The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Harris, Thomas Lake

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HARRIS, Thomas Lake, American socialistic and religious reformer: b. Fenny Stratford, England 15 May 1823. He accompanied his father to the United States in childhood was for a time a Universalist pastor, and founded an ‘Independent Christian Society’ in 1850; but became a lecturer upon spiritualism. He lectured abroad in 1858, and on his return to the United Slates organized the society of the “Brotherhood of the New Life.” This was established at Wassaic, Dutchess County, N. Y., 1861-67, but removed to Brockton, Chautauqua County, N. Y., in the last-named year. Its nature was co-operative rather than communistic, and farming and industrial occupations were engaged in by his followers, numbering at one time about 2,000 in the United States and Great Britain, among them Lady Oliphant and her son, the well-known writer, Laurence Oliphant (q.v.). Harris removed to California in 1887, and retired to private life in 1895, residing in New York city. He published many works in prose and poetry, among which are ‘Wisdom of Angels’ (1856); ‘Arcana of Christianity’ (1857); ‘Modern Spiritualism’ (1860); ‘God's Breath in Man’ (1891). Consult Allen, ‘T. L. Harris, The Seer’ (1897).