david ruggles in florence, massachusetts

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Announcing David Ruggles Biography

David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City

by Graham Russell Gao Hodges (click here for website)

University of North Carolina Press. Cloth available in March 2010. Pop on image at left to preorder.

David Ruggles (1810-1849) was of one of the most heroic--and has been one of the most often overlooked--figures of the early abolitionist movement in America
. Graham Russell Gao Hodges provides the first biography of this African American activist, writer, publisher, and hydrotherapist who secured liberty for more than six hundred former bond people, the most famous of whom was Frederick Douglass. A forceful, courageous voice for black freedom, Ruggles mentored Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and William Cooper Nell in the skills of antislavery activism. As a founder of the New York Committee of Vigilance, he advocated a "practical abolitionism" that included civil disobedience and self-defense in order to preserve the rights of self-emancipated enslaved people and to protect free blacks from kidnappers who would sell them into slavery in the South.

Hodges's narrative places Ruggles in the fractious politics and society of New York, where he moved among the highest ranks of state leaders and spoke up for common black New Yorkers. His work on the Committee of Vigilance inspired many upstate New York and New England whites, who allied with him to form a network that became the Underground Railroad.

Hodges's portrait of David Ruggles establishes the abolitionist as an essential link between disparate groups--male and female, black and white, clerical and secular, elite and rank-and-file--recasting the history of antebellum abolitionism as a more integrated and cohesive movement than is often portrayed.
About the Author: Graham Russell Gao Hodges is George Dorland Langdon Jr. Professor of History and Africana and Latin American Studies at Colgate University. He is author or editor of more than a dozen books, including Root and Branch: African Americans in New York and East Jersey, 1613-1863.
Reviews: "Graham Russell Gao Hodges has brilliantly captured the life of David Ruggles, whose mad courage and street-fighting savvy advanced 'a mighty revolution' against slavery. Once a hero to the enslaved and a terror to enslavers, Ruggles reclaims through this splendid biography his rightful place in American memory."
--Marcus Rediker, author of The Slave Ship: A Human History

"In this exciting story of New York African American activist David Ruggles, Graham Hodges paints a dramatic picture of the nineteenth-century struggle against slavery. This captivating and brilliantly written chronicle fuses the activities of the interracial radical abolition movement and the underground railroad in the northeast."
--James Oliver Horton, coauthor of Slavery and the Making of America and coeditor of Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory

"A worthwhile and overdue biography, this is the only book-length work on one of the most influential black abolitionists of the antebellum period."
--C. Peter Ripley, editor of The Black Abolitionist Papers

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Announcing the David Ruggles Center for Early Florence History and Underground Railroad Studies

The David Ruggles Center for Early Florence History and Underground Railroad Studies (www.davidrugglescenter.org) was founded on April 8, 2008, the 166th anniversary of the Northampton Association of Education and Industry. The organizing committee was granted $150,000 by the Community Preservation Committee to purchase the house at 225 Nonotuck Street which had been saved for nine months from demolition by the Northampton Historical Commission. The DRC plans to open its doors on Memorial Day weekend 2009. Please visit the website for more information.

Monday, July 17, 2006


This website provides material on David Ruggles, one of the great unsung heros of the anti-slavery struggle. It concentrates particularly on the years he spent in Northampton, Massachusetts in the section now known as Florence. It is, in that respect, an exercise in sharing local history. But because Ruggles’ activities had such widespread influence in the areas of journalism, education, civil disobedience, organized resistance, fugitive assistance, and naturopathic health care the threads will lead back to his years in New York City and out from Florence (then Bensonville) to his many coadjutors.

By focusing minutely on the resources available locally, such as the extensive probate records and deeds relating to his business arrangements, we hope, as we fill in the knowable facts, to provide a clearer portrait of this activist’s activist who died in his prime in 1849 at the age of 39. Unlike many of his friends and colleagues who make an appearance here—David and Lydia Maria Child, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Samuel J. May, and many others who passed through Florence in the Ruggles years—he was prevented from reflecting on his life as he remembered it. With this website and in the pages of the upcoming biography of Ruggles by historian Graham Russell Hodges his story will finally be told in detail. We invite you to participate.

If you have a related website and care to make a link to this one we would appreciate it. If you have questions or contributions to the site send them to s.strimer@excite.com and I will be happy to put them up. Except for this introduction, new posts will appear for the first week or so at the beginning of the page. Occasionally the site will be reorganized for the most coherent expression of the content. While we plan to concentrate on Ruggles’ time in Florence we would appreciate any new found material from any period.

Ruggles: from The Hazards of Anti-Slavery Journalism by Graham Russell Hodges

One Cortland Street, New York City, today
David Ruggles, an African-American printer in New York City during the 1830s, was the prototype for black activist journalists of his time. During his 20-year career, Ruggles poured out hundreds of articles, published at least five pamphlets and operated the first African-American press. His magazine, Mirror of Liberty, intermittently issued between 1838 and 1841, is widely recognized as the first periodical published by a black American. Ruggles also displayed unyielding courage against constant violence, which eventually destroyed his health and career. His story reveals the valor required of a black editor struggling against the pitiless hatred of the pro-slavery forces and the yawning indifference of most Americans. Ruggles’ valiant work ran the spectrum of the work of journalists. He was an agent, writer, printer, publisher and subject. He was in fact America’s first black working journalist. His career epitomized the fusion of professionalism and activism, so characteristic of later black journalists, that would propel him to the center of racial conflict.

Ruggles was born in norwich, Connecticut, in 1810, the eldest of seven children of free black parents. His father, David Sr., was a blacksmith. His mother, Nancy, was a noted caterer and a founding member of the local Methodist church. Ruggles was educated at religious charity schools in Norwich. By the age of 17, he was in New York, first working as a mariner; in 1828 he opened a grocery shop. At first he sold liquor. Observing, as did other black abolitionists, the damage done to the black community by drink, he converted to the temperance movement. He advocated it in his advertisements in Freedom’s Journal, the nation’s first black newspaper, which was published by Samuel Eli Cornish, a black Presbyterian minister.

By the early 1830s, Ruggles became involved in the growing anti-slavery movement in New York. White radicals, disenchanted by reform measures, now joined blacks demanding the immediate end of slavery. His grocery shop at 1 Cortlandt Street was the nation’s first black bookstore until a mob destroyed it. In 1833, the Emancipator, an abolitionist weekly, appointed him as its agent to canvass for subscribers throughout the Middle Atlantic states. By 1834, Ruggles was also writing regularly. That year, he published his own pamphlet entitled The “Extinguisher” Extinguished: or David M. Reese, M.D. “Used Up…” a satirical screed attacking the leading local proponent of the American Colonization Society. This organization, which roused fiery anger in Ruggles and other blacks, argued that the only solution for America’s racial problems was to ship all free blacks to Africa. However implausible this sounds today, the plan was very popular among whites in the antebellum United States. Yet blacks understood, Ruggles thundered, that the plan did not threaten the future of slavery. His self-published booklet was the first imprint by an African American...

Ruggles continued to publish his articles and pamphlets, writing dozens of pieces for newspapers throughout the Northeast. He was also the most visible conductor on the Underground Railroad. Ruggles claimed to have helped 400 fugitive slaves during the 1830s. One such escaped slave later became one of the most famous Americans of the 19th century. In his classic autobiography, Frederick Douglass recalled his dire straits just after he fled north to freedom in New York City in late September 1838. Though exhilarated by his newfound freedom, Douglass was terrified of slave catchers. The young fugitive was broke, lonely and spent several nights sleeping amidst empty barrels on the wharves. Fortunately, he met a sailor who took him to the print shop of David Ruggles, who sheltered him and welcomed him to freedom with great celebration. A few days later, Frederick was married to Anna Murray, a free black woman, in Ruggles’ shop in a ceremony led by James W.C. Pennington, a former fugitive turned Presbyterian minister. Immediately after the wedding, Douglass and his new wife traveled to New Bedford, Massachusetts, armed with a letter of recommendation from Ruggles and a $5 bill. In just a few years Douglass became one of America’s most famous abolitionist orators.

Excerpts from "Hazards of Anti-Slavery Journalism," Media Studies Journal, Vol.14 no.2, Spring/Summer 2000

David Ruggles and Frederick Douglass: Underground Railroad Agent and Passenger

Ruggles was New York’s most visible conductor on the Underground Railroad. He claimed to have helped 400 fugitive slaves during the 1830s. One such escaped slave later became one of the most famous Americans of the 19th century. In his classic autobiography, Frederick Douglass recalled his dire straits just after he fled north to freedom in New York City in late September 1838. Though exhilarated by his newfound freedom, Douglass was terrified of slave catchers. The young fugitive was broke, lonely and spent several nights sleeping amidst empty barrels on the wharves. Fortunately, he met a sailor who took him to the print shop of David Ruggles, who sheltered him and welcomed him to freedom with great celebration. A few days later, Frederick was married to Anna Murray, a free black woman, in Ruggles’ shop in a ceremony led by James W.C. Pennington, a former fugitive turned Presbyterian minister. Immediately after the wedding, Douglass and his new wife traveled to New Bedford, Massachusetts, armed with a letter of recommendation from Ruggles and a $5 bill. In just a few years Douglass became one of America’s most famous abolitionist orators. Today, his autobiography is read by tens of thousands of college students and is considered a classic of American literature.

From Graham Russell Hodges, "Hazards of Anti-Slavery Journalism," 2000

What I Saw at the Northampton Association, by Frederick Douglass, 1894

A little over a year before his death on February 20, 1895, Frederick Douglass agreed to reminisce about his visits to early Florence at the Northampton Association of Education and Industry. His remarks appeared in Charles Sheffeld's History of Florence, 1894 as "What I Saw at the Northampton Association." There he recorded his appreciation for Ruggles and his comrades at the Community:

Here, at least, neither my color nor my condition was counted against me. I found here my old friend, David Ruggles, not only black, but blind, and measurably helpless, but a man of sterling sense and worth. He had been caught up in New York City, recsued from destitution, brought here and kindly cared for. I speak of David Ruggles as my old friend. He was such to me only as he had been to others in the same plight. Before he was old and blind he had been a coworker with the venerable Quaker, Isaac T. Hopper, and had assisted me as well as many other fugitive slaves, on the way from slavery to freedom. It was good to see that this man who had zealously assisted others was now receiving assistance from the benevolent men and women of this Community, and if a grateful heart in a recipient of benevelonce is any compensation for such benevolence, the friends of David Ruggles were well compensated. His whole theme to me was gratitude to these noble people. For his blindness he was hydropathically treated in the Community. He himself became well versed in the water cure system, and was subsequently at the head of a water cure establishment at Florence. He acquired such sensitiveness of touch that he could, by feeling the patient, easily locate the disease, and was, therefore, very successful in treating his patients.

Portrait of Frederick Douglass, attributed to Elisha Hammond. Hammond was a member of the Northampton Association. Letters from Dolly Stetson to her husband James, recently published in Letters from an American Utopia, mention Douglass's portrait being painted during his visit in 1845.

Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C

David Ruggles, Isaac T. Hopper, Barney Corse and the Darg Case, 1838

By the time Douglass met him, Ruggles had become one of the most notorious black abolitionists in the United States. A look at a remarkable incident, which took place right around the time Douglass arrived in New York City, reveals the energy and courage demanded of Ruggles as he used his pen and life to fight against slavery. The Darg Case, as it was called, caused a furor in New York’s newspapers in the autumn of 1838. Its proceeding exposed the extreme dangers for Ruggles and other anti-slavery warriors.

New York City residents in the 1830s were deeply divided over the future of America’s peculiar institution. It was naturally abhorred by the city’s 16,000 black residents, many of whom had been only recently emancipated by legislative decree ending slavery in New York state in 1827. Much of the city’s elite also worked against it, though by different means. Some elite urbanites favored the strategy of the American Colonization Society, with its plan of sending free blacks back to Africa. Others, notably the Jay family, preferred black self-help efforts at home and donated money to the New York Manumission Society and its principal agency, the African Free School. Though the school had declined recently, it was the alma mater of the city’s black elite. A more radical wing of the Manumission Society sided with immediatists—anti-slavery activists such as William Lloyd Garrison and the Tappan brothers, founders of Dun and Bradstreet—who wanted slavery ended now, not later.

One of the most active Manumission Society members with this view was Barney Corse, who, for more than 10 years, had helped self-emancipated or fugitive slaves come north and helped local blacks protect their freedom against kidnappers. Joining him was the venerable Isaac T. Hopper, a Quaker abolitionist since the 1780s, and Ruggles. This trio had successfully battled city officials and kidnappers on several occasions. At other times, when they lost, Ruggles used his press to blast this unfair system. Some situations were uncomplicated; others, such as the Darg Case, were complex. The facts, as they came out in the subsequent trial, were as follows: On August 25, 1838, John P. Darg, a Virginia slaveholder, arrived in New York City with his slave Thomas Hughes. The issue of Southerners bringing their human chattel to a free state was under intense negotiation between the governors of New York and Virginia, but Darg apparently felt confident about the status of his servant. But a few days later Hughes came to Hopper’s house, seeking refuge. The Quaker, however, was initially reluctant and asked Hughes to leave his home. The next day, the New York Sun, the most vitriolic of the penny press, published a notice offering a reward for the return of Hughes and the $7,000 or $8,000 he had taken with him. Hopper, Corse and perhaps Ruggles served as go-betweens for Darg and Hughes. The slave no longer had all the money, having given some of it to others who helped him escape and a portion to some local gamblers.

Corse and Ruggles decided that returning the cash was moral but turning over Hughes was not. They convinced Darg to free Hughes provided that he gave back as much money as he took. When the sum turned out to be far less than Darg demanded, the slave master ordered Corse and Ruggles arrested for grand larceny. Corse quickly found bail, but Ruggles was jailed for two days with common criminals, even though he had not actually been charged with anything. After that incident, a caricature of the three, entitled The Disappointed Abolitionists, was published, suggesting that they were really interested in the reward and, rather than trying to free slaves, were setting up an extortion ring to prey on unwary masters.

The case remained newsworthy over the next few months. In October, a group of black citizens honored Ruggles by giving him a cane with a golden knob. Sadly, the struggle was taking its toll on the valiant Ruggles. Now only 28 years old, he was nearly blind and was afflicted with severe bowel disorders. All of his money and time went into the movement, so he often was homeless. Worse afflictions were on the way, and they came from a surprising source.

In 1837, Samuel Eli Cornish, aided by Philip A. Bell, resurrected his black newspaper and renamed it the Colored American. Ruggles quickly became a regular contributor. The editors in turn frequently wrote approvingly of his actions. But in early 1839, a terrible dispute arose that ended Ruggles’ career in New York City. Hearing rumors that a black hotelier named John Russell was hiding captive blacks before they were transported south, Ruggles, without Cornish’s knowledge, inserted an article in the Colored American accusing the innkeeper of helping kidnappers. Russell sued the newspaper, Ruggles and Cornish for libel and won a judgment of $600—which nearly bankrupted the weekly journal. Furious, Cornish attacked Ruggles in print. Although wealthy benefactors soon paid the libel award, Cornish campaigned to have Ruggles driven out of the movement. One method was to demand that Ruggles explain every cash expenditure of the Committee of Vigilance. After a careful accounting, it appeared that the committee’s funds were short $400. Broken in health and deeply hurt by Cornish’s accusations, Ruggles was forced to resign his post as secretary of the committee. Before doing so, he published his last imprint in New York City, A Plea for a Man and a Brother, in which he tried to refute Cornish’s indictments. In truth, the more conservative Cornish and his many allies had tired of Ruggles’ radical methods and sought less confrontational means to fight slavery.

from Graham Russell Hodges, Hazards of Anti-Slavery Journalism, 2000

David Ruggles: First Realistic Caricature of Black Political Figure

American caricature prior to the age of widespread photography and the illustrated press (1850 onward) emphasized accuracy in the delineation of features not exaggeration. The caricaturists of the day plied their trade as directors of a graphic play of their own making, placing well-known politicians and personalities in mostly naturalistic settings and putting words into their mouths to score political points. The first great American cartoonist was Edward W. Clay who worked during the 1830s and 40s mainly for H. R. Robinson, lithographer, of 52 Cortland Street, NY. Because Clay worked on 75-pound slabs of limestone, he executed his cartoons on the premises of Robinson's print emporium. This meant that he had to know Ruggles or at least know him on sight. For the cartoon to work, Clay would have drawn Ruggles (and the other principals in the Darg case) faithfully, down to the style of clothing and head wear.

The cartoon was sold in Robinson's shop and on the streets of lower Manhattan, probably for 25 cents. It is unlikely such a cartoon had a print run of more than a few 100 or that it circulated outside of the city, as was common for cartoons devoted to presidential campaigns, unless a partisan of the slavery issue sent a copy to a friend in another city. This is the first American cartoon to feature a recognizable Black personality, as opposed to a generic caricature. Other cartoons of the same period depicted officials of the new Black government of Haiti, but these tended to be crude and monkey-like, not actual likenesses.

Comments of Richard West proprietor of Periodyssey, sellers of rare periodicals and ephemera
Image is a detail of graphic in prior post showing Isaac T. Hopper, David Ruggles, and Barney Corse

Ruggles Sends Best Wishes to Douglass Upon the Launch of the North Star

David Ruggles, as one of the first black journalists in the country, had written post after post for such papers as the Emancipator, The Colored American, and the Liberator. Now having found refuge in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he was treating himself and others using the water cure method, he still found time to write to his friend, Frederick Douglass upon the launch of the North Star in Rochester, NY. Ruggles was particularly supportive of the spirit of the paper which Douglass laid out in the first issue December 3, 1847:

It is scarcely necessary for us to say that our desire to occupy our present position at the head of an Antislavery Journal, has resulted from no unworthy distrust or ungrateful want of appreciation of the zeal, integrity, or ability of the noble band of white laborers, in this department of our cause; but, from a sincere and settled conviction that such a Journal, if conducted with only moderate skill and ability, would do a most important and indispensable work, which it would be wholly impossible for our white friends to do for us.

It is neither a reflection on the fidelity, nor a disparagement of the ability of our friends and fellow-laborers, to assert what "common sense affirms and only folly denies," that the man who has suffered the wrong is the man to demand redress,—that the man STRUCK is the man to CRY OUT—and that he who has endured the cruel pangs of Slavery is the man to advocate Liberty. It is evident we must be our own representatives and advocates, not exclusively, but peculiarly—not distinct from, but in connection with our white friends. In the grand struggle for liberty and equality now waging, it is meet, right and essential that there should arise in our ranks authors and editors, as well as orators, for it is in these capacities that the most permanent good can be rendered to our cause.

On January 28, Douglass published this testimonial by his former assistant on the Underground Railroad. On this occasion Ruggles was no less eloquent than Douglass was speaking on his own behalf

Northampton, Jan. 1, 1848


The specimen number of the North Star, is just what it should be—a beacon of liberty, to illuminate the pathway of the bleeding, hunted fugitive of the South; and to arouse our disfranchised fellow countrymen and women of the North, who are lulled to sleep by the siren son of Liberty, while we are slaves, to all intents, purposes, and constructions, in any State within this SLAVEHOLDING UNION. Let it be seen and felt, that while our brethren and sisters of the South are slaves to individuals, we, of the North, are slaves to the mass. Let the whole truth in regard to our real condition be so clearly shown, that our colored brethren, who believe themselves free, may understand, that in the United States of America, there are no “free colored men;” and that there never can be, so long as there is no concert of action; and our neutrality continues to clog the wheels of the car—EMANCIPATION. On this subject, may the light of the North Star be like that of the inflexible Sirius, that never waxes nor wanes, until our brethren, who are sleeping in calm security, shall awake to the dangers which surround them, and take such observations from the beacon-light as shall point them to the haven where they should be, in the full enjoyment of freedom, not slavery; rights, not privileges…

When I reflect upon the tremendous influence of the press in freedom’s cause, since WM. LLOYD GARRISON sounded the first note for immediate emancipation, and consider the important position you occupy, and that the destiny of enslaved millions depends upon the existence of a free and independent press, and that every man and woman, whose complexion bears the presumptive evidence of slavery, is under a moral obligation to sustain such an engine in our cause—my word to all is, Let him who would be a slave, refuse to sustain it!

Every yours in Human Freedom, DAVID RUGGLES

David Ruggles/Hannah Randall House, Florence, Massachusetts, Part One

The first building of David Ruggles'
Northampton Water Cure

The building was moved to this location at 47 Florence Road, Florence, Massachusetts sometime in 1851-1852, after Charles Munde took over following the death of Ruggles in December, 1849. In the views below the early timber framing of the late 1830's construction are in evidence along with the straight saw marks (pre-circular saw) in the floor boards.

Benjamin Barrett/David Mack/
David Ruggles/Hannah Randall House

A Provisional Interpretation of the Evidence, Part 1

47 Florence Road, Florence, MA

General Background

The original site of Dr. Benjamin Barrett’s “oil mill house,” later the first building of David Ruggles’ Northampton Water Cure, was near the current Northampton Elks Lodge at 17 Spring Street, Florence. Barrett had acquired part of Lot 41 of the original lots in Broughton’s Meadow on November 11, 1835 from Nathaniel Clark and the rest from Joseph Allen on September 23, 1836. The single story structure was likely built to facilitate storage and a provide a place of refuge for workers bringing material to the nearby oil mill for processing. A building does not appear on the 1831 map in this location. So the years in which the house served this purpose must have been brief for sometime in 1835 the oil, grist, and saw mills of Josiah White were sold by his heir to Samuel Whitmarsh (Charles Sheffeld, History of Florence, page 57). This former clothier from New York City established the Northampton Silk Company on the premises, acquiring additional property from William Clark and Gaius Burt. By June of 1836 silk manufacturing equipment was set up in the oil mill and it likely ceased its original function.

In 1837 Whitmarsh built a new, larger brick structure a half-mile downstream for the manufacture of silk and moved the equipment out of the oil mill. Two years later, with the silk enterprise foundering in the midst of a disastrous speculation in mulberry trees, David Lee Child and Lydia Maria Child rented the old oil mill, Josiah White’s old cottage, and twenty acres of the “Silk Company Farm” for the production of beet sugar. This experiment failed as well and by September of 1841 a group of businessmen with social reform on their minds, mostly from northeastern Connecticut, purchased the property of the Northampton Silk Company including Josiah White’s old oil mill. Earlier that year Lydia Maria Child had moved to New York City to edit the National Anti-Slavery Standard. It is unclear how long David’s arrangement with the nascent Northampton Association of Education and Industry lasted but the grist mill and saw mill became vital parts of the productive capacity of this community of radical abolitionists. One of the founders, George W. Benson, was William Lloyd Garrison’s brother-in-law.

The Northampton Association Moves in: David Mack and the Community School

On September 10, 1842 the Northampton Association approved assuming the rental by Benson “with Dr. Barrett for the house occupied by Mr. Mack.” (NAEI Volume #2, Record of Proceedings). Two days later the cost for installing sinks in the Boarding House and seven other houses of the community were recorded in the Association expense book. (NAEI Volume #5, Daybook 1842-1844). Just below these entries is listed an expense for a sink installed for David Mack, entered separately, presumably because this was a rental and not one of the buildings owned by the Community. In 1894 Charles Sheffeld listed the houses that had been owned by the Community in his History of Florence (page 96). Along with the Benson house, the Adam house, the Josiah White Cottage, and the Gaius Burt houses he lists, “the Mack house on the other side of the bridge north of Spring street.” This was the rough location of the Barrett “oil mill house.”

George W. Benson had come to Broughton’s Meadow from Brooklyn, CT, located in a region that would provide nearly half of the early members of the NAEI. Benson was married to Catharine Stetson and he was able to convince her brother James and his wife Dolly, also of Brooklyn to join them in Northampton. It appears that Benson, seeking to accommodate his brother-in-law’s wishes, had prevailed on David Mack and Maria Mack to make way for the Stetsons and their six children, who entered the Association on April 20, 1843. Less than a month later they were joined by the Calvin Stebbins family of Wilbraham. (Letters from An American Utopia, note 56, page 144)James became the salesman of the company’s silk in Boston and so spent most of the three years the Stetsons were members of the Association away from home. The couple’s separation resulted in the seventy-five letters compiled in Letters from an American Utopia.

From the beginning the Association had been committed to engage in the education of young students. With Director William Adam, David and Maria Mack were the central figures in the Educational Department. The letter from Dolly to James Stetson of April 21, 1844 reveals Mack’s desire to move back to his former dwelling. Dolly contends that it wasn’t she who had wanted him to move out in the first place.

The next day after you left Mr Mack came to me and wished to know If I was willing to exchange tenements with him. I told him that he knew that I had always been willing to live in the factory but that you had objections to living there, and I should not decide anything about it but that they must write to you. Mr Mack said that he felt himself pledged to raise $1000 in the educational department that he had been promised a suitable place for the school and that he had advertised that they would be ready to receive scholars the first of May. [Emphasis added]

The Director of the Educational Department, William Adam, resigned and withdrew from the Association in January of 1844. Responsibility for the school fell on the shoulders of David Mack. In addition to the education of the Community children the plan was to take in boarding students as well. Mack may also have heard that the Stebbinses were planning to leave later that month. In any event he pressed on with his request.

George was disposed not to do any thing about it until you returned but Mr Mack was very anxious to move and he thought George did wrong not to write you more particularly about the reasons why it was necessary that we should move—Mr Mack suggested that we might move up to Samuel Hills house if I thought you would prefer it—I told Mr Mack at last if he conscientiously thought that the good of the Association required that we should move we would do it—As far as I was concerned I thought…if we were to be moved before the first of May the sooner we moved the better…accordingly at eleven o’clock yesterday word came that we would exchange tenements yesterday afternoon...

Enters David Ruggles

David Ruggles, the first African-American bookseller in the country and one of the first black journalists was the former Secretary of the New York Vigilance Committee and an assistant to over 600 fugitive slaves including Frederick Douglass. He arrived at the Northampton Association in November of 1842, broken down in health and nearly blind. Lydia Maria Child was then living in New York with Ruggles’ former colleague in the anti-slavery struggle, Isaac Hopper. Through Hopper she may have learned of Ruggles’ dire situation. Her husband, David Lee Child, had remained on the farm in Lonetown near Broughton’s Meadow. David had intimate contacts with Garrison and the founders of the Northampton Association. He put forward Ruggles’ name as a prospective member on November 15, 1842 (NAEI Volume #2).

It appears that Ruggles lodged in the factory boarding house upon his arrival and was there when Dolly Stetson and her family moved in April of 1844. Shortly after his arrival, in January of 1843, Ruggles had heard of the hydropathic treatments of Vincent Priessnitz in Austria. Now desperate for some new approach to combat his many ailments he made unschooled attempts to treat himself. David Lee Child, his sponsor to the NAEI, had been one of the first in abolitionist circles to write about the efficacy of the water cure of Priessnitz. In May of 1843, David Mack made a practical demonstration of his shared interest by having money approved to construct a bathing house, perhaps, in part, with Ruggles’ self-treatment in mind. (Christopher Clark, Communitarian Moment, pp. 197-198). After several weeks of frustratingly mixed results Ruggles began correspondence with a student of Priessnitz, Dr. Robert Wesselhoeft in Boston. Some months later he visited Wesselhoeft who agreed to supervise his treatment but both patient and doctor had faint hope of success. Ruggles described his early treatment in an article for the Hampshire Gazette of January 4, 1848.

At this point, the Dr., raised the first note of encouragement, and advised perseverance, under a varied and milder treatment, until new symptoms required a more rigid course. Then the packing in the wet sheet once and twice a day, the plunge or shallow wash bath, the douche five minutes, three hip baths, from 16 to 60 minutes each, two eye baths and a foot bath comprised the daily course, until a fever crisis was developed, with symptoms of salivation, and other exudations, from the trunk of the body…

For more information on the Northampton Association of Education and Industry see:



For more on the Stetson Letters see:


David Ruggles/Hannah Randall House, Florence, Massachusetts, Part Two

Northampton Association Factory Boarding house (center). Both David Ruggles and Sojourner Truth lived here along with nearly eighty other members of the Community. Ruggles moved into the Dr. Barrett oil mill house late in 1845.

David Ruggles continued his treatment for eighteen months and arrived at a point where his eyesight and his general health improved. He was left with a general sensitivity of touch that he felt allowed him to sense the state of health of others. With the primitive equipment he had purchased for his own cure he slowly began to help his fellow Community members. By June of 1844 the Northampton Democrat reported his first “cure.” (The North Star, March 17, 1848)

Dolly Stetson and her sixteen year-old daughter Almira refer to David Ruggles in familiar and affectionate tones in their letters to James. It is possible they had followed his career in New York with regional pride since he was from Norwich, CT. only 25 miles from Brooklyn. They likely read the Liberator and other abolitionist journals where he published numerous articles. Occasionally Ruggles himself would communicate his needs to James as when he asked “His Esteemed friend Stetson,” on June 20, 1844 to find him “an India-rubber syringe…indispensible to my progress in the “Water Cure.” He chastises Stetson, through his wife, for not supplying copies of Frederick Douglass’s newly published Narrative for which Ruggles appears­—remember his bookselling background—to be a kind of local agent. (DWS to JAS, June 19, 1845).

After April of 1845, the Stetsons’ letters interspersed matter-of-fact details of life in the boardinghouse with descriptions of torturous meetings where the fate of a Community faced with mounting debt was being argued. Finally, the decision to sell off the silk factory boarding house and 100 acres to George W. Benson and a group of local investors would dislocate the Stetsons, Ruggles, and scores of other NAEI members and their families. In the mean time, David Mack, now thoroughly exhausted by the internecine strife, his health failing, his wife Maria’s precipitously so, elected to leave the Association and seek hydropathic treatment from Robert Wesselhoeft who had established himself in Brattlboro, VT. His departure would spell the end of the Association’s school (DWS to JAS, May 22, 1845).

At this point, David Ruggles appears to have begun arranging for his move to the Mack house—the former Benjamin Barrett “oil mill house.” Dolly writes to James that Ruggles needed blinds for six windows to be prepared in Boston and sent via William Parker (DWS to JAS, May 29, 1845).

…he wishes you to procure for him 6 window curtains or blinds of the following dimensions 4 ft 4.5 in long by 2 ft 6 in wide provided they can be obtained for 2 dollars or less. They may be sent by Mr. Parker on saturday.
I suppose you understand what they are. They are made of small splits of wood woven like the rush curtains—Mr Ruggles says they are sometimes sold for a shilling apiece…Mr Ruggles says you can find the blinds at the wooden ware stores or furnishing stores.

Harriet Hayden and Sydney Southworth: Married Out of Wedlock

Before David Ruggles could make the move, however, one other Community drama was to be played out at Mack’s house. Harriet Hayden and Sydney Southworth had, without benefit of clergy, married one another on an evening in July of 1844 (DWS to JAS, July 26, 1844). For this they were in effect shunned by the majority of the members. The Association had taken pains to abide by conventions relating to marriage if not just to rob their critics of at least this possible accusation of impropriety. David Ruggles himself had advised them to leave (DWS to JAS, July 26, 1844).

David Ruggles told them the other day that he knew from the opinions he had heard expressed by a great many that they never would be admitted here as members and they had better go while the weather was warm than to wait until fall when Sydney’s year was up. That set them in motion again to go but about this time Harriet was taken raising blood from her lungs and has raised more or less every day since…

In his commentary to the Stetsons’ letters, “Coloring Utopia,” Paul Gaffney points out, “That a black man would have a talk with a young white couple…certainly violated the social code on color and sexuality. Yet Dolly Stetson reported it to her husband rather plainly. It fitted her sense of Ruggles as close to the leadership and as a member of the community with a decided moral authority.” (Letters from an American Utopia, page 260).

Harriet and Sydney did leave, temporarily, to try another community in Ohio, but returned a year later to be near their friends. Harriet’s life was near over—the final stages of tuberculosis had set in. She had written ahead to ask permission to return to die at the place of her “early love.” (Northampton Free Press, May 16, 1862) At the same time decisions needed to be made about where the inhabitants of the factory boarding house would reside.

What ever we do we must do or decide to do soon—it is said that the factory must be emptied by the first Sept—Mr Macks family leave in July. We are to have no more schools after June—Sophia Foord, Elisa Wall, probably John Prouty and I know not but all in the house leave with Mr. Mack or before Sydney and Harriet have returned right glad I think to find a shelter for their heads. Harriet is very low in consumption and Sydney has had the chills and fever hold of him and looks miserably. They are at Mr Macks… (DWS to JAS, May 22, 1845)

A month later Harriet was dead.

[She was] buried the night before last by moonlight. I did not go to the funeral myself but those that were there said the services at the house were very appropriate and the burial very solemn and impressive. They had singing [and] reading from the New Testament and talking by several—Sydney is very much out of health and looks as if he would follow her to the spirit land soon. (DWS to JAS, June 19, 1845)

David Ruggles’ Northampton Water Cure

On January 1, 1846, eleven months before the formal dissolution of the NAEI, David Ruggles entered into an agreement, amounting to a lease with an option to buy, for Benjamin Barrett’s “oil mill house (so called).” (Hampshire County Record Book 111, page 6.) So intent was Ruggles on securing the house where he was then living, and an acre surrounding it, that he got Barrett to agree to a penal sum of $1000 should Barrett break the contract. The arrangement was for Ruggles to pay fifty dollars down and another $440 over five years and the property was his. These were good terms for the day. Dr. Barrett was perhaps supportive of the venture and had prior contact with the Community—he treated NAEI member Louisa Rosbrook a year-and-a-half earlier for lung complaints (DWS to JAS, July 26, 1844). Some historians have thought the “oil mill house” referred to the old oil mill itself which, during the time of the NAEI had been fitted out with bathing facilities for the members.

At the outset, it is doubtful whether Ruggles ever intended to become the respected hydropathic “Doctor” he did. He was still struggling with his own self-treatment. This passage from an article in the Liberator, December 21,1849 accurately sums up where he stood early in 1846.

Having carefully watched the effects of the water treatment upon his own person, and becoming familiar with the various applications of the liquid element, and possessing a sound judgment and rare intuition, he was led to turn his attention to this mode of curing diseases for the benefit of invalids in his immediate neighborhood, though not dreaming of ever placing himself at the head of an infirmary. As one case after another was successfully treated by him, he found his patients multiplying to such an extent as to render some kind of an establishment necessary; but as he was without pecuniary resources, he could do no better at first than to hire a small, inconvenient dwelling, with poor accommodations for half a dozen persons.

On August 4, 1846 the following brief article appeared in the Hampshire Gazette alongside an article promoting G. W. Benson and J. P. Williston’s Bensonville Manufacturing Company which had taken over the factory boarding house and converted it to cotton manufacture. Ruggles was now ready to forge ahead and grow his own new business.

Mr. David Ruggles has had a water-cure establishment in operation, on a limited scale, at Bensonville, in this town, for some months past. Encouraged by his success, he has made, and in part, completed, arrangements for the accommodation of a larger number of patients. Individuals in town have advanced $2000, which is secured in stock in the establishment. Mr. Ruggles has commenced the erection of a building, about 50 by 36 feet with an ell part which is calculated for the accommodation of 30 to 40 patients. It is to be completed, we understand, by about October. The supply of water is said to be abundant and good. It is stated that Mr. Ruggles has refused 50 applications to receive patients since the first of Jan. last. If this be true, he will find no difficulty in filling up his house when it is done.

By December the sanguine expectations reflected in the August article had dissipated and the stress of an undercapitalized start up are evident in this letter from Ruggles to Wendell Phillips on Dec 2, 1846 (Crawford Blagden Collection of the Papers of Wendell Philips, Houghton Library, Harvard University, 1068)

It is with feelings of reluctance that I trouble you with this, but I am compelled with necessity to do so. Since I am much disappointed by Mr. Sanger of New York, who was to have furnished two hundred dollars, but who has recently well nigh failed in business. If I get anything from him, it will not be until late in the Winter or Spring. I cannot therefore depend upon it at all, as I am to have all my business arrangements completed within the present month. As I need four hundred dollars instead of two hundred, to be safely in possession of my Establishment. I feel that I shall fail entirely unless you or some friends in Boston can afford me relief. I have now five patients, two of whom require daily attention of symptoms; it is therefore impossible for me to leave home, or I should go to Boston with Friend Benson, who I expect will be with you to-morrow or next day—when I trust that you will fall upon some successful plan to help me on to my feet.

Perhaps his solution to his problem, with his new building now complete, was to remortgage his property to Benjamin Barrett and to J.P. Williston which he did, raising $1600 on December 10, 1846. (Hampshire County Record Book 116, p. 81)

He got over the hump, and as the water cure expanded the hoped for 30 or 40 patients appear to have materialized during 1848. While William Lloyd Garrison stayed at the water cure between July 18 and October 20, 1848 the clientele varied between 18 and 23 (The Letters of William Lloyd Garrison, vol. 3). The Courier and Herald reprinted a Springfield Republican article on September 26, 1848 that reported:

His establishment is capable of accommodating between thirty and forty patients, and it is at present full; indeed, he has been obliged for many weeks past, almost daily, to turn away applicants.

As a boarding house, a gymnasium, a wash house, indeed an entire campus came into being, and real estate holdings totaling nearly fifty acres accumulated, the “old Barrett house” remained a functioning part of the complex. It does not appear, however, to be where he was living when he died on December 16, 1849 from an inflammation of the bowels. His long struggle, to achieve the health he so desired for himself and others, was at an end.

Part 3 to come.

David Ruggles/Hannah Randall House, Florence, Massachusetts, Part Three

Charles Munde's Water Cure, from Charles A. Sheffeld's History of Florence, 1894

A Difficult Transition: Ruggles to Charles Munde

Though Ruggles’ health had become critical in September of 1849 it wasn’t until November that he and others realized how close he was to death. His mother and sister came up from Norwich to see to his needs. In a remarkable document, a writer known to us only as Z. W. H., faithfully reported on the last several months of Ruggles life to Frederick Douglass of the North Star. (February 1, 1850).

Early in Sept. he began to be troubled with a severe pain and inflammation in the left eye, from which he was never entirely relieved…Dr. Walker advised him to give up all care and business for a while, that his already overtasked mental and bodily energies might have time to recruit. But it was difficult for him to do this while his house was filled with patients, some of them very sick, and most of them depending upon him for daily advice and attention. He declined taking new patients and sought, as far as was possible under the circumstances, the rest and quiet he so much needed. But his health continued to fail, and in the latter part of November he was seized with severe inflammation of the bowels...During the last three weeks of his life he was confined to his bed and most of the time his mind seemed to be wandering, and burdened with the care of patients, arranging plans for the improving [of] the grounds about the establishment, erecting new buildings, etc., etc.

To demonstrate the difficulty of assessing the state of Ruggles’ affairs when he died we have these two contradictory statements made by two respected historians.

...at the height of his success and when his sanitarium was filled to capacity, David Ruggles, at the early age of 39 died.
Dorothy Porter, The Northampton Book, page124

His business fortunes, too, declined after his modest establishment faced fancier competition in the late 1840s. Had he not died on the day after Christmas 1849, [actually December 16] he would have gone bankrupt in 1850.
Nell Painter, Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol, 1996

David Ruggles’ Probate record runs to seventy pages­—the list of creditors to fifty persons and businesses. Is this the stop-frame of an enterprise about to arrive successfully at the numbers of its five-year plan or a train wreck in progress? There is much work to be done to arrive at a consensus on this question. Sorting out the meaning of the many connections, deals, and accounts recorded in the probate record has begun.

It was clear to the administrators of the estate, Samuel L. Hill and Charles Smith (two of the creditors who ultimately forgave the debt owed them) that the best outcome would be to attract a new proprietor. According to his son Paul, Charles Munde heard of Ruggles’ death through Horace Greeley in New York City where Munde was struggling to forge a practice after studying with Priessnitz himself (Sheffeld, page 191). Through careful planning by the judge, commissioners and administrators and a cooperative and patient attitude on the part of the creditors, Munde was installed at the water cure. “Long credit” (in actuality a three year term) was supplied by the administrators Hill and Smith. Further guarantees were provided by Justin Thayer and John P. Williston. Williston’s father, the well-know Rev. Payson Williston of Easthampton, wrote a testamonial to Ruggles skill, attributing the cure of his lameness to Ruggles’ treatment (Hampshire Gazette, October 26, 1847). It appears most creditors received payment of the bulk of their claims by 1854.

Changes at the Water Cure and the Recollections of Arthur G. Hill

The remembrances of Samuel L. Hill’s son Arthur, a boyhood friend of Paul Munde, have been invaluable for piecing together the development of early Florence. The area known first as Broughton’s Meadow, then The Community, then Bensonville and Greenville, finally became Florence in 1852 at the suggestion of Charles Munde. In an article on Munde’s water cure for the Hampshire Gazette, March 24, 1906, Arthur G. Hill provided two pieces of information crucial to our efforts to retrace the history of the Barrett “oil mill house.”

The original small Ruggles house was removed to and still occupies the location at the summit of the knoll on South Street. A good sized two-story house was erected in its place and as the business rapidly developed large additions were made, which gave accommodation to a hundred guests besides the family and servants.

With diligent detective work this clue alone could have been enough to suspect the small house at 47 Florence Road (formerly South Street). As late as the 1860 Walling atlas only one building outline appears on the east side of the road, at the crest of the hill—that of “Mrs. Randall.”

New Homes for Hannah Randall and Basil Dorsey

By 1849, the cotton mill that was formerly the factory boarding house of the NAEI was supervised by J. P. Williston with his brother Samuel and the Hayden brothers of Williamsburg as partners. Though this group of orthodox evangelicals had forced out the radical George W. Benson they continued a policy of hiring African-Americans as operatives, several of whom were fugitive slaves. The 1850 census shows that as many as 35 African-Americans lived on Nonotuck Street across from the cotton mill. Basil Dorsey, a fugitive slave from Maryland lived there as well as Hannah Randall and her three children who were all listed as being from Massachusetts.

Dorsey’s escape had been assisted by Ruggles in New York in the late 1830’s. He arrived in Broughton’s Meadow during the Community days in 1844 and became the primary teamster for the cotton factory. In 1849 he bought lot 12 of Bensonville Village Lots on what became known as Nonotuck Street and built a house there. On March 1, 1852 he sold this house while simultaneously purchasing the house of William Warner and six acres southwest of the Mill River from Samuel L. Hill and Selah Trask. In the middle of the three acres that Hill sold Dorsey and the three-and-half acres that Selah Trask sold him that day, Hill set aside one acre with a dwelling house where William Wright was living. (Hampshire County Record Book 142, page 439).

The Fugitive Slave Law was passed in September 1850. Ten self-proclaimed fugitive slaves from Northampton including Bensonville residents Basil Dorsey, Joseph Willson, Lewis French, Henry Anthony and William Wright called on Northampton residents “to adopt such measures as they may deem proper to prevent Massachusetts from being made slave hunting ground.” (Northampton Courier, October 15, 1850). William Wright age 50, Sara Wright, age 40 and Jessamine Freeman, age 15, are listed living together in the 1850 census apparently nearby former NAEI members Austin Ross, Cyrus Bradbury, and Joseph Martin.

In an undated manuscript entitled “Florence, the Sanctuary of the Colored Race” Arthur G. Hill took us the rest of the way.

Hannah Randall, a colored laundry woman of the water cure came into possession of Dr. Ruggles little house and it was moved to the hill of South Street, which she occupied until her death.

Her deed from Hiram Stebbins of April 26, 1856 reads:

a parcel of land with a dwelling house thereon…on the Westerly side of the highway leading to Easthampton…being the same acre reserved and described in a certain deed from Samuel Hill to Basil Dorsey dated March 1, 1852...

When Charles Munde decided to replace the small “old Barrett House” (Hampshire County Probate, Box 263, No.9, Inventory page 26, January 8, 1850) with a new two-story structure it appears Samuel L. Hill orchestrated its removal to the reserved acre and rented temporarily to William Wright before transferring the property to Hiram Stebbins who sold it to Hannah Randall. She paid Stebbins $600 for the house and acre and took out a three-year mortgage for $200 with James Dunn Atkins, the dyer for the Nonotuck Silk Company and a former member of the Northampton Association. She owned the property free and clear by Septemer 12, 1859. (Hampshre County Record Book 167, pp. 257-260). She would live there until her death in 1883. A rather short deed trail leads directly to the current owners of 47 Florence Road.

More Work to be Done

The owners were kind enough to invite us in. We looked through the house for the predicted heavy timber framing of the 1830s. This is just what we found, along with indications that the building served the more utilitarian purposes that could be associated with its use as an “oil mill house.” We are still in the process of evaluating the structure and hope to get back in soon to have a second look. Clearly it would be good to know if the current window measurements approximate the dimensions of the shades Ruggles was having James Stetson look into. We also hope to identify the best place to excavate to uncover the house’s former foundation at the Spring Street site.

This remarkable house and the history that was played out between its walls might never have come to our attention were it not for Arthur G. Hill and his desire to pass on the history of the times in which he grew up.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

David Ruggles and the Northampton Association

By Linda Ziegenbein

Presented at the
Third Annual Sojourner Truth Memorial Statue Celebration and Commemoration
Florence, MA
May 28, 2006

On this warm Memorial Day weekend where we honor those who have died in military service to our country and here in Florence where we also honor the life and work of Sojourner Truth, there is another person who needs to be remembered: David Ruggles. Ruggles was a contemporary of Sojourner’s, joining the utopian community established here in 1842.

Trying to summarize David Ruggles will inevitably do him injustice. Words I could use to describe him would be: journalist, businessman, doctor, abolitionist, or activist. Still other appropriate words would be son, friend, mentor, American or blind man. Today, my hope is to introduce you to this remarkable man and to consider the incredibly high costs some pay for their social activism.

David Ruggles was born to a free Black family in Norwich, Connecticut in 1810. At the age of seventeen, he moved to New York City and soon after opened a grocery store, which was later to become the first bookstore owned by an African American in the United States. He also became involved in the abolitionist movement, publishing many articles condemning slavery. He was a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad and is believed to have helped at least 600 people, including Frederick Douglass, escape to freedom. Additionally, he was one of the founders of the New York Committee of Vigilance. This committeee, comprised of Black abolitionists, was dedicated to confronting the practices in New York that continued to support enslavement despite New York’s status as a “free” state.

One of the things opposed by the Vigilance Committee was the practice of kidnapping people of African descent and selling them into slavery in the South. The justification for this practice was that the kidnappers were simply recovering the human property that had fled from their “owners”. In fact, any person of African descent could be kidnapped since once a person was “captured”, they were only given a short time to prove that they were not escapees. Ruggles would openly confront the slave catchers, whom he called “kidnappers”, and the Vigilance Committee would offer them legal assistance. Ruggles himself knew the dangers people of African descent faced as there was at least one attempt to break into his apartment late at night, kidnap him, and sell him into slavery in the South.

Although New York had emancipated all of the people who were enslaved in the state in 1827, the issue of whether enslaved workers brought into the state were to be emancipated was still unresolved. State law mandated that all enslaved workers brought into New York be freed after nine months. Ruggles would go into elite white neighborhoods in New York City to find out how long the workers had been there and to let them know they were free.

These activities earned Ruggles his share of enemies. Aside from the kidnapping attempt, his grocery store was burned down, there were several attempts to lynch him, and he was physically assaulted several times. There were those among the abolitionist movement who also disagreed with his tactics. Like many Black abolitionists, Ruggles was opposed to the American Colonization Society, which advocated sending people of African descent to Africa. There were also Black abolitionists who viewed Ruggles’ tactics as too extreme. His conflict with these groups came to a head in the late 1830s and he left New York City under a cloud of scandal for Florence.

Here, he found much needed supportive companionship and rest. He sought out treatments for the many ailments that afflicted him in his adult life, including intermittent blindness. A treatment he attempted and had some luck with was hydropathy, the water-cure. After being treated, he became a student and, then, a doctor of hydropathy, establishing the first hydropathy hospital in the nation here in Florence.
As you can see from this brief introduction to his life, Ruggles was a remarkable man and a passionate social activist. We know that the costs for his social activism were his livelihood and his physical well-being. However, the extent to which he paid psychologically is difficult to determine. What we do know is that the chronic illnesses which plagued him in his adult life, including his blindness, can all be brought about by stress. Michael Blakey, a biological anthropologist, has argued that chronic illness in African American populations is the result of the stress of living in a racist society. David Ruggles was a man who not only lived in a racist society, but he also actively confronted and sought to change it. Whether the psychological stress brought about by his activism killed him might never be known, but it undoubtedly shortened his life. David Ruggles died here in Florence on December 18, 1849. He was not quite 40 years old.

So what are we to learn from the lives of activists like David Ruggles? Is it that we should not seek to better the world unless we are prepared to sacrifice our friends, our livelihood and our health? I don’t think so. Rather, knowing that there were those who came before us whose sacrifices were so great should further impel us to continue their work. The price David Ruggles paid to create a more equitable society was great. That the struggle continues almost a hundred and sixty years after his death is a great injustice. It is our privilege to continue that work. Thank you.

African American Registry
2005 One of the First to Fight Slavery, David Ruggles! Electronic document,
accessed May 21, 2006.

Blakey, Michael L.
1994 Psychophysiological Stress and Disorders of Industrial Society: A Critical Theoretical Formulation for Biocultural Research. In Diagnosing America: Anthropology and Public Engagement, edited by S. Forman, pp. 149-192. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.

Clark. Christopher
1995 The Communitarian Moment: The Radical Challenge of the Northampton Association. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst.

Gaffney, Paul
2004 Coloring Utopia: The African American Presence in the Northampton Association of Education and Industry. In Letters from an American Utopia: The Stetson Family and the Northampton Association, 1843-1847, edited by C. Clark and K.W. Buckley, pp. 239-278. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst.

Hodges, Graham Russell
2001 David Ruggles: The Hazards of Anti-Slavery Journalism. In Profiles in Journalistic Courage: Media Studies, edited by R. Giles, R.W. Snyder, and L. DeLisle, pp. 11-18. Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick.

Painter, Nell Irwin
1996 Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol. W.W. Norton and Company, New York.