May 1, 2016
Not for Everyone
Hopedale in April
During the past two weeks additions have been made to the following pages on hope1842.com. Clare Draper (Milford
News article about the murder/suicide case of Clare's son Harry, who shot and killed his wife and himself. See articles
near bottom of page.) Deaths
Twenty-five years ago - May 1991 - The first Starbucks Coffee outlet is opened in California.
On May 13, Winnie Mandela is convicted of kidnapping. On May 14, she is sentenced to 6 years in prison.
Elizabeth II arrives in Washington, D.C. for a 13-day royal visit to the U.S
Fifty years ago - May 1966 - Tens of thousands of anti-war demonstrators again picket the White House, then rally at
the Washington Monument.
The Communist Party of China issues the 'May 16 Notice', marking the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.
Bob Dylan's seminal album, Blonde on Blonde is released in the U.S
In New York City, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes his first public speech on the Vietnam War.
Fidel Castro declares martial law in Cuba because of a possible U.S. attack
from scrapbooks at the Bancroft Library) see below this text box.
Not for Everyone
Life in Hopedale (the Hopedale Community, 1842 - 1856) was not for everyone. No one there was to keep or use deadly
weapons, and all were obligated to "discountenance utterly in any of our children the use of all warlike, savage-like, or
ruffian-like toys, playthings, sports and amusements." No one was to drink an alcoholic beverage, gamble, swear, or
engage in anything that could be viewed as dissolute behavior. Nor could anyone have a dog, since the normally
tolerant Ballou had a strong aversion to what he saw as useless beasts noted only for their "endless fightings,
growlings and barkings." Beyond the outright prohibitions were the more subtle restraints of communal expectations.
While not prohibited, "idle words and foolish jesting" were discouraged, as were tobacco using and coffee drinking. By
the 1850s many of the villagers had become interested in the dietary practices proposed by Sylvester Graham and other
members of their progressive reform culture. They were especially inclined toward vegetarianism, limiting meat to a
small part of their diet, if they ate flesh at all. In "our general practice," wrote William Heywood in 1854, "two or three
pounds of choicest beef, free from fat as possible, had been deemed admissible to our larder once in three, four, or six
With its strong commitments to specific behavior, Hopedale was not a place for the freewheeling individualist. But it was
not an uncomfortable place for those who, under the influence of moral reform, dreamed of a society without
drunkenness, brawls, gambling, bickering, petty meanness, and the other seemingly endless causes of the social
friction, wasted effort, and personal unhappiness that afflicted the world. In 1856, one sympathetic observer (writing in
William Lloyd Garrison's abolitionist newspaper, (The Liberator) called Hopedale "a great and excellent social-reform
institution" in which there was "nothing crazy or visionary, but everything...required by nature, reason, and the highest
good of mankind." In such a view, the community represented not moral repression but the beginnings of a new moral
order that would free humankind to live a higher and happier life in a world without violence, war, slavery, crime, or
Certainly, a not insignificant part of that life already existed at Hopedale. Along with the exclusion of slavery and violence,
there was security from poverty and a guarantee of productive work in a community obligated to use its resources to
provide for all of its members. And there was the chance for women as well as men to participate in the decisions that
affected their lives. There was schooling for the children and informal educations for the adults in the weekly lyceums.
There were periodic festivals, singings, and musical affairs. Along with security, the village provided opportunities for a
satisfying social and cultural life beyond those available to most Americans in either city or countryside. Edward K.
Spann, Hopedale: From Commune to Company Town, pp. 116-117.
edge of Hopedale Pond. Click here for more about it.
Click here for more on Billy Draper's