ETIENNE CABET - Founder of French Icarian Commune, Nauvoo.
The famous Icarian Communists came to Nauvoo, Ill., in 1850, three years after the Mormons left the city. Etienne Cabet, the founder of the Community, was born in Dijon, France, in 1788. He studied law, then became a leader of the Carbonari, was a member of the French legislature, wrote a substantial history of the French revolution, and finally established a newspaper. Not long after the publication of the first number of his paper he was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for publishing a libelous article, but evaded the penality by escaping to England. He returned to France in 1839 and a year later published his famous book called "A Voyage Into Icaria."
Cabet framed a constitution for the government of a real Icaria, obtained the all-necessary money and in 1848 succeeded in persuading 60 persons to leave France for the Red River country in Texas, there to establish a "new terrestial paradise" - Icaria the first. Soon after their settlement in Texas the yellow fever broke out in the camp, causing interest in the social scheme to wane. Having heard of the desertion of Nauvoo by the Mormons they decided to come to this place. Several hundred new recruits came from France and for several years the colony seemed prosperous. However, dissensions finally arose, Cabet was accused of arrogance, and it was found that the communistic ideas would not work out.
The colony disbanded-some remaining, some going to Iowa, and others following Cabet to St. Louis, where he died in 1856 at the age of 69 years.
au verso :
BAUMERT & DEEG, PRINTERS, NAUVOO, ILLINOIS