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and indeed money appears to be of no use to men, producing food, and manufacturing all necessaries within their own settlement. Every thing is sold in Rapp's name, and all the money is transmitted to him, even the proceeds of the house of entertainment and the doctor's shop.
This secrecy about the great sums that must be collected annually by the united labour of seven or eight hundred industrious individuals, possessed of a great deal of skill, and having the entire monopoly of the neighbouring country, has, I must confess, a very suspicious appearance, especially as Rapp holds a correspondence with Germany. At the same time, as he is an old man, and never intends to leave Harmony, I do not see any thing he could gain by sending away the money.
The Harmonites all dress very plainly and wear nearly the same clothes; but Rapp and the head men live in better houses, and have plenty of wine, beer, groceries, &c.; while the rest of their brethren are limited to coarse, though wholesome food, are debarred the use of groceries, &c, have a less quantity of meat, and are even obliged to make use of an inferior kind of flour.
In their celibacy, and in some other points, they resemble the Shakers, though they differ from them in refusing to admit proselytes. They are in fact only a somewhat improved order of industrious monks and nuns, except that they are very unwilling to have any thing known about themselves, and are by no means anxious to make converts. If they spoke English, and were allowed a free intercourse with the Americans, they would soon learn, that with the same habits of temperance, industry, and economy, they could in that rich and fertile district have every comfort they at present enjoy, with the additional satisfaction of amassing money for themselves, and of having children who would doubtless rise to opulence and consideration.
At present however Rapp points out to them the difference between their situation and that of the Backwoodsmen in the neighbourhood, leaving them to suppose, that this superiority is owing to their peculiar tenets and mode of life. Moreover, as I am informed, Rapp, like all other Priests, holds out eternal punishment in the next world to those who secede. Like the Virgilian " Rex Anius, rex idem hominum, Phoebique Sacerdos," he is both Governor and Priest, preaching to them in church and managing when out of it their pecuniary affairs. Hence this society presents the extraordinary spectacle of a most complete despotism in the midst of a great republic: for with the exception perhaps of being a little better clothed and fed, the lower orders of the Harmonites are as much vassals, or more so, than they were in Germany.
The settlement was once a benefit to the neighbourhood; but at present most of the Americans consider it as injurious. At first the people, for a great distance around the Settlement, being supplied with goods that they could not easily procure elsewhere, considered it advantageous to them; but they now think precisely the contrary; for the Harmonites, not having to pay their workmen, are enabled to under-sell every one who would wish to set up a store, and thus prevent competition. Moreover, as in exchange for their cloths, linens, hats, whiskey, &c, they receive vast sums of money which they never spend, and thus diminish the circulating medium of the country.
"If," say the Americans, "an ordinary merchant could come among us, and set up a store, as he grew rich he would increase his expenditure, and the money would circulate and enrich those who supplied him with meat, bread, &c.; but these people spend nothing, and therefore we should be very glad to see their society destroyed."
Old Rapp has transferred most of the active superintendence of the temporal concerns of the society to his adopted son Frederic Rapp, thus accustoming the people to a sort of hereditary despotism. We may however very much doubt, whether the society will hold together after the old man's death, an event which in the course of nature must soon take place.
The people, under the present system, are a set of well-fed, well-clothed, hard-working vassals. They are very grave and serious. During the whole time I was at Harmony, I never saw one of them laugh; indeed they appeared to me to enjoy only a sort of melancholy contentment, which makes a decided difference between them and the inhabitants of the other parts of the country, who without fanaticism or celibacy, find themselves well off and comfortable.
I Was quite sorry to quit my comfortable lodging at Harmony, and again encounter the bad fare of the Backwoods taverns; but being anxious to proceed, I summoned up courage and set off.
After passing through a low, heavily timbered country, which when cleared is very fertile, I came to the Ohio at the Diamond Island ferry, so called from a large and beautiful island in the middle of the stream. Owing to the badness of the road, it was nearly dark when I crossed over to the Kentucky side of the river; and I was therefore obliged to put up at a small cabin, the owner of which bade me welcome, though he was sick in bed, and his wife gave me the best fare that his humble means could command.
This log hut, from being so near to the river, was very much infested with rats. They were the largest and boldest I had ever seen, and ran about without either regarding me or the sick man. What however surprised me the most was, that there was a cat sitting by the fire which never attempted to molest them, nor indeed did the rats appear to be alarmed at her presence. The owner of the cabin said, "I bought the cat hoping she would drive the rats away, but when on her first