This digitization project was supported by Regional Bibliographic Databases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing Program funds, awarded by the New York State Library.
Microfilming Corporation of America
Glen Rock, New Jersey
NOTE TO THE RESEARCHER
HISTORY OF THE ONEIDA COMMUNITY
NOTE ON ARRANGEMENT OF THE COLLECTION
BRIEF REEL LISTING
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND REEL LISTING
The Microfilming Corporation of America does not own the literary rights or the copyright for publications included in this microfilm edition. It is the responsibility of an author to secure permission for publication from the holder of such rights for materials contained in this microfilm edition .
The Microfilming Corporation of America wishes to thank all who helped to make this microfilm edition possible. First thanks goes to the staff of the George Arents Research Library, Syracuse University, Sara McCain, Director, for their lively interest in this project and their continuing support. It is the Syracuse collection, the most complete Oneida Community collection in existence, that was used for this project. Thanks goes also to the Syracuse University Press for their permission to reprint the history of the Oneida Community written by Constance Noyes Robertson as an introduction to Oneida Community: An Autobiography, 1851-1876 (Syracuse, New York, Syracuse University Press, 1970).
Mr. Arthur C. Holden of New York City very kindly allowed MCA to use three unique Oneida titles from his library for this microfilm edition. His interest in making this microfilm edition as complete as possible is much appreciated. Thanks goes also to Mr. Charles Coleman Sellers for permission to use his book on Theophilus Gates. Mrs. Leslie P. Stone, Kenwood, New York, kindly allowed us to use the two volume history of the Community edited by her father, George Wallingford Noyes .
A very special thanks goes to Mrs. Constance Noyes Robertson of Kenwood, New York. Her unfailing enthusiasm for and her scholarly work on the history of the Community, founded by her grandfather, have been a constant inspiration to me.
And last, but certainly not least, we all owe a debt of gratitude to John Humphrey Noyes and the members of the Oneida Community for their faith, their vision, and their attempts to create a more perfect society on this earth.
Jack T. Ericson
By: Constance Noyes Robertson
How does one describe an experiment like the Oneida Community? What can it be compared to? Where is there an analogue or even a partially similar model? Among the sixty or seventy contemporary social experiments of the nineteenth century, where is one which compared in any important particular with Oneida? To what leader, from Fourier and Robert Owen to Brigham Young, can Oneida's Noyes be likened? The biographer's task is not an easy one. His subject has been called everything from "crazy" to "the most impressive genius of the period." In order to understand Noyes and the community which he led for more than thirty years, it is necessary to know something of his history and the religious theory which he devised and believed in.
John Humphrey Noyes was the son of the Honorable John Noyes and his wife, Polly Hayes Noyes Their forbears on both sides had come to America, the Noyeses from England, the Hayeses from Scotland, in the early seventeenth century and settled in the several New England states. The elder John Noyes, of the fifth generation from Nicholas, the original immigrant, was born in Atkinson, Massachusetts, in 1764, where he taught school and prepared himself for college, graduating with honors from Dartmouth in the class of 1795. For the next two years he acted as tutor at Dartmouth where Daniel Webster was one of his pupils. After a brief period as a minister, he went into business in Brattleboro, Vermont, and it was there, in 1804, that he married Polly Hayes, the daughter of Rutherford Hayes, keeper of a popular tavern and grandfather of Rutherford Rirchard Hayes, the nineteenth president of the United States.
The first son of this marriage, John Humphrey, was born on September 3, 1811, at Brattleboro, Vermont. Of his father, John Humphrey Noyes wrote many years later, "In the family circle and in the highways and byways of business, he was a born Solomon, with a college education added. I have never seen his equal in conversational teaching. He charmed everyone with his political wisdom and did more to make me a thinker than all the disciplines of the schools and colleges." His mother, educated only as a young woman of that period would be, was, even so, perhaps the most important influence in her son's early life. "Vital, inquisitive, imaginative, she no sooner saw a principle than she must attempt to realize it in practice."
This description, written a generation after she died, by her grandson, George W. Noyes, in The Religious Experience of John Humphrey Noyes, identifies a characteristic which Polly Hayes Noyes passed on to her eldest son and to his son after him. Not all of her descendants inherited this unimpeded transmission of ideas to action, but it was the fortunate legacy of her eldest, John Humphrey; a scholarly mind -- this, perhaps from his father -- and, once convinced, an uninhibited translation from conception to performance.
Unfortunately the original records in the form of letters, diaries, journals, and even a later memoir dealing with the boyhood and youth of the young John Humphrey~ have been destroyed. We do know that he was a precocious learner and thoughtful. As a child he used to say that he wanted to go to bed early because he wanted to think. His mother noted that he had a quick temper and was a natural leader among the children. His early education was obtained in the schools of Brattleboro, Dummerston, and Putney, Vermont, plus a term at a school in Amherst, Massachusetts, and another at the Brattleboro Academy to complete his preparation for college which he entered at the age of fifteen. Excerpts from a diary he kept during his years at Dartmouth (cited by George W. Noyes in Religious Experience of John Humphrey Noyes) show him to have been a good student, a normally lively youth, pleasure-loving but ambitious and sufficiently competitive.
After John's graduation from Dartmouth in 1830, he spent the next year studying law in the office of his brother-in-law, Larkin G. Meade, in Chesterfield, New Hampshire. Until this time his most notable characteristics would seem to have been a turn for self-examination and a painful bashfulness in the presence of young ladies. This last was apparently hereditary since there is a family legend which claims that the Noyeses who lived in the village of Atkinson, Massachusetts, where John Humphrey's father was born, were so bashful that they were unable to propose to any girls but their own cousins, and this "Atkinson Difficulty," so-called, was one of the crosses which the young John Noyes had to bear.
Time, however, must have disposed of this difficulty, if such it was, for the next year, in 1831, a new and powerful force entered his life. This was the year of the second Great Awakening, the most potent revival to shake America since the days of Jonathan Edwards. Coming on the heels of Lyman Beecher and Dr. Asahel Nettleton, Charles G. Finney was the most powerful revivalist of the period. Central and western New York State were tinder to his flame, and in that region known as the "Burnt-over District," it was estimated that in the year 1830 alone, one hundred thousand converts joined the church. Inspired by Finney's example, a host of minor revivalists entered the field and it was one of these who held a "protracted meeting" in Putney, Vermont, the home of the Noyesses in 1831.
At this time, John Noyes, as he wrote in his diary, "looked on religion as a sort of phrenzy to which all were liable," and he feared lest he should be caught in its snare. He attended the meeting reluctantly, only because his mother was, as he wrote, "extremely anxious that he should receive the word, although he told her plainly that she would be disappointed." The result was electrifying. After four days of wrestling with Satan and the spirit of unbelief, "light gleamed upon his soul," and by nightfall he had decided to devote himself to the service and ministry of God. Like his mother, George W. Noyes writes, John could do nothing by halves. Having arrived at his decision, he assumed as a matter of course that he must abandon the law and become a minister, and he began at once to study Hebrew preparatory to entrance to the Andover Theological Seminary. As he wrote in his diary, "Hitherto, the world, henceforth, God!" He vowed with all his inward strength that he would live in the "revival spirit and be a young convert forever."
Thus, the young John Humphrey Noyes in 1831, at the age of twenty, in a statement to his mother and later to "his friends in private and to all who would hear him in public meetings," declared his new-found faith. Son of a well-born, well-educated, well-off, and somewhat unreligious member of Congress, John Humphrey must have astonished his parents. This declaration was the first of many such statements by him, shading from the so-called eccentric to the openly heretical, during the years that followed.
Andover was a disappointment to the passionate young idealist. Instead of a group of equally passionate young believers, he found there what he called "a professional spirit" among the students. The actual courses of study for the first year, as he wrote later in his Confessions of Religious Experience (1849), were excellent, and one lesson he learned and carried away with him to his great profit. A "select society" called the Brethren performed a weekly exercise which consisted in a frank criticism of each other's characters. The member whose turn it was to submit to the criticism held his peace while the other members, one by one, told him his faults in the plainest possible way. "This exercise," Noyes wrote, "sometimes cruelly crucified self-complacency, but it was contrary to the regulations of the society for anyone to be provoked or to complain."
The Andover Seminary was not enough to satisfy John Noyes, however, and the next year he transferred to the Yale Theological School in New Haven. Here he studied under Professor Nathaniel W. Taylor, a popular teacher thought to be somewhat heretical since, as Noyes wrote, he "affirmed man's entire ability to meet the demands of the divine law" which, he added, "gave an excellent opening to my theory."
In August, 1833, Noyes, together with the rest of his class, received his license to preach, and during the six-week vacation which followed he labored as pastor of a little church in North Salem, New York, preaching his first sermon and thereafter preaching six times a week. For this labor he received twenty-five dollars which, with seven dollars he earned by preaching in another small church, was, he records, all the pay he ever received for ministerial labor.
What with Taylorism and Abolitionism, the Free Church, in which he was very active, and an assortment of revivalists of every shade and color, young John Noyes lived in an exciting ferment of new ideas. A revival which, he wrote, "promoted to shake the whole city," was under way in New Haven, and John Noyes with several of his confreres was in the thick of the battle. The effect upon him, as he wrote in his Confession, "was the immediate cause of his conviction and conversion to Perfectionism."
Perfectionism, which began as an offshoot of Wesleyan Methodism, had
for a number of years been preached by revivalists, especially in western
New York, New England and New Jersey, and through the Burnt-over District.
Although its exponents advocated the way of perfect holiness, that church
which called itself perfectionist did not expect or require sinlessness
of its members. To the inflexible logic of John Noyes this made no sense.
After months of intense study and strenuous debate not only with his fellow
students but with his pastors and masters in the college, he reached his
decision and made his statement: "He that committeth sin is of the
devil." The next morning a fellow student came to labor with him.
"Don't you commit sin?" Knowing that his answer would plunge
him into the depth of obloquy, John Noyes replied firmly, "No."
Within a few hours the word passed through the college and the city. "Noyes
says he is perfect," and on the heels of this went the report, "Noyes
After a stormy hearing before the faculty association, the young heretic was allowed to resign his license and shortly was asked to withdraw altogether from the college premises. As he wrote, "I had now lost my standing in the Free Church, in the ministry and in the college. My good name in the great world was gone. My friends were fast falling away. I was beginning to be indeed an outcast. Yet I rejoiced and leaped for joy. Sincerely I declared that 'I was glad when I got rid of my reputation.' Some person asked me whether I should continue to preach now that the clergy had taken away my license. I replied -- 'I have taken away their license to sin and they keep on sinning. So, though they have taken away my license to preach, I shall keep on preaching."
Noyes's confession of sinlessness was made on February 20, 1834, a date always celebrated in the Oneida Community as the High Tide of the Spirit. From this time onward the next several years were a period of trial and tribulation for the young convert. Cut off from his college, his church, and his family, his license to preach rescinded, dropped by many of his seeming friends and adherents, he wandered, often on foot and without money, the length and breadth of New England and New York, preaching, exhorting, spreading his new faith.
From 1834, Noyes and James Boyle published a paper in New Haven which they called, daringly, 'The Perfectionist. "Let us," said Noyes, "rescue the name from the disrepute into which it has been thrown." The first number was issued on August 20, and thereafter a number was published on the twentieth of each month until the spring of 1836, but after six months Noyes and his partner, Boyle, disagreed and Noyes quit the paper, leaving Boyle in control. Three years later, in 1837, in Ithaca, New York, he undertook an independent venture in publishing and called his paper The Witness; "to such as choose to buy it, for one dollar for twenty-six numbers; to such as prefer to receive it as a gift, gratis." Three numbers were published in Ithaca; after that there was an interruption of more than a year.
This interruption, itself caused by a kind of misunderstanding, was one of the most important episodes in Noyes's life. In that year, 1837, John Noyes wrote a letter to David Harrison, a trusted young friend and disciple, "in the nakedness of privacy." Private it did not remain. Harrison read it to a few friends including Simon Lovett, an erstwhile confrere of Noyes's, who "borrowed the letter to peruse at leisure," promising to return it without delay. Instead, Lovett showed it to a fanatical young female named Elizabeth Hawley who insisted upon sending the letter to Theophilus Gates, no friend to Noyes and the publisher of a new paper to be called The Battle-Axe and Weapons of War, aimed at attacking the institution of marriage. Noyes's letter to Harrison was grist to Gates's mill and he published it -- without permission -- in his second issue. Since the letter had been published anonymously, rumor attributed it to Boyle, but Noyes had the courage to acknowledge its authorship in the next number of The Witness.
The gist of the letter was this statement: Noyes advocated neither a plurality of wives nor a community of wives, but a nullity of wives. "When the will of God is done on earth as it is in Heaven, there will be no marriage. Exclusiveness, jealousy, quarrelling have no place in the marriage supper of the Lamb. God has placed a partition between man and woman during the apostasy for good reason: this partition will be broken down in the resurrection for equally good reasons. But woe to him who abolishes the law of the apostasy before he stands in the holiness of the resurrection! I call a certain woman my wife. She is yours, she is Christ's, and in Him she is the bride of all saints. She is now in the hands of a stranger, and according to my promise to her, I rejoice. My claim upon her cuts directly across the marriage covenant of this world and God knows the end." This was written a year before Noyes, himself, was married.
The furore created by this statement can only be imagined. Converts fell away. The subscribers to his little paper, The Witness, disappeared; indigence stared Noyes in the face. At this point he was rescued by Miss Harriet Holton of nearby Westminster, Vermont -- financially because she was well-off and emotionally because she was a true and faithful believer in his inspiration and his cause. At the lowest possible moment, when the printers were clamoring for payment and he could not even pay his board bill, John Noyes opened a letter from Harriet containing eighty dollars -- the exact amount of his debts. Later there were other donations and in his letter of thanks he begged her to "stop running me in debt or make sure that you look at my heart...for evidence that your generosity is not misplaced."
This was in March, 1838. In June he sent her what must be one of the strangest proposals ever received; as heterodox, as frank as the Battle-Axe letter, and as specific. "We can enter into no engagement with each other which shall limit the range of our affections as they are limited in matrimonial engagements by the fashions of this world." The letter was sent on June 11, 1838, and the next day she accepted. It was recalled that several years before someone had suggested that she might marry John Noyes Harriet had retorted, "I should as soon think of marrying the morning star!" To John's proposal she replied, "I only expect to be placed in a situation where I can enjoy. . .your society and instruction as long as the Lord pleases and when He pleases."
The young couple were married in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, on June 28, 1838, and after a brief honeymoon spent in Albany buying a printing press, they returned to the Noyes home in Putney where they, with the help of John's two adoring sisters, Charlotte and Harriet, taught themselves to set type and print the first issues of the new volume of The Witness.
As one biographer, Robert Allerton Parker, has written in A Yankee Saint, "To intertwine into a single pattern strands fundamentally alien and conflicting, to create a tough, enduring yet pliant fabric -- here is the problem of every creator, whether in art or in life. Between 1838 and 1848 John Noyes toiled to create his own pattern in human lives, content to begin with the humblest elements and those closest at hand." His aim, which sometimes seemed impossible to achieve, was the creation of a commune of true believers. His own family was the original nucleus; his wife, his sisters, Charlotte and
Harriet, his brother George. They met at John's house and called their group the Society of Inquiry, designed, as Noyes wrote in The Witness, February 22, 1841, "for discussion and exhortation" John Skinner joined the group in 1839, George and Mary Cragin in 1840, and gradually a number of other persons, some of whom dropped out after a short time. There were no set rules for this combination until January 31, 1841, when a constitution of the Society of Inquiry of Putney, Vermont, was drawn up, and the six formal Articles were signed by the members. (This Society was an outgrowth of what had earlier been called the Putney Bible School.) During the next month, February, 1841, the available capital, which included John Noyes' 5 inheritance from his father, Harriet Holton Noyes's patrimony, the inheritances of Charlotte, Harriet, and George Noyes, plus smaller amounts from John R. Miller, John L. Skinner, and the Cragins, totaled $38,000 and was called the Putney Corporation. Later, a number of other persons who could make no contribution in property were admitted to the society. At the end of March 1843, there were thirty-five persons being supported by the common purse.
In 1845 a contract of partnership was followed by a detailed constitution with officers elected and a board of directors. By 1846 the little group of Putney Perfectionists had been associated in religious faith for seven years and had advanced toward external union as far as communism of property. But until this time there had existed two obstacles in the way of implementing Noyes's theory of Complex Marriage, as set forth originally in the Battle-Axe letter of 1837. The first stumbling-block was theological. He had always insisted that the resurrection of the body must precede Complex Marriage. Now, after nearly ten years, he arrived at a new conception: increased life tended to improve environment and improved environment tended to increase life. Ergo, Complex Marriage, which would accomplish these ends, was a means by which the resurrection power would be let out into the world.
The second difficulty was physiological. Noyes agreed with Malthus on the absolute necessity for control over propagation. The solution to this problem, which he had arrived at by his own personal experience, he called Male Continence. He described this experience in a pamphlet published first in 1848 and again in 1873.
During the first six years of the marriage of John Noyes and Harriet Holton, out of five births, four were stillborn. Their only living child was Theodore, born in 1841. This, perhaps, was not an extraordinary statistic for that time; men must work and women must weep, and suffering was the natural
lot of women. This John Noyes could not accept. Should women be forever the victims of brute nature? It was a challenge which he accepted. The Shaker answer was absolute celibacy. This Noyes rejected. In his careful analysis of the whole sexual arrangement, he recognized two separate functions, the social and the propagative. To separate the two and to provide a safeguard for the woman, he found that self-control, "coitus reservatus" or, as he called it, "Male Continence," was the solution. As he wrote (Male Continence, 1848), "It is the glory of man to control himself and the Kingdom of God summons him to control all things."
Here was a great victory over the tyranny of nature. Nearly a hundred years before birth control was practically accepted socially or religiously in the world, Male Continence was one of the major tenets of the Oneida Community, without which neither their social theory nor their experiment in Stirpiculture -- a eugenics program -- would have been possible.
In the spring of 1846 Noyes "saw many reasons for thinking that the time has come to take the final step out of marriage." In March of that year his sister Harriet wrote in the Spiritual Magazine: "Although far from sanguine in my disposition, the improvement that has been made among us the past winter is so palpable and universal that I cannot forbear acknowledging it. There has been among us a marked increase of union. We know in our souls that it is not transient in its nature and that time will but confirm and extend the brotherly love that exists."
On or about November 1, 1846, they signed a Statement of Principles .
We, the undersigned, hold the following principles as the basis of our social union:
1. All individual proprietorship of either persons or things is surrendered and absolute community of interests takes the place of the laws and fashions which preside over property and family relations in the world.
2. God as the ultimate and absolute owner of our persons and possessions is installed as the director of our combinations and the distributor of property. His spirit is our supreme regulator.
3. John H. Noyes is the father and overseer whom the Holy Ghost has set over the family thus constituted. .To John H. Noyes as such we submit ourselves in all things spiritual and temporal, appealing from his decisions only to the spirit of God, and that without disputing.
4. We pledge ourselves to these principles without reserve; and if we fall away from them, let God and our signatures be witness against us.
Harriet A. Noyes
Charlotte A. Miller
Harriet H. Skinner
Mary E. Cragin
John L. Skinner
John R. Miller
George W. Noyes notes, in The Putney Community, that "On November 4, 1846, the Putney Perfectionists carried through a consolidation of Households. There was much glorious testimony of the love and union that exists among us."
Half a year later, not only those original signers but the whole enlarged Putney Commune agreed that "the increasing intimacy of communion with God's invisible kingdom" which had been conferred upon them was proof of God's pleasure and purpose concerning them. At a meeting of believers in Putney, on June 1, 1847, John Humphrey Noyes made a "new and further confession of truth," published in the Spiritual Magazine, July 15, 1847:
With a mighty hand and marvellous wisdom God has gathered us together here. We have been able to cut our way through isolation and selfishness in which the mass of men exist and have attained a position in which before heaven and earth we trample under foot the domestic and pecuniary fashions of the world. Separate households, property exclusiveness have come to an end with us. Our Association is established on principles opposed at every point to the institutions of the world. . . Therefore it is unanimously adopted as the declaration of the believers assembled that the Kingdom of God Has Come!
In the Baptist Meeting House in Lairdsville, Oneida County, New York, a Perfectionist convention opened on September 3, 1847, and continued for three days. Present were delegations from various Perfectionist colonies in New York State, from Newark, New Jersey, and from Putney, Vermont, this last represented by John H. Noyes and Harriet A. Noyes. Jonathan Burt, of whom more later, was moderator. After a stormy session during which Noyes's theory and the conduct of the Putney Community were the centers of attention, so great was the enthusiasm of a certain group of members that plans were discussed for the formation of an association of the Putney type in central New York, one site especially considered being
Jonathan Burt's sawmill property at Oneida Reserve. At that time there was no thought of abandoning the establishment at Putney, and a group of three families from Beaver Meadow, New York -- the Ackleys, the Nashes, and the Hatches -- began a semi-communistic settlement which two weeks later moved to the Burt farm near Oneida.
It was at this point, October 26, 1847, that certain pious citizens of Putney, having heard rumors of the scandalous goings-on in the Perfectionist association in their town, arose in wrath and charged John Humphrey Noyes with adultery. Bail was given and Noyes was released until his trial which was set for the following April. His response to this charge was that "it was a controversy of principles and would have to be settled at last by priests and philosophers" (from a letter from Harriet H. Skinner to her mother, October 29, 1847, cited in George W. Noyes, Putney Community, p. 283).
How this controversy would have been settled by such worthies cannot be known since the occasion did not arise. On November 26, John Noyes and his brother-in-law, John Miller, were summoned by another brother-in-law, Larkin G. Mead, to come at once to Brattleboro where they learned that warrants for the arrest of two of the members, Mr. and Mrs. Cragin, had been issued. There was also a rumor that the incensed citizens of Putney were on the point of a mob attack on the little commune. Mr. Mead advised that Noyes and all members who were not residents of the place should leave at once. This plan was followed, Noyes and the Cragins going to New York City and the other members dispersing to their places of residence.
Although it was some years before the various Vermont properties belonging to the association were finally sold, and during this period members of the Oneida family actually returned to Putney as a branch commune, carried on business at their store and mill, and reported that most of those who had been most hostile to them in 1847 were now very friendly, this dispersal was the real end of the Putney commune. Good fortune, or what John Humphrey Noyes liked to call "special Providence," led, during the next three months, to the various steps in the group's transfer to a new setting. At the invitation of Jonathan Burt, Noyes visited the tiny settlement at Oneida Creek, found the pioneer communists living in crowded and primitive conditions but happy and strong in faith, and it was then he decided to bring his Putney family and any other converts to join the Oneida group.
As he wrote to Mr. Cragin, February 4, 1848 (George W. Noyes, Putney Community, pp. 387-88):
Everything conspires to bring about concentration here. I have the enthusiastic confidence of all now on the ground. . . Now for the temporalities. Do you recollect a small timber house across the road from Brother Burt's? There is one comfortable room with a buttery, a back kitchen for summer, a bedroom upstairs, a good barn, a small shoemaker's shop and twenty-three acres of land. . . I think you can live at least as comfortably there with your children as the Beaver Meadow folks in their shanty (and I assure you they are happy) until we can build a Chateau. There is some romance in beginning our Community in the log huts of the Indians.
George W. Noyes continues (p. 392):
Abandonment of Putney was finally resolved upon. Purchase of land and buildings adjoining Burt's were immediately begun and soon a domain of one hundred and sixty acres with two houses and two log cabins were secured. . . A rough board shanty was quickly built for a young men's dormitory. During the summer and fall the Mansion House, a wooden structure sixty . by thirty-five feet with three storeys and garret was erected. (A member ) Erastus Hamilton from Syracuse, who had studied architecture made the plans and superintended the work. The saw mill and timber on the domain provided the materials. All the work except the plastering was done by the Community. Most of the lathing was done by the women. When free from other duties all worked merrily on the house and many valuable lessons in making industry attractive were learned. The building was ready for use before winter .
Why or how this building, completed in 1849, came to be called the Mansion House is nowhere stated in their publications. Later, when the first section of the brick building which succeeded it was built, other names were discussed. The Circular for October 3, 1861, says, "If we were Fourierists we should call it the Phalanstery. We are not a Phalanx, but a Community. How would Communistery do? Or koinistery, from the Greek Koinonia -- fellowship, communism? Or Koinonia Hall? What shall it be? Perhaps some of our readers can suggest a name. Communism certainly needs a distinctive name for its dwelling."
Apparently none of these suggestions suited the family, and the new house and its successors, built respectively in 1861, 1863, 1871, and 1878, were known then and forever after as the Mansion House.
With their occupation of the new Mansion House, the first communal organization of the children began. The larger of the two houses originally on the place was converted into a nursery for the children between two and twelve years of age, of which there were seventeen, and with them, of course, the necessary nurses, housekeepers, and teachers. The other small dwelling was also converted into a nursery for the six babies, also with their nurses and housekeepers.
As Harriet Worden, one of these children, wrote some twenty years later in "Old Mansion House Memories" (Circular, January 30, 1871), "The separation from the main household proved very favorable to the comfort and good-breeding of the children, at the same time saving the older people from much noise and confusion. The women who served as 'mothers' and attendants of the children found the business not a burden but a pleasure. At first the real mothers experienced considerable distress in giving up their little ones to the care of others, but a new sphere of existence opened to them and they now found time for educational pursuits. Besides, the improvement in the behavior and general condition of their children was of greater value than the luxury of a sickly maternal tenderness."
As The First Annual Report of the Oneida Association states, "The Oneida Association regards itself as a branch of the kingdom of Heaven, the exponent of the Principles, and servant of the spiritual will, of that kingdom. It has no written constitution or by-laws -- no formal mode of electing officers. In the place of all formulas, it relies on inspiration, working through those who approve themselves as agents of God, and by such apparatus of instruction and criticism as has been described."
Except for the Contract of Partnership of 1846 when John R. Miller was elected president, John L. Skinner secretary, and John Humphrey Noyes, George W. Cragin, and George W. Noyes directors, it was not until 1876, when Noyes announced his "resignation as president of the Oneida Community," that any member, including himself, was ever referred to by the title of president, secretary, treasurer, or whatever.
A group of persons -- men and women who, generally speaking, were among the older members and often those who had been among the original founders -- were called the Central Members. John Humphrey Noyes was, from the beginning, spoken of as the leader. When he was absent from Oneida and residing either at Walling-ford or Brooklyn, one of these central members was appointed by him as father of the family, and a leading woman was the mother of the family. Committees were appointed either by him or these surrogates to manage and serve in the various departments. The only discipline was what they called Mutual Criticism which was conducted by committees, either in public meeting or privately.
The statement entitled "The Oneida Association" appeared in the first volume of their new publication, the Circular, for January 30, 1851, and gives a complete resum6 of the aims and situation of the Oneida Association, as it was then called, as of that date. It does not go into any particulars about either their religion or their social theory1 but both are stated by inference, i.e., "The Bible is our only written constitution and, farther on, "We teach husbands and wives] the law of love" and "are not troubled with involuntary propagation." It answered one question which was asked of them with stupefying regularity for the next twenty years: "What do you do with the lazy ones?" The answer was that the "lazy ones" rarely lasted long enough to give trouble in the Community.
A word should perhaps be said here about the nomenclature of the Community. In the beginning they called themselves the Oneida Association but later changed their title to the Oneida Community and called themselves communists. In recent times when that word has come to have for many a pejorative connotation, it should be remembered that the Oneida members were, as they constantly told the world, Bible Communists and that it was Bible Communism which they practiced and preached.
On September 21, 1853, the Circular printed on its first page a description of the Community at Oneida and of each of the other branch communes then extant. Briefly, they cited "Oneida, 250 acres; 130 persons in residence, including 40 children. Horticulture and various manufacturing and mechanical pursuits. Brooklyn Commune: 25 members, including children. Occupation, mainly preparing, printing and free distribution of the semi-weekly Circular. Has been occupied for about five years. Newark Community: 15 members. Established over a year in connection with a machine shop. Wallingford: a gardening and agricultural Community. 18 members, established 2 years. Putney and Cambridge, Vermont: small associations, the 1st suitable for gardening, the 2nd for dairy purposes."
On February 3, 1859, the Circular began to carry on its front page a longer and more detailed description of the Community as it was then.
THE ONEIDA COMMUNITY, WHERE AND WHAT IT IS
The Community consists of about 200 members, comprising men, women, youth and children, nearly in equal proportions. They cultivate 386 acres of their own land in the Town of Lenox and Vernon, in the State of New York. The Community has been established here eleven years and is self-supporting. There are two branch communities, one located at Wallingford, Conn., and the other at Putney, Vermont, which are also self-supporting.
The Community takes its origin from religious faith and thorough devotion to the teachings of the Bible. . . The social organization is that of entire
Communism like that of the day of Pentecost, when "no man said that aught of the things he possessed was his own, but they held all things in common." The relation of the sexes is placed, not like that of common society, on the basis of law and constraint, neither on the opposite one of mere freedom; but on that of inspiration, truly derived by communication with the spirit of God. . . The object of the Community is to lead a true life.
The true life, unfortunately, was not to be won without a struggle. At the end of their first year at Oneida, John Humphrey Noyes, as Parker says, "the inveterate and indefatigable propagandist," printed and circulated his First Annual Report of the Oneida Association in which he recounted frankly and freely their history, their financial situation, their aims and intentions, their religious credo, and -- here came trouble -- their Theory of the Sexual Relation. The next year, 1850, complaints were made to the magistrates of both Oneida and Madison Counties, claiming that "immoralities" were practiced in the Community. The Grand Jury of Madison County, having been advised also that the communists were industrious and law-abiding, refused to notice the complaint.
However, hostilities were not at an end. The authorities of Oneida County -- which actually had no jurisdiction since the Community dwelling was in Madison County -- summoned Community members to Utica and put them through a grueling examination. For sensitive and well-bred women, especially, it was a horrible experience, but their courage, their dignity, and their gentle manners carried them through. It was demanded that they break up the Community and go away, to which they agreed if it was the will of their new neighbors that they should do so.
But to test fairly the question whether neighbors really wished them to "clear out," the Community circulated the following document (from A Yankee Saint, by Robert Allerton Parker):
TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF THE COUNTY OF ONEIDA AND ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
This is to certify that we, the undersigned, citizens of the towns of Vernon and Lenox, are well acquainted with the general character of the Oneida Community, and are willing to testify, that we regard them as honorable business men, as good neighbors, and quiet, peaceable citizens. We believe them to be lovers of justice and good order -- that they are men who mind their own business, and in no way interfere with the rights of their neighbors. We regard them, so far as we know, as persons of good moral character; and we have no sympathy with the recent attempts to disturb their peace.
Nearly every one to whom they appealed willingly signed this document, and one influential landowner declared that he considered the Community members the best class of citizens in the region and that he regarded it as a blessing to have them in their midst.
Another tribulation befell them when, in 1851, a religious paper in New York, The Observer, launched a virulent attack against them as a moral eyesore. Various other New York and local newspapers took up the battle which grew so hot and attracted so much unfavorable notice that in March, 1852, the Community issued a manifesto agreeing to abandon their practice of Complex Marriage. Exactly how long this voluntary embargo held is not stated, but by August of that year they published what they called a Theocratic Platform among whose planks were "Abandonment of the entire fashion of the world, especially marriage. . . Dwelling together in Association of Complex Families, and Cultivation of Free Love."
Whether this was intende as the formal notification to the world that the embargo had been lifted is a matter for conjecture, but it is certain that the Community practiced its peculiar social theory almost to the end of its existence. The only printed argument for this stand followed St. Paul and the Primitive Church in holding that since believers in holiness died in Christ and were resurrected in Christ, they were past death, absolved from divorce, and were in a posthumous state. Monogamy was a part of the grand Apostasy of Christendom. In the resurrection state, Pantogamy or Complex Marriage recognized the continued existence of the sexual relation but excluded ownership .
The most significant fruit of The Observer's crusade of pompous verbiage is a letter it drew~f rom the elder Henry James. James made it clear to the editor of The Observer that he was no champion of the doctrines and practices of Noyes. "I told them candidly that any man of common sense must be given short shrift in his regard to a deity who elected men to the privilege of leading disorderly lives; but at the same time I saw they were in no way amenable to the tribunal of common sense" (from A Yankee Saint, pp. 192-93). James came to the defense of the Community, actually called at the Brooklyn commune, which had been the particular target of The Observer's fire, and rebuked the attacker, calling it "an unmanly sight to see a great prosperous newspaper. . gather together the two wings of its hebdomadal flatulence. . . for a doughty descent upon this starveling and harmless fieldmouse!" The Circular for March 7, 1852, remarked that it was "a pretty serious thing to lie under the general and outspoken censure of mankind."
With the continuing increase in the number of members,. more room was required, and beginning in 1849 additions to Oneida's first wooden Mansion House were made as needed. A new two-story wing was erected in that year, and later other additions for sleeping accommodations, kitchen space, and laundry rooms; and a new building called the Children's House was built just north of the Mansion House and connected with it by an underground passage.
Such patches and additions were no more than temporary expedients, but it was another ten years before the Community was prosperous enough, in 1861, to risk investing in a really adequate permanent dwelling. In 1862 they moved into what would eventually become the north wing of the large brick Mansion House which they ultimately constructed. More room was needed also for the burgeoningyoung industries which the Community was carrying on, as well as conveniences for the household, and for this a sort of all-purpose building which they called the Tontine, meaning "a building designed for miscellaneous occupations," was erected just west of the new main building in 1863. It was primarily intended to accommodate the washing department, the bag business and the printing office, although it later passed through a number of other phases of usefulness.
In 1864 the trap business, having overflowed its quarters in the old mill, required the building of a new brick factory on a farm property the Community had bought a mile from the Mansion House in the region then called Turkey Street, which the Community renamed Willow Place in memory of their original Brooklyn branch. It was, they wrote in the Circular for October 17, 1864, "of brick, the main part 124 feet by 26 feet, two storeys high, with wings, one of two storeys and the other of one storey. It makes a large and showy building and is to be fitted up in all its parts in the most perfect manner. When all is completed and the building in running order, it will be one of the most interesting factories in the country."
The new south wing of the brick Mansion House was begun in 1869, and the family moved into it the next year. Since it was no longer needed and its nearness to the new house was considered a fire hazard, the old wooden Mansion House was demolished in 1870. The third and final addition to the new brick house was a wing running west from the north wing and built in 1878.
It is possible that the communists resented being called a "starveling fieldmouse" even by a kindly critic, but it must be admitted that during those early years they were hard put to keep afloat. It is not altogether to be wondered at. On the same page of the Circular of February 3, 1859, which carried their proud report of growth, they also published their Business Platform which consisted in the quotation, in full, of the sixth chapter of St. Matthew, "Consider the lilies of the field," which would seem almost too hopeful, even for a group of true believers.
Although the first Annual Inventory, taken in 1857, showed that during those first nine years, from 1848, they had invaded their capital to the extent of $40,000, they were not dismayed. As they wrote (Circular, January 6, 1865), this sum was an investment in their own education which would be lucrative afterwards, "if they struck oil." "Communism," they announced, was an institution of the Holy Spirit; the social order of Heaven. Its Foundation: God owns all things. Its mode of distribution: by Inspiration. Its Government: Free Criticism. Its result: Unity and Immortality."
In the beginning the intention of the communists was to support themselves by horticulture, as did many of the other communistic experiments of that period. Neither they nor their contemporaries were able to succeed in this endeavor, but in their case, fortunately, Yankee instinct pointed the way before it was too late. The Oneida Community prepared to enter "business as unto the Lord."
There were other ways of making a living, and at one time or another they tried a curious assortment of them. In their earliest days they raised broom corn and made it into brooms which they sold. In the Brooklyn branch they made gold chain. They made and sold rustic seats, wagon-wheel spokes, hoes, mop handles, palm-leaf hats, and "satin sprung cravats," whatever they may have been. They early began to send out what they called peddlers, some on foot, some in wagons, to sell vegetables and fruit from their gardens and, more importantly, to sell silk thread which they bought from a manufacturer in New York until they began to manufacture it themselves in 1866. The bag business -- both carpet traveling bags and lunch bags from a patent invented by Mr. Noyes -- was begun at Wallingford and later taken over by the Oneida group where it developed into a fairly lucrative affair for a number of years. Fruit and vegetable preserving, which was a natural extension of their farming industry, was begun early and continued, with one break in 1868, to the end of the Community and beyond.
The foundry, besides providing castings for the trap business, also made and sold sleigh shoes, wagon fixtures, architectural columns, window caps, agricultural castings, and sash weights. Workers in the machine shop not only invented and constructed necessary machinery for the trap and silk works, but sold such machines to other manufacturers.
Although horticulture could not support them, it continued for many years not only to supply the family table and as far as possible the fruit-canning business, but also to bring in a modest income from the sale of fruit trees, grape, and raspberry vines from the nursery garden, plums, peaches, and apples from the orchards, and, for a number of years, a handsome return from the sale of strawberries, both to the city markets and as the Community's famous strawberry shortcakes which they served to visitors .
The four major industries which gradually made obsolete those early efforts were the trap, silk, fruit-preserving, and later the silverware businesses. From a precarious, hand-tomouth affair.-- when, as they said, an order for five dozen traps was an occasion for rejoicing -- the trap business grew in the course of these first twenty-five years into a highly profitable industry and made the Oneida Community a prosperous institution. The silk thread business, from its start in 1866 prospered, and although it never really competed in profits with the trap business, it did very well. The fruit-preserving business contributed a steady if small income. The silverware business, which was a late-comer, began at Wallingford in 1877 and continued there until, after the break-up of the Community, it was moved to Niagara Falls, New York. More than thirty years later, in 1912, it was finally moved to Sherrill and Oneida, New York, where, unrecognizably enlarged, it still remains. The Community throve and grew in size; new buildings took the place of their primitive beginnings; new members joined. The Oneida Community was widely known.
It was also, in some quarters, widely disapproved. Its social theory, which maintained that no property should be held in selfishness by one individual, also set aside what they considered the selfish monogamy of the world, and members substituted for it their own system which they called Complex Marriage. This system they distinguished sharply from the much-vilified and frequently disastrous cults of Free Love, so called, which were prevalent in many contemporary communities. In Complex Marriage, each was married to all. At the same time they declared that "exclusive idolatrous bonds between two members were pernicious to the whole system of Complex Marriage."
Partly to prevent these exclusive attachments which they called Special Love, and, more importantly, to protect the members from social approaches which might be unattractive, a third party, generally an older person, acted as intermediary between the two members who wished for a closer relationship. The women were at all times free to decline without embarrassment. Certain members remained celibate all their lives. As John Humphrey Noyes stated many times, Complex Marriage was a relationship as conventional marriage, and the whole group held themselves responsible for every child born to the group.
When later the Oneida Communists entered upon the eugenic experiment which has interested so many students of modern sociology, the children thus produced were brought up according to the most careful theory, for theorizing, on almost every subject, was one of their predilictions.
From the beginning Community children, either Community-born or those brought in by parents who joined from outside, were cared for all together in a children's department under the supervision of selected nurses and teachers. Their own parents were freely allowed to see them but the responsibility for their care was taken by the appointed guardians, and their mothers were able to continue whatever work they had previously undertaken. The so-called Stirpicults took their father's name as long as the Oneida Community lasted. Later, in some cases, they took their mother's name or that of their step-fathers. On the evidence of some of those children, until recently still living, they had a happy, healthy, and untroubled childhood.
The labor of the Community was all done at first by the members themselves. Committees were appointed to manage the kitchen and dining room,the laundry, the Children's House, the farm, and the heavy work. And all this labor was a free-will offering; there was no pressure exerted to demand it of the . members. Actually, the Community disapproved of such pressure or a sense of what they called "legality" in the workers, with the result that these people worked willingly and with enthusiasm.
Later, as the various business projects expanded and required more workers, the Community began to hire outside labor, although their own people continued not only to manage and direct the growing enterprises but actually do a considerable portion of the work. In the offices and in some of the lighter duties of the manufactory as well as in the management and care of the communal home, women shared the labor and, in fact, the Oneida Community was one of the first groups to grant full equality of position to women.
Education of their children was a subject of the greatest importance to the communists. Various systems of schooling were tried; teachers, curriculum, age-group, and hours of study were the subject of experiment from year to year, but the steady level of instruction was certainly higher than the average in the outside world at that time.
This in itself was admirable, but more remarkable for that period was the emphasis on adult education. With "improvement" the Community watchword, it was not enough that the children should be well educated. Every member, young and old, not only was encouraged to learn, but, as classes in a dozen subjects were formed, a real passion for learning swept the Community. As early as 1853 middle-aged women were studying English grammar, German, and French. Two years later, "Greek and French languages, mathematics, grammar etc." were "in vogue after supper, varied occasionally be a writing bee."
This was only the beginning. Ten years later there was talk of a Community University in which girls should have all the advantages of boys. For a start, they were being taught to swim and, on the intellectual side, they were urged to cultivate "a taste for solid reading." The university, unfortunately, never materialized, but to the very end, next only to spiritual improvement, education was the grand ambition of the Community.
This, then, was the birth, growth, and development of the Oneida Community. In 1849 its membership was 87; in 1851 it was 205; in 1875 it was 298, and in 1878 it was 306. At various times branch communes were essaved; only the one at Wallingford, Connecticut, was maintained to the end of the Oneida experiment. In the beginning, the majority of the members were New Englanders; later, members from the local area and other sections of the country joined. To a nucleus of teachers, preachers, lawyers, and doctors was added a sturdy complement of farmers and artisans, engineers and merchants, practical men and women to leaven the lump of what might have been unrealistic fanatics to produce the wholesome bread of communism.
The relation of the Community to the outside world, both its immediate neighbors and the great world beyond, was surprisingly amicable. Locally most of the farmers and the citizens of the small towns and villages nearby, if not wholly approving, were for the most part friendly. When the Community was under attack by the clergy in 1873, a half-dozen of the local newspapers defended them handsomely. There was criticism of their social theory but none of their honesty, industry, or decorous public behavior. During the summer, crowds of men, women, and children, not only local but from a distance, thronged the Community's lawns and buildings, ate their strawberries, listened to their music. When the growing Community industries obliged them to hire outside help, there is no record of any but friendly relations between the workers and the communists who paid better than ordinary wages, supplied night schools for any employees who wished them, and introduced piece work and the eight-hour day.
The Circular of March 9, 1876, contained an announcement which astonished the religious and journalistic world. The Oneida Community Circular, it said, would no longer be published, and in large black type, a Prospectus announced the forthcoming publication of a new paper entitled The American Socialist, devoted to "the progress of socialism everywhere," to be edited by John Humphrey Noyes This in itself was not too surprising since Noyes had been the "deux ex machina" of all the Community publications, but the real bombshell was the added announcement of the resignation of the editor-in-chief of the new weekly from the presidency of the Oneida Community, in order, it said, "to be free henceforth to devote himself wholly to editorial labor." It also announced that he was to be succeeded by his son, Theodore Richards Noyes, as new president of the Oneida Community.
To what would seem an extraordinary degree, considering the size and remoteness of the Community, the press, not only locally but in New York and other large cities, reported and speculated at length upon the cause and possible results of this change. Had there been dissension in the apparently prosperous and serene Oneida Community? And, they asked even more frequently, could the Community hope to live and prosper without its original genius and prophet?
These questions the new publication did not answer. It did, as promised, devote most of its space to socialistic matters, with only an occasional article dealing with the Oneida group, making no mention of its internal politics. For nearly four years longer, from March 9, 1876, to December 25, 1879, the new periodical continued to be published and the Oneida Community continued to exist in more or less its old form. Then, with the issue of December 25, the American Socialist bid farewell to its subscribers:
Respecting the future of the cause to which the Socialist has been devoted, we may say for ourselves that we still believe in the continued progress and ultimate triumph of Socialistic principles. We still believe that Christianity requires that "the strong should bear the burdens of the weak" and that just in proportion as this is done will genuine Communism prevail. We still believe that the principles of Cooperation, Mutual Insurance and Christian Brotherhood are more and more modifying all the relations of mankind, and winning new and glorious victories in every field of endeavor and will yet make "divinely real" our highest ideal.
And now, with malice toward none and good-will toward all, we bid our
On August 28, 1879, the Oneida Community had announced a change of social platform: that is, the end of the practice of Complex Marriage and the return to the marriage customs of the world. It was their intention at that time to continue the other forms of communal life: the common ownership of their businesses and other properties, the continuation of their common homes at Oneida and Wallingford, the communal care of the children. They would now look, they wrote (American Socialist, August 28, 1879), "for the sympathy and encouragement which have been so liberally promised in case this change should ever be made."
To what extent they received this sympathy -- how much praise from their previous critics, how much lamentation from their outside partisans -- is not documented. The Community continued to operate on this new basis until January 1, 1881, when they made the radical change from communism to joint stock and incorporated a company which they called Oneida Community, Limited. The assets of the old Community were divided in the form of stock in the new company on the basis of a mutually agreed-on combination of the amount of money contributed by each adult member upon joining, plus a percentage of the capital according to the number of years of membership per individual. All children under sixteen years of age were given a yearly income and a guarantee of support and education until that age was reached. At sixteen, they were given a lump sum to assist in further education or the learning of a trade.
At this time some members left Oneida, temporarily or permanently. The majority remaining continued to dwell in or near the old Mansion House and to work for, or to be supported by, the new company. John Humphrey Noyes, who had left the Community in 1879, removed to Niagara Falls, Canada, where he spent the remainder of his life. A pleasant house was bought for him and a number of his closest friends and relatives joined him there for longer or shorter periods. He died there in 1886, at the age of seventy-five.
His son Pierrepont Noyes wrote of him (My Father's House)
While the Community was writing "finis" my father gave an impressive demonstration of that genius for interpreting misfortune or disaster as victory, which heartened his followers through all the trials of their great experiment and which preserved their belief that such were merely incidents in God's inscrutable plan for educating his chosen people -- preparing them for their eternal birthright. He wrote:
"We made a raid into an unknown country, charted it and returned without the loss of a man, woman, or child."
Could anything be more dramatic -- a man now in his seventieth year, standing amid the ruins of his lifework, shouting "Victory!"
For microfilming purposes, the Oneida Community collection was divided into two main sections: books and pamphlets, and serials. Reels one through four of this edition contain the books and pamphlets, which are arranged in two groups; namely, (1) books and pamphlets printed by or for the Oneida Community, 1838-1879, which are arranged chronologically by date of publication, numbers 1-37, and (2) books and pamphlets about the Oneida Community, 1848-1972, which are arranged alphabetically by author or title, numbers 38-69. Each separate book or pamphlet on reels one through four has a frame number corresponding to the bibliographical entry number in the guide to this microfilm edition.
The serials, published by the Oneida Community, 1834-1879, are arranged chronologically be date of publication with the exception of the internal newsletter, Daily Journal of Oneida Community, 1866-1867, and The O. C. Daily, 1867-1868, which comprise reel fifteen. For the serials section of this microfilm edition, MCA is using the master negative prepared for the George Arents Research Library in 1970 by the Syracuse firm of Hall and McChesney, Inc.
In the numbered arrangement of the books and pamphlets, numbers 38 and 67 are out of alphabetical order. Items number 64, 68, and 69 are mimeographed copies of typescripts of manuscripts and should actually be included with items number 1-37. Those pamphlets from the Arthur C. Holden collection are numbers 23, 42, and 63.
Reel 1: Items 1 - 28
Reel 2: Items 29 - 46
Reel 3: Items 47 - 56
Reel 4: Items 57 - 69
Reel 5 - 15: Serials, 1834 - 1879
|1. [Noyes, John H.] The Way of Holiness: A Series of Papers
Formerly Published in the Perfectionist, at New Haven. Putney, Vt:
J. H. Noyes & Co., 1838. 230pp.
2.[Noyes, John H.] A Sketch of the Remarks Made by J. H. Noyes, at a Meeting Holden in Putney, January 31, 1839. n.p: [1839.] 8pp.
3. [Noyes, John H.] Tracts for the Times No. 2: The Two-Fold Nature of the Second Birth. Putney, Vt: Office of the Witness, 1841. l6pp.
4. The Perfectionist-Extra: Primitive Congregationalism. The
Following Declaration, with Several Signatures, Was Presented to the Congregational
Church at Belchertown, on the 15th of April, 1842. Putney, Vt: Office
of the Perfectionist, [1842.] Broadside.
6. The Perfectionist-Extra: Two Classes of Believers, Dec. 1, 1843. Putney, Vt: [Office of the Perfectionist, 1843.] 4pp.
7. Noyes, J. [ohn] H. The Doctrine of Salvation from Sin, Explained and Defended. Putney, Vt: Office of the Perfectionist, 1843. 30pp.
8. The Perfectionist-Extra: The Sabbath; Its Abrogation by the Advent of Christianity. Putney, Vt: [Office of the Perfectionist, 1844.] 4pp.
9. Noyes, John H. The Berean: A Manual for the Help of Those Who Seek the Faith of the Primitive Church. Putney, Vt: Office of the Spiritual Magazine, 1847. 504pp.
10. First Annual Report of the Oneida Association: Exhibiting Its History, Principles, and Transactions to January 1, 1849. Oneida Reserve [Oneida, N.Y.]: Leonard & Co., 1849. 66pp.
11. Noyes, John H. Confessions of John H. Noyes Part 1. Confession of Religious Experience, Including a History of Modern Perfectionism. Oneida Reserve [Oneida, N.Y.]: Leonard & Co., 1849. 96pp.
12. Cragin, George, ed. Free Church Tracts, No. 1: Faith-Facts; or, A Confession of the Kingdom of God, and the Age of Miracles. Oneida Reserve [Oneida, N.Y.]: Leonard & Co., 1850. 40pp.
13. Slavery and Marriage, a Dialogue: Conversation Between Judge North, Major South, and Mr. Free Church. [Oneida, N.Y.]: n.p., 1850. l4pp.
14. Second Annual Report of the Oneida Association: Exhibiting Its Progress to February 20, 1850. Oneida Reserve [Oneida, N.Y.]: Leonard & Co., 1850. 3lpp.
15. Third Annual Report of the Oneida Association: Exhibiting Its Progress to February 20, 1851. Published by order of the Association. Oneida Reserve [Oneida, N.Y.]: Leonard & Co., 1851. 32pp.
16. Bible Communism: A Compilation from the Annual Reports and Other Publications of the Oneida Association and Its Branches; Presenting, in Connection with their History, a Summary View of their Religious and Social Theories. Brooklyn, N. Y: Office of the Circular, 1853. 128pp.
17. The Oneida Community: A Familiar Exposition of Its Ideas and Practical Life, in a Conversation with a Visitor. Wallingford, Conn: Office of the Circular, 1865. 32pp.
18. Noyes, J.[ohn] H., ed. The Trapper's Guide: A Manual of Instructions for Capturing All Kinds of Fur-Bearing Animals, and Curing their Skins; with Observations on the Fur Trade, Hints on Life in the Woods, and Narratives of Trapping and Hunting Excursions: By S. [amuel] Newhouse, and other Trappers and Sportsmen , to which is Added a History and Description of the "Newhouse Trap," with Testimonials of Trappers and Trap-dealers as to its Merits. Wallingford, Conn: Office of the Circular, 1865. ll8pp.
19. Noyes, J.[ohn] H. Salvation from Sin, the End of Christian Faith. Wallingford, Conn: Office of the Circular, 1866. 48pp.
20. Noyes, John H. Male Continence; or Self-Control in Sexual Intercourse: A Letter of Inquiry Answered by J. H. Noyes Oneida, N. Y: Office of the Circular, . 4pp.
21. Hand-Book of the Oneida Community; with a Sketch of Its Founder, and an Outline of Its Constitution and Doctrines. Wallingford, Conn: Office of the Circular, 1867. 7lpp.
22. Testimonials: Machine Twist, Manufactured by the Oneida Community. Willow Place Works, Oneida, N.Y. Wallingford, Conn: The Wallingford Community, 1869. l6pp.
23. Towner, J. W. Review of Commissioner Delano's Decision on the Income Tax of Communities. Wallingford, Conn: Mount Tom Printing House, 1870. 42pp.
24. Noyes, John H. History of American Socialisms Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1870. 678pp.
25. Hand-Book of the Oneida Community: Containing a Brief Sketch of Its Present Condition, Internal Economy and Leading Principles. No. 2. Oneida, N.Y: Office of the Oneida Circular, 1871. 64pp.
26. Noyes, John H. Male Continence. Oneida, N.Y: Office of the Oneida Circular, 1872. 24pp.
27. Noyes, John H. Essay on Scientific Propagation. Oneida, N.Y: The Oneida Community, . 32pp.
28. Noyes, John H. Dixon and His Copyists: A Criticism of the Accounts of the Oneida Community in "New America," "Spiritual Wives," and Kindred Publications. 2d ed. Wallingford, Conn: Wallingford Printing Co., 1874. 39pp.
|29. Newhouse, S. [amuel.] The Trapper's Guide; A Manual of
Instructions for Capturing All Kinds of Fur-Bearing Animals, and Curing
their Skins; with Observations on the Fur Trade, Hints on Life in the Woods,
and Narratives of Trapping and Hunting Excursions, by S. Newhouse, and
Other Trappers and Sportsmen. 6th ed. New York: Mason, Baker &
Pratt, 1874. 223pp.
30. Barron, Alfred, and Miller, George Noyes, eds. Home-Talks by John Humphrey Noyes, Volume 1. Oneida, N.Y: Wallingford Printing Co., 1875. 358pp.
31. Handbook of the Oneida Community 1875. Oneida, N.Y: Wallingford Printing Co., . 48pp.
32. [Hinds, William Alfred, comp.] Mutual Criticism. Oneida, N.Y: Office of the American Socialist, 1876. 96pp.
33. Noyes, John H. Salvation from Sin: the End of Christian Faith. Oneida, N.Y: The Oneida Community, 1876. 48pp.
34. Noyes, T.[heodore] R., M.D. Report on the Health of Children in the Oneida Community. Oneida, N.Y: n.p., 1878. 8pp.
35. Hinds, William Alfred. American Communities: Brief Sketches of Economy, Zoar, Bethel, Aurora, Amana, Icaria, the Shakers, Oneida, Wallingford, and the Brotherhood of the New Life. Oneida, N.Y: Office of the American Socialist, 1878. 176pp.
36. [Noyes, John H.] Paul's Prize: Report of a Home--Talk by J. H. Noyes n.p: n.d. l6pp.
37. Photographic Views of the Oneida Community. D. E. Smith, Photographer. Oneida, N. Y: n.p., [1870s]. 8 stereopticon views.
38. Cochrane, Elizabeth [Nellie Bly] . Outline of Bible Theology! Extracted from a Letter by a Lady to the New York World of 2nd, June 1889. Leaflet No. 30A. n.p: . 8pp.
39. By-Laws of the Oneida Community, Limited, Together with an Act to Provide for the Organization &Regulation of Certain Business Corporations,Passed by the Legislature of New York, June 21, 1875. Community, N.Y: Oneida Community, Ltd., 1881. 40pp.
40. Carden, Maren Lockwood. Oneida: Utopian Community to Modern Corporation. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1969. 228pp.
41. The Community Quadrangle. Vol. 3 No. 4, Vol. 4 No. 1, Vol. 5 No. 4. Kenwood, N.Y: n.p., 1928-1930.
42. [Cooley, Benjamin Franklin.] A Summary Exposition of the Social Theory of the Dissenters, Called Perfectionists, which Theory Is Called by Them the Bible Argument, Showing the Relation of the Sexes in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, unto which Some of Them Profess to Have Attained, Especially Those in the Oneida Association, in the State of New York. Worcester, Mass: n.p., 1850. 23pp.
43. Eastman, Hubbard. Noyesism Unveiled: A History of the Sect Self-Styled Perfectionists; with a Summary View of Their Leading Doctrines. Brattleboro, Vt: B. D. Harris & Co., 1849. 432pp.
44. Ellis, John B. Free Love and Its Votaries, or, American Socialism Unmasked: Being an Historical and Descriptive Account of the Rise and Progress of the Various Free Love Associations in the United States, and the Effects of Their Vigious [sic] Teachings upon American Society. New York: United States Publishing Company, 1870. 502pp.
45. Estlake, Allan. The Oneida Community: A Record of an Attempt to Carry Out the Principles of Christian Unselfishness and Scientific Race-Improvement. London: George Redway, 1900. 158pp.
46. Herrick, James B. A Reminiscence of John H. Noyes Extract from the Quadrangle. Kenwood, N. Y: Manawatu Herald, May, 1908. Broadside.
|47. Hinds, William Alfred. American Communities.
Revised Edition. Enlarged to Include Additional Societies, New and Old,
Communistic, Semi-Communistic and Co-operative. Chicago: Charles H.
Kerr & Co., 1902. 433pp.
48. Hinds, William Alfred. American Communities and Co-operative Colonies. 2d rev. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr & Co., 1908. 608pp.
49. N[oyes,] George W. The Oneida Community; Its Relation to Orthodoxy: Being an Outline of the Religious and Theological Affiliations of the Most Advanced Experiment (in Applied Ethics) Ever Made in Any Age or Country. By George W. N. (A Member of the Oneida Community from Birth.). n.p: Fielding Star Print, . 32pp.
50. Noyes, George Wallingford, ed. John Humphrey Noyes: The Putney Community. Oneida, N. Y: [Oneida Community Ltd.], 1931. 393pp.
51. Noyes, George Wallingford, ed. Religious Experience of John Humphrey Noyes Founder of the Oneida Community. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1923. 416pp.
52. The Oneida Community, 1848-1901. n.p: . 20pp.
53. Some Business Ideals of the Oneida Community. [Kenwood, N.Y: n.p., 1910.] l4pp.
54. Oneida Community Limited. Packers of Choice Fruits, Vegetables, Jellies, Fruit Juices, Poultry Soups, & Mince Meat. Kenwood, N.Y: n.p., n.d. 8pp.
55. The Origin of the Oneida Community or the Corporation of Bible Perfectionists at Putney, Vt. n.p: . n.d. l4pp.
56. Parker, Robert Allerton. A Yankee Saint: John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Community. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1935. 322pp.
|57. The Quadrangle. Vols. 1-VII. Kenwood, N.Y: n.p.,
58. Robertson, Constance Noyes, ed. Oneida Community: An Autobiography, 1851-1876. Syracuse:Syracuse University Press, 1970. 364pp.
59. Robertson, Constance Noyes Oneida Community The Breakup, 1876-1881. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1972. 327pp.
60. Sellers, Charles Coleman. Theophilus the Battle-Axe: A History of the Lives and Adventures of Theophilus Ransom Gates and the Battle-Axes. Philadelphia: Patterson & White Co., 1930. 67pp.
61. Seymour, H. [enry] J. Letter to the Outlook. Kenwood, N.Y: n.p., 1903. 4pp.
62. Seymour, Henry J. The Oneida Community: A Dialogue by Henry J. Seymour, One of the Original Members. n.p: n.d. 23pp.
63. [Seymour, Henry J.] The Oneida Community: Replies By One of the Surviving Members, to the Interrogatories of a French Political Economist. [M. Fabre.] Kenwood, N.Y: n.p., June 22, 1897. 8pp.
64. [C., A. W.] Community Journal. Mimeographed. Oneida, N.Y: n.p. 7lpp. Covers the period, 1 Jan. 1863 -16 Sept. 1864.
65. Warren, Israel P. "Putney Perfectionism." The New Englander 6 (1848): 177-194. With a holograph note to James B. Herrick from Joseph Skinner. lp.
66. Wells, Lester G. The Oneida Community Collection in the Syracuse University Library. Forward by Nelson M. Blake. Introduction and Bibliographical Notes by Lester G. Wells. Syracuse: Syracuse University Library, 1961. 38pp.
67. Nordhoff, Charles. The Communistic Societies of the United States; From Personal Visit and Observation: Including Detailed Accounts of the Economists, Zoarites, Shakers, the Amana, Oneida, Bethel, Aurora, Icarian, and other Existing Societies, their Religious Creeds, Social Practices, Numbers, Industries, and Present Condition. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1875. 448pp.
68. [Noyes, Harriet Holton.] History of the Printing Business of O.C. Mimeographed. n.p: . 6lpp.
69. [Noyes, Harriet Holton.] Oneida Association, Jan.1, 1849, Family Register. Mimeographed. n.p: [1850s] . l6pp.
|The Perfectionist, New Haven, Connecticut
Vol 1 No 1 -- 20 August 1834 to
Vol 2 No 5 -- 20 November 1835
New Covenant Record, New Haven, Connecticut
Vol 2 No 6 -- 18 December 1835 to
Vol 2 No 9 -- 16 March 1836
The Perfectionist, New Haven, Connecticut
The Witness, Ithaca, New York and Putney, Vermont
The Spiritual Moralist, Putney,Vermont
The Perfectionist, Putney, Vermont
The Perfectionist and Theocratic Watchman, Putney, Vermont
The Free Church Circular, Oneida Reserve, New York
|The Circular, Brooklyn and Oneida, New York
Vol 1 No 1 -- 6 November 1851 to
Vol 3 No 156 -- 1 December 1854
|The Circular, Brooklyn and Oneida, New York
Vol 4 No 1 -- 25 January 1855 to
Vol 9 No 52 -- 24 January 1861
|The Circular, Brooklyn and Oneida, New York
Vol 10 No 1 -- 7 February 1861 to
Vol 12 No 52 -- 22 February 1864
|The Circular, New Series, Wallingford, Connecticut and Oneida,
Vol 1 No 1 -- 21 March 1864 to
Vol 3 No 52 -- 11 March 1867
|The Circular, New Series, Wallingford, Connecticut and Oneida,
Vol 4 No 1 -- 18 March 1867 to
Vol 6 No 52 -- 14 March 1870
|The Circular, New Series, Wallingford, Connecticut and Oneida,
Vol 7 No 1 -- 21 March 1870 to
Vol 7 No 41 -- 26 December 1870
Oneida Circular, Oneida, New York
|Oneida Circular, Oneida, New York
Vol 10 No 1 -- 1 January 1873 to
Vol 13 No 10 -- 9 March 1876
|The American Socialist, Oneida, New York
Vol 1 No 1 -- 30 March 1876 to
Vol 3 No 52 -- 26 December 1878
|The American Socialist, Oneida, New York
Vol 4 No 1 -- 2 January 1879 to
Vol 4 No 52 -- 25 December 1879
|Daily Journal of Oneida Community, Oneida, New York
Vol 1 No 1 -- 14 January 1866 to
Vol 3 No 21 -- 24 January 1867
The O.C. Daily, Oneida, New York