Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 66.djvu/191

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To the Editor: I enclose a photograph which represents an interesting human document. In the years from 1814 to 1825 Johann Rapp was leader and prophet of the religious sect of Harmonists located on the Wabash River, at New Harmony, Indiana. In 1825, the property of this community was purchased by the colony founded by Robert Owen and William Maclure, and the Harmonists under Rapp removed to their new home at Economy, Pennsylvania.

In both locations the community was financially very successful, while their more enlightened successors scattered in dissension within two years. The success of the community under Rapp's guidance was due to the fact that it was an absolute tyranny, theocratic in its claims, and that all farming and business operations were directed absolutely by one mind.

PSM V66 D191 The angel stone of the rapp community.png
The Angel Stone of the Rapp Community at New Harmony, Now in the Museum of Indiana University.

Rapp had a way of miraculously appearing in the harvest field and in similar places, seemingly springing out of the ground. This he did literally, for it is said his successors found a number of tunnels leading from his house outward and opening in unsuspected places. Among other forms of divine guidance, Rapp had a visit each morning from an angel, who came barefooted and stood before him on a large stone, giving him direction for the affairs of the day. This stone is still preserved. It was presented to the Museum of the University of Indiana by the late Professor Richard Owen, son of Robert Owen of Lanark, the founder of the second colony of New Harmony. This stone in Rapp's