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[RAPP, George.]

Thoughts on the Destiny of Man:

Particularly with Reference to the Present Times; by the Harmony Society in Indiana.

Indiana: Harmony Society, 1824 Stock Code: 87748
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First edition, the first extensive publication of this important American utopian community. "A statement of the principles upon which the Society was founded and of its aspirations... printed on their own press... and probably edited by Father Rapp himself" (quoted in Sabin). The Society had earlier published just one other work, a small leaflet of songs.

"Of the more than two hundred communistic societies that have sprung up in the United States, the Harmony Society was one of the most successful... In form the Society was a communistic theocracy, with Rapp the actual dictator. His religious teachings were those of Lutheran pietism heavily overlaid with a milleniarism derived from Bengal and Jung-Stilling, a fantastic interpretation of Genesis out of Swedenborg, various minor features from Böhme and other mystics, and the practice of celibacy, adopted in 1807, which seemed to follow logically from his millenarian views... From 1814 to 1824 the community was established in the Wabash Valley at Harmony, Posey County, Ind., but between fever-and-ague and barbarous neighbors the Harmonists found themselves neither safe nor comfortable, and in 1825 they sold their lands, through Richard Flower as their agent, to Robert Owen." (DAB).

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Octavo (180 x 108 mm). Recent quarter calf and plain paper boards, original blue wrappers bound in, morocco spine label.


Original front wrapper with small chips to the corners, light soiling, two leaves with old repairs in the gutter, just touching the text, one leaf with small loss in the blank margin, scattered spotting throughout; a very good copy.


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