Illinois Alive! | Emigration, immigration and ethnicity

Etienne Cabet and the Icarians

Contributing Library: University Library, Western Illinois University


Etienne Cabet
- from the Icarian Collection

The Icarians, a group of mostly middle class French idealists led by Etienne Cabet (1788-1856), attempted to establish a communistic society in Nauvoo, Illinois, in the 1850's. The group settled at this site, located on the Mississippi River, after the Mormons departed. Cabet and his followers tried to set up a communal brotherhood based upon the principals of peace and justice as expounded in Cabet's book Voyage in Icaria, a novel based on Sir Thomas More's Utopia. At its peak, the colony numbered over 500 members, but dissension over legal matters and the death of Cabet caused some members to leave this parent colony and move on to other Icarian locations in East St. Louis, Iowa and California.

Overview of Collections at the Center for Icarian Studies at Western Illinois University
List of Journal Articles about the Icarians
Biographical Sketch of Emile Baxter
Example of Colonie Icarienne Newspaper published in Nauvoo, Illinois
Example of Revue Icarienne Newspaper published in St. Louis, Missouri
Poem published in Revue Icarienne




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