This monographic series is devoted to the study of American communal societies past and present, including the Shakers, Harmonists, Oneida Community, Amana, House of David, and others. The publications are peer-reviewed, scholarly works including new scholarship in the field as well as critical editions of important historical works. One or two works will be published each year.

Inquiries about, and submissions to, the American Communal Societies Series should be sent to Christian Goodwillie, cgoodwil@hamilton.edu.

To purchase books, contact Willa Jacob, 315-859-4705, wjacob@hamilton.edu.

Christoph Weber: Redware Potter of the Harmony Society

Michael Strezewski

American Communal Societies Series, no. 16. 154 pages with illustrations, 2030
ISBN: 978-1-937370-37-4 ($35)

Redware was the first locally made pottery made during the early years of Euro-American expansion across North America. Utilizing methods and stylistic conventions brought from Europe, redware potters made a variety of household wares such as pitchers, storage jars, jugs, plates, and mugs. Christoph Weber was the master potter of the Harmony Society, a German utopian group founded by religious dissenter Georg Rapp. Working from ca. 1808 to 1853, Weber’s pottery was distributed among the Society’s members and sold to their neighbors. Utilizing documentary sources, archaeological investigations, and analysis of surviving ceramics, this volume paints a detailed picture of Christoph Weber, the different types of pottery he manufactured, and his place in the early nineteenth century origins of the ceramics industry in the United States.

Michael Strezewski is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Southern Indiana. Dr. Strezewski has directed archaeological excavations in New Harmony since 2008, publishing numerous reports and articles on the Harmony Society.

Wilhelm Weitling’s Tour of American Communal Societies, 1851-1852

Edited by Peter A. Hoehnle; Translated by Joscelyn Godwin

American Communal Societies Series, no. 15. 100 pages with illustrations, 2030
ISBN: 978-1-937370-36-7 ($20)

German Socialist Wilhelm Weitling visited eight American intentional communities during 1851-1852. He published accounts of these visits in his newspaper, Die Republik der Arbeiter. These accounts have been almost entirely unknown to scholars, until now. This volume contains Joscelyn Godwin’s translations; introduced, annotated, and illustrated by Peter Hoehnle, bringing Weitling’s descriptions of his communal odyssey to students of American communal societies who cannot read German. Communities visited include: the Shakers at Watervliet, New York; the Community of True Inspiration at Eben-Ezer, New York; the Society of Separatists at Zoar, Ohio; Communia, Iowa; the Icarian Community at Nauvoo, Illinois; Bishop Hill Colony, Illinois; the Harmony Society at Economy, Pennsylvania; and Bethel, Missouri.

Writings From Wallingford: The Connecticut Outpost of the Oneida Community

Edited by Anthony Wonderley

American Communal Societies Series, no. 14. 126 pages with illustrations, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-937370-31-2 ($20)

Daughter colony of America's most successful utopian experiment (1848-1880), the Wallingford commune was the Oneida Community's pastoral getaway. It was also the place silverware was created, the industry that would support Oneida's successor organization, Oneida Ltd., through the twentieth century. Although a substantial part of Oneida's history, Wallingford's story has never been told. This first study features about a dozen accounts by the communards, nearly forty vintage photographs and other illustrations, and commentaries by the editor.

About the editor:
Anthropologist Anthony Wonderley worked for the Oneida Indian Nation in its cultural management and preservation program and for the Oneida Community Mansion House (Oneida, New York) as curator of collections and interpretation.

An Annotated Bibliography of Inspirationist Publications in Germany and America, 1715-2013

compiled by Lanny Haldy

American Communal Societies Series, no. 13. 175 pages with illustrations, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-937370-24-4 ($25)

The first work of its kind, the Annotated Bibliography of Inspirationist Imprints catalogs the considerable body of literature published by the Community of True Inspiration during its three hundred year history, both in Europe and the United States of America. There are 312 separate imprints listed, many identified as Inspirationist for the first time, complete with English translations of their titles and notes about their contents. Sixty-seven illustrations provide visual evidence of the stunning typography, and iconography, employed by Inspirationist authors and printers.

About the author:
Lanny Haldy served from 1983 to 2016 as Executive Director of the Amana Heritage Society, a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and interpret the cultural heritage of the Amana Colonies National Historic Landmark. His roots in the community go back to 1748 when Christian Haldy, a minister from Westerich and Billigheim near Strasbourg, joined the Inspirationist community in Gelnhausen.

Demographic Directory of the Harmony Society

compiled by Eileen Aiken English

2nd ed. American Communal Societies Series, no. 12. 365 pages with 106 b/w illustrations + 1 folded map, 2016.
ISBN: 978-0-937370-19-0 ($50)

This work “dramatically expands our demographic knowledge of one of America’s most important communal utopian movements, the Harmony Society of George Rapp. This volume offers an indispensable resource for scholars, descendants, and those who interpret the Harmony Society for the public at its three historic towns of Harmony and Old Economy village in Pennsylvania and New Harmony, Indiana.” (Donald E. Pitzer)

About the author:
Eileen Aiken English is a volunteer researcher and historical interpreter at Old Economy Village. Her study of the Harmony Society began fourteen years ago, when she retired from the faculty of California University of Pennsylvania.

The Encyclopedic Guide to American Intentional Communities

by Timothy Miller

2nd ed.  American Communal Societies Series, no. 11. 597 pages, 2015.
ISBN: 978-1-937370-15-2 ($75)

Commune! The word conjures up images of a few isolated idealists, religious fanatics, and social misfits. A commune is a decidedly marginal blip on the American landscape. Nevertheless communes have studded American history — many thousands of them from the seventeenth century to the present. Although many have heard of the Shakers and (perhaps) the Hutterites and the Harmonists, communes — most of which now prefer to be known as intentional communities — represent a largely hidden slice of American history, despite the fact that they have been home to over a million Americans. Many small studies and surveys of American communal movements have been published over the last two hundred years, but the phenomenon of communal living in its fullness remains largely in the shadows. This work has been compiled to dispel those shadows by providing brief sketches of as many American intentional communities as I have been able to identify from the early days of European colonization down to the present [approximately 3,000]. The work also seeks to provide a few reliable references to primary and secondary sources of information on each community. This second edition contains descriptions of twenty additional communities, and additions and corrections to descriptions of over one hundred communities included in the first edition.

About the author:
Timothy Miller is a Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas. He studies new religious movements in the United States, with a special focus on groups in the past and present that practice communal living.

A Descriptive Bibliography of Imprints from the Israelite House of David and Mary's City of David, 1902-2010

By Henry M. Yaple

OUT OF STOCK -American Communal Societies Series, no. 10. 457 pages, with 93 color illustrations, 2014.
ISBN: 978-1-937370-13-8 ($75)

A comprehensive illustrated bibliography of the printed literature issued by the two Michigan communities famous for their bearded baseball teams!

The Worthy Virgins: Mary Purnell and her City of David

by Julieanna Frost

American Communal Societies Series, no. 9. 161 pages, with 19 b/w illustrations, 2014.
ISBN: 978-1-937370-14-5 ($15)

The first biography of Mary Purnell who along with her husband Benjamin, led the Israelite House of David in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Mary later formed her own community, Mary’s City of David. Both communities are functioning today. The communities are best known for their bearded baseball teams, but, as Frost’s book shows, they were only a small part of the story.

The Encyclopedic Guide to American Intentional Communities

by Timothy Miller

American Communal Societies Series, no. 9. 586 pages, 2013.
ISBN: 978-1-937370-05-3 ($75)
[To buy, please see 2nd ed. American Communal Societies Series, no. 11.]

John Humphrey Noyes on Sexual Relations in the Oneida Community: Four Essential Texts

Edited with Introductions by Anthony Wonderley

American Communal Societies Series, no. 8. 165 pages,  illustrations, 2012.
ISBN: 978-1-937370-04-6 ($20)

At the height of the prudish Victorian age, the utopian Oneida Community (1848-1880) openly practiced group marriage which, it was said, freed women from unwanted pregnancy, marital bondage, and household drudgery. This radically successful social experiment was based on the teachings of the commune's leader, John Humphrey Noyes, whose key writings on gender relations are assembled here for the first time.

About the author:
Anthony Wonderley is curator of collections and interpretation at the Oneida Community Mansion House, the museum of the famous nineteenth-century utopia in upstate New York.

A Promising Venture: Shaker Photographs from the WPA

by Lesley Herzberg

American Communal Societies Series, no. 7. 239 pages with 214 b/w illustrations, 2012.
ISBN: 978-1-937370-03-9 ($30)

In 1936 the Index of American Design commissioned photographer Noel Vincentini to photograph the Shaker villages of Mount Lebanon, Hancock, and Watervliet. This book presents the 206 pictures taken by Vincentini. The identifications Vincentini provided were often erroneous. Edward and Faith Andrews, who were employed by the Index to work with Vincentini, corrected many of the identifications, but even those were incomplete. This book presents the complete set of photographs for the first time and with corrected identifications. An introduction by Lesley Herzberg, curator of collections at Hancock Shaker Village, describes the tumultuous series of events that surrounded the production of these images. The book is a companion to an exhibit at Hancock Shaker Village.

About the author:
Lesley Herzberg is curator of collections at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

The Shakers through French Eyes

by E. Richard McKinstry

American Communal Societies Series, no. 6. 212 pages, 2011.
ISBN: 978-1-937370-01-5 ($20)

The Shakers through French Eyes contains fourteen essays by thirteen authors originally written in French about the Shaker religious sect. Translated into English and presented in chronological order, the essays cover a wide range of topics, each author writing within the context of his or her own background and interests. For example, Henri-Baptiste Gregoire wrote as a learned theologian, while Marie Therese de Solms Blanc, wrote as a woman of letters and a critic. Some authors simply recorded facts about the Shakers as they understood them, and others penned thoughtful observations and analyses. One essay is more than 15,000 words long; some are less than 1,000 words. The essays add to the ever-growing bibliography on Shakerism, which began three centuries ago with reports in the Manchester, England, press about how Shaker leader Ann Lee and her followers challenged the culture and conventional religious practice of their time. Each essay, important in its own right, should be of interest to those already acquainted with or new to the Shakers.

About the author:
E. Richard McKinstry is Library Director and Andrew W. Mellon Senior Librarian at the H.F. du Pont Winterthur Museum. McKinstry has written four books describing the Winterthur library's holdings, including The Edward Deming Andrews Memorial Shaker Collection, articles on bibliographical topics, a newspaper column on ephemera, and a number of book reviews.

The Days of My Youth: a Childhood Memoir of Life in the Oneida Community

by Corinna Ackley Noyes

American Communal Societies Series, no. 5. 106 pages, 2011.
ISBN: 978-0-9796448-9-4 ($20)

"The Days of My Youth is a memoir of childhood in the utopian Oneida Community that limns the past with loving acuity. In successfully conveying what it felt like being a young girl there, it is an important source of information about one of the longest-lasting and most successful ventures in utopian living in American history." (Anthony Wonderley, Curator, Oneida Community Mansion House) This intimate memoir is made available for a third printing through the tireless efforts of Jessie Mayer who compared every word of the transcript to the original.

A Bruised Idealist: David Lamson, Hopedale, and the Shakers

by Peter Hoehnle

Out of Stock
American Communal Societies Series, no. 3. 280 pages with 15 b/w illustrations, 2010.
ISBN: 978-0-9796448-7-0

In 1848, David R. Lamson, published his account of the Hancock Shaker Village community, Two Years’ Experience Among the Shakers. Although written by a man who had turned against the Shaker community in which he had once lived, Lamson’s book presents accurate detail about life in a community at the height of the Shaker movement. This reprinting of Lamson’s classic account includes a biographical essay about this enigmatic Jacksonian Era reformer and his experiences. Also, it collects for the first time the entire corpus of his writing from the time of his membership in the Hopedale Community. Frequently referenced by Shaker scholars, Lamson has, until now, remained in the shadows; the present work brings the contradictory figure of David Rich Lamson in the light.

About the author:
Peter Hoehnle received his Ph.D. in Agricultural History and Rural Studies from Iowa State University. He serves as the project manager for the Iowa Valley Resource, Conservation and Development Council in Amana, Iowa and is a longtime member of the Board of the Communal Studies Association.

Visiting the Shakers, 1850-1899: Watervliet, Hancock, Tyringham, New Lebanon

edited by Glendyne R. Wergland

American Communal Societies Series, no. 2. 456 pages with 45 b/w illustrations, 2010.
ISBN: 978-0-9796448-5-6 ($35)

This is a companion volume to her earlier work published by the Couper Press in 2007, which covered 1788-1849. This volume is a compilation of eighty-five accounts written by visitors to four Shaker villages. These two volumes will have enduring value for historians of the Shakers and American culture in general.

Visiting the Shakers, 1778-1849: Watervliet, Hancock, Tyringham, New Lebanon

edited by Glendyne Wergland

American Communal Societies Series, no. 1. 382 pages with 15 b/w illustrations, 2007.
ISBN: 978-0-9796448-0-1 ($35)

Visiting the Shakers is a compilation of ninety-eight accounts written by visitors to four Shaker villages. According to the preface by Elizabeth De Wolfe, “This volume gathers together these period observations, ranging from short diary entries to lengthy periodical articles. The majority of these sources have not been seen in print for more than 150 years. An award-winning independent scholar, Wergland guides the contemporary reader through the phenomenon of ‘visiting the Shakers,’ providing the social and historical context for the praise and criticism offered by these numerous and diverse visitors.”

About the author:
Glendyne Wergland grew up in the Southwest and spent her twenties as the trailing spouse of an engineer who moved nine times in eight years. After they settled in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, she “met” the Shakers through volunteer work at Hancock Shaker Village. Returning to school at age forty, she pursued her interest in the Shakers at Mount Holyoke College, where she graduated with honors before going to University of Massachusetts Amherst for her PhD. Her book, One Shaker Life: Isaac Newton Youngs, 1793-1865, won the Communal Studies Association's Outstanding Publication Award in 2006. Wergland’s current work on Shaker sisters examines the difficulties and rewards of nineteenth century communal life.

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