History of the Separatists of Zoar   Save
History of the Separatists of Zoar
Description: A history of the Separatists of the community of Zoar, in German. At the very end is noted, "Written in the month of May 1832 by a true philanthropist, P.F.D." A note at the top of page one, written in ink by Peter Kaufmann, states "Mitheilung auf Ersuchen eingerueckt," i.e. "Announcement was inserted at request in newspaper." Led by Joseph Bimeler (sometimes spelled Bäumeler) in 1817, a group of Lutheran separatists left the area of Germany known as Wurttemberg and eventually established the small community of Zoar in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. The community of Zoar was not originally organized as a commune, but its residents had a difficult time surviving in 1818 and early 1819. As a result, on April 19, 1819, the group formed the Society of Separatists of Zoar. Each person donated his or her property to the community as a whole, and in exchange for their work, the society would provide for them. In the decades following the establishment of the Zoar commune, the Separatists experienced economic prosperity. The community was almost entirely self-sufficient and sold any surpluses to the outside world. After Bimeler's death in 1853, the unity of the village declined, and by 1898 the Zoarites disbanded the society. The remaining residents divided the property, and the community continued to prosper in Zoar. Peter Kaufmann was a German immigrant and intellectual. He arrived first in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1820; in 1826 he became professor of languages at the Harmony Society town of Economy, Pennsylvania. In 1827, Kaufmann led the establishment of Teutonia, a utopian community in Columbiana County, Ohio, and published its weekly titled "Teutonia: The Herald of a Better Time." Following this he moved to Canton, Ohio, where he became translator and editor of "Der Vaterlandsfreund und Geist der Zeit" under Solomon Sala. Additionally, Kaufmann wrote a number of books on education, as well as a German almanac. He was also an influential Democrat, counting President Van Buren among his friends, and knew Ralph Waldo Emerson. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: MSS136_B04F01_01_01
Subjects: Zoar (Tuscarawas County, Ohio); German Americans; Society of Separatists of Zoar--History; Communal societies
Places: Zoar (Ohio); Tuscarawas County (Ohio)