OWEN, Robert Dale (1801-1877)

OWEN, ROBERT DALE, a Representative from Indiana; born in Glasgow, Scotland, November 7, 1801; studied under private teachers and attended the Emanuel von Fellenberg School at Hofwyl, near Berne, Switzerland, 1820-1823; immigrated to the United States in 1825 with his parents, who settled in Posey County, Ind.; aided his father in the establishment of the social community of New Harmony, Ind., and on the failure of that project he returned to Europe for further study; returned to the United States in 1827 and became a citizen; was the founder and editor of the Free Enquirer, published in New York, 1828-1832; returned to New Harmony in 1832; member of the State house of representatives 1835-1838; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1838 to the Twenty-sixth Congress and in 1840 to the Twenty-seventh Congress; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Congresses (March 4, 1843-March 3, 1847); chairman, Committee on Roads and Canals (Twenty-eighth Congress); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1846 to the Thirtieth Congress; member of the State constitutional convention in 1850; member of the State house of representatives in 1851; appointed by President Franklin Pierce as Chargé d'Affaires to the Two Sicilies May 24, 1853, and Minister Resident June 29, 1854, serving until September 20, 1858; devoted the remainder of his life to writing on social problems; died at his summer home ``Cosy Cove,'' at Crosbyside, on Lake George, N.Y., June 24, 1877; interment in the Village Cemetery at Lake George, Warren County, N.Y.

Boston Public Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 8 letters.

Columbia University
New York, NY
Papers: In Research Papers on Robert Dale Owen, 1846-1939. ca. 1,500 items.
In part photocopies from libraries in Indiana. Correspondence (originals and copies), outlines, and drafts for studies on Owen.

Indiana Historical Society
Indianapolis, IN
Papers: ca. 35 scattered letters.

Indiana State Library
Indianapolis, IN
Papers: 1826-1904. 3 boxes.
Correspondence and writings (1826-1877) to family members; relating to spiritualism; on the death of his brother Robert; with his publishers; regarding, among other topics, Texas annexation, slavery, reconstruction, women's rights, and the Indiana school law of 1852; manuscript of his play "Sixteen Hundred and Seven"; and his Chickasaw Indian dictionary and phrase book (1828). Collection also include correspondence of Lottie Kellogg Owen and the Kellogg family of New York and Philadelphia. Described in published guide. Partial calendar in repository.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1862. 1 letter.

New Harmony Workingmen's Institute
New Harmony, IN
Papers: In manuscript collection, 1814-1940. 21 feet.
Unpublished guide in library. Restricted.

New-York Historical Society
New York, NY
Papers: March 18, 1845; March 7, 1861; June 22, 1870.
3 letters. Finding aid in repository.

Papers: Unknown quantity of personal correspondence (1844-1847) in the Thomas Jefferson Durant collection.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Illinois Historical Survey
Urbana, IL
Papers: 1831-1873. 71 items.
Microfilm of originals privately owned. Correspondence, memoranda, and legal papers, mostly from the 1870's and concerning spiritualism. Unpublished catalog.

  • Elliott, Josephine M., ed. Robert Dale Owen's Travel Journal, 1827. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1977.
  • Greeley, Horace. Divorce: Being a correspondence between Horace Greeley and Robert Dale Owen. New York: R. M. DeWitt, 1860.
  • Leopold, Richard William. Robert Dale Owen: A Biography. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1940. Reprint, New York: Octagon Books, 1969.
  • Owen, Robert Dale. Address on the hopes and destinies of the human species. London: J. Watson, 1836.
  • ------. An address on the influence of the clerical profession. London: J. Watson, 1840.
  • ------. Beyond the breakers. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1870.
  • ------. A brief practical treatise on the construction and management of plank roads, by Robert Dale Owen. With an appendix containing the general plank road laws of New York, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois ... Also, the opinion of Judge Gridley of the New York Supreme court in the case of Benedict vs. Goit. New Albany, [Ind.]: Kent & Norman, 1850.
  • ------. Cause of the people. N.p., [1830?]
  • ------. The conditions of reconstruction; in a letter from Robert Dale Owen to the Secretary of State. Letter from Hon. S. P. Chase, to the Loyal National League. New York: W. C. Bryant & Co., printers, 1863.
  • ------. Emancipation is peace. [New York: Loyal Publication Society, 1863].
  • ------. Footfalls on the boundary of another world. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1865.
  • ------. The future of the North-west in connection with the scheme of reconstruction without New England. Philadelphia: Crissy & Markley, printers, 1863.
  • ------. Galileo and the Inquisition. [New York: N.p., 18--].
  • ------. Hints on public architecture: Containing, among other illustrations, views and plans of the Smithsonian Institution: Together with an appendix relative to building materials / prepared, on behalf of the Building Committee of the Smithsonian Institution. New-York: G.P. Putnam, 1849. Reprint, New York: DaCapo Press, 1978.
  • ------. To Holland and to New Harmony; Robert Dale Owen's travel journal, 1825-1826. Edited by Josephine M. Elliott. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1969.
  • ------. Labor: Its history and its prospects. Cincinnati: Herald of Truth Print, 1848. Reprint, New York: Fowlers and Wells, 1851.
  • ------. Letter from Robert Dale Owen ... The cost of peace. [New York?: N.p., 1862?]
  • ------. Letters addressed to William Gibbons ... in reply to an exposition of modern sceptism. [N.p., n.d.]
  • ------. Looking back across the war-gulf. Originally printed in "Old and new," Boston, May, 1870. Tarrytown, N.Y.: Reprinted, W. Abbatt, 1915.
  • ------. Moral physiology, or, A brief and plain treatise on the population question. London: James Watson, [1834?] Reprint, London: E. Truelove, [1870?]
  • ------. Oregon and the Nootka convention. [Washington: N.p., 1846].
  • ------. Owen's moral physiology: Or, A brief and plain treatise on the population question. With alterations and additions by Ralph Glover. New York: R. Glover, 1846.
  • ------. Pocahontas: A historical drama, in five acts; with an introductory essay and notes. By a citizen of the West. New York: G. Dearborn, 1837.
  • ------. The policy of emancipation: In three letters to the Secretary of War, the President of the United States, and the Secretary of the Treasury. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1863.
  • ------. Popular tracts. No. 10, containing Situations. New York: Published at the office of the Free Enquirer, 1830.
  • ------. A sermon on loyalty; A remonstrance to God; and, A sermon on free inquiry; Observations on public worship. London: Printed and published by J. Watson, [1840].
  • ------. Texas, and her relations with Mexico. Speech of Robert Dale Owen, of Indiana, delivered in the House of Representatives of the United States, Jan. 8, 1845. [Washington?: N.p., 1845].
  • ------. Threading My Way; An Autobiography. 1874. Reprint of Twenty-seven Years of Autobiography. New York: A.M. Kelley, 1967.
  • ------. Wealth and misery. [New York: N.p., 18--].
  • ------. The wrong of slavery, the right of emancipation, and the future of the African race in the United States. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1864.
  • Owens, Robert Dale and Frances Wright. Tracts on republican government and national education: Addressed to the inhabitants of the United States of America. London: J. Watson, [1840].
  • Pancoast, Elinor, and Anne E. Lincoln. The Incorrigible Idealist: Robert Dale Owen in America. Bloomington, IN: The Principia Press, Inc., 1940.
  • Proceedings at the presentation to the Hon. Robert Dale Owenof a silver pitcher, on behalf of the Women of Indiana,on the 28th day of May, 1851. New Albany, IN: Kent and Norman, Printers, 1851.