This collection contains microfilm copies of the correspondence and papers of George Ripley, founder of the Brook Farm Community in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.
George Ripley (1802-1880) was a former Unitarian minister who founded the Brook Farm Community in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. In operation from 1841 to 1847, the Brook Farm was a 175-acre utopian community that promised a share of the farmÃ¢ÂÂs profit to every community member who contributed equal shares of labor (whether physical or intellectual labor). Although the community was short-lived, it did attract a number of intellectuals and writers in addition to farmers and other agricultural laborers.
The collection includes microfilmed correspondence mainly pertaining to Brook Farm and Ripley's activities after its demise, with correspondents including George Bancroft, Edward Everett, and Theodore Parker. Specific letters deal with a charter for the Brook Farm Community, legal advice, the idea behind the Community, standards of schools in Massachusetts, biographical data for publications, and the publication of George Bancroft's second volume of the History of the United States. The collection also contains an act of incorporation for the Brook Farm, a biography of Fourier, and a work by Ripley entitled "Books and Men: A Series of Critical and Bibliographical Studies," which contains illustrations of contemporaneous literary history.
This collection was microfilmed from the originals in the George Ripley Papers and other collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. It was donated to the Illinois Historical Survey, predecessor to the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections unit, by Arthur E. Bestor, circa 1950s.