utopias

William Maclure and New Harmony’s Boatload of Knowledge

When Robert Owen founded his utopian community, he wanted to have the best minds he could find running the educational system. He recruited William Maclure, who in turn brought many great minds with him. Their boat was nicknamed the Boatload of Knowledge.

SYMHC Live: The New Harmony Utopias

We did a live show for the Indiana Historical Society about the town of New Harmony, Indiana in the window from 1815-1827. In that period, two different communal societies occupied the town, one right after the other. But one was far more successful.

Sojourner Truth, Pt. 2

Last time, we talked about Sojourner Truth's enslavement and how a religious vision after she was free led her to moving to New York City. Today, we’re picking up with another vision, which marked a huge shift in how she lived her life.

Sojourner Truth, Pt. 1

Sojourner Truth was an abolitionist and women’s rights activist in the 19th century. But because a speech most famously associated with Truth is a version rewritten by someone else, she’s commonly imagined as a different person from who she actually was.

Libertalia: Legendary Pirate Utopia

Libertalia, which, in truth, may be completely fictional, is called a pirate settlement, though the man who spearheaded it claimed he wasn't actually a pirate. And it was set up as a sort of utopia, where men governed themselves, and every man was equal.

Heaven on Earth: the Brook Farm Community

In the 1840s, Boston's West Roxbury suburb -- which was completely rural at the time -- was home to an experiment in transcendentalist utopian living: the Brook Farm community. The idea was to create an environment of balance and equality.

In 1848, a preacher named John Humphrey Noyse founded the Oneida community. In this episode, Deblina and Sarah recount the rise and fall of the Oneida community -- including its focus on shared labor, gender equality and free love.