Item #18964 The Harmony Society, at Economy, Penn'a, Founded by George Rapp, A.D. 1805. UTOPIAN COMMUNITIES RELIGION, Aaron Williams.

The Harmony Society, at Economy, Penn'a, Founded by George Rapp, A.D. 1805

Pittsburgh: W.S. Haven, 1866.

First Edition. 12mo, in original black boards stamped in blind and gilt. A near fine copy, with small chips at spine ends, minor foxing to endpapers, otherwise very clean. The Harmony Society was a separatist, millennialist sect founded in Germany in the 1780s by Johann George Rapp (1757-1847) and his adopted son, Frederick Rapp (1775-1834). Seeking greater spiritual and religious freedom, a few members of the group traveled to the United States, where they purchased 3000 acres in Butler, Pennsylvania, in 1804. The following year, approximately 400 followers of the Rapps arrived, and the American incarnation of the Harmony Society was formed, with all property held in common. Within ten years, "the Harmonists boasted a village of 130 houses, 3,000 acres of farming, a thriving livestock herd, and many buildings for their industrial enterprises" (Penn State Library). They moved the community to the newly founded town of New Harmony, Indiana, in 1814, and in 1824 they migrated for a final time to Economy, Pennsylvania. Aaron Williams joined the Society in 1865 and "set about writing its history, using documents and traditional stories that had been preserved by the original colonists and their descendants. [His book] is the best account available of one of the most successful communistic societies in America" (Adams, Radical Literature). Howes W-445; Streeter 4278.

Item #18964