John Humphrey Noyes

“John Humphrey Noyes: (1811-1886) U.S. social reformer. Born in Brattleboro, Vermont, he studied for the ministry at Yale and declared his belief in ‘perfectionism,’ announcing that he had achieved a state of sinlessness. In 1836 He organized a community of ‘Bible communists’ in Putney, Vermont, where he advocated free love and ‘complex’ marriage as opposed to ‘simple’ or monogamous marriage. Arrested for adultery in 1846, he fled to Oneida, New York, where he established the Oneida Community, which he led until 1879, when he fled to Canada to avoid legal action. He wrote several books on perfectionism and a history of U.S. utopian communities.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

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