, and settled on the Community's terms.

Mr. Hunt said afterward that he was never drawn on a grand jury before, and probably never would be again.   "Just another piece of the Community's damned luck," laughed a neighbor when he heard the story.

As a result of the Mills affair, Ward Hunt induced the Community to transfer all its property to four selected members jointly, not as trustees but in fee simple.  This arrangement, which was called the "Constitution of The Four", proved in impregnable barrier in subsequent attempts to disrupt the Community.

The other case in which the constitution and purgative power of the Community were put to a test was that of Amasa W. Carr. The constitutional principle involved in this case was, the right of the most spiritual to lead not only in spiritual things but also in temporal things.  Carr was a man of unusual business ability, a hard worker and a gifted salesman:  and ever since the old days at Brooklyn there had been chafing between him and Noyes on this point. At length his independence in business matters became so subversive of what the Community considered the true principle of organization, that Noyes took him out of his position as silk salesman, and made him Superintendent of Schools.   A year or two later, when the project of silk manufacturing came up, Noyes felt inclined to offer Carr the superintendence of that business.  He therefore wrote him the following note:

"Oneida, Dec. 15, 1865.

Dear Mr. Carr:-  Do you want to commence a new career of business on the basis of obedience to Inspiration, and Harmony with the brotherhood?  If you do, I can offer you a position in a new field, which I think will please you.

Yours truly. J.H.NOYES."

Carr replied briefly in the affirmative, but when he called at Noyes's room to hear his proposition, the only thing he said that indicated his state of mind was that, "if he took hold of the business, he should want to be backed up by the Community."  Noyes replied that "there was a corresponding wish on the party of the Community; that if he gave this position to Carr, he should want to feel that Carr would back up the Community, and support the administration."  He then asked Carr to think the matter over.  The next day one of the members came to Noyes in much concern of mind about some mis-statement, which, according to Carr, Noyes had made. Convinced at last that Carr was incorrigible, Noyes brought up his case in the evening meeting, and made the following remarks:  "I felt, on hearing this charge, that it was just an indication of what has been Carr's spirit from the beginning, a spirit that has steadily launched its criticism at me, and tried to show me in the wrong for the purpose of destroying my pretensions to inspiration.  I also regarded it as an indication of his persistent determination to rule me and the Community.  I say for myself that I have no faith in his having been of service to the Community. I don't care what amount of money he has made for the Community; he has cost us in heart's blood a vast deal more than he has earned.    

And furthermore, I have no faith whatever in his Christian character.  I don't believe he ever was a sincere member of this Community, or ever will be.   He has gone beyond my reach, and I shall never again try to hold him.  I believe he has been a curse to the Community, is now, and will be till he leaves it."

Almost the entire Community joined in this judgment of the case, and Carr withdrew.

In connection with this affair Noyes's attention was directed to a passage in Emerson's "Conduct of Life", which seemed to array both the Bible and experience against the principle he was seeking to maintain.  The passage was this: "Philanthropic and religious bodies do not commonly make their executive officers out of saints. The Communities hitherto founded by Socialists, the Jesuits, the Port Royalists, the American Communities at New Harmony, at Brook Farm, at Zoar, are only possible by installing Judas as steward. . .  Of the Shaker Society it was formerly a sort of proverb in the country, that they always sent the Devil to market."

Noyes's comment was as follows:   "It is insinuated here that Christ's original association of disciples had to make a Judas their steward; and that the same necessity has existed in all similar bodies ever since.  Let us go back to the original case, and see what the facts were. I admit that before Christ's death and resurrection there was some reason a necessity that he should have such a steward; or at any rate that he did have such a steward, and the inference is natural that there must have been some necessity for it. But at the time of his death and resurrection that necessity was certainly removed.   He said just before he was crucified:   'Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out.'  Judas was the incarnation of the money spirit, which is the prince of this world, and here was going to be the end of his stewardship.  Accordingly, after he betrayed his master he went and hanged himself, and was no longer steward.  And who was the steward after that?  I understand that Paul took the place of Judas among the twelve, and that he was the final financier of the Primitive Church.  Read carefully the history, and you will see that this was his special function.  He was a great tax-gatherer or collector, and an active financier, scheming and working to provide for the wants of the church, and really keeping up a circulation amounting to communism among all the churches under his charge.  And the most noble work he made of it!  I believe we can have a Paul as the manager of our finances. We may as well reckon from him as from Judas, and expect that the best of men, instead of the bad and treacherous, will hold the purse."

With Mills, Carr and Guiteau out, the Community entered upon a period of unprecedented prosperity, external and internal. In fact, the year August 1866 to August 1867 may not inaptly be called the culminating year of the experiment.

In the first place, events transpired which brought the Community into public notice as never before.  Aside from the obvious material success of the Community and the increasing circulation of its paper, the greatest factor in this publicity was Hepworth Dixon's visit and book.  Dixon, who was the editor of the "London Athenaeum" and an author of note, came to America in 1866 to get materials for a book on American socialism. He visited the Shakers at New Lebanon, the Mormons in Utah, and spent two days at the Oneida Community. His book, entitled "New America", in two volumes, was published in February 1867, and the statement was made by the publishers that the account of the Oneida Community, in 55 pages, aroused more interest than any other subject discussed.   It was essentially a caricature, and for that reason strict historical accuracy was subordinated to artistic effect; but it was good-humored, tolerant, and charmingly written, and it gave the Community some chance to speak for itself by quoting largely from its own publications. This book had a great run in England and America, was translated into foreign languages, and went all over the world.  Following in the wake of Dixon, American editors took up the theme.  Long appreciative articles, with editorial accompaniments, appeared in the "New York Tribune", the "New York Herald", the "Phrenological Journal", and other American papers. The effect of all this publicity was seen in a flood of visitors at the Community home.  Six thousand came during the summer of 1866, and the tide was still rising.  Ninety-nine meals were served during one week in the fall to persons of more serious purpose than casual visitors, and fifty applications for membership, mostly from heads of families, were received between January and June, 1867.

On the other hand, there was never a year in which the internal condition of the Community was more sound and satisfactory. As Noyes put it, "Hard spirits retreated; good spirits prevailed and rejoiced."

There were no seceders; on the contrary there were many earnest expressions of unity with Noyes and deep interest in the purpose he had set before the Community.  These were not confined to the older generation, but were heartily echoed by the young, particularly by Noyes's own son, Theodore.  In the summer of 1865, at the age of 24, Theodore had come into close religious sympathy with his father, and he possessed in a high degree the intellectual and moral qualities of leadership, he was, in August 1866, generally acknowledged as a leader of the rising generation.   This was great relief and satisfaction to Noyes, who was now 55 years old, and naturally wished to feel that the work he had undertaken was not dependent on his life alone.  In January 1867, during a vacation at Yale, Theodore went on to Oneida, and started a powerful revival among the young folks.  This was followed, at Noyes's suggestion, by a series of daily "Noon Meetings", open to all and lasting throughout the summer, in which the hearts of young and old were drawn together, and the religious life of the entire Community was powerfully quickened.   In a statement to the Community August 8, 1867, Theodore expressed his own position, and doubtless that of many others, in the following words:  "I have had lately an unusual sense of the magnitude of our movement.   I want to throw away every consideration except that of being a transparent medium of the inspiration that God has brought upon the earth. I think I can say with perfect sincerity, that I don't want and won't have any independence of this movement, of which Father is the center. I shall look with a jealous eye upon anything that turns me from it.  In a certain sense I desire to be servile in my adhesion to it."

With this earnest enthusiasm on the part of its members, and keen interest on the part of the public, it was only natural that the Community should lay itself out to meet what seemed to them a landslide toward Communism.  In December, 1866, Noyes said:  "The opening and promise before our young people is to be heads of Communities. They must prepare to be spiritual fathers and mothers before they are natural fathers and mothers. The demand for Communism is going to be enormous.  I should not think it strange if within two years we should be scattered to the four winds, except for a skeleton organization here and that changing al the time."

The Community had hitherto been extremely cautious in admitting new members.  But with the "O.C.Daily" (a small four-page sheet which since the beginning of 18666 had been printed daily except Sunday for home circulation), with the Noon and Evening Meetings, and with the constantly increasing power of the "Circular", Noyes began to feel that a more liberal policy could be safely adopted.  "We must not be cowardly", he said, "about taking in new members. When we get our new machinery all working, I shall not be afraid to take in a host - don't care who they are - good, bad, or indifferent."  Accordingly, in April 1867, ten persons were admitted at once, a number unprecedented since the days of the first ingathering at Oneida.

In line with this new policy, a "Hand-Book" of 72 pages, for the information of inquirers, was published; new branches were established in New York City, at "Willow Place" in Sherrill, and at New Haven; a large boarding-house, or hotel, in charge of a regularly organized Community family and intended to serve as sort of "outside reception room for the floods and floods of visitors" that were expected, was opened on the home domain about a quarter of a mile from the Mansion.

As the crowning event of this "banner year", George W. Noyes, a brother of J.H.Noyes and editor of   "The Circular", and Charles S. Joslyn, a young member who had recently been admitted to the New York bar, were sent as representatives of the Community to Europe.  They were received with great cordiality in London by Mr. Hepworth Dixon.  They went to Paris, placed samples of the Community manufactures in the Paris Exposition, and attended a meeting held in their honor by the Fourierists of the city. They presented copies of the Community publications to the British Museum, and established agencies for their sale both in London and in Paris.  They were sought three times by Lord Houghton (otherwise Monckton Milnes, the poet) as breakfast guests, but were prevented twice by his being called out of town, and once by their own departure to the Continent.  They were Mr. Dixon's guests of honor at a dinner attended by Dr. Ellicott, Lord Bishop of Gloucester; Lord Romilly, Master of the Rolls; Lord Amberley, son of Earl Russell; Dr. Lancaster, Coroner of London; Mr. Faed, painter of "Evangeline"; and other noted persons. They placed in Mr. Dixon's hands a voluminous inquiry by Noyes into the causes of the decline of marriage, a document which Mr. Dixon put to use in his next book, entitled "Spiritual Wives".  They explained to Professor Huxley the Community's method of birth control. Mr. Dixon saying later that Professor Huxley was "one of those who thought it desirable to interfere with the natural course of things in this respect, and that he was a good deal impressed by the experience of the Community."  They discussed the religious foundations of the Community with Dr. Ellicott, Lord Bishop of Gloucester, eliciting from him the remark that the Communists, in common with all sects, especially in new countries, made great account of the individual, his exercises and persuasions; whereas in the old world, with their dense society and settled institutions, the individual was more subordinate to fixed and corporate guidance.  Having accomplished the more serious purposes of the trip, Messrs. Noyes and Joslyn traveled through Switzerland, Belgium and France, and wrote out their impressions for "The Circular" in a series of delightful "Oversea Letters".


At this culminating point, a few paragraphs of general description may be introduced, with the understanding that they apply to the Community not merely during its Wallingford epoch, but in greater or less degree throughout its career.

All the affairs of the Community were directed by the daily "Evening Meeting", in which every adult member, whether man or woman, had a voice and a vote.  Ordinary business matters were settled by the "Business Board", which met every morning at eleven, and was open to any member who desired to attend. In both the "Evening Meeting" and the "Business Board" unanimity was the rule of action. Whenever a difference of opinion developed, action was deferred, sometimes even for months, until at last by earnest search and friendly discussion a solution was found that was satisfactory to all.

The complicated personal relations of the Community were kept sincere and improving by a system of "mutual criticism". No member was suffered to drift out of fellowship with the main body without an opportunity of being shown his faults. Just as plain-speaking is the rule in a family whose members love one another, so in the Oneida Community "mutual criticism" was an important social safety-valve and regulator. The results in canceling old scores and starting a new course of confidence and improvement were so satisfactory, that members often voluntarily applied for "criticism". One person after the return to individualism declared that he would give all that he possessed "for just one more criticism by J.H.Noyes."

The supreme desire of the Oneida Communists was to consecrate all, not merely one-seventh of their time to God; consequently they did not feel that Sunday was any more sacred than the other days of the week.  For many years they held on Sunday afternoon a religious meeting, which was open to the public. On the other hand they did not scruple to run their work-shops on Sunday, if orders were pressing. When they learned, however, that this was annoying to some of their neighbors, they discontinued the practice, and at about the same time the young men were advised not to hunt or fish on Sunday.  After this, Sunday was occupied in a less conspicuous but scarcely secular fashion.   Beside the regular evening meeting there were criticisms, classes for study, a session of the Business Board, and meetings of social clubs. Rides, pic-nics and excursions often featured the day.

Profanity and obscene talk and literature were so uncongenial to the Community atmosphere to be almost unknown.

Vegetables, fruits, cereals and dairy products from the Community's own farms were the staple articles of diet. No pork was served, and other kinds of meat but sparingly.  In the early days tea, coffee and tobacco were freely used, also wine on festive occasions; but objection was felt toward all such habit-forming indulgencies, and they were one after another abandoned.

The Community, however, was far from ascetic. Card playing and dancing were favorite amusements, and all sorts of out-door sports were encouraged. The recreation homes called "Joppa" and Cozicott" formed a most delightful feature of Community life. The former was about twelve miles from Oneida, on the eastern shore of Oneida Lake, fronting on a shelving beach of hard clean sand, with deep woods in the rear; the latter was at about the same distance from Wallingford, on the rocky Connecticut shore of Long Island Sound. During the season of pleasant weather parties of a dozen or more succeeded each other at these resorts, for a week's enjoyment of boating and bathing, hunting, fishing and tramping.

The dress of the men was not essentially different from that worn at the time in rural America.  But the women broke away from bondage to fashion.  Their costume was a fitted waist, high neck, adorned with a while collar, long sleeves, and a full skirt attached, falling just below the knee.  The dress was completed by pantalettes of the same material reaching to the ankle.  The choice of materials was calico and worsted. Out of straw grown on the Community farm they braided hats, shaped and trimed in simple but varied fashion. For work they bought Shaker bonnets. They wore short hair, arranged according to personal taste.  The shoes were made by Community artisans to fit the foot, a neat low-heeled shoe, without regard to changes of fashion.

Money was rarely seen in the Community. Private hoards were discountenanced as prejudicial to the spirit of Communism.  At the same time the desirability, on some accounts, of a personal money allowance was recognized, and in 1862, after self-support had been achieved, the Community treasurer was instructed to pay quarterly to each adult an allowance of 25 cents, and to each child 12 1/2 cents. This could be used to "gratify individual whims, or make presents to particular friends"; and it was stated that those who "did not want the bounty" could, of course, give it back to the Community.  In 1875 a system of personal appropriations to cover the cost of clothing and incidentals was adopted, "for the sake of encouraging economy, and giving a practical education in money matters to the young." The amount was $75 to each man, and $40 to each woman, annually.  Even under this system supplies could be obtained through Community channels without the use of currency, and after the break-up in 1881 some of the members could scarcely distinguish one coin from another.

Only the few members best qualified by nature to bear the burden had any financial responsibility.  To all the rest labor was not so much a means of getting a living as a means of education, fellowship and pleasurable achievement. Facility in finding congenial employment, frequent changes, the mingling of the sexes in industry wherever possible, and the practice of executing special jobs in "bees", all had the effect of heightening the attractiveness of labor.  Laziness was almost never a problem.

The Community was always on the look-out for mechanical devices to lighten the labor of the home.  Steam-heating was early introduced, doing away with the care and dirt of stoves; and among so many minds ingenious machinery was found or invented for laundry, for dish-washing, for the preparation of food, and for cleaning floors.

In the treatment of disease was at first a strong leaning toward exclusively spiritual therapeutics, but afterward reliance was placed upon a combination of spiritual and physical agencies, chiefly faith in Christ, turning the attention away from disease, wholesome employment, and the Community's own skillful nurses.  Doctors and medicines were seldom employed.   As already related, in an epidemic of diphtheria criticism and cracked ice were used.  On another occasion when the Wallingford Community was invaded by malaria, criticism quinine and the Turkish Bath were the weapons employed.  Much attention was given to diet, clothing and sanitation. Partly on account of its relative isolation from outside society, the Community was to a large extent from the more common epidemics.  Nervous break-downs due to financial  worry and strain could rarely occur. Venereal disease and abortion were absolutely unknown. Under all these conditions the health of the Community was above the average of the surrounding population. Many of the members lived to be past 80, and there were 22 who attained to an age between 85 and 96.

The Community was always distinguished for hospitality. Among the picturesque memories of the early days are the strawberry festivals with which the Community was wont to entertain its neighbors.  On one of these occasions seventy members of the Oneida tribe of Indians were feted on the Community lawn.  In addition to invited guests there were many casual visitors attracted by curiosity or a desire to become acquainted.  Not unfrequently entire strangers were freely entertained for days or even weeks.  "Home company", while treated with all the sympathy and kindliness of a private family, were invited to take part in the work and were plainly told their faults, the same as the Community members.  This sincerity was the Community's defense against undesired intrusions.   Among the visitors were many celebrated people. The Visitors' Register covering five and a half years ending in 1867 contained nearly 16000 names, and it was estimated that this represented only one-third of the number actually entertained. After the Midland Railroad was built in 1871 excursions of several hundred persons often came to the Community in a single day.  As many as possible of the Community members dropped their work, impromptu entertainments were given in the hall of the Mansion, and the far-famed Community "dinner without meat" was served to all.

At the close of the Wallingford epoch, after a year's exemption from secession and blackmail, these plagues now returned upon the Community in a particularly exasperating form.  A young man, who had joined as a minor at the solicitation of his father, later finding the atmosphere of the Community uncongenial, seceded and made a demand through a lawyer for $9.150.00 to cover $150.00 of property put in, and $1.500.00 per year wages during six years of membership. About a month afterward his father wrote to the Community as follows:  "I did not for a moment suppose that he had any idea of attempting the absurd project of extorting money from the Community, or I should not have furnished him with one cent.  I did however discover, before I parted with him at the dept, that he had what appeared to me a fearfully wicked spirit, and thought that I should not be surprised to hear that he had committed a fearful crime, which would land him in the penitentiary, or some worse place."  The would-be extortioner then wrote an anonymous circular, which he sent broadcast to editors and others supposed to be interested, denouncing the Oneida Community as a "spiritual and social despotism," "constantly violating the most sacred laws of God and Man," and calling upon "Merchants, the Press, Bench and Pulpit" to unite in "wiping it out."  The scheme failed.  The young man who attempted it was Charles Jules Guiteau, afterwards the assassin of James A. Garfield, President of the United States.

Wallingford University

August 25, 1863 ~ Wallingford Journal. ~

Noyes:  We are building up at Oneida a vast business system.  What are we going to build on that foundation?   The purpose we formed long ago to establish a free daily paper points to the answer.  A daily paper and a press such as Christ must have in this world, one that will rise above and dominate the literature of the world, will require men of the highest power of thought and inspiration.  Is not our business, then, a material basis for a university, with reference to the final campaign of conquering the world by the truth?

I have always thought that if Wallingford were going to enlarge and prosper as a business community, it would sometime get possession of this neighboring water power.  But Providence does not seem to favor that plan.  You have the chain business here, but its natural seat is at Oneida.  It has been proposed to substitute the bag business, but that looks somewhat dubious to me. What then have you left? You are simply an agricultural and horticultural community.  On this basis I do not see how you can ever grow much more.  But if on this foundation you can raise a superstructure of a scientific and spiritual university with sufficient manual labor to be in some sort self-supporting, I think you will have an object and a business as great as you can ask for.

My idea of a school is somewhat different from that of the world.  We want a school for the training of "apostles, prophets and teachers." Such as they had Antioch, Acts 13: 1-3.  I have for a long time felt the need of educated men in the Community, men capable of competing with the great literary minds of the world. The lack of them is the only obstacle to our project of a daily paper.  It is mercy to us that God has not suffered us to make a start until we are able to meet the world on an equal footing as regards intelligence of every kind.

I have thought of saying to Oneida: God has exempted you from the military draft.  Now are you willing that God should draft some of your best young men for his service? Are you ready to let two, say for this first year, be set apart for the training necessary to make leaders and fathers of communities?  This would be a beginning, but as we look forward to the conversion of the world and the founding of communities everywhere, a hundred will sometime be necessary to supply the demand

August 27, 1863 ~ Wallingford Journal. ~ WALLINGFORD UNIVERSITY

If any individual among us has a special talent for brain labor, such talent should be recognized and the fullest opportunity given for its development.

September 2, 1863 ~ WALLINGFORD JOURNAL ~

Mr. Leonard introduced another feature of Mr. Noyes's plan for the future of Walllingford, viz. To remove the printing-office here.

Noyes:  Wallingford need not try to become a second Oneida. It would be like a woman trying to be a man.  Wallingford has a destiny of its own.  It may be called Oneida's wife, and will be supported whether it earns a living or not. Wallingford has always been more less of a drag on Oneida.  They have never felt much like sending men here.  When this change is made, Wallingford will be a real comfort to Oneida, giving help and enthusiasm to all.

Wealth is power; knowledge is power. We must get hold of both these agencies in order to conquer the world.  The gospel is "the power of God and the wisdom of God."

September 4, 1863 ~ WALLINGFORD JOURNAL ~

I am convinced that, in one respect at least, our new educational enterprise will be true economy in a business point of view. At Oneida they are paying out considerable for medical services.  Whenever a critical case occurs they send for a doctor.  There is also a great deal of sickness when a doctor is not consulted, which is a detriment and pecuniary loss to the Community.

"I have always known since my conversion at Putney in 1831, that I had an invisible accomplice in all the games of life. By watching for his signals I could be sure of good luck.  This accomplice, knowing my cards and looking over the shoulder of my adversary, could help me in many ways, and always has done so.  Whether the help came by giving me hints that enabled me to meet wisely events as they proceeded under natural laws, or by adapting events miraculously to my play, or by affecting favorably the minds of those with whom I played, the result was the same - - good luck - - marvelous good luck.   I have often warned people with whom I was dealing, that I played with loaded dice."

Another Transitional Period: 1868-69 - Thoedore's first administration


In August, 1867, nearly every detail of Noyes's "amended plan" for establishing the Kingdom of God on earth had already been accomplished, and the final step, which was to clinch success, namely, the publication of a free, daily paper in New York City, seemed about to be taken.  But once again the spectres of debt and disease menacingly arose, and compelled a reconsideration of ways and means.

After about ten years disablement from talking, on account of the condition of his throat, Noyes during the diphtheria campaign gained an advantage over his disease, and for the next four years worked hard and almost incessantly with is voice, delivering "home-talks" and engaging in private discussions and criticisms.  But in 1867 his former difficulty returned.  Hoping to repel the attack by inuring himself to hardship, throughout the winter of 1868-9 he with about twenty of the other Community men took a daily plunge through the ice into Willow Place Pond.   His throat, however, grew worse and worse, until in the winter of 1869-70 it seemed many times as if he could not survive. Still he comforted himself with the thought that life had two manifestations, the molecular and the mechanical. "The resurrection," he said, "begins in the molecular sphere.  A person may be growing in molecular life, although restricted in outward activity."

While thus wrestling with debt and disease, the Community re-examined its foundations, and in 1869 a supplement to the "amended plan", seen by all to be clearly needed, was put into effect.

Expansion more rapid than accumulation of earnings produced its inevitable financial effect.  In September, 1867, the Community owed $81.000.00. and was perhaps never in its history so near the end of its resources.  Noyes, as usual, drew a spiritual lesson from the surrounding difficulties.  "We must adopt the principle," he said, "of limiting ourselves in the midst of prosperity. We must resolve that, even if the Lord should set us on the throne of Nebuchadnezzar, we shall be humble and remain in the very spot where our last tribulation left us." Matters were brought to a head in December, when the question of renewing the lease of the New York office came up for decision.  Noyes stated the case to the Community thus:  "either we must go on and enlarge, or else we must withdraw from New York. There is going to be great temptation to expand, but I have thought that, instead of expanding, we had better concentrate.  I am not going to think that, because I have started on a track under the inspiration of the Lord, I must carry it on forever under the inspiration of the Devil. Many a commander has lost all, because he had not the courage to retreat.  I propose that we solemnly submit our business and organization to God for pruning, if it is necessary and as much as is necessary, let the cost be what it may."

The plan was received with cheers, and Noyes's son Theodore, who had just received his degree as Doctor of Medicine, was appointed to carry it out.  During the next few months "The Circular" was moved back to Oneida, the Boarding-house was closed, the Bag and Fruit Preserving businesses were given up, the New York Branch was abandoned except for a single room with a desk and bed for the convenience of agents when in the city, and the various educational and propagandist schemes were for the time subordinated to the purpose of paying off the debt and perfecting Oneida as a model of Communism. "Having by your course of expansion through several years," wrote Theodore in "The Circular", "gained a start in education, art and commerce, we will now return and pour the results into the lap of the parent that sent us forth. Let us see and show how much God can do for man and society on a single spot.  This will be a better service to the cause than any amount of crude unfinished experimenting and premature expansion."

1868-72 ~ Theodore's First Administration ~

The retrenchment measures initiated by Theodore at the end of 1967 were so effective that by January 1869 the Community owed not a dollar, and had invested $20.000.00 of surplus cash in United States bonds. On account of this success, Theodore was retained at the head of finances until 1872.  The net earning of the Community during this period averaged larger than every before in its history, as may be seen from the following table:

Year Net Earnings





Aver. per year $47.016.64

# Approximate:  on account of changes in the method of taking the inventory, only the round figure is given in the Journal.

With the easing of the financial situation in 1869, expansion was resumed.  The Wilson farm of 125 acres adjacent to the Community water powers was added to the domain at Sherrill; the Hall & Elton factory and water privilege at Wallingford were bought, and the construction of a great dam commenced, with the object of enlarging the silk and publishing business; the Fruit business was revived, and the New York office reopened; a new brick wing to the Mansion was built, and a portion of the old wooden structure was moved and fitted up for a Seminary.

While in the midst of this period of expansion, a clash occurred between Noyes and Theodore, the former wishing to "come about" on the tack of economy, and the latter pushing for further enlargement.  Noyes attributed the difficulty to incorrect reporting of each other's views, and a temporary adjustment was reached.  But during the ensuing year occasions of dissatisfaction steadily accumulated. The Business Board no longer held its sessions.  Theodore appointed all the heads of departments, and they came to him separately for consultation. The Community had little chance to review, or even to know what was going on.  Young men occupied nearly all the important positions. There was a good deal of talk about "putting the older generation on the shelf", and running the business on a money-making basis.  Finally, in January 1872, the whole business administration came up for discussion, and Noyes expressed himself thus:  "We must have more spirituality in our business.  Theodore is tempted to rely too much on ability and financial machinery, and does not appreciate the tremendous importance of inspiration. I see more and more the necessity of a Business Board, that will meet every week and help us control one another. I should want counsel from the heads of departments every chance I could get.  If Theodore feels able to guide the whole thing himself, he is a greater man than I am.  I think he will break down if he attempts it.  Let us throw all these things open to daylight.  Let all the departments offer themselves for criticism, and have no irritability about it.  Let us not consider the business arrangements settled, but let the Community discuss them and be free to alter them.  I ask the privilege to look them all over myself, and see what I want done.  I began my career with the principle, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all other things shall be added unto you: and I had rather have all our departments of business stop than go along on any other principle than that."

This discussion was followed by a reorganization of business.  While it was in progress, Theodore had a nervous-breakdown, and went to Dansville to recuperate. On his return four months later, his attention was occupied by other matters, and he did not for several years re-enter the ranks of business.

Battling with Disease

[ After about ten years disablement from talking on account of the condition of his through, Noyes during the diptheria campaign gained an advantage over his disease, and for the next four years worked hard and incessantly with his voice, delivering "Home-Talks" and engaging in private discussions and criticisms. But in 1867 his former difficulties returned. Next he tried inuring himself to hardshop. With about twenty Community men throughout the winter of 1868-9 he tool a daily plunge through the ice into Willow Place Pond. His throat grew worse, until in the winter of 1869-70 it seemed many times as if he could not survive. Still he comforted himself with the through that life had two manifestations , the molecular and the mechanical. "The resurrection," he said "begins in the molecular sphere. A person may be growing in molecular life, although restricted in outward activity." ]

In July 1870 Noyes's brother George, editor of "The Circular" and one of his most valued helpers, fell sick and died. This was a shock to the whole Community comparable to that when Mrs. Cragin was drowned; but they stated in the paper that the event had not diminished their faith in ultimate victory over disease and even death.  The two Community physicians were the only ones employed.

Just in this crisis Noyes rallied from his throat trouble; talked "quite comfortably"; felt "rather remarkably well."  The next spring, in a letter to William A. Hinds, he expressed his position thus: "I said on the blank part of your letter to me that I would not make any alterations in your matter for the 'Hand-book'.  I have since thought it best to suggest that you leave out the paragraph in answer to the question, 'What will the Community do when the present leaders die?' And while I am about this matter, I will make a clean breast of my thoughts upon it. I live much of the time apparently in the presence of death; have done so for many years.   It is thus a matter of course that I should reflect on the above questions very earnestly, and should often inquire of my own reason and of the Lord what I ought to do.  This is no more than what all mean of good sense do as they grow old, or their health becomes precarious.  I trust there is no foolishness or cowardice in me that would prevent me from setting my house in order and making something equivalent to a will, if I thought I was really about to leave the Community and give place to a successor. But I have no inspiration to do any such thing.  In fact, the propensity to yield to that suggestions of infirmity and turn in that direction seems to me a temptation to forsake my post.  I cannot get leave from him who commissioned me, to resign and appoint a successor. I see that he kept his post after he disappeared, and he told his officers that they should 'reign on the earth', death or no death.  His resurrection and the hope of his second coming lifted one generation of the church into a faith that saw no change before them which required them to resign and make their wills.  Well, we are so near a second coming, or something like it, that I see no death before me, and by that I mean I see no cessation of my active power.  I do not know what changes are coming, but whatever they may be I have not the least idea that I shall cease to be the central life and manager of the Community.  For these reasons I think it not best to talk in the usual way about present leaders dying and others taking their place.  Outsiders, of course, would not appreciate these reasons, but the Community will, and ought not to put forth anything that is contrary to its own sincere faith. Let us either say nothing on this subject, or confess the old faith founded on Christ's promise, 'He that believeth on me shall never die.'"

This statement of faith seems to have been taken as a challenge by the powers of evil, and Noyes was soon fighting for life more desperately than ever.  He was assailed by pains in the back, a burning throat, disordered heart, pressure on the brain, and terrible nights.  The Community had recently bought a water privilege at Wallingford, and were engaged in clearing the ground preparatory to building a dam. Noyes pitched into the work with all his might, splitting rocks and felling trees.  If he had a sleepless night, he would get up at four o'clock and go to work.  Thus he "braved it out against every temptation to succumb." 

Sickness now became general in a wide belt around Wallingford, and was diagnosed as malaria.  Seventeen members of the Wallingford Community (about half the family) were stricken at once.  The situation was so bad that on the 18th of September 1871 Noyes put the seven worst sufferers, the "refuse lot" they were called, aboard the cars for Oneida, assuming charge of the party himself.   On reaching Oneida just at nightfall, they learned to their dismay that their telegram had miscarried and no one was there to meet them.  As they were still four miles from home, Noyes started out to find a conveyance.   The only thing he could find was an omnibus, drawn by mules, which had just returned from the Community silk mill with a load of girls. The driver was too tired and hungry to even consider making a second trip, so Noyes climbed on the box himself. "Imagine," exclaimed one of the shiverers, later narrating the tale, "mules, tired with their day's work, going the opposite way from their stables, with no whip!" The journey consumed two hours, and when the end was reached the occupants of the bus were so weak and numb that they could scarcely get out.

The following summer Noyes's sister Harriet was taken dangerously ill.  Theodore and George E., the Community physicians, were inclined to consult Dr. Carpenter, of the neighboring village.  Noyes had no objections, and advised them also to call in Dr. Jackson, head of the Dansville Sanitarium, who was at the Community for a visit.   He said that, although he wanted to learn whatever he could be ascertained about the physical side of the case, he was convinced that there was a mental and spiritual side which needed to be treated first of all. When he came to give her the medicine, which the doctors prescribed, he explained to the parasitic theory of disease, and told her that he was going to fire at the wild beasts that were tearing her, and expected to hit them.  Her fever left her, and she got well.  Theodore and George E. were both surprised at the result, and Noyes regarded it as a testimony to God's power to cure diseases not only directly, but by the use of medicine.

While this case was pending, Theodore himself had a nervous breakdown, and went to Dansville for treatment.   He returned much improved at the end of about four months.

In May 1873 Helen Mar Hutchins died in New York City after an operation, performed by an eminent surgeon, for ovarian tumor. This was the first Community case to go under the knife.

In April 1874 one of the young men, who had previously recovered from an acute attack of insanity, suffered a relapse and was taken back to the hospital.

In September 1874 occurred the death of Charlotte A. Miller, another of Noyes's sisters.  She was greatly beloved by young and old, and had for many years been specially concerned with the social administration of the Community.

Meanwhile the fever and ague situation at Wallingford dragged along with little if any improvement, and there was increasing difficulty in keeping the Wallingford Community manned. Many of the sick ones used quinine and "German drops" freely, although, as a member remarked, it was a little repugnant to Community ideas.  At last, in the summer of 1874, the question of abandoning the Wallingford branch came up for serious discussion.  After various arguments had been brought forward on both sides, Noyes addressed to the Community a paper on the subject, from which the following are extracts:  "This morning I had some clear thinking.  It came, as clear thinking generally comes, in a great clash of inducements. My feeling was that we must get rid of the fever and ague; and on the other hand that we cannot leave Wallingford immediately and that we ought not to leave it at all. . .  Has the battle finally gone against us?  Napoleon at Marengo, after a severe defeat, fought another battle and won one of his greatest victories. . . Have we exhausted the virtue of our old standard medicine, criticism? . . .  As I hate the ague, so I hate retreat before it.  Will it not follow us?  And if we escape this particular pestilence by falling back, are there not others as bad or worse, that will corner us here or anywhere,   till we face and drive the whole of them in Christ's fashion?  I am willing to notify God that we cannot stand the ague at Wallingford beyond this season; that we will do our best with the light of faith we have, and if he gives us strength to make an end of it before next winter, we will gladly go on with the great enterprise begun at Wallingford; but otherwise we shall have to quit."

This view of the matter was greeted by laughter and cheers, and the Community girded itself for a continuation of the fight. A short time before winter the attention of the Community was directed to the Turkish Bath, which was then just coming into vogue, and Theodore was sent to New York to investigate it. His report was favorable, and a small experimental Bath was installed.  Noyes soon saw in this a new and more hopeful weapon against the fever and ague. "In our battle with diphtheria," he said, "we used criticism and ice.  Why not now use criticism and the Turkish Bath?" The idea seemed reasonable, and a strong detachment of men and women was appointed to carry it out. The war was waged not only in the Community but in the surrounding neighborhood, and bulletins were published in handbills and in the columns of "The Circular."   Many surprising cures of outsiders were reported, and in September 1875, a year from the time when the "refuse lot" was shipped to Oneida, the statement was made that there was not a single case of fever and ague in the Wallingford Community. 

German Rationalism

We have already noted that "The Circular" at the commencement of the Wallingford epoch adopted a broader editorial policy. After a few months trial, Noyes pressed upon the Community the necessity of pushing still farther in the same direction.  He said: "We are all so very religious that it is next to impossible for us to keep out of the didactic vein. I want to get a greater range and freedom of mind than James Gordon Bennett has.  We should aim to become thoroughly reliable oracles in matters of science, and in process of time we shall have more news than we have now. Genius must have freedom. We should seek to clear ourselves of everything but inspiration."

So also, when the claim was made that a pre-Adamitic man had been discovered, Noyes exhorted the Community to meet such attacks on the letter of the bible not by "crouching down in a spirit of fear, but by going way beyond and being more liberal and confident than the scientific people themselves.

Not long afterward the following colloquy took place between Noyes and his son Theodore, who was then just finishing his medical course at Yale:

"Noyes:  Do you have any difficulty in your mind about the Bible?

Theodore:  No sir, I don't know as I do, any that I let influence me in regard to present faith.  I find that I allow myself, before I know it, to put a rather freer construction on the first part of the Old Testament than some folks do.

Noyes:  I put a pretty free construction on that myself.  I take the ground that the account of the creation may be, if you please, an invention, a fable, a poem, and yet be inspired and convey substantial truth.  In fact, I do not know but Mother Goose's Melodies are inspired.  God provides such things for children.  Perhaps in the times of the Old Testament the world was not in a condition to appreciate anything better than that account of the creation. That account places God supreme over matter, which is the beginning of all truth.  I wonder if anybody is going to be stumbled by what I have said tonight. I think the time has come for us to itch into the freest discussions about the Bible among ourselves; and we shall come out with a tighter grasp on the Bible than we ever had."

While this liberal attitude toward modern scientific criticism of the Bible was gaining favor in the Community, the leaders became aware of an influence causing darkness and hardness in certain individuals.  It was not, they thought, a scientific influence, but rather a "narcotic" one, dulling to the spiritual sense, and it seemed to come from the popular literature of the day.  At last Noyes in the following home-talk traced it to what he believed to be its source:


I dreamed last night that I was in labor controversy of some kind with Goethe.  I do not often have a dream which I can tell, but this was quite distinct, and it impressed me with the idea that we must go back of this infernal Boston literature, and find the roots of it in Germany and in this man.  We want young men who are training themselves faithfully to take hold of that literature, and make it stink in the nostrils of all the world, as it will when properly shown up...  I trace the history of Germany thus:  The spirit of the Reformation in Luther's time leavened the whole nation wonderfully, and developed a great deal of true spiritual experience.   But the German people, though adapted to such a movement for the moment, were not adapted to a permanent connection with the Primitive Church.  So the spirit of God passed from them to England, and developed the Puritan movement; and from there came to America, where it manifested itself in revivals.   The German nation as a whole instead of following Luther followed Erasmus.  He was a man who saw the truth and privately acknowledged everything, but he held that it was not expedient to make a great disturbance about the matter.  His spiritual nature was inferior to his intellectual. So the Germans became very learned, very great in research, but with no love of righteousness or hatred of iniquity.  Carlyle, Bayard Taylor and the Boston writers are trying to import that old second-hand stuff into this country.  But the Lord swears it shall not be done. . .  This is really the fight between us and Emerson and the Brook Farm Community. They were intellectual, literary folks with feeble hearts.  They could see good things which ought to be done, but could not carry them out. A brain that is subordinate to the heart ultimately becomes stronger than these heartless brains."

German rationalism took a particularly strong hold on a young man of brilliant intellect named Daniel Bailey.   The lower part of his body having been paralyzed by an accident in early life, Daniel had devoted himself to short-hand reporting, journalizing and writing for the paper.  He was criticised in November, 1866, for "getting into too much sympathy with German poetry and German thought": and when, in the fall of 1869 Joseph Skinner, a nephew of Noyes  who had just graduated from Yale, took charge of the newly-organized Community Academy, he and Daniel were warned to be "careful about meddling with German literature and introducing it."  After this for more than a year the progress of German rationalism in the Community at large was checked.  But it retained its influence over Daniel, and on January 8, 1871, Noyes received from him the following letter:

"Dear Mr. Noyes:-. . . The thought that I may have to receive the personal care of any one but Mother is terrible; that is charitable attention.  If it were bought and paid for, it would be different:  but hired attendance here in the Community is and probably always will be impracticable.  Mother is not likely to be able to wait on me many years longer; hence the prospect stares me in the face that in a few years at most I shall be dependent upon others for personal care.  The only alternative in the past has been the resolution that I would not survive such a state of things. I trust it will not greatly shock you to know that I believe there is such a thing as justifiable suicide. . . Consequently, I have looked at the method indicated as the only ultimate solution till recently, when what seems to me a better way has occurred to me.

To make my proposition seem well-considered, I must go back a little and refer to something I fear will grieve you. About three years and a half ago Theodore entered my room suddenly, and poured out a passionate criticism of me, accusing me of attempting to supplant him in the hearts of young people, over whom he had been made leader.  The charge was to me like a peal of thunder from a clear sky, for I had heartily accepted his appointment, and personally assured him of my purpose of loyalty. A year and a half rolled away, during which time I tried hard to commend myself to him.  I supposed I had succeeded till he suddenly renewed the old charge, adding that he knew that I had no respect for him as a spiritual man, and that the same was partially true for Joseph as a result of my influence.  So far as I was concerned I knew this to be positively untrue at the time, though it had the effect to subsequently weaken my confidence  in his spiritual discernment and Christian charity. . .   But as far as Joseph was concerned, I felt in honor bound to break off all intimacy.  He took the same view, though he knew as well as I did that I did not influence him; that our fellowship was mainly intellectual, and that he being the better educated naturally took the lead.  Theodore said he should do all he could to prevent intimacy between me and any of the young folks.  Accordingly I have resolutely turned from them all as much as possible ever since, and in every other way sought to avoid giving offense; but further than that have trusted to time to right the strange and persistent hallucination that Theodore has so long harbored respecting me.

Now the question stands thus:   Theodore, the leader of the young and financier, feels that I am an alien, and I have in vain tried to change the impression. In view of this fact I believe that I ought to at least to offer to retire.  I say to you frankly that such a move would be a very painful one, because in my way I am a loyal Community man, and have formed many strong attachments to Community principles, customs and members. . .  I honor your personally as the smartest man I have ever known, and as an agent under Providence of immense good to mankind; but as a rule it is facts, not men, that I honor . . .Can the Community afford to retain one as a member, who is now considered by Theodore a bad element, and who in the future may think for himself much more than in the past?. . .   If you consider the state of my feelings and the effect of keeping me here, with the fact self-evident that criticism would not effect a remedy, I think you would hit upon a figure that would make it possible for Mother and me to live plainly in some retired portion of the country, and in time so shape things that a hired attendant could relieve her of the burden that I am and must always remain to some one.

At first I thought of waiting another year before proposing this, but after a month's reflection I mentioned my feelings to Mother for the first time, and she at once said she felt it the best thing for me to go.

Hoping to hear from you as soon as practicable, I remain yours in gratitude for all benefits received,


Theodore, who was appointed to deal with Daniel, on February 19th reported to the evening meeting as follows:

"Daniel speaks of my coming at him in a sudden, passionate way, but omits to mention that I had two or three hours conversation with him, in which I went over all sorts of ways and means, and failed to make any satisfactory impression on him.  He says I accused him of trying to take my place.  I accused him of taking my place.   Two of the girls were made editors of the paper, and I was appointed, much against my will, to give tone to the paper. I found the girls all bound up on slavery to his opinion, and that I could not go on without in some energetic way breaking the connection between him and them.  They dared not say their souls were their own, about his articles at least.

Daniel said to me:  'Now that I have got my mouth open, I shall never shut it.' There were many things in the administration of the Community, which he considered foolish, if not hurtful. He said in an unguarded moment that several years ago he had come over him what he would call a 'crust of heathenism'. Speaking of German literature, he said, so far as he could see, there was no more evil in that than in English literature, and that, if he had not known that Father never read Wilhelm Meiser, he should have thought that the Community principles were taken from it. He distinctly repudiated now and forever the idea of any one leading him.  I told him that I considered him an infidel, not in a mere technical sense, but because, in making distinctions for instance between us and Goethe, he looked only at externals.  I never talked with any one who had less appreciation of spiritual motives.   As to his claim, he thinks $10.000.00 would be the generous thing, but he does not expect so much.  He finally said that, if we refused to pay him, he would have to get the money in some other way, and he would feel morally justified in writing against the Community."

On the following evening Theodore reported the concluding negotiations thus:

"Daniel has receded from his plan of going away. . .  He said he would accept the offer Father made him of a home for himself and mother here, would submit to Community discipline, and would do his best to work into vital harmony with the Community.  The more he thought on the subject, the more he saw that many of the things that disturbed him had been magnified out of all proportion to the truth, and that there was a great deal more good in the Community than in the world.  He said he had spoken and written very plainly, and under the influence of passion part of the time, but he had said the worst he could say or feel; in fact, since he turned the other way, he saw he had expressed himself stronger than he felt.  There were some things in his letter to Father that did not show exactly a forgiving spirit, but he made more thorough acknowledgements to me verbally, and I think we can trust to time and kindness to make him over."

Notwithstanding his resolve to make another effort toward harmony, Daniel continued in a hard, discontented spirit, and a year later left the Community.


Having characterized German Rationalism as a "narcotic" influence, opposed to religion on the one hand and to science on the other, the Community continued joyfully on its way toward a platform broad enough for both religion and science.   It had not gone far, however, before it encountered Positivism, a sect which claimed the entire platform for science.   The Community was first introduced to Positivism by Mr. Croly, editor of The New York World, during his visit in August, 1868. A short time afterward Mr. Croly sent Noyes a copy of the "Positivist Creed", with a request that he give his impressions of it.  Responding to this request, Noyes in a long letter to The World dated January 1, 1869, commended the idea of basing religion  on the positive certainties of science, which Positivism voiced, was a European affair, with which we Americans had noting to do except as it was thrust upon us.  He said:

"New England theology, instead of quarreling with science, has always taken the lead in nursing it and giving it scope. New England ministers and churches have given the world a system of free schools.  Yale College, religious as it has been from its foundation, introduced in this country, through Silliman's Journal, the whole train of modern physical sciences.  I know that Moses Stuart and Edward Robinson of Andover taught a system of interpretation for the bible as thoroughly scientific as that of the German Rationalists' and I know that Dr. Taylor of New Haven was as free and fearless in his speculations as Comte, and as sincere in his attempt to found a scientific religion. He taught me to follow the truth, lead where it will and cost what it may; and that I take to be the first precept of science.  Under that precept I have traveled far enough into the regions of free-thinking to shake hands with the scouts of Positivism, and yet I have no thought of abandoning Bible religion.  I believe in pretty much all the science that the Positivist Creed parades, and in Christianity too. I have followed Lyell into the geological ages, Tyndall into the correlation of forces, and even Darwin in his endless genealogies, and yet I am as sure now that Christ is the king of the world, as I was before science began to swell into infidelity, which indeed is within my remembrance."

Following in this vein, Theodore and Joseph on March 29, 1870, made a plea for a still wider range of thought and discussion, especially in the evening meetings.  Their desire elicited from Noyes the following response, addressed to Mr. Woolworth, who was at that time Chairman of the evening meeting:

"My impression is that the day of meetings in the old simplistic religious sense is over and gone; and that what is coming is a conjunction of faith and science which will make our meetings a very different thing from those of the churches generally, or even of the Primitive Church.  You speak of the scientific training  that is going on among our young people as distinct from that which we need in our meetings. Probably it is so at present; but many things indicate to me that we are the body in which God designs to bring science and religion together and soldier them into one. It is only in this way that our religious meetings can become the arena and home of our educated classes, and without this they are likely to be dull.  I should advise therefore that the spiritually-minded look favorably toward science, and that the scientists look favorably toward faith, and see if God will not bring the hearts of these long separated classes together. Then I think we shall have lively meetings.  I am not sure but there is more real divine inspiration going in the scientific world than in the religious world.  Cant and legality and timidity are death to inspiration.  If we want lively meetings, we want inspiration; and if we want inspiration, let us follow it where we find it.  If it is among scientists, let us honor it there, even if the scientists themselves think it is only their own zeal and sagacity.  For my part, I consider the success of our young men in science as the effect of inspiration, and I claim their victories as the victories of faith. And we must train these young men to see and acknowledge that it is so.  Then they will be the beginning of a new class of scientists, more humble and more successful than the world has ever seen; and then they will cast their crowns at the feet of faith, and turn their whole strength into our religious meetings."

Joseph Skinner to the Community

This liberal attitude toward science did not for a long time produce any weakening effect upon the faith and loyalty of the young people, as the spontaneous utterances of Theodore, Joseph and others abundantly show. In March 1870 Noyes said that the experiment of sending the young men to college, though a bold one, was proving entirely safe.  And so late as January 2, 1871, The Circular made this editorial statement:

"The Community enters upon the new year with bright hope.  With improved buildings, better industrial arrangements, an increasing demand for our manufactures, good schools and educational facilities, daily evening meetings, a better state of internal harmony than ever before existed, unshaken confidence in our leader, faith ever growing in God's protecting care, we give ourselves anew to the glorious cause, to which we have been called, of establishing a society in which Christ shall reign supreme."

But just at this time German Rationalism, which had slumbered for years, became suddenly aggressive in the case of Daniel Bailey, and the Community was compelled to shift from the offensive to the defensive position.  It was soon found that Joseph was in much the same state of mind as Daniel, and even Theodore, though to a less degree, was affected.  By October, 1871, Theodore appeared to be gaining the victory over his troubles, but Joseph was still hard pressed.  A concerted effort for the relief of Joseph was now made, and resulted finally in the following communication:


It is known to you that for a good while I have been in a hard unbelieving state, making myself and those about me unhappy. I have not been single-minded, but on the contrary a large share of my attention has been toward the world. This led recently to a quarrel with my mother, and I finally wrote her a letter saying, in substance, that if she would not change her position with regard to me I wanted to leave the Community.  Within the last day or two I have been enabled to see that the course I have been following leads to darkness and misery, and can not lead to anything else. I have seen its selfishness, cruelty and foolishness; and that throughout my life selfishness and egotism have been my chief motives.  Unselfish impulses have been rare, and unselfish actions rarer.  My greatest desire now is to be saved from selfishness and my old life, and to begin anew a life of devotion to God and the cause in which Mr. Noyes is engaged.  I feel that in my own strength I am weak, but I have faith that God will help me to keep a resolution to serve him with my whole heart.  I shall be thankful for any criticism or discipline that will bring me to Christ and make me soft-hearted.  Feeling that Wallingford by its nearness to New Haven is a place of temptation to me, I have asked to return to Oneida with Theodore.  There I shall pray for and expect a new experience.

Yours sincerely and devotedly, JOSEPH."

On January 2, 1872, J.H.N. read the above communication aloud to the Community, and said:

"I believe that to be the confession of faith by which Joseph reentered the Community.  He had in effect withdrawn from the Community, and Theodore went to Wallingford to settle with him.  He then voluntarily turned around and placed himself in this position toward the Community. I feel myself bound to assume that that is still his relation to the Community.  We must have an end of trifling and double-mindedness.   Why begin now?  Why not take that as the sincerest thing he ever did, and ask him to stand by it?. . .  I hear from Harriet Skinner, Ann Bailey and George Miller that, so far as his intellect and testimony are concerned, he continues in a quarrel with the Community. He is a skeptic in religious matters, and is free to acknowledge that he has no particular confidence in me. . . I do not see any way to discharge my duty to him but to accept his invitation to criticise him."

In spite of all that the Community could do to hold him, on April 10, 1873, Joseph left.  In a paper announcing his departure Noyes wrote:

"In consequence of abandoning himself to science and to Daniel Bailey Joseph had become substantially a Positivist. The unbelieving spirit over him gave way more or less at times, but returned.  He has modified his position somewhat lately, but still it is my conviction that he holds God and the immortality of the soul as matters of doubt, and that he has no fixed faith on any subject.  He became a cause of oppression to Ann and his mother, and finally could not live in the atmosphere of the Community."

Following hard upon the defection of Joseph came events which are thus described in the diary of Noyes's niece, Tirzah Miller:

"April 24, 1873. - I sometimes wish I could be obscure in the sense that M--- and A--- are, and less under the scrutiny of Mr. Noyes's almost omniscient eye; but when, after trying to hide myself, he reaches out for me and hunts me up, my heart goes out toward him with that passionate devotion inspired not only by his being the one man on earth in whom I absolutely trust, but also by the fact that he is the only father I have known since childhood.  I have been a little "off" now for several days, brooding over some of those doubts and fears which seem to come upon us so much more heavily at thirty than at twenty.  This morning he called me to his room to see what the matter was, and began probing my very soul. I longed to tell him all, and yet shrank from giving him pain.  At last I said, "Does Theodore feel just as he used to?  He does not seem as he did at Wallingford or at Willow Place. I have not had a word to say to him, and yet I can't help feeling as though he were troubled by some of these temptations which are depressing me."  At the mention of Theodore's name Mr. Noyes leaned forward in his chair, his arms folded, his eyes flashing, and his brows quivering with an almost alarming expression.  After a moment he broke in on me with the greatest emphasis:  "I have long had this same doubt about Theodore. You go straight down to the office and charge him with all you have said!"  This was an unexpected turn of affairs, and one I would rather have avoided, but I must obey.  I found Theodore alone in the inside office, and reported to him what had passed between his father and myself, ending with his father's last remark. An expression of the most intense relief crossed Theodore's face.  He drew a long breath, and straightened back his shoulders like one eager for an affray in which he would not have taken the initiative.  He said he was glad he could now throw off the cloak he had been wearing and unburden himself.  I was shocked and confounded by his revelations, his unbelief in existing institutions having carried him so much farther than I had gone.  After talking with him a while, I went back to tell his father what he had said, as I knew he was waiting impatiently to hear. He had a good deal to say in reply, and, as neither wished to meet the other face to face, I passed back and forth between them steadily from noon till 7 o'clock in the evening. Neither wished to have notes taken of his remarks, so I had to remember as well as I could what each said. One remark of Theodore's gave considerable pain, although I did not really believe what he predicted. He said that the Community would inevitably go to pieces before many years, and that when that catastrophe occurred he meant to be on hand to see that justice was done.   He did not look upon the prospect as one of unmitigated evil, but on the contrary seemed to have little regret about it.

April 25. -  Back and forth between Mr. Noyes and Theodore all day.  It is a painful ordeal for them, and I sympathize with them both, but more with Mr. Noyes, because he has more fully won my confidence, and because his suffering seems deeper.  The effect on me of Theodore's apostasy has been on the whole to strengthen my faith. His father attributes his change principally to his connection with the Bailey family.

April 26. -  Back and forth again between Theodore and his father pretty much all day. Talked rwice with Theodore three hours on the stretch, besides several short talks.

April 27. - Long talks with Mr. Noyes. Theodore submitted to a criticism committee.

April 29. - Awoke with black spots and bright circles before my eyes.  The long strain of these talks with Mr. Noyes and Theodore, scarcely eating or sleeping on account of the excitement, seems to have caused a slight break-down.   Mr. Noyes was very kind, and told me not to trouble myself about The Circular (of which I am editor) - he would look after it - but to drop everything and rest."

Theodore's Return


"The Community all know what Theodore's state has been for some time.  A few days ago he proposed to go away, but I persuaded him to wait until Charles Cragin came home.  I wanted to bring to bear all the influences I could to help him, but I thought, if Charles did not have any influence upon him, I should have to give him up into the hands of God. My purpose had been from the beginning, if he did not experience some change, to let him go away; but I did not tell him so, and he thought I was not going to give my consent to his going at all. He did not intend to go against my will.  Yesterday I found that Charles Cragin had not helped him any, and thereupon I prepared for his going away. This morning he was in a good deal of perturbation, and I told him that I would not prevent him from going away, that he might be free to go or stay.  He was soft, apparently, and broken down, but there was no change in his theories.  He immediately concluded to go, and presented me with a receipt in full for $50.   I told him, if he considered this a final secession, he should take the full amount, $100, but if he considered this only an excursion with the expectation that he might return, it would be proper to take $50, or any other sum that he chose, and the door would be open to him. He chose the latter course, and only took $50.  The last thing I said to him was that I hoped he would come back.  His reply was that no one could wish he could be changed more than he, but unless he could be changed it would probably be a permanent separation."

July 5, 1873 ~ New York ~THEODORE'S RETURN. Theodore to his Mother.

Dear Mother:  I have not determined upon any stopping-place or any occupation yet, because I find that my sense of the grief which my course has caused you and Father and C--- and others is too lively to allow me to enjoy anything, and I am afraid of getting fixed.  I don't see as I shall be able to escape this feeling, which comes between me and all schemes for self-advancement.  Home and the love of friends are the best things we can have, and I hesitate to do anything which may dull my sensibilities.  I went to Philadelphia, but the further I went the more I shrank from removing my sympathies so far from yours.  I shall not take up any permanent scientific pursuit, except as a last resort.

I wish some way might be devised by which we could get along together.  Before I left, it did not seem to me that any compromise was possible, and I do not now see any way to compromise beliefs; but I wish it were possible to live with you and enjoy a reasonable degree of freedom of thinking and doing.

Yours affectionately, THEODORE."

The Oneida journalist notes that the hearts of Mr. and Mrs. Noyes were very much touched by the above letter.   Mr. Noyes wept like a child after reading it.

July 7, 1873 ~ Oneida ~ Paper by J.H. Noyes.

Theodore wants 'reasonable liberty of thinking and doing".  How much this means I do not know.  I made him free to go, and I made him free to stay.  When he decided to go, I made him free to come back, and imposed no conditions. I gave him the liberty to engage in any of our industries.  I did not require him to do anything, not even go to meetings.  I made him free to go to Joppa as often as he pleased. I did not trouble him with my views, after he indicated a wish to keep away from them.  I advised others not to press our views upon him. At the same time I did not limit but encouraged his social freedom.  I do not know that I should object to his living at Wallingford or at the New York Agency as much as he pleases.  His good sense will show him that I cannot essentially change the habits of the Community to accommodate his case, nor allow his belief to change the belief of those over whom I am placed.  What further liberty I can give him consistently with my duty to the Community, I do not see.  For my part, though I am on the whole well supported and comforted in all this trial, I can truly say that my sorrow for him, especially since his letter came, has been wonderful to me, and at times almost overwhelming."

July 9, 1873 ~ New York ~ Theodore to his Father.

Dear Father:-  After freeing myself from all causes of bias so far as that is possible, I have come to the conclusion that the ties I have formed in the Community are too sacred and strong to permit me to find happiness in any isolated career. The suffering, which the present condition has brought to you, Mother, C---, and other dear friends, obtrudes itself between me and any selfish pursuit, and I think the memory would always pursue me.  I am by birth and education a Communist, and must always remain so, apart from religious belief.

I see only four courses open to me, by which I can rejoin you:

To take up the profession of a belief in Christianity, and act a part.  This is more repugnant to me than ever.  I do not think I can do it. I know you would not consent to it.

To obtain a true conversion in Christianity and a belief in immortality.  This has not yet seemed probable, or even possible, but I will not say it might not occur sometime in the future.  But it can be no basis for immediate action.

To come back, as you proposed, and consider myself under treatment for a disordered condition of mind, take such course as you prescribe, and await results.  I do no think I could do this, if the consequence of my non-conversion were to be to turn me adrift again.  I don't know but I could stand such a course for a while, if after a faithful trial I could be assured of such arrangement as I would propose for a fourth course, and which I would prefer to adopt at once, viz., Why not assume that, while I may be a confirmed unbeliever, we have entered into relations which involve too much suffering to break up, if a possible way can be found to avoid it, and let me live with the Community, partaking to some extent in its social life, and occupying myself about whatever you should think best, both parties to avoid controversy.  I have an idea of what a non-sectarian Community might be.  If a Community could extend its benefits to unbelievers, leaving the religious to cultivate religion, and the unbelievers to their consciences, (all subject to the operation of free criticism), it seems to me it might do the world more good.  I wish I might work out some such status in my own case.  I think some such compromise ought to be worked out to save the coming generation to the Community, for they will think.  I will work for the prosperity of the Community as heartily as ever, if you can fix it so that an ambition for a Community which can include all classes is not treasonable.

If we can unite on this basis, please telegraph me as soon as you can, or send some one down, for I must be about some plan for a livelihood.

Yours in hope, THEODORE."

July 10, 1873 ~ Oneida ~ J.H. Noyes to Theodore.

Dear Theodore:-  I find in your last letter no certain allusion to our answer in your first. I presume, however, that you received it, and I now refer to it for the sake of saying that in it I reached as far toward you as I could in truth and honor - farther even than many of your companions would have advised.  I wish most earnestly to save my son; but I must also save the Community. It is simply impossible for me to entertain your fourth proposition, because it contradicts the belief of my heart and the theory of my understanding in regard to the essentials of Communism. It requires me to ignore the main induction of the book on socialism, which you helped me to write, and to stultify the labors of my life.  I can have no hope of the unity which is essential to Communism without agreement in religion.  To introduce the beginning of an infidel party in the Community would be simply to kill the Community. If we cannot save the coming generation without this, we must let them go.  But my hope and expectation are that the scientific foundations of Christianity will become more and more manifest as the war with Positivism proceeds, till we shall lose but a small percentage of our best thinkers.

I will not withdraw my invitation to you to return; but I must assure you that it is based unalterably on my hope that you will be converted.  If it were not for that hope, I should a thousand times prefer that you stay away. You said yourself that, if you did not change, you separation from us would probably be final. I have submitted my heart to that alternative, let the cost and grief be what they may; and I think all your friends here have done the same.  It is best that we and you should face the emergency and not try to make a hollow peace that will end in worse miseries than those we are passing through. You leave us but the smallest encouragement to hope that you will be converted at some future time. It seems to me that now is the time for you to seek the Lord. You are evidently softened by your sorrows. If you are not converted now, what reason have we or you to expect that you ever will be?   The fifth course open to you, which I advise you by all means to take, is to come back not indeed to confess what you do not believe, but with an honest wish and purpose now to go through the change which you admit is possible in the future, and which is an inexorable necessity if you are ever really to rejoin the Community.

Yours faithfully, J.H.NOYES."

The above letter was delivered in person by Mr. Herrick.  After reading and discussing it, Mr. Herrick and Theodore took the train for Oneida, arriving early in the morning of July 13th.

July 18, 1873 ~ Oneida ~ Communication from Theodore to the Community.

In the experience I have lately passed through I have made an earnest endeavor to find an aim in life which should be based on perfect sincerity.  I left the Community to free myself from all bias not inseparable from an individual, and went where I had a clear view of my situation.  Home, love and friendship seemed the highest good I could attain, and since a career in the world would not give me these in such a degree as I have them here, I desire to re-enter the Community.  The Community cannot tolerate a non-religious state; consequently, I desire to concede all I possibly can to make a satisfactory union, and for that end I will accept the religious views of the Community as a solution of what appears to my reason to be insoluble.  I can do this with a clear conscience, for I have no hypotheses myself to conflict with those of the Community.  I can see many points in my past career where I have sacrificed unity and brotherly love to lesser ends, and I desire the freest criticism in this regard. I mean to follow after these things, and have them; and if they are unattainable except by genuine faith, then I hope in some way to get that also.  I will accept any occupation which may be assigned me, and will take part in the meetings and other family ordinances, but desire for the present to avoid argumentative thought pro or con, if possible.


This communication, when read in the evening meeting, was received with cheers.  The belief was general that Theodore was on the right track, and there were many expressions of heartfelt gratitude for this result.  It was hoped that not only Theodore but the whole Community would earnestly seek humility.  The question of re-instating Theodore in his membership was then put to vote, and was unanimously approved, after which the hearts of all beat more freely.

Spirtitualism Versus Positivism

Very early in its career the Community had been confronted by the claims of modern Spiritualism, and their theory regarding the second coming of Christ had enabled them to take a summary and consistent attitude on this subject.  In 1845 Professor George Bush, of New York University, made a determined effort to convert Noyes to Swedenborgianism.  Noyes, after a thorough investigation of Swedenborg's writings, replied that Swedenborg believed and taught a false theory of the second coming of Christ, namely, that it took place in 1758 A.D. in his own person; consequently, that, though he might be in communication with the spirit world, he was not in communication with that part of the spirit world of which Christ was the center.

Again, in 1851, shortly after the death of Mrs. Cragin, there was an intense desire in the Community for communication with her. The "rapping" phenomena had at that time recently appeared in Rochester, N.Y., and other places, and popular excitement on the subject of communication with the dead was running high. Under these circumstances Noyes told the Community that they were in danger of adopting fanatical ideas, and urged them to sobriety.  He then recurred to his theory of the second coming of Christ, and soon brought out the principle which ever afterward governed the Community in their dealings with Spiritualism. He said:  "The resurrection sphere, the sphere of Christ, the apostles, and the 144.000 gathered to Christ at his second coming, is to us the ascending fellowship.  But Hades, the sphere of the miscellaneous dead, is the descending fellowship.   Hades is to this world as woman is to man. Its only advantage over us is the advantage of weakness.  This view defines our position in regard to the "Rappings."   Instead of our being instructed by Hades through the rappings or in any other way, we are going to instruct them.   In the order of the resurrection the first step will be the coming up of the world of the dead into conjunction with us; then the two worlds will move along together into the resurrection sphere."

With these views the Community for more than twenty years held entirely aloof from Spiritualism.  But in the emergency of Theodore's' apostasy Noyes hit upon the idea of opposing Spiritualism to Positivism, and he authorized Theodore to undertake a thorough investigation of Spiritualism in the hope that it would bring him back to a belief in immortality and the possibility of spirit communication. Theodore took up the study with enthusiasm, developed mediums, held seances, and finally went on a tour for the purpose of visiting some of the most celebrated outside mediums.  He went through periods of depression and discouragement, but in August 1874, it was reported to the evening meeting that he had made substantial progress toward rehabilitation.  He had accepted the phenomena of Spiritualism as sufficient evidence of immortality; he had a "great yearning and reaching out of his heart toward something better and higher, and could sincerely say that he earnestly desired a nearer union with Christ;" he believed that he and his father were both guided by an intelligence higher than either, and that this spirit, having already led them to common ground in respect to immortality, would eventually lead them into perfect unity; meanwhile, he recognized that his father was more fully developed than he, and if a difference in judgment arose between them, he was willing to wait respectfully and without quarreling.   Noyes's response to this was as follows: "In a normal spiritual education there is first a process of external instruction; then there is a breaking up and separation from this external process; and finally there is a turning from an outward to an inward knowledge.  Theodore has been passing through these different stages. He was swept out of our reach by an awful wave of Positivism, but God provided the return wave of Spiritualism to bring him back into our faith.  If my estimate is correct, he is going to be far more effectually joined to me, and far more competent to help me in my work than he would have been without this experience.  I may say that I should be glad to have the whole Community change in something like the way he has."

Finally, on March 14, 1875, Theodore stated his position in the following paper addressed to the Community:

"I have certain desires, amounting almost to passions, which guide me in the pursuit of truth:

I want to found my beliefs on evidence; such evidence as I have been satisfied with in the ordinary problems of life.

I want to hold these beliefs so that I can change them, if new evidence seems to require it.

I want from time to time to reconsider in the light of present experience all I have set down as settled or probable.

I prefer to hold probabilities as such, and see no advantage in trying to hold them as certainties, unless additional evidence necessitates it.

I want to be free to examine in the light of our present knowledge all ideas handed down to us from the past.

The following are some conclusions I stand on at present, after giving full play to the liberty of thinking indicated above:

I think there is conclusive evidence of the existence of a spiritual world, inhabited by spiritual beings.   I think it extremely probable that these beings have lived as men and women in this world.  The question of spirit identity I do not think fully settled, but our continued existence in the spiritual world is so highly probable that it constantly seems to me a fact, and furnishes a satisfactory ground for action.   I think I believe it as fully as any one in the Community.

I think improvement must be possible there as well as here.  Consequently, there must be individuals so far advanced in goodness that they fill any conception we can form of God.  How far they can affect us, and what their limitations are, I do not know; but I believe they can help us in many ways, and I pray to them often with sincere desires for assistance. Besides this, the spiritual world is probably as much in my mind as that of the average member, if not more. I think in this sense I am spiritually-minded.

I think also that deterioration must be possible there as well as here.  Consequently, there must be spirits horrible enough to act the part of any devil that has ever been imagined.  Such spirits I strongly dislike.   Spiritualism throws light on the Bible.  The facts of materialization even render it possible to credit the account of the conception of Christ.

Now it seems to me that in the views here expressed can be found the essence of all theology which has ever done any good. In my observation of systems which particularize more than this I think I detect the biased action of special minds, and, while such systems have undoubtedly done great good, I see that great harm has resulted from their narrowing tendency. I find myself happier on this vague ground, as it has been called, because of my strong repugnance to narrowing my liberty of investigation and my free reception of truth by definite preconceptions of the origin of things and the exact nature and powers of the principalities of the spiritual world.  To persons who find comfort in such definite preconceptions I extend sympathy and respect. I believe their religious views are the expression of their desire for a higher life.  If they get their views of right and wrong so attached to their definite preconceptions that pain and apparent ruin will follow the discovery that facts are different, they are laying up trouble which I want to avoid. I want to enter that world so free from preconceptions that I can aim at once for the highest certainties I find there."

The "Great Discussion"

In March, 1875, the question of the future leadership of the Community came suddenly to the front.  The circumstances were these:  In September of the previous year occurred the death of Noyes's sister, Charlotte A. Miller, who for more than twenty years had held the extremely important post of adviser to the younger class of women.  After Mrs. Miller's death her responsibilities fell to Ann S. Bailey, a young woman of parts, who had become prominent as a high-class medium during the investigation of Spiritualism.  Early in January, 1875, Noyes went to Wallingford, leaving William H. Woolworth as "father" of the Oneida family.   Woolworth, who was past fifty years of age, was disinclined to rule with a strong hand, especially in the affairs of the younger generation, and sometimes, when Ann came to him for help, he would ask if his term wasn't out, and beg to be excused.  Finally Ann became overburdened, and talked with Mrs. Skinner and Frank Wayland-Smith about getting relief.  Both sympathized with Ann's desire, and Frank in a letter to Noyes dated March 1, 1875, suggested that Noyes appoint Theodore to the position while he was still able to assist by counsel.  Noyes replied: "The fact that you have confidence in Theodore is a strong testimony in favor with me.   But Theodore's course in the past has been so divergent from mine and from that of the community, and is still so far doubtful, that discussions and explanations seem to be absolutely necessary before he can take the place in the heart of the Community, which he ought to have to be its leader. All I can do is to consider your proposition in order as a nomination, and proceed to ascertain whether the Community will accept it."

The discussion of Theodore's candidacy was introduced in the evening meeting March 110, 1875.  Two days were allowed for reflection, and the discussion itself occupied six evenings, from March 12th to 17th inclusive. The following extracts from some of the principal addresses will give the salient points:

Theodore L. Pitt: -  I like what has been said about finding out the will of the Lord in this discussion; and I think that one way to find out the will of the Lord is to look back and see what principle has governed the Community in the past and in the selection of leaders.  What is the principle that has prevailed?  It is that they shall be selected among those who represent the faith of the Community, who stand in communication with Christ, and in that respect near to Mr. Noyes.  I will say in regard to Theodore that I feel kind and brotherly toward him, but I ask myself, as he is a candidate for the office of father of this family, Does he represent to us the qualifications which have been required in our past history for a father?  Is he a spiritual man? Does he in his daily life and in his testimony strengthen our faith in the living God?   Does he strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ as an indwelling Savior, and lead us to the Primitive Church?  When I ask myself these questions, and honestly look down into my own heart, I say I am not prepared to vote for him as father of this Community.

Charles S. Joslyn: - I think it would be an unfortunate thing to have the leadership of the Community fall entirely into the hands of the young.  If the female part of the administration is from the younger generation, as at present, it does seem necessary that the man should be a person of mature years and ripe experience.

In regard to Theodore, I have involuntarily within the past year noted two points:  First, that in all my contact with him during that time I have never even once heard him mention the name of God or Christ or faith.  Second, that in considering whether persons are suitable for certain places he wholly ignores their spiritual character.   I say it in sorrow but in the deepest sincerity of my heart, that if we elect such a man for our leader I shall have the greatest solicitude about the perpetuity of the Community.

Henry G. Allen: - It seems as though it was not necessary for us at the present time to appoint a leader, so long as we have Mr. Noyes, but that it is necessary for us to have some change in our organization.  I see that in our businesses a change has come over us. Formerly we used to have one person manage a business, whereas now we have several persons, and find it much easier and more favorable to unity.  It seems to me that the inspiration of the Community is pointing in this direction, to manage by a Board instead of an individual, except in the case of Mr. Noyes.  I do not see why the Community could not appoint a central Board representing the different classes, and from that central Board an executive Committee which should attend to the details of family matters.  The board should be considered the higher authority.  In that way the organization could be carried on harmoniously, and all classes would be drawn together in unity.

Sarah B. Campbell: - I have in the past had great confidence in and respect for Theodore; was one of those who somewhat blindly considered him an oracle until three years ago.   And I think no one not intimately connected with him as rejoiced more sincerely than I at every step he has taken showing any return to the truth and the love of it.  But I have been astonished of late at what I have seen in him which savored strongly of individual sovereignty and anti-communism.  After deliberate thought and prayer I cannot find it in my heart to vote for him as our leader, so long as there is any doubt as to his religious position.  I should not be willing to put my child out to a school where she would be exposed to erroneous teachings; much less would I vote for any one to be her spiritual father, unless I was sure he would lead her to God.

Mrs. Hawley: - With regard to Theodore or any one else that may be appointed father of the family, I should expect that inspiration would follow the appointment.

Harriet H. Skinner: - I should feel safe with Theodore at the head.  In a practical test he does not follow his own theories, but acts out Community faith. When he corrects his little son, he tells him to pray and confess Christ, and he advises others to pray who come to him for advice; and he is in the constant habit of prayer himself, not to God by name but to the highest spirit in the universe.   His confession the other night of a desire to serve others was a signal to me, for that is the true spirit of a leader.

I admire Mr. Noyes's faith about Theodore. He has persistently ignored appearances and hoped against nope.  It is true Abrahamic faith, calling those things that are not as though they were. I believe God is pleased with such faith, and will reward it by making Theodore a true son.

James B. Herrick: - Mr. Noyes represents both intellectual and spiritual life in a high state of development. Most of us have been attracted to him by his spiritual life; and the consequence is that the Community as a whole represents a more one-sided development than Mr. Noyes does.   It seems to me providential that we should have a man like Theodore, with a strong intellectual and scientific bias, who would faithfully represent these attributes of his father in the Community. If the Community gives Theodore his rightful place, it will be broader, healthier, and will have a better chance of perpetuity, than if built on a simply spiritual basis.

Alfred Barron: - My feelings incline toward Theodore with an if and if.  Until the conditions are right, I am not particular whom we have for leader. I do not think we should get far off the track with any man.  But I am not prepared to have established a secular government at Oneida, as I think Theodore would be tempted to do now.  I see Theodore has planted himself pretty firmly on the lowermost round of education.  When he takes in the upper round, he is "our man" among young men.   He has administrative ability and personal attractiveness.

Erastus H. Hamilton:-   I believe the Community is founded on faith in Christ, and the main thought of the future with me is that our loyalty to Christ may be maintained.  It is possible that Theodore is being trained in a way to make him receptive to interior control. If that is so, it is all I would ask. I am willing to acknowledge Theodore as my superior in a great many ways, in intellect and in moral nature. He is a large man, able to fill a large place in society.  His work in Spiritualism has been a grand thing for the Community. He has worked honestly and faithfully for our financial prosperity.  In his criticisms of persons he seems judicious and wise.   I have been able to respect all these things in him, and then again I have stood ready to criticise him.  The word in my heart is, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."

John S. Freeman:- I cannot vote to accept Theodore in his present state as head of the family.  I have no expectation or belief that an increase of liberty can come except through salvation from sin.  Liberty without that will be only the liberty of disunity and dissolution.  I think Theodore's tendency is the opposite of liberality; rather towards managing men by a system of complicated machinery, without much appreciation of the power of God to change character.

Theodore's statement of belief contains noting but what the most self-righteous Deist or Spiritualist would subscribe to. If Theodore's religion is sufficient, then must we adopt and teach it, and count of no value salvation from sin, the resurrection power of Christ, the Bible, and God.   I must confess, I am not ready to do it. If his religion is not sufficient, then to those who are firmly grounded in faith he will be no leader of all; and those who are not so grounded he will lead into a dangerous delusion.

Henry W. Burnham:-There is no use in trying to make out that Theodore is a religious man, for he is not, and a large part of the Community know it.  If he is all right, we talk about converting him?  What is meant by saying that the Community must have "greater breadth", if it is not the intention to accept Theodore's platform very much as it s? Speaking for myself, I do not ask for the greater scope of thought than I can find under the inspiration of Jesus Christ and the Primitive Church.  What is the object of this Community?  It is to make us good men and women.  Well, is thinking God out of the universe going to make us better men and women? We all know better. I have charity for Theodore, and a certain respect for his present attitude, but until he is restored to the faith which built this Community, I say for one, let him wait, and let the Community wait, before placing him at the head.

William A. Hinds: - This discussion brings face to face with the question whether the commission, which we all believe Mr. Noyes received to found this Community, is necessarily to be transmitted by lineal descent.  I cannot be far astray in saying that no considerable portion of the Community would ever have thought of putting Theodore into the office of leader, if he were not Mr. Noyes's son.  It is natural and proper that we should have a somewhat special interest in Mr. Noyes's children; but in my opinion it is wrong, wholly wrong, that relationship should have any influence in determining such a question as this.   Natural relationship must be entirely subordinate to spiritual relationship.  Loyalty to Mr. Noyes is loyalty to his spirit, and not to his flesh and blood. It does not follow at all that Mr. Noyes will transmit his spirit, and especially his divine commission, to his children.  I emphasize this point, because it seems to me the vital point in the case.   We were at peace in respect to our organization, until this talk about making Theodore leader of the second generation began; and every time that subject has been touched it has brought trouble and distress to all concerned.

It is my conviction that a spirit is at work in the Community, claiming to represent liberality and breadth of view, that is ready to strike down one by one all the safeguards that the past twenty-five years have given us.  And it is further my conviction that the Community can perpetuate itself only by keeping alive and active the old spirit of faith in a living personal God, in a living personal Devil, in a living personal Savior, and the vital principles which have been wrought out in our past experience.  As soon as these are gone all is gone.

Ann S. Bailey:-  I have known since last August that Mr. Noyes still expected Theodore would lead the Community, but never have felt for one moment that Theodore could do it if he did not come into more vital unity with his father, so that he could conform a little to our ways and religion.   I have not yet felt that he was ready.

I am glad this discussion has come about, for the sake of healing what seemed to me a breach between the older and younger members of the Community.  There is a feeling among the older class that some of the younger people are ready to abandon the faith of the Community, almost to abandon the Community itself. I do not wonder that, under that supposition, they feel keenly and talk earnestly.  But I do believe it is a mistake.  I believe that the young folks are striving to perpetuate communism, and are holding to the faith.  I myself do not want to be understood as wavering in my religion.   I would rather see the Community go to pieces, than have it stand on any other basis than it now does.

Frank Wayland-Smith:- I concede at once that Theodore's character is not at the present time that of a perfect leader. The indispensable qualities of a leader, in my opinion, are two:  First, he must have the true religious faith and spiritual strength to draw us to God; and secondly, he must have breadth of character and understanding sufficient to accept and harmonize all truth.  I do not know of any man among us who possesses these two qualities in anything like the degree that Mr. Noyes does.  I think Theodore comes nearest of any of us to possessing the understanding, and we might ask ourselves, Which is easier, for God to convert and inspire Theodore, or for Him to give that general knowledge and grasp of mind to a man already converted?  Theodore has once experienced a genuine conversion. I was very intimate with him then, and can never doubt that.  We say that, when a person has such an experience, the fruits of it remain in him always. Why should we not expect that the old experience of his will work up through all his later speculations? I have hoped for that.

My contact with Theodore has improved me. It has taught me to conquer myself, and has given me a contempt for cant and hypocrisy which is very wholesome to one's moral nature.

James W. Towner:- We may consider this question in two aspects.   We may take Theodore on his simple merits as he now is, or we may take him for what he shall be. And I can freely and heartily say that, if Mr. Noyes has indicated a wish that Theodore shall now be accepted as his successor, beginning under his regency, and has done this because he sees that God is fitting Theodore for that position and has faith that God will complete the work, I shall at once accept Theodore as inchoate leader; not because I see his fitness in respect to faith, but because of my faith in God and Christ and Mr. Noyes.  On the other hand, if his fitness is to be tried on the ground of what he now is, I could not so accept him at the present time.

Theodore's statement of March 14th to my mind settles the question against his present leadership in the most decisive manner.  It is claimed that Theodore has been converted from infidelity; and I have supposed that eleven years ago I experienced a conversion from infidelity.  But there is certainly a mistake.  If this statement of Theodore's is not infidelity, there is no infidelity in Rationalism or modern Spiritualism, and I never was an infidel. And the five propositions submitted by him, to indicate the tendency of his thinking, are but an expression of the views I imbibed from A.M. Davis and other Spiritualistic leaders twenty years ago. After I turned away from them to Christianity, it took ten years for me to get washed and purged clean enough to be considered fit to join the Community, and that was right. Is it now proposed to install a representative of this sort of thinking and no faith in a leading position?  When that is done, I want to go.  I came to be saved from that.

While in the main consenting to the freedom of thought set forth in Theodore's five propositions as good and desirable in respect to things in general, there are for me some exceptions.   My faith in the saving power of Christ I do not want to reconsider.  If this be bigotry or cant I want more of it rather than less, for by it peace has come to me.

If we should accept Theodore as our leader with his present views and tendencies of thinking, the step would be hailed with derisive shouts by all that class of freethinking Spiritualists and others, who regard the Oneida Community as the last remaining bulwark of faith, or "Godology" as they call it.  They would instinctively greet it as the fulfillment of their prophecies that the second generation is sure to depart from the narrowness and bigotry of its founder, the greatest tyrant in thought and morals now living, as they say, and made so by his theology.  I do not think it would be a good thing to give them this occasion for rejoicing.

The outcome of my own experience in infidelity makes me look cheerfully and hopefully upon Theodore's case, and the case of all those who want to think, as they say for themselves.  I say, Let me think; help them to think; they will think anyhow; only say to them, Be modest, and don't ask us to put your loose thinking at the head of the Community.

I sincerely believe that the Oneida Community, as it is in John H. Noyes, furnishes the broadest platform, physical, moral, intellectual, and spiritual,  there is in the world, because it is nearest the kingdom of heaven, in whose king, Christ, are "hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

For all the reasons given, until Theodore can with the abandon of Paul say, "I am determined to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ, and him crucified," I must answer to the pending question, No.


The present agitation of my candidature as leader of the Community was uninvited by me.  I have no desire to put myself forward, unless it can come without strife. I sincerely think that a fanatical tendency in some of the members needs the antidote of my tendencies of mind, and I am quite confident that I could sympathize with the mental struggles, which many of our children must go through, in a way which would improve the handling of them.  But of course I could not help as leader without kindness and charity on the part of those who have more definite views.  This would seem to them like a concession to the Devil, and I am well content to wait until I am wanted by all hands.  There is one thing greater than my love of unity; this is my love of truth.  But the cases are rare where these must conflict, and happily this is one in which there is no occasion for wrangling further than to see exactly how we all stand.  The Community certainly need fear nothing from ambition.  I am not too humble to say I an do a thing when I think I can, but I certainly grasp at nothing but a place in the hearts of the whole Community.

Conclusion of the "Great Discussion."

As the nomination of Dr. Noyes was considered withdrawn, a feeling was expressed that this discussion has better be closed, though there were many on both sides who would like to speak.   This view was generally endorsed.   George D. Allen, who has been and is decidedly opposed to the nomination but had not an opportunity to speak, said he thought there was a good spirit of unity here tonight, and it was a good time to drop the subject.

The question was raised as to what should be done to provide a helper for Ann.  Messrs. Hinds, Burnham, and others thought that Mr. Woolworth, if surrounded and sustained by The Community and relieved of his business responsibilities, would feel his commission renewed, and give satisfactory service as in times past. A motion was made requesting him to continue as father of the family for the present, and was passed unanimously. The meeting closed with an apparent good feeling all around.

Preparation for Leadership

In June, 1875, three months after the "Great Discussion", Theodore wrote to his father:   "With my views I don't feel as if the Community would allow me any claim to be spiritually-minded, but perhaps you can comprehend the anomaly when I say that the one desire of heart is spirituality, that is, a life from the interior.  I know it is as you say, the Community most needs spirituality.   I see it every day.  The reason many fall back from their good experience is that they have no realizing sense that they are now spirits, and must be about spiritual business to grow.  That is what I am most ambitious to do; to tend the growth of my spirit, so that whatever may be my future circumstances I shall go on up higher.  I f we could find some common ground of action, I should be glad to be working for spirituality in the Community more actively than I do."

Hoping to find such "common ground", Theodore soon after this went to Wallingford, and placed himself in personal contact with his father, who, with a strong detachment of faith veterans was at this time enthusiastically giving battle to the fever and ague.

In October of the same year the Oneida family was visited by a certain Professor Weills, a French oculist, and another gentleman who acted as his interpreter.  There had been of late an increasing tendency in the Community to seek the help of oculists in distant cities.  Many thought that it would be better to have such services performed by a competent person at home, and after some talk the Professor was invited to fit with spectacles those who needed them.  After the Professor had left, Mr. Woolworth remarked in evening meeting:  "If this oculist has humbugged us, he has done it handsomely. He has sold us 75 pairs of spectacles, and we have paid him $267.50."

This affair, when reported to Wallingford, called out some earnest criticism.  Theodore objected to the idea set going by the Professor that sewing, book-keeping, reporting and work in the printing-office caused weak eyes.  Noyes agreed with this, and said:  "It is evident as can be that the Professor psychologized the whole Community.  I am very sure that, even if he did help their eyes, it was an unwise thing to swallow him as they did, and let his spirit into the Community.  My general impression about the family at Oneida is that it has no strong head.  You will say that they acknowledge me as their head.  That is so in a certain sense, but within the last few years they have gradually come to think that I am not competent as I used to be, or that the times have changed and a different kind of administration is necessary.   The result is that in fact I am not able to fulfill the office of head to that family.  I see every little while that they are proceeding in a way that does not take any account whatever of my thoughts and wishes."

As the year 1875 drew toward its close, it became more and more manifest that Theodore was co-operating heartily with his father. In all important questions of policy they stood together, especially in the idea that the true object of business was not money-making but education.  While they were thus growing into a new harmony and appreciation of each other, a suggestion was received from Oneida that Theodore come there to meet a prominent visitor who was expected, also a request that Noyes and Theodore send their advice on certain proposed changes of organization. Putting these things together Noyes decided to send Theodore on a flying visit to Oneida.  In doing this he sent to the Oneida family the following message: "As to plans of business, I have no hesitation in giving Theodore a carte blanche to act for me. I have entire confidence that his views are substantially in accordance with mine, and that he is heartily devoted to the Community interest.  At the same time I do not send him to dictate arrangements.  The best way is to have a meeting for consultation and free expression.  Then if there is divergence of view, let him report to me.  I hope his visit will be an occasion of new harmony."

December 5, 1875 ~ Oneida ~ Theodore to the Community.

Previous to the spring of 1873 I was apparently helping Father, that is, carrying out his ideas in a general way, but to do it I was obliged to use a great deal of what was really cant. I was more and more distressed by offenses against my conscience, and I felt my moral nature deteriorating. Finally the pressure became so great that I resolved to set about cultivating a sensitive conscience and the self-respect which comes of direct adherence to the truth as far as I could see it at any cost.  So I burst out of the bonds which were stifling my spirit, and for the next two years I made it my first and almost only aim to cultivate my conscience and those other qualities which must be my passports to happiness in this or any other life.

Now I am well aware and ready to acknowledge that, while carrying out this single aim, I have neglected public interests, given needless pain, and in exasperation at difficulties which seemed insurmountable said many foolish and hurtful things.  I might go into details, but when I have attempted to do so I have found it unprofitable, and have felt like looking forward to the time, which has begun, when I can cooperate with Father and keep and improve the integrity of my private character.

There is nothing like suffering to soften and improve the heart, and I can truly say that I don't harbor an unkind feeling to those who, in what has seemed to me a narrowness of view, have felt that I as utterly in the wrong.

I would not justify mere honesty of purpose, because it may lead wrong; but I would justify any steps a person might take to gain an approving conscience and cultivate the spiritual nature, for by this course he cannot fail in the end to go right.  Different persons require different steps to do this, and the only justification I have for my skepticism in the past has been that, from the character of my mind and the environment I had got into, it was necessary to strip myself to bare Positivism in order to make a beginning of perfect sincerity.  Having secured this, I hope to carry it through all the heights of belief which may lie between this world and heaven.

Theodore R. Noyes."

December 5, 1875 ~ Oneida ~ Evening Meeting.

Frank Wayland-Smith:- (Reads extracts from a talk given by Mr. Noyes Nov. 12th, in which he states the true object of business is not money-making but education).  Theodore says that his father thinks we have drifted away too far into money-making, and he hopes that we shall invite him to take a more general control of our business.  He did not want to crowd us into this course unless he saw that it was the best. If we put Mr. Noyes into that place, he wants Theodore to help him.

George E. Cragin:- Dr. Noyes is not present this evening.  He said he would like to have the family perfectly free to discuss this question, whether they would have confidence in him as his father's representative.   He does not want to go into this work unless he can feel that he is supported by the whole Community.

William H. Woolworth:- When the Committee first met, there was no heart to go on and arrange our business in the old way. We felt that a crisis had come, and that we were called to put our business into Mr. Noyes's hands, to be re-organized as he might choose.

William A. Hinds:- I don't see as we can do less than put our business into Mr. Noyes's hands, as he has asked for it.

Chester W. Underwood:- I confess that Mr. Noyes's expression is sufficient for me. (Endorsed by many.)

William H. Woolworth:- I want to offer our business to Mr. Noyes, and make him free to use any instrument he pleases. (Endorsed.)

John S. Freeman:- I confess my confidence in Theodore.

George D. Allen:- I believe that Mr. Noyes is an inspired man, and sympathize with this move about Theodore.

William A. Hinds:- I felt some hesitation about the plan as it was represented to me today, but as I understand it now, the question is altogether different from what it was last winter. Theodore comes to us now as the representative and mouthpiece of his father to help reorganize the business as his own. If he had sent any other person, we should receive him as representative for the object for which he sent him.

Myron H. Kinsley:- I felt some bad at the way the thing was represented to me today privately, but on hearing his own paper tonight I feel hearty in putting the business into Mr. Noyes's hands in the way proposed.

Martin E. Kinsley:- I have perhaps been tempted about Theodore's course as much as any one, and when I first heard the report of his object in coming here I was somewhat disturbed.   But the light in which is now put by Mr. Noyes makes me feel good about it.

James W. Towner: - I heartily sympathize with having the object in business that Mr. Noyes sets forth in his talk, and I heartily desire that our business may be offered to him for his direction and control.  I sincerely believe that Mr. Noyes is the best business man in the Community.   As to the question of Theodore's co-operation with him, I will say frankly that, if I were to judge Theodore by his communication last spring (and I don't see the one just read differs from materiality, so far as faith is concerned), I should feel a good deal of distrust and anxiety. But I am highly pleased with what Mr. Noyes says about Theodore, and I have so much confidence in his inspiration to believe that he knows whether it is best, and how far it is best, to use Theodore in the reorganization and control of the business. I believe he sees a great deal further than I can, and I should be perfectly willing that he should use Theodore or any one else he may choose.  I accept Mr. Noyes's testimony in regard to Theodore, and believe he has changed and is changing in heart if not in theory. (Endorsed.)

Myron H. Kinsley:- I think Theodore has changed, and am very glad he has.  I believe he will change, and grow better and better.  I shall be glad to help him by my sympathy and support.

After this discussion, the question was put to vote, Are we ready as a family to put our entire business into Mr. Noyes's hands, and accept heartily any agent he may select?  The ayes were unanimous.

December 10, 1875 ~ Oneida ~ William H. Woolworth to J.H. Noyes.

Dear Mr. Noyes:  We have had a good time with Theodore, and I think the whole Community hail the dawn of a better day.   There are a good many signs that the spirit of unity and harmony is developing.

Yours truly,

William H. Woolworth."

A Dual Administration: J.H.N. and Theodore

The installation of Theodore as Noyes's agent or helper in the reorganization of the Community's business in December, 1875, marked the commencement of a dual regime which lasted until May, 1877. During this period of a year and a half Noyes was still the active responsible head of the Community, and Theodore was his chief minister.

The first subject which engaged the attention of the new administration was a change in the character and policy of the paper. "The Circular" had at this time only about 800 subscribers, of whom nearly 700 took advantage of the free terms.  Writing to Noyes in January, 1876, Frank Wayland-Smith mentioned that the organ of the Shakers had a subscription list of four or five thousand, and suggested that steps be taken to extend the circulation of "The Circular". Noyes heartily fell in with this idea, and in March, 1876, "The Circular" was succeeded by "The American Socialist", a paper which was designed to become the organ not merely of the Oneida Community, but of Socialists everywhere.   This new departure seemed to some like abandoning foundation principles, and Noyes in a letter to a member dated January 20, 1876, stated his position thus:

"I am glad to see you jealous for holding on to our old positions.  I have no idea of giving them up, and yet I do not feel bound to go on repeating the discussions which I may say we faithfully finished years ago.  They are on record, and like the seeds will outlive the winter of neglect that is upon them.  Meanwhile I am free to take up the subjects related to them and derivable from them, such as Communism, Spiritualism, spiritual hygiene, sexual philosophy, stirpiculture.  In advancing to these subjects, as we have ever since we left Putney, I do not think we are leaving behind or losing hold of our original gospel; and yet we are certainly getting nearer to the live issues which hold the attention of the world. So long as our object is to keep and perfect our own faith in defiance of an opposing world, we must go on repeating the confession of that faith even if it is speaking in an unknown tongue to outsiders; but when our object is to affect the world around us, we must study the entrances into that world, and must learn Paul's philosophy of "becoming all things to all men".      

Nor do I have any thought of giving up the idea of a free daily paper.  But evidently we cannot carry out this idea at present.  It is an anchorage far within the harbor of the millennium, which we must warp up to as we can.  We are a present out on the open ocean with anti-Communism raging around us.   Within the circle of our Communities our paper will continue to be free; and that circle even now is the most important part of our audience, and is likely to grow indefinitely.  Communism is really the true sphere of a free paper, and so far as we print for people beyond the sphere we may as well put their selfishness under tax for the benefit of Communism.  It seems to me that our paper has kept open doors to tramps until it is overrun with them.  It is time to try a new policy, and meanwhile we will not forget true charity, nor cease to keep open doors to all true Communists.

While we keep Communism among ourselves, we have to buy and sell with the world; and if we make our entire institution self-supporting in this way, there is no reason why we should not make our paper, which is a subordinate member of the institution, self-supporting in the same way - if we choose to; and the questions whether we will choose to is not a question of principle but of strategy."

The next important question which arose under the new regime was a clash with some of the young men involving the general question of government by deputy.  Theodore, acting for his father, who thought that some of the business men made trips abroad to the detriment of their spiritual character, undertook to obtain data as to the amount of traveling needed, but met with a rebuff from one of the superintendents.  A short time after this, when Noyes, becoming dissatisfied with the management of stirpiculture at Oneida, sent E.H. Hamilton to act as father of that family, the same superintendent raised a protest, saying that Hamilton did not "recognize anything as true inspiration which differed from his", and that he doubted if Hamilton "would get ten votes in his favor." Theodore took up the proffered gage in the following letter:

Wallingford, April 26, 1876

Dear ---:- As to Mr. Westcott and his chuck, it is my opinion that we already have too many manufacturing connections with the world for our good spiritually, as to the effect of so much of that kind of life on you and other young men makes more and more apparent.   This opinion of mine had been formed in consequence of much distressing study of your state of spirit as revealed in your notes, as well as the state of the Community, which seems to me very serious at the present time.  I felt, when you took to selling silk and dropped work on the paper, that you distinctly shirked the vexatious issue of the Community's future, and set about getting into a quiet secular position.  At the same time you and others took advantage of what you have termed "liberty" to diverge from my course into a disorganized state which is the opposite of that I have been aiming at.

I cannot say I sympathize with your views of Mr. Hamilton.  Let us not cant about inspiration when we simply want our own way.  You and other young people have repeatedly expressed unlimited confidence in Father, and if you are not hypocrites, you will take what he thinks best for you and stand to it like men.  As to Mr. Hamilton's faults, I have been aware of them as much as any one, but he as received criticism enough from those above him, and has made great improvement.  But if he had not, he possesses moral qualities which you decidedly lack, and I agree with Father that what is wanted at O.C. at present is less disorganized liberty which drifts toward secularism in business and social relations, and more of the sturdy moral sense which aims at setting the spiritual education uppermost.

You and others of the second generation have quite misunderstood my attitude about liberty, if you think I want a slack administration in which every one can do just what he has a mind to. At the time of the stir-up a year ago I simply called attention to the fact that one class might have liberty which was denied to another, and I argued for giving the deserving class liberty without assuming that such a course must necessarily stumble the weak. The weak must sometime get strength enough to see those who deserve more liberty enjoy it without feeling envious. I never thought that we all have rights which we can define our own pleasure, and tell our superiors what their places are.  All my ideas of liberty pre-suppose a discriminating superior power, which confers freedom on those who deserve it to the largest extent, while it restrains those who cannot safely use such privileges.  Majority votes have no place in such a state, except as convenient modes of getting at public opinion for the use of the leaders.  They may think best to act contrary to the general voice, and it is important that they should be free to do so.

Now in this particular case of Mr. Hamilton, you think he would not get ten votes.  But for all that I think, as Father does, that it is best form him to go on and help improve the moral and spiritual tone.  When those of the young men who have bright faculties drift away from spirituality, shirking the struggle we must undergo to purify our souls, and take refuge in the excitements of business, I think we are lucky to have some left of the sterner sort, who make a serious study of ethical and spiritual problems, and if I have any voice they shall have a large place. The Community is ruined, when it tucks its philosophers and spiritually-minded off in a corner, and gives its heart to money-making."

After Theodore had sent this letter, Noyes came out with a powerful talk defending his right to govern the Community by deputy; and the young man who had called forth the discussion, having resigned his superintendency, came to Wallingford to separate himself from the temptations of the world and seek a new spiritual experience.

The time now seemed opportune for another move toward settling the great controversy which had for more than a year agitated the Community, the question of the successorship.  Noyes accordingly expressed his views in the following address:

"We have boasted from time to time of our ability to agree.  We developed the power of agreement until God saw that we were capable of sustaining the final test of harmony, the letting loose among us of a spirit of the freest thought and discussion.  There is no objection to the debate we have had, as in other cases, we emerge from it in harmony, and go on with the practical enterprises that are before us.

Let us never think of debate as a permanent condition. In a court of law you have a great debate, lawyers on each side doing their best to carry their opposite points. That is all proper and right, but there comes a time when the debate is closed.  The judge takes up the case, decision comes, and then execution; and the debate is good for nothing except as it leads to such conclusion.

My opinion is that the arguments of the lawyers in our case are finished.  Some practical conclusion should now come, and we should go about our business.   I wish therefore to call attention to the exact process by which our former debates were terminated and unity attained. It will be remembered that, when there seemed to be no end to the discussion about the location of the new house, all parties finally concluded to leave the decision to me, and the result was a decision that satisfied all.  In like manner, when there was division of the Community into parties on the question of selling out at Wallingford, and discussion threatened to be endless, the decision was again left to me, and harmonious action was attained. Now I ask the Community to consider whether that is not the proper way to terminate all important controversies that occur among us.  I see no other way except the old one of the Phalanxes, which was to fight it out and break up. If that is the right way, then comes the question what has been the point at issue.  I think everybody is conscious that the great question secretly or openly labored on in all our dissensions, certainly since a year ago last winter, has been whether Theodore is to be the leader of the second generation.  There are two parties on this question, each of which holds its opinion quite as earnestly as parties have ever done on previous questions.  Can you not trust me in this, as you have trusted me before? Am I not more likely than any of you to understand the merits of the question at issue, and the awful responsibility I am under to find and do the will of God?  I am free to say that I think you declare me unworthy to be your leader, so long as you think I cannot be trusted to decide the question that has now come to the end of debate, and awaits decision. What shall that we do? Is the Community prepared to end the controversy in the old way, or shall we go on in secret strife to dissolution?

The reference of this question to Noyes as arbitrator was not so prompt nor at first so unanimous as in the case of previous questions.  The matter was not presented to the evening meeting until several weeks has passed, because of doubt as to its reception; and when it was finally brought up, although nearly all voted in the affirmative, there were two or three notable exceptions. However, by the pressure of events and of Community discipline the objectors were gradually brought into line with the rest of the Community.

Meanwhile a rift was opening between the Oneida and Wallingford families.  In November 1876, George Miller came on from Wallingford, and delivered a course of lectures before the Oneida family on the bible.  This was followed by the formation of Bible classes led by Mr. Burnham and Mrs. Bushnell, old revivalists, and the Oneida family was visited by a revival more powerful than any it had experienced before in years. Noyes, who had come from Wallingford to Oneida in December, at first approved and encouraged the revival, as did Mr. Hamilton, Mrs. Skinner, and others of the Oneida leaders. But the Walllingford family held aloof, and under the leadership of Theodore and Ann entered upon a comparatively gay and secular course.  As the revival progressed, some of the more zealous of its subjects began to criticise the Wallingford family for infidelity and worldliness, and a good deal of feeling was aroused, especially against Theodore.  Upon this, George Miller, who had returned to Wallingford, wrote to Oneida criticising the leaders of the revival for narrowness and legality. Mr. Hamilton replied February 17, 1877, defending the revival, and deprecating the growing irritation between Oneida and Wallingford.  A month later Noyes became convinced that the revival was being conducted in a disorganizing spirit, and that the time had come to call a halt.   Accordingly on April 3rd George Miller, who had come from Wallingford for the purpose, addressed the Oneida family in the evening meeting.  He said that he had no wish to check the true revival spirit; on the contrary he believed that the Community was dependent on the revival spirit for existence; but he had what he thought a true instinct to raise the query whether it would not be best to discontinue the Bible classes in the form they had assumed; the history of the Community had been a succession of such changes; it had always been characteristic of Mr. Noyes to see the proper time to change, and by so doing he had been able to secure the profit of any given course without falling into the dangers to which it was liable.  No opposition was made to Mr. Miller's proposal.  Many spoke in favor of it.  The responses showed a deep appreciation of the work that had been done, and a hope that the revival spirit would remain the hearts of the Community.   The result of the meeting was that the bible classes were obediently though rather reluctantly drooped.

This clash between Wallingford and Oneida led Theodore to propose a concentration similar to that in 1855.   His idea was to gather the strength of the Community at Oneida, get rid as much as possible of hired help, and devote a few years to developing home industry and perfecting the organization.  He wrote to Ann from Oneida:  "I am convinced that unless we do this we shall have no peace. The Community here are perpetuating the same narrowness which has given us all our trouble, and if we do not take hold now to conquer them, we shall never do it.  Then in a few years we can live together again in such a happy family as W.C. has been."

When the plan was brought before the evening meeting for discussion, Noyes said:  "If we can get all hearts interested in gathering together here, it will be a conversion to the whole Community.  As it is now, the Community is divided up into cliques that have but little to do with each other.  However heretical Theodore may be thought by some, this idea of seeking unity and sacrificing financial considerations to it is orthodox to the core.  I want a great conviction and breaking down of the Community right on that point; and if Theodore is the revivalist with that for his break-down test, I shall go for encouraging him to preach, and start the 'anxious set' and 'inquiry meetings'.  Come to think of it, this move of Theodore's is a continuation of the revival, only it is carrying it a little higher up and on a larger scale.   He really proposed not a four days but a four years protracted meeting!  The old revivalists certainly ought to favor that.  I go for it heartily, and I guess the family will."

This view of the matter was greeted by clapping of hands and stamping of feet, and during the months of May and June, 1877, the plan of concentration at Oneida was carried out.

Taking advantage of the wave of enthusiasm and harmony which accompanied the merging of the two families, Noyes on May 17, 1877, sent to the evening meeting the following proclamation":

J.H.Noyes to the Family

Oneida, May 17, 1877

As you will remember, I have often said that a work is not finished till it is reported.  I find myself now engaged in that last stage of my work in this world. Through the "American Socialist" I am laying before the world a full report of what I have done and what I have learned in the evolution of Christian Communism.   Thus whatever is valuable in my work on the Oneida Community will be turned over to the benefit of humanity, and become the seed of future Communities.

And in this last stage of my labor I find myself in front of the last problem of Community-building, which is the problem of successorship; how to carry a Community through the change from one generation to another. I must work out this problem, or leave my work unfinished and even in danger of coming to naught. I ask the Community then, for its own sake as well as for mine and for the world's, to approach this problem with me. Indeed, it must co-operate with me in this last work, as it has in all previous stages, or I can do nothing.

In the course of events the question of successorship has come to be referred to me.  This is as it should be.  The Community did not form itself, like a township or other ordinary society, by getting together and choosing a president.  I was the president from the beginning, called not by vote of the members but by the will of God, and as such I formed the Community.  That relation between me and the Community has remained through its entire history.  There has never been a time when I did not claim the prerogative of criticism and final decision over the whole Community and over every member of it; and there has never been a time when the Community as a whole did not concede me that prerogative. We have had free discussions, but these discussions on the one hand have been proposed and granted by me, and on the other hand have been brought to a close by me, and the final decision has been referred to me as judge after the debate.

On these grounds I claim that I have a certain right to dispose of the government of the Community.  but now let us see what I do not claim.   A father has the right to give his property to his son irrespective of that son's character.  I do not claim that right.  I have renounced it, and pledged myself solemnly to the Community that I will not commit its government to an unbeliever or one who is in any way unfit to be its leader. In this I renounce the principle of transmission by natural inheritance which governs in the kingdoms of the world.  I claim only the right to choose the fit man to be my successor.  If the fit man proves to be my son, so much the better. But his being my son does not entitle him to my place, but only his fitness.  I announce this principle, and I place it on record here, not only for myself but for my successor and for all his successors, and I charge them to renounce honestly before God the temptation and the rights of hereditary succession, and to be governed only by fitness in transmitting the government.

To show the real ground of my choice I must go back into the history of Theodore's original nomination.  He was nominated, and the nomination was warmly accepted many years ago.  I considered that nomination not as my own act but as the resultant of persistent inspiration on the one hand, and of a general though informal choice of the Community on the other. He was at that time, I may say without fear of contradiction our most promising young man, not only for business ability and intellectuality but for spirituality.  He certainly was at that time my best helper in all these respects. This nomination should be regarded not as an actual installation but as the commencement of training. In the course of the training Theodore has gone through great changes of theory and experience; such changes as at one time seemed to disqualify him for leadership.  But these changes did not necessarily invalidate his nomination, because his actual leadership was future, and other changes fitting him for leadership might come before his training ended.  Such changes have come.  He now believes in the spiritual world, in Providence and in inspiration, and I have evidence that he is inspired by the same control that has carried me through my career.  Those who know him best, and they are the most spiritual part of the Community, think of him most highly. Difficult as it may be to reconcile all minds to my choice, I must say that I see no other person in the Community or out of it, who would be chosen by so many or so good a class of persons as he.

The Community wants a leader who is posted in all the wisdom and in all the wiles of science.  Who is there so well qualified in this respect as Theodore?   He has lost his old belief in traditions, but he has not lost his love of the truth, nor his conscientiousness.  He is where I was when I was in New York in 1834, stripped but not in heart an unbeliever.  He has not yet recovered so much of the intuitional wealth as I did, nor so soon; but he is the firmest and surest of us all in his belief in the other world and its possibilities, and to me that insures his final discovery of the second coming and the Primitive Church.

It seems necessary on many accounts that the question of successorship should be settled now.  I am providentially disabled, so that I must perforce resign many of the duties of a leader to others.  I can still help by counsel, and I am in the best condition I ever was for conducting the paper.  My present calling then is to transfer my leadership and devote myself to reporting what I have done. It is evident that the unsettled state of the Community for the last few years has been caused in great measure by the unsettled state of this question of leadership, and confusion will continue till my choice is made known and accepted.  I therefore designate Theodore R. Noyes as my successor.

I do not know as this announcement will make any changes in the present course of things.  Theodore has been for some time the actual leader in business and family management, and whatever counsel he has had from me will be continued. My decision will simply enable those who are so disposed to dismiss from their minds the perplexities about successorship that have troubled them, and give themselves up to their respective labors for making a happy home.

It may be remarked here that the whole idea of successorship is more superficial than real.  Christ did not cease to lead the church when he became invisible. I do not suppose it possible in the nature of things that I should ever cease to be the leader of the O.C., unless the O.C. ceases to exist.  But as I provide a personal substitute when I leave O.C. for W.C. without really abdicating my leadership, so I may and ought to provide a personal leader for the whole visible church of which I am the head, and yet I may keep my interest and spiritual presence in it if I should pass into the spirit world.

And finally it may be said even that leadership itself is more illusory than real.  It is my belief, and I am glad to know and say that it is Theodore's belief and even his favorite theory, that all true progress is toward perfect liberty from external control; that all rue leaders are laboring to establish by education and stirpiculture a state of things in which leadership will not be needed; in a word that abdication is the hope of their calling - a blessed hope to me, which I trust I may now or soon be permitted to realize.

Theodore is now 36 years old, in the fullness of strength; at the same age that I was when I came to Oneida.   If he should last as well as I have, he will carry the Community through 30 years till he is 66 years old.  I trust there will be no occasion for another election either by him or by the Community for that period, and that when there is such occasion he and the Community will be far enough advanced in true wisdom to make the next "splice" scientifically and by inspiration.

As to Theodore's probable policy of administration, we all know that it has not been formed by imitation of mine but by consulting his own genius and inspiration, which is right.   I have studied it a good deal, and am now free to say that I approve of it most heartily and from rational conviction, so far as it has been foreshadowed by his expressions and measures.  It seems to me to be summed up in the formula, "Return to first principles."  His purpose, so far as I can see it, is to lead the Community back into home industry, hygienic habits, and above all into the subordination of money-making to spiritual interests, which is in a new form of our old first principle, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all other things shall be added unto you."  His policy thus indicated will certainly be a practical continuation of mine, and I confess my hope that he will be able to carry it much further into execution than I have done.  "A new broom sweeps clean," and I go for giving it a hearty welcome and all encouragement to make a clean house.

To this end I advise that, whenever he shall be accepted and installed, he be made free to choose his own cabinet of officers, to change the heads of departments, or to lay out his plans and enter upon their execution as new administrators are allowed to do in all civilized governments; and that the entire Community, displaced officers and all, take hold with patriotic zeal to co-operate with him in counsel and action.  This is the way to harmony, and to the risks which may be thought to attend it we must trust God as we always have done.

It only remains for me to say in conclusion that, beside the object which I have stated of settling the politics of the Community, I have in view in the step which I am taking the further object of devoting myself to the paper, and of separating the paper from its responsible connection with the Community.  I judge that this will be a great advantage to the paper, especially if we should succeed in making the paper self-supporting and removing it to New York.   It should therefore be understood, that, when the change of leaders which I have proposed is completed, I shall in a certain sense cease to be a member of this Community, and pass into the position of an outside friend and counsellor.

John H. Noyes

O.C. May 18, 1877 ~ T.R. Noyes to the family at Oneida. ~

Dear Friends:  I want to express my appreciate of the kindly feeling exhibited last evening, and assure you of my determination to get more of it in the future. I can honestly say that faith which realizes the substance of things hoped for is the trait which commands my highest respect.  The men and women of faith in the Community I regard as my truest friends, and I feel that I am one with them on all essential points.  There will never be any disagreement between me and them.  I think we can all take hold in unity for the pursuit of truth in the great circle which embraces Spiritualism, Christianity, Communism, stirpiculture and science of every kind.  Truth is really a unit, and when we go back to first principles we arrive at what is at once the kernel of the gospel of Christ and the truest deduction from the laws of science.  It has been my ambition to unite science and religion in the true proportions, and I think in the practical discipline of Community life we shall be able to do it.  I hope also that the fathers and mothers of the Community will find themselves more and more honored, instead of being laid upon the shelf.

Yours sincerely, T.R.NOYES.

Administration of Theodore and Ann

In assuming the reins of government Theodore chose Ann as his chief female helper.  The change of administration was announced as marking "an important era in the history of the Oneida Community."  It "takes effect," says The American Socialist, "at a time when the Community is in great internal harmony and free from external persecution, and is an event not easily explained except on the supposition that J.H.Noyes has entire confidence in the continued peace and prosperity of the Community independently of his personal leading."

The outward affairs of the Community went on with little apparent change.  Preparations for the concentration at Oneida were completed, and during the last week in June more than forty members of the Wallingford Community arrived at Oneida in parties of seven per day.  The confluence of the two Communities took place with scarcely a ripple.   About twenty persons were left at Wallingford as a corporal's guard "to wait for something to turn up."   Something did turn up almost immediately, the importance of which was more fully realized in later years.  On the 29th of May Theodore proposed that the Wallingford Community enter the manufacture of spoons.  This plan was enthusiastically approved, and Charles Cragin was placed in charge.

But the new administration was ill-omened from the first.  It had no sooner been formed that Tirzah flared up and threatened to leave the Community. She felt that Edward had been driven out of the Community by Ann's machinations, and the thought of being under he control seemed intolerable.  She was however pacified by Noyes and Theodore.  The next day Noyes had a serious collision with Ann which is reported in the following documents:

Conversation between J.H.N. and Ann Hobart in

J.H.N's Room, May 1877

Introduction by the Reporter: - The family will remember that Ann came on here last winter when Lily talked of leaving the Community.  Ann's plan was to take Lily back to W.C.:  but before she got here Lily had broken down under the influence of Mrs. Bushnell and Constance. Ann seemed to have a prejudice against the revival, as we called it, manifesting her feelings in a way that drew a good deal of observation.  H.H.S. was sorry to have her go back without seeing more of it, and urged her to stay one more night (she was here only one night):  but she would not be persuaded, and went off in a way that hurt H.H.S's feelings, though this was not the only thing by any means which had injured their fellowship.  When Ann came on again at the time Theodore was inaugurated, H.H.S. was in a state of self-dissatisfaction for not feeling more unity with her, and the day before she left wrote the following note to Mr. Noyes:

"After breakfast can't I sit down with you and get straightened, if possible, about Ann?  It makes me sick abed almost.  It has thrown me into sympathy with the general spirit of evil-thinking against Wallingford, when I should otherwise have had no trouble perhaps."

Mr. Noyes sent immediately with Ann, and held a conversation with her in writing as follows:

J.H.N.- My object is not to stir up the spirit of evil-thinking, but to put it down by frank open dealing. Your relations to H.H.S are undefined and a cause of disturbance which I wish to remove.

Ann. - I can of course feel that Aunt Harriet is very sober for some cause, and if I am the occasion I should be glad to be adjusted in any way to make her happy.

J.H.N.- The difficult, as I understand it, originated or showed itself when you were here last in your taking an independent course about going back.  I think you might have avoided that collision if you had been open with me.

Ann. - If I have acted in that instance or any other in self-will or independence toward her, I have not intended it, and am sorry.

J.H.N.- From the way George Miller acted when he first came here I judge that a spirit was upon all at W.C. (unless Theodore was an exception) which pushed for great changes without much care about the method of transfer from the old officers to the new.  Things were going very wrong, and would have ended in disaster if Theodore and I had not got together in a harmonious spirit. The old officers are not going to be pushed out and left in disrespect.  They are needed to make the transfer.  You cannot get your place in the Community by neglecting H.H.S. and slipping by her. She has stood by me forty years, as you are standing by Theodore, and she not only was but is still in that place. And as I give Theodore his place, she will have to give you yours.

Ann.- As to the way in which George Miller came here, he will tell you that it was so difficult for me to see things just as he did that he was tempted to be offended with my reluctance.   I don't now and never have in the stormiest times thought that the old officers were to be pushed aside, but have always said that if the younger part of the Community was going to take responsibility and carry on the work, it would come by their acting in the same spirit as their elders.  I believe this now. If I show a different attitude than this, I want to be changed.  I long for unity and peace.  I hope we shall not only be together in one place but be of one mind.  It really seems to me that part of this misunderstanding is due to distance.

J.H.N.- I have no doubt of that; but it is also partly due to lack of clear ideas about the relation between you and H.H.S. You will act in the same spirit that she has had, not by that spirit leaving her and going to you but by that spirit going through her to you and acting in her and you together, and first in her. This is the only plan of transfer of officers which belongs to an endless life.  Any other plan than this is no better than that of the world, which consists in displacement and rupture every generation. In the church of Christ the elders do not step down when they step out, but they step up, and those that follow them are their "crown and glory."  I am not criticising you, but showing you your way.  I am confident, when you see your way you will make sure of a good connection with H.H.S.

Ann.- I want to make the connection you speak of, and I don't know what it is that makes it more difficult than with Mother Noyes. If you see what the obstruction is, I wish you would point it out.  I am ready to take any course you recommend.

J.H.N.- I think the obstruction is what I pointed out to Theodore, as I told you in my first note, viz. Want of sufficient communication with me.  For instance, in the difficulty that I specified about your leaving here I am confident if you had consulted me I should have modified either Harriet's view or yours so as to prevent discord.  Another obstruction is your non-appreciation of her.  I know much better than you can how faithfully she has been fighting your battles with Mrs. Bushnell and others.  Your communications with her have been injured by distances as your communications with Mother Noyes have not.  Moreover H.H.S. is in the position of general woman-superintendent, which makes collision between you and her more natural and therefore more to be guarded against.

Ann. - I don't exactly know what I am to do about it, only to trust to a good spirit to keep me in humility.   I shall try to improve, and any doubtful circumstances seek your advice.

J.H.N.- My advice to you now is to distrust your own judgement of H.H.S. on account of distance and the temptations that have been besetting all of us, and to believe persistently that she is a better and a greater woman than yourself, and that she is the best friend of you and Theodore in my cabinet, and can help you more than anybody else in getting your places.  And I advise you to act on this conception, and not remain alienated from her.

Ann.- There has never been any uncertainty in my mind about her superiority every way.  When Theodore told me she was tried with me, I said immediately I would write to her and tell her I was sorry and would try to improve.   He said he thought I had better let it all go, and show by my course in future that I had not meant to be independent.

J.H.N.- She told me this morning that she wished I would not say anything about her feelings.  Her prevailing theory is, as usual, that she is all wrong; but I don't like to have it go so.   I take it for granted that both you want to do right, and that the sore will be better for being pricked.

Ann.- I am glad of it.  I do feel better.  I'll do anything or say anything to make her feel better too.

J.H.N.- I think this will end the matter. I will show her these notes, and I hope you will get together.

July 26, 1877 ~ O.C. Talk ~ PUBLIC SPIRIT.

Theodore: - Those whose duty it is to distribute help are having a harder time than formerly.  Many are public-spirited, but there are others who have formed the habit of reusing to do what they are asked.  It seems to be one of those faults of individualism which the Community has fallen into.  I don't object to persons expostulating and setting forth their weaknesses; but I object to the spirit that says, "I will" or "I won't." That spirit is anything but one of brotherly love.  It is subversive of good organization, and makes us feel utterly powerless. . . I thought we would speak about it in public, but if necessary we shall have to bring criticism to bear on individual cases.

I have been so exercised on this question that I have set on foot a method of statistics in order to find out how much we do. We have forced the thing up as high as we can with our present appliances.  There are some among us who suffer from what is no more nor less than laziness. We must have a different spirit about work.  I do not feel like mincing the matter at all.  Talk is good for something, but deeds are a great deal better.  I want to see something done. . .

If we can get a revival of old-fashioned love of faithfulness in the use of our time, the financial problems will be easy; but if we go on in our luxurious habits, it is going to be a serious thing in a year or two.


Theodore:- All money, whether gained by individual exertions or in any other way, belongs to the Community. If this principle is kept clear, the system of personal appropriations can be continued:  otherwise it will become detrimental to Communism . . . We do not want the Community to be divided into rich and poor. . . We may find it best occasionally to take account of things that people call their own, and reduce all to a common level.  All income, whether of cash or other property, should be turned into the Community treasury before it can be passed to the individual.

I don't want to plague folks or be unduly anxious on this subject, but I do think we ought to study it in the light of Communism.

July 28, 1877 ~ O.C. Talk ~ PARENTS AND CHILDREN.

Mr. Towner:- The arrangements are completed for carrying out the proposed plan in regard to the children's clothes. . . My understanding is that all individual care of the children's clothing should be dispensed with, and the Community care should take its place. It seems however that as yet the clothing has not been wholy put into the department.  Then there are things occurring from time to time which indicate that some persons have not come up to the standard that was adopted.

Theodore:- Mr. Towner puts this matter very mildly. Remarks have come to me which, if I should allow the love of approbation to guide me, would make me regret the course I have taken.  I want it distinctly understood that I am back of this committee, and I want the Community to show their loyalty and organization by making a complete thing of the plan. If we cannot have it done heartily and thoroughly , there is no use in trying.  I am willing to be charitable, but when I hear remarks which show that persons do it simply because they have to and take back everything they can, it is trying to the soul.  Those of us who have the burden to bear have to make these things a matter of conscience. . . I put forward this subject boldly and perhaps in a partially rough way, because I have that confidence in the good sense of the Community to believe they are prepared for plain speech.

George N. Miller:- We are more or less involved with the world in false sentiment in regard to this matter, and we ought to be glad to have our natural feelings crossed for the sake of working out a true basis.

William A. Hinds:- I wish that we could get by the point where we are afraid in following such a suggestion of improvement, that we shall fall into legality, and also by the temptation to grumble. After the talk the other evening about appropriations, I heard grumbling remarks on the part of individuals who feared that their freedom would be curtailed. . .  It makes it very hard indeed for those who undertake to foster the Community spirit to have this back-water pressure.

Theodore:- We had to pass through a great shower of remarks when it was thought best to have the school commence. I had to tell the committee to mind nothing about them.

Frank Smith:- I think it is only fair that when any such Community move is proposed we should heartily try it any way. If it works badly we can correct it.

Theodore:- I don't pretend to be such a lover of children as some are, but I do pretend that my general course with them would be as likely to turn them out good and healthy men and women as that of the tenderest mother.  When I take this attitude I am subjected to the accusation of not understanding a mother's feelings, and it makes my labors a great deal heavier.

Frank Smith:- The present circumstances are much more favorable than ours when we were children, and we were better off than children outside.  We have a great deal to be thankful for.

Theodore:  It is obvious that the most sensible women need the strength of men in governing children.  If the Community in passing from the old to the new form of society fails to furnish the masculine element, the true order of things will be reversed.  The women instead of condemning the men ought to be thankful that the men have what they lack.  I don't think mothers realize the danger there is if we let things go on as they have.

Those who wish to be happy in Communism will have to get rid of the idea that Communism can be carried on without interfering with individual liberty.  This is a fact, not because I or anybody else says so, but because the logic of events proves it to be so.  We might as well make up our minds to it first as last.

July 27, 1877 ~ O.C. Talks ~ SEXUAL ORGANIZATION.

Theodore:- There is a large branch of Community life which I have not taken hold of at all as yet, that is sexual relations. . . That is the greatest experience there is, and we cannot afford to let it adrift.

I have not felt exactly free to inspect narrowly the state of things.  People seem to have fallen into the way more or less of taking care of themselves. I judge there is some Shakerism among us; but according to my idea of a Community there should be a good deal of life in that direction, all of it thoroughly organized and tending to elevation and refinement.  We had a pretty vigorous men's meeting a while ago, and I intimated at that time that I would be glad to help any who desired to be benefited by criticism; but no one offered except one who was advised to and one another, so that matter has been dropped. I have not been in a hurry, but I have felt that I could not be responsible for that department unless I took hold of it.

Frank Smith:- I should be glad to have Dr. Noyes be perfectly free to explain what kind of an organization he would like.

Theodore:- I don't know if I have any particular plan.  We had one at W.C. that operated very well, but whether it would operate well here or not I cannot say. We shall have to experiment some. The basis of it was to have all such things done in the light.  There was a regulation so that those in control knew what was going on. That was practically the case when the Community first went into complex marriage.  Father and others associated with him knew pretty much all that was going on.  For a great many years it was considered of primary importance to have the invitations given by responsible women.  Now that custom has to quite an extent passed away, and such matters are often arranged with personal friends.  How far any definite organization is desirable I will not attempt to say without more experience. My general feeling in regard to labor, spending money, and pleasure of all kinds, especially sexual pleasure, is that the great regulator of all of them is walking in the light. If such things are done in the light and well known to those who can criticise them if necessary, there will be very little trouble.  I desire to encourage all the freedom that is compatible with improvement.

William R. Inslee:- I am glad of Theodore's freedom to express these views.  I have the impression that the subject has been left to take care of itself a good deal.

Theodore:- That has probably been the case in the interval between Mr. Hamilton's dropping the responsibility and my taking it up, but I have had no intention of allowing that state of things to continue for any great length of time.  It is a delicate subject, and I thought I would wait until folks got used to me.

E.H. Hamilton:- I am thankful to see that Theodore is earnest and faithful on this subject.  It is a good time now to take hold and try to get more thoroughly organized than ever.

July 30, 1877 ~ O.C.Talks ~ LADIES' MEETING.

Ann:- Since the meeting the other evening Theodore has consulted Mr. Hamilton and Mrs. Dunn, and they thought it was best to try at least for a time such systems as we had at W.C. in social matters. Theodore said at W.C. that, if he was going to be held responsible, he wanted to know what was going on so as to act intelligently; and from that time till we came here written reports were handled to him every Sunday.  He would like to have some such arrangement here.  Those who know Theodore will not think him a curious man. He only wants to know what is going on, first because he is called leader of the Community, and then too as a physician he thought he ought to know.  He thought some of the younger women had injured their health somewhat by not being supervised, some had been injured spiritually, and there were others who were not in the Community current.  Over and above all these reasons he thought there had been some departure from the original spirit of the Community in these matters, and that it would have a purifying effect if all such things were done in the light.   Certainly he does not want to be arbitrary, but will study to give folks more liberty rather than less.

The plan proposed is to have the invitations given just as at present, and if there is any doubt in the minds of those who are asked to give invitations as to the propriety of the visit they are to consult any one of the following persons:  Mrs. Dunn, Mrs. Leonard, Mrs. Thayer, Jane Kinsley and Harriet Allen.   All women carrying invitations shall report to these women, who will keep a record and will hand it in to Dr. Noyes.   Theodore does not want this tried unless there is entire willingness about it, but knows no better way to keep track of things.

(General approbation was expressed for this plan, and some from W.C. bore testimony to its usefulness.)


Theodore:- I have occasionally felt quite nervous this summer in regard to our contact with the world, especially in these pic-nics which come here, but I was not aware until lately of the extent to which this contact has been going on among the young people. . .

One mistake was in letting the demands of business override spiritual interests. The girls were allowed for a while to be off by themselves at the Fruit House, but Ann and I got nervous about it and made a change.

I think the contact with horses and hired people this summer has been a bad school for those engaged in it.  I saw George Easton in very familiar contact with hired men, and spoke about it.

Abram:- I have been very anxious about Harold. I have seen him in close conversation with hired men at the barn.

E.H. Hamilton:- We have had experience enough to know that the horse-barn is not a good school, especially when there is hired help there.

Theodore:- I have understood that some of our boys are quite well acquainted with the dining-room girls.   The effect of putting up this building right in the Quadrangle has been to bring us into closer relations with hired people than ever before.  We ought to rouse ourselves to more rigid rules of intercourse with the world.

Another branch of this subject is the importance of attending meetings.  One of the symptoms that led me to criticise X--- was that she made an excuse to sit near the door in meeting so that she could get out.  I have noticed quite a number who seem to hold the meeting lightly. When I have had to go away during meeting I have always found quite a number out.  What is the use of having such an ordinance, if folks who need it don't go?  If anybody stays out, it ought to be such folks as Father and Mr. Hamilton, who don't need it.

Alfred:- I have noticed a great looseness in regarding to attending meeting.

Theodore:- Another point is the state which criticism has fallen into.  There seems to be little disposition on the part of members to offer themselves for criticism, but in several cases where it has seemed imperative we have done it. Criticism is one of the bulwarks of our Society, and ought to be kept in active operation.   I know of several persons now who, I think, would be greatly benefited by a social criticism.

Frank Smith:- I think we shall have to draw up to Theodore, and sustain him in all such ordinances as we have his father.

Theodore:- It has been one of our cardinal ideas that those most in contact with the word should offer themselves for frequent criticism.  I have sometimes thought that, unless there was more earnestness on the part of people in offering themselves, we should have to start some system by which every one would come under criticism by routine.

It seems to me that the picnics were conducted in an unsatisfactory way this summer.  The world, instead of coming to look at us, as was formerly the case, has drawn us into looking at it.  The current attention ought to be just the other way.  Investigation has shown that a very unsatisfactory state of tings resulted from at least two of the picnics.  There was one musician who drew considerable attention. If we encourage picnics next year, I hope we shall thoroughly regulate them.  It would be a good plan to make our own music answer for the excursionists, and now allow them to bring their music with them.

Ann:- I had the same feeling about the Fair at Oneida.  It doesn't seem as though so many could go and stare at such an exhibition without its affecting the atmosphere at home.  Some of the boys watched a set of gamblers.  I don't believe we can touch such things without being contaminated.

Frank:- It is very important that we should do such things in an organic way.  I never knew of so much irresponsible visiting of a fair as there was this year, so little consultation with the leaders of the Community.   I heard some of those in responsible places speak as though they were quite distressed about it. . . The meetings were very thin the nights of the Fair.

E.H. Hamilton:- I have been distressed by what seemed to me a terrible spirit of irreverence on the part of some of the young folks, especially the class of larger boys.

Frank:- One of the best safeguards against a straggling attention toward the world would be an earnest spirit of self-improvement.  The young folks do not have the keen ambition for education and improvement which they really ought to have to enable them to be tight toward the world. They have more spare time than previous generations, and yet they are not so careful in the disposal of it.

Theodore:- The state of the Community is generally indicated by the state of this class.  If any part of the Community is pleasure-seeking, this class will be.  I do not think they always have the best example set them by persons old enough to do better. We ought to be in earnest to labor for their improvement, and one way is to improve ourselves.

Ann:- We should be happier as a family if we did not care about the ways and fashions of the world, but could realize that we are different anyway and wish to be so.  When the Community gets to be old enough so that all the relatives of the members are inside, we shall be better off than we are now.

Helen C. Miller:- It is just as much for the interest of each one of us to keep a good spirit in the Community as it is for the leaders.  In such a matter as going to the Fair we ought all to act as we should want to have others act if he we had charge of the Community.

Theodore:- We have a great responsibility all round in the way of example.  Those of us who are older find recreation and amusement in things which would be quite unprofitable for those who are younger.  Then there is a class of persons who are older still, but who are not exactly spiritually-minded; and they set an example of seeking their own pleasure in a way that is quite pernicious.  It is a serious problem how to regulate such a thing as this Fair without causing the older and better class to feel unnecessarily restrained.

Henry G. Allen:- I hope the time will come when the Community will have nothing whatever to do with the Oneida Fair.

October 3, 1877 ~ O.C. Talks ~ A TERRIBLE EXAMPLE.

Theodore:- I have a serious matter to present, and I should have been glad if the seats had been somewhat better filled. About tow weeks ago I found that C. was in an unsatisfactory state, drifting away from the control of the women she was under at Wallingford.  I finally made issue with her that she should go voluntarily to Ann and ask her advice and help.  When I returned from the east Sunday morning, I found that she had not done so.   The next morning Ann had a strong instinct that something would happen if she did not get hold of her soon.  So she asked Mother to talk with C.  After Mother had done so C. came to Ann, and before their talk was over she opened her case sufficiently to prove that she was in a frightful condition of demoralization, and that Ann's instinct was just in time to save her from a horrible scrape.  She has been under severe judgment ever since, keeping to her room.   She has today written this note, which explains the case in part:


I have ever since I can remember loved to get attention form hired people and outsiders.  About two months ago, when the stone wall to the new building was commenced, I as usual looked at the hired workmen.  At first I did not notice any one in particular; but finally began to notice that one man looked at me, and I began to return the look.  It then went on from bad to worse until I became so fascinated that I looked for him every day, and if he were not at work took measures to find out where he was.  I was finally put into the company room for a few days, and while he was blacking brick north of the Tontine I would sit at the window and look at him, and occasionally, when anything happened to laugh at, would smile at him, but no words ever passed between us.  It at last got so overpowering that I thought nothing would be too bad.  I even had thoughts of leaving the Community.   I came just as near destruction as I could and escape, and realize that it was noting but the providence of God that saved me. I think it has been a good lesson to me, and hope I shall never in future look at any hired man or outsider, and will feel contaminated if they talk about me in any way.  I entirely forsook Miss Ann's and Dr. Noyes's advice, and instead of going to them as I should, considering they are my spiritual advisers, I shunned them and never told them anything unless it was dragged out of me as this has been.  I realize that I have forfeited all right to the confidence not only of my special friends but of the whole Community, and I most sincerely ask their forgiveness. It seems almost too much to ask, I have gone so far astray, have been so disobedient to my best friends and advisers, so independent and reckless.  I did not have the fear of God or man before my eyes, and I am sure I don't know what I was thinking of.  If I had kept my heart open to my superiors, I should probably have been saved all this trouble. I now feel thankful for anything that will crucify my old life and make me a God-fearing woman. I ask the prayers of the Community, that I may have the "godly sorrow that worketh repentance unto life that needeth not be repented of."

This affair involves James Vaill, as he knew about it, and was persuaded by C. into gaining information for her.   There were others who knew something wrong was going on, and ought to have told of it.  I hope this searching will continue until every one who was in any way involved in this spirit of darkness will be brought into the judgment.   We ought to arrive at a high standard of public opinion as to how far the Community is to be controlled by a false sense of honor in regard to reporting things of this sort.  I have been so busy that I could not be about to notice everything, and Ann has not been well; yet there were folks who saw what was going on but said nothing about it.

C. tried a number of times to get an opportunity to speak with the workman.  Finally the morning Ann had that instinct she had contrived a note to him, and had it in her pocket all the time Ann was talking with her, but burnt it after the talk.

Ann:- She wrote to that man to meet her own the lawn among the evergreens beyond the summer-house after he had finished work, and she intended to get the letter to him in some way.

Theodore:- James Vaill and other young men I could name are quite heavily responsible, for throwing ridicule on the strict state in which the young women were kept at Wallingford.   They said to the girls that they were treated like children, and that they were too old for it.

This is the worst case we ever had of letting down to outsiders.  Two years ago I found out that C. always had known the name of every hired man we had, also of folks in the village.  She has a passion for outside acquaintance, which those who dealt with her brother know was a strong passion in him.  I hope this affair will demonstrate to everybody the necessity of setting up barriers, which may not seem reasonable to young people.

C. needs a conversion to religion.   I hope this experience will show her the importance of the daily exercise of her heart in prayer.

E.H. Hamilton:- I like that very much (Endorsed.)

O.C. December 23, 1877 ~ NOYES to HARRIET A. NOYES ~

Dear Harriet:  Long, long experience has shown the Community, or at least has convinced me, that our form of society absolutely depends on keeping out the single marriage spirit and establishing the principle of the ascending fellowship. . .

You and I were married, but we were married in a peculiar way.  In the first place the match was not founded on "special love" but on providential guidance; and secondly our private contact with each other specially provided against the marriage spirit.  I have no doubt that these peculiarities of our marriage were what qualified us to found the Community.  I am very sure that, if I had been bound to you by a passion on either side, and especially on both, like that which I had for Abigail Merwin or that which existed between me and Mrs. Cragin, I should have been held prisoner to single marriage by my own heart and by the great spirit which controls sexual relations in the world; and further I have no doubt that, if we had taken each other in the usual way without any private stipulation for freedom, I should have been bound to you by my conscience and so disqualified for founding the Community. As it was, the Community spirit with some difficulty from the usual tendencies of passion and conscience in us was able to carry us through.

But in order to see how it carried us through we must now look at the next step in our history, our connection with Mrs. Cragin. Do you not think, as I do, that my falling in love with Mrs. Cragin was what drew me out of commencing bondage to you and gave us all a send-off into Communism?  But what if this method of setting me free was liable to bring me into a new and stronger passional bondage?  What if I was in danger of being surrounded and taken possession of by Mrs. Cragin, so that I could not be a free medium of the Community spirit or do my duty to the young in behalf of the ascending fellowship? It seems now clear to me that this was the meaning of Mrs. Cragin's withdrawal.  By that terrible event I was again set free from sexual specialty. The real organization of the Community on its constitutional basis of general love and ascending fellowship did not commence till after that event, when you and I came to Oneida and went into the long struggle with special love, each in a separate sphere, you among the men and I among the women.

From this survey of our history let us now pass to what is going on in present Community politics.  Theodore came into my place as leader with Ann for his helper. She was very necessary and helpful to him and to me in the previous work of rescuing him from unbelief, especially by her spiritualistic mediumship.  But as her connection with him continued and became more close, did it not assume the marriage type and threaten to interfere with is duty as leader in sexual matters?  So it has seemed to me for a long time.  Once when I was remonstrating him about their example as countenancing the marriage spirit, he said:  "You have had special women for your helpers, for instance Mrs. Cragin."   I answered, "Yes, and remember how Mrs. Cragin had to be taken away."

I found at length that the relation of Theodore and Ann to each other was beyond my control, and I came to regard it as none of my business; but I have never ceased to expect that in some way they would be separated, so that he would be free, as I have been, to attend to the general circulation, and especially to the social interests of the young. . . . And when Ann came to me some weeks ago with a story of trouble between them because of the fact that he had fallen into an unmanageable love of C., I felt sorry for the surgery they were undergoing, but also glad that God had taken the case in hand, and indeed glad that Theodore had found his way to his true work among the young.

Yours, J.H.N.


In October 1877 Ann went to Noyes and charged Frank with a bad motive in desiring that The Circular be superseded by The American Socialist.  Frank as business manager of The Circular had been forward in bringing about this change.  His reason, Ann now alleged, was not to improve the Community paper but to free himself from association with Harriet Worden, the editress.  Ann further represented that the knowledge of this had caused Theodore much suffering.  Noyes immediately called Frank into the room to answer this charge.  Frank declared that the charge was untrue, and then turning on Ann asserted that she was the one who was false to the Community ambition for a high-class press, that she had never shown the slightest interest in the paper, and had got Theodore into her own feelings about it.   "That is true," said Noyes.   At this Ann was terribly mortified, and began to denounce Theodore, stating that he was about to abandon the practice of Male Continence, and that he called her his moral strength.  Throughout this interview Frank stood up stoutly for Theodore, and with a sort of inspiration threw all of Ann's charges back upon herself.


At one time Ann had, it was supposed, some inscrutable design on one of Jessie's sweethearts.  To gain her end she privately told Jessie that Orrin was in love with her, and told Orrin that Jessie was in love with him.   Neither statement was true, but their attention having been thus focussed on each other Orrin and Jessie fell in love.   Jessie's original sweetheart, finding himself partially displaced, lent a more willing ear to Ann's proposals.

In the latter part of 1874 Frank and Helen were in love and trying for a child.  Ann was at this time laying her nets for complete control over Theodore. The fact that Theodore loved Cornelia and had had a child with her provided him with a social outlet which interfered with her plans.  She therefore brought it about that Frank's trials with Helen were broken off, and trials with Cornelia, resulting in the birth of Gerard a year later, were commenced.

At about this time the rumor was spread through the Community that Theodore and Ann were planning to establish themselves with a few favorites in a villa overlooking the Hudson River. They were to have a palatial yacht, in which they could make long trips, and they would govern the Community by means of administrative reports, rescripts and regulations.   Another rumor had it that they were to build a fine house at Lewis Point on Oneida Lake, and run the Community from there.


My opinion about Ann's case is, that her sickness has been brought on by her ambition to be and do more than she had strength for; that she has concealed her infirmities when she ought to have made them known and to have submitted to be disabled and displaced by them; that she has taken responsibilities about Theodore's course which did not belong to her and which only oppressed him; and that the mental strain of her secret discords with him have broken her down.  Whether it will do any good to say these things to her, I do not know. Others must judge.   But I am convinced that a faithful criticism is what she needs, if she is strong enough to bear it.

O.C. December 29, 1877 ~ NOYES TO THEODORE. ~

Dear Theodore:  In my suggestion some time ago that what Ann needed was criticism I left you to judge whether she could bear it, and I do not now intend to interfere with you decision.  But the situation here makes it morally impossible for me to forbear saying something to you about your relation to her.  Before Ann went away, indeed as far back as about the 20th of October, she voluntarily disclosed to at least four leading persons here including myself a state of things between you and her, which, if accepted as true in the spirit of representation, would go to destroy confidence in you. I did not know at that time that she had made the disclosure to anybody but myself and one other person. I did not accept her representation at par, but stuck to my confidence in you, and sealed my lips and advised that other person to do so.  In the meantime I have studied the case, and waited to hear your side of the story in steady confidence that you would be justified and would justify what I have done in making you the leader of the Community.  But on discovering lately that Ann had approached others as she did me, and that in connection with late events there was a tendency in the Community to criticism of Ann and her relation to you, I have been compelled to open the case more or less to leading members and give my views of it. This I have done carefully, and in the view hinted at in my suggestion to you, that Ann has been over-ambitious and has oppressed you with legality.

Unavoidably Ann's communications have penetrated the Community more or less even beyond the small circle that has open knowledge of them, and I assure you that there is a growing uneasiness here which will in the end - how soon I cannot tell - lead to public discussion. I do advise you most earnestly to come here as soon as possible.

I shall show this letter only to your mother. I have written it after a night of trembling for you and for Ann and for the Community.

Yours faithfully, J.H.N.

O.C. December 31, 1877 ~ NOYES TO THEODORE. ~

Dear Theodore:  You will have received my note of Saturday.  Yesterday morning in response to your telegram I called a meeting and recommended that a strong delegation qualified to give spiritual help as well as service in nursing be sent.  If you should still think it necessary to remain at Wallingford, Mr. Hamilton and the others will inform you about how the state of things here referred to in my note.  But I hope you will come and see for yourself.  The truth is that there has long been much dissatisfaction here with Ann, and since it has begun to be known that you were dissatisfied with her, and that I did not support her nor accept her accusations against you, and since vents have indicated the probability of her permanent disablement, these thoughts about her have more and more found vent.  I am convinced that the Community here is almost unanimous in respectful loyalty to you, and nearly as unanimous in dissatisfaction with Ann.   I have found only a few persons, and they are of the younger class of girls, who adhere to her.

I think she ought to resign.   Her state of health is a sufficient reason for it, as she herself has often intimated, and it is evident that, if she needs rest, that is the only true course for her.  By voluntarily withdrawing from the attempt to be the leading mother to the Community she may easily allay any present agitation and subside into a quiet position as a good humble woman in ordinary membership.

I have hated to interfere in this matter, but have not been able to avoid the responsibility, because it has been supposed that I put her into the leadership which she has assumed, while the fact is that at the time of your inauguration I was dissatisfied with her and expressly told her that she must win her place afterwards, as may be seen in papers that Mr. Hamilton has with him.

It is generally said here by your best friends that your late presence here without her was unusually pleasant, and I assure you that you will meet a cordial feeling throughout the Community when you come again, which I hope will be soon.

Yours faithfully, J.H.N.

P.S. I am suffering some from the return upon me of old responsibilities and necessity of talk.


It is doubtless known to the family generally that I have lately criticised Ann Hobart, and have expressed the opinion that she ought to resign.  I wish now to lay before the family a connected but brief exposition of the state of this case.

On the 17th of May last I nominated Theodore to the leadership of the Community in a long message giving my reasons for the step.  In that message there is no allusion to Ann.  I did not nominate her to leadership with Theodore, but on the contrary about twelve hours later I criticised her severely as being in too much hurry for leadership and plainly told her that she would have to get her commission by getting the spirit and good-will of her predecessor, Harriet Skinner, as Theodore has got his by getting my spirit and good-will.  She did not fulfill this condition, and never has to this day.

It is true that in my nominating message I advised the Community to allow Theodore to choose his own cabinet; and it is true that Theodore did choose Ann for his chief helper and had a right to do so. Whether she had a right to accept that place under the circumstances is another question which I will not discuss here. There is strong evidence in the following testimony from Charlotte Maria that Ann herself doubted whether she was called to leadership.  Charlotte says:

"Soon after we all came here from W.C. in June Ann told me emphatically with tears in her eyes that she did not feel that God called her to lead this Community.  She had felt it her mission to do what she did at W.C., but she could not feel that inspiration in taking the position as leader here.  She said she knew that if God did not call her to the place she could not do right.  This made a strong impression on my mind."

I did not feel called upon to interfere, and the Community accepted Theodore's choice.  I find no fault now with the course which things took, though I think the Community laid the responsibility of Ann's leadership too much on me. But be this as it may, I accepted her leadership as a fact accomplished, and went along with her administration in pace, and helped it all I could till the 23rd of October. In fact till that day I had not first thought of questioning her substantial loyalty to me and to Theodore or her fitness on the whole for the place she had assumed, though I was often distressed by her neglect of confidential relations with me by her perpetual companionship with him.

On the 23rd of October she came to my room of her own accord, a thing quite unusual with her, and volunteered a disclosure about Theodore, the first impression of which went to destroy my entire confidence in him; and I cannot doubt that her intention was to produce that impression, so far at least as to induce me to interfere and help her to establish her authority over him.  Frank Smith was present.  Her main charge against Theodore was that he had become infatuated by a certain young woman, and had tried to appropriate the young woman to himself.   She also said that there were many other things in which Theodore was acting directly contrary to my ways and wishes; and that in their disputes about these matters, when she proposed to appeal to me, he insisted that she ought to have the same confidence in him that Mrs. Skinner had in me, and declared that if she was going to me with me with these matters he might as well resign. She also said that he had told her in the course of these disputes that his connection with her was the greatest misfortune of his life.  She gave me to understand that her labor and anxiety of these discords was what made her sick when she went to Verona.  I expressed my approbation of her coming to me, but did not say much on the merits of the case.  My first feeling was one of amazement, and I was ready like Job to rend my garments and sit down in ashes. Then cam the thought that I must not allow Ann's story to shake my confidence in what God has been doing among us. We have solemnly inaugurated Theodore as the leader of the Community, believing that God was leading us to do so. I determined not to judge him on Ann's testimony, but to wait at least for a representation from his side. So I advised Frank to say nothing about what he had heard, and I kept my own mouth sealed for about two months. I expected further communication from Ann and hoped for something from Theodore, but nothing came.   Some days, perhaps weeks, after the disclosure I made bold to ask Ann in passing her one day, whether they had "better times," and she said, "Yes."  That was all I ever got from her about the matter.  I have learned lately that the day after her disclosure to me she went to Frank and repeated her charges against Theodore with enlargements and additions; also that two or three days before her talk with me she opened her mind on the same matter to Mrs. Leonard, who urged her to open it to me; also that at about the same time she spoke to Mrs. Waters about discords between her and Theodore, and confessed with tears that she was afraid in her disputes with him that she was under the influence of the Bailey spirit.

These facts seriously changed the aspect of Ann's leadership.  Her entire right to that office rested, as we have seen, on Theodore's choice of her, and here she was destroying my confidence in him.  She was in the position of a cabinet officer attacking the character of her chief and attempting to raise a party against him; for that was the manifest intent of her going to so many of the leading members.   I waited long and struggled hard to evade the logic of the facts.   That logic, as often as I confronted it, declared inexorably that I must either give up my confidence in Theodore or my confidence in Ann.  When I decided not to give up my confidence in Theodore, I had to proceed to the conclusion that she herself had destroyed by her attack on him her only title to leadership and to the confidence of the Community, and that my duty was to support him against her and relieve him from the connection with her as being really what he said it was, the greatest misfortune of his life. What I have done in pursuance of this conclusion must speak for itself.

It is important to observe in conclusion that the only practical point toward which I have moved has been to get Ann to resign. I have not asked Theodore to displace her.  I have not judged her final character.  I have not thought of interrupting her continuance in the Community or her hold on our love and care.  But I have acted on the belief that she is disqualified for being the leading mother of the Community first by her disagreements with Theodore, which have been long-continued and well-known to many, and secondly by her bad state of health, which has actually taken her out of office already, and which she herself attributes in great measure to the mental strain caused by her discord with Theodore.

Here I should like to have a note from Charlotte Maria read showing by the testimony of one who has been an intimate and faithful friend of Ann that I have not exaggerated the discords of which she was the center nor their effects on her and others:

Charlotte Maria's Testimony.

I have been with Ann considerably for the last year or two, and have become much attached to her and ready to do anything she desired. I have always supported and obeyed her under the decided conviction that I was acknowledging a faithful agent of Mr. Noyes.

When Theodore and Ann first came to W.C. I resolved not to allow myself to fall into evil-thinking of them, and I so fortified myself that when I heard their differences I said to myself, "It is none of my business to judge them."  I have been pained many times by their disagreements, and wondered that such discord existed between persons in their position, when all the time they were the most intimate and dependent of friends.  There have been times, especially when Ann was sick last fall, that she has talked in such a way as almost to make me lose my confidence in Theodore when I was with her.  She made a good deal of fun of his doctoring, and really talked very disrespectfully of him, as though he knew little or nothing about the proper treatment of sick folks.  She was quite willful at first in refusing to do as he wanted, until she had relapses in consequence of doing as she pleased.  I can scarcely remember an instance of his beating her in their discussions. He had to defer to her judgment, for she is very strong in argument, and always convinces you that she is right.

The effect of her influence on those associating with her has been to make them distrust such women as Mrs. Dunn and Aunt Harriet, and feel a desire to support her.  I easily recall the time last winter, when she came back to W.C. from a short visit here, and told us pitiable stories of abuse from such women.

I think Theodore will be a greater man when left to his own judgment.


I wish it to be distinctly understood that I see signs of good sense and good instincts in Ann which make me hope that she will take this criticism and commend herself to the Community by self-judgment and peaceable submission to the logic of events.  One of these good signs is the impression mentioned by Charlotte Maria which was upon Ann when she first entered upon her leadership, that she was not called to it.  She may fairly claim that it was a mistake made by the force of circumstances, contrary to her deepest instincts and wishes, and so a great part of the offense and mortification will be taken away.

Theodore's Defense of Ann

Theodore to Noyes, O.C. January 8, 1878

After a good deal of prayer and reflection over the present difficulties, endeavoring as far as possible to see them as you do and desiring above all things unity and fellowship, I have come to conclusions, which, it seems to me, reach out as far as possible toward you on my part, and lay the extreme amount of blame on Ann which she deserves, while they require a concession on your part which as a Christian man you can easily give.

The most fruitful time of my life in securing practical grounds for action was from July 1873, when I went to New York independently and came back again, to July 1875 when I went to Wallingford. These two years cover my studies in Spiritualism and general philosophy.  Saying nothing in this connection of the conclusions I formed about the spiritual world, about immortality, and about religion and religious history, there was an important part of my studies which I have never said much about but which engaged my attention deeply and resulted in well settled convictions, namely the characteristics of mediums.  This is a field not for theorizing but for observation and discrimination, such as would be used in acquainting ourselves with a new variety of animal or bird. I settled with some certainty the outlines of the course which a medium may be expected to take in any given circumstances, and found that the study intelligently applied solved many riddles in every day experience as well as in the religious history of the world.  Now disclaiming partiality I hold that Ann showed the characteristics of a medium in the highest degree of any one I sat with, and unavoidably she has the excellencies and defects of that class of persons to a marked degree.  During my long intimacy with her in seances and in every day association I learned her character as a medium thoroughly.   I am not now speaking of mediums as the instruments of spirits, but of their psychical make-up which enables them to become such instruments.  They present mental and spiritual phenomena which are quite at variance with those shown by non-mediums, and for which they are no more responsible than a man for being born deaf and dumb.  Patience and long-suffering are necessary to draw out the excellencies of the mediumistic character.  I think that lack of knowledge on this point has caused an immense amount of suffering at all times in the world's history.

Now what are the characteristics of a medium? The chief one and the one that gives rise to most others is inconsistency.  I do not believe that the mediumistic character affects deep moral principles such as would loosen the conscience and make an honest person dishonest; but in their likes and dislikes, their feelings and tendencies of thought, mediums are variable and capricious.  This fact was long a sore puzzle to me, but I gradually learned that the cause lies in the mind-reading power, which makes a medium to a certain degree think and feel as their most intimate associates think and feel.

In the beginning of my acquaintance with Ann I was continually getting into quarrels with her because after being in my spirit she would suddenly get into some other spirit.  But as experience grew I acquired a habit of patience and waiting, which has doubtless made it seem to on-lookers that she overcame me in the way which has so disgusted Mother at times.  Nevertheless I have always gained my point by waiting until she got into my spirit.  In the seances I have had her shake her fist at me and talk impudently, when afterwards I became convinced that she knew little or nothing of what had taken place. Any one who undertakes an investigation with a medium will soon find what contrariness is. . .

I do not say that Ann has not been at fault. The will has largely to do in guiding fellowships, and I will admit at once that she as well as myself has made mistakes.  If you can find the grace to admit the same to a much smaller degree, I think we shall find a touching-point.

All through her experience with Joseph Ann was in close intimacy with you, and your view of things was always uppermost. I don't think he ever took much pains to attract her except by the strength of his mind and the overpowering force of his claim.  But when I took up the odium study with her the novelty of the thing was quite fascinating to her. She frequented my room a good deal, and suddenly she surprised me by announcing herself a heretic in religious views like myself.  I had said nothing at that time which would influence her.  This I saw was dangerous, and I gave her some general advice to pursue the truth cautiously.  Just then I went to Joppa with you and stayed several days.  Before I left she said she half suspected that her feelings were caused by fellowship with me, and that she should try while I was gone to get out of them.  When I returned she came down to the office and announced that the cloud had entirely passed away, and it had really.  This was a profound lesson to her, and I do not thin that from that day to this she has ever given herself so freely to my influence as she did in those first careless days of odium experiment.  It was under the reaction from this that we had that long struggle about my asking for interviews through a third  party, I objected to her legal attitude, and she refusing to make me an exception.

As we went on to seances and began to have communications from spirits, gradually a spirit manifested himself who made objections to certain doctrines advanced in meeting.  Here the first mistake was made.  That spirit, instead of being a familiar of Ann and indicating her state of spirit, was really connected with me.  I had no objection to his presence; His talk was nearly identical with my own thoughts.  When Ann was in the ordinary state she held her spirit aloof from mine' but when she came under control the utterances of this spirit were the evidence of her involuntary rapport with me.  Some who were jealous for Community doctrine criticised her for being the medium of this spirit, when she could not help it so long as she was so much with me.

This put an end to our seances for physical phenomena. At about the time Aunt Charlotte's place becoming vacant Ann was put in charge of the girls.   The cares of this office still further unfitted her for seances.  I complained about it, and the first serious disagreement arose over Spiritualism.   Then the discussion over my leadership came on, and Ann and I went on our trip among the mediums.  Afterward, before we could get any more sittings, we went to Wallingford.  The results of the sittings at Wallingford under these distracting circumstances were so poor that Ann got into a state of morbid disbelief in her own powers, and we finally gave up the seances for good.

It was at this point that you desired Ann to sit for the control of the Primitive Church.  Confronted by the certainty that the results would fall far short of our expectations, considering how much she was under my influence, and filled with terror at the risk of exposing herself to criticism for sentiments expressed by the spirits, she refused.  You thought that she had no adequate reason for refusing, and consequently that she had some concealed motive for getting away from you.   I was intimate with her all through this time, and I am quite sure she meant to stick by you.  I think she was to blame for not complying with your wishes after first telling you her reasons for reluctance; and it has always seemed to me that you were a little at fault in trying to make her carry her spiritualism so high above me. I was after the physical demonstrations.  You were after the communications from on High.  She fell down between us.  I think I made a mistake in not seeing that her unity with you was essential to getting what I wanted.

Soon after this estrangement took place Ann formed a confidential acquaintance with Mrs. Leonard, and afterward by a curious chain of circumstances with George Allen.  Nothing at first sight could seem more harmless, as they are both devoted to you and good people in every respect,   I esteem Mrs. Leonard highly, and there is no one I feel more brotherly to than George.  But there was this fatal difference between the mesmeric influences working on her then and those at play when you influenced her.  You are a thinker, and with all your theology you appreciate the difficulties which a mind like mine encounters; hence you always justified me enough to make her feel easy in sympathizing more or less with my free thinking.  But George and Mrs. Leonard are the highest kind of moralists, who are nothing if not intensely and even narrowly loyal, always satisfying the extremist demands of conscience, and probably never thinking of varying from the beaten track. Further in our investigations into the odic character of people (which perhaps was mostly moonshine but still had a basis of fact) Ann was the highest sensitive while George Allen stood at the extreme opposite point of non-mediumship. Such are probably magnetizers; at least he always had a peculiar influence on the mediums in a circle, while he was totally unaffected himself.  It is my opinion expressed to Ann at the time, that the dreadful cramp of conscience which finally drove her to the exposure of me which has caused so much trouble was due to her rapport with these legal moralists, while the heresies on my part differed in no appreciable degree from those she tolerated and even sympathized with when under your liberal influence.   I do not attribute the slightest blame to them, but I know they have done a great deal of hard thinking over my course, which undoubtedly has seemed strange to them to say the least.

I come now to my opinion as to our present needs. I don't think you will gain anything in the end by separating me from such a friend as she has been. He true place, I believe, is a link between you and me.  Her function should be not to convey your authority and criticism to me, nor my dissatisfaction and doubts to you, but to convey all the unity, all the sympathy and love we can find for each other.  Then she will harmonize with us both.  If we must criticise each other, we ought to respect her sensibilities enough to realize that she cannot wholly suit two strong mean of diverse minds at the same time. She has borne a great burden in the past in standing between us when we were laboring so in spirit, and I want to reward her by some pace and satisfaction in the same situation. Two men like you and myself need a sympathetic link between us, but we must not crush the delicate structure by antagonism.  Your note today about unity in criticism touches the right point.  We must not expect the link to conform wholly to either, and must be united to criticise it.  If the link is criticised at one end and justified at the other , it is strained or broken.  She is now strongly bound to me.  Can't you draw out her love so that, instead of using her as a lever with which to work on each other, we can send messages of peace and concord across her?  I shall use my influence with her to restore her old unity with you, and I shall take pains to respect your influence in her, for I think you are at heart inclined to liberality and will antagonize me through her much less than the pure moralists.


O.C. January 11, 1878 ~ NOYES TO THE FAMILY. ~

It will be noticed that Theodore and I have exactly opposite theories about the relation between him and Ann.   He sticks to it that he has psychologized her from first to last, and takes the whole blame of her vagaries on himself.   I hold that she has psychologized him from first to last, and is the real cause not only of the late unprincipled conduct which she complains of in him but of his whole departure from the faith of the Community. I wish to show now exactly when I think the whole mischief began.

Theodore goes over the history of his connection with Ann since he and the Community entered upon the study of spiritualism, that is from 1873 and onward.  This I consider a superficial view.  I go back to 1867, when a revival was in progress among us, and Theodore was leading the young people in it.  He was then in his normal condition, enthusiastic for our faith, respectful to me and full of power in spiritual things.  The great question of his history is, What took place at or near that time which switched him off to his later course of unbelief and irreverence.  My answer is, that in that early revival a spiritual junction was formed between him and Ann, in which he thought he captured her, when in fact she captured him; and that he has been her prisoner ever since. For a commencement of proof of this great fact I present for reading a note written by Mary Prindle;

Note by Mary Prindle.

"In the course of the old revival among the young folks in the summer of 1867 Theodore told me of a peculiar experience Ann had one night, in which he helped her to a conversion.  He has often referred to it as something very marked, and has said she was more receptive to him than any other young woman in the Community, and he had helped her to God in a way that he had no other.   At that time daily noon meetings were held, and Ann took a leading part in them.  Theodore was greatly impressed with her freedom and evident sincerity. When he returned to W.C. he had considerable criticism of the young women there; thought there was no one who came out as Ann did, or had anything like the earnestness she had. Among other things he told Tirzah he had lost his love for me because I had disappointed him as a woman of faith; that Ann was vastly my superior in that respect.


Who does not see that here was the beginning of Theodore's worship of Ann and the beginning of her spiritual supremacy? It is easy to trace the process by which she mastered him.  Nothing is so flattering to a spiritual man to have an attractive woman become his convert and shine forth with him as his "bright particular star." The affair as described by Mary forcibly reminds me of my own junction with Abigail Merwin at New Haven in 1834. She was my special convert and bright particular star; and her fascinations cost me years of delusions and sufferings, which indeed have hardly ceased to haunt me to this day.

Now I will attempt to give a glimpse of my theory of the spiritual machinery which has been at work on Theodore from the time of this first junction with Ann, and has made him what he is.

She is intensely mediumistic, and that means that she is the outlet of power from that other world.  What kind of power from the other world is she likely to have command of?  It is certainly known that mediums have much to do with their dead relatives, and it would be entirely natural and inevitable that her dead relatives should seek influence in this world through her.  The power then, which she as a medium inherits and distributes, may safely be assumed to be the Bailey spirit.  And what is the Bailey spirit?  We have had experimental knowledge of it in Daniel Bailey, to say nothing of the other make members of the Bailey family.  We have pretty clear ideas of the Bailey spirit as developed in old Mr. bailey himself from the accounts of those who lived with him.  It is not to be assumed that Ann is an exceptional member of the Bailey family.  Blood tells. Her physical nature, which is her mediumistic nature, is of the Bailey type.  Her phrenology is of the Bailey type, strong in the love of power and weak in conscience and veneration.  She herself has been continually haunted with the suspicion that she was a medium of the Bailey spirit.  And it must not be assumed that she has not been distributing the Bailey spirit merely because she has professed, sincerely or otherwise, to hate that spirit; for her distributing function is not determined by her will but by her nature, and the only way for her not to distribute the Bailey spirit would be to suppress all distribution, that is not be a medium at all.

I ask all to inspect carefully the development of her influence especially in the last six months, when her mediumship has had full vent in the Community, ad see for themselves whether she has not been a medium of her father.  Daniel Bailey, though a bad man, was a shrewd observer of character, and just before he left, being in a quarrel with Ann and therefore free to let loose his intuitions against her, he said to the Community:  "You will find her out; she has got her eye on being the head of the Community."  That is the Bailey spirit - diotrephiasis.

Now we will go back to our subject; for the purpose of this discourse, be it remembered, is not to criticise Ann but to show how Theodore was captured by her and made him what he is.  My theory is, that from the time he converted her and was captured by her he has been working out his destiny and "solving the infinite," as Hans Breitmann would say, in the Bailey spirit.   True, he has been reading pagan literature and in various other ways drinking in the infidelity of the times; but I hold that the persistent predisposition to such mental nutriment which has been manifested in him is mainly owing to his amative and spiritualistic connection with Ann, commencing at least as far back as 1867.  That predisposition is, in my opinion, a truly spiritualistic phenomenon, as abnormal as any of the wonders of the rapping dispensation. In 1867 Theodore plunged into the Bailey spirit, and that was the last we have seen of him in his own proper nature.

Confessions of Ann.

I think most of Charles Burt's dark bad experience has come from his sufferings about me.  And I think in that experience between us when he tripped as to stating the facts, that I needed criticism as much as he, and that allowing it to come on him and escaping myself was really more dishonest than his words.

Later with George E.- He commenced his acquaintance with me the summer after Joseph left.  I told him that I should not take the least responsibility about it; everybody that loved me suffered, and if he was a mind to go into it, he must take care of himself; I should keep my own heart free, and so must his. He agreed to this, and I kept my part of the agreement, while I saw him fall into a snare where he was helpless. Then when the judgment came on our relation, most of the criticism fell on him when it should have fallen on me; and instead of feeling touched by the knowledge that he suffered, I felt irritated that he had got himself into a mess that involved me.

When Joseph was at Oneida on his visit three years ago, I did and said a good many things that encouraged him to take the course he did afterward. . .And in his letter, in which he asked me to let no one see it and he would consider my answer final, he put it to me whether from such things as those which happened while he was at Oneida he had not some excuse for thinking that I would leave and live with him.  I wrote back that everything I said to him while he was there was said on the basis of how I would feel toward him if he would come back to the Community.  But I think now, if I had been perfectly unwavering in my feelings toward him while he was there, the result of his visit might have been different.

I feel very much to blame for the suffering Orrin Wright has had, for I am older than he and I knew that he considered me his superior. I did many things to draw him out and involve him in love for me, and then afterward when he suffered I felt tried and sick of him, and instead of criticising myself for his state I criticised him.

And in my relations with George Allen I had the same spirit.  Although in the beginning I recognized him as my superior, yet afterward I refused to take criticism from him and did things that made him suffer a great deal.   Before we went to Oneida in the summer we had been trying for a child, and on leaving he wanted to know whether we should try any more when we got to Oneida.  Theodore left it to me to say what I chose, and I told George I would.   And yet before he arrived and without informing him I tried with Orrin.  I had no excuse to offer this conduct, yet he forgave it.  At one time in the summer George was convicted about the bondage he felt himself in, and earnestly tried to free himself.  I think, if I had met him in the spirit he had, he would have got his freedom; but my conduct was such as to make him forget his resolution and so cause him more suffering than before.

I can see that all through my life I have had this heartless cruel way of being very affectionate and demonstrative toward people at one time, and at another time indifferent, with apparently no cause for change.  I have not only made the men themselves suffer, but sometimes their friends, as it did Annie Hatch in the case of George E.  There has been that in me that was willing to absorb the attention of men, and careless as to whether it took them away from other friends or not.   Though I have said I wanted them to love others, in my spirit I have been selfish and uncommunistic.

In my relations with all these men I have had what I should criticise in others as special love, and have been free to have frequent visits without being asked by a third party, thinking that if Theodore knew, that was sufficient.

Most of all I have had this cruel spirit toward Theodore, I can think of a hundred times when I have by my ugliness made him suffer terribly, and then I would feel impatient and as if I was the one who was abused.  I have abused Theodore in a great many ways, domineering over him about his own personal affairs. There has been that in me that knew if we had an disagreement, that he would come to me and make up, and I have often held out until he did it; and then, instead of being softened by his better spirit and example, it only hardened me and made me tyrannize over him the more.  A good many of the things I have complained of in him I see were my own faults.  I have engrossed his time and attention, taking him away from the society of those he used to love and associate with, who deserved his love much more than I. . .If he had not been my exact opposite, kind, forbearing, patient, tender-hearted and forgiving, he would have shaken me off long ago; any other man would.  At the time he came here from New York, when George E. had criticised him so, and in his suffering turned to you, I believe he would have worked out an entire reconciliation if I had taken the right course.   Everything seemed to indicate that the best way then was for me to go to Oneida and for him to stay here with you; and then was really the time when the office I had filled naturally terminated, for he had found you and there was no need of a go-between.  But my mean and jealous heart was afraid of losing his love, and I drew on his sympathies so much that you let him have me come back here. And I have held on to him when I believe he would have been glad to get free.


Toward the end of 1867 a "strange hanging back of Providence in respect to new members" began to be noted. To be sure, applications were coming in at the rate of about two per week, and continued at that rate for years. But they came rather from those who desired a refuge from the hardships of the world than from those who were eager to enlist, at whatever cost to themselves, in the great enterprise of establishing the kingdom of God on earth.  Apparently some condition necessary for growth was still lacking. What that condition was, Noyes had glimpsed eleven years before, when he said:  "For the growth of the Community we must look in the direction, first of spiritual regeneration of our own young people, and secondly, of natural propagation.  God has not prospered us in proselytism.  We should give up insisting that God should convert the world immediately, and have instead a far-reaching purpose to save the world by combining regeneration with generation."  At that time both toleration and material support were so precarious, that the realization of such a scheme seemed hazardous, if not altogether visionary. But now the material means were abundant, and toleration so assured that Noyes said he would not be afraid to try any experiment, within reason; and his dream of scientific propagation, first published in 1848, seemed about to come true.

The thing that finally set this project in motion was visit of D.G. Croly, editor of the New York World.  Mr. Croly, after seeing everything, said the Community experiment was "an enormous benefit," and expressed himself as particularly interested in the prospect of scientific propagation.   This was in August 1868.  The next October Noyes published in The Circular the following statement:  "Our past has been for the most part a warfare for existence; and war is a poor time and a military camp a poor place for raising a family.  What we have done, therefore, in the line of propagation has been done very much after the fashion of the world.  But we seem to have got through the wars we are getting out of debt; prosperity inward and outward is rolling in upon us:   we are studying Darwin and the Bible on stirpiculture; we intend to build the final wing of our Mansion house next summer, and give it to the children with the best equipments that science can furnish for their training; the Community has so far perfected the discipline of its affections that it is ready, as with one heart, for a faithful trial of the experiment of rational breeding.  That experiment is the next thing before us.  Another twenty years will show the result.  Without immodesty we may ask all who love God and mankind to pray that we may succeed, for our success will surely be the dawn of a better day to the world."

The resulting experiment in stirpiculture, or "eugenics" as it would now be called, extended from 1869 to 1879 inclusive, a period of eleven years.  At the outset resolutions were signed by thirty-eight young men and fifty-three young women, declaring readiness to put aside all selfish claims and enter upon this venture in a spirit of dedication to the truth.   During the greater part of the time an informal committee consisting of about a dozen of the "central members" presided over the proceedings' but towards the end a regularly organized "Stirpicultural Committee", composed of experienced and judicious persons of both sexes including two physicians, was placed in charge.   Dr. Theodore R. Noyes, a member of the Committee, stated in 1878 that the Community pretended to no unusual knowledge of the subject, and that in general it had attempted little more than to veto combinations which were obviously unfit, not always succeeding even in that.   It is however a fact, that in vetoing applications the Committee usually interested itself in finding a combination which it could approve. During a typical period of about fifteen months, out of fifty-one applications from men and women desiring to become parents, nine were vetoed on the ground of unfitness, and forty-two were approved.  Besides exercising its privilege of passing on applications where the initiative came from the persons concerned, the Committee from the beginning occasionally took the initiative in bringing about combinations which it deemed specially fit.  Sixty-two children were born under this system, before changes in the Community necessitated the closing of the experiment.

Children were cared for by their mothers during infancy. When able to walk, a child was admitted to the day nursery department of the "Children's House", the mother continuing night care.  From the beginning of the play stage until adolescence the "Children's House" had complete charge, though parents visited their children and received visits from them.  Much attention was given to diet, clothing, sanitation, and profitable activity, and since the common epidemic diseases were vigilantly excluded, sickness among children was rare.  At adolescence a young person took his place in the general organization of the Community.

Of the sixty-two children born during the stirpicultural epoch, four perished at birth from causes due to the mother. Of the remaining fifty-eight, on December 24 1919 fifty-four had passed their fortieth year, and four had died before reaching that age.  According to the standard mortality tables of the United States Census for 1910, these four deaths compare with 16.4 deaths in rural United States, 20.1 deaths in total United States, and 21.4 deaths in total New York State. How much, if any, of this lowered mortality in the Oneida Community is due to selection of parents, and how much to superior conditions after conception, it is impossible to say.

No deaf and dumb, blind, idiotic or tuberculous children were born in the Oneida Community.

Vol. VI, 1880

Dissolution and Rearrangement of the Community as a Stock Corporation

June 28, 1880 ~ COUNCIL

The subject of the Musical Committee which was postponed at the last session of the Council, taken up.  Considerable variety of opinion in regard to it was expressed, and as no satisfactory solution of the question seemed to be offered it was again laid over.

A letter was read from M.L.Worden to J.R.Lord in reference to the return home of Susan and Joana.  It was decided that Susan and Joana had better return, and Mr. Worden could return with them if he could do so without expenses to the community.

July 1, 1880 ~ Thursday, P.M. ~ H.H.S. to E.H.HAMILTON

Dear Mr. Hamilton and Elizabeth:   We have had good times here yesterday and today. Yesterday morning Mrs. Whitfield talked with me and I got her to repeat it in both the meetings.   She said she had the night before a baptism of the spirit of peace, it seemed to her as if it was flowing into the community like a river, as if it filled the atmosphere—she thought that stormy meeting operated like a terrific thunder storm—she knew the influence she felt came through Mr. Noyes.  Her testimony gave the key-note and we had good meetings.  Today your note about the reaction toward agreement gave the key again. Right upon it John Freeman had his note from Cornelius to read which you will see was a wonderful confirmation of what you said.  It was beautifully expressed I think, and they said he wrote a very pretty note to Emma about her propitiated that party in what he said at the end of that meeting—and then perhaps Cornelius is pleased with marrying Emma.  Augusta’s affability was spoken of by several in our meeting.

H.A.N.’s report of the laugh you had there about the Elmira movement entertained us very much.  Mr. Pitt’s pun was first-class.  Mr. Seymour got off his in our meeting today—some one speaking of Augusta’s fitfulness he said she was a “gutsy woman.”  I told the story about Dorr.  I took a walk with him and Humphrey before breakfast to see their rafts in the Creek, and Dorr told how much Eugene had helped them making harbors, wharves, &c., then he said Eugene had got up a society for being kind to one another and he belonged to it.  He said he and Eugene had not always been of that sort, and talked very pretty I thought. Mr. Seymour said he had dormant qualities, no doubt, of a good kind.  I was encouraged by Dorr’s talk about the children.   I thought Eugene was leading them right if other boys were misleading them.  Charlotte Leonard came to me in great distress last night about the way Willard talked to Humphrey about his father.  At first I tho’t it must be stopped, and then I believed we could overcome evil with good.   Mary Prindle is going to talk with Willie’s mother, and with him, and get on their right side.   Charlotte says she is delighted to see how much love and respect Humphrey has for his father.  I think the visit of his boys to N. Had a great effect upon them, and the savor continues.  I am going to tell Humphrey not to worry, because Christ says,  “Blessed are ye when all men speak evil of you,” &c.

With love, H.H.S.

July 1, 1880 ~ J.S.FREEMAN to E.H.HAMILTON. O.C.

Dear Mr. Hamilton:  Mrs. Skinner was referred to the note of Cornelius that he gave me today and I will copy it for you:  “Dear John: The responsibility of conducting our evening meetings falls on me the present month.  As I do not wish to officiate in that capacity, in consulting with a few of my friends, we were unanimous in wishing you would take that office in my place.  In doing so you will very much oblige

Your brother,  C.C.Hatch.”  This was quite a surprise to us.  Of course I accepted, and I think under such circumstances I shall feel more free than I did before.  Perhaps you would also like to see my answer.

  Nothing has been settled yet in Mr. Kelly’s matter.  He has written as follows:

“I am willing to acknowledge to Mr. Towner that I think I should have taken pains to have made a more thorough examination as to the evidence of these reports before giving them credence or circulation. I am willing to acknowledge my fault in this, and think I can give him assurance that he will not have again similar cause of complaint from me.  W.G.Kelly.”

Mr. Towner has been sick ever since and so his part has not been attended to.  I trust we shall have good luck in arranging affairs.  I confess Mr. Noyes’ spirit with me.  With love to you, Libbie, and the   

Niagara family,  I am yours,  J.S.Freeman.

July 1, 1880 ~ E.H.HAMILTON to J.H.NOYES.

Dear Mr. Noyes:  I trust I have faith to be healed.  I believe Christ is able, and I offer myself “to be treated,” in a docile spirit.

I hope in that getting out of the Oneida atmosphere a few days I could recover myself and take a new start.   Your few words last night started a reaction of faith in my heart.  I shall be thankful for any word the Lord may give you for me.  I want to help you and honor the truth.  E.H.Hamilton.

July 1,1880 ~ Thursday, P.M. ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

Dear H.A.N. I gave your note to Theodore to read, and he came soon after saying he would let me know as soon as they had concluded what to do.  I haven’t known whether he really wanted to go or not.  I think he does, and I don’t know but she does.  I gave him 25 dollars, wishing to have them all supplied. Mary Pomeroy gave $15 and Mrs. Whitfield $10.  They were going to send it to John, but we think it well intercepted.  Please not say anything about it.  When he tells me what they expect to do, we shall be able to say something to Mr. Cragin and Maria, who I suppose are ready any time now, Mrs. Daniel Kelly says Mr. Kelly has invited her to go with him, but they can defer their visit a month or longer to suit your convenience.  I wrote to Joseph something about that matter—that Sophie’s friendship for Edward injured my fellowship with her—that he himself represented that he was a great favorite of hers, but I regarded him as a special representative of the wicked spirit that had given the Community so much trouble, &c.   I said I did not expect he would think as I did, but I thought I would be frank.

  If the Hamiltons come away and no one is going but Isabel the first of next week could not Mr. Burt go with her—or had Mr. Cragin better come?

July 1,1880 ~ Thursday, A.M. ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

Dear H.A.N.:  Mr. Cragin will go Saturday morning.  Carrie concludes to wait for Geo. E., who hope to go in the Fall. Perhaps we shall some one go. Victor thinks he should be worried with Corinne along, but we shall find some good opportunity I presume. Mrs. Reeves was just in and said Mrs. Jane Kinsley had 100 dollars laid by to visit Niagara when she came here—that she spoke of it to her.  If she wants to go I thought you would be pleased to have her sometime.   Perhaps Mr. Burt or Mr. Barron will go with Mr. C.

  If letters put in here at night get to you as quick as in the morning, we shall be apt to send at that time.  It depends I suppose on the time you generally go to the P.O.   I feel good about the affair of Joseph—sympathize with what you wrote. Perhaps after Sarah comes I shall write to them.  With love, H.H.S.

July 2,1880 ~ O.C.Journal

J.S. Freeman Chairman of evening meeting. The following correspondence between him and C.C.Hatch, Chairman of the Council, will explain how he came to be: (See preceding page, where Cornelius’ letter is already copied). 

J.S. Freeman to C.C.Hatch.  July 1st, 1880.  Dear Cornelius:  As I feel desirous of doing all I can to favor unity and peace in the family, I accept your invitation to take the Chairmanship of the meetings, although my natural feeling is to seek retirement from such position.  I will do my best to make the meetings interesting to all who attend, and offensive to none; and I shall feel assured of the charity and indulgence of those who have thus made me their choice, in case I fall short of accomplishing this purpose.  I regard this act of yours and your friends as a sincere move toward harmony and would like to meet you in the same spirit.  Yours, J.S.Freeman.

The Silk-Works close to-morrow for the customary summer vacation of a week or more, if possible.  The children’s vacation also just commenced.  No school during the heated term—perhaps not till September.  Two-and-a-half hours work every forenoon out-of-doors, instead, in addition to their usual hour-and-a-half of work afternoons.

July 2,1880 ~ Friday ~ COUNCIL C.C.Hatch Chairman

E.H.Hamilton chosen Assistant Chairman, and G.Campbell Secretary for the month of July.

The Chairman was instructed to issue a marriage license to John S. Freeman and Emma E. Jones. 

A communication from Mrs. Skinner read, stating that Joseph Skinner would like to have his son Theodore come here and stay through the hot weather till the middle of September, and asking the consent of the Council.   Voted that he may come.

H.M.Worden would like the consent of the Council to a visit from a lady friend at Vineland. Voted that she may make a visit not longer than one week.

Mr. Burnham inquired if one of the Harmoniums could be had for public musical practice.  The only public one is now used by H.M.Worden at the tool-house; and Mr. Burnham agreed to consult with her and make arrangements if practicable for its use there, or in some more convenient locality.

The subject of personal industry in the Community and the necessity of improvement in regard to it, especially among the young men, was introduced. Dr. Noyes deplored the effect of bad example on the older children.  He proposed as a stimulus to a higher standard of industry that persons should work four hours a day for the Community, and for all work over that time they might receive wages.  Pending discussion Council adjourned.

July, 1880 ~ Friday ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

Dear H.A.N.:  I had done nothing about any one’s going with Mr. Cragin and did not know as I should when Mr. Barron came to me proposing to go.  He said he was afraid it would make too large a Company when Homer should go, and he would come home alone, he did not want to stay but three or four days.  I thought perhaps it was the best time he would have—expecting the Dunn’s would be here—and that Godfrey and Doty would be the only children there.  Soon after the telegram came to Mr. Cragin Mr. Barron not knowing that he had received it came to me and said Maria would like to go in his place.  I was very pleased with that.  She has seemed very different lately, since George Kellogg has been married.  Mr. B. told Maria at first that he wished she would go, and she thought of it a little and told him she would, and was ready to go to-morrow morning. From all that John and Mary say I do not know as it will suit John to have her come.  I don’t know what her feelings are about Edward, but probably she has sympathized in the past with the bad spirit.  Tirzah will know.  I will ask Helen to write what she thinks of her, and you must send word to not have her come if you do not want she should.  I was pleased because I thought she might succumb entirely to John’s personal influence.  Mr. Barron was very glad.  He said nothing could separate him from Mr. Noyes, and if she would go it would give him more comfort than to go himself. 

It has been a hard day here for me spiritually.

July 3,1880 ~ Saturday, ~ H.H.S. to E.H. HAMILTON.

In the Council yesterday Theodore introduced the subject of our financial prospects, some industry, &c., he thought we were drifting toward bankruptcy—that we must do something soon or the Community would have to break up.  His remedy was to make a rule that every able-bodied person should work for the Community four hours a day, and have wages for what they did more.  He thought there would be a good deal more done for Communism and the support of the aged, and those who cannot work than there is now.   He spoke of the children—the school of wastefulness and idleness they would come into when they left the children’s house.  He was astonished to see their ignorance of the value of money and time and everything—but Temple’s class were their examples.  Martin was in favor of Theodore’s plan if we could get no better.  He said we could n’t fold our hands much longer. He and Theodore were both strong for holding together.  Martin said he worked in the Company Room, and for an instance of the way things go—all the work there almost is done by hired help—while we used to do it most all ourselves. They call no bees at the Fruit House this summer.  I asked George E. why they didn’t.  He said he supposed the folks wouldn’t want to come.  They keep such that they can do all the work.  William and Mr. Burnham opposed Theodore’s plan.  They thought it would make an end of communism. William said for instance he could work 12 hours a day and should get enough soon to buy a little farm. Then every body would be watching every body else and so on.  William asked if Mr. Noyes knew about the state of things and if his late resolution had been reported to him.  He said Mr. Noyes was a wise man and had had a great experience and he hoped he would have some advice to give.  It is evident that William depends on Mr. Noyes after all to save the Community.

Sarah Dunn says that if Theodore’s plan were adopted she does not doubt it would sweep the hired help all out of the kitchens both of them, and folks would be a great deal more healthy and happy.  Theodore said in the Council, that turning our attention toward industry would improve the moral state at once—that he thought a good deal of our trouble came from laziness.

I have thought how many times in such a financial emergency as we are in now Mr. N. Has proposed some measure of economy and production and carried us through, but what can he do now he is out of Community.  I expect he will still do something, but I don’t think William can look to him with very good grace unless he is willing he should take the helm. Still I was much pleased at what William said.  I have thought that something would be hatched when Theodore and his Father came together, and I have heard that William told Theodore he hoped that that would be.

Helen Miller’s faith has been under a great strain for a few days—it seemed impossible for her to get her care off night or day.  She spoke of her temptations in our meeting one day, and the same day went before the financial board, and I think it made Theodore see the necessity of bestirring himself.  Theodore thought we could adopt his plan and not give up the substratum of Communism—that we allowed appropriations, &c., now.  William said he should be glad to have the folks that love Mr. Noyes have a chance to live with him in Communism. 

  William’s resolution was referred to in the Council and it was tho’t it should take precedence of Theodore’s in the discussion. 


Dear Mr. Hamilton:--I judge there is something panicky started be what Mrs. Skinner has referred to in her letter. I have spoken to only Otis about the talk in the Council: he is resolute not to pay wages—thinks we are really only $3,000 into debt than we were last year at this time.  I don’t want to pay a cent of wages to our own people, and I am ready to sink $100,000 in the work of “rotting off” the parasite element. I don’t see how we should hope to increase our capital in such a time as this.  To meet the difficulty with our young folks growing up wasteful and idle, I would propose that we straightway have a new covenant framed for them to sign as fast as they become of a contracting age, one binding them to industry and obedience, if they stay in the Community.  This would always be a rule, sifting measure but it will be necessary to prevent the increase of idleness and irresponsibility, and the acquisition of private property.  Even such a measure might not reach the case of such minors as Wilfred and Horatio and Cosette and make them what would like.  If this democratic legislating is to go on I do not see but what more of our national and legal institutions will have to come in and the revelations of members to the Community and of the whole to each will have to be sharply defined in the Community.  This is the only practical measure I can think of and this does not touch any idle case for two or three years to come, and in the meantime we may become a great deal better. You will perhaps think it is a measure that should originate with such folks as

Towner, Hinds, & Co.  It would be a painful thing for any one to require a son or daughter to step up and sign or secede.  But our young folks’ minds would no doubt be made up long before they have reached the age to make valid contracts, and the change would be prepared for.

I have hoped that our business would stand the strain of this idleness, but I can’t hope they would stand an increasing growth of idleness and wastefulness always. Yours as ever for the true Community spirit,  Alfred Barron.

July 3, 1880 ~ Saturday ~ W.G.Kelly to J.H.Noyes

Dear Father Noyes:

Mother Skinner said she had written a report of Theodore’s proposition about labor made in the Council yesterday. It seems to me, of the two evils, that the idleness or as it is now very largely in the Community of devotion to personal and private family interest, or devotion to the public interest with wages for all over a stated amount of labor, that the system of paying wages would produce less evil than the other.  The hireling system is now pushing itself right into the family—into all our household work so that we are more or less mixed with hired help all the time.  I think it would have the effect to dispose of nearly all of this kind of help, and so push outsiders a little further off.  Then for the sake of the large class of children; as it is I don’t see but they are going to be brought up in the habits of idleness just as the class older have been. But if every body should go to work even for wages,  our children as I see would not be any worse brought up than we were while they would get habits of industry.  Perhaps you see the way out of our present dilemma, before the bad effects will be realized by our children. I have confidence in your inspiration about the matter and believe you will have the wisdom given you to prevent us doing anything against the interests of  Communism.  I believe the Communistic spirit is the strongest element in the Community now and will prevail. 

Yours to serve,  W.G.Kelly

July 3, 1880 ~ Saturday ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

Dear H.A.N.:

The Council were in favor of allowing Theodore Skinner to come.  Joseph wrote that he should like to bring him and stay a day or two but said nothing about Ann. They will probably come next week.

Thinking that my report about yesterday’s Council would not get to you till Monday I wished somebody were going to-day and thought of Mr. Cragin who has waited so long.  Consulting with Sarah, she thought there would be room for him there, and at any rate he can go to the hotel.  I had thought he better not wait for Maria as she did not want to be there when Charles and Isabelle were. She told Sarah it would be embarrassing to her.  Mr. C. Is ready and glad to go, so we take the responsibility of sending him.  I wanted John should see that report as soon as he could. The prospect is you will be more crowed by and by than now and Mr. C.’s visit would have to be put off again.

July 3, 1880 ~ Saturday ~ G.CAMPBELL to E.H.HAMILTON

Dear Mr. Hamilton:---Mrs. Skinner says Mr. Cragin is going to Niagara and suggested that I might write you a word about the situation.  As you will probably learn from the report of others there was quite a push in the Council yesterday for reconstruction.  The Doctor made quite a strong point of the necessity of doing something to reform the demoralized industrial habits of the young people, and William, Martin and G.D.A. pushed the Committee resolution of which Mrs. Skinner sent you copy. Martin was quite earnest that something should be done at once. 

I was not willing to assent to the Committee scheme until you could be heard from, in fact do not see the necessity for it except to quiet them.  William seemed desirous that Mr. Noyes should suggest a remedy for the present troubles, said he was a man of ability and resources, or something to that effect. Is evidently looking in that direction for a way out.

My feeling is that the point Dr. Noyes made ( that is the condition of the young men ) is the most serious one, and really needs attention.  But I have serious doubts as to the practicability of the remedy he proposed, viz. , that those who wished should work four hours for the Community and be paid wages for the rest of their time.  It strikes a good many interests in a good many ways, not the least of which is the effect it may have on our Community covenant. I thought there was pertinence to Mr. Burnham’s and Mr. Hinds’ objections, that it would be liable to make matters worse instead of better.  We might have half a dozen men, &c. , with a horse of their own instead of one. The Doctor I thought regarded it rather as an entering wedge against the present Communism.   But I don’t propose to discuss the question here. I only wish to give you a little of my idea of the situation.  But Mr. Noyes and yourself no doubt have the subject in mind and we shall have the benefit of your best thoughts about it when you return.  At any rate I shall object to any decided action in the Council until we can hear from you.

There was no objection yesterday to your being appointed Chairman for the next month. In fact Mr. Burnham seconded the motion for it.  Yours, George Campbell. If we are to pay wages my present impression is it would be better to pay for the whole time instead of part. Make a clean thing of it.

July 3, 1880 ~ Saturday ~ JOURNAL

A little party consisting of Abraham Burt and wife, and John Freeman and his intended left our home in private conveyances for somewhere-—Canastota, it is reported, and thence to Fish Creek, where they spent Sunday.  We learn from a reliable source that during the trip J.S.F. boldly led Emma to the altar and she became a Freeman in consequence.  Some other of our Community ladies that we think of, instead of becoming slaves by marriage, as is so often the case, have apparently much improved their circumstances. Georgiana, for instance, had become a Lord by marrying.  Sister Helen and Beulah have both been made Barrons—the last-named ( poor girl ) we fear will find has “A.B. in her bonnet for life.”

July 4, 1880 ~ Sunday ~ BUSINESS BOARD

In meeting of Business Board today C.S.J. stated that the limit of loans fixed June 6th had been reached, and moved that the limit be extended to $45,000.  Carried.----

The Monthly Report of Appropriations made by the Financial Committee for June, was presented; also a report from the Business Office of the sales made in last six months compared with the same in 1879, showing an increase of sales for this year of $13,078.30.---H.G.Allen from the Fruit Department applied for permission to get a Steam Boiler for the use of that Department, the Dye-House Boiler having failed.   Referred to the Fruit Board and G.W.Hamilton to consider and report to a special meeting.----W.A.Hinds inquired if the Committee on terms and sale of the W.C. property had not taken any action. It was stated that it had not. Some remarks were made upon the delay in its action, its cause, and occasion, etc., during which it was stated that some of the Committee and of the family at W.C. were not in favor of selling, while some were, and that it was thought this division of feeling hindered action.----Alfred Barron moved that in order that Committees may be prompted to action, the Chairman as a regular order of business call on the different Committees at such meeting of the Board, for report of any actions taken; a list of Committees to be prepared for the purposes of such call. The motion was carried.

July 4, 1880 ~ Sunday ~ M.H.KINSLEY to J.H.NOYES Wallingford

Dear Mr. N.: I have been approached several times by Mr. Wallace with a view of buying us out and starting a Rolling-Mill here with our water-power.  Mr. Wilcox has spoken to me about it, and I have thought of this plan and I would like your mind about it before I say anything to O.C. about it. 

Suppose that we offer our Shop, Power and Farm for $175,000.00, they to pay us $100,000.00 cash and we take $75,000 stock in the Rolling-Mill.  Some at O.C. want to sell if we get only $100,000 for the whole. I think perhaps we could sell to a Joint-Stock Company of this kind.  If so, it would give us a chance to put some money into a Community at the Falls and a business there too.

We have invested here and at O.C. about 8 to $10,000 in the Chain business which might be transferred to Niagara Falls very easily but owing to present tariff it would have to be worked up on this side of the River except a small amount for the Canada trade, which could be done by our own people.   We sent to Oneida last month over $1500, worth of links. The freight  on this would be much less from the Falls than from here, and then our iron for the links comes right by Buffalo past Oneida on here and then back to Oneida. 

If I started it at all I would move the whole thing on to Niagara Falls, make and finish the chains there—Halter—Chains, Trap-Chains, and every kind of chain.  We employ some 20 hands at it all the time, and they must employ some 10 or 15 all the time at O.C.—all hired help.  I would do all the packing and shipping direct to the trade from the Falls.

I look at the Chain business as my business to a great extent and I would like to give up the Spoon business and come on to the Falls with J.F.Sears as Superintendent of Shop and G.N.Miller as book-keeper and start the business there. What say you?to all this? We can think of it, and “move careful.”

Truly yours,  M.H.Kinsley.

John Sears is here and likes this plan very much.  He has read it.  You know that I think the Chain is to be a large business.

P.S.—I expect to come to Pittsburgh soon to look after Iron, and if you feel good about the within I should like to spend a day or two with you in looking up a place for the business.  It will only cost $2.00 extra to come that way home.    Yours again, Myron.

July 4,1880 ~ Sunday ~ OTIS KELLOGG to Mr.E.H.HAMILTON

Bro. Hamilton:--The Financial Committee reported to-day as one of the appropriations for June, $50.00 to furnish the Niagara House. As I understand it this is the $50.00 we asked for and did not get.  Do the family at Niagara still wish for it?  If they do I would like to send it; and if they do not I would like to report that it has not been sent.  Mother Noyes understands all about it as I wrote to her at the time.

For fear that you have not heard anything about the Council I will state that T.R.N. brought in a resolution that we pay for all over four hours of work in the Community. W.A.H. thought his resolution stood first and if it was carried would make T.R.N.’s unnecessary.

I was not there for the last fifteen minutes but should judge by what Mr. Campbell says that some of them got quite warm and eloquent.  It is to come up again to-morrow and Mr. C. says he shall take decided grounds against it.  I do not know how hard it is going to be pushed but it seems to me it ought not to be done.

So long as such men as Martin stand here and say that they are going to do all that they can to move things, it is not the duty of “the Four” to do all that they can to protect our home, and if necessary take charge of everything, and just say that no wages are to be paid to members of the O.C.

I do not feel at all disturbed at the state of things at the present.   These are only some of my thoughts.   I hope that some one has given you a better report of Friday’s Council.  I have not yet heard from you since you left, so conclude that you have not written. I expect that you or Mr. N. Will be free to advise or criticise me at any time.  Your Bro.  O.K.

July 5, 1880 ~ Monday ~ JOURNAL

The 4th of July come and gone. It coming on Sunday we have more visitors than usual for three days—Saturday, Sunday, and to-day. Have not heard how many Saturday and yesterday, but 70 dinners have been sold to-day, and $10.88 received for Entertainment in the Hall—making $62.46 received in Mr. Underwood’s office—besides something more at the huckster-shop which has not been reported. Mr. Underwood says in the month of June, 1878, in which we had two excursion parties, we sold 327 dinners. In the month of June 1879, when we made a great spread in advertising our dinners and entertainments and made poetry about them, we had no excursion parties, and sold only 183 dinners. In the month of June this year, when we have made no spread, written no poetry, and not expected much, we have sold 428 dinners.

Mrs. Annie Robinson entered her 90th year yesterday, her son Edward form Baldwinsville calling to celebrate her birth-day with her.—Mrs. Higgins 82 to-day.

July 5,1880 ~ Monday ~ T.L.PITT to W.H.WOOLWORTH. Niagara Falls,Ont.

Dear Mr. Woolworth:--I do not know whether you are kept posted in regard to the business affairs of the Community and their doings, and discussions of Council and Business Boards, but you have probably been aware, to some extent, of the growth of individual speculation, and the attempt of individual ownership of horses and other property that have been going on during the past year.

At the Meeting of the Business Board, June 20th, the Committee on legal liabilities appointed Apr. 25th, reported a recommendation that the Community publish a notice to protect itself against Contracts made by individuals claiming to be members. The report was not adopted, some objections being made that the publication of such notice would be likely to affect the credit of the Community unfavorably.  At the succeeding meeting of the Council a Resolution was passed, “that the Council regard the private ownership of horses and other such outside property as inconsistent with the orderly arrangement and management of the Community business and property, and as likely to cause trouble and confusion, and therefore they advise that it be discontinued.”

The prominence which this matter has assumed and its intrinsic importance to the business welfare and character of the Community, has led Mr. Noyes to think that the Four who legally own all the real and personal property of the Community, and who are responsible for its debts and business reputation ought to take some definite and decided action to protect themselves and the real Community from such disorderly and irresponsible individual action, to protect the credit of the Community abroad, and to save it from perhaps ultimate bankruptcy.

Accordingly on the 22nd of June I prepared and sent to Mr. Hamilton a letter at Mr. Noyes’ suggestion of which the following is the substance:

“By the deeds of Joint Ownership the Four are made the legal and absolute owners of the real estate of the Oneida Community, and by the legal papers constituting the Four a business firm under the name of the “Oneida Community,” they became the owners of the personal property of the Community as well. In the eye of the law there is no other Oneida Community except Four, for all business purposes. They own all the property, they are responsible for all Community debts.  The business of the Community is really done by them, and under their authority. The credit and business reputation of the Community is in their keeping and control.  Is it not time for them to take action for the safety of that Community credit and reputation by giving public notice over their signatures, that they will not be responsible for the debts and contracts of individual members of the Community made without Community consultation and without authority from the Community Four?  Just as fast as it becomes known to the business world, that individual members of the Community are drifting into disorderly and unauthorized buying and selling, and incurring of debts on their own responsibility, without public protest by the Four—and it will sooner or later become known—our public credit will suffer. The only way to prevent this result, is for the Four to take hold of the matter, and place their responsibility squarely before the business world.  To this end the Four ought to have a legal notice drawn up, and signed, which shall state explicitly that from the time of its issue all previous authorizations to individuals to do business for the Community—to buy or sell, or make Contracts or incur obligations of any business nature whatsoever, are withdrawn: and only those who have new and written authorization, signed by the Four, or by such attorney as the Four may appoint, will be recognized as Community agents; and, the Four as the Joint owners of all the Community property, and as the only legal

 business and organization known as the Oneida Community, will not be responsible for any buying or selling, or Contracts made, or responsibilities incurred, by any person or persons who are not their legally authorized agents.”

 Mr. Noyes, Mr. Hamilton and Mr. C.O. Kellogg are in favor of having such a notice prepared and signed by the Four, to be used whenever an emergency should occur which seriously demands such action.  They would like to have you send a power of attorney to Mr. Noyes, authorizing him to sign your name to such a notice.  Please take the matter into immediate consideration and communicate with Mr. Noyes at once.  It may not be necessary to issue the notice at this present time, but the rest of the Four are fully persuaded that it ought to be prepared and ready for use.

  I would suggest that you had better keep the matter as purely personal. and confidential.

  Please direct your reply to me, at Box 25, Clifton, Ont., Canada.  Your brother in the Cause, Theo.L.Pitt, for J.H.N.

July 5, 1880 ~ Sunday ~ E.H.HAMILTON to J.H.NOYES

Dear Mr. Noyes:--It is my opinion that at the present time a majority of the Community would choose to have their interests in the hands of the Four, and I think this feeling will increase as the situation of things is more clearly seen.

  I wish you would talk your views before some of us so that Tirzah or Mr. Pitt can write them out, and then send them to O.C. to guide the thought and action of your friends there.  It would be a great thing for those on the Council, Otis, Mr. Campbell, John Freeman, Sarah Dunnand Helen Barron to see them.  Also Mr. Kinsley and Alfred.  It seems to me that it would be perfectly safe and an excellent thing to get the minds of the “loyal” to work in this direction.

  A copy could be sent to Myron and George Miller.   E.H.H.

July, 1880 ~ J.S.FREEMAN to E.H.HAMILTON

Dear Mr. Hamilton:--Your two reminders about the check are received but I paid no attention to them as I had already sent it on the 1st inst. To Mr. Pitt. 

I like your word about W.C. proposition.  It seems to me best to hold still and keep good order as far as we can and wait for the heavens to work.

In our last Council ( Friday ) T.R.N. moved that to promote industry among the young people and others we consider four hours as each ones due to the Community and that wages might be received for work per day greater than that.   He had no idea he said of its being passed but he wanted to keep “things stirred up.”

You were also chosen Assistant Chairman.   Yours, J.S/Freeman.

July 5, 1880 ~ Monday ~ H.H.S. to E.H.H. ~ Community, N.Y.

Dear Mr. H.:--They say the harmony of the Business Meeting was only disturbed by William’s complaining of the Committee on the Wallingford sale for not making some report.  He spoke in his usual spirit of censure.  Martin said he thought the reason was part of the Committee at W.C. were in favor of selling and part were not.  Mr. Towner is around again.  I was glad of what you wrote about faith.    I don’t worry about the property but I do sometimes about other things and need the exhortation very much.  I confess my faith in Paul’s management.   With love,  H.H.S.

July 5, 1880 ~ Monday ~ G.CAMPBELL to Mr.HAMILTON

Dear Mr. Hamilton:--Thank you for your little line. I don’t want you to think from what I wrote you about the Council that I was scared.  I guess we shall be able to hold the fort awhile yet so you need not be in a hurry to return.  The Council adjourned to meet on Tuesday instead of to-day. Monday, July 5th. Yours, Geo. Campbell.

July 5, 1880 ~ Monday ~ J.W.TOWNER To the Administrative Council

Last Friday the accompanying communication from W.G. Kelly was handed to me.  The willingness therein expressed to acknowledge the fault referred to, that is, believing and circulating evil reports about another without having made sufficient examination as to their truth, is all the amends I desire so far as that is concerned.  He thinks he can give me assurance that I will not again have similar cause of complain from him.  I shall be glad to be so assured, and am ready to receive in a brotherly spirit, any assurance that may be offered.  Then the matter may be left between him and me, so far as that particular fault is concerned.

But this is only incidental and circumstantial, and has nothing to do with the main question of the origin and truth of the reports stated in my communication of the 19th of June.  Reference to that will show that my complaint was not personal to Mr. Kelly merely. I named M.H.Kinsley also, and intended to make my complaint general, and asked to have the truth or falsehood of the charges made known.  I said in my first communication that those charges involved deep dishonor. I repeat it here, say further that they imply to my moral sense the basest of the Jesuitism and social perfidy.

They ought to be proved or explicitly disavowed as false by all concerned, so I must still ask the Committee as before.  Respectfully, J.W.Towner.

P.S.-I have read Mr. Kelly’s communication to the Council of the 25th of June.  In it he speaks of a current belief that I have “tried to get criminal evidence from the girls against Mr. N. And am ready”&c. This gives the stronger reason for my position.  If that belief is founded on facts let them be made known;  if on imaginings and suspicions let that be manifested.    J.W.T.

July 6, 1880 ~ Tuesday ~ COUNCIL—Communications read from Messrs.

Kelly and Towner in regard to the reports in reference to the letter.  Mr. T. Expressed himself satisfied with the acknowledgements of Mr. Kelly, but wished a committee of investigation in reference to other reports in circulation about him. After some general discussion and some consultation with Mr. Towner about it by Mr. Hinds, it was decided that instead of a committee the matter be disposed of by having the correspondence read in the family, Messrs.  Hinds & Campbell being appointed a committee to prepare it for that purpose.

Report was made to the Council that Wilfred Sears, in opposition to the counsel of his near friends and in entire disregard of the judgement of the family, had taken two hired girls to Morrisville, paying the fare of one or both, hiring a room at the hotel in which to put their things, staying all night to a dance and paying the expenses, some $8.00 out of his personal appropriations; a course that was not only very improper, but liable to bring discredit on the family. The Council considered it unsafe to have such a person in a responsible position, and recommended that Wilfred be taken out of the Tailoring Department and of the Huckster Shop, and put to work elsewhere.---Reference was also made to an irresponsible journey to Norwich by Harry Kelly without consultation with his guardians; and it was thought best to call the attention of parents and guardians to a rule adopted by the Council and family that “in case of minors under 20 years of age all expenditures shall be made with the approval and authorization  of the parents and guardians.”

July 6,1880 ~ Tuesday ~ W.G.KELLY to E.H HAMILTON

Dear Bro. Hamilton:--I think there was something of panicky feeling raised in the family by Theodore’s proposition. To do something to save our credit, etc., which effected us more or less for a few days making the atmosphere somewhat blue, but your letters and G.W.H.’s reports from Mr. Noyes, turning the attention back to faith as the true wealth and to the example Mr. N. Has set us of giving up everything even the work of his whole life and trusting God, has had the effect to lighten up things here and increase our faith.  In looking in that direction, it seems to bring us right into conjunction with Mr. Noyes’ faith and we begin to feel jolly right away.  The prayer of my heart is, ”Lord increase our faith.”   Things seem to be quite peaceful here now, and I am glad you are going to stay longer for your health.  Confessing the spirit that makes for peace,     With love,   W.C.Kelly.

July 6,1880 ~ Tuesday ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

Dear H.A.N.:--Helen and Homer are ready now for their visit--next Saturday and the Saturday after.  I hear nothing from Theodore yet.  Maria would like to go with Homer very much.   It would make a party of five.  You will have to say when they shall come.   Of course they will not expect to come this month if it does not suit your convenience.  You will have to say also about Geo. W. And other children that you would like to have come.  Dorr & Elinor hope to go.  Mr. Seymour and Chloe wish to make a visit.  I think Chloe is a true woman.  He has come out of her non-committalism a good deal, is one of the most faithful public servants we have.  I have had a sorrowful correspondence with Joseph.  They didn’t take what I said about her fellowship with E.P.I very well, said they rarely heard from him and more rarely saw him.  I was very much dis-satisfied myself with the letter I wrote. It had a dismal tone about things here. They concluded not to send Theodore. I have written again, but don’t know what they will answer.

July 6,1880 ~ Tuesday ~ H.H.S. to E.H.H.

Dear Mr. H.:---I think it is true there is a great deal of faith in the Community.  In our meeting yesterday all that spoke and I don’t know but all that were present came square up to the pitch, that they would take joyfully the spoiling of their goods rather than go back on Communism.  Alfred said that property and death were the two great scare-crows, but he was not afraid of either of them.  He didn’t know as he was ready for a total sacrifice but he was ready to sacrifice 100,000 dollars!  A good many said they had rather be poor than give wages.  Alfred thought the anxiety about money was mostly on the other side.  The Council did not meet yesterday on account of its being the 4th, but meet to-day. George was not able to come to our meeting to-day.

July 1880 ~ H.H.S. to J.H.N.

Dear John:--Fidelia just came in to consult me about Horation and Leonora getting married—both want to and Cornelius is in favor of it—I am in favor of it.  They are in favor of it.  They are in all the intimacy of married pairs, only one thing—they seem to love each other—and he is very much attracted to the baby.  His health suffers his mother thinks from celibacy.  It seems to me if they are both savable, and I believe they are in spite of their great perversity, that this is the providence of God in their favor.  It separates him from the boys of his class who some of them affect to despise women, Harold Campbell smokes and is a perfect boor in society.—News comes from Henry Hunter out in the mining country that he carries a hod and goes hungry at that—he calls it “clerking for a mason.” Chas. Burt writes about him as a warning to Temple’s class.  Fidelia would like to have your thoughts as soon as convenient, and to have the thing kept private.

Your long budget has come but I shall not have time to read it before the mail. Mr. Hamilton and I were much interested in Mr. Pitt’s letter.  With love, H.

July 1880 ~ GEO. CAMPBELL to E.H.H.

Dear Mr. Hamilton:--I have been pretty busy this morning and have only time for a word or two, in addition to what Mrs. Skinner has written about the Council.

Mr. Towner as you will see by his communication while he accepts Mr. Kelly’s apology in a covert way reiterates the rest of his charges and calls for a committee. But curiously enough, although the motion was made for a committee when we objected to the “power to summon witnesses” the other thing was suddenly dropped.  William quietly went to see Mr. Towner and returned saying that Mr. T. Was willing to leave the matter with the understanding that the correspondence was to be read to the family, and would leave the question as to what part of it should be left out to a committee of the Council.

The correspondence will leave the matter in an unsatisfactory shape as it reiterates the charge against Myron.  But on the other hand it is optional now with Myron when and how he replies to Mr. Towner’s charges.  On the whole I can’t but think that the correspondence instead of vindicating Mr. Towner will react against him, and that Mr. Kelly’s frank acknowledgement will react in his favor.

I went into the Council yesterday with the spirit of your note to me in my heart and felt that there was a good providence over us.

No time for more now.    Yours, Geo. Campbell.

July 7, 1880 ~ Wednesday ~ J.S.F. to E.H.H.—O.C.

Dear Mr. Hamilton:--Mr. Hinds’ motion did not come up for discussion last evening.  Mr. T. Has been sick so that the K. & T. Matter did not come up till yesterday. Mr. K.’s note which I copied and sent to you was handed to Mr. T. And he wrote that he was satisfied so far as he and Mr. Kelly were concerned but he had mentioned Myron’s statements and there were still the “current beliefs” which made him still wish for a committee. On further discussion he was willing that his disclaimer read in the meeting should answer for the present, Mr. Campbell and Mr. Hinds to decide on what should be left out.

Wilfred went to Morrisville to the Fourth of July celebration and paid the expenses of two Turkey St. Girls and took a room with one of them and danced all night. Says they only kept their things in the room.  Harry K. Also went to two celebrations of the same kind.  The Council voted that their appropriation be placed entirely in charge of their guardians, and that the matter be reported in evening meeting. It is also authentically stated that Horatio and Leonora went away yesterday and were married.  This has not been considered by the Council yet.

The checks did run out and Helen asked H.G. Allen to sign which he did.

Am glad you are to stay longer though I miss you a good deal, specially in the Council. There seemed to be a disposition I thought to take hold of these cases of disorder without reference to parties.    Yours with love,   J.S.Freeman.

July 7, 1880 ~ Wednesday ~ H.H.S. to E.H.H.

Dear Mr. H.:--I can give but the outlines of the Council as I can find no one this morning to give much of a report. Towner had an answer to Mr. Kelly’s apology read, and it was decided to have his first paper read in the evening meeting—there was considerable push again for an investigation committee and a good deal said about the abuse of Mr. T.  They want Myron should make his apology now.  They said some of our folks had talked with the editors in New York about Mr. T., with Mr. Croley, and Mr. Wakeman and others, and their indignation was expressed as usual.  The committee was not carried.  Sarah said William wanted to have a regular Court with power to summon witnesses, etc. Harriet Allen said right in the Council that the investigation would have no effect to convince our party because we thought Mr. T had shrewdness enough to cover his tracks.   The case of Wilfred Sears was brought up and is to be presented I believe to the family to-night.  He went to the 4th at Morrisville and took two outside girls, went to a dance with them and staid all night.  The news this morning is that Temple and Leonora went yesterday afternoon to the Castle and got married.   They talked to Fidelia about doing it as if they had not done it, last evening.  She said her father never would give his consent, because Temple was a Noyes.   Fidelia told them distinctly she would not give her consent till they got Cornelius’.  She broke the news herself to Cornelius and told him it was very contrary to her advice. She says he took it quite calmly, and Margaret says the Lord won’t let her say a word.  They want to go to Niagara and take the baby.   She told Fidelia that they thought she was on their side (that is the Townerites) but she is not, and never was.  She says they consulted Towner and he said the marriage would be legal.  (They consulted him before they acted.)

Theodore was not at the Council yesterday.  I hope you and he will not both be absent many times

Mr. Campbell says the whole correspondence is to be read in meeting.   He and William expurged the most objectionable expression. Alfred says that Towner was overheard to say that he called on Wakeman the last time he was in New York and told him that he was supposed to have made the trouble in the Community—caused the flight of Mr. Noyes &c.

Temple and Leonora said they knew if they asked the Council and tried to get married in any other way it would make a great deal more stir and fuss than it would to run away and do it, and no doubt that is so.  Mrs. Hatch and James, they say, are the ones that will tear.  Temple quotes Mr. Towner as their example.  He ran away to get married and pacified the old folks afterward.

July 8,1880 ~ Thursday morning ~ H.H.S. to E.H.H.

Dear Mr. H.:--The Kelly-Towner correspondence was read in meeting last night.  John Freeman remarked it was understood that it was not to lead to any discussion, but two or three things were said.  William said he was not in favor of any discussion, but he wanted to have it well understood that Mr. Towner coveted investigation.  Charles said he was one of Mr. Noyes’ friends, but it was justice to Mr. T. To say that in all his talk with him on the subject, he (Mr. T. ) had said Mr. Noyes had done nothing which exposed him to the law. Mrs. Hawley broke in two or three times and finally got it well out that she had no ill-will to Mr. Towner, but that some time ago he interviewed her and cross-questioned her in reference to her experience in Brooklyn and asked her all the details about it. She did not know as he had any bad motive, she did not accuse him of it, but the devil back of him did have a bad motive, and tried to raise a muss.  S.K.D. said she thought Mrs. Hawley’s speech just set off against C.S.J.’s and she was glad she forced a hearing.  Both were contrary to order and so was William’s.  Sarah thought the other party were shamed by Mrs. Hawley’s bluntness.  William said to Mary as they came out of meeting, “You have got an irrepressible mother,” to which Mary replied, “and Elliot has got an irrepressible father.”

July 8, 1880 ~ Thursday ~ JOURNAL

The papers relating to matter between Mr. Kelly and Mr. Towner, as mentioned in Minutes of Council, were read I meeting last evening, accompanied by some explanatory remarks by the Secretary of Council, and the matter was dropped without further conversation on the subject. These papers are kept on file in the archives of Council, and can be procured y any one desirous of reading them.  The recommendation of Council concerning Wilfred Sears was also endorsed in the family meeting. The following note addressed to J.W. Towner by T.B. Wakeman of New York City was read, and Mr. T. was authorized to return an affirmative reply:

“New York, June 26, 1880.  Dear Sir:  It may interest you to know that the Woman’s Social Science Society of New York have appointed Mrs. Augusta Cooper Bristol to visit Guise this summer and make a report on Godin’s familistere.  While in Europe she will attend the Congress of Liberals at Brussels as a Delegate of our Society of Humanity.  On her return, and before writing out her report, she wished to examine your Community. Any suggestions from you or O.C. would be thankfully considered.  When you are in the City again will you not drop in and bite with us?   Yours sincerely, T.B. Wakeman.”

A display of fire-works for the benefit of the children on Tuesday evening, on Croquet ground south of Children’s House—Rockets, Roman Candles, pin-wheels and fire-crackers.

July 9, 1880 ~ O.C. ~ W.A.HINDS to E.G.HAWLEY

Dear Mrs. Hawley:  Please try to recall the “interview” you referred to last evening, and see if you did not name the wrong person.  Mr. Towner says he had no such conversation with you.

I remember we talked that matter over some months ago, and presume our conversation is the one you had in mind.   I did not suppose there would be any harm come of it and should not have referred to it if you had not mentioned something about your past experience that rather naturally suggested it.  But if any one is to be blamed, pray don’t blame Mr. Towner (who has more than his share of accusation to bear) nor even “old Nick”, but             Your friend, W.A.H.

July 9, 1880 ~ O.C. ~ E.G.HAWLEY to W.A.HINDS

Dear Mr. Hinds:  Yes, Mr. Towner was the first person who spoke with me on the subject. I remember the time place, and the questions he asked.  True, I talked with you, C.A. Burt and others who called on me, on the same subject. I said I did not know as Mr. T. had any object in asking me and repeat it now.  But from what has transpired since, its effect on myself, and what is now going on, plainly the devil had an object.  Your excessive tenderness of Mr. Towner is supernatural. The bitterness that is going toward Mr. Noyes is supernatural.  In working out such a problem as Bible Communism what if there have been grave mistakes? Is not Mr. Noyes capable of humility—of rectifying mistakes of his own making?  These are questions I ask myself.  Surely I have cause to lay up thing and cherish bitterness if any have, but I do not, and am grateful for benefits.  Hence I realize the supernatural in the warfare now pending the tenderness of some toward Mr. Towner, and their bitterness toward Mr. N. I, for one, have no ill-will toward Mr. Towner; yet I think he has undertaken a big job, and should have counted the cost before setting himself to work to destroy Mr. No's influence.

One of Mr. T.’s friends, who had great confidence in his position, said to me that Mr. T. told her that he came to a spot where he should have to leave the Community, unless he had a mission or work to do, etc., that he had done his work, etc.

Another of his friends said to me that Mr. Towner read Bible Communism to him, telling him it was the true thing, the Communism that he believed in; that Mr. Noyes started right, and had now departed from it.

Now to my mind this is going too far. I do not think Mr. Towner has nay apprehension of Mr. Noyes’ work of life.

I have not written this from any ill-will, but in pure friendship, as the kindest thing I can say.  Yours in friendship bound, E.G.Haley.

Thursday ~ H.H. SKINNER to H.A. NOYES

Dear H.A.N.:  Mrs. Ackley just told me that we need not wish our enemies trouble for they had enough.  She had just come from a talk with Mrs. Hatch, and she feels awfully about this marriage, and says Cornelius does.  She doesn’t know what will be the effect on him, and as if it would be the climax of misery, Mr. H. said she shouldn’t wonder if they should go to Niagara and take that baby with them! We are very careful not to show any approval of the way the thing was done.       H.

July 9 ~ Friday ~ COUNCIL

An application from Mrs. Hector for leave to come and spend some time here during the summer, she offering to pay her board. It was the mind of the Council that under present circumstances it was not advisable for any outside visitor to stay for a longer time than a week or so.

Application from Mr. Whitney for a marriage license for himself and Phebe Sibley, and also proposing that they be married at her father’s where she is now visiting.  No objection was made to the marriage, but it was voted the Mr. Hinds write him to send an application in proper form, and also ask them to state definitely what they consider their relations to the Community and when they expect to return.

Application from Mrs. Whitfield for leave for her grandson to visit here with his mother for a week.  Voted that he be at liberty to come. 

The matter of the relations of hired girls to our young men, as in the case of Wilfred Sears, was furthered considered. It was suggested as a means of preventing such unpleasant connections, that they be told if they allowed any advances of that kind from our young men they would be discharged. It seemed to be the opinion of the Council that while it was decidedly undesirable to take any special action of that kind, it was advisable that the old rule that all connections with hired persons be of a strictly business character, and any special social relations would be improper, should be fully maintained.  And that it be clearly understood by the hired help that any improper breach of that rule would very likely result in a discharge. The cases of Wilfred and Harry it was thought should be followed further; and Messrs. Burnham, Campbell and Hinds were appointed a Committee to act in connection with the Youth’s Committee in laboring with them on the subject.  The minutes of the last meeting of Council should have distinctly stated the decision of the Council that no more of their appropriation should be paid to them except on a written order from

July 8, 1880 ~ Friday ~ H.H.S. TO H.A.N.

Dean H.A.N.:  Theodore told me this morning his intention was to go to N. week after next.  That will be the week the Clark’s have fixed but they will accommodate no doubt.  We hear nothing decisive this morning about Homer’s party, and they will wait till we do.

I have got Joseph’s ultimatum.   They will not send the boy.  His letter was kind.

Mr. Skinner will go to W.C. next week as Joseph seems to be anxious to see him.

Did John get a note from Mr. S.?   A word from him would do Mr. S. a great deal of good.

July 10 ~ Community, N.Y. ~ J.W. Towner to W.G.KELLY

Dear Mr. Kelly:  Will you allow me the fairness to give me copies of those letters and other papers which you have or have had in your possession, which in your opinion prejudice or compromise me as a member of the Community, and which you read to Mr. Hatch and others as evidence that I am, in some sense, a bad man? What that sense may be, I confess I do not fully comprehend.

I ask this upon the supposition that you intend to continue to make such use of the letters, etc., as you have heretofore made of them.

And I would thank you also to state to me definitely the charge or offense which you think they tend to prove, or to state how, in your opinion, they prejudice or compromise me, and what is the inference which you draw and would have others draw from them.

If, however, you do not intend to further use them as you have done or in any similar way, then I do not care for them, or ask for them.

Yours sincerely, J.W. Towner.

July 10 ~ W.G.KELLY to J.W.TOWNER

Dear Mr. Towner:  Your note of to-day is received.  I will say in reply, that I have no such papers as you call for, nor have I copies of any such papers, nor do I know where they may be found.          Yours truly, W.G. Kelly.

Saturday ~ H.H.S. To E.H.H.

Dear Mr. H.:  The Council yesterday talked about Temple and Leonora—were unanimous in disapproval.  Mr. Burnham said he understood Mr. Noyes sanctioned their marriage and inquired if that had anything to do with it.  S.K.D. said Fidelia sent to know his mind, and she heard him say he had no objections, but she knew he understood they were to do it with the usual action of the Council and consent of their friends.  Cornelius spoke very temperately and Leonora must have misrepresented him we think. He said he made no objections to their being engaged, and he had no objections to Temple only his shiftlessness, but he wanted they should put it off six months he thought it was fancy with both of them and they might regret it very much.  Leonora represented that he never would give his consent.

Next week Monday Theodore goes to Joppa and the week after to Niagara.  Helen expects to go to N. perhaps Monday if she gets word that they can come, so you and Theodore and Helen will be all gone from

Council and finances the next week probably. I only call your attention to it. I shall not worry.   Elizabeth comes with a light heart and will help us all.                 With love, H.S.S.

July 11 ~ O.C. ~ W.G. KELLY to E.H. HAMILTON

Dear Bro. Hamilton:  I send you with this a note from Mr. Towner to me asking for that Overton letter and other papers which he imagines in my possession, or to be informed of their substance.  He still feels uneasy—doesn’t seem to feel that his case is entirely cleared up yet.  I send also a copy of my answer.  I presume this late experience will teach me to be pretty careful how I give him advantage again. But I don’t know as anything else would have revealed to me the real diabolical nature of his hatred to Mr. Noyes. I got a little taste of it.

Yours with love, W.G. Kelly.

July 12 ~ Monday ~ BUSINESS BOARD

In meeting of Business Board yesterday C.S. Joslyn reported the monthly statement of assets & liabilities, July 1st. Assets, $29,017.   Liabilities, $122,842.  Bal.  $93,825. Gain in June, $2,000. Net profits for first six months, $34,000—same as last year.  Mr. Joslyn also reported the following overdrafts:  Chains, $2,683.96; Silk, $6,891.18; Tableware, $9,299.52; and stated the same to be due mainly to accumulation of stock, and falling off of sales and collections.  Bal. of Dep’t. Surplus over overdrafts, $7,000.  Mr. Hinds stated that the net profits--$34,000—do not include those of the Fruit Department, which are 2 to 3,000 more. -----It was stated that further extension of the limit of Bank loans was necessary, and M.E. Kinsley moved that it be extended to $50,000.  After some discussion the motion was referred to the Finance Committee, with liberty to extend the limit to $5,000, if they find it necessary. ----As at the previous meeting of the Board E.S. Burnham & M.H. Kinsley were named as not being in favor of selling the W.C. property, that statement was denied by the former in a note read from him to Wayland-Smith, and by the latter orally, he being present.-----From the Committee on sale of W.C. property, M.H. Kinsley reported that nothing definite had yet been done as to fixing prices on the property; that he had been waiting action on the part of those of the Committee here; that he had told some persons who might buy that our property was for sale; that he thought it could not be sold in one lot, and that there had been some talk of a joint-stock Company at Wallingford to buy the waterpower. Some discussion followed of an informal nature, principally on the point as to selling the business and going out of it, or transferring it elsewhere.  It was understood the Committee would meet while M.H.K, is here and proceed to work on the matter.

July 12 ~ EVENING

The Committee on selling W.C. property—minus E. H. Hamilton and G.N. Miller—met to-day, and were unanimous in agreeing to recommend to the Business Board for consideration the following propositions:

Resolved.  1st. That we recommend to the Community to move the Spoon business to Niagara Falls as soon as cash for the purpose can be obtained from the $100,000 capital now in the business, or from the sale of real estate at Wallingford not included in the Spoon business—not including Cozicot.

2nd. That we recommend to offer the water-power, including land east of the lower road, to parties in Wallingford and Meriden, for a Rolling Mill or other purpose, for $100.000—we to take $25,000 (1/4) as special partner.

3rd. If this offer is not taken, we recommend that a strong attempt be made to sell the property for any purpose in the open market, by advertising, and by personal solicitation in New York.

4th. If this is not successful we recommend to reduce the offer to the Rolling Mill scheme to any figure down to $60,000—we to take ¼ of it as stock.

5th. We recommend the disposal of the remainder in lots to suit purchasers.

In place of the usual family meeting this evening a special Business Meeting was called to consider the foregoing resolutions. The hour was occupied almost exclusively over the first resolution, and the particular point in it of transferring the business from W.C. to Niagara.  All seemed convinced of the great desirability of securing the Niagara power, looking t it simply in its financial aspects; but viewing it politically, some stoutly opposed it.  Dr. Noyes explained that in his mind the arguments in favor of transferring from Wallingford to Niagara were overwhelming, financially considered—and on that ground the voted heartily for the transfer.  But still he should oppose the measure until the politics of the family were in a more harmonious condition.  So with M.E. Kinsley, W.A. Hinds and others.  Mr. Hinds emphasized as objectionable the fact that the Niagara location was in the vicinity of the “grand King bee,” though he decidedly favored it, looking at it financially.  Many had something to say, but the foregoing notice of the meeting embraces all the objections we heard expressed against the transferring to Niagara.  At quarter past nine the meeting adjourned till to-morrow evening.

Monday Eve. ~ H.H.S. to E.H.H.

Dear Mr. H.:  Elizabeth says they had a good-natured Council this afternoon. After some business was disposed of William brought up his resolution about a Commission—and it was discussed pro and con.  William said one reason he had, was to get the situation before Mr. Noyes.  He wondered if Mr. N. really know the state of things here—he thought if he did he would have some solution of the difficulty.   He said Frank said when he was there he found it difficult to get Mr. Noyes to talk on the subject.  Wm. said he didn’t blame him for it.  Elizabeth said William’s talk really impressed her that he did rely on Mr. N. now to help us.

Talking about the prospect of our ever agreeing William spoke of Alfred’s intolerance, and Harriet Allen told this story to show that the intolerance was not all on one side—a person going to N. was told if she changed her politics while there, she should be tarred and feathered when she got home.  Of course that was a joke, several said, but Harriet Allen said it meant more than a joke. All pleasant talk.   They proposed to call a Council to-morrow night and have some action if possible with a view to bring the subject before the family.

July 12 ~ O.C ~ J.S. FREEMAN to E.H.H.

Dear Mr. Hamilton:  The Committee appointed to labor with Wilfred, reported this evening that he taken quite a humble attitude that is quite satisfactory; and Harry agrees to hold himself subject to his father.  A resolution was also passed pronouncing the conduct of Horatio and Leonora as anarchic and unjustifiable and requiring that they sign a paper agreeing to the will of the Community in regard to propogation and the care of their children.

The subject of the Commission again came up, but no decision was reached and we have an extra session to-morrow to consider it further. Mr. Campbell objected somewhat to the method of appointing the Committee.  Whether we can effect a modification so as to make a Commission that will wok satisfactorily together is a question.

It was reported by William that any six persons could by application to a County Judge have the property placed in the hands of a receiver, and that this was likely to occur unless we took some steps in the matter to satisfy people.-----This evening meeting was constituted a business meeting this evening, to discuss the project of removing the Spoon business to Niagara.  There was quite a common feeling that it would be a good business move.  W.A.H., Martin, Theodore and Frank all conceded this. But W.A.H. and Theodore opposed it on “political grounds.”  William thought if we had a large family at Niagara it would draw off the best and most enterprising people and the Community here would be more of a hell than it is now.  Martin wanted to know if there would have to be two families at N.  T.R.N. wanted the question of perpetuity of the Community settled first. The subject will probably be discussed again to-morrow night.

Frank thought to keep our business good would be no harm even if some change should take place in regard to holding our property, &c.  This it seems to me is the strong argument that will carry it through, and I am disposed to make the most of it.

If we wait till our Community becomes in all respects harmonious or until some other satisfactory arrangement is concluded we shall not do anything in the matter of moving for a long time. I would be glad to hear from you. Your brother, J.S. Freeman.

July 12 ~ JOURNAL

In looking over the O.C. Journal that reports the meeting of last Monday evening, Mr. Hinds concludes that Journalist failed to get his idea, and on invitation furnishes the following correction of that report; so far as allusion to himself is concerned:  “What I consider objectionable is the establishment of another Community under conditions that would induce rapid growth by selected material from the O.C.; thereby rendering her less able than not to cope with her increasing difficulties; and I named as among these conditions a flourishing and profitable business, a specially healthy climate, and the attractions of the grand King bee; not as objectionable in any sense, except as they would necessarily contribute to the growth of the new institution at the expense of O.C. in members that it is doubtful whether she can spare and live.”

July 13th.  Horatio Noyes and Leonora Hatch married last week. The Council was not consulted for a license.

Tuesday Morning ~ H.H.S. To E.H.H.

Dear Mr. H.:  I presume Myron has reported, but I will give some sketch of Elizabeth’s report to me of the evening meeting.  She thinks Theodore was the best advocate of the Niagara plan there was in the meeting—so far as its financial aspect is concerned—answering all objections was stopping the mouths of opposers—defending Myron’s policy in regard to the sale of Wallingford, &c.  Mr. Towner spoke bitterly (and it was the only bitter speech made) about a new plan being sprung on us before the first one was carried out.   Theodore showed it was not going back on that plan but a necessary step to carrying it on.  But Theodore’s idea is after making up our minds that it is very desirable to go on with this enterprise to make it conditional on a change in our political basis.  Elizabeth thinks Frank split off from him yesterday as he advocated going on with the enterprise and trusting that to help us reconstruct our political basis.   Elizabeth said it was amusing to hear William talk about the danger of a settlement so near the King bee—as it would draw off all his friends—that is, the most enterprising and best part of the community—leaving a very unsatisfactory family behind—he repeated this in different forms, but did not try to conceal that he knew Mr. N.’s friends were the salt and backbone of the Community.

What a piece of John’s luck this is. I should think every body would see it and jump into the boat.  Several spoke in favor of concentrating here—(D. Edson, Fred. Marks and such like) but Theodore made it appear the height of folly.  H.

July 13, 1880 ~ Oneida ~ ALFRED BARRON to MR. E.H.HAMILTON

Dear Mr. Hamilton:  I am working to have the Spoon business go to Niagara, and am using as many of your ideas as I can get in; We are trying to aid Myron in his mission. We had pretty good success last night in confining the debate to economical and sanitary grounds. We truly spiked every one of their guns so far as the argument was concerned and left them little to stand upon except their writhed political ideas.  I am advising that we do not discuss it politically at all, but confine our attention exclusively to good public spirited reasons. The adjustment of political differences should be done privately, quietly, by William’s Commission if by any debuting representative body, surely not in a large, mixed public body. Our politics are too personal for that.

In regard to “The Four” assuming the power to say who shall use the Community credit, exercise the power of attorney, and hold all the important business trusts, and offices in the business, I will say I like the idea.  I have always supposed that we made a deposit of reserved power in the Four for some such emergency as this, and that that deposit of sovereign power was sufficient to save our home and business.  When we come to it I want to see the Four exercise its proper legal power in some sovereign act; that is, do it right in the teeth of the democratic assumption that the Business Board is sovereign in all matters pertaining to business.   Of course it would be pleasanter to have all agree to some such act of The Four as Mr. Noyes is thinking of.  The fight will be on the point whether there is any sovereign power in “The Four” which the whole Community is bound to respect. Towner and his crowd are trying it seems to me to hold the terrors of the law over us.  Perhaps they will find that “The Four” can do a few sovereign, vital things and be sustained by all the law and Courts, and, if need by, by all the militia of the State of New York.  It looks as if things were inspiring for the Four to use their proper control.  It would make the timbers groan and quiver to “bout ship” in any sudden manner.   I have had it in my heart all the time that something would yet come from Mr. Noyes to extricate us from our disagreeable situation and his plan looks like the true thing.

The plan to have all power of attorney withdrawn and The Four to come forward more prominently in the signatures of papers could be effected quietly and then when the natural time came for them to disown responsibility for all debts constructed by persons not authorized by The Four, they would move quietly along, and, by performing this sovereign act, affect a revolution and guide us into submission and quiet.—Myron seems to bring Mr. Noyes’ strength and assurance.  By the way, W.A. Hinds told Myron that he should rather have “The Four” take charge than go on as we are now going. Yours in hope and patience, Alfred Barron.

July 13 ~ Tuesday ~ COUNCIL

Mr. & Mrs. D.M. Kelly asked leave to visit her mother in Steuben Co. in this State.  Mrs. Kelly’s mother is very old and infirm and needs assistance; and Mrs. K. wishes Mr. K. to go with her as she does not feel well enough to go alone. They also desire the Community to pay their expenses.  After some consultation with Mr. & Mrs. Kelly, by Mr. Burnham, it was decided that they have leave to go.

The subject of the resolutions of June 5th being in order, after considerable discussion it was agreed that the following persons be suggested to Mr. Noyes and Mr. Hamilton as the Commission provided for in the resolutions, with the understanding that they were to be free to propose any changes or additions to it, viz.:  Messrs. J.H. Noyes, E.H. Hamilton, M.H. Kinsley, T.R. Noyes, M.E. Kinsley, W.A. Hinds and

H.W. Burnham.

July 14, 1880 ~ Prescott ~ E. WHITNEY to W.A.HINDS

Dear Bro. Hinds:  Your letter of the 9th was received. I have got the permission of the W.C. family to stay as long as I wished and now we would like to be free to stay here till Providence seems to indicate that we have staid long enough. I hope the Council will grant us the desires of our hearts in leaving us to follow our own good sense in the case.

Confessing Christ as our Guide and Savior, Respectfully Yours, E.Whitney.

July 14, 1880 ~ Wednesday ~ JOURNAL

The family met again as a Business Board last evening at 8 o’clock pursuant to adjournment on the previous evening. Discussion of the resolutions reported in last journal was resumed, but was really confined to the first resolution, which Martin E. Kinsley moved to amend by adding to it the sentence we have undescored; so that as amended it would read as follows:

“1st.  Resolved, that we recommend to the Community to move the Spoon business to Niagara as soon as cash for the purpose can be obtained from the $100,000 capital now in the business, or from the sale of Real Estate at Wallingford not included in the Spoon business—not including Cozicot.   (Now comes the Amendment).  Provided that no such removal or investment shall be made until some plan is devised and accepted, which promises to settle or remove existing differences in the Community.

It was manifestly impossible to carry the resolution with such an amendment added, its palpable object being, as Martin virtually confessed, to use it as a scare to force the Community into some action that will harmonize political differences.  So after a very few remarks on this amendment by several members, Myron H Kinsley moved as a substitute for the pending question—“That the project of selling out at Wallingford be abandoned for the present; that the resolutions passed on that subject on the 6th of June be rescinded and that the Committee on selling be discharged.”  This motion was carried unanimously and the Board adjourned. So far as Journalist has heard of any expressions to the contrary the great majority of the Community are ready to vote for the resolution in question as originally offered, but in deference to the half dozen that have spoken against it on purely political grounds, no vote has yet been taken.

Wednesday ~ H.H.S. to E.H.H.

Dear Mr. H.:  Sarah Dunn told me a little about the Council yesterday that I will report. William and Mr. Burnham reckoned Martin as one with Theodore in the Commission—and Mr. B. objected to his being a member as giving too much weight to the party co-operation.   Martin did not deny that he had gone over to Theodore—but said unless there was some other way of peaceful settlement he was in favor of co-operation.  When Mr. Burnham was nominated as a member Martin said as Mr. B. had expressed himself frankly about him, he would say that he did not want Mr. B. should be a member of the Commission, and the reason was he held on to old ideas and things which had passed away and never could be restored. 

I wanted to make a psalm of praise last night for the wonderful ways of the Lord in our affairs.—the inspiration he gave Myron in the emergency last evening—and the success of his move—carrying the whole family with it.  It seemed to me more of a victory over Towner than if we had got the other point. They didn’t want to be hurried again into anything they would regret and whilst they were so cautious about it, they were really hurried into a move of more importance to us.   Sarah says the two meetings in the Hall were characterized by a great deal of moderation.—every body spoke low and slow. That “shindy” there sometime ago left a salutary influence.


H.H.S. to E.H.H.

Dear Mr. H.:  I am very glad to have you stay on the whole.  I feel your absence agood deal but I take great pleasure in hearing that your health is improving and I know you will come back at the right time. I think the conjunction there at present is quite important—we spoke of it to-day in our meeting and of praying for you all.  Mr. Campbell said he had a new appreciation of prayer not only as a good subjective experience but as effectual to draw blessings down—he spoke of the church praying for Peter. I think our meetings give circulation to faith and a good spirit.—not much said about politics. We are always glad of anything from you. With love, H

July 16, 1880 ~ 6—45 P.M. ~ ALFRED BARRON

He (Mr. Towner) was telling his wife what her motives were in her intimacy with Maxham at Berlin Heights, and they had quite a dispute about it.  He declared that her motive in’it was nothing more than a desire of conquest and to show that there were other women at Berlin that he (Maxham) loved besides Cora (Mrs. Barry). She said that she was not actuated by any such spirit as that.  He said she was—said he thought so then and he had always thought so. She reiterated again and again that it was not so.  She said it was reported to her that Maxham said he loved her better than any other woman at Berlin. She said, “You wait and hear what I have got to say and I will tell you what my reasons were.”   He answered that he could not see what other motives she could have had for entering into such a temporary and trivial affair as that. Towner seemed to have a great contempt for that connection.  “You just wait and hear me,” she said again.  Then she went on.  “It was because of the relations you had entered into with __________, contrary to all of my feelings. I told you there would be trouble if she came into the family, but I gave up my feelings about it. Then I found that it spoiled my relations with you and I couldn’t see as I had any thing. Then I became reckless, I was reckless.  I didn’t see as there was any thing else for me to do, but to enter into things as they were at Berlin. “What has troubled me all this time is not that I entered into it in the first place, but that I continued in it after my conscience told me it was wrong.  It was not because the principles were wrong, but it was because I saw that so long a human nature was so full of selfishness and unsanctified, those principles cold not be carried out.  It was an abominable state of things!”  Towner here became very impatient and started for the door when she followed him and said she wanted to say one thing more about the subject of “menial offices” which you seem to feel so degrading.”  “I want to ask you if Christ didn’t when on earth take it upon him to be a servant?” and perform “menial offices?” (At this he got out of the room.)

(The  above is Beulah’s report of a conversation between Mr. and Mrs. Towner. She did not hear the whole of it—only the last of it.  The phrase “menial offices” left the impression on B.’s mind that Towner had been grumbling because there are no other offices left him.  Mrs. Towner may be bad enough but in the conversation he appeared the worse spirit of the two.

When they were disputing she said “Your memory isn’t any better than you say Overton’s is—in that respect you and he are just alike.” 

N.B.-Don’t let it out that any body overhears things. Not for any thing, for they might guess who heard them.  There would be a row and she would never hear any more.  Don’t let this get back to Oneida.

Yours, Alfred Barron.

July 16 ~ Wallingford ~ M.H.KINSLEY to E.H.HAMILTON

Dear Mr. Hamilton:  I have read A. Barron’s letter to you and as you requested me to write you freely just what I thought of it, I will try to do so.   There is many things about it that I like and as I told you when first there that I was in favor of having every thing ready so that The Four could take immediate possession if it became necessary to save our credit or to save our home, but at the same time I should move very careful in this and try every other course before resorting to it and yet I would not hesitate if it became obvious that the other side meant to get control of our property. It would create quite a breeze outside as well as inside and at least disturb our credit for awhile, which at this time should be avoided if possible. Truly yours, Myron.

July 16, 1880 ~ COUNCIL

Application from Mrs. Donbaran, of Vineland, for leave to extend her visit.  Consent was given to her remaining until Monday.

A request received from the Finance Committee for the further consideration of Mr. & Mrs. Kelly’s visit to her mother, as to whether they could not pay part of the expenses from their appropriation, as others do who visit their friends.  It was thought it would be more satisfactory to the family if the expenses of at least one of them could be paid in this way.  Mr. Burnham agreed to consult with them about it.

A letter read from Henry Hunter, asking that he might return to the Community.  After some discussion the subject was postponed till some future time.

The matter of a Commission to consider and report on some method of settling existing differences in the Community, was taken up. Report received from Mr. J.H. Noyes that he should prefer not to serve on the Commission on account of his disablements—difficulty of hearing, etc. but that he has a good many thoughts about the situation, and has arrived at some conclusions which he would present when the proper time came—when there should be a general demand for him to do so.  Mr. Hamilton also wished to be excused on account of his health.  Mr. Noyes suggested that Mr. Albert Kinsley take his place on the Commission; and Mr. Hamilton suggested that Mr. Otis Kellogg or the Secretary take his. After considerable discussion it was finally decided to report the Resolutions to the family for their consideration, with the following named persons recommended for the Commission, viz: Albert Kinsley, T.R. Noyes, Geo. Campbell, Myron H, Kinsley, Martin E. Kinsley, W.A. Hinds and H.W. Burnham.

Saturday ~ O.C ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

Dear H.A.N.:  Marian told me she did not think they would go before Wednesday next week, so you will have a few days of quietness.  Perhaps they will go before, and perhaps the Commission business will hinder their going then, though Theodore said if he did not go next week his business at the Foundry would crowd him.  If Mr. Pitt is to be gone I suppose you could accommodate a couple more next week—but I will not send any unless you think best and say so.

Please tell Mr. Cragin that the reason they don’t send that Stationery is on account of the duty.

Saturday Morning ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

Dear H.A.N.:  Leonora’s baby is very sick.  It has never been well since it had the measles—as it was before.  Then it is teething.  They have employed Dr. Wallace—a homeopathic Doctor introduced by Mrs. Bushnell and fraternized by all that party, but last night Leonora got alarmed and sent for Dr. Carpenter, and this morning for Sarah Dunn.—she said a great change came over it yesterday afternoon.  Dr. C. was here again this morning, and we hope it is not too low to be revived.   Sarah is a great medium.  You know how she raised up Cora.  The hatches and Margaret have had it wholly in their hands. Mrs. Hatch was the one that put into the hands of that Doctor.  Leonora told Sarah that she saw yesterday she must take the case into her hands and the first thing she did was to send for Dr. Carpenter.   Sarah much prefers him.  I have pitied the child this long time and prayed for it but saw no way to help.  I tho’t John would want to know about it.

We get no word from you this morning. With love, H.

July, 1880 ~ Sunday, P.M. ~ H.H.S to E.H.H.

Dear Mr. H:  Thank you for all you have written.  I have not expected much--and I think our "living epistles" are the best letters, and that all the time you stay there is much better for us when you come back.  I feel quite strong in body and spirit most of the time.  I pray success to the new plans and expect to see them succeed. With love, H.H.S.

July, 1880 ~ Sunday, P.M. ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

Dear H.A.N.:  I am delighted to be able to report that the baby is better, and SK.D. feels very hopeful about it.  Dr. C. told her yesterday morning he was afraid we should lose it.   It had spasms very much as  Irene did when she was teething.  They had the good effect to frighten Leonora, and heave the baby out of the spiritual surroundings it was in--Mrs. Bushnells' doings, & c., and put it into Sarah's care.  She got the lower room in the tower for it.  She and Margaret sat up with it last night.  Sarah thinks Margaret is going through a favorable change as well as Temple and Leonora.  She thinks we had not better say anything about their going to Niagara at present. They could not go for several weeks and take the baby and she thinks it may be better for them to feel under some pressure--when the baby is well enough she proposes to have Margaret go with them.  Leonora would liked to have gone with Marian--but probably it is better she should not. Mrs. Clark would rather prefer to put off their visit a week or so, so the field will be all clear for Theodore. It just occurs to me that John Cragin and Lily would go no doubt if somebody would pay their expenses. Should you think it would be worth while?  These four are much associated, specially in music.

Mr. Skinner would like to go to W.C. by Wednesday if Mr. Cragin should come home.  He don't like to leave the Post-Office till Mr. C. comes.  He wishes to go as soon as convenient, thinking Joseph may be wanting to go into the country.  I send you Joseph's letter which you may return.  I suppose Mr. Skinner wishes I would go with him and I sometimes thinks I ought to he is so old and rather low-spirited, but I can't really make up my mind to it.  If you have any advice after reading Joseph's letter please write.   I think one reason Joseph wants to see his father is that he is getting so old (77) and he thinks he may lose his chance.   Don't burden yourself with this unless you have something clear.   I expect to do the right thing.

When I spoke of John and Lily I did not know but it would relieve the situation some to have others there that Theodore and Marian are free with, but things will arrange themselves--as they have done.

Mr. Skinner would not like to shorten Mr. C.'s visit, but will wait till he comes--he wants to see him.

July 18, 1880 ~ Sunday ~ H.H.S. to E.H.H.

In John Freeman's report of the meeting last evening he told three things in which Mr. Towner was balked.  First about Myron.  Mr. T. thought it would save expense to substitute some one here in his place. Second he said a good deal in favor of the questions who should constitute the Commission, being referred back to the Council, and not settled in the meeting, and third he asked for the reading of the original resolution and complained that that had not been carried out in respect to the selection of the members--according to that the three parties were to select their own candidates.  Probably it was his own fear instead of William's--with a view to his own membership.  William saw at once in the Council that would not go and did not push it--though he said there that personally he should like to have Mr. Towner on, but supposed it would do no good to propose him.

We had a good meeting yesterday at half past eleven on the text furnished by your note to Mr. Kinsley, that the lawyers and judges of N.Y. State, etc.  Mr. Burt and Mr. Kinsley told stories about Mr. Jenkins and Ward Hunt and refreshed our memories with the miraculous sympathy the had with us--and the providence they were to us.

They say that Chas. Burt is going to leave the Community.   Mr. Kelly thinks it is the love of money.  Charles thinks probably he can make as much in a short time as would be his share if we should divide and chooses not to wait.  Isabel came to the dinner table to-day looking as if she had been crying. She has not appeared happy since they came home.  I suppose it is the dashing of her expectations--but it may be the best thing that could have happened to her.  She has been most ready to sell her soul for him.

July,1880 ~ H.H.S.~

Mary Prindle says that Charles shan't go if she can help it.  William's party mean that he shall go, but she means he shan't.  He is quite loving and confidential with her.  I hope she will help hold him.

July 18, 1880 ~ Sunday ~ JOURNAL

The resolutions referred to in the foregoing Minutes of Council (which are recorded in the O.C. Journal under date of June 25th) were considered by the family last evening, and adopted, with the addition of F. Wayland-Smith to the Commission above named.   This Commission holds its first session this afternoon, all the members being present except M.H. Kinsley.  Organized by the selection of T.R. Noyes as Chairman and W.A. Hinds as Secretary.   It was voted to invite all persons to freely express their ideas to the Commission on such subjects as properly came before it.  It is desirable that these expressions should for the most part be in writing, as they will then be in permanent shape for reference and less time will be consumed in their reading than if they were made orally. Still, wishing to accommodate all, the Commission were in favor of allowing such as desired specially to do so, to appear before them for the purpose either of reading their own written communications or of making short addresses.  Fifteen minutes was thought to be long enough for a single address in such cases, and all are advised in writing or speaking not to wander far from the subject, and to be pointed and practical in their suggestions. The next session of the Commission will take place three weeks from to-day.  This will give time for all to write who wish.  Mr. Campbell will communicate with Myron and ascertain whether he will be able to attend the sessions of the Commission; and T.R. Noes will invite his father to communicate any thoughts and suggestions which may occur to him respecting the subjects before the Commission.

As the preamble and resolution which call this Commission together have undergone some changes since first copied into the Journal of June 25th, we reproduce them here as amended.

"Whereas great differences exist in the Community, and many think there is little prospect of securing upon our present basis the internal harmony essential to the peace and prosperity of the Community; and whereas the continuance of the existing condition of things will seriously imperil the financial condition of the Community; and whereas it is imperative for the sake of our aged members, our invalids, our children, and all classes who might be thrown upon the world without adequate means of support, that at least our productive businesses should be efficiently prosecuted:

Therefore Resolved, that the Council recommend to the Community the appointment of a Commission existing of Albert Kinsley, Geo. Campbell, W.A. Hinds, T.R. Noes, M.H. Kinsley, M.E. Kinsley, F. Wayne-Smith and H.W. Burnham, to consider and report what changes, if any, in our present arrangements are in their judgment necessary to enable us to continue our communal organization in peace and good order and with a reasonable prospect of perpetuity.   Or if, in their opinion, this is impracticable, then to further consider and report upon what basis other than Communism our relations as a business organization can, in their judgment, be best conducted."

It was mentioned in the meeting this evening as very desirable that matters to be discussed by this Commission should not be a subject of gossip in the dining-room or talked about in any way in presence of non-members of the Community.

July, 1980 ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N. ~

Sarah thinks the baby is doing well, though it is weak and needs care.   Dr. C. says it don't need medicine but good care.  Mrs. Langstaff told Sarah that Mrs. Bushnell says she is glad the child is off her hands for she thinks it will die.  Margaret told Sarah this very confidentially and said she did not want the child surrounded by that feeling.  Margaret would feel bad if this should get out--she don't want to offend the Hatches and Mrs. B. but you can see how she secretly feels--at the same time you know there is not much trusting these folks who have been under the Towner control--she said something about Sarah to-day that wasn't very good.   Maria Barron has appeared much pleasanter than she did and I feel good toward her, but I think Godfrey may have been her first motive in going to Niagara--he is her lover.  She has been very free to criticise Mr. Noes--and has expressed no change in that respect.  I hope some dart of truth will reach her heart while she is there.

July 19, 1880 ~ Monday Morning ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

Dear H.A.N.:  I have been talking with Helen about her visit.  She is full of zeal for occupying the land there. I told her she must talk with Frank--there is a great deal of push in him when he is enlisted and he affects Theodore.  I have written to you before that Theodore does not expect to go till Wednesday.   I don't know but a letter has missed as I asked Sarah to write about Guy, I think Thursday or Friday, and she says she did. Perhaps you will get the letter to-day. I hope so, as you will wonder why Theodore don't come.  I have thought of this plan in regard to my going--to let the Clarks take Anna, and I go next week with Charlotte Leonard and Elizabeth Kellogg.  Alfred has spoken to me several times about some arrangement for her (Elizabeth) and I told him I should like to have her go when I did, and Charlotte has wanted to go with me.  What do you think of these three maiden ladies making a Company? Would there be any objections? If Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Cragin come away we may take a gentleman under our protection.  Express your mind freely.

Marian is going to have you help her make Theodore some drawers.

It is good news that Mr. Hamilton's health is improving.  I have thought that he and Fanny and Mary Pomeroy were detached to keep along the inner work--in good proportions.  Helen said Mr. H. hoped our meetings would not fall away.  I don't think they have at all.  The attendance was as full last week as it has ever been.   The returning  visitors from Niagara keep a fresh interest--and very word from there in notes finds a fruitful soul.

O.C. July 18, 1880.~ HELEN  BARRON to MR. J.H. NOYES ~

Dear Mr. Noes:  Mr. Abbott seemed very much pleased with your message to him. He told me that when he was at Niagara, and especially the last time he saw you, he felt a real union of spirit with you and yearning of heart that has not left him yet--that he tried to go there free from all prejudice and feel the spirit there--that he cared more for that than for any talk.  He said he believed God was holding you up and that better days were coming.   He had a very pleasant visit with his relations but said he found every time he was left alone that he fell to thinking about you.

With much love, Helen

O.C. July 18, 1880 ~ ALBERT KINSLEY to E.H. HAMILTON ~

Dear Bro. Hamilton:  I have not said anything to C.S.J., have not felt like doing so. I felt that we could not trust him. In the talk I had with him before you went away I thought I understood his position pretty well, and the course he has taken in our Business Meetings since has confirmed the impressions which I then had.  I am satisfied that where Theodore or Myron are concerned, he will work with Mr. Towner and that party. The other evening when this Commission was discussed it was evident that he and Towner were drawing together.

The Committee met yesterday.   After the meeting I had some talk with F.W. Smith which interested me.  I told him I understood well he was for co-operation, but I wanted to know how he felt toward Mr. Noes.  He said he was with Mr. Noes, and that he should go with him, that he never should oppose him. Although he felt that Communism was played out and that cooperation was the only way by which we could save the society, still if his plans were not approved by Mr. Noes he should give them up, and go with Mr. Noes.  I told him I had no fault to find with him.  Although his views are different from mine, still they had a common center, and they must come together in the end. Ever yours, A. Kinsley.

July 18, 1880 ~ Sunday ~ G. CAMPBELL to E.H. HAMILTON

Dear Mr. Hamilton:  The Commission project was accepted by the family last night substantially as I reported to you yesterday, that is, with the addition of Frank Wayland-Smith, which makes it as follows:

Albert Kinsley
T.R. Noes
Myron Kinsley
F. Wayland-Smith
Geo. Campbell
Martin Kinsley
W.A. Hinds
H.W. Burnham.

They would have been glad to have got Myron off. Mr. Towner went to William immediately after meeting, after the matter was reported Friday night, of course, what he said to him I don't know, but William immediately came to Henry and me, who were talking together, and called our attention to the fact that there were three Kinsleys on the Commission and suggesting it would be well to have some of the other old families represented, the Allens for instance, and also it was uncertain whether Myron  could attend the Committee.  But Alfred Otis, myself and two or three others had an understanding that we would stick to Myron and have the  Commission go through as it was, with the exception that we would help Theodore get on Frank if he wanted to.  There was some sparring about it and two or three sharp passes  but we carried the point.  There was a move made by C.S.J. and Mr. Towner to get the matter referred back to the Council and the Commission chosen by the different parties themselves, which we interpreted to mean that Mr. T. wanted to get on to it, but we insisted on our programme, and Charles had to withdraw it.

The question now is whether Myron will be able to attend to the business.  Mr. Kinsley is too deaf to take much active part in the work and talk and if Myron can't be here we certainly ought to have some one in his place.  If Myron can't come I think there would be little difficulty now perhaps in getting Alfred on in his place.  What do you think about it?  I am ready for orders.

I shall write to Myron by the same mail that takes this, and inquire if he can come or if he has any suggestions about the matter.

But I have your report of Mr. Noes' suggestions about business in mind, and mean to give this Commission business as little attention as possible.

4.P.M:  The Commission just had its preliminary meeting, elected Dr. Noes for Chairman and Wm. A. Hinds for Secretary and Mr. Burnham wanted to go on a trip for business and the Doctor expected to go to Niagara next week it adjourned over until the 8th of August, so there will be plenty of time for Myron's considering the matter of attending it.

Yours, Geo. Campbell

July 19, 1880 ~ Monday ~ JOURNAL

Within a day or two a party of seven have gone to Verona Springs to sojourn a month, having hired the little "cottage" for that length of time.  The names of the party are E.L. Hatch, Abby S. Burnham, Ida May, Hattie Mallory Hatch, Mary Bolles Kellogg and Mrs. Burth.   J. Homer Barron and party arrived home from Clifton last evening.

July 19, 1880 ~ Monday ~ COUNCIL

The application of Henry M. Hunter for readmission to the Community was considered, an on motion it was resolved that it is not desirable at present to receive any new members; and that the consideration of all applications for admission be deferred until after the 1st of January next.

Mr. Hinds presented a paper signed by Horatio and Leonora recognizing the right of the Community to exercise full control over the propagation and care of children.

A letter read from Myron Kinsley saying the departure of D.M. Kelly and J.F. Sears for Oneida has left him with the whole superintendence of the Tableware business, and asking that he be relieved from the charge of the W.C. farm.  The Secretary was instructed to write to Myron inquiring whether it would be acceptable to the W.C. family to have J.N. Norton relieve him of that responsibility.

A petition received in due form for a marriage license from E. Whitmore and Phebe A. Sibley.  No objection made to their receiving a license and the Secretary was instructed to send them one; but as they made no definite reply to the inquiry in regard to their relations to the Community Mr. Hinds was instructed to write them again in regard to it, and they were given until the 1st of September to consider the subject and reply.

July, 1880 ~ G. CAMPBELL to E.H. HAMILTON ~

Dear Mr. Hamilton:  John Cragin wants me to come into the Business Office and help them about the account keeping.  Had I better go?  About that Commission business, Alfred and I have concluded that the "true inwardness" of it is another attempt to change the property tenure.  The legislation attempt proved a failure, and this seems to be a new dodge.  It is a curious fact that after being very urgent to get the Commission appointed they suddenly adjourned the whole thing for three weeks.

I wrote to Myron this morning that I did not think that Niagara enterprise was going to stop where it is.   It was a good thing to that way.

July, 1880 ~ H.H.S. to T.R.N. ~

Miss Pomeroy and Mrs. Whitfield contributed the money they were going to send it to John, by S.K. Dunn.  I had no thought of any political result in my first proposal. I was indulging the self-gratification I always find in giving you and your father and your mother any enjoyment. George Miller had just come from Niagara and seemed to make so much of his visit I wanted you should go. After our talk Saturday I did not know but something would be hatched, but shall not expect anything only that you and Marian enjoy yourselves without coming under any obligation to any body but that Providence which you recognize over you.

July 20, 1880 ~ Tuesday ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

Dear H.A.N.:  I don't think there was any reason for your fear.  Marian told me yesterday they should stay a week and as the Clarks did not want to go till the following Saturday perhaps till then, I think they were glad to go.  She wants to take Rhoda.  She heard from Helen that you would like to have her come sometime and asked my advice.   I did not suppose Marion would want much care of her and hardly supposed you would want she should bring her, but Marion said she would sleep with her, (that she and the Doctor never slept together) and would take care of her only what you would wish her to do, so I consented.   I was pleased with her ambition about it.  She thought this would be the best chance for Rhoda that would happen.   I don't know why they put off their going till Wednesday. It may have been something about her dress.  I thought it was her convenience in some way.

The Commission does not meet for three weeks. Mr. Burnham has gone a trip of that length.  The Clarks going later will put off my visit if I carry out that plan.  I shall wait on inspiration when to go.

Yesterday the Towner fogue seemed to be ascendant. I heard a great many disagreeable things, but the trial of our faith is precious.  I am thankful for it and am more and more able to enter that rest.

The baby is doing well, is coming up better than it has been for months.  Margaret keeps it on slops--sage, teach, &c., but Sarah has got it so it will take milk and wholesome food--she says its bowels are regular and healthy now. They expect to go to N. in September.

Theodore is going by Buffalo.

July 22,(?) 1880 ~ Thursday ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

I find the Clarks wish to go by Wednesday--she said it would make no difference with her--but the others did not like to put it off after that--you see when they deferred on account of Theodore they supposed he would go Monday at least, so that they could go next Monday. I told them I thought they could go on Wednesday.   I thought if Theodore wanted to stay longer perhaps you could contrive it some way. Is that so?  You will let me know in time.  I want to have Theodore stay as long as he would like to.

Frank brought me a letter yesterday which he got from Harriet Worden.  He talked with her very earnestly a while ago about her supporting Mr. Towner, and she has professed to stand off from him since to get a candid observation--but she comes now in strong defense of him as a Christian and next to Mr. Noes, a pure a man as there is in the family--gives back Stella to him, & c. It makes me feel bad for Pip. It makes me want to quarrel with her. I have avoided all collision with her, but it seems to me I shall have to separate from her now.    I think it is her new conjunction with Mr. Towner that makes this Towner fogue in the atmosphere and perhaps it is Mr. Hamilton and Theodore's both being gone at once.  It lets up the bad spirit some.

Please tell Mr. H. that I gave his letter to Mr. Hatch, but have the same impression that George gave him about Mr. Hatch.

You did not write what you thought about my plan. Anna asked me yesterday if she were going with the Clarks.  I thought I should hear to-day--it must be one of our letters has miscarried and now I don't know but another.  I feel some concern about the Post-Office.  My plan was to have Anna go with the Clarks and  come next week with Charlotte Leonard and Elizabeth Kellogg--did you get that letter?  I sympathize mightily with your enjoyment of Rhoda.

With love, H.

O.C. July 22, 1880 ~ F.W.S. to T.R.N. ~

Dear Theodore:  I have just had another letter from E.S.B. in which he says he spoke to Myron about his report concerning the plan to appeal to the Courts in which he mixed you up with Towner, Hinds, et al.   Myron explained it very satisfactorily, but his manner of telling the story was unfortunate in that most of the W.C. folks got the same idea that Ed. First reported' that we were at the bottom of the plot to appeal.   What Myron did intend to say was that you and I were the first to speak to him of that plan. Ed. Thinks Myron has heard something which makes him feel more friendly to the 3rd than he did a short time ago.  He also says Myron expects to go to Niagara this week, while you are there, so you will have a chance to observe him and get his ideas direct.

H.M. Worden has decided to return to fellowship with Towner, a thing I worked hard to persuade her out of about a month ago. She has written me a note saying she thinks he is about the best man in the Community and she has concluded to follow her own instincts in the matter.

If you get leisure to write me a word I shall be glad to know how the matter of our settlement is likely to turn with your father. Then I can be working on the right line.

Hope you enjoy the Falls as much as I did.

Yours fraternally, F. Waylan-Smith

July 22, 1880 ~ A. KINSLEY to E .H. HAMILTON ~

Dear Mr. Hamilton:  Yours of the 21st was just received. Mr.  Hamilton did not feel exactly clear about C.S.J.'s position and had some talk with him yesterday or the day before, to satisfy himself where he stood.  He came to the same conclusion about him that we had, which is, that he will go with the other party. In my last note to you, I did not say all I intended saying when I commenced.  I related to you what Frank said about himself, but think I did not report what he said about Theodore, which was this as near as I can convey his ideas. He said further that Theodore was with him in that view.  I asked him if he was sure that was Theodore's position.  He said Theodore had frequently expressed himself to that effect and that morning he had had a talk with him on this subject.   Theodore had told him he should not take any stand in opposition to his father's judgment.  Myron in a letter to Mr. Campbell, received yesterday, said, before the Commission met again he should want to have Mr. Noes' substitute.  See Mr. Noes.   I have written him to-day stating that it would not be convenient for me to call on Mr. N., and if he felt it desirable for any one to see him before the next session he, Myron, had better go himself.   Please say to Mr. Noes that I shall be glad to receive anything he has any plan to present, or any suggestions to make in regard to our course of procedure. I feel good and at rest about the matter having the assurance that those above will manage it.

Yours, A. Kinsley

July, 22, 1880 ~ Community ~ J.L. ABBOTT to J.H. NOYES

Dear Mr. Noyes:  I thank you sincerely for the kind word sent me by Helen. I was clearly sensible while at your place that a good spirit was there.  I felt very near to the family there generally, and quite specially so to some. While there I felt my spirit refreshed and strengthened.  When I left, at the Depot, I felt a special nearness to you--it seemed that our spirits met and mingled, and we became one in our innermost life.   I left feeling very happy.  A quiet peace was in my heart, I felt like keeping still, and concentrate my thoughts, so far as I had any, on interior life. My faith and hope were greatly strengthened and have continued so with little exception to the present time. I was clearly sensible while visiting my friends of special help, and of guidance, at times, what I should say. My visit as a whole was the most satisfactory of any I ever made, and they were evidently pleased with us.

I have one abiding desire which is to obey the truth in all things.

Yours in Christ's service, John Abbott

P.S. I have not much heart to join in politics with either of the parties at O.C.  I rest in faith that the heavens rule.   If the higher powers should see fit to sell our eastern property and invest it in the west for manufacturing purposes, I should be glad.  J.A.

July, 1880 ~ Thursday ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

Charlotte Leonard wishes to record her name as one desiring to go to Niagara, and Mrs. Bolles asked me to-day what I thought of Anna's going with the Clarks.  Mrs. B. thought she should not be likely to go, and would like to send Anna with some company .  I said I would mention it.    I did not tell her what you wrote to me, but thought I would ask you if she should come if for any reason I don't.   I suppose both of us would be too many.  We get nothing to-day, and know not what to expect when we do hear, but look for the salvation of God. H.

July 23, 1880 ~ Friday ~ JOURNAL

In our evening meeting recently Mr. Burt and Mr. Homer Barron gave some interesting information about the water power at Niagara that had been offered us so cheaply.  The family had not understood before that there was an opportunity offered to accommodate the chain business there, independently of removing the spoon business or of the question of selling the Wallingford property; and the inquiry was made if anything had been done about getting the time for considering the liberal offer to the Community, extended. No one could answer the questions. A new portable Shell-Boiler (price $500) and a new Rumsey  pump ($175) for business at the Arcade.  The new pump does its work well, drawing the water from the exhaustless spring a little northwest of Dun Cottage and distributing it to the various reservoirs at the rate of 30 barrels per hour.  Mr. Thacker says he increased the strawberries one-third on the plot watered by his irrigating invention.  After three years of thorough testing the Community have two kinds of blackberries that are not injured by the frosts of winter, are very productive, large size, and fine flavor.  Mr. T. has only half-an-acre of these in bearing the present year, and they are a wonderful sight. Several quarts at picking from a small bush--that is the way they turn out' and a more delicious table-berry never grew than the Ancient Britain.   The Schneider is the name of the other kind.  The plantation will be materially increased another year. Just beginning to ripen--240 qts. Picked thus far.  Our honey harvest about gathered for this year.  Four-and-a-half barrels of extracted honey--(3-3/4 bbls. Of which is very nice) and 100 lbs. Of box honey thus far--about 1830, and all from 16 colonies in the Spring--now increased to 30--after losing several swarms that took French leave.

July 25, 1880 ~ BUSINESS MEETING ~

In meeting of Business Board Sunday, the 25th, C.S.J. from the Finance Committee, recommended an extension of the limit of Bank Loans to $55,0000.  Adopted. Mr. Joslyn also reported that the Inventory of the Foundry Department, taken on July 1st showed a gain during the last three months, previously, of $126.00.-

W.A. Hinds said that it was necessary for the Fruit Dept. to have an agent for selling in place of C.A. Burt, who has left the service of the Community.  M.E. Kinsley moved to refer the matter of obtaining such agent to the Fruit Board with the power to act, if Mr. T.L.P. can be had; but otherwise to report their conclusions to the Business Board before any one is sent out.

J.W. Towner reported that the quit-claim deeds directed by the  Board on the 18th of April last had been made out, but remained unexecuted. W.A. Hinds moved that C.S. Joslyn be instructed to inquire into the reasons for the delay in such execution, and to report.  F. Wayland-Smith moved that this matter, and also the matter as to the business and financial relations of the Communities, and the appointment of a special correspondent at W.C., lie on the table until the Commission which has been appointed shall act upon the questions submitted to it, and that in the meantime correspondence with W.C. on business, be directed to G.N. Miller.  W.A. Hinds moved to amend by saying that the two matters referred to lie on the table indefinitely.  And with this recommendation Wayland Smith's motion was put and carried.

July 25, 1880 ~ Boston ~ H.W. BURNHAM to J.H. NOYES

Dear Mr. Noyes:  I  have felt for a long time that what we needed at Oneida more than anything else, to settle our difficulties, is a real revival of religion.  Our hearts, one and all, need to be broken down before God and melted by his love.  I know that mine does. But how can this be brought about? I have thought of inviting--or of having you do so-- all outside revival workers to come in and labor among us. We have scores of unconverted persons with us, and especially of the young people.  And we all need a new conversion to Jesus Christ--to turn our hearts to him.  How my heart longs for this thing.  I do verily believe that our hearts would all come together if we could have a real outpouring of the spirit of God in our midst.  Our own old measures seem to have failed us.  Is not something new required?  "New measures" in the churches 40 years ago God blessed. You and I were converted under them. What if the O.C. should step out and ask Mr. Harrison--the boy Preacher--or some such person to come and labor with and for our salvation?  If you would favor it I verily believe it would work well and be the means of great good. What we want it seems to me--is the pure old-fashioned Bible Gospel of Christ preached among us--church dogma left out.  You may think me absurd in this thing, but I am in earnest taking the entire responsibility in writing this letter.  I know that something must be done soon to save the Community from "shipwreck." I have little faith in a "Commission."  As a member of it I dread the debates and speculations and plans of organization that may ensue.  No-we must go deeper.  The spirit of repentance which takes hold of the roots of things is what I pray for.

Probably some would oppose the idea of an Evangelist coming among us but if you do not I shall have great hopes.   If you do oppose it of course the matter will rest where it is.  But, Mr. Noes, I trust you will favor something of this kind.  It would not, it must not be a party movement.  In letting Christ in party feelings would go out.  But I have said enough for the present perhaps.

As this is wholly  confidential in my part will you have the kindness to write me privately about it? It would be forwarded to me if away from home.

My sales of fruit alone for the last 10 days have reached nearly $4,000.  I never had better luck in some respects.  My sales are to retailers and consumers--almost wholly, and hence command good profits.

Truly yours, H.W. Burnham.

July 26, 1880 ~ Monday ~ COUNCIL

J.S. Freeman stated that Mr. Jones did not wish to prolong his visit in Maine until he could return with J.P. Hutchins, and asking him if he could pay the expense of one of his nephews to return with him. Objection was made to this, and Mr. Freeman agreed to see if he could not arrange for his return in some other way.

A note was read from J.H. Barron saying that Harriet Howard wished him to reimburse her from the subsistence department for $8.00 spent for food for her child while sick during her visit to her friends. C. Otis Kellogg requested that $2,00 be added to it for some other expenses.  Voted that $2.00 be paid her.

A project of the young men to be at Joppa during the encampment of the Oneida Military Company at Fish Creek was brought to the notice of the Council; also the invitation to Harley to connect himself with a Brass Band at Oneida.  There was a unanimous and decided expression by the Council of disapproval of

Such a course and of such connections, and a strong desire expressed that the young men might be induced to forego them. Messrs. Hinds and Kinsley were appointed to confer with the young men and their parents and guardians in regard to the matter.

The attention of the Council was called to the continued disregard by James Vaill, of the disapproval of the family of his course. Voted, that he be relieved of the responsibility he now holds as distributor of help.

A note was read from A.L.B. in regard to Ormond, inquiring what shall be done with him when his present term at school expires. Voted that Mr. Burt be instructed to see if he can find a place for him else where, either on a farm or otherwise.

A communication from C.A. Burt saying he proposed to change his place of residence to Chicago, and giving his reasons therefor' and further, that he should wish to return to the Community if a satisfactory adjustment of the present difficulties should be made.

A letter read from G.N. Miller saying that the project of having J.N. Norton take charge of the W.C. farm, was not acceptable to the W.C. family.

O.C. July 26, 1880 ~ F. WAYLAND-SMITH to DR. T.R. NOYES ~

Dear Theodore:  An excursion is booked for our place from Fulton on August 3rd. You must be sure to return in time for that.  Another excursion is coming from Ilion, Herkimer, Utica, & c., on or about August 17th, and a third is probable from down Albany way.

We had rather a warm time in business meeting yesterday.  Towner & Hinds are evidently determined that the Four property holders shall be subordinate to the Business Board and obey its mandates.   They tried to make an issue on that yesterday, but I succeeded in bluffing them off for a time.  In the course of the "jaw" Martin said that, while he agreed with me that it is best to let all such issues lie over until after the Commission has acted, he wanted it understood that if, after that Tye Four refused to obey the decision of the Business Board, "there would be some pretty prompt action," meaning, I suppose, that they were determined, in that event, to appeal to the Courts.

They also tried to pick a quarrel with W.C. yesterday.   Seeing the tendency there was to drift into open rows, I moved to request to ask the Commission to act as promptly as possible.  I don't think it will do to let that business drag along six months.  It will be better for all the real interests of the Community to settle up promptly.  I think Myron's idea of getting the Commission together somewhere and working away at it hard until the job is finished, is a good one.

Yours fraternally, F. Wayland Smith

O.C. July 26, 1880 ~ J.S. FREEMAN to E.H. HAMILTON ~

Dear Mr. Hamilton:  Last Friday the Council voted to release Jas. Vaill from all official responsibility as distributor of help on account of his continued resistance to the expression of the Council and business board regarding his horses. It was reported that a number of the boys were planning to be at Joppa when the G.S. Guards of Oneida should go there, and William and Martin were appointed to confer with the parents and guardians and induce them if possible to give up the project.   It was also said that Harley, Temple and others were planning to join a Band at Oneida.  Wm. Was to talk to Augusta in order to influence Harley.

To-day C.A. Burt handed in a note:

July 26.--"On Wednesday next I propose to change my place of residence to Chicago."

He did not wish to make complete withdrawal but expected the privilege of returning at any time when circumstances were such that he could enjoy a peaceful and happy home here.  He makes the move for self protection.  Did not expect to make any settlement on leaving. G.D.A. H.E. Joslyn and myself were appointed to talk with him.

July, 1880 ~ Monday ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

Dear H.A.N.:  I hope you won't go under about not writing to O.C.  Perhaps I convey sometimes a little of the eagerness we have to hear--but in my heart I justify you entirely, and want you should feel free.  I asked about that letter in which I mentioned Miss Wait as I did not know but that had miscarried. Sarah got Miss Wait to let Doty sleep in her room with Kenneth, but Mabel took him as mother when he came, and we had had no word from Mr. Pitt about Miss Wait we let it go.   The sleeping is really the most important part, so he is well provided for.  He is well and says he rather live here where he is.  Holton is a very kind brother.  I find Holton is a very loveable boy--very fond of pleasure--but easy to persuade and generous and kind to others.  He will be very attractive socially as he grows up--fond of singing and dancing and women and wine and cigars and dress and all that and be an artist in all these things, but I expect he will be surrounded by influences that will save him from dissipations.  I am all the mother he has now-a-days.

We are all rejoicing in the prospect of Mr. Hamilton's coming. H.H.S.

July 27, 1880 ~ Tuesday ~ JOURNAL

Something like a dozen of our family left this morning for an excursion of several days to the Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence river.  Mr. & Mrs. Carlton Rice, and Mr. Hosea, his son-in-law, of Cincinnati, and wife, came Friday, on that long-talked-of-visit, staid one night and left for Hamilton Saturday, P.M. Mrs. Rice had been here before, and Mr. Underwood speaks of her as a superior woman--thinks she must be the dynamic member of the firm.  He speaks of Mr. Hosea, too, as an exceedingly interesting man; but we will leave it for those interested to pump Mr. Underwood at their leisure.    Mr. & Mrs. Hudson Tuttle, of Spiritualistic fame, were our guests yesterday and last night, by invitation of D. Edson Smith. Mrs. Hudson entertained the family during meeting hour with recitations, reading and singing, from the stage. A Miss Thomas, elocutionist and teacher of elocution in N.Y. city, and Mrs. Bigelow, wife of our Minister to France, were also our guests last evening' both of them interesting people. Mr. & Mrs. Sears returned from Massachusetts last evening.   M.H. Kinsley and lady arrived from W.C. on Friday last.   Myron left again on Sunday morning for Clifton, accompanied by J.F. Sears.  To-morrow, Wednesday, Mr. & Mrs. Clark, Florence, and Felix expect to leave for Clifton.

July 17, 1880 ~ Tuesday ~ H.H.S. to J.H.N.

Dear John:  Among other things, the communication, a copy of which I send, from Chas. Burt was discussed in the Council last night.  It was very offensive to all and all thought if he refused to make any settlement he would have to be publicly excommunicated.  I did not know but it was a providence to bring out the function of the Four, and while Towner and Hinds are trying to get a precedent of authority of the Business Board before the action of the Commission, we should have a precedent of the authority of the Four, and everybody would see the propriety of their exercising it.

July, 1880 ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N. ~

Dear H.A.N.  Several have spoken to me about Florence that you ought to be on your guard about her--as she is very intimate with Ed. Loveland, and his mother and sister you know are rank Townerites--and she is far enough from thorough loyalty herself.  She goes to please her father and mother--and don't profess anything else.  I hope she will prove impressible to the spirit there.

This isn't much of a note--but I wrote it in my night-gown ready to go to bed.  Marian Dunn came to tell me how she felt about Florence.  Marian is very loyal.

July, 1880 ~ Thursday ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N. ~

I expect our party will go next week, the day after the Clark's come home.  Geo. W. will go with us, and what should you think of our taking  Corinne if we feel like it?  I should think we three might take care of her, and perhaps it is the best time we will have.  I thought if Mr. Pitt should be gone and you had plenty of room we might ask Mr. Ackley to go with us, as John sent particular word that he should like to have him come sometime--but I only suggest it for you to say.    Please not let the suggesting get out if you do not think it best.  I don't care about either him or Corinne only as they are booked for some time.  I pity Corinna every day--she is taken out of the children's house and seems so neglected.  Her mother refuses to let her have her hair cut--thought it is a great discomfort--and Corinna is read to cry whenever she speaks about it.  Alice put her into the children's house while she went to the Thousand Islands.  Sarah Dunn lives in that part now and that is a comfort.  There is a great conservative force in her presence in any department.   She keeps her interest in Guy, but as he is much better and Margaret and his mother have no other work, she could hardly refuse to give him up.  She kept him one or two weeks longer than Augusta I suppose would let her.  Now she takes him out doors on her free days and gets him in to the South Room some and on the piazza in front--when she is at work there. He pushes a chair now.

Mr. Hamilton came home all right.

Mrs. Matthews wishes to be put down for a visit to N.

We have heard nothing from Mr. Woolworth about Felix. Perhaps Carrie had some other plan. . but Mr. H. thinks no harm will come of sending him.

O.C. July 29, 1880 ~ E.H.H. to J.H.N. ~

Dear Mr. Noyes:  If you have no objection I should like to see a copy of your reply to Mr. Burnham.  His writing to you seems quite significant.

He is anxious to have a revival that will turn hearts to Christ get to work in the Community.  I certainly sympathize with him in that.  I have felt a revival spirit in my heart, and often believe that spirit is not far off.


Yours truly, E.H. Hamilton

July, 1880 ~ J.H.N. to the BUSINESS BOARD ~

I respectfully offer as my excuse for not executing the deed to me sent to me some time ago, the following statement of facts:

The deeds in question were sent to me by C.S. Joslyn. The letter from him ordering me to execute them I cannot find here, I think I sent it with the deeds back to Frank Smith and that he did not return it to me.  I sent the deeds to him as I had done in a previous case, that he might inspect them and advise me as to their legal correctness.   I do not remember that Charles said anything in his letter about the deeds being sent by the authority of the business board. The letter, if it can be found, will show whether my impression is correct.  But at all events I did not think or act at all with reference to the business board as moving in the matter; but regarded the business as technical and professional as it was as coming from C.S. J. in the first place and back of him from Mr. Towner.  In this state of mind I naturally recurred to the fact that in the case before referred to I had detected illegal and dangerous matter in the deed and on referring the case to Frank and Charles they had agreed with me and had sent another corrected deed for me to execute.  I had also understood that Charles had difficulty in convincing Mr. Towner that the matter in question was illegal and dangerous to the interests of the Community. Remembering these things I thought it prudent to consult Frank in this case, but I had no intention of refusing to execute the deed on any other ground than that they came from a source in which I had no confidence on account of the previous error.

Frank sent back the deeds with his sanction, but another matter also interfered with immediate action.  I was required by Charles' original letter to execute them on the American side of the River.  About the same time I learned through very direct and reliable testimony that it was known to certain persons at O.C. that two police officers were watching for me on the American side.  I have no idea that Charles knew this' but I put these things together and they helped to make it unpleasant for me to execute the deeds at all.   So I delayed and sent word to Charles that I should not execute as they proposed.  Then he changed the form so that I could execute on the Canada side.   Still I had no appetite for the business and Charles soon afterwards virtually discharged my part by sending word by Mr. Kinsley that it was of no consequence or that no harm would come from my delay. Since then and quite lately I have been advised by at least two trusty men at O.C. to not sign the deeds, because they say there is the same illegal and dangerous matter in them that was in the previous deeds.  Notwithstanding all this, if now the business board will, on re-examination of the deeds, order their execution, I will attend to it at once and I send the deeds for this purpose.

In conclusion let me say once for all that there be no fear at O.C. that I shall resist the action of the business board. But I hope that board will, by all practicable means protect me from error in such weighty transactions and especially that it will give general personal inspection and consideration to the legal papers which they send me and will assure me in some way that such papers are really sanctioned by at least a substantial majority, if not unanimity of the Board.


O.C. July 30, 1880 ~ E.H.H. to J.H.N. ~

Dear Mr. Noyes:  Mr. Kinsley, Alfred and Frank have read your two papers and like them. They think however, there is no need of presenting your paper to the Business Board till the matter is called up again.  Meantime, Mr. Kinsley, Frank and Charles have been examining the matter anew and have pretty much concluded that the old deed is good enough as it is.  They agree so far--that the matter rest where it is for the present. C.S.J. and Mr. K. make a majority in the Legal Committee so this relieves you from all censure about not signing. Frank behaves very handsomely about the matter--says if need be he will assume the responsibility for your not signing himself.  Frank had a very genial consultation with Charles over the deed.  C.S.J. admitted that he wished Towner was out of the legal business.  Mr. Kinsley and Frank think Charles is beginning to see Mr. Towner more clearly and to turn away from him.  As it now stands you are not only relieved from censure, but your friends recognize the wisdom which has withheld you from signing the deed.

I believe the heavens rule.

Yours truly, E.H. Hamilton

July 30, 1880 ~H.H.S. to H.A.N. ~

Dear H.A.N.  Mr. Warne and Sarah Johnson and perhaps Mrs. Whitfield want to go to N. the first week in September.  Miss Thomas wants to go that month.

Fanny came this afternoon.  She looks better than I expected--stood the journey nicely--she has been telling me how little they hear from Niagara there.   She will enjoy the change in that respect. Mr. Warne is in a beautiful frame of spirit, I think.  Mary Pomeroy is quite a suffering woman.  Her disease seems to follow her up, but she keeps a cheerful, thankful spirit, and sees good.

July 30, 1880 ~ Friday ~ JOURNAL

Sunday school picnic here to-day, from the Congregational church of Morrisville.  The Universalists of Fulton make an excursion here on Tuesday next, and on the day following a train of excursionists from Syracuse are advertised to come.

The Oneida Dispatch of to-day has this paragraph:

"Many of the ladies of the Oneida Community are gracefully adopting the modes of the fashionable world. No more Bloomer costumes in public; no more severed hair; but in their place elegant dresses and waving tresses will be the rule.  These ladies are now the honored wives of gentlemen who form one of the largest and most successful manufacturing organizations in Central New York; their husbands are men of wealth and culture and sound common sense.  The last-named characteristic is amply evidenced by the many purchases the ladies are making of Oneida merchants.  Fashionable hats, costly switches, silk dresses, etc., etc., almost daily go from our village to the Community."

O.C. July 31, 1880 ~ H.J. SEYMOUR to J.H. NOYES ~

Bro. Noyes:  I have thought it might be profitable, especially to myself to tell you a little of my personal experience about one thing.

About two years ago when I was under the harrowings of outward snubbings, and inward fever-and-ague, at W.C. and here, I used to here certain awful whisperings about your doings in sexual matters. Taking into account the "trublous times" we were in the midst of, those whisperings came as near as anything ever did, to starting doubts of your inspiration in my mind. Yet I could never find it in my heart to pass judgment on you.  I probably felt a good deal of that spirit so natural in men that is unwilling another man should take liberties from which I was excluded, and which I suspect is at the bottom of much of the virtuous horror that has been vented on you. It seems exceedingly difficult for the natural man to believe that any one can make any innovation in the time, place and manner of the coming together of the sexes, without being involved in the blackest and most selfish spirit of licentiousness.

Right here let me make a confession. I have always in my innermost heart wished that there might be a most complete revolution of the world's habits in respect to the coming together of the sexes.  I have wished that their intercourse might take place at any or all times, or under any circumstances when the desire for it was strongest, so that we might finally discover the very best of heavenly fashions in regard to it. I have had enough experience to enable me to discover that this is a dreadfully low and depraved feeling on my part in the opinion of most women, for in some instances where I have proposed to vary the ordinary routine that has been established, in the slightest degree I have met with a pretty sharp rebuff.  I therefore wish here to say that I honor the man who has the courage to assault this diabolical fortress of worldly custom and I expect in due time that the world will join me in this feeling.

Do not imagine from the freedom of this letter that this is a matter that I talk about.  This is only expression of the workings of my heart that I have made.

With ove, H.J.S.

July, 1880 ~ H.H.S. to J.H. NOYES ~

To-day Mr. Hamilton went over the series of victories we have had lately in combat with the other party.   First in the parents' meeting--beating on every issue--then in their attack on Mr. Bradley we really best--he kept his place, though he has resigned now on account of his health.  Then in respect to the substitutes, both in the Council and in the meeting we gained our point--so in regard to Charles Burt--it will be his own act now if he leaves the Community--he will not be turned out--as the Towner faction wanted.  The contest has been severe in each case.  I have given but a meager report on the facts--though I doubt not Mr. N.'s spirit has been present and led the host.  The way their councils were revealed to Mr. H. last Friday, was very strange. Mr. H. don't know himself who overheard them or how, but somebody, a third person, told him.


The things that remain are the things that cannot be shaken.

Our God is a consuming fire.   Every man's work is to be tried by fire.

A man's work is his faith--Peter speaks of faith as precious though it be tried by fire.

The chaff is to be burned by fire.   Baptize with the Holy Ghost and with Fire. The Holy Ghost puts good into us, and the fire consumes the chaff.  God holds on to us by the good while he burns up the evil.

The Holy Ghost and the fire are the same in substance, but different in power and in object.  When we feel bad it is the fire burning the chaff in us.    What is good in us cannot be burned.   We should pray for the fire as well as for the Holy Ghost. We shall have no peace till the fire has done its work.

The work of the fire will be done, when we can say, Satan cometh and hath nothing in me.  When we get grace to pray for the fire we touch the spirit that has been through the fire--can become the fire ourselves and take pleasure in the fire. God is indestructible, and God is in us indestructible.  We need not fear that his work in us will be destroyed by the fire.  The things that remain will be strengthened by the fire. The sermon that cast down Weld was the Holy Ghost and fire.


July, 1880 ~ H.H.S. ~

The ONEIDA DISPATCH had an article about O.C. in which it alluded to the change of style going on here--short dresses and short hair giving place to switches and long skirts--our women coming down there almost daily for silk dresses and false hair, & c.   When it was read in our meeting William said he hoped there would be great reaction toward short hair and short dresses sometime--at which there was some clapping, but Mrs. Hawley changed the whole complexion of the affair just as she did when Mr. Towner made his plausible defense. She said "Perhaps there will be when individual sovereignty makes its exit."  It tickled our folks immensely (though they did not laugh of course) she did not look up from her work but said it in such an unconcerned way, as though she was talking to herself.

Another thing that has made some amusement for us, Augusta said to Emily that all our folks came back from Niagara with a great air of assurance and contentment as though there were no troubles among us--she supposed it was because there all thought alike and they forgot the state of things here.  She expressed great surprise at the number of folks going there.  She might be told that as many more are waiting for their turn.

July 30, 1880 ~ Friday ~ COUNCIL

The Committee from Council appointed to confer with C.A. Burt reported that he had fully decided to leave the Community and enter into a permanent engagement with an outside Company on his own account. The following preamble and resolution was then adopted:

"Whereas Charles A. Burt has of his own accord and without the consent of the Community entered the service of another Company for his own individual interest and profit; Therefore, resolved, that he has by this act severed his connection with the Community and can no longer be recognized as one of its members."

A communication read from John N. Norton in regard to his relations to the W.C. family.

August 2, 1880 ~ Monday ~ BUSINESS BOARD

In meeting of the Business Board yesterday, the preamble and resolution concerning Charles Burt, as recorded above, was presented from Council, and on motion of T.R. Noes was accepted and adopted as the mind of the Business Board.

On motion of F. Wayland-Smith, the Committee on new and additional legislation, appointed March 21st, was discharged.

On motion of A.E. Hawley an appropriation of $150.00 was made to finish the work begun last year in strengthening the bank of the Willow-place Pond.

Martin and Milford, who were of the party that went to the Thousand Islands a few days ago, brought home with them 34 fine specimens of pickerel which they caught by trolling in the waters of the St. Lawrence--the largest one weighing six pounds. ---Mrs. Harriet Kinsley returned from Vermont on Saturday, after a two months' absence. ---Myron and J.F. Sears also arrived Saturday evening from Clifton.  Mr. Pitt left for Clifton and a western trip, to-day. ---Mrs. Skinner, Elizabeth Kellogg, C.M. Leonard and Geo.W. expect to leave for Clifton Thursday morning.  E.H. Hamilton Chairman of Council and of the evening meeting for August.  The "Commission" expects to hold its first meeting since that held for organizing, on Thursday next. ---A pic-nic of the Universalist society of Futon expected to-morrow, and another one from Syracuse the next day.

August 2, 1880 ~ Monday ~ COUNCIL

E.H. Hamilton, Chairman; T.R. Noyes, Assistant Chairman; W.A. Hinds, Secretary.

As some of the members of the Council had expressed a wish that the matter of C.A. Burt's withdrawal and the action of the Council respecting it should be brought before the family in a more formal manner, it was voted that the Business Meeting next Sunday be called half an hour earlier than usual, and that Charles' communication be then read, as also the notes of the action of Council in his case, and opportunity given for remarks in the whole matter.  A whish having been expressed that Charles' communication should be put upon the Council records, as it is here appended:

"July 26, 1880

"To the Council:---

"On Wednesday next I propose to change my place of residence to Chicago.  I do not look upon the change as a complete withdrawal from the Community, but expect the privilege of returning at any time when circumstances are such that I can enjoy a peaceful, happy home here.  The move I am about to make I consider in the light of self-protection.  My health and happiness demand that I be not continually surrounded by the circumstances I am in here. I was never cut out for a prize-fighter. I don't find enjoyment in that school.

"I do not expect to make any settlement upon leaving.  The money that I earned in the service of another Company I propose to take with me, on the round that there is considerable doubt in the minds of many whether I am or have been for two months a member of the Community on account of my outside connections. Several persons in the Council have expressed this opinion, and it is held by many others. If this view be true, the Community certainly are not entitled to receive the earnings of an alien. As long as there is any doubt on the subject I shall take the benefit of the doubt, feeling, as I do, that if the Community succeeded in adjusting the condition of things here so that I can return, I shall do so; and when I do return, I shall bring all my earnings.

Respectfully, C.A. Burt."

Mention was made of the expressed intention of Mr. & Mrs. Whitney to return soon to the O.C.   It was thought we could make room for them in some way.

J.S. Freeman was invited to talk with Mr. Vanvelzer about Erastus' proposed return to the Community, and called his attention to the recent resolution of Council that the consideration of all applications for membership shall be postponed till after Jan. 1st.

A communication read from Emily E. Kelly asking that her mother might prolong her visit.  This was approved.

Mr. Reeve was appointed Distributor of Help in place of C. Otis Kellogg who has temporarily occupied the position.

August, 1880 ~ Monday ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

Dear H.A.N.:  Maria says she is quite sure you expect us Wednesday, so we intend to go at that time by way of Niagara Falls--unless you should write to have Mr. Ackley come, and he should want to go, (I have not asked him yet,) in which case Mr. Hamilton advises us to go by Buffalo.  We shall know I suppose in time to write to-morrow.  I have sent things in Mr. Pitt's trunk--to fill it up--thinking perhaps I should not be obliged to take a trunk--but the children have so many clothes I don't know but I shall have to after all. ---Fanny sends the Table-spread and pillow-cases.

August 5, 1880 ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N. ~

Dear H.A.N.:  Charlotte was sick with headache yesterday and wants to wait till Thursday and Emily has just been to me wishing we would put off our going one day on account of the p ic-nics--one to-day and one to-morrow--she will miss our help--so I concluded to do so though I had not written yesterday as I did.  I hope you will get this letter so as not to make you any trouble.  I got nothing about Mr. A. from you this morning, and I shall say nothing. It is just as well.


August 5, 1880 ~ Thursday ~ JOURNAL

The picnic party from Fulton on Tuesday, six coaches strong, and that from Syracuse yesterday, seven coaches strong, made a very enjoyable visit.  The entertainment in the Hall was the same for both parties--the programme being that which concludes with "The Secret, or a Hole in the Wall."  The receipts realized from both parties for dinners, entertainments, etc., etc., amounted to $347.23.  The train that took away the Syracuse picnickers left one man behind. He staid behind on purpose because he wanted to join.  Had $300.00 dollars in his pocket, which he was ready to hand over.  The Sunday school from Morrisville which was here a few days ago, sent the Community the following note:

Morrisville, July 30, 1880

"We, the Congregational Sabbath-School of Morrisville, having happily and pleasantly passed the day at Oneida Community, it is therefore resolved that a vote of thanks be hereby tendered to the said community for the use of their beautiful lawns, and grounds, which they generously accorded to us free of charge--and for the very profitable and pleasant manner in which they entertained us."

Mr. & Mrs. Clark, Florence, Anna & Felix returned from Clifton last evening at 10 o'clock; and this morning at 5 o'clock, Mrs. Skinner, Elizabeth Kellogg and Charlotte Leonard left for that place, escorted by G.W. Noes, Jr., ---The Commission met at 10--30 o'clock this fore-noon.

COMMISSION RECORD. --- Record of the Proceedings by which the Oneida Community modified into the Form of a Joint-Stock Company

Report of the Commission appointed July 17, 1880

Members of the Commission:

Albert Kinsley, M.H. Kinsley, Geo. Campbell, Wm. A. Hinds, H.W. Burnham, Martin E. Kinsley, Theodore R. Noes, F. Wayland-Smith.

The members with the exception of M.H. Kinsley met and organized, July 18th 1880, by election of T.R. Noes as Chairman and Wm. A. Hinds, Secretary.

"The second meeting was held August 5th, all the members being present, and the 15th session, being the last included in this preliminary report, was held August 20th. Only a brief report of the business done at these fifteen sittings will be attempted.

The Resolution passed by the Administrative Council and approved by the Community, creating the Commission, made it the duty of the Commission "to first consider and report what changes, if any, in or present arrangements are in their judgment necessary, to enable us to continue our communal organization in peace and good order, with a reasonable prospect of perpetuity."  To this end it was thought proper to inquire at the outset what difficulties and dangers now confront the Community.  On this point there was a free and full expression invited from every member of the Commission.  The introduction of monogamic marriage into the Community was, it was seen, an important departure from the strict and pure Communism of the past, involving in itself important changes; but in addition to this there are many things which at present time seriously endanger the peace and prosperity of the Community, such as the want of religious unity, social and party alienation, inefficiency of government, lack of control over the young, bad industrial habits, a growing tendency to prodigality and waste, individual speculation, and especially a difference of opinion as to the character of Mr. Noes and the power which he and his acknowledged representatives should exercise in the Community.   These things were seen to be of such magnitude and importance, that the following resolution was passed with out a dissenting voice:

"Resolved that the dangers and difficulties now threatening the Community are so real and serious that changes are a necessity."

Having reached this conclusion, the next question in order was, whether any one had a plan which promised to bring the Community as a body back to the conditions of the past, and at the same time remove present difficulties.  No plan was offered, and no one saw any real practicability of a return of the whole Community to their former status.

Opportunity was then given for the presentation in outline of any plans of modified Communism.  Two plans under this head were offered:  the first mentioned was by Wm. A. Hinds, which, however, he did not present as wholly his own.  It proposed to keep the present accumulate property intact, carry it on together as at present, but allow wages to such as prefer to work for wages, they being paid, of course, only for what they chose to labor more than a fair proportion of hours;--and then at the end of the year, after deducting from the Community income all common expenses, all wages to members, and a certain agreed sum to reduce our debt, to divide the remainder equally amongst the adult members, allowing them to re-invest their share in the Community businesses, or otherwise expend them, as they might prefer.  This plan it was thought, would promote a general economy, because every one would be personally interested to stop all unnecessary expenses; would promote individual economy because all luxuries would have to be paid for out of the individual's pocket; would promote industry, because every one would have a chance to make extra hours with the certainty of some reward; would keep our property all together and secure a permanent home to all.

It was urged against this plan that it did not remove some of the greatest difficulties the Community is now facing, and suggested no means whereby the different parties could separate if they wanted to. It was hoped, however, that under the new stimulus to industry and economy furnished by this plan, attention would be diverted from existing political questions, and that the spirit of mutual forbearance would finally gain the ascendancy.

The second plan of modified Communism was presented by Mr. Albert Kinsley and Myron H. Kinsley, and was understood to have been first suggested by Mr. Noes.  It proposed to divide the Community into two classes--the class of pure Communists who should hold the property and manage the businesses and government of the Community, assuming all responsibility for payment of its debts and obligations and guaranteeing to both classes a permanent home and support; the second class to enjoy all the common benefits of the society equally with the first class, but to receive wages, and to have no vote in the management of affairs, except as the first class might appoint them to places of special responsibility and solicit an expression of their judgment and opinion.   It further proposed to pay all members who might choose to withdraw from the Community a liberal sum.

This plan was based upon the idea that it is essential to the peace and prosperity of the Community that it should be controlled by one party:  hence the division into two classes, which was not intended to be an invidious distinction, it being understood that it should be as honorable to belong to one class as to the other, that members of both classes would have the superintendence of leading businesses, and that members would be allowed to go from the first class to the second, or from the second to the first, at any time, it being understood, of course, that their general character should be acceptable to the class which they proposed to enter.

This plan was pronounced liberal, but met, nevertheless, with serious objections; the main objection being that it was feared, whatever the intention of its projectors might be, that the introduction of class distinctions among those who had previously lived on an equality would prove an unending cause of evil-speaking and contention.   Moreover the second class might feel that it was quite as capable of managing our businesses as the first class, and in that case it was hardly supposable that they would put the management wholly into the hands of the first class, and quietly accept their decision, what ever that might be, --especially as their own future, equally with that of the first class, might be dependent upon the best conduct of our affairs.

Mr. Burnham offered, not a "plan," as it was called, but rather a suggestion or hint of a way through which it would be possible--yes, possible--to reach a state of agreement among ourselves, and hence a plan of settlement might result which would be satisfactory all round.  The suggestion was this: Make use of any available measures for reviving Bible religion in the Community.  In his mind our lack in this regard is lamentable. Our hearts need to be broken down with repentance that we may come under the control of the Pentecostal Christ. This is all-important. To this end can we not, sooner or later, invite and make room for the service amongst us of some outside reputable Evangelist?  Great care should be exercised in the selection.  We do not want a canting sectarian, nor an inflated dogmatist, to talk to us, but someone who should turn our hearts to the spirit of the bible, its promises, its self-sacrifice--its faith, its love; and there leave us.

Those favoring joint-stockism were next invited to present their plan of adjustment; but as it was more fully considered in later sessions, and will be substantially presented further on in this report, a complete explanation of it is omitted here.

At the 7th session of the Commission it was voted to send M.H. Kinsley and F. Wayland-Smith  to Niagara Falls with instructions to lay before Mr. Noes briefly the different plans which had been considered, with the results of our discussion thus far, and to ask for a written statement of any plan or suggestions he might choose to offer.

August, 1880 ~ H.H.S.~

Sarah Johnson is Felix's mother.   I was going to ask Miss Waite to mother Theodore. S.K.D. thinks she is one of the best women we have for that office--she saved Clifton's life.


August 6, 1880 ~ Friday ~ COUNCIL

The questions was raised whether anything was said to Erastus VanVelzer on his leaving which amounted to a promise that he should be received again into the Community upon application.   This conclusion was that while persons may have expressed a desire for his return, no pledge was given to that effect, and certainly no one was authorized by the Council or Community to make any such pledge. E.H. Hamilton was instructed to write to Erastus, stating that the Council has resolved not to consider applications for admission till after Jan. 1st, 1881, lest he should incur unnecessary expense in coming here with the expectation of being received at once into the Community.

O.C. August 6, 1880 ~ G.W. REEVES to J.H. NOYES ~

Dear Father Noyes:  I was much interested in Mr. & Mrs. Clark's report of their visit with you, in our noon meeting.  That "Marriage and Shame" drove you from the Community is one of the truths that my heart recognizes, and one that I could see plenty of evidence of were I blind.  I've not been without my temptations in this marrying business, but the Lord had arranged my circumstances, so that my experience ends with the temptation, and I thank him in my heart for such an arrangement.  I have less demand for that one experience that marriage holds the key to than ever before. I find more real solid comfort in that love which is as pleased to hug a brother as a sister.   And I've never found a sweeter place than those heart meetings (noon meetings).  I was pleased that you said "shame" as well as "marriage." It occurred to me just how I felt when you wished the family to listen to the reading of Bocaccio. My heart recognized your motive at the time: and I was sorry that our folks could not stand it.  I've never cared anything for the book in itself considered, have hardly looked into it from that day to this' but there was something in your spirit about it that I did enjoy and appreciate.  I feel that your work in the Community has by no means been fruitless--for I've conversed with grown-up women--grown up in the Community, and those who have not been my especial friends in a sexual sense, and they have conversed upon sexual matters in a simple manner as they might have done upon any other subject--and I recognize something sweeter and purer than I've found in the world in general. And I come in contact with not a few whose lives have been Community lives and who as naturally look up to some better lead, and consult with their superiors, as they breathe. Who show in their every day lives that the Community which you established has power to change character and has its foundation in the living God.  It was cheering to hear Mr. Clark say with such earnestness, such assurance, and perhaps I might say vehemence, "that Mr. Noyes is the same to-day, yesterday, and forever."

God bless you.

Your affectionate son, G.W. Reeve.

August 9, 1880 ~ Monday ~ BUSINESS BOARD

In meeting of the Business Board yesterday J.S. Freeman reported the comparative sales of this year and last, as follows: From Jan.1st to Aug.1st, 1870, sales amounted to $195,355,30.  During the same time for 1880 the sales were $203,736.35--making a gain of this year over last of $8,381.05 for the first seven months. But the sales for the month of July 1879 were $26,600.48 while the sales for the same month this year were only $22,103.17--showing a decrease in July sales this year of $4,497.31.

The Finance Committee reported that it is necessary to further extend the limit of Bank loans, and recommended that the same be fixed at $60,000, which is an excess of $15,000 over the limit of Bank loans last year.  Some explanations were made by Dr. Noyes of the causes for the use of more money this year than last during the first six months of the year, among which were the increased amount of personal appropriations, and increased family expenses--say $9,000 more than last year.  But the principal cause was dull sales for the last month or two, which occasioned the piling up of material, manufactured and un-manufactured on our hands.  But it was thought that the general outlook for the sale of these piled-up goods was promising - The recommendation for $5,000 additional loan was adopted.

Nothing has yet been reported officially about the proceedings of the Commission.  One, and sometimes two sessions daily, of two hours each, thus far; and yesterday Myron and Frank Wayland-Smith were deputed by the Commission to go to Niagara this morning and consult Mr. Noyes.  The delegation left at 5 this morning, Jessie accompanying Myron. Mr. Bradley also left with the same Company on a peach buying tour.

A large Company gone from our family this morning to see the Circus and menagerie at Rome--the same show that some of the W.C. family visited at Meriden lately.  A good representation of children in the Company. ---Mrs. Dascomb's son William has been making a pleasant visit here for several days, and left this morning.

August 9, 1880 ~ Monday ~ COUNCIL

Permission granted to Mr. Towner's father, who is expected to arrive on Wednesday morning with Mrs. Reeve, to remain here a week if he chooses.  ---Permission given Mrs. Freeman to invite a lady friend to visit her and the Community--the visit was not to exceed a week.  ---In response to a communication from Ann Eliza VanVelzer, voted to invite her and Ruth to return, and to make their home at Joppa until it is decided whether Ruth has the whooping-coup--also to instruct John Freeman to send $5.00 of her personal appropriation.  If she incurs expenses properly chargeable to the Medical Account, relief may be granted after her return.

August, 1880 ~ Monday ~ H.H.S. to E.H. HAMILTON

Dear Mr. H.:  Mr. Noyes has not said anything about O.C. only once.   He said he presumed I had a higher sense of its importance than he had.  He was prepared to see it go to pieces financially and organically--and thought likely it would--but a good part of the old material would be absorbed into this new departure. His heart is all in this new departure. I told him all I wanted was to pay our debts and save the children in the wreck--he thought God would find ways to do that.  He is wonderfully loosened from Oneida.  I hope nobody thinks he misses the girls or any thing else there--though he will be faithful to all his responsibilities and friends.  He says this is the word in his heart, "Forgetting the things that are behind I press forward to the things that are before."

I have a sense of old-fogyism in my state which I hope to wear off by my visit.  I confess my union with him.  We got no letters to-day and have heard not a word from the Commission as yet. With love, H.H.S.

I have had flying temptations to general distrust--positivism, I suppose, but I have not entertained them.   I don't know but I let up on the positive state of resistance to unbelief I held at O.C. and let my feelings drift more here. I have felt a kind of impotence in prayer or any spiritual effort.  I have always prayed that I might be one that endured to the end--but I know it is the election of God--and I am not one to say.

August 11, 1880 ~ COMMISSION RECORD ~

At the 8th Session, August 11th, the following document which M.H.K. and F.W.-S., brought back from Mr. Noyes, was read:

August 10, 1990.--To the Family:--Your Commission, after some discussion of my opinions and plans among themselves, send to me for an expression of my views.  I respond briefly and frankly as follows:

My theory that Communism in order to be successful must have for its basis a sincere religious basis is well known to you all. The history of the Community to which I have given the labor of my life is an embodiment of that theory. The most important book that I have written presents that theory as the result to which the entire history of American Socialisms leads by inevitable induction.

The special form of religious faith which in my opinion has built up our Community is succinctly expressed in the last section of the "Bible Argument," which I wish you all to read in the place of any further exposition of my theory on the present occasion.

It is hardly necessary to say that I still believe in this theory and no other.  Of course my wish and hope is that the Community, after sufficient trial of abnormal experiments will return, like Dr. Tanner, to eating and drinking in the old way. And I have in mind as the lessons of late experience, several improvements of the old regime, which I flatter myself, might be elaborated into features of Communism which would be satisfactory even to the partizans of the Co-operation.  The apparent hopelessness of any general turning toward the old faith, at present, has prevented my attempting any such elaboration, and I will simply place on record here the statement that my plan, if I could have one, would be on the one hand to strengthen the spiritual government, which is, in other words, the paternal element in the Community family, and on the other to liberalize the terms of secession by giving persons, on peaceable withdrawal, say $500 instead of $100, and by paying them such wages as they have really earned in the service; so that any children of the Community who might choose the course of the Prodigal son, could go away with a portion which would place them above want and give them a fair start in the world.  It seems to me that liberality of this kind is the proper compensation for that element in our old family constitution which seems like despotism. There can be no real despotism in a school which requires nobody to come under its discipline and gives fair liberty to all to leave.  And it seems to me that as we grow rich we can well afford to make the terms of withdrawal more and more liberal.

Besides this general modification I have studied with some a success a scheme for continuing spiritual leadership without resorting to the election principle on the one hand or the hereditary principle on the other.  But it is probably useless to pursue this line of thought at present, I leave it with this hint.

After thus making my own record clear, without urging or expecting its acceptance, I now proceed to give my views of what seems to me the proper practical course for the Community to take in the present attempt to reach a harmonious settlement of our difficulties.   My scheme is one which Myron and Frank have received with approval and even enthusiasm, and this encourages me to present it to the Commission and the Community. 

I assume that we all earnestly wish to settle with each other peaceably--that we hate law-suits as we hate war--that we are ambitious to set an example which is perhaps almost unprecedented, viz., that of a Community breaking up without rapine or injustice or mutual abuse of any kind.

I think we can do this by simply putting our affairs into the hands of an outside arbitration.  Hitherto we have always found, when differences of opinion divided us into parties, as in the disputes about the location of the Mansion House, the change from the old Barn to the Arcade, &c., that after long debate the only way to come to any practical conclusion was to choose an arbiter, i.e., call in the one man power pro term., and this because it is comparatively easy to be unanimous in choosing an arbiter when it is utterly impossible to attain unanimity by jangling.  We are at this moment in one of those old divisions which we used to settle by arbitration; and the matter in dispute is greater, viz., as to the proper form of government and whether we shall break up, and if so, how we shall do it.  Have we not debated long enough to be certain that we cannot agree on any plan of settlement among ourselves, and that it is time to appeal to some disinterested person or persons to make a plan for us?

In disputes hitherto the Community has found arbiters within itself- generally it has left the decision to me; once it was left to Theodore.  In the present greater emergency all the possible arbiters within our own body belong to one another of the various parties in the conflict of opinion.   Hence the necessity now of seeking arbitration outside.

To come to the point, I propose that the present Commission, instead of wasting their time in discussing various plans of its own partizan members, should go into the world around us--our own County if you please--and find a man, or if it is preferred, three men, of probity and skill, to whom it can safely entrust the settlement of our affairs. I would have the business conducted as far as possible in a confidential manner, the Commission taking upon itself to present our situation to the arbiters as a part of the work now extended to it. I would have the arbiters well paid for their services and free to take any length of time that they find necessary.  Above all, I would have every member of the Community sign an agreement beforehand to abide by the decision of the arbiters without appeal.  This should be done the next thing after an agreement to adopt the plan of arbitration.

In order to make the settlement complete and final the subjects entrusted to the arbitration should be the question of the change of tenure, or of joint stock, of Communism, old and new, of wages and how to apportion them, of account keeping with individuals, and all the other financial questions about which we are now wrangling.   In a word I propose to let in upon our present business status the eye of an impartial outside tribunal, and I am ready to abide by its decision as to what we ought to do.

In the interest of peace and decency I think the matters presented to the arbiters should be strictly connected with our present business status and all going back to the social relations which have passed away should be avoided.

I wish this presentation of my scheme to be regarded as only an outline which I hope the Commission will be able to fill up without calling out much debate among themselves or in the Community.   One great blessing which I hope for in this disposal of the matter is a relief for myself and for the body of the Community, --yes, immediate relief from further doubt, anxiety and responsibility. It seems to me that a single vote now may end the trouble for all of us, at least till the decision is rendered and afterwards if we take the decision peaceably as coming from God.

I cannot close without a word on a matter that is in some sense personal.

When I hear from time to time of lawlessness and unlimited expense going on in the Community, and of tendencies among the business men to panic, lest our credit should give way and our affairs drift into bankruptcy, I cannot help reflecting that "The Four" are alone responsible for the debts.  In all the trouble that has been going about "the four" I have never heard anything of their danger--the danger to them, as well as the danger from them. But I, for one, feel this danger very sensibly and I avow that I would be very glad if I could get out of it by giving up the honor or emolument of being one of "the four." But as I understand the matter, there can be no giving up anyhow till all debts are paid, and as matters are drifting it sometimes seems as if not only a helpless band of invalids and children would come to want, but that huge debts might be left to pursue "the four" to their graves.  Will the Community take this into account and see what can be done to lighten our load? And will all parties allow me to say in good faith that in the interim from now till we get the hoped-for decision, there is and will be great need of some legal government in the Community to protect the property from lawlessness, and that I do not see where such government exists if not in "the four."  Does not equity as well as law make it the duty of the four to use whatever power they have to keep the property committed to them from rapine and waste until we get from the arbitration another sufficient legal basis?



Mr. Noyes' plan of arbitration was generally approved , and the Commission proceeded to consider what matters should be submitted to the arbiters--noting first:

That the Commission favor arbitration as suggested by Mr. Noyes, as a means of settling our difficulties."

Second, That the control of our business and internal affairs, during the time of arbitration be committed to the four and such persons as they may associate with them--(it being understood that said persons shall be satisfactory to the Commission); and that pending the result of the arbitration the said four and their associates shall have the supervision of all existing Committees and Boards, with power to revise or suspend any or all of them.

Third, That the following shall be the first question submitted to the arbiters:  Shall we continue to exists as a Community organization, in the present or some modified form, owning all our property in the common, or shall we re-organize as a Joint-Stock or Co-operative Company?

Fourth, "If it is decided that we shall continue our Communistic organization, then how shall the property be held by the Community, and what form of government shall we adopt for the management of our businesses and the orderly conduct of our internal affairs?   In leaving this point to arbiters it is understood that the government shall in any case be by a member or members of the Community, and that no outside authority shall be intruded upon us other than the general laws of this State. ."

These points were not carried by a unanimous vote--there being an evident reluctance on the part of some members to leaving it to outsiders to say what our future social condition shall be, and a desire on the part of nearly or quite all that some plan might yet be hit upon which would obviate at least the necessity of submitting such vital questions to arbitration.  When, therefore, at the eleventh session, one of the members asked permission to present a new plan,  permission was readily accorded.  The new plan was briefly this:  As the offer had been made by Mr. Noyes and his friends to deal liberally by all who might choose to leave the Community, in any case considerable number were willing to withdraw in a body, let them settle near us and take their proportionate share of the property and business of the Community.  If, for instance, a sufficient number were ready to go to entitle them to the Hardware business, let them have it and settle in Turkey Street, taking possession of our present dwellings there and building or purchasing such others as might be needed, --the matter of the apportionment of property to be left to disinterested persons.  This plan was at first very favorably received, and suggestions volunteered from both ides as to how the two societies could co-operate to mutual advantage. M.E.Kinseley and Wm.A.Hinds were authorized to ascertain how many were willing to take part in such a scheme with them, and report at the next session, to be held at the call of the chairman. But while those who more especially were regarded as the representatives of Communism spoke favorably of the plan, they stated emphatically that in order to be fully acceptable to them and their friends it must be able to take away such elements as they deemed specially discordant.

August 13, 1880 ~ Friday ~ JOURNAL

Mr. Thacker has nearly finished the blackberry harvest --amount about 1200 quarts. --- From a patch of black raspberries of less than one acre, Mr. Thayer harvested 3551 qts., worth at wholesale $319.00 or 9c a qt.  This is an extraordinary yield, as 2000 qts are considered a fair crop for an acre of raspberries- -for red raspberries at any rate. ---Between 60 and 70 bushels of huckleberries, at a cost of 6 to 8c a qt., have been put up by the fruit packers this season. ---A telegram from San Francisco yesterday for 6 #5 Bear Traps, and 3 #6 Traps. ---An Excursion party from Cicero expected to-day.   About 100 visitors yesterday. ---The delegation from the Commission to consult Mr. Noyes returned from Clifton Tuesday evening, and since then have continued to have daily long sessions, but up to the date of this writing no results from their discussions have been reported to the family.

O.C. August 14, 1880

The following names are those that would be willing (if no better way can be found to settle our present difficulties) to leave our home here and go to Niagara Falls or to some other place that Mr. Noyes and others might choose, provided, that they were at liberty to take the following businesses with them, (including the Wallingford property) Trap or Hardware- -Table Ware and the Chain Department, and their share of the real and personal property at O.C., after leaving the Silk, Fruit, Farm and Horticulture to those that prefer to go into Co-operation or some modified form of Communism here or where they may choose:


Otis Kellogg
Alfred Barron
Libbie H. Hamilton
Albert Kinsley
Beulah Barron
R.M. Bolles & Anna
Olive Kinsley
Mary Louise
T.E. Freeman
Jonathan Burt
M.A. Dunn
S.E. Johnson
George Campbell
Emma J. Freeman
Philena B. Hamilton
J.D. Conant
Mary P . Beach
J.C. Ackley
S.W. Nash
S.E. Dascomb
Wm. R. Inslee
Charles Olds
S.R. Leonard
Portia M. Allen
Emily E. Kelly
John F. Sears
Olive A. Kellogg
E.G. Hawley
A.L. Burt
E. Whitfield
S.K. Dunn
A.C. Sears
H.W. Thayer
J.L. Skinner
Helen M. Barron
L. VanVelzer
H.G. Allen
Clarence E. Bloom
G.E. Cragin
E.H. Hamilton
W.A. Story
Carrie B. Cragin
J.H. Barron
J.S. Freeman
C.M. Thayer
G.W. Reeve
H.A. Warne
E.B. Nash
Julie C. Ackley
H.T. Clark
M.H. Kinsley
H.J. Seymour
J.R. Lord
W.G. Kelly
S.L. Nunns
G.J. Lord Whitney
H.A. Hall
F. Sears
M.D. Pomeroy
F.M. Leonard
C.E. Baker
H.N. Olds
Lucy A. Thayer
H. Matthews
M.S. Reeve
Chloe S. Seymour
S.S. Higgins
C.E. Ellis
J.R. Thomas
L.F. Dunn
C.M. Leonard
A. DeWolfe
S.J. Clark
S.F. Dunn
Clara Waite
E. Higgins
D.L. Hale
M.E. Kellogg
V. Cragin
F.A. Burt
Alvah Barron
Betsey T. Thayer
J.H. Noyes
H.H. Skinner
J.B. Herrick
H.A. Noyes
J.A. Kinsley
T.C. Herrick
L.T. Waters
E.A. Miller
M.A. Aiken
E.E. Aiken
C. Cragin
J.C. Kinsley
W.H. Woolworth
T.L. Pitt
G.W. Hamilton
L.H. Bradley
D.M. Kelly
G.N. Miller
Annie Hatch
Mrs. Kelly
Annie Miller
Mrs. Baker
B. Bristol
H. Thacker
Mr. Abbott

August 15, 1880 ~ Sunday P.M. ~ COMMISSION RECORD

At the next session, Sunday P.M., Aug. 15th, the sub-Committee, Messrs. Hinds & Kinsley, reported that many of their friends, including some who had been regarded as discordant elements, were averse to leaving their present home for various reasons. Still, they felt safe in saying that one-fourth of the Community were ready to withdraw with them on the conditions stated at the previous session.  It was also mentioned that a paper had received the signatures of 112 persons who would be willing on certain specified conditions to leave Oneida and join Mr. Noyes in starting a new Community.

M.E. Kinsley and W.A. Hinds in making a report of the results of their investigations, referred to a plan which has been suggested by others, which would satisfy them and their friends, they thought, provided it could not be arranged so that they could leave with part of the common property and business as proposed.  An explanation of the plan was called for, and it was found to be substantially the Joint-Stock plan previously presented by Dr. Noyes and F. Wayland Smith, --that scheme not having been fully explained; and under the study of the Commission the plan was found to develop such possibilities in favor of those who might prefer to live in Communism, as for instance at Niagara, as well as of those who desire less close forms of associate life, that it met with general favor as the plan most likely to satisfy all parties, and it was voted at the next session, Sunday, P.M., that M.H. Kinsley should again go to Niagara Falls to lay it, together with other plans, before Mr. Noyes.

August 16, 1880 ~ Monday ~ COUNCIL

A communication from J.P. Hutchins asking the approval of the Council of his making a journey to Maine and being absent a month. Granted.

A communication from Abram Burt and Harriet Worden, asking that in case they do not succeed in finding a suitable place for Ormond to work for his board, as proposed a while ago, that he be kept at school this winter at an expense not to exceed $150.  It was suggested that, as the W.C. family is much reduced, and had no young men of his age, it might be well to have Abram take Ormond there for the winter. Mrs. Hamilton was invited to consult with Abram respecting this suggestion.

Some conversation about W.C. affairs, which resulted in instructing the Secretary to invite John Norton to return to O.C., it being understood that this invitation involves no censure of him nor expression of opinion about matters between him and others at W.C.


August, 1880 ~ M.H. KINSLEY to J.H.N. ~

Dear Mr. Noyes:  I come here not to press this new plan but to present it to you and return with your wishes to the Commission.  The Commission rejected your first plan 5 to 3; the second plan they have voted to present with their approval if you do not like this new plan better, which embodies a part of your last plan.  The reason that I liked it I saw a chance for you to get out of this Co. and withdraw with your friends to some other place if you chose. I have worked first for your first plan and then for your second plan and shall continue to work for you to the best of my ability. Truly, Myron.

August 17, 1880 ~ Tuesday ~ JOURNAL

The mercury 42" at breakfast time yesterday morning, and light frosts in various places in this vicinity the previous night. The Commission not yet ready to report. Myron was sent out again to consult with Mr. Noyes.  He left Sunday night, and has not yet returned. ---Elizabeth Kellogg and Charlotte Leonard arrived from Clifton Saturday afternoon, leaving Mrs. Skinner and George W. there. ---Marion Dunn leaves to-morrow or next day to visit her mother and friends in Vermont. ---Frank Tuttle, learning that Flora was not doing well at her father's, left yesterday for Patchogue, with the expectation of bringing her home. ---A new party gone to sojourn for a few weeks at Verona Springs. ---Mrs. Bolles and her daughter Carrie Cragin, Ellen Nash, Florence, and O.H. Miller. ---Excursionists from Norwich day after to-morrow. ---Mr. Whitney arrived a day or two ago, but without his wife.

August 18, 1880 ~ Wednesday Night ~ MYRON H. KINSLEY to MR. NOYES

T.R. Noyes, F. Wayland-Smith and C.S. Joslyn's plan of settling our difficulties, with the claim of M.H> Kinsley for the Niagara family, written out for Mr. Noyes by M.H. Kinsley as he understands them.

1st.  Divide all our property at O.C., W.C., Cozicot and Joppa, including in fact all property into shares of preferred stock, and leave it out to arbiters (if we cannot agree ourselves) how this property can or shall be divided.

2nd.  Shall it be divided equally among members?   Shall such persons as Homer Smith and Arthur Towner (who have been here but a short time) have as much as Otis Kellogg and G.D. Allen who have been here and worked all their lives for the Community and helped accumulate the property? and shall those who put their all in (perhaps thousands of dollars) leaving their homes of comfort and casting it all in for a Community home, and a Community religion as taught by Mr. Noyes, who still believe as they then did, and still wish to have it devoted to Communism, (which clearly no one in the Community helped to accumulate) is this to be taken out and devoted to other purposes against their wishes? or are they to have a chance to take it out and say how it shall be used, and then divide the remaining property?

All these questions the Commission thought would require arbitration according with your ideas to settle satisfactorily to all parties.

3. Not divide up our businesses to this and that party, but keep them together, make the most of them, move the W.C. property to Niagara, as fast as it can well be done.

Choose each (by a majority of votes of all the shareholders, each share having one vote) a President, vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, and from six to twelve Directors, (as is thought best) who shall carry on the businesses in the very best manner, other members of the family having no power to interfere with them during their term of office.   This would do away with the Business Board, Financial Committee, Council, and the Legal Committee.  The President and other officers having charge of all outgoes and incomes on the preferred stock and no other stock (except it is returned to the businesses of the co-operation Company.

At the end of each year the non-preferred stock or the profit of all the businesses (after paying the expenses of the businesses and seeing that the old and young are cared for) to be divided among the members according to the shares they hold.  Which money is a members, (be they he or she) to do with just as they please. They may give it to you if they choose to be used in publishing, starting a new Community, or put it into a business here, or any where on Community principles, and they may each year add their non-preferred stock or their share of the profits to a previous gift, if they so please, as well as their wages as they come from time to time to them, but each one has the right to put into the businesses each year all of his non-preferred stock, thereby increasing his shares and his votes, as each share constitutes one vote.  Should the arbiters decided that you could take out what you put in, say from $15,000 to $20,000, you would have three or four votes to use in choosing a President and other officers, and three or four times as much money coming to you as a man like E.D. Smith who put in no money, for instance, just so with others who put in their money.

All the debts of the Community (or the four holding the property) are to be assumed by the Co-operative Co., releasing the four now holding it of liabilities, and all the property of the Co-operative Co. will be holden for these debts.

All members to have a chance to work in the different departments and are to be paid for it, but they are to work where and at what price the President and officers may choose to agree upon. And their time is to be kept by persons appointed by the President and officers to take time for the Company. The wages are to be paid at such time as the President and Treasurer decide upon (after deducting cost and board and other expenses, which money can be used as the person receiving it may think best.  The money of minors is to be received and looked after by parents and guardians.

The family at Niagara to be arranged per T.R. Noyes' notes, brought by me.

The old who do not wish to work are to be cared for as per T.R.N's notes above referred to, also the children that are now in the Community.

No stock or shares to be sold to any one outside of the present Community until it has been offered in a public way, so that all now in the Community may know that it is for sale, at least six months and perhaps one year, and if they do not choose to take it at its value, it can then be sold outside.  This was put in, so that you or any others might withdraw your money, and put it into a Community, or use it for publishing, or any other purpose, in a word, compelling no one to live for any length of time in a co-operative Co. that does not choose to do so.

Respectfully submitted, M.H. Kinsley.

August 18, 1880 ~ TR. NOYES NOTES ~

Brought to Niagara by Myron._Aug. 18.--The following points as to the Status of the Niagara branch stand broadly in my mind thus;

1st. The family can consist of as many as the present family invite to join them from O.C. and W.C. and no other.

2nd.  The family to retain the right to choose its members; and to send those who become disagreeable to O.C.

3rd.  The family chooses its own mode of life as to Communism and administer its internal affairs.

4th.  The Company at O.C. to have no right of inspection except as to the manufacturing business and the safe maintenance of houses belonging to the Association.

5th.  The Association would agree to maintain business as fast as possible to give employment to all members who wish to make the Niagara branch their home for a year at a time and pay their wages in block to the Community family.

Here, the Association would guarantee maintenance without work to all persons over 6t0 or otherwise disabled, for life, with some stated sum per year for personal expenses and secure the payment by mortgage on all the real estate of the Association.  Some provision might also be included for the children now born in the Community.

Also the liberty would be given by all who wish, to associate themselves as a Community in some part of their home buildings.

August 19, 1880 ~ COMMISSION RECORD ~

Myron returned August 19th, bringing the following paper from Mr. Noyes:

J.H. NOYES to the COMMISSION and the COMMUNITY.--My reflections and, I trust my inspirations lead me to accept the plans which Myron has laid before me, as being the best that we can agree upon among ourselves, and probably better than any we could expect from an outside arbitration.  I proposed arbitration only because agreement among ourselves seemed impossible. But if the liberal and fair spirit which seems to pervade the new plan can preside over the carrying it out in-all its details, we shall achieve a victory more splendid than any that I dared hope for.  Of course the recommendation of the Commission must be followed by free thought and discussion on the part of the whole Community and the proposed change ought not to e pushed through against the wishes of a considerable minority; but I hope for a breeze of unanimity in favor of this financial revolution like that which carried us through the great social revolution a year ago.

J.H. Noyes.

August 19, 1880 ~ P.M. ~ COMMISSION

This paper was read in the Commission Aug.19th, P.M., when it was resolved to make a report to the Community Aug.20th, with the following recommendations:

That the general plan which has been outlined and will follow these recommendations, be adopted, the details to be subject to such modifications as may hereafter be determined upon."

That the question of the division of the common property and determining what each one's share shall be, if it cannot be settled by discussion among ourselves, be left for three intelligent, fair minded and disinterested arbiters, to be selected by a Commission authorized by the Community.

That as preliminary to all settlement, every member of the Community, as Mr. Noyes suggests, sign an agreement beforehand to abide by the decision of the arbiters, or such decision as may be reached among ourselves without appeal.

That until the first of January next, if the settlement be not sooner effected, the control of our business and internal affairs, be committed to "the four" and such persons as they may associate with them--said persons to be acceptable to the Commission--and the four and their associates to have supervision of all existing boards and Committees, with power to suspend any or all of them.  If the settlement should not be fully effected by the first of January, the power of the four and their associates could be prolonged by a vote of the Community.

Outline of the Joint-Stock Plan of Settlement

(August 20, 1880.)

A Joint-Stock or Co-operative Company to be formed under the laws of the State of New York, to include every adult person now a member of the O.C. or either of its branches.

All the property of the Community, real and personal, including that at O.C., W.C., Niagara, Cozicot, Joppa, and elsewhere, to be transferred to this Joint Stock Company by the four who now hold it. All the details, obligations and liabilities to be transferred so as to free the four from any greater liability for them than belongs to their share of the stock.

The ownership of all the property to be divided amongst all the members of the Joint Stock Company according to some plan of division to be agreed upon, each member holding and owning one or more shares' but the property itself to remain undivided, at least for a term of years, and be conducted vigorously for money-making.  This is because the property will earn more in its present shape than if one business were to be set off to one party and another to another party, until it was all divided up.

At the end of each year the profits of all the businesses to be divided up among the members as dividends, according to the amount of stock they own; the dividends to be their own property.

Each member shall receive wages for labor performed for the Company, at a rate to be agreed upon.  Steady employment shall be furnished by the Company to the extent of its ability, to all who are now members, including children now born, and who desire it, and each shall pay his or her expenses.   This will stimulate to industry and enterprise on the one hand, and give every one the benefit of his economy on the other.

The officers of the Joint-Stock Company will be a President, Secretary and Treasurer, who will be members of the Board of Directors, to be elected by a majority vote.  The Board of Directors and the Officers will have charge of all the business affairs and property of the Company, and will hold office for one year, probably, or longer, if re-elected on account of the general satisfaction they have given.  These officers and directors will supersede the present Business Board, Finance Committee, etc., as governing bodies.

Some plan for making a fair division of the ownership of the present property among the members determining what each one's share shall be, must be devised.  If, after careful study, we are not able to agree on this among ourselves, the question to be left to the decision of outside arbitration, their award to be final and without appeal.

This plan contemplated making a liberal provision for all the children now in the Community, to be applied to their support and education.  It would also allow elderly persons and invalids, who are no longer able to earn wages, to receive a legal guarantee, based on all our land, of support for life, with a certain annual sum for clothing and incidentals, if they preferred such a guarantee to regular shares of stock.

It must be clearly borne in mind that this plan is proposed as a fair and peaceable means of settlement among ourselves, and not as compelling any one thereafter to live in Joint-Stock or Co-operation, except as they may prefer it.  Those who prefer to live in Communism under Mr. Noyes, or any other leader, may do so by combining their share and forming a Community free from discordant elements.

No share in the Joint-Stock Company shall be offered for sale, or devised or otherwise conveyed so as to be offered for sale, to any outsider, until three full years after the first issue of the stock; nor to any outsider until the members of the Company, shall have had one year's notice that the stock is for sale.  If at the expiration of that time the members have not bought it, it may be sold to any one.

It is a provision of this plan that the W.C. property may be removed from Wallingford to Niagara Falls, as soon as is practicable after the terms of settlement are agreed on so as to be binding, and that Mr. Noyes and his friends who choose to live there may do so, their family being entirely exempt from intrusion, interference, or inspection, except in such matters as affect the dividends of those who do not live there and then only by recognized officers of the Company.

August 20, 1880 ~ Clifton ~ H.A. NOYES to T.L. PITT

Dear Mr. Pitt:  Have received two letters from you since I wrote to you.   I have been waiting a week to get a copy of what Mr. Noyes sent to the Commission by Myron and Frank--have not yet received it, so will try to give you some idea of it, in short.

After giving his ideas of Communism, which he said were well known in the Community, and which might be found in the last proposition of the Bible Argument, and that he still held that theory as firm as ever he said he had hoped after a sufficient trial of abnormal experiments they would return like Dr. Tanner to eating and drinking again in the old way. And if so, he had several new features that might be introduced, that he thought would be satisfactory even to the partizans of co-operation.  One of these was to liberalize the terms of secession, and as we grew rich to give persons who went out, say $500 instead of $100, so if our children in the Community chose to go out they would have a portion that would place them above want.  Also he had a scheme for continuing spiritual leadership without the elective principle. But it was probably useless to say anything of this kind at present, so he would proceed to say what seemed to him the only way to reconcile parties.  We had in the past solved all difficulties where we could not agree by leaving the question to an arbiter--he had himself acted in that position.   Now there was no one among us who did not belong to one party or the other, so we should be obliged to go outside for an arbiter and he recommended to find one or three men in whom all had confidence and submit our property status to them--not go into social matters--have it strictly confidential--have them well paid and take as long a time to give their judgment as they wished and all should promise to abide by their decision as coming from God.

He added as a personal matter he wished to say something of the liabilities of the four--he had felt anxious sometimes lest by the extravagance of the Community "the four" who alone are responsible for the debts of the Community should be called upon.   He should like to have the danger to the four considered as well as the danger from them (of which he had heard much said). And he would like to inquire if until our affairs were settled it was not the duty of the four to use what power they had to keep our property from rapine and waste.

It was almost a week before we heard anything from the Commission; but Monday noon, Aug.16th, Myron appeared. He said for some days the Commission did not agree.  They did not want to go outside for settlement--they were agreed on that--thought it would injure our credit.  (This was what Mr. Noyes expected.)  Mr. Towner having business outside, the atmosphere cleared and they came to some agreement--proposed to have Myron come and see Mr. Noyes. He got Theodore to write out some of the points on which they had agreed.

After Myron had been here two days and Mr. Noyes had no light on the subject Myron wrote him what I inclose--and Mr. Noyes virtually gave in to it.  Myron returned Thursday morning.  We hear that Friday they had a very large pic-nic from Norwich, and probably the Commission did not meet. I tried to take a copy in the book, but made such a poor job of it that I concluded to send you my first copy, and wish you to preserve it to return or bring with you.

Mr. Noyes feels in very good spirits, said he felt an influx of life from the time he consented to Theodore's plan, and thinks it will lead to a gathering in Canada, and he will have more freedom for missionary purposes than he has had for some years past.

Manly, Eliza and Eugene are here now. Elizabeth and Charlotte returned last Saturday.

Myron brought a list of 110 adults who would be willing should no better way be found) to leave O.C. and go somewhere with the businesses of the Trap, Harware, Tableware and Chain, including the Wallingford property and their share of the real and personal property, leaving the Silk, Fruit, Farm and Horticulture to those that prefer going into co-operation or some modified form of Communism at O.C. or where they may choose.

W.A. Hinds got the names of 60 including children who would form a family at Willow Place or the Villa.

Saturday Morning.--I kept my letter to tell you of a call we had from Mr. And Mrs. Saxton of Strathroy.  There was an excursion from there to Clifton, and they said they came to see the Bretts more than to see the Falls.  Willie did not come with them so Carrie was disappointed. T hey only staid from half-past two till 9 P.M.  They were all among the Company with whom the Bretts were acquainted.

Hoping this will reach Denver before you leave, Yours, H.A.N.

We are all well.

August 20, 1880 ~ Friday ~ JOURNAL

No meeting of Council.

In the evening meeting the report of the Commission was submitted for the family consideration, the said report recommending as the unanimous mind of the Commission that the ownership of the Community property be divided into individual shares, and the shares used in conducting the businesses under some form of joint-stock co-operation hereafter to be elaborated. The Secretary of the Commission read at some length from the Minutes of its various long sessions, to show the successive steps by which the conclusions of the Commission were reached; and this reading took up all the time of the first meeting for the consideration of the report.

During the excitement attending the big excursion from Norwich (20 coaches strong) Myron arrived from Clifton and a meeting of the Commission followed in the afternoon.

August, 1880 ~ COMMISSION ~

This completed the preliminary report of the Commission and the points contained in it were immediately taken up and discussed by the Community in a series of evening meetings.


August 20, 1880 ~ Friday evening ~ JOURNAL

Report of the Commission read and laid on the table.

Saturday, Aug.21.--The whole hour of the evening meetings was taken up by F. Wayland-Smith in reading and explaining the statutes of the State of New York relating to Joint-Stock organizations.


The first recommendation considered, viz.:

"That the general plan of Joint-Stockism outlined in this report should be adopted--the details to be subject to such modifications as may hereafter be determined upon."

The following substitute offered by Dr. Noyes was adopted by an informal vote:

"Moved, that the Community adopt as the first step towards the settlement of existing difficulties a re-organization in such form that the property of the Community shall be held in shares of stock."

The rest of the session was occupied in reading and explaining some of the plans considered by the Commission and rejected by them as not likely to command the general approval of the Community.

(Adjourned till 7--30 P.M. Monday Eve.

August 22, 1880 ~ Sunday ~ JOURNAL

Only a ten minutes session of Business Board. Evening. ----In the meeting a desire was expressed by some, before proceeding to vote for the outlines of Joint-Stockism that had been presented, to hear read and explained the various plans for settlement that had been presented, discussed and rejected in the sessions of the Commission.   Accordingly, the reading of these plans, interspersed with general conversation, occupied the hour, and all the plans not being touched upon the same subject to be continued tomorrow evening.

August 23, 1880 ~ Monday ~ COUNCIL

E.H. Hamilton reported that A.L. Burt was averse to living at W.C., but if Ormond could remain where he is till October 1st he would get a place for him, or bring him here and look after him. This plan sympathized with, and the Finance Committee recommended to make the necessary appropriation--it being less than $50.

Leave of absence granted A.L. Burt for three or four weeks. ---Leave of absence granted Edward Loveland for four weeks. ---Leave of absence granted D. Edson Smith for two weeks.--all the applicants to defray their own expenses during absence.

August 23, 1880 ~ Monday ~ JOURNAL

Before the reading referred to last evening commenced, for the sake of getting the general sense of the meeting an informal vote was taken on a motion presented by Dr. Noyes to effect that "as a first step toward an adjustment the Community adopt a plan of re-organization by which the property of the Community shall be held in shares by the members." The unanimous voice was in favor of the Doctor's motion.

It is expected that the first half hour of this evening's meeting will suffice to enlighted all on the previous plans that have been discussed, and that the last part of the meeting will be devoted to the consideration and voting for or against the final plan in outline for a re-organization on a Joint-Stock basis.  This plan I understand has already been forwarded to W.C.; and all other papers of the Commission which have been read in our meetings our subject to the order of W.C., whenever desired.

E.S. Burnham, Annie Miller and Mary Baker arrived from W.C. Tuesday last, and E.S.B. leaves for W.C. again to-day via. New York. Mrs. Flora W. Tuttle is also home again, her health improving, but not very good. ---H.M. Worden goes around with two frightful black eyes, occasioned by an unlucky fall down stairs. But it is mail time and I must stop short.

August 23, 1880 ~ Monday evening ~ COMMISSION RECORD

The time until 8--15 occupied in explanation of other plans rejected by the Commission.  Then the consideration of the Recommendation adopted last evening by an informal vote was taken up, but attention was diverted to the question what salaries and wages shall obtain in the new Joint-Stock organization? The discussion of this question was prolonged and animated, and terminated with the almost unanimous acceptance of the following motion by Wm. A. Hinds:

Moved, that in adopting a new plan of organization involving wages and dividends, it shall be with the understanding that the wages of all officials, superintendents, managers, salesmen, $c., shall be moderate."

Two or three only voted in the negative, and they not because they favored high wages but uniformity of wages.

It was suggested by M.H. Kinsley, and generally approved without any vote being taken, that outside employees shall not be paid higher wages than Community members, when the latter are willing to take their places and the directors are satisfied that the general interests of the Company will not suffer by the change.

August 24, 1880 ~ Tuesday evening ~ JOURNAL

The second Recommendation of the commission was approved by an informal vote in the following slightly modified form:

"2. --That the question of the division of the Community property, and determining what each one's share shall be, if it cannot be settled by discussion among ourselves, be left to three intelligent disinterested and fair-minded arbiters to be selected by a Commission authorized by the Community."

Mr. Randolph here took occasion to state that in coming to the Community he had solemnly dedicated his property to Bible Communism, and he should withdraw it if the Community became a Joint-Stock institution.

The third recommendation of the Commission was then taken up; but as W.A. Hinds expressed for himself and others an unwillingness to vote to vote for it unless it was understood that some provision should be secured by which it was impossible for a mere majority of stockholders or directors to decide questions involving large amounts of capital, like starting a new business, building a house, or factory, &c., the following resolution, after considerable discussion, was passed, some not voting on either side.:

"Resolved, that it is our wish, if it can be done legally, to have a provision requiring a three-fourths vote of the stockholders to decide questions of great importance."  The third Recommendation was then passed, informally, without any negatives votes.  It reads as follows:

"That as preliminary to all settlement, every member of the Community, as Mr. Noyes suggests, sign an agreement beforehand to abide by the decision of the arbiters or such decisions as may be reached among ourselves, without appeal." (Adjourned to 7--30 Wednesday evening.

Wednesday August 25. --Manly, Eliza, Eugene and George W. arrived from Clifton.


It being understood by Parliamentary rule the Commission became defunct on making its report, the motion was made to revive and continue it as a standing body until finally discharged. This motion being passed it was further moved and carried that the Commission be empowered to nominate persons to act as substitutes for absentees, and additional members if they deemed additions to their number desirable--their nominations to be approved or rejected by the family without debate.

The final Recommendation of the Committee was then taken up.  A substitute was offered by Mr. Hinds, but afterwards withdrawn, which provided for an "Executive Committee" instead of "the four," but including two of the four to have control of the Community affairs pending the settlement. But Recommendation #4, as originally offered, was passed informally, without amendment.   It reads as follows:

#4.  That until the 1st of January next, if the settlement is not sooner effected, the control of our business and internal affairs be committed to the four, and such persons as they may associate with them--said persons to be acceptable to the Commission, and the four and their associates to have supervision of all existing committees and boards, with power to suspend any or all of them. If the settlement should not be fully effected by the 1st of January, the power of the four and their associates can be prolonged by a vote of the Community."

Voted, that the Commission be instructed to prepare such a paper as is contemplated in the third Recommendation.

A communication was read from Mr. E.L. Hatch saying he could not "conscientiously vote for any proposition that changes my relation from Communism to Joint-Stockism," and asking the Community "to consider such persons as himself, and that a proportion of the property and business be given to set apart to them, and that they be allowed to worship God as they please."

August 25, 1880 ~ COMMISSION RECORD ~

The motion having been made that the Commission should be revived and continued as a standing body until formally discharged, Mr. Campbell moved to amend by adding Henry G. Allen and Homer Barron to the Commission.  This amendment gave rise to a prolonged discussion which resulted finally in the withdrawal of the amendment.  The original motion was then passed.

It was further moved that the Commission be empowered to nominate persons as substitutes for absentees, and additional members, if they deemed additions to their number desirable--their nomination to be approved or rejected by the family without debate.

The final Recommendation of the Commission was then taken up.  A substitute offered was withdrawn and the Recommendation passed without amendment.   It is as follows:

"That until the 1st of January, if the settlement is not sooner effected, the control of our business and internal affairs be committed to "the four" and such persons as they may associate with them--said persons to be acceptable to the Commission--and "the four" and their associates to have supervision of all existing Committees and boards, with power to suspend any or all of them. If the settlement should not be fully effected by the 1st of January, the power of the four and their associates can be prolonged by a vote of the Community."

A communication was read from Mr. Hatch saying he could not "conscientiously vote for any proposition that changes my relations from Communism to Joint-Stockism," and asking the Community "to consider such persons as himself and that a portion of the property and business be given or set apart to them, and that they may be allowed to worship God as they please."

Voted, that the Commission be instructed to prepare such a paper as is contemplated in the third Recommendation. (Adjourned)

Thursday evening, Aug.26. --The time principally occupied in explanation of the practical workings of the new plan; in securing economy and industry; in considering how and what co-operative features might be adopted, and in reading by Mr. Campbell, of an analysis of New York laws on joint-stock and co-operation.

By general consent it was understood that a decisive vote should be taken to-morrow on the first Recommendation already adopted by an informal vote.

August 27, 1880 ~ Friday ~ JOURNAL

The excursionists from Syracuse yesterday filled 10 coaches, had a fine day for their excursion and departed at 5--15, well pleased with the hospitality of the community.  But the interest of our evening meetings lately is in discussing the proposed new plan of the family resolving itself into some sort of Joint-Stock corporation, so that incidents about excursions and visitors have not had their usual share of attention.  Your journalist will likewise omit any further notice of the Excursion party, and proceed to give a synopsis of the different family meetings, thus far, for the consideration of the commission's "Recommendations for the Settling of Existing Differences."


The attempt to take a final vote on the four "Recommendations" from the Commission that had previously been informally voted in family meeting, did not prove a success. Proceedings were blocked in trying to vote for the first Recommendation without first settling upon the form of re-organization that was to be entered into. Particulars of the warm discussion that followed need not be recorded here further than to mention that the Joint-Stock and the Co-operative form each had its advocates and its opposers, and the conflicting opinions of our home lawyers on the disputed points did not tend to unite on a vote for either plan.  The mooted points were referred back to the Commission for adjustment.

August 28, 1880 ~ Saturday ~ Journal

After three sessions the Commission reported in favor of organizing under both the Joint-Stock and the Co-operative statutes. This compromise received only a few votes--the matter being again re-committed to the Commission.

Thursday evening, August 26. - - The time principally occupied in explanation of the practical workings of the new plan; in securing economy and industry; in considering how and what co-operative features might be adopted, and in reading, by Mr. Campbell, of an analysis of New York laws on joint-stock and co-operation.

By general consent it was understood that a decisive vote should be taken to-morrow evening on the first recommendation already adopted by an informal vote.


(F. Wayland-Smith, Secretary, vice (Wm. A. Hinds, resigned)

The members of the Commission met at 10 A.M., August 27th, in the usual place, M.H. Kinsley being absent.  The discussion was aimed at determining what features where necessary in the paper which it is proposed to submit to the family for their signatures. There was quite a wide division of views, and no decision was reached.

At 3 P.M. another session was had.   By permission Mr. Burnham invited in J.W. Towner to give his opinion to the Commission on certain points of law involved in our proposed action. At this meeting the skeleton of the required document began to exhibit form in the hands of Dr. Noyes:

We, the undersigned, agree upon the following measures for the settlement of existing difficulties, and we pledge ourselves hereby to adopt them and carry them out having primarily in view the welfare of every individual in the community.

1st.  A re-organization such that the property of the Community real and personal shall be held by all the members in shares of stock.

2nd.  A division of the present property in shares of stock among the members, to be effected among ourselves, if possible, but if we cannot agree, then, to be referred to arbiters chosen outside of the Community, by the Commission, and we hereby authorize the Commission to act as our attorneys in the trial before the arbiters.

3rd.  (The power of the four ad interim.)

4th.  (Expression of our opinion about high wages.)

5th.  (The securing co-operative features to the present members of the Community.)

6th.   The Niagara scheme.

7th.  The guaranty to those who choose.

An intermission was decide upon at 4 P.M., to allow time for filling up the outlines of this production.

At 6 P.M. the members again assembled, the new paper was read, corrected, and with some verbal trimming by the lawyers afterwards, was reduced to the following form and signed by the majority of the family on the evening of September 1st, other signatures being added as rapidly as possible.

August 28, 1880 ~ Colorado Springs, Colo. ~ T.L. PITT to J.H. NOYES.

Dear Bro. Noyes:  Last Sunday I stopped over at Lawrence, Kansas, with Amos Worrill and his family.  They are old subscribers, and readers of your writings.  They are Indiana people originally, and Mrs. Worrill is Mrs. Yoder's sister. They are good folks--neophytes I think--full of heart religion and working for Communism.  I know of no other Western believers who impress me more favorably.

They are not disturbed in their faith in you and the true O.C. by the change of platform nor by the troubles the Community is going through.

They live plainly but are quite well to-do. Have some $4,000 worth of property, and when her father's estate is settled she is likely to have $2,000 more.

They have four children, two of each sex--the oldest about 12 or 13, quite promising, docile children--the youngest--a babe--a very fine boy.

I was particularly impressed with Mr. & Mrs. Worrill's loyalty and soft-heated, discerning spirit.  I judge they would be ready to come to Niagara, put in all, and help us build up a true Community in Canada.  He seems to have had good luck in making money--just the reverse of Mr. Yoder.

They would be equally ready in case you wished a secluded home in Kansas sometime to have you come and stay with them as long as you would like.  Their house is not large, but comfortable, and they are clearly western folks.   They live in North Lawrence.

By the way, I met Mr. Yoder there.   I judge that Mr. Eldridge's account of him is on the whole correct.  There may have been faults on both sides and probably were--but Yoder is, according to Worrill's, liable to be arbitrary, domineering, self-willed and self-conceited. He is considerable of a character intellectually--but is heady, and his head has never been made subordinate to his heart..  He has come up through the Phrenological, Water Cure and Hygienic Schools, and hence is more of a legalist then a spiritualist.  There is something about him that reminds me of C.J. Guiteau, though in many respects a much abler man, and probably better man.  There is lying back in him something of the same kind of self-conceit. If he could become thoroughly subordinate in head and heart to some one else he would be a very useful member of society.  But in his present state I judge him to be incapable of managing himself or others wisely.

Monday, --I reached Colorado via. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, on Wednesday last, landing at Pueblo. This place, Colorado Springs, is about 6,000 feet above the Sea and in full view of Pike's Peak, 17 miles distant. On Thursday for a few hours the top of the Peak, 14,336 ft. high, was covered with snow.  The scenery here is very grand, and the air, as one gets used to it quite delightful.  I enjoy it after the terrible prostrating heat I was for 10 days in before coming here. From Chicago to Topeka every day the mercury was from 90 to 100 degrees.

This is a great country for the consumption of Canned Goods, and ours have got a fair foothold here, and I hope the market will grow. I leave here to-day for Denver, where I shall probably stay two days--then back to Omaha--stopping at Neligh.

At Topeka I met Mr. Underwood's sister Helen and her husband--Mr. Brown.  They are nice folks, and have both I think become genuine Communists; and at heart are hoping in the days to come to find a Community home.  They seem like earnest, good-hearted folks, who would never make trouble in a Community, but would quietly do their part.   They seemed to hope that the change in platform would not result in rooting out devotion to the principle of complex marriage in the Community.  They have two very bright and beautiful children, about 8 and 11 years old.   Mr. Brown is a fine genial hearted man--a mechanic--reminding me somewhat of Homer Barron  He said they had never felt themselves good enough to ask for a place in the O.C., and on the other hand had been afraid of all the other attempts at Communism that had been started.  There was a very quiet humble-hearted spirit in them which I liked very much; and the children seemed very gentle, obedient and refined.  They are all too good material to be wasted in the rough pioneering of frontier life, and I hope better things are in store for them.   They have thus far I judge been able to pay their way and are a little fore-handed.  They have been farming for several years, near Salina, Kansas, but have retired from that and are settled in  Topeka, the capital of the State, where Mr. B. has found employment in the RR. Works of the A.T. & S.F.RR.

With a heart full of love,

Yours in Secret Service, T.L. Pitt.

August, 1880 ~ COMMISSION ~

It should have been mentioned that on Sunday, August 29, two meetings of the Commission were held at which points in the proposed plan of division and re-organization were laid before Lawyer Chapman, of Oneida, for his opinion.

August 30, 1880 ~ H.H. SKINNER to E.H. HAMILTON ~

Dear Mr. H.:  John talked wonderfully last night.  His voice was very strong and his heart seemed to give force to every word.  He came down from his room and seated himself on the sofa and began to talk at once almost--we were all together for the evening.  He said his mind was on the New Jerusalem a great deal and he got a new idea about it that afternoon.  Swedenborg pretends to have had visions of the New Jerusalem and to describe what he saw there. His followers are called the church of the New Jerusalem, &c., and at the same time Swedenborg was a bitter enemy of Paul--excludes Paul's writings from the New Testament and reports seeing Paul in hell.  John's new idea was that Paul originated the idea of the New Jerusalem in the Testament--that he was caught up there and talked about what he saw there "among those that were perfect" long before the Apocalypse was written.   He did not leave it (his visions) in writing--they were not to be generally known--but there was more or less knowledge of his visions and the existence of the New Jerusalem and the order of things there in the church.  That Paradise where Paul went is the New Jerusalem is certain because it is said "the tree of life is in the midst of the paradise of God," and also that it is in the midst of the street of the New Jerusalem.  He was thinking of what he saw there when he said, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."  He didn't know whether he was in the body or out of the body when he was caught up.  John made a great deal of that fact that Paul actually visited the New Jerusalem. He thinks he was the first man after Christ that made that ascent--and that he had been door-keeper since, and if we find out what the state of things is there it will be through Paul. The very reverse of Swedenborg's doctrine is true.  Paul was caught up into Paradise fourteen years before he wrote to the Corinthians, so that it was in the early part of his ministry, and all his writings are permeated with the knowledge he had of things in the New Jerusalem though he is reticent of details. He speaks of the abundance of revelations he had, referring evidently to what he heard in Paradise. I cannot report so clearly as I would like to what John said about Paul' having the apocalypse in his heart, and being the first to talk about the New Jerusalem--and circulate ideas about the state of things there among those which were perfect.   It was a very important discovery to him, and he said he thought he should get up into that cupola the sooner for knowing it. "I am going up," he says. He said considerable about the New Jerusalem beginning to come out of heaven in the days of the Primitive Church   See Rev. 3rd, 12. It is very plain to me from what he said, that it has come down, and is not a future thing. He drew a comparison from the Suspension Bridge--he thought Paul got the ropes hung, and now the road-path was being made.

To close he said that he had not been a successful man, and he was glad of it--God had been successful--he had succeeded in winning his heart forever--and God's success was better than any he could have had. God had succeeded in winning his heart by giving him trouble and misfortune in one sense.

August 31, 1880 ~ Community ~ J.S. FREEMAN to G. CRAGIN.

Dear Mr. Cragin:  I enclose the usual check of $150.

Our commissioners have consulted with lawyer Chapman and other eminent legal authorities and find that we can re-organize under the Joint-Stock laws of this State and yet have control of the matter of admitting buyers of the stock to our home domain, so there is now a general preference for that system.  No formal vote has yet been taken but the probabilities are that it will be accepted together with the prompt removal of W.C. business to N.  There are evident providences attending us, and as Mr. N. observed some time ago we are finding the lawyers our friends.

Yours, J.S.F.

August 31, 1880 ~ Clifton ~ TELEGRAM from E.H. HAMILTON to J.H. NOYES, c/o T.L. PITT.

By telegram from Oneida N.Y.   To J.H. Noyes, c/o T.L. Pitt.

Are you satisfied with Frank Wayland, Martin and Home as assistants to the four during interim.  If not suggest reply.

E.P. Hamilton

O.C., August, 31 1880 ~ E.H. Hamilton to J.H. NOYES ~

Dear Mr. Noyes:  I have just telegraphed you, naming three persons to help "the four" take charge charge of the Community property.  Myron thought you would understand.  It had been agreed that these persons should be selected by the four, and approved by the Commission.  Mr. Kinsley thinks that matters will go right along now and that the four should be ready to act.  The Commission have recommended that all absent members be at liberty to appoint some one here to represent the vote for them.  Will you call the attention of the Niagara family to this matter and have it attended to at once?  Would it not be well for be well for both you and Mr. Woolworth to give power-of-attorney to some one here to act for you?  Sign any necessary papers, &c.?  You could empower Otis and me to do this.  The party I wrote about (see letter to H.H.S.) went to Oneida yesterday, saw lawyer Chapman, telegraphed to Attorney-General, but he was not at home, Finally Chapman recommended Kernan of Utica.  He is one of the best lawyers in the State--the peer of Roscoe Conklin, and has been U.S. Senator, is now I think.  He is very friendly to the Community, and a friend of Chapman.   He took right hold of the matter, and said we could organize under the Joint-Stock Act, as we wished.  On one point there had been doubt.  Towner had said that it could not be done under Joint-Stock, which plan we much preferred.  When out three, Frank, Myron, and Wm. Hinds, with Chapman, were about taking the cars for Utica, Mr. Towner came in from Syracuse on the train they took. He went to William and told him he had confirmed his opinion that it could not be done.   At Utica, our folks were satisfied--Wm. Hinds with the rest--that it could be done, and no difficulty about it.  After this Towner's legal opinion in the Community will not be worth much.  Observe the parallel with the Mills war.  Mills went to Syracuse, we to Utica where we found the Lord had a man prepared to help us. So in this case.   Myron and Frank were very much pleased with Kernan--thought he was just the man for us, as Hunt was before.  He at once offered to assist Chapman in making out papers--look them over and see that they were right.  I must close for the mail.

Yours truly, E.H. Hamilton.

I enclose copy of first section of papers to be signed which we hope to pass to-night.

O.C., August 31, 1880 ~ JOHN LEONARD to WILLIAM A. HINDS ~

"Fools may ask questions that wise men cannot answer."  The Communities weights and measures (in the past) have professedly been not of this world;--what difference now does that make?

They who have slipped off with the Community's social treasures in the way of wives, &c., (in an unselfish, Christian way had they not ought to divide?)

Those that have had extra education at the Community's expense, what difference does that make?

Those who have long ceased from labors to pray and enter into rest, how does that stand on our accounts? And so on!

Well our appointments and callings have not been altogether of ourselves, and may require none of our regrets on repentance! And all things are settleable in a right spirit!

How is that Newark property of S.R.L.'s and myself to be considered? As it fell into our hands the depression of real estate set in.  It was cheap property obtained by my brother for purposes of speculation, out of repair, taxed, and somewhat mortgaged, rents low, and has not returned anything above costs of its care,--I esteem it therefore of that kind the more one has the worse he is off!  Therefore do not consider it as a portion of my dividends, I suppose S.R.L. and myself hold the legal claim on it independent of the  Community.

I have never seen it nor realized that I had it. Some day I may want to look at it and see if I can get any money out of it.  How is that for hi?

After our folks have had their chance to mention what they wish to to the Commission I guess I shall be ready to accept their appointments without appeal.

I begin to feel that I am living under God's government of Uncle Samuel, (and that seems to be the government of my choice)--God's government allows of wheels within wheels.  I hereby concede to Mr. Noyes his style.   It is not necessary that every body should live under the same government, but under such as their preparation and civilization may require;; I am waiting on Providence to arrange my circumstances.

William, I thought it well to mention anything to you, so it may make it unnecessary to further bore the Commission with my communications.

Yours truly, John Leonard.

August 31, 1880 ~ Tuesday ~ JOURNAL

On Sunday last the Commission invited the assistance of lawyer Chapman, who attended their two sessions on that day and materially helped toward the solution of the problem before them.---Yesterday, Monday, three of the Commission--Myron, W.A. Hinds and F. Wayland-Smith, in company with lawyer Chapman, called on lawyer and Senator Francis Kernan of Utica, who succeeded in satisfying each member of the delegation that the Joint-Stock Act was the proper one to organize under, and that all the desirable features of the co-operative law, could easily be secured under that Act, etc., etc. The delegation returned from Utica this morning--three working session of the Commission followed--in which they perfected a substitute for the "four Recommendations" that had already been informally voted for, and in the meeting this evening the whole was submitted to the family for their final decision.   We submit the plan below, only remarking further that the attendance in meeting this evening was full, the session over two hours long, the "breeze of unanimity" triumphant, and the final paper unanimously agreed upon by the hard-working Commission was as unanimously approved by the family--it being understood that the few not voting on either side did not object.  Here is the paper:


"We, the undersigned, members of the Oneida Community, hereby covenant and agree with each other to abide by the following terms of division of ownership of property, real and personal, and of reorganization of our business and domestic affairs, whether such property be held in joint-tenancy by the four Property-Holders or in any other manner, except personal property acquired by individuals legitimately by means of the personal appropriations authorized by the Community, to wit:

A change of tenure of our property such that each adult member of the Community shall hold, in shares of stock of a Joint-Stock Company to be organized under the law of New York State passed June 21, 1875, for the formation of business Corporations, that portion which shall be given or awarded to him or her.

And it is understood to be part of this plan and agreement that the manufacturing business at Wallingford, Conn., now owned by us, shall be moved to Niagara Falls as fast as it can be done by the sale, rental, or lease of the Wallingford property, which sale, rental and lease are hereby authorized, excepting one-half acre of land and the new Cottage at Cozicot.  And it is agreed that a sufficient waterpower at Niagara Falls shall be secured at once, for which and other expenses involved in starting the business there, the Community is to make an advance of cash, to an amount not to exceed two thousand dollars. ($2,000). Carried in evening meeting, Aug. 31, 1880.  O.H. Miller dissenting.

That now until the first of January next, if the division and re-organization are not sooner effected, the control of our business and internal affairs be and hereby is committed to the four present property-holders of the Community and such persons as they may associate with them said persons to be acceptable to the Commission--and the four and their associates are to have supervision of all existing boards and committees, with power to suspend any or all of them.  If the re-organization should not be fully completed by the first of January next, the power of the four and their associates can be prolonged by a vote of the Community.  (Carried unanimously in evening meeting Aug.31st, 1880.

To divide the present property according to some plan to be agreed-upon among ourselves if, after due and earnest effort, this is found possible.  For that purpose we agree that if any plan shall receive the votes of nine-tenths of the members we will adopt it without appeal, and make the vote unanimous.   If, after such effort, it is found impossible to agree upon a plan of division among ourselves, the question shall then be referred to arbitors outside the Community.  These arbitors are to be chosen by the Commission.  (Carried unanimously in evening meeting August 31, 1880.

In order to make the dividends of the new Company as large as possible, we agree to do all we can, both as stockholders, and (if elected) as directors, to keep the wages paid to officers of the Company, and to superintendents, agents, and other employees, as low as is found consistent with the most efficient management.  (Carried.Aug31.)

We will do all we can to secure to the present members of the Community and their children now living in the Community, wherever located in homes established by the Company, certain privileges and immunities to be conferred by the Company, e.g.,

The right to employment by the Company in preference to others, not now members of the Oneida Community, other things being equal.

The right to inhabit the dwellings belonging to the Company, at a rent no higher than will, in the total, cover their maintenance, superintendence, insurance, taxes, and general care.

The right to purchase goods for their own individual or family consumption through the Company at wholesale rates, paying only actual cost, including transportation and legitimate expenses in buying and distribution.

The right to the use of a common kitchen, dining-room, laundry, library, the use and enjoyment of the lawns and common grounds, together with such other common immunities and privileges as may be found expedient to retain.  (Carried unanimously, Aug.31, '80.)

6.    Opportunity will be given at the time of reorganization for certain aged and invalid members of the    

Community to secure, instead of stock, a guaranty from the new Company binding it, under suitable    conditions, to support them and give them a home for life, including care in sickness, in one or another of the homes of the Company, together with a reasonable sum for clothing and incidental expenses; the said guaranty to be secured by bond and mortgage on so much of the real estate of the   Company as may be necessary for this purpose, or in some other satisfactory manner, until such time as the Company can establish a fund which shall furnish equal security.  Or, if these persons desire to live elsewhere on a guaranty, they shall be entitled to receive in quarterly installments, a sum equal to the annual cost of their living in the homes of the Company.  (Carried unanimously in evening meeting, Aug.31, 1880)

7.    The new Company shall make a suitable annual appropriation for the support and education of every                                      

child now born and belonging to members of the Community, until they become (16) sixteen years of age; said appropriation to be paid in advance in equal quarterly installments, and to be expended by the parents or guardians.  In case of death under sixteen the appropriation shall cease. (Carried unanimously.)

All members of the Community who are or may be absent from O.C. during the course of this reorganization may empower others to vote for them as substitutes or proxies; but no minor has the right to vote on the terms of this reorganization.  (Carried unanimously in evening meeting, Aug.31, 1880.)

September 1, 1880 ~ Wednesday ~ JOURNAL

The Commission are today getting the foregoing paper in shape to receive signatures--after which they expect to proceed immediately in their work of division, bye-laws, terms of contract, etc., etc., ---Big family Bee at the Arcade these days, to do peaches, plums, pears, etc. --Mushrooms plenty in the pastures.

September 1, 1880 ~ Wednesday ~ H.H. SKINNER to E.H.H.

Dear Mr. Hamilton:  Mr. Noyes asked me to tell you that Mr. Woolworth happened to be here when your letter came, and he made arrangements with him to see that the papers are made out, and as soon as they are ready perhaps to-morrow, he will go down to St. Catharines and they will sign them.  Also he asked me to say that the other matter will be attended to. I showed him your letter to me, or at least left it for him to read.  He keeps himself quite ignorant of what is going on there, did not know till last night that there had been any discussion about the rule of the majority under Joint-Stock.  When I told him William's notion about that, he said they would get things fixed if they did not look out so that the dead-locks will be worse than they are now. That is the most I have heard him say about Oneida affairs since Myron was here, I believe.   You may know of the talk I sent you where he had his conversation.  It runs in my mind all the time when I see him:

"The strong gods pine for my abode,

And pine in vain the sacred seven,

But thou, meek lover of the good,

Find me (him) and turn thy back on heaven."

But I realize you and others stand and shelter him, and that you will enter into his joy.  I am sure it is the best thing he can do for you there--to keep himself in this serenity.  It is continence of the highest kind.  I have been very much interested to see how Mr. Kinsley is upholden.  It is certainly miraculous.  Give him my love, and tell him it encourages my faith in the power of the resurrection.  Myron's case too is wonderful.  It seems as if the devil meant to kill him, but missed and only made him smarter for his work.

September 1, 1880 ~ COMMISSION RECORD ~~

In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands on the days and months of the year 1880 indicated below:

Signed September 1, 1880.

John H. Noyes
H.A. Noyes
H.H. Skinner
W.H. Woolworth
E.H. Hamilton
Albert Kinsley
H.W. Burnham
George Campbell
Wm. A. Hinds
M.E. Kinsley
M.H. Kinsley
Theo R. Noyes
F. Wayland-Smith
C. Otis Kellogg
Jonathan Burt
John L. Skinner
Jas. W. Towner
H.T. Clark
S.K. Dunn
F.M. Leonard
C.J. Wayland-Smith
Carrie A. Woolworth
Geo. Cragin
Wm. R. Inslee
H.J. Seymour
Alfred Barron
H.G. Allen
L.H. Bradley
Olive Kinsley
L.A. Thayer
Julia C. Ackley
S.R. Leonard
Margaret Langstaff
E.G. Hawley
J.H. Barron
Betsey T. Thayer
S.E.A. Dascombe
John H. Cragin
Lily D. Cragin
H.W. Thayer
Portia M. Allen
S.B. Campbell
H. Mathews
D.E. Smith
S.F. Smith
J. Leonard
M.A. Aiken
John Abbott
E.H. Allen
Geo. D. Allen
G.W. Reeve
M.S. Reeve
Sophia L. Nunns
S.W. Nash
Wm. Jones
A.J. Towner
A.E. Towner
L. VanVelzer
J.D. Conant
E. Whitney
Mary S. Whatley
Fred A. Marks
Martha J. Marks
Charlotte M. Leonard
Marion B. Noyes
E.E. Kelly
O.D. Wright
Charlotte M. Thayer
M.J. Newhouse
C.R. Marks
L.F. Dunn
Olive A. Kellogg
Harriet M. Worden
M.P. Beach
S.A. Bradley
E.E. Aiken
C. Waite
S.J. Clarke
C.A. Reid
E. Higgins
G.B. Mills
Lavina E. Kelly
S.A. Story
P.H. Norton
M. Louise Prindle
L.B. Smith
I.M. Loveland
S.S. Higgins
Frank W. Tuttle
Flora W. Tuttle
Johns Smith Freeman
E. Frances Hutchins
C.A. Bradley
F.M. Barron
Helen M. Barron
Alice E. Sears
Mary Smith
Lorinda L. Burt
Elizabeth H. Hamilton
Rosamonde Underwood
C.E. Bloom
Harriet E. Joslyn
Nora E. Noyes
A.E. Hawley
E.M. Hawley
F.A. Burt
Alvah Barron
A. DeWolfe
C.B. Bushnell
Chas. Olds
R.B. Hawley
L.A. Abbott
Lorenzo Bolles
Belle C. Newhouse
A.M. Kinsley
J.C. Ackley
Mabel H. Joslyn
C.S. Towner
M.J. Loveland
Susie L. Worden
Philena B. Hamilton
C.C. Hatch
H.W. Hatch
S.Y. Joslyn
H.S. Hatch
H.C. Noyes
C.W. Underwood
Jas. B. Herrick
Tirzah C. Herrick
Emma J. Freeman
G.R. Kellogg
F. Sears
A.C. Sears
A.D. Wright
Geo. E. Cragin
Mary B. Kellogg
Henrietta Sweet
A.S. Burnham
Chloe S. Seymour
Beulah M. Barron
Georgia J. Lord
H.A. Hall
C.E. Baker
M.D. Pomeroy
T.E. Freeman
M.E. Kellogg
L. Marks
J.R. Thomas
L.F. Dunn
Jas. H. Hatch
H.V. Hatch
H.F. Howard
S.M. Mallory
C.B. Underwood
H.A. Ackley
Jane F. Kinsley
W.G. Kelly
L.T. Waters
Jane A. Kinsley
D.M. Kelly
Julius Hawley
E.F. Underwood
A.E. VanVelzer
C. Homer Smith
Wm. H. Perry
Deborah L. Hale
L. VanVelzer
Harriet H. Kinsley
Phoebe A. Whitney
Jane L. Abbott
R.M. Bolles
J.N. Norton
M.S. Norton
Florence S. Clark
MA. Dunn
Anna C. Robinson
Chas. Ellis
E.S. Burnham
I.K. Burnham
Annie M. Hatch
E.A. Miller
Jessie C. Kinsley
V. Cragin
E.S. Nash
John R. Lord
H.A. Warne
S.E. Johnson
Fanny P. Hutchins
Elizabeth Whitfield
Eunice Y. Joslyn
Jas. S. Vaill
D.A. Abbott
Carrie B. Cragin
Ellen B. Nash
H.I. Brooks
H.N. Olds
Mary V. Baker
Geo. N. Miller
C.S. Joslyn
Birdsey Bristol
Annie E. Miller
H. Thacker
O.H. Miller

September 1, 1880 ~ COMMISSION RECORD ~

The Commission spent some time in considering who are members entitled to take part in the division, and in considering other preliminary matters relating to a plan of division.

Sept. 2 ---Voted, that Wm. A. Hinds be a Committee to arrange a settlement with Frank Hillerman, with instructions to pay $100 and get a release in full.

The subject of the division of property again taken up. The first plan submitted was by Dr. Noyes.

1st Plan of Division.

To divide equally to all over twenty years of age, with a suitable provision for those between sixteen and twenty-one; children under sixteen to be supported and educated at the expense of the Community.

Second Plan of Division

(By T.R. Noyes & F. Wayland Smith)

To refund one-half the value of the property brought in to those who brought it, without interest or increase of any kind, and allow all members $100 per year for their services after the age of sixteen; children under sixteen to be supported and educated at the expense of the community.  This plan was afterwards named the "Compromise Plan."

Concerning Heirship.

Voted, that if, in any plan of division we agree upon, the matter of individual deposits is to come in, then widowers now surviving in the Community shall be credited with two-thirds of the amount deposited by themselves and wives, and widows now surviving with one-third the amount deposited by themselves and husbands, such credits to be subject to the same conditions as other deposits.

Voted, that no claim of heirship other than those of widows and widowers shall be considered in any plan of division.

September 2, 1880 ~ Thursday ~ H.H.S. to E.H.E.

Dear Mr. Hamilton:  Please to take the tract Male Continence (1877) last edition, and open to page 19.  Begin at the paragraph, "The theory thus practically launched,"&c. Notice the expressions "Committee of Providence."  Read to within nine lines of the bottom of the next page.  Notice that the character and antecedents of the later additions to the O.C. do not correspond with the description of the qualifications of this Committee.  Turn to the page 25 and read part of the paragraph in large type.  Notice that the Committee has made a thorough trial of 30 years and fully tested the results of the principle which was "the very soul of its working constitution."  John pointed out these passages to me this morning and said he saw as clear as day that the function of the O.C. was temporary, like that of a committee, simply to test the principle of male-continence, and just as soon as that was done its dissolution began, and now the only thing is to give it a decent burial and divide its estate.  (He calls the great system of marriage in the world "Babylon--the mother of harlots."  Its direct operation is to make harlots of women, especially the poor, who have no honest resource for the gratification of their passions.  The Brett family of girls is an extreme case, but it calls his attention to the desperate condition of a great class in the world who have no chance for husbands, and yet are full of appetite.

I have not done justice to what Mr. N. said about the results going to the world--the evolution which he expects will make this work of the committee a world-wide benefit.  The discharge of the committee is a signal that the results are going into general distribution.  His attention is all the way--toward all mankind, leaving the Community behind.  Everything that makes him free from the O.C. makes him happy.  He is glad to get rid of Committee work.  He is just as enthusiastic for the work on hand now as he was for starting the Community, and sees God before him just as surely.

Then he says if they settle up and divide the estate kindly as it should be, he has no doubt all will have enough, and the average will be better provided for than if the families had taken their luck in the world without him.  Besides al that he personally is alive yet.  The body of the Community is dead, but the soul is alive, and he is going on to make another fortune on his own hook, and if the blessing of God continues with him as it has so far, he expects to get millions where he has thousands, and be able to divide to his friends a great deal more favorably another time.


September 3, 1880 ~ Friday ~ COUNCIL

T.R. Noyes, Chairman, C. Otis Kellogg Assistant Chairman, and E.H. Hamilton Secretary for the month of September.

Application from Mr. & Mrs. Thayer for liberty to visit friends in the east--to be gone three or four weeks.   Also from Mrs. Harriet Ackley to visit a brother, taking her children--to be absent two to three weeks.  Also from Ida Loveland to go with her brother and remain several weeks, and perhaps all winter if her health shall require it. The foregoing requests were granted, on condition these persons provide, through power of attorney or otherwise, for the signing in their absence of papers or for such other action as might devolve upon them in the course of the pending settlement.

Liberty granted to help-distributing department to hire Miss Mary Loveland to assist in taking care of Mrs. Robinson.

The care of Mr. Chas. Ellis, who has contagious sore eyes, was considered.  The importance of doing all we can to prevent the spread of this disease, was felt. The children as well as adults, are exposed--it was thought dangerously so, where Mr. Ellis now rooms. The moving committee have been unable to find any other proper place for him, and applied to the Council for advice.  After considerable conversation the Council recommended that he occupy the Dunn Cottage till the danger of giving the disease was passed--which Dr. Noyes would not exceed a month or two. The piano to be moved to the Company dining-room if no more satisfactory place can be found. (Adjourned.

September 3, 1880 ~ COMMISSION RECORD ~

Communications from Erastus VanVelzer, Wm. R. Inslee, and others, relative to their claims, were read.

Discussion of the "associates" nominated by "the four" to assist the in governing during the interregnum. The associates nominated were J.Homer, Barron, Martin Kinsley, F. Wayland-Smith.

After a long and acrimonious discussion a vote was taken as to whether these persons should be confirmed.  The vote on all three together stood thus:

Nays - 4

A tie.

Then more discussion followed, and the following was passed.

Voted, that the Commission accept Martin Kinsley and F. Wayland-Smith as associates to "the four" in the matter of securing the necessary water-power, land and buildings at Niagara Falls, their function being confined to this matter and it being understood beforehand that F. Wayland-Smith should appoint D.M. Kelly as his substitute in the work.

G. Campbell and F. Wayland-Smith were appointed to a sub-committee to prepare the preliminary certificate to be sent to the Secretary of State at Albany.

Sept.4.--The case of Frances Hillerman was further studied, and it was decided to have Otis Kellogg call on her on his way to or from Niagara Falls.

The case of M.L. Worden was presented.  Letters were read from him and his daughter Harriet to show that he had intended to return to O.C. at some future time.  It was decided that, as concerning all matters relating to the coming division and reorganization Mr. Worden is not a member of the Community.

Mr. Wm. A. Hinds presented his plan of division.  It was substantially as follows:

Mr. Hinds Plan of Division.

To divide our present property among all the members without regard to age or sex, proportionately to their terms of membership. That is, he would say to each member, young or old, "As the total time of all our membership is to your individual membership, so is the total property to your share," thus fully communizing the capital deposited by members on joining as well as the labor since done, which was only partially attempted in the "Compromise Plan." Mr. Hinds would have the Company make good any deficiencies for children under sixteen years.   Guarantys to the aged to be as agreed on in the paper signed.

C.S. Joslyn was invited to appear before the Commission at its afternoon session and present his plan of division.

C.S. Joslyn's Plan.

To divide present property among all over sixteen years of age according to term of membership over sixteen; children under sixteen to be supported and educated at the expense of the Company, according to clause 7 of the "Agreement to Divide and Reorganize."

There being still time in this session J.W. Towner was also invited to present his plan, which was in brief, this:

J.W. Towner's Plan.

To divide the present property equally among those over twenty-one each child to have as great a part of a full adults share as his years are proportioned to twenty-one; e.g. a child of two years old to have 2/21 cts. Of a full share, one of nineteen years to have 19/21 cts. of a full share and so on.

September 5, 1880 ~ Sunday ~ JOURNAL

The paper copied into last Journal entitled "An Agreement to Divide, etc., was signed by almost every one in the family, and then carried by Myron to Clifton for signatures; the W.C. family will doubtless have an opportunity for signing it also.  It is expected that Myron before he returns to Clifton will negotiate for the desired water-power at Niagara; and the Commission, as they have not yet agreed in confirming the nomination for associates of "the four" have agreed that in the interim of their pending decision, Martin and Daniel Kelly act with the four to perfect any arrangements that Myron may succeed in effecting with authorities at Niagara--the same to hold themselves in readiness--in connection with E.H. Hamilton and C. Otis Kellogg to go to Niagara when Myron calls.  Thus the matter stands at this writing--Mr. John Abbot left for Clifton Friday morning last.--Mr. Warne, Mrs. Whitfield and Sarah Johnson returned from there the same afternoon.--Mrs. Hawley gone to Connecticut in response to a call from her son James who wrote that his family were sick.

The Commission are now at work on the problem of the proportion that is to be awarded to each individual in the proposed division, and  every body is invited to offer such suggestions on the subject as occur to them.--For several evenings there has been discussion on over the name that the new Company will adopt--also whether it shall be incorporated as a "full Liability Company, or a "limited Liability Company," So far any decision has been reached in informal vote of the family it decides in favor of "Oneida Community, Limited."

September 5, 1880 ~ COMMISSION RECORD ~

Voted to recommend to the Community to organize as a "Limited Liability Company," with the title "Oneida Community, Limited."

Voted, to put the capital stock of the new Company at $600,000.

Voted, to recommend that the value of the shares be put at $25 each.

Mr. Albert Kinsley presented his plan of division.

Kinsley's Plan.

Those who brought property into the Community to first take out its full value in stock, without interest, and then all the members over sixteen years old, to share in the remainder according to term of membership over sixteen years of age, children under sixteen to be supported and educated at the expense of the  Company as already agreed on and on arrival at sixteen each child to have $100 as a start in life.

This plan was discussed at some length.

W.C., September 5. 1880 ~ G.N. MILLER to J.H. NOYES ~

Dear Mr. Noyes:  In thinking of your life and career it occurs to me that the Community had served one great end in providing a place where you could have a number of children which you could not have done under other circumstances. If Providence "numbers the hairs of our heads" we may suppose that it is scientific and painstaking enough to "breed from the best," and the Community formed a space where your blood was introduced into the world through a variety of channels and under better conditions than that of any living man.  If you call your own life a failure (but I do not believe that it will prove to be so) the hard fact still remains that you have got a number of children growing up and that your blood will tell on the future in spite of Dr. Mears and Dr. Towner.  As Dixon said, "You can't unfire a gun;" the children are born and though the Community may be swept to the four winds your blood will assert itself and justify you.  In thinking of this it has seemed to me that the Community was carried as far under the form it had as Providence designed it to be.

I am looking forward to a transfer of our business to Niagara with great hope and enthusiasm.

Yours with love, G.N. Miller

O.C. September 5, 1880 ~ JOHN LEONARD to W.A. Hinds ~

I have not expected we could come to a settlement unless we were willing to make our individual sacrifices and to square ourselves and affairs to beneficent principles acceptable to all.

All will however be it, party, body, or individual, like the thing that looks favorable to themselves.

I have, however, certainly noticed in the past in our dear Community where we preached "folks should not feather their own nests," "should not seek for themselves;" they who accepted and conformed to this principle, were the scantiest served; and I think to this day those who went, and would, contrary to this principle have been and are now the most highly honored.  This to some extent is according to my observations, and who can say at this day, even where folks do not care to take any undue advantage, (if they say nothing) they may be thought, and taken advantage of, as though they did not appreciate upon which side their bread is buttered!  They do though!

It will be interesting to me to hear the plans that may be offered.  I expect the Lord will give the Commission wisdom, and that if we are rational and reasonable we may all yet be quite pleased.  I think the Commission so far have done well.  Success to the Commission.

Yours, Leonard.

Have not I bored you too much? And yet some time I must write my adieu!

September 6, 1880 ~ COMMISSION RECORD ~

Voted, to refer the question of the term for which the new Company shall be organized to the evening meeting, the Commission being divided on it.

Voted, that E.H. Hamilton be requested to arrange G.W. Hamilton and T.L. Pitt to vote by proxy while they are absent.

Voted, that WM. A. Hinds notify the Committee on new members to have the young people who have recently attained their majority, sign the "Covenant."

A paper read from Alfred Barron which ran as follows:

Scheme for the Individualization of the O.C. Property. -By Alfred Barron

Preliminary Remarks:  Under this form of society and property-holding which we are about to abandon, or Labor, our Capital, and that spiritual thing which we call Enterprise have belonged to the Community wholly, and they have worked together for our common and substantially equal good.  Each and every one has had constant employment, has had the same table privileges, the same provision for clothing and shelter and the same guarantys for old age and sickness.  We are now going to depart from this old equality.  We might divide the capital equally.   But not so with our Labor and Enterprise; these last belong, from the nature of the case, to the young and the specially gifted, and are individual and indivisible.  In a general way I should demand that the older people should have the most stock or money, for speaking within bounds, I should say that our property is the fruit of their original contributions of cash, labor and enterprise The young and middle-aged will take the most of our physical strength and enterprise.  These are equivalent to a great deal of money.   The old have affections and do not want to be deprived of the natural right and pleasure of providing for their friends and kindred.

I propose, therefore, that the following points may be observed in the distribution of ownership.

Each member of the Community who has made contributions of cash and goods shall first be satisfied to the full amount of his or her contribution.  Cash is only another form of labor or service.  A man who put in $5,000 at the beginning may truly be said to have put in thirty service in a lump, to start with.

After the living depositors have been fully satisfied for their deposits of cash and its equivalent, the balance of the property shall be divided among all the members according to their several periods of service in the Community, beginning at the age of sixteen.   For example:  one who has served in the Community thirty years shall draw six times as much as one who has only been here five years.

To prevent this plan of distribution from working unjustly in exceptional cases I would propose that some part of the whole property, say $20,000, more or less be set aside as a temporary Equalization Fund, to be in part or wholly used in making up any glaring defects in the working of the plan of division.  There are many children here whose paternity is unknown.  The expectations of such children are only half as good as the others, for they have only one parent to look to.  An Equalization Fund would help the mothers of such children as those. It would also enable some of the late members to say they had suffered no loss by this mode of distribution.

All minors now belonging to the Community and continuing in it till they are twenty-one years of age shall at that time receive $500 in stock, in addition to their support and education till 16 years of age. Under my plan of division all persons who have spent their minority from 16 to 21 have received $500 on becoming of age, and that without any special effort on their own.   This may seem like undue liberality on the part of the Company, but it is not impossible that the parents of some of those children may need the services of their children and thus deprive them of the chance of accumulating for themselves previous to be coming of age. Then it is not to be supposed that the Company will afford anything more than a common school education to its wards the children.  Academic and collegiate education will have to come by the efforts of parents and children themselves.

Final Remark--A per capita division of a share to each adult and half a share to each minor sacrifices every sense of justice and makes more provision for children than is necessary. They had better be left more to their future efforts and to their expectations from their parents.

At the same session a second "Compromise Plan" was handed in by Mr. Albert Kinsley, its authorship being unknown. It ran thus:


A Plan for Dividing the Property.

Give to all the living depositors 3/4 of what they put in.

Pay labor $100 per year for time spent in the Community, reckoning from the age of sixteen.

Capital of Community $600,000

3/4 of Deposits 107,000

Labor of $100 per year 471,000

Deposits & Labor $578,000

This leaves about $22,000 as a leveling-up fund.

Children under sixteen to receive $100 each at the age of sixteen, together with their schooling and support.   This sum to come out of the profits before a dividend is made.

After each of these plans has been explained and scrutinized in a cursory way, it was decided to have a sheet drawn up showing how the different plans would affect individuals. Dr. Noyes undertook this plan and the Commission did not meet for nearly a week, Mr. Burnham and one or two others being absent.

September 7, 1880 ~ Tuesday ~ H.H. SKINNER to E.H. HAMILTON

Dear Mr. H:  I wrote to Theodore to ask for the talk on Male Continence, but perhaps it is providential that he didn't if you think he might misconstrue what John said about the Brett girls--cut that out if you can, beginning with the remark on marriage being Babylon.  If it is so you can't cut that out, please have the rest copied and leave that out. Helen Miller would do it perhaps. John said I ought to have made better connections--said I wasn't fit for business if I couldn't--but the delay may be all for the best.  (I shall take the criticism, however.)  He gave a long talk last night about our old system of criticism which I wish I could report every word, and he has just come where I am writing with some new openings that he got in the night.  He showed last night that criticism had a good deal to do with the preparation of the bride--that to be made without spot or wrinkle she had to be washed and wrung, soaped and pounded and have a hot iron passed over her.  The white linen is the righteousness of the saints.   Last night he saw that virginity was the New Jerusalem dress--the state of heart described in 7th of 1st Corinthians--where the heart is given to God.  He says he sees Male Continence in that chapter--in marriage the sexual nature is sold to propagation.  The virgin keeps it for social fellowship.  I shall find time to write more about his talk last night but have several other business letters to write now.

Lovingly, H.H.S.

September 7, 1880 ~ Neligh, Neb. ~ T.L. PITT to J.H. NOYES

Dear Bro. Noyes:  I reached Neligh day before yesterday, (Sunday) evening, and found the people here very glad of my coming.

I am not disappointed in Mr. Eldridge. He seems to me a true-hearted man, and one honestly and thoroughly in love with, and loyal to you as far as he understands you.

The family here has been pretty thoroughly sifted from anti-community and anti-Christian elements.  I do not meet with any discordant persons.   It seems to me quite like the nucleus of a true Community.

The domain is magnificent--900 acres of the best Nebraska prairie, lying compactly in one body, sloping very gently north from the Elkhorn river.  I have seen nothing finer in al my travels at the west.  As a stock farm it would be hard to beat.

I shall stay here this week and shall probably write again before I leave.  

With love and devotion to you and Christ and Communism,

Yours truly, T.L. Pitt

Love to all.

September 7, 1880 ~ NOTES FROM MEMORY OF A TALK BY J.H.N. ~

The drift of this talk was that the new Community would build on the old foundations of free criticism and the ascending fellowship--that without these we shall not get into the New Jerusalem. Originally our system of criticism was the medium of inspiration--we had the presence of the spirit and many times the subject was relieved of burdens and made happy by it.   The principle was not to answer back even in the heart. But that feature is entirely lost. Instead of the gift of tongues which they had in the day of Pentecost, there has been a Pentecost of evil-speaking, criticism that irritates and produces disorder.   The principle of the ascending fellowship is intimately connected with the true system of criticism.  This term has got a very contracted meaning in the O.C., at present, and an odious meaning--having regard especially to the sexual association of the old and young.  Originally the idea was that every individual and all classes should seek the society of those above them, those that can elevate them.  Mr. N. got hold of that idea long before he dreamed of sexual freedom. I remember before he was married even, he talked it to Charlotte and me and said its importance was only second in his mind to the discovery of the Second Coming.  This principle makes a chain from the highest heaven to the lowest Hotentot.  To illustrate: he said we could take the Brett family right into our hearts and have the most harmonious relation between us if they would submit to criticism and the doctrine of the ascending fellowship, but it is impossible in the nature of tings to take hold of hands with persons so faulty unless they are willing to be criticised and lifted up. He expatiated on this subject--that if every one would seek the society of those superior, education and improvement would be easy and a chain of harmony established between the highest and the lowest.  He spoke of the specimens of criticism we have in the address to the churches in the first chapter of Revelations and of the connection between criticism and the New Jerusalem. It was evidently one of the means Christ used to purify the church and present it to himself without spot or wrinkle.  He compared criticism to a looking-glass which belongs to the furniture of a civilized family; and living without criticism as the Community does now is going back to the barbarous state where the use of the looking-glass is unknown.   He aid he made good use of the criticism of his enemies even--and did not answer back.  His ambition was to be made fit for the society of the New Jerusalem at any cost.

Our doctrine of mutual criticism and the ascending fellowship have passed away with the coming in of a new generation that have not much religious earnestness, and the addition of new members of the same sort.  He hoped to see a turning back.  Those who have set their heart on going into the golden gates will appreciate these doctrines. He said he had resolved as earnestly as it is possible for one to do under the tendency of old habits, not to criticise persons without invitation.  He sometimes was tempted a little by old habits, but his purpose was never to criticise a person till he asked him to do it.  If a person is not in earnest enough for improvement to love criticism and not be irritated by it--it does not do much good.   He said considerable about not answering back in the heart.

I had been thinking all that day before John talked that it would be in vain to start another Community without our old confidence in Mr. Noye's inspiration which would make us submit to his judgment and the judgment of our superiors in general.  It seemed to me I never wanted to live in Community again unless we could recover those "lost arts-" that I should expect to have the same trouble that we have had over and over again.  There would be no beautiful home.

Mr. N. said that every one should find out his superior and there should be a looking up, a desire to please somebody above us--not only God and invisible beings but in human society around us. If we take this attitude it will be a chain of unity from God down.

O.C. September 11, 1880 ~ ALVAH BARRON to J.H. NOYES ~

Dear Mr. Noyes:  It does my heart good to hear from you and that you are moving onward and upward.  I expect all true Communists will come out of this battle cleaner and whiter.   I thank God for any experience that kills my old life and brings me nearer to Him.  If you know enough about me to criticise me I wish you would do it, for I need help to overcome the wicked one.  I feel that I have had my fill of the world, and my heart and affections are set on things above and cannot be diverted.  With an unshaken confidence in your mission, I am forever your friend. A. Barron.

September 13, 1880 ~ Monday ~ JOURNAL

The equinoctial storm set this morning. Mercury at 60.   Since the writing of the last journal, a delegation consisting of Otis Kellogg, Martin Kinsley and Daniel Kelly have been to Niagara in response to a telegram from Myron, and in connection with the folks there have effected a satisfactory agreement with the proprietor of the Niagara water power, and returned home again, with the exception of Otis Kellogg, who stopped to call on Frank Hillerman.  Presuming that you get particulars of the above-mentioned agreement from other sources, we omit them in the Journal.  Myron and Jessie are back to O.C. again; also Mr. Abbott and Victor.   --H.J. Seymour, Chloe and Sophronia left for Clifton Thursday morning last.  Mr. & Mrs. J.H. Cragin gone to New Haven and Wallingford; J.W. Towner to Vineland; E.L. Hatch to New York to call on his son George; Mr. & Mrs. Henry Thayer to Massachusetts for several weeks; Edward & Ida Loveland ditto; O.H. Miller to Vermont; John Parker to Maine; and Mrs. Phebe Whitney arrived from Prescott a few days ago, her husband having preceded her by several weeks.---A picnic party of 300 from Oswego Saturday.---Sales of chains for the month of August $1,027.55; Fruit, $1630.97; Hardware, $8096.10; Silk, $10,167.03; Tableware, $12,515.63; total sales for the month of August, $33,439.28.

Total liabilities, Sept.1st, 1880, $132.573

" assets " 33,469

Balance of liabilities $99,105

In meeting of Business Board yesterday the Board of Finance was authorized to extend its Bank loan another $5,000.---Nothing of importance has transpired in last two meetings of Council.---The Commission these days are working on the problem of division of property, but have offered nothing yet for family consideration.---Myron and Mr. Hamilton went to Utica this morning to find an experienced architect and draughtsman to execute a working plan for the Niagara buildings--which plan it is desirable to get as soon as possible, so that the erection of said buildings can be immediately commenced. The weather favoring, it is hoped to have the buildings ready for occupation by the 1st of January next, or pretty soon thereafter.

September 13, 1880 ~ Omaha, Neb. ~ T.L. PITT to J.H. NOYES

Dear Bro. Noyes:  I left Neligh this morning, after a quite satisfactory visit of a week.

The people gathered there are:   Mr. Eldridge and wife and four children Mrs. Yoder and four children; Mr. & Mrs. Odell and two children, one of who is temporarily absent.

They all, that is, adults, seem to be in earnest to know Christ and his Communism and to come into fully sympathy with you.

I was very much pleased with Mr. Eldridge. His expressions of sympathy with you and your work and of desire to become identified with you in your work and purpose were strong and evidently sincere.  He seems to appreciate the spirit of loyalty very much.  He is a very companionable man, and aims I judge as far as he can see his way to do what is right and follow peace and peaceable ways and methods.  All who are with him say that he is constantly improving, and has greatly changed in this last year. He says he feels himself constantly drawn towards Christ and the interior, and to more and more interest in Communism, prayer and an unselfish life.

Mr. Odell has some Democratic or Republican ideas of government clinging to him yet, which makes him less organic in spirit than Mr. Eldridge and the others.  But I think he begins to see that such ideas are out of place in Communism and the Kingdom of Heaven.  He has long been a reader of our papers, as was his father also.  He think he means well, but is not so broad-minded as Mr. Eldridge. Is strongly religious in mental and heart tendencies.  Believes in Christ, and in the necessity of having none but Christians as members of a Community. He is quite a strong man in his way and with some of his narrowness of opinion and his republicanism worked out of him, seemed to me would be an attractive, thoroughly helpful man in a Community. His wife is also quite religious, and has had some interesting health experiences in the past in connection with studying your writings and believing in them.  The social theory is the point on which she has stumbled the most.

Mrs. Yoder is a thorough Communist, and says she believes in you and your principles with her whole heart.  She seems to me to be a very sincere Christian. She is a large woman in many ways--in heart and body and mind.  Tall and fine-looking.  With full opportunity she would make rather a grand Community woman--perhaps a Community mother.

Mrs. Eldridge and the oldest daughter Evelyn impressed me very favorably.  There seems to be a great deal of unity between them and Mr. Eldridge, and a strong sympathy for Christian Communism.

In regard to property, Mr. E. owns in all 1160 acres--920 in one body--the finest prairie land.  The land and the crops and personal property and live stock which he now owns he estimates to be about $27,000 His debts are about $5,000. He came to the State 7 years ago with only $1,000 to $2,000 in property.  The result I think indicates that he is a pretty good business manager--has thrift and good luck.

You will remember that Mr. Eldridge wrote some time ago saying that he wished to fix his property, after making some provision for his oldest son--so that it would be permanently devoted and secured to Communism.  You proposed that I write to him suggesting that he deed it to four in the same way our O.C. property was held--to yourself, myself, himself, and one other member of the Oneida Community whom we could select.

While at Neligh the question came up and I lad the proposition before him.  He accepted it without reserve, and said it was right in the line of thoughts he had had himself, and that such a disposition of it would be a great relief to his mind.  Afterward we laid the matter before the whole family and it was unanimously approved. I told him that when I got home I would talk over the matter with you.  I have thought of several improvements on the O.C. arrangement, which I think would add to the security of it for Communism.  Mr. Eldridge is very enthusiastic for such an arrangement, and also for the inauguration of measures that will secure a future and a material basis for Christian Communism independent of the means or existence of any one local Community.  I talked with him somewhat freely about your wish for independence, and he seemed to enter into the matter with a great deal of sympathy.

There is no question in my mind but what Neligh offers a fine opportunity for money making on a large scale, especially in stock-raising.  The domain lies within easy distance of great cattle ranges, and in connection with them could be made available for putting after it was well stocked from 500 to 100 head into the market every year from $30 to $50 a head, a very large proportion of which would be clear profit.  In the breeding of blooded stock the profits would be greater still.   Mr. E. has a beginning of about 160 head of cattle on the place.  He is also breeding ponies to some extent.  The capacity of the farm for fodder and grain producing is very great; a field of millet which he has this year will yield five tons to the acre.  The native prairie grasses yield heavy crops of excellent hay, some of the grasses are as tall as I am.  The heaviest corn I have ever seen is now ripening on the place.   He expects 6000 bushels, and 1000 bushels of wheat.

My labors with the family were in the direction of helping them on to Paul's Platform, and to a fuller understanding of it. I realized that I was helped by the invisibles.  And I think my visit will prove profitable to them all.  It looks to me very much as though the nucleus of a true Community family was being formed at Neligh--one which will ultimately be a home for you and Paul and Christ.--and all good and pure spirits.

Yours lovingly, T.L. Pitt

September 13, 1880 ~ COMMISSION RECORD ~

The Commission resumed its sittings. Two long sessions were spent in efforts to become unanimous in recommending some one plan of division to the Community. The "Compromise Plan" finally took the lead.  It was:

Voted, that we recommend to pay $100 bonus in stock to each person who has passed his or her sixteenth birthday since joining the Community, and the same sum to each child now born when it reaches the age of sixteen years, the same to be paid to their parents and guardians.

O.C. September 14, 1880 ~ F. WAYLAND-SMITH to J.H. NOYES ~

Dear Mr. Noyes:  In our efforts to divide and reorganize on the Joint-Stock plan, we have come to a point where it seems to me an opinion from you might help us. The ticklish part of the whole business is, of course the determining what each one's share shall be in the division. When the Commission began to approach this part of its work it invited every one to present plans of division. Seven plans have thus far been presented.  According to the terms of the paper we all have signed, if any plan receives the votes of nine-tenths of the adult members, it shall be adopted as unanimous.   In order to present clearly the point on which I wish your opinion I will briefly sketch the seven plans of division we have before us.

The general conditions of the problem, on which all the plans are based, are these:

The Community consists of adult members, 213

Between 16 and 21 years, 13

Under 16 years, 64

Total 290

Total value of property brought in by members $144,161.44

Years of membership, including children, 5987 years

Over 16 years 4,727-1/4 years

The Capital Stock of the Company is to be $6,000,000.000

Plan No. 1. (By Alfred Barron.)

1. Each one who brought in property to first have the full value of it returned in shares of stock.

2. A sum of $20,000 to be set aside as an "equalization" or relief fund, to relieve a little those whom this plan nips.

3. The seventy-seven children to have each $500, on arriving at majority, in stock of the Company.  This calls for setting aside $38.500 in stock to be held for them until they reach their majority.

4. After restoring the original deposits and setting aside these other sums, the total amount withdrawn will be $202,661.74. Subtracting this from Capital stock, $600,000.00, we have left, $397,338.26.  This remainder to be divided among all who are over 16 years old, according to their term of membership after 16.

5. All children under sixteen to be supported and educated at the expense of the Company.

Plan No.2. (By A. Kinsley.)

1. Depositors to draw out in stock all that they put in.

2. The remainder to be divided according to duration of membership after 16 years old.

3. Each child to be supported until 16, and then be given $100 in cash from the annual earnings of the Company, as a start in life.

Plan No. 3 (By T.R. Noyes & F. Wayland-Smith.)

(Called by everybody the "Compromise Plan").

  1. One-half the property brought in by members to be returned in stock of the Company.
  2. The remainder to be divided according to duration of membership over 16 years of age.
  3. Each child to be supported as above, and have $100 at 16th birthday.

Plan No. 4 (J.W. Towner.)

Each adult to share equally in the whole $600,000, no part of the deposits being returned to those who brought it in, except as contained in their equal share.  Each adults' share should be $2,446.48.

Each child is to take as many 21sts of an adults' share as his years are proportioned to 21.

Plan No. 5. (By W.A. Hinds.)

1. The total property to be divided according to duration of membership without regard to age, sex, or color.   This proportion explains it:  As 5987 years:  The individuals' year of membership,:: $600,000: the individuals share.

2. ny deficiency for necessary support under 16, to be made good by the Company, and any excess over necessary support under 16, to be taken by the Company.

Plan No. 6. (C.S. Joslyn.)

1. The total property to be divided according to the duration of membership over 16.  Children under 16 to be supported by the Company.

Plan No. 7. (Handed in by A. Kinsley, and authorship unknown.)

1. To restore three-fourths of the property brought in by those who brought it.

2. The remainder to be divided and the children treated as in his plan No. 2.

Now, the point on which I wish your opinion is in regard to what you think is best to be done about restoring the property brought in. Those who brought it seem to be quite hearty in desiring to get as much of it back as possible.   This is perfectly natural, and I wish we were rich enough to do it.  But unfortunately we are not, and under plans 1 and 2, a goodly number come out so slim that they naturally look with favor on some of the other plans, as 4, 5, and 6. At this moment it looks as if the tussle would occur over the Plan No. 3 as a "Compromise." I think that part of the Community which brought in nothing would be brought to consent to restore one-half to depositors, but many of them say emphatically that they will not go a fraction over one-half, because these early depositors have the longest record of membership and draw on the remainder accordingly.   They will therefore be the rich class, even if they get only one-half what they brought in.  But uncle Albert Kinsley says in Commission that his party will never come down to one-half.  He finally said he thought they ought to have at least 5/8 of what they put in, and that he, personally, would come to that but not to one-half.  So at present we are stuck on this 1/8 difference, and the matter will be put before the family this evening.

I am writing to you solely on my own volition, not for the Commission or anybody else, but because I felt that a word from you might help us by the hard point into substantial unanimity.

I must add that I think it desirable to not let in an acknowledged legal claim for the whole property put in, because of the claims of heirs of deceased depositors, outside and inside the O.C. It would surprise you to know how rapidly claims of one sort or another are developing outside.   Our proposed action seems to be perfectly well-known among all seceders. This is why I hope we can agree promptly among ourselves, without arbitration which would probably consume many months and some thousands of dollars, and lay us open to all conceivable claims. An elaborate course of arbitration is laid down by statute of this State.

This matter of the property put in seems to be the hardest point confronting us.  It bears hard on some in any case, and we cannot all hope for full justice. For example, the Commission decides that no heirs except women and children shall come in.  That cuts off the Kellogg children, whose parents were rich, while the Barron children could inherit because their ancestor happens to survive. You see the point.   If you think it would be impolitic to make any reply to me can you not give your opinion on the point I offer you through some of your representatives here?  It will have great weight whichever way it goes.  Even W.A. Hinds said to-day that he would be perfectly willing to leave it to you. 

Yours with pleasant feelings, F. Wayland Smith.

September 15, 1880 ~ COMMISSION RECORD ~

Voted, that Carrie A. Woolworth's share of the property be not issued in shares of stock, but held as a loan on some security, as bond or note.

Voted, that the "Compromise Plan" be amended by paying a bonus of $200 for each child at sixteen, instead of $100; this is to be paid in stock to parents or guardians for all who will reach sixteen on or before January, 1st, 1882, after that to parents or guardians in cash from the annual earnings of the Company.

Voted, that the "Compromise Plan" substantially as it appears in the 7th column of the sheets figured by Dr. Noyes, and as modified above and by the guarantys, be unanimously recommended to the family, as the plan of division (Carried unanimously in Commission.

The various plans of division outlined in the foregoing pages had been explained and discussed in general assembly of the members of the Community during several evenings previous to Sept. 15th, and two long sessions were held in the "Council Room" on the 15th, at which all the plans were explained to those who were present by Dr. Noyes and F. Wayland-Smith.  The sheets were also exhibited so that every one could get an idea of about how they were coming out in the division.  In these ways every one became informed, and the general leaning towards the Compromise Plan made it tolerably certain that was the only one we could agree upon amongst ourselves without putting the matter out to arbitration. Up to the 15th September the Commission had not been able to agree unanimously upon any one plan' but on that day they did, as already mentioned.  When this was announced to the family at the opening of the evening meeting of the 15th, it did much to confirm the hesitating, and procure substantial unanimity.  The feeling of agreement on the "Compromise Plan" of division seemed so general that a trial vote was called for.  The question was put thus:

Voted, that the "Compromise Plan" of division be adopted, its provisions being as follows, and its results substantially as in the 7th column of sheets drawn up;

1. One-half the value of the property brought in to be returned, in shares of stock, to those who brought it.

2. All persons who have passed the sixteenth birthday since joining the Community to have a bonus of $200; and all the children now born to have a bonus of $200 each when they become sixteen years old; these sums to be issued in stock to all who will have reached the age of sixteen on or before January 1st, 1882,--after that in cash--to parents or guardians, from the earnings of the Company.

3. The remainder of the Capital stock after satisfying the above provisions to be divided amongst all the members over sixteen years of age according to time of membership over sixteen.

4. All the children now born to be supported and educated at the expense of the Company until they arrive at the age of sixteen.

5. Aged persons and invalids to have the option of a guaranty of support for life in lieu of stock, as previously agreed.

6. Widowers to have two-thirds and widows one-third of the amount brought in by themselves and their deceased partners as a credit, subject to the same rule of division as other property brought in.

The informal trial vote on the above in the evening meeting of Sept. 15th was by rising.  W. A. Hinds and F. Wayland-Smith were appointed tellers to count heads. Absent members were quite fully represented by proxies.  The feeling was so unanimous and settled in favor of the plan that a formal and binding vote by calling the "Yeas and Nays" from an alphabetical list of the members was called for.  Mr. J.W. Towner protested with some warmth against pushing the matter through so hastily, but as he had been absent some days on a visit to Vineland, N.J., he was less prepared than the rest of the family. It seemed so desirable that final action in a matter so important should be taken while we were so well agreed that the vote was proceeded with.

Wm. A. Hinds and F. Wayland-Smith recorded the vote. The result was as follows:

Votes on the "Compromise Plan" by "Yeas & Nays."
(Evening Meeting, O.C., Sept. 15th, 1880


John Abbott
Laura Abbott
Jane "
Daniel "
Joseph Ackley
Julia "
Manly Aiken
Emily Allen
H.G. "
H.E. Joslyn
G.D. Allen
Harriet Ackley
Johathan Burt
Lorinda "
Abram "
Eliza Aiken
Fidela A. Burt
Catherine Baker
Mary Baker
L.H. Bradley
S.A. "
H.W. Burnham
Abbie S. "
E.S. "
Marion Noyes
Delight Bristol
Isabelle Brooks
Alvah Barron
Alfred "
Homer "
F.M. "
Lily Cragin
W. R. Inslee
Y. Joslyn
C.S. Joslyn
S.Y. Joslyn
Mabel "
Sarah Johnson
Wm. Jones
Emma Freeman
Albert Kinsley
Jane A. "
Martin "
Myron H. "
W.G. Kelly
Daniel Kelly
L.E. Kelly
Annie Miller
Eliz. Kellog
Otis Kellog
O.A. Kellog
Ellen Nash
Alice Sears
S.W. Nash
P.H. Norton
C. Olds
H.N. Olds
Emily O. Kelly
M.D. Pomeroy
M. Louise Prindle
W.H. Perry
Charlotte Reide
G.W. Reeve
Martha S. Reeve
J.L. Skinner
H.H. Skinner
H.J. Seymour
Chloe Seymour
L.B. Smith
F. Wayland-Smith
F. Sears
Ann C. Sears
J.F. Sears
G.L. Lord
Phebe Whitney
S.A. Story
Betsey Thayer
Hanry Thayer
Jerusha Thomas
Henry Thacker
Frank Tuttle
Arthur Towner
C.W. Underwood
Portia Allen
L. VanVelzer
Ann Eliza Vanvelzer
Jas. Vaill
H.M. Worden
C.J. Wayland-Smith
S.R. Leonard
F.M. Leonard
John Leonard
C.M. Leonard
John R. Lord
Margarett Langstaff
L.T. Waters
E. Whitfield
W.H. Woolworth
W. Whitney
Mary Whatley
Flora Tuttle
Clara Waite
Jessie Kinsley
Almira Higgins
Julius Hawley
Roswell Hawley
Alfred Hawley
Martha Marks
H.A. Hall
Wm. A. Hinds
Deborah Hale
James B. Herrick
Beulah Barron
Fanny Hutchins
J.P. Hutchins
T.R. Noyes
V.C. Noyes
Constance Bradley
Tirzah C. Herrick
Helen C. Barron
George N. Miller
S.H. Mallory
E.H. Hawley
Hattie V. Hatch
Louisa Marks
Frederic Marks
C.R. Marks
H. Matthews
J.H. Noyes
H.A. Noyes


C. Ellis
E.L. Hatch
H.W. "
C.C. "
Jas. H. "
Ida K. Burnham
Jane F. Kinsley
Harriet "
C. Towner


Alice Kinsley
B. Bristol
C.B. Bushnell
Minerva Norton
M.B. Loveland
S. Newhouse
M.J. "
J.N. Norton
T.L. Pitt
Mrs. Robinson
C.H. Smith
Mary Smith
H.S. Hatch
D.E. Smith
S.F. Smith
H. Sweet
C.M Thayer
Rosamonde U
Susie Wordon
G.R. Kellog
C.A. Woolworth
G.B. Stevens
H.C. Noyes
Belle Newhouse
A.D. Wright
Orrin Wright
M.B. Kellogg
Sophronia Higgins
H. Howard

Not Voting

I.M. Loveland
Augusta Towner
E.S. Nash
Mr. Randolph
J.W. Towner
C.B. Underwood
H.A. Warne

(September 16 & 17)


C.M. Thayer
Belle Newhouse
Orrin Wright
Mary B. Kellogg
Ida K. Burnham
Jane F. Kinsley
Harriet "
Harriet Howard
Grace B. Mills
C.B. Bushnell
H.A. Warne
Minerva Norton
C. Ellis
E.L. Hatch
H.W. Hatch
C.C. Hatch
Milford Newhouse
J.N. Norton
Annea C. Robinson
A.D. Wright
Susie Worden
Augusta Towner
E.S. Nash
H. Sibley Hatch
S.F. Smith
H.C. Noyes
J.W. Towner
H. Sweet
I.M. Loveland


Alice Kinsley
B. Bristol
M.B. Loveland
Jas. Hatch
T.L. Pitt


J.W. Randolph
C.B. Underwood
Ella "
Rosamonde "

Not Voting


The number of votes necessary to the adoption of a the plan of division under clause 3rd, of the "Agreement to Divide and Reorganize," (see p. 31) was 192, that being nine-tenths of the whole number of adults; therefore when that number was overrun as recorded opposite, no further effort was made to secure the formal votes of the absentees. The announcement being publicly made that the "Compromise Plan" was adopted, the Commission continued its labors with renewed courage.


Sept. 16, 1880

Voted, that A. Kinsley, F. Wayland-Smith and M.H. Kinsley be a Committee to submit certain legal questions to Senator Kernan of Utica.

Voted, that Martin Kinsley be a Committee to request S. Newhouse to transfer the lease of Joppa to the four.

Voted, that Dr. Noyes and A. Kinsley be Committee to arrange about Carrie A. Woolworth's share in the division, and to request J.H. Noyes to write a Statement for publication regarding the proposed re-organization.

Voted, that the Legal Committee of the Commission look up points and forms for the bye-laws.

Voted, that Albert and Martin Kinsley be a Committee to notify the Oneida banks and legal depositors of the proposed change in our status.

Voted, that W.A. Hinds and George Campbell be a Committee to ascertain how many persons elect to take the guarantee of support in lieu of stock.

O.C. September 16, 1880 ~ T.R. NOYES to J.H. NOYES ~

A scheme of settlement seems about to be adopted; it lacking only 10 votes to make up the 192 necessary to pass it. There is every reason to believe that the 10 will be obtained in a day or two and this scheme is acknowledged generally to be the only one likely to save us the necessity an arbitration there is scarcely any doubt of its adoption.  In this scheme Mrs. Carrie Woolworth's property to be refunded is $23,273.97, it being one half of her deposit.  The paper which has been signed in the basis of action in the reorganization and settlement gives her the right to take this sum in stock of the Company. Now, while acknowledging this right the Commission are strongly of the opinion that it would be unfortunate to have so large an amount of stock owned by a person who has practically withdrawn from the Community and whose relatives are openly hostile to it as they might in the event of her decease cause us much unpleasantness.

The Commission therefore propose that she be asked to relieve the Community by taking her share in a bond or other obligation of the new Company bearing interest at 6% and payable at the end of a reasonable term.

According to the terms of settlement she is entitled (if still a member) to 17 years of service of $113 per year, but as she does not regard herself a member it a question if she will not be willing to relinquish this.

The above states the facts, but the person who deals with her can use their own discretion as to the best mode of presenting the case.  Prompt action in the matter and an early report are very desirable.

The Commission also makes the suggestion that a statement to the public at the proper time giving the reasons for our change of business organization would save much newspaper gossip and notoriety and help our credit and its force would be much greater if coming from Mr. Noyes. They therefore ask him if convenient to prepare such a statement at the proper time.

(Albert Kinsley.)

Committee (T.R. Noyes.)

September 17, 1880 ~ Friday ~ JOURNAL

Since the writing of the last Journal the time of two evenings has been taken up over the discussion of the question whether the new Company shall apply for a charter for a term of twenty-five years, or for fifty years.  On the second evening, to test the feeling of the family an informal vote was taken, which resulted in 84 for a twenty-five years' charter and 70 for one of fifty years. As it was thought desirable to get a larger number of votes for one side or the other of this questions, its further consideration was postponed a few days, and other matters taken up. At a previous meeting the Commission had presented and explained six different plans for a division of the property, but stated that they had been unable to agree among themselves to recommend either one of them--that of the six plans they had come nearest to agreeing on that offered by Mr. Albert Kinsley.  After an evening's discussion these plans were all referred back to the Commission, with the hope expressed that they might agree upon something among themselves before presenting the subject again to the family.  Evening before last the Commission reported a seventh plan--which they were unanimous in offering, as the only one in their opinion which would command a nine-tenths vote and thus avoid appealing to outside arbitration.  They had left no stone unturned in investigating all sides of all the plans offered, and what they offered the family now was their unanimous best--arrived at by all sacrificing more or less of individual preferences, etc., etc.   The plan in brief is to allow those who brought in property to take one-half of their deposits in shares of stock of the new Company; then $200 in shares of stock is allowed each young person and each adult who has become 16 years of age while a member of the Community; also to such as Maud Barron, who will be 16 next year--there being about 80 persons who will receive a special bonus in this way, the list including such names as T.R.N., F.W.-S. Myron, Libbie Kellogg, etc., etc.  Then all children now in the Community and becoming sixteen after the year 1882 are to receive $200 in cash after attaining this age, which sum is to be under the control of the parents or guardians of such children until they are 21. After half of the deposits above referred to is deducted from the whole amount of capital stock, and also the $200 fund payable in shares above referred to, then the remainder of the capital stock is to be divided equally among all members in proportion to their time of service in the Community after they reached the age of sixteen. Only it should be mentioned in this connection that half of Mrs. Carrie Woolworth's deposit of $46,597 is not to be counted in this arrangement, but will stand simply as a loan bearing interest the same as we hold money of neighbors, until there has been some other special arrangement with Carrie  about it. Omitting further details, an informal vote of the family was taken on the question whether under the circumstances they were willing to give up private preferences and vote for the proposed plan.  A few did not vote, but the family present substantially arose en masse in favor of it. Encouraged by such a showing, it was decided the same evening to call the roll and have each name recorded as voting finally "Yea" or "Nay."  The roll-call resulted in 166 yeas to 1 nay--a few not being prepared to vote; and as thirty-seven persons were not present personally nor by proxy on Wednesday evening the names of the absent ones were again called last evening, when the vote for the plan was increased to 189 names--lacking only three of nine-tenths.  As there are more than enough members who are still absent who it is known will vote for the plan when they have the opportunity, it is now considered settled as the basis of division.  Thus the "wave of unanimity" has once more prevailed in an emergency that never could have been settled by mere discussion.

September 17, 1880 ~ COMMISSION RECORD ~

Voted, that the words "children now born in the "Agreement to Divide and Reorganize" refer to the date of that paper or of its signature, which was Sept.1st,1880, and that Ethel Underwood is accordingly the youngest child entitled to support by the new Company  (Carried in evening meeting, Sept.17,1880.

Sept.18,1880. --Voted, that we recommend the following provisions in the case of guaranteed persons:

  1. That they shall be furnished a room or next floor of our dwellings, suitably furnished at the start, free of charge for rent or warming.
  2. They shall receive, in quarterly installments, in gold or its eqivalent ($200) two hundred dollars per year.
  3. In exceptional cases of sickness or infirmity requiring special care or assistance, if two hundred ($200) dollars is not found sufficient to cover all necessary expenses for the year, then the Company shall be responsible for the excess over that sum.  But this provision shall not apply except to persons residing in the Homes of the Company.
  4. The articles furnished the guaranteed persons at the start shall not become their property to be moved away, not shall they be furnished to persons who go away at the start.  But after they are furnished the guaranteed persons shall keep them good as against ordinary wear and tear, from their allowance.
  5. Guaranteed persons shall not remove their residence from the dwellings of the Company (except on temporary absence not exceeding six months) without consent of the Directors, unless they do so permanently, and in that case the Company shall require from their friends or relations to whom they go, a guaranty to receive the difference in addition to their allowance.
  6. In the case guaranteed persons wish to economize on their rents, they shall have liberty to take cheaper rooms and receive the difference in addition to their allowance.
  7. Guaranteed persons shall be entitled to all the co-operative features described in section 4 of the "Agreement to Divide and Reorganize" which are conferred upon other present members of the Community, except the right to employment for wages.
  8. All expenses for medicines and doctor's bills shall be borne by the guaranteed persons except in serious illness requiring nurses, watchers or doctors. The determination of the serious nature of the illness shall rest wholly with the Directors or any Committee they may appoint for the purpose.
  9. Labor on the part of guaranteed persons shall be entirely voluntary.
  10. Passed unanimously in evening meeting, Sept.18th,1880.

    Voted, that full public notice now be given to all who desire to avail themselves of the guaranty shall notify the Chairman or Secretary of the Commission of their decision on or before 10 o'clock A. M. Thursday, Sept.23rd, 1880, and it will be understood that who do not apply for the guaranty before that hour intend to take their shares of stock instead.

    Passed in evening meeting Sept.18, 1880.

    Voted, to invite parents and all other interested persons to hand in written suggestions as to what sums are needed for children under 16, dividing them into three classes, e.g. those between one and five years of age in one class, those between five and ten in a second, and those between ten and sixteen in a third; all the children in each class to have the same annual allowance.  It is recommended that a certain annual sum be allowed for each child under five, another sum for each child between five and ten, and another for each child between 10 and sixteen. These sums should be large enough to cover all expenses except attendance at the school of the Company, which shall be free.  The Company shall furnish a school-room with necessary desks, blackboards, charts, maps, etc. This sum shall cover the expense of ordinary illness.  In cases of serious illness the same rule shall apply as in the parallel clause concerning guaranteed persons.

    Read in evening meeting, Sept. 19, 1880.

    Voted that in the case of Mrs. Polly Palmer the new Company will assume and fulfill all the obligations which the Community has entered into in regard to her.

    (Carried in evening meeting Sept. 19,1880.

    O.C. September 18, 1880 ~ H.J. SEYMOUR to J.H. NOYES

    Bro. Noyes:  I had some impressions that I received in consequence of observations made from the car-window coming home that I thought I would give you an account of when I arrived home.

    Having in mind what you said about table-lands formed by water at different periods and differing heights, I said to myself "Now if I see stratified rock on the brow of the declivity at Lockport where the Canal descends into the lower country, then it follows that the bold escarpment that I saw all the way from Lewiston, as I traveled along at some distance north of it, must be the regular Niagara limestone."   Arrived at Lockport, and sure enough there was the stratified limestone in sight and lime kilns there to prove it.   But the escarpment "Peters out" as the miner's say, and the remains of it in a measure disappear in a southerly direction from the railroad.  But another interesting observation that I made was, that there are extensive quarries of reddish sandstone along the railroad that are precisely like the sandstone that we saw in Queenstown.  Remember too, that we again have the same bold escarpment of limestone in the southern part of Manlius, and again at Chittenango, and finally here up the Oneida Creek on the East hills.  With sandstone just under it and a great thickness of red shale the same as at Queenstown. Remember too, that the cropping out of this stratum is represented in one of Dana's maps as extending all along the south of Lake Ontario, and you have the sum of my reasons for thinking

    1st, that the escarpment from Lewiston to Lockport is the precipitous edge of the Niagara Limestone off which the waters plunged when it was a baby.

    2nd, that the identical stratum of limestone at your place is the same as that on our east and west hills.

    The questions which naturally come up then are, How was it that the stratum is broken off so abruptly?  Supposing it to have been made, why was it not shaved and ground off by the glaciers? As a rule the steeper declivities face in any other direction than north, as in the case of the Connecticut trap. In answer to this latter question, I can only surmise that these declivities facing north were once filled with drift, as at Queenston, and that afterwards special causes denuded them. But such speculations are not much of account except as a guide to further observation.

    Politics are rife here, and they tend to wonderfully deepen and strengthen the earnest and joyful feeling there is an excellent steersman  at the helm, and we are bound to go safely through the rapids.

    With love, H.J. Seymour.

    September, 1880 ~ Niagara Falls ~ H.H. SKINNER to E.H. Hamilton

    Dear Mr. Hamilton:  Sometimes I have said that I never had feelings that I could not express--as many folks have, but for once at least I am burdened with feelings beyond my power of expression.  They are feelings of admiration for Mr. Noyes' spirit and character. I wish I could praise him as he deserves.  He has cultivated the spirit of love, it seems to me, till he is all love.  I will tell you some of his talk yesterday.   I wrote the substance of it, or what relates to the politics of the Community to F.W.-S, and he had written Mr. N. before the question was settled for his advice about the division of property. He said he saw that the object of the other side in cutting down the capital and requiring a two-thirds vote is to make the votes equal and so keep the same state of things there is now. That is a chance for dead-lock at every step we take, and perpetuate the two parties eternally.   He said he had rather give them the balance of power and done with it--our party subside and let them carry on the business--be managers and directors of the whole concern, and we have no connection with them only to receive our dividends as any outsiders who should buy stock might. He thought one side should consent to the other's entire ruling--that a joint-stock company should not be tammeled and blocked by two parties among themselves.  Our side has the most capital and the majority of numbers and the best business talent, and it would not only be right but for the best interest of all who want good dividends that they should have the control--but rather than attempt to go on with two parties he would give the other side full control.

    He said any way he would not live in war. He would get out of the concern first--peaceable, but wholly.  He was not going to spend his time in fighting.  He was going to spend it in production and all the arts of peace. That was the secret of his hiding from O.C. all the last year, and bluffing off all mention to him of things that would tend to irritate him.  It is here that I am led to wonder and admire.  He has carried out this policy of keeping himself out of the element of strife--keeping himself in the love of God and spirit of forgiveness, and in productive enterprise from the beginning.  Before he came from Oneida he persistently refused to hear things that would stir him up against his enemies, and ever since he has kept a deaf ear--and he shows his profiting in so doing.  He has the delirium celestials a good deal of the time, and God gives him all the time such chances to do good and show his good-will instead of spending his time in this quarrel--and gives him more social happiness, I think, than he ever had before--not in the old way--but in a new way.

    He feels very independent of any connection with O.C. for getting his living.  He says it is his good luck and inspiration which has made the O.C. what it is--and that is his capital.  It is worth more than money--he had not lost it and nobody can deprive him of it. The tree is better than the fruit--and his good luck and inspiration is the tree on which all productiveness and prosperity of the O.C. has grown--the tree lives and (pointing over to the works on the east side of the river which begin to make a lively scene) is bearing fruit yet, you see.

    We had interesting letters from F.W.S., Jessie and M. Louise by to-day's mail--since writing the above.  They made John laugh and he thinks we shall really govern even if they get all the offices, which there seems to be no particular danger of.

    He told me to say he should not stand out about the name but give in to the general wish--afterwards he said it would be a misnomer unless his friends controlled the company.

    You can't imagine how he enjoyed flying round yesterday to make the excursionists from O.C. enjoy their visit.   He was in his element and drew out their good side, swallowing up hatred in love.  The flow toward them which he started brought a blessing on us all.  We had a good day.

    You may tell Roswell, as perhaps no one else has written, that the party to Toronto had a very fine time, got home at 2 o'clock in the night.   Martha came here and Fred. Went to his sister's.  Martha and Fred have gone to the whirlpool this afternoon--had our borrowed horse.

    Mr. Woolworth is here.  He says Carrie is sick--the doctor there sprung a severe uterine treatment on her which has made him sick of doctors, and he thinks she begins to be.  I told him I wished he would bring her here and let us take care of her.  He said he had thought she might come to that yet.    With love, H.H.S.

    I am glad to hear a word from you.

    September 18, 1880 ~ Clifton ~ C. CRAGIN to Mr. HAMILTON

    Dear Bro. Hamilton:  Yours of yesterday was at hand.  Sophronia will send her "proxy" to-day. Mrs. Noyes has written to Mr. Pitt to do the same.  Mrs. Skinner has just read me her letter to you, and I can very heartily join her in her admiration of the grace of God as manifested to us all through Mr. Noyes.   His love and kindness of heart to all, stirs up my heart to pray for the same grace--the same Christ-spirit in dealing with every one--and to have it a sincere, honest love, as I know it is with Mr. Noyes.

    Fred. and Martha appear very much at home in our family.  Indeed all who come here on a short visit or merely call, to say "hody-doo," leave behind them whatever is not "lovely and of good report." In Mr. Noyes' presence bad feelings and evil thoughts flee away as darkness before the non-day sun. Good spirits evidently attend him wherever he is.

    To give Jane K. and Ellen M., our kitchen mothers are hard-workers, a treat, I took them to Toronto, by rail to Niagara and steamer across the lake.  Fare for round trip, 8 cts. We enjoyed it much. It was a great "gala day" for the Odd Fellows in the States and Canada.  We reached home at 1--30 in the night.  Canada people are so much like Yankee people, in general, that I forget that I am not under the Stars and Stripes.  A mixing will improve both, under truly heavenly leaders, who believe more in the almighty God of love, than in the almighty dollar of earthly traffic.

    I expect to be with you as soon as Mr. P. returns.

    Yours for love and good will, G.C.

    September, 1880 ~ CHAS. OLDS to J.H. NOYES.

    Dear Father Noyes:  I received notice some weeks ago that there was some money coming to me from the estate of a deceased relative in Massachusetts, one-third of twenty-five dollars--eight dollars, thirty-three cents, which you will find inclosed. I was somewhat surprised to receive this gift coming from the source it did, but the relatives asked me no questions as to what use I should make of it.  Under the circumstances I do not propose to put it into joint-stock, but to send it to you for Bible Communism and any other use you may wish to use it. It belongs to God and the cause you represent.  With full confidence in him and in you as the medium of Christ and Paul in the work of establishing his kingdom in this world, I am yours in the old faith, Chas. Olds.

    September 18, 1880 ~J.H. NOYES to T.R. NOYES ~

    Dear Theodore:  In order to make an annunciation of our change that will be satisfactory to all parties I must get some instructions from headquarters. The course of thought which suggests itself to me is something like this:

    Our present change is the natural evolution from the change we made last year:  that change was made in deference to public opinion; this is made for convenience and concinnity.  A large part of the old body still believes in Communism as they do in Complex marriage; but they also believe that the spirit of Communism can be kept in joint-stockism or any other form of Society and Business; and they believe that this was Paul's faith; so that they continue to stand on his platform, as they pledged themselves to do last year.

    Will this idea elaborated be what you want?

    How much detailed explanation of present arrangement should be given?

    I suppose that, to show business men that the foundation of our credit is firmer than we ever might dilate some on the fact that in the place of the unusual basis of the "four" which Ward Hunt gave us and which was perhaps the best we could have in the abnormal state of Complex Marriage, we are now organized under the latest laws of the State, &c. Please indicate as near as you can what you want.

    Yours, J.H.N.

    I sent your note about Carrie to Mr. Woolworth yesterday, and he has just come to say that in consequence of her having a severe headache he has not done anything in the matter, but expects to attend to it Monday.

    September 19, 1880 ~ RECORD ~

    Recommended that public notice be given requesting every member of the Community over 16 years of age who chooses to do so, to hand in to the Chairman or Secretary of the Committee, on or before Thursday, Sept.23 at 10 A.M., a written statement of the time in years and days, of their membership in the Community, their age at time of joining, and of the property they brought in, and it must be reckoned from the date of joining until Dec. 31, 1880.  In cases where persons have had more than one term of membership their several years may be added.

    Carried in Meeting, Sept.19th, 1880

    September 19, 1880 ~ E.H. HAMILTON to H.H. SKINNER

    Dear Mrs. Skinner:  Your note came to-day.  Have just been reading it to Mr. Kinsley and Sarah Dunn.  I heartily endorse all you say about Mr. Noyes--that he is a blessed medium of love and good will--of the wisdom that "is from above."  I believe the same spirit is in him that caused the words to be spoken, which the shepherds heard, proclaiming "peace, good-will to men."   This is the true revival spirit, and I want to help it on.

    Reading your note makes me want to tell you how this agreement about division has come about, as it appeared to me. As Mr. Noyes said, the other side had sought to cut down the claim for deposits, and our side had pretty firmly resisted.  On our side, we had intended to yield some, and when we saw clearly just how far.   They had worked at the matter several days. Mr. Towner and William had presented plans, and so had others.  Mr. Towner's plan was evidently so unfair that no one in the Community attempted to support it but Mr. Burnham.  The Community finally became discouraged about coming to an agreement.   William said he would like to know what Mr. Noyes' mind was, and finally that he would be willing to submit it to him.   Mr. Kinsley and Campbell said they would, and I think one other member did.  A plan allowing half the deposits, prepared by Theodore and Frank was before the Committee. Mr. Kinsley put in one allowing three-fourths.  Mr. K. offered to compromise with Theodore, and they two, including Frank, finally came together, but the other members of the opposition would not consent. This was the situation when the plans were presented to the family.  Myron, who had been at Niagara, returned the next day after the plans were presented. His father asked him if he knew how Mr. Noyes felt about the matter.  Then Myron told him that Mr. Noyes said if we could get one-half of the deposits he thought we had better accept it.  This was a short time before meeting hour. Mr. K. went and told Theodore we would agree on their plan if others would.  There was not time for the Committee to meet before the family meeting.  After the matter was again before the family, it was referred back to the Committee to see if they could not agree upon a plan.  The result was, that they did agree, and pledged themselves to support this present plan which has now received a nine-tenths vote, and over, of the whole Community. What I saw was, that it was Mr. Noyes' word, through Myron, coming in just the nick of time, that clinched the whole thing.  Mr. Noyes' word was one of concession.  The feeling on the evening we began to vote, reminded me of the good feeling that came with Mr. Noyes' words right after that "shindy."  There seemed to be a feeling of relief and unity.

    Mr. Towner had been away to Vineland, and returned that same day, so that the measure had got under such headway that he could not stop it.  I don't know as I can convey to you how it appeared to me, but it seemed wonderful, and like the 'salvation of God."  Yours truly, E.H. Hamilton.

    September 19,1880 ~ Sunday ~ O.C. JOURNAL.

    By request of the Secretary of Commission we copy into the Journal the following paper relating to guarantys, passed first by the Commission, and then unanimously ratified by the family last evening in the general meeting.  The Secretary wishes that all at W.C. and at Clifton who are interested in these provisions will comply without further notice with the instructions specified in the last paragraph, and report to him by Thursday next:

    Another item passed in meeting is:   "Voted that the words--"children now born" in the "Agreement to Divide and Re-Organize", refer to the date of that paper or of its signing, which was Sept, 1, 1880, and that Ethel Underwood is accordingly the youngest child entitled to support by the new Company."

    O.C. September 19, 1880 ~ J.C. ACKLEY to H.H. SKINER ~

    Dear Mother Skinner:  Your two notes addressed to me were much appreciated. Mr. N.'s reading the hand of Providence in his tapping excursion years ago in connection with recent events is interesting, also in regard to W.C. matters.  It is manifest to us that the Lord is revealing to us events both in the past and present.  The present times seem to be crowded brim full of the Lord's doings.

    The judgment of the Towner principality of late is very marked.  He came to a spot where there was not a soul to help him, and he was destitute of power to help himself. You no doubt get a full report through the Journals sent you.

    There is an article in the 2nd volume of the Magazine entitled, "Graduated Obstructions," which is appropriate to us at the present time.  From this article it is clear to us that there is a ripening of the two principalities.

    I am thankful for the hints that we so often get from Mr. Noyes in regard to looking away from O.C. affairs.   I believe that our success lies in the direction of our getting into communication with the Primitive Church.  I have lately had good experience in turning my heart toward Paul. The idea flashed upon me more clearly than ever before that I could have access to Paul through Mr. N's spirit. With this flash came a baptism of love and peace which melted my heart and I seemed to be in the presence of Mr. N. and Paul in such a way that my heart was satisfied.

    In thankfulness and rest of spirit,
    Yours, J.C.A.

    O.C. September 19, 1880 ~ T.R. NOYES to J.H. NOYES

    Dear Father:  On the basis of the settlement as now practically agreed upon you and your friends will have a working majority in the board of directors. As a representative of the "third party" and an observer of events I desire to offer a few suggestions as to what I deem the most politic use to be made of this power.

    There is not unnatural apprehension among the set who will now be in the minority that the majority may adopt a Jacksonian maxim "To the victors belong the spoils" and make up a service wholly in its own interests, and so practically banish the minority from all foremanship, etc. I don’t think many attribute this attitude to you personally, but some bitter remarks which have been dropped have shown that there exists such a feeling among the more inconsiderate of your friends.

    Now with the adoption of the joint-stock plan it might seem that the function of the third party had been fulfilled and it should dissolve into the other two if they continue to exist, but I tell inquirers that I shall now advocate a third party principle the abolition of the old party lines as far as possible with a single eye to dividends.   I would not ask your party to give any pledges which would hamper you in using the full power of your majority to defend yourselves against unfair tactics on the other side, but I think that if they behave themselves as good citizens aiming at the financial good of the whole, the best policy would be that of conciliation and  fair chance all round at the wages crib.  This would tend to a feeling of common interest and good fellowship which would go far to repair the present shattered state of old relations.

    You and your friends will now be in a position to defy any attempts at sedition such as threw us into these troubles and you can afford to be generous.  My observation is that they feel pretty thoroughly humbled and will aim to meet advances toward reconciliation.

    There is one more point on which I wish to make a suggestion.  One of the difficult points for your majority to control will be that of wages to these accomplished salesmen like John Lord, Myron, &c; of course they will not be satisfied with $2.00 per day nor anything like it, but at the same time there are those at home who are not so brilliant as salesmen but whose practical skill in management is really as important who will feel abused if not given an equal chance.  And then there are many who have never been agents who will want a field if the remuneration is to be very high and they will demand a chance to show their talents.

    Personally I take the view that even if I receive a much lower compensation than these stirring money makers that I shall be better off in the end to let them make money if they turn it into the Company again for after awhile their stake in the dividends will become much higher than their stake in the wages, but I think care will be necessary in the beginning to defend the dividends against all other interests.   I am aware that in the end this matter will regulate itself by the law of supply and demand and I am content that it should be so.

    I write these suggestions at this time because the successful solution of these questions will depend on the complexion of the first set of directors which will be elected any time now.   If we get over future difficulties as fast as we have just passed we shall come pretty suddenly one of these days to the first election. So if you design to act the part of strategist for the majority (and I don't think you can safely delegate it to any one else) you had better be studying your list of candidates. If we have 13 directors it will take $46,000.00 of stock to elect one and it would be well to canvass the votes thoroughly beforehand so as to avoid wasting votes.

    Yours, T.R.N.

    Dear Mr. Noyes:  I concur in the foregoing suggestions.  You and your

    September 20, 1880 ~ Monday ~ COUNCIL.

    Communication from Augusta E. Towner read. Moved, and carried, that she have the same privilege to invite her friends, and extend them Community hospitalities, that other members have.  She claimed that her rights in that respect had been unjustly interfered with.

    Some conversation on the responsibility that rests with parents in regard to restraining their children from disagreeable talk and behavior.  When anything of this kind is seen, recommended that the parents of the children be labored with.

    September 20, 1880 ~ Clifton ~ H.A. NOYES to DR. NOYES.

    Dear Theodore:  It must have been on the 26th or 27th of November, 1837, that the papers entrusting a sum to Mr. Mead were made out. Your father or I do not remember whether the interest was sent to us or used at Putney.  I presume sometimes one way and sometimes the other. Any way they were used in the Community.

    It is quite providential that your health is good at this time as you have so much on your hands.

    I think I kept some papers relating to the trust fund which I could tell L.A. Thayer where to find if you wanted it. I don't remember what it was, but may be it was something about the release of the trust.  May be it is of no use.


    Affectionately, H.A. Noyes.

    We are all well.

    September 20, 1880 ~ Clifton ~ J.H. NOYES to THEO. R. NOYES

    Dear Theo:  I sent your letter about Carrie's matter to Mr. Woolworth, and afterwards I saw Mr. W., and talking the matter over with him, I thought as he did they ought not to ask here to take the whole sum due her ($23,999) in a note and bond and I thought they would be satisfied if she would take half of it in that way and the other half of it in stock and wrote to him accordingly. He has come now (Monday) and says she objected to your proposal, but accepted mine, and is satisfied with it. Further, I don't think it is a comely thing to ask her to relinquish her claim for services.   She has not withdrawn from the Community and settled with it any more than I have, and she don't like to be counted out. I think she well deserves as much as any one among us to be reckoned as one of the servants of the Community, and she was really wounded in the service and ought to be treated as a pensioner rather than refused her wages.  As to precluding any difficulty from her relatives, she is ready and wishes to transfer her stock to Mr. Woolworth and to will all her property in the Community to him.

    This will probably be a satisfactory arrangement so far as difficulty may be anticipated from her relatives, and I think it is all that can be reasonably asked of her.


    Yours, J.H. Noyes

    P.S.  Carrie is willing and wishes (she said, I think, in her letter to you) to give the Community terms of paying the bonded part of her portion.

    O.C. September 20, 1880 ~ V.C. NOYES to H.H. SKINNER

    Dear Auntie H.:  Mrs. Dascombe, who has just arrived, handed me a note sealed up in a small envelope and addressed to me.  I opened it expectantly, but to my surprise could not make "head or tail" of it, as they say.  The note, or rather fragment of a note, was not addressed to me (though the envelope was) nor to any one, but struck at once into discourse about something or rather somebody that I knew nothing about.  I concluded things were mixed somehow.  I took the thing to Chloe, who said at once it must have been intended for Ernest DeLatre.  Probably he has had the pleasure of reading or wondering over the note you intended for me. I trust there was nothing contraband in it?  I am always glad to hear from you, and mean to write, but am very busy now-a-days--it is our harvest time in the store.  Things seem to be coming to a focus--even joint stock seems better than the anarchy that has prevailed for the last year or two.

    I miss father's talks.  Give my love to him and Mother Noyes, reserving a goodly share for yourself. 

    Yours, Victor.

    H.H. SKINNER:  You expressed a wish to hear more of Mrs. Hector's visit with Mrs. N. She spent two nights here, but she was out walking most of the time while here.  I had the pleasure of one walk with her which I would not willingly have missed.  It was to what is called the Street Place--now the residence of Mr. Mallen the nephew of the original owner.  It is on an eminence overlooking the Rapids above the Horseshoe Falls, and the garden and house exceed any that I ever saw.  The floral display was exquisite, and the walks and trees--the vistas discovering others--the billowy waters, etc.  While we were going up there Mr. H. showed me many familiar scenes to her--the site of the old pavilion--of the barracks--where a crack regiment as she called it--many of them lords and lords' sons--whose gallantries made a gay time for her and her sister's.  The old Street house I think she called it under the hill where they used to dance, &c., which only for her familiarity with the way and vigorous enterprise we should not thought of doing.  Mrs. Bradley went with her one afternoon to Goat Island and she was gone several hours to visit the Old Homestead and neighboring scenes.  She told us a good deal about the Delatre family, especially the admirable characteristic of youthfulness and vivacity which was so conspicuous in your father.

    We were very much pleased with what acquaintance we formed with your friends from London, and often speak of it to our O.C. visitors as something very pleasant.  The afflatus and music and their sweetness as well as elegance makes holds in our memories.  Mr. N. is very much in love with Canadian manners--they are so friendly and unaffected. When he and Mr. Pitt were looking about here for a home they encountered Mr. Bush, the millionaire just south of us--and making some inquiries of him, he invited them into one of his hotels and gave them some wine.  He said to them, "We are strangers and don't know each other from Adam--but we are all human beings."  That tickled Mr. N. immensely, and the thinks it is the Canadian if I judge by the treatment he received continuously.

    Mr. Noyes on receipt of your letter took the money immediately to the sexton.

    September 21, 1880 ~ J.H. NOYES to E.H. HAMILTON ~

    Dear Mr. Hamilton:  Before answering your question about being Director, I feel the need of more exact knowledge about the plans for electing officers and the needs and wishes of all concerned.  A talk with you or Myron would be most satisfactory; but perhaps you can do the business by letter.

    Yours, J.H.N.

    O.C. September 21, 1880 ~ T.R. NOYES to J.H. NOYES ~

    Dear Father,--The matter of the nature of allowance to the public will have to wait till the commission meets to-morrow. There is no hurry about it.

    The proposals to Carrie were not made by me personally. Mr. Kinsley and myself acted simply as a committee.  The subject was introduced by Myron and he said she regarded herself as no longer a member and it was thought she would be willing to give something from her abundance.

    Yours truly, T.R.N.


    September 22, 1880 ~ COMMISSION ~

    Voted, that the Finance Committee be notified that sixty thousand dollars in cash will be needed about the first of November, to cover the required 10 per cent. Cash subscription to the stock of the new Company, and instructed to negotiate for procuring the same.

    Voted, that the Committee on settling with seceders be authorized to settle with Mr. Randolph on the basis of returning him what he put in gold, after January 1st, with the recommendation that H.W. Burnham be the medium of communication.

    RECORD. --Sept. 23rd. 1880. --Evening Meeting. --Voted, that we organize the new company as a "limited liability" company. (Carried).

    Voted, that the name of the new corporation be "Oneida Community, (Limited). (Carried

    Voted, that the Shares in the new corporation be of the value of $25.00 each (Carried).

    Voted that the Capital stock of the new corporation be set at $600,000. (Carried).

    September 22, 1880 ~ J.H. NOYES to T.H. NOYES ~

    Dear Theodore:  Of course we shall treat all directors, legally chosen, with decency and respect.  I have shown your letters to Myron and if you have no objections should like to have Mr. Hamilton see them.  Myron will take them along and you can let him show them or not as you please.

    If you have any more to say, say on. I appreciate your advice very much and shall look to you a great deal for wise protection of my interests whether you are chosen director or not.

    I do not think I shall take any office of director, or other in the company, partly on account of not wishing to be confined to the business and meetings of directors and partly because I have other business in view.  On that account I would be pleased to have you or some other member of the Noyes family in office; but shall leave the matter to the judgment of others.

    Yours in love, J.H.N.

    Can you or Frank tell me what proportion of loss the two parties suffer by giving up half of the original investments.

    P.S.--The machine of Joint-Stockism which we are going to try was invented by you and you know the most about it and are most likely to run it fairly.  On this account I think you ought to be President or at least Director--if you could in any way make your peace with the ruling party.

    September 22, 1880 ~ J.H. NOYES to T.R. NOYES ~

    Dear Theodore:  Please let me say a few words confidentially before answering your letter positively or making up my mind about it.   I want light and perhaps your advise will be as useful as any body's.

    What do you mean when you say that my friends have a working majority?  A very few more than an exact balance is not generally considered a working majority, and certainly would not be practically, if the rule of a two-thirds or three-fourths vote should be adopted.

    If matters are so managed that the thirteen directors will be balanced against each other as they are now will not the old struggle for power go on?

    To say nothing of the discomfort and waste of power in such a struggle, it is desirable simply with reference to dividends that the managers should be so divided and possibly hampered by each other?

    I have great confidence in your good sense and fairness, and having much admired the skill and success of your late steering, I am well-disposed to take your advice, and have even thought that I could vote or elect to use for you as President of the future Company. I must also wait for the views of my friends, and in the meantime I must ask you to give me a list of directors which would suit you.  I am confident that neither I nor my friends would wish to exclude any of the third party; and I can think of only one or two at most of the other party opposed to me, that I should wholly dislike to act with.

    We must recollect in this canvass that the new Company has other busi-interests besides dividends to attend to "nolens volens"--such as the care of children--and in that respect is different from common corporations and will require higher wisdom.

    If you can show me a prospect of peaceable, efficient management in any line of policy, you will find me very pliable in regard to the means--political and otherwise--but that is just what I can't see in the deadlock of balanced parties.

    As to wages I have half a mind to offer for myself and to advise my friends to offer to serve the new Company for mere board and clothing and take our pay all in dividends.

    By-the-way, what is to be my function in the new Company, anyhow?  I want to work for it.

    Yours, J.H. Noyes.

    Let us open our mind freely.

    September 23, 1880 ~ Evening Meeting ~ RECORD

    Voted, That the duration of the new Company be fixed at fifty years. (Carried.)

    Voted, to refer the selection of Commissioners for organizing the new Company to the present Commission, they to report to the general meeting.

    September 23, 1880 ~ Clifton ~ H.A. NOYES to T.R. NOYES

    Dear Theo:  You must think me demented or very careless to make such a mistake as that--It is the latter, I guess.  You must have had a laugh at my expense.  It was 1847 the day after your father was arrested.

    Mrs. Thayer has a copy of the list I made out of the date of births of all members in the Community--also the date of their joining--deaths, and leaving the Community.  Perhaps you have got it.  I think it is more full than Mr. Abbott's. Yours, H.A. Noyes.

    September 23, 1880 ~ Thursday ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

    Thursday. - Dear H.A.N.  I think that Sarah's secret trouble is Leonard. He has not come up with faith and confidence in Mr. Noyes as she hoped he would and his marriage claim is oppressive to her.  When I told her I guessed she would go to N. by and by she said she did not think he would be willing. Afterwards she said perhaps he would. She would not say so till he had been tried.  I have known ever since this new social platform that she had to make a practical matter of the 7th of 1.Cor., that her body was not her own.  Perhaps it has been good for her to wean her from Leonard some. I think I ought to be thankful to Mr. Skinner that he does not actually claim me--though he has more or less temptation that way.--The meeting is occupied now entirely with politics. Theodore is chairman. Mr. Hamilton says he is virtually the leader here.  I shall feel free to stay away.  Sarah says she has to go to deliver your vote.  I did not know but you could choose some man like Mr. Campbell and she would not feel obliged to go.  She can get a proxy for herself but not for the one she is proxy to.  Your note just came.  Thank you very much.  I left my tooth-brush where we hang aprons.    H.

    September 24, 1880 ~ RECORD.--COUNCIL.--IN COMMISSION. ~

    Voted, that the family be recommended to elect nine Commissioners for organizing the new Company, each adult to have one vote, and the nine persons receiving the highest number of votes to be the Commissioners.  It is further recommended that the election be by writing on a sheet of paper to be prepared by Dr. Noyes.

    (Defeated in Evening Meeting Sept. 24.

    Voted, that Albert and Martin Kinsley be a Committee to notify S.F. Hand, Cashier, of our contemplated change to a joint-stock Company.

    IN EVENING MEETING.-Sept.24, 1880.--Moved as a substitute to the recommendation of this date from the Commission concerning the election of Commissioners for the new Company, that the members of the present Commission themselves act as Commissioners of the new Company.

    Moved, as an amendment, that Mr. C.S. Joslyn be added as a Commissioner.

    (Amendment and Motion carried nem con.)

    September 25, 1880 ~ Sunday ~ T.R. NOYES to J.H. NOYES

    Dear Father:  I have been so very busy during the week that I have found no connected time in which to write you as I desired in response to your note.   As to the matter of the announcement the Commission are in no hurry and some think there may be no necessity for one at all. But the general wish was expressed that you would get something ready at your convenience which can be modified to suit the circumstances at the time it is required.  The general ideas in your notes were liked and no additional suggestions were made.  We hope that we shall get through the change quietly without much newspaper gossip.

    On consideration I don't think I care to take office in the new Company.  The only thing which would tempt me would be the chance it would offer for a practical vindication of my character for financial wisdom, but on the whole I think there have been so many animosities around against the relation between you and myself that it would be the wisest course for me to stand in the background for the present.  At the same time if it be found that I shall suit the majority better than any one else I am willing to do what I can.

    Your own function in the Company, can be, I take it, what you please, if, as it seems, you can carry the majority which has several times voted for you lately.  You can certainly vote yourself in director and probably have some influence to name the officers.

    I have not figured the matter out closely yet, but it is common report that the party which as attended the South Sitting-Room meetings will own 2/3 the stock.  This is certainly an ample majority on all questions which will be decided by majority vote.  And on this question of how large a majority shall decide matters in the board of directors, we are going to have a little fight before long when we come to make the by-laws.

    The third party, and, I judge, the South Sitting-Room party are thoroughly sick of the state of things under our old unanimity rule in which a factious minority led by a smooth talker like Wm. Hinds can block the wheels.  Of course there are a few things, like selling ut here at O.C. or the buying of a new place somewhere which might be placed under a 2/3 or 3/4 majority for decision, but for all matters of administration likely to arise in the ordinary course of business I think we shall adopt the rule of a simple majority in the board of directors.  When the minority have been given time to make their protests and have been respectfully listened to then the majority will decide and have got to submit.   About the only things which I would dislike to entrust to a simple majority on those matters which bear on the permanence of our home here with its co-operative privileges.  But in this matter of the by-laws the majority of stockholders have the right to make them to suit yourselves so long as you hold them at the time of making the by-laws a numerical majority of the stockholders.

    While I do not care to be a director I feel an active interest in having the Company make a good start, and so I think advice will be best laid out at the source of power.

    Now let me take a practical view of the situation. You say "can think of only one or two at most of the other party opposed to me that I should wholly dislike to act with."  I don't think I quite understand the full meaning of your last line but I suppose the persons you refer to are Mr. Towner and Wm. Hinds.  Now as we are organizing a Company in which they are stockholders we can never prevent them from becoming directors if they can command votes enough and the other directors will have to act with them and submit to hear them protest against anything they did not like.

    Now as a matter of practical wisdom, if the devil himself was a director I think it would be well to treat him civilly and even give him a share of executive work, because, if he were wholly excluded and trod upon, he would figure as a martyr and give additional strength with the voters.

    I think it is certain that Mr. Towner, Wm. Hinds, Mr. Burnham and Martin Kinsley will be voted directors.

    This will leave nine to be filled by your party for I don't think Frank or myself have enough personal following to give us $46,000 of votes.  Chas. Joslyn is certainly ambitious and may get enough from the Allens and Joslyns and their friends to put him in, but I don't think he represents your interests.

    I should say the eight or nine your party would put in should be men who can work in practical courtesy with the four first named though they might hold what private feelings they wished.

    In my view it would be a calamity to carry the war against Towner into the new Company in any way to try to exterminate him. He and his schemers have been thoroughly defeated in every move of the revolution and are comparatively harmless. The martyr position will give them more power than that in which they receive civility and neglect.

    As to wages I should not advise you to work for no wages, because the other side will certainly refuse to do so and so take a disproportionate amount of the profits.  I think the path of wisdom would be for moderation all round which they cannot refuse to co-operate in under the terms of the agreement.

    Perhaps you have had enough advice for to-day. If I hear from you during the week I shall have time to add more next Sunday.

    Yours in hope,  Theo.R.Noyes

    September 26, 1880 ~ EVENING MEETING ~ RECORD

    Voted, that an annual appropriation of Two Hundred dollars ($200.) be made for the support and education of each child now born and belonging to members of the Community, from the age of one year to two and a-half years, said sum to be paid in gold or its equivalent.

    September 26, 1880 ~ COMMISSION ~

    Voted, that T.R. Noyes and G. Campbell be a Committee to record the time and property claims of individuals, and the records of the Community books as to time of membership and property brought in, in preparation of figuring for the final sheet which is to determine what each one's shares shall be.

    Voted, that the Commission have authority from the Community to settle with certain individuals concerning special property matters involved in our re-organization.

    (Carried in Special Business Board, Sept.28.

    Voted, that every member of the Community who owns property of any kind outside the Community shall immediately report the same to the Commission in writing, stating the location of the property, its nature, and as nearly as possible, its value.

    (Read in evening meeting Sept.28, 1880.)

    Voted, that the attention of the family be called to the matter of the by-laws for the new Company, and every prospective stockholder to be invited to hand into the Commission written suggestions for the by-laws.

    (Read in evening meeting Sept.28, '80.

    Voted that the Commission  have authority from the Community to expend such necessary sums, not exceeding fifty dollars, as they may all agree upon pushing along the re-organization of our affairs.

    (Carried in Special Business Board, Sept.28, '80.

    Voted, that we send F. Wayland-Smith to Albany to examine certain points relative to drawing up the by-laws, etc.

    (Carried in Commission,Sept.28.)

    September 25, 1880 ~ H.H. SKINNER to H.A. NOYES ~

    Dear H.A.N.:  I received your package by Fred, last evening.  I suppose you answered Mr. Woolworth's letter there. I could not get anything to him before he leaves if I should write.  I was pleased with what he wrote.  It was the best ting I had heard from Carrie since her derangement.   I think the spoiling of the goods of the strong man is going on.  It was very interesting about Martha.  I feel good about Carrie's having it out with her desire to travel, and keeping away from the turmoils of the revolution in O.C. 

    I have heard nothing about her affairs since I came here. Theodore had not shown Mr. N's letter to Mr. Hamilton.  I should think the folks here would feel as if they had been through ten colleges and lived a hundred years by the time they get everything settled.  The questions seem interminable, and every night is a town meeting.

    I wonder if John would like to have Holton come there now.  His other comes here more and more, and Sarah Dunn was going to write to me if I had not come home, advising to have him come there.  He is a good-hearted beautiful boy, but not so strong against temptation as Humphrey.

    P.M.--Received the proxy letter.   Sarah is pleased, but I have not seen Mr. Campbell yet.

    The most trouble I hear is about the children, and Mr. Hamilton and Sarah say the same, their associations, and the way this quarrel works amongst them--it seems to call for hurrying up the separation--or something.

    Alfred and Beulah would like to come next Thursday if the party there get ready to come home.  I told them I would report.

    With love, H.

    Love to Jane and Louisa and Ellen.

    September 26, 1880 ~ H.H. SKINNER to H.A. NOYES ~

    Dear H.A.N.:  I have received the budget about Victor.  Mr. Hamilton invited him to read newspapers for us two days ago and he has done it with his usual acceptability.  Mr. H. thinks anything to make him keep his self-respect will be good. He says it has come into his mind lately how Victor used to get up into a chair and act the part of preacher when he was a little boy in Brooklyn--once he remembers some one asked him what he was going to do when he became a man, and he said, "preach the gospel." I am going to take my usual walk with him at four o'clock--which is just the time now.  Perhaps I shall have something more to report to-morrow. I pray that I may be a good medium to him.

    He has come. H.H.S.

    Say to Tirzah I will write to her when I have time.

    September 27, 1880 ~ Monday ~ O.C. JOURNAL. MINUTES OF COUNCIL ~

    A communication from J.H. Cragin requesting his wife Lily be allowed to prolong her visit to New Haven for a few weeks, in order to receive some medical treatment.  Granted (Adjourned.)

    In the meeting of the Business Board, Sunday,Oct.3rd, J.S. Freeman reported the amount of sales for September by Departments, showing an aggregate of sales of $45,709.04--being $2,218.28 more than for September 1879; also an aggregate of $282,884.67 for the year 1880 to Sept.39th--being $16,298.77 more than for 1879 to same date.

    September 27, 1880 ~ RECORD.--IN COMMISSION. ~

    The subject of the appropriation for the support of children from age of two and a-half years to sixteen having been warmly debated in several evening meetings without coming to any agreement in regard to it, the Commission re-examined the matter and brought in the following recommendation, which was carried in evening meeting Sept.28th:

    Voted, to recommend the following plan for the support of the children which is to apply to all future years which there remain any children over two and a half and under 16 years of age, and who are covered by the 7th section of the agreement to divide and re-organize, the youngest to come under the provision being Ethel Underwood.

    1. That after deducting 10 per cent. From the net earnings of the Company, for the payment of its debts or the accumulation of a surplus, whenever the remaining 90 per cent. shall amount to 10 per cent. on the par value of the stock of the Company, one hundred dollars ($100) shall be allowed for the support of children between two and one-half and sixteen years of age for the ensuing year.

    2. If in any year the 90 per cent. of net earnings remaining after paying 10 per cent. for the debt, or the accumulation of a surplus, shall be an amount which is less than 10 per cent. on the par value of the stock of the Company, there shall be deducted from $100 a sum at the rate of $10. for every one per cent. the 90 per cent. falls short of 10 per cent. on the par value of the stock of the Company, and the remainder shall be paid as the allowance for children for the ensuing year, provided said remainder does not fall below $80.00.  If in any year the remainder, calculated as above, falls below $80. enough shall be added to make up $80. which shall be the sum allowed to children for the ensuing year.

    3. If in any year the 90 per cent. of net earnings remaining after paying 10 per cent, for the debt or the accumulation of a surplus, shall be an amount which is more than 10 per cent. on the par value of the stock of the Company, there shall be added to $100. a sum at the rate of $10 for every one per cent. the 90 per cent. runs over 10 per cent. on the par value of the stock of the Company and the sum made by this addition shall be paid as the allowance for children between two and one-half and sixteen years of age for the ensuing year, provided that the said sum does not exceed $125.  If in any year the sum calculated as above rises above $125, enough shall be taken off to reduce the sum to $125, which shall be the sum allowed to children for the ensuing year."

    4. That each child shall be furnished, at the beginning of the new organization bedstead and bedding at the rate of one-half the cost of an average adult's bedstead and bedding, the cost to be estimated by Mrs. P.H. Norton, F.M. Barron and A.C. Sears."

    5. It is further provided that an extra allowance of $20 per year be made to the following women, from the time their children become two and one-half years of age until they are ten years of age, viz. Rosamond Underwood, Harriet Howard, Harriet Worden for Stella, and Marion Dunn for Beatarice, as long as these women remain unmarried.

    (Carried in evening meeting Sept. 28

    Voted on last item (5) by rising, as follows,

    Yeas, 53; Nays, 25.

    Voted, that every child over five years of age whose parents wish it to room apart from themselves shall be allowed and paid by the Company one-half the average cost of a room, in cash, while the room is so occupied by the child; said room to be furnished with two chairs, a looking-glass, chamber vessel, stand or table, and bureau or wardrobe, such as are now furnished in said rooms.

    Voted, that it shall be the duty of the Company to heat the rooms so occupied by children under sixteen, free of charge.

    Voted, that after the prices of the sleeping-rooms are fixed, a parent who keeps a child in the same room with himself or herself, shall have an allowance of that proportion of the rent of the room which is represented by 45 square feet of floor space, the same to be paid by the Company yearly in cash to said parents on account of the child. This provision shall not apply to rooms of less than 100 square feet of floor space.

    (The above three points carried in evening meeting Sept.28.)

    Vote, that time of membership shall be credited to all who have spent time in any branch of the Oneida Community since February, 1848, the same as if spent in the Oneida Community.

    (Carried in evening meeting Sept.28.)

    September 27, 1880 ~ Clifton ~ G. CRAGIN to E.H. HAMILTON

    Dear Bro. Hamilton:  Yours of the 22nd was received the next day, and having business over the river I attended at once to the business of your note and replied in pencil and put the note in my memo book to be mailed that evening, but it got in among other papers, and so was not sent. According to your figuring the cost of a telegram via. Clifton, allowing 25c to the carrier is just 67-1/2c to us, and a telegram via Niagara Falls allowing 35cts. to carrier is just 60cts. to us, a difference of 7-1/2c in favor of Niagara Falls.   In conversing with the head operator at the Telegraphic Station over the river he said he would be glad to reduce the price of the carrier if he thought 35cts was too high.  They send telegrams to the Clifton House very often and have always charged 35cts., and 50cts. is charged when they take a telegram to the Prospect House. He further stated that very soon the boy carrier would be discharged and then the running would devolve upon himself and his associate in the office and that he certainly could not carry a message for less than the price they now charge.  I then told him I was satisfied that the price was reasonable--for I said to myself that I should want a quarter for a walk on a dark night, from the bridge to hour house.  The operator was gentlemanly and genial.  I gave him three names to whom telegrams would usually be sent, J.H.N., T.L.Pitt, and J.B.Herrick.

    From my standpoint or as I look at it, I would advise Mr. Smith to send uniformly via. Niagara Falls.  It will not be long before we shall have an office over the river, for it is barely possible that we may take the job of putting up those buildings for Shelkoff & Co.  (I do not yet know how to spell the Dutch name).  Myron and D.M. Kelly have been to Buffalo to-day and the former has stopped over night on his return to make inquiries about lumber, $c. Builders are figuring upon the job and expect to report day after to-morrow.

    I may add, in conclusion, that I am feeling more and more as though this was my real Community home.  Or, in other words, that real heart union and Pentecostal Communism has chosen this locality for its base of future operations on the world.

    Expecting to be with you soon, I remain as ever, your loving brother,

                                                                    G. Cragin.

    O.C., September 28, 1880 ~ E.H. HAMILTON to J.H. NOYES ~

    Dear Mr. Noyes:  We will be on the alert about the matter of which you write.

    Am thankful about Carrier's course.

    Your note will make us more active and watchful.

    More another time.


    Yours, E.H.Hamilton.

    September 28, 1880 ~ H.H. SKINNER to H.A. NOYES ~

    Dear H.A.N.:  Victor has said nothing to me yet.  I have looked for him to tell him that his father would probably like to hear from him, but do not find him.  Mr. Hamilton showed me a line he (Victor) left in his (Mr. H's) P.O. box resigning his office of newspaper reader.  Mr. H. wanted me to tell him he would like to talk with him a little before he accepts his resignation.  Mr. Kelly told Mr. H. that Victor told him he did not think he was worthy to take the place his father wants he should.

    Mary Louise would like to make a visit to Niagara when she gets well--asked me to write the same to you.

    September 29, 1880 ~ H.H. SKINNER to H.A. NOYES ~

    Dear H.A.N.:  Talking with S.K.D. she says she don't wonder that Mr. Pitt has some anxiety about Doty, with Mabel for his mother, of course she has no interest to protect him from Mary Van.  Sarah sent word in time to Mr. Pitt to have him choose a new mother, but he recommending Miss Wait, but he chose Sarah Johnson, who had Felix, and besides that was too much disabled to take care of a young child as that, one that wanted attention nights, &c.  She thinks now if he would like Miss Wait (who is just going to part with Kenneth) the change could be made on the ground that his father would prefer some one of more experience. Sarah has felt delicate about making the change herself.  She has great confidence in Miss Wait.  Perhaps it will be so Doty can come to N. before long, though I suppose it is more on Mr. Pitt's account than anything else that John wants he should stay here. I suppose I could make the change if you  did not want to say anything to Mr. Pitt about it.

    Alfred says Tuesday will be Beulah's bad day and they will wait till Saturday, which I suppose will be all the same to you. In haste.

    Thank you very much for writing so often.


    In love, H.H.S.

    O.C. September 30, 1880 ~ E.H. HAMILTON to J.H. NOYES ~

    Dear Mr. Noyes:  Six of us, Mr. Kinsley, Mr. Campbell, Otis Kellogg, Alfred Barron, H.G. Allen, and myself spend an hour every morning in talking over the situation. I read your note to this circle. We were glad of your suggestions and have appointed Mr. Campbell and Alfred to pay special attention to the matter you speak of.

    In regard to directors, as they must be present in person at their meetings, we thought you would not think best to be on the board, as you do not wish to come here.  You can have some one elected who would be likely to be present and who would represent your ideas.  Your advice would always have weight with your friends.

    All of the persons I have named would like to have Theodore on, but have some hesitation about putting on Frank too, as it would give them the balance of power, or likely to do so.  As we can figure now, the situation is about as follows--

    Out of 13 directors we could elect 8 and have a fraction over. Theodore's special friends can furnish about half enough votes to elect him, so that he would need that fraction, and perhaps more.   If more, then if we put in Frank it would leave only 6 of our side that we could depend on.

    Friday, Oct.1st.--Myron handed me your second note last evening.  You have anticipated a part of what I have written, but I will send it along. Myron reports your advice as to number of directors.  We will keep the number as small as we can.  I was specially glad of your advice on this point.  We will try and not have the number above 9 or 11 at most.

    Out of 11, we could elect seven and a fraction over, Out of 9, barely 6 without the fraction.  Considering the large range of our industries, a board of 9 percent would be required to fairly represent them all.

    I might say about Theodore, that before receiving your first note all of the circle I have named were quite in favor of his being one of the directors, even if we had to help him.  I think he has gained favor on our side lately.

    I was glad to have Myron come here to work until this matter is closed up.  I had it in mind to write you about it, but you got ahead.

    Yours truly, E.H. Hamilton.

    September, 1880 ~ Thursday ~ H.H.S. to H.A.N.

    Dear H.A.N.:  Mr. Olds is not concerned at all about the cot-bed and expects to go with Alfred's party Saturday.  They are glad of his company.  I hope Beulah will take on a new tone there.  It is two or three months, I think, that Alfred has carried her meals to the top story of the new part.  Lately she has been under the Dr., had taken any quantity of quinine before he began to treat her so that he said she had run it out, and has given her arsenic.   The little girl will be entertaining to her father, I guess. Alfred has been a good foster-father and he has been a soldier in this campaign--the very  counterpart of W.A.H.  I hope he will enjoy his visit every much.

    Mrs. Stevens who is abed yet sent for me and expressed her delight at our present.  She said she was going to have it put between her arm and right side if she was laid away as she some expected to be.  You can't realize the commotion there is here all the time.   Mr. Towner works this way and that to equalize the division--for instance, he is trying to have those who hold less stock exempted from taxes, and so the strain is kept up.  I don't go to meeting, but once in awhile the topics are brought up in our noon meeting for concerted action.

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