Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 42.djvu/458

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ficent, and most practical of all enthusiasts,' and pp. 132-47). Although Bentham was his partner and Ricardo joined his committee, his condemnation of the laissez-faire principle and his denunciations of competition made him the opponent of the utilitarians. In his later years his head seems to have been turned. His absorption in his idea led him to attribute to it a kind of magical efficacy, and his adventures in America showed a complete forgetfulness of all the businesslike precautions to which the success of New Lanark had been due. He had succeeded by training the young, and fancied that he could make a community by simply collecting an untrained mass of needy adventurers. Yet his influence upon the growth of co-operation in its subterranean period was enormous, and he sowed the seed of a harvest which has been reaped by his disciples.

Personally, according to Robert Dale Owen, who no doubt speaks the truth, he was most amiable. His ruling passion was benevolence; he was exceedingly fond of children; spent a fortune to promote the welfare of his race, and had a command of temper which enabled him to conciliate opponents. He had apparently all the obstinacy without the irritability generally attributed to his countrymen. His son says that he was so like Brougham in person that he might have been taken for him (R. D. Owen, Threading my Way, p. 180); but, with a vanity as great as Brougham's, he had what Brougham unfortunately wanted — the power of making even his vanity subsidiary to his principles.

[The Life of Robert Owen, written by himself, vol. i. 1857, gives the life down to 1820; a second volume, published in 1858, does not continue the narrative: it consists of an appendix giving some important documents. William Lucas Sargant's Robert Owen and his Philosophy, 1860, was written with information from Owen's friend and executor William Pare [q. v.] Sargant disapproved of Owen's 'philosophy,' but the book is careful and impartial. Life, Times, and Labours of Robert Owen, by Lloyd Jones [q. v.], posthumous, adds little to the above; G. J. Holyoake's History of Co-operation in England, 2 vols. 1875, 1885, and Life and Last Days of Robert Owen, 1871. first published in 1859; Robert Dale Owen's Threading my Way, 1874; a Life published at Philadelphia in 1866, and A. J. Booth's Robert Owen, 1869, add no facts. The last collects some interesting notices of the co-operative movement. R. Owen and New Lanark, by a former teacher, 1839; Owen's account of the New Lanark schools in the Report upon Education in the Metropolis, presented to the House of Commons in 1816; see also Robert Dale Owen's Outline of the System of Education at New Lanark, 1821, and New Views of Mr. Owen of Lanark examined by H. G. MacNab [q. v.] The last gives an interesting report from a visitor. The various periodicals above noticed give a good deal of scattered autobiography, and incidental details of Owen's later activity; John Humphrey Noyes's History of American Socialisms, 1870, pp. 30-65, gives an account of the New Harmony experiment]

L. S.

OWEN, ROBERT DALE (1801–1877), publicist and author, was born in Glasgow on 9 Nov. 1801, and was the eldest son of Robert Owen [q. v.] The New Lanark factory was then at the neight of its prosperity, and Owen received an excellent education. At the age of fifteen he was deeply influenced by a brief but important acquaintance with Clarkson, and in the following year was sent to the Swiss college of Hofwyl, then flourishing under the direction of Fellenberg. The influences thus received confirmed his innate tendency to a somewhat inconsiderate philanthropy, and induced him to sympathise with his father's unfortunate transfer of his industrial and social activity from Scotland to America, where he hoped to find a wider scope for his projects as a moral and economical reformer. The circumstances connected with the New Harmony experiment have been mentioned under Owen, Robert. Its mismanagement is fully admitted in the autobiography of Robert Dale Owen, who sums up: 'A grave mistake as to money; yet better than the opposite extreme.' He had joined it in 1826; 'in the spring of 1827 New Harmony ceased to be a community,' and he returned to Europe with Frances Wright [see Darusmont, Frances], in whom, as well as in her enterprise at Nashoba towards the gradual conversion of the negroes into free labourers, he had conceived a deep interest. After making the acquaintance of Lafayette and other distinguished personages, he returned to America, enabled his father 'to get rid of certain swindlers in whom he had placed an unmerited confidence,' edited for a time the ' New Harmony Gazette,' and in 1828 commenced at New Harmony, with Frances Wright, the publication of the 'Free Inquirer,' an avowedly socialistic journal, full of attacks on Christianity ancl the established order of things. This naturally involved him in much obloquy, which was not diminished either by the tracts he published in conjunction with 'Frances Wright, or by his platform discussions, and his endeavour to deal with the delicate question of Malthusianism in his 'Moral Physiology' (1831). In 1832 this phase of his career came to an end; and he devoted himself to the public affairs of the State of Indiana, being elected to the legislature in