Brook Farm

Kelsea Troutt


Brook Farm was founded by a Unitarian minister named George Ripley in 1841. Ripley conceived the idea of founding this community in 1840 with Theodore Parker after attending the Christian Union Convention in Groton, Massachusetts. Originally the ownership was held jointly by those who purchased stock.

It was founded in rural West Roxbury (which is now a part of Boston)

Qoute from George Ripley on November 30, 1840

"Our objects as you know, are to insure a more natural union between between intellectual and manual labor ... guarantee the highest mental freedom, by providing all with labor, adapted to their tastes and talents, and securing to them the fruits of their industry ... thus to prepare a society of liberal, intelligent, and cultivated persons, whose relations with each other would permit a more simple and wholesome life, than can be led amidst the pressures of our competitive institutions."


Those who lived in Brook Farm believed in:

  • gender equality
  • breaking the bond between women and housework
  • life of leisure to live in all of the faculties of the soul
  • the cause of conflict and suffering was the perversion of natural human goodness by faulty social organization (Fourierism)


The members farmed the land together and held the fruits of their labor in common. The idea was that this would give settlers more time to pursue their own literary and scientific interests, which would then benefit the rest of humankind.

Also, they practiced that once you have joined the community none will be to engaged in bodily labor. the hours of labor the the community will be limited by a general law.


Brook Farm influenced many social reforms such as:

  • abolitionism
  • associationalism
  • workingmen's movement
  • women's rights movement

Brook Farm utopian community

Important People

George Ripley- founder of Brook Farm; (with the help of the Transcendentalists)

Ralph Waldo Emerson- Unitarian minister: an independent man of letters, to become the preeminent lecturer, philosopher of 19th century America. Emerson was a key figure in the "New England Renaissance," as an author and also with association to the Transcendental Club: member of Brook Farm

Margaret Fuller- supporter of Brook Farm: author of many articles

Nathaniel Hawthorne, member who later wrote about the failure of Brook Farm in his novel, The Blithedale Romance(1852).

Three Main Supporters of Brook Farm