John Humphrey Noyes

Radical, American Preacher and Utopian Socialist

(1811 - 1886)

Description : In 1847, Noyes moved his community to Oneida, New York. The community followed Noyes's teachings and managed economically through agriculture and industry. Their most controversial practice was that of complex marriage, where no two individuals where exclusively attached to one another. (From : Anarchy Archives)

Tags : socialist, utopian, american, free love, preacher, abolitionist, philosopher, oneida.

Quotes :

"As a man who has passed through a series of passional excitements, is never the same being afterwards, so we insist that these socialistic paroxysms have changed the heart of the nation ; and that a yeanling toward social reconstruction has become a part of the continuous, permanent, inner experience of the Anlerican people." (From : "American Socialism," by John Humphrey Noyes.)
"The only laudable object anyone can have in rehearsing and studying the histories of the socialistic failures, is that of learning fronl them practical lessons for guidance in present and future experiments." (From : "American Socialism," by John Humphrey Noyes.)
"...we do not see how Socialism on a large scale is going to be propagated. Exceptional Associations may be formed here and there by careful selection and special good fortune; but how general society is to be resolved into Communities, without some such transformation of existing organizations, we do not pretend to foresee." (From : "American Socialism," by John Humphrey Noyes.)

Biography :

John Humphrey Noyes 1

Born on September 3, 1811, John Humphrey Noyes came from a well respected home. His father was a Dartmouth graduate and a congressman. The environment he grew up in was also highly religious. Noyes however, did not immediately identify with religion and it was not until years later, after he too had graduated from Dartmouth, that he began to be interested in theology. He then attended divinity school with the intention of becoming a minister.

Noyes began exploring a new form of salvation he called Perfectionism. He claimed that he was 'free of sin', which alienated many and lost him his license to preach. He then returned to Vermont, where he preached, gained a following, and began to practice complex marriage.

In 1847, Noyes moved his community to Oneida, New York. The community followed Noyes's teachings and managed economically through agriculture and industry. Their most controversial practice was that of complex marriage, where no two individuals where exclusively attached to one another. There were some other sexual practices within the community that also garnered criticism, like "Male Continence" and "Ascending Fellowship".

In his later years, Noyes faced legal troubles. After multiple arrest warrants both for adultery and statutory rape, Noyes finally fled to Canada where he remained until his death in 1886.

Works Cited

Hillebrand, Randall. "The Oneida Community." New York History Net. 20 Feb. 2008.

Hogan, Kathleen M. "John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Perfectionists." American Studies. The University of Virginia, 28 July 2007.

Martin, John H. "John Humphrey Noyes: The Oneida Community." The Crooked Lake Review. Fall 2005.

From : Anarchy Archives.

Chronology :

September 03, 1811 : John Humphrey Noyes's Birth Day.
April 13, 1886 : John Humphrey Noyes's Death Day.
November 15, 2016 : John Humphrey Noyes's Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.
April 21, 2019 : John Humphrey Noyes's Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

Links :

Anarchy Archives: John Humphrey Noyes Archive
http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/bright/noyes/index.html
Wikipedia: John Humphrey Noyes
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Humphrey_Noyes

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