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A Fire of Straw In Bureau County: The Forgotten Utopian Dream of Lamoille's Rosemont Domain

119 pages1 hour


The prairie of Bureau Co., Illinois in the 1840s could hardly be thought of as the location for a planned utopian settlement. This is especially true if the motivation for the effort was the complex and controversial writings of a French utopian socialist who never stepped foot on American soil, much less the prairies of northern Illinois. The elaborate doctrines of Charles Fournier would be imported and stimulate thousands of Americans to action – specifically some idealists residing in Bureau Co., Illinois.

The Lamoille [sic] Agricultural and Mechanical Association would have been the first such attempt in Bureau County and the State of Illinois and is a long-overlooked aspect of local and regional history. As the United States was facing critical decisions regarding its socio-economic development, the Fourierist movement offered a significant alternative to the eventual adoption of our current system of industrial-capitalism. In their own way, La Moille and Bureau County were part of that great debate.

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