or, The reconstruction of society, government, and property, upon the principles of the equality, the perpetuity, and the individuality of the private ownership of life, person, government, homestead, and the whole product of labor, by organizing all nations into townships of self-governed homestead democracies - self-employed in farming and mechanism, giving all the liberty and happiness to be found on earth.New York: Printed for the author, 1877 Stock Code: 149963
First edition of this proto-anarchist publication, outlining a vision of American society moved out of the cities and re-organized into self-governing homesteads in the countryside.
Masquerier began as a printer and lawyer before taking up radical ideas, promoting the theories of Robert Owen and applying to join the "Communist Society" sponsored by the British utopian Goodwyn Barnby. He proposed many radical schemes, finding evidence in the Bible for the coming fulfilment of his prophecies. Although his impact on his contemporaries outside radical circles was limited - the fact the book is self-published is telling - he nonetheless "represents yet another American reformer working to fulfil biblical prophecies by dissolving the New Jerusalem throughout the expansive continent. His work signals that Robert Owen's dream of garden enclaves had been naturalized, if also carefully qualified, by an American political visionary of real, if temporary, influence" (Nathaniel Robert Walker, Victorian Visions of Surburban Utopia, 2020, p. 249).
The chief part of the text is followed by several separately paginated appendixes, including an outspoken poem on the Old and New Testaments, a plan for universal alphabet and language; comparison with other copies shows some variation in these appendixes.
Octavo. Original green cloth, spine lettered in gilt, covers blocked in blind, brown endpapers.
Pencilled ownership signature to front free endpaper. Light rubbing with faint ring mark to front cover, else an excellent copy, joints and hinges intact, contents clean.
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