German memories of Icaria: Carl Zwicker's "Four Years' Experience of a Communistic Life" (1878)

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Author: Philip Lockley
Date: June 2014
From: Communal Societies(Vol. 34, Issue 1)
Publisher: Communal Studies Association
Document Type: Essay
Length: 5,475 words

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The Icarian communal societies in the United States between 1848 and 1898 were an especially distinctive utopian tradition in the nineteenth century. Despite commonalities with a range of their contemporary communalists--both religious and secular--Icarians were a case apart. Like the Owenites and the Fourierists, the Icarian social philosophy originated in the imagination of a single middle-aged European man. And yet Etienne Cabet's Voyage en Icarie (1839) was unique among foundation texts in nineteenth-century communal socialism for being entirely a work of fiction. Like George Rapp's Harmony Society, the Amana Inspirationists, and others, Cabet's communities were founded by a migrant body escaping Europe for an intentional communal future in America. And yet unlike such Pietists, Icarians recognized only a vaguely Christian sentiment to their practice, holding no rigid religious confession to define their membership or communal approach. Finally, as with several Owenite communities and with Wilhelm Weitling's Communia in Iowa, Icarian communalism was directly linked in ideas and personnel to developments in European socialist politics. And yet, the community language and culture of Icaria was neither English nor German but French, which was unusual for communities sited in the Midwest. (1)

Of these distinctions, it is arguably the French dimension to Icarian communalism that has received the most constant attention in existing English-language scholarship. (2) Cabet's European career and the scope of the Icarian movement in 1840s France were both well explored in Christopher Johnson's 1974 study. (3) The extent to which French political and social values were then imported by Les Icariens, reinforcing a sense of separation from their American neighbours and wider immigrant context, are detailed in various more recent histories of the five successive and seceding Icarian sites--the first in Texas (1848), the second at the former Mormon settlement of Nauvoo, Illinois (1849-1860); the third near St. Louis, Missouri (1857-1864); a fourth, longest-standing site at Corning, Iowa (1860-1898); and, finally, in the Sonoma Valley, California (1881-1886). (4)

Less recognised in standard English-language Icarian studies is the German presence in these "Icarias." At Nauvoo as well as Corning, notable numbers of communalists were recent migrants from German states, not just France. (5) While most of these members spoke French (proficiency in the language was gradually made a condition of membership), they ultimately represented a constituency within Icarian communal culture drawing on an alternative heritage of social and communal ideas and on separate experiences of migration from Europe. Since 2002, some evidence of the life and experience of one German family of Icarians has been made available to German academic readers through Joachim Hoppner and Waltraud Seidel-Hoppner's study Etienne Cabet und seine Ikarische Kolonie. (6) This substantial work reprints over sixty letters written by members of the Schroder-Lemme family to relatives back home in Hamburg, together with several German-language printed documents linked to Icarians. (7) Hoppner and Seidel-Hoppner further set these sources in useful context from a German view. (8) Despite the originality of this perspective and material, the impact of Etienne Cabet und seine Ikarische Kolonie on interpretations of the Icarians in America and on the wider English-language communal studies field has been limited, most likely due to its publication only in German. (9)

For non-German readers interested in the full scope of the Icarian experience in America an alternative manuscript source is now available in an unexpected location: the Syracuse University Library Oneida Community Collection. (10) Among the papers of Oneida member William A. Hinds (1833-1910) is an eclectic body of correspondence from past and present participants in a range of communal societies studied in preparation for the first and subsequent editions of his American Communities (first published 1878; revised editions in 1902 and 1908). (11) Hinds conducted fieldwork for his book, touring communities in 1876, and further sending out a form of questionnaire within his letters to various participants. (12) These asked a series of questions regarding the histories of communities, which appear to have included the reasons a community dissolved, why the ex-member left, the material conditions of life, and the character of the community founder or leader. One correspondent to receive such inquiries was the former Icarian Carl Zwicker, who wrote Hinds a six-page reply, dated July 1, 1878. Zwicker's recollections of his life at the Icaria founded in the deserted Mormon city of Nauvoo, Illinois, from early 1851 to late 1854 were written under the (phonetically spelled) title "Fore jears experiens of a Communistic Life" (hereafter referred to as "Four Years' Experience of a Communistic Life").

Carl Zwicker was a shoemaker, born around 1831 in Hamburg, the north German port city. (13) He was probably the "C. Zwicker" who arrived, aged 18, on a ship called (or more likely, originating from) Hamburg, which docked at New Orleans on February 28, 1849. (14) As his own account attests, Zwicker had left Hamburg two years prior to joining the Icarians at Nauvoo. Zwicker's reasons for enrolling in the community in 1851 are unclear. He probably migrated to Louisiana independently then fell in with a larger group of German followers of Cabet who sought to reach the Illinois Icaria once the community (itself established in 1849) was on a firmer footing. (15) All Zwicker himself indicates is that it was the family of Johannes Schroder--whose correspondence with Hamburg features in Hoppner and Seidel-Hoppner's 2002 study--with whom he was friends "in New Orleans." Zwicker records that it was "with th[i]s Family I went to Nauvoo to gether." (16)

Zwicker's 1878 account was written from Blue Grass, on the IowaIllinois border, 100 miles up the Mississippi from Nauvoo, and some 250 miles east of the still-extant Iowan Icaria at Corning. In an 1875 Iowa Directory, Zwicker's business was listed as "General Merchandise." (17) Zwicker dates his departure from Nauvoo as October 1854. Evidence that he travelled north to Iowa almost immediately appears in the Schroder-Lemme letters: in May 1855, Zwicker was named among a small group of "Ex-Ikarier" living close to one another, some working for the same business, in Davenport, ten miles from Blue Grass. (18) Zwicker evidently retained positive memories of his Nauvoo experience: "I have not regretted the time I spent in that little Republic, the Icarien Community," he states at the beginning of his account. "I have never since lived a happier life," he reflects later. And yet, the tone of Zwicker's account implies he had not been a serial communalist, like some others of his age, but had instead opted for a more conventional life of American free enterprise. (19) Zwicker links his decision to leave Icaria in late 1854 to a general drop in numbers at that date, and to personal reasons: he had some time previously "buried my Wife a French lady and a little Child." With this, with "the decline of our Communistic prospect," and other reasons unspecified, "I got disco[u]raged and left." Zwicker's wife was very likely called Julie Cadet, whom he is recorded marrying in July 1853. (20) Her death just over a year later, together with that of their child, must have taken an emotional toll on a man still under twenty-five. After leaving Icaria, Zwicker remarried from among the Midwest German diaspora: by 1860, his wife recorded in the US census was Elenora Zwicker, a native of Wurttemberg, nine years his junior. (21) By 1870, the couple had two daughters. (22) A son and another daughter were born in Iowa in the intervening years to 1878. (23) Details readily traceable of Zwicker's life after he wrote to William Hinds include his move, with his family, 450 miles southwest to Coffey County, Kansas, by 1880; then his third marriage, to Mary Amlin, a widow just a year younger than Zwicker, in 1888. (24)

"Four Years' Experience of a Communistic Life"includes personal reflections on Zwicker's experience of community alongside specific memories of persons and events. He locates the successive struggles and failures of the Icarian communities in "party strife," too many members at the beginning, and the tensions of authority in "a democratic Government" where members opt to join out of personal choice, yet are not prepared to have their individual liberties curtailed. "Cabet as a leader ... would have done well had he been regarded as dictator," Zwicker concludes. Later in his account, Zwicker comments on the "present troubles" at the Corning Icaria, and the division between the "Young Branch" and the "Old Branch." (25) Elsewhere, details of the discomforts, poverty and diet of communal conditions at Nauvoo are given, as are distinct memories of troubles and accidents, including specific tragedies which had stayed with him over the decades. Zwicker's recall is occasionally at odds with other evidence from Icarian Nauvoo: Zwicker remembered a very good "standard of morality," never hearing of "a single disorderly case," yet Robert Sutton has traced a series of disruptions caused by extra-marital affairs and pregnancies among unmarried women in Zwicker's period. (26)

Of particular significance is Zwicker's reference to "a German paper," produced by his friend Johannes Schroder from within Nauvoo, and its leading to "a little number of pleasant German people quite Intelligent" applying for admission to the colony. This paper was almost certainly Der Communist, produced by Schroder between February and June 1852. (27) This influx of Germans to the community appeared to Zwicker "like new life in our Colony, I was much pleased," as they "added much to our sociability." But "after a while," Zwicker relates, the new recruits would "not stay with us, the most of them left again." This is evidence for both a more dynamic and a more diverse fluctuation in the community population at Icarian Nauvoo than often acknowledged, with the community size less dependent on migrants arriving straight from Europe. It has been noted that some German recruits to Icaria resulted from difficulties at Weitling's Communia in 1854; yet this account suggests there was a more sustained interaction with German-speaking, socialist sympathizers in the Midwest than such a single influx. (28)

Among Zwicker's reflections, his thoughts on the role of religion--or "the spiritual"--in the success of communal experiments will have been read with particular interest by William Hinds and others in the Oneida Community. Zwicker articulates his conclusion in 1878 that while "Communism is the highest state of Society," people must be "better developed Spiritually" to achieve it. In their present spiritual state, or "people as they are," Zwicker believed equal opportunities were best secured by adopting only a "Cooperative System"--not full communism. There remained a long step from "Individualism" to communism, "from the old to the new," and this could only come by degrees. For Zwicker, spiritual progress through "true religion" was critical to making this step: "As Men progress Spiritually so they progress Socially[.] Religion when True makes its Impression on the heart."

Such conclusions notably chimed with broader interpretations of religious and secular communities pointedly advanced by the Oneida Community itself, through the published studies of communalism of both William Hinds and John Humphrey Noyes, and the American Socialist journal they produced with others from Oneida in 1876-1879. (29) Noyes's earlier History of American Socialisms deployed evidence of the short-lived and divisive nature of secular Owenite and Fourierist communities to uphold a general argument for the superiority of religious communities such as Oneida. (30) Hinds's own American Communities was designed as a more affordable companion to Noyes's study, while also taking as its focus the range of religious traditions largely missing from Noyes's work. (31) Between the two books, the Icarians were in fact the only tradition generally viewed as secular, rather than religious, to appear in detail in Hinds's work and barely at all in Noyes's. (32) Hinds characterised Icarian Corning as "an attempt to form a prosperous Community without religion, ... without Christ and the Bible and theology." (33) Noting that "a strong religious afflatus" (inspiration) had consistently been demonstrated as the best "mortar" for building a community, Hinds himself concluded with a note of scepticism on the Icarians' chances of success: "Nous verrons," or "we shall see."

Zwicker acknowledged in his account for Hinds that his views on the need for spiritual development before achieving communism had been bolstered since reading Hinds's book. With Zwicker giving his responses after the appearance of American Communities, it is unclear when or why precisely Zwicker was approached with Hinds's questionnaire. (34) Hinds may have originally written to Zwicker in the hope of including his insights in his book, and Zwicker simply took too long to reply. Whatever the circumstances, Zwicker's handwritten oral history sheds a new and diffuse light on the German experience at Icarian Nauvoo, and may be added to the known body of surviving firsthand accounts of communal living in antebellum America composed by plebeian, immigrant participants. Zwicker's letter in its original manuscript is notably written in a form of phonetic English that reflects his relatively humble artisan background and a German accent (j makes a y sound, w likewise a v sound, and t can replace d). For ease of reading, the letter is presented here with its spelling corrected, though it is hoped that Zwicker's voice--through stilted style and idiosyncratic expression--may still be heard.

Carl Zwicker to William Hinds, (35)

Blue Grass, July 1 1878

Mr Hinds

Dear Sir: I take much pleasure in answering your questions, and will do the best I can. 24 years is a long Time.--

Four years' experience of a Communistic Life:

I have not regretted the time I spent in that little Republic, the Icarien Community. It was a good school and just the place for a young man like me. All alone. Since two years I had left the accursed City Hamburg on the river Elbe.--After I had left the community again, I soon forgot the uncomfortable features; but never will I forget the many comforts the many kind and pleasant faces, which I daily met in our Brotherhood.

I joined the Colony about 1851 at Nauvoo Ill.--

Oct 1854 I left.--At about that time the society had diminished in number which averaged during my time I think from 4 to 5 hundred, perhaps the average was somewhat less.--"The principle cause of dissolution", was to my opinion a party strife, the people were apt to blame their Government with many things, that did not go to their wanting and looked for a better state, by changing its officials, thinking, that there was a deficiency in its way of managing, therefore so little success. Whilst the greatest trouble was: The Community with so many members and no land of their own, could not depend on its own resources. They soon became indebted and that discouraged them. Had they been able to stay in Texas or could of got with a few members at once on their own grounds, somewhere, leaving the others behind them in cities, to support themselves, till a few could in proportion to the amount of their means of made a beginning, success would have been more certain. In Nauvoo they worked hard for little purpose. I think that was part of their trouble hard work and little or no gain. [side 2]

Messrs Schroder a German Family of good taste and refinement were my Friends in New Orleans. With this Family I went to Nauvoo together.--"Why did I leave"?--When I joined I liked the Community in spite of all its poverty like features, very much; the members thought much of me, this state of friendly relationship has not been broken. Where ever I have afterwards met any of my former Brothers, In Saint Louis and elsewhere, it was always with a friendly greeting. I visited with my present Wife the remaining Friends in Nauvoo twice. In my time the dissolution was just preparing.

But to the question: My Friend Schroder and others published a German paper for quite a while, the result was, a little number of pleasant German people quite Intelligent applied for admission, and, were kindly received. This to me seemed like new life in our Colony, I was much pleased, because these added much to our sociability. But lo! This people would after a while not stay with us, the most of them left again. That was too much for me. As I had also some time previous to that, buried my Wife a French lady and a little Child, the decline of our Communistic prospect and one thing and another I got discouraged and left.

"Mr Cabet as a leader"--was not successful, he always had a contending Element against him. The Society was always divided in several parties some for; some against him's some against the system. That is, some thought Communism could be established without infringing quite so much on the rights of individual liberty, and took these for the cause of Trouble. Those adhering to the Cabet system claimed the cause of discord lay in the condition of poverty and for want of a sufficient amount of true Communists.

My opinion is now, especially since I have been studying your Book. That Communism is the highest state of Society, but till men are better developed Spiritually, a Cooperative System securing an Equal opportunity for all would do better with the people as they are.-- [side 3]

As Men progress Spiritually so they progress Socially[.] Religion when True makes its Impression on the heart.

The step from the old to the new must come by degrees. From Individualism to Communism Is a long step that many are not prepared to make at once.

"Cabet as a leader"--would have done well had he been regarded as dictator. But a democratic Government does not naturally include such an authority, and people enlisting under such a Government expect to have privileges in accordance with that system. A great trouble with him was he could not stand any opposition, everything worked well as long as opposition was left out. Mr Muro (36) who managed the Colony, (after Mr Cabet's Time) till his death, and proved a good communist, could not agree with Mr Cabet, and many more would not. I think he had not the gift, how to make people feel pleasant in his society. An ancient Member a true friend of mine highly esteemed by all the members when I was there published not long ago in the ("Le Taal de Kansas a de L'Iowa") (37): ["]Mr Cabet has in my time of Membership of 6 years never spoke to me once.["]--as to "a comfortable home", on account of its poverty it was in many respects not comfortable to many. I was not hard to please in material matters. We eat scarcely any apples in all that time, and tasted no milk, seldom Butter. [B]ut we never suffered for want of food. Many years we eat off old Tin plates, every one brought his own bick or little knife along and his tin cup, when we went to dinner. That did not interfere with our good humour.

Sundays we would in small groups go abroad, sometimes the whole society would go to have a picnic. Though there wasn't anything extra, only our plain dinner was brought out on the ground. After all we had much pleasure. The standard of Morality was very good. The friendly feeling amongst the Sexes, were really tinted with Brotherly love and pure[begin strikethrough]ly[end strikethrough] Friendship, [side 4] And much respect towards one another. In all my Time I have not heard of a single disorderly case [begin strikethrough]and respect[end strikethrough], and as to the work there was a Universal willingness, with very little exceptions. In fact I have never since lived a happier life. Community life has much charm to an Individual naturally of a peaceable disposition.

In Wintertime our pleasure were more in the shape of Music Theatre etc. etc. I took an active part in all.

The French language I [begin strikethrough]could[end strikethrough] learned to speak some with ease, after the first six Months I could get along well.

"Their present troubles."--to me it is a mystery. And I look at it like this: I think there must be an element that wishes to dissolve partnership. If both parties are Communists I can't see how they can be so divided. "As to how their Trouble will end"? The Young Branch is full of vigour, and my impression is, they will not dissolve but maintain their ground. I look for sum of the "Old Branch" to turn against its one party, there is a sign of that now. When the "Old Branch" Instructed its managers, to deprive the "Young Branch" of their medicine, there was a remarkable opposition to that. I have been writing to them often, to encourage them not to dissolve and to be just to one another. I think in September their trial is to come off, if they don't settle. The "Young Branch" publishes a small paper in the French language. In which I notice that the "Young Branch" after being established a new, proposes: To reconcile with the members that ware at Cheltenham but are now scattered, also to keep in good memory Mr Cabet, they take in consideration that Mr Cabet like other men had his faults, but by weighing both sides Mr Cabet's good qualities over balance, he devoted his life for the cause of the people. (I endorse that sentiment.)

I am not personally acquainted with the present leaders of the society, but my Friends Schroder who was a member Twice who held at each period a position was President, the last Time he was there, says: Mr Sawa (38) and the "old Branch" act very [side 5] Mean and stubborn. He published an Article showing the spirit of retrogression of the "Old Branch" to me he complained bitterly. He says: The "Old Branch" has literally through their mischief caused the death of one of our finest men Mr Mantaldo (39) an Italian who had been a Member long time before my time and who was faithful till he died. Mr Hinds is the Icarien experience not sad?

As life has its Troubles and accidents, let me name some of them that our Community experienced as I remember them: A Young Girl, an only daughter of one of our Members, was struck by lightning, in a House where many Women averting a Thundershower[.] [D]own at our Mill we had our Washhouse and a detachment of women had at their turn, as it was our rule to do, been engaged in Washing, and were just on their way home when this accident occurred.

Another case which I will never forget: We had several flatboats the management of them caused some trouble, the most horrible one was: "One night in the Ice". In the fall one evening just as our man had left the Mill, situated near the Mississippi River: a Flatboat of ours loaded with Wood was Trying to wind its way to the Shore, but every effort was unavailable, from the shore a little help would have just been the thing, but in spite of all their calling, there was not a soul to hear them, they worked desperately but the floating Ice could not be conquered. On this boat was no little Cabin like we had on the most of them. So the little crew of Men had to stay all night with their Boat in the Ice. The weather was cold freezing cold; no shelter; no room to stir about; no light to see by; no provisions.--In the Morning when our man went down to work in the Mill the sad affair was soon discovered, and aid was [side 6] freely given, but for some this had been fatal. One Young man about 18 years a fine built man and a good man had to go on two wooden legs. I heard he got in later years discouraged, left the colony and committed suicide in St Louis. (40) The poor fellow.--Another young man had lost some of his Toes, that was severe enough too. My friends Schroder and Mr Muro (deceased) could tell of many rough Times they had with their Boats on the Mississippi River.

When the Icariens first came to Nauvoo they bought the square block with the old Temple which had been left by the Mormons. Mr Cabet intended to reconstruct the Temple, which would have been a grand thing, had it proved a success. but the Old Temple having been burned out once before had no strength, and one day a Thunderstorm was blowing up, a Terrible wind, a flash of lighting, and then like an Earthquake, the Temple, was no more. (41) Our Man had been to work in side but I do not remember how they escaped. (I am sorry that I can not spell any better) and hope that this will be satisfactory

Very Respectfully Yours

Carl Zwicker

(1) For the other significant case of Francophone communalism in the United States in the period, see Jonathan Beecher, Victor Considerant and the Rise and Fall of French Romantic Socialism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000). See also, Michel Cordillot, Las Sociale en Amerique: dictionnaire biographique du movement social francophone au EtatUnis 1848-1922 (Paris: Atelier, 2002).

(2) Steve Wiegenstein, "The Icarians and Their Neighbors," International Journal of Historical Archaeology 10, no. 3 (Sept. 2006), 289-95.

(3) Christopher H. Johnson, Utopian Communism in France: Cabet and the Icarians, 18391851 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1974).

(4) Robert P. Sutton, "An American Elysium: the Icarian Communities" in Donald E. Pitzer, ed., America's Communal Utopias (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997), 292-95. A particular French-English dialectic in Icarian studies is well reflected in the titles of the standard monographs: Sutton's Les Icariens: the Utopian Dream in Europe and America (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994) and Diana Garno's Citoyennes and Icaria (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2005). More focused studies include: J. D. Begos, "'Icaria': A Footnote to the Peters Colony," Communal Societies 6 (1986), 84-92; Donald J. Kagay, "Icaria: An Aborted Utopia on the Texas Frontier," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 116, no. 4 (April 2013), 358-85; Emile Vallet, An Icarian Communist in Nauvoo: Commentary by Emile Vallet (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Society, 1971); E. Van Loo, "Utopia in Illinois," Illinois Libraries 52 (1970), 144-48; Boris Blick and H. Roger Grant, "Life in New Icaria, Iowa: A Nineteenth Century Utopian Community," Annals of Iowa 42, no. 3 (1974), 198-204; Jonathan Berger, Preston andIcaria-Speranza (Cloverdale, CA: the author, 1999); National Icarian Heritage Society, Icaria-Speranza: final Utopian experiment of Icarians in America: proceedings of the 1989 Cours Icarien Symposium (Nauvoo, IL: National Icarian Heritage Society, 1995).

(5) In 1854, about 20 percent of the 405 Icarians at Nauvoo were non-French--most of whom were German. Lillian Snyder, "Family life in the Icarian colony," International Journal of Sociology of the Family 13, no. 2 (Autumn 1983), 83-95. Robert Sutton names some German figures involved in the Corning community, yet their previous history at Nauvoo is left untold. Sutton, Les Icariens, 116-33.

(6) Joachim Hoppner and Waltraud Seidel-Hoppner, Etienne Cabet und seine Ikarische Kolonie (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2002).

(7) The Schroder-Lemme family letters are held in the Hamburg State and University Library.

(8) Hoppner and Seidel-Hoppner, Ikarische Kolonie, 389-634.

(9) Hoppner and Seidel-Hoppner's study is referenced in Robert P. Sutton, Communal Utopias and the American Experience: Secular Communities, 1824--2000 (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004), 72. It is not mentioned in Wiegenstein's "The Icarians and Their Neighbors," which especially emphasizes the community's Frenchness.

(10) I am very grateful to the Central New York Humanities Corridor for the research fellowship in 2013-2014, which enabled me to visit Syracuse University and Hamilton College and study their extensive archives on communal societies.

(11) Oneida Community Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries, Boxes 52-61. William A. Hinds, American Communities: brief sketches of Economy, Zoar, Bethel, Aurora, Amana, Icaria, the Shakers, Oneida, Wallingford and the Brotherhood of the New Life (Oneida, NY: Office of the American Socialist, 1878). Most of the papers relate to Hinds's work on the revised editions in the 1890s and 1900s.

(12) Hinds, American Communities (1878), 5. Hinds's approach contrasted with that of John Humphrey Noyes, leader of the Oneida Community, whose preceding work, History of American Socialisms (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1870) drew heavily on the unpublished research notes of a Scottish Owenite, A. J. Macdonald.

(13) Brief references to Zwicker and his profession appear in the correspondence reproduced in Hoppner and Seidel-Hoppner, Ikarische Kolonie. A letter of September 16, 1852 suggests Zwicker's father, who remained in Hamburg, was "a good Communist," which may well mean his son was. Hoppner and Seidel-Hoppner, Ikarische Kolonie, 479. See also Le Populaire, August 5 and 23, 1851. For his age, see "United States Census, 1860," index, FamilySearch,, accessed January 14, 2014, Charles Zwicker, Fort Madison, Lee, Iowa, United States.

(14) Information on the original passenger arrival form may have been filled in incorrectly. "United States Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874," index and images, FamilySearch,, accessed January 14, 2014..

(15) Cabet's works had been translated into German during the 1840s. Christopher H. Johnson, "Communism and the Working Class before Marx: the Icarian Experience", American Historical Review, 76, no. 3 (1971), 667-68, 678.

(16) The Schroders arrived in New Orleans in December 1848. Hoppner and Seidel-Hoppner, Ikarische Kolonie, 404.

(17) A. T. Andreas, "Blue Grass Township" in Patrons Directory from the Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa (1875),, accessed January 14, 2014.

(18) Letter of Eduard Lemme, May 13, 1855, in Hoppner and Seidel-Hoppner, Ikarische Kolonie, 511. On the Davenport German community, see Carl Wittke, The Utopian Communist: a biography of Wilhelm Weitling nineteenth century reformer (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1950), 176.

(19) On movement of members between nineteenth-century communities, see Otohiko Okugawa, "Intercommunal Relationships among Nineteenth-century Communal Societies in America" Communal Societies, 3 (1983), 68-82.

(20) "Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1934," index, FamilySearch, accessed January 14, 2014, Carl Zwicker and Julie A Cadet, 1853. A seventeen-year-old "Julie Cadet" appears in the records for immigration at New Orleans, arriving November 10, 1852. While she departed L'Havre, this record indicates a German nationality, so identification is not certain. "United States Germans to America Index, 1850-1897," index, FamilySearch,, accessed January 14, 2014, Julie Cadet, 1852. The Schroder-Lemme letters contain a reference to Zwicker's "sweet wife," who got on well with young members of the Schroder family, "although they little understood each other," which suggests a French-German language difficulty. Letter of Eduard Lemme, September 17, 1853, in Hoppner and Seidel-Hoppner, Ikarische Kolonie, 496.

(21) "United States Census, 1860," index, FamilySearch,, accessed January 14, 2014, Charles Zwicker, Fort Madison, Lee, Iowa, United States.

(22) "United States Census, 1870," index and images, FamilySearch,, accessed January 14, 2014, Carl Zwicker, Iowa, United States.

(23) "United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch,, accessed January 14, 2014.

(24) "United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch,, accessed January 14, 2014; "Kansas, Marriages, 1840-1935," index, FamilySearch,, accessed January 14, 2014, Carl Zwicker and Mary A. Amlin, February 14, 1888.

(25) On this division, see especially Sutton, Les Icariens, 135-44.

(26) Sutton, Les Icariens, 82.

(27) See Hoppner and Seidel-Hoppner, Ikarische Kolonie, 727-50.

(28) Robert S. Fogarty, Dictionary of American Communal and Utopian History (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1980), 194.

(29) Noyes, History of American Socialisms; Hinds, American Communities (1878); The American Socialist. Devoted to the Enlargement and Perfection of Home, 4 vols., March 30, 1876-December 25, 1879.

(30) Noyes, History of American Socialisms, 646-57.

(31) Hinds, American Communities, (1878), 4.

(32) Hinds, American Communities, (1878), 62-80.

(33) Hinds, American Communities, (1878), 69-70.

(34) Answers to a different set of questions put to the then president of the Icarian community at Corning, Arsene Sauva, were reproduced in Hinds, American Communities, 71-74.

(35) Oneida Community Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries, Box 56/11, Carl Zwicker to William Hinds, July 1, 1878. This manuscript is reproduced with kind permission of the Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries.

(36) Eugene Mourot was the son of a Paris revolutionary '48-er. See Albert Shaw, Icaria: chapter in the history of Communism (New York: Putnam, 1884), 162; Sutton, Les Icariens, 92, 94, 97, 121, 145.

(37) Etoile du Kansas et de l'Iowa (published Corning, IA, 1877-1880).

(38) Arsene Sauva, a tailor originally from southwest France. See Shaw, Icaria, 164; Sutton, Les Icariens, 114--15.

(39) Ignacio Montaldo, an Italian professor of mathematics. See Sutton, Les Icariens, 93, 99, 121.

(40) Albert Shaw referred to "a romantic young German, Fritz Bauer" committing suicide in the St Louis area after Cabet's death. Shaw, Icaria, 66.

(41) A tornado destroyed much of the Mormon Temple on May 27, 1850, nine months before Zwicker's arrival at Nauvoo. In this final paragraph, Zwicker is not relating a personal memory, but referring to a noted event in Icarian history.

Philip Lockley is a British Academy post-doctoral fellow at Trinity College, Oxford.

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A474768201