Wisconsin Phalanx

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Wisconsin Phalanx

A Spiritualist community, based upon the doctrines of communalist Francois Fourier, founded by Warren Chase in 1844. Chase had settled in Southport, Wisconsin, in 1838, and with his wife and child, he lived there for a time in poverty. At length, however, their circumstances improved and Chase attained to a position of civic honor in Southport. During this time he studied mesmerism and socialism with the aid of a few periodicals such as La Roy Sunderland 's Magnet and the New York Tribune, and he was filled with the idea of founding a community where his ideals of social order and harmony might be carried out.

With the aid of his friends, he formed such a community. Each member had a share of 25 dollars. The chosen settle-mentnear the town of Riponwas christened "Ceresco," in honor of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. For six years the Wisconsin Phalanx flourished, with Chase acting as its leader and ruling spirit.

But dissension arose, and in 1850 the community was dissolved. When its affairs were closed, a considerable profit fell to its members. In all, it was one of the more successful Spiritualist communes of the time.

(See also Apostolic Circle ; Mountain Cove Community )


Noyes, John Humphery. History of American Socialisms. 1870. Reprinted as Strange Cults and Utopias of 19th-Century America. New York: Dover Publications, 1966.

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Wisconsin Phalanx

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