- Francis Wright
A Brief Biography of Frances Wright, With Particular Emphasis on Nashoba
A Scottish (upper middle class) born radical free thinker who visited America in 1818-1820, became a passionate friend of Lafayette starting September 1821. Followed him to America in 1824, and stayed, making the U.S. her main home thereafter (she and her sister Camilla got U.S. citizenship in 1825).Frances Wright was a British-born radical reformer/adventurer who became an American citizen, and considered the United States her home after 1824.Born in 1795, She and her younger sister Camila were orphaned very early, and sent to live in London with a grandfather, and an aunt whom she came to despise; she also came to despise their Tory politics. The death of an uncle gave the two Wright sisters a sizeable fortune, and resulted in her foster family (also heirs of the uncle) setting up an estate in Devonshire. She then spent her adolescence (ages 11-18) in the very milieu described in Jane Austen's novels. At 18 Fanny, with her sister, fled their legal guardian, and were welcomed in Glasgow by an uncle, James Mylne, a successor to Adam Smith's professorship of Moral Philosophy. In this great university town, in the bosom of a learned and liberal family, Wright accomplished much of her impressive self-education.Wright's childhood was spent in the early days of industrialization, during which the landless poor were also being deprived of the use of common lands, and the French Revolution followed by the Napoleonic wars helped generate a violent reaction against liberal ideas by the party in power, which made the U.S.' Alien and Sedition Laws look very pale by comparison.In this period, America looked to her like the Promised Land, and as soon as she came of age, in 1818, she sailed for New York, with Camilla in tow. During these first years in America, she wrote a very successful play, which flattered the American self-image. Though the sisters filed for U.S. citizenship in late 1820, the two sisters were on their way back to England in early 1821.Back in England, Frances Wright published Views of Society and Manners in America, which most Americans welcomed as fair and accurate, and which James Fennimore Cooper called "nauseous flattery". She became something of a disciple of the radical-thinking Jeremy Bentham, and then on a visit to France sought out Lafayette, and became his passionate friend for life, spending much of her time at the Lafayette estate.In 1824, Wright followed Lafayette to the U.S. when he came to see the almost 50 year old nation he had helped liberate. There was much awkwardness with Lafayette's family, so the Wright sisters were kept at arms-length, and they eventually struck out on their own. Since their application for citizenship, the necessary five years had elapsed, and despite their having been out of the country most of that time, citizenship was granted.Fanny Wright (Eckhardt, Celia Morris, Fanny Wright - Rebel in America (Harvard U. Press, 1984)) had always abhored American slavery, though it took her a long time to see just how deeply embedded it was in the nation's life. In late 1825, she decided on a scheme to demonstrate just how the U.S. could extricate itself from the "misfortune" of slavery. She would gather a group of slaves (purchase them, in fact), and with them she would break a tract of virgin land on the Wolf River in the wilds of south-western Tennessee. Meanwhile she would educate them morally and intellectually in preparation for freedom. The slaves, understanding her good intent, would work much harder than slaves normally worked. Out of the procedes their purchase cost would be defrayed, with a nicely growing profit so that the venture could not only continue, but expand rapidly. Others, seeing that this sort of enterprise was more profitable than slavery itself, would copy it, which would lead, before very long to the end of slavery in America. The community was called Nashoba.What happenned to Nashoba? It was a well-intended and in some ways ingenious plan, but revealed Wright's problem dealing with or even perceiving human factors, and her lack of grasp of the fragility of human processes.Under Wright's immediate guidance, and that of George Flower, a true soul-mate to Fanny (and probable lover), the enterprise did look promising. William Maclure, (Maclure, William 1763 - 1840 :Scottish born merchant, who made his fortune by age 40; then a geologist and philanthropist in league for a while with Robert Owen and New Harmony. Settled in U.S. about 1796; became a citizen about 1803 or earlier. Produced a geological map of America, on an unprecedented scale, published in Volume I. of Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. President of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia from 1817 - 1840. Brought Pestalozzian methods of education to the U.S.In January 1826, he brought a number of scientists to New Harmony (Trollope, Frances, Domestic Manners of the Americans (originally London, 1832); also "edited with a history of Mrs. Trollopes Adventures in America, by Donald Smalley (New York 1949):One of the best of the travel accounts of Jacksonian America. Mark Twain said of her writing: "Mrs. Trollope was so handsomely cursed and reviled by this nation [for] telling the truth... She was painting a state of things which did not disappear at once. ... I remember it. ...She found a 'civilization' here which you, reader, could not have endured; and which you would not have regarded as a civilization at all. [she spoke] in plain terms ... but honest and without malice... She lived three years in this civilization of ours; in the body of it -- not on the surface of it, as was the case with most of the foreign tourists of her day. She knew her subject well, and she set it forth fairly and squarely, without any weak ifs ands and buts. She deserved gratitude ... Nearly all the tourists were honest and fair; nearly all felt a sincere kindness for us; nearly all of them glossed us over a little too anxiously ... but Mrs. Trollope, alone of them all, dealt what the gamblers call a strictly 'square game.' She did not gild us; and neither did she whitewash us."I have the Smalley edition which has a very informative 70 page partial biography of Mrs. Trollope, and the misadventures of the Trollopes in America.) in a keelboat which New Harmonists called the "boatload of knowledge".New Harmony failed as a commune, and he spent most of the rest his life in Mexico.)who clearly saw the failure of New Harmony, was "astonished that everything proceeded so smoothly. ... The slaves worked hard without coercion -- even without apparent direction". But by this time, George Flower was already gone (having returned to his wife), and Fanny's health was nearly wrecked by the chronic illnesses, including malaria, suffered by nearly all American pioneers.To overcome decades of being lied to and abused; to convince slaves of the improbable notion that one who held ownership papers on them was planning their liberation, and, with all this, to lead them through a transformation of their culture from that of slaves to that of free and independent educated people -- without the two tremendously gifted organizers, the process would founder.Wright decided that to recover her health she would need to travel to a different climate. Thus for most of 1827, she traveled back to Europe. While she was gone, the managers of Nashoba used sometimes terrible judgement in dealing with their charges, and even resorted, on occasion, to whipping. They also informed the world at large of their disdain for the marriage institution, and that one of the men was openly living with a free "mulatto" woman.In England and France, Wright reenvisioned the enterprise as a communal place of work and education, in which the marriage contract would be invalid (the Rubicon having been crossed), and the two races would learn to live in peace and harmony. From henceforth, they would receive only free blacks, and would educate them for colonization in a land where they would be safe from the viciousness (towards blacks) of white culture in America. It was thought that they could be colonized in Haiti, as a few indeed were at the time of the dissolution of the Nashoba experiment. Unfortunately for Wrights plans, there were no large numbers of free blacks wanting to be sent to a strange new country, much less would the mostly urban free blacks want to serve an apprenticeship in a pestillential swamp in western Tennessee. They rightly doubted that this would be an improvement, even over their current oppressed lives.Meanwhile, Wright tried to recruit enlightened Europeans to take part in the building of a new world. She found one taker, another Frances, or "Fanny", the mother of Anthony Trollope, who would write a book on the Domestic Manners of the Americans at wide variance from the "nauseous flattery" of Wright's views of the U.S.Frances Trollope was a lively, open-hearted woman (though a caustic observer), by no means radical in politics, though having some share of liberal optimisim, and able to be dazzled, for a while, as people were, by the brilliant Wright. Mrs Trollope, two of her children, and her artist protege Auguste Hervieau (Hervieu, Auguste ? - ? :Accompanied Frances Trollope on her journeys in America, and drew illustrations for her book based on those travels. Painted a picture of Lafayette landing in Cincinnati (which he wasn't around to see), and took it around the country charging people a quarter to see it (a typical practice of the Jacksonian era).)accompanied Wright to America, expecting to spend considerable time in America, away from English creditors, in brilliant company, getting a fine education for her children, and with the artist participating in the experimental educational institute of Nashoba.As Wright composed a sort of manifesto to be presented to the newpaper of another communal venture in the American west, (Robert Owen's New Harmony), (Owen, Robert 1771 - 1858 :Industrialist, anti-religion crusader, and promoter of communistic communities in Britain and the U.S. Born in Newtown, Wales. He quickly amassed a fortune, and bought the New Lanark mills at Manchester, converting it (with later partnership of the Quaker William Allen and the philosopher-activist Jeremy Bentham) into a showplace of liberal caring for workers. Took extreme environmentalist position in A New View of Society (1813). Founded several cooperative communities in Britain and one called New Harmony in the U.S. After 1834, he confined his efforts to writing and lecturing.)Mrs. Trollope "watched, while Fanny sat on a coiled rope in steerage and read parts to a sailor patching his trousers" the composing of her "Explanatory Notes on Nashoba" (See Jacksonian Miscellanies, 3/25/97, 4/8/97).Frances Trollope described Nashoba, and the Frances Wright of Nashoba, as follows: Desolation was the only only feeling -- the only word that presented itself; but it was not spoken. I think, however, that Miss Wright was aware of the painful impression the sight of her forest home produced on me, and I doubt not that the conviction reached us both at the same moment, that we had erred in thinking that a few months passed together at this spot could be productive of pleasure to either**. But to do her justice, I believe her mind was so exclusively occupied by the object she had then in view, that all things else were worthless, or indifferent to her. ... It must have been some feeling equally powerful which enabled Miss Wright, accustomed to all the comfort and refinement of Europe, to imagine not only that she herself could exist in this wilderness, but that her European friends could enter there, and not feel dismayed at the savage aspect of the scene. ... Each building consisted of two large rooms furnished in the most simple manner ... ** [Frances Trollope's footnote] : The Frances Wright of Nashoba, in dress, looks, and manner, bore no more resemblance to the Miss Wright I had known and admired in London and Paris than did her log cabin to the Tuileries or Buckingham Palace. But, to do her justice, I believe her imagination was so exclusively occupied on the scheme sh then had in view that all her other faculties were in a manner suspended, for she appeared perfectly unconscious that her existence was deprived of all that makes life desirable. I never saw, I never heard or read, of any enthusiasm approaching hers, except in some few instances, in ages past, of religious fanatacism. When we arrived at Nashoba, they were without milk, without beverage of any kind except rain water; the river Wolf being too distant to send to constantly. Wheat bread they used but sparingly, and to us the Indian corn bread was uneatable. ... She herself made her meals on a bit of Indian corn bread, and a cup of very indifferent cold water, and while doing so, smiled with the sort of complacency that we may conceive Peter the Hermit felt when eating his acorns in the wilderness. I shared her bedroom; it had no ceiling, ... The rain had access through the wooden roof, and the chimney, which was of logs, slightly plaistered with mud, caught fire, at least a dozen times in a day; but Frances Wright stood in the midst of all this desolation, with the air of a conqueror ...Source: pp 27-29, Trollope, Frances, Domestic Manners of the Americans (originally London, 1832); also "edited with a history of Mrs. Trollopes Adventures in America, by Donald Smalley (New York 1949):The Trollope family and their artist-in-tow soon fled Nashoba, and within a few months Nashoba was no more. Neither the self-supporting institution for buying(!), educating and freeing the slaves, nor the cultivated interracial commune was forthcoming, and Wright had dangerously compromised her modest fortune.Wright subsequently became co-editor of the New Harmony Gazette, (New Harmony GazettePropaganda organ of the New Harmony community, in the late 1820s, edited by Robert Dale Owen with (from 1828-1829?) Frances Wright. Her "Explanatory Notes on Nashoba", which ran from 1/30 - 2/13, 1828 (before she helped edit the paper) was said to be the "most powerful statement Fanny ever made, and the most revealing." (source: p154 Eckhardt, Fanny Wright, and related footnote #35).) which was renamed the Free Enquirer. (Free EnquirerNew York based publication by Frances Wright and Robert Dale Owen of socialistic and anti-religious tendencies.) She lectured all over the United States (the first woman to so address mixed audiences -- "promiscuous audiences", as they said back then ) promoting strict equality of the sexes, a strong universal education system, free love (and, more or less, abolition of marriage), atheism and communalism. She relocated the Free Enquirer to New York, and there purchased a former Baptist church, rechristening it a "temple of science" - a combination lecture hall with seating for 3000, museum, bookstore, and headquarters. Walt Whitman described her in this period as a brilliant woman, of beauty and estate, who was never satisfied unless she was busy doing good -- public good, private good. [much of the public criticized her morals but] "we all loved her; fell down before her; her very appearance seemed to enthrall us. [she was] the noblest Roman of them all ... a woman of the noblest make-up whose orbit was a great deal larger than theirs -- to large to be tolerated long by them: a most maligned, lied-about character -- one of the best in history though also one of the least understood.From Eckhardt, Fanny Wright, p189Two years later, Wright chartered the brig John Quincy Adams (John Quincy Adams A "163 ton brig" which Frances Wright chartered to sail from New Orleans to take the Nashoba slaves to freedom in Haiti. (Eckhardt, Wright, p211))to take the former slaves to Haiti. She was accompanied by William Phiquepal D'Arusmont, (D'Arusmont, William Phiquepal ? - ?:Married Frances Wright after she became pregnant by him while taking the Nashoba ex-slaves to Haiti. The marriage had a very destructive affect on her life."Years later, Robert Dale Owen described [him] as suspicious and headstrong -- 'a man well informed on many points, full of original ideas, some of practical value, but, withal, a wrong-headed genius whose extravagance and wilfulness and inordinate self-conceit destroyed his usefulness' [and for Wright] an unwise, hasty, fanciful counselor'. ... A Quaker friend said that Fanny, who was not in the ordinary sense a man's woman, would never have married and become a mother had she not been "under the influence of a species of hallucination.") an unfortunate traveling companion. She must have felt drawn to him during the difficulties of this trip, for sometime on the voyage she became pregnant by him. She became, for almost five years a recluse, and married D'Arusmont after the child was born. She was so hidden from view that the press did not get to make hay over her illegitimate baby, as much as they delighted in attacking her.The marriage to D'Arusmont was an empty affair and worse, he gained control of much of her remaining fortune. Late in 1835 she returned to America and tried to stage a comeback as a lecturer. The rest is anticlimactic until her death in 1852, in Cincinnati. She did lecture and write, but no longer reached a large audience. She and D'Arusmont eventually divorced. Her daughter became an ardent Christian and a conservative, and in 1874 testified against woman's suffrage before an American congressional committee.Principal Source: Eckhardt, Celia Morris Fanny Wright - Rebel in America (Harvard U. Press, 1984).See also Jacksonian Miscellanies, 3/25/97, 4/8/97.The following appeared in the New Harmony Gazette, February 6, 1828. It was part 2 of a 3 part series written by Frances, or "Fannie", Wright. For part 1, and a good bit of background on Miss Wright and what she was writing about, the new subscriber may want to request issue #11, or view it on the Web Site (see above).This in one of Frances Wright's most radical statements. The first half (of this, part 2) is mostly an attack on the current state of the marriage institution; to exerpt a few passages: • Concerning the experimental community of Nashoba, she wrote "The marriage law existing without the pale of the institution, is of no force within that pale. No woman can forfeit her individual rights of independent existence, and no man assert over her any rights or power whatsoever, beyond what he may exercise over her free and voluntary affections; nor, on the other hand, may any woman assert claims to the society or peculiar protection of any individual of the other sex, beyond what mutual inclination dictates and sanctions, while to every individual member of either sex is secured the protection and friendly aid of all. • She speaks of "The tyranny usurped by the matrimonial law over the over ... the strongest and at the same time, if refined by mental cultivation, the noblest of the human passions". • The laws of marriage and of legitimacy, she says, "condemn one portion of the female sex to vicious excess, another to vicious restraint, and all to defenceless helplessness and slavery, and generally the whole of the male sex to debasing licentiousness, if not to loathsome brutality". • She characterizes "the cultivated, talented and independent women" of England as "devoted victims to unnatural restraints" who "shrink equally from the servitude of matrimony, and from the opprobrium stamped upon unlegalized connexions." • Finally, in the second part, after describing the racial problem in America, she makes the claim (often attributed, incorrectly to abolitionists in general) that "racial amalgamation" is the best way out of the dilemma, or rather the legitimizing and civilizing of racial amalgamation, since it already exists.
Part 2, "Explanatory Notes, respecting the Nature and Objects of the Institution of Nashoba, and of the Principles upon which it is founded. Addressed to the Friends of Human Improvement, in all Countries and of all Nations", by Frances Wright, from the New Harmony Gazette, Feb. 6, 1828.The limits of the present address will not admit of a detailed defence of the principle, and explanation of the practice of cooperative labor. And however great their advantages, the founder of Nashoba views them as entirely subordinate to the one great principle of human liberty, which she believes them calculated to further and secure. She sees in the cooperative system, as it has been termed, the means -- not the end. But after mature consideration of its theory and some observation of its practice, believing it the best means yet discovered for securing the one great end, that of human liberty, and equality, -- she has for that reaons and that reason only, made it the base of the experiment at Nashoba.The Institution of Nashoba being thus founded on the broad basis of human liberty and equality, as well as the subsequent regulations of the trustees are shaped in accordance with it. It will be seen by a reference to that public record, of which it is recommended to attach a copy to this address, that the personal independence of each individual member of the society is effectually secured, and that without disputing the established laws of the country, the institution recognizes only within its bosom the force of its own principles.It is declared in the deed of the founder, that no individual can be received as member, but after a noviciate of six months, and then only by a unanimous vote of the resident proprietors. It is also provided that the admission of a husband shall not involve that of a wife, nor the admission of a wife that of a husband, nor the admission of either or both the parents that of the children above the age of fourteen. Each individual must pass through a separate trial, and be received or rejected on the strength of his or her merits or demerits. Ans, as, in the reception of members, the individual character is the only one recognized, so, by the principles of the society that character can never be forfeited. The marriage law existing without the pale of the institution, is of no force within that pale. No woman can forfeit her individual rights of independent existence, and no man assert over her any rights or power whatsoever, beyond what he may exercise over her free and voluntary affections; nor, on the other hand, may any woman assert claims to the society or peculiar protection of any individual of the other sex, beyond what mutual inclination dictates and sanctions, while to every individual member of either sex is secured the protection and friendly aid of all. The tyranny usurped by the matrimonial law over the most sacred of the human affections, can perhaps only be equalled by that of the unjust opinion, which so frequently stamps with infamy, or condemns to martyrdom the best-grounded and most generous attachments, which ever did honor to the human heart, simply because unlegalized by human ceremonies, equally idle and offensive in the form and mischievous in the tendency.This tyranny, as now exercised over the strongest and at the same time, if refined by mental cultivation, the noblest of the human passions, had probably its source in religious prejudice, or priestly rapacity, while it has found its plausible and more philosophical apology in the apparent dependence of children on the union of their parents. To this plea it might, perhaps, be replied, that the end, how important soever, is not secured by the means. That the forcible union of unsuitable and unsuited parents can little promote the happiness of the offspring; and supposing the protection of children to be the real source and object of our code of morals and of our matrimonial laws, what shall we say of the effects of these humane provisions on the fate and fortunes of one large family of helpless innocents, born into the world in spite of all prohibitions and persecutions, and whom a cruel law, and yet more cruel opinion, disown and stigmatize. But how wide a field does this topic embrace! How much cruelty -- how much oppression of the weak and the helpless does it not involve! The children denominated illegitimate, or natural, (as if in contradiction of others who should be out of nature because under law) may be multiplied to any number by the unprincipled father, easily exonerated by law and custom from duties or paternity, while these duties, and their accompanying shame, are left to a mother but too often rendered desperate by misfortune! And should we follow out our review of the law of civilized countries, we shall find the offspring termed legitimate, with whom honor and power and possession are associated, adjudged, in case of matrimonial dissentions to the father, who by means of this legal claim, has, not unfrequently, bowed to servitude the spirit of a fond mother, and held her, as a galley slave, to the oar.But it is not here that this subject can be discussed in all its bearings. The writer of this article will, however, challenge all the advocates of existing institutions and existing opinions to test them by the secret feelings of their bosoms, and then to pronounce on their justice. She will challenge them to consider the wide field of human society as now existing, to examine its practice and to weigh its theory, and to pronounce on the consistency of the one and the virtue of the other. She will challenge them to determine how many of the moral evils and numerous family of physical diseases, which now torture the human species, have not their source in the false opinion and vicious institutions which have perverted the best source of human happiness -- the intercourse of the sexes -- into the deepest source of human misery. Let us look into our streets, our hospitals, our asylums; let us look into the secret thoughts of the anxious parent trembling for the minds and bodies of sons strating into life, or mourning over the dying health of daughters condemned to the unnatural repression of feelings and desires inherent in their very organization and necessary alike to their moral and physical well-being. Or let us look to the victims -- not of pleasure, not of love, nor yet of their own depravity, but of those ignorant laws, ignorant prejudices, ignorant code of morals, which condemn one portion of the female sex to vicious excess, another to vicious restraint, and all to defenceless helplessness and slavery, and generally the whole of the male sex to debasing licentiousness, if not to loathsome brutality.And must we be told that private vices are public benefits, that the units of individual misery make the sum of the general good? or that the immolation of some and suffering of all are requisite to secure public order and to moderate human population to the supplies yielded for its support? As if living creatures, could ever, for any space of time, positively exceed the means of subsistence, or as if their tendency to increase beyond a healthy sufficiency of these means could ever be repressed save by the increase and spread of real knowledge, which should teach human beings to consider the creation of other human beings as the most important of actions, and the securing to the beings of their creation a sound and healthy organization and equally a sound and healthy education, with all the means of a happy existence, as the most important of all duties. In the moral, intellectual and physical cultivation of both sexes should we seek, as we can only find, the source ans security of human happiness and human virtue. Prejudice and fear are weak barriers against passions, which, inherent in our nature and demanding only judicious traning to form the ornament, and supply the best joys of our existence, are maddened into violence by pernicious example and pernicious restraint, varied with as pernicious indulgence. Let us correct our views of right and wrong, correct our moral lessons, and so correct the practice of rising generations! Let us not teach that virtue consists in the crucifying of the affections and appetites, but in their judicious government. Let us not attach ideas of purity to monastic chastity, impossible to man or woman without consequences fraught with evil, nor ideas of vice to connections formed under the auspices of kind feelings. Let us enquire, not if a mother be a wife, or a father a husband, but if parents can supply to the creatures they have brought into being, all things requisite to render existence a blessing! Let the force of public opinion be brought against the thoughtless ignorance, or cruel selfishness, which, either with or without the sanction of a legal or religious permit, so frequently multiplies offspring beyond the resources of the parents. Let us check the force of passions, as well as their precocity, not by the idle terror of imaginary crime in the desire itself, but by the just and benevolent apprehension of bringing into existence, unhappy or imperfect beings. Let us teach the young mind to reason, and the young heart to feel, and instead of shrouding our bodies, wants, desire, senses, affections and faculties in mystery, let us court enquiry, and show that acquaintance with our own nature can alone guide us to judicious practice, and that in the consequence of human actions, exists the only true test of their virtue or their vice.We need only observe the effects of the present system to be convinced of its error. Where is the repressive force of public opinion perceived? Whom does it affright? The poor, the ignorant, the unhappy pauper, the diseased profligate, the licentious hypocrite? Is it they who feel the force either of just or unjust censure, or who hesitate to call into existence sentient beings born to ignorance, want and disease. No; is it not rather upon that class whose feelings and intellects have been most cultivated, and who, consequently, are best fitted to give life to a healthy and intellectual race, upon whom the weight of coercive prejudice falls?Let us advert to the far more important half of the human species -- whether we consider their share in the first formation and rearing of the infant, or their moral influence on society. -- Let us consider the effects of existing institutions and opinions as exemplified among women. In what class do we find the largest proportion of childless females and devoted victims to unnatural restraints? Certainly among the cultivated, talented and independent women, who (in England most especially) shrink equally from the servitude of matrimony, and from the opprobrium stamped upon unlegalized connexions.But again the writer of this address must observe that she can here only touch upon subjects which she feels herself prepared to examine in detail, but which she must defer until a suitable medium be supplied in the periodical publication which it will be her object to issue so soon as it can be done consistently with the interests of the institution.It is considered that the peculiar object of the founder, the benefit of the negro race, may best be consulted by the admission and incorporation of suitable individuals of that and the mixed race on the same principles of equality which guide the admission of all members; and further, that such individuals may best be found, among the free citizens of color who form no inconsiderable, and frequently, a very respectable body in the American population, more especially in that of the southern cities.As it was the object of the founder to attempt the peaceful influence of example, and silently to correct the practice, and reach the laws through the feelings and the reason of the American people, she carefully forbore from outraging any of the legal provisions in the slave state in which she ventured to attempt her experiment, or those of any of the slave states with which she is acquainted, and trusted confidently to the national good sense, and to the liberality fostered by the national institutions for the safety of any experiment however opposed to the national prejudices, which should be undertaken in a spirit of kindliness to all men, and conducted within the limits of private, or, as in the present case, of associate property.It is not supposed that (with some rare exceptions) human beings raised under the benumbing influence of brutal slavery can be elevated to the level of a society based upon the principles of moral liberty and voluntary cooperation. The experiment therefore as respects the slave population, it is intended to limit, at Nashoba, to the first purchase of the founder, excepting in cases where planters becoming members, may wish to place their negroes under the protection of the institution. And looking to effect the more especial object of the Institution through the present free race of color, and, more especially, by the education of colored children, the founder judged that she should best conciliate the laws of the southern states and the popular feeling of the whole union, as well as the interests of the emancipated negro, by providing for the colonization of all slaves emancipated by the Society in a free country without the limits of the United States. Personal observation had taught her the danger of launching a freed slave into the midst of an inimical population. And if unfit, as he must of necessity be, for incorporation into the society as a free proprietor, it appeared consistent with justice and humanity to enforce his being sent to a country of safety for his color when ejected from the protection of the Institution.While fondly looking to the regeneration of America's citizens of color, the writer of this address believes that slavery may safely be left to work its own ruin. The falling price of cotton must soon reduce to zero the profits of the upland planter, and unfortunately the growth of sugar is restricted by climate to a small portion of the American slave territory. But when the bankrupt fortunes of the southern planters shall have put an end to the internal slave trade of the United States; and Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky, the Guinea of the states farther south, shal have lost their last staple commodity of profit, the principles avowed at Nashoba may then attract the national attention, and the olive of peace and brotherhood be embraced by the white man and the black, and their children, approached in feeling and education, gradually blend into one their blood and their hue.The writer of this address is fully aware that the topic most offensive to the American public is that under consideration. But so to that public is it more peculiarly addressed; not, it will be believed, with a view to offend, but with the single view of exposing the principles of Nashoba to the American people, and calling their attention to the cool investigation of a subject, unhappily seldom approached but with the anger of sectional, or the pride of national feeling.The strength of the prejudice of color as existing in the United States and in the Eurpoean colonies can in general be little conceived and less understood in the old continent. Yet however whimsical it may there appear, is it in fact more ridiculous than the European prejudice of birth? The superior excellence which the one supposes in a peculiar descent or merely in a peculiar name, the other imagines in a peculiar complexion or set of features. And perhaps it is only by considering man in many countries and observing all his varying and contradictory prejudices that we can discover the equal absurdity of all.Those to whom the American institutions and American character are familiar, and who have considered the question of American negro slavery in all its bearings, will probably be disposed to pronounce with the writer of this address that the emancipation of the colored population cannot be progressive through the laws. It must and can only be progressive through the feelings; and, through that medium, be finally complete and entire, involving at once political equality and the amalgamation of the races. And has nature (as slave apologists would tell us) drawn a Rubicon between the human varieties of physiognomy and complexion, or must we enter into details to prove that no natural antipathy blinds the white Louisianian to the charms of the graceful quadroon -- however the force of prejudice or the fear of public censure makes of her his mistress, and of the white-skinned, but often not more accomplished or more attractive female, his wife? Or must we point to the intercourse in its most degraded form - where the child is the marketable slave of its father? Idle indeed is the assertion that the mixture of the races is not in nature. If not in nature, it could not happen, and, being in nature, since it does happen, the only question is whether it shall take place in good taste and good feeling and be made at once the means of sealing the tranquility, and perfecting the liberty of the country, and of peopling it with a race more suited to its southern climate than the pure European, -- or whether it shall proceed, as it now does, viciously and degradingly, mingling hatred and fear with the ties of blood -- denied indeed, but stamped by nature herself upon the skin. The education of the race of color would doubtless make the amalgamation more rapid as well as more creditable; and so far from considering the physical amalgamation of the two colors, when accompanied by a moral approximation, as an evil, it must surely be viewed as a good equally desirable for both. In this belief the most especial object of the founder of Nashoba is to raise the man of color to the level of the white. Where fitted by habits of industry and suitable dispositions to receive him as a brother and equal, and, after due trial, as proprietor trustee of the property; to educate his children with white children, and thus approaching their minds, tastes and occupations, to leave the affections of future generations to the dictates of free choice. Cooper, James Fenimore 1789 - 1851. Immensely popular novelist and travel writer. Flower, George 1788 - 1862 : Born in Hertford England, son of Richard Flower, he joined his father and Morris Birkbeck in the founding and promoting of Albion. Fought against the establishment of slavery in Illinois. Initially he was very actively engaged with Frances Wright in Nashoba but he dropped the enterprise abruptly, leaving Wright in a difficult position. It is a plausible speculation that they might have had an affair and that the jealousy of Flower's wife may have wrecked Flower's intention of working with Wright. (source for this: p132 Eckhardt, Fanny Wright; also see picture of George Flower on p 125).)
"Francis Wright" (born 1958 in
London) is a British actor, puppeteer, and writer.
A Londoner born and bred, educated at St. Paul’s School and studied drama at the Arts Educational Schools, graduating with honours. Francis decided to specialise in puppetry as it seemed to be a good way of never being typecast and consequently doomed to a life mainly out of work. He spent the first four years - from 1976 - of his professional career with Playboard Puppets (of Button Moon fame) touring schools and theatres, playing everything from a tortoise to a granny.
Having had various forays into television and film, (beginning with ITC Entertainment's THE Munch Bunch), he became one of the two leading characters in a long-running series for BBC Schools called 'You & Me' ... His character’s name was Dibs - or the yellow one, as he was known to those who could never remember the names. The rather downtrodden Dibs, and his opposite number, the gruff-voiced Cosmo, carried on exploring life's little ups and downs for eleven years.
During that time, Francis worked on his first feature film, the sword and sorcery epic 'Dragonslayer', (starring Peter MacNicoll and Ralph Richardson) in which his character, a slime covered and vicious baby dragon, was unceremoniously decapitated by the hero.
Credits include the satirical puppet show SPITTING IMAGE, the Psammead in Five Children & IT, the Phoenix in THE Phoenix & The Carpet, and the March Hare in Hallmark Films' version of Alice in Wonderland, which boasted a cast more star-studded than the Milky Way (Peter Ustinov, Whoopi Goldberg, Ben Kingsley, Ken Dodd, Miranda Richardson, and Gene Wilder, to name a few) and Labyrinth, a musical adventure starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly, surrounded by the animatronic skills of the Jim Henson Creature Shop.
He features as ‘The Head’ in ITV'S Art Attack and Art Attack International, and also co-wrote (with director Peter Eyre) and performed in three series of the whacky children's comedy BUG ALERT! for Channel 4 and ITV. He even became an icon of sorts when he inherited the role of SWEEP in series 50 and 51 of the classic ITV children’s show SOOTY. This involved having to squeak a lot, and frequently get covered in custard.
Other series include GROTBAGS (with Carol Lee-Scott as an ample-bodied green witch), MORTIMER AND ARABEL (the first drama series performed entirely with puppets, created by author Joan Aiken), JAYS' WORLD, GOPHERS, and many others.
Francis has always maintained that a puppeteer should be a capable and versatile actor, able to use a multitude of voices and to interpret a script intelligently, according to a director's wishes. He teaches personal presentation and communication skills, working with anyone who feels the need to develop and improve the way they come across in public. As a result of lecturing at Middlesex University, he became involved in the Reality Show AMERICAN PRINCESS for NBC, which involved turning ten American girls from all walks of life into young ladies. Francis was responsible for their speaking and elocution skills, being a kind of Henry Higgins to their Eliza Doolittles. For AUSTRALIAN PRINCESS (Channel 10) he repeated this role, and much fun was had by all.
Recent projects include voice overs for advertising, and narrating two 10-part series: B & B THE BEST (for BBC TV) and ROSEMARY SHRAGER’S COOKERY SHOWDOWN (ITV).
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