Brook Farms, A Utopian Society

By, Katie McKendrick


Brook Farms originated in the early 1840's just outside of Boston Massachusetts. The founder, George Ripley, had a goal of making Brook Farms a place where a balance between intellectual and manual labor could be created. Brook Farms was a joint-stock company and shares could be bought for five hundred dollars plus interest. Buying a share entitled one to voting rights and education for one child. Ripley moved to the farm with his wife and several other friends. With Brook Farms, Ripely succeed in his goal of creating a though-provoking and intellectual atmosphere along with residents such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and John S. Dwight.

A map of Massachusetts

Brook farms, on the bottom left, was just West of Boston.

Important Leaders:

  • George Ripley- Founder of Brook Farms. Ripely was a graduate of Harvard University and before beginning Brook Farms, he worked as a minister at his Unitarian church. In order to obtain and establish Brook Farms into how he envisioned it, he and a few others had to arrange several mortgages to pay for the land. Despite this, Ripely went ahead with creating the farms in order reach his goal of creating a place all could share manual labor according to their abilities and still thrive intellectually.

Major Beliefs and Practices

Brook Farms was created as a place where everyone could share manual labor, while at the same time each persons intellectual abilities could be expanded. Each child of a family on the farms was entitled to an education in order to achieve this. The adults also got voting rights when the moved onto the farms. In 1844, the farms adopted the principles of Fourier. These principles were considered socialist ideas and included that if a community worked together, they would have an increase in production. Others included jobs being assigned to each person based on their talents and that women should have equal rights.
A drawing of Brook Farms

Brook Farm utopian community