History of Co-operation (3)
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CHAPTER VIII.

THE DEVICE OF LABOUR EXCHANGES


"The night is darkest before the morn;
 When the pain is sorest the child is born."
                                               K
INGSLEY'S Day of the Lord.


So far as my reading or experience extends there is no example of a commercial movement so simple, necessary, and popular as the device of Labour Exchanges—exciting so wide an interest and dying so soon, and becoming so very dead.  The exchange of labour meant really an exchange of commodities upon which labour had been expended.  One plan was to take a large room, or series of rooms, where persons having articles they needed to part with could exchange them for others, or obtain a negotiable note for them.  The first intimation in England of this new device of commerce of industry came from Mr. Owen.  It appeared in the Crisis in the following form:—


"NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC: EQUITABLE LABOUR EXCHANGES' INSTITUTION OF THE INDUSTRIOUS CLASSES, GRAY'S INN ROAD, KING'S CROSS.

    "Agriculturists, gardeners, manufacturers, provision merchants, factors, warehousemen, wholesale and retail dealers of all descriptions, mechanics, and all others, who may be inclined to dispose of their various articles of trade and merchandise in the only equitable manner in which men can mutually dispose of their property to each other, viz., its value in labour for equal value in labour, without the intervention of money, are requested to communicate with Mr. Samuel Austin, at the Equitable Labour Exchange.

"All letters must be post-paid—ROBERT OWEN."


    These bazaars were designed to enable artificers to exchange among themselves articles they had made, by which they would save the shopkeeper's expenses.  For currency labour notes were substituted, which it was thought would represent real value.  The shoemaker brought his pair of shoes to the bazaar, with an invoice of the cost (calculated at sixpence per hour).  The labour note, of so many hours' value, was given to the shoemaker, who could then, or at any other time, buy with them any other deposit in the bazaar—a hat, or teakettle, or a joint of meat, if he found what he wanted.  Upon each transaction a commission of 8⅓ per cent, was charged, in some bazaars payable in cash, to defray the expenses of the institution.  In the exchanges conducted under Mr. Owen's auspices the commission charged was only one halfpenny in the shilling.  In the published rules of the Equitable Labour Exchange, in Gray's Inn Road, in 1832, the name of Robert Owen appears as governor; and Thomas Allsop, Sampson Mordan, and W. Devonshire Saull, as members of council.

    According to Mr. Noyes, Josiah Warren, in 1826, originated the idea of Labour Exchanges, which he communicated to Mr. Owen when he was a resident in Mr. Owen's community of New Harmony.  After leaving New Harmony Mr. Warren went to Cincinnatti, where he opened a Labour Exchange under the title of a Time Store.  He joined in commencing a second one in Tascarawas, Co. Ohio; a third at Mount Vernon, Indiana.  He opened a fourth in 1842, at New Harmony, to which he had returned.  Mr. Owen alone gave effect to the plan in England, and by whom alone it was made known.

    In May, 1833, the National Equitable Labour Exchange, London, was opened at noon on May-day with some pomp, at the new rooms in Charlotte Street, Rathbone Place, London.  This place extended 250 feet from the front entrance in Charlotte-street, to John Street, at the back.  In Charlotte Street it appeared to be no more than one of the usual private dwellings; but on passing through the entrance it opened unexpectedly into a quadrangular building of two stories, with a covered space in the centre of 16 ft. by 130 ft.  Alterations were made in it to suit the convenience of the Labour Exchange and public meetings.  Nearly 12,000 people were able to stand in it under cover and hear a speaker with an ordinary voice—it could seat 3,700 persons.  Mr. Owen convened the opening meeting "purposely to announce his determination to reject the system of error, by which society had been so long governed, and plant his standard of open and direct opposition to it."  He had done that sixteen years before, at the City of London Tavern; but that was a thing which would bear doing many times over.  Society had a way of going on, regardless of the stand Mr. Owen made against it.  Mr. Roebuck, M.P., was the chairman.  The chief thing which he did was to make "known his conviction, that nothing would be done for the labouring classes unless they did it themselves."  Mr. Gillon, M.P., was also a speaker.  Mr. Owen then gave his address.

    Mr. Owen, as head of the London exchange, was publicly offered a hundred tons of the pink-eyed potatoes.  It seemed an indignity that the correspondent of all the monarchs of Europe should be publicly engaged in considering tenders for pink-eyed potatoes.  Sixpence was the uniform standard of value for each hour, adopted by Mr. W. King.  He it was who was the editor of a Gazette of Labour Exchanges.  The Gazette stated that the first Labour Bank was established at the Gothic Hall, New Road, Marylebone, in the month of April, 1832.  The projector of the bank had no capital.  Mr. Owen, who understood business, objected to this bazaar; as persons who had no property to indemnify the public from loss were unfitted for the work.  The Bank of Labour had no capital at its back.  It was to Mr. Owen's credit that when he judged the King scheme unsound he said so.  Mr. King "wondered that he should find an opponent in the 'universal philanthropist,"' evidently being of opinion that a philanthropist should approve of everything well intended, whether well devised or not.  The projector thought enough to allege that he "was conscious of the purity of his intentions, and confident in the soundness of his principles"; but, as the "principles" had never been tried, and as " purity of intention," however excellent in itself, is not capital in a commercial sense, and will buy nothing in the market, the exchange could not be expected to command confidence—yet it obtained it.  Within twenty weeks deposits of the value of £3,500 were made.

    In writing to the Times concerning the Labour Exchange Institution, Mr. Owen cited the great commercial organisation of the firm of James Morrison & Co. as an approach towards the change that he intended to effect in the distribution of common wealth among the people.

    A United Interests Exchange Mart and Bank was projected, and premises taken for it in Aldersgate Street, a few yards south of the corner of Long Lane, consisting of a spacious front shop, with three other floors, each of nearly the same extent, for showrooms and exchange purposes.  An exchange was opened in Sheffield, a town always venturesome in social things.  But it was Birmingham that stood next to London in labour exchange fervour.  Mr. Owen convened a congress in 1832 in Birmingham, at which delegates from various parts of the kingdom were invited, to discuss this new scheme of local commerce.  The propagandism of it was in mighty hands, wont to strike the world in a large way.  At once Mr. Owen held a great meeting in Birmingham, where he excited both enthusiasm and inquiry into the nature of co-operative plans generally.  Mr. Thomas Attwood, himself then a man of national repute, with a natural affinity himself for men of spacious manners, introduced Mr. Owen, with many courtly phrases, to the council of the famous Birmingham Political Union, whom Mr. Owen addressed.  He delivered lectures in the public office in Dee's Royal Hotel, Temple Row, which was largely attended by ladies; and in Beardsworth's Repository, which was attended by eight thousand people.  Mr. G. F. Muntz was announced to preside.  Mr. Owen's subject was "Labour Exchanges"; and Mr. Beardsworth, having an eye to business, offered to sell him the repository for a labour exchange mart.  Mr. John Rabone, Mr. George Edmonds (one of the most ambitious orators of the Birmingham Political Union, and subsequently Clerk of the Peace of the town), Mr. Hawkes Smith, Mr. Pare, and others, addressed the great meeting at Beardsworth's.

    Birmingham being distinguished among English towns for the variety of its small trades and miscellaneous industries, exchange of any kind came congenially.  Journalism there soon showed itself interested in advancing the idea.  A special Labour Exchange Gazette was started, and on July 29, 1833, the National Equitable Labour Exchange was opened in Coach Yard, Bull Street.  Benjamin Woolfield, Esq., was the director, and Mr. James Lewes sub-director.  The bankers were Spooners, Attwoods & Co.  The first day the deposits were 18,000 hours, and the exchanges 900.  Each day, for some time, the deposits increased, but the exchanges never exceeded one half.  In August the association of depositors numbered 840.  Coventry sent £30 worth of ribbons; but a much more saleable deposit was three hundredweight of good bacon, and one person undertook to take any number of well-manufactured Birmingham articles in exchange for the best Irish provisions.  The capital upon which this exchange commenced was only £450, which the first three months realised a profit, clear of all rents, salaries, and other payments, of £262.  By this time London was filled with the fame of the Labour Exchange Bazaar of Gray's Inn Road, which Mr. Owen had taken to accommodate the growing business which was arising around him beyond that which could be dealt with in the Charlotte Street Rooms.  It was stated that in one week the deposits in the Gray's Inn Road bazaar amounted to little less than £10,000 and that if 4 per cent. out of the 8⅓ per cent. said to be then charged on those deposits were applied to the extension of exchanges, there would be a disposable accumulating fund of £400 weekly, or if the deposits and exchanges proceeded at that rate £28,000 per annum would arise for that purpose.  "Over the water"—as the Surrey side of London was called—things went on swimmingly.  The Labour Exchange Association was so active that in 1833 and '34 it published monthly reports of its proceedings, with carefully drawn up papers and speeches of members.

    The astonishing number of deposits made in a short time, and the avidity with which exchanges were made, proved that a large amount of wealth remained stationary for the want of a market.  No doubt numerous persons were stimulated by these exchanges to make articles of use and value, who before did nothing, because no means existed of disposing of them; and thus, by providing exchanges, new wealth was created.  Mr. Owen strongly recommended the management of the exchange at Birmingham to be given to Mr. William Robert Wood.  Mr. Wood better understood the commercial possibilities of these Exchanges than any one else. [61]  The cardinal point he insisted upon was, that each Exchange should be provided with quick, sound, practical valuators—not men muddled with labour-note ideas of sixpence per hour estimates—but who would know exactly what a thing would fetch in the market if it had to be sold out of doors.  The labour of a second-rate shoemaker, or button maker, might not be worth sixpence an hour, while the labour of a skilful oculist might be worth 100 guineas.  Who could appraise the value per hour of the chair painter and the landscape painter at the same six pence?  The Labour Exchange needed the pawnbroker's faculty of quickly seeing what a thing was worth.  The exchange managers should have a clear eye to not giving more than could be obtained for an article if they had to sell it to a stranger.  By giving more than the value obvious to the outsider, the labour notes are depreciated in value.  If a man of business went into an exchange and saw persons depositing chimney ornaments and fire-screens, and carrying out kettles, good hats, and sound pieces of bacon, he knew at once that things could not go on.  Their rapid popularity showed that they really hit a general need, and sound management must make them profitable.  At first, tradesmen around them readily agreed to take labour notes, and numerous placards were issued, and, are still extant (preserved by Mr. Place), [62] giving this notice to the public.  Of course these tradesmen took occasion to run round the exchange themselves, and see what kind of deposits represented the value of the notes.  A weakness for "respectable" friends of the system caused in one case a whole family of shrewd, talkative professors of the "new views" to be put upon the directory of an exchange.  These adroit managers did business with their friends and acquaintances, who loaded the shelves with useless things appraised at a special rate, while valuable and saleable articles were carried away in exchange.  Sharp shopkeepers sent down worthless stock in their shops, exchanged it for labour notes, and before the general public came in carried away the pick of the saleable things, with which they stocked their shops.  As they put in their windows "Labour Notes taken here," they were thought wonderful friends of the exchange.  With some of them the proper notice in the window would have been "Labour Exchangers taken in here."  And these were the knaves who first began to depreciate Labour Notes and compare them to French assignats, and they well knew the reason why. [63]  The popularity and even profit of the deposit business was such that it bore this.  Then wholesale and general dealers systematically depreciated Labour Notes with a view to buy them up, which they did, and carried off all the saleable goods they could find at the exchange.  These operators did not approve of the exchanges which appeared to threaten a new system of barter, and ingeniously devised means to discredit them and profit themselves in doing it.  If Mr. Owen had otherwise chosen his officers in the central exchange the enemy might have been frustrated; but disinterestedness had become with him a second nature, and he took for granted the integrity of those who offered their services.  When his suspicions were aroused no man could see more easily or farther into a rogue than he.

    Mr. Owen rather regarded these exchanges as weak expedients of persons who thought that they could mend or mitigate a state of society which he considered should be peremptorily superseded; they had not the advantage of that strong direction.  Facility and certainty of exchange is a condition not only of commerce but of production.  Astute persons failed not to see that a wealth-making power resided in them.  It was obvious if pawnbrokers—who received no money with deposits, but had to pay out capital for them and be debarred from realising upon articles taken in until a long period after, and then only when not redeemed—prospered, there was some probability that a company of labour brokers—who received cash with every deposit and paid no capital out for it, but merely gave a note for it and were at liberty to sell it the next hour—could make profit.  There might have been a department where valuable articles of uncertain demand could be received on sale at the depositor's own price, to be paid for only when disposed of.  Had the profits accruing been carried to the credit of customers in proportion to their dealings, as is now done in the co-operative stores, and the first five pounds of profit so gained by the exchanger capitalised to create a fund to stand at the back of the notes to prevent panic or depreciation, these Labour Exchanges might have continued, as they might now be revived.

    At the Surrey branch in Blackfriars Road, which existed simultaneously with the Gray's Inn Road Exchange, the total deposits soon amounted to £32,000, and the exchanges to £16,000.

    Mechanical inventions, steam engines, steamships, and projected railways had changed the character of industry before men's eyes.  Dr. Church was known to be running about Birmingham on a steel horse.  Though some of his patients were more alarmed at his untoward steed, he made a favourable impression upon the popular imagination.  The novelty of change disposed many to believe that the new discovery in barter was the very supplement of industry wanted, and that its uses and benefits would be indefinite.  Their progress was marvellous, and their first discouragement came, not from the enemy but from friends.  They were the disciples of the world-makers who helped, in their mournful, misgiving way, to bring the scheme down.  They regarded these exchanges as an expedient for diverging from the straight road which led to the new world.  Mr. Gray says: "They proved entirely delusive, as all attempts to graft a new system upon the old must be, without any corresponding change of principles and and habits of action"; whereas it was a merit of this scheme that it required no change of principle and very little habit of action.  It was their success and profit becoming obvious to untheoretical eyes that led finally to their ruin.  The Jewish proprietor of Gray's Inn Road saw that good commercial results could be derived from them and conspired to obtain them himself.  But the enthusiasm which Mr. Owen had created, and which allured the public to any scheme with which he was connected at that time, was wanting to the new proprietor.  He had taken a shop without being able to secure to himself what in England is called the goodwill of the business.

    In January, 1834, the Labour Exchange in Gray's Inn Road was broken up by violence.  The proprietor, Mr. Bromley, having had his building empty in 1831 for four months, artfully placed the keys in Mr. Owen's unsuspecting hands, to do what he pleased with it, he relinquishing any claim to rent till 1832.  Nothing was to be paid for the fixtures, Mr. Owen accepted the arrangement without any schedule of fixtures or any definite agreement as to terms and tenure of future tenancy.  Had the place gone on indifferently, Mr. Bromley would have been very glad for such rent as Mr. Owen would have paid him.  For a year and a half Mr. Owen used the place as the grand central institution for promulgating his system.  Lectures were delivered there on Sundays and other days.  Great festive celebrations were held; and many of the most eminent men of that day and of subsequent years were among the occasional frequenters of the meetings.  Trade unionists, social, political, religious, and philanthropic reformers of all schools, found welcome and hearing there.  No opinion, Tory, Radical, or religious, and no want of opinion, was a bar to friendliness and aid, provided the object was one intended to benefit the public.  It was taking the Labour Exchange there that brought the Institution (of which London never had the like before or since) to an end.  When Mr. Bromley saw the exchange succeed he took steps to obtain possession of the place, as he was satisfied Mr. Owen had discovered a mode or making money which was unknown to Mr. Bromley.  One of his modest proposals, then, was that Mr. Owen should buy the whole institution at £17,000.  Then he demanded that the fixtures should be paid for, which had never been estimated at more than £700.   He, however, made a demand for £1,100; and, to prevent dispute, or unpleasantness, Mr. Owen paid him £700 out of his own pocket.  It was ultimately arranged that the premises should be given up, as the directors of the exchange refused to take any further lease of the premises at the rental asked, which was £1,700 a year.  Mr. Bromley, however, was so impatient of re-possession that he did not wait even for their leaving, but procured a mob of men and broke into the place, and let in sixty-four ruffians (the exact number of the gang was set down), who smashed the secretary's doors in, took possession of the fixtures belonging to the exchange, and turned the directors into the street.  The police were called, some of the rioters were taken before the magistrates, and the same discredit occurred as though Mr. Owen had not paid the £700.  Of course there was a remedy in law against Mr. Bromley, but the directors were too lenient to enforce it, and they were content to open a new bazaar in the Surrey Institution, Blackfriars Road.  Notwithstanding the excitement and mischievous knowledge the public had that the Gray's Inn Road place might be peremptorily closed, the amount of deposits on the last day it was opened was 6,915 hours, and the exchanges 5,850, so that the directors continued to do business to the last day at the rate of more than £50,000 a year.  The lowest rent Mr. Bromley would agree to accept as a condition of their remaining was £1,400 and the rates and taxes amounted to about £300 more, making a yearly outgoing of £1,700.  The business of the exchange was clearly likely to bear this; Mr. Bromley became so satisfied on this point, was so impatient to get possession, that, rather than wait a week or two for the convenience of removal, he resorted to force, and immediately issued a placard announcing that "The whole of the splendid and capacious premises, Gray's Inn Road, will be occupied in future by the National Land and Equitable Labour Exchange Company.  The present occupants will close their proceedings this week, and the National Land and Equitable Labour Exchange Company will commence receiving deposits on Wednesday morning next, the 16th instant, at ten o'clock, and continue daily at the same hour; and the company's exchange stores will be opened to the public on Monday, the 21st of January, 1833; after which day the company will be ready to receive proposals for the occupation of land lying at convenient distances from the metropolis, or on the land of the intended railroad from Birmingham to King's Cross."

    Here was a well-laid scheme, which was really a tribute to the value of exchanges.  This practical man, unembarrassed by any scruples, thought that if the plan succeeded so well when weighed with Mr. Owen's unpopular principles, the world would flock to the same standard when a neutral flag was displayed.  He, however, overlooked that outrage, though it sometimes succeeds, is often a dangerous foundation to build upon.  Mr. Owen's disciples were not all philosophers—they were human enough to feel rage, and numerous and powerful enough to make their indignation felt; and they spoke so unpleasantly of the new project and its ingenious projector, that he got few exchanges, and lost his good tenants without getting any other.  He found he had not only alienated those who had made the exchange system popular; he had alarmed the public by the spectacle of violence, police cases, and failure.  The National Company fell into well-earned contempt and distrust, and the Gray's Inn Road buildings became an obscure, woebegone, deserted, unprofitable holding. [64]  No doubt, Labour Exchanges died there.  Had Mr. Owen's friends been self-denying, stilled their hatchet tongues, and have promoted the success of the Equitable Exchange, the cause might have been saved.  They did not comprehend that steam was not a failure, though a thousand experiments broke down before a single steamship sailed or railway car ran; that new medicines as often kill people as cure them before cautious, patient, experimental physicians discover the right way of administering them.  Yet no one decries the curative art.  But in social devices the first scoundrel or the first fool—the first thief or the first blunderer, who by over-confidence, fraud, or ignorance brings a scheme to immediate grief, sets the world against it for generations, and journalists evermore speak of it as that "abortive failure which was tried long ago and brought ruin and ignominy upon all concerned."


 
CHAPTER IX.

THE SOCIALISTIC PERIOD. 1831-1844


"Thus truth was multiplied on truth, the world
 Like one great garden showed,
 And thro' the wreaths of floating dark upcurl'd,
 Rare sunshine flow'd."—T
ENNYSON.


FOR thirteen years now Co-operation has to be traced through Socialism.  Store keeping had in many cases failed, and, where successful, its profits were insufficient to pave the way to the new world, much less defray the costs of that rather extensive erection.  Grand schemes were revived, in which idleness and vice, silliness and poverty were to cease by mutual arrangement.  This state of things came to bear the name of Socialism.

    Social and co-operative literature has not been very brilliant.  Robert Dale Owen was incomparably the best writer of the early period.  William Hawkes Smith, of Birmingham, had an animated readable style.  Mr. Minter Morgan had literary ambition.  In this period the working-men writers were often eloquent by impulse and passion.  They told their story ofttimes with verbose energy.  There were frequent instances of wit and humour in their platform arguments.  But their writing was best endurable to persons of the same way of thinking, to whom earnestness was eloquence, and to whom any argument in which they agreed seemed witty.  Any man who stood up manfully for opinions, at which society scowled, seemed admirable, and was admirable in doing it; and by those who thought that deliverance from precariousness lay that way, no art save sincerity was esteemed.

    English men, as a rule, get so few large ideas that when one makes its way into their mind, whether political, religious, or social, they go mad about it for the first few years.  They see nothing but that.  Everything else in the world is obscure to them; and they believe that their route is the high-road to the millennium.  No Co-operators arose who had the pen of Bunyan, the Bedford tinker.

    Many books were published without any date, or any allusion by which a person unacquainted with the time could determine when they were issued.  So important a book as William Thompson's "Practical Directions for the Establishment of Communities" merely contains an incidental date which suggests rather than tells when it appeared.  All these authors thought they were commencing a new world, and that their works would be known and issued at the beginning of things.  Even Robert Fellowes, B.A., Oxon, who published an address to the people in 1799, on the "Genius of Democracy," was not well served by the printer, who made him say that "Nelson's victory on the Nile had lain the posterity of France in the dust."  That would have been a famous achievement and saved Europe much trouble.  Posterity ought to have been prosperity.  Huber states that some ants are subject to a peculiar malady, which, after being once seized with it, prevents them moving any more in a straight line.  There are a great many writers who are subject to this disease, who not only move, but reason deviously, and never arrive at the point of their meaning.  Ant writers of this description overrun socialist literature.

    With the close of 1830 periodicals representing Co-operation appear to cease.  Few, if any, reached 1831.  No new ones were announced in London for that year, and no trace of any remain.  Another form of activity commenced.  As 1830 was the year of journals, 1831 was the year of congresses.  The fervour of the five years from 1826 to 1830 stimulated action, and then ceased to direct it.  Societies popular in conception can hardly become so in practice, or be largely sustained without the animation and counsel which well-contrived periodicals supply.  None could advertise or pay for competent editorship or competent contributors.  It comes to pass that journals written by charity come to be read only by charity.  At length, in 1832, Mr. Owen entered the field of weekly journalship himself, and issued a much larger paper than had ever before appeared, purporting to represent Co-operation.  Of course it must bear a momentous title if Mr. Owen had anything to do with it, and accordingly it was named The Crisis.  The poor are always in a crisis, and rich and poor in that year were rather better off in this respect than they had been for a long time.  "There was a profitable crisis approaching of some importance, for the Reform Bill was near, but this did not concern Mr. Owen, and it was scarcely mentioned in the volume edited by him.  The French Revolution had occurred two years previously, and Mr. Owen narrowly escaped being shot in it; but as Louis Philippe was not a believer in the "new views," Mr. Owen made no note of his deportation from France.  It was the change from error and misery to truth and happiness, by the introduction of communistic plans, that was to constitute the crisis.  Mr. Owen proposed to offer for the guidance of the affairs of men the heroic precept of "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, without mystery, mixture of error, or the fear of man"—which the world has certainly not seen yet.  It was proof that social expectation in Owen was still great, that 12,000 copies were sold immediately The Crisis was out, and a second edition of 5,000 was issued.

    In the meantime the provinces were busy with organs of associative opinion.  After the first subsidence of Co-operative journals in London they arose in Lancashire, and were continued during 1831 and 1832 in a more practical way than in London, the price being mostly a penny, while in London they were published as sixpenny magazines, and, of course, only purchased by people who had sixpence to spare; while in the provinces Co-operation had become a matter of interest chiefly to workmen who had less to spare.  Then in London and the south of England Co-operation was more sentimental, as though the warmer atmosphere rarefied it; while in the north it appeared as though the cold condensed it.  In Lancashire and Yorkshire journals were more practical.  Instead of theories about the happiness of the higher orders, the pages were filled with reports of societies actually in operation with accounts of their experience and profit to the "lower orders."

    Monthly papers had hitherto been the rule, it being illegal then to publish news earlier than twenty-eight days old, unless the paper bore the newspaper stamp; which made it impossible to issue a weekly paper which reported immediate proceedings.  Long before the newspaper stamp was abolished considerable latitude had been allowed by the Government with respect to journals representing religious, scientific, or educational movements.  It was impossible for the Stamp Office to make a restrictive definition of news.  All weekly publications reporting any proceeding which gave immediate information came under the definition of a newspaper; and Mr. Owen's Crisis might have been put down at any time had any one called the attention of the law officers to it.  Mr. Collett made this clear when he stopped Mr. Dickens' Household Narrative of Current Events, and brought the Athenæum within the operation of the law.

    The Lancashire Co-operator, or Useful Classes' Advocate, as it with some judgment called itself, took for its motto this well-conceived improvement upon the half maxim, "Union is strength," namely—


"Numbers without union are powerless,
 And union without knowledge is useless."


This publication, edited by Mr. E. T. Craig, first appeared in September, 1831.  It published addresses to Christian co-operators, who, however, could never be persuaded to take it.  This journal was locally well received, and was sent out by the Manchester and Salford Co-operative Council.  It was a small penny periodical, the expense of issuing which could scarcely have cost the members more than a farthing each, even if none had been sold.  The editor showed great taste in selecting illustrative extracts.  One was from Shipley, the Bishop of St. Asaph, which set forth that the art "of preventing insurrection is not to take from the people the power to resist, but to make it their interest to obey."  The fifth number reported a co-operative tea-party, attended by about a hundred and thirty men and women, in Halifax.  In September a successor to this little journal appeared under the title of The Lancashire and Yorkshire Co-operator, resembling its predecessor in every respect, with the addition only of the name of "Yorkshire."  In those days adversaries were fond of describing Co-operation as an ignis fatuus.  An article under that term—"Co-operation an Ignis Fatuus"—was written.  Fifty people read the title for one who read the article. [65]  In the second number of this two-counties' journal Mr. B. Warden, an enthusiastic saddler, of Marylebone, addressed a communication to the "Eight Millions of Workpeople of the British Nation," though it was perfectly certain that eight hundred would never see it.  The editor continued to make extracts from Bishop Shipley; and, knowing that co-operators were esteemed latitudinarians in religion, because they were more scrupulous in believing only what they could give an account of in reason, he judiciously called attention to Bishop Shipley's wise saying: "I am not afraid of those tender and scrupulous consciences who are over-cautious of professing or believing too much. . . . I respect their integrity.  The men I am afraid of are the men who believe everything, who subscribe everything, and vote for everything."  These principleless evasionists overrun the country still and pass for respectable persons of irreproachable faith.  This journal continued until February, 1832—writing to the last about Co-operation being an ignis fatuus.  It, however, reappeared as a four-weekly organ.  There was no halfpenny postage of publications in those days, and the editor intimated that the cost of carriage proved a barrier to its circulation, and the "Six Acts" prohibiting their giving news, such as reports of lectures or societies' meetings, oftener than once a month, they had determined to issue their journal in future monthly; but whether the "Six Acts " frightened them from discovering the name of the month or year of issue did not transpire.  The journal never contained the one or the other till, incidentally, in October, the month and year appeared.  In its monthly form it was printed very prettily.  It was in double columns, and the chief subjects of each page was printed at the head.  The new series commenced by another address from Mr. B. Warden, "To the Eight Millions."  Its last number appeared in November, and was entirely occupied with a report of the fourth Congress of delegates, which was held at Liverpool.  That year Mr. T. Wayland, of Lincoln's Inn, published a work on the "Equalisation of Property and the Formation of Communities."

    The Congresses and their incidents will be more intelligible, perhaps, if related in the order of their succession.  The first Congress was held in Manchester in 1830.  The second Co-operative Congress was held in Birmingham in October, 1831, and for a season divided attention with the Reform Bill in that town.  It met in commodious rooms in the Old Square.  At this Congress, Rowland Detrosier was present, who had already distinguished himself by the possession of unusual scientific and political knowledge for one of his rank of life, and who had a voice, an energy, and an eloquence which was considered strikingly to resemble Brougham's.

    Birmingham in those days was quite a centre of Co-operative inspiration.  Here the first organised impulse was given to the formation of a band of missionaries.  Here the Congress proposed to contribute to the capital of the Voice of the People, with a view to its becoming the accredited organ of the movement.  Then there were no railways nor funds for coaches, and two of the delegates from Glasgow walked the whole distance, nearly 300 miles.  Robert Owen and William Thompson were the chairmen of the Congress.  In December of the following year a public meeting of 8,000 persons was held, lasting from eleven in the morning till four o'clock in the afternoon, consisting of small manufacturers, shopkeepers, operatives, and many ladies and persons of the wealthier classes.  Mr. Owen said, in writing to his son Dale, that "in all his experience in Europe and America he had never witnessed so numerous and gratifying a meeting." [66]

    The third Co-operative Congress, held in the Gray's Inn Road Institution, London, in 1832, was notable for many things.  Further and more open attempts were made to promote political indifference among co-operators.  Mr. Owen remarked that "despotic governments were frequently found to be better than those called democratic.  In the countries where those governments existed the industrial classes were not found in such misery and destitution as in this country, and therefore on this ground there was no reason to dislike despotism.  As far as the co-operative system was concerned, it was of no consequence whether governments were despotic or not."

    Mr. Joseph Hume, M.P., who was a visitor to the Congress, at once challenged this fatal doctrine of political indifferentism.  He said "he had himself been a co-operator, perhaps longer than most present.  He was surprised to hear what had been said in reference to the character of governments.  The English was not a democratic government.  Though democratic in name, it was despotic in practice.  In Austria and Constantinople despotism was exercised by one man.  In England it was inflicted by many.  He was surprised also that popular instruction was not urged in Mr. Owen's address.  It was only by knowledge that the people could be freed from the trammels of bad laws and State religion."  The number of persons attending this Congress were eight hundred on the day on which it assembled: certainly showing great popular interest in the proceedings.  The new project of Labour Exchanges was that which was uppermost in the minds of the public, both at the Birmingham Congress and at this great one in London.

    The first number of the Crisis, before mentioned, announced this Co-operative Congress of the associations in Great Britain and Ireland, and the societies were admonished "to choose men capable of having their minds elevated, and of such moral courage and singleness of purpose that the passions of men should not be able to turn them from the godlike course which they will have to run."  A delegate needed to have a good deal of courage to present himself at the Gray's Inn Road Congress, as a person likely to fulfil these high conditions, especially as all the members of Parliament were invited to meet the men of the "godlike" career.  It is curious to observe all through the history of social and other reform how few leaders seemed to consider how far their language would be likely to excite the amusement, rather than the respect, of those who differ from them.

    Mr. Pare reported "the absence of Mr. Portman, M.P.; Mr. Hughes, M.P. [there was a Mr. Hughes, M.P., favourable to Co-operation in that day].  Mr. Slaney, M.P., had agreed to support a petition; but neither Lord Brougham nor Mr. O'Connell, who were to present it, ever did so, or even acknowledged its receipt "—not worth telling, since it gave the public the idea that those honourable members did not think much of the Congress—the probability being that both gentlemen were overwhelmed with more applications than they could attend to, or even write to say so.  Lord Boston sent a letter to the Congress. [67]

    Three members of Parliament—Mr. Hume, Mr. Mackinnon, and Mr. James Johnson—appear to have been present.  Mr. Owen presided.  The names best known to co-operative history of the delegates who attended were Dr. Wade, who afterwards wrote a history of the working class; William Lovett, honourably known subsequently for his advocacy of educational Chartism; Mr. John Finch, a Liverpool iron merchant, a famous advocate of temperance, and a man of great earnestness—a religious man with great capacity for making Socialism disagreeable to religious people; Mr. William Pare, of Birmingham; Mr. Joseph Smith, of Salford; James Watson, B. Cousins, John Cleave, and the Rev. Thomas Macconnell, a ready and powerful speaker, not known subsequently to much advantage.  Mr. Hume came in the course of the Congress, and, as we have seen, took part in the proceedings—the report of which was made and edited on the order of the Congress, by William Carpenter, a famous name among the reformers of that day as the author of "Political Letters," and many publications which still live in political recollection.  The motto of the political tracts published by William Carpenter was: "Every man for every man, himself included"—a co-operative device in which it was provided that the individual should not lose sight of himself.  In other respects this was a remarkable Congress.  It adopted a wise and much-needed resolution upon which nobody acted, which, however, was ordered to be the standing motto of the society, to be printed with all publications regarded as official, issued by the co-operative body.  It was this:


    "Whereas, the co-operative world contains persons of all religious sects, and of all political parties, it is unanimously resolved—that co-operators as such are not identified with any religious, irreligious, or political tenets whatever; neither those of Mr. Owen nor any other individual."


    This resolution was brought forward by Mr. Owen, and showed good sense on his part.  It was, however, impracticable since the principles of Co-operation as explained by him, and accepted by co-operators, did contradict the popular belief of the day as respects the unwilfulness of sin, the unjustifiableness of punishment (except as a means of deterring others), the power of influencing character by well-devised material conditions.  No resolution could establish neutrality in a party whose principles committed it to dissent from the popular theology.

    At this Congress the United Kingdom was divided into nine missionary districts, with a council and secretary for each.  1. The Metropolis; 2. Birmingham; 3. Manchester; 4. Glasgow; 5. Belfast; 6. Dublin; 7. Cork; 8. Edinburgh; 9. Norwich.  The "old immoral world" was to be assaulted at many points.

    At this Congress a circular was sent to all the societies, "Regulations for Co-operative Societies":—


"1. Let it be universally understood, that the grand ultimate object of all co-operative societies, whether engaged in trading, manufacturing, or agricultural pursuits, is community in land.

"2. To effect this purpose, a weekly subscription, either in money, goads, or labour, from a penny to any other amount agreed upon, is indispensably necessary to be continued from year to year, until a capital sufficient to accomplish the object of the society be accumulated." [68]


    The majority of co-operators had formed stores and established numerous manufacturing societies for the mutual advantage of the members.  Many friends, among the middle and upper classes, had established co-operative stores, and had advanced capital to start them, from a kindly regard to the welfare of the members, sometimes to improve their social habits and train them in economy; and sometimes with the view to control their social and religious views by their influence as patrons.  As working men grew independent in spirit this patronage was now and then declined, and sometimes resented.  England, Ireland, and Scotland were studded, England especially, in Yorkshire and Lancashire, with co-operative manufacturing and provision associations, similar in character but less opulent than those which we now know.  Several of these stores were destroyed by success.  The members for a time made money, but did not capitalise their profits, nor had they discovered the principle of dividing profits in proportion to purchases.  The shareholders simply found success monotonous.  Some betook themselves to other enterprises more adventurous.  In some cases want of religious toleration broke up the society.  Bad management ruined others.  In possibly quite as many instances scoundrel managers extinguished the society.  The law, as has been said, enabled a thief to plead that being a member of the society he only robbed himself, although he stole the shares of everybody else.  The amendment of this state of things was not attempted until twenty years later, when lawyers joined the co-operative movement.  Mr. E. Vansittart Neale, Mr. J. Malcolm Ludlow, Mr. Thomas Hughes, J. J. Furnival, and others, took Parliamentary action, and these crime-encouraging laws were ended.

    Co-operators were invited to set out, like pilgrims, to the land of Beulah, where Acts of Parliament were unknown, or unnecessary.  Of these dreams Mr. Pare spoke happily, and with the good sense from which English communists never departed.  "It was true," he said, "they wished equality, but it was voluntary equality.  It was true they were levellers, but they wished to level up and not down.  They sought to create and retain fresh wealth for themselves." [69]

    This Congress meant business, for, on Mr. Owen communicating that community land might be obtained if thought desirable, at Aylesbury, in Bucks, of four hundred acres, with one thousand acres adjoining, which he thought might also be had, he, Mr. Thompson, and Mr. Bromley were appointed to inspect the estate, and a deputation was likewise appointed to wait upon Mr. Morgan, of the Stock Exchange, and endeavour to effect a loan of £250,000." [70]

    The fourth Congress of delegates was held in Liverpool, October, 1832.  So impatient and confident of progress were the co-operative communists becoming, that they held two Congresses in one year.

    The fifth Co-operative Congress was held at Huddersfield in April, 1833, when a public meeting took place in the White Hart Inn, and one was held at Back Green, called by the town crier.  Mr. Rigby's name appears for the first time at this Congress as a delegate from Manchester.  It was stated that "numerous delegates from the various co-operative societies throughout the kingdom gave encouraging accounts of their progress, and that the societies in the West Riding of Yorkshire alone had accumulated a capital of £5,000, which was thought a great sum then in the north.  It was at this Congress that the death of Mr. Thompson, of Cork, was announced by Mr. Owen, which was matter of deep regret to all social reformers.  Mr. Stock, High Constable of Huddersfield, spoke at the White Hart meeting, and Mr. Owen moved a vote of thanks to their patriotic High Constable."  Mr. W. R. Wood, of London, was appointed one of the secretaries of the Congress.  "A provisional committee was appointed to immediately engage premises for a Labour Exchange."  This Congress is described in the Crisis for May, 1833, as the sixth.  In September of the same year the full report is reprinted as that of the "fifth Congress," which appears to be the right enumeration.

    The sixth Congress was held at West End, Barnsley, March 31, 1834.  It is not, so far as I can trace, even mentioned in the Crisis.

    The seventh Congress recorded was held at Halifax, April 20, 1835.  This was the last meeting of delegates from stores described as "a Co-operative Congress."  This Halifax Congress was the end of the Co-operative Congress series.  They lasted six years.

    This year, 1835, the Association of All Classes was formed, and in May was held the first of the Socialist Congresses.  It was not convened as a delegate Congress, but was open to all who cared to come.  It was really the great meeting at which the A.A.C.A.N. [Association of All Classes of All Nations] was floated.  The second Socialist Congress was convened at Burton Chapel, Burton-street, Burton Crescent, London.  Its proceedings consisted of addresses and resolutions.

    The third Socialist Congress was held in Manchester, May, 1837.  It assembled in the Social Institution, Great George Street, Salford.  The Congress was intended to be, and is always described as the "Manchester" Congress.

    The practical result of this Congress was the formation of a National Community Friendly Society.  On the motion of Mr. Lloyd Jones, a Missionary and Tract Society was resolved on.

    The chief things otherwise arranged were the enrolment of the society under the 10th George the Fourth, chap. 56, as amended by the 4th and 5th. of William the Fourth, for the purpose of obtaining legal security for the funds of a society having in view the establishment of a system of united property, labour, and education among the members thereof.  Mr. James Rigby, of Salford, and Alexander Campbell, of Glasgow, were appointed the permanent missionaries of the association, who were to receive instructions from the Central Board of the Home Department.  The Foreign department announced was little heard of afterwards, though London was assigned as the seat of the foreign government.  The main objects of all the resolutions, and departments, were founding communities of united interests.  The fervour which prevailed at this period was indicated in an editorial article on "The Socialists' Campaign," in which it was pointed out that things would go on badly everywhere, "until 'The Book'—the Book of the New Moral World—shall be received and acknowledged as a guide, not simply to all parties, but to the entire family of human kind."

    The second quarterly report, presented after the announcement of the Home and Foreign departments referred to, showed a total income of only £122 10s. 4d.  A revenue of £500 a year certainly suggested that the world was going to be governed with a very moderate budget.

    The fourth Socialist Congress was held in Manchester, May, 1838.  Mr. F. Hollick was first appointed a missionary at this Congress.  At the same meeting Messrs. William Clegg, John Finch, and Joseph Smith were instructed to seek an estate capable of accommodating five hundred persons.  It adjourned to the 30th of July to Birmingham, where it met under the designation of a "Congress of Delegates of the National Community Friendly Society."  Mr. Owen, the president, artfully read to the delegates an account of a council of savages in the South Seas, [71] where throughout the whole of the proceedings no two persons had attempted to speak at the same time—no speaker had attempted to impugn the motives or opinions of the rest—but all had honourably confined themselves to the question before them—one of many instances in which savages are capable of teaching the civilised.

    The two last-named associations—that of All Classes of All Nations and the National Community Society—made a proclamation at this Congress, and the "Outline of the Rational System of Society " was first issued then.

    The fifth Congress of this series was held in Birmingham in May, 1839.  Birmingham had become so influential a centre of Co-operation, that not only was the New Moral World printed and published in it, but the Central Boards of the two associations were established in Bennett's Hill, and the longest Congress that had then been held took place in Birmingham.  The Congress there of 1839 sat sixteen days.  The Association of All Classes and the National Community Society were amalgamated and transmuted into something more wonderful still, "The Universal Community Society of Rational Religionists."

    The sixth Congress met in a music saloon, South Parade, Leeds, in May, 1840.  The chief announcement made was that since the last Congress the estate of East Tytherly, in Hants, had been secured for the purposes of a community.  This first Congress of the Community Society was occupied chiefly with the affairs of Tytherly.

    The seventh Congress (second of the Universal Community Society of Rational Religionists) met in Manchester in the great hall of the Social Institution, May, 1841.  The affairs of Tytherly—the Queenwood Community, as it came to be called—was the main topic of debates, which lasted seventeen days.  In the proceedings of this Congress the name of the present writer appears for the first time officially as appointed Social Missionary for Sheffield.

    The eighth Congress opened May, 1842, in the new building, Harmony Hall, Queenwood.  Standing orders were published this year.  The later Congresses showed business progress and order of deliberation.  More than the powers of a prime minister were accorded to the president, that of choosing his administration and changing them at his discretion.  This was the first Queenwood Congress.  The docility which persecution had taught some tongues was shown by Mr. Fleming at this Congress, where he said by way of admonition to social missionaries that "fondness for theological controversy always argued an ill-regulated mind, to say the least of it; and he who fostered that spirit could be neither good nor happy."

    The ninth Congress was a special one, called at the Institution, 23, John Street, Tottenham Court Road, July, 1842, to take the affairs of Harmony into consideration, as funds were wanted.  The Congress sat on Sunday.  The business occupied nine days.

    The tenth Congress of May, 1843, again held at Harmony Hall, was styled the "Eighth Session of the Congress of the Rational Society" (the "special" Congress not being counted in official enumeration).

    The eleventh Congress of the "Rational Society," as it was now called, took place again at Harmony Hall, May 10, 1844.  Harmony Hall affairs occupied the main time of the delegates, who grew fewer as the business became more serious.  Lack of funds and diminished members deterred or disqualified many societies from electing representatives.

    The twelfth Congress met again at Harmony Hall, May 10, 1845.  A series of elaborate business papers and financial and other statements were laid before the delegates.  Mr. George Simpson was now the general secretary, quite the ablest man who had held the office in later years.  Had Mr. Simpson been secretary from the beginning of the Queenwood community it would probably have had a different fate.  A clear-minded, single-minded, and capable financial secretary is of priceless value in experimental undertakings.

    A thirteenth "special" Congress was convened at the Literary and Scientific Institution, John Street, London, in July, 1845.  The disposal of Harmony was the critical question debated.  The proceedings were remarkable for a curious reactionary speech made by Mr. Lloyd Jones, who said "he had serious doubts now as to the good effects of their preaching for several years past, and it was with him a question whether they had bettered the state of those who by their preaching they had loosed from the authority they were formerly under, and placed them under themselves." [72]  Mr. Henry Hetherington stoutly said "it was always good to release individuals from the influence of bad men and false opinions, and was at a loss to conceive how people could be made better if it was not done."  There are times when able men are discouraged at the small impression made on those with whom they are directly in contact.  Truth often deflects from those it strikes, travels far and hits other men.  Time alone shows the good done.  It is worth while telling mankind when they are in known wrong.  It gives men a motive to look in that direction.  Besides, it is the duty of those who strive to be reformers to take care when they set men free from ignorant aims, that they place them under the dominion of intelligent and demonstrable ones, and provide for such repetitions of the teaching as shall keep the new conception strong and clear.

    Socialism under Mr. Owen's inspiration and its own enthusiasm continued in its grand ways to the end.  It issued proclamations, manifestoes, and addresses to her Majesty.  If the Queen preserved them she must have left a fine collection.

    The fourteenth and last of the Socialist Congresses was held at Queenwood Farm, June 30, 1846. [73]  The New Moral World had ceased then, and these proceedings were reported in the Reasoner [ED.—example of a Reasoner], which from 1846 vindicated and explained cooperative principle, and in every subsequent publication under the same editorship.

    George Petrie, a Scotchman by birth, but who had the appearance of an Irish gentleman, served as a private in the army, and took part in the Peninsular wars.  He was a man of courage, who ran generous and frightful risks for his comrades, from which only his wit extricated him.  Settling in London among the co-operators he wrote a poem on "Equality," which was dedicated to Robert Dale Owen.  He was an energetic man, and attracted many personal friends.  He became an inmate of one of Mr. Baume's experimental cottages on the Frenchman's Island, [74] where he became insane in a month.

    The Rev. C. B. Dunn, curate of Camberworth, is a name which frequently occurs in the Congress and other co-operative reports as a successful speaker and advocate of Co-operation.

    Among the writers of co-operative melodies was Mrs. Mary Leman Grimstone, a popular contributor to the Monthly Repository, edited by W. J. Fox, who some twenty-five years later became member of Parliament for Oldham, and who himself was one of the early and literary friends of Co-operation.  Mrs. Grimstone wrote an acrostic on the founder of Co-operation:—


"O mnipotent benevolence, this is thy holy reign:
 W oe, want, crime, vice, and ignorance shall fall before thy fame;
 E re long, o'er all the gladd'n'd earth shall thy full blaze be glowing,
 N or leave a spot that shall not hear and bless the name of O
WEN!"


    All these glowing predictions should be deposited privately in some House of Prophecy, to be brought out when the day of fulfilment comes.  The Crisis placed on the title-page of the first volume a portrait of Robert Owen enough to scare any one away from its pages.  To compensate for this a vignette appeared, representing the Labour Exchange Institution at Gray's Inn Road.  The design was a sort of Canaletto interior.  The place never looked half so well as in this engraving.  Very early in volume two this disappeared, and gave place to a large straggling parallelogram of a community.  The Crisis was the first London weekly paper representing Co-operation, and excited great interest and hope.

    The friends of the "great change" impending were far from intending that the public should pass through the "crisis" without knowing it.  The Social Missionary and Tract Society of the time established three stations—at Primrose Hill, Copenhagen Fields, and White Conduit House—where they sold sixteen dozen of the Crisis in one day.  All matters of interest to the party were made known in its columns.  Mr. F. Bate would write a note to the editor "announcing that the Annual Report of the London Society would be received at Burton Rooms on Sunday morning, at ten o'clock."

    Though the co-operators were charged with latitudinarianism as respects responsibility, they appear to have had a very sharp conception of it in practice.  Mr. Eamonson was a shining light of that day.  It was he who delayed the index of the first volume of the Crisis for some time, in order to get a good likeness of Mr. Owen to put upon the title-page; and who finally produced that alarming one of which the reader has been told.  This gentleman, having a debt which he was unable to get paid, actually inserted in the Crisis the following notice:—


    "To PERSONS IN DEBT.—Whereas, if Mr. Puckeridge, alias Mr. Mackellon, proprietor of the Royal Clarence Theatre, New Road, does not immediately settle the small account which is due to Eamonson, 15, Chichester Place, for papers, he will continue to give publicity to it by this and other means, as also some other persons who are in his debt, and whose conduct has been shuffling and unmanly."


    The sub-editor who suffered this notice to appear should have been wheeled away by the first costermonger who passed by the office with his barrow.

    In the thirty-fifth number of the Crisis Mr. Owen associated with himself his son, Mr. Robert Dale Owen, as conductor of the paper.  This occurred in November, 1832.  Mr. Dale Owen and his father's joint names appeared for the last time in 1833, Volume two was much diminished in size.  Articles still appeared in it with the welcome signature of "R. D. O."  Soon after, the journal stated that its co-editor, Robert Dale Owen, had set out for the United States; and the title-page bore the new title of [National Co-operative Trades Union, and Equitable Exchange Gazette, the proceedings of Labour Exchanges and projected communities were the principal topics, and it gave the additional information that it was "Under the patronage of Robert Owen."  A third volume commenced in September, 1833.  It now returned to its original size and name, and was again a spacious, well-printed paper.

    From the prevalence of Mr. Owen's articles and expositions of his views in it, the probability is that he found the funds. [75]  Its price was now three halfpence, having previously been one penny.  It now bore two small engravings on either side of the title, one representing a small town where the buildings, on one hand, appear in very irregular groups, while opposite is a lunatic asylum.  All the people to be seen in the streets before it are crippled, or blind, or ragged; while in the new town the buildings are in mathematical order; the walks well laid out, all the people there are well dressed, well-to-do, and perfectly upright.  The artist, however, had no genius for sketching the new world; for the old, immoral arrangement of the houses, with their quaint appearance, presented a far better skyline than the monotonous regularity of the well-built pile.  The lunatic asylum had a far more picturesque appearance, and must have been a pleasanter place to live in than the solid, prosaic structure with which it was contrasted.

    A fourth and last volume of the Crisis appeared in 1834.  By that time all the diagrams had disappeared.  There was less and less of Mr. Owen in its pages, and more and more of the Rev. J. E. Smith, who was a continual lecturer at the Charlotte Street Institution, and his fertile and industrious lectures frequently filled the pages of the Crisis, which became more various in contents, and more readable; but Mr. Smith lectured upon Socialism with so much ingenuity that Mr. Owen did not know his own system, and at last he protested, announcing that he would issue an entirely new publication, to be called the New Moral World, stating, with his usual grandeur, that "the great crisis of human nature would be passed that week."  At length the date was definite and the event near.  Three years the crisis had been pulling itself together, but then, the world was shy.  It had now determined to make the plunge.  In the same number Mr. J. E. Smith protested, and announced that any persons left undispersed by the crisis he would gather into a fold of his own, and announced a new publication to be called the Shepherd.  Amid a shower of fables and playful gibes at is illustrious colleagues and his disciples, Mr. Smith took his departure.

    The Rev. J. E. Smith, better known subsequently as "Shepherd Smith," was one of those clever and curious spirits who alighted within the confines of Co-operation.  He was a born mystic, who explained everything by means of indefinite and untraceable analogies.  He entertained his hearers, he baffled his questioners, he evaded his adversaries.  He constantly said excellent things, but all that was admirable was mostly irrelevant.  He became the wonder and delight of thousands who never hoped to understand him.  Mr. Smith afterwards achieved a wide and prolonged repute as the fertile, diverting editor of the Family Herald.  He made a fortune by his wit and inexhaustible variety, and, exemplary editor! he left it among his contributors, with a considerable portion to Mr. B. D. Cousins, his publisher, a pleasant and active promoter of Co-operation, whose name was honourably associated with those of Hetherington, Watson, and Cleave.

    The Crisis, like all propagandist papers which preceded it, and many which followed it, appeared in several sizes, with fluctuations in quality, colour of paper, infirmity of type and orthography, price, and changed names.  Like flags carried in battle, they were made out of such material as happened to be available in the exigencies of forced marches, and were often shot into tatters by the enemy.  Taxes upon knowledge and upon news hampered them, and rendered them unable to include matter of daily interest.  The True Sun, of 1834, stated that the Crisis was prevented assuming the character of a newspaper through the cost of the stamp, or it would probably have had a prosperous existence.

    Two New Moral Worlds appeared—the first was issued August 30, 1834, and was larger and altogether better printed than the second, which was issued three months later, and formed the first of a series of annual volumes, which were continued until 1845.  It showed vitality in a movement, attempting larger schemes when lesser ones had failed, that its weekly journal, the New Moral World, should have a career of twelve years before it.  The August issue was described as the "Official Gazette of the National Association of Industry, Humanity, and Knowledge," a most compendious representation, it must be owned.  The first article, addressed to the "Unions of Great Britain and Ireland," was signed W. R. Wood, the young and eloquent speaker, whose name appeared in the proceedings in relation to Labour Exchange.

    The New Moral World may be regarded as the most important, the longest continued periodical which the co-operators had established.  Co-operation, however, was less formally noticed than in the Crisis.  At this time co-operative societies were dying out all around.  Mr. Owen and his disciples were more and more influenced by the belief that these small affairs could effect no permanent change in society, and that they must concentrate their endeavours on the establishment of the great social scheme, which should demonstrate once for all and for ever the possibility and advantages of organised industry and organised society.  The failure of the Indiana and the Orbiston experiments certainly discouraged advocates, but Mr. Owen's persistent assertions that a larger combination of means only was wanted to attain a striking success, kept up the faith of many adherents.  The missionary propaganda proposed in 1832, and put in operation in 1833, created a new generation of adherents.  Numerous young men of considerable ability were inspired by the addresses made in various towns, and the facilities of discussion afforded in the various lecture-rooms gave them opportunities for public speaking.  Popular excitement arising, and large audiences being attracted, active and provoking adversaries made their appearance, and all who could address an audience took the platform in defence of the new principles, acquired training as public debaters, and a stand was made on behalf of a great social change.  How could any one within that enthusiastic circle doubt that Mr. Owen saw his way to the introduction of the new co-operative world, seeing that he had applied for the government of Coaquila and Texas, and that the Mexican Government had actually conceded to him the jurisdiction of the entire line of frontier stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, some 1,400 miles in length, and 150 miles in breadth, in which to establish his wonderful government of peace and plenty? [76]  To plant the English millennium on 1,000 or 2,000 acres would, to use Mr. Disraeli's unpleasant and ignominious simile, be a mere "flea bite" of progress.

    In 1834 a correspondent of Mr. Owen's, whose communication, signed "J. C.," appeared in the New Moral World, in November of that year, proposed a "Floating Co-operative Community," which was to have its station on the Thames, where it was thought the inhabitants would be safe from the extortions of retail traders, lodging-house keepers, and gin shops.  Convenient shops were to be selected where the families of the floating society could go on shore for the instruction of the children in horticulture, agriculture, and botany.  "Community" coffee-houses existed in London in 1834.  Co-operators were never deterred by poverty of means.  A halfpenny a week land fund had its enthusiastic members and friends, who expected to join Mr. Disraeli's territorial aristocracy by patient subscriptions of two shillings and twopence a year. [77]

    At 14, Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, was situated "The Institution" where Mr. Owen lectured every Sunday, and festivals and discussions were held on week-days.  Socialism was always social.  Its worst enemies could not deny this, and it first set the example of teaching working people to meet like ladies and gentlemen, on a pleasant equality, to abandon habits of isolation, sullenness, and conspiracy, and to chat, and sing, and dance, and think their way to schemes of competence.  The Poor Man's Guardian of 1834, said, "We believe greater order or more genuine good feeling and politeness are not to be met with in any of the public assemblies in the metropolis or elsewhere."  Considering that these assemblies were composed mainly of lodging-house keepers, newsvendors (who in those days were seldom long out of prison), grocers, tailors, costermongers, shoemakers, tallow-chandlers, and in some cases, as I know, sweeps, good people of conventional tastes were perplexed at this new species of association.  It was not then understood that variety of industry was really the dress and decoration of the public service; and those who rendered none were merely nude and useless, and if they wilfully evaded work they were disreputable compared with those who lived by their honest labour.  At length these assemblies commanded respect.

    At the end of 1834 the first female co-operative association was formed.  The object of the promoters was to form associative homes, and enable their members to acquire the art of living in contiguous dwellings.  To raise funds these female co-operators commenced selling tea and coffee, inviting the custom of the faithful to that end.

    There were congratulations to the members of the Charlotte Street Institution on their having given spontaneous support to a grocery store, as it was in contemplation to open a meat-seller's store.

    A French advocate of association, Mons. J. Gay, sent a letter by Dr. Bowring, in 1834, in which he described a plan of association which he had himself projected, and which was to consist of 12,000 souls.  His dining-room was to be the size of the court of the Louvre, and capable of seating 12,000 guests—a very satisfactory dinner-party.

    The "London weekly publication," as its advent was described, bore the title of the New Moral World.  Its tone and terms were apostolic: otherwise its typographic style and appearance were inferior in quantity and quality of writing to the Crisis.  It bore a proud, confident motto, which averred that "Silence will not retard its progress and opposition will give increased celerity to its movements."  This was one of several famous sentences which Mr. Owen constructed.  The great crisis of human nature, which was to take place in the fourth week in August, appears really to have come off, for the first serial number of the volume, appearing on Saturday, November 1, 1834, [78] declared in its opening sentence that "the Rubicon between the old world and the new moral worlds is finally passed."

    These tidings were followed by twenty-one proofs of the principles and practices of the new state of things and were somewhat dull.  The second number announced that "truth had at length gained the victory over error.  Its reign upon earth had commenced, and would now prevail for evermore."  The two volumes for 1835 and 1836 contained mainly papers by Mr. Owen.

    Two pages of the New Moral World of 1835 contain the most intelligible and brief calculation of the material requirements in the way of agriculture, manufactures, and provisions for 500 persons of the working class which appears in the records of these schemes.  The proportions of persons were 110 men, 110 women, and 280 children, who were to occupy 1,000 English acres, upon part of which a village was to be built for their habitations.

    Early in the year, owing to the excessive cold which prevailed in 1835, Mr. Owen ceased to lecture in the Charlotte Street Institution, and delivered his addresses in his chapel in Burton Street, Burton Crescent.

    Early in 1834 Mr. Owen had proposed that the "Friends of the human race" should form "An Association of all Classes, and of all Nations."  An elaborate scheme was published of this comprehensive society, of which Mr. Owen was to be the "preliminary father."  This paternal authority published the long proposals for a "change of system in the British empire" which were duly offered to the Duke of Wellington's administration.

    Notices were published that at one o'clock on the 1st of May, 1835, a great meeting would be held in the Charlotte Street Institution, when the superseding of the old world by the new would be made, and the contrast between them would be made evident.

    The A.A.C.A.N. (Association of All Classes of All Nations), the great cosmopolitan device of 1835, was formed at this meeting, "to effect an entire change in the character and condition of the human race."  Mr. Braby opened the proceedings and Mr. Owen took the chair.  His speech occupied, when published, nearly two entire numbers of the New Moral World, long enough to weary both worlds at once, and would have affected the temper of all the nations together, had they been present.  Nor did the trouble end there.  One Mr. Charles Toplis, of Leicester Square, had conceived an infernal engine, a sort of Satanic mitrailleuse, which was to eject a thousand balls in the time one man could fire one.  This he called "the Pacincator."  Mr. Toplis had the wit to send an account of the horrible thing to Mr. Owen, who thought it something like an act of Providence that it should reach him just as he had finished writing his address, as it seemed to confirm the announcement he had made of the probable termination of war all over the world.  Mr. Toplis had, Mr. Owen thought, made war impossible by multiplying the powers of destruction; and he insisted upon the Toplis paper on "the Pacificator" being read, which being long must still have further wearied the Association of All Classes of All Nations.  Indeed, the Toplis document was dull enough to have dispersed any army had it been read to them without any other application of "the Pacificator."  The report says the meeting was numerous and respectable, but the only person of note who spoke at the end was Richard Carlile; he, however, was a man of historic powers of endurance.

    A congress was announced to be held fourteen days later, to set the A.A.C.A.N. going, when Mr. Owen stated that he should retire from public life.  On that day he would be 65 years of age.  He said that he had, while he was wealthy, taken the precaution of making his wife and children sufficiently independent of his public proceedings, which always involved pecuniary loss.  Mr. Richard Carlile made an eloquent speech on Mr. Owen's retirement from public life.  Henceforth the lectures in the Charlotte Street Institution were given in the name of the A.A.C.A.N.  Of course, Mr. Owen never retired, and public letters appeared every week from his pen; sometimes to Lord Brougham, at another time to Sir Robert Peel, and to Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer.  Three months later Mr. Owen served upon a sub-committee with Thomas Attwood—a committee appointed of members of Parliament and others who had met at the Exchequer Coffee House, Palace Yard, to consider means of relieving the distress which then existed among the working class.  Mr. Owen even wrote an address to the "Religious of all Denominations."  Twelve months after his retirement, he was addressing letters to his Majesty William IV. from 4, Crescent Place, Burton Crescent.

    In September, James Morrison, the editor of a trades-union journal called the Pioneer, died.  He was the first platform and literary advocate of unionism, who obtained distinction for judicious counsel and a firmness made strong by moderation.  He died prematurely through working beyond his strength.  His widow was long known at the Social Institution, Salford, for activity and intelligence nearly equal to his own.  She was one of the lecturers of the society.

    This year some friends in Finsbury obtained possession of Zebulon Chapel, in the Curtain Road, and converted it into an Eastern Associative Hall.  It caused disquietude in certain quarters that "Zebulon" should become a social institution.

    A Social Land Community Society was the quaint name of a scheme this year, which never got far beyond its name.  We have known a good deal in London of co-operative tailors since "Alton Locke" appeared.  In the "Social Land" year (1835); an association of the tailor craft conducted a business at 5, Brydges Street, Strand.

    Mr. Owen's lectures on marriage, and that kind of perplexing thing, were first printed in volume one of the New Moral World, in 1835.  Many thought them unfortunate in tone, terms, and illustrations; while those who thought ill of his objects found in them an armoury of weapons for assault which lasted them ten years.  In the abstract pages of the New Moral World, the lectures were harmless and inaccessible, but some one had them reprinted in Leeds, and Mr. Joshua Hobson published them.  It was then brought to light that the lectures were not verbatim, but made up of abrupt notes taken by a hearer.  But Mr. Owen did not care to repudiate what he did not recognise.  It did not need Mr. Owen to tell us that we cannot love whom we please: yet it continues true that we may all our lives remain pleased with those who allure us to like them.  There are unsuitable marriages, when divorce is far more moral than association with hate.  But in those days it was deemed sinful to think so.

    The rubicon being passed so late as November 1, 1834, was followed on October 31, 1835, by the second volume of the New Moral World, which opened with the sub-title of the "Millennium."  The full title read, "The New Moral World and Millennium."  That hitherto evasive form of perfection had been secured.  A junior member of the council of the A.A.C.A.N., unaware of it, delivered a lecture at the Charlotte Street Institution, on "Millennial Prospects."

    A proposal was made for establishing co-operative Freemasonry, and a Lodge was determined upon, and the "punctual attendance of all the brothers was respectfully requested."

    Trade unions and trade benefit societies took imposing titles.  The printers, who acquire increase of sense by setting up the sense of others, were first to have their Grand lodge, and schemes were published for establishing lodges in all nations of the world.  An attendance of "all the Brothers" of the "Grand Lodge of Miscellaneous Operatives and Friends of Industry and Humanity" was called, in February, 1835.  This catholic device certainly gave everybody a chance; for he must be very badly used by nature or circumstance who was not qualified to be classed among "miscellaneous" people.

    Volume two of the New Moral World (1836) had a department called "Herald of Community," but the "Herald" was many years blowing his trumpet before forces appeared.  Social reformers were always making "trumpet calls."  In 1835 one W. Cameron, author of the first "Trumpet," announced a second, which he dedicated to Robert Owen, who certainly did not require it as his friends had a large stock.

    About this time Mr. Owen became acquainted with a little book which afterwards made some noise, known as Etzler's "Paradise within the Reach of All Men."  The great co-operator must have had some side of his nature open to wonder.  The clever German undertook to put the whole world in ten years in a state of Paradise, which might be permanently maintained without human labour, or next to none, by the powers of nature and machinery.  Etzler was a man who stood by the wayside of the world, and offered the philosopher's stone to any passer-by who would take it.  "Look here," he cried in his preface, "ye philosophers, ye speculators, ye epicureans, behold a new, easy, straight, and short road to the summit of your wishes."  By Mr. Etzler's invention the sea was to became a drawing-room, and the air a sort of upper chamber, for the accommodation of those who dwelt on the land.  Mr. Owen regarded Etzler as a fellow renovator of the universe, who had, in some wonderful way, got before him.

    Now and then French Socialists contributed some astounding scheme of co-operative cooking, in a limited degree practicable, but was projected on a scale of magnitude which made it absurd.  A proposal was made in Paris to supply the city with food by one immense restaurateur.  One who had studied the project said, with something of the fervour of Mr. Etzler: "Go and see it.  There are Greek statues holding frying pans, brilliant portraits of Lucullus, of Gargantua, Vatel, Caréme, and all the great men who have honoured universal gastronomy.  There you will see the great cook, M. de Botherall, skimming his gigantic pot, his forehead enveloped with a cotton nightcap and a viscount's coronet.  To prove the profits arising from the scheme he offers to wrap his cutlets for twelve days in bills of 1,000 francs each.  In a short time the restaurative omnibuses will circulate through Paris.  A cook will be upon the front seat, and a scullion behind.  These vehicles will contain broth and sauce for the whole city.  There will be the soup omnibus, the omnibus with made dishes, and the omnibus with roast meat, running together, after which will come the tooth-pick omnibus, and lastly the omnibus with the bill."  This must have been ridicule, but social editors quoted it as one of the possible schemes of the time.

    Ebenezer Elliott had, like the Chartists who came after him, a political distrust of social amelioration.  In 1836 Elliott made a speech in Sheffield in favour of news-rooms, in which he stood up stoutly on behalf of political knowledge, and said, "Be not deluded by the Owens, the Oastlers, the Bulls, and the Sadlers, these dupes of the enemy."

    In 1836, Mr. Owen published the book of the "New Moral World," which, while it animated his disciples by many observations which it contained, gave persons of any vivacity of temperament rather a distaste for that kind of existence.  The phrase, "taxes on knowledge," so often heard twenty years later, appeared in the New Moral World in February, 1836, imported from the London Review.

    Notices of co-operative societies grew fewer and fewer in volume two of the New Moral World, but we have announcements cements that the "Religion of the Millennium" is now ready, and may be had of the publishers.  In volume four of the New Moral World, November, 1836, occurs a notable passage which illustrates how poor an opinion Mr. Owen entertained of Co-operation, which had excited so many hopes, and had been the subject of so many endeavours.  He related that on his journey to New Lanark he passed through Carlisle.  Devoting Tuesday and Wednesday "to seeing the friends of the system, and those whom I wish to make its friends: to my surprise I found there are six or seven co-operative societies, in different parts of the town, doing well, as they think, that is, making some profit by joint-stock retailing.  It is, however, high time to put an end to the notion very prevalent in the public mind, that this is the social system which we contemplate, or that it will form any part of the arrangements in the New Moral World."

    Later, in December, a prospectus appeared of an intended Hall of Science in Brighton, prefixed by the phrase, " Science belongs to no party."  This might be true, but there were certainly many parties who never had it.  These halls of science were devoted not to physical but to social science.

    Mr. J. Ransom, of Brighton, was one of six who wrote a letter to the New Moral World, proposing means of increasing the sale of the publication, and showing that the early interest which Brighton took in Co-operation was still sustained.

    A writer in the Radical, a weekly stamped newspaper, addressed several brief, well-written letters to the working class on the means of obtaining equality.  The writer took the signature of "Common Sense," and published his letters in dateless pamphlets; but I believe the Radical appeared in 1836.  The most striking thing that "Common Sense" had to say was that "the besetting sin of the working people is their admiration of the unproductive classes, and their contempt and neglect of their own."  It must be owned that during this period of departure from Co-operation to Socialism, the new adherents got a little absurd.  Their styling Mr. Owen the "Preliminary Father," and addressing him, as Mr. Fleming did in public letters, as "Our dear Social Father," showed the infirmity of tutelage.  They pulled themselves together a little towards the end of 1836, when they silenced the Millennium gong, and called their journal the New Moral World and Manual of Science.

    The ecstatic term "Millennium" ceased, and "Manual of Science" succeeded it; but when, instead of lectures, songs, and religion of the new time, the reader was introduced to papers on "The Functions of the Spinal Marrow," the transition was very great.  The editor of a "Manual of Science" had no means of furnishing it.  Science then was not the definite, mighty thing it now is.  The British Association for advancing it was not born till four years later.  The Penny Magazine people and the Chambers Brothers both excluded discussions on politics and religion from their pages, and the journals of the co-operators were the only papers of a popular character which dealt with religion and politics, and recognised science as one of the features of general progress.  The little they did, therefore, passed for much and meant much in those days.  It was a merit, and no small merit, to recognise science when it was deemed a form of sin.  The volume bearing the sub-title of "Manual of Science" did something to sustain the profession by giving a page or more in each number upon subjects of physical science.  In several towns, notably in Manchester, the Socialist party erected Halls of Science.  There was an instinct that science was the available providence of man, and would one day be in the ascendant.  The volumes of the Moral World at this time were devoid of advertisements.  The editor withheld necessary information from his readers of public and other meetings to take place on behalf of their own principles.  "We refrain," he said, "from making formal announcements, which by some persons might be mistaken for advertisements; we never deal in this kind of merchandise," as though publicity was merely venal.

    Mr. J. L. Gay, of Paris, addressed a letter to Mr. Owen, from which it appeared that the French world-makers did not think so much of the English contrivance to that end.  Mr. Gay reports, that the most rational St. Simonians and Fourierites refuse either to hear or read any exposition of Socialism; but they very sensibly demanded a practical trial of it.  They would look at that.  The French Socialists of Mr. Owen's school were then about to establish a "Maison Harmoniene de Paris" (House of Harmony at Paris). [79]

    The fourth volume of the New Moral World was printed by Abel Heywood, of Manchester, [80] always known to Radicals and Social Reformers as a man of honour, of energy, and the chief Liberal publisher of Manchester, when that trade required not only business ability, but the courage of meeting imprisonment.  Volume four was more belligerent than the previous one.  The politicians united against a system which disregarded immediate political right, under the belief that a state of universal community would render rights unnecessary, or secure them in full; but community was distant, and the need of political liberty was near.  One number of the New Moral World stated that "Mr. Hetherington, with the Radicals at his back, decried their proceedings."  The New Moral World published an article from the Shepherd, stating that Mr. Owen had been to Paris, and found that "the French were looking beyond politics, and lucky would it be for us also if, instead of palavering with such trifles as ballots, and canvas, and law amendments, we were to cast this smallware overboard, and raise one loud and universal shout of social reorganisation.  This patching and mending system is a miserable delusion."  Yet the same article recorded that Mr. Owen had been prevented lecturing in Paris by the police, lest he should excite commotion through the numbers he attracted.  The fact was a prompt rebuke of the contemptuousness expressed as to political freedom.  The "smallware" had great value in practice.  The editor of the New Moral World had published offensive and foolish articles himself, disparaging Radical politics.

    In an article upon the name of the paper, the editor stated that he rejected the abandoned name of co-operator, the most sensible that had been adopted, and the members of the Grand Society of All Classes and All Nations wisely refused to be called Owenites, although they persisted in their affection for Mr. Owen, whom they designated at the same time their "social and right reverend father."  At the Manchester Congress of All Classes of All Nations—at which only one class of one nation appeared, and a very small portion of that took part in the proceedings—they determined to call themselves Socialists.  At this period, June, 1837, the Moral World was printed at Manchester, and then Mr. George Alexander Fleming became editor, [81] and also general secretary of the central board which had been formed.  Henceforth the Moral World was edited with more controversial vigour, and with general energy and ability as a propagandist organ, but the last volume edited in London, the "Manual of Science" volume, was the most various and readable of the whole that had been published.  It gave weekly a column taken from the "Daily Politician," composed of short passages of current political interest selected from the general newspaper press; notable sayings of philosophers, well-chosen anecdotes, extracts from books of mark and force, such as Mr. Mill's "History of British India," rendering that volume of the N. M. W. readable to this day.

    "Live for others," that afterwards became the motto of the Comtean religion of humanity, was the subject of an editorial article in the New Moral World for January 21, 1837.

    Mr. W. D. Saull, of London, announced that he had received Exchequer bills to the amount of £ 1,000 of which the interest was to be devoted to the purposes of an educational friendly society—£500 more were announced when Mr. Baume appeared at Bradford as a deputy representative of the society.  His proceedings being reported in the Northern Star, and quoted in the New Moral World, the editor added a caution against confounding that project with the National Community Society, and professed doubts as to the practicability of the plan.

    The Star in the East commenced in 1837.  Its price was fourpence-halfpenny.  It was a newspaper and stamped, and the first which professedly advocated social views.  Its editor and proprietor, Mr. James Hill, of Wisbech, was a member of the distinguished Rowland Hill family, to whom the public has been indebted for so many national improvements.

    The east and north had both Stars, edited by Hills.  Both Stars arose in the same year.  The Northern Star had Feargus O'Connor for proprietor, and Mr. Hill, an energetic Yorkshire schoolmaster, for editor, but no relative of Mr. Hill, of Wisbech.  The northern luminary was political, being the organ of the Chartists, but always friendly to social ideas—both proprietors being community makers in their way; Mr. James Hill having a peculiar social theory of his own to work out at Wisbech, chiefly educational, after the genius of his family; Mr. O'Connor having a land scheme which, with the usual talent of reformers for administering to the merriment of adversaries, he located, among other places, at Snig's End.  The Rev. Joseph Marriott, who represented Rochdale at the Manchester Congress of 1837, published a drama entitled "Community," which appeared in the N. M. W.  Some of the predictions of telegraphic facilities which it contained are now seen realised in every street, which then only the Socialist imagination would incur the risk of regarding as a possibility of the future.  The fact of to-day was a "craze" then.

    The Rev. Mr. Marriott was a gentleman of far more enthusiasm on the whole than discernment, for he described Mr. Thompson's essay on "The Distribution of Wealth" as a work "as superior to Adam Smith's 'Wealth of Nations' as one book can be to another."  The subject was certainly an important supplement to the great topic stated by Adam Smith, but the difference in the capacity and range of thought of the two writers ought to have been perceptible even to enthusiasm.  Adam Smith traced the laws which were found to operate in commercial affairs.  Mr. Thompson planned the laws which he thought ought to operate under circumstances which had never existed.  Yet if the public read Mr. Thompson's book they would be of opinion "that there was something in it."

    In June, 1838, the seat of social government and the journal of the society were removed to Bennett's Hill, Birmingham.  Mr. Guest became the publisher; known as the leading Liberal publisher of the town, as Mr. Heywood was of Manchester.  The printer was Francis Basset Shenstone Flindell, of 38, New Street, Birmingham.  The editor announced that various considerations had induced the Central Board to limit the number of impressions to 2,000.  One consideration determined it, and that was that they had no more purchasers.  There arose in Birmingham several advocates.  It was the residence of Mr. Pare, the earliest and ablest organiser of the movement, and Mr. Hawkes Smith, its most influential advocate through the press; and the town furnished two lecturers, Mr. Frederick Hollick and the present writer.  Birmingham was long distinguished for its influence in co-operative things.  There was also actively connected with the Central Board an Irish gentleman, Mr. John Lowther Murphy, the author of several minor works of original merit—the best known being "An Essay Towards a Science of Consciousness."  They were illustrated by diagrams, broadly designed, which had an air of ingenuity and newness.  The argument was materialistic, put with boldness and with definiteness.

    Occupying a professional position and having audacity in council and in action, Mr. Murphy was always a popular figure on the platform.  Single, and a dentist in sufficient practice, no social persecution could reach him, since Christians with the toothache would waive any objection to his principles when he could afford them more skilful relief than any one else.  In meetings of danger his courage was conspicuous and effective.

    There is a conquest of conviction, and the leader herein was Mr. William Hawkes Smith, incomparably the wisest and most practical writer in defence of social views.  He wisely maintained that the denunciation of religion was irrelevant to co-operative ends.  His son, Mr. Toulmin Smith, became a man of eminence as a black-letter lawyer and author of remarkable works on municipal and parliamentary government.

    A writer who really contributed accurate information on many subjects employed the instructive signature of a "Student of Realities," whose name was Vieussieu, a gentleman in official employment at Somerset House, whose sons after him took a generous and expensive interest in social progress.

    In those days a small book was published separately called "Outlines of the Rational System and Laws of Human Nature."  They were divided into five fundamental facts and Twenty Laws of Human Nature.  Human nature in England was never so tried as it was during the first five years when these were discussed in every town in the kingdom.  When a future generation has courage to look into this unprecedented code as one of the curiosities of propagandism, it will find many sensible and wholesome propositions, which nobody now disputes, and sentiments of toleration and practical objects of wise import.

    The fifth volume of the New Moral World was enlarged to sixteen pages, and published at twopence.  The phrase "Manual of Science" was now omitted.  But it published under the head of "Physical Science" Mr. Mackintosh's "Electrical Theory of the Universe."  The volume showed a great increase in reports of propagandist lectures in numerous towns, and bore as its large-type title, the simple name of the Moral World, "New" being modestly subordinated.

    "Labour's Wrongs and Labour's Remedy" is the name of an energetic little book by Mr. J. F. Bray.  It was a good deal read by co-operators of the time.

    There was a Social Pioneer that made its appearance in 1839, printed by Mr. A. Heywood, of Manchester.  It was rather late in March, 1839, to bring out a Social Pioneer, thirty years after those operators had been in business.  In October of the same year a more ambitious journal appeared, entitled the Working Bee, "printed by John Green, at the Community Press, Manea Fen, Cambridgeshire, for the Trustees of the Hodgsonian Community Societies."  It took the usual honest and determined motto "He who will not work neither shall he eat;" but it turned out that those who did work did not get the means of eating, there being no adequate provision made for this at Manea Fen.

    Volume six of the Socialist journal started with the full pretentious title of The New Moral World, and the ponderous sub-title of "Gazette of the Universal Community Society of Rational Religionists, enrolled under Acts of Parliament 10 George IV., c. 56, and 4 and 5 William IV., c. 40."  This was the first time the movement put on a legal air.  The sixth volume commenced in Leeds in July, 1838.

    Volume seven also continued to represent the National Religionists of the Universal Community Society.

    The eighth volume of the Moral World commenced a series of a larger size than had before appeared.  It was as large as a moderate-sized newspaper, all in small type, and was the costliest weekly journal the co-operative party had yet commanded.  The charge was threepence per number of sixteen pages, and was printed by Joshua Hobson, in Leeds, who was himself an author upon social and political questions, and was well known among the politicians of Chartist times as printer, and publisher also of the Northern Star.  The year 1840 was the culminating period of the Socialist advocacy.  The expectation of a new community being near its establishment brought an accession of writers to the Moral World; and the eighth volume was edited with spirit.  The articles had a general and literary character.

    In volume nine, which commenced January, 1841, the Rational Religionists still confronted the public on the title-page.

    Volume ten was a serious issue, abounding in addresses and Congress reports, animated a little by reviews and accounts of provincial and metropolitan lectures.  It commenced in July, 1841, and ended June, 1842.  Never despairing, early in the volume, the editor again commenced to give directions how to obtain the millennium, although it had arrived and had had its own way some years previously.  In October, 1841, the printing of the Moral World was brought back to London after wandering in the wilderness of Manchester, of Birmingham, and of Leeds five years.

    The eleventh volume let slip one of its anchors.  It began with the simpler sub-title "Gazette of the Rational Society."  The Rational Religionists peremptorily disappeared.  Whether they had sworn themselves into disrepute, they having taken to oath-taking, or found it onerous to maintain its clerical pretensions which raised the very questions of religious controversy which it was the duty of the society to avoid, was never explained.

    The twelfth volume continued to mankind the comfort of knowing that there was in their midst one "Rational Society."  Of course the meaning was that the society aimed at promoting rational conditions of life, and it was well that there should be some persons pledged to find out these conditions if possible.  But unfortunately the name did not represent the aspiration, but seemed to express the fact; and "Rational Society" was not a fortunate term.

    The thirteenth volume of the New Moral World, the largest and last of the official issue, commenced on June 29, 1844.  The end, for a time, of all things communistic was then casting its ominous shadows before.  In February, 1845, this journal was first printed at the Community Press, by John Melson, for the governor and company of Harmony Hall, Stockbridge, Hants.  The last number printed there appeared on August 23, 1845.  The type was sold, and bought by Mr. James Hill, who bought also the second title "Gazette of the Rational Society."  Mr. Hill contended that he had bought the copyright of the paper.  The title New Moral World Mr. Owen claimed as his copyright, and by arrangement with him, a further volume was commenced, under the title of the Moral World, the word "New" was omitted, and it appeared under the further editorship of Mr. Fleming.  The result was that on August 30, 1845, two Moral Worlds again appeared, the old one being the new and the new one the old; Mr. Fleming editing the Moral World, which Mr. Owen retained, and Mr. Hill editing the New Moral World, which he had bought.  Mr. Hill's New Moral World continued to January, 1846, when he merged it into a new paper entitled the Commonweal.  It ought to have borne the title of the Commonsqueal, for it shrieked.  Under the words, "Gazette of the Rational Society," which Mr. Hill retained, was printed Mr. Owen's motto: "Any general character, from the best to the worst, may be given to any community by the application of proper means, which are to a great extent under the control of those who have influence in the affairs of men."  Underneath this Mr. James Hill placed his rival and refutatory motto: "It must certainly then be concluded that 'proper means' have not been applied, since such means to a great extent have been 'under the control' of Mr. Owen and those who have had influence in the affairs of the Rational Society."  Mr. Hill himself had been an educational and social reformer of no mean note in his time. His Star in the East had been a journal of great interest and great instruction, but he had a faculty for vigorous and varied disputation, which grew by what it fed upon.  He was a writer of ability and flexibility, who attacked with great celerity any one who dissented from him; and if disputation could be entertaining of itself the new issue in his alien hands would have been the most alluring of the series.

    The fourteenth volume of the Moral World suspended the profession of being the gazette of the Rational Society, which it appears was after all a saleable title, since Mr. Hill certainly bought and continued to use it, long after the society was practically extinct.  Mr. Fleming described his new volume as the "advocate of the Rational System of Society, as founded by Robert Owen."  It was printed by McGowan and Company, the printers of the Northern Star, in London.  Only eleven numbers of this volume were issued.



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