ICARIANS. Members of a communistic so ciety. founded by Cabet (q.v.) to realize the ideals set forth in his romance Voyage en /carie. During the years preceding the Revolution of 1848 communistic doctrines had a wide follow ing in France; and when, in 1547. Cabet an nounced the acquisition of land in Texas. a large number of persons agreed to emigrate with him to found a settlement there. In 184S sixty-nine persons set out for the colony, hut were unable to endure the climate, and returned after a few months to New Orleans. where they were joined by Cahet with 400 more. Early the following year Cabet, with about 300 followers, emigrated to Nauvoo, Ill., then recently deserted by the Mormons, where the colony was moderately pros perous for a few years, undertaking agriculture qs well as trades and manufactures. Dissensions arose, and in 1856 Cabct was expelled together with those members of the community who sup ported him. In 1860 financial difficulties ren dered it necessary for the remaining lcarians to abandon Nauvoo, and thirty-five of theta founded a new settlement in western Iowa. For twenty years they grew in wealth and numbers; but in 1880 the community split into two factions, the Young and the Old Party. The former soon
broke up; the latter existed until 1895, when it, too, was dissolved. In 1881 a few members of the Iowa community went to California, where they established Icaria Speranza, a society, how ever, more like a business corporation than a communistic settlement.
The organization of the Icarian communities was democratic. Directors were elected, but they could only execute the orders of the whole body. The members lived in little houses around a central ball where they took their meals in com mon. They were sociable in their habits, took great pains to educate their children. and were remarkable for their thrift, industry, and the good order they maintained. Excluding the purely religious communists, the Icarian set tlements were by far the most successful of the communistic experiments of which the early nineteenth century was so prolific. Consult: Lux, Etienne Cabet and der Ikarisehe Kommunis mils (Stuttgart, 1894) ; Shaw, Icaria (New York, 1884).