Brook Farm


Brook Farm
a farm in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, where an experimental cooperative community was established from 1841 to 1847.

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▪ communal experiment, West Roxbury, Massachusetts, United States
formally  The Brook Farm Institute of Agriculture and Education, 

      short-lived utopian experiment in communal living (1841–47). The 175-acre farm was located in West Roxbury, Mass. (now in Boston). It was organized and virtually directed by George Ripley (Ripley, George), a former Unitarian minister, editor of The Dial (a critical literary monthly), and a leader in the Transcendental Club, an informal gathering of intellectuals of the Boston area. He was aided by his wife, Sophia Dana Ripley, a woman of wide culture and academic experience.

      According to the articles of agreement, Brook Farm was to combine the thinker and the worker, to guarantee the greatest mental freedom, and to prepare a society of liberal, cultivated persons, whose relations with each other would permit a more wholesome and simpler life than could be led amid the pressure of competitive institutions.

      The project was financed by the sale of stock, a purchaser of one share automatically becoming a member of the institute, which was governed by a board of directors. The profits, if any, were divided into a number of shares corresponding to the total number of man-days of labour, every member entitled to one share for each day's labour performed. Among the original shareholders were journalist Charles A. Dana (Dana, Charles A.) and author Nathaniel Hawthorne (Hawthorne, Nathaniel), who served together as the first directors of agriculture. Ralph Waldo Emerson (Emerson, Ralph Waldo), Bronson Alcott (Alcott, Bronson), Margaret Fuller (Fuller, Margaret), Elizabeth Peabody (Peabody, Elizabeth Palmer), Theodore Parker (Parker, Theodore), and Orestes A. Brownson (Brownson, Orestes Augustus) were among its interested visitors.

      Brook Farm attracted not only intellectuals—though teachers were always in preponderance among the 70 or 80 members—but farmers and craftsmen as well. It paid $1 a day for work (physical or mental) to men and women and provided housing, clothing, and food at approximately actual cost to all members and their dependents. For four years the commune published The Harbinger, a weekly magazine devoted to social and political problems, to which James Russell Lowell (Lowell, James Russell), John Greenleaf Whittier (Whittier, John Greenleaf), and Horace Greeley (Greeley, Horace) occasionally contributed.

      Brook Farm was noted particularly for the modern educational theory of its excellent school, which sought to establish “perfect freedom of relations between students and teaching body.” Discipline at the school was never punitive; rather, it consisted of a gentle attempt to instill in the student a sense of personal responsibility and to communicate a passion for intellectual work. There were no prescribed study hours, and each student was required to give a few hours a day to manual labour. There was an infant school, a primary school, and a college preparatory course covering six years. Although communal living proved to have disadvantages (Hawthorne found that he was unable to write there and left after six months), for a while it seemed that the ideal of the founders would be realized. Within three years the community—or “Phalanx,” as it was called after 1844, when Brook Farm adopted some of the theories of the French Socialist Charles Fourier (Fourier, Charles)—had added four houses, workrooms, and dormitories. It then put all available funds into the construction of a large central building to be known as the Phalanstery, which burned to the ground as its completion was being celebrated. Though the colony struggled on for a while, the enterprise gradually failed; the land and buildings were sold in 1849. Ripley worked as the literary critic on Greeley's New York Tribune until his death in 1880.

      Brook Farm was one of many experiments in communal living that took place in the United States during the first half of the 19th century; it is better known than most and has a secure place in U.S. social history because of the distinguished literary figures and intellectual leaders associated with it. Hawthorne's Blithedale Romance (1852) is a fictional treatment of some aspects of the Brook Farm setting.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Brook Farm — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Brook Farm Registro Nacional de Lugares Históricos (EE. UU.) Hito Histórico Nacional …   Wikipedia Español

  • Brook Farm —   [ brʊk fɑːm], Institute of Agriculture and Education [ ɪnstɪtjuːt ɔv ægrɪkʌltʃə ænd edju keɪʃn], sozialutopische Kommune bei West Roxbury in der Nähe von Boston (Massachusetts), USA, 1841 von den Transzendentalisten unter G. Ripley gegründet.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Brook Farm — [descriptive name] a farm near West Roxbury (now part of Boston), Mass., where a group of U.S. writers & scholars set up an experimental community (1841 47) based on cooperative living …   English World dictionary

  • Brook Farm — Infobox nrhp | name =Brook Farm nrhp type =nhl caption = location= 670 Baker Street, Boston, Massachusetts lat degrees = 42 lat minutes = 17 lat seconds = 28.90 lat direction = N long degrees = 71 long minutes = 10 long seconds = 26.71 long… …   Wikipedia

  • Brook Farm — Die Brook Farm war unter den rund 80 als „sozialutopisch“ eingestuften Lebensgemeinschaften, die während der 1840er Jahre in den USA bestanden, das bekannteste Projekt. Sie lag in Roxbury (heute ein Stadtteil von Boston) in Massachusetts. Auf der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Brook Farm — Portrait de George Ripley, le fondateur de Brook Farm. Brook Farm est une communauté utopique américaine, inspirée par les principes du transcendantalisme, fondée par deux déçus de l’unitarisme, George Ripley et sa femme Sophia, à West Roxbury… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Brook Farm — Брукфарм, ферма Брук (в штате Массачусетс в районе гор Уэст Роксбери (West Roxbury), основана в 1841 г. Farm at West Roxbury (now in Boston), Mass., the scene of an experiment in agriculture and education by the Brook Farm Association , of which… …   Словарь топонимов США

  • Brook Farm — /brʊk ˈfam/ (say brook fahm) noun an experimental communistic community in the US, at West Roxbury, Massachusetts, 1841–47, founded by George Ripley, CA Dana, Nathaniel Hawthorne and others …   Australian English dictionary

  • Brook Farm — a farm in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, where an experimental cooperative community was established from 1841 to 1847. * * * a historic commune that existed in the 1840s in West Roxbury, now a southwestern section of Boston in Massachusetts,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Brook Farm — Experimento utópico de vida comunitaria, de corta duración (1841–47), en West Roxbury, Mass. (cerca de Boston), fundado por George Ripley. La más conocida de las numerosas comunidades utópicas que se fundaron en EE.UU. a mediados del s. XIX,… …   Enciclopedia Universal


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